American Elephants


How to Think About Vladimir Putin, President of Russia. by The Elephant's Child

In Imprimus, the free monthly publication of Hillsdale College, always interesting, Christopher Caldwell, senior editor at The Weekly Standard, takes on “How to Think About Vladimir Putin.” He stresses that he is not telling anyone what to think about the Russian President, but only how to think about him. In a period when the Democrats are just sure that Putin intervened in the election to defeat Hillary Clinton with the cooperation of Donald Trump, this is what fuels the fury. If Hitler were conveniently still alive they would be sure he was trying to defeat Hillary too. But I found this piece fascinating, and a corrective I needed.

Vladimir Vladimirovich is not the president of a feminist NGO. He is not a transgender-rights activist. He is not an ombudsman appointed by the United Nations to make and deliver slide shows about green energy. He is the elected leader of Russia—a rugged, relatively poor, militarily powerful country that in recent years has been frequently humiliated, robbed, and misled. His job has been to protect his country’s prerogatives and its sovereignty in an international system that seeks to erode sovereignty in general and views Russia’s sovereignty in particular as a threat.

By American standards, Putin’s respect for the democratic process has been fitful at best. He has cracked down on peaceful demonstrations. Political opponents have been arrested and jailed throughout his rule. Some have even been murdered—Anna Politkovskaya, the crusading Chechnya correspondent shot in her apartment building in Moscow in 2006; Alexander Litvinenko, the spy poisoned with polonium-210 in London months later; the activist Boris Nemtsov, shot on a bridge in Moscow in early 2015. While the evidence connecting Putin’s own circle to the killings is circumstantial, it merits scrutiny. …

When Putin took power in the winter of 1999-2000, his country was defenseless. It was bankrupt. It was being carved up by its new kleptocratic elites, in collusion with its old imperial rivals, the Americans. Putin changed that. In the first decade of this century, he did what Kemal Atatürk had done in Turkey in the 1920s. Out of a crumbling empire, he rescued a nation-state, and gave it coherence and purpose. He disciplined his country’s plutocrats. He restored its military strength. And he refused, with ever blunter rhetoric, to accept for Russia a subservient role in an American-run world system drawn up by foreign politicians and business leaders. His voters credit him with having saved his country.

Here’s the whole article, do read the whole thing, you’ll be glad you did. And you might consider subscribing to Imprimus. It’s free and informative.

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The United States of America Has Immigration Laws. They Will Be Enforced. by The Elephant's Child

Back in January President Trump informed the American people that an immediate priority for his administration would be to require sanctuary cities to cooperate with federal law. To explain, if two drivers were hauled over on the freeway, one heading South, one heading North, each given a ticket for speeding and asked for their driver’s licenses—the officers in each case returning to their cars and asking for any outstanding warrants—the one heading North will be taken in, as he has an outstanding warrant for selling a small amount of a prohibited drug. The one heading South has a federal detainer request for criminal sex trafficking  and is an illegal immigrant, and will be released to go his own way because police in sanctuary cities are required to release illegal immigrants.

An October 2014 report from ICE that was made public in 2015 detailed 276 sanctuary cities that released 8,145 illegal migrants of whom 1,867 were later arrested 4,298 times with multiple violations amounting to 7,491 charges. Illegal migrants are 3.5 percent of the U.S. population but are 37.6 percent of federal sentences and 13.6 percent of all offenders sentenced for crimes nationwide. The undocumented comprise 12 percent of murder sentences, 20 percent of kidnapping sentences and 16 percent of drug trafficking sentences. Unauthorized migrants are about 7 percent of the California population but over 12 percent of the state prison population.

Sanctuary cities become magnets for illegal immigrants with criminal records. The Left tries to portray this effort as empathy, but it is nothing of the sort, it is an effort to get more potential Democrat voters with open borders. Those who were admitted under Obama’s open borders policies were sent to voting districts where they would potentially change the political nature of the district. There are also extensive records of illegals voting. The federal government is trying to deport dangerous criminal aliens. Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez was a seven-times convicted felon who was free in San Francisco because the city refused to honor a detainer warrant from ICE. Because of the city’s sanctuary policy Kate Steinle was shot and killed in 2015 in a senseless, avoidable and brutal crime.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has warned sanctuary cities and counties that they face losing federal funding, but in their rage against losing an election, the Democrat legislature in California is going to officially become a sanctuary state. The state Senate passed the bill, 27-12 sending it to the Assembly.

The bill was amended last week by de León, D-Los Angeles, and will now allow local and state agencies to let Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents know before convicted felons of serious or violent crimes are released from custody. It also makes it easier for local agencies to transfer criminals into ICE’s custody.

The changes to the bill also allow California law enforcement agencies to work with ICE task forces if the main purpose of the team is not immigration enforcement.

“We will cooperate with our friends at the federal level with serious and violent felons. But we won’t cooperate or lift a finger or spend a single cent when we’re talking about separating children from their mothers, mothers from their children,” de León said. “That’s not who we are as a great state.”

I guess Obama’s “That’s not who we are…” has become an all-inclusive meme for the Democratic Party. California is currently home to an estimated 2.3 million or more illegal aliens. California is also currently suing the federal government to say they can’t take away their federal money. The  House Appropriations Committee has said they will have no problem withholding funding.

Here is a map showing the locations of Sanctuary Cities, Counties and States. Interesting locations.

 



Desperate Democrats Embarrass Themselves In Another Confirmation Hearing by The Elephant's Child

With the exposure of the Susan Rice story, and the dreadful sarin gas attack in Syria by the Assad administration on his own people other things escape our attention. The confirmation hearings for Dr. Scott Gottlieb who the president has nominated to run the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) didn’t get a lot of notice.

Our very own Seattle Senator Patty Murray and other Democrats devoted the morning to attacking Dr. Gottlieb for his “unprecedented financial entanglements” because he has consulted for various companies and invested in health-care start-ups. (Possibly because that is his area of expertise?) Sheldon Whitehouse suggested “dark money operations,” which is a strange description of financial disclosures available to all on the internet. Bernie Sanders tweeted that it was a “disgrace” to have an FDA commissioner who has taken money from drug companies.

These are the same committee Democrats who attacked Betsy DeVos for not having enough experience in public education, nor experience in government.  Consistency and hypocrisy are ongoing problems for the Democrats.

Dr. Gottlieb not only disclosed all his work in accordance with government rules and will liquidate his investments, he agreed to recuse himself for a year on decisions involving his past interests. He also promised to follow directions from the HHS ethics office and to be an “impartial and independent advocate for the public health.”

Another remarkable ugly charge was that Dr. Gottlieb would not address the opioid crisis because he has worked with companies that produce painkillers. Desperate Democrats, out of power, are having trouble finding believable or even sane talking points.

Dr. Gottlieb has called the opioid crisis “a public emergency on the order of Ebola and Zika” and suggested an “all-of-the-above” strategy that would include creating new painkillers that were less addictive and better patient care. He hopes to increase generic drug competition. He offered a tutorial in how companies exploit the regulatory barriers to competition for their commercial advantage,

He has written about how the FDA can unleash innovation without compromising public safety. Democrats, always confused about the evils of “profit” have forgotten about the immense value of expertise. This is another of President Trump’s outstanding nominees, so of course he should be attacked. It will be good to have someone who understands the needs of patients and their doctors and the pharmaceutical industry in that office.




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