Views on the News – 7/28/2012
By: David Coughlin
Like rats leaving a sinking ship, Democrats are abandoning Barack Obama in this election in droves for varied reasons but his presence has become toxic in their reelection campaigns. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi instructed Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to not attend this September’s Democratic National Convention. Instead, Pelosi insisted, their time would be better spent campaigning at home, rather than partying in Charlotte. The AFL-CIO announced that it won’t be spending money to bankroll the convention. Pelosi and her Big Labor friends are in lockstep with Democrat U.S. Senators Jon Tester of Montana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, all of whom have chosen to avoid Barack Obama’s nomination for a second term. After three and a half years of Barack Obama radicalizing their party, it now appears that some very powerful Democrats have had a startling realization: the Obama agenda is both dysfunctional and destructive, and has become politically lethal. Americans see that it bears little resemblance to America’s time-honored history and heritage, and they have begun to reject it outright. Democrat candidates at all levels of government will go about campaigning over these next few months, making promises based upon their party platform without mentioning President Obama’s name. Democrat candidates should be asked the following questions:
· Does this administration know how jobs are created? What are the concrete plans to help the creation of new jobs?
· If President Obama is committed to an ‘all of the above’ strategy, why did he reject the Keystone XL pipeline project that would have produced employment opportunities from the Canadian border all the way to Texas?” Does the Democrat “all of the above” energy policy really mean “anything except Big Oil?”
· How do you feel about CBS News reporting that the Obama Administration has lost $6.5 billion of our money already on what they described as ‘risky green energy ventures?’ Is it purely coincidental that the executives of the ‘green energy’ companies that were recipients of President Obama’s grants and loans were also donors to his previous presidential campaign?
· Why does the ‘healthcare reform law’ expand the force and power of the I.R.S.?
· Why are illegal aliens exempt from the ObamaCare tax? Why is the Obama Administration ‘collaborating’ with the government of Mexico to give American food stamps to illegal aliens?
· Why has President Obama abandoned the work requirements imposed on welfare recipients by President Bill Clinton? Why is 80% of the Department of Agriculture’s budget spent on food stamps, while less than 20% of it is devoted to the farming industry?
· Do you support fighting for “civil rights” on behalf of LGBT couples, which is to say that they’re working for legal sanctioning of same-sex marriage? Does this include expanding parental rights to more than two parents per child? Would you limit the structuring of marriages and families to only two adults?
Your local Democrat will probably not want to hear these questions, and may have to admit that they disagree with parts of the President’s agenda. You might even hear your local Democrat say that they’re abandoning the President’s agenda for America altogether, just like so many of them have abandoned the President’s convention in September.
(“Questions To Ask Democrats As They Abandon Barack” by Austin Hill dated July 23, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/48247 )
Four years ago, Presidential candidate Barack Obama took Berlin by storm with a soaring speech to some 200,000 adoring fans, but now that he has a record in office, Obama knows his record does not excite the crowds anymore so he knows not to embarrass himself on the international stage. In 2008, having next to nothing in the way of bona fides on foreign policy, given his scant experience in the United States Senate, Obama needed to score a lot of love on his world tour in an uphill battle to fill that void. He was adored, not for any accomplishment on his part, but rather by simply being him. The crowds cheered and it all was positively glorious. Fast-forward to 2012, and we see the fading rock star reluctant and refusing to take the world stage, even while his competition takes an important lap around other nations. While presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney prepares to step onto that stage with his upcoming trip to the United Kingdom, Poland and Israel, giving us all an opportunity to evaluate how he does in that arena and see how he measures up as a potential leader of the free world, President Obama stays put. His campaign understands that it is impossible to replicate or even approximate the 2008 Berlin love-fest, now that Obama has a record in office and that it has proven itself considerably less than stellar. Romney will stand with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to illustrate that as President, he will ensure the United States stands with our valuable ally. This is in stark contrast to Obama, who has not visited Israel and now claims he has no plans to until or unless he has a second term as President. His commitment to Israel (or lack thereof) in contrast to Mitt Romney is weak. Obama’s seemingly lackadaisical attitude toward Iran’s buildup of nuclear weapons (which the Iranians deny) appears too trusting and naïve, a rather dangerous thing for a President to be. Romney’s visit overseas places the spotlight and focus on foreign policy and on Obama’s stewardship. Since Obama’s foreign-policy strategy depends on staying on the bench as the way to avoid making mistakes, it’s time to retire his jersey.
(“Fading rock star Obama” by Cheri Jacobus dated July 25, 2012 published by The Hill at http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/cheri-jacobus/239853-fading-rock-star-obama )
The so-called “mainstream media” has been revealed as a compliant tool of the state controlled spin machine, and in fact, most members of the print media establishment with access to the White House submit their copy to government officials for review, “correction” and approval before it reaches the American people! They send their draft stories e-mail to the Obama headquarters in Chicago for review. Politicians and their advisers are routinely demanding that reporters allow them final editing power over any published quotations. Quote approval is standard practice for the Obama campaign, used by many top strategists and almost all mid-level aides in Chicago and at the White House. Many journalists spoke about the editing only if granted anonymity because they feared loss of access, an irony that did not escape them. From Capitol Hill to the Treasury Department, interviews granted only with quote approval have become the default position. It was difficult to find a news outlet that had not agreed to quote approval, albeit reluctantly. Organizations like Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Reuters and The New York Times have all consented to interviews under such terms. When Americans read these reports, whether in newspapers, wire services or on the Internet, they are not really reading news stories at all. They are reading approved, pre-packaged press releases from the government and politicians, but, even worse, they are not labeled as such. They are labeled as actual news. That’s how low the national press establishment has descended. This sort of willing capitulation to government censorship is a new phenomenon. These so-called journalists are selling their ethical and moral souls for access to politicians, and this practice raises expectations by politicians that they can routinely manipulate the press to their advantage. It seems the biggest threat to the American tradition of a free and independent press is not government coercion, but instead it is the willing submission of the press to being handled and managed by government and politicians.
(“Proof! Establishment Media Controlled” by Joseph Farah dated July 15, 2012 published by World Net Daily at http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/proof-establishment-media-controlled/ )
The highly successful Obama Presidential campaign of 2008 contained a number of lessons for the 2012 Presidential candidates, Mitt Romney, and he is off to a strong start. His campaign headquarters is located far outside Washington, D.C. His campaign has developed a state-by-state electoral strategy with multiple avenues to victory. He has already made it clear that it will reject public financing and its attendant spending limits. So far, the Romney campaign is running a strong ground game, especially in the battleground states. The bad news is that there are three major areas in which the campaign urgently needs to sharpen its focus, and these areas are absolutely critical to success:
· Define your “big idea” - What is the overarching theme of your campaign? What is the first thing you want people to think and say about you? What do you stand for? It is not enough that you are not Barack Obama. What will you do differently from a second-term Barack Obama? You say you know how to create jobs and grow the economy, how will you do this? What are you promising them?
· Sell your benefits, not your features – Why should voters vote for you? Electoral success is not about services rendered or experiences accumulated. What benefits will voters expect to see that matters to them? What do you intend to do to address voter’s concerns? What will be different if we elect you?
· Go all in – What makes you different from Barack Obama? You will not win this election by being the lesser of two evils; you actually have to attract voters to win. How can you demonstrate your boldness, directness, and honesty that voters demand? How can you portray, preferably in his own words, Obama’s arrogance, his empty rhetoric, and his broken promises? How can you overcome the partisan national media and the political class? Your electorate is the American people, not the media.
In sum, Romney must develop a simple big idea that expresses the core of his campaign; develop a clear and easily understandable set of initiatives that flow from this idea; show how these initiatives will benefit ordinary Americans of all walks of life; and intensify your campaign’s focus on Barack Obama’s record of failure, because the future of our nation depends on it.
(“Rules for Romney – How to Win” by Jeff Bergner and Lisa Spiller dated July 30, 2012 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/rules-romney_648831.html )
The best way to fix the economy is to stop trying to “fix it,” and the most effective way to regain our edge is to change the way we think about the economy. This means returning to “first principles.” As an economic matter, families, individuals, and entrepreneurs must be free to decide what to produce, what to consume, what to buy and sell, and how to help others. On a macro level, what the nation needs most is predictable government, the rule of law, incentives that derive from the free-market system rather than activist government. In other words, we need to get back to basics. Here are five ways Washington can stop “fixing” and start helping:
· Austerity now! – Like the United States, Estonia experienced a brutal recession in 2008, as its economy shrank nearly 20%, but rather than devaluing its currency or pumping money into inefficient government institutions, the small nation went the other direction: instituting genuine austerity. Comparable success stories exist over the past decades in Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. By constraining government growth, the United States could also reduce the burden of government on its ailing economy and allow hundreds of billions of dollars to be reallocated from wasteful enterprises to productive industry.
· Simplify the tax code – Simplification of the tax code would not only unlock dormant economic potential, but it would blunt the preferred weapon of social engineers, who reward favored industries, punish success and distort economic incentives. The Simpson – Bowles Commission proposed a plan that would eliminate most deductions, exclusions and credit in the tax code, and reduce tax rates and put them into three brackets.
· Cheap energy – The government has only so much power to affect the cost of energy, and the Obama administration has done nearly all it can to make it more expensive. With less government interference, experts estimate that oil and gas industry would create hundreds of thousands of jobs by even modestly expanding on the domestic resources. Let energy be, and let the economy grow.
· No more easy money – The Federal Reserve is trying to help the economy, by devaluing the dollar. We have not seen much inflation yet. But make no mistake: what these experts are advocating with an array of euphemisms is a devaluing of your home, your bank account and your retirement fund. Quantitative easing (expanding the money supply by increasing the quantity of reserves in the banking system) has done little to help. Saying no more will allow the economy to move forward on its own.
· Repeal ObamaCare, then reform health care – Health care in America still provides one of the most efficient and highest quality systems in the world, but it’s expensive, and it’s only getting worse. Republicans need a comprehensive free-market plan that will create more competition, more choices and lower costs. Certainty in health care will go a long way in allowing the economy to move forward.
This short list of key initiatives to rein in our over-reaching federal government will remove uncertainty and unleash our dormant economy to be prosperous again!
(“5 Ways to Get America Working Again” by David Harsanyi dated July 23, 2012 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/2012/07/23/david-harsanyi-5-ways-to-get-america-working-again/ )
The so-called 2009 “stimulus” will go down in history as not stimulating anything except government spending, deficits, and debt. The Obama American Jobs Act was just a brain-dead half-brother of the original nearly $1 trillion Obama “stimulus.” After the first nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” didn’t work, Obama’s innovative idea was to do basically the same thing, but only half as large at about $500 billion. Part of this Stimulus II bill would go again to finance the building of so-called infrastructure. Real economists have also tried to explain to the Keynesian PR flacks that infrastructure building projects are not well suited to counter economic downturns because they suffer such long lead times to get up and running. With our nation facing a historic fiscal crisis, asking us to commit to hundreds of billions in further infrastructure spending is a reckless abuse of authority we should have come to expect from Democrats. Another part of Obama’s “son of stimulus” proposal amounts to a bailout of the most liberal, spendthrift state governments by taxpayers in more conservative states nationwide. Until Obamanomics, where teachers, firefighters, and police officers serve as props for a federal taxpayer bailout of spendthrift states like California and Illinois. A final component of Obama’s Jobs Plan is to extend his 2% cut in the Social Security payroll tax for another year, but such temporary tax reductions do not stimulate jobs and economic growth, as permanent cuts and incentives are necessary for permanent jobs and growth. That was proved yet again last year when this same tax cut was already in force for a year, and failed to do anything noticeable to produce economic recovery and jobs. Even though Obama tries to brag that he has cut taxes for small businesses 18 times, none of it has worked. All but four have either expired or will soon expire, aren’t cuts at all, or are double counted, and the rest are pretty much worthless. Obama’s entire approach to tax cuts, and why none of them has made a noticeable difference is because they are either too narrowly targeted or too complicated, require businesses to jump through hoops to qualify, or are too temporary to have any long-term incentive effect. Economic recovery and growth are not based on increased government spending, deficits and debt, a fallacy that has been labeled “tooth fairy” economics. That is because the money for such spending needs to come from somewhere, and so drains the private sector to the extent of such increased government spending, leaving no net effect at best. The President proposes to increase federal tax rates to finance increased federal spending, which is the worst combination of economic policies possible to promote economic recovery and growth. Even under Keynesian economics, increasing tax rates and reducing spending and the deficit reduces demand, and so means continued stagnation and depression. The voters are not buying the snake oil that Obama is selling because they don’t believe that increased government spending, deficits, and debt promote economic recovery, growth, and prosperity, and Republicans are to be commended for sticking by their campaign promises, and refusing to go along with more Obamanomics stupidity.
(“Failing Downward” by Peter Ferrara dated July 25, 2012 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2012/07/25/failing-downward )
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).