American Elephants


What Do You Do When Politics Trumps National Security? by The Elephant's Child

President Obama , back from vacation and the labor day holiday, remains — what? Uninvolved? Unconcerned? No, his primary concern is politics, which trumps lesser concerns like beheadings, invasions, genocides and other minor concerns. Funniest headline yesterday came from The Federalist: If You Are Not Using the Presidency, Do You Mind If We Borrow It?  Obama’s is not an activist presidency, but a  v e r y  s l o w  reactive presidency, after all other possibilities have been thoroughly exhausted, and maybe not even then.

He ran for the job because he made a the keynote speech to the Democrat convention in 2004. He told the Democrats his (improved version) personal story and they loved it and cheered wildly, and he surely told himself that he was destined for such triumphs.  And the speeches have worked for him. He has a great baritone voice (when he’s not complaining about Republicans or how hard he works), and the bits of folksy stuff, the dropped  ‘g’s’ , calling everybody ‘folks,’ and using black preacher’s rhythms.

But now, he’s slipped into sheer demagogurey. Everything he has done has been successful, and the country would be made whole if it weren’t for those dastardly Republicans who keep spoiling everything.

Reminder: The 113th House of Representatives, has passed 297 bills, the previous 112th passed 301. The 113th Democrat Senate, under Majority Leader Harry Reid has passed 59 bills, the fewest number since 1972. Who is obstructing whom?

Obama did several fundraisers over the weekend, and spoke to the big Union Laborfest event in Milwaukee, which was much more ‘folksy’ that the fundraising speech. He told them he’d been coming to laborfest since 2008, and two weeks later “our financial system collapsed.” He said he doesn’t believe in “top-down economics” (whatever that is) he believes in bottom-up economics (redistribution, take away money from the wealthy and give it to the poor, and this accomplishes what?), and “middle-class out” economics, (whatever that is).

I placed a bet on you.  I placed a bet on America’s workers. I put my money on American workers and the belief that our economy grows best when everybody has got a shot — when folks who are willing to work hard can get into the middle class and stay in the middle class.  And I’ve come back to Laborfest to say that because of your hard work, because of what we’ve been through together, that bet is starting to pay off.

That is sheer gobbledygook. He goes on to take credit for the energy boom, credit for our leadership in worldwide energy production. He takes credit for our wonderful economy and our economic recovery. And he did all this wonderfulness by getting every inch of progress  working against a “lockstep opposition that is opposed to everything we do.” This same weekend, a noted Keynesian economist said that we’re really in a depression.

Median household income is down by more than $2,000 in real terms since Obama has moved into the Oval Office, and dropped $1,600 since the recession formally ended 6 months later. Labor force participation has fallen by 3 percentage points, an added 7 million workers who are not even looking for work. “This is half the normal pace of recovery, and the weakest rebound since the Great Depression. “And Obama has added $7 trillion  to the national debt, with little to show for it, unless you count 46 million Americans on food stamps as an accomplishment.”

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has slashed its predictions for American economic growth in 2014. They forecast that the U.S. economy will grow by just 1.5 percent in 1014. That’s undermined by a poor performance during the first three months of the year. But that, of course, was blamed on the snow. Well, this is expected to be an even colder winter than last year.

President Obama seems to live in a fantasy world of his own concoction, or perhaps Valerie Jarrett’s. Everything’s fine except for the obstruction of the Republicans who won’t let him do anything important, which is why politics trumps national security, government transparency, immigration, failing government departments, whatever, and leaves him free to spend more time on the golf course. An increasingly desperate time for America.



Canada’s Lower Tax Rate Raises More Tax Revenue by The Elephant's Child

We previously nattered on about President Obama’s idea of “Economic Patriotism,” which only shows that the president has little understanding of business and how it operates. The Left is deeply suspicious of business, at least Big business, and often labors under the delusion that it would be far better without business, or with business more completely controlled by government, so they didn’t cause so much trouble and especially pay their executives so much.

All this came about through what has come to be called “inversions” or businesses’ choosing to locate their executive offices in other countries to lessen the corporate tax hit. The latest case is Burger King’s purchase of Canada’s Tim Horton’s chain of coffee and donut shops and plan to move their headquarters to Canada. How unpatriotic to attempt to evade America’s corporate taxes, the highest in the world. Um, Canada’s total tax costs are 46.4 percent lower than in the U.S. Why would Burger King want to move there? Canada has the most business-friendly tax policy in the world!

The one solution that would quickly solve the problem is quite simple. Cut or eliminate the corporate taxes, especially the tax on income earned abroad.  Inconceivable!  Lower taxes, and give up all that revenue when our economy is so slow? When we so desperately need more jobs? Canada lowered their taxes to help business out during a recession. But, but tax receipts! We must have more money!

How much tax revenue did Canada lose by the dramatic reduction in their corporate tax rate, from 43 percent in 2000 to 26 percent today?

Answer: None.

We have tried to tell you. Canada’s lower corporate tax rate raises more tax revenue.

According to OECD data, corporate tax revenue increased after Canada cut corporate tax rates beginning in 2000. Relieved of a crushing tax burden, corporations grow organically through lower start-up costs and reinvestment of after-tax earnings. They make more money, and the government gets more revenue. Works every time. It shouldn’t remain a mystery, and it certainly is not “Economic Patriotism,” which is just another of their clever talking points.

Democrats will attempt to use Economic Patriotism as an issue in the election this fall. Don’t be fooled. They just have no understanding of business. That’s why our economy drags along sluggishly while across the northern border Canada’s is booming.



The U.S Forest Service Has Issued Detailed Instructions on How to Roast Marshmallows. by The Elephant's Child

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Saturday was apparently National Roasted Marshmallow Day, who knew? Obviously must be a promotion by marshmallow makers. Nevertheless, the occasion brought forth a 700-word publication from the U.S. Forest Service on how to safely roast marshmallows.

Well, let’s take it as a given that the U.S. Forest Service is not real enthusiastic about campfires, and wants you to know how to put your campfire out properly. No problem. We don’t like forest fires either. So they want you to obey the rules for fire restrictions which are put in place for your safety.

I grew up in an era and place of weenie roasts, frequent and great fun.

If campfires are allowed, use an existing fire ring or pit. Be sure you are at least 15 feet from tent walls, trees or other flammable objects.

Most importantly, ensure you work closely with children and talk to them about fire danger, proper behavior and rules – then expect nothing less. No one knows how many children are burned in campfire incidents; however, you don’t need statistics to know precaution is a key to great camping experiences. Some experts advocate a 10-foot rule between young children and a campfire.

15074205215_a8b1d953c3 This is the Forest Service’s idea of wonderful childhood memories. Sigh. The bureaucrat who wrote this crap was clearly never a child. Then we get into all of Michelle’s ideas of what constitutes a reducing diet for fat kids. “Think fruit.”   Oh please. fruit is just pure sugar. The object of roasting marshmallows is not eating lots of marshmallows. I’m not sure it’s possible to eat lots of marshmallows. But they deem plain old marshmallows or s’mores as unsuitable for today’s children.

Another way to limit the amount of marshmallows used is to substitute them with marshmallow crème, a spreadable version of marshmallows that helps you more easily regulate portion. For healthier treats, use large strawberries, apple slices, banana chucks, pineapple or other fruit. Put a piece of fruit on a roasting stick, dip quickly in the crème and roast over indirect heat until a delicious golden brown. You’re still having campfire fun, but the focus is on a healthier evening snack.

A little common sense would be useful here. In High School or College, we did lots of weenie roasts, but “lots” translates to 2 or 3 a year, at most. You need good weather, reasonably warm, and a free weekend.  Summer camping trips with the kids, you don’t do marshmallow roasts every night. Even at summer camp for kids, every night is not s’mores night. Two or three occasions are not going to ruin a child’s nutritional health and well-being. A little perspective please.

I am becoming extremely offended by this administration’s intrusive efforts to manage every element of my life. I do not require and I don’t know of anyone who does require instructions on roasting marshmallows. We can do fine without the bureaucratic input from a bunch of unionized public servants whose jobs depend on lots of useless busywork. Vote them out, and abolish the Department of Agriculture. They don’t do anything useful anyway.



Bill Whittle Talks About “Magical Thinking” by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Bill Whittle at his best. The Defending the Dream Summit 2014. Dang, but he is good. Common sense multiplied.



Nancy Pelosi’s Grip on History is a Little Hazy Too. by The Elephant's Child

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Nancy Pelosi has slipped another cog. Desperate Democrats are trying to revive their “War on Women” theme for the upcoming election. I don’t believe women are that stupid.

Minority leader Pelosi said, on a conference call, that American women have been victims throughout the history of the nation. We’ve already established that President Obama is a little hazy on history. Seems Ms. Pelosi is as well.

It was a struggle all the way, Pelosi whined. Women marched, women starved. Women were starved. Women were force-fed. Women could barely speak up in their own homes.

Women left their homes to take the message. And it was successful, and the right to vote, again, so precious, so hard fought. …We hope women will continue to exercise forcefully, because than all of the issues we care about, whether it’s equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave, affordable quality child care, raising the minimum wage, women’s health and —and safety issues will all be well served.

I suspect she’s been watching Downton Abbey too much. Equal pay for equal work has been settled law since 1963. Paid sick leave is offered by most employers, with a limit as to how long you can have a sick leave. Endless sick leave is not in the cards.

Raising the minimum wage is bad economics, especially harmful to minorities who also vote.

Young Muslim women are being recruited as sex slaves for ISIS fighters. That would seem to be a matter of concern for women. Yazidi women captured by ISIS are set to daily rape and killed if they try to escape. An attack across our southern border is said to be imminent, but the matter of urgent concern is that Republicans are trying to prevent women from getting the right to vote?

Getting pregnant is not a desperate matter of women’s health, but a matter of choice. If you choose to get drunk and have sex when you shouldn’t, or choose to have unprotected sex, or choose to have sex outside of marriage, or choose to take your panties off — that’s a lot of choices you have before you even consider getting an abortion. And then you make choices about legal or illegal, carrying a baby to term, keeping the baby or putting it up for adoption so it will have a better mother. Lots and lots of choices.

Remarkable lot of things unmentioned by Ms. Pelosi. ISIS, the Federal Debt, Russia invading Ukraine, the crisis at VA hospitals, the failures of ObamaCare, the president’s inability to decide on a strategy against terrorists, the lack of job opportunities, the crisis at the border, with illegal immigrants being funneled into our schools unable to speak English and uncleared for contagious diseases.

These are big important issues for every citizen, and Nancy Pelosi is concerned with re-fighting the woman’s right to vote. That was settled in the 19th Amendment way back in 1919. You would think she would have noticed that there are even women serving in the House of Representatives. Truly embarrassing.



There’s a Reason Why Obama Has No Strategy by The Elephant's Child

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This new poll from the Pew Research Center is interesting. I guess you could sum it up by saying that Republicans are bigger worriers than Democrats — or possibly that Democrats are clueless about what is going on in the world. I wonder where Obama would rank on this survey?

We have a broad array of strategies, which the Pentagon produces, ready for any exigency. This is not a time when we should be cutting our military to the bone. I think every person on the right, seeing that long column of ISIS thugs with their flags and guns, wondered where the A-10s were. Designed for just such an occasion, they are old and retired by Obama. I suspect the reason for cutting the military so drastically is more about punishing Republicans who do care about the services and military preparedness, than about a serious look at our real needs.

Republicans, I believe, are far more accepting of human nature and its flaws, and recognize ever-present evil when it breaks out once again. They know we will make mistakes, but accept that in the effort, and will try to do better next time.

Democrats have no real understanding of human nature at all, and assume that it can be fixed by wise people in government with the right mixture of regulations and laws. They used to believe in a Utopian future, but at present they don’t get much beyond the battle to be in control. Once they are running everything, it will take some time to get everybody in line, but once that is accomplished they can work on the glorious future, which they haven’t figured out yet.

There is no limit to the effort, money, legal challenges, fraud and lies they will expend in the effort to win — to be in control. See the feverish attempts to destroy potential Republican candidates like Rick Perry and Scott Walker with bizarre lawsuits that might tie them up in court, and provide useful material for future opposition commercials. Leave no stone unturned.

There is a lot of information (and speculation) in this survey. I’d like to see more on the differences between the parties, which is greater than I have ever known it to be.  The Left has shifted far to the left. Leftists claim that Republicans have shifted to the right, but they are trying to demonize Tea Party members as raving, drooling extremists instead of your next-door neighbors who have, as a result of — oh, the stimulus, the growth of government, ObamaCare and a couple hundred other extra-legal  moves by the Obama administration become interested in and concerned about politics for the first time in their lives.



The President Made a Statement to the Press. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama held one of his rare press conferences today, and even took a few questions. He announced to the world that he has no strategy to deal with ISIS.  Maybe later.

He announced that we aren’t taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem. I’m sure Mr. Putin is relieved.

He’s sending Secretary Kerry to Iraq, because they have to develop a more inclusive government. Our military action in Iraq has to be part of a broader comprehensive strategy, but we don’t have that either.

He has, however, directed Secretary Hagel and the Joint Chiefs to prepare a range of options.

Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson, showed that our State Department is right up on things. She held up a little handwritten sign with a hashtag. I forget what it said, probably something about being concerned.

Our country is in the very best of hands.

The President’s statement is available here.

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