American Elephants


The Eternal Battle Between Left and Right. by The Elephant's Child

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Trying to succinctly describe the differences between the American Left and the American Right is a long-running and fascinating  game for both parties. Liberals, as I often note, have told us specifically that they do not have principles—meaning they are not stuck with some old-fashioned, worn-out principles as a guide to how to behave. That is not intended as a compliment. They react, they say, to events, responding on a case by case basis. Much more noble.

Republicans do have principles which they believe are time-tested and proven to be effective and useful in human life. Things like equality of opportunity, free markets and free people, and small government. Those principles serve as a guide to actions, and research into how things work are a better guide to satisfactory policies.

Liberals react to things emotionally. For example, a UPI piece from Pew Research on the “Global Attitudes Project”poll says:

A new poll offers details on the way citizens of the world think about climate change, and U.S. participants are looking particularly ignorant to the risks of global warming. Only one in four Americans said climate change was a “major threat,” making the U.S. the least concerned nation. (emphasis added)

If we disagree with the “consensus” we must be ignorant. But nobody checks to see if there actually is a “consensus” among scientists. Emotional response.  No, there actually is no consensus.  And “consensus” isn’t science.

Here’s another from Investors, today: “For the Left, ‘Children’ Are the Battering Ram to Force Amnesty.”

Immigration: The White House and open-borders lobby have stepped up pressure for amnesty by painting the migrant tsunami as a flood of toddlers. But a Pew study, citing Border Patrol data, shows that more than half the entrants are teenage males.  (emphasis added)

Here’s another example from Investors, by Robert Samuelson: Although a man of the Left, he suggests “To Keep corporations Here, Why Not Cut Their Taxes?”

Corporate America’s latest public-relations disaster comes under the banner “tax inversion,” where a U.S. company shifts its legal headquarters to a country with a lower tax rate.

He goes on to show how Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and President Obama have charged the corporations as lacking in “economic patriotism.” Emotional response. Make a law against them. Keep them from doing so. Far better would be to reduce the corporate tax to something close to the normal corporate tax among industrialized nations. We do have the highest corporate tax in the world. Their first and only response is to prevent corporations from what is a valid business decision.

ObamaCare was a program built on emotion. Liberals thought that we should offer everyone free health care like European states did. Everyone would be so grateful to Liberals for that gift that they would forever vote Liberals into power. They looked at Britain’s way of controlling expense by limiting the costs of old folks in their final years, and loved it. No old geezer should be able to have a hugely expensive operation when they might have only months to live anyway. But they never looked into the way the program really worked in Britain, or Canada, or France or Germany. Their bright ideas don’t work. What were expected to be money savers aren’t. Tom Sowell stated the whole problem simply and clearly:

It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.

They imposed ideas they thought would save money, or be especially popular, or would give them more control, but they didn’t check how those ideas work in the real world, they just rushed it through on pure emotion and are astounded at the complaints from doctors, patients, insurance companies, hospitals and suppliers. And it’s all falling apart.

Wind and solar energy are emotional responses to perceived evils of fossil fuels. Wind and solar energy are presumed to be free because they are “natural.” But a turbine only turns at the right speed to produce energy when the wind is at the right speed. But the wind is intermittent, and requires 24/7 backup from a conventional power source, which makes the energy produced expensive, and slight. And it kills way too many birds. Eagles may become endangered  if the kill rate continues. If subsidies are removed, wind is not worthwhile.

Solar is about the same problem. You only get energy with 24/7 backup, because clouds cause problems. Solar energy is too diffuse, unavailable at night, and in some locations simply fries birds in flight. If subsidies are removed, it’s not worthwhile. These things were known before the big investments in wind and solar, but emotional attachment to “free energy” trumped common sense.

Over and over you will find Liberals responding to or devising policy based on their feelings about the subject. They don’t do their homework, and they don’t think through the unintended consequences. They don’t seem to understand incentives.

Republicans don’t always get their policies right, and unintended consequences come back and bite them. Human beings are complicated and not only don’t agree on everything, but often don’t agree on much. There are lots of differing opinions in the big tent we hope to have, and creating successful policies to help Americans and their allies and enemies to do things that turn out well is not easy, and results are not always a success. But if we work with an open mind and an inclusive attitude, and an appreciation for human folly, we might not do too badly if we do our homework.



The Recipe for a Speech — Any Speech. by The Elephant's Child

(h/t: Washington Free Beacon)



World Turmoil Unseen Since the Seventies. Now What? by The Elephant's Child

A Wall Street Journal’s front page article on Monday said politely “Obama Contends With Arc of Instability Unseen Since 70s.” “A convergence of security crises is playing out around the globe from the Palestinian territories and Iraq to Ukraine and the South Chin Sea, posing a serious challenge to President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and reflecting a world in which U .S. global power seems increasingly tenuous.”

The breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s, U.S. security strategists say, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, revolutionary Islamists took power in Iran, and Southeast Asia was reeling in the wake of the U.S. exit from Vietnam.

In the past month alone, the U.S. has faced twin civil wars in Iraq and Syria, renewed fighting between Israel and the Palestinians, an electoral crisis in Afghanistan and ethnic strife on the edge of Russia, in Ukraine.

Bewildered leftists say that he promised to end the War in Iraq, and wind down the war in Afghanistan and he did. He fulfilled his campaign promises. But there is ending and ending. I don’t know if anyone voted for Obama because he said he would end the War in Iraq. They voted for Hope and Change, and fancy theatrics and a litany of carefully crafted meaningless phrases.

Foreign policy is hard, and the big things may be controlled by the little things like personalities, and ego as well as deep knowledge and understanding of the history and culture of a country. Obama wasn’t much interested in foreign policy. He seems to have had in mind simply being the anti-Bush. Bush made wars, he would make peace. Bush had a muscular presence in the world and emphasized American strength. Obama wanted us to be just a nation among other nations, and let other nations deal with stuff. Obama found his national security briefings boring and quit going.

He yanked our people out of Iraq too abruptly and failed to establish a status of forces agreement to help prepare the Iraqi army for just what is happening now. The countries in Eastern Europe didn’t get their missile defense. Obama said in a May speech at West Point that the Obama foreign policy doctrine, would rely on U.S. leadership, but not troop deployments. Well, we’re not any good at the U.S. leadership business either, it seems.

A few meetings with Obama and Hillary’s “reset button” convinced Putin that nobody was likely to do anything, so he went right ahead to annex Crimea. The allies who had relied on America to prevent Russia’s ambitions lost confidence in American action as well. The Taliban got their leaders back. Obama drew a Red Line in Syria, and then erased it. The Arab Spring was misunderstood from the beginning, and the administration fell for the Muslim Brotherhood’s claim to Egypt. The feckless John Kerry has been trying to solve the problems of the Middle East by forcing Israel to give more land to the Palestinian terrorists. The Chinese, watching our military downsize, have decided to upsize theirs and are vigorously growing their navy and submarine fleet and flexing their muscles in the South China Sea.

And there is the self-declared new Caliphate, now encircling Baghdad, another surprise to the administration, and our negotiations with Iran go on. We want assurances, they are happy to give assurances. We seem unable to learn that deception is a way of life in the Middle East, and expect an agreement to be worked out that will enable them to have all the sanctions lifted.To call it all an “Arc of Instability” is perhaps the understatement of the year. But the stakes have never been higher.

Jonathan Karl lists some of the “instabilities.” Obama, we are told, no longer talks to anyone but Valerie Jarrett and Michelle. We are in the best of hands.



Nevermind the Fire, That Truck Might Be Emitting CO2! by The Elephant's Child

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The president has asked Congress for an additional $3.7 billion to “comprehensively address this urgent humanitarian situation” at the border. The request includes $615 million for emergency wildfire suppression activities operations starting in 2015.

Fire season is upon us, and there are fires burning in California, Oregon and Washington state, but perhaps, the Wall Street Journal says, the Obama administration could start by getting its own agencies off the firefighters’ backs. The Defense Department has had a fit of environmental consciousness which is disrupting disaster efforts in peak wildfire season.

The Pentagon decided to suspend the program that supplies federal equipment to states for fighting wildfires. DOD suspended the program because the equipment did not meet the latest federal emissions standards. Emissions? in the case of wildfires? Emitting, spewing CO² by the ton and they are worried the EPA will come after them for tailpipes that aren’t up to date? Forest fires are major air-polluting events. You can see and smell the smoke for miles and miles.

There are two programs, the Federal Excess Personal Property Program and the Firefighter Property Program that each year loan local firefighting units more than $150 million of equipment that the federal government no longer needs. Involved are trucks, pumps, generators, engine parts and are a lifeline for small all-volunteer fire departments that can’t afford $500,000 for a new tanker. The vast majority of the wildfires that local units fight are on public lands.

The DOD suspended the transfer of trucks and generators, many of which were made for the military with diesel engines that don’t meet the EPA’s latest emissions standards. The Defense Logistics Agency realized they weren’t abiding by a decades-old agreement with the EPA to abide by the standards of the Clean Air Act. So naturally they just suspended the program.

Well, enormous outcry, forests burning, the DOD decided the EPA grants a “national-security” exception to the standards rules for transferred military equipment. The agencies have decided the  program restart should come with —new regulations— including the requirement that local firefighters track and return every piece of equipment so the feds can destroy them.

Good grief. Don’t let a diesel truck emit any carbon while fighting a thousand-acre forest fire. Priorities. The Bureaucrat is required to follow the rules of the bureaucracy, and not ask annoying questions. When it gets this bad, you know the government is too big to function.



“I’m Not Interested in Photo Ops, I’m interested in Solving Problems.” by The Elephant's Child

The country is concerned about this influx at the border. “Concerned” is perhaps too much a State Department word. The people are very worried, for it seems like it’s out of control and getting worse. So it was a little shocking for most of us yesterday when the president was urged by so many to go down to the border, and he got all snarky:

Jeh Johnson has now visited, at my direction, the border five times.  He’s going for a sixth this week.  He then comes back and reports to me extensively on everything that’s taking place.  So there’s nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on.This isn’t theater.  This is a problem.  I’m not interested in photo ops; I’m interested in solving a problem.

That was fascinating to the media, who are quite familiar with the president’s penchant for photo-ops and more than ready to poke fun. The very earnest press secretary, Josh Earnest,  said “His view is that solving problems is most important, and solving problems is what the president was doing when he was in  Dallas on Wednesday. It’s also what the president has been doing over the last several weeks.”

Well, not exactly. He was mostly there for a significant number of fundraisers to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, just in Texas, mostly at $32,400 a pop.

Back when Mr. Obama was a senator running for the presidency, Richard Epstein, who knew him at U. Chicago and through his next door neighbor who is one of Obama’s closest friends, said that Obama had the most perfect character for a politician—he is in complete control of himself. He wants to be in control of his situation. That’s why he always speaks with a teleprompter. Why photographs of the president are always to be taken by the president’s photographer and released to the press. The press cannot take pictures any more. And that’s why photo-ops are to be under White House control, and favorable to the president. Remember the photo of the President, ‘alone’ in the Oval Office, observing a solemn moment of silence?

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This particular photo released by the White House shows the president deep in thought in the Green Room, pondering terrorists running wild in Iraq beheading people and capturing those non-existent WMD, or perhaps he’s trying to decide what he wants for dinner. But why would he leave the Oval Office to go to another room, lean against a red chair, so fetching against the green walls, with the light from the window just right on his somber face? Because he wants the public to see how concerned he is. Photos are powerful.

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This one, for example, won the last election for him. The exit polls showed that his concern about Hurricane Sandy damage was what swung the election, and this photo went viral. People thought it meant that President Obama “cares about people like me.”  Of course he was promising marina owner Donna Vanzant, whose marina had just been destroyed, help from FEMA, and he would help, but of course that never happened. Photos are powerful. And Obama likes to be in control of the situation.

His is, however, noticeably intent on not being pictured with OTM illegal unaccompanied alien children. This administration’s effort is to get the DREAM Act that Congress refused to pass, passed by a surprising and unexpected (?) massive influx of kids, unaccompanied minors, mothers with children, gang members and some Chinese kids and maybe a bunch of terrorists. (They have found Muslim prayer shawls next to the border.)

I think this is, like “Fast and Furious,” the gun-running scheme that went so far astray and killed a Border Patrol agent, and hundreds of Mexicans, in the effort to get gun control, was an effort by the administration to get the immigrants from Central America who will, in time, be loyal Democrat voters, into the country. That picture in the free “ObamaShoes” is clearly meant to show where the pending amnesty came from., to those who don’t speak the language.



The President Met With Governor Perry. Perry-1, Obama-0. by The Elephant's Child

Texas Governor Rick Perry met with President Obama today in Dallas. After the meeting he released the following statement.

DALLAS – Gov. Rick Perry today met with President Barack Obama to discuss the ongoing humanitarian and national security crises occurring along the Texas-Mexico border. In the meeting, Gov. Perry urged the president to undertake the necessary steps to secure the border and ease the crises.

“Five hundred miles south of here in the Rio Grande Valley there is a humanitarian crisis unfolding that has been created by bad public policy, in particular the failure to secure the border,” Gov. Perry said. “Securing the border is attainable, and the president needs to commit the resources necessary to get this done.”

Among the requests Gov. Perry made to President Obama to secure the border:

  • Visit the Texas-Mexico border to witness firsthand the impact of the border crisis;
  • Deploy an additional 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to immediately enhance border security operations;
  • Direct the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the National Guard to utilize Predator drones along the Texas-Mexico border for identifying and tracking human and drug trafficking;
  • Medically screen all illegal immigrants to ensure their health and the health of our citizens;
  • Direct the Centers for Disease Control or another appropriate federal agency outside the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct, in conjunction with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), inspections of facilities in which illegal immigrants, including UACs, are being housed to ensure accepted international and national emergency sheltering standards are met;
  • Modify or rescind policies that serve as a magnet to encourage illegal immigration, including:
  • DHS Catch and Release policies by which DHS issues an illegal immigrant an NTA before an immigration judge and releases them. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that 33 percent of those released on their own recognizance failed to appear in FY 2013.
  • Deportation policies and procedures that prohibit UACs from countries other than Mexico and Canada from being immediately repatriated back to their country of origin. After DHS processes these UACs, they are issued an NTA and delivered to a sponsor or relative in the United States, regardless of the relative’s immigration status.
The president said “Right now, there are more Border Patrol agents and surveillance resources on the ground than at any time in our history.  And we deport almost 400,000 migrants each year.” Which is not quite accurate. We have really boosted the funding for the Border Patrol, but according to reports, most of the Border Patrol agents have been called from the border to processing the UAC (Unaccompanied Alien Children), and the border is essentially wide open.
Obama, of course, takes responsibility only for the good things, and the problem at the border is, somehow, the uncooperative Republicans. It would all go smoothly if we had more administrative judges,more administrative capacity and lots more money.
We’ve asked Jeh Johnson to contact his head of Health and Human Services when he comes down for the sixth time at the end of this week to coordinate and make sure that some of the suggestions that the Governor has are technically feasible and what kind of resources might be needed. But what I emphasized to the Governor was the problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem.  The challenge is, is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done.
Another way of putting it — and I said this directly to the Governor — is are folks more interested in politics, or are they more interested in solving the problem?  If they’re interested in solving the problem, then this can be solved.  If the preference is for politics, then it won’t be solved.

The president was asked why he won’t visit the border. He said:

Jeh Johnson has now visited, at my direction, the border five times.  He’s going for a sixth this week.  He then comes back and reports to me extensively on everything that’s taking place.  So there’s nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on.This isn’t theater.  This is a problem.  I’m not interested in photo ops; I’m interested in solving a problem.

Obama has asked for $3.8 billion to feed, house and clothe something like 50,000 UAC, but then as soon as they are “processed” they are put on a bus to take them to their “relatives,” and only 20% will ever turn up for their deportation hearing. Senator Coburn said you could send them all back home, first class air to Guatemala City for just $20 million. So somebody has some problems with math.

What has drawn the sudden influx of unaccompanied alien children, is President Obama’s very own “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA), This was created with an executive order. Obama could rescind it any time he wants. Yet he says now that he cannot act without Congress.



About the Humanitarian Crisis, Not Entirely What You Think! by The Elephant's Child

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Townhall reports that at least 16 unaccompanied illegal minors under the age of 18 are members of the brutal El Salvadorian street gang Mara Salvatrucha—or MS-13. Gang graffiti has been found on the walls of the Nogales Border Patrol processing center, which suggests ties to the organization.

Clearly, those who have been caught by the Border Patrol probably don’t have the highly visible gang tattoos which make identification so much easier. The members identified at Nogales included 13 El Salvadoran males, two Guatemalan males and one Honduran male, who have readily admitted to their gang associations.

MS-13 is “one of the foremost players in [El Salvador's] thriving human-trafficking industry,”according to InsightCrime, says Investors.  The U.S. Southern Command estimates the gang—originally formed in Los Angeles during the Civil War in El Salvador in the 1980s, numbers around 70,000.

Aside from border trafficking, which is highly profitable at $7,000 per victim, they are involved in assaults, homicides and torture using firearms, machetes or blunt objects. Much of the violence in our cities is committed by Mara Salvatrucha. They often target middle and high school students for recruitment. Members are usually over age 11, but under 21.

“Ground zero,” according to Investors, “is El Salvador, which has shipped as much as a third of its population to the U.S. and relies on their remittances for 16% of the nations GDP.” No wonder they are not helpful when we ask for their assistance in keeping their own kids at home.

It has been reported that these MS-13 members, are being held for placement inside the United States. They may be engaged in violent cartel and criminal activity, yet when processed by the Department of Human Services or Department of Homeland Security systems, they are treated as children. Which they are, but not quite what we usually think of as “children.”

But this is a “humanitarian crisis.” They are just kids. Where is your compassion?

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Where Is The Evidence That Obama Plans to Deport Them? by The Elephant's Child

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The surge of “unaccompanied children” from Central America is based on a realistic assessment of their chances of remaining in the United States. The records from ICE show that very few of the thousands who have crossed the border from October 1. 2013 to the end of April 2014 have been sent home.

In that period ICE took into custody 141,525 migrants who were caught by the Border Patrol and CBP port of entry inspectors. Of those, 33,959 were convicted criminals and 107,566 had no criminal convictions. The non-criminals turned over to ICE tracks with the number of OTM (other than Mexican) apprehended by the Border Patrol so far in FY 2014. By early June the number had reached 126,374 just in the Rio Grande Valley sector in south Texas. By 2013, fewer than 3,000 were deported.

The efforts to label these immigrants ‘refugees’ depends on the stories they have rehearsed. They cite poverty, unemployment, gang violence, but these problems are not new, but longstanding throughout Central America, and do not account for the tremendous surge in illegal immigration.   Federal officials have noticed an increase in pregnant unaccompanied girls. Many illegal immigrants have said they traveled to American believing the Obama administration would never deport them if they made it across the Mexico-U.S. border.

The White House said on Monday that they intend to deport most of these unaccompanied minors, but once the immigrant has given a phone number of the ‘cousin’ or ‘family member,’ they are released and put on a bus. Agents are not allowed to check the phone numbers to see if they belong to an illegal or inquire as to who is at that location. The migrants are ordered to promise that they will return in 15 days for their hearing. Only 20 percent ever return. The rest have disappeared into the general population.

More than half of legal and illegal immigrant households from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are receiving one form or another of major public assistance.

Obama has asked for $3.8 billion to house, feed, clothe and care for almost 30,000 illegal aliens for a full year. According to Ernest Istook, we could fly all  of them home for one half of one percent of the $3.8 billion that Obama proposes. Major savings. The official term in federal statute is “undocumented alien children.” The combined airfare for 29,358 passengers would be $19.6 million from McAllen Texas to Guatemala City. There is no federal law that requires officials to drag their feet on deporting the thousands of adults newly arrived from Central America.

Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Meet the Press that the top priority is “doing right by the children.” The law actually states the top priority is to safely repatriate those children to their country of origin.

The White House may “intend” to deport most of these unaccompanied minors, but it sounds like when the hearings are held, few of them will turn up, and it will be a matter of an inability to find them. All this secrecy is clearly hiding something. The only way to dissuade potential illegal immigrants is with

We don’t know who has distributed these Obama shoes, but it’s clearly meant as a reminder of ?

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Just a Simple Question. Please, Just a Straight Answer. by The Elephant's Child

Secretary Jeh Johnson is the new chief of Homeland Security. This morning David Gregory tried to get a straight answer to a simple question about the influx of illegal immigrants on the Southern border.

“Will the Illegal Children Be Deported?”



In Your Words, Mr. President, “That’s Not How a Democracy Works!” by The Elephant's Child

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From Breitbart:

May 10, 2011. President Barack Obama spoke about immigration reform at Chamizal National Memorial Park in El Paso, TX. In that speech he vowed to “keep up the fight” to pass comprehensive reform through Congress.

“Sometimes when I talk to immigration advocates, they wish I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself, but that’s not how a democracy works,” Obama said. “What we really need to do is to keep up the fight to pass genuine, comprehensive reform. That is the ultimate solution to this problem. That’s what I’m committed to doing.”

That was then, this is now: Monday in the White House rose garden Obama vowed to do everything in his power to bypass Congress on immigration law saying he was starting”a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.

From The Daily Caller:

The vast majority of 50,000 unaccompanied youths and children who have illegally crossed the Texas border during the last few months have been successfully delivered by federal agencies to their relatives living in the United States, according to a New York Times article.

A second New York Times article report revealed that officials have caught an additional 240,000 Central American migrants since April, and are transporting many of them to their destinations throughout the United States.

The 290,000 illegals — so far — are exploiting legal loopholes that allow them to get temporary permits to stay in the United States.

Top immigration officials have chosen not to check if the relatives or parents who pick up the children are in the country legally.



Redistribution Doesn’t Work, And American’s Know It. by The Elephant's Child

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Here’s a great Fourth of July weekend message for Americans:

The White House has all but abandoned a message
of income inequality it had focused on last year.
It turns out Americans are not moved by the topic
and prefer a message based on opportunity.

This is a very big deal indeed. Barack Obama has called income inequality a “fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life and what we stand for around the globe.” This is a burning issue for liberals. They depend on class envy, hatred for the rich, compassion for the poor, and the never-ending leftist effort to make everybody equal — except for the wise experts who will run everything, of course. And ordinary Americans just don’t care. They would rather have more jobs and more opportunity.

In 2013, income inequality was the top narrative for the White House, but they abruptly switched away from it. Democratis strategists and their pollsters concluded that they should focus less on the wealth gap and more on emphasizing that all Americans shoud have economic “opportunity” to get ahead or a “fair shot”. Oh yes, we remember Mr. Obama’s constant refrain about “an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.” Another iteration of equality.

Last year White House political research showed that income inequality was a wonky term that did not always resonate with voters, but Obama insisted on speaking about it anyway.

That focus culminated in a December speech in a low-income neighborhood in Southeast Washington, where he referenced inequality 26 times and discussed academic findings on the gap between the wealthy and the poor.

“He wasn’t particularly interested in knowing whether that was a good economic message,” said one person familiar with the process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss private conversations. “He wanted to sound alarm and put voice behind that.”

But as 2014 loomed, White House strategists concluded that inequality was not registering with voters on its own.

It’s the phrase, you see. “Income inequality ” doesn’t have a ‘personal immediacy’ and there are other things that are much more immediate and tangible and more real to people. It’s a matter of getting the right phrase. What they want, of course, are more taxes on wealthier Americans in order to give more benefits to poorer Americans. It’s just a matter of figuring out what phrases will be most compelling. It is a matter of feelings — what will resonate with voters emotionally. They will test a variety of words and phrases to see what resonates.

What they will not do is investigate to what extent inequality matters. “Claims about the supposed harm done by rising income inequality are rarely substantiated, and a comprehensive read of the evidence as to inequality’s consequences offers little cause for alarm.”

Income inequality is a thing of graphs, charts and statistics. Politicans look at the statistics and are sure that it represents dire circumstances for the poor and nasty greed of the wealthy. They create remedies based on statistics that represent an average across the country,and try to legislate a correction. Fifty years ago Lyndon Johnson began a $20 trillion War on Poverty. Fifty years later, the overall percentage of impoverished people in the U.S. has declined only 2 percent. When the War on Poverty began, about 6 percent of children were born outside of marrige. Today it is 42 percent and a catastrophe. The incentives of welfare encourage recipients to stay on welfare forever, and that creates a pathology of crime, drugs, incarceration.

Income inequality has not gone away as a goal of the Left. It is merely seeking a new disguise. Just another shift in the permanent effort of the Left to make everybody equal — except for the ruling class of wise experts who will direct and control everything. A growing economy offers opportunity for all.



Words, Dictionaries, Democrats and Demagogues by The Elephant's Child

(Reposted from 2013)

Theoretically, we share a common vocabulary, and with a dictionary handy to look up the big words, we shouldn’t have too much trouble understanding each other. That’s a sentence that can be shot down in nothing flat. Conservatives and Liberals often do not speak the same language. Conservatives refer to their principles and try to say what they mean fairly effectively. Liberals don’t have principles, (they have told us so) and respond to events on a circumstantial basis. However, Liberals are far more careful with their choice of words — they have talking points.

I don’t know just how this works, I assume they have a word shop over at the Center for American Progress where cubicles of scribes pick ‘the word’ in response to the current event.

For example, a Colorado recall election just booted two Legislators out of office: John Morse, who was president of the senate, and Angela Giron, from a heavily Democratic district, both of whom were behind a gun control measure. They were heavily financed by Bloomberg’s Governors for Gun Control bunch. When they were recalled by a substantial vote, Democrats were shocked.

DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz quickly announced that it was “voter suppression.” Defeated senator Angela Giron went on CNN to whine extensively, all but bursting into tears, claiming over and over that it was “voter suppression.” This is not a coincidence. Democrats come up with good, powerful, words, which are issued as talking points.

This is why Democrats stopped being “liberals” and became “progressives” instead. The word “liberal” had become tainted with sleazy politics, and “progressive” was associated with “progress” as in the century-old administration of Woodrow Wilson.

This is why so many Democrat ideas are expressed in very effective bumper-stickers, and why Republicans have trouble explaining economic realities. The question is “minimum wage,” Democrats respond “living wage” while Republicans patiently explain that the minimum wage is meant for beginning workers, who usually get promoted in 6 months, and raising the minimum means more teens and beginners out of work. It’s really hard to compete with simple and emotional.

A particularly interesting word is demagoguery. Demagoguery is an appeal to people that plays on their emotions and prejudices rather than on their rational side.

Demagoguery is a manipulative approach — often associated with dictators and sleazy politicians — that appeals to the worst nature of people. Demagoguery isn’t based on reason, issues, and doing the right thing, it’s based on stirring up fear and hatred to control people. For example, a politician who stirs up a fear of immigrants to distract from other issues is using demagoguery. Demagoguery is one of the most negative aspects of politics, but it’s also one that’s all too common.

Every politician has a bit of the demagogue in them, it’s just a matter of degree. Adherents of each party are apt to refer to their opposite number as a demagogue, so the word is used freely and carelessly. Yet there is a clear definition, and there are clear examples of skillful demagoguery:

This is the most outstanding example of a pure appeal to the emotions and prejudices I have ever seen. It is not based on reason or the issues, or doing the right thing. It’s all feelings. If you look for meaning — there is no meaning there. “Change we can believe in” What is it you are changing? “We are the change we seek” What does that mean? “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Huh? “Yes we can.” Can what? This is ‘call and response’ borrowed from black preachers. “We are the hope of the future.” “That we cannot remake this world as it should be.”

Barack Obama said — nothing, nothing at all. There is not one specific in the entire speech, at best only a vague “our house cannot stand divided.” He said “A hymn that will heal the world,”and he has his audience in the palm of his hand, wildly cheering “Yes we Can” without the slightest idea of what it is that they Can. This is a masterful demonstration of how to arouse and manipulate an audience. It will go down in history as the perfect definition of demagoguery.

We, ladies and gentlemen, were had.




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