American Elephants


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.

 



The American People Have Plenty of Plain Old Common Sense by The Elephant's Child

freedom-postDavid Horowitz again from The Art of Political War:

The Republican Party claims to be the party of personal responsibility yet it has become a party; that takes no responsibility for the predicaments it finds itself in. Instead, Republicans blame bias in the media or the liar in the White House, or their unprincipled opponents, or even the immorality of the American people to explain their defects.

The greatest political deficiency of the Republican Party today is lack of respect for the common sense of the American people. “Respect” in this context does not mean following polls or focus groups or putting one’s finger slavishly in the winds. It means that what is right politically (whether a constitutional framework and consistent with deeply held principles) produces electoral majorities.

Liberals also fail to understand this. But they were fortunate to have in Bill Clinton a leader who did, who disregarded their advice, and who used his power as the head of their party to force them to pay heed to the voice of the people. The reason Bill Clinton survived his impeachment, riding high in the polls, is that he understood what the electorate wanted and gave it to them (or at least made them think that he had).



Freedom May Be Messy, But it’s a Heck of a Lot Better than the Alternative by The Elephant's Child

statue-of-liberty-8From David Horowitz’ Take No Prisoners:

Politics is always a gamble. No one can be sure about what tactic will succeed, which is why we have to respect each other and keep our coalition strong, even when we disagree.

I said we are not good at politics. Actually we’re pretty terrible at politics. Whenever a Republican and  Democrat square off, it’s Godzilla versus Bambi. They call us racists, sexists, homophobes and selfish pigs, and we call them …liberals. Who’s going to win that argument They spend their political dollars calling us names and shredding our reputations; we spend ours explaining why the complicated solutions we propose will work, and why theirs won’t. But when you are being called a racist, an enemy of women and a greedy SOB, who will listen to your ideas about the budget? Who is going to believe you when all your motives are portrayed as vile?

This is the problem that not only Republicans but also Tea Partiers and conservatives in general have failed to address. It is why the Democratic Party, which supports policies that are morally repugnant and have also failed on an epic scale, still win elections. Medicare is bankrupt and a mess; Social Security is bankrupt and a mess; the War on Poverty is a twenty-trillion dollar catastrophe that has created worse poverty than it was designed to cure—and yet Democrats can still propose and pass the biggest socialist entitlement and redistributionist scheme ever and get away with it. Until Republicans and Tea Partiers are willing to fight fire with fire, these circumstances are not going to change. Twenty-five years after the most oppressive empire in human history collapsed because socialist economics don’t work, 49 percent of American youth, according to a recent Pew poll; think socialism is a good system. That’s a political failure on our part. We won the Cold War, but we didn’t drive a stake through the Communist heart. As a result the vampire of “social justice” has risen to fight another day.



The Washington State Ballot Makes National News, for some Surprisingly Dumb Issues by The Elephant's Child

vennwastate

Washington State voters have just received their ballots and the Voter’s Guide. It tells you something when we have already made the national news. The above Venn Diagram comes from economist Mark Perry, writing at AEI.

Over at the Wall Street Journal, we got a full article on “The SEIU’s Ballot Fraud:  The union tries to hoodwink voters into protecting its dues.”

That’s the story in Washington state, where the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is funding a ballot measure that advertises itself as the Seniors and Vulnerable Individuals’ Safety and Financial Crimes Prevention Act. What the ballot measure would really do is prevent home-care workers from being informed that they have the right to opt out of the union.

In Harris v. Quinn in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that home-care workers have a First Amendment right not to pay fees to a union they don’t wish to join. In Washington state the ruling was taken up by the Freedom Foundation, which sought to inform the members of two unions representing child-care and home health-care workers that they could opt out. …

Under the ballot measure, the Freedom Foundation or other outsiders would be blocked from obtaining the list of union members’ names. The unions know that when workers know they have a right not to pay union dues, they often don’t. According to the Freedom Foundation, of the roughly 7,000 unionized child-care providers notified by the Freedom Foundation, well over 60% have dropped their union membership.

National Review targeted the same ballot measure.

In Washington State, Unions Advance a Ballot Measure to Keep Members in the Dark.” It is disguised as a measure to protect the elderly from abuse but is simply an aggressive effort to keep home care providers from knowing that they don’t have to belong to the union, nor do they have to pay union dues.

Also on the ballot, but unaddressed at the national level is a state attempt to invalidate the (much hated by the Left) Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision, the aforementioned minimum wage issue,  a gun bill that attempts to remove guns from the mentally ill or depressed in an ineffective suicide prevention idea. And to top it all off, there’s an attempt to pass a carbon tax that would accomplish nothing, nothing at all, except an increase in taxes.

The Wall Street Journal also points out that “State government revenues have swelled 30% in the last five  years. That’s a bigger raise than most workers have received, but public unions and their friends are asking voters for more at the ballot box on November eighth.

So they are, and we should not give them a cent.



A Real Live October Surprise! by The Elephant's Child

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks after being presented the 2013 Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize December 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Clinton received the award for her work in the areas of women's rights and internet freedom. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Well, well—a real October Surprise. This very weird campaign has just become even more strange. Only days until the election, and FBI Director James Comey has said that they are re-opening their investigation. It appears that in the FBI investigation of Anthony Wiener’s case about sexting to an underage girl, Hillary emails have popped up on the home computer that Huma Abedin, Hillary’s top aide, shared with her (now estranged) husband. And even that may be speculation. Nobody knows anything, but there is lots of reporting.  I don’t know anything either, so I am simply speculating as well. But this is earthquake-size speculation because it deals with the election itself.

This has been an enormously difficult situation from the beginning. The Democrats’ bench of accomplished, likeable candidates is notably thin. There was Hillary whose burning desire the become the first woman president was well known. Her record as a senator and as the Secretary of State left a great deal to be desired. People kept making jokes about trying to get observers to name an accomplishment. Bill is a natural politician, and his good-old-boy, aw-shucks persona got him through all sorts of  difficulties. Hillary is not a natural politician, and she is not particularly likeable (that’s the reported reaction to her from Democrats). Democrats were anxious to find someone else but they couldn’t.

Her emails as Secretary of State have caused her major problems. It seems likely that she wanted a private server to keep from having to reveal any of her emails, and keep them away from prying eyes, undoubtedly the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” When the emails began to become public, FBI Director James Comey was put in a dreadful position. If he went after her directly because of the emails, he would be the person who decided the election in advance. In such a case, he needed a flawless, extremely strong case. It was becoming clear that new Attorney General Loretta Lynch was more an appointee of the Obama administration than she was the upstanding Attorney General of all the people. I know nothing about the pressures put on our appointed officials, let alone the elected ones. Director Comey apparently didn’t feel that he had a solid gold case for charging one of the candidates in a presidential race with a crime.

It appears that the FBI investigation into Anthony Wiener’s sexting messages to an underage girl, revealed that there were emails sent by Hillary to her top aide on the home computer that Huma Abedin shared with her (now estranged) husband.

Retired 4-star general James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has just pleaded guilty to making a false statement in an investigation into a leak of classified information about a covert cyber-attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The offense carries a maximum of five years in prison. but the defense counsel and the government had agreed on a recommended sentence of no more than 6 months. Sentence will be decided in January.

So there’s the big question. Are our “elites” somehow above being prosecuted? Do we have different standards for “important people?” It has been reported that there has been major dissension among senior FBI agents who see the whole thing as a reflection on the integrity and honor of the agency. So, for the moment, that’s where we are.



Unintended Consequences, or Truth is Stranger than Fiction. by The Elephant's Child

hillary-scowlThis struck me as hilarious: from The Washington Free Beacon—the headline “Clinton Campaign Bars Employees from Using Personal Email Accounts.”

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign prohibits employees from using a personal email address to conduct official business, according to a hacked copy of its employee handbook.

“Staff are provided an e-mail account for Campaign business use only. Employees must use their Campaign-provided e-mail accounts for all correspondence regarding or related to the Campaign’s business,” the handbook states.

“Employees cannot use personal email addresses (.gmail,
i cloud, etc.) to conduct Campaign business.”

“Failure to retain documents subject to a litigation hold can result in the imposition of harsh fines and other penalties on HFA and, in some cases, on the individual,” the document advised.



The Mainstream Partisan Media Is Going Too Far. by The Elephant's Child

The partisan media is insisting that the election is all over, Hillary has won, and there’s no need for you backwards Trump voters to bother anymore. The polls all confirm that Hillary has won, except they actually don’t.

ABC just said that Hillary has opened up her widest lead yet, popping up to confirm my first paragraph. Hillary wanted to run against Trump, as she thought him the easiest to defeat, and the partisan media cooperated all during the Republican debates by focusing entirely on Trump and not really giving the other 16 candidates much of a chance to get a word in.

Hillary told another of her whoppers, claiming that 17 of our intelligence services had verified that Wikileaks was a Russian production and suggesting that they were trying to get Trump elected. Not true. We only have 2 intelligence services capable of tracking down cyber attacks. One of the Fact Checking groups claimed that Hillary certainly didn’t say that she favored  open borders and free trade throughout the Western Hemisphere in a speech to Brazilian bankers. Well, yes she did. I’m getting a deep, passionate hatred for the “mainstream” media. I don’t like to be lied to.

ADDENDUM: The latest ABC/Washington Post poll mentioned above, shows an obvious sampling bias with a 12 point advantage for Hillary. Partisan divisions are 36-27-31: 36 percent Democrats, 27 percent Republicans, 31 percent Independents. The latest Wikileaks Podesta email included a 37 page guide on how to over sample polling so they can get the maximum out of media polling.  Over sample Hispanics, and Native Americans in Arizona. Over sample Hispanics with Spanish language interviewing, as they are the lowest turnout Democratic Targets. Make sure samples are “not too old” and “has enough African American and Hispanic voters. So, you can’t believe their lying eyes, or claims. It’s so frustrating to have insiders, on the one hand, insisting that our elections are not rigged and its insulting to say so, as you see and read about the massive cheating that is going on.

ADDENDUM #2: The foregoing may all be hooey. Apparently the Podesta email in question derives from the 2008 campaign, so irregularities, if they exist, may be applicable to Barack Obama and not the current crop of politicos, and “oversampling” may be a legitimate polling technique. Forgive me for being gullible. With this election, who knows?  I apologize.




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