American Elephants


And About Draining the Swamp… by The Elephant's Child

Lord Acton (1834 – 1902) said memorably: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”

“Despotic power is always accompanied by corruption of morality”

“Everybody likes to get as much power as circumstances allow, and nobody will vote for a self-denying ordinance.”

Advertisements


The City of Spokane Outlaws Detention of Illegal Aliens by City Police In Defiance of Federal Law. by The Elephant's Child

The city of Spokane has agreed to change its laws in straightforward defiance of federal law, apparently because of complaints or a lawsuit from the ACLU of Washington and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, neither of which have any legal standing one would assume. They agreed to change their policies to make sure that police officers will not question or detain people as they are required to do by federal law.

That’s  part of a final settlement they city reached Tuesday in federal court with the ACLU and the Immigrant Rights group. The case stemmed from a 2014 traffic accident when the vehicle of Gabriel Gomez was struck by a minivan that failed to yield the right of way. A Spokane police officer responding to the incident contacted the U.S. Border Patrol to ask whether the agency had an interest in Gomez.

The officer issued a ticket to the driver of the minivan that failed to yield, and let that driver leave the scene. But the officer detained Gomez until the Border Patrol arrived and took him into custody, as federal law requires.

This is all the information from the article. Makes no sense at all. How do a couple of unofficial agencies win in court by demanding that the city defy federal law? I would hope that the city of Spokane pays a significant cost for that one.



“Dreamers” According to a Leaked Memo Are Critical to Democrats Future Electoral Success by The Elephant's Child

According to Breitbart, a leaked memo from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a very left-wing organization

https://i0.wp.com/media.breitbart.com/media/2018/01/Leaked-Dem-memo.png

Democrats are urged not to support any 2018 spending bill that does not support a DACA amnesty where illegal aliens are given a path to U.S. citizenship, saying that it will “jeopardize” elections for Democrats, in 2018 and beyond.

The Trump administration has endorsed a DACA amnesty plan that trades legalizing the nearly 800,000 illegal aliens in exchange for mandatory E-Verify, which bars employers from employing illegal aliens, and ending chain migration, where newly naturalized citizens can sponsor an unlimited number of foreign relatives, ending the Diversity Visa Lottery program which randomly imports 50,000 foreign nationals a year, and authorizing the construction of a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. Democrats loathe the idea of a wall, but Mexico has a wall on their southern border, guarded, so they can keep out immigrants from states like Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras—unless they are just passing through to get to the U.S.

There are a number of pictures available of the wall on the Southern Border. “Snopes” says flatly that there is no wall on the Southern border with with Guatemala, but I’ve never been inclined to believe Snopes, though I’ve never personally seen any Southern Wall, so there you are. This is clearly an era of “fake news”, so we’re all on our own to find reliable sources of information.  I read a while back that a survey of our Hispanic citizens, indicated that a plurality of them wanted the “Dreamers” sent back home. I can’t find that bit of information, so it’s just my possibly faulty memory. The Center for Immigration Studies is the only Think Tank focused on the study of immigration. They are pro-immigrant, but pro-legal immigration. 

Democrats are going to fight on this one.  We’ll see how tough President Trump can be,



The Trouble With ObamaCare by The Elephant's Child

The trouble with ObamaCare was, in particular, the regulations. Lots of other problems,of course, but Leftists always think that they know better how anything should be run, and for just that reason, it mostly doesn’t work. The Wall Street Journal today pointed out one of the big reasons which is that ObamaCare mostly meant that small businesses quit providing healthcare for their employees.

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta is proposing to allow small businesses to band together to provide insurance on an equal footing with corporations and unions. Excellent!

The share of workers at small businesses with employer-sponsored health benefits has dropped by a quarter since 2010 as insurance costs have ballooned, in part due to government mandates. About 11 million workers employed by small businesses are uninsured. Some businesses have dropped their workers onto state insurance exchanges where premiums are subsidized by taxpayers.

Enter President Trump, who last fall directed Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to consider “expanding the conditions that satisfy the commonality-of-interest requirements” for association health plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or Erisa.

Large-group plans that are self-insured—i.e., funded by unions or employers—are covered by Erisa. These plans are exempt from ObamaCare’s essential benefits requirements, though they must comply with rules on annual and lifetime limits and pre-existing conditions as well as state solvency regulations.

Mom-and-pop businesses and sole proprietors aren’t so lucky. Most purchase coverage from insurers in the small group or individual marketplaces, which are subject to ObamaCare’s coverage mandates and controls on premium prices. The Obama Administration precluded small employers from forming association plans that are exempt from Erisa by narrowly interpreting the “commonality of interest” membership requirements.

Secretary Acosta on Thursday, proposed a new rule that would define “commonality of interest” among employers to include geographical area, such as a metropolitan area or even a state, as well as an industry, trade or profession. Chambers of commerce or national industry groups could sponsor plans. Sole proprietors could be defined as both employers and employees, which would allow independent contractors to form or join association plans. The Left is, of course, howling about Trump trying to destroy ObamaCare, but millions of small business people and sole proprietors aren’t insured at all because they can’t afford coverage on the exchanges. Sole proprietors who earn too much to qualify for subsidies are squeezed out by soaring premiums.

If they are freed from ObamaCare’s mandates, they can devise plans more suited to their workers, and costs would be reduced by spreading the administrative burden. This is not going to solve the burdens of ObamaCare, but ObamaCare was never a plan to give health care to everyone. It was a plan for government control of health care so that the giver of health care would always be voted back in because of the fear of losing health care. They saw that kind of ‘insurance’ in Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

Britain’s NHS figures show that 16,893 patients waited more than 30 minutes at Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments in the week at the end of the year. This was a 42% rise over the previous week when only 11,900 waited in the ambulances hoping they wouldn’t die while they waited. Hospital bed occupancy was 91.7 percent—an 85% level is considered safe.

It was announced a day earlier that all non-emergency operations will be cancelled until at least February as the worst NHS winter crisis in 30 years hits. Around 55,000 procedures that were planned will not happen. A senior doctor claimed that patients are being treated in “third world” conditions in some hospitals. In the meantime cases of flu are rising and there are severe respiratory problems. The people generally believe that their health care is free, but forget that they pay for every last bit of it in their taxes and lower standard of living.

The population of Great Britain is 66,387,483, ours is 323.98 million as of 2016. When healthcare is free, people are inclined to run to the doctor at every small symptom. ObamaCare assumed that when all the healthy young people were forced to pay their share, it would cover the sick people. The skyrocketing premiums show how well that all worked. And young people have consistently dropped out. Doctors tell their kids to choose another profession. Those who use up the most medical care are of course, the old folks. The Eskimos solved that by leaving granny out to freeze on an iceberg which is a relatively painless way to go. Some in India leave their grannies in a tiger preserve, I have read. I’m sure we will gradually come up with solutions. Just try to keep the politicians out of it.



The Founding Fathers Explain Conservatism by The Elephant's Child

From the archives 2008

The brilliant Mark Levin lays out the bedrock principles of conservatism using the founders’ own words. It is no coincidence that they are the exact same principles our nation was built upon. These are the exact same principles that made America great, they are the exact same principles that liberty depends upon, and they are the exact same principles that liberalism seeks to destroy:

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“[T]he powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”
~ James Madison
“…[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”
~ James Madison
“…the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
“No nation was ever ruined by trade, even seemingly the most disadvantageous.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
“Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”
~ Thomas Paine
“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”
~ Thomas Paine
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
~ John Adams
“To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”
~ George Washington
“One single object. . . [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
~ John Adams
“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
” I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
“The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
“[The purpose of a written constitution is] to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights.”
~ Thomas Jefferson


What Indeed Does It Mean to Be A Conservative? by The Elephant's Child

When I got online yesterday, I had a message from Ricochet that they had a new podcast with Jay Nordlinger and Yuval Levin talking about “What Does It Mean to Be a Conservative?”— and my initial thought was”Oh no, Here we go again!” As a long-time Republican and, I thought, a Conservative—I have reached the conclusion that there is a section of the Republican party that is far more comfortable speaking and writing about what it means to be a Conservative, and sharing memories of Buckley and Reagan than discussing such intractable ideas about the fat kid in charge of North Korea, or the people revolting in Iran. They care about the history of Conservatism, and the thoughts of early Conservatives, and the words of the founding fathers. It’s comfortable.

There is within the Republican party a group of “Never Trump”people who seem to be offended by President Trump’s tweets. We’ve never  had a president before who tweets. It’s not presidential, they say. Why not? Tweeting is popular, the language is usually coarse and insults fly. The president’s tweets seem more designed to tweak the very unfriendly media than anything else. The list of real accomplishments keeps growing.

He speaks a little differently, but Dan Bongino, who is from Queens, says that President Trump talks like somebody from Queens. This is apparently grounds for insisting that the President is insane, intellectually challenged, ignorant, dumb, and a psychiatric problem running around loose in the White House, when he should be incarcerated.

Yet for someone so intellectually challenged, he defeated  16 of the most qualified candidates ever to grace a Republican electorate. He is clearly ignorant, yet the stock market is reaching new highs, corporations and small businesses are celebrating the removal of unneeded regulations. Business is investing. Almost everyone is getting a tax cut. And the president is working for free.

Daniel Greenfield, who has a sharp eye and a sharper pen, says that the new civil war is being fought by lawyers in blue or gray suits not with bullets, but with bullet points.

From the Mueller investigation to Federal judges declaring that President Trump doesn’t have the right to control immigration policy or command the military, from political sabotage at the DOJ by Obama appointees like Sally Yates to Patagonia’s lawsuit over national monuments, the cold civil war set off by the left’s rejection of the 2016 election results has been a paper war largely waged by lawyers.  …and

Federal judges have seized previously unimaginable amounts of power by not only blocking orders that had always been considered an essential part of presidential authority on flimsy premises that when dissected amount to a critique of President Trump’s character (not to mention the sovereign entitlement of the University of Hawaii to set national immigration policy for the entire country based on its urgent need for Syrian grad students), but by demanding that agencies under the control of the President of the United States enact their orders, such as accepting transgender military recruits.

Some have insisted that it is a “class” matter. Americans usually choose their presidents from the governing class. Politicians, who understand how politics is played, and who speak in the measured tones of what is considered acceptable and what is not. But we have learned and are learning anew that the political class is not and never has been of sterling character and without flaws, foibles and faults. It’s a thankless job, and when they’re through, biographers will sort out all their many character failings, disparage their accomplishments, and they will go on the list of past presidents, to be blamed for future events that don’t turn out well.

So far, in spite of all, we remain a free people. Democrats form organizations like the Democracy Alliance, an exclusive club for leftists of great means who will invest their political dollars together to have the greatest influence. The Center for American Progress controls the language and issues talking point judged to be most effective in the political battle, which will be repeated endlessly by the leftist-leaning media. President Trump’s emerging tax plan will benefit at least 80% of taxpayers, yet the public is opposed to his tax plan—because most believe that the tax cuts are only for the rich, as Democrats have been screeching for weeks. And Conservatives are still huddling, and talking about what it means to be a true conservative.

We are deep in a political war for control of the country. Republicans care about free speech, free people, and the Democrats want control. Human nature is messy, we fight, quarrel, invent, fail, are foolish, brilliant, succeed and fail. You never know what to expect. Democrats want a more orderly world of which they approve. Everyone, in their glorious future will be equal, there will be no more wars, no more quarrels. That will not be allowed. They are a little short on history, and assume that they have dreamed up something new.



Here’s Why President Trump Was Right About Draining the Swamp. by The Elephant's Child

Following up on Kim Strassel’s impassioned call for a “root and branch overhaul of government itself— Operation Drain the Swamp:”the Wall Street Journal Reports that:

The House Intelligence Committee has set a deadline of Wednesday for the Department of Justice and FBI to turn over documents related to the Christopher Steele dossier purporting to investigate ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. If they fail to comply, Speaker Paul Ryan will need to back up Congress’s institutional prerogatives and hold the individuals responsible to contempt proceedings and possible impeachment.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray have had the subpoenas since Aug. 24, but they have responded with excuses, delays and misdirection. The Justice Department has refused to provide Congress with the most basic documents demanded under the subpoenas. These include reports detailing the FBI’s interactions with sources such as Mr. Steele, who was hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was funded by associates of the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Justice also refuses to make available crucial witnesses, including FBI agent Peter Strzok (a lead investigator in the Trump-Russia probe), former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr (whose wife worked for Fusion GPS) and FBI attorney James Baker (former FBI Director Jim Comey’s right-hand man). Justice is also still sitting on months of anti-Trump text messages between Mr. Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

As the Journal’s Editorial Board says: “This isn’t acceptable.” They have offered no valid reason for their resistance. Congress has the constitutional authority to oversee the executive branch whose offices it funds. Secretary Sessions offered the excuse such a request interferes with a Justice Department Inspector General probe, but that won’t work.

This is not going to be pretty. Too many offices of government have been flush with funds and empowered with new regulations to enforce. Remember all the talk about government offices arming themselves? Remember the EPA thugs going after innocent landowners for bogus environmental crimes? And because they don’t get to have that kind of fun anymore with Scott Pruitt in charge, they’re resigning in droves from the EPA. No more yellow rivers. No more blaming  the climate for spurious cases of childhood asthma. Maybe even pointing out that forest fires and hurricanes are not caused by climate. But it appears that other departments are similarly infected.

Susan Rice and Samantha Power have chimed in, saying that the executive branch really should not be talking about Iran. They should be utterly quiet and allow events to play out as they will. Certainly the present despicable occupant of the oval office should not be encouraging Iranians who are demonstrating. Someone might get hurt! We are faced with an old administration that is not going to go away.

The problems with sanctuary cities and ICE are obvious and will have to be dealt with in the courts. Secretary Ryan Zinke is cleaning up at Interior, not only cutting back on the Obama Administration’s massive land grab in Utah, but removing unnecessary regulations that are a complicated burden for energy producers. He’s also fired four senior managers for inappropriate conduct including sexual harassment. The Department of Agriculture under Secretary Sonny Perdue is looking for solutions to the Food Stamp program. There’s a lot of fraud in the program, and most people believe there should be some kind of work requirement for those who are perfectly able to work.

Secretary of State Tillerson has his work cut out for him. He has vast experience as head of a giant corporation, but the U.S. State Department is deeply involved in partisan politics. Betsy DeVos has her plate full at Education. The huge teachers union is determined not to lose power and her support for charter schools is anethma to the union. Many blacks have been convinced that charter schools are bad for blacks instead of the avenue for success that they are. Mindsets have to be changed. Alex Acosta, Secretary of Labor and the first Latino Member of the Cabinet was confirmed in April, and Bill Moyers screeched that the Trump Administration’s plans to decimate workers’ rights begins in earnest. Acosta has attacked occupational license law, like the silly insistence that hair braiders go to beauty school, as one of our worst job killers, so he has his work cut out. So far, the other members of the Cabinet are quietly solving their problems and have escaped the full fury of “the resistance.”

The New York Times has published a full list of President Trump’s cabinet, which they updated last May, and only got a couple completely wrong. General John Kelly has moved from Secretary of Homeland Security, where he was confirmed, to White House Chief of Staff. Kirstjen Nielsen replaced him as Secretary of Homeland Security and was confirmed in early December. But that’s better than the list at Wikipedia which hasn’t been updated in months.

The New York Times, full of their own importance, added that President Trump’s cabinet is more white and male than any cabinet since Ronald Reagan’s. Dear New York Times: skin color and gender have nothing whatsoever to do with how a cabinet official performs the duties asked of him or her. The obvious fact that you never learned that is telling. They have pictures of each official, which is helpful.

Following that are eight cabinet level offices that are not official members of the cabinet. CIA, UN, EPA, Small Business, O.M.B., DNI, Trade Representative, and the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Stop reading at that point. What follows is mostly wrong anyway. They follow that with a list of the Cabinet, explaining how each member is very bad, no good, and set on destroying all of Obama’s marvelous accomplishment. Read only if you want to understand the Leftist worldview. You would think that the once-renowned newspaper would keep lists like this updated to demonstrate how on top of things they are, unfortunately it does demonstrate how on top of things they are.




%d bloggers like this: