Views on the News – 9/15/2012
By: David Coughlin
Now that both conventions are over, the dimensions of the likely Romney triumph are becoming clear as Obama can’t hide from his record. Both through an analysis of the polling and an examination of the rhetoric, the parameters of the victory are emerging. Start with the polling. It appears that the bulk of the Obama post-convention bounce has been in blue states where his left-oriented convention stirred up the enthusiasm of an already committed group of voters. All pollsters are using 2008 models of voter turnout. The lack of enthusiasm among Obama’s base for his candidacy and their doubts about the economy make this turnout less likely. This election enthusiasm measures suggest that Republican and GOP-leaning independents are 13 points more enthusiastic and following the race more closely than their Democratic counterparts, which should yield a stronger Romney vote. The state of the partisan dialogue shows that only 33% of the voters believe that they are better off than they were four years ago, while close to half do not see the world that way. Gallup measured these two options and voters chose “leave me alone” over “lend me a hand” by 54% to 35%. Over the long haul, these are the questions that will dominate voting intentions. Since both parties are willing to trust its fate to the question of “Are you better off?” means that the Romney message will have a very strong advantage and will probably mark Obama’s demise in this election.
(“Why Mitt Will Win” by Dick Morris dated September 13, 2012 published by The Hill at http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/dick-morris/248843-why-mitt-will-win )
Barack Obama is very dangerous, the apotheosis of an insidious strain of authoritarianism that destroys freedom from within, and unless stopped he may destroy this country for all future generations. Obama’s Chicago contingent hit upon the ultimate quick-acting fraud – capture the White House by electing an illusion. They conjured up an imaginary Obama invested with virtues never before or since found in the original. The make-believe Obama then starred in an electoral fairy tale scripted by the media and proclaimed a hit by bewitched voters. Thus did it come to pass in the year 2008 that Americans were duped into electing a President quite different from the illusion for which they voted. The real Obama is a steely-eyed autocrat, dedicated to expanding power at the expense of our liberty, still a bit of a Marxist, alternately hostile to or agnostic about capitalism, and intent on transforming America into a government-controlled society composed of obedient automatons. Centuries of American law and civilization will be turned upside down. The sacred will be defiled, the repugnant exalted, the Constitution inverted. Instead of protecting us, it will be used to exploit and enslave us. Our rights to speech, religion, property and privacy will be transformed. They’ll become Obama’s rights to take our property, tell us what to say, how and whether we may exercise our religion, what medical care we may receive and how long we are permitted to live. The Democrat Party spent decades forcing government’s tentacles deep into every nook and cranny of our existence, and all Obama needs to do now is wind the coils tighter. Obama is already bombarding America with deadly deficits, exploding debts and debilitating regulations. The economy is badly wounded. Millions of jobs have been obliterated. There is “Obama money” and make-work for those who collaborate – but hard times for everyone else. That’s the way Obama’s “protection racket” works. He has cruelly targeted the old and sick, threatening them with the emotional and medical horrors of ObamaCare. He has stolen the future from the young who already face a lifetime of high unemployment, high taxes and slow growth, and they will stare in horror, if Obama is re-elected, he will trample underfoot the last vestiges of the American Dream.
(“Obama Is An Autocrat, Not a Democrat” by Ernest S. Christian dated September 11, 2012 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-perspective/091112-625403-obama-is-autocrat-not-democrat.htm )
A recent The Hill poll, 54% of likely voters believe President Obama does not deserve another term based on his economic record. With rising gas prices once again punishing working Americans and with fear in the air over unemployment, there is a very good chance that Obama will join Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush as a one-term President. If Obama goes down, so does the liberal movement in America, which has made great strides over the past three and a half years. Consider his Presidential legacy:
· You are racist if you oppose Obama’s liberal political viewpoint;
· The national debt has increased more than $5 trillion in less than four years;
· Successful Americans and prosperous small-business owners are accused of not paying their “fair share” in taxes;
· Nearly half of American households are now receiving government benefits, but if you want to control entitlements, you are anti-poor;
· Almost 50 million folks are receiving food stamps, and a record amount of workers are filing for disability payments;
· Anyone who opposes abortion can be categorized as biased against women;
· Sandra Fluke wants you to pay for female birth control, and also want you to pay for “transgender medical needs;” and
· “Medical marijuana” is openly sold in many cities to people with no maladies whatsoever.
This is liberal nirvana: a big-spending central government dispensing “social justice” and calling many shots in the free marketplace. The economy is moribund, with banks refusing to lend capital for expansion because they fear business failure. Our currency is tottering because the USA has to borrow billions of dollars every day in order to service debt. I believe most Americans are uneasy with the liberal direction even if they are not fully convinced it is at stage three. The USA is on the verge of becoming a combination of Greece and Sweden, where almost anything goes and fiscal responsibility is a joke. If the President wins reelection, this country will continue to undergo a radical social and economic upheaval, but if Obama loses, the liberal movement in America will be dealt a crushing blow.
(“Left Behind” by Bill O’Reilly dated September 8, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/billoreilly/2012/09/08/left_behind )
Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me so now we know that Obama cannot be trusted, continuing to trust him is not just naiveté, but delusional. Consider Obama’s usual snake oil that was on display in his convention acceptance speech. No single speech was more filled with demagoguery, division, and deception than the concoction of lies uttered by President Obama. It was truly a masterful act of deception. His 2012 acceptance speech was full of the last three years of math trickery and unfulfilled promises. It is instructive to go back to Obama’s equally vaporous and vacuous promises during his 2008 acceptance speech because he repeated many of them. The financial crisis that occurred in 2008 was the oft-predicted failure of Congress’s housing policies going back to FDR’s era when Fannie Mae and later Freddie Mac were created with the promise that everyone could own a home, but not then, nor now was that ever possible except for the pressures on banks to make bad loans they knew could not be paid. They then sold them to the two government-sponsored agencies who, at the time of the collapse, owned 50% of all home mortgages! The federal government was forced to seize control of both and to pump more money into both. In 2008 he said, “Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working for less.” During the last four years, unemployment has climbed to historic heights with an estimated 23 million Americans worse off than they were when he took office. Obama’s “path” has been 43 months of unemployment at over 8%, but for blacks, Hispanics and the nation’s youth, it is far higher. The 2008 acceptance speech was replete with goals such as achieving in ten years an end to our dependence on oil from the Middle East. That was perhaps the most deceitful promise in the light of the way his administration arbitrarily shut down drilling in the Gulf a Mexico after the BP accident and has thwarted all oil exploration and drilling on federally owned lands and offshore where our nation’s coasts hold billion of barrels of untapped oil and billions of cubic feet of natural gas. Instead, the Obama administration pursued “investments” in the least productive sources of electricity, solar and wind, squandering billions as one solar company after another went bankrupt leaving the taxpayers to pick up the tab. The Obama administration has openly waged a war on coal mining and coal-fired power generation. To promise that cars will go twice as far on a single gallon of gas is to defy the laws of physics. For all his talk about jobs, this President thwarted the building of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have created an estimated 20,000 jobs and who admitted that there were far fewer “shovel ready” jobs than he thought. In the process, billions in so-called stimulus money were wasted. Meanwhile Obama choose to “lead from behind” in Libya to affect the overthrow of Gaddafi. As for the end of the war in Iraq, the withdrawal of troops had been negotiated by the Bush administration before Obama took office. With the exception of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the Taliban are still active in Afghanistan and will reclaim that nation when NATO forces leave. Obama’s approach to Iran has been an embarrassment and a threat to Israel, the Middle East and the West because he has shown no resolve beyond useless UN “sanctions.” To suggest that taxing a few millionaires will cure the budget deficit is a lie as America borrows more and pays more interest on an hourly basis while the national debt has reached $16 trillion; more than the value of all the goods and services this nation created and provided this year. The U.S. is broke and living off its credit card. In one issue after another, in 2008 Obama skated by them with the oily rhetoric of a snake oil salesman and in 2012 he did the same, essentially offering the same failed policies, often using the same words. He promised a lot of change, along with a lot of hope. The only hope left for most Americans is that the November 6th elections will remove him from office and ensure that both the Senate and House empower Congress to begin the work of real recovery from his failed policies, programs, and promises. He fooled a lot of voters in 2008, aided in no small degree by a worshipful mainstream media, but in 2012, Americans must not be fooled again!
(“No, Don’t Fool America Twice” by Alan Caruba dated September 7, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/49351 )
Back in 2008, during the peak illusory powers of Barack Obama as the post-partisan hopester-and-changer, the media consistently failed to report that the statist beliefs of the Democratic presidential nominee came straight from the socialist playbook. At the same time, though, there was, and is, a feeling that such labeling is taboo. Even after an October surprise of a question from “Joe the Plumber” prompted Candidate Obama to reveal his inner redistributionist, the S-word was verboten. The state is more involved in our economy and lives than ever before, and not just because of ObamaCare, which is a handy moniker for socialized medicine. To be fair, the socialist direction is in no way a new direction for our country, which has, with only occasional pauses, been moving that way since the days of Franklin Roosevelt and his revolutionary socialist program, the New Deal. Even under Ronald Reagan, the federal government grew 3%. Obama’s immediate predecessor, George W. Bush, is aptly described as a “corporate socialist Republican.” Bush’s saving grace for conservatives may be his signature tax cuts, but his political epitaph remains his socialistically twisted rationale for his “stimulus” plan known as TARP. Truth be told, for 80 years the debate in Washington between Democrats and Republicans has turned on how much government should run our lives, not whether government should run our lives in the first place. Lately, that seems to be changing. Democrats believe: “The government is the only thing we all belong to.” Republicans believe: “We don’t belong to the government, the government belongs to us.” For two campaigns that try to avoid the terminology of ideology and philosophy, it doesn’t get any clearer, any more “polarizing,” than this. It divides the two political camps according to their distinguishing ideals: the idealization of state power (Democrats) vs. the idealization of individual rights (Republicans). For Democrats in the 21st century, the answer to everything is the state. The contrast to the Republican message couldn’t be starker. In his “empty chair” monologue, Clint Eastwood put it this way: “We own this country. We own it. Politicians are employees of ours.” Soon, Americans will choose the country’s political fate, which, particularly this time around, is also our own role in the future: subjects or citizens, and the choice couldn’t be clearer.
(“A Vote for Romney is a Vote Against Socialism” by Diana West dated September 7, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/dianawest/2012/09/07/a_vote_for_romney_is_a_vote_against_socialism)
There is a new Chicago school of economic and social policy Choom Gang Economic Theory (“CGET” pronounced “See-Get Economics“) that has a heavy reliance on entitlements, a notable lack of emphasis on work, and that rewards stoners. CGET’s apparent goal is to extend adolescence indefinitely, and then mire it in vice. It completes the link between Summer of Love irresponsibility and modern liberal economic theory. Consider the following Obama/Democrat Party initiatives and achievements:
· Ninety-nine weeks of unemployment insurance now provide a cushion, not a safety net.
· A waiver of the work requirements for both cash welfare and food stamps, which waiver further removes the incentive to work.
· Forty-six point seven million Americans are now on food stamps.
· ObamaCare’s slacker mandate requires that parent insurance policies cover health care for extended adolescents up to 26 years of age.
· With the need to work eliminated, food provided, and insurance covered, one certainly can’t be expected to pay birth control.
· There is a growing Democrat movement to legalize marijuana across the land.
CGET has made waste its signature characteristic — waste of both economic resources and human dignity. Consider that our unemployment surged after the February 2009 Obama stimulus, then returned to its very same February 2009 levels — in other words, the non-stimulus was an $800-billion waste. Likewise, after the President dove into the offshore energy business, 19,000 jobs were eliminated and $1.9 billion of economic damage inflicted. As well, his involvement in the renewable energy sector was a spectacular bust, resulting in a waste of $90 billion. CGET is led by President and former pot smoker Barack Obama, a former economist-turned-pop editorialist, and a bevy of opinionated but unqualified Democrat party leaders and sixties retreads. Key tenets of CGET include the abandonment of fortitude, temperance, and hard work. CGET inspires neither industry nor virtue, and it vastly underestimates the potential of young Americans. The Obama-produced “Life of Julia” is depressing. Julia grew up an angry feminist on the dole, but they had hoped for so much more. Since CGET has taken hold, we see strong evidence of sloth, substance abuse, and immodesty — in short, unhappiness. The teen unemployment rate now tops 20%, median weeks unemployed are higher than under any other President, teen alcohol and drug use are at epidemic levels, 41% of nationwide births are to unmarried women, and teen sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise. Obviously, loving and caring parents would never present their adolescents with this litany of temptation — no need to work, food’s on me, insurance and contraception covered, oh and maybe some legal weed — yet the President and his allies are pushing just such an agenda. CGET is dumb, and the fact that this President embraces it confirms recent findings that teen pot use contributes to the breakdown of intelligence later in life, and CGET further lowers the bar.
(“See-Get: Choom Gang Economic Theory” dated September 7, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/09/see-get_choom_gang_economic_theory.html )
For the past three and a half years, we have had to endure the nonstop whining of Barack Obama and his surrogates telling us over and over that he inherited the financial mess that required him to add trillions of dollars to the national debt, to run trillion-dollar-plus deficits for each year that he’s been in office, but in reality he helped cause this financial crisis. Now he is telling us that he needs another four years and trillions more in money borrowed from China to complete the clean-up of the mess he inherited… and helped cause. The source of the financial crisis precedes Bush by a number of years, and like many landslides, it starts with a small pebble being dropped that starts the whole thing. In 2007-2008, the major financial institutions of Wall Street found themselves holding hundreds of billions of dollars in so-called derivatives – just what are derivatives? In the case of derivatives, the underlying asset is based on a bundle of mortgages that have been accumulated and collateralized as a unit. Each bundle is assumed to be sound in that there are houses backing up each one as a physical asset, as well as a calculable amount of interest income from each mortgage. During the period preceding the financial meltdown, the rate of growth in new home sales accelerated sharply. It all started with President Carter passing of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in 1977. The CRA was amended in 1989, and again in 1991, and 1992, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2005, 2007, and finally 2008. While much of the CRA is concerned with technical matters, the key component that impacts the housing bubble of 2003-2007 was the relaxation of lending standards that were in turn the result of accusations of “red-lining” certain neighborhoods, a practice deemed to be de facto racial discrimination. In 1995, Barack Obama was the lead attorney in an anti-discrimination lawsuit filed against Citibank for alleged “red-lining” practices which the plaintiffs claimed denied equal access to mortgage loans for African-Americans. Claims of racial discrimination were frequently aimed at banks in the mid-1990s by community activists who, through judicial actions or by producing demonstrations by irate citizens, embarrassed banks into lowering their lending requirements to the point where, in common parlance, banks began issuing “sub-prime” mortgages. In an effort to both protect the financial integrity of local community banks and provide access to enormous amounts of cash for mortgages, Congress instructed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase such mortgages from the original lender, returning the original lender to his original state of liquidity. Fannie and Freddie then offered institutions such as Lehman Brothers and other major Wall Street firms a chance to “bundle” these mortgages and sell derivative securities, with their value basis predicated on such bundles. What everyone in this chain of perhaps well-intentioned decisions overlooked was the impact on housing prices when more and more money was made available to enter the market in search of fewer and fewer houses. The housing market began to overheat, and the price of both new and existing homes started to climb. The sub-prime market allowed people to borrow large sums for their mortgages with little money down, and that is a key factor in what followed. Borrowers were offered adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) that charged them far lower interest rates for the first few years of their mortgage, to ease their ability to secure the loan in the first place by lowering their monthly payment to be more in line with their actual income. As the rate on ARMs was pushed upward, the mortgage payments for many borrowers rose to a level that they could barely support. Making matters even worse, property taxes for states, counties, municipalities, school districts, and so on were all being adjusted upward to cash in on the (apparently) endless increases in home values that all that cheap mortgage money was causing. Those taxes were added to the already higher basic mortgage payments, and they made the homeowner stretch his or her paycheck even further to cover all these costs. In late 2006-early 2007, prices started to tumble. Homeowners began to find themselves “underwater,” owing more on their mortgages than they could generate from the sale of the property at prevailing market prices. Those who found themselves in this situation faced a binary choice: they could continue to pay the post-adjustment interest rate on their ARM as well as the inflated property taxes that climbed along with rising housing prices or, if they had little or no money invested in their down payment, they could simply walk away and let the bank repossess the property. Since the foreclosed properties often had market values below the mortgage value, the mortgage itself was not actually “worth” its face value. Therefore, the worth of all sub-prime mortgages became suspect, and the value of derivatives based on bundles of those mortgages became questionable. So whom can Obama blame? Some of the most destructive avalanches have begun with the a tiny pebble that unsettles the slope of a mountain, and Obama dropped such a pebble in 1995 when he sued Citibank in Chicago that precipitated the financial mess that he complains about, but actually he helped cause.
(“So Obama Inherited a Mess, Did He? From Whom?” by Jim Yardley dated September 9, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/09/so_obama_inherited_a_mess_did_he_from_whom.html )
September 11 is a broken moment in American history, with no closure for it – a loose end dangling in the sky having never accurately and consistently identified the real enemy. What the left never seems to understand is that war doesn’t have to be mutual. No matter what you do or what defeatist foreign policy you adopt, the enemy still gets a vote. The enemies of this country have voted with their bombs and bodies. The left resists calling it a “war,” describing the murder of 3,000 people as a criminal matter. We are at war with the unnamable and when you war with what cannot be named, then you are at war with yourself – your own fears and doubts, your own neighbors and co-workers, and above all else your own country. Every nameless war is a civil war and everyone fights in it without even knowing it. It is a war that can never end because it never really began. It officially does not exist and unofficially cannot be won. We know exactly what we dare not name and that is why we dare not name it for fear that naming it will give it life. “We will never be at war with Islam,” Obama insists, but who is this message really for? We assume that Muslims think like us and they assume that we think like them. We assume that they are not at war with us, because we are not at war with them. They assume that we are at war with them because they are at war with us. Each side projects its assumptions on the other and then reacts to what it would do in the other’s place. “We took the fight to al Qaeda, decimated their leadership, and put them on a path to defeat,” Obama boasted in his address. Al Qaeda is an alignment of Jihadist fighters that can spring up anywhere. Taking out its senior leadership, as the United States has been doing for a decade, is useful, but there is no defeating Al Qaeda without addressing its Islamic goals and alliances. Al Qaeda is not a nation or an isolated movement. Speaking of defeating it is as ridiculous as if the Soviet Union had focused on defeating the Kiwanis or the Elks. Al Qaeda is what happens when enough fighters come together and begin calling themselves Al Qaeda. They could just as easily call themselves something else and do, and when they begin calling themselves something else, as they do in Libya or Nigeria, we begin pretending that they aren’t Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is not the only enemy; it is one of many groups that declared war on the United States and seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate ruling the entire world and will not stop until that vision is realized.
(“The Still Unnamed Enemy” by Daniel Greenfield dated September 11, 2012 published by Front Page Magazine at http://frontpagemag.com/2012/daniel-greenfield/the-still-unnamed-enemy/ )
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).