American Elephants


Americans Are Fed Up. The Problem is The Government! by The Elephant's Child

From Investors Business Daily:obama-angry-8-560x350

A new Gallup poll finds that Americans are fed up with ever-encroaching, corrupt and incompetent government, as represented by ObamaCare and other federal policies.

For the first time since Gallup has conducted polling, people say that the “biggest problem” in America is “the government.” It topped all other categories, including terrorism. “2014 was the first year ever in Gallup records that dissatisfaction with government topped the list,” the 80-year-old firm said. “Government includes dissatisfaction with President Obama.”

And angst over government has been climbing each year since 2009, when Obama took office, breaking a long period of relative satisfaction with government.

Americans aren’t buying what the administration is selling. They believe that government should play a small role in the lives of American citizens. They want to run their own lives, thank you very much. They are simply not convinced that the federal government can do anything very well, and does most things badly. Obama has nattered on about preserving our freedom and our happiness, but Americans would rather do it themselves.

We are entering an unusually dangerous period. The administration has believed that the U.S. national security presence in the world — the American military —has been too large and is determined to reduce that presence. Mr. Obama delivered this statement recently on NPR:

“When it comes to ISIL, us devoting another trillion dollars after having been involved in big occupations of countries that didn’t turn out all that well” is something he is hesitant to do.

Instead, he said, “We need to spend a trillion dollars rebuilding our schools, our roads, our basic science and research here in the United States; that is going to be a recipe for our long-term security and success.”

What on earth does he mean by that straw man argument? Is it just the usual roads and bridges he pulls out whenever he is being criticized? A trillion dollars for precisely what? And how does that protect us from an Iranian nuclear device or a loss of Iraq and Afghanistan to the terrorists emboldened by his disinterest. The success of ISIS has emboldened other terrorist groups. Yemen, Libya, Nigeria. How soon with the Taliban move to retake Kandahar now that the “combat mission” is ended. Ukraine? Russia ? Latvia is moving heavy armor up to their border.

A recent  Pew Survey found that:

The international survey found that the U.S. leads the world in the belief that you determine your fate. It found that Americans are the “least likely to say they are not the masters of their fate” and the most likely to say that their fate is in their own hands.

“The percentage of Americans who say hard work is very important to getting ahead in life is among the highest across all 44 countries,” Pew said. This is the opposite of Obama’s worldview.

Obama is arrogant and belligerent. He will veto any Keystone bill or anything else that does not conform to his worldview. And if he is not sent bills of which he approves, he will take action on his own. So there you are.



Bewilderment And Anger From The Left! What Went Wrong? by The Elephant's Child

Conservatives everywhere constantly wonder what is the matter with the left, and try to find a satisfactory answer. We just had what can fairly be called a “wave” election.  Republicans will control the House of Representatives by 247 to 188 Democrats. They will control the Senate, by 54 to 44 with 2 independents. The GOP controls the governorship and the legislature in 23 states compared to 7 states for the Democrats. Legislative power has slipped from the hands of the American left.

“Never have liberal ideas been so firmly entrenched within America’s core elite institutions. Never have those institutions been so weak and uninfluential,” said Walter Russell Mead. Democrats were sure that the policies they believed were good government would assure eternal liberal success, instead they turned out to be political poison.

Eric Alterman, a reliable man of the Left, writing in the Nation, cited two core reasons for the disaster — ObamaCare and immigration amnesty.

The Affordable Care Act and the executive order expanding the rights of undocumented immigrants were certainly the right thing to do from the perspective of Democratic values, but both are politically poisonous at present. Obamacare undermines a key Democratic constituency badly in need of help: labor unions. The immigration order fires up anti-immigrant passion among working-class voters while benefiting an ethnic group—Latinos—whose voter-participation levels remain anemic, even allowing for the restrictive election laws passed by Republicans. 

Back to Walter Russell Mead:

Modern American liberalism does its best to suppress dissent and critique (except from the left) at the institutions and milieus that it controls. Dissent is not only misguided; it is morally wrong. Bad thoughts create bad actions, and so the heretics must be silenced or expelled. “Hurtful” speech is not allowed, and so the eccentricities of conventional liberal piety pile up into ever more improbable, ever more unsustainable forms.

This is a pretty heady admission from a man of the Left., and he goes even further.  He admits that liberals “live in liberal cocoons, read cocooning news sources, and work in professions and milieus where liberal ideas are as prevalent and as uncontroversial as oxygen.”

What liberals have lost is any connection to common sense. They don’t have any.  So cocooned that they have no idea what Republicans think or stand for. There is no anti-immigrant passion on the right. It isn’t about immigrants, who are welcomed; it is about the “undocumented” part. We have immigration laws and expect them to be obeyed.

The Affordable Care Act was a complete fraud from the beginning. Useless benefits were piled at the front end to get people signed up for bad insurance, and then paid for by cutting payment to physicians and hospitals so much that no one could find care, and the “insurance” became clearly unaffordable. The solution to that would be to nationalize all doctors and hospitals, and turn it into a single-payer plan of the kind that everyone else in the world is trying to get out of because it doesn’t work, and kills off its participants.

Other than that, in his criticism of the liberal project, Alterman mentions that Republicans are anti-immigrant; restrict voting rights; are fanatics; their views of science, economics and pretty much anything else are crazy; are only the party of “Hell No!”; against policies that would help the poor such as Medicaid, and Democrats are barely less dependent on big-money donors than Republicans. Whew! Wrong on every point — and embarrassingly so, proving the “cocoon.” Falling in love with an idea rather than the reality is typical of the Left. A patient is unfortunately better off with no insurance than with Medicaid.

And the “party of the rich” is not Republicans. Democrats took in 71% of the $128 million spent by the top 10 individual donors. Among group donations of more than $100,000, the GOP doesn’t even appear on the list until #14. The National Education Association topped the list at $22 million. The much reviled Koch brothers (who are not even Republicans but Libertarians), came in at 23rd. Global warming activist Tom Steyer blew at least $74 million on the midterms. And that’s not even mentioning George Soros’ secretive Democracy Alliance.

Mead says: “In that sense the Obama administration may represent “Peak Left” in American politics, and what we are getting from the left these days is a mix of bewilderment and anger as it realizes that this is as good as it gets.”



And a Politically Incorrect Merry Christmas to You by The Elephant's Child

Protesters are marching in Manhattan because they think they want “social justice” rather than real justice.

There is no such thing as “social justice.” We have only one kind of justice — which is embodied in the law. The laws established by the people and their representatives come with no guarantee that they will make people feel good about the outcome. Societies need rules, no law will cover every situation, and often the outcome may seem unfair, or be unfair. The police are there to enforce the law, and keep you safe, not to make you feel good.

The childish inability of the Left and their useful idiots to accept the fallible, imperfect nature of humanity endures. They do not truly recognize that there is evil in the world, and they are not prepared to deal with it. You cannot regulate niceness, kindness or peace. You will be offended if you allow yourself to be. Our constitutional freedom of speech does not guarantee that you will not be offended — it guarantees that you will have to put up with speech you don’t like.

I have never understood why anyone should be protected from being “offended.” Part of life is learning how to cope with being insulted, having your feelings hurt, being treated unfairly, or bullied. You wll probably get fired at some point. Some bosses are tyrants. Life is unfair. Surely your mother told you that. You will have your feelings hurt, and protection doesn’t come from some social-engineering regulation passed by leftist loonies, but from your own internal armor and stoical resignation that recognizes the imperfect humanity of the world.  Not everybody is nice, even nice people are sometimes mean, and there is real evil in the world. Get used to it. You can always try to be nice yourself, that might help.

The United States has recognized that there are many religions in the world, though we remain a Judeo-Christian nation. Our very first settlers were seeking religious freedom to practice their own religion free from the dictates of the state. They were escaping a long, long siege of religious wars. Catholicism, Church of England and Scottish Presbyterianism fought bloody, chopping off heads wars, and Puritans, Pilgrims, Shakers, Mennonites, Quakers, Episcopalians, Jews, Dutch Reformed, German Reformed, Irish Catholic, Scots-Irish Presbyterians, and all sorts of odd sects came to America and some new ones arose here, and for the most part they learned to get along, with a few notable exceptions here and there. Comparatively speaking, we Americans are pretty outstanding in the getting-along department, and in the public bellyaching department as well.

It seems to me that we have become more sensitive to offending by the mention of religion only in the wake of 9/11. We cannot say anything unkind about radical Islam because of the freedom of religion clause, which was written to assure that we never established a state religion. It has been twisted into the idea that religious expression is impolite. So we are left with immigrants from Muslim countries whose goal is to establish a state religion — Islam, and Sharia law.

Europe is dying of political correctness. Because of declining birthrates they do not have enough young people to support an aging population, so they have invited in vast numbers of immigrants, a large percentage of whom are Muslim, who want to come to Europe because their native countries are poverty-ridden dysfunctional tyrannies. The Western societies have no long experience in turning immigrants into Hollanders or French or Swedes. The immigrants remain Moroccans, Egyptians or Somalis living in European countries. This comes just at the time when the continent is embarked on a program of making everybody into ‘Europeans’ with open borders, common currency and common laws in the hope of ending the constant wars that have decimated the continent for centuries.

Michael Walsh wrote recently about far-right populist politician Geert Wilders, who will be tried in the Netherlands for inciting racial hatred. He asked the crowd at a rally after local elections if they wanted ‘fewer or more Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands?’ The crowd said ‘fewer.’ He responded “we’re going to organize that.” Later, in a TV interview, he referred to ‘Moroccan scum.’ Apparently now, Moroccans are a ‘race.’ You can see that assimilation is not going well.

In Sweden 20% of the once homogenous population are immigrants or the children of immigrants. Sweden attempted to give shelter to the oppressed, but they are not turning them into proud Swedes. Mass immigration has dissolved Sweden’s social cohesion and overburdened the welfare system. The government cannot or will not cope. The people want immigration reduced. There is deep hostility between the aging indigenous population and the very fertile immigrant one. Demographers say that by 2050, Europe will be Muslim. Are we going to follow down that path?

We are deeply conflicted with the problems of political correctness, diversity, inequality, social justice, race, gender, ethnicity and an antagonism towards religion. Are we to follow the failures of the European idea, or continue to assimilate and turn immigrants into proud Americans? The founders, correctly, emphasized equality of opportunity — not equality of outcome. We all have a chance to make of ourselves what we choose. We’ll make mistakes, some will fail, some will make very bad choices. But we are human and striving, and being human is an imperfect business.

The vision of the Left won’t and cannot work. Diversity does not reside in skin color nor  gender, but in what is in our heads. Appreciate the differences and learn from each other. Some of the richest people have the least money. Redistributing income won’t fix anything. Redistribute excellent teachers instead. Get the kids to the library where they can encounter a world of opportunity.

And this Christmas go out and offend — wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Sing a carol or two. Redistribute some extra cash into the Salvation Army’s red buckets. Appreciate the natural diversity of the mass of humanity of this world. You cannot fix them. It’s hard enough getting along with your own relatives.



Seven More States Have Joined the Suit Against Obama’s Amnesty Plan. by The Elephant's Child

Seven more states have joined Texas’s lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive order amnesty plan this week bringing the total number of states to 24. Texas Attorney General and governor-elect said:

The president’s proposed executive decree violates the U.S. Constitution and federal law, circumvents the will of the American  people and an affront to the families and individuals who follow our laws to legally immigrate to the United States.

The list of states party to the lawsuit now include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The odds that President Obama’s executive amnesty will be stopped by a federal court went up Monday, when U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen was assigned to hear a challenge to the policy brought by Texas and 23 other states. Judge Hanen has ruled against DHS on immigration cases before. Texas filed for a preliminary injunction last Monday, and asked for a ruling before December 31, 2014,



A Steady Decrease In Numbers of People Who Have Interactions With Police by The Elephant's Child

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In 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. The law mandated that the attorney general begin studying the excessive use of force by police, and reporting on their findings. The Bureau of Justice Statistics developed a series of ongoing statistics that measured police behavior in specific situations and incidents in which police use force—like riots and mob behavior. Much of the data was based on direct surveys of citizens rather than reports by local police departments. These surveys and statistics have provided two decades of information on how the police interact with American citizens and how American citizens interact with police.

If it was presumed that the statistics would provide insight for national debates about the use of force by police, the presumption was apparently wrong. When the grand jury reached its decision not to indict police officer Darrell Wilson, the President of the United States jumped into the Missouri debate and told the nation that “the law too often feels like it’s being applied in a discriminatory fashion.”

The New York Times published stories about communities where minorities get stopped more frequently than whites, completely ignoring the statistics from the Bureau of Justice that show that crime victims identify minorities as more frequent perpetrators of crime. There has also been a steady decrease in numbers of people who have interactions with the police. There has been a drop in crime as well. The numbers of people who report crimes to the police  has fallen from 664,000 in 2002 to 574,000 in a 2010 report. The number of African-Americans who reported that police had used force against them fell from 173,000 to 130,000, for whites the number dropped from 374,000 to 347,000. The situations which caused the use of force were not listed.

President Obama helpfully added to the debate, saying that “bad training” and “a fear of folks who look different” in some police departments has contributed to the  ongoing mistrust between law enforcement and minority communities. He claimed that “this is a national problem that’s going to require a national solution.”

The president has announced a new task force on policing that will examine “how to promote effective crime reduction while building public trust” according to the White House. A task force focused on police behavior is really not what is called for.

Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s deaths are human tragedies, but they are not emblematic of police overreach or abuse. Grand juries, in both cases examined all the evidence and declined to bring charges against the police. Young black men are far more likely to be shot by one another than by a police officer. Jason Riley adds:

There were about 6,300 black homicides in the U.S. last year, according to the FBI, and 85% involved black civilian perpetrators. Police officers, by contrast, were responsible for 3% of deaths, which in most cases resulted from the victim assaulting the officer (Brown) or resisting arrest (Garner). Nor do the data suggest that trigger-happy officers are gunning down black men for minor offenses.

Street protests continue, egged on by professional protesters, and universities like Columbia and Harvard which have encouraged students to work through their trauma from the two cases and postpone exams if they were too upset. Professional  protesters, anarchists, socialist activists and a lot of useful idiots from assorted colleges. The more dramatic protests are in all the usual cities, and “Die-Ins” seem to be the preferred mode. Kind of embarrassing.



17 States File Suit To Prevent the President From Ignoring The Constitution by The Elephant's Child

Greg+Abbott
Seventeen states have combined to file suit against the Obama Administration last Wednesday, arguing that President Obama has violated the Constitutional limits on his power and swept aside his constitutional requirement to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” when he unilaterally dismissed enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws against four million illegal aliens.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, states firmly “This lawsuit is not about immigration, it is about the rule of law, presidential power, and the structural limits of the U.S. Constitution.”

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Texas Governor-elect, explained the argument of the seventeen states. “The President’s unilateral action tramples the U.S. Constitution’s Take Care Clause and federal law,” Abbott explained in his statement. “The Constitution’s Take Care Clause limits the President’s power and ensures that he will faithfully execute Congress’s laws − not rewrite them under the guise of ‘prosecutorial discretion.'”

The states pointed out in the complaint itself that President Obama had admitted in a speech in Chicago, that he had in fact changed the law.

“On November 20,2014, the President of the United States announced that he would unilaterally suspend the immigration laws as applied to four million of the eleven million undocumented immigrants in the United States,” says the complaint. The  President candidly admitted that, in so doing, he unilaterally rewrote the law. “What you’re not paying attention to is, I just took an action to change the law.”

The coalition of seventeen states joined in the lawsuit are Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Utah West Virginia Wisconsin, Mississippi and Maine.

The suit asks that the court block the president’s action on immigration.

 



Deep Down The Public Wants Big Government by The Elephant's Child

Schumer 3

Senator Charles Schumer spoke to the National Press Club a couple of days ago, and told the media that despite devastating midterm losses, the public deep down knows that big government is best for them. Do you hear echoes of Jonathan Gruber’s insistence that the public is terminally stupid? Schumer said:

When government failed to deliver on a string of noneconomic issues, the rollout of the Obamacare exchanges, the mishandling of the surge in border crossers, ineptitude at the V.A., initial handling of the Ebola threat, people lost faith in government’s ability to work, then blamed the incumbent governing party, Democrats, creating a Republican wave.

He doesn’t want the numbers from this election to fool you — “Americans believe in big government through and through.”Uh huh.

You have to understand that Mr. Schumer went directly from Harvard Law to the New York State Assembly, becoming at age 23 the youngest member of the New York legislature since Theodore Roosevelt. Mr. Schumer has never done anything else but politics, and he’s good at it. He has never lost an election. Bob Dole once quipped “The most dangerous place in Washington is between Senator Schumer and a television camera.”

Schumer added “Ultimately, the  public knows in its gut that a strong and active government is the only way to reverse the middle class decline and help revive the American dream.” Ah ha, he has noticed that the Democrat  party is losing the middle class.

The problem is only superficially the expanse of big government. The problem is that the Left firmly believes that if a government program doesn’t work — the remedy is to add another program to fix it. And so the body of law and regulation grows inexorably larger and more and more unwieldy. Laws are made and sent off to myriad government agencies who will write all the regulations that will expand and enforce the law.

Democrats have arrived at the position that more law is good and will control an unruly and poorly informed citizenry. The more people become dependent on government for their welfare, their housing, their food and education, the more apt they will be to vote for those who give them those benefits. And the more Democrats are able to control the population, the more the wise and caring people in government will be able to shape them into a better, more compliant population.  The Left has always had some vague Utopian ideas about a new and improved man. Besides the whole project allows them to feel good about doing nice things.

Republicans do believe in smaller, more responsive government. They believe that the best government is that which is closest to the people, and most responsive to their needs. You may not be able to fight city hall, but you will have better luck with that than in fighting the federal government.

That does not mean, however, that Republicans are much better at ending useless programs, getting rid of bad policy. The bureaucracy has grown too large and unwieldy. We are paying enormous salaries to bureaucrats that do no work at all. There are policies that do not work, have no prospect of ever working, but remain on the books.

Bureaucracy is the enemy of creativity, of accomplishment and innovation. The free market is the remedy which turns creativity loose and fosters innovation and a growing healthy economy.




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