Views on the News

Views on the News*

December 15, 2018


President Donald Trump is an army of one, at least in Washington, DC and other elite enclaves.  Sure, he has his base of deplorables, those who wait on mile-long lines to attend his rallies and those who voted for him two years ago.  Yet look at the forces arrayed against him.  The US media is on the warpath against Trump and his family, coverage 93% negative.  Great economic news is always shrouded in a black cloud, as if low unemployment or strong economic growth is racist, sexist, or simply a mirage.  The Deep State, Democrats and Republicans alike, are in lock step trying to remove Trump from office.  If only they were in similar agreement on securing the border, cutting regulations, or growing the economy than they are against Trump.  Rep. Adam Schiff thinks Trump is “heading to jail.”  Rep. Maxine Waters agrees saying, “President Donald Trump is a ‘criminal’ who should be impeached.”  When does Trump say, “Enough is enough!”?  Enough can have two meanings here.  One meaning is the junkyard dog being taunted until it bares its teeth and attacks ferociously.  Trump has that power as President.  Assuming Huber and Horowitz have been doing more than playing board games with their reams of lawyers and investigators for the past year, there should be indictments and prosecutions, not to mention releasing FISA applications and similar documents.  From the Clinton Foundation to the Spygate scandal; from Hillary Clinton’s emails to bogus FISA warrants, there is much for the junkyard dog to attack.  Declassify the FISA warrant and expose the collaboration of his Deep State enemies with foreign intelligence agencies.  As the Clinton Foundation scandals become public, hammer away via tweets and public comments.  Trump can simply release the hidden information and instruct his Justice department to pursue any and all crimes committed, regardless of the political party of the perpetrators.  That’s not weaponization of his administration, but instead simply the pursuit of justice and accountability.  This would be the “draining the swamp” we were promised.  Despite assurances that “pain is coming”, the deep state swamp is in full bloom.  The other enough is for him personally.  A billionaire businessman with a successful reality television show, he had it all. He gave up a comfortable life with his family, money, influence, and popularity to make a difference for America and the world.  For his efforts, he is ridiculed and scorned, not only by his political opponents, but by those in his own party.  So those who have been advocating for conservative policies their entire political careers have turned on a dime, throwing their conservatism to the wind, embracing Democrat policies instead, all because they don’t like the messenger.  Trump must have believed he would be embraced by the GOP for his advancement of long-talked-about but never-implemented policies.  These include fair trade deals, lower taxes and regulations, border enforcement, economic growth, and conservative judges.  The more Trump does, the more the opposition grows.  Special Counsel Robert Mueller will undoubtedly cook up something for House Democrats to use for impeachment.  For every line that Trump may have crossed, Obama, Clinton, and their minions crossed a parking lot full of lines, all without consequence.  It’s not simply two standards of justice, it’s no justice at all.  What a daily drag for President Trump to pick up the newspaper or watch a bit of cable news and hear a constant drumbeat of how he is evil incarnate and about to be removed from office and sent to prison!  Not simply disagreement over policy, but personal vitriol and hatred toward him and his family.  The fact that Trump is still upbeat and optimistic, accomplishing more in a day than his predecessors did in a week, is beyond amazing.  What kind of example is America, as the world’s lone superpower, setting for the rest of the world with American politicians reenacting “Mean Girls” against the duly elected president?  His supporters wait, hoping and praying that he is able to turn the tables against the deep state, but the deep state isn’t letting up.  When does Donald Trump say, “Enough is enough!”? 

(“When Does Trump Say, ‘Enough Is Enough!’” by Brian C. Joondeph dated December 14, 2018 published by American Thinker at https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/12/when_does_trump_say_enough_is_enough.html )


Conservatives do not do well in the cities.  New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, as far as conservatives are concerned, may as well be so many Sodoms upon which we are all too happy to call down fire and judgment.  Republican office-seekers (a reasonable if imperfect proxy for conservative political tendencies) are largely shut out of the cities, all are reliably Democratic.  If there is something conservatives hate worse than American cities, it is European cities.  On cable-news shows, on talk radio, and at conservative conferences, conservatives talk about London and Paris as though they sit on the lower circles of Dante’s hellscape.  These cities may look like nice, cultured, thriving world cities on the outside, but conservatives are sure that they are prefigurations of the coming caliphate.  We prefer the “Real America,” which apparently means depopulated rural areas and moribund Rust Belt mill towns, outer-ring suburbs, declining mega-churches, Idaho, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming.  If by the “Real America” you mean the parts of the country where the people and the capital are, we are not quite so sure of ourselves.  Americans, in particular the younger ones, don’t seem to be getting the message.  The best and brightest of them keep going to the colleges we hate, studying for the professions we hold in suspicion or contempt, and dreaming of moving to cities that we’d be content to see washed into the sea.  Republicans, and, more important, conservatives, do not seem to have very much to say to people who take the subway to work, which is a real missed opportunity.  Of course, European cities, like American cities, have their problems, including the unassimilated Muslim minorities living in separatist ghettos that give conservatives the willies, which are problems that we don’t want to replicate at home.  You wouldn’t know it to listen to many conservatives, but the English-speaking countries are doing just fine: The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are not on their way to becoming post-apocalyptic sewers.  There’s a good argument to be made that Canada and New Zealand are better-governed than is the United States, in many ways, Australia, too.  The United Kingdom seems to be rediscovering its self-respect.  American conservatives have always been at their best when they speak to Americans’ aspirations.  Ambition for advancement, and the wealth and status that comes with it, was part of the American dream.  That was the best message American conservatives ever had: “Being rich and happy is awesome! Here’s how you can do it, too.  There are still millions of Americans who want to advance and to enjoy the best things that America has to offer, many of which are to be found in the greatest abundance in American cities and in the cosmopolitan culture that America conservatives once took for granted.  We defeated Communism and won 49-state landslides in 1972 and 1984 by emphasizing American possibilities.

(“We’ll Always Have… Fort Worth” by Kevin Williamson dated December 9, 2018 published by National Review Online at https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/conservative-message-to-residents-metropolitan-areas-must-improve/ )

What will conservatives do if Robert Mueller proves there was collusion?  What will President Trump’s opponents do if Mueller finds nothing at all about hard "collusion" and the 2016 campaign?  Those who hope for indictments linking Putin and Trump in a grand conspiracy are in for a rude awakening.  After a year and a half worth of investigations by Mueller, the House, and the Senate, that liquid dream hasn’t borne out.  There are three ways that a conspiracy might have taken place, depending on how you define “collusion.”  They include: “back channels” to Russia sought by Trump campaign officials, but those attempts either petered out or involved nothing nefarious; the “Trump Tower meeting” between a Russian agent and campaign officials, who were evidently eager to get “dirt” from the agent on Hillary Clinton, though nothing apparently came of it; and finally, “It’s entirely possible there’s a line of inquiry that we’re completely unaware of or know very little about.”  These aren’t the sexy outcomes they had in mind when they set up a special counsel with no boundaries and a limitless budget to investigate “collusion.”  These are the tiny cheap prizes you find at the bottom of the cereal box when what you wanted was the cool graphic of it that was deceptively blown up on the front.  The purpose of the investigation was to address suspicions of underlying conspiracy: a plan by Trump staffers to get Russian help on a criminal effort.  Despite countless man-hours of digging, this conspiracy theory has come no closer to being true.  What will liberals do if Mueller says there was no collusion? 

(“Are liberals prepared for no collusion?” by Eddie Scarry dated December 6, 2018 published by Washington Examiner at https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/are-liberals-prepared-for-no-collusion )


House Republicans took it on the chin in the midterm elections.  Republicans lost the House because they failed to deliver on their campaign promise to cut spending. While they were successful in passing tax cuts, they failed to cut spending in any meaningful way while holding a majority in the House and Senate.  For all their talk of spending cuts on the campaign trail, Republicans have been asleep at the wheel in Washington.  Republicans forgot to govern like Republicans, and the fiscally conservative base of the party punished them accordingly at the polls. The last time Congress passed a balanced budget was back when Bill Clinton was in the White House.  Gridlock is often used as a dirty word, but in reality, it can prevent unnecessary spending and harmful expansions of government.  Since Dwight Eisenhower, the average spending increase under a united government was nearly 4.7%, compared to less than 2.6% under a divided government.  This trend holds true regardless of which party controls the levers of power in Washington.  When Republicans controlled the House in 2010, they opposed spending proposals by Democrats because they were not their spending proposals.  From 2008 to 2015, under a Republican House, Democrat Senate, and Democrat White House, the deficit fell 70%.  As we have seen during the first two years of Donald Trump, Republicans in Congress misplace their fiscal discipline when they hold control of both chambers and have no excuses standing between themselves and the debt crisis.  They willingly appropriate billions of taxpayer dollars on their own pet programs and sit back, hoping the American people will not notice.  The fiscal 2018 budget deal was a financial monstrosity that blew through spending caps like a hurricane.  The United States is already on track to dole out more money to pay off our debt than for defense, while Social Security and other entitlements are set to become insolvent within a decade.  The primary drivers of national debt are mandatory spending programs, namely Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  Neither party is serious about making cuts to entitlements.  In fact, some lawmakers are actually looking to further expand these flawed federal programs.  Congress needs to take a hard look at reforming entitlements if the United States is going to avert disaster.  A debt crisis looms that could leave our country defenseless and our economy in shambles.  Interest paid on our obligations is on track to exceed 100% of our gross domestic product.  The greatest national security threat to the United States is our growing $21 trillion debt.  A booming economy means nothing if the government defaults.  Republicans should have used the first two years of this administration as an opportunity to cut spending and shrink the deficit, but they failed to do so.  Republicans need to muster up what little political courage they have left to fight for it.  House Democrats are likely going to come out swinging with radical legislation that will be dead on arrival in a Republican Senate.  If Republicans wants a path toward reclaiming the majority, they should take a page from the playbook of the House Freedom Caucus and get serious about reforming our spending. 

(“Republicans missed best shot on keeping promise to cut spending” by Adam Brandon dated December 7, 2018 published by The Hill at https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/420258-republicans-lost-best-shot-on-keeping-promise-to-cut-spending )

The left pretends to care about the environment.  In fact, leftism, both economic leftism and social leftism, is the primary cause of environmental problems.  Sanders, who honeymooned in the Soviet Union, apparently missed the horrific destruction of nature under the Soviets, who were dramatically worse for the environment than the tsars.  Indeed, Marxism in virtually every land it has been tried has been an environmental horror story.  Nations before Marxist rule and after Marxist rule, like Poland, demonstrated as clearly as possible that Marxism is the worst system of government imaginable for the environment.  Coercion is usually the worst way possible of achieving objectives, and this is true with environmentalism.  Free markets are better than statism, and not just in the narrow confines of economic choices, and that means businesses and individuals compete with each other to be "greener."  Consider in a grocery how many goods are touted as good for the environment.  Once people are affluent, they give their attention to other values, and environmentalism is chic, popular, and sincere.  Statism does not care a whit about those issues and values it purports to protect. Statists have a vested interest in the perpetuation of the problems they pretend to address. In the case of Marxism nature is directly subordinated to man.  Free-market conservatism is only half of conservatism: social conservatism is invariably overlooked in the debate about the best approach to green issues.  The left, by contrast, has tied social leftism to green issues.  Consider one of the oldest green parties, the Green Party of Germany, whose platform involves issues that have nothing to do with the environment. Defending homosexuality may or may not be good public policy, but it has nothing to do with the environment.  Public schools and academia, which the Green Party of Germany champions, degrade the environment when compared with homeschooling and curbing our addiction to colleges.  Green parties throughout the globe are full of support for public health, state radio and television, ending "income inequality," relieving student loan debt, and...blah, blah, blah.  Just look at the platform of our own nation's green party and see how many "green" priorities are simply dull, retread leftism utterly unrelated to the environment.  Leftism always professes nominal concern for issues it couldn't care less about.  Power, always, is the motivation of leftism in all it does, every time.  The worst nightmare of pseudo-green leftism is the actual and natural resolution of environmental problems.  The cadres would then have to do real work in those parts of the private sector that produce goods and services that people want.  Social conservatism: traditional nuclear families, which require only one home; homeschooling, which could largely end the need for the vast man-made sinkhole of public education; productive work rather than bureaucratic leftism, which infests government and education and huge charities; hunters and fishermen who keep animal populations within natural limits; and the general de-institutionalization of life provides not only a cure for environmental problems, but also an organic system of life, which makes concern over the environment unnecessary.  What people who actually care about nature ought to want is precisely this sort of "organic" approach to nature, in which individuals, families, communities, and businesses act, without conscious thought about the environment, in ways that preserve and protect the environment.  Conservatives, free-market conservatives and social conservatives, ought to reclaim an issue that was originally something only conservatives cared about: the environment.  This would win for conservatives votes from those deluded into trusting the left with environmentalism, and it would force the left to justify its outrageously un-green positions taken by green parties in the affluent democracies. 

(“Pseudo-Green Leftism” by Bruce Walker dated December 8, 2018 published by American Thinker at https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/12/pseudogreen_leftism.html )

The peasants have had it with the bureaucratic state and the smug elitists who have been ruling the globe.  Despite never-ending attempts to quash it, the basic human desire for liberty keeps re-emerging.  Kings and assorted tyrants have attempted to rule their fellow man from the beginning of time.  Democracy was created as a way of allowing the people to express their grievances and obtain change without violence.  Constitutional republics, such as the U. S. and Switzerland, were created as a way of restraining government’s ability to diminish the liberties of the people.  The forces of control retaliated by empowering bureaucracies to ignore the will of the people.  The European Union was created as a bureaucratic state with little democratic and judicial oversight.  The EU bureaucracies did what bureaucracies always do, claim more power, and increasingly micromanage the people who they were supposed to serve.  Bureaucracies are expensive, and those who inhabit them love to spend other people’s money.  The people are endlessly told that the government must be bigger in order to protect and care for them, no matter how large the government.  Every thinking person knows it is a lie.  The French suffer from the highest tax burden of the OECD countries, yet have a lower per capita income than the Irish, Swiss, Americans and even the British.  Next door to France is land-locked and partially French-speaking Switzerland, which lacks the resources of France, yet somehow manages on average to be more than 50% richer and much freer than France.  The haughty elitists in Paris might ignore this comparative failure, but the average Frenchman gets it, and appears to no longer be willing to take the abuse from Paris.  The French elite have been leaders in the environmental movement, lecturing the Trump administration and others about how wonderful they are for imposing $7-plus per-gallon gasoline tax on their citizens, even though such a gesture has no measurable effect on global warming.  Meanwhile, the Indians and Chinese continue to build coal-fired power plants at a furious pace.  If you have been to Geneva and other Swiss cities in recent years, you may have noticed that they are much cleaner than Paris.  One main reason is they are richer, and when you are rich, it is easier to clean up.  Poor countries in Asia and Africa are often environmental hellholes because they can neither afford pollution abatement equipment or systems nor do they keep the country clean.  The British noticed that being part of the EU was making them relatively poorer with a great loss in national and individual freedom, so they revolted by voting to leave.  The United States in times past was the richest and freest nation in the world, but those distinctions have been eroded over the last number of decades.  Part of the relative decline was due to other nations becoming more free, both economically and politically, but much of the decline has been self-inflicted.  The relative decline of the United States was widely recognized and was central to the Trump presidential campaign.  The fact that someone as imperfect as Trump could win against both the Republican and Democratic establishment was a clear revolt against the existing order, which many of his critics still do not get.  Fortunately, the United States has the means to self-correct without the violent riots that Paris has experienced.  The reason the United States has increasingly become a bureaucratic state is the failure of all three branches of government, but particularly the courts, to uphold the U.S. Constitution.  Congress was supposed to make law and oversee the implementation of the laws and regulations they passed.  As government grew, Congress found it more and more onerous to make all of the decisions that the Constitution requires of them, so they delegated many of their powers to unelected bureaucrats, until the bureaucracy grew to what in effect became a new, and often out of control, branch of government.  The good news is that some judges seem to be getting the message and that majority members of the Senate understand that they should only appoint judges that are likely to uphold the Constitution.

(“When the bureaucracy goes too far” by Richard W. Rahn dated December 10, 2018 published by Washington Time at https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/dec/10/when-the-bureaucracy-goes-too-far/ )


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:

·    Media at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/media.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY