Views on the News

Views on the News*

May 19, 2018


The Iran Deal in tatters, three American hostages safely returned from North Korea, which now offers to denuclearize and end the Korean War after 68 years, five top ISIS leaders captured; and on the domestic front, in just a year-and-a-half, landmark tax reform has made the U.S. more competitive, fewer illegal aliens are entering our country than at any time in the past 17 years, and dozens of federal judges have taken the bench to defend the rule of law and our constitutional system.  According to a poll from CNN of all outlets, more Americans today think the country is headed in the right direction than at any time in over a decade.  The Left unsurprisingly remains steadfast in their opposition to President Trump.  What’s disappointing is that a handful of “Never Trump” Republicans remain equally unwilling to admit the obvious: Donald Trump is a good president.  The remaining anti-Trump voices on the Right seem more desperate than ever to take down the president, if only to prove that, actually, they were right all along.  Clumsy pedants misquote the transcendental Ralph Waldo Emerson absurdly insisting, “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” In reality Emerson wrote, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”  The distinction is crucial.  Logic requires consistency, but logical premises can be proved wrong.  The madman who is convinced he's a banana and therefore peels off his own skin follows a consistent logic; the trouble is that his premise isn’t true.  People are stubborn, and easily fall prey to commitment bias, whereby individuals become more convinced of their position once they have declared it publicly.  The more people defend their opinions, the more difficult those opinions are to dislodge even as evidence mounts to rebut them.  Foolish ideologues, presented with evidence that reality contradicts their theories, reject reality for their theories.  Some conservatives and Republicans refused to vote for President Trump in 2016, and they did so for a variety of reasons.  Some feared Trump would turn out to be a left-wing wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Others insisted that Trump’s rough speech and boorish personal behavior would preclude his governing as a conservative and diminish the United States in the eyes of her citizens and the rest of the world.  After 17 months, not only have none of those fears come to pass, but indeed all available evidence points in precisely the opposite direction: excellent governance at home, peace through strength abroad, and a long-absent hopefulness in the hearts of Americans.  Reality has refuted the “Never Trump” premises.  Nevertheless, some still stubbornly hope President Trump will fail our country so they can avoid the indignity of having been wrong.  Changing one’s mind in the light of new evidence is no vice; and consistency in the defense of fantasy is no virtue.

(“Can We All Finally Admit Trump is a Good President?” by Michael J. Knowles dated May 10, 2018 published by Daily Wire at https://www.dailywire.com/news/30506/can-we-all-finally-admit-trump-good-president-michael-j-knowles )

From its start, the Trump administration has been plagued by charges of “chaos. From the revolving door of senior staffers including two secretaries of state, three national security advisers and two chiefs of staff to the president’s brash and sometimes boorish personal style, to his politically incorrect taunt-tweeting, Donald Trump has refused to conform to his political opponents’ conventional notions of what constitutes an effective White House operation.  Yet, the economy is humming, hosts of regulations have been rolled back, the unemployment rate is down, job openings are soaring, taxes have been cut and black joblessness is at an all-time low.  Prototypes for the wall along the Mexican border are being tested, raids by ICE are rounding up dangerous illegal aliens and the “travel ban” against several Muslim nations was argued before the Supreme Court, where the president’s authority over immigration will be upheld.  In foreign affairs, the two Koreas are talking to each other, with a summit between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un slated for June in Singapore, the ISIS “caliphate” has been effectively destroyed and Trump yanked the carpets out from under the Iranian mullahs and canceled the nuclear deal negotiated, but never submitted to the Senate for ratification, by the Obama administration.  In short, this has been the most effective administration since FDR’s first term.  It’s being accomplished in the teeth of the so-called “resistance,” which includes the overt hostility of nearly all the mainstream media, the embedded civil service, the Democrats, the never-Trump Republicans, rogue elements of the intelligence and investigative agencies and Robert Mueller’s investigation into charges of “collusion” with the Russians.  The truth is, as much as they hate Trump’s policies, the president’s enemies hate the man even more.  Donald Trump offends the establishment on a personal, visceral level.  His opponents are the same folks who idolized Adlai Stevenson and thought Ike was just a dolt who somehow won World War II.  Who worshipped John F. Kennedy (but were repelled by LBJ), hated Nixon, thought Reagan was an amiable dunce and erected shrines to Obama.  They are the Ivy Leaguers, the credentialists, the Georgetown establishment for whom there is only one right way to conduct a presidency, and that is the Harvard-Democratic-groupthink way.  What Trump understands, however, is what many great leaders have understood: that “chaos,” not consensus, is the way ideas are tried and tested.  If someone or something isn’t working, scrap it and try something else.  Results are what count, not consistency: Trump’s ability to morph from saber-rattling lunatic to charming glad-hander infuriates them because they see it as phony.  A fleet of yes-men and sycophants isolates and insulates a chief executive from unforeseen consequences.  JFK’s best and brightest drove the nation into the sloughs of Vietnam.  Nixon’s henchmen concealed from him the political gravity of Watergate until it was too late.  Obama was so cocksure of his own moral rectitude, he hardly bothered with constitutional niceties.  Finally, Trump’s very unpredictability doesn’t just frighten the Beltway bonzes and chin-pullers, it also terrifies his opponents.  While North Korea’s Kim remains hard to read, he’s also no longer firing missiles over Japan.  The Saudis, following the strong American horse, have made their antipathy for the Iranian regime clear and are threatening to acquire their own nukes should Tehran overtly resume its nuke development.  Having survived domestic uprisings in 2009 and 2017 by the restive Iranian young people, the graybeard mullahs won’t be so lucky a third time.  True, the fall elections are shaping up as a big test, but Trump has already eliminated some of the thorns in his side, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate gadflies Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, who have announced their retirements.  Should the GOP hang on to the House, a Trump-friendly speaker will move the legislative agenda forward.  Jinping will prove a far more formidable adversary than a fading Russia’s Vladimir Putin.  Look for Trump to resume his carrot-and-stick handling of Xi: flowers and choc olates one minute, gunboats in the South China Sea the next.  The trick is to keep the Chinese guessing and thus proceeding with caution in order to keep the peace, and if that’s chaos, then let us have more if it.

(“Trump’s chaotic style is starting to make sense” by Michael Walsh dated May 12, 2018 published by New York Post at https://nypost.com/2018/05/12/trumps-chaotic-style-is-starting-to-make-sense/ )

Liberals have taken over the Democrat party to the detriment of Progressive Democrats, and they want us to believe that Progressive Democrats would do a much better job of governing.  It’s hard to understand their thinking because progressives, liberals and conservatives, regardless of party affiliation, always manage to come together to promote wars, spending, taxes and debt.  Outside of the Reality Politics Show, put on by the mainstream media, their agenda is the same to further the socialist agenda.  Moreover, Progressives and Liberals have repeatedly sold Americans out.  For example, a Progressive Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, and his Progressive Democrat clowns in Congress, sold all Americans into debt slavery to a foreign banking mafia called the Federal Reserve Bank.  Before the Federal Reserve Act, the U.S. Treasury coined debt-free money, and Congress couldn’t borrow trillions of dollars to fund new socialist programs or wage wars in foreign countries.  Congress actually had to plan a budget and properly appropriate the funding for it.  Thanks to Progressives and their Liberal comrades, Congress can now pass trillion dollar spending bills, dependent on borrowed money, and the people are left holding the tab.  Wilson and his progressives, along with their mafia banking friends, are also responsible for the 16th Amendment to the Constitution that gave us income taxes.  Thanks to Progressives and their Liberal comrades, we are all paying interest, in the form of income taxes, to a foreign banking mafia for every dollar the government borrows.  If debt slavery is their idea of progress, then I don’t want any part of progressivism.  Furthermore, another Progressive Democrat, Franklin D. Roosevelt gave us the socialist inspired “New Deal” that prolonged the depression of the 1930s and turned it into the Great Depression.  Instead of supporting entrepreneurship and expanding manufacturing, that would have ended the depression, the New Deal created burdensome government dependant agencies like the Public Works Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps.  These programs were totally dependent on government funding, and that created more national debt.  National debt soared under the New Deal.  The Progressive’s answer to the deficit created by the government dependent agencies they created was to raise taxes, borrow more money and create more debt.  Since there was not enough manufacturing or employment tax base to cover the debt incurred, the Progressive and Liberal Democrats got together and decided to fleece the American people of their wealth by passing the Gold Reserve Act.  Progressives have been wrong on so many things that it’s virtually impossible to cover them all.  President Nixon took America off the gold standard to create the Petro dollar.  The Nixon Administration is responsible for the Petro dollar scheme, but Franklin Roosevelt and his Liberal and Progressive Democrats are responsible for taking America off the gold standard. The Gold Reserve Act of 1933 required all gold coins and gold certificates to be surrendered to the Treasury Department.  The Gold Reserve Act outlawed the private possession of gold coins and certificates and forced individuals to surrender their gold to the Treasury at $20.67 per ounce, although the market price for gold was $35.00 per ounce.  Even that fleecing didn’t cover the debt incurred by the Democrat’s New Deal.  Progressives can complain about Liberals taking over the Democrat party, but their complaint is ridiculous considering they have always been on the same side as Liberals.

(“Progressivism or Liberalism: What’s the difference?” by Charles Wills dated May 12, 2018 published by Canada Free Press at https://canadafreepress.com/article/progressivism-or-liberalism-whats-the-difference )


Over the eight years of the Obama administration, the Democrat Party moved left, then more left, then hard, radical, Alinskyite left.  Terrible damage was done to the country as a result.  ObamaCare virtually destroyed our once finest health care system.  The Iran deal was a cash cow for the mullahs; the West got nothing but the promise that Iran would become a nuclear power.  Obama thrived on racial strife, and so he exacerbated it day after day, any way he could.  He supported Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and Antifa.  He likely saw to it that tens of thousands of dollars were illegally funneled to those groups along with the millions sent their way by George Soros.  Obama enforced few if any immigration laws because the left needs that perennial immigrant underclass to gain power.  For leftists like Obama, those who have worked hard and achieved personal success or wealth must be brought down.  He never cared about elevating those in need, those stuck in poverty, to their maximum potential.  Obama applied this theory of bringing the best down to the nation as well.  He sought to bring and succeeded in bringing America down several pegs; he was never comfortable with America's primacy on the world stage.  Since the 2016 election, the left has gone stark-raving mad.  Leftists have lost all sense of decency.  They now support the polar opposite of whatever Trump seeks to do for the good of the republic.  The Democrats in Congress now support Hamas, the terrorist organization that seeks the destruction of Israel.  That Trump fulfilled the 1995 congressional promise to move our embassy to Jerusalem has forced them to make common cause with these terrorists.  Most of the Democrats opposed the confirmation of Gina Haspel as director of the CIA because she oversaw the waterboarding of terrorists in the aftermath of 9-11.  Now they are proudly and openly vilifying President Trump for referring to MS-13 gang members as "animals," which is an insult to animals.  These migrants from El Salvador are savages who rape and murder in the most unspeakable ways.  One has to assume that at this point, if Trump were to comment unfavorably on a pedophile or child rapist, the Democrats would defend the latter.  That is how mindlessly diabolical they have become.  As someone else observed, if he cured cancer, the Dems would protest that he was depriving doctors of work.  Was the left happy for the three hostages released from North Korea?  The usual network and cable outlets barely mentioned them.  Could leftists share in Israel's exuberance in the new embassy in Jerusalem?  They could not wait to spew their contempt in front of any camera they could find.  They blamed the Hamas violence on Trump when it is an everyday thing.  Now that Kim Jong-un threatened canceling the summit in June, the lefties are positively giddy.  They are so uniformly infected by their fury at Trump for winning that they have become dangerously toxic to the country.  As it becomes clearer and clearer that Mueller has not found Trump to be guilty of any crimes by which he can be impeached, leftists have lost the last vestiges of their grip on reality.  They operate now by the old maxim, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Since they see Trump as their enemy, their newfound friends are Hamas, Hezb'allah, ISIS, Kim Jong-un, and MS-13.  The Democrat Party has devolved into a manic state of hysteria in which its members no longer know right from wrong or good from evil.

(“A grim spectacle: The left fully revealed” by Patricia McCarthy dated May 18, 2018 published by American Thinker at https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/05/a_grim_spectacle_the_left_fully_revealed.html )

America’s economy is booming: people are working; job growth continues; consumer confidence is soaring; other economic indicators show increasing optimism. All of this is a testament to the entrepreneurial genius of the American people who made this remarkable growth possible, especially now that they’ve been freed from excessive taxation and regulations.  Of course, there are some Americans left behind in this economic boom: they’re called the congressional Democrats.  It was their party’s candidates who opposed tax reform and the elimination of regulations that have slowed economic growth over the years, probably because they were the ones who had clamored for the regulations in the first place.  Thus, the Democrats’ conundrum: how to create a “blue wave” election in the face of a “green wave” economy?  To date, while tax reform is still in its policy infancy, the Democrats seem to have taken a two-pronged approach to “revisiting” it.  First, the Democrats want to make the middle-class tax cut permanent.  Of course, the GOP would love nothing more than to have the Democrats support making middle-class tax relief permanent now.  These are the Democrats that never understood that tax cuts spur growing economy and actually increase federal revenues; the party that now apparently rediscovered federal budget deficits and the national debt after eight years of supporting massive government spending during the Obama Administration; and the party that inveterately must attack corporate America (even while taking its PAC money).  In revisiting tax reform, Democrats believe something must be done to address the federal budget deficit and the national debt.  The Democrats want to resurrect the onerous regulations the Trump Administration has been repealing steadily.  In sum, the Democrats economic messaging is that this roaring economy would be even better if everything that recently was enacted to promote it was repealed: the GOP’s tax and regulatory reforms.  This is the Democrats’ problem in confronting the “green wave,” when Americans’ growing economic opportunities and experiences refute the Left’s socialist policies.  The Democrats’ economic “policy” is really just a talking point.  In fact, even if, in the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats win both the House and Senate, absent a veto-proof majority in both, the elimination of tax and regulatory reform will remain but a talking point heading into the 2020 presidential election.  This will not help the economy for it guarantees that the specter of returning to the Democrats’ sluggish “recovery” fueled by a plethora of new taxes and regulations is a distinct possibility after the 2020 election.  So, in the 2018 midterms, voters can have the “blue wave” or the “green wave,” but not both.  As a practical people never really fond of politicians, the American voters will measure their economic gains by the hearth of home; and the smart money is on the “green wave.”

(“’Blue Wave’ Election vs. ‘Breen Wave’ Economy” by Thaddeus G. McCotter dated May 12, 2018 published by American Greatness at https://amgreatness.com/2018/05/12/blue-wave-election-vs-green-wave-economy/ )

A new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the gap between the federal government's spending and revenue will continue to widen, a development resulting from Congress' failure to address America's ticking debt time bomb.  CBO, a nonpartisan independent government agency responsible for providing economic and budgetary analyses, projects the federal deficit, the net difference between incoming revenue and outgoing spending, will swell by about 188% over the next 10 years, increasing the deficit from its current value of $487 billion to more than $1.4 trillion in 2027.  Projected deficits over the 2018–2027 period have increased markedly since June 2017, when CBO issued its previous projections.  The increase stems primarily from tax and spending legislation enacted since then, especially the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the 2017 tax act), the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act.  In CBO's projections, the effects of the 2017 tax act on incentives to work, save, and invest raise real potential GDP throughout the 2018–2028 period.  In other words, the bad policies represented by the Bipartisan Budget Act and Consolidated Appropriations Act are projected to overwhelm the good policies enacted by tax relief.  Politicians say they're worried about the federal deficit, but their actions demonstrate they simply don't care about spending the money earned by tomorrow's taxpayers today.  Without significant changes, out-of-control government spending and reckless taxpayer abuse are likely to continue, regardless of which major political party has control of the halls of power in Washington, DC.  Borrowing cash to finance government shopping sprees incurs exponentially more costs in the future as well.  As the government takes out increasingly more loans to keep money flowing, the government ends up owing more money to investors in the form of interest payments.  These interest payments already consume a huge part of the U.S. budget, but the problem is almost certainly going to get much worse in the not-so-distant future.  By 2028, the value of net interest payments will equal about 3.1% of U.S. GDP, nearly double the 1.6% projected for 2018.  There are significant costs associated with servicing all this debt, too, and there are numerous overlooked economic ripple effects caused by government spending, because money spent in the private sector is used much more efficiently than dollars spent by government agencies.  The federal government's frivolous spending practices trade tomorrow's wealth for today's vast government services, many of which are useless or even harmful.  Sooner or later, the bill will come due, and no amount of economic growth will offset the consequences.  There's an ominous ticking sound at the bottom of this fiscal hole.  If our representatives in Washington, DC don't listen and keep digging the nation deeper toward disaster, the American people, especially children, are the ones who'll end up suffering the most from the impending debt explosion.

(“Congress Still Ignoring Country’s Dangerously Growing Debt” by Jesse Hathaway dated May 14, 2018 published by Investor’s Business Daily at https://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/congress-still-ignoring-countrys-dangerously-growing-debt/ )


President Trump, elected primarily on domestic issues, has surprised critics and detractors alike by putting a big imprint on foreign affairs in his first 16 months in office.  Recent international developments, the president’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the moving of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, are only the latest significant moves.  By contrast, Trump’s major achievements at home have been largely limited to the passage of a large tax cut in December and the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court justice more than a year ago.  In the international arena the list of substantive action is far longer.  Trump has set out to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula with a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a truly historic event.  He has pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and made gains against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  The president’s approach seems to be driven less by any putative Trump doctrine and more by instinct.  Few experts are sure of Trump’s exact position on the ideological spectrum when it comes to foreign policy, given his zigzags on issues including North Korea and Syria.  Trump loyalists see this trait as an asset, showing a useful flexibility.  Detractors, however, insist that the president’s approach breeds new instabilities, lacking a clear, coherent approach around which adversaries, allies and the agencies can orient themselves.  Trump clearly thinks that foreign policy figures in both parties are not so wise as they believe themselves to be.  Exhibit A in defense of the president’s unorthodox approach is North Korea.  When Trump blasted Kim and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea during a speech at the United Nations in September, numerous experts predicted a downward spiral in relations, and feared that war was a real possibility.  Instead, Trump executed an abrupt change of tack in March, agreeing to a meeting with Kim in response to an offer conveyed through South Korea.  Skeptics note there is no guarantee that anything of substance will emerge from the Trump-Kim summit, set for June 12 in Singapore.  The mere fact that it is happening, the first-ever meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting U.S. president, is a considerable boost for Trump’s approach.  Supporters argue that it is part of a broader picture in which Trump is persistently underestimated.  The idea of Trump as a chaotic figure was exaggerated.  This is not a scattershot president.  This is not a presidency lurching from fire to fire.  This is a president going out very deliberately and pursuing policy.  The administration clearly has a policy direction.  They have made all the big policy decisions and now they are just in execution mode.  Trump has found that executing foreign policy is in some respects easier than domestic policy.  Trump and Republicans see his foreign policy record as something to tout.  It may be difficult for Trump to reap many electoral benefits from his moves, however.  Voters primarily care about what impacts them and their families.  Faraway threats that don’t directly involve American lives can be hard to get voters to prioritize.  There may be political gains to be harvested by incorporating foreign policy achievement into a broader narrative, however.  The idea that Trump keeps his promises is repeated often by his allies, even as it is fiercely contested by critics.  The world looks to the United States for predictability and stability.

(“Trump puts his stamp on the globe” by Niall Stanage dated May 15, 2018 published by The Hill at http://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/387680-the-memo-trump-puts-his-stamp-on-the-globe )


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:

·    Civil Rights at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/civilrights.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY