Views on the News
Views on the News*
December 20, 2014
The T.E.A. in Tea Party stands for Taxed Enough Already and this movement arose in reaction to the wanton federal spending that exploded in the first year of the Obama administration. The fundamental tenets of the movement were and are:
· The federal government is too big, taxes and spends too much, and interferes with the lives of American citizens with an authority far beyond what is granted in the Constitution.
· A reaffirmation that individual liberty is the raison d’etre of this nation and that it is the primary (one could argue, the sole) objective of the federal government – which is supposed to operate only with the consent of the people – to protect the rights afforded to the people by the Constitution.
· Legislation, such as ObamaCare that infringes on the people’s rights, must be rescinded.
· Elected and appointed officials must be subject to the same laws as are the people.
It is not surprising to encounter some whose touch with reality is slim and who are willing to spread the poison that infects their souls. This opinion is shared by far too many government officials, journalists, media types, public school teachers and college professors. It is not possibly to bridge the gap between the pure and wholesome motives of the Tea Party and the subversive, regressive interpretation of it by leftists! There is a battle taking place between those who would restore the United States to its Constitutional roots and those who would overthrow it in favor of a statist, Euro-style social welfare state. There is no middle ground upon which the two sides can meet and establish some hybrid system. The hybrid system already exists and it is inexorably evolving into the form of government that the statists desire. The Tea Party beliefs must triumph and America will revert to the land that once was and is envisioned to be again.
(“Malevolent Distortion of Tea Party Objectives” by Ron Lipsman dated December 12, 2014 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/68299 )
Two big progressive groups, MoveOn.org and Democracy for America, pressed Elizabeth Warren, the first-term Massachusetts senator, to seek the party’s Presidential nomination. The implicit logic of the Draft Warren movement is that after eight years of the Obama Presidency, the American people want to move . . . further left. However intriguing that proposition, the real problem for the political pros behind Draft Warren or even the Ready for Hillary super PAC is that the Democrat left’s high-publicity wing insists on doing stupid things in public that turn off more voters than they turn on. In the midterm elections, support for Democrats among young voters, millennials, dropped six points. Another sign of public fatigue for Democrats was the spectacle of Colorado Senate candidate Mark Udall’s “war on women” strategy becoming an object of mockery, not from the right, but everyone else. A party turns stupid when it keeps pushing obsessions that push people away. One of Elizabeth Warren’s key constituencies, the Occupy Everything movement on campuses and in the streets, is wholly alienated from the private sector, like much of this new generation’s Democrats. A lot of men and women who go to work daily in the private sector surely have decided that they are the object of these attacks. The activist left’s political compulsions are producing a lot of stuff that isn’t close to normal. It is craziness at the political margins, and like weeds, it is occupying the party’s public personality. The left often says its ideas should move people out of their “comfort zone.” Whatever the ancient attractions of radical populism, discomfited people abandon the party of discomfort. In November’s election, 64% of white males voted Republican. The GOP showed in the midterms that it had rescued itself with voters from terminal stupidity. The chances that the Democrat Party reined in its extremes are below zero. Some Democrats may console themselves in thinking the Republicans will always be stupid, but now the Democrats are dumb, and dumber.
(“The New Stupid Party” by Daniel Henninger dated December 17, 2014 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://www.wsj.com/articles/dan-henninger-the-new-stupid-party-1418862634 )
President Obama’s ambition has outrun his ability and his ambition is exceeded only by his arrogance and audaciousness. Those who voted for Obama committed a perilous blunder that could destroy our nation. Face it; if another candidate as inexperienced as Obama suggested that he was considering a run for the U.S. Presidency, he would be laughed off the stage. It was only because he is black; even though color (or race or religion) is not a qualification or disqualification for any office. The thought that such an “empty suit” could even become a U.S. Senator is appalling and atrocious but a tribute to the effectiveness of the corrupt political system in Chicago. Then for him to think he was qualified to take the huge step to the Oval Office is arrogant, asinine, and audacious. Americans apparently lost their minds to think this phony savior could actually fill the shoes of former Presidents such as Ronald Reagan or Harry Truman. It seems that Obama’s ambition has overrun his ability. He was in the U.S. Senate 143 days before he started making noises like a national candidate. He accomplished almost nothing except to get the reputation of being the most liberal senator in the nation! That alone should have disqualified him for any office! During the nine years that he was a “civil rights lawyer” he never handled a trial but “worked in teams of lawyers who drew up briefs and contracts” according to Obama: “From Promise to Power.” While editor of the Harvard Review, he never published one article. As a state senator, he voted “present” 130 times! He didn’t seem to understand that he was not elected to sit in the senate but to represent his district by voting. As a U.S. Senator, he has missed more than 20% of the votes! Obama is an impressive failure, but still a failure, and to present himself as Presidential timber, was colossal egotism. Now that he has actually done something, the voters can look at him seriously, but today it is embarrassing that more than his family and a few close friends would even consider voting for him. American voters lost their minds and elected him President to “fundamentally transform this nation.” [They did and he did!] Obama is like the rooster who struts out each morning thinking the sun had risen just to hear him crow! A big problem is he can’t crow unless he is reading a script written by a hired hack. When he wanders away from the teleprompter, he does a great imitation of Elmer Fudd. Barack Obama as President of the United States of America is a bad dream but the damage he has done to the country has become our worst nightmare.
(“Ambition Outran His Ability” by Don Boys dated December 16, 2014 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/68356 )
As the United States staggers toward the seventh year of Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, a growing disquiet permeates the ranks of the American left. After six years of the most liberal President since Jimmy Carter, the nation doesn’t seem to be asking for a second helping. Even though the multiyear rollout of ObamaCare was carefully crafted to put all the popular features up front, delaying less popular changes into the far future, the program remains unpopular. Trust in the fairness and competence of government is pushing toward new lows in the polls, even though the government is now in the hands of forward-looking, progressive Democrats rather than antediluvian GOPers. For liberals, these are bleak times of hollow victories (ObamaCare) and tipping points that don’t tip. There was the latest 2014 IPCC report on climate change that was going to end the debate once and for all. The chances for legislative action on climate change in the new Congress: zero or less. There was the Senate Intelligence Committee “torture report” that was going to settle the issue of treatment of detainees. The polls are rolling in suggesting that the public remains exactly where it was: supportive of “torture” under certain circumstances. In all of these cases, liberals got what, from a liberal perspective, appeared to be conclusive evidence that long cherished liberal policy ideas were as correct as liberals have always thought they were. The public still doesn’t seem to accept the liberal line or draw the inferences that liberals want it to draw. It’s becoming hard to avoid the conclusion that many Americans will continue to disagree with many liberal policy prescriptions no matter what. These are not the only issues in which, from a left Democratic point of view, the country is overrun with zombies and vampires: policy ideas that Democrats thought had been killed but still restlessly roam the earth. Here we are, six years into the Age of Obama, and the TEA Party is alive and Occupy is dead. The Republicans swept the midterm elections both nationally and at the state level, and Hillary Clinton appears more interested in conciliating Wall Street than in fighting it, and more interested in building bridges to conservative foreign policy thinkers than in continuing the Obama foreign policy. The liberal rout at the level of state and local politics is even more alarming. For some, the response is to turn on Obama. He’s not a real liberal at all, some disillusioned liberals say: he’s a technocrat, a trimmer, an elitist, and an inept politician. Some of that is true; President Obama is a limousine liberal, not a lunch-bucket populist. But to blame Obama for the crisis of the liberal left is unpersuasive. It was the liberal left who fell hardest for him, who praised him to the skies and who stuck with him longer than anybody else. It is almost inconceivable, despite the cries of “Run, Elizabeth, Run!” emanating from the gentry left, that someone more liberal than President Obama will be sent to the Oval Office anytime soon. In that sense the Obama administration may represent “Peak Left” in American politics, and what we are getting from the left these days is a mix of bewilderment and anger as it realizes that this is as good as it gets, and the country has already moved on.
(“Next Up in America: The Liberal Retreat” by Walter Russell Mead dated December 19, 2014 published by The American Interest http://www.the-american-interest.com/2014/12/19/next-up-in-america-the-liberal-retreat/ )
Next month Americans will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the time that the President of the United States went on TV, shook his finger at the country, and lied to our faces. The lie was more significant than the thing that he was lying about. When the lie came crashing down, Clinton and his defenders deconstructed the English language, questioning the meaning of every word in his sentence rather than admit that the lie was a lie. Given a choice between telling the truth or challenging the definitions of such words as “sex” and “is”, they decided to burn their dictionary. Clinton’s antics set the stage for a current administration which can never be caught in a lie because it’s lying all the time. Obama and his people don’t just lie, they lie about the lies and then they lie about those lies. Obama is an unreliable narrator. No one was ever supposed to expect the truth from him. The significance of Bill Clinton was not in his affairs, but in his cynicism. He got away with lying by dismissing the idea that anyone should have ever expected the truth from him. Obama expanded on his work by eliminating the base truth underneath the lies. The device of the unreliable narrator puts truth out of reach. It says that there is no such thing as truth, only various perspectives on an event. The conscious deceptions of the modern Doublethinkers depend on them telling a lie in the service of the greater truth. That pursuit of a greater truth built out of lies is what motivated a Rolling Stone article about fraternity rapists that even Mike Nifong would have turned his nose up at Gruber’s arrogant truths about lying. Lena Dunham, the apologists for ObamaCare and the activists at Rolling Stone insist that the facts are a technicality that is obstructing the greater truth. The greater truth is a worldview that is out of the reach of facts and can never be disproven. Bill Clinton deconstructed the English language rather than admit a lie. Their successors deconstruct reality. They deny that objective truth exists or even matters. They didn’t lie because there is no such thing as truth. In the absence of facts, there can be no reality; there is only ideology. Obama doesn’t simply lie, he exists in a truth-free zone. He does not start with truthful facts. His starting and ending point is in an imaginary territory. If the two imaginary territories are different, it scarcely matters because neither place was ever real. Bill Clinton lied. Obama tells stories and none of these stories have anything to do with reality. Obama’s entire career rests on the same technique of telling stories for emotional effect without any regard for reality. Progressives don’t only live in a post-American world; they live in a post-Truth world. A world without facts and without truth is one in which the America that was cannot exist. America had prospered because of a firm belief in a discoverable and exploitable reality. That was the country that could build skyscrapers and fleets in a year. Post-Truth America has little interest in big buildings because it’s too busy enacting a psychodrama in which the earth is about to be destroyed.
(“Life in Post-Truth America” by Daniel Greenfield dated December 15, 2014 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/68326 )
Call it the Obama rule: when our President will do something he wants to do that the Constitution or morality prohibits. President Barack Obama did not move forward with his unilateral action on immigration before the midterm elections, because he was worried he would pay too high a price. He moved forward with his unconstitutional action after the elections because he calculated, correctly, that Republican congressional leaders would let him get away with it. Obama was elected President and took an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The Constitution requires that the President "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" and vests the power to initiate war (as well as power over immigration) in Congress. In 2007, when he was running for President, Obama told The Boston Globe: "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." This is true. But on March 19, 2011, Obama ordered the U.S. military into action in support of rebels seeking to overthrow the Libyan regime of Moammar Gadhafi. Congress had not authorized this action. Just nine days after unilaterally involving the United States in Libya's civil war, Obama explained at a town hall forum that he did not have the power to unilaterally change immigration laws. When the Republican-controlled House passed an omnibus spending bill permitting Obama to spend money to implement his unilateral action on immigration, Obama got away with doing what he personally told high-school students he had no power to do. He acted not on the Constitution or the law but on the Obama rule: Can I get away with it?
(“The Obama Rule: Can I Get Away With It?” by Terry Jeffrey dated December 17, 2014 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/terryjeffrey/2014/12/17/the-obama-rule-can-i-get-away-with-it-n1932836 )
Most of the people of the world have concluded that the decades of warnings about “global warming” and its successor, “climate change”, is just idiotic nonsense. Few believe that humans ever had or ever will have any role in what the weather will be tomorrow or a thousand years from now. One of the most distinguishing factors about the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory has been the way its advocates have always predicted major changes decades into the future. When the future arrived, as it has since the first doomsday predictions were made in the late 1980s, they simply push off the next arrival date for another couple of decades. A classic example is the prediction that that Arctic and Antarctic sea ice would have all melted by now. Instead the global cold weather have been making new records of late. The Kyoto Protocol dates back to 1997 and sets limits on how much “greenhouse gas” emissions, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), nations could permit. The global warming theory, now long since debunked, that CO2 was rising and would cause the Earth to warm too much was right in only one respect. There is more CO2, but the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for some 19 years at this point. The U.S. did not ratify, i.e. sign onto the Protocol. The Senate unanimously rejected it. Canada later withdrew from it. China and India were both exempted from it! The hard core “Warmists” wanted the climate change agreement to be legally binding under international law. They wanted more money to be spent on renewable energy, wind and solar, and money given to poor countries to help them deal with climate change. The COP20 conference was not about the climate, but instead was about funding wind and solar energy projects that have proven globally to be huge, expensive failures, and redistributing wealth to poor countries that, as often as not, are poor because they are poorly governed. It’s a scheme based on totally false “science.” Carbon dioxide is such a minor “trace” gas (0.04% of the Earth’s atmosphere) that most people are astonished to learn that it is Nitrogen and Oxygen that make up 99% of the atmosphere. Both are transparent to incoming and outgoing radiation. It is the Earth that acts as a conductor of heat, affected as always by solar radiation. It is the Sun along with the actions of the oceans and volcanic activity that determines the weather and, long term, the climate. The Earth is not a greenhouse closed in by heat trapping gases. It is the mass of the Earth that absorbs the Sun’s radiation and reflects it into the atmosphere. The process is so dynamic that there is no way to accurately predict what the temperature anywhere on any day. Not a single dime of U.S. taxpayer’s money should be devoted to either the U.N. or any bogus “global warming” claims. We should begin by defunding the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations to limit “greenhouse gas emissions”, the reason they give for closing coal-fired plants to produce electricity.
(“International Emissions Idiocy” by Alan Caruba dated December 17, 2014 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/68395 )
If there was a theme to 2014, it was Obama’s persistence in bailing out dictators and theocrats from political scrapes and economic hardships, his tenacity in pursuit of engagement with America’s adversaries no matter the cost to our strength, principles, credibility, or alliances. In this President the thugs in Havana and Caracas, Damascus and Tehran, Moscow and Naypyidaw and Beijing have no better friend. For these bullies, these evildoers, these millenarians and sectarians, Barack Obama is more than a dupe; he is an insurance policy. Cuba is but the latest example of this President’s failing to exercise leverage in the pursuit of American strength and security and prestige. Here are the Castro brothers, decrepit and spent, their revolution a joke, their economy in peril thanks to the collapse in oil prices brought on by a strong dollar and increased U.S. supply. In the late summer of 2013 Bashar Assad was caught using chemical weapons against his own people. The President and his secretary of state decried this violation of international norms and pledged, in televised addresses, to punish the Syrian tyrant for wanton slaughter and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The application of deadly force against Assad’s air force and military installations would cripple the regime and hasten the end of a civil war that has taken the lives of some 200,000 Syrians. But suddenly Obama reversed course and signed on to a Russian proposal to prevent a military strike in exchange for Assad’s “giving up” his barbaric tools. Today Bashar Assad remains in power, his opposition is divided, he has entered into an alliance of convenience with the medieval Islamic State that governs from Raqaa to Mosul. The weapons? Earlier this month the U.S. government accused Syria of ongoing “systematic use” of chemical arms. I repeat: ongoing. Not only has Obama failed to achieve his stated aims of removing Assad and ending the WMD threat. The situation is more dangerous than it was a year ago because the Islamic State’s menagerie of Saddam loyalists and itinerant holy warriors is securing ground from which to launch attacks on targets throughout the world. Barack Obama threw the Castros a lifeline, rescued Assad, but these monsters are not even the most dangerous of the despots he has enabled. An Iranian nuke would change the strategic equation of the Middle East and thus the world. Not only would Israel be threatened, so would America because of Iran’s past use of terrorist proxies and increasingly sophisticated missile tech. The threat would increase as Sunni and Turkic nations developed or bought WMD to deter the Persian hegemon. By the end of last year the economic sanctions passed by Congress over the Obama administration’s objections, as well as the shale energy revolution, had brought the Iranian economy to the brink of collapse. What did Obama do: He agreed to lift sanctions on Iran, infusing the theocratic economy with billions of dollars, in exchange for entering direct negotiations and a few paltry concessions. The centrifuges kept spinning, Iran cheated on the terms of this incredibly generous interim agreement, Iranian missile development, international terrorism, support for radical Islam, and human rights abuses went on. Not even Iran, however, has invaded its neighbors as unabashedly and aggressively as Vladimir Putin’s Russia, which in less than eight years has annexed parts of Georgia and a critical region of Ukraine. Some 4,300 people have been killed since Putin’s undeclared invasion of eastern Ukraine last spring, not counting the hundreds who died when a pro-Russian missile battery destroyed a civilian airliner. Obama’s response has been limited to sanctions on Putin and his inner circle. Changes in the global economy, a strengthening America, plunging commodity prices, and spooked foreign investors have provoked the worst crisis in Russia since the late 1990s. The sanctions Obama has already agreed to will worsen the pain. This is a point of maximum leverage. A public and generous commitment of financial and military aid to Ukraine, an assertion of U.S. military and ideological might, could expel the Russians from the east and inspire the democratic opposition in Moscow. What will Obama do: Two words: Blow it; Opportunity missed. Like the Castros, Assad, and the mullahs, Putin is in danger, his grip tenuous, his options narrowing. Lucky for him, lucky for the other bad guys, Putin can count on the American President to bail him out. Ironically, Obama says he’s against bullying!
* 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:
· Philosophy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/philosophy.php