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Views on the News

Views on the News*

  August 27, 2016

 

The pollsters and pundits overwhelmingly thought the British people were going to vote to “Remain” in the European Union, much like the political establishment class is now calling the U.S. presidential race for Hillary Clinton.  They were proved wrong in Britain, and could be proved wrong again with Donald Trump.  The question is how similar Trump’s hope for victory and the Brexit vote are?  First thing is disaffected “unpolled” voters.  The Brexit vote had a historic turnout, with 2.8 million new voters who hadn’t cast a ballot since the 1980s, or ever, overwhelmingly turning out to vote “Leave.”  No one anticipated these “new voters,” or their behavior, in the polling models.  Brexiters won by mobilizing millions of supporters who never normally vote, whereas the ‘remain’ side got almost no net benefit.  Trump is betting on these same disaffected, apolitical, voters to turnout for him, and that the current polls are underestimating them.  The pundits in Britain also overestimated undecided voters, believing they were more likely to choose the status quo than its radical alternative.  Trump continually beats Clinton in the polls as a change agent.  The political elite were also cocky in their position, calling leave voters “bigots” “xenophobes,” and “racists,” much like Trump’s supporters are called today.  So it’s no wonder why Trump is doing better in online polls, where voters can show anonymity, than in telephoned surveys.  The same proved true in Brexit.  Trump’s messaging is also similar to Brexit, fighting against the political establishment and for the interests of blue-collar workers who have been hurt economically by global trade and immigration policies.  Even though Trump’s sinking nationally in the polls, his ability to connect with what most voters are feeling, still holds.  A Bloomberg News poll released last week found that 56% of respondents felt Trump’s message, one of “the U.S. is in a dark and dangerous place, with threats from overseas and within our borders,” beat Clinton’s more positive tone by 16%.  The one difference between Brexit and the Trump analogy is those in Briton weren’t voting for a person, but a referendum.  Trump has the added hurdle of convincing the populace he’s a serious contender, a plausible commander-in-chief, who can be trusted with the nation’s nuclear codes.

(Why Donald Trump’s nickname of Mr. Brexit may be right on?” by Kelly Riddell dated August 18, 2016 published by Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/18/trumps-security-stance-requires-adjustment/ )

Forget the Clinton arrogance and corruption: $153 million in family speaking fees from 2001, mainly bribes during her State Department years; forget the lies, the lies about lies, and the perjury; forget the security breaches; forget enabling America’s most prominent sexual predator; forget the trail of bodies stretching from Little Rock to Benghazi; forget every scandal from Whitewater to deleted e-mails; just forget all of it.  Instead, focus on what a Clinton presidency would mean for America, because it would be the political equivalent of an extinction level event. Obama began the process of transforming America, and Hillary will finish it, and us too.  On the Supreme Court, Scalia’s replacement will be a judicial activist on steroids.  This will give the left what it’s dreamed of since the Warren Court, a 5-4 majority to rubber-stamp statism and Cultural Marxism.  The Second Amendment will be repealed, even the most modest restrictions on abortion ended, and a green light given to the assault on religious liberty.  Clinton will push amnesty (designated a “pathway to citizenship”).  Our Southern border will continue to be wide open to the influx of future Democrat voters.  Hillary will accelerate a trend that started the mid-1960s of using immigration (legal and illegal) to change America’s demographics and national identity.  The goal is to make it impossible to elect another Republican president and change the composition of Congress in a few elections.  With all three branches of government firmly in the left’s hands, voting will be irrelevant and they’ll be nothing to stop the unmaking of America.  Clinton will maintain the pretense of fighting ISIS while importing the poison.  She’s called for increasing the number of Syrian refugees by 500%, on top of the 100,000 immigrants from the Middle East (mostly Muslim) admitted each year.  The FBI and Homeland Security will be told not to do or say anything that might offend the jihad community.  Think Obama is skilled at playing the race card?  Hillary will put him to shame.  Speaking at the NAACP convention on July 18, Clinton confessed the sins of her race and lectured those of us who didn’t have adjusted gross incomes of $32 million last year to “recognize white privilege,” “practice humility” and “do a better job of listening” to race hustlers.  To maintain its minority base, Democrats must keep blacks and Hispanics in a constant state of agitation, by demonizing Republicans, coddling the racial terrorists of Black Lives Matters and castigating cops for doing their job.  Race relations reached a new low under our first black president, and expect them to drop through the floor under Hillary.  Under Clinton 2.0, government will be the only thing that grows.  Last month, 41,000 were added to the already bloated federal workforce. In eight years, Obama almost doubled the National Debt.  It will be over $20 trillion by the time he leaves office. Interest on the debt is over $251 billion, scheduled to rise to $880 billion by 2024. Imagine what the economy will look like as the debt approaches $40 trillion under President Hillary.  Clinton has promised to impose a job-annihilating $15-an-hour federal minimum wage, maintain the present devastating level of corporate taxes (the highest in the industrialized world) and kill domestic energy production by closing coals mines and preventing fracking of America’s huge natural gas deposits.  Anemic economic growth (an annualized rate of 0.7% in the first quarter of this year) will be the new normal.  The War on Christians and conservatives will continue full-throttle.  The IRS will go back to targeting conservative foundations.  Hillary will resurrect the old Janet Napolitano plan to use DHS to attack “right-wing extremists” (gun owners, right-to-lifers, veterans, and proponents of border security) as future terrorists.  The Clinton administration will go even further in using the bureaucracy and judiciary to force Christians (including churches and Christian colleges) to comply with the left’s social agenda of gender-neutral bathrooms and all that stuff.  Forget your gripes about the Republican candidate, his verbal missteps and campaign shakeups.  He’s a decent guy who will make America if not great again, at least better.  He knows how to create jobs.  He’ll defend our borders.  He understands the overriding threat of radical Islam.  Donald Trump is all that stands between us and the apocalypse.

(“A Clinton Presidency Would Be the Political Equivalent of an Extinction-Level Event” by Don Feder dated August 23, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/08/a_clinton_presidency_would_be_the_political_equivalent_of_an_extinction_level_event_.html )

Donald Trump may or may not fix his campaign, and Hillary Clinton may or may not become the first female president, but something else happening before our eyes is almost as important: the complete collapse of American journalism as we know it.  The frenzy to bury Trump is not limited to the Clinton campaign and the Obama White House, since they are working hand-in-hand with what was considered the cream of the nation’s news organizations.  The shameful display of naked partisanship by the elite media is unlike anything seen in modern America.  The largest broadcast networks, CBS, NBC and ABC, and major newspapers like The New York Times and Washington Post have jettisoned all pretense of fair play.  Their fierce determination to keep Trump out of the Oval Office has no precedent.  Indeed, no foreign enemy, no terror group, no native criminal gang, suffers the daily beating that Trump does.  The mad mullahs of Iran, who call America the Great Satan and vow to wipe Israel off the map, are treated gently by comparison.  By torching its remaining credibility in service of Clinton, the mainstream media’s reputations will likely never recover, nor will the standards.  No future producer, editor, reporter or anchor can be expected to meet a test of fairness when that standard has been trashed in such willful and blatant fashion.  The traditional ethos of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable leads to demands that government solve every problem.  Favoring big government, then, becomes routine among most journalists, especially young ones.  The New York Times now is so out of the closet as a Clinton shill that it is giving itself permission to violate any semblance of evenhandedness in its news pages as well as its opinion pages.  The clear assumption is that many reporters see Trump as a demagogue, and it is note­worthy that no similar question is raised about Clinton, whose scandals are deserving only of “scrutiny.”  68% of Americans find Clinton dishonest and untrustworthy, though apparently not a single one of those people writes for the Times.  The Times has seamlessly ­adopted Clinton’s view as its own, then tries to justify its coverage.  It’s pure bias, which the Times fancies itself an expert in detecting in others, but is blissfully tolerant of its own.  With the top political editor ­approving the one-sided coverage as necessary and deserving, the prejudice is now official policy.  It’s a historic mistake and a complete break with the paper’s own traditions.  Instead of dropping its standards, the Times should bend over backwards to enforce them, even while acknowledging that Trump is a rare breed.  That’s the whole point of standards, they are designed to guide decisions not just in easy cases, but in all cases, to preserve trust.  The Times, of course, is not alone in becoming unhinged over Trump, but that’s also the point.   It used to be unique because of its adherence to fairness, but now they are all the same!  Now the Times’ only standard is a double standard, one that it proudly ­confesses, while shame would be more appropriate.

(“American journalism is collapsing before our eyes” by Michael Goodwin dated August 21, 2016 published by New York Post at http://nypost.com/2016/08/21/american-journalism-is-collapsing-before-our-eyes/ )

That competition of the disliked has produced two diametrically opposite views of the state of the economy.  Trump sees "disaster" wherever he looks with millions of Americans have given up looking for full-time work, which makes the official unemployment rate of 4.9% "one of the biggest hoaxes in American modern politics."  He visits Detroit and sees urban decay, surveys the American economy and sees disused factories and coal mines, which he promises to restore to health by ending unfair trade and currency manipulation.  Clinton sees something different: an economy that has added more than 10 million jobs since the end of the Great Recession, a Detroit area that is home to an auto industry saved from bankruptcy by President Obama and now turning out a record number of vehicles, new high-tech industries that are fueling urban revival.  More of the same is promised when she raises taxes on the rich until the point just before her Wall Street supporters abandon her.  Trump sees a glass totally empty, Clinton one that is not quite overflowing but, thanks to Obama, is surely more than half full.  He would Make America Great Again, she says it is already great, although she claims that under her leadership it will become greater still.  Trump’s policies are more in tune with voters' preferences, and with what the economy needs, than are Clinton's:

·    Trump wants to impose limits on immigration that sound sensible in an era in which terrorists easily infiltrate refugee groups; Clinton is for open borders and welcoming even illegal immigrants.

·    Trump understands the roles tax cuts and regulatory reform can play in stimulating growth and raising all boats; Clinton has only higher taxes and another multi-billion stimulus program to offer.

·    Trump has some sense that destroying America's fossil fuel industry is not a good idea; Clinton would do just that with punitive regulations and massive subsidies for renewables.

·    Trump wants to repeal and replace ObamaCare; Clinton now favors a government-operated health care option of the sort that necessarily requires rationing of care.

·    Trump believes climate change is a hoax perpetrated to justify expansion of government; Clinton will push for a carbon tax to redistribute wealth between nations.

·    Trump would repeal Dodd-Frank; Clinton would continue to punish the financial sector.

Two things will matter most as we approach election day: the current state of the economy, and how voters "feel" about their own prospects. One factor that importantly affects both the reality and the perception is the course of gasoline prices.  The state of the housing market will be another factor.  There are still about 9 million homeowners who are, to use the industry's term, still underwater.  Many homeowners who borrowed on the equity in their homes and paid only interest for the first ten years are now being called upon to begin repaying principal.  Throw into the mix outstanding student debt of $1.3 trillion, with a 12% delinquency rate, and you have a plus for Clinton, who is promising debt relief of some sort for the delinquents and other student borrowers, and free or debt-free college for all.  Assuming, of course, that the more than 60% of Americans who deem her untrustworthy believe she intends to translate her campaign promises into action.  Trump should benefit from the turmoil in health-care markets triggered by the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, since he has promised to repeal and replace it. Clinton, in effect running for a third term for Obama, is on the spot. Trump's charge that the system is rigged against the middle class will resonate with this group, especially as giant insurer Aetna will no longer offer policies in 11 of the 15 states it now serves, and Humana and UnitedHealth have joined the exodus by abandoning many counties, often leaving customers dependent on a single insurer.  Clinton, under pressure from socialist Bernie Sanders, now proposes an alternative to the private system, the so-called public option, a government-operated health care system along the lines of your NHS.  Only 20% of Americans tell pollsters from the non-partisan Pew Research Center that government programs are well run, and only 19% trust the government all or most of the time.  It is difficult to say what these crosscurrents will produce. Voter turnout is expected to be high as voters troop to the polls to vote for the candidate they dislike least.  A high turnout will favor Trump if his white, lower-income, blue-collar workers turn out, and Clinton if Sanders's new recruits to socialism switch to her as they are promising to do.  Over 60% of Americans believe both that the country is on the wrong track, and that they will be financially better off next year than they are now.  My guess is that both majorities are right, and that issues other than personal finances are quite properly driving the wrong-track pessimists, not least the decline of American power and prestige that is a consequence of policy failures from the Middle East to the South China Sea.

(“Trump and Clinton See Two Very Different Versions of the Current Economy” by Irwin M. Stelzer dated August 20, 2016 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/trump-and-clinton-see-two-very-different-versions-of-the-current-economy/article/2003910 )

 

There’s a quote attributed to Ronald Reagan, “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”  It’s also that so many of those things that they know that “aren’t so” lead to bad policies based on those lies and distortions.  Take, for instance, the recent Supreme Court decision making same-sex marriage legal, overturning the vote of 31 states that had previously voted against it.  That SCOTUS decision was based on the belief that science had established sexual orientation and gender identity as innate characteristics.  Those who seek to help individuals who are not happy with their perceived identity as LBGT have been subject to public and professional harassment, discrimination, ridicule and scorn.  The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society released a landmark report that follows 3 years of thorough work studying, analyzing and summarizing nearly 200 peer-reviewed studies beginning in 1950 and continuing to the present date.  It clearly identifies some pivotal findings in the biological, psychological, and social sciences:

·    First, the journal reports that scientific evidence does not support the belief in sexual orientation as an “innate, biologically fixed human property.”  The assertion that people are “born that way” is not supported by peer-reviewed scientific studies.

·    Second, the journal reports that no scientific evidence points to gender as an innate, fixed characteristic independent of biological sex.  There is no such thing as “a man trapped in a woman’s body” or “a woman trapped in a man’s body.”

·    Third, there is no evidence in the peer-reviewed research literature to support the idea that children who behave in gender-atypical ways will inevitably continue that behavior and, thus, should be encouraged to become transgender through hormone therapy or surgical alternation.  A girl wearing jeans and playing with trucks or a boy who enjoys playing dolls with his sister will not inevitably grow up gender-confused and needing to be guided toward transgender identity.

·    Fourth, discrimination does not account for the fact that research establishes: non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems and far more behavioral and social problems than the general population.  They are far more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and violence.

The facts are heart-rending: LGBT persons have higher rates of mental, behavioral and social problems; LGBT persons are 2 to 3 times more likely to have suffered childhood sexual abuse; LBGT persons have 2.5 times more risk of suicide than the general populations; transgender individuals are almost 10 times more likely to attempt suicide; and individuals who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery are 5 times more likely to attempt suicide and 19 times more likely to succeed.  We’ve failed people who need understanding as well as support and help in order to lead healthy, productive lives.  Pushing ideology serves the selfish goals and ambitions of those pushing the falsehoods rather than serving those who need help to get their lives on track in order to flourish.  Ideology has overpowered research in numerous areas of individual and public well-being.  It is obvious that there’s a huge disconnect when faulty claims about sexuality and gender are used to enact public policy that does not foster health and wellbeing and when there is a huge chasm between generally-accepted beliefs and what scientific findings show.  Nobody benefits when ideology prevails over scientific research, least of all, those who are the subjects of the studies whose problems so often are swept under the rug of leftist certainty about “things they don’t know.

(“Exposing the Left’s Dogmatism on Sexual Orientation and Gender” by Janice Shaw Crouse dated August 23, 2016 published by American Spectator at http://spectator.org/exposing-the-lefts-dogmatism-on-sexual-orientation-and-gender/ )

From climate doomsters to media politicos, the world is being bombarded with mis-constructs, unfounded claims and outright lies.  Some listeners and readers may fall for such deceits but many others are thinking to themselves and quietly walking away.  Many people have become dissatisfied with main stream media reports and become more willing to stand up against misleading advertising, destructive policies and rapidly rising costs.  The recent Brexit vote is a harbinger of more of such “rebellions” to come, some likely to be equally surprising.  Bureaucratic overreach is just one aspect of widespread dissatisfaction; waste and falsehoods are others.  The waste of taxpayers’ funds on alternative energy plans pales in relation to the real costs of totally misguided energy policies that one can find in a variety of jurisdictions, both here and abroad.  Most of these wasteful projects center around one idea, namely of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) being a driver of the climate on earth.  For many scientists applying to agencies to obtain any research funds is rather futile if the grant proposal does not pretend to show how “bad” CO2 is.  Many “politicians” simply “go with the flow,” following the path of least resistance and, consequently, blow the same CO2-climate horn.  There is next to no accountability for bureaucrats or politicians that do so.  It is not just money and resources that have been lost to the futile pursuit of CO2 and air conditioners as the proclaimed global evils extraordinaire.  The estimated trillion dollars spent over the last few decades, on “alternative” energy sources like wind, solar, and biofuels have had next to no impact on global fossil fuel consumption in the world.  At the same time and despite the disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima, new nuclear power plants are now being built in many countries around the world, for example even in hydro (water) power-rich Switzerland.  Even in Japan many of the nuclear power plants that were all shut down following the Fukushima tsunami-caused disaster have been or are being restarted as well. China, India and Russia are all in the process of massive expansions of their nuclear power generation capabilities as well.  While these countries may pay lip service to the Paris 2015 Climate Agreement, these projects having absolutely nothing to do with any perceived climate threats from CO2 that have been proclaimed by the United Nations IPCC or U.S. President Obama.  They are simply wise diversification among energy resources.  In contrast, Germany is on the way to becoming a “green” energy pauper, all because of the CO2-climate hoax.  Coal and nuclear power plants provided ample electricity and government regulations were fostering competition and efficiency throughout the land.  However, instead of building on its developed expertise and teaching new generations of scientists and engineers to learn the trade, “green power” activists and politicians persuaded people that biofuels, sun and wind were all that was needed.  The newest nuclear power plant that’s still in operation in Germany was built around 1985.  All remaining operating nuclear plants are going to be shut down by government decree, the last ones in 2022.  Similar actions are planned for the remaining coal and natural gas fired power plants.  From then on, German households and industries are largely expected to live by the whims of sunshine, wind and imports from nearby countries like Czechia and France, if available then.  Availability of electric power when needed is rapidly becoming less guaranteed as well.  It seems the only “smart” part of the touted “smart” electricity grid and kitchen technology is less to guarantee that they run with less power but to turn them off when the sun doesn’t shine, the wind doesn’t blow, or someone wants to cut your power off altogether.  Where or what are the benefits and who is benefiting from this alternative energy development? It couldn’t be the consumers whose hydro bills are rising much faster than governments’ inflation numbers. It probably is not even the operators of wind and solar power farms, despite their high feed-in tariffs and other prescribed “goodies.”  That only leaves the producers of such equipment and, who could have guessed, the governments themselves.

(“Many People Think What Few Dare to Say” by Klaus L.E. Kaiser dated August 20, 2016 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/article/many-people-think-what-few-dare-to-say )

 

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:

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

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/