American Elephants


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.

 



It Is a Constitutional Crisis! Isn’t It? by The Elephant's Child

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that we are in a “Constitutional Crisis”. Jerry Nadler said that we are now in a “Constitutional Crisis”. Even Adam Schiff said we’re in a “Constitutional Crisis”. This seems to the the Left’s talking point of the day. There was also some muttering about Trump not being a king or an emperor. But they are clearly correct.

This is something of a Constitutional crisis. We have one political party unwilling to accept the rules of the Constitution on how elections are decided. They are furious because they lost, and want the Constitution changed so that it never happens again. And they are determined to get rid of the hated Trump by any means necessary. Outraged by the Mueller failure to provide immediate succor, they are groping for another solution. I’m not sure that you can impeach someone simply because you do not like him. But just who and what makes it a crisis is up for debate.

The Electoral College and the structure of the Senate were carefully designed to make sure that the people of the less populous states had equal representation. Every state has two senators, and the House of Representatives numbers reflect the population numbers. It was a pretty impressive bit of planning when at the time a sprawling union of 50 states was unimaginable, and Hawaii and Alaska were unknown, as was much of anything west of the Adirondacks.

I’m beginning to suspect that the Left has noticed that the economy is booming, that there are more job openings than unemployed people to fill them, and their celebrated former president could never get growth above 2% no matter how much he “invested” in the economy, and declared that the world had changed and an upside was no longer possible. Pelosi is still describing the Trump tax cuts as the worst thing ever done to our economy. (They simply cannot grasp supply-side economics.) The idea that you make the world a better place by giving people free stuff, like free college and Medicare for all, and making them happy to vote for you is clearly the better policy goal, isn’t it?



Infrastructure, Legacies, History and Personal Insults by The Elephant's Child

New York Times correspondent Peter Baker’s new book Obama: The Call of History was recently updated to include the information that “former President Obama took President Trump’s win and Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016 as a personal insult.”

Obama has talked a lot about his “legacy.”  Most presidents, I imagine, are concerned about how history will view the challenges they faced and the job they did. But once they’re done, that’s up to the historians. Obama has had rather glorified ideas about his presidential library, and quite a battle with the city of Chicago and his selection of a prime piece of parkland, much to the distress of the neighbors. Democrats expected Hillary to win, and it was undoubtedly a shock to Obama.

There’s a favorite saying of political consultants: “It’s the economy, stupid.” The Wall Street Journal remarked yesterday that “The best news is that the beneficiaries of this tight labor market are the folks who struggled during the slow growth Obama years.” Government actions are not abstract things that are only important to the hovering newspersons. They have a major impact on the American people’s pocketbooks and well-being. Many people are now working who were living on food stamps.

Obama never, in eight years, achieved even 2% growth, but doubled the national debt. It was the slowest and most sluggish recovery under Obama, in history. They talked about it, and Obama’s economists said that times had just changed and there was no hope of ever getting back over 2% growth.

President Trump is going to meet with Pelosi and Schumer to talk about “infrastructure” which they supposedly think is important. Trump wants $1 trillion, but Schumer says Trump is going to have to get rid of some of those tax cuts. I keep saying that Democrats do not understand free market economics, and they keep insisting that I’m absolutely correct. Can’t have this booming economy, it makes the Democrats look bad. The Wall Street Journal:

Many of the robust job gains came in businesses that hire those with less education. Construction added 33,000 jobs last month, for example, and has added 256,000 over the last year. Most of the new construction jobs last month were in nonresidential and heavy civil engineering work, which suggests that business investment may be picking up after a weak first quarter.

In a separate report earlier this week, the Labor Department reported that worker productivity increased 3.6% in the fourth quarter and 2.4% from a year ago, the fastest rate since 2010. This continues the productivity-growth trend from 2018, which has followed faster capital investment after tax reform and deregulation. This bodes well for faster wage gains over time. increased 3.6% in the fourth quarter and 2.4% from a year ago, the fastest rate since 2010. This continues the productivity-growth trend from 2018, which has followed faster capital investment after tax reform and deregulation. This bodes well for faster wage gains over time.

Everybody talks about “infrastructure” but not about just what infrastructure they are so anxious to build.  Before you start casually spending another trillion dollars, please explain just what you have in mind. How about a nice wall at the southern border?



What Is The Matter With These People? by The Elephant's Child

Observing the political scene, one wonders, what the heck is the matter with these people? It seems that large numbers of people are asking the same question. From American Greatness “NYT Ponders: Could the Steele Dossier be Russian Disinformation?” A slightly belated question, or the beginnings of  a CYA operation?

Victor Davis Hanson said: “for them, that particular subset that really hates Trump, its the idea that this guy just comes in, and all their pretensions or all of their disconnects, he challenges. And then he doesn’t just challenge it, he points out how hypocritical they are. He does that all the time.  If you look at his tweets, that’s one constant theme. “You have walls. Why can’t the nation have walls?” Hanson points out that all the Never Trumpers at the Bulwark, Max Boot, David Frum, Bill Kristol, have spent their lives advancing the issues that Trump has put into effect, and now they don’t like them because Trump’s fingerprints are on them.

But why the hatred? Most of the people who were involved in the Never Trumps, were invested in particular campaigns, and they thought they would be the wise men, they would be asked to come into the White House, be on Talk shows. They offerred their expertise, but they have a special office at the White House looking at applicants tweets and Facebook posts. Their obliging offers were rejected.

Jeremy Carl, a Hoover Institution scholar, called to our attention that in the aftermath of the Jussie Smollet hate hoax, journalist Andy Ngo wrote that the hoax was symptomatic of America’s illness – a combination he attributed to the rise of the victimhood culture fueled in significant part by increasing group conflict.  Not, Carl wrote, an “illness” of America writ large, but an affliction particular to white liberals. Recent polls by nonpartisan organizations suggest that white liberals have a unique distaste for their own ethnic group. (See Smollett, Covington HS boys in their MAGA hats.) Group bias is a widely recognized phenomenon, and most groups prefer their own. Except white liberals.

I think that the Liberals were expecting sixteen years of continuous control. It’s not just controlling the levers of power— but the jobs, the prestige, the friendships, the opportunities. It clearly wasn’t about Hillary except as the brownie points of electing the first woman, they’ve already lost interest in her completely. No longer useful.

Presidents are supposed to be former governors, or have been in the military – which suggests familarity with high level politics more than skill. From the still growing list of Democrat candidates there’s not much in the way of demonstrated skills. It is beginning to look as if there may be more skills in understanding economics, managing very large operations and dealing with the law in America’s CEOs, certainly than in the current crop of candidates. That’s the big divide. Trump represents everything the Left has been trained to hate. The birth certificate for a good liberal is the understanding that Republicans give tax cuts to the Rich, while good Democrats help the poor. Democrats have no understanding whatsoever that allowing people to keep more of their own money gets invested into the economy. They expand, hire, invent, and, oddly in the process, more people have jobs, unemployment goes down. The economy grows with more activity.  Democrats are good at propaganda however. Current surveys suggest that a significant percentage of the people don’t think that they got a tax cut.

Most people grew up in a neighborhood, by that I mean among people very like themselves. Similar home costs, similar houses, similar yards, kids go to the same schools. I notice, largely because I did not grow up in a neighborhood. There is a difference.

A president is someone we choose to run the country for us for four years. The campaign is supposed to demonstrate the skills and potential that candidates may (or may not possess). We get distracted by looks and personality or demeanor, and forget to look hard at proven ability, which is  a major mistake. We have a current crop of candidates who are blithely signing on the “The Green New Deal” with no understanding of why it would be a massive mistake, no understanding of whether there is or is not a climate crisis, and why. Over and over they are demonstrating that they have never even bothered to read or learn anything about the subject whatsoever. All of them.

We can scatter the blame around, but we need to look in the mirror. We have to be informed voters. It’s up to us.



Well, The Title’s Certainly True by The Elephant's Child



Guilty, Guilty, Guilty! by The Elephant's Child

No, not President Trump. For two years he has been trying to do the best that he can for the country with remarkable success – a booming economy, a nation leading the world in oil and gas production, full employment, clean energy – while daily assaulted with bogus claims and sleazy slurs, suggestions that his election was fraudulent, his appointees and associates investigated, two years and $35 million of taxpayers’ money wasted on an investigation that produced nothing, no collusion, no obstruction.

The guilty were the poisonously partisan media who ran with rumors, ignored obvious facts, and labored diligently to find just the right words to insinuate that which they could not prove. I was an English major with a deep interest in word choice, and they have not been behaving honorably.

This may be behind a subscription barrier, but Holman Jenkins had a fine column in the Wall Street Journal asking “Can the Media Survive Mueller?”

He points out that the Justice Department special-prosecutor rules require the existence of a crime, and there wasn’t one.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Journalists were not wrong in being open to Christopher Steele (a paid advocate) and his handlers (also paid advocates), but they were wrong not to notice that the one incontestable fact Mr. Steele had put before them had nothing to do with Mr. Trump and Russia.

The one incontestable fact was that a paid advocate who was trading on his previous profession as a British intelligence agent, in the middle of a presidential election, was being shepherded around Washington by a notorious PR schemer and promoting allegations whose truth he was unwilling to vouch for and whose source he was unwilling to reveal. …

To a reporter, one documented fact is more valuable than any number of unsupported claims. Indeed, a bunch of unsupported and unsourced allegations smacks of an attempt to gull him into the “Where there’s smoke, there must be fire” fallacy. Or, insultingly, bespeaks a belief that he’s the type who will circulate unsupported claims without challenging the motives of those promoting them.



Tucker Carlson’s Outstanding Takedown of Democrat Hypocrisy by The Elephant's Child

The best of Tucker Carlson is this epic takedown of Democrat hypocrisy, not to be missed. This is getting right to the basic elements of the ongoing crisis at our Southern border. Donald Trump has proposed to send to sanctuary cities the asylum-seekers who under current law must be admitted to the United States while they await adjudication of their claims for asylum.

Asylum has a clear definition under law, and historically a little over 33  percent of those claims are denied. Which is why when claimants are given their court date for their asylum hearing, most vanish into the country to increase the illegal immigrant population. Would be immigrants in their home countries are instructed on just how to turn themselves in to the Border Patrol immediately after getting across the border, and specifically what to say to request asylum.

Statistics released in May 2018 showed 697,777 cases pending before 334 immigration judges, or almost 2,090 cases per judge. When an illegal fails to show up, an in absentia removal order is issued.

Democrats want open borders to get higher population numbers in the 2020 census, which they believe will increase their numbers in the House of Representatives. Do not misunderstand. Democrat activists want control, permanent control.They do not want the constant threat of Republican governance hanging over them. That’s why all the “racist, white supremacy, Hitler, toxic masculinity, reparations” verbiage. They object to the words “illegal alien”— illegal simply means “not according to the law”. We are a nation of laws and to come here legally, one applies and if accepted, waits their turn. The term “alien” means owing their allegiance to the country of which they are a citizen. There’s nothing derogatory in the term, just fact.

Leftists rely on language to accomplish their goals. That’s why we are now a “nation of immigrants” not a nation of citizens, children are “ripped from their mother’s arms” although the child may not belong to the family. Potential border-crossers are told that having a child with them will increase their chances. There is evidence that some children are being recycled across the border, that is, pretending to be the child of one illegal family, then when they get in, sent back across the border to be the child of another illegal. Of course there are also the “children in cages” pictures from the Obama administration being circulated for those who don’t pay attention to the news, to try to blame it on Trump.

I hope the president will follow through on his threat to send the illegals to those cities that have declared themselves “sanctuary cities” so they can experience the costs of additions to the welfare rolls, numbers of non-English speaking kids added to the schools, that the rest of the country is now paying for.

In The Pity Party, William Voegeli wrote:

In contrast to America, countries like Canada and Australia treat immigration the way Harvard treats college admission or the New England Patriots treat the NFL draft as a way to get the talented and keep out the untalented. Here in America we increasingly treat immigration as if it were a sacred civil right possessed by 7  billion foreigners.




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