Views on the News – 6/15/2013
By: David Coughlin
Americans voted twice for a big-government President, and now we’re beginning to experience the impact of big government, and we’re not so sure we like it. It’s been four years of the President and Congress spending future generations into the oblivion of debt, the Executive Branch securing control over huge chunks of the private economy (two car companies, multiple banks and the health care industry are only part of it), and a dramatic expansion of both the defined role, and the powers of the IRS. At this point in the Obama presidency, we the people should not be surprised by a government that has purported to be able to give us everything we want, but, as we are now experiencing, is in fact powerful enough to take away everything we need. Americans need to develop a healthy dose of skepticism about the promises of politicians to meet our every need, and we should abandon this false assumption that the agents of our government will exercise their power fairly. History suggests that governmental power is usually abused, and America may be on its way to repeating that history. In many ways, our present reality is a sad state of affairs. We are, after all, not merely innocent victims of the IRS scandal, the NSA scandal, the Benghazi cover-up or the refusal of our government to honestly confront domestic terrorism. We empowered our current President and his Administration, not once but twice, and are thus complicit in it. The question is not “can we,” but “will we” function as that balancing force against a government that has seized way too much control of our lives?
(“Let’s Get Skeptical: America Is In Need of A James Madison Moment” by Austin Hill dated June 9, 2013 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/austinhill/2013/06/09/lets-get-skeptical-america-is-in-need-of-a-james-madison-moment-n1616062 )
It was only a matter of time until the stones constituting the protective wall around the Obama narrative begin to tumble. The foundation of the Obama image, already weakened by broken promises and a floundering economy, has been seriously rocked by some explosive revelations in the Benghazi and IRS investigations. Completing a trifecta of “serial shocks,” real tremors began when it dawned first on the AP and then the rest of the mainstream media: their hero might not be made of the stuff they’ve been peddling, and worse, may provide an unflattering image of the place where leftist stuff eventually leads. Obama’s own narcissism is partly to blame, as he relied too heavily on fickle fans and a lapdog press. From the beginning of Obama’s political career, his college days, financing, applications, or grades contributed to a “tomb-like silence.” Many declined to recall that Obama sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church, socialist New Party meetings, or Bill Ayers’s politics-launching living room. Others applauded Obama’s words honoring Derrick Bell and toasting Rashid Khalidi, then hid the videotapes. His publisher proclaimed for 17 years that Obama was born in Kenya, then finally corrected the “typo” to Hawaii, just in time for a Presidential run. Hundreds of journalists and pundits who helped fabricate and protect an image and a message that produced big expectations in the minds of all the little others. For the fellow traveling press, there were special invitations and interviews and speeches laced with “standard Socialist rhetoric.” In return, the pawns protected his image, cast votes, sent money, hid things, made calls, and mocked opponents. Obama behaved as though he expected and deserved such loyalty. The holes in Obama’s transparency promises have allowed some light to shine on some unattractive truths. The little people are finding that votes don’t translate into immunity from pink slips. Newspapers downsize and television ratings slip. Union labels fail to prevent outsourcing hazards. National security is certainly a valid concern impacting both the Benghazi and AP/Rosen investigations. But it’s difficult to argue that IRS targeting of conservatives or secret e-mail addresses of government bureaucrats had to do with any security other than that surrounding the image and power of Obama and his like-minded cohorts. Though this ship seems too big for Obama to steer alone, even his staunchest supporters admit that Obama “runs things.” It remains to be seen whether the nation will continue to allow Obama or his ideology to remain at the helm.
(“The Obama Avalanche” by Cindy Simpson dated June 8, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/06/the_obama_avalanche.html )
Call it “fundamental transformation;” call it a “coup d’etat;” call it a “revolution from above;” but don’t call it American. The e-scandals or revelations about the NSA tapping the meta-data of Verizon, T-mobile, AT&T and Sprint and data-mining major Internet companies only confirm what we all knew about the U.S. government. There is nothing ideologically that restrains a “progressive” from using and abusing the American government to achieve narrow political ends. Saul Alinsky taught precisely that way of utilizing instruments of power; and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are both disciples of that master radical tactician. The agencies of the DOJ, DHS, EPA, IRS, HHS, and NSA are seen by the radicals who comprise this government as mere appendages of their progressive machine; and as such, they are being custom-designed to control Americans and squelch political dissent. The Obama administration has gone after whistleblowers to an extent unseen before in American history. It has rewarded known liars and gone after ordinary, law-abiding citizens. Progressives can scapegoat Bush and deflect responsibility onto others, apologize to future generations and condescend to us that it is all for our own good, point the fingers at conservatives or launch irrelevant epithets like ‘racist’ and ‘sexist,’ or smear those who disagree with them and call them out for their delusions. The fact remains that a big, all-powerful state has always been the progressives’ modus operandi. So when the awesome force of the United States government comes untethered from its moorings, crashing through the countryside like a Leviathan unbound – don’t say you weren’t warned. There was ample warning all around the progressives; but in their haughty rush to foist their baseless utopia upon an unreceptive populace, they smashed the most prosperous, powerful, and just society known to man.
(“Americans Warned of ‘Revolution from Above’ and the Appearance of the Messiah” by Kyle Becker dated June 8, 2013 published y Conservative Daily News at http://www.conservativedailynews.com/2013/06/americans-warned-of-revolution-from-aboveand-the-appearance-of-the-messiah/ )
Political differences are a good thing in a free society, so you’d think people espousing a philosophy they claim to be rooted in “democracy” and righteousness would revel in the opportunity to engage those with whom they disagree on the field of intellectual battle, but for modern liberals, nothing is further from the truth. Liberalism was once a philosophy based in Constitutional respect and American exceptionalism, but it’s been a long time since that was the case. The progressive philosophy is based on the idea of the supremacy of a few, a “better class.” Its history is rooted in racism, eugenics and genocide. Members of the “better class” are self-declared intellectuals who know your needs better than you. They legislate their advice; you have no choice but to take it. The Democrat Party was infected by the progressive philosophy at the dawn of the 20th century. The concept sounds great, that government can make things better, but unfortunately it can’t and hasn’t. Since Wilson, most all Democrats have displayed varying degrees of the progressive addiction to power. President Clinton had some progressive tendencies, staff and wife. Now we find ourselves dealing with the aftermath of a major political party’s inability to deal with the extreme elements in its midst. These extremists now run the show and the results are splashed across headlines from shore to shore. There is now a laundry list of stretching and abusing power: Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS, seizing of journalist’s phone records and a spying scandal so vast it would have the old Soviet leaders spinning in their graves from jealousy, just to name a few. The progressive philosophy is coagulating in our national stew, just as it has everywhere it’s woven its destructive self into the culture, manifesting itself in the ever-growing list of scandals we are seeing and is personified by the activists parading as journalists on MSNBC who seek to silence and destroy those who dare challenge their claim to moral superiority.
(“The Metastasizing of Progressivism in America” by Derek Hunter dated June 9, 2013 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2013/06/09/the-metastasizing-of-progressivism-in-america-n1615927 )
The scandals surrounding the Obama administration come down to one common theme – that the ever-growing size and scope of our federal government gives it enormous power over virtually every aspect of our lives, power that in the wrong hands can be used to reward supporters, exact revenge and punish enemies. In education, health care, transportation, energy, disaster relief, welfare, commerce, work and salary rules, and on and on, the federal government plays an outsized role completely inconsistent with the Founding Fathers’ notion of a limited government that allows maximum personal liberty. In 1900, government at all three levels, federal, state and local, took about 10% of the people’s money. It now takes nearly 50%! The bigger the government, the more money and power it takes from its citizens. By reducing the size of government, we limit the amount of damage “the other side” can do when in charge. It isn’t that smaller government is more trustworthy or transparent. Among other attributes, a smaller government allows the commander in chief to focus on job one – protecting the American people against enemies. For both Obama-haters and Bush-haters, a smaller government reduces the amount of influence and control the “wrong side” has over the other – a win-win.
(“Obama Demonstrates the Evil of Big Government” by Larry Elder dated June 13, 2013 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/larryelder/2013/06/13/obama-demonstrates-the-evil-of-big-government-n1618795 )
In 2013, the situation is significantly worse for the White House, with the Obama administration engulfed in a series of major scandals that are not only eroding trust in government but also in the office of the President itself. In contrast to his first term, Barack Obama is finding himself less and less shielded by the press, and far more vulnerable to public criticism. With good reason, Americans don’t feel optimistic about their country’s future with President Obama at the helm. Less than one in three Americans believe the United States is heading in the right direction. The President’s job approval rating is at just 46%, with 49% of Americans disapproving. Strikingly, 35% of Americans “strongly disapprove” of the President’s job performance, 15 points higher than the number who “strongly approve.” A mere 31% of Americans believe the United States is “generally headed in the right direction.” In addition to damaging scandals, which have raised major questions over the integrity and judgment of the Obama administration, there remain deep-seated concerns over the US economy and the enormous national debt, widespread opposition to the President’s health care reforms, and significant fears over national security. Here are ten key reasons why the Obama presidency is in trouble, with the outlook exceedingly grim for the White House:
· The American public is losing trust in Obama – A Quinnipiac survey found that 49% of Americans now view their President as “honest and trustworthy.” An NBC News/The Wall Street Journal survey reveals a great deal of public concern over the “overall honesty and integrity of the Obama administration,” with more than half of Americans agreeing that recent scandals have “raised doubts” about the government’s trustworthiness.
· The Obama presidency is imperial in style and outlook – It would be hard to find a US President who has behaved in a more arrogant fashion than President Obama, and that includes Richard Nixon. The Obama White House is routinely disdainful of criticism, sneeringly dismissive of Congressional opposition, nasty and brutish towards dissenting voices in the media, and completely lacking in humility.
· Most Americans are still worried about the economy – Economic concerns are the top priority for Americans according to Gallup. 86% of Americans agreed that “creating more jobs” and “helping the economy grow” are the top two priorities. “Making government work more efficiently” came third, at 81%.
· America’s level of debt is frightening – Obama continues to lead the U.S. down the path of EU-style decline, with incredible levels of public debt, currently standing at $16.85 trillion. The President has done nothing to confront the vast entitlement programs that face future generations of American taxpayers, while taking an axe to defense spending, resulting in politically driven cuts that undermine America’s national security while doing nothing to reduce the country’s debt burden.
· ObamaCare is hugely expensive and increasingly unpopular – A key liability that will further expand America’s debt mountain is ObamaCare, the administration’s hugely ambitious and expensive health care reform initiative that threatens to dramatically increase the cost of healthcare for ordinary Americans as well as businesses, when it goes into effect next year.
· Independents are rapidly withdrawing support for Obama – Gallup has consistently shown that America is ideologically a conservative nation, with conservatives outnumbering liberals by a nearly two to one margin. There are signs that support for Obama among Independents is dramatically falling. According to a Quinnipiac survey, 57% of Independent voters give Obama a negative rating and 56% do not believe the President is “honest and trustworthy.”
· The liberal media is less deferential to Obama in his second term – The big newspapers and the major television networks, NBC, ABC and CBS, have been less willing to bat for Obama in his second term as public opinion has begun to turn against the White House. There are some things even the most liberal columnists are finding hard to defend.
· The Benghazi scandal has been extremely damaging – The Obama administration tried to downplay the significance of the Benghazi scandal, but it refuses to go away, with 46% of Americans believing “the administration deliberately misled the American people about the events surrounding the death of the American Ambassador to Libya.” Not only has Benghazi damaged the President, it also hurt former Hillary Clinton’s image too.
· Obama’s national security strategy is weak and confusing – President Obama’scall to wind down the global war against Islamist terror was naïve in the extreme, and sent completely the wrong signal to America’s enemies at a time when al-Qaeda is strengthening its presence in parts of the Middle East as well as North, West and East Africa. His Guantanamo policy is deeply out of touch with American public opinion.
· Obama is “leading from behind” on the world stage – American foreign policy has become even more weak and incoherent in Obama’s second term. On the world stage the U.S. has not been this powerless and disengaged since the days of Jimmy Carter. At home and abroad, the Obama presidency is weakening America, while undercutting the strength and ability of the world’s only superpower to lead internationally.
This is undoubtedly a period of steep decline for the Obama presidency, whose imperial-style big government approach is being increasingly questioned not only by American voters, but also by formerly subservient sections of the liberal-dominated mainstream media.
(“The stunning decline of Barack Obama: 2013. Ten key reasons why the Obama presidency is in meltdown” by Nile Gardiner dated June 6, 2013 published by UK Telegraph at http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100220493/the-stunning-decline-of-barack-obama-2013-ten-key-reasons-why-the-obama-presidency-is-in-meltdown/ )
There is an inherent injustice in the government’s broad authority to tax and spend, which permits politicians to redistribute private property at will. In many cases, such arbitrary power amounts to theft masqueraded as law, and it defies the very essence of our being as Americans. We are a people who once valued certain “self-evident” truths based on the idea that government is formed by consent to secure our natural rights. Any popular government committed to liberty must preserve the people’s property, for if it does not, then society is ruled by force, not reason. Just as individuals cannot steal without consequence, neither can government-elected representatives have special authority to violate the immutable Laws of Nature and arbitrarily infringe upon the people’s right to property. Indeed, government must raise money through taxation to function. But to stay true to its purpose to protect private property, government must always ensure that its use of the people’s money serves its limited public functions and does not exclusively benefit select groups or individuals. Early Supreme Court decisions reflected this principled understanding of the role of government in the United States. In 1874, the Court invalidated government wealth-redistribution schemes in defense of property rights, and it actually identified such programs as theft, not law, for they served individual or corporate interests rather than public purposes — they favored a chosen few at the expense of the many. By its absolute control over tax rates, the federal government decides how much of our own money we are permitted to keep. By its arbitrary discretion over spending, government determines who benefits from the taxes it collects. Doling out money to private citizens and organizations is hardly consistent with the object of American government to preserve private property. The federal government has effectively become a tool for politicians to redistribute national wealth, and by our failure to uphold the Constitution and secure our inalienable rights, politicians today are free to steal private property under the guise of law.
(“Redistributing Wealth: Stealing under the Guise of Law” by Brian Vanyo dated June 8, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/06/redistributing_wealth_stealing_under_the_guise_of_law.html )
Many pundits assumed that this would be the year that comprehensive immigration reform became law, but now, halfway through the year, the prospects for immigration reform have dimmed significantly. The conventional wisdom was that President Obama’s re-election and his strong showing among Hispanic voters would force Republicans to go along. Americans overwhelmingly feel that legal immigration is good for the country and think highly of immigrants. Some 76% have a favorable view of immigrants who work hard, support their families and pursue the American Dream. They also want the system to work so that the border will be secure enough to prevent future illegal immigration. That point has become a major political problem for those who favor reform. The so-called Gang of Eight proposal in the Senate legalizes the status of immigrants first and promises to secure the border later. By a 4-1 margin, voters want that order reversed. While voters think highly of immigrants, they don’t trust the government, and that skepticism is growing. The President’s ratings have slipped with just 37% now giving him good or excellent marks for handling immigration. Senator Marco Rubio now says he will vote against the law he helped write unless it includes stronger border security provisions. It’s hard to see a major gain for either party from the current immigration debate. In the short term, it’s easier to see a tough road ahead for the Gang of Eight plan, and if it survives the Senate, the House is likely to respond with a plan that emphasizes border security first.
(“Border security a concern” by Scott Rasmussen dated June 7, 2013 published by Boston Herald at http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/opinion/op_ed/2013/06/border_security_a_concern )
There is pretty persuasive evidence that what determines sexual orientation, at least for some homosexuals, is environmental. At a minimum, the evidence of a connection between being sexually abused as a child and homosexual or bisexual orientation as an adult is so widespread that the refusal of the scientific community to seriously consider a causal connection suggests a willful blindness. When researchers examined the relationship between obesity and lesbianism, they found that lesbians in their sample of women over 35 were more likely than the heterosexual women to have a “previous mental health diagnosis” and to be well-educated, and significantly more likely to be obese. Most importantly, lesbians were almost twice as likely as matched heterosexual women to be have been victims of “intrafamilial” child sexual abuse (CSA), and more than twice as likely to be victims of extrafamilial CSA. Childhood sexual abuse was found to be an independent predictor of both suicidal ideation and attempts during the past 12 months. This is not just a problem for women who were CSA victims. A review of 166 studies of the sexual abuse of boys did its best to avoid suggesting a connection between CSA and adult sexual orientation, but it does not take much reading to see some obvious connections: increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, paranoia, dissociation, somatization, bulimia, aggressive behavior, anger, poor self-image, poor school performance, running away from home, and legal trouble. The rate of attempted suicide was 1.5 to 14 times higher among sexually abused compared with non-abused males. There is a well-known connection between CSA and later substance abuse. There is also a thoroughly studied connection between homosexuality and substance abuse. There may not be a single cause of homosexuality, but if CSA explains homosexuality, it should be grounds for sympathy. Sexuality is to some extent a learned behavior. What we enjoy sexually can be reinforced, and part of what makes early sexualization of children so destructive is their inability to process the mixture of shame, confusion, and pleasure (as sometimes happens). There are simply too many surveys that show homosexuals and bisexuals as disproportionately CSA victims to consider this a coincidence. The overlap between the symptoms of CSA (substance abuse, sexual confusion, suicide, emotional immaturity, obesity, hyper-sexuality, or asexuality) and behaviors that are very common in the gay community should cause some serious questions to be asked. “I was born this way” has now become dogma and the progressive movement has made this into a cause, since apparently the facts do not much matter anymore.
(“I Was Born This Way” by Clayton E. Cramer dated June 9, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/06/i_was_born_this_way.html )
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).