RTCS

Views on the News

October 24, 2009

Views on the News*

A lethal combination of distrust and apprehension is escalating not only with the so-called Mainstream Media but with the Obama administration it covers. Part of the problem is the perception beyond the beltway that the Mainstream Media (MSM) actually made Barack Obama president. The White House continues to struggle adjusting to the reality of governing versus campaigning and it is either unwilling or unable to brook criticism of the President or his policies. The latest Yahoo opinion poll shows 65% of Americans think Obama’s plans are hurting more than helping the country. A Gallup poll found that 54% of respondents feel Obama’s focus should be on the economy and job creation, and not health care reform. Instead David Axelrod, Obama’s “Minister of Propaganda,” is now orchestrating an assault on FOX News, to punish this news and opinion media outlet for non-complimentary coverage. Most Americans of all political stripes don't want to see the President using the majesty and power of his office for heavy handed attacks on any organization simply because it has been critical of the President, but the White House's strategy may be Obama’s Chicago way, but it isn't the American way. Nine months into the Obama Administration, the White House communications strategy is coming into clear focus. Demonize, harass and ultimately aim to silence opposition, while endlessly repeating the administration line, with the full cooperation of the old media. The demonization of Rush Limbaugh as the Republican boogeyman is the latest attempt to distract Americans from focusing on the failing health care discussion. Evidence of the public outrage has been voiced in town-hall meetings and tea-party demonstrations during this summer’s congressional recess. The body of coverage was tilted to highlight the small percentage of extreme attendees, and media elites and former president Jimmy Carter labeled as “racists” those who disagreed with the president. Main Street Americans are baffled by these political elites’ perception of them. Ironically, the MSM elites probably are more aware of the resentment against them because the country is tighter-knit than before and there aren't too many hiding places. The largest march in Washington turned out over one million average Americans to protest against this administration at the March on Washington on September 12 and the MSM tried to ignore it. Protesters around the country followed up this past weekend, challenging the MSM to drop their partisan news bias by chanting "Can you hear us now?" at the doors of major media producers. Yet the MSM tends to remain clueless as to why anyone would resent them, and why they continue to lose paying customers!

(The Gap Between Main Street and the Elite” by Salena Zito dated October 18, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/SalenaZito/2009/10/18/the_gap_between_main_street_and_the_elite

Protesters target media: ‘Can you hear us now?’” by Drew Zahn dated October 18, 2009 published by World Net Daily at http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=113269

Media Wars: White House Crosses the Line” by Tom Bevan dated October 19, 2009 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/10/19/white_house_crosses_line_in_attacks_on_fox_news_98777.html

Controlling the message” by Robert A. Bonelli dated October 21, 2009 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/controlling_the_message.html

“’Fierce urgency’ for jobs, not health care” by Byron York dated October 23, 2009 published by Washington Examiner at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/_Fierce-urgency_-for-jobs_-not-health-care-8425446-65635867.html )

 

The phrase "Marxist" is tossed around without explanation, but Marx's universe was simplistic. There was ample proof in Obama’s own writings of his Marxist political inclinations, his interviews, and the political leanings of his mentors (Saul Alinsky, Frank Marshall Davis), his pastor (Jeremiah Wright) and his friends. It’s absurd to hear people say now that Obama is governing differently than he campaigned, because the clues were there during the election, but people simply didn’t listen. Marxism presents a godless, sinister world where the powerful prey upon the weak, which can only be healed through revolution and in the resulting apocalypse, wealth is confiscated by revolutionaries so all may benefit. Private property is outlawed as enlightened leaders build a paradise of communism, but before utopia arrives, a principled assault must destroy capitalism. "Marxism" is a synonym for communism, representing the legal outlawing of private property, delivering all goods to the state. A new approach, called Neo-Marxism, has arisen that focuses upon cultural conversions for communism, and produces explosive fruit, such as Political Correctness, the Sexual Revolution, Global Warming, Hate Speech laws, Feminism, Multiculturalism, and Universal Health Care, etc. Socialism is communism-lite, with government ownership of the creation and sale of goods and services, but private property is allowed. A socialist just wants your money; a communist wants complete control of your life. No person has any rights versus state action, since the individual is nothing, the group everything. Peace on earth will reign as envy and war disappear when all people have the same status in society. Politicians and the state itself become gods, illustrated by the massive cults of personality all Marxist states erected. The first American experiment in Marxism was when William Bradford established the Massachusetts Plymouth Colony in 1620, using a charter creating a common granary. After two years of socialist hardship and near starvation, the colonists opted for capitalism. Ominously, in 1966, Columbia University scholars Richard Cloward and Frances Piven published a theory outlining methods to destroy a healthy capitalist economy and force communist revolution. This eliminates capitalism by making impossible state budgetary demands, thereby bringing government insolvency. Critics claim Obama's budget is an example of the Cloward-Pivin model of planned economic destruction of a functioning capitalist economy via sabotage. Outlays are so gigantic, and so dreadfully misspent, that our financial infrastructure will soon collapse. A trillion dollar tax increase and spending rising by $10 trillion dollars over the next decade is probable. If so, government default will occur, only offset by mass currency printing, which will then bankrupt the general populace. The middle class will fall as chronic inflation results, causing America to lose its sterling credit rating. Global financial players must dump the dollar as it swan-dives. Then, hyperinflation will accelerate, and the era of superpower America will end. “Communism” is a term that may be outdated, but whatever you choose to call it – totalitarianism, authoritarianism, liberalism, progressivism, statism, libertarian paternalism – it is the same mindset. Let us hope we will not subject ourselves to the farce of the second coming of an American economic, political and human rights disaster of Marxism.

(If Obama were a Marxist, what would he believe?” by Kelly O’Connell dated October 17, 2009 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/if_obama_were_marxist_what_wou.html

They’re ALL Communists” by Laura Hollis dated October 21, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/LauraHollis/2009/10/21/they%E2%80%99re_all_communists )

 

A careful review is required to uncover the disparity between promises and text in the health care legislation being produced by Congress. Barack Obama promised "transparency" and to give the public five days to read the bill, but the Bunning amendment to require the bill, along with a final Congressional Budget Office score, to be posted online 72 hours before the vote was defeated. Obama promised that the health care bill would not cover illegal aliens, but the Grassley amendment to require immigrants to prove their identities with photo IDs was rejected. Obama promised that if you like your current health insurance, you won't have to change it, but the Cornyn amendment to assure present insurance owners that they wouldn't have to change their coverage and that they could keep the coverage they have with their current employers without government driving up cost was defeated. The Ensign amendment to require any health care czar to be subject to the constitutional Senate confirmation process was defeated. Obama promised that under his plan, "no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions," but the Hyde Amendment applies only to current Medicaid programs, and it would not apply to the health care law. The Democrats five times (twice in Senate committees, three times in House committees) defeated amendments to prohibit the health care plan from spending federal money or requiring health insurance plans to cover abortions. One amendment that did pass was the Cantwell amendment, which would give the secretary of health and human services the power to define cost-effective care for each medical condition and to punish doctors who treat high-cost patients with complex conditions. This amendment lays the groundwork for the Obama "death panels." The Democrats' health care "reform" would carry a trillion-dollar price tag, vastly increase the national debt hanging over our children and grandchildren, impose socialist control over one-sixth of our economy, and force us to obey totalitarian dictates. Obama's "spread the wealth around" policy is evident in the big expansion of Medicaid combined with large cuts in Medicare. Obamacare will swell America’s Medicaid population by nearly 16 million individuals, nearly one in five Americans, into government-run medical welfare, that the CBO estimates would increase state outlays by $33 billion and accelerate federal spending by $345 billion. The combination of mandates to buy insurance, guaranteed issue, and community rating amounts to massive income distribution that is hidden from public view and not even debated. The mandate on individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, even threatening jail for those who fail to conform, amounts to a massive tax increase on individuals and families whose health insurance may lack all the new federally specified requirements.

(What’s In and What’s Out of Health Care Legislation” by Phyllis Schlafly dated October 20, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/PhyllisSchlafly/2009/10/20/whats_in_and_whats_out_of_health_care_legislation

ObamaCare Would Invite One in Five Americans Into Medicaid” by Deroy Murdock dated October 24, 2009 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34105 )

 

The Democrats were caught trying to fool the public with a last-minute “doc fix,” postponing scheduled cuts to doctors’ Medicare payments on a separate legislative track, and an offer of tort reform pilots. Americans intuited that what the president was pushing would not lower their costs but would instead saddle them with heavy new taxes and additional government debt, while an extended federal bureaucracy would interfere with what they like about their health care today. So Team Obama went back to the drawing board but they didn't draw up new policies, only a new political game plan. They decided that what was needed was not new ideas but a new marketing catchphrase for the existing ones. One thing the Congress bills do not do is bring down the high cost of health care, which is driven in large measure by abusive tort litigation. This litigation greatly increases medical malpractice‑insurance costs and forces doctors to practice “defensive medicine,” that is to order unnecessary tests and treatments to avoid potential lawsuits. The Obama administration and its allies in Congress will do just about anything to get a health-care bill to the president’s desk, and that certainly includes spending whatever amount of taxpayer money they deem necessary offloading $247 billion in ObamaCare costs onto a separate, standalone, unfinanced piece of legislation. States that have implemented medical-malpractice reforms, such as Texas and Mississippi, have seen significant decreases in malpractice premiums, a major medical cost for doctors that’s passed directly to patients, and substantial decreases in the number of malpractice claims filed by the plaintiffs’ bar. Obama promised not to add “one dime” to the deficit for health care: Democrats now plan to dump $247 billion onto the nation’s already staggering pile of debt, using this piece of accounting trickery to cover their tracks. So long as the program is dependent on payment schemes devised in Washington, we are doomed to endure the discredited “sustainable growth rate” (SGR) Medicare-payment formula-style disasters over and over again. Obama’s legal tort reform rhetoric is an empty offer since states have already “demonstrated” substantial financial benefits when implemented. Despite what the president says, nothing in any of the health care bills floating around Congress, including the Baucus bill, would implement any real tort reform. Republicans were successful 1) defeating the vote to separate out the “doc fix” and 2) highlighting the fact that tort reform has already been proven in several states… a great first step in defeating this first step toward nationalizing the helath care system.

(Taking ObamaCare Off the Books” dated October 19, 2009 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NDgxMmJlMzI4ODNiNzNlNjZjY2ZhMGRiNDE5ZjMyOTU=

The Insurance Fix” by Thomas P. Miller and James C. Capretta dated November 2, 2009 published by American Enterprise Institute at http://www.aei.org/article/101189

Conservatives Win Round 1 on ObamaCare” by Brian Darling dated October 21, 2009 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=34072 )

 

For decades, the U.S. government has subsidized homeownership, via FHA insurance, the mortgage interest deduction, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and many other programs, and the resulting overinvestment in residential real estate is a major cause of the current crisis. Yet, in trying to cope with the crisis, Washington is pouring on more housing subsidies, thus deepening the federal commitment to the old strategy and making it harder to move to a new one. Recent reports that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will suffer default rates of more than 20% on the 2007 and 2008 loans it guaranteed has raised questions once again about the government's role in the financial crisis and its efforts to achieve social purposes by distorting the financial system. The FHA's function is to guarantee mortgages of low-income borrowers (the mortgages are then sold through securitizations by Ginnie Mae) and thus to take reasonable credit risks in the interests of making mortgage credit available to the nation's low-income citizens. Far more interesting than the FHA's prospective losses on its 2007 and 2008 book are the agency's losses on its 2005 and 2006 guarantees, when the housing bubble was inflating at its fastest rate and there was no need for government support. FHA-backed loans during those years also have delinquency rates between 20% and 30%, and these adverse results pose a significant challenge to those who are trying to absolve the U.S. government of responsibility for the financial crisis. When the crisis first arose, the left's explanation was that it was caused by corporate greed, primarily on Wall Street, and by deregulation of the financial system during the Bush administration. The implicit charge was that the financial system was flawed and required broader regulation to keep it out of trouble. As it became clear that there was no financial deregulation during the Bush administration and that the financial crisis was caused by the meltdown of almost 25 million subprime and other nonprime mortgages, almost half of all U.S. mortgages, the narrative changed. The new villains were the unregulated mortgage brokers who allegedly earned enormous fees through a new form of "predatory" lending—by putting unsuspecting home buyers into subprime mortgages when they could have afforded prime mortgages. The link to the financial crisis—recently emphasized by President Obama—is that these mortgages would not have been made if regulators had been watching those fly-by-night mortgage brokers, but there was always a problem with this theory. Mortgage brokers had to be able to sell their mortgages to someone. They could only produce what those above them in the distribution chain wanted to buy. The data shows that the principal buyers were insured banks, government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the FHA, all government agencies or private companies forced to comply with government mandates about mortgage lending. When Fannie and Freddie were finally taken over by the government in 2008, more than 10 million subprime and other weak loans were either on their books or were in mortgage-backed securities they had guaranteed. An additional 4.5 million were guaranteed by the FHA and sold through Ginnie Mae before 2008, and a further 2.5 million loans were made under the rubric of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which required insured banks to provide mortgage credit to home buyers who were at or below 80% of median income. Thus, almost two-thirds of all the bad mortgages in our financial system, many of which are now defaulting at unprecedented rates, were bought by government agencies or required by government regulations. The role of the FHA is particularly difficult to fit into the narrative that the left has been selling. While it might be argued that Fannie and Freddie and insured banks were profit-seekers because they were shareholder-owned, what can explain the fact that the FHA, a government agency, was guaranteeing the same bad mortgages that the unregulated mortgage brokers were supposedly creating through predatory lending? The answer, of course, is that it was government policy for these poor quality loans to be made. Since the early 1990s, the government has been attempting to expand home ownership in full disregard of the prudent lending principles that had previously governed the U.S. mortgage market. Now the motives of the GSEs fall into place. Fannie and Freddie were subject to "affordable housing" regulations, issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which required them to buy mortgages made to home buyers who were at or below the median income. This quota began at 30% of all purchases in the early 1990s, and was gradually ratcheted up until it called for 55% of all mortgage purchases to be "affordable" in 2007, including 25% that had to be made to low-income home buyers. To meet their affordable housing requirements, therefore, Fannie and Freddie reduced their lending standards and reached into the FHA's turf. The FHA, although it lost market share, continued to guarantee what it could, adding to the demand that the unregulated mortgage brokers filled. If they were engaged in predatory lending, it was ultimately driven by the government's own requirements. The mortgages that resulted are now problem loans for the GSEs, the FHA and the big banks that were required to make them in order to burnish their CRA credentials. The significance of the FHA's troubles is that this agency had no profit motive. Yet it dipped into the same pool of subprime and other nontraditional mortgages that the GSEs and Wall Street were fishing in. the FHA's own inspector general, are fretting that the agency may be headed for a taxpayer bailout. The left cannot have it both ways, blaming the private sector for subprime lending while absolving the government policies that created the demand for subprime loans.

(Barney Frank, Predatory Lender” by Peter J. Wallison dated October 15, 2009 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107204574475110152189446.html

Doubling Down On the Wrong Housing Policy” by Charles Lane dated October 18, 2009 published by The Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/16/AR2009101602736.html

Hensarling Condemns Social Policy Mortgaging” by Connie Hair dated October 20, 2009 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34039 )

 

The President wants schools "to add time to classes, to stay open late and to let kids in on weekends so they have a safe place to go." Our schools are unquestionably failing, especially compared with other countries. Therefore, in a typical government solution, Obama's proposal involves taking this failure and multiplying it. As usual, there are some parents who welcome the idea of extra school time. These are the parents who blindly send their children to government indoctrination centers for most of their waking hours, then seem surprised when their kids emerge from high school unable to read or cipher with any competency. Keep in mind that our schools were not failing until they came under government monopoly and until the NEA became a major lobbying force. The fact that private schools and home schools effortlessly surpass government schools in academic standards as well as moral development illustrates the absurdity that per-pupil spending or increased hours make any difference whatsoever. If American schools want to compete against the academically superior schools in other nations, might I suggest that we look at the content of those schools rather than merely the hours? I doubt Japanese or Taiwanese students are frittering away their school time playing with prophylactics, propping up their self-esteem, or fussing about social justice. Rather, these students are taught discipline, self-control and high academic standards. I believe the government’s purpose is to convince children to disregard parental authority and standards, and replace them with government standards and longer school hours would neatly achieve this goal. True to his promise to bring about "change," Obama is aggressively pursuing a comprehensive policy of social engineering designed to do just that, and he is using America's schools as an instrument to produce that change. The President has chosen teacher and GLBT activist Kevin Jennings for advice and guidance on how best to foster a safe and drug-free environment for America's school children. "Safe schools" turns out to be a euphemism for the advancement and promotion of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Trans-sexual (GLBT) agenda. Were Mr. Jennings truly concerned with addressing the problem of bullying in school he might focus on developing programs that emphasize the basic precept of the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would wish to be treated. It appears that the true purpose of the Safe Schools Czar, then, is not to reduce instances of bullying in schools but to normalize alternative sexual identities and practices through a systematic program of indoctrination in the classroom. Recognizing the truth of Abraham Lincoln's observation that "the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next," Obama knows that the best way to achieve his larger "progressive" vision of eradicating all traces of outmoded moral convention from the American social consciousness is to start with the children. As far as Mr. Jennings is concerned, the moral validity of homosexuality is self-evident; it is as indisputable as the roundness of the earth or the sum of two and two. The fact that approximately 50% of the American people believe that homosexuality is immoral merely confirms to Jennings the importance of his mission and the necessity of his schoolroom strategy. Just as it's necessary to prohibit Christmas cards and prayer in school in order to preserve the radicals' vision of the separation of Church and State, so too is it necessary to advance the views of homosexuals by ensuring that every American child is educated about the scope and variety of their sexual options in life. It counts for nothing that most parents would object to their children being made unwitting dupes of a social agenda they find morally-objectionable and antagonistic to their religious views and notions of the traditional family. Hijacking the classroom, however, is key to advancing the GLBT agenda. With each passing day, it's becoming increasingly clear that the change the American people voted for is not the "change" President Obama envisions for our country. It remains to be seen, however, whether the American people are prepared to compromise their children's education in service of Obama's vision of the future.

(Raising drones of the state” by Patrice Lewis dated October 18, 2009 published by World Net Daily at http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=113153

Welcome to the Social Engineering” by Ken Connor dated October 18, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/KenConnor/2009/10/18/welcome_to_the_social_engineering )

 

"Global" and "warming" are perhaps the two most confusing words used to justify the approaching governmental control of our economy. In reality, global warming is barely occurring: In the 30 years starting in 1977, warming amounted to 0.32 degree Fahrenheit per decade, and in the next hundred years it is estimated to be about half a degree per decade. So global warming looks like neither the alarmists' serious threat, nor an immediate crisis that requires governmental control of America's economy to reduce it. Nevertheless the House Waxman-Markey bill solution to these increases is estimated to lower global temperatures only about 0.18 degree Fahrenheit in the next 90 years. The Senate Boxer-Kerry bill is an improvement over Waxman-Markey. Congressional Budget Office director Douglas W. Elmendorf forecasts the U.S. gross domestic product to decrease by 0.25% to 0.75% in 2020 ($60 billion to $180 billion), and by 1.0% to 3.5% in 2050. The Senate version is in favor of nuclear power but it does not mention the construction of the 70 to 100 nuclear plants that be needed to add to the 104 we now have in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It is also in favor of expanding offshore drilling and natural-gas exploration and production, something that Waxman-Markey does not support. On the other hand, Boxer-Kerry would be as bad for our economy as Waxman-Markey in two respects. However both contain the protectionism of the "border adjustment program" to begin a new American policy of putting tariffs on goods imported from counties that do not adopt acceptable environmental standards, which surely would result in retaliation tariffs on our exported goods. Both bills also include offsets which would allow emitters to claim we are hitting our reduction targets while actually emitting more carbon by "investing" in projects in the U.S. and other countries that ostensibly reduce carbon in a process that is fraught with potentials for fraud and abuse. Meanwhile China and India, along with Brazil, Mexico and South Africa, have been adamant about staying out of any similar global requirement. High-cost policies that hint of protectionism with low-impact results are not in America's best interests, so we should postpone both bills and think through more clearly our desired energy policies and craft legislation that actually helps America achieve its energy goals.

(Time for Inaction on Global Warming” by Pete Du Pont dated October 20, 2009 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704500604574482191245495128.html

China-India Accord to Scuttle UN Climate Treaty” by William R. Hawkins dated October 23, 2009 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/chinaindia_accord_to_scuttle_u.html )

 

After nine months the president has gone a long way toward defining his foreign policy which is deceptively simple: the “Not Bush” policy,” which decomposes into a festival of contrarianism. George W. Bush authorized tough interrogation methods to extract life-saving information from terrorists; Obama will do no such thing. Bush was willing to lock up terrorists in a secure off-shore location, indefinitely if needed, to keep America safe; Obama wants to empty Guantanamo. Bush wanted to expand missile defense to protect America and our allies; Obama sneers at the technical accomplishments and wants to cut back. Bush wanted to cement the alliance with Eastern European allies by placing missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic; Not Obama. Bush presided over the warmest period in Israeli-U.S. relations; Obama, over the worst. Bush would never dream about apologizing for America’s record in fighting wars of liberation on behalf of Muslims; Obama has made groveling before the “Muslim World” into an art form. Bush found the very best generals to turn around a losing war, putting the political standing of his own party and presidency in jeopardy; Obama is struggling to marginalize his generals and protect his own electoral fortunes. Bush bluntly attacked the “Axis of Evil;” Obama can’t manage to use the word “evil,” unless he is talking about insurance companies. Perhaps, like the Daily Kos and the Harvard-faculty crowd, Obama has become Bush-obsessed, and simply assumes the key to brilliance in foreign policy involves doing the opposite of whatever Bush did. In the meantime, Obama is reminding us of the very real achievements and admirable qualities of the Bush foreign policy. History will render its judgment on the Bush administration, but it’s looking better every day especially when compared to his successor.

(Looking Better Every Day” by Jennifer Rubin dated October 17, 2009 published by Commentary Magazine at http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/131461 )

 

Rarely has there been such a dramatic disconnect between rhetoric and reality on Afghanistan. The national-security Right talks about “victory;” concerned Democrats talk about “success;” and Obama allies talk about the “fulfillment of our mission;” but they aren’t talking about the same thing. The dirty little secret is that Islamic militancy, whether in the form of the Taliban or its many other varieties, is not “finite. That is because neither its source nor its center of gravity is confined to Afghanistan. Nevertheless, we have chosen not to address the source, which is Islamist ideology, and we have chosen to fight only in Afghanistan, as opposed to the many places where the enemy rolls new fighters off the assembly line. Just last weekend, Pakistan’s army responded to a long string of Taliban attacks by launching a massive ground operation in Waziristan.   We have made these choices because the current administration lacks the will for a broader fight. The Afghanistan “challenge” is framed as isolating a relative handful of aberrant Takfiris, the Muslims who claim the right to declare other Muslims apostates and kill them, rather than confronting the fact that tens of millions of Muslims despise the West. The mission is portrayed as high-minded nation-building, not anything so jingoistic as pursuing America’s national interests, vanquishing the militants who’ve taken up arms against our country, and demonstrating to jihadist sympathizers the dire consequences of joining the militant ranks. This process” is the gargantuan burden of building, from scratch, an oxymoronic sharia-democracy in a backwards, corrupt, fundamentalist Islamic armpit. If we’d learned nothing from the ravages against us, the process absurdly assumes that Islam, rather than being a major part of the problem, is an asset that we can turn to our advantage. If such a process could work, it will take decades, cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and cause an unknowable number of American casualties, but that is the General McChrystal plan. The idea is not to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda but to build a modern nation-state that will eventually be both competent to fight and interested in fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda on its own. The irony is that those who favor McChrystal’s proposal argue, with great force, that a counterterrorism strategy, i.e., attacking terror nests from remote bases, cannot work. For that conclusion, they cite no less an authority than McChrystal, who is the nation’s leading expert on military counterterrorism. The President's decision to withhold more troops over the country's less-than-pristine election is Obama’s latest example of voting “Present” rather than making a hard decision, which is a slap in the face to the soldiers who risk their lives for this country. The real dirty little secret is that there is only one way to win the war, and that is to attack our militant enemies and their abettors globally. Obama’s unwillingness to fight to win necessarily means anything else we try “cannot work,” since we have taken real victory off the table.

(What is Victory?” by Andrew C. McCarthy dated October 20, 2009 published by National review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MmZjNTlhYTU4ODExNzc4YTJkMzFhZjczNTE3ZmJjZmI=

Obama Goes AWOL” dated October 20, 2009 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704500604574485461450697346.html

Taliban’s War on Pakistan” by Walid Phares dated October 21, 2009 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34048 )

 

Given the public disenchantment with voter-ignoring, big-government-loving Democrats in Congress and the White House, next year’s elections could do much to restore some measure of fiscal sanity and common sense to Washington. This required political realignment will happen only if Republican leaders and grassroots Tea Party activists work together effectively. How the two reconcile their different priorities and views will have profound consequences for any effort to beat back the Democratic vision of an ever-expanding, ever-more-intrusive federal government. GOP leaders are more moderate than the mass of Republican voters in their area. This divide means the argument over whether outspoken talk show hosts are reviving a beaten party or trashing its brand is likely to persist through the 2010 midterms and into the 2012 presidential primary. Seeing newly-minted activists through the more “sophisticated” eyes of political pros, they are occasionally suspicious of, or even appalled by, their rawness and undiluted conservatism. Tea Partiers need to be realistic, and understand the limitations of political passion and zeal. Activists could best further their cause by supporting the most conservative candidate who can win, rather than the most conservative candidate, period – when it means that candidate will surely lose. Insufficiently conservative Republicans are not the functional equivalent of Democrats. Compared to the status quo, every Republican, of whatever stripe, who heads to Washington next year will ultimately empower the most fiscally-responsible wing of the party. With good will and a commitment to fairness that builds trust on both sides, most disagreements between the GOP and Tea Partiers can be resolved. Both sides must remember that there is so much more that unites than divides them, above all, a commitment to returning government to its rightful place in American life, where it serves citizens rather than vice-versa.

(Time for the GOP and the Tea-Partiers to Grow Up” by Carol Platt Liebau dated October 19, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/CarolPlattLiebau/2009/10/19/time_for_the_gop_and_the_tea-partiers_to_grow_up

Conservatives roar, Republicans tremble” by Jim VandHei and Mike Allen dated October 22, 2009 published by Politico at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28589.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.

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.returntocommonsensesite.com