RTCS

Views on the News

Views on the News*

September 27, 2014

                            

No one gets to be President of the United States without some degree of intelligence, but Obama has always relied more on his charm and on the illusion of his charisma, based on his depiction by an adoring press.  His charisma has disappeared, even among the same press, but most abundantly among the American people of all political persuasions who now regard him as one recent poll put it, the worst President the nation has ever had.  Consider just a few of the ways his lack of judgment has reveal just how foolish he is.  It began with foisting ObamaCare on a nation deep in an economic crisis.  He did this by telling lies about keeping one’s insurance or physician.  It worsened as the website turned out to be a disaster and one easily hacked to get the personal information of those who signed on.  The Middle East has been quicksand for Obama, who thought he could go there, give some speeches, and convince everyone that he was a friend to Islam and his policies would reverse those of George W. Bush.   Even those Americans not paying much attention to foreign policy have became aware of how vacant Obama’s was.  He told them “I don’t have a strategy” regarding ISIS, letting them and the rest of the world that he had not given any attention to an emerging threat.  In the Middle East, his decision to side with the Muslim Brotherhood regarding the ouster of Egypt’s dictator was reversed by Egyptians who demanded the removal of his replacement.  In Libya he chose to “lead from behind” to topple Gaddafi, leading behind a nation that swiftly fell into divided camps between its tribes.  Obama has reduced the U.S. Army to levels that it hasn’t seen since the days leading up to World War II.  The Navy, Air Force, and Marines have also experienced comparable cutbacks.  If Obama had his way, the U.S. would have zero nuclear weapons.  Obama is not an “evil genius.”  Instead he is an appallingly foolish man completely lacking any knowledge of history, thoroughly ignoring the intentions of Russia and China, doing nothing for the past six years to energize the economy, and spending most of his time either fund raising or playing golf.

(“Obama’s Ignorance” by Alan Caruba dated September 24, 2014 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/66257 )

Barack Obama is destined to be the greatest flop in American Presidential history, since, in every sense of the word, he was an utter failure.  Consider first his signature achievement, ObamaCare: not only has Obama had to delay implementation, but the law is more unpopular today than it has ever been according to all polling data.  Pew Research reports that 55% of Americans disapprove of ObamaCare.  A clear plurality of Americans believe that they will be worse off because of ObamaCare.  CBS News lists the “strongly approve” of ObamaCare at 16%, while “strongly disapprove” is a whopping 47%.  This political hack, who had the power to do anything during his first two years, could think of nothing more imaginative than (1) spending federal dollars like water based upon the ancient and failed “stimulus” idea and (2) implementing an even greater failure of nationalized health insurance simply, one suspects, because Barry had no keener mind or greater imagination than to pick up tired ideas of British Socialism eighty years old.  Obama, who “won” the Nobel Peace Prize almost as soon as he took office, is now officially a warmonger president, but one who leads from behind and rejects every attempt to form a national consensus policy, and whose utter haplessness in guiding national security is stunning.  Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, etc. – Obama’s foreign policy has been almost comic opera.  Some presidencies that are successes in policy areas, like the Nixon presidency, are unwound by corruption and cover-ups.  Has any administration been as marinated in lies about important facts in investigations as this administration?  The IRS e-mail scandal surpasses anything Nixon did in Watergate.  The destruction of documents by a Hillary State Department to hide information from Congress relating to Benghazi would surpass any misconduct in presidential history.  Even our worst presidents had their bright spots, but this President did little beyond savoring the perks of office and reading his notorious teleprompter.

(“The Utter Failure of Obama” by Bruce Walker dated September 22, 2014 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/09/the_utter_failure_of_obama.html )

Washington is out of touch with the rest of America, but it took a study by Johns Hopkins University to confirm it.  Surveying 850 people who either work in government or directly with it, researchers found that the inside-the-Beltway crowd has very little in common with America at large.  Washington insiders are more likely to be white.  They are more educated.  Their salaries are higher, they vote more and have more faith in the fairness of elections.  They are probably Democrat and liberal.  They more diligently follow the news, and they think the mechanizations of government couldn’t be easier to comprehend.  There are easy and reasonable explanations for much of this: if you live in Washington, you likely either work for the government, or work at a firm that works with the government.  You read the news because you’re either in it, making it, writing it, or countering it.  We all know that when it comes to mass messaging and perception, none of that matters.  The elements of difference we have identified between the rulers and the ruled — demographic, experiential, partisan and ideological — give us some reason to suspect that the two groups may not perceive the political world in the same way.  Real America” is more diverse, less wealthy, more conservative, less educated, and less informed.  If only “Real America” is represented, what happens to the voices of wealthy Americans with professional degrees?  Conversely if only the wealthy are represented, what happens to the voices of the middle class?  We can either learn from each other, or ignore the realities of policymaking while we fight each other, but we do need to learn to live together better.

(“Huge gulf between D.C. political class and the rest of America” by Amy Miller dated September 19, 2014 published by Legal Insurrection at http://legalinsurrection.com/2014/09/johns-hopkins-study-huge-gulf-between-d-c-political-class-and-the-rest-of-america/ )

 

After outlining his strategy to combat ISIS, President Obama gave a pep talk on the state of the nation describing the U.S. as on the move in a big comeback from 9/11 and the Great Recession.  Unfortunately, the public ain’t buying what the President is selling.  Deep, experienced-based and worsening pessimism is abroad in the land, according to findings of a national poll conducted by the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Consider:

·    71% of those surveyed said the recession that ended in 2009 permanently changed the U.S. economy - up from 49% five years ago.

·    88% said good jobs with good pay will never be as available as they were before the recession, or will only rebound after many years.

·    53% said job security is gone for good.

·    59% said they are in poor or fair financial shape.

·    57% predicted their family finances would stay at a shrunken post-recession level, while only 21% expected to eventually recover lost ground.

Disastrously, the dour outlook reflects reality: In 2013, the median income of American families was 4% less than at the end of the recession and 7% less than before the recession started in 2007 according to the Census Bureau.  Adjusted for inflation, a family in the middle of the pack made $51,939 last year, compared with $54,059 in 2009 and $56,436 in 2007.  That family lost almost $4,500 in annual income since the financial meltdown.  At the same time, “only families at the very top of the income distribution saw widespread income gains between 2010 and 2013,” the Federal Reserve reported.  This is the horrible new normal in an economy that is not creating enough new jobs to keep up with population growth, that is trading well-paying jobs for low-paying positions, that has trapped more than 7 million people in part-time work and that has seen millions of prime working-age Americans drop out of the labor force.  With good reason, Americans have tuned Obama out.  In January 2013, 42% said they had some or a lot of confidence that the government could help improve the economy.  In August 2014, fully 78% said they had limited or no confidence that Washington could ride to their rescue, and this indictment is damning.

(“Obama’s Malaise” dated September 21, 2014 published by New York Daily News at http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/editorial-obama-malaise-article-1.1946156 )

 

The man-made catastrophe known as the "Affordable Care Act" and "ObamaCare" still lurks.  So much damage has been inflicted by the lies and gross ineptitude in health care policy:

·    Young people will love it. ObamaCare requires insurers to charge the same premium regardless of medical condition and accepts everyone who signs up. This perversion of market economics requires lots of young, healthy people to be overcharged in order to cover the costs of undercharged older, sicker people and many remain unconvinced.

·    Everybody will finally be covered … for less than $1 trillion. A single-payer-friendly President sold the dream of universal coverage.  The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) original projection of a $938 billion price tag (over 10 years) now surpasses $1.3 trillion.

·    Health care reform will have little impact on employment. Labor force participation is at its lowest point in 40 years.  Three Federal Reserve banks report private sector survey respondents are either cutting jobs, shifting workers to part-time status and/or increasing the employee contribution to their health care plans all as a result of ObamaCare.

·    You can keep your insurance if you like. White House memos reveal the President's staff knowingly misled millions of policy holders within the individual market. Over 6 million Americans had their health coverage canceled as a result. Additional millions within the group market are finding it equally difficult to keep their physician, specialist and plan.

·    The medical device tax as money maker. This was never good policy, but just another revenue source.  Predictions of lay-offs in the technology sector have proven correct.

·    A progressive conscience clause. The president's bullying tactics over religious liberty plays well for the "war on women" audience, not so much in the courts. The "Hobby Lobby" decision was a serious setback for the administration's aggressive re-write of religious conscience clause protection.

·    The typical family will save $2,500 a year. The administration is generally mum on this old campaign promise. The reality is some consumers have seen lower premiums, others higher premiums, and just about everyone is experiencing higher deductibles.

·    Nobody will deny you coverage due to a pre-existing condition. One of the few bipartisan provisions in the legislation could have been accomplished in a simple bill via the creation of federal risk pools.  Only 107,000 people took advantage of this policy change over the first three years of ObamaCare.

ObamaCare includes a few good and many bad policies pieced together in order to fulfill campaign promises.  To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, we now know what's wrong in the bill.  Going forward, we must repeal and replace this turkey, and at the same time make Harry Reid Senate Minority leader in November.

(“Affordable Care Act lies” by Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. dated September 21, 2014 published by Baltimore Sun at http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bs-ed-ehrlich-0921-20140917,0,3689426.column )

 

Rape is a vicious crime, one that disproportionately affects poor women and incarcerated men.  Barack Obama knows his voters, and so his recent remarks on the subject were focused not on penitentiaries, broken families, or Indian reservations but on college campuses, where the despicable crime is bound up in a broader feminist Kulturkampf only tangentially related to the very real problem of sexual violence against women.  President Obama repeated the endlessly reiterated but thoroughly debunked claim that one in five women will be sexually assaulted in her college years, but the actual rate is inconsistent and contradictory, and one almost suspects that it is so by design.  Much of the scholarly literature estimates that the actual rate is more like a tenth of that one-in-five rate, 2.16%, or 21.6 per 1,000 to use the conventional formulation.  That number is problematic, too, as are most of the numbers related to sexual assault, which is frequently blamed on defective wording in survey questions.  There is at least one significant departure from the usual trends in violent crime: Only about 9% of those raped are men.  The prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses is wildly exaggerated, not necessarily in absolute terms, but relative to the rate of sexual assault among college-aged women with similar demographic characteristics who are not attending institutions of higher learning.  Some schools define “sexual assault” so loosely as to include actions that “are not criminal.”  This might explain why so many women who answer survey questions in a way consistent with their being counted victims of sexual assault frequently display such a blasé attitude toward the events in question and so rarely report them.  More than 35% said they did not report the incident because they were unclear as to whether a crime was committed or that harm was intended.”  Under the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ apples-to-apples year-over-year comparison, sexual assault has declined 64% since the Clinton years.  That is excellent news, indeed, but it does not feed the rape-epidemic narrative, and so it must be set aside.  The fictitious rape epidemic is necessary to support the fiction of “rape culture,” by which feminists mean anything other than an actual rape culture.  Rape culture” simply means speech or thought that feminists disapprove of and wish to suppress, and the concept has been deployed in the cause of, inter alia, bringing disciplinary action against a Harvard student who wrote a satire of feminist rhetoric, forbidding politically unpopular speakers from speaking on campuses, and encouraging what often has turned out to be headlong and grotesquely unjust rushes to judgment, as in the case of the Duke lacrosse team.  If your interest were in making opposition to feminist political priorities a quasi-criminal offense and using the horrific crime of rape as a cultural and political cudgel, then you’d be doing about what we’re doing right now.  The way we talk about rape today suggests that we do not much care about the facts of the case.

 (“The Rape Epidemic Is a Fiction” by Kevin D. Williamson dated September 21, 2014 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/388502/rape-epidemic-fiction-kevin-d-williamson )

Americans are against terrorism, wholeheartedly, and want to do something about it, but halfheartedly.  As such, the public has been in sync with the president, meaning we have the government we ­deserve.  Barack Obama’s heart was never in the war on terror, and he burst onto the national scene with an anti-Iraq War riff.  He called it a “dumb war,” a phrase that echoes still in his foreign-policy slogan of “don’t do stupid stuff.” The latest declaration, “No boots on the ground,” is cut from the same cloth.  As faculty-lounge wordsmiths go, he’s top shelf.  Voters were with him big time in 2008, and a majority stayed with him in 2012 as he promised to get out of Afghanistan, too.  He had OK’d the assassination of Osama bin Laden, a fact he waved like a bloody scalp, and it shielded him from direct hits after the Benghazi terror attack.  His mistake was that he began to take his Houdini-like escapes for granted, and thus was gob-smacked when the “war-weary nation” suddenly wanted a tougher President after the Islamic State beheaded two Americans.  In a flash, the usually nimble President was way out of step with the country.  After some flub-a-dubs, he announced a strategy that is true to his core: It is ­neither-nor.  It is neither a strategy for victory, nor a strategy for doing nothing.  Military types say his big goal and his puny tools are a mismatch, which could mean he has been too clever by half.  He is ­underestimating the terrorists’ lust for blood and overestimating his ability to fool voters into thinking he is resolute.  If the terrorists are serious about creating their caliphate, and if we do not become serious about stopping them, Obama could remain out of step for the rest of his term. If things go badly enough, Obama could be tagged as the President who lost the Global War on Terror.

(“Obama’s half-hearted war on terror” by Michale Goodwin dated September 21, 2014 published by New York Post at http://nypost.com/2014/09/21/obamas-half-hearted-war-on-terror/ )

 

* 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:

·  Preface at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/preface.php

·  Economy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/economy.php

                                               

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com