American Elephants


The First Year of the Battle by The Elephant's Child

Much is being made of the fact this is the one year anniversary of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States. And a very strange year it has been.

At the website American Greatness (recommended) Scott Gerber, a law professor at Ohio Northern University, has reviewed the past year. The liberal media began calling for the undermining of Trump’s presidency from almost the moment he was elected. President Trump frequently refers to the daily barrage of attacks as a “witch hunt”— and it has been. I knew it was bad, but Dr. Gerber puts it all together into a fascinating but damning essay. Do read the whole thing.

The liberal media began calling for the undermining of Trump’s presidency from almost the moment he was elected. For example, on November 17, 2016, Paul Waldman opined in the Washington Post that President-elect Trump “shouldn’t ever be treated like an ordinary president with whom Democrats just have some substantive disagreements,” while Dahlia Lithwick and David S. Cohen insisted in the New York Times on December 14, “As Monday’s Electoral College vote approaches, Democrats should be fighting tooth and nail.”

With respect to the Electoral College itself, Theodore G. Venetoulis proclaimed in the Baltimore Sun that it was “the electors’ duty” to reject Trump and let the U.S. House of Representatives pick the president.

For the Left, their entire reason for existence is being in control. From being in charge, all blessings flow:  big donations, graft, obsequious attendants, attention of the media, fame, fortune, publisher’s willing to publish, television appearances, large gifts, big salaries, recognition, even the possibility of making the history books, wealth and position. And the reason for all those ‘blessings’ is their stated desire to make everybody more equal.  And thus you are supposed to believe their cries to soak the rich, and succor the poor in making the bounty of America more available to all. Uh huh.

The Left has always treated Republican presidents badly. Eisenhower, in spite of winning a rather large war in Europe, was supposed to be not very bright man from Kansas who was more interested in golf than world events. And everyone knows about Nixon.  Ronald Reagan was a minor movie star, not very bright, and shockingly inept on the world stage, embarrassing in his meetings with Gorbachev. Both Bushes got the full treatment, in spite of the fact that the senior President Bush was a real war hero. George W. got us into an unnecessary war, ran it badly, “Bush lied,people died”, and although there weren’t any nukes, there were vast quantities of poison gasses. But everybody was tortured at Gitmo, and look how badly he performed with Hurricane Katrina. Iraq was a success until Obama snatched defeat from the path of victory. Democrats have always been rotten, but this time they have a young, ill-informed and passionately partisan media, easy to manipulate, as Ben Rhodes has told us.

President Donald Trump is doing a pretty remarkable job. The market is reaching new all-time highs, unemployment is low, consumer confidence is soaring, the cabinet is outstanding and getting important things done (which the Left really hates). His current Asian tour is impressive. His judicial nominees are outstanding, if the Senate will just get busy and confirm them all. I guess the problem is really us. We should be loudly celebrating the accomplishments. The Left runs on talking points and attempting to control the national conversation. Republicans are not inclined to brag and celebrate loudly, which I guess we should be doing. It is all about the national conversation and allowing Democrats to control that is a big mistake. This time they really have gone too far.

 

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How Goes The Existential War for the Soul of America? by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson  starts off today’s post at American Greatness saying:

“We are in a veritable war of competing visions. The strife inside the two parties is irrelevant—when compared to the larger existential war for the soul of America.

Like it or not, Donald Trump in fits and starts has chosen not to accommodate the progressive vision. But in most unlikely fashion he leads the fight against it. …

And yet, warts and all, the Trump presidency on all fronts is all that now stands in the way of the completion of what was started in 2009.

He adds that “we are  no longer in an era of liberal reform, it is now a postmodern world of intolerance and lockstep orthodoxy.” that certainly sounds about right.

Trump’s approval polls are supposedly dismal, yet consumer confidence is way up, as is employment, and  unemployment is down, so perhaps the internals of the polls are off.  The media seems to be solidly against Trump and thoroughly confused about what is a valid complaint and what is just silly. Today’s silliness was the occasion of President Trump feeding the Koi with Prime Minister Abe in Japan, when the media erupted because they thought Trump dumped in too much Koi food.  He was following the example of the Prime Minister.

The Bushes, father and son, have announced that Trump is a blowhard, and they don’t approve of him, but where were they when Obama was blithely throwing away the hard progress in Iraq, for nothing, and making the despicable Iran Deal, helping Iran to achieve nuclear weapons.

There are complaints that all that Trump is doing is by executive orders, and the next president can just dump those as Trump is doing now. We’ll see. If President Trump can really get the economy going again, he will be reelected and be the most important president since Reagan.

It seems not to be a financial war, but a class war. Trump sounds like somebody from Queens, and tweets. Apparently letting the public know what he thinks and feels is not “presidential.” Is it bad?  Mr. Trump seems to be an emotional man, and unaccustomed to hiding his feelings.

The Silicon Valley Oligarchs, at least as evidenced by Tom Steyer, who is willing to invest $10 million in the attempt to impeach  Donald Trump, with the help of  Maxine Waters and wassername from Florida who wears the sequined cowboy hats. Strange bedfellows indeed. Mr. Steyer is particularly agitated about the Paris Climate Accords, because he is very worried about the planet’s warming, in spite of a lack of any evidence, since the climate continues to cool. Impeachment requires “high crimes and misdemeanors” and the purported contacts with the Russians seem to be entirely with the Clintons, the Podestas, and the DNC.

I’m pretty pleased with what Trump is doing. I’m impressed with his cabinet, and his judges, and I like what they are doing. Scott Pruitt is stopping the insanity at the EPA, and insisting that regulations be about clean air and clean water. No more midnight raids and outrageous fines for nothing at all. Ajit Pai, Rick Perry, Nikki Haley, Ben Carson, Jack Kelly all doing important work, as are all the rest. It is definitely not all executive orders. What a relief to have Obama’s Rules of Engagement gone. He was so afraid that he might be blamed for something.

It clearly is a War of competing visions, and our millennial generation according to polls, apparently thinks socialism or communism would be just fine. I would suggest that their tender feelings and need for safe spaces would not fare well under those regimes, but they apparently aren’t learning anything at all in our universities for their $60,000 a year.

There is quite a bit that really needs to be done, but there’s an enormous amount of nonsense floating around. Democrats have major problems with human nature,and want to fix it. They are all hung up on ideas of racism, white supremacy, inequality, diversity, hate speech, global warming, the survival of the polar bears, and gun control. Issues that are focus group-tested to stir up Democrats, but will not respond to ‘fixing’.  Not very impressive as a goal.



Democrats Are All About Control of the Language by The Elephant's Child

(Click on View Image to Enlarge)

John Hinderaker of Powerline blog returned yesterday from an eleven day vacation in England. While there he had several conversations with Brits about politics,including one Member of Parliament. He said they were “few and unscientific, but were with well-informed people.”

Several people asked what I think about President Trump. All were surprised when I said I think he is doing a good job, and if he keeps it up will be our best president since Reagan. All said they have hardly heard anyone defend him. All the people I talked politics with were intrigued by my defense of Trump, since they had never heard it before. Trump is restoring the rule of law? Who knew?

The other thing I observed was that the level of interest in the Mueller investigation is high, but knowledge about it is nil. Everyone I talked politics with thought it was a big deal that Manafort and that other guy no one ever heard of have been arrested. One lefty I spoke with was literally rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of another endless Watergate drama. Needless to say, he was shocked at my suggestion that Trump should appoint a second independent counsel to investigate 1) the Uranium One scandal, 2) the role of the FBI in general, and Bill Mueller and James Comey in particular, in covering up the Uranium One scandal, and 3) collusion between the Clinton campaign and Russians to influence the 2016 election.

It isn’t only the British Left that takes the Mueller investigation seriously. Relatively conservative Brits seemed to have essentially the same view, mostly (I think) because they never hear the other side of the story. They suffer from the delusion that the New York Times and the Washington Post are reliable news sources.

Democrats have purposefully taken command of the language. The instant a new issue arises, they are out there naming and carefully defining the problem. You may have noticed in yesterday’s news that Tony Podesta, (John’s brother) resigned from the Podesta Group, which is a lobbying firm like Fusion GPS, who do opposition research. John Podesta. was not only Hillary’s campaign chairman, a former White House Chief of Staff, but also is the founder of the Center for American Progress.

Which I believe is  the source of the “talking points” that come out daily (?) to tell Democrats what language to use about daily events and problems. This is evident from the identical language used by all Democrats when they speak, including the media. They are also quite familiar with the “Big Lie” technique which says that if a falsehood is repeated long enough and loudly enough, everyone will start to believe it.

If you are a Republican or a Conservative, you are familiar with being called “Racist”, and are bewildered by charges of “White Supremacist, KKK, far Right, and alt-right.” You are familiar with the Republican history as the abolitionists who freed the slaves, fought a war to make it so, made them citizens, made sure they have the right to vote. Republicans, tired of illegal voting, insisted on Photo ID when you sign up to vote. Democrats immediately claimed this was a racist denial of the vote to black Americans, and if that didn’t work, that some black voters were too poor to get to city hall to get their photo ID.  They have also insisted that there are no illegal voters, and the numbers of illegal votes reported never make major headlines. Democrats believe most voters don’t follow the news carefully, and if they can control the headlines, they’ve won.

With the talking points to guide them, many Democrats fail to worry about little things like history, or science, or what I call “studying up” to really grasp what’s going on. That means they believe the globe is warming and the planet is at risk. They believe that the polar bears are endangered and dying off as the Arctic melts. They believe that, for the sake of the planet, we should put much of our corn crop (that could feed the hungry), into our gas tanks. They believe that nasty fossil fuels should be kept where they belong —in the ground, and we should rely on natural sources of energy like wind and solar to power our society. And Republicans are evil “deniers.” Control of the language matters.



Who Said the Economy Could Not Return to 3% Growth? by The Elephant's Child

I frequently mutter something to the effect that Democrats don’t understand economics, that’s why they are Democrats. Democrats were saying that there was no chance of returning the economy to 3% growth, but as the media have once again reported, the economy “surprisingly” grew at a 3% pace in the third quarter, despite the impact of three major hurricanes. Most economists had reduced their estimates to just above 1% because of the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on the economy. Those who keep expecting a big slowdown should look at what’s really going on.

The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, the National Association of Manufacturers survey and the Institute for Supply Management all report stronger optimism and rising factory output. Overall optimism hasn’t been this high in over a decade.

The current unemployment rate at 4.2% is the lowest since before the financial crisis. Total employment has jumped more than 2.2 million since Trump entered office. Even the broadest U.S. unemployment measure, so-called U6, now stands at 8.3% — its lowest since June of 2007.

Meanwhile, all major stock market indexes are up strongly since Trump’s unexpected win last November, with the Dow Jones industrial average breaching 23,000 for the first time this month. The stock market, as we’ve said before, is a reliable if imperfect predictor of future economic activity. Its message today is unequivocal: Expect more of the same.

Donald Trump has embarked on a sweeping round of deregulations in recent history. He got rid of Obama’s disastrous “Clean Power Plan,” and the Paris Climate Accord, which did nothing whatsoever for the climate and sent a lot of U.S. money to emerging nations to solve their climate problems. He is now removing the restrictions that Obama put on federal energy lands. Oil is flowing through the Dakota Access pipeline, and with the fracking revolution the United States will be a global energy powerhouse again.

Democrats are all about control, which means that they try to regulate everything. And regulation means extra costs, inefficient ways of doing things, silly extra requirements all of which slow an economy down. When excess regulation is removed, companies are encouraged to invest in new equipment, plants and training, and to hire more workers. That’s what makes an economy grow. Tax reform gives businesses more of their own money to  invest in growth.

The Federal Register, the bible of federal rules, came in at a record high 97,110 pages of rules under President Obama. Trump has already knocked it down the 45,678 pages, and he’s just getting started. Many of his new rules in the pipeline are about getting rid of old regulations.

Wayne Crews, who is CEI’s regulatory analyst, estimates that the economic cost to the economy is $2 trillion, or roughly 12% of  current GDP. Obama’s regulatory state has been especially hard on small businesses. I can name a significant number of small businesses who disappeared during the Obama administration.

 



Of Course They Are Fighting Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

Here in Washington State, our Governor, Jay Inslee, released a statement today on the EPA’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan:

By repealing the Clean Power Plan, President Trump and his EPA administrator are recklessly removing any meaningful, science-based federal restraint on the carbon pollution that power plants are allowed to pump into our atmosphere. The United States Supreme Court has ruled on three separate occasions that the EPA has a responsibility, under the Clean Air Act and other federal laws, to protect American communities from harmful carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan was constructed to give states the flexibility to choose its own path to a clean energy future, and hold each state responsible for reducing carbon pollution. This decision by the EPA instead rejects science and directly threatens Americans’ health and well-being.

Washington state is already feeling the harmful and costly effects of climate change – in more devastating wildfire seasons, strained water resources, increasingly acidic coastal waters, and more. And we are taking action to respond: at my direction, the Washington State Department of Ecology has implemented the nation’s first Clean Air Rule, to limit carbon pollution from our state’s largest sources. We are investing in new clean energy technologies – fueling jobs and business growth in an area with tremendous economic opportunity. We are partnering with other states – through the bipartisan United States Climate Alliance – to fill the void left by the Trump Administration’s total abdication of American leadership.

This action by the EPA is a setback in the struggle against climate change, but it will not and cannot stop Washington state and our determined allies in the fight against this existential threat.

Climate change has nothing to do with wildfire or strained water resources, the coastal waters are not increasingly acidic. “Clean energy” from sun and wind does not create jobs and business growth. Wind is intermittent and does not blow steadily enough to be a valid source of energy, and solar energy is too diffuse. Countries like Germany that got very involved with clean energy to keep the climate from changing, are finding that the result has been a spiraling cost of energy, and a lot of energy poverty among the people who can’t afford to keep their houses warm.

Governor Inslee is allied with Governor Moonbeam Jerry Brown who is blaming the horrific wildfires now burning up the wine district and whatever else is in the direction the wind is blowing—on, of course, climate change.

California Gov. Jerry Brown warns that catastrophic wildfires will keep ripping through the state as the climate warms. …

He said a warming climate has contributed to catastrophic wildfires. “That’s the way it is with a warming climate, dry weather and reducing moisture.” said Brown. “These kind of catastrophes have happened and they’ll continue to happen, and we have to be prepared to do everything we can to mitigate.”

The governor has positioned himself as a leader in the fight against climate change.

No wonder Leftist governors like to “position themselves” as “leaders in the fight against climate change.” It gives them a vast cause which they are powerless to fight, but is readily available to absorb all the blame for whatever is going wrong. I wonder if he’ll figure out a way to assign the immense cost overruns and pointless high-speed rail to climate change.  They don’t even have to know anything about climate science, the effectiveness of “clean energy” sources, or even what could possibly be involved in climate change if it were real. It’s just a perfect dumping ground for whatever catastrophe Mother Nature has in store for us. San Francisco’s air quality is off the charts—climate change. Wine country won’t e producing grapes for years yet—climate change. Floods, landslides, torrential rain, hot spells, mountain passes impassable—climate change. Earthquake, endangered species, see how handy it is.

I had been annoyed because none of these officials ever seemed to do their homework, to read any of the science, to understand why so many reputable scientists cast aspersions on the climate change idea. Of course they officially are true believers. It gets them off the hook for whatever happens.

Silly me. I just thought they were lazy or stupid.



The Final Bill For the Standing Rock Protests is About $43 Million by The Elephant's Child

021517-debris-1-1170x775The protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline ended back at the end of February, with 240 rollout dumpsters to carry away the mess the protesters left behind. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planned on spending more than $1 million just to clean up. At the end of September North Dakota’s Department of Emergency Services announced that taxpayers will have to pay about $43 million in expenses accrued as the state struggled to respond to the 233 days of protesters.

The Standing Rock protesters claimed that they were “peaceful and prayerful,” but rioters “threw stones, feces and Molotov cocktails at cops, obstructed roads, set fires, and even rode on horseback behind a herd of bison, attempting to stampede them towards law enforcement.” 8,000 to 10,000 people camped out to protest the pipeline. Local authorities had to ask for help from law enforcement in 11 states to cope. More than 750 protesters were arrested and at least 107 of those charged have pleaded guilty or been found guilty, some on multiple counts. Most of the costs will be paid by North Dakotans, but the Department of Justice provided the state with a $10 million grant which make taxpayers nationwide responsible for the Leftist’s criminal antics.

The protests, of course were not about tribal rights or cultural resources. The pipeline does not cross any land owned or controlled by the Standing Rock Sioux, the land in question belongs to the federal government or private owners.

The tribe was consulted, more than 50 tribes were consulted, and resulted in 140 adjustments to the route. It was not about the water, the drinking water intake is about 70 miles downriver from where the pipeline was slated to cross the Missouri River, and runs 100 feet below the river. It was not about the climate. The oil has already been produced and transporting it by train or truck is far more susceptible to accidents and spills.

The protests ended pretty much when winter set in. Camping out is not nearly so much fun when it gets really cold. And once the oil was flowing as intended, the protests were moot.

piepline-protest

 



Where Did These Violent Protests Come From? by The Elephant's Child

How did we get here? Democrats have lost elections before, and engaged in some mild excess, but now they seem completely deranged. We had a brief hiatus from the dramatic evidence of the failure of our schools and universities to acquaint our students with the Constitution and the meaning of free speech, let alone manners and deportment. Faculty have exhibited themselves as instigators and the administrators have established that they are not only not the adults in the situation, but it didn’t occur to them to mete out punishment for wretched excess.

In my day, which admittedly was a while ago, miscreants were promptly sent home, and I do mean promptly. And good luck about returning.

So — How did we get here? Is this stuff contagious? In a way, it is.

Democrats have lost power in a very big way, and seeking power is at their very essence. They’re old. Their ideas are not only stale, but they don’t work. Their former president, who did massive damage to the country, is not retiring graciously to let the next president have his turn, but actively and admittedly trying to destroy his successor.

Each loudmouth, and there are many in Hollywood and on TV, oddly enough many are “comics”— seeking the limelight and an audience — readily available in the form of our very partisan media, ready to celebrate every and any disturbing word. Surely you have noticed that if you removed the “he said”, and “she said” from the news, there wouldn’t be much of anything left.

Comics get brownie points for saying something rude, which gives permission to the next person at the microphone to top that, which in turn gives more permissions and so on, and so on. So you have Kathy Griffin holding up a bloody facsimile head of the President of the United States supposedly chopped off as ISIS might do, and the poor thing doesn’t even understand that she has committed an unforgivable faux pas that will be talked about and reviled for years to come. She’s back in today’s news congratulating Kaepernick for “his activism.” They never learn.

It’s Can You Top This time. Permission has been given. Black Lives Matter, a Marxist bunch, attempts to make The Racism, Sexism, theme the top priority, and Antifa goes for violence. Even speech that disagrees with you is not “hate speech.” Invited Conservative speakers are shouted down and attacked because it is too much for tender ears to hear “hate speech” which is defined as anything conservative, because Conservatives are known to be racist, sexist, homophobes etc, etc.

The media are demonstrating their partisanship or general ignorance, I’m not sure which. Remember Ben Rhodes description of his regular contacts with the media for the Obama administration:

“Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

It is catching. Each excess gives permission to do the same only better, bigger, more excessive. So now we have corporate CEOs talking their political views as the top official of their company. Not smart. Why a business would want to offend at least half of their customers is a mystery, Stock down. Sales down. CEOs gone.Half the American people no longer interested in the business or their products. Some business reporters could not understand why any CEO would be willing to serve on an advisory council with the hated President of the United States. (Probably because President Trump was interested in cutting taxes for business and removing troublesome regulations?)

Sports teams managed to offend a large percentage of the American people. Unnecessary if they had done their homework. Real damage to their sport. In fact most of these excesses arise because of the ignorance of the people committing the error.

The remedy? Courses in the United States Constitution. Nobody seems to be familiar with the document. A familiarity with the Declaration would be in order too, after Chuck Todd proved on Meet the Press, for all to see, that he was completely unfamiliar with the “all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator” line.

College administrators need to grow backbone, and administrate. That’s what the big salaries and honorifics and outrageous tuitions are all about. Sports millionaires will quickly learn about their mistakes, as many endorsements depart. Professors who are urging the miscreants on—just stop it. Try to prepare students to be decent citizens.




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