Views on the News
August 28, 2010
Views on the News*
Whenever the American people are looking for leadership from the President, Obama and his administration have systematically put forth conflicting and ambiguous messages. Obama’s flip-flopping on the “ground zero mosque” issue was no different from his handling of the Gulf oil spill, when he sought both to blame BP and assert federal responsibility, all the while seeking to distance his Presidency from the crisis. There, as with the administration’s publicized internal debate over Afghanistan, no clear policy has been articulated. The President supported a surge in troops while simultaneously pledging to withdraw by 2011. By sending such distinctive and frequently incoherent messages, the administration appears adrift and divided. All the while, the public has no clear idea of the administration’s specific goals and intentions, our level of commitment, and the approach we will take on Afghanistan and on other issues. These dual messages ultimately reduce and minimize our country’s standing in the international community, delegitimize our power, and reduces our influence in the eyes of our adversaries. Looking at the president’s performance in recently published polling, there is a clear sense that voters’ doubts about whether Obama can solve our country’s problems are increasing. If Obama isn’t able to project competence, his hopes of winning reelection, as well as the success for the Democratic Party in this fall’s midterm elections, will continue to deteriorate.
(“Obama’s Damaging Doublespeak” by Douglas Schoen dated August 25, 2010 published by The Daily Beast at http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-25/obamas-doublespeak-is-damaging-democrats-midterm-hopes/ )
Everything about Barack Obama’s radical background signals his visceral contempt for America—its culture, its values, and its political and economic systems. His unmistakable goal is to bring America down to size - an America that has been, in his view, too big for its britches, selfish, exploitive, unfairly wealthy, arrogant, and dismissive. Tragically, Obama’s ideological blindness precludes him from recognizing America’s unparalleled record of benevolence as the world’s greatest superpower. It numbs him to the wonders of America’s free-market system. It obscures a realistic assessment of global politics that comprehends the existence of rogue nations, evil empires, and Islamic terrorists who intend us harm and who cannot be mollified through pandering and “engagement,” but must be approached from a position of strength. His abundantly documented radical background soured his taste on America, compelling him to believe America’s wealth and power were “inherited,” rather than inspired by America’s god-fearing founders, who crafted a government designed to establish and maximize individual liberties - a government that has been preserved with the blood, sweat, and tears of generations of Americans. Ironically, Obama’s domestic policy, foreign policy, and national security prescriptions are the opposite of what America needs. The recurrent themes are quite clear: A) our nation’s greatest enemies were not terrorists or hostile nations, but American corporations; B) American oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and businesses that “shipped jobs overseas,” were among the worst offenders; and C) victory over these enemies would not be achieved until he, himself, could control these various sectors of our economy. In transforming America to “spread the wealth around,” he is actually spreading the misery around, burying us in debt, and potentially enslaving us to our foreign creditors. While holding himself out as a post-partisan, post-racial President, he has exacerbated racial tensions, inflamed partisan divisiveness, engaged in acrimonious class warfare, and demonized anyone to the political right of the late Ted Kennedy. For someone who inspired so much “hope” and had so much goodwill upon taking office, even among certain commentators and media professionals who consider themselves conservatives, it is striking how far he has fallen so fast. Everything about Barack Obama is an illusion, even his sound bites are orchestrated with duel teleprompters at hand. The man’s entire life is programmed for him one incident after another. How Obama managed to squander what had promised to be a long and productive career in national politics is still a mystery to many observers. His approval ratings have cratered more rapidly than those of any modern president. The words and policies of President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party are having a devastating effect on America and its founding principles. Unless reversed, the casualties of Obama’s systematic assault on this nation will be our prosperity, our security, and ultimately, our liberty.
(“Conservative Media Has a New Friend” by Ken Hughes dated August 21, 2010 published by The Land of the Free at http://www.thelandofthefree.net/conservativeopinion/2010/08/21/conservative-media-has-a-new-friend/
“Is This What Obama Intended?” by Austin Hill dated August 22, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/AustinHill/2010/08/22/is_this_what_obama_intended
“Barack Obama: the most destructive president in American history” by David Limbaugh dated August 23, 2010 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2010/08/23/barack-obama-the-most-destructive-president-in-american-history/ )
The Obama administration’s policies have not succeeded, in fact they have failed in ways that are clear and unambiguous, not producing real, long lasting results, and there has been no real growth. Put another way, an unprecedented degree of federal government spending and intervention vis-à-vis the $787 billion dollar economic stimulus package, the $81 billion dollar bailouts of GM and Chrysler, and the enactment of health care and financial regulatory and reform bills have done nothing to stimulate our anemic recovery and have fundamentally failed at creating private sector jobs, or generating economic growth necessary for a sustainable, healthy recovery. The economy grew at an annual rate of only 1.6% in the second quarter, dropping steadily, from 5.0% at the end of 2009 and 3.7% in the first quarter. Both consumers and businessmen are sitting on the sidelines. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has updated its 10-year budget baseline, and America’s fiscal outlook continues to worsen. The CBO projects $6.2 trillion in additional deficits over the next decade. Even as war spending phases out and the economy recovers, the projected budget deficit never drops below $1 trillion, and reaches nearly $2 trillion by 2020; the national debt held by the public is set to surpass 100% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020; by 2020, half of all income tax revenues will go toward paying interest on a $23 trillion national debt; and even if all tax cuts are extended, revenues will still surpass the historical average, 18% of GDP, by 2020. The reason the deficit will surge 6% of GDP above its average is because spending will surge to 6% of GDP above its average. The unfunded liabilities of the federal and state governments are over $105 trillion. That is 7.5 times the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country in 2010 and 1.4 times the net worth of the United States. The national debt will be the equivalent of 100% the annual GDP by 2018. Four expenditure items -- interest expenses, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (ObamaCare) -- will account for 100% of all revenue to the government by 2020. The United States is technically bankrupt. These spending and deficit trends are completely unsustainable. Yet President Obama and Congress continue to push spending and budget deficits even higher with endless failed “stimulus” spending that is now expected to continue into the middle of this decade. Americans are growing more and more skeptical about the coming fall, about our lack of jobs, our bigger and more expensive government, the higher taxes that will be coming soon, more expensive and less personal health care, and, most important, our declining economy. 1.4 million people have been jobless for more than 99 weeks and 6.5 million have been jobless for over 27 weeks. Pessimism is on the increase, and people are losing confidence in the President. The time has come to stop the economic madness: Step one is getting the congressional change in November; Step two is for Republicans to step up to the plate and enact substantial spending and tax rate reductions and increase economic growth; and step three must be to win the Presidency in 2012 so that the Obama governmental expansion comes to an end.
(“New CBO Budget Baseline Shows Soaring Spending Risks Drowning America in Debt” by Brian Riedl dated August 19, 2010 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/08/New-CBO-Budget-Baseline-Shows-that-Soaring-Spending-Not-Falling-Revenues-Risks-Drowning-America
“The Economy Must Change” by Steve McCann dated August 20, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/08/the_economy_must_change.html
“The Stimulus Is the Problem” by Douglas Schoen dated August 21, 2010 published by The Daily Beast at http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-21/stimulus-money-is-not-the-answer/
“Stop the Madness” by Pete Du Pont dated August 25, 2010 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703447004575449961346648370.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion#
“Bewitched, Bothered, Bewildered, Broke” by Irwin M. Stelzer dated August 28, 2010 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/bewitched-bothered-bewildered-broke )
Phasing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is just a start toward preventing the next financial disaster. As these government sponsored enterprise (GSE) behemoths imploded, the whole system of federal affordable-housing mandates that was central to the real-estate collapse, including the mandates on Fannie and Freddie in response to the government’s overreach, simply needs to be abolished. The long-term phase-out plan that would shrink Fannie and Freddie portfolios and mortgage-purchase limits, and merge the agencies into the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for a separate low-income program would get government out of middle-income housing subsidies. Of course, the withdrawal of housing markets from government programs, and the onset of a reinvigorated private sector for providing mortgages, must be done gradually over a period of years. Steadily lowering the maximum size of loans covered by reinsurance programs such as Fannie and Freddie, or their successors, would be one way to do this. The slack could be taken up by properly capitalized insurance paid for by the mortgage lenders. But to cut the federal role down to size would mean cutting a financial support system that has hugely benefited a long list of players. These include homebuilders, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, banks, buyers of government-backed mortgage bonds, construction trade unions and politicians who thrive on the support of real-estate interest groups. You may notice the list didn't include homeowners. There's a reason for that. The federal housing finance system officially exists to help people buy homes, mainly by absorbing the risks of residential mortgages through a huge secondary market. Advocates for government assistance to low-income families will deplore the loss of Fannie and Freddie’s largesse in this time of limited resources; Congress will be reluctant to abandon the idea of financing mortgages for low-income families off-budget; the housing industry will protest the loss of government backing for much of the housing finance market; and the huge government deficit will limit the appetite for expanding the FHA. These are the hard choices, to be sure, but they are practical and essential if we want to avoid repeating the costly mistakes we made with Fannie and Freddie. The broader lesson here is that government intervention doesn’t work, and if left to their own devices, market processes will work in the mortgage market.
(“Why Subsidize?” dated August 20, 2010 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/544597/201008201902/Why-Subsidize-.aspx
“Barney Frank Comes home to Facts” by Larry Kudlow dated August 21, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/LarryKudlow/2010/08/21/barney_frank_comes_home_to_facts
“When Economic Policy Became Social Policy” by Peter J. Wallison dated August 21, 2010 published by The American Magazine at http://www.american.com/archive/2010/august/when-economic-policy-became-social-policy )
Contrary to President Obama's rhetoric, the ObamaCare legislation involves precisely the thorough government takeover of health care and starts with the creation of 159 new bureaucracies, agencies, boards, commissions, and programs to rule over health care in America. Government authorities are empowered to tell doctors and hospitals what is quality health care and what is not, what are best practices in medicine, how their medical practices should be structured, and what they will be paid and when. Government authorities will mandate exactly what health insurance with what benefits workers and employers must buy, and the Act imposes tax penalties on them if they do not comply. Government authorities will dictate to insurance companies exactly what health insurance they must sell, to whom they must sell it, and what they can charge. ObamaCare even redistributes premium income among insurers under a new "risk adjustment" mechanism. This is just the beginning as in everything President Obama is doing, it lays the groundwork for much more thorough government control and compulsion over time, primarily through bureaucratic landmines involving grants of regulatory authority that will explode when the bureaucracy thinks it can get away with it politically. Among the biggest targets here will be doctors and hospitals, which over time will become complete vassals of the regulatory, bureaucratic state ObamaCare establishes. President Obama promised while campaigning for his health reform legislation that it would reduce the "growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government," in particular by reducing the cost of health insurance by $2,500 per family; but the ObamaCare legislation will have just the opposite effect, sharply increasing health costs for families, businesses, and government. Higher costs for government start with the expansion of the Medicaid entitlement, which was already slated to cost $5 trillion over the next 10 years. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 69% of all health plans that cover workers will not be grandfathered into the plan as early as 2013 and will be forced to change health plans and depending upon the plan, change their doctor within three years. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that ObamaCare will increase Medicaid enrollment by 24 million new beneficiaries by 2015, adding an additional $410 billion in further federal costs for the program over the next decade alone. This is a massive increase in welfare extended to middle and upper-income families, irresponsibly added on top of the runaway, financially intractable entitlement promises we have already made. But ObamaCare then adds a third new entitlement program, for long term nursing home care which for the rest of us, ObamaCare will sharply increase insurance costs. That starts with the mandates forcing everyone into comprehensive insurance coverage specified by the government, which will maximize the incentives for overconsumption of health care, to be paid for through the insurance. Additional regulatory burdens will further increase costs. Because of all of the problems created by ObamaCare, the misshapen legislation is just the beginning, not the end, of the battle to reform health care policy in America and is so fundamentally wrong-headed that it takes us in the opposite direction of the essential reforms that are needed.
(“The Obamacare Disaster” by Peter Ferrara dated August 18, 2010 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2010/08/18/the-obamacare-disaster
“Obama Lied on Health Care, U.S. Department of Labor rule shows” by Rick Manning dated August 19, 2010 published by Americans for Limited Government at http://blog.getliberty.org/default.asp?Display=2556 )
It would be a mortal mistake for America to allow the Ground Zero mosque to be built because it will serve as an iconic symbol of Islamic victory and will be seen by Islamic jihadists around the world as a humiliating defeat dealt to American infidels by Islam. Muslim warriors through history have built mosques to commemorate significant victories and to replace religious sites of their conquests for over a thousand years:
· In 630 AD, Muslims captured Islam's holiest city, Mecca, and erected a mosque on the site of a building built by Abraham, the Judeo-Christian Old Testament father of faith.
· In the 7th century, when Islam triumphed over Damascus, the Church of Saint John the Baptist was destroyed and replaced with a mosque.
· In 638 AD, when Muslims conquered Jerusalem, the Jewish Temple Mount, site of Solomon's Temple turned the temple into a Muslim shrine. The infamous holy place called the Dome of the Rock is situated in close proximity to the highly revered Al-Aqsa Mosque.
· Around 700 AD, in Cordoba, Spain, after Muslims conquered the Visigothic kingdom, the Church of St. Vincent was transformed into the Great Mosque of Cordoba.
· Before the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque immediately after his conquest.
· A mosque near the WTC would likewise be a clear victory over American infidels.
Imam Feisal is perpetrating Islamic deception with the bogus claim of promoting “interfaith tolerance.” Islam is supposed to be one of the most intolerant religions in the world, but it does not recognize any other religion on earth. Hence, interfaith relations between Islam and other religions are a pure farce. The ulterior motive of this modern day jihad is to convert and bring all of mankind under Islam, the “only true religion of Allah.” That is the main reason why Islamic terrorists are continuously getting a silent nod of consent from millions of gullible Muslims and hypocritical Islamists like our Imam Feisal. As per the Qur’an’s teachings, Muslims consider the Western lifestyle immoral, unclean, and unethical, and they cannot emulate the Western lifestyle simply because of their belief in Islam. Instead, these Muslims living in Western host nations solemnly do expect and wish that sooner or later, Islamic Sharia law will be established and all Western infidels will start emulating the lifestyle of Muslims; hence fulfilling Allah’s wish to bring the entire Earth under the fold of Islam, the one true religion. Around the world, radical Muslims and gullible Muslims will remember the heroic victory of 9/11 jihadists, while Americans will be reminded of a painful defeat and utter disgrace for the Western infidels.
(“Little Lies of the Mosque” by Syed Kamran Mirza dated August 24, 2010 published by Front Page Magazine at http://frontpagemag.com/2010/08/24/the-lies-of-a-mosque-2/
“One Mosque at a Time” by Jeannie DeAngelis dated August 24, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/08/one_mosque_at_a_time.html )
It can't be denied that the GOP is sweeping toward a historic victory, due to the efforts of the individual candidates and outside parties, and above all the Tea Parties. While the Tea Parties are dead serious and out for blood, the Republican Party is tootling along in low gear, its slogan the soul-stirring "Business as usual!" The problem is that it is a safe strategy. Rather than viewing the Tea Parties as allies in overturning the Democrats' Neue Ordnung, the GOP is treating them as a disposable resource. Obama has governed so ineptly, arrogantly, and stupidly as to arouse disgust in people who until now have been happy to ignore politics. The Tea Parties are not Republican. They're not even necessarily conservative as we have grown to recognize the term. But they are American in spirit, and thus de facto conservative. They must turn to the GOP as a political vessel because they have nowhere else to turn. The politically independent, philosophically conservative Tea Partiers will win the upcoming election for the GOP. The alternative is not becoming a third party because third parties as a rule have a miserable record. If formed into an acting political party, as some are urging, the Tea Parties would probably do little better. The answer may well be to reverse the equation: for the Tea Parties to use the GOP as a resource. It's interesting that Bachmann has already formed a Tea Party Caucus -- exactly what you'd expect of someone with such plans in mind. Even if the Tea Parties fail in rejuvenating the GOP, they could utilize the party as a chrysalis in which to grow and expand until, sometime in the near future they are established enough to emerge as a viable third party, leaving the husk of the GOP behind, much as the Republicans left the Whigs in the 1850s.
(“GOP in Default Mode” by J.R. Dunn dated August 23, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/08/gop_in_default_mode.html )
* There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news. I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning. Updates have been made this week to the following issue sections:
· Agriculture at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/agriculture.php
· Domestic Policy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/philosophy.php
· Education at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/education.php
· Employment at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/employment.php
· Health Care at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/healthcare.php
· Homeland Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/homelandsecuity.php
· Immigration at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/immigration.php
· Judiciary at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/judiciary.php