Views on the News
Views on the News*
October 3, 2015
Beware bright and shiny leaders à la Barack Obama circa 2007: charming, wide-smiling, seemingly "regular guys" who talk in ambiguous and veiled phrases like "the fundamental transformation of America" that the foolish blindly tie their hopes tom and now Pope Francis is riding such a high tide of Obama-like popularity and "newness" since becoming the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church on March 13, 2013. Obama was a candidate of superficial "firsts," and Pope Francis is also a pope of many "firsts": the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and Latin America, the first non-European pope since the Syrian Gregory in 741. He has the reputation of being less formal and appears more down-to-earth than his predecessors: he utilizes the political "average person" optics of a modest Fiat 500L rather than a limousine and chooses to reside in the Domus Sanctæ Marthæ guesthouse rather than the grand papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace. As slick as Presidential candidate Obama, Pope Francis also makes vague "sound-good" statements like "Service is never ideological, for we do not serve ideas, we serve people." As life experience teaches the wise to evaluate based upon an individual's actions rather than statements, let us look at this pope through that lens. He visits Cuba, a brutal, repressive, totalitarian, 56-year regime, but does not outspokenly criticize that government's inhumane treatment of its citizens or imprisonment of dissidents. The pope calls 21 Middle East Coptic Christians beheaded by Islamic terrorists "martyrs" but does not address the underlying savagery of radical Islam or sharia law. As with Obama's pro-Islam rationalizations, Francis tries in vain to philosophically untangle this tar-baby: "Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence." Once pro-life Pope Francis was in America, he did not speak out against the barbaric practices of infanticide (and the selling of baby body parts) by Democrat-supported Planned Parenthood so as not to ruffle political feathers. What these choices demonstrate is that Pope Francis, like our President, sells a politically spun image designed to rehab the lackluster reputation and waning fortunes of the Catholic Church, and whether or not he stands for anything of consequence remains to be seen.
(“Distrust Obama and a pope of ‘firsts’” by David L Hunter dated September 26, 2015 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/09/oped_distrust_obama_and_a_pope_of_firsts.html )
Look up the word ‘phony’ in the dictionary and there ought to be a photograph of Bill and Hillary Clinton with no further definition provided, since no further definition is necessary. In fact, the same photograph could be used for a number of definitions for words in the dictionary: phony, liar, greedy, dishonest, predator, the list of words that define the Clintons is fairly extensive when one thinks about it. For all of their claims to be working for “the middle class”, the Clintons have always been out for themselves and their chosen few friends. For example, Hillary Clinton’s senior aide Huma Abedin, who occupies a very cozy position and relationship with the Democrat candidate for President in 2016. Hillary Clinton personally approved allowing Abedin to attain the status as a special government employee, which allowed Abedin to work for other interests while still an employee of the Department of State, despite Hillary’s denial of any involvement in this situation. This ‘special arrangement’ allowed Huma Abedin to work for Clinton at the State Department and also for the corporate consulting firm Teneo, as well as carry out duties on behalf of the Clinton Foundation. Some might call the deal ‘triple dipping’ on Abedin's part, raising the question of the possibility of conflicts of interest during Clinton's time as secretary of state, not to mention showing once again the Clintons’ belief that the rules for everybody else don’t apply to them. Naturally the Clinton campaign and lawyers for Abedin have denied any wrongdoing or conflict, claiming that the document Hillary Clinton signed merely approved the title change brought about by Abedin's new status, not the status change itself. I guess it depends on what the definition of “status” is. Once again the Clintons’ unique use of the English language is on display for all to see. Another dictionary definition used to describe the way both of the Clintons talk is “parsing.” While supposedly “Dead broke” and nearly destitute upon leaving the White House, Hillary Clinton failed to mention the multi-million dollar book deals that were waiting for her and her husband, or the anticipated millions to be made on the speaking circuit or any corporate boards or other organizations wanting the high profile either of the Clintons would bring. Just the President’s pension, and Hillary’s Senate salary alone amounted to roughly half a million dollars a year, not to mention the staff and office expense account former presidents receive, as well as the Secret Service protection. Bill Clinton has traveled in the circles of wealth, power and prestige since leaving the White House, making millions of dollars in speaking engagements, just as his WINO (wife in name only) Hillary has clearly done. Cashing in, both Clintons have done exceedingly well financially since Bill Clinton left office. What is interesting is how both the Clintons have tried to portray themselves as fighting for the middle class while they surround themselves with the Hollywood elite and the wealthy, and use ‘real people from the middle class’ only for photo ops. Throughout their history the Clintons have taken advantage of connections among the wealthy and the elite to enrich themselves and their friends.
(“Hillary’s Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds” by D.W. Wilber dated September 30, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/dwwilber/2015/09/30/hillarys-hypocrisy-knows-no-bounds-n2058638 )
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it started, but with Speaker John Boehner’s resignation announcement, there’s no doubt the revolution has begun. Like with all revolutions, the old ways are being replaced. But this revolution has a twist: the revolution is trying to replace the old ways of doing business with even older and more timeless ways. Namely, this revolution is a revolution against centralized power. We were warned about the price of eternal vigilance. There was a time when the Republican Party stood as the bulwark against centralized power, against Washington, D.C., eroding personal space. When both houses of Congress were held by President Obama’s party, the Republican Party stood as the most well-placed institution to oppose his agenda. Things were bad, but if only we had the House! That was the rallying cry from fundraisers, politicians in the minority, and their consultants. So the revolution delivered the House in 2010, but things didn’t seem to change. Obama consolidated his gains and entrenched. There was no consequence. If only we had the Senate! That was the new rallying cry from the fundraisers, politicians in the House majority, politicians in the Senate minority, and their consultants. So the revolution delivered the Senate in 2014. Again, things didn’t seem to change. Instead of opposing Obama with every constitutional tool available, including the power of the purse, the new leadership failed to return the favor that the revolution bestowed on them in 2010 and 2014. Instead the Republican Speaker of the House rolled back Obama’s counter-American revolution. The revolution is bad news for a number of Republican figures. Jeb Bush might top the list. Jeb’s Presidential campaign seems like a political sitcom from Antenna TV, the cable network with the rabbit-ears logo that plays shows from a kinder, gentler time, decades ago. Jeb’s campaign is suited for another time. The revolution was also very bad for Eric Cantor and others who seem to feel more at home appearing on the pages of the New York Times than in conservative media. One of the favorite canards used against the revolution is: “What would you have us do, shut down the government?” Fear of a government shutdown is to Republican leaders inside the Beltway what fear of witches was in colonial New England. The Planned Parenthood videos changed everything, and rendered GOP fear of a shutdown a morally bankrupt position. If there is anything worth shutting down the government for, it is federal tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood. Force Obama to defend what we saw on video, because he’d lose. The revolution created all the briefing materials, videos, and talking points for GOP leadership to score a tremendous victory and simultaneously stop the flow of tax dollars to a barbaric and wicked organization. Instead, the Washington GOP establishment demoralized their base and surrendered without a fight. Everybody knows they have no courage to fight. If there was ever something worth fighting over, it was those dystopian videos. People outside of Washington, D.C., have a hard time appreciating the culture of the Beltway. The revolution is directed at this culture, but it isn’t well understood. The revolution sends people to Washington, and they get wobbly. Some say Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is next on deck. One thing seems likely: the revolution will play a central role in picking the next Republican nominee. The establishment GOP needs the revolution far more than the revolution needs the establishment GOP. While Democrats might enjoy the intra-party bloodletting, the institutional left might have even more to fear: as they say, these people don’t play around. They are coming after you next. The revolutionaries place themselves in the pedigree of Americans who accept risk because of the ideas at stake. They aren’t sunshine patriots! Revolutionaries love America and fear for it in ways that the comfortable class in Washington doesn’t seem to appreciate.
(“The Revolution Has Begun” by J. Christian Adams dated September 29, 2015 published by PJ Media at http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2015/09/28/the-revolution-has-begun/ )
The so-called “progressives” love to talk about how their policies will create a worker’s paradise, but then day after day, month after month, year after year, people are fleeing liberal blue states for conservative red states. The new Census data on where we live and where we moved to in 2014 shows that the top seven states with the biggest percentage increase in in-migration from other states are in order: North Dakota, Nevada, South Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, and Texas. All of these states are red, except Colorado, which is purple. Meanwhile the leading exodus states of the continental states in percentage terms were: Alaska, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Kansas. All of these states are blue, except Alaska and Kansas. Nearly 1,000 people each day on net are leaving blue states and entering red states. This migration is changing the economic center of gravity in America, moving it relentlessly to the South and West. Two of the leading factors behind this movement of human capital are 1) whether a state has a right to work law (half of the states do) and 2) how high the top income tax rate is in the state. Nine states have no income tax today and they are creating twice the pace of jobs than are high income tax states. In 2013, Florida gained $8.2 billion in adjusted gross income from out of staters. Texas gained $5.9 billion, in one year. Five of the seven states with the biggest gains in income have no income tax at all: Florida, Texas, Arizona, Washington, and Nevada. New York was again the big loser with another 112,236 tax filers leaving and taking $5.2 billion with them. Illinois lost nearly 67,000 tax filers and $3.7 billion of income it can no longer tax. I’ve never met a Democrat who could come up with even a semi-plausible explanation for why families and businesses are hightailing it out of blue states. They are leaving states with high minimum wages, pro-union work rules, high taxes on the rich, generous welfare benefits, expansive regulations to “help” workers, green energy policies, etc. People are voting with their feet against these liberal policies. One lame explanation for the steady migration from liberal North to conservative South was that “air conditioning” has made the South more livable. They want us to believe Americans are moving because of the weather. There are two glaring problems with this theory: California and North Dakota. In the last decade ending in 2013, 1.4 million more Americans left California than moved into the once-Golden State. It’s a good bet these California refugees didn’t leave for more sunshine or better weather. If warm weather is what is attracting people to the South, why did the coldest state outside of Alaska, North Dakota, have the biggest population gain in percentage terms in the most recent year? The answer is that workers went to get jobs created by the Bakken Shale oil and gas boom. California is one of the oil and gas richest states in the nation, but its “green” politicians are regulating that industry out of businesses. So much for caring about working class Americans. The latest Census and IRS data merely confirm what Americans can see every day with their own two eyes. Red states are a magnet. There’s a downside to this for sure. Conservatives have a legitimate gripe that as blue staters come into their prosperous red states, they try to turn them blue, like New Hampshire where Massachusetts transplants vote for the left-wing policies they just fled. The underlying trend is unmistakable: Liberal blue states are economic dinosaurs.
(“High-tailing it out of blue states” by Stephen Moore dated September 27, 2015 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/27/stephen-moore-migration-changing-economy-of-us-sou/ )
Half a century ago, Democrats looked at the country and realized they were never going to convince Americans to agree with them, but they noticed that people in other countries of the world already agreed with them, so the solution was obvious. So in 1965, Senator Ted Kennedy passed an immigration law that has brought 59 million foreigners to our shores, who happen to vote 8-2 for the Democrats. The 1965 act brought in the poorest of the poor from around the globe. Non-English-speaking peasants from wildly backward cultures could be counted on to be dependent on government assistance for generations to come. Kennedy and other Democrats swore up and down that the new immigration law would not change the country's demographics, but post-1965-act immigrants are nothing like the people who already lived here. As Pew Research cheerfully reports, previous immigrants were "almost entirely" European, but since Kennedy's immigration act, a majority of immigrants have been from Latin America. One-quarter are from Asia. Only 12% of post-1965-act immigrants have been from Europe, and they're probably Muslims. In 1970, there were only 9 million Hispanics in the entire country, according to the Pew Research Center, while today, there are well more than 60 million. We've already taken in one-quarter of the entire population of Mexico. For the last decade, nearly half of all felons sent to California's prisons have been Hispanics. In 1970, there were only a few thousand Haitians in America, while today, there are nearly a million. In 1970, there were virtually no Somalis in the United States, while in the past 25 years alone, we've brought in more than 80,000 Somali refugees, and more than half of those since 9/11. In 1960, there were about 200,000 Muslims in the U.S., while today the U.S. Census estimates that there are more than 6 million Muslims here. Muslims are expected to surpass Jews as the second-largest religion in America in about two decades. No country has ever simply turned itself into another country like this. With the media cheering the end of America and businessmen determined to keep importing cheap labor, Democrats don't even bother hiding what they're doing. The Democrats got the voters, and the country got 9/11, Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon bombing, clitorectomies, an explosion of gang rapes, child rapes, sex tourism, slavery, voodoo, Russell Brand, billions of taxpayer dollars stolen in Medicare and Medicaid scams, an epidemic of heroin deaths, bankrupt school districts and hospitals, overcrowded prisons, and endless tax hikes to pay for all the immigrant services, as small town after small town goes all-Mexican, or all-Somali or all-Hmong. The people coming in aren't the ones exulting about "the browning of America." It's smug liberals who want America to be humbled and destroyed. The cultural left is overjoyed at the remaking of our society into one that is poorer, browner and less free. These changes are entirely the result of government policies that were never debated, much less put to a vote. Americans have not been consulted on the question of whether to turn our country into some other country. Presumably some immigrants didn't come for the welfare, crime and terrorism opportunities, but rather decided to move to the United States because they wanted to live here, but if our current immigration policies aren't stopped, they're going to wonder why they bothered.
(“The War on America Turns 50” by Ann Coulter dated October 1, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2015/09/30/the-war-on-america-turns-50-n2059403 )
President Obama’s globalist rhetoric captured hearts at the United Nations but it will take more than hot air to make global warming cool with anyone but the easily fooled. Like the rooster that thinks his cock-a-doodle-doo makes the sun rise, Obama touts the notion that the President of the United States can command the forces of nature that made the planet hospitable before the human race was born. He knows he can’t do that, but he might pick the pockets of the prosperous to pay for a fantasy. Obama promoted the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustained Development. The President unveiled the climate change agenda of his globalist manifesto in all its unwrapped purple. “All of our countries will be affected by a changing climate, but the world’s poorest people will bear the heaviest burden from rising seas and more intense droughts, shortage of water and food. We will be seeing climate change refugees.” Apart from computer models that have proved notoriously inaccurate, there is little evidence that the earth’s climate is changing in ways that will trigger the sort of mass migration that the dictators and warmongers have compelled. Now that more than 18 years have passed since global temperatures have budged even an inch, it is clear that “sustainable development,” the keystone of a “green” utopia, is not dependent on the earth’s weather climate but rather on its political climate. The President argues that carbon-dioxide emissions will bring on climate change catastrophe and he has obligated the U.S. to enact his Clean Power Plan. Emissions-reducing rules are expected to reduce global temperatures by only 0.03 degrees Fahrenheit by the turn of the next century, at an annual cost estimated to range between $5 billion and $41 billion. In similar fashion, the U.N., which has none, is attempting to shame the developed nations into paying $100 billion a year into its Green Climate Fund for redistribution to poor countries for renewable energy projects. King Canute demonstrated to his fawning admirers that his authority was limited to the affairs of men, that he had no power to hold back the rising tide, so If a king can’t do that, neither can a mere President discipline the sun!
(“A climate of delusion” dated September 29, 2015 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/29/editorial-obama-pushing-climate-agenda/ )
President Obama applies the same leftist principles abroad that he does at home. At home President Obama is well known for his preference for perceived parity over liberty. Most of his domestic agenda, ObamaCare, executive-order amnesties, open borders, near-zero interest rates, quantitative easing, the piling up of $9 trillion in new debt, tax hikes, more regulations, is apparently aimed at shifting power and capital away from the upper middle class to the lower classes. Americans who did not favor his redistributionist vision were rhetorically reduced to clingers, nativists, the privileged unwilling to spread their wealth, leaches on government who didn’t build their own businesses and who didn’t realize they had already made enough money. Obama once suggested that he was for higher capital-gains taxes even if such tax hikes would discourage profitable activity and thus lead to lower revenues for the Treasury, simply for the sake of “fairness,” reminding us of Tocqueville’s various warnings that many people would prefer parity even if meant less liberty and wealth for themselves. Obama sees the rest of the world as he does the United States, and thus in need of redistribution of power that will bring greater fairness to the planet. Accordingly, under current U.S. foreign policy, the desire for supposed equality trumps most considerations of human rights, values, consensual government, and our own national interest. Take the current destruction of the Middle East: Most of the influence there for many decades has rested with Israel, a small but powerful nation with nuclear weapons and a vibrant economy, and the so-called moderate, Sunni-based authoritarian regimes, Egypt, Jordan, and the oil-exporting and plutocratic Gulf monarchies. Obama apparently saw this as unfair. He sought as a counterweight to empower other Islamic nations and movements deemed more revolutionary and more deserving of American attention. By any sober measure, Turkey’s Recep Erdogan is a fervent Islamist bent on eroding Turkish democracy; but to Obama, he was an avatar of hope and change who would steer Turkey away from its blinkered neo-colonial NATO alignments, even as, within Turkey, Erdogan empowered fundamentalism among the Anatolian underclass against the Westernized Ionian elite. Obama came a day late and a dollar short to the Arab Spring. He got his licks in with the U.S. destruction of Moammar Qaddafi, a monster in rehab who had surrendered his WMD arsenal after the toppling of Saddam Hussein and was slowly handing off power to a transitional secularized and Westernized second generation of the family mafia. No matter, we bombed without congressional sanction, left the feuding terrorist cliques to wreck the country, and were hit at Benghazi, even as the Obama administration gave us the revealing new “lead from behind” doctrine and Hillary Clinton’s hubristic boast, “We came, we saw, he died.” Egypt followed a similar script: Obama was romanced by Mohamed Morsi. Obama apparently envisioned Egypt as soon to be run by somebody schooled in the modern American university’s race/class/gender activism who would appreciate Obama’s own Cairo Speech mythologies. If Egyptian theocracy replaced autocracy, so much the better, given that the former at least had a revolutionary authenticity that the latter lacked. The result was the veritable destruction of Egypt until the unexpected coup by the now-shunned junta of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. No one is terribly sorry that the Gulf monarchies are being ostracized by Obama. They were the architects of the OPEC oil cartel and past masters at stealthily funding anti-Western terrorists. Nonetheless, the Gulf monarchies remained anti-Communist in the Cold War, largely escaped the violence of much of the Middle East, talked tough about Israel rather than fighting her, and welcomed U.S. military bases. Now they are orphaned, not because they are corrupt, anti-democratic, or theocratic, but because they represent wealth, power, and influence in inordinate fashion in the Middle East. Ditto Israel: The Obama administration does not seem to care much that Israel is democratic and pro-Western and that it created a successful economy ex nihilo. It represents Westernism at the expense of revolutionary entities like the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and perhaps now even Hezbollah. From the beginning of the Obama administration, its Middle East invective was aimed not at Iran, Hamas, or the Muslim Brotherhood, but at Israel in general and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu in particular. Like the Kurds, whom Obama has largely neglected, Israel is simply too successful, too unlike the failures elsewhere in the Middle East, and too patently pro-American. Note that in June 2009 Obama forbore to support the one million Iranian reformers who hit the streets to protest the corrupt election engineering of the theocracy. Obama stayed mum throughout the year-long protests. Obama apparently saw the Iranian reformers as retrograde neo-cons rather than legitimate revolutionaries who would appreciate his own unique radical credentials. The result is the Iranian nuke deal, a treaty that is apparently not a treaty, an accord that violates all the prerequisites that Obama himself set out prior to the talks, and a blueprint for any other Middle East nation to obtain nuclear weapons under the guise of promising not to obtain them. This approach to the Middle East is sort of like the art of community organizing in a large blue-state American city — constant turmoil punctuated by occasional equilibrium brought about by concessions from the more powerful. Iran’s nuclear status, its newfound freedom from sanctions, its expanding revenue, and its recharged terrorist appendages will offer it parity in the Middle East. The playing field is being leveled, and the Russian–Syrian–Iranian–Hezbollah–Hamas Axis has finally achieved some parity in the region. Obama tried the same with the Russian reset, until he grasped that Putin is a thug of the first order, an unapologetic neo-Tsarist reactionary who despises Obama as much for his weakness as for his social-justice sermonizing. In Europe, Obama has tried his best to undermine the old Churchillian U.S.–U.K. special relationship. He has preferred the EU to NATO, and sees the present migration crisis as either nemesis for colonialism or a chance for Europe to look more like the world. For a while Obama toyed with the idea that Communist China also was a revolutionary presence that for too long had been stereotyped as an aggressive and thuggish disrupter, pitted against one-dimensional and rather boring U.S. Cold War allies like Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. After China’s cyber-attacks and regional bullying, Obama sort of left the scene, baffled by what exactly he had helped to conjure up, as Japan rearmed, South Korea adopted a new muscular policy toward North Korea, and our Pacific allies began to understand that there might no longer be a U.S. nuclear umbrella. In Latin America, chaos was likewise good. Hundreds of thousands trekked to El Norte once Obama rendered U.S. immigration law null and void and began issuing amnesties, the ingredients of a future political reordering of the American Southwest. Communist Cuba is courted, while the ongoing destruction of Venezuela is ignored, as are the democratic efforts of the handful of Latin American countries that still cling to a belief in consensual government rather than a dictator’s notions of revolutionary mob justice. The hope of the first decade of this century that the stability and prosperity of a consensually governed Chile might spread throughout the continent is mostly defunct. U.S. foreign policy has become something like ObamaCare, immigration law, or the deficit. Obama stirs things up, speaks truth to power, champions the dispossessed, seems bewildered at the ensuing mess, then gradually disconnects from the growing chaos, but seems smug nonetheless over the fact that something is at last in play. Forward we go to the next injustice, ripe for chaos and thus hope and change.
(“Foreign Policy as Community Organizing” by Victor Davis Hanson dated September 29, 2015 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/424738/foreign-policy-community-organizing )
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 this week to the issue sections.