American Elephants


As If We Don’t Have Enough Scandals — Now “Fast and Furious” is Back! by The Elephant's Child

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Unbelievable. Scandals under investigation all over the place. The IRS monumental crashes of hard-drives turns out to be contagious. First it was Lois Lerner, then it was six other hard drives of those who were accustomed to communicating with Lois Lerner. Then it was the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who failed to get approval for a massive redecorating of their offices. And the EPA  could not produce the evidence supporting their claims because of a hard drive crash.

The administration’s cause and effect enormous immigration scandal just keeps growing, and they are so fixated on the politics of future Democrat voters that they refuse to recognize what a mess they are making. Mara-Salvatrucha is being paid thousands to get questionable people across the border from China and the Middle East, because the border is essentially wide open. They are sneaking big groups of illegal aliens into states around the country without even informing governors. It will get interesting in the fall when your kids’ school classes are inundated with vast numbers of Spanish-speaking kids, hopefully the ones who have been cleared of being contagious. Apparently there are big problems with kids unfamiliar with modern plumbing who have to be taught how to use the bathroom facilities. The problems are far larger than the administration realized and they are relying on secrecy to prevent the  public from finding out.

Congress is attempting to respond to the VA scandal with more funding and a possibility for vets to escape the wait-times and get more prompt service in the private sector. We would seem to need a major firing spree of those responsible for the long wait times that caused the deaths of so many veterans. I don’t know if that is possible with unionized workers. Jail time would be good. If, as it looks, there is no recognition of the bad incentives based on a requirement that everyone be treated within 14 days. That was the sole efficiency guideline, and hey could not meet it, with the result that they tried to hide the real results. That has to be changed, or it will just repeat.

Now comes news of a scandal so old that we had almost forgotten it. “Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit (FOIA) against the Department of Justice b government watchdog Judicial Watch, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled a list of documents being withheld from Congress under President Obama’s claim of executive privilege must be turned over. Obama made the claim on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder was voted in criminal and civil contempt of Congress in June 2012.” Excellent article by Katie Pavlich, and a huge step forward.

The documentation DOJ is required to now turn over is a “Vaughn index” of “all requested Fast and Furious materials from a June 2012 Judicial Watch FOIA request.”

A Vaughn index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.” In ordering the DOJ to provide Judicial Watch the Vaughn index, the Court ruled, “In this circuit, when an agency is withholding documents under exemption claims, courts require that the agency provide a Vaughn index so that the FOIA requester – at a distinct informational disadvantage – may test the agency’s claims.”

“Fast and Furious” if you have forgotten was the huge gun-running scandal that got one of our Border  Patrol agents killed and hundreds of Mexican citizens killed by flooding the cartels in Mexico with guns, in some misguided attempt to promote gun control.

A mostly unacknowledged scandal is the American media’s reluctance to cover anything that might discredit the Obama administration. Apparently American Journalism schools are failing to prepare their students for their important place in the American polity. They are not there to change the world, and they are not there to play politics. An honest journalism profession is knowledgeable about history and geopolitical reality, not just about how to write a lede. They are there to search for truth and  report the facts. They are the watchdog for the people. When they are partisan and report only the news favorable to their side of a debate, they fail their most basic function.



Sixty-Four Percent of Hispanics Want the Kids Deported. by The Elephant's Child

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Remember how this all started? Breitbart broke the story of something like 50 thousand unaccompanied children escaping the violence at home arrived illegally at our borders. It was a way to pressure the GOP into caving in on amnesty. Stories of Border Patrol agents changing diapers, mothers with toddlers, always emphasis on the “children.”  We must have compassion for the little children. Well, as the news spread, it became clear that the media, as usual, were either lying to us or ill-informed themselves. Take your pick. 47% of the illegals were young men of  age 11-18. A significant number were recruiters for Mara-Salvatrucha, the violent street gang of young men also, coincidentally, age 11-18.

The amnesty idea caved in among the public pretty rapidly. A new poll from Economist/YouGov makes it pretty clear that the plan has backfired badly.  Only 11% of the people want what Obama, the Democrats and the media want, which is amnesty for everyone. 77 percent of Americans want the kids sent back home. A full 43 percent want them deported immediately, regardless of what’s happening in their home countries. Another 35 percent want them sent back unless their home country is unsafe.

Further information from questioning the kids has demonstrated that they are NOT escaping violence at home, but are here because of Obama’s promises of amnesty. They were told in their home countries that if they got here they could get in and be cared for. Many were sent with an address or phone number of relatives in the U.S. Many were sent with smugglers. Neither the Border Patrol nor ICE are checking the people to whom the kids have been delivered, not the citizenship, address, nor their relation. The same people have turned up to accept several different children. They are told to turn up for a deportation hearing, but statistically only 20 percent ever do. The rest disappear in the population.

It turns out that Hispanics aren’t all that different from the rest of Americans. Only 22 percent want to give the children amnesty, and a full 64 percent want the children deported. Of that 64 percent, 28 percent want them deported immediately, 36 percent want them deported unless their home country is considered unsafe. But I thought all the Hispanics were demonstrating, demanding amnesty for all. Mostly, they’re right in line with the rest of the country.

The media apparently decided to ignore the problem in favor of concentrating on Israel and Hamas. But 81 percent of the American people believe the jump in illegal immigration is a very serious problem. 57 percent believe that the increasing numbers of illegals is due to the belief that the American government will grant the children amnesty. Only 29 percent believe it was due to increased violence in Central America.

Obama seems remarkably uninterested in the problem, which is interfering with his fundraising and golf. He seems indignant that Republicans are not going along with his ideas about amnesty and determined to pay them back for not letting him have his way. Stubborn petulance would seem to describe it. He is the President of the United States and he expects deference and cooperation, because — he is the most important man in the free world.  That doesn’t seem to comport with the idea that America should just be one nation among many, does it.



The Chaos At The Southern Border Is a “Manufactured Crisis” by The Elephant's Child

It is becoming increasingly clear that the chaos at our southern border is a “manufactured crisis,” initiated by the Obama administration. The surge was directly caused by the impression in Central American countries that unaccompanied children and mothers with young children could be admitted directly and free to America, where they would receive care, and welfare. At least that’s how Obama’s speeches were interpreted.

Earlier this spring the news broke that Health and Human Services (HHS) was advertising  for private contractors to help transport illegal aliens throughout the interior United States. Before the surge. Then there was this:

♦ Between December 2010 and November 2013, the Catholic Charities diocese of Galveston received $15,549,078 in federal grants from HHS for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Project” with a program description of “Refugee and Entry Assistance.”

♦ In 2013, the Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth received $350,000 from the Department of Homeland Security for “citizenship and education training” with a program description of “citizenship and immigration services.”

♦ Between September 2010 and September 2013, the Catholic Charities of Dallas received $823,658 from HHS for “Citizenship Education Training” for “refugee and entrant assistance.”

♦ From December 2012 to January 2014, Baptist Child and Family Services received $62,111,126 in federal grants from HHS for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Program.”

On Wednesday, a report from Texas confirmed the above grants. The Baptist Family and Child Services had received a $50 million contract to buy a Texas resort hotel and transform it into a 600 bed facility for juvenile illegal alien unaccompanied children. The post in Gateway Pundit featured pictures of the huge outdoor pool, the tennis courts, and sauna and exercise rooms. Not included in the pictures was the indoor olympic size pool, the simple but ‘well appointed rooms,’ racquetball courts and picnic areas.

They envisioned it as an intake center where children would spend about 15 days, as a sort of emergency room or triage center, for medical and mental health care, educational programs, recreational programs and case management. They planned on building a soccer field and adding a perimeter fence.

Well, one look at the pictures, and the proverbial excrement hit the fan. The monumental inappropriateness and  misplaced and overblown ‘compassion’ provoked a monumental outcry from sensible American citizens, who perhaps reminded them of veterans dying while waiting for simple appointments with a doctor, or the 92,000,000 Americans of working age who have quit looking for unavailable jobs, or the folks existing on help from charitable food banks. Baptist Child and Family Services withdrew their bid for the Palm Aire Resort  because of the ‘surprising’ outcry.  Be sure to take a look at the pictures.

It seems to me that this is related to the brilliant “Fast and Furious” boneheaded gun-running scheme that killed one American Border Patrol officer and hundreds of Mexicans in an attempt to drive gun control in America. Obama invited the flood of Central American children with talk of amnesty and open borders to welcome children and mothers with children. That worked. The flood may have been more than expected.

The media is featuring sad stories of little children and mothers and Border Patrol agents changing diapers, while the border is unattended since the agents have been called away from that job to change diapers. Most of the illegals are working-age males. The media isn’t talking about Mara-Salvatrucha or MS-13, nor human trafficking.

We had Amnesty once before, that was supposed to take care of the illegal immigrant problem. Instead the assumption was that amnesty would always be repeated and there has been a continuous flow of illegals ever since. Some time this year Obama will attempt to unilaterally and illegally amnesty half or more of the roughly 12 million illegal aliens now living in this country.

The immediate response should be tent cities, folding cots, and expedited processing and return of the entire flood to their own countries. And the fence should be built. Fences do work. Israel’s does. The fence around the White House does. It won’t stop the influx, but it would help to make clear that the United States has laws and expects them to be obeyed. One man with a bunch of crackpot ideas about ‘reforming America’ should not be able to get away with this.

  • The Judiciary Committee reports that 65% of Asylum requests are “immediately approved” in FY 2014.
  • About 500 illegal aliens are to be released into American society each week.
  • Only 38 illegal immigrants of the tens of thousand who have flooded the border have been deported. Most who have illegally entered the country since last October are expected to be allowed to stay.


Coming to America For Obama’s Free Pass! by The Elephant's Child

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The narrative about the chaos on the border continues to unravel. That tale about poor unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central American countries? Phony. They are coming because they believe that U.S. immigration laws are granting free passes or “permisos” to unaccompanied children and adult females traveling with children. That has been the word circulating in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. And once the ‘children’ are here they will be taken care of.

The Central American countries are dependent on remittances from American immigrants, and are not interested in stopping the surge of illegals.

When the Obama administration decided in 2012 to practice “prosecutorial discretion” in cases where individuals were brought into the U.S. illegally as minors. The violence in those countries is not new, and it has actually dipped. Some are sent by the human smugglers who have seen a weakness in the system, and used statements coming from the administration in order to increase the number of people coming over.

There is a lot of profit for coyotes in human smuggling, someone is paying the $7,000 fee, and as no one is checking the identity and status of the phone numbers which may be the only direction to the ‘relatives’ of the unaccompanied children—who are put on a bus to get to the address given. They may not actually go to ‘relatives.’ There is indication that Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) recruiters are being sent to recruit among the teen age young men.

Males between 15-17 years of age comprise 47 percent of all unaccompanied minors who are other than Mexican. Thirty percent are minors age 10-14. There has been an increase in the OTM minors who are pregnant or have physical or mental disabilities.

The same family members or sponsors are appearing several times to claim different children from the custody of U.S. authorities. The legal status of the family members or sponsors is not checked, nor is the address they offer as residence, or the accuracy of the relationship to the children.  U.S. authorities do not know whether or how U.S. gang members are involved in the smuggling of minors.

53,375 OTM unaccompanied minors are predicted for FY 2014, and 95,500 for FY 2015. Officials say it may take years to process these minors through deportation hearings and actual deportation. Not all who are being sent to housing facilities are being medically screened. The number actually being returned to their home countries is infinitesimal, less than 50 so far.

The intent on the part of the Democrats is open borders and amnesty. But very simply, the flow of illegals from Central and South America will not end until it is made clear that we do not have open borders, and that the way to come to America is to obey the rules, come as a legal immigrant, and be welcomed.

ADDENDUM: The number of illegal aliens who have successfully filed asylum claims has almost tripled from 2012 to 2012. And that is ten times the number from 2008 when President Obama was elected, clear evidence that his immigration officials are approving most of the asylum requests from the growing surge of illegals coming from Central America. I call them illegal aliens because that is the accurate terminology according to any dictionary. If you came to America with a tale of escaping violence, there’s not any more than usual, and they are well coached in the words that might get them amnesty.

Congress did call for a little more discretion after it was learned that the Tsarnaev brothers of Boston Marathon fame  successfully applied for amnesty in 2002. But “credible fear” of persecution by criminal gangs in their home countries in Central America works.  In 2008 there were 118,457 claims of credible fear, it grew slowly to 123,180 in 2011, and then leaped to 183,681 in 2012. Then it goes to the Border Patrol or ICE for provisional approval.  According to the Los Angeles Times only 1,669 claimants were rejected in 2013.  That’s down from 8,143 in 2008.



The White House Wants $3.7 Billion, but Airfare to Guatemala Is Not Included. by The Elephant's Child

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On July 8, 2014, the White House submitted its emergency budget request to the House of Representatives (Constitutional “power of the purse”) to deal with the “humanitarian crisis” on our southern border.

The budget request totals $3.7 billion. Many representatives immediately called it a blank check. White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz responded in the press that Congress cannot have it both ways, criticizing the administration and withholding the funding to effectively handle the crisis.  Scroll down past the president’s letter to see what they want all the money for.

Uh huh. The combined airfare for 30,000 illegals back to Guatemala City would be around $20 million. So what’s all the extra for?  DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, when interviewed on “Meet the Press” was unable to come up with a straightforward statement in response to a persistent David Gregory about whether any of the unaccompanied alien children would ever be returned to where they came from.

Government documents are written in soothing politically correct language that will not get anyone excited, but anyone with a sharp pencil could go through the list and separate out a big chunk of the nonsense. The administration, as usual, says one thing, and means another. It looks like their objective is not deportation, but resettlement. From The Center For Immigration Studies (CIS).

Of the $3.7 billion being requested, fully $1.8 billion (about 49 percent of the total) is for resettlement costs to be appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — not just for the UACs, but for entire family units, including adult men and women. There is no reason to think that the accommodations will be temporary, insofar as the funds include authorization “for acquisition, construction, improvement, repair, operation, and maintenance of real property and facilities.”

Much of the so-called “enforcement” portion of the budget is not truly geared toward removal; rather, it is a recouping of costs for temporary detention and subsequent transporting of aliens (including adults) to facilitate their resettlement and relocation by HHS. (It is noteworthy that, according to a leaked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Intelligence document, fully 47 percent of the arrivals are adults, who should be subjected to expedited removal, not to relocation and resettlement.)

As far I can tell, the Republicans are quite favorable towards legal immigration. Some high-tech companies want immigration reformed immediately so they can have more workers from India to bring down wage costs. We have some 92 million Americans of working age unable to find a job and who have given up looking. We have vastly more STEM graduates that there are available jobs. The Center for Immigration Studies has shown conclusively that immigrants have taken jobs that would otherwise have gone to American citizens.

Republicans would be happy to work on reforming immigration policy, but do not trust the president to enforce the law, to deport those who are here illegally, or to stop encouraging illegal immigrants and children to come here to take advantage of our generous welfare policies — and vote Democratic because of the free stuff. Our high-tech companies could offer training programs if they are dissatisfied with the technology graduates of our schools.

The U.S. government is generally expected to act in the interest of the people of the United States.” That astonishing statement is the subhead of a splendid article about immigration by Kevin Williamson titled “How to Think about Immigration.” Sensible and an excellent guide to establishing your own opinions, whether you are a hawk or a ‘squish.’ If you read my earlier post today about Janet Daley, the most important thing is assimilation. We want immigrants who want to be Americans, and we want them to become Americans, not those who make no effort to speak English, learn our history, or think of this as “their country,” as in ‘this is my country, land of the free’…



“I’m Not Interested in Photo Ops, I’m interested in Solving Problems.” by The Elephant's Child

The country is concerned about this influx at the border. “Concerned” is perhaps too much a State Department word. The people are very worried, for it seems like it’s out of control and getting worse. So it was a little shocking for most of us yesterday when the president was urged by so many to go down to the border, and he got all snarky:

Jeh Johnson has now visited, at my direction, the border five times.  He’s going for a sixth this week.  He then comes back and reports to me extensively on everything that’s taking place.  So there’s nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on.This isn’t theater.  This is a problem.  I’m not interested in photo ops; I’m interested in solving a problem.

That was fascinating to the media, who are quite familiar with the president’s penchant for photo-ops and more than ready to poke fun. The very earnest press secretary, Josh Earnest,  said “His view is that solving problems is most important, and solving problems is what the president was doing when he was in  Dallas on Wednesday. It’s also what the president has been doing over the last several weeks.”

Well, not exactly. He was mostly there for a significant number of fundraisers to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, just in Texas, mostly at $32,400 a pop.

Back when Mr. Obama was a senator running for the presidency, Richard Epstein, who knew him at U. Chicago and through his next door neighbor who is one of Obama’s closest friends, said that Obama had the most perfect character for a politician—he is in complete control of himself. He wants to be in control of his situation. That’s why he always speaks with a teleprompter. Why photographs of the president are always to be taken by the president’s photographer and released to the press. The press cannot take pictures any more. And that’s why photo-ops are to be under White House control, and favorable to the president. Remember the photo of the President, ‘alone’ in the Oval Office, observing a solemn moment of silence?

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This particular photo released by the White House shows the president deep in thought in the Green Room, pondering terrorists running wild in Iraq beheading people and capturing those non-existent WMD, or perhaps he’s trying to decide what he wants for dinner. But why would he leave the Oval Office to go to another room, lean against a red chair, so fetching against the green walls, with the light from the window just right on his somber face? Because he wants the public to see how concerned he is. Photos are powerful.

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This one, for example, won the last election for him. The exit polls showed that his concern about Hurricane Sandy damage was what swung the election, and this photo went viral. People thought it meant that President Obama “cares about people like me.”  Of course he was promising marina owner Donna Vanzant, whose marina had just been destroyed, help from FEMA, and he would help, but of course that never happened. Photos are powerful. And Obama likes to be in control of the situation.

His is, however, noticeably intent on not being pictured with OTM illegal unaccompanied alien children. This administration’s effort is to get the DREAM Act that Congress refused to pass, passed by a surprising and unexpected (?) massive influx of kids, unaccompanied minors, mothers with children, gang members and some Chinese kids and maybe a bunch of terrorists. (They have found Muslim prayer shawls next to the border.)

I think this is, like “Fast and Furious,” the gun-running scheme that went so far astray and killed a Border Patrol agent, and hundreds of Mexicans, in the effort to get gun control, was an effort by the administration to get the immigrants from Central America who will, in time, be loyal Democrat voters, into the country. That picture in the free “ObamaShoes” is clearly meant to show where the pending amnesty came from., to those who don’t speak the language.



The President Met With Governor Perry. Perry-1, Obama-0. by The Elephant's Child

Texas Governor Rick Perry met with President Obama today in Dallas. After the meeting he released the following statement.

DALLAS – Gov. Rick Perry today met with President Barack Obama to discuss the ongoing humanitarian and national security crises occurring along the Texas-Mexico border. In the meeting, Gov. Perry urged the president to undertake the necessary steps to secure the border and ease the crises.

“Five hundred miles south of here in the Rio Grande Valley there is a humanitarian crisis unfolding that has been created by bad public policy, in particular the failure to secure the border,” Gov. Perry said. “Securing the border is attainable, and the president needs to commit the resources necessary to get this done.”

Among the requests Gov. Perry made to President Obama to secure the border:

  • Visit the Texas-Mexico border to witness firsthand the impact of the border crisis;
  • Deploy an additional 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to immediately enhance border security operations;
  • Direct the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the National Guard to utilize Predator drones along the Texas-Mexico border for identifying and tracking human and drug trafficking;
  • Medically screen all illegal immigrants to ensure their health and the health of our citizens;
  • Direct the Centers for Disease Control or another appropriate federal agency outside the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct, in conjunction with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), inspections of facilities in which illegal immigrants, including UACs, are being housed to ensure accepted international and national emergency sheltering standards are met;
  • Modify or rescind policies that serve as a magnet to encourage illegal immigration, including:
  • DHS Catch and Release policies by which DHS issues an illegal immigrant an NTA before an immigration judge and releases them. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that 33 percent of those released on their own recognizance failed to appear in FY 2013.
  • Deportation policies and procedures that prohibit UACs from countries other than Mexico and Canada from being immediately repatriated back to their country of origin. After DHS processes these UACs, they are issued an NTA and delivered to a sponsor or relative in the United States, regardless of the relative’s immigration status.
The president said “Right now, there are more Border Patrol agents and surveillance resources on the ground than at any time in our history.  And we deport almost 400,000 migrants each year.” Which is not quite accurate. We have really boosted the funding for the Border Patrol, but according to reports, most of the Border Patrol agents have been called from the border to processing the UAC (Unaccompanied Alien Children), and the border is essentially wide open.
Obama, of course, takes responsibility only for the good things, and the problem at the border is, somehow, the uncooperative Republicans. It would all go smoothly if we had more administrative judges,more administrative capacity and lots more money.
We’ve asked Jeh Johnson to contact his head of Health and Human Services when he comes down for the sixth time at the end of this week to coordinate and make sure that some of the suggestions that the Governor has are technically feasible and what kind of resources might be needed. But what I emphasized to the Governor was the problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem.  The challenge is, is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done.
Another way of putting it — and I said this directly to the Governor — is are folks more interested in politics, or are they more interested in solving the problem?  If they’re interested in solving the problem, then this can be solved.  If the preference is for politics, then it won’t be solved.

The president was asked why he won’t visit the border. He said:

Jeh Johnson has now visited, at my direction, the border five times.  He’s going for a sixth this week.  He then comes back and reports to me extensively on everything that’s taking place.  So there’s nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on.This isn’t theater.  This is a problem.  I’m not interested in photo ops; I’m interested in solving a problem.

Obama has asked for $3.8 billion to feed, house and clothe something like 50,000 UAC, but then as soon as they are “processed” they are put on a bus to take them to their “relatives,” and only 20% will ever turn up for their deportation hearing. Senator Coburn said you could send them all back home, first class air to Guatemala City for just $20 million. So somebody has some problems with math.

What has drawn the sudden influx of unaccompanied alien children, is President Obama’s very own “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA), This was created with an executive order. Obama could rescind it any time he wants. Yet he says now that he cannot act without Congress.




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