American Elephants


Petulant President Vetoes Pipeline, Promises Permits to Illegals by The Elephant's Child

Texas Governor Greg Abbott told CNS News that already in this calendar year, since January 1, we have had more than 20,000 people who have come across the border with Mexico, apprehended and  unauthorized.

In fiscal year 2014, U.S. immigration officials removed 213,719 individuals who were caught while attempting to enter the  United States unlawfully. Texas already has some 800,000 illegal aliens living in their state.

Abbott has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 26 states challenging Mr. Obama’s decision to go around Congress by unilaterally giving millions of illegal immigrants permission to stay in the US. and to give them Social Security numbers, and work permits.

A federal judge has put President Obama’s amnesty plan on hold, and Abbott said he expects the case to continue through the court process all the way to the Supreme Court. Abbott added that the president has violated the rule of law and is actually making up the law himself and imposing his own standards in immigration.

Government data , as of December 2014, show 9.3 million new jobs have been added since January 2000. In the same time period, data show 18 million new immigrants (legal and illegal). So for every new job, there have been two new immigrants. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) says:

Government data  reveal that more than 7.4 million work permits (formally known as Employment Authorization Documents) were issued to aliens from 2009 to 2014. Because neither lawful permanent residents (green card holders) nor temporary work visa holders need a work permit, this amounts to a huge parallel immigrant work authorization system outside the numerical limits and categories set by Congress. The huge number of work permits being issued above and beyond these limits inevitably reduces opportunities for U.S. workers, damages the integrity of the immigration system, and encourages illegal immigration.

Obama has been talking about the improving economy and all the new jobs, without including the downside of the long-term unemployed, nor the jobs lost or turned part-time. You get better numbers if you just talk jobs created, and forget to subtract the jobs lost—a regular Obama trick.

He also does not include all the work permits he has granted to illegals. Nor will he count the potential jobs that were included with the Keystone XL pipeline bill that he vetoed today. In every way, the Keystone XL pipeline would be a boon to the American economy. His veto has nothing to do with the merits of the project.

The application to build the pipeline was filed more than 2,300 days ago. It has been approved by the Clinton State Department, and the Kerry State Department, and Obama’s excuses are getting more and more embarrassing. He claims the bill would “cut short” the process for approving the project — over 6 years and climbing. It’s purely political. (Tom Steyer’s money) Keystone has passed every environmental test, and the recent derailment of an oil tanker train has demonstrated, once again, that pipelines are safer than the alternative.

According to TransCanada, the pipeline means at least 20,000 new high-paying jobs. They are only temporary, sneers Obama. All construction jobs are temporary until the construction is complete then the workers take their newly learned skills on to the next job. And by the way, the Keystone pipeline IS infrastructure. Besides the 20,000 construction jobs in pipeline construction and material production, the State Department projects 42,000 jobs and the addition of $3.5 billion to the economy.

This is just Obama being childish and petulant. Remember that when he starts telling you about all the new jobs, or the improving economy. Any improvement has not come from Obama initiatives, but by going around the president. The economy keeps trying to break out, but this president keeps standing directly in the way.



You Can’t Say That! The Democratic Party Has A Hissy-Fit! by The Elephant's Child

Rudy Giuliani said:I do not believe — and I know this is a horrible thing to say — but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

The Washington Post said: “Let’s be clear: NO politician with any sort of national ambition — or any sort of ambition at all, really — would say what Giuliani reportedly said about Obama. Not one. Questioning patriotism is a line that simply is not crossed at that level of politics.

Senator Barack Obama speaking about George W. Bush:“We now have 9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back. That’s 30 thousand dollars for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible, it’s unpatriotic.” Today’s National Debt ($18,000,000,000,000+. $56.602+ for every man, woman and child. Irresponsible? Unpatriotic?)

Barack Obama said: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” October 30,2008 (Loves it, but wants to fundamentally transform it?)

“The Democratic party is no longer the party of John F. Kennedy, whose politics were identical to Ronald Reagan’s (militant anti-Communist, military hawk, in favor of a capital gains tax cut and a balanced budget)…The Democratic Party has moved steadily leftward since the 1972 presidential campaign of George McGovern until it is now a party of the Left, led by progressives who are convinced that their policies are way stations on the path to a “better world.”…

The Democrats made Obamacare their priority because they are social missionaries whose goal is to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America, as Obama warned five days before the 2008 election. Creating a massive new government program that would absorb one-sixth of the economy and make every American dependent on government for his health needs was the first item on the Democrats’ missionary agenda. They saw it as a milestone on the way to a brave new future. That is the way progressives think, and their opponents had better understand what that means. Progressives are not in politics to tinker with the existing system, although they understand that tinkering and fixing problems along the way will gain them votes. They are in politics to transform the way Americans live. …

The very grandeur of their ambition turns progressives into zealots, they dream of using the power of the state to make everyone equal and to take are of everyone’s needs. They are going to legislate—and dictate—social equality and social justice. How intoxicating is that idea? It explains why progressives  approach politics differently from conservatives. It doesn’t matter to progressives that the massive entitlement programs they created—Social Security and Medicare—are already bankrupt. They can take care of that by making wealthy people pay their “fair share.”Progressives believe that if they can appropriate enough money and accumulate enough power, they can make their glorious future work. Everything Democrats do and every campaign they conduct is about mobilizing their political resources to bring about this result. It is about social transformation—one program and one candidate at a time. No Republican in his right mind thinks like this.”
David Horowitz: Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left.

Obamacare has already become unaffordable. Not only does it not meet Obama’s boasting statements, it’s simply not going to work. You will have insurance that you cannot afford, that does not serve your health care needs, that you are forced to buy. The zealots on the Left want the good feelings of moving toward social equality and social justice far more than they care about anything actually working or improving anyone’s life. The future they are promoting has already failed elsewhere, but they can see only the promise, not the actuality. History is something to transcend, not evidence from which they are supposed to learn. Besides they weren’t the ones to do it. The future is an idea that has not yet been tried.

Progressives may have grand ideas about social equality and social justice, but they are sorely lacking in a most important attribute—self awareness.

ADDENDUM:  Democrat hissy-fits go like this. Giuliani’s comments were following in Obama’s own footsteps. The president has never hesitated to call someone who disagrees with him unpatriotic. 1) Immediate outrage. 2) Try to get other Republicans on the record about it, to make it part of the 2016 conversation and 3) Play the race card! “Whenever the president’s own behavior is indefensible, they can always find someone to call a racist.”

(Typo in 3rd Paragraph corrected)



Ban The EPA: A Crooked Agency Intent Only On Power! by The Elephant's Child

Maps of the cold in Illinois today show temperatures ranging well below a minus 20°. I can assure you, from personal experience, that -20° is getting into the uncomfortable range. All the little hairs in your nose freeze, but with the proper insulation and a scarf across your face, not that bad.

Last week, in his interview with the Vox website, President Obama claimed that the media “overstated” the risk of terrorism as compared to the real problem of global warming. Slate sums that up—a 2012 DARA International report  claims that climate change causes an average of 400,000 deaths each year, a total that could grow to more than 600,000 by 2030. Oh, please!

250 million “face the pressures of sea-level rise” which is drowning thousands at a rise of 3.2 ±0.4mm a year? 30 million are affected by more extreme weather.(Climate is worldwide temperature—not weather) nor flooding. 25 million people are affected by permafrost thawing (define ‘affected’). The global Terrorism Index says there were nearly 18,000 deaths from terrorism in 2013. They’ve moved along from polar bears because research shows that public-health is more likely to elicit emotional reactions than a traditional environmental frame or even one on national security.

Far more people die from cold exposure than are ever harmed by a few degrees more of heat. (I lived in Phoenix for a while). So naturally the EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to man.

A large percentage of rural homes, and many of the country’s poorest residents depend on wood stoves for heat and even for cooking, for rural homes that have power don’t necessarily have reliable power. And America still has plenty off-the-grid homes. According to the 2011 Census 2.4 million American housing units burned wood as their primary heating fuel, compared with 7% that depended on fuel oil.

The EPA bases this all on their supposed studies of fine particulates, which are made-up figures that have not been peer-reviewed nor is there any evidence that the limits they propose can be achieved using available technology. This is supposedly based on theoretical computer model-based warnings. You will have court cases and evidence, and the EPA will likely get slapped down again by the courts.

The EPA has operated more and more from made-up evidence and false statistics in their relentless search for more power. The best evidence that the air is essentially as clean as nature will allow is the EPA attempt to regulate “fine particles” and wood smoke.

The people of the United States who have wood stoves will ignore the whole thing. Keeping warm in a cooling Earth trumps ‘fine particles’ every time. The Earth has been cooling for over 18 years, and the sun—which is responsible for the warming and cooling of a naturally changing climate —is remarkably quiet. Today’s sun:

latest_solar_image



It’s The Little Things That Finally Get To You! by The Elephant's Child

Conservatives frequently complain about Big Government, and the excesses of Big Government that badly need to be whittled back.

There has been some celebration of the end of another extension to unemployment insurance which meant that some of the long-term unemployed suddenly went out and got a job. With a gentle kick in the pants, some who had been unable to find the job to equal their last position, decided they’d be better off with a job, even if it didn’t measure up to their hopes. (I defer to David Horowitz:)

Democrat campaign themes are monotonously the same. They scare voters by accusing Republicans of imaginary crimes. And always the same crimes: Republicans wage wars on women, on minorities, and on the vulnerable. They defend the rich and don’t care about the poor. Their policies inflict pain on working families to benefit the wealthy few.

Big Government is the goal of the Left. They envision a government that supports most everybody, because they like to develop policies that do nice things for the people. It makes them feel good to be Lady Bountiful. Nancy Pelosi explained recently when she spoke to an audience of musicians and artists in San Francisco. “they needn’t bother working, because the taxpayers of the United States would cover their health care. Without a job they would be free to focus on their talents, passions and aspirations because they wouldn’t be “job locked.

The “better world” to which the Left aspires is a bountiful government that takes care of everyone’s needs. If the program or policy is well-meant, then it is successful. ObamaCare, for example, includes people who could not afford insurance, and gives them Medicaid.  What a wonderful thing! It costs too much, so they just pay the doctors less, which results in few doctors who are willing to see Medicaid patients. So there you are—the ideal Leftist policy.

It’s that  “better world” dream that impels them. They’ll just raise taxes on the rich, and the corporations. It doesn’t really affect them, because they are the ones in charge. And the people will be so dependent that they will never turn to those mean Republicans who care about abstractions like independence and individual liberty.

That was the dream in Cuba, and they achieved it. The people are well cared for. Everyone gets an allowance of $20 a month, their health care is free, they just have to bring their own medicine and bedding, and the doctors are mostly off in Venezuela where their work is being traded for oil. They get ration cards for food. The infrastructure there is really crumbling, and the Castros are obscenely rich, but it is clearly working. America just surrendered to the Castros, that proves it. 

What inspired my rant about Big Government?  It seems the federal government has a major problem with federal employees spending their time on the taxpayer dollar watching pornography. “It’s appalling that it requires an act of Congress to ensure that federal agencies block access to these sites,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) as he introduced legislation. as chairman of the operations subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

An inspector general report released last year revealed that an EPA official who was caught with thousands of downloaded porn files on his government computer and had watched up to six hours a day while on the job. He was not fired.

The Veterans Affairs Secretary, being challenged by Congress over construction delays, and cost increases at a Denver VA hospital snapped at Rep.Mike Coffman (R-CO) “I’ve run a large company, sir. What have you done?” Mike Coffman has served in both Iraq wars,  but did not respond at the hearing, in a later statement said: “I have never run a federal agency that tolerates corruption the way the VA has. I’ve never built a hospital that’s years behind schedule and hundreds of millions over budget. And I’ve never been a shill for inept bureaucrats who allowed American heroes to die on a medical waiting list.”

On the West Coast, the ports are piling up as the ILWU (the longshoremens’ union) is doing a work slowdown to force the ports to give them automatic pay raises, or they will shut down the ports.

A shutdown would not only impact the hundreds of thousands of jobs working directly in America’s transportation supply chain, but the reality is the entire economy would be impacted as exports sit on docks and imports sit in the harbor waiting for manufacturers to build products and retailers to stock shelves.

The average dockworker makes $147,000 a year in salary, plus $35,000 a year in employer-paid health care and an annual $80,000 pension. Where is Ronald Reagan when you need him so? (You do remember when he fired the Air Traffic Control workers, don’t you?)

Obama’s Big Government is not working, and it’s getting worse every day. You notice one little thing after another, and begin to pay attention.



The Goal of Environmental Activists is to Destroy Capitalism. That’s Why They Lie About the Numbers. by The Elephant's Child

polarberonice

When historians write of the early Twenty-First Century, will they be shocked at the gullibility of the people, or will they be shocked at the extent to which the official temperature records on which the works of governments and their economies were distorted by systematic “adjustments” to the records to show that the earth was warming far more was justified by the actual data. Christopher Booker wrote in the Telegraph:

Two weeks ago, under the headline “How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”, I wrote about Paul Homewood, who, on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog, had checked the published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay against the temperatures that had originally been recorded. In each instance, the actual trend of 60 years of data had been dramatically reversed, so that a cooling trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming.

This was only the latest of many examples of a practice long recognised by expert observers around the world – one that raises an ever larger question mark over the entire official surface-temperature record. …

Homewood has now turned his attention to the weather stations across much of the Arctic, between Canada (51 degrees W) and the heart of Siberia (87 degrees E). Again, in nearly every case, the same one-way adjustments have been made, to show warming up to 1 degree C or more higher than was indicated by the data that was actually recorded. (Read the whole thing)

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity — but to destroy capitalism(emphasis added)

figueres021015_345.gif.cms“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

Socialists, intent on the wonders of social justice and the ‘better world’ of their dreams, never, never seem to pay any attention to the monumental failures of socialism everywhere it has been tried. The  past 25 years have witnessed the greatest reduction in global poverty  in the history of the world. An 80 % reduction in world poverty in only 36 years. Globalization, free trade, international entrepreneurship. The free enterprise system, American style which is our gift to the world. This is not the first time some greenie has blurted out the truth behind their campaign to protect the world from the horrors of the carbon dioxide we exhale every time we breathe. Go figure.

And of course, this is why National Security Adviser Susan Rice soberly informed us that Climate Change is a major threat to our National Security Strategy.



Jonathan Gruber Returns With a Direct Tax on Body Weight by The Elephant's Child

JonathanGruberYou remember Jonathan Gruber PhD, MIT Economist, architect of ObamaCare, became famous for calling the American  people stupid, and for devising a health care plan that was designed to sweep everyone, over time, into an unworkable single-payer plan like Britain’s that is currently going broke. He has even admitted. sorta. kinda, that he knew all along that the cost of ObamaCare was not going to go down. Have to figure out some ways to save money. But he already did that — in a paper he delivered in 2010 to the National Institute for Health Care Management entitled “Taxing Sin to Modify Behavior and Raise Revenue.”He considered the case of cigarettes, alcohol, and obesity:

Ultimately, what may be needed to address the obesity problem are direct taxes on body weight. While it is hard to conceive of this approach being a common public policy tool in the near term, such taxation may be happening indirectly through health insurance surcharges.

It is important to remember that the  “Affordable Care Act” does not give you health care. It gives you a card that says you have government sponsored health insurance. It does not guarantee that you can find a doctor or a hospital that will accept your insurance.

They brag about all the formerly uninsured people they signed up for Medicaid, then to reduce the cost of all those  people, they cut way back on the amount with which they will reimburse doctors and other health care providers — which has meant that few doctors will accept Medicaid patients. Nice to have that card though.

In the case of Veterans insurance, Obama’s 2016 Budget Proposal, now that the VA scandal has kind of blown over, proposes rolling back the program that gives veterans the right to receive faster care outside of the scandalously long wait lists at the troubled Veterans Affairs medical system.

For Medicare, it’s the same deal. They added some extra gimmicks to make it sound like they were doing nice things for the old folks, then cut back on the payments to doctors and medical providers with the natural result that fewer doctors will see Medicare patients.

ADDENDUM: President Obama’s budget proposal is important only in the view it gives of his priorities. Congress will do the budget. Buried in the proposal is a $50 million cut to one of the U.S. longstanding vaccine programs for the under-insured and uninsured. This comes right at the time when we are in the middle of a severe measles outbreak, and the CDC is worried about how much it may spread. 102 cases so far, and both children and adults need to be vaccinated.

For the left, the important thing is that they have given the American people a health care plan. It makes them feel good about themselves. That the plan does not assure that you can see a doctor, or the specialist you need, or it doesn’t cover you when you are traveling, or costs more than you can afford — is not a big deal. They’ll fix that later. They really do think that way.



“Crumbling Infrastructure” Is Just Another Lefty Lie! by The Elephant's Child

crumbling-infrastructure-2

Once again, we are back to “crumbling infrastructure,” This has been the one big thing Obama has had on his “to do” list since 2008. So important and he thought it would create all kinds of new jobs for his union supporters — but for six years it has been just talk. It seems to be the only Keynesian idea he has for creating jobs.  As usual, it’s all talk − no action.

What he wants is to confiscate 14% of the earnings of American corporations that is parked overseas. He claims a one-time tax that would be directed to repairing our “crumbling infrastructure.”The tax is a non-starter, of course, but who in their right mind would allow the federal government to confiscate money in banks around the world for just “one time? ”

Profits earned by an American company overseas are taxed in the country where they are earned. When what’s left after paying taxes to the host country is repatriated to the U.S., this country taxes it again. Our corporate tax is already the highest in the industrialized world, at 39.1%. The average for other countries is 25.1%. When companies pay lower taxes, they are more able to grow and hire and earn more, and so the income to the government rises — incentives. Democrats simply cannot get their minds around this phenomenon.

According to an OECD report, the United States spent 3.3 percent of its GDP from 2006-2011 on infrastructure. The European Union, with a larger GDP, has spent 3.1 percent. By the CBO’s statistics, infrastructure spending has been between 2.3 percent and 3.1 percent of GDP since 1956. Our infrastructure is in good shape, and the “crumbling roads and bridges” has been a leftist talking point to the point where everybody believes it, with no evidence whatsoever.

The president dramatically claimed “We’ve got more than 100,000 bridges that are old enough to qualify for Medicare.” Cute talking point, but a recent Reason Foundation study examined 20 years of state highway data to find that the condition of America’s state-controlled roads had improved in seven key areas. The percentage of deficient bridges in the country had fallen from 37.8 percent in 1989 to 23.7 percent in 2008.

The federal Highway Trust Fund, however, is running out of money. Some senators see this as a problem demanding a rise in the gas tax. But the fund is depleted because the money is being spent on frivolous things like bike lanes, rapid transit, light rail. even Amtrack. The fund was established to use gas taxes and tolls to keep up the highways.

Randall O’Toole is an expert at Cato on transportation issues. He writes:

Contrary to popular reports, our highways and bridges are in great shape. Despite the fact that Congress has diverted well over a fifth of gas taxes to non-highway projects, the number of bridges considered “structurally deficient” has declined by more than 50 percent since 1990 and the average smoothness of our roads has increased every year.

President Obama brags on the decrease in the deficit, and credits his fiscal management. At the same time he wants to eliminate the strictures on spending caused by the sequester — which is what forced a decrease in the deficit —that he has whined about ever since they were enacted. Obama says it’s time to end the “mindless austerity” and start spending again — just not on national security.

In fact, Obama just wants more money to spend. His budget proposals are meant as demands. He has already added more to the National Debt than the accumulated spending of all previous presidents put together — so now he wants to add another $6 trillion over the next ten years.




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