American Elephants


Defense Secretary James Mattis: 95% of ISIS Eradicated Under Trump. by The Elephant's Child

Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced this last week that 95% of ISIS bases and hideouts have been eradicated. Good News indeed. Deciding that you actually do intend to defeat them makes a difference. Obama seemed concerned that he might be blamed for something. ISIS fighters have been surrendering saying they haven’t been paid and haven’t been fed, and little things like that seem to matter.

Good for our coalition. Hope they all got a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, and the gratitude of a nation giving thanks.

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If Trump Didn’t Tweet It, It Isn’t News for Today’s Media by The Elephant's Child

Salena Zito has become one of the more interesting reporters on matters Trump, because she actually goes out and talks to the Trump supporters who voted for him. In her column at the New York Post on Saturday, she wrote from Glen Dale, West Virginia, that “Bad news travels fast, Good news, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to travel at all.

Last weekend in Beijing, as part of his 12-day trip to Asia, President Trump announced that the US and China had signed an $83.7 billion memorandum of understanding to create a number of petrochemical projects in West Virginia over the next 20 years.

If the agreement holds tight, it is an economic game changer for the state.  And yet, speaking to the locals here, you wouldn’t even know it had happened.

“I am surprised I heard nothing about it on the national news, nor in my local paper and newscasts,” said Jerald Stephens, 67, a West Virginia native and union rep, who has been a keen observer of local politics for as long as he can remember.

The BBC and CNN covered the news in their business sections, while The New York Times picked up a short story by The Associated Press on the deal. The stories’ headlines were muted; their placement low-key.

Paul Scracic, political science professor at nearby Youngstown State University said that such an investment, three times the total annual budget for the department of energy would have been front-page news.

President Trump didn’t tweet about that, which is apparently the source for the media’s reports about the President. Easy, you don’t have to talk to anyone, just log on to twitter. Go out and talk the people? Nah.

So far the details are scant, but China Energy will invest nearly $84 billion in West Virginia, the biggest of the $250 billion deals Trump signed with China. The first efforts are scheduled to begin in six to eight months  with building two natural gas-fired power plants, likely in Brooke and Harrison counties which have major job and population losses over the past 30 years. West Virginia, understandably. is a solid red state. But voters in the areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio that also represent our coal and natural-gas areas matter as well.

The media usually mocks Trump’s promise of jobs to the Heartland as empty campaign rhetoric. Apparently to get their attention he has to shout about it on Twitter.

Tom Lifson of American Thinker also commented on the lack of media attention, and how much the deal tentatively offers”

Although the deal’s non-binding, it was welcomed in a state that’s borne the brunt of coal’s long-term decline. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, a coal and real estate mogul elected to office last year, has lobbied the Trump administration to prop up the state’s coal-mining sector.

“Expanding Appalachia’s energy infrastructure, including developing a regional storage hub and market for natural gas liquids, will have a transformative effect on our economy, our security and our future,” U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican, said in the statement.



About Draining That Swamp… by The Elephant's Child

How about a little good news for a change? You may be astonished to learn that it comes from Canada. Conrad Black says that “the Canadian media has failed in its coverage of the biggest political news in the world in many years. Trump is the most successful U.S. president since Reagan.” (Do read the whole thing.)

But no one relying on the Canadian media would be aware that he has more than doubled the economic growth rate, reduced illegal immigration by about 80 per cent, withdrawn from the insane Paris Climate accord, helped add trillions to U.S. stock market values, created nearly two million new jobs, led the rout of ISIL, and gained full Chinese adherence to the unacceptability of North Korean nuclear military capability. He will probably pass the greatest tax cuts and reforms since Reagan, if not Lyndon Johnson, by Christmas, and may throw out the most unpopular feature of Obamacare, the coercive mandate, with it.

And here’s Victor Davis Hanson at American Greatness:

After 10 months of governance, Trump’s deregulations, a foreign policy of principled realism, energy agendas, judicial appointments, efforts at tax reform and health care recalibration, cabinet appointments, and reformulation at the Departments of Education, the EPA, and Interior seem so far conservative to the core.

In the few areas where Trump conceivably differed from his 16 primary Republican rivals—immigration, trade, and foreign policy—the 20th-century Republican/conservative orthodoxy was actually closer to Trump’s positions than to those of recent Republican nominees, John McCain or Mitt Romney.

Vast majorities of conservatives always favored enforcement of federal immigration law rather than tolerance of sanctuary cities. They wanted to preserve legal, meritocratic, diverse, and measured immigration, not sanction open borders. And they championed the melting pot over the identity politics of the salad bowl.

After the daily criticism and angst from the junior journalists, it’s nice to hear about the president’s accomplishments for a change, for there are a lot of them.  A little celebration is in order.



The Ongoing Struggle over Immigration is — Ongoing by The Elephant's Child

Remember the outcry from the Left when President Trump said he was going to temporarily ban immigration from certain majority Muslim nations? Judges erupted. Can’t do that. Religious freedom. Can’t be banning anyone from coming to the United States. Open borders. We are a nation of immigrants. Give me your tired your poor, your huddled masses etc. etc. National Review commented:—

Trump’s plan, even in its most primitive iterations, always has been based on the entirely commonsensical principle that America’s immigration policy should serve American interests. Taking this as a starting point, Trump laid out a ten-point policy that emphasizes securing the border, enforcing immigration laws, prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens, and creating the legal and economic disincentives necessary to reduce illegal immigration in the long term.

A review of information compiled by a Senate Committee last year revealed that 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump’s executive order about vetting have been convicted in terror cases since the 2011 attacks. Here are the seven countries involved.

—Somalia: 20
—Yemen: 19
—Iraq: 19
—Syria: 7
—Iran:  4
—Libya: 2
—Sudan: 1
—Total: 72

According to the report, at least 17 individuals entered as refugees from these terror prone areas. Three arrived on student visas and one arrived on a diplomatic visa. At least 25 of these immigrants eventually became citizens, ten were lawful permanent residents and just four were illegal aliens.

These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6). Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.

Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

Trump has renewed his commitment to a physical wall on the southern border, and prototypes are being studied. If the wall significantly cuts back on illegal immigration, it would pay for itself. All those illegal immigrants have costs for this country.

William Voegeli remarked “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.”

Tom Sowell said: “What should American immigration policy be? It doesn’t matter what any of us think that policy should be if the borders are not secure because whoever wants to come across that border will come anyway, in defiance of whatever the policy might be.
If legal benefits are conferred on illegal immigrants before the border is secured, we may as well give any pretense that have an immigration policy, because benefits conferred are never going to be taken back no matter how porous the border remains.”

No matter how excellent a plan President Trump comes up with, the cries will remain “But We are a nation of immigrants!” The Left wants more bodies to change the demographics for the 2020 election, which will change the electoral college —which is their major concern. They don’t want another election wrongly decided.



Playing With The Notion of What it Means to Be Human by The Elephant's Child

If you are not familiar with Melanie Phillips, you might enjoy her columns. She is a long time British journalist, and a sharp observer of the world.

If you want a break from the spectacle of Britain tearing itself apart over leaving the European Union, you can upset yourself instead watching the spectacle of the western world tearing apart the very notion of what it is to be a human being.

The knee-jerk bullying, victim-group sectarianism and repudiation of reason itself over transgenderism defy belief. The Times (£) reports that a lesbian Labour party women’s officer was allegedly subjected to months of harassment as a “Terf” — a derogatory term for “trans exclusionary radical feminist” – because she took issue with aspects of transgenderism.

Intimidation by transgender activists, in the laughable cause of promoting greater tolerance and inclusivity, has suddenly become the new norm. Examples – such as the Christian maths teacher who was suspended for addressing as a girl a female pupil who identifies as a boy – are coming thick and fast.

Little kids usually go through a period when they fantasize about being someone other than who they are — like in reality a princess in disguise, waiting to be truly recognized. There have been lots of children’s books based on just that fantasy. One of the earliest was Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper. But where this current idea sweeping society here and in Europe that you can be whoever you feel like being comes from is a serious question. Melanie Phillips addresses it head on.

Bodily dysphoria appears in many forms. There are people who come to believe that they are really cats, or that one of their limbs is bad or  diseased and must be removed, sometimes going as far as removing the limb themselves. But now we are having young mothers decide that when their daughter prefers to climb trees or play with toy trucks, it’s an indication that she is transgender, and encourages the confusion. This is child abuse. Transgenderism is a disorder of the brain, not the body. It requires psychiatric help. Included in Melanie Phillips article is a link to the American College of Pediatricians and a paper on Gender Dysphoria in Children.

I posted a video of a young British mother who was doing just that, in the belief that she is doing the right thing for her child.  There are a lot of problems in our country and in the world that deserve our attention. Why are we wrapped up in a world of who sexually abused whom and how much and how many years ago, and when do we move on to the next frenzy? Is this all just a journalistic creation to keep our attention glued to their desired themes? Can we get back to reality or are we stuck in this weird world?



The First Year of the Battle by The Elephant's Child

Much is being made of the fact this is the one year anniversary of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States. And a very strange year it has been.

At the website American Greatness (recommended) Scott Gerber, a law professor at Ohio Northern University, has reviewed the past year. The liberal media began calling for the undermining of Trump’s presidency from almost the moment he was elected. President Trump frequently refers to the daily barrage of attacks as a “witch hunt”— and it has been. I knew it was bad, but Dr. Gerber puts it all together into a fascinating but damning essay. Do read the whole thing.

The liberal media began calling for the undermining of Trump’s presidency from almost the moment he was elected. For example, on November 17, 2016, Paul Waldman opined in the Washington Post that President-elect Trump “shouldn’t ever be treated like an ordinary president with whom Democrats just have some substantive disagreements,” while Dahlia Lithwick and David S. Cohen insisted in the New York Times on December 14, “As Monday’s Electoral College vote approaches, Democrats should be fighting tooth and nail.”

With respect to the Electoral College itself, Theodore G. Venetoulis proclaimed in the Baltimore Sun that it was “the electors’ duty” to reject Trump and let the U.S. House of Representatives pick the president.

For the Left, their entire reason for existence is being in control. From being in charge, all blessings flow:  big donations, graft, obsequious attendants, attention of the media, fame, fortune, publisher’s willing to publish, television appearances, large gifts, big salaries, recognition, even the possibility of making the history books, wealth and position. And the reason for all those ‘blessings’ is their stated desire to make everybody more equal.  And thus you are supposed to believe their cries to soak the rich, and succor the poor in making the bounty of America more available to all. Uh huh.

The Left has always treated Republican presidents badly. Eisenhower, in spite of winning a rather large war in Europe, was supposed to be not very bright man from Kansas who was more interested in golf than world events. And everyone knows about Nixon.  Ronald Reagan was a minor movie star, not very bright, and shockingly inept on the world stage, embarrassing in his meetings with Gorbachev. Both Bushes got the full treatment, in spite of the fact that the senior President Bush was a real war hero. George W. got us into an unnecessary war, ran it badly, “Bush lied,people died”, and although there weren’t any nukes, there were vast quantities of poison gasses. But everybody was tortured at Gitmo, and look how badly he performed with Hurricane Katrina. Iraq was a success until Obama snatched defeat from the path of victory. Democrats have always been rotten, but this time they have a young, ill-informed and passionately partisan media, easy to manipulate, as Ben Rhodes has told us.

President Donald Trump is doing a pretty remarkable job. The market is reaching new all-time highs, unemployment is low, consumer confidence is soaring, the cabinet is outstanding and getting important things done (which the Left really hates). His current Asian tour is impressive. His judicial nominees are outstanding, if the Senate will just get busy and confirm them all. I guess the problem is really us. We should be loudly celebrating the accomplishments. The Left runs on talking points and attempting to control the national conversation. Republicans are not inclined to brag and celebrate loudly, which I guess we should be doing. It is all about the national conversation and allowing Democrats to control that is a big mistake. This time they really have gone too far.

 



How Goes The Existential War for the Soul of America? by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson  starts off today’s post at American Greatness saying:

“We are in a veritable war of competing visions. The strife inside the two parties is irrelevant—when compared to the larger existential war for the soul of America.

Like it or not, Donald Trump in fits and starts has chosen not to accommodate the progressive vision. But in most unlikely fashion he leads the fight against it. …

And yet, warts and all, the Trump presidency on all fronts is all that now stands in the way of the completion of what was started in 2009.

He adds that “we are  no longer in an era of liberal reform, it is now a postmodern world of intolerance and lockstep orthodoxy.” that certainly sounds about right.

Trump’s approval polls are supposedly dismal, yet consumer confidence is way up, as is employment, and  unemployment is down, so perhaps the internals of the polls are off.  The media seems to be solidly against Trump and thoroughly confused about what is a valid complaint and what is just silly. Today’s silliness was the occasion of President Trump feeding the Koi with Prime Minister Abe in Japan, when the media erupted because they thought Trump dumped in too much Koi food.  He was following the example of the Prime Minister.

The Bushes, father and son, have announced that Trump is a blowhard, and they don’t approve of him, but where were they when Obama was blithely throwing away the hard progress in Iraq, for nothing, and making the despicable Iran Deal, helping Iran to achieve nuclear weapons.

There are complaints that all that Trump is doing is by executive orders, and the next president can just dump those as Trump is doing now. We’ll see. If President Trump can really get the economy going again, he will be reelected and be the most important president since Reagan.

It seems not to be a financial war, but a class war. Trump sounds like somebody from Queens, and tweets. Apparently letting the public know what he thinks and feels is not “presidential.” Is it bad?  Mr. Trump seems to be an emotional man, and unaccustomed to hiding his feelings.

The Silicon Valley Oligarchs, at least as evidenced by Tom Steyer, who is willing to invest $10 million in the attempt to impeach  Donald Trump, with the help of  Maxine Waters and wassername from Florida who wears the sequined cowboy hats. Strange bedfellows indeed. Mr. Steyer is particularly agitated about the Paris Climate Accords, because he is very worried about the planet’s warming, in spite of a lack of any evidence, since the climate continues to cool. Impeachment requires “high crimes and misdemeanors” and the purported contacts with the Russians seem to be entirely with the Clintons, the Podestas, and the DNC.

I’m pretty pleased with what Trump is doing. I’m impressed with his cabinet, and his judges, and I like what they are doing. Scott Pruitt is stopping the insanity at the EPA, and insisting that regulations be about clean air and clean water. No more midnight raids and outrageous fines for nothing at all. Ajit Pai, Rick Perry, Nikki Haley, Ben Carson, Jack Kelly all doing important work, as are all the rest. It is definitely not all executive orders. What a relief to have Obama’s Rules of Engagement gone. He was so afraid that he might be blamed for something.

It clearly is a War of competing visions, and our millennial generation according to polls, apparently thinks socialism or communism would be just fine. I would suggest that their tender feelings and need for safe spaces would not fare well under those regimes, but they apparently aren’t learning anything at all in our universities for their $60,000 a year.

There is quite a bit that really needs to be done, but there’s an enormous amount of nonsense floating around. Democrats have major problems with human nature,and want to fix it. They are all hung up on ideas of racism, white supremacy, inequality, diversity, hate speech, global warming, the survival of the polar bears, and gun control. Issues that are focus group-tested to stir up Democrats, but will not respond to ‘fixing’.  Not very impressive as a goal.




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