American Elephants

It’s The Weekend —We’ll Think About it Next Week. by The Elephant's Child

From Alexis Simendinger at Real Clear Politics:

President  Obama said on Friday that the United States will not send combat troops to help the Iraqi government battle militants massing near Baghdad, but will provide  military options over “the course of this week.”

Uh huh. No rush, maybe next week. Obama has a golf  weekend planned in Palm Springs. I refer back to former defense secretary Robert Gates Duty

The historian Max Hastings wrote in his book Inferno that “it is characteristic of all conflicts that until enemies begin to shoot, ships to sink and loved ones—or at least comrades—begin to die, even professional warriors often lack urgency and ruthlessness.

In 2007, George W. Bush warned that if America withdrew prematurely from Iraq, American troops would eventually have to return:

To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready … would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaeda. It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. It would mean we’d allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. It would mean increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous. [Emphasis Added].

There is no urgency except among some former military people. Some seem to think that a column of ISIS ‘militants’ are more vulnerable on the highway to Baghdad than they will be when it’s house-to-house in the city itself, but what do I know.

Obama spoke at a graduation ceremony at U.C. Irvine about the urgent problem of global warming.

A new paper published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics finds long solar cycles predict lower temperatures during the following solar cycle.
—A longer solar cycle predicts lower temperatures during the next cycle.
A 1°C or more temperature drop is predicted 2009-2020 for certain locations.
—Solar activity may have contributed 40% or more to the last century temperature increase.
—A lag of 11 year gives maximum correlation between solar cycle length and temperature.

Seems like somebody ought to be alarmed, but I guess not.

Blackfive Responds to the Kids at Vox: by The Elephant's Child


An excerpt from Uncle Jimbo* at Blackfive:

No Zack, they actually had destroyed it. They beat it into a bloody tangled mess of dead tangos stacked so high that they blotted out the sun, They killed so many of the local bad guys and the thousands of jihadist visitors that King Leonidas sent a dispatch saying “Dag! Nice work”. So when you say “the US military and allied Sunni militias famously defeated it” I will accept your words, but not the snotty tone with which you meant them.

You see Zack, the Surge worked. We won the war. The Iraqis actually formed a legitimate democratic government. And then we walked away and said “There you go a Republic, if you can keep it”. We took our toys and left. The Bush administration agreed to take all our troops out because that was the only way to get all the Iraqi factions to join in a government. But neither the Iraqis or us expected that to be the final deal. We and they rightfully expected a follow on negotiation about a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) after their elections and some minor legitimacy for the new government.

We needed to stay because they needed our help to actually make the whole thing work. The groundwork was laid, but the new US President Barack Obama completely torpedoed the negotiations and made sure we couldn’t stay and help. So they were on their own with Iran on one side and Syria on the other, both of whom had been huge enablers of the insurgency in the first place. It is hardly surprising that the Iraqis didn’t dominate at the democracy or the security on their own. And all of us who could identify the clue bag pointed out that our departure would yield this exact outcome. 

……………………………………………….*Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson (“Uncle Jimbo”) is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy.

The Obamas Take Advantage of All the Perks of the Office! by The Elephant's Child

From June 27 to July 3, 2013, the Obama family enjoyed a week-long family vacation to sub-Saharan Africa on the taxpayer’s dime.  Dime? Not exactly. The bill for lodging, entertainment and security expenses came to $2,189,727.60,  The records came from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed with the U.S. Secret Service on July 3, 2013.

According to the Department of Homeland Security documents:

—Secret Service hotel accommodations for the seven-day trip cost $953,788.18
—Although the Obama family’s safari in Tanzania was canceled shortly before the Obama’s departure for Africa, the Secret Service preparations for the canceled safari still cost $11,525.75. The Obamas were persuaded that the safari would really look bad.

During their week in Africa, the Obamas visited three countries: Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. According to reports in the Washington Post, in the days before the trip, “One hundred [Secret Service] agents are needed as ‘post-standers’ —to man security checkpoints and borders around the president—in each of the fist thee cities he visits. Sixty-five are needed to meet up with Obama in Dar es Salaam…In addition 80 to 100 additional agents will be flown in to work rotating shifts, with round-the-clock coverage, for Obama and his family’s security details…”

In March 2014, Judicial Watch released flight expense records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force, revealing that the Obama family also incurred flight expenses of $8,104,224. for flights to, from, and around Africa during the week-long June-July 2013 trip. The trip totaled 35.5 hours at $228,288 an hour. The records came from a FOIA request. According to numerous press accounts the total cost of the Obama family week-long trip was estimated to have cost between $60 million and $100 million, for one week!

Oddly enough this was just at the time when the president was shutting down White House tours and blaming it on the sequester.

As of March 7, 1014, President Obama had played 163 founds of golf. He is aware of the optics in an election year, and although he had averaged 30 rounds a year, in 2012 he cut back to 19.

However, the February 2014 golf trip to Palm Springs and March 2014 golf trip to Key Largo, Florida cost the taxpayers $2,952,278. for flight expenses alone.

The Africa tri was the most expensive, but the Honolulu vacation cost the taxpayers $15,885,585.30 in flight expenses alone. Michelle Obama’s side trip to Dublin, Ireland during the 2013 G-8 conference in Belfast, where she and her entourage booked 30 rooms at the five-star Shelbourne Hotel, with the first lady staying in the 1500-square-foot Princess Grace suite at a cost of $3,500 a night. The Obamas trip to Ireland cost a total of $7,921,638.66.

Clearly, the Obamas abuse the perks of the Office of the Presidency. Obama himself seems tone-deaf to the crassness of railing about income inequality and bellyaching about the sequester as he is leaving for another vacation. The idea that we are borrowing money from China for this excess is deeply offensive. In the style of the best executive expense-accounts the administration is apt to claim attendance at an important meeting about, say California’s water crisis, to cover for several rounds of golf at the most exclusive courses.

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