Views on the News
May 29, 2010
Views on the News*
Americans are frustrated with nearly everyone in Washington, including President Obama, Congress, and the Democratic and Republican parties, and have become increasingly pessimistic about what the future holds, according to a new CBS News poll. Seven in ten Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in Washington; including 22% who say they are "angry" about the situation. Opinions of both parties, meanwhile, are at or near historic lows: 55% of those surveyed hold unfavorable views of Republicans, and 54% hold unfavorable views of Democrats. The President's job approval rating has fallen to 47%, and Americans no longer say he shares their priorities for the country. The percentage that says Obama shares their priorities has fallen to 45%. The percentage who says he does not has risen to 47%. The latest Rasmussen study show that Obama's Presidential approval has sunk to an all time low. Only 42% of American's approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as President, 56% disapprove which ties the all time high. Those who Strongly Approve (24%) and Strongly Disapprove (44%) also tie record numbers, producing a -20 index. Strong Approval / Disapproval is a key number as it also indicates the passion of the voters, the higher the Disapproval the more likely the voter will work against the president in the next election. 61% overall say the county is on the wrong track. 77% now disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job, the highest ever in a CBS News poll. Less than one in ten Americans say most members of Congress deserve reelection. Putting it all together it seems as if America is finally waking up from the "stupor" of November 2008, and we should expect a dramatic change after the mid-term election. The 2010 elections will be a tsunami of biblical proportions, because the voters are angry and frightened at the mess that politicians, as well as the leaders of most of America’s major institutions, have made of our country.
(“Obama Approval Sinks to All-Time-Low” dated May 25, 2010 published by Yid With Lid at http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2010/05/crash-obama-approval-sinks-to-all-time.html
“Poll Finds Americans Pessimistic, Dissatisfied with Washington” by Brian Montopoli dated May 25, 2010 published by CBS News at http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20005953-503544.html
“Note to GOP Leadership: No Compromising With Obama” by Richard Viguerie dated May 26, 2010 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/Viguerie/gop-mitch-mcconnell-jon/2010/05/26/id/360206 )
Welcome to government by professor, with assorted faculty of Ivy League schools having come together to form a liberal administration with the least real-world and most academic experience of any in modern times. This is an administration stuffed with academics, and not just any academic: These are educators from elite universities, the kind of experts prized by a political and media elite seeking confirmation of a worldview that expects, "the rest of us ... to shut up and do as we are told." Never before have so many with so little humility gathered together in our government, each believing he "is the smartest guy in the room." So we have a government of scolds, lecturers, and bullies, arrogant academics cheered on by mainstream media when they “bravely” take a "paddle" to average citizens and taxpayers. These pedantic academics represent the arrogance of an educated class who sees the ordinary taxpayer as raw material to be shaped by regulations wielded by their intellectual superiors, as one of those superiors. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a Harvard Ph.D. to raise the consciousness of a nation of village idiots. Obama see himself as a dedicated soldier in the battle to remake America into a collectivist social welfare state. His ideology causes him to struggle mightily to undermine the Constitution, destroy free-market capitalism, subvert traditional culture, and weaken the sovereign nature of the American republic. In this struggle, Saul Alinsky teaches him to belittle his opponents, pursue his objectives relentlessly and engage in elaborate feints and misdirection to confuse and demoralize the opposition. Sounds like a warrior to me...except that the field of engagement is the political arena instead of a military battlefield. The weapons are words, money, favors, and the media, not guns and missiles. Physical courage does not enter the equation; it is replaced by idealistic conviction, single-minded devotion to a cause, and stubborn unwillingness to entertain the thought that one might be wrong. These so-called intellectuals gather in Washington to "reengineer" our lives according to the "abstract theories" they have taught for so many years, and the American people are the recipients of their idealistic pronouncements and destructive implementations.
(“America’s Death by Professor” by Stuart Schwartz dated May 20, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/americas_death_by_professor.html
“Obama the Warrior” by Ron Lipsman dated May 26, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/obama_the_warrior.html )
Socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried, and will continue to do so despite the best efforts of the die-hard true believers in the Obama administration and the rest of the world. The most recent example of this failure: Euro-Socialism is presently bankrupting the countries that embraced it in Europe, and this will result not only in more social and economic upheaval, but also the ultimate demise of the ill-conceived European Union. The original and current proponents of socialism fail to take into account one very basic but immutable factor: the fundamental nature of the human race. The pursuit of happiness and the acquisition of wealth and property are as integral to capitalism as the products advertised on television, but President Obama would have Americans believe that this activity is inherently evil and must be curbed. The most dominant trait mankind has, as do all living creatures, is an innate desire to survive and prosper. The Soviet Union, as early as the 1920s and '30s, proved that complete state control of the means of production was a colossal failure, as it could not produce sufficient wealth to support the population. Therefore, only the capitalist economic system, which is anathema to a powerful central government and its attendant oligarchy, can produce sufficient wealth to underwrite a social safety net for the general public and finance the agenda of the governing class. Capitalism, reflective of that portion of mankind choosing to seek subsistence on their own terms, does by its nature celebrate the success of the individual, not the collective. Individuals, separately or together, driven by the motive of self-enrichment, produce goods or services desired by others. In the process, jobs and wealth are created, thus benefiting society as a whole. A massive tension exists between those who adhere to central government control and swear fealty to socialist/Marxist philosophy and those who produce the wealth of a nation. The state inherently has more power than the individual, and once the radical element of the ruling class assumes power, government begins an inexorable process of injecting itself into the affairs of the individual and producer class (which is always a minority in any society). Those who believe they have a manifest destiny to rule and are faithful to socialist tenets have a predisposition to control the populace and economic activity through laws, regulations, taxes, and intimidation. The reality is that the economic engine of capitalism will not continue to produce wealth if it is increasingly put under the thumb of bureaucrats and central planners inevitably attempting not only to institute state control of the economy, but to also to regulate the day-to-day lives of all citizens. The motivation of the producer class will be stifled and they will either drop out, join the dependent class, or simply move on to other more hospitable countries. Governments will (most recently in Europe) turn to excessive and unsustainable borrowings and inflation to finance their societal obligations. The contract between the statists and the citizens who were promised cradle-to-grave security cannot be maintained, as the economic underpinning of this arrangement will quickly erode. These systems failed to ensure the happiness and prosperity of their citizens because they were predicated on economic mythology. Better a system that enables the poor to improve their circumstances than a system that punishes success, because that is a system that punishes the very people it purports to help. The Founding Fathers of the United States understood the basic nature of human beings. They accordingly set forth a form of government and a written Constitution to greatly limit those who seek hegemony over the people, especially those seeking unlimited security from a central government. The Founders recognized that only the individual free to pursue economic happiness would result in a society wherein all would benefit on a sustained basis. The voters of the United States made a grave error in judgment in 2008; but unlike in many other countries in Europe and elsewhere, this mistake can be reversed, as the citizens of the United States do have the governmental structure to allow the country to step back from the precipice that this nation and many others are presently staring into and throw this regime out of office in order to reverse the damage done.
(“Socialism’s Downfall” by Steve McCann dated May 24, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/socialisms_downfall.html
“The Endgame of Class Warfare” by John Griffing dated May 28, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/the_end_game_of_class_warfare.html )
President Obama and Congressional Democrats are publicly fretting about the dangers of spending and debt, which can mean only one thing: Another big spending "stimulus" bill is in the works with very little chance of actually creating permanent private sector jobs. This “stimulus” (II or is it III?) is just another omnibus spending bill falsely labeled “jobs” to cover the additional $190 billion in liberal “wish list” spending. Democrats now say "paygo" doesn't apply because this spending qualifies as an "emergency," and will add $134 billion to the deficit. This bill includes a grab bag of political payoffs, corporate welfare and transfer payments. The biggest item is $65 billion to prevent a 21% cut in Medicare physician reimbursements, which was left out of the health-care law to make it look less expensive. There is $47 billion to extend unemployment insurance to nearly two full years which will bring the total spent on this program to $137 billion during this recession - five times more than in either of the prior two recessions. There's $24 billion to help states pay the exploding tab for Medicaid, the same program that ObamaCare expands by some 16 million new recipients. The bill also offers $1 billion for temporary (summer) jobs for teens, whose jobless rate is 25.4%. Compounding this fiscal disaster is the pronouncement that the House will not even deliver a budget proposal this year, guaranteeing continued spending on its current elevated rate, and masking the total impact of all of this runaway spending. Finally there is no job creation forecast included that will not be achieved, unlike the previous “stimulus” bill that was sold on the creation of an additional 3.5 million private sector jobs which never materialized while 4 million additional jobs disappeared.
(“American Jobbery Act” dated May 25, 2010 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704113504575264532051783298.html )
The financial regulatory overhaul is not reform, since its fundamental architecture expands and centralizes power in Washington, doubling down on the root causes of the 2008 crisis. It is based on a vision that government can foresee future crises and avert them, despite the fact that an army of regulators never saw the most recent crisis coming. The complex array of new councils, agencies, and bureaucracies creates endless channels for crony capitalists to penetrate. A financial system that once thrived on entrepreneurial risk and low barriers to entry for investment will now deny admittance to everyone except those sophisticated enough, connected enough, and flush enough with campaign contributions to do business with government and pay the price of entry. Institutions deemed "too-small-to-succeed" would not be afforded the explicit protections given to the largest firms, resulting in higher borrowing costs and higher hurdles to succeed relative to their well-connected competitors. Unprecedented authority over the operations of financial institutions would be vested in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FDIC would be authorized to seize risky financial institutions if a council of regulators, chaired by the Treasury Secretary, believes a company is in danger of default and poses systemic risk. Once a company has been seized, the FDIC oversees its entire resolution process, including restructuring the order of creditor obligations - serving as creditor, manager, and referee. Conflicts of interest will inevitably arise on how to treat creditors of failed firms, and increasingly, what were once economic decisions will now be political decisions. Dispelling the market discipline of our profit-and-loss free enterprise system, collusion between government bureaucrats and their private-sector counterparts will determine winners and losers. Despite roughly 1400 pages of text in the legislation, the destructive role of the two government-backed housing giants remains a glaring omission. Enabled by Congress, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wrought havoc on the housing market and remain on operational life support as taxpayers subsidize their failure. After their leading role in the sub-prime mortgage crisis, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac received $145 billion in taxpayer dollars, with no limit to additional funding. Failure to reform the system poses clear risks, but the frenzied push to score a legislative victory prior to the November midterms with a deeply flawed bill poses greater risk. Reform should aim to restore the principles that have made credit available to American families and entrepreneurs and our capital markets the envy of the world: freedom to participate, an unbreakable link between performance and reward, continued attachment to risk, and a sense of responsibility that ensures those who seek to reap the gains also bear the full risks of losses. The financial services sector needs reform, yet the overhaul before Congress exacerbates the worst aspects of today's system, attempting to solve every problem with greater government control, and higher spending, taxes, and record levels of debt.
(“Wall Street ‘Reform’ Just More Crony Capitalism” by Paul Ryan dated May 20, 2010 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/05/20/wall_street_reform_just_more_crony_capitalism_105659.html )
Three days after Hurricane Katrina struck, President Bush was criticized for not wresting control from the inept Democrat New Orleans Mayor and Louisiana Governor, but after five weeks President Obama’s incompetence is given a pass by the Mainstream Media while the federal government offers British Petroleum (BP) only impatience and criticism from the sidelines. President Obama and his administration have tried to distance themselves from the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico and only acknowledged the disaster five days after the initial fire, and only showing up on-site after another seven days. Once it was clear that there was no quick resolution Obama deployed an army of bureaucrats to second guess BP, and the administration’s dodging and dithering in the face of environmental calamity impeded decision making. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, passed in the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster, explicitly places the burden of cleaning up a spill on the company that caused it but vests the President with the authority to mobilize federal or state assets to ensure the work gets done. That could include the Navy, the National Guard and anyone else the President taps, but more is not always better. The Coast Guard has been on the scene almost since the beginning of the emergency, and more than 1,000 vessels and 22,000 people have been at work trying to contain, burn and disperse the oil. The uncontrolled, environmentally and politically toxic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is now lapping at the White House. The federal government's response so far has consisted largely of scapegoating BP and ignoring its own responsibilities and lack of preparation, railing against Big Oil, while Congress makes plans to quadruple the federal gasoline tax, ostensibly to finance cleanups. Obama administration had been issuing hollow threats to BP, since it is not the federal government that has all the equipment and expertise to deal with the spill. Obama is powerless to do anything useful, so he instead named an investigatory commission which will just distract attention from the problem while it seeks to assign blame. In reality governmental failures all occurred before the explosion and leak; the administration's response since has been aggressive but ineffectual because it appears there is nothing more they can do to stop the leak. What can’t be lost in the rhetoric is drilling in the Gulf has been going on for over 70 years. There are currently over 700 rigs in operation, and this is only the second significant spill during that entire period. The oil rigs have even weathered numerous hurricanes, and they provide over one fourth of U.S. domestic oil production. Allowing the crisis to fester long enough, Obama has used this BP spill to justify stopping all offshore drilling, further punishing the energy industry and American consumers. Positive opinion about the federal government's handling of a BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill is down 13 points from two weeks ago, dropping from 29% to 16%, a new Zogby Interactive survey finds. Analysts say growing ecological and economic damage from the spill could spell the political end of the President before November Congressional elections. Remember that Obama delegated his two most inept appointees as point people to lead the federal support: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (“Dumb and Dumber?”) and they have successfully mismanaged this disaster into “Obama’s Katrina!”
(“As Gulf of Mexico oil disaster wears on, blame is finding its way to the White House” by Bruce Albert dated May 24, 2010 published by Times Picayune at http://blog.nola.com/2010_gulf_oil_spill/print.html?entry=/2010/05/as_gulf_of_mexico_oil_disaster.html
“BP’s Oil: Fouling the White House Along With the Gulf” by Jeffrey Kluger dated May 25, 2010 published by Time Magazine at http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1991713,00.html
“Louisiana Jindal: Where’s Obama?” dated May 25, 2010 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/535322/201005251829/Louisianas-Jindal-Wheres-Obama-.aspx
“Is oil spill becoming Obama’s Katrina?” by Mimi Hall, RickJervis, and Alan Levin dated May 27, 2010 published by USA Today at http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-05-27-Spill-poll_N.htm
“Lost in the Gulf: Perspective” by Ron Ross dated May 27, 2010 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2010/05/27/lost-in-the-gulf-perspective
“He Was Supposed to Be Competent” by Peggy Noonan dated May 29, 2010 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704269204575270950789108846.html )
The Senate Kerry-Lieberman climate bill is based on an environmental hoax, promises negligible impact on the environment, expands government reach into the energy industry, and disguises a global redistribution of wealth all undermining free market capitalism. Too much money is being spent on one-sided global warming advocacy cloaked as “research,” not enough on natural causes and adaptation. The new Kerry-Lieberman climate bill mandates a 17% reduction in US carbon dioxide emissions by 2020. It first targets power plants that provide reliable, affordable electricity for American homes, schools, hospitals, offices and factories. Six years later, it further hobbles the manufacturing sector itself. Like the House-passed climate bill, Kerry-Lieberman also requires an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Once population growth and transportation, communication and electrification technologies are taken into account, this translates into requiring US emission levels last seen around 1870! House Speaker Pelosi says “every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory,” to ensure that America achieves these emission mandates. This means replacing what is left of our free-market economy with an intrusive Green Nanny State, compelling us to switch to unreliable wind and solar power, and imposing skyrocketing energy costs on every company and citizen. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency is implementing its own draconian energy restrictions, in case Congress does not enact punitive legislation. It’s time to ask these politicians some fundamental questions:
· Even slashing carbon dioxide emissions to 80% below 2005 levels would reduce projected global average temperatures in 2050 by barely 0.2 degrees F, according to a study that used the UN’s own climate models. How do you justify such destructive, punitive, meaningless legislation?
· Reflecting agreement with thousands of scientists, most Americans now say climate change is natural, not manmade. What provision of the Constitution, your oath of office or your duty to the overall health and welfare of this nation permits you to ignore the will of the people, the mounting evidence that “climate disasters” are the product of computer models, manipulated data and falsified UN reports, and the job-killing impacts of the laws and regulations you seek to impose?
· If carbon dioxide is causing “runaway global warming,” why have average global temperatures not risen since 1995, and why have they been COOLING for the past five years – even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have continued to rise to levels unprecedented in the modern era?
· What properties does manmade carbon dioxide have that enable it to replace the complex natural forces that clearly caused the Ice Ages, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Dust Bowl, ice-free Arctic seas in 1822 and 1922, Alaska’s 100 degree F temperature record in 1915, and all the other climate and weather changes and anomalies, blessings and disasters that our planet has experienced during its long geologic history?
· What physical or chemical properties does manmade carbon dioxide have that would enable it to overturn the laws of thermodynamics – and cause temperatures in Antarctica to rise 85 degrees F, from an average of minus 50 F to plus 35 F year-round, to melt that continent’s vast ice masses, raise sea levels 20 feet or more, and flood coastal cities?
· Precisely what chemical, physical and thermodynamic processes would drastic carbon dioxide reductions alter, and how? Precisely what weather and climate improvements would those reductions achieve? Precisely how will CO2 reductions stabilize planetary temperature, climate and weather systems that have been turbulent, unpredictable and anything but stable throughout Earth’s history?
· Is there ANY direct physical observation or evidence that would disprove your climate crisis thesis, and cause you to admit human greenhouse gas emissions are not causing a planetary climate disaster? Does everything that happens confirm your climate disaster hypothesis: warmer or colder, wetter or drier, more snow and ice or less, more hurricanes and tornadoes or cyclical periods with few such storms?
· Replacing hydrocarbons with unreliable, subsidized “green” energy will require millions of acres of land for wind turbines, solar panels and transmission lines, plus hundreds of millions of tons of steel, copper, concrete, fiberglass and rare earth minerals for all those facilities. Do you support delaying wind, solar and transmission projects for years, to protect the rights and property of local communities and private landowners? Or do you favor regulatory edicts and eminent domain actions, so that government can seize people’s property and expedite construction of these projects? Do you support opening US public lands for renewed exploration and development, so that we can produce these raw materials and create American jobs? Or do you intend to keep US lands off limits, and force us to depend on imports for renewable energy, too? Do you support relaxing environmental study, endangered species and other laws, to fast-track approval of these projects, despite their obvious impacts on wildlife and habitats? Or do you want them subjected to the same rules that have stymied thousands of other energy projects, so that renewable energy projects cannot be built, and we have massive blackouts?
· Over 1.5 billion people in Africa, Asia and Latin America still do not have electricity, for even a light bulb or tiny refrigerator. Millions die every year from diseases that would be largely eradicated with electricity for refrigeration, sanitation, modern hospitals, and industries that generate greater health and prosperity. How can you justify using taxpayer money to finance UN and environmental activist programs that claim global warming is the biggest threat they face, and they need to get by on wind and solar power, and give up their dreams of better lives, because YOU are worried about global warming?
· If you’re so sure about your data and conclusions – and intend to use climate disaster claims to justify sending our energy costs skyrocketing, killing millions of factory jobs, controlling our lives, and totally overhauling our energy, economic and social structure – why do you refuse to allow fair, open and balanced congressional hearings and debates on climate science and economics? Why do you refuse to debate skeptical experts in a public forum, or even answer questions that challenge your alarmist thinking? Why do you refuse to require that scientists who get taxpayer money for their research must share and discuss climate data, computer codes, methodologies and analyses?
· How much money and campaign help have you gotten from companies and activist groups that benefit from renewable energy mandates and subsidies, carbon offset and trading schemes, coal mining and oil leasing bans, and other provisions of climate and energy legislation?
· What if you vote for these job-killing, anti-growth, anti-poor, anti-human-rights “climate disaster prevention” laws and it turns out you are WRONG on the science or economics? What will you do: Give up your Congressional seat, home, pension and worldly wealth, and pledge yourself to an austere life of service to the people you have harmed; or just say, “Oh, I’m so sorry,” and then pass more intrusive, oppressive laws, before retiring to collect a nice government pension, while millions freeze jobless in the dark?
If you can’t or won’t answer these questions, then why do you think you have a right to tell anyone on this planet that we have a “climate crisis,” and dictate how they must live their lives – especially when you’ve done so little to slash your own taxpayer-funded air travel, staff, and home and office energy use?
(“A few questions for climate alarmists” by Paul Driessen dated May 15, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/PaulDriessen/2010/05/15/a_few_questions_for_climate_alarmists )
* 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