American Elephants


It Makes No Sense, No Sense at All! by The Elephant's Child

From Hot Air, by Kevin Williamson:

Trump’s wrongdoing is real and significant, but Pelosi et al. never had the moral credibility to make a persuasive impeachment case against him or the political juice to get it done. Democrats were talking about impeachment before the man was ever sworn in as president, and they remain emotionally dependent upon their preposterous tale about Russians on Facebook throwing the election to Trump. (The Russians, for their part, wanted paralyzing chaos and to destabilize the United States politically — Mission Accomplished, Ivan.) The Democrats would have been far better off simply telling the truth about Trump’s failings and challenging him at the polls rather than presenting this as an apocalyptic drama that cannot wait for an election and resolution on ordinary democratic terms. Apocalyptic dramas are pretty hard to sell when unemployment is low, and it is possible to exaggerate the sins of even Donald Trump.

From Hot Air by David Harsanyi:

While civility is an imperative in a decent society, we can’t ignore that Trump’s coarseness has also helped reveal the liberal establishment’s incivility and disdain for anyone who refuses to adopt its cultural mores. I’m sorry, I have a hard time taking etiquette lessons from people who can’t raise any ire over the Virginia governor’s casual description of euthanizing infants but act as if every Trump tweet should trigger his removal from office through the 25th Amendment.

So while I don’t like Trump any better today than I did when writing those critical pieces, I do live in the world that exists, not the one I wish existed. And that world has changed. What I didn’t foresee when writing about Trump’s candidacy was the American Left’s extraordinary four-year descent into insanity.

Most people grew up in a neighborhood where everyone else was much like themselves. They never knew anyone who was significantly different. I didn’t grow up in a neighborhood, but in the country where the closest neighbors were a mile or more away, and nothing like me at all. But here are two Conservatives who don’t like Trump, and yet have trouble with the Left’s Trump Derangement Syndrome. Williamson finds Trump’s wrongdoing real and significant. ?? Harsanyi doesn’t like him because of his coarseness, Yes, Trump responds directly to attacks, and responds in kind. Anybody remember LBJ?
Well government is hard, and the people often do not like their governors, but Trump’s accomplishments would seem to outweigh at least some of the dislike. And yes, the Democrats had decided to impeach him even before he was elected. Trump’s accomplishments in office are amazing and truly welcome.

Yet: “Trump’s Average Unemployment Rate is the Lowest in Recorded History.” There are more women working than at any time in history, and more women currently working than men. The Washington Examiner follows up with “It’s still possible the economy will decline in time for it to hurt Trump in the election. And the Trump presidency has been polarizing for many other reasons. ”

At Powerline, Steven Hayward quotes Joel Kotkin:
For much of the last seventy years, economic growth has lifted the quality of life in Europe, North America, and East Asia, providing social stability after the violent disruptions of World War II. Today, however, many of the world’s most influential leaders, even in the United States, reject the very notion that societies should improve material wealth and boost incomes given what they believe are more important environmental or social equity concerns. . .
Can anyone out there make sense of all this for me? I thought a president was someone you elected to accomplish things and make the economy better.


Out of the Past: A Reminder of What Democrat Control Can Mean by The Elephant's Child

Donald J.Trump is doing a marvelous job of doing away with excess regulation. We got into an odd discussion tonight about the amount of TSP in dishwasher soap, how it meant that the dishes were not really getting clean because of regulations imposed by greennuts who were concerned about the fish in the nation’s rivers or something like that.

It was pointed out that I used to rant, online, about unnecessary regulation especially in dishwashers. I had forgotten, and had to look it up. And I certainly did! I had forgotten just how far the zealous regulators had gone. So I’m reprinting one. It’s worth reminding us of the nature of zealous regulating Democrats, and just how far they will go. They want control. It’s not even a matter of what it is they want to control. They want to fix things because they are morally superior, and know better what should be done.

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S REGULATORY NIGHTMARE
by The Elephant’s Child
April 21, 2011, 4:12 pm

It’s hard to keep up with the regulatory proposals coming from government agencies. The Foundry, a Heritage Foundation blog, is trying to keep track of the more noxious ones. Today, they are pointing out the excesses of the U.S. Department of Energy.

They already regulate the design of air conditioners, battery chargers, boilers, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, dryers, freezers, furnaces, heat pumps, light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets and washers. We now have washing machines that are several times more expensive and literally do not clean your clothes. Dishwashers no longer clean your dishes, and after the Volt fires in Connecticut, the regulations for battery chargers may need a second look.

The addition for today concerns a return to the shower.  The Energy {Policy Conservation Act of 1992 prescribed a measly 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) at 80 pounds per square inch of water pressure.  This was quite a dramatic reduction in showering pleasure from the 5 gpm or even 10 gpm of previous showerheads. The Department stated that: “It has always been the Department’s view that when Congress used the term ‘any shower head’ it actually meant ‘any shower head’.”

Now they want to make it clear that the regulation applies to the total from multiple shower heads in any one shower. The department recently fined 4 showerhead makers $165,104 for failing to demonstrate compliance with the shower head mandate.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 prohibits even minute levels of lead in any product intended for children 12 years of age or younger. That includes millions of children’s books printed with leaded ink.  Lead in ink was phased out in the late 1970s, but the CPSC deems any children’s book printed prior to 1986 to be potentially toxic and thus unfit for library circulation , the Goodwill store, or your neighbor’s garage sale.

The EPA is now hard at work increasing fleet-wide fuel efficiency standards for cars, and at the same time expanding the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10% to 15%, (an amount damaging to the engines of all but the newest cars) which will dramatically decrease fuel efficiency.  Corn-based ethanol has been shown to nearly double greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years.  The spike in food prices from more ethanol will increase government spending by $1 billion a year, according to studies.

Obama policies are destroying jobs as fast as new jobs are created. Regulations accomplish nothing but unnecessary interference in peoples lives, and often simply make things worse.  There are always consequences, often unintended ones, and they seldom improve anything.

Consider this a warning.



And a Happy New Year to You All ! by The Elephant's Child

I am not an enthusiast for New Years celebrations, nor do I really think of a new year being a big deal. Don’t like all the efforts to predict what the new year will bring, but the efforts to sum up what transpired during the past year can be useful.

The impeachment thing drags on, but is going nowhere. Abuse of Power is silly, there was no crime whatsoever, and Obstruction of Congress is way beyond silly. The President’s job is to keep the reins on Congress and keep them from doing stupid things. That’s why the founders gave him veto power, and Congress the right to override a veto if they can. The founders were well aware of the failings of the human race, and thought long and hard about writing a Constitution.

The Wall Street Journal was having fits about the “trade war” Trump was initiating with China, but as Joseph Sternberg said today:

A new year brings new optimism that the U.S.-China trade war might not blow up the global economy after all. The two sides are on track to sign a “phase one” deal within weeks. Oddly, no one has stopped to ask if America is ready for what will happen if President Trump “wins” the trade war. …

China’s current-account surplus—the amount by which its exports of goods and services and income from overseas investments exceeds imports—has shrunk for years. It’s likely to tip into a deficit early this decade, meaning China will import more goods and services (and receive less profit from overseas) than it exports.

The scale of this potential deficit, likely under 1% of gross domestic product to start, pales in comparison with the enormous current-account surpluses of nearly 10% of GDP each year China racked up in the first decade of the century. And the deficits will be here to stay.

He adds that their population is aging, the much vaunted Belt and Road deal is mostly pouring money into corrupt public-works, and China’s overseas investments tend to be bad ones. And the U.S. tends to be the world’s premier destination for investment capital. China’s Communism has used industrial policy to suppress domestic demand.

It seems that despite the skeptics, Capitalism seems to work quite nicely. Unemployment is at record lows, the stock market at record highs.

In Baghdad, the crowd that attacked the U.S. Embassy in Iraq seems to have been more pro-Iran militia than unhappy citizens. A  country’s embassy is considered a part of their own territory and attacking it is a big deal. The president promptly sent in the Marines to reinforce and protect, and demonstrate that attacks were not acceptable. The Washington Post, of course, tried to score points against President Trump. The top Iranian Commander, Quassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Quds Force, was apparently killed Friday in airstrikes on Baghdad International Airport. The Pentagon confirmed that President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike. Iran’s Quds Force has been designated as a terrorist organization for some time.

Seems to me that President Trump is letting our friends and enemies know that he has no intention of being a pushover, in case they were under some misapprehension.

Other than that, the media seemed fascinated with the leftover theme from the 1920’s – trying to stick on “the Roaring Twenties” in some way, I guess because that’s all they could think of.  Didn’t work.

Hollywood has-beens keep trying to come up with insults to the President that will get them some media notice, for you cannot remain a celebrity if you cannot get the attention of the press, Nobody seems to have noticed that a lot of Americans are finding other ways to amuse themselves, and movies aren’t doing all that well.



What is Social Justice? Is There Any Such Thing? by The Elephant's Child

One wonders at the rise of enthusiasm for Socialism. Where does this come from?  Do people know nothing about the history of Socialism and how it works out? No understanding of the crisis of Venezuela? Or how the people there are literally starving in a country that was once the richest in South America?

Are they misled by talk of “social justice”? There is, by the way, no such thing. We humans are a quarrelsome lot, and you can’t overcome the difficulties of being a member of the human species easily. Democrats, with Bernie and Elizabeth Warren pushing socialism, seem to fail to recognize just where that path leads.

The human search for perfect social equality has gone on since the beginning of time. Do people actually rise in the morning hoping that might be the day when they are finally equal? Equal to what? Or Whom? I simply don’t buy it. Not everyone even wants to be rich. People want to care for their family, to have a good job that they like, at least part of the time. They want to have a nice home and be free of debt, and raise their children to be good citizens and succeed at whatever profession they choose. Some do want to be rich and some achieve it. But is it the overarching dream of many? I suspect not. People do want accomplishment, and success, and arriving at goals.

Democrats seem particularly driven by the idea of equality. They want to make everyone equal, and their policies move in that direction. They talk a lot about social justice, and more about the rich who do not deserve to be rich, and big corporations and their CEOs who do not deserve to be rich. I have wished for some things I do not have, that I cannot afford, as I’m sure you have as well. Did you get out of bed this morning yearning to be equal?  Didn’t think so.

Even for those who do want to be rich, and are working to create a business that they hope will succeed and make them richer, I suspect it is the succeed part that drives them, not the riches. Building a successful business is a worthy endeavor, and building it  is the scary and exciting part rather than the arrival at the finish.

So what is all this social justice? the social equality? Democrats’ push for equality sounds good in the abstract, but makes no sense whatsoever as a real goal. Think about that when those campaigning for an office ask for your vote. What they want is to be in charge, and have the opportunity to control your lives.



Speaker Pelosi and Her Democrats Embarrass Themselves by The Elephant's Child

Ms. Pelosi and the members of the House have gone on home, so the impeachment spectacle is apparently over until the New Year. It’s important, I guess, to keep it in the public eye as much as possible until the next election.

It is beyond bizarre to listen to some of the Democrats trying to come up with reasons for this absurdity.  The Media is blathering on about Donald J. Trump being the third president to be impeached, but he has not been impeached. The House of Representatives has voted to impeach, but as Nancy Pelosi knows well, it is not an impeachment until it is confirmed by the Senate, who will not confirm it, so the best she can do for the angry, angry Hollywood celebrities is to drag it out so the media can talk about impeachment to make it as big a deal as possible.

Something to remember is that being a celebrity means that some people know your name and/or your face as well. It also means that to continue to be a celebrity, you have to stay in the news. For the media,  getting a celebrity to say something, is a way to fulfill your requirement to come up with news, and if you get them to say something nasty, it will actually make news. Think Robert De Niro for example. Always ready to spout off on the horrors of Donald J. Trump.

The problem is that there is no actual crime. They had to make something up. The charge is Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. Of course that’s what a president is supposed to do — Obstruct Congress when they get out of order. The Abuse of Power relates to his phone call with the Ukraine President.  In his phone call Trump asked for help investigating corruption issues in the country. Since come of the corruption touched on the family of Joe Biden, Democrats say Trump abused his power because Joe Biden might be his opposition in the 2020 election. As Mollie Hemingway explained at the Federalist:

Biden was the Obama administration’s point man in Ukraine when his son, Hunter, who had no expertise in the region or industry, was being paid $80,000 a month to sit on the board of an energy concern there. Setting aside that charge, the second charge is more troubling.

Democrats say that Trump’s decision to exercise his constitutional privilege to protect executive communication means he should be removed from office. That’s their second charge — obstruction of Congress. Many presidents have battled with Congress over their executive privilege and what it covers, but the idea that the debate is cause for impeachment is remarkably weak. If President Trump had defied a court order to turn over documents, that would make for a stronger case. But that hasn’t happened.

The initial plan was to spin up a special counsel that would deliver a report on collusion with Russia to steal the election. That dream fizzled with the inability to find a single American, much less anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign, who had done so.

Do read Mollie Hemingway’s 4 Reasons Trump’s Impeachment is the Weakest in U.S. History.

 



Why Capitalism? Why Not? by The Elephant's Child

At a news conference in early February of 2015, Christiana Figueres, the General Secretary of the United Nation’s IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change, I think is the acronym) revealed that the object of the climate crisis was not to save the Earth from degradation from a climate disaster, but to eliminate Capitalism. We just had a reiteration of that from a current climate panic advocate, apparently unaware of the previous exposé. I meant to save the piece, but forgot.

What interests me is that I’m well aware that there is a lot of hatred for the booming American economy, our rich, the wealth of goods produced, and undoubtedly the way we go around the world trying to help, or disapprove of other governments or tell other countries what to do, or just be bossy in general. So I accept some resentment, or even a lot
of it.

Here’s the real question, if they resent our wealth or success, why don’t they try Capitalism? Back when Valery Giscard D’Estaing was writing the new constitution for the European Union, he got a copy of the American Constitution, it was reported, but he rejected it. Couldn’t go for all those freedoms, I guess.

Wouldn’t you think that they might look at the American economy and want to try a bit of Capitalism? Or a bit more freedom?  If you see something that works, don’t you usually want to copy it?

The ongoing idea of stamping out Capitalism is a little disturbing. Are there organizations out there (besides the Left) that are working to get rid of capitalism? Does anybody understand what Capitalism is? Why it works?

How about a basic understanding that the buying and selling that takes place in the marketplace is our best information on the economy and how we’re doing? Do people have an understanding of what Trump has done to get our economy booming? Or for that matter, do they understand that the economy is booming, that unemployment is the lowest ever recorded since we started keeping track.

*Christiana Figueres is the woman in light blue at the far left.



Wait! You Have It All Backwards. Crime Comes Before Punishment. by The Elephant's Child

What I am failing to understand, and you probably are too, is that The House of Representatives of the United States Congress has it all backwards, and we’re letting them get away with it.

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has decided that the President of the United States must be impeached. They don’t like him. They remain furious that he won control of the government away from them, because they are morally superior. They care about the poor and unfortunate, the downtrodden, the frightened illegals, the homeless, the fugitives from climate change, and so on, and nasty Republicans just don’t.

They made a decision. Donald Trump is an illegal president and he must be impeached. The problem has been to find what it is that he must be impeached for. Classic example of cart before horse! Now that they have decided that he must be impeached, they have to find something that will qualify as an impeachable offense. Not what the founders had in mind. They thought that if a sitting president betrays his office, or betrays the country, Congress should be able to act to remove him from office. Article II, Section 4.

I am certainly not an attorney, but the House of Representatives clearly has it all backwards. They have decided that he must be impeached before the next election, so they are determinedly searching for the awful thing for which he must be impeached. Once they get rid of him then as the morally superior beings they by nature are, they will be back in full charge, and won’t have to bother with this phony booming economy and phony thriving business, and phony people getting off food stamps and especially the phony increase in the average family’s take-home pay. The problem is finding the charge that will accomplish all that. Has to be a biggie. Section 4 says clearly: The President, Vice President, and all Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

That’s why Nancy Pelosi came up with “Bribery” a couple of days ago. Couldn’t find any Treason that they could make stick, and the other high Crimes part was not very clear or specific, but “Bribery” sounded good. Adam Schiff is working desperately on that one. They can surely find a bribe somewhere in returning aid to Ukraine, can’t they?


I found this pertinent cartoon at Powerline in Steven Hayward’s Week in Pictures. Don’t know who devised it, but it is appropriate. If you are alternately appalled and annoyed by this impeachment inquiry, Don’t miss Victor Davis Hanson’s piece at National Review.




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