American Elephants

Can’t say we blame you, Joe! by American Elephant
November 2, 2012, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Election 2012, News, Politics | Tags: , ,

The same Gaffe-Master J who also insisted, “I say what I mean and I mean what I say!”

We Need to Study Up. What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us. by The Elephant's Child

As the revelations regarding Benghazi drip, drip out, slowly, it is becoming clear that the administration’s understanding of the terrorism threat, and belief that terrorism is spawned by grievances about social, economic, and other problems for which America bears fault, play a large role in the administration’s deeply misguided foreign policy.

Andrew McCarthy had a helpful post at National Review a few days ago:

Let’s start with the intimation that “religious fanaticism” causes terrorism. To be sure, that’s a better explanation than the Left’s “blame America first” approach.  Yet, it still misses the mark. The real cause is ideology, not religion. The distinction is worth drawing because, for the most part, Islamist terror is not fueled by Muslim zealousness for Islam’s religious tenets — for instance, :the oneness of Allah.” We Westerners recognize such beliefs as belonging to the realm of religion or spirituality. To the contrary, Islamist terror is driven by the supremacism and totalitarianism of Middle Eastern Islam — i.e., by the perception of believers that they are under a divine injunction to impose all of Islam’s tenets.

Most of those tenets do not concern religion or spirituality, at least not as Westerners interpret those concepts. Instead, sharia is largely concerned with controlling what we see as secular affairs —political, social, military, financial, jurisprudential, penal, even hygienic matters. Of course, the fact that we separate church and state in the West does not mean our moral sense is without influence —indeed, profound influence — over how we conduct secular affairs. But in the West, we reject the notion that any religious belief system’s tenets should control those affairs.  In the United States, we reject the establishment of a state religion — such official primacy would suffocate freedom of conscience, a bedrock of liberty.

By contrast, the foundation of Middle Eastern Islam is submission to Allah’s law, not individual liberty.  This interpretation of Islam thus rejects a division between the secular and the spiritual.  Its sharia system contemplates totalitarian control.  That makes Islamist ideology (i.e., Islamic supremacism, or what is sometimes more elliptically called “political Islam”) just another totalitarian ideology, albeit one that happens to have a religious veneer.

The whole article is here. It is really worth your time. Andy of course, was the federal prosecutor in the trial of the Blind Sheik. His books are: The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America (2010). Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (2008), and most recently Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy (2012), among others.

Andy has thought deeply and clearly about radical Islam, and takes great care with the words he uses. We can get in awful trouble if we don’t know what we’re talking about, or even thinking about.

Obama’s Medicare Plan: Seniors Pay More. Lots More. by The Elephant's Child

It always seemed to me that the fact that the clever people who wrote the execrable bill for ObamaCare had no intention of ever participating in it themselves — was never emphasized enough. It really tells you everything you need to know.

The Obama campaign has tried hard to suggest that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will somehow deprive senior citizens of their Medicare. They are actually trying hard to find a way to make good care available to all seniors that need it. The Obama administration, on the other hand, has something else up their sleeves. Over the next five years, current law as amended by the PPACA (ObamaCare) guarantees higher costs for today’s seniors. And they already took $716 billion out of Medicare to prop up the health care bill — that’s  a $716 billion cut in reimbursement to providers, and if you can’t find a doctor, that’s why.

More Unemployment, More Misery, More Spin. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama made these remarks this morning in Hilliard, Ohio, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

We rise or fall as one nation and as one people.

And that spirit is what’s guided this country for more than two centuries — that idea that we’re in this together.  It’s carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last 200-something years, but also the last four years.  In 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  And today, our businesses have created nearly 5.5 million new jobs; and this morning, we learned that companies hired more workers in October than at any time in the last eight months.

The American auto industry is back on top.  Home values and housing construction is on the rise.  We’re less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in 20 years.  Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over.  The war in Afghanistan is ending.  Al Qaeda has been decimated.  Osama bin Laden is dead.   We have made real progress.

This is typical Obama. It is also typical spin. The economic crisis in 2008 was not the worst since the Great Depression. It was bad, but, but not the worst recession, and Obama proceeded directly to making it worse, with a stimulus that accomplished nothing at all, except to reward supporters and enhance government.

Those 5.5 million jobs must be offset by the numbers of people who have dropped out of the labor force, and the natural increase in the labor force from immigration and new entrants. The net jobs created works out to only around 350,000.  For every 1 person added to the labor force since January 2009. 10 people were added to those no longer in the labor force. This morning we learned that the unemployment rate increased again, and if you subtract those no longer in the labor force, there is hardly any increase at all.

The American auto industry is not back on top, and they still owe taxpayers billions. Home values are recovering a little. We are less dependent on “foreign oil” because we are using a lot less energy because of the recession, and we are producing more oil on private lands with horizontal fracking on shale deposits — not on federal lands because the federal government has refused over and over to grant drilling permits. President George W. Bush won the war in Iraq. The Obama administration because they failed to get a status of forces agreement, may well have lost the victory. And if you want a little understanding of Afghanistan, ask Michael Yon. Osama bin Laden is dead, but al Qaeda is alive and resurgent— see Benghazi.

I am not calling the president a liar. He is presenting his case in terms favorable to him. Sometimes we call it “spin.” It’s hard to draw an exact line between spin and falsehood, and all politicians try to portray reality in a way favorable to their side, but there are, or should be, limits. More of the same simply will not answer.

When we despair over the number of people on food stamps, it’s not because we want to deprive anyone of food stamps — we want them to have good jobs and not have any need for food stamps. That would be real progress.

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