American Elephants


The Schumer Shutdown, III by The Elephant's Child

After a dramatic weekend of plaintive cries and drums of doom from our deeply serious media, the Schumer Shutdown is over. Probably early this morning. File under “Much Ado About Nothing.”

What you need to remember about the whole travesty is that Democrats put illegal aliens (who have no right to even be in our country) above our servicemen and women who are putting their lives on the line on our behalf, All done for a stunt, for no purpose whatsoever. They want more illegal aliens who can be persuaded to vote illegally, or who can be counted in the next census to give extra count to the number of Electoral College votes.



Promise Goes a Glimmering If You Don’t Grasp The Basics of Economics and History by The Elephant's Child

Sometimes visitors dredge up an article from our archives that I had forgotten all about. Here is one of them, from July 14, 2016, with some reminders for today.

IN an important article at The Federalist, John Gibbs offers a different view of the racial division in the country.

My view of America is that we are a place of great promise and opportunity, where someone like me, who is the grandchild of illiterate black Southern sharecroppers, can achieve success and reach the American dream. We are a place occupied by fair-minded, hard-working people whose culture and values have built a nation that is the envy of the world. I am proud to be a part of that culture.

Our Founders, while imperfect and a product of their times, were visionary heroes who made hard choices and compromises to give us the successful system we have today. Because Americans are good, we’ve worked hard over time to right the wrongs in our society that our Founding Fathers could not eliminate in their time. In summary, we are a fundamentally decent people blessed to live in a phenomenal land with a rich heritage.

But not so for President Obama. His view of our nation seems to be very different than mine and that of many other Americans. I believe that when President Obama thinks of America, more so than a place of hope or opportunity, he thinks of a place where racist white Christian fundamentalists came here from Europe, committed genocide against Native Americans, enslaved and segregated black people, denied women, gays, and other minorities their rights, and used capitalism and a rigged legal system to oppress poor people for centuries. He also believes this is still continuing today.

Do read the whole thing.

Zero Hedge chimes in again with some interesting data points from last week’s June Employment Report. The mid year burst of minimum-wage increases scheduled for July 1st when minimum wages will rise in 15 places: two states—Maryland and Oregon, plus Washington D.C., Los Angeles County and eleven cities, including Chicago, eight cities in California and two in Kentucky, shows what happens when the Left manages to increase the minimum wage. Unemployment for young black males increases sharply.

blackteenMilton Friedman explained may years ago:

The minimum wage law is most properly described as a law saying that employers must discriminate against people who have low skills. That’s what the law says. The law says that here’s a man who has a skill that would justify a wage of $5 or $6 per hour (adjusted for today), but you may not employ him, it’s illegal, because if you employ him you must pay him $7.25 per hour. So what’s the result? To employ him at $7.25 per hour is to engage in charity. There’s nothing wrong with charity. But most employers are not in the position to engage in that kind of charity. Thus, the consequences of minimum wage laws have been almost wholly bad. We have increased unemployment and increased poverty.

Moreover, the effects have been concentrated on the groups that the do-gooders would most like to help. The people who have been hurt most by the minimum wage laws are the blacks. I have often said that the most anti-black law on the books of this land is the minimum wage law.

 



Senator Schumer’s Shutdown by The Elephant's Child

The West Wing of the White House is dark today, Sunday, January 21, 2018.

If you call the White House public comment phone line, you will get an unusual message.

“Thank you for calling the White House,” a woman says in the recording. “Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today. Congressional Democrats are holding government funding, including funding for our troops and other national security priorities, hostage to an unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction, the government is shut down. In the meantime, you can leave a comment at http://www.whitehouse.gov, forward-slash contact. We look forward to taking your calls as soon as the government reopens.”

The number for the comment line is: 202-456-1111.

Thanks to  the Examiner’s Kelly Cohen for calling this to our attention.



The First Year in Brief by The Elephant's Child



Senator Schumer’s Shutdown by The Elephant's Child

Well, of course, that was then, and this is now. So it’s different. The matter of “the Dreamers” is urgent, and we must get approval to let them all stay, but not so fast. From the Center for Immigration Studies:

There are an estimated 790,000 DACA recipients in the country. The open border crowd discusses an amnesty for  the “Dreamers” (as opposed to DACA recipients) in order to have an amnesty cover as many of the illegal population as possible. And yes, the “Dreamer” population is probably over 3 million. These numbers, if chain migration is not eliminated, will have huge repercussions for demographics for years, and every study I have ever seen shows this population votes for big government.

But it is not just illegal immigration, it is massive legal immigration and our emphasis on chain migration that is causing a shift in politics.

Did you get that? The open borders crowd is talking about an amnesty for the “Dreamers” a much larger group (over 3 million individuals) of illegal aliens.

Federal immigration policy has allowed about 30 million legal immigrants to settle permanently in the United States since 1980. This has affected all areas of American life, not the least being electoral politics.

Progressives openly debate the immigration issue in political terms. Labor-union official Eliseo Medina, for instance, has promoted amnesty and increased immigration as a means to “expand and solidify the progressive coalition for the future” in order to “create a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle.”

For the Left, it is all about compassion. It proves to Progressives just how nice they are because they care—and the rest of us don’t. By establishing their compassion for the downtrodden, they have fulfilled their niceness obligation, if any, and can get on with the goal of getting back in control.

Of course much of the government shuts down every weekend. Or do you recall Obama’s big shutdown when he shut down all the National Parks, and spent a bundle to make sure that visitors were unable to even see Mt. Rushmore, and the Honor Flights of Vietnam Veterans were unable to see the monument they had come to Washington D.C. specifically to see. So embarrassing.

So how many legal and illegal immigrants do we need to import? The world population clock says there are 7.8 billion people in the world, but of course we don’t know at all, it’s all guesswork. New immigrants are mostly potential Democrats. That’s because they are mostly Hispanic. Pew has found that 55 percent of Hispanics have a negative view of Capitalism. 75% prefer a bigger government that offers more services, while only 19% favor a smaller government that offers less services. Asians too, prefer bigger government and more services. This is from a 2012 study, but it does provide some fuel for thought.

Free enterprise and capitalism and a market economy are what has made America great. How odd that the Left should be so opposed to that, but of course that is why they are the left. I suspect that they simply do not understand the consequences of their actions, and their analysis stops at the goal of control.

There are four primary sponsors for the DREAM Act, including Democrats Durbin (IL) and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Republicans Graham (SC) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.). All four sponsors are part of the “Gang of Eight” that introduced the overweening and intellectually dishonest amnesty legislation into the Senate in 2013 only to see it go down in flames in the House.

The projected deficit the legislation would create is huge, and poses serious questions about both Flake’s and Graham’s claims to being fiscal conservatives, as my colleague Art Arthur has already noted. This is from Graham’s official website:

Our immigration system is a mess. Every last bit of it is haywire and it badly needs to be reformed. Many people are seduced by the claims that swirl around the system — we are all immigrants, America is a nation of immigrants, immigrants have contributed so much to America, and so on and on. Some have, some have not. We get caught up in slogans all too easily.

According to the Congressional Budget Office with the Joint Committee on Taxation:

CBO and JCT estimate that changes in direct spending and revenues from enacting S. 1615 [the Senate’s bill number for the DREAM Act] would increase budget deficits by $25.9 billion over the 2018-2027 period, boosting on-budget deficits by $30.6 billion and decreasing off-budget deficits by $4.7 billion over that period.

One of the erroneous facts being reported by the media is that the DACA program expires entirely in March, “a date that Republican leaders have cast as the actual deadline for action.” Not true. There is no deadline, despite the urgency being dredged up by CNN and ABC. Any panic they can arouse will result in click bait for the leftist media.

Just ran out to get something at the Pet Store, and on the radio an announcer was intoning that “we are nearing the second day of the government shutdown” in dramatic fashion, completely unaware that the government essentially shuts down every Friday night, as workers take the weekend off.  The incompetence of the current media never ceases to amaze.



Common Sense Trumps Environmental Overreach by The Elephant's Child

The good news just keeps flowing out of the Trump administration. Today it is the case of a tiny Aleutian village—King Cove, Alaska.  It is a remote fishing village with around 1,000 inhabitants. The town has a clinic, but no doctor and no hospital. Their tiny airport is often locked in by gale-force winds and fog. When there’s a trauma case, childbirth, complications of all sorts, they must get to the all-weather airport in Cold Bay, 22 miles away for transportation for the 600 miles to Anchorage, hospitals and doctors.

King Cove residents have requested of the Interior Department a 22 mile long, one-lane gravel road to Cold Bay which would allow for all weather access to lifesaving medical care. Here’s the rest of the story I wrote back in 2014:

Etta Kuzakin, a 36-year-old King Cove resident who serves as Agdaagux tribal president, needed an emergency Caesarean section in March after going into early labor with her now 9-month-old daughter. Giving birth in King Cove could have killed her and her baby. Medevac flights into King Cove were grounded by ugly weather. Ms. Kuzakin waited in labor for ten hours until a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flew her out in the afternoon.

“If there had been a road, it would be two hours out,” she said. “I sat there in labor not knowing if I was going to die or my kid was going to die. Pretty traumatic.” Fishing is also hard work, and injuries are common. According to local Aleutian elders, 19 people have died since 1980 because bad weather during emergency evacuations prevented them from getting out.

Sally Jewell, former U.S. Interior Secretary, met with Aleutian citizens in the gymnasium in King Cove, to hear their request for a simple one-lane gravel lifeline to a dependable airport. Ms. Jewell, former head of REI, told her King Cove audience thatI’ve listened to your stories, now I have to listen to the animals. She rejected the road, saying that it would jeopardize waterfowl in the refuge.”

“Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will swap federal land with the Aleut of King Cove AK, on January 22, answering decades of pleas from local officials for a road.”

King Cove residents have pursued building an 11-mile, single-lane, non-commercial road between King Cove and the Cold Bay Airport for the past 35 years. In that time, at least 18 people have died from causes attributable to not having a road between the community and airport, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. …

Since 2013, 68 medevacs have evacuated King Cove residents to the airport for life threatening injuries or other immediate medical needs. Because the community is isolated, each medevac costs U.S. taxpayers as much as $210,000 a trip, TheDCNF has learned.

Environmentalists have argued for the purity and preservation of the Wilderness Act, but exceptions are possible, and Ms. Jewell was out in left field. She was a former head of REI, and, I assume, a city person unfamiliar with driving in the country where herds of sheep can often block the road, but even those can be moved off with a little shooing. This was not exactly a freeway that the Aleuts were asking for. Birds, even large ones, are moveable species, and unlikely to build nests on a road. Traffic was likely to be rare.

Democrats are apt to put great weight on their “compassionate” character. They care. Except when they don’t. But they believe that they do, and castigate Republicans constantly for their uncaring nature. Uh huh. You will notice that their fidelity to Green causes trumps compassion every time, except when you are talking about cleaning up your own mess after a demonstration.

Good for Secretary Zinke, good for President Trump, and I’m delighted that the Aleuts will get their simple one-lane gravel road.

You might enjoy William Voegeli’s 2014 book The Pity Party. The subtitle is “A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion.” The Amazon comment “a scathing and reasoned critique of the politics of liberal compassion—and why liberals’ lack of interest in the results of their policies renders them unfit to govern.” It’s spot on.



Why The Talk of “Fake News”? Here’s Why: by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a devastating compilation of the Fake News Media on the attack put together by the Free Beacon’s Andrew Kugle, who tweeted that he had six minutes of more outtakes that he had to cut from this compilation. Instapundit describes it as an “embarrassment of riches.”

Then there’s the Democrat media’s fantastically defensive commentary about Hillary’s collapse when returning to her limousine, or having to be helped up the stairs. Funny.

And then there were all of those coughing fits, which the doctor announced were caused by dehydration which had been treated (drink some water) and pneumonia because she is unsteady on her feet and collapses?

Sometimes you don’t notice when you just see one or two examples, but when there are dozens compiled—it’s a different matter entirely. Funny.

 



Former President Obama Simply Can’t Let Go! by The Elephant's Child

I’m still playing around with the “power” theme. That’s what it’s all about now, is it not? The millionaire football players kneeling at the national anthem, the pay gap for women, the claims of racism and white supremacy, the claim that the president said “hellhole” in more scatological terms and should therefore be censured by Congress. What if what he actually said was “hellhole”? Apparently no one but Illinois Senator Dick Durbin actually heard him say the ‘s’ version. It is all about Donald Trump winning the election and putting the Democrats out of power at all levels.

I wrote back on the first of January about former President Obama’s reluctance refusal to return to civilian life, as president’s do when their term of office is done. He is apparently the first, ever, to refuse to do so. Jimmy Carter insisted on commenting frequently, but Obama is doing something quite different, and unprecedented.  It must be a bit galling to find your successor cancelling your misguided programs and having the economy take off as a result. Democrats are insisting that the economy is acting in response to Obama’s efforts, but the people who make the economy go have no hesitation in telling what they are responding to.

Here’s Politico: Since leaving office, Barack Obama has struggled with how to do what no modern president has: take on his successor.

Obama and Eric Holder are fully engaged in the effort to challenge every GOP redistricting effort in court to claim they were (of course) racist and therefore illegal. You have surely noticed the extreme reappearance of charges of racism. It is not due to any evidence of racism, but of the “Black Lives Matter” protest group, which is also orchestrated. Every business in the country is eager to hire minorities, if only to prove that they are not discriminating. Unemployment claims for Blacks are the lowest in recorded history, and Black employment is at all time highs.So that’s not what this is about, it’s about power—having it and losing it.

Do read the whole Politico article. It’s a glimpse into the Leftist view. I wish it was about how to fix things, and get our huge deficit under control, but of course, it is not. It’s just about power.



Jordan Peterson on the Patriarchy and the Pay Gap by The Elephant's Child

Here is Jordan Peterson again, in an interview with a British feminist named Cathy Newman. She is utterly fixated on the idea of the pay gap that favors men and how utterly unjust it is. She has real trouble hearing what Professor Peterson says, expects him to be disseminating and misleading and he actually means exactly what he says. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating conversation and I learned a lot about some real differences between men and women that careful research shows. Especially interesting for women to watch. You may even find it helpful.



Why Globalism Fails: Jordan Peterson by The Elephant's Child

I really enjoy Dr. Jordan Peterson. He is deeply interested in getting to the very essence of things. How things really work underneath it all. What makes people tick and why. And why they don’t. I like listening to him, and I like watching him. He talks with his hands. I don’t think I do that at all, and I don’t know why some people do and some people don’t—besides being Italian. Enjoy.



This Is Why The “Swamp” Needs Draining! by The Elephant's Child
January 16, 2018, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: ,

The only thing to come along in the news is the President’s physical exam, and his doctor had the nerve to say the President was in fine health, had excellent cognitive health, and remarkably good genes. He suggested that if President Trump improved his diet some, he would probably last till he was 200.

Argggh! Unacceptable information. Trump is Insane. The unacceptable media has their own take and nothing favorable to this president will do. CNN’s Jim Acosta even suggested that the doctor was lying. So that prompted a quick return to the president’s “racist”comments.

Racist? What racist? “Shithole” countries. Only Dick Durbin, the senator from the Democrat State of Illinois, who is well known to be a devout Democrat, heard that. Everyone else described “tough talk” but not those words. Another media great to-do about nothing. In any case, the words described a country—not a people.

And one might mention that the UN had a campaign in 2017 (last year) to establish a World Toilet Day — to establish Sanitation Safety and Planning to implement the 2006 WHO guidelines for Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater. Today 4.5 billion people live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste. That’s aside from corrupt government, extreme poverty,

And as far as the people escaping from those troubled countries, recall the Left’s treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali who received international attention as a critic of Islam, who opposed forced marriage, honor violence, child marriage and female genital mutilation. She escaped Somalia for Holland. But allowing her to speak at American universities was unacceptable.

There was a priceless bit of humor, however, in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when DHS Secretary Kristjen Nielsen was grilled over Trump’s comments, as reported by CNN. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont commented on “the most vulgar and racist thing ever heard from a president of either party” — If you believe that one, I have a cute little bridge in San Francisco that I’d be willing to sell you, cheap.

When Secretary Nielsen began speaking, some wit behind Senator Leahy held up a big sign with a picture of the President, saying “Trump: Why Allow Immigrants from ‘Shithole’ Countries?”

Democrats lost the working class voters in the last election. They are terrified that they might lose the minority vote, and are going all out on the “racist” and “white supremacy” theme to make sure that minorities believe that any loss or failure in their lives can be blamed on the dread Republican Party. That seems to be how politics is played today. Would be nice if they would just do their jobs.



There are Some Serious Objections to Obama’s Presidential Center. by The Elephant's Child

Back in mid-October, I posted a picture of former President Obama’s proposed presidential library in Chicago. It was to be built on the South Side of Chicago, and to do some neighborhood revitalization as well as be a park, a hub for artists like Springsteen, Chance, and Spike Lee. A lagoon would have paddle boats and skating in the winter, and Michelle wants a sledding hill, something she always wanted as a kid.

It is apparently not going to be a presidential library, but a celebration of Obama, and the papers and records will be somewhere else. The tall building looks like a takeout bag for a Chinese dinner, but I don’t know who the architect is. It has morphed from  a library into a 20 acre “private center.” The supposition is that the city will quickly approve it, since Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel used to be Obama’s Chief of Staff.

Well, not so fast. Behind the scenes, a heated battle is taking place.

Here’s our bottom line. If the Obama Foundation wishes to construct this center on Chicago’s South Side, that’s fine, but not on parkland held in public trust. The University of Chicago, which orchestrated the winning bid for the project, has plenty of land on the South Side that they could and should use. Instead, they’ve been adamant since day one that they must have historic public parkland for the purpose,” Charles Birnbaum, president and founder of D.C.- based nonprofit, the Cultural Landscape Foundation, told the Washington Examiner in a written statement Saturday.

There are other groups: Friends of the Parks, Jackson Park Watch, Openlands, National Association for Olmsted Parks, Save the Midway, Landmarks Illinois, and Preservation Chicago, all of whom have raised serious concerns about the project. Also 200 faculty members from Obama’s former employer, the University of Chicago, issued a formal letter stating its opposition to the presidential center being built at this location.

The Obama Foundation Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. will have to get approval from the Environmental Protection Agency under the National Environmental Policy Act and this is now the Trump administration’s EPA.

The problem is that this is historic parkland, originally designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, Sr., and Calvert Vaux (New York’s Central Park fame), designed in 1871 and Olmsted wrote in 1895 that the Museum of Science and Industry was intended to be the only “dominating object of interest in the park. There was another Section 106 compliance review in 2012, and officials decided it should not be touched. They said the remaining defining characteristics such as the overall plan depicted on the 1905 map must be respected.

The Obama Foundation has made dozens of changes including road closures within the park, a revamping of the landscaping, and a redesign of the main building which is now 23 stories tall. Since the presidential papers are to go somewhere else, the 23 story building must have some other purpose, like classrooms for teaching community organizing or for instruction on the effort to ‘fundamentally transform the United States of America’. That one didn’t work out so well.

If this seems like a continuation of the theme of power and how it corrupts, you are correct.




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