American Elephants

Obama Has Sent 100 Troops to Africa by The Elephant's Child

Friday afternoon news dump: President Obama notified Congress today that he is sending about 100 U.S. troops to central Africa to help battle a rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army.  According to USA Today,:

The troops arrived in Uganda this week and will ultimately be deployed to South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Obama said in a letter to congressional leaders.

The Lords Resistance Army is accused of a two-decade spree of murder, rape and kidnapping.

The troops will be combat-equipped, but will fight only in self-defense, Obama said.

Excerpts from Obama’s letter are here. (emphasis added).

Is this the way it is done now? You send troops off on a mission that has no effect on our national security, but is purely a humanitarian effort, and you notify Congress by letter after the fact?  And don’t bother mentioning the whole thing to the American people? Richard Epstein said that Obama has no respect for the separation of powers as prescribed by the Constitution, and thus it does not act, in his case, as it was intended, as a brake on his or government actions.

So the Constitution doesn’t act as a brake, nor does precedent, custom or  history.  Our forces already have a problem with the rules of engagement costing lives.  Obama wants to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it, and the heck with following the rules.  I find this very troubling.


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The Federal corporation conquered America and reconstructed the States as subsidiary corporations. The world is now being reconstructed into subsidiaries of a global corporation.


Comment by georgesblog360

I want to reach out to you personally regarding your stance against #occupy that I see on twitter. This is more a personal message, and not a response to your blog :).

I would think any person from any party or any spectrum would want to limit corporations influence on politics (referring to the ridiculous ruling by the Supreme Court that allows corporations to essentially buy candidates). They control many members of both parties, this isn’t just a liberal leftist issues or secret conspiracy theory, this is a very real issue that will dilute the quality of candidates across the board in the US, both conservative and liberal. We need to get the reverted ASAP.

Sure, as with any protest or large gathering, there are plenty of crack pot signs as well. But conservatives should come together with liberals to overturn that one ridiculous ruling, or neither one of them will really have a say when it counts.

You don’t have to publish this comment if you don’t want to. I’m more reaching out to your personally to at least consider supporting at least some of the better parts of the movement. Keep in mind that many in the movement aren’t fans of Obama either.

Oh, and move your money to a local credit union (in your community, wherever that may be, research and find one that you like) so you are keeping your money as local as possible and supporting local business, instead of paying for some NYC banker’s penthouse. And if you already do this, props to you :).


Comment by na

Lot of misunderstandings here. Corporations may not make donations to political candidates. Individuals are limited to $2,500 per election, or a combined $5,000 for the primary and general election together. What confuses the situation is that many companies have Political Action Committees, and individuals may combine their donations through the PAC. The media looks at the total and says ABC Corp gave $80,000 to John Doe candidate. But the corporation did not, individuals did, and the media does not report the lesser amount going to the other candidate. The media is interested in making it sound like corporate influence. CitizensUnited allows corporations, unions and foundations to air political advertisements that refer to a candidate, but do not explicity call for their election or defeat. This is pretty straightforward freedom of speech. Political money is divided into “hard money” and “soft money.” Hard money goes direct to a candidate of a political party, carefully controlled by source and amount. Soft money goes to a party as a whole for party building rather than candidate advocacy. Election law is long and complicated, but there is not the corporate influence that you assume. Citizens United protects the freedom of speech promised by the Constitution, and freedom of speech refers to political speech. It does not allow corporations to “buy candidates,”as you suggest.

Congress makes many laws that deeply affect corporations. Congress seldom has members who have any extensive experience in private enterprise, and can and do make laws that really harm business. Corporations have found that they must hire “lobbyists” to represent their interests. The business of a corporation is to make money for their stockholders — the people who have invested money in the corporation. And yes, some companies are able to persuade Congress to pass regulations that are good for the corporation but not for the country as a whole — but not that often. Example: GE, Phillips and Sylvania managed to get a law banning incandescent lightbulbs passed, because there is much more money to be made from Chinese made twisty bulbs.

On the other hand, when a member of Congress has a very large corporation in their district with lots of employees — that Congressman is going to do everything he can to keep that corporation happy. His actions may have nothing to do with any donations and a lot to do with numbers of voters who work for the corporation. That’s where the corporate influence exists, and there’s not much anyone can do about it should they want to, except to eliminate earmarks.

The Occupy people seem to think that the financial crisis was caused by the banks. It was not. It was caused by government interest in increasing homeownership beginning back in the Carter administration. Congress increasingly put pressure on the banks to lower their normal standards of prudent lending to increase the numbers of poorer people who could own their own homes. The banks were required to make home loans to people who could not pay back the loans. The financial crisis was directly caused by Congressional action. Congress is very anxious not to be blamed, and encourages the ill-informed to blame anyone else.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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