American Elephants

This Election Is Going To Have To Be Decided By the Voters. by The Elephant's Child

I liked this editorial from the New York Sun, I assume from the pen of Seth Lipsky. “It looks,” he wrote, “like this election is going to have to be decided by the voters.”

That has got to be infuriating to the press and the political elites. They have been trying, since the day Mr. Trump declared, to write off his candidacy as a folly. …

This difficulty arises from the central circumstance of this election. Mrs. Clinton keeps declaring for what she calls the “high road.” In her best moments, she is wonderfully warm and articulate. The ideology of the Democratic Party, however, has given us eight years of economic stagnation and veered us onto the road to socialism. The Democrats’ signature program, Obamacare, is in disarray, as is its foreign policy. Mrs. Clinton shares responsibility for both of these failures.

Mr. Trump keeps to what Mrs. Clinton calls the “low road,” but he is running on a more substantive – and more humane – platform of law and order, military strength, tax cuts, deregulation, and economic growth. The irony is that growth is better for minorities than the dole and subsidies that Mrs. Clinton promises. By creating jobs, economic growth is the only strategy that offers a solution to the immigration “problem.” It would create a climate in which we would need immigrants of all sorts.

The high road is not high enough to detour around the issues Donald Trump is raising. We don’t yet know where it will lead in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Coal Country, Colorado, Wisconsin, Florida, and the other swing states. It is exactly the sort of problem that requires millions of minds to decide. Mrs. Clinton might win, but the idea that she and the press could untangle this knot by declaring Mr. Trump simply unfit and without resort to the voters looks this morning to be hubristic.

The voters will decide, if Democrats do not succeed in getting millions of dead people to vote.

Words of Wisdom, Pertinent to the Day by The Elephant's Child

“The vision of the Left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also a vision of themselves—a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice” and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalted vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice, which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact-free arguments on the left, whether on gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues—and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their vision.”

Thomas Sowell, 1/22/2014, Front Page Magazine

“In contrast to America, countries like Canada and Australia treat immigration the way Harvard treats college admission or the New England Patriots treat the NFL draft as a way to get the talented that can benefit the institution and keep out the untalented. Here in America we increasingly treat immigration as if it were a sacred civil right possessed by 7 billion foreigners.”

William Voegeli: The Pity Party

“Once politics was about only a few things; today it is about nearly everything…Once the “legitimacy barrier” has fallen, political conflict takes a very different form. New programs need not await the advent of a crisis or an extraordinary majority, because no program is any longer “new”—it is seen, rather, as a extension, a modification, or an enlargement of something the government is already doing…Since there is virtually nothing the government has not tried to do, there is little it cannot be asked to do.”

James Q. Wilson,”American Politics, Then and Now” Commentary, Feb, 1979

The Clinton Lie Rachet: Bill Whittle by The Elephant's Child

Compulsive liars are interesting, but troubling. Were they liars as kids? I suspect so. Found they could lie to their parents and seldom got in trouble. Little lies are common, of course, oh yes this desert is delicious, and your new haircut is so stylish. But that has no relation to the compulsive liar. If you expect the truth and rely on it to make a decision or act upon it—you can be really harmed. Compulsive liars are dangerous;

The Bureaucrats In Washington Think We Are Really Dumb! by The Elephant's Child

uscapitolwestside-crop-600x338Instead of polling the American people about Washington D.C. some academics from Johns Hopkins tried something new and different. They reversed the question, and polled Washington about the American people.

“What they found was a combination of ignorance, contempt and disdain.”

Survey data from the polled group — staffers from the White House and Capitol Hill plus career civil servants and the policy community of lobbyists and others who work closely with government from outside it — indicate that the functionary class thinks of itself as our betters. Our bosses, not our representatives. They see their own judgment as being far superior to that of the rest of us — the people whose wishes they are supposed to be carrying out.

The findings were revealing: By a huge margin, the bureaucrats said they knew better than the public what was right for the public. On Social Security, twice as many bureaucrats said they knew best. On crime, three times as many bureaucrats said their way was superior. On the environment, the ratio was almost four to one.

Why am I not surprised that they feel so self-important on matters environmental?

The academics presented the bureaucrats with simple multiple-choice quizzes. 65 percent of the DC insiders guessed that the median household income was lower than the reality (about $52,000 a year). Four out of five respondents  thought the percent of the population that is white (78 percent of Americans) much less. Sixty four percent thought the percentage of American who had a high school diploma was much lower than it is (85 percent). Eighty percent of respondents thought the rate of homeownership is much lower than it is (67 percent).

They proudly call themselves “public servants” but they define it a little differently.

Thus the instructions they give us are usually off the mark. They are usually pushing “urgent, disastrous fixes for imaginary problems.” Out-of-touch doesn’t even begin to cover the problems. Half the problems with Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare can be laid to poor regulations. Officials vastly overestimate (by 8 percentage points) the proportion of Americans who support increasing government spending in areas like education, welfare, child care and crime prevention. They are sure that we want them to solve more of our problems.

They think enforcing existing immigration law as unnecessary or even undesirable. It would be impractical or racist anyway. They believe that terrorism or jihadism is under control. (71 percent of the public thinks its a big problem.) They don’t think that the people know anything about the policies created to deal with these problems. They think of themselves in a paternalistic fashion, taking care of the people. The poor unfortunate stupid people to whom they report. Do read the whole thing.  It explains a lot.

“The revelations in the new book “What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People,” by Jennifer Bachner and Benjamin Ginsberg, serve up the side benefit of providing a partial explanation for the rise of Donald Trump.”


They Are Losing or Have Lost Our Trust, And That IS a Very Big Deal. by The Elephant's Child



Troubling times. I find that I cannot watch the debate. Hillary, freshly coiffed by an expert, made up by an expert, dressed by an expert with a flattering collar that reflects all attention on the well done face and none on the weight she’s put on, is too much for me to take. That is a compliment, if a backhanded one. She’s really very well turned out for an important debate.

But even more so, because she is a compulsive liar, re-inventing herself each time she opens her mouth, to appear warmer, more caring, more capable, and just downright good—except that it just isn’t true. Canned lines.  Everything has been focus-group tested to see how it will play. When she said in a speech that there were “public positions” on an issue and “private positions,” it was not just a rare moment of candor, but an excuse if she gets caught at anything.

I have a deep intolerance for liars and lies, not, I hope, as any sort of holier-than-thou thing, but merely that understanding the world and what is going on is hard. People at their most honest are often mistaken or wrong. The only thing we have to guide us is our experience of the past, and other’s experience, but we never know enough. We are stumbling through a darkened wood trying to find the real and honest, and people who lie, deliberately, to confuse and mislead because of their own greed—are the enemy, trying to keep us stupid.

Have you noticed that whatever the subject, Hillary has met with those people, shares their concerns, feels their pain, and has an answer to their problems. Here’s an occasion where the question to Hillary was about her statement that there were “public positions” and “private positions” about a policy and wasn’t that two-faced? Her response is fascinating, and attempts to turn the question gradually into an attack on Trump and insinuation that the Russians are trying to influence our elections for the benefit of Trump. Whew! Some spin, and she ends up with Donald not releasing his tax returns. That’s an impressive trip around all sorts of attacks without ever dealing with the original question.

Hillary is a radical leftist. She was an admiring student of Saul Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals, who teaches how to manipulate people in order to control them to get power. She wrote her senior thesis about him. Obama was a student of Alinsky’s methods and purportedly his best student ever at applying his methods in community organizing.

The leadership of the Democratic Party has moved far left. It’s open borders, and free trade in the hemisphere. Christiana Figueres, as Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity, but to destroy capitalism. The Left pretends that their goals are something new and different, but it’s just the same old story that ends up as Venezuela.

They want to be in charge. They want to make the rules, and they want the power. That’s where Hillary is, and her choice as vice presidential candidate is just as hard left. In spite of impressive degrees or titles, they just don’t know enough to manage a people. You have to trust the people and trust in their creativity and their choices. They don’t need your management, they need to be able to trust you. They are supposed to be the boss, and you government people are the public servants, doing their bidding, not the other way around.

The people are concerned about uncontrolled immigration. They are concerned with a president who operates by executive orders and ignores the Constitution. They are concerned about terrorist attacks and the refusal to do anything about it, including calling terrorism by name. They are concerned about an economy that just costs more, and does less and less efficiently, and doesn’t seem to grow at all.

Even the British papers say that Trump won this debate, so it must be so. We’ll see how it plays out in the polls, which may or may not mean anything at all. These are troubling times, and we can no longer trust the fact-checkers, let alone the media. A strange, strange year.

Is the U.S. Tax System Fair? by The Elephant's Child

Published on Sep 29, 2016

Is the U.S. tax system fair? Are the rich paying too little or too much? What about the middle and lower class? New York Times bestselling author Amity Shlaes answers these questions, and offers a tax solution that most Americans could get on board with.

Did You Hear What Hillary…Of Course You Didn’t. The Only News Was That Trump Said Something Crude. by The Elephant's Child

More releases of Hillary e-mails, and more than 2,500 e-mails from John Podesta, Hillary’s Campaign Chairman*, were released by Wikileaks, with more promised. The Podesta e-mails included excerpts from Hillary’s speeches to Wall Street groups. Podesta was a former Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton, a longtime antiwar activist of the New Left, and is currently the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress. His most lasting contribution to the Left’s cause was:

his promotion of a strategy that White House aides dubbed “Project Podesta.” This was a system that enabled the Clintons to push through unpopular policies that neither Congress nor the American people wanted. Its implementation marked a dramatic tilt in the balance of power, giving the executive branch an unprecedented ability to force its will on the legislative branch.

Project Podesta enabled the President to bypass Congress through the use of executive orders, presidential decision directives, White-House-sponsored lawsuits, vacancy appointments to high federal office, selective regulatory actions against targeted corporations, and a host of other extra-constitutional tactics.

Hillary went to ground, and lo and behold, an audio of Donald Trump being crude about women surfaced just in time to keep the media talking about the awfulness of Trump and overshadowing anything that Hillary might have said in those speeches she was so reluctant to talk about. Just a coincidence of course.

Donald Trump is a flawed candidate, not my first choice, nor the first choice of many others. The fact that he said something crude about a woman in a tape from 2005 in a private conversation with another man is not exactly a surprise. We all knew that Trump was frequently crude. Hillary said in a 2013 “private” speech to the National Multifamily Housing Council that it was important to hold two positions on political issues — a “public” one and a separate “private” one. That’s hardly a surprise either.  We all knew that her public pronouncements were just for public consumption. Truth and accuracy are not among her better known characteristics.

The reaction from major Republicans has been outrage and horror that they might get tarnished with the effluent from Trump’s “shocking” remarks. There seems to be some extra importance to the fact that his crude remarks were about women. Would there be as much outrage if he had made crude remarks about men? Or don’t the advances women have made in the way of equality count when they require the extra consideration due simply because they are female?

Donald Trump is not the first politician to make crude remarks. I give you LBJ, who was remarkably crude, And Bill Clinton has been accused of far, far worse. Hillary told executives at a Brazilian bank in a private speech that:

My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders,” Clinton says in an excerpt from a speech to Unibanco Itau, a Brazilian bank. “We have to resists protectionism [and] other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade.”

The EU has been such a colossal failure that it’s hard to imagine anyone actually believing a common market in this hemisphere would be desirable. Free markets and trade, of course, but a common market run by the usual corrupt and unaccountable bureaucrats — is one of the dumber ideas I’ve ever heard. No wonder she didn’t want anyone to know what she said in her speeches, to get such big donations for the Clinton Foundation.

Donald Trump has said some rude things, that he shouldn’t have said. Hillary has played fast and loose with our national secrets to get enough payola to afford her walled estate, and the lifestyle among the rich and famous that is so important to her. I was astounded the other day when I heard a woman on a radio show remark that” Hillary had done so much for women.” I couldn’t imagine what she was talking about.

Like so many on the Left, Hillary believes that the recession (the worst since the Great Depression) was caused by George W. Bush’s tax cuts. Collapse of the Housing Bubble? Never heard of it. They also believe firmly that extended unemployment benefits and food stamps help to grow the economy — which is apparently why we have had such a marvelous recovery. Taxes, especially on the rich, bring lots of “government money” which when spent on, oh, global warming and  welfare benefits and food stamps, circulates through the economy, growing as it passes through each hand. Nancy Pelosi explained the economics carefully in a speech at the Brookings Institution. You can look it up.

*I said John Podesta was Hillary’s campaign manager. That was incorrect. He is Campaign Chairman. Campaign Manager is Robert Mook. Corrected.

%d bloggers like this: