Views on the News

Views on the News*

 June 3, 2017


With the investigation into Russia's interference in our election underway, the mainstream media have engaged in rampant speculation about President Trump's administration.  Despite any evidence of collusion or an actual crime that has taken place, publications and networks have drawn comparisons to President Richard Nixon and Watergate.  They have wildly and recklessly speculated about impeachment and obstruction of justice.  No one is asking the more likely question: What happens to the media if the president is innocent?  The media are already suffering from a credibility crisis.  Trust in the media is at an all-time low.  According to Gallup, 55% of people believe the media are often inaccurate.  A Harvard-Harris poll had a similar finding, showing that 65% of voters believe there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media.  If you watch the news or read publications like the Washington Post or New York Times, it is easy to see why Americans feel that way.  Trump has already been convicted by the mainstream media.  Hardly is it ever mentioned that Democrat leaders like Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Adam Schiff have both said they've seen no evidence of collusion.  Every day, a new bombshell of anonymous sources is dropped.  Americans should be skeptical though.  These publications have gotten enough wrong for readers to question the veracity of the reporting.  A new report from Harvard Kennedy School highlights the media's deeper problems.  It concluded that 80% of the news coverage in Trump's first 100 days was negative, never dropping below 70% and even reaching 90% at its peak.  We don't know what will come of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, but the media are already facing a credibility crisis.  Sensationalized reporting without concrete facts will only further erode public trust in the media.

(“If Trump is innocent of collusion with Russia, what happens to the media?” by Lisa Boothe dated May 27, 2017 published by Washington Examiner at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/if-trump-is-innocent-of-collusion-with-russia-what-happens-to-the-media/article/2624155 )

Democrats are not Americans, because they hold beliefs that are contrary to common sense and the Constitution.  Those that vote for Democrats cut their own throats and encourage un-American ideas and schemes.  Since the 1930’s when a presidential candidate called his own party socialists, Democrats have worked to undermine all the God-given principles of our country.  The Democrats align themselves with every weird and un-Christian group that tear at the very fiber of our country and the foundation upon it was founded.  The Supreme Court in 1893 said the United States was a Christian nation.  Those that are not owe their prosperity to those that profess to follow Jesus in salvation, but those that are not saved have no right to tear down our country and everything it stands for.  Other faiths are tolerated but NOT supported by the laws of our land.  The news media and others of their insane babblings have tried to hiss every Christian idea out of the public square.  I said hiss because they are nothing more than snakes in the grass, hiding under free speech while they tear down the law which they hate.  The people on the left are evil and they follow their father the devil, who was a liar from the beginning.  Lies are their stock and trade and they have done much to harm. Democrats, I lay at your feet the murder of innocents, over 60 million, and the rioting and bankruptcy of every large city where you have criminally ruled. Wake up, my fellow Americans to the duplicity and lies of the Democratic party and those who vote for them.  Democrats are looters, feeding off the diligence and hard working people of our USA. They hide behind the Constitution while seeking to destroy it.  Their legal arm the ACLU is nothing but a band of crooked shysters.  Those that vote Democrat now are either crooks or duped, hoodwinked by what once was called the labor party that long since degenerated into despotism and crookedness, and a party whose votes are fraudulent or of deceived people.

(“Democrats are un-American” by Don Dippel dated May 29, 2017 published by iPatriot at http://ipatriot.com/democrats-un-american/ )

The first few months of the President Trump administration have been a whirlwind of activity.  The President has used his executive authority to roll back much of the Obama agenda, create jobs, secure our borders and to keep the promises he made to his voters.  Trump successes have come in spite on non-stop attacks from the left-wing media, Democrats, and even from some disgruntled establishment Republicans.  Trump hasn’t made excuses; he has acted.  While the Trump White House has been a hub of activity, just a few blocks across town, however, is a very different scene.  Congress, despite Republicans being in control of both chambers, has gotten almost nothing done since President Trump’s inauguration.  For Trump to be able to fully implement his agenda, he needs Congress to start doing its job.  Before Trump took office, House Republicans had voted more than 50 times to repeal ObamaCare.  Despite these votes, it took House Republicans months to finally pass legislation that only partially repeals ObamaCare, and its prospects in the Senate remain dim.  For years, Republicans in both chambers have talked about the importance of comprehensive tax reform.  It has been more than a month since President Trump unveiled his tax reform plan and yet Congress has failed to take any meaningful steps to move this impressive conservative proposal forward.  Even worse, members of Congress who are unable to pass legislation in their own chambers are turning to President Trump to try to get him to step in and act where they can’t.  We need President Trump to stay focused on the big challenges facing our country like defeating radical Islamic terrorism and stopping the tide of illegal immigration.  President Trump’s agenda shouldn’t be hijacked by a member of Congress who is unable to pass his own legislation.  President Trump is working tirelessly to move his agenda forward and it is time for Republicans in both the House and Senate to stop being road blocks to this effort and to start being partners in the process.

(“Congress Needs to Start Doing Its Job” by Lisa De Pasquale dated June 2, 2017 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/lisadepasquale/2017/06/02/congress-needs-to-start-doing-its-job-n2335136 )

The media have decided that reporting the news is no longer sufficient for them.  They’ve decided they want to participate rather than just observe and report the passing scene.  They have taken upon themselves the negating of the results of the 2016 presidential election.  They’ve concluded they’re entitled to greater responsibilities and influence.  In the past most conservatives considered the mainstream media to be part of the support system for the Democrat Party, its public relations department or marketing division.  It’s becoming increasingly obvious that it’s the media, not the Democrat Party, who are driving the bus.  The media have chosen to abandon reporting in favor of making and maneuvering the news.  A big problem for the rest of us is it’s not possible to both report the news and make the news.  There is an opportunity cost for the media’s self-appointed expansion of its roles and responsibilities.  A void now exists where the media used to be.  The press is the only private institution referred in our Constitution.  Our country’s founders wisely knew how important a free press is to the success of the country.  A characteristic of dysfunctional nations is the absence of independent, objective media.  The media are attempting to govern the country, but no one has elected them and they have not been open and honest about how have has redefined their role.  Ideally and traditionally the role of the press is to bring transparency to the government, to shine the light of day on politics and politicians.  Ironically, the press is not even being transparent about its own objectives and motivations. There’s a fundamental dishonesty about what the media are up to.  In regard to Donald Trump the media have blood in their eyes.  They will never forgive him for defeating their pre-inaugurated candidate, Hillary Clinton, for president.  He is well underway to erasing much of Barack Obama’s legacy.  The media are determined to get their revenge.  Judging from their behavior the election of Donald Trump is the worst thing that’s ever happened in their lives.  There is a raw visceral hatred of Donald Trump.  They hate his personality and they hate his policies.  He is everything they’re not: he’s positive, they’re negative; he’s proud, they’re guilt-ridden and self-loathing; he thinks big, they think small; he’s a regulation-hater, they’re regulation lovers, he’s blunt, they’re mealy-mouthed.  Trump has sent an unambiguous message to the establishment: the jig is up. The media are a major part of the establishment and are not going away quietly.  It might be an asset or a liability, but Trump seems to bring out the worst in his political enemies.  The ways he causes his opponents to behave makes them look positively deranged.  The hatred of Trump bleeds over into a hatred of those who voted for him.  The Trump despisers cannot even begin to relate to anyone who would vote for someone they find so utterly despicable.  They are fomenting hatred and doing their best to spread it as far and wide as possible.  A problem for them is that Trump supporters comprise a large portion of their potential customer base. They hate Trump so much they’re willing to ignore that fact.  It’s possible they will succeed in severely damaging and limiting the Trump presidency.  The media have numerous weapons at their disposal.  They can select which stories to report (and sensationalize) and which stories to ignore or bury (which was their standard practice during the Obama presidency).  The media’s one-sided and distorted treatment of Trump during the election campaign almost resulted in him losing to one of the least likable and most flawed candidates in U.S. political history.  However, the media’s power is not unlimited.  They did everything they knew how to get Hillary Clinton elected, but it wasn’t enough.  If the media succeeds in its crusade to destroy the Trump presidency it will be a very bad thing for the country.  It will even be bad for the media.  Their hysteria and fact twisting (fake news) is doing serious damage to their credibility.  It’s entirely possible that Trump could be a successful president.  The media have set the bar so low for him anything short of catastrophe will be seen as success.  It might only take, for example, something like substantial tax reform and a few quarters of three or four percent GDP growth. That would be a fate worse than death for Democrats and the left.  The media and their kindred spirits have embarked on a high-risk strategy.  They’re dead certain that Trump is a disaster waiting to happen and that it will in fact happen.  Their sole strategy is “resist!”  The media’s attempt to weaken Trump could end up making him stronger.  
Although the media do not advocate killing Trump, they do advocate killing his presidency.

(“The Media’s Ominous Ambitions” by Ron Ross dated June 1, 2017 published by The American Spectator at https://spectator.org/the-medias-ominous-ambitions/ )


The measure of budget success for the Trump administration is not how much federal assistance is given out, but how many people leave government dependency and join the private labor force as full-fledged workers.  The last time I heard a talk like this was over 20 years ago when President Bill Clinton teamed with Speaker Newt Gingrich to pass welfare reform.  They argued that tighter eligibility, time limits, work-search mandates, and better training programs would move people from welfare to workfare.  Millions moved into the labor force to work productively, grow the economy, and provide themselves with new self-esteem and happiness.  This point on happiness is one of my favorites.  Show how people who work for a living are far happier than those who depend on government assistance. Something must be done.  Almost eight years after the recession trough, government benefits for welfare, food stamps (44 million people receive food-stamp benefits today, compared with 14 million in December 2007), Medicaid, and Social Security Disability Insurance are still exploding.  So by tightening eligibility and putting back time limits and various work requirements, millions will return to the labor force, just as they did in the mid-1990s.  This “redistribution recession” actually backfired by reducing incentives to work and earn, despite government best intentions.  The expansion of food stamps, welfare, health-insurance subsidies, unemployment assistance, and disability assistance have led to unintended consequences and perverse after-tax incentives, such that it pays more to stay on assistance then to go to work.  At the working-poor margin, taking a job may rob you of ObamaCare subsidies. So better off not to work.  The more you help low-income people, the more low-income people you have. The more you help unemployed people, the more unemployed people you’ll have.  Trump is not “slashing” the budget.  The new budget merely slows the rate of spending growth.  America has over 90 anti-poverty programs, 17 food-aid programs, and 22 housing-assistance programs.  Adding up each and every new year between now and 2027, the federal government will spend about $55 trillion.  This is a growth budget.  Not because it destroys all federal assistance, but because it will reinstitute reforms put in place by Democrat Bill Clinton that will restore incentives to work and remove incentives to not work.  When people re-enter the labor force, it promotes growth.  Workfare is better than welfare.  President Trump also aims for a big-bang growth booster with a cut in business tax rates for large and small companies along with immediate expensing and repatriation.  With his new budget, President Trump will still shake up the establishment.

(“President Trump’s Growth Budget” by Larry Kudlow dated May 27, 2017 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448062/trumps-growth-budget-will-restore-clinton-gingrich-welfare-reforms )


During his administration, Obama is the one who imposed what we might deem, in appropriately Maoist parlance, the "Three Authoritarianisms."  They were the Paris climate accord, the Iran deal, and US intelligence agencies being used to surveil American citizens.  All three of these "authoritarianisms" were entirely ex-Constitutional.  The first two were in essence treaties on which Congress (and by extension the American people) never got to vote or, for that matter, discuss in any serious way.  The Paris accord probably would have failed.  We still don't know the full contents of the Iran deal and therefore debating it is somewhat moot.  We have, however, seen its consequences, corpses littered all across Syria, not to mention untold millions of refugees.  Admittedly, the third of "Three Authoritarianisms" is still occluded, because we don't know the extent of this surveillance and may never.  But this too is typical authoritarian behavior.  In the cases of Paris and Iran, it's clear the (totalitarian) decision to avoid Congress was deliberate.   Trump has put a crimp in the former by pulling out of the Paris climate ( global warming) accord.  The absurd amounts of money the accord would presumably have forced the American taxpayer to cough up in return for, at best, a puny amount of cooling.  No one explained how that would be consequential and perhaps that's the point.  It would have exposed the whole thing as a sham.  Of course, the folks who take global warming at face value like that other eminent scientist, the newly minted French president Macron, probably believed in imminent catastrophe even before they saw Al Gore's famous movie warning of a global armageddon that was supposed to have occurred five years ago.  Far better to accept the conventional wisdom and not be ostracized.  Trump is to be congratulated for resisting all these would-be bureaucratic totalitarians and walking out on this absurd accord before it bankrupted us.

(“Trump Blocks First of Obama’s ‘Three Authoritarianisms’” by Roger L. Simon dated June 1, 2017 published by PJ Media at https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2017/06/01/paris-trump-blocks-first-of-obamas-three-authoritarianisms/ )


President Trump’s first foreign trip was path-breaking.  Remarkably, he created buy-in from Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders for a unified front against an “evil” that threatens every religion, radical Islamic terrorism.  The moment was akin to Ronald Reagan’s 1983 identification of Soviet Communism as “evil,” delegitimized it and setting in motion his “roll-back” doctrine.  Reagan’s blunt, principled approach, enlisting the world to defeat evil, called out courage from all quarters.  Reagan rallied the world behind America’s moral, economic and military leadership.  He cut the feet out from under those who propagated evil. Soviet Communism is no more.  Fast-forward to now, and Trump reset the geopolitical chess board, as Reagan’s calm and confidence did, unifying allies, deterring adversaries, delegitimizing those who support evil.  Manchester’s tragedy punctuated the depth of his message, and timeliness of delivery.  But this trip confirmed something else: A genuine Trump Doctrine is emerging.  The Reagan Doctrine, in essence, replaced “containment” and “detente” with a commitment to roll back Soviet evil, restoring moral order.  In effect, America would not negotiate, accommodate, tolerate or converge with evil; full stop.  The Reagan shift was sudden and compelling.  The Reagan Doctrine involved deep faith in American idealism, democracy and capitalism, and in individual liberty.  Trump cuts his own swath through world events.  The Trump Doctrine amounts to relentless engagement in pursuit of greater global predictability, including improved security and economic accountability.  Four elements would appear to underpin the emerging Trump Doctrine of pressing for increased global predictability:  

·    First, Trump favors bilateral over multilateral trade agreements.  As the world’s strongest economy, negotiating one on one, rather than in large groups, assures that America’s economic advantages, our  labor, capital, infrastructure and abilities, are not diluted.

·    Second, the President is making clear that America’s word is again good when it comes to using kinetic or military force for moral ends.  He is being measured, proportionate and predictable.  No provocations, but no more backing away.

·    Third, American economic advantage, by nature longer term, incrementally gained and lost, not life and death, will be traded for concrete, sustained and verifiable security advantage, which can be sudden and game-changing.

·    Finally, adopting a chess strategy, the Trump Doctrine comprehends that re-establishing predictability at a moment of high unpredictability requires surprise. Beyond moving men fast to board center, putting new pieces in play, and making old pieces do more, there is castling which reshapes the board.

President Trump’s trip was path-breaking, and recalls a similar inflection point in the Reagan era.  It also points up something else that there is an emerging, consistent, coherent push for global predictability, including improved security and economic accountability.  The Trump Doctrine is a reassertion of American economic, military and moral authority.  The world is disorderly, so Trump is putting those who foment disorder on notice that this will not stand.

(“Emerging Trump Doctrine” by Robert B. Charles dated May 30, 2017 published by Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/may/30/donald-trump-policies-crystallized-by-first-trip-o/ )


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:

·  Homeland Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/homelandsecurity.php

·  Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorism.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY