American Elephants

We’ve Been Pivoting To Roads And Bridges For 5 Years! by The Elephant's Child

Gay Patriot had a piece perfectly titled:”When the Only Tool You Know is a Hammer…”

People who know him have said that Barack Obama does not change his mind, if he believed in something yesterday, he believes in it today.

The Obama administration is deeply embarrassed by the most recent 0.1% economic growth rate, the ‘distractions’ of the Benghazi scandal, the IRS scandal, criticism of its foreign policy, the failure of the Asian trip, Putin’s lack of appreciation for Obama’s gestures, and the uproar over the administration failure to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and all the jobs that promises—are pivoting once again to the old tired, crumbling roads and bridges, in the hopes that will please the unions who are really angry about Keystone.

The Obama administration sent to Congress legislation that would provide $302 billion for road and transit projects over four years, a measure needed to keep the U.S. Highway Trust Fund from running dry.

The Transportation Department proposal would boost the highway fund $87 billion above current levels to generate more money for deficient bridges and aging transit systems. The bill also addresses the General Motors Co. (GM) ignition-switch recall by raising almost 10-fold to $300 million the maximum fine on carmakers that fail to quickly recall deficient vehicles.

House and Senate panels are drafting their own bills and there are no plans in Congress to consider the president’s proposed way to help pay for it: a temporary tax increase on overseas earnings by companies.

A transportation proposal sent to Congress by the Obama administration on Tuesday would remove a prohibition on tolls for existing Interstate highways, clearing the way for states to raise revenue on roads that drivers currently use at no cost.

The current federal gas tax is 18.4 cent/gallon. A bill H.R.3636  before the House proposed by Rep. Earl Blumennauer (D-OR) would increase the federal tax to 33.4 cents/gallon on gas and 42.8 cents/gallon on diesel +whatever it is in your state. And of course the Obama administration environmental flim-flam keeps the cost of gas up close to $4.

What interests me is the regularity with which the Obama administration keeps returning to the same old power play — If the only tool you have is a hammer…

Concoleezza Rice Withdraws From Rutgers Commencement by The Elephant's Child


Another university has embarrassed itself. This time it’s Rutgers University. What a marvelous chance for Rutgers students and faculty to hear from one of the most talented and accomplished women of this or any generation. Nope. Some faculty and students protested over her role in the Iraq War. Dr. Rice has backed out of delivering the commencement address with her customary grace:

Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families. Rutgers invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time.

I am honored to have served my country.  I have defended America’s belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas.  These values are essential to the health of our democracy.  But that is not what is at issue here.  As a Professor for thirty years at Stanford University and as it’s former Provost and Chief academic officer, I understand and embrace the purpose of the commencement ceremony and I am simply unwilling to detract from it in any way.

Good luck to the graduates and congratulations to the families, friends and loved ones who will gather to honor them.

Faculty and student protesters demonstrated nothing so much as ignorance of history and a remarkable lack of manners.

Our colleges and universities really need to be flushed out. They have become a way-too-expensive waste of time, leaving hopeful young people deeply in debt and completely unprepared for a difficult job market. Tenured faculty members write silly papers and spend too much time playing politics instead of teaching the young.

Other figures who have run afoul of campus orthodoxy, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Charles Murray have also been disinvited from speeches in recent days.

Columnist George Will: Global Warming Is Socialism By The Back Door. by The Elephant's Child

April 29, 2014

It certainly isn’t about science. They are proving that more and more every day.

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