Views on the News
Views on the News*
July 19, 2014
We’re facing a humanitarian crisis on our southern border, caused in very large part by the President’s June 2012 order halting the deportation of young illegal immigrants. (The number of children who have surged across the border in the last eight months is ten times what it was in 2012.) The President is a man who has a grandiose sense of himself, a very strong sense of entitlement, and is, even for a politician, unusually prickly and self-pitying. He is blind to the damage he’s doing and the failures he’s amassed. His self-conception is that he is pragmatic, empirical, non-ideological, self-reflective, willing to listen to and work with others, intellectually honest, competent at governing, is at odds with reality. Obama is constantly projecting his own weaknesses onto his political opponents. Whatever goes wrong on his watch is always the result of someone or something else. There’s a kind of impressive consistency to Obama’s blame game: It never rests, and it applies to every conceivable circumstance. What all these things in combination result in is an inability to adjust to circumstances and self-correct. There’s a marked rigidity, a lack of cognitive inflexibility, in Obama. Every Presidency ends differently, and Obama’s will not end like Nixon’s did, but it will not end well. As happened with Nixon, people will look back at the Obama Presidency and see just how much Obama’s psychological landscape how he sees himself and how he sees the world–contributed to his undoing.
(“Obama’s Psychological Tapestry” by Peter Wehner dated July 11, 2014 published by Commentary Magazine at http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/07/11/obamas-psychological-tapestry/ )
The Obama Presidency lies in shambles. Few presidents have promised more, delivered less, or done more damage. The economy limps along anemically, the weakest recovery from a recession in history. Rising taxes, suffocating regulation, soaring domestic spending, and voraciously expanding entitlements have deep-chilled growth, innovation, and the creation of new jobs. The administration has tenaciously impeded the exploitation of huge energy reserves that could transform the U.S. into an energy exporter. The President reneged on his promise that Americans could keep their health care. Instead, the administration will force millions of Americans to buy coverage, so the President can finance a fiscally unsound, medically unwise, and administratively untenable monstrosity. In the first quarter of 2014, the economy declined by 2.9%, as another recession looms near. The President has usurped Congress’s exclusive authority to legislate under Article I of the Constitution: Witness Obama’s rampant issuance of executive orders to rewrite his health care law and controversial executive actions on the environment and immigration. Worse, the President has abnegated his constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense. He refuses to act decisively as tens of thousands of undocumented minors from Central American stream across the American border. Obama’s obstinate unwillingness to enforce the immigration laws or permit governors to do so brought on this crisis long in the making. Obama wants to merely manage the influx rather than reverse the tide and enforce border security. Obama has slashed the defense budget and shrunk American forces to pre-World War II levels to engorge the size and scope of the welfare state. The President has curtailed missile defense as the Iranian nuclear danger gathers, despite what the “the astonishing effectiveness“ of Israel’s Iron Dome defense system against Hamas’s short-and-intermediate range missiles. The administration’s reset with Putin’s Russia has failed completely. Our Eastern European NATO allies no longer trust the United States to defend them against Putin. While Obama has engaged with tyrannies that despise the United States (China, Russia, Iran, and the Palestinian Authority), he has routinely undermined or ignored democratic allies. Obama’s neglect has caused relations with democratic India and Japan to languish while rising authoritarian expansionist China flaunts its disregard for the administration’s hollow Asian pivot. The raging, intensifying conflagrations engulfing the Middle East have cruelly mocked Obama’s extravagant claims about what his election would mean for the region. During the Obama Presidency, American power and prestige has plummeted throughout the Middle East. Correspondingly, violence, fanaticism, and strife have escalated precipitously. According to Pew Foundation polls, the United States is now more unpopular in the Islamic World under Obama than it was under George W. Bush. The United States will require nothing short of regime change, a Republican Congress and President of Reagan’s inclination, to recover from the self-inflicted disaster of the Obama years.
(“The Disaster of the Obama Presidency” by Robert G. Kaufman dated July 16, 2014 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/16/the-disaster-of-the-obama-presidency/ )
There is a handy heuristic for listening to Obama: Whenever he talks about himself, immediately flip it around so he’s saying the opposite. Sometimes, a literal reversal of meaning doesn’t work, but the key is to look at any statement he offers about others as an insight into his own mental state. When Obama denounces cynicism, he’s actually being cynical. What he’s doing is expressing his frustration with people who are justifiably cynical about him. When he says he doesn’t care about “politics,” just problem-solving, what he’s really saying is he wants his political agenda to go unchallenged by other political agendas. Whenever he says ideology and ideologues are a problem, what he’s actually saying is that competing ideologues and ideologies are the problem. It’s not so much that he’s lying; he’s projecting. It’s an ego thing. He believes his own b.s. but by calling it b.s. he acknowledges it’s not believable. It’s like sarcastically insisting that you’re being serious. It’s earnest irony or ironic earnestness. Obama’s penchant for deriding his opponents as cynics and opportunists stems from the fact that he sees the world through precisely those sorts of prisms, but he tells himself he’s different because he does it for good purposes and besides, he’s so awesome his b.s. is true. Obama can sling such exquisite b.s. even he can believe, and because he believes it, he can’t tolerate the idea that others don’t.
(“Obama, Translated” by Jonah Goldberg dated July 12, 2014 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/382547/obama-translated-jonah-goldberg )
The Obama administration-driven calamity at this nation’s southern border is no naiveté-caused accident; instead, it’s the latest manifestation of what clear-eyed observers must recognize is just one of many concerted attempts to overwhelm this nation’s institutions and its social, psychological and physical infrastructure for the apparent purpose of leaving it permanently weakened and fundamentally changed. Conscious or not, what we’re seeing is a comprehensive application of the left’s long-championed Cloward-Piven strategy. Cloward and Piven targeted other applications from the very beginning. The authors telegraphed their broader intent in that infamous 1966 column:
“We tend to overlook the force of crisis in precipitating legislative reform, partly because we lack a theoretical framework by which to understand the impact of major disruptions. By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention. Public trouble is a political liability, it calls for action by political leaders to stabilize the situation. Because crisis usually creates or exposes conflict, it threatens to produce cleavages in a political consensus which politicians will ordinarily act to avert.”
Former Obama adviser and now Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s oft-cited statement that “you never let a serious crisis go to waste” is in no way an original thought. The left has long since figured out that focusing Cloward-Piven on only one aspect of society at a time is nowhere near as effective as applying it on multiple fronts over time. The strategy’s specific applications arguably include at least the following:
· The 2008 financial meltdown. The 2008 financial meltdown followed by the recession was driven by the Community Reinvestment Act, which was toughened to the point of effectively compelling banks to make trillions of dollars in mortgage loans to objectively unqualified buyers. “Government-sponsored enterprises” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made the problem exponentially worse by systematically deceiving the securities markets about the quality of loans they purchased from mortgage lenders. We now have Dodd-Frank, the completely unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a mortgage lending market where even the simplest transaction takes several months to complete, and a homebuilding industry destined to remain a shadow of its former self.
· Record deficits and national debt buildup. The $6 trillion in deficits deliberately rung up during Obama’s presidency, and the resulting increase in the national debt, have the financial system again on the verge of implosion. The Federal Reserve will never be able to liquidate its over $4 trillion in holdings of government and mortgage securities without causing the economy to grind to a halt.
· Social Security and Medicare. Despite changing demographics, these programs have barely been touched since their inception. Their status quo is indisputably unsustainable in the long run. Leftist opposition to any change is best seen as a slow-motion Cloward-Piven effort to guarantee their failure.
· ObamaCare. The Affordable Care Act’s hopelessly incompetent rollout, ongoing management nightmares and constantly changing arbitrary rules appear to have been concocted to impose utter chaos on the health care system and ultimately to bring about a single-payer, i.e., government-run, system. ObamaCare is already a drag on the economy and a primary cause of the economy’s 2% annualized first-quarter contraction.
· The IRS scandal. Cloward-Piven is now being used by those in power to destroy the opposition. The IRS scandal is best understood as a scheme to bulldoze opponents with time-consuming, burdensome bureaucratic barriers and harassment at the hands of an agency with apparently unlimited resources — at least for this priority.
· Regulation. In recent years the federal government’s regulatory apparatus, whose employees were originally more interested in job preservation, now appear to have taken to rolling over their targets with costly, voluminous and virtually indecipherable rules restrictions, harassing litigation, and aggressive demonization. Post-recession start-up activity and new employment arising from those efforts are both at record lows.
· Scandal exhaustion. The sheer volume of serious Obama administration scandals seems to comprise a Cloward-Piven attempt to overwhelm opponents. With so many scandals out there, no single outrage can generate concerted, sufficiently visible opposition.
Not every Cloward-Piven attempt has been successful, but for all practical purposes, Cloward-Piven is now a staple of leftist electoral campaign strategy. President Barack Obama and his advisers had to know that hordes of unaccompanied children would be sent to cross our southern border when he unilaterally imposed “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” in June of 2012. Despite seeing its results, Homeland Security renewed DACA for two more years. The default assumption simply must be that “Obama is using these children as pawns to implement his goal of universal citizenship for illegal immigrants,” in other words, it’s Cloward-Piven, yet again.
(“Cloward-Piven Everywhere” by Tom Blumer dated June 24, 2014 published by PJ Media at http://pjmedia.com/blog/cloward-piven-everywhere/ )
This border crisis isn’t incompetence; it isn’t bungling; it is a calculated effort to crash the immigration system and fundamentally transform the nation. It is an effort to accelerate demographic trends and forever alter the nation’s culture. To the Obama administration and open borders groups, the tidal wave across the border is not an accident, and it is not a crisis. It is not even limited to unaccompanied children. There is a single simple cause behind the human tragedy at the border: Obama’s refusal to enforce the immigration laws. The steady flow became a tsunami after Obama implemented childhood amnesty (DACA) in 2012. This lawless immigration policy gave legal status to young illegal aliens by Obama edict. The President publicly announced that he will not enforce other immigration laws. If the President reversed these lawless policies, the border flood would stop which is precisely why he won’t reverse them. If the President reversed his lawless immigration policies, the cultural and demographic transformation of the nation would be incomplete. The first step to addressing the crisis at the border is to treat minors from Central America the same as Mexican minors and quickly return them to their home country. Changing the 2008 law will help stop the tsunami. Alien minors are taken care of courtesy of the taxpayer from the moment they turn themselves in, per the coyote’s coaching. We are providing aliens better health care than veterans enjoy. We are giving them housing and public school education. Best of all, we are providing them free airline transportation for splendid family reunions in places like Boston, Pittsburgh, and Charlotte. There was one other glitch in the plan: too many came too quickly. Cue Obama’s request for $3.8 billion to “fix” the problem. For example, the request includes millions from taxpayers to give the aliens free lawyers to help them fight to remain in the United States. Right now it is against federal law to use federal funds to give illegal aliens lawyers. Republicans must dump the 2008 law, and dare the President to veto a fix to the crisis. Also, instead of jetting the immigrants around at taxpayer expense, pass a budget rider that ends that practice and one that requires aliens be detained in federal custody until their cases are complete. If the GOP won’t stare down a lawless President who has caused an epic and unpopular dissolution of our southern border, then the party doesn’t deserve public support any more than a lawless President does.
(“Has GOP Forgotten How to Play Offense?” by J. Christian Adams dated July 14, 2014 published by PJ Media at http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2014/07/14/border-tsunami/ )
Modern-day environmentalism is perceived as a benign, “hip” cause and on the surface “going green” seems harmless, but in reality it is a façade to hide its eco-socialist core. Green on the outside yet red on the inside, modern-day environmentalism is an anti-life, anti-fun, and anti-progress movement. The dirty little secret of the modern environmental movement is that it has become a luxury good for the uber-rich. Its policies, from carbon taxes, to renewable energy standards, to crushing regulations on coal plants, would impose high costs on the people who can least afford to pay the green tab. The largest enabler of eco-socialism is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is more affectionately known as the Employment Prevention Agency. Born out of executive order signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 20, 1970, the EPA was originally created to promote conservation and protect the health of Americans. Today, the EPA is engaged in a full-fledged war on jobs, oil, fishing, and hunting, among many things. From approximately 1981 onward, EPA rules and regulations became less about science-based environmental protection and more about advancing extraneous ideological agendas. The EPA has even repeatedly tried to label water as a pollutant. Here is what needs to be done:
· First and foremost, the EPA should be abolished or at least overhauled. It has too much wrest over our lives and doesn’t have small business interests in mind.
· Secondly, alternative views on “climate change” need to be encouraged and welcomed. Studies confirm that the “climate change” theory is largely exaggerated and that change in climate can’t be solely attributed to humans.
· Thirdly, sustainable conservation through fishing and hunting should also be discussed.
Radical environmentalism is a consequence of big government policies. Rather than helping the environment, government is harming the environment with its burdensome tax code, its restrictive policies, and its embrace of Marxism. Free-market environmentalism is the best alternative. Green is the new red, and it must be crushed.
(“Going Green in the Name of Tyranny” by Gabriella Hoffman dated July 18, 2014 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/gabriellahoffman/2014/07/18/going-green-in-the-name-of-tyranny-n1862773 )
There are many reasons why Hamas, a terrorist organization according to the U.S. State Department, has increased its rocketing of Israel. Hamas is Iran’s Palestinian proxy in the war on Israel in much the same fashion as Hezbollah which controls Lebanon. Hamas has lost the support of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood which has been banned there. The rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel have generated four conflicts since 2006 during which Israel took military action to reduce them. Israel is only considered to be “at war” when it takes steps to defend itself. The current conflict began when three Israeli teens were kidnapped and killed. Israel is trying to remind Hamas of the cost of tangling with the Jewish state. Hamas is firing some of its 100,000-rocket arsenal because it has nothing much to lose anymore - since it has lost the support of Egypt and it can’t get the money to pay salaries. Hamas’s aggression serves its political purposes, while Palestinian casualties serve its propaganda purposes. Everything Israel does will be condemned by the usual suspects, but since Israelis will be denounced for whatever they do, they might as well act effectively.
(“It’s Only a ‘War’ if Israel Defends Itself” by Alan Caruba dated July 14, 2014 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/64552 )
The present-day American conservative movement appears to be growing up and it just might realize success if they continue to progress strategically over tactically. In other words, rather than passionately working to win elections, they must determine to ruthlessly persist in defeating the domestic enemies of an endless war over the soul of America. Tea Party triumph will require these three components:
· Organize like the original Americans - The Colonists in 1776 worked out the differences among their members. And some of those differences were quite significant, but coming to terms with each other was easily preferable to living under the oppression of the Crown. The modern movement is also made up of many stripes on the same flag; tea party, liberty movement, constitutional conservatives, grassroots activists, and libertarians. They need look no further than the original rebellion to find a well-thought-out set of principles to agree upon: The Declaration of Independence.
· Develop a Grand Strategy - Defeating the Tea Party has been child’s play for the past several election cycles. Because the liberty movement is new to the game, the statists need only deploy a few proven techniques to remain in control. The conservative movement has been organically organizing, like stem cells who understand their design and know their purpose. Social media, local radio talk shows, breakfast clubs and weeknight gatherings have provided the bones for connective tissue to grow and strengthen. New liberty candidates are marching forward while traditional officeholders are looking over their shoulder.
· Seize every opportunity to advance - The classic protest response of refusing to vote for the “establishment” Republican nominee always results in losing ground. The principled concern is whether electing the Republican establishment’s candidate is worse than electing the Democrat. Categorize every candidate as a Marxist, RINO, Wayward Patriot, or Patriot, and vote accordingly.
The difference between a democracy and a republic is critical. A democracy does not have much of a conscience; it is shortsighted, never improves the quality of life, and is easy to maintain through influencing majority opinion. A republic, founded in the principles of Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness, requires constant attention, education of the people, and a harsh guarding of access to elected authority. After signing the draft of the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin described the form of government, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
(“Tea Party Triumph” by Mark Baisley dated July 14, 2014 published by Town Hall at http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/markbaisley/2014/07/14/tea-party-triumph-n1861757 )
* 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: