American Elephants


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

Nancy Pelosi

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.



The Feds Are Going to Track “Hate Speech” on Twitter! by The Elephant's Child

Just when the news is full of the depredations of the newly-named Islamic State, we learn that our government is creating a database to track “hate speech” on Twitter. The feds will spend nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and “hate speech” on Twitter.

Watch what you are tweeting, folks. The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” (of course it would be “memes,” not words or ideas)  and what it considers “false and misleading ideas” with a major focus on political activity online. Sorry, free speech is out. Old fashioned nonsense! What we need is control. No unpleasant words allowed. And don’t go ‘denying’ Global Warming!

The university has so far received $919,917 for the project.

“The project stands to benefit both the research community and the public significantly,” the grant states. “Our data will be made available via [application programming interfaces] APIs and include information on meme propagation networks, statistical data, and relevant user and content features.”

“The open-source platform we develop will be made publicly available and will be extensible to ever more research areas as a greater preponderance of human activities are replicated online,” it continues. “Additionally, we will create a web service open to the public for monitoring trends, bursts, and suspicious memes.”

They are calling it “Truthy” a name from Stephen Colbert. It will attempt to catalog how information is spread (and how to shut it down?). They claim to be completely non-partisan, but suggest that some tweets are engineered by “the shady machinery of high-profile congressional campaigns” according to the website.

“Truthy” claims to be non-partisan. However, the project’s lead investigator Filippo Menczer proclaims his support for numerous progressive advocacy groups, including President Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action, Moveon.org, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Amnesty International, and True Majority.

Filippo Menczer is a professor of informatics  and computer science at Indiana University. You can tell that the project is completely non-partisan because it would never even occur to any Republican or Conservative to attempt to trace “hate speech” on Twitter. Republicans don’t even believe there is such a thing as “hate speech”, which presumes to read the mind and intent of the speaker, something quite impossible.

Republicans believe in free speech which is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech,” and that even includes political speech, which would suggest that this effort is out of line. The response to nasty speech, which can be distinguished from “hate speech” is Shame.

The government-funded researchers hope the public will use their tool to squeal on other tweeters. They want to know why some “memes” go viral and others don’t. I don’t think it takes $1 million to answer that one.

I find it absolutely astonishing the extent to which Democrats are frightened by those who disagree with them, and struggle to find ways to silence them. But I have a pretty good idea of just why they do it.



Did You Believe We’re Going In The Wrong Direction? You’re Right. by The Elephant's Child

From the New York Times via Paul Caron, the taxprof:

Median household net worth has fallen 36% since 2003. The typical household is now worth a third less.

Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.

The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.

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Funny, President Obama keeps telling us how much the economy has recovered, and all the new jobs.



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



The House Will Sue The President For Failing To Observe The Separation of Powers. by The Elephant's Child

Budget Talks Deteriorate Amid Republican Identity Shift On Tax Increases
House Speaker John Boehner told his colleagues on Wednesday that the House of Representatives will sue the executive branch of the government to defend the Constitution’s separation of powers. The Speaker, said the Wall Street Journal, is showing more care that the laws be faithfully executed as the Constitution demands than is President Obama.

The Congress, Mr. Boehner said in his memo to the House, is suffering institutional injury  under Mr. Obama’s “aggressive unilateralism” which is a pretty fair description of his governing philosophy. When the president suspends or rewrites laws across health care, drug policy, immigration laws, and so much else— elected legislators are stripped of their constitutional role.

The basic reason behind this step is Mr. Obama’s flagrant contempt for regular political order. For example, he has unilaterally revised, delayed or reinterpreted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on his own thirty-eight times.

Everyone would prefer that the Congress and the President would settle their disputes through the customary political debates and arguments. House members represent the people of their district by population, and are closest to the public for they must face reelection every two years. A senator represents a whole state. The president represents all the people of the country. It was designed by the Founders to slow things down, so that poorly considered laws were not enacted in haste, in the hopes that would result in better law.

In the current climate, potential laws are not getting through Congress. The lapdog media would blame it all on the Republicans, but the blame lies directly in the hands of the Majority Leader of the Senate—who refuses to allow laws passed by the House to even be voted on. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

The Founders did not consider the possibility that a future president might pay no attention to his oath of office, or just take the law into his own hands. They assumed that a president’s honor and character would mean that even when he disagreed, he would abide by the rules.

“The major reason to involve the judiciary in this case is Mr. Obama’s flagrant contempt for the regular political order,” said the Wall Street Journal.

This president does not feel restrained by the Constitution that he swore to uphold. When Congress will not pass the laws that he wants, as he has said, “I’ve got a phone and a pen.” He will just take action on his own by “executive order.”All presidents have used executive orders from time to time, but none have ever used executive orders to rewrite laws duly passed and signed into law.

Far from a partisan caper, this implicates the foundation of the U.S. political architecture. The courts generally presume that individual Members of Congress lack the “standing” to make a legal challenge, but Mr. Obama is stealing inherent Article I powers that no party other than Congress can vindicate. Mr. Boehner said he will seek a House vote authorizing the lawsuit and put it under the direction of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.

A single Congressman may not have standing, but Congress has the institutional standing to sue the president and are thus asking a constitutional question that has not been joined at the courts. More than a few judges and Supreme Court Justices seem to be concerned that Mr. Obama’s conduct is undermining the rule of law and political accountability. Just this week, the Supreme Court slapped down the EPA for defying the plain language of the law in the name of anti-carbon policy. More rebukes may be coming with cases about recess appointments and the ObamaCare contraception mandate.

Last summer, Mr. Obama proclaimed that “in a normal political environment” he’s ask Congress to fix laws such as ObamaCare, but since the House disagrees with his priorities, he’ll just go ahead and fix them himself without legislative consent. But then again, the president can hardly get through normal comments to the press without proclaiming that he is the President of the United States or The Commander in Chief. President Bush often said that “he was the Decider,” but that was not a proclamation of his importance, but a humble expression of the weight of the decisions that he must make. There’s a significant difference.

Thanks to Mr. Boehner, the courts will get a chance to weigh in on whether Mr. Obama or his successors can exercise imperial powers.

 



Why Are Democrats So ‘Outraged?’ Just Another Tactic! by The Elephant's Child

This one made me laugh.  We have always said that for liberals, it’s feelings that matter, not facts or principles. In fact they have said that they don’t have principles—that they react on a case by case basis. They respond to events.  And it is certainly an overdose of feelings that leads to the total excess of outrage. Not a day goes by without a new outrage.

The source of all the outrage is simple. When the unknown Illinois state senator spoke to the Democratic Convention in Boston in 2004, they were thrilled. He was so—elegant, tall and slim, with a dazzling smile and a warm baritone voice.  His story was so inspiring. His father herded goats in Kenya, and his grandfather was a humble cook for the British. It was better than Abe Lincoln and his log cabin and splitting rails. They were thrilled. When Obama was elected to the presidency of the United States, he promised to transform America, make it fulfill all their dreams, and they knew that the future would be better and better.

Well, it didn’t work. Things didn’t keep getting better. The Republicans kept criticizing, and fighting back against every little thing. Obama was stuck with the worst economy ever because of Bush’s recession, and Republicans tried to blame it all on him. It wasn’t Obama’s fault. Republicans just needed to shut up, to stop criticizing, to give Obama a chance. Obama promised better health insurance: if we liked our insurance we could keep our insurance, we could keep our doctor if we liked our doctor, and if would cost us way less. Then the IRS and the VA and trading terrorists for a deserter, and Russia invaded Crimea, and ISIS invaded Iraq. Just one thing after another, and rather than admit that their dreams of a new world were misplaced, they started scheming about how to silence Republicans. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision in Citizens United that affirmed the right of corporations to have a political voice, it seemed possible that there was no way to shut them up. They would keep right on spoiling everything.

If they can just get people fired up, angry, outraged— they can get Republicans banned, blocked, opposed, held up to ridicule, fired, and above all convince  the people that Those on the Right are evil,  beyond redemption and must be voted out of office. It’s just another leftist tactic.



Majority Leader Eric Cantor Defeated in Primary Election by The Elephant's Child

This is a very big deal. House majority leaders have been defeated in general elections on rare occasions, but in a primary? The last was in 1899. Eric Cantor’s defeat in a primary is clearly all about immigration, which is, I believe,  a deeply misunderstood issue. And it will awaken any slumbering members of Congress.

The usual number of illegal immigrants given is eleven million, but nobody really knows. We have lately had an astonishing influx of unaccompanied children and mothers with children. The word circulating in Central American countries is that the U.S. currently won’t deport children, hence the influx. The estimate is that there will be 90,000 children this year. This of course is enhanced by the president’s attempt to override Congress’ rejection of the Dream Act— which is widely publicized in Central America.

The Technology giants want more H-1B visas. They claim they cannot find enough STEM graduates to fill their needs. This is palpably untrue, because we have large numbers of STEM graduates who cannot find jobs. It is also true that they can get immigrant technology workers for less, and the nature of their visas makes them compliant. The Technology companies are awash in cash, it wouldn’t hurt them to start training their own workers if they are not satisfied with their applicants. The Chamber of Commerce is also demanding more immigrant visas in hopes of driving wage costs down, and telling business not to support Republicans if they don’t cooperate. Business does not agree.

Democrats believe that being welcoming to illegals will enhance their electoral chances with Hispanics. Some Republicans buy into this argument, assuming that amnesty will give them more votes from Hispanics.

Polls, on the other hand, show that Immigration policy doesn’t even rank among the top three political issues that Hispanics care about most, according to a recent Pew Research poll. Hispanics care about education (57%), jobs and the economy (52%) and health care (43%) are the important concerns. Just 32% said immigration.

The American people deeply resent the open borders policy of the Obama Administration. We have laws, and Americans deeply believe in the law and the Constitution. America, for years has had enormous success with welcoming immigrants and turning them into proud American citizens. We have been blessed with the energy, entrepreneurial enthusiasm and contributions of immigrants, and they have not only prospered, but become the proudest advocates of American liberty. We work hard at turning our immigrants into citizens, in contrast to most European countries who have accepted large numbers of immigrants, but never really accepted them. You don’t, for example, become a German by immigrating to Germany.

I remain a big-tent Republican. I don’t expect Republicans to march in lockstep as the Democrats do. You cannot be a thoughtful person and march in lockstep to party demands.We have only the past to guide us and the future is an unknown. The Founders intended for us to argue and discuss and fight over our ideas as we search for a solution to the problems we face.

I have found the battle between the “Republican establishment” whoever they are, and the Tea Party (who are not some wild-eyed radicals, but your next-door neighbors) offensive. The Tea Party has chosen some excellent candidates, and some lousy ones. The Republican party now has a deep bench of  very successful young governors whose success in their states is a beacon to those who hunger for jobs and economic improvement. They have accomplishments to brag about, proven competence and experience.

Parts of the Tea Party are more conservative than the established party. We must not, however, get into a battle over just how pure conservatism must be. If we want to win elections, we have to be a welcoming big tent, not an exclusionary clique. If you haven’t noticed, often members of the same family can’t get along.  I don’t think you will find Republicans who want to re-write the First Amendment, nor many who do not believe in the rule of law— though we may disagree with quite a few activist judges.

Americans are worried about jobs and the economy. They will be more agreeable to immigration reform when the number of people of working age who are so discouraged they have given up looking for work starts significantly declining. We have a president who does something to destroy jobs with one hand, as he talks about how much he wants to create job opportunities on the other.

Congratulations to David Brat. He seems to be a well-qualified candidate. We always need more free-market economists.

ADDENDUM: More information. Although David Brat was supported by the local Tea Party, he got no support from the national Tea Party. He did get the support of Democrats. There was no Democrat contest, and Democrat and liberal media were urging their Democrat voters to vote for Brat to help defeat Cantor. In 2012, the vote was 45,000, but jumped to 65,000 yesterday. Virginians were angry with Cantor’s poor response to constituents. They felt he was too involved with House politics and failing to support his district. We will learn more eventually. Eric Cantor has responded graciously, and stepped down, as that was the most positive thing he could do for Republican politics. David Brat emphasized the immigration issue, portraying Cantor as favoring amnesty.




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