RTCS

Views on the News

May 22, 2010

Views on the News*

President Obama's disappointing performance has indisputably brought enormous buyer's remorse to many of his fans, the feeling that the "purchase" was a mistake and a desire not to make the same type of mistake the next election. In a nutshell, the American public was lead astray by conflating outward appearances ("he seems so smart") with underlying substance ("he is so smart") and what we saw certainly wasn't what we got. Obama's demonstration of intellectual talent beyond a knack for self-expression never occurred. Skill at legislative logrolling, drafting well-crafted legal briefs, years of adeptly administrating an organization and similar traditional politically relevant skills were similarly never in evidence and never developed in office. His legislative record was virtually non-existent; at most he was an above average skilled Chicago political operative in a world of hundreds with similar talents. That Obama advanced the prestige academic ladder: Columbia then Harvard Law, without a public paper trail only suggests help from affirmative action and sympathetic professors determined to help him to succeed. Top universities annually admit armies of verbally fluent graduate students and interview countless well-spoken faculty applicants, but only a tiny handful achieves notable distinction. Being a "brilliant speaker" is only one talent of many, and not necessarily critical. Accomplishment, however, is more difficult to fake. Remember that today's liberal mass media enjoys great leeway in shaping a candidate's outward appearances, no small consideration as the mass media increasingly dominate elections. Not every politically important trait can be conveyed by sound bites or other outward signs, and such traits as "sound judgment" can’t be demonstrated in any speech. Better to insist on tangible accomplishment versus outward polish. Perhaps the most important lesson about America's buyer's remorse is to recognize the ease of seduction. This is the secret of successful con men: find out what the target craves, and supply it. Obama, or perhaps his advisors, grasped that the American people were tired of George W. Bush's awkward cadences and hungered after a spellbinder bedecked with elite credentials. In a sense, this resembles how Americans rushed to replace Tricky ("I am not a crook") Dick Nixon with simple-but-honest Jimmy Carter, who was a disaster as a President.  Obama ran as the “anti-Bush,” but this on-the-rebound emotion-driven embrace of opposites guarantees remorse, and based on the current President’s performance you can count on the American public looking a lot deeper next time.

(“Obama’s Buyer’s Remorse” by Robert Weissberg dated May 14, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/obama_buyers_remorse.html )

 

The message from Tuesday’s election is clear to those who are able to listen: voters want “change they can believe in,” and repeal of “change they received” from Obama. It began last November in statewide races in Virginia and New Jersey. Then it swept through Massachusetts in a stunning U.S. Senate special election this January. Most recently, it has spilled over into primary battles in Utah, Kentucky and Pennsylvania – growing more potent as the calendar year advances toward a climactic November 2010 showdown. “It” is the ongoing, unequivocal public repudiation of the agenda of President Barack Obama – a seismic shift in the thinking of the American electorate regarding the sort of “change” they want for their country. In several races “it” is also a direct rejection of Obama himself – as evidenced by the deaf ear voters turned to his personal appeals on behalf of Massachusetts’ Attorney General Martha Coakley and party-switching Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter. Voters said: "It's not the incumbents, stupid. It's how they voted. It's what they stand for." No incumbent who voted against the Bush/Obama bank bailouts, the "stimulus" package and ObamaCare lost his or her job. Voters hate the bank bailouts; they hate the government takeover of car companies; they do not believe that the $800 billion stimulus package stimulated anything but bigger government; they reject ObamaCare and think it's costly and likely to worsen health care. Incumbents who voted for these things now face the music. Democrats are breathing a sigh of relief that Mark Critz, Democrat and former staffer of the late Congressman John Murtha, won the special election to succeed Murtha. But the pro-life, anti-gun control Critz said he would have voted against ObamaCare. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda of higher taxes, more spending and bigger government. Obama and the Democrats misread the 2008 elections, misunderstood the mood of the people and pursued an agenda that voters neither expected nor wanted. Voters, unlike Democrats and many Republicans, reject the idea that financial firms deserve a taxpayer-paid rescue because they are "too big to fail." The No. 1 issue to voters remains the economy. Unemployment sits at nearly 10%. Voters think the stimulus either stimulated nothing or had no effect other than spending hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money. Two-thirds of those polled, according to the Pew Research Center, do not believe the stimulus created jobs. On ObamaCare, Democrats assumed that after its passage, voters would gradually come around to supporting it, but they haven't. A recent Rasmussen poll of likely voters finds that 56% want it repealed. Voters see this administration as a bunch of leftist, redistribute-the-wealth, we-know-better-how-to-spend-your-money-and-run-your-lives-and-manage-your-businesses, smug busybodies. They see an administration that raised the debt and deficit in a year and a half to European-like levels that threaten present and future prosperity. They see an administration that believes fighting global warming takes precedence over jobs and productivity. Tax revenues have plummeted, while government continues to grow. People have been out of work for long periods of time and homeowners are paying on homes worth less than their mortgages. Obama and his band of leftists is tone deaf to the American voting public, and refuses to hear what they want and more importantly what they don’t want.

(“It’s Not ‘Anti-Incumbency,’ Stupid; It’s ‘Anti-Liberalism’” by Larry Elder dated May 20, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/LarryElder/2010/05/20/its_not_anti-incumbency,_stupid;_its_anti-liberalism

America’s Repudiation of Obama’s America Continues” by Howard rich dated may 20, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/HowardRich/2010/05/20/americas_repudiation_of_obamas_america_continues )

 

Social justice is the complete economic equality of all members of society, commonly known as communism, which sounds like a lofty objective, but what it really means is that wealth should be collected by the government and evenly distributed to everyone. Karl Marx's ultimate criticism of capitalism is its recognition of private property. It is rooted in the idea that the money people make and the property they own do not rightfully belong to the people who make the money and own the property. Marx regards private property as evil, and considers it is a function of economic class warfare. According to Marx, money is really a "collective product" that belongs to everyone. His reasoning, as described in The Communist Manifesto, is that money can be made only "by the united action of all members of society."  Marx transposed that idea to the societal level, professing that the aggregate wealth of the rich was actually created by the aggregate work of the poor. Marx turns this idea on its head by seeing capitalism as a system invented by the rich to ensure that the poor do not get their fair share of money. In turn, the rich use this "stolen" money to selfishly purchase private property in the form of factories, land, houses, and anything else they choose. As such, Marxists see all privately owned property as the fruit of a massive capitalist fraud against the poor. Marx then postulates that capitalists pay workers only the bare minimum to survive -- an amount that "merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a bare existence." Marx then goes further to state that every cent a worker makes is paid back to the rich in the form of rent, groceries, car payments, and the like. Consequently, Marx held that workers, by design, can never make enough money to acquire private property of their own under the capitalist system.  Thus, the word "social" refers to classes in a society.  "Justice," in the Marxist context, means economic equality. This is the Marxist utopian ideal that all members in a society should receive the same amount of compensation, regardless of occupation, skill, or work ethic. The oft-quoted socialist mantra, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need," comes from this concept. Social justice can be accomplished in only one way in a capitalist society -- by wealth redistribution. This is done by seizing the wealth of the rich and giving it to the poor, using the government as the agent of redistribution. Marx's philosophy is demonstrably false in the modern-day United States.  To begin with, Marx contemplated only two classes. One was a very small and privileged class of property and business owners; the remainder of the population was grouped into a massive class of impoverished workers. Therefore, Marxism cannot account for the millions of American middle-class property owners, nor can it explain the existence of small businesses, which are the backbone of the American economy. People who enjoy their job or make more than a subsistence wage are also inexplicable under Marxism, as are "rags to riches" stories and anyone advancing in salary or position. Those people simply don't exist in the Marxist world. The truth is that the only "class" in the United States excluded from reaping the benefits of capitalism is the class that chooses not to participate in American society, who fueled by the rhetoric of leftists, sits idle dreaming of perceived wrongs that justify its inactivity, and the only exploitation in America is committed by politicians, who use stolen money to subsidize this class in exchange for votes.

(“What Exactly is ‘Social Justice?’” by Jayme Sellards dated May 16, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/what_exactly_is_social_justice.html )

 

Obama has fooled the country into buying a huge Ponzi scheme that must be reversed quickly to avoid the inevitable financial collapse. It should give every American pause when they consider that Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme was enabled not only because a number of highly trained professionals missed so many obvious signs, but also because many of Madoff's powerful connections actually turned a blind eye to the facts regarding his illegal financial endeavors.  What we had in Bernie Madoff was a well-connected financial guru who was believed who could do no wrong. Included among those who believed Madoff could do no wrong were Madoff's loyal employees, the financial establishment (including the SEC), the United States Congress (including his buddy Senator Chuck Schumer), many prominent business executives, and a large social network of rich ultra-elites. What we have in Barack Obama is an American President pushing unfunded trillion-dollar financial policies that exhibit many of the same characteristics of Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Similar to Madoff's powerful elite and business establishment connections, President Obama has many powerful and loyal connections in both business and government, many of whom are clearly overlooking obvious signs of trouble, with some even turning a blind eye to the facts regarding the President's financial policies. Within President Obama's sphere of influence, he, like Madoff, seems to do no wrong. Included among those who seem to believe Obama can do no wrong are the entire liberal media, the Obama administration, 57 Democrat Senators, 254 Democrat Congress members, 28 Democrat state Governors, and upwards of 53% of the American electorate. So why would anyone ever suspect this upstanding and well-connected young President of any wrongdoing? While Madoff took billions of dollars from people and told them he was "investing" it on their behalf, and that the returns would be well above average, President Obama took trillions of taxpayer dollars and told people it was an "investment" in jobs and the economy, and that the returns would be well above average. The problem is, the multi-billion-dollar investment and the big payoff President Obama promised the American taxpayers has not paid out -- just like Madoff's Ponzi scheme. And the trillion taxpayer dollars President Obama told America he needed immediately to "fix the economy" have been all but lost on what can only be defined as the "biggest Ponzi scheme" since Bernie Madoff. On the other hand, while Bernie Madoff was a smart enough captain to understand that his ship would eventually hit an iceberg and go the way of the Titanic, President Obama isn't quite bright enough to figure out that his minimal nautical charting skills are heading America toward the same fate as the SS Madoff. The American public has caught on to President Obama's Ponzi scheme, and they need to make sure their voices are heard loud and clear in all future elections so we can make the necessary changes to steer America back from these perilous waters.

(“Obama Madoff with Our Tax Dollars” by Neil Braithwaite dated May 19, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/obama_madoff_with_our_tax_doll.html )

 

American voters did not elect Keynesian socialists to deconstruct the most successful economic system the world has ever seen, but that is what is happening, but it is now evident that the promises made were merely expedient tools to power, classic stereotypes of political rhetoric forgotten as soon as the oath of office had been spoken. John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) was the influential British economist who asserted that enlightened government control of economic policy could guarantee national economic health, prosperity, and growth by escaping the turbulent and unpredictable forces of free markets. Keynesian economic models advocate government control of wages and prices, claiming that judicious adjustments would ensure employment, control inflation, and -- combined with the careful insertion of public monies at appropriate places and intervals -- guide the planned economy to preeminence. His theories were widely accepted for decades, applied throughout the world to one level or another. They lost favor only when the evidence accrued, overwhelmingly, that those who actually applied them failed, and those who adhered the most to the Keynesian model suffered the most. The President is certainly a disciple -- not publicly acknowledged, but indisputably in policy. Obama and the left are true believers in this utopian fiction, arrogant as only echo-chamber academics can be, and blind to the evidence of history. Much like socialism and communism, this doctrine is kept alive in those powerful institutions to vex us again and again. The evidence found in America's current financial situation is that the very problems government claims to remedy it instead exacerbates. The spin cannot keep up with the reality of increased unemployment and shrinking productivity, or the looming catastrophe of massive deficits. The outcome is always far worse than if free markets could have corrected themselves. What is missing in Obama's economic model is any appreciation of the consequences of failure or success, or the clear lessons of both. It centers on one thing: government control of economic engines by elites. The deficits resulting from the unrestrained input of public monies to select industries do not alleviate the underlying problem, and they must go on endlessly. Those who apply Keynes forget the rights of the citizen and gravitate to treating him as a subject to be manipulated and controlled, his tax dollars harvested on an ever-increasing level. The predictable outcome is that economic decisions are made where the citizen has no influence, and often no knowledge. The nation's economic health is shaped in back rooms, its future planned by a select few without debate, without due consideration, justified by one crisis after another, concocted and staged to mask the truth. This is the modus operandi of a thoroughly corrupt Democrat party and Obama; their furious spin machine runs day and night. More government means inefficiency, corruption, and excessive spending, which means more taxes, which then means less growth and more regulation, which in turn means less freedom, and finally less freedom means failure. Voter discontent with the Congressional fiscal policy malpractice allows debt to grow to over 80% of GDP in the next decade has labeled Democrats as the “Party of Debt.”

(“Citizens of Subjects: Keynesian Economics” by Lance Fairchok dated May 18, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/citizens_or_subjects_keynesian.html

The Party of Debt” by Gary Andres dated May 20, published by The Weekly Standard” at http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/party-debt )

 

For the first time, there appears to be a growing international liberty (Tea Party) movement, springing forth from the roots of our current American civic reawakening, and formed around the same concepts: limited governance and individual liberty. While there have been revolutions inspired by the ideas of liberty they more often than not were limited to national stages and were of varying levels of success. In recent months, inspired by what they are observing here in the states, Tea Party organizations have begun to rise in up the furthest corners of the world. Ironically it was England, who in the 18th century was at the unpleasant end of a Tea Party, which was the first outside of the US to hold a Tea Party rally, launching their national movement in February of this year. In addition, Tea Party organizations have popped up in Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, and Japan. Recently we have learned that Israel is planning on staging its first Tea Party in Tel-Aviv. This nascent international movement owes its rise to several factors:

·    First, the financial collapse has sent ripples throughout the economies of most western nations causing many people beginning to question the ability of governments to effectively control their economies. Ideas like central banking, heavily regulated industries, and progressive taxation appear more and more to be the cause of our current crisis rather than the solution.

·    Second, modern communication has allowed us to transmit news and ideas in a way that is historically unprecedented. Our ability to network with one another has been a key to the national Tea Parties and is central to the growth of the international movement a well.

·    Finally, the international Tea Parties are most certainly a reaction to the international progressivism that has been the dominant force in politics for several decades now. Western nations have given in to the temptation of establishing generous welfare states that have caused the slow decay of society from within.

The results of these policies can be seen all over Europe including states that are in what might be considered to be long economic dormancies, as well as those that are in danger of full collapse, as in the case in Greece. Cumulatively, these factors have made the landscape ripe for a movement that rejects the precept that big governments are prepared to take on the burdens they currently shoulder. An international liberty (Tea Party) movement is an idea that’s long overdue, whose time has come, due to the common problem of socialism failing wherever it is tried.

(“Tea Partiers of the World, Unite” by Nick Rizzuto dated May 15, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/NickRizzuto/2010/05/15/tea_partiers_of_the_world,_unite! )

 

Obama has surrounded himself with incompetent ideologues who do not understand the jobs they have been given and should be removed before they do any more harm. Janet Napolitano is a classic example of the “Peter Principle” demonstrating what happens when you promote someone beyond their level of competence. She has politicized the office of Homeland Security, elevating partisan compliance ahead of the security of the United States and the safety of the American people. She preferred the term "man-caused disaster" rather than terrorism; she will not allow immigration agencies to increase deportation of illegal aliens; and she allowed the release of a DHS report that said the real homeland threats were war veterans, pro-life activists and gun owners. Stumbling from one gaffe to another and showing little appreciation for our Constitution, Attorney General Eric Holder has also become a major embarrassment. An appearance before the House Judiciary Committee last week illustrates the problem. Holder told the panel that Justice Department decisions "are done in a political way." This may explain why Holder could question whether Arizona's new law on illegal immigrants is "unconstitutional" and imply that those who drafted the bill were racist, and, in the next breath, admit that he hadn't even read the 17-page bill. Rule of law depends on a nonpolitical Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security. Government can hide some level of incompetence, but shielding Napolitano and Holder jeopardizes our national security and public safety – Fire them both NOW!

(“Will Janet Napolitano Be Fired For Times Square Incompetence?” by Tim Cavenaugh dated May 9, 2010 published by Reason Magazine at http://reason.com/blog/2010/05/09/will-janet-napolitano-be-fired

Holder’s Got to Go” dated May 14, 2010 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=534208

Napolitano’s Inept Homeland Security Department” by Rowan Scarborough dated May 18, 2010 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=37040 )

 

Republicans have finally realized that if all their Presidents’ nominees are left-of-center nominees, the result will be a definition of “mainstream” jurisprudence that falls ever farther to the left on the political continuum. Clinton appointees Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, like Obama nominee Sonia Sotomayor, were confirmed after largely uneventful, polite, even apolitical hearings and with a respectable smattering of Republican support. In contrast, the hearings of Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito devolved into political spectacles, with Democratic Senators accusing them of being anti-woman and anti-minority, respectively. President George W. Bush praised John Roberts and Samuel Alito for their accomplishments, abilities, fairness and civility. Those qualities are reminiscent of the criteria for the Supreme Court in the pre-Bork era when there was general agreement that the substance of a judge’s personal views were supposed to be irrelevant to judicial decision making. In contrast, President Obama has heralded the substance of his nominees’ views. He lauded the “empathy” of Sonia Sotomayor, and her understanding "about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives -- whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation." Similarly, he has extolled Elena Kagan’sunderstanding of law, not as an intellectual exercise or words on a page, but as it affects the lives of ordinary people.” In other words, President Obama has endorsed jurisprudence that’s less about what an impartial application of the law requires than about the judges’ preconceived, subjective opinions about what’s best for “the people.” Liberal Presidents attempt to use their appointments with the intent to systematically undermine, not uphold, the Constitution, because their vision of an ever more statist America is inconsistent with the Constitution’s fundamental purpose: to limit the size and scope of government. The problem, of course, is that in a democratic republic, such policy-driven determinations are supposed to be the province of elected politicians – not of elite judges with life tenure, completely insulated from any meaningful accountability for their decisions. Republicans have no choice but to follow the Democrats’ example of treating judicial nominees like political appointees, rather than as decent, accomplished, and presumptively impartial jurists since President Obama continues to seek judges based on their policy preferences rather than their commitment to interpreting the Constitution as written and intended by the Founding Fathers.

(“When Justices Become Super Legislators, Confirmation Must Become Political” by Carol Platt Liebau dated May 17, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/CarolPlattLiebau/2010/05/17/when_justices_become_super-legislators,_confirmations_must_become_political

Against Judicial Supremacy” by Robert F. Nagel dated May 17, 2010 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/434272/against-judicial-supremacy/robert-f-nagel

Senate Storm Warning” by Tony Blankley dated May 19, 2010 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/434422/senate-storm-warning/tony-blankley )

 

The recent passage of the new law in Arizona is a cry for help from the citizens of a state made desperate by the federal government’s shameful and flagrant dereliction of its duty to control the nation’s borders and to enforce its laws. This is manifestly a federal responsibility and the U. S. government has failed in its responsibilities to its citizens under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Neither of the extreme solutions of deportation or amnesty are appropriate, workable solutions. To force those who are here illegally to leave is neither politically viable nor humanitarian. To offer “amnesty” to those who broke the immigration laws of our country is disrespectful of the rule of law. What is needed is a solution that respects the rule of law while at the same time treats undocumented immigrants compassionately. As U.S. citizens we have a right to expect the federal government to enforce the laws regarding who may cross our borders. Most Americans approve of Arizona's new immigration law by wide margins: Pew Research – 59%; The New York Times poll - 60%; and NBC/Wall Street Journal poll – 64%. Border security is a question of national security, domestic safety and tranquility and the federal government fulfilling its divinely mandated responsibilities to enforce the law. Proper reform should consist of a program that provides an earned pathway that requires an illegal immigrant who desires to remain legally in the U.S. to undergo a criminal background check, pay a fine, agree to pay back taxes, learn to speak, write and read English and get in line behind those who are legally migrating into this country in order to apply for permanent residence after a probationary period of years. They must also acknowledge and pledge allegiance to America’s governmental structure, the duties of citizenship and our core values as embodied in the Declaration of Independence. People who fail background checks or who refuse to comply with this generous opportunity to earn legal status should be deported immediately. Arizona's other restorative new law, to encourage assimilation, mandates that “public school pupils should be taught to treat and value each other as individuals and not be taught to resent or hate other races or classes of people," now prohibits courses that "promote resentment toward a race or class of people," or "advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals." The reality is that we have been, and remain, a nation of immigrant settlers and the descendents of such settlers who braved oceans and many obstacles to come to this matchless land of opportunity to become Americans. We should, and we will, always have room in this great nation for those who are willing to embrace the American dream and the American ideals that both inspired that dream and define it.

(“A Moral and Just Response to the Immigration Crisis” by Richard Land dated May 13, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/RichardLand/2010/05/13/a_moral_and_just_response_to_the_immigration_crisisProtecting Our American Identity” by Diana West dated May 20, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/DianaWest/2010/05/20/protecting_our_american_identity )

 

* 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 section:

·         Education at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/education.php

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

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com