American Elephants


The Always Quotable Dr. Thomas Sowell by The Elephant's Child

“What should American immigration policy be? It doesn’t matter what any of us think that policy should be if the borders are not secure, because whoever wants to come across that border will come anyway, in defiance of whatever the policy might be.

If legal benefits are conferred on illegal immigrants before the border is secured, we may as well give up any pretense that we have an immigration policy, because benefits conferred are never going to be taken back, no matter how porous the border remains.

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Democrats’ Best Laid Plans Often Go Astray by The Elephant's Child

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Things are getting a little strange out there. The big deal today was to be the forces of good (Antifa) battling against the forces of evil (the Alt-Right better known as White Supremacy) in a dramatic confrontation. All fine, except that the Alt-Right could only come up with 24 White Supremacists and the whole thing was more or less a flop. The problem, of course, is that Conservatives are not White Supremacists, and the urgent wish of the Left to make those on the Right into racists (which they are not) just doesn’t work.

Abraham Lincoln, who was the first Republican president, freed the slaves, won the Civil War. The Southern Democrats, the party who imported slaves, established slavery as a way of life, to work Southern plantations, and intended to establish slavery throughout  America. Democrats have been trying to live down their connection to the Confederacy ever since, and the latest iteration is the attempt to turn Republicans into White Supremacists and Racists, with no basis in fact. They were sure that electing the first African–American President,  absolved them from any claims of racism.

CNN, stung by President Trump’s calling them “the enemy of the people,” and talking constantly about “fake news”roused up the far-left Boston Globe which in turn, has signed on some 128 establishment news outlets for a coordinated editorial attack against President Trump, scheduled for August 16. Which is the day after the 73rd Anniversary of VJ Day, and the end of World War II. The theory is that on August 16, some 128 strongly worded op-eds will run to attempt to convince readers into believing that criticism of the media is “unacceptable” and should not be allowed.

There’s a small problem though. Record numbers of Americans consider the news media to be “immoral,” “inaccurate,” and “biased”, according to Pew Research. A plurality of Americans, 42 percent, said that the press was “immoral”, 32 percent thought reporters were “not professional” and 31 percent thought they “don’t care about how good a job they do”. A record high of 63 percent thought reporters were “politically biased in their reporting.”

According to the Harvard Harris poll, 65 percent of voters believe there is  a lot of fake news in the mainstream media. That number includes 80% Republicans, 60% Independents and 53 % Democrats. Eighty-four percent of voters said it is hard to know what news to believe online.

The American public’s trust in the media in 2016 has fallen to its lowest point since at least 1972, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday. Only 32 percent of Republicans had confidence in the media in 2015, and whose confidence dropped to 14 percent in 2016. Gallup began asking respondents whether they had trust and confidence in the media in 1972. The drop in media trust and confidence was also apparent among both young and old respondents, according to the study. 2016 is the first time in 15 years that confidence in the media among Americans 50 and older fell below 40 percent. Perhaps they might want to postpone their editorial attack on Trump until a point when somebody out there actually believes in the mainstream media.

The New York Times, desperately seeking dirt on Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, did a FOIA request for the emails of Brett Kavanaugh’s wife, who is a city official in a Washington suburb, and finding nothing that could create any embarrassment shrugged and said, “We had to try.” (His wife? why?)

Now the folks at Pro-Publica, an explicitly leftist media outlet are asking people to scour their smart phone pictures in case any one caught Brett Kavanaugh at a Washington Nationals baseball game sitting with Lee Harvey Oswald or someone else disreputable.

Shocking. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh accrued as much as $200,000 in debt, buying tickets to Washington Nationals baseball games. Kavanaugh would go to games with a “handful” of friends who reimbursed him for the ticket, and the debts have been paid off. Who did Kavanaugh buy tickets for? How did they reimburse him? Was this properly disclosed? And how was all of this treated for tax purposes? Pro-Publica wants pictures to see who he was sitting with.

There has never been an American President who has been attacked so steadily and so viciously from the moment of his inauguration until today. The press has mostly not managed to cover events and accomplishments  truthfully and without prejudice. Some 128 snarky editorials on Thursday is probably not going to change the minds of Americans.



The Trump Administration is Reforming Medicare with Competition and Common Sense. by The Elephant's Child

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President Trump has approved a new medicare rule to reduce prescription drug prices through competition. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar explained to reporters on Saturday. Few people know that America leads the world in encouraging doctors and patients to use low-cost, high-value generic drugs. More than four-fifths of all prescriptions in the U.S. are for unbranded, off-patent generic drugs that cost less than a typical bottle of mineral water. A tremendous help for people with ordinary medical issues like high blood pressure, early-stage diabetes, and high cholesterol.

The cost problem is the high cost of branded, on-patent prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies take advantage of their market power to charge unreasonably high prices unrelated to the true clinical and economic value of the underlying medicine. The way Medicare — with four different insurance programs with different premiums and copays—covers different kinds of prescription drugs. Medicare Part A covers hospital stays, including the drugs administered there. Medicare Part B, covers drugs administers in doctors” offices such as intravenous infusion. Medicare C, “Medicare Advantage”, is a new, popular, privately-administered Medicare program that covers the same services and Parts A and B. The Bush administration created a 4th Medicare program to cover retail prescription drugs from your pharmacy.

Part D has done a great job of helping competition among private insurers and drug companies to bring lower prices, and the program has come in way under budget. A novelty in U.S. history. However Medicare’s design puts a ceiling on competition because it prevents competition among retail drugs and those administered in doctors offices and hospitals.

A number of expensive drugs for rheumatoid arthritis are administered in doctors offices under Medicare Part B. Doctors get a 6% commission on the average selling price of prescription drugs they administer in their offices, which means a big incentive for doctors to steer patients to these drugs. A new generation of treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are oral drugs financed through Medicare Part D. Because the different Medicare programs operate separately, seniors don’t get the benefit from competition between the new oral drugs and the older drugs covered by Part B.

The new rule allows Medicare Advantage plans to use “step therapy” under which seniors might start with an oral drug paid for by Part D, if it’s of equal clinical value but lower cost, and then step to a more expensive injectable drug if the first medicine fails to work. Insurers would be required to return at least half of the savings to seniors, possibly in the form of those Visa gift cards often sold in grocery stores and pharmacies.

This gives Medicare Advantage plans the tools to get a better deal for patients. Competition works. This is free market capitalism at its best.

There are two short books that I recommend highly, by Philip K. Howard: The Death of Common Sense and The Lost Art of Drawing the Line. He explains how government rule books (law) dictate results that never make sense. Government, with the best of intentions, hands out new legal rights that screw up something else. Intending to be fair, in the name of individual rights, Americans end up losing much of their freedom. Brilliant books that help in understanding why free market capitalism brings prosperity that simply eludes the control freaks of the world.



Nancy Pelosi Reveals the Democrat Game Plan. (Not a Winner). by The Elephant's Child

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If you listen carefully to the Democrats (you don’t have to listen a lot—just pay attention when you do) you will learn what they are up to. Listen to Nancy Pelosi, for example. Appearing on MSNBC, host Johnathan Capeheart said “There are a lot of people out there who are saying the Democrats have no message…the Democrats don’t know what they’re for, they’re against President Trump but they don’t know what they’re for.”

“Democrats are for the people. Democrats are for the people” she responded. Yes, we were told a few weeks back that would be the Democrats’ new slogan. Pelosi clearly got the message. “It means we are for the people having lower medicare costs, reducing the costs of prescription drugs. Democrats are for bigger paychecks by building the infrastructure of America, creating good paying jobs.” Unfortunately, Democrats simply do not understand the free market. Lowering medicare costs means either raising taxes,(which Pelosi has already said would be one of the first things Democrats would do when they get back in charge) or reducing benefits. The Baby Boomers are retiring and simply in their huge numbers, raising the cost of medicare. Black employment and Hispanic employment are the highest in history, so I don’t know why she would think that “infrastructure” (magic word for Dems) would improve on that.

She added that “Trump’s whole thing is ‘Make America White Again’.

“We’re going backward, and the president with all of his statements is the master of the dog whistle. Everything he has done, whether it’s taking babies out of the arms of their moms, whether it’s issues that relate to health care in our country, access to services and the rest is — his whole thing is ‘Make America White Again.’ That’s his thing. He can say a nice thing today in a tweet, but the fact is his actions speak louder than his words.”

There is pretty flimsy evidence. “Taking babies out of the arms of their mothers” has been the law in the Bush administration, in the Obama administration, and the president has sworn to uphold the law. You remember that all the cases of children in cages were taken during the Obama administration. Wanting to build a wall, the Democrats think, can be portrayed as trying to keep brown people out, rather than what it is: welcoming legal immigrants, and keeping illegals who have sneaked across the border with drugs, MS-13 killers, and people who will commit vicious crimes—out. Too many Americans have been killed by illegal immigrants. Then Dems try to add the travel ban on countries with high terrorist rates, to pretend it’s a ban on race or religion, assuming that Americans don’t know that the terrorism of ISIS and others is the result of an interpretation of radical Islam that demands that all either submit to Islam or be killed.

It is quite clear to any sane observer that there is not a racist bone in the Trump body. Unemployment for Blacks and Hispanics is the lowest in U.S. history, and well paying employment the highest in history. I have no idea where they are trying to dredge up make America white from. Some of that comes out of the black-studies college courses, the SPLC tried to promote the idea to encourage rioters at Middlebury College, it was reported. You have probably noticed that shrieks of “white supremacy”  seems to have become a fad among the illiterate. Whenever they can find a so-called “white supremacist” they make a very big deal of it.

The Lefties at Facebook and Twitter have banned Alex (Alec?) Jones, who is some kind of a kook ,for “hate speech,” but let’s say he is not exactly a Republican in good standing. I don’t know who he is.

Nancy Pelosi also accused Mitch McConnell of being “racist.”

Let me remind you that when the Republicans took power when President Obama was president of the United States, what Mitch McConnell said is the most important thing we can do is to make sure he does not succeed. If that wasn’t a racist statement — that is unthinkable. We worked with President Bush although we had our differences. You don’t make a statement to make sure the president doesn’t succeed. Why did he say that? Why did he say that?

Possibly because we were learning that President Obama clearly was a leftist whose first act was to pull the troops out of Iraq, which ruined the painful progress made there, because the war was unpopular. And it was soon made clear that President Obama’s aims were very far left indeed and opposed to everything Republicans believe in.

Clearly that is the ordained Democrat propaganda effort. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” to say that President Donald Trump had made a “concerted effort” to use race to divide people.

What I think I’m most concerned about with this president is his penchant to divide us, to attack people because they’re immigrants, to attack people because of their religion, to attack minorities, to use vulgar language to describe countries where people come who might be Latino or African. There is a concerted effort that he is been engaged in to divide people including dividing based on race. Nowhere was that more obvious, nowhere, than in the aftermath of Charlottesville.

A majority of our own Hispanic citizens do not want the DACA “kids” to get amnesty. Left-wing media outlets Vox and ProPublica are defending MS-13 gangs as regular kids who are “working after-school jobs, living with their parents. They get around Long Island on bicycles because they can’t afford cars.” That’s a frightening pretense.

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS.org) has reported on the Trump administration’s war on MS-13, the Salvadorian gang, reviewing more than 500 cases of MS-13 arrested nationwide, as a very serious threat to public safety. Their resurgence is directly connected to the illegal arrival and resettlement of more than 300,000 Central American youths and families that has continued unabated for six years, and to a de-prioritization of immigration enforcement in the interior of the country by the Obama administration. Do read the whole thing. There’s a map showing where Mara Salvatrucha operates. Over 207  MS-13 members have been charged with murder. Beyond that, 100 with conspiracy/racketeering, sex trafficking, sexual assaults, drug trafficking and extortion. Machetes are a favorite weapon, for chopping people up.

This is the Democrat program attacking Trump that they intend to run on.  Just watch, you will see Democrats repeating the prescribed talking points, “dog whistles” and all. Sick.



Bright Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant! Knowing What’s Up Matters. by The Elephant's Child
August 10, 2018, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Politics

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The Democrats are in big trouble. They really believed that they had reached a place of permanent power. Democrats would reign forever. Hillary was a sure thing. They are on a crusade to remake humanity and civilization. They really believed that good intentions would make it so. The details would be worked out later by experts using the infinite credit card backed by taxing the rich.

Their goal is being in charge. They want to be in control. It’s all surface stuff. Identity politics, dividing people up by race, gender, victimhood, sexual preference. Being in power lets them divide people up into victim groups and succor their hurt feelings, to buy votes. Being in power allows them to use the vast power of government to achieve their ends, making themselves rich and important, funding the important problems like Global Warming, and welcoming the downtrodden from all over the world to come to America and vote for Democrats.

They do not understand the free market — that’s why they are Leftists. They loathe free market capitalism, which allows corporate presidents to become filthy rich on the backs of the slave labor of their abused workers.

The big technology companies prospered by giving the people and business the technology to do all sorts of things that they were never able to before. Providing the tools and the connectivity allowed the technology companies to grow and prosper. Other companies invented ways to get people to connect with each other, have conversations, share ideas and opinions, and while the people were doing that Big Tech could take the information about what the people liked, thought about, did with their lives and sell that information to advertisers who could direct their ads to those who were most likely to buy their products or services. That proved successful, so they continue to refine the search for ever more private information about the people who use their websites. Unsurprisingly, the people are getting a little testy.

Facebook was a bum idea from the first. Putting all your information about yourself and your family online for your friends to see, was the supposition, and how nice it would be to share so easily what you had for dinner and about your new garden. They didn’t really inform you that you were sharing your home, your children, their school, when you were going to be away from home or on vacation, not with just your close friends, but with anyone in the world who decided to look at your page for whatever reasons they might have. There are thieves, child abductors, all sorts of bad people with evil intent out there, and you presented them with more information than you wanted made public. If you offer a public platform, it is very, very public.

Along came Russian interference, collusion and all that, and it appeared that Facebook had harbored some nefarious something or other, and there was talk of regulating, public utility, and Facebook’s stock took a serious dive. Cost Mr. Zuckerberg a bundle. Needing to regain popularity, Mr. Zuckerberg thought that people might like to post their bank accounts online, privacy of course, but think of all the new information that Facebook could share. He’s in discussions with major banks.

Twitter was based on a similar dumb idea. People could make short comments in a limited number of characters. Quick, cute comments. You can’t expect that to thrive in a world that’s all about identity politics, where the nation’s youth are being trained not in free market capitalism, but in hate speech, race mongering, and the need for snowflakes to be protected at all times from having their feelings hurt—when they should instead be learning about how the world works, and how to survive with history and truth and knowledge when they go out into a world based on emotion and in a country where most people cannot name the three branches of government.

Silicon Valley seems to be a valley of leftists, who also believe that they shouldn’t have their feelings hurt, and being leftists, the comments from conservatives were inclined to hurt their feelings a whole lot. The new President of the United States likes to tweet. I think it’s refreshing to know just what the president is thinking or what he wants people to believe he’s thinking. However, the outcry was huge. Trump shouldn’t tweet — it’s “not presidential.”

Twitter’s business model seems to be based on celebrities tweeting, because everybody wants to follow celebrities, and bask in the connection. Celebrities believe incorrectly that everyone wants to know what they think, because the press pays attention to what they say, and for a lazy press corps, what the celebrities said becomes the following day’s news. The business model again, is selling information to advertisers.

In today’s world, the hurt feelings matter looms large. So Twitter determined to solve that problem with banning “hate speech” which turns out to be speech that the Left does not agree with. But how do they define “hate speech”? They had a hard time developing algorithms to capture “hate speech.” The Valley enlisted the Southern Poverty Law Center to be their guide. And Wikipedia.  (stop laughing, it’s true).

True believers in the ravages of Global Warming were dismayed by global warming videos that explained the actual science —  that the slight warming of the climate is not out of line with centuries of warming and cooling. You Tube is now “fact checking” global warming videos with Wikipedia as their guide.

As Legal Insurrection noted: “The Internet’s largest outlets for speech are slowly curtailing the kind of speech they allow, and never in a way that’s advantageous or encouraging to facts, discourse, or non-progressive thought.” That sums it up pretty accurately.



A Wonderful Cartoon! by The Elephant's Child
August 9, 2018, 4:03 am
Filed under: Entertainment, Fun n Games, Humor | Tags: ,

Dog-Poker

Dog Poker!



When Senators Don’t Know What the Senate is For by The Elephant's Child




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