American Elephants

One More Scandal for The Long List of Obama’s Scandals by The Elephant's Child
October 9, 2013, 9:47 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,


“The conduct of the National Park Service over the last week might be the biggest scandal of the Obama administration.” said Jonathan Last at the Weekly Standard. It would join such abuses of power as Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS, the NSA, the HHS mandate and the long, long list of EPA excesses.

Although a spare 13 percent of the government is all that is affected by the shutdown, Obama has struggled to make it as painful for the public as possible in a juvenile nose-thumbing at the people. Catholic soldiers not allowed to attend mass, commissaries  on military bases closed, so military people have to head for the nearest town to buy simple household supplies are annoying inconveniences for the people involved.

When the Park Service started closing open air memorials on the National Mall, people sat up and began to take notice. As someone said, these are monuments open 24/7 and there are no doors. The Park Service brought in people and barriers and armed guards to install doors in an open air park. And when it was exposed that those attempted to be kept out were 90-year-old World War II veterans on a once-in-a-lifetime Honor Flight trip to see the monument erected by private donations to honor their service, it stopped being funny.

Imagine the Park Service being ordered to behave so despicably and so illegally. The National Park Service is supposed to serve the public, not act as a political arm of the Democratic Party. Further, the federal government is not the owner of the national parks. The federal government is the nominal steward of the national parks who cares for the land for the benefit of the owners—the American people.

The unprecedented concentration of power in the executive branch is a serious problem. President Obama has never quite grasped the nature of the office he holds and how it is different from that of other heads of state. In the absence of anyone who will clearly explain his proper role to him, and the absence of a corrective action short of impeachment which is reserved to the Senate, he does as he pleases. And what he pleases is to act unilaterally across national policy to ignore the role of faithfully carrying out the laws in favor of making law by executive order, regulation or reorganization.

The parks do not have to be closed because of the shutdown, they are closed by the choice of the president who is specifically trying to turn the shutdown of maybe 13 percent of non-essential government activities into a very big deal indeed, and shift the blame for the shutdown to the Republicans. That the Mall is closed to elderly veterans in wheelchairs, and tourists are barred from looking at Mt. Rushmore or the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone, or at the wonders of the Grand Canyon, is hardly a necessary closure of non-essential services. It’s petty spite from a president who demonstrates his utter contempt for the people of the United States. People are beginning to notice.



Raising the Debt Limit by The Elephant's Child

This is one from the archives of Powerline, though I think I posted it before as well. Seems a fitting moment to replay it, and it makes the point nicely.

When a Story Plot Becomes All Too Real by The Elephant's Child

It’s a favorite plot, so overused that it has become trite: something happens to the pilot and a passenger, a stewardess, someone who is not a pilot has to be coached into bringing the plane in for a landing. Heard it all too many times, right? Tiresome.

Except it just happened, in England. Officials at Humberside Airport in northwest England put emergency plans into place and called in flight instructors when the pilot of a small Cessna 172 collapsed in the cockpit and his passenger, 77 year-old John Wildey took the controls and began his first landing with help from flight instructors.  Soon after he landed, his friend, the pilot, died.

It has always been a possible scenario, as so many scary situations are — and sometimes they turn real.  Here’s the full story;


Common Sense, Briskly Expressed! by The Elephant's Child

A short piece by Bob Krumm caught my eye this morning. titled “IT’S NOT BUSINESS; IT’S STRICTLY PERSONAL”

Republicans want a delay in Obamacare.  Because of the many significant problems with the rollout of Obamacare, and because he has delayed parts of the law himself some 19 times, President Obama should want a delay in Obamacare too.  One year gives Democrats an opportunity to fix systemic errors in the software, the regulations, and the law.  One year gives nothing at all to the Republicans–nothing–except the opportunity to crow a little bit.

That the President can’t compromise in a way that gives him everything he wants, plus the extra time he needs, is not about business.  It’s strictly personal.

I love it when someone sums up all the arguments of the past few weeks, wraps it up in a brief package and sums it up in a quotable manner. Nice going.


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