Views on the News

Views on the News*

 October 15, 2016


It looks like this election is going to have to be settled by the voters.  Hillary Clinton was smooth, but Donald Trump, in a performance that was all the more remarkable for the ditch he’s in, made it clear that the election isn’t over yet.  That has got to be infuriating to the press and the political elites.  They have been trying, since the day Trump declared, to write off his candidacy as a folly.  The airing of the recording of the future Republican nominee speaking of women in the most inappropriate terms would be, the press has been assuring us, the end of it.  The Times declared him without hope.  In the wake of the showdown in St. Louis, it looks like that won’t be decided until the voters deal with it themselves.  This difficulty arises from the central circumstance of this election.  Clinton keeps declaring for what she calls the “high road.”  In her best moments, she is wonderfully warm and articulate.  The ideology of the Democrat Party, however, has given us eight years of economic stagnation and veered us onto the road to socialism.  The Democrats’ signature program, ObamaCare, is in disarray, as is its foreign policy.  Clinton shares responsibility for both of these failures.  Trump keeps to what Clinton calls the “low road,” but he is running on a more substantive, and more humane, platform of law and order, military strength, tax cuts, deregulation, and economic growth.  The irony is that growth is better for minorities than the dole and subsidies that Clinton promises.  By creating jobs, economic growth is the only strategy that offers a solution to the immigration “problem.”  It would create a climate in which we would need immigrants of all sorts.  The high road is not high enough to detour around the issues Donald Trump is raising.  It is exactly the sort of problem that requires millions of minds to decide.  Clinton might win, but the idea that she and the press could untangle this knot by declaring Trump unfit and without resort to the voters looks this morning to be hubristic. 

(“Soon the Voters” dated October 10, 2016 published by The New York Sun at http://www.nysun.com/editorials/sovereignty-of-the-voters/89749/ )

This election is about a lot of things, but it is fundamentally about the U.S. Constitution and whether federal judges will adhere to their oath to “faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me under the Constitution and laws of the United States,” or dilute, attack and destroy our founding document.  That the Constitution is on the ballot in the persons of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who hold differing views of it and have pledged to appoint radically different judges to federal benches, is revealed in a recent op-ed for Slate by Richard Posner, a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.  In his op-ed, Judge Posner claims to see “absolutely no value” in studying the Constitution since “18th-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc., of the 21st century.”  Even the Bill of Rights, says Judge Posner, “do not speak to today.”  He continued: “I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation (across the centuries, just a little more than two centuries, and of course less for many of the amendments).”  After receiving severe criticism, Judge Posner apologized for his “careless” remarks, but he still doesn’t think the Constitution is relevant for today because those dead white guys owned slaves and didn’t have the internet.  This is the arrogance of some judges who think they know better than the Founders.  It is the choice in this election between a President and the judges he or she will appoint who believe, as late Justice Antonin Scalia did, that the Constitution sets boundaries for limited government in order to guarantee liberty to American citizens, or whether it means only what an unelected judge says it does.  He continues: “I worry that law professors are too respectful of the Supreme Court, in part perhaps because they don’t want to spoil the chances of their students to obtain Supreme Court clerkships. I think the Supreme Court is at a nadir. The justices are far too uniform in background, and I don’t think there are any real stars among them.  This election will determine the direction of our courts and whether judges will write laws, or interpret under the Constitution the intent of the legislators who wrote them. It will also decide whether the Constitution remains a self-authenticating document, protecting our liberties from encroaching government, or something that in the minds of judges like Richard Posner can be shredded along with our liberties. 

(“At stake: The Constitution” by Cal Thomas dated October 10, 2016 published by Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/10/constitution-at-stake-in-election/ )

When choosing between candidates, it’s often difficult for people to distinguish between a candidate’s personality, “feel” and aura on the one hand and those candidates’ actual policy stances and governing philosophy on the other hand.   People say that an individual’s emotional makeup and reactive tendencies will influence their governing approach.  Their thought is that the two are inextricably intertwined.  There are some basic philosophical governing differences that persist, regardless of the amount and degree of distraction, amusement or outright offense offered by a given individual’s personal shortcomings.  This year we have to subtract the clutter from both sides, no matter how important you think it is, even if you think that the clutter is intertwined with the candidates’ approach.  There are four important areas affecting your day-to-day lives that a President can really influence:

·    Setting the business climate - You either want the country’s business/jobs sector to run essentially on its own, in a competitive open-market fashion, where both companies and employees succeed or fail based on their ability; or you like a controlled, guaranteed environment, where more people are prevented from falling through the cracks by government-provided safety nets but the ultimate potential for success and flexibility to change career direction is somewhat reduced.  We’re talking about the presence or absence of excessive, punitive regulations.  Same with taxation, it will always exist, as it needs to, but its degree and purpose is the question.

·    Energy - Do you want to maximize our energy production and supply or do environmental concerns take a higher precedence in your view?  Opening up federal lands and waters for oil/gas exploration, pipeline construction, implementing or rescinding EPA gasoline regulations that mandate different kinds of gas in different geographical locations and in the changing seasons, emission requirements, vehicle mileage requirements, etc., these are the issues on which voters must be informed in order to take a coherent stand. Energy affects the cost of every product in a person’s life, in both production and delivery.  Energy affects the heating/cooling of our homes and our workspaces and it plays a huge role in every household’s and employer’s budget.  On the other side of the issue, we need to conserve the water supply and atmosphere, so energy production has to be balanced against the environmental risks.

·    Military/National Security - In the 1991 Gulf War, we deployed 500,000 troops to Kuwait to defeat Saddam Hussein.  Today, the entire U.S. Army numbers less than 500,000 and further reductions are coming.  Our air readiness is dangerously compromised by a lack of spare parts and service capability, down to a level not seen since the late 1970s during the Carter administration, when so many of our aircraft were called “Hanger Queens” because of their inability to fly.  Perhaps we need a different military than what we had from 1945 to 1995.  Could be we need dramatically enhanced Special Forces/SEALS capacity, with order-of-magnitude greater CIA/intelligence capabilities and more emphasis on quick surgical strikes rather than older-styled battlefield-superiority resources.   Regardless of its theoretical purpose, our country’s military needs to be ready.

·   Rule of Law - Within the legal and practical ability, the law must be applied equally in all situations.  Confidence in our system of justice is absolutely central to the smooth functioning of our society.

These are the Big Four that the President influences directly.  Remember, “The cell membrane separating the two sides (a candidate’s personal traits and their governing philosophy) tends to be rather porous.  But... it’s not completely porous.”  Your voting choice is there to be made, either way, depending on your preferred Big Four governing priorities, but a vote based on “lying” or “insults” is not only a wasted vote and an ignorant vote. 

(“Choosing between Candidates: Personality of Policy?” by Steve Feinstein dated October 9, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/10/choosing_between_candidates_personality_or_policy.html )


The difference between leftists and Republicans is the cause vs. the person: with leftists 100% for the cause, and no matter what their actors do, they will never abandon them if they support and advance the cause, while Republicans are “every man for himself” all the time.  Bill Clinton has years of rape, groping, and sexual harassment incidents with credible victims lining up and the Democratic Party stands behind him saying “everyone lies about sex.”  Hillary attacks the victimized women and threatens them, but okay, that was a long time ago.  Leftists don’t care, so women’s vote is going Hillary.  Bill Clinton is disbarred for lying under oath while president, and nobody much cares.  He remains a dominant figure in the Democratic circles.  People pay him millions of dollars to make speeches.  Ted Kennedy leaves a woman to drown in a car after his drunkenness put the car in a pond, and the party reveres him as a “lion of the Senate.”  We can add JFK to the mix.  In every case, women were debased and abused, and the press covered it up and when it did come out, nobody cared.  Then Trump gets caught making the type of comment, regrettably we might expect him to have made, 11 years ago, and the Republicans are awash in fake indignation.  Rubio, Fiorina, Ryan and scores of others attack him or want him to drop off the ticket, delivering certain victory to Hillary Clinton.  If the voice had been Bill Clinton’s, the media would have covered most of it up; the tape would probably never be found in the first place, and if it did come out, not a single Democrat politician or talking head would demand he get off the ticket.  The cause of bigger government, the elite state, is so overriding a goal that any politician who will espouse it, no matter how flawed, will have the support of the Left and its state-owned media.  The Republican Party does not have a cause, other than to get elected.  Republicans like Ryan and McConnell are weeks away from lining up to see who will “reach out to Hillary” after she gets elected to further the disaster brought on by Obama. They are the bipartisan adults in the room.  To the Leftists, they are the “useful idiots” of Lenin.  Trump is the phenomenon he remains, flawed as he is personally, because millions of Americans do have a cause.  It is to stop illegal immigration, stop the massive regulations killing small business, getting out of the ObamaCare scam that has raised many families’ health care costs $4,500 a year or more.  These Americans have a cause and Trump is the only game in town who can help them achieve the saving of the country they were given at birth.  For the first time in a generation, there is a competitive cause to the ever growing Leftist, elite state.  Trump may not make it, but he coalesced a cause that will grow to immense proportions if a Hillary is elected and we have years of other shoes dropping, scandals, fresh emails, Clinton escapades. 

(“The Fundamental Difference Between Leftists and Republicans” by Jay Valentine dated October 9, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/10/the_fundamental_difference_between_leftists_and_republicans.html )


Regarding Donald Trump's private sexual comments: We are living through a national hysteria.  The left is always in major crisis mode, and, in nearly every case, the crisis is either wildly exaggerated or simply false, for example:

·    Few people deny that the earth is warming and to assert that is not hysteria. What is hysteria is the left's position that carbon emissions will destroy life on Earth.

·    No one denies that there are racist cops. What is hysteria is the left's claim that innocent blacks are routinely shot to death by racist cops.

·    The widespread protests against the name Washington "Redskins" were pure left-wing hysteria, ended only by the revelation through polling that the vast majority of American Indians couldn't care less about the name.

Hysteria examples are endless.  We are regularly forced to endure a new left-wing manufactured, media-supercharged hysteria.  The latest is the tsunami of horror in reaction to Donald Trump's gross and juvenile comments made in private 11 years ago.  The tsunami of condemnation of his remarks is quintessential left-wing hysteria.  This is hysteria first and foremost because the comments were made in private.  I would say the same thing if crass comments made by Hillary Clinton in private conversation had been recorded.  In 2000, in a Wall Street Journal column, I defended Hillary Clinton against charges that she was an anti-Semite. That year it was reported that Clinton had called Paul Fray, the manager of her husband's failed 1974 congressional campaign, a "fucking Jew bastard."  I gave two more examples:  Harry Truman often used the word "kike" when referring to Jews.  Yet, he was the Jews' greatest friend when he changed Jewish history by resisting State Department opposition and recognized the State of Israel.  Richard Nixon also made anti-Jewish remarks in private conversations in the Oval Office.  These were revealed on tapes he made of his conversations, and he was accordingly widely labeled an anti-Semite.  Yet, as president, Nixon appointed the first American Jewish secretary of state and, more importantly, literally saved Israel's life with his quick airlift of military supplies during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  In addition to not taking all private comments seriously, Republicans, conservatives and independents need to ask themselves if what Trump said in a private conversation is any way comparable to the truly awful things Hillary Clinton and her husband have done both to women and to the country.  If Hillary Clinton wins, will Republicans and conservatives who gave up on Trump because of this recording really think that it was worth: having a left-wing Supreme Court for the next 30 years; having left-wing judges completely dominate lower federal courts; radically curtailing religious liberty in America; having speech codes go from colleges to the society as a whole; massively increasing the size of the government and of the debt; bringing in tens of thousands of refugees from the Arab Middle East; and having open borders?  The only way you can answer in the affirmative is that the left-wing hysteria got to them.  On the same day the recording came out, so did leaked emails that revealed that Hillary Clinton told a Brazilian Bank in 2013 that she is for "open borders."  Open borders mean the end of the United States and that is worth getting hysterical about. 

(“The Latest Left-Wing Hysteria” by Dennis Prager dated October 11, 2016 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2016/10/11/trumps-comments-the-latest-leftwing-hysteria-n2230598 )

After 88 consecutive months of the economic expansion that began in June 2009, a smaller percentage of American males in the prime working years (ages 25 to 54) are working than were working near the end of the Great Depression in 1940, when the unemployment rate was above 14%.  If the labor-force participation rate were as high today as it was as recently as 2000, nearly 10 million more Americans would have jobs.  The work rate for adult men has plunged 13 percentage points in a half-century.  Since 1948, the proportion of men 20 and older without paid work has more than doubled, to almost 32%.  This “eerie and radical transformation” of men creating an “alternative lifestyle to the age-old male quest for a paying job” is largely voluntary.  Men who have chosen to not seek work are two-and-a-half times more numerous than men who count as unemployed because they are seeking jobs.  It is now a “viable option” for “sturdy men,” who are neither working nor looking for work, to choose “to sit on the economic sidelines, living off the toil or bounty of others.” Only about 15% of men ages 25 to 54 who worked not at all in 2014 said they were unemployed because they could not find work.  For 50 years, the number of men in that age cohort who are neither working nor looking for work has grown nearly four times faster than the number who are working or seeking work.   The “economically inactive” have eclipsed the unemployed as “the main category of men without jobs.”  Government assistance does not cause this, but obviously it finances it.  To some extent, however, this is a distinction without a difference.  In 1960 there were 134 workers for every one officially certified as disabled; by 2010, there were just over 16. Between January 2010 and December 2011, while the economy produced 1.73 million non-farm jobs, almost half as many workers became disability recipients.  This, even though work is less stressful and the workplace is safer than ever.  Largely because of government benefits and support by other family members, nonworking men ages 25 to 54 have household expenditures a third higher than the average of people in the bottom income quintile.  They appear to be better off than tens of millions of other Americans today, including the millions of single mothers who are either working or seeking work.  In 1965, even high school dropouts were more likely to be in the workforce than are the 25-to-54 males today.  The collapse has coincided with a retreat from marriage (“the proportion of never-married men was over three times higher in 2015 than 1965”), which suggests a broader infantilization.  The 1996 welfare reform brought millions of single mothers off welfare and into the workforce, suggests that policy innovations that alter incentives can reverse the “social emasculation” of millions of idle men.  Reversing social regression is more difficult than causing it.  One manifestation of regression is evidence that some of this army of angry men are at least healthily unhappy about the loss of meaning, self-esteem and masculinity that is a consequence of chosen and protracted idleness. 

(“America’s ‘quiet catastrophe’: Millions of idle men” by George F. Will dated October 5, 2016 published by The Washington Post at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/americas-quiet-catastrophe-millions-of-idle-men/2016/10/05/cd01b750-8a57-11e6-bff0-d53f592f176e_story.html?utm_term=.8ec0ba777489 )

Beyond all the scandals and criminal results of blind ambition and greed that Hillary Clinton and her sleazy insider aides represent, her political policies are the ideology of what has to be called Obama's "new normal," the fundamental change he promised to bring to America.  The new normal that Obama brags about and that Hillary embraces is over one third of all adults not working in an economy that Democrats claim is fantastic, as good as it could ever be, and somehow better than it's ever been...except that anyone other than the vocal Democrat one-percenters, from Hollywood and Beverly Hills to Park Avenue and Wall Street, knows that the economy isn't anything to brag about, and upward mobility isn't the American dream anymore.  The new normal is already normal.  The new normal is costly, pointless regulations that make business and innovation cost-prohibitive.  The new normal is turning the entire U.S. government into an ineffective tool to fight global warming, which, even if one blindly embraces every faulty, unscientific, panicked rant about climate change, none of the policies that manage to inhibit economic growth amounts to anything at all on the reduction of CO2 over the next century.  The new normal is sacrificing pragmatism to symbolism and achieving nothing for all of that.  The new normal is a horrible education designed to better prepare American children to be politically correct social justice warrior zombies more in need of a safe space than able to contribute to their own neighborhoods, let alone their country or even larger borderless world, which Obama and Hillary favor over real villages and real people right here in America, or anywhere in all the world.  The left believes in some distant symbolic global village ideal, a feel-good concept that amounts to a Madison Avenue sound bite, rather than what political insiders instead call flyover country.  The new normal is black history that proclaims that Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas is a footnote and Anita Hill, who served the rabid desires of Democrat attackers against a successful black man for political purposes, is the ideal black person.  The new normal is dangerous, generic, unlivable cities becoming more like dystopian science fiction, ruled by gangs and by violent will, than communities of families going to work.  The new normal is gang rule and bullets flying through walls, killing innocent children, while leftist insider politicians instill hatred for the police and civil order to gin up anger enough to rouse a voting bloc in November.  The new normal is community organizing and not building anything in the burned out rubble of anything that once was there, faith and society and people.  The concept of home is not a part of the new normal under Obama and Hillary.  In the new normal, politics is in everything.  In the new normal, no one can find a moment's respite from leftist ideological scolds, most all of whom are of the "do as I say, not as I do" school of "I'm rich, so I know it all, peons."  It infects TV shows; art; books; and now, in 2016, the NFL, where athletes living large bemoan the horrible, unfair society they are pretty sure they can sort of imagine that the "little" people must live in.  In 2016, resentment is the acceptable expression of Obama's and Hillary's new normal, and that's the issue in this election. 

(“The new normal… whether you like it or not” by Keith Vlasak dated October 9, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/10/the_new_normalwhether_you_like_it_or_not.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:

·  Employment at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/employment.php

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

·  Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/terrorism.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY