RTCS

Views on the News

July 16, 2011

Views on the News*

Obama’s Presidency is a spectacular failure: his historic mandate was squandered by adherence to leftist ideology and relentless partisanship and his policies are crushing the prospects for growth and dooming the hopes of 24 million Americans who are unemployed or working part-time. He is the man who won't listen to anybody, so why should anybody listen to him? I am tired of Barack Obama and his speeches are like "Groundhog Day." Yet he is not going to change because he listens only to his own voice, which is why he has lost virtually his entire economic team. The biggest media myth is that he is a centrist, but he will be to the right of the far, far left, but that is not the center. Obama's default statist position remains unmolested by facts or last year's landslide that was a rebuke to his first two years. He continues to push bigger and bigger government, higher and higher taxes and more and more welfare programs. He will compromise if he must, but he still wants what he wants and will come back for it again and again. That's the subtext of the debt-ceiling talks and his press conference. He voted against raising the ceiling as a Senator, calling the need for an increase a "failure." Now he is not embarrassed to demand a hike of about $2.5 trillion, and more hair of the spending-and-taxing dog. He reveals his belief that your money really belongs to the government and it will decide how much you can keep. The only cut he is comfortable with is in the defense budget. His only concession to public will is to pretend he's got religion about the fiscal problems and wants a "big deal." What he really wants is to get through the election. In answering a question about a poll showing that two-thirds of voters don't want the debt ceiling raised, he blew off 70 million Americans by saying they aren't paying attention. There's a novel campaign theme: Elect me because you're too dumb to understand how smart I am. Harry Truman ran against a "Do-Nothing" Congress, and now Obama will run against a "Know-Nothing" nation. Obama believes he can never be wrong, but America has finally woken up to behold a socialist President implementing retrograde, Keynesian policies dooming this country to contraction and second class status.

(“US too dumb to know O is always right” by Michael Goodwin dated July 13, 2011 published by New York Post at http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/us_too_dumb_to_know_is_always_right_G4K8WElXRNRR8NvsXQAz0H )

Americans hate tyrants because tyrants are ruthless villains, hostile to the basic freedoms granted to humanity by God, and enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have spoken hope to Americans and to freedom-loving people around the world for 235 years.  These basic, God-given rights are under assault, but not by international forces, but from within America - from within the U.S. government itself and directly from the Office of the President.  Tyrants and tyrannies differ depending upon the political systems that they seek to dominate.  Yet, there are characteristics common to all tyrants:

·    Consolidation of Power - Tyrants move quickly to centralize and consolidate power by "investing into one entity the authority to make political decisions previously found within multiple institutions." Barack Obama is currently in the consolidation phase of his tyrannical foray.  He violates laws with impunity, forcing Congress and/or the Supreme Court to rein him in. 

·    Excessive Self-Love - Tyrants are runaway narcissists: lovers of self; mirror-gazers.  Free from empathy and empowered by apathy, these individuals are the users and abusers of society. As prolific serial liars, they live in a fantasy world of their own making, none of which have ever really occurred.  A narcissist is a legend in his own mind. 

·    They Hate the Middle Class - A thriving middle class is dangerous for any tyrant.  With time and income to allow for certain luxuries, middle-class citizens can also become politically active.  A strong and vibrant middle class is essential for a healthy economy, but it is also a driving force for the expansion of liberty.  Liberty is a tyrant's Kryptonite.  It would stand to reason that the destruction of the middle class by the reduction of middle-class wealth would be an endgame for the tyrant in training. 

·    A Vision for the Country - With a smiling face, bold oratory, and lofty-sounding ideals, Barack Obama was able to convince America to trust him with the most powerful office in the world.  He was thought to be unique, a healer, a man who would bind up the nation's wounds and help us to move beyond the national shame of 246 years of slavery and a 100-year struggle for civil rights.  He promised to improve America's standing in the world, strengthen our economy, and promote fairness and equality. 

Americans en masse have awakened to a President drunk with the wine of Presidential power.  Lawless, unaccountable, and unwilling to be restrained, Barack Obama has broken trust with America and he is being judged just as Dr. King had dreamed, and not by the color of his skin, but by the delinquent content of his character.  Barack Obama has many names and a now has a new one: "Tyrannus Obama Rex," Obama, the Tyrant King.

(“Tyrannus Obama Rex” by Jay Clarke dated July 11, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/tyrannus_obama_rex.html )

Barack Obama stands as the most left-wing President on record, and no other president comes close to matching him.  Franklin D. Roosevelt was a pragmatist, willing to try anything that worked, even when it didn't.  He was also pliable enough to be manipulated by people like Adolf Berle and Rexford Tugwell, authors of the NRA and AAA, and both pure leftists. Lyndon B. Johnson exhibited a political split personality in combining a domestic leftism with an international anti-communism that made no political sense and finally wound up destroying him.  As for Jimmy Carter, he probably matched Obama for left-of-center tendencies, but he was so ineffectual that it went nowhere.  Bill Clinton, under the direction of Dick Morris, governed as a moderate conservative, whatever his personal proclivities. This leaves Obama standing alone in the far-left twilight. The seizure of GM and Chrysler, ObamaCare -- the most blatant left-wing attack on individual rights in my lifetime -- the endless efforts to push carbon regulations, the college-kid Keyesianism, and the bitter contempt for American exceptionalism, leave no room for argument. Although Obama has failed, the ideology must go on. Obama's biggest achievement was kicking off the Tea Parties, possibly the most serious threat to left-liberalism of the past thirty years. Movement conservatism has always been limited by its connection with Northeastern elitists, while the Neocons, though much more effective, appealed to an urban university-oriented following.  We have an actual middle-class, middle-American movement, enlightened, informed, and outraged -- the darkest nightmare of any thinking leftist.  From the liberal point of view, Obama does not exist as a separate entity, but only as a momentary expression of the liberal dogma.  Liberalism will still exist long after Obama is gone, or so they hope.  So if it comes down to a choice between the messiah on one hand and the creed on the other, the messiah has to go. The most interesting point here is that the left is turning on Obama now, sixteen months before the election, even as his billion-dollar campaign swings into motion. It's still early in the game and they've already written him off. Registered voters say they are more likely to vote for a “Republican Party candidate for President” than for Barack Obama in 2012, by a 47% vs. 39% margin. The facts of the case are that Obama has revealed the hollowness of liberalism, since he had it all his own way the first half of his term, and was able to push through the complete left-wing domestic agenda in all its Keynesian, Newer Deal glory, but it went nowhere, as anyone could have predicted, and that is the end of it. 

(“The Left Starts to Dump Obama” by J.R. Dunn dated July 12, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/the_left_starts_to_dump_obama.html )

 

Over the past ten years it has become painfully obvious that as a group the Mainstream Media are determined to self-destruct while willing to accommodate, promote, or as necessary, turn a blind eye towards the devastating policies of the Left that will be the catalyst for their potential demise. A majority of the media chooses, either deliberately or out of ignorance, to obscure the reality that the American Left and Barack Obama are destroying the viability of the economy and culture, and ultimately their own future and standard of living. This lack of coherence was never more manifest than the media's slavish fawning over an unknown, but politically correct, Barack Obama in the 2008 election.  Their continued loyalty despite his myriad failings, his palpable disinterest in the job of President and his obstinate dedication to disastrous policies reveals their ideological blindness.  Meanwhile the landscape of the once mighty journalism community is one of utter devastation brought about in great part by their overt liberal bias and this kind of sycophantic behavior over the past twenty plus years. Among many examples of this unreported decline and fall are:

·    The New York Times Company, often considered the bellwether of the national media, has reduced its labor force by 47% (6,600 jobs) since 2000.  The average daily circulation for the Times has dropped by over 20% (226,000 readers) during the same period.   

·    The Washington Post, the other most influential newspaper in the country, has seen its average daily circulation drop by 30% (237,000 readers) since 2000.  More devastating print advertising revenue has plummeted which has dropped by over 55% since 2000. 

·    Among the largest chain of newspapers in the country, the McClatchy Company has experienced a similar downturn.  Since acquiring the Knight-Ridder chain in 2006 the Company has seen its average daily circulation decline from 2.84 million readers to 2.05 (a drop of 28% in only four years).  Many of the individual papers within the group have resorted to massive layoffs and selling assets as not only circulation but ad revenue has dropped precipitously.

·    The Gannet family of newspapers (the largest in the country) has lost over 2 million in paid circulation since 2000 (28%) while their ad revenue has dropped by 44%.  

·    Since 2000 total U.S. newspaper circulation has fallen by nearly 11 million readers (20%).  

·    The traditional news magazines (Time, Newsweek and US News & World Report) have experienced even more devastating results since 2000.  Their readership has declined by over 3.6 million (40%).  Advertising revenue has dropped by nearly 65%. 

·    The three network evening news (ABC, NBC, CBS) broadcasts have suffered a similar fate. (Since 1991 they have lost 12.6 million viewers (34%).

·    In an attempt to offset the drastic decline in their core businesses all the various media companies have made a foray into the internet; however, the revenue generated by that sector does not begin to make up for the ongoing financial hemorrhaging.  

The mainstream media is first and foremost a business, and like any business it must generate revenue, pay its bills and make a profit for its shareholders.  To produce income it must attract customers (advertisers and subscribers) to buy its product (the news as well as viewers or readers).  Based on the results over the past ten years it is obvious that the product the mainstream media is promoting is not selling well. When a failing business model is combined with a general economy being deliberately driven into a ditch because of ideology, there is much less money available to be spent on non-essential products. Making it worse is the considerable competition and other options.  Yet like so many on the Left, a majority of the members of the mainstream media are incapable of recognizing their error in blindly supporting the liberal/socialist agenda over the years.  Regardless of the evidence at hand, either historic or contemporary, their egos and narcissism so dominate their psyche that admitting a mistake is tantamount to personality apocalypse.  Thus the Mainstream Media is committing a slow suicide and appears willing to sacrifice their own future and standard of living rather than honestly report on the lies and machinations of Barack Obama and his fellow travelers.

(“Terminal Media Delusion” by Steve McCann dated July 12, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/terminal_media_delusion.html )

 

Wall Street seems all too ready to return to the same untenable business practices that brought it to its knees less than three years ago, and some in government who claim to be representing Main Street seem all too ready to help. The truth is, some of us did see this coming and we tried to stop the excessive risk-taking that was fueling the housing bubble and turning our financial markets into gambling parlors, but we were impeded by the culture of short-termism that dominates our society. Our financial markets remain too focused on quick profits, and our political process is driven by a two-year election cycle and its relentless demands for fundraising. We overvalue the quick return on investment and unduly discount the long-term consequences of that decision-making. Our decades-long infatuation with financing our spending through ever-growing debt, in the private and public sector alike is the ultimate manifestation of short-term thinking. That thinking, particularly in business and in government, is actually getting worse, not better, as we look for solutions to put our economy on a sounder footing. Today, some want to repeal or water down key financial reforms, fearing that strengthening the rules for firms will curtail our recovery, but the history of crises makes clear that reforms will make our economy stronger in the long run. While short-termism on Wall Street and in Washington was a huge driver of the most recent financial crisis, we all fall prey to this tendency to some extent. Business executives squeeze expenses of all types to meet their quarterly earnings targets, even cutting research and development that could create a competitive advantage down the road. Policymakers do everything they can to avoid acknowledging a problem or policy mistake, even as it grows more difficult and expensive to fix with each passing day. This short-termism is reinforced when economic incentives are taken into account. Performance-based compensation, for example, can have disastrous results when it fails to consider long-term consequences. This is particularly true in financial services, where the downsides of risk-taking may take years to materialize but can lead to failed banks, foreclosed homes, unemployed workers and a credit shortage for small businesses. We still have not addressed the No. 1 cause of both the crisis and the subpar recovery we are in: a stubborn refusal to deal head-on with past-due and underwater mortgages. It’s time for banks and investors to write off uncollectible home equity loans and negotiate new terms with distressed mortgage borrowers that reflect today’s lower property values. It is true that this would force them to recognize billions in mortgage losses — losses they mostly stand to incur anyway over time, but it will eventually be necessary if we are to clear the backlog and end the cycle of defaults, foreclosures and falling home prices that continues to hold back the economic recovery on Main Street. The current impasse in addressing the unsustainable growth in the federal debt also goes beyond mere partisanship to a distorted sense of the long-term national interest. One could hardly envision a market development more injurious to our economic security than a technical default on U.S. government obligations, which would lower our national credit rating from AAA status. At the same time, raising the debt limit without progress toward reducing our structural deficit would be equally irresponsible and unsettling to the markets. Our financial system is still fragile and vulnerable to the same type of destructive behavior that led to the Great Recession unless all of us, households, financial leaders and politicians, are willing to make some short-term sacrifices for longer-term stability, we are at risk of another financial crisis that will be just as bad, if not worse, than the last one.

(“Short-termism and the risk of another financial crisis” by Sheila C. Bair dated July 8, 2011 published by The Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/our-focus-on-the-short-term-is-holding-the-economy-back/2011/07/06/gIQAw3cI4H_story.html )

 

The White House has given away trillions of dollars on projects that had no lasting effect on eradicating poverty, creating employment, or improving the nation's purse or infrastructure. Indeed, Obama’s initiatives have increased unemployment, will continue to do so, and must be reversed if we are ever to get back on track. He has given us all a clear picture of the devastating effect progressive policies have on employment. Employers added 18,000 workers in June, less than forecast and the fewest in nine months, while the unemployment rate unexpectedly climbed, indicating a struggling labor market. The so-called underemployment rate, which includes part-time workers who'd prefer a full-time position and people who want work but have given up looking, increased to 16.2%. The President and his party have brought investment, economic activity and hiring to a standstill by a series of ill-conceived actions, including the unworkable and grandiose ObamaCare, the stifling of almost all conventional domestic energy production, and the arbitrary acts of his regulatory agency appointees. The jobs picture will improve when he's out of office and we undo his handiwork (and that of Reid and Pelosi when the Democrats controlled two of the three branches of government and rode roughshod over us all).  Progressive policies are largely at fault and must change, but these are the policies at the heart of Obama's thinking and which given his intellectual  rigidity he is unlikely to  alter. Progressive policies  benefit a certain tier, upper middle class citizens and overly compensated, well-cushioned public employee union members, who whether they mean to or not are preventing job creation for all, but most especially for those most in need of work.

(“Progressive Unemployment” by Clarice Feldman dated July 10, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/progressive_unemployment.html )

President Obama has a stealth “Postnationalist” foreign policy, but keeps it hidden because he knows most Americans would never agree with either his objectives or his policies. There seems to be a vacillating indecisiveness which actually reflects what he calls "redistributive transnational governance." Obama's foreign policy can be described as "self-constrainment," which is consistent with the writings of Obama's inner circle of foreign policy advisors. The common gist runs somewhat as follows:

The bullying, go-it-alone policy followed by previous administrations has only served to injure the US and the countries it has presumed to help.  The US has become reviled throughout the world.  The first step to initiating the new foreign policy is for the US to apologize big time.  Further, the US must subordinate its naïve concept of self-interest to the interests of international institutions.  In fact such enlightened self-interest will redress US reputation abroad and effect the desirable consequence of expanding democracy and stability worldwide and actually enhance US power.  The US can, somewhat paradoxically, achieve its goals of democracy and stability precisely by giving up its naïve concept self-interest and adopting a policy of intelligent self-interest which must involve, to a certain degree, subordinating itself to world and regional institutions from the UN to UNSC to NATO to the Arab League.

The problem is that Obama is following some sort of a postnationalist agenda, but he is not being upfront about it.  Both Obama and Power are skilled at placing their ultimate ideological goals just out of sight, behind a screen of practical problem-solving. Yet without fully articulating it, Obama and Power are attempting to accustom us to a whole new way of thinking about war, and about America's place in the world. The mindset that justifies following a stealth foreign policy is the typical Progressive mindset that the public is “too witless to understand” the enlightened and morally superior policies of progressives.  Such policies must then be instituted by stealth, subterfuge, and Orwellian language.  The condescension is palpable. There is a difference between doctrine and strategy. Doctrines articulate aspirations for strategy and are therefore arguably expendable, but strategy is not. Small powers can go without grand strategies, but great powers cannot. Either the United States seeks to shape the direction of key regions like the Middle East and Asia, or it perpetually reacts to the initiative of revisionist powers and forces within those regions until friends and allies lose confidence and American preeminence is undermined. If there is a doctrine we don't need right now, it is the faux realism and abdication of international leadership represented in "strategic restraint." Obama has consciously changed the foreign policy to reflect his different view of the international community and a reduced role of the United States in that world.

(“Obama’s Foreign Policy: Dithering or Stealth Postnationalist?” by Richard Butrick dated July 13, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/obamas_foreign_policy_dithering_or_stealth_postnationalist.html )

 

* 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

·  Politics at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/politics.php

·  Abortion at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/abortion.php

·  Agriculture at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/agriculture.php

·  Energy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/energy.php

·  Judiciary at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/judiciary.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com