American Elephants


Charles Hurt: Obama Would Routinely Keep Some Reporters out of Gaggles by The Elephant's Child

It wasn’t a big deal until it was the New York Times who was not included. A little confusion about the First Amendment. It isn’t just Freedom of the Press. The reason that it is called Freedom of the Press is because in the days when the Constitution was written, it was printers who disseminated the news on papers they printed. There was no idea of the modern newspaper or networks.But there were Town Criers.

The Amendment also includes some mention of Freedom of Religion and its free exercise, the right to peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. It’s not all about the press.



The Art of the Planned Protest by The Elephant's Child

I posted the picture a while back of Republican protests on the day after Obama was elected. Interestingly it seems that Democrat right-wing-riotsprotesters are usually paid to protest, or their union sends them. I don’t know if the Unions pay them or not. Some are reported to be paid by George Soros, but that’s a frequent claim, and if true he must be shelling out a lot of money.  Democrats protest in large numbers, enough to be impressive in media photos, and somebody is calling out the anarchists and black bloc bunch. They don’t arrive spontaneously.

Union leaders organized a protest at Representative Steve Knight’s (R.,CA) house of over 50 protesters who arrived in Service Employees International Union (SEIU) vans, carried a fake coffin to the house to send Rep. Knight the message that his votes in Congress were “killing” them, according to a report in the local Antelope Valley Press. Informed by neighbors and later the police that they were at the wrong house because Rep. Knight had moved away several months ago.

But they were already there, with their coffin and their candles, so they carried on with their candlelight vigil. The police eventually removed them from the home’s driveway and front lawn.

An aide to California State Assembly Leader, Democrat Anthony Rendon, defended the protesters insisting that it was not an “embarrassment.” Rendon aide Darren Parker said “What I saw was people are looking for solutions to uncertainty and sometimes they don’t get the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed.” He added that he was pleased at the turnout.

Throughout February, protesters organized by the state Democratic Party have targeted the Southern California Republican at his local office. The protesters said their efforts were based on a guidebook called “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.

This all reminds me of another picture I saved of Republicans’ protest when Obama banned 197855_5_
refugees from Iraq
for 6 months in 2011. Do protesters impress the party regulars so much that they are willing to go out and protest too? Every big Leftist protest or march comes with organizers, busloads of protesters, and all of their ‘spontaneous’ signs seem to have been printed by the same printer.

Which doesn’t seem to be spontaneous at all, but do the Democrats’ big efforts accomplish more? Are Republicans missing the boat? Do we pay a price for trying to be honest?



We Apparently Paid A Really Big Ransom To Iran For Our Hostages. by The Elephant's Child

The truth will out, as Shakespeare said. It doesn’t always become clear when it should, but sooner or later it does. Back in September, AEI’s Michael Rubin “testified before the House Financial Services Committee on the allegation that the Obama administration had paid Iran a ransom—at the time it was believed to be $400 million but it was later revealed that the figure was more than three times that amount—in cash for the release of American hostages held by Iran.”

At the hearing, it is now clear that State Department officials lied outright to the committee. But, lest there be any question about how the Iranian government perceived the payment received from the United States, Hossein Nejat, deputy Intelligence Director of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps yesterday bragged that Iran forced the United States to pay $1.4 billion ransom to win the release of imprisoned Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian.

What does this mean for the United States? Unfortunately, the damage is already done. The cash the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps received (for they were the entity which took possession of the ransom) will fuel greater terror as well as Iran’s campaigns in Syria, Yemen, and perhaps Bahrain as well. In 2010, the United States busted the Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington because the US intelligence community was monitoring bank accounts known to be operated by the Qods Force. Cash makes it far easier for Iran to move money without risk of detection.

There is a reason why the United States customarily does not pay ransom for Americans taken as hostages. Giving in puts the life of anyone else in reach of terrorist forces at risk, leaves the impression that the United States is weak, and puts our allies at risk as well. Michael Rubin says the hostage agreement should be published. Obama promised he would preside over the most transparent administration in history. Well, yes. Promises, promises. “It is now clear that State Department officials lied outright to the committee,” Rubin added. And you wonder why President Trump speaks of draining the swamp.



The Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Is Over — Their Disgusting Mess Left For Others to Clean Up. by The Elephant's Child

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It takes a fair amount of garbage to fill 240 rollout dumpsters, and the protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota left a mess. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spend more than $1 million to clean up the debris left by protesters who succeeded in temporarily shutting down the construction of the pipeline under orders from President Barack Obama. We apparently cannot bill President Obama, and the taxpayers will once again have to pay for the cleanup. They left behind not only their old food supplies, but tents, teepees, building materials, personal belongings, human waste and even trucks and motor homes. They also left behind their pets—dogs and puppies—but animal rescue agencies have stepped in for those.

It was all so pointless. The light, sweet crude oil is being transported from the Bakken/Three Forks production area in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The state of the art 30 inch underground 1,172-mile pipeline will eliminate 500-740 rail cars and/or over 250 trucks needed to transport the oil every day.  99.98% of the pipeline is installed on privately owned property in North Dakota,South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. The remaining 0.02% is owned by the federal government. None is owned by the Standing Rock Sioux. It runs 5′ under the Missouri River next to an existing pipeline. The pipeline  has created 12,000 construction jobs during building.

The Standing Rock Sioux wanted publicity and to call attention to their gripe about historical loss of their lands, and environmentalists who regard oil as particularly evil, and publicity-seeking film people flocked to the site to get media attention. Once winter set in, they pretty much lost interest, and there you are—another million dollar bill for the taxpayers— from people too lazy to clean up after themselves.



The Progressives Choose a New Progressive Chairman by The Elephant's Child

Thomas PerezThe Democrats have elected a new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, in a close election, selected former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who promptly selected Keith Ellison as his deputy.  Most Republicans could not possibly care less, but we should pay  attention. The Chairman of the DNC is the official organizer and fund raiser for he party. And the Democratic Party is mired in a cauldron of rage and hate.

That you probably have noticed. They have become the party of name-calling, all familiar names for the most  part: “White-nationalist, racist, bigot, anti-Semite, misogynist, crypto-fascist and fascist, homophobe, Nazi, Islamophobe,” but I skipped the Oscars and may have missed some. Meryl Streep added ‘Brownshirts’ a few days ago. Zero Hedge reported on a Tucker Carlson interview with Glenn Greenwald who clarified things a little:

Democrats seem to have a major problem with introspection. I get it – admitting fault means being wrong, and for a party built upon emotionalism and condescending moralization instead of facts and common sense, being wrong strips the self-righteous DNC of the one argument they’ve built their entire platform on; we’re right because we say we are.

A failed, collapsed party cannot form an effective resistance. Trump did not become president and the Republicans do not dominate virtually all levels of government because there is some sort of massive surge in enthusiasm for right-wing extremism. Quite the contrary: This all happened because the Democrats are perceived — with good reason — to be out of touch, artificial, talking points-spouting Automatons who serve Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and the agenda of endless war, led by millionaires and funded by oligarchs to do the least amount possible for ordinary, powerless citizens while still keeping their votes.

That pretty well covers it. They are still blaming everything on Hillary won the popular vote (That’s not how we measure elections in America), the election being rigged, the Russians, not appreciating a strong woman, — and back to the litany of insults.  Total lack of comprehension.

The Sanders followers choice was Keith  Ellison, the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Congressman with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood associated organizations, supported by Bernie, Harry Reed, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer. Perez was the choice of the Clintons, but has many of the same problems as Hillary, with emails, ethics, telling the truth and a firm belief that only Caucasians can commit race crimes. Perez was found guilty in an investigation of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committee and the minority staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee of violating the spirit and letter of the Federal Records Act 34 times while working for the Department of Justice. Perez told supporters in the room that he was willing to combat Donald Trump whom he called “the worst president in the history of the United States” this after one whole month of the administration, catching up with Maxine Waters who wants him impeached immediately.

Former Los Angeles mayor and potential California gubernatorial candidate Antonia Villaraigosa told the DNC that the party must stand up and fight for these 11 million” illegal aliens in the United States, ‘for we are our brother’s keeper.”

“These 11 million people have no credentials to this hall,” Villaraigosa said, “they don’t even have a vote. But they must have a voice in our party and our nation. Donald Trump proposes the greatest mass deportation in our nation’s, or any nation’s history. It’s patterned after ‘Operation Wetback,’ a shameful episode in our nation’s history when 1 million Mexicans were deported. He would not only deport our neighbors and our families, he would vanquish the dream. The dream they carry in their heart when they answer that beacon of hope and light to dreamers from all over the world. So in this city of brotherly love, we must stand up and fight for these 11 million, for we are our brother’s keeper.”

Winning platform—open borders for anyone who wants to come at any time.  “A party of out-of-touch talking-points spouting automatons led by millionaires and oligarchs to do the least amount possible for ordinary, powerless citizens while still keeping their votes.”

Sounds like a political party death wish to me.



The Growth of Federal Regulation by The Elephant's Child

This video is a couple of years old, but the lesson is clear. The Federal government is adding agencies regularly, needed or not, and those agencies are promulgating regulations left and right. In most cases they not only put out regulations, but determine whether they are followed, and judge the punishments to be handed out, take your property, and increasingly have the armed forces to do so.



It’s a Big Job, How Do You Start? by The Elephant's Child

Over at National Review, David French explains what a monumental job reducing the reach of the regulatory state is.

At present, the vast and bloated executive branch — existing through its alphabet soup of agencies such as the EPA, IRS, DOE, ATF, and the like — intrudes into virtually every aspect of American life. It regulates your workplace, your home, your car, and your kids’ school. It’s staffed by legions of bureaucrats who enjoy job security that private-sector employees can only dream of, and it’s granted legal authority by the Supreme Court to interpret its own governing statutes and expand the scope of its own authority. In its own spheres of influence, it often acts as legislator, prosecutor, and judge. …

To dismantle the administrative state, the executive and legislative branches will have to act against their perceived political interests. The executive will have to intentionally surrender power, and the legislature will have to accept accountability. In other words, Donald Trump — as a matter of formal policy — will have to abandon an ideology that says he “alone” can fix this nation, and the legislature will have to embrace the reality of casting hard votes, day after day and week after week. Let’s not forget, the administrative state exists in large part because Congress has intentionally abdicated authority. It passes extraordinarily broad bills that empower executive-branch agencies to write even more law and impose even more restrictions. Congress goes home and says, “We voted for clean air,” while the EPA does all the heavy lifting to define what that really means. Or Congress says, “We voted for banking reform and better markets,” while an array of agencies promulgate rule after rule affecting companies from coast to coast. Congress takes credit for its intentions. It blames others for the outcomes.

To dismantle the administrative state, the executive and legislative branches will have to act against their perceived political interests. The executive will have to intentionally surrender power, and the legislature will have to accept accountability. In other words, Donald Trump — as a matter of formal policy — will have to abandon an ideology that says he “alone” can fix this nation, and the legislature will have to embrace the reality of casting hard votes, day after day and week after week. Let’s not forget, the administrative state exists in large part because Congress has intentionally abdicated authority. It passes extraordinarily broad bills that empower executive-branch agencies to write even more law and impose even more restrictions. Congress goes home and says, “We voted for clean air,” while the EPA does all the heavy lifting to define what that really means. Or Congress says, “We voted for banking reform and better markets,” while an array of agencies promulgate rule after rule affecting companies from coast to coast. Congress takes credit for its intentions. It blames others for the outcomes.

Do read the whole thing:




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