American Elephants


The 2020 Electoral Campaign Has Already Started! Way too Early. by The Elephant's Child

(h/t imgflip.com)

Now that Michael Avenatti has dropped out of the race for the 2020 presidential nomination, due to people learning a little more about him, all sorts of other Democrats have started their campaigns. It’s more than a little early, but the determination to take on the despised Donald Trump rages. There seems to be some element of the idea that if someone like Donald Trump who was never a governor, nor had experience in Congress, or served in the Military can win an election, then surely they  can run and win too.

With the success in office of the nation’s governors, one wonders why that is a special qualification. Governor Cuomo was just inaugurated for a third term. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee is running for the presidency, but the Cato Institute recently evaluated the nation’s governors for their fiscal management of their states. Jay Inslee came in deal last, with a resounding F, followed closely by Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who also got an F. Even Jerry Brown got a low D. Nobody seemed to notice that Jay Inslee said he was running, for the entrance of Elizabeth Warren took over the news.

Beto O’Rourke is creating a solo road trip, outside of Texas, to see if he can stir up some interest (in a pickup, of course). His qualification seems to be ‘boyish good looks’ or ‘looking like Jack Kennedy’.  Julian Castro (Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary) plans to announce on Saturday, Kamala Harris is due to start a book tour tomorrow, so she must have written something, there’s Bernie Sanders who has never given up,  Senator Cory Booker (NJ ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY). Amy Klobuchar (MI) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) are all interested in running.

If Joe Biden (age 76), former Vice-President, chooses not to run (though he has a lead in early polls in Iowa and nationwide),  he said that family considerations will be an aspect of his decision. This does not count all the notable non politicians  like Tom Steyer, the billionaire loon who has been running his “need to impeach” campaign all over the country, or the former president of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, and there are probably a whole bunch more. Alexandria Ocassio-Cortez expressed some interest until someone explained that a basic Constitutional qualification was that you had to be at least 35 years old.

Can you list the number of Democrat Presidents who were elected on the basis of their outstanding ideas? Their specific experience that demonstrated their outstanding abilities? Candidates have always been qualified on the basis of gender, race, color, class, or general good looks. Pretty – is a big qualification for the Left.

A number of pundits have said that Joe Biden is too old, and the nomination will go to Kamala Harris, former Attorney General of California, who is a woman, and part Black.

The Constitution requires the President to be a natural-born citizen, age at least 35 years, and be 14 years a resident. George Washington had some pretty extensive qualifications. Did an outstanding job, and when he was done, packed his bags and went on home. The qualifications have not changed, but our expectations have.

The rage and viciousness of the Democrats has reached new extremes. There’s a major element of the power of — what? Imitation? Propaganda? Wanting to be one of the crowd?  I thought that “Comedienne” Kathy Griffin’s photograph of herself holding up what purported to be a severed head of President Trump — said to Democrats still stunned that Hillary was not to be president as they had expected — that any excrescence, any insult, any outrage was permitted, and they were free to do whatever they chose to express their horror and angst.

That certainly brought out all the crazies. But they have only continued to get crazier.  While pondering the limits of nationhood and the reaction to unwanted and unwelcome migrants from the Middle East and Africa in Europe and the terrorism they have brought, and our own rejection of the illegal immigrants that are using our weak immigration laws to get into the country, use our taxpayer funded welfare and medical care, and flood the country with drugs and gangs. Every major city is suffering from drugs, addiction and gang violence from organizations like MS-13. Criminals who have been previously deported are forcing their way back in, to commit more crimes. Way too many Americans have been murdered by the Democrats weak immigration laws, their desire for open borders to enhance their electoral potential, and their desire to remake the  make-up of the House of Representatives and thus increase their control of the government.  The Goal is control. Absolute control, and eliminating the Republican Party as an opposing party. They can no longer tolerate opposition.

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Nancy Pelosi Got Her Speaker’s Gavel Back, Unfortunately. by The Elephant's Child

 

Nancy Pelosi has been reelected to the office of Speaker of the House, and immediately tried to claim that she was the equal of the President of the United States, which was a bit of an exaggeration. Congressman Brad Sherman of Ventura County California introduced articles of impeachment, brand new representative Rashida Tlaib, who chose Palestinian garb in which to take the oath of office announced to her supporters (to wild cheers) that “We’re gonna go in there and impeach the m—–.” Hank Johnson, who last time round  worried that an island might tip over, referred to President Trump as “Hitler,”and said that those who support Trump are “less educated.” Young Ocasio-Cortez announced that to save us all from world-ending climate catastrophe in 5 years to support her Green New Deal, Congress would have to raise taxes on the rich to, oh, 82% or so. Maxine Waters is slated to become chair of the House Financial Services Committee, and is very committed to impeaching the President. Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats immediately introduced a bill to restore voting rights to convicted felons nationwide. Pelosi does want to spend all sorts of money on saving us from global warming.

Democrats want to overhaul campaign finance and ethics rules that would  “expand voting rights.” One idea is to allocate a pool of taxpayer money to match small-donor donations 6-1, as a way of encouraging “grassroots campaigning.” This goofy idea would not pass the Senate, but progressives like the idea of empowering the state to allocate money to preferred donors.

Some big cities have already begun handing out tax-funded “democracy vouchers.” In other words, politicians have passed legislation that subsidizes the speech of people who will, for the most part, support them. It’s quite the racket. Pelosi wants to take this corruption national.

Reducing the power of “special interests” in Washington is always a popular issue with voters. The problem, of course, is that every voter considers another group a special interest. Though as a political notion, campaign finance reform remains popular with Americans, specific campaign finance reform legislation is always about inhibiting someone’s speech.

What many Americans don’t seem to accept, particularly partisans, is that not voting or participating in our political process is also a matter of free expression. There’s nothing, after all, in the Constitution about how the state should encourage “grassroots activism.”

Democrats have no interest in working with Republicans to do what is best for the nation, nor in abiding by the Constitution, I forgot to mention that Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) submitted a bill to change the Constitution by eliminating the Electoral College. Democrats have never grasped the reason why the Founders set it up that way, which interferes with their efforts to control the country.

Democrats’ demand to be in control has outweighed any understanding of the United States of America, our history, what the country is all about, the nature of our citizens – in their ugly, greedy desire to be in control with no interference from anyone. Nancy Pelosi not only announced that she was co-equal to the president (she’s not) but that we are nation of immigrants (we are not. We are a nation of citizens, and a nation of laws.) It’s going to be a difficult time.



Do The Democrats Really Want Open Borders? Or Are They Only Opposed to Anything Trump? by The Elephant's Child

How very odd our present public conversations have become. It’s as if we are speaking different languages. Democrats seem to lack any understanding of basic free-market capitalism and are sure it’s all about the haves and the have nots, the billionaires and the homeless. They hold positive feelings about the latter, which makes them feel as if they are good people.

This extends to their feelings about the border, immigration – legal and illegal, and things like sanctuary cities and ICE who they assume are the bad guys. Their misconceptions extend to the wall. Some Democrats believe that the wall is somehow a symbol – to Trump, of his manhood, a nonsensical huge thick concrete barrier between friendly neighbors, that we certainly don’t need for any reason whatsoever. Completely incorrect.  The wall President Trump wants is tall, steel, and slatted so it is see-through.

If you remember, in 2016 President Trump issued an executive order banning immigrants from seven countries who were closely associated with terrorism. Ninth Circuit judges blocked the president’s order on the basis that there is no evidence showing  risk to the United States in allowing aliens from these terror-associated countries to come in.

In June 2016 the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, released a report on individuals convicted in terror cases since 9/11. Using open sources, since the Obama administration refused to provide government records. the committee found that 380 out of 580 people convicted in terror cases since 9/11 were foreign born. 72 of the individuals came from one of the terror associated countries named in the executive order. Senate researchers were unable to obtain complete information on all of the convicted terrorists, so more of them could have come from the terrorism associated countries.

Sharyl Attkisson has reported that a disproportionate number of the inmates in our prisons and jails are criminal aliens who commit crimes at a significantly higher rate than those here legally.

San Diego Sector Deputy Chief Border Patrol Agent Roy Villareal stated that “the situation at the border is unprecedented.”

Villareal said, “The situation at the border is unprecedented. In my 30 years of working for the Border Patrol, I’ve never witnessed the situation that we’re faced with today. We are being overwhelmed with migrants, principally, family units and children, and then people that are from countries other than Mexico. In the first time in the Border Patrol’s history, the majority of our arrests are what we call other than Mexican nationals, people from China, Bangladesh, India, and then of course, Central America.”

Border Patrol authorities are referring 50 people a day for urgent medical care for tuberculosis, flu, infections and even pregnant women about to give birth.  A staggering 28 percent are children under age 5 , dragged along by parents hoping to use the children to gain admission, or as a shield against speedy deportation from the U.S.

Two headlines from Newsbusters: “ABC Claims ‘No Evidence’ Dems Responsible for Encouraging Illegal Immigration” Dec. 30. “We Want a Lot of These People to Come Across the Border” also Dec. 30.

Michael Cutler explains why a “virtual fence” will stop no one. A  high tech idea that keeps coming up.

Victor Davis Hanson writes about “The Immorality of Illegal Immigration,” as someone who deals with the results of open borders  and sanctuary jurisdictions, regularly. (Today’s Must Read!)

Here in California’s Central Valley over the holidays we were reminded of the wages of illegal immigration in general — and of California’s sanctuary-city laws in particular, which restrict formal cooperation between local and state law enforcement with federal immigration authorities in matters of deporting illegal aliens under detention.

Dr Hanson has written extensively about illegal immigration in Mexifornia   A State of Becoming, and The Immigration Solution  with Heather MacDonald. Both are excellent reads, and highly recommended.

We hear that a new caravan is on the way from Central America.



Trump Derangement Syndrome and How It Works by The Elephant's Child

static.politico.com

Republicans are not usually inclined to take part in demonstrations or marches, to carry political signs, that sort of thing. Instead they are apt to search for more information, maybe write their congressperson, and if they really get irritated, they might go to one of the congressperson’s public meetings. If it turns out that they are represented by a Democrat, they are apt to make sure all of their family votes the next time, and they might even put a sign in their yard. We did have the Tea-Party movement, but the percentage of Republicans inclined to protest is small. Democrats depend on that. Because they are a party dependent on feelings rather than information, marching or waving signs contributes to their sense of well-being, they are being “good people.”

Hollywood celebrities, who are famous for being known, depend on continuing to be known by getting their names in the media as often as possible, hopefully for something important rather than the usual Hollywood scandal.  Someone named Judd Apatow, who apparently has directed a movie, has called for advertisers to stop advertising on the Tucker Carlson Tonight show by threatening, intimidating or bullying them. The idea is to silence conservative voices online or on the radio or television. The Left, usually ill-informed, is deeply afraid of people who actually know what they are talking about. They are very sensitive to being laughed at.

The Constitution’s First Amendment prohibits Congress from making a law abridging the freedom of speech, a direction to Congress, not to Hollywood celebrities who are free to voice any inane ideas they may have. On slow days, celebrities are apt to get more attention if they say something vaguely interesting. Way too much of any day’s news is the words of celebrities, the more provacative the better. In reaction to that, millions of ordinary people have lost interest in patronizing movies, the NFL has had a season of empty stadium seats, and viewers of some television shows have turned to something else instead.

Advertising is expensive, placement on a popular show means more people see your ad. Advertisers are always deeply worried about the effectiveness of their ads. Will lots of people see them, will the ad increase sales. paying for itself, or will the executive get in trouble for an ad that does not work? So advertisers are sensitive to any kind of boycott.  Doesn’t always work as expected. Dick’s Sporting Goods attempted to be sensitive to the gun-banning people, and their sales have tanked. The people didn’t go for football players “taking a knee” instead of respecting the national anthem, and the NFL has had masses of empty seats all year. Hollywood movies are losing money. Big companies used to understand that although nobody cared how they personally voted, their public face was firmly non-political. Newer, younger companies have not learned that lesson, and the Silicon Valley folk do not grasp their own predicament. They have even used the Southern Poverty Law Center (the biggest hate group in the country) as their fact-checker, and are attempting to be helpful to Chinese efforts to control their own citizens ever more completely.

If you watch the way the Communist Chinese government is attempting to control their own citizens with constant computer monitoring, consider that your conversations on social media are being monitored and recorded, that your conversations at home can be monitored with all the new Alexa-type devices, does it make you a little nervous? They reportedly want your DNA. Have you noticed that the Democrat media is trying to talk us into a recession? Just asking.

Did you know that the Mueller probe, the ‘special counsel investigation’ has so far cost the taxpayers $25.2 million? That’s $4.5 million for salaries and rent, $3.9 million from the Department of Justice, $2,686,270 for personnel compensation and benefits and another $1 million for special counsel office employees. $580,098 on travel and transportation, and $779 on the “transportation of things”. There’s more, $25,215,852 worth, but you get the idea. Has it accomplished anything at all, except to demonstrate the irresponsibility and malfeasance of our representatives in Washington D.C.?



Did You Know That the U.S. Is the World’s Largest Oil Producer? by The Elephant's Child

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Do most people recognize that the United States has recently become the world’s largest oil producer? We have passed both Saudi Arabia and Russia as U.S. crude production has surged 20% in a year – and nearly tripled in the past decade. For nearly sixty years, OPEC has dominated the world’s oil markets by setting production quotas among its 15 members. In 2014, OPEC flooded the market with oil to try to break U.S. drillers who were pouring cash into innovation while they were already in debt. Seems like we knew what we were doing.

As oil prices fell below $40 a barrel in 2015 and 2016, many wildcatters folded or were absorbed by larger producers. The survivors became more efficient. They put technology to work, using drones with thermal imaging to detect any leaks along the line. Productivity went up. Over just the last five years, production per rig has more than tripled in the Permian basin and actually quadrupled in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. The Bakken rig count has fallen by 70% and yet output has increased by a third.

In late 2015, the Republican Congress expanded the market for shale oil by lifting the export ban on crude oil in exchange for Obama’s demand to extend renewable energy tax credits.The biggest constraints on U.S. production have been distribution problems, but three new pipelines are expected to come online next year, capable of delivering 2 million barrels to the gulf coast and in 2020 two more pipelines will be completed.

The big news is that the U.S. Geological survey reported recently that the Permian’s Delaware basin holds more than twice as much oil and 18 times as much natural gas as the Midland region.

Barack Obama is claiming credit for the shale boom. (Why are we not surprised?) The Tax reform last year opened Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the Interior Department scaled back unneeded protections for the sage grouse, which allows drilling on nine million acres in oil-rich states. Last month at Rice University, Obama said “You know that whole suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer . . . that was me, people.” It must be hard to see the hated Trump administration get credit for expediting pipeline and terminal permitting and opening new federal land to drilling, but there you go. Can’t have it both ways.

OPEC countries and our own politicians should  take notice that America’s new energy prosperity comes from industry innovation, the importance of private property, and the wonders of the free market. We call it Free-Market Capitalism.

Confused by all the talk about “Fracking”? Here’s an excellent history and explanation from the oil industry.



The Professed Future of the Left by The Elephant's Child

Back in September of 2014, The Heritage Foundation hosted a panel discussion on the future of the Left entitled simply “Liberalism in America.” These are my notes. 

William Vogeli – “The fundamental assumption of the Left is the innate goodness of each person. This assumption means that they are seeking to undermine the Constitution, which is based on a very different version of human nature. The Constitution puts the three branches of government against each other, so that each will keep the others in check. The Constitution expects selfish ambition, and by expecting ambition, it legitimizes it – which is precisely what the Left does not want to do. The Left wants to supply not  just “the defect of better motives” but just better motives. Liberals want to set up a system that allows our latent goodness to “flourish” and the checks of our constitutional system can be discarded in favor of technocratic, centralized disinterestedness that allows each individual to live an authentic life of his choosing.

Kevin Williamson – In order to achieve this goal of a soft liberated citizenry the left will have to dominate and control more of society – a tendency that is already in evidence.

Ben Domanech – characterized the Left as having become a “protection racket” seeking to protect interest groups: unions, minorities, single mothers, from perceived threats such as the free market. A free society will always have winners and losers – Absolute equality and absolute liberty will always stand in tension. All people and their choices are equal and should be treated as such. Undergirding this statement is a moral agnosticism that necessarily undermines a self-governing republic based on rights. Liberalism’s appeal is to equality and security.



Who Are The Most Powerful People in Washington? by The Elephant's Child

Another great video from Praeger University. A look behind the scenes in Washington D.C. Congress has long passed off their administrative duties to the federal government bureaus. The administrative stuff takes time and effort away from trying to get reelected, and Congress has illegally passed their duties on to unaccountable bureaucrats, who have to come up with good ideas to earn their pay and demonstrate their value.

The result is millions of pages of unnecessary regulation that interfere with economic growth and prosperity. It’s much harder to get rid of unneeded regulations than it is to enact them.

Some federal agencies should be moved to the parts of the country that they are regulating. Why is the Agriculture Department in Washington D.C.? Why is it not in farm country, like Kansas?




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