American Elephants

Obama Tries to Keep the Military from Voting, They Might Not Vote for Him. by The Elephant's Child

In 2009, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE) was signed into law. Under that act the Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP) is supposed to assist service members with voting on military installations.

A Defense Department Inspector General report released in August found that FVAP hadn’t set up those voter assistance offices, using “budget cuts” as an excuse. The law requires that states mail absentee ballots to their servicemen 45 days before an election so that there is sufficient time to count them.

I find this so disgusting and deplorable that I can hardly write about it. Those who serve in our military put their lives on the line for the rest of us, living often in conditions that we would find surprisingly uncomfortable, and they are entitled to have their votes counted and recorded — even if they don’t vote the way the administration wants them to. But vote fraud is a way of life in  Chicago politics.

Absentee ballot requests by the military have dropped significantly since 2008, and are on track to make 2012 a record low for the military vote. As of September 22, requests were down 46% in Florida, 70% in Virginia and 70% in Ohio. All battleground states. About two-thirds of members of the military need to vote absentee.

“These are [the] lowest numbers we’ve seen in the last decade,” Eric Eversole, founder and executive director of the project told U.S. News& World Report. “There are a number of factors that go into this, but if the Pentagon was doing what it was supposed to be, this would be a non-issue.”

This is particularly offensive because President Obama has been so ready to use the troops as backgrounds for his photo ops, often keeping them waiting for hours so he can have his effective military background.  Making sure their vote is counted, unlike that of other voting groups, is not a top priority. A May 2012 Gallup poll showed Mitt Romney pulling 58% to Obama’s 34%, which could possibly have some influence.  A new Rasmussen poll has found that 59% of likely voters who have served in the military favor the Republican challenger.

The Justice Department can file suit to ensure compliance, but in 2010 was content to grant failing states waivers.  As a result, one-third of overseas troops who wanted to vote in 2010 couldn’t according to testimony in Congress. Another example of the law making little difference to the Obama administration.

The Romney campaign has sent letters to election officials in Wisconsin, Mississippi, Michigan and Vermont demanding that the deadline for receiving ballots from overseas voters be extended. At least 30 Wisconsin municipalities failed to send absentee ballots to military voters before the 45-day deadline.

In July the Obama campaign, the DNC, and the Ohio Democrat Party filed suit in that swing state to strike down part of that state’s law governing voting by members of the military that gives them three extra days to cast their ballots. Democrats contended that exception discriminated against nonmilitary voters.

Obama jokes to the military about what a good photo-op they make for him. It’s not just about “photo-ops.” And depriving the military of their votes is not a joke, it’s a disgrace.

Romney Wins Big: Liberals Melt Down. by The Elephant's Child

It was a most interesting debate. You saw the real Mitt Romney and the real Barack Obama. Mitt Romney has made hundreds of presentations to large groups of businessmen, investors and workers, explaining the details of a plan to rescue a business, and grow a business against improbable odds. He is a straightforward, intelligent, honest man who understands his own skills, and the situation the country faces. He wants to be president because he has confidence in his ability to turn things around for the American people. And he’s undoubtedly right. He brings to the job long experience in turnarounds, in getting things done. He is, as they say, the real deal.

Barack Obama was elected to the Senate with no competition at all. He had never really had any competition in any of his races, as he had the help of the Chicago machine.  He wasn’t particularly interested in being in the Senate. It bored him. When he was nominated for the presidency, he was wrapped in a cloud of Democrat magic. He was young, tall, handsome, with a deep baritone voice that he used with skill, and he had a dazzling smile.  He was a graduate of Harvard Law, his autobiography was unusual and fascinating, he’d taught at the prestigious University of Chicago. David Axlerod had never had such marvelous material to work with, and the economy had conveniently collapsed on the watch of the Democrat demonized President Bush. That Obama didn’t have the necessary skill-set needed for the office went unnoticed.

David Axlerod and his team wove about Obama a cloud of celebrity, of specialness, the Obama logo suggesting a brighter future appeared on everything, he appeared  in important venues, he appeared abroad suggesting a foreign policy expertise that he did not possess, people fainted merely from being in his presence. America had never before seen a campaign tricked out with all the skills of the public relations industry.

Barack Obama is in trouble. His understanding of economics is shallow at best, and the liberal belief in Keynesian economics has once again proved to be a disaster. It has never worked.  Obama has seemed to feel that the office of the Presidency of the United States, the leader of the world, is simply one he is entitled to because of who he is, not one he has to work every day to deserve. It has always been about him.

He offered the American people “hope” and “change”— gauzy words that could mean anything — to people frightened by a collapsing economy. Obama looked upon the presidency as his opportunity to jam through the radical program dreamed of in so many radical meetings. The stimulus, pumping all that money into the economy just as Keynes advised, would fix the economy, didn’t matter how it was spent. So he spent it on favored constituencies, and embarked on ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and his flawed green energy programs to address a non-existent global warming. He brought Chicago-style politics to the Oval Office. Use taxpayer money to reward friends and contributors, use the power of the federal government to force through your ideas.

Barack Obama came to the debate last night saddled with the problem of defending the indefensible, and armed with only progressive talking points that are tested for their appeal to the uninformed, not for their veracity. They have tried to portray Mitt Romney as a filthy-rich plutocrat who cares only about other rich people and not for the common man. Well, yes, Mitt Romney is rich. He has had a sterling career in business, creating successful corporations that have grown to be major parts of the economy with thousands of new jobs from that growth. But in his private life, he has proven himself to be that rare thing in politics — a good man.

Obama has no understanding of business, having worked for less than a year writing newsletters, a job that he hated. He does not value the private sector, since he sees government jobs as “public service” and far more important. Like many on the left, he has never really understood where the money comes from, that without private enterprise there would be no government money for him to play with.

He was faced last night with someone who understands clearly just how much trouble the American economy is in, that a new recession is imminent, that we are in deep trouble and have to start addressing the problems, and most urgently help Americans to get back to work. Obama, floundering, said he was going to address education, and hire lots of new teachers. That he does not now and never has had the skill-set needed to address the faltering economy is apparent. He has always been in over his head, and he has only a failed presidency to run on. Now he is, for the first time in his life, to be held accountable for his achievements. He has always been given a free pass, and he has always run on his promise. The country is hurting, and he has no answers, no achievements and an increasing number of scandals that he is trying to cover up. He is back on the campaign trail today, claiming that — ha, ha, ha — Mitt Romney actually claimed that there is no law that favors outsourcing by American business. Already fact-checked by those who most hoped to  find Mr. Romney in a falsehood.

Democrats are skilled in soundbites and slogans, not so much in facts and figures. Obama has always addressed the actions of his administration in generalities and talking points tested for their appeal to the uninformed.  Governor Romney has almost the opposite problem, he knows and deeply understands the facts and figures of what has gone awry in the economy. Drawing attention to the level of unemployment, the level of underemployment, the numbers of people who have simply dropped out of the labor force, and the size of the deficit is easy. Connecting solutions and answers to the lives of read people is harder, and Mitt did a masterful job.

Obama is used to skating on the surface, and not being challenged.  Broad, eloquent generalities, however appealing, do not put a paycheck in a man’s pocket. When Obama tried to give examples last night, speaking of the Independent Pay Advisory Board (IPAB) it was clear that he didn’t understand it. The Cleveland Clinic does indeed do superior medicine at lower cost, but those skills have proved not to be transferable. It seems to be a function of the Clinic’s own culture, the way that doctors and staff interact. Many have tried to imitate what they do and failed.

The night was a disaster for the president;  he seemed ill-prepared, ill-informed and unable to defend his policies.  His supporters were in meltdown. They expected better.  David Axlerod conducted a conference call with reporters this morning, in which he admitted that Barack Obama had lost last nights debate and asked the reporters to help Obama rebound. Wow. Has there ever been such a clear admission of the political leanings of the American media? He followed that up by smearing Mitt Romney, the Obama campaign’s usual tactic.

Romney had delivered “a very vigorous performance but one that was devoid of honesty”, Axelrod said.

“And so today, as the day after, I think the question for you [the media], for the American people is really one of character and whether or not a candidacy that’s so fundamentally rooted in hiding the truth and the facts from the American people and deception is the basis of trust on which you assign the presidency to a person. …

“Because we need an honest and a genuine and realistic plan to move forward and not a bunch of lines designed to get you through a debate.”

That’s just the problem. Obama has never had an honest and genuine and realistic plan to bring the economy back and help the American people. He has made up a couple of budgets that have been unanimously rejected by Congress. both Democrats and Republicans. Obama has been the president for the past four years, and he has made a record that he has to explain, and we’re far past the point where he can blame his failings on Bush. Trying to portray Mitt Romney as dishonest and untrustworthy isn’t going to work. We have seen the truth of this presidency and it isn’t pretty.

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