Views on the News

December 25, 2010

Views on the News*

At some point in late 2010 once optimistic independent voters, moderate Republicans, and centrist Democrats stopped listening and finally concluded that their 2008 Barack Obama proved not to be the great uniter, the great communicator, and the greater humanist who was to bring the country together around “centrist” values, but instead a one act ideologue. At about the same time, a once ecstatic liberal base began to worry that President Obama was not the brilliant post-racial social organizer, the brilliant progressive explicator, and the brilliant big government architect who would take a center-right country with him hard to the left. The result has been a sort of political implosion, the proverbial “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” moment when the omnipotent wizard’s face projected on the screen becomes exposed as a rather frightened Barack Obama, busy with levers and gears relieved to sub out his White House press room to a designated President Bill Clinton at last back on his home turf. The messianic spell of 2008 ended with the largest midterm rebuke since 1938. Since his inauguration, the President has lost a point in the polls about every three weeks of his Presidency, without much deviation. For a while, “working across the aisle” delivered in mellifluous tones assured millions that their soon-to-be President had not compiled the most partisan voting record in the U.S. Senate. Chicago-style targeting of the enemy has gone from shocking to de rigueur to banal for this president. Until 2008-9, the rubric $250,000 was just an arbitrary number. Now it is a sharp ethical divide in a strange new class war in which those above are veritable parasites “who do not pay their fair share”, while the 50% of the population who pay no income tax ipso facto are suddenly moral and patriotic. In sum, no President in 78 years has done more to incite class resentment, envy, and polarization. Abroad, there is now not a reset foreign policy but a reset, reset foreign policy. The President could not give another straight-faced speech about the Islamic roots of the Western Enlightenment, why Guantanamo has to be closed this year, how KSM will be tried in a civilian court, or why Harold Koh is stopping renditions, tribunals, and predators in worry over their constitutionality. The Presidency is becoming a caricature of a Presidency, and is being recognized as such abroad. The crowd fainting at the sound of the “hope and change” Oz is over because we are already at the end of the movie when Toto pulled away the curtain and the real “empty suit” is revealed for what he is and is not.

(“Our ‘Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain’ Moment” by Victor Davis Hanson dated December 16, 2010 published by Pajamas Media at http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/our-pay-no-attention/ )

Instead of pretending the GOP has much in common with Barack Obama and his socialist posse, why don’t the Republicans get a clue and listen to the results of the last election, and heed Conservatism and publicly repudiate the multitude of leftist bad decisions. There are principled reasons for repealing and reversing Obama legislation:

·    First, those decisions made against our Declaration and Constitution and laws;

·    Second, those choices made in opposition to the obvious will of the people;

·    Third, acts which clearly go against the best interest of all Americans;

·    Fourth, choices aiding foreign governments at the cost of America or her allies;

·    Fifth, commands which elevate Islam (who declared war against us) over other religions;

·    Sixth, acts which are simply unpatriotic;

·    Seventh, legislation which undermines our capitalist form of economy;

·    Eighth, choices that harm our armed services;

·    Ninth, declarations or acts that denigrate America; and

·    Tenth, legislation which weaken America’s sovereignty in the interest of world bodies.

The following is a truncated list of laws and decisions by Barack Obama and his & Administration that ought be overturned as soon as possible:

·    TARP - Another unconstitutional overreach of American funds, arbitrarily given to businesses without any accountability.

·    Stimulus – This spending bill was wasted funds not even invested in infrastructure, but doled out as tasty pork medallions to countless Democratic constituents, while a trillion dollars drain from our money supply.

·    Exaggerating Housing Crisis - Obama is making the mortgage crisis worse by protecting Fannie and Freddie, and incenting FHA to expand loans again.

·    Ruinous Deficits – Obama does not understand the free market and is trying to spend money we don’t have to pay for our increasing deficits.

·    Class Warfare - Obama is committed to foment class warfare between victim groups as a technique to garner votes and cement power.

·    Automotive Takeover - Detroit car maker bailout was an illegal buying of private businesses with public funds which created de facto socialist results.

·    Creeping Socialism - Obama is committed to growing the government larger and into more and more industries to consolidate centralized power.

·    ObamaCare - A large majority want this bill completely eviscerated, because it is unconstitutional and will badly damage the quality and access of American health care.

·    Insulting America Abroad – Obama denigrates American exceptionalism as appeasement technique.

·    Gulf Oil Spill Mismanagement - Obama disappeared when crisis came, then uses as pretext to choke off oil drilling.

·    Global Warming - Despite the science behind this idea being utterly exposed as fraudulent, Obama resolutely still attempts to address it through regulation.

·    Cap and Trade - This legislation would wildly prune America’s economy, done in the name of an already failed Global Warming theory, but it is really a global Marxist ruse to redistribute wealth.

·    NASA Refocus - Cancels NASA’S Mission then dedicate agency to include Muslims.

·    Illegal Immigration – DOJ sues Arizona for enforcing federal law, ignoring border chaos.

·    Dismisses WikiLeaks While People Die – America’s secrets are exposed undermining the military and foreign policy, but Obama dithers!

·    Honoring Islam - Obama apparently loves Islam, so he does everything to empower it in domestic policies.

We can decisively repudiate the lawless reign of tin-horn tyrant Barack Obama by canceling all of his horrible legislation. A public repudiation must be done in some manner, to reestablish democracy, capitalism, the Bill of Rights, and American sovereignty. In other words, teaching future would-be tyrants that America is the land of the free and home of the brave; not the place of brainless imposters who would be depots, is a lesson we desperately need to establish today. Barack must also be condemned for his insipid “Cabinet” a staff of leftist toadies nearly as incompetent as he. Three major flaws of Obama’s present themselves when considering a need for public censure of this colossal misfit: Honesty, Competence and Orientation. First, Barack has such a problem telling the truth that at some point we must suspect he probably doesn’t understand the concept, for starters. Second, in no possible universe does Barack even begin to measure up to the most basic level of competence for his role as leader. Third, the most worrisome aspect of Obama’s worldview is his political orientation – whether it is leftism, socialism or communism, he’s like a robot programmed by Marx, used to deliver pamphlets for the ACLU. Let’s throw Obama out of office and begin the enjoyable task of a total repudiation of his Marxist agenda. Every one of the above bad laws and decisions was fomented by obdurate Obama, either through ignorance, ill-will, or red-eyed Marxist fervor. There are so many bad decisions by Barack, and so few good, he cannot simply be treated as another failed leftist president. Obama must be singled out as almost uniquely wicked, publicly condemned and shamed into permanent exile, and unless the bad politicians of America see him put in his place decisively after his giant folly, it will only embolden them, and then we truly will have hell to pay.

(“GOP Must Destroy All Obama Legislation – Like Rome’s Damnatio Memoriae” by Kelly O’Connell dated December 19, 2010 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/31252 )

Smaller government, low taxes, and less spending were key election themes in the Republican landslide, and those themes triumphed last week as a large tax-cut bill finally passed the House and a monstrosity of a spending bill was defeated in the Senate, and in one fell swoop, Obamanomics is out the window and Reaganomics 2.0 is now in the driver’s seat, or maybe we should call it TeaPartynomics 1.0. A new Tea Party Republican Congress completely transformed U.S. economic policy, because elections matter, and so do their ideas. Last week marks a watershed, as a Democrat Congress extended the Bush-era tax rates, Republican Senators disavowed earmarks to kill a spending-as-usual bill, and a federal court declared ObamaCare to be unconstitutional. None of these events by themselves signals the arrival of a new economic era. Private growth is suddenly good again, profits are recognized as crucial for job creation, and even card-carrying Keynesians have admitted that tax increases would inhibit economic recovery. The first target was the 2,000-page, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill in the Senate, along with its 6,600 earmarks totaling $8 billion. The culture of spending was driven by decades of habit coupled with a belief held by politicians that voters, despite polls showing dissatisfaction with spending, really want their government-provided goodies and thus will ignore mushrooming deficits and debt. This budget monster dripped with contempt for voters and taxpayers and this business as usual was overturned. Hundreds of billions of dollars can be saved, producing a smaller government that will be, in effect, a tax cut for the private economy, and the symbolism of overturning massive spending only two years after Obama’s debt-laden stimulus package is enormously important. The second target was the tax deal which is far from perfect, but low tax rates will be preserved for personal incomes, capital gains, dividends, and estates. Tax-rate increases will depress growth and worsen the budget deficit, so this bill is pro-growth and pro-capital formation, and it’s a confidence builder, too. There’s no way America’s financial position will improve without economic growth, nurtured by low tax-rate incentives. Tax cuts for businesses, which are new to this bill, may prove more effective than most people think, and while the payroll tax cut has only a small labor incentive, it is not nothing. It is not a panacea, but hopefully broad-based flat-tax reform will materialize in the next few years, along with entitlement reform and deep spending cuts. The tax-cut compromise does far more good than bad. In the new session of Congress, which will feature a true Tea Party GOP conservative majority, new spending-limit policies can fill in the blanks left by the tax deal. The court ruling against ObamaCare is the most tentative victory of the three, yet it could have the largest long-run impact if the Supreme Court ultimately limits what Congress can order its citizens to do. The Obama Presidency has produced a healthy public backlash that is reacquainting Americans with the Constitution's enumerated and limited powers. A ruling against ObamaCare would also assist the political case for its repeal and replacement, which is essential given the law's fast-track to European spending and tax burdens. This week's events will only be a true watershed if these policy shifts are consolidated and expanded. Conservative reformers in the new Congress will force this fight, along with tax, spending, entitlement, and monetary reform, and the new Tea Party GOP must maintain a message of economic growth and prosperity.

(“Reaganomics 2.0 in the Driver’s Seat” by Larry Kudlow dated December 18, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/larrykudlow/2010/12/18/reaganomics_20_in_the_driver%E2%80%99s_seat

A Growth Watershed?” dated December 18, 2010 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704034804576025742301360326.html

Tsunami Thursday ends an era” by John C. Wohlstetter dated December 21, 2010 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2010/12/21/tsunami-thursday-ends-an-era/ )


In the last decade, the symbol for profligate federal spending was the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," a huge proposed span that would link the town of Ketchikan, Alaska, population 7,500, to an airport on Gravina Island, and powerful Alaska Republican lawmakers tried to stick American taxpayers with a huge chunk of the tab for this dubious project, but this decade, the symbol for federal pork-barrel excess may well be “Trains to Nowhere,” and if Democrats get their way, those boondoggles could span the country, at least in blue states. Last month, voters in Wisconsin and Ohio elected Republican governors and rather than just talking about spending less, both Ohio's John Kasich and Wisconsin's Scott Walker had pledged, if elected, to reject funds earmarked for high-speed rail projects in the 2009 Obama stimulus package. Kasich said he would say no to $385 million for a train connecting Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Walker said he would reject $810 million for a train from Madison to Milwaukee. There is no guarantee that if you build high-speed rail, passengers will come. The Ohio and Wisconsin projects aren't even worthy of being called high-speed rail, since the average speed for the Ohio's "3C" line is projected at 38.5 miles per hour; and the speed for the Wisconsin line would average 59 mph; these "high-speed" trains wouldn't even go faster than cars. After they were elected, Walker and Kasich asked the Obama administration to allow them to spend that $1.2 billion rail money on other projects in their states. Walker wanted to fix his state's bridges and highways and Kasich asked that Ohio's $385 million go to the U.S. Treasury to reduce the federal deficit. Instead, before either governor-elect assumed office, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that his department would redirect the $1.2 billion that would have gone to Wisconsin and Ohio to 14 other states sending the message "if you don't want to waste our money, we'll find someone who will." California alone stands to gain up to $624 million of the forfeited stimulus funds on top of the more than $4.3 billion already earmarked for the planned high-speed rail project that would link San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim and eventually reach Sacramento and San Diego. California voters passed a $10 billion bond measure in 2008 to help fund the $43 billion project. In November, the California High-Speed Rail Authority voted to approve the first segment of the project which will start in the middle of nowhere (Borden) and go to nowhere (Corcoran) which will create an "orphan" line, unusable by bullet trains. LaHood's power play makes it official that it doesn't matter what voters want or whether they think their state can afford to take free federal money, because as far as the Obama administration is concerned, federal transportation dollars are the Democrats' loose change and will be spent somewhere.

(“The Democrats’ New Pork: Trains to Nowhere” by Debra J. Saunders dated December 19, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/DebraJSaunders/2010/12/19/the_democrats_new_pork_trains_to_nowhere )

The Reverends Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Jim Wallis, and Jeremiah Wright, and Father Michael Pfleger, insist that racism is alive and well in America, and they are right; and all they need do is look in their respective mirrors to see some of its most active proponents. Racism certainly still exists among some whites in the U.S, but anyone who thinks seriously, and honestly, about the issue also knows that those people are a dying breed.  They never will die out completely, of course.  Of course, racism is not exclusive to America or to whites.  It is, in fact, a human trait that always has existed, and always will, and true racism cannot be excused.  To some extent and in some respects, every person believes the race he or she was born into is superior to all others.  That does not automatically translate into the hatred or denigration of those born to other races. What it really suggests is that we as individuals are happy being exactly what we are, no matter our race.  It also suggests that we love, revere, and prefer the culture into which we were born.  Loving our own race does not mean that we cannot develop friendships with, admire, or love those of other races.  Certainly, racism contributed to yesterday's poverty.  Today's poverty has little to do with racism but much to do with culture: the culture of individual responsibility versus the culture of entitlement preached by the reverends.  While the idea of entitlement is not limited to minorities, those who insist that racism causes poverty do not want to hear that poor whites far outnumber poor minorities, and they especially don't want to hear that many poor whites also are conservative. There also is the inescapable fact that while some native-born Americans of every color seem to languish, most immigrants of every color, at least those who come here legally, appear to flourish.  The difference, of course, is that those immigrants have not been raised in or indoctrinated with the entitlement mindset, have not been told they cannot succeed without government help, or at least not without the reverends' aid.  They are, in fact, grateful to be here, more than willing to work hard and get ahead, and most do. The true racists are those who constantly try to pit one race against another and that those the reverends lead are victims not of white racism, but of a racist game being played by the reverends themselves and those like them.  The simple fact is that victimization is big business.  If it were not, the reverends would not enjoy the incomes they do or the political influence they wield.  It is beyond irony that what the reverends actually achieve is the perpetuation of slavery: emotional, intellectual, economic, and, in a sense, physical; it is the slavery of ignorance and it is exactly what the reverends intend because it gives them power; it gives them wealth; not their followers but to them.

(“The Wolves Who Cry Boy” by Harry Beadle dated December 18, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/12/the_wolves_who_cry_boy.html )


The enduring symbol of Christmas, spanning the world’s diverse Christian cultures and the history of two millennia, is the nativity scene inspired by the gospels of Matthew and Luke, but today most of the non-Islamic religions have been driven to near extinction. Gathered around the manger that serves as the Christ Child’s cradle are representatives of three ancient religious groups indigenous to the region: Mary and Joseph, the first Christians; the shepherds of Bethlehem, the Jewish “city of David”; and the Magi, the name for Zoroastrian priests, who followed a celestial sign from their home in the East looking for the “King of the Jews.” These figures in the Christmas story represent the principal monotheistic religions of Middle Eastern antiquity. It would not be until six centuries later that Islam arose in the Arabian peninsula. Even today, the Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, and a group the Zoroastrians inspired, the Yezidis, as well as the Sabean Mandeans, constitute the main non-Islamic religions in the Greater Middle East. This is coming to an end, because since 2004, a relentless wave of Islamist terrorist attacks targeting Iraq’s indigenous Christians has prompted that group to flee en masse. Half of these Christians have since fled, and some observers speculate that this may well be the last Christmas in Iraq for the half remaining. In fact, it’s not just the Christian community that faces existential threats, and it is not just in Iraq. Every one of the indigenous religious communities evoked by the nativity story is disappearing from the region’s Muslim-majority countries. The Persian Gulf region and northern Africa have long since been “cleansed” of their indigenous Christian churches. Native Christians, mostly evangelicals, probably numbering in the thousands, worship largely in secret; Saudi Arabia has only one publicly known native Christian, the oft-imprisoned and extremely courageous Hamoud Saleh Al-Amri. The other religions have contracted even more sharply in the Muslim Middle East. Since the establishment of the state of Israel, some of the region’s Jews voluntarily left Muslim-majority countries; but as many as 850,000 of them, such as the Jews of Baghdad sixty years ago, were driven out, forced to leave land and possessions behind, by freelance terror and government policies. The parts of Iraq, Egypt, and Yemen that had been great Jewish centers since Old Testament times now have Jewish populations numbering in single, double, and triple digits, respectively. Zoroastrians, based on the plains of Iran since their religion’s founding somewhere between 1800 and 1500 bc by the devotional poet Zarathustra, are estimated to number between 45,000 and 90,000. Yezidis, who draw upon Zoroastrian beliefs, are found in northern Iraq; hundreds of thousands of them have fled in recent years, leaving half a million still in their native land. Sabean Mandeans, mostly based in Baghdad and Basra, are down to one-tenth of their pre-2003 population of 50,000. In past centuries, Islamic conversion by the sword and pressures under the grossly discriminatory dhimmi system took their toll on the Middle East’s “People of the Book” (Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians). Now, factors such as lower birth rates, and emigration because of conflict at home and economic opportunities abroad, are commonly offered to explain these communities’ accelerating decline. But the leading, and most obvious factor, one that was on full display during the Baghdad church massacre this October is rarely openly acknowledged or discussed: that is, the rise of extremist Islamist movements and the fact that most of the region’s government finance, sympathize with, or appease them, or are too weak to keep them under control. The fact that within the Muslim Middle East indigenous non-Muslim religious communities across the spectrum: Christians of every denomination, Jews, Zoroastrians, Sabean Mandeans, Yezidis, Baha’is, are all rapidly heading toward extinction, while Muslim sects flourish in the same areas, points to this underlying phenomenon of Islamic radicalism and intolerance of other religions.

(“Islamist’ War against ‘the Other” by Nina Shea dated December 23, 2010 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/255824/islamists-war-against-other-nina-shea )


* 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:

·  Bibliography at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/welcome/bibliography.php

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

·  Taxes at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/taxes.php

·  Terrorism at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/terrorism.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY