American Elephants

How Can You Trust Anyone Who Has a ‘Public Position’ and a ‘Private Position’ on The Same Issues? by The Elephant's Child

hillary-clinton-4Hillary fairly recently famously said that she has, like everyone else, ‘public positions’ on issues and ‘private positions.’ I don’t know if that is like everyone else. I have public positions, and if I privately think something other than that, I keep my mouth shut, or risk an argument, don’t you? Although there are reports that most people have lost friends over this election.

There is a commercial that airs frequently on the radio in which Hillary says “Donald Trump is running a campaign based on insults,” “I believe in treating people with respect.” Sure she does. It has been extensively detailed that as First Lady, she treated the Secret Service agents assigned to protect her with their lives like dirt, screaming at them if they even ventured to say “good morning.” She addressed them when they displeased her as “S**t-kicking-mother-F******s. It appears that she hasn’t changed. Her treatment of State Department security people was so bad that State Department security personnel refused to work for her and they had to assign new recruits to her team.

Wikileaks has captured another moment when Hillary was doing the public/private thing. It’s just so complicated when you are trying to please everybody. Having an actual position is sure to offend someone. In this case it was pipelines. Hillary opposed a New Hampshire natural gas pipeline (New England needs more natural gas since they are shutting down nuclear plants and relying far too much on wind), but she privately told the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)that she was for a pipeline,as a pipeline project provides real jobs for lots of laborers though such jobs are temporary.

She has privately told the building trades that she does not oppose pipelines,” Budzinski wrote. “Can we outline instances where a pipeline would have her support?”

“They are also concerned that she committed to not making pipeline by pipeline decisions and it now appears she is breaking to pressure and doing just that,” she wrote, referring to LIUNA’s concern Clinton was turning against her broad support for pipelines.

Gives you a whole lot of confidence, doesn’t it?


“The Institutional Left Is Conspiring to Produce an Unaware and Compliant Citizenry” by The Elephant's Child


So far we have learned that the fact-checkers don’t really check the facts—their answers are usually wrong. Lots of superlatives: the best, the worst, the most, the least, true evil, total hogwash. Lots of propaganda. What can you believe? Who is telling the truth? Is there any truth anymore? The disclosures from Wikileaks continue to arrive.

Back on April 10, 2015. a memo came out about an off-the-record cocktail party for influential reporters, anchors and editors. The purpose was to give reporters and their editors their first thoughts from team HRC in advance of the announcement and launch period. They would be framing the HRC message and framing the race.  Reporters who had RSVPd were Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopolus, Jon Karl, John Heilman, Mark Halperin, Norah O’Donnell, and many more.

We learned from the released emails that team Hillary hoped to end up with Ben Carson, Ted Cruz or Donald Trump as the Republican candidate and the easiest to defeat. I’m sure that it is simply a coincidence that at the Republican debates with seventeen candidates, very successful governors or members of the Senate or the House, and one female CEO, the media coverage went mostly to just one candidate, and the rest struggled for a chance to speak.

The Podesta emails show team HRC openly debating in emails how to cover-up the Benghazi emails. They know how bad they are and want to get a more favorable narrative out there before the committee learns about it.

There was an allegation that the FBI was offered plum assignments for their agents overseas if they would just look the other way when investigating the Hillary emails. And other allegations that Obama, who had said he didn’t even have Hillary’s email address, was corresponding with her regularly under an assumed name.

The released emails show close cooperation with the media and deference to the campaign. Another features one of Podesta’s colleagues from the Center for American Progress admitting that the institutional left “conspires to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry” ostensibly to impose their radical agenda on us without much resistance.

Hillary told Goldman Sachs executives that Americans who want to limit immigration are “fundamentally un-American” according to the leaked transcript of her October 2013 speech made public by Wikileaks. And she’s all for the H-1B program of importing foreign workers.

Hillary gets the questions for an interview before it happens so she can prepare. She gets the scripts before a TV appearance.  Editors give her team a chance to edit their reports before they are disseminated. The State Department coordinated their release of emails with the campaign, The Podesta emails suggest there should be a Catholic spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic church.

The leaks certainly prove just what Hillary claimed that there is a public persona and a private one. Probably the very reason she decided on a private server at her home in defiance of federal regulations was to try to be sure that the private persona never got exposed to the vast right-wing conspiracy. If you’re not trying to get rich on the taxpayer’s dime through illegal methods, you don’t have to worry that much about exposure.

There’s a reason why they are called public servants—they are supposed to report to us. They are required by law to save their records which are to be available to the public, on demand. There’s a reason why “government corruption” is the number one real fear among the American people.

They Are Losing or Have Lost Our Trust, And That IS a Very Big Deal. by The Elephant's Child



Troubling times. I find that I cannot watch the debate. Hillary, freshly coiffed by an expert, made up by an expert, dressed by an expert with a flattering collar that reflects all attention on the well done face and none on the weight she’s put on, is too much for me to take. That is a compliment, if a backhanded one. She’s really very well turned out for an important debate.

But even more so, because she is a compulsive liar, re-inventing herself each time she opens her mouth, to appear warmer, more caring, more capable, and just downright good—except that it just isn’t true. Canned lines.  Everything has been focus-group tested to see how it will play. When she said in a speech that there were “public positions” on an issue and “private positions,” it was not just a rare moment of candor, but an excuse if she gets caught at anything.

I have a deep intolerance for liars and lies, not, I hope, as any sort of holier-than-thou thing, but merely that understanding the world and what is going on is hard. People at their most honest are often mistaken or wrong. The only thing we have to guide us is our experience of the past, and other’s experience, but we never know enough. We are stumbling through a darkened wood trying to find the real and honest, and people who lie, deliberately, to confuse and mislead because of their own greed—are the enemy, trying to keep us stupid.

Have you noticed that whatever the subject, Hillary has met with those people, shares their concerns, feels their pain, and has an answer to their problems. Here’s an occasion where the question to Hillary was about her statement that there were “public positions” and “private positions” about a policy and wasn’t that two-faced? Her response is fascinating, and attempts to turn the question gradually into an attack on Trump and insinuation that the Russians are trying to influence our elections for the benefit of Trump. Whew! Some spin, and she ends up with Donald not releasing his tax returns. That’s an impressive trip around all sorts of attacks without ever dealing with the original question.

Hillary is a radical leftist. She was an admiring student of Saul Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals, who teaches how to manipulate people in order to control them to get power. She wrote her senior thesis about him. Obama was a student of Alinsky’s methods and purportedly his best student ever at applying his methods in community organizing.

The leadership of the Democratic Party has moved far left. It’s open borders, and free trade in the hemisphere. Christiana Figueres, as Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity, but to destroy capitalism. The Left pretends that their goals are something new and different, but it’s just the same old story that ends up as Venezuela.

They want to be in charge. They want to make the rules, and they want the power. That’s where Hillary is, and her choice as vice presidential candidate is just as hard left. In spite of impressive degrees or titles, they just don’t know enough to manage a people. You have to trust the people and trust in their creativity and their choices. They don’t need your management, they need to be able to trust you. They are supposed to be the boss, and you government people are the public servants, doing their bidding, not the other way around.

The people are concerned about uncontrolled immigration. They are concerned with a president who operates by executive orders and ignores the Constitution. They are concerned about terrorist attacks and the refusal to do anything about it, including calling terrorism by name. They are concerned about an economy that just costs more, and does less and less efficiently, and doesn’t seem to grow at all.

Even the British papers say that Trump won this debate, so it must be so. We’ll see how it plays out in the polls, which may or may not mean anything at all. These are troubling times, and we can no longer trust the fact-checkers, let alone the media. A strange, strange year.

Can You Trust the Press? Should You? by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Judith Miller, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. speaking for Praeger University.  And the answer is No.  They have squandered that trust with their own partisanship and misrepresentation. I’m not at all sure that they recognize the loss of trust at all. Smug. Remarkably smug.

Barack Obama, Keeping Us Safe From Those People He Won’t Describe Because it Might Offend by The Elephant's Child

*Click to enlarge

It doesn’t always take a long-winded discussion to explain just what is going on in our world. Michael Ramirez strikes again!

The Debate: Did We Learn Anything Useful? I Suspect Not. by The Elephant's Child

treigger-waringTonight’s debate was held at Hofstra University. The sign of the times sat outside the debate hall: “Trigger Warning: The event conducted just beyond this sign may cause triggering and/or sensitive material. Sexual violence, sexual assault and abuse are some topics mentioned within this event. If you feel triggered, please know there are resources to support you.”

Nothing much that should be “triggering,” but it was pretty depressing. Hillary was very, very rehearsed. The ideas she expressed were standard Leftist boilerplate, unadorned with a single original thought or idea.  There was one, which was clearly planned to become a talking point —”Trumped-up Trickle-down Tax cuts.” She dredged up the talking point Democrats used 36 years ago from the Reagan Campaign, without the slightest understanding of just what she was talking about.

There are basic economic facts that the Left simply cannot grasp. •Poor people do not create jobs, rich people do, because they have spare money to invest. •Raising the minimum wage is a guaranteed unemployment plan for beginners in the job market. •Equal pay for women has been settled law since 1963, and Hillary didn’t have anything to do with it then or now. Nor is there anything in that law that needs fixing. It’s simply a pander for votes.

Hillary wants to raise the estate tax to 65%. Getting those nasty rich people. The thing is the very rich arrange their affairs so they can avoid unnecessary taxes. They can hire the best lawyers and the best accountants, and set up Foundations that allow them to shelter money, just like Hillary and Bill have.  The people who get stuck with higher estate taxes are the small farmers and owners of small businesses. The “estate” is entirely invested in the farm or the business, and when a big estate tax is levied, it has to be sold or divided up to pay the taxes — and the results are another blow to the middle class, and doesn’t really effect the rich at all.

Donald Trump is not a practiced debater. The openings left by Hillary’s rehearsed comments were enormous, and Mr. Trump did not take advantage of the openings as he might have.

It’s clear that many people simply do not understand what the fuss about her emails is. Let’s state it clearly. Required by law to preserve all of her emails on a State Department secure computer, she set up her own computer in her home, on a private server run by some computer “security” company in Colorado. Her reasons seemed to be her paranoia, that people might learn that she was selling speeches by her husband, and access to the State Department and herself for donations to the Clinton Foundation. The “security” company had no security clearances of any kind. Nor did Hillary’s lawyers who advised her on security matters.

The debate question about Cyber-Security was a huge opening, for Hillary’s computers were clearly hacked, Secret and Top Secret documents and even more highly classified documents, through her carelessness and greed were made available to our enemies all over the world.

She was not allowed to use a Blackberry because it was not secure, but she had, over time, some 15 of them. The reason for the rules and regulations was the simple fact that many of our most secret documents cross the desk of the Secretary of State. Hillary’s wanton carelessness has endangered our country, the people who work for the government, and our policies. And she lied about it, over and over. This is a foreign policy disaster that will harm our country for many years. Hillary’s goal was graft, pure and simple. What use is an important government job if not to enrich yourself and your family?

Hillary attacked Donald Trump for “stiffing” people who worked for him, and not paying the amount they were due, making much of the fact that they might be small businesses, counting on his reputation. Hillary had two employees at Benghazi, whose security force was cut from 34 officers to just 6. In the face of rising danger, they begged for more security, which was not forthcoming. They were murdered, and Hillary went to bed. Two former Seals, working for the CIA were trying to hold off the terrorist attack and begged for help. Central Command was ready to respond, but was told to stand down. Then Hillary lied about it to the parents of the men who had been killed. And to the public, claiming the whole thing was not a terrorist attack, but a protest against a YouTube video made by a Coptic Christian that insulted Mohammed, that nobody saw, and nobody cared about. The maker of the video was thrown in jail to rot on false charges until the attention of the news media had turned to other things. That’s quite an example of bad character.

Donald Trump is not an experienced debater, nor is he a polished speaker. But those are usually not considered qualifying characteristics for the job of President. Honesty and character are. We have somehow arrived at a moment in time when trust has broken down. One federal agency after another has become enmeshed in scandal. The IRS, the CIA, the FBI, the VA, EPA, the BIA, BLM. DOJ, DOI, the list goes on and on.

Barack Obama told the country that he learned about Hillary’s email scandal from the press, as he has learned about so many other scandals, and he didn’t even know Hillary’s email address. It appears from leaked emails that he wrote emails to Hillary regularly, under an assumed name.

Hillary is an experienced and congenital liar. She lies about silly unimportant things to make herself look better (the sniper-fire at the airport in Bosnia), and she lies about major things that do matter. She lies about her health, she lied about her emails, she lied about her accomplishments, she lied about leaving the White House “dead broke,”she has lied about her duties at the State Department, she lies about Trump, she lies about the Clinton Foundation. She’s not a very good liar, because she usually gets caught at it. People just assume that what she says is neither accurate or credible.

The trouble with liars is that if you assume them to be truthful as a matter of principle, sooner or later you end up acting on information from that person, and that’s how you learn who and what they are.

In personal matters, it’s just a disappointment. In matters of State, it can be the life or death of the country. We have been lied to extensively on the Iran Deal, and that is going to come back to bite us. We have been lied to extensively about Syria. About Iraq and about Afghanistan.

“Obama’s Last Lecture” by The Elephant's Child

President Obama delivered his final address to the U.N General assembly on Tuesday. I listened to a bit online, and decided to get the transcript, as I prefer to read it unadulterated. The Wall Street Journal headline over their commentary was “Obama’s Last Lecture,” and my immediate response was “Please God, Make It So.” President Obama started right off to tell the delegates just what an impressive difference he had made in the world and how very important it was. As  usual, it was all about him.

From the depths of the greatest financial crisis of our time, we coordinated our response to avoid further catastrophe and return the global economy to growth.  We’ve taken away terrorist safe havens, strengthened the nonproliferation regime, resolved the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomacy.  We opened relations with Cuba, helped Colombia end Latin America’s longest war, and we welcome a democratically elected leader of Myanmar to this Assembly.  Our assistance is helping people feed themselves, care for the sick, power communities across Africa, and promote models of development rather than dependence.  And we have made international institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund more representative, while establishing a framework to protect our planet from the ravages of climate change.

This is important work.  It has made a real difference in the lives of our people.  And it could not have happened had we not worked together.  And yet, around the globe we are seeing the same forces of global integration that have made us interdependent also expose deep fault lines in the existing international order.

We see it in the headlines every day.  Around the world, refugees flow across borders in flight from brutal conflict.  Financial disruptions continue to weigh upon our workers and entire communities.  Across vast swaths of the Middle East, basic security, basic order has broken down.  We see too many governments muzzling journalists, and quashing dissent, and censoring the flow of information.  Terrorist networks use social media to prey upon the minds of our youth, endangering open societies and spurring anger against innocent immigrants and Muslims.  Powerful nations contest the constraints placed on them by international law.

He hit all his favorite progressive notes: inequality, the one percent controlling all the wealth, beggar thy neighbors policies, injustice undermining people’s faith in the system, soulless capitalism,  the gap between rich and poor, and I loved this one: “with further investment in infrastructure and early childhood education and basic research, I’m confident that such progress will continue.” About infrastructure, remember there weren’t any shovel-ready jobs. It has been a dismal eight years, with no real recovery, an economy never reaching even a basic 3% growth, an economy burdened by excessive regulation, overreaching controls, and of course the constant pursuit of some way, any way, to stop the normal warming and cooling of our planet, on which he has squandered billions to no avail whatsoever.

On the other hand he’s for democracy, our democratic Constitution, our Bill of Rights and the ideals which let our ordinary  people organize and march and protest.  The American narrative, I guess. It was a lecture.

The speech is here if you want to read it.

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