American Elephants

The Tipping Point! by The Elephant's Child

angry-public-meetingThere are a remarkable number of buzz-words being tossed wantonly around the media: nationalism, corruption, elitism, populism, reactionary, criminalization, Islamophobia, globalization, sexism, and of course—racism—that all-purpose word when clear thought goes haywire. How many of these epithets can you clearly define? Thought so, me neither.

Donald Trump has been quite precise about why he is running. He wants to Make America Great again, Great Big Wall,  deportation of criminal aliens, care for veterans, renegotiation of trade deals,  some very good ideas for economic growth, some not quite so much.

But why is Hillary running? Yes, yes, she wants to be the first woman president, but what precisely do we get out of it?

My understanding is that the American people are pretty angry about ObamaCare, and even more so now that they have announced an average 25% increase in cost. Obama has left our borders wide open and told the Border Patrol to pay no attention. Criminal aliens are not deported or come right back in. On top of that he is offering “asylum” to Syrian refugees, except that most of them aren’t Syrian, and we can’t tell where they’re from because Syrian passports are available cheap, and there is no government and nobody can be vetted.

There is a list of the reasons why one may ask for asylum. The very first reason is religion—if one fears persecution because of their religion, they may be admitted. Chopping off of heads and being burned alive or crucified would seem to qualify as persecution, but President Obama does not recognize Christians as being among those needing asylum.

Obama seems more interested in placing his asylum-seekers in strong Republican districts in the expectation that new immigrants will vote Democratic.

The American people are not anti-immigrant, they are anti-wide open borders. We have a great many people who have applied through the proper channels for American citizenship, and are parked on a years-long wait list, but those who cross our Southern border are instantly welcome.

The American people have noticed that construction, building and landscaping crews are mostly Mexican, while unemployed citizens cannot find jobs, and the media usually prattle on about jobs Americans won’t do. Criminal illegal aliens who have been deported previously return to commit more crimes.  Canada and Australia calmly admit those who offer some talent that will be useful to their countries.

The corruption in government has been so widespread that there is hardly an agency that has not had a major scandal—the EPA, the IRS, the VA, FBI, FDA, ACA, HSA, FEMA, DHS, DOJ and on and on. Yet no one is fired, nothing changes. Budgets that should be slashed are passed in omnibus bills and nothing is cut. Google “Federal acronyms” for a shocking display of the size and reach of the federal government, yet nothing is cut, nothing is ended, and Congress turns more and more of its assigned work of making laws and regulations over to the uncounted and unaccountable agencies.

The reasons that people are fed up are myriad. One person’s outrage may not phase another who is angry about something else entirely. America seems no longer the most powerful nation, but indecisive, pandering, weak.

The young communists of the Black Lives Matter movement are causing and encouraging riots and attacks on the Police, and they are invited to the White House.

We make a huge deal of new relations with Communist Cuba, without a single concession from the Castros, as a great accomplishment. And just what was the tipping point for you? Yet Obama remains more popular than either of our presidential candidates. Why?

I’m not at all sure that I understand this presidential campaign at all.

Can You Trust the Press? by The Elephant's Child

Judith Miller is a long time journalist,  and winner of the Pulitzer Prize who has had her own problems with a partisan media. I remember several years ago when there were complaints that young people were going to journalism school, not to learn how to accurately report the news, but with the idea that journalism would allow them to change the world. That unfortunate misconception has played out as your see.

However, the world of information has changed. At one time not only were the services reporting the news limited, but the world they were reporting about was limited. Travel was slow, foreign countries were unfamiliar, and people didn’t really know much about the rest of the world. Technology has changed everything, and is continuing to change, and many of the poorest people in the world are being lifted out of poverty through free trade agreements.

Some Ideas From Donald Trump About What Is to Be Done. by The Elephant's Child

static2-politico-comDonald Trump laid out his plans for his first 100 days in a speech in Gettysburg. He listed 28 points, some excellent, some not. Here are a few of the good ones, in no particular order. This is not to say there are not other good proposals, Here ‘s the entire list.

—Work with Congress on a Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act.An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate.

—Cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities.

—Suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.

—Institute a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health)

—Require for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.

—Work with Congress on a Restoring National Security Act.Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values

—Cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure.

—Work with Congress on a School Choice And Education Opportunity Act Redirects education dollars to gives parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.

Here are Steven Hayward’s comments on the list. Term limits are perennially popular, but there are good and effective congressmen whom it would be a pity to lose, and we would never agree on who are the good ones and who are not. New members of Congress are not always particularly effective in their first term, and need to learn their way around.

The eliminate two regulations in order to add one is a gimmick. The Obama administration has added regulations in ridiculous numbers in the illusion that people in government know better than ordinary citizens. We need a far stronger way to eliminate them.

Give the list some attention. It makes you think about what is desirable and what is not, and where you stand. I think Mr. Trump is generally mistaken about trade. NAFTA has been very successful for all three countries.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not a useful venture—it’s making a common market of Pacific nations — and we should have learned from the EU that this is a very bad idea indeed. It essentially eliminates our borders and turns our sovereignty  over to an unaccountable international commission. The Left no longer believes in national sovereignty, a major point to keep in mind.

Government is too big, and tries to do too much. There are few things that are best done by the federal government, and even those are not well done. The nature of government employees is to believe that their expertise is what is needed to control the unruly deplorables out there, and they do way too much, make too many laws, pass too many regulations, have too many agencies and departments, and if we eliminated more than half of them, nobody would notice.

How Can You Trust Anyone Who Has a ‘Public Position’ and a ‘Private Position’ on The Same Issues? by The Elephant's Child

hillary-clinton-4Hillary fairly recently famously said that she has, like everyone else, ‘public positions’ on issues and ‘private positions.’ I don’t know if that is like everyone else. I have public positions, and if I privately think something other than that, I keep my mouth shut, or risk an argument, don’t you? Although there are reports that most people have lost friends over this election.

There is a commercial that airs frequently on the radio in which Hillary says “Donald Trump is running a campaign based on insults,” “I believe in treating people with respect.” Sure she does. It has been extensively detailed that as First Lady, she treated the Secret Service agents assigned to protect her with their lives like dirt, screaming at them if they even ventured to say “good morning.” She addressed them when they displeased her as “S**t-kicking-mother-F******s. It appears that she hasn’t changed. Her treatment of State Department security people was so bad that State Department security personnel refused to work for her and they had to assign new recruits to her team.

Wikileaks has captured another moment when Hillary was doing the public/private thing. It’s just so complicated when you are trying to please everybody. Having an actual position is sure to offend someone. In this case it was pipelines. Hillary opposed a New Hampshire natural gas pipeline (New England needs more natural gas since they are shutting down nuclear plants and relying far too much on wind), but she privately told the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)that she was for a pipeline,as a pipeline project provides real jobs for lots of laborers though such jobs are temporary.

She has privately told the building trades that she does not oppose pipelines,” Budzinski wrote. “Can we outline instances where a pipeline would have her support?”

“They are also concerned that she committed to not making pipeline by pipeline decisions and it now appears she is breaking to pressure and doing just that,” she wrote, referring to LIUNA’s concern Clinton was turning against her broad support for pipelines.

Gives you a whole lot of confidence, doesn’t it?


Hillary is Biased, Partisan, Shameless, Dishonest and Corrupt, But You Should Turn The Economy Over to Her to Run? Oh Please! by The Elephant's Child

Over 80 million people watched the debate last Monday. The most ever. Which seems quite splendid until you stop to realize that the population is over 300 million. But of course everybody has been talking about it ever since. Michael Barone listed some of her ideas:

Hillary Clinton started off with a laundry list of incremental economic programs — none of which would promote economic growth. Some have already been legislated (equal pay for women, 1963), others are tilted to the upscale (debt-free college). A possible exception: the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which she has renounced but which she might, as Donald Trump predicted, manage to find acceptable once elected.

What about the “investments” she called for? Infrastructure spending employs a few high-skill workers and may, some day, provide facilities. Other “investments” usually turn out to be subsidies for Democratic-supporting public employee unions. Revive the economy by building solar panels? The government tried that with Solyndra and lost $535 million.

But then, she believes the 2007 financial crisis was caused by Bush’s tax cuts which is beyond absurd.She apparently believes that “clean energy” is a viable way to power the economy cheaply and reliably, because she’s going to go after the coal miners if there are any of them still working. She said so.

The financial crisis of 2007 began when the housing bubble burst. The bubble was caused by government efforts to get more poor people into their own homes, and lending standards were reduced to accomplish that. The Fed kept interest rates artificially low for too long, and the bad loans were passed around creating an economic collapse. It had nothing to do with incentivizing business investment to generate economic growth. Hillary even dragged out the old saw about “trickle-down economics”, trying to pin it on Trump as “Trump Trickledown Economics” in an effort to be clever. Didn’t work.

Hillary wants federal “retraining” of local police and believes that racial disparities in law enforcement are due to “systemic racism” from you and me, rather than the documented racial disparities in criminal behavior. Is that the way to bring out the black vote? I thought people who live in dangerous neighborhoods wanted more police protection. Encouraging protests and riots against police has already proven to be disastrous.

She has endorsed the “Iran Deal” as a way to keep a lid on their nuclear weapons program, rather than the pathway to weapons to attack Israel and the United States, which they candidly admit is their goal.

She believes firmly that “government can create the benefits of economic growth without any actual economic growth. Working Americans are clearly suffering economically. Economic growth is beyond anemic, and the absent recovery is the worst recovery period since World War II.  GDP is averaging about 1% so far this year, with no signs of relief.

The Federal Reserve Board is projecting GDP growth going forward at a pitiful 2% annually. The economy is so weak that the Fed is afraid to raise interest rates by even a quarter of a point. One of the primary causes has been a decline in investment. We have the world’s highest corporate tax rate, and with projections of only a mere 2% growth going forward, companies are reluctant to invest.

Mr. Trump believes in offering incentives to encourage growth. He wants to reduce taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies, big and small. He wants to reduce the regulatory burden that is keeping investment low, keep an “all of the above” energy program. If increasing business investment will drive economic growth and create jobs this is a HUGE and effective approach that has always worked.

Hillary wants to raise taxes on “the wealthy” to “make the economy “fairer” without any understanding that jobs are created by people who actually have money to invest. Poor people do not create jobs.

Hillary will turn to government mandates to address stagnant wages, by forcing businesses to share more of their profits with employees. In other words she wants to increase wages and benefits without any actual economic growth to make those increases possible.

FBI director James Comey testified that Hillary seemed to not have much understanding of technology, and blamed much of her troubles on her ignorance. She doesn’t have much understanding of economics either, and her ignorance could cause us all some very real trouble.

This Is A Very Peculiar Election Year by The Elephant's Child

The peculiarities of this election continue to amaze. Here there just aren’t any Clinton or Trump signs. Went to the grocery store a few days back, and someone had just put up a raft of Trump signs on the median of our main East-West street. Returning 20 minutes later, they were all gone, some in ragged piles.

Have seen a few sad Bernie bumper stickers on Priuses, but essentially no bumper stickers at all. A video of a gentleman who got tired of someone tearing down his Trump sign, and wired it up for a mild electric shock is all over the internet. And a farmer somewhere in the Midwest Mowed a HUGE Trump sign in his lawn that could be appreciated from space.

The Arizona Republic endorsed Hillary Clinton, the first time they had ever endorsed a Democrat, and the subscription cancellations were pouring in every ten minutes.

Who Is Killing the American Dream— and How Are They Doing It? by The Elephant's Child

Some viewers of Monday night’s debate found Hillary more practiced at debating, and assumed that made her more “presidential.”  Yet the policies she proposes are exactly what is killing the American Dream.

The stagnant wages, the rising crime rate, killing coal-fired power plants, stifling and excessive regulations that hamstring business, promising non-existent jobs in “infrastructure” and “installing solar panels,” increasing taxes by trillions of dollars, and increasing the national debt will not create jobs or growth.

Government spending trillions of tax dollars extracted from the economy certainly does not create jobs or grow the economy. Hillary actually told us that it was tax cuts that caused the financial crisis of 2008 and that Trump’s proposed tax cuts would cause the loss of 3.5 million jobs, and cause another recession. If you believe that flapdoodle, head for your nearest Public Library and ask for a good book on basic economics.

When you cut tax rates, you create incentives to create jobs and expand businesses. This has been proved by John F. Kennedy, and by Ronald Reagan who created a 20 year expansion. It puts to shame President Obama’s worst economic recovery since the Great Depression— something Hillary wants to expand upon.

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