American Elephants


Who Are The Extremists, Indeed? by The Elephant's Child

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Andrew Kohut is founding director and former president of the Pew Research Center. He served as president of the Gallup Organization from 1979 to 1989. Pew is a very liberal organization.

He says: “The recent polarization of American politics has been far more obvious on the right than the left. The emergence of the tea party movement and its influence in Congress has brought to the fore political values that are more conservative than the average voter.”

Democrats have been unusually frightened by the Tea Party. They are unaccustomed to Republicans carrying signs and flags and demonstrating. Demanding that the Constitution be followed and honored. Republicans don’t normally do that sort of thing, so they must be radical rightists. “Radical Right”is a term that immediately calls up the epithet “racist” from Democrats because the Republicans are obviously the party of, um, abolition, freeing the slaves, making sure that blacks are treated as citizens and given the right to vote, desegregating the schools, and passing the civil rights bill. Democrats are the party of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, Segregation, the “Solid South,” the Dixiecrats, Bull Connor, poll taxes, lynching, and burning crosses, so naturally they call everyone else “racist.” They’ve even gone so far as to try to convince blacks that Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat.

The Tea Party is remarkably scary. They gather together with flags with snakes on them, and sing and have a good time and clean up every scrap of litter after themselves. Scary!

Tea-Party

Mr. Kohut continues: “Polarization is not a one-way street. While Republicans have become more conservative, Democrats have grown more liberal. The Pew Research Center’s values surveys, spanning 1987 to 2012, show that Democrats as a whole have moved to the left in recent years. They are much more socially liberal than they were even a decade ago, more supportive of an activist government, more in favor of increased regulation of business. Under the more centrist Obama administration, the leftward movement of Democratic voters has been of limited political consequence.” (Isn’t it wonderful how completely oblivious Liberals can be?) How could anyone suggest that the Obama administration is “centrist?”

Only 34 percent of Democrats called themselves liberal, compared with  63 percent identifying as moderate or conservative. In contrast, conservatives are a clear majority (67 percent) in the GOP while self-described moderate and liberal Republicans make up just 32 percent of the party. This might ensure that Democrats will not be come identified as an extremist party like the GOP.

First, in-depth Pew Research surveys find that many liberals are cynical about achievement. Most don’t agree with the statement that “people can get ahead if they work hard,” and relatively few fully agree that they admire people who have become rich through hard work.

Second, liberals give low priority to dealing with the budget deficit, a major concern for much of the electorate, and they are the only political segment that expresses majority support for paying higher prices for the sake of the environment.

Third, liberals are also significantly to the left of the rest of the Democratic Party on social issues. Unlike other Democrats, few liberals say prayer is an important part of their lives, most strongly favor same-sex marriage, nearly all support abortion rights, and a majority support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

And fourth, on foreign policy, most liberals reject the idea that the best way to ensure peace is through military strength; unlike other Democrats, a majority would find it acceptable if another country became as militarily powerful as the United States.

Well, there you go, that’s what Liberals believe. If you want to make a liberal really indignant,just remind them that the Nazi’s were socialists.

TeaParty



Obama Delivers Dead-On-Arrival Budget a Month Late, and Lies About It. by The Elephant's Child

Barack Obama

The President’s budget — released a month late, in the midst of a faltering, dismal economy, and amid rising global threats — and, he claims, in the midst of “an era of austerity”— he actually proposes a budget that would sharply cut defense spending and impose $1.8 trillion in tax hikes.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha. This is a budget request, and it demonstrates that Obama is not much connected to reality, which is worrisome.

His budget rests on the assumption that real GDP growth this year will be 3.1%/ The Congressional Budget Office suggests 2.7% and the consensus in the financial sector is for 2.5%.

He expects us to believe that — all evidence to the contrary — he can add $100 billion in spending on top of the “baseline” this year and next, but then he’ll get serious about spending restraint as he prepares to leave office.

The federal government is more than $17 trillion in debt. Obama’s budget proposal does nothing, nothing at all, to reduce that debt. Instead it adds hundreds of billions of dollars to it every year. The president’s rosiest economic projections say the budget would add $8.3 billion to the national debt, otherwise more. Obama says:

This budget adheres to the spending principles members of both Houses of Congress have already agreed to.

President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 into law on December 26,2013, a little more than two months ago. His budget breaks the spending caps by $56 billion in 2015, and by $791 billion over the ten years of the budget proposal. His budget will increase total spending by 63 percent from today’s levels over the next decade.

President Obama’s budget never balances — ever!

He wants to plow more money into repairing crumbling roads and bridges and into rail projects. He really doesn’t change his mind, does he.

He claims that his budget “ensures we maintain read, modern and capable defense forces to address any threats we might face, including threats from terrorism and cyberattacks.”Yet the only part of the government that sees real spending cuts is defense, which he wants to cut back to pre-World War II levels. Defense cuts  of $1.14 trillion over the next decade account for more than half of his proposed $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction. I think we’re in “shovel-ready job territory” here. Roughly half of the new taxes go to new spending rather than deficit reduction.

President Obama’s plan nearly quadruples interest costs — the fastest growing item in the budget. Interest this year will be $223 billion but would rise to $812 billion in ten years.

I’m pretty much done with these promises of, although we’re not reducing the debt by much this time, but —in the future it will be different. Uh huh.

Did you know that Barbara Boxer (D-CA) was an Economics major?



Doing Battle With the Establishment! by The Elephant's Child
March 4, 2014, 6:36 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, National Security

One blog I particularly like is The Diplomad 2.0. The author is a former foreign service officer who has served all over the world. I first encountered him when the earthquake and tsunami struck Indonesia in 2004 and he was right in the middle of it. He always has something pertinent to say about foreign policy, and I particularly liked these excerpts:

Our “leaders” are simply not to be taken seriously on critical foreign policy issues. They have no overall strategic aim for our foreign policy; no clear idea where they want us to be in three, four, five years; simply put they don’t really care about foreign policy. They react to crises with bland words, and by wishing them away into the cornfield with the help of the compliant media. Whatever happened to the urgency of the Syrian crisis?

As I wrote in July of last year,

My experience at State and the NSC, has shown me that < . . . > [f]oreign policy for the Obama crew is an afterthought. They really have little interest in it; many key jobs went vacant for months at State, DOD, CIA, and the NSC. The Obama foreign policy team is peopled by the “well-educated,” i.e., they have college degrees, and as befits the “well educated” in today’s America, they are stunningly ignorant and arrogant leftists, but mostly just idiots. They do not make plans; they tend to fly by the seat of their pants using a deeply ingrained anti-US default setting for navigation. They react to the Beltway crowd of NGOs, “activists” of various stripes, NPR, the Washington Post and the New York Times. Relying on what they “know,” they ensure the US does not appear as a bully, or an interventionist when it comes to our enemies: after all, we did something to make them not like us. Long-term US allies < . . . > they view as anti-poor, anti-Third World, and retrograde Cold Warriors. Why else would somebody befriend the US? Obama’s NSC and State are staffed with people who do not know the history of the United States, and, simply, do not understand or appreciate the importance of the United States in and to the world. They are embarrassed by and, above all, do not like the United States. They look down on the average American, and <. . . > have no problem with anti-American regimes and personages because overwhelmingly they are anti-American themselves.

The path to a real foreign policy rebirth begins at home.

[O]ur goal should be, a government in which 95%-98% of the time it makes no difference to the average American citizen who is president. The US President should matter more to foreigners than to Americans. Except for foreign policy, national defense, times of national crisis, and providing a very broad economic vision, it should not matter who controls the White House. That means keep the government out of as many areas as possible, and where it has been involved deeply and for a long time, try to push the responsibility and resources out to the states, counties, cities, and people.

He adds: Our presidency was not designed to run the country— anybody who thinks that has not read the Constitution. The executive branch is not the country. The president must concentrate on the executive branch and the main tasks assigned it by the Constitution. Do read the whole thing. He makes a lot of sense.



We’re Always Suckers for Pictures of Cute Baby Elephants! by The Elephant's Child
March 4, 2014, 6:40 am
Filed under: Entertainment, Freedom, Heartwarming

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And this new little fellow certainly qualifies. (click to enlarge)




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