American Elephants

EPA Administrator McCarthy Doesn’t Read Her Press Notices. by The Elephant's Child
June 12, 2015, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy | Tags: , ,


Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy delivered a warning to Americans who do not place environmental stewardship above everything else. Echoes, apparently of President Obama’s directive to graduating Coast Guard Cadets that our most important national security challenge is global warming.

“If you are selling to somebody a product, and you can assure them that that product was produced in the most environmentally responsible way, I will guarantee you that they will value that product more highly,” McCarthy said at the 2015 GreenGov symposium at George Washington University in Washington.

“I can guarantee you because if they don’t, I’m going to knock on their door and I’m going to tell them why they are mistaken,” McCarthy said, pointing at the audience.

“That is how government works — we tell you what you can do today. We give you the flexibility to get it done yourself and we send a long-term market signal that is going to open up innovation moving forward.”

You will not be surprised to hear that she defended the EPA’s federal processes, rulemaking and purchases that they have made over the past decade in order to combat climate change. The power sector, she claimed, is adapting to lower carbon generation, and the government “underpins” investments made by utilities and businesses with rules to foster innovation. Uh huh. Please explain how drastic regulations unnecessarily shutting down coal-fired power plants and putting thousands of employees out of work “fosters innovation.” Administrator McCarthy is clearly a true believer in the heavy hand of government. Unfortunately, the people are not. They don’t believe in global warming either.

According to an op-ed by Paul C.Light, a professor at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, trust in the federal government has slumped to near-record lows, moving far beyond healthy skepticism toward a crisis of confidence.

A Pew Research Poll in 2010 found that 74% of Americans rated the federal bureaucracy as only fair or poor in running its programs. In another Pew Poll in January 2014, 75% of the American people said they trusted the federal government to do what is right “only some of the time” or “never.” In a September 2014 Gallup poll, Americans estimated that Washington wastes 51 cents of every dollar it spends. Ms. McCarthy isn’t reading her press notices.

The stakes of comprehensive reform are high. A new president serious about reform could take immediate action by executive order to collect the $700 billion already on the books in unpaid taxes, delinquent debts, and improper payments to individuals and government contractors. These numbers are estimates of the federal government’s own agencies.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee says there is $14 trillion that could be saved from the federal budget.

How? By cutting the federal workforce 10% and the contract workforce 15%, modernizing the government’s antiquated information technology, creating public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects, selling off unneeded federal properties, streamlining the bloated Department of Homeland Security, and even reducing federal advertising by half.

A survey last July by Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Institutions of Democracy showed that half of Americans favored cutting back federal programs to reduce the power of government. The other half said programs should be maintained to deal with important problems, But more than half said government had the wrong priorities, while the remainder said it has the right priorities but a broken bureaucracy.

The day before Memorial Day, the Obama administration released its list of regulations in the pipeline for the coming year. $110 billion in new regulations.

The problem is that when regulators get busy, the economy tends to fall into a torpor. Particularly when the rules and mandates they’re getting ready to unleash are as sweeping and costly as these.

Batkins found the rules scheduled for August, October and all the other months over the next year will impose costs of $110 billion — based on the agencies’ own estimates. And that number doesn’t include estimates for the EPA’s new efficiency standards for trucks — the previous one cost $8 billion — “or the dozens of other major rules without a public cost-benefit.”

Just this week, the EPA added to the coming pile, saying it wants to regulate commercial airline emissions.

The EPA is already responsible for the two costliest rules planned for this year. Its greenhouse gas emission standards for existing power plants will run $21.7 billion, and new smog standards will cost $15 billion.

Coming are new regulations like the $7.1 billion efficiency standards for dishwashers, and $12.3 billion for CO² emission standards on gas furnaces, and even revised nutrition labels that no one will read for $2 billion. The efforts to reduce CO² will have an effect on the atmosphere too small to be measured, but the existing mountain of federal regulations imposes almost $1.9 trillion in compliance costs, according to CEI. If you wonder why the economy is still sluggish after seven long years — there you go.

President Obama, Iraq, ISIS, and An Interview With President Bush by The Elephant's Child
June 12, 2015, 8:43 pm
Filed under: Iraq, National Security, The United States | Tags: , ,

Two days after admitting that he did not yet have “a complete strategy” for dealing with the ISIS terrorists estimated as an army of 30,000, President Obama has dispatched another 450 U.S. advisers to train Iraqis troops to do the fighting. It appears that trainers will outnumber trainees. There will be a total of 3,500 American trainers, about 950 more than Iraqi troops.

Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, said the modest troop increase came as a result of “a very regular process of evaluation” not from any perceived public pressure to do something, after a long string of ISIS advances.

We are told by military sources that what is needed are Special Forces to provide intelligence and spotters to direct American aircraft. The lack of on-the-ground information and a restrained target approval process related to White House rules of engagement, 75% of all allied air attacks now return without dropping their ordnance.

Seventeen months ago Obama described ISIS as a JV team. Ten months ago he said he had no strategy. After the hideous beheading of an American, Obama announced the current ‘strategy’ of no combat forces, bombings or troop training. You have to remember that he told military academy graduates that global warming, not terrorism, was the most serious threat to America. Here’s the history, do watch till the end (Funniest mashup ever!)

Israel Hayom caught up with former President George W. Bush for an exclusive interview — on Friday. He said “There is only one thing that I really miss about being president, and that’s being the commander-in-chief. I admire our military a lot,” he told Israel Hayom, his eyes twinkling. “When you are the commander-in-chief at a time when I was, when you put them into a lot of combat situations, you develop a special bond, not only with the military but with their families.”

The war snuck up on then-President Bush with the al-Qaida attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In his book he says that the week of the attacks was the key to understanding his entire presidency. He writes that he poured his heart and soul into defending the country, “by any means necessary.”

To us he says that no one prepared him for becoming a “two-war president” but reality supplied him with a lot of challenges in the White House. He says he had to make very difficult decisions — sending boys to defend the homeland with the knowledge that not all of them would return.

President Bush was asked “Is the war on terror currently being waged in the proper way? He responded:

“I made a decision, as you know, not to criticize my successors, with an s. I am going to be around a little bit longer — there is going to be more than one successor. The temptation is to try to rewrite history or to make yourself look good by criticizing someone else. I think that is a mistake. I don’t think that is what leadership is all about. I know how hard the job is. I didn’t like it when former leaders criticized me when I was president. Some did, so I decided not to do the same.”

Q: You mentioned ISIS, you spoke about defeating terror. Is it possible to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq without boots on the ground?

“The president will have to make that determination. My position was that you need to have boots on the ground. As you know, I made a very difficult decision. A fair number of people in our country were saying that it was impossible to defeat al-Qaida — which is ISIS as far as I am concerned. They said I must get out of Iraq. But I chose the opposite — I sent 30,000 more troops as opposed to 30,000 fewer. I think history will show that al-Qaida in Iraq was defeated. And so I chose the path of boots on the ground. We will see whether or not our government adjusts to the realities on the ground.”

This has already translated into the idea that Mr. Bush said we needed boots on the ground. He said that was up to the president. When it was his job to decide his position was that you needed boots on the ground.

It is a long and very interesting interview, do read the whole thing. He steadfastly resisted any comments or criticism of his successor, but talked about what he himself did and why. He said:

In my post-presidency I have written a book, and that has helped a lot. I wrote another book. It is brand new. It is about an extraordinary man — my father. It will be a very historical document because never has a son of a president written about the president. So the paintings are along these lines.

“I read Winston Churchill’s essay ‘Painting as a Pastime,’ and it is a really interesting essay. I started looking at Churchill’s paintings and I said ‘wow, I can do this.’

There is so much in the interview that is charmingly Bush, that I wanted to include it all. You will have to read it for yourself.

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