American Elephants


Harvard Professors Are Furious About the Cost of ObamaCare by The Elephant's Child

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Sometimes the Democrats are simply a gift that keeps on giving. Unions did everything in their power to get the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed, and then they found out how it actually affected them and they started screaming. Now it’s the Professors at Harvard. Harvard health experts helped to craft the law, and now they are finding out that it actually affects their own pocketbooks.

Harvard administrators say that ObamaCare pushed them to make cost-saving — for Harvard — changes to their health benefit plan.

Harvard provided ridiculously generous benefits to its faculty. Elizabeth Warren is said to have been paid $400,000 a year for her position on the Law School faculty as an ‘ethnic minority.’  Tuition, room, board and fees for  2014-2015 year for the student who pays full freight, adds up to $58,607. Harvard’s endowment falls just between the GDP of Jordan and Latvia at $36.4 billion. So you can see that one could reasonably expect generous benefits.

Now these poor faculty members face a $250 deductible and out-of-pocket costs that could top out at $1,500. Imagine!

Harvard economics professor Jerry Green complained to the New York Times that this is “equivalent to taxing the sick” — completely exposing why no one should study economics at Harvard. By Professor Green’s comparison, making people pay for food is the equivalent of “taxing the hungry.” Will this horrid experience with ObamaCare cause the Harvard faculty to look a bit more askance at Big Government proposals?

Don’t count on it any time soon.



Islamic “Thinking” Is “Antagonizing the Entire World” by The Elephant's Child

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi gave a speech on New Year’s Day 2015 in anticipation of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, which ended Saturday evening.

In his speech Sisi called for reformation within the ummah or Islamic nation. He warned that the radical clerics of Islam were taking the religion to a  place where killing and destruction are encouraged. He added that it is up to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to reject that kind of extremism. This excerpt was translated by Michele Antaki at raymondibrahim.com

I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.

All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

President Sisi has been a vocal supporter of a renewed vision of Islam, and this may be his most forceful and impassioned plea so far.

ISIS is killing people and chopping off heads for far less. In re-reading  Bernard Lewis’ What Went Wrong, I was left with the idea that the Islamic world did not participate in the Renaissance, nor the Industrial Revolution, and when they lost a battle, or failed to advance, they assumed that the fault lay in not adhering closely enough to the pure tenets of the Prophet, and the remedy was to turn back to a stricter Islam. That would certainly seem to apply to ISIS and the Taliban.



A Dozen States Start Off The New Year With Lowered Taxes; More to Come! by The Elephant's Child

urlA dozen States are delivering a gift for their taxpayers. Residents of Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Wisconsin will get lower tax bills in 2015. A welcome message indeed.

Missouri and Oklahoma have trimmed taxes for 2016 and 2017. The American Legislative Exchange Council calculates that no state has made more significant tax cuts than Wisconsin, where an average family will pay about $680 less than last year. Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, has presided over tax cuts totaling $800 million, including the largest  property tax cut in Wisconsin history and a cut in the state’s income tax.

Nebraska has cut income, property and state sales taxes by more than $410 million in 2014 over the next five years. Indiana has lowered the business property tax and corporate business taxes which will help to boost employment. Michigan has reduced its business property tax and Rhode Island cut its corporate income tax rate from 9% to 7%. Florida, already one of the lowest tax states has reduced driver’s license renewal fees by $25. New York, Minnesota and Maryland 3rd, 5th, and 7th highest taxes in the country have cut their state tax rates.

States are noticing that the federal government is doing nothing to increase employment or reduce taxes. Democrats are usually sure that if the government has more money to spend on jobs programs, then employment will grow, and the money the newly hired earn will spread through the economy in splendid Keynesian fashion. Unfortunately it doesn’t work, but they  never learn.

Republicans intend to reduce the corporate tax rate as a sure boost to the economy and increased employment. The Keystone XL pipeline is high on their list with its guaranteed 20,000 new jobs. The president vows to veto, but he’s having an ever-harder time explaining his position.




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