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Views on the News

November 14, 2009

Views on the News*

Obama's power has peaked, and judging by the Clinton backlash of 1994 when the GOP won the House for the first time in forty years, it is downhill from here on out. Democratic leaders, having gotten a very negative message from the off-year balloting, are moving as fast as they can to pass the main big-spending items on their unpopular agenda. Show them any sign of weakness, however, and rattled Democrats would begin to care more about their own re-elections than they did their President. If the Democrats don't act now, they know their radical agenda is dead. Recent polls show the President and Congress falling fast in public esteem. The RealClearPolitics poll of polls, which aggregates a number of congressional favorability surveys, shows an average of 25.5% approval and 66.7% disapproval for a -41.2% spread. What's the big hurry for a health care bill that won't even go into effect until 2013? Why act with such haste to move the cap-and-trade bill out of committee? The only obvious answer is Democratic leaders are running scared, and there is also an element of self-delusion to their strategy. ObamaCare is still the biggest item on the Democrat plate. The Democrats can still carry it over the top and then take their losses in elections to come with the faith that no Republican Congress will dare to infuriate all the Victim Groups of the Left by repealing free medical care for 40% of the population. Remember that the actual dollar figures have never been believable, and Medicare and Social Security are operating as accounting fictions even now, so this has all been media drivel from top to bottom. All they have to do is pass a shell of a bill, set up the bureaucracies, and expand them in future Democrat-dominated Congresses. Obama is a third-world socialist, and his real identification is not with this country, but with "transnationalism" -- the corrupt and conscienceless elite of the U.N., the EU, and a Vast Left-Wing “corruptocracy” around the world. Everything we know about these Democrats suggests that they are single-minded fanatics with basically only one game plan, which is to consolidate as much power as possible as quickly as possible. The enormous goodwill the president had at the beginning of the year has evaporated. The public still rather likes him — but they don’t much like what he is doing to them and to their country. There will be a high price for him to pay for carrying through on his liberal ambitions, but Obama’s party and his ambitious plans will suffer the consequences first.

(“Will the Left Try a Kamikaze Rush?” by James Lewis dated November 5, 2009 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/will_the_left_try_a_kamikaze_r.html

Desperate Dems” dated November 5, 2009 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=511489

Hello, Tipping Point” by Kimberley A. Strassel dated November 5, 2009 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704013004574517924229019190.html

An Ideologue Instead of a Statesman” by Peter Wehner dated November 12, 2009 published by Commentary Magazine at http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/163472 )

 

MoveOn's threats to punish errant moderate lawmakers have received little attention demonstrating the Democrat Party falling apart at its seams, while the Mainstream Media is aggressively trying to sell the Republican intellectual discussions as the demise of that Party. The truth is that the Democrat Party is imploding as the far left contingent is trying to seize leadership of this cobbled together coalition known as the Democrat Party today. It is true that Republican conservatives and moderates are engaging in spirited debate on the Party future and direction. TEA Party populists are furious at President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and aren't crazy about Republicans either. A coalition of Republicans, independents, and TEA Party populists is beginning to take shape as the Party recognizes a common political opponent. The hyper-liberal policies of Obama and Pelosi that are fostering rampant spending, surging deficits, ruinous debt, higher taxes, growing unemployment, and unlimited government in Washington are the common issues. On top of all that, Obama's foreign policy of "engaging" adversaries and hammering allies is a dangerous flop. The effect of the battles inside the party is to focus attention on combating the greater threat that draws Republicans, independents, and TEA Party folks together. Republicans can firm up the coalition by doing three things:

·    Refrain from dissing the TEA Party people;

·    Stress the fiscal and economic issues that appeal to independents (and most Americans);

·    Run candidates guided by conservative principles who can talk about these issues in concrete ways.

The turmoil within the Republican Party is a sign of interest and intensity and a rebirth along common conservative principles and issues.

(Democratic civil war update: MoveOn raises $3.6 million to attack party moderates” by Byron York dated November 6, 2009 published by Washington Examiner at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Democratic-civil-war-update-MoveOn-raises-36-million-to-attack-party-moderates-69360167.html

“The Future is Bright” by Fred Barnes dated November 16, 2009 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/017/177wdacd.asp )

One of the most disturbing things Obama is trying to do is to transform American society into a Marxist dream state of “sheeple” unwilling and unable to impact the degradation of our country. Resetting people’s expectations is crucial to transform an independent American people into a compliant socialist paradise subservient to a strong centrally controlled government. History is full of great nations that have fallen from their lofty perches back into the ranks and the United States is likely to be among them unless we change our attitude about the following issues:

·    First expectation to change is that society is made up of the people who pay the bills and the people who live off of the fruits of their labor. Today roughly 120 million Americans, 40% of the U.S. population, are outside of the federal income tax system. The number of workers supporting each Social Security recipient has dropped from over 40 to only 3.3 workers support each retiree. Of course, it's easy to be demanding when you don't have to pay the full value of the services you receive. It's also easy to be resentful when you don't get your money's worth in government services and are treated as selfish for wanting to keep more of the money you earned for yourself. This is not a recipe either for societal stability or for long-term prosperity.

·    America's success has been because of our people, not because of our government. It is almost impossible to overestimate the value our country has gotten out of having a hard working, honest, charitable, patriotic, culturally homogenous population. Yet, the cultural elements that have made this a great nation are under attack on every level. The stigma for taking government assistance is fading, government is taking over the role of charity, many liberals mock the idea of patriotism, divorce rates have grown perilously high, support for gay marriage has increased, the percentage of the population that's Christian is dropping, and multi-culturalism and even dislike of America is replacing the idea of the Melting Pot.

·    There's no peril greater to this country's future than our rapidly increasing debt. We have no idea how to pay for our Social Security and Medicare obligations, we seem to be running larger and larger deficits every year, and neither political party has the guts to make significant cuts in spending.

·    If we don't have the will to stop a "death to America" chanting terrorist regime run by religious fanatics from getting nuclear weapons, then we don't have the will to stop any nation. If Iran get nukes, we should expect at a minimum Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia to also build nuclear weapons. Once that genie is out the bottle, it'll never be put back in and the United States will suffer horribly as a result.

A year after Obama’s election American people are finally opening their eyes to the “Hope and Change” they voted for, but may be too late to stop the radical change planned for this country.

(“4 Reasons The American Dream Will Be Over Unless We Act” by John Hawkins dated November 10, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/Common/PrintPage.aspx?g=2299ba1d-faa3-4a30-b8e6-5384da4a14ea&t=c )

 

Much of the confusion and commotion that surrounds Obama is consciously created and nurtured by his own Administration for political reasons. For him to define a problem as a crisis and demand that Congressional action be taken now, and not delayed a year, a month or a day, is a commonplace.  However when the action is taken and subsequently fails, the President ignores the failure and moves along to demand action on another self-described “crisis.”  Since his inauguration President Obama has stampeded Congress into a $1.2 trillion “economic stimulus” package that has caused unemployment to rocket to a 26-year high, a $3.6 trillion federal budget that will carry the federal deficit to a dangerous level of our Gross Domestic Product and taken over two of the three major car makers, losing tens of billions in “loans” to GM and Chrysler. Obama spent the last three months on his signature issue, the nationalization of healthcare despite the fact that a majority of Americans oppose it.  While he has pursued this artificial crisis, he ignores a real one.  LTG Stanley McChrystal’s “3 am phone call” to the president dithers as his call remains on hold.  McChrystal’s August 30 report said that if we don’t reform our strategy to the counterinsurgency he recommends and adequately resource it (i.e., send at least 40,000 more troops to accomplish it) we may, within a year of his report, be unable to defeat the Taliban.  It’s nearly ninety days since that report was submitted, and the president has yet to decide, but many meetings were held, and nothing came out of them. There is a constant commotion and agitation of Americans by the president, a continuous uproar over the subject of the day, combined with a confusion of voices from the media, the public, and the White House team.  According to the dictionary, this is tumult so it can be said that our president is “tumultuary:” characterized by commotion, impetuosity and, importantly, in disregard of the Constitution. Meanwhile the President wants to close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, allow gays to serve openly in the military, and renew the political war over amnesty for illegal immigrants.  His administration and his party, represented by Attorney General Eric Holder and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are still at war with the CIA.  All of these “crises” are artificial, cut out of whole cloth to advance a political agenda.  The president could end them as easily as he and his team created them. President Obama wants to make big decisions that change America and, unfortunately, he is well along in his plan to do just that, but what he either doesn’t understand, or of which he is willfully ignorant, is that neither American voters nor the world shares his priorities.  

(“Tumultuous Obama” by Jed Babbin dated November 9, 2009 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34326 )

 

The Imperial Congress has returned now that the oppressed have become the oppressors and the Democrats have met the enemy of deliberative democracy, and it is they. In February, House and Senate conferees larded up the “stimulus” bill with pork galore behind closed doors while President Obama denied the existence of earmarks with a straight face. In February, the Democrats broke their high-minded pledge to give Americans 48 hours to read the stimulus bill before passage. In April, the House passed a $3.6 trillion federal budget in the middle of the night with phony fiscal restraint amendments that leaders all admitted would be thrown out during a closed-door conference. In June, House Speaker Pelosi's Imperial Congress severely curtailed debate on the House “cap-and-tax” bill and rammed a 309-page amendment through the legislative grinder at 3am, which no one read before the vote just hours later. In late October, Democrat Congressman Edolphus Towns locked Republicans out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee room to prevent them from meeting when Democrats weren't present. Pelosi jammed a 1,900-page health care takeover bill through Congress for a hasty vote while members of her own party revolt against strong-arm tactics. Majority leaders evaded sunlight by keeping a compromise amendment on the matter out of the version of the health care bill made available to the public. In early November, Pelosi's "most ethical," open and transparent House ever ordered Capitol police to block a GOP staffer from attending the public unveiling of the health care reform plan. Emitting more vapor than an industrial humidifier, Harry Reid still holds out the possibility of abusing the budget reconciliation process to force the government health care takeover through with a simple majority and limited debate. Meanwhile, Senator Barbara Boxer performed an end-run around debate over her massive global warming bill last Thursday by using a "nuclear option" maneuver on the Senate Environment and Public Works. The 2006 minority Democrats' report on the death of deliberative democracy condemned the then-GOP leadership for becoming “the arrogant and corrupt majority they despised and condemned in their minority days,” and now the majority Democrats are even worse. Is it no wonder that the Democrat Congress approval rating remains at all time lows?

(The Death of Deliberative Democracy” by Michelle Malkin dated November 6, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/MichelleMalkin/2009/11/06/the_death_of_deliberative_democracy )

 

The TARP bailout funds were sold to the American public based on economics promises that are another example of Obama over-promising and under-delivering. GMAC, the company that finances car purchases for GM, has already received two infusions of taxpayer assistance totaling $12.5 billion. Now, the feds say it needs up to $5.6 billion more. The taxpayers’ commitment to GM, including the previous two GMAC bailouts, already stands at $62 billion. The failed automaker and its federal backers have promised us much in return. Let us look at how these promises are holding up:

·    GM will not require more taxpayer money. But if the administration provides GMAC with a third bailout, you can consider that a broken promise.

·    Taxpayers will get a return on their investment. Much of the taxpayers’ “investment” in GM is held in the form of preferred stock. Treasury’s own analysis suggests that the circumstances necessary for the companies to reach market capitalizations high enough for Treasury to fully recover its equity investments are unlikely. Not only will taxpayers lose money on their GM “investment,” there is a good chance they will lose most of it.

·    The White House will not manage GM. Car czar Ron Bloom said that the White House is a “reluctant shareholder” of GM and will stay clear of business decisions. A senior Obama administration official said the government’s role would be limited to “core governance issues” and that “in its effort to protect taxpayers’ resources.” In March, another car czar, Steven Rattner, asked GM chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner to step down. The administration picked Henderson to succeed Wagoner. After the bankruptcy, it appointed all but two of the members of the company’s board of directors. The administration also forced GM to agree to produce a set percentage of its vehicles in the U.S., even if shifting manufacturing abroad might be better for investors (i.e. taxpayers). This is nothing compared to the political favors the administration handed out during the bankruptcy process, such as letting the United Auto Workers cut in front of secured creditors to receive a 17.5% in the new GM. Another promise broken.

·    GM will maintain transparency about its finances. Chief financial officer Ray Young said that the new GM would be “the most public private company” around. At the same time, GM announced that it would stop filing 10-Ks, 8-Ks, and a host of other forms required of public companies. The automaker is still turning information over to Treasury and other shareholders, but taxpayers can no longer access the disclosures. At least GM is no longer a public company, but GMAC’s mortgage-banking unit has also stopped providing quarterly filings. Again administration actions do not match the words.

·    Little green cars can save GM. GM has a lot riding on the development of new hybrid and alternative-technology vehicles. Specifically, the automaker has made some audacious statements about the Chevy Volt, an electric car scheduled to debut in showrooms next year. The Volt is not expected to help GM financially. The Volt could initially cost GM about $40,000 to produce while competing with conventional cars that sell in the $20,000 range. Even with the new $7,500 tax credit for plug-in hybrids, it will take years of improved efficiencies before approaching profitability for GM. GM is beginning to recognize that, once again, it might have overpromised. 

GM and its enablers in Washington refuse to admit that they’re breaking promises. They continue to insist that GM can become a viable company and repay taxpayers by making little green cars in high-wage union shops. They will continue to break their biggest promise, that GM won’t need another bailout, by disguising the bailouts as “Cash for Clunkers” or as capital injections for the company’s “systemically significant” financing arm. Despite what anyone says, GM and GMAC will remain “wards of the state,” but Democrats will call such firms, “viable, strong institutions” for years to come.

(“Five Promises” by Stephen Spruiell dated November 12, 2009 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZjJjZmEwMGUwZDM1ODE1ZDA2MGE0ZGMzYjA1NzVhNmM= )

 

The financial system is still out of whack and tens of millions of people are (or fear they soon could be) out of work, yet every day our political and economic leaders say and do knuckleheaded things that show they are unfailingly and imperviously out of touch with those realities. What is being lost in the health care discussion is that the proposed government takeover may in fact degrade the current system and actually increase costs for consumers and the Treasury. The intense and often consuming focus on health care has prevented and preempted a more robust response to the pervasive economic anxiety the middle class is feeling. This goes a long way toward explaining why President Obama has suffered such a precipitous drop in confidence among Independents. They want to reform our health care system (though many are wary of the Democrats' approach), but not at the exclusion or expense of fixing the economy and lowering unemployment, which poll after poll shows is the top priority of voters, especially those who came out last Tuesday. Yet that is exactly what the President and the leadership of Congress seems to be doing, pursuing their own agenda not the public interest. In all, more than one out of every six workers, 17.5%, were unemployed or underemployed in October. This includes the officially unemployed, who have looked for work in the last four weeks. It also includes discouraged workers, who have looked in the past year, as well as millions of part-time workers who want to be working full time. The broader rate is highest today, sometimes 20%, in states that had big housing bubbles, like California and Arizona, or that have large manufacturing sectors, like Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina. Nearly 16 million people are now unemployed and more than seven million jobs have been lost since late 2007. The Obama Administration has demonstrated a knack for clever grammatical constructions, and "created or saved" might be the most artful. The problem is that the "created or saved" numbers are meaningless, since the administration purposefully devised the metric to reflect a decision to distort government data collection to support explicitly political agendas. The sad truth is that upon inspection a vast majority of these “created or saved” jobs are fictitious and are only based on wishful partisan thinking. It may be more accurate to say “the Obama stimulus destroyed or prevented 3 million jobs.” If the employment numbers can’t be trusted then we can’t have an honest debate, which is precisely what the Obama White House desires. Obama’s second “forum on jobs and economic growth” in less than a year will deliver more bombast with little pragmatic substance. In a Public Strategies poll, 52% of respondents feared that Congress would go “too far in increasing the government’s role in health care.” In a Harris poll, 65% agreed, and only 22% disagreed, with the “criticism” that “the proposed reform would result in a government-run health care system.” In other words, Americans are looking to the government for help, but they still don’t like the government. And this isn’t just confined to the health care debate. You get the same inconsistencies if you look at polls about government regulation of finance and business. Polls show majority support for specific new measures, such as restricting CEO salaries and establishing a new consumer financial-protection agency, but the Public Strategies/Politico poll found that 68% of respondents preferred “better enforcement of existing regulation” over “new regulations.” Americans are turning to government to help fix economic problems, but they distrust letting government do too much.

(Broader Measure of U.S. Unemployment Stands at 17.5%” by David Leonhardt dated November 7, 2009 published by The New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/07/business/economy/07econ.html?_r=1

’Created or saved’ doesn’t add up” by Joseph Lawler dated November 7, 2009 published by Politico at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29265.html

Stimulus dishonesty” dated November 11, 2009 published by The San Diego Union Tribune at http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/nov/11/stimulus-dishonesty/

It’s Not the Economy, Stupid” by Dan Gerstein dated November 11, 2009 published by Forbes Magazine at http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/10/economy-health-care-banks-opinions-columnists-dan-gerstein.html

Political theater can’t create new jobs” dated November 13, 2009 published by The Washington Examiner at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Political-theater-can_t-create-new-jobs-8523747-69914242.html )

 

Reports of the end of Obama’s “Great Recession” may be premature as liberal policies threaten to cause the recovery to stumble. The recent report that the recession is over are everywhere: the housing and manufacturing sectors are recovering; once threatened with terminal illness, Ford Motor Company seems to have moved into profit; and retailers have sheathed the hari-kari knives they sharpened in anticipation of a gloomy holiday season as many categories of goods (sporting goods, appliances, apparel) sell at the most robust pace in a year, although not at the levels recorded at the peak of the consumer boom. It certainly seems possible that the pieces are in place for a similar rapid recovery. The pile of cash on which corporations are sitting is available for investment and hiring at the first signs of a durable recovery in consumer demand. Inventories are at low enough levels to encourage restocking, especially since the holiday season now seems likely to be merrier than was believed only a few months ago. The dollar is weak and weakening, which should encourage exports and discourage imports, meaning more jobs for American workers. There is a nagging fear among those who closely watch not only the economy but government policy that these nascent economic forces might be murdered in their cradle by the current administration. Small businessmen are in a state of paralysis as they watch the debate over the health care "reform" bill wending its way through Congress. Lurking in its 1,502 pages (the Senate version) are provisions that will markedly raise their costs, and their personal taxes. There is also turmoil over all aspects of the financial services industries. The indecision on reform of the banking sector continue to weigh on growth, as banks develop ever more stringent restrictions on credit availability while they wait to see who wins the battle between the Obama White House, which wants to give more power to the Fed, and a Congress that wants to give the Treasury authority to close down any financial institution it deems unfit. The biggest concern is taxes. Economists who have the administration's ear just do not believe that higher marginal tax rates will slow economic growth. This is in part a reaction to extreme supply-siders who persuaded Republican politicians that any and all tax cuts actually produce more revenue. But it is in part due to a belief that markets don't work the way that traditional economists believe, that money incentives do not drive risk-taking and hard work, and that therefore appropriating a larger portion of national income for the state will not affect the growth rate. Government interference in the free market can and will undermine progress elongating the unemployment anchor that has held back our economic recovery.

(Killing the Recovery” by Irwin M. Stelzer dated November 9, 2009 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/017/194nyqwr.asp )

 

President Obama has gone to great pains to deny that his proposed health-care reform is a government takeover of the health-care system, yet it is hard to see the 1,994-page bill that the House passed as anything else. The bill uses the command "shall" -- as in "you shall do this," "businesses shall do that" and "government shall do some other thing" -- 3,345 times. To make sure that we obey these "shalls," the bill would create 111 government agencies, boards, commissions and other bureaucracies, all overseen by a new health-care czar bearing the Orwellian title "Commissioner of Health Choices." All this would come at a true cost of more than $1.3 trillion over 10 years, and virtually every aspect of health care would be subject to federal regulation. Much of the justification for this bill is based on Medicare savings of $400 billion, but Congress has repeatedly (five times) restored all the money and the budget savings never materialize. For example, the government would force every American to buy health insurance and would control what benefits those policies must include. Even those who now have health plans and are happy with them would have to switch to policies that include the government-required benefits -- insurance that might well be more expensive, thanks to the new benefits you won't get to choose. Another mandate would require that even small businesses provide their workers with a government-devised minimum package of insurance benefits. This could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs -- and force some workers to accept insurance benefits rather than higher wages. Those insurance products that now give Americans the most choice and flexibility would be severely restricted. Health-savings accounts would be almost eliminated and Flexible Spending Accounts cut back. Even if the final bill doesn't include the so-called public option, private insurance would be so regulated as to become little more than a public utility, operating much like the electric company, with the government regulating nearly every aspect of its operation. The public option itself holds the potential for driving most private insurance out of business, with millions of American workers dumped into the government-run program. Programs like Medicaid, meanwhile, would be dramatically expanded, and federal subsidies would be extended to people earning as much as 400 percent above the poverty level (or $88,000 a year for a family of four), putting millions more Americans on a form of the dole. Doctors, too, would find themselves micromanaged from Washington. For example, providers who perform too many tests or procedures would see their Medicare reimbursements cut. The government would also undertake comparative- and cost-effectiveness research and use the results to impose practice guidelines on providers. Medicare would see even more micromanagement, as the government develops a "high value" reimbursement system by 2012. Finally, Americans would have to pay nearly $730 billion in new taxes, fees and penalties over the next 10 years to fund this huge government expansion. A little known fact is that more than 200 amendments were rejected on the Democrats' health care bill, including 11 that would have required members of Congress and other government officials to be enrolled in the same federal insurance plan proposed for the American people. Given that the government has mismanaged everything from "cash for clunkers" to the swine-flu vaccine, how much of our health-care system do we really want it to control?Top of Form

 

(Government Force at the Heart of ObamaCare” by Michael Tanner dated November 9, 2009 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/09/government_force_at_heart_of_obamacare_99078.html

Congress Has History of Reversing Cuts” by John D. McKinnon dated November 11, 2009 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125790116790742663.html )

 

Republicans have proposed a far smaller, far more pragmatic approach to improving health care without the need for government takeover of either health care or health care insurance industries. With the release of the legislative text of the Republicans' 219-page alternative to Speaker Pelosi's 1,990 page government takeover of health care, a handful of differences immediately become clear.

The Republican alternative is focused on reforms that will lower costs and expand coverage for all Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions; the Pelosi health care takeover is focused on increasing government spending and raising taxes. Here's a side-by-side comparison of some of the major policy differences:

 

PELOSI BILL

GOP ALTERNATIVE

Cuts Medicare

Yes

No

Reins in Junk Lawsuits

No

Yes

Employer Mandates

Yes

No

Destroys Jobs

Yes

No

Small Business "Surtax"

Yes

No

Covers Pre-Existing Conditions While Lowering Premiums

No

Yes

Exempts Small Businesses from New Taxes

No

Yes

Allows Small Businesses to Pool Together

No

Yes

Forces Seniors Out of Coverage They Like

Yes

No

Allows Employers to Reward Workers for Wellness

No

Yes

Imposes Unfunded Mandates on States

Yes

No

Encourages State Innovation

No

Yes

Increases Premiums on Americans

Yes

No

According to the New York Times, the Republican alternative "promises to lower health care costs and expand insurance coverage 'without raising taxes, cutting Medicare benefits for seniors, adding to the national deficit, intervening in the doctor-patient relationship or instituting a government takeover of health care.'" Clearly, a side-by-side comparison shows there really is no comparison that the Republican alternative improves health care while the Democrat plan makes it worse.

(Side-by-Side: Pelosi Health Care Takeover vs. the GOP Alternative” dated November 4, 2009 published by The Freedom Project at http://www.freedomproject.org/Blog/Read.aspx?Guid=dd253b85-d0ea-46db-b5b4-9e7a0b9420ac )

 

Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s shooting spree at Fort Hood is only the latest Islamo-fascist attack that has occurred in this country since 9/11, but for PC reasons has not been labeled a terrorist attack. President Obama, speaking at Tuesday's memorial, described the Fort Hood attack as incomprehensible." It should not be incomprehensible when Nidal Malik Hasan telegraphed his treachery. The drip-drip-drip of reports reveals that Hasan self-identified himself as a threat to the military and authorities still hesitated to investigate him. A PC-addled military and Defense Department simply froze: fellow soldiers didn't want to risk the appearance of intolerance; investigators worried about incursions upon recent First Amendment jurisprudence. General George Casey's staggeringly inane comment after the shooting captures the atmosphere that explains it: "Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength.” Diversity at this point is a synonym for mindlessness and self-hating hypocrisy. Under the paralysis of a PC culture, all Muslims are moderate Muslims and anyone who says otherwise is a bigot. We are witnessing an Islamized America and Shariah forbids criticism of Islam. This is well beyond political correctness, since we are in effect enforcing Shariah law. While Obama's Homeland Security was issuing dilettantish warnings about disgruntled, Timothy McVeigh-style soldiers coming back from war and pro-life activists at abortion clinics, the Defense Department was ignoring a deadly threat in plain sight. Characterizing the attack as “Sudden Jihad Syndrome” is further proof that political correctness is a national death wish by our liberal brain dead leadership.

(“Treachery as Lifestyle Choice” by George Neumayr dated November 12, 2009 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2009/11/12/treachery-as-lifestyle-choice

It Isn’t Political Correctness, It’s Shariah” by Pamela Geller dated November 12, 2009 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/it_isnt_political_correctness.html )

 

The Obama administration's worldview is still emerging, but its policies toward Russia and China are already revealing a tendency toward preemptive U.S. surrender on the international stage. Obama’s Russia policy consists of trying to accommodate Moscow's sense of global entitlement. An aggrieved Russia demands that the West respect a sphere of influence in its old imperial domain. The Obama administration rhetorically rejects the legitimacy of any such sphere, but its actions raise doubts for those who live in Russia's shadow. The administration has announced a similar accommodating approach to China. Dubbed "strategic reassurance," the policy aims to convince the Chinese that the United States has no intention of containing their rising power. Administration officials seem to believe that the era of great power competition is over. Meanwhile China is behaving exactly as one would expect a great power to behave. As it has grown richer, China has used its wealth to build a stronger and more capable military. As its military power has grown, so have its ambitions.

Lingering behind this concept is an assumption of America's inevitable decline, and nothing would do more to hasten decline than to follow this path. For the Russians and Chinese, who are true realists, the competition with the United States is very much a zero-sum game which is not in the United States best national interests.

(’Strategic reassurance’ that isn’t” by Robert Kagan and Dan Blumenthal dated November 10, 2009 published by The Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/09/AR2009110902793.html )

 

Israelis of all political hues confessed that they were amazed, perplexed, and confused by the policies of U.S. envoy George Mitchell, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Obama. First came an instant attitude of hostility on the part of the Obama administration toward Israel’s new Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, even before he had taken office on March 31 and despite his efforts to create a centrist coalition. Second came its obsession with a “settlement freeze,” which in fact was a demand for something that no Israeli prime minister of any party could possibly agree to a complete and immediate freeze on construction not only in every settlement (including those Israel will obviously keep in any final-status agreement) but also in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. Third came the demand that Arab states reach out to Israel, a demand that the President himself delivered to the king of Saudi Arabia in a visit there in June and that, predictably, was rejected immediately. Fourth came the administration’s handling of the Palestinian leadership, which it pulled out onto the “settlement freeze” limb, for how could any Palestinian leader be less insistent on a total freeze than the Americans were? The net result of the administration’s approach is a massive policy failure.

The Obama administration has weakened the Palestinian leadership it meant to strengthen, weakened the alliance with Israel by its hostility to Israel’s government, weakened its own reputation in Arab capitals for strength and reliability, and painted itself into a policy corner. American policy under Obama has aligned itself in a curious and possibly unintended way with the worst elements of Arab policy. Like that of the Arabs, it is cold toward Israel: Despite several visits to the region, the president has skipped Israel, and the White House’s aloofness toward Netanyahu is obvious.

Israelis watch all of this and wonder whether it is intended, or rather the product of the Obama team’s incompetence. Meanwhile, Israelis watch Obama’s handling of Iran, which for them is a deadly serious matter. They watched as administration spokesmen smugly said they’d gotten more from Iran in just days of talks than Bush had in eight years of hostility, but then saw Iran’s “agreement” to export almost all of its low-enriched uranium evaporate over the following weeks. These episodes do not instill confidence that the mishandling of Israeli-Palestinian affairs is a temporary aberration; instead they make Israelis suspect that the administration’s approach to world politics is simply naïve, and more given to self-congratulation than to making tough choices. Israelis want a strong, tough America, and they want to be its ally. Instead this weak administration, whose judgment about the Middle East and about world politics is erroneous and often naïve, and that expresses a coolness to Israel and an indifference to the threats it faces, is an Israeli nightmare.

(Dazed and Confused” by Elliott Abrams dated November 10, 2009 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZjYyOTg0ZjA5NjFkZjg5NTRmNmFkMTdmNWEyYzNmMTc= )

 

* 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. Individual issue updates this week include:

·    Elections at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/elections.php

·    Middle East at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/middleeast.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.returntocommonsensesite.com