American Elephants


The Iran Deal Actively Helps Iran to Perfect Its Nuclear Program by The Elephant's Child

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Omni Ceren writes from The Israel Project, a non-partisan American educational organization dedicated to informing the Media and public conversation about Israel and the Middle East:

The Iran Deal commits the international community to actively helping Iran perfect its nuclear program over the life of the deal. On a political level it means the deal will be seen as accomplishing the exact opposite of what the Obama administration promised Congress. Instead of rolling back Iran’s nuclear program, it will commit the U.S. and its allies to funding and boosting it.  On a policy level it means Iran’s breakout time will be constantly shrinking.

The commitments across the JCPOA obligate a range of global powers:

Russian sponsorship/cooperation on nuclear research at Fordow — The Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) will be converted into a nuclear, physics, and technology centre and international collaboration will be encouraged in agreed areas of research. The Joint Commission will be informed in advance of the specific projects that will be undertaken at Fordow…The transition to stable isotope production of these cascades at FFEP will be conducted in joint partnership between the Russian Federation and Iran on the basis of arrangements to be mutually agreed upon.

European sponsorship of nuclear security, including training against sabotage — E3/EU+3 parties, and possibly other states, as appropriate, are prepared to cooperate with Iran on the implementation of nuclear security guidelines and best practices…Co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage.

International sponsorship/cooperation of Iranian fuel fabrication, which will help Iran complete its mastery of fuel cycle, making Iran’s program harder more opaque and difficult to regulate — The Joint Commission will establish a Technical Working Group with the goal of enabling fuel to be fabricated in Iran while adhering to the agreed stockpile parameters… This Technical Working Group will also, within one year, work to develop objective technical criteria for assessing whether fabricated fuel and its intermediate products can be readily converted to UF6.

This deal does the opposite of rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. It funds, protects, and perfects the nuclear program.



The Real Ugliness of Planned Parenthood. by The Elephant's Child

RAMclr-072315-fetal-IBD-COLOR-FINAL.jpg.cmsBy now, you have probably seen or heard of the undercover video of the Senior Director of Medical Services released by the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group. Deborah Nucatola, an abortion doctor, had a conversation over a quite nice salad and wine lunch with two people  posing as representatives of a company trafficking in body parts of aborted fetuses.

The video exposes the animating principle behind the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood, a tax-payer supported industry. They do not consider abortion as any more problematic than cosmetic surgery.

There’s a lot of pretense at Planned Parenthood. They oppose the use of ultrasounds when the purpose is to reveal the humanity of the child, but use ultrasound to determine which parts of the baby to crush to preserve the desired parts. It’s ugly.  A second video has been released with another Planned Parenthood executive bargaining over prices for the fetal parts. Supporters of Planned Parenthood extol their other services like mammograms,  but its been well established that they don’t actually do mammograms.

The Left is heavily invested in Planned Parenthood, and in abortion, and the media have avoided any mention of the story, except to insist that the Center for Medical Progress is some kind of crazy pro-life group, and the video is false and the attack illegal. A reporter tried to ask a question of Josh Earnest, but was silenced with just an emphatic NO. Obama’s Department of Justice is planning to investigate, not Planned Parenthood for sales of body parts, but of the group that busted Planned Parenthood.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, made the claim that the trade in body parts was a service to scientific research, but embryonic tissue for stem cells is old discredited science, and the gold standard is now adult stem cells.

Health and Human Services rejected an expedited Planned Parenthood Freedom of Information Request for documents and communications relevant to payment or compensation of fees from Mary Hasson of the Federalist. HHS said it didn’t fit the public’s “urgent” right to know.

“Further, in order to meet second prong of the compelling need standard, the requested information must be the type of information that has a particular value that will be lost if not disseminated quickly, and ordinarily refers to a breaking news story of general public interest.”

There are more videos to come, and the Left is in panic mode. Or perhaps “stonewall mode.” The Left has a lot invested in total sexual freedom for all, but I’m getting pretty tired of school teachers having sex with their underage students, and gender-neutral bathrooms, among other things.

Black Americans are about 12.6 percent of the U.S. Population, but they have 35.4 percent of all abortions.  On average 1,876 black babies are aborted every day. That is just terribly sad.



Report: Over 8,000 Criminal Immigrants Released in Sanctuary City Policies in Just 8 Months by The Elephant's Child

According to Breitbart, sanctuary policies across the country have meant that 8,145 criminal immigrants that Immigration and Customs sought to deport have been released by sanctuary cities and counties.

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a report in the wake of the murder of Kathryn Steinle. CIS’ report revealed that 63 percent of the 8,145 released criminal immigrants in 276 jurisdictions from January 1, 2014 to August 31, 2014 had “serious prior criminal criminal records, and one fourth had a prior felony charge or conviction.”

As of last month, the total number of those ordered detained which sanctuary jurisdictions did not honor grew to more than 17,000.

In most cases the Sanctuary designation was ordered by a local police or sheriff’s jurisdiction, here in Washington and Oregon, where there seem to be lots of sanctuaries.  In California the designation was more often by cities or counties. Just why these jurisdictions choose to fail to follow federal law is unclear. Probably it is because they do not have the facilities or funds to hold criminal immigrants for ICE. Some examples cited by Jessica Vaughan who wrote the CIS report were appalling.

Los Angeles, Calif.: On April 6, 2014, an alien was arrested for “felony continuous sexual abuse of a child”. After release, the alien was arrested for “felony sodomy of a victim under 10 years old”.

San Mateo County, Calif.: On February 16, 2014, an individual was arrested for “felony lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14″. In addition, the alien had a prior DUI conviction. Following release by the local agency, the individual was arrested for three counts of “felony oral copulation with a victim under 10″ and two counts of “felony lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14”.

Miami Beach, Fla.: On December 19, 2013, the police department arrested an alien for felony grand theft. This alien had been ordered removed (and presumably absconded) in 2009. The alien also had prior convictions for strong-arm robbery, cocaine possession, larceny, trespassing, theft, marijuana possession, and resisting an officer. After release by the local agency, the alien was arrested on two separate occasions; once for “aggravated assault with a weapon and larceny” and once for “under the influence of a controlled substance”.

I don’t understand why any jurisdiction would want to declare itself a “sanctuary” where felons can go to be free of the fear of being turned over to the federal department charged with deporting criminals.

There is a movement in Congress in response to the Steinle murder to deprive any jurisdiction calling itself a “sanctuary,” and failing to obey federal law of any and all federal funds. We’ll see.



The EPA Gets Slapped Down By the Federal Court Once Again by The Elephant's Child

McCarthy testifies before a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on her nomination to be administrator of the Environmental Protection AgencyFederal Judge Royce C. Lamberth  today warned the EPA not to discriminate against conservative groups in how it responds to open records requests. He said the agency may have lied to the court and showed “apathy and carelessness” in carrying out the law.

He said he could not prove that officials intentionally destroyed documents, but he described as an “absurdity” the way the EPA handled a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Landmark Legal Foundation and the court case stemming from it—including late last week admitting that it misled the court about how it went about  “searching for documents.”

In a scorching 25-page opinion, the judge accused the agency of insulting him by first claiming it had conducted a full search for records, then years later retracted that claim in a footnote to another document without giving any explanation for how it erred.

“The recurrent instances of disregard that EPA employees display for FOIA obligations should not be tolerated by the agency,” the judge said. “This court would implore the executive branch to take greater responsibility in ensuring that all EPA FOIA requests — regardless of the political affiliation of the requester — are treated with equal respect and conscientiousness.”

This particular ruling can also be seen as a rebuke to President Obama who vowed to run the “most transparent administration in history” but has received constant challenges over how that vow has been carried out. Judge Lamberth made a point of the EPA delay of follow through on Landmark’s request until after the 2012 elections, and said explanations by EPA officials for why they failed to live up to the law “defied reason.”

Mark Levin, Landmark’s president, said it is up to the president to decide how to respond, but people should be fired. Nena Shaw and Eric Wachter, Judge Lamberth said, either lied to the court or showed utter indifference to the law.

Is it proper to send roses to a federal court? Probably not, but this arrogant agency certainly deserves a legal slap-down.



The New York Times’ “Corrections” by The Elephant's Child

Well, well. All that huffing and puffing, the firestorm about Bibi Netanyahu not informing the White House before he accepted Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address Congress? The New York Times even used the word “unprecedented.” Bibi had not only “disrespected” the current occupant of the White House, whose aides had called Prime Minister Netanyahu a “chickenshit” and disrespected the institution of the Presidency itself. Ignoring Protocol, they claimed.

It was one of the New York Times’ infamous “corrections.”Attached on January 30 to a story that ran the previous day about Benjamin Netanyahu’s  difficult relations with the Democratic Party. Here is the correction in its entirety: “An earlier version of this article misstated when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accepted Speaker John A. Boehner’s invitation to address Congress. He accepted after the administration had been informed of the invitation, not before.”

Every other news source picked up the article about the “disrespect” on the basis of the Times report. As the Tablet reported:

The decent thing to do would’ve been to write another piece altogether, contemplate why the paper of record got suckered so badly by the White House—which gained plenty from the manufactured story—and amend any and all implications of Bibi’s perfidy and bad manners that arose from the original report.

But that’s the state of the news business today. Times’ corrections provide a continuing source of amusement. NBC is trying desperately to decide if they can possibly rescue Brian Williams from his perfidy, and the “mainstream media” wonders why subscriptions are declining.



Getting Tired of Green Lies? The Ice Is Not Melting. by The Elephant's Child

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Have you heard that the ice is melting at the poles in a clear sign of climate catastrophe? Last night I was listening to a podcast of the John Batchelor show, and heard an admiral saying how useful drones would be for patrolling the Arctic when it was ice free. Huh?

I was surprised that the idea that the ice at the poles is catastrophically melting has inflicted the military, and apparently military planning.  The ice freezes in the winter and melts some in the summer. Every year.

Ted Maksym, an oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts is going to get some grief from the global warming true believers for not adhering to the article of faith that man is overheating the Earth by burning fossil fuels.

Arctic sea ice has reached the largest December extent in a decade. Federal experts will not acknowledge this since their funding depends on a misinformed Congress and gullible public.

“The North and South Poles are ‘not melting,'”the British Express reported on Christmas. “In fact,” the Express said in its coverage of Maksym’s finding, the poles are ‘much more stable ‘ than climate scientists once predicted and could even be much thicker than previously thought.”

The ‘narrative’ in America is that the ice is melting, and you will find little confirmation in the media that that is not the case. Remember the “walrus scare,” the constant assertion that the polar bears are endangered, threatened, dying, suffering because of a lack of ice? It has been a constant story, enlivened by pictures of bears crouched on too-small bits of ice, looking pathetic. Well, never fear.

There is plenty of ice at the poles, north and south. Not melting.



A Very Brief Lesson In Economics for Your Profit and Understanding. by The Elephant's Child

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Today’s economics lesson is from Casey Mulligan, professor of economics at the University of Chicago. In an article about the effects of the Affordable Care Act on Economic Productivity from Imprimus, he begins with a key economic concept called  “tax distortions.”

Tax distortions are changes in behavior on the part of businesses or households for the purpose of reducing their taxes or increasing their subsidies. We call them distortions because they don’t occur for real business or real personal reasons. They occur because of the tax code. A   prime example of a tax policy that creates distortions is the ethanol subsidy—technically it is a credit, not a subsidy—whereby gasoline refiners are subsidized on the basis of how many gallons of gas they produce with ethanol. Because of this subsidy, businesses change the type of gas they produce and deliver, people change the type of gas they use—which affects engines—and corn is used for ethanol instead of as feed or food. Nor do the distortions stop there. Arguably, food prices are increased due to the re-location of corn to different uses—and when food prices are higher, restaurants and households do things differently. There are distortions economy-wide, all for the chasing of a subsidy.  

To be clear, just because taxes cause distortions doesn’t mean that we should never have taxes. It just means that in order to get the full picture when it comes to policies like an ethanol subsidy or laws such as the ACA, we need to take into account the tax distortions in order to ensure that the benefits we are seeking exceed the costs.

Tuck that one away in the back of your head, and haul it out when another wonderful scheme is offered to save the planet or care for our health and well-being.




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