Views on the News – 7/7/2012
By: David Coughlin
There is a compelling divergence regarding President Obama’s reelection chances when we consider what the poll numbers are telling us versus what the boots on the ground are indicating, because the partisan media is overtly shading the news to favor Obama today, but that will change as we get closer to November. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News nationwide poll finds Obama leading Romney by eight points in twelve so-called battleground states when considered as a group. The latest CNN/ORC International poll finds Romney leading in their 15 battleground states by eight points and Newsweek’s new poll also finding Romney ahead by eight points. However, when we observe the actions by those Democrat politicians up for reelection this fall in those battleground states and other states reveals a general reluctance to stand alongside President Obama. These politicians are more in tune with the local voters and are distancing themselves from Obama. This may be indicative that Obama’s support is not as high as it appears to be according to pollsters. Examples abound in New York, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia where politicians are opting out of appearing at the Democrat National Convention and appearing alongside the President. Democrat voters’ lack of enthusiasm going into the November election could lead to lower Democratic Party voter turnout and therefore lower turnout for Obama. The recent Supreme Court decision upholding ObamaCare could very well also add to a general lack of interest among Democrat voters, especially the non-Hispanics. Very few voters will switch to Obama after his Supreme Court “victory.” A large majority of the roughly 1/3rd of Americans who favor ObamaCare are likely to be voters for Obama anyway. If anything, the Court’s decision seems to have ignited the conservatives and TEA Party Independents. (My Rule of Thumb is that this early in the election cycle, liberal push polls exaggerate Democrat leads by 10% hoping to convince the uncommitted that the result is already decided.) While Obama may appear to be ahead of Romney, his voters may not be as excited about getting out to vote for him and a recent Pew Research Center poll confirms that notion, with 73% of Romney voters had “given a lot of thought to the election“, while only 63% of Obama voters declared the same. Obama’s slim lead in the national polls may not be as strong as it appears and may not equate to electoral victory as it stands now. No one should give credence to any mainstream media polls, since their objective now is to sell their point of view rather than report opinions, but they will begin changing back to reporting in late October as we get closer to the election
(“Is Obama’s Support Weaker Than the Poll Numbers Appear?” by Chad Stafko dated July 2, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/is_obamas_support_weaker_than_poll_numbers_appear.html )
The left has lost the trust of America because they have been exposed as partisan purveyors of half truths and hyperbole. The power which sustains leftism is not based on rational argument, moral purpose, or even enlightened self-interest. Instead, the left holds power through its pernicious insinuation into every nook and cranny of public life which we have been taught to trust as fair and honorable: the news media; academia; foundations; the public school system; professional organizations; and similar nominally fair and objective referees of public discourse and action. Most conservatives are painfully aware of the utter absence of real competition in the leftist television news media. The almost surreal spectacle of these siblings masquerading as competitors utterly ignoring the “Fast and Furious” scandal until Obama claimed executive privilege, and now that the House of Representatives is about to find Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, shows how tightly the left manages the news. There are consequences to this suppression of real news. The leftist media is melting into near-insignificance. CNN, for example, just had its lowest viewer ratings in twenty-one years. Fox News continues to do much better than any other network news because, in part, anyone genuinely interested in news would have to watch Fox. The print media is also evaporating, and much of that reflects a decline in the credibility of newspapers. Gallup released a poll which exposed a much broader decline of Americans in the other “conveyor belts” of leftism. Trust in public schools has dropped to the lowest point in polling history. The basis of this mistrust is that the left lies. It is that direct and simple. Conservatives stopped trusting “science,” because the pseudo-science propaganda in the inquisitorial atmosphere of institutional leftism no longer deserves the name “science.” Integrity, especially regarding the representation of opposing opinions, is the heart of science. Remove that, and the residue is an icky anti-science, bigoted, hapless, and ultimately discredited. The problem is not opinion or advocacy. We expect politicians to contend with each other over ideas, and our nation long received its news from the overtly partisan papers. Science once used to have something called “schools of thought,” in which different theories of what empirical evidence suggested could be respectfully considered. What offends and alienates America is the left’s indignant protestations to the effect that its myriad organs are not biased, not to mention the consignment of all not among the cadres of leftism to ignorance or stupidity, leaving them unworthy of anything beyond smug mockery. More and more Americans who may not necessarily agree with every conservative position see that the only ones who are genuine, truthful, and thoughtful are those who have liberated themselves from the dungeon of leftism. Having lost the confidence of America, the corrupted institutions of our society cannot recover that trust without first acknowledging their grievous sins against honorable discourse, and there is no evidence that this confession will ever happen. The naked left, with all its complicit inter-related parts, is less an object of fear these days than the object of derision or of pity since no one with any intellect believes anything the left says anymore!
(“The Naked Left” by Bruce Walker dated July 3, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/the_naked_left.html )
America is in the throes of a Presidential campaign that presents real hope for the future of America (Romney) versus the same-old, same-old (Obama), and while it appears right now that Obama and his socialist policies will lose in November, America will still be faced with many problems that have crept into society in the past fifty years. While America has many liberal-caused problems, here are just three of them: welfare, race relations, and education.
· Welfare: In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared “war on poverty” which has spent $16 trillion on welfare. Welfare includes, among other programs, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), the former food stamp program, and unemployment insurance. America now spends 15% of its Gross Domestic Product on welfare. Since Obama took office, federal welfare spending has increased by 41%, but despite increased spending, the poverty rate that remains at nearly 15%, roughly where it was in 1965, when President Johnson declared his War on Poverty. In fact, the poverty rate has never fallen below 10.5%. The current programs are focused on making welfare recipients more comfortable, providing more food, better shelter, and health care for poor people, rather than proving the tools that will help poor people escape poverty.
· Race Relations: Too many blacks have succumbed to the idea of “blaming” somebody and/or something for their problems. For most blacks, their favorite target for blame is “whitey,” and their favorite word has become “racism.” Black cultural integrity can be good, but not when the culture is manufactured in the name of a blame-game. The fact is blacks commit a disproportionate number of crimes. The fact is that blacks are going to have to save themselves. Out-of-wedlock births are not the fault of whites. High dropout rates among blacks are not the fault of whites. The solution is not to cry “racism” and blame everything on whites, and blacks won’t find a solution to their problems by appealing to the government. It was Obama who said he would heal America’s racial divide, but instead he continues to exacerbate it.
· Education: People who attended public school in the 1960s and early 1970s experienced an educational system far different from that of today. Today’s teachers have no authority. Many public schools have become a training center for a quite liberal social agenda. As a result, confidence in public schools has fallen to a new low of 29%. Public schools have turned away from sound teaching and toward social training grounds, as they replaced teaching sound moral values with decadence and promiscuity, as they rewrote American history and replaced it with secular lies. The results are even more depressing. Education achievement in the U.S. has fallen to the middle of the pack among developed nations, which ranked the knowledge of 15-year-olds in 70 countries. The U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in mathematics. More parents are opting to put their kids in private schools, where they can be taught the basics, but also can be taught morals and values they wouldn’t learn in public schools.
It is questionable whether liberals will ever wake up and face the facts that their ideas and policies don’t work. The fact that these policies have never worked should have woken them up by now. Liberals will never face the facts on what their policies have wrought, so their only response is that America has not spent enough money and their failed approach has finally got to stop if this country is to survive.
(“Will American Liberals Ever Wake Up?” by W.A. Beatty dated June 30, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/06/will_american_liberals_ever_wake_up.html )
Chief Justice John Roberts blatantly ignored the Constitution and the law and purposefully rewrote ObamaCare in order to rule it legal, which violated fundamental principles of judicial review. He called ObamaCare a “tax” instead of an individual mandate; he then proceeded to blithely expand the government’s power to tax to encompass a tax on breathing, which is what ObamaCare is. The ObamaCare decision represented the greatest single judicial limitation on American liberty since Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), in which the Supreme Court ruled that under the Constitution, blacks were not human beings. Dred Scott is the judicial benchmark for evil decisions, and far surpasses the ObamaCare decision in its legal flaws and moral emptiness. There are many other evil and disgusting Supreme Court decisions that threatened American liberty: Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), allowing states to segregate by race; Buck v. Bell (1927), allowing states to forcibly sterilize the mentally retarded; Korematsu v. United States (1944), allowing the federal government to order Japanese Americans into internment camps based on the need to prevent espionage. All of these decisions were wrong, both legally and morally. The ObamaCare decision surpasses all but Dred Scott in its violation of profound foundational American principles. Essentially, the ObamaCare decision said that the federal government can force you to do anything. They don’t have to tax behavior because they can now tax non-behavior. The ObamaCare decision destroys the basic concept of American liberty: freedom to live as you choose without interference by the federal government, so long as you don’t affect the lives of others. Now the government can penalize you in the privacy of your own home for failing to do as they say. Like other nasty Supreme Court decisions of the past, this one was made based not on the Constitution, but on the political predilections of the judges. All of the mistakes of the Supreme Court were overturned by the will of the American people. Dred Scott was overturned by the Civil War; Plessy was overturned not truly by Brown v. Board, but by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The people themselves will overturn ObamaCare, but the damage done to the Supreme Court cannot be undone.
(“The Worst Ruling Since Dred Scott” by Ben Shapiro dated July 4, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2012/07/04/the_worst_ruling_since_dred_scott )
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) neither protects patients, nor does it lead to affordable care because it does not address the two fundamental problems that drive up the cost of health care: the lack of true competition in the health insurance industry and the isolation of physicians and patients from the true costs of health care. The recently passed ObamaCare takes the control of health care decisions out of the hands of patients and places it into a dramatically expanded federal bureaucracy. This top-down, centralized control of health care has everything to do with power, but nothing to do with health care. Rather than addressing these problems, ObamaCare aggravates them by limiting choices of insurance, increasing regulation, and centralizing decision making. It is the wrong prescription for health care reform in America. A majority of Americans, particularly physicians, recognize this and thus oppose the new health care law and support its repeal. Docs 4 Patient Care is an organization of physicians dedicated to the preservation of the doctor-patient relationship. The physicians at Docs 4 Patient Care present a prescription for health care reform that addresses the root causes of the problems that have developed in our health care system over the last 50 years. They have analyzed the problems and have prescribed eight recommendations to serve as a framework on which responsible legislation can be constructed:
· Increase competition by allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines – Establish a national competitive health insurance market listing the coverage provided and the associated cost. Individuals and families can and should choose the specific coverage they need, rather than be compelled to purchase coverage that they do not find desirable or necessary. They should be able to obtain insurance coverage from any provider in any state. Market forces would eliminate providers who provide poor service, just as it does in other sectors of the economy.
· Equalize the tax treatment of money spent for health insurance by employers and individuals – Restructure health insurance to be privately owned, making health insurance portable and more affordable. Ensure tax treatment of health insurance premiums is identical between businesses and individyuals.
· Encourage the Health Savings Account qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HSA qualified HDHP) model as the basic structural health insurance model across the entire spectrum of health insurance options by broadening allowable use – Broaden the use of HSA qualified HDHP’s as the preferred choice of health plan. Empower the customer (the patient) with the decision-making control and responsibility for basic health care costs, since the patient is a better and wiser consumer of health care, will control costs, and will ultimately lead to improved quality of care through increased competition.
· Promote transparency in medical costs – Make the cost of health care services readily available to patients prior to the time of service, including doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and outpatient facilities. These costs should be readily available to health care consumers on the internet, and in providers’ facilities.
· Encourage medical liability reform – Ensure medical liability reform is as a prominent component or medical liability reform. The solution to this problem must respect each state’s right to address this problem at the state level. However, given that the liability crisis increases the cost of medical care, we recommend that the federal government incentivize states to have meaningful tort reform in place by increasing federal health care-related subsidies to the states that have meaningful reform enacted.
· Transform Medicare into a defined contribution program – The United States must honor its commitment to provide health care coverage to its seniors. Create a new Medicare program for future retirees in which the federal government provides a payment to assist individuals to purchase and maintain health insurance. Adjust payments to individuals by income level, inflation and other appropriate factors. Require participating health insurance providers to provide insurance to all comers, thus assuring that all patients will be covered. Empower patients to choose the health coverage that best suits their needs, rather than being provided with a one-size- fits-all program. Until Medicare as we know it is phased out and the transition to private health insurance is accomplished, physician compensation under Medicare part B will continue to be problematic. Recommend that the SGR be abandoned and recommend that Medicare standardize Medicare reimbursements to physicians, eliminate geographical variations in reimbursements, and allow physicians to bill Medicare patients for the balance of the cost of care not covered by Medicare.
· Restructure Medicaid to assist low-income families to purchase health insurance – Eliminate Medicaid as it now exists. Remove the federal share of Medicaid payments to the states, and to replace it with allotments to the states determined by the state’s per capita low-income population. Subsidize low-income citizens based on their income to allow them to purchase private health insurance, and individuals should be strongly incentivized to purchase HSA/HDHPs.
· Encourage pooling –States must set up high-risk pools that allow individuals with pre-existing conditions to obtain health insurance with state assistance. All participation in these groups across state lines. Protections for those with preexisting conditions who maintain continuous coverage should be extended in order to reward responsible behavior and minimize the number of patients requiring high-risk pools in the future.
These reforms relieve the federal government of its role as a health insurance provider, prevent the intrusion of the government in the health care free market, and place patients in control of their own health care decisions. Group purchasing arrangements based on membership in organizations such as professional and small business associations and religious groups should be promoted. We believe in the capacity of our patients to make the right decisions, and we support the rights of our patients to make their own health care decisions and that is why we oppose ObamaCare and support its repeal.
(“The Physicians’ Prescription for Health Care Reform” dated July 1, 2012 published by Docs4 Patient Care at http://docs4patientcare.org/prescription )
David Coughlin is a political pundit, editor of the policy action planning web site “Return to Common Sense,” and an active member of the White Plains Tea Party. He retired from IBM after a short career in the U.S. Army. He currently resides with his wife of 40 years in Hawthorne, NY. He was educated at West Point (Bachelor of Science, 1971) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Masters, Administrative Science, 1976).