Views on the News
Views on the News*
September 21, 2013
Barack Obama has still never really sold the American people on anything but himself, and the depth of his support is wearing thin. For Obama supporters, the question has become frustrating and frequent: how can the man and the team who made a freshman senator the country’s first black president, and kept people with him despite Great Depression-level unemployment, have failed to truly turn public opinion around on a single difficult issue? Twice, they turned Candidate Obama into a movement, but they haven’t been able to turn President Obama into more than an inclination. The question couldn’t be more pressing, with the President preparing for a fall of implementing ObamaCare and facing down Republicans over the budget, especially after two weeks when his own party forced him to accept he hadn’t convinced them first on Syria, then on Larry Summers. He is still struggling to convince people that the economy really is in significantly better shape five years after the meltdown, let alone that his policies are the reason. Three and a half years after he signed ObamaCare into law, a year and a half after the Supreme Court upheld it and less than two weeks from the beginning of enrollment, polls show majorities saying they still don’t understand Obama’s signature achievement, and they still don’t like it. Obama didn’t win his elections just because he gave good speeches, though the good speeches certainly helped, strategists point out. He won because his campaign directed modern politics’ most powerful cult of personality into a blanketed presence with a unified message, using social media and other innovations into identifying and organizing supporters where no one even thought to look before. The economy, health care, the stimulus, the attention he says he’s taken to rethinking surveillance and national security, or just about anyone else - not a lot of people are buying any of it, and the President hasn’t tried to do nearly as much selling as he did for his own campaigns. As much as Obama needs to retool if he ever wants to live up to his post-reelection promises of an outside-in campaign and achieve his dream of being a Reagan-level national conversation changer, there’s only so far that effort can go. As Paul Begala admits “The biggest problem that the President has is a reality problem, not a messaging problem,” but no amount of marketing hype can cover-up a bad product.
(“The ‘Meh’ of a salesman” by Edward-Isaac Dovere dated September 20, 2013 published by Politico at http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/obama-messaging-97098.html?hp=f2 )
We are witnessing the gradual decomposition of the emotional consensus that put Obama into the White House in 2008 and returned him in 2012. For many observers, a material change has lately emerged in American political life because on every front, domestic as well as foreign, statements that seemed apposite a year or two ago suddenly, ominously, have acquired new and less pleasing valences. Candidate Obama declared in 2008 that he and his followers were only “five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Now that the transformation is well underway, there are fewer if any cheers. The economy is moribund. ObamaCare is more unpopular than ever. Racial tensions are far worse now than when Obama came to office. Everywhere one looks, Obama’s domestic agenda is in shambles. When it comes to international affairs, Obama must be rueing the day he drew that red line about Syria or heard the name Vladimir Putin. There is a certain painful fascination about seeing an elaborately wrought structure shudder and then collapse. It always seems to take place in slow motion, but the actual destruction, once it begins, is generally quite rapid. We are certainly far enough along in the Great Unravelling that Obama’s past statements and behavior appear in an utterly new light. “Fundamentally transforming the United States of America” appeared to mean one thing in October 2008, but means something quite different in 2013. There is a species of the anti-American left, consisting of about 95% of the professoriate and miscellaneous other elements, who find his rhetoric inspiring. The rest of us find it irritating, alarming, and irresponsible in varying degrees. There was a time when everything Obama said was given the benefit of the doubt, when a presumption of good will and competence bathed everyone in an exculpatory light, but those days are long past. The atmospherics now are decidedly less cordial, less forgiving, and the problems, foreign as well as domestic, that Obama’s ineptitude has compounded become ever more pressing and exigent. The man from nowhere, the chap nobody knew, whose college records we still cannot see, whose exiguous political record was a masterpiece of nonentity (“Present”), and whose political mentors (Bill Ayres, Rev. Wright) subsist on the furthest fringes of anti-American hatred, this helmsman of the American dream compasses us all in the impending storm-tossed voyage.
(“Obama Then and Now: the Rashomon Effect” by Roger Kimball dated September 15, 2013 published by PJ Media at http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2013/09/15/obama-then-and-now-the-rashomon-effect-first-in-a-series/ )
2013 has been a tough year for the political class, as more and more people woke up to the disconnect between the political class and those they “ruled.” Earlier in the year, the political elites in Washington were certain gun control would be enacted following the horrific massacre at a Connecticut elementary school. When nothing passed, they expected politicians who refused to support more gun restrictions would face consequences for their actions. There were consequences. Just not the one’s the political class expected. After Colorado passed its own version of gun control legislation, two state senators were targeted by a grassroots effort for removal through a recall vote. It was the first time in the state’s history that the recall process had even been attempted. Despite the tremendous financial advantage they enjoyed, both state senators were removed from office because of their support for gun control legislation. This wasn’t the first time the political class totally misread the public mood this year. An early sign of trouble for the elites came with public reaction to the so-called sequester. More precisely, the D.C. panic was caused by the lack of public reaction. Politicians, mainstream media organizations, defense contractors and others did everything they could to scare the public, but it didn’t work. People didn’t rise up in revolt and demand that Congress stop the sequester. Instead, voters recognized that the politicians were crying wolf. The so-called cuts were not harsh and devastating. They were embarrassingly modest. In fact, all the sequester really did was reduce the growth of federal spending a bit. Hardly anybody noticed, except for those who work for the government. Then there was Syria. The political class has long been much more enthusiastic about military interventions than the American people. Some among the elite like it for humanitarian purposes, some for prestige, and some because they believe the U.S. should be the global policeman. Voters think we should take action only when our vital national security interests are at stake. Still, when the President was forced to seek approval from Congress, the initial expectation was for easy passage in the Democratic controlled Senate and a close vote in the Republican controlled House. Instead, public reaction to the president’s request was so negative that it became a rout. It was stunning to see what happens when Congress actually listens to voters rather than following the insiders. On gun control, the sequester and Syria, the political class showed how little grasp it has about the attitudes of mainstream America. Other issues are likely to reveal the same cluelessness as 2014 approaches. The political class world is crumbling, and that’s something to celebrate.
(“Biggest Loser of 2013: the Political Class” by Scott Rasmussen dated September 14, 2013 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/09/14/biggest_loser_of_2013_the_political_class_119939.html )
We are at a stage in America with Obama at the helm that it is impossible and certainly dangerous to believe anything we see, read or hear in the news. To survive, we must stay connected with those in alternative radio, print and TV who will dare to risk still bringing us the truth about the Obama regime. Don’t allow Obama, our sold out media and most politicians to turn you into their Stepford wives. Obama’s takeover agenda demands media to cover up his crimes and unconstitutional actions. The obedient media and sound bite politicians act as his spin cycle that spits out the facts, as he wants them redefined. With only hours unfolding since the Washington Navy Yard shooting, Homeland Security declared with Superman speed that it wasn’t an act of terrorism. Now the quick spin cycle of executive actions to have more gun control, regardless of the report that no AR-15 was involved, but rather a shotgun and 2 handguns. Immediately we hear about the killed gunman’s mental health problems, PTSD and ‘misconduct,’ which is perfect bait for the Obama spin cycle yet again. The Obama spin cycle must use and abuse every crisis event possible, some feel even cause them. The tyrannical agenda Obama is implementing must control our schools, (Common Core Government curriculum), our healthcare (ObamaCare, its threats and controls) our military (shredding free speech for Christian soldiers, pushing the gay agenda and Islamic political correctness over safety and loyalty to our troops). Obama already controls most of the politicians and media. America can survive this un-American and evil poser, President Obama, but we will have to stay connected with alternative media, pray to the God of the Holy Bible for help and stand for what is right no matter what the cost.
(“The Obama Reality TV set from hell” by Laurie Roth dated September 17, 2013 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/57974 )
To Democrats, apparently, “tax the billionaires” is a better rallying cry for his reelection campaign than “look at my record, especially since class warfare sells well to the “low-information-voters.” Here is an evolving list of Obama’s class warfare attacks:
· Attacking capitalism - Obama bemoans how jobs were sometimes lost in the restructuring of its acquisitions, but ignores that during the bailout of General Motors when unprofitable divisions were shut down in order to save the larger company.
· Tax the rich - Obama spends the nation to oblivion, while trying to make the case that taxing the wealthy will solve the country’s budget crisis, ignoring that they are also the source of new job creation.
· Demonize corporations - Obama demonizes the banks, the oil companies, pharmaceuticals, and any entity that could actually create a job, while greedily soaking up campaign donations from the same ventures he attacks.
· Biden, the hit-man - Gaffe-machine Joe Biden is the administration’s hit-man, where he delivers his boss’s anti-wealth attacks.
· Unleash the unions - Big Labor provides the foot soldiers for Obama’s reelection bid and he returns the favor through appointments and policies beneficial to their interests. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which deploys an army of thugs to attend left-wing rallies and are not adverse to forcibly bullying its opponents.
· Promote the Occupy movement - The President has lent his moral support to the street anarchists in the Occupy Wall Street movement, even as the protests turned violent and the group became infested with criminal activity.
· Spread the wealth around - Obama is all about wealth redistribution and his budgets have piled up trillions of dollars in deficits trying to do just that, in order to pay for more social programs for the downtrodden, keeping an increasing number of Americans on the government dole.
· ObamaCare’s ‘fairness’ - The President’s healthcare initiative is one big class warfare gambit as he loads up on tax increases in order to subsidize the uninsured, but we are finding costs continue to rise, businesses will begin to shed their health plans, and longer waits will become normal at the doctor’s office.
· Double-down – Obama’s policies have slowed the economic recovery, created few jobs, added trillions to the national debt, put in roadblocks that curtail U.S. energy production, and destroyed the healthcare system, but he continues to push the same failed policies.
· Overheated rhetoric - Resorting to over-the-top rhetoric meant to inflame passions rather than to reach a consensus, President Obama continues to blame “millionaires and billionaires” for all the nation’s woes in nearly every speech he gives.
When all else fails, Democrats resort to class warfare because the disastrous results from their policies must be hidden from the “low information voters.”
(“Top 10 Class Warfare Attacks by President Obama” by June 2, 2012 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/2012/06/02/top-10-class-warfare-attacks-by-president-obama/ )
It's amazing how little President Obama has learned about economics in his four and a half years in the White House. Growth, incentives, tax reform, tax increases, private investment, the middle class, a second great depression, the sequester, all these issues have one thing in common: Obama doesn’t understand their role in our economy, and he does not appear interested in finding out. Members of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness have privately talked about Obama’s economic shallowness. Obama seems oblivious to the feeble recovery his policies have produced since the recession bottomed out in June 2009. The jobless rate is 7.3%, but if the millions who’ve dropped out of the job market altogether since Obama took office in January 2009 were counted, the unemployment rate would be 10.8%. The economy has grown at less than 2% during Obama’s presidency and has shown few signs of picking up the pace. What has kept America ahead of the curve is private investment, which has lagged in the Obama era. Investment incentives spurred fast, robust, and stable growth and strong job creation in the ’60s and ’80s, thanks to tax cuts on individual and corporate income championed by Presidents Kennedy and Reagan. Obama acts as if he’s never heard of such a thing. Obama claims his policies have “begun to lay a new foundation for economic growth and prosperity.” He boasts: “Our deficits are now falling at the fastest rate since the end of World War II.” That sounds impressive, until you realize the decline is from a deficit of $1.4 trillion in 2009 to $1.1 trillion in 2012. Meanwhile, the CBO reported the accumulation of national debt is on an unsustainable path. Obama continues to talk up the fantasy that he saved the country from plunging into a full-blown depression in 2009. He insists the $821 billion “stimulus” package stopped the “downward spiral and put a floor under the fall,” but the recession was over by June 2009, well before the bulk of the stimulus had been implemented. Instead, the Federal Reserve had flooded the economy with liquidity, and the big banks had been bailed out, before Obama was inaugurated. There’s another fantasy in Obama’s economic dreams: He’s the savior of a beleaguered middle-class America that hasn’t gained economically in many years. The median income was $51,017 in 2012, close to what it was in 2011 but below the $55,627 level in 2007 (before the recession). Middle-class Americans don’t need to be protected by Obama; middle-class Americans need to be protected from him!
(“Economic Malpractice: The stagnation president” by Fred Barnes dated September 30, 2013 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/economic-malpractice_756484.html )
Once again, the latest IPCC facts argue against their previous gloom-and-doom assertions, undermining the entire justification for any climate change actions. Earth’s average atmospheric temperatures haven’t increased in almost 17 years. It’s been eight years since a Category 3 hurricane hit the United States. Tornado frequency is at a multi-decade low ebb. Droughts are shorter and less extreme than during the Dust Bowl and 1950s. Sea ice is back to normal, after one of the coldest Arctic summers in decades. And sea levels continue to rise at a meager 4-8 inches per century. Ignoring these facts, President Obama continues to insist that “dangerous” carbon dioxide emissions are causing “unprecedented” global warming, “more extreme” droughts and hurricanes, and rising seas that “threaten” coastal communities. With Congress refusing to enact job-killing taxes on hydrocarbon energy and CO2, his Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to unleash more job-killing regulations on fossil fuel use, amid an economy that is already turning full-time jobs into part-time jobs and welfare. A leaked draft of the forthcoming report from the IPCC itself reveals that even its scientists are backtracking from their past dire predictions of planetary disaster. Instead of employing the scientific method to prove or disprove its CO2-driven climate disaster hypothesis, using empirical evidence, the IPCC has routinely assumed its hypothesis is correct, and used selected data that support its claims, while ignoring anything that contradicts them, and refusing to debate any scientists who disagree with them. Countries are spending countless billions of dollars annually on faulty to fraudulent IPCC climate models and studies that purport to link every adverse event or problem to manmade climate change; subsidized renewable energy programs that displace food crop and kill wildlife; adaptation and mitigation measures against future disasters that exist only in “scenarios” generated by the IPCC’s GIGO computer models; and welfare, food stamp and energy assistance programs for the newly unemployed and impoverished. America and the world desperately need some sound science and common sense on climate change.
(“Real Climate Science the IPCC Doesn’t Want You to See” by Paul Driessen dated September 19, 2013 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2013/09/19/real-climate-science-the-ipcc-doesnt-want-you-to-see-n1704053 )
Since January 2011, Republicans have tried to repeal ObamaCare, in whole or in part, more than 40 times, but the only success so far is repeal of parts of the law. That number is recited with a predictable sneer by congressional Democrats and the Washington press corps each time a new vote is held. The mockery is meant to obscure the fact that ObamaCare is a dysfunctional and unpopular law. It’s supposed to make you forget that Republican efforts have actually succeeded in repealing parts of the law, such as the boondoggle known as the CLASS Act. With the weight of ObamaCare set to crash down on the country in the coming year, now is a perfect time for members of Congress to try again to protect the American people from all or some the law’s harmful effects. ObamaCare is not guaranteed permanent victory when the subsidies start flowing in 2014. ObamaCare is unlike Social Security and Medicare, popular programs passed with broad bipartisan support that provide universal entitlements, primarily for the elderly. Americans who pay Social Security and Medicare taxes all their working lives can easily envision benefiting from the programs one day if they live long enough. ObamaCare, by contrast, is an elaborate regulatory scheme likely to hurt far more people than it helps. The CBO estimates that just 2% of all Americans will receive ObamaCare subsidies in 2014. That number is projected to rise to around 6% of the population by 2016 (and level off there-after). The notion that people receiving subsidies will become “addicted” to ObamaCare rests on the moocher theory of American politics, a simplistic and inaccurate idea that there are conservative “makers” who pay taxes and vote Republican and liberal “takers” who are dependent on government and vote Democratic. Will ObamaCare’s failure provide an opportunity to repeal it and replace it with a conservative free-market reform? Republicans will have a good shot at passing real health care reform, so long as they avoid blundering into a government shutdown that will not stop ObamaCare but will only lend credence to false Democratic claims that the problem with ObamaCare isn’t the law itself but rather GOP obstruction and sabotage.
(“Never Surrender” by John McCormack dated September 30, 2013 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/never-surrender_756465.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:
· Foreign Aid at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/aid.php
· Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorism.php