Views on the News – 2/2/2013
By: David Coughlin
On November 6, 2012, almost 66 million Americans, out of over 315 million people, a minority of eligible voters, traded the nation’s future for a chance to worship a false god for the illusion of forced fairness. In reelecting Barack Obama, with fewer votes than in 2008, voters traded harmony for the divisiveness of America’s most polarizing President. A little more than 20% of America has successfully forced upon the nation 4 more years of Barack the failure. Yet, in providing Obama with another term, during which he can continue to remake America in his own image, those 66 million voters convinced the President that he is omnipotent and whatever he wishes is not only wise, but inevitable. Barack Obama is the worst thing to ever happen to this nation, and most Americans support neither him nor his policies. His legions of lackeys, in true minion fashion, back him with all their heart, and since they have successfully controlled the message, they have intimidated the majority into believing they are the minority. Political parties by their very nature are about communication and messaging. A party’s political purpose is to seek like-minded individuals who agree with their point of view on the vagaries of the day’s political blessings and transgressions. The conservative/moderate message is reasonable and in fact, accepted by a plurality of Americans. Yet, Republicans are as horrible at communicating as the Barack-led Democrat/liberal coalition is at governing. No matter what Obama says, he is never questioned or challenged by the press, and with every interviewer deliberately fluffing Barack drifting farther away from reality as he moves further from the truth. It doesn’t matter what the press says, controlling the narrative is about aggression. Barack Obama must be opposed, vocally and vociferously on all fronts, confronted and ridiculed, just as he does to his opposition, just as Christie does. It doesn’t matter what the media says we will never win with them. The message to the “low-information morons” is that we have allowed Barack Obama to control the message for way too long, and it has to stop!
(“It’s the Message, Moron” by William L. Gensert dated January 25, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/01/its_the_message_morons.html )
As the mainstream media unabashedly cheered, Barack Obama was inaugurated for a second time as President of the United States vowing to continue the destruction of the nation’s economy. He and the American left, in alliance with the media, have it made clear that, in a second term, their primary agenda items are to permanently embed so-called “social justice” into the fabric of the nation and to destroy an enemy worse than radical Islam: the American conservative movement. They have already traveled a considerable distance in making life far worse for the average American as they follow in the failed footsteps of their ideological forefathers. As of the end of 2012, the United States has experienced the worst five-year period, which includes, as the final four years, Obama’s first full term, since 1928-1932 and the start of the Great Depression. The global financial crisis took place in the previous year, 2008, and based on the historical pattern of American economic recovery since the depression years, the United States should have been experiencing broad and significant economic and job growth by year three at the latest. However thanks to Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress, not since 1928 through 1932 have the American people been more significantly worse off at the end of a five-year period than they were at the beginning. The telling statistics:
· Since January 2008 the employment age population has increased by 11.7 million, yet there are 3.0 million fewer American employed in December 2012.
· At the end of 2007, the median household income declined by nearly 9%, while the cost of living rose 20% from December 2007 to September 2012.
· The average net worth of all American households from 2007 through the beginning of 2011 took a nose-drive, dropping by nearly 40%, a drop driven by a devastating collapse in the median value of their homes (a decline of 30%).
· As of December 2012, 47.7 million were accessing the food stamp program(an increase of 80%) at a cost in excess of $70 billion.
· By the end of 2012, 49.7 million were living in poverty and the rate increased by 16.1%.
· The nation’s growth in the GDP over the past five years has also been the most anemic since the depression years, a growth rate of 3% or an annual rate of a miniscule .6%.
· While the nation’s growth rate has been stagnant, spending by governments at all levels has jumped of 26.5% which is driven entirely by the federal government as it has increased its spending by nearly 41% over this period.
· The total national debt rising from $9.2 trillion at the beginning of January 2008 to $16.45 trillion as of today (a staggering 79% increase).
· Since December of 2007 there has been an increase of nearly 12% in new government jobs created, and the average total compensation for federal government employees increased nearly 9% to $126,200 by the beginning of 2011.
In spite of this devastating economic landscape, Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term. The media, in their love affair with Obama, deliberately opted to ignore the disastrous results of the first Obama term. It is now painfully obvious that the bulk of the American people cannot be reached by reason and historical facts. They must experience first-hand the worst of times before they wake up from their celebrity infatuation combined with the assumption that there will always be a bottomless pit of money to be siphoned from an equally bottomless pit of wealth by a government committed to take care of them. Barack Obama and the Democrats have signaled they intend to do nothing to alter the course the nation is on; in fact they intend to accelerate it. Without any firm and viable political opposition, wealth and job creation will further deteriorate with the second-term implementation of ObamaCare, higher taxes, ever increasing government expenditures, and the mushrooming debt, continued erosion of the value of the dollar and its potential demise as the world’s reserve currency, as well as a Niagara Falls of new regulations. The American people, including the Obama sycophants in the media, will be worse off in four years than they were at the end of 2012. A majority of the citizenry will increasingly experience the malaise and suffering of those who lived through the 1930′s, which was exacerbated by the pursuit of policies similar to those of Obama minus the mountain of debt, a factor that will make matters significantly worse. Obama and his fellow-travelers will accomplish what their ideological socialist/Marxist soul mates also achieved: the destruction of the nation’s economy as well as the standard of living for the people and they will do so with the tacit approval of the citizenry and the encouragement of the mainstream media.
(“The Worst Five Years” by Steve McCann dated January 25, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/01/the_worst_five_years.html )
The stock market and the economy have always maintained a tenuous link because equities are prone to periods of extreme fear and greed, pulling valuations around what the economic fundamentals suggest is “fair value.” It gets really bad near major turning points, such as the exuberance and the “subprime is contained” falsehoods of 2007 to the terror and “the bailouts won’t work” panic of 2009. We’re seeing another turnaround point right now as the major averages go vertical and gauges of investor sentiment reach levels not seen since the 2000 dot-com bubble; even as the economy, by some measures, shows signs of falling back into recession. The driver of the disparity is central bank intervention, with the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and Bank of England, and the Bank of Japan all flooding the financial system with cheap cash. Much of the impetus for the market rally of the past two months has been indications the Bank of Japan is about to throw conservatism to the wind and indulge in even more aggressive monetary stimulus. While hedge fund types love this, and a liquidity starved economy loved it in 2008 and 2009, there is just simply too much money floating around to make a difference now. The Fed’s balance sheet has swelled past $3 trillion, up from $800 billion before the financial crisis, $1.4 trillion of which is simply sitting at the Fed’s vaults as commercial banks have nothing to do with the money but hold it as deposits. Since the Fed launched QE3 and QE4 late last year, the economy has lost serious momentum. Now, with the inflation hawks worrying about the destabilizing effects of all that cheap money, the clock is ticking on the “don’t worry, the Fed will save us” meme that has driven this bull market, but when this cheap money ends, amid political rancor over gun control and the budget in the months to come, it won’t be pretty.
(“Which is right: Stocks or economy?” by Anthony Mirhaydari dated January 26, 2013 published by MSN Money at http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post.aspx?post=ac4c2771-0d57-4022-9cc3-79e8a1115521 )
The President will call for “comprehensive” immigration reform legislation, the very same approach that has failed to garner support in Congress time and time again, and is likely only to foster greater division. Immigration reform can move forward on many fronts at the same time, focusing on some commonsense initiatives that begin to address the practical challenges of our immigration system. Comprehensive legislation, likely to be written behind closed doors and loaded with measures for special interests, will make the problems it seeks to solve worse. America needs a comprehensive approach – not comprehensive legislation. Since the U.S. last passed such comprehensive legislation in 1986, the estimated illegal immigration population in the U.S. has quadrupled. Bills designed to solve everything, often loaded with payoffs for special interests and often introducing measures that contradict each other, frequently wind up creating as many and perhaps more problems than they intended to solve. By its founding principles, this nation embraces those who come to this country honestly, armed with their work ethic, in search of the promises and opportunities of the American Dream. Today, however, we lack a fair, orderly, and efficient immigration system. Immigrants come to America seeking a better life, and so we must restore for everyone an America of opportunity, upward mobility, prosperity, and the blessings of liberty. Instead of a comprehensive bill, a problem-solving approach that treats each of the many issues in our immigration system in its own lane can offer a better solution:
· Reform the legal immigration system - ensure that those who wish to come here legally can do so in a fair and efficient manner.
· Make immigration more responsive to the needs of the economy – dis-incentivize illegal immigration by supplying another avenue for legal entry and employment.
· Reinvigorate interior enforcement measures – include programs such as Social Security No Match, random workplace inspections, checks of I-9 forms, and E-Verify.
· Enhance border security efforts – cooperate between Mexican and U.S. law enforcement through Border Enforcement Security Task Forces and the Merida Initiative, as well as ensuring that the U.S. Coast Guard has the resources they need.
· Recognize state and local authorities as responsible partners - train state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws, and work with the federal government to play a significant role in immigration policy.
By beginning with the issues we agree on rather than those that divide us, we can make progress in immigration reform and rebuild an immigration process in harmony with our highest principles and best traditions. With comprehensive legislation everyone loses (our nation’s immigrants, our employers, and our citizens). Rather than continuing to play politics with immigration reform, our nation’s leaders should take the responsible path and develop real solutions to address our immigration systems’ core problems.
(“Immigration Reform Needs Problem-Solving Approach, Not Comprehensive Legislation” by Matthew Spaulding, Jessica Zuckerman and James Jay Carafano dated January 17, 2013 published by The Heritage foundation at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/01/immigration-reform-needs-problem-solving-approach-not-comprehensive-legislation )
In December 2011, President Obama withdrew all U.S. troops from Iraq after failing to negotiate a new Status of Forces Agreement with the fledgling democracy. Many military advisers, government officials, and Iraqi leaders opposed Obama’s decision, fearing it would diminish America’s influence in Iraq, destabilize the country, and damage America’s interests in the region. In the past year, many of these fears have come to fruition. President Obama’s decision was irresponsible, and motivated largely by politics. Obama opposed the Iraq war from day one, and wanted a political victory to bandy about on the campaign trail. By withdrawing all U.S. troops from Iraq, he could boast that he had ended the war. Like Obama, Biden opposed the war from the beginning, opposed the surge, and wanted to wash his hands of Iraq, regardless of the consequences. Unfortunately, the Obama administration ended the war by undermining eight years of progress in Iraq, and harming America’s interests in the region. Immediately after the U.S. withdrawal, Prime Minister Maliki moved quickly to consolidate power and stifle dissent. He began to crack down on Sunni and Kurdish leaders, dissident Shiites, and opposition groups. Meanwhile, terror attacks by al-Qaida affiliates, which are trying to capitalize on this sectarian strife, are on the rise. Iraq is clearly on a downward trajectory and is on a dangerous precipice of sectarian conflict. Iraqi airspace may have been used to ship weapons to Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. Iraq also has been cultivating stronger ties with Iran, undermining the efforts of America and its Arab partners to isolate Tehran until it abandons its nuclear weapons program. Obama barely lifted a finger to maintain a U.S. troop presence in Iraq because he was making policy based on his political promises and beliefs, not the situation on the ground. Although the administration does not believe that stability in Iraq depends on the presence of U.S. forces, the facts on the ground tell a different story. For the Obama administration, it was more important to end the “goddamn war” in Iraq than to protect the hard-won gains made during the eight years of that bloody, heartbreaking war. Obama now has a similar decision on Afghanistan and one can only hope that this time he makes a more responsible decision, based not on politics but on policy, but judging from his inaugural promise that “a decade of war is coming to an end,” Obama appears headed toward another strategic blunder.
(“Biden reveals why the Obama administration abandoned Iraq” by David Meyers dated January 24, 2013 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/24/biden-reveals-why-the-obama-administration-abandoned-iraq/ )
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).