Views on the News
Views on the News*
I am not always a fan of Donald Trump's personal style, because I don't like bullies and I prefer a president who thinks before he opens his mouth. I do very much like many of the things Trump has accomplished: the great judicial nominations, the taming of the regulatory state, the restoration of the rule of law at the border, leaving the silly Paris accord, the annihilation of ISIS, the attempts to hurry the implosion of ObamaCare by suspending utterly illegal payments to insurance companies, calling out the NFL on its lack of patriotism, and calling out the media on a leftward bias that now amounts to simple malfeasance and corruption. That's an awful lot of good stuff, and it surely makes up for the big mouthery. I can't think of one instance in which Trump has behaved in a way that endangers the norms of American governance. He hasn’t misused the IRS like Barack Obama did, or corrupted the Justice Department like Obama did, or made illegal payouts to insurance companies like Obama did, or extended the power of regulatory agencies until they became a threat to constitutional democracy like Obama did, or lied to the people about health care or Benghazi like Obama did, or behaved so autocratically and unconstitutionally that he lost more cases before the Supreme Court than any other modern president like Obama did. In fact, Trump has been incredibly transparent with the public and has generally thrown legislative decisions to Congress, where they belong. The press, on the other hand, in their seething hatred of Trump and the people he represents, and in their likewise seething bitterness at the loss of the election, have transformed themselves into the mustache-twirling villains of American society. Donald Trump made a clumsy and defensive remark about the fact that presidents generally don't call the families of those who die in battle. I took him to mean that they didn't always call, what any reasonable person would have taken him to mean. The media takes every word Trump speaks to mean the worst possible thing it can mean, and so the big story this week was not the revelation that the Obama administration covered up an investigation into Russian malfeasance in order to give Putin ownership of 20% of our uranium supply. Well, that was the big story but the mainstream media covered it up. Instead, the big story on the news was what the media said Trump said. Trump called the family of a dead soldier and remarked that the soldier "knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurts." I took this to mean that every soldier knows he is doing a dangerous job, but when the worst comes, the knowledge doesn't ease the pain. Any reasonable person would take it to mean that, but the media takes every word Trump speaks to mean the worst possible thing it can mean and so the hideous Florida Democrat Congresswoman Frederica Wilson was on TV, making political hay out of a soldier's death. Then Trump pointed out that Barack Obama had not called Trump's chief of staff General John Kelly after his son was killed by a landmine in Afghanistan. So the media, which had excoriated Trump for criticizing Gold Star father Khizr Khan, now excoriated Gold Star father John Kelly as everything from racist to the engineer of a coup. The press has no decency at all. Trump is a big mouth but the press is despicable. Democrat operatives masquerading as journalists, they are the prime engine of division in this country. Skewing every story in one direction, they keep us from discussing issues in a reasonable way so as to reach compromise. Squealing like scorched cats at every Trump remark, they manufacture a sense of crisis that has nothing to do with the true state of America. Within the parameters of the First Amendment, the entire industry needs to be reformed.
(“Trump’s a Big Mouth: Journalists are Villains” by Andrew Klavan dated October 21, 2017 published by PJ Media at https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/trumps-a-big-mouth-the-press-are-villains/ )
Donald Trump may be the first president in memory to actively limit his own branch's power. Whatever his intentions on immigration, funding issues, international agreements and the regulatory state, Trump has relinquished executive power. When President Barack Obama was governing through executive fiat for more than six years, there was precious little anxiety from our elite news publications regarding precedents of abuse or constitutional overreach. Whenever people criticized Obama's overreach, the reaction was to demand that we tally up the number of executive orders signed by the president's Republican predecessors. Then, as is now, it's an exceptionally dishonest, way to contrast presidential records. Bean-counting the sum total of executive orders tells us nothing useful about the effects of those orders; one action could be more consequential than 15, or 50. Most of Trump's executive orders up to this point have been statements of intent, administrative moves or reviews of Obama-era orders. Moreover, there's nothing improper about executive orders or actions that are derived from the Constitution or meant to implement law. But there's plenty wrong with executive orders and actions meant to circumvent those things. Not only did the last administration habitually craft what was in essence sweeping legislation from the ether but it also often framed these abuses as good governance. Relitigating the past is often a waste of time. Fixing it is less so. There might be wide-ranging support for the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, or DACA, but it was an obvious way to bypass process. Even President Obama, perhaps fearing legal challenges, called DACA "a temporary stopgap" when he first announced it. Trump may end up stepping back from rescinding DACA, but relinquishing power and tasking Congress with the job of substantively changing immigration policy would comport with norms of American governance. You might also be a fan of the Paris climate accord, but presidents have no business entering into faux treaties of great substance without Senate approval. I have been told many times that the accord is the most crucial international deal the world has ever known. Yet somehow it wasn't important enough to be subjected to the traditional checks and balances of American governance either. When Democrats couldn't pass their carbon cap-and-trade plan, the Obama administration instituted a power plan that outstripped the legal authority Congress had afforded the Environmental Protection Agency. If Trump is successful in rescinding these onerous regulations, he will be reinstituting boundaries on the regulatory state. If your goal is inhibiting energy production, then elect members of Congress to pass legislation that does so. The same arguments can be made for the Trump administration ending the ObamaCare cost-sharing reduction subsidies. Obama's Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had ordered the Internal Revenue Service to begin making these payments without ever publicly explaining the legal justification for why. The political justifications, on the other hand, were quite clear: It's a way to hide the costs of ObamaCare while keeping the fabricated state "marketplaces" in business. If American voters believe cost-sharing reduction subsidies are essential, Congress should pass a law appropriating taxpayers' money for insurance companies. If they don't pass such funding, then voters can elect people who will. That's how we have been financing programs in this country for a couple of centuries. Perhaps this kind of regulatory and executive teeter-tottering is what we can expect in an increasingly divided nation. With organic divisions comes gridlock, and with gridlock comes an enticement to act outside the process. So, one hopes that Trump's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch and judges elsewhere who take both separation of power and the dangers of the administrative state seriously will help mitigate some of this future abuse. For those who argue that all of this is nothing more than a malevolent effort to sabotage the Obama administration's accomplishments, perhaps there is a lesson to be learned: Your legacy is going to be a rickety mess if you build it using imperious diktats rather than consensus.
(“Trump’s Executive Moves Have Strengthened Checks and Balances” by David Harsanyi dated October 20, 2017 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/davidharsanyi/2017/10/20/trumps-executive-moves-have-strengthened-checks-and-balances-n2397669 )
Fear and loathing can be great fun, but the Democrats are learning to their chagrin that resistance, estrangement and alienation can only take a party so far. They’ve spent three quarters of the year luxuriating in Trump Derangement Syndrome, regaling each other with tales of how much they despise the man who beat them last year, playing the game of “show me yours and I’ll show you mine.” Every Democrat thinks his hatred of the president is bigger, brighter and better than anybody else’s. Now it’s time, like it or not, to start thinking about suiting up for the midterm congressional elections, and how to build a little momentum for the long slog toward Nov. 8, 2020. The early measurement everybody watches is money, “the mother’s milk of politics,” and even milk just this side of sour is acceptable, but so far this year the Republicans are scarfing up most of it. The Democrat base is energized, voters are showing up at rallies, crowding town-hall forums, self-organizing into local groups and scaring Republican incumbents. The Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats to put Nancy Pelosi back in charge of the House, and that seems plausible if not necessarily likely. Over the first six months of this year the Republican National Committee collected $75 million, against $38 million for the Democrats, and most of the Republican loot was collected in small gifts, which are usually taken as signs of enthusiasm for the year ahead. This in turn is supposed to encourage the big donors, who are then more easily parted from their big checks, but so far the donors are exhausted and there’s not much ink left in their pens. The national party has a new leadership team in place, which may be an improvement over Debbie Wasserman Schultz who spent most of her energies trying to clear a path for Hillary Clinton, to the anger and rage of Bernard Sanders’ friends. But they’re green with no experience in running national political campaigns. The party elders, and some of them are elderly indeed, are keeping their distance. Even Barack Obama, still the largest cheese, has limited his fundraising for the national committee. Tom Perez, the new national chairman, and his deputy, Keith Ellison, inherited a devastated party in the wake of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory. Perez is struggling up a steep learning curve, falling behind expectations for getting the party reorganized. The president is responsible for some of that and for some of the fundraising woes. The noisy Democrat “resistance” has sapped so much of the big-donor money that the traditional repositories of fighting reserves are getting only a trickle of the juice. The abundance of “resistance” groups with their begging bowls is something new “and it has been pretty overwhelming.” The donors, like the rest of the party, were flummoxed by lurid expectations of success in several early special elections in Kansas, Montana and particularly in Georgia, and then the Republican won all of them. Big money is rarely a sucker for lost causes, and the big donors this year want more than wishes, promises and dreams, because those are always available.
(“Paying the price for Trump Derangement Syndrome” by Wesley Prudin dated October 23, 2017 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/23/trump-derangement-syndrome-only-gets-democrats-so-/ )
The downward spiral of the Democratic Party started with political correctness, sowing the seeds of the current anti-free speech atmosphere. A political movement in shambles, Democrats still have not looked in the mirror and imagined a new vision. Instead, the Left has painted itself into a corner and has nowhere to go. They have doubled down on the same policies, the same leadership, the same media, the same repeatedly wrong pundits. The Left’s anti-white bigotry, cultural vandalism, anti-American, anti-free speech, and violent protests are not going to win elections. Berkeley-style violence is the tip of the anti-free speech iceberg. Online discussions are crawling with liberals who upvote each other’s rants faster than they would the Gettysburg Address. At the same time, they massively downvote, flag, and collapse conservative views. Deceiving oneself is ultimately self-defeating. Political movements usually self-correct when they wander too far from reality and the will of the people. The leftist media spin more narrative and offer less fact, liberals like it that way. The Harvey Weinstein scandal is a double whammy for the Left, a blow to the role of Hollywood elites and feminists as well. James Comey covering for Hillary, the Clinton Uranium One and Debbie Wasserman Schulz server scandals are just warming up. The NFL protests are a double whammy, the narrative is a fraud and the venue a disgrace. In 2016, 7881 blacks were murdered, 90.1% of them by other blacks; 7100 blacks killed by other blacks. FBI crime facts show only 16 unarmed blacks were shot by police, which is 00.2% of the total. “Unarmed” is an after-the-event determination; no one can be sure an assailant is not armed in real time. Ferguson Missouri’s favorite son Michael Brown is an example. The big 6’4” man had just committed a strongarm robbery, choking a store clerk and stealing cigars. When a policeman stopped him, he profanely resisted and then launched himself into the police car, striking the officer several times. The officer was bloodied and Brown’s DNA was found inside the car. Only Brown could have put himself there. Claims of him being shot while running many feet away were proven false when the autopsy showed him shot from the front at close range. Menacing and violent people are dangerous, and the possibility that they might be armed cannot be dismissed. It is the police who have more to fear, as FBI facts show, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was to be killed by a police officer. The Democrat Party, Black Lives Matter bigots and Hate America First white elites use blacks as pawns, and blacks are the losers. Black homicide deaths have skyrocketed from 6095 in 2014. Up 29% in two years, with 1786 more black murder victims just this year. That is 112 times the number of police/black/unarmed incidents, fueled by the Ferguson Effect. From revolving door justice in the 1960s, soft on crime excuses, and today’s fake narrative, the Democrat Party has devastated the black community for decades. Modern leftists are open bigots spewing racist hate. Liberals attack whites every day, they play the race card in the first two minutes of any discussion. They divide people with identity politics. They give their tribe a pass on all manner of violence, crime, and antisocial behavior. Their smears are both bigoted and designed to kill debate. The Left abandoned Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of a color-blind society long ago. MLK said, “I have a dream… they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” liberals today call this a myth. The Left rejects colorblindness and preaches never ending racial division. The Left peddles multiculturalism, using bigotry to denounce Western ideas as ‘about dead white men,’ or ‘Eurocentric’ mindsets. Similar to the NFL smear-America protests, this is fast becoming the way to irrelevancy. Austria and Czech Republic just voted hard right joining Britain, Hungary, and Poland in resisting European Union liberalism. Uncontrolled immigration and open borders are the number one issue. The populist revolution continues. A new generation will come along that will reinvent the Democrat Party. Anti-Americanism, anti-free speech, and full-on racism do not work. A Democratic Party that honors and respects America, is pro-Western, that always defends free speech and is non-racist would be a wonder.
(“Reimagining the Democratic Party” by Chris Kemble dated October 24, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/10/reimagining_the_democratic_party.html )
The America that I love, with all its warts and blemishes, voted for a black man to be our president 8 years ago and welcomed a black family into the White House. The America that I love, with all its faults and failings, reveres the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King and regrets the legacy of slavery and segregation. That same America is being torn apart today by race baiters and race agitators. We must not let them divide us. We will always have racists and haters in our midst. We will always have provocateurs who feed on discord and strife. We will always have those who call for separation and division. But that doesn’t mean we need to listen to them. To the contrary, we need to isolate them and marginalize them rather than make them mainstream. Unfortunately, it appears that the secular media is determined to mainstream the margins and to highlight the hate. This will bring nothing but destruction, deepening our divides rather than healing our wounds. Let the alt-right and the Neo Nazis and the White Supremacists rage. They will hold their rallies and make their speeches, and within certain bounds, they have the Constitutional right to do so. Rather than magnify them, we should ignore them. The less attention they get, the better, since they represent a small fringe of the population at best. Rather than making every conflict in America a conflict about race, we should focus on the real justice issues in America, and that means real race-related issues where they exist. Otherwise, when talking heads on TV constantly pull the race card, they blunt the point they want to make, creating more opposition than solidarity. It’s the centrum of disease to imagine racism behind every disagreement. You can argue with people who disagree with you who are just wrong, but there is no reasoning with bigots, you can only crush them. Your opponents suddenly become your enemies. They must be destroyed. Unfortunately, the race baiters are winning the day, and now everything is seen through the lens of “white privilege,” to the point that universities are reevaluating their curricula lest too much emphasis be given to major white voices in history. The tragedy in all this is twofold. First, racial tensions are being inflamed and, in some cases, manufactured out of thin air, since rhetoric like this only produces negative reactions. Second, the real issues, issues of racial inequality where that still exists in America, get ignored. So let’s refuse to be drawn into the fray. Instead, as fellow-Americans and fellow-human beings, let’s work together for the good of all our fellow-citizens, listening, learning, and serving. Together we stand; Divided we fall.
(“Don’t Let the Race Baiters Divide Us” by Michael Brown dated October 22, 2017 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2017/10/22/dont-let-the-race-baiters-divide-us-n2398500 )
"Diversity is a strength” is one of those Orwellian maxims that’s just generally accepted as truth by most Americans despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. When most people talk about “diversity,” they don’t mean a diversity of ideas. They believe a Hispanic guy, a black guy, a transsexual and a woman bring something to the table just by virtue of their race or gender, but this is seldom true. For example, it is true that a group of white economists working on tax policy could benefit from having Thomas Sowell come out of retirement to join their ranks, but that’s because he’s Thomas Sowell, not because he’s black. An all-Hispanic baseball team would benefit from adding Mike Trout to its roster, but it’s because he can play, not because of his white perspective. An all-female start-up would be lucky to get Bill Gates on board, not because he can mansplain things to them, but because he has lots of friends with infinite amounts of money who might invest if he’s on board. In fact, diversity is often a huge minus. Diversity can work just fine, but only if there’s strong pressure on people to assimilate to the existing culture. That’s why our very diverse military functions so well. However, we don’t have those conditions in America as a whole. Instead, we have liberals promoting tribalism and grievance mongering non-stop. In other words, every racial, sexual and religious difference is used as a way to split people further apart. Many of the same people who claim diversity is a strength will also tell you white people can’t understand the concerns of black Americans, men are oppressing women and women who don’t want to share a bathroom with a transsexual man are bigots. It’s worth noting that America’s increasing diversity is largely a product of a change to our immigration system implemented in the sixties. European-born immigrants made up 75% of American immigrants in 1960, but that percentage dropped to only 11% in 2014. Combine that with the cultural degradation and rise of tribalism that has occurred during the last couple of decades and we have seen a much more radical change in this country than most people realize. All of this diversity in America has a lot of negative consequences:
· IT HAS BECOME increasingly popular to speak of racial and ethnic diversity as a civic strength. From multicultural festivals to pronouncements from political leaders, the message is the same: our differences make us stronger. But a massive new study, based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America, has concluded just the opposite. The greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.
We make this assumption that when people from different groups get to know each other, they’ll grow to like each other. Unfortunately, this can only occur where people have shared values and goals. For many Americans, if your neighbors are waving a Mexican flag and saying America sucks, say you’re part of rape culture, want America to live under Sharia law or accuse you of having privilege because you’re white. The more you get to know them, the LESS you are going to like them. Additionally, if they believe those things, chances are they don’t like you either. We see this same pattern all over the planet. Look at the conflicts going on in Afghanistan, Libya, Israel and Iraq. How’s that diversity working out for them? How is diversity playing out for Russia and Chechnya? What about the Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda? How about Bosnia and Herzegovina? Even the Western part of the Roman Empire eventually fell because it became too corrupt and weak to assimilate the tribes it allowed inside its border. The only thing that ever allowed Americans to believe that diversity is a strength was our uniting culture, and without the now-destroyed Melting Pot to keep us together, diversity is one of our nation’s great weaknesses.
(“Diversity is a Weakness, Not a Strength” by John Hawkins dated October 21, 2017 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2017/10/21/diversity-is-a-weakness-not-a-strength-n2398285 )
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: