Views on the News

Views on the News*

July 25, 2015


Just before the 2008 Presidential election,  Barack Obama told a campaign rally “[w]e’re five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America!” and once he was inaugurated, Obama set out to keep that promise.  He still has 18 months left to be POTUS, and there are indications that in his final days he will try to make even more fundamental changes to America.  Obama, however, has been President for six-and-one-half years, long enough to warrant at least a preliminary assessment of his impact on the country.  Obama’s record in the international arena can only be seen as a series of unmitigated disasters.  Begin with his cancellation of placing U.S. missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic, followed by major reductions of America’s nuclear arsenal, calamitous retreats in Iraq and Afghanistan, gutting the American military, purging potentially effective military officers, leading from behind in Libya, evaporating red lines in Syria, the Benghazi debacle, enabling Russian irredentism in the Crimea and Ukraine, caving to Iranian mullahs, inability or unwillingness to defeat ISIS, betrayal of Israel.  Turning to domestic matters, the most general assessment of Obama’s record as POTUS is that he’s been the most dogged proponent of big government since the days of FDR or LBJ.  He dislikes the Constitution for its limits on government.  The $800+ billion bailout bill, which was supposed to go to shovel-ready jobs, and was soon accompanied by government take-over of two of America’s big three automobile companies, along with billions of dollars wasted on crony capitalists, many of whom happened to be donors to the Democrat Party, went a long way to postponing economic recovery in the U.S.  Passage of the miss-labeled “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” in the spring of 2010 had to be sold to a gullible public with Presidential lies, and then enacted by congressional slight-of-hand, resulting in a government take-over of one-seventh of the American economy.  A hallmark of the Obama administration has been a flood of regulations that have seriously crimped economic growth, and grievously weakened the American economy’s private sector.  Obama acts as if illegal aliens should swamp people here legally.  With the stroke of a pen, Obama undid the hard-won reforms of the welfare system in 1996; now the notion welfare state has an entirely new meaning in America.  Just one manifestation of Obama’s accomplishments in building a larger welfare state in the U.S. is that more Americans are receiving what used to be called food stamps than at any time in our history.  Nearly half the population receives some kind of government benefit.  Politicians learned how to bribe the public with money from the public treasury long before Obama, but, since he was “immaculated,” Obama has taken bribery of the American people to new heights.  America’s acknowledged national debt stands at $18+ trillion, more than half of which has been amassed since January 20, 2009.  If federal spending continues to exceed revenues at the rate it’s been doing since 2009, the national government’s credit rating will be down-graded again.  As the first African American to be twice elected POTUS, Obama was supposed to be a post-racial President, but unfortunately he talks and acts like a black racist.   From the Beer Summit following his ignorant insult of the Cambridge, MA police force through the most recent incidence of white police-on-black violence.  Obama and other Obamians have gone out of their way to inflame racial passions.  The public’s perception of the state of American race relations has deteriorated since Obama became POTUS, a fact recognized by all races.  Large portions of the African American community believe white police officers prey on young black men, and some blacks engage in violence against whites.  Instances of “the Polar Bear Game” or “the Knock-out Game” have become more frequent since Obama became POTUS.  We may be witnessing the beginning of a race-based war on the police.  The mainstream media (MSM) consistently refuse to report fully on instances of black-on-white violence; in the rare instance of white-on-black violence, the MSM’s reportage is at full volume.  Elected as a post-partisan POTUS, he has been the most polarizing president in decades.  American politics is more polarized than at any time since 1860.  Assessments of his job performance differ tremendously by party identification.  Although 80+% of Democrats rate his job performance favorably, only about 17% of Republicans agree.  While Obama has been POTUS, grassroots Democrats have drifted far to the Left of where the typical Democrat was on most issues a generation ago.  This process began in the 1990s, but it has accelerated since 2009.  If you want an assessment of how Obama has affected Democrats’ frame-of-mind when it comes to politics, think Bernie Sanders.   Barack Obama has been an unmitigated disaster as POTUS and the November 2016 election must mark the beginning of the process of repairing all the damage done. 

(“What Hath Obama Wrought?” by Richard Winchester dated July 22, 2015 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/07/what_hath_obama_wrought.html )

Whether the President is willing to admit that we are at war with radical Islam, they are clearly at war with us, and the Iran deal makes America less safe and less secure.  The President is a proven liar, and now, he has traded our national security for the facade of a treaty to simply pad his Presidential legacy.  This Iran deal assures that Iran will become a nuclear power and has already launched a nuclear arms race in one of most unstable regions of the world, where oil money and criminal enterprise already subsidize terror groups and where unspeakable atrocities have shown that they have little value of human life.  The world has just become a more dangerous place.  Iran, the largest exporter of destabilization and terrorism in the region, will get an immediate $150 billion signing bonus and a lifting of sanctions; retain their centrifuges and nuclear infrastructure; face no immediate inspections; and get an eventual lifting of restrictions on arms exports/imports and three-stage missile technology from this deal.  Thirteen African and Persian Gulf nations are already pursuing nuclear technology because of the reluctance of the Obama administration to do anything to stop the Iranian nuclear program.  The Saudis have just signed an agreement with Russia to begin theirs.  The San Francisco shooting by an illegal immigrant with 7 felony convictions, who has been deported 5 times, demonstrates the lack of any type of border security.  The latest Chattanooga terror attack again proves that there is a war being waged against America.  Now, imagine a terrorist attack with nuclear material.  This Iran treaty insures that there will be a proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear fissile material in a region teeming with radicals who want to kill us.  For those who foolishly believe that we can live with a nuclear-armed Iran, Mutual Assured Destruction only works when the other side or their surrogates of evil are unwilling to die.  For Democrat politicians thinking about affirming this Iran deal, you had better think long and hard. What is at stake here is much more important than politics.  It is time to put our national security and global stability before the President's superficial political interests.  

(“Behind the ‘Nuclear Free’ Cartoon” by Michael Ramirez dated July 20, 2015 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/blogs-capital-hill/072015-762449-michael-ramirez-behind-terrorist-nuclear-free-cartoon.htm )

It is now crystal clear to any objective observer; Hillary Clinton is a horrible candidate. As Americans get to know more about Hillary, they like her less. In the latest Associated Press-GFK poll, Hillary scores an abysmal 39% approval rating, compared to an unfavorable rating of 49%.  In the three months since Hillary launched her campaign, her numbers have sunk dramatically.  When she does answer questions, she often contradicts herself.  For the past few months, she has also been dogged by a never ending stream of scandals.  Of course, there is the ongoing investigation into her handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack, her decision to use a private computer server and shield thousands of emails from investigators and her foundation’s fundraising activities. The “Clinton Cash” scandal is aptly characterized as the blatant selling of her position as Secretary of State to the highest bidder.  Hillary is not like her roguish husband whose despicable behavior is overlooked because he is considered a likable person.  Hillary possesses none of Bill’s winning personality, but all of his corrupt tendencies.  While enduring her philandering husband earned Hillary a Senate seat and a diplomatic post, it cannot deliver the presidency.  Hillary is perceived as a detached, elitist politician who travels with a massive entourage and does not answer press questions.  Not surprisingly, Hillary is losing the support of young liberal votes to 73-year old socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT).  Other than her last name and big donors, the only advantage Hillary has is her gender. Some Americans will vote for her only because they want to see the first woman President in our history, but that is a very poor reason to elect a President.  Voting for her identity is the same reasoning that some Americans used to elect Obama as the country’s first Black President and we have seen how well that worked out.  

(“To Know Hillary if to Hate Hillary” by Jeff Crouere dated July 18, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/jeffcrouere/2015/07/18/draft-n2026997 )

There are those who believe this is a racist nation.  They point to the fact that Americans fly the Confederate Battle Flag.  They claim we honor the racist Generals and Politicians from the Old South.  They further claim that in order to stamp out racism that we need to bring down that Confederate Battle Flag.  They say we need to ban its use all over the nation by just about everyone.  Then they claim we need to dig up every Civil War General’s remains and move them to places not often seen or visited by people.  They say we should remove the monuments that have been erected in those Generals honor.  In short, these people wish to try and bleach our history and wipe it clean of what they don’t like.  They want to rewrite the pages so that it would appear that those they claim are responsible for slavery are not glorified in any way and are reduced to villains like any other historical villain.  This lack of true discourse on race relations, acting totally on emotions being whipped up by a fringe few who cannot stand that fact that we are moving away from racism, is driving this destructive paradigm.  These nuts are even going so far as to say that maybe we, as a nation, should tear down the National Monuments of Presidents Jefferson and Lincoln, because Jefferson owned slaves and Lincoln didn’t really save slaves because he did not make them fully equal when he had the chance to do so.  When you have folks bent on changing the narrative to fit their own political goals and ambitions, you cannot speak to reason.  They will not hear you until they become the victim of their own hate and ignorance.  The reality is, when the left decided to hit the old flag and paint it as racist, they didn’t think of all the culture that has been built up around that flag.  They forgot that they, the left, first raised that flag, first promoted that flag, first glorified that flag, first embedded that flag in our nation’s culture and lexicon.  Then they were reminded, and they hated it.  But the train of historical hate had already left the yard and there was no way of calling it back into the barn.  What the left has done is to successfully, and over a very short period of time, destroy the very foundation that is the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.  We no longer have the ability to openly believe as we want to believe.  Some people say that it’s the flag and the representation of racism is their target.  I say, they are lying because they know that their target is anything and anyone who is not politically correct.  Their ultimate target is freedom itself.  Their target is you and me and anyone who still believes in freedom and the notion of live and let live even if you disagree with what the other person believes.  This attack from the left, who built up this flag and the institution of racism in this country is not that simple flag or even what that flag represents. Their target is plain to see: their target is your freedom.  

(“Tear Down That Confederate Flag… or Else!” by Rod Eccles dated July 19, 2015 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://intellectualconservative.com/tear-down-that-confederate-flag-or-else/ )

The Iranian and U.S. governments see their nuclear deal very differently: Kerry described an Iranian capability that had been neutralized; the Iranians a capability that had been preserved, but the difference of opinion is superficial.  If the Iranians hew to the agreement (a big and damning if) then the best case is that the nuclear infrastructure they have spent decades building will be frozen, “neutralized,” for about ten years.  Then they can resume the activities that so concerned everyone worried at the prospect of an Islamic theocracy obtaining nuclear weapons, because their fundamental nuclear capabilities indeed have been “preserved.”  The Iran deal is a fabulous artifice, an intricately woven shawl that masks its real intent: the avoidance of military confrontation with Iran and the rise of Persian regional hegemony.  If the deal favors Iran which it unequivocally does, without so much as closing a nuclear facility, this rogue regime gets cash, legitimacy, and an end to U.N. bans on sales of conventional weapons and ballistic missile technology it is because Obama wanted desperately to pursue the diplomatic option and prove its validity.  Kerry and Obama both understand that their patchwork agreement is only temporary, that Iran could cheat, that the possibility exists of waking up one day in the near future to an underground nuclear test at an undisclosed Iranian facility, that in the out years of the agreement Iran, armed and antagonistic, may rush to nuclear breakout.  The Iran deal is good enough for the President because it delays until after the end of his term any reckoning with what he himself describes as an anti-Semitic revisionist troublemaking power.  A similar deal with North Korea delayed the Stalinist regime’s first nuke test for over a decade, at which point the negotiators of the 1994 “Agreed Framework” were busy lobbying or in a governor’s mansion or advising Democrat Presidential candidates.  The Iran deal isn’t an accomplishment, since it required no sacrifice. Both sides wanted a deal: Iran to receive sanctions relief and assert its national pride, Obama to forestall having to take action, to prove diplomacy can work, to entertain the possibility of true détente with a longtime adversary.  Both sides got what they wanted: Iran its money, weapons, missiles, and nuclear infrastructure intact, Obama a “legacy” item that allows him to smear Republicans and Israelis as warmongers.  The deal is a finely wrought escape pod for Obama and Kerry: get out of town in 2017 on your high horse, your sanctimony and idealism unblemished.  Willfully optimistic about Iranian intentions, knowingly blind to Iranian malfeasance, to Iran’s murder of our soldiers, its imprisonment of our citizens, the deal is a rather stunning example of the lengths to which our elites will go in order to preserve the fiction of common interests, of the “international community,” of the power of engagement to liberalize autocracies.  Meanwhile Iranian centrifuges will spin, Iran’s proxies are sowing chaos, its missile program is active, its adversarial posture toward Israel and America and the West is unbroken, and after a period of ten years they are going to be able to say that they can move forward with a nuclear weapons policy with our acceptance.  What we have in the Iran deal is another instance of the ruling caste distorting reality to suit its ideological preferences.   So much elite discourse resembles the game “let’s pretend” that it’s become difficult to restate what is true and what is false.  Let’s do all of this without considering the tradeoffs and missed opportunities, the externalities and sunk costs, of maintaining a culture grounded in wish fulfillment and infantilization.  There is, after all, only so much self-delusion a society can take before it loses its mind, and we are rapidly approaching that limit.  

(“On Iran, The Global Elite is Playing a Dangerous Game of Make-Believe” by Matthew Continetti dated July 18, 2015 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421344/iran-nuclear-deal-dangerous-game )


One year before World War Two broke out, members of the British Parliament were cheering Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who had returned from Germany triumphantly proclaiming, "Peace in our Time," while holding a forlorn and fluttering piece of paper with Adolf Hitler's name on it.  One man rose in that once august chamber. Turning to face the Prime Minister, who still believed in the spurious terms of the Munich Agreement, he thundered these words: "You were given the choice between war and dishonor, you chose dishonor and will have war." That man was Winston S. Churchill.  Appeasement was in the air despite all the empirical evidence of Hitler's lust for power and territory.  So we now come to the latest insane act of appeasement dressed up as diplomacy, the self-destructive nature of the Iran agreement, the same faux diplomacy that gave the world and humanity World War Two.  One only has to look at the rogue regimes praising this catastrophic sell out by President Obama to the world's most loathsome terrorist enabling regime.  They include Syria's butcher, Assad.  Look also at Iran's terror proxy, Hezbollah, which occupies Lebanon; at its other terror proxy, Hamas, which occupies Gaza; and the so-called Palestinian Authority which occupies the biblical and ancestral Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank).  In contrast, the relatively moderate Arab regimes of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Egypt all condemn the sell-out unreservedly.  It is worth remembering that President Clinton engineered a similar disastrous agreement in 1994, this time with the rogue regime of North Korea.  That deal was meant to deprive that colossal human rights entity of the ability to obtain nuclear weapons.  It predictably failed as will the Iran sell-out.  America's allies in the Middle East, both Israel and many of the Arab states, predict an even worse outcome of the Iran nuclear deal, considering the $150 billion dollars that is being given to the Iranian regime.  Make no mistake about it, mostly Israelis and Christians will pay for this deal with their lives.  Remember that in Iran, children are prepared in school for apocalyptic war against the US; what they are taught to call the "Great Satan.  Remember, too, how in the eight year war Iran fought against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the mullahs sent 500,000 children to clear the minefields with their bodies during that war.  On April 10th, the Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, stated the following: "We have the capability to shut down, set back and destroy the Iranian nuclear program."  It is now up to Congress to display sanity and present a common sense alternative to this legacy of doom that Barack Hussein Obama has perpetrated. Obama has committed dishonor and we will have war.

(“War and dishonor” by Victor Sharpe dated July 23, 2015 published by Family Security Matters at http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/war-and-dishonor )


The now-concluded Iran nuclear negotiations predictably reflect ancient truths of appeasement.  While members of the Obama administration are high-fiving over a deal with the Iranian theocracy, they should remember unchanging laws that will haunt the U.S. later:

o First, appeasement always brings short-term jubilation at the expense of long-term security.  A few years from now, after Iran has used its negotiated breathing space to rearm, ratchet up its terrorist operations and eventually gain a bomb to blackmail its neighbors, the current deal will be deeply regretted.  Expect a Nobel Peace Prize for Secretary of State John Kerry now, followed by Chamberlain-like infamy later.

o Second, the appeasement of autocrats always pulls the rug out from under domestic reformers and idealists.  After the Western capitulation at Munich, no German dissenter dared to question the ascendant dictatorship of Adolf Hitler.  The haughty ayatollahs are bragging that they faced down the West and will restore the economy, as they wink to applauding crowds that Iran will soon be nuclear and dictate its terms to the Middle East.

o Third, appeasers always wrongly insist that the only alternative to their foolish concessions is war.  Just the opposite is true.  Tehran was growing desperate for financial and commercial relief from global sanctions and embargoes.  There were plenty of alternatives short of war in dealing with Hitler from 1936 to 1939, but none after. Expect that in five years Iran will be better armed, richer, more confident, more aggressive -- and nearly impossible to deter without the use of force.

o Fourth, beneficiaries grow to hate their appeasers.  We should remember that Hitler called his Munich appeasers "worms" and pushed them even further.  Expect an emboldened Iran to double down on its anti-Americanism, as it brags about how a weak and decadent Great Satan meekly caved to its demands, which will only grow greater.

o Fifth, allies are always the big losers in appeasement. Britain and France ensured the destruction of third-party Czechoslovakia by conceding to Hitler's demands in 1938, and doomed Poland in 1939.  Concessions to enemies naturally prompt allies into wondering why they do not receive similar latitude, even on issues quite unconnected with military affairs.  After the Iranian agreement, expect a world of nervous and angry allies, the end of dissent inside Iran, the spread of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, more nuclear states, a growing contempt for alliances with the West, and a new Middle East that may have to adopt appeasement to deal with a haughty Iran, flush with new cash and arms.

o Finally, outside observers of appeasement always make the necessary geostrategic adjustments.  Josef Stalin weighed carefully the democracies' appeasement of Hitler's serial aggressions in the Rhineland, Austria and Czechoslovakia.  So Stalin cut what proved to be a disastrous deal with Hitler that ensured World War II.  China and Russia will never again see any advantage in joining the West in embargoing and sanctioning a would-be nuclear state, not when such a hard-won common front can become utterly nullified at any moment by a fickle United States. Both powers will grow closer to Iran.

In 2015, we naively hail peace with honor, but by 2020, we will lament war and shame.  

(“The Way of Appeasement” by Victor Davis Hanson dated July 23, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/victordavishanson/2015/07/23/the-way-of-all-appeasement-n2029036 )


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 sections:

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

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

·    Education at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/education.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY