RTCS

Views on the News

July 3, 2010

Views on the News*

If President Obama’s master plan was to transform the United States of America, the world’s last superpower, into a third world nation, then he’s right on course. Obama has bragged about how wonderful the terrible economy is. You'll recall that during both of President George W. Bush's terms, Democrats, including Obama, castigated him for destroying the economy, despite the existence of empirically verifiable robust growth during some seven of those eight years. Now that Obama has been in office for a year and a half and his economy is failing by all objective measures, he and his Democrats demand, once again, that we ignore the empirical evidence in front of our faces and bow down to them in reverent gratitude for ensuring that things are not worse than they are. He’s been in office for 18 months now, and in that brief amount of time he has taken what would have been a mild, and temporary, economic downturn into a depression with no signs of getting out of it. Unemployment is still hovering around 10%, our currency is still weak, but most disturbing of all is the crushing debt level that we face. In his short time in office President Obama has incurred more debt than President Bush did in his entire eight year term. The federal debt is 12 trillion dollars, and that doesn’t count the state and local debts. Soon the states will be unable to pay their bills and they will come to Washington looking for economic relief. Obama, who has never met a union worker or government employee that he doesn’t want to throw money at, will oblige and bury us under more debt. This economic chaos was unleashed on purpose, and was never about economic strength. It was about prolonging the crisis, and making more people dependent on the government and its largesse, and thus on the Democratic Party. President Obama has, at every turn, decided against the United States. In the Gulf oil leak, the President rather than taking charge and reassuring the American people, and realizing that such occurrences are rare, has declared a ban on deep sea drilling and demanded a 20 billion dollar payout from BP. Both of which are beyond his constitutional authority. Our political elites have decided that the Constitution is nothing but a dead letter, to be ignored or adhered to at their convenience. Rather than defend the American economy he and his Chicago mafia have done everything they can to destroy it. Rather than obey the Constitution, and defend the southern border, he has decided to sue Arizona, and side with Mexico. He has reduced foreign policy to meaningless apology tours, fights wars on arbitrary and artificial timetables, and dismisses commanding officers for perfectly valid criticisms of his dereliction of duty. President Obama and his administration have no interest in governing the United States, or following their constitutional obligations. Although polls differ in the precise measurement of unhappiness with Obama as President, the trends in all the polls are consistent, and the combined average of these various polls is clear and stark: confidence in Obama has fallen dramatically, and a plurality of Americans now disapprove of the job he has done as President.  Obama fights against the American economy, he fights against the American military, and he fights against American border security, so the only recourse the American people have is to give this “citizen of the world” his walking papers in 2012.

(“Obama Derelict in Duty” by Craig Chamberlain dated June 27, 2010 published by The Land of the Free at http://www.thelandofthefree.net/conservativeopinion/2010/06/27/obama-derelict-in-duty/

When Folks Stop Liking Barry” by Bruce Walker dated June 28, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/06/when_folks_stop_liking_barry.html

Unprecedented Arrogance” by David Limbaugh dated July 2, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/DavidLimbaugh/2010/07/02/unprecedented_arrogance )

 

In what can only be described as the worst fears of the American Public writ large; we are now suffering through the second term of Jimmy Carter. These two men, Obama and Carter, are so eerily similar: both are Nobel Peace Prize winning apologists for America's strength; both exhibit not only exasperation with American dominance on the world stage, but both believe they can talk any foreign belligerent into cooperation; neither of them has any idea how to use the U.S. military to project power, and both believe Americans are an ignorant, hapless people that need the guidance of an authoritative federal government to guide each and every aspect of their lives. Barack Obama and his administration quickly developed a reputation for something that has not set well with the American public: either defying common sense, recorded evidence, the rule of law, public sentiment or all at once, the Obama administration can be counted upon to do whatever it wants and then justify those actions by whatever means that presents itself. President Obama's first initiative was the $787 billion "stimulus” package. Even as funds were allocated to Congressional districts that didn't exist, spending continued; even as the unemployment rate passed 9.5% and credit remained frozen for the overwhelming majority of Americans. He then decided that the federal government would seize both GM and Chrysler. In a clear disregard for settled law, he gave the UAW a superior position for compensation of their unsecured debt over the secured debt of the investors. Next there was the debacle known as ObamaCare. It defies logic to promise people that the government will lower costs while artificially flooding the market with millions of new customers, yet, Obama persisted with this train wreck anyway. Now there is the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama initially downplayed the Deep Horizon disaster. As the problem worsened we find that there were things that could have been done by the administration that were not. As it stands now the economy will have to create 300,000 new jobs each month for the next four years just to get back to where we were before Obama's Wild Ride began. The American public has quickly lost and continues to lose confidence in this President, which is abundantly clear from the plethora of plunging poll numbers. Instead of reacting to this loss of confidence, word on the street is that Obama is actually searching for ways to saddle the nation with the rest of his redistributionist agenda more quickly. The lack of job creation, skyrocketing energy costs, crushing environmental regulation, a crippling of small business directly due to health care over-regulation, and a crushing national debt are symptoms of this second term of Jimmy Carter.

(“Jimmy Carter’s Second Term” by Bill Wavering dated June 27, 2010 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2010/06/27/jimmy-carters-second-term/ )

 

Current government policy must be replaced with one that recognizes that government has financial limitations and that overspending isn't good for anyone. What is needed in Washington, as well as in most state governments, is an entire change in policy outlook. The issue that threatens the United States and the states individually is that all government spending is necessary, and that it must increase each year, either incrementally according to a formula or by the political agenda of the particular legislature. This policy perspective is totally wrong from a socio-political point of view and dangerous financially. Instead, governments should focus on the same concept that governs a financially sound family budget; spending only on what can be paid for or what is absolutely necessary in emergency situations. The federal budget has become a source of pork barrel spending, earmarks and state supplements to the extent that the limited government envisioned in 1789 no longer exists, and the financial fallout has been devastating. Government spending serves, not the public need, but the desire of politicians to be re-elected, to create monuments to themselves, and in some cases to provide themselves with financial benefits. In addition, it also serves to effectively indenture the state governments by providing them with money in exchange for obedience to various regulations. The states become addicted to the federal dollars and end up with no way to kick the habit. This policy direction is wrong because not all government spending is necessary. Business turns to government for assistance rather than to innovation and quality financial management. The result is a weaker and less productive economy, with decreased tax revenues, lower employment, and less ability to compete. The policy direction is dangerous because it eventually requires continual increases in spending beyond the nation's ability to afford. This leads to uncontrolled deficit spending for its own sake, and massive and unmanageable debt. We have to cut government and government spending, and the states must be allowed to sink or swim, financially, on their own. The CBO warns of potentially devastating consequence for the United States if this debt mountain is not tackled, and even points out that its “projections understate the severity of the long-term budget problem because they do not incorporate the significant negative effects that accumulating substantial amounts of additional federal debt would have on the economy. With his reckless big government policies, Barack Obama threatens to run his country into the ground, with American decline the inevitable end result. As the voice of the American public is heard, governments must reduce spending, which means a reduction in "services," and there will be shakeups on the state and local level as those governments learn to do without largess from DC.

(“Tax and Debt Policy 2010” by Steven D. Laib dated June 27, 2010 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2010/06/27/tax-and-debt-policy-2010/

“America is sinking under Obama’s towering debt” by Nile Gardiner dated July 2, 2010 published by Telegraph at http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100045733/america-is-sinking-under-obama%E2%80%99s-towering-debt/ )

 

The 2,000 page Dodd-Frank financial reform bill attempts to address the causes of the 2007–09 financial disaster, but instead enshrines us as a bailout nation through its permanent TARP-like bailout mechanism for big financial institutions. This bill brings trillions of dollars in “dark” trading in over-the-counter derivatives into the open; it creates new, tough watchdogs for credit card and mortgage companies as well as banks; and it gives the government new tools to liquidate failing firms. Whereas Glass-Steagall substantially altered the structure of the financial system and required the creation of brand-new kinds of firms, Dodd-Frank effectively anoints the existing banking elite. Some 80 to 90% of the derivatives business will remain within the banks, and J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley control more than 95%, or about $200 trillion worth of that market. These same banks may end up controlling or at least dominating the clearinghouses they are being pressed to trade on as well, since language to limit their ownership stakes to 20%, was dropped in the final version of the bill. The bottom line: this bill doesn’t fundamentally change the way the banking industry works. If anything, the passing of this financial reform bill is a guarantee that the U.S. economy is not going to recover, and that the stock market will crash again and again and again, leading to more job losses and increased unemployment. The ironic thing is that the biggest banks that took the most money end up with the most beneficial position, and the regulators that failed to stop them in first place get even more power and discretion. The bill may make these banks even more critical to the economy and therefore even more likely to be rescued in some future crisis. Obama declared, “No longer will we have companies that are, quote unquote, too big to fail,” but by imposing new capital charges that will create barriers to entry for new firms, especially in swaps and other derivatives, while at the same time permitting giant bank holding companies to continue controlling most of what they were before. This bill basically creates six new GSEs” (government-sponsored entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac): J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. The result could be that the markets come to believe that certain giant firms will be vouchsafed a government rescue in the future, no matter what the bill’s intentions are. The Federal Reserve, which promoted the housing mania and failed utterly in its core mission of monitoring Citigroup, will now have more power to regulate more financial institutions and more ability to dictate the allocation of credit. The Treasury, which bailed out institutions willy-nilly without consistent rules, will now lead the Financial Stability Oversight Council that will have the arbitrary power to define which financial companies pose a "systemic risk" and which can be shut down without recourse to bankruptcy. The orderly process of bankruptcy for failed institutions is replaced by government bureaucrats arbitrarily picking winners and losers among creditors. The bill is dishonest because it does not deal with Fannie or Freddie, the main engines of our collapse. The bill’s deafening silence on these two institutions means it is posturing, not helping. In the short term, which is what you would think Congress cares about, the bill is deflationary because it takes precious capital from the banking industry while cutting alternatives available to consumers. It is not a coincidence that the stock market is breathing heavily and making new lows as the prospects for this “overhaul” have brightened. The bottom line is Washington rulers has taken 2,000 or so pages to double and triple down on the old system that failed, and institutionalize “Too Big to Fail.”

(“Financial Reform Makes Biggest Banks Stronger” by Michael Hirsh dated June 25, 2010 published by Newsweek Magazine at http://www.newsweek.com/2010/06/25/financial-reform-makes-biggest-banks-stronger.html

Triumph of the Regulators” dated June 28, 2010 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703615104575328993006115992.html?KEYWORDS=triumph+of+the+regulators

“Opposing view on banking overhaul: Bailout nation” by Jeb Hensarling dated June 30, 2010 published by USA Today at http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2010-06-30-editorial30_ST1_N.htm

“So-called financial reform will cause deflation” by Eric Singer dated July 2, 2010 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/02/so-called-financial-reform-will-cause-deflation/ )

 

Obama described the oil spill in unmistakable warlike terms, talking about "the battle we're waging" against oil and "our battle plan" going forward, and promising to "fight this spill with everything we've got," but while the response to the spill is clearly under Obama's control, the federal effort so far seriously lacks anything like military precision. The 2010 oil spill is defined by yeoman’s efforts by Gulf Coast governors, and an Obama administration response that is leagues beyond inept. It is proactively incompetent and obstructionist, as though it is determined not to let this crisis go to waste – but to prolong and intensify the environmental and economic calamity, to advance its political objectives: shutting down offshore leasing and drilling, bringing the US oil industry into the automotive-banking-housing-healthcare sphere of federal control, forcing a massive shift to costly renewable energy, and ramming cap-tax-and-trade through Congress. More than two months into this crisis and there's still ongoing confusion about who's in charge, bureaucratic bumbling and rising complaints that far less than "everything" is being done to contain the oil. In his speech, Obama said that that "from the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge." While Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen is the point person for the cleanup, "who's in charge" remains an open question. Leading Senate Democrats are complaining about the lack of clear lines of authority. The Coast Guard said there have been 107 offers of help from 44 nations, ranging from technical advice to skimmer boats and booms, but many of those offers are weeks old, and only a small number have been accepted, while the vast majority are still under review. Here are ten actions President Obama can take immediately to help solve the crisis in the Gulf:

·         Waive the Jones Act.

·         Accept International Assistance.

·         Lift the Moratorium.

·         Release the S.S. A-Whale.

·         Remove State and Local Roadblocks.

·         Allow Sand Berm Dredging.

·         Waive or Suspend EPA Regulations.

·         Temporarily Loosen Coast Guard Inspections.

·         Stop Coast Guard Budget Cuts.

·         Halt Climate Change Legislation.

Considering this haphazard response, it is no wonder that just 32% think President Obama has a "clear plan" for dealing with the gulf spill or that 61% think his response has been too slow.

There is simply no justification for these actions by the Obama administration and Democrat Congress, which seem determined to magnify the crisis and to further hobble the nation’s oil and gas industry and the countless companies, workers, families, hospitals, schools and charities that depend on it.

(“Here’s How Obama Can Turn the Oil Spill Cleanup Mess Around” by John Merline dated June 25, 2010 published by AOL News at http://www.aolnews.com/opinion/article/opinion-how-about-some-real-leadership-on-the-gulf-oil-cleanup/19530320

Obama’s Oil Spill To-Do List” by Rory Cooper dated June 30, 2010 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://blog.heritage.org/2010/06/30/morning-bell-obamas-oil-spill-to-do-list/

Obama’s Deliberate Katrina” by Paul Driessen dated July 3, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/PaulDriessen/2010/07/03/obamas_deliberate_katrina )

 

President Obama has shown how he puts politics ahead of national security when he has prioritized passing a comprehensive immigration program ahead of securing the border. The President told a border state U.S. senator that if we beef up border protection Democrats will lose the bargaining chip for comprehensive immigration reform. As the Obama administration prepares to sue the state of Arizona to block its copycat enforcement of federal immigration law (SB 1070), Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl reveals that in a private meeting President Obama put his party's agenda above the nation's sovereignty. Obama has seized on the Arizona immigration law as a symbolic target, hoping to accomplish in a lawsuit the political task of rebuilding his base. The irony here is that the Department of Homeland Security has Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) with around 70 state and local law enforcement agencies to participate in program 287(g) partnerships to enforce federal law. Nine of these jurisdictions are in Arizona and all of the agreements were inked while Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was Arizona governor. Obama prefers to lump all immigrants together, legal and illegal, in order to confuse the discussions, demonize the detractors, and pander to the Hispanic voters. The President forgets that two-thirds of Arizona and a similar proportion of America as a whole supports. Meanwhile Arizona is contemplating a lawsuit of its own to ask for $750 million to reimburse the state for prison costs dating back to 2003 enforcing federals laws. In his speech the President pretends to believe that the border was “more secure today than any time in the past 20 years. However the reality is that his speech was short on details and long on emotions, since he has no realistic plans to address this contentious issue before the November elections. Obama's words to Senator Kyl seem to indicate a willingness to hold the American people hostage to a political agenda and should be roundly condemned, since the American people have repeatedly endorsed closing the southern border first.

(“Obamnesty First, Security Second” dated June 21, 2010 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/538052/201006211857/Obamnesty-First-Security-Second-.aspx

Obama Courts Latins by Suing Arizona” by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann dated June 25, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/DickMorrisandEileenMcGann/2010/06/26/obama_courts_latinos_by_suing_arizona

Time for Arizona to file a lawsuit of its own” by Laurie Roberts dated June 27, 2010 published by Phoenix Arizona News at http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/06/27/20100627arizona-federal-lawsuit-roberts.html )

 

Solicitor General Elena Kagan is too political, too leftist, too inexperienced and too disrespectful towards existing law to be confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court. A political hack with no experience as a judge and no constitutional scholarship — wasn't that why Harriet Miers didn't make it onto the high court? Is Elena Kagan just Harriet Miers with an Ivy League education? What we now know about her should disturb fair-minded Americans, and should embolden moderate senators of both parties to avoid rubber-stamping her for a lifetime appointment. No amount of personal charm on Ms. Kagan's part should obscure her actual record. Here's what we know about this former dean of Harvard Law School:

·    We know she is remarkably lacking in courtroom experience.

·    We know she deliberately ignored the law while at Harvard, and unfairly besmirched our military in time of war.

·    We know she cut corners in order to preserve partial-birth abortions.

·    We know she is willing to undercut First Amendment free speech for political purposes.

·    We know she is hostile to gun rights.

·    We know she believes foreign law is highly relevant to U.S. law.

·    We know she believes judges should automatically favor certain classes of people and impose their own values to reach desired outcomes.

·    We know she believes states should be forced to recognize purported marriages performed in other states even if their own policies forbid it.

·    We know she supported a policy to allow human embryos to be cloned and killed.

·    We know she hoped for "a new, revitalized, perhaps more leftist left."

On an array of issues from abortion to the death penalty to campaign finance, Kagan's statements have been conflicting and confusing. Adding to the mixed signals, she has repeatedly taken positions that may or may not be her own as Supreme Court clerk and solicitor general. If Elena Kagan's goals are to legislate new laws, then let her run for elective office. Don’t be fooled by Kagan pretending to be impartial during confirmation hearings because her actions speak volumes about her liberal activist opinions. Sonia Sotomayor used the same technique to disguise her real intentions, but now has been shown her true colors with her consistent liberal activist opinions. Meanwhile, keep Elena Kagan far away from the nation's highest court, where justices are supposed to serve the law, not create it.

(“The case against Kagan” dated June 24, 2010 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/24/the-case-against-kagan/

Elena Kagan Ready for her Closeup” dated June 25, 2010 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/538642/201006251913/Elena-Kagan-Ready-For-Her-Close-Up.aspx )

 

* 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:

·         Bibliography at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/welcome/bibliography.php

·         Economy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/economy.php

·         Elections at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/elections.php

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

·         Foreign Aid at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/aid.php

·         Latin America at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/latinamerica.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com