Views on the News
December 4, 2010
Views on the News*
President Obama has no comprehension of the phrase: "not personal," because to him, everything is about Obama, and his definition of "we" is "me, myself and I." Never having had much of a real job other than campaigning and community organizing, he also doesn't grasp the concept of "business." Obama seems oblivious of his job description (defined by the oath of office), he displays scant loyalty to his company (America), and appears unconcerned with the product it produces (freedom and liberty). Yes, fellow citizens (shareholders), Obama works for We, the People. He was correct when he once offered, "You've got me," but now, several bills, regulations, lies, deals, executive orders and appointments later, we find he meant something much different than "I work for you." In the corporate world, in-depth interviews with prospective employees are conducted to mitigate such surprises. Typically, a personnel department will thoroughly vet candidates before involving upper management in a hiring decision. It would be unimaginable to rely on an initial application that failed to require basic credentials, to seriously consider a candidate who instead brought with him a flowery autobiography and a compilation of his own favorite speeches, or to depend on tingly-legged interviewers who asked no discerning questions. Whether liberal or conservative, most Americans now realize they elected a man not resembling the one advertised by the mainstream media or pictured in their own minds, drawn on the blank screen that Obama offered. Obama's primary job, which he swore twice to do as he took office, is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. Instead of embracing our Constitution, Obama has danced around it. He has failed to defend it and our country from competitors, enemies both within and without our borders. Instead of standing up to them for us, Obama has bowed and apologized. For a man obviously more comfortable reading speeches than actually sitting behind the desk, his admission that the poll-shellacking was due to his own communication ineffectiveness appeared humbling; but in the days since, his actions imply only an erroneous assessment of the level of stupidity of the population. His marketing skills, again on full display during the Asian tour, are less than lackluster. Obama has attempted to hide behind others, identified messengers to "shoot," and complained about the sorry state of affairs in the Presidential office left for him to tackle; but as one who continually takes everything personally, after two years in office he has no one left to blame but himself. He finds a floundering U.S. buck still on his desk and the limelight focused squarely on him. But now that limelight, instead of resembling a halo, is beginning to look like an interrogation light. Corporate America knows how to handle an employee, even a CEO, who is inept, bypasses the rules, denigrates its product and stockholders, devalues its worth, or diminishes its public image; but most handle firings with a little more tact than Trump. In the private sector, this is business as usual; while in government, such terminations, even when well-deserved, are rare. The Constitution does contain specific provisions for removal of a sitting President, attesting to the fact that the office is much more special than the person occupying it. However, an impeachment, while mentally satisfying to many of us, would most likely not result in Obama's removal from office, and does nothing to heal our country's woes. An emboldened Congress must keep its investigations strictly business and focus on key issues, starting with repealing, defunding, and undoing as much as possible before our economy is strangled beyond repair.
(“President Obama, It’s Business, Not Personal” by Cindy Simpson dated November 28, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/president_obama_its_business_n.html )
Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton because he's far more leftist; and he's at least equally as ruthless (which is really saying something, because both Clintons are among the most ruthless American politicians of our lifetimes). His outlook is far more alien to middle America, in that he really does believe much of middle America is benighted; clinging wrongly to God and guns, unable to think clearly under pressure, too stupid or ignorant or bourgeois to know what's in their own best interests. He also doesn't share Clinton's neediness for short-term, person-to-person, feel-the-brotherly-love positive reinforcement. His goal isn't personal "connection" with voters; it's long-term adulation or adoration, verging on worshipfulness; an adulation that recognizes him as a world-transformational figure, a virtual gift to mankind. Clinton, for all his faults, actually did empathize with individuals while Obama doesn't empathize; he pities, and the object of pity is not an object to respect. So he doesn't really respect the citizens he serves; he merely wants to tell them how to live, for what he imagines is their own good. It's a cold, supra-rational (but far from reasonable), hyper-judgmental conception of exactly what characterizes the "good" in the first place. Obama is perfectly willing to push executive power, actually, executive fiat, to the limit. The blizzard of regulations, or administrative rule-making divorced from Congressional intent, that will come in the next two years will be staggering and so will the executive orders. He'll use the IRS, other administrative agencies, and perhaps the Justice Department, to harass political opponents. He'll keep trying to find ways to empower union bosses and trial lawyers, leftist "non-profits" and interest groups; and he'll use AmeriCorps and other federal outlets to help organize quasi-political efforts, too. Everything, absolutely everything, by hook and crook alike, will be aimed at creating a vote-generating machine (and this does mean generating votes, not necessarily real, live, eligible voters) unprecedented in the annals of American politics. He sees our flaws, and imagines other flaws that didn't exist: he believes corporations are inherently evil, unless they are "partnered" with (or dominated by and directly answerable to) government; and he believes not in a free market but a managed market, not in entrepreneurship but in incentivized "investment," both private and especially public, for the supposed common good. Obama is a man who looks with a fair amount of disdain, rather than pride, at American history; and we want to celebrate American civilization while Obama wants to redefine it as something less.
(“Opposing Obama” by Quin Hillyer dated December 2, 2010 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2010/12/02/opposing-obama )
America is becoming a nation of squeaky wheels, and this race to the bottom is a boon to the stupid and lazy among us as they shrug off the label of loser and adopt the coveted mantle of victimhood. The process relieves them of the need to work hard, attain goals, and become productive members of society, but the "woe is me" template just doesn't play in Peoria. The rubes in flyover country understand that the political, intellectual, and educational "elites" who still control and determine the national conversation constitute less than 1% of America's total population. We understand that the elite's template of victimhood over merit is adopted only by life's losers, and the majority of Americans aren't losers. Most Americans outside the beltway and away from life in the elite fast lane (the very ones who are paying their bills) still hold fast to traditional values; values that are continually vilified by the old media: values like pride of accomplishment, taking care of ourselves, and doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Despite the media sneers, we continue to raise our children to believe in God over man. For the rubes, respect still has to be earned, and we don't give points for merely advocating the expenditure of other people's money on the cause of the day. We rubes have not allowed the elites to redefine our language. We have nothing but disgust for those who refuse to help themselves, who are content to suck on the government teat. And we have only contempt for those who have succumbed to the politically correct notion that nothing is ever our fault. We are ashamed of the notion of dependency, and we abhor the concept of victimhood being promoted by our elected officials as they seek media popularity and face-time at the expense of their principles and sworn duty. Here's a news flash for those who celebrate victimhood: You, indeed, are victims; victims of a political system that seeks to foster dependency in order to accumulate more power; and you are victims of a burgeoning grievance industry that seeks profit through promoting misery instead of rewarding virtue. While the media might comfort you with the notion that you have value and everyone is your equal, the majority of Americans see you victims for what you are: useful idiots who have chosen the easy path of letting others define you and weaklings who have willingly adopted standards set by others instead of tackling the much harder task of setting your own.
(“Woe is Me!” by Nancy Morgan dated November 28, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/woe_is_me.html )
The Tea Party movement became the party of opposition and then grafted itself to the backbone of the modern Republican Party as it approached the 2010 elections. The Tea Party is the latest wave of new energy and activism and voters into the Republican Party. Tea Partiers are best understood as Americans who had been too busy running normal lives to focus on politics but who became, in early 2009, terrified by the overspending in Washington that they saw threatening the economy and the republic. The Tea Party avoided the dangers of Caesarism, or Perotism, by refusing to name a pope or king or spokesman. Consequently, it cannot be beheaded by the establishment media, who thought they could do this by attacking Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin. Conservatives were spared certain disaster when the Tea Party movement refused to create a third party that could have split the Center-Right vote in 50 states and created a permanent left-wing majority in the House and Senate. By creating the movement that will vote against overspending, the Tea Party movement completes the Center-Right coalition. Already there were identifiable structures and groups that would abandon the Republican Party if it raised taxes, supported gun control, attacked parental choice in education, or threatened religious liberty, and now there is a large and visible group that will leave the room if "spend too much" (the George W. Bush disease) rears its ugly head again. The Tea Party movement has proved it strengthens the Center-Right with its turnout for public rallies and its numbers in the polling data. With its active participation within the Republican Party primaries, it has helped nominate candidates that are, with a few possible exceptions, both more Reaganite and more electable.
(“Tea-Timing Republicans” by Grover Norquist dated November 2010 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2010/11/30/tea-timing-republicans )
It is hard to believe, but it looks like the government will soon use the taxpayers' checkbook again to create a vast market for mortgages with low or no down payments and for overstretched borrowers with blemished credit, and these loans will again contribute to another housing bubble, which will feed on government funding and grow to enormous size. When it collapses, housing prices will drop and a financial crisis will ensue, and, once again, the taxpayers will have to bear the costs since Congress is repeating the same policy mistake it made in 1992. Back then, it mandated that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac compete with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for high-risk loans. Unhappily for both their shareholders and the taxpayers, Fannie and Freddie won that battle. Now the Dodd-Frank Act, which imposed far-reaching new regulation on the financial system after the meltdown, allows the administration to substitute the FHA for Fannie and Freddie as the principal and essentially unlimited buyer of low-quality home mortgages. Since the federal takeover of Fannie and Freddie in 2008, the government-sponsored enterprises’ (GSEs’) regulator has limited their purchases to higher-quality mortgages. Affordable housing requirements Congress adopted in 1992 and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administered until 2008 have been relaxed. These had required Fannie and Freddie to buy the low-quality mortgages that ultimately drove them into insolvency and will cause enormous losses for the taxpayers. The latest regulatory change does not reduce the total losses that taxpayers will suffer from HUD's policies; those losses, estimated at about $400 billion, are baked in the cake. The higher lending standards now required of Fannie and Freddie should reduce future losses, but not so for the FHA. While everyone has been watching Fannie and Freddie, the administration has quietly shifted most federal high-risk mortgage credit initiatives to FHA, the government's original subprime lender. Along with two other federal agencies, FHA now accounts for about 60% of all U.S. home purchase mortgage originations. This amounts to more than $1 trillion and is rising rapidly. The administration justifies this policy by saying it is necessary to support the mortgage market, yet borrowers are once again receiving high-risk loans. The Dodd-Frank Act, however, exempts FHA and other government agencies from appropriate standards on mortgage quality. This will give low-quality mortgages a direct route into the market once again; it will be like putting Fannie and Freddie back in the same business, but with an explicit government guarantee. Thanks to expanded government lending, 60% of home purchase loans now have down payments of less than 5%, compared to 40% at the height of the bubble, and the FHA projects that it will increase its insured loans total to $1.34 trillion by 2013. Indeed, the FHA just announced its intention to push almost half of its home purchase volume into subprime territory by 2014-2017, essentially a guarantee to put taxpayers at risk again. Establishing reasonable lending standards for the FHA, while still allowing it to make loans to low-income borrowers, would assure that the agency does not become the unworthy successor to Fannie and Freddie. A first order of business for the new Congress should be to correct government housing policies that caused the financial crisis by requiring that the FHA and other government mortgage lenders abide by reasonable mortgage lending standards.
(“How the Government is Creating Another Housing Bubble” by Peter Wallison and Edward Pinto dated November 30, 2010 published by The American at http://www.american.com/archive/2010/november/how-the-government-is-creating-another-housing-bubble )
The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a criminal enterprise set up as a mechanism to facilitate the sale of bogus "carbon credits" and to transfer billions from industrialized, developed nations to those that have failed to keep pace and this latter scheme is little more than extortion. In November 2009, the leak of thousands of emails among the scientists leading two university-based climate research centers responsible for the data published by the IPCC demonstrated they had deliberately rigged the data to assert a "global warming" that did not exist then or now. The “ClimateGate” revelations doomed last year's conference in Copenhagen that was intended to further the "global warming" fraud. There is no threat of climate change beyond those natural climate events such as hurricanes and blizzards over which humankind has no control. Abandoning the term "global warming" and substituting "climate change" does not change the fact that there has been NO dramatic increase in the Earth's overall temperature and ignores the fact that, since 1998, the Earth has entered a predictable and natural cooling cycle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is striving to secure authorization to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions despite massive evidence that they pose no threat to the environment and despite the fact that this authority would, as in 1997, cripple and likely destroy an already ailing economy. There was no "global warming" then or now. Carbon dioxide (CO2) was deemed the chief cause of "global warming" when, in fact, it plays little or no role in climate change. Billions worldwide have been wasted on the needless reduction of GHGs. Billions here in the U.S. have been diverted to two of the most unpredictable and least effective means of energy production, wind and solar power. Billions have been wasted on the U.S. mandate that ethanol be mixed with the gasoline Americans purchase, despite the fact that ethanol releases more CO2 into the environment than gasoline without it. The Earth doesn't need less carbon dioxide; vital to all crops, forests and vegetation; it needs more. The world doesn't need less energy production; it needs more; vital to the economies of developed and developing nations.
(“The Climate Mafia Gather in Cancun” by Alan Caruba dated December 1, 2010 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2010/12/01/the-climate-mafia-gather-in-cancun/ )
No question on the national agenda is more important than the resolution of our immigration policy, because unrestricted and unmanaged immigration is more than a question of expense, it can destroy a nation's identity and wipe away its culture, customs, and laws. Adding to the difficulty of crafting a just and effective policy is the amount of mythology and emotionalism surrounding the entire immigration question. Immigration is a central facet of the American identity and is reflected in one of our most cherished icons: the Statue of Liberty. Here are three myths central to the problems of immigration:
· "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore..." There have always been standards that immigrants had to meet. This was to ensure that the newly arrived immigrants would not be a burden to their new country and could either support themselves or be supported by others. Many of the jobs were hard, dangerous, and poorly paid, but given good health and a desire to work, the new immigrants, both male and female, could find opportunities to establish themselves.
· People come here because they want to become Americans - Most of the early immigrants who fled to these shores came due to trouble and desperation. They sought a new life in America, and from the time they arrived, virtually everything they made was reinvested in their new country. Most who made the journey knew they would never see their native land again. Unlike previous generations, those who come today do so for a variety of reasons, and some come seeking economic opportunity but have no desire to break ties with their own country.
· Everyone is really seeking the same things - Traditionally, people who came to America in pursuit of a better life assimilated into the American mainstream. Defining themselves along similar lines, they shared many of the same values and goals. It has become very easy for new Americans to project the idea of mutual tolerance and communality worldwide. The wishful thinking that all nations are somehow equal and that we all desire the same things is naïve on the face of it and deadly in its implementation.
Those who project a rosy vision of world brotherhood play into the hands of fanatics, since our concern for others, including future immigrants, will be best-demonstrated in securing our borders and insuring our survival as the seat of freedom.
(“The Dangerous Mythology of Immigration” by Frank Burke dated November 28, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/the_dangerous_mythology_of_imm.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:
· Philosophy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/philosophy.php
· Civil Rights at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/civilrights.php
· Homeland Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/homelandsecurity.php
· Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorism.php