American Elephants


A Reminder, In Your Words Mr. President: “That’s Not How Democracy Works” by The Elephant's Child

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The year is 2011, and election coming up, the president is making lots of speeches and fundraising. On May 10, President Obama spoke at Chamizal National Memorial Park in El Paso Texas. He vowed to “keep up the fight” to pass comprehensive immigration reform through Congress, because the immigration system was broken. (Not broken. The immigration laws simply are not enforced).

He assured the audience that the border fence was essentially complete, (if  “essentially complete” means that 84 miles of the mandated double fencing have been built of the 1,933 miles of our border with Mexico). That pertains to compliance with the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

Then he added:

“Sometimes when I talk to immigration advocates, they wish I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself, but that’s not how a democracy works,” Obama said. “What we really need to do is to keep up the fight to pass genuine, comprehensive reform. That is the ultimate solution to this problem. That’s what I’m committed to doing.”

Back in the halls of Congress, it is Jeff Sessions who once again spoke of constitutional government in defense of American workers in a clarifying speech yesterday on the Senate floor:

A number of things have been happening today with regard to the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. There’s been a lot of spin about that and that somehow the Republicans are blocking the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. This gives new meaning to the word “obfuscation,” I suppose, or “disingenuousness.” The truth is, the House of Representatives has fully funded the Department of Homeland Security. It’s provided the level of funding the President asked for. It’s kept all the accounts at Homeland Security as approved through the congressional process. It simply says, but, Mr. President, we considered your bill, this amnesty bill that will provide work permits, photo IDs, Social Security numbers, Medicare benefits. You can’t do that. We considered that and rejected it. So we’re not going to fund that.

Now, the President has told us and his staff that they have across the river in Crystal City, they’re leasing a new building and this building is going to hire a thousand workers, paid for by the taxpayers of the United States, part of Homeland Security. Are those thousand workers going to be utilized to enforce the laws of the United States? Are they going to process applications for citizenship or visas? No. Those 1,000 people, costing several hundred million dollars, in truth, those people are going to be processing and providing these benefits to people unlawfully in America… (Read on below)

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What Did Obama Mean By “Fundamentally Transform”? by The Elephant's Child

Obama lecturing

Most of us are apt to divide the world up into the good guys and the bad guys. Opposites.  Simplistic thinking, of course. No nuance. (when did that word slip into the daily vocabulary?) Winners and losers. Short and tall, rich and poor, hard-working and lazy, handsome and ugly, cruel and kind, smart and stupid. It helps us to understand those things we encounter in the world, we can modify our judgment later.

World War II was clear — Allies and Axis, and the Cold War — Communists and the Free World. Things began to get confused with the War in Vietnam. Protesters couldn’t decide who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. Jane Fonda has never been forgiven for her stupidity, but she was not alone among the far left. It was a confusing time, and when the Draft was ended, surprisingly so were the protests.

Questions today on the internet ask “Is Obama a Christian?” and “Is Obama a Muslim?” But those are the wrong questions. Obama has given every indication of signing up with the bad guys, the Axis, the Communists, and those who oppose our country. His dislike for the Israeli prime minister is obvious; his distaste for the United Kingdom is clear; his support for a deal with Iran; his support for the Muslim Brotherhood; for the deposed president of Egypt; inability to reach a status of forces agreement with Iraq; Benghazi; refusal to help the dissidents in Iran, and in Syria; and the silly outreach to Cuba; and the support for most anti-American governments in South America.

There is a pattern.  A pattern which is behind Rudy Giuliani’s asking if the president loves America. One would think that the media would be somewhat aware of the direction of the entire Obama administration, instead of dissolving in wrath when someone actually notices. (Or is that why the media boiled over —they’re beginning to notice?)

I think he is just doing exactly what he said he would do: attempt to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” Everybody was so excited with the idea of the first black president, the mellow baritone voice, the moving phraseology “Yes We Can!,” “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!,” that they didn’t really pay any attention to what he actually said that he wanted to do. I don’t think he is trying to destroy the country, he just wants to “fix” it.

We are paying the price for our inattention. And it’s up to us to find out exactly what he meant by “fundamentally transform.” It matters. It matters a lot.



The Basic Problem Is That The Left Is Not Troubled By Lies! by The Elephant's Child

The New York Times Well’ column, which seems to be about ‘living well,’ is today going on about the reliability of human memory, and how memories can be distorted or embellished over time, and then wanders into consulting a leading memory researcher about Brian Williams’ long, long history of “distorted” memories.

I hasten to add that I do not get my news from NBC, and I’m not at all sure that I have ever watched Brian Williams. Scientific studies, researchers, fabricated, distorted, embellished, mistakenly, etc. etc. It’s still pretty clear that the embellishing served the purpose of making Mr. Williams look a little better in his own eyes and the eyes of others. And yes, everybody lies:” You look really nice, dear” and so on and so forth, but we all know when it crosses the line into something else entirely.

And we seem to be entirely into the “entirely” category. We are unable to decide whether our president lives in a fantasy world, thinks the common folk out there will believe anything he says, is purposefully distorting, or is just a pathological liar.

Then we have the IRS, the EPA, HHS, NSA, OMB, NOAA, DOE, DHS, VA, I could go on, but you get the idea, and these are only a few of the agencies that have been in the news for scandal of one sort or another. I can ‘t remember any time when there are so many questions about the behavior of so many government agencies, or any time when confidence in government was so lacking. This is not normal.

Congress is still trying to pry out some information about the attack on our facility in Benghazi, the murder of four Americans (one of them an Ambassador of the United States of America) and that was back in September of 2012!

We have a president, a graduate of Harvard Law School, who does not feel it necessary to pay attention to the Constitution, let alone the preserve, protect and defend oath he took on Lincoln’s Bible. The Constitution is quite clear that Congress gets to make the laws, and the President’s job is the executive part.

Is falsehood contagious? Does falsehood in the Executive Department spread to the agencies by some sort of osmosis? Or do instructions go out to each department head about what may be said and what may not? Examples made by the swift firing of someone or other? How does it all work?

Why do I find more clarity about an event in this country by reading about it in the British press rather than our own?

We now have the biggest science scandal ever, in which the official temperature records — on which the entire global warming panic has rested and about which billions of taxpayer money has been spent — temperature records which were systematically adjusted to show the Earth as having warmed significantly more than was justified by the actual data.

I reject the idea that it has always been thus. Candidates in the next election must convince us that next time things will be different. And we’re not going to be all that easy to convince any more.

So to clarify everything and restore honesty to the situation, NBC is going to suspend the aforesaid Mr. Williams for six months. At that point maybe everybody will have forgotten, or moved on,  and Brian Williams will have forgotten all those unfortunate misremembered memories.



Obama’s Analysis of His Own Presidency! by The Elephant's Child

A strange day indeed. President Barack Obama appeared on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” He said he was most proud of “saving the American Economy” and he is “very confident that America is stronger, more prosperous, safer, and more influential today than it was when I took office.”

Huh?

“I’m proud of saving the American economy. We still have a long way to go. Essentially what we did was stabilize it, lay a new foundation to move forward. As I said in the State of the Union address, that gives us, now the capacity to tackle what was an overriding theme of my campaign way back in 2008.  And that is to restore middle class economics and the capacity for people to get into the middle class and start seeing higher wages and a broader shared prosperity inside the United States.”

“Internationally, I’m proud of the fact that we’ve responsibly ended two wars. Now, people will say, well, you’re back in Iraq, but we’re not back in Iraq with an occupying army, we’re back with a coalition of 60 countries helping to stabilize the situation.”

“And so one of the things I’ve learned in this job over the last six years is that sometimes progress is incremental. But when I look at overall the steps that we’ve taken, I believe they are the right ones. I am very confident that America is stronger, more prosperous, safer, and more influential today than it was when I took office.”

Republicans, online, have expended volumes of words trying to understand this president and why he does — what he does. Not very successfully. That is the things he does are not successful and our understanding is not successful. But David Horowitz, in his new book Take No Prisoners, offers some clues.

The Democratic Party has moved steadily leftward since the 1972 presidential campaign of George McGovern until it is now a party of the Left, led by progressives who are convinced that their policies are way stations on the path to a “better world.”

The vision of moral and social progress that Democrats share has profound consequences for the way they conduct their political battles. Unlike conservatives, progressives are not in politics merely to improve government practices and ameliorate social problems. They are missionaries who want to “change society” and “solve” its problems. They are out to create an entirely new order, which they call ‘social justice.” They think of themselves as social redeemers. Their belief in a redeemed future accounts for their political passion and for their furious personal assaults on those who stand in their way. …

The very grandeur of their ambition turns progressives into zealots. They dream of using the power of the state to make everyone equal and to take care of everyone’s needs. They are going to legislate—and dictate—social equality and social justice. How intoxicating is that idea? It explains why progressives approach politics differently from conservatives. It doesn’t matter to progressives that the massive entitlement programs they created—Social Security and Medicare—are already bankrupt. They can take care of that by making wealthy people pay their “fair share.” Progressives believe that if they can appropriate enough money and accumulate enough power, they can make their glorious future work. Everything Democrats do and every campaign they conduct is about mobilizing their political resources to bring about this result. It is about social transformation—one program and one candidate at a time. No Republican in his right mind thinks like this.

I recommend the book highly. I wish I could quote more. Eyeopening! I keep reading the first chapters over as the examples from my own experience prove every word.



The State of the Union is Not Strong, Mr. President. You Were Misinformed. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama gave a defiant State of the Union speech tonight, full of whoppers. He’s still congratulating himself for ending the War in Afghanistan, as fighters he released from Guantanamo are heading up ISIS in that country.

Several writers have referred to his ‘trolling’ Republicans. Byron York put it clearly:

With no real political clout on Capitol Hill and a job approval rating that has stayed mostly below 50 percent for a long time, Obama is trying to leverage the power he has left to force his agenda on the Republican majority. His big talk, executive actions, and outlandish proposals are the best ways he has to control the debate in Washington.

I think we misunderstand. Obama believes that he has successfully accomplished much of the fundamental transformation of America that he embarked upon, and he considers the two elections he won as validation of that ideology. Remember the extent to which the Democrats extolled Obama as young, fresh, new and interesting.?

I think people voted for the first Black President, and did see him as new and fresh. But I don’t think they were voting for “fundamentally transforming” the United States of America, or if they did, they didn’t mean by the phrase what Obama had in mind. Obama believes he has been quite successful, and Danielle Pletka got it right:

For Barack Obama, many of these are success stories; or to put it another way, isn’t Assad isolated? Don’t we almost have a deal with Iran? Look at Putin struggling, Castro releasing political prisoners. Look at the wars that have ended, China’s cooperation on the world stage, and recognize that while hundreds of thousands have died throughout the Middle East at the hands of terrorists, there has been no attack on American soil.

He has not changed his mind. He is defiant, and expects to combat Republicans all the way. He will attempt to use the tax-increases he wants as bargaining chips, and veto everything else. In the last few weeks, he has raised his approval rating back up to 50% with the help of his lapdog media, who have happily reported an economy in full recovery, (celebrating the phony 5% growth rate); unemployment rate down to 5.6% ( but of an increasingly smaller work force).

The scary numbers came out from Gallup last week. For the first time in 35 years, American business startups have fallen below the business failure rate. That has to be changed, or the American economy is not coming back. The U.S. now ranks 12th among developed nations in terms of business startup activity. And we pretty much know why. Overregulation, red tape, higher taxes, ObamaCare regulation and penalties, too much government, White House policies, bad business climate, muddled government rules. If new businesses are not starting up — where are the jobs supposed to come from?

The ideological Left believes firmly in more and bigger government, more controls, more regulations, and increased taxes to pay for it all. That’s what President Obama was proposing tonight. Leftists sneer at “trickle-down economics”— their name for lower taxes. But it’s far better for someone to use their money to start a business than to use their money to plan for tax avoidance. Lower taxes create more income for the government. Freed of tax avoidance schemes, free people invent, experiment and start new enterprises. They don’t need more government to tell them how to do business. They need government to get out of the way.

A  record 92.9 million Americans are no longer part of our workforce.

Seven years ago, before the recession, the economy was projected to have five million more jobs at the end of 2014 than we do. GDP was projected to be 11 percent higher in 2014 than it is. Annual output was projected to be $2 trillion higher, or more than $6,000 per person. And we won’t see much wage growth until there is a higher demand for workers.

The $8 trillion housing bubble did a lot of damage to the economy, and Obama wants to do the same thing all over again by reducing the down payment for a mortgage from 20% of the cost, down to 3% because he wants to see more people owning their own homes, which was what caused the housing bubble in the first place. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’re apt to repeat them.



Barbarians At The Gates Of Paris! by The Elephant's Child

By the best estimates France now has a Muslim population of 6 million or approximately 10%of its 65 million people. David Goldman suggests that “if only 1% of this population are radicalized to the point of engaging in or providing support for terrorist activities, that is a pool of 60,000 individuals.” not 60.000 bombers or shooters, but a support network that would allow a smaller number of terrorists to blend into the population.

In the suburbs of Paris there are “no-go ” zones that are ruled by Muslim gangs that can intimidate the Muslim population. “France has already lost the capacity to police a part of its territory, which means that it cannot conduct effective counter-terror operations.”

To put the 60,000 number in context ,”the whole prison population of France is less than 70,000, of whom 60% are Muslims…. France has had the toughest enforcement policy against radical Islam among the major European nations. The use of assault rifles and (reportedly) a rocket launcher in the center of Paris is a statement of contempt toward the authorities on the part of the terrorists.”

Islam is a political religion.

In contrast to Christianity, Judaism and all the other religions we know, Islam means to control every aspect of life, including both government and private life. The West, bowing to political correctness, multiculturalism and vague ideas about ‘can’t we all just get along’ does not know how to deal with Islam.

The perils of multiculturalism and open borders have reached critical mass in Sweden. There are Muslim enclaves where postal, fire and other essential services — even police officers themselves —require police protection.

A police report released last month identifies 55 of these “no-go zones” in Sweden. These zones are similar to others that have popped up in Europe in recent years. They formed as large Muslim populations emigrating to politically correct and tolerant European states refuse to assimilate and set up virtual states within a state where the authorities fear to tread.  (emphasis added)

The Swedish Police Academy is revising their curriculum to include coursework of cultural sensitivity intended to achieve “greater understanding of the intercultural perspective. Sweden will not be profiling.

Nor will there be any here. The Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis has “Little Mogadishu,” home to America’s largest concentration of Somali immigrants. This neighborhood has become a recruiting ground for Islamic terrorists. CBS has reported that as many as 40 young men have joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria. A Fox affiliate in Minneapolis-St Paul reported the case of Abdirahmaan-Muhumed. Before he went to Syria, he worked for Delta Global Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Airlines. His job was to clean aircraft, and he had a security clearance that gave him unfettered access to the tarmac and passenger jets.

Political correctness and cultural sensitivity aren’t going to do it. Nor are open borders and  “amnesty.” Last week the Wall Street Journal had a fascinating piece about the uses European countries are finding for all their empty churches. We, perhaps, need to reexamine our melting-pot tradition, that welcomed immigrants from all over the world and had a remarkably successful record of assimilation — turning immigrants into proud Americans. What has changed?



In a Difficult Climate, Republicans Have Some Stellar Accomplishments! by The Elephant's Child

andyspond

I wrote a couple of days ago:

Conservatives everywhere constantly wonder what is the matter with the left, and try to find a satisfactory answer. We just had what can fairly be called a “wave” election.  Republicans will control the House of Representatives by 247 to 188 Democrats. They will control the Senate, by 54 to 44 with 2 independents. The GOP controls the governorship and the legislature in 23 states compared to 7 states for the Democrats. Legislative power has slipped from the hands of the American left.

This is a marvelous accomplishment. Even if you give all the credit to Obama’s policies (He did say that his policies were on the ballot) instead of to the Republicans, it is something to celebrate. Yet what I am reading and hearing is how awful John Boehner is, and that the Republicans should dump him. This is not the people’s choice, it’s the choice of the members of the House about who they choose to lead them.

Back in October, the House had passed more than 200 bills, which Harry Reid promptly tabled, and the Senate passed a mere 59 bills. That’s possibly a record low. I think the Senate ended up passing 111, and the House over 400, but I’m not sure of those numbers. The point is that bills do not become law with just the vote of the House.

Much has been made of the fact that we won the election, and how come they didn’t repeal ObamaCare, slash the national debt and stop Obama’s executive illegal immigrant amnesty? Doesn’t work that way. Even with both House and Senate, a bill does not become law without the president’s signature, or enough votes to override his veto.

Did you notice that John Boehner outsmarted Obama in the 2013 budget negotiations and because of John Boehner federal spending has declined over a five-year period for the first time since the post World War II cutbacks. The sequester has decreased total federal spending 1.5%-2.0% in real inflation-adjusted dollars, and it will do the same in 2014.

Largely because of Boehner, and also the much maligned Mitch McConnell, the unfolding catastrophe of ObamaCare is fully a Democrat disaster. There has not been a single Republican vote for any part of it. They own it! That may be the reason Republicans regained the House and Senate.

Obama has told our enemies publicly just what our strategy will be and when we will leave the battlefield, which has made every military person cringe. John Boehner does not reveal Republican strategies in advance. His job is not to lead the nation, nor to act as a cheerleader for the conservatives or the establishment — but to weld a bunch of fractious politicians into a political band that can accomplish as much as possible in difficult circumstances. That means accepting losses where they are inevitable, horse trading, and trying to squeak some important stuff through in spite of the odds.

Nearly two million fewer Americans are receiving jobless benefits than a year ago, in part due to the elimination of an extended benefits program last December. Economists on both left and right agree that generous jobless benefits keep people from looking for work and discourages employers from offering work. Businesses have to pay higher wages to urge people away from benefit programs, and taxes go up to pay for the benefits.

The Cromnibus bill, that 1,603-page bi-partisan $1.2 trillion federal funding bill prevents the EPA from regulating farm ponds under navigable waters legislation. Not a big deal? Andy Johnson received a state permit to build a little dam to create a watering hole for his cattle along the Six Mile Creek that crosses his property. He did not get a separate permit from the Army Corps of Engineers because the creek flows into the Black Forks River which flows into the Green River which the EPA had designated under the 1972 Clean Water Act as a “navigable interstate water of the United States.” Fine from the EPA — $75,000 per day! The EPA’s attempted power grab is both far-reaching and outrageous.

The EPA can’t implement a White House proposal to cut dairy industry methane emissions by 25% by 2025. Their attempted listing of the greater sage grouse and the Gunnison sage grouse as endangered can’t be done until studies prove it necessary. There’s the poultry poop posse attempting to regulate chicken poop, and  an order to limit cow plop to eliminate 500 liters of individual cow emissions of methane. Reined in.

Obama promised $3 billion to poor countries in retribution for climate damage caused by our fossil fuel pollution — that got cut. Even Michelle Obama was reined in — school lunch programs will not be restricted by standard low-sodium and whole-grain menus. Kids will be relieved.

I complain a lot that this regulation business is getting out of hand. Credit John Boehner tor reining them in and for doing some hard bargaining.




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