Views on the News
Views on the News*
August 9, 2014
The President is the only American of any standing whatsoever talking about impeachment. President Obama thinks it’s normal to scream about how nuts it is for his opponents to say things they aren’t saying. As people who actually read the news rather than rely on political speeches about straw men know, House Speaker John Boehner’s proposed lawsuit is about Obama overstepping his authority and making law from the Oval Office. Lecturing on constitutional law all those years, Obama apparently never quite got as far as grasping Section One, which says, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” As for impeachment, the number of congressional lawmakers who are proposing that is stuck at zero. Obama can point only to an unemployed ex-governor of Alaska as the leader and sole prominent member of the alleged mass impeachment hysteria. The impeachment talk, Obama hopes, will translate to aggrieved victim status and increased approval ratings for him plus campaign donations. These he can funnel to Democrat Senate candidates to spend on character assassination of Republican opponents in states like Alaska, Louisiana and Arkansas that bitterly oppose Obama’s agenda and hugely support the Republican vision. Maybe deep-red states can be tricked into electing senators who will back Obama. If so, what then? The status quo: no domestic legislative policy, thanks to his total unwillingness to negotiate with Republicans, who will continue to rule the House. No foreign policy, except for the same one we have now: Israel? The Crimea? Ukraine? Russia? Mexico? Syria? We’re not the boss of the world. We can’t fix every problem, so why try to fix any problem? Whether Democrats lose the Senate in November or not, Obama has already shown that he has little more of substance to offer.
(“Obama concocts impeachment threat because he has nothing else” by Kyle Smith dated August 2, 2014 published by New York Post at http://nypost.com/2014/08/02/obama-concocts-impeachment-threat-because-he-has-nothing-else/ )
President Obama has accomplished more or less what he set out to accomplish, making him the most consequential and transformative President since Lyndon Johnson. His foreign policy has been more systematically destructive of the world order and American power than LBJ’s Vietnam War. His wrong-headed domestic policy has proved more catastrophic and intentionally hard to correct than Johnson’s madcap War on Poverty, whose consequences still bedevil our society. On the domestic front, Obama has overturned American health care, one-sixth of the nation’s economy and an industry that affects everyone. ObamaCare is a mess, and it has destroyed the existing health-insurance system, and it will take the next administration, along with the health and insurance industries, a long time both to figure out what a crazy tangle ObamaCare has created and then to untangle the confusion, some of it intentional, some inadvertent. Now we have anarchy, and it will require leadership and vision beyond what America usually can call upon to hose out Obama’s Augean stables and create order. Meanwhile, the President has overturned the Constitution to keep his command-and-control health-insurance scheme alive. The law that Congress wrote (but didn’t read) turned out to be, as was inevitable, filled with holes and errors. Abroad, we see the ruin that an incoherent American foreign policy and wanton abdication of power has permitted. If President Obama thought President George W. Bush’s freedom agenda naïve that tribal peoples with tribal loyalties and medieval customs develop overnight the rule of law, sanctity of contract, disinterested administration, and rational discourse that it took Western civilization centuries to nurture, why would he and his remarkably maladroit secretaries of state expect the Arab Spring to produce exactly that impossible outcome? Why would he tell Israel to stop interdicting terrorist missiles from Gaza, until our democratic ally, Benjamin Netanyahu, finally told him to shut up, while meanwhile anarchy rages across the blood-drenched region, as the Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad fights off the seventh-century fanatics of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, one tyranny against another, with collateral damage measured in tens of thousands of bodies, and not one word from the Leader of the Free World? It is proverbially easy to destroy something but hard to build it up. Faced with such wreckage of policies and systems laboriously constructed by Americans over decades and centuries, who knows where to start the work of repair, and how to do it? The present time is calling loudly, and we must hope that leaders of vision, courage, eloquence, patriotism, and prudence will step forward to begin the work of repair.
(“President Humpty Dumpty” by Myron Magnet dated August 6, 2014 published by City Journal at http://www.city-journal.org/2014/eon0806mm.html )
It’s really true that President Obama hasn’t got a clue. Obama showed his isolation from reality, and his parochial view of the world, during a August 1st press conference where he tried to explain why so many of his foreign policy and domestic projects have crashed since 2012. His rationalizations and explanations seemed sincere, as did his puzzlement and frustration. Putin shouldn’t be attacking Ukraine because it is not in Putin’s best interest, Obama told the nation. “Objectively speaking, they should, Putin should, want to resolve this diplomatically,” said Obama, revealing his Ivy League inability to imagine the nationalistic pull that would make an ex-KGB, ex-Soviet-era Russian secret policemen go to war with Ukraine to recover a slice of Russia that is populated by ethnic Russians. The Israelis and the Palestinians are still fighting in Gaza, Obama complained. Obama said he’s tried hard to create peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but nothing has worked. Islam emerged roughly 1,300 years ago, and its founding stories are filled with battle between Jews and the new Muslims, and the insistence that Allah is greater than Jehovah. Obama’s naivete prompted him to think he could counter al Qaeda’s jihadis by working with other Islamist groups, chiefly the Muslim Brotherhood. Periodically during the press conference, Obama acknowledged the limits of his diplomacy, but only for brief moments. If he met with conservatives, or read some polls, he’d also learn why his progressive immigration bill has been blocked by GOP legislators. He’s been pushing the GOP to sign a bill that would provide an amnesty to at least 12 million illegal immigrants, double the annual inflow of immigrants and guest-workers to roughly 4 million per year, reduce average wages, and weaken enforcement of immigration law. Unsurprisingly, numerous polls show that swing-voters and GOP-leaning voters don’t want their wages lowered, don’t want their kids to lose jobs to foreign workers, and don’t want to accept illegal immigrants. Obama has repeatedly said he wanted to bring hope and change to the United States and the world, and it’s time to give up hope that he understand the changes he’s brought.
(“President Obama, Clueless in Chief” by Neil Munro dated August 2, 2014 published by Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/02/president-obama-clueless-in-chief/ )
Even the American left is finally realizing that this is the strangest administration in living memory, because Obama simply has no real precedents, which is why he seems so utterly foreign. American Presidents tend to be pragmatists, but he is locked into a simpleminded ideology of Good vs. Evil: Obama is Good, and anybody who disagrees with him is Evil. Much of this oddity stems from the President’s personality, which many people have described as a mix of major narcissism, borderline personality disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder. Personality disordered people can be very functional in their jobs. But they are very destructive to others. People with such disorders rarely admit they can be wrong. Narcissism is almost defined by that feature: someone who knows with godlike certainty that he is right all the time, who cannot admit a fault, and who therefore needs to blame others every time something goes wrong, and Obama does this with almost robotic regularity. Bill Clinton is also a major narcissist, but as an adult he did not have a compulsion to constantly malign other people. Clinton has recently said that he truly hates Obama, and he knows the man. Now it seems that Obama wants to torpedo Hillary’s campaign and support Elizabeth Warren, the phony affirmative action Indian at Harvard Law, to force more leftist radicalism on the American people. Hillary looks tired and confused, while Warren is a major rabble-rouser for the left, just like our current Occupant. Active malevolence toward mainstream America is very much in character for the hard left. Their list of America-haters is endless: Jerry Wright preached hatred for 20 years to the Obamas. Franklin Marshall Davis, Obama’s teenage “mentor”, the Hawaiian CPUSA rep and soi-disant poet, specialized in the poetry of racial rage. Bill Ayers stands by his old demand to “kill your parents.” Chris Matthews, who seemed sane and balanced when he worked for Tip O’Neill, is getting paid by his bosses at GE for genuine hate speech against the rest of us. The most ironic thing is to watch the left complaining about “divisiveness” when the rest of America will not bow to them, revealing their sense of narcissistic entitlement. Obama grew up among such people, as he tells us in his autobiographies. His amazing sense of more-than-human entitlement combines his own history, the fact that he was rejected at age ten by his mother, who sent him to Hawaii, together with the radical cult that raised him. Obama is so cocksure that he can’t imagine how sane and decent people could disagree. The parallels with violent Muslims are striking. Aggressive Muslims feel they are entitled to rule the world. Any competing faith makes you an enemy: Buddhist, atheist, Christian, Jewish. There is a strong link between hate preaching and terrorist violence in the Muslim world. The obvious reason for Hamas and other theocratic Israel-haters is the fact that Israel owns most of Jerusalem. Liberals never seem to understand that idea, because they live in a fantasy world where religion is on its way out, and soon we will live in soft Marxist paradise, atheists one and all. Nobody in Russia and China believes that anymore, because Stalin and Mao tried to abolish religion for decades and failed. Today, Putin acts like a Russian Orthodox believer, and the Chinese are constantly suppressing religious revivals in Beijing. Only the Western left believes in that ole-time religion of militant atheism. In sum, Obama is deeply stuck in his mental quarrel with America. His anti-American, anti-middle class rhetoric is remarkably stereotyped, which raises the possibility that he is cognitively rigid and unable to change his mind in the face of facts. This administration, and our political-media elites, no longer supports good against evil, and that is why they must be fired and discredited as soon as possible.
(“Obama’s Inexplicable Love for the Dark Side” by James Lewis dated August 2, 2014 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/08/obamas_inexplicable_love_for_the_dark_side.html )
Liberals, and Keynesian conservatives, are facing a tough intellectual challenge: Why do the American people persist in their stubborn belief that the U.S. economy stinks, when all experts agree that the fifth annual “Summer of Recovery” is upon us? The experts are wrong, and the unwashed masses are right. This is wrong, but as is often the case with wrongness, the problem isn’t what people don’t know; it’s what they know that ain’t so. It’s not true that the 2008 recession was qualitatively different from prior down cycles. The long-overdue correction of the real-estate market in 2006, and the not-nearly-large-enough 2008 deleveraging that resulted from it, continued a pattern of recessions that has been building over many years, and the anemic post-recession recovery that we are still enduring followed a pattern that has continued pretty steadily since the late 1940s. Bill McBride’s famous chart of peak-to-peak jobs recoveries since 1948 shows that employment cycles have been getting steadily feebler (with small exceptions) since Harry Truman’s time, as public and private indebtedness have become steeper, and the devaluation of the dollar, by Keynesian clowns has gotten more aggressive in response. Understanding of the economy is at odds with expert opinion. Some of this is easily explicable, using only official numbers: In nominal dollars, median household income has increased only 5% since 2006, while cumulative CPI inflation has been 18% over the same period. Not a lot of mystery there: Your dollar is buying a lot less than it was eight years ago; and your income increase has been less than a third of what it would need to be to make up the loss. The delusion that the economy at the macro level is somehow qualitatively different from the economy you experience at a neighborhood yard sale is at the heart of the gap between popular and elite opinion, a gap that will continue to widen. Obama brags that he created 200,000 jobs in July, and that certainly sounds impressive, but the economy needs to be creating at least 280,000 jobs per month, just to get back to the pre-recession employment level by the time Obama leaves office. The President would have us believe the economic boom is being held back by insufficient regulation and inadequate spending of taxpayer dollars. It’s not a problem that few people believe this lie; it’s a sign of common sense. It’s not a mystery that people whose understanding of the American economy is experiential rather than theoretical remain pessimistic despite what their betters say. The reason people believe the economy stinks isn’t that monetary stimulus is inadequate or that the good news from Wall Street hasn’t filtered through to Main Street. They believe the economy stinks because the economy stinks; it has been stinking for nearly ten years, and that’s a long time to spend waiting for the good news to become believable.
(“Economy Pundits: Who You Gonna Believe, Me or Your Own Eyes?” by Tim Cavenaugh dated August 1, 2014 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/384397/economy-pundits-who-you-gonna-believe-me-or-your-own-eyes-tim-cavanaugh )
Democrats have long believed ObamaCarewould become more popular once it was fully in place and Americans got a chance to see it up close, but now we find ObamaCare less popular because it is fully in place and Americans have had a chance to see it up close. According to new polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 37% of those surveyed have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act, while 53% have an unfavorable view. ObamaCare's rising unpopularity seems to be a product of the simple fact that, several months into its implementation, people are having personal experience with the law. More and more people are basing their opinion of ObamaCare on their own experience or of those around them, and not on what they've seen on cable TV or heard on talk radio, and disapproval is going up. Overall, the numbers reflect ObamaCare's design; it was intended to offer taxpayer-subsidized health coverage to a relatively small group of people (the roughly 15% of the population that had no health coverage) by imposing costs on the far larger group who had coverage and were satisfied with it. How ObamaCare’s results thus far will affect the November election is unclear, with Democrats veering between fearing that it will spell complete disaster, to hoping it might actually be a benefit, to assuming it will be a negative, but maybe not by much.
(“Obamacare and the public: The more they know, the less they like” by Byron York dated August 4, 2014 published by Washington Examiner at http://washingtonexaminer.com/obamacare-and-the-public-the-more-they-know-the-less-they-like/article/2551656 )
Putin once famously observed that the Soviet Union’s collapse was the greatest catastrophe of the twentieth century; though Russian President Vladimir Putin’s immediate goal may have been limited to regaining control of Crimea and retaining some influence in Ukrainian affairs, his longer-term ambition is much bolder. His long-term objective has been to rebuild the Soviet Union in some form, perhaps as a supra-national union of member states like the European Union. This goal is not surprising: declining or not, Russia has always seen itself as a great power that should be surrounded by buffer states. Under the Czars, Imperial Russia extended its reach over time. Under the Bolsheviks, Russia built the Soviet Union and a sphere of influence that encompassed most of Central and Eastern Europe. Now, under Putin’s similarly autocratic regime, Russia plans to create, over time, a vast Eurasian Union. While the EAU is still only a customs union, the European Union’s experience suggests that a successful free-trade area leads over time to broader economic, monetary, and eventually political integration. Russia’s goal is not to create another North American Free Trade Agreement; it is to create another EU, with the Kremlin holding all of the real levers of power. The plan has been clear: Start with a customs union, initially Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, and add most of the other former Soviet republics later. Now Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are in play. Once a broad customs union is established, trade, financial, and investment links within it grow to the point that its members stabilize their exchange rates vis-à-vis one another. Then, perhaps a couple of decades after the customs union is formed, its members consider creating a true monetary union with a common currency that can be used as a unit of account, means of payment, and store of value. As the eurozone experience proves, sustaining a monetary union requires banking, fiscal, and full economic union. Once members give up their sovereignty over fiscal, banking, and economic affairs, they may eventually need a partial political union to ensure democratic legitimacy. Realizing such a plan may require overcoming serious challenges and the commitment of large financial resources over a period of many decades. Recent events have further weakened market-oriented, Western-leaning factions in Russia and strengthened the state-capitalist, nationalist factions, who are now pushing for faster establishment of the EAU. In particular, the tension with Europe and the United States over Ukraine will shift Russia’s energy and raw-material exports, and the related pipelines, toward Asia and China. Likewise, Russia and its BRICS partners (Brazil, India, China, and South Africa) are creating a development bank that is to serve as an alternative to the Western-controlled International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. There is even talk of Russia and China creating an alternative international payment system to replace the SWIFT system, which the US and Europe can use to impose financial sanctions against Russia. Revisionist powers like Russia, China, and Iran appear ready to confront the global economic and political order that the US and the West built after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but now one of these revisionists powers, Russia, is pushing ahead aggressively to recreate a near-empire and a sphere of influence. Unfortunately, the sanctions that the US and Europe are imposing on Russia, though necessary, may merely reinforce the conviction among Putin and his nationalist Slavophile advisers that Russia’s future lies not in the West, but in a separate integration project in the East.
(“Russia’s Eurasian Vision” by Nouriel Roubini dated August 1, 2014 published by Project Syndicate at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/nouriel-roubini-maps-out-the-kremlin-s-plan-for-a-re-divided-world )
President Obama has proclaimed many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy. Unfortunately, the truth is that Islam played no part in either the founding of the United States or in its growth into the great, blessed nation it became by the 20th Century. A case could be made that Islam has contributed nothing positive, not just to the United States, but to the entire world, throughout the history of its dark, violent existence. Islam has shown itself to be an evil, barbaric political-militant ideology couched in a religion. Tragically for the United States, Obama is, at the very least, highly sympathetic to Islam, and he has been on the side of the Muslim enemies of America and Israel. He has aided and abetted the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in the Middle East. Without Congress authorization, he released top Taliban terrorists from U.S. captivity. He has shown the demonic hatred toward Israel that Muslims display. He has installed Muslim Brotherhood operatives in positions of power throughout his administration and the federal government. Now, he wants to rewrite America’s history to include “many” fictional Muslim “achievements and contributions.” A case can be made that our Founding Fathers would be adamantly opposed to the notion that the practice of Islam was intended to be protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, which was founded on Judeo-Christian precepts. Far from contributing to its “very fabric,” Islam is utterly opposed to our nation’s foundation, its freedoms and its way of life. There was no mosque in America until 1934, no Muslims reported to have fought in the Civil War or World War I, no Muslims political group until the 1980s, no Muslim elected to Congress until 2007 and today, Muslims make up less than 1% of the U.S. population. For Barack Obama to open his lying mouth and falsely claim that Muslims contributed to the “very fabric” of the United States is an affront to all American victims of Muslim violence, every military death, and every battle that was fought to establish this, the greatest, freest nation in the history of the world and the very antithesis for which Islam stands.
(“Muslims Helped Build America’s ‘Very Fabric’” by Gina Miller dated August 5, 2014 published by American Clarion at http://www.americanclarion.com/obama-lies-muslims-helped-build-americas-fabric-32827 )
* 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: