American Elephants


To Meddle or Not to Meddle, That Is The Question. Or Is It? by The Elephant's Child
June 30, 2009, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, History, Latin America, Middle East | Tags: , ,

toon063009

White House sources have said that President Obama just isn’t interested in foreign policy.  People who know him well say that he has never really had any interest in history.  It shows.

Democrats do have trouble recognizing who our friends are and who are the bad guys.  Jimmy Carter was astounded when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, and still can’t get over his love affair with Hamas.  All sorts of Democrats were sure that Ho Chi Minh was the good guy, and a number even went to N. Vietnam to visit.  Castro is idolized for his communist paradise with its 15,000 imprisoned enemies of the state.  You have seen the tee shirts and posters featuring that bloody killer Ché Guevara.

Two weeks ago, President Obama refused to “meddle” in a totalitarian country where unarmed, peaceful students demonstrating in the streets were being beaten and shot for opposing the election that they believed to be fraudulent.  He didn’t want to take sides.  Now he’s eager to “meddle” in the situation in Honduras.  And goodness, is he meddling!  National Review’s Andy McCarthy says:

Now that the president has decided it’s okay to meddle in Honduras (where they are fighting to preserve their democracy against the Chávez-style thug who Obama wants to re-install) but not Iran (where thousands of Iranians who seek democracy are being killed, maimed and jailed by a regime which has been at war with the United States for 30 years), the president’s tack is to say that Honduras’s action in removing Zelaya is “not legal.”

What on earth makes Obama think he knows better about what is legal under the law of Honduras than the Supreme Court of Honduras and the law-writing legislature of Honduras? The Honduran military acted after Zelaya defied an order by that nation’s highest court which pronounced his coup attempt illegal; he has been replaced under a Honduran legal process by that nation’s Congress, which essentially impeached him and democratically voted in a successor. That sounds pretty legal to me. I am the first to admit I am not an expert in Honduran law, but I’d bet the Honduran Supreme Court has a better grasp on it than President Obama. On the issue of what is legal in Honduras, as between Hugo Chávez and the Honduran Supreme Court, our president has decided to go with Chávez.

Secondly, as IBD notes, the Obama administration is now “threatening to halt its $200 million in U.S. aid, immigration accords and a free-trade treaty if it doesn’t put the criminal Zelaya back into office.” Can someone explain to me how it is that Obama is willingly giving $900M to Hamastan (i.e., the jihadist-controlled Gaza strip) but would pull back a comparative pittance of aid in order to penalize a poor country in our own hemisphere for trying to preserve its democracy against a would-be left-wing dictator?

The Obama administration is about to release their plan for meddling in the “peace process” between Israel and Hamas-controlled Palestine.  He is not impressed that Israel is our greatest ally in the Middle East, but wants to bully, arm-twist and demand that Israel agree to his proposals.  Obama seem to be interested in a feather in his cap rather than peace on the ground.  His lack of knowledge about the history of Israel, as demonstrated in his Cairo speech, leads him to the false conclusion that if Israel just gives up more land, more security, and more settlements then the Arabs will make peace, for all they want is their own state.

Unfortunately the Palestinians have already turned that one down. Every one of the Islamist Mullahs’ rallies is led with cries of Death to Israel, and Death to America.  It would seem sensible to assume that they mean it.

Obama seems to have a gift for picking the wrong side.



Obama Puts Politics Before Science by American Elephant
June 30, 2009, 5:28 am
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, News, Politics | Tags: ,

The EPA under Obama has moved to silence scientists in the rush to push their political agenda. The EPA has blocked a scientific report from one of their own scientists which pointed out that information the agency is using is out of date and contradicted by newer data. The report was ignored and the scientist aggressively muzzled.

Senator Inhofe has ordered an investigation into this outrageous politicization of science by the Obama administration.

Why do liberals hate science so much?



Rampant Democrat Corruption by American Elephant

John Conyers

When Obama and  the Democrat party can seize the entire American automobile industry, slap a bow on it, give it to their biggest campaign contributors and get away with it, pointing out the rampant corruption perpetrated by that party seems like so much whistling in the wind. Nevertheless…

Last Friday, Democrat Congressman John Conyers (MI), Chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, abruptly dropped a planned investigation into ACORN, the liberal activist group with close ties to the Obama administration, on the very same day that his wife, Monica Conyers pleaded guilty, in a deal with federal prosecutors, to charges of conspiring to commit bribery:

Conyers could be facing about three years in prison under her plea agreement. Her attorney, Steve Fishman, believes federal sentencing guidelines of 30-37 months apply.

Federal prosecutors believe she would get the full five years under sentencing guidelines. [more]

Fortunately, she has a husband who chairs a powerful committee that can threaten the man who is in charge of the people prosecuting her. I guess that’s what Congressman Conyers meant when he said, “the powers that be” decided against further investigation of ACORN.

How convenient.

(h/t HotAir)



Just How Gullible Are You? Just Wondering. by The Elephant's Child
June 29, 2009, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Progressivism | Tags: , ,


“Since when do we call it a “town hall” meeting when a bunch of pre-screened experts ask the president a bunch of pre-approved questions in the East Wing of the White House?
” Michael Cannon asked in the Corner at National Review Online.   Good question!

The president held a so-called “town hall” meeting with a pre-selected audience last Wednesday under the benevolent auspices of ABC.  Critics, other opinions, and disagreement were not included.  Republicans formally requested a chance to participate or time to respond, but those who were not fully in the Obama tank were not invited.

Health Care experts from the Cato Institute respond, in the video above, with some of the information you need.  Much of the ObamaCare plan is based on the idea that there is a best treatment for any situation, and with a modern Internet technology approach, and with all your health records online, the government can choose the best care for everyone, and by “incentivising” [fining the doctors who don't follow the rules] best care, they think they will improve care and reduce costs.  “One size fits all” says Michael Cannon.

But it doesn’t work that way.  My next-door neighbor can take only very small amounts of medicine. A full dose knocks her out.  I need the full dose and then some.  And as far as government management is concerned, a couple of notes.  When the car czar and his czarettes made the decision to close a large number of Chrysler dealerships [a very odd decision, since the dealerships were not owned by Chrysler, but were independent businesses privately owned, who bought their stock of vehicles from Chrysler], Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) immediately went to Chrysler to make sure that the dealer in his district, who was on the closure list, stayed in business.  This is only a tiny sample of how government control works.

These people are politicians and bureaucrats. What do they know about running the health care of 300 million people?  Canada has 33 million people and cannot manage their health care.  Great Britain has 66 million people, and theirs is a mess.  Even Massachusetts, population about 6.5 million, has a new health care plan that is a flop.  But the Great and Wonderful Obama —who has never run as much as a candy store — is perfectly sure that he can manage the whole system, cover the uninsured, reduce costs and insure a healthier, happier America.

The one thing that you most need to know about the “Kennedy Health Care Bill” working its way through the Senate, is that members of Congress, and the Administration and whoever else is currently on the admirable health care plan that they all love are excused from ever participating in the Health Care Plan they stick the rest of us with. And Obama has excused his friends in the Unions from any tax on their benefits.



The Bears Are Doing Just Fine! Really! by The Elephant's Child
June 28, 2009, 9:31 pm
Filed under: Environment, Science/Technology | Tags: ,

polar bears

New headlines will soon be featured in the world’s newspapers, as long as they are not still overshadowed by the death of Michael Jackson and the affair of Mark Sanford.  Watch for them, they will report something along the lines that “scientists say that vanishing Arctic ice threatens the extinction of our beautiful polar bears.”

There is a conference in Copenhagen of the Polar Bear Specialist Group under the auspices of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission, and at the very tippy top of their agenda will be the need to produce a report designed to increase fears that polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming.  Financial support and donations from polar bear enthusiasts will hopefully be forthcoming if the report is sufficiently scary.

Dr. Mitchell Taylor, a leading world expert on polar bears, had obtained funding to attend this week’s meeting,  but he has been impolitely dis-invited.  He is known to have signed the Manhattan Declaration — the statement by 500 scientists that climate changes are natural, and not caused by CO2, but by changes in the activity of the sun and in ocean currents — and that just simply won’t do.

Dr Taylor has been researching the state of the polar bear population around the Arctic Circle for 30 years as a government employee and an academic.  His work has made headlines  by insisting that polar bear numbers are much higher than they were 30 years ago and of the 19 different polar bear populations almost all are increasing or at optimum levels.  Only two have modestly declined, for local reasons.  He has also noted that the Arctic has been warming, but not as warming activists claim, from CO2, but from current changes bringing warmer water into the arctic from the Pacific. And here it is, nearly midsummer and the temperature is still below zero, and with the cooling climate the summer melt will probably be less.

Dr. Taylor was told that his views running “counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful.”  The science, you see, is not of interest.  It is the agenda that matters.  So please, just shut up!



Secrets Going On Behind the Scenes of Waxman-Markey. by The Elephant's Child
June 28, 2009, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Environment | Tags:

Here are some things you might not know about the Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade Climate Bill.  A suppressed EPA study says that old UN IPCC data ignore the decline in global temperatures and other “inconvenient truths.”  Internal e-mail messages, released by the EPA indicate that the report was suppressed because of pressure to support the administration’s agenda of reducing carbon dioxide.  PowerLine reproduces copies of the e-mails.  The full EPA study is available here.

The report says that the EPA, by simply adopting the UN’s 2007 “Fourth Assessment” report, is relying on outdated research by its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  The research is three years out of date in a rapidly changing field and ignores the most recent scientific findings.  The report was kept under wraps and it’s author was silenced because of the administrations rush to see the legislation approved.

“Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030) there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data” the report said.

The author was told that “The administrator and the administration have decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision… I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”  Not half as negative as the evidence that the EPA is suppressing science in order to advance a very damaging ideology.

That’s not as harsh as Mark Morano’s comments in a Climate Depot Editorial.  “The methods and manner that the Pelosi-led House achieved final passage represents nothing more than unrestrained exercise of raw political power, arm-twisting, intimidation and special interest handouts.  The House of Representatives passed a bill it did not read, did not understand.  A bill that is based on crumbling scientific claims and a bill that will have no detectable climate impact (assuming climate fear promoters are correct on the science and the bill is fully implemented — both implausible assumptions)…A May 2009 scientific analysis of the bill revealed its temperature impact to be scientifically meaningless.”

Morano went on to say ” President Obama made the completely scientifically indefensible claim that the Waxman-Markey climate bill would stop global temperature increases of up to 5 degrees! “Obama said on June 25, “A long-term benefit is we’re leaving a planet to our children that isn’t four or five degrees hotter.” How can the President of the U.S. be so misinformed and full of hubris that he somehow believes he can sign a bill that acts as a thermostat for Earth’s temperature?

Kleiner Perkins , one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms expects to profit hugely from the carbon legislation that it is helping the Obama administration to craft.  Al Gore is a partner. A Florida congressman got a pledge for $50 million for a hurricane research lab in his district. And we don’t know who besides Nancy Pelosi has investments in energy firms that expect to profit.

President Obama said back during the campaign that his presidency would be” the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal.”  Apparently he actually believes in his own divinity.  Watch what the man does.  The words of his mouth are not to be trusted.



A Very, Very Bad Bill, Passed Without Understanding. by The Elephant's Child

What were they thinking?  President Obama said in his Saturday morning weekly address that :

For more than three decades, we have talked about our dependence on foreign oil.  And for more than three decades, we have seen that dependence grow.  We have seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security.  We have seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet.  And most of all, we have seen other countries realize a critical truth; the nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy.

With all due respect, this is absolute nonsense.  The Waxman-Markey Climate bill attempts to switch our need for electricity from (evil) coal to “clean” wind and solar power. This has nothing whatsoever to do with our dependence on “foreign oil” which powers our transportation, not our electric power.  We are completely energy independent in our use of electric power.  Electricity generation accounts to a scant 1.5 percent of our petroleum use.

Our reliance on fossil fuels has not jeopardized our national security.  Oil from our own country, Canada and Mexico accounts for around 60 percent of our needs.  We buy 10 percent from Saudi Arabia and 7 percent from Venezuela, who could be considered somewhat unfriendly, but need the cash. The rest is scattered around the world market, but jeopardizing our security?  Let’s not exaggerate.

“Make no mistake,” the President said, “This is a jobs program.”  Spain has had vast experience with wind power, and an aggressive “green jobs” program. No other country has given such broad support to the construction and production of electricity through renewable resources.  A study by economist Dr. Gabriel Calzada of Rey Juan Carlos Universidad found that each new wind energy job cost $754,000, mostly installing towering turbines.  Switching to wind power destroyed 2.2 regular jobs for each “green job” because pricey “renewable” electricity caused employers to lay off employees.

New onshore wind power in the U.S. is 37 percent more expensive than new advanced coal technologies.  Solar-photo-voltaic technology is 300 percent more expensive.  And we have enough coal to last more than 300 years.  Mr. Obama has said several times that he wants to bankrupt coal companies.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in 2008, on a dollars per MWh basis, the U.S. Government subsidizes wind power at $23.34 — compared to such reliable energy sources as natural gas at 25¢; coal at 44¢; hydro at 67¢; and nuclear at $1.59.

“This will lead to the creation of new businesses and entire new industries.  And that will lead to American jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced”  Mr. Obama said.  But critics say that the bill’s restrictions will cause many American manufacturers to shift their operations overseas.  A look at the costs enumerated here shows why.

The Senate may not pass the bill so easily, or with such disgraceful shenanigans as dumping a 300 page addition to the bill at 3:00 am just before the vote that does not integrate the changes into the original bill.  Nobody has read the whole bill.  It was not made available.   The phone lines were simply shut down before the vote.

This bill must be defeated in the Senate.



Last Call on Cap and Trade by American Elephant
June 26, 2009, 7:05 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Environment, News, Politics, Socialism | Tags: ,

Barack Obama himself has admitted that the Cap and Trade plan he supports, exactly the plan that will come to a vote today, will cause electricity rates to “necessarily skyrocket“. He knows and supports the fact that it will destroy the coal industry. (America gets half its electricity from coal). Not only will your electricity bills skyrocket, but so will everyone else’s. Every individual, every business that uses energy will be slapped with huge new costs. That means inflation as every product and service in America costs more to make, to transport, to advertise. It also means higher unemployment, lost wages, and outsourcing. It means America becomes less competitive, less prosperous and less free, as this bill represents the single largest tax and regulatory increase in American history.

All to cut back on CO2 which is not a pollutant, to prevent global warming on a planet that has been cooling for the last decade, in a climate in which man-made CO2 represents 0.03% of all “greenhouse” gasses, all based on NOTHING but computer models that have been definitavely proven incapable of even predicting CURRENT climate let alone their outlandish predictions about the future.

Nancy Pelosi is forcing a vote on this bill TODAY, because she thinks she has enough votes to pass it. BARELY.

Americans for Prosperity has produced the following list of US Representatives whose votes can be swayed against the bill if enough of their constituents raise hell.

I dont know about you, but I know my family cannot afford what this bill would do. If your Representative is listed here, please call them right away and tell them to vote NO on the Cap and Trade bill (House Resolution 2454). You may get busy signals. Keep calling til you get through. Click here to find your representatives phone number. Get your family and friends to call if you can. This bill will devastate the economy and the American way of life.

Republican List (Unlisted are solid no)

Solid Yes
Bono, Mary California

Lean Yes
Castle, Michael Delaware
Ehlers, Vernon Michigan
Lance, Leonard New Jersey
McHugh, John New York
Reichert, Dave Washington

Undecided
Buchanan, Vern Florida
Kirk, Mark Illinois
Lobiondo, Frank New Jersey
Petri, Thomas Wisconsin
Smith, Chris New Jersey

Lean No
Fortenberry, Jeffrey Nebraska
Frelinghuysen, Rod New Jersey
Gerlach, Jim Pennsylvania
Johnson, Timothy Illinois

Democratic List (Unlisted are solid yes)

Lean No
Boswell, Leonard Iowa
Edwards, Chat Texas (No “in current form”)
Etheridge, Bob North Carolina
Halvorson, Debbie Illinois
Hinojosa, Ruben Texas
Kaptur, Marcy Ohio
Marshall, Jim Georgia
Massa, Eric New York
Minnick, Walt Idaho
Mollohan, Alan West Virginia
Rahall, Nick West Virginia
Salazar, John Colorado

Undecided
Arcuri, Michael New York
Bishop, Sanford Georgia
Boccieri, John Ohio
Boyd, Allen Florida
Brown, Corrine Florida
Carney, Chris Pennsylvania
Davis, Lincoln Tennessee
Dicks, Norm Washington
Donnelly, Joe Indiana
Foster, Bill Illinois
Green, Al Texas
Jackson Lee, Sheila Texas
Johnson, Eddie Texas
Kind, Ronald Wisconsin
Kirkpatrick, Ann Arizona
McIntyre, Mike North Carolina
Ortiz, Solomon Texas
Space, Zach Ohio (voted yes in committee)
Teague, Harry New Mexico
Tonko, Paul New York

Lean Yes
Abercrombie, Neil Hawaii
Adler, John New Jersey
Baca, Joe California
Bean, Melissa Illinois
Cardoza, Dennis California
Clay, William Missouri
Cooper, Jim Tennessee
Costa, Jim California
Driehaus, Steve Ohio
Fudge, Marcia Ohio
Grayson, Alan Florida
Kagan, Steve Wisconsin
Kildee, Dale Michigan
Kosmas, Suzanne Florida
Kratovil, Frank Maryland
Maffei, Dan New York
Mary Jo Kilroy Ohio
McMahon, Michael New York
Meek, Kendrick Florida
Meeks, Gregory New York
Mitchell, Harry Arizona
Murphy, Scott New York
Nye, Glenn Virginia
Peters, Gary Michigan
Rodriguez, Ciro Texas
Schauer, Mark Michigan
Shuler, Heath North Carolina
Skelton, Ike Missouri
Thompson, Bennie Mississippi

Solid No – Call to confirm/thank/support!
Altmire, Jason Pennsylvania
Barrow, John Georgia
Berry, Marion Arkansas
Boren, Dan Oklahoma
Bright, Bobby Alabama
Childers, Travis Mississippi
Costello, Jerry Illinois
Cuellar, Henry Texas
Dahlkemper, Kathy Pennsylvania
Davis, Artur Alabama
Defazio, Peter Oregon
Doggett, Lloyd Texas
Ellsworth, Brad Indiana
Griffith, Parker Alabama
Herseth, Stephanie South Dakota
Holden, Tim Pennsylvania
Kissell, Larry North Carolina
Kucinich, Dennis Ohio
Matheson, Jim Utah
Melancon, Charlie Louisiana
Pomeroy, Earl North Dakota
Ross, Mike Arkansas
Scott, David Georgia
Tanner, John Tennessee
Taylor, Gene Mississippi
Wilson, Charlie Ohio

If your Congressman is on an undecided or leaning list below PLEASE click here and enter your zip code to get your representative’s number and talking points on this issue.



Hopenchange Indeed. Take a Look at This Map. by The Elephant's Child
June 25, 2009, 9:33 pm
Filed under: Global Warming, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: , ,

PowerLine Blog has a dandy map , created by John Boehner, of  the convoluted bureaucracy that would be created if Democrats succeed in passing their Cap and Trade Bill.   This bill is such a pathetic disaster, and will do such damage to the American people.  $1,600 to $3,900 per household.  Graft and corruption.

Nancy Pelosi apparently thinks she has the votes, after twisting agricultural arms with ethanol promises.  That’s going to look really smart when crop yields drop because of the colder climate and late planting, and we start hearing stories of food riots and hunger caused by putting food crops in our gas tanks.



Another Government Loan to a Surprising Recipient. by The Elephant's Child

Our government has given a $468 million loan to Tesla Motors to build an electric sedan and the battery packs to run it.  When we have been hearing billions and trillions daily, $468 million begins to sound like chump change.  For those unfamiliar with Tesla motors, I have written about their sexy little Tesla Roadster ($110,000) here and here.  It’s a good looking little electric sports car;  when the London Times car guy tested first one and then another, um, there were a few problems.  But for $468 million they should be able to come up with a sedan.

The Chevy Volt is still much hyped by the Obama administration, and if they can get the price ($40,000) down, the  miles it can go up (40 mi.) on a charge, cover the nation with stations where one can plug in to get recharged less than 40 miles apart, and come up with new sources of energy to make the necessary electricity,  then all will be well, if GM can survive long enough to sell one that anybody wants to buy.

The problem is that the Obama administration is attempting to bankrupt the coal companies, deny nuclear permits, deny coal-fired power plant permits, and rely on “clean” wind farms which produce electricity only when the wind blows, which is definitely not all the time.

When the wind does not blow at the right speed, or when it does, there must be full-time back-up from a regular power plant.  Thus if you are depending on wind power you need more power plants, coal-fired or gas-fired, not fewer.  Wind, solar and geothermal are not cost-effective, cannot produce energy at all without vast subsidies, and there is no indication that they can ever become cost-effective.

But I wish Tesla well, I’m just not sure I understand why taxpayers should finance their experiments.

ADDENDUM: How could I forget to mention the $1.6 billion loan to Nissan to develop electric cars.  I got all wrapped up in the $468 million and completely forgot the $1.6 billion.  My bad.



The Sheer Stupidity Simply Boggles the Mind. by The Elephant's Child

rainforest

If a tree falls in the forest in Brazil, or Indonesia, will American taxpayers be paying for it? According to a little-noticed provision in the pending climate change bill the plan is ” to pay companies billions of dollars not to chop down trees around the world, as a way to reduce global warming.”

The very liberal Center for American Progress says it will be pricey. “By 2020, the U.S. could be spending $4 billion on international offsets.”

“Supporters of the legislation counter that the plan recognizes the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to curb global warming — in the United States and beyond.  Supporting ways to keep trees alive or plant new trees, wherever those trees are located helps the effort, they say.”

I’m beginning to think that term limits are a very good idea. For other posts on global warming or more euphemistically “climate change”, enter either term in the search function just above Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar.



It’s Time To Stand Up And Be Counted, People! by The Elephant's Child
June 24, 2009, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Freedom, Law, Politics | Tags: , ,

If you have not called or e-mailed your Representative, it’s time to do it.  Nancy Pelosi is trying to force through a vote on the Waxman/Markey climate bill by Friday.  No debate, no floor discussion,  every legislative maneuver to rush it through quickly will be employed.  They don’t want any input from you stupid voters out there.  Surprise them.

This bill is a disaster for America.  It is a big net job killer.  Utility costs will skyrocket.  It would reduce global temperatures (the supposed aim of the legislation) by 2050 by an amount too small to measure.  It will invest useless billions in supposed “clean energy” that cannot produce electricity in a cost effective manner now,  nor in the foreseeable future.  Doesn’t work.  In Spain, their wind energy investment killed 2 jobs in the wider economy  for every “green job” created.  And that’s without even knowing all the economic disasters they have written into the bill.  It’s not available for anyone to read it.  Why is that not a surprise? It is officially and euphemistically HR 2454 “The American Clean Energy and Security Act.”

For e-mail: www.house.gov.  For the House switchboard, call (202) 225-3121 to reach your Representative.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,433 other followers

%d bloggers like this: