American Elephants

El Al Celebrates Their New 737s! by The Elephant's Child
October 4, 2013, 8:49 pm
Filed under: Politics

El Al is very excited to be bringing Boeing 737-900s into their fleet, which will begin service at the end of this month. There are 4 rows of business class and 26 rows of coach.  Great commercial. Lots of packing peanuts.

President Obama Tries to Talk the Market Down! by The Elephant's Child

Many are beginning to notice that President Obama is overreaching in the current standoff over raising the debt limit. The heavy-handed effort to make the public suffer by boosting the levels of inconvenience have gone beyond inconvenience. He has tried to scare senior citizens by suggesting that they may not get their Social Security checks — a usual approach for Democrats but entirely uncalled for. Social Security is considered am essential service.

Obama keeps asserting that the debt limit has never been used “to extort a president or a government party.” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is trying to sell the same yarn, saying “until very recently, Congress typically raised the debt ceiling on a routine basis…the threat of default was not a bargaining chip in the negotiations.”

“That is simply untrue,” said Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy at the American Enterprise Institute.

The Obama administration’s campaign to make the debt limit appear non-negotiable might reflect concern that Republican congressional strategy might actually work. Six out of 10 Americans say “it is right to require spending cuts when the debt ceiling is raised, even if it risks default,” according to a Sept. 26 Bloomberg poll. (Only 28% say “the debt ceiling should be raised when necessary, with no conditions.”)

One thing is certain: The debt limit has been a powerful negotiating tool in the last several decades. It has enabled the passage of important additional legislation.

According to the Congressional Research Service, Congress has voted 53 times from 1978 to 2013 to change the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling has increased from $742 billion to today’s $16 trillion.

[T]he debt limit has provided significant leverage to the minority party and has been a check on the power of the presidency.

Republicans today are playing a role that has been played many times. While the debt-limit kabuki inevitably roils markets as deadlines approach, the alternative absence of fiscal discipline would make government insolvency more probable in the fullness of time. …

Trying to separate ObamaCare from the debt limit, President Obama has asserted that his health law has “nothing to do with the budget.” His argument is eagerly echoed by an at-best ignorant media. The Affordable Care Act was passed under “reconciliation”—a legislative process that is used only for budget measures and which limits congressional debate.

The notion that legislation passed as part of a budget might be reconsidered as part of subsequent budget legislation should be uncontroversial. Perhaps that is why the administration has staked so much on its misrepresentation of history.

President Obama’s “overreach” has included trying to talk the market down. Why is the nation’s chief executive talking down the growth engine of the U.S economy? On Tuesday, the day the shutdown went into effect, the stock market rallied with the S&P index rising 0.8% and the NASDAQ rising 1.2%. So Obama went to work trying to kickstart a selloff. If he can scare the markets enough…

This is the most irresponsible behavior I have ever heard of from any president. Has there ever been a president who so misconstrued his role?

Storm and Stress: Obama Rants About Shutdown by The Elephant's Child


During the course of my presidency, I have bent over backwards to work with the Republican party and have purposely kept my rhetoric down. I think I’m pretty well known for being a calm guy. Sometimes people think I’m too calm. And am I exasperated? Absolutely I’m exasperated because this is entirely unnecessary.

Oh absolutely. Always kept the rhetoric down. Never a discouraging word.

” In Mr. Obama’s first term, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, it took 542 days before Mr. Obama even deigned to invite John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to the White House. George W, Bush waited 96 hours to have Ted Kennedy and other Democrats to the Oval Office when there was no agenda, but to talk about how they would talk. Bush aides were not empowered to call Democrats “terrorists,” and “hostage takers.””from Andrew Malcolm.

Ed Driscoll notes some other examples of the new civility from the Democratic party:

1. “Unhinged” Arsonists (Wasserman-Schultz)
2. Insane People Who “Have Lost their Minds” (Harry Reid)
3. “People with a Bomb Strapped to their Chest” (aka Terrorists) (Dan Pfeiffer)
4. Blatant Extortionists (Jay Carney)
5. “Legislative Arsonists” (Nancy Pelosi)

President Obama went down to visit a construction company in Maryland to issue more threats about the outcome of the shutdown. Small business loans are apparently the reason for this speech and this trip:

•The SBA gives a billion dollars of loans a month to small businesses — a billion dollars a month goes to small businesses all across the country.  Right now those can’t be processed because there’s nobody there to process them. •Veterans who deserve our support are getting less help .•Hundreds of thousands of dedicated public servants who are worrying about whether they’re going to be able to pay the mortgage or pay the car note. (3 days of staying home, and they’ll get paid for the days they stayed home)

It was a long rant about the ‘reckless’ and ‘irresponsible’ Republicans for whom he has always bent over backwards… And then he came up with this particular insult for Republicans:

Imagine if workers could shut down a manufacturing plant just because they didn’t get what they want. Imagine it. Imagine a movement so selfish that it would sabotage the operations of a venture on which vast numbers of people depend simply to gain leverage for its own agenda. Then imagine that that movement grew in numbers to the point where it could elect its own bought-and-paid-for politicians to do its bidding. Who knows how much havoc it could wreak?

Wait until the Unions find out that the president is opposed to strikes!

The president is particularly infuriated because the Republicans have attempted to delay the roll-out of ObamaCare—highly desirable, and the roll-out so far is sheer chaos. Mr. Obama added:

It’s not as if Republicans haven’t had a chance to debate the health care law.  It passed the House of Representatives.  It passed the Senate.  The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional — you remember all this.  Last November, voters rejected the presidential candidate that ran on a platform to repeal it. So the Affordable Care Act has gone through every single democratic process, all three branches of government.  It’s the law of the land.  It’s here to stay. 

The Republicans did not have a chance to debate the health care law, it was passed with threats and bribes in the back rooms with no Republican input and not one single Republican vote in either the House or the Senate. But Mr. Obama misunderstands. No Congress is bound by the actions of a previous Congress. Any subsequent Congress can repeal the law completely. The more waivers and favors get embedded in the law, the more foul-ups, the easier it will be to repeal it.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Rebuffs National Park Service Efforts to Close State Parks. by The Elephant's Child


The National Park Service ordered Wisconsin State officials to close the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine, Devil’s Lake, and interstate parks and the state-owned portion of the Hirocon Marsh, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has officially rebuffed a federal order to close state parks.

The state Department of Natural Resources not only ignored the orders but also removed a barricade federal officials had put in front of a Mississippi boat launch. DNR officials said that the Park Service could not close the launch because the state had the authority or operate it under a 1961 agreement with the federal government.

“We respect the magnitude of the process the federal government has had to undertake to close its properties and certain activities on properties they own and manage,” Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said. “However, after close review and legal consult, DNR has clarified areas where the federal procedures are over-reaching by ordering the closure of properties where the state has management authority through existing agreements.”

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has faced down the Democrats in the state legislature, who if you remember ran away to another state to avoid having to vote; the Unions; the States’ Teachers’ Union; mobs in the statehouse; and a recall election and won them all handily. He has repaired the budget, required photo ID for voters, and turned down federal government funds to set up an Affordable Care Act exchange.

I have had enough of Senators as president of the United States. I want a governor who has experience as an effective executive and has had to deal with big problems. Senators make speeches and vote. Governors do — or fail to do.

Obama Declares War On 90-Year-Old World War II Vets! by The Elephant's Child


The monuments and memorials on the Mall in Washington D.C. are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, rain or shine. Except when President Barack Obama has shut them all down to show how awful the Republicans are for shutting down the government and refusing to pay our debts. Except the Republicans did not shut down the government. They have passed several bills fully funding the government, which the Senate turned down.

Stung by headlines from all over the world describing the U.S. president as “weak,”
“indecisive” and other terms equally abusive, Mr. Obama is anxious to show how strong he can be when faced with his own recalcitrant Congress. “I won’t Negotiate” he has proclaimed, over and over,once again failing to recall that there are three coequal branches of government and the executive is just one of them, and the Constitutional duty of the House is to control the budget from overspending executives.  He even invited the Republicans up to the White House to tell them in person that “I won’t Negotiate!” This is a very angry president.

He will show them. He has barricaded all the open-air monuments on the Mall. Honor Flight veterans of World War II, on all-expense-paid visits to see the memorial erected in their honor, were fenced out by newly erected barricades. 90 year-old veterans who once stormed the beaches of Normandy and the shores of Iwo Jima know a thing or two about storming barriers. The Honor Flight from Mississippi was assisted by a bunch of Republican House members. Some of the vets returned home triumphantly waving yellow police barricade tape, as they once waved captured Nazi and Japanese flags.

No 90-year-old veteran in a wheelchair is going to get the best of Barack Obama!. Today he has ordered the barricades wired together. Such a small, petty man. These men have one chance to make this trip to see the memorial that honors their terrible sacrifice and all of the friends they lost.

BVkshNuCMAA8yzaThis is the memorial for the veterans of World War I.  Only a single barricade panel to symbolically keep out the ghosts of all the dead veterans. Their memorial has outlived them, and who even remembers Cambrai or Passchendaele anyway?

Overreach, as usual. The federal government tried to shut down Mount Vernon, but discovered to their consternation that it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. So they barricaded the parking  lot. The parking lots are jointly owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies.

“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.” I hope that ranger cannot be identified, or he’ll get audited or even fired.

Mt. Vernon is not alone, the National Park Service, under orders to close everything down, is trying to close all sorts of privately owned facilities in, or connected to parks. The Pisgah Inn a private hotel that holds a concession on the Blue Ridge Parkway has defied intimidation and a Park Service order to close its doors. Inn owner Bruce O’Connell said today that he had reopened his doors for customers, since he is private property and uses no government personnel. “I’m questioning their authority to shut me.” Mr. O’Connell said.

Other private businesses that run concessions have been closed like City Tavern in Philadelphia and the Nauset Knoll Motor Lodge on Cape Cod. The chief spokesman for the Park Service says they have no choice but to shut down concessions. “…without an appropriation the entire system is closed and cannot reopen until funding is restored.  We do not believe its appropriate or feasible to have some parts of the system open while others are closed to the public.” There’s that annoying little fact that concessions pay the government—not the other way around.

Open: Camp David and the military golf courses where the president usually plays. Shut down: broadcasts of NFL games and the baseball playoffs to overseas troops who usually look forward to watching on the American Forces Network.

The interesting thing is that it takes funding to send out Park Rangers to shut down concessions, put up barricades, and man the barricades to be sure that no one looks at a monument. It is obviously not a necessity to shut down monuments, nor to put the entire Park Service on extended hours to make life difficult for the public.

There was a great Photoshop yesterday of two helicopters hovering over Mt. Rushmore with a huge drape of a giant white sheet to keep people from seeing presidential faces. Obama just hasn’t thought of that yet. Hilarious!

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