American Elephants


Obama Plays Sleazy Politics — Then Lies About It (Again) by American Elephant

For a man who so frequently claims he wants to rise above dirty politics, Barack Obama sure peddles an awful lot of sleaze and tells an awful lot of lies. For all his lofty rhetoric, it turns out he’s nothing more than a typical Chicago-style dirty, sleazy politician.

Obama’s sleaze du jour:

Yesterday in Missouri, Obama predicted McCain and the GOP would use racially-tinged attacks against him.

“What they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me,” Obama said. “You know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

An Obama spokesman denied that the line about “dollar bills” was related to the Democrat’s race.

Nor, is the first time he’s played the race card, and claimed “racist” Republicans were going to try to make people afraid of him because he is black. Of course, without any evidence whatsoever. Here he is from last month:

“We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid.

“They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?

But do any of the lemmings in his audience stop and ask for evidence of any racist attacks from Republicans? Of course not, they are brainwashed beyond repair. Indeed, the Obama camp has the audacity to lie, and say Obama was never referring to race:

“Barack Obama in no way believes that the McCain campaign is using race as an issue, but he does believe they’re using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues in this campaign, and those are the issues he’ll continue to talk about.”

Talk about projection!

The same way Obama said he couldn’t visit the troops in Germany because he didn’t think it was appropriate on a campaign trip, when the real reason is because the press wouldnt have been allowed to photograph him visiting the troops. And the same way he broke his promise to use public financing for his campaign and then blamed it on Republicans.

Its becoming quite clear that Obama is a compulsive liar.

Hot Air has the video and the latest pathetic lies from the Obama camp here.

And of course Obama and the Democrat party’s entire existence is based in creating fear… Republicans want to take away your social security! Republicans want to destroy the environment! Republicans are racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic bigots! Republicans are warmongers! Republicans want to reinstate the draft! Republicans want to deny veterans benefits! Republicans want to take your money and give it to the rich! If you don’t vote for Democrats the seas will rise, the Earth will boil, all the animals will die, and probably all the people too! and on and on and on… none of which has any basis in reality whatsoever, yet they pump out the propaganda like nobody’s business.

And when Republicans actually talk about real dangers, like, say, terrorists flying planes into buildings, Iran getting the nuclear bomb they are working tirelessly for, or increased taxation harming the economy as it always does, Obama and the Democrats have the gall to accuse Republicans of “playing on your fears.”

Perhaps so. I suppose all politics is based in fear to some degree —  but unlike Democrats, Mr. Chicagobama, Republicans address fears that are based in reality.

(h/t Hot Air)



The wonders of socialized medicine… by The Elephant's Child

Oregon is the only state that both allows assisted suicide and attempts to ration health care. Barbara Wagner, a 64 year old woman who had recovered from lung cancer found that it had recurred. Her oncologist prescribed a cancer drug that would cost $4,000 a month.

The Oregon Health Plan said that it wouldn’t cover the treatment, but it would cover palliative care, including, if she chose, doctor-assisted suicide. That’s what happens when the state has the tough job of rationing government-paid health care.

The Oregonian editorial was apparently troubled by the “appearance” of ethical conflict when the state makes the offer, but is untroubled by the actual ethical conflict presented by the assisted suicide policy.

The Pharmaceutical company is stepping in to help Barbara Wagner. Thanks to James Taranto at WSJ’s “Best of the Web” for the story. It certainly bears thinking about.



President Obama’s adoring media begin to have questions… by The Elephant's Child

Barack Obama’s “Presidential World Tour” provoked a fair amount of humor and sarcasm on many right-leaning blogs, including this one. The repainted plane, with the U.S. flag on the tail removed to be replaced by the Obama symbol, the seat labeled “the President”, the entourage including three major television anchors, the announcement of his foreign policy towards Iraq and Afghanistan before going there on a “learning” trip were a few of the occasions for questioning presumptuous behavior.

But it was the arrogant request to speak at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin that really raised questions. (Like who does he think he is?). Wolfram Weimer, editor in chief of the German political monthly Cicero said:

It would not occur to any one in France to let Oskar Lafontaine, the co-Chair of the German Left Party, hold a campaign speech at the Arc de Triomphe. No one in England would think of helping one of the Kaczynski brothers stump for Polish votes in front of Buckingham Palace….Why not? Because there is such a thing as a feeling of reverence toward national symbols. And this feeling forbids one from allowing such places to be misused for the politicking of foreign nations. It shows a lack of respect to want to degrade the historical monuments of friendly countries into electoral campaign scenery.

Weimer added that “By virtue of his request he makes brazenly clear that he is not really interested in Germany as such. What interests him is, above all, the décor for a good photo opportunity.”

His Berlin speech, where he presented himself as a “citizen of the world”, without irony, made him sound like a candidate of transnational progressivism — where global rules and norms are more important than sovereign nations — and little things like the American Constitution. The Press, however, ate it up. “He looks so Presidential”, they gushed.

Amir Taheri wrote about Obama’s tour that:

“He looked like a man in a hurry,” a source close to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said last week. “He was not interested in what we had to say.”…Iraqis were most surprised by Obama’s apparent readiness to throw away all the gains made in Iraq simply to prove that he’d been right in opposing the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein. “He gave us the impression that the last thing he wanted was for Iraq to look anything like a success for the United States,” a senior Iraqi official told me. “As far as he is concerned, this is Bush’s war and must end in lack of success, if not actual defeat.”

There were, however, some cracks in the media’s adoration. Katie Couric gave him the toughest questioning of the tour. Reporters had to gently remind his campaign staff that “He isn’t President yet”. The slight bounce in the polls after his appearances in Berlin, Paris and London has pretty much disappeared. He has encouraged portrayal of himself as a messianic figure, welcomed portraits of himself with halos. Though the mock “presidential seal” has disappeared, the media enthusiasm has not. Chris Matthews still has that ‘tingle’.

Dana Milbank from the Washington Post showed today that the press is not always a faithful and dependable doormat:

Fresh from his presidential-style world tour, during which foreign leaders and American generals lined up to show him affection, Obama settled down to some presidential-style business in Washington yesterday. He ordered up a teleconference with the (current president’s) Treasury secretary, granted an audience to the Pakistani prime minister and had his staff arrange for the chairman of the Federal Reserve to give him a briefing. Then he went up to Capitol Hill to be adored by House Democrats in a presidential-style pep rally.

Along the way he traveled in a bubble more insulating than the actual president’s. Traffic was shut down for him as he zoomed about town in a long, presidential-style motorcade, while the public and most of the press were kept in the dark about his activities, which included a fundraiser at the Mayflower where donors paid $10,000 or more to have photos taken with him.

[At the] adoration session with lawmakers in the Cannon Caucus Room…he told the House members, “This is the moment…that the world is waiting for,”adding’ “I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.”

As he marches toward Inauguration Day (Election Day is but a milestone on that path), Obama’s biggest challenger may not be Republican John McCain but rather his own hubris.

Whew!



A visit to Walter Reed… by The Elephant's Child
July 30, 2008, 6:07 pm
Filed under: Iraq, Military, News, Terrorism | Tags: , , , , ,

Barack Obama couldn’t find time to visit the troops at Landstuhl Hospital, which he blames on his desire not to use the troops as a campaign prop; and the military suggests that Obama lost interest when he found out he couldn’t take his campaign aides, advisers and camera crew. I report, you decide.

The wounded veterans at Walter Reed had a visit from Iraq’s interior minister Jawad Karim al-Bolani yesterday. He went to the hosptal’s Military Advanced Training Center and thanked U.S. troops for freeing Iraq from Saddam Hussein.

We have come..to express our gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made by these great warriors, soldiers, in freeing the Iraqi people and in helping us in Iraq recover from tyranny and dictatorship. We also want to express our gratitude to the families of all these great men and women and express how important their sacrifices are for our nation.

Nicely done, sir.



The Half-Blood Prince! by American Elephant

Click to view trailer

Click to view trailer

If you’ve been with us a while, you might have noticed I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter books, and, only slightly less so, the movies. So, naturally, I have been waiting very impatiently for the first glimpse of the movie of the 6th book in the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

That wait is over.

The movie, which comes out in November (precisely 113 days, 20 hours, 15 minutes and 20 seconds from the time of this writing), has also been chosen as this year’s Royal Film Performance. It’s not clear just which Royal will attend — I’m putting my money on Harry or William. But who knows! maybe they’ll drag her Majesty, the Queen, along for the show.

In any case, if you’ve read the book, most of the trailer should make sense to you. But be forewarned! they have apparently added a scene to the movie to illustrate the increasing dangers Voldemort and his death eaters pose to the outside world, and especially to Harry himself. Its a scene where Fenrir Greyback and Bellatrix LeStrange attack Harry and the Weasleys at the Burrow. I am dubious, to say the least. I don’t like it when they mess with my movies!

Nonetheless, I wait patiently for the theatrical trailer. This is one of the best books in the series and promises to be one of the most exciting movies yet.

November is a very long time away!

Luna Lovegood Spectrespecs HBP



Improvements? by American Elephant
July 29, 2008, 6:56 pm
Filed under: Blogging

Just want to point out a few minor changes we’ve made, and ask if you find them helpful.

First, we added a search bar to the sidebar to lookup posts by subject or keyword. I’ve already found this helpful myself.

Second, we added a “recent comments” widget to the sidebar, titled, “Elephant Talk”. I don’t know if people find this helpful or not, so I would love to hear your opinions.

Third, we added a “funroll” for lack of a better name, after the newsroll and blogroll, which contains links to sites we think are fun, from editorial cartoonists, to movie trailers, humor sites, etc…

And lastly, as I begin to have more fun with Photoshop, I decided to add a page where I link to all of them. This can be found under the “navigation” header in the sidebar. Will update it whenever I publish new photoshops.

Let us know if any of these are useful or not — our statistics show that people are already using the funroll and photoshop page, but we wont be able to tell from the stats if people are using the search function or “recent comments” functions — and as always, we love your comments and suggestions … well the ones that aren’t crude and physically impossible anyway. :)



A very strange lack of enthusiasm… by The Elephant's Child

You would think that the news that global warming does not seem to be a real or significant problem would elicit excitement, or enthusiasm or at least a big sigh of relief. All those terrible events that Al Gore warned about, the increasing hurricanes, the sweltering temperatures, the droughts, and desertification we don’t have to worry about. Obama’s going to take care of the rising seas. So where is the collective joy?

If all our worry was only caused by the predictions of flawed computer models, then we don’t have to worry about carbon footprints. We can collectively stop holding our breath and allow carbon dioxide to go back to doing what it normally does, helping plants to grow. Billions of dollars don’t have to be spent. Your taxes don’t have to soar. There is no longer a reason to oppose drilling for oil,

Dr. Roy Spencer testified last week to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He introduced himself by noting his PhD in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his twenty years of research in global warming and climate change, his multitude of peer reviewed scientific articles and his current position as U.S. Science Team Leader for the AMSR-E instrument flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He said:

Regarding the currently popular theory that mankind is responsible for global warming, I am very pleased to deliver good news from the front lines of climate change research. Our latest research results, which I am about to describe, could have an enormous impact on policy decisions regarding greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite decades of persistent uncertainity over how sensitive the climatre system is to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, we now have new satellite evidence which strongly suggests that the climate system is much less sensitive than is claimed by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

…If true, an insensitive climate system would mean that we have little to worry about in the way of manmade global warming and associated climate change. And…It would also mean that the warming we have experienced in the last 100 years is mostly natural. Of course, if climate change is mostly natural then it is largely out of our control, and is likely to end — if it has not ended already, since satellite-measured global temperatures have not warmed for at least seven years now.

Did the attendant Senators leap out of their chairs glorying in the news that they could stop trying to save the earth and could just get back to battling over insignificant problems? Not on your life. Barbara Boxer managed to insult Dr. Spencer before she turned back to seeking testimony that agreed with her preconceptions.

Dr. Spencer’s testimony confirmed the research of Lord Monckton’s paper at APS. John McLean’s new paper at the Science & Public Policy Institute also confirmed the problems with the IPCC reports. It’s a strange, strange government when good news is rejected in favor of more same old, same old.



Nanny State Alert by Emerald City Elephant

Terminating liberty. Caleeforneeah has declared war on the dastardly trans-fats.

I would like it very much if someone of the liberal persuasion (and, yes, this is one of the many instances in which Schwarzenegger divorces himself from conservatism and embraces liberal policy) could explain to me why they — not everyone else — but why they personally need the government to tell them what they can and cannot eat.

Update: As if the Nanny-Statism isn’t bad enough, it turns out, as usual, there’s no scientific basis for the hysteria in the first place:

The FDA, after spending years reviewing all available evidence on trans fats, said in its July 9, 2003, 260-page ruling (Docket No. 94P-0036), that any fears of a public health concern from the small amounts of trans fats in our diets were not supported by the evidence. These fatty acids haven’t been shown to be better or worse than any other dietary fat. The FDA expert panel specifically stated that trans fats needn’t be eliminated from the diet and they refused to establish a daily recommended intake due to lack of evidence. They agreed to add trans fats to food labels, but only after explaining it was only in response to a relentless, decade-long activist campaign. But those labels are being used by certain interests as proof that trans fats hold some health danger that’s imperative to control. [read more]

Arrrgh! At what point do Americans get fed up with losing their liberties to hysterical liberal overreaction to junk science?



Brit Paper Mocks the Obamessiah by Emerald City Elephant

Brilliant!

And lo, in Mesopotamia, a miracle occurred. Even though the Great Surge of Armour that the evil Bush had ordered had been a terrible mistake, a waste of vital military resources and doomed to end in disaster, the Child’s very presence suddenly brought forth a great victory for the forces of the light. [read more]



An Ego That Knows No Borders by The Elephant's Child

Obama came to Berlin. He came in his campaign plane with the Obama logo on the tail and the Obama slogan painted on the side, with his entourage, and his television anchors, and his crew of worshipful reporters. This visit, unlike his stops in the Middle East, was not paid for by the taxpayers, but by his campaign.

Speaking to an enthralled audience of “tens of thousands of elated Europeans” who just happened to turn up to hear him, he said “Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen — a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world.” Not as a candidate? Then why the plane, the logo, the posters, the fliers, etc., etc., And “citizen of the world”? What the heck is that? Nobody is a “citizen of the world”. A citizen, by definition, belongs to a state. And it’s wise to remember which one.

He throws in a line about his race, as if it were something new and different, ignoring the fact that the faces of American foreign policy for 8 years have been African-American ones.

After some fuzzy history (Obama has trouble with history), he apologizes for his country: “I know my country has not perfected itself”, “reject torture and stand for the rule of law” Apologizes to Germans? The history I recall had us going to Europe twice to rescue Europe from the Germans.

Many platitudes, promises to solve all the world’s problems with German help, bring a new dawn to the Middle East, defeat terrorism, end racism, defeat AIDS, end antisemitism, religious bigotry, class envy, and nationalism.

He also promised to save the planet from global warming. “As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya”. Oops! But he went on in that vein: “This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands.”

Sigh. The ice caps in the Arctic are not melting, the coastlines are not shrinking perceptibly, the Midwest has been suffering more from floods than drought. The oceans are not rising unless you consider centimeters significant, and storms come and go completely unaffected by global warming. Even Obama in his Messiah role cannot cause the storms to cease, the ocean to cease its rise, and drought to end. If he becomes President, he won’t have the slightest control of the factories in Beijing. Anyway, it quit warming about ten years ago, and has been cooling in the last five years. Obama will probably take credit for stopping the warming if he finds out.

This is theater. Obama is playing a presidential role to convince the electorate that he can be “presidential”. From speeches with a fake presidential seal on the podium, to an embarrassing request to speak at the Brandenburg Gate, to the entourage, he is playing president. It’s one way to address a thin resume.

It is apparently successful with a gullible and adoring press, but I’m not sure it is playing so well at home. Obama apparently believes that people will not question the meaning of his words, which is slight; wonder why he is campaigning for the presidency in Europe when he hasn’t even been nominated yet; or wonder why his big European campaign event is in Germany.

Oh wait, we do know why his big event was in Berlin. It’s because Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy made important speeches in Berlin. What they said there has been long remembered. I looked for the significant words, the memorable words in this speech, but I couldn’t find them. The only thing notable about this speech was the messianic language (some borrowed from FDR and Lincoln) and the pretentious and arrogant demands. Obama’s really not in any position to be telling the Germans what they must do.

When the curtain comes down on this campaign tour, will the Europeans love us again? This is our moment, this is our time. Didn’t amount to much.



What Judgment? Obama Scraps Visit to Wounded Troops in Favor of Campaign Stunt by American Elephant

Priorities, priorities, priorities….

Barack Obama goes to Germany and has no time to visit wounded American service men and women, but all the time in the world for a campaign stunt in front of thousands of appreciative, ignorant, German socialist youths, go to the gym, and even to sight-see!

His campaign then has the audacity to claim it would be inappropriate to visit the wounded troops on a campaign funded journey. Um? WTF? You’re only willing to visit the young Americans who have given their blood in Americas defense of our country if the taxpayers are paying for it? Not on your own dime?

Or perhaps you think Americans are stupid enough to believe that you couldn’t go visit the troops and tell the media they aren’t welcome to come? A little hard to swallow considering President Bush does just that all the time, and especially considering you already prohibit the press from asking you any number of questions, and demand that they not have microphones when they ask you questions.

The fact is, Senator Obama, you have appalling judgment! And you lie to cover up for it.

More on his equally appalling speech later.



Not a good development. by American Elephant
July 24, 2008, 1:00 am
Filed under: Movies, Pop Culture | Tags: ,

It’s popular on television, so it should work in the movies, right? That is how producers think at least. Let’s hope they’re wrong. “Reality TV” makes the jump to the big screen.




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