American Elephants


Obama Starts Democrat GOTV Efforts by American Elephant
May 26, 2010, 6:21 am
Filed under: News, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Obama announced yesterday plans to jump-start the Democrats’ 2012 Get-Out-the-Vote efforts — or as other news outlets put it — he’s sending 1,200 Guardsmen to the Mexican border to “improve border security.”

The problem is that most Americans’ idea of “improved border security” and the SEIU/ACORN Community Organizer in Chief’s idea of “improved border security” are two very different things. When Obama says he wants to improve border security, it means he’s sending the Guard to the border to run interference for “undocumented Democrat voters” and prevent racist Arizonans from disenfranchising them.



“Plug the Damn Hole!…I’m Going on Vacation!(Again)” by American Elephant
May 26, 2010, 5:54 am
Filed under: Military, News, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , , ,

Apparently all the parties, golfing and vacations are tuckering poor Obama out…or perhaps the people running the administration are just tired of him getting underfoot, because this is the second time they’ve sent him away on vacation since his disastrous delay in responding to what is now, because of that delay, the biggest oil spill in American history.

But give him a break! Destroying health care, the auto industry, the housing sector, the economy, banking, international relations, individual liberty, the rule of law, your life savings and the environment is hard work!

Besides, it’s not like he didn’t leave the country with a clear, decisive plan of action in his absence — “Plug the damn hole!” he explained.

And people said he wasn’t qualified!

But before you worry that Obama is neglecting important duties to steal away another vacation in time of crisis, rest easy. While it’s true the Commander in Chief didn’t feel he could spare the time from his vital vacation obligations to honor our war dead at the traditional Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington — he WILL, thankfully, make it back just in time to honor Paul McCartney at the White House and was able to squeeze in yet another fund-raiser for Barbara Boxer.

Nice to see he still has his priorities straight.



I’ll Show You Mine, If You Will Show Me Yours. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama’s goal is to show a friendlier face to other countries, and to coax Russia into doing the same.  This is intended to be a confidence-building initiative begun last fall when Obama abandoned the U.S. missile-defense system being installed in Eastern Europe that had so upset the Russians.

Even though the system was designed to protect against future missiles from Iran, Obama mistakenly hoped that such a unilateral U.S. forfeiture would encourage Russia to put pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear weapons development.

That didn’t work, and the new START Treaty allows Russia to sell missiles to Iran at will.  So to indulge further in such confidence-building, a confidential U.S. note was sent to 128 other countries two weeks ago, according to George Jahn of A.P.

The United States … will provide pre-launch notification of commercial and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space launches as well as the majority of intercontinental ballistic and submarine-launched ballistic missile launches.

There is something here that I am not quite grasping. This is a “confidential” note from the President to 128 of his closest friends, designed to build confidence because we will tell you whenever we are going to have a secret launch of our secret weapons?  And this builds “confidence” in what?

If we so readily blab our own military secrets, then others are going to tell us their secrets?  This sounds like grade school — “You tell me your secret and I’ll tell you mine.”

The 129 countries are members of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation.  Four of the world’s nuclear-armed nations belong to the convention —The U.S., Russia, France and Britain.  I was really worried about France and Britain’s missiles.  Russia has not often told the truth in living memory.  And China, North Korea, Pakistan and India and Iran do not belong, and do not provide notice. So as N. Korea and S. Korea are close to war, this effort has helped…?

I have long believed in a tiny, infectious worm that enters the ear canal.  When it reaches the brain, it expels a thick, cloud-like substance that gradually surrounds the brain, making thought slow and ineffective.  It seems to be especially attracted to urban liberals, and is often contracted in crowded classrooms of Ivy-League colleges and universities.



The European Union, Not Having Enough to Do, Takes On the Father of the Bride! by The Elephant's Child
May 25, 2010, 8:09 pm
Filed under: Europe, Freedom, United Kingdom | Tags: , ,

David Pryce-Jones, a senior editor at National Review wrote yesterday:

I spent the week-end celebrating a wedding. The bride and bridegroom made a fine couple. The church was very old, with a magnificent Norman arch and medieval wall decorations. Afterwards we repaired to a nearby great house built in the seventeenth century of beautiful grey stone, with a chapel of its own, mullion windows, statues, a vast lawn and gardens which I in my ignorance only then learnt are famous. Everything was perfect, in other words, here was a traditional moment of the kind that has made England what it is, and formed the loyalty of its daughters and sons.

In the course of his speech in her honour, the father of the bride then informed the audience that the European Union has passed a Gender Equality Bill. One provision of this preposterous and impudent measure is that fathers are no longer allowed to give away their daughters in the traditional church ceremony.

Greece is in flames, the Germans close to rebellion, and the entire European Union on the brink of breaking apart with some nations bankrupt beyond help, and the future of the euro is in doubt.  So, of course with everything seemingly falling apart, the bureaucrats in Brussels have decided to prohibit fathers from giving away their daughters in marriage as they have done for centuries.  The bureaucrats have decided that the custom treats daughters as chattel.

Sometimes the real world is so ludicrous that it wouldn’t be believed if it were fiction.



Just What is This “Office of the President of the United States?” by The Elephant's Child

When George Washington was elected President, there were so many questions. A Republic was something completely new to the Americans.  What they knew was monarchy, and a very opulent monarchy at that.  They definitely didn’t want to go back to the pomp and circumstance of England.  The new office of the President of the United States needed importance, respect, dignity and what exactly? The people did not rebel against a King in order to establish a new monarchy.

Congress insisted on a salary of $25,000, a huge sum for the time.  Washington accepted it reluctantly, but he spent nearly $2,000 of it on liquor and wine for entertaining.  He had, of course managed an army and a plantation.  In fact, Mount Vernon had more staff than his presidency did.

“Washington was keenly aware that whatever he did would become a precedent for the future. How often should he meet with the public? How accessible should he be?  Could he have private dinners with friends?  Should he make a tour of the new states?”  He sought advice from those closest to him, including his vice-president, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, his Secretary of the Treasury.  The only state occasions that any of them were familiar with were those of European monarchies.

“Hamilton thought that most people were ‘prepared for a pretty high tone in the demeanor of the Executive,’ but they probably would not accept as high a tone as was desirable.  “Notions of equality,” he said, were “yet…too general and too strong” for the president to be properly distanced from the other branches of the government.” Gordon Wood tells of the dilemmas.

“When Washington appeared in public, bands sometimes played “God Save the King.” In his public pronouncements the president referred to himself in the third person.  His dozens of state portraits were all modeled on those of European monarchs.”

We can be truly grateful that Washington was so aware that he was establishing precedent, and so careful of what he said and did.  He was setting an example, and everything he did was intended to hold the new nation together, to form a more perfect union.

One simple problem was what to call the president.  John Adams had discussed the problem with his colleagues in Massachusetts.  They called their governor “His Excellency”: should not the president have a higher title?  Adams thought only something like ‘His Highness’ or ‘His Most Benign Highness’ would answer.  Washington was said to have initially favored “His High Mightiness, the President of the United States and Protector of Their Liberties.” The Dutch leaders of the States-General of the United Provinces called themselves “Their High Mightinesses” and they were leaders of a Republic.”  Madison managed to get his fellow congressmen to vote for the simple republican title “President of the United States. And that was that.

Washington was relieved when the title question was settled.  But “he still was faced with making the institution of the presidency strong and energetic.” In fact, said Gordon Wood, “the presidency is the powerful office it is in large part because of Washington’s initial behavior.”

Gordon S. Wood: Empire of Liberty; A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815



Professor Bob Carter, Part 2 of 2. by The Elephant's Child


I hope you enjoyed the first part of the Bob Carter interview. Here is part 2 of the new Zealand interview which took place on April 23rd.



Professor Bob Carter Returns. by The Elephant's Child

Professor Bob Carter of James Cook University in Queensland, Australia  is a marvelous explainer.    Not all scientists can explain complicated ideas to lay people, and make us enjoy the process.  Professor Carter is good at it.

The “consensus” on climate change has fallen apart, even the IPCC is talking about the need to pursue biodiversity now,  instead of global warming.  This falls into the “new scare” category.  The folks manning the IPCC computers have no intention of being out of a job., so you can expect to hear a lot about vanishing species.



Chancellor Merkel’s Government Pushes a Far-Reaching Plan to Reform the European Common Currency. by The Elephant's Child
May 24, 2010, 7:30 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Europe, History | Tags: , ,

The European Project is falling apart.  The dream of ending forever the wars that have torn Europe apart through the centuries was to end with unification.  Full political and economic integration, beginning with a common market, then a single market, but the most important step was locking member states into a single currency.

The gentlemen at Power Line notice a surprising fact in the pages of the New York Times.  One that explains a lot.

In Sweden and Switzerland, 7 of 10 people work past 50.  In France, only half do.

Victor Davis Hanson has been in Germany, walking the streets of Munich.

The museums are among the best in the world, the streets and parks spotless, the infrastructure superb, and the people as hard at work as ever. To walk an urban street in Germany is a different experience from say in Athens or Istanbul — traffic follows law, pedestrians are respected, horns are used rarely, trash is absent. In other words, things work and work well. …

For someone who has lived in Greece and occasionally visits Germany, it becomes increasingly clearer each year why the European Union won’t work. Germans work and create wealth. Yet  under the present system, they do not receive commensurate psychological rewards — and they increasingly receive insufficient material compensation as well. …

Victor Davis Hanson reminds us of some of the history that brought us to this point.  Chancellor Merkel and Germany are going to offer the rest of Europe some tough love in an effort to save the Euro, but there is no plan B.  Dr. Hanson manages to gather together the many strands of this mess into a comprehensive picture of a very difficult situation.

Very soon German workers are going to grasp that all the financial reserves they piled away the last two decades from not doing what a Spain or Italy did are essentially gone. Someone in Munich worked 40 hours a week until age 67 for someone in Athens not to — and for someone in Athens to demand that someone in Munich do so or else. The idea that nations like Greece, both overtly and implicitly, insult nations like Germany has no basis in historical terms. …

In a sane world, a financially solvent United States would now step up to the plate, reassure Germany of both its long-standing financial and military support, and seek through its friendship and alliance to deflect any natural German inclination to translate its economic power and present seething into something other than mere anger at the EU.

But we don’t live in a sane world. U.S.  finances are following the Greek example. President Obama either does not understand the West or perhaps does not care to.  To the new America, a Germany is no different from a Pakistan or Venezuela, just another member of the international community, no better or no worse than any other. Our commitment to NATO and the U.S. defense budget will soon be  redefined, as even more  entitlements along the lines of  the recent trillion-dollar health care plan are envisioned.

In other words, in such a vacuum, very soon, if we are not careful, we are going to have a German problem — again.



Lord Christopher Monckton on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster by The Elephant's Child


Lord Christopher Monckton has been traveling the world, speaking on the science — and the failure — of the alarmist case  for global warming. He’s a witty, fun speaker and it is always a pleasure to hear from him.

On the 6 of May, he testified before Congress.  His testimony is here.  His testimony began:

The Select Committee, in its letter inviting testimony for the present hearing, cites various scientific bodies as having concluded that —

  1. The global climate has warmed;
  2. Human activities account for most of the warming since the mid-20th century;
  3. Climate change is already causing a broad range of impacts in the United States;
  4. The impacts of climate change are expected to grow in the coming decades;

The first statement requires heavy qualification and, since the second is wrong, the third and fourth are without foundation and must fall.



Republican Wins Seat in Obama’s Hawaiian Home District by American Elephant
May 23, 2010, 1:08 am
Filed under: News, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Congratulations to Hawaii’s brand new Congressman-elect, Republican Charles Djou. The anti-Democrat wave continues…

Republicans scored a midterm election victory Saturday when Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou won a Democratic-held House seat in Hawaii in the district where President Obama grew up — the latest triumph for the GOP as it looks to take back control of Congress.

Djou’s victory was a blow to Obama and other Democrats who could not rally around a candidate and find away to win a congressional race that should have been a cakewalk. The seat had been held by a Democrat for nearly 20 years and is located in the district where Obama was born and spent most of his childhood.

“This is a momentous day. We have sent a message to the United States Congress. We have sent a message to the national Democrats. We have sent a message to the machine,” Djou said. “The congressional seat is not owned by one political party. This congressional seat is owned by the people.”

Djou received 67,274 votes, or 39.5 percent. He was trailed by state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat who received 52,445 votes, or 30.8 percent. The other leading Democrat, former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, received 47,012 votes, or 27.6 percent.

Republicans see the victory as a powerful statement about their momentum heading into November. They already sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate to replace the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts — a place that was once thought to be the most hostile of territories for the GOP. Now Republicans can say they won a congressional seat in the former backyard of the president and in a state that gave Obama 72 percent of the vote two years ago. [read more]

Even though the Democrat vote was split between two candidates (your party is really in disarray when you can’t rally behind one candidate or the other), even their combined totals represent a 20 point loss for Democrats in the district.



Could We Please Let this Crisis Go To Waste, Mr. President? by The Elephant's Child

President Barack Obama, on Friday, directed the government to set the first-ever mileage and pollution limits for big trucks and buses, and to tighten the rules for future cars and SUVs. He wants vehicles that run on half the fuel they use now, and give of half the “pollution.”

The nation that leads in the clean energy economy will lead the global economy, And I want America to be that nation.” Obama said.

Well, of course, this is the presidency that operates on the theme of “never letting a crisis go to waste.”  The Deepwater Horizon rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico makes everyone look at all oil askance — time to jump on some more regulation of little use.

Elsewhere, headlines in the Spanish newspaper La Gaceta:

Spain admits that the green economy sold to Obama is a ruin.

There is no “clean energy economy.”  No one, apparently except Obama, has any illusions that any regulation of CO2 emissions will do anything to lower global temperatures.  The economic case for the embrace of renewable energy has collapsed. It’s over.

President Obama has cited Spain as an exemplar of an “ecologically sound energy economy” no fewer than eight times.  Spanish economist Gabriel Calzada — has clearly established that for every green job created by the Spanish nation’s massive investment in wind and solar, that transfer of wealth to uneconomic activities has cost the economy 2.2 jobs in opportunity cost, as well as direct job losses due to the increased cost of power. The President of Spain’s National Commission of Energy, socialist Maite Costa has called Spain’s energy policies unsustainable.

Obama’s  Presidential Memorandum Regarding Fuel Efficiency Standards.  From the photo-op, Obama said:

We know that out dependence on foreign oil endangers our security and our economy.  We know that climate change poses a threat to our way of life — in fact we’re already seeing some of the  profound and costly impacts.  And the disaster in the Gulf only underscores that even as we pursue domestic production to reduce our reliance on imported oil, our long-term security depends on the development of alternative sources of fuel and new transportation technologies.

Can we do away with some of the nonsense?  We are not “addicted” to oil.  Our economy runs on oil. Wind, solar and nuclear energy produce electric power, which, at present, does not power our cars and trucks, nor will it into the foreseeable future, despite Obama’s enthusiasm for electric cars.

You will note just how the disaster in the Gulf has been turned around to somehow be a contribution to global warming, which Obama called  “a threat to our way of life.”  Sorry, the global warming scare is over — yesterday’s scam.

In spite of all the talk, there is no expansion of nuclear power.  Should a new plant be given approval at the federal level, environmentalist delaying tactics and lawsuits would take years.  Wind and solar produce energy only sporadically and must have 24/7 backup from regular gas or coal-fired plants.

For example, the Washington DC-based U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is readying a proposal to place much of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge off-limits, allowing no economic development of any kind, even on Native-owned lands, which would hamstring native survival. The FWS proposal to place the nearly 1.5 million acres of ANWR’s coastal plain off-limits — could even be permanent.

Here’s another one.  The Iraqi government needed to quickly bring its oilfields online.  They desperately needed the revenues.  They selected the best in the business — Exxon-Mobil.  Three senators, John Kerry (D-Ma), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), wrote a public letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, imploring her to derail the Iraqi deal.  The Senators claimed “It is our fear that this action by the Iraqi government could further deepen political tensions in Iraq and put our service members in even great danger.”  They wanted Iraq to have no revenue until they had passed an oil revenue-sharing plan that the Senators liked.

That spooked the Iraqis. Washington politics  intruded into the political arguments in Iraq — Iraq just needed a willing partner, without the meddling of American politicians.  So they signed up with the state-owned — China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC),  which is now set for the next 20 years in Iraq.  China is busily buying up oil all over the world.

What is the President’s real aim?  Ending our reliance on oil?  Shutting down our economy?  Forcing people into public transportation? Or is it just another power grab?



Awesome: Arizona Governor Treats Obama/Democrats like the Irresponsible, Petulant Children They Are. by American Elephant
May 21, 2010, 6:18 pm
Filed under: National Security, News, Politics | Tags: , ,

I know very little about Governor Brewer, but so far, I like what I see very much.

And can I just point out that with 73% approval, the Arizona border enforcement law has been, by far, the LEAST divisive law passed anywhere in the United States during the entire Obama/Democrat era?

What do you say, Brewer/Christie 2012?

(via HotAir)




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