Views on the News
Views on the News*
September 22, 2018
Trump has made many missteps for which he is responsible, but some were forced upon him. He was abandoned by many establishment Republicans who refused to embrace him once he won the nomination. Trump did not have the long roots in the political arena to draw on to fill all the administrative spots and the rumors flew about all the people who wanted to stay away. It took Trump awhile to realign the operation, but now he seems to be humming with a great cast. Some came on early, others were added later, but the list is impressive. Trump may have a different management style and he may throw out many ideas that are unconventional, but that is why he was elected – to shake the establishment to its core. He has done that and that is why they hate him so, but It’s also why many Americans love him. Trump believes in zero-based governing: just because we did it in the past does not mean we should continue in the same manner. When Trump brought up renegotiating NAFTA again you would have thought the sky was falling. Trump is fighting three forces: The Press; The Left; and the Self-Righteous Establishment Republicans. He rattles their cages. They don’t like his style and/or his politics. Serious leaders talk of obstruction, unindicted co-conspiring and impeachment. However, there have been no crimes; no obstruction; no collusion. The only reality is of a farcical investigation that detracts from the administration focusing their resources on helping the American people. Look at results: Consumer confidence is soaring, business confidence is soaring, manufacturing confidence is soaring, middle-class income is at an all-time high, for the first three quarters of 2018 business stats are above 800,000 per quarter, a figure never reached before, there are more job openings than job seekers, the number of people on food stamps is down, the number of people on social security disability is down. This is a huge change from the Obama years. When people express confidence in their economic lives like this it translates to every aspect of their lives. That is despite a drumbeat of negativism from the MSM. Some look at the silly things Trump does or says, and others just shrug it off as immaterial nonsense. He is just an unconventional politician doing a damn good job on getting things done and changing the rot in Washington. Democrats whip up a state of hysteria and then say there is hysteria in the country; people in the end know who is responsible.
(“No, Trump’s Presidency Is Not Failed” by Bruce Bialosky dated September 16, 2018 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/brucebialosky/2018/09/16/no-trumps-presidency-is-not-failed-n2518671 )
President Barack Obama’s election in 2008 represented a new chapter in history: his rise to the presidency was swift and shocked not only a nation, but also the political elites, including Democrat favorites such as Senators Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. As we look back on the eight years that Obama served as president, we see a much different picture, a picture that’s certainly historic, but for all the wrong reasons. The legacy of Obama represented one of the most racially divided times in our nation’s history. In a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted in July of Obama’s final year in office, 69% of Americans said that race relations were bad and that “six in 10 Americans say that race relations were growing worse, up from 38% a year ago.” The legacy of Obama represented a time when race-related riots were on the rise. We can’t forget the scenes on television in Baltimore and Ferguson, or the violence that erupted after the deaths of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Manuel Diaz, and Kimini Gray. The legacy of Obama represented a time when our enemies and allies abroad viewed us as weak. Shortly after his inauguration, Obama embarked on a worldwide apology tour throughout the Middle East and criticized America. The legacy of Obama represented a time when homegrown domestic terrorism was on the rise. We can’t forget the horrific scenes or the carnage in places like Fort Hood, Boston, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, and Orlando. The legacy of Obama represented a time when Islamic State recruitment was on the rise. By fulfilling campaign promises to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, he didn’t take into account the void that would leave, as well as the opportunity for ISIS and our enemies to fill it. The legacy of Obama represented a time when embassy officials were attacked in Benghazi that resulted in senseless deaths, including our Ambassador Chris Stevens. The Obama administration failed to heed the warning signs in advance, and as a result, innocent Americans were killed. The legacy of Obama represented a time of failed agreements such as the Iran nuclear deal. Not only did the president lie to Congress about the details of the deal, but he also ordered planes to secretly deliver billions of dollars in cash to Iranian officials. The legacy of Obama represented a time when his landmark ObamaCare legislation, which was meant to provide healthcare for all, still left 27 million Americans without insurance. When he famously said, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” that promise turned out to be a lie as well. The legacy of Obama represented a time when America made terrible financial deals, like the more than $2.2 billion in defaulted energy loans at taxpayers expense, including the now infamous $500 million loan to Solyndra, where company executives misled Energy Department officials and later went bankrupt. Who can forget when Obama said, “It's here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” The legacy of Obama represented a time of personal enrichment. In 2009, when everyday people were recession-weary, Obama arranged, just days before his inauguration, a $500,000 advance for a future book deal. Never before in our history had a president or president-elect negotiated a book deal before or during their time in office. The legacy of Barack Obama was certainly historic, but for all the wrong reasons. As a candidate, he campaigned on “hope” and “change,” but as president, America was left with no hope and very little change. In 2008, he sold the dream. For eight years, America was left living the nightmare, and his legacy was not the kind to be very proud of.
(“The legacy of Barack Obama (and it’s not a good one)” by Mark Vargas dated September 16, 2018 published by Washington Examiner at https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-legacy-of-barack-obama-and-its-not-a-good-one )
The current standing of the Democrats in the midterm election polls is a levitation. Their record when they had the administration was poor. Their official leader, former president Obama, bombed with his long-winded, self-serving monotone of historical revision at the University of Illinois and its dreary sequels in Orange County, California. He reminded America of why it put Donald Trump in the White House. Meanwhile we are subjected to the cry to “Let “Mueller finish his work” and his “we don’t know what we don’t know” school of maintaining a permanent cloud over whether Trump is legitimately the president. The New York Times has amplified the chorus of chaos and madness in the White House to try to maintain the anti-Trump rage even though the imputations of criminality and illegitimacy have vanished. No one cares how the White House functions as long as it does function, and the vagaries of the president’s personality leave many uneasy and some censorious or even outraged, but there is no possible question of his sanity, mental competence, and physical stamina. This is a desperate last-ditch defense of the illegitimacy argument before the president’s enemies have to fight it out with him in the old-fashioned way, as politicians and parties do in democracies, with competing personalities and programs. For ten years all the Democrats have had is the endless repetition of the mantra that they weren’t George W. Bush and then that they weren’t Donald Trump. Not being Trump was never a winning ticket, and now it is a passport to oblivion. If his enemies and their media echo chamber can’t go on blowing up a hot-air balloon of a controversy every week between now and Election Day, they will pay the price of trying to beat something with nothing. When the noise subsides, the country will reflect on how much better a condition it is in than it was at the last Election Day: Not just every conceivable economic indicator, and some progress on illegal immigration, but the absence of any plausible nuclear menace from North Korea and Iran, the relative disengagement of the United States from endless, hopeless wars in places that have no relevance to American national security, the withdrawal from the Paris climate nonsense, in which Obama was going to impose the spending of trillions of dollars and dispense with millions of American jobs. The key is for the president to be comparatively cautious. With the abatement of the public high-volume slanging-match the country will notice that it has gone past the tipping point and that the entire Trump-Russia collusion narrative was a disgraceful and monstrous smear-job. The president has handled the Kavanaugh affair very calmly and judiciously. This president is paradoxical and will not be governed by the usual election patterns; he has moved quickly to improve the morale and conditions of the country, as FDR was rewarded for doing in 1934. Without any new controversies to whip up into media orgies and festivals of the president’s turpitude and uncongeniality, the argument to vote Democrat will be ground to powder by the Reagan test: Are you better off and is the country better off? To ask the question is to answer it. Their game is up, and the people will not be fooled; they will give the president his honeymoon, and the Democrats will have two years to produce some alternatives, people and policies, thinking again after a lapse of ten years in that once and long-great party.
(“Trump Can Still Prevail in the Midterms” by Conrad Black dated September 20, 2018 published by National Review Online at https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/midterm-elections-president-trump-should-be-cautious/ )
The progressive street is leading fossilized Democrats into a sort of collective madness. The dinosaurs of the party desperately seek relevance by sounding crazier than the new unhinged base that disrupts Senate hearings, loudly pronounces a new socialist future, and envisions octogenarian Maxine Waters as more the future of the party than is septuagenarian Nancy Pelosi. Six-term senator Dianne Feinstein is running against a far more radical Democrat, Kevin de León, in California’s general election. Feinstein’s current Senate colleague, the junior senator Kamala Harris, has been interrupting, sermonizing, and shouting at the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings in a fashion that generates the media buzz and attention usually reserved for supposedly sober and judicious old hands like Feinstein. Apparently in reaction to these youthful, far-left challenges, a frustrated Feinstein has decided to descend even lower than Harris, who once, after all, joked about killing Trump. Feinstein is now saying that she has had the new “evidence” about Judge Brett Kavanaugh in her possession for at least six weeks. Now, at the eleventh hour after the confirmation hearings are over, they try to gin up enough hysteria, without formal refutation, to sink his nomination to the Supreme Court. In the new progressive world of Julia Salazars and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezes, Feinstein also wants to strut her ossified progressive fides. That is, she seems desperate to remind California voters that while she may be an 85-year-old white woman, married to a hyper-capitalist billionaire, and a longtime resident of a 20-million-dollar Pacific Heights mansion, she is still a growling hard-left and partisan lioness in winter. Feinstein also hopes to show that she is still a key Senate player and a newsmaker. Recently, we learned that, for nearly 20 years, she was cuckolded by unknowingly hiring and retaining a chauffeur and personal gofer who all the while was a Chinese spy, a disclosure suggesting that the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee was, well, not exactly so intelligent. A similarly angry and frustrated Democrat, former secretary of state John Kerry, is not to be outdone either. Recently in a variety of venues he has confessed that he has kept back-channel communications open with Iranian foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, his former partner in forging the so-called Iran deal. Apparently, Kerry is seeking to reassure the Iranians that Trump’s recent cancellation of the deal is felt to be a mistake by sober and judicious Washington establishmentarians such as himself. Pause for a moment and collate some of the assertions of other mainstream Democrats in recent weeks. Former law professor Senator Elizabeth Warren has claimed that an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times and unsubstantiated charges from unnamed sources in Bob Woodward’s book Fear are now grounds for removing from office an elected president through the invocation of the 25th Amendment. Senator Cory Booker railed long and hard at the Kavanaugh hearing before boldly announcing that he was violating Senate rules by bravely releasing classified information for the higher purpose of destroying Kavanaugh’s chances, even though Booker knew that his supposedly explosive leaked information had already been declassified and was in fact mundane. Weirder still, Booker apparently did not grasp or care that the documents reflected positively, not negatively, on Kavanaugh’s character. Psychodrama soon became farce when Booker chimed up “I am Spartacus” as if he were a Roman slave willing to be crucified for the principle of not revealing the true identity of the slave leader Spartacus in his midst. No one could sort out the logic of all of Booker’s incoherent metaphors and so concluded that while he was obviously buffoonish, he might be unhinged as well. Congresswoman Maxine Waters used to be known for very little other than her past financial improprieties of using her office for personal and family gain, and for her serial boilerplate accusations of racism. Recently, however, at 80, she has come into her own as a self-appointed spokeswomen of the new progressive party, even calling for thuggish behavior against government officials. The new heartthrob of the Democrat party, socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, former Westchester County resident, promises that a new generation of socialists such as herself will take the party hard leftward to perpetual electoral dominance. To prove the growing popularity of redistributive socialism, she just posed with a hardhat construction worker in a chic $3,505 outfit. Not since the disclosure of Bernie Sanders’s three homes, or Elizabeth Warren’s past real-estate success in flipping houses have we been so personally enlightened about the Animal Farm two-legs-for-us/ four-legs-for-them rules of the new Democratic socialism. Finally, Occasio-Cortez herself is in some jeopardy of being upstaged by yet another young, zealous, female identity-politics socialist: Julia Salazar, candidate for the state legislature in New York. Oddly, almost everything that Salazar has said to enhance her progressive credentials is untrue in a blatant Elizabeth Warren, Ward Churchill, and Rachel Dolezel identity-fraud way. Salazar is not an immigrant; she did not grow up impoverished; she is not part Jewish; and she did not graduate from Columbia University. All that we can say about this new progressivism is that it operates outside the realm of reason and truth as it descends into collective madness.
(“The Descent into Progressive Madness” by Victor Davis Hanson dated September 18, 2018 published by National Review Online at https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/progressive-madness-cory-booker-maxine-waters-john-kerry/ )
Blanket "Believe Women" bloviations are moral and intellectual abominations that insult every human being of sound mind and soul. A certain class of never Trump-harumphers are leading the charge on behalf of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's memory-addled partisan accuser Christine Blasey Ford, who cannot recall the year she was allegedly traumatized, where it happened, who threw the party that paralyzed her for nearly four decades, how many were in attendance during her claimed assault, how she got there or how she left. The Left, supported by the liberal mainstream media, echoed the unthinking sentiment: "To everyone on the right who says I'm being selective, I BELIEVE WOMEN whether the accused is a Republican or Democrat. And yes, that includes all the names you're throwing at me. My default in these situations is to BELIEVE WOMEN." That is a dumb and dangerous default. The costly toll of "believing women," instead of believing evidence, can be seen in the hundreds and hundreds of cases recorded by the University of Michigan Law School's National Registry of Exonerations involving innocent men falsely accused of rape and rape/murders. The idea that all women and girls must be telling the truth at all times about sexual assault allegations because they "have nothing to gain" is perilously detached from reality. There are a myriad "prosocial" and "antisocial" lies people when they fraudulently report crimes. "Prosocial deceptions" involve specific motives beneficial to both the deceiver and the deceived, including the incentives to "preserve the dignity of others," to gain "financial benefit" for another; to protect a relationship; "ego-boosting or image protection (of others);" and "protecting others from harm or consequence. "Antisocial" lies involve selfish motives to "further a personal agenda at some cost to others," including "self-deception and rationalization to protect or boost self-esteem;" "enhance status or perception in the eyes of others;" "garner sympathy;" "avoid social stigma;" "conceal inadequacy, error, and culpability;" "avoid consequence;" and for "personal and/or material gain." The themes of my work in this area for the past two years to counter the "Believe Women" baloney: The role of the press should be verification, not validation; Rape is a devastating crime; so is lying about it; and It's not victim blaming to get to the bottom of the truth; it's liar-shaming. Don't believe a gender; believe evidence.
(“’believe Women’ Is Perilous Baloney” by Michelle Malkin dated September 19, 2018 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2018/09/19/believe-women-is-perilous-baloney-n2520332 )
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. No updates have been made this week to the issue sections.