Views on the News
June 12, 2010
Views on the News*
The current President of the United States, acting in a way that would make Nero proud, continues to fiddle while not only the United States burns, but the rest of the world begins to spin out of control, and he continues to delude himself on his self worth and importance. The economy and the financial future of the country are in shambles. The oil spill in the Gulf was allowed to spread with no plan, central authority, or leadership in place to prevent its destruction of the Gulf coast. American weakness and lack of resolve has sent a signal and emboldened our enemies to press their hegemonic strategy throughout the globe and to attack our allies, such as Israel. The country is in this position because all President Obama wants to do, and is capable of doing, is half his job. In the United Kingdom and many other countries with a parliamentary system, there is a distinction between the head of state and the head of the government. In some countries, such as Denmark, Spain, and the United Kingdom, the monarch, either a king or queen, is considered the head of state, and with that office goes all the trappings of royalty. The mundane responsibility of running the government falls to the elected parliament and their chosen Prime Minister. Of the world's major democracies, only the United States merges both functions into the office of President. Barack Obama views himself as the head of state only, and he has no concept of what leadership is, and thus, he cannot be bothered with the day-to-day responsibility of governance. He is, in his narcissistic world, above all that; therefore, he delegates the writing of the Stimulus, health care, and other major bills to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid; appoints czars with power to spend and set policy; prefers to let others, who can be conveniently blamed, solve the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; and continues to castigate the previous administration for all manner of ills, as certainly no one as preordained as he to rule could ever be truly responsible for any failure. As head of state, President Obama can concentrate on golf, state dinners, White House receptions, travels overseas, backslapping other politicians and world leaders. He can be breathlessly addressed as Mr. President by a fawning media and star-struck citizens. Above all, he can fly to wherever he chooses and have the Secret Service and police part the sea of humanity as he passes through. Obama's responsibilities as the head of government having been assigned to others, who in many cases are not answerable to the American people, has created untold chaos in Congress and apprehension and fear among the citizenry as reflected in the lack of job creation and polling on major legislative issues. The Presidency of the United States to Obama is nothing more than a stage on which he, in his convoluted sense of destiny, can act as head of state for the world. He is much too busy enjoying the trappings of royalty, despite his oft-declared disdain for that class, to be bothered about the dismal long-term future of the United States if the left-wing policies of his government are enacted. It appears that President Obama also believes, as the "titular" world head of state, that he can, by sheer force of his will, charm, persuasive power, and denigration of his country, convince the most brutal of global adversaries to live in peace. The rest of the world has begun to see through Obama's unrestrained self-absorption and is slowly but surely beginning to reflect the reality and danger of Obama's incompetence and unrestrained vanity.
(“The Man Who Would Be King” by Steve McCann dated June 10, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/06/the_man_who_would_be_king.html )
President Obama is caught in the wickedest of political binds: the hypocrisy trap – saying one thing and doing another! Obama says he's sick and tired of the Washington blame game, but still can't resist doling out piles of blame himself. His compulsive, reflexive finger-pointing at Republicans, George W. Bush and vague villains on the right is not only unbecoming, it also reinforces the gathering public verdict that Obama is a weakling. Victims do not make good leaders. Even if Republicans were responsible for every evil attributed to them by Democrats, why bang on about it after 17 months in office? The only answer is self-preservation, which is an unattractive trait in someone who's supposed to be leader. Do as I say, not as I do. That tripped America's hair-trigger hypocrisy alarm. Until now, Obama has avoided the hypocrisy trap by doing little and talking carefully. Most of what he's said contains more rhetorical escape hatches than a magician's box. Obama may be coming in short on his promises on Iraq, Gitmo, Wall Street and a host of other issues -- to the howling discontent of the liberals who got him elected -- but he can still offer earnest assurances that he's reinventing America, only it's taking longer than he expected. The President is facing frustrated liberals who see George W. Bush's wars still being fought, Gitmo open for business and Wall Street getting off the hook. Environmentalists fume that he authorized more offshore drilling without checking to see if federal regulators were doing their jobs. Fiscal conservatives who divined a streak of moderation in Obama's rhetoric feel like fools after watching him take a $9 trillion detour on his way to fiscal responsibility. Pragmatists have turned their backs on the President after finding that the last, best argument that Democrats made in 2008, Obama's competency under pressure, was actually decision-making paralysis masquerading as coolness. Polls show that Americans have noticed as his overall approval ratings has only dropped a little during the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, we've seen a telling drop in the number of Americans who think Obama relates to them and their concerns. Obama's preacher's cadence and promise of a better tomorrow now reinforces his image as a talker and not a doer. When he contradicts himself on partisanship and blame gaming, Obama gives off the scent of hypocrisy, the sweetest flower that blooms in the cynic's garden. It's one thing to be seen as passive, but it's worse to be seen as someone who will say anything to get what he wants, and then be caught in lies!
(“Obama falls headfirst into the hypocrisy trap” by Chris Stirewalt dated June 10, 2010 published by The Washington Examiner at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Obama-falls-head-first-into-the-hypocrisy-trap-95980699.html )
During the first year of Barack Obama's Presidency, most conservatives were livid at the smug absurdities of the progressive Left, who, like naïve children, believed that (even in politics) it is all right to say one thing and then walk across the street and say the opposite. We were shocked that not everyone shared our outrage, but now conservatives are less incredulous since they are beginning to see how liberals think. Experience with liberal tactics has taught us that simultaneously claiming two mutually exclusive positions does not represent sloppy thinking at all, but rather a skillful Orwellian method of gaining support for bad policies. This is the way the Left does business. A recent example of this audacious use of contradiction involves the health insurance "mandate." This controversial provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires people to get health insurance or pay a fine. In September of 2009, during his tireless stumping for health care "reform," President Obama took the position that the mandate does not constitute a tax increase on those affected. Remember that Obama also promised during his campaign that "[n]o family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase." Inconveniently, shortly after the health care bill was passed into law in March of 2010, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) sued the federal government over the constitutionality of the new law. The lawsuit names Barack Hussein Obama, in his capacity as President of the United States, as one of the defendants. The Complaint alleges that the law's mandate requiring people to either buy health insurance or pay a fine is unconstitutional. The Department of Justice, speaking on behalf of President Obama and the other defendants in his administration, recently filed its Response. Among other arguments, the defendants assert: "The Minimum Coverage Provision Is Constitutional as an Exercise of the Power to Tax and Spend to Provide for the General Welfare." In short, the mandate is constitutional because it constitutes a federal tax. The most interesting story is that most Americans are not surprised by new examples of blatant political deceit. Whether we favor it or not, leftist doublethink has become accepted reality. If America's collective conscience has been eroded by the continuous flow of glib deception, we should shock ourselves back to outrage by pondering the qualitative difference of the untruths now perpetrated on citizens. The new left harbors no embarrassment of retraction, no recognition that the opposite statement also has meaning. In this way, our President can tell the American people that a tax is "absolutely" not a new federal tax and then state in a federal court document that the tax is valid precisely because it is a new federal tax. The offering of bald-faced contradictions by national leaders, and the adulating acceptance of these lies by the population at large, is a hallmark of repressive third-world regimes. We cannot allow the power-driven contradictions of the left to trump logic itself, because this will speed our decline toward equivalency with the most politically backward regimes in the world where lying is a daily occurrence.
(“When a Tax Is Not a Tax” by Lawrence E. Harkenrider dated June 5, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/06/when_a_tax_is_not_a_tax.html )
Ever since late President Lyndon B. Johnson imposed his “Great Society” program on America in mid-60s, bad things have been happening to our country. His “Civil Rights” initiative brought the curses of multiculturalism and diversity on our heads. His “War on Poverty” led to unprecedented growth of the population of America’s poor. His “Immigration Reform” opened the flood gate for tens of millions of imported poor from cultures incompatible with ours and of diverse ethnicities, which opening turned upside-down the pre-1960 America’s demographic balance. The IQ tests were banned because blacks and some other minorities were doing badly on them. Then the academic standards were watered down for the same reason. Then, in order to make the holders of university degrees “look like the rest of America”, a double standard for college admissions and graduation was introduced, first in some Ivy League schools, and later in the rest of the academia. But that wasn’t nearly enough for “Liberals” in order for them to prove their fallacious mantra that “equal opportunity” translates onto equal outcomes. So they kept dismantling time-proven, merit-based selection criteria one after another, replacing them with those based on political “necessities”, like the “need” of diversity and “social justice”, and relentlessly pushing for more and more. Guess what, the effects of this collective insanity started to show up. The competitiveness of American economy worsens. The national debt reached staggering 13 trillion dollars. The foreclosures and bankruptcies are up. The unemployment is at firm 10%, and the only sector that is growing today is the public sector (government jobs) that by and large does not produce any wealth and relies on taxation and steady supply of freshly printed money. The value of dollar, not surprisingly, is nose-diving. American students, once our source of pride and future technological progress and economic growth, lag in terms of academic achievements. One of the few major indices, in addition to government spending and national debt, that keeps going up is the level of taxation of those hard-working Americans who produce more than they consume. As the economy gets global, with multinational corporations eradicating national borders, the engineered diversity trend has metastasized to other Western countries. It can only be surprising to a brainwashed moron or indoctrinated “Liberal” (or a combination thereof) that the disastrous program initiated by Johnson in mid-1960s derailed, little by little, train America from its fast track towards bright future. Just like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, this net damage will not just go away. Its persistence follows a simple budget law: if you keep depleting the checking account more than the total of all deposits made, you will be left with a zero balance, eventually, no matter what clever accounting tricks you try. The bottom line is that virtually none of the grave crises that are threatening the well-being and the survival of this nation today would have become so severe if it weren’t for what Johnson had started and the “Liberals” have continued. He was the chief engineer of the “Great Society” failed experiment that turned into a great disaster with lasting consequences, despite the unprecedented scientific and technological progress that the digital revolution has brought about. Johnson was the worst President in modern history of the U.S. and his ideas are still decimating America’s wealth and might.
(“’Liberal’ Disaster” by Mark Andrew Dwyer dated June 4, 2010 published by American Daily at http://americandaily.com/index.php/article/3645 )
Unemployment is crushing families and stifling the prospects of young people, but President Obama’s seems oddly out of touch, “This (May jobs) report is a sign that our economy is getting stronger by the day.” The jobs report for May was grim showing the private sector created just 41,000 jobs in May, a dismal performance. The government hired 411,000 workers to help with the census, but those jobs are temporary and will vanish in a few months. The economy is sick, and all efforts to revive it that do not directly confront the staggering levels of joblessness are doomed. Even the meager job growth in the private sector last month was composed mostly of temporary work. The May jobs report is a perfect distillation of Obamanomics, with its emphasis on short-term help to the economy, the “stimulus” package, the “cash-for-clunkers” program, etc., that is as sustainable as a sugar high. More than 15 million Americans are out of work, and nearly half have been jobless for six months or longer. An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey showed that the share of individuals rating “the deficit and government spending” as the top priority for the federal government to address has jumped since January to 20%, second only to job creation and economic growth. According to Gallup, “federal government debt” now ties with terrorism for the top spot in perceived threats to our future well-being. It is not just about the actual dollars, it is a metaphor for wasted money and lack of discipline and long-term economic decline. There appears to be no plan to get us out of this fix. The Congressional Budget Office has just confirmed that President Obama's proposed economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing. Meanwhile drastic cuts in government spending would only compound the crisis. State and local governments, for example, are shedding workers as we speak. Policy makers have acted as if they are unaware of the magnitude of this crisis. If, in the event we have that extremely strong level of growth from here on out, we would still not get down to pre-recession unemployment rates until January 2015. For all the money that has been spent so far, the Obama administration and Congress have not made the kinds of investments that would put large numbers of Americans back to work and lead to robust economic growth. Bold and effective leadership would have put us on this road to a sustainable future, but instead, we’re approaching a dead end with Obama leadership.
(“A Very Deep Hole” by Bob Herbert dated June 7, 2010 published by The New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/opinion/08herbert.html?scp=1&sq=bob%20herbert%20deep%20hole&st=cse
“The U.S. Is Not Too Big To Fail” by William Galston dated June 9, 2010 published by The New Republic at http://www.tnr.com/blog/william-galston/75390/the-us-not-too-big-fail
“Obama and Economics: Intellectually Clueless” by Larry elder dated June 10, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/LarryElder/2010/06/10/obama_and_economics_intellectually_clueless )
The ecological and political catastrophe of the April 21st oil rig explosion and oil spill has exposed a breathtaking level of incompetence, political opportunism, and mendacity at the heart of the Obama administration. Barack Obama has done more to expand government than any President since Lyndon B. Johnson, but the Gulf oil crisis is testing his ability to master the federal bureaucracy in a way no other crisis has, with decidedly mixed results. The first President since John F. Kennedy to take office without executive branch experience, Obama has struggled for the past month to find the right balance between micro- and macro-management as the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico has grown into an environmental cataclysm and political disaster. The Obama White House has a history of blaming its sub-par handling of a situation on communications, but not this time since the White House has yet to establish a coherent structure for the response. On April 24th, Obama and his senior aides were warned that the spill could exceed the in environmental damage caused by the Exxon Valdez wreck in 1989. Despite these warnings, over the next two months Obama delivered commencement speeches, attended two days of media events, attended three days of Democratic fundraisers, campaigned for six days, vacationed for six days, attended six sport events, hosted basketball and football teams at the White House, and played seven days of golf. This administration seems more focused on headlines than real action. Two weeks passed before he could be bothered to go to Louisiana. On April 29th, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindahl declared a state of emergency as the oil spill covered 600 square miles and was only 16 miles from the coast. Jindahl begged federal officials for permission to build a massive network of sand berms to contain damage to beaches. Washington responded a month later but permission was only granted to build 2 percent of the berms requested. Finally, as the thick black crude and natural gas continued to erupt into the Gulf waters and public exasperation with BP's futile attempts to stop it piled up one after another, Obama dispatched Attorney General Eric Holder to Louisiana to proclaim that "we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who has violated the law." Shortly afterward, Obama blasted BP for "lawyering up" in response to the government's threats. Does he think only terrorists have Miranda rights? His top priority is not to stop the spill, but to shift blame away from himself and to forever tar his opponents with responsibility for a catastrophe made far worse by his own spectacular mismanagement. George W. Bush was condemned due to the fact that federal aid did not arrive in New Orleans for three whole days after Hurricane Katrina struck. It has been six weeks since the Deepwater Horizon blowout, and we've seen Obama frowning, sticking his fingers into the sand, saying he's frustrated, and telling us a heartwarming story about his daughter. The right government response is to work with BP to figure out a way to stop the leak, minimize the damage, and begin the massive cleanup, rather than focusing on assigning blame. However the sum total of accomplishment by Barack Obama, his administration, his party, and his bureaucracy, in facing his first major domestic crisis is a lot of talk and very little visible action or results. Most of the past month and a half has been spent playing catchup on the equipment front, and we have not yet seen the end of it. As Obama flounders around looking for someone’s “ass to kick,” he may want to figure a way out to kick himself, now that he has admitted it is his own responsibility. The Deepwater Horizon disaster is a twofer: the worst environmental disaster on record matched with most incompetent response, and all on the watch of America's “greenest” President.
(“Spill tests Obama management style” by Glenn Thrush and Carol E. Lee dated June 6, 2010 published by Politico at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38161.html
“Obama brings Nixonian twist to oil spill” dated June 7, 2010 published by The Washington Examiner at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Obama-brings-Nixonian-twist-to-oil-spill-95733059.html
“Obama Fails the Test of Office” by J.R. Dunn dated June 7, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/06/obama_fails_the_test_of_office.html )
Americans have two toxic, spreading slicks that must be cleaned up: one is in the Gulf where we are haunted by pictures of a never-ending flow of oil; the other uncapped gusher, of even more dangerous toxins, is in Washington and flows from a broken pipe out of the Obama White House. This toxin is going to be even harder to clean up. While most Americans’ attention is focused on the oil-spill tragedy unfolding off the shores of Louisiana, back in Washington, Team Obama is pressing forward, determined not to waste this crisis and use it to instill fear in Americans and loathing for all oil drilling and energy independence. Their goal is to scare Americans into support for 2000+ pages of flawed, and openly corrupt, Waxman-Markey energy legislation. Here we go again: vote without reading; pass without understanding! The oil spill in the Gulf is a tragedy and will harm opportunities in Louisiana and in the town of New Orleans for years to come. Louisianians are innovative and creative folks who will find ways to speed the clean up, discover new and safer technologies for future wells, and they will bounce back with courage and grit… have no fear. What Americans should be afraid of is the uncapped gusher in Washington. How soon can we recover from the huge, deficit spending, wealth destruction, job-killing toxic sludge that just keeps on spewing out of the Obama White House? Team Obama has taken a short-term, self-indulgent approach deciding to indulge their personal ambitions of wealth redistribution at the cost of the futures of generations of our children. There have been too many “crises” that were not really “crises;” too many problems being fixed that were not really problems; and too many leftist ideas being turned into socialist programs that can not be paid for in our lifetimes or our children’s lifetimes.
(“Obama and the Gulf: Two Toxic Gushers” by Lurita Doan dated June 7, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/LuritaDoan/2010/06/07/obama_and_the_gulf_two_toxic_gushers )
Our national debt is soaring, our borders being invaded by illegals and intruders, the unemployment rate climbing, home foreclosures rising, our coastal shorelines in peril with two wars waging, while our President has issued a proclamation demonstrating what really garners his attention: homosexual rights. First, that more and more of our desperately needed tax dollars will be spent to promote Obama’s very clear intention to radically alter the definition of family. While other positions he holds may be vague, his commitment to radical homosexual rights has been clear. Barack Obama’s mentor, Communist Frank Marshall Davis was also a sexual anarchist, whose exploits with his wife and a 13 year old girl among others are chronicled in his book “Sex Rebel.” More money will be spent on child-care for children of same sex partners, more to provide them with employee assistance programs, more money for retired homosexual federal employees, more for said partners and their children in “evacuation payments,” extra pay allowances for certain locations, more for travel and relocation expenses, inclusion in the federal credit union, access to fitness facilities, long-term care insurance. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Advisory Committee was established to assist the agency in addressing employee diversity issues and concerns of sexual orientation in the workforce. The LGBT Advisory Committee’s primary goals are to ensure equal employment opportunity, promote effective and equitable participation and enhance career development opportunities for lesbian, gay , bisexual and transgender employees of the agency” The Far Left have long been sexual anarchists. The Weather Underground practiced “Smash Monogamy,” or group sex. Homosexual writer Michelangelo Signorili in OUT Magazine in 1994 wrote that “gays should seize marriage not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution.” Don’t look for the borders or the economy or home sales, or the stock market or any natural disasters to be corrected any time soon. Sexual anarchy…chaos….on their way, and our president is not only quite comfortable with it all, but he is promoting it.
(“Dangerous Priorities” by Sandy Rios dated June 4, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/SandyRios/2010/06/04/dangerous_priorities )
When Israel rightly stopped a Turkish ship carrying terrorist supporters from breaking the naval blockade surrounding the Gaza Strip, Obama responded within hours with criticism of Israel, but without all the facts. This incident was clearly self-defense, but the so-called "activists" aboard the Turkish flotilla aimed at the Gaza Strip weren't members of Greenpeace , and were caught on tape lynching Israeli soldiers, and declaring their intention to do so the day before the incident. The sponsors of the flotilla, a not-so-obscure "charity" with close ties to Hamas, knew when the boats left Cyprus bound for Gaza that the Israeli navy would intercept them. The sponsors knew why, too: Hamas has been trying for months to open new routes for the rockets, arms and ammunition the Palestinian terrorists intend to fire into Israel to kill Jews. Weeks in advance of the flotilla's launch, organizers were declaring their intent to break the Gaza blockade, an act aimed directly at funneling weapons to Hamas, because Israel already sends millions of tons of aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip. In less than a week, the Obama administration left Israel hanging out to dry three separate times.
· First, in the UN Security Council, the administration succumbed to the rush to criticize Israel in a statement that greatly intensified international pressure on Jerusalem.
· Second, at the UN Human Rights Council, America, with dissent only by Italy and the Netherlands, lost a vote to establish an international investigation of the Gaza incident.
· Third, at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference, the U.S. joined the consensus on a statement condemning Israel (not a party to the treaty) and its nuclear program, while failing to condemn Iran, an NPT signatory that has been violating its treaty obligations.
All three cases demonstrate deep-seated White House weakness and a distinct lack of support for this strategic ally. Even more seriously, a potential fourth example of Obama's increasingly anti-Israeli policy now arises: the administration's strongly negative position on Israel's Gaza blockade. Although so far expressed largely in private, with only nuanced statements being leaked publicly, the White House is plainly leaning heavily on Israel to weaken the blockade in potentially fatal ways. What is exceptional is Obama's swiftness, because he didn't pause for one instant to consider supporting Israel, but instead jumped in condemnation. He immediately leapt to the "nonpartisan" position, eschewing an American ally and attempting to placate the anti-Semitic international community. Now President Obama announced the U.S. would send $400m of aid to the Palestinian territories following 10 days of international focus on Gaza, which Israel has blockaded for more than three years. Obama was quick to draw moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel, which is just another indicator of Obama's anti-Semitism.
(“The Presidential Anti-Semite Strikes Again” by Ben Shapiro dated June 2, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/BenShapiro/2010/06/02/the_presidential_anti-semite_strikes_again
“With Friends Like These” by Suzanne Fields dated June 4, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/SuzanneFields/2010/06/04/with_friends_like_these
“Letting Israel hang” by John Bolton dated June 7, 2010 published by New York Post at http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/letting_israel_hang_F5zJfknQYINIa2q0tBMC1K
“Barack Obama announces $400m aid package to Gaza and West Bank” by Harriet Sherwood dated June 9, 2010 published by The Guardian at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/09/barack-obama-gaza-israel-aid )
* 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 sections:
· Philosophy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/philosophy.php
· Bibliography at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/welcome/bibliography.php
· Education at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/education.php