American Elephants


Obama’s Unfortunate Final Days in Office by The Elephant's Child

barack-obama_1

•Obama did a big land grab of 1.35 million acres in Utah for the new Bear Ears Buttes monument and about 300,000 acres in Nevada, a total of 553 million acres of state lands, using the 1906 Antiquities Act, more than any other president.  More than 80 percent if the state of Nevada, and 65 percent of Utah is now “owned” by the federal government. The problem is that the federal government cannot manage to take care of the national parks and monuments already on the books.

Progressives believe deeply in federal government control invested in their hands. Their dream is to have all the annoying people confined in high-rise cities, and the land between in National Park land. What they have in mind for the farms that supply the food for America and much of the world is not clear.

•Obama freed Bradley Manning, now known as Chelsea Manning,who has completed just 7 years of his 35 year prison sentence. “Manning was stationed in Iraq as a low level intelligence analyst” the Wall Street Journal reminds us, which gave him access to huge amounts of classified documents. He leaked nearly 750,000 documents to Wikileaks, thousands of State Department cables and quantities of military information the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Assange worked with several news organizations to publish the material, to much bragging about transparency. The thing is there was information about Afghans and Iraqis who were working with us, and the leaks could easily be death sentences for them. There were masses of military and operational information as well.Within 24 hours of being sentenced, Manning announced that he wanted to be considered as Chelsea, and demanded hormone treatment. Bodily dysmorphia is a mental disease. People cannot change their gender, and psychological help is more to be desired than bodily mutilation. Military and diplomatic leaders did not take a charitable view.

This was treason and violation of the oath Manning took. Obama has never understood military secrets, as is evident from his intention to have our Military fight, and then limited what they could do with overly restrictive rules of engagement.

•Just last night, Obama banned 3-way light bulbs, in the mistaken belief that imposing efficiency standards would save the climate. The new bulbs give worse light than incandescents, but they make way more money for GE and Phillips. The 2007 ban affected most light bulbs, but exempted bug lights, 3-way bulbs which have 3 different brightnesses, and some decorative bulbs.

The Department’s reasoning: “DOE expects these sales will likely increase since these lamps could be used as replacements for other regulated lamp types.” In other words: People might start buying these bulbs because they want regular light bulbs rather than expensive LEDs or crappy fluorescents.

This goes along with low-flow showerheads and toilets, supposedly to save water which we are supposedly running out of—but then we are supposed to have too much water in the ocean as rising seas inundate our coastal cities. Does that make sense?

•On his final day, the Obama administration added nearly 1,500 pages of new regulations to complete the rush of regulations he has added since the November election. The government published 1,464 pages of regulations on November 18, ten days after the election. The cost of rules finalized and proposed earlier in January would cost $111.2 billion, but it’s only money. Donald Trump has said he would repeal any “job killing” energy regulations on his first full day in office, which he thinks of as Monday, so we will see.

 



How To Win Back Rural Voters, Or Not. by The Elephant's Child

taral_wind_snow560_497x350

The Left are having a hard time understanding how they lost the election and why it happened. President Obama cannot understand why rural Americans did not turn out for him and his successor since he did so much for them, plowing so much money into rural communities, for green energy. Democrats firmly “believe that they can win back rural voters by ratcheting up their pre-election mission of moving the country from fossil fuels to green energy.”

They are using calls to drastically reduce carbon emission to convince middle-class voters, many of whom voted for Trump, that green energy can provide thousands of jobs to replace those once held by coal workers. Democrat plans to phase out fossil fuels come despite the president-elect’s campaign to restore lost coal jobs.

“This is fundamentally a jobs message,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters last week in reference to Democrats renewed focus on green energy. “We represent a horizon of job creation that is as great or greater than any other industrial sector.”

Our embarrassingly ineffective governor wants to pass a carbon tax to raise an estimated $2 billion in revenue to pay for education and clean energy projects. Uh huh.

They keep saying that green energy projects create lots of jobs. This is nonsense. Wind farms and solar arrays are made elsewhere, installed by the people who build them, and attended by the people who install them. I haven’t seen a single installation anywhere where they brag about all the new jobs. Washington is blessed with the Columbia River which has many electricity producing dams that already are “clean energy.”

Wind energy is a favorite alternative energy source for advocates of all things green — and we use wind energy as an example of what happens when we deviate from using real science: we end up with high-cost, low-benefit boondoggles. (Much the same could be said about solar.)

The main justification for wind energy by its promoters, is that it will substantially reduce the threat of climate change. Unfortunately this is a political science position, not one based on real Science. No scientific assessment has proven that wind energy saves a consequential amount of CO2 — or that it is a NET societal benefit to us. NET, of course, is the key word.

True believers in global warming are essentially members of a religious cult. They have been told that green energy will save the planet from overheating or something devastating anyway. They are passionate, because what can be more noble than saving the planet. They have installed low flow showers and toilets in their homes to save water, while the government that forced the lousy showers and toilets on them insists that we must beware the rise of the seas which will inundate our coastal cities. Saving water because we’re running out and too much water on the coast does not make sense.

Global warming exists in the computer programs of the scientists in universities who have gotten all sorts of funding from the federal government to work on global warming.

Rural people who farm corn in the Midwest are very much in favor of adding vast quantities of ethanol to your gasoline. It has raised the price of corn significantly. Other than corn farmers, rural people are not apt to be true believers. They spend their days with the climate and understand hot summers and cold winters and cool summers and the lack of snow.They understand when environmentalists bewail the potential endangered species in a certain location that there are apt to be plenty more on the other side of the hill. City people who live in apartments don’t have that daily interaction and are apt to be far more gullible.<

I remember when earlier in President Obama’s first term, he and Michelle were visiting one of the Southern Adirondack resorts, and they went for a walk in the woods—apparently the first time they had done so. That’s not what a Westerner thinks of as “woods.” I think that was the first time I really realized how little city people know of nature, and consequently how little they understand of environmentalists claims.

No, you are not going to win over rural voters with “green energy.”

Currently, most of our energy and environmental policies are NOT Science based. Instead these policies have essentially been written by lobbyists representing clients with economic or political agendas. The predictable result is that almost all of these policies cost taxpayers, businesses, etc. considerably more than originally promised — and accomplish significantly less than we were assured. Additionally, there are usually numerous “unintended consequences” of these lobbyist driven policies that make the net effects even worse.

Wind energy is a favorite alternative energy source for advocates of all things green — and we use wind energy as an example of what happens when we deviate from using real science: we end up with high-cost, low-benefit boondoggles. (Much the same could be said about solar.)

The main justification for wind energy by its promoters, is that it will substantially reduce the threat of climate change. Unfortunately this is a political science position, not one based on real Science. No scientific assessment has proven that wind energy saves a consequential amount of CO2 — or that it is a NET societal benefit to us. NET, of course, is the key word.

Democrats, as true believers, are sure that climate change will defeat Donald Trump’s nominees. Mike Pompeo, nominated to the Central Intelligence Agency because of his expertise in intelligence and spycraft, and his mission to defeat terror groups was questioned persistently by Kamala Harris, the new California senator about the scientific consensus on global warming, and asked if he had any reason to doubt NASA’s findings? He responded that he would prefer not to get into the details of the climate debate because the agency’s role is to collect foreign intelligence.

Ben Carson was questioned by Elizabeth Warren  who wanted to learn what the doctor thought about CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, because flooding poses “a significant risk to public housing.” She also wanted to know what “other actions will you take to adapt to or prevent climate change while you are HUD Secretary.”

Perhaps they are just practicing up for the day when Scott Pruitt will be grilled about leading the Environmental Protection Agency. They really have it in for him. Patty Murray, our very own Washington State Senator called the Oklahoma Attorney General “a climate change denier.” Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire claimed he was a “capitulation to polluters.”

They keep explaining why they lost the election, and they’re right, but it isn’t exactly what they claim, but what they make evident that they do not understand.



Five More Days Of Obama’s Frantic Efforts to Make an Imprint on History by The Elephant's Child

scenic-capitol-building-snow-fall_-jxwyub7b__m0000

The Democrats haven’t behaved this badly since they started a war to keep the institution of slavery, which they considered essential to their economy and way of life. It didn’t end well for them that time either.

Democrat hack John Lewis announced that he was not going to attend the inauguration, because Trump was not a legitimate president. A smattering of other Democrats said they also will not attend. Mr. Lewis seems to think that the Russians elected Mr. Trump. A newer villain seems to be the National Enquirer and other newsstand periodicals  which changed the votes of the Deplorables when they saw them as they were checking out their groceries.

Large groups of far-left protesters will try to disrupt and sabotage Donald Trump’s inauguration by creating blockades, destroying public property. A group called #DisruptJ20 is advertising for people to join them in a “bold mobilization.”  They claim” It must be made clear to the whole world that the vast majority of people in the United Stated do not support his presidency or consent to his rule.” They got that one wrong, the majority of votes have nothing to do with anything. Our presidents are elected by the Electoral College, according to the Constitution. Hillary’s slight lead in the popular vote came entirely from California, which is in part why we have an electoral college.

There are groups with names from the past like Occupy and Blocs. There’s a Motorcycle group coming to the aid of Donald Trump. The Metropolitan Police Chief confirmed that security forces would be able to handle it all. It’s really quite embarrassing, and cringe-making.

In the meantime forgetting his promises to make the transition easy and graceful, President Obama is trying to use his executive power to somehow get a real imprint on history. Last week he designated three new national monuments, expanded another two including a school for freed slaves in South Carolina and a forest in the Pacific Northwest. He ended the wet–foot, dry–foot program for escapees from Cuba, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vice President Biden, and announced sanctions against 18 Syrian officials for their role in using chlorine as a chemical weapon in 2014. Many departments of the government have increased hiring in case Trump freezes hiring.

As of January 13, Obama has issued 571 economically significant rules. (To be economically significant actions must have at least $100 million worth of economic impact. He can still do more).

The 1996 Congressional Review Act allows Congress to reverse a rule within 60 legislative days of its enactment, and prohibits agencies from issuing a “substantially similar” rule once it was overturned. So we will see. It is going to be interesting. Mr Obama will stay in Washington DC until Sasha finishes school, and apparently plans to lead the opposition.



Andrew Klavan’s “One State Solution” by The Elephant's Child

Obama hasn’t managed to get his much vaunted two-state solution, possibly because there has never been a state of Palestine. Israel has pointed out over and over that they would be happy to have a two state solution if the Palestinians will recognize the State of Israel, and stop trying to kill the Israelis. Arabs are citizens of Israel, and participate at all levels of government except the military. Israeli Arabs are the freest Arabs in the Middle East. Andrew Klavan may have a better solution.



Squeezing in as Many Last-Minute Orders as Possible! by The Elephant's Child

121121_barack_obama_ap_605_1

There are only eight days until the inauguration. President Obama has given his farewell speech to a few thousand of his most enamored fans, who loved every single word, most of which were “I”.  President Obama has a legacy to shore up. So far, there’s not much there. Liz Peak, who usually writes for The Fiscal Times wrote a piece for Fox News on “Obama’s full-blown, year-end temper tantrum

Let’s be honest: President Obama is throwing a good old-fashioned foot-stomping world class temper tantrum. He is just beside himself that the stupid American voter elected Donald Trump. How could the country willfully dismiss the erudite recommendation of nearly every news organization in the nation – as well as Obama’s personal plea that not electing Hillary would be a personal insult to him? How could young people not respond to Obama’s call to “bend the arc of history in a better direction?” It is beyond comprehension.

But it happened, and Obama is having an extremely difficult time dealing with what may be his first-ever serious setback. …

So he is attempting to squeak in everything he possibly can in these last few days. He announced that his administration is ending the longstanding immigration policy that allowed Cubans fleeing their communist country to remain in this country if they can get here. The change means that Cuban nationals who come to the U.S. illegally will be returned to Cuba to face torture or death. “The future of Cuba should be in the hands of the Cuban people” Obama said. Unfortunately it is not in the hands of the people but in the hands of Raul Castro and his police forces, and they don’t like dissent.

Democrats are beside themselves with fear of what they see as “the new authoritarianism” of the incoming administration. Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos has been an outspoken advocate of charter schools, which the teacher’s unions oppose, but is for kids stuck in poorly performing schools, a lifesaving step for poor black children. She is also an opponent of Common Core. Reporters and Democrat activists advocated donations to the ACLU and other organizations devoted to civil liberty in the wake of an authoritarian government. It seems that Betsy DeVos has donated extensively to F.I.R.E. (The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), a splendid organization that protects students’ rights to free speech, and is seeking to overturn an Obama administration policy that made it easier to discipline students accused of sexual harassment or assault. Way too many false accusations, and FIRE advocates for the interests of both the accuser and the accused, rather than just expelling students after kangaroo court show trials as activists demand.

Democrats in the House and Senate have proposed new legislation that aims to ensure that companies pay taxes on “excessive” employee pay. It’s meant to stop senior employees fro getting huge bonuses that the companies can deduct from their corporate tax bill each year. Nothing in the legislation to affect the excessive employee bonuses in federal agencies meant to use up the appropriated funds, so the agency can get a bigger appropriation next year. Under current law, companies can deduct employee salaries from their taxable income as long as the pay does not exceed $1 million a year.

President Obama has designated three new national monuments having to do with the Reconstruction era and the civil rights movement. He announced the establishment of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, the Freedom Riders National Monument and the Reconstruction Era National Monument. The Birmingham Civil Rights Monument protects the historic A.G. Gaston Motel. The Freedom Riders National Monument in Anniston, Alabama includes a Greyhound Bus Station and a site where the bus was firebombed. The Reconstruction Era includes four sites which will tell the story of  Reconstruction after the Civil War. He also announced the expansion of other national sites, the California Coastal National Monument and the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The federal government is anxious to turn ever more private land over to the government to control. The problem is that the federal government does a lousy job of taking care of its parks and monuments.

ObamaCare is still trying to sign up the young. The failure of ObamaCare to sign up enough younger and healthier individuals to offset the cost of covering older and sicker enrollees is one of the big problems with the program. Trouble is Millennials aren’t anxious to buy coverage to pay for those older and sicker people. Which is just one of the reasons that ObamaCare is collapsing and Republicans want to repeal the law.

It’s all rather embarrassing. If Congress does not choose to ignore them and they become law, it is unfortunate and takes time to undo. If Congress reacts, that takes up their time that could be spent doing other things. Remarkably petty. But that’s Obama.

ADDENDUM: Obama is having the Justice Dept. Inspector General look into Comey’s  release of information about Hillary’s “private” insecure email systems at her home, run by some haywire operation in Colorado. It perhaps spread information about her emails a little wider, but her emails had been public knowledge for some time. Seven more days. Obama will cram in as many more regulations and executive orders as he can. So much for the peaceful transition.



The President Hasn’t Changed in Eight Years. by The Elephant's Child
January 12, 2017, 6:27 am
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Education, Unemployment

obama-older

Back in 2008, Richard Epstein, Professor of Law, Fellow at the Hoover Institution, told us that Barack Obama, who he knew at the University of Chicago, was remarkably fixed in his opinions. Once he made up his mind, Epstein said, it was fixed in concrete. He did not change his mind.

Eight years later, as President Barack Obama prepares to leave office,  his farewell speech given in his hometown, Chicago, he made it quite clear that he hasn’t changed his mind about anything.  We simply got another haughty lecture about “Who We Really Are.” It’s just the standard far left worldview.

Real patriotism means the State is the moral center of society. Humanity is deeply flawed and needs to be fixed. Racism is rampant. Congress is dysfunctional. We need to save the Earth from global warming. He wanted to close Guantanamo, and is releasing detainees as rapidly as possible. He believes that black Americans are unfairly put in jail, and is pardoning them as fast as he can. He has saved the Middle East with his brilliant Iran Deal. He’s bringing in Muslim “refugees” as fast as he can, and distributing them into red states to try to change the electoral balance.

He seems to believe that he saved the country from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, except that the recession ended in June of 2009.  The labor participation rate in January of 2009 was 65.7%. The labor participation rate in January of 2017 was 62.7 %, historically low. The last time it was that low was in 1978. There were only 156,000 new jobs in December, down from 204,000 in November. The problem is that we are adding more population to the workforce than there are jobs. The White House just keeps adding all the jobs created and leaves out the new people entering the workforce. It’s one way to create a “legacy.”

One of the most startling things Obama had to say to the cheering crowd was that “No foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland in the last eight years.” David Harsanyi of the Federalist responded:

Now, if you don’t count the attack in San Bernardino, where a ISIS-inspired couple murdered 14 people and wounded another 22; or the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack on Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, where 49 people were murdered and 53 wounded; and if you forget the Fort Hood shooting in Texas, where an Islamist U.S. Army officer murdered 13 people and wounded 32; and you skip the Boston Marathon bombings where Islamists murdered three and wounded another 264; then, perhaps, the president’s claim might have some veracity.

Otherwise, the idea is preposterous no matter how meticulously Obama constructs his sentences. This isn’t exactly as blatant a falsehood as our incoming president likes to drop on occasion, but it’s no less misleading. No, there isn’t a central planning committee meeting where violent foreign terrorist organizations hatch a specific plan to attack America. Yet, somehow, the adherents of violent theology know exactly what they need to do without checking in for instructions. Obama spent eight years refusing to acknowledge this reality — and many others.

In trying to establish his legacy in the minds of his listeners, Obama offered Americans a revisionist history. Some may see it differently, but he has a different truth for them, and for our Democracy.  I wonder if he knows that this is a constitutional republic, and not meant to be a Democracy at all.

I didn’t vote for Obama, because I felt he was too inexperienced, but I wished him well. He’s a stylish man with a handsome family and a skilled campaigner and speaker. I think his Iran Deal is and was a disaster, and increases the likelihood that we will suffer a nuclear strike in the future. But by that time we’ll be able to blame it on somebody else. Blaming Bush can now be set aside. Obama keeps reminding us that President Bush made the transition easy for him, and he wants to do the same thing for his successor. He just can’t quite bring himself to manage it.



Government Bureaucracy: The Last Word. by The Elephant's Child

From Economist Daniel Mitchell, government bureaucracies everywhere. A young woman seeks a permit from a government bureaucracy.




%d bloggers like this: