RTCS

Views on the News

Views on the News*

April 12, 2014

                            

Barack Obama is in a funk and Americans are coming to see the President as ineffectual -a dangerous perception.  Obama’s job approval rating is at risk of dropping below 40%.  Democrats may lose their majority in the Senate this fall.  It may be difficult for the President to accomplish anything during his last two years.  In the March NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, 42 of registered voters say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by Obama.  Only 22% say they would be more likely to vote for Obama’s candidate.  The reason is ObamaCare, one of the most insidious laws ever created. But ObamaCare is not the only, or even the most serious, problem that he is facing.  Obama’s ratings on the economy and foreign policy are even lower than his rating on healthcare.  Obama’s signature legislative achievement is seen as ineffectual.  Obama’s core problem is the same as it’s been for the last five years - the economy.  The recovery has been slow and painful.  In fact, most Americans don’t see a recovery.  In the NBC-Journal poll, 57% say the country is still in recession.  The biggest surprise is foreign policy.  The American people may want what Obama so far has been giving them, but they’re not proud of it, and they’re not grateful to him for giving them what they want.  If a President does what the people want and it turns out disastrously, the President will still be blamed.  On foreign policy, just like on the economy and so far on ObamaCare, people haven’t seen many good results, and a big opportunity for a candidate who can deliver what Obama hasn’t - effectiveness. 

(“Obama: Ineffectually Challenged” by Bill Schneider dated April 2, 2014 published by Reuters at http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/04/02/can-obama-come-back-from-ineffectual/ )

The Obama White House, while chilling and threatening free speech by prominent reporters, successful conservative moviemakers, governors and others who question, has now ushered in a new practice:  Unapologetic, intentional misrepresentation of facts known to be false when spoken.   Boldly misrepresenting reality on a regular basis is either a calculated deception, or a peculiar strain of self-deception.  President Obama has set a new low-water mark in the annals of American democracy, upending the notion that truth matters.  The blitz to remake facts appears aimed at confusing, misleading and ultimately manipulating the public into a state of indifference and dependence.  In a headlong rush for federal control over all aspects of life, this White House spares no contortion.  Focus just on ObamaCare, the Unaffordable Health Care Act:  As penalties bite, recall that no one was allowed to read this law before voting, that not a single Republican voted for it, and that President Obama said it would  (1) allow you to keep your doctor, (2) your current insurance plan, (3) deductible, (4) cost levels, and (5) benefit levels.  Those five ObamaCare promises have all proven false, and insiders confide they were false when made.  Political actors do not like to hear the word “lie,” because it smacks of intentional misrepresentation, lack of integrity, deception, even malice.  What should we call this preplanned, force-fed, misleading financial trap and deprivation of quality health care?  Was it not a knowing misrepresentation of material facts, that is, a falsehood conceived and forced on the public, then blithely defended as “too big to fail?”  The factual misrepresentations are unabated.  In Michigan, the President mocked those who questioned his failing plan, belittled their intelligence, accused them of not wanting Americans to have insurance, and then lowered himself to name-calling, saying the Republican alternative was a “stinkburger.  This blatant departure from truth should stir every American.  Against this backdrop, an honest White House would stop talking about glitches and never-ending rollouts, and confess a policy failure.   An honest White House would eat some humble pie.   Then, it would try to begin again with some semblance of bipartisanship.  But instead this President is tripling down with your money, because he appears to be stuck on go, mocking the truth, browbeating the nation with his exhausting machinations.   We can remember fidelity to truth, and this President’s startling departure from it.  We must turn those leftists out of power in November who voted for it in Congress, because we still have that right, the right to vote, and we should use it! 

(“Truth, ObamaCare and November” by Robert B. Charles dated April 11, 2014 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/04/truth_obamacare_and_november.html )

 

Thomas Sowell mused: Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.”  Try explaining that little number to the imperious Barack Obama: the man who elevated political hubris to an art form by promising early on that as Black Moses, he would calm the rising waters and deliver his people to Canaan.  Hefty promises notwithstanding, who among us can deny that our Great Shifter of Paradigms is presently in the process of bringing the temple down upon himself and us, for that matter.  The vocation of Community Organizer is a poor résumé choice for America’s highest civilian office, and political agitation would seem to be incompatible with nurturing a republic in so many ways.  For the man who would be America’s primer inter pares, a persistent policy of pandering to our moribund “Cities of Outstretched Palms” might be effective in the short term, since their wretched masses have skyrocketed under his compassionate watch.  For a nation founded ironically in the spirit of e pluribus unum, our festering culture war is exacerbated by the fact that Obama is such a piss-poor politico.  He sorely lacks the political chromosome; and instead of making inroads and growing coalitions, he burns bridges and marginalizes.  More than any other President before him, he has alienated the races from one another because he is psychologically averse to settling for only half of his collectivist loaf.  Obama’s poorly veiled contempt for traditional America, and for those who love her, is itself derived from a near congenital predisposition to make common cause with any enemy: whether they slither here or abroad.  While in the end his quest to fully dismantle America cannot succeed, he and his compadres will summon their last drop of bile attempting to extract a pound of flesh for every alleged crime we have committed against “History.”  In the grand scheme of things, the United States doesn’t need a Progressive Philosopher-King to define politics from the whimsical perspective of the blue-nosed academician.  We need men and women whose political vision does not bring out the worst in America’s character.  It is the way of progressives to perpetually promise the bounty of the banquet table; but in the end they deliver dog scraps, even as they call this political transaction social justice.  Barack Obama’s progressive recipe for managed healthcare is a slow motion off-the-rails train wreck. The pain it will distribute as it is implemented both now and in future years (should it survive) promises increased suffering for the managed, although not so much for the managers.  Just days ago, Caesar triumphantly ascended the podium with his Golden Fleece of 7 million sign-ups, and not one of the star-struck in attendance demanded to see the books or asked the pregnant question of why millions needed to be thrown off their existing plans or extorted by the coercive hand of IRS bagmen to pay up and shut up.  Liberalism’s rule of unaccountable technocrats can never be considered true politics in the classical sense, just as Marxism, in all its variant forms, is merely a grandiose apologetic for the docile herding of humanity. That Obama is a proven wrecker who can deftly wield prominent clusters of guilt-ridden self-loathers and government grown parasites as bludgeons to malform society makes him, in the end, a shrewd politician in only the most venal sense.  As a man who charged by his Oath to God with shepherding the greater interests of the whole, Obama is as null a cipher as they come.

(“Memo to History…” by Glenn Fairman dated April 9, 2014 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/04/memo_to_history.html )

There has been a sweeping transformation in America ongoing since 1960, and that transformation is happening demographically, the trajectory of which is set to replace the proto-historical European-American civilization with something else, a polyglot amalgam heavily drawing on sources beyond the developed world.  In place of the historical pattern of assimilation into the distinctive American legacy culture and political system, triumphant multicultural doctrine is producing a political and social order found in many third world countries.  Within any multiracial, multiethnic, multilingual gathering masses of humanity, there are bound to be various subcultures, which is a result of non-assimilation, a meta-revolution against the historical establishment by the various antagonistic minority groups.  Our Republic is dying a slow and agonizing death, beaten down politically, waiting for the coup de grace to be delivered by a social calamity.  Like any country that has lost its way, it makes up for the lack of real legitimacy by compensating with coercive force and brutality.  The people no longer freely associate themselves with its government.  The Republic collapses under its own weight and to the victors go the spoils.  The spoils system consists of affirmative action, institutionalized (anti-white, “anti-racism” sloganeering) discrimination, runaway illegal immigration, massive wealth transfers, racial quotas that affects education and employment performance, hate crime and hate speech laws, gerrymandered districts, refugee relocation assistance, restrictions on property, and general hostility toward any white-on-black crime, while showing little regard to ethnic minority-on-ethnic minority or ethnic minority-on-white crime and violence.  The government’s fight to keep the un-assimilated minorities from rioting, while using them as a useful voting bloc, is to purchase them.  As the minorities turn to a minority-majority in the country, the spoils system becomes institutional and accelerates the inevitable collapse of the Republic.  One would be surprised that 30 million illegal Mexicans and other South Americans are only a part of the problem.  There are various networks and agencies (nearly 500 currently work throughout the country) that lobby state governments and federal legislators for refugees seeking asylum.  They create entire communities for refugees where millions are transferred, settled, and provided housing, transportation, and welfare benefits.  It would take a full generation to unlearn what has been taught because many, through ignorance and indoctrination, would still roll out the same old lines about immigration being the backbone to the country, and how America is a melting pot, not realizing we face something altogether different today in the new Age of Empire.

(“America Altered” By Jason Corley dated April 5, 2014 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/04/america_altered.html )

The War on Poverty, which turned 50 this year, wasn’t merely a failure; it was a fiscal, social, and moral catastrophe.  The War on Poverty failed because it was designed to fail.  The progressive welfare state that grew out of the War on Poverty cannot be reformed.  It must be ripped out of the fabric of American life and replaced, at least at the federal level, by an “opportunity and credit state.”  If you were tasked to design an anti-poverty program that wa guaranteed to fail catastrophically:  First, you would make sure that your program provided an alternative to living a responsible, independent, adult life.  A program that was designed to fail would have to be structured so that people could live a comfortable life (at least by world standards), just by gaming your welfare programs.  Second, you would tell poor people that they have a right to food, housing, medical care, etc.  Otherwise, they might start thinking like the productive middle class, which believes that providing the necessities of life for oneself and one’s dependents are responsibilities of adult citizens.  Along these lines, you will want to make sure that your anti-poverty programs offer “something for nothing.”  If poor people have to do any more than be needy to get benefits, they could easily get the erroneous notion that they have responsibilities.  Be sure to keep shrinking the size of the armed forces.  This will help minimize the Army’s age-old practice of turning lost, aimless boys into men, by inducing them to take responsibility.  You should definitely not require the people on the Social Security Disability roles to do anything in return for their benefits.  Your most important single task will be to convince poor people that they are victims (of racism, sexism, ableism, capitalism—even of poverty itself).  By definition, victims are helpless and powerless.  Victims are accountable for nothing, and have a ready-made excuse for everything.  It’s important to make the middle class feel guilty, by telling them that, if they demand any form of personal responsibility on the part of the poor, they are “blaming the victim.”  As in all other areas of government spending, your goal should be to allocate resources to problems, not to opportunities.  Because you are designing a progressive welfare state, you want to “progressively” transfer all responsibility for raising children to the federal government (at least until you figure out a way to move it to the U.N.).  You will want to base your sure-to-fail program on means-tested grants of various kinds.  This way, the phase-outs of those benefits will create the equivalent of high marginal tax rates on people trying to work their way up from poverty to the middle class.  When economists point out this problem, you will propose extending the reach of your anti-poverty programs to higher income levels, so that you can ensnare part of the middle class in your expanding welfare state.  Today, half of American babies are born into dependency on welfare state programs.  Encouraging children to have children that they can’t take care of is the best way to ensure social catastrophe.  Above all, you will want to discourage people from getting married.  Even when your programs involve writing checks to people that don’t pay taxes, you will want to call your welfare benefits “tax credits.”  It sounds better.  Anyone can lose a job.  This fact provides you with a great opportunity.  You’ll want to structure your unemployment insurance system so that it discourages job creation, and gives people an incentive to collect benefits as long as they can.  As you design your welfare programs, make sure that they don’t provide the poor with access to capital, so that they can start their own businesses.  Your goal is to make poverty more comfortable, not to help people escape from it.  In FY 2012, the federal government spent about $800 billion (about 5% of GDP) on 94 separate welfare-type programs.  It is important that you call your designed-to-fail program something like “The War on Poverty,” because it focuses national attention on poverty, thereby producing more poverty.  Since you have been given the task of designing a welfare state that will perpetuate poverty, this is exactly what you will want to do

(“The War on Poverty Was Designed to Fail” by Louis Woodhill dated April 3, 2014 published by Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2014/04/03/the-war-on-poverty-was-designed-to-fail/ )

Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace process’ between Israelis and Palestinians has already reached its final destination: failure.  The failure of this initiative was obvious from the beginning, to everyone except Kerry himself.  There are two core reasons for this. One of them is of long-standing, the other is a development of the last decade.  The first reason is because the Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, is simply not interested in exchanging its historic goal of reversing the verdict of 1948 for the establishment of a small Palestinian state in the West Bank.  This is the reason why it has refused every concrete proposal to end the conflict along these lines – from the Clinton proposals of 2000, via then PM Ehud Olmert’s plan in 2008, to the recent refusal by Abbas to declare that any agreement reached would mark an end to the conflict and to further Palestinian claims.  Fatah considers the acceptance of any sovereignty west of the Jordan River other than Arab Muslim sovereignty to be unacceptable.  The second, newer development deserves closer attention.  The Israeli-Palestinian peace process also has no chance of success because there is no authoritative Palestinian Arab partner to the talks.  Today, Hamas constitutes the more vigorous and formidable element in Palestinian nationalism.  It presides over a small, sovereign Palestinian area, and of course, it opposes the negotiations and remains openly committed to the goal of destroying Israel.  There is no prospect of Palestinian re-unification in the foreseeable future.  Palestinian identity, like the neighboring Syrian and Iraqi and Lebanese identities, turns out to be a far more flimsy and contingent thing than its partisans and spokesmen have claimed.  Palestinians and the many western supporters of the Palestinian cause are convinced that the gradual international de-legitimization of Israel is the key to final strategic victory over the Jewish state and reversal of the verdict of 1948.  This is an illusion, but it will need to work itself through, like the illusions that preceded it.  Thus the reckoning with the reality of Jewish peoplehood and sovereignty will continue to be avoided, and the Palestinian politics of subsidized fantasy will continue.

(“The Peace Process is Dead. Let it Lay in Peace” by Jonathan Spyer dated April 8, 2014 published by PJ Media at http://pjmedia.com/blog/rip-peace-process/ )

 

* 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:

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

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

· Middle East at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/middleeast.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com