American Elephants

The Trump Administration is to be undone, cancelled, and vanished. by The Elephant's Child
February 8, 2021, 12:15 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

That will apparently be the accomplishment of the Biden Administration. Biden appears to be set on eliminating fossil fuels in the mistaken belief that to be the cause of nonexistent global warming, and cannot even study up enough to learn what the climate facts are. I don’ t think we have enough electricity to run all the nation’s vehicles and its lights and its industrial power, Most of our electricity is produced by plants that run on fossil fuels. An old song keeps running through my head: “When the lights go on again all over the world…” He is supposedly interested in “The Great Reset” which is terrifying.

The new Joe Biden’s presidency is gradually becoming somewhat understandable. Anything done by President Donald Trump is to be undone, discarded, done away with. If it was done by him, or by his administration, it must go. That makes it fairly clear, if somewhat insane. Cannot have the loathsome Donald Trump connected to the federal government now that Joe Biden is in charge. He will just be eliminated. Simple.

Clearly, Joe Biden has no understanding of what might be useful and what would not. He has even discarded the 1776 project, which was just an emphasis on our earliest history, and why America has grown and prospered. After the New York Times came up with their silly “1619 project” I picked up the first U.S. History that came to hand, and it was demolished in about 4 minutes. Can’t have “prospered” associated with the hated Donald Trump. There are really more useful pursuits.

President Biden is set on removing all traces of Trump. Perhaps he is aware that if he had to compete on ideas, he’d lose. Is it just vindictive? Democrats simply cannot allow the idea that Trump did anything acceptable, to linger. Actually, he clearly does not even know what Donald Trump has accomplished but assumes that if it is associated with the hated Trump, it’s bad. That’s just plain dumb. So far, Mr. Biden has eliminated thousands of high paying jobs, accused his predecessor of causing all of the coronavirus deaths, (excuse me), if it were not for his “Warp speed policy”, there would be no vaccine, and no vaccine for the first responders would mean thousands more deaths.

We are told, on the one hand, that there is a shortage of vaccine, on the other that there are warehouses full of vaccine somewhere around D.C. just sitting there. Can’t even get straight news at present. Donald Trump did a pretty outstanding job in his first term. Historians will treat him very well indeed. The impeachers, not so much. They don’t know what they are talking about.

In case you have fallen for the Democrat’s insatiable drive for control of everything, here’s a quick look at the accomplishments the historians will cover. Trump’s been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Don’t think Pelosi’s efforts to impeach the president who is no longer even in office will hold up very well. They are attempting to impeach him for causing the riot that invaded the capitol building, but that wasn’t even Donald Trump. It was organized by outsiders on Twitter and Facebook (why am I not surprised) and committed by outsiders. Trump invited some of his supporters to come and march down Pennsylvania Avenue with him to show their support. On close examination the entire attempt to blame Trump for the invasion falls apart completely.

Here’s Victor Davis Hanson, historian: “Biden leads the most radical left-wing movement in US history –will he pay a price?”

If Biden continues his admiration for “The Great Reset” We’re in deep trouble. Try entering “Time Magazine” and “The Great Reset” in your search bar and see what comes up.

Biden has even done away with the “offensive” 1776 Commission started by President Trump to focus on “patriotic education”. Biden called it “harmful” and “counterfactual”, added banning it will help national unity. What? He said:

“Look, in the weeks ahead, I’ll be reaffirming the federal government’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and accessibility, building on the work we started in the Obama-Biden administration. That’s why I rescinded the previous administration’s harmful ban on diversity and sensitivity training, and abolished the offensive, counter-factual 1776 Commission. Unity and healing must begin with understanding and truth, not ignorance and lies.”

Can’t have any historic information, might give the white supremacists, racists, nasty people out there ideas, I guess. Strange indeed. What do you want to bet he hasn’t even read any of it? The nation’s founding is “offensive, counter-factual”?? I guess if you’re a Democrat, “the 1619 project” might seem plausible. It’s a not very subtle effort to claim that the nation was founded on slavery, and thus evil from the very beginning. But it is, of course, totally false, and thoroughly debunked.

There’s a lot of that going on all over the place

I Was Wrong! The First Day IS an Omen. by The Elephant's Child
January 24, 2021, 5:01 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

As President Joe Biden’s first actions become clearer, he is going to be a disaster. He suspended President Trump’s executive order to lower insulin and epinephrine prices for low-income people. The measure, was aimed to require some community health centers to deliver savings to low-income patients. The medicines people need to survive. The health centers objected, claiming the regulation was merely an administrative burden that paints them as entities that price-gouge patients. And now he’s just ordered ICE to release all their prisoners. We are the world, I guess. Come one, come all.

Trump aimed to use executive orders in Operation Warp Speed to get vaccines faster than anyone thought possible, and the industry fought back. Under Trump, prescription drug prices fell on aggregate for the first time in nearly half a century.

Now we have learned that Joe Biden has called British Prime Minister Boris Johnson about their “Build Back Better” agenda during a Saturday phone call. This is a very big deal. They apparently are accepting the appalling ideas of “The Great Reset” which are not only meant to destroy capitalism, but to put the world’s peoples firmly under government control. Enter the words “The Great Reset” over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar and read it all, and use those words for your own search online. Visit Climate Depot, Wattsupwiththat, and Dr.Roy Spencer. The world has apparently gone certifiably nuts, and we’re just left behind to try to figure out what the hell is happening.

They don’t want the people to actually have all those freedoms promised by the Constitution. They can’t pack the courts to get them to deliver more favorable rulings. Freedoms that allow nasty people like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul to say unkind things about them and fight against their proposals, and actually allows someone like Donald Trump to become president. And of course they want to arrange things so that they win the elections all the time, not just part of the time.

Biden just ordered ICE to release all their prisoners, who are not just illegal aliens who have overstayed their welcome, but also people who have committed serious crimes, released. All of them, no matter what they have done, selling drugs, rape, everybody come and live in America? For careful accurate information on all matters about immigration, visit the Center for Immigration Studies, a think-tank devoted to that:

That, of course, is the reason for choosing cabinet members, not for their experience and skills, but for checking off “inclusiveness” blocks. New Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was not chosen because he loves to ride on trains, but because he is an openly gay man in a gay marriage. There is another official chosen because they are transgendered. I was going to point out ageism, but them I remembered that Joe Biden is our oldest president ever, and realized that category was covered.

Obama’s Embarrassing Reasons for Blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline by The Elephant's Child

We wrote a couple of weeks ago about Trans Canada’s two lawsuits against the Obama Administration over the administration’s blocking of the Keystone XL Pipeline. One is a legal challenge that President Obama exceeded his authority when he blocked the pipeline’s construction. The other is an international petition under NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) seeking to recover the $15 billion in costs and damages incurred when Obama blocked the cross border pipeline.

Someone dredged up the President’s statement back in November, from the Roosevelt Room, when he announced that he was blocking the pipeline, and it’s really quite delicious, if you’re inclined to root for the Canadians. Several whoppers on jobs, the economy, our energy security, but the main reason for rejecting the pipeline was: it might screw up his pitch in Paris for a unenforceable climate agreement that many nations would reject anyway, because it might set a poor example.

America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change.  And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership.  And that’s the biggest risk we face — not acting.

Today, we’re continuing to lead by example.  Because ultimately, if we’re going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky.

Do read the whole thing. Democrats have a habit of just accepting Progressive talking points and never, never looking into the facts behind the conventional wisdom. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, it is not the source of what global warming there has been, and it presents not the slightest concern about making the Earth uninhabitable in our lifetimes. I suspect that Canada is going to win this one.

Guantanamo: Myths, Propaganda, and The Consequences of Progressive Politics. by The Elephant's Child

BN-LD124_2gitmo_M_20151105184452Under the Obama administration, the Democrats have lost 900 state legislature seats, 12 more states are now governed by Republicans, Congress now has 69 more Republican House seats, and 13 more Republican Senate seats. That’s Obama’s legacy. Normally, when Congress has turned against the president’s programs, the president will seek to cooperate more, or at least consult, with the other party in recognition of the intent of the people.

Obama, on the other hand, has determined that he’s going to show the people just who’s the boss and govern by executive orders and memos. When Obama released Taliban who were being held at Gitmo in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, he sent them to Qatar, for the Qataris to manage. He said:

We will be keeping eyes on them. Is there the possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely. That’s been true of all the prisoners that were released from Guantanamo. There is a certain rate that takes place.

I wouldn’t be doing it if I thought it was contrary to the American national security and we have confidence that we will be in a position to go after them if, in fact, they are engaging in activities that threaten our defenses. But this is what happens at the end of wars. That was true for George Washington, that was true for Abraham Lincoln, that was true for FDR. That has true for every combat situation, that at some point you make sure that you try to get your folks back, and that’s the right thing to do.

The Editorial Board at Bloomberg remarked that “It may come as a surprise to Barack Obama that the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces does not necessarily get to decide when a war is over.”

He also does not understand that the detainees in Guantanamo are not prisoners of war, to be sent home when the war ends,  but terrorists — armed enemy combatants who do not qualify under the Geneva Conventions  as prisoners of war. They have nevertheless been treated as humanely as if they were.

Democrat political propaganda has attempted to portray the detainees at Gitmo as if they were subject to daily torture. Innumerable inspections from every human rights group have determined that they are being well treated, with respect for the Muslim religion. Yet articles about Gitmo are usually 640x392_50143_187015accompanied by this image of the first arrivals, as if this was the daily state of affairs there. It is not. If you look up pictures of Guantanamo, the list of queries includes wanting to see pictures of torture, or of waterboarding.

Democrats always believe their own propaganda, probably because they don’t read anything else. The Geneva Conventions of 1949 were formed because of the way Allied prisoners of war were treated by the Japanese and the Nazis. Today ISIS chops off heads and burns their prisoners alive, or ask John McCain about the Vietnamese, long after the Conventions were accepted as international law. Nazis during WWII were detained in prison camps here, and were well treated. Yet the myth persists. Democrats are always sure detainees are being mistreated, because to so believe fits their political agenda.

Normally, six national security agencies and the Defense Secretary must sign off on letting a detainee go. Obama has ignored them and had his own special committee appointed, composed largely of compliant minions, to make the decision. Announced just as the Pope was arriving, Abdul Shalabi, suspected of being an Osama bin Laden bodyguard, was released back to Saudi Arabia. Shalabi has agreed to take a ‘rehabilitation class’ in Saudi Arabia.

Out of 647 detainees who have been released from Guantanamo Bay, 116 have gone right back to “re-engaging” in terrorism according to a report from the DNI James Clapper.

In August, Muktar Yahya Najee al Warafi  sued for release on the grounds that the war is over and the law authorizing it (and his detention) has expired. (Yes the detainees have full access to attorneys).  Warafi, a Yemeni, served as a medic for the Taliban in 2001. He cited claims by White House officials and Obama’s declaration last January that “America’s longest war has come to a responsible end.”

U.S District Court Judge Royce Lamberth was not persuaded. As long as hostilities continue, so does the war’s legal basis, and Obama’s rhetoric does not overturn Congress’ intention.

President Obama is about to send Congress a plan to close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay. It is doomed from the start, but then he can shut down Gitmo by executive order. As Josh Earnest said, we “work with Congress where we can, but if Congress continues to refuse, I wouldn’t rule out the President using every element of his authority to make progress.” The Wall Street Journal added:

Another day at the office for a progressive President intent on reducing the legislative branch to a nullity. For the record, the National Defense Authorization Act this year contains an explicit congressional ban on transferring detainees to the U.S. through 2016.

The White House wants to transfer the prisoners to the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig in South Carolina; at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, or the federal supermax prison in Colorado. The WSJ again:

Mr. Obama’s inability to negotiate honestly with the legislature is a hallmark of his Presidency. More damaging is the precedent he is setting by making major policy changes with no more than a wave of his executive hand. Press reports note that Administration lawyers are working on legal justifications for the Gitmo order. Decision first, the law later.

The press is still invested in Obama’s success, or at least in quieting outrage. Any other president who, while prosecuting an unpopular war, credited with 3 out of 4 deaths in Afghanistan under his watch, saw a series of critical national security advisors resign might get some unfavorable coverage. On Sept. 22, General John Allen announced his intention to resign, Within a week, Evelyn Farkas, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, handed in her resignation. The report from Commentary with the details is a devastating account of a president paralyzed with indecision. He is being tested by the world’s bad actors and has little resolve to act early and decisively.

President Obama Orders Behavioral Experiments on the American People by The Elephant's Child

Awkward timing? A step in the wrong direction? What are they thinking?

President Obama announced a new executive order on Tuesday which authorizes federal agencies to conduct behavioral experiments on U.S. citizens in order to advance government initiatives.

“A growing body of evidence demonstrates that behavioral science insights — research findings from fields such as behavioral economics and psychology about how people make decisions and act on them — can be used to design government policies to better serve the American people,” reads the executive order, released on Tuesday.

The initiative is based on research from University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler and Harvard law school professor Cass Sunstein. Sunstein was Obama’s regulatory czar. The two “behavioral scientists,” the article calls them (an economist and a law school professor) argued in their 2008 book Nudge, that government policies can be designed in such a way that they “nudge” citizens towards certain behaviors and choices.

“The desired choices,” says reporter Chuck Ross, “almost always advance the goals of the federal government, though they are often couched as ways to cut overall program spending.” Of course they are.

The new executive order encourages federal agencies to “identify policies, programs, and operations where applying behavioral science insights may yield substantial improvements in public welfare, program outcomes, and program cost effectiveness,” as well as to “develop strategies for applying behavioral science insights to programs and, where possible, rigorously test and evaluate the impact of these insights.”

I’m sorry, but the federal government has no right to “nudge” people into making the “correct choices.” Obama has clearly slipped into full tyrant mode. Is this Brave New World or 1984?  Behavioral experimentation indeed. When I went to school we used different words  — we called it “propaganda.”

Leftists clearly believe, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that because we made the mistake of electing them, they are far smarter than the rest of us. The late Robert Conquest nailed it:

The more romantic, but not thereby less disastrous, motives for self-deception were often a matter of good intentions — a proverbially inadequate guide. Its bearers had turned to socialism as a means of creating a better, more humane society. But of course socialism is not a synonym for humanitarianism but a specific social and political mechanism credited with the power to produce that society.

Conquest further noted that “The ethical argument, if such it can be called, seems to run:

  1. there is much injustice under capitalism
  2. socialism will end this injustice
  3. therefore anything that supports socialism is to be supported,
  4. including any amount of injustice.

The Most Transparent Administration in History?? by The Elephant's Child

obama-us-iraqjpeg-05349-550x367In a famous remark a couple of years ago, President Obama boasted that “this is the most transparent administration in history.”

“A bipartisan consensus has long held that a healthy democracy requires a significant measure of government transparency.” Since 1950 the Federal Records Act has required the government to preserve documents about its decisions.

Since the 1960s the government has been subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which gives citizens the right to see those records. In 2009, the National Archives issued rules requiring federal agencies to preserve employee work on non official accounts in a government record-keeping system.

The Obama Administration has long talked “transparency” but tried to hide everything from this legal regime. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State conducted most of her correspondence on a private, homemade email system that she failed to disclose, kept away from the federal government, and when the system was exposed — Mrs. Clinton declared that she would be the arbiter of what she would allow the American people or Congress to see. Her aide Huma Abedin also had an account on that system, but Mrs. Abedin has not yet bothered to deliver her government records to State.

In August, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed a FOIA request to gain access to the private email account of White House science czar John Holdren, who may have used a private account for government work.

CEI exposed former EPA Director Lisa Jackson for using a secret alias “Richard Windsor” when emailing on the EPA system, which was apparently designed to thwart any FOIA requests for her conversations since “Lisa Jackson” didn’t appear on her emails.

Lois Lerner’s emails from the IRS have been subpoenaed for two years,  without success and with extensive lies and obfuscations. Now it turns out she had a second private email account to conduct government work under the name “Toby Miles” and the IRS still cannot account for its contents.

It is becoming apparent that the practice is rampant among Administration officials, including the Secretaries of Agriculture, Labor and HHS. All have secret government email accounts that neither Congress nor the public are aware of in defiance of federal law.

Last week a federal court subpoenaed former EPA official Phillip North after a complaint by a mining concern called the Pebble Partnership. Mr. North worked from inside the EPA with outside activists to scuttle Pebble’s proposed Alaskan mining project, and he did so on private email.

The Lerner and North cases also highlight the Administration’s sloppy, or willfully obstructionist, approach to recordkeeping. Recall the crash of Ms. Lerner’s hard drive, and the IRS’s claim for months it had no backup of her work. Treasury’s Inspector General would later find some. Mr. North’s hard drive also crashed, and Pebble claims that key North emails and documents have gone missing from EPA’s official record.

The people are justified in believing that this Administration’s evasion of disclosing information is not an accident. The public has a right to ask just what is being done in their name. President Obama believes in government by executive order — the latest example is changing the designation of what is clearly a Treaty to a mere executive order.  The Washington Post recently noted that the White House seeks to misdirect.

Obama issued only 20 executive orders in 2013 (the lowest single-year total in more than a century. But that year he issued 41 presidential memoranda, along with nine additional presidential “determinations.” And there are more avenues: regulatory action, signing statements, legal interpretations and administrative orders technically issued by department heads, but at the behest of the White House.

Then there are other ways of making the presidential preferences known, and the Washington Post lists them.  And lists some of the worst abuses cited by those who feel that the president has abused his executive authority.  It would be interesting to see just how many FOIA requests are hanging around waiting for a reply. Then there are all those computers that ‘unexpectedly’ crashed, lost everything, bad computers sent to the dump, and of course “wiped.” There’s a real reason why Hillary is in so much trouble.

Repeating Jonah Goldberg’s aphorism:

“The people are the boss, the government is the servant. The Constitution is the government’s job description. The Declaration of Independence is its mission statement. Campaigns are the job interview, elections are the hiring and firing process.”

This Really Covers It, Doesn’t It? by The Elephant's Child


(click to enlarge)

Governing by Executive Order? This is Not a Nation of One-Man Rule! by The Elephant's Child


The upcoming State of the Union address is expected to be focused on the economy, so the President is picking up the pace of jobs messages, and attempting to demonstrate how he can advance his economic agenda. The problem, of course, is that presidents cannot create jobs, except by federal hiring, and that just takes more money out of taxpayer pockets.

Jobs are created by businesses confident in their ability to grow and expand, unfettered by excessive regulation and excessive taxation. Mr. Obama clearly believes that he can create jobs if he just speaks forcefully enough to business.

We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” Obama said Tuesday as he convened his first Cabinet meeting of the year.

Obama continued: ”And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward in helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible, making sure that our businesses are getting the kind of support and help they need to grow and advance, to make sure that people are getting the skills that they need to get those jobs that our businesses are creating.”

Obama’s message to his cabinet is “that we need all hands on deck to build on the recovery that we’re already seeing. The economy is improving, but it can be improving even faster.” The approach is meant to portray Obama as an impatient executive in the face of inaction from Congress, particularly in the Republican-controlled House.

Only through legislation can he get some of the most ambitious items on his economic agenda. He really can’t do it with his pen and phone. Executive orders won’t do it. And hopefully, it won’t get done. He wants a higher minimum wage, which is an unemployment act for young people already suffering from monstrously high unemployment rates. He wants universal preschool, which the results of Head Start, and dozens of careful studies have shown, does not work to give kids a better start in school. It amounts to expensive babysitting.

President Obama’s attempts at job creation have a remarkably poor history. His efforts at killing jobs have been much more successful. If he would just ignore the former and eschew the latter, we’d be better off. Early on there were the shovel-ready jobs and roads and crumbling bridges, crumbling schools too. Then there were all the green jobs that renewable energy would create.

The federal government added job-training programs in home insulation and energy-related stuff. Unfortunately the government was already overloaded with job training programs, mostly duplicative, and run by different departments who were unaware of each other. Few people actually found jobs after the training. The high-speed rail that was going to connect the cities of the Midwest died, and the railroad to nowhere in California is on life-support. The president visited every new manufacturing plant that offered a good photo-op, but his presence and blessings didn’t prevent bankruptcy.

He eliminated the possibility of drilling for oil on all coasts and most federal lands, but privately funded wildcatters went ahead and drilled with new fracking techniques on private land that is the only part of the economy that is actually booming and America is rapidly becoming through their efforts the energy powerhouse of the world. Even at that, 42 percent of our electricity is still produced by coal-fired power plants, which Obama is determined to put out of business with their millions of jobs.

There are things that a president can do with executive orders, but laws are made by Congress— according to the Constitution which Obama promised to preserve, protect and defend. The Executive is supposed to see that the laws are enforced. Americans are slowly becoming aware of the President’s legal end-run around Congress, and they don’t like it. According to a new IBD/TIPP poll, 55% disapprove of such a fiat rule. Americans are hamstrung by their deep respect for the office of the presidency.

Secrets, Conspiracy, Rumors And A Lack of Transparency. by The Elephant's Child

North by Northwest

In the first two years of his presidency, Barack Obama had an easy relationship with Congress, for both houses were controlled by Democrats, and what Obama wanted, Obama got. In the second two years, Republicans won a solid majority in the House of Representatives, and the president faced opposition. Mr. Obama has made it clear that he doesn’t like disagreement.

Republicans are deeply worried about the administration’s profligate spending, and worry that raising taxes, as they agreed to in January, will put the nation back into recession. Mr. Obama believes that spending is the way to economic growth.

The president’s arrogant attempts to go around Congress and the excessive flow of regulation from the administration have alarmed administration watchers. Promises of “transparency” have proven to be ephemeral.

Answers about the “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal have not been forthcoming. Sensitive security information about the bin Laden raid was released to the media for political purposes. Obama told Defense Contractors to hide scheduled layoffs until after the election, breaking the law.

The attack on the Benghazi compound and the death of the ambassador, his technology aide, and two former SEAL team members was covered up, blamed on an obscure video, the filmmaker imprisoned on spurious charges, amid charges that the administration made no effort to save their lives during a seven-hour battle. The president was disinterested and went to bed, as did the Secretary of State.

It came to light that the president has a “kill list” of terrorists who could be eliminated by drones. A terrorist in Yemen who was killed turned out to be an American citizen. His young son who was an American citizen was also killed. Lots of questions were raised. Does the president have the authority to kill an American citizen, even if he is a suspected, or known, terrorist? Are there rules? And what are they?

News report: Homeland Security ordered 450 million rounds of ammunition for its 65,ooo armed personnel. In 2011, the FBI ordered up to 100 million bullets for its 13,913 agents.  A tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School brought demands to end “gun violence.” Posturing politicians like California’s Dianne Feinstein went after “assault weapons,” though no one could identify just what an assault weapon is — it seems to be entirely cosmetic. Americans saw this as an effort to repeal the Second Amendment, and rushed to gun dealers to buy weapons and stock up  on ammunition. What did you expect?

President Obama made a series of nominations for major cabinet offices, and chose, for Defense, a former enlisted man who believes in eliminating nuclear weapons and seems not to understand our recent wars at all. Obama fired, or encouraged the departure of two of our top generals. And for CIA he chose a man who was apparently involved in running a secret operation in Benghazi that affected the attacks there, and who seemed incapable of answering simple direct questions.

The Department of Homeland Security bought 7,000 5.56 x45 NATO personal defense weapons (real assault weapons), both automatic and semi-automatic. DHS has also purchased 2,717 MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected) vehicles with gun ports, for use on American city streets. Why?

Overarmed federal officials are increasingly employing military tactics as a first resort in routine law enforcement. They are employing heavily armed SWAT teams against harmless, frequently innocent civilians who are accused of non-violent civil or administrative violations. Deroy Murdock  enumerated some of the victims of over-armed military style agency attack.

If these separate actions and incidents have made many Americans a little paranoid,  it’s hardly surprising. Governments have been brought down for less.

When Americans demand “transparency,” they actually mean it. The President and all his minions and our representatives in Congress work for us. They are not autocrats entitled to keep their actions secret. The oaths they take to defend the Constitution are not matters of tradition, but promises they make— in return for the offices we allow them to hold temporarily. They need to explain their actions. They are responsible to us.

The government has no money of its own. The funds they squander so carelessly came out of our pockets, and represent a vacation we couldn’t afford, a neglected repair for the house, a needed new appliance that will have to wait for another year. We didn’t elect them to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America. We elected them to preserve, protect and defend. and they’ve been doing a lousy job of it. We want straight answers, and ethical behavior.

Senator Rand Paul had some questions about John Brennan, the nominee to head the Central Intelligence Agency. He wrote to Mr. Brennan requesting some clarification of administration attitudes toward their powers of authorizing drone strikes against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil , and without trial. This came in the wake of considerable talk about the use of drones in the United States, and the execution with a drone of an American Citizen and his family in Yemen. The administration handed the question over to Attorney General Eric Holder, who was incapable of giving a straight answer, as was nominee Brennan.

So Rand Paul filibustered the nomination. Eric Holder could not clarify the distinction between what is a matter of due process and what is war-making and subject to the rules of war. Democrats would not give a “Sense of the Senate” that drone attacks could not be made on American citizens on American territory.

It is to be hoped that the administration will gain some understanding of the problems that have been caused by their own lack of transparency, their refusal to give straight answers to straight questions, and a general arrogance that proclaims that they are our betters and are not answerable to us.

Spreading Like a Cancer — Obamacare. by The Elephant's Child

While all of the news last week was focused on the oil spill and the Gulf Coast, Barack Obama quietly signed an executive order to establish the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council (NPHPPHC, or maybe this one doesn’t get an acronym).

The council will be headed by Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and includes 13 other luminaries like Janet Napolitano, Kathleen Sebelius, Hilda Solis, and Arne Duncan, who will oversee another 25 non-federal government officials to be appointed by Obama. They will be licensed health-care professionals with expertise in work site health promotion, community services, preventive medicine, health coaching, public health education, exercise, geriatric, and rehabilitation medicine.

Starting this year, the council will submit an annual report to the president and Congress that outlines the progress made with its efforts to advance health promotion and disease prevention. It is expected to address “lifestyle behavior modification” of the American people, including smoking cessation, proper nutrition, appropriate exercise, mental health, behavioral health, substance-use disorder, and domestic violence screenings, and whatever else catches their fancy.

All the news coming out about Obamacare has been resoundingly negative. It costs way more than it was supposed to, and it is unlikely to improve anyone’s health as care is sure to deteriorate  and shortages of doctors are likely.  So this is another little huge agency to add to the hundreds of additional agencies, corps, commissions, offices, departments, units, administrations, programs, panels, services, centers and bureaus, already created in the immense expansion of the proposed Obamacare bureaucracy.  (Do click to enlarge the graphic image).

Like a fatal cancer, the cells of Obamacare just keep multiplying and destroying the last vestiges of life in our society.

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