American Elephants


The Ever-Growing Lexicon of the Left: New Additions. by The Elephant's Child

dis•pro•por•tion•ate: adjective: having or showing a difference that is not fair, reasonable, or expected: too large or too small in relation to something.
being out of proportion.

#LiveTheWage: Congressional Democrats’ stunt to attempt to live on the minimum wage (briefly). The federal minimum wage of $7.25 would be $290 a week, subtract $176.48 average for housing and $35.06 for taxes leaves $77 remaining for the week to live on. Democrats ask if you could live on that amount?

Informed by polls and public reaction, Obama’s staff and advisors told him to knock off the “income inequality” theme. It wasn’t working. President Obama had hailed it as “the defining challenge of our times.” Yet internal polls proved the class warfare and soak the rich rhetoric was an election loser. Polls have also shown that “minimum wage” doesn’t even register among important issues. Well, not so fast. Income inequality and envy of the rich are perennial hot buttons for liberals, a bedrock issue.

Change the language. The proportion of national wealth that belongs to the 1% is certainly disproportionate. The wages of the average worker are clearly disproportionate to the wages of Industry CEOs. The killing of Hamas terrorists is disproportionate to the numbers of Israeli dead. Are wars supposed to be proportionate? “A difference that is not fair or not reasonable.” I see. Go for fairness.

See how difficult it is to live on just $77 a week? How can people survive on a minimum wage like that? $290 a week is over the poverty level. The minimum wage at $290 a week adds up to $14,500 a year which is over the poverty level of $11,490 a year. And how come Democrats don’t mention that the problems of low wage jobs have become a problem particularly because of ObamaCare, which forced employers to make their full-time workers part time at less than 30 hours. The big increase in new jobs has been in part-time jobs — the other half of the hours of those whose hours were cut.

Minimum wage laws were instituted by union pressure to protect their workers from being undercut by those who would work for less. Ideally, there should be no minimum wage, but only contracts between a willing employer and a willing employee. If I’d like to hire the neighbor’s kid to mow my lawn once a week for far under the local minimum wage of $9.25 I should be able to do so if he wants to mow my lawn. Minimum wage jobs offer new workers a chance to learn marketable skills. A person with marketable skills should be able to find a better job.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky shared her “minimum wage” menu for the week. Her twitter audience was unimpressed.  Pinkie “I honestly think @janschakowsky has no idea that 95% of Americans eat what’s on her menu all the time.” DLoesch “What does @janschakowsky eat normally? Geebus”

BtVHWDNCYAEX-ol



American Industry Speaks Out: The Clean Power Plan Is Not Workable! by The Elephant's Child

American industry has a message for the Environmental Protection Agency: your new plan for climate regulation is “not workable.”

The Partnership for a Better Energy Future, which represents 140 organizations, sent a letter to EPA chief Gina McCarthy Monday night calling on her to extend the public comment period for the new rules, make drastic changes to the proposal and hold more public hearings across the U.S.

“We are all going to tell the EPA that this regulation is simply not workable,” Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), said on a call with reporters Tuesday to promote the industry push against the rules.

The EPA said it will hold four public hearings across the country on its proposal which mandates that by 2030 states cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels.

Not enough! according to Timmons, the CEOs of the Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute, the National Mining Association, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and more groups as well.

“There is obviously going to be legal action in the future,” Timmons said. “We would like to see the rule altered and see the agency stop and listen to constituents and consumers that will be most impacted.”

“But assuming all things stay as they are, then we’ll see some action in the courts,” he added.

Liz Purchia, EPA spokeswoman, said the agency “is pleased by the tremendous public interest in the proposed Clean Power Plan” and it plans to respond to the letter from the Partnership for a Better Energy Future.  I suspect that the response cannot be characterized as “tremendous public interest,” but a bit more negatively.

“Already, we have received nearly 300,000 comments on the proposal. In the first 25 business days following the proposal, we have met with 60 groups and we are continuing our outreach through the 120-day comment period,” Purchia said.

Administrator Gina McCarthy expressed confidence that the rules are legally sound. Maybe so, but the science they are depending on is completely phony. CO² is not a pollutant, is not the cause of global warming, there has been no warming for over 17 years, and if they want to eliminate CO² they will eliminate life itself. Carbon is one of the building blocks of life. Next they will want to regulate the CO² we exhale with each breath. Come to think of it, there’s a Henry Payne cartoon on just that:

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New England Is Unprepared for Looming Power Shortages! by The Elephant's Child

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This gorgeous landscape comes from the Great Lakes last winter. As the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan is passed on to all departments in the government, the Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture and the Department of Defense all have programs to promote the presidential  Climate Action Plan. But it is the EPA that is working hard to fulfill their Clean Power Plan. Another stupid attack on the American economy.

Just last week, the governors of the six New England states met in emergency session at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to discuss the potential full-scale power shortage that seems to be coming. They asked the premiers of five of Canada’s provinces to attend the meeting. If New England is going to get electricity from anywhere, it’s probably going to be from north of the border.

New England has been on a hell-bent drive to rid itself of any form of “dirty” non-renewable energy, and has been closing down coal-fired and oil-fired power plants for the last decade. In 2000, 18 percent of New England’s electricity came from coal and 22 percent from oil. Today it’s  3 percent coal and 1 percent oil. Natural gas has risen from 15 percent to a vulnerable 52 percent. But there is a major problem. New England doesn’t have the pipelines they would need to bring in natural gas.

Eastern Pennsylvania is only a short distance from Connecticut and Massachusetts, where fracking has put Pennsylvania into third place for overall energy production. A proposal from a Huston company to expand its existing pipeline from Stony Point, New York has met with angry resistance from New England greens. They are still fighting global warming and dirty fossil fuels.

Last winter when the real record low temperatures hit, there wasn’t enough gas to go around. Utilities that provide home heating have long-term contracts, and first call. Power plant operators frantically bid against each other for what was left. Prices went from $4 per mBTU to $79 per mBTU. In 2012, New England spent $5.2 gillion on electricity in the whole year. Last winter they spent $5.1 billion just in the first four months.

The CEO of the Independent Systems Operator of New England which runs the grid begged the region not to close down Vermont Yankee and Brayton Point, but the faith in Environmentalism runs deep. You can store up supplies of coal, but you can’t store natural gas, and wind turbines shut down in cold weather. They only got through last winter by regularly importing 1,400 megawatts from Indian Point, the two nuclear power plants on the Hudson in New York. But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and most of the state’s Democratic politician are trying to close down Indian Point as well.

In the next two years New England will be closing down 1/10th of its power capacity because — environmentalism. It’s a religious faith, which they falsely assume to be science. Cold kills a lot more people than heat ever does. The last of the four coal-fired plants at Salem Harbor is due to be shut down because it cannot meet the EPA’s new regulations.Brayton Point, the largest remaining coal plant will be closed for the same reason. A constant barrage of protests and legislative attacks has persuaded Mississippi-based Entergy to close the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Station, a reactor that supplies 75 percent of Vermont’s power and  four percent of the region’s power— free of “carbon pollution.”

Canadians are developing huge dams in James Bay and are eager to sell electricity to Americans. That means building transmission lines down from the north, but of course environmentalists are opposed to that too, and trying to block any line in every way they can come up with. We’re in for cold winters as far as we can see, which isn’t far as we cannot predict the future, nor can the computer programs of climate alarmists. As far as predictions go, the Farmer’s Almanac may have a  better record than the IPCC computers. We’ll see.

farmers2013



How to Talk About The Border Crisis — Even to a Liberal. by The Elephant's Child

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Everyone talks about “comprehensive immigration reform” but fails to explain just what they mean by the term. And to no one’s surprise, they don’t mean the same thing at all. Mark Krikorian, who heads the Center for Immigration Studies wrote today:

The president’s framing of the unprecedented surge of illegal aliens turning themselves into border officials in the expectation of being allowed to stay in the United States, as an “urgent humanitarian situation”, is only partially correct. The phase is designed to misdirect public attention away from the more damming truths of the surge; it is equally, if not more so, a crisis of enforcement, governing, and the president’s responsibility to carry out his oath of office. It is an ethical issue for the public as well as the president.

None of these considerations are captured or even suggested by the administration’s preferred phasing. Nor are they meant to do so.

At City Journal, Myron Magnet points out that there are really two immigration debates. Three billionaires writing in the New York Times want more immigrants with  advanced degrees and investment capital. Silicon Valley magnates want more H1-B visas for tech PhDs, though Magnet has noticed that some of these very magnates have conspired to fix the wages of their highly qualified engineers by forming illegal non-competitive hiring pacts, so who knows what the real demand for high tech skills is? According to other sources we have more STEM graduates than there are STEM jobs. Magnet says:

But this argument has nothing whatever to do with the massed children at our southern border, admitted through a foolish loophole unintentionally created by the Bush administration and exploited by the Obama regime as a way of changing the character of the American people, both by enlarging the underclass whom Democrats can claim it is their mission to rescue with ever more generous welfare programs, and by creating yet more Democratic voters, if these kids ever become citizens—or if they become anchor babies who can then legally bring in their parents and siblings under our existing, and harmful, family-unification immigration policy.

Victor Davis Hanson says that “The last thing a liberal proponent of immigration reform wants is liberal immigration reform. Remember that paradox, and the insanity at the border makes some sense.

In truth, no one in the open-borders coalition wants anything approaching comprehensive immigration reform. Advocates are embarrassed about the present mess at the border not because thousands of foreign nationals, many of them unescorted children and teens, from Latin America, without skills or education, are flocking illegally across the border after largely taking the amnesty cue from Barack Obama, but because they are doing so in such dramatic fashion that the influx has aroused the ire and worry of the American people and exposed illegal immigration to be a callous and illiberal enterprise, promoted by a coalition of self-interested political operatives, commercial concerns, and ethnic chauvinists. …

Such legislation would first have to make border security the top priority. And that would entail three unpalatable requisites.

The first step would be the completion of the fence. Fences do work. That is why, for example, former mayor of Los Angeles and open-borders advocate Antonio Villaraigosa (“We don’t need to build walls, we need to build bridges”) became the first mayor in Los Angeles history to insist on a six-foot-high security fence around his official mayoral residence in Windsor Square, or why the White House, the homes of Silicon Valley billionaires, and the vacation homes of the elite on Martha’s Vineyard all have security fences. How odd that we are lectured about the Neanderthal nature of secure borders by elites who are about the only ones in America who demand them around their own estates.

Then turn back all who crossed illegally, and let that be known. Until deterrence is established, more guards on the border. Then meritocratic legal immigration, ethnically blind and predicated on merit rather than on proximity to the southern border. If just 10 percent of the existing resident-alien pool had criminal records or no record of gainful employment that would mean 1 or 2 million would have to be deported.

And finally, a piece I have mentioned before” “How to Think About Immigration” by Kevin D. Williamson.

The influx of children across our southern border is troubling. First, because they are not all children—not by a sight—but images of children are useful for stirring emotions to muddy the policy waters. Second, because it is not all that unusual; As the Wall street Journal reports, between 23,000 and 47,000 minors illegally entered the United States and were apprehended in each of the past five years; in 2013, we ordered only 3s,525 deportations, suggesting that something on the order of nine in ten, or more, of minor illegal aliens—again, of the number apprehended—are allowed to stay. The number not apprehended is very large, the number of non-minors is very large, and that is how we find ourselves with not millions but tens of millions of illegal aliens resident in these United States.

None of these pieces are long. Read all four and you are well-equipped for an argument with anyone — even a liberal.



The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is Unsustainable! by The Elephant's Child

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), in hot pursuit of telling everyone what to do and what to eat, has held its fourth meeting and is devoting a session to “sustainability,” (of course) which will be taken into account for nutrition standards that are used to create policy at the federal level.

Isn’t it interesting that they have to revise the standards every year, because they were wrong? Those things that they thought were good have been determined to be bad, and nutritionists now have new ideas, which will probably turn out to be incorrect as well. Is there any use for that diagram, whether in a pyramid or plate form, beyond giving the government rules which no one follows, except some school lunch programs.

sus•tain•able: able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed.
involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources.
able to last or continue for a long time.
[sustainable is currently in the top 1% of lookups and is the 158th most popular word on Merriam-Webster.com]

Sustainable is an environmentalist buzz-word intended to make you fear that we are using up our resources and if you don’t stop we’re all going to die.

To make us sustainable the USDA has hired an environmental food activist—one Angela Tagtow— to lead the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which oversees DGAC. The DGAC’ Friday meeting included a presentation by the work group leader Miriam Nelson for “Environmental Determinants of Food, Diet, and Health,

Consistent evidence indicates that, in general, a dietary pattern that is lower in animal-based foods and higher in plant-based foods has a lesser environmental impact and at the same time is more health-promoting than the current American diet.

Promoting more sustainable diets will contribute to food security for present and future generations by conserving resources. This approach should be encouraged across all food sectors.

Nelson said there is “remarkable consistency” in research that vegetarian-like diets are better for the planet. The presentation focused on “sustainability outcomes” for the food system, which take into account “environment footprint,” including greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and biodiversity (emphasis added)

The committee was enthusiastic about the hiring of Tagtow, who they called a “good food” activist who advocates for social justice in the food system and an “ecological approach to nutrition.” They consider Tagtow a cheerleader for sustainability. The goal is to push sustainability, not to push healthy eating.

Good grief. I think the left has gone completely insane. “Social justice in the food system?” If you want to do something for the food system, stop wasting taxpayer money on putting food crops into our gas tanks. The federal government does not need a committee to draw up nutrition guidelines. They are usually wrong anyway or they wouldn’t need revising every year. There are departments of nutrition, college majors in nutrition and huge aisles in every bookstore devoted to food — should we care to seek advice on what to eat for a healthy diet, there in no lack anywhere of plentiful information, including your public library. Honest, we can handle it without your advice. Butt out.



An EPA Power Grab for Your Property Rights! by The Elephant's Child

The headline read “EPA pulls back from plan to garnish paychecks.” That particular plan was announced quietly an a Friday right before the 4th of July, the way agencies do when they want no one to notice. But I spotted it and wrote about it on the 8th. This administration has so many agencies and departments overstepping the bounds that it’s hard to pick a worst, but the EPA is right at the top of the list, for sheer crookedness.

The Washington Times reported last Wednesday that:

The Environmental Protection Agency bowed to fierce criticism Wednesday and announced that it had hit the brakes on a fast-tracked plan to collect fines by garnishing paychecks of accused polluters.

I was so pleased that I got up and did a little dance around my computer. But then I read the following paragraph:

The agency, which has come under withering attacks from Republican lawmakers for attempting a “power grab,” said it still intended to pursue the new authority to garnish wages without a court order. But now it will follow a more typical and longer review process.           

Opponents of the wage-garnish rule applauded EPA’s decision. But the EPA vowed to press on with its plan to snatch fines directly out of Americans’ paychecks.   (emphasis added)

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee who had battled the proposed rule said, “It’s about time this abuse-prone agency listened to Congress and backtrack on a rule that was clearly an egregious power grab to garnish private citizen’s wages.” Doesn’t sound like they are listening.

This rule (published as close to secrecy as a federal agency can manage) was issued on July 2 in a notice in the Federal Register as a “direct final rule” that would automatically take effect on September 2 unless the EPA received adverse public comment by August 1.

The only improvement seems to be that since they received  comments, they have extended the comment period until September 2. They claim they are required to participate in Treasury’s debt-collection program — the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (one of Bill Clinton’s) to garnish wages.

What or who gives them the authority to levy fines of, in the case of Wyoming welder Andy Johnson for building a pond on his property, $75,000 a day. That’s up from the fine they imposed on the Sacketts for their supposed “wetland” on a standard residential lot overlooking Priest Lake in Idaho, which was $37,500 a day and they said the Sacketts could contest their action legally. The Supreme Court slapped down the EPA for that one, and made sure the Sacketts got their day in court.

It apparently was revealed in a remark by an EPA official back in 2012. He said:

I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff…the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean.  They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.

Ans so you make examples of people who are in this case not compliant with the law. Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there.

And companies that are smart see that they don’t want to play that game and they decide at that point that it’s time to clean up.

And, that won’t happen unless you have somebody out there making examples of people. So you go out, you look at an industry, you find people violating the law, you go aggressively after them. And we do have some pretty effective enforcement tools. Compliance can get very high, very, very quickly.

That’s apparently what those enormous fines are supposed to be about— making the accused so terrified that they will comply immediately and sow terror in the heart of anyone else messing with air, water, soil or plants and animals in any way, though they’ve gone after people for picking up arrowheads as well.

The public lands do not, in my opinion, belong to — the government — but to the people, and we allow the government to manage it for us. Property rights are one of the most fundamental bastions of liberty. When a federal agency tramples all over American citizens’ property rights, it’s time to sit up and take notice.



The Chaos At The Southern Border Is a “Manufactured Crisis” by The Elephant's Child

It is becoming increasingly clear that the chaos at our southern border is a “manufactured crisis,” initiated by the Obama administration. The surge was directly caused by the impression in Central American countries that unaccompanied children and mothers with young children could be admitted directly and free to America, where they would receive care, and welfare. At least that’s how Obama’s speeches were interpreted.

Earlier this spring the news broke that Health and Human Services (HHS) was advertising  for private contractors to help transport illegal aliens throughout the interior United States. Before the surge. Then there was this:

♦ Between December 2010 and November 2013, the Catholic Charities diocese of Galveston received $15,549,078 in federal grants from HHS for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Project” with a program description of “Refugee and Entry Assistance.”

♦ In 2013, the Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth received $350,000 from the Department of Homeland Security for “citizenship and education training” with a program description of “citizenship and immigration services.”

♦ Between September 2010 and September 2013, the Catholic Charities of Dallas received $823,658 from HHS for “Citizenship Education Training” for “refugee and entrant assistance.”

♦ From December 2012 to January 2014, Baptist Child and Family Services received $62,111,126 in federal grants from HHS for “Unaccompanied Alien Children Program.”

On Wednesday, a report from Texas confirmed the above grants. The Baptist Family and Child Services had received a $50 million contract to buy a Texas resort hotel and transform it into a 600 bed facility for juvenile illegal alien unaccompanied children. The post in Gateway Pundit featured pictures of the huge outdoor pool, the tennis courts, and sauna and exercise rooms. Not included in the pictures was the indoor olympic size pool, the simple but ‘well appointed rooms,’ racquetball courts and picnic areas.

They envisioned it as an intake center where children would spend about 15 days, as a sort of emergency room or triage center, for medical and mental health care, educational programs, recreational programs and case management. They planned on building a soccer field and adding a perimeter fence.

Well, one look at the pictures, and the proverbial excrement hit the fan. The monumental inappropriateness and  misplaced and overblown ‘compassion’ provoked a monumental outcry from sensible American citizens, who perhaps reminded them of veterans dying while waiting for simple appointments with a doctor, or the 92,000,000 Americans of working age who have quit looking for unavailable jobs, or the folks existing on help from charitable food banks. Baptist Child and Family Services withdrew their bid for the Palm Aire Resort  because of the ‘surprising’ outcry.  Be sure to take a look at the pictures.

It seems to me that this is related to the brilliant “Fast and Furious” boneheaded gun-running scheme that killed one American Border Patrol officer and hundreds of Mexicans in an attempt to drive gun control in America. Obama invited the flood of Central American children with talk of amnesty and open borders to welcome children and mothers with children. That worked. The flood may have been more than expected.

The media is featuring sad stories of little children and mothers and Border Patrol agents changing diapers, while the border is unattended since the agents have been called away from that job to change diapers. Most of the illegals are working-age males. The media isn’t talking about Mara-Salvatrucha or MS-13, nor human trafficking.

We had Amnesty once before, that was supposed to take care of the illegal immigrant problem. Instead the assumption was that amnesty would always be repeated and there has been a continuous flow of illegals ever since. Some time this year Obama will attempt to unilaterally and illegally amnesty half or more of the roughly 12 million illegal aliens now living in this country.

The immediate response should be tent cities, folding cots, and expedited processing and return of the entire flood to their own countries. And the fence should be built. Fences do work. Israel’s does. The fence around the White House does. It won’t stop the influx, but it would help to make clear that the United States has laws and expects them to be obeyed. One man with a bunch of crackpot ideas about ‘reforming America’ should not be able to get away with this.

  • The Judiciary Committee reports that 65% of Asylum requests are “immediately approved” in FY 2014.
  • About 500 illegal aliens are to be released into American society each week.
  • Only 38 illegal immigrants of the tens of thousand who have flooded the border have been deported. Most who have illegally entered the country since last October are expected to be allowed to stay.


Coming to America For Obama’s Free Pass! by The Elephant's Child

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The narrative about the chaos on the border continues to unravel. That tale about poor unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central American countries? Phony. They are coming because they believe that U.S. immigration laws are granting free passes or “permisos” to unaccompanied children and adult females traveling with children. That has been the word circulating in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. And once the ‘children’ are here they will be taken care of.

The Central American countries are dependent on remittances from American immigrants, and are not interested in stopping the surge of illegals.

When the Obama administration decided in 2012 to practice “prosecutorial discretion” in cases where individuals were brought into the U.S. illegally as minors. The violence in those countries is not new, and it has actually dipped. Some are sent by the human smugglers who have seen a weakness in the system, and used statements coming from the administration in order to increase the number of people coming over.

There is a lot of profit for coyotes in human smuggling, someone is paying the $7,000 fee, and as no one is checking the identity and status of the phone numbers which may be the only direction to the ‘relatives’ of the unaccompanied children—who are put on a bus to get to the address given. They may not actually go to ‘relatives.’ There is indication that Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) recruiters are being sent to recruit among the teen age young men.

Males between 15-17 years of age comprise 47 percent of all unaccompanied minors who are other than Mexican. Thirty percent are minors age 10-14. There has been an increase in the OTM minors who are pregnant or have physical or mental disabilities.

The same family members or sponsors are appearing several times to claim different children from the custody of U.S. authorities. The legal status of the family members or sponsors is not checked, nor is the address they offer as residence, or the accuracy of the relationship to the children.  U.S. authorities do not know whether or how U.S. gang members are involved in the smuggling of minors.

53,375 OTM unaccompanied minors are predicted for FY 2014, and 95,500 for FY 2015. Officials say it may take years to process these minors through deportation hearings and actual deportation. Not all who are being sent to housing facilities are being medically screened. The number actually being returned to their home countries is infinitesimal, less than 50 so far.

The intent on the part of the Democrats is open borders and amnesty. But very simply, the flow of illegals from Central and South America will not end until it is made clear that we do not have open borders, and that the way to come to America is to obey the rules, come as a legal immigrant, and be welcomed.

ADDENDUM: The number of illegal aliens who have successfully filed asylum claims has almost tripled from 2012 to 2012. And that is ten times the number from 2008 when President Obama was elected, clear evidence that his immigration officials are approving most of the asylum requests from the growing surge of illegals coming from Central America. I call them illegal aliens because that is the accurate terminology according to any dictionary. If you came to America with a tale of escaping violence, there’s not any more than usual, and they are well coached in the words that might get them amnesty.

Congress did call for a little more discretion after it was learned that the Tsarnaev brothers of Boston Marathon fame  successfully applied for amnesty in 2002. But “credible fear” of persecution by criminal gangs in their home countries in Central America works.  In 2008 there were 118,457 claims of credible fear, it grew slowly to 123,180 in 2011, and then leaped to 183,681 in 2012. Then it goes to the Border Patrol or ICE for provisional approval.  According to the Los Angeles Times only 1,669 claimants were rejected in 2013.  That’s down from 8,143 in 2008.



Republican Are Doing the Right Thing! by The Elephant's Child

House Republicans have passed a $30 billion spending bill to fund the Interior Department and the EPA. It is designed to block a whole bunch of looming regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that clearly exceed the agency’s authority.

Republicans on the Appropriations Committee pushed through the Interior and environment funding bill over the objections of Democrats who said it was full of “veto bait” and handouts to big business. This is the seventh and last of 12 annual appropriations bills. If it is passed by the House, Harry Reid has not yet acted on a single appropriations bill and President Obama would most probably refuse to sign it.

The bill tackles the EPA’s twin  draft regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants— a proposal to reduce “carbon pollution”from power plants, and another for future plants offered earlier. It also targets the EPA’s “Waters of the United States” rule designed to grab authority over every trickle of water that might eventually run into  “navigable waters” over which they actually do have authority in the Clean Water Bill.

There is no such thing as “carbon pollution.” The carbon dioxide that they chase so aggressively is simply a natural fertilizer for plants. It’s also what you exhale. It is not the cause of global warming and has kept climbing slightly even as there has been no warming for over 17 years. The climate is always changing. It has been far warmer in the past, and far cooler as well. If they shut down every coal-fired plant in the country, it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference.

Like so many other agencies of this administration, the EPA has lost documentation of the science behind their grope for more power. The climate is currently cooling. Perhaps you noticed the Great Lakes freezing over this last winter. Some claim we may be entering a new little ice age, but contrary to the IPCC, we can’t predict the future. In any case it seems remarkably stupid to work so aggressively to shut down the power plants that are burning the cheapest fuel, and keeping our energy costs down, while they keep people warm in winter.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) announced that “this bill was designed to protect nature, if not for nature’s sake, then for our sake.” So glad our politicians are so well-informed.

Rep Nita Lowey (D-NY) said the cuts would endanger communities at the behest of big business. Oh, and how does that work?

Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) accused the administration of being “hell-bent” on adding layer after layer of harmful red tape. No other agency has done more to inflict this type of pain than the EPA.”

The EPA has been shot down in the courts over and over for exceeding their authority. This bill will probably go nowhere, but if Republicans  can exercise the “power of the purse” to cut off their funding, it would be of great benefit to the people of the United States.



Now They Want to Make You Eat Your Vegetables if You Are On Food Stamps! by The Elephant's Child

I have often referred to Liberals as “the perpetually discontented.” They have no acceptance of the ordinary foibles of the human race, and they really, really don’t want anyone to disagree with them. Their reactions to those who do disagree, range from calling you a racist, to trying to get you fired, or arrested. I suspect the reason is that they are not sure enough of their own arguments to be confident of defeating you in a debate, thus they want to end any possible debate and just get rid of you.

They have told us in many leftist venues that they don’t have principles like the Republicans do, but react to events on a case-by-case basis. They think that’s a good thing. While Republicans are talking about principles and how they apply to the world as it is, Liberals are nitpicking and regulating and trying to pass laws to make Republicans more tolerable.

They don’t seem to have a very good opinion of the very people they claim they are trying to help. Those who are unemployed are viewed as mostly unemployable or they wouldn’t have lost their jobs. Those who are on food stamps are fat, lazy and don’t know how to properly spend their food stamps. More vegetables, more fruit, more whole grains!!

“The USDA  (Department of Agriculture) is suggesting major changes to grocery stores to “nudge” Americans to purchase healthier foods when they shop.

The agency commissioned an “expert panel” to make recommendations on how to guide the more than 47 million Americans on food stamps into spending their benefits on fruits and vegetables.

The group released an 80-page report this month presenting their ideas, which include talking shopping carts and a marketing strategy for grocery chains that would feature better store lighting for healthier items.

“Most Americans, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, do not purchase enough whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, and legumes, and purchase too many items with excess calories from fats and added sugars,” the report said.

The report estimated that the new carts might cost as much as $30,000 per store. And they would like to rearrange the stores, change how stores stock and display their items. Improve the lighting, create “healthy aisles”. There is no end to the poking and prodding they would like to do in the interest of making sure that people don’t buy junk food with their food stamps.

Why is it that liberals are so intent on forcing everyone to adhere to their ideas of what is correct? It’s that little tyrant that lurks in their very souls, trying desperately to get out.

At the turn of the 21st century, there were 138,049 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations. At the end of 2013, there were 175,906. The George W. Bush administration added 2,490 pages a year. During the first five years of the Obama administration they have added 3,504 pages a year. Granted, some regulations are longer than others. But there are costs to comply with regulations — and those costs can be a real drag on the economy. When the economy shrank to a minus 2.9 percent in the first quarter, it was blamed on the weather. More likely, it was ObamaCare. Health and Human Services added 1,296 pages of new regulations just before the Fourth of July holiday.

The Federal Reserve considers that there is little inflation, but they don’t shop for groceries. People are shocked to find that their ObamaCare premiums have gone up by 40%. The White House reveled in the June jobs numbers which seemed to be really up, but the increase was all in part-time jobs, accounting for all the people who were cut back to less than thirty hours. So now they all work two jobs. That is excess regulation, liberals controlling your lives, improving you—so they will like the improved you better. You know its not going to work.



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.



The White House Wants $3.7 Billion, but Airfare to Guatemala Is Not Included. by The Elephant's Child

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On July 8, 2014, the White House submitted its emergency budget request to the House of Representatives (Constitutional “power of the purse”) to deal with the “humanitarian crisis” on our southern border.

The budget request totals $3.7 billion. Many representatives immediately called it a blank check. White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz responded in the press that Congress cannot have it both ways, criticizing the administration and withholding the funding to effectively handle the crisis.  Scroll down past the president’s letter to see what they want all the money for.

Uh huh. The combined airfare for 30,000 illegals back to Guatemala City would be around $20 million. So what’s all the extra for?  DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, when interviewed on “Meet the Press” was unable to come up with a straightforward statement in response to a persistent David Gregory about whether any of the unaccompanied alien children would ever be returned to where they came from.

Government documents are written in soothing politically correct language that will not get anyone excited, but anyone with a sharp pencil could go through the list and separate out a big chunk of the nonsense. The administration, as usual, says one thing, and means another. It looks like their objective is not deportation, but resettlement. From The Center For Immigration Studies (CIS).

Of the $3.7 billion being requested, fully $1.8 billion (about 49 percent of the total) is for resettlement costs to be appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — not just for the UACs, but for entire family units, including adult men and women. There is no reason to think that the accommodations will be temporary, insofar as the funds include authorization “for acquisition, construction, improvement, repair, operation, and maintenance of real property and facilities.”

Much of the so-called “enforcement” portion of the budget is not truly geared toward removal; rather, it is a recouping of costs for temporary detention and subsequent transporting of aliens (including adults) to facilitate their resettlement and relocation by HHS. (It is noteworthy that, according to a leaked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Intelligence document, fully 47 percent of the arrivals are adults, who should be subjected to expedited removal, not to relocation and resettlement.)

As far I can tell, the Republicans are quite favorable towards legal immigration. Some high-tech companies want immigration reformed immediately so they can have more workers from India to bring down wage costs. We have some 92 million Americans of working age unable to find a job and who have given up looking. We have vastly more STEM graduates that there are available jobs. The Center for Immigration Studies has shown conclusively that immigrants have taken jobs that would otherwise have gone to American citizens.

Republicans would be happy to work on reforming immigration policy, but do not trust the president to enforce the law, to deport those who are here illegally, or to stop encouraging illegal immigrants and children to come here to take advantage of our generous welfare policies — and vote Democratic because of the free stuff. Our high-tech companies could offer training programs if they are dissatisfied with the technology graduates of our schools.

The U.S. government is generally expected to act in the interest of the people of the United States.” That astonishing statement is the subhead of a splendid article about immigration by Kevin Williamson titled “How to Think about Immigration.” Sensible and an excellent guide to establishing your own opinions, whether you are a hawk or a ‘squish.’ If you read my earlier post today about Janet Daley, the most important thing is assimilation. We want immigrants who want to be Americans, and we want them to become Americans, not those who make no effort to speak English, learn our history, or think of this as “their country,” as in ‘this is my country, land of the free’…




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