American Elephants

Obama’s Approach to Economics by The Elephant's Child

One of the problems is that President Obama learned his economics from Saul Alinsky, I guess. We are not allowed to see his transcripts, so no one knows if he ever had a course in economics. He was reported to be the best student of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals ever.

Andy McCarthy summed up the Alinsky approach in his excellent book, The Grand Jihad.

Alinskyites, though, are more sophisticated, patient, and practical. They bore in, hollowing out the system from within, taking on the appearance and argot of the heartland. Their single, animating goal is to overthrow the capitalist social order, which they claim to see as racist, corrupt, exploitative, imperialistic, etc. Everything else — including the cultivation of like-minded Islamists — is negotiable. They reserve the right to take any position on any matter, to say anything at any time, based on the ebb and flow of popular opinion. That keeps them politically viable while they radically transform society. Transform it into what, they haven’t worked out in great detail — except that it will be perfect, communal, equal and just.


The State of the Union? Not Good, Not Improving. by The Elephant's Child
January 27, 2014, 7:12 pm
Filed under: Politics

“President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night will seek to shift the public’s souring view of his leadership, a challenge the White House sees as critical to shaping the nation’s policy direction over the next three years,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

He will emphasize his intention to use unilateral presidential authority to bypass Congress when they won’t do what he wants. And he thinks that what will fix the public’s very sour view of his leadership is more failure to abide by the Constitution he swore to defend? More gangster government? Well, yes, that’s apparently what he has in mind.

Mr. Obama will stress that he intends to take unilateral action on a host of other issues: infrastructure development, job training, climate change and education. Administration officials hinted broadly at the assertive new direction Sunday.

Mr. Obama has been saying for 4½ years that he was going to save the country with “infrastructure development,” “job training,” “climate change,” and “education.” He developed no infrastructure, except an airport that got one flight a week, guardrails by a dry lake, and a sheepish announcement that there weren’t any shovel ready projects after all.

Last I heard was that there were 47 different federal job-training programs, and no evidence that they were successful in putting people to work. Mr. Obama doesn’t need to work on climate change. The climate stopped warming 17½ years ago. The climate is always warming and cooling, and there is no need for alarm. If he paid attention to what is going on, he would notice that the Europeans are getting out of the climate change business as fast as they can. They have decided that they cannot afford big investments in wind and solar energy.

Mr. Obama has repeated this list endlessly, but it means nothing. He says what he thinks will please — he tells Americans that they can keep their doctor, that their new insurance will cost $2,500 less, that they can keep their hospital, and none of that was true and he knew it when he said it.

His main issues will be immigration reform, because his business supporters want more foreign workers. If he is concerned about employment he might work on improving the employment situation instead. Hiking the minimum wage is an unemployment act for young people. In recent weeks White House adviser Valerie Jarrett has “reached out to chief executives seeking commitments that they won’t discriminate against the long-term unemployed in hiring practices.” Companies, of course, are not obligated to hire the long-term unemployed.

And, you will not be surprised to hear that Mr. Obama will attempt to follow through by hitting the road for campaign speeches in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Tennessee. He is always more comfortable when he is campaigning.

In our brilliant system, the government is constrained by a network of checks and balances. Each branch prevents the others from tyrannizing the citizenry. The legislative branch cannot make a law without presidential approval — except in the rare event of an override. Neither can a president create a law by whim — he can only sign into law legislation that’s been passed by Congress. …

Principled members of Congress should spend the next days and weeks challenging his usurpation of power in the court of public opinion — and in a court of law. Americans are not subjects of a king.

It Takes Elephants of All Persuasions, United. by The Elephant's Child


[American Elephant adds: While I wrote the paragraph quoted from our “About” page, I did not write this post and do not agree with the insulting characterization of the Tea Party.]

If you have ever clicked on the “ABOUT” line in the sidebar, it says :

American Elephants is the internet home of big-tent conservatism — black, white, brown, gay, straight, Christian, Jew or Hindu — it takes elephants of all persuasions, united, to beat back the liberal clowns and lead the circus of politics. So, ladies and gentlemen! Children of all ages! Step right up and come on in under the Big Top!

I have no story about my magical conversion from a  youthful romance with the Democratic party, I have always been a Republican. In fact, I’m a 4th generation Republican, one of my great-grandfathers wrote around 1860 that he “was a quiet but interested member of the Republican Party.”

“Republican” is a term in current disfavor, Liberals have gone to great lengths to call us racist, bigots, mean, uncaring, racists, and now “conservative” is the preferred term. My party registration remains the same. The “Big Tent” part has lapsed into disfavor among many Republicans as the Tea Party people are furious with the Republicans in Congress because they haven’t taken down the Democrats, impeached the president, and denied funding to ObamaCare. Business interests are furious with the Tea Party because of their encouragement for shutting down the government, and opposition to increased immigration.  Libertarians keep complaining about the regulatory state, and want more conversation about liberty — personal and economic. Republicans disagree about a lot of things, but they also agree about most of the really important ones.

Democrats apparently agree about everything, They even agree in exactly the same words, so one must assume that “the words” are passed down from a particular source, probably the Center for American Progress, the home of those who now want to be called ‘progressives’ instead of ‘liberals’ because ‘liberal’ has become somewhat out-of-favor word. Since they are well-informed by the left-wing media, they scrupulously avoid anything that might question their certainties, which makes it hard to find ways to compromise with opponents.

There is a lot on which Republicans agree. Free markets, free people, respect for the Constitution, support for the military, small government, avoiding over-regulation, low taxes, balanced budgets, fiscal conservatism — a very partial list. But some are neglecting what is meant by a big tent. The Founding Fathers put together a government where the process was meant to be slow so that all sides could be heard and disagreements fully aired. Individuals have their own opinions. Expecting everyone else to agree, or attempting to drum out of the party those who do not agree is a recipe for disaster. Concentrate on the areas of agreement, and support those who agree most of the time.

I agree with the Tea Party. I think the Obama administration is the most incompetent and corrupt administration that we have ever had. I agree with the Libertarians that big government and the administrative state are way out of control, and that Americans are perfectly capable of managing their own affairs without government interference. I agree with business that over-regulation and uncertainty are devastating to business; and if we want a recovery we need to remove the barriers we put in the way of business. There is no reason in the world why America should have the world’s highest corporate tax. Corporations don’t pay taxes, they pass them through to consumers in the price of their goods. No candidate is going to be perfect. We are human, a quarrelsome, flawed species, and we are not going to agree on everything. Don’t expect perfection. If we are going to win, we need everybody in the big tent.


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