American Elephants


Kapow! by American Elephant
October 15, 2010, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Humor, Politics | Tags: ,

Right in the kisser! It wasn’t even close.



Promises, Pork, and Partisan Politics. by The Elephant's Child

On Friday President Obama was wrapping up a two-day swing through Missouri and Nevada, delivering a speech on clean energy that could give a boost to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is in a difficult fight for re-election.  On Friday, he gave a speech at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas combining policy and politics.

He called on Congress to expand a clean energy tax credit that could pay off in Nevada, where Harry Reid is behind in the polls.  Obama told his audience that a $5 billion increase in “clean energy” manufacturing tax credits could generate nearly 40,000 jobs, some of them in Nevada where 14 percent unemployment undermines Reid’s argument that his position as Majority Leader pays dividends to his state.

Reid, bucking for a fifth term, has been pushing hard for solar energy investments in Nevada’s hot climate.  More sober analysts point out the experience of Spain, where every green energy job cost over two jobs in the regular economy because of the increased cost of energy. European governments are getting out of the “green energy” business as fast as they can, it has been a financial disaster for them.  Britain is still home to true believers, and their economy is still in the tank.

In an interesting coincidence, just hours before Obama arrived in Nevada to hold a fundraiser for Reid, the Departments of Energy and Interior joined Reid in announcing a new “Solar Demonstration Zone” in Nevada where new solar technologies can be tested and developed.

I’m sure it was just coincidental.  It would be tacky to use taxpayer money to buy an election for a supporter, wouldn’t it?



Big Government Intrudes in Your Life, Part III. by The Elephant's Child
April 4, 2010, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Law | Tags: , ,

There were the shower heads, the low-flush toilets, and upcoming before we know it, will be the mandate to use only CFL (twisty) light bulbs.  The latter is ostensibly to save energy, but the only reason to save energy is because of the government’s refusal to drill for oil or natural gas, and its war on coal all in the name of stopping a non-existent global warming and keeping CO2, a natural plant fertilizer, out of the atmosphere which is actually short of CO2.

Liberals are control freaks.  They want to remove all annoyances from life — not things that annoy us, like government over-regulation, but things that annoy them.   Mayor Bloomberg of New York and now Governor Schwarzenegger of California have banned trans-fats.  The only problem is that there is no evidence whatsoever that trans-fats are harmful to anyone.

It’s time to shape up the American population.  Attacks on fast food of any kind will continue.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains a little section requiring restaurants to disclose calorie counts on their menu boards.  Envision Pelosi and Steny Hoyer and Waxman and the others all sitting around a table in a backroom trying to decide just what to do about American obesity.  Obviously they don’t often patronize fast food restaurants and have never seen the menu boards behind the counter.

Seems so simple.  Just add nutritional information for each item on the menu.  Picking a can at random from my pantry shelf, you have: Calories, Calories from fat. Total fat, Saturated fat, Trans fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, Total carbohydrates, Fiber, Sugars, and Protein, and then there are vitamins A and C, Calcium and Iron.  On the back of my can, it takes up a space of about 1″ x 2″, and includes teeny tiny type.  On a behind-the-counter menu board  it all has to be easy to read from a distance.  Details, details!

Can you spell l-i-t-i-g-a-t-i-o-n ?  Does publishing caloric information constitute advertising?  So you run up against the truth in advertising rules.  Suppliers change frequently, does that mean doing the whole thing over? Can you take the supplier’s word for the information, or do you have to have each item tested yourself?  When all these extra costs are added, can you still churn out innovative menu items?  If you cannot raise the price of the food, where do you put the extra costs?

Democrats have no grasp of consequences. Actions always have consequences, and the consequences have consequences.  Would anyone read the calories on the menu board?  If they read them would that change their behavior?  And what business is it of the government anyway.   This is a huge bomb of mass economic destruction on an economy in the throes of a semi-permanent depression.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air talked the federal menu mandate over with a vice president of Davanni’s pizza chain in the Twin Cities.  More lost jobs, reduced choices for customers, money that might have funded more jobs wasted, because political elites fail to understand that Americans are perfectly capable of seeking out such information for themselves.



Nancy Pelosi Said Wait Till the Bill is Passed, And Find Out About the Unemployment Implications! by The Elephant's Child
April 4, 2010, 12:16 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Health Care, Statism, Taxes | Tags: , ,

Nancy Pelosi was quite clear.  The Health Care bill would create 400,000 jobs. She also said that we’d have to wait till we passed it to find out what’s in it.  She was, at least dimly, aware that the voters are concerned about jobs.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “This, of course, was a health bill.  But it was also a jobs bill.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared, “It will create millions of jobs and strengthen our economic security by keeping America competitive and igniting innovation and entrepreneurship.” If we ever needed proof that Democrats do not understand how jobs are created, there it is, laid out for all to see.

The 2006 law that created the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit also authorized payment of a 28% federal subsidy, up to $1330 per retiree, tax-free, to each company for each retiree who took part in a company drug plan.  Because of that subsidy, the retirees did not participate in the Part D prescription drug plan and saved the government some money.  The subsidy was also tax-deductible.

The health care bill repeals that credit, which raises corporate tax bills and lowers after-tax income.  Companies must immediately announce the write-downs . Consulting firm Towers Watson anticipates write-downs of approximately $14 billion.  Reduced profits and retained earnings may mean fewer jobs.

A levy on the production of medical devices is meant to help pay for health care. Starting in 2013, an excise tax of 2.3% of the sales of taxable medical devices will be imposed.  The tax is estimated to raise about $2 billion a year. Congress supposedly believed that the health care bill would expand the market for medical devices through the individual mandate thereby increasing revenue to the medical device companies.  The real reason is that Democrats were desperate for revenue so that the bill would be scored as reducing federal budget deficits — something it could not do without some budget gimmicks.

The medical device industry exported more than $31 billion of devices in 2008 to such markets as Japan, the Netherlands, Canada and Germany.  And the U.S. also imports devices.  The hit on the industry is estimated to be about $20 billion.

Zoll Medical Corporation  in Massachusetts, a maker of defibrillators, had a 2009 profit of $9.5 million.  They estimate their tax at $5 million  to $10 million a year.  They employ 1800 people, 1600 in the United States.  They will have to change — raise prices, but the government is demanding that they cut costs — or shift jobs to lower cost countries.  Manufacturers can close plants in this country and relocate offshore.  Medtronic has announced that it may lay off workers as a direct consequence of the bill.

Taxes and mandates and fees all have consequences.  There are a lot of job losses resulting from the consequences of the health care bill.  Unfortunately Nancy Pelosi’s “millions of jobs” and “economic security” just aren’t in it.



Prayers for Harry Reid’s Family by American Elephant
March 11, 2010, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Health Care, Politics | Tags:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s wife and daughter were in a very serious automobile accident today, rear-ended by a semi-truck:

The wife and daughter of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were injured today in an auto accident on a Washington, D.C., highway when the car they were driving in was rear-ended by a semi-truck.

In a statement released this evening, his office said the senator’s wife, Landra, 69 years old, has a broken nose, back, and neck but is able to feel her extremities. His daughter, Lana, also sustained an unspecified neck injury and lacerations to her face. The statement said doctors have informed them that their injuries are not life-threatening. [more]

His wife’s condition is listed as serious, his daughter will reportedly be released tonight.

We wish them both a full and speedy recovery.



Some Politicians Have Not Yet Grasped That Whatever They Say Can Be Captured By You Tube! by The Elephant's Child

Poor Harry Reid.  He keeps making commercials for his opponents in the next election.  Or you could title this “Things I Wish I had Never Said.”

Not getting worse has become the new success.  The national unemployment rate remained constant in February, but employers shed a net 36,000 jobs.

The administration made encouraging noises.  President Obama was visiting an Arlington, VA small business to speak on “clean energy and job creation.” The “severe storms all along the East Coast are estimated to have had a depressing effect on the numbers,” Obama said.   Others said that jobs should have ticked up a little because of all the people hired to deal with the snow.

The President remains convinced that “clean energy” is just the thing, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.



Is Congress Exempting Itself From Health Insurance? by The Elephant's Child

That’s the question asked on the Heritage Foundation’s blog.  The Senate health-care bill got the unions on board by exempting union workers from the proposed 40-percent excise tax on “Cadillac” plans — those worth more than $8,000 a year for individuals.

It is not yet clear what the White House’s new strategy to pass health care will be in the wake of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts senate race.  Democrats, from their public utterances, are dismissing it as angry white men, angry stupid people, and badly misled people who don’t know what’s good for them.  The very definition of denial. What they say in private remains unknown.

But according to Federal News Radio, can’t have federal employees left out of the earlier compromise.  Just to make sure that the definition of a “Cadillac” plan for federal employees is fair, dental and vision insurance would not be counted towards the taxable cost of a policy.  This, of course, includes Members of Congress who blithely exempt themselves from anything unpleasant.

This is such stupid public policy that it boggles the mind.  They probably think we won’t notice.  They really do think we’re stupid, you know.




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