American Elephants


The Obama Administration Faked the Census Numbers? Really? by The Elephant's Child

The Obama administration has faked the census numbers that are used to compile unemployment statistics, in the period before the 2012 election.

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

Granted, these numbers are careful estimates, but the figures are used by economists, financial institutions, hedge funds, state/private pension funds, and other governments base policy, predictions, expectations and invest real dollars based on those numbers. It is, as Joe Biden would say, a big #*!# deal! A knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond one employee, and escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012, and continues today.

Headline: 23 Million Unemployed is Not a Recovering Economy!, 10/7/2012

The labor participation rate is down to 1981 levels. Of the 114,000 new jobs last month, only 104,000 were in the private economy. The number that had a lot of people suspicious was the giant 873,000 leap in employment as measured by “the household survey.” That’s the biggest one-month increase in nearly 30 years, which does deserve an explanation. …

A lot of knowledgeable people were wondering if the Obama administration was, um, cooking the books. Robert Gibbs, former press secretary, appeared on the Sunday shows to say he was ‘shocked, shocked, that anyone would think that the administration manipulated the numbers. And yes, it is shocking that anyone would think that, but that is the kind of suspicion that this president’s lawlessness and executive orders and presidential proclamations have led us to.

Other things going on in October 2012: “The White House has moved to prevent defense and other government contractors from issuing mass layoff notices in anticipation of sequestration, notices which they must, according to law, send to workers deemed reasonably  be likely to lose their jobs sixty days before they will be let go. The White House wants defense contractors to keep the layoffs secret and the contracting agencies would cover  any potential litigation costs or employee compensation costs that could follow. The spending cuts would take effect January 2, 2013—$109 billion.”

And there was this one: Obama Economy Fashion Statement 10/7/2012, which I rather liked. There was also Benghazi, Obama performed horribly in a debate, and the Democrats interviewed the man who picked up the garbage from the Romney’s La Jolla house, and the CBO reported another $1 trillion+ deficit for 2012. Military Times reported a concerted effort to keep military votes from being counted or even received. “Mr Obama claims we are adding jobs every month, but for every person added to the labor force, ten drop out. That is not progress.

It would seem that promises of “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” and “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” are not an isolated aberration, but a longstanding pattern of lies. What is important for Liberals is winning, and you do what is necessary to make that happen. For the man who was elected to the Senate on the basis of miraculously having “sealed” divorce records opened for public perusal, it’s just what we should have expected.

October 12, 2012: Jack Welch, famed former CEO of General Electric provoked outrage when he suggested that the White House had manipulated September job numbers for political gains.  Chris Matthews was simply beside himself.  But Jack Welch was right!



The Long Slow Death Spiral of ObamaCare: by The Elephant's Child

Well, finally, the American people are sitting up and taking notice of the health care debacle. ObamaCare not only dominates the news cycle, but all the late night comics are trying to outdo each other in making fun of the website disaster and cancellations of everyone’s insurance. When you have lost Country Music and college football fans, you are in trouble.

So now what? A majority of voters say the federal government shouldn’t be involved in the business of healthcare according to a Gallup survey released on Monday.

The poll found that 56 percent say making sure people have health insurance shouldn’t be a government responsibility, against 42 percent who say that it should be. Those who say the government doesn’t have a responsibility to guarantee citizens have healthcare has reached the highest point ever among Democrats and Independents.

A record 30 percent of Democrats say the government shouldn’t be involved in healthcare, and 55 percent of independents now say the same. For Republicans, those against stand at 86 percent, down from 88 percent in 2012.

The post from Gallup was not clear about whether they distinguished clearly between government provided health care and government provided health care insurance. This is a distinction that has really confused most commentary.

ObamaCare is health insurance, but dips far into who you can see, what treatment you may have, what medicines you can take, and where you can go for care. They have chosen to offer a large array of (unnecessary) services—many that should not be paid for by insurance— but that add enormous cost to the insurance. The high cost must be offset by greater control of remuneration for doctors and suppliers, but control was what they were after in the first place.

What terrifies me is the possibility that they will try to “fix” ObamaCare. What we most need is to get government completely out of the health care business. They are no good at it.

Democrats expected to have to “fix” ObamaCare, and the improvement would be more control. Doctors would become government employees. the hated insurance companies would be ended and we would arrive at their long-desired single-payer, government-run care that other countries are trying to figure out how to escape.

Here’s an example of the turn of opinion, and the slow death spiral of ObamaCare from Saturday Night Live.



“Incorrect Promise” Indeed! I Say It’s Fraud And I Say The Hell With It. by The Elephant's Child
November 17, 2013, 12:49 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Health Care, Humor, Media Bias, Politics

The Obama enamored media has struggled mightily to avoid acknowledging clearly that Barack Obama’s central selling-point —”If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” was a straightforward fraud intended to deceive. A New York Times editorial last week said it this way:

Congressional Republicans have stoked consumer fears and confusion with charges that the health care reform law is causing insurers to cancel existing policies and will force many people to pay substantially higher premiums next year for coverage they don’t want. That, they say, violates President Obama’s pledge that if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it.

Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that. By law, insurers cannot continue to sell policies that don’t provide the minimum benefits and consumer protections required as of next year. So they’ve sent cancellation notices to hundreds of thousands of people who hold these substandard policies.

On the news side they settled for the term “incorrect promise”while reporting that “hundreds of thousands of people have received cancellation notices:”

The split between lawmakers and the White House reflects the dilemma the president finds himself in as he seeks to follow through on last week’s acknowledgment about his incorrect promise on health care coverage. Hundreds of thousands of people have received cancellation notices from health insurance companies because their plans do not conform with minimum standards set by the new law.

You will notice that in each case they refer to that insurance policy you liked as a “substandard policy,” on the editorial side and “plans that do not conform with minimum standards” on the news side.

The new “minimum standards” are fat, bloated policies that could only be constructed by people who have no understanding of insurance and its purpose. Every benefit added has a cost, and that is the reason why your auto insurance doesn’t guarantee new tires and a regular change of windshield wipers. You can take care of that yourself.

Laughter is the best medicine. The Democrat/Media Complex can come up with all sorts of euphemisms, but at some point their attempts  become absurd.



When You Think of the Clintons, Does the Word Honesty Come to Mind? by The Elephant's Child

New MSNBC host Ronan Farrow actually said on Tuesday’s The Cycle: “They represent a style of honesty that the Public craves right now.”

 



It All Falls Apart: The White House Spin Is Not Working by The Elephant's Child

President Obama’s claim of being unaware of any problems until after they have happened is wearing thin even with Liberal stalwarts in the media. There are limits beyond which belief falters. The list is too long. Familiarity with the operations of the White House. Experience with many presidents. Most media personalities are familiar with the demands of the profession of journalism and the hopes and dreams they had when they chose the profession. The White House spin is not working.

Democrats are still searching for excuses, currently about the expense of the failed website construction, and whether we can get our money back.

We talk a lot about how divided the two parties are. Democrats currently talk a lot about how divided the Republicans are. The first is undeniable, the latter isn’t really true. Republicans do not march in lockstep. They are a big opinionated party that disagrees about particular issues, about strategy, and about their own members. They may argue about basic principle but they agree on it in the end.  Democrats don’t do principle.

Or perhaps I should say Progressives don’t do principle. They have said so. They don’t have principles, they have projects and react to issues as they come up. They don’t understand principles. They do talking points. Republicans say Democrats are the party of Big Government, but that is not one of their principles. It’s just common knowledge that wise people in government can do a better job of ordering the affairs of man than can the hoi-polloi out there. You have perhaps noticed the contempt that people in government offices have for the ordinary citizens.

They’re not quite sure what the desired end-point is, for some  it was one-world government and all the “philanthropies” changed their names to “non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs) so they would be treated with importance at the UN, but general faith in the UN as a body is diminishing — with reason. Global Warming was going to be a global government thing, but the science isn’t working. It’s always a semi-demi-utopian bright shining vision off in the future that if they just succeed in winning, and getting rid of Republican dissent permanently — will be wonderful.

So that’s their goal. They need to “win.” To be in charge. For many, politics has been their whole life. That wasn’t quite what the Founders intended. They envisioned people who would leave their occupation for a brief time to take part in governance, but that was probably unlikely at any time.

The Democrat Party had its origins in the administration of Andrew Jackson, important general, major slaveholder, Indian fighter, which morphed into the party of slaveholders and the South. They were a large part of the Confederacy, but many Confederates fought for their states, not for slaveholding. They were the party of the Ku Klux Klan, opponents of reconstruction and  the civil rights laws that were passed in the years after the Civil War until the present. They have tried to shuck the taint of slavery, and struggled to twist history into somehow blaming Republicans for slavery. They know that is a fraud, but it leaves them ultra sensitive on the issue and they make a major effort to find “code words” in things Republicans say, They pull odd little stunts to show how “racist” Republicans are.

Perhaps you recall when House Democrats marched across the front of the capitol building to the Senate through a crowd of protestors,( were they Tea Party protestors?), and claimed that the protestors hurled ‘N’ word insults at the black members of the House. Didn’t work in the age of iPhones, Andrew Breitbart offered a huge financial prize to anyone who captured such language. No one heard it. They have sent fraudulent actors to appear carrying racist signs among Tea Party people at a demonstration. And the picture of a man carrying a rifle over his shoulder was shown all over national television and the internet until an un-cropped picture turned up to show that the man was just another black Tea Party member. Someone turned up at the Veterans protest during the Park Service shutdown carrying a Confederate Battle flag, and they haven’t identified him yet, but you can be sure that it was a Democrat. Republicans just don’t think that way.

I have never had any interest in the “first black president” thing, nor, as far as that goes in the “first woman” to be anything. I understand how meaningful the “first black president” has been to black Americans, but I just don’t think that way.  I’m interested in policy, experience, competence, management and yes, principle. And as far as I can tell so are most Republicans.

Supposedly the Democrats are the party of helping poor black Americans, but their record of doing so is entirely in the welfare field. They are vicious in their hate for Black Americans who have spectacularly succeeded in life and have become Republicans.  Dr. Ben Carson, Justice Clarence Thomas, Economist Thomas Sowell, Economist Walter Williams.  Succeeding while black is acceptable, succeeding while black and Republican is definitely not. Here are some ordinary examples of Liberal Intolerance:

At a dinner party
A Kansas University professor
About the Keystone Pipeline
On Fallen Heroes



The Nature of Negotiation, And Why It Doesn’t Work! by The Elephant's Child

Negotiation is hard, depending on how far apart the parties are on their beliefs. Add in the political ploys designed to give the media talking points and to sway public opinion. Add in the extent to which the parties represent their policies and view of history truthfully, and you end up somewhere like where we currently are.

It is all summed up quite well in Thomas Sowell’s 1987 book A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, which in turn looks back to Adam Smith’s 1759 Theory of Moral Sentiments and William Godwin’s 1793 Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. Sowell calls these the constrained vision and the unconstrained vision. Adam Smith saw the natural flaws of man as  simple human nature and inherent facts of life. The fundamental moral and social challenge was to make the best of the possibilities within that constraint, rather than dissipate energy in trying to change human nature. Smith attempted to determine how the moral and social benefits desired could be produced within those constraints. Smith’s answer was Incentives such as devotion to moral principles, concepts of honor, really an economic answer — a set of trade-offs rather than a real solution of actually changing man. The constrained vision accepts human nature as a given, and unchangeable.

Godwin believed the intention to benefit others was the essence of virtue, and virtue was the road to human happiness. Man was capable of directly feeling other people’s needs as more important than his own. Man’s current egocentric behavior did not mean that it was a permanent feature of human nature that was promoted by the very system of rewards used to cope with it. Godwin was not concerned with the immediately effective incentive under the current state of things. The real goal was the long-run development of a higher sense of social duty. The potential is quite different from the actual, and means for improvement can be discovered or developed. In other words imperfect man was perfectible. The unconstrained vision looks for solutions that will change human nature.

The key insight from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations: If an exchange between two parties is voluntary it will not take place unless both believe they will benefit from it. Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.  Milton Friedman

From Breitbart: “According to John Podesta, founder of the Center for American Progress and former Chief of Staff to President Clinton, President Obama told him that he would never again bargain with Republicans to extend the debt limit. Podesta said that the 2011 Budget Control Act, which ended the debt ceiling debate two years ago, “sent a signal that this was fair game to blackmail  over whether the country would default. He feels like he has to end it and end it forever.”

“Obama has taken a no-negotiations stance on the debt ceiling debate, sending the true signal to the market that he is willing to default on debt if Republicans do not fund the government in accordance with his wishes. Podesta said that Obama will “be viewed as a guy who you can hold up” if he gives any concessions at all on the debt ceiling.

“The stock market has rallied around the notion that the debt ceiling debate will come to a conclusion before the United States defaults. That’s largely because Republicans are signaling that they want to extend the debt ceiling. “Mr. President, let’s sit down and talk,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said. “Let’s reach consensus and end the ‘my way or the highway ‘ attitude once and for all.” …Obama takes solace in the fact that Republicans are being blamed more than Democrats for the current impasse, thanks largely in part to media coverage.”

The problem is that Republicans and Democrats are not speaking the same language, and each side is bargaining from a viewpoint the other side does not understand. Republicans are deeply concerned about the amount of debt Obama has run up — not because it’s Obama’s debt, but because it is too much debt and is doing damage to the country. Obama, a believer in Keynesian economics, believes that spending is necessary to help the country recover, and the reason that stimulus hasn’t worked enough to restore the economy is because the stimulus wasn’t big enough. Republicans believe that much of Obama’s spending has actually increased the numbers of the unemployed and overregulation has cost thousands of jobs.

Obama said in his weekly sermon:

It’s a positive development that House Republicans have agreed on the need to avoid the economic consequences of not meeting our country’s commitments. Because once the debt ceiling is raised, and the shutdown is over, there’s a lot we can accomplish together. We’ve created seven and a half million new jobs in the past three and a half years.

Now let’s create more. We’ve cut our deficits in half over the past four years. Now let’s do it in a smarter, balanced way that lets us afford to invest in the things we need to grow. The truth is, there’s a lot we can agree on.

The other thing Obama said was to blame Republicans for — practically everything — in every other sentence. “flirt with a first-ever default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season.””the pain of this Republican shutdown.” “Manufacturing crisis to extract massive concessions,” ” A political party is risking default for the first time since the 1700s. This is not normal.””constant brinkmanship.” “It saps everyone’s faith in our extraordinary system of self-government.” “Politics is a battle of ideas, but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation — not extortion.”

The president has a bigger microphone, and it is echoed by a compliant media. Polls do blame Republicans more, but do the polls mean anything? Obama has gone way too far in his righteous indignation. He has threatened the markets, taking the Dow Jones down. Retailers have taken a real hit.  He has hinted that Social Security checks might not go out. (Is he ready to admit that there is no trust fund?)  And he has no concern whatsoever about whether his words are true, and all too frequently they are not.

So you  have a “negotiation” where neither party understands where the other side is coming from, they do not mean the same thing by their words, and they have different ideas about their personal responsibilities to the country. What could possibly go wrong?



Obama Declares War On 90-Year-Old World War II Vets! by The Elephant's Child

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The monuments and memorials on the Mall in Washington D.C. are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, rain or shine. Except when President Barack Obama has shut them all down to show how awful the Republicans are for shutting down the government and refusing to pay our debts. Except the Republicans did not shut down the government. They have passed several bills fully funding the government, which the Senate turned down.

Stung by headlines from all over the world describing the U.S. president as “weak,”
“indecisive” and other terms equally abusive, Mr. Obama is anxious to show how strong he can be when faced with his own recalcitrant Congress. “I won’t Negotiate” he has proclaimed, over and over,once again failing to recall that there are three coequal branches of government and the executive is just one of them, and the Constitutional duty of the House is to control the budget from overspending executives.  He even invited the Republicans up to the White House to tell them in person that “I won’t Negotiate!” This is a very angry president.

He will show them. He has barricaded all the open-air monuments on the Mall. Honor Flight veterans of World War II, on all-expense-paid visits to see the memorial erected in their honor, were fenced out by newly erected barricades. 90 year-old veterans who once stormed the beaches of Normandy and the shores of Iwo Jima know a thing or two about storming barriers. The Honor Flight from Mississippi was assisted by a bunch of Republican House members. Some of the vets returned home triumphantly waving yellow police barricade tape, as they once waved captured Nazi and Japanese flags.

No 90-year-old veteran in a wheelchair is going to get the best of Barack Obama!. Today he has ordered the barricades wired together. Such a small, petty man. These men have one chance to make this trip to see the memorial that honors their terrible sacrifice and all of the friends they lost.

BVkshNuCMAA8yzaThis is the memorial for the veterans of World War I.  Only a single barricade panel to symbolically keep out the ghosts of all the dead veterans. Their memorial has outlived them, and who even remembers Cambrai or Passchendaele anyway?

Overreach, as usual. The federal government tried to shut down Mount Vernon, but discovered to their consternation that it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. So they barricaded the parking  lot. The parking lots are jointly owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies.

“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.” I hope that ranger cannot be identified, or he’ll get audited or even fired.

Mt. Vernon is not alone, the National Park Service, under orders to close everything down, is trying to close all sorts of privately owned facilities in, or connected to parks. The Pisgah Inn a private hotel that holds a concession on the Blue Ridge Parkway has defied intimidation and a Park Service order to close its doors. Inn owner Bruce O’Connell said today that he had reopened his doors for customers, since he is private property and uses no government personnel. “I’m questioning their authority to shut me.” Mr. O’Connell said.

Other private businesses that run concessions have been closed like City Tavern in Philadelphia and the Nauset Knoll Motor Lodge on Cape Cod. The chief spokesman for the Park Service says they have no choice but to shut down concessions. “…without an appropriation the entire system is closed and cannot reopen until funding is restored.  We do not believe its appropriate or feasible to have some parts of the system open while others are closed to the public.” There’s that annoying little fact that concessions pay the government—not the other way around.

Open: Camp David and the military golf courses where the president usually plays. Shut down: broadcasts of NFL games and the baseball playoffs to overseas troops who usually look forward to watching on the American Forces Network.

The interesting thing is that it takes funding to send out Park Rangers to shut down concessions, put up barricades, and man the barricades to be sure that no one looks at a monument. It is obviously not a necessity to shut down monuments, nor to put the entire Park Service on extended hours to make life difficult for the public.

There was a great Photoshop yesterday of two helicopters hovering over Mt. Rushmore with a huge drape of a giant white sheet to keep people from seeing presidential faces. Obama just hasn’t thought of that yet. Hilarious!



Demagoguery Alert: Look At What Obama Said About Health Care in 2009 by The Elephant's Child

We often say that “hindsight is a wonderful thing”, which essentially means that if we knew yesterday what we know today with our increased knowledge, we wouldn’t have screwed up so badly. But hindsight should not be dismissed casually, it can be remarkably useful.

Today’s biggest issue is ObamaCare. The damage it is doing to the people, to the economy, to business, and to the medical profession is enormous,  and it doesn’t go into effect until the first of the month. People are horrified to find out that the cost of their health insurance is doubling or tripling.

Despite promises that everyone would have the same excellent insurance as members of Congress and government employees — members of Congress and their staffs squawked when they found out what was happening and have been excused from the unpleasantness of changing their insurance. In spite of a law that was passed to assure that members of Congress are governed by the laws they pass, Mr. Obama has exempted them from ObamaCare. Can’t have Congressmen ready to vote for defunding ObamaCare.

The debate is acrimonious. Telemundo, the only news outlet that dared to ask Obama a tough question pressed him this week about polls showing most American oppose ObamaCare. “Is everybody wrong?’ the host asked.

“Yes, they are,” Obama responded. The problem, he said, isn’t his law. It’s those evil Republicans who’ve spent “billions of dollars…misinforming people.”

This week the celebrated Cleveland Clinic announced plans to lay off as many as 3,000 workers “to prepare for healthcare reform.” Last week The Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in Connecticut cut dozens of jobs. Forty thousand members of the Longshoremen’s union severed their relationship with the AFL-CIO because of their support for ObamaCare. Family premiums have not gone down by $2,500 as Obama promised, they have gone up $2,976.

Workers cannot keep the health plans they like, as Obama promised. Obama has himself repealed, changed or delayed portions of the Affordable Care Act (which he cannot legally do) 19 times so far. None of that has anything to do with Republican “propaganda.” I even read today that Obama Care is more unpopular than the Iraq War.

Time for some hindsight:

Obama spoke to the Annual Conference of the American Medical Association, on June 15, 2009. Do note that the AMA does not represent all physicians. The speech was another wonderful example of sheer demagoguery. Phony statistics, unworkable ideas, false claims, and illusions. Obama claimed we were spending over $2 trillion a year and health care costs were in an out of control spiral. [Health care cost growth started down in 2006]. The rise in health care costs reflected new and very expensive technology, and new lifesaving drugs.

Obama  said that the reason reform hadn’t happened was the fierce opposition of “some interest groups and lobbyists” that have painted any effort for reform as an attempt to socialize medicine. You mean like the “Single Payer Health Care that every Democrat wants?”

He promised easing the pressure on business, creating “hundreds of thousands of jobs”, “increasing take-home pay,” and growing the economy by “switching from paper to an electronic system of record keeping.” That has so far cost the medical system millions with a result of more confusion, more errors in histories, and lost patient time as doctors spend more time at their computers than they do with patients.

He was sure that more preventive care would avoid illness and disease in the first place. More tests, more diagnostics? That’s what he said was costing too much. Cutting down on junk food and obesity [Michelle's assignment] and the White House veggie garden.

We spend too much money on things that aren’t making people healthier, so he wants to determine what the correct care is and pay just for that — without the slightest acknowledgment that we are all individuals and there is no one size fits all in medicine.

One of the great new advances is the individualization of medicine — the potential of using your DNA to select the drugs that are specifically right for you. Obama believed the bureaucrats in Washington could determine from collecting all those computerized records just what the preferred treatment would be for the statistically best outcome. Well, these are collectivists — they don’t do individuals.

A recent study, for example, found that only half of all cardiac guidelines are based on scientific evidence — half. That means doctors may be doing a bypass operation when placing a stent is equally effective; or placing a stent when adjusting a patient’s drug and medical management is equally effective — all of which drives up costs without improving a patient’s health.

Look back at what Obama was saying in 2009. The speech to the American Medical Association is the most comprehensive., but he also spoke at an ABC “PRESCRIPTION FOR AMERICA” Town Hall on Health Care on June 24, 2009 in the East Room at the White House. Some of those things sounded plausible back when we hear them for the first time. Hindsight shines a different light on yesterday’s words, and the rot and corruption shows through.



Obama’s Former Defense Chiefs Criticise, Press Doesn’t Notice. by The Elephant's Child

Two  of Obama’s former Defense Secretaries slammed his Syria policy as “not a strategy” and projecting “weakness.” You would have had to turn to page 12 of Thursday’s Times to find that two of Obama’s former defense secretaries “publicly questioned the administration’s handling of the Syrian crisis, as the newspaper put it.”

Robert Gates and Leon Panetta were appearing at a Tuesday evening forum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Gates mocked the president’s idea of an “incredibly small” attack to punish Syria for supposed chemical use, explaining that “to blow a bunch of stuff up over a couple days, to underscore or validate a point or a principle, is not a strategy.”  He added that bombing Syria “would be throwing gasoline on a very complex fire in the Middle East” and said Obama could have weakened America’s world standing by asking and not getting Congress’ permission to strike.

Mr. Panetta who was Bill Clinton’s White House Chief of Staff, and an Obama CIA director, said Obama placed the word of the U.S. government in jeopardy. “When the president of the United States draws a red line, the credibility of this country is dependent on him backing up his word,” Panetta said, adding that Obama “should have directed limited action, going after Assad, to make very clear to the world that when we draw a line and we give our word… we back it up.”

Panetta also said that Iran, soon to be nuclear armed, was “paying very close attention” to Obama’s handling of Syria, “and what they are seeing right now is an element of weakness.”

The Obama sycophants in the media were loath to report any of this.



Who is Really Protesting and What Exactly Do They Want? by The Elephant's Child

Fast Food Protests

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is trying to unionize the fast-food industry. Fast food workers (augmented by hired strikers) are striking restaurants in major cities, to demand that employers should hike their wages to $15 an hour. Because they want more money.

“On Strike: Can’t Survive on $7.25.” Workers are targeting a whole industry. They want more pay, and they want to unionize because SEIU is telling them that if they strike they can get $15 an hour for the same work the are doing now. SEIU is not telling them about the jobs that would be lost, nor is SEIU telling them that there is now a robot hamburger maker that can make better hamburgers faster and cheaper. They can be replaced. Permanently.

Unions in general are a little fuzzy about the laws of supply and demand. Union interest is in acquiring more union members and more union dues because that gives them more political power. Unions portray the fast food industry as ruthless and exploitative. Phil Hickey, who started out washing dishes in a Big Boy restaurant and now owns nine of his own restaurants, and is chairman of the National Restaurant Association, writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Consider the facts about the minimum wage. The majority of workers who earn a minimum wage in the United States work outside of the restaurant industry. In reality, only 5% of the 10 million restaurant employees earn the minimum wage. Those who do are predominantly teenagers working part-time jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 71% of minimum-wage employees in the restaurant industry are under the age of 25; 47% are teenagers.

Striking fast-food workers seem not to have noticed that our economy is in the tank, that people are being laid off full-time jobs, and the only real job growth is in part-time jobs specifically because of ObamaCare regulations.Many fear that we are becoming a part-time nation. The best performing business in the current economy is the temporary-worker industry. Small businesses are closing their doors at an alarming rate, and the unemployment rate is as low as it is because of the huge increase in part-time work.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour simply eliminates entry-level positions, for employers will hire only experienced workers. A “living wage” is a nice turn of phrase, but meaningless. Why $15? Why not $25, or $50? Do workers expect to stay in that entry-level position, or do they intend to advance? How does a worker go from washing dishes to owning nine restaurants? Is that a potential career open to all those people now protesting?

Looking at Google Image pictures of striking fast-food workers, I was struck by the absence of the young people I encounter at fast food restaurants.  The visible older “strikers” seemed to be the same strikers last seen in purple SEIU tee shirts. Doesn’t lend much credibility to their protest.



Can Democrats Fool All of Their Base All of The Time? by The Elephant's Child

The Democrats real history with race and slavery is not something on which they choose to dwell. They have chosen instead, a pleasant tale in which they are the heroes of the civil rights movement — who have freed black Americans from oppression and restored the civil rights to which they are entitled. They have uplifted poor blacks with generous welfare; they have occasionally fought for better schools if the teachers union approves; they have given them affirmative action so they can attend college; and they have given them generous student loans and permanent debt; They have provided food stamps; and 47 job training programs, all ineffective; and built free housing. They have given them free phones.

Democrats have had some success with their pleasant little fantasy about race. So they are betting that they can win the midterm election next year by telling black people that requiring a person to show photo ID in order to vote — is an attempt by Republicans to deny their right to vote.

This is so outrageous that  you cannot see how anyone would fall for it. But Democrats are pursing it with a full court press. Attorney General Eric Holder is suing states to block any requirement that voters  prove their identity, because it is racist. There are very few people who do not have picture ID. You need a photo ID to cash a check, to open a bank account, to get food stamps, to get on an airplane, and to enter the building housing Eric Holder’s Justice Department. Photo ID is available to anyone, for free, from a drivers license bureau. So asking to see ID is clearly a racist act.

Politico, always ready to toe the party line, gives it the full agitprop treatment:

The irony of the historical forces colliding at that moment won’t be lost on anyone. The nation’s first African-American president, standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr. stood 50 years earlier, will speak at a time when many African-Americans and other minorities feel that the Voting Rights Act — one of the proudest accomplishments of the civil rights movement — is being dismantled.

The backdrop for the big event is a surge in voter ID laws and other restrictive election measures, and the legal fight the Obama administration has picked with Texas to stop the wave. It’s suing to block the state’s voter ID law from taking effect, a clear signal to other states to think twice before they pass any more restrictions on voting rights.

The other portion of this phony political ploy is the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was intended to prohibit discrimination such as poll taxes, refusal to allow a qualified voter to vote, any form of intimidation, any “test or device” such as a literacy test, or residency requirements that require more than 30 days between registering and voting. The act requires election materials and assistance for a single language minority or illiteracy. The act required certain Southern states who had engaged in such discriminatory practices to get a pre-clearance before making any changes to their voting requirements.

Eric Holder is attempting to claim that because blacks and Hispanics are more apt than white citizens not to have photo ID ( Proof of that illogical claim?) requiring photo ID is a form of discrimination and the state should be required to get pre-clearance and be prevented from requiring such ID. Perhaps the Justice Department should be prevented from requiring photo ID from anyone who wants to enter their building. If it is “racist” for Texas, it is also racist for the Justice Department.

The Court found, June 25, 3013, in Shelby County v. Holder, since blacks were voting in larger percentages than white citizens and had been doing so for many years, that discrimination had ended, and requiring pre-clearance was thus unconstitutional. The pre-clearance part of the law had thus served its intent, and was no longer needed. The Obama administration had no intention of giving up that amount of control. Obama stated that the Supreme Court made a “mistake” on voting rights, but he ignores the Court unless they agree with him. Only the pre-clearance part of the Act was struck down, the rest remains in force. So this whole political ploy is a pretty risky maneuver.

Democrats have no accomplishments to boost their electoral chances next year. The economy has not improved, most of the jobs created have been part time, the only reason the unemployment rate is as low as it is, is because so many people have dropped out of the labor force entirely. Wages are down, and household net worth has decreased sharply. ObamaCare is an unworkable train wreck. The people who have really gotten the short end of the stick are Black Americans, with double digit unemployment numbers, and young black people’s unemployment rate is twice that. Obama’s promises to black Americans were just words to keep them believing.

Economist Thomas Sowell explained Obama’s approach:

Like other truly talented phonies, Barack Obama concentrates his skills on the effect of his words on other people— most of whom do not have the time to become knowledgeable about the things he is talking about. Whether what he says bears any relationship to the facts is politically irrelevant. A talented con man or a slick politician does not waste his time trying to convince knowledgeable skeptics. His job is to keep the true believers believing. He is not going to convince the others anyway.


The CDC Did a Major Study on The Cause and Prevention of Gun Violence: by The Elephant's Child

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, President Obama issued a “Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence,” along with 22 other initiatives. He does these things and appoints commissions and orders studies and then pays no attention to them whatsoever. They turn into busy-work for the bureaucracy.

That study was contracted out to the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council was completed in June. It contained some surprises for the president if he even sees their work.

President Obama announced at the beginning of the year that he would push three major gun control initiatives — universal background checks, a ban on “assault weapons,” and a ban on “high-capacity magazines” — under the assumption that this would prevent future mass shootings, and probably under the assumption that the CDC study would provide him with the evidence that these additional measures were justified to reduce “gun violence.”

Unfortunately the study refuted nearly all the anti-gun litany:

— Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.

— Accidental deaths from firearms have continued to fall. “The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than one percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.

— The key finding that the President wanted— that more laws would result in less crime — was missing. The study noted that most criminals obtained their guns in the underground economy well outside any influence from gun controls on legitimate gun owners.

— Mass shootings such as the one in Newtown, CT., have declined and “account for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths.”

— The study reported U.S. rate of firearm-related homicide is higher than any other industrialized country. But comparing gun violence rates to a map showed that if one were to exclude numbers from Illinois, California, New Jersey and Washington DC, the homicide rate would be in line with any other country. These area are noted for the most restrictive gun laws in the country.

Back in 2003, the CDC issued a report that said that evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness of any of these laws:

  • Bans on specified firearms or ammunition.
  • Restrictions on firearm acquisition.
  • Waiting periods for firearm acquisition.
  • Firearm registration and licensing of owners.
  • Zero tolerance for firearms in schools.

You undoubtedly heard the president’s acknowledgment of the findings of the CDC study, and how it did not support the legislation he was seeking. No? Well, you surely read about the study’s startling conclusions in your daily paper. No?  The Washington Post was the only establishment media to even mention it , and it criticized the study for not answering questions that it was not asked to answer.  So there you go.




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