American Elephants


False Narratives, Straw Men, and the Blame Game. by The Elephant's Child

Politics is a strange world.  There’s the territory “inside the beltway” and then there’s — the rest of the country.  Washington D.C. is often described as a bubble where people live and operate with no contact whatsoever with those folks out in flyover country.  Think of the slightly sneering reference to a major part of America as “fly over country,” unimportant, unrecognized, until election time when it becomes, temporarily — “the heartland.”

“Inside the beltway”is composed mostly of Democrats these days, and they are marveling at Obama’s “success,” effectiveness and political standing.  Obama aides (and there are 1,700 full-time White House aides, the most in history) are enthusiastic about his foreign-policy successes, job growth, health care and lower-than-expected costs for the bailout.   Foreign policy success?  Job growth? Lower-than-expected costs for the bailout?

They seem to grasp that there is some, um, unrest about health care; but the answer is for the president to get out there and sell  it.  The answer is always, always, more PR.  Another appearance, another speech, but no one seems to recognize that the pleasant words Obama uses to describe the health care bill bear no relation whatsoever to the actual contents of the bill.

Longtime NBC science correspondent Jay Barbree, speaking from the Space Center, said that during the campaign Obama came to the Space Center, and told the 15,000 workers that he would preserve NASA’s cutting-edge science and engineering expertise, and if they would vote for him he would protect their jobs  Now 9,000 of them are about to lose their jobs.

Obama has returned to the Space Center to try to build support for his efforts to revamp the nation’s space program.  He spoke before 200 or so people, by invitation onlyHe has not invited a single space worker from the space port to attend.  It’s only academics and other high officials.  Jay Barbree was stunned at the president’s duplicity.

MSNBC’s Alex Witt responded “I will say, on behalf of the Obama administration, they contend that 2500 new jobs will be created, even more, they say, than the 2012 Constellation would have created, that program.

Nice to know that Ms. Witt speaks for the Obama Administration.  That  clears up a little about MSNBC.

Elsewhere, it has been noted that Obama’s poll numbers have been falling because — he hasn’t been blaming Bush enough.  The theory seems to be that the portrayal of the Bush years as a disastrous time of anti-regulation, tax-cutting policies that led to the 2008 meltdown has faded from public memory. Possibly because it was another lie to begin with.

The Obama team has remarkable skills in creating straw men, false narratives, and blaming everyone but themselves.  America is in trouble, and the people want the transparency promised by the president that never seems to arrive.

The levels of spending, increases in government size and control over the most minute elements of American life are deeply troubling.  The stock market is up, but cities and small towns are filled with empty storefronts.  The only place where there is vigorous hiring is in the federal government, and hiring is frequently limited to union members.  Stimulus money went to supporters — the blue states, while fly over country was ignored. Crony capitalism.

Perhaps Obama could get away with blaming Bush for everything during the campaign, though that narrative wasn’t true even then.  This has been Obama’s show for fifteen months.  Blaming his predecessor at this late date simply makes Obama seem like an irresponsible  whiner.



The Estimable Mark Steyn by The Elephant's Child

Mark Steyn points out today that Obama held “the biggest meeting of world leaders on American soil since the founding of the U.N. 65 years ago” on nuclear nonproliferation — and Iran wasn’t on the agenda.

Iran has already offered to share its nuclear technology with Sudan.

The mound of corpses being piled up around the world today is not from high-tech nuclear states but from low-tech psycho states.  It’s not that Britain has nukes and poor old Sudan has to make do with machetes.  It’s that the machete crowd is willing to kill on an industrial scale and the high-tech guys can’t figure out a way to stop them.  Perhaps for his next pointless yakfest the president might consider a machete nonproliferation initiative.

“So the principle underpinning Obama’s Seventies-retro nuke summit — that the size of a civilized state’s stockpile adds to the global threat — is not just false but dangerously delusional.”



Where Is My Free Health Care? by The Elephant's Child
April 17, 2010, 8:45 am
Filed under: Economy, Health Care, Taxes | Tags: , ,

President Obama promised that he could convince a reluctant public that his very own health-reform plan was somehow a good thing after all.  Public animosity towards  ObamaCare is getting stronger, with Rasmussen showing that 58 percent want it repealed.

More facts emerge regularly as people sort through the voluminous rules and regulations that were forced through Congress on an overly partisan vote.  People can see the destructive path ahead.  Even members of Congress are not sure that they will continue to be able to keep the health care that they like so much.  The Congressional Research Service is dubious.

1. Where is my free health care? eHealthInsurance, the online broker for health insurance, has been flooded with calls from people who ask: “Where do we get the free ObamaCare, and how do I sign up for that?”  They are unaware that the new insurance does not begin for four more years, though the massive tax increases will begin right away, but won’t even make a dent in the cost of ObamaCare.

2. There will be shortages of Doctors. At current graduation and training rates, there will be a shortage of up to 150,000 physicians in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

3. People with pre-existing conditions can purchase insurance when they get sick. This may seem “nice” but it negates the whole idea of insurance, which is that spreading the risk over large numbers of people over time, keeps costs down.   Legislators react by ordering insurance companies not to raise rates.  This will put insurance companies out of business.

4. Poorly written and poorly thought out regulations impose mandates on states that are already in deep financial trouble. Rules require the states to ensure the provision of “the care and services themselves,”opening state liability to floods of lawsuits.

5. Constitutional challenges continue and expand. There is no Constitutional authority for Congress to require citizens to purchase anything.

6. As the clever ways Congress made the bill seem to cost less begin to unravel, the real massive cost increases will kill jobs, depress economic growth, and taxes will continue to be raised. The Bush tax cuts expire, and as the huge tax increases necessary to pay for health care become apparent, public animosity will really increase.  Health care does not arrive for four years, but we start paying for it immediately.

7. Congress has made a big bet on “preventative care,”in the illusion that preventing disease will make health care cost less.  Multiple studies show that preventative care costs far more, not less, and does not prevent illness.  It helps to study consequences before passing the law.

Massachusetts health care was carefully thought out, and it has taken just 3 years for it to fall apart.  Many physicians have left the state, some hospitals have closed.  Premiums in the state are the highest in the country.

Governor Deval Patrick is in a battle with health insurers.  He will not allow them to raise their rates to cover the added costs of the state’s universal coverage law.  They will not stay in business if they can’t cover their costs.  Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) is shocked that the new law does not give Congress the power to block increases in health insurance premiums.  Basic economics is not a Congressional strong point.

The American people wanted the administration to cut spending and reduce the debt, and cut taxes to encourage growth and create jobs.  Instead the administration has forced through, in the most reprehensible backroom deals, a health care plan that nobody wanted.  American health care is the finest in the world, with the best outcomes and most innovation.  It has been expensive because it is the result of individual choices by millions of Americans, not because of overcharging by insurance companies as President Obama tried to claim.

Creating straw-men to blame is a specialty of this president, but his ability to sell that kind of hype is growing old and stale.  The truth, as they say, will out.




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