RTCS

Views on the News

April 9, 2011

Views on the News*

Since President Obama took office, our problems have gotten worse with: 1) major spending increases have failed to deliver promised jobs; 2) the safety net for the poor is coming apart at the seams; 3) government health and retirement programs are growing at unsustainable rates; 4) the new health-care law is a fiscal train wreck; and the 5) complex, inefficient tax code is holding back American families and businesses. The President's recent budget proposal would accelerate America's descent into a debt crisis: 1) it doubles debt held by the public by the end of his first term and triples it by 2021; 2) it imposes $1.5 trillion in new taxes, with spending that never falls below 23% of the economy; 3) his budget permanently enlarges the size of government; 4) it offers no reforms to save government health and retirement programs; and 5) there is no leadership. It is clear that the Democrat budget was no serious and the political strategy was to wait for the Republican budget proposal and attack the expected spending cuts and program changes as “extreme.” The Democrats continue to act like adolescents with a charge card, spending as fast as they can with not regard to ever paying off the debt. The Republicans have injected adult thinking into the budget process, with mature approaches to long standing problems and practical ideas to grow the economy. The Republican budget proposal, “The Path to Prosperity,” is comprehensive, it: 1) cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the President's budget over the next 10 years; 2) reduces the debt as a percentage of the economy; and 3) puts the nation on a path to actually pay off our national debt. This proposal brings federal spending to below 20% of gross domestic product (GDP), consistent with the postwar average, and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion. The Path to Prosperity will help create nearly one million new private-sector jobs next year, bring the unemployment rate down to 4% by 2015, and result in 2.5 million additional private-sector jobs in the last year of the decade. It spurs economic growth, with $1.5 trillion in additional real GDP over the decade. Major components:

·    Reducing spending: This budget proposes to bring spending on domestic government agencies to below 2008 levels, and it freezes this category of spending for five years. The savings proposals are numerous, and include reforming agricultural subsidies, shrinking the federal work force through a sensible attrition policy, and accepting Defense Secretary Robert Gates's plan to target inefficiencies at the Pentagon.

·    Welfare reform: This budget will build upon the historic welfare reforms of the late 1990s by converting the federal share of Medicaid spending into a block grant that lets states create a range of options and gives Medicaid patients access to better care. It proposes similar reforms to the food-stamp program, ending the flawed incentive structure that rewards states for adding to the rolls. Finally, this budget recognizes that the best welfare program is one that ends with a job—it consolidates dozens of duplicative job-training programs into more accessible, accountable career scholarships that will better serve people looking for work.

·    Corporate welfare: As we strengthen and improve welfare programs for those who need them, we eliminate welfare for those who don't. Our budget targets corporate welfare, starting by ending the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that is costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. It gets rid of the permanent Wall Street bailout authority that Congress created last year. And it rolls back expensive handouts for uncompetitive sources of energy, calling instead for a free and open marketplace for energy development, innovation and exploration.

·    Health and retirement security: This budget's reforms will protect health and retirement security. This starts with saving Medicare. The open-ended, blank-check nature of the Medicare subsidy threatens the solvency of this critical program and creates inexcusable levels of waste. Starting in 2022, new Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in the same kind of health-care program that members of Congress enjoy. Future Medicare recipients will be able to choose a plan that works best for them from a list of guaranteed coverage options. In addition, Medicare will provide increased assistance for lower- income beneficiaries and those with greater health risks. Reform that empowers individuals, with more help for the poor and the sick, will guarantee that Medicare can fulfill the promise of health security for America's seniors.

·    Social Security reform: We must also reform Social Security to prevent severe cuts to future benefits. This budget forces policy makers to work together to enact common-sense reforms. The goal of this proposal is to save Social Security for current retirees and strengthen it for future generations by building upon ideas offered by the president's bipartisan fiscal commission.

·    Budget enforcement: It proposes budget-process reforms - including real, enforceable caps on spending - to make sure government spends and taxes only as much as it needs to fulfill its constitutionally prescribed roles.

·    Tax reform: This budget would focus on growth by reforming the nation's outdated tax code, consolidating brackets, lowering tax rates, and assuming top individual and corporate rates of 25%. It maintains a revenue-neutral approach by clearing out a burdensome tangle of deductions and loopholes that distort economic activity and leave some corporations paying no income taxes at all.

The sad fact is that the budget will not be balanced until 2040, but considering the fact that this plan is trying to reverse over 60 years of damage, 30 years is probably a realistic estimate to finally crawl out from under this Sword of Damacles. This is America's moment to advance a plan for prosperity to keep America exceptional. The Republican budget proposal, The Path to Prosperity, offers the nation a model of government that is guided by the timeless principles of the American idea: 1) free-market democracy; 2) open competition; 3)a robust private sector bound by rules of honesty and fairness; 4) a secure safety net; and 5) equal opportunity for all under a limited constitutional government of popular consent.

(“The GOP Path to Prosperity” by Paul D. Ryan dated April 5, 2011 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703806304576242612172357504.html )

Conservatives can agree that President Obama must be a one-term President because America simply cannot afford more of his destructive policiesSo what are the traits of the ideal GOP candidate who can defeat him?

·    Someone with rock-solid executive experience - If you have successfully balanced budgets and conducted common-sense cost-benefit analysis, you’re already two up on our President. 

·    Someone with a strong and consistent conservative record - If you have significantly reduced spending in your city/state, invested in city/state savings, advocated for the protection of the 10th amendment, lowered taxes, generated a city/state surplus via fiscally responsible policy, and incentivized job creation, you are the perfect contrast to the President’s big-government, tax-and-spend, job-killing, bankrupt-our-country agenda.

·    Someone who has persistently highlighted the President’s poor policy decisions - If you have been an outspoken voice against ObamaCare, the President’s disastrous energy policy, his class-warfare mentality, his lack of strong foreign policy leadership, and his complete aversion to fiscal discipline, you have a proven commitment to standing up to the Obama agenda. 

·    Someone who is gutsy – If you are willing to respectfully, but boldly, counter Obama’s platitude heavy, fictional discourse with, “Actually, Mr. President, that’s not what you did.”

·    Someone who connects with the American people, and who is also connected to his or her own words – If you have the unique ability to bypass the media and the distractions, and to speak directly to the American people and won’t be aloof and detached, but approachable and involved.

·    Someone who is a D.C. outsider – If you have not been part of the “you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours” establishment, and will challenge the status quo, he or she is off to a fantastic start.

·    Someone who has made campaign promises and kept them - If you promised to slash earmark requests and actually did, vowed to reduce spending and proceeded to do just that, and/or pledged to stand for transparency and introduced policy that supported that claim, you are well-fit to challenge the current promise breaker-in-chief. 

·    Someone whose priority is to restore America , not to “fundamentally transform” her – If you can offer an alternate vision of restoring America to the principles that have made her exceptional.

·    Someone who knows what has and hasn’t worked historically – If you understand and can convey the reality with limited government, low taxes, and incentivizing opportunity, along with a commitment to personal and fiscal responsibility, the GOP needs you.

·    Someone who can inspire confidence and be a true embodiment of America’s strength and founding principles in matters of foreign policy – If you can inspire confidence by articulating your accomplishments, strengths, and positive vision for America, while clearly and concisely exposing our President’s false claims, the Republican Party needs you!

Unfortunately most GOP candidates have demonstrated they possess only a majority of these traits, so the question is can the party get behind someone who is not perfect, but exemplifies the vision and ideals that the party stands for?

(“Here’s What You Need to Be Our Next GOP President” by Jedediah Bila dated April 1, 2011 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=42653 )

 

The branding of the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party as “extremist” is an organized partisan smear to discredit the growing power and reach of this grassroots group. The Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refers to the TEA Partiers in the House as a cohesive group who are thwarting his legislative desires.  Senator Chuck Schumer is following his instructions from the Democrat Caucus to refer to TEA Partiers as "extremists," and to repeat, ad nauseam, the mantra that their call for reductions in spending is "extreme."  These worthies have admitted that the TEA Parties are, in fact, a political force.  It's been over two years since Rick Santelli's rant on CNBC that triggered the TEA Party movement.  The TEA Partiers were united not by demographics, age, profession, education, geography, etc., but by impatience at the sclerotic inefficiency and blundering intrusiveness of a government establishment that had lost touch with the American founding principles of limited government, fiscal accountability, and republican virtue. Domestic issues are still front and center, but the embarrassing spectacle of the Obama administration lurching from paralysis to spasmodic incoherence and back on the Middle East and North Africa suggests that foreign policy will also loom large on the TEA Party’s agenda. Finally, after two years and a mid-term disaster for them, elected Democrats have recognized the TEA Party's existence as something other than "Astroturf."  The Democrat Party is now ascribing to the Tea Parties all the gravitas of a true political organization, and in fact a more formidable opponent than the Republican Party. The behavior of Democrats like Harry Reid seems to indicate an effort to drive a wedge between the establishment Republicans and the upstart TEA Partiers.  The only thing that the Democrats fear is a strong, unified front from those in opposition to their nation-crippling tax and borrow and spend programs designed to make all Americans wards of the state.  Isolating the members of Congress that are clearly aligned with the principles put forth by the TEA Parties is an attempt to create a rift between establishment Republicans and the TEA Party. A coalition must coalesce including Republicans, Conservatives, Libertarians, Independents and, most importantly, the TEA Parties to work together to present a unified front, with agreed upon talking points, and a willingness to exert whatever efforts are needed to counter the highly organized and well-funded Democrat election machine and remove Barack Obama from the White House. 

(“It Only Took Two Years” by Jim Yardley dated April 1, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/it_only_took_two_years.html

Tea Time” by Roger Kimball dated April 3, 2011 published by Pajamas Media at http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerkimball/2011/04/03/tea-time/ )

Liberal hopes of an Obama recovery in the first half of 2012 following disastrous midterm elections in November are proving short-lived because Obama is now at the lowest approval level of his Presidency, with his weakest reelect score ever. American voters disapprove 48 – 42% of the job President Barack Obama is doing and say 50 – 41% he does not deserve to be re-elected in 2012. In a hypothetical 2012 matchup, President Obama gets 36% of the vote to 37% for an unnamed Republican challenger. President Obama receives strong negativity ratings for his handling of virtually all key issues, including the economy, budget deficit, health care, foreign policy and energy policy. On the economy 60% of Americans disapprove of his performance, including more than a quarter of Democrats. That figure rises to 64% on the budget deficit. On health care, less than 40% of Americans back the President, with 55% opposing. On foreign policy, 47% disapprove of his handling, compared to just 41% in favor, with only two in five Americans approving of his leadership of the Libya issue. The Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll gives Obama an approval index rating of minus 18 points, with 42% of Americans strongly disapproving of his performance (against 24% strongly approving). On the Libyan issue, which is dominating much of the news coverage at the moment in the United States, Rasmussen finds that only 21% of likely voters think the United States “has a clearly defined mission in Libya”, with 56% disagreeing. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows nearly two thirds of Americans (63%) believing the country is on “the wrong track”, a staggering 34% higher than the number that believed it is heading in “the right direction.” This is not exactly the kind of hope and change that Americans were promised when Barack Obama was elected 29 months ago. At the core of the Presidency’s declining fortunes is Barack Obama’s lack of leadership, both at home and abroad.  The President’s widely criticized dithering over Libya has reinforced the impression of a White House adrift in a sea of confusion, as the world’s only superpower seems incapable of projecting decisiveness on the world stage, while failing at the same time to confront the nation’s biggest economic crisis in decades in the shape of towering debts and European-levels of unemployment. The Quinnipiac poll should be a wake-up call for a President deeply out of touch with an increasingly disillusioned electorate, but unfortunately there is little sign he is listening.

(“A clueless presidency adrift in a sea of confusion: Barack Obama sinks again at the polls” by Niles Gardiner dated April 1, 2011 published by The Telegraph at http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100082108/ )

 

Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million), which is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments are the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Every state in America today except for two, Indiana and Wisconsin, has more government workers on the payroll than people manufacturing industrial goods.

·    Consider California, which has the highest budget deficit in the history of the states with an incredible 2.4 million government employees, twice as many as people at work in manufacturing.

·    New Jersey has two-and-a-half as many government employees as manufacturers.

·    Florida's ratio is more than 3 to 1.

·    Even Michigan, at one time the auto capital of the world, and Pennsylvania, once the steel capital, have more government bureaucrats than people making things.

·    The leaders in government hiring are Wyoming and New Mexico, which have hired more than six government workers for every manufacturing worker.

·    Iowa and Nebraska are farm states, but in those states, there are at least five times more government workers than farmers.

·    West Virginia is the mining capital of the world, yet it has at least three times more government workers than miners.

·    New York is the financial capital of the world employing roughly 670,000 New Yorkers, which is less than half of the state's 1.48 million government employees.

Education is an industry where we measure performance backwards: We gauge school performance not by outputs, but by inputs. If education had undergone the same productivity revolution that manufacturing has, we would have half as many educators, smaller school budgets, and higher graduation rates and test scores. The same is true of almost all other government services. Mass transit spends more and more every year and yet a much smaller share of Americans use trains and buses today than in past decades. One way that private companies spur productivity is by firing underperforming employees and rewarding excellence. In government employment, tenure for teachers and near lifetime employment for other civil servants shields workers from this basic system of reward and punishment, which is a system that breeds mediocrity, which is what we've gotten.

(“We’ve Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers” by Stephen Moore dated April 1, 2011 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704050204576219073867182108.html?KEYWORDS=takers+not+makers )

 

Strengthening jobs data last week show the US economy may have reached a “turning point” and could begin to get much better or much worse depending on financial decisions being made in the next several months. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones share index just hit its highest level since June 2008. As America cranks up, forecasts of higher energy use in the West are boosting oil prices. Equity markets are interpreting a slew of recent US data as “evidence” the global economy is on the road to a full recovery. Survey results suggest industrial activity is leading the charge. American businesses finally seem to be “committing to the cycle” - indicating they intend to keep investing and employing. The latest “flow of funds” data from the Federal Reserve shows that “deleveraging is over” and banks are now lending again. The trouble with this latest US recovery is that it amounts to little more than an economic “sugar-rush”. The recent growth-burst is built on monetary and fiscal policies which are wildly expansionary, wholly unsustainable and will surely soon come to an end. When the sugar-rush is over, and it won’t be long, the US will end up with a serious economic headache. The latest wave of euphoria to have spread across corporate America, and into the echo chamber that is Wall Street, is ultimately based on quantitative easing and a series of unaffordable tax cuts. American price pressures are ticking-up, with long-term inflation expectations rising from 2.8% in December to 3.2% in March. The US government also knows, although it denies it, that the more money it prints, the more speculative pressures push up global food prices. The danger now is that when QE2 ends in less than 12 weeks’ time, global markets will be rocked by a surge in Treasury yields. Once the Fed exits the Treasury market, though, not only will the fiscal pump-priming stop, but US debt-service costs could balloon. America is now shouldering declared federal liabilities of $9.1 trillion, making it, by a long way, the world’s largest debtor. On top of that, US government debt is set to rise a jaw-dropping 42% by 2015, according to official estimates. More and more interest is being shown in the fact that America’s total sovereign liabilities, including off-balance sheet items such as Medicare and Medicaid, amount to $75 trillion, no less than five times’ annual GDP, which will do serious damage to America’s image as a credible borrower, focusing more attention on its fiscal weakness and its financial vulnerability when the money printing stops.

(“The US recovery is little more than an economic ‘sugar rush’” by Liam Halligan dated April 2, 2011 published by The Telegraph at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/liamhalligan/8423520/The-US-recovery-is-little-more-than-an-economic-sugar-rush.html# )

 

In the early 1970s, America's dependence on foreign oil was a little over 20%, but today, our dependence on foreign oil is over 65%, and we continue to be more and more energy dependent because we have never had a serious energy independence strategy, and we still do not have one. Energy independence is within our grasp because we have plenty of energy natural resources. We have billions of barrels of oil, plenty of natural gas reserves, more coal than any other country in the world, lots of places we could build dams for hydroelectricity and some of the safest nuclear power technology in the world. Wind and solar energy development is not going to get us to energy independence. Studies such as the Department of Energy's "Billion Ton Study" have shown that those two sources could at best provide 5% of our energy needs combined. This would not only help to keep down the cost of gasoline and the cost of nearly everything we buy, but it would also be a boost to our economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Most importantly, energy independence would keep us from being vulnerable to the current instability in the Middle East or the whims of OPEC. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), oil reserves off our own continental coasts, oil shale areas out West and even nuclear power development can create a path to energy independence. Unfortunately accidents do happen in these various sectors of our energy economy, but we usually learn from them to help minimize future accidents. We do not need to go overboard with excessive regulations after an unfortunate accident to make the approval processes even slower. Exploration and production of natural gas from shale oil deposits represent another huge, untapped opportunity. The technology to safely extract natural gas from our enormous oil shale reserves has never been better, but here again, the environmentalists always scream that it's the end of the world, and then some gutless elected officials kowtow to their wishes for more regulations. Once again, on energy policy and action, President Obama talks the talk, but has no substance behind his tele-prompted words when he offered his “Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future,” but more accurately named “Same Silliness, Different Day:”

·    A completely unrealistic goal of decreasing oil imports by one-third in about ten years.

·    More domestic production, heavily hedged by caveats, and counter to what the administration has actually been doing with regard to domestic production.

·    A rehashed version of the old “the oil companies are sitting on leases out of a sense of greed,” which has been debunked as disingenuous.

·    More “renewable” liquid fuels like the environmentally disastrous corn ethanol, including cellulosic ethanol, which has been unrealistically ten years away for 50 years.

·    Higher fuel efficiencies for vehicles, which manufacturers are having trouble meeting, which increases vehicle costs, in turn suppressing demand and slowing fleet turnover.

·    More government purchases of more expensive cars (agencies required to purchase 100% alternative fuel, hybrid, or electric vehicles by 2015).

·    High-speed rail and mass transit, ideas rejected by virtually every transportation analyst other than those who view trains in a mostly religious context.

·    More subsidized building insulation and retrofits with more expensive windows, lighting, HVAC systems, etc.

·    More wind and solar power, already proven failures all across Europe.

·    A “renewable energy standard,” which is simply cap-and-trade for electrical utilities, and should be dead-on-arrival in a Republican House.

The President’s energy speech is the same mishmash of sloppy thinking that pours out of environmental groups and left-leaning think tanks every day. It’s a list of ideas that fly in the face of fundamental energy realities: affordable and abundant energy is vital for America’s future; fossil fuels are cheaper and vastly more abundant than alternatives; energy transitions take decades and are best driven by markets; and government cannot pick winning and losing technologies; all it does when it tries is waste taxpayer dollars, weaken the economy, and kill jobs. We are not on a path to energy independence because of too many regulations that slow down the process and discourage businesses to invest. Illogical moratoriums, excessive federal regulations and environmental extremists who influence weak legislators are holding America hostage to foreign oil. Unleashing the free market to maximize all of our domestic energy resources immediately is the only possibility for us to become energy independent.

(“Oil Dependence: An Unnecessary Security Risk” by Herman Cain dated March 30, 2011 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/567597/201103301828/Oil-Dependence-An-Unnecessary-Security-Risk.htm

Obama’s Energy Blueprint: Same Silliness, Different Day” by Kenneth P. Green dated march 31, 2011 published by The American at http://www.american.com/archive/2011/march/obamas-energy-blueprint-same-silliness-different-day )

 

A little-known provision in the national health care law has allowed the federal government to pay nearly $2 billion to unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees.  At the current rate of payment, the $5 billion appropriated for the program could be exhausted well before it is set to expire. The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIO), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, oversees the implementation of Section 1102 of the Affordable Care Act, which created something called the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.  The legislation called for the program to spend a total of $5 billion, beginning in June 2010 and ending on January 1, 2014, as the system of national health care exchanges was scheduled to go into effect. The idea was to subsidize unions, states, and companies that had made commitments to provide health insurance for workers who retired early, between the ages of 55 and 64, before they were eligible for Medicare. The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program was designed to subsidize such coverage until the creation of ObamaCare's health-care exchanges. The program began making payouts on June 1, 2010 and between that date and the end of 2010, it paid out about $535 million dollars, but the rate of spending has since increased dramatically, to about $1.3 billion just for the first two and a half months of this year. At that rate, it could burn through the entire $5 billion appropriation as early as 2012.

·    The biggest single recipient of an early-retiree bailout is the United Auto Workers, which has so far received $206,798,086. 

·    AT&T received $140,022,949.

·    Verizon received $91,702,538. 

·    General Electric received $36,607,818. 

·    General Motors, recipient of a massive government bailout, received $19,002,669.

·    The Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio received $70,557,764.

·    The Teacher Retirement System of Texas received $68,074,118.

·    The California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, received $57,834,267.

·    The Georgia Department of Community Health received $57,936,127.

·    The state of New York received $47,869,044. 

·    Other unions also received government funds, including the United Food and Commercial Workers, the United Mine Workers, and the Teamsters.

Republican investigators count the early-retiree program among those that would never have become law had Democrats allowed more scrutiny of ObamaCare at the time it was pushed through the House and Senate. 

(“New $2 billion bailout in Obamacare” by Byron York dated March 31, 2011 published by The Washington Examiner at http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/03/uncovered-new-2-billion-bailout-obamacare )

 

Some well-known commentators have recently claimed that al-Qaeda has been diminished and made irrelevant because the popular uprisings in the Middle East are not motivated by radical Islam and are not controlled by al-Qaeda, but it is true that al-Qaeda’s ideology is rigid and fanatical, in the operational arena, it has proven itself to be the pragmatic and combat-hardened leader of an international insurgency that is more than willing to bend its principles in order to get what it wants. Al-Qaeda has always been a hunted minority, it has always been supremely pragmatic when it comes to tactics, and it closely follows the ancient Arabic proverb: “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Therefore, for the past five years, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have broadened al-Qaeda’s message to appeal to as many sectors as possible in its campaign to undermine America’s influence and oust our allies in the Middle East. The revolts have provided al-Qaeda with time, unmolested by the United States or national governments, to recruit, train, plan attacks, and consolidate its position with key tribes that will give it more influence in each state after the dust settles. As a further bonus, it is likely that the governments that emerge from the ashes will be transformed into anti-American, Islamist regimes more ideologically attuned to al-Qaeda and more interested in accommodating than fighting it. At the very least, the power of Islamists and jihad elements will increase throughout the region. While superficial statements by commentators regarding al-Qaeda’s diminished stature make good sound bites, they underscore a poor understanding of al-Qaeda as well as the political dynamics of the region, and provide a false sense of security. One thing should be abundantly clear: this administration doesn’t have a clue when it comes to foreign policy. It’s message changes day to day, they’re selective, and contradictory, in their actions and have no idea what results they are aiming for. This President thought that all he would have to do is turn on the charm and the world dictators would be eating out of his hand. He would usher in a new order of peace, and he would do it without firing a shot. Now he’s finding out that the real world is a bit more complicated and doesn’t move to his whims. Dictators don’t play nice with people just because you ask them to, and they take such overtures as a sign of weakness. When one assesses the situation in an objective, fact-based, country-by-country manner, one can only conclude that al-Qaeda’s strategic position has vastly improved, that it will continue to reap benefits from the chaos, and that we will likely pay the price for these developments in the not-too-distant future.

(“Arab Revolts Improve Al-Qaeda’s Strategic Position” by Brian Fairchild dated April 1, 2011 published by Pajamas Media at http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/arab-revolts-improve-al-qaeda%E2%80%99s-strategic-position/

Foreign Policy Incoherence” by Craig Chamberlain dated April 2, 2011 published by The Land of the Free at http://www.thelandofthefree.net/conservativeopinion/2011/04/02/foreign-policy-incoherence/ )

 

* There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news. I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning. Updates have been made this week to the following issue sections:

·  Philosophy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/philosophy.php

·  Environment at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/environment.php

·  Family at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/family.php

·  Welfare at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/welfare.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com