American Elephants


The Memo, The Memo, The Memo, And What it All Means. by The Elephant's Child

Here is the article on the publication and the White House approval:

—”Memo Released: FBI Officials Knew Political Origins of Dossier, but Used it Anyway.”

— Here is the article from Yahoo the FBI used to corroborate the Dossier, even though it’s just a repeat of the information in the Dossier.

The Spectator: “Media propaganda can’t erase the fact that the FBI used Hillary’s dossier to spy on Trumpworld.”

Heritage: Anti-Trump Politics in FBI Drove Russia Probe, Memo”

PJ Media: Spengler: “Trump Triumphs with Release of House Intel Memo”

Powerline: John Hinderraker: “What the House Intelligence Committee Memo Says:” (John Hinderraker is an attorney)

The Wall Street Journal: “Obama and the FISA Court” (pay barrier)

The Weekly Standard: Nunes: More Memos Are Coming

American Greatness: “Worse Than Watergate” by Chris Buskirk

Manhattan Contrarian:Comments on the House Intelligence Committee Memo” Francis Menton is also an attorney.

Frontpage Magazine: The Memo Reveals The Coup Against America
by Daniel Greenfield

The Diplomad 2.0: The Release of the MemWow” The  author is a long time American diplomat, now retired.

There, that gives you lots of varied opinions on the memo so far. The anguished Democrats are going to vote on releasing their version of the contents of the memo on Monday, insisting that the Republican version is a pack of lies and misleading and hating Trump and all that. The whole thing is very damning to the Democrat claims, and they’ve had a few days and the weekend to cook up a good story. Pathetic.

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A Panicky Pelosi Claims Conspiracy and Distortion. by The Elephant's Child


We await the release of the Memo from the House Intelligence Committee. It is a four page document supposedly referring to the use of the Fusion GPS misinformation to obtain FISA Court permission to surveil and/or wiretap the Trump Campaign, and/or to unmask names. In other words nobody really seems to have a clue.  But—Democrats are having a near nervous breakdown attempting to prevent the release, or make sure that everyone understands that it is inaccurate, false, misleading or something like that, which would seem to indicate that they are scared to death of the reaction.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote to Speaker Paul Ryan demanding that he remove Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) as chairman of the Intelligence Committee for releasing the “bogus memo that has taken the GOP ‘s cover-up campaign to a new, completely unacceptable extreme.”

Both the DOJ and FBI oppose releasing the Nunes memo. As the Department of Justice warned, the public release of the memo would be an “unprecedented action” and “extraordinarily reckless.” The FBI also expressed that the agency has “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”

It has now come to our attention that Congressman Nunes deliberately and materially altered the contents of the memo since it was voted on by the House Republicans. This action is not only dangerous, it is illegitimate, and violates House rules.

The committee says they cleaned up the punctuation and some spelling, or something like that. Democrats attempt to discredit Chairman Nunes in advance of the release does seem to be a little bit much. An MSNBC analyst asked two Democrat lawmakers if Chairman Nunes was “compromised by the Russians” or a “Russian agent.”

Here’s Andrew McCarthy’s post today, in which he says the FBI and Democrats don’t have good reasons for wanting to prevent it’s disclosure to the public.Andy, as a former Federal Prosecutor, has been clear and informative on this whole process.

Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent, I believe, suggests that the Obama administration was wiretapping and investigating illegally, the Trump Campaign, which they thought was safe because Hillary would win, and now they are having to go back and do a cover-up after the fact, a kind of interference in an election that would be one of the worst scandals in American history.

All rumor, innuendo, guesswork and suspicion, but it’s getting really interesting. Nancy Pelosi is doing a great job of stirring up interest with her panicky accusation of conspiracy theories and attacks on Committee members.

Picture is a screen shot from Weasel Zippers



Senator Schumer’s Shutdown by The Elephant's Child

The West Wing of the White House is dark today, Sunday, January 21, 2018.

If you call the White House public comment phone line, you will get an unusual message.

“Thank you for calling the White House,” a woman says in the recording. “Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today. Congressional Democrats are holding government funding, including funding for our troops and other national security priorities, hostage to an unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction, the government is shut down. In the meantime, you can leave a comment at http://www.whitehouse.gov, forward-slash contact. We look forward to taking your calls as soon as the government reopens.”

The number for the comment line is: 202-456-1111.

Thanks to  the Examiner’s Kelly Cohen for calling this to our attention.



Why The Talk of “Fake News”? Here’s Why: by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a devastating compilation of the Fake News Media on the attack put together by the Free Beacon’s Andrew Kugle, who tweeted that he had six minutes of more outtakes that he had to cut from this compilation. Instapundit describes it as an “embarrassment of riches.”

Then there’s the Democrat media’s fantastically defensive commentary about Hillary’s collapse when returning to her limousine, or having to be helped up the stairs. Funny.

And then there were all of those coughing fits, which the doctor announced were caused by dehydration which had been treated (drink some water) and pneumonia because she is unsteady on her feet and collapses?

Sometimes you don’t notice when you just see one or two examples, but when there are dozens compiled—it’s a different matter entirely. Funny.

 



Addressing the Administrative State: Drain the Swamp by The Elephant's Child

After a year of impressive accomplishment, in spite of “the resistance”, Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal is offering ” A Big Beautiful Trump 2018 Issue: Civil Service Reform.” Send your message of approval to the White House! The Journal has a pay barrier, but Instapundit has the essentials.

Let 2018 be the year of civil-service reform—a root-and-branch overhaul of the government itself. Call it Operation Drain the Swamp.

When Candidate Trump first referred to “the swamp,” he was talking about the bog of Beltway lobbyists and “establishment” politicians. But President Trump’s first year in office has revealed that the real swamp is the unchecked power of those who actually run Washington: the two million members of the federal bureaucracy. That civil-servant corps was turbocharged by the Obama administration’s rule-making binge, and it now has more power—and more media enablers—than ever. We live in an administrative state, run by a left-leaning, self-interested governing class that is actively hostile to any president with a deregulatory or reform agenda.

It’s Lois Lerner, the IRS official who used her powers to silence conservative nonprofits. It’s the “anonymous” officials who leak national-security secrets daily. It’s the General Services Administration officials who turned over Trump transition emails to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the absence of a warrant. It’s the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Leandra English, who tried to stage an agency coup. It’s the EPA’s “Scientific Integrity Official” who has taken it upon herself to investigate whether Scott Pruitt is fit to serve in the office to which he was duly appointed. It’s the thousands of staffers across the federal government who continue to pump out reports on global warming and banking regulations that undermine administration policy.

More broadly, it is a federal workforce whose pay and benefits are completely out of whack with the private sector. A 2011 American Enterprise Institute study found federal employees receive wages 14% higher than what similar workers in the private sector earn. Factor in benefits and the compensation premium leaps to 61%. Nice, huh?

Here’s a website that offers information on federal pay and benefits. It does not seem to be an official government website, but offers information for those who wish to become government employees. Do follow the link to Instapundit and read and save the invaluable Ms. Strassel’s invaluable piece.

We live in an administrative state, run by a left-leaning, self-interested governing class that is actively hostile to any president with a deregulatory or reform agenda.

You might consider reading Philip Hamburger’s recent book “Is Administrative Law Unlawful? Philip Hamburger is a leading scholar on the Constitution and a Professor of Law at Columbia University.



Common Sense is Not Anywhere as Common as Assumed by The Elephant's Child

Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University, had an excellent article in the Washington Post last Wednesday about GMO foods. The campaign against GMO foods he says, is the kind of foolishness that only rich societies can afford to indulge.

Of the several claims of “anti-science” that clutter our national debates these days, none can be more flagrantly clear than the campaign against modern agricultural technology, most specifically the use of molecular techniques to create genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Here, there are no credibly conflicting studies, no arguments about the validity of computer models, no disruption of an ecosystem nor any adverse human health or even digestive problems, after 5 billion acres have been cultivated cumulatively and trillions of meals consumed.

And yet a concerted, deep-pockets campaign, as relentless as it is baseless, has persuaded a high percentage of Americans and Europeans to avoid GMO products, and to pay premium prices for “non-GMO” or “organic” foods that may in some cases be less safe and less nutritious. Thank goodness the toothpaste makers of the past weren’t cowed so easily; the tubes would have said “No fluoride inside!” and we’d all have many more cavities.

The article is an excellent plea for a little common sense. Mitch Daniels points out that suggesting that the poor in developing countries should fear GMO foods is not just wrong, but immoral. The story of the Green Revolution and the work of Norman Borlaug who should be one of the great heroes of the world should be taught in school.  Golden Rice is a variety of rice (Oryza sativa)  produced through genetic engineering (there are the ‘scary’ words) to biosynthesize beta-carotene in the edible parts of rice. It is intended to produce a fortified food to be grown and consumed in areas where there is a shortage of dietary vitamin A, a deficiency which is estimated to kill 670,000 children under the age of 5 each year.

This is a broad problem of political and scientific ignorance. Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy added his views on the problem.He links to Reason science writer Ron Bailey and William Saletan of Slate. The basic problem of ignorance is heightened by the very words “genetically engineered” which sound, to the ignorant, really scary. Ilya Somin notes that a 2012 National Science  Foundation survey found that about 25% of Americans don’t know that the Earth revolves around the sun rather than visa versa. There’s a lot about basic knowledge in Ilya Somin’s article that certainly suggests that we have a major problem with our schools. Do read that whole thing too.

I would suggest though, that much of the problem exists because of our grocery stores. Food producers are concerned with their marketing, and inclined to cater to any possible fears of the consumer. Hence you have “low sodium” products, “sugar-free,” “low-fat,” and “No GMO products” among others on every can or carton in the store. If everyone is telling you that GMO is a bad thing, pretty soon you’ll start to believe it.

Another article by Ilya Somin explains the problem of mandatory government warnings where the state of Florida required producers of skim milk that does not contain added vitamins to label it as “imitation milk” which it of course is not. The European Union has imposed mandatory labeling of GMO foods, even though there are no dangers involved. Read the comments on Mitch Daniels’ fine essay. You might wonder if perhaps Leftism is just a cult.



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.




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