American Elephants


Marco Rubio Responds to a Question. Some Question! Some Response! by The Elephant's Child

A campaign stop in New Hampshire, and Marco Rubio has a very nice response to a question from an 11 year old girl. Would be nice to see a lot more of this on the campaign trail.



Why American Politics Is the Way It Is by The Elephant's Child

American-Flag-Background-Vintage-580x271
from
Take No Prisoners
by David Horowitz

A defining characteristic of the progressive outlook is its belief in the doctrine of original innocence. The modern source of this belief is the French radical Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who maintained that private property is the source of social evils and that “Man is born free but is everywhere in chains.” This is doctrine so obviously false it hardly  needs refutation except progressives believe it. What they believe is that “society” is the root cause of social problems. In their view, human beings are naturally cooperative and sharing, honest and moral, but are corrupted by social institutions that encourage prejudice and greed and set them against each other. They believe that  “social justice” is the model of how human beings naturally relate to each other, that equality and cooperation reflect human nature, and that socialism is therefore the name of a truly  human future.

Conservatives believe the opposite. They believe that human beings are the root cause of social problems and that social institutions are corrupt because human beings create and run them. It is the barbarity of the species that requires the intervention of a social order with the disciplines of morality and law to civilize its inhabitants. This is also what the Founders believed. It is why they did not create a pure democracy that would express the popular will, which they regarded as unruly, emotion driven, and dangerous. Instead they devised a system of checks and balances to frustrate the majority’s natural instinct to tyrannize the weak and outnumbered. And they set limits to government.

Take No Prisoners by David Horowitz



The Quotation of the Day: Food for Thought! by The Elephant's Child

From Cafe Hayek:

From page 220 of philosopher Michael Huemer’s powerful 2013 book, The Problem of Political Authority

The general lesson is that if some part of government fails in its function, it will most likely be given greater funding and power.  Of course, the purpose of this is not to reward failure; the thinking would be that more money and power will enable the agency to solve the problem.  But the effect is that government grows when social problems grow, and thus it is not in the government’s interests to solve society’s problems.

Cafe Hayek added:

I recall long ago hearing David Boaz ask rhetorically about this reality: ‘Can you imagine a worse incentive system than one that rewards failure with higher budgets and punishes success with lower budgets?’  I can’t – yet that’s pretty much the prevailing incentive system for governments around the world.

Have you heard Carly Fiorian talking about “Zero-Based Budgeting?” That’s a serious attempt to rectify the situation.



Two Down, Fourteen to Go. by The Elephant's Child

I’m really troubled. The two most accomplished governors in the country have both suspended their campaigns for the Republican nomination. Rick Perry administered a state that created most of the new jobs in the country. Liberals predicted that Texas would go bust along with oil prices when they started to drop, but 2014 was the year that oil prices fell to $53 a barrel in December from more than $107 in June.

But Austin has little exposure to the energy industry, and business other than government is booming. Texas has no personal or corporate income tax, and job growth continues to soar. Texas is in the business of wealth creation, not redistribution.

Scott Walker shifted power from unions to workers, where it belongs. Wisconsin has outdone the nation on most economic indicators. The unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and improving. After four years of Gov. Walker, more Wisconsinites are employed and his policies are clearly working. Add in an attempt to recall him, death threats to his family, protests at his parent’s home, and the use of law enforcement as a political instrument in an attempt to undo election results. Above all, he clearly has a steel spine, something we have all been wishing for.

Well, sour grapes. Walker, perhaps rose to the top too soon,too fast, and the vast number of candidates, hostile unions determined to destroy him,  a liberal media that regarded him as the most dangerous man in the bunch — liberals will do anything to silence those who disagree, and someone who is successful in overturning everything in the original progressive state is very dangerous to the liberal agenda.

I expected some to drop out, but not my two favorites while the less deserving, hang on. It’s politics, and the unexpected usually happens.

ADDENDUM: I’ve read dozens of other commentary on Scott Walkers suspension of his campaign. The only satisfying answer, setting aside the snark, is that he entered the race on a vast wave of enthusiasm, and the campaign spent way too much money in the first weeks, and as yet people are just getting acquainted with the candidates, and not really ready to settle on a single favorite. The too much money spent too early wasn’t getting replenished that fast. He just ran out of money and poll numbers.



More About the Debates. A Changing Horse Race. by The Elephant's Child

Today has been the ruminate over the debate day. Who won, who lost, who advanced, who slipped back. That’s the part I hate, the Media’s favored horserace. I want to learn about the candidates. I have my favorites, but I favored Rick Perry for his outstanding record, and he has already dropped out, to our misfortune.

We have experienced someone who was unprepared for the office, eagerly believed that he could do anything, and has failed in every effort. He has left the nation and the world in a more dangerous place, and whoever we choose to replace him will have to face those problems and determine how to deal with them and who he/or she will choose to try to reorganize the politicized agencies in their task as working for the American people rather than a political party.

Carly Fiorina hit a home run, not only showing her command of the state of the nation and our enemies, slapped down Donald Trump for an uncalled-for insult, and actually made him blush, and made a passionate plea for ending taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood’s profit-making sale of parts and bodies of aborted fetuses.

Donald Trump said he knew how to do everything, and would be very very good at it. When he didn’t know how, he would find Douglas MacArthur who would do it for him.

CNN and Jake Tapper clearly wanted a fight. Tapper came with a collection of what each candidate had said about another candidate in the hopes of fostering at least verbal fisticuffs.  The back and forth was lively, but what the people wanted to hear was a discussion of what is wrong with our nation at this moment and what they would do to fix it.  Many of the audience don’t know any of these people very well yet, nor what their track record is, nor what their qualifications  are and how they will deal with the future.

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal spoke passionately about the best tactics for defunding the country’s most prolific abortion provider. And Ben Carson has quietly made no secret of his opposition to the work of Planned Parenthood and their effects on the black community. The Left, predictably, immediately lashed out in defense of Planned Parenthood. But it was Carly’s knockout blow and one of the strongest applause lines that aroused the fury of the Left.

I dare Hillary Clinton [and] Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully-formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, ‘We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.’ This is about the character of our nation.
The attackers responded with almost-verbatim Planned Parenthood talking points:
The supposedly macabre video she’s talking about was highly, selectively edited by right-wing activists. Five state investigations of the issue closed without any findings of misdoing. Planned Parenthood, which provides critical medical services to tens of thousands of women across the country, doesn’t profit from fetal tissue donation, as the candidates imply.

“Perhaps Marcotte & Co. should actually watch the Planned Parenthood videos. In the seventh video (there are ten available now, by the way, with more to come), at the 5:57 mark, is a baby, post-abortion, lying in a dish — its leg kicking. They will also hear Holly O’Donnell, an ex-StemExpress procurement technician who worked at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda Clinic in San Jose, Calif., describing how she was directed to “cut down the middle of the face” of a baby with a still-beating heart “to get the brain.” Under existing state and federal law, that’s murder.”



Australia Changes Prime Ministers by The Elephant's Child

150914-turnbullAustralia’s Liberal party has given the Prime Minister’s job to Malcolm Turnbull today, a mere two years after Prime Minister Tony Abbott won a strong election mandate. Their Liberal Party is the conservative one in Australia, opposed by the Labor  Party.

Mr. Turnbull, who won the vote among Liberal MPs 54-44, was also exacting some political revenge. The 60-year-old former barrister and venture capitalist had been the Liberal leader in opposition until late 2009, when Mr. Abbott challenged him and won by one vote. Mr. Turnbull had made the mistake of endorsing the expensive and unpopular carbon tax pushed by the Labor Party government.

Mr. Abbott’s opposition to the carbon tax helped bring the center-right Liberals back to power, and Mr. Turnbull now says he’ll keep the Abbott government’s climate policy. But his earlier support for faddish climate-change regulation illustrates the doubts about his convictions among the Liberal rank and file. He is more socially liberal than Mr. Abbott, which will help among young people on same-sex marriage, but he is also seen as someone without firm convictions.

Mr. Turnbull is closer to the business community than is Mr. Abbott, and he’ll need its help because his main challenge is reviving economic growth. Australia hasn’t had a recession in 24 years as it rode the global commodity boom, but growth slowed to 0.2% in the second quarter thanks to falling Chinese demand and the world-wide commodity bust.

When the world is in turmoil, the people get restless. Australia has been very dependent on commodities and more competitive in a range of global goods and services. Mr. Abbott made policy on the fly, and made decisions to cut spending on areas that he had promised to protect and to raise taxes without preparing the public.

Mr. Turnbull will have to make the case that Australia needs to become less dependent on commodities and more competitive across a whole range of global goods and services. He is a little more left than his predecessor. He says he will keep the Abbott government’s climate policy, though he’s earlier supported climate change regulation. The Aussie’s distaste for a carbon tax is what won the election for Mr. Abbott.

Australia’s ruling party has given the job of Prime Minister to Malcolm Turnbull turning out Tony Abbott a mere two years after Mr. Abbott won the job with a strong election mandate.

Mr. Turnbull, who won the vote among Liberal MPs 54-44, was also exacting some political revenge. The 60-year-old former barrister and venture capitalist had been the Liberal leader in opposition until late 2009, when Mr. Abbott challenged him and won by one vote. Mr. Turnbull had made the mistake of endorsing the expensive and unpopular carbon tax pushed by the Labor Party government.

Mr. Abbott’s opposition to the carbon tax helped bring the center-right Liberals back to power, and Mr. Turnbull now says he’ll keep the Abbott government’s climate policy. But his earlier support for faddish climate-change regulation illustrates the doubts about his convictions among the Liberal rank and file. He is more socially liberal than Mr. Abbott, which will help among young people on same-sex marriage, but he is also seen as someone without firm convictions.



A Dozen States Start Off The New Year With Lowered Taxes; More to Come! by The Elephant's Child

urlA dozen States are delivering a gift for their taxpayers. Residents of Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Wisconsin will get lower tax bills in 2015. A welcome message indeed.

Missouri and Oklahoma have trimmed taxes for 2016 and 2017. The American Legislative Exchange Council calculates that no state has made more significant tax cuts than Wisconsin, where an average family will pay about $680 less than last year. Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, has presided over tax cuts totaling $800 million, including the largest  property tax cut in Wisconsin history and a cut in the state’s income tax.

Nebraska has cut income, property and state sales taxes by more than $410 million in 2014 over the next five years. Indiana has lowered the business property tax and corporate business taxes which will help to boost employment. Michigan has reduced its business property tax and Rhode Island cut its corporate income tax rate from 9% to 7%. Florida, already one of the lowest tax states has reduced driver’s license renewal fees by $25. New York, Minnesota and Maryland 3rd, 5th, and 7th highest taxes in the country have cut their state tax rates.

States are noticing that the federal government is doing nothing to increase employment or reduce taxes. Democrats are usually sure that if the government has more money to spend on jobs programs, then employment will grow, and the money the newly hired earn will spread through the economy in splendid Keynesian fashion. Unfortunately it doesn’t work, but they  never learn.

Republicans intend to reduce the corporate tax rate as a sure boost to the economy and increased employment. The Keystone XL pipeline is high on their list with its guaranteed 20,000 new jobs. The president vows to veto, but he’s having an ever-harder time explaining his position.




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