Views on the News
Views on the News*
November 9, 2013
There have been bad Presidents, but none have ever been as staggeringly incompetent as Barack Obama, so can there be any other explanation than the man is a moron? Despite a distinct lack of accomplishment, personal or professionally, he believes himself to be the smartest person in every room. He cannot utter a sentence that does not include "I," "me," and "my," and they never stop speaking. Have you ever noticed how many of these "really smart" people there are in government? It's a magnet for morons, and it seems every damn one of them is portrayed by the media as a genius in his own right. They never seem to be able to do anything but make things worse, and usually much worse. These are America's morons and Barry is their leader. He is a moron, and worse, he is the most dangerous of morons, one who doesn't think he is a moron. A dangerous moron is all arrogance and bluster, always convinced that every one of his incompetent actions and the inevitable results, are actually brilliant successes and if not, somebody else's fault. Dangerous morons hate to admit they were wrong. They are also incapable of feeling shame or guilt. Morons are a naturally angry lot. Wouldn't you be if you didn't know what the hell was going on? And who knows less of what is going on than Barack Obama? So many scandals (Fast and Furious, IRS, NSA, Benghazi, etc.) that he “never heard of,” but he was “outraged” and “no one is madder than he is.” It must be time for the President to go into another meeting where everyone will tell him how brilliant he is, and not tell him anything!
(“Obama: The Most Dangerous of Morons” by William L. Gensert dated November 7, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/11/obama_the_most_dangerous_of_morons.html )
Barack Obama is certainly an accomplished liar. Consider whether it is possible that, in his mind, he is not lying because in his mind the end justifies the means, and lies are simply tools to accomplish his desired end. Obama's lies are legion. They include:
· “My trillion-dollar stimulus bill will fund shovel-ready projects that will immediately create worthwhile jobs and jump start the economy.” Not exactly - most of the money went to labor union allies, state and municipal governments so that they could avoid bankruptcy, and crony capitalists. Most of it was spent several years down the road, and the only thing it jump-started was Obama's re-election campaign.
· “Dodd-Frank will identify banks and financial institutions that are "too big to fail," and guarantee that excessive wealth is not concentrated in too few corporate entities.” In fact, the big banks have coalesced into a smaller number that control as much as if not more than their predecessors did before the '07-'08 crunch. The additional onerous regulations in the law are crippling American business.
· "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan -- period. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor -- period." Arguably the President's biggest whopper, and the one that is causing him the most trouble recently.
· “Fast and Furious -- what's that? Never heard of it.” Ask Eric Holder since he is so knowledgeable he was held in contempt.
· “I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.” At least I did until I needed to more assiduously court the pro-gay vote.
· “The Earth is severely threatened by the certain prospect of global warming, and the only way to deal with it is to shut down our fossil fuel industries and divert copious resources to the pursuit of green energy like wind, solar, hydro-electric, and biofuels.” Nope! Not even close. It does nothing to address climate change.
· “The idea of purposefully derailing the award of tax-exempt status to Tea Party-affiliated and other conservative groups originated with a few rogue agents in the Cincinnati office of the IRS -- oh, and by the way, liberal groups were also targeted.” This absurd and deceitful assertion was intended to hide the fact that the orders to conduct the operation emanated from high up in the Obama administration.
· “The attack on the consulate and the CIA annex in Benghazi grew out of a spontaneous demonstration in protest against a disgusting, anti-Muslim video created in the U.S.” Obama's most dastardly lie, arrogantly and insensitively tarnishing the bravery of the four Americans who lost their lives in an instantaneously recognizable terrorist attack.
There are other examples, but the above certainly serves to identify the President as a serial liar. The amazing thing is that he does it so effortlessly, convincingly, sincerely, and repeatedly. He looks the camera straight in the eye and, in that soothing, melodic voice that reassures, he unburdens himself of facts and assessments that are manifestly false and/or misleading. At least half of the country, abetted by a compliant media, takes his word as gospel, and the rest of us know that we will be labeled right-wing lunatics for doubting his word. There are two possible explanations for Obama's track record of lies:
· At the moment that he utters the words, he believes them. It is possible that Obama's commitment to left-wing ideology is so intense that he sees all of life as reinforcing the need to implement the statist welfare policies that he believes will transform American society to suit his vision. This would also explain why so many people accept his tainted tweets as truth - they share his vision, and little things like hard facts or palpable truths cannot interfere with progress toward that society.
· Obama is totally lacking any moral compass, and the act of lying causes him no discomfort whatsoever. The goal remains the statist welfare state of his revolutionary dreams, and although he recognizes that he is dissembling in pursuit of the goal, it bothers him not at all that he is bending the truth.
So why does Obama feel the need to lie? Why not admit the truth about the stimulus - that it was a classic Keynesian attempt to pump up the economy via drastically increased government spending? Why not admit the truth about ObamaCare - that it is a huge step toward fully socialized medicine? Why not admit the truth about Benghazi - that it was a coordinated terrorist attack? The answers are clear. Obama fears that, respectively: Americans are worried about the draconian growth of the federal government and its unsustainable debt; Americans prefer a private-sector health care market to a single-payer government-controlled system; and Americans will see that his drastic shrinkage of U.S. military and intelligence capabilities has dramatically increased the danger of world chaos, and the attendant threats to the U.S. homeland. In short, he fails to tell the truth because he fears that the majority of Americans are not in favor of his radical transformation of society. So I take solace from his calculation that America has not tipped from the constitutional republic it still is (partly) to the Euro-style social welfare state that he is trying to create. He seems to feel that he needs to trick us, rather than lead us to where he wants to take us. If he is wrong, and the society does indeed long for the socialist nirvana that is his goal, then he is lying for nothing. If he is right that we must be tricked into social-welfare state, then it's time to stop countenancing the lies and for the American people to hold him accountable.
(“Obama’s Lying is Actually Cause for Optimism” by Ron Lipsman dated November 2, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/11/obamas_lying_is_actually_cause_for_optimism.html )
Imagine the coming days when the American public grows skeptical and then outright dismissive of ObamaCare; a growing revulsion over the administration's Benghazi deception; and a national awakening to the crises we face in spending, especially on entitlements. It involves personalizing our politics. It doesn't mean getting personally negative about the President. We will attract no new voters by obsessing over our mile-long list of gripes about this regime, however well-founded they may be. The opportunity we face right now is to grab the attention of the slice of voters that doesn't really know how to feel about Obama any more. Now maybe their insurance just got cancelled because of ObamaCare. Maybe they saw their hours cut by an employer trying to live under its whip. Maybe they've actually seen some success in the last few years, only to see their income devoured by taxes Democrats seek to boost even higher.
· Imagine millions of Americans sitting down for another night of television; then, dropped into a commercial break: A couple in their 30s or 40s on a couch in a pleasant living room, talking to the camera: "Hi, I'm Tom, and this is my wife Debbie, and we voted for Barack Obama twice." "We thought it was the right thing to do," Debbie adds. "We liked him and we liked the way his ideas sounded." "But then we got this," Tom says, holding up a letter. "Our insurance just got canceled. We liked our policy, and we believed Barack Obama when he said we could keep it." "We believed a lot of things," Debbie picks up. "We believed the stimulus would work. We believed when they said some goofy video sparked the Benghazi attacks. We believed when the President said there would be accountability for the IRS scandal." "But all of the people who did these things are still there," Tom continues. "I don't know what all the answers are to all of our country's problems. But I do know this: I see a lot of ideas that are not good for my family, and not good for my country. I see what has not worked and what is not working. I'm ready for some new ideas." Debbie closes: "And some new leadership." Cue the voice-over guy: "This message brought to you by the Republican National Committee" placed in about twenty shows people actually watch.
We have to drop a message in their laps that will make their eyes widen, make them call their friends, make them doubt their preconceived notions. We need those candidates to pleasantly, but boldly point out that the Obama era is simply not working. We need a sense of urgency and a sense of humor. When liberals lie about us, we need to call them on it and speak truth. We need to do what Democrats have done for years: personalize politics. In backing our conservative causes, of course we can mention their basis in logic and history, but if we tell people we want to stop the Obama agenda and replace it with fresh ideas based on giving people back their liberty and letting them keep more of their money, that's the kind of thing that changes minds. The aroma of a wasteful, inept Washington has rarely been more foul. if we play hard and play smart, we can win back the Senate and the White House and start to replace these horrible years with uplifting opportunities to regain our national strengths, at home and abroad. It will be because we convinced ten million voters that two Obama terms have led to a litany of royal screw-ups, and we know how to fix it.
(“The Tipping Point We’ve Dreamed Of?” by Mark Davis dated November 1, 2013 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/markdavis/2013/11/01/the-tipping-point-weve-dreamed-of-n1734045 )
Anyone who pays attention to politics can see that when Democrats attack, they speak from the same text, and when they vote, they march in lockstep, and Republicans must learn to frame their political argument in moral terms that voters can identify with. When a key program like ObamaCare is the issue, not only do Democrats back it with one voice, but every player on the political left: journalists, professors, talk-show hosts, union heads, MoveOn radicals, and Occupy anarchists, falls into line and promotes it with virtually identical words. When the voices of the Left all come together, the amplification is stupefying. The result is that a morally bankrupt, politically tyrannical, economically destructive party is able to set the course of an entire nation and put it on the road to disaster. Republicans, in contrast, speak with multiple voices, and in words that often have no relation to each other. The recent arguments and the dissension are over tactics, not substance, since all Republicans oppose ObamaCare. These contending party voices are multiplied by conservative talking heads in the nation’s media who march to their own political drums. The result is a cacophony of talking points, which in the end point nowhere. Internal dissension not only blunts the Republican attack; it hands Democrats a convenient stick with which to beat them. What unites Republicans as they go to battle is a unifying idea. The coalition of the Right is extremely diverse and at present lacks a unifying idea. The conservative media is frequently at odds with the Republican party, and the Republican party is often at odds with itself. The Tea Party has emerged and flourished because of dissatisfaction with the way Republicans conduct themselves in conflicts with their progressive opponents. Republicans do not frame their broader political cause as a moral crusade, and do not project a unifying idea. Consequently, their focus is on policies and tactical issues. This inevitably promotes divisions in the ranks of Republican officeholders and frequently puts them at odds with their political base. The bottom line is that if conservatives continue to ignore the fact that their opponents approach politics as a religious war, if they fail to organize their own resistance as a moral cause, they will eventually lose the war and everything that depends on it. Conservatives are realists who believe in the constitutional skepticism that guided the Founders. They know that human nature, not society, is the insurmountable obstacle to equality and justice, and that a democracy works only through compromise and respect. The conservative cause already has a moral core; it is just not currently a political theme, the way equality is for Democrats and progressives, but it can be made into one. Individual freedom and ordered liberty made possible by the imposition of limits on government is the idea that unites conservatives and Republicans, and should be their rallying cry. There are no ethnicities or genders identified in the Bill of Rights; the words “male” and “female,” “black” and “white,” do not appear in the Constitution. There are only individuals who are, in the Declaration of Independence, proclaimed equal in the eyes of their Creator and endowed with unalienable rights that government cannot take away. The equality enshrined in the Declaration is incompatible with the equality that progressives support. The equality in the Declaration is not an equality of abilities or deserts. It is an equality of importance in the eyes of Nature’s God, and therefore in the eyes of the law- equality not as men and women or whites and blacks but as individuals, and individuals alone. The steady erosion of that freedom is the consequence of progressives’ political successes. This is the war that divides Left and Right. Conservatives must recognize that it is a war, and prosecute it as a war to defend individual freedom, which should be the unifying idea of the conservative cause. The American republic was designed by its founders specifically to preserve individual freedom and to thwart the redistributive ambitions of the progressives of the day, ideals that are now referred to as “social justice.” Note that the first object of government is the protection of the inequalities that arise from the natural abilities and talents of its citizens - because government is instituted to guarantee the unalienable rights that constitute individual freedom. Framing the political argument in moral terms takes the battle to the adversary’s camp, while at the same time communicating to conservatives that they are all in the same fight. It was the fight for freedom that gave Republicans national majorities during the Cold War with the Communist bloc and liberated a billion captive people. National security is first of all about freedom and its defense. The attack on our military and our borders is an existential threat to our freedom, the first in our modern history with such a strong domestic component. The very struggle that inspired the Right in the Cold War era, the battle between tyranny and freedom, is once again staring us in the face, but we are reluctant to name it. We have gone almost silent, and this silence must end. It is time to connect the battle for individual freedom at home and the defense of our free society abroad, and make them one, because that is how to advance the conservative message and unify the political forces on which the future of our nation depends.
(“Uniting the Right” by David Horowitz dated November 4, 2013 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/362992/uniting-right-david-horowitz )
Everyone is focusing on ObamaCare because it is such an obvious disaster, but it is but a microcosm of Barack Obama's entire presidency - ObamaCare is Obama unmasked. He has made a mess of nearly everything his policies have touched, and he's mostly avoided the blame; but he owns ObamaCare, and he has nowhere to hide. When someone with the influence Obama enjoyed upon first taking office sets out to fundamentally transform the nation, and he has the unqualified support of the entire liberal media apparatus, the Democrat Party in lock step, millions of people purchased with government money and/or indoctrinated in liberal universities, and the cudgels of racial shaming and white guilt, the possibilities are endless. Constitutionalists have observed for years that America has been on a downward spiral as its ruling class has discarded its founding principles, the very ideas that led to this nation's uniqueness, power, prosperity and benevolence. We've known that we could not forever piggyback, with impunity, on America's system of limited government and its free market economy. Eventually, statist encroachments on both would destroy our prosperity, liberty and power. At the beginning, people could argue that Obama would usher in a period of prosperity and bipartisanship and that things would get better in America. After five years of unconscionably reckless federal spending, a wholesale assault on our domestic energy industries, endless abuses of executive authority and other lawless incursions on the Constitution, unprecedented divisiveness and polarization across economic, racial and gender lines, America's declining power and prestige in the world, an explosion of the welfare state, and the worst economic recovery in 60 years, how can anyone who cares about this nation's future and the well-being of our children and grandchildren keep supporting this man's policies? As you watch the inglorious unfolding of ObamaCare, you may have been hanging on to the fantasy that this was just a technical problem with the website, perhaps marginally understandable given the immense scope of the "transition" into government-run health care. Unless you have been asleep, you understand that the problems with the website were so colossal that only an incompetent and arrogant administration could have presided over them. You also know that as horrendous as the website problems are, they pale in comparison with the huge problems with ObamaCare and Obama's abject lies to pass the bill in the first place and his continuing pattern of deceit concerning this boondoggle. It is inconceivable that Obama merely misspoke when he promised that Americans could keep their private plans and doctors if they liked them and when he said the premiums for an average family of four would decrease by $2,500. Those were cold, calculated lies designed to defraud the American people and their representatives into supporting Obama's "signature" legislative dream, which was never about increasing access, reducing costs, increasing quality and preserving choices. ObamaCare has always been nothing less than the linchpin in Obama's bigger dream to fundamentally change America into a nation he could like instead of resent, a socialist utopia rather than the land of the free, of the brave and of equal opportunity. We all had better wake up because there's only so much bitterness and covetousness a nation's leaders can arouse in its people before they reduce it to permanent mediocrity.
(“Obamacare Is Obama Unmasked” by David Limbaugh dated November 5, 2013 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/davidlimbaugh/2013/11/04/obamacare-is-obama-unmasked-n1736537 )
The Obama administration responded to the severe recession of 2008, when millions of Americans lost jobs and equity in their homes, by pouring trillions of dollars into stimulus and rescue programs, some of which succeeded in stabilizing banks and auto companies, but along with that, the President and his acolytes openly encouraged Americans to use the welfare system and now the entitlement culture has exploded. According to the Census Bureau, more people in America today are on welfare than have full-time jobs. There is a culture of dependency being created that is truly shocking. A recent study by the Cato Institute concludes that welfare now pays more than minimum-wage work in 35 states. Some believe that the Democrat Party, which champions the entitlement culture, is doing so to assure future votes from those receiving benefits. Right now, about half of all American households are getting some kind of compensation from the feds, but some of that, such as Social Security and Medicare, has been earned. Nearly 50 million Americans are receiving food stamps, and 83 million are on Medicaid. The United States became the world's strongest economy by folks working hard. Layabouts and people who game the system actually harm our country. Safety nets for the poor and disadvantaged are a must for any compassionate nation, but encouraging folks to go on the dole when it's not absolutely necessary is disgraceful, and that's what the Obama administration is doing. How else can you explain a 40% rise in food stamp recipients in just three years (2009 to 2011, the last statistics available) and a rise of 15% in federal disability payments over the same period of time? As a person who has worked extremely hard for more than 40 years, I don't want my tax dollars going to drunkards and drug addicts. In America, there is no substance testing for welfare recipients, and every time that comes up, the civil liberties lobby screams. America has become a much weaker nation since 2001. The wars we have fought to protect us against terrorism have drained our treasury and created a deep distrust of authority. The hope and change espoused by President Obama has led to chaos in the health care arena and a massive entitlement industry that is growing larger every day. Unless the voters wise up and get back to self-reliance and responsible government, this nation will continue down the Nanny State road, and that path is unsustainable, and even worse, it is un-American.
(“Welfare Nation” by Bill O’Reilly dated November 2, 2013 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/billoreilly/2013/11/02/welfare-nation-n1734127 )
The bottom may be starting to fall out of the U.S. defense budget because the American public hates sustained sacrifice unless it involves its own core self-interest. After the Cold War there was an urge towards reduced defense budgets, manifested during the Clinton Presidency. But 9/11 revealed that as but a brief interlude. The defense budget thus skyrocketed during the younger Bush administration. Now the world is changing in a number of ways that do not obviously argue for such a robust defense. The public is having a hard time being convinced. Defense experts understand the importance of "presence" (having enough warships and fighter jets in a region) to reinforce American diplomacy, reassure allies and deter possible adversaries such as the Chinese. The public may not like the idea of a radical regime such as Iran's getting a nuclear weapon. Thus, the public may countenance an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities at some stage if negotiations fail, but if that attack ever involved more than just firing missiles from offshore for longer than, say, a week, the public could easily turn against the White House. A war against Iran might require a campaign lasting many weeks, with many unintended consequences. The American public just has never been enthusiastic about great military crusades unless the threat against the homeland is concrete and immediate. A democratic public hates sustained sacrifice unless it involves its own core self-interest. Humanitarian interventionists have been confronting this very dilemma for two decades now. Remember, the public tolerated humanitarian interventions in the Balkans even as it was never enthusiastic about them. It tolerated them only because there were no American casualties. Once casualties mounted in Iraq, and Afghanistan looked increasingly like a stalemate, public support for those wars dropped precipitously. The public, in short, wants protection on the cheap. It may not necessarily be willing to police the world with a big navy and a big air force at least to the degree that it has in the past, unless a clear and demonstrable conventional threat can be identified. The elites respond by saying that chaos anywhere threatens America's liberal vision of the globe, and there isn't just chaos here and there; indeed it is all over the Greater Middle East. The public is not convinced. The public may have had enough of elite nostrums regarding humanitarian causes and projecting power. The public is not stupid. The public harbors a pitch-perfect common sense that the policy elites often lack, even if the public cannot articulate it well. Of course, there are significant elements of the public that are vaguely isolationist, especially within the Republican Party (and to a lesser extent on the anti-war left), but that isolationism is itself a manifestation of America's own continental geography: the awareness that the physical position of the United States naturally protects it from much of the mayhem in Eurasia. Thus, the public sets a high bar for military intervention, which is eminently commonsensical. So if the public is softening on support for high defense budgets, maybe the policy elites need to listen more closely to what the public has to say. Present and future threats are both insidious and less obvious than at any time in the past. The very interconnectedness of the world and technology's defeat of distance makes the oceans less of a barrier to the American mainland than ever before. The elites have to do a much better job of explaining this to the public, and the armed services especially have to do a much better job of explaining to a skeptical public just why they are needed as much as ever in the past. To wit, air and naval platforms, because they take many years to design and build, require the necessary funding even when no obvious threat is on the horizon. Defense no longer constitutes a free ride where epic events automatically secure big budgets because the public will henceforth demand deep and lucid explanations.
(“The Slow Death of American Defense” by Robert Kaplan dated October 31, 2013 published by Real Clear World at http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2013/10/31/the_slow_death_of_american_defense.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 issue sections:
· Healthcare at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/healthcare.php