American Elephants

Whoah! The Hypocrisy is Getting Pretty Thick Here! by The Elephant's Child

Bwa-ha-ha-haha!  CNN headline:”Obama calls for greater transparency from Romney snort! giggle.  President Transparency, who won’t disclose his Harvard grades, or his grades from Columbia University, or his grades from Occidental, or Punahou grades, or even grade school or kindergarten. His life is an open book — the autobiography with all those invented characters and dubious stories.

President Transparency— who has two cabinet members under threat of contempt of Congress because they won’t reveal the papers that Congress has subpoenaed, and President Transparency has asserted “executive privilege” so they won’t have to.

Obama can’t talk about the economy because his record with the economy is truly horrible. All his claims of hope and change, promises of jobs, promises of a reviving economy are all for naught. The economy sinks deeper, the job situation gets worse, largely because of the policies that Obama has pursued.

Mr. Obama doesn’t understand how jobs are created. He doesn’t seem to understand that public sector jobs are paid for with money taken from taxpayers. Every time you add another high-paying administration job, and they are very high-paying, everybody’s taxes go up a little more. He announced today that he wants to tax the rich more because they paid higher taxes during the Clinton administration and the economy did fine.

So the economy and unemployment are off the table, that leaves only attacks on Romney. At Axlerod’s direction, armies of lefties are digging through Romney’s financial dealings trying desperately to find something, anything, crooked.  Romney is wealthy, that makes him a real target of the left. Former press secretary Robert Gibbs argued on Sunday that Romney’s financial picture is out of touch with that of most Americans.

“I pick a bank because there’s an ATM near my home,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union. “Romney had a bank account in Switzerland.”

OMG. Switzerland?

Romney had a stellar education, very bright, with a talent for numbers and data and business. Over the years that talent and his skill managed to turn many companies around, and some of them became spectacular successes. What people in private equity do is invest their own money, along with that of shareholders (including retirement funds and individuals) so they have a stake in how their efforts turn out, both on the upside and on the downside. The Obama campaign has already tried to portray Bain Capital as a “corporate raider” which is just silly, and demonstrates how very little these people understand about business.

When Obama was first inaugurated, Rham Emmanuel set up daily economic meetings, since the economy was in such dire shape. He was waiting for the multiplier effect to multiply, and he got bored and quit them.

Mr.Obama’s understanding remains at the same level as when he started. You jump-start an economy by creating demand; when there isn’t enough demand, you pump some money into the economy , which the people will spend, and the money will circulate through the economy creating a magical “multiplier effect,” creating more demand in every hand it touches. Trouble is, a number of our top economists have determined that the “multiplier effect” is approximately zero. And when people are frightened, they don’t spend the extra, they save it. He can’t even explain how his policies were supposed to work or why they haven’t, he can only make specious claims that it will all start to work pretty soon — one of these days.

People who regard the path to wealth as something obtained through crony capitalism, and government jobs as “public service” in which you buy votes and do favors are not going to understand American capitalism. From Elizabeth K. Spahn

Crony Capitalism.” Isn’t that what American capitalism is? We were into our third glass of very fine red wine at the banquet following the training session. He was absolutely sincere. I was horrified. . . .

Cronyism is not capitalism, I replied. Cronyism is the opposite of capitalism. American capitalism is about markets, competition. “Rational” markets in which sellers compete; purchasers decide based on price, quality, service, brand. Cronyism, nepotism, elites reserving the goods for themselves — This is the opposite, the antithesis of American capitalism. This is why we revolted in the first place.

He looked at me. I looked at him. Ah, he said.

Obama Blames Bush for “Unpatriotic Debt.” Tiresome. by The Elephant's Child

A President Above the Law, Making His Own Rules. by The Elephant's Child

Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal wrote a column last Thursday about Obama’s  “imperial presidency.”

If you recall, that was a favorite charge of the left about the 43rd president’s conduct in war, wiretapping and detentions. “Yet say this about Mr. Bush, His aggressive reading of executive authority was limited to the area where presidents are at their core power — the commander-in-chief function,” Strassel said.

Executive power is weakest  in the realm of domestic policy. It is subject to checks and balances, and is co-equal with the other two branches of government. Yet this is the very area where Mr. Obama has granted himself unprecedented power.

The president did work with Congress on the health care law, but that was an unusual example of Mr. Obama working with Congress. His more usual pattern is complete disregard for the powers of the legislative branch in favor of administrative decision-making, without, or in spite of congressional action.

The president proposes, Congress says no, and Mr. Obama does it anyway.

Mr. Obama doesn’t like the federal law that criminalizes the use of medical marijuana. Congress has not changed the law. The president has instructed the Justice Department not to prosecute. He doesn’t like the Defense of Marriage Act, but Congress has not repealed it, so he stops defending it in court. He asked Congress to get rid of the provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act that annoy the teachers union, they didn’t, so now the Education Department issues waivers.

Congress refused to pass cap-and-trade, so the EPA is now putting it into effect with an overly-generous reading of the Clean Air Act. The NLRB has pushed through an election law to replace the”card-check” that Congress turned down. Incensed by the Supreme Court’s decision that Arizona could still ask for an illegal’s papers, he announced that the administration would not respond to requests for information about legal status. States have made an effort to clean up their voter rolls to prevent vote fraud,  he sues the states to make them stop.

The United States has bankruptcy laws, which handle companies in trouble quite efficiently and bankruptcy judges are expert at reducing labor costs if they are out of line. Obama simply took over the auto industry, and gave a big chunk of it to the unions. The Supreme Court rejected the health care mandate, and said it was a tax. Obama said he rejected that. In one situation after another, the president has simply rejected the authority of Congress, and done what he wanted.

Then there’s the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that has a very questionable agenda that emphasizes legally questionable interpretations of nondiscrimination laws. The release of unverified customer complaints against credit-card companies suggests that it is a tool of the overreaching administration. The “independent” agency is interacting with the White House in inappropriate ways for an agency that is supposed to be independent. And the idea that consumers need financial protection seems like more of a grasp for power.

Its spending and hiring practices have not been made available to Congress, and Richard Cordray, the consumer chief  was nominated in a recess appointment when the Senate was in session, which is unconstitutional. The president said it’s up to him to declare whether the Senate is in recess or not, and he says they weren’t. That isn’t up to the president. So private parties can refuse to obey any regulation issued by this new unaccountable bureau.

This is all  a startling insight into Mr. Obama’s view of his own importance and authority.

The other co-equal branches of government have never before been faced with a president who has no respect for the Constitution. After all, there is that oath. What makes it even more troubling is that this executive overreach is usually done as pure political payoff to special interests or voting groups the president is trying to subvert.  It is an ugly situation.

Now a second Obama cabinet official faces a contempt of Congress charge. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has ignored a duly authorized and issued Congressional subpoena for documents that would shed light on the drilling moratorium that he imposed after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  The order meant thousands of lost jobs and decreased energy production, and the House Natural Resources Committee has real questions.

Last week Attorney General Eric Holder became the first cabinet member in American history to be cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to produce documents related to Fast and furious. Salazar has already been found in contempt of federal court in 2010 for imposing a moratorium in spite of a federal judge’s preliminary injunction.  He may be the second to be found in contempt of Congress. This is the administration that promised to be “the most transparent” in history.

I hope the Romney campaign is paying attention. Americans, mostly, are deeply satisfied with their Constitution, and feel that the Founders got it right in the first place. Arrogant disregard will not go down well.

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