American Elephants


More Nominees For the Trump Administration by The Elephant's Child

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Donald Trump has nominated Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State to wide praise from Republicans. He has broad  and remarkable international experience, a deep understanding of the global economy and personal relations with many state leaders throughout the world. Imagine, a Secretary of State who knows what he’s doing and understands the geopolitics.

President-elect Donald Trump wants Goldman Sachs president & COO Gary Cohn as the Director of his National Economic Council. Trump says that Cohn will put his talents as a highly successful businessman to work for the American people, growing wages for workers and stopping American jobs from going overseas.
Cohn said: “I share President-elect Trump’s vision of making sure every American worker has a secure place in a thriving economy, and we will be completely committed to building a nation of strength, growth and prosperity.”

President Obama felt that having served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was enough prior knowledge of world governments and geopolitics, so we got Hillary Clinton whose accomplishment was the air miles she racked up, and John Kerry.

Steven Mnuchin has been nominated as Secretary of the Treasury. He was Trump’s campaign finance director, and obviously highly successful in that job. Hillary raised and spent $1.2 billion, and Trump, in contrast, spent $616.5 million, and had $31.5 million left over. He is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who has become a trusted financial advisor.

Ryan Zinke named as Interior Secretary is a first term congressman from Montana who will lead Mr. Trump’s efforts to open federal lands and water to fossil-fuel development and reverse many of the Obama administration nonsensical regulations.

Rick Perry who has been named as Secretary of Energy is the former governor of Texas. He served for nearly 15 years in the country’s biggest energy producing state. His record as governor was outstanding.

Andy Puzder has been named as Secretary of Labor. He is CEO of CKE Restaurant Holdings, parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, and has been a vocal advocate of cutting back the regulations that have stunted growth in the restaurant industry, and he has argued against raising the minimum wage higher than $9 an hour, and criticized the Affordable Care Act.

Wilbur Ross has been named as Commerce Secretary. He is a top economic adviser to Mr. Trump. He is chairman and chief  strategist of W.L.Ross & Co. a private equity firm and has extensive experience in corporate restructurings.

John Kelly,  has been named as Secretary of Homeland Security. He is a retired four star Marine General who directly supervised U.S. Operations in Central and South America as chief of Southern Command. His post involved monitoring drug trafficking and other smuggling activity around our southern border.

Linda McMahon has been named as Administrator of the Small Business Administration. She is the co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut, but very successful in building a business.

Elaine Chao has been named as Transportation Secretary. She was the first American woman of Asian descent to be appointed to the cabinet when she served as a very successful secretary of labor in the administration of George W. Bush. She is married to Majority Leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell.

Mike Pompeo has been named as Director of the CIA. He is a West Point graduate, first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 as part of the tea-party movement. He is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Intelligence Committee, and was a member of the special committee investigating the 2012 attacks on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Michael Flynn has been nominated as National Security Adviser. He is a retired Army General who had served in top roles across the military as director of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and intelligence adviser to Gen..Stanley McChrystal in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Donald McGahn has been named as White House Counsel. He was the president-elect’s campaign lawyer and is a former member of the Federal Elections Commission. He is currently a partner at Jones Day in Washington D.C. where he has specialized on political law issues.

The Left, unsurprisingly, is having hissy-fits. Three Generals? During the campaign Trump was called “Hitler,” one of their usual epithets. Now its “Authoritarian.” From Bill McGurn at the Wall Street Journal:  (Talking Points)

From the New Republic: “Donald Trump Is Already Acting Like an Authoritarian.” National Public Radio: “Donald Trump: Strong Leader or Dangerous Authoritarian?” The New York Times: “Beyond Lying: Donald Trump’s Authoritarian Reality.” The New Yorker: “Trump’s Challenge to American Democracy.”

What’s striking here is that the same folks who see in Mr. Trump a Mussolini in waiting are blind to the soft despotism that has already taken root in our government. This is the unelected and increasingly assertive class that populates our federal bureaucracies and substitutes rule by regulation for the rule of law. The result? Over the Obama years, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reckons, Washington has averaged 35 regulations for every law.

The Left finds fault with any nominee who has not served in government as somehow not qualified. That pretty clearly demonstrates the mindset. The Left are proponents of big government, the better to regulate you with. They believe firmly in their own anointed superiority, and usually, never have worked in private business, and thus know how the deplorables out there should go about their lives.

Three Generals? Will they lead us to war? Oh please! Nobody hates war more than those who have experienced it. No experience in Government—that is a positive qualification.

Trump’s array of economic advisors are divided between those who believe in carrots and those who believe in sticks. One group rejects mainstream economic thinking and believes in eliminating trade deficits, and views taxes on companies that move jobs abroad as necessary sticks  to reduce a 15 year slide in income for middle class Americans. The opposing camp champions supply-side economics and believe in slashing red tape and taxes to make the U.S. a top destination for business is a worthwhile carrot. Then there’s a third group who aren’t particularly ideological. (I‘m an ideological  supply-sider)

Mr Trump’s supporters are probably equally divided. A lot of us want the EPA abolished. Is the Energy Department necessary? Is the Education Department needed? I suspect that it is unlikely that any agency will be eliminated, for all have their proponents, and for the Left—they are essential. Getting rid of a department approaches the impossible.

Trump has advocated eliminating Education. Each department has its own culture, many are long-standing and deeply entrenched.  Eliminating departments will take a back seat to Mr. Trump’s goal of growing the economy and putting America back to work. There will be more silly attacks from the Left, but the Right has not been this strong for 80 years. Progressives just haven’t figured that out yet.

Expect some bitter confirmation battles. They are outraged with the appointment of Scott Pruitt to the EPA, he is not only an attorney who has taken the EPA to court (on a lawsuit filed by 27 states against the EPA. Rex Tillerson (a businessman, an oil man? ), the Generals, and Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education who is a champion of charter schools and opposes Common Core. Major fight!  This is a group selected for their expertise and their ability to take on a fight to make a difference for the country. I’m impressed.



Uncommon Knowledge: Victor Davis Hanson by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson on grand strategy, immigration, and the coming election.  It’s a fascinating conversation, worth every minute. I hope you can find time.

 



Can You Trust the Press? Should You? by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Judith Miller, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. speaking for Praeger University.  And the answer is No.  They have squandered that trust with their own partisanship and misrepresentation. I’m not at all sure that they recognize the loss of trust at all. Smug. Remarkably smug.



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



Getting Straight Talk Out of Our “Elites” Has Become an Impossible Task. by The Elephant's Child

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Bombs in New York and New Jersey, stabbings in a mall in Saint Cloud, Michigan. President Obama urged us not to go assuming it was terrorism and getting ahead of the police, but to allow them to search for answers. The American people, on the other hand, do not assume that bombs that injure 29 people in an upscale part of Manhattan and a railroad station in Elizabeth, New Jersey are just a curious event that could be anything — a birthday party joke, some new computer game with loud bangs.

New York Governor Andrew Como said on Sunday morning that it was “obviously an act of terrorism,” though so far there was no evidence of an international terrorist connection. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio got as far as calling it an “intentional act.” ISIS promptly claimed credit. Hillary got into accusing Trump of being provacative for saying “bombing,” though she’d just said it herself.

Only 2 days later, while the police are still efficiently figuring it all out,  arresting the bomber, and the slasher has been killed, Obama will lead a special summit on the need to take in more Syrian refugees. The FBI has politely said that it cannot vet every single refugee, which rephrased slightly, says they cannot vet any. To clear everything up, President Obama’s spokesman, Josh Earnest, earnestly explained that the U.S. is in a fight with the Islamic State, but it is a fight of words — not arms. “When it comes to ISIL, we are in a fight — a narrative fight with them.” A narrative battle, so the problem is just getting the correct words? No wonder nobody can say “terrorism” except ISIS.

If you wonder why Americans are so totally fed up, so angry, you just have to reread that narrative. The people call it ISIS, but the president insists on “ISIL.” Under the headline “The Mulish Stupidity of Clinton-Obama Counterterrorism” Andy McCarthy wrote:

Perhaps the only thing more sadly hilarious than watching the political class tie itself in knots over whether a bomb should be called a “bomb” and whether a terrorist attack should be called a “terrorist attack” is Clinton’s claim that ISIS is rooting for Trump to be elected president. Newsflash: Jihadists don’t give a flying fatwa who wins American elections, or even whether there are American elections.

Islamic supremacists and their jihadist front lines are in the business of killing Americans and supplanting our constitutional republic with sharia. To claim that they care about our elections is to exhibit ignorance about who they are, who they think we are, and what they seek to achieve.

ISIS has told us quite clearly why they hate us and why they fight us. Do you suppose Mr. Obama missed the message? Do they think they are fooling us with their careful language? Mulish Stupidity indeed.

The Department of Homeland Security admits “mistakenly” granting citizenship to 858 immigrants from countries of concern to National Security.” These are our “elites,” who find it amusing when their champion, Hillary Clinton, calls us “the deplorables.” The same woman who in a commercial I hear several times daily says “We want an America where everyone is treated with respect.” The deplorables?  She also says that “Donald Trump is running a campaign based on insults.”  “The deplorables” — there you go.

What our President fails to understand is that his legacy, which he is working so hard to enhance, will be composed of the death-count of American lives lost as a direct result of his policies. As of October 2015, an estimated 75 percent of all the military deaths and about 90 percent of the injuries linked to the ongoing war in Afghanistan have occurred under President Obama’s watch. Refusing to recognize acts of terrorism, and engaging in a battle of  “narratives” instead, has consequences.  That will be his legacy.



Compassion Is All Very Fine, But Common Sense Wins Every Time by The Elephant's Child

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The Obama administration has planned to admit 110,000 refugees to the United States during the next fiscal year, a 57% increase over the 70,000 refugees admitted in FY 2015. Only 36% of the American people believe we should admit any Syrian refugees at all.

Americans have watched the surge of migrants into Europe and the subsequent terrorist attacks, rape and sexual attacks on women and girls, and the problems the Europeans are just beginning to learn about.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel was at first extremely welcoming, and many Syrian refugees are refusing to work saying that they are now the guests of Angela Merkel and they don’t have to work.

Turns out many of the Syrian refugees in Europe are not from Syria and are not even “refugees.” Chancellor Merkel has recently admitted that she was mistaken, and the polls don’t look good for her continuation in office. The European Union has been very politically correct, with emphasis on compassion as a virtue. People at first came out with flowers and food to welcome the migrants. After the discovery that they were indeed somewhat dangerous, complained about the housing and food provided, executed terrorist attacks, most notably in France, and regarded sexual gratification as an entitlement, Europeans began to lose their enthusiasm.

We cannot vet refugees from Syria. There is no government to which we can apply. Syrian passports are easily copied and widely available. For many, the simple opportunity to move to a more prosperous country is very appealing, and for others, the welfare and free goodies are the defining element.

A professor of economics at the University of Munich has said that 65% of Syrian refugees are “functionally illiterate — they fail to have basic reading and writing skills in accordance with international standards.” 73% have dropped out of job training classes.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, more than 90% of Syrians applying for refugee status are approved despite the lack of any ability to verify their identity. The Federal government is going to spend $4,6 million to give “emotional wellness” to refugees. The Department of Homeland Security is allegedly refusing to release an immigration study “pinpointing the number of illegal immigrants who successfully sneak across the southern border” because it might help Donald Trump’s campaign.

Since 2013, the Obama administration has allowed 300,000 criminal aliens to return to the United States because their home countries will not take them back. Hillary Clinton had the power to stop it cold, but chose not to. CIS estimates that it costs twelve times as much to resettle refugees here rather than in a neighboring country in the Middle East. The wealthy Arab-Islamic countries near Syria aren’t accepting refugees because of “security concerns.”

The Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org) is a think tank devoted to the issue of immigration. They are pro-immigration and pro-immigrant, but they want immigrants to be legal. It is a very useful website for all things concerning immigration and immigration law. It’s an enormously complicated matter.

George Soros, who backs the Democratic Party with major funding, believes in completely open borders. Apparently so does Hillary, who Trump has accused of wanting to resettle 1 million in her first term. At the other extreme are those who want the flow of immigrants completely stopped.  Which does not bode well for much in the way of compromise.

Every time we offer amnesty, it is an open invitation to the world that we have open borders and they are welcome. One can favor admitting legal immigrants and even refugees. Our laws favor those refugees who face religious persecution, and getting immolated in a cage by ISIS would seem to be a major incentive, but President Obama rejects admitting Christians as the law requires.

For the most part, once refugees are admitted, they’re on their own. Homeland Security has no idea where they are, nor how they are doing. nor does anybody else except for the school districts that have to provide for them, and the police departments who cannot get any help in deporting them because of “sanctuary cities.” By failing to deal with jihad and terrorism, President Obama has created the backlash all by himself from Americans, who do follow the news.



Immigration Is A Lot Bigger Problem Than We Realize! by The Elephant's Child

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We are all aware of the problem of illegal immigration at our own Southern border, and of the various euphemisms used to disguise the term “illegal alien” which is not a slander, but accurate terminology as defined by the dictionary, in this case — Merriam Webster:

illegal, il•le•gal, adjective:  not allowed by law.
not according to or authorized by law.

alien, noun:  a person who was born in a different country and is not  a citizen of the county in which he now lives. A foreign born resident who has not been naturalized and is still a subject or citizen of a foreign country.

Straightforward and accurately descriptive. Let’s dispense with the meaningless politically correct euphemisms.

Europe is suffering from our same problems, but a lot more so. Angela Merkel has finally admitted that Germany and the EU have bungled the refugee crisis. German intelligence has acknowledged that ISIS “sleeper cells” have infiltrated the country disguised as refugees. But that’s only the beginning.

The American Interest notes that  “As Migrant Deal Falters,Strains on EU’s Underbelly Grow.” On average, the number of people landing on Greek islands has risen to about 100 a day in August, up from fewer than 50 a day in May and June. About 460 people landed on Greek islands on Monday, a number Greece hasn’t experienced since early April.

The traffic is still far below daily peaks of 6,800 in October last year. But the rising numbers are making Greek and EU officials worried that the fragile deal with Turkey—aimed at returning almost all who land on Greek shores—could break down. Mr. Erdogan is not currently in a getting along with the West mood.

German asylum seekers refuse to work insisting “we are Merkel’s GUESTS.” While asylum seekers are not allowed to work under immigration rules within the EU, they are allowed to do voluntary work.

However officials in the district of Zwickau came up with a plan to help encourage those without employment to get back to work and to help them become more accepted within the local community.

Girls are disappearing from school as Germany has logged over 1,000 child marriages to older men, and there may be many more unreported marriages. Some as young as 11. And that ‘s just some of the reported problems.

An excellent article from Ted R. Bromund at the Hoover Institution: How Should Europe Respond to Islamism?” He points out that the standard of border control is effectively that of its least capable member i.e. Greece.

If Islamism’s first challenge to Europe is to its uncontrolled borders, the second, and far more serious, is to its society and culture once those borders have been crossed. Over the coming years, we can expect to see all manner of pleas for a unified European approach to combating Islamism. What we will not see is any serious effort to deprive Islamism of a measure of its ideological legitimacy by defeating it on the ground in the Middle East.

Barack Obama’s hard left ideology has kept him from dealing effectively with the problems facing the United States and with Europe. Obama is striving for a borderless world. He expects the flood of immigrants to become future Democrat voters, grateful for free education and welfare. The problems in the Middle East were caused by Bush’s invasion of Iraq, and if he just turns the entire Middle East over to Iran, it will all settle down. And he seems to continue to believe that ISIS is just some kind of J.V. team. The West cannot seem to agree on the aims of the jihadists, or Iran, or ISIS —nor what to do about it. See the post below.

European countries are getting an up-front and real lesson in the aims and customs of their Muslim migrants, but they haven’t quite put aside the hopes of peacefully assimilating them, nor of facing up to the immense problems involved.  Assimilating single families or small groups was one thing, but the mass of millions of young Muslim men, with ISIS fighters as “sleeper cells” disguised among them is something quite different entirely.

It is all a huge problem, and we are called upon to pay attention and try to think clearly. Obama is intent upon importing as vast numbers of “Syrian refugees” as he can get away with, as future Democrat voters — so we may soon be facing the same problems as Europe.

Obama has been asked to consider specifying Christian refugees who, can expect to be killed brutally if they are captured by ISIS. Refugees fleeing religious persecution are supposed to get special consideration under our laws about refugees, but Obama is not interested.




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