American Elephants


Nevada Gov. Sisolak Vetoed a Bill to End The Electoral College by The Elephant's Child

Nevada governor Steve Sisolak (D) today vetoed a bill which would have pledged Nevada’s six electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote for the President of the United States, or in other words nullifying Nevada’s voters and allowing California, Texas. Florida and New York to decide all of our elections. It would really simplify things – the rest of us could just not bother to vote, and candidates would save all sorts of money.

What is appalling is that a legislature would produce such a bill, or that our schools should be so deficient in teaching the basics of what our founders struggled to do when they devised the Constitution.

The origin of the whole thing was, of course, Democrats’ rage that Hillary won the popular vote and lost the general election. But the Left is fairly unfamiliar with the Founders, interested only in whether they owned slaves or not — because they learned their history from Howard Zinn, and assume that this country is evil, and will not be improved until governed entirely by the Left, or something like that. If you need a copy, the Cato Institute has dandy little pocket-sized versions as does Amazon.

Harvard professor and historian Bernard Bailyn, who has likely studied more of the early pamphlets than any other scholar, asserts that “influential in shaping the thought of the Revolutionary generation were the ideas and attitudes associated with the writings of Enlightenment rationalism—writings that expressed not simply the rationalism of liberal reform but that of enlightened conservatism as well.” “In pamphlet after pamphlet the American writers cited Locke on natural rights and on the social and  governmental contract, Montesquieu and later Delolme on the character of British liberty and on the institutional requirements for its attainment.”

That’s from Mark Levin’s new Unfreedom of the Press (which I recommend). I also recommend Wilfrid McClay’s Land of Hope which I haven’t read yet. which is reportedly a refutation of everything Howard Zinn wrote by a highly recommended historian.



They Had an Election in Europe by The Elephant's Child

If you find the results of the European elections somewhat confusing, welcome to the club. John O’Sullivan has a clarifying article at National Review entitled “Understanding the Results of the European Parliamentary Elections.”

Britain’s Theresa May has agreed to resign. Germany’s Angela Merkel has “un-resigned” as she was dissatisfied with whoever was to replace her. The elections were for members of the European parliament, not heads of state, yet several have lost, all very confusing. Hungary’s Victor Orban’s party got 51% of the vote, so his refusal to admit migrants has met with approval. Greens did well, and Greta Thunberg, the Swedish 16 year-old who says she can see the molecules of CO² in the air, and led the skip school movement because of climate change, has been awarded a Doctorate by some Swedish university. As you can see, it is indeed very confusing. You will find John O’Sullivan helpful.

The general idea seems to be that the ordinary people of Europe are fairly fed up with the high-handed treatment they are getting from Brussels. The migrants, welcomed by Brussels, are not fitting in well, stabbings and rape, violence and no-go zones are not working out well, and while they like the freedom to move between countries, Brussels is getting way too heavy-handed. But that’s just my impression. Pay no attention to me whatsoever. You will find John O’Sullivan helpful.

Addendum: Angela Merkel spoke out today saying that she didn’t “un-resign” or didn’t mean to or was misunderstood, or something or other. Politics and the press.



Further Clarification: A Fishing Expedition! by The Elephant's Child

Joe DiGenova is a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, highly respected, and deeply knowledgeable about the nation’s capitol and what goes on there. He is really worth paying attention to, because he has a habit of being absolutely right. Fascinating.



Congress Confusing? Here’s Some Clarity. by The Elephant's Child

Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) offers a bit of clarification on the Impeachment/Investigation front. in case you find all the commentary coming out of Congress a bit confusing. Helpful to hear from a knowledgeable insider.



True, False, or Virtue Signalling? by The Elephant's Child

The results of an interesting study appeared in the Wall Street Journal last week. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, many Democrats professed significant increases in stress, depression and anxiety. Was that real or just showing off — virtue signalling?

Using a unique data set of searches by more than 1 million Bing users before and after the election, we examine the changes in mental-health-related searches. . . . We find that while Democrats may report greater increases in post-election mental distress, their mental health search behavior did not change after the election.

On the other hand, Spanish-speaking Latinos had clear, significant, and sustained increases in searches for “depression,” “anxiety,” “therapy,” and antidepressant medications. This suggests that for many Democrats, expressing mental distress after the election was a form of partisan cheerleading. . . . Democrats, as partisans, are reporting Trump-related mental distress as a form of reverse cheerleading, while Latinos are reporting genuine mental distress. . . . Where partisans are engaging in reverse cheerleading, they will be vocal about their mental distress about the presidency in a public forum but will not engage in behaviors associated with that distress in private. . . . Individuals who are not engaging in reverse cheerleading may or may not share their mental distress publicly but will engage in private behaviors associated with mental health issues.

Why am not surprised?

The study was published by  SAGE Open, on March 27. SAGE Open access is an independent publisher of academic research committed to the goal of global dissemination of research.



May You Live in Interesting Times* by The Elephant's Child

From Scott Johnson @ powerline:

One can feel the anxiety pouring out of the mainstream media stories reporting President Trump’s authorization of Attorney General Barr to declassify the documents underlying the greatest political scandal in American political history — i.e., the Russian collusion hoax. The anxiety is overdetermined. Among other things, it is based in part on the media’s insane opposition to everything Trump and in part on their complicity with the perpetrators of the hoax.

From Victor Davis Hanson @ american greatness:

Mueller spent more than $34 million and wrote over 440 pages to inform the American people that Trump could not realistically be indicted for obstructing justice, mostly because the underlying crime—“collusion”— never existed in the first place. Moreover, Mueller and other officials were never actually hampered in their investigations. No matter: “obstruction” was supposedly the key to destroying the Trump Administration after collusion imploded. To this day it remains the battle cry of the impeach-Trump Left.

From Michael Goodwin @ The New York Post:

Timing is everything, and timing explains President Trump’s decision to finally pull the ripcord and open the Obama administration’s bag of dirty tricks.

With his memo giving Attorney General Bill Barr the authority to declassify any documents related to the investigation of the 2016 campaign, Trump made good on a longstanding promise. Most important, his decision signaled that the War of Washington is entering a crucial new phase.

The president is going nuclear.

Democrats who thought control of the House gave them control of the agenda now will face stiff competition. Their expressions of outrage will seem tired next to the sensational revelations about the actions of Jim Comey, John Brennan and ­others.

From George S. Bardmesser @ The Federalist

Every Time Democrats Talk, I Want to Vote For Trump Twice

I am a middle-of-the-road Republican who voted for Trump with the utmost reluctance in 2016. He sure wasn’t perfect. He was no Cicero, either––though he can give a decent speech when the chips are down. He had a few extra skeletons rattling in his closet, especially compared to colorless non-entities like Jeb. So yeah, I was queasy about voting for an ex-registered-Democrat-from-New-York-and-possible-liberal-now-turned-Republican. …

And let me tell ya, every time one of these newly minted Democratic “stars” opens their mouth, the same thought goes through my mind: Thank God for Trump. Trump is my last line of defense. Trump is the only thing that stands between me and these hallucinogenic socialist nut jobs. Trump is what’s keeping chaos and left-wing insanity at bay.

*Supposedly an ancient Chinese Curse, but no Chinese said it.  Of interest because it purports to be a gracious wish, but is actually a curse. Seemed as if it kinda fits.



“A Whiff of Fear Among those in the Cabal” by The Elephant's Child

I always enjoy Bill Whittle. He never pulls his punches, but tells you what is on his mind. Will we see this preposterous cabal brought down? They have been talking trash about the president ever since he was elected. It’s not about Hillary. It’s quite clear that they have no further interest in her. It’s entirely about power. Their power to control, to decide, to pass out favors, and determine goals and spending to favor themselves.

They want Trump impeached, now. They reject the Mueller report in its entirety because it absolved Trump of colluding, and there were things “redacted” which must have been naming the terrible things he had done. They know absolutely that he obstructed justice, they just aren’t sure just what justice he obstructed. They thought they had something when the former White House counsel  Don McGahn refused to testify, they’re not done with that one, but the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board wrote a careful editorial explaining just why Congress cannot force the former counsel to testify.

Now they want President Trump’s financial records for as far back as it takes to find something, anything, to convict him for. This is simply
a further attempt at a coup. Nancy Pelosi knows that the Americans do not want impeachment. But she has a hot-headed bunch screeching for impeachment now. Democrats are largely aware of the booming economy in the wake of eight long years of presidential assurances that unemployment was unfortunate but times had just changed and growth over two percent was no longer possible. Too Bad, but just the way it is.

That is, of course, part of it. Democrats are terrified that black Americans will notice that Black unemployment is at an historical low. Americans might notice that Democrats are attempting to overturn the Constitution. They might notice that perhaps they should study up a bit to understand what socialism is, how it works, and why countries under socialism so often turn into a disaster like Venezuela, with its people trying desperately to escape. There’s a lot going on here and now that we never dreamed could be happening in the United States of America.



Congress Wants to Investigate — Something? by The Elephant's Child

A federal judge today upheld a congressional subpoena seeking President Trump’s financial records from an accounting firm. They argued that Congress is within its rights to investigate potential illegal behavior by a president – even without launching a formal impeachment inquiry.

I am merely a citizen, not a lawyer, but they surely shopped for a compliant judge. Excuse me, but what “potential illegal behavior”? Well, we don’t like him, so he must have done something illegal, and if we can just go through the records of his business dealings for the past 10 or 20 years, we’re sure we can find something.

This is getting so weird! We hear daily that he must be impeached, but nobody ever says what they intend to impeach him for. Maxine Waters started yammering about impeachment the day after he got elected.

Hollywood types, who assume that because we recognize their names, that we are interested in their thoughts, (we aren’t) and prate about destroying democracy, ruining the country, and whatever they can think of, apparently completely unaware of the booming economy, full employment, historically low unemployment, historically low black unemployment. Trump has a potential program to solve our immigration crisis that has real merit.

When special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed, Democrats were sure that  he would find evidence of “collusion” with Russia, and were devasted when he claimed not to, but they comforted themselves with “obstruction”and he didn’t find that either, but they were so sure that he obstructed something, that they demanded proof, and the full report, and the redacted part, including the redacted part that Mueller was forbidden by law to give them. Mueller’s report grew to 448 pages.

The special counsel’s office interviewed 500 witnesses, issued 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search-and seisure warrants, and obtained 300 records of electronic communications, and still could not establish the one thing that mattered most in the investigation.

The total reported cost of the Special Counsel’s investigation through September 2018 was $25,215,853.00. The Mueller investigation will go down in history as one of the widest ranging and most expensive Special Counsel investigations ever.

Democrats were still looking for something, anything, that would convince Americans that the president was still guilty of something serious. The White House cooperated fully with the Mueller probe with testimony and documents which might have been withheld as priviledged.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is investigating  the FBI’s reliance on the unverified dossier produced by British ex-spy Christopher Steele in spite of questions about Steele’s credibility. Steele’s dossier was funded in part by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign through the Perkins Coie law firm and opposition research group Fusion GPS.

With no conspiracy and no collusion, the allegation that the president had obstructed justice to cover up an investigation  into a crime that they could neither identify or describe is getting into thin gruel. They’re pretty much reduced to stunts. Democrats reportedly enlisted Hollywood’s John Cusack to take part in a public reading of the entire Mueller report – it took 12 hours – before C-Span’s cameras. I’ve seen no report on the size of the audience, but it probably did not captivate the nation.

There will be more stunts.



The Usual Argument Over Just Who Is Responsible by The Elephant's Child

The State of Alabama has passed a law limiting the right to an abortion, and Hollywood and feminists have erupted in fury. Nobody is talking sense, nor seems to have any understanding of the real issues. The issue is “a woman’s right to choose.” The problem is that the urge to get an abortion is mostly the result of a significant number of unfortunate choices.

Many feminists have long resented the ability of horny men to satisfy their urges without consequences, and cannot accept the fact that the female of the species is required by nature to be responsible. Modern society has provided all sorts of assistance, but if one ignores the availability of help – it seems a little crass to expect society to bail you out.

Many people believe that what a pregnancy produces is a new human being. Others believe it is merely a clump of cells of no particular value. This is not a resolvable problem. Casting aspersions on the religion of one side or the lack thereof of the other is distinctly unhelpful. Before Alabama passed their law, the Governor of Virginia was talking about letting the mother and her doctor decide whether to care for it or kill it, which after being born – becomes plain old murder.

There are significant women who find themselves unable to conceive, and desperately want to adopt. With more women working, our national birthrate has dropped far below the replacement rate. Do we force women back to the kitchen? Or import babies from countries with too big a birthrate – a Hollywood fad for a while.

It would seem it should be possible for good-hearted people to find a solution if they can examine the facts dispassionately, but then, quite possibly not. We could start by pointing out that Mother Nature demands that the female of the species  be responsible.



Free Speech vs. Preferred Pronouns by The Elephant's Child

Well said. Attempting to make what is classified as a mental disorder called gender dysphoria into a casual choice is confusing a lot of parents, who don’t know where to turn. The Left carries things too far.

They hate President Trump, fear his accomplishments, and hope to defeat him with a web of identity politics. With luck they can make those confused parents be afraid of Trump, or find him too mean to win reelection in 2020. The current biggest evil is wrong-think, or offending fearful snowflakes. We had someone, local, I think, who ‘identified’ as a cat, domestic, I believe.  Had whiskers implanted. Dunno what happened.

I fail to understand why those who are confronted with an idea that they do not understand, fail to study up. Researching ideas is why we have computers. But we have somewhere around 24 Democrat presidential candidates spouting ideas that sound good, they think, but have never investigated at all. If they cannot take the time to study up, and know why they are supporting the policies they claim to favor, they should not be wasting our time. I call it doing your homework.



Trump Is a Dictator and Other Democrat Language Excess by The Elephant's Child

Daniel Henninger had a splendid column in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. “Democrat’s assaults on the Trump presidency roll in like the ocean’s tides. But the one that landed on the beach today that deserves to go under the microscope. It is the notion that Donald Trump is a dictator.”

He rolls on through Attorney General William Barr’s refusal to appear before the committee after being slandered and ridiculed the day before, noting the other Democrats who piled on. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) raged that “If a Democratic President acted this way. Republicans would be calling him or her a dictator. Henninger added that this is progress. We’ve moved on from Trump-is-Hitler to mere dictator, which is discussable.

Nadler added that what is at stake in the standoff between President Trump and the Democrats is “the very system of government of the United States is “the very system of government of the United States, the system of limited power…”

Henninger asked “When in the past 20 years has a national Democrat invoked “limited power”?”

He added:

Of late, the Democratic left has adopted a familiar post election strategy: Taint elections they lose, and then delegitimize the opposition in the public’s mind to win the next election. …

America’s political left is impatient for power. It is frustrated it hasn’t been able to achieve its agenda on issues like health-care nationalization or climate policy through the normal legislative process, so it is trying to force it—by redesigning the political system to give itself power long enough to impose what it wants. In short, by dictating policy change.

To get there, the left is pushing to abolish the Electoral College and expand the Supreme Court. As power grabs go, these are pretty naked.

That’s quite clearly what today’s Democrats are up to. They would prefer to be running the country, saving us all from the horrors of climate change to secure their perpetual control. Pay attention to China’s electronic control of the Chinese people, and treatment of dissidents. The Uighurs, a Moslem segment of the Chinese people, are essentially in a concentration camp to be re-educated. Putin has
adopted the Chinese system of computerized facial recognition, which he is putting into force in Moscow. The Russians are apparently to be monitored as the Chinese people are. Total control would seem to be not far behind. Live correctly and behave properly, and the government will allow you to use the government facilities like trains and planes, and perhaps even travel. I suppose such control is so enticing for dictator types that it would be hard to resist. It is up to Americans to be alert to what is going on around the world, and what the implications are for our freedom.

I natter a lot about human nature, and trying to understand that which is just human nature and not subject to being “fixed.”. We are a highly imperfect species, and many cannot resist the attempt to grab for more power and control. Bureaucracy is an enemy, not our friend.



Democrats on the Campaign Trail Now Number 24. I think. by The Elephant's Child

Excellent news today. President Trump has another judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over Democrat objections.  On Wednesday he got another victory with the confirmation of Kenneth Lee. He is slowly remaking the hard Left Ninth Circuit.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated, but the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits has dropped even further. This suggests that rising tariffs and retaliation by China have not hurt American workers.  Claims were expected to decline to 219,000 but declined by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 212.000 instead.

Attorney General William Barr has made it clear that he intends to restore his department’s credibility.  He has appointed seasoned U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. If the Justice Department had done this two years ago the country would be in a better place. He gets credit for not calling him a “special counsel”. Mr. Durham is known not only as an experienced prosecutor, but as a straight arrow. He doesn’t bring prosecutions lightly, but is not afraid to hold the powerful to
account. Which is clearly what Democrats are worried about.

Special counsels are only supposed to be appointed when the Justice Department is too conflicted to investigate a matter. We had a Justice Department that for two years used the Mueller probe as an excuse to not comply with Congressional oversight. Americans expect accountability and transparency from their government. We’re finally getting them.

New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio entered the presidential race today, after imposing the “Green New Deal” on the city, to the outraged laughter of New Yorkers. He announced that he wanted to improve the job situation for American workers. Huh? Been there, done that. I guess Mr. DeBlasio hasn’t noticed. Obama apparently favors Beto O’Rourke, because he reminds him of himself. Still absorbed with number one. From Conrad Black, who knows a thing or two about journalism:

The last fact that the Democrats have not begun to deal with in the effort to unseat the president is his extraordinary success. The economic performance is phenomenal, and the pathetic attempts of President Obama to claim credit for the economic recovery, like his fatuities about “the magic wand,” will be mocked with vicious hilarity. The success of this president in proclaiming a border emergency and doing something about it will be noted.

So far, President Trump has built over 500 miles of border wall. The Democrats don’t understand that a majority of the American people want immigration controlled. The candidates vying for the Democrat nomination are uniformly anxious to not only eliminate the tax cuts which they see as giving money to the rich, but to raise taxes as well. Good luck with that one.

One never knows what to expect. Beto O’Rourke invited us along on his hair cut today, along with his camera crew. But then he posted the video of his teeth-cleaning as well. Is this an effort to show us that he’s just like us ? Like Elizabeth Warren’s “I think I’ll have me a beer?” Poking fun is way more enjoyable than serious criticism.  More richly deserved as well.

 




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