American Elephants


This Is A Very Peculiar Election Year by The Elephant's Child

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The peculiarities of this election continue to amaze. Here there just aren’t any Clinton or Trump signs. Went to the grocery store a few days back, and someone had just put up a raft of Trump signs on the median of our main East-West street. Returning 20 minutes later, they were all gone, some in ragged piles.

Have seen a few sad Bernie bumper stickers on Priuses, but essentially no bumper stickers at all. A video of a gentleman who got tired of someone tearing down his Trump sign, and wired it up for a mild electric shock is all over the internet. And a farmer somewhere in the Midwest Mowed a HUGE Trump sign in his lawn that could be appreciated from space.

The Arizona Republic endorsed Hillary Clinton, the first time they had ever endorsed a Democrat, and the subscription cancellations were pouring in every ten minutes.



Did Hillary Have Early Access to the Debate Questions? by The Elephant's Child

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From Pirate’s Cove, with a delightful headline:“Too Good to Check: Hillary Had Debate Questions Weeks Beforehand”

(Baltimore Gazette) The first presidential debate was held and Hillary Clinton was proclaimed the winner by the media. Indeed Clinton was able to turn in a strong debate performance, but did she do so fairly? Multiple reports and leaked information from inside the Clinton camp claim that the Clinton campaign was given the entire set of debate questions an entire week before the actual debate.

Earlier last week an NBC intern was seen hand delivering a package to Clinton’s campaign headquarters, according to sources. The package was not given to secretarial staff, as would normally happen, but the intern was instead ushered into the personal office of Clinton campaign manager Robert Mook. Members of the Clinton press corps from several media organizations were in attendance at the time, and a reporter from Fox News recognized the intern, but said he was initially confused because the NBC intern was dressed like a Fed Ex employee.

There was no Fed Ex truck outside, and the intern left via another door. As the article writer notes, it will be almost impossible to fully prove this.

Hillary did have pat answers for every question asked, although Lester Holt’s questions seemed a little odd. “Birtherism?” The idea that Trump once supported the idea that Obama was not born in the United States was supposed to qualify Trump as a conspiracy nut? This isn’t 2008, and a lot of people thought that Obama was using his father’s residence in Kenya to claim foreign student status at Columbia and  Harvard.

Hillary had dredged up the supposed insult Trump inflicted on a Miss Universe beauty contestant, by suggesting that she had gained too much weight. It turns out she was a porn actress who had an anchor baby with a Mexican drug Kingpin Gerald Alvarez Vasquez, better known as “El Indio.” Hillary also tried to turn the inheritance Trump received from his father to get his start in business, into a claim that the Clintons (unlike Trump) came from humble beginnings and had to work their way to millionaire status by the sweat of their respective brows. That doesn’t work out so well with the exposed emails that show just how the Clintons came by their millions.

No way to prove that Hillary had early access to the questions, but it makes a good story. Ed Morrissey added:

“The Clintons didn’t work hard for their wealth, even if their parents might have struggled to get by. They got their cash from trading on their connections to power, abusing their public trusts, and corrupting government. Do working-class people have that path to wealth?”

 



Barack Obama, Keeping Us Safe From Those People He Won’t Describe Because it Might Offend by The Elephant's Child

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*Click to enlarge

It doesn’t always take a long-winded discussion to explain just what is going on in our world. Michael Ramirez strikes again!



Here’s How Republicans Rob People of Their Right to Vote! You Might Ask What the Left is Doing! by The Elephant's Child

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Arcan Cetin who went on a shooting rampage at the Burlington Mall in Washington, killing four women and one man at a Macy’s store, came to the U.S. from Turkey as a child. He never applied for citizenship, but remained as a permanent resident. It seems, however, that he has voted in the past three elections.

The Washington state election system operates on a sort of honor system, since anyone who shows up to vote does not have to prove he or she is an American citizen. Voting as a non-citizen could carry a five-year prison sentence, Secretary of State Kim Wyman said. She also said that she does not believe that the case points to a larger issue in the state concerning the upcoming election.

Clearly they are not listening to the Republicans who are desperately trying to keep people like the 12,571 Syrian refugees the Obama administration has brought in in Fiscal Year 2016 from voting.  How many of them will vote in the this election?

An official working for one of the resettlement agencies who receives more than $1 billion annually from the federal government to resettle refugees said he expects the Obama administration will bring between 20,000 and 30,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S. in FY 2017. Most are Muslim, less than 1% of those who have arrived so far are Christian or of other faiths. Most probably are not Syrian, for Syrian passports are available cheaply and there is nowhere to check in Syria whether they are real.

More dead people are voting, this time in Virginia. California Governor Jerry Brown has just signed a bill allowing felons to vote from their jail cells.The law does not take effect until January 1. so will have no impact on this year’s elections. As I said, you might ask what the Democrats are doing.



Who Is Killing the American Dream— and How Are They Doing It? by The Elephant's Child

Some viewers of Monday night’s debate found Hillary more practiced at debating, and assumed that made her more “presidential.”  Yet the policies she proposes are exactly what is killing the American Dream.

The stagnant wages, the rising crime rate, killing coal-fired power plants, stifling and excessive regulations that hamstring business, promising non-existent jobs in “infrastructure” and “installing solar panels,” increasing taxes by trillions of dollars, and increasing the national debt will not create jobs or growth.

Government spending trillions of tax dollars extracted from the economy certainly does not create jobs or grow the economy. Hillary actually told us that it was tax cuts that caused the financial crisis of 2008 and that Trump’s proposed tax cuts would cause the loss of 3.5 million jobs, and cause another recession. If you believe that flapdoodle, head for your nearest Public Library and ask for a good book on basic economics.

When you cut tax rates, you create incentives to create jobs and expand businesses. This has been proved by John F. Kennedy, and by Ronald Reagan who created a 20 year expansion. It puts to shame President Obama’s worst economic recovery since the Great Depression— something Hillary wants to expand upon.



I Can’t Believe They Released This Video! Ouch! by The Elephant's Child

You may have seen this excerpt from Hillary’s speech to a labor union group. It’s not one of her finer moments, but the attention all goes to her harsh yelling, and not to what she is saying. Of course she is opposed to “Right to Work” laws. Democrats depend on generous donations from labor unions made possible by forced unionization and forced dues. Democrats have always been far more interested in big donations than in individual freedom. Here’s Robert Barro, a professor of economics at Harvard and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution:

Labor unions like to portray collective bargaining as a basic civil liberty, akin to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion. For a teachers union, collective bargaining means that suppliers of teacher services to all public school systems in a state—or even across states—can collude with regard to acceptable wages, benefits and working conditions. An analogy for business would be for all providers of airline transportation to assemble to fix ticket prices, capacity and so on. From this perspective, collective bargaining on a broad scale is more similar to an antitrust violation than to a civil liberty. …

Here’s James Sherk, Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics, the Heritage Foundation, testimony to the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform, last year before Wisconsin’s passage of Right to Work Laws:

Research confirms that unions pay more attention to their members in right-to-work states. Union officers earn substantially greater salaries in states with compulsory dues, even after adjusting for costs of living. When union officers must earn workers’ support they spend less money on themselves. …

Right-to-work laws have economic benefits that go beyond protecting workers’ freedom. Union contracts make businesses less competitive. One recent study compared companies whose workers narrowly voted to unionize with those who narrowly voted against unionizing. It found the unionized firms were 10 percentage points more likely to go out of businesses within seven years.

Here’s a paper from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, explaining the changing nature of work, and regulatory barriers to success.

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The facts of economics or the way things really work are often counter-intuitive — Hillary shouts that Right to Work is “wrong for workers and wrong for America,” but that is Democrats usual emotional response, and the basis on which they control and regulate. Financial support trumps the concerns of ordinary workers every time. Workers and businesses do far better in Right to Work states, as does the state’s economy.  Right to Work laws do not prevent anyone who wants to belong to a union from belonging — it only prevents unions from forcing membership and expensive dues upon anyone who does not wish to join. Usually thought of as free choice, or free people.

Public sector unions are even more pernicious, for the people who have to pay for higher demands and benefits are the taxpayers, yet they have no say at all in the bargaining process, and politicians who benefit from union support and money aren’t, as you may have noticed, all that careful with taxpayer money.



“Obama’s Last Lecture” by The Elephant's Child

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President Obama delivered his final address to the U.N General assembly on Tuesday. I listened to a bit online, and decided to get the transcript, as I prefer to read it unadulterated. The Wall Street Journal headline over their commentary was “Obama’s Last Lecture,” and my immediate response was “Please God, Make It So.” President Obama started right off to tell the delegates just what an impressive difference he had made in the world and how very important it was. As  usual, it was all about him.

From the depths of the greatest financial crisis of our time, we coordinated our response to avoid further catastrophe and return the global economy to growth.  We’ve taken away terrorist safe havens, strengthened the nonproliferation regime, resolved the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomacy.  We opened relations with Cuba, helped Colombia end Latin America’s longest war, and we welcome a democratically elected leader of Myanmar to this Assembly.  Our assistance is helping people feed themselves, care for the sick, power communities across Africa, and promote models of development rather than dependence.  And we have made international institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund more representative, while establishing a framework to protect our planet from the ravages of climate change.

This is important work.  It has made a real difference in the lives of our people.  And it could not have happened had we not worked together.  And yet, around the globe we are seeing the same forces of global integration that have made us interdependent also expose deep fault lines in the existing international order.

We see it in the headlines every day.  Around the world, refugees flow across borders in flight from brutal conflict.  Financial disruptions continue to weigh upon our workers and entire communities.  Across vast swaths of the Middle East, basic security, basic order has broken down.  We see too many governments muzzling journalists, and quashing dissent, and censoring the flow of information.  Terrorist networks use social media to prey upon the minds of our youth, endangering open societies and spurring anger against innocent immigrants and Muslims.  Powerful nations contest the constraints placed on them by international law.

He hit all his favorite progressive notes: inequality, the one percent controlling all the wealth, beggar thy neighbors policies, injustice undermining people’s faith in the system, soulless capitalism,  the gap between rich and poor, and I loved this one: “with further investment in infrastructure and early childhood education and basic research, I’m confident that such progress will continue.” About infrastructure, remember there weren’t any shovel-ready jobs. It has been a dismal eight years, with no real recovery, an economy never reaching even a basic 3% growth, an economy burdened by excessive regulation, overreaching controls, and of course the constant pursuit of some way, any way, to stop the normal warming and cooling of our planet, on which he has squandered billions to no avail whatsoever.

On the other hand he’s for democracy, our democratic Constitution, our Bill of Rights and the ideals which let our ordinary  people organize and march and protest.  The American narrative, I guess. It was a lecture.

The speech is here if you want to read it.




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