American Elephants


Who Are You Going To Believe? And Why? by The Elephant's Child

196725_5_Via American Thinker.



Monumental Carelessness at the Highest Levels of Government by The Elephant's Child

"</a

Those unimportant emails, that were just for Hillary’s convenience, show that she picked a grossly unqualified donor to the Clinton Foundation to a very sensitive State Department advisory board that handled top-secret national security information — the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) that deals with matters like nuclear disarmament and arms control. It’s a kind of carelessness that can get people killed.

After inquiries from ABC News, Clinton’s staff tried to “protect the name” of the Secretary of State, “stall” the ABC News reporter, but as soon as the donor, Rajiv Fernando, a Chicago securities trader who specialized in electronic investing, learned that the media was questioning the appointment, he resigned, saying he needed to devote more time to his business.

Fernando was a longtime and prolific donor to the Clintons, dating back to 2003. He was an early supporter of Hillary  Clinton’s 2008 bid for president giving maximum contributions to her campaign and to HillPAC in 2007 and 2008. He was a fundraising bundler for Hillary collecting more than $100,000 from others. Prior to the State Department appointment Fernando had given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation and another $30,000 to a political advocacy group that indirectly helped Hillary retire her 2008 campaign debts by renting her campaign email list.

The ISAB is not a normal, or suitable, place to put a big donor. He was a “securities” trader, but not the same kind of “security” as those on the ISAB board. His associates on the board would have been David Kay, the former head of the Iraq Survey Group and UN Chief Weapons Inspector; Lt. Gen Brent Scowcroft, a former National Security Advisor to two presidents; two former congressmen; and Former Senator Chuck Robb. William Perry, the former Secretary of Defense, chaired the panel. The appointment would have qualified Fernando for one of the highest levels of top secret access.

Even more astounding is that Hillary could have believed such an appointment acceptable.  Hillary has long demonstrated a carelessness that is entirely out of line with the seriousness of the office to which she was appointed by President Obama. But then Obama’s appointment of Hillary wasn’t all that serious either.



The Mind of the President, Still a Mystery After All These Years by The Elephant's Child

obama-legacy
The American people have been trying for eight years to understand Barack Obama and to grasp just what his aims are. Why is he doing what he is doing? Here are the pieces I have saved that I find somewhat enlightening. No, I don’t think Obama was born in Kenya, nor does he hate America, nor is he trying to destroy America. He just has some odd beliefs that guide his actions.

Richard Epstein, Professor of Law, fellow at the Hoover Institution had a conversation about Obama on Uncommon Knowledge, with Peter Robinson. Epstein knew Obama at the University of Chicago, and through his next door neighbor who was Obama’s best friend at the time. Posted in 2012. The insight that Obama does not change his mind, that his ideas are fixed in concrete is important.

Fast forward to the present and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes as he explains the Iran Deal, and how they pushed it through by lying to the American people.

Michael Doran, in a widely praised article in Mosaic Magazine took on the task of explaining  “Obama’s Secret Iran Strategy.

And Elliott Abrams followed that up by explaining “What the President Thinks He’s Doing,” also in Mosaic Magazine, February 2015.

At ricochet, Herbert E. Meyer writes about “Obama’s Failed Experiment,” October 2, 2015.

Here’s Jeffrey Goldberg in a widely praised interview with President Obama on Syria and American Foreign Policy from The Atlantic, on June 12, 2016

And today, David Hazony, Editor of The Tower wrote about “The Mind of the President

Obama  is clearly a  leftist radical who thinks that most of the problems of the world would be much less troublesome if the United States were not so involved with the world. We are the problem, in his mind. He emphasized that once again today. “We are to Blame, not Islamic terrorism, for the massacre,” by John Podhoretz. Podhoretz  says we, once again, have an unmistakable indication that Obama finds it astonishingly easy to divorce himself from a reality he doesn’t like — the reality of the Islamist terror war against the  United States and how it is moving to our shores in the form of lone-wolf attacks.

He called it “terror,” which it is. But using the word “terror” without a limiting and defining adjective is like a doctor calling a disease “cancer” without making note of the affected area of the body — because if he doesn’t know where the cancer is and what form it takes, he cannot attack it effectively and seek to extirpate it.

So determined is the president to avoid the subject of Islamist, ISIS-inspired or ISIS-directed terrorism that he concluded his remarks with an astonishing insistence that “we need the strength and courage to change” our attitudes toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Some of these pieces are long, but all are deeply informative. Their intent is not to attack the President, but to explore his mind. We are told that he is the most brilliant of all of our presidents, which I seriously doubt. But how can this man, who has taken an oath to protect and defend the American people and the Constitution of the United States possibly view the bloody, senseless massacre in an Orlando night club and announce primly that “We are to blame, not Islamic terrorism, for the massacre.” He has no understanding of the office he holds, none at all.



Understanding the Obvious is Sometimes Difficult by The Elephant's Child

ISIS Executions
I suspect that ISIS is having trouble with their fighters losing enthusiasm for the fight. More deserters. There have been reports in recent days that they are putting the disaffected in cages and dissolving them slowly in acid baths, and/or feeding them to viscous and starving dogs.

That is the idea of terrorism of course — to defeat the enemy by striking terror into his heart. But they seem to be running out of really gruesome ways to dispose of people. Beheading is passé. They’ve tried setting victims on fire in cages, and drowning them in cages — and apparently they are still having trouble with a lack of eagerness and a desire to escape among the militants.

Is this a good sign? It does make the official position of never calling a terrorist a terrorist seem a little silly, doesn’t it. And perhaps releasing “the worst of the worst” from Guantanamo in order to please European leftists isn’t such a good idea after all.

Here’s Charles Krauthammer on “the arc of the moral universe” which Obama insists “is long, but bends towards justice.”



A Federal Judge Issues”Stinging” Order for Department of Justice Lawyers to Study Ethics in Five Years of Classes. by The Elephant's Child

iStock_000006638558Small-lg
We have immigration laws, but President Obama does not like them. He issued  Executive Actions on November 20, 2014, and February 16, 2015, and DHS began implementing part of the President’s plan—issuing 108,999 three-year work permits to DACA applicants. He was addressing the approximately 4.4 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. without documentation. An alien living in the U.S. without documentation can apply to be eligible for “deferred action which will allow him to remain in the U.S. for three years. Based on that DHS will defer for 3 years the individual being removed from the country. Decisions would be made on a case by case basis. (DACA was Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DAPA was Deferred Action of Parents of Americans, or anchor babies) Conservatives call it “executive amnesty.”

In December 2014, Texas and 25 other states filed a lawsuit in the Southern District Court of Texas to block these power-grabs.

The main grounds for their suit were the costs of issuing driver’s licenses and other associated costs of giving the undocumented immigrants legal status. Other issues being considered included exceeding executive power, failure to adhere to rulemaking procedures, and standing — the right of the states to challenge federal immigration policies.
On February 23, 2015 Judge Andrew Hannan issued a temporary injunction blocking both programs from going into effect. Current requirements would remain unchanged and DAPA would not be implemented.
The DOJ has since admitted that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) violated Judge Hanen’s injunction. Specifically, it filed an Advisory on March 3 informing Judge Hanen that, despite having assured him in open court and in written pleadings to the contrary, between when the President announced his Executive Action on November 20, 2014, and February 16, 2015, A Federal Judge when the injunction was issued, the DHS had begun implementing part of the President’s plan – issuing 108,000 three-year work permits to DACA applicants.
Judge Andrew Hannan blasted DOJ officials for misleading the court in a truly stinging opinion. He said the Obama administration launched it’s executive amnesty program behind the court’s back, lied about it, and granted lawful residence to more than 100,000 illegal immigrants.
Judge Hannan ordered the Department of Justice to provide lists of each affected illegal alien in each of the states , requiring each DOJ attorney to take additional legal ethics courses for a period of five years, and ordered Attorney General Loretta Lynch to produce a comprehensive plan for ensuring that similar misconduct would not happen in the future. The court did not have the power to disbar the individual lawyers who lied to the court, but it did revoke their permission to appear in the case. That is a powerful rebuke, and a shameful thing to have on your resume.
But for the Left it’s a matter of social justice, and Liberals are morally superior, and the ends justify the means.


Does Anyone Remember Who Spoke at their Graduation Ceremony? by The Elephant's Child

url

As long as we’re looking for the lighter side of the current Political Campaign, President Obama just gave the commencement speech at Rutgers University. It must be exciting for new graduates to have the President of the United States speak at their ceremony.

After a couple of obligatory congratulations to the graduates and the name dropping of their favorite watering holes and greasy spoons, the President used his speech to tear into Donald Trump’s trade agenda, his Muslim ban, and his planned great big wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He didn’t mention Mr. Trump by name, but it was rather obvious.

‘The world is more interconnected than ever before. And it’s becoming more connected every day. Building walls won’t change that,’ Obama said.

‘To help ourselves, we’ve got to help others, not pull up the drawbridge and try to keep the world out,’ Obama said.

He added:

‘It’s part of human nature, especially in times of change and uncertainty to want to look back at a long forgotten imaginary past when everything worked and the economy worked,’ Obama said.

And America did pretty much whatever it wanted around the world. Guess what, it ain’t so? The good old days weren’t all that good.’

As Mr. Obama was deploring Mr. Trump’s wall, the Secret Service is proposing to replace the White House Fence to double its height, from the current about six feet to nearly 14 feet and provide other measures to deter would-be intruders. “They want to build a fence that is tougher, taller, and stronger.” A great big fence.  The old proverb is “good fences make good neighbors,”used by Robert Frost, but not exactly what either the Secret Service nor President Obama has in mind. But then, perhaps I’m just easily amused.

I vaguely remember who gave the graduation speech at my college commencement, but cannot remember his name or what he said. What I do remember most clearly of that day, was getting bombed by a seagull who deposited an indiscretion on my cap and gown. Maybe the Rutgers grads won’t remember a thing either.



Crime and Punishment and the Illusions of the Left by The Elephant's Child

default
An official from the U.S. Department of Justice has said the agency will no longer call people “felons” or “convicts” after they are released from prison — because it is too hard for them emotionally.

This fits right in with the Obama administration plan to release large numbers of “non-violent”  felons to remedy “mass incarceration.” To a liberal, crime is never the fault of the perpetrator. It is the fault of society, the criminal’s parents, his lack of a good education, poverty, drugs, or lack of opportunity. Federal prisons are filled with “first-time, non-violent drug offenders” they claim, who were caught up by the criminal justice system and imprisoned, unfairly, for years. This conviction is behind the current drive for criminal justice reform.

Mass incarceration of such prisoners tears apart families, and most of these unfairly imprisoned and nearly innocent are African American, which means that the system is deeply racist. Trouble is that all of these popular buzz words are bunk. There is no mass incarceration. Each prisoner is there because he was arrested for committing a felony, was convicted by a judge and jury or pleaded guilty, may have appealed the sentence or chose not to to appellate courts and received all the rights of due process that are provided by the U.S.Constitution.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that almost all drug offenders in federal prison are serving sentences for drug trafficking, which does not mean selling small amounts of marijuana or heroin.

The Butterfield Fallacy is also at work here. Because crime has decreased, it is believed there is no need for so many people to be in prison. Wrong assumption. Crime is down in a simple cause and effect matter. Because so many criminals are in prison, there is less crime. The vast majority of prisoners are in state prisons, not federal prisons. Recidivism rates for chronic drug traffickers are over 75 percent, in other words three quarters of those released will be arrested again for committing serious crimes. And for every arrest, such criminals commit, on average, twelve other unsolved crimes.

Malcolm B. Benson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1995, and spent 19 years behind bars. He was released early for good behavior in January 2015. It took him only nine months to kill a 59 year-old Army veteran who was waiting at a bus stop on his way to work, when Benson shot him during a botched robbery. Recidivism is common.  According to Breitbart —

Over the past several years, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has ordered the release of thousands of serious criminals from federal prison, and in 2014 reduced the guidelines for all drug traffickers, regardless of the type of drug, criminal history, history of violence, gang or cartel ties making over 46,000 convicted drug traffickers eligible for early release. It is estimated that the bills now pending in Congress could make another 12,000 eligible for early release.

Jason L. Riley, writing in the Wall Street Journal. asked plaintively:

Why the fate of criminals should matter more than the fate of crime victims is a question that went largely unasked, let alone answered, during last week’s bipartisan celebration of President Obama’s decision to release dozens of individuals from prison and push for looser sentencing guidelines.

If the president is to be believed, it is not the prevalence of thugs that turns black ghettos into living nightmares for residents. Rather, the police, prosecutors and judges who pursue lawbreakers are the bigger cause for concern.

“A growing body of research shows that people of color are more likely to be stopped, frisked, questioned, charged, detained,” said Mr. Obama in his recent address to the NAACP. “What is that doing to our communities? What’s that doing to those children? Our nation is being robbed of men and women who could be workers and taxpayers, could be more actively involved in their children’s lives, could be role models, could be community leaders.”

This is apparently a big part of President Obama’s effort to establish a legacy. He is attempting to empty the detention center at Guantanamo Bay as well, and no new detainees have been held there. He just released the detainee responsible for the attack on the USS Cole, and the deaths of 17 servicemen. Congress has acted to make it illegal to bring detainees to the United States, but none seem to be tried by Military Commissions, as was the original intent, and most of those released have returned to the battle against Americans.

ADDENDUM:The White House “announced that they have commuted the sentences of 58 federal convicts, part of a broader push to revamp the criminal justice system and ease punishments for nonviolent drug offenders.”
Those whose prison terms were cut short include 18 who were sentenced to life terms.. Most will be released on September 2, though others will be released over the next 2 years.This group includes defendants who were convicted of selling cocaine, crack and methamphetamine, and makes a total of 306 whose sentences Obama has commuted.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,603 other followers

%d bloggers like this: