Views on the News – 5/4/2013
By: David Coughlin
President Obama’s charm offensive has been a dismal failure, but of course, he didn’t really try all that hard. He bought dinner for a few Republican lawmakers, vowed to meet them halfway, but within a week, after his gun-grab bill went up in flames, he called them “liars” and stomped off in a huff, taking his ball with him. The midterm elections in 2014 will decide whether the President can actually implement his far-reaching socialist agenda or if he’ll have to settle for the federal takeover of one-sixth of the nation’s economy with ObamaCare. In the meantime, Obama, like Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton before him, is stuck with a divided Congress. Yet unlike his two predecessors, this President has almost nothing nice to say about the coequal branch or the men and woman elected by Americans to represent their dreams and goals. In fact, he’s spent the past four years setting Congress up as the fall guy for all his faults, even more so now that he no longer can blame George W. Bush. Why would he do such a thing? – Politics, and someone to blame because in the New America, the President intentionally makes problems worse in order to gain the upper hand politically. Luckily the American people see through this ruse finally, to reveal a manipulative partisan politico who puts politics ahead of the nation’s welfare.
(“After failed charm offensive, Obama back to bashing GOP” by Joseph Curl dated April 28, 2013 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/28/curl-after-failed-charm-offensive-obama-back-bashi/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS )
There appears to be a disconnect between widespread public discontent, e.g., distrust of the federal government, hostility toward Congress, belief that the country is headed in the wrong direction, and paucity of overt attempts to rectify the status quo. Many focus on the mainstream media (MSM), still the largest source of news for most citizens, noting that the MSM’s love affair with Barack Obama insures that negative stories never get much, if any, coverage. The MSM’s misreporting of the news probably anesthetizes some who might otherwise be motivated to “throw the bums out.” Unquestionably, partisanship plays a role. People who think of themselves as Democrats, a portion of whom are also liberals / progressives / whatever, are less likely to view America’s condition with alarm than people who identify themselves as Republicans, particularly those who also tend to be conservatives. We live in the age of the “low-information voter” (LIV), and LIVs are too ignorant to realize how bad things are. A related reason for the disconnect is that many ordinary people attach relatively low personal importance to public affairs. Regardless of how it’s plumbed, all the evidence on the subject points to the same conclusion: For most people, most of the time, public affairs are matters of tertiary concern. There are many reasons for this, of course, and most are probably benign, although civics teachers might not agree. Still, it’s very hard to find fault with an individual if he/she is more worried about family and kids, making ends meet, staying healthy, etc. than about what’s happening in the halls of power at home or abroad. Although it hasn’t always been true for as long as most of us can remember and, unless things change a lot in the future, the ebb and flow of political fortunes are not life-and-death matters. That’s a plus, of course, but it crimps activism. It is also a significant reason for the disconnect noted above. Most people, even those who think “the new normal” in the U.S. is abnormal, restrict themselves to an occasional grumble, but go on about their daily activities. What does it take to get a sufficient number of people, who are usually passive, to become politically aware and committed to changing today’s mess? If history is any guide, it will take an economic cataclysm, high unemployment, renewed inflation, depression, etc., at least as great as the crisis that plagued the country in 2007-2008. Things were not that bad in 2008, of course, but they were grave enough for a majority of voters to hand the reins of power to an untested, unvetted candidate who promised “change you can believe in.” Well, now we know what that “change” meant. Between now and 2016, and perhaps as early as 2014, those of us who find the present distasteful must motivate millions of Americans to join with us to become a mass movement determined to replace what Angelo Codevilla calls “the ruling class,“ and they include Republicans as well as Democrats, with more people from “the country class,” and some means have to be found to insure that, once people from the country class enter the halls of power, they don’t just ape the thoughts and acts of today’s ruling class.
(“Why Don’t They Do Something?” by Richard Winchester dated April 27, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/why_dont_they_do_something.html )
Ever since the horror at the end of the Boston Marathon, we have been witness to Obama’s Ministry of Propaganda at its absolute despicable worst. The Ministry of Propaganda, euphemistically self-named the “mainstream” media, includes the major TV networks and their radio news versions, big-city newspapers, and of course, the source of most of their “news,” the AP (Associated Press). In spite of the growth of the “alternate” media, the Internet and talk radio, it’s still the source of most people’s knowledge of what’s going on in the world. What they all put out is a mixture of lies, intentional distortion, called by them “spin,” and opinion disguised as fact. All of it is designed to brainwash the public into believing the Enemy’s version of reality. This helps explain the phenomena of what Rush Limbaugh has dubbed the “Low Information Voter.” We’ve seen this repeatedly, with every mass murder in recent years. The Ministry immediately tries to blame it on “right-wingers,” with every outlet using the same terms, over and over, making it crystal clear to anyone with an IQ over room temperature that they are being fed their “spin” from a single source. There were lots of irregularities that the Ministry and the Obama administration have “spun” that are very likely to end up with the surviving Islamic Terrorist being set free, or given a slap on the wrist, at most. Not reading the younger ghoul his Miranda rights, “rights” created and designed by leftist/progressive lawyers and complicit judges to hamstring law enforcement and give criminals more rights than law-abiding citizens, thus weakening our constitutional republic to bring on the collectivist, totalitarian state they so ardently desire, is one of the biggies that the Ministry is tut-tutting, setting the stage for Eric Holder’s Injustice Department to say, “Ooops! Guess we blew it again! Oh, well.” As the county is overrun by millions of criminal invaders, as radical Islam infiltrates our schools, courtrooms, and government, the Muslim Brotherhood has a firm foothold in the White House and the Injustice Department, as the Constitution is shredded, one crisis at a time, all abetted, if not instigated, by Obama, the Democrats, the RINO Establishment, and the Ministry of Propaganda, we see the America we once knew on the verge of becoming a memory – Welcome to Obama’s New Normal.
(“Obama’s Ministry of Propaganda or: How I Came to Love the New Normal” by Michael Oberndorf dated April 27, 2013 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/54791 )
Most know the famous admission by Rahm Emanuel regarding a good crisis, but few of us can confess to the foresight to predict just how cravenly this overt policy of exploitation would come to be implemented as it has been practiced at the expense of the populace and the security of our country is a fact, but the truth remains too distasteful for some to fully grasp. The President does not mean well, and he is not trying to make things better, because he is flooding us, overwhelming us, because constant emergencies require constant statist solutions. From the very outset of the current administration, we have been treated to a seemingly endless eruption of crises, real and manufactured, which the President and his minions have manipulated with impressive skill and malice. From the financial crisis that mostly was to the health care crisis that certainly wasn’t, and from the global warming crisis that never was to the gun control crisis that isn’t, those who are still paying attention have been bombarded with manufactured societal emergencies on a near-weekly basis. What turns the stomach more than almost anything we have seen in recent years, however, is a relatively new form of manipulation in our national experience: politicking on the bodies of the dead, especially children, or on the backs of their distraught parents. We have seen much that confirms for us a lack of decency or morals in our philosophical opponents, but nothing quite equals the conscious exploitation of the dead and grieving for political gain. These are the depredations of the modern generation of the American left, and they bode poorly for any chance of discourse or advancement of anything that could be considered the common good. It is difficult to comprehend, in a society that is unused to constant malice, that the sort of people we used to consider opportunists and hustlers, and treat accordingly, are now at the highest levels of our government. They work ceaselessly to implant their philosophy deep within the soul of this country, poisoning it from within. One day, we will look back on this amoral Presidency either as the time of our salvation as a nation or as the time of our destruction, and it may be time to choose whether we are a people that honors the grieving or sells their tears.
(“Never Let a Dead Child Go to Waste” by Jeffrey T. Brown dated April 2, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/never_let_a_dead_child_go_to_waste_1.html )
A root factor of the April 15th bombing in Boston is the self-destructive immigration policy of the United States, which willingly allows the infiltration of those either dedicated to or susceptible to being converted to the tenets and tactics of radical Islam. Despite the ongoing theatre in Washington D.C. regarding immigration reform, there is no effort to correct this glaring gap. Instead, virtually all the national attention has turned to granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants before the border is fully secured. Hidden within the legislation is a provision which establishes preferred status to those seeking to come to the United States from nations harboring active Jihadist movements such as Chechnya and Pakistan. Lost amid all the discussion and demagoguery of so-called immigration reform is the foundational proposition that immigration policy should be based on what is good for the nation, and not for those seeking, either legal or illegal, entry into a country or what is good for a particular political party. A major failing of far too many Americans in positions of power is the inability to outgrow the naïve and childish belief that if they could get all the peoples of the world, but in particular those who hate the United States, to sit around a campfire and sing songs of peace and love, the earth could be a better place. Concurrent with this naiveté is the equally juvenile conviction that there is a bottomless pit of money in the United States that can be siphoned from an equally bottomless pit of wealth; thus the nation can absorb a near limitless number of immigrants seeking to access the social safety net irrespective of what happens to the economy or undercutting the incomes of American citizens within a shrinking pool of available jobs. The greatest threat to peace in the world today is the radical Islamic movement bent on re-creating the caliphate of past centuries, by any means possible. Radical Islamist cells are being constantly discovered and threats thwarted in nations such as Spain, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. Yet the United States willingly allows, in the name of understanding or so-called asylum, immigration from nations that either harbor or are dominated by the Jihadist movement. As the nation experienced in the Patriots Day massacre in Boston, far too many of those who immigrate from Islamist nations have no interest in becoming assimilated but instead are intent on spreading their radical ideology while taking advantage of American largess and empathy. Regardless of ethnicity or nationality, the primary criteria for accepting immigrants must be solely based on their worth to the nation and their impact on its security. Immigration from Muslim countries already dramatically impacted by the Jihadist movement should be ended altogether. Legal immigration should be limited to those, once thoroughly screened, from other nations who can bring not only a skill but a potential love of freedom with them. As for the illegal immigrants already in the United States, the key to any proposed solution must contain one primary factor: they can never be allowed to become citizens or access the financial or political benefits of citizenship. The highest status they can achieve should be as thoroughly documented guest workers, a status that must be periodically renewed. Further there can be no chain migration or automatic citizenship for the children of these immigrants by the mere factor of birth within the borders of the country. Concurrent to this would be a border fence and active prosecution of any illegal immigrant entering the country after January 1, 2013. The unvarnished truth is that if the United States is to survive as founded, it cannot afford either economically, politically or from a national security perspective to have an undefined, loose and emotion based immigration policy. It is time to cast the current so-called reform bill on the ash heap and fashion legislation with only one foundational criterion in mind: what is best for the long-term future of the United States.
(“Immigration Must Benefit the Host Nation” by Steve McCann dated April 28, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/immigration_must_benefit_the_host_nation.html )
President Obama assured Americans that, “To the 85-90% of Americans who already have health insurance: They’re already experiencing most of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act even if they don’t know it,” and those benefits apparently include higher premiums. Insurers are warning that premiums in the individual and small-group markets could double in the next few years. Many have already announced 20—25% increases for next year. Younger and healthier Americans can expect to pay even more. Healthy young people in the individual or small-group insurance markets can look forward to rate increases averaging as much as 169%. While it is always difficult to pin down the exact reason for premium increases, a large portion is traceable to the new health care law. ObamaCare will increase health insurance claims costs by 32% because of increased adverse selection in the insurance pool. That is, the law’s prohibition on medical underwriting will bring older and sicker people into the insurance pool, while higher premiums will encourage the young and healthy to forgo insurance until they get sick. In addition, ObamaCare requires all health insurance plans to provide more benefits and have lower deductibles and co-payments than they do today. A recent study of more than 11,000 plans on the individual market found that less than 2% of existing plans are fully in compliance with the law’s benefit requirements. The President once promised, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period,” but apparently not. Current plans are technically grandfathered in, allowing people to keep them for now, though any change in the plans requires that their coverage be brought into compliance. Just another benefit that the American people aren’t aware of. A recent survey of physicians found that 59% of them expect some of their colleagues, fearing reduced payments and increased government interference in their practice, to retire early as a result of the health care law, and that others will scale back their hours. No doubt Americans are also failing to appreciate the more than $1 trillion in new taxes over the next 10 years that were put in place to finance the new law. If they don’t understand it yet, they will soon: many of those taxes kick in this year. The Kaiser Foundation released a poll, showing that just 35% of Americans approve of the law; once again, President Obama may have underestimated the intelligence of the American people.
(“ObamaCare’s ‘benefits’ are gradually becoming apparent” by Michael Tanner dated April 30, 2013 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2013/04/30/obamacares-benefits-are-gradually-becoming-apparent/ )
With the 20th century development of large gas and oil supplies in the Persian Gulf and North Africa, an Arab-led OPEC more or less dictated the foreign policy of thirsty oil importers like United States and Europe, yet insidiously, the Middle East is becoming irrelevant. The discovery of enormous new oil and gas reserves along with the use of new oil-recovery technology in North America and China is steadily curbing the demand for Middle Eastern oil. The recent Boston bombing reminded the West that nearly 12 years after 9/11, most terrorism still follows the same old, same old script, committed by angry young men with Muslim pedigrees claiming to act on radical Islamist impulses, without much popular rebuke from the Muslim world. There is not much left to the stale Middle East complaint from the 1960s that Western colonialism and imperialism sidetracked the region’s own natural trajectory to democracy. After the derailed Arab Spring, the world accepted that the mess in the Middle East is not imported, but rather the result of homegrown tribalism, sexual apartheid, religious intolerance, anti-Semitism, illiteracy, statism and authoritarianism. Revolutionary theocrats always seem to follow the ouster of fossilized thugs. ”Reformers” who were “elected” after the fall of the Shah of Iran and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt on spec conjured up the same old bogeymen as their predecessors, subverted the rule of law in the same old fashion, and wrecked the economy in the same old manner. The U.S. still worries about tiny democratic Israel surrounded by existential enemies pledged to destroy the Jewish state, but Israel’s own sudden oil and natural gas bonanza is enriching its economy and will soon offer a source of reliable fuel supplies to nearby Europe. The European Union and the United States are tired of Middle East terrorism, after 50 years of Yasser Arafat’s secular brand and Osama bin Laden’s Islamic bookend. While the Middle East failed to transform its oil riches of the last half-century into stable, transparent societies, Asia globalized and embraced the free market. If China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan 60 years ago were as poor as the Middle East, they are now the economic equals to Europe and North America. Their motto is to borrow from and then beat, not envy or blame game, the West. American soldiers are drawing down from the bases of the Middle East, and American oil tankers will not crowd each other at the docks of the Persian Gulf. The Middle East is not so challenging or vital to Western interests any more as it is becoming irrelevant.
(“The Monotonous Middle East” by Victor Davis Hanson dated May 2, 2013 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/victordavishanson/2013/05/02/the-monotonous-middle-east-n1584076 )
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).