American Elephants

A Simple Question. An Embarrassing Answer. by The Elephant's Child

Here is a wonderful moment from the debate between Linda McMahon and former Atty.Gen Dick Blumenthal who are running for the Senate seat from Connecticut.

Blumenthal leads McMahon at present, but his response to her simple question should eliminate him from the race.

McMahon asked: “How do you create a job?  Blumenthal, running for the United States Senate in a year in which the American people are desperately worried about jobs — simply has no clue.  And like many Democrats, he does not understand that government jobs don’t count, for they are simply a drain on taxpayers’ pocketbooks.

It doesn’t help the economy at all if we have to pay the salary and benefits for another overpaid government worker.


TARP Worked! The Stimulus Failed. Will Spin Work? by The Elephant's Child

TARP has been a success!  TARP worked!  The Troubled Asset Relief Program to rescue financial institutions was executed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson under President George W. Bush.

Two years later, the financial system is  more stable, more than $204 billion of TARP funds have been repaid.  Only a quarter of the original $700 billion authorization remains outstanding.  The total estimated cost of TARP has been cut by more than three-fourths, taxpayers have received $30 billion in income, and the TARP bank programs are on track to make solid returns for taxpayers.

Though management of the program continues, October 3, 2010 marked the end of the authority to make new financial commitments.  We have now recovered most of the investments we made in the banks. Taxpayers will likely earn a profit on the investments the government made in banks and AIG.

TARP was extremely effective in helping to unfreeze the markets for credit and capital, bringing down the cost of borrowing and restoring confidence in the financial system.  There will still be big losses in funds directed to the Auto Programs and the Housing Programs, which were not part of the original intent of TARP.

…if there’s one thing that has unified Democrats and Republicans and everybody in between, it’s that we all hated the bank bailout.  I hated it.  You hated it.  It was about as popular as a root canal.

But when I ran for President, I promised I wouldn’t just do what was popular — I would do what was necessary. And if we had allowed the meltdown of the financial system, unemployment might be double what it is today.  More businesses would certainly have closed.  More homes would have surely been lost.

So I supported the last administration’s efforts to create the financial rescue program.  And when we took that program over, we mad it more transparent and more accountable.  And as a result, the markets are now stabilized, and we’ve recovered most of the money we spent on the banks.”
President Obama, Jan. 27, 2010

Senator Obama voted against the TARP program when it was introduced in the Senate.  It passed into law anyway.  And when President Obama diverted TARP funds to the bailout of the automobile industry, it was far from more transparent and more accountable.  A little spin here.

The government is planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to sell stock in the new Government Motors in November.  The price at which stock would have to be offered to make taxpayers whole is far higher than  the price of GM stock at its highest.  We’re going to take a big loss on that one.


Apathetic Voters? Cultivate the Pot Vote. by The Elephant's Child

For your committed liberal, everything is viewed through a political lens.  Case in point: Democratic strategists are studying a California marijuana-legalization initiative to see if similar ballot measures could energize young, liberal voters in swing states for the 2012 presidential election.  The Wall Street Journal notes:

Some pollsters and party officials say Democratic candidates in California are benefiting from a surge in enthusiasm among young voters eager to back Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in certain quantities and permit local governments to regulate and tax it.

Party strategists and marijuana-legalization advocates are discussing whether to push for similar ballot questions in 2012 in Colorado and Nevada — both expected to be crucial to President Barack Obama’s re-election — and Washington state which will have races for governor and seats in both houses of Congress.

Already, a coalition of Democratic-leaning groups has conducted a poll in Colorado and Washington to test the power of marijuana measures to drive voter turnout.

In Colorado in 2009, a survey by a Democrat pollster found that 45% of Obama “surge voters” — said that they would be interested in turning out again if marijuana legalization were on the ballot.  “If you are 18 to 29, it’s far and away the most compelling reason to go out and vote,” the pollster said.

Ethical questions, not raised.  Health considerations?  Never mind,  It’s all just politics. Marijuana is an illegal drug according to federal statute, and state laws can’t overrule federal laws.  Maybe this is why liberals come up with such bad and unworkable ideas — they’re all stoned.

Yes, You Can Balance the Budget Without Higher Taxes. Please Tell Obama. by The Elephant's Child

The White House and their special interest groups are claiming that it is absolutely necessary to raise taxes on the rich, because, well, they need the money. It would be impossible they say, to cut spending by enough to get rid of red ink.  Here is economist Dr. Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute, who always does a very fine job of explaining complicated economics things.

If you have a copy of the Constitution, take a few minutes today and read Article I, Section 8. It’s very short, and what it does NOT contain is very interesting. Aside from all those Departments that are not mentioned, are a whole raft of interferences in citizens lives that I complain about.

You won’t find dictating what kind of lightbulbs you may use, nor control of your bathroom, no Czars.  Think how bewildered the founding fathers would be about all those Czars.  No Department of Education, no EPA, and no telling you what you can eat or can’t eat.  No funding musicals about climate change either.

A Federal Agency Grants $700,000 for a Musical About Climate Change. by The Elephant's Child

Get your tickets! The National Science Foundation has awarded $700,000 to the Civilians, a New York Theater company, for their planned great new show on — climate change.  If scare tactics don’t work, try song and dance.  Federal agencies are now becoming angels for theater productions.

The Great Immensity is a new play with music that tackles the monumental topic of the environment and the future of our planet.  The play explores the themes of climate change, deforestation and extinction in two distinct locations” Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal and the city of Churchill in arctic Canada.

It tells the story of Polly, a photojournalist who disappears while working in the rain forests of Panama. Phyllis, Polly’s twin, embarks on an international search for her sister that spans the North American continent.   The play weaves in actual interviews with the fictional tale of “the sisters struggle to survive polar bears, tundra buggies, snakes and a Chinese pimp, while grappling with the hopeless realities of climate change.”

Drawing on interviews with botanists, paleontologists, climatologists, indigenous community leaders, polar bear tour guides and trappers. The Great Immensity gives voice to people whose stories make the reality of the present crisis accessible in fresh and compelling ways.

“A major goal of the project is to help the public better appreciate how science studies the Earth’s biosphere and to promote an inquisitive curiosity about our place in the natural world.  The initiative also intends to create and evaluate a new model for how theater can increase public awareness, knowledge , and engagement with important science-related societal issues.” (from the National Science Foundation, a federal agency that pays for science, engineering and mathematics research and education)

Somebody must have written a really creative grant proposal for this one!  What the heck, it’s only money— they can just raise taxes a little more.  How immensely inappropriate.

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