Views on the News

Views on the News*

 October 1, 2016


Donald Trump is and has been private citizen like most of us.  He is not and has not been a politician, and has no legislative voting record, or executive political decision-making record.  In fact, like all private citizens, again like most of us, he can and has the right to change his mind on issues, political parties, and how he has made private-life decisions with regard to his family, business or his personal ideals, values, and principles.  That said, as a private citizen: Donald Trump did not steal your money.  Donald Trump did not raise your taxes.  Donald Trump did not quadruple the price of food.  Donald Trump did not influence or stir the race issue.  Donald Trump did not leave any U.S. officials and citizens behind in Benghazi to be slaughtered and desecrated by Muslims. Donald Trump did not create a security vacuum from which ISIS grew out of the remnants of al-Qaeda in Iraq.  Donald Trump did not arm ISIS and systematically exterminate Christians, Kurds, and the innocent throughout the Middle East.  Donald Trump did not betray Israel.  Donald Trump did not provide hundreds of billions in financing and technology to Iran's nuclear weapons program by way of a phony deal.  Donald Trump did not give our military secrets to China.  Donald Trump did not decimate and deplete our military, and betray our veterans.  Donald Trump did not increase our debt to over 20-trillion dollars.  Donald Trump did not ruin our credit, twice.  Donald Trump did not institute unbalanced trade deals that sent billions of American dollars, jobs, and businesses to foreign countries.  Donald Trump did not double African American unemployment.  Donald Trump did not open our borders, influence massive illegal immigration, or provide U.S. tax dollars to bring in unvetted Middle Eastern refugees to America.  Donald Trump did not steal your rights, violate U.S. Constitutional law, or commit treason, dozens of times.  Donald Trump is being ripped apart in the news, the mainstream media and the liberal left nonstop for being a private American citizen like most of us.  Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the criminals occupying our government, are not.  Stop listening to the liberal mainstream media and allowing them to influence your thinking with their Goebbels-Stalinist-Alinskyite propaganda: stop being brainwashed, and start thinking for yourself, as an individual, as private citizen, as a concerned American, about the Constitution, your country, you and your family’s and your children’s future, about America. 

(“Consider this in your decision-making process” by Jim Waurishuk dated September 30, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/09/consider_this_in_your_voting_decisionmaking_process.html )

Propaganda is, and mainstream media practitioners, are “propagandists.”  It’s high time to brand both as such and make it stick.  Record numbers of Americans consider the news media to be “immoral,” “inaccurate,” and “biased.”  Clearly the public is suspicious but ambivalent about the MSM.  Majorities want to give the MSM the benefit of the doubt.  The Hillary-Trump contest is the apex of propagandizing for a side.  Bias for Hillary is beyond flackeryThe MSM is shilling for much more than a candidate.  Hillary’s just a vessel.  The MSM works for a worldview and agenda that overarches any given election.  The point of electing Hillary has nothing to do with fondness for her, or any belief in her virtues.  It matters that she’s elected to further “remake of America”… to consolidate and advance a leftist agenda… to keep the ins, in, with all the money, power, access, and influence that attends.  The names change, but the game remains the same.  The MSM are serving a regime that has aspirations and aims, and must have control to achieve its ends.  Propaganda is a tool for control, in its acquisition and retention.  The MSM is an organ of the regime.   The left has long grasped that words and language matter; they shape thinking that shapes action.  The right, not so much, with some exceptions.  Years ago, again Rush Limbaugh very artfully and vividly began labeling the MSM the “drive-by media,” but the Republican establishment and the conservative establishment have failed to take up Rush’s lingo.  The GOP complains about “media bias” at times, doing so in measured language.  The conservatives aren’t hesitant to criticize, trying to indict the MSM through description and voluminous supporting evidence.  The arena is the public, wherein voters reside.  The appeal must be to their emotions; must paint a simple and stark picture: the MSM are the black hats, shills for one side trying to trick average folk with omissions, half-truths, and outright lies.  No one wants to be duped, and that’s the MSM’s Mission # 1: playing news consumers for fools.  Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism that intentionally and transparently adopts a non-objective viewpoint, usually for some social or political purpose.  Since its intended to be factual, it is distinguished from propaganda.  It is also distinct from instances of media bias and failures of objectivity in media outlets, since the bias is intended.  The MSM is all about advocacy.  Facts don’t get in the way of the MSM’s “nonobjective viewpoint.”  Someone is bound to cherry-pick MSM reporters who shoot straight.  It’s not the few, but the many, who define the profession, and the profession (that includes publishers and editors) is about propagandizing.  The MSM serves one party and one worldview.  Changes have occurred in the news marketplace over the years, welcome changes.  Thanks to cable, the internet, social media, and technologies, the stranglehold that the MSM enjoyed on news dissemination is no more.  Consumers do have more choice, but the MSM’s market share is still too great and it needs to be slashed.  Further delegitimizing the MSM is the means; marginalizing them is the end, and tagging them propagandists is one way to make that end happen.

(“Call Them Propagandists” by J. Robert Smith dated September 26, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/09/call_them_propagandists_.html )

This election is unlike any other in our nation’s history.  Like many other voters, I have struggled to determine the right course of action in this general election.  In Cleveland, I urged voters, “please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”  After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.  I’ve made this decision for two reasons. First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.  Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable, that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.  Six key policy differences inform my decision:

·    First, and most important, the Supreme Court.  We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia.”  The Trump campaign provided that, releasing a very strong list of potential Supreme Court nominees, including Senator Mike Lee, who would make an extraordinary justice, and making an explicit commitment to nominate only from that list.

·    Second, ObamaCare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing ObamaCare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.

·    Third, energy. Clinton would continue Obama’s war on coal and relentless efforts to crush the oil and gas industry. Trump has said he will reduce regulations and allow the blossoming American energy renaissance to create millions of new high-paying jobs.

·    Fourth, immigration. Clinton would continue and expand Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. Trump has promised that he would revoke those illegal executive orders.

·    Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.

·    Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.

These are six vital issues where the candidates’ positions present a clear choice for the American people.  If Clinton wins, we know, with 100% certainty, that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country.  My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that.  Finally, after eight years of a lawless Obama administration, targeting and persecuting those disfavored by the administration, fidelity to the rule of law has never been more important.  The Supreme Court will be critical in preserving the rule of law.  If the next administration fails to honor the Constitution and Bill of Rights, then I hope that Republicans and Democrats will stand united in protecting our fundamental liberties.  Our country is in crisis. Hillary Clinton is manifestly unfit to be president, and her policies would harm millions of Americans. And Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way.  A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment, and if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.

(“Ted Cruz endorses Trump” by Ted Cruz dated September 23, 2016 published by Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tedcruzpage/posts/10154476728267464 )

Hillary Clinton boasts that her experience traveling to 112 countries as secretary of state qualifies her to be President.  Evidence shows she left the State Department in shambles and our nation weaker, so her record at Foggy Bottom disqualifies her to be President.  Her failures go beyond leaving four Americans to die in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, the ridiculous Russian “reset” and the carnage in Syria that she and President Obama idly watched unfold, and that gets more horrific daily.  A string of investigative reports from the Obama administration shows that she botched key management jobs as secretary of state, threatening American lives and our diplomatic secrets.  Clinton’s State Department repeatedly rebuffed requests for additional security for the vulnerable compound at Benghazi, Libya.  The result was heavily armed terrorists able to storm the compound and kill Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.  Benghazi wasn’t an isolated case.  Clinton failed to secure diplomatic posts in Pakistan, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and other global hot spots. Internal State Department reports show the posts lacked emergency plans in case of attack.  Clinton tried to weasel out of taking the blame for Benghazi, testifying to Congress that she wasn’t personally involved in embassy security, but emails later revealed that was false.  Investigators also point to Clinton’s total neglect of cybersecurity.  In November 2013, the IG issued an alert to the State Department’s top executives about the urgent “recurring weaknesses” in cybersecurity that had been red-flagged in six previous reports between 2011 and 2013, almost all on Clinton’s watch.  The “recurring weaknesses” had still not been addressed, including vulnerabilities to hackers.  Outrageous, but still a lesser offense than Clinton’s neglect of the entire department’s digital security, she exposed communications between thousands of agents and diplomats across the globe.  Hillary’s management of finances at State was also slipshod, according to inspector general reports that point to a whopping $6 billion unaccounted for during her tenure. Clinton’s chaotic mismanagement created “conditions conducive to fraud,” the IG warned, and made it harder “to punish and deter criminal behavior.”  True to Clinton’s instinct to cover up problems rather than fix them, she thwarted several investigations of sexual misconduct and prostitution at State. Investigators complained of “an appearance of undue influence and favoritism.”  The odds are that Hillary Clinton would not run the federal government with integrity, not keep the nation safe and not get taxpayers more for their money.

(“Hillary failed as secretary of state – why would president be any different?” by Betsy McCaughey dated September 27, 2016 published by New York Post at http://nypost.com/2016/09/27/hilllarys-time-at-state-really-was/ )


President Obama’s remarked to the Congressional Black Caucus, “I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election.”  President Obama’s comments are likely to aggravate the current state of race relations.  To appreciate the significance of Obama’s remarks, it bears mentioning Obama’s path to the presidency.  Obama was judged by a different standard.  The journey from Columbia University to Editor of the Harvard Law Review to an appointment on the University of Chicago faculty is typically littered with scholarly publications, clerkships, and other professional accolades.  In Obama’s case, the most conspicuous items on his resume were two autobiographies, both about his racial identity, and an unremarkable stint in Illinois politics.  Much of the rationale for Obama’s candidacy mirrored the arguments frequently proffered for affirmative action programs.  The inclusion of minorities in our highest positions of power will produce racial progress once minorities see that they have a place in American society, and once whites are persuaded that minorities can be integrated on equal terms.  After a string of failed African-American candidates for President, Obama was the first who seemed to have the right temperament and intuitions.  He inspired minorities without resorting to the crude racial politics of Jesse Jackson, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton.  Yet he also offered a critique of race relations that appealed to white voters without the alienating conservatism of Alan Keyes.  America was willing to tolerate the student councilish platitudes in the speech, for they had finally found an African-American leader committed to a benign vision of post-racialism.  Hope prevailed that the era of divisive racial politics were coming to an end.  Obama was part of a new generation of African-American politicians who wasn’t comfortable categorizing his politics by race.  The election of America’s “first black president” was celebrated as a sign that the country was overcoming its race problem.  Eight years later, it’s clear that precisely the opposite has happened.  Race relations have deteriorated to an unenviable place.  In a July 2016 poll, nearly 70% of Americans agreed that race relations are generally bad, a level unseen since the 1992 Rodney King riots.  These sentiments are symptomatic of how little the Obama administration ultimately did for African-Americans.  It’s true that Obama appointed African-Americans to prominent positions, but in this, he was hardly different from his predecessors, Republican and Democrat alike.  On a more fundamental level, however, economic indicators actually suggest that things have worsened under Obama, among them: the largest wealth gap between blacks and whites since 1989; record levels of black child poverty, and widening racial gaps in college attainment.  Tavis Smiley summed it up best: black America got “caught up in the symbolism of the Obama presidency,” but “in the era of Obama, have lost ground in every major economic category.”  On the causes of and solutions to America’s racial divide, black and white views are, to quote a recent Pew finding, "worlds apart."  70% of blacks believe that racial discrimination is a major reason why blacks have a harder time getting ahead compared to just 36% of whites.  Blacks and whites are divided by a margin of over 40 percentage points on the question of whether blacks are treated less fairly in the workplace and when applying for loans and mortgages.  While 88% of blacks believe the change is necessary to make equal rights a reality, just over 50% of whites feel the same.  If Obama’s goal is simply to elect Hillary Clinton, his support might deliver the African-American turnout she needs.  With Obama’s approval rating among African-Americans standing at 90%, vindicated are those who argue that racial solidarity, more so than policy outcomes, drive African-American political sentiments.  It’s an open question whether America’s shrinking white majority will continue to tolerate a double standard that diminishes its grievances, but condones explicit racial appeals to African-Americans.  The Harvard Crimson published an editorial taking issue with the university’s affirmative action policy.  The editorial called for “more nuance in affirmative action” and “greater scrutiny of Harvard’s admission process” to address the costs of black preferences on higher-scoring applicants of other races.  Perhaps the expectations placed on Obama were unreasonable at the outset, but even if Obama cannot solve America’s race problem, the power of the presidency ensures that he can make it worse, and so far, he has.

(“Barack Obama” The Great Divider” by Pratik Chougule dated September 26, 2016 published by The National Interest at http://nationalinterest.org/feature/barack-obama-the-great-divider-17791 )


The latest Democrat Party platform compares the fight against global warming to World War II.  Equating the Third Reich with the free society’s fossil-fuel reliance, and charging Republicans with climate destruction, is from the theater of the absurd.  Obsessing about climate change is avoiding a frank discussion about the here-and-now problems of budget deficits, the federal debt, school choice, entitlement reform, and so on.  Not only do polls suggest the public is unmoved at home and in abroad, serial exaggeration at this point is arguably backfiring, confirming the perils of climate exaggeration.  Global warming activists tout their commitment to evidence and reason, yet their dismal track record seems to lead to only more drama and hyperbole, not humility and open-mindedness.  Falsified and sure-to-be-falsified exaggerations from a parade of Ph.D. scientists are ruining the reputation of science itself.  Physical science has turned into profit-maximizing political science.  In their efforts to promote their “cause,” the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problem.  This behavior risks destroying science’s reputation for honesty.  It is this objectivity and honesty which gives science a privileged seat at the table.  Without this objectivity and honesty, scientists become regarded as another lobbyist group.  The discrepancy between model-predicted warming and (lower) real-world observations has inspired new respect for natural climate variability relative to greenhouse-gas forcing.  The real news is good news in contradiction to doom-and-gloom.  It is time for energy and climate planners to lay down their government arms, and let consumers and taxpayers be.

(“Climate Exaggeration is Backfiring” by Robert Bradley Jr. dated September 23, 2016 published by Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbradley/2016/09/23/climate-exaggeration-is-backfiring/#320a5ef436fc )

President Obama had a dream, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was simply misunderstood.  President Obama believed that all the U.S. needed to get right with Iran was to elect the right kind of U.S. president.  A humble man, like Obama, who understood and respected the Islamic faith, and could apologize for the great wrong done by the U.S. to Iran.  If the president did that, a deal could be struck to end the danger of Iranian nuclear weapons and help moderate Iran’s government.  Apologizing wasn’t all President Obama was prepared to do to make nice with the Islamic Republic.  Under Obama, the U.S. agreed to “political commitments” with Iran that: 1) relieved U.S. and international sanctions on Iran estimated to be worth at least hundreds of billions of dollars for the Iranian regime; 2) restricted the West and international agencies from gaining full access to Iran’s nuclear weapons program sites; 3) provided Iran with $100 - $120 - $150 billion in frozen oil money, from the JCPOA; 4) gave Iran $12 – $20 – $33.6 billion in frozen oil money, probably in cash, from the JPOA; 5) furnished Iran with $1.7 billion, all hard cash, as ransom for American hostages.  In return, Iran gave up some hostages, which it quickly replaced, and made some insincere promises about nuclear weapons research.  Under President Obama, the U.S. has deferred to the Islamic Republic’s wishes on issue after issue.  Because of Iran’s willingness to officially walk away from the nuclear political commitment, Obama has allowed Iran to continue to violate the conventional weapons international ban by supplying its terror proxies from Hizb’allah, to the Houthis, to Hamas with weapons.  Obama has permitted Iran to violate international law by grabbing and humiliating U.S. sailors, and harassing U.S. Navy ships.  Obama has allowed the Iranian regime to escape any repercussions for: grabbing new American and other Western hostages; adding $600,000 to the Iranian bounty for the killing of blasphemous British author Salman Rushdie; pledging that every family of a Palestinian terrorist will receive $7,000 from Iran; and executing the entire adult male population of an Iranian village for drug offences.  Even before the president was officially negotiating with the Iranians, he was prostrating himself before them.  When the Green Revolution began in 2009, rather than do what most U.S. administrations would do: support with words and funding the democratic political movement protesting the bloody and violent anti-American, Islamist totalitarian regime, President Obama refused to take a public stand.  He instructed the CIA not to provide funding for these dissidents for communications, or even arms, and to sever its contacts with the Green Movement.  Obama further ended U.S. programs to document Iranian human rights abuses.  He also caved to the Iranian regime over Syria in 2012-2013.  Rather than enforce his own red line on the use of chemical weapons, he walked back his commitment to oust the Syrian butcher Assad, after the Iranians made it clear they would never negotiate with him otherwise.  This allowed the prolongation of the Syrian civil war, which has killed over half a million people and destabilized both the Middle East and Europe with millions of Syrian refugees.  President Obama was, of course, wrong in his assumptions. His catering to the Islamic Republic did not lead to an end to the nuclear weapons threat, or to moderation by the Iranian government. President Obama’s dream has become the Iranian regime’s fondest wish, the creation of a powerful, violent, and bloodthirsty Islamist Iranian Caliphate, which is a nightmare for the rest of the Middle East.  In 2008, when running for president, Barack Obama said Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”   President Obama has certainly brought change to the Middle East, but it may or may not have been the change that Americans were waiting for.  When it comes to the Islamist theocratic regime in Iran, there can be no doubt that Barack Obama was the U.S. President the Iranian’s were waiting for.

(“The American President Iran Has Been Waiting For” by Adam Turner dated September 26, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/09/the_american_president_iran_was_waiting_for_.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 sections:

·  Agriculture at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/agriculture.php

·  Homeland Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/homelandsecurity.php

·  Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorismphp


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY