American Elephants


Here’s a clear explanation of the financial crisis. by The Elephant's Child

Excellent video.  It goes fast, so don’t hesitate to go back to catch things.  It’s important.

UPDATE: YouTube has taken down this video — surprise, surprise — due to a copyright claim over the music used in the background. In other words, Democrats or the Obama campaign saw the video on Drudge, called Warner Music Group CEO, Edgar Bronfman Jr. , who just happens to be a MAJOR Democrat contributor, and told them to complain.

Hopefully the producer will cut out the music and re-release it. We will re-post it if we are able to find it.

In the meantime, please watch the second, also very important video. Be sure to watch all the way to the end for a word from former president Bill Clinton on who is responsible for the current financial crisis.

UP-UPDATE: The video has been re-released, with the offending music replaced with a less-effective classical soundtrack. The sound-bite from corrupt Chris Dodd was covered over by the music. But it is the headlines and visuals that are the most important part anyway. Watch both.


(h/t: Powerline)



Short on manners, long on politics. by The Elephant's Child

President Alvaro Uribe of Columbia came to Washington this week to plead for a free trade pact.  He didn’t come asking for very much — only that Congress keep its word on an agreement that will drop tariffs on American goods sold in Columbia.  Columbia is perhaps the most valuable ally that America has ever had in Latin America. 

President Uribe is looking for  a chance to help his country develop as a democracy and prosper in a difficult region. The main result of the free trade agreement would be an increase in investments in his country, and an opportunity for America to sell more to Columbia.  The more Columbia is allowed to develop and increase legal investment, the more it will help them to defeat terrorist groups and illegal drugs. 

Last July, Columbia put its’ own men in harm’s way in a daring rescue of three Americans held hostage by FARC Marxist terrorists.  For that, somebody should get a medal, let alone a trade agreement. 

Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who killed the free trade deal last April, refused to meet Uribe, and did not even acknowledge a White House invitation to an event in his honor.  Later, her staff complained that Uribe did not call her. 

Pelosi has offered a variety of excuses, but the motive seems to be paying attention to the demands of Big Labor at election time. Harry Reid, Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson, supposed Latin experts, seemed unaware of the message that their treatment of Uribe sent to the region.

But Governor Sarah Palin, who is supposed to be a foreign policy lightweight, asked to meet with Uribe on Tuesday in New York.  Way to go, Sarah.  At least someone knows how to behave when an important leader comes to our country. And she puts our country’s interests ahead of politics, as well.



Criminalizing Political Speech, In America? by The Elephant's Child

There is an unpleasant streak in the progressive left of totalitarianism. You must not disagree with them. They will not tolerate dissent. Apparently unacquainted with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, if you say something that displeases them, you must be punished by law. And if the law won’t punish, then the laws must be fixed so they will eliminate the dissent.

Ralph Peters wrote recently in the New York Post that, after a lecture to the Marine Memorial Association, a reporter thrust a microphone towards him and asked if Peters thought he should be tried for war crimes for his columns in The Post supporting our military.

In theory, no one is more aware of the First Amendment to the Constitution than reporters. Do you suppose they just read the phrase “abridging the freedom of the press” and skip the rest? Or is it that they just don’t think about the Constitution at all.

Katrina van den Heuvel, editor of The Nation, said that when she interviewed Nancy Pelosi about her new book, she asked Pelosi “how could she take impeachment “off the table?”. “[Progressives] believe holding this administration accountable for its staggering abuse of power is essential for preserving our Constitution.”

At the Netroots Nation gathering in Austin, Texas, Byron York reported that Dahlia Lithwick of the Washington Post owned website Slate, described a panel discussion she had participated in on what is known as “the first 100 days of accountability”

We’re already falling into this trap of either positing Nuremberg-style war crimes tribunals, or nothing, immunizing everyone from John Yoo up and down…but everybody says there’s a lot of gray area in between that, and that accountability doesn’t necessarily mean Nuremberg, it doesn’t necessarily mean nothing, it means possibly a truth commission, possibly appointing a special prosecutor …

In this constitutional republic, there is no place for “truth commissions” or “gray areas.” This is Stalinism, pure and simple, and there is no place for it in any political party.

Lithwick went on to recommend a massive retrospective investigation of the Bush administration, going through every piece of paper, before moving forward. But she recognized that some might think such an action might be divisive:

We talked a lot about this notion that it’s bad for America , that it will rip America apart if we have hearings or we have criminal trials or if we have war crimes tribunals. And I think it’s really worse for America if we don’t.

These people are serious. Bush Derangement Syndrome has gone so far that people who disagree are to be eliminated. Tried, condemned and executed.

Lawyer and author Vincent Bugliosi has called for George W. Bush to be prosecuted for murder based on his decision to invade Iraq.  Mr. Bugliosi apparently has never read the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq  Resolution of 2002″, or any of Bush’s speeches.  He is just overcome with BDS. 

In Canada, columnist Mark Steyn has been put on trial for quoting the words of an author in a commissioned book review, because a Muslim claimed the words to be offensive.  But they were not Mark Steyn’s words.  No matter.

Obama’s plan for imposing “Unity” on the nation after he takes office apparently includes a close look at war crimes trials for Bush Administration officials. Thomas Lifson notes an interview with Obama that appeared on a Philadelphia Daily News blog.

Obama said that as president he would indeed ask his new Attorney General and his deputies to “immediately review the information that’s already there” and determine if an inquiry is warranted — but he also tread carefully on the issue, in line with his reputation for seeking to bridge the partisan divide. He worried that such a probe could be spun as a”a partisan witch hunt.” However, he said that equation changes if there was willful criminality, because “nobody is above the law.”

We have heard James Hansen, NASA scientist, calling for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature because they were actively spreading doubt about the reality of global warming.  What!

Columnist Ellen Goodman wrote that “global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.” Imagine.  Disagreeing with computer climate models that have increasingly been proven to have no predictive value is the equivalent of denying that Hitler killed 6 million Jews.  You may believe something passionately, Ellen, but nobody is required to agree with you. And there is always the possibility that you are wrong.  Completely wrong.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called climate skeptics “traitors”.  The Grist website called for Nuremburg type trials for those who do not adhere to the IPCC dogma.  NASA’s Dr. James Hansen has called for their trials for treason. 

Journalists have attacked Sarah Palin and her family with an unfathomable fury that puts the lie to any pretense of media balance or impartiality. They have no interest in fairness, they clearly want to destroy her.  Many of the accusations and speculations are so ugly that I will not repeat them here.

The founders believed that we should debate and argue.  They established three branches of government with differing responsibilities, and set the legislative branch the task of arguing and debating to determine the content of the laws that they passed. But silencing the opposition?  Bringing the opposition to trial for disagreeing?  And, in actuality, refusing to debate? 

As John Bolton wrote recently:

[T]he pernicious idea is that, based on their own moral self-evaluation, people can take the law into their own hands and determine who is a criminal.  At a minimum, this approach is intended to deny legitimacy in the public square to opposing points of view, and taken to the next level — the threat of physical force — is intended to intimidate those views into silence.  This is, in the worst case, the path first to anarchy and then to fascism.



Tacky tricks and Democrat disinformation… by The Elephant's Child

Oh dear. The Democrat Disinformation Department had another meeting, and apparently sent out a memo. A specific word has been injected into the campaign chatter.

Jim Geraghty at the Campaign Spot at National Review Online spotted an interesting pattern:

Barack Obama, appearing on Larry King Live : “Where Senator McCain I think is confused is the difference between tactics and strategy.”

Joe Biden, the same day on a campaign conference call” “As a consequence of their profound confusion [Bush and McCain] make profound mistakes.”

The liberal blog The Carpetbagger Report uses the word “confused” in almost every post about McCain.

Think Progress does exactly the same.

AmericaBlog uses the words “McCain and confused” together 108 times.

Obama surrogate John Kerry, on a conference call on June 11; “McCain confuses who Iran is training, he confuses what the makeup of al Qaeda is, he confuses the history going back to 68 of what has happened to Sunni and Shia”, Kerry said.

On the same call, Obama adviser Susan Rice cited a “pattern of confusing the basic facts and reality that pertain to Iraq.”

If you remember, Wesley Clark embarrassed everyone by sneering at John McCain’s military service. W.Va. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV said that McCain was a fighter pilot who fired missiles and didn’t care where they landed or who they hit. Obama surrogate Rand Beers said that since McCain was in prison camp he didn’t really know anything about the Vietnam War, Ed Schultz called McCain a “warmonger”. Tom Harkin claimed that McCain’s coming from a military culture was dangerous, and that McCain had a hard time thinking beyond that. After public response, they had to drop that avenue of attack.

This all seems to belong to the “throw it up against the wall and see what sticks” method of campaigning. Try anything, and if it doesn’t work drop it down the memory hole.

The “confused” theme seems a particularly tacky approach. Obama has neither the character nor the experience to be attacking his opponent on that basis.

John McCain’s own story of what it was like to be a POW in North Vietnam, published in U.S. News in 1973 is available here in 9 parts, and is well worth reading in this election year.

John McCain has never claimed that his military service alone qualified him to run for the presidency. It does, however, give great credence to his character. But as John Hawkins of Right Wing News said:”If the willingness to fight for your country, put your life on the line and suffer the brutality that John McCain suffered as a POW doesn’t make the cut as far as qualifications go, how far below that does a “community organizer” show up on the list of non-qualifications?”




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