American Elephants

Here’s the Chart that the Democrats Don’t Want You to See! by The Elephant's Child

President Obama’s prime time press conference did not inspire public confidence in the Democrat plan to push through a national healthcare system.  Mr. Obama has now extended his due date till the end of the year, but they’re really going to push it hard during the August recess. We previously noted that Democrats have budgeted $80 million for the health care campaign, and will undoubtedly turn out ACORN and the Unions to fire up the faithful and convince the unconvinced.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims to have the votes needed to pass a package of legislation, and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel insists that Congress will vote before it adjourns, the majority seems to be growing more desperate as the days pass.

Evidence of their growing desperation is in the way that Democrats are censoring the GOP’s official communications to their constituents.  On last Thursday Roll Call reported that the majority party is “preventing Republican House Members from sending their constituents a mailing that is critical of the majority’s health care reform plan.”

Health Care Chart

(click to enlarge)
This masterpiece of bureaucracy,  developed by the Republican staff of the Joint Economic Committee at the direction of Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex),  the majority claims is “inaccurate”.  Brady called the criticism, delivered in an eight-point memo, “laughable,” saying the chart “depicts their health care plan as their committees developed it.”

Meanwhile, the same Franking Commission that is causing problems for Brady’s chart won’t allow Rep. John Carter (R-Tex) to use the words “government-run health care plan” in a recording to be used to start a telephone town hall meeting. “What we proposed as language was as follows: ‘House Democrats unveiled a government-run health care plan,” Carter told Human Events.   “Our response from Franking was, ‘ You cannot use that language.  You must use “The House majority unveiled a public option health care plan,’ which is Pelosi-speak or ‘ just last week the House Majority unveiled a health care plan which I believe will cost taxpayers…”

Republican staffers say that this kind of censorship of the minority by the majority is almost unheard of on Capitol Hill.  Rather than getting them down, they are taking the efforts to block their messages as a sign of their effectiveness.

“We will have a cap on costs and we will have no cap on benefits,” said Nancy Pelosi.

ADDENDUM: The white boxes on the chart represent existing offices or agencies.  The colored  boxes represent new agencies created by the House Health Care bill.

Obama Scorns Allies, Aligns U.S. With Tinpot Dictators. by The Elephant's Child
July 26, 2009, 3:18 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Freedom, History, Latin America


The Supreme Court and the Congress of Honduras accused  President Zelaya of violating the constitution Honduras by trying to illegally extend presidential term limits, and ordered him removed from the country.  Apparently Zelaya was working closely with Venezuelan dictator Chavez to duplicate Chavez’s takeover of  Venezuela.  The Army removed Mr. Zelaya from the country.

President Obama has seen fit to intrude into Honduran affairs, at the behest of  Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, to demand that Zelaya be returned, apparently confusing the American Constitution with that of another country.

According to the Montreal Gazette the Obama administration “has condemned the coup, cut $16.5 million in military aid and threatened to slash economic aid.  The U.S. State Department said it remained focused on mediation, and that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had made clear to the interim government there would be consequences if it failed to reach a deal.”

That President Obama would choose to align himself with the biggest thugs in Latin America is surprising.  That he would so intrude into the business of another country, an ally, passes understanding.

Zelaya returned to the country, but authorities didn’t bother to arrest him because he barely entered the country, staying in the no-man’s land near the border. The Los Angeles Times said:

It was a day of high theatrics staged, apparently, for multiple audiences, including the media abroad and Zelaya’s increasingly dispirited followers at home.  He executed a symbolic gesture to make good on his promise to return.

Latin American countries have had long, unpleasant experience with caudillos — dictators — and it is hardly surprising that Honduras has put a law in its constitution forbidding presidents from extending their terms illegally.  It is usual to respect the laws of other countries.

(h/t Gateway Pundit)

Retro: For When Current Sucks. by American Elephant
July 26, 2009, 3:17 am
Filed under: Music

Yes, yes, it’s long before my time too, but I like the oldies.

Wars Are To Be Won, They Are Not Playing Fields for Theorists. by The Elephant's Child

Japanese Surrender

President Obama has long seemed to believe that the only reason for our presence in the Middle East was to get revenge on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda for the attack on 9/11. He has put Afghanistan high on his foreign policy list, and he even stated in the past, that invading Pakistan might be necessary.

On Thursday, in a TV interview with ABC News, President Obama said that “victory” in Afghanistan is not necessarily the United States goal.

I’m always worried about using the word “victory” because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.

The enemy facing U.S and Afghan forces isn’t so clearly defined, he said.  “We’re not dealing with nation states at this point.  We’re concerned with al Qaeda and the Taliban, al Qaeda’s allies,” he said.  “So when you have a non-state actor, a shadowy operation like al Qaeda, our goal is to make sure they can’t attack the United States. So that is defined by what, precisely?  Seems like a shadowy goal for our troops who are fighting in Afghanistan.  It’s a very odd statement from a president when we are in the middle of a war.

Mr. Obama’s historical gaffes are numerous.  He thought the Berlin Airlift was a collective European effort; seems to think that Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East is somehow responsible for the backwardness of it’s neighbors; and when he was in Moscow, he received a lengthy lecture on the Cold War from Vladimir Putin. The Russian version, that is.

The Emperor Hirohito, of course, did not come down to the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremonies.  To misunderstand that demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Pacific War and the relationship of the Emperor to the Japanese people. In their 2000 year history, the Japanese had never surrendered to anyone.  Japan was determined to fight on, even after Okinawa was lost.  The Japanese navy had effectively ceased to exist, but an all-out defense of the homeland beachhead was planned.  Rebellious army officers planned a palace coup which was put down.  On August 14, 1945, the Emperor recorded a speech which was broadcast to the nation at noon on the following day, August 15.

The Japanese people were stunned.  They had never before heard the Emperor’s voice.  The formal surrender ceremony took place aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. The Japanese representatives on board the Missouri were Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu (wearing top hat) and General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff.  Behind them are three representatives each of the Foreign Ministry, the Army and the Navy.

Japanese Surrender2

Worth noting is an article from The New York Times that quoted  Toshikazu Kase, a 100-year-old veteran of the Imperial Japanese government. (Second from right in middle row in the top hat).  He would write in his memoirs about the surrender to MacArthur on the deck of the Missouri:

Here is the victor announcing the verdict to the prostrate enemy.  He can impose a humiliating penalty if he so desires.  And yet he pleads for freedom, tolerance and justice.  For me, who expected the worst humiliation, this was a complete surprise.  I was thrilled beyond words, spellbound, thunderstruck.

Understanding the history of our relations with Japan is crucial to understanding our relationship and friendship with Japan today. Understanding the history of Israel and Palestine helps to keep from making mistakes about who our friends are and why.  Understanding the history of Latin America keeps a president from siding with some of the region’s worst dictators, and confusing our Constitution and laws with the constitution and laws of Honduras.

These things matter, and if the President does not have the background, it should be included in briefings. If his speechwriters don’t have the background, they should look it up.  And if the State Department doesn’t have the background, God help us .

(the headline comes from a quotation from Ralph Peters)

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