American Elephants


The Ideologue-In-Chief Does Not Believe That People Should Have Guns. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama expects to ally himself with big business once again by using crony-capitalist techniques to pass gun control legislation, just as he used them to pass ObamaCare. Reportedly he plans to make sure that the new gun control law benefits big businesses that sell weapons.

They are working on strategies to work around the National Rifle Association which one source said could depend on rallying support from Wal-Mart and other gun retailers for measures that would benefit their businesses, like closing a loophole that allows people to bypass background checks if they purchase firearms at gun shows or other types of private sales, according to the Washington Post.

When the White House was working on the health care law, Jim Messina, (the White House deputy chief of staff at the time, who went on to manage the 2012 presidential campaign) negotiated with the pharmaceutical companies to get them to pay for pro-ObamaCare television ads.

In exchange, drug lobbyists and White House officials crafted the legislation. “Obama abandoned his campaign promises and pledged to protect the drug industry’s government-granted privileges. The industry also secured subsidies and lengthy government-protected monopolies on biotech drugs,” according the The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney.

Britain’s experience with gun control has meant a huge escalation in crime, particularly home invasion. Here is what happened to Australia. Take the time to watch this video. It is important and the Aussies are trying to warn us. We need to pay attention. Pass it on, share it widely.

Remember that the American people wanted no part of Obama’s Health Care Law. Public opinion has been against it by large numbers, yet here we are, and it is law. John Lott, author of More Guns, less Crime, was at the University of Chicago when Obama was a part-time instructor there. Lott attempted to strike up a conversation, but Obama informed him that he did not believe that people should be allowed to have guns. Obama is stuck in a deep ideological rut. He does not change his mind.

Barack Obama, fresh from an election victory no matter how it was achieved, sees himself as having a mandate to do what he wants. He does not conceive of himself as president of all the people, but as president to those who agree with him. He wants to be a “transformational” president. I wish we understood a little better exactly what he means by that, but I don’t think we would like it. In good community organizer style he is attempting to move when emotions from Sandy Hook are still high, and to rouse them further to pass what he wants. He has assigned Joe Biden to come up with a proposal, but the result of Biden’s committee is already known.

Journalists are already ramping up emotional support for the president. Their love affair is not over, nor are they prepared to do their job as journalists and watchdogs over the government.

Obama has said “The question is whether we are going to be able to have a national conversation” about gun control. We have been having one since before I was born.

The Sacramento Bee reports, in typical Butterfield Fallacy form, that gun deaths and injuries have dropped sharply in California, even as the number of guns sold in the state has risen, according to new state data. Over 20 schoolchildren were murdered at Sandy Hook, but over 400 schoolchildren have been killed with guns in Chicago, where strict gun control is the law.

Ideologues never want to look at the statistics, study the history, examine the arguments. Ideologues know what they believe, and that’s the end of it.

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(image: Theo)



Simpson and Bowles Are Disgusted by the Cliff Deal and President Obama’s Actions. by The Elephant's Child

In an interview on Meet the Press, former Clinton chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and Former Sen.Alan Simpson talk about the realities of fixing the debt. These two respected gentlemen were asked by President Obama to chair a commission, examining the problem of the debt. They did, but the President apparently didn’t like what they came up with. He ignored their work entirely.

Speaker of the House John Boehner was stunned when President Obama told him that there was no spending problem. The debt was a result of the expenditures on health care.

Both Simpson and Bowles spoke with uncommon candor for Sunday show guests. They charged that the measures Congress has taken to address our debt and deficit problems are woefully inadequate, and they had very harsh words for the fiscal cliff deal signed into law last week. Simpson criticized the President in particular for ignoring the recommendations produced by the deficit reduction commission.

“Don’t forget, in our commission, we got five Democrats, including Dick Durbin, five Republicans, including Tom Coburn, one independent, how do you do any better than that?” Simpson asked. “And the president ignored it, and the Congress has ignored it because they won’t do the big stuff, and the big stuff has got to get done…we’re the healthiest horse in the glue factory right now.”

Bowles emphasized that, while lawmakers have tackled the easy problems facing the nation, the more difficult ones remain. “We have got to reform the tax code to make it more globally competitive, we have got to reduce this entitlement spending…and we have got to make social security sustainably solvent.” Bowles said. “It’s gotta be growth, it’s gotta have some revenue, but the big part going forward has gotta be spending cuts,” he concluded.

Economist Alan Reynolds said “President Obama does not understand economics, and apparently he will not listen to anyone who does.” I keep repeating this, but the statement is proved to be true over and over.



Al Gore Sells Out for $100 Million Return on Failed Investment by The Elephant's Child

Al Gore’s Current TV channel has been famous for the fact that nobody watched it. Not one of his better investments, but former Vice President Gore is very good at rent seeking. Mr. Gore and his co-investors just sold liberal cable channel Current TV to Al Jazeera, the network bankrolled by the emir of Qatar.

Current’s owners could have simply said they were selling to the highest bidder, with the emir paying an estimated $500 million for a network with only 22,000 viewers. Instead they attempted to glorify Al Jazeera.

Co-founder Joel Hyatt, a lawyer and Democratic fundraiser explained:

“When considering the several suitors who were interested in acquiring Current, it became clear to us that Al Jazeera was founded with the same goals we had.” Among them: “to give voice to those whose voices are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the important stories that no one else is telling.”

Mr. Hyatt also asserted that “Al and I did significant due diligence.” He wrote that he spent a week at Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar and was impressed by the “journalistic integrity” he saw there.

The Middle East Quarterly profile titled “The Two Faces of Al Jazeera” gave the network good marks for programming outside the emir’s interests, but Al Jazeera continues “to inflame Arab resentments in its promotion of anti-Americanism, Sunni sectarianism and in recent years, Islamism.”

Before buying Current TV, Al Jazeera managed to get access to only a few million cable households in the US. A former vice president justifying a $100 million bonus for a failed enterprise is not the best judge of “journalistic integrity.”

Barry Rubin says “al-Jazeera is a radical media outlet run by people who are anti-American, anti-Christian, antisemitic, and anti-Western. It is an instrument of extremist revolutionary movements. On a number of occasions it has lent itself to promote and be used by violent terrorist groups.”

“While al-Jazeera is more open to dissenting views than previous state-controlled media this is misleading.  It is more open in English than in Arabic but former staffers in the English-language section have spoken about how it is not a free agent but the news is slanted to please the Qatari government which owns it. “

Qatar is the most pro-Iran Arab government. It brokered the Fatah-Hamas deal which soon led to the Hamas coup. …It is also the leading supplier of arms to the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. On every issue, Qatar has taken a more radical, anti-American positions than all other Arab countries except Syria. It was also the key financier of the overthrow of the Libyan regime.



But He Really Cares, Didn’t You See the Pictures? by The Elephant's Child

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“Donna Vanzant struggled through flooded streets and downed power lines two days after superstorm Sandy to reach the ravaged marina she owns in Brigantine.

Secret Service agents were combing the area when she finally arrived, and by the time the afternoon was over, she had met President Obama and shared an emotional hug with him.

The following morning, the image of that embrace …appeared on the front page of The Record and was published and broadcast by news outlets around the world.”

Good shot for the Obama image. He cares. Both this image and the video were prominently posted on the White House website, but all the promises of immediate help? Didn’t happen. Vanzant said she was honored to meet the president, but looking back on the visit, it was just a big waste of time.

Her son took a two-week leave from the Navy to help out, and neighbors and friends have been wonderful, but the insurance company has been unresponsive, as has FEMA. There has been no help from the government.

Vanzant estimates her losses at around $500,000. Boats were thrown up as far as three blocks away. FEMA’s reputation has not improved, it’s still deplorable.

According to the book The Amateur by Edward Klein, which is a straight reporter’s book based on hundreds of interviews, this is somewhat of a pattern with Mr. Obama. He uses people when it is convenient, and tosses them under the proverbial bus, when the need has passed. There’s something about continuing to use the photos as evidence of his caring for ordinary people, making extravagant promises and not following through at all that speaks of character. Just a typical politician.



These Are Not Responsible People by The Elephant's Child

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I suggested that they were space aliens, inadvertently substituted for the sane Democrats we used to have. Their latest delusion is to eliminate the debt ceiling by minting a $1 trillion coin. Under this plan the U.S Treasury would use an obscure commemorative-coin law to mint at least one platinum coin, declare that it has the value of $1 trillion dollars and deposit it at the Federal Reserve.

And just how would that go over when the other nations of the world start minting their own coins and upping the ante. Perhaps I can just declare that my personal check ( I’ll decorate it) has a declared value of $1 million. The idea was just a joke, but now the moonbats are taking it seriously.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) last week said he was ‘absolutely serious” about pushing for the coin. Noble prizewinning economist and political hack Paul Krugman said Washington should be ready to take the step. A petition at whitehouse.gov asks the US Mint to make the coin. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) has announced he would introduce a bill to bar the Treasury from making such a move.  Here’s Krugman:

For those new to this, here’s the story. First of all, we have the weird and destructive institution of the debt ceiling; this lets Congress approve tax and spending bills that imply a large budget deficit — tax and spending bills the president is legally required to implement — and then lets Congress refuse to grant the president authority to borrow, preventing him from carrying out his legal duties and provoking a possibly catastrophic default.

The weird and destructive institution of the debt ceiling is the Constitution. Congress and only Congress has the power…to borrow money on the credit of the United States. We have a little problem of not having a coordinated package of taxation and spending plans, and a debt limit consistent with those plans. If we had one, it would be called a “budget” but we don’t have a budget , because in defiance of the law the Senate Democrats have refused to adopt one for nearly four years with the approval of Barack Obama.

Republicans have passed a budget. But they are being labelled by a compliant press as irresponsible in trying to stop the government from such reckless spending. Departing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner believes we shouldn’t have any debt ceiling — that there should be no limit to government spending. And the president doesn’t think spending is a problem. The outgo is all because of the spiraling cost of healthcare, everything else is just fine.

According to The Hill, Democrats say they want to raise as much as $1 trillion  in new revenues through tax reform this year to balance Republican demands to slash mandatory spending. Maybe we could let them mint the coin, but forbid them from spending it. Would they be content with just looking at it every so often?

These are not serious people. How do you deal with people who are so entirely unserious?

 




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