American Elephants


A Complete and Unverifiable Explanation of Most Everything by The Elephant's Child

Are you paying attention to the news? It is difficult. James Comey has been unjustly fired, Comey deserved to be fired. Comey kept memos of his conversations. Comey is very close  to Senator Schumer. Comey refuses to testify before Congress. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller will head the investigation into Russia ties. Robert Mueller and Comey are old friends. Robert Mueller is widely respected.

The storm has been gathering for more than a week. It started when Trump impetuously fired the FBI director, James Comey, claiming at first that he did so on the advice of Rosenstein. Then the president changed his story and told NBC News that he was going to fire Comey anyway and that part of this was because the bureau’s Russia investigation was dragging on.

The Comey camp soon struck back. First his allies leaked that Trump had asked Comey for his loyalty back in January over dinner. Then in a more damaging story, the New York Times reported on a memo Comey had written to record a conversation in which Trump asked him to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, the national security adviser Trump fired after three weeks on the job.

To state the obvious, all of this made Trump look like he had something to hide. And it did not take long for Democrats to seize on this theme, mounting a campaign for a special counsel as a condition to approve the next FBI director.

If you read all that or the equivalent, and there is lots of equivalent out there, you know no more than you did before you started reading. Here’s The American Conservative:

America is in crisis. It is a crisis of greater magnitude than any the country has faced in its history, with the exception of the Civil War. It is a crisis long in the making—and likely to be with us long into the future. It is a crisis so thoroughly rooted in the American polity that it’s difficult to see how it can be resolved in any kind of smooth or even peaceful way. Looking to the future from this particular point in time, just about every possible course of action appears certain to deepen the crisis.

What is it? Some believe it stems specifically from the election of Donald Trump, a man supremely unfit for the presidency, and will abate when he can be removed from office. These people are right about one thing: Trump is supremely unfit for his White House job. But that isn’t the central crisis; it is merely a symptom of it, though it seems increasingly to be reaching crisis proportions of its own.

The President who is so unfit for the presidency has assembled the most impressive national security team, perhaps since Eisenhower: James Mattis, John Kelly, H.R. McMaster,  Nikki Haley. His appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is outstanding. Executive orders have begun the task of whittling down the abusive powers of the rogue EPA.  Illegal immigration is reportedly down around 70%. He’s working to simplify the tax code and business regulation to boost the private sector.His cabinet appointments are outstanding. Today he is leaving on a trip to meet some of the heads of state of our allies and some who are not. He has been criticized for meeting with Erdogan, and Abbas, yet he clearly wants to get a feel for who these people are, rather than just read the intelligence dossiers.

Trump is described as crude, uncouth — and he tweets. Democrats, in the meantime, seem unable to utter a simple sentence without the F-word or the S-word. They suggest in the crudest way incest, that Melania Trump was of low morals, attack the Trump children, late night “comics” compete to see who can be most vulgar, and who can do the most repellent imitation. Maxine Waters waffles between demanding Trump’s impeachment, being confident that she can turn up an impeachable offenses and denying that she ever asked for his impeachment.

Trump promised to deport criminal aliens, so many sanctuary cities have redoubled their efforts to protect illegal immigrants.

The policy has evolved into active non-cooperation with federal law enforcement, to the extent that Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City, for example, will not comply with requests to detain illegal immigrants unless they have recently been convicted of a serious crime and a judicial warrant accompanies the request. Federal immigration authorities have been banned from operating within municipal jails, and sanctuary cities will not expend any resources in assisting these agents.

Despite these efforts, it has not been possible for cities to protect their illegal aliens from deportation to the extent that sanctuary advocates demand. Cities cannot forbid federal officers from arresting criminal aliens in their homes, on the streets, or in courthouses. The best way to deter possible deportation, sanctuary advocates contend, is to limit interactions between illegal immigrants and the criminal-justice system, not in the traditional way—by obeying the law—but rather, by not enforcing the law. If there are no arrests, then there is no criminal record to base deportation orders on.

And so it goes. Somehow it is Donald Trump who is uncouth, not the real president, illegal, impeachable, unfit for office, yet he seems to be accomplishing quite a lot. And the once-respected fourth estate labors on enlightening and elucidating the affairs of the nation and the world, or whatever it is that they are doing, And we are all living in some dystopian alternate universe aren’t we?  It’s all very confusing.

 



The American Left Has Gone Very Wrong by The Elephant's Child

Over at The Federalist John Daniel Davidson wrote a piece headlined “The American Left is Talking Itself Into Violence”

Something is wrong with the American Left. The recent spate of violent protests on college campuses has been well-documented, but the violence and intolerance championed by left-wing student activists is beginning to creep off campus and into mainstream public life.

The reason for this is straightforward enough: although progressives pride themselves on their putative tolerance and diversity, the imperatives of leftist politics are fundamentally illiberal. Justice imposed through power is the philosophical foundation of the political left, and when earnest progressives become convinced the only avenue to power is violence, their tolerance quickly falls by the wayside.

The reason for it all is not the campuses, that’s just more evidence of the derangement. The Left lost the election. They have been astounded to learn that the popular vote does not count, and think that is highly unjust. They are unfamiliar with the reason the founders set our governance up that way, so that small enclaves with large populations cannot dominate the rest of the states. They were absolutely sure that Hillary’s win was a sure thing. They envisioned permanent Lefty rule with no annoyance from a failed Republican party, no stupid Tea Party, and their grand vision of a better world and intelligent governance by qualified elites would bring the dream of socialist perfection ever closer. They would be in control.

But they lost, Hillary lost, and to a man with orange skin and a weird haircut who said crude things. They lost the House — 69 seats, the Senate —13 seats, 910 state legislative seats, 30 legislative chambers. They were so enchanted with the first Black President. and his brilliance, and being in power, and doing all the things that were on the lefty agenda, that they simply didn’t notice that their president was doing a lousy job—doubled the national debt, doubled the debt per citizen, put another 10 million on food stamps, added an average of $6,000 to the cost of a family health insurance plan, and managed to make the world a far more dangerous place by portraying America as a weak, unreliable country. They still don’t understand that.

They awakened to a world in which their leaders were all—old. In their 70s and eighties. They had no deep bench of up-and-coming successful governors. States governed by Democrats are not successful. Many of their potential candidates are roundly disliked in their current posts. What can they do? Clearly, they must revert to their past victories in bringing down George W. Bush, destroying Nixon—they do know how to do that. They will impeach Donald Trump. He is so awful that they can surely find something to impeach him for.

Chucky Schumer, peering over his glasses, intoned: “We know Director Comey was leading an investigation in [sic] whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, a serious offense. If there was ever a time when circumstances warranted a special prosecutor, it is now” Andy McCarthy responded “No it’s not. “ Hillary has attempted to blame her defeat on Russian collusion, but now it seems that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich has sent 44,053 DNC emails to Wikileaks, though family and FBI sources discount that story. But it appears that the “Russian interference” may have been an inside job. And Russian interference was not why Hillary lost the election. She was unlikable, untrustworthy, and ran a lousy campaign.

If you read the Federalist piece on the Left talking itself into violence, you will find several examples where they have.  Representative Martha McSally, who represents the Arizona district where Rep Gabrielle Giffords was shot, has received serious death threats (he was going to shoot her between the eyes) from a Tucson school district employee who said “he was venting frustrations with congressional votes in support of the President of the United States. The article gives several other examples of people “inspired by the Resistance.”

The media isn’t even pointing out the fact that there’s a pattern forming, much less suggesting anyone else is ultimately responsible. That would be fine if they’d just stick to those rules the moment someone on the right does some crazy. But they won’t. There are two sets of rules for how these things are handled by the media.

The hard left media is increasingly irresponsible in their reporting, and  trying to make major news out of sketchy information. Law Professor and Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein took to the pages of Vox to say “Attention, liberals: Comey deserved to be fired and the Constitution is just fine. The hyperventilation in Washington is unjustified.”

Donald Trump won the election in part, because he promised to “Drain the swamp in Washington,” and there were a lot of Americans who thought that was a very good idea. As time passes, it becomes clear that it is not only a good idea, but very necessary.

 

 



The Comey Affair And the Fallout by The Elephant's Child

An interesting Tuesday. The White House announced that FBI Director Comey had been asked to step down, and would be replaced. Well, an explosion of he said, she said, and what it all meant. Senator Charles Schumer always right on top of things pontificated that this was a disaster for the Trump administration, as it made clear that the White House was deeply worried about what the FBI investigation of the Trump connections to Russia and Russian influence, and Russian interference in our election, and Russian spying, all of which was clearly an attempt to cover up deep very dark secrets and we needed an independent prosecutor right now. He was very positive about the whole thing, and hopefully setting the tone for the future.

Unfortunately, most of us can remember as far back as day before yesterday, when Schumer and associates were demanding that President Trump fire FBI Director James Comey for his interference in the election and spoiling the election and keeping Hillary from winning. It’s also funny how this older generation of Progressives keep forgetting that there’s You Tube to capture a video of everything said and who said it and when, and if in doubt, you can call it all up on your computer. It’s a whole new world and really hard for politicians who just aren’t used to being recorded for all posterity.



This Is A Map of Murders in the United States Of America by The Elephant's Child

I ran across a shocking map yesterday, a map of murders in the United States in 2014. Fifty-four percent of U.S. counties had no murders in 2014—none, zero. Two percent of counties have fifty-one percent of the murders.

The map comes to us from the Crime Prevention Research Center. 2014 is the most recent year where county-level breakdown is available. The United States can be divided up, they say. into three types of places: places where there are no murders, places where there are a few murders and places where there are a lot of murders. The worst 5% of counties contain 47% of the population and account for 68% of murders.

Murders used to be even more concentrated. From 1977 to 2000, on average 73% of counties had zero murders. They suggest that possibly this is related to the opioid epidemic’s spread to more rural areas. You can reach your own conclusions about the areas where murders are concentrated.

Other headlines: from CBS News“Chicago saw more 2016 murders than New York City and Los Angeles combined.” It was one of the most violent years in Chicago history with 762 homicides, and 1,100 more shooting incidents in 2016 than in 2015. New York had 334 homicides in 2016 and Los Angeles 294. Chicago has not only seen a spike in violence, but a spike in attacks on police as well. Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said that anger at police has left criminals “emboldened” to commit violent crimes. It’s clearer to criminals that they have little to fear from the criminal justice system.

From The Daily Caller: “Baltimore is Begging Feds to Step In To Restore Law and Order.” Baltimore’s mayor asked the FBI to send in reinforcements to help the city to get it’s murders under control. “The city already has 101 murders for the year, a number not seen for almost 20 years” the mayor said.

On top of an over 30 percent increase in murders, the city is also experiencing a shortage in police officers. The city is operating with the lowest number of officers in about a decade — 2,500 police officers. Usually, the department has 2,900 officers.

From National Review: Heather MacDonald in an article at City Journal dismantles Hillary Clinton’s debate claims that the criminal justice system is infected with racism and that stop-and-frisk (which Trump has called for reviving) is unconstitutional and ineffective.” Andy McCarthy goes on to explain that the statistical overrepresentation of blacks in the prison population…is caused by patterns of offending. “Federal sentences (and sentences in most states) are computed under race-neutral guidelines that factor in both offense conduct and criminal history. The more crimes one commits, the heavier the sentence for any one crime. This is a recidivism thing, not a race thing.”

Across the pond, “knife crime has soared since Theresa May kerbed police use of stop and search, a tactic that activists condemn as “racist” but which senior officers insist saves black lives.

The year ending December 2016 saw 32,448 criminal offences involving a blade or other sharp weapon take place in Britain, a rise of 14 per cent from the previous year and the biggest knife crime total since 2011.

With five young men having been stabbed to death in London already this year, police warn that these are the first signs of a knife crime epidemic in major UK cities.

Lots to ponder in these articles. Which cities are being run by Democrats? Is the race situation better or worse as a result of former president Barack Obama’s policies? What about the “Black Lives Matter” movement? Heather MacDonald suggests that what has been called “the Ferguson Effect” is real and has caused police officers across the country to pull back a little, which has resulted in a rise in crime.  She reminds us that most police officers went into policing to protect the people from crime and violence, and care about  the people they serve. Her newest book The War on Cops is one of the most important books of the last year.

She was the target of silencing tactics two days in a row last week. The more serious incident took place at Claremont McKenna College at Claremont, California. A Facebook post from the “students of color at the Claremont Colleges

announced grandiosely that “as a community, we CANNOT and WILL NOT allow fascism to have a platform. We stand against all forms of oppression and we refuse to have Mac Donald speak.” A Facebook event titled “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascist Heather Mac Donald” and hosted by “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascists” encouraged students to protest the event because Mac Donald “condemns [the] Black Lives Matter movement,” “supports racist police officers,” and “supports increasing fascist ‘law and order.’”

Poor dumb kids. As Heather said “My supposed fascism consists in trying to give voice to the thousands of law-abiding minority residents of high-crime areas who support the police and are desperate for more law-enforcement protection.”  See Baltimore above. When the county statistics for 2016 become available, looks like the murder rate will climb once again. Spare a moment to honor the Policemen who have lost their lives this year trying to protect the American people. It should not be a thankless job.

 



Sanctuary Cities Are an Embarrassment by The Elephant's Child

Yesterday the Department of Justice fired off letters to “nine jurisdictions which have been identified by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General as having laws that potentially violate 8 U.S.C.§ 1373. The letter reminds the recipients that if they want to receive certain financial year 2016 funding from the Department of Justice, they have agreed to provide documentation and an opinion from legal counsel  validating that they are in compliance with Section 1373. All documentation must be submitted by June 30, 2017, the deadline imposed by the agreement.”

All very formal language, but the nitty-gritty is this section of the agreement:

Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.

Not subtle, but straightforward. Lefties promote a politics based on feelings rather than facts, and they get all confused about immigrants who are good, to be loved and protected because this is “a nation of immigrants,” and of course everyone wants to come to America, and said Lefties need their lawns mowed and windows washed and roofs cleaned, and they don’t want to pay exorbitant prices for such menial work.

Most large American cities have been inflicted with gangs, often MS-13 from Central America. Chicago, as of this afternoon, had 31 people shot, five of them killed and 26 wounded, just this weekend. That city’s toll for the year so far adds up to 973 people shot with 168 fatalities. Chicago reportedly has some of the strongest anti-gun laws in the country. But it isn’t the guns that go around shooting people— guns are inanimate objects. It’s the shooter that is the problem.

The Left also seems unable to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants, refugees, those who have overstayed their visas and the long, long list of people —4.4 million—who have applied to come to America to become citizens and are waiting patiently in line for their turn. Note that there is no wait list for green cards for future employees in high tech. Texas is reeling under new cases of mumps, a disease that had been thought ended in this country. TB is also on the rise.

ICE has issued detainer notices for criminal aliens being held in sanctuary cities, meaning that they are to be detained until ICE can pick them up for deportation. The sanctuary cities are simply releasing them. Makes the officials who have decided to be a “sanctuary” feel good, and puts the people of the city in danger. Sanctuary cities are an embarrassment.

Fortunately, the Justice Department is putting them on notice. May save some lives. We welcome legal immigrants. but there is no reason to favor illegals over people who wait their turn.



Immigration. Legal and Illegal, and the Difference. by The Elephant's Child

As promised, ICE has expanded their campaign to deport illegal immigrants with criminal records. They have announced the seizure of 368 illegals in seven states and Washington D.C. That’s a 250 percent increase over the 106 deportations announced a week ago.

ICE especially targeted members of the violent MS-13 gang and those illegals who had been charged with sex crimes against kids. In just one five day roundup in and around Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia, 82 illegals from 26 countries were arrested. Of those 82 individuals, 68 of those had previous criminal records for crimes like robbery, larceny and drug distribution. Two of the remaining 14 had ties to MS-13, two had final orders for removal, and two had pending local charges. The remainder had unlawfully entered the United States in violation of immigration laws.

158 were arrested in Texas. ICE is targeting convicted criminal aliens. The simple notion that President Trump means business has significantly curbed the flow of illegal immigration across the border.

Activists frequently contend that the United States is a “nation of immigrants”, which, if you go back to the 1630s is accurate, but has nothing to do with anything. Immigrants currently represent about 13.5 percent of the American population, the highest percentage in over 100 years. But then they consistently say that we have 11 million illegal aliens in the country, but they have been using the same number for years, and there is a strong suspicion that nobody knows. Everyone likes to think of America as welcoming and open, but this is not the case. Countries have borders and laws that determine how one becomes a legal immigrant.

Immigrants are apt to band together with others of the same background, and often engage in the same occupations. There is often a language barrier. Americans are frequently suspicious of those who do not speak their language. This has been going on since the beginnings of the country, and is well documented in books like David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed and Bernard Bailyn’s The Peopling of British North America. New waves of immigrants were not always welcomed, the Scots-Irish went to the Carolinas, the Germans to Germantown in Pennsylvania, the Quakers to Pennsylvania and of course the Dutch to New York.

We don’t know much about how many can be comfortably absorbed by the nation’s schools and infrastructure. Here is a map from the Center for Immigration Studies showing the percentages of  public school students from immigrant  households. In 1980, about 7 percent of public school students came from immigrant homes, in 1990, it was 11 percent and in 2015 about 23 percent of public school students came from immigrant homes or almost one in four, in 700 immigrant-heavy districts.

In 2015, between one-fourth and one-third of public school students from immigrant households were the children of illegal immigrants. The remainder were the children of legal immigrants. This is simply a reminder that there are real costs for illegal immigrants.

The Obama administration encouraged both legal and illegal immigration. They believed that immigrants would be more likely to support the Democratic Party, and made an effort to settle immigrants and refugees in districts where they would help to switch the vote to Democrats. You might notice that Obama ended the acceptance of refugees from Cuba, who were unlikely to support the Democrats after Communist Cuba.

For those who claim that we cannot afford a wall on our southern border, or those who think a wall would be mean, there is a cost for illegal immigrants—schools, welfare, the courts. During a lifetime of an illegal immigrant they create an average fiscal burden of $74,722. If a border wall stopped between 9 to 12 percent of those expected to successfully cross the border, the fiscal savings would equal the $12 to $15 billion cost of the wall.

Those on the Left usually consider the case of immigrants or refugees as a matter of feelings. If you do not sympathize deeply with those who want to come to the United States legally or illegally, then you are a bad person. Not all refugees want to leave their own countries, they just want temporary safety. Those on the Left believe in open borders, the more the merrier. I believe that countries get to choose how many immigrants and who they are.

Sweden has just had a belated wake-up call, learning that some of the migrants they welcomed to their country steal trucks and drive them into crowds to kill as many Swedes as possible. And a CNN reporter just had a wake-up interview with a Syrian refugee.

Not what the CNN host expected. Her expression is priceless.



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.

 




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