American Elephants

Dear Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid… by The Elephant's Child

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi

In the heat of a Washington summer, and the heat of debate, you may have forgotten something. I know how the deference of aides, the eagerness with which newsmen cluster around to hear your words, and the regal surroundings of the capitol can lead members of Congress to feel that they are something pretty special. It is easy to feel like something of a chosen elite; but you must remember that you are our servants, responsible to all of us, not just to the organizations who sent you the most campaign funds.

That alone may count for a good portion of your terrible approval rating, the worst approval rating that has ever been measured for any organization as long as Gallup has been measuring. 12%. Only half of that — 6% approve of Congress “a great deal”. Whew!

What you have forgotten is that all those public lands that Americans want opened to oil exploration don’t belong to you. They belong to American taxpayers. As does any oil that is found. 75% of Americans oppose the ban on offshore drilling.

Well, you’re off for a Fourth of July vacation. Have a nice time, enjoy the fireworks, and perhaps…listen to your constituents.

Here’s the voting record… by The Elephant's Child

The U.S, Congress

We posted this piece previously, but we have talked a lot about just where the blame lies for our current problems at the pump. The facts are worth revisiting.

For decades, the Democratic Party has put one source of petroleum after another off-limits to drilling, thus driving up the cost of petroleum and the price of gas at the pump. Oddly, people don’t seem to understand the connections, and have not put political pressure on Democrats in Congress. Nor do they seem to recognize how different the policies of the two parties are.

Congressman Roy Blunt put together these data to highlight the differences between House Republicans and House Democrats on energy policy. Power Line made them available for the rest of us:

ANWR Exploration
House Republicans: 91% Supported. House Democrats: 86% Opposed.

House Republicans: 90% supported. House Democrats: 78% Opposed.

Oil Shale Exploration
House Republicans: 90% Supported. House Democrats: 86% Opposed.

Outer Continental Shelf Exploration
House Republicans: 81% Supported. House Democrats: 83% Opposed.

Increased Refinery Capacity
House Republicans: 97% Supported. House Democrats: 96% Opposed.


91% of House Republicans have historically voted to increase the production of America’s own oil and gas.

86% of House Democrats have historically voted against increasing production of America’s own oil and gas.

Obama Losing Ground by American Elephant
June 30, 2008, 12:52 am
Filed under: Election 2008, Media Bias, News, Politics | Tags: , , , , ,

Senator John McCain

Time magazine joins Gallup and Rasmussen in showing a virtual dead heat between McCain and Obama. Gone, if it ever existed, is any “bump” Obama got from clinching the nomination.

This should be particularly disturbing to the Obama camp considering news analysis shows that Obama-only stories outnumber McCain-only stories by 4 to 1.

But not only is Obama losing ground to McCain, he has lost the Iraq issue, with voters trusting McCain more to deal with it best, and McCain leads Obama by 20 points when voters are asked who will best protect the country.

As Ed Morrissey at Hot air notes, the more people see of Obama, the less they seem to like him.

Dear Barack Obama…. by The Elephant's Child

I received a letter from Barack Obama yesterday. I was interested because it was the first ‘personal’ communication I have had from Barack. He said that “together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea. Yes we can…”

Well, O.K. Can what? “A chorus of millions calling for change.” Change what? He says: “I’ll be a President who finally brings Democrats and Republicans together to make health care affordable and available for every single American.” His Messiahness surely has great confidence in his own ability to fix everything. Unfortunately his record does not indicate that he can do any such thing.

Obama has made it clear that he is in favor of single-payer health care, not something that any Republicans have proposed. Republicans look at the history of countries like us who have instituted socialized medicine, (for that is what single-payer is) and really don’t think that is the way to go.

Have you ever heard of Claude Castonguay? In the 1960s Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health care reform and recommended that his own province of Quebec adopt government-administered health care covering all citizens through tax levies. The government followed his advice, and soon his ideas were implemented coast to coast.

Forty years later, Castonguay was again in charge of a committee reviewing Quebec health care. The committee concluded that the system is in crisis. “We thought we could resolve the system’s problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it,” he said.

Now he recommends a drastic overhaul. They propose to give a greater role to the private sector so that the people can exercise freedom of choice. Oh.

Investors Business Daily tells about “Sylvia de Vires, an Ontario woman afflicted with a 13-inch, fluid-filled tumor weighing 40 pounds who was unable to get timely care in Canada. She crossed the American border to Pontiac, Michigan, where a surgeon removed the tumor, estimating that she could not have lived longer than a few weeks more.”

“The Canadian government pays for U.S. medical care in some circumstances, but it declined to do so in de Vires’ case for a bureaucratically perfect, but inhumane, reason; she hadn’t properly filled out a form.” This is not unusual. In Norwalk, Ontario, people participate in lotteries to win appointments with the local family doctor. Oh.

In Britain, the Labour government vilifies anyone who suggests a different system of health care. A woman who was dying of cancer was denied NHS treatment in her final months — because she had paid privately for a drug which offered her the chance of living longer, but which NHS refused to provide. When she used her own money, NHS refused all treatment including chemotherapy.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson has ordered the NHS trusts to refuse to allow patients to pay for additional medicines. This was to stop a ‘two-tier’ service where people who were receiving top quality drugs were being treated in the same wards with those getting only standard NHS medicines.

The Ministry of Health declared that British patients should be treated in the ER within four hours. As a result, in some hospitals seriously ill patients were kept in parked ambulances for hours to avoid disobeying the regulation.

In Texas, Republican Governor Rick Perry has pushed through tort reform that lowers liability insurance for doctors. The result? Doctors are flocking to Texas. In Florida, Republican Governor Crist has opened the state to insurance companies from all over the country. The result? The cost of health insurance is dropping significantly.

Obama said that he “doesn’t want to wake up four years from now and find out that millions of Americans still lack health care because we couldn’t take on the insurance industry.” The Insurance industry? Health care is expensive because of the insurance industry? How about MRIs or CAT scans? How about all the miraculous new drugs and new treatments that are saving lives? Today you decide what treatment you want. You would rather leave that decision to a bunch of bureaucrats? Health care is expensive now because of government interference in the market, not because the insurance industry is evil.

Obama revisited his usual canard about George W. Bush’s “failed policies on the war in Iraq”, apparently still unaware that Iraq is turning into a real success, since he has neither visited Iraq nor talked to the Generals in charge.

He says “if those Republicans come at me with the same fear-mongering and swift-boating that they usually do, then I will take them on head on.” Obama apparently does not recall that dreadful day of 9/11, or else he just believes, in spite of vast evidence to to the contrary, that the attack on the twin towers was a one-off event. George W. Bush has done a pretty remarkable job of protecting us over the past seven years, in spite of a number of unsuccessful attempts. The danger is real, and attempting to smear the President for recognizing that fact is, at best, crass. Obama seems to be more interested in whether or not other nations like us. And the swift-boat veterans, by the way, decisively proved that John Kerry was a liar.

Obama has proved his naÏve view of events by claiming that his opposition to the War in Iraq when he was a back-bencher in the Illinois state legislature was either wise or something to brag about.

He tries to blame the Bush tax cuts which have fostered an 8 year economic boom with the usual “tax-cuts for the wealthy” misrepresentation. And of course, brags that he will end them. Oh dear. Robert Mundell, Nobel Prize winning economist has some advice for Obama.

Obama’s letter goes on for 6 pages, but hasn’t really much to say except for flowery statements of hope and change. He offers hope, undefined, except that we are supposed to hope for change, which is defined as reaching back into the past for Democrat ideas that didn’t work.

After the six pages, we get to the meat of the missive: the asking for money part. “Dear Barack, I agree! We are the ones we’ve been waiting for…we are the change we seek. You can count on me to support…”

Well, no, sorry, you can’t.

Progressive Thinkers or Mindless Sheeple? by American Elephant

You decide:

(h/t Mind of Mookie)

MoveOn.Org Gets “Owned” by American Elephant

I don’t know if you saw or heard about the truly ridiculous and despicable ad by in which a mother (or an actress with a child) again misrepresents John McCain’s statements on Iraq, and then tells him basically, “you cant take my baby!” (You can watch the ad here.)

Now, a young military wife has filmed her own ad in response. Ania Egland grew up under communism and is the proud wife of Eric Egland who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ania’s ad simply blows MoveOn out of the water! What an enormous difference between her optimistic, selfless love of country, and MoveOn’s dishonest, selfish, self-righteous, and frankly, immature, hate and bitterness.

I hope everyone who saw the MoveOn ad will see this one. It really epitomizes the difference between the right and left in this country, and the stark difference this election represents.

Let’s Get Serious About an Energy Policy… by The Elephant's Child
June 25, 2008, 5:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Obama gave a speech yesterday in Las Vegas. It was called “A Serious Energy Policy for Our Future”. He (hold your breath) blamed John McCain for the high price of gas. Well, he also spread it around Washington a little. He talked about our “addiction” to oil, and the “promise” of biofuels and “green Jobs” and the usual solar and wind blather. He promised that he will fix it.

The possibilities of renewable energy are limitless. But to truly harness its potential, we urgently need real leadership from Washington — leadership that has been missing for decades. We have been talking about energy independence since Americans were waiting in gas lines during the 1970s. We’ve heard promises about it in every State of the Union for the last three decades. But each and every year, we become more, not less, addicted to oil — a 19th century fossil fuel that is dirty, dwindling, and dangerously expensive. Why?

Why do they always claim we’re “addicted” to oil? As if we could just go through rehab, and we wouldn’t have to use anymore. Our economy runs on oil. Everything that we eat, wear, use and live in or with, is transported to us by the energy in petroleum. To simply dismiss it as “a 19th century fossil fuel” shows a breathtaking lack of understanding of the importance of oil in our economy. And “dwindling” — only because with our refusal to tap our own abundant resources, we are increasingly dependent on oil from foreign sources. The world has plenty of oil. Brazil has just discovered two immense oil fields. Iraq’s oil reserves are estimated to be greater than Saudi Arabia’s. China and Cuba are drilling just off our coast. But back to Barack:

After all those years in Washington, John McCain still doesn’t get it. I commend him for his desire to accelerate the search for a battery that can power the cars of the future. I’ve been talking about this myself for the last few years. [?] When John F. Kennedy decided that we were going to put a man on the moon, he didn’t put a bounty out for some rocket scientist to win — he put the full resources of the United States government behind the project and called on the ingenuity and innovation of the American people. That’s the kind of effort we need to achieve energy independence in this country, and nothing less will do. But in this campaign, John McCain offering the same old gimmicks that will provide almost no short-term relief to folks who are struggling with high gas prices; gimmicks that will only increase our oil addiction for another four years.

Sigh. Democrats have swallowed so much Marxism that they cannot understand that “capitalism” is not a dirty word. “Capitalism” is simply the name Marx gave to the natural workings of the free market, because he was trying to sell his own system — socialism. Democrats do not like the free market. They don’t understand it, and they fear it because they cannot control it. [Which is the basic idea. It is called freedomfree market. They are supposed to let it alone.]

But Obama is too late. The Manhattan Project is already underway. As a result of higher energy prices, Robert Bryce tells us in The Energy Tribune ,” huge investments in renewable energy technologies are being made without government mandates. And yet more good news: the amount of technology and capital being brought to bear is unprecedented.”

According to New Energy Finance Ltd., a London-based research firm, in 2007 some $148.4 billion was invested globally in what it calls “clean energy technologies, companies and projects.” That’s nearly a four-fold increase over 2004 levels. And the 2007 estimate may be too low, according to Mark Mills, a co-founder of Digital Power Capital, a private equity fund that invests in energy technologies, and the co-author of The Bottomless Well, a provocative book on energy. Further Mills points to two critical differences from the 1970s, when energy price spikes hit the U.S. They are the huge amount of venture capital now available to energy entrepreneurs, and “the phenomenal new suite of technologies that are being brought to the market that can address the problem.”

Back in the ’70s, there was little private capital available to entrepreneurs who were developing new energy technologies. Today there are several thousand firms providing venture capital or private equity. And they are providing funding to inventors who can tap a staggering array of new technologies, from nanotechnology to high-bandwidth wireless communications, as they work to come up with new energy solutions.

Why has all that venture capital become available? Because people with some spare cash saw the immense returns that came from early support of the Google guys, for example. The market responds. Mr. Bryce goes on to say:

That’s the essential point: markets, not governments, are going to determine the pace of our transition to alternative and renewable fuels. The length of that transition — which will likely last several decades — depends almost exclusively on how quickly those new sources can become cost-competitive with fossil fuels.

Obama returns to the Democrat congress’ 68 million acres ploy (see Poof! Nancy Pelosi solves the oil crisis!) CAFE standards, already jacked up, and ‘improved’ biofuels. New studies show that ethanol has little effect on gas prices, but significant pressure on food. The effect of ethanol on gas prices is almost too small to measure, but the effects on food prices and security are huge. And 2-4 million acres of corn may be lost in the wake of Midwest floods. The problem is land turned from producing food to our fuel tanks. The earth’s population is expected to increase until about 2050, and then begin turning down. We are going to need all our farmland producing food to feed the world, and to avoid turning forest land over to food production. Government support for corn-based ethanol ensures a significant and continually increasing demand for corn. These policies interfere with the normal functioning of markets.

In the run-up to the 2006 election, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was complaining about $2.50 gas prices and in a press release said,”Democrats have a commonsense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices…” Well, yes. Since then she has forced a vote to increase taxes on energy four times. And dragged in oil company executives for an inquisition. But their commonsense plans are not yet apparent.

Brian Sussman addresses Democrat tactics and how our present predicament came about in an article at American Thinker. Obama, in defending his lack of military and foreign policy experience, chastises Republicans for using fear tactics. Which is what Democrats are using to try to dissuade our government from allowing offshore exploration and drilling. And why they are more interested in mandates and socialist solutions like nationalizing America’s oil refineries.

The free market works. Government mandates and government control have a long unhappy history. This is not change we can believe in.

Ultimately, it is all about freedom. Free markets mean free people. Have an idea? Go for it! (The image is the Morgan Life Car, hydrogen powered and 150mpg, Cost? If you have to ask…)

Watch Your Step! by American Elephant
June 24, 2008, 1:02 am
Filed under: Art, Cool Site of the Day, Pop Culture | Tags: ,

You may just be trodding on a masterpiece. Urban artist, Slinkachu, proves that art happens in the strangest places.

El Baradei Will Resign if Iran Attacked. Oh, and By the Way, Iran Could have Nukes in 6 Months by American Elephant

You may have seen the news on Friday that the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamad ElBaradei, warned that he will resign if Iran is attacked. (This is supposed to be a deterrent?)

One teeny tiny little detail the mainstream media neglected to report, however, is that ElBaradei also said Iran could have a nuclear weapon in as little as 6 months. (h/t lgf)

Most people, I think, would consider the latter ever so slightly more newsworthy than the former. Call me crazy.

Then there’s the New York Times ongoing effort to reveal every national security secret they possibly can.

Both of which beg the question, how far does the media have to go before bias becomes duplicity, subversion and treason?

Unpopular? Let me count the ways… by The Elephant's Child

Popularity? Gallup just did their annual update on confidence in institutions. They found that only 12% of Americans have any confidence in Congress. This is the lowest rating that Gallup has measured for any institution in the 35 years they have been measuring this question. And it gets worse! Only 6% have a “great deal” of confidence in Congress. Whew!

Newspapers and TV news rank along with George W. Bush, which is low enough, but it is Congress that is really, really unpopular. How can this be? Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and the Democrat Congress were going to change everything for the better.

Let’s see. Democrats have raised the minimum wage which has the effect of making it harder for people who are beginners at work to get their first job. (Studies show that even raw beginners usually get promoted within 6 months). Did you notice the big jump this month in unemployment statistics? There weren’t any big layoffs. What there were is a lot of kids looking for summer jobs or first jobs after graduation.

Democrats passed a big energy bill banning incandescent lightbulbs. Now we have to use the florescent kind and call the Haz-Mat team if we drop one. They ordered more ethanol production, which is causing food riots and inflation in food prices. Since they are experts in how to make automobiles, they ordered car makers to increase cafe standards, without any conception that car makers are in the business of pleasing their customers and are working hard to provide them with more fuel-efficient cars. The last time congress did that, car makers were forced to make their cars lighter, and killed about 4,000 additional people a year in highway accidents.

Being expert in solving problems such as high gasoline prices, they called in oil company executives and raked them over the coals for their high salaries and high profits; threatened to take over their businesses; asked the Justice Department to sue OPEC, and demanded that oil companies promptly produce oil from public lands that they have leased. All, of course, while they steadfastly refused to open ANWR, offshore lands or onshore lands, or oil shale lands to exploration and drilling.

Democrats have insulted the Generals who have turned the War in Iraq around, suggested that they are liars, and smeared the troops. And to top it all, they have suggested that Congress should take over American oil refineries so that they can control prices. When I was growing up, they called that communism, and America was pretty definitely against it.

I could go on and on, but space is limited. There is a common thread here, and it seems to be an unfamiliarity with economics and history. Throw in a healthy dose of lack of interest in the meaning of freedom, and how it is attained, preserved and nurtured.

God Love ‘Em… by American Elephant
June 23, 2008, 3:55 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iraq, Military, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

What do you think marines in Iraq do in their free time? No, try again. I guarantee you, it’s probably not what you’re thinking…


UPDATE: More Marine music videos

Poof! Nancy Pelosi solves the oil crisis! by The Elephant's Child
June 20, 2008, 6:34 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Humor | Tags: , , , ,

Nancy Pelosi

Democrats are at it again, trying to trick you with fast action. Nancy Pelosi decides to stick it to the oil companies because they aren’t producing oil from the 68 million acres they already have. Why should Congress give them more land to do nothing with. (See, it is now not Congress’ fault for irresponsibly refusing to open onshore and offshore lands to exploration.We gave them 68 million acres and WHERE IS THE OIL?)

Well, Congress will fix that!

Congress will just compel them to produce oil. So there!

Red Cavaney, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, responds in today’s Wall Street Journal:

If only it were that easy to find and produce oil. Imagine, an act of Congress that could do what geology could not.

These lawmakers ask why oil and gas companies want more access to federal lands to drill if they aren’t using all of the 68 million acres they already have? Anyone with even the most basic understanding of how oil and natural gas are produced — and this should include many members of Congress — knows that claims of “idle” leases are a diversionary feint.

A company bids for and buys a lease because it believes there is a possibility that it may yield enough oil or natural gas to make the cost of the lease, and the costs of exploration and production, commercially viable. The U.S. government received $3.7 billion from company bids in a single lease sale in March 2008.

Pelosi is getting so silly that she just makes me laugh. YOU — Produce oil now!!! That’ll do it. Our gas crisis is solved.

It is always fascinating when Congress takes on business and industry. It is such unfamiliar territory for members of congress, and they know so little, yet are so completely condescending. Businessmen are so polite and so knowledgeable that it never reflects well on their inquisitors. But nobody ever watches committee meetings anyway, and far too often, never reads the response of industry to unfortunate lawmaking.

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