Views on the News

Views on the News*

 November 12, 2016


The 44th president made history by being elected, but leaves behind a nation on the verge of a crack-up.  He flatters himself by insisting his tenure has been a roaring success, but the public mood tells a different story.  Obama promised to unite America, but exits amidst far greater divisions.  He has stopped portraying himself as a uniter and, like Jimmy Carter, blames the public.  Carter saw malaise, Obama sees bitter clingers, racists and xenophobes.  While Obama’s lectures convey disappointment in his fellow Americans, it never occurs to him that he is a disappointment to them.  His failure to come to grips with the polarization, combined with an aggressively liberal agenda spearheaded by executive orders and a politicized bureaucracy, means his successor will inherit a country broken along every fault line imaginable.  Voices of discontent and even estrangement are rising among Americans of all stripes and persuasions.  The one universal point of agreement is that the next occupant of the Oval Office must forge a fundamental consensus before the country can begin to address its critical problems.  Forging that consensus could prove to be the most difficult problem of all, especially with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both better at exploiting polarization than ending it.  The near-universal clamor for change offers a potential opening.  Grievances from across the political spectrum demonstrate that most of the country agrees our public servants are only serving themselves, and that Washington is disconnected from most Americans’ daily lives.  The root is a fundamental distrust of government.  It can’t be fixed by bigger government, or even by just a smaller one.  The only solution is a more honest government, a goal that must be addressed as a distinct issue from Day One.  Tragically, neither candidate is equipped for the challenge.  Clinton, because of her long trail of dishonesty in public life, will never be able to summon broad national support for anything.  Trump’s defects of temperament and instinct are enormous.  Trump has one advantage over Clinton: a clean slate in exercising governmental power.  He is a genuine outsider whose promise of change is more credible, and better matches the nation’s mood.  Unlike Clinton, he would be free to break with Obama’s failed policies on immigration, health care and Iran.  Trump’s improvement as a candidate suggests he has more potential for upside surprises.  A few good Cabinet picks would reassure millions of Americans and create a valuable honeymoon for his administration.  Trump remains a long shot to be a good President, but after eight years of Hope & Change, a long shot is the only shot we have! 

(“Obama’s ‘hope and change’ has given us ‘fear and laathing” by Michale Goodwin dated November 6, 2016 published by NY Post at http://nypost.com/2016/11/06/obamas-hope-and-change-has-given-us-fear-and-loathing/ )

Americans believe that their government is corrupt.  People are not being treated equally before the law.  We are rapidly approaching a tipping point, with elected officials and their political appointees oblivious to the crisis.  Structured liberty is predicated upon just laws being equally applied.  Law enforcement needs to be neutral and beyond reproach, and people who commit similar crimes should be similarly charged and tried.  Most people disagreed with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recommendation against indicting Clinton in July.  Hillary Clinton is not the critical issue; restoring the integrity in the law is the imperative concern.  If the FBI is compromised, the DOJ is completely corrupted.  We now know that the DOJ was actively involved in hampering the investigations into the Clinton email server and the Clinton Foundation.  Clinton was allegedly selling State Department access in exchange for foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation.  Senior Justice personnel pressured the FBI to narrow their investigation or stop sensitive lines on inquiry, basically shutdown the probe into the Clinton Foundation.   This unprecedented intervention by politicized Justice officials into investigations is egregious and grounds for dismissal and disbarment.  President Obama himself is also compromised.  He lied when he said he didn't know about Clinton's private server, because he had emails from her from her private account.  Beyond the President and Justice Department, the wider executive branch is also corrupted.  Multiple agencies were caught over the last eight years involved in political vendettas and using government power to persecute individuals and companies for their political opposition to the president.  The IRS scandal, where a cabal of political operatives employed by the IRS targeted (and continues to target) conservative groups, is infamous.  The Environmental Protection Agency raided Gibson Guitars supposedly for using exotic wood (legally), but more likely because the owner was a major donor to Republicans.  Like a banana republic, the executive branch turned its law enforcement authority into a weapon to punish political opponents.  First, a special prosecutor must be appointed to take over all investigations relating to Secretary Clinton: her illegal email server, compromising national security secrets, the Clinton Foundation, selling access at the State Department, using State Department personnel for personal purposes, and the cover-up of these matters.  Second, a special prosecutor must be appointed to investigate the attorneys, investigators, and officials at the FBI, DOJ, and other executive branch agencies who interfered with, obstructed, and sabotaged criminal investigations into Clinton, her email server, selling State Department access, the Clinton Foundation, and any other investigations they intentionally disrupted contrary to their sworn duty.  Third, a special prosecutor must be appointed to investigate Russian and other foreign interference in the 2014 and 2016 federal elections, including foreign aid to campaigns, foreign operatives working for campaigns, and foreign cyber-attacks on election infrastructure.   There are legitimate questions about Russia and other countries influencing our elections through hacks, leaks, and in-kind electioneering.  The citizenry deserve an exhaustive and thorough probe into this attack on American sovereignty.  Only special prosecutors, independent of the FBI, DOJ, and executive branch, can be trusted to restore confidence through equal enforcement of the law in these matters.  Voters of all persuasions should insist special prosecutors be appointed, because equality before the law is the hill worth dying upon. 

(“Equality Before the Law: The Hill to Die Upon” by Brian T. Carter dated November 6, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/11/equality_before_the_law_the_hill_to_die_upon.html )


This wasn’t an election, it was a revolution!  Fifty million Americans got up and stood in front of the great iron wheel that had been grinding them down.  They stood there even though the media told them it was useless.  They took their stand even while all the chattering classes laughed and taunted them.  They were fathers who couldn’t feed their families anymore.  They were mothers who couldn’t afford health care.  They were workers whose jobs had been sold off to foreign countries.  They were sons who didn’t see a future for themselves.  They were daughters afraid of being murdered by the “unaccompanied minors” flooding into their towns. They took a deep breath and they stood.  They held up their hands and the great iron wheel stopped.  The Great Blue Wall crumbled.  The impossible states fell one by one.  Ohio. Wisconsin. Pennsylvania. Iowa. The white working class that had been overlooked and trampled on for so long got to its feet.  It rose up against its oppressors and the rest of the nation, from coast to coast, rose up with it.  They fought back against their jobs being shipped overseas while their towns filled with migrants that got everything while they got nothing.  They fought back against a system in which they could go to jail for a trifle while the elites could violate the law and still stroll through a presidential election.  They fought back against being told that they had to watch what they say.  They fought back against being held in contempt because they wanted to work for a living and take care of their families.  This wasn’t a vote, it was an uprising.  Like the ordinary men chipping away at the Berlin Wall, they tore down an unnatural thing that had towered over them.  As they watched it fall, they marveled at how weak and fragile it had always been, and how much stronger they were than they had ever known.  Who were these people?  They were leftovers and flyover country.  They didn’t have bachelor degrees and had never set foot in a Starbucks.  They were the white working class.  They didn’t talk right or think right.  They had the wrong ideas, the wrong clothes and the ridiculous idea that they still mattered.  They were wrong about everything.  Illegal immigration - Everyone knew it was here to stay.  Black Lives Matter - The new civil rights movement.  Manufacturing - As dead as the dodo.  Banning Muslims - What kind of bigot even thinks that way?  Love wins - Marriage loses.  The future belongs to the urban metrosexual and his dot com, not the guy who used to have a good job before it went to China or Mexico.  They couldn’t change anything. A thousand politicians and pundits had talked of getting them to adapt to the inevitable future.  Instead they got in their pickup trucks and drove out to vote.  They changed everything.  Barack Hussein Obama boasted that he had changed America.  A billion regulations, a million immigrants, a hundred thousand lies and it was no longer your America.  He told us that his version of history was right and inevitable.  They voted and left him in the dust.  They walked past him and they didn’t listen.  He had come to campaign to where they still cling to their guns and their bibles.  He came to plead for his legacy, and America said, “No.”  Fifty millions Americans repudiated him.  They repudiated the Obamas and the Clintons.  They ignored the celebrities.  They paid no attention to the media.  They voted because they believed in the impossible, and their dedication made the impossible happen.  Americans were told that walls couldn’t be built and factories couldn’t be opened.  That treaties couldn’t be unsigned and wars couldn’t be won.  It was impossible to ban Muslim terrorists from coming to America or to deport the illegal aliens turning towns and cities into gangland territories.  It was all impossible, and fifty million Americans did the impossible.  They turned the world upside down.  It’s midnight in America.  CNN is weeping.  MSNBC is wailing.  ABC calls it a tantrum.  NBC damns it.  It wasn’t supposed to happen.  The same machine that crushed the American people for two straight terms, the mass of government, corporations and non-profits that ran the country, was set to win.  Instead the people stood in front of the machine.  They blocked it with their bodies.  They went to vote even though the polls told them it was useless.  They mailed in their absentee ballots even while Hillary Clinton was planning her fireworks victory celebration.  They looked at the empty factories and barren farms.  They drove through the early cold.  They waited in line.  They came home to their children to tell them that they had done their best for their future. They bet on America, and they won.  They won improbably. And they won amazingly.  They were tired of ObamaCare.  They were tired of unemployment.  They were tired of being lied to.  They were tired of watching their sons come back in coffins to protect some Muslim country.  They were tired of being called racists and homophobes.  They were tired of seeing their America disappear.  They stood up and fought back.  This was their last hope.  Their last chance to be heard.  The media had the election wrong all along.  This wasn’t about personalities.  It was about the impersonal.  It was about fifty million people whose names no one except a server will ever know fighting back.  It was about the homeless woman guarding Trump’s star.  It was about the lost Democrats searching for someone to represent them in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  It was about the union men who nodded along when the organizers told them how to vote, but who refused to sell out their futures.  No one will ever interview all those men and women.  We will never see all their faces, but they are us and we are them.  They came to the aid of a nation in peril.  They did what real Americans have always done.  They did the impossible.  America is a nation of impossibilities.  We exist because our forefathers did not take no for an answer.  Not from kings or tyrants.  Not from the elites who told them that it couldn’t be done.  The day when we stop being able to pull of the impossible is the day that America will cease to exist.  Today is not that day.  Today fifty million Americans did the impossible.  A new day has come, and everything is about to change. 

(“American Uprising” by Daniel Greenfield dated November 9, 2016 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264771/american-uprising-daniel-greenfield )

This election has brought to the forefront a new American hero, one who has endured personal violence and defamation, witnessed unspeakable collusion in once trusted government agencies, and made a loud and salient point that will never, ever be silenced.  That collective hero who stands in the gap for the disenfranchised, marginalized, alienated, and excluded American is none other than the Trump voter.  This hero has been subjected to organized violence at political rallies now made demonstrably clear by the WikiLeaks emails.  They’ve been harassed and called vicious deplorable names, not to mention the collusion among the President of the United States, his political hacks at the Justice Department, and perhaps even the FBI.  The sustained endurance of this hero and his unwillingness to sit down and shut up when told have been nothing less than inspiring.  Much has been said about this election, decrying it as hideous and repulsive, with enough rancor on both sides to last for eternity.  A couple of stories stand out as nothing short of inspirational.  The Trump campaign, running three hours behind, finally showed up after midnight in the tiny town of Leesburg, Virginia.  Upon their arrival, thousands of cheering enthusiasts, an undeniable throng of supporters, greeted them with signs and shouts and even children raised above the crowd on the shoulders of their parents.  The sense was that these people weren’t going anywhere and would have waited until 3:00 AM for that Trump plane to land.  Another is the report from North Carolina, where the Trump campaign office had been defaced.  Open-carry folks came out to protect the property from further violence.  God bless those Second Amendment people.  So today, dear hero, I stand and salute you.  The brutality and intensity in this most righteous of battles will have been worth it.  This new collective American Hero has a calling to rise up and fight on.  

(“The new American hero” by Leesa K. Donner dated November 8, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/11/the_new_american_hero.html )

Democracy depends on the integrity of the secret ballot process and fraud, whether mostly real and extensive or mostly imaginary and minor, cannot be accepted.  Electoral reform has to find a place near the top of the new administration's priorities list.  The elections management process looks simple: make a list of voters, prepare the ballots, and check off each voter as they fill out and return exactly one ballot.  In reality, it's a little harder: voter registration, ballot preparation, voter identification, and vote counting have all become hopelessly partisan, ridiculously complicated, intrinsically error prone, and hugely expensive.  Today's voter lists are generally thought to include something like 1.8 million dead voters, 6.4 million illegals, 1.8 million ineligible felons, and perhaps 2.7 million people registered to vote in more than one state.  In the modern age, this situation is utterly absurd: an artifact of historical reality, partisan preference, and bureaucratic resistance. The reality is that there is no state in the union in which it is technically difficult to create and maintain a near perfect statewide list of eligible voters.  In principle, electronic voting offers a better solution first because each request to vote, coming from anywhere in the world, can be either authorized or denied by verifying the user's identity and checking it against the list of eligibles who have not yet voted; and, second, because all votes can be collected and counted on the same day, a consideration whose importance has just been underlined by the fact that an estimated 22% of the 2016 Presidential ballots had been cast before the October 28th FBI announcement about reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of an insecure email system.  Unfortunately, electronic voting cannot be done securely with any current voting technology or vote management process because every step in the chain from system set-up to final reporting is subject to multiple fairly simpleminded attacks -many of which cannot easily be detected and some of which are essentially undetectable unless one or more of those responsible comes forward.  Equally importantly, there is no obvious practical short-term way to get a national system in place: as Democrat abuse of the 2003 Help America Vote Act has more than adequately demonstrated, the confluence of states rights, ignorance, bureaucratic resistance, commercial interest, and sheer partisan idiocy can easily turn good intentions into bad results.  This reality defines the opportunity for someone or organization, who have the money, the skills, the connections; and the deep commitments to user-focused open source attitudes needed to put it all together. 

(“Ensuring Electoral Integrity in 2020” by Paul Murphy dated November 10, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/11/ensuring_electoral_integrity_in_2020.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:

·  Responsibilities at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/responsibilities.php

·  Budget at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/budget.php

·  Energy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/energy.php

·  Environment at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/environment.php

·  Foreign Aid at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/aid.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY