American Elephants


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.



It’s Not About Terrorism, It’s About the Lack of Opportunity by The Elephant's Child

Last night on Hardball on MSNBC, Host Chris Matthews interviewed State Department spokesgirl Marie Harf, who explained to viewers just why Obama’s attempts to deal with ISIS have been so ineffective.

Remember that Marie Harf, as a spokesperson, does not express her own opinion, but the opinion of her boss, Secretary Kerry, the administration and the president. So this is Obama ‘s foreign policy:

MATTHEWS: Are we killing enough of them?

HARF: We’re killing a lot of them and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians. They’re in this fight with us. But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether…

MATTHEWS: We’re not going to be able to stop that in our lifetime or fifty lifetimes. There’s always going to be poor people. There’s always going to be poor Muslims, and as long as there are poor Muslims, the trumpet’s blowing and they’ll join. We can’t stop that, can we?

HARF: We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people…

It must often seem that conservatives are anxious to find anything that will reflect badly on Obama, but it’s the policies that are the problem, and I think Conservatives are seriously worried about national security, do not feel that the administration understands the problem, and fears that they want to make a deal with Iran, the evil state that sponsors the terrorism that we see in the world.

Conservatives are inclined to believe the “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” shouts of their officials. The “root causes” theme always has some appeal to the West, because it offers a simple, and simple-minded cure. But it never works and has been proven wrong over and over. Democrats just can’t bring themselves to believe in evil, except when applied to Republicans or anyone else who stands in their way.

And sorry, Marie. Wars are always won by killing the enemy, until they are so utterly defeated that they give up abjectly and permanently. Wars are not won with peace treaties, nor with amelioration of root causes. Wars are won by defeating the enemy. Mr. Obama is more concerned about global warming than the threat of Islamic terrorism, which he cannot even dignify by naming it.

The President does not know what he is talking about. He misconstrues Vladimir Putin, and does not know his history. He does not understand Iran, and does not grasp their intentions. He has surrounded himself with yes-men and women, and does not listen to disagreement. A president needs to have those who disagree with his policies around, so he can learn what the opposition thinks, and evaluate whether his own position is correct. He needs to be probing the best minds he can find, to learn and ponder ideas other than his own.

ADDENDUM:The jihadists recruited from Western countries are usually, according to studies, from comfortable middle class families, or well-to-do parents, who have been radicalized by charismatic preachers or recruiters. Poverty and lack of opportunity are not usually the problem.



It’s Not Always Easy To Distinguish Between Friends and Enemies by The Elephant's Child

U.S. President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu meet at the White House in WashingtonDemocrats are up to their old tricks. The New York Times, with their usual accuracy, accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of breaking diplomatic protocol by going behind the administration’s back  to accept an invitation to speak to Congress before receiving approval from the White House.

The paper of record was quickly forced to issue one of their frequent corrections, as Netanyahu did not accept the invitation until after the White House was informed.

Mr. Obama has reportedly asked the Congressional Black Caucus to boycott the speech, and Nancy Pelosi, the ranking Democrat in the House, said she was concerned that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the U.S, Congress in March, it might result in negative ramifications for the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran.

She added that it was “not appropriate ” that Netanyahu will speak “only two weeks before an election”, but she did not mention the fact that high-ranking Obama administration campaign operatives are currently on the ground in Israel attempting to sabotage Netanyahu’s chances at reelection. The Israelis are offended at Obama’s interference in their elections. Obama may not have sent his campaign operatives, but he surely could have prevented their participation.  It seems highly unethical to interfere in another country’s politics, but Obama has done this before.

We are not getting straight talk from the administration about their negotiations with Iran. The Iranian regime “agrees” to certain principles regarding nuclear enrichment, and has been caught time and again violating their own agreement. The regime has built an 89-foot missile which may have the capability of striking the United States.

In an interview with Mathew Yglesias from the Vox.com  website, the president was asked about terrorism. He responded that the terrorism threat is overrated, and referred to the jihadists who committed the mass murders in Paris last month as “a bunch of violent vicious zealots” who “randomly shot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.” The Jews who were shopping for Shabbat” were just a bunch of folks in a deli, not a kosher delicatessen. The media, needing an audience, inflates the significance of these acts of random violence.

President Obama seems remarkably comfortable embracing our enemies and distancing himself from our long time allies. I don’t think this has ever happened in the United States before. Presidents have made mistakes, as they are only human, but this is something different. Obama’s statement was intentional, not accidental, for White House spokesman Josh Earnest and State Department spokesgirl Jen Psaki not only repeated the denial of the anti-Semitic nature of the kosher deli murders, but doubled down on it.

The Black Congressional Caucus, obediently, has announced that they will not be attending the Netanyahu speech because Bibi “disrespected” the president. Both Obama and V.P. Biden have announced they will refuse to meet with the leader of our closest ally in the Middle East during his stay in Washington.

The consequences of Mr. Obama’s denial of the nature of the targeting of the Jewish state by Islamic jihadists may be grave indeed. Obama is assisting Iran to emerge as a nuclear power, thinking that it will have no unpleasant consequences, because everyone is  reasonable and agreements can be reached by well-meaning people.

Well-meaning people who know their history and can remember our previous engagements with Iran and the mullahs, are deeply dubious about the president’s intent — and worried.

Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, will attend the speech. Orthodox Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has placed a full page ad in the New York Times and the Washington Post urging Congress to put partisanship aside and listen to what Prime Minister Netanyahu has to say about the catastrophic danger of a nuclear Iran.

25A6C20100000578-2951607-image-a-11_1423855253732



President Barack Obama: Explaining the Inexplicable by The Elephant's Child

I am a great admirer of Richard Epstein. I like his mind and the way he thinks and I am fascinated with anyone who can speak for 20 or 30 minutes in complete sentences without pause and without a stumble. There is a perfect coordination between brain and mouth.

I am a slow thinker— clear enough, but s-l-o-w, and the connection between thought process and actual speech leaves much to be desired. I have made speeches that were much somewhat admired, but they were short and it was a struggle. This particular video from Uncommon Knowledge from the Hoover Institution is from March of 2009. It is nevertheless completely fascinating, but over 30 minutes long, if you can make the time.

Richard Epstein discusses his personal and professional associations with Barack Obama in the video starting at 20.36 and lasts around ten minutes if you are short on time. I have found his comments on Obama to be as good a guide as I can find, and have proven accurate as situations arise. It helps to explain the inexplicable.

There is a lot that is inexplicable. The man remains much of a mystery, and as we get deeper into the weeds of ObamaCare, it is more puzzling.  He does not change his mind. Once he has accepted ‘received knowledge’ he is not open to changing his mind. Hence, in spite of the collapse of the IPCC, Obama will pursue his pledge to stop global warming in its tracks. The failure of the stimulus merely means that he needs more infusions of wealth into the economy to stimulate it. See what you think.



President Obama Tries to Talk the Market Down! by The Elephant's Child

Many are beginning to notice that President Obama is overreaching in the current standoff over raising the debt limit. The heavy-handed effort to make the public suffer by boosting the levels of inconvenience have gone beyond inconvenience. He has tried to scare senior citizens by suggesting that they may not get their Social Security checks — a usual approach for Democrats but entirely uncalled for. Social Security is considered am essential service.

Obama keeps asserting that the debt limit has never been used “to extort a president or a government party.” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is trying to sell the same yarn, saying “until very recently, Congress typically raised the debt ceiling on a routine basis…the threat of default was not a bargaining chip in the negotiations.”

“That is simply untrue,” said Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy at the American Enterprise Institute.

The Obama administration’s campaign to make the debt limit appear non-negotiable might reflect concern that Republican congressional strategy might actually work. Six out of 10 Americans say “it is right to require spending cuts when the debt ceiling is raised, even if it risks default,” according to a Sept. 26 Bloomberg poll. (Only 28% say “the debt ceiling should be raised when necessary, with no conditions.”)

One thing is certain: The debt limit has been a powerful negotiating tool in the last several decades. It has enabled the passage of important additional legislation.

According to the Congressional Research Service, Congress has voted 53 times from 1978 to 2013 to change the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling has increased from $742 billion to today’s $16 trillion.

[T]he debt limit has provided significant leverage to the minority party and has been a check on the power of the presidency.

Republicans today are playing a role that has been played many times. While the debt-limit kabuki inevitably roils markets as deadlines approach, the alternative absence of fiscal discipline would make government insolvency more probable in the fullness of time. …

Trying to separate ObamaCare from the debt limit, President Obama has asserted that his health law has “nothing to do with the budget.” His argument is eagerly echoed by an at-best ignorant media. The Affordable Care Act was passed under “reconciliation”—a legislative process that is used only for budget measures and which limits congressional debate.

The notion that legislation passed as part of a budget might be reconsidered as part of subsequent budget legislation should be uncontroversial. Perhaps that is why the administration has staked so much on its misrepresentation of history.

President Obama’s “overreach” has included trying to talk the market down. Why is the nation’s chief executive talking down the growth engine of the U.S economy? On Tuesday, the day the shutdown went into effect, the stock market rallied with the S&P index rising 0.8% and the NASDAQ rising 1.2%. So Obama went to work trying to kickstart a selloff. If he can scare the markets enough…

This is the most irresponsible behavior I have ever heard of from any president. Has there ever been a president who so misconstrued his role?



Obama Fails His Most Important Job by American Elephant

Obama Days Without Terrorist Attack

[click to enlarge]

Terrorists attacked the United States at home on September 11, 2001, 8 months into President Bush’s first year in office. We now know, from the 9/11 Commission, that one of the major reasons is because the Clinton administration had erected a “wall” that prevented the CIA and FBI from communicating with one another. After that horrific day, President Bush kept Americans safe at home for the rest of his two terms in office.

Five years into his presidency, Barack Obama cannot say the same thing.

America has been attacked again, by people we not only allowed to immigrate, but for whom we provided welfare as well. If the news media were remotely fair or balanced, or if a Republican were president, this failure is all they would be talking about. But it is not, so they are trying their hardest to ignore the administration’s failure altogether.

Our government was warned multiple times and did nothing. Americans deserve answers.



The Leftist Project for Growing Government. by The Elephant's Child

It was a very bad week for the administration. The Left sunk everything they had into an effort to recall Governor Scott Walker, and it didn’t work. The governor did exactly what he promised when elected, did battle with the unions over pension and healthcare benefits that the state could not afford, yet still left union workers with better benefits and lower cost for them than the average. Many pundits noted that the vastly public service union employees were still vastly overpaid.

The previous week was also a very bad, horrible, no good week. The monthly job report was a disaster, and the economy was close to a second phase of recession. And the president between demanding that the rich pay their “fair share” spent his time in campaign events with the very rich celebrities that he was disparaging.  Well, they know he didn’t really mean it, and their accountants will cope with any tax increase.

So what did the President do? He held a press conference to say that the private sector was just fine, and we needed more stimulus to help states and local governments to hire more cops and teachers and firefighters. We thought it was a bad move, but he was just being honest.

Later the same day, of course, he tried to take the remark back  and said the private sector wasn’t really fine, people were out of work. But the funny thing is, Harry Reid said exactly the same thing last October. And they both meant exactly what they said.


“The massive layoffs we’ve had in America today—of course they’re rooted in the last administration—and it’s very clear that private sector jobs are doing just fine. It’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation’s all about. And it’s unfortunate my friend the Republican Leader is complaining about that.”

We need to listen more carefully to the second part of Obama’s statement about the private sector.  He said:

If Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward, and put people back to work, what they should be thinking about is, ‘How do we help state and local governments and how do we help the construction industry?’” Obama said. “Because the recipes that they’re promoting are basically the kinds of policies that would add weakness to the economy, would result in further layoffs, would not provide relief in the housing market, and would result – I think most economists would estimate – in lower growth.

See, his heart is in the right place. He wants to put people back to work in government jobs, where the pay is high and the benefits large. And for ordinary working people, nice union construction jobs with lots of rules to protect their “rights.”

Well, we know that Democrats favor big government and Republicans believe in small government that is lean and does not do what is better done by state or local government, or by the people themselves. But this is ridiculous. They consider public sector jobs as high-paying middle class jobs, and more desirable jobs than anything in the private sector. Obama has continually referred to private sector jobs as “service jobs” and as admirable — because they are doing important things for other people.

I admire cops and firemen as much as anyone, and I admire teachers who do a good job., but the idea that all public sector jobs are something special and better than private sector jobs is baffling. Obama meant what he said the first time. Public sector jobs are the important ones, and you reward your friends in the public sector.

I don’t think that Obama grasps the idea that the rest of us are scandalized by his crony capitalism. That’s just how things are done in his mind in the public sector. At least that’s how things are done in Chicago. His entire career is based on people doing favors for him and knowing that he will return the favor when the opportunity presents. Bill Ayers got him the job running the Annenberg Challenge, the big failed Chicago school reform effort. That became his big resume enhancement. He got help in his elections when the sealed divorce records of his opponents magically were opened for the press. The Speaker of the Illinois legislature decided, reportedly, that he was going to “make himself a Senator,” and Obama won a magically almost uncontested race for the U.S. Senate.

He has had a lot of payback to do. That’s just the way things are done in the Chicago tradition. My next-door neighbors grew up in Illinois and had many tales about the longstanding political corruption there. Read again how Mayor Richard Daley enhanced his pension, all quite legally, of course.

Obama’s redistribution of wealth is meant to redistribute more wealth from the private sector to the public. The entire pursuit of climate change and energy legislation is meant to redistribute wealth. Has nothing to do with global warming, it is and always has been a power grab. The energy sector must become a publicly owned and controlled piggy bank. ObamaCare is in actuality another redistribution of wealth scheme. When the government owns the entire medical establishment, they have all of us suckers locked in.

The proper form of government is that with a special class of wise people in public service, advising, regulating, controlling and making life better for all us little people. They need large cadres of worker bees to fill the bureaucracy required to do all the good works that they will do. And if they enrich themselves and their friends in the process— well that’s just what they deserve, isn’t it?

Think how they enrich the private sector portions of the economy who support and depend on them, like their sycophants in the mainstream media. They support the left, the left supports them — with special information not accessible to others. We call them “leaks” but it’s just another kind of crony capitalism. Or ask yourself how it is that Katie Couric deserves a $4 million salary.  I rest my case.

ADDENDUM: According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the employment rate for government workers last month was just 4.2 percent, up slightlyl from 3.9 percent a year ago.  Compare to the construction industry( 14.2 percent unemployment), Leisure and hospitality services( 9.2 percent), agriculture (9,5 percent), professional and business services (8.5 percent) and wholesale and retail trade (8.1 percent)




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,998 other followers

%d bloggers like this: