American Elephants


This is a strange, strange moment in time. by The Elephant's Child

There are times when it seems as if we have slipped into an alternate universe.  The President of the United States, after an appearance on a late night comedy show,  has gone campaigning.  His campaign organization, Organizing for America, is  collecting signatures on pledges to support Obama’s budget.  Is there something a little strange about ginning-up support for a budget by accosting clueless people on the street or in malls?

The Two-Minute Hate Program managed to rouse numerous people across America to deliver death threats to employees of the AIG financial group.  Never mind that the employees who did the dirty deeds are long gone, and the remaining folk have agreed to stay on to help wind things down only because they were offered a contractual retention bonus to help out.  They were demonized by members of the House of Representatives who devised a special (unconstitutional) retroactive 90% tax on their perfectly legal retention bonuses totaling $165 million, while ignoring the $5 billion in bailout money that the company has already received — that the Democrats hoped no one would notice.  And if that wasn’t enough, ACORN organized bus tours to “look at” the homes of AIG executives.

Since the last CBO budget review in January, Democrats have passed laws that increase spending by $134 billion in the last six months of this fiscal year alone, and $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years — before we have seen the President’s 2010 budget proposals — the ones the volunteers are collecting signature support for.

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a plan to set up a new “volunteer corpsand consider whether a “workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people” should be developed.  The legislation refers to “uniforms” that would be worn by the “volunteers” and the “need” for a “public service academy, a 4-year institution” to “focus on training” future “public sector leaders” The training would occur at “campuses.” (h/t protein wisdom) There is just something special about “mandatory volunteerism.” Last year Obama spoke of his “National Civilian Security Force” in which he supported creating an organization  as big and as well-funded as the military.

Liberals believe in their good intentions.  Conservatives care about the consequences.  Who is going to do the volunteering that has formed the backbone of America when you have a paid “mandatory volunteer” uniformed army?

“The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation,” according to the New York Times. The administration could seek to put the changes into effect through regulations rather than through legislation. ( Such a bore, having to vote on things).  Is there the slightest evidence, anywhere, that anyone in Washington has even the slightest clue about what is in the financial interest of a business enterprise, or what causes positive corporate performance?

Democrats are trying to abolish the rights of workers to secret ballots in unionization elections.  The secret ballot is workers’ protection to insure that they are not intimidated into voting for a union that they might otherwise not choose. Last year, Mexico’s highest court unanimously affirmed for Mexicans the right that Democrats want to take from Americans.  Banning the secret ballot in America!

The U.S. Constitution says that treaties, like NAFTA, are the “supreme law of the land.”  With the approval of a president who supposedly taught Constitutional Law, Congress has shredded the North American Free Trade Agreement.  They used the omnibus spending bill to abolish a program that would comply with our obligation to allow Mexican long-haul trucks on U.S. roads.

Mexico, in retaliation, has resorted to tariffs on many U.S. goods, which should send a Smoot-Hawley chill down American backs.

The Democrat Congress is voting to ignore the Constitution’s stipulation that the House shall be composed of members chosen “by the people of the several states,” and is pretending that the District of Columbia is a state.

China has suggested that the dollar should no longer be the world’s reserve currency.  Two long-range Russian bombers buzzed the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis at 500 feet when it was in international waters.   Russia spun the notion that they might base their bombers in Cuba, last week.  The Chinese started harassing an unarmed US Navy exploration vessel, requiring the US to send armed escorts into the international waters of the South China Sea.  North Korea is about to launch an ICBM with a range that reportedly could easily include American territory.

And to finish up the week, Obama appeared on 60 Minutes.  Among other questions in the interview Kroft brought up Dick Cheney’s criticism of closing Guantanamo Bay. Obama said:

After all these years, how many convictions came out of Guantanamo?  How many terrorists have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney?  It hasn’t made us safer.

As John Hawkins said “If Obama believes that the purpose of Gitmo is to get “convictions” of terrorists, you have to question whether he has even the most basic understanding of the war on terror he ‘s currently in charge of fighting.”

Guantanamo is there to hold captured terrorists, to keep them from killing more Americans, and for interrogations that are designed to gain information to keep them from killing more Americans.  Obama seems to think they should be tried in a criminal court.  And released in the US, as the administration may do with some terrorists who cannot be returned to their native country.

We have indeed slipped the bounds of Earth and entered some strange alternate world.  We must have.

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