American Elephants


You Think You Had a Bad Day? It Could Always Be Worse! by The Elephant's Child
September 30, 2009, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Environment, Freedom, Politics

You could be an Icelandic fisherman.  Or you could set aside a moment to make a list of jobs that you are really glad that you don’t have to do.  Or—you could be the guy out on the deck making the video!



Deficits, Deficits, Deficits, and then More Deficits. by The Elephant's Child
September 30, 2009, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Economy, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: , ,

President Obama has an unpleasant habit, left over from the campaign, of beginning every speech with a (don’t blame me) reference to the deficit he inherited or the worst crisis or something of the sort.  Whatever it is, it’s not his fault.

The Bush administration spent too much.  We agree.  There was 9/11, Katrina and a War in Iraq, but President Bush didn’t veto some things he should have, and  opted for some expensive programs. Congress spent too much.  But, let’s face some facts.Chart_9-24-09

For each year of Obama’s term, deficits are projected to be larger than in any year that Bush was in office.

Each color represents the difference  between the projected deficits at different points in time.  The purple bars represent the numbers as they were projected back in September 2008, the black and red bars represent the differences at other points in time. The orange bars represent the actual deficit numbers during President Clinton’s last year in office (fiscal 2001), and President Bush’s  two terms.

President Obama promotes what he calls “a new ethic of responsibility.” The chart above is based on Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data. It shows a projection of deficit numbers for each year until fiscal year 2018.

Obama rightly notes that he inherited a large deficit in fiscal 2009, but he is responsible for growing the deficit beyond all expectations in 2009 and thereafter.  The black bars represents  the TARP spending, which Obama voted for in the Senate.  The red part is all Obama’s.

Obama’s deficits are frightening.  Every month that goes by adds to the deficit.  His budget is astounding, and he keeps adding personnel,more Czars and more programs.The August 2009 projections contain no health care spending, assume that “temporary” stimulus spending will stop in 2011, and contain no expenses for cap-and-trade, the proposed new energy grid, the Midwest high-speed rail plan, or any of the other big changes he wants to bring to America.

The stimulus funds spent so far have been largely wasted, and subsequent stimulus is not expected to create jobs.  The big investment in Government Motors is no longer expected to produce any pay-back for taxpayers.



Canadian Health Care, Cheryl Baxter’s Story. by The Elephant's Child
September 30, 2009, 1:03 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Socialism | Tags:

We posted a video of Shona Holmes’ account of her health care under the Canadian health care system some time ago, and received all sorts of angry responses from Canadians who insulted us, insulted Ms. Holmes, and were furious that anyone would disparage their “free” health care system.

It was never our intent to insult Canadians, but rather to explain what we believe to be the inevitable problems of a socialized system.  There are government run health care systems all over the world, and they are all in financial trouble, with declining quality of care.

Rick Barker, head of  Timely Medical Alternatives pointed out that in the U.S. the individual is valued more than the government, or to put it another way, in the U.S., health care is about saving lives; in socialized systems health care is about saving money.  There are some 875,000 Canadians on waiting lists for referrals to specialists or for medical procedures.

The Canadian Parliament reported that 100,000 Canadians die each year while sitting on a waiting list for a medical procedure.  A two-year wait to see a gynecologist is thought totally acceptable.  Canadians are waiting 45% longer than physicians believe to be acceptable.  The wait for an MRI is 9.7 weeks.  An ultrasound wait  is 4.4 weeks.  The wait for an MRI in Bellevue ,WA is around 30 minutes.

Here is Canadian Cheryl Baxter with her story.  She finally came to America for the surgery she needed.  She says her government let her down.

THE CHERYL BAXTER STORY:

(ht/ Gateway Pundit)



Canadian Lindsay McCreith’s Story by The Elephant's Child

Here’s how one Canadian citizen survived brain cancer, and spent $50,000 of his own money at an American hospital in order to survive.

In Canada, under their socialized system, Lindsay would have died before he received treatment. Timely Medical Alternatives helped Lindsay McCreith of Ontario get urgent brain surgery in Buffalo, New York.  From the Timely Medical Alternatives website:

While recognizing that many Canadians believe that we have one of the best health care systems in the world, the founders of Timely Medical Alternatives Inc. also recognize that there are some 875,000 Canadians currently on the waiting list for referrals to specialists or for medical procedures.

Our organization was formed in 2003 to help Canadians from coast to coast, to “Leave the queue” and take personal responsibility for their own private medical services.. Since then we have helped hundreds of Canadians obtain second medical opinions, MRI’s / CT scans / PET scans (within days) and surgery (within weeks). We have helped our clients to regain their mobility, to get relief from chronic pain, to get diagnoses of illnesses and we have, in some cases, helped to save the lives of a number of our fellow Canadians.

Canadian professionals say “Don’t do what we’ve done.  We will lose our escape valve.”

CHRISTINA WOODKEY”S STORY IS HERE.

While the U.S. Congress debates whether to set American medicine on the path that Canadians have taken, Canadians are beginning to try to search out their own private option.  So if we get stuck with ObamaCare perhaps we can go to Vancouver or Alberta for better, faster care.

The videos and much of the information come from Gateway Pundit. You will find much more information at his valuable website.



The Stimulus Bill is President Obama’s Biggest Success. by The Elephant's Child
September 29, 2009, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Environment

The more one learns about stimulus funds, the more depressing it gets.  The Stimulus Bill, we have learned, was designed by the Apollo Alliance, a far-left group that marries environmental radicals with labor union radicals. That, however, is no excuse.

The Senate last week was all set to award $2.6 million of stimulus money tor forest fire management to——the District of Columbia.  Washington, D.C. is notably lacking in forests.  This has to be a signature paragraph in the Big Golden Book of What Happens When You Do Not Read the Bills.

Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, where they do have forests,  filed an amendment to eliminate that funding and shift it to the U.S. Forest Service  which is actually in the business of fighting forest fires.

In an interview Mr. Barrasso said he was “amazed” when he saw where the funding was going.  “The last time Washington,D.C. faced a catastrophic fire is when the British burned down the White House in 1814.”

The National Interagency Fire Center says that more than 5.5 million acres of U.S. Wildlands have already burned this year.

The original plan was to give the money to a local D.C. non-profit called “Washington Parks & People”.  What was the group going to spend the money on?  “Planting trees and vegetables” and “green education projects.”

Only a small part of the stimulus funds have been spent, but among the projects are guardrails beside a dry lake, bridges that carry fewer than 10 cars a day, airports that have only occasional flights and other absolutely urgent projects.

Senator Barrasso added that “I’ve only been in Washington for a short time, but I’m continually shocked by how this town wastes money.”



Just the Tip of the Iceberg by American Elephant
September 29, 2009, 12:41 am
Filed under: Education, Politics, Progressivism, Socialism | Tags: ,

Yes, yet another Orwellian Obama-worship video has surfaced. I suspect these videos are only the tip of the iceberg. For every paean on tape, it only stands to reason, there are many more that were never filmed, never uploaded, never made public. And for every song, you can bet there are many more thousands of  murals, collages, pictures, poems and prose dedicated to the Dear Leader that we never see, because, frankly, primary school projects don’t make very good YouTube.

Remember, it was State Senator Obama who worked on legislation to teach politically correct sex-ed to 5 year olds. It was Barack Obama who partnered with his self-described communist buddy Bill Ayers on education reform, and Bill Ayers that wrote a book on how to suck your kids into the communist movement through public schools. Leftist gay groups have been using public schools to circumvent parental values for years. Environmental groups are deeply involved in schools, creating lesson plans to  fill your younglings heads with “green” global-warming gobbledygook when they should be learning useful disciplines like English, math and history.

Your kids are being indoctrinated, not educated.



Far More Americans Oppose Obamacare Than Ever Voted for Obama by American Elephant
September 29, 2009, 12:19 am
Filed under: Health Care, Politics, Socialism, Taxes | Tags: , ,

Obama

Perhaps you realized this before yours truly — I understood it was true, yet for whatever reason, never really wrapped my brain completely around it…

Whatever “mandate” Obama may have once had is history…evaporated….GONE!

He won the election by garnering 53% of the vote, and we were told that was a landslide. That he had a mandate.

Perhaps he once did, but American voters now oppose Obamacare by 56%. Forgive my remedial math, but if 53% is a landslide, then 56% is a complete shutout. Only 41% of voters — that’s barely more than his base — support his health-care proposals, and only tepidly at that. All the passion among Americans is in opposition to his signature issue.

Americans do not want what Barack is cooking!

The reason I post this, is because I don’t think Democrats have wrapped their tiny little brains around these numbers either. They certainly don’t behave like it. They are still pushing ahead with an attempt to cross a large majority of voters on an issue that touches more closely on personal liberty than any other. As personal as liberty gets.

I suspect Democrats saw President Bush defying popular will by refusing to abandon Iraq, and took inspiration from it. They believe his resolve means they can also defy the voters to pass their socialized health-care Trojan Horse. But they forget a few things at their peril.

  1. They forget that Bush was insisting on winning a war the American people, and their representatives, initially, specifically, supported. And
  2. They forget that Bush lost both houses of Congress for doing so.

Either that, or they are convinced that by passing their socialist health-care Trojan Horse, they will secure their majority in perpetuity. That voters wont dare vote them out once they depend on government for their health.

I think its a little bit of all of the above.

What we need to do is make sure every Democrat understands that we, the people are very serious in our opposition to these reform proposals — that they will lose their seats, and their majorities, if they pass this abomination.

I intend to explain it to Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell today.



Oh By All Means, Let’s Have a Meaningful Dialogue! by The Elephant's Child

Wednesday, September 23— President Obama speaks to the United Nations General Assembly. He says “if the governments of Iran and North Korea choose to ignore international standards…then they must be held accountable.  The world must stand together to demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise, and that treaties will be enforced.”

Thursday, September 24— President Obama chaired a session of the U.N. Security Council.  When the Security Council passed a new resolution which never mentions Iran or North Korea, Obama pounded his gavel and proclaimed: “The resolution we passed today will also strengthen the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  We have made it clear that the Security Council has both the authority and the responsibility to respond to violations to this treaty.  We’ve made it clear that the Security Council has both the authority and responsibility to determine and respond as necessary when violations of this treaty threaten international peace and security.  That includes full compliance with Security Council resolutions on Iran and North Korea.  Let me be clear.  This is not about singling out individual nations….[W]e must demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise, and that treaties will be enforced.”

Friday, September 25— Speaking to the G-20 in Pittsburgh, President Obama admitted that “yesterday in Vienna, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France presented detailed evidence to the IAEA demonstrating that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qom for several years….The existence of this facility underscores Iran’s continuing unwillingness to meet its obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions…Iran’s decision to build yet another nuclear facility without notifying the IAEA represents a direct challenge to the basic compact at the center of the non-proliferation regime…[T]he size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program.  Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow… [and is; threatening the stability and security of the region and the world."

So when President Obama spoke to the General Assembly and the Security Council, he already knew that Iran's latest violations of "international standards"  endangered peace, but he refused to put Iran on the agenda of the Security Council summit. So he made a perfectly useless speech, and got a perfectly useless resolution.

As a matter of fact, the president has known since last fall, before he was inaugurated that Iran had another facility at Qom. He knew when Iranians  took to the streets to protest an illegitimate election, and he refused to offer any encouraging words.  The demonstrations continue, but words in favor of liberty have not been forthcoming.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France [France!] in the U.N.’s translation from the French said…“President Obama himself has said that he dreams of a world without nuclear weapons.  Before our very eyes, two countries are doing exactly the opposite at this very moment.  Since 2005, Iran has violated five Security Council Resolutions… I support America’s extended hand.  But what have these proposals for dialogue produced for the international community  Nothing but more enriched uranium and more centrifuges.  And last but not least, it has resulted in a statement by Iranian leaders calling for wiping of the map a Member of the United Nations.

As Jules Crittenden said: “It’s a sad state of affairs when a Frenchman mocks an American president and you have to go with the frog.”

From his statement on Friday, Obama said: “The size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program.” Gosh! You think?

The regime in Iran is corrupt, willing to use terror as a weapon at home and abroad. It has demonstrated over and over that it will stop at nothing to acquire nuclear weapons, and that it is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and of the United States.

Lest you think that President Obama has no particular foreign policy beyond a mushy hope for “meaningful dialogue” maybe around December or so, that he is unconcerned about a nuclear holocaust, never fear.  He says that if the international community does not act swiftly to deal with climate change that “we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe.”

“The security and stability of each nation and all peoples —  our prosperity, our health, and our safety — are in jeopardy. And the time we have to reverse this tide is running out.” But then the World Wildlife Fund and other environmental activist groups say the President’s speech didn’t go far enough, that it was an opportunity missed.

Well, it’s always especially nice when everybody has their priorities straight.That one degree of warming we had last century, back before 1998, was really worrying. Now that the climate’s been cooling for the last ten years we are facing “irreversible catastrophe”— but nuclear attacks — that’s so, so 20th century!



Hey, A Survey Team Just Needed a Little Help! by The Elephant's Child
September 27, 2009, 2:42 am
Filed under: Entertainment, Fun n Games, Humor

A surveying team stops passers-by and asks for help. The victims just have to hold a pole and walk down an alley.  Easy, but unknown to the helpful victims, a crowd of “protesters” quietly sneak up behind the victim.

Political protests sometimes get out of control and intense. Imagine being stuck between a rowdy crowd and the police. Some prank!  The expressions on the victims’ faces are priceless.



So You Think You’ll Get Free Health Insurance? by The Elephant's Child
September 27, 2009, 2:32 am
Filed under: Economy, Health Care, Law | Tags: , ,

Are you one of those healthy young adults who has chosen to go without health insurance? Not for long. The Baucus bill will charge you a $1800 “fee” for not buying health insurance. Violators of this requirement could be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty, according to a handwritten note sent by the Chief of Staff Tom Barthold of the Joint Committee on Taxation to Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.).

Democrats are uninterested in any free market solutions to holding down the costs of healthcare, so it is imperative that they have all healthy young adults buying insurance. Lots of people paying who make no real demands on medical care.

The theory is that and cutting Medicare will help to pay for all the added costs.The Medicare cuts — cutting reimbursement to doctors and hospitals and other service providers — will simply raise the cost of everyone else’s health care through cost shifting. And rationing, of course.  People like to claim that there is rationing now, and it is true that there are some drugs deemed to expensive if there is an alternate, and treatments deemed too new and untested. But that is not the kind of rationing that will be coming in a government run program.

The theory isn’t going to work anyway.



The Cardboard Cut-out President? by American Elephant
September 25, 2009, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Humor, Politics | Tags: ,

This video of an immovable Obama with 130 UN delegates has others wondering if the White House sent a cardboard cutout to the UN in the president’s stead. Watch his face, his lips, and his eyes. They are completely plastic. Only the position of the camera changes. I submit that the shadows are too realistic for a cardboard cutout. Perhaps they borrowed the president’s wax doppelganger from Madame Tussaud’s. In Times Square, its less than 2 miles away from the UN…

I’m inclined to believe it’s the real deal. After all, it’s what he does! He speaks and he poses, speaks and poses, speaks and poses — while others govern. Speaking and posing could very well be his only expertise. I suspect he has just mastered the art of the phony smile so thoroughly that he has taken his to this whole new level — Stepford President.

What do you think?

(h/t Hot Air)



Ghengis Khan and the Supply-Side Revolution. by The Elephant's Child
September 25, 2009, 3:27 am
Filed under: Economy, Foreign Policy, News | Tags: , ,

Mongolia

The world financial crisis hit Mongolia as well as the rest of the world. Everyone had to tighten their belts a bit, from camel drivers to horse herders.  Mongolia has a wealth of natural resources in copper, gold, silver and high-quality coal.  They thought they had the answer in 2006, when the legislature in Ulan Bator, the Great Hural, slapped a 68 percent windfall profits tax on copper exports, at $2,600 or above  a ton.  Gold exports they taxed at $500 an ounce or above, and settled back to watch the money flow in.

Not only did it not flow in, mining companies shut down their operations, gold was smuggled out of the country, and foreign investors vanished.  Then the boom times ended and the global financial crisis hit too.

The Great Hural borrowed a page from the supply-side notebook, and scrapped the tax.  Money is now flowing into the country.  Mining companies like Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines and Australian Rio Tinto are expected to sign a major deal to exploit the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine.  The government would receive a $250 million advance against future royalties and taxes.

Tavan Tolgoi, the world’s largest undeveloped coal deposit with 6.5 billion tons of coal, may be the next project.  A consortium of Russian energy companies and other mining companies have submitted bids.

There is much more to do.  Corruption is endemic, amd officials at every level of society are on the take.  Education needs to be modernized so that Mongolians can supply their own financial expertise and business skills to support the economy.  Dumping the windfall profits tax is a good start.

Do you think our Congress might take a lesson from the Mongolians?




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