American Elephants


CBO Destroys Democrats’ Utopian Dreams by The Elephant's Child

Democrats don’t seem to have a high opinion of ordinary American citizens. They usually want to buy their votes, with some promised legislation. Their big, big idea has been raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Trouble is some people simply aren’t worth the raise. There has to be a spot in our economy for people just starting out, who don’t yet know how to be useful workers. Some businesses are too small to pay that much, and must either do the work themselves or give up the business.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated (their median estimate) that under the $15 an hour option, 1.3 million workers who would otherwise be employed would be jobless in an average week in 2015. (That would equal an 0,8 percent reduction in the number of employed workers).

Zero Hedge has the full CBO report, with graphs and a thorough explanation of the effects.

The $15 option would affect family income in a variety of ways. In CBO’s estimation, it would:

  • Boost workers’ earnings through higher wages, though some of those higher earnings would be offset by higher rates of joblessness;
  • Reduce business income and raise prices as higher labor costs were absorbed by business owners and then passed on to consumers; and
  • Reduce the nation’s output slightly through the reduction in employment and a corresponding decline in the nation’s stock of capital (such as buildings, machines, and technologies).

On the basis of those effects and CBO’s estimate of the median effect on employment, the $15 option would reduce total real (inflation-adjusted) family income in 2025 by $9 billion, or 0.1 percent.



Never Fear, Common Sense Is Here! by The Elephant's Child

KOMO-TV reported last Wednesday that “a climate study has estimated that Seattle’s costs associated sea level rise could be more than $23.8 billion by 2040.”They said that the “Center for Climate Integrity conducted the evaluation of potential costs of constructing seawalls in 22 coastal states and the District of Columbia.”

Well, not so fast. Junk Science.com pointed out that while high water and/or flooding may be a future problem for Seattle, it won’t be because of sea level rise so much as subsidence.

The NOAA tidal gauge data shows that for the past 120 years or so the rise has been about 8 to9 inches–nothing unusual.

What is happening is that manmade activity (land use, groundwater withdrawal) is making Seattle subside. A 2016 study showed that “Fast subsidence in downtown of Seattle was observed with satellite radar.



A Little History for Mr. Kaepernick and Nike by The Elephant's Child

Perhaps you have seen this picture from Barack Obama’s Inauguration which has been widely circulated in response the the Nike shoe flap. You will notice the Betsy Ross flags at each end of the display. And the other flags depicting a time when we had fewer than 50 states. Hawaii and Alaska became the 49th and 50th states in 1959.

The Betsy Ross flag was the first official flag of the United States of America.

Jane Hampton Cook does a nice job of dispelling the myths about the Betsy Ross Flag at The Federalist.:

The Betsy Ross flag is not a colonial flag. It is the first official flag of the United States of America.

The Betsy Ross flag is the first flag of the United States of America, not of Britain’s American colonies. Independence Day, July 4, 1776, marks the day that the Declaration of Independence changed the American colonies into states.

While submitting to the authority of the Continental Congress, the new states began to set up new state governments and write new state constitutions. At the same time, Gen. George Washington knew that his army and the American people needed a new flag to symbolize this change from a government based on royalty to one based on representation. Betsy Ross, a known upholsterer in Philadelphia, sewed the first flag, according to sworn affidavits given by her descendants.

When Congress officially issued this flag on June 14, 1777, they emphasized the symbolism of the thirteen new states, not the thirteen colonies. “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation,” declared the Journal of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

Do read the whole thing. Someone might send a copy to the idiots at Nike.



A Simple Response to a Stupid Controversy by The Elephant's Child

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell posted this on Twitter, which I thought was nice. Especially after all the ignoramuses out there, unfamiliar with history, decided that the Betsy Ross flag was somehow a racist symbol.

Why should I be surprised? Anything and everything can now be assumed to be racist. It’s getting tiresome, and accomplishes nothing, nothing at all.



It Appears That Kamala Harris is A Liar. by The Elephant's Child

Much has been made of Kamala Harris’s attack on Joe Biden in the Democrat Debates. Biden slipped way down in the polls, and Harris’s carefully rehearsed attack advanced her standing.

In her blast at Joe Biden, she claimed that:

Two decades after Brown v. Board, I was only the second class to integrate at Berkeley public schools. Without that decision, I likely would not have become a lawyer and eventually be elected a Senator from California.

That’s the power a Supreme Court Justice holds.

In political jargon, that’s called “playing the race card”, but personal experience makes it even more important. The Gateway Pundit clears the air a little, explaining that Kamala’s parents were successful professionals. Kamala went to school in Berkeley for only 2 years. She moved with her mother to Canada at age 7, where she completed grade school and high school.

Then a little checking confirms that classrooms in the Berkeley public schools were integrated in 1963— a year before Kamala was born. Ooops!

Getting caught in downright lies to the American people is not usually helpful in a race for the presidency. You don’t get a pass just because it’s a debate.



Two Hundred and Forty Three Years of Freedom by The Elephant's Child

President Trump’s Fourth of July speech was excellent. Democrats extended every effort to disparage, demean and dump on the occasion, but it was a very good, very patriotic speech from the Lincoln Memorial, honoring the service of all branches of our military who have served and saved the nation over the years since our founding. I have seven ancestors who fought in the Revolution, and two died, one was a leader of a group of Minute Men who was killed at the Battle of Bridgeport, and a great (6th I think) grandmother who was killed when a troop of Hessians broke into the house looking for her husband. She was still abed recovering from childbirth, and so frightened she jumped out of the window, fell into the well, and drowned.

During the speech as each branch of the service was honored, there was a flyover from that branch of the service, ending with the Blue Angels.We usually see them once a year here at Seafair, and the cranks complain about the noise, and the rest celebrate as the “sound of freedom.” They always put on a spectacular close formation show.

For those of you who might have missed it:

It was a speech of national pride, a celebration of America, and not political at all. Unfortunately,celebrating America has become political.

And the unfortunate campaign among the Democrats for their party’s nomination seems to have devolved into the idea that the nomination will go to whoever can come up with the biggest insult to President Trump. Strange indeed, but that seems to be where we are.



How Does Your Home Town Celebrate the Fourth? by The Elephant's Child

I did not grow up in a town, but about 9 miles out of the nearest town, so it is more or less “my home town.” A friend who also grew up in that town, who now lives in St. Louis, keeps the rest of us up to date on notable events. One, of course, being the Fourth of July Celebration. which this year, as in past years, (for 40years?) will feature a big porcupine race. My personal experiences with porcupines had nothing to do with racing, and a lot to do with removing quills from dogs , who would not learn from experience, and once from one trying to get in the small window beside my bed, sometime in the wee hours of the night. That did not end well either, for the porcupine.



Elizabeth Warren Does Not Understand Economics by The Elephant's Child

A few years back, Mary Kissel who was at the Wall Street Journal at the time, remarked that Elizabeth Warren had only “a child-like understanding of economics”. That stuck with me because it was so accurate. Black unemployment is the lowest it has ever been. The economy is doing great. Food Stamp use is way down. New filings for unemployment benefits are at an all time low.

Democrats believe, as a matter of faith, that Republican tax cuts go only to the rich and to corporate chieftains. Democrats have no understanding of proportionality whatsoever. Since the rich pay way more in taxes, the same percentage of a tax cut will mean more money for somebody who makes far more. Worked for Ronald Reagan too, if you remember

That’s why tax cuts for business owners mean they have more leeway to invest, build, hire, grow their businesses and they do so. Ordinary people have more money to buy something they need or want. They have more freedom. It’s a big shot in the arm for the economy. Were Ms. Warren to be elected, the first thing she would do is end the hated tax-cuts, and set the country on a recession which she would not understand at all, and inevitably believe that it was something Trump did to her because she attacked him for calling her Pocahontas. Bet she doesn’t even know that President Trump is donating his salary to the country.



The Debates, The Elections, The Media,The Swamp. by The Elephant's Child

We seem to be still  thinking about the debates. The media wants to rank them, decide who moved up and who moved down. Not so much interested in what they actually talked about. The one thing they seemed to be reasonably united on was “Medicare for All” but nobody had studied up to see what it would mean. They were looking for what would get them positive vibes.

“Medicare for All” seems to appeal to a lot of people who have no idea what it means. It would mean that you lose your current health care, including any health care you get through your employment. And your taxes would go way, way up, as the health care you could have would go way, way down.

Most people who are actually on Medicare, who can afford it, purchase Medicare supplement plans to cover what Medicare does not. Many physicians will not see Medicare patients, simply because Medicare does not pay enough. Health care is very expensive. Some people need a lot of it. Some people just like a lot of it.

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) pays for health care for all in very high taxes, yet if you read the British papers, there are always complaints, scandals, ambulances lined up outside hospitals waiting for there to be a vacancy, old folks dying from lack of attention. The wealthy can choose other services. The Brits fear losing it. Canadians keep coming down here to get care that the Canadian system does not offer. Read the Canadian papers online, you’ll see.

We get wrapped up in politics,deciding who we like and who we don’t, and sometimes we pay attention, and mostly not enough.

The enemy is the bureaucracy. The swamp. They are interested in what the people want – to the extent that will get them elected and reelected. They like being important and making big salaries and important decisions. Some try to study up and understand the deep background of issues, but most don’t. They are particularly interested in what their big donors want, and what the media has to say, and if the media is interested in them.

Do you write to your Congressman? Your Senator? Is he a member of your party, or are you represented by someone you didn’t vote for? The only way they will know how you feel is if you write. They may not read your message, but it will be tallied, and if your congressperson gets a lot of letters on a given subject, they will know how their voters feel. So it matters, the more the better. To e-mail your representatives go to House.gov or Senate.gov  and follow the directions. I am represented entirely, at every level, by the opposing party, so I sometimes write representatives from other states explaining that I’m not a constituent, but…  I get on a lot of interesting mailing lists that way.



You Learn Something New Every Day if You Are Paying Attention! by The Elephant's Child

There was a big hailstorm yesterday in Guadalajara, Mexico. I saw that this morning, and then promptly forgot where it happened, and started looking for the article, and learned that massive drops of hail happen somewhat frequently — at least there were other examples in the Western hemisphere, Argentina, Denver. I never knew that was possible. My experience with hail was that it came looking much like white peas, at least the hail as I knew it was pea size.

I had heard about big hailstones in some places, even big enough to break some fragile windows, but in such quantity that it ended up with several feet, I had never heard or read of. One finds new or unexpected things in the news frequently, and you just say a mental “Oh!” and feel that you learned something new. Hail in 3 and 5 foot dumps means you have to get out the snowplows and shovels!




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