American Elephants

When You Think of the Clintons, Does the Word Honesty Come to Mind? by The Elephant's Child

New MSNBC host Ronan Farrow actually said on Tuesday’s The Cycle: “They represent a style of honesty that the Public craves right now.”


Nations Spy on Each Other? Can This Be True? by The Elephant's Child

How do governments find out what other countries are thinking, what they really plan, what they are talking about behind the scenes? Read the papers? Listen to the speeches? Hang around people who might know something? Yes, and much more. Nations need intelligence about what other nations may do. Nations have interests, and nations have allies, but we still need to know what’s going on behind the facade. So do they.  Nations spy. So what? When a spy infiltrates the government of another nation, they try to root it out, and may send him to prison or shoot him.

For some real insight into the current flap about the revelations of whashis name Edward Snowden, please read this piece by a career diplomat who has served in many parts of the world. Actually, add him to your blog list while you’re at it. He is invaluable.

Hardly necessary to emphasize the absurdity of Germany, France, and other nations getting so huffy about American taps on their communications. American outrage about communication monitoring has given other nations room to pose. Their citizens will act as if the United States has treated them with intolerable suspicion, and believe that the American president may have lost control of his own intelligence services and they have become victims. Germany and other nations have shown no commitment to hard power or in taking sides. Europe has long settled comfortably under the umbrella of American power. With Mr. Obama trying hard to diminish American power, other nations are getting nervous. It’s easier to feel put upon by the Americans.

Will Mrs. Merkel say again, as she did in 2007, “For me, as German chancellor, Israel’s security is never negotiable. Protecting Israel is part of my country’s reason of state. I believe that an hour of truth has now arrived when we must show we stand by our word.

Funny how the chancellor of the world’s third-largest arms-dealing country, in her reluctance to talk of any use of force anywhere, is looking like Mr. Obama’s doppelgänger. Yet she says America needs friends—although surely not ones thinking Washington will want to spy less effectively.

This excerpt from Walter Russell Mead writing on U.S. Negotiations with Iran explains a lot.

Judging from what we see from the outside, the White House does not appear to have a clear strategy in mind at this point, but the trajectory of its internal drift suggests that many there (perhaps including the President) would be ready to sell the Crescent to Iran in exchange for a face-saving, war-avoiding nuclear deal. This is probably how Jerusalem, Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and Riyadh are all reading the President’s deep reluctance to take decisive action against Assad. In Jerusalem, this belief leads people to want to engage closely with the Americans in an effort to make sure that any deal addresses Israel’s red lines on nukes and Hezbollah. In Tehran it strengthens the hands of those who favor the course of negotiations; Obama appears willing to pay a substantial price for the nuclear deal and the very act of engaging weakens American power and promotes the Shi’a cause. In Riyadh this perception heightens the rage and fear that people there feel and has led to what, by Saudi standards, is a public tantrum of epic proportions. In Moscow this is seen as both a satisfying symbolic setback for the United States and a substantial victory over the Sunni jihadi threat the Kremlin sees as a major threat. In Beijing it is read as another chapter in the story of American decline.

It All Falls Apart: The White House Spin Is Not Working by The Elephant's Child

President Obama’s claim of being unaware of any problems until after they have happened is wearing thin even with Liberal stalwarts in the media. There are limits beyond which belief falters. The list is too long. Familiarity with the operations of the White House. Experience with many presidents. Most media personalities are familiar with the demands of the profession of journalism and the hopes and dreams they had when they chose the profession. The White House spin is not working.

Democrats are still searching for excuses, currently about the expense of the failed website construction, and whether we can get our money back.

We talk a lot about how divided the two parties are. Democrats currently talk a lot about how divided the Republicans are. The first is undeniable, the latter isn’t really true. Republicans do not march in lockstep. They are a big opinionated party that disagrees about particular issues, about strategy, and about their own members. They may argue about basic principle but they agree on it in the end.  Democrats don’t do principle.

Or perhaps I should say Progressives don’t do principle. They have said so. They don’t have principles, they have projects and react to issues as they come up. They don’t understand principles. They do talking points. Republicans say Democrats are the party of Big Government, but that is not one of their principles. It’s just common knowledge that wise people in government can do a better job of ordering the affairs of man than can the hoi-polloi out there. You have perhaps noticed the contempt that people in government offices have for the ordinary citizens.

They’re not quite sure what the desired end-point is, for some  it was one-world government and all the “philanthropies” changed their names to “non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs) so they would be treated with importance at the UN, but general faith in the UN as a body is diminishing — with reason. Global Warming was going to be a global government thing, but the science isn’t working. It’s always a semi-demi-utopian bright shining vision off in the future that if they just succeed in winning, and getting rid of Republican dissent permanently — will be wonderful.

So that’s their goal. They need to “win.” To be in charge. For many, politics has been their whole life. That wasn’t quite what the Founders intended. They envisioned people who would leave their occupation for a brief time to take part in governance, but that was probably unlikely at any time.

The Democrat Party had its origins in the administration of Andrew Jackson, important general, major slaveholder, Indian fighter, which morphed into the party of slaveholders and the South. They were a large part of the Confederacy, but many Confederates fought for their states, not for slaveholding. They were the party of the Ku Klux Klan, opponents of reconstruction and  the civil rights laws that were passed in the years after the Civil War until the present. They have tried to shuck the taint of slavery, and struggled to twist history into somehow blaming Republicans for slavery. They know that is a fraud, but it leaves them ultra sensitive on the issue and they make a major effort to find “code words” in things Republicans say, They pull odd little stunts to show how “racist” Republicans are.

Perhaps you recall when House Democrats marched across the front of the capitol building to the Senate through a crowd of protestors,( were they Tea Party protestors?), and claimed that the protestors hurled ‘N’ word insults at the black members of the House. Didn’t work in the age of iPhones, Andrew Breitbart offered a huge financial prize to anyone who captured such language. No one heard it. They have sent fraudulent actors to appear carrying racist signs among Tea Party people at a demonstration. And the picture of a man carrying a rifle over his shoulder was shown all over national television and the internet until an un-cropped picture turned up to show that the man was just another black Tea Party member. Someone turned up at the Veterans protest during the Park Service shutdown carrying a Confederate Battle flag, and they haven’t identified him yet, but you can be sure that it was a Democrat. Republicans just don’t think that way.

I have never had any interest in the “first black president” thing, nor, as far as that goes in the “first woman” to be anything. I understand how meaningful the “first black president” has been to black Americans, but I just don’t think that way.  I’m interested in policy, experience, competence, management and yes, principle. And as far as I can tell so are most Republicans.

Supposedly the Democrats are the party of helping poor black Americans, but their record of doing so is entirely in the welfare field. They are vicious in their hate for Black Americans who have spectacularly succeeded in life and have become Republicans.  Dr. Ben Carson, Justice Clarence Thomas, Economist Thomas Sowell, Economist Walter Williams.  Succeeding while black is acceptable, succeeding while black and Republican is definitely not. Here are some ordinary examples of Liberal Intolerance:

At a dinner party
A Kansas University professor
About the Keystone Pipeline
On Fallen Heroes

The Left Coast Lefties Are Joining Forces to Fight Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

Just as the world is recognizing that “climate change” is something the climate does quite regularly, and the billion dollars a day the world has spent on “fighting climate change” has all gone for naught, the lefty governments of the left coast have joined together to take action on Climate and Energy.

“British Columbia, California, Oregon & Washington Join
Forces to Combat Climate Change.”

The leaders of British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington signed the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy yesterday, committing their governments, and a region that represents the world’s fifth largest economy, to a comprehensive and far-reaching strategic alignment to combat climate change and promote clean energy.

Through the Action Plan, the leaders agreed that all four jurisdictions will account for the costs of carbon pollution and that , where appropriate and feasible, link programs to create consistency and predictability across the region of 53 million people. The leaders also committed to adopting and maintaining low-carbon fuel standards in each jurisdiction.

That’s what you get when politicians don’t keep up with the news. Global warming alarmism is over. The IPCC computer programs were wrong. There is no such thing as “carbon pollution.” We are a carbon life form, we exhale CO², Carbon dioxide is a natural plant fertilizer and is greening the planet, helping the world to feed increasing numbers of people.

Adding ethanol to gasoline makes the exhaust dirtier and does not contain as much energy as plain old gasoline. Oddly enough, the only really “clean” energy is nuclear energy, and I didn’t hear any of this bunch advocating more nuclear plants. They’re still bent on a carbon pricing program and “harmonizing their 2050 greenhouse gas emission targets. Sigh.

“California isn’t waiting for the rest of the world before it takes action on climate change,” said Governor Moonbeam. “Today, California, Oregon. Washington and British Columbia are all joining together to reduce green house gases.”

They’re pledging to cooperate with governments and sub-national governments around the world to press for a global agreement on climate change in 2015. Al Gore will be so pleased.

The West Coast is home to many biofuel plants, a large number of very large radical environmental groups, and a lot of wind farms and solar arrays. Lots of blather about clean energy, joining together, our obligation to future generations and the usual sustainable words. As I said in the post below, the world has “invested $1 billion a day to fight global warming — in a world where there has been no warming in this century — none at all for 16 years even while CO² increased benignly, happily greening the planet. And all that money accomplished nothing, nothing at all.

Governors don’t make time to actually get informed on matters environmental. It was an enormous fraudulent fad, and everybody recycled and packaged their goods in recycled packaging. Businesses jumped on the bandwagon in a big way, donating to environmental causes, and planting trees. Governors’ offices across the country were signed up by the Center for Climate Strategies, who approached with an impressive dog-and-pony show, an “offered governors a terrific bargain: You ration energy use and otherwise coerce the public into major lifestyle modifications and we’ll help you inflate your reputation with media attention and praise as a pragmatist.” This was in 2008, when everyone was attempting to burnish their green credentials.

Already too late — warming peaked in 1998.

Eddie Haskell — All Grown Up! by The Elephant's Child

Is he always the last to know? Or is it more the Eddie Haskell syndrome?  Kathleen Sebelius has confirmed that President Obama was totally unaware that the initial rollout of ObamaCare was a major catastrophe until it happened. This was the president’s signature project, and clearly no one with the right technology experience was in charge. The company hired to do the work was the only bid, and Canada had fired them earlier for incompetence.

And he didn’t know anything about the NSA tapping the phones and email of German Chancellor Angela Merkel until after an internal review he ordered earlier this year, even though a German weekly reported that Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA chief, briefed Obama on the Merkel wiretaps back in 2010.

Officials said that the president was briefed on and approved of broad intelligence gathering priorities, but those below him made the decisions about specific targets

He is remarkably ignorant of all the scandals that have cropped up in his administration, at least until they make the papers. Then he is just as angry as the rest of us about the slip-up. Remember how angry he said he was about the IRS’ efforts to hold up tax exemption applications from Tea Party groups in the period before the 2012 election, an effort that coincidentally changed the outcome of the election. And nevermind that the IRS inspector general issued a report that documented IRS abuse. Obama said “I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this, I think it was on Friday.”

Obama also didn’t know anything about his administration releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants — blaming the sequester cuts. Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary at the time, said even she was surprised to learn about the action.

The ongoing crisis in the Middle East, and now tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have grown sharply in recent months. The president authorized the CIA to provide limited arms to carefully vetted Syrian rebels, but it took months for the program to even begin.

Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient and disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.

The Government Accountability Institute examined President Obama’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June to see how often he attended his Presidential Daily Briefing, which seems to be about 43.8 percent of the time. President Bush held meetings six days a week with the Vice President, the Chief of Staff, Homeland Security, the FBI director and other Homeland Security officials.

Now NBC News is reporting that the Obama administration knew in advance that their catastrophic takeover of the health care industry would throw millions of their existing plans. Millions of Americans are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under ObamaCare, say experts, and the Obama administration has know that for at least three years.
Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act told NB that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year, and that number could reach as high as 80 percent.

I think it’s Eddie Haskell all the way down. But we never saw Eddie Haskell all grown-up. I wold assume that he always has an excuse, nothing is ever his fault, and he’s really irritated about it now that he found out with the rest of us.

Back Among the Living by The Elephant's Child
October 29, 2013, 6:32 am
Filed under: Health Care, Science/Technology | Tags: ,

I think I may live after all.  Nasty stuff. Get your Flu shot!

My eyebrows have stopped hurting, and the aches and pains seem to respond to Excedrin. Do get a flu shot if you haven’t had one. This stuff can sneak up on you— in the grocery store. the library — who knows? Nobody is polite enough to carry a sign saying “I  am contagious.” They sneak up on you all unrecognized.

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