Views on the News

Views on the News*

 June 24, 2017


There is a very good reason behind the growing divide between conservatives and liberals, and it has nothing to do with rhetoric, parties, over-sensitivity, or generally uncivil thinking.  It involves shared principles of government and the sad reality that we no longer share many (if any) with the political left in America.  For much of our nation's existence, parties argued over the wisest means to the same end.  Under that paradigm, compromise is possible.  Today’s Democrat Party stands for things apart from the nation as founded.  The platform of the Democrat Party declares an agenda largely incompatible with individual liberty and requires the abrogation of constitutional government to achieve.  There is no possible compromise between those who respect and wish to preserve (and restore) constitutionally limited government and those who want to scrap it in favor of some form of government-centric collectivism.  Dismiss the calls to "meet in the middle" on "common ground."  Meeting someone halfway who is already over the cliff simply takes you both to your deaths.  Wild-eyed, over-the-top rhetoric has, like the poor, always been with us and always will.  The solution to our divide lies not in restricting speech, or in attempting to regulate what is and isn't an acceptable form of advocacy, but instead to honestly examine the root of the divergence of opinion.  The effort to replace our constitutional republican form of government with collectivism of some form or another is a major change, which has created the chasm between us, and there can be no compromise with an attempt to overturn our form of government.  Elections permit the transfer of power in our system to occur based on the wishes of the governed, expressing their will by supporting a candidate.  Winning an election grants the power to determine the policies and direction our government will pursue during the winner's term of office.  Another nation waging war against us does so to gain control over our people, our resources, and our land by defeating our government and replacing it with its own.  An enemy is an enemy and is accorded that status not by location, but by intent.  Were conservatives to meet liberals halfway in this instance, we would have to participate in treason to do so.  It is the left that needs to return to supporting and defending constitutional government, because conservatives never stopped.

(“The widening gap within American politics” by Joe Herring dated June 18, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/06/the_widening_gap_within_american_politics.html )

During the last election, Donald Trump raised a number of issues, some of which were unusual in presidential politics: uncontrolled, illegal immigration.; a changing labor market that is leaving behind blue-collar workers with no college degree; a tax system that is making us uncompetitive in world markets; an education system that is failing inner city, minority youths; environmental policy that is preventing the construction of roads, bridges, pipelines and just about every other infrastructure project; and a health reform that is self-evidently imploding.  The left wing of the Democrat party has no new ideas; none different from what the left was saying back in the 1930s.  The left in America is intellectually bankrupt.  This is a worldwide phenomenon.  For most of the 20th Century the ideological left controlled the policy agenda.  In the last quarter of that century, the left experienced a complete intellectual collapse.  Ronald Reagan was elected.  So was Margaret Thatcher.  The world saw a surge in privatization and deregulation.  Eastern European countries turned to the flat tax.  More than 30 countries either fully or partially privatized their social security systems.  Sweden adopted a national system of school vouchers.  On reflection, the left was wrong about everything: they were wrong about communism; they were wrong about socialism; and they were wrong about the welfare state.  Bereft of any credible policy proposals, the left has little else to do but focus on identity politics.  Throughout the 20th century, the Democrat Party was always the party of division.  In the South, Democrat politics was the politics of race.  In the North, Democrat politics was the politics of class, envy and ethnicity. Still, there were real issues at stake.  Today, identity politics is all there is.  In the last election,  Clinton asked: women to vote for her because they are women; blacks because they are black; hispanics because they are hispanics; and gays because they are gay.  This is the new racial politics and it’s been going full throttle for some time.  An unfortunate consequence of identity politics is that the political becomes personal.  Hillary voters tended to see her not as someone who was going to deliver the goods, but as someone who would protect their personhood.  That implies that the opposing candidate is a threat to their personhood.  Donald Trump campaigned for the votes of out-of-work steel workers and coal miners and blue-collar workers everywhere.  He never appealed to them based on sex or race or personal identity.  He appealed to them as ordinary Americans.  He may have been crude and rude and ill-considered, but there is nothing in his history to suggest he is anti-black, anti-gay or any of the other anti’s.  Historically, colleges and universities in this country represented fountainheads of free inquiry.  They were places where the free exchange of ideas was permitted and encouraged.  Important public policy proposals historically have come from the academic world, but no more.  Our campuses are increasingly infected by the idea that people have rights and responsibilities based on: their genes; or their ethnicity; or their sex; or their sexual preferences.  Instead of debating whether vouchers would help liberate poor minority kids who are attending bad schools, some campus protestors are claiming that even hearing the case for vouchers “marginalizes” black students.  Ditto for welfare reform, or just about any other reform proposed by someone who is right-of-center.  Anti-intellectualism is so consuming campus life that even a slight deviation from political correctness on questions of identity can provoke scathing condemnation.  What is happening on college campuses is a barometer of what is happening in elite culture as a whole.  Having lost all interest in ideas (because basically they have nothing to say) the political left has turned to identity culture, asserting that people have rights and obligations based on their genes or their ethnicity or their gender.  If you disagree with them, they will not debate the merits of the case. They will instead attack you as an enemy of the groups for whom politically correctness requires sympathy.  Liberals will encourage members of those groups to lash out against you, violently in some cases, because in the world of the mindless, brute force is the only thing left.

(“Why Are We So Divided?” by John C. Goodman dated June 17, 2017 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/johncgoodman/2017/06/17/untitled-n2342352 )

Former FBI Director, James Comey nixed the "Russian collusion."  In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey cleared President Trump of all charges: no collusion, no conspiracy, no investigation.  The Russian conspiracy nonsense is finally debunked.  We are watching a palace revolution, an overt effort to remove the President of the United States.  Just as James Comey proudly admitted he leaked privileged communication to the press, so these insurgents brazenly brag that they want to harm the President, to impeach him, to overthrow our government.  The American people seem oblivious to the looming danger.  Leftists are carrying out a carefully planned, well executed plot to take control of our government.  This is a form of behavior therapy, systematic desensitization, to numb the American people to their insurgence.  Systematic desensitization is a technique used to treat phobias.  The patient, while relaxed, is exposed to progressively more frightening aspects of his phobia.  Congress, corporate and social media, activist courts, and a contingent in our intelligence community unite to form a cabal (a conspiratorial group of plotters).  This cabal uses this desensitization technique to condition us to overcome our fear of losing our freedom, of a disappearing democracy.  Using this technique, the cabal does something wrong, illegal, or unconstitutional, behavior that's a threat to our republic, such as:.

·    Benghazi - Obama and his administration to the American people that a video caused the horrific massacre.  President and allies openly engage in cover-up

·    FBI investigation on Hillary Clinton - Comey announces Hillary's guilty on all counts, then the judgment, and she walks.  A two-tier justice system; Hillary's above the law

·    CNN caught helping Hillary Clinton - Democrats rig debates.  Democrats cheat Bernie Sanders out of the nomination.  Democrats rig elections. 

These are just a few of the unacceptable transgressions by our corrupt leaders.  Each time, outraged conservatives demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice.  Each time, the press gaslights the American people with a media blackout, acts as though the incident never happened.  Each time, the cabal rides out the news cycle until the story fades, and everyone's home free.  Time and again, the deception, lawlessness, violation of the Constitution, or open act of sedition is met with disbelief.  The people look to our system of checks and balances to restore order.  Except the only checks the members of Congress care about are the ones from their donors, and some in Congress are actually members in good standing with the cabal.  The courts will not intervene because the courts are no longer confined to interpreting the law.  They now make the law.  Our media, that last bastion of democracy, are actually facilitating the coup.  They ignore the transgressions, excuse them, or explain them until our anxiety wanes and we learn to live with treason.  National media waging a campaign to usurp our president is not bad journalism; its sedition.  The media's role in this conspiracy is why their effusive praise for the newly appointed special prosecutor of nonexistent crimes, Comey's BFF and mentor, Robert Mueller, is a red flag.  The dichotomy of a prosecutor without a crime to prosecute is troubling.  Even if the Russian contrivance falls through, these rebels will keep the ground they've taken, and it's significant.  They've recruited a sizable number to their cause with their lies, fake scandals, and Hitler-style indoctrination.  They've normalized lawlessness and deception, rigged investigations, erected a two-tiered justice system, rigged debates, rigged elections, and instituted a national campaign to usurp the president.   Lies and fake news are the norm these days, the once unthinkable and now the expected.  These leftists are a powerful alliance whose price is our freedom, their next stop tyranny, and they're moving ever closer.

(“Americans Learning to Live with Treason” by Peggy Ryan dated June 17, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/06/americans_learning_to_live_with_treason.html )

Trump Derangement Syndrome is real, deadly serious, and appears to be metastasizing.  Don’t expect calls for unity after the attempted assassination of a Republican lawmaker to help encapsulate it, because the disease is far too virulent for the crazed actions of a single individual to stop it.  After the election of Barack Obama, those of us to the right of center were sufficiently motivated by our beliefs, and fears, to coalesce for change; it was called the Tea Party.  It was intense and often loud, but mostly it was nonviolent political street theater.  We were, compared to many of those suffering from TDS, model citizens.  The Tea Party cleaned up after our rallies, which were always peaceful.  We respected private property.  We believed in the rule of law and the Constitution, and acted accordingly.  We strongly discouraged, oft-times to the chagrin of some of our more in-your-face followers, not only violence, but even any rhetoric that, taken out of context, might appear to promote violence.  The vast majority of Tea Party devotees believed we had to play the cards we were dealt in November of 2008, voicing our displeasure but recognizing that the next time we could win a hand was Election Day, 2010.  This led, of course, to the Tea Party wave election that drowned the Democrat majority in the House of Representatives and led to a six-seat gain in the Senate.  That is how political opposition is supposed to work in 21st century; indeed, the peaceful transition of power is something of which we have been justly proud for over two hundred years.  If this presidency, properly won in a proper election, is stolen by coup, violent or otherwise, the United States as we know it will become a memory.  The Tea Party was fairly diligent about purging itself of its dangerously zealous members, believing correctly that they would pollute our message and damage our brand.  A Progressive mirroring of the Tea Party is the thing feared most after the election of Donald Trump.  In 2010 what a difference-maker an “enthusiasm gap” could be, and watched with delight as Progressive attempts to blunt the Tea Party tsunami with rallies of their own flopped miserably.  Such a level of engagement could change the face of Congress.  Finally, candidate Hillary Clinton saw firsthand that such a gap could not be overcome despite her “inevitability.”  Progressives didn’t start such a movement because what passes for the Progressive Movement in the United States today lacks any real message, which explains the enthusiasm gap.  The Tea Party protested the abuse of the Constitution and espoused the rule of law, not the election of Barack Obama. The Tea Party objected to the man’s actions; Progressives object to the man.  It is this distinction that makes clear the reasons why the so-called “antifa” operates in a completely different manner than did the Tea Party; our goal was to flip Congress via the ballot box at the next election; theirs is to flip the Presidency via any means necessary, and immediately.  The very existence of Donald Trump is an offense to Progressives.  The fact that he is now the duly-elected President of the United States is, by definition, the cause of TDS. To the infected, Donald Trump is a cancer on the body politic and must be expunged; no treatment is too extreme, not even one that might kill the host.  Since there is no way to deny that Trump received tens of millions of votes, Progressives assume those voters must be deranged.  To TDS sufferers, the simple declaration that America used to be and could again be “great” is unfathomable, so far from their worldview that those who espouse it must be flawed, unintelligent and vile human beings, unworthy of respect or common decency.   Worse, they have taken it to a higher degree: Trump supporters are deemed to have forfeited their right to free speech and assembly, and violence has become an acceptable response, particularly at those former bastions of free thought, college campuses.  The fierce spread of TDS has forced us to face another fearful possibility: the only ground remaining in their fight to oust the President is on a more literal battlefield, even if to the naked eye it looks like nothing more than a baseball diamond.

(“The Progressive Tea Party that Never Was” by Frank Santarpia dated June 21, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/06/the_progressive_tea_party_that_never_was.html )


Antifa, short for ‘Anti-Fascist,’ is a term used by far-left protesters across the globe.  They support using violence and intimidation against politicians and populations perceived as fascist in order to force acceptance of their demands.  While fascism has historically been understood as an authoritarian philosophy that calls for government control over industry and the suppression of dissent, to Antifa it means essentially any right-of-center belief.  To this end they have targeted protesters, assaulted conservative journalists, sent death threats to a Latino family after misidentifying them as neo-Nazis, attacked 80-year-old grandmothers and high school students with bats, and even stabbed horses.  Antifa is not one movement with a centralized leadership, but instead a loose association of groups and individuals with the same general philosophy and goals.  Antifa groups will frequently promote or retweet each other’s content and events, but generally do not coordinate with one another except for major events, such as Trump’s inauguration or the May Day protests.  When they riot, they use black bloc strategies, alternatively covering their heads with hoodies and faces with bandannas or shirts for anonymity while they smash windows and assault onlookers, and slipping into civilian clothing to blend in among the crowd of peaceful protesters and evade capture by the police.  While their weapons have thus far been Molotov cocktails, bricks, bats, and crude blades, they have also sold concealed knives and after the Berkeley riots several members suggested using guns in a sign of things to come.  Among violent German “Antifascist” protesters, 92% live with their parents, 84% are male, 72% are aged 18-29, 90% are single, and 34% are unemployed.  In America they also appear to be largely white college students, though no comprehensive demographic survey of American Antifa has been conducted yet.  While Antifa has existed in some form for decades as an underground association, the election of Donald Trump seems to have brought them front and center and their ideas have become more and more accepted into the political mainstream.  Antifa might be aggressive, but it has not been successful.  While it has managed to shut down a couple of speakers and beat a few people up, it has not been able to scare people away from their beliefs.  Conservatives are standing by their principles. Americans, it would seem, are not about to give in to terror.  Only time will tell if Antifa will realize this.  The vast majority of anti-Trump protesters are not Antifa radicals bent on silencing dissent and using terror.  Peaceful protest is protected under the First Amendment, and everybody in America has the right to signal their disagreement with the government.  The actions of extremists should not be used to justify an infringement on those rights.  The shooting of Scalise shows that those calling for violence cannot be brushed off simply as fringe radicals, and the ideas that these people hold have the potential to be legitimately dangerous.  The “resistance” to Trump should seriously consider whether it wants angry, hooded, extremists and closet socialists to be the face of its movement.  If the mainstream left truly supports peaceful dialogue, it must stop providing shelter to Antifa activists. When black bloc insurgents try to co-opt non-violent demonstrations, protesters should block them out of the crowd, seize them, or point them out to the police. As long as the moderate left tolerates and praises these insurgents, and affords them cover and immunity for their actions, they will be complicit in the violence that Antifa perpetuates.  As of today, a petition calling on the President to declare Antifa a domestic terror organization has received over 86,000 signatures.

(“Radical ‘Anti-Fascists’ Are Pretty Darn Fascist” by Zachary Lemonides dated June 23, 2017 published by The American Spectator at https://spectator.org/radical-anti-fascists-are-pretty-darn-fascist/ )


They have gone 0-4 in the special elections, and they keep blaming the wrong people and the wrong reasons for their losses.  Here are ten reasons why they keep losing:

·   They have broken the federal budget - We're still $19.8 trillion in debt, and this makes people nervous.  Democrats don’t even seem to believe that there is a problem.

·   They keep promoting the multiplier effect - If the government gets bigger and bigger and keeps spending money, then the economy will prosper, because for every one dollar the government spends, the expenditure puts at least $1.50 to $2.50 back into the economy.   If there really is a multiplier effect, let it happen in the private sector.

·   ObamaCare is still a disaster - Democrats and their fact-checkers keep telling us not to believe our eyes, as more and more insurance companies are leaving the exchanges.

·   Corporate taxes are still too high - The top marginal corporate tax rate is 38.92%, one of the highest in the world.  Democrats don't show any interest in lowering the rate.  

·   The tax code is too complicated - It goes up to 70,000 pages.  The Democrats do not view this as a problem, even though nobody understands the tax code.

·   They obsess over some sort of Russia collusion - They can't seem to come to grips with the reality that there is no story there.  Yes, Russia did try to hack the elections to cause chaos, as Russia did in the recent French elections, but this is the real world of dog-eat-dog politics and international competition.  There is no evidence of collusion that says Trump intended to help Russia to interfere. 

·   They are all in for military budget cuts - The Chinese just successfully tested a hypersonic missile, which probably can't be stopped with missile defense.  We need to strengthen research and development either in the private or in the public sector to upgrade our military.  Democrats don’t see this as a threat.

·   They seem not to like police officers - Generic statement: Black lives matter; Movement: Black Lives Matter.  The first statement is true, while the second one comes with too much baggage.  The Democrats exploit the confusion.

·   They advocate weird sexual public practices - Privately, anyone can be what he wants if the choice harms no one else.  The Democrats can't keep advocating obvious nonsense and expect the larger public to like them.

·   They're too shrill and hysterical all the time - They hate the President; they're hysterical about Russia; they're shrill about human-caused imminent global catastrophe; and they're hysterical about a white cop war on black men.  The public is not with them.

All in all, the Democrats are pushing too hard.  It's so odd that otherwise intelligent people can advocate such silliness that destroys themselves and stalls and hinders our country.  It's clear enough that if Trump can do two things, he'll win re-election: simplify the tax code, and roll back the gigantic regulation bureaucracy.  Democrats either adjust their views or they'll keep losing the country.   I say the country will be better off with more of their losses.

(“Why Democrats keep losing” by James Arlandson dated June 22, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/06/why_democrats_keep_losing.html )

Every day there are legions of new economists who dismiss the Donald Trump economic agenda and his forecast of 3% growth as a wild-eyed fantasy.  The profession has become an embarrassment and the most respected economists have shown themselves to have as much predictive power on where we are headed as the gypsies who read tarot cards.  Almost all of the economics profession bought into the Keynesian idea that what would revive the economy after the Great Recession of 2008-09 was massive government spending “stimulus.”  The trillions of dollars of government borrowing here and abroad created a decade-long anemic recovery.  The number of jobs created under the Obama stimulus turned out to be fewer than the number we would have had if the government had done nothing, according to the Obama White House’s own analysis.  So we got $9 trillion of debt with almost nothing to pay for it.  Amazingly, every Obama budget forecast that annual growth would reach 3.5% to 4.5%.  Bullish growth was just around the corner, but Obama’s forecasts never were achieved.  We never got growth above 3% under President Obama and the average growth was 2% ending at 1.6%.  Reality was about 1.5% below projection, which was about an 80% overestimate of growth.  So now the very people who made these preposterous forecasts are telling us 3% growth is a fantasy under President Trump.  Under their model, tax increases create 4% growth, but tax cuts can’t get us to 3% growth.  The major reason we are told we can’t get growth is that we have so many millions of baby boomers retiring.  Meanwhile we have 100 million people over the age of 16 outside the labor force today or unemployed, and that’s a giant labor pool to get workers from.  This is a gigantic pool of workers to tap into if Washington would stop spending $1 trillion a year paying people not to work.  Another fallacy is that this long recovery means the economy is due for a recession.  For much of America this has been a long recession, not a long recovery.  We are suffering from a severe growth deficit.  The economy is $3 trillion behind where it should be because of the shallow recovery.  So the economy is teed up for a boom not a bust.  Nearly every policy during the Obama years was anti-growth: tax increases, minimum wage hikes, ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank regulations, massive debt spending, the Paris Climate Change accord, an EPA assault against American energy, massive expansions of programs like food stamps and disability, and on and on.  If Mr. Trump is able to shift those policies into reverse, especially by getting tax rates down, not up, 3% to 4% growth is easily achievable and the economics profession will be proven dead wrong again.

(“Much fast growth right around the corner” by Stephen Moore dated June 18, 2017 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/18/economy-will-grow-in-2017/ )


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.  No updates have been made this week to the issue sections.


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY