Views on the News
Views on the News*
April 28, 2018
A free society depends on a free press, but it also requires an honest press. It is sometimes hard to defend the American free press given just how biased it has become. Yes, I do think the press is very biased and has become so ratings driven that it is abandoning reporting important stories in favor of focusing on the salacious. It is a business decision at a time of revenue decline. Likewise, I think there is a disturbing trend of younger journalists being far more interesting in pursuing an ideological view point in their reporting. It is a deeply disturbing trend that young journalists demand we protect their first amendment rights and are fully comfortable censoring from their pages the views of those with whom they disagree. Still, it is important that we support and defend a free press in the United States. It is disturbing to see the growth of violence against journalists around the world, many of whom really are just trying to report the facts. From Venezuela to Turkey to Russia, journalists are harassed, threatened, and killed for reporting the truth. In this country, though I am unaware of journalists being killed for just reporting facts, in small town America there has also been a disturbing trend of local reporters covering local politicians and judges getting threatened, sued, and assaulted for daring to report. Unfortunately, national reporters continue to undermine their own cause. They treat themselves more reverentially than they should, occasionally let slip their views that they think the First Amendment only applies to them, and they engage in hagiography coverage of each other not shared by anyone else. Combine those traits with a real bias towards leftwing social causes, and it is hard for many Americans to even care about a free press. We should care, but journalists across America should also do better at being fair and get back to basics.
(“We Should Be Concerned With the Rising Threats to a Free Press” by Erick Erickson dated April 25, 2018 published by The Resurgent at https://www.themaven.net/theresurgent/erick-erickson/we-should-be-concerned-with-the-rising-threats-to-a-free-press-dEpCmJE6IECX8b6nzU-Gnw/ )
A new poll of 1,000 likely voters by McLaughlin and Associates has good news and bad news for the Republican Party. The good news is that the “Blue Wave” so hoped for by the liberal media is not at all inevitable and that there is still a possible path to Republican victory in November. The bad news is tough talk about getting control of spending, securing the borders, and reining in the bureaucracy won’t cut it with the Republican base this time. GOP voters want results, and many in the base see Republican leadership as supporting the swamp they were sent to Washington to drain. The best news for the GOP is that the generic ballot for Congress in the November election is essentially tied at 44% for the Democrats and 43% for Republicans. With an enthusiastic turnout of the GOP base and a good showing with independents, the GOP has a path to maintain its majorities. For Republicans in Congress, that is pretty much the end of the good news. Overall, only 34% of likely voters approve the job the GOP majority in Congress is doing and 57% disapprove. That in itself would not be surprising given the deep polarization in the nation and the anti-Republican bias in the liberal media, but the disapproval with the GOP majority in Congress is not coming solely from the left. Detailed analysis indicates dissatisfaction within the Republican base itself. Republican approval of the GOP Congress is only 70%, with 25% disapproving. It is evident that the GOP Congress is not doing what they need to do in order to energize and mobilize their base. The poll also dispels the popular Beltway narrative that President Trump is a drain on the ticket. Even with a propaganda barrage from the liberal media that is overwhelmingly negative, President Trump’s job approval rating of 45% is higher than the job approval of the GOP Congress, with both Republicans (84%) and conservatives (73%) approving his job performance. The finding that should keep Republicans in Congress awake at night has to do with trust. When asked who they trust more to carry out their campaign promises, 31% of voters overall chose Trump, 27% chose the Democrats in Congress, and only 6% chose the Republicans. Republicans (64%) and conservatives (57%) trusted Trump to do what he said he would do. With Democrats, 65% trusted their party to do what they say they will do. The left sees in the Democrats a vehicle to translate their promises into policy. The center-right mainstream has no such confidence that Republicans will turn their rhetoric into results. What is driving the GOP’s trust problem? Giant all-or-nothing spending bills like the Omnibus just passed by the GOP are part-and-parcel of the self-serving, double-talking haze that covers the DC swamp. Such massive bills not only lead to excessive spending and debt, but they also make it hard for voters to trust what their representatives say and to hold them accountable. Republicans can talk tough on the campaign trail about liberal groups such as Planned Parenthood getting taxpayer funding and then funneling some of that money back to Democrat candidates who pushed for the funding. Self-serving insider deals like that reek of the DC swamp. Given a choice, 58% of voters overall preferred smaller bills with more scrutiny of each government program and only 20% liked the giant all-or-nothing spending bills like the Omnibus that the GOP just passed. The voters who the GOP needs to mobilize were especially in favor of the simplified and more transparent process, with 60% of Republicans, 61% of Independents, and 58% of conservatives endorsing it. With 57% of Republicans and 55% of Independents saying that the overarching mission of Congressional leadership in 2018 should be eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse, massive all-or-nothing bills are exactly the wrong way to go. No wonder 46% of voters overall say the Republican leadership is “supporting the swamp that President Trump promised to drain,” and that includes over one-third of Republican voters and 41% of conservatives. Outside of the Beltway, with its obsession with porn stars, Russian collusion, and lobbyist money, mainstream America is concerned about the drift towards lawlessness and the loss of fundamental rights. Overall opposition to sanctuary states and cities is at 52%, including 77% of Republicans and 54% of Independents. Eighty percent of voters agree that “the America traditions of freedom and individual rights are being threatened by growing social movements, public bullying and increasing political violence.” Only 39% believe that their elected officials in Washington share their degree of concern. The GOP was given majorities in Congress in order to address those concerns of mainstream America. If they want to keep those majorities, talk-the-talk won’t get it any longer; it’s time for the GOP to walk their talk.
(“New poll to GOP: Either Drain the Swamp or You Will Sink in It” by Timothy Daughtry dated April 27, 2018 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/timothydaughtry/2018/04/27/new-poll-to-gop--either-drain-the-swamp-or-you-will-sink-in-it-n2474948 )
For a year and a half, since the moment Trump won the election, the American left has been in a constant state of hysteria. The leftists had viciously mocked the man 24-7 in the media and on late-night TV. They were certain, as were their pollsters that Trump could not win, so when he did, they went into shock. Since that night when they lost the election, they have vowed their "resistance." They have marched with silly hats, have protested every move he makes, and remain determined to see him impeached. The vast financial resources of George Soros, the SPLC, and an array of other far left groups can summon a mob on a moment's notice. Those who show up and are paid to be part of the mob do not need to know why they are there holding the signs someone puts in their hands. They do this to convince the American people that Trump is an illegitimate president, but the American people see and know otherwise. These leftist antics have not hurt Trump at all, as his approval numbers continue to rise. The Russia collusion hoax and the Mueller investigation have been exposed for what they are: a criminal attempt to prevent the inauguration of a duly elected president, then to see him driven from office by any means necessary. For the left, the ends always justify the means, no matter how nefarious. This plot to undo the results of an election is the most serious, most villainous political scandal in American history, but masses of Americans know little or nothing of it thanks to our equally criminal mainstream media. The truth about the shameful left has been obvious for years and years. Harry Reid regularly lied to defeat opponents and was openly proud of himself when his lies worked. Obama lied over and over again about what ObamaCare would do. The list of devious, deceptive persons in Congress is long. There are far too many crooks among them spending our money and seeking ever more control over our lives. Leftists are masters of projection, always accusing those with whom they disagree of what they are actually doing. James Comey calls Trump "morally unfit" when it is obvious now that it was he who participated in the plot to unseat the president. Reid mysteriously got rich while in the House, almost certainly by bending and breaking numerous laws. Many of those in Congress, mostly but not all Democrats, have had to settle lawsuits, with taxpayer money, for sexual abuse or harassment. Many have gone to prison for financial crimes. For leftists, rules don't apply because they consider themselves to be above the law. This is why Hillary had no doubt that her plan to destroy Trump would succeed. She had the higher-ups at the DOJ, the FBI, the DNI, the CIA, and the DNC in her corner. Their stated goal, destroying Trump, justified any means necessary. They have no shame. They will break any law, shred the Constitution, and destroy any person to gain and hang on to power. It is a miracle that enough voters ignored their self-appointed betters of the MSM and elected Trump to rein in the corrupt the D.C. establishment. Perhaps the most notable example of Democrat shame is their refusal to vote to confirm Mike Pompeo for secretary of state. Pompeo has a résumé that makes him the most qualified person for the job in decades, and every Democrat knows it. He traveled to North Korea and may actually bring about the de-nuclearization fills them with dread. Trump may be the president to bring about an end to the Korean War, so they are desperate to sabotage this eventuality. Pompeo will be secretary of state, despite the fear and loathing of the Democrats. The left cares little about the country and only about its own power and they have no shame at all.
(“Destroy Trump! The deep, dark shame of the left” by Patricia McCarthy dated April 26, 2018 published by American Thinker at https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/04/destroy_trump_the_deep_dark_shame_of_the_left.html )
About fifteen years ago “the angry left” appeared on the scene, and its indignant members got a lot of attention from the media. The enormous volume of press attention signaled the media’s manifest approval, if sotto voce. Next came the Occupiers’ movement, and again these ruffians came with the media’s approval, at least sotto voce. Then gun-toting cowards began shooting people for humanitarian reasons, and the media did not know what to think. The assassination attempt on Congressman Steve Scalise and his colleagues comes to mind. The right too has its violent practitioners. There are the alt-right, the neo-Nazis, and the Klan. The violence at Charlottesville, Virginia, was a high-water mark for these creeps. The alt-right and their competitors seem to have faded a bit of late, but they are still out there. They are kept in the news oddly enough by their criminality, though the media never approves of it, even sotto voce. Yet the media never misses an opportunity to report on their malevolent behavior, often with inflated figures. Without the media’s attention these creeps would be mere curiosities. Even the left-wing practitioners of violence are pretty much marginal, though they have snappier slogans. Meanwhile, the theater of operations has shifted to cable television, where the violence is more gentlemanly and ladylike. In fact, it is not even violence. It is only rhetoric: insults exchanged, vituperations heaved, and occasional syllogisms deposited. On one side the left is posing as mainstream hosts. On the other side are the self-proclaimed conservatives. The left calls us intolerable extremists, racists, and its members intimate that some of us are the personification of the alt-right. We on the right remain gentlemen and ladies. We do not call the left socialists, cranks, and mentally unbalanced, unless we have to. Recently the left escalated things, by threatening the right’s advertisers. With typical bluster they threatened to unleash their hoards, and the more timorous corporate titans bowed to the left or at least they temporarily bowed to the left. When they found that the left’s threats were mostly hollow they returned. The left began threatening the right back in 2012 when it called upon Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers to cancel their ads for him, when he allegedly had slandered Sandra Fluke. Rush held fast and cowardly advertisers crept back to Rush after the furor subsided, though Rush was very discerning about whom he would take back. Now the left, notwithstanding its guff about free speech, has turned upon Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. Again the left threatens their advertisers, yet this time Sean and Laura have the support of a real champion of the First Amendment and a pretty good businessman too, Rupert Murdoch in person. He is the one person in America who has broken the left’s monopoly on media with his Fox News. About twenty years ago as Fox gained influence I noticed the battle lines forming, and attacks began on Fox’s advertisers. The left had turned on newspapers some years before for running conservative columnists. It had been successful influencing newspapers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other left-wing havens to drop their conservative columnists. The result was fewer readers of newspapers, and now those boring newspapers are going out of business. The media became angrier and angrier, and now audiences are hoping other media entrepreneurs will follow Murdoch’s lead!
(“Media Complicity in the Violence of Our Politics” by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. dated April 25, 2018 published by The American Spectator at https://spectator.org/media-complicity-in-the-violence-of-our-politics/ )
Two worldviews are fighting to claim the identity of America in the 21st century. One is centered upon Judeo-Christian morality and encompasses discipline, virtue, courage, and the dignity of being an American. The other promotes lawlessness, endless grievances, class-racial-gender conflicts, and plain name-calling. The former encompasses American exceptionalism, individual freedom with responsibility, and classic ideas and ideals of the rights of man as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. At the same time, the left focuses on the negatives of U.S. history as well as upon vindictiveness and conflict to reach its goals. We see these hostile themes reflected in the public utterances of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, both of whom sucked the milk of radicalism from the famous community organizer Saul Alinsky. Additionally, since President Donald Trump's nomination, we have heard the nonstop screeds and vindictive words from the leadership of the Democrat Party. Nowhere are these sentiments expressed more clearly than on America's college campuses. Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, remarked, "One of the greatest threats to America is the fact that our school system is not teaching the next generation morals, American exceptionalism, free enterprise, the Constitution, the dangers of socialism, or the value of hard work." There can be no substitute for being a responsible consumer of one's education by doing one's own work honestly, forthrightly, and independently. Progressives have run education off the rails and well nigh ruined it. Colleges were once proving grounds for success in the professions. Doctrinally, students pay dreadful confiscatory tribute to progressivism where issues of race and political correctness form the foci of their consciousness. Competition through self-expression is the means by which students achieve success and establish themselves in the world. It is incumbent upon teachers everywhere to set the example so that their students aspire to the cultural, moral, and intellectual grandeur to which they are capable. Rather than embracing these traditional American values, progressives objectify race and political correctness as the centers of their worldviews and use them as pretexts to foment institutional chaos. No longer are they content to engage conservatives honestly and in good faith. Through heightened antipathy, they play the victim by antagonizing conservatives often along racial lines to garner public sympathy and thereby bolster their voter base. As repugnant the victim-grievance mentality has become, it has proven remarkably successful. The reactions on the left against free speech and the right to bear arms are well established. Honest hardworking folks have been unfairly set upon by the malaise of relativism where the state becomes the final arbiter of not only their freedom but also of their wealth and privilege. Through their intransigence on fiscal policies, which are presently our most pressing issues, the left alienated honest, hardworking folks by refusing to connect with them on tax reform. The folks have long felt ignored, abandoned, and forgotten by their government. They have groaned under the burden of rising taxes, which, over time, cheapen the products of their work. It is through the dignity of work that we celebrate our heritage as Americans and where we become part of a cause far higher than ourselves. Democrats believe forgivably that there exists a disparity of privilege between rich and poor. They less forgivably have missed an important opportunity to honestly engage with the folks on the broader issue of economic resurgence. They believe erroneously and altogether unforgivably that they are entitled to spend wealth that is not theirs. Philosophically, the entire progressive movement errs upon this relativism and abject disdain for capitalism. It should be noted that the beginning of socialism is progressivism. Communism, with all of its ghastly accoutrements, is its end. If left unchecked, chaos ensues where, in a climate of unparalleled polarization, President Trump is correct. The rule of law is especially needed. Democrats cannot be trusted to use freedom responsibly. Democrats and a few Republicans have overplayed their hand through their evangelization of resistance. Through their reckless abandon for the rule of law, the left have adamantly refused to come to terms. To wise up is the doom they must deem. It takes more than pusillanimous behavior and siren songs of moral relativism to make government work as it does to make human life work, simple, messy at times, and altogether imperfect it may be. It consists not of vacuous bureaucracies where success depends upon the failure of others, as it so often does, and its object is measured ephemerally only in terms of riches and of privilege. Least of all, is it a strident encomium of vitriolic left-wing agendas where protest bordering on lawlessness is glorified as a societal good. American life is and should always be a renewal movement built upon the dignity of being an American, a living hope directed by discipline, virtue, and above all order. It takes time, energy, and courage. It requires character and a manifestation of moral truth to set the example, which is the true business by which we as Americans aspire to greatness.
(“The Decline of American Exceptionalism” by Jonathan R. Verlin dated April 23, 2018 published by American Thinker at https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/04/the_decline_of_american_exceptionalism.html )
Never-Trump right of center pundits and lobbyists have aligned themselves with Trump-hating leftists, as traditionally moderate blue-collar Democrats find themselves benefitting from the policies, and even tariffs, from a Republican White House. The economic boom has been unleashed, our enemies have sudden new-found respect for our word, and we may have a President who might actually qualify for a Nobel peace prize before summer arrives. People have painted themselves into corners during the 2016 campaign on both the left and right are suffering a derangement syndrome far worse than the critics of Obama or Bush ever represented. With new alliances and misalignment of the traditional “what has been” where do we find ourselves in the year 2018? Here’s just a few things worth noting:
· An economy that is continuing to aggressively grow, even though difficult realities exist. The markets are relatively healthy, jobs continue to be created, small business continues to launch and expand, and investments are gaining in value. The Federal Reserve is trying to unload treasuries at a record amount each month, and while this is causing a monthly hiccup for a day or so, this in-essence reversal of quantitative easing is one of the most needed things for our currency to return to full health. Even though China is aggressively attempting to position themselves as the go-to currency with both oil and gold backing their notes, America is doing the needed work to make our currency stronger. More needs to be done, interest rates are going to rise, but the health of the hot economy is the cushion needed for some of these corrections to be implemented.
· A serious message to the global community that we are no longer a doormat. The new reality is one that has instructed NATO to pay their fair share. But it has also been one of thoughtful response militarily to a dictator who has gassed his own people—all the while not placing a single additional American military boot on the ground.
· Things are working, that aren’t supposed to. The President announced tariffs and those to his right in the free-trade-at-all-cost crowd began fainting, while union workers (many of whom had voted for Trump) sat up and wondered if this will actually make a difference. Before any of them even had the chance to go into effect, the main target of the tariffs, China, within weeks bellowed responses of tougher taxes on American goods. Eventually however they capitulated with reductions on imports, and a new conversation about what America gets and for what price was entered into. In his announcement of the tariffs the President made it clear that no nation will ever be forced to pay them. All they must do is make their policies towards trade with America more fair, and deal with us in a more even manner. Dozens of nations are now taking him up on the offer.
· Serious national security success. America is already in a definitively better place on multiple national security fronts. From his first international trip that took him to the middle east where he laid out that the region must take initial and primary responsibility for curbing the growth of terrorism within their borders, to his condemnation of NATO members’ bad behavior on paying their tab, to standing resolutely with Israel his earliest days demonstrated a seriousness not seen in a decade. The complete near annihilation of ISIS, his willingness to drop missiles on Damascus and his very serious consideration of complete incineration of the Iran deal is communicating to the bad guys that we notice their bad behavior and the season of tolerance for it is over. He’s sanctioned Russia multiple times and made it clear that any more attempts by Putin to push him on major matters will be met with swift attention. In North Korea, a never-before-dreamed-of scenario where “the rocket man” begins Trump’s term firing rockets to within inches of one of our major allies (Japan), and within one year’s time, Kim Jong Un practically begging South Korea to help negotiate a sit-down as they begin voluntarily turning off their missile and nuke tests before the meeting time or place has even been decided.
In each of these areas and dozens more the administration is taking a serious and sober approach at disrupting the norm. They are succeeding in ways and with methods that have been roundly condemned by the elites in the establishment swamp. The administration has gained so much for its first 15 months in office it has literally reduced the opposing party to discussions of hookers, affairs, ten year old accusations, special counsel investigations, disgraced FBI directors, imaginary collusion, and even a literal conspiracy lawsuit for the election loss of 2016. The resistance is literally turning into a self-fulfilling caricature. They are bankrupt. They have no priorities on how to make America’s standing in the world stronger, or the lives of Americans any better. The amateur hour that is running the show for them is losing ground on the supposed groundswell that they will take back Congress with this fall. Divorcing personalities from the equation, and just evaluating the success of the two sides, Disruption is killing the Resistance, and “As long as it does… America wins!”
(“Why Disruption is Beating Resistance” by Kevin McCullough dated April 22, 2018 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/kevinmccullough/2018/04/22/why-disruption-is-beating-resistance-n2473313 )
The refugee and immigrant problem in Europe continues to worsen. Europeans opened their borders during the last few years to radical Islamists and others fleeing oppressive or impoverished conditions in Syria and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Instead of encouraging the new immigrants to assimilate, many of the European governments are bending over backwards to help them not assimilate. This is a losing proposition, since many of the refugees subscribe to radical Islam. It is incompatible with Western culture. Europeans are afraid to venture into certain areas, known as “no-go zones,” where the violent young men walk the streets. Many Europeans no longer leave their homes after dark. Jews are warned not to wear anything identifying themselves as Jewish in public, such as skullcaps, or to speak Hebrew. Women are afraid to walk or jog alone due to the increase in rapes. They are warned not to show too much skin or they may be attacked. Close to 150 schools in the UK now require girls to wear hijabs, because they’re predominantly Muslim. Germany has been one of the most welcoming countries for refugees. German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted last month that there are no-go zones in Germany, something European politicians had been denying existed. She stated in 2010 while in Potsdam that multi-culturalism had "utterly failed." That did not stop her from opening Germany’s borders to the refugees in 2015. She ignored a European Union rule instructing countries to deport Syrian refugees back to their own country, and instead let them stay. After Merkel opened the borders, violent crime increased by 10% in Germany during 2015 and 2016. More than 90% of it is attributed to young male refugees. The study, published by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, found that it is due to the refugees coming from Muslim countries characterized by “male dominance” and an acceptance of “macho culture” that justifies violence. Demands are increasing to medically screen the refugees in order to determine their age. According to the Swedish government, 71% of all applicants for asylum to Sweden in 2015 were male. More than 90% of alleged “unaccompanied minors” are male. European political correctness has brought about this situation. Concerned about discriminating against Muslims, no efforts are made to determine whether the refugees are associated with radical Islam. They have proven to be unassimilable. Europeans are the enemy and their women are the spoils. They believe European civilization is going to fall and will be replaced with Islamic theocracies. The Europeans are too weak to crack down on them and stop this from happening. Unfortunately, those who point out the incompatibility of radical Islam with Western civilization are labeled racist and guilty of discriminating against Muslims. The reality is, the radical Islamists are discriminating against the Europeans by forcing them to conform to their standards and behavior. Until Europe begins screening for radical Islamists, their numbers and associated violence will continue to increase. Multi-culturalism needs assimilation to work, otherwise it ends in civil war.
(“Europe Reaping What It Sowed With Refugees” by Rachel Alexander dated April 23, 2018 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/rachelalexander/2018/04/23/europe-reaping-what-it-sowed-with-refugees-n2473503 )
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 sections:
· National Defense at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/defense.php