American Elephants

It’s Not Going to Work, Three Reasons Why! by The Elephant's Child
March 25, 2010, 8:31 pm
Filed under: Economy, Health Care, Law, Politics, Taxes | Tags: , ,

Nick Gillespie of the Reason Foundation notes three reasons why Healthcare Reform isn’t going to work.

World-Class Fantasy, Not So Classy Reality. by The Elephant's Child

Here in Seattle, a favorite phrase of politicians is “Don’t you want Seattle to be a world-class city?” On the national scene , it’s just like the first lines of this article:

President Obama has repeatedly insisted that there is no reason why Europe or China, rather than the United States, should have the world’s fastest trains, and since coming to office he has committed the country to developing a high-speed rail network of its own.

So there is some kind of contest among nations to see who has the fastest trains and the winner gets…?  It is, of course, absurd.  Just as creating a “world-class city” is absurd. Should you doubt that, please explain just what a “world-class city” is.

Nick Gillespie of The Reason Foundation, explains some of the problems with President Obama’s dreams of high-speed rail.  We don’t talk in sensible debate, considering the advantages and disadvantages; but in myth and story — campaign mode — snake oil.  Exaggeration and falsehoods are used to get one’s way over objections of opponents, or to persuade the innocent, but reasoned discussion?  Not likely.

The president came to office with a program of how he was going to change America to suit — himself.  Faced with a steep recession and dramatic unemployment, he hasn’t changed his plans at all.  Throw a lot of money at an ill-considered stimulus plan organized by Congressional Democrats to suit their constituents and supporters, but don’t even think of altering or delaying your big plans for remaking America.

The big mistake was assuming that Americans interpreted all the talk about “hope and change” the same way you did.  They didn’t.

More Challenges to the Federal Government and the EPA. by The Elephant's Child

The House of Cards begins to fall.  Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, with the support of new Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, has filed a petition with the EPA to reconsider its finding based on the acknowledgment of ClimateGate’s former CRU Director Phil Jones, to be very unsettled science indeed.

He has at the same time filed a petition with the Federal Appeals court requesting a review of the EPA finding.

The Richmond Times Dispatch clucked that “A commission appointed by previous Governor Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, found that global warming could spread disease in Virginia, threaten coastal areas and imperil native animals such as crabs.”

The panel, which included scientists, business people, lawmakers and environmentalists, unanimously adopted its final report in 2008.

The Director of the Virginia State Sierra Club, Glen Besa was horrified:

The attorney general is wasting taxpayer’s money on frivolous litigation…In effect, he’s questioning climate change.

Well, yes.  In the last five months it has become increasingly clear that climate change is a fraud. The Earth is cooling, not warming, and there has been no significant warming for the last 15 years.

The IPCC has been exposed as a political organization, in error about every aspect of climate science.  Carbon Dioxide, which is one of the basic building blocks of life, (no CO2 no life) is not a pollutant, and attempts to regulate it as such, are strictly political and have no basis in science.

Senator Gregg Reminds the Budget Director that TARP is Not a Piggybank for the President’s Priorities. by The Elephant's Child
February 14, 2010, 12:39 am
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Law, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Senator Judd Gregg, (R-NH) has become one of my heroes.  As the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, he takes on Budget Director Peter Orzag, and explains the law. This is for all those folks that worry that the Republicans are not fighting back.  They are, of course.  You might let them know that you appreciate their efforts.

Man-caused Catastrophic Global Warming Theory is Dead. Over. So Now the Defense Department Is Going Green? Go Figure! by The Elephant's Child

The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review gives an unusual amount of attention to the issue of climate change. Brett Schaefer and Baker Spring note, at National Review, that:

Previous QDR reports did not identify climate change, global warming, or other environmental issues as major concerns for U.S. security. The 2010 QDR, by contrast, dedicates three of its 105 pages (plus executive summary) to the issue, highlighting it (along with energy) in a section dedicated to its impact on the “future security environment.”

All in all, the report mentions “climate change” 19 times. China is mentioned only eleven times, Iran five times, Russia four times, and North Korea three times. It seems that the Obama administration views climate change as a major national-security concern. The QDR sees the potential consequences of global warming — retreating glaciers, extreme weather, rising sea levels and temperatures, food security and water scarcity, disease — as potential contributors to instability and conflict. (emphasis mine)

It appears that the Obama administration which has appeared to be somewhat uninterested in national security, regards climate change as a major security threat.  Probably no one in the administration is familiar with ClimateGate, or the subsequent collapse of the authority of the UN’s IPCC and relies instead on their friend, noted climate scientist Al Gore.

This summary comes from the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).

• Mid-August, 2009, after repeated requests for data under the Freedom of Information Act, the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, one of the three international agencies that calculate global temperatures, announced that it had discarded the raw data used to calculate global surface temperatures.  Makes independent review and verification impossible.

• October, 2009 annual meeting Geological Society of America: Dr. Don Easterbrook presented graphs demonstrating how tree-ring data from Russia showing cooling after 1961 were artfully disguised in IPCC Assessment Report 4 contained deceptions making the entire document scientifically questionable.

• November: emails and code from the CRU leaked to the public, which reveals efforts to suppress independent studies that are contrary to IPCC conclusions of human-caused warming.  IPCC scientific review process has systematic bias in favor of anthropogenic warming.

• Mid-December: Russian Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) reported that the Hadley Center for Climate Change of the Met Office had probably tampered with Russian climate data, and the Russian station data do not support human caused global warming.  Met Office collaborates with CRU in reporting global temperatures. Reported global surface temperature trends are unreliable and have a strong warming bias of unknown magnitude.

• January: Joe D’Aleo and E. Michael Smith reported that the National Climatic Data Center (NOAA-NCDC) and NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) dropped many meteorological stations from their data bases— those in colder climates. Thus their reported temperature trends are unreliable and likely have a strong warming bias of unknown magnitude.

• All global surface temperatures and trends announced by the three major reporting international organizations probably have a warming bias of an unknown magnitude rendering their work scientifically unreliable.

• January: IPCC AR4 claimed that here was a probability of the disappearance of Himalayan Glaciers by 2035 or sooner. A possibility that could be devastating to India and S.E. Asia.  Investigated, it turned out to have no basis in scientific fact.

January: Claims in the 2007 IPCC report that climate change could endanger up to 40 percent of the Amazon rainforest came from activist who has worked for WWF and Greenpeace, and had no basis in scientific fact.  The disappearance of rainforest was due to logging.

February: No scientific basis for the claim that global warming could cut-rain-fed African crop production by 50% by 2020.

Beyond the QDR’s view that consequences of global warming could be potential contributors to instability and conflict, the approach leads to recommendations that limit the flexibility of the military.

If carbon dioxide is not a cause of global warming, and it isn’t, then just how far should we go to try to eliminate it?  And perhaps we should try to resolve more of the scientific questions before we start changing our national security strategies. And possibly we should find out if there is any warming at all, and who we can trust with those questions.

This is a very troubling basis on which to shift America’s defense strategy.  As Schaefer and Spring suggest: “In its oversight role, Congress should challenge the administration’s inclusion of climate change as a defense priority.”

Here’s Another Must-Watch Interview With Two of Our Most Interesting Economists. by The Elephant's Child

I am an enormous fan of  the Hoover Institution’s Uncommon Knowledge programs.  This last week, Peter Robinson interviewed Richard A. Epstein and John Taylor.   Peter Robinson’s question:  Are we all Keynesians Now? After introducing the opposing approaches to economics of John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman, economists Richard Epstein and John Taylor discuss U.S. monetary policy from the 1970s onward.

Richard A. Epstein, on the left above,  is a founder of the field of law and economics.  He is director of the John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics at the University of Chicago and a fellow at the Hoover Institution.  John Taylor is a former undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs.  He is a fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of economics at Stanford University.

The controversy in the world of economics and finance today is between the Keynesian economics that the Obama administration follows and the free market ideas of Milton Friedman that the Republicans believe are proven to be more effective.

This interview is like sitting in on a conversation with three brilliant friends. Each segment in about 6 minutes long, so you can watch at your pleasure.  What’s neat is that you can go back and review any part that you didn’t understand.  Unlike those college seminars, if you didn’t take good notes, all you have to do is play them over again.

The previous interviews are all available at the same link above.  They range from Thomas Sowell, to Dambisa Moyo, Charles Kesler, Antonin Scalia and John Bolton to mention only a few of the many guests.  I recommend them highly.

Promises, Promises, Hollow Promises. by The Elephant's Child

As Democrats seek the biggest expansion imaginable of the government nose in the relationship of Americans to their doctors and their health care, the biggest selling point has been the need for everyone to have health insurance.  The long-held goal of “universal health care” will, according to the Congressional Budget Office, still prove elusive.

As many as 23 million people could still be without insurance by 2018, says the CBO.

The ranks of the uninsured would include many who choose not to get health insurance although they can afford it.  Starting in 2014 individuals would face fines if they do not buy insurance, some may still refuse.

About a third would be illegal immigrants. States spend millions caring for them at hospitals, where emergency rooms accept patients regardless of coverage.  Democrats support covering illegals, but haven’t yet admitted it. An annoying fact is that illegal aliens get “free” medical care when American citizens don’t.

Oh well, promises, promises.  There must be some reason why a small percentage of Americans still think that ObamaCare is a good deal.

Disgusted Democrat Doctor Defects Over ObamaCare Outrage. by The Elephant's Child

Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith announced yesterday that he was going to switch parties and become a Republican.  At a press conference, the Congressman, an oncologist, said that he could not continue to align himself with a Democrat Party that was pushing a health-care plan that is “bad for our doctors…bad for our patients, and bad for the young men and women who are considering going into the health-care field.”

Politicians often switch parties after a big election, as they try to retain legislative power or become part of a new majority.  A bunch of moderate Democrats changed to the Republican Revolution in 1994.  But switching parties in the middle of a session and switching from the majority party to a smaller minority is more than unusual.

Mr. Griffith is from Alabama, but from a reliably Democratic seat.  Interestingly, Congressman Griffith apparently suddenly became a racist only when he left the Democrat Party.  He also voted against the stimulus and against cap-and-trade.  He  said that he would not vote again for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker because she is “divisive and polarizing.” His switch certainly seems to be a matter of principle.

Sounds like he’ll fit right in.  Welcome!

Guess What “Global Warming” Causes This Week! by American Elephant
November 20, 2009, 4:50 am
Filed under: Global Warming, Junk Science, Statism | Tags: ,


Irresponsible, Opportunistic, Corrupt President Causes National Panic for Political Gain by American Elephant



Obama declares swine flu a national emergency, becoming the ONLY national leader in the entire world to have done so.

Meanwhile the regular seasonal flu affects far more people, and causes far more death than the swine flu ever will. For all the hysteria whipped up by Obama and his administration, the H1N1 “swine” flu  has killed 1,000 people this year — plain old seasonal influenza, on the other hand, kills over 30 times that many people — an average of 36,000 Americans every year– and I don’t see Obama calling it a “national emergency.”

The number of seasonal influenza-associated (i.e., seasonal flu-related) deaths varies from year to year because flu seasons often fluctuate in length and severity. CDC estimated that about 36,000 people died of seasonal flu-related causes each year, on average, during the 1990s in the United States. [Center for Disease Control]

Nor will Obama declare the plain old seasonal flu an emergency because it is not sensational and he can’t use it to whip up fear and political support for his fascist health care takeover.

Meanwhile, the hysteria Obama is whipping up over swine flu will result in more deaths, not less, as millions of people who don’t need vaccines clog the system, making it harder for those who need the vaccine to get one. The vaccine is already in short supply. And will cost taxpayers billions more as the declaration makes federal dollars available to for Obama’s marketing ploy.

But that is the self-described Motus Operandi of this most corrupt, Alinskyite thug — “never let a crisis go to waste.” And when there isn’t a real crisis handy, manufacture one.

Can’t we impeach this crook yet?

Hatred of America INCREASES because of Obama Nobel? by American Elephant
October 14, 2009, 3:03 am
Filed under: Europe, Politics | Tags: , , ,

At least according to the half-wit, Eugene Robinson, who claims Republicans who criticize Obama’s undeserved Nobel prize do so because they hate America.

The problem for Robinson is that nobody else thinks Obama deserves the prize either. Polls in the UK show most Brits agree that Obama did not deserve the award. Another poll shows Norwegians (the peace prize is awarded in Norway) agree. Indeed, reaction all across Europe has been fairly unanimous, and the world agrees with Republicans — they don’t think Obama deserved the award either!

So I guess the only conclusion we can reach, if we are to use the torturous contortions Eugene Robinson calls logic, is that Obama has increased world hatred of America!

Obama/Democrats seek to EXPAND policies that caused crisis. by American Elephant
October 12, 2009, 2:39 am
Filed under: Economy, News, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , , ,

Must-read from Forbes:

…Liberals pooh-pooh the idea that a 30-year-old law could have contributed to the current subprime crisis and credit crunch. But what they ignore is the massive expansion of CRA-commitments forced on banks in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

According to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, in the first 20 years of the act, up to 1997, commitments totaled approximately $200 billion. But from 1997 to 2007, commitments exploded to more than $4.2 trillion. (Keep in mind this is more than four times the size of the current health bill being debated in Congress.) The burdens on individual banks can be enormous. Washington Mutual, for example, pledged $1 trillion in mortgages to those with credit histories that “fall outside typical credit, income or debt constraints,” and was awarded the 2003 CRA Community Impact Award for its Community Access program. Four years later it was taken over by the Office of Thrift Supervision. In 2004 Bank of America agreed to provide $750 billion in CRA loans to applicants with poor credit who had previous difficulty obtaining a mortgage. By 2008 Bank of America was reporting that CRA loans represented only 7% of its portfolio but 29% of its losses. Numerous large banks are now in the middle of enormous CRA commitments. In 2004 J.P. Morgan Chase agreed to provide $800 billion of such loans over the course of 10 years.

For all the talk of unsold condos in Miami and foreclosed McMansions in California, the epicenters of the mortgage crisis are inner-city urban areas–precisely those areas where the CRA was most applicable. As the Boston Federal Reserve put it in a massive 2008 study, “In the current housing crisis foreclosures are highly concentrated in [urban] minority neighborhoods.” The study found that borrowers in these areas were seven times more likely to be foreclosed on than the general population. Analysis by the Pew Research Center and another by The New York Times found that mortgage holders in these areas had foreclosure rates four times higher than the national average.

In short, the CRA is compelling banks to make trillions in loans to individuals who have poor credit and who often can’t or won’t make their payments.

Now comes Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, and 50 other co-sponsors (all Democrats) of H.R. 1479 the “Community Reinvestment Modernization Act of 2009,” who want to expand the CRA to include not just banks but also credit unions, insurance companies and mortgage lenders. Congressman Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has supported the idea in the past. The SEIU and ACORN, along with a host of other activist groups, are also behind the effort. [read the whole thing here]

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