American Elephants


The Mind of the President, Still a Mystery After All These Years by The Elephant's Child

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The American people have been trying for eight years to understand Barack Obama and to grasp just what his aims are. Why is he doing what he is doing? Here are the pieces I have saved that I find somewhat enlightening. No, I don’t think Obama was born in Kenya, nor does he hate America, nor is he trying to destroy America. He just has some odd beliefs that guide his actions.

Richard Epstein, Professor of Law, fellow at the Hoover Institution had a conversation about Obama on Uncommon Knowledge, with Peter Robinson. Epstein knew Obama at the University of Chicago, and through his next door neighbor who was Obama’s best friend at the time. Posted in 2012. The insight that Obama does not change his mind, that his ideas are fixed in concrete is important.

Fast forward to the present and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes as he explains the Iran Deal, and how they pushed it through by lying to the American people.

Michael Doran, in a widely praised article in Mosaic Magazine took on the task of explaining  “Obama’s Secret Iran Strategy.

And Elliott Abrams followed that up by explaining “What the President Thinks He’s Doing,” also in Mosaic Magazine, February 2015.

At ricochet, Herbert E. Meyer writes about “Obama’s Failed Experiment,” October 2, 2015.

Here’s Jeffrey Goldberg in a widely praised interview with President Obama on Syria and American Foreign Policy from The Atlantic, on June 12, 2016

And today, David Hazony, Editor of The Tower wrote about “The Mind of the President

Obama  is clearly a  leftist radical who thinks that most of the problems of the world would be much less troublesome if the United States were not so involved with the world. We are the problem, in his mind. He emphasized that once again today. “We are to Blame, not Islamic terrorism, for the massacre,” by John Podhoretz. Podhoretz  says we, once again, have an unmistakable indication that Obama finds it astonishingly easy to divorce himself from a reality he doesn’t like — the reality of the Islamist terror war against the  United States and how it is moving to our shores in the form of lone-wolf attacks.

He called it “terror,” which it is. But using the word “terror” without a limiting and defining adjective is like a doctor calling a disease “cancer” without making note of the affected area of the body — because if he doesn’t know where the cancer is and what form it takes, he cannot attack it effectively and seek to extirpate it.

So determined is the president to avoid the subject of Islamist, ISIS-inspired or ISIS-directed terrorism that he concluded his remarks with an astonishing insistence that “we need the strength and courage to change” our attitudes toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Some of these pieces are long, but all are deeply informative. Their intent is not to attack the President, but to explore his mind. We are told that he is the most brilliant of all of our presidents, which I seriously doubt. But how can this man, who has taken an oath to protect and defend the American people and the Constitution of the United States possibly view the bloody, senseless massacre in an Orlando night club and announce primly that “We are to blame, not Islamic terrorism, for the massacre.” He has no understanding of the office he holds, none at all.



The Left Speaks With a Single Voice: Don’t Fight Back, It’s Exactly What ISIS Wants! by The Elephant's Child

It’s comforting to know that America’s newsrooms and television studios are flooded with experts who know ISIS better than ISIS itself:

People might come to blame the Left for their attack on the Second Amendment. Or they might conceivably blame President Obama for his excruciatingly wrong-headed pandering to the Islamic radicals in Iran and the Middle East. He has encouraged the caliphate, handing the Middle East over to Iran to manage, so he can pursue his aim of getting America out of the Middle East, and bring peace to that unhappy tribal area.

Obama reportedly believes that he was elected to get the U.S. out of the Middle East, which isn’t even remotely true. He was elected to be the first Black President of the  United States in the mistaken belief that he would take on the job of better relations between the races. Instead he has made every effort to stir up hatred in the interest of getting more blacks and Hispanics to the polls.

He has been the most divisive president in history, sending #Black Lives Matter activists to stir up dissension on our college campuses. And with his Iran Deal, he has made sure that the mullahs get the necessary funding to perfect their nuclear weapons with which they intend to strike Israel and the United States. Or is there some other target they want to hit with an intercontinental ballistic missile?



Understanding the Obvious is Sometimes Difficult by The Elephant's Child

ISIS Executions
I suspect that ISIS is having trouble with their fighters losing enthusiasm for the fight. More deserters. There have been reports in recent days that they are putting the disaffected in cages and dissolving them slowly in acid baths, and/or feeding them to viscous and starving dogs.

That is the idea of terrorism of course — to defeat the enemy by striking terror into his heart. But they seem to be running out of really gruesome ways to dispose of people. Beheading is passé. They’ve tried setting victims on fire in cages, and drowning them in cages — and apparently they are still having trouble with a lack of eagerness and a desire to escape among the militants.

Is this a good sign? It does make the official position of never calling a terrorist a terrorist seem a little silly, doesn’t it. And perhaps releasing “the worst of the worst” from Guantanamo in order to please European leftists isn’t such a good idea after all.

Here’s Charles Krauthammer on “the arc of the moral universe” which Obama insists “is long, but bends towards justice.”



“The Iran Deal” How Does it Fare After Nearly a Year? by The Elephant's Child

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Much has been written after Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes had a lengthy interview with the New York Times about his part in The Iran Deal, his ‘mind-meld’ with the president, and how they fooled the public into believing that the deal came about only when Iran elected a new “more moderate” administration, rather than admit that the Iran Deal was Obama’s intent from the first days of his presidency. It was all hooey, of course.

Obama undoubtedly turned against the Iraq War when the rest of the progressives did— three months into the war — when it began to look as if George W. Bush might have a great success on his hands. At any rate, Obama believed that he was elected based on his opposition to the Iraq War. Progressives are deeply opposed to wars, unless it’s one of theirs. Though if you asked any number of Americans why Obama was elected, I doubt if any would say it was because of Obama’s opposition to the Iraq War. If you recall, during the campaign in 2007 Obama refused to wear one of those little American flag pins in his buttonhole and to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem, at least until someone told him to cool it, he was offending people.

His interest at some point became getting America out of the Middle East, and turning the whole messy area over to Iran, where the Persians were the more educated and refined nation and better qualified to manage the rest of them. In this, he was apparently urged on by his senior counselor, Valerie Jarrett, who shared his vast experience of living abroad — Obama until he turned 10 in Indonesia, and Jarrett in her first 5 years, in Iran.  Seems a rather odd and ephemeral experience on which to base world-shaping agreements.

We are now nearly a year into the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to limit Iranian nuclear proliferation, so how is it going?

Last week, a senior advisor to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards elite al-Quds Force said if the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave to order to destroy Israel, the Iranian military had the ability to “raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes.” Their armed forces had successfully tested a precision-guided, medium-range ballistic missile, with zero error. They even wrote the words “Israel must be wiped off the earth” on the missiles.

The Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “underlined that the U.S. hues and cries will by no means influence the development of the country’s missile development program.”

They have engaged in a lot of hue and cry over Iran’s missile capabilities, but they should know that this ballyhoo does not have any influence and they cannot do a damn thing,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing graduation ceremony of Imam Hossein University cadets in Tehran on Monday.

The Obama administration remained unconcerned about the Ayatollah’s bloviations, perhaps as they thought a previous peroration was simply intended as “public relations.”

The Supreme Leader reiterated that we are at an asymmetrical war with global arrogance, and said, “In this war, willpowers are fighting. The stronger willpower will win.”

Just yesterday, the Free Beacon reported that the Obama administration was considering permitting advanced Russian arms sales to Iran. The administration has the power to sanction key Russian arms sales to Iran, but has so far abstained from exercising that right. Russia is apparently transferring their S300 surface-to-air missile systems, an advanced long-range weapon that would boost Iran’s military ability. It is one of the most advanced anti-aircraft missile systems in the world.

The administration considers the Iran Deal the most important of Obama’s achievements, and will go to great lengths to preserve the “nuclear deal.” I have read that Obama just doesn’t believe that Iran would ever actually use a nuclear weapon. I’ve always believed that when your enemy makes threats, you should pay attention.

Here is Victor Davis Hanson writing in the Hoover Institution’s Strategika, “A Year After the Iranian Deal.”

And here is Dr. Hanson’s essay on “How Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy De-Stabilized the World.”

Whether the Obama administration is just terminally naive, or simply hopes that any repudiation of the Iran Deal will fall on his successors’ administration rather than in the last days of his own is an unknown. but as Victor Hanson says:” the next few months may prove the most dangerous since World War II.”



What Does ISIS Want? by The Elephant's Child



A Truly Weird Electoral Season. by The Elephant's Child

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They are voting in Indiana, and the polls will be closing soon. I do not understand this presidential campaign at all. We are told that the people are really angry. According to the media and Donald Trump, they are angry about illegal immigration, and unfair trade policy that is negatively affecting our country. According to exit polls, the people are not particularly concerned about immigration as it is far down the list of concerns, and majorities prefer a path to citizenship.

Mr. Trump is going to build a huge big wall. And he is going to put big tariffs on any country that isn’t being fair. He’s going to be nicer to our friends so we will be closer, but he will insist that they pay a larger share of  the cost of protecting them from radical Islam. He liked World War II and the Cold War, but is against any foreign adventures since.

What the people seem to be angry about is the economy, the lack of jobs, jobs going to immigrants, they are fearful about terrorism, angry about the ridiculous hooplah over women’s restrooms being open to men, the increased cost of ObamaCare, the lack of jobs and economic growth, and increased inflation while salaries have not risen at all. Jobs have vanished on coal country, employment is down in oil and gas country because of the drop in the price of oil, some manufacturing jobs have gone overseas because of high corporate taxes, and some high-tech jobs have gone to H1-B immigrants.

All of these problems are the direct result of policies of the Obama administration. The stimulus didn’t work. Republicans warned that ObamaCare was not going to work and would cost more, not less; every Republican voted against he initial law, and have voted to repeal the act five times, Obama has vetoed their efforts each time. Jobs have gone to offshore companies as a direct result of the highest corporate tax in the world. The rise of ISIS and the war in Syria and the Middle East is a direct result of Obama pulling the troops out of Iraq too soon. President Obama vowed early to bankrupt the coal companies, which he has done in a misguided and fruitless battle against catastrophic global warming which exists only in the computer programs of the IPCC. And in refusing to utter the words Islamic terrorism, Obama has skewed all of our perceptions of  the Middle East and what is happening.

So the people are furious with the Republicans? Huh?

They blame the policies of the Obama administration on the Republicans? They don’t think the Republicans have done enough to stop the administration?

This is the first time, as far as I know, when a President of the United States has deliberately decided that “he has a phone and a pen” and he will accomplish by executive order or actions of agencies whatever he wants, and that he will pay no attention to the Constitution of the United States of America, because he believes it to be a tired old document that needs repealing or fixing.  The remedies available are to proceed through the courts in one lawsuit or another or to impeach the president. The Republicans have voted to repeal ObamaCare five times, Obama has vetoed every bill.

Results are in from Indiana, and Donald Trump has enough votes that he will be the presumptive nominee, for he is sure to pick up enough from states like California and Washington, for example, from the remainder of states left.  Ted Cruz has suspended his campaign.

I am not and have not been a Trump supporter. I do not understand what they hope for from what little Mr. Trump has had to say in his speeches.  His supporters seem to put a lot of faith in “Make America Great Again”  and “America First” which was a discredited slogan from  the America First Committee which was highly non-interventionist in the days just before World War II. I guess they see it as patriotism and strength. I see it as lacking in evidence.

We’ll see. Mr. Trump hasn’t even released his tax returns, and is due to face trial for fraud regarding his promotion of Trump University.  But then the case against Hillary proceeds slowly as well. What a weird, weird electoral season.



“Notable & Quotable” by The Elephant's Child

The Wall Street Journal included these lines from the Mayo Clinic’s online entry on narcissistic personality disorder in their “Notable & Quotable” column.

If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlement—and when you don’t receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having “the best” of everything—for instance, the best car, athletic club or medical care.

At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior. Or you may feel depressed and moody because you fall short of perfection. . . .

[The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5] . . . criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance

Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it

Exaggerating your achievements and talents

Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate . . .

Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner




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