American Elephants


Down to -50 C: Russians Are Freezing to Death As Worst Winter Hits by The Elephant's Child

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Russia is enduring the harshest winter in over 70 years, with temperatures plunging as low as – 50° Celsius. Dozens have died from the cold and nearly 150 have been hospitalized. The country has not experienced such a long cold spell since 1938.  Temperatures are 10 to 15 degrees colder than normal.

Across the country, 45 people have died in the cold, and 266 have been taken to the hospital. The Moscow region saw temperatures of –17° to –18° Celsius. Thermometers in Siberia have hit –50° which is unusual for what we often think of as one of the world’s coldest regions.

The combination of cold weather and more snow has played havoc with traffic and transportation. Flights have been cancelled across the country.

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There are more pictures here. Makes you want to grab another sweater or turn up the heat. What the climate alarmists don’t seem to understand is that warmer weather is generally beneficial. The most perfect climate known to man occurred in the Medieval Climate Optimum, around 900 – 1300 when wine grapes grew in Britain, the Vikings farmed Greenland and the earth bloomed. We can adapt to warmer temperatures, but cold kills.

President Obama, in an interview for TIME’s person of the year issue, as identified climate change as one of his top three priorities in his second term after coming under fire from environmentalists for not doing anything in his first term (a carbon tax, CO2 limits ). Well, not to worry. The IPCC is admitting that CO2 is not a big deal after all. The IPCC admission has the climate world buzzing, but the news hasn’t reached the White House yet.

The models the IPCC uses for its predictions of catastrophic warming have overestimated the climate’s sensitivity to CO2. We can now estimate, based on observations, how sensitive the climate is to forcing from CO2, aerosols and other sources, minus ocean heat uptake. The conclusion suggests that the best observational estimates in decadal-average global temperatures between 1871–1880 and 2002–2011 is this: A doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of 1.6°– 1.7°Celsius or (2.9° –3.1° F). We can handle that. We do every day.

Academic scientists may be reluctant to admit that what they have been maintaining for many years is wrong. We’ll see. But consider the possibilities. President Obama can claim that the end of the global warming scare took place on his watch. He can quit squandering taxpayer money on windmills and solar shingles, plug-in cars, 500 lb. batteries, and stop shutting down the coal-fired power plants and restore our cheapest source of energy. He can send the environmental activists packing. He’s got a win-win situation there.



It’s the Spending, the Spending, the Spending! by The Elephant's Child

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The current debate over the “fiscal cliff” is an empty one, built upon a false premise. The debate pretends to be about raising tax rates to solve our current crisis. The claim is that it is the failure to tax the rich, or that the rich have not paid enough to prevent the present crisis.

If President Obama get his way, is proposed tax increases, to make the rich “pay their fair share,” on the top 2% of earners would fund the federal government for about eight days. If we taxed Americans earning over $1 million on 100% of their income, we would raise at best about $600 billion in revenue, which would not make even a significant dent in our over sixteen trillion dollar debt.

Taxing “the rich”is not a real solution, only political game-playing. Every dollar the government takes is another dollar used unproductively. Every dollar removed from the private sector and wasted in the hands of bureaucrats is a dollar that will not fund a payroll, hire someone who desperately needs a job, purchase goods or pay for services.

President Barack Obama has no intention of cutting back on spending. He has solar panels to support, cronies who want to build wind farms, electric cars to support, a “green fleet” to fuel. Or perhaps to hire more employees for the voraciously growing government. It takes some doing to add another trillion to the budget each year. That’s a lot of spending.

The president says we have no time for spending reforms.  Increasing the taxes paid by the rich is too important, we must do it right not, and maybe he’ll look at spending a little later. This is what Democrats do. See that big orange bulge? That’s interest on the debt, that’s unreformed entitlements and ObamaCare — did you think ObamaCare was going to cut the cost of health care?

The federal government plans on spending $1 trillion more next year than it did four years ago. If we spent at 2008 levels combined with the revenues of 2012, next year we would have a deficit as small as $89 billion. Was the size of government we had in 2008 not big enough? Was there a vast outcry for more people, more buildings, more bureaucracies?

A serious plan would extend the tax rates we have had for 12 years. That would encourage business because they would know what to expect. They would be able to plan, knowing what their taxes will be. If they could plan, and keep a little more of their own earnings, they might even start to grow and expand and hire workers. That beats squeezing a few more bucks out of “the rich,” the people who invest and build and already pay 70 percent of all taxes.

There is a long history that clearly shows that raising taxes depresses the economy.  Democrats just can’t get it through their heads. They want to spend, and to spend more they need more money.

 



The Report On Benghazi Came In, All Over, Nothing to See Here, Just Move Along. by The Elephant's Child
December 19, 2012, 2:57 pm
Filed under: Intelligence, Law, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism

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The Accountability Review Board study of the Benghazi affair, conducted by a board appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and led by Adm Mike Mullen and Thomas Pickering, a longtime U.S. diplomat, faulted a “lack of proactive senior leadership” for security in Benghazi, said physical security was “profoundly weak.”

“Americans in Benghazi and their Tripoli colleagues did their best with what they had, which, in the end, was not enough to prevent the loss of lives,” the 40 page report concludes.

Mrs. Clinton had a headache and could not appear before Congress, but said in a letter to Congress that the State Department would increase funding for security in overseas missions, hire more diplomatic security and create a new office focused on high-threat postings.

“It is our responsibility to constantly improve, to reduce the risks our people face, and to make sure that they have the resources they need to do their jobs,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Three State Department officials resigned under pressure Wednesday.

Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus” resulted in a security level that was “inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place,” according to the report released late Tuesday by the independent Accountability Review Board.

So there you go. The independent Accountability Review Board has told us exactly what we already knew, three sacrificial lambs have resigned, State will move some funding around. The House and Senate negotiators on the pending defense bill agreed to fund an additional 1,000 Marines for embassy security worldwide.  All done, nothing more to see here, just move along on.

Questions about when was the president informed of the attack, and by whom? What actions did he order to be taken? Were his orders carried out? Who decided not to send in military help that was clearly available and able to reach Benghazi in time? Why have the other personnel who were rescued not been available? al is one of the worst to ever smear an American administration.  The sacrificial lambs have been fired, and that will be the end of it. Dead Ambassador and technology expert, two former SEALS, we will try “to make sure that our  people have the resources they need.”

The Diplomad, a retired State Department official commented on November 12.

Enter Benghazi: Most likely a pretty straightforward story of Islamic terror and incompetence by State, CIA, and the Pentagon, and dereliction of duty by the White House. A true analysis of the Benghazi fiasco would lead to a questioning in the middle of an election campaign of the Obama misadministration’s extravagant claims to have killed Al Qaeda; of its disastrous “Arab Spring” policy; and of its mad delusions about turning Libya into a social-democratic wonderland. Ergo the need to make the affair as complicated as possible. First, a torrent of lies and half-truths flung about by Susan Rice about a silly video clip and a flash mob gone bad. Then a steady effort to rewrite history almost as it happened; careful parsing of words; contradictory and nonsensical briefings by different arms of the intelligence community; and, of course, wrapping oneself in the flag, e.g., the Andrews ceremony, taking “offense” at any questioning of motives. Then make sure that the GOP candidate stays quiet about it; for that, nothing better than giving him “classified” briefings with the caveat “be careful what you say about this or you could screw up sensitive and ongoing operations. You don’t want to be responsible for that, do you?” Then–Pennies from Heaven!–the ultimate distraction, right on cue, an unforeseen gift from Zeus, a massive hurricane! What paltry media attention had gone to Benghazi, now went to examining storm damage, and portraying Obama as savior of the storm-tossed.




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