American Elephants


The Rose-Colored Glasses Are Beginning To Come Off. by The Elephant's Child

There are cracks in the firmament, or perhaps I should say in the rose-colored glasses. The head of the NAACP has said the obvious out loud, that President Obama has not been good for black Americans. Unemployment rates for Black Americans remain way too high, and for black youth they are off the charts.

Chris Crane, president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement 118, told the House Judiciary Committee yesterday that President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security care more about “special interests” in the Democratic campaign base than the lives of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. This is the ICE Union boss.

“Death or serious injury to ICE officers and agents appears more acceptable to ICE, DHS, and Administration leadership, than the public complaints that would be lodged by special interest groups representing illegal aliens,” Chris Crane, president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement 118, told the House Judiciary Committee this afternoon.

Crane based that statement on the way government policies handcuff the ICE officers charged with enforcing immigration laws, such as the policy that bans using tasers on illegal immigrants even though law enforcement is authorized to use them on U.S. citizens in the course of an arrest.” ICE will not approve this equipment for political reasons,” Crane, a former United States Marine, explained.

Obama ‘s decision to implement the DREAM Act without congressional approval — “deferred action for childhood arrivals” (DACA) — has made it almost impossible to enforce the law. ICE immigration agents have been instructed to accept an illegal alien’s claim as to whether he or she graduated or is attending high school or college or otherwise qualifies for DACA. Immigration agents have heard illegal immigrants coaching about how to lie about their qualification for DACA privileges. ICE union members agreed in 2010 that they have “no confidence in the ability of the people Obama has appointed to run the agency.

Ed Whitacre, former CEO of General Motors appointed by Obama, has a new book out: American Turnaround. Whitacre initially believed that the government wanted to help the company survive and thrive. He found out that was not true. Their goal was not to maximize profits to ensure GM survival, but to keep control of the company as long as possible, to keep its union allies fat and happy and to pleas its green buddies by forcing GM to produce hybrid vehicles that the vast majority of Americans cannot afford, and perhaps never will.

He said the partial  IPO that the bankers allowed went well, but on that day, GM didn’t just get a few additional orders for the $20.1 billion offering, but orders worth $86 billion— enough that GM could have repaid the government the entire $43 billion it owed, but given the taxpayers a nice profit on top of that.

In a recent New York Times op-ed, David Rothkopf said that Obama’s lack of experience , and never having  an executive or leadership role in his career, makes him unsuited for running government effectively. Obama is a lousy manager.

But Mr. Obama and his team would benefit, as they begin the second term, by acknowledging that many of the biggest problems facing the administration flow directly from the man at the top. Mr. Obama is a lousy manager. As chief executive he gets a C — and then only if graded on a curve that takes into account his predecessor’s managerial weaknesses.

Often people with no management experience — academics, writers or politicians who have never run an office with more than a handful of people — are put in charge of giant, complicated government agencies or processes. In part this is because so many people in government mistakenly believe that being able to articulate ideas is the same as being able to put ideas into action.

In the New York Times.  They probably allowed the criticism because Mr. Rothkopf went on about Mr. Obama’s “notable achievements” which I would hardly agree are achievements, but then Mr. Rothkopf is clearly a chartered leftist, the publisher of Foreign Policy magazine. The whole op-ed is fairly amusing, and a window into leftist thinking, such as it is. Lots of sheer nonsense, and a few partly sensible suggestions.

The rose-colored glasses are beginning to come off, a little. Maybe they will even start photographing the president without the ubiquitous halo around his head. Comedian Chris Rock has created some real humor on the right today, by claiming that the president is our Boss, and the Obamas are our Mom and Dad, and we should mind them. Huh.

 



Crying Racism Way Too Often. by The Elephant's Child

Last week, Tony Blankley wrote a succinct essay on racism:

In the last fortnight: 1) The NAACP called the tea party racist; 2) Andrew Breitbart called the NAACP racist; 3) Shirley Sherrod called Republican opponents of Obamacare racists; 4) Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack called Shirley Sherrod racist; 5) many in mainstream media called Andrew Breitbart racist; 6) Howard Dean called Fox racist; and, 7) it was revealed that liberal journalist Spencer Ackerman proposed calling Fred Barnes and Karl Rove racist.

Thus, through a confluence of bizarrely unlikely events, the vicious act of falsely accusing people of racism became a laughingstock. It went from being a career killer to a punch line; from villainy to vaudeville; from knife in the back to pie in the face.

I think Mr. Blankley got it about right.  But wait!  There’s more.  Representative Charles Rangel of New York and Representative Maxine Waters of California  are being accused of some ethical wrongdoing. Politico reports:

The question of whether black lawmakers are now being singled out for scrutiny has been simmering throughout the 111th Congress, with the Office of Congressional Ethics a focal point of the concerns. At one point earlier this year, all eight lawmakers under formal investigation by the House ethics committee, including Rangel and Waters, were black Democrats. All those investigations originated with the OCE, which can make recommendations — but takes no final actions — on such case.

There’s a “dual standard, one for most members and one for African-Americans,” said one member of the Congressional Black Caucus, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

It just won’t work. It is a joke.  Charles Rangel accepted four rent-controlled apartments from a developer at a below market value, one of which he used as campaign headquarters, he neglected to pay taxes on the rental income from a beachfront vacation home he owned, and he is accused of preserving a tax loophole worth half a billion dollars for an executive who had promised a $1 million donation to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York.  He will face a trial by the ethics committee in September.

Maxine Waters is accused of an ethics violation because of a meeting she set up in September 2008 between Treasury Department officials and representatives of minority-owned banks.  The meeting centered on a single bank — one in which her husband  had considerable investments at the time, and in which he had served on the board of directors.  The bank subsequently received $12 million in bailout funds.

I understand that only Republicans violate ethical standards.  We know that because Republicans encourage members who have violated standards to resign promptly. Democrats are free not to pay their taxes, and any other violations they may commit are probably a case of mistaken identity. But when the ethics committee investigates and requires a trial — don’t play the race card.   It should be beneath you.

ADDENDUM: The White House has actually put out a statement comparing opposition to ObamaCare to Opposition to the Civil Rights Act. The point is to demonize and intimidate Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli and any other states that have sued, rather than address their claims about the unconstitutionality of the health care legislation.




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