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Views on the News

Views on the News*

 December 31, 2016

As President Obama concludes his reign of error, his party is smaller, weaker and ricketier than it has been since at least the 1940s.  Behold the tremendous power that Democrats frittered away thanks to Obama and his ideas:

·    Democrats surrendered the White House to political neophyte Donald J. Trump.

·    US Senate seats slipped from 55 to 46, down 16%.

·    US House seats fell from 256 to 194, down 24%.

·    Democrats ran the Senate and House in 2009. Next year, they will control neither.

·    Governorships slid from 28 to 16, down 43%.

·    State legislatures (both chambers) plunged from 27 to 14, down 48%.

·    Trifectas (states with Democrat governors and both legislative chambers) cratered from 17 to 6, down 65%.

Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, eight presidents have served at least two terms or bowed to their vice presidents due to death or resignation.  Among them, Obama ranks eighth in total state legislative seats that his party preserved during his tenure.  Obama has supervised the net loss of 959 such Democratic positions, down 23%.  In terms of boosting his party’s state-level strength, Obama is the worst president since World War II.  Democrats can chant the soothing lie that this wholesale, multi-level rejection of their party stems from “structural racism,” the legacy of Jim Crow, the immortal tentacles of slavery, or whatever other analgesic excuse they can scrounge up.  The same nation that they claim cannot outgrow its bigotry somehow elected and then re-elected Obama, quite comfortably.  This deep-rooted repudiation is not of Obama himself, but of Obamaism, today’s Democrat gospel.  At home, Obamaism features economic stagnation, morbidly obese and equally dysfunctional government, racial and identity fetishism, and rampant political correctness.  Overseas, shame at American pre-eminence fuels flaccid “leadership from behind.  1,043 federal and state-level Democrats lost under Obama, largely because Americans grew disgusted by such outrages as a non-stimulating $831 billion “stimulus,” eight consecutive years of economic growth below 3%, an 88% increase in the national debt, the revocation of America’s triple-A bond rating and ObamaCare’s epic flop.  Abroad, Obamaism spawned the rise of ISIS, the fall of US personnel in Benghazi, and Iran’s relentless humiliation, before, during and after Obama’s delivery of some $100 billion in unfrozen assets, including at least $1.7 billion in laundered cash, literally flown in on private jets.  My legacy’s on the ballot,” Obama said last September, just as he had said before the 2014 midterms.  Democrats have paid the ultimate price, with political cadavers of more than 1,000 Democrat incumbents and nominees, from Hillary Clinton on down, confirming that Obama is poison at the polls. 

(“Obama’s legacy is a devastated Democratic Party” by Deroy Murdock dated December 25, 2016 published by New York Post at http://nypost.com/2016/12/25/obamas-legacy-is-a-devastated-democratic-party/ )

Polls reflect the people’s belief that the country is on the wrong track, in large part because they believe that the economy is not working for them.  Undeterred by such opinions, soon to be ex-President Obama has spoken in glowing terms of U.S. economic performance on his watch, selectively pointing to certain favorable economic statistics, but largely ignoring unfavorable statistics, including the ones that are the most important.  Based on the actual performance of the economy under Obama, that narrative surely qualifies as “Fake News”.  The single most important economic fact bearing on the health of the economy, ignored by Obama and his allies, is the real rate of GDP growth.  On a long term basis, the real rate of GDP growth is what largely determines the standard of living that we will enjoy, or suffer.  During the Obama years, the rate of real GDP growth on Obama’s watch has averaged roughly 1.5%, and has never exceeded 2.6%.  By contrast, under George W. Bush, the economy grew averaging more than 2% annually.  In four of those years the economy grew by more than 2.6%, and in two of those years by more than 3%.  Those are not good numbers, but better than Obama’s.  Since World War II, we have had twelve Presidents, and based on BEA numbers, in a ranking of those twelve Presidents based on GDP growth while in office, Obama ranks dead last.  Also ignored by Obama and his allies is the increase in the Federal Debt, in both absolute terms, and in relation to the size of the economy.  The size of the Federal Debt represents the degree to which we have mortgaged our future (and our children’s future) in favor of current consumption.  According to the Office of Management and the Budget, when Obama took office the deficit was 9.9 Trillion Dollars, and was 68% the size of the economy.  When Obama leaves office the deficit will be more than $19 Trillion, and will be approximately105% of the size of the economy.  Finally, there is the health of the labor force to consider.  While new jobs have been created during the Obama years, focusing only on job creation or the official unemployment rate doesn’t provide an accurate picture of where matters stand.  The growth in disposable income (which has been flat), the labor participation rate, and the nature of the jobs created also have to be considered, and each of these factors have been ignored by Obama and his allies.  Nearly all of the net new jobs created during the Obama years were not the type of permanent full time jobs that most seek, but rather “alternative work arrangements” of the type that most people don’t want except when permanent full time jobs are not available.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics approximately 95 million adult Americans are currently not in the workforce.  It should also be noted that the number of adult Americans who have dropped out of the workforce exceeds the net number of new jobs created during the Obama years.  That 15 million Americans have been forced out of the labor force in the last eight years is a socio-economic catastrophe of enormous proportions.  To add insult to injury, these victims of Obama and his progressive policies are not even counted towards the official number of unemployed.  All of this makes a mockery of the official unemployment rate of less than 5%.  Obama once claimed that George W. Bush drove the economy into the ditch.  Obama and his allies won’t admit that their efforts to push the economy out of the ditch they instead it to the canyon edgelThat is the economy that Trump will now inherit, and  I don’t envy him. 

(“Redefining Economic Success Down” by Paul Revere dated December 26, 2016 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/26/redefining-economic-success-down/ )

President-elect Donald Trump’s approach to foreign affairs comes down to this: put America first, and deliver victories rather than defeats.  From Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama, presidents have imagined that the notion of “vital U.S. interests is almost infinitely elastic,” and hence that “anything, from a loss of American prestige to the protection of American citizens, from attempts to deter aggression to even minimal efforts to fulfill our treaty commitments, can be defined as vital either to us or to our allies.”  Trump should reject that, and hew to the Constitution’s provisions which make sure that these distinctions and choices ultimately are the American people’s business.  U.S. policy has also suffered from a surplus of commitments over the power to fulfill them.  Today, U.S. policy is helpless in the face of Chinese and Russian assertiveness, and as Islamist extremists inspire Americans to kill Americans in America.  To translate America’s powers into victories, Trump will have to maintain a surplus of power over commitments, embracing the pre-Progressive Era statesmanship of presidents from George Washington to Theodore Roosevelt and, since then, only of Ronald Reagan, whose foreign policy motto was “we win, they lose.”  Keeping the United States at peace, the definition of success in international affairs, depends on the country being willing and able to win at all levels of warfare, especially the highest: nuclear war.   As nuclear weapons and delivery systems proliferate, it is incumbent on U.S. nuclear policy to reverse our forlorn attempt to strip them from U.S. armed forces’ routine operations. Above all, this means protecting Americans against ballistic missiles from Russia and China.  Trump should also rethink U.S. deployments overseas. Except for units fighting the Afghan Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS), U.S. forces are spread out to project political influence and to act as “trip wires.” rather than in strength to fight and win.  Current plans call for deploying more ‘trip wires,” to deter Russia’s further expansion in Eastern Europe, but fruitless debate over what to do once these “wires” are “tripped” exposes such deployments as projections of weakness rather than strength.  Similarly, the value of faraway naval bases as well as of ships and planes operating close to potentially hostile shores depends on the capacity to defend them.  But in fact, maintaining U.S bases in the Western Pacific or merely securing access to the shipping lanes there in the face of determined Chinese opposition would take our entire naval power. Taking account of such an eventuality requires not putting the fleet in harm’s way piecemeal.  Recognizing that the Muslim world’s warfare is its business, Trump should not interfere with its exhausting course, reducing human contact with it is as with areas infested with Ebola or Zika. Ending state or neo-state sponsorship of terrorism will require holding the potentates in any given place responsible with their lives for anything injurious to us from whence they hold sway, while guarding American lives by prioritizing firepower.  This is the opposite of sending Americans to search for individual enemies by kicking down doors and driving around replenished minefields.  Washington cannot expel Russia from Ukraine’s Russian-speaking regions.  Because Russia in possession of Ukraine can be a world power capable of overawing Europe and threatening America, Trump should make clear that the United States is prepared to support the independence of Western Ukraine (and the Baltics) with substantial military aid, backed in the last resort by U.S. power to devastate Russia economically.  China understands that its expansion has limits. Resistance sets those limits. China is projecting power through deeds, missiles, planes, and ships to control the nearby seas, extended eastward by a network of artificial islands bristling with sensors, equipped to support military forces. Trump will have to answer with deeds of corresponding seriousness, defending America as well as Guam and Japan against any and all of China’s ballistic missiles and showing China that, in the case of war, a well-protected United States would target every one of its bases beyond its capacity to defend. Then, China might listen to a promise that, in exchange for dismantling its artificial islands, Trump would forbear fortifying Taiwan, and that is an offer China could not refuse. 

(“How Donald Trump can shape his foreign policy” by Angelo M. Codevilla dated December 27, 2016 published by Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/27/how-donald-trump-can-shape-his-foreign-policy/ )

The recent Security Council UN resolution against Israel's settlements in disputed land is a clear indication of corruption in both the UN and the current United States of America administration, led by President Barak Obama.  Currently in the Middle East, thousands of innocent Yazidis, Sunnies, Kurds, and other Arab populations are being slaughtered across Arab countries, including Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and others.  Yet the UN chooses to focus on Israel during these horrible times for the Middle East - the one democratic, stable country in the region (which even provides healthcare to many of the victims of the above atrocities).  Worse, the United States of America, Israel's ally, didn't veto or vote against this resolution.  On the contrary, while Egypt withdrew this resolution, President Obama and other key players pushed for this resolution to be brought to a vote, ignoring the longstanding USA policy (in place since President Lyndon B. Johnson) to let this dispute be resolved peacefully between the involved parties.  Not only are the contents of the resolution questionable and inappropriately prejudiced, but the blatant choice of the UN to target Israel, along with the Obama Administration's "abstain" cannot be ignored or explained away.  This is what we get when we are dealing with powerful, malicious, self serving leaders, in a world which is not willing to recognize, or take position against, evil.  The unfortunate reality is, that Palestinian authorities have refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish State and continue to support terror and incitement of their population of all ages, against Israel.  This not only undermines current peace attempts, but also debilitates potential future peace processes.  Emboldening radicals, in the Middle East and elsewhere, can never bring peace, as it's been proven repeatedly in the past.  Giving the Sudetenland to Hitler did not prevent the Second World War; leaving Iraq in a hurry, facilitated the rise of ISIL and did not help the citizens of Iraq; and ignoring the use of lethal gas by the government of Syria, did not prevent the civil war and the attempted brutal genocide of the Yazidis, the Sunnies and the Kurds.  I do not know when the oblivious citizens of the "free world" will wake up, but the sooner that it will happen, the better it will be for the future of mankind.

(“Stop the Ruthless Corruption at the UN and in the USA” by Schmuel Katz dated December 30, 2016 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/265310/stop-ruthless-corruption-un-and-usa-dr-shmuel-katz )

 

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:

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

·  United Nations at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/unitednations.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/