American Elephants


After the Democrats’ Wipeout — Grief Counseling. by The Elephant's Child

In this post-midterm election period, everyone seems to be in a sort of digestive period. Republicans are trying to analyze what they can do, and what they can’t , to welcome their new members, and particularly to reassure and caution their supporters.

The president has the initiative, and the veto. And the president doesn’t seem to grasp the meaning of the election. There is little, if any, self-analysis. What analysis there is concerns his “gift,” his ability to sway opinion, to transform attitudes and endear himself to others with his words. He is quite sure that he just didn’t explain the correctness of his policies. He really wants the economy to recover more quickly and business to start hiring, but it all just takes time, and he didn’t explain that well enough. He didn’t explain fully enough just how his policies were going to help the economy recover.

Democrats are taking it hard. A staffer for a congressional Democrat who came up short on Tuesday said that “a team of about five people stooped b their offices to talk about payroll, benefits, writing a resumé, and so forth, with staffers who are now job hunting.  But one of the staffers was described as a ‘counselor’ to help with the emotional aspect of the loss — and a section in the packet each staffer was given dealt with the stages of grief (for instance, Stage One being anger, and so on).

Funny, the pundits are talking about the angry, irrational, hateful conservatives.

 



One Last Reminder of Why You Should Vote Tuesday! by The Elephant's Child


I keep swearing that I’m not going to post another video, and then I find one so utterly delicious that I cannot resist. The Congressman who was afraid that Guam might tip over if we sent more troops is not alone. It takes a special dose of elitism to be so utterly obtuse.
(h/t: Bookworm Room)



When Democrats Get Frightened, they Attack! by The Elephant's Child

Democrats have been frightened, and puzzled, by the Tea Parties.  They simply don’t get it.  And when something their opposition does scares them, they attack.

The Tea Party movement grew quickly from its start with CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli’s rant on February 19, 2009 when he charged that “the government was supporting bad behavior.” Videos of Santelli’s rant went viral.  What’s called the Tea Party has been a movement of isolated groups assembling to protest the spending by the Obama administration.   Over a year and a half later, these small groups have become a national grassroots movement of people committed to common objectives.  Approximately half have never before been involved in politics.

Frightened Democrats quickly found the rallies violent — the original tea party was in support of the Revolution ( they had to look that up).  Was this the beginnings of an attempt to overthrow the government?  It was not a movement but “a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings that do surprisingly little to engage in the political process.”Some liberal writers claimed that the Tea Party was really an American “fascist” movement. Others decided that “the Tea Party is racist.” It’s an accretion of various movements of past decades — a “front group for the Republican party, a “media creation“, “AstroTurf,” invented by “the usual suspects“, the “Christian Right,” the “older anti-Communist Right,” a “conventional Republican group funded by Big Business,” and “those most likely to benefit from right-wing middle class insurgencies are not the embattled middle classes, but the business interests and the wealthy associated with the Republican Party.”

Glen Beck’s big Rally on the Mall in Washington DC was really scary.  Hundreds of thousands of people came from all over the country to peacefully protest.  The Liberal establishment was reared on protest, violent protest against the Vietnam war being drafted to serve in the Vietnam war, and they knew what protests were supposed to be like. These right wingnuts paid their own way, and even worse, cleaned up neatly after themselves.  A few weeks later, Democrats tried to show them up, and even though they bussed in all sorts of SEIU members paid to attend, couldn’t get a significant crowd.  That’s something to worry about.

The next line of attack —  Liberals all seem to say the same thing at the same time — was the Billionaire Koch brothers.  Democrats have so long called the Republicans the “Party of the Rich” and the party of Big Business that they have come to believe that it is true.  They try to tar the Republican party with being the party of Wall Street.  (In the last election, Wall Street supported Barack Obama, and the administration is filled with people from Goldman Sachs).  Although both parties are lucky enough to have some wealthy supporters, Obama’s claims of support from thousands of little people just wasn’t true, he was supported by the labor unions, big money from Wall Street and environmental organizations, and foreign money as well.

After John Kerry’s failure to capture the White House in 2004, George Soros, Progressive Insurance chairman Peter B. Lewis and S&L tycoons Herb and Marion Sandler were angry and depressed.  After giving millions of dollars to liberal candidates and 527 groups they had nothing to show for it.  They decided they needed a long term strategy to bring the Party back from the political wilderness.

In April 2005. George Soros gathered together a group of seventy millionaires and billionaires to form a fledgling political financial clearinghouse.  They called it the Democracy Alliance, and to join there was one requirement.  You had to be rich. Members paid a $25,000 fee to join and $30,000 in yearly dues.  They must also pledge to give at least $200,000 annually to groups that Democracy Alliance endorses.  You have Billionaire George Soros, Billionaire Peter B. Lewis, Billionaires Herb and Marion Sandler, Rob McKay (Taco Bell Fortune), SEIU (Members Dues), Bernard Schwartz (Loral Space & Communications), Rob Glazer (RealNetworks), Tim Gill (Quark), Ann Bowers (widow of Intel founder), and so on through at least seventy members.  Lists of the millionaires in Congress are readily available, and dominated by liberals.  Blaming Republicans as the party of the rich begins to look a little, well, rich!  Being without foundation has never deterred a Democrat accusation.

Google “the Koch Brothers” and you will find articles by the dozens about “Billionaire Koch Brothers” as the evil force behind the Tea Parties (they’re not), Billionaire Koch Brothers are polluters (they don’t buy the global warming myth), The Billionaire Koch Brothers are partly in the business of refining petroleum (dirty oil not clean wind) Fred C. Koch co-founded the company in 1940 and developed an innovative crude oil refining process.  His sons, the Billionaire Koch Brothers are libertarians, and confirmed philanthropists.  David Koch has recently given one hundred million dollars to Lincoln Center, 2.5 million dollars to the New York City Ballet, over forty million to Sloan Kettering,  fifteen million to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a hundred and twenty-five million to M.I.T. for cancer research, twenty million to Johns Hopkins University, and twenty-five million to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  They are concerned with free market causes, and support some of those organizations as well.

You might want to notice that liberal attacks are usually based on — the rich, racists, fascists, fat-cats, Wall Street, Big Business, Big Oil, the poor, the children, the homeless and of course — billionaires.  Those on the right want to talk about policy.  They want to talk about what works and what doesn’t and why.  They want to talk about history and evidence from other countries.  Liberals do not want to talk about evidence — it doesn’t interest them.  As Nancy Pelosi so aptly described their position:  “We have to pass the Health Care bill, so we can find out what’s in it.”

That smug remark sums up the liberal position.  Statistics, studies, evidence simply do not matter.  What matters is winning, and the power that winning creates.  If they actually cared about all those groups they pretend to favor, they would be interested in just how their policy would work.  They don’t care that the law they passed that they celebrate as an achievement after 60 years is failing everywhere else.  What they care about is that they won.



Surprise! Rush Gets Married! by American Elephant
June 5, 2010, 4:52 pm
Filed under: Conservatism, News | Tags: , ,

Who knew?! Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Elton John will be the wedding singer.  o_O

Fascinating factoid: Rush’s beautiful bride Kathryn is apparently a direct descendant of founding father, John Adams.

True to form, liberals are spewing more bile than the Deepwater Horizon is spewing oil (be sure to read the comments too). And even trying to ruin the wedding. Disgusting.

Keep it a short Honeymoon, Rush, and hurry back to work!

(h/t Michelle Malkin)



Another Glimpse Into the Mind of the Left! by The Elephant's Child

Representative Phil Hare (D-Ill) is concerned about all those folks dying in the streets because they don’t have health insurance.  Rep. Hare finds those people a much greater concern than the Constitution of the United States, even though they don’t exist. There is no one in the United States that goes without medical care, including illegals, poor people or the homeless.

The Constitution has served us well for 223 years, the oldest and most envied Constitution in the world, but too many of our legislators cannot be bothered to become familiar with it and ponder its meaning.

Do you suppose he really believes that people are dying because they are uninsured?  Do they absorb their talking points to such an extent that they believe them?  They keep giving us these marvelous glimpses of the Progressive mind.  Sad.  Really sad!



Democrats Will Spend President’s Day Celebrating — The Stimulus! by The Elephant's Child

From The National Journal’s ” Hotline”, not, as you might suppose, the Onion:

House Dems will spend the Pres. Day recess marking the 1-year anniversary of the $787B stimulus act, embracing a bill that has them in some political hot water.

Wednesday marks the anniversary of the bill’s passage, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi is encouraging Dems to hold events touting its success. As polls show the economy still tops voters’ list of pressing concerns, members’ votes on the bill itself could prove decisive.

“The Recovery Act is a hallmark achievement of this Congress,” Pelosi wrote in a memo to House Dems, obtained by Hotline On Call. In the memo, Pelosi says the bill has created or saved 2M jobs and will “support” 3.5M jobs by the end of the year — numbers that GOPers reject as invented.



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.



Completely Unprepared to Consider Using Common Sense. by The Elephant's Child

Mark Steyn is always brilliant, sometimes he’s just more brilliant than usual. Today he pointed out the specific arrangements we have put in place to make sure that terrorist attacks were unlikely, because an alert citizenry was on the case.  And yet, there was evidence that Major Nidal Hasan deserved attention:

You didn’t have to be “alert” to spot Maj. Nidal Hasan. He’d spent most of the last half-decade walking around with a big neon sign on his head saying “JIHADIST. STAND WELL BACK.” But we (that is to say, almost all of us — and certainly almost anyone who matters in national security and the broader political culture) are now reflexively conditioned to ignore the flashing neon sign. Like those apocryphal Victorian ladies discreetly draping the lasciviously curved legs of their pianos, if a glimpse of hard unpleasant reality peeps through we simply veil it in another layer of fluffy illusions.

“The truth is we’re not prepared to draw a line even after he’s gone ahead and committed mass murder,” Steyn said.  “What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy,” said Gen. George Casey, the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff, “but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a tragedy here.”

“Diversity” is more important than 14 dead, dozens wounded?  That is undoubtedly not what he meant, but “diversity” is the ultimate meaningless politically correct notion.

If you have an African-American who immigrated 5 years ago from Ethiopia, and an African-American whose family has lived in America for 150 years, the important thing to them is the color of their skin?  The latter person may have far more in common with someone whose origins were in Mexico, but who was also raised as an army brat. Mothers of toddlers care a lot more about playmates of the same age than their ethnicity.

The differences within ordinary people are far larger than ethnicity.  Political, disinterested, scholarly, cannot read, abused as a child, handicapped, twin, mountain climber, pianist. hunter, animal trainer,potter, vegetarian, homeless, chemist. artist — but only their ethnicity matters?  Please.

The notion that what is important about a person is their race or ethnicity may result in checking off the right little boxes on a census questionnaire but has little to do with the lives of real people. Are those diversity numbers so important?  When it comes to lawsuits, or publicity or promotions the checked-off boxes may matter.  When counting boxes becomes more important than real people,  political correctness does more damage than it is worth.

And shame on you, General Casey.



Eco-Geniuses Cry Doom at Sight of Melting Ice Cubes by American Elephant

Ice figures are pictured on the steps of the concert hall at Gendarmenmarkt

The same liberals who arrogantly claim they want to “return science to it’s rightful place”, are just now learning that ice cubes melt in the summer sun. (They think it represents our impending doom).

Forget the climate, we will be lucky if we survive the next 4 years if this is what passes for scientific enlightenment.



Oh My, We Need Some Remedial Economics 101 Here. by The Elephant's Child

I was still giggling over Nancy Pelosi’s comment on Progressive Health Care: “We will have a cap on costs,  and we will have no cap on benefits, ” when I learned that in Michigan, suffering from some of the highest unemployment  in the country, State Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer wants to test support for potential ballot initiatives that will:

“give voters the chance to circumvent recalcitrant politicians in Lansing, he said, demonstrating that Democrats are “on the side of the people.”

The brilliant ideas they are proposing consider:

  • Hiking the minimum wage to $10 an hour for all workers.
  • Cutting utility rates 20% across the board.
  • Imposing a blanket moratorium on home foreclosures for 12 months.
  • Requiring all employers to provide health care to their employees.
  • Hiking, by $100 a week, and extending, for 6 months, unemployment benefits.

Raising the minimum wage will increase the unemployment rate.  Cutting utility rates will cripple Michigan power companies.  Mandating health insurance should shut down any small businesses who were considering staying in Michigan, and no small employer would consider relocating to Michigan. Remaining would be the Democrats and the unemployed, but who would pay for their additional unemployment benefits remains a mystery.

Then Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm has mandated that 20 percent of the state’s power come from renewable resources — and now she wants utilities to cut consumer rates by 20 percent. Yes, she wants utilities to provide more costly power, and cap the prices that customers pay for it.

Last year, Barack Obama named Ms. Granholm to his 17-member economic advisory board.  According to Edward John Craig, she seems to still be active in that role.  At least the climate bill, the budget, the stimulus and the health care reform agenda would seem to indicate that she is.

I knew that Democrats don’t much like the free market, nor do they understand it.  They are deeply suspicious of the profit motive, and antagonistic to business.

That is why we have a stimulus bill that is going to wait a year or two to attempt to stimulate.  That is why, in spite of warnings that fiscal stimulus seldom works, they were sure that more money would make it work.  That is why they are quite sure that dumping large amounts of federal funds into wind turbines and solar panels to produce “clean” electricity will somehow reduce our dependence on foreign oil; and by making the cost of energy far more expensive will somehow create more jobs.  And as Nancy Pelosi claims, by capping costs and making all health care benefits available to millions more people, we will save money.

It seems that we have all stumbled down the rabbit hole, and are lost in a make-believe world.



Leftists Indulge in Wishful Thinking. We Get to Pay For It! by The Elephant's Child

Remember all the fuss about stem cells? Candidate Obama was going to restore science to its rightful place in the wake of the dreadful Bush administration which was apparently completely unfamiliar with science or the scientific method. Embryonic stem cells, freed from the religious fundamentalism of the Bushies, would cure diseases, allow the lame to walk and provide scientific honors for those who engaged in federally funded embryonic stem cell research, as well as endless riches for those who developed the wondrous new treatments. President Obama quickly lifted the ban that limited federally funded research to existing lines of cells. (Please note, there was no ban on research).

Dr. Bernadine Healy, former director of the National Institutes of Health, was once an embryonic stem cell enthusiast. She now calls such research “obsolete.” Medical-research insiders know that embryonic stem cell technology is proving to be a dead end. Senator Arlen Specter, (D-PA) said the research “has the most remarkable potential of any scientific discovery ever made with respect to human health.” That statement gives an idea of the enthusiasm. Remarkable potential indeed. Real results were another thing.

First of all, there is the rejection problem. Your body naturally fights off foreign cells, even ones that might help. So cell recipients must permanently use imunosuppresive drugs, which are dangerous themselves. Then there is the unpleasant tendency of ES cells to become cancerous or to form teratomas — tumors that can grow larger than a football and contain hair or teeth.

The problem of rejection may someday be solved, but University of Wisconsin scientist James Thomson, who created the first human ES-cell line, says that treatments and cures could be decades away.

Adult stem cells do not have the problem of rejection, for they come from the patient’s own body.  They have treated scores of illnesses including many cancers, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, immunodeficiency disorders, neural degenerative diseases, anemia and other blood disorders.  They have been used in over 2,000 clinical trials.  No uncomfortable moral questions, just cautious, responsible science.

Although it was long thought that only embryonic cells could become pluripotent, researchers in 2006,  led by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Japan’s Kyoto University, were able to reprogram human skin cells to behave like embryonic stem cells.

Several states now fund embryonic stem cell research.  Dead broke California  created a $3 billion research effort with their Proposition 7, and other states such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut also fund the research, which may be a dead end.  Federal funds are flowing.

We’re investing a remarkable amount of money in things that are supported by enthusiasm rather than science.  Liberals have always been utopians,  attached to a romantic view of  policy: ending climate change, stopping the seas from rising, powering the world with the wind and the sun, curing disease and injury with embryonic stem cells.  It’s not going to happen.   But they always want the rest of us to support their flights of fancy with our taxpayer dollars.

And if their romantic policies don’t work?  They cannot  fail, it’s just that they did not appropriate enough money.



Another Government Loan to a Surprising Recipient. by The Elephant's Child

Our government has given a $468 million loan to Tesla Motors to build an electric sedan and the battery packs to run it.  When we have been hearing billions and trillions daily, $468 million begins to sound like chump change.  For those unfamiliar with Tesla motors, I have written about their sexy little Tesla Roadster ($110,000) here and here.  It’s a good looking little electric sports car;  when the London Times car guy tested first one and then another, um, there were a few problems.  But for $468 million they should be able to come up with a sedan.

The Chevy Volt is still much hyped by the Obama administration, and if they can get the price ($40,000) down, the  miles it can go up (40 mi.) on a charge, cover the nation with stations where one can plug in to get recharged less than 40 miles apart, and come up with new sources of energy to make the necessary electricity,  then all will be well, if GM can survive long enough to sell one that anybody wants to buy.

The problem is that the Obama administration is attempting to bankrupt the coal companies, deny nuclear permits, deny coal-fired power plant permits, and rely on “clean” wind farms which produce electricity only when the wind blows, which is definitely not all the time.

When the wind does not blow at the right speed, or when it does, there must be full-time back-up from a regular power plant.  Thus if you are depending on wind power you need more power plants, coal-fired or gas-fired, not fewer.  Wind, solar and geothermal are not cost-effective, cannot produce energy at all without vast subsidies, and there is no indication that they can ever become cost-effective.

But I wish Tesla well, I’m just not sure I understand why taxpayers should finance their experiments.

ADDENDUM: How could I forget to mention the $1.6 billion loan to Nissan to develop electric cars.  I got all wrapped up in the $468 million and completely forgot the $1.6 billion.  My bad.




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