American Elephants


Obama Versus The Pipeline: An Ideological Battle! by The Elephant's Child

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President Obama  in an interview with WDAY of Fargo ND, Feb. 26, 2015 — tried to explain his veto of a bill that would have leapfrogged the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline:

“I’ve already said I’m happy to look at how we can increase pipeline production for U.S. oil, but Keystone is for Canadian oil to send that down to the Gulf. It bypasses the United States and is estimated to create a little over 250, maybe 300 permanent jobs. We should be focusing more broadly on American infrastructure for American jobs and American producers, and that’s something that we very much support.”

Obama has come to believe that he can say whatever he wants and the people will believe it, and it’s getting to be embarrassing.

Infrastructure is just equipment and structures like, well, pipelines. Building infrastructure is a construction job. Construction jobs only last until the structure is complete, and then construction workers move on to the next project. There are around 20,000 high-paying construction jobs in the pipeline and in materials, and the State Department estimates 42,000 spin-off jobs and the addition of $3.5 billion to the economy. Beats losers like Solyndra and the enormous Ivanpah Project.

The crude oil would indeed travel to the Gulf Coast. and be refined there. Most of the refined product is likely to be consumed in the United States. For Gulf refineries heavy bitumen from the oil sands is an attractive substitute for declining offshore heavy crude supply from Latin America. A report from IHS Energy concluded that 70 percent of the refined product would be consumed in the United States. Canadian crude is eligible for crude export licenses. The likelihood that WCSB crudes would be exported in volume is considered low.

TransCanada has signed contracts to move 65,000 barrels a day from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana, and about 12 percent of the pipeline’s capacity has been set aside for the Bakken region. U.S companies control about 30 percent of the production in Canada’s oil sands region, so production is not strictly Canadian, But the last time I looked, Canada was our friendly neighbor to the North, and our most important trading partner.

Obama got  Four Pinocchios for that speech from the Washington Post Fact Checker.



The EPA Gets Slapped Down By the Federal Court Once Again by The Elephant's Child

McCarthy testifies before a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on her nomination to be administrator of the Environmental Protection AgencyFederal Judge Royce C. Lamberth  today warned the EPA not to discriminate against conservative groups in how it responds to open records requests. He said the agency may have lied to the court and showed “apathy and carelessness” in carrying out the law.

He said he could not prove that officials intentionally destroyed documents, but he described as an “absurdity” the way the EPA handled a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Landmark Legal Foundation and the court case stemming from it—including late last week admitting that it misled the court about how it went about  “searching for documents.”

In a scorching 25-page opinion, the judge accused the agency of insulting him by first claiming it had conducted a full search for records, then years later retracted that claim in a footnote to another document without giving any explanation for how it erred.

“The recurrent instances of disregard that EPA employees display for FOIA obligations should not be tolerated by the agency,” the judge said. “This court would implore the executive branch to take greater responsibility in ensuring that all EPA FOIA requests — regardless of the political affiliation of the requester — are treated with equal respect and conscientiousness.”

This particular ruling can also be seen as a rebuke to President Obama who vowed to run the “most transparent administration in history” but has received constant challenges over how that vow has been carried out. Judge Lamberth made a point of the EPA delay of follow through on Landmark’s request until after the 2012 elections, and said explanations by EPA officials for why they failed to live up to the law “defied reason.”

Mark Levin, Landmark’s president, said it is up to the president to decide how to respond, but people should be fired. Nena Shaw and Eric Wachter, Judge Lamberth said, either lied to the court or showed utter indifference to the law.

Is it proper to send roses to a federal court? Probably not, but this arrogant agency certainly deserves a legal slap-down.



Why the Netanyahu Speech Matters by The Elephant's Child

Matthew Continetti has written an excellent column at the Free Beacon on why Bibi’s speech matters. “It exposes the Iran deal as indefensible—and Obama’s politics as bankrupt.”

The emerging nuclear deal with Iran is indefensible. The White House knows it. That is why President Obama does not want to subject an agreement to congressional approval, why critics of the deal are dismissed as warmongers, and why the president, his secretary of state, and his national security adviser have spent several weeks demonizing the prime minister of Israel for having the temerity to accept an invitation by the U.S. Congress to deliver a speech on a subject of existential import for his small country. These tactics distract public attention. They turn a subject of enormous significance to American foreign policy into a petty personal drama. They prevent us from discussing what America is about to give away.

And America is about to give away a lot. This week the AP reported on what an agreement with Iran might look like: sanctions relief in exchange for promises to slow down Iranian centrifuges for 10 years. At which point the Iranians could manufacture a bomb—assuming they hadn’t produced one in secret. Iran would get international legitimacy, assurance that military intervention was not an option, and no limitations on its ICBM programs, its support for international terrorism, its enrichment of plutonium, its widespread human rights violations, and its campaign to subvert or co-opt Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria. Then it can announce itself as the first Shiite nuclear power.

Do read the whole thing:  Matthew Continetti zeroes in on the specific points on why the Obama administration is trying to do such an impossible deal, why Obama wants it, and why he’s deeply mistaken. The greatest danger is that the world perceives Obama as a weak president who cannot be depended on at any. Urgently  needed weapons may or may not be delivered, rescue may or may not happen, decisions may or may not be made, or may endlessly be postponed.

Obama believes he was elected to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. He was not. He was elected to be the first black president. He is terrified of being a ‘war’ president, and wants to avoid confrontation at all costs. Which results in the Ukraine, Cuba, Chinese adventurism, ISIS and Libya, Syria, and the potential return of Afghanistan to Taliban control.



The Obama Administration Campaigns to Get The Whole World to Tune In To the Netanyahu Speech Tomorrow by The Elephant's Child

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The Obama administration has done a marvelous job of advertising the Netanyahu speech before a joint session of  Congress tomorrow. The entire world will be listening. The president asked the Black Caucus in Congress to boycott the speech, and clearly suggested that the rest of the Democrats in Congress do the same.

The suggestion was floated that Netanyahu had ‘disrespected’ the president by not seeking permission to give the speech. When it was correctly mentioned that the Congress of the United States does not require presidential permission to invite anyone they damn well please to speak to them, the story became protocol—it was proper diplomatic protocol to let the White House know when another head of state would be coming to the U.S. — and then it was revealed that the White House had indeed been informed before Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted the Congressional invitation.

The lapdog media were still putting the false story about yesterday that Netanyahu had somehow disrespected President Obama.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein attacked Prime Minister Netanyahu on Sunday morning as “arrogant” for asserting that he speaks for all Jews in his upcoming speech to Congress. She huffed’ “He doesn’t speak for me on this. I think it’s a rather arrogant statement. I think the Jewish community is like any other community. There are different points of view. I think that arrogance does not befit Israel” Prime Minister Netanyahu does speak for the people of his country, who are mostly, but not all, Jewish. I rather doubt that he meant to speak specifically for Senator Feinstein.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice went on PBS’s “Charlie Rose” and said that the decision of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to invite Netanyahu without consulting the White House, and Netanyahu’s decision to accept, had “injected a degree of partisanship” into the relationship between the two nations.

“Which is not only unfortunate, I think it’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship,” she said.

The Prime Minister did notify the White House that he would accept the invitation of Congress to speak. He has no need to “consult” the White House and he does not need permission, nor does Congress need White House permission to extend the invitation. Obama has also huffily said that he would not meet with Mr. Netanyahu.

How could you possibly devise a better advertising campaign for a speech before a joint session of the American Congress?

According to the latest Gallup poll 45% of Americans view Netanyahu favorably while only 24% view him unfavorably, while the most recent Gallup poll has Obama at 44% approval and 51% disapproval. “The media did everything in its power to promote a failed boycott of the speech by Democratic lawmakers (so far only about 10% have refused to attend) and to paint those who support Netanyahu’s speech as disloyal to President Obama, and by extension America.”

President Obama’s campaign staff has been off in Israel campaigning against Netanyahu in the Israeli elections. They are private people who get paid to work in electoral campaigns, and Obama says he didn’t send them, which is probably true; but he could have insisted that they do not work in the Israeli campaign because it would look so bad for the president.

President Obama desperately wants a nuclear deal with Iran. Everyone who knows Iran keeps trying to tell the president that Iran cannot be believed at any time for any reason. When they scream “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” they really  mean it. They are the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, they have ignored ever red line, every promise to cease enriching, and made it clear that they don’t intend to stop, yet the hapless Mr. Kerry and Mr. Obama are sure that next time it will be different and that the mullahs really are reasonable people who want the same things that we do.

Obama is insisting that he can make a deal with Iran without consulting with Congress, and that it’s not really a treaty, so he doesn’t have to.




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