American Elephants


Elephants Have Appendixes Too. by The Elephant's Child
September 20, 2019, 3:45 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Health Care, News

Sorry for the lack of posts, my appendix decided to burst! Sounds like I’ll be in the hospital until Monday, but I’m doing well. I may even blog while I’m here. We’ll see!



Some Remarkably Bad Ideas from Democrats by The Elephant's Child

We are not alone in our annoyance with the Media and the folks producing the news the Media write about. There’s a lot of disagreement. But then the problem is not those who disagree, it is simply the fact that we are all human, and basically hard to get along with. Unfortunately that isn’t really fixable. We have trouble getting along with our own family, let alone a bunch of strangers who are saying and doing things that we disagree with completely.

•Harry Reid, former Democrat Senate Majority Leader says that the Democrats are heading down the wrong path by pushing “medicare for all” and the decriminalization of illegal border crossings.

•James Piereson, writing in City Journal says “Economic indicators point to continued, moderate growth, despite the prognostications of the pundit class. and the volume of these forecasts is driven by partisan hopes that and economic downturn presents the best opportunity to defeat President Trump next year.”

•Conservatives tend to argue that “green” energy (wind and solar) is unreliable, inefficient and virtually useless, even if we accept the climate change gospel. But far from being
well-intentioned, “green” energy is the great corporate scam of our age.

•In a piece titled “The Left’s Vile Smear of America’s Founding,” Rich Lowry takes on Beto O’Rourke for the claim that “This country, though we would like to think otherwise, was founded on racism, has persisted through racism and is racist today.”

• In Issues and Insights, the Editorial Board points out that “Solar Energy is Good for Virtue Signaling and Not Much Else.” New excellent website founded by the former writers at Investors Business Review.

• The Wall Street Journal notes that “more Americans are defaulting on their student loans, and that government budget gnomes have vastly underestimated the future taxpayer charge.” The Congressional Budget Office in 2010 forecast that eliminating private lenders would save taxpayers $58 billion over 10 years.” Pure fantasy.

• And from Victor Davis Hanson: “Progressive Democrats Renounce Their Former Selves.” “Not long ago, the current presidential contenders opposed open borders, sanctuary cities, and federal funding for abortion. Now they can’t move left far and fast enough. Rarely have we seen an entire primary field of candidates scrambling to renounce all their past identities and agendas — and to do so unapologetically, abruptly, and vehemently.



Are The Democrats All Just Crazy? by The Elephant's Child

I don’t know about you, but I’m still mulling over the 2nd round Democrat debates. More than one person has asked if the Democrats are just crazy? We do not speak the same language with the same understandings. Democrats believe firmly that Republicans give tax breaks to the rich. because those are the people they represent and favor. The good people, the caring people, (the aforementioned Democrats) are trying to make everybody equal. They want to take that excess money away from the rich and give it to the poor, who need it more, unfortunately not because it will actually help the people, but because it will prove what good people the Democrats are.

That you cannot make everybody equal, does not occur to them. That the attempt to make everybody equal usually devolves into socialism and tyranny from a way too powerful government is not within their comprehension. It is deeply important to Democrats to be seen as good people. That’s why they favor open borders. America is, in their minds, a nation of immigrants, (like most of the rest of the world) and the more the merrier, especially when most new citizens are apt to vote Democrat. America, by law admits about one million immigrants who have applied and waited their turn, because the government feels that is about the number we can teach how to become citizens and settle in.

Note the absurd things they choose to believe. We have concentration camps for the children of illegals at the border, where we put them all in cages. They can make our people like illegals better by putting teeter-totters through the border fence where an American and a migrant can play together and become friends. ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the police force that tries to protect American citizens by removing criminal illegal aliens is demonized as Nazis and Storm Troopers. Angel Moms who have lost members of their families to criminal illegal immigrants, not only get no help nor recognition, but are demonized if they say anything nice about members of ICE.

Democrats want to win votes by promising gifts to the voters. Andrew Yang wants to give everyone $1,000 a month Free healthcare, free college education, are common offers, and everybody seems to want to remove fossil fuels and coal and run the economy on “renewable energy”. Unfortunately neither wind nor solar energy are reliable sources of energy. The wind does not blow all the time, sometimes not for days, and seldom at the right speed to produce efficient energy. The sun is too diffuse, there are clouds, and rainy days or weeks, and both sources require 24/7 backup from conventional power sources, but none of the candidates seem even vaguely aware of that fact. The big response is the simple fact that the federal government has no money of its own. Anything promised or gifted means that your taxes have to be raised enough to pay for it.

They all seem to believe that the climate crisis is upon us and we have a varying few years before it’s all over. Beto O’Rourke gives us 10 years, Buttigieg says the tipping point is 12 years away, Jay Inslee says we have to be entirely off fossil fuels in 15 years, Steve Bullock says 2030, Gillibrand — “greatest threat to humanity”, Elizabeth Warren says it’s “the existential crisis for our world and puts every living thing on the planet at risk”.

They all want to impoverish the country in an exercise that cannot have even the slightest effect on world climate. Certifiably nuts. Parroting what is currently fashionable without the slightest reference to science, history, or fact. Do not allow any one of these people anywhere near the reins of government.



Elizabeth Warren Wants to Be President. Very Bad Idea. by The Elephant's Child

Elizabeth Warren has moved into second place among the vast array of Democrats wanting to be president. Presumably because no one is listening to what she has to say.  Let me review a few bits:

She promises to Import at least 700% more refugees to the U.S.

She wants a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases.

She promises on her “first day” as president to set up a commission to investigate U.S. Crimes against immigrants.

Warren’s Immigration plan will decriminalize illegal immigration, end the detention of border crossers.

Crossing the border illegally should not be a criminal offense.

Warren is committed to ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine (?)

A New tax on the Rich will pay for day care for every newborn in the U.S.

Then a new wealth tax will take care of her modest $1.25 trillion debt-and-tuition deal, a tax on “Wall Street Speculators“.

Under Warren’s Medicare for All Plan, many hospitals would be forced to close, especially in poor, rural areas.

Warren speaks with forked tongue on cutting college costs.

She pitches Climate Change jobs, which would cost $2 million per job.

Warren Wants to break up Big Tech — all of it.

Elizabeth Warren endorses reparations for slavery.

Elizabeth Warren claimed that she never used her supposed native American heritage for personal advantage.

There’s more, but  you get the idea. I have often pointed out that she has been said to have only a “child-like” understanding of economics. Maybe we should have some kind of basic quiz that would-be candidates have to pass before they can run for office.— just to protect ourselves.



Promises, Promises, Democrats Pander with Promises of Free Stuff. by The Elephant's Child

Campaign season always gets a little odd. It is not unusual for candidates to be poorly informed, and what seemed a fine idea in preparation for a speech or event, turns out not to be. But before you adopt something as an issue, it’s wise to do your homework. Eliminating private health insurance, late-term abortions, the Green New Deal, open borders and free health care for illegal immigrants may have seemed like good ideas when competing with (25?) other candidates for the presidency, but out in the real world where pollsters do their thing, these bright ideas are not popular at all.

Americans support access to abortion in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, but it drops off. Action to address climate change? A lot of people have studied up a little, and are not convinced that a rise in the amount of CO² in the atmosphere is a sign of impending doom. CO² is plant food, and the planet is greening, crops are bountiful, and lots of hungry people have enough food. It is currently just over 400 ppm in the atmosphere, and yet greenhouses keep it closer to 1000ppm to grow healthy plants. The “Green New Deal” is absurd, both in its aims, and the costs, which would be far beyond unaffordable.

Back when attention was being called to the fear of climate change, government money to address the matter became available, with lots of grants to scientists who could write a good grant proposal for their efforts to investigate. With the prospect of improved labs, possible assistants, and prestige for their universities, many scientists adopted the computer programs used by the big investment houses to project the future stock market action and returns. So they put in what they knew for sure about the climate, which wasn’t all that much, and added what they thought was probable, and some good guesses, and got their grants to tell everyone what the climate was going to do in the next hundred years or so. Uh huh.

The climate of the earth has been changing for millions of years. There has been bountiful weather as there was in the Renaissance when wine grapes grew in England, and ice ages when ice sheets were shaping our lakes and mountains. There was a little ice age in the 1800s when we had some really bad weather. We don’t have good records of temperatures in the past. Ships captains kept some records, but there just aren’t good records, and we’re reduced to looking at paintings and written descriptions, which is not a scientific source.  Dr. Roy Spencer notes that we don’t understand the action of clouds at all. They can block the sun, and on a nice day moving clouds at different levels, blowing in different directions clearly must affect the temperature, but we can’t measure it. And what about cloudy days and weeks? AOC came up with her “Green New Deal” but nobody thinks she knows anything about the climate at all. Actually there are quite a lot of climate prognosticators out there trying to work up public panic, from Al Gore on down to AOC and Tom Steyer.

Some are running on initiating a “carbon tax” which would be poisonous to the economy, accomplish nothing whatsoever about climate change, and please only those who have no comprehension of the fact that our economy runs on fossil fuels. We no longer need to import oil or gas and have such a plenitude that we can export oil to other countries as well.

Democrats have pretty much given up on pretending there is no border crisis, and the consensus seems to be to fix it with open borders. Julian Castro said that illegally crossing the border should no longer be a crime but merely a “civil offense.” Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Kamala Harris agreed. Democrat candidates (all of them) also proposed that free health care be given to all undocumented immigrants. Hardly “free” but taxpayer funded. Obamacare was supposed to fix our “broken health care system”, but Democrats decided it was a for-profit nightmare that requires more radical intervention.

Kamala Harris, Sanders, Warren and Gov. DeBlasio called for the abolishment of private insurance plans in favor of a government-run plan. Kamala Harris backed off the next day, but wanted Medicare for All available to everyone if they want it, but they still get to keep their private health insurance if they have it. Clearly they have no idea how a government-run plan would work, how much it would cost and what an enormous drag on the economy it is. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and entrepreneur Andrew Yang boasted about their 6-figure college debts and others promised to cancel debt and make college free. This was a great opportunity to show what they can do, and present some programs meant to help the country, and all we got was pandering. They clearly have no idea about what, if anything, should make anyone want them in office or what they could do for the country, and are convinced that how you get votes is to give people free stuff.

The Trump economy is working for everyone, but Democrats are hoping that nobody will notice. They want to claim that minorities are being left behind, and you would think we are in the midst of the Great Depression. The jobless rate for blacks is 6.2% only 2.9 percentage points higher than for whites, compared to a 4.6 percentage point difference before the start of the 2008 recession. They prefer to think that the economy is only working for the rich and people are scraping by with several jobs. The facts don’t support that idea. There are now 1.3 million fewer Americans working part time for economic reasons. It is a matter of faith for Democrats that tax-cuts only go to the rich and only benefit the rich.

These Democrat candidates are offering a lot of ideas that polls show the people don’t want. They don’t want to lose their private insurance. They don’t want open borders, nor do they want to give illegal aliens free health care. Free stuff may sound good, but it is not, as claimed, free. Somebody has to pay for it. Guess who?



The Debates, The Elections, The Media,The Swamp. by The Elephant's Child

We seem to be still  thinking about the debates. The media wants to rank them, decide who moved up and who moved down. Not so much interested in what they actually talked about. The one thing they seemed to be reasonably united on was “Medicare for All” but nobody had studied up to see what it would mean. They were looking for what would get them positive vibes.

“Medicare for All” seems to appeal to a lot of people who have no idea what it means. It would mean that you lose your current health care, including any health care you get through your employment. And your taxes would go way, way up, as the health care you could have would go way, way down.

Most people who are actually on Medicare, who can afford it, purchase Medicare supplement plans to cover what Medicare does not. Many physicians will not see Medicare patients, simply because Medicare does not pay enough. Health care is very expensive. Some people need a lot of it. Some people just like a lot of it.

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) pays for health care for all in very high taxes, yet if you read the British papers, there are always complaints, scandals, ambulances lined up outside hospitals waiting for there to be a vacancy, old folks dying from lack of attention. The wealthy can choose other services. The Brits fear losing it. Canadians keep coming down here to get care that the Canadian system does not offer. Read the Canadian papers online, you’ll see.

We get wrapped up in politics,deciding who we like and who we don’t, and sometimes we pay attention, and mostly not enough.

The enemy is the bureaucracy. The swamp. They are interested in what the people want – to the extent that will get them elected and reelected. They like being important and making big salaries and important decisions. Some try to study up and understand the deep background of issues, but most don’t. They are particularly interested in what their big donors want, and what the media has to say, and if the media is interested in them.

Do you write to your Congressman? Your Senator? Is he a member of your party, or are you represented by someone you didn’t vote for? The only way they will know how you feel is if you write. They may not read your message, but it will be tallied, and if your congressperson gets a lot of letters on a given subject, they will know how their voters feel. So it matters, the more the better. To e-mail your representatives go to House.gov or Senate.gov  and follow the directions. I am represented entirely, at every level, by the opposing party, so I sometimes write representatives from other states explaining that I’m not a constituent, but…  I get on a lot of interesting mailing lists that way.



A Dependable Guide to the Debates in One Sentence by The Elephant's Child

This was only the first of what will be some kind of series of debates. Too many potential candidates, they have to reduce 24 down to one. If last night was typical of what’s to come, that shouldn’t be too hard. The first and most important thing to remember as they tell you the wonders of what they propose to do for you and for the country is:

The federal government has no money of its own.

Everything they have, use, pledge and put on the national credit card comes from the taxes you pay. If they promise a biggie, your taxes are going way up.

Liberals learn at their first introduction to politics and their very first vote, that Republicans are”the Party of the Rich”, and Republicans always give the biggest tax cuts to the Rich who shouldn’t get any tax cuts, because no fair.

Kamala Harris said “On Day One I will repeal those tax cuts.” Oops. She cannot, on her first day, repeal an act of Congress. Other than that, the tax cuts are what has allowed the economy to catch fire, create jobs, open factories, grow businesses, and create and grow prosperity. Democrats do not and can not understand that. It is against all their beliefs. If you recall, Ronald Reagan set off a vast economic boom with tax cuts which lasted long after his presidency.

It looks like they all want to offer “Medicare for All”. Unfortunately the American people have no idea what that means. Fewer than 20% knew that “Medicare for All” meant losing your current health care and that it was to be done by the government. It’s usually called “Socialized Medicine”, and in practice doesn’t work out all that well. If the program is meant to involve all the people, it requires a vast bureaucracy to run it. It means, clearly that your health care will cost far more than it does now, and the Democrats are very anxious to offer health care to illegal aliens, their families, and all the little children wherever they are. Offering free health care to all is just something “nice” to do, and doing “nice” things is what makes Democrats feel good, particularly if its with everybody else’s money.

It’s the government’s money they’ll say, but it’s a  lie. The government has no money of its own. The vast bureaucracy has to be paid, and given office space and housed in the very expensive nation’s capitol.

Medicare does not pay as much as private insurance plans pay. Some doctors will not accept patients on Medicare, because it doesn’t pay as much as ordinary health insurance does. Do you force all physicians to accept what “Medicare for All” offers? There would be major consequences arising from that as well. Kids who want to pursue science know that their long grind to get into the best graduate school, the best medical school, and the best residency do so partly because they know their future earnings will pay the bills.  If you remove the promise for the benefits of the long slog, will you have anyone who wants to go into medicine as a career?

Companies that offer health insurance as a benefit, get the benefit of offering a big bunch of customers all at once, so at almost every step of the way to getting medical treatment is complicated by who pays for what, and who pays the taxes that fund the governmental part. On the other side, what services are offered, and what will cost you extra, and what is excluded is more or less up for grabs. So be a bit of a skeptic, ask a lot of questions and don’t fall for simplistic offers.

ADDENDUM: Headline at the moment at The Federalist:
“Democrat Candidates Agree: Taxpayers Will Cover Health Care For All Who Break Into The United States” tee hee




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