American Elephants

Abolish the EPA. They Are Useless, Ill Informed Leftist Bullies. by The Elephant's Child
August 31, 2009, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Environment, Statism

In its latest issue, Consumer Reports reviewed shower heads.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute criticized them for reporting a high-performing shower head to federal authorities — not because it was defective or fraudulently advertised, but because it exceeded government limits on shower head water flow.

Consumer Reports states that the British-made Hudson Reed Theme Thermostatic Shower Panel had a forceful spray that seemed too good to be true— or legal.  Environmental Protection Agency regulations limit shower head water flow to no more than 2.5 gallons per minute.  Consumer Reports acknowledges that many shower fixtures get around this rule by using several shower heads, but the magazine decided to report the new single-head fixture to authorities anyway.

CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman pointed out that Consumer Reports had things backwards.  Their “duty is to consumers, not bureaucrats.  It should not be acting as a nosy bathroom cop, trying to toss good products in the slammer just because they violate some intrusive federal regulation.  More basically, people ought to be able to use whatever shower fixtures they want, just like they can decide how long a shower to take.  This is a really victimless crime.”

Perhaps this is where Obama’s “green jobs” are going to come from.  Can’t you just see thousands of ACORN members as uniformed bathroom police, checking if you  have a low-flow shower head, a low-flow toilet and  the correct CFC lightbulbs (hope you don’t read in the bathroom, CFCs are terrible reading lights).

Never content to leave well-enough alone, the busybodies at the EPA are planning to restrict shower head flow even further:

Currently there is heightened interest from many stakeholders to pursue the development of performance based shower head  criteria to address water and energy savings, encourage new and emerging technology, and ensure consumer satisfaction.

“Performance based shower head criteria” indeed.  And just who the hell are these “stakeholders?”  The EPA tops my personal list of government agencies to be abolished entirely. They are about to “regulate” carbon dioxide as a “pollutant,” so plan to stop breathing soon. They may be missing high school biology, but they do understand that calling CO2 a pollutant gives them the regulatory ability to regulate absolutely everything.  Can’t beat that if you are a good leftist!


The United States of America’s Bad Neighbor Policy. by The Elephant's Child
August 31, 2009, 12:25 am
Filed under: Developing Nations, Foreign Policy, Latin America, Socialism | Tags: , ,

Honduran Flag

The U.S. State Department staff have recommended that the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya be determined to be a “military coup.”  Last week the Obama-style Good Neighbor Policy announced that visa services for Honduran are suspended indefinitely, and that some $135 million in bilateral aid might be rescinded.

To recap a little recent history, Honduras has been quite aware of the tendency in Latin America for Presidents to suddenly get the ambition to convert their tenure into a more rewarding lifelong term.  Observing this, the Honduran people wrote into their Constitution, Article 249, which states that any president who tries for a second term automatically loses the privilege of his office.  Mr. Zelaya did attempt to secure a longer term with the help of his buddy Hugo Chavez (who has already declared himself Dictator for life), and the Supreme Court of Honduras ordered the Army to evict Mr. Zelaya from the country.

Back home, things have not been going well for President Obama. His approval ratings are tanking—according To Rasmussen, 42 percent strongly disapprove of his job performance, while only 32 percent strongly approve.  His SEIU thugs, ordered to be approving attendees at ObamaCare town halls, have been a little thuggish and exceeded their instructions.

The British released the Lockerbie bomber in return for an oil agreement with Libya, ignoring American concerns. Obama’s budget management has proved to be ephemeral, and the Congressional Budget Office says spending will reach 23 percent of GDP without the health care plan or the Waxman-Markey climate bill.

So with things going so badly, Mr. Obama doesn’t need another loss, particularly from a small Central American country that dares to defy  imperial orders from Washington.  Behind the scenes, the State Department has been putting intense pressure on Honduras to return Mr. Zelaya to power.  Mary O’Grady of the Wall Street Journal says:

Mr. Obama apparently wants in on this leftie-fest.  He ran for president, in essence, against George W. Bush. Mr Bush was unpopular in socialist circles.  This administration wants to show that it can be cool with Mr. Chavez and friends.

There have been reports that U.S. officials have been calling Latin governments to demand that they support the U.S. position.  Prominent Hondurans complain that a State Department official has been pressuring the interim government to accept the return of Mr. Zelaya to power.  So in effect they are demanding that Honduras ignore their constitution and follow U.S. orders.  Threatening to use all U.S. power against a small, poor Latin Democracy is not exactly a way to be “cool.”

But then promoting Democracy doesn’t seem to be on President Obama’s agenda.

Democrats Set New Record Low: Exploit Funeral, Religion AND Children Simultaneously! by American Elephant
August 30, 2009, 3:48 pm
Filed under: Health Care, Liberalism, News, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: ,

Apparently unsatisfied with their shockingly disgraceful performance at the Wellstone memorial, Democrats are out politicizing funerals again, plumbing new depths of depravity. Except this time, while they felt the need to politicize the event, they lacked the courage and character to risk the backlash themselves — so they wrote scripted prayers for children to recite in their stead.

Think about this for just a moment. These people are so obsessed with politics —  so obsessed with seizing your power and money from you that they cannot attend a funeral without using it as an opportunity to forward their powerlust. Via children. It’s not just appalling, people like that are deeply dangerous to liberty.

(h/t Hot Air)

Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty of Just What It’s All About. by The Elephant's Child
August 29, 2009, 2:01 am
Filed under: Economy, Freedom, Health Care | Tags: , ,

The problem with economics is that there is never enough of anything.  Resources are constrained, we can’t have everything, so someone has to make the cost-benefit decision.

Capitalism works by, say, a brand new offering of giant TV screens.  Wow, gorgeous picture.  Real movie theater in your own home, and you don’t even have to pay an exorbitant price for the popcorn.  But the cost!  Everybody wants one, but how long does it take to pay for one and is it worth it?

What usually happens is that those who can easily afford the cost will promptly buy one.  That income to the manufacturer allows the next batch of giant TV screens to be larger and cost a little less.  As quantities grow, the manufacturer can make more money by selling  larger quantities. You make more money by selling 10,000 at $10 profit each than by selling 100 at $100 profit each.  Before too long the price has really come down and way more people can afford to buy one.

Those who rail at the wealthy man who buys the first, highly prized product as being somehow “unfair” are missing the point.  It is the people who are willing to shell out for the originals that make the later low price possible.

Keith Hennessey focuses today on a very basic health care question:  “Who should decide whether additional medical care is worth the cost.” Most of the health care debate boils down to this question. Mr. Hennessey has a wonderful ability to frame questions in a way that makes you think through the problems.  We have to understand the trade-offs and the decisions involved.  His portrayal of the debate is short, but reading the comments  is also useful.  Don’t miss this one!!

Just Stop! No More Spending, None! Please, Just Stop. by The Elephant's Child
August 28, 2009, 3:55 am
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy | Tags: , ,

Americans are angry.  They don’t like the uncontrolled, useless spending coming out of Washington.  Stimulus funds going to residents of federal prisons, to rebuild bridges that have no traffic, to build bicycle paths and fund pornographic theater, are not designed to make people feel better when unemployment is growing towards 10 percent.

That’s the national average.  In many places it is far higher, and the job outlook is dismal.  That is dismal, except in Washington D.C., where employment has never been better.

Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, caused a bit of a stir earlier this week when he relayed the latest wage data from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The new data show that average federal compensation is now ore than double the average in the private sector.

In 2008, the average wage for 1.9 million federal civilian workers was $79,197, which compared to an average $49,935 for the nation’s 108 million private sector workers.  The federal advantage is even more pronounced when worker benefits are included.  In 2008, federal worker compensation averaged a remarkable $119,982, which was more than double the private sector average of $59,909.


For those who wanted to argue elites and essential and highly educated, he responded with further clarification. If you are one of the folks who are struggling along on a pay-cut and just grateful that you still have a job, I’m  sure that it is comforting to know that the federal workers are an elite workforce with highly educated people.  That’s why they’re making such a mess of the spending.

What was it that W.F. Buckley used to say about how he’d rather have the first 500 names in the phone book than the faculty of Harvard…?

About What’s In The House Health-Care Bill HR3200 — All Those “Myths” by The Elephant's Child


During the August recess, Democrats President Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and dozens of others have insisted that ObamaCare does not provide coverage for illegal immigrants, no way, not ever.  The President said during his Saturday address that he wants “an honest debate,” not one dominated by willful misrepresentations and outright distortions”

They are wrong in claiming illegal immigrants will be covered “That is not true.  Illegal immigrants would not be covered.  That idea has not even been on the table.” Obama said.

Congressional Research Service (CRS) says under H.R. 3200, a “Health Insurance Exchange’ would begin operation in 2013 and would offer private plans alongside a public option.  H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitizens — whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently — participating in the Exchange.

CRS also notes that the bill has no provision for requiring those seeking coverage or services to provide proof of citizenship.  Oops!



President Obama said on Saturday: “Some are also saying that coverage for abortions would be mandated under reform.  Also false.  When it comes to the current ban on using tax dollars for abortions, nothing will change under reform.” reported on Friday”  “As for the House Bill as it stands now, it’s a matter of fact that it would allow both a “public plan” and newly subsidized private plans to cover all abortions.”

The House bill would mandate the establishment of at least one insurance plan that covers elective abortions in every regional health-care “exchange” for every federally-subsidized plans.  Again, Oops!

Let’s do have an honest debate, not one dominated by misrepresentations and distortions.

Obamacare Preview: 1 Million Brits Receive ‘Cruel and Neglectful Care’ by American Elephant
August 27, 2009, 1:54 pm
Filed under: Health Care, Politics | Tags: ,

In the last six years, the Patients Association claims hundreds of thousands have suffered from poor standards of nursing, often with ‘neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel’ treatment.

The charity has disclosed a horrifying catalogue of elderly people left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffering from repeatedly cancelled operations, missed diagnoses and dismissive staff. [read more]

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