Views on the News
October 3, 2009
Views on the News*
Despite his many words and television appearances, our elegant and eloquent President remains more an emblem of change than an agent of it. Virtually everyone in politics and the media who promoted the candidacy of Barack Obama seemed to think that he was a "transcendent" candidate. That somehow he would be able to cross party lines, eliminate racial divides and bring America to some new utopian existence as never before experienced. But Obama has been a failure and it is a virtual certainty that he will continue to be. Instead we see a man who is quite obviously in way over his head. His administration is characterized by chronic poor judgment. His incessant "major speeches" have been form without substance or reiterations of the same old tired pleas that the country should fall in behind his agenda because it is his. All too often they consist of "straw man" arguments and statements that "my way is the only way.” His calls for bipartisanship are really demands for everyone to carry out his desires. His handling of the economy shows that he has no real plans, and is probably incapable of formulating any. The proposals emanating from the Oval Office are worn out, disproved, Keynesian ideas that failed every time that they were used in the past. They aren't working now, but instead of admitting it and changing course, we get more speeches about how they have exceeded all expectations while unemployment continues to grow and much of the private sector flounders. He's a man with an endless, worthy to-do list—health care, climate change, bank reform, global capital regulation, AfPak, the Middle East, you name it—but, as yet, no boxes checked "done." Obama is beginning to believe his own propaganda when he thought his mere presence would sway the Olympic committee to pick Chicago for the 2016 Olympics, but was embarrassed by a first round loss wasting his international political capital on a losing cause. His political overreach is a problem that style will not fix. Unless Obama learns to rely less on charm, rhetoric, and good intentions and more on picking his spots and winning in political combat, he's not going to be reelected. Obama's problem isn't that he is too visible; it's the lack of content in what he says when he keeps showing up on the tube. The President can seem a mite too impressed with his own aura, as if his presence on the stage is the Answer. Obama seems to think he'll get credit for the breathtaking scope of his ambition, but unless he sees results, it will have the opposite effect—diluting his clout, exhausting his allies, and emboldening his enemies. The American people appear to have elected this man in the mistaken belief that he knew how to govern, and had the best interests of the nation at heart, but they have now discovered their mistake. We can hope that next election they will pick someone with less prestige, less fancy degrees, more ability and the understanding that this nation is founded on popular sovereignty, not government-centrism.
(“The Limits of Charisma” by Howard Fineman dated September 25, 2009 published by Newsweek Magazine at http://www.newsweek.com/id/216210
“The Failure of Barack Obama” by Steven D. Laib dated September 27, 2009 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2009/09/27/the-failure-of-barack-obama/
“Olympic-sized loss of political face for Obama and Daley” by Rick Pearson dated October 2, 2009 published by Chicago Tribune at http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2009/10/olympic-sized-loss-of-political-face-for-obama-and-daley.html )
There is a growing body of circumstantial evidence that this country's infatuation with Barack Obama is more than a mere political phenomenon, but an increasingly creepy and dangerous cult-of-personality. Take a look at this pledge in which a bunch of Hollywood types pledge "to be of service to Barack Obama." Then take a look at a comparison of his campaign posters next to those of some of history's worst murderous (communist and fascist) thugs. His direct address to school kids on September 8th originally included an assignment requiring his captive and impressionable audience to spell out how they could "help President Obama" before the public backlash against this outrage forced him to tone down the address. Chillingly, the President wants to institute a new domestic security force with power and funding equal to our defense department. The result of all this adoration and indoctrination can already be seen in his thug supporters who continue to physically attack those with whom they disagree. The only acts of violence perpetrated at the town halls have been committed by leftist supporters of Obama's Marxist-statist policies. The charges against the Black Panther fellows who physically prevented Republicans from voting in the 2008 election were dropped by the Obama Justice Department. No longer should anyone have any illusions about the true nature of the man in the White House and his supporters. His radical friends and czars, environmental extremism, government takeovers of private industry, embracing our enemies while shunning our allies, downplaying international terrorism while labeling American critics of his radical policies domestic terrorists, prosecuting the very heroes who've kept us safe for 8 years, and trillion dollar budget deficits are proof enough of the direction in which this man is taking our beloved country. These progressives like Obama call themselves liberals, but in reality they are anything but. They are elitist snobs who presume to tell you how to live your life. The same puritanical progressives who shoved alcohol Prohibition down our throats are now going after smokers, consumers of fast food, soft drinks, and incandescent light bulbs. Where does it end? Our country does have real problems, but the solution lies not in a slavish faith in the state, let alone one man, to cure all our ills at the cost of our very freedom. The only real solution is an enduring faith in God and in the liberty with which He endowed us – liberties enumerated in our nation's founding documents.
(“Obama Cult? You Be the Judge” by Michael St. Joseph dated September 28, 2009 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2009/09/28/obama-cult-you-be-the-judge/ )
Obama is not only retarding recovery, he is assuring it will never happen by loading up the federal deficit with trillions of dollars of red ink while ignoring the dicey state of the economy. Neither the administration experts nor Obama will acknowledge that their models and strategy are flawed. Instead, they spin the numbers and proclaim success, insisting that the plan is working even though unemployment is higher than they said it would be reaching 9.8% this month, and expected to rise even higher. Again the only job growth was in the public (government) sector. The main priorities emanating from the White House are drastically increasing public spending on health care reform and forcing the US to capitulate to zany schemes to curtail productive output to save the planet. Although technically we may be in a recovery and no longer recession, it may not feel like a recovery until unemployment stops rising and people return to work. The administration’s own economic projection, which has been notoriously optimistic, is that the unemployment rate, which was below 5% just two years ago, will average 9.8% in 2010, 8.6% in 2011, and 7.7% in 2012. The Federal Reserve actions, creating liquidity for the financial sector, have been the major cause of this recovery, not the so-called “stimulus” spending bill since most of its spending remain in the future. However, the dollar's downward trend has been worrisome. The U.S. is in debt, with major deficits as far as we can predict, and until we see a true reversal in that the dollar is going to remain weak. If the economic recession is over, someone forgot to tell the federal budget. The Congressional Budget Office’s latest estimates are that the 2009 federal deficit will total $1.6 trillion. During this fiscal year, revenues fell 17% and outlays surged 24% from 2008 levels. At $1.6 trillion, the resulting 2009 deficit is just a quarter less than the previous eight years' combined deficits ($2 trillion). Even when measured against the economy, at 11.2% of GDP, it is the largest federal deficit since WWII, and the next ten years’ deficit news is even worse. Over the next decade, CBO estimates the federal deficit will be $2.7 trillion higher than had been projected in March and total just over $7 trillion. CBO estimates revenues will average 19.3% of GDP over the next ten years. CBO estimates deficits to average 4% of GDP during the coming decade – versus a 2.4% average over the last 40 years. Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. The only way he can do this is by large tax increases or slowing the growth in major federal entitlement programs… neither one is very likely! Taxpayers at all income levels could be hit with over $1.5 trillion in new taxes, fees, and other costs over the next 10 years, despite President Obama's repeated promises that he would not raise taxes "one dime" on those earning less than $250,000 a year. However, like a balloon, the federal budget can take only so much pressure -- in this case, deficit pressure -- before it explodes.
(“CNBC’s Bartiromo: Recession Eases but Still Holds” by Kathleen Walter dated September 25, 2009 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/CNBC_Bartiromo_recession/2009/09/25/265020.html
“Squeezing the Budget Balloon” by J.T. Young dated September 29, 2009 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=33735
“World Gone Mad” by Bernie Reeves dated September 30, 2009 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2009/09/30/world-gone-mad/
“The Box Obama Built” by Gary Andres dated October 1, 2009 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/017/018dytcz.asp
“Obama’s Claims of Stimulus Success Don’t Add Up” by John Stossel dated September 30, 2009 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/stossel/obama_stimulus_/2009/09/30/266657.html
“Obama’s ‘Stealth Taxes’ Estimated at Over $1.5 Trillion” by David A. Patten dated October 1, 2009 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/stealth_tax_obama/2009/10/01/267430.html
“Mission Not Accomplished” by Paul Krugman dated October 2, 2009 published by The New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/02/opinion/02krugman.html?_r=2&ref=opinion )
The problem is that the current system of health care in the United States is fundamentally flawed due to prior government intervention and further government intervention will only lead to higher costs and bureaucratic rationing. Proper reform would be to address the fundamental flaws in the health industry, which are third party payment, employer-based insurance, massive governmental intervention and lack of competition in the insurance market. Nothing in the bills before Congress or the plan of the administration will reduce these problems, since the proposals will only aggravate the situation. Producers of medical services have an incentive to produce services which are covered by private insurance companies or the two massive government companies, Medicare and Medicaid. If the service is covered by insurance, then the higher the price for the service the more revenue, since consumers don’t pay for the service and their demand is unaffected by the higher price. Employer-based health service coverage is another fundamental aspect of our health system that needs to be changed. In the case of employer-based health insurance you cannot decide that you want a cheaper policy that does not include coverage for items that you believe will be easy to avoid. It also means that you can’t save yourself money by taking actions that reduce your chances of using health care services, such as avoiding fatty foods and exercising regularly. Finally, it means that if you lose your job you lose your health insurance. This is a particularly serious drawback if you have something like cancer, so when you attempt to purchase your own insurance in the private market you will have a preexisting condition and be denied coverage. If insurance were purchased by the individual, such as is the case for other types of insurance, the system could result in persons who got cancer having their treatments paid for and not losing coverage as long as they continued making premiums. All of the government reforms simply add to the systemic problems. Requiring health insurance companies to provide coverage to people with preexisting conditions makes it clear that this is not insurance but rather prepaid medical care. Hawaii, Oregon, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Maine have all created some version of government takeover or administration of health care, and all are a mess. Congress must use the failures of state-run health care as cautionary tales of change to avoid. It's time to start pushing for real reforms that increase access and portability and, above all, protect the primacy of the doctor-patient relationship. After the Republicans have introduced at least 35 health care bills, ranging from comprehensive bills (H.R. 3400, Empower Patients First Act) to bills that improve or clean up specific aspects of health care, Democrats continue to claim that the Republicans don’t have an alternative. The solution to the health care problem is pretty clear: 1) move government and private health care to personal health savings accounts and catastrophic insurance, 2) reform medical malpractice law, and 3) allow interstate competition of health insurance.
(“Why Not Actually Reform the Health Care Industry?” by Gary Wolfram and William Simon dated September 28, 2009 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=33717
“Dem Leadership Denies Existence of 35 GOP Alternative” dated September 29, 2009 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=33742
“States Show How Not to Fix Health Care” by Kerri Houston Toloczko dated October 1, 2009 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=507689 )
The president made more than 20 inaccurate claims in his health care speech to Congress, and these inaccuracies and half truths are eroding any credibility he ever had on legislation. Obama’s utopian promises for what his health care agenda would bring are the opposite of what the Congress plans would produce. In his speech before Congress, he laid out three principles. "It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance to those who don't. And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses and our government." He's also been crystal-clear that any reform cannot add to our massive deficit, yet his marketing just doesn't describe the final product coming out of Congress. Here is a list of inaccuracies and half truths, restricted to those comments that were outright false, and not just misleading:
· “Buying insurance on your own costs you three times as much as the coverage you get from your employer.” The Congressional Budget Office writes, “Premiums for policies purchased in the individual insurance market are, on average, much lower, about one-third lower for single coverage and one-half lower for family policies.” It is true that individual insurance policies are generally 30 percent less comprehensive than employer-provided insurance, and comparable individual policies are about twice as expensive. But much of the extra cost is a function of the tax penalty on purchasing such insurance and the stunted market that penalty has yielded.
· “There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.”An outright falsehood, whether you use the president’s noncitizen-free estimate or the standard, questionable estimate of 46 million uninsured residents. These numbers include: 9 million people counted as “uninsured” in the standard estimate are in fact enrolled in Medicaid; 12 million are eligible but not enrolled, meaning they could get coverage at any time; one quarter to three quarters of the uninsured can afford to purchase coverage, but choose not to do so.
· “And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage.” It also assumes those coverage losses are permanent. Like many of the 46 million Americans we label “uninsured,” many of those 9,000 will regain coverage after a number of months.
· “One man from Illinois lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy. . . . They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it.” He didn’t die because of it; the originator of this false claim, a writer for Slate named Timothy Noah, has admitted he got it wrong.
· “Another woman from Texas was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne.” The woman’s testimony at the June 16 hearing confirms that her surgery was delayed several months. It also suggests that the dermatologist’s chart may have described her skin condition as precancerous, that the insurer also took issue with an apparent failure to disclose an earlier problem with an irregular heartbeat, and that she knowingly underreported her weight on the application.”
· Rising costs are “why so many employers . . . are forcing their employees to pay more for insurance.” The “employer’s share” of employees’ health-care costs comes out of those employees’ wages, not out of profits. Employers aren’t forcing their employees to pick up a larger share of the bill because they can’t. Workers are already paying the entire bill.
· Rising costs are “why American business that compete internationally . . . are at a huge disadvantage.” The Congressional Budget Office, under Peter Orszag, confirmed that health-care costs do not hinder competitiveness. Obama economic aide Christina Romer has called this competitiveness argument “schlocky.”
· “Those of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it — about $1,000 per year that pays for somebody else’s emergency room and charitable care.” This number has been debunked and replaced with an estimate closer to $200 per year for a family. The CBO report mentioned above reached the same conclusion.
· “[Reform] will slow the growth of health-care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.” In July, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said, “In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs.”
· “Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. Let me repeat this: Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.” Obama’s wording is lawyerly: While not denying that his plan would cause people to lose existing coverage with which they are satisfied, he leads us to believe that he is denying it. But even on its own terms, Obama’s claim is false. The CBO estimates that slashing payments to Medicare Advantage, as Obama advocates, “would reduce the extra benefits that would be made available to beneficiaries through Medicare Advantage plans.” It would also cause some people to lose their coverage.
· Requiring insurers to cover preventive care “saves money.” According to a review in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Although some preventive measures do save money, the vast majority reviewed in the health economics literature do not.”
· “The [bogus] claim . . . that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens . . . is a lie, plain and simple.” Sarah Palin claimed that Obama’s “death panels” would deny people medical care, not actively kill them. Obama himself proposed a new Independent Medicare Advisory Council with the authority to deny life-extending care to the elderly and disabled.
· “There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.” For better or worse, the president’s plan would, in his words, insure illegal immigrants. Various federal agencies, immigration critics, and the media all acknowledge that a small number of undocumented aliens obtain Medicaid benefits despite being ineligible. The president seeks to expand Medicaid, which would create greater opportunities for ineligible aliens to enroll. The House Democrats’ health-insurance exchange, which Obama supports, would “apply to” undocumented aliens.
· “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.” The House bill allows the “government option” to pay for abortions directly from the U.S. Treasury. Both the House and Baucus bills would subsidize private insurance that cover abortions.
· Critics of the public option would “be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won’t be. I’ve insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects.” How quickly we forget the example of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Like those institutions, the public option would benefit from an implicit subsidy: Everyone would know that Washington would not allow the program to fail, and financial institutions would therefore offer it better rates. The public option would thus be able to undercut its less-subsidized competitors.
· “And I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need.” Unless the president proposes to abolish insurance, or abolish all care management, there will always be tension between patients, doctors, and public/private insurers over what patients “need.” But even if a new program would be “administered by the government, just like Medicaid or Medicare,” it would interfere in those decisions.
· “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future.” “The plan will not add to our deficit.” None of the bills before Congress can credibly claim to keep the deficit from rising.
· “Now, add it all up, and the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years.” Even the supposedly parsimonious Baucus bill would cost closer to $2 trillion than $1 trillion once we “add it all up.” Moreover, the preliminary CBO score does not measure the full cost of the bill because it does not include the mandates Baucus would impose on states (about $37 billion) and the private sector.
· “The middle class will realize greater security, not higher taxes.” Obama would make health insurance compulsory for the middle class. This “individual mandate” is equivalent to a tax or fine on everyone, including the middle class..
· “I won’t stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are.” In case Obama hadn’t noticed, everyone from the drug-makers to the unions to the insurance companies he demonizes are spending millions to build momentum for his version of reform, in no small part.
When President Obama makes a factual claim about health-care policy, he does not deserve the benefit of the doubt about its accuracy. The latest poll by Scott Rasmussen not only shows national opposition to ObamaCare rising — now it is 41% to 56% against — but also shows the elderly moving against it even more strongly by 33-59 or almost 2-1. We do not know whether he has been badly misinformed or is deliberately trying to mislead, but either way, he cannot be trusted to reform American health care.
(“You Mislead!” by Michael F. Cannon and Ramesh Ponnuru dated September 28, 2009 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NjJmNjY4MjA2ZmNkZWNmZDU2ZmY1NTUwZmMzNmIxMjE=
“Elderly Moving Against ObamaCare” by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann dated September 28, 2009 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/morris/obamacare_obama_elderly/2009/09/28/265700.html
“’Reform’ horrors: O’s Total Disconnect” by Sally Pipes dated September 30, 2009 published by New York Post at http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/reform_horrors_total_disconnect_Lzm6BGLIAy26L78eGaFP0L)
The global warming scam, the Mother of all dangerous doctrines is diverting policy-making attention away from bolstering the economy to bludgeoning free market capitalism with more big lies. While not all believers in the hypothesis of man-made global warming are worshippers of secular socialism and salvation through the political state, that hypothesis, as currently hyped by Al Gore, is a product of the secular religion of socialism. The deep environmental movement has been infiltrated by utopian socialists seeking a home after the collapse of the USSR, the last great hope for world socialism. The forces behind saving the planet are dedicated to destroying individual initiative and enterprise for idealistic, unattainable and undesirable goals: to halt productivity and implant one-world governance. At the United Nations summit on global warming last week, politicians emphasized the need to protect the world's most vulnerable, who will be hit hardest by climate change. The rhetoric did little to disguise an awful truth: If we continue on our current path, we are likely to harm the world's poorest much more than we help them. By exaggerating the threat of global warming, we have awoken the beast of protectionism. There are always forces in society that demand that politicians create more barriers to trade because they cannot compete on an even, fair playing field. Global warming has given them a much stronger voice. Already, politicians are responding -- and using the fear of global warming to create "green fences" against free trade. There is a real and growing prospect of an all-out trade war being waged in the name of climate change. The failed Kyoto Protocol didn't change Earth's climate a bit, but it did burden the economy of any nation that embraced it. Over 23 years, a “Cap and Trade” plan would slash $9.4 trillion from GDP and kill 2.5 million jobs. It would hike gasoline prices by 58% and increase home electricity rates by 90%, according to the CBO. “Cap and Trade” could cost families an added $1,761 a year in taxes totaling $200 billion a year in new taxes, the equivalent of raising everyone's taxes by roughly 15%. Like their Bolshevik forbears, the green activists peddle junk science and saccharine platitudes to lure the well-meaning into a doctrinaire trap. Worst of all, neither the House's bill nor the Senate's will work, since the technology to radically reduce fossil fuel use without crashing the economy simply doesn't exist. What do you say to people who desire "equal rights for the atmosphere"?
(“Costly Carbon Cuts” by Bjorn Lomborg dated September 28, 2009 published by The Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/27/AR2009092701444.html?wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter
“Cap-And-Fade” dated September 30, 2009 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=507611
“Respecting Religious Belief” by Thomas Brewton dated October 1, 2009 published by Thomas Brewton at http://www.thomasbrewton.com/index.php/weblog/respecting_religious_belief/ )
Global Warming is based on junk science and therefore the “Cap and Trade” legislation must be defeated by totally refuting the scientific justification that drives this stealth tax bill. An increasing number of global scientists have checked the data and logic underlying the global warming effort and found that there appears to be no serious evidence that some form of unprecedented global warming is underway. The mathematical modeling effort used to support the so-called anthropogenic global warming (AGW) claims has been shown to be flawed, if not fraudulent. The scientific "consensus" of a major problem appears to be coming from a self-reinforcing group within or financially dependent upon the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). No serious scientific link between any perceived global warming and the miniscule amount of manmade CO2 in the atmosphere (beyond the flawed or fraudulent IPCC mathematical model) has been made. Also, in 15 years since the first predictions of catastrophic events were announced, none of those events can be demonstrated to be underway today. On July 22, 2009, the Science and Public Policy Institute released a study showing that the U.S. government alone has spent more than $79 billion of taxpayers' money since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, administration, public relations campaigns, foreign aid, and tax breaks. The study documents that audits of the science involved has been left to unpaid volunteers. They cite how a dedicated but largely uncoordinated grassroots movement of scientists has sprung up around the globe to test the integrity of "global warming" theory competing with a lavishly-funded, highly-organized climate monopoly and how major errors have been exposed again and again. What is becoming clearer is that the concept of "manmade global warming" may be one of the greatest hoaxes in world history. How soon this "manmade global warming" hoax will become generally known will depend on how forcefully the political effort seeking both national and international control of industry and wealth redistribution can keep the hoax hidden by intimidation and forcefully amplified rhetoric while systematically jeopardizing the economies of America and other developed nations.
(“Global Warming ‘Science’” by John McLaughlin dated September 27, 2009 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/09/global_warming_science.html )
The one obvious and consistent feature self-evident in speech after speech comprising his world “O’pology Tour” is Obama's disdain for America. Obama stands with the world's evil-doers in rejecting American exceptionalism. If there was a question about Obama's love of his country, the disparaging remarks on Wednesday about the country he was elected to lead confirm his scorn. There was no mention of the good that American men and women have done for the people of the world in the 20th and 21st centuries. There was no mention of the soldiers that have fought, been maimed, and died on battlefields across the globe so that people could be free of dictators the likes of which sat in the General Assembly and applauded for Obama. There was no mention of the financial support, the humanitarian aid, or the work of various American not-for-profits that exist solely to help individuals less fortunate the world over. And of course, there was no mention of the international AIDS-fighting campaign launched under George W. Bush, Obama's predecessor who received the biggest bashing in his speech. On several occasions, Obama attacked American conduct in simplistic caricatures a European diplomat might employ or applaud. He accused America of acing “unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others”. He argued that, “America has too often been selective in its promotion of democracy” -- which is hardly a challenge for the Obama administration, which has yet to make a priority of promoting democracy or human rights anywhere in the world. “Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world’s problems alone.” I can recall no other major American speech in which the narcissism of a leader has been quite so pronounced. It is impossible to imagine FDR, under any circumstances, unfairly criticizing his own country in an international forum in order to make himself look better in comparison. But notwithstanding Obama's motives for reaching out to the dictators of the world, Americans must take note of the fact that the lessons of history and basic understanding of human nature teach that irrational megalomaniacs cannot be reasoned with. Obama has already achieved what it took Jimmy Carter an entire term to attain: the conviction of a large majority of the American people that he is not protecting our interests or performing adequately as commander in chief. No matter how articulate America's president, his Messiah-like aura will not turn evil into good, the devil into an angel.
(“All About Obama” by Michael Gerson dated September 26, 2009 published by The Washington Post at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2009/09/all_about_obama.html
“The History Lesson Obama Missed” by Lauri B. Regan date September 27, 2009 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/09/the_history_lesson_obama_misse.html
“Losing Faith in the Commander in Chief” by Jennifer Rubin dated October 2, 2009 published by Commentary Magazine at http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/112352 )
Fatally confident of his powers of persuasion, Obama's bewildered that he hasn't been able to convince the Iranians (or the Palestinians, Russians, Venezuelans, Chinese, etc.) to do what he wants them to do. Not only has Iran's known program moved ahead despite our cajoling, now comes the news that far more dangerous facilities have been missed for years by our intelligence services (to their credit, though, they ultimately found the Qom installation). Obama knew about Iranian nuclear progress, but was embarrassed to reveal it to the public since it raises the pressure on the White House to act, something this president's squirming to avoid. Our president offered more uselessly vague rhetoric in response to proof of a major "covert Iranian enrichment facility" and its implications. Only French President Sarkozy made a serious attempt to get the Iranian leadership's attention, stressing the consistent failure of negotiations and the need for action, since He understands that a decade of talking with Tehran brought zero results. So Washington delays, while Iran races toward a nuclear arsenal. Iran's faith-crazed president appears before the UN, denying the Holocaust and damning Israel. He has openly and repeatedly professed an apocalyptic religious vision that requires chaos on earth to bring about the return of the "hidden imam," the Shia version of a messiah. He never misses an opportunity to call for Israel's total destruction. The new and immeasurably dangerous factor in play is religious fanaticism. The doomsday-lust avowed by Ahmadinejad and his supporters shatters every deterrence equation. Iran's mullahs are not going to be dissuaded from developing nuclear weapons by oh-so-brave speeches from the podium of the United Nations. For the UN is proving an all too worthy successor to the old, pathetically useless League of Nations, that earlier international debating society. So now what? Our President will try more talks. We may see half-hearted sanctions, which Iran has been caught violating about its nuclear program three times in the last decade. Russia, which profits hugely from dirty trade with Iran, can slip goods across the Caspian Sea or through Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. And maritime sanctions are meaningless, unless our president is willing to order our Navy to fire on Chinese-flagged or Venezuelan-flagged merchant vessels. Obama may have found a way to reinvent America as something in his own image, even if more loathsome: a weak nation shrinking from the responsibilities of strength. A weak America is a prize that Yank-bashers have been dreaming about for 50 years, because that’s an America that, perhaps rightly, will be truly and forever despised. President Obama has adopted another failed policy of the past – “appeasement” or “Speak Timidly and Don’t Carry a Stick!” – and will ride it as long as he can under the umbrella of “progressive realism” and “engagement.”
(“Appease-y does it for weak Prez on road to a Mideast apocalypse” by Ralph Peters dated September 26, 2009 published by New York Post at http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/appease_does_apocalypse_for_weak_9HzomoUqSd9gZJINIwtJlL
“Obama’s Iran Formula” by Stephen F. Hayes dated October 5, 2009 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/017/007wxlum.asp
“The Limits of Reinvention” by Denis Boyles dated October 1, 2009 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YWQyODRhYzVhZmU0ZTdmZjQxMmZjNTdhZmUwMmUxMGQ=
“Words Without Action, or: Resolved to Be Resolved” by Paul Greenberg dated October 1, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/PaulGreenberg/2009/10/01/words_without_action,_or_resolved_to_be_unresolved )
There was a big difference between the hundreds of thousands of conservative protesters in Washington on September 12 and the three thousand anti-capitalist radical protestors at the Pittsburgh G-20 conference. The tone from the podium in Washington was happy and patriotic, which meant nothing to The Washington Post, which covered it as an outpouring of a "spectrum of conservative anger." But in Pittsburgh, protesters on September 24 assembled with no permit to march, and destroyed property on their route. The September 12 protest was clearly a grass roots demonstration composed of people of all ages, religions, and races from across the United States; while the September 24 protest was composed of hard core radicals expecting to get arrested. HBO talk show host Bill Maher exemplified the liberal-media attitude: "Even with a face full of tear gas, these G-20 protesters [are] better looking than the teabaggers." The Media coverage has been so one-sided that the next round of TEA Party protests are planned on October 17 to take place outside the media offices so they can’t be ignored! For the record: in Pittsburgh, there three thousand protesters and 200 were arrested; while in Washington DC, there were close to a million protesters, but there were no reports on a single arrest.
(“Pittsburgh Protest Promoters” by Brent Bozell dated September 29, 2009 published by News Busters at http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-bozell/2009/09/29/bozell-column-pittsburgh-protest-promoters
“Obama’s ‘Minion Media’ to face fed-up Americans” by Chelsea Schilling dated September 28, 2009 published by World Net Daily at http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=111305 )
* There is so much published each week that unless you go out of your way to find it, you will miss important breaking news. I package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning for your reading pleasure and to fill in factual gaps.
If you are sick and tired of government and politics as usual, read my web site with its individual issue analysis and recommendations sections at: http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com . Individual issue updates this week include:
· Homeland Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/homelandsecurity.html
· Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorism.html