American Elephants


Canada’s Lower Tax Rate Raises More Tax Revenue by The Elephant's Child

We previously nattered on about President Obama’s idea of “Economic Patriotism,” which only shows that the president has little understanding of business and how it operates. The Left is deeply suspicious of business, at least Big business, and often labors under the delusion that it would be far better without business, or with business more completely controlled by government, so they didn’t cause so much trouble and especially pay their executives so much.

All this came about through what has come to be called “inversions” or businesses’ choosing to locate their executive offices in other countries to lessen the corporate tax hit. The latest case is Burger King’s purchase of Canada’s Tim Horton’s chain of coffee and donut shops and plan to move their headquarters to Canada. How unpatriotic to attempt to evade America’s corporate taxes, the highest in the world. Um, Canada’s total tax costs are 46.4 percent lower than in the U.S. Why would Burger King want to move there? Canada has the most business-friendly tax policy in the world!

The one solution that would quickly solve the problem is quite simple. Cut or eliminate the corporate taxes, especially the tax on income earned abroad.  Inconceivable!  Lower taxes, and give up all that revenue when our economy is so slow? When we so desperately need more jobs? Canada lowered their taxes to help business out during a recession. But, but tax receipts! We must have more money!

How much tax revenue did Canada lose by the dramatic reduction in their corporate tax rate, from 43 percent in 2000 to 26 percent today?

Answer: None.

We have tried to tell you. Canada’s lower corporate tax rate raises more tax revenue.

According to OECD data, corporate tax revenue increased after Canada cut corporate tax rates beginning in 2000. Relieved of a crushing tax burden, corporations grow organically through lower start-up costs and reinvestment of after-tax earnings. They make more money, and the government gets more revenue. Works every time. It shouldn’t remain a mystery, and it certainly is not “Economic Patriotism,” which is just another of their clever talking points.

Democrats will attempt to use Economic Patriotism as an issue in the election this fall. Don’t be fooled. They just have no understanding of business. That’s why our economy drags along sluggishly while across the northern border Canada’s is booming.



The U.S Forest Service Has Issued Detailed Instructions on How to Roast Marshmallows. by The Elephant's Child

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Saturday was apparently National Roasted Marshmallow Day, who knew? Obviously must be a promotion by marshmallow makers. Nevertheless, the occasion brought forth a 700-word publication from the U.S. Forest Service on how to safely roast marshmallows.

Well, let’s take it as a given that the U.S. Forest Service is not real enthusiastic about campfires, and wants you to know how to put your campfire out properly. No problem. We don’t like forest fires either. So they want you to obey the rules for fire restrictions which are put in place for your safety.

I grew up in an era and place of weenie roasts, frequent and great fun.

If campfires are allowed, use an existing fire ring or pit. Be sure you are at least 15 feet from tent walls, trees or other flammable objects.

Most importantly, ensure you work closely with children and talk to them about fire danger, proper behavior and rules – then expect nothing less. No one knows how many children are burned in campfire incidents; however, you don’t need statistics to know precaution is a key to great camping experiences. Some experts advocate a 10-foot rule between young children and a campfire.

15074205215_a8b1d953c3 This is the Forest Service’s idea of wonderful childhood memories. Sigh. The bureaucrat who wrote this crap was clearly never a child. Then we get into all of Michelle’s ideas of what constitutes a reducing diet for fat kids. “Think fruit.”   Oh please. fruit is just pure sugar. The object of roasting marshmallows is not eating lots of marshmallows. I’m not sure it’s possible to eat lots of marshmallows. But they deem plain old marshmallows or s’mores as unsuitable for today’s children.

Another way to limit the amount of marshmallows used is to substitute them with marshmallow crème, a spreadable version of marshmallows that helps you more easily regulate portion. For healthier treats, use large strawberries, apple slices, banana chucks, pineapple or other fruit. Put a piece of fruit on a roasting stick, dip quickly in the crème and roast over indirect heat until a delicious golden brown. You’re still having campfire fun, but the focus is on a healthier evening snack.

A little common sense would be useful here. In High School or College, we did lots of weenie roasts, but “lots” translates to 2 or 3 a year, at most. You need good weather, reasonably warm, and a free weekend.  Summer camping trips with the kids, you don’t do marshmallow roasts every night. Even at summer camp for kids, every night is not s’mores night. Two or three occasions are not going to ruin a child’s nutritional health and well-being. A little perspective please.

I am becoming extremely offended by this administration’s intrusive efforts to manage every element of my life. I do not require and I don’t know of anyone who does require instructions on roasting marshmallows. We can do fine without the bureaucratic input from a bunch of unionized public servants whose jobs depend on lots of useless busywork. Vote them out, and abolish the Department of Agriculture. They don’t do anything useful anyway.



Bill Whittle Talks About “Magical Thinking” by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Bill Whittle at his best. The Defending the Dream Summit 2014. Dang, but he is good. Common sense multiplied.



Nancy Pelosi’s Grip on History is a Little Hazy Too. by The Elephant's Child

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Nancy Pelosi has slipped another cog. Desperate Democrats are trying to revive their “War on Women” theme for the upcoming election. I don’t believe women are that stupid.

Minority leader Pelosi said, on a conference call, that American women have been victims throughout the history of the nation. We’ve already established that President Obama is a little hazy on history. Seems Ms. Pelosi is as well.

It was a struggle all the way, Pelosi whined. Women marched, women starved. Women were starved. Women were force-fed. Women could barely speak up in their own homes.

Women left their homes to take the message. And it was successful, and the right to vote, again, so precious, so hard fought. …We hope women will continue to exercise forcefully, because than all of the issues we care about, whether it’s equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave, affordable quality child care, raising the minimum wage, women’s health and —and safety issues will all be well served.

I suspect she’s been watching Downton Abbey too much. Equal pay for equal work has been settled law since 1963. Paid sick leave is offered by most employers, with a limit as to how long you can have a sick leave. Endless sick leave is not in the cards.

Raising the minimum wage is bad economics, especially harmful to minorities who also vote.

Young Muslim women are being recruited as sex slaves for ISIS fighters. That would seem to be a matter of concern for women. Yazidi women captured by ISIS are set to daily rape and killed if they try to escape. An attack across our southern border is said to be imminent, but the matter of urgent concern is that Republicans are trying to prevent women from getting the right to vote?

Getting pregnant is not a desperate matter of women’s health, but a matter of choice. If you choose to get drunk and have sex when you shouldn’t, or choose to have unprotected sex, or choose to have sex outside of marriage, or choose to take your panties off — that’s a lot of choices you have before you even consider getting an abortion. And then you make choices about legal or illegal, carrying a baby to term, keeping the baby or putting it up for adoption so it will have a better mother. Lots and lots of choices.

Remarkable lot of things unmentioned by Ms. Pelosi. ISIS, the Federal Debt, Russia invading Ukraine, the crisis at VA hospitals, the failures of ObamaCare, the president’s inability to decide on a strategy against terrorists, the lack of job opportunities, the crisis at the border, with illegal immigrants being funneled into our schools unable to speak English and uncleared for contagious diseases.

These are big important issues for every citizen, and Nancy Pelosi is concerned with re-fighting the woman’s right to vote. That was settled in the 19th Amendment way back in 1919. You would think she would have noticed that there are even women serving in the House of Representatives. Truly embarrassing.



August 30: Bumbershoot Weekend in Seattle by The Elephant's Child

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Sorry about the light blogging. Labor Day weekend here is the time of Bumbershoot, a festival of umbrellas? It is, not surprisingly, raining. This is the greater Seattle area, and that’s what it does here. But, music, entertainment, food, vast crowds, and all the hippies come out of the woodwork — great fun for festival lovers.

Blogging is light because I went out yesterday to refill the suet feeder upon which all my woodpeckers, pilieated and flickers, depend. The clay soil was wet and slippery as all hell, and I went flying. No broken bones, but a remarkably sore backside. Standing is fine, sitting is fine, and sleeping is fine. It’s getting from one position to another that is troublesome.



There’s a Reason Why Obama Has No Strategy by The Elephant's Child

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This new poll from the Pew Research Center is interesting. I guess you could sum it up by saying that Republicans are bigger worriers than Democrats — or possibly that Democrats are clueless about what is going on in the world. I wonder where Obama would rank on this survey?

We have a broad array of strategies, which the Pentagon produces, ready for any exigency. This is not a time when we should be cutting our military to the bone. I think every person on the right, seeing that long column of ISIS thugs with their flags and guns, wondered where the A-10s were. Designed for just such an occasion, they are old and retired by Obama. I suspect the reason for cutting the military so drastically is more about punishing Republicans who do care about the services and military preparedness, than about a serious look at our real needs.

Republicans, I believe, are far more accepting of human nature and its flaws, and recognize ever-present evil when it breaks out once again. They know we will make mistakes, but accept that in the effort, and will try to do better next time.

Democrats have no real understanding of human nature at all, and assume that it can be fixed by wise people in government with the right mixture of regulations and laws. They used to believe in a Utopian future, but at present they don’t get much beyond the battle to be in control. Once they are running everything, it will take some time to get everybody in line, but once that is accomplished they can work on the glorious future, which they haven’t figured out yet.

There is no limit to the effort, money, legal challenges, fraud and lies they will expend in the effort to win — to be in control. See the feverish attempts to destroy potential Republican candidates like Rick Perry and Scott Walker with bizarre lawsuits that might tie them up in court, and provide useful material for future opposition commercials. Leave no stone unturned.

There is a lot of information (and speculation) in this survey. I’d like to see more on the differences between the parties, which is greater than I have ever known it to be.  The Left has shifted far to the left. Leftists claim that Republicans have shifted to the right, but they are trying to demonize Tea Party members as raving, drooling extremists instead of your next-door neighbors who have, as a result of — oh, the stimulus, the growth of government, ObamaCare and a couple hundred other extra-legal  moves by the Obama administration become interested in and concerned about politics for the first time in their lives.



White House Correspondent Ed Henry Asks — Why? by The Elephant's Child

During today’s press briefing, Fox News White House Correspondent Ed Henry inquired of Press Secretary Josh Earnest whether it was prudent for the president to spend the weekend fundraising for his party and golfing while terrorist acts are being committed against the United States. Obama has stated that his administration has no strategy for dealing with ISIS. Henry asked Earnest:

I wonder what you think about the optics of the president, from that podium yesterday, does not have a strategy to deal with ISIS in serious military, and then next day, without that strategy, goes out and raises campaign money?

Is he detached? Does he feel like the critics coming after him, it just doesn’t matter anymore?” Henry asked. “Why is he still raising campaign money, playing golf, when he’s acknowledging he doesn’t have a strategy to deal with this?

Josh Earnest:

The job of any U.S. president is to be able to handle a lot of different responsibilities at the same time,” Earnest replied, in defense of Obama’s fundraising and golfing. The secretary added that Obama has a national security team, to whom he has outsourced the job of looking after America’s national security challenges.

“Outsourced.” There’s a remarkable lot hiding behind that word.



The President Made a Statement to the Press. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama held one of his rare press conferences today, and even took a few questions. He announced to the world that he has no strategy to deal with ISIS.  Maybe later.

He announced that we aren’t taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem. I’m sure Mr. Putin is relieved.

He’s sending Secretary Kerry to Iraq, because they have to develop a more inclusive government. Our military action in Iraq has to be part of a broader comprehensive strategy, but we don’t have that either.

He has, however, directed Secretary Hagel and the Joint Chiefs to prepare a range of options.

Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson, showed that our State Department is right up on things. She held up a little handwritten sign with a hashtag. I forget what it said, probably something about being concerned.

Our country is in the very best of hands.

The President’s statement is available here.

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How Much Do You Read? What’s the Best Book You’ve Ever Read? by The Elephant's Child

What do you do when someone asks you to read an article because it’s “an important one?” Do you obediently read it, assuming that if your friend recommends it, it is worth your time? Do you accept the article, suggesting that you will read it later when you have more time? Do you just refuse to read it because you’re sure it is not of interest?

I fit in the first category. I’m a speedy reader, and it doesn’t take me long to get through even a long piece. But I have known a lot of what I think of as ‘lazy readers’ whose first reaction is that they don’t have time. Or they only want to read what they choose to read. It’s as if reading is a task to be engaged in only when required. Was learning to read a struggle in school? There are people who read competently, but without enjoyment or need for information, but who will spend hours on Twitter. Do you prefer to get your information instead by video, or podcast? Is reading a chore?

I have a friend who is a special education expert, with particular emphasis on reading, and reading disabilities. She went into her state’s prisons at one time, to test prisoners, and found that the numbers who had some form of reading disability was far, far higher than in the general population.

There are lots of people out there who just don’t read much, and people who do not read books at all.  They are just busy with other things.

If you prowl around the internet and read blogs, you are clearly a reader. But what about those other folks who are not? How do people go all the way through university, and, as adults, never read?

Seattle is usually described as the part of the country where most people read a lot. We have busy libraries, lots of colleges and universities, and lots of writers. Must be something to do with the weather, which encourages a brisk fire in the fireplace. a good book and a cup of coffee.

ADDENDUM: I guess I shouldn’t ask others about their favorite books, if I don’t reveal my own. Patrick O’Brian’s series of books about Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin and the Royal Navy in the late 1700s and early 1800s. There are 20 books in the series and I have read them probably ten times, and always found them fascinating to re-read. Most novels don’t welcome even a second reading. Master and Commander is the first, and only a page in and you are hooked. Master and Commander was a great movie too, although based on bits from several of the books.



Nevermind ISIS or Russia, Fixing Global Warming is Much More Urgent! by The Elephant's Child

The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, which is silly enough, but he wants to do it without ratification from Congress. One little problem:

Under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.

How interesting that someone who liked to proclaim himself a scholar of Constitutional Law, should, after swearing an oath on the Lincoln Bible to “the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” be so determined to get his own way that he is willing to defy the Constitution in case after case. It is more than ignoring his oath, it is a matter of character. This is a man who cannot be trusted because he does not keep his word.

The New York Times casually notes that President Obama ignored the legislative process in his domestic climate-change agenda as well.

In seeking to go around Congress to push his international climate change agenda, Mr. Obama is echoing his domestic climate strategy. In June, he bypassed Congress and used his executive authority to order a far-reaching regulation forcing American coal-fired power plants to curb their carbon emissions. That regulation, which would not be final until next year, already faces legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed on behalf of a dozen states.

Doesn’t matter who disagrees with him, he’s right and you are wrong. He is the President of the United States, and he cannot be opposed.

Does anyone believe that the president has spent even five minutes studying up on global warming or climate change? He’s probably talked to Al Gore, and Science Advisor John Holdren, and all his backers and bundlers who have gotten rich off of the taxpayer money he has poured into energy scams and failed renewable energy projects. But actually looking into the science? Not a chance. Global Warming is for the Left the best chance of establishing social justice in the world. They believe because the Left believes. It is a religion, a matter of faith. As James Delingpole says:

First, they are determined to misrepresent this as a party political issue – in which ignorant, ideologically motivated, Big-Oil-funded Republican “denialists” are willfully and perversely obstructing the perfectly sensible climate policies fully supported by all Democrats. This wasn’t true in 1997 when the Senate voted down the first attempt at a binding international climate treaty – Kyoto – by 95 to 0. It isn’t true today.

Second, it refers to “established climate science” as if – to quote Al Gore – the science on global warming were “settled.” This was a risible notion even at the height of the global warming scare back in 1992 during the Rio Earth Summit when for a period global mean temperatures were actually rising but when scientists couldn’t agree why. It is even less plausible now, given that as all half-way serious scientists – alarmists and realists, alike – now acknowledge there has been no global warming in over 17 years.

Climate change, or global warming, does not even show up on the list of concerns of the American people. I don’t know if “naming and shaming” will convince anyone. The American people aren’t all that impressed with the United Nations either.



“Economic Patriotism” Is Plain Old Nonsense. by The Elephant's Child

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Democrats are not happy with President Obama, and they are trying desperately to change the subject from things like ISIS, and Russia, and foreign policy in general, ObamaCare, immigration, the miserable economy, and jobs, and jobs and jobs.

Their natural inclination is to focus on those things which arouse people’s passions, so naturally they are freaking out about Burger King’s plans to merge with Tim Horton’s Canadian coffee and donut chain and move to Canada. “Economic Patriotism” they cry, and moral panic and sheer rage that an American business would consider relocating for the simple reason of paying taxes. Obviously it’s time for my favorite quote from Walter Wriston:

Capital will go where it is wanted and stay
where it is well treated. It will flee from manipulation
or onerous regulation of its value or use and no
government power can restrain it for long.

The business of business is to make a profit. Liberals always want to impose other rules on business. They are deeply suspicious of the whole idea of profits. They are outraged at CEO salaries. Proper people work in service jobs, like government, or for foundations, or righteous causes or universities. Liberals are really quite conflicted about business. They were outraged by the Citizens United decision. And even more so by Mitt Romney’s claim that corporations are just people. On the other hand, they get enthusiastic support from some businesses like Google, or Facebook, but that’s different.

The problem isn’t just that America has the highest corporate taxes in the world, but that America collects taxes on the income earned in other countries., though those other countries collect taxes as well. Because they distrust business in general, Liberals have little hesitation in finding new and better ways to tax business.

Total tax costs are 46.4% lower in Canada than in the U.S. Is it really a surprise that Burger Kind wants to move there? Burger King would still pay their full taxes on income earned in the U.S. but their taxes on income earned in Canada would be taxed at Canadian rates.

The number one issue among American voters is unsurprisingly — jobs. If you vigorously try to maximize the taxes that American businesses pay, they will hire fewer people. If you raise taxes on business, they raise the cost of the goods or services they sell, or reduce their expenses, by cutting the number of people they employ.



Obama Can’t Identify the Problem, and Doesn’t Want To Deal With It. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama is back from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation, and on Monday he spoke at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention. To sparse applause, he said the answer for ISIS’s “evolving terrorist threat” is not for America to “occupy countries and end up “feeding extremism.” …

The answer is not to send in large scale military deployments that over stretch our military, and lead for us occupying countries for a long period of time and end up feeding extremism.

Still blaming Bush, after all these years. The White House is struggling to find a message on the Middle East, any message. Marie Harf, State Department spokesperson, refused to acknowledge ISIS’ declaration of war with the United States of America. A reporter said “The reality is ISIS has announced it’s in a war against America,” adding that “Right or wrong that is what they are saying.”

Harf  emphasized the administration’s view that ISIS does not accurately represent the religion of Islam as a whole.

ISIL does not operate in the name of any religion. The president has been very clear about that, and the more we can underscore that, the better.

The Islamic State is fairly clear on who they believe themselves to be. Max Boot, is also clear:

Want to know what happens when the U.S. retreats from a leadership role in the Middle East? This is what happens–Egypt and the United Arab Emirates together collaborate to stage air strikes against Islamist militias in Libya. And meanwhile Qatar, which is at odds with its fellow Persian Gulf sheikhdom, the UAE, has been funneling arms to the very Islamist militias that UAE’s air force is bombing.

American officials quoted by the New York Times are said to be fuming about these attacks, “believing the intervention could further inflame the Libyan conflict as the United Nations and Western powers are seeking to broker a peaceful resolution…. ‘We don’t see this as constructive at all,’ said one senior American official.”

But guess what? When the U.S. has abdicated its leadership role, there is no reason for anyone–not our enemies and not our allies–to listen to what we have to say. In the case of Libya, the American failure to do more, in cooperation with our allies, to build up central government authority has brought us to a point where this country is fast becoming a failed state consigned to perpetual civil war.

Jen Psaki, State Department spokesperson offered the usual mush:

Libya’s challenges are political, and violence will not resolve them. Our focus is on the political process there. We believe outside interference exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya’s democratic transition. And that’s why our focus remains on urging all factions to come together to peacefully resolve the current crisis.

You see the problem. Obama believed from the first that American interference  was the cause of all the problems in the Middle East, and if we would just lend our expertise to “peaceful resolutions” then he would deserve the Nobel Peace Prize that he was so prematurely awarded.

Well, Hillary took a magical “reset button” to Russia, and Vladimir Putin decided the time was ripe to recover the Soviet Empire. Secretary Kerry has brokered “peace processes” and “cease fires” and misidentified intentions and misunderstood threats. We cannot even officially call the Fort Hood shooting terrorism, or call anyone a terrorist. This is not just a language problem, but a matter of facing up to reality instead of just wishful thinking.

“Both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have said there are no credible threats to the United States from the Islamic State terror group.” according to an intelligence memo  issued to state and local authorities.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel described the Islamic State as “beyond anything we’ve seen.” He called on U.S. intelligence resources to “take a cold steely look” and to “get ready” for a “9/11 level threat” to the United States, and presents a “whole new dynamic” as a national security challenge.

Mush. It is all mush. We have another “cease fire” between Hamas and Israel, until Hamas is ready to fire some more rockets at Israel. The Islamic State has captured a region the size of Belgium, and is recruiting fighters from all over the Middle East, Europe, Africa and America and Canada, and growing exponentially.

They have captured a nation’s American military equipment; a Syrian air force base. aircraft and anti-aircraft weapons. They have demonstrated a brutality beyond imagining, and the State Department carefully doesn’t want to admit that the Islamic State has anything to do with Islam. We are not only unprepared to address the threat, we cannot admit that there is a threat, nor describe it clearly. We’re still babbling about “brokering a peaceful solution.” We are easy prey .




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