American Elephants


Feds Blame Schumer for Indymac Failure by American Elephant

Rick Moran at American Thinker has the story:

This may be a first in the history of the United States Senate. Federal regulators have cited New York Senator Charles Schumer as the proximate cause for the run on mortgage giant Indymac’s deposits. That run caused the feds to take over the ailing institution to guarantee its remaining deposits. [read more]

Will there be any accountability?

The Wall Street Journal has more on Schumer’s connection to the bank’s failure.



Secret World Bank Report: Biofuel Caused Food Crisis by American Elephant

Add rising food prices, riots and hunger to the long list of casualties of “environmentalists”:

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body. [read more]

As we have noted before, in addition to causing high food prices, shortages, hunger, and suffering, they are much worse for the environment and they are driving species to the brink of extinction. If you haven’t already, call your federal representatives and demand that the government stop subsidizing biofuels. And contact your local governments as well: if they are anything like mine, they are using biofuels in government vehicles in an effort to be “green.”

And keep this tragedy in mind when politicians tell you they want to do something to stop global warming.



Tony Snow Succumbs to Cancer by American Elephant

We were very saddened to hear that Tony Snow lost his long battle with cancer early this morning.

Tony Snow, the former White House press secretary and conservative pundit who bedeviled the press corps and charmed millions as a FOX News television and radio host, died Saturday after a long bout with cancer. He was 53.

A syndicated columnist, editor, TV anchor, radio show host and musician, Snow worked in nearly every medium in a career that spanned more than 30 years. [read more]

I loved watching Tony spar with the press — especially after the incompetent boob McClellan. It was a joy to see him bat them around like a cat with a ball of yarn, always one step ahead. It was reassuring to see that he was sometimes as exasperated with their biased inanities as the rest of us.

During a tenure marked by friendly jousting with journalists, Snow often danced around the press corps, occasionally correcting their grammar and speech even as he responded to their questions.

“Tony did his job with more flair than almost any press secretary before him,” said William McGurn, Bush’s former chief speechwriter. “He loved the give-and-take. But that was possible only because Tony was a man of substance who had real beliefs and principles that he was more than able to defend.”

Above all, it was always clear that Tony Snow was a very good and decent man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and three children.

President and Mrs. Bush’s statement.

Tributes pour in from journalists and politicians.

Watch Brit Hume’s tribute.

Watch Bret Baier tribute.

CBS tribute.

Nancy Pelosi releases classy statement. Good for her.



We want you to speak English… by The Elephant's Child

Yesterday, Obama’s comments to an Hispanic audience about speaking English were widely discussed. The context of Obama’s remarks seemed to be that there is something negative about demanding that immigrants learn English. Here is what Obama said:

You know, I don’t understand when people are going around worrying about “We need to have English — only.”They want to pass a law, “We want English — only.”

Now I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that. But understand this. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English — they’ll learn English — you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish.

Obama’s assumption that all immigrants learn English is incorrect. Many do not take advantage of English classes on offer. But that is not the point. English is the language of commerce in this country, and people who cannot speak English correctly are handicapped in the job market, and in their financial dealings.

But there is a far more important point, made particularly by Daniel Boorstin.

No nation ever believed more firmly that its political life was based on a perfect theory. It was given to us by our first settlers and the Founding Fathers, and is continually embodied in the American experience. We celebrate the United States as the Land of the Free. We believe in American Independence, American equality, American liberty and American democracy; in sum, the American Way of Life. And it is embodied in this special land. The American Myth tells the story of ordinary people moving into an extraordinary land, and in overcoming the challenges of the frontier, they were changed, transformed. The ordeal in the wilderness created the American — free-thinking, optimistic, tough, open and self-reliant.

What we ask of new immigrants is that they become Americans, accept our history as theirs, our values and our way of life. We give no special honors to those who have been here longer. The American whose ancestors came with the Winthrop fleet, or across the land bridge from Siberia or through Ellis Island share the very same American way of life as the newest citizen from El Salvador or Ethiopia.

They must stop being citizens of Mexico or Britain or El Salvador and become Americans. Equal Americans. And part of that is speaking the American language. Not for our convenience as Obama suggests in The Audacity of Hope:

And, if I’m honest with myself, I must admit that I’m not entirely immune to such nativist sentiments….When I’m forced to use a translator to communicate with the guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.

But as a necessary part of becoming an American, they must learn our common language, for we want them to become full participants in American life.

Obama is thinking (again) of foreigners’ impressions of America. How tacky of us not to speak several languages as our European betters do. But Europeans can travel a few miles and be in another country where another language is spoken. Many Americans learn a foreign language in school, yet never have the experience of having to speak it, and it soon fades away.

English is best learned in school by immersion, not by treating English as a “second language”. Liberal ideas of “multiculturalism” are naïvely intended to celebrate all cultures as equal. Helping new immigrants to remain apart, living in their own neighborhood, speaking their old language, observing their old customs may seem kind. The problems that Europeans are having with immigrants who do not assimilate, and who want to impose their old customs and laws on their new country, are a direct result of misguided and meaningless “multiculturalism”.

The United States has done a surprising job of assimilating newcomers. We are, after all, a nation of immigrants. What is astonishing is the intensity of patriotism among new citizens created by this simple fact.

We must understand, when the left pushes “multiculturalism”, that it has nothing to do with cultures, and everything to do with politics. Americans know this instinctively. 83% say getting immigrants to speak English is a higher priority than creating a “bilingual” America.



Nutroot Schadenfreude by American Elephant

Democrats have finally capitulated, after years of lies and demagoguery, to President Bush’s and Republican’s view of FISA laws and presidential authority to conduct warrantless wiretaps in the interests of national security. The 69-28 vote wasn’t even close. Obama’s promised filibuster didn’t materialize. Indeed, he voted for it.

But why did it pass so overwhelmingly when Democrats have been so hysterical over it? How is it possible that president Bush could win when his approval ratings are so low, you ask?

Because Democrats were pandering to their deranged base, they put the nation through all this division and animus for political expediency, and because in the end, President Bush was right, Republicans were right, Democrats were wrong, and they knew it all along.

Naturally, there is much wailing, rending of clothes, pulling of hair, and gnashing of teeth among the MoveOn and Dailykos types.

To which all I can say is: NEENER NEENER NEENER!!!!!



Pelosi Betrays Democrats Lies on Gas by American Elephant

I wasn’t even aware of Pelosi’s call to open up the Strategic Oil Reserves for political expediency until I read it on Significant Pursuit. But I wanted to point out that Renaissance Guy has it exactly right — Pelosi’s call for the President to open the reserves because the extra oil will reduce gas prices, while intended to shift blame to Bush and the Republicans, directly refutes the entire Democrat argument that more oil won’t bring prices down. You can read his post here.

The truth is that Democrats have had their way on energy, whether in the majority or the minority, since at least the Carter administration. For most of that time, they have controlled at least one, if not both, chambers of congress and have been able to block more domestic energy production that way. When Republicans took control in 1994, Clinton blocked it with his veto pen. Republicans have pressed the issue every year since Bush has been in office only to be blocked by Democrat filibusters in congress and their demonizing and demagoguery to the public. Remember how they smeared Vice President Cheney for daring to consult the people who produce the nation’s energy when devising a national energy policy? Democrats would have us meet only with Greenpeace and the Earth Liberation Front.

As a result, while the population and energy needs of America have increased dramatically, our domestic energy supply has remained virtually unchanged for decades. THAT is entirely why we are now, “dependent on foreign oil.” The saying has become so cliche, I worry that people forget the reasons.

I heard Bill O’Reilly the other day claim that Republicans and Democrats are equally to blame in his his sanctimonious, “look how independent I am” tone. I wanted to reach through the radio and throttle him. But at least I remembered why I don’t listen to his show.

The fact is Republicans have supported alternative energy, they have supported wind, biofuel (ugh), and solar — they have even supported conservation efforts — but they also understand that none of those are capable, nor will they be capable any time even relatively soon of meeting our energy needs. They recognize that we need to increase oil production, increase refinery capacity, reduce “boutique” fuels and standardize the gasoline blends, increase clean coal, natural gas and especially nuclear energy.

Democrats on the other hand, have blocked virtually everything BUT wind, solar and conservation. They won’t allow new refineries, they block nuclear plants, they block oil production and even want to tear down the hydro-electric dams that power most of the Northwest to “save” the same salmon they eat probably at least once a week. The same salmon undoubtedly served in the congressional lunchroom alder-smoked or herb crusted with fresh lemon and capers. They filibustered the Republican energy bill when they were in the minority, and their so-called “energy” bill passed now that they are in the minority. You will notice prices have continued to increase — more rapidly if anything — not decreased since.

No, contrary to Bill O’Reilly’s claims, our increased dependence on foreign energy is entirely and solely the Democrats fault. One need look no further than the congressional record for the proof.

So, it is very welcome indeed that Nancy Pelosi is finally admitting that her party has been lying to the people all these years, and admitting that increasing the oil supply will lower prices. Just think of all the damage to the economy and to people that could have been avoided if they hadn’t been lying all this time.

(chart h/t: Michelle Malkin)



How low can approval ratings of a Democrat Congress go? by The Elephant's Child

Well, gas prices are high, and everybody is struggling mightily to avoid doing anything about it. Nancy Pelosi, having refused to allow any debate whatsoever on gasoline prices, is now demanding that President Bush open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to release a “small” amount of oil.

“These are the kind of circumstances, in addition to national security, in which utilization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is more than justified,” Speaker Pelosi wrote in the letter dated Tuesday. read more

The reserve was opened by Bill Clinton to help Al Gore get elected. Yes, this was undoubtedly important to Democrats, but it was hardly a national emergency. They sold off the Naval Reserve in California to Occidental Petroleum too. George W. Bush opened the Reserve after Katrina when many rigs were damaged and off line, but that was a national emergency.

The definition of “national security” and the understanding of the phrase seem a little wobbly, at best. The Reserve consists of salt caverns that are filled with the largest emergency stockpile in the world, approximately 705 million barrels, about 97 percent of the reserve’s capacity. The reserve would replace foreign supplies for about 58 days, or roughly two months. Can you imagine an emergency that could last more than two months? Me too.

The biggest game is of course, attempting to establish blame. In her letter, Pelosi said that during Bush’s tenure the cost of a barrel of oil has risen five-fold, and the effects have been devastating. I do seem to remember President Bush repeatedly asking Congress to open offshore lands and ANWR to exploration, to authorize new refineries and nuclear plants.

Democrats have extolled Jimmy Carter’s prescience in dealing with a previous oil crisis, which was apparently wearing a sweater, installing a woodstove in the White House and putting solar panels on the roof.

The Shah of Iran fled his country in the wake of protests in 1979, allowing the Ayatollah Khomeni to take control. The revolution shattered the Iranian oil sector and drove up prices. Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations increased production and the decline in production amounted to only about 4%. Still, a panic resulted, driving the price up further. read more

In the U.S., the Carter administration instituted price controls, which resulted in long lines at gas stations, as had happened six years earlier when President Nixon adopted price controls. Carter called the oil crisis “the moral equivalent of war” and suggested removing price controls. Congress agreed to remove them in phases, and they were finally discarded in 1981 under Ronald Reagan. From all of this we (hopefully) learned that price controls do not work.

Lessons to be learned now should include the idea that you cannot increase supply by hoping that wind and solar will replace gasoline. Not going to happen. Hybrid cars are an expensive luxury. Electric cars are a future possibility, but will require increased generation of electricity. Solar and wind at present make a minuscule contribution to the grid, and require constant back-up of electric power. Environmentalists’ Utopian dreams are just not ready for prime time, however much some want to rely on hope and change.

The other big lesson is that Congressional interference in the market usually has unfortunate results. The likelihood that lesson will be learned is microscopic, for nothing is ever the fault of congress.

The Senate Majority Leader says that oil and coal are making everyone “sick”, that they are “dirty” and that (non-existent) global warming will destroy the earth. This is the caliber of the debate, and the reason that approval of congress has dropped to single digits with only 9% of Americans approving of congress, and only 2% approving a “great deal”. Whew!



Pet Owners Prefer McCain by American Elephant

dog_and_cat

I never trust a person who doesn’t love animals. Unless they were attacked as a child, beaten with dead animal carcasses, or something similarly traumatic, there really is something deeply wrong with them. A new poll by “the-news-service-that-shall-not-be-named” and Yahoo News lends new political perspective to that belief.

According to the poll of 1,759 adults, pet owners prefer John McCain over Obama 42 to 37 percent. Dog owners prefer McCain by nine points, cat owners prefer him by three.

Conversely, the heartless, animal-hating minority of rat-bastards that don’t care enough about anyone but themselves to own a pet prefer Obama by 48 to 34 percent.

As far as the candidates go, the McCain family has an English Springer Spaniel named Sam, a mutt named Coco, turtles Cuff and Link, a black and white short-hair named Oreo, one ferret, three parakeets and a bunch of saltwater fish.

The Obama family has no pets, but Barack has promised his daughters a dog, “after the election.”

Looks like my instincts were right.



Dissent for WE, but not for thee! by American Elephant

Whatever happened to the left’s mantra that, “dissent is the ultimate form of patriotism?” Mind you, it was an asinine mantra to begin with; nevertheless, it was theirs.

But the deranged left is out to prove once again, that in their world, dissent is a one way street:

First the rabid Democrat base tossed Joe Lieberman out of the party entirely, now, despite being re-elected by the overwhelming majority of his state, nutroots are demanding he be stripped of his committee chairmanship. It’s a tiny tent on the left indeed.

Ironically, this group calls itself “Brave New Films.” The scary Aldous Huxley reference aside, I would say real bravery is not a faceless online petition, to quote Albus Dumbledore, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

Joe Lieberman is doing both.



Video of the Day by Emerald City Elephant
July 9, 2008, 4:26 am
Filed under: Cool Site of the Day, Fun n Games, Humor, Pop Culture | Tags:

A local Seattle man has created a bit of a buzz on YouTube (over 5 million views) by literally dancing around the world. Watch. You will smile.

All I want to know is where do I get that job? If you’re hiring, I’m applying.



While Rome Burns… by American Elephant

World Leaders kick off global food-crisis summit with lavish 8 course dinner:

The dinner consisted of 18 dishes in eight courses including caviar, smoked salmon, Kyoto beef and a “G8 fantasy dessert”.

The banquet was accompanied by five different wines from around the world including champagne, a French Bourgogne and sake.

African leaders including the heads of Ethiopia, Tanzania and Senegal who had taken part in talks during the day were not invited to the function.

The dinner came just hours after a “working lunch” consisting of six courses including white asparagus and truffle soup, crab and a supreme of chicken.

…On the flight to the summit, Mr Brown urged Britons to cut food waste as part of a global drive to help avert the food crisis. [emphasis mine]

Symbolism matters. This was a boneheaded move by all those involved.



Liberals are Coming for Your Cars by American Elephant

“Environmentalists” hate cars. They hate energy. They don’t want the price of gas to come down — they want it to go up! If it isn’t clear to you already, they want to force you out of your car.

In their latest bid to do just that, liberals in California have passed a law requiring all cars for sale to display a “Global Warming Score” much like a pack of cigarettes carries the Surgeon General’s warning:

The labeling law forces cars for sale to display a global warming score, on a scale of one to 10, which is based on how vehicles in the same model year compare to one another. The higher the score, the cleaner a car is. The score takes into account emissions related to production of fuel for each vehicle as well as the direct emissions from vehicles.

The score will be displayed next to the already-required smog score, which also rates cars one to 10 for how many smog-forming emissions they emit. For both scores, an average vehicle will have a score of five. [read more]

Innocuous sounding enough, aside from the extra regulation, enforcement and costs of compliance in an already over-regulated industry — until you consider that, “a proposed law in the European Union would require E.U. public sector bodies put a price on emissions,” and that liberal legislatures around the country have already floated similar trial balloons here, seeking to tax your car’s “carbon footprint.” Then it becomes clear this is just preparation for precisely such a tax.

Once they know your car’s “Global Warming Score”, they can slap a tax on any score they deem unacceptable. So their aim is actually two-fold. Not only do they seek to force you out of your cars by making it increasingly expensive, for those who insist on driving, they are going to choose what you can and cannot drive by making cars they don’t approve of prohibitively expensive.

Like all liberal policies, this will be hardest on the poor. Already punished with high gas prices that are the natural result of Democrat obstruction of efforts to increase domestic energy supply for three decades, the poor are also the least able to go out and buy more fuel efficient cars. How much harder will it be for people to get ahead when they have to depend on the government to move them around?

I will keep saying it, and showing it, until I am blue in the face; “environmentalism” is the new totalitarianism. Václav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic, all too familiar with totalitarianism, agrees. He was spot on when he said recently that there is no aspect of your life that government cannot control when “saving the Earth” is the goal.

And that is precisely what the left intends to do.




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