American Elephants


Obama, in Permanent Campaign Mode, Plays Politics With Unemployment. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama, once again, tries to play the class-warfare game.  Goodness, even the British have noticed.  Janet Daley, a prominent British columnist, notes Barack Obama’s attempts to push class resentment in support of failing administration policies.  His Saturday radio message was a laughable attempt to (once again) call Republicans “the party of the rich.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) (estimated wealth $21 million) believes firmly that unemployment benefits create jobs. This loony theory assumes that people receiving unemployment are so destitute that they immediately rush out to spend every bit of their check, and the “multiplier effect,” a feature of the Keynesian economic computer models, make each dollar spent magically worth at least 1½ times as much in the economy, so everyone will start hiring. There are some missed steps in this process which have to do with uncertainty, increased taxes, increased regulation that have businesses sitting on their hands, afraid to do anything.  Another reason why Keynesian economics have largely been discredited.

The Obama campaign claimed that all their donations came from small amounts contributed by thousands of enthusiastic little people, but such was proved not to be the case.  Their campaign funds came from big donations from the unions, and big donations from — um, — rich people.

The Democracy Alliance was founded in early 2005 by very rich Liberals furious that their efforts to elect John Kerry did not succeed.  In April of 2005 seventy millionaires and billionaires met in Phoenix for a secret planning session.  Members of the Democracy Alliance (called “partners”) pay an initial $25,000 fee, and $30,000 in yearly dues.  They must also pledge to give at least $200,000 each year to groups that the Alliance endorses.

What the unemployed need are jobs.  Not government jobs, although Washington D.C. is the only place in the country where they are really hiring, because they are also paid for with taxpayer money or funds borrowed from China.  What will cause businesses to start hiring?  Removing the uncertainty that now has everyone sitting on the sidelines.

Every time a businessman turns around, there are a new set of rules and regulations. New rules on derivatives targeted on Wall Street but the effect of the rules will weigh heavily on farmers who use them to allay the risk that comes from weather or a drop in price on the market.  The bill will also affect small manufacturers, city governments, credit bureaus and home buyers.  How much?  How bad?  Nobody knows.

The healthcare bill’s effect on business is still unknown.  We’re just finding out a little more about the car-company debacle.  The disaster of the oil spill is not ended by the capping of the well, but exacerbated by the misguided moratorium on drilling.  When the government gets around to recognizing what their moratorium is doing, it may be too late, and all the rigs will have departed for friendlier climes.

The Obama administration has no idea how jobs are created.  Almost no one among his advisers and cabinet members has ever worked in the private sector.  Nor will they listen to those who have. Nor are they willing to listen to other approaches. Obama, we are told, is very dogmatic.  He does not change his mind.  I really hope that is not true.



The Obama Administration Overreaches Again! by The Elephant's Child

On Sunday, a report was released by the special inspector general for the TARP bailout program. Neil Barofsky’s report raised questions about whether the Obama administration’s auto task force considered the job losses from the closings while pressuring the companies to reduce costs.

Treasury didn’t show why the cuts were “either necessary for the sake of the companies’ economic survival or prudent for the sake of the nation’s economic recovery,” said the audit by Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $787 billion stimulus program known as TARP.

“Treasury made a series of decisions that may have substantially contributed to the accelerated shuttering of thousands of small businesses,” investigators said.

Those decisions resulted in “potentially adding tens of thousands of workers to the already lengthy unemployment rolls — all based on a theory and without sufficient consideration of the decisions’ broader economic impact,” the report said.

Obama administration officials said they strongly disagreed with the findings and said the audit focused solely on element of a painful restructuring.

The automobile dealerships were privately owned small businesses, who bought the cars they sold from the car companies.  It was never clear just how the government had the right to put all these privately owned franchise dealers out of business. They had to buy their franchise in the first place. I do not understand how eliminating dealers improves the bottom line of the company, when most of what keeps an automobile company from being profitable are excessively rich union contracts and government regulations, the two factors that remained untouched.  The unions were heavy supporters of the Obama campaign.

Representative Darrell Issa (R– CA), said the audit “should serve as a wake-up call as to the implications of politically orchestrated  bailouts and how putting decisions about private enterprise in the hands of political appointees and bureaucrats can lead to costly and unintended consequences.”

The initial plan from GM called for a gradual reduction of 1,650 of its 5,750 dealers by the end of 2014. Chrysler’s plans were similar.  Treasury rejected those plans, and the two companies agreed to quickly reduce their dealerships. Chrysler agreed to quickly close 789 dealers by June 2009, and GM promised to cut dealer ranks by 1,454 by October 2010.  Following an angry lobbying campaign by dealers, Congress required arbitration for closed dealers. GM reinstated more than 660 dealers, reducing the number planning to appeal. Chrysler agreed to restore about 80 franchises.

GM put out a statement extolling “the new GM” and a stronger dealer network, but we recall their earlier claims about paying back taxpayer funds that turned out to be less than accurate. Chrysler kept quiet.



Big Brother is Watching… Your Weight! by American Elephant
July 19, 2010, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Health Care, News, Politics, Socialism | Tags: ,

Interesting pieces of work, liberals. And by “interesting” I mean pathologically inconsistent, intellectually vacuous, hypocritical, dictatorial, fascist thugs.

On the one hand, they believe the Constitution guarantees an un-enumerated “right” to privacy that protects a woman’s equally un-enumerated “right” to conspire with her doctor to kill a third person without government stepping in to protect life, while on the other hand, they DON’T believe that this same sacrosanct right to medical privacy prohibits the government from seizing your most intimate medical records from your doctor.

And so the Obama administration has nationalized your medical records:

New federal regulations issued this week stipulate that the electronic health records–that all Americans are supposed to have by 2014 under the terms of the stimulus law that President Barack Obama signed last year–must record not only the traditional measures of height and weight, but also the Body Mass Index: a measure of obesity. [more]

And what possible justification can the Federal Government have for even knowing your weight, your BMI or any other part of your medical records? What possible National interest is there? And if the Federal Government has the power to seize your medical records, where does their power stop?



Here is a Work Train That Builds it’s Own Track. by The Elephant's Child
July 19, 2010, 6:15 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

This is fascinating.  I grew up beside a railroad track, and saw all sorts of unusual railroad cars, including a giant crane to put a derailed engine back on the track, snow plows, a “B”-car, work trains with living quarters, speeders, and the usual variety of cars from all over.   It was a long time ago.  This is all new to me and utterly fascinating.

(h/t: Maggie’s Farm)




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