American Elephants


About that “War on Women” by The Elephant's Child

Jason L. Riley reports in the Wall Street Journal:

At a fundraiser in Miami on Thursday, President Obama described his political opponents as “no less patriotic” than Democrats. “They love their families just as much. Many of them do wonderful things in their communities,” he added. Then he went on to describe Republicans as selfish ideologues who are indifferent to the needs of women and the less fortunate.

“[T]heir basic vision is that we don’t have an obligation, at least through our government, to help; everybody has got to just look out for themselves or the community that you’ve built in your church or synagogue or your block or your family,” said Mr. Obama of the Republican world view as he understands it. “We don’t have to worry about that kid on the other side of town. We don’t have to worry about that woman who is cleaning our house—which is why every initiative we put forward they say no to.”

He cited polls showing public support for preschool education, but he did not cite the multitude of studies that show that it does not confer any lasting benefit for the kids.

He bragged about polls showing that the public liked minimum wage increases, but forgot to mention that such increases are job destroyers and increase unemployment. You can’t just order a business to pay people more without figuring out where the money is going to come from — vastly increased prices, or getting rid of some employees.

He said polls showed that the public supports immigration reform, but didn’t mention what kind of reform the public supports. Since he refuses to support the immigration laws that are on the books, the reform the public supports may refer to first enforcing the laws.

He warned the donors to whom he was speaking (yes, he’s still campaigning, and never mind the mess in the Ukraine) that the midterm elections may not go well for Democrats. And he added:

The challenge is, is that our politics in Washington have become so toxic that people just lose faith and finally they just say, ‘You know what, I’m not interested, I’m not going to bother, I’m not going to vote.

As usual. It is not his fault that everything is going badly — that ObamaCare is a mess, that his weak posture on foreign policy has encouraged Putin’s adventurism, the debt is soaring, and there still are not any jobs. It’s those rascally Republicans refusing to do what he wants them to. At least he didn’t call us racist this time.



Fifty States of ObamaCare Failure by The Elephant's Child

Harry Reid’s pathetic attempt to claim that everyone is lying about the failure of ObamaCare brands him irrevocably as a fool, a liar, and a failure as a Majority Leader.

These few people represent multitudes. It is poor quality health insurance. You can’t travel. It’s too expensive now and the cost is going up dramatically next year.

ObamaCare is on life-support; the patient is comatose and brain dead. The family just won’t admit it.



Obama Threatens to Veto Any Bill That Requires Him to Follow the Law! by The Elephant's Child

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the “Enforce the Law Act,” a bill designed to push back against the numerous unilateral moves the Obama administration has used to circumvent the law. There are several different bills directed at the same problem.

H.R. 4138 sponsored by Rep.Trey Gowdy (R-SC) would authorize the House or Senate to sue the executive branch for failing to enforce laws, and provide an expedited process for moving through federal district courts. The bill is one of several the House GOP is pushing to combat “the imperial presidency.”

Five Democrats joined Republicans to pass the bill by a 223 to 181 vote.

President Obama has altered ObamaCare at least 20 times so far. As he said, he has a pen and a phone, and if Congress won’t do what he wants he’ll just go around them. Most recently millions of people have been exempted from the individual mandate due to a convenient change in the rules.

The administration also has announced that individuals would be able to keep their so-called “substandard” health insurance plans that do not comply with ObamaCare until October 2017!

When Congress refused to pass the Dream Act, Obama unilaterally instituted it by creating a “deferred action” program for  young illegal immigrants.

Democrats, for the most part, leaped to the defense of the President, ignoring the separation of powers and the Constitutional law-making function of Congress and the law-enforcing function of the executive.

Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley testified at a House hearing last month that America is at a “Constitutional tipping point.”

“The fact that I happen to think the president is right on many of these policies does not alter the fact that I believe the means he is doing [it] is wrong, and that this can be a dangerous change in our system,” the liberal law professor said. “And our system is changing in a very fundamental way. And it’s changing without a whimper of regret or opposition.”

I think there’s quite a bit of regret and opposition. The problem is that Congress does not have “standing” before the court to sue the president, and force him to enforce the laws as written, passed and signed.

Obama, on the other hand, threatens to veto any Republican bills that require him to follow the law.

The administration strongly opposes H.R. 4138 because it violates the separation of powers by purporting to permit the Congress to challenge in court the exercise by the President of one of his core constitutional functions — taking care that Federal laws are faithfully executed.

In other words Congress is violating the separation of powers by trying to make Obama stop violating the separation of powers. He’s arguing that because Article II leaves it to the president to faithfully execute the law, only Obama gets to decide whether he’s “faithfully executing the law” by selectively ignoring portions of it that benefit him politically.

The bill will, of course, die in the Senate. But the threat of a veto gives conservatives another reason to get their base excited about voting in November, and Obama once again made himself look silly.



“Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave, When First We Practice to Deceive.” by The Elephant's Child

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before the Hour Committee on Ways and Means about the White House’s 2015 budget proposal. To no one’s surprise, Ms. Sebelius was peppered with questions about the impact of the Affordable Care Act and its effect on insurance rates.

“I think premiums are likely to go up, but at a smaller pace than what we’ve seen since 2010,” Mrs. Sebelius said, adding that she thought the likely increases would be less significant than they had been in the years before the federal health-care law was enacted.

You are not going to see any Democrat admitting any time soon that the cost of health care had been declining for a number of years. New life-saving drugs, new diagnostic techniques, more people taking better care of themselves have made a difference. The mantra about the terrible escalating cost of health care being a reason for ObamaCare was always hype.

You already have people complaining that they simply cannot afford the premiums for ObamaCare. At a town hall for Spanish-language media recently, Obama was challenged by a viewer on the economics of it for low-income Americans who are now forced to buy comprehensive health insurance. On a $36.000 annual income, the requirement to buy the broad policy rather than hospitalization coverage combined with a Health Savings Account — which is now illegal, makes it impossible to comply.

The President replied smugly, “if you looked at their cable bill, their telephone, their cell-phone bill — it may turn out that they just haven’t prioritized health care.” He added that if a family member gets sick, the father “will wish he had paid that $300 a month.”

According to the National Center for Public Policy Research, the health care law is reducing choice and increasing premiums.  Consumers are paying an average of 39% more than they did before the law was implemented.

Liberals just don’t get basic economics. Regulations imposed by the government have a cost of compliance. Whether it is retrofitting a process or installing new equipment, or just all the people who must be hired to deal with the government paperwork, bureaucrats seldom have any understanding of the costs involved in complying. When liberals want to make their health care policies more attractive by including benefits that are not customarily part of a health care policy — it makes the policies cost more. Whether it is free contraceptive pills, or including childbirth  and well-child visits in all policies for all ages, it raises the cost of the policies dramatically. And of course there is the cost of the vast government bureaucracy to administer the whole thing.

Sowell

The federal government is so desperate to get healthy young people to sign up that they are waiving the individual mandate — the detail that was supposed to make the whole thing work. Not only that, they are offering all  sorts of ways to avoid being fined or penalized — “hardship cases” loosely enforced. Just please, please sign up, and we’ll revise the law to make it work.

The whole thing is based on guesswork. The proportion of young Americans signing up for coverage through state and federal exchanges has remained below levels thought necessary to keep premiums stable. The administration said 4.2 million people enrolled in health-insurance plans but it doesn’t count unless they have paid up. That is far below the 6 to 7 million the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected would sign up.

Next year’s premiums are not set by the government, but by the insurance companies, who don’t really know what costs they have to base their premiums on. Oh well, if it doesn’t work, Obama will just issue some more executive orders. Laws are no longer fixed, but — fluid. Just keep delaying the bad stuff so nobody will know how it will work — until after the election.



When a Billionaire Says Support Climate Change, Democrats Hold a “Talkfest”. by The Elephant's Child

Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer

Why did the Democrats in the Senate hold an all-night pajama party talkfest? They have no intention of passing a bill or doing anything about “cap and trade.” It is all about campaign cash. Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge-fund manager, who made much of his money on government-subsidized “green’ energy projects, has become one of the Democrat Party’s most important donors.

He has retired from hedge funds to devote all his attention to politics, and particularly to the “urgent” case of climate change. He has pledged to contribute $50 million and raise another $50 million to help Democrats in the 2014 campaign. The catch is that they have to emphasize global warming as an issue. His new group NextGen Political Action. The group will refuse to spend money on behalf of Democrats who oppose climate regulation, but will not spend against them either. To quote Breitbart:

Once upon a time, Democrats complained about fatcats funding campaigns. Then they discovered that it was they who had the fatter cats. So that made the situation different: Fatcats—at least liberal fatcats— are okay.

The new breed of fat cat demands that candidates espouse a Green ideology that happens to be ballot-box poison. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple just announced that he didn’t want any climate change deniers investing in Apple. Way to go! For many Democrats it is a matter of faith, not of science. when it comes to political donations the Koch brothers are far down the list, something like 59th. They are more inclined to invest their money in searching for a cure for cancer. It was John Kerry, married to another Green billionaire, Theresa Heinz Kerry, who declared “Climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

The environmental true believers range from passionate to Malthusian. They run around in private jets and limousines, but as a recent Sierra Club press release said “There’s no such thing as sustainable growth, not in a country like the US. We have to de-grow our economy.” Their goal is to de-grow the economy. Passionate true believers are seldom interested in ordinary science, or ordinary economics either.

Among other things they are totally opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline. Dirty Canadian oil needs be banned and to hell with all the jobs. The voters do want jobs, they do want plentiful, cheap energy, and common sense and direct observation leads them to believe that climate change is not an urgent problem.

Leaves Congressional Democrats walking a fine line. They want and need the political donations, but want to avoid anything that might upset the voters on the one hand or the donors on the other. Hence the talkfest.

 



All About the Photo ID Controversy: by The Elephant's Child

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The Justice Department is hell bent on preventing any state from requiring photo identification in order to vote. They attempt to claim that it is just like the poll tax, once required by Southern Democrats in Southern states to prevent blacks from voting.

Since you can get a photo ID in any state for free from the DMV, you need a photo ID to open a bank account, to cash a check, to buy an airplane ticket, to get benefits from the government, the claim seems more than a little specious. A photo ID is required to enter the Washington DC Justice Department building. The Justice Department’s claims should be laughed out of court, so to speak. It is a blatant, partisan effort to make minorities think that Republican want to keep them from voting, and Democrats want to ensure their right to vote. Embarrassing.



Great Effort To Pass a Law. No Interest in Follow-Through by The Elephant's Child

Have you noticed that Liberals are very big on getting their “big ideas” passed into law, and once accomplished have little interest in their effect. Vast attention is paid to “messaging,” to the words chosen, everything is focus-group tested. Wordsmiths are urged on to ever more effort to find the perfect words. Differing messaging is planned for different groups. Outreach is carefully directed to specific audiences. But once they succeed, if they succeed, in getting the legislation passed and it is a done deal— they lose interest and go on to the next “big idea.”

Medicare was a big idea that they were very proud of. Seniors like it, and it works fairly well. But it is a done deal, so Liberals have no hesitation in, for example, taking $500 billion out of Medicare to prop up ObamaCare. The Veterans Administration promised health care to veterans, but when claims piled up, they just destroyed the older claims so the backlog would disappear. When slums became too dangerous Liberals built public housing, but failed to keep it up, keep it in good repair and safe, so the public housing became slums.

The promises of ObamaCare have already proved false, but people who receive their health care through their employers have yet to encounter the lies, cancellations, and the higher costs. Obama has postponed all that till after the coming election. So most people are  unaware that their ObamaCare insurance does not travel, not to the next town, and not to the next state. They are unaware that they will not be able to keep their doctors, nor that the cost will increase astronomically.

Democrat governors met with President Obama this last weekend — they need help selling ObamaCare. They have their own glitch-ridden websites, and the big message of pre-existing conditions isn’t selling. But the drive is to get people signed up, not to offer care. If all the ‘uninsured’ signed up for Medicaid, the illusionary system would collapse. There were not enough doctors who would accept Medicaid patients to keep the system functioning before ObamaCare.

Liberal promises are meant to garner votes, to get a “big idea” passed and the people dependent on the benefit. If they are dependent they will continue to vote for those who gave them the benefit lest they lose it and face the unknown. Freedom can be scary. You might have to depend on  your own efforts.



1984 Revisited! by The Elephant's Child

It has reached the point where the Democrats are turning “spin” into, not just a really bad word, but a laughingstock. The effort to turn millions more lost jobs into a “positive” are almost more than can be borne.

Being jobless is no joke, and health care — expensive, lousy health care, does not make it more tolerable. Sure, many people hate their jobs, but there are far more who find achievement and self-respect in doing a good job. Being jobless, accepting some kind of welfare, food stamps is demeaning and depressing. Democrats think of it in terms of the nice thing we’re doing for poor people. The people in question would feel a lot better with economic growth and the chance, once again, to climb the ladder of opportunity, support their families and hope for a better future.



Smaller Government, Less Fraud. by The Elephant's Child

The IRS scandals consist of the agency’s attempts to deny targeted Tea Party groups and other identifiably conservative groups tax exempt 501(c)(3) and 501 (c)(4) status in advance of the 2012 election.

The new rules they are attempting to put in force are designed to redefine that which has been described as “tax exempt” so narrowly that no political speech can be defined as tax exempt.

Why is this a big deal? The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets.org website reports that conservative groups pumped nearly eight times the money through their 501 (c) groups than liberals did. CRP reported that conservatives spent $265.2 million through 501 (c) groups compared to $34.7 spent by liberal groups during the 2012 cycle.

Well, we certainly can’t have that. Something must be done. Are the Democrats unable to win elections honestly? That is entirely possible. Here in Washington State, we have had regular cases of stolen elections.

Did you  hear about the “Secretary of State Project”— that was a project to elect Democrats to the office of Secretary of State, because that office is in charge of elections. In 2012, the plane carrying military ballots supposedly crashed, making the ballots unavailable, except there were never any pictures or further information about those lost in the crash. Once the votes are in, they keep finding a bunch of “uncounted” ballots. Our elections have gone to all mail-in ballots, which we are told make electoral fraud much easier.

Early voting is another major problem. The Obama administration and Democratic organizations are pushing it hard— more convenience for voters, but voters fill out their ballots before the campaign is over, with incomplete information. Spreading it out enables a party to get the results they desire.

There are all sorts of ways to fraudulently change the results of an election. I suppose it is inevitable when there is so much power on offer. But I wish it were different and elections were honest, reflecting the true wishes of the public.



The Headline of the Day! by The Elephant's Child

From Jammie Wearing Fools: ” Woman Who Can’t Afford Her Own Birth Control Scrapes Up Money to File for Congressional Run.”

Surely you remember Sandra Fluke (rhymes with Cluck) who appeared before the nation in a pretend Congressional hearing, set up to  look as if it was official after the committee in question (I can’t remember which committee) refused to have her as a witness since they didn’t think she had any testimony worth hearing.

Her testimony was a protracted whine about the vast expense of contraceptives which she thought taxpayers should pay for so she didn’t have to. It emerged that a month’s supply was available for around $9.00, which made her demand that taxpayers spring for it seem remarkably silly. But silly me. There it is in ObamaCare, and everybody is paying for it. If you wonder why you can no longer see your doctor, or afford health care — it’s because the Democrats stuck in all sorts of little goodies to reach favored voting groups, in this case radical feminists.

With the retirement of Henry Waxman, Ms. Fluke has filed with the California state Democratic Party to seek its endorsement in the race for the Waxman seat. She has not yet officially announced her campaign, nor filed with the Federal Election Commission. But California is known for some of the dumbest women in Congress, so why not? The idea that someone should work their way up in politics seems to have gone by the wayside. Experience is no longer necessary.

Jammie adds: “Just what Congress needs, another attention whore.”

 



Tom Sowell: The Myth of Female Pay Inequality by The Elephant's Child

The bottom line is, Michelle and I want every child to have the same chance this country gave us. But we know our opportunity agenda won’t be complete, and too many young people entering the workforce today will see the American Dream as an empty promise, unless we also do more to make sure our economy honors the dignity of work, and hard work pays off for every single American.

You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.

Women deserve equal pay for equal work. (Cheers, applause.)

Thomas Sowell has been debunking this myth for years. The female wage gap is a major economic myth.  It is, however, necessary fodder for the Democrats’ goofy claim that there is a “War on Women.” It is also a little embarrassing that the White House actually pays the women on staff less than the men.

Democrats are looking for things with which to attack Republicans. A new Kaiser poll finds that only 24% of Americans approve of ObamaCare. Liberals are in deep trouble with the voters, and they know it. We can expect vicious attacks on every front. The best Liberal ideas are not working. The policies recommended by Republicans have a long history of success, but to the left they are hated enemy ideas to which they have always been opposed. Unfortunately for all those millions of people who have quit looking for work, the Democrats would rather continue class warfare and accusations of racism that actually try things that have succeeded with Calvin Coolidge, John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush.

Economists point out that if you want business to grow, hire, and expand you need to eliminate the problems that the government has put in their way. When we have the highest corporate income tax in the world, at a time when so many are unemployed, you have to wonder — what can they be thinking? Corporations don’t pay taxes, they pass them through to the consumer in the form of higher prices on their products.

The Left believes that everything can be fixed and improved by more regulations and more rules concocted by the wise people in government. They just aren’t as smart as they think they are.



The State of The Union: Lawless and Only Selectively Enforced. by The Elephant's Child

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President Obama has curiously made a habit of saying things that it is clear are merely designed to please some voting group, but not to be understood as actual fact. “If you like your health insurance you can keep it, period,” If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, period.” And then on a number of occasions he claimed that “the average family of four will  save $2,500 a year in premiums.” He didn’t think it mattered whether it was true or not.

Now he is approaching the State of the Union Speech with an announced declaration of “universal presidential authority.” Astonishingly, that oath of office he took didn’t matter either. He didn’t mean it — the part where he solemnly swears that he will to the best of his Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. “Mr. Obama” yesterday’s Wall Street Journal tells us, “will emphasize his intention to use unilateral presidential authority —bypassing Congress when necessary — to an extent not seen in his previous State of the Union Speeches.” The “when necessary” part means when Congress does not do what he wants them to do. This is not only astonishing, but deplorable, unseemly and disgusting.

The president intends to explain to his hosts (he is their guest) how he intends to circumvent their power. He is not an elected monarch. The Constitution is designed to be a slow-moving machine in which the president is just one cog. It is intended to be slow to force honest debate and clear thought. With only a few exceptions, the machine cannot legally work without the House and the Senate whose status is equal to that of the president.

At the Philadelphia convention, with exquisite care and with delicate nuances, they devised a complex constitution that would generate the requisite power but would so distribute its flow and uses that no one body of men and no one institutional center would ever gain a monopoly of force or influence that would dominate the nation.
Bernard Bailyn: The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

If I were running the show, which I am not, when the president announces that he will circumvent the power of Congress, in the interest of getting his own way, because he “has a telephone and he has a pen,” the Republicans would rise in a body and respectfully leave the chamber.




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