American Elephants


Thanksgiving Leftovers: A Few Questions. by The Elephant's Child
November 29, 2014, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Entertainment, Freedom, Humor | Tags: , ,

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The White House menu for Thanksgiving dinner was published. The usual roast turkey, ham, cornbread stuffing (to each his own), and macaroni and cheese?  Is this a common side dish? Macaroni and cheese to me was always a budget dinner, but nothing special.

Cornbread stuffing seems to be a Southern specialty. Had it once, didn’t like it.

They also had six kinds of pie. Six!

Different strokes for different folks.

The New York Times published a list of the “Thanksgiving Recipes Googled in Every State.” The recipes are included, and it is fascinating to see the regional differences. Many look and sound delicious, and many sound just weird. Frog Eye Salad seems to be a favorite among Mormons. You have Dirt Pudding, Hot Brown, Ooey Gooey Bars, Pernil, and Cherry Yum Yum. Great fun and some of them really sound good.

 



A Rogue Agency Issues The Most Expensive Regulation of All Time by The Elephant's Child

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Here we go again. The Obama administration has just released on the evening before Thanksgiving, when the attention of the nation is on all the last minute stuff to do before the big Thanksgiving dinner, the “most expensive regulation of all time.” This is a sweeping regulation which is aimed at ozone production from power plants and factories across the country, particularly in the Midwest.

The proposal — praised by environmental and health organizations but blasted by Republicans and business groups, who say it will cost jobs and create a drag on the economy — would lower the threshold for ozone from 75 parts per billion to 65 to 70 parts per billion.

The EPA, unsurprisingly, is considering an even more onerous standard of 60 parts per billion, and radical enviro groups like the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council are pushing for the lower figure.

The EPA claims that ozone leads to smog, health risks, death from  asthma, and the noble EPA has been trying nobly to protect the American people. EPA administrator Gina McCarthy attacked anyone who had the nerve to challenge them:

“Critics play a dangerous game when they denounce the science and law EPA has used to defend clean air for more than 40 years. The American people know better.

Time after time, when science pointed to health risks, special interests cried the sky was falling. And time after time, EPA obeyed the law, followed the science, protected public health, and fortified a strong American economy. The sky never fell. Today’s action follows that proven path.

When the EPA starts hauling out asthma, you can tell they are on flimsy scientific grounds. Doctors do not know the cause of asthma.  If I remember correctly, the EPA couldn’t produce “the science” that supports their arguments and claimed they had lost it.

The EPA, in this case, is quite specific. They claim that reducing the 8-hour ozone standard from the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 65 ppb would reduce the number of asthma exacerbations by 38,000 and related hospitalizations by 11,000 annually. Unfortunately, Junk Science.com has taken on their claims. The agency’s hushed-up human experiments debunk their ozone health claims. Junk Science also took up their claims in this particular case by comparing O³ measurements with hospital admissions for asthma in Los Angeles which is often said to have the worst air quality in the U.S. Not linked!

The EPA has not done well in the courts in water issues where they are trying to turn authority over “navigable waters” into control over the tiny spring or snow-melt ditch where those waters originate. The cases involve private property rights. Clean air is a different matter. Borders of property or region don’t really matter. It’s pretty hard to vote against clean air.

The National Association of Manufacturers called the rules “the most expensive regulation ever imposed on the American public.” In a July study, the organization calculated the rule would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by $3.4 trillion from 2017 to 2040 and cut about 2.9 million jobs per year on average through 2040.

It’s obvious the regulations would create a serious burden. 59 percent of the U.S. population lives in areas that do not meet the 65 ppb threshold. Even if the standard was only 70 ppb,  half the country would be out of compliance.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the spring about the nation’s first-ever standards requiring power plants to reduce mercury emissions and other toxic air pollutants, in a case with implications for the ozone regulations and the president’s broader environmental agenda.

The high court will decide if the EPA should have considered how much the rules would cost utilities. The EPA says the public health benefit outweighs any industry costs. The agency also says the rule could prevent up to 11.000 premature deaths each year. Undoubtedly children dying from asthma. They may not be able to prove it, but their opponents can’t prove them wrong.

 



Deep Down The Public Wants Big Government by The Elephant's Child

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Senator Charles Schumer spoke to the National Press Club a couple of days ago, and told the media that despite devastating midterm losses, the public deep down knows that big government is best for them. Do you hear echoes of Jonathan Gruber’s insistence that the public is terminally stupid? Schumer said:

When government failed to deliver on a string of noneconomic issues, the rollout of the Obamacare exchanges, the mishandling of the surge in border crossers, ineptitude at the V.A., initial handling of the Ebola threat, people lost faith in government’s ability to work, then blamed the incumbent governing party, Democrats, creating a Republican wave.

He doesn’t want the numbers from this election to fool you — “Americans believe in big government through and through.”Uh huh.

You have to understand that Mr. Schumer went directly from Harvard Law to the New York State Assembly, becoming at age 23 the youngest member of the New York legislature since Theodore Roosevelt. Mr. Schumer has never done anything else but politics, and he’s good at it. He has never lost an election. Bob Dole once quipped “The most dangerous place in Washington is between Senator Schumer and a television camera.”

Schumer added “Ultimately, the  public knows in its gut that a strong and active government is the only way to reverse the middle class decline and help revive the American dream.” Ah ha, he has noticed that the Democrat  party is losing the middle class.

The problem is only superficially the expanse of big government. The problem is that the Left firmly believes that if a government program doesn’t work — the remedy is to add another program to fix it. And so the body of law and regulation grows inexorably larger and more and more unwieldy. Laws are made and sent off to myriad government agencies who will write all the regulations that will expand and enforce the law.

Democrats have arrived at the position that more law is good and will control an unruly and poorly informed citizenry. The more people become dependent on government for their welfare, their housing, their food and education, the more apt they will be to vote for those who give them those benefits. And the more Democrats are able to control the population, the more the wise and caring people in government will be able to shape them into a better, more compliant population.  The Left has always had some vague Utopian ideas about a new and improved man. Besides the whole project allows them to feel good about doing nice things.

Republicans do believe in smaller, more responsive government. They believe that the best government is that which is closest to the people, and most responsive to their needs. You may not be able to fight city hall, but you will have better luck with that than in fighting the federal government.

That does not mean, however, that Republicans are much better at ending useless programs, getting rid of bad policy. The bureaucracy has grown too large and unwieldy. We are paying enormous salaries to bureaucrats that do no work at all. There are policies that do not work, have no prospect of ever working, but remain on the books.

Bureaucracy is the enemy of creativity, of accomplishment and innovation. The free market is the remedy which turns creativity loose and fosters innovation and a growing healthy economy.




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