American Elephants


Nevermind ISIS or Russia, Fixing Global Warming is Much More Urgent! by The Elephant's Child

The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, which is silly enough, but he wants to do it without ratification from Congress. One little problem:

Under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.

How interesting that someone who liked to proclaim himself a scholar of Constitutional Law, should, after swearing an oath on the Lincoln Bible to “the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” be so determined to get his own way that he is willing to defy the Constitution in case after case. It is more than ignoring his oath, it is a matter of character. This is a man who cannot be trusted because he does not keep his word.

The New York Times casually notes that President Obama ignored the legislative process in his domestic climate-change agenda as well.

In seeking to go around Congress to push his international climate change agenda, Mr. Obama is echoing his domestic climate strategy. In June, he bypassed Congress and used his executive authority to order a far-reaching regulation forcing American coal-fired power plants to curb their carbon emissions. That regulation, which would not be final until next year, already faces legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed on behalf of a dozen states.

Doesn’t matter who disagrees with him, he’s right and you are wrong. He is the President of the United States, and he cannot be opposed.

Does anyone believe that the president has spent even five minutes studying up on global warming or climate change? He’s probably talked to Al Gore, and Science Advisor John Holdren, and all his backers and bundlers who have gotten rich off of the taxpayer money he has poured into energy scams and failed renewable energy projects. But actually looking into the science? Not a chance. Global Warming is for the Left the best chance of establishing social justice in the world. They believe because the Left believes. It is a religion, a matter of faith. As James Delingpole says:

First, they are determined to misrepresent this as a party political issue – in which ignorant, ideologically motivated, Big-Oil-funded Republican “denialists” are willfully and perversely obstructing the perfectly sensible climate policies fully supported by all Democrats. This wasn’t true in 1997 when the Senate voted down the first attempt at a binding international climate treaty – Kyoto – by 95 to 0. It isn’t true today.

Second, it refers to “established climate science” as if – to quote Al Gore – the science on global warming were “settled.” This was a risible notion even at the height of the global warming scare back in 1992 during the Rio Earth Summit when for a period global mean temperatures were actually rising but when scientists couldn’t agree why. It is even less plausible now, given that as all half-way serious scientists – alarmists and realists, alike – now acknowledge there has been no global warming in over 17 years.

Climate change, or global warming, does not even show up on the list of concerns of the American people. I don’t know if “naming and shaming” will convince anyone. The American people aren’t all that impressed with the United Nations either.



For Obama, Progress Is When He Makes The Rules by The Elephant's Child

President Obama convened his cabinet for a rare meeting on Tuesday, to ask for their help in devising a new round of executive orders to do what he wants. “We’re gong to have to be creative about how we can make real progress,” he said.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said last week he was planning to file a lawsuit against Mr. Obama’s use of executive actions to bypass Congress and legislate from the White House. “The Constitution makes it clear that the president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws. In m view, the president has not faithfully executed the Law,” Speaker Boehner told reporters.

Mr. Obama’s reaction is to blame Republicans for not doing what he wants, and say he will just move ahead on his own.”We’re always going to prefer working on a bipartisan basis to get things done,” Mr. Obama said in one of his more absurd statements. He has made no effort to work with Republicans, and simply expects them to do his bidding. If they don’t, he calls them names.

The Supreme Court has ruled against the administration 20 times, unanimously. Senator Ted Cruz explains. When the president’s own appointees unanimously reject the administrations call for broader federal power, it’s pretty clear that the administration’s view of federal power knows no bounds.

Administrative power has an old and dark history. As early as the Middle Ages, English kings were expected to rule through acts of Parliament and the acts of the law courts. Kings liked the legitimacy of this regular mode of governance, but couldn’t always get what they wanted from Parliament. They justified it as the prerogatives of a king, or absolute power. Constitutional law developed to preclude any such illegal power. Americans knew the English experience with absolute power and feared any recurrence of it in America. Our Constitution precludes extralegal power by placing legislative powers in Congress and judicial power in the courts.  The Constitution emphasizes that “All legislative Powers herein granted” are vested in Congress. It’s a recurring problem.

With immigration legislation dead for the year in Congress, the president said he would use his executive authority to boost border security and would consider additional steps to change the nation’s immigration policies. He faces pressure from immigration activists to grant work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants. He will probably attempt to make adjustments to deportation policy that will shield some illegal immigrants from deportation.

Mr. Boehner blamed the president for the House’s inaction. “In our conversation last week, I told the president what I have been telling him for months: the American people and their elected officials don’t rust him to enforce the law as written. Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue.”



The Left’s Distaste for Democracy. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama, we are told, has little respect for the Constitutional separation of powers. Recently, he has announced in several statements, that he intended to govern without Congress. He would go around the legislative branch, and accomplish what he wanted by executive order and agency regulation.

On his return from Hawaii, Mr. Obama has concluded that he has the legal authority to make a recess appointment  of Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without Senate approval.

Senate Republicans say they will not confirm anyone to the post until substantial changes are made to the bureau’s structure. Last month the Senate voted 53-45 to take up the Corday nomination, falling short of the 60 votes needed.  The White House has decided to make the recess appointment even though there is no recess.  They have decided that no one can stop them. The new bureau, as structured, has no limits to its authority, and leaves the bureau open to intrude in consumer’s finances in ways far too intrusive. It is an unneeded addition to the federal bureaucracy.

The Left has a general distaste for democracy. Peter Orsag, Obama’s former OMB head, writing for the New Republic, suggested that Americans need to transfer much of the operation of government out of the hands of Congress, and into the hands of unelected and brighter bureaucrats. He proposed creating automatic boards of unelected administrators and “trigger” mechanisms that automatically set policy unless Congress specifically proposes an alternative.

North Carolina’s governor Bev Perdue raised eyebrows back in September when she suggested simply suspending elections for a few terms so congressmen would not have to worry about angering their constituents.

The Justice Department has ordered a halt to South Carolina’s new photo ID  law.  On Dec. 23, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez sent a letter ordering South Carolina to stop enforcing its photo ID law, with the claim that South Carolina’s law would disenfranchise thousands of minority voters. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson rejected Mr. Perez’s math.  The state Election Commission found 239,000 people registered to vote with no photo ID. The DMV found that 37,000 were deceased, over 90,000 had moved away, and others had names not matched to ID. That left 27,000 people registered without an ID but who could vote by signing an affidavit as to their identity.

Leading Democrats have been attempting to portray photo ID as the second coming of Jim Crow, but all states provide photo IDs for free if they cannot afford one. The U.S. Constitution empowers the states to enact voting procedures without input from the national government, such as setting the voting age and election days for federal offices.  The 15th and 19th amendments ensure that no one is denied the right to vote based on race or sex.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act authorizes the U.S attorney general  to review changes to voting procedures or redistricting. A 2005 bipartisan Commission of Federal Election Reform found no evidence that requiring photo ID would suppress the minority vote, and recommended a national photo ID system and a campaign to register voters.

A U.S. District Court judge has rejected a challenge to the Voting Rights Act filed when the Dept. of Justice barred the city of Kinston, NC from holding nonpartisan elections — reasoning that lack of access to party affiliation would discriminate against minority voters who otherwise wouldn’t know how to find Democrat candidates on a ballot.

In New Haven, CT, Mayor John DeStefano seeks to extend voting rights to illegal immigrants. He contends that the rights to vote guaranteed by the Constitution are limited to federal elections.  The question is if the mayor has the authority to extend the right to vote. The mayor has also barred police from asking community residents who had not been arrested to prove their legal status.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services are pressuring rank-and-file officers to rubber-stamp immigrants’ visa application, sometimes against the officers’ will. A report drafted by the Office of the Inspector General details the pressure immigration officers are under to approve visa applications quickly, overlooking concern about fraud, eligibility or security. The report found that 14% of respondents had serious concern that employees who focused on fraud or ineligibility were evaluated unfairly.

Democrats want to make sure that everybody and all their dead relatives gets to vote. People are careless about their voting rights, they move and do not cancel their registration, they die and no one tells the election authorities, ACORN has been convicted of voter fraud in many states, has been denied funding by Congress, and is still being funded by the Obama administration under different names. We have experience of fraudulent elections here in Washington State, and it really makes you angry when your vote is cancelled by someone registered as Mickey Mouse.

ADDENDUM: I’m told I’m not clear about voting rights. Determining voting rights is a state matter, except—The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlaws discriminatory practices that had been responsible for disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.  The act prohibits states from imposing any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting to deny or abridge the right to vote on account of race or color. It was specifically designed to outlaw literacy tests in order to register to vote, but as amended in 1982  prohibits any voting practice or procedure that has a discriminatory result. The DOJ is authorized to “preclear” any attempt to change any voting requirement in states that had less than 50% of the voting age voting in 1960 and/or 1964. It’s all very complicated, but there is no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States.



Investigating and Intimidating Your Political Opposition Is The Act of an Out-of-Control Congress. by The Elephant's Child

We knew that Democrats were trying to blame insurance companies for the terrible state of health care. Since America has the best health care in the world, that seemed like a kind of spin designed for exceptionally gullible dummies.

The other option is to understand how the involvement of government and government mandates have complicated and damaged the health care industry. But demonizing health insurance companies seemed like a good idea at the time. Everybody has had terrible experiences with insurance companies denying care, dropping you if you get sick, or do they? Polls show that most Americans with insurance are happy with their insurance.

Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) have sent a three-page letter to the country’s top insurance providers demanding that 52 insurance companies provide them with detailed documentation on their executive compensation policies, what they spend on conferences and other business practices. This is a clear attempt to intimidate an industry that has been demonized by a political party, into giving up information that can be spun against them in some kind of class envy. And it is disgusting. Who do Mr. Waxman and Mr. Stupak think they are, and what country do they think this is?  East Germany?

The Democrats “request” compels insurers to produce “detailed compensation data for board members and top executives” and asks for a “table listing all conferences, retreats or other events held outside company facilities from January 1, 2007 to the present that were paid for, reimbursed or subsidized in whole or in part by your company.”

These are American companies. Their proper response should be a unanimous and resounding NO. This is pure political harassment. No member of Congress has any reason to believe that the insurance companies have acted criminally.  The business of the insurance companies is none of Congress’ damned business.

The American people need to remember their heritage as free people.   We were founded in resistance to an out-of-control government, and we demanded liberty for ourselves and responsibility from the government to whom we gave designated powers.  Those powers are enumerated in the world’s oldest Constitution, and they are limited. Congressmen who cannot seem to remember that simple fact should be replaced.




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