American Elephants


Exit Stage Left: Whiny, Self-Justifying, With Elaborate Excuses by The Elephant's Child

obama-olderIn Juno of 2008, a younger Barack Obama spoke eloquently about his future role as a transformative president.

I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.

The caring for the sick part didn’t work out so well, The Obama bureaucrats could not conceive of a plan where the decisions were left to physicians, and wrapped the medical establishment in a cocoon of regulations; for example, an encounter with a patient was supposed to last just 7½ minutes. Keep an eye on your watch and think that one through.

Young Emily Smith has an unexplained itchy rash, prescription written easily within the time limit. Mrs. Grundy, however, has been having chest pains and is running a fever, is about 40 pounds overweight, and may well have heart disease. 7½ minutes? The failures of ObamaCare, Medicaid, Medicare, the Indian Health Service and VA hospitals have a lot in common. The administrative state, over-regulation, silly rules, and the inability to hold bureaucrats to account adds up. There’s a reason why so many doctors will not accept patients with these versions of government insurance.

The good jobs that were promised have also gone a glimmering. Obama has proudly enumerated all the new jobs created each month, but it turns out that almost all the new jobs created during the Obama administration were part time or temporary jobs. The administration’s conviction that they are smarter than the ordinary people out there has meant an overweening impulse to control and regulate. In 2016, the lame duck administration has added 3,853 regulations, 18 for every law — a record 97,110 pages of red tape. Small business is drowning in them. Three of my favorite small businesses have given up the ghost, and I’ll bet that several of your favorites have too.  All too often, bureaucrats invent new regulations with no idea of how they affect business in the real world. This description of “the Administrative State.” shows clearly how it all happens.

The [Federal Trade] Commission promulgates substantive rules of conduct. The Commission then considers whether to authorize investigations into whether the Commission’s rules have been violated. If the Commission authorizes an investigation, the investigation is conducted by the Commission, which reports its findings to the Commission. If the Commission thinks that the Commission’s findings warrant an enforcement action, the Commission issues a complaint. The Commission’s complaint that a Commission rule has been violated is then prosecuted by the Commission and adjudicated by the Commission. This Commission adjudication can either take place before the full Commission or before a semi-autonomous Commission administrative law judge. If the Commission chooses to adjudicate before an administrative law judge rather than before the Commission and the decision is adverse to the Commission, the Commission can appeal to the Commission. If the Commission ultimately finds a violation, then, and only then, the affected private party can appeal to an Article III court. But the agency decision, even before the bona fide Article III tribunal, possesses a very strong presumption of correctness on matters both of fact and of law. (this comes from Steven Hayward, quoting Boston University Law Professor Gary Lawson in an article for the Harvard Law Review)

The Obama Administration has put forth 25 “midnight regulations” rules that are published between Election Day and before the next president in inaugurated on January 20. According to the American Action For4um, they will cost the economy $44.1 billion. Obama’s eight years in office did not include even one year of economic growth at the normal 3% historical average.

Obama has ordered the EPA to proceed with its controversial Stream Protection Rule—which would make mining so difficult it would make 85 percent of the nation’s coal reserves unrecoverable. On Tuesday he designated most federally owned land in the Arctic Ocean and large swaths off the Atlantic Coast closed to drilling, which would prevent any production of huge reserves of oil and gas.

George W.Bush went to great lengths to make the transition easy for the incoming Obama administration, recognized that his time in the spotlight was over, and refused to comment on his successors failures and mistakes. And even in spite of being blamed for everything that didn’t work out, Mr. Bush remained a gentleman. Mr. Obama learned nothing from his predecessor, and will exit—whiny, self-justifying and full of excuses. In his “exit interview” on CNN with his former advisor David Axlerod, Obama pledged he would abide by tradition and retire with dignity as ex-president. We’ll see about that.



A Vaccine For A Virus: Burying Ebola by The Elephant's Child

How about a little good news for a change? An invention has come along that has changed the landscape completely.

A vaccine invented in Canada was tested in a large scale inoculation in Guinea and Sierra Leone by the World Health Organization to assess just how well it protected people against Ebola—the dreadful virus that ravaged Africa in 2014, killing 60 percent of the people who were infected. What happened? It succeeded spectacularly. It protected 100 percent of the people who received it. This is the first and only therapy for Ebola other than the previous supportive measures.

The vaccine, which is a glycoprotein (1) called rVSV-ZEBOV, was tested in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The group gathered samples from an individual, either alive or dead who had a positive lab test for Ebola, and then identified a cluster of their contacts, contacts of the contacts, and the contacts of the contacts who weren’t around when the team arrived. Each uninfected person got a single injection of the vaccine in the arm. The results are stunning.

The group identified a total of 4539 people in 51 clusters between March 2015, and January 2016. About half (2119 people) received the vaccine immediately, and another 2041 got it 21 days later.

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-6-39-50-pm

The name of the vaccine sounds daunting, but it’s really not. The “r” means recombinant—formed by alteration of viral DNA, which can be done using standard molecular biotechnology techniques. VSV stands for vesicular stomatitis virus—the virus that was modified (2). ZEBOV is short for Zaire Ebola virus, which was the most deadly circulating strain.

This is a very big deal. The safety profile is excellent, and only two adverse effects were attributed to the vaccine itself. It is an enormous achievement, and could rid the world of a very scary, very dangerous disease.

The epidemic in 2014-15 claimed the lives of 11,300 people in West Africa, spread the virus as far as New York and Texas, and demonstrated the failures of the world public health system.”The public health bureaucracy resists therapeutics, which threaten traditional manpower-heavy quarantines and tracking.” By 2015, cases were low and declining and researchers were able to gather real world information on an accelerated schedule. The study was so successful that it was stopped early since not providing the vaccine to the control group was unethical.

Ebola is a complex and mutating pathogen, and no scientific triumph is ever final. But the public-health bureaucracy demonstrated no such humility, and its overconfidence showed how unprepared the world is to respond to biological threats. Developing and deploying more vaccines like rVSV-Zebov may be the best defense.



The End Of the Obama Administration Or Just the Beginning of Something Very Different? by The Elephant's Child

obama-sour

As we leave 2016, it becomes the time when journalists attempt to sum up the past year. I’m afraid that Obama’s desperate flurry of executive orders and regulations as he leaves the White House will merely add to the recriminations as he tries to finish up the wrong-headed promises he made upon being elected. He has completely disgraced himself and his administration with instructions to abstain from the Security Council’s vote on Israeli “settlement policy”— a vote intended to tilt the “peace process” towards the Palestinian terrorists.  He is attempting to empty Guantanamo, sending the “worst of the worst” to other countries so they can quickly go back to terrorism, as they are doing. The funerals of their victims will be Mr. Obama’s real legacy, and real journalists are already writing the epitaphs.

Here’s Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal: The betrayed: Obama’s decision to allow the UN to censure Israel, Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution whose protest of a stolen election Obama failed to endorse. Iraqis, who were promised a diplomatic surge to secure the gains of a military surge, Syrians, Ukrainians, and most of all, and most betrayed: Americans.

Mr. Obama promised a responsible end to the war in Iraq. We are again fighting in Iraq. He promised victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban are winning. He promised a reset with Russia. We are enemies again. He promised the containment of Iran. We are witnessing its ascendancy in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He promised a world free of nuclear weapons. We are stumbling into another age of nuclear proliferation. He promised al Qaeda on a path to defeat. Jihad has never been so rampant and deadly.

These are the results. They would be easier to forgive if they hadn’t so often been reached by disingenuous and dishonorable means.

Perhaps you remember back in the change of administrations in 2000, when the departing Clinton administration left the White House in a mess, and the “W”s missing from all the computer keyboards, out of pure spite. The Bush administration took a bipartisan tack, and tried to be helpful to the incoming Obama administration. George W. Bush recognized the change, that his time was past, and the real assessment would be done by future historians. He has refused to comment on his successor’s policies and actions, and simply continued with his efforts to help returning veterans in any way he could.

Mr. Obama has not only not appreciated the help he was provided, but not grasped the gentlemanly way the transfer of power took place. There were major lessons there, but Obama didn’t get it. He told David Axlerod today that if the Constitution didn’t prevent him from running again, he could have won the election. A snide comment on Hillary’s campaign.

As always, it is all about him. I doubt that he could have persuaded the American people to give him another term to run our national security into the ground. Though the American people like Mr. Obama as a person, they think the country is going in the wrong direction, both economically and internationally. ObamaCare is collapsing. Terrorism is increasing, and Obama has been more interested in increasing the numbers of Syrian refugees in expectation the they would become Democrat voters, than in any possibility that they might be members of ISIS.

The Obamas will remain in Washington D.C. for the next year at least, and Mr. Obama has said he will spend the time “rebuilding the Democrat Party.” He will use his community organizing skills to build a hard-left version of the old Democratic Party, and with his old “Organizing for Obama” Team which has become “Organizing for America,” and now “Organizing for Action.”

Daniel Greenfield says that Obama wants to force radical change, building networks across the urban elite and into the halls of power. He intends to force radical change from outside the White House by using the network he’s built. Obama believes that he can rule America from outside the White House, and he may be right.

The Democrats are ceasing to be a national party. Instead they are becoming a nationalizing party. They are losing their presence in much of the country, from state legislature to state legislature, and becoming the party of major cities and the national government. Their agenda is to move power from local areas to central ones, from the villages and the suburbs to the cities, from states to D.C. and from locally elected legislators in D.C. to the satellite bureaucracies of the Federal government.

Obama sees Hillary’s defeat as an opportunity to burn the Dem’s last bridges with the larger country and its “bitter clingers”, to double down on nationalizing power and to define the political narrative around the agendas of urban elites. The left crippled the Democrats. Now it wants to utterly consume them.

The election was a catastrophic disaster for the Democrats, but it opened all sorts of doors for Obama.

You need to read the whole thing. Daniel Greenfield is a columnist, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He has his own blog, and writes at David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine as well as many other outlets.  He is very perceptive, and in this case, very scary. But Mr. Greenfield’s writing seems to follow closely with everything we know about Obama’s character. You read “Obama Plans to Rule America Outside the White House” and see what you think. Forewarned is forearmed.

Angelo Codevilla, writing in the Claremont Review of Books explains:

But whenever progressives have gained power, all manner of contradictions have remained and new ones have arisen. Progressive movements have reacted to this failure by becoming their own reason for being. Theoretically, the Revolution is about the power and necessity to recreate mankind. In practice, for almost all progressive movements it is about gaining power for the revolutionaries and making war on those who stand in their way.

This is a long, but important article, widely recommended. You will be glad you read the whole thing.



Protests and Protesters, The Standing Rock Sioux Revisited by The Elephant's Child

584b3fe919b86-image

In the election just passed, in spite of the death threats and harassment of electors, pleas of celebrities, all but two of Donald Trump’s electors were unswayed. Hillary lost five votes to Colin Powell, Bernie Sanders, and Faith Spotted Eagle. The proprietors of one talk show, at least, thought someone was voting for a bird.

The latter faithless electors, at least four of them, were here in Washington State. The vote for Faith Spotted Eagle came from Robert Satiacum Jr, a member of the Puyallup tribe, here in Western Washington. He explained:

In the words of Robert Satiacum, Jr., the Washington elector who cast that vote, she is “a real leader” who has stood up for environmental causes. The 68 year-old is a member of South Dakota’s Yankton Sioux tribe. A licensed counselor, she began a group known as the Brave Heart Society to help bring back traditional knowledge and culture by working with youth, particularly young women.

On a national level, she is more well known for her environmental activism. In 2013, she led protests against the Keystone pipeline, which would have crossed South Dakota. During the protests, she feared not only environmental contamination but that the “man camps” that the company planned to build to house its primarily-male workforce would lead to violence against women. At the time, she likened the idea to U.S. Army forts in the plains in the 1800s.

Now, she is an ally of the protesters trying to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. In September, she and other tribal leaders in Yankton sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, arguing that the project had failed to receive a proper environmental study.

Even if you are far from the Dakotas, it’s worth understanding what this is all about. Part is the glamour of “Protest.” Mounting the barricades to stand against oppression seems noble, excuses your own flaws, and doesn’t matter, really, if the protest succeeds. That’s why so many celebrities show up at protests. Becoming known for appearing in movies or on television is not exactly a record of great accomplishment, but of playing a bit part in a large collaborative effort often just because you’re pretty or able to follow directions well. Great actors are not usually the ones who show up at protests to get more media attention.

Here are two articles that do a good job.  One is from Commentary, by Naomi Schaffer Riley, and the other is from the Wall Street Journal by North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer. Our relations with the nation’s Indian tribes is certainly imperfect. But one big major flaw is that the Indian nations don’t really own the land of their reservation. In particular, they cannot drill for the oil and gas that exist under their reservations. They can build casinos which have helped to alleviate the poverty of many reservations, but there would seem to be no reason why they should not be able to exercise their own sovereignty over their own land, except for worthless objections to all fossil fuels by ignorant Greens.

Coming home last night and observing all the lights in the industrial part of Seattle, as well as the high-rise downtown, I was struck by the utter impossibility of powering that vast city with windmills and solar panels, and not biofuels nor algae either. Not going to happen. The two articles tell you a lot about protests, the environmental movement, Native American reservations and the media. Worth understanding. It is not about water. The pipeline crosses the river more than a mile and a half below the reservation. It’s not about reservation land, it is only on private or federal land. It’s not about safety. The pipeline is double strength, has automatic shutoff valves on each side of the river, and is 100 feet below the river next to an existing pipeline.  The pipeline is 93% finished, except for this last little stretch. Pipelines have an outstanding record of safety, oil trains and trucks do not.



Pentatonix: ‘Mary Did You Know” by The Elephant's Child
December 24, 2016, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Heartwarming, History, Music | Tags: , ,



Why is Freedom So Frightening to Some People? by The Elephant's Child

300ffe5afe1869d89f5ff69874d39187_f1595

Freedom is messy. The unexpected is always happening. You never know what someone will do, or what they might say. Republicans celebrate freedom of speech, gritting their teeth at offensive speech, but recognizing that their freedom to be offended also protects our ability to speak out about political abuse of any kind. progressives want to repeal the first amendment so that people are not free to disagree with them. That’s why they came up with the idea of “hate speech.”

“Hate speech” was supposed to segregate out  speech that disagreed with or offended them so much that it exceeded the boundaries of that which was protected by the free speech clause of the Constitution. Also if you killed someone or beat someone up while saying something vile, then they would put you away for longer.

You have perhaps noticed that calling people “deplorables” does not apparently qualify as hate speech, nor do the tweets and Facebook rants in response the election of Donald Trump, even those about assassinating him, though the Secret Service frowns on that.

This year has also seen a significant rise in the occasions when innocent children in college refuse to hear an invited speaker who might disagree with their ideas. Neither students nor their adult supervisors seem to realize that an educational institution is where you are supposed to have your ideas challenged. Not just disagreed with, but challenged. If you graduate from a college and have never had your ideas challenged, you have wasted your time and your money, and the professors who did that to you have failed in their most essential role. There are no “safe spaces” out in the real world, and businesses do not supply puppies and cookies to soothe you when you have been offended. And businesses will offend you. That’s one thing you can count on in this messy world.



It Snowed in the Sahara Desert! by The Elephant's Child

sahara-desert-snow-12-19-16-twitter-640x480

This image was taken Monday afternoon. The Sahara Desert experienced its first snowfall in 37 years. It is the first time since February 1979 that snow has fallen in Ain Sefra, Algeria. The last time it snowed in the area, the snow only lasted for about an hour. Told you it was getting colder.



This Is What The Vote Would Look Like If We Abolished the Electoral College. by The Elephant's Child

c0iktqhviaavipu

Hillary’s “victory” in the popular vote took place entirely in California, because the state is so populous, and so far left. Had California seceded, as some Californians were insisting until the rest of us suggested that they could rejoin Mexico, Hillary would not have had a popular vote win. And this is why the Constitution makes it clear that the popular vote does not matter, because all of our states must have a voice.

If Democrats would take a little time out from their fulminating and just read the Constitution—they might appreciate what a wondrous document it is, and how fortunate we are that the founders wrote it. We are the envy of the world, and yet other countries can seldom be enticed into giving the power to the people, rather than to the reigning government.

Our battles to retain that power— “this government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth”— are a constant interest and inspiration to the world. Or why did you think whatever we do here makes front page news in the newspapers and broadcasts of the rest of the world? And why our enemies like ISIS and Iran want so badly to destroy us? Our freedom is, of course, messy, and they sneer at the mess without understanding that’s the nature of freedom.



Christmas Gifts For Conservatives! by American Elephant

The perfect gifts & stocking-stuffers for the Conservatives on your Christmas list!

We’ve got T-shirts, Hoodies, Campaign Buttons, Stickers, Coffee mugs, Pajama-sets and much more!

ALL ITEMS 20% off today (use promo-code: “SNOW20” at check-out)! Here are just a FEW of our favorite designs, be sure to check out the others too!:

.
The Original, Iconic 1980 Ronald Reagan primary campaign logo. Available ONLY from American Elephants!

The Original, Iconic 1980 Ronald Reagan & Bush campaign logo. Available ONLY from American Elephants!

Andrew Breitbart's Clarion Call to Conservatives, Tired of Being Demonized and Lied About By the Democrat-Media Complex

I (heart) Big Oil

Recovery Ad



Adding to the Legacy at Taxpayer’s Expense. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama, basking in Hawaiian sun and sand, has this week issued a flurry of environmental rules, and is planning to gift us with another set of “midnight regulations” right before he leaves office. Cost? Just another $6 billion. The new ones include four from the EPA and one from the Interior Department.

“These five measures alone could impose $5.1 billion in costs and more than 350,000 paperwork burden hours. In addition, three other rules in proposed form could add $898 million in burdens and 146,000 paperwork hours, for a cumulative total of nearly $6 billion in potential midnight costs and nearly 500,000 burden hours from the two agencies. Consider, EPA and Interior have already imposed $349 billion in previous burdens since 2009, 2009,”according to the American Action Forum.

AAF’s Sam Batkins suggested that “The magnitude, $5 billion in long-term costs, and timing could raise suspicion in Congress.”

When you start thinking of  a billion dollars as chump change, you might rile up some taxpayers as well.  Obama’s Hawaiian Christmas vacation last year cost around $3 million, and the total bill for vacations and travel for the Obamas is around $80 million.



Did You Think “Fake News” Was Confined to Politics? Try the Realm of Science! by The Elephant's Child

polar-bear-global-_3339474b

From the Independent, a British paper:Manhattan Project-sized effort is needed to create artificial Arctic ice ‘to prevent climate catastrophe’ The loss of sea ice ‘represents one of the most severe positive feedbacks in the climate system’

Wind turbines could be used to create more sea ice in the Arctic in a massive geoengineering scheme on the scale of the Manhattan Project, scientists have said.

The increasing loss of ice, which reflects much of the heat from the sun, and the release of currently frozen stores of potent greenhouse gas methane threaten to create runaway global warming that would affect the entire planet.

Experts believe the Arctic could be essentially free of sea ice for the first time in about 100,000 years within the next few decades. The famously impassable North West Passage is already open to shipping and fossil fuel companies are considering drilling in the region.

Forbes: by James Taylor. Updated NASA data: Global Warming Not Causing Any Polar Ice Retreat”

Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.

The timing of the 1979 NASA satellite instrument launch could not have been better for global warming alarmists. The late 1970s marked the end of a 30-year cooling trend. As a result, the polar ice caps were quite likely more extensive than they had been since at least the 1920s. Nevertheless, this abnormally extensive 1979 polar ice extent would appear to be the “normal” baseline when comparing post-1979 polar ice extent.

Updated NASA satellite data show the polar ice caps remained at approximately their 1979 extent until the middle of the last decade. Beginning in 2005, however, polar ice modestly receded for several years. By 2012, polar sea ice had receded by approximately 10 percent from 1979 measurements. (Total polar ice area – factoring in both sea and land ice – had receded by much less than 10 percent, but alarmists focused on the sea ice loss as “proof” of a global warming crisis.)



Nobel Laureate Ivar Glaever “Global Warming Revisited” by The Elephant's Child

Nobel Laureate Ivar Glaever spoke at the Noble Laureates meeting on July 1, 2015, pointing out the mistakes which Obama makes in his speeches about global warming and shares other facts about the state of the climate. Dr. Glaever is a Norwegian American physicist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics shared with Leo Esaki and Brian Josephson for their discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in solids.

He endorsed Obama, but now says: “Global warming is a non-problem. We have to stop wasting huge, I mean huge amounts of money on global warming. Glaever speaks with an extraordinary measure of plain old common sense, which doesn’t appear often in the debate on climate. And he’s correct. It is a religion, and as such, unassailable.

 




%d bloggers like this: