American Elephants

A Very Brief History of Pretty Much Everything! by The Elephant's Child
February 20, 2010, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Art, Entertainment, History, Politics | Tags:

Assume that you needed to give an alien, the first to visit Earth, a quick understanding of man’s history on the planet. Where would you start, what would you say?

You could point him to this cartoon.  One art student took three weeks and 2,100 pages to complete a history of everything.  Quick and dirty, as they say, but fun and clever.
(h/t: Kim Komando)

The System is Not Broken. This is How It’s Supposed to Work! by The Elephant's Child
February 20, 2010, 9:08 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Progressivism, The Constitution | Tags: , , ,

Even Democrats recognize that things have gone wrong in this last year.  They have two excuses responses.  The first is that America has become “ungovernable.” Charles Krauthammer responded to that yesterday.

In the latter days of the Carter presidency, it became fashionable to say that the office had become unmanageable and was simply too big for one man. Some suggested a single, six-year presidential term. The president’s own White House counsel suggested abolishing the separation of powers and going to a more parliamentary system of unitary executive control. America had become ungovernable.

Then came Ronald Reagan, and all that chatter disappeared.

The tyranny of entitlements? Reagan collaborated with Tip O’Neill, the legendary Democratic House speaker, to establish the Alan Greenspan commission that kept Social Security solvent for a quarter-century.

A corrupted system of taxation? Reagan worked with liberal Democrat Bill Bradley to craft a legislative miracle: tax reform that eliminated dozens of loopholes and slashed rates across the board — and fueled two decades of economic growth.

Later, a highly skilled Democratic president, Bill Clinton, successfully tackled another supposedly intractable problem: the culture of intergenerational dependency. He collaborated with another House speaker, Newt Gingrich, to produce the single most successful social reform of our time, the abolition of welfare as an entitlement.

It turned out that the country’s problems were not problems of structure but of leadership. Reagan and Clinton had it. Carter didn’t. Under a president with extensive executive experience, good political skills, and an ideological compass in tune with the public’s, the country was indeed governable.

The excuse that this is a communications problem — interesting for a president who has made more speeches in his first year than any other — is denied by Charlie Cook, mild-mannered Democrat pollster:

This is a reality problem. And I think they just made some grave miscalculations and as it became more clear that they had screwed up, they just kept doubling down their bet. And so I think, no, this is one of the biggest miscalculations that we’ve seen in modern political history.

He also says that” it’s hard to come up with a scenario where the Democrats don’t lose the house.”

There remains not the slightest indication that the Democrats have any intention of changing their approach, or even doing a little soul-searching.

The two-party system was designed to promote discussion and dissension so that the problems of policies could be worked out in debate before being enacted into law.

It wasn’t intended that one domineering party should rule by bullying and closing down argument, and meeting behind closed doors to make secret agreements.    Hard to convince those who are determined to get their own way.

Keith Olbermann Suggests the Tea Party People are a Bunch of Racists! by The Elephant's Child
February 20, 2010, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Politics

Blogger Randy Haddock put together this video as a response to Keith Olbermann, who claimed that Tea Parties were dominated by white people. During a follow-up discussion on DailyKos of what  Olbermann called the “racist” undertones of the tea party movement, one commenter offered a wry riposte, suggesting , “a tea party gathering looks something like MSNBC line-up on week-days.”

Olbermann responded to the comment with a defensive list, rattling off every person of color he could think of who had ever appeared on the network (note the vast majority are guests, or “backups). You can almost hear the “some of my best friends are black!” panic.
(h/t: The Corner, NRO )

If You’re Beating a Dead Horse, For Heaven’s Sake Dismount! by The Elephant's Child
February 20, 2010, 7:46 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Progressivism | Tags: ,

Back in early September of 2009, Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation wrote:

In 1939, after a doubling of federal spending failed to relieve the Great Depression, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau said that “we have tired spending money.  We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work…After eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started…and an enormous debt to boot!” Japan made the same mistake in the 1990s building the largest government debt in the industrial world) , and the United States is making it today.

This repeated failure has nothing to do with the pace or type of spending. Rather, the problem is found in the oft-repeated Keynesian myth that deficit spending “injects new dollars into the economy,” thereby increasing demand and spurring economic growth. According to this theory, government spending adds money to the economy, taxes remove money, and the budget deficit represents net new dollars injected. Therefore, it scarcely matters how the dollars are spent. John Maynard Keynes famously asserted that a government program paying people to dig and then refill ditches would provide new income for those workers to spend and circulate through the economy, creating even more jobs and income.

Last week, Mr. Riedl added:

On the stimulus’s first anniversary, keep in mind one number: 6.3 million.

That is the Obama jobs gap — the difference between the 3.3 million net jobs President Obama said would be created (not just saved) and the 3 million additional net jobs that have since been lost. …

The White House’s new estimates of “saving” nearly 2 million jobs are not based on observations of the economy’s recent performance. Rather, they are based on the Obama administration’s unshakable belief that deficit spending must create jobs and growth. Specifically, the White House’s “proof” that the stimulus created jobs is an economic model that they programmed to assume that stimulus spending automatically creates jobs. …

The White House says the $300 billion spent from the stimulus thus far has financed as many as 2 million jobs. Maybe. However, the private sector now has $300 billion less to spend, which, by the same logic, means it must lose the same number of jobs, leaving a net employment impact of zero. But the White House’s single-entry bookkeeping simply ignores that side of the equation.

So this time, there will not be another “stimulus.”  There will be a “jobs bill.” When you can’t won’t change your policy, just change the language in which you describe it.  Or possibly “Damn the evidence, full speed ahead.”

Try a Bit of Honesty, Truth and Transparency. by The Elephant's Child

A funny line from a friend of a friend that Mike Potemra posted in the Corner at National Review:

“I heard that Obama just received the Gold Medal at the Olympics for the ‘downhill, and how everyone was amazed how someone can go down that fast in such record time.”

Mike Potemra said “I remember everyone telling me back in January 2009 that a reputation like Obama’s could not possibly be sustained, that compared to the adulation he was receiving he could not possibly do anything but underperform.  But he has not merely underperformed in comparison to an inflated reputation.  He has underperformed in comparison to anything a reasonable person would call ‘success’.”

The vaunted campaign with the public-relations tricks designed to make the candidate appear “presidential”, may have convinced voters that the promised “change” was something desirable, but they were really no favor to Mr. Obama. The photos and paintings of Obama as a Messiah, were not only over the top, but created a standard impossible for anyone to measure up to.

Truth remains the best policy.  Candidates need present themselves in a way that says honestly — Here’s who I am, here’s what I believe, and here’s what I hope to do.  That doesn’t only apply to candidates, but to presidents, and to members of Congress.

Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice, 1586 — “at the length the truth will out.”

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