Views on the News

Views on the News*

December 30h, 2017


Donald Trump, the braggart-in-chief, is beginning to get a little credit for action as well disdain for big words and large boasts.  Some big media voices now show signs of tiring of blowing endlessly across the land that the president is a Manhattan hayseed who crashed into big-league politics with the turnip truck, who doesn’t know anything and hasn’t done anything.  Howard Kurtz, who more or less invented media criticism at The Washington Post years ago and now the media pundit at Fox News, thinks he hears the ice cracking around the edges of the conventional media mind.

The dominant media narrative is that Trump hasn’t got much done, that he’s in over his head, that he doesn’t understand government, and that he keeps picking petty fights rather than winning big victories.  But the thing about pundits is that they get tired of pushing the same line, week after week, month after month. Some inevitably want to seize credit for a new insight, for getting ahead of the pack with a burst of contrarian wisdom. And the hot take now is, hey, maybe Trump has got some important things done, after all.

Indeed, the narrative about occasional bright spots, like the soaring stock market, with the trend-setting Dow Jones Average already at 25,000 has been that this doesn’t have much to do with Trump policies.  The president is shaking up the judiciary, not just with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch, but with dozens of lower-court appointments, including several to the U.S. courts of appeal whose work will resonate through the law for decades.  The tax-cut legislation was pushed through Congress in fits and starts but with persistent White House muscle, the president prodding the House and Senate leadership with remarkable skill for a president who “doesn’t understand government” and oblivious of “how Washington works.”  bThe mockery of the middle-class benefits of the tax-cut legislation is a vivid demonstration of how far removed from reality the pundit class may be, with its haughty scorn of the $1,000 savings that millions of Americans can expect when they file their income taxes.  Based on its polling, the Federal Reserve Board estimates that nearly half of Americans don’t have the savings to cover a $400 emergency, and 6 of 10 Americans couldn’t cover a thousand-dollar crisis.  A $1,000 refund check is a big deal for a lot of Americans to brag about.  The vast majority of the Republican Party loves these policies. We have been saying all year: ‘Watch what he does, not what he says.’  While Trump failed repeatedly to scrap ObamaCare, he boasted that abolishing the individual mandate, a provision added to the tax bill, amounts to repealing the health-care program.  The “decimation of ISIS” has drawn only grudging media attention.  America and its allies recently managed to win a war that just two years ago consumed headlines and dominated political debate and helped Donald Trump get elected president, and somehow nobody seemed to notice.  Ross Douthat, New York Times,  makes the point that feeds public skepticism of newspapers and television networks and the trash and trivia that often passes for news on internet sites,   “This is a press failure, a case where the media is not adequately reporting an important success because it does not fit the narrative of Trumpian disaster in which our journalistic entities are all invested.”

(“The media ice begins to crack a little” by Wesley Pruden dated December 25, 2017 published by Washington Times at https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/dec/25/the-media-ice-begins-to-crack-a-little/ )

Since President Trump was elected, Democrats have done nothing but reject, obstruct and resist, kicking and screaming every step of the way, yet that has not deterred our president.  Trump has kept his eye on the prize: prioritizing the very people who put him in office, and because of that, he has had a historically successful first year in office.  President Trump just delivered the biggest set of tax cuts in over 30 years, after rallying Congress and the American people around a plan that puts more money into our pockets.  He has cut 10 regulations for each new one added, saving the country billions of dollars.  The American economy is great again.  The unemployment rate is down to a 17-year low of 4.1% and the labor market has exceeded expectations by adding hundreds of thousands of new jobs.  The gross domestic product is rising beyond expectations, consumer confidence is at a 17-year high, small businesses are growing and the stock market is soaring.  The president was quick to nominate federal judges during his first year, with 19 confirmed by the Senate so far.  He’s had the most circuit court judges confirmed during a president’s first year, and appointed widely respected Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court soon after taking office.  As we reflect on President Trump’s first year, let this be a reminder that the Democrats who claim to care about us are actually working against us.  He’s boosting pay for our troops, growing our military, and giving them the equipment they need to remain the world’s top fighting force.  He’s restoring accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs, because he knows our nation’s heroes deserve much better than they’ve been getting.  The president boldly stood for American leadership during a historic United Nations address, where he outlined a forceful new strategy toward nations that pose the greatest security threats to the United States.  Trump was clear and unapologetic about our nation’s new policy: America First.  He has made the southern border harder to illegally cross with arrests of people trying to cross illegally into the United States from Mexico are at the lowest point since 1971.  His vision for merit-based immigration is one that will reward those who follow our laws, make our country better and are proud to call themselves Americans.  The administration is also working to eradicate the most violent street gangs from our nation, and is tackling our nation’s drug addiction and opioid abuse crisis.  He’s stayed true to the commitments he made on the campaign trail, after taking office, and again during his joint address to Congress earlier this year.  The president has done all of this and more, without taking a salary. He promised he’d donate it, so that’s what he’s done.  As we reflect on President Trump’s first year, let this be a reminder that the Democrats who claim to care about us are actually working against us.  They push fraudulent narratives to hide President Trump’s real action for the American people.  Democrats have pledged a reckless resistance, whereas President Trump pledges results.  Despite their obstruction, the president continues to lead, so here’s to one year down, and many more to go.

(“Trump’s first year as president is a historic success” by Ronna McDaniel dated December 22, 2017 published by Fox News at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/22/rnc-chairwoman-trump-s-first-year-as-president-is-historic-success.html )

Some folks think that 2017 marked a hideous cataclysm in the affairs of man.  Someone the entire U.S. media, the academic establishment in toto, nearly all of Hollywood, and Democrat politicians from coast to coast did not favor the person who was elected president of the United States in a free, open, democratic election.  The 2016 presidential election worked as the Constitution said it was supposed to work, not the way Hollywood millionaires, Ivy-educated pundits, angry feminists, or partisan opponents wanted it to work.  There was other bad news in 2017.  On November 8, 2016, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at 18,332. “Little went well” this year, so it is no surprise that the market closed on Friday, December 23 at 24,754.  In other words, the market rose 6,422 points, or 35%, in little over a year.  Horrible!  There were other terrible things in 2017. The United States, thanks in part to the exploitation of fracking technology, is now the world’s largest energy producer.  Oil prices, to the chagrin of the Middle Eastern petro-states, and to Russia, are less than half what they were just a few years ago.  Little went well in 2017,” except that unemployment is at 4.1%, consumer confidence is at a 17-year high, and 1.7 million jobs have been added over the course of this annus horribilis.  “Little went well in 2017” unless you think that GDP over 3% is a good thing or that cutting 16 business-strangling regulations for every one new federal regulation is something to write home about.  “Little went well in 2017,” especially when you consider that the American military, with a $100 billion increase in its budget, is modernizing and strengthening.  Meanwhile, illegal immigration is down more than 50%, even though Trump’s promised border wall has yet to be built.  To understand that “little went well in 2017,” you have to understand that the tax-reform bill that Trump signed was “the worst bill since the Fugitive Slave Act” of 1850.  The bill repeals ObamaCare’s provision that forces people to buy insurance or pay a fine, predicted that 10,000 people a year would die because of the bill.  In fact, the bill, by cutting corporate taxes from 35% to 21%, will spur economic growth which will create jobs, which will increase America’s prosperity.  America’s middle class are the chief beneficiaries.  The new plan doubles the standard deduction to $12,000, $24,000 for families, and also doubles the child tax credit from $1000 to $2000.  Little went well in 2017,” except that the United States now has an ardently pro-American president who puts the country’s interests, not the interests of the permanent bureaucracy and its media and academic echo chambers, first.  Donald Trump, in fulfillment of a campaign promise, announces that the U.S. will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.  The Security Council votes against the plan, and the U.S. vetoes that resolution.  Then the General Assembly votes to declare the plan “null and void” by a margin of 128 to 9 (with 35 abstentions).  The votes, like most things the UN does, is utterly meaningless, but Nikki Haley, our ambassador to the UN, warned that the United States would be taking note of who voted against us, cutting the U.S. contribution to the UN by $285 million.  We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked.    Now that’s one little thing that went well in 2017.  I expect a lot more of the same in 2018.

(“A Tale of Two Years” by Roger Kimball dated December 25, 2017 published by PJ Media at https://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/tale-two-years/ )

We may be watching the death throes of the American left as it spirals into the black hole of excess.  The left has pushed its issues so hard and far that leftists have lost all credibility.  No one really believes that global warming matters, even if it is true.  Most everyone knows that the real aim of the global warming scare never was to cool down the planet, but rather to oust capitalism as the dominant economic model.  It still excites college sophomores, but the rest of us know that socialism is economic death.  Even the left acknowledges that women earn very close to what men earn, with most of the difference owing to choices made by women themselves.  The left began shouting about the income spread between top and bottom earners, but no one in America really cares about income spread.  Abortion has been accepted for so long that it no longer raises much enthusiasm as a platform issue.  Catholic priests still picket Planned Parenthood facilities, but they seldom draw news cameras anymore.  Racism has been so overplayed that nobody serious takes it seriously anymore.  We never hear from or about Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson these days.  Greenness has become just another way to siphon off taxpayer bucks to keep Greenpeace out of the shipping lanes.  No hippie chicks these days have the gumption to camp out in a tree for two years, and without that kind of example, greenies don't flourish.  Renewable energy no longer commands much attention since solar panel companies began installing their product for free.  A capitalist, transactional solution often solves even non-problem problems.  The fracking revolution has everybody so caught up in getting things done with cheap energy that even Al Gore can't make any money these days off his scam.  Diversity (pro-Muslim immigration) no longer resonates.  Americans got tired of explosions and people dying in public places for lousy reasons.  Hating Christianity has lost much of its cachet as the allure of diversity has faded.  Despite suspicions on the right, polls have yet to establish any connection here with Hillary's desire to become a Methodist preacher, and that's a fact.  LGBTQ issues have sort of just withered away as America's pretty much total indifference has waxed during the Trump administration.  LGBTQs see that nobody's out to get them after all and have settled in to living their lives like anybody else.  In his first year as president, Donald Trump has reminded us what's possible in this country; well done, Mr. President.

(“The left in extremis?” by Richard jack Rail dated December 28, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/12/the_left_in_extremis.html )


The great political surprise of 2018 will be the size of the Republican victory.  After members of the elite media have spent two years savaging President Trump, lying about Republican legislation, and reassuring themselves that Republican defeat was inevitable, the size of the GOP victory in 2018 will be an enormous shock.  Two columns (one by Barry Casselman and one by Scott Adams) illustrate how the media is deceiving itself.  Casselman contends that the Democrat victory in Alabama may have blocked a year-long embarrassment and actually strengthened Republican prospects in the Senate.  As I listened to the end of the year “analysts,” I was struck by how little they know, how little they have questioned their own mistakes, and how mutually reinforcing their false information has been.  Adams, the author of Dilbert, has a list of 20 political opinions and predictions made about President Trump and his Administration, which were just plain wrong.  He suggests if you were wrong about 15 or more of these assertions, you might quit talking about politics while Trump is in the White House.  By Adams’s standard, most elite "analysts" must be quiet, because they have been so consistently wrong about Trump.  These are not analysts; these are liberal propagandists; and much of what they assert is just plain wrong.  Fake news is, sadly, an accurate term.  The GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act had the most fake news.  First, the media lied about the tax bill in an effort to convince most Americans their taxes would go up.  Then, the media took surveys of people who opposed the GOP bill based on the false information supplied by the media.  Then, the media tried to convince the public how unpopular the Republican plan was and how it was going to harm Republican candidates in 2018.  Then, the bill passed, and unsurprisingly, it turned out to be dramatically better for Americans than the elite media had described.  The tax cuts will be the 2018 proving ground of media liberal bias and dishonesty.  The gap between the news media falsehoods and the dramatically better reality of the GOP tax cuts will have three huge effects on the 2018 campaign:

·    The American people will be positively surprised and pleased by the degree to which Republicans kept their word and actually put more money in taxpayer pockets.  Republicans have proven they can get big things done.

·    The news media’s dishonesty will be vivid at a personal level.  People will be able to compare their personal experience with the news media's fake reporting, and as the truth sinks in, the ability of the liberal media to shape opinion will decline even further.

·    Democrats who voted against the bill will live to regret it as people look at their family budgets and realize Democrats in the House and Senate wanted Washington bureaucrats to have more money, rather than hard-working Americans.  This will be a losing issue for the 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election in states President Trump won in 2016.

In fact, the stage is being set for a definitive election.  Do you want higher taxes, bigger bureaucracy, more power in Washington, and a smaller economy with lower take-home pay and fewer jobs? If yes, vote Democrat.  If you want a bigger economy, more jobs, more take-home pay, less power with Washington bureaucrats, and lower taxes with more money in your pocket, then vote Republican.  If Republicans can learn to tell the truth better than the elite media and Democrats lie, the GOP will win an astonishing victory in 2018.

(“Get ready for the great political surprise of 2018” by New Gingrich dated December 28, 2017 published by Fox News at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/28/newt-gingrich-get-ready-for-great-political-surprise-2018.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 sections:

·  Preface at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/welcome/preface.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY