American Elephants


Obama is “Outraged,” but the Scandal is Outrageous.. by The Elephant's Child

Security leaks and the moles who made them, burrowed deep in our most secret departments, are the stuff of thrillers. How to discover the mole and prove his responsibility and to whom he gave our secrets —more than one novel has been based on just such a plot.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seeking asylum in Ecuador trying to avoid trial and prison.  He thought that publishing government secrets would — what? Make him rich? Reform Governments? Some think that governments should not have secrets, that public exposure would make governments more honest.

This is nonsense. The world is a dangerous place and governments are charged with protecting their people. The imperfections and failings of the human race are readily found in the daily news. Of course governments must have secrets. and those who reveal secrets  face harsh punishment.

Imagine an organization that has serially leaked the nation’s most carefully protected secrets — exposing intelligence sources, methods, and sharing classified information with the press that puts real lives at risk. Victor Davis Hanson details the scandal:

What I call “Securitygate” — the release of the most intricate details about the cyber war against Iran, the revelations about a Yemeni double-agent, disclosures about covert operations in and against Pakistan, intimate details about the Osama bin Laden raid and the trove of information taken from his compound, and the Predator drone assassination list and the president’s methodology in selecting targets — is far more serious than either prior scandal. David Sanger and others claim that all this was sort of in the public domain anyway; well, “sort of” covers a lot of ground. We sort of knew about the cyber war against Iran, but not to the detail that Sanger provides and not through the direct agency of the Obama administration itself.

Here is the crux of the scandal: Obama is formulating a new policy of avoiding overt unpopular engagements, while waging an unprecedented covert war across the world. He’s afraid that the American people do not fully appreciate these once-secret efforts and might in 2012 look only at his mishaps in Afghanistan or his public confusion over Islamic terror. Ergo, feed information to a Sanger or Ignatius so that they can skillfully inform us, albeit with a bit of dramatic “shock” and “surprise,” just how tough, brutal, and deadly Barack Obama really is.

Yet these disclosures will endanger our national security, especially in the case of a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. They will probably get people killed or tortured, and they will weaken America’s ability for years to work covertly with allies. Our state-to-state relations will be altered, and perhaps even the techniques and technology of our cyber and special operations wars dispersed into the wrong hands.

The whole world now knows about U.S. covert actions against Iran’s nuclear facilities. The cyber-attacks could be called an act of war. The revelations about the nature of the cyber-attack on Iran was so detailed and technique so explicit that Iran will know better how to defend itself, and how to use the information to encourage more terror against the United States. The doctor who helped to locate bin Laden has been sentenced to 33 years in Pakistani prison. A Saudi double agent who helped us in Yemen has been outed.  Why would our allies trust us with any information? Why would small nations dare to help us if we cannot keep secrets?

These weren’t quite “leaks,” but rather information freely given to the press to make Obama look stronger and more decisive in his foreign policy. It is completely clear that these “leaks” originated in the White House. The story in the New York Times cites members of the national security team who were in the Situation Room and quote the president. The White House is accused of leaking classified information to make the president look good in an election year.

Eric Holder, Attorney General has appointed a U.S attorney, Ronald Machen, who gave thousands of dollars to Obama’s first senate race and his presidential campaign, helped vet candidates for the vice presidential nomination and in a profile in the Washington Post, called Obama a “legend.”

Not the way to inspire confidence in an investigation.

 



What Is The Message of the Obama Campaign? by The Elephant's Child

On Sunday’s State of the Union, CNN’s Candy Crowley struggled valiantly to understand the message the Obama campaign is presenting to voters. She interviewed David Plouffe, White House Senior Adviser who was Obama’s campaign manager for the 2008 campaign. So, who should know better just what the message the Obama Campaign is proposing for his second term will be?

It is pretty obvious to everyone who is paying attention to politics, that Obama really hasn’t got much to run on. Unemployment remains extremely high although the recession officially ended in June of 2009. Spending is out of control and the debt threatens every American.

A free-market economy wants to recover after a recession. Left entirely alone, the economy gradually will recover. Politicians can’t leave it alone, they always hope to make it faster and less painful. Instead, it has only gotten worse, and three-and-a-half years later blaming Bush is wearing more than a little thin. The green energy and green jobs have been a flop, so why should we give him another four years? That’s what Candy Crowley wants to know. What is his message?

Here is the transcript. Do read it, it is beyond entertaining, and revealing as well. Candy is persistent, and just won’t give up.  And the video is at the end of the transcript. Enjoy. It’s great fun.



Obama Relents. DC Opportunity Scholarships Are Back On. by The Elephant's Child

John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the House, and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) wrote to President Obama, telling him that they were “very disappointed” with his decision to cut the Washington DC Opportunity Scholarship program. President Obama has relented in his opposition to the program.

“Thousands of families have taken advantage of this scholarship program to give their children an opportunity to succeed in life, and there’s strong evidence that it’s both effective and cost-effective”, House Speaker Boehner said in a statement today. “I’m pleased that an agreement has been reached to expand the program, consistent with the law already on the books.” Senator Lieberman added “This program provides a lifeline to many needy children.”

Ninety-one percent of the District students who participate in the program graduate from high school, yet Senate Democrats, cowed by the National Education Association teacher’s union, voted in 2009 to bar the program.

Obama has repeatedly tried to kill the program that enables around 1,200 DC kids to escape the dysfunctional DC school system. Republicans have kept pushing back and funding the program, and now Obama has finally agreed to keep it alive.

In a related note, the fastest growing segment of the home schooling movement is African-American families. The total number of kids being home-schooled has more than doubled since 1999 to more than two million, it is estimated.  Some 220,000 of those students are African-American, and they are doing well.

African-Americans  invested a lot of hope in Barack Obama as the first black president, and he has not repaid them well. He believes he has their vote sewn up, and has favored unions instead, Black unemployment is far higher than average, and unemployment for black young people is in the 20% range.

When you campaign for votes by pandering to voting groups, they assume that the favoritism you show on the campaign trail will play out in how you are treated by the administration. That has not proven to be true. It’s nice to see that the president has caved on this important program. Black kids are perfectly capable of doing well in school, they just need the opportunity.



The President is Pandering… Again. by The Elephant's Child

On Friday, President Obama announced “new actions my administration will take to mend our nation’s immigration policy, to make it more fair, more efficient, and more just — specifically for certain young people sometimes called ‘Dreamers.’

These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag.  They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one:  on paper.  They were brought to this country by their parents — sometimes even as infants — and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license, or a college scholarship. …

That’s what gave rise to the DREAM Act.  It says that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here for five years, and you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, you can one day earn your citizenship.  And I have said time and time and time again to Congress that, send me the DREAM Act, put it on my desk, and I will sign it right away.”

Well, nasty Republicans wouldn’t sign it. They have this strange idea that the laws should be obeyed, that if the laws need to be changed, then they should be changed. But if you start offering exceptions to the law, the law becomes meaningless. The President continued:

Now, let’s be clear — this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people. It is –

Q    (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  — the right thing to do.

The videos of the event at You Tube all say “heckler Neil Munro.” The president was clearly irritated, but Mr. Munro was not heckling, but asking a question. The media was horrified that anyone would interrupt the President, but his speeches are regularly interrupted. The dreadful Cleveland speech was interrupted three times with comments from the audience, noted in the transcript. Often the interruption will be “We Love You.” which I assume is a plant. The president always responds “I love you back”.

When he says “Let me be clear,” watch out. These ‘children’ are up to the age of 30. There are an estimated 800,000 of them competing for jobs with American citizens who are also just graduating. Today, the evangelicals, Catholic bishops and Focus on the Family, chimed in to say it is the right thing to do. They claimed to have studied the problem, but didn’t mention having studied the law.

However, I  happened upon this “Interactive Map: The Untapped Electoral Power of Latinos and Citizens-in-Waiting.  They are “eligible but unregistered Latino voters” who “could run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions,” at the Center for American Progress, dated on June 12,  before the President’s announcement. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Democrats are not always so obvious with their pandering to special interest groups.

Mitt Romney did not fall into the trap laid for him by the Democrats. He said these young people need a long term solution, not some temporary thing, and they deserved a serious solution. Yes. Our immigration laws need attention and revision.




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