American Elephants


Some Days Just Don’t Go the Way You Expect Them To! by The Elephant's Child

image2Or, you could say, into each life a little rain must fall.



It’s a Dark Mood, and Getting Darker… by The Elephant's Child

The country seems to be simply — fed up. Fed up with the culture wars, fed up with the biased media, fed up with being lied to, fed up with hypocrisy, fed up with overregulation, fed up with people who are “offended” way too often. Fed up with the language police, and the food police, the thought police, and the opinion police, and fed up with worry and being fed up.

Victor Davis Hanson asked that today. “Is the World Becoming Fed Up?” A great pushback is awakening here and abroad, but its timing, nature, and future remain mysterious. He enumerates the fed-upness that he sees.

At the Federalist, Tom Nichols writes “The New Totalitarians Are Here,” Totalitarians want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining—even if it takes bludgeoning every last citizen who disagrees.”

Ben Domenech and Robert Tracinski write “Welcome to Culture War 4.0: The Coming Overreach” which explains how we got here, but suggest that we turn the culture war into a culture competition, which is slightly more positive.

Along the same lines, the Z Man posted “The Rachet.” He says “I’m not sure reality ever catches up with Progressives. They simply exhaust themselves and go into a dormant phase for a while. It is the ratchet effect. The Progressive push begins and we get a series of clicks until finally some push-back and the advance is arrested. The core holds for a while and then the advance begins again. Click, click, click and then another pause.”

Glenn Reynolds said the “Declaration should still wake the powerful up at night.”More than complaints about a king, the Declaration of Independence was a justification for rebellion that applies today.

So if you’re feeling irritable and, well, fed up — you’re not alone. There’s a whole lot of us out there.



What Hath The California Democrats Wrought In Their Folly? by The Elephant's Child
June 13, 2015, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Immigration | Tags: , ,

On Friday, California’s water regulators —The State Water Control Board (SWRCB)—ordered the curtailment of all water diversion to farmers in the Delta, San Joaquin and Sacramento River watersheds, including those holding senior water rights more than a hundred and ten years old.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Water Resources and several other municipal water districts are also affected. This is the fourth year of a record drought which can be blamed directly on government mismanagement. The Board says more cuts may be “imminent” as the state continues to monitor the effects of the drought.

The cutbacks may cause farmers to abandon thousands of acres of viable farmland. In May, some farmers with senior water rights negotiated with state regulators to cut use by 25 percent in exchange for an exemption from cuts during the growing season.

The reasons for the drought are enumerated in this previous post, but it doesn’t help California farmers in the present.

mapVlyQuadCityThe Valley is a vast agricultural region drained by the Sacramento River in the North and the San Joaquin River down by Fresno. About 75% of the irrigated land in California and 17% of the Nation’s irrigated land is in the Central Valley.

More than 250 different crops are grown in the Central Valley with an estimated value of $17 billion per year. Using less than 1% of U.S farmland, the Central Valley supplies 8% of U.S. agricultural output (by value) and a quarter of the Nation’s food, including 40% of the country’s fruits, nuts and other table foods.

The major crop types are cereal grains, hay, cotton, tomatoes, vegetables, citrus, tree fruits, nuts, table grapes and wine grapes. The real story is, of course far more complicated, with increased Central Valley population, new demands for water for new housing, environmentalist protection of the fabled Delta smelt, a 2″ long bait fish of no known use, which may or may not be an endangered species, and may or may not be of any importance at all except for the millions of gallons of desperately needed water used to maintain the flow of water in the Sacramento River for the benefit of said fish as it flows briskly out to sea.

What it means to you and me is inflation in the cost of food, and probably some shortages. It is also a vast display of the incompetence of of government that is more interested in playing politics and building useless ” high-speed”railroads to nowhere, at a cost far over $100 billion that would be outdated by the time they are completed.

You might think about planting some vegetables.



It’s All Falling Apart. Chapter two. by The Elephant's Child
June 3, 2015, 5:28 pm
Filed under: Immigration, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

smart-gates

Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) asked Department of Homeland Security officials to provide data on high-level threats that have managed to slip through visa screenings.. Specifically he asked for a percentage or exact figures on how many people labeled as potential risks have slipped through visa screenings. Officials could not supply an accurate number to the subcommittee.

The witnesses offered to submit data to the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security on how they are deporting high-risk targets.

The exchange came as DHS announced that it will ramp up its overseas screening operations as a method of heading off attacks at home on Tuesday. The agency said it will add nine new pre-screening stations in 10 different countries. The officials said the agency has cargo screening stations in 60 ports in 32 countries.

These programs have increased security in American airports and shipping ports; now 36 percent of all travelers to the United States are prescreened, and 80 percent of maritime-cargo traffic is examined before entering port.

Alan Bersin, assistant secretary and chief diplomatic officer for DHS office of policy said ” In a global world, the idea of having borders on a map is a thing of the past. We don’t see the traditional borders: air, land, and sea, as the first signs of entry, but the last.”



Desperately Seeking A Legacy, Perhaps in Solar? by The Elephant's Child

pic_giant_042314_SM_The-Adolescent-President-Barack-Obama_0Interesting. President Obama’s Rose Garden speech on the wonderful deal they are working on with Iran has not yet appeared on the White House website under “Speeches and Remarks.” They are usually much more forthcoming. It’s possible that Mr. Obama doesn’t want anyone parsing it too closely. We’ll see.

In the meantime, President Obama flew out to Utah to Hill Air Force Base, apparently to talk about solar energy.

Since I took office, solar electricity has gone up twentyfold.  And our investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency haven’t just helped to cut carbon pollution, they’ve made us more energy independent.  And they’ve helped us create a steady stream of high-wage, good-paying, middle-class jobs. …

And what I’m doing here today is to highlight the fact that the solar industry is actually adding jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy.  They’re paying good jobs — they’re good-paying jobs that are helping folks enter into the middle class.  And today what we’re going to try to do is to build on the progress that’s already been made.

I’m announcing a new goal to train 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020.  As part of this, we’re creating what we’re calling a “Solar Ready Vets” program that’s modeled after some successful pilot initiatives that have already been established over the last several years.  It’s going to train transitioning military personnel for careers in this growing industry at 10 bases — including right here at Hill.

The Air Base is getting 20% of its energy from renewable sources, he said, and he’s going to work with states to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill to get solar job training.

The Washington Examiner clears up the issue:

A new White House initiative to train veterans for jobs in the solar energy industry could turn into a rout if its key federal solar energy subsidy is phased out on schedule next year — a problem for the industry is that it’s dependent on the subsidy for hiring. The plan may also face challenges as the administration’s plan for heavy energy industry regulation is coming under fire from courts, Congress and state governments.

Without federal subsidies (taxpayer dollars) the solar industry would die. The sun goes down at night and it gets dark — and everybody turns on their lights. So the solar arrays need full-time back-up from conventional power plants. The federal subsidies expire in 2016, and Obama has written continuing subsidy into his absurd budget, but the GOP Congress is fervently opposed to the rules, and Majority Leader McConnell is advising states not to comply with the rules.

According to the U.S . Energy Information Administration, solar power accounts for just 0.4 percent of American electricity production, compared to 66 percent from fossil fuel sources. The EPA is expected to force new regulations that will help the industry. The EPA rules, also known as the Clean Power Plan, are very controversial. Legal scholars argue that the rules may be illegal under the Clean Air Act. The plan currently faces a legal challenge in federal appeals courts by around a dozen states.

Obama’s Legacy is not faring too well. The Progressive program, drummed up in faculty lounges and Think Progress and the lunchroom at the New York Times, has always been heavy on utopian wishful thinking and short of practical steps and proven economic policy. As always. it’s stuff that sounds good in the abstract, but doesn’t work in the real world.

Most of Obama’s policies are already abject failures, but he’s going to make a valiant effort to get a legacy of some sort with executive orders. He is attempting to embed his policies in the political culture so that it would appear too extreme to strike them down. He believes his vision will win out, and voters would punish anybody for trying to scrap his policies.

I don’t know that “existence bias” would trump a recovering economy and recovering employment. At Hill Air Force Base he bragged about our businesses creating another 129,000 new jobs in March, saying that added up to 12 million new jobs over the past 5 years. Unmentioned is that it is the smallest job gain since December of 2013.  January and February jobs numbers were also revised downward. An all-time record of 93,175,000 Americans are no longer in the labor force. A record of 12,202,000 black Americans are not in the labor force — they did not have a job or actively seek one in the past four weeks. ——



It Was Just 100,000. Only A Minor Misstatement Of Fact. by The Elephant's Child

141119_lowry_obama_ap

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen who blocked  President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty action on immigration, has ordered the Justice Department to respond to allegations that the government has misled him about part of the President’s plan.

The judge has ordered federal government lawyers to appear in his court on March 19 in Brownsville, Texas. The hearing is in response to a filing last week in which the government acknowledged some deportation reprieves were granted before Hanen’s February 16 injunction. Government attorneys has said that officials wouldn’t accept requests for reprieves for DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals) illegals until February 18, and would start DAPA (deferred action for parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) in May of 2015.

On March 3, Obama’s lawyers admitted to the judge that officials had already given three-year DACA amnesty to 100,000 younger people. Only off by 100,000.

Out of an abundance of caution, however, Defendants wish to bring one issue to the Court’s attention,” said the administration’s document given to the judge. “Between November 24, 2014 and the issuance of the Court’s [Feb. 16] Order, USCIS granted three-year periods of deferred action to approximately 100,000 individuals who had requested deferred action under the original 2012 DACA guidelines.”

The government claimed that the 100,000 illegal immigrants who were granted three-year reprieves and work permits were already eligible under a previous immigration plan from 2012.

The 26 states suing over Obama’s amnesty plan requested more information.

It’s not nice to fool U.S. District Judges. They may be annoyed.

Estimates of the cost of Obama’s amnesty program run from half a billion to expand the workforce by more than 3,000, up to $2 trillion over the long term in benefits and increased government expenditures. That’s just for the federal government, there will be billion of dollars for costs for the states.



A Reminder, In Your Words Mr. President: “That’s Not How Democracy Works” by The Elephant's Child

childhood-immigration-flood-620x396

The year is 2011, and election coming up, the president is making lots of speeches and fundraising. On May 10, President Obama spoke at Chamizal National Memorial Park in El Paso Texas. He vowed to “keep up the fight” to pass comprehensive immigration reform through Congress, because the immigration system was broken. (Not broken. The immigration laws simply are not enforced).

He assured the audience that the border fence was essentially complete, (if  “essentially complete” means that 84 miles of the mandated double fencing have been built of the 1,933 miles of our border with Mexico). That pertains to compliance with the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

Then he added:

“Sometimes when I talk to immigration advocates, they wish I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself, but that’s not how a democracy works,” Obama said. “What we really need to do is to keep up the fight to pass genuine, comprehensive reform. That is the ultimate solution to this problem. That’s what I’m committed to doing.”

Back in the halls of Congress, it is Jeff Sessions who once again spoke of constitutional government in defense of American workers in a clarifying speech yesterday on the Senate floor:

A number of things have been happening today with regard to the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. There’s been a lot of spin about that and that somehow the Republicans are blocking the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. This gives new meaning to the word “obfuscation,” I suppose, or “disingenuousness.” The truth is, the House of Representatives has fully funded the Department of Homeland Security. It’s provided the level of funding the President asked for. It’s kept all the accounts at Homeland Security as approved through the congressional process. It simply says, but, Mr. President, we considered your bill, this amnesty bill that will provide work permits, photo IDs, Social Security numbers, Medicare benefits. You can’t do that. We considered that and rejected it. So we’re not going to fund that.

Now, the President has told us and his staff that they have across the river in Crystal City, they’re leasing a new building and this building is going to hire a thousand workers, paid for by the taxpayers of the United States, part of Homeland Security. Are those thousand workers going to be utilized to enforce the laws of the United States? Are they going to process applications for citizenship or visas? No. Those 1,000 people, costing several hundred million dollars, in truth, those people are going to be processing and providing these benefits to people unlawfully in America… (Read on below)

Continue reading




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,218 other followers

%d bloggers like this: