American Elephants


IRS Targeting And the 2014 Election by The Elephant's Child

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Republicans are arguing — as usual — about who is a Conservative, an Establishment Republican, a Moderate, a RHINO, a Tea Party member, a Libertarian, and who is the right representative of the right side of the political spectrum.  And not just that — but who is conservative enough — call it the purity test.

Republicans are arguing about ideas, principles and policies, what is Constitutional and what is not. They are furiously writing blogs, op-eds, books, tweets and deluging their members of Congress with their opinions, worries and anger.

Democrats, on the other hand, are focused intently and exclusively on winning the next election. That’s what Democrats do. They have gone to great pains to insist that they knew nothing about any IRS targeting of 501 (c)(4) conservative nonprofits before the 2012 election. The IRS has claimed, um, mismanagement, ever so sorry, all fixed now. The FBI has obediently said that criminal charges will not be filed, nothing to see here, and no, we didn’t find it necessary to interview any of the 501(c)(4) groups who were targeted by the IRS. We just knew that there couldn’t be any criminal act here. This is your federal government.

That taken care of, the Democrats have been at even greater pains this week to ensure that the same conservative groups are silenced in the 2014 midterms. Kim Strassel explains in the Wall Street Journal:

That’s the big, dirty secret of the omnibus negotiations. As one of the only bills destined to pass this year, the omnibus was—behind the scenes—a flurry of horse trading. One of the biggest fights was over GOP efforts to include language to stop the IRS from instituting a new round of 501(c)(4) targeting. The White House is so counting on the tax agency to muzzle its political opponents that it willingly sacrificed any manner of its own priorities to keep the muzzle in place.

The Treasury Department and the IRS introduced a new rule during the Thanksgiving recess to “improve” the law governing nonprofits. What the rule does is recategorize as “political” all manner of educational activities that 501(c)(4) groups now engage in.  This is again IRS targeting, this time by administration design and with the straightforward political goal of putting tea party groups out of business, according to House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI).

Kim Strassel says according to her sources, Democrats had their own priorities, but “went all in” on keeping the IRS rule, even if it meant losing their own plans. Mr. Camp’s committee notes that Treasury appears to have combed through the list of previously targeted Tea Party groups, compiled a list of their main activities and then restricted those functions. The White House is using the IRS to win an election this fall.

Democrats have been alarmed by the Tea Party. They are unaccustomed to Republicans as activists, speaking out, picketing, holding demonstrations. The idea of ordinary Americans uniting in opposition to the policies of the administration is really scary. Who knows what they might do next? Treasury is going to great lengths to keep secret the process behind the rule which is directed only at 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups. Mr.Obama’s union foot soldiers who file as 501(c)(5) can continue to play politics.

Democrats freely admit that they have no principles, but act on circumstances. Their policies have not done too well, and ObamaCare has awakened the nation to that fact. They have, however, gone to great lengths to make sure they win elections by fair means or foul.

There was the “Secretary of State Project” designed to elect Democrats to that office in every state, because that was the officer in charge of elections. There is the ongoing effort to claim that asking a voter to show picture ID to prove their identity and their eligibility to vote is racist, and make it unlawful to require such identification. Here in Washington State where vote fraud has been a way of life, we now vote by mail, which makes fraud much easier, and voter ID more difficult to confirm.

If your only goal is winning, you don’t have to worry about the effect of your policies on the nation. That is becoming significantly apparent.



Governing by Executive Order? This is Not a Nation of One-Man Rule! by The Elephant's Child

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The upcoming State of the Union address is expected to be focused on the economy, so the President is picking up the pace of jobs messages, and attempting to demonstrate how he can advance his economic agenda. The problem, of course, is that presidents cannot create jobs, except by federal hiring, and that just takes more money out of taxpayer pockets.

Jobs are created by businesses confident in their ability to grow and expand, unfettered by excessive regulation and excessive taxation. Mr. Obama clearly believes that he can create jobs if he just speaks forcefully enough to business.

We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” Obama said Tuesday as he convened his first Cabinet meeting of the year.

Obama continued: ”And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward in helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible, making sure that our businesses are getting the kind of support and help they need to grow and advance, to make sure that people are getting the skills that they need to get those jobs that our businesses are creating.”

Obama’s message to his cabinet is “that we need all hands on deck to build on the recovery that we’re already seeing. The economy is improving, but it can be improving even faster.” The approach is meant to portray Obama as an impatient executive in the face of inaction from Congress, particularly in the Republican-controlled House.

Only through legislation can he get some of the most ambitious items on his economic agenda. He really can’t do it with his pen and phone. Executive orders won’t do it. And hopefully, it won’t get done. He wants a higher minimum wage, which is an unemployment act for young people already suffering from monstrously high unemployment rates. He wants universal preschool, which the results of Head Start, and dozens of careful studies have shown, does not work to give kids a better start in school. It amounts to expensive babysitting.

President Obama’s attempts at job creation have a remarkably poor history. His efforts at killing jobs have been much more successful. If he would just ignore the former and eschew the latter, we’d be better off. Early on there were the shovel-ready jobs and roads and crumbling bridges, crumbling schools too. Then there were all the green jobs that renewable energy would create.

The federal government added job-training programs in home insulation and energy-related stuff. Unfortunately the government was already overloaded with job training programs, mostly duplicative, and run by different departments who were unaware of each other. Few people actually found jobs after the training. The high-speed rail that was going to connect the cities of the Midwest died, and the railroad to nowhere in California is on life-support. The president visited every new manufacturing plant that offered a good photo-op, but his presence and blessings didn’t prevent bankruptcy.

He eliminated the possibility of drilling for oil on all coasts and most federal lands, but privately funded wildcatters went ahead and drilled with new fracking techniques on private land that is the only part of the economy that is actually booming and America is rapidly becoming through their efforts the energy powerhouse of the world. Even at that, 42 percent of our electricity is still produced by coal-fired power plants, which Obama is determined to put out of business with their millions of jobs.

There are things that a president can do with executive orders, but laws are made by Congress— according to the Constitution which Obama promised to preserve, protect and defend. The Executive is supposed to see that the laws are enforced. Americans are slowly becoming aware of the President’s legal end-run around Congress, and they don’t like it. According to a new IBD/TIPP poll, 55% disapprove of such a fiat rule. Americans are hamstrung by their deep respect for the office of the presidency.



Obama’s Risky Bet On Iran And The Ayatollahs by The Elephant's Child

The White House is playing hardball in its attempt to stop the Senate from adopting a new and tougher program of sanctions for Iran. Obama wants peace and diplomacy. One of the leading congressional loyalists, minority whip in the House of Representatives, angrily criticized a White House official for saying lawmakers who are still pursuing Iran sanctions are pushing for war.

There have been some that have suggested in the White House that those folks were more interested in war than they were in the resolution by peaceful means. I think that is absolutely untrue, [an] irresponsible assertion, and ought to be clarified and retracted by those who have made it within the administration,” Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters Tuesday morning. “Nobody believes, as far as I know, that going to war with Iran is anything but a dangerous objective that none of us would seek.”

Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokeswoman, in a statement made to multiple news organizations said “If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be upfront with the American public and say so. Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed.”

This is a straw man argument. Nobody is suggesting going to war. Arguments against sanctions are illogical. The only thing that even brought Iran to the negotiating table have been stiff sanctions. John Kerry lost whatever leverage he had when the sanctions were loosened.  Iran is still busily working on centrifuges, and now has funding restored.

This is especially alarming since the Geneva agreement did not demand that Iran stop all of its uranium enrichment programs and nuclear weapons research., in return for the West’s lifting some sanctions. Iran has never allowed U.N. inspection of all its nuclear sites and repeatedly stated that it will not allow this now.

Tehran under this deal gets to keep permanently the ability to make a nuclear weapon, and build further advanced uranium centrifuges….There is an informal “secret side deal” that the U.S. and the other powers haven’t admitted exists, but which Tehran is now touting as a “surrender,”

This is especially alarming since the Geneva agreement did not demand that Iran stops all of its uranium enrichment programs and nuclear weapons research, in return for the West’s lifting some sanctions. Iran has never allowed U.N. inspection of all its nuclear sites and repeatedly stated it will not allow this now. – See more at: http://acdemocracy.org/irans-nuclear-enablers/#sthash.umJcXaHc.T7jkPUm2.dpuf
This is especially alarming since the Geneva agreement did not demand that Iran stops all of its uranium enrichment programs and nuclear weapons research, in return for the West’s lifting some sanctions. Iran has never allowed U.N. inspection of all its nuclear sites and repeatedly stated it will not allow this now. – See more at: http://acdemocracy.org/irans-nuclear-enablers/#sthash.umJcXaHc.T7jkPUm2.dpuf

The administration has taken Iranian threats about ditching negotiations so seriously that it has become hostage to Tehran. The triumphant rhetoric coming from Tehran about the current nuclear deal being a victory for the Islamists, indicates that the Iranians believe that Obama is more concerned about achieving a “peace” with them than he is about shutting down their nuclear program. The ayatollahs believe that they have the West on the run, and administration devotion to the idea that further sanctions would “break faith” with their “new partners” in Iran, proves that.  The administration has its heart set on appeasement.

President Obama seems committed to the idea that the problems of the Middle East are a result of Israeli intransigence. If Israel would just stop settlements, make peace with Palestine and give back Palestinian territory, then there would be peace in the Middle East. That’s my take. I believe Obama is of those leftists who just don’t believe in war, and assume that to be a righteous and proper position. A little short on history and monumentally short of understanding of the Islamic world.  Why would the administration be more concerned with keeping faith with Iran, than keeping its word to the American people and our word with our allies.




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