American Elephants

President Me. by The Elephant's Child

Back in May, it was discovered that white House staff had edited the biographies of past presidents on the White House website to include a bullet point or two to insert President Obama into each historical essay.

Examples cited are when President Calvin Coolidge had been the first president to make a public radio address, President Obama is on Linkedin. While President Roosevelt introduced Social Security, under President Obama, it still exists. They managed to add incorrectly to President Ronald Reagan’s biographical sketch :

In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.

This is an embarrassing example of Obama failing to recognize the nature of the presidency. It’s not a self-aggrandizing role, but a protective and preservative one. Caring for the institution, and the predecessors and successors.

Now he’s apparently at it again. Heritage’s Jim Roberts who, when he worked at the State Department, wrote the “Background Notes,” which were analytical, objective histories of other countries, that help readers to understand the country and its relation to the United States, and are more comprehensive than the CIA “Factbook.” Now State is abandoning the “Background Notes” and replacing them with “Fact Sheets” which seem to be brag sheets, treating countries more favorably when Obama agrees with their government, and celebrating Obama’s relationship with the country.

Mr. Roberts describes the 4,100 word” Background Note” on Brazil written during the Bush administration, as full of facts and figures helpful in analyzing the country. No U.S. president is mentioned, and U.S.-Brazil relations only take up about 300 words.

Fully 70 percent of the “Brazil Fact Sheet” discusses President Obama either directly by name or in the context of the many programs the  Administration h as launched with Brazil, including a shared “commitment to combat discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender status, to advance gender equality, a bilateral instrument that targets racism, support for HIV/AIDS prevention, promotion of clean energy technologies in Brazil, and mitigation of climate change.”

The “Background Notes” covered every country in the world and have long been a service to the American public. Now they seem to be campaign documents for the Obama administration.  Under the Obama administration, the budget of the State Department has increased from $38.7 billion to $50.2 billion and thousands have been added to the payroll.

Last minute guidance for voters. by The Elephant's Child

Most websites that include politics have last minute advice, but it is noticeable.  Everybody’s exhausted.  Too many polls, too many ads, too many mailers, too much spin, too many lies and too much emotion.

Voting is far too serious a matter to be done on the basis of emotion. This is not a popularity contest, or it shouldn’t be.  There is a lot of trouble on the horizon, and we are electing people to deal with it as our representatives.  To be our servants.  They are going to work for us. Have you considered their applications carefully?  Have you studied their resumés and looked for the real meaning behind the carefully chosen words?

Here is the best Election ’08 Backgrounder I have seen, from Investors Business Daily.  A checklist, if you will, of things you should consider before you go to the polls.  And there are links to further information if you want it.  I hope this helps.

Lies, Misstatements, Obfuscations and Joe-foolery. by The Elephant's Child

  1. Joe Biden lied when he said that Barack Obama never said that he would sit down without preconditions with Ahmedinijad of Iran.  You would think that in this day and age when whatever you say is recorded, not only in print, but in your own voice  — and often you can watch the offending comment on YouTube — there would be in increase in honesty. But no-oo.
  2. Biden claimed to be for offshore oil drilling, but he has opposed offshore drilling and compared it to “raping” the Outer Continental Shelf.
  3. Joe Biden claimed that John McCain and Obama voted the same way against funding the troops in the field. McCain opposed a bill that contained a timeline and that the President had already said he would veto, because of the timeline.
  4. According to Biden exaggerated McCain’s record when he claimed that McCain had voted against it 23 times. (He should have voted against it even more)
  5. Biden claimed that McCain would raise taxes on people’s health insurance coverage.  They get a tax credit to offset any tax hike.  Independent fact checkers have confirmed this.
  6. Biden claimed that the top military commander in Afghanistan said the surge could not be applied to Afghanistan. But General David McKiernan, NATO commander, said that the principles of the surge strategy, including working with the tribes, could be applied to Afghanistan.
  7. Biden falsely claimed that McCain weakened regulation of the mortgage giants, but McCain introduced legislation to increase control.
  8. Biden claimed that McCain was “dead wrong” on Iraq, but they shared the same vote to authorize the war, and Biden was “dead wrong” on the surge which McCain supported, and “dead wrong” on his proposal to break Iraq up into 3 states.
  9. Biden claimed that the economic rescue legislation matches the four principles that Obama laid out, but in reality it doesn’t meet two of the four principles that Obama outlined on September 19, which were that it include an emergency economic stimulus package and be “part of a globally coordinated effort with our partners in the G-20.”
  10. Biden claimed that McCain voted against the Violence Against Women Act, which was accurate, but he forgot to mention that the Supreme Court ruled that much of Biden’s law was an unconstitutional power grab by Congress of rights reserved to the states.  Nobody voted against the act because they favored violence against women.
  11. Biden said “Look, all you have to do is go down Union Street with me in Wilmington or go to Katie’s Restaurant or walk into Home Depot with me where I spend a lot of time and you ask anybody in there  whether or not the economic and foreign policy of this administration has made them better off in the last eight years.” According to Delaware sites, Katie’s Restaurant hasn’t been there for perhaps 20 or 30 years.
  12. On Pakistani weapons, Biden said that Pakistan already has nuclear weapons that can hit Israel and the Mediterranean.  The distance between Israel and Pakistan is 2,085 miles, websites indicate that the top range of a Pakistani missile than can carry a nuclear warhead is 1000 miles.
  13. Biden said we “kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon” and I said and Barack said “Move NATO forces in there.  Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.” Reuters thinks perhaps he meant to refer to Syria, but it still would be inaccurate because the Lebanese kicked Syria out of Lebanon.
  14. Biden said that the U.S. spends more in Iraq in one month than it has in Afghanistan in six or seven years.  That figure is off by 2000 percent.
  15. Biden said that “Vice President Cheney’s been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history.  He has — he has — the idea he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that’s the executive — he works in the executive branch.  He should understand that.  Everyone should understand that.”  Constitutional scholar Biden might notice that Article I of the Constitution does not, in fact, define the role of the Vice President of the United States.  It defines the role of the legislative branch, the branch where Mr. Biden has served for 36 years. It does describe the vice president’s role in the legislative branch, but that’s not what Senator Biden meant.

There are more, listed here and here and the list keeps growing.  I know candidates often say silly things in the heat of a debate, bit there are limits, aren’t there?

Obama is getting more and more reckless in his claims, and in his denials that he has said what he said or done what he has done.  People don’t pay enough attention, or don’t know the facts, so it is easy to assume that truth doesn’t matter.  But it does.  It really does.

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