American Elephants


The Independent State of CHAZ on Capitol Hill by The Elephant's Child

There is today, unsurprisingly, a remarkable amount of conversation in the press about race. The protests have spilled out internationally to England, to the European continent and to Australia and South America, and maybe other locations. Lots of tearing down statues and fiery speeches.

I live in a Seattle suburb, so the construction on an “independent state” which has seceded from the rest of the country, is of particular interest to the press who are always breathtakingly waiting for a happening, and usually have to settle for what some so-called celebrity has to say, and about which nobody cares at all.

Our Governor, Jay Inslee, having extremely unsuccessfully run for the presidency, was surprised to be questioned about the new autonomous state in the largest city in his state. He seemed entirely unaware of its existence, which is a little embarrassing when the press in the rest of the country is more informed than he is.

The Antifa people displaced a bunch of homeless who were occupying the sidewalks in the six block area they had claimed as their state, so they invited them in. But quickly complained when the homeless had eaten all their food, so they had to appeal to their friends on the outside to buy them some food, preferably vegan with meat substitutes. It’s the little details that make this all so fascinating.

There are around 500 people who live in the area, and the city has provided a fire truck in case things get out of hand. They are trying to charge the businesses in their new state rent, (they have to find a way to pay for the food) but that is actually a crime like entrapment or something. Lots of demands, but they have already invaded City Hall, so there’s not much left to invade, and nobody is paying any attention to their demands.



Washington State Governor has Ordered School Closures. by The Elephant's Child

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has ordered school closure in King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties beginning next Tuesday, March 17 and to remain closed until April 24.

Many employers have encouraged workers to work from home, so perhaps this won’t be such a burden, but many employers have not, and for those folks it’s a problem of possibly leaving children home alone. So parents have several days to figure out how to manage. Good luck to you.

Confirmed cases have increased to 270 (from 234 yesterday) with one additional death reported.



Jay Inslee’s Carbon Tax is On the Ballot. by The Elephant's Child

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Governor Jay Inslee’s clever carbon tax got national recognition today, as it was written up in the Wall Street Journal. The subhead reads: “The referendum shows the main goal isn’t reducing CO² emissions” What? What?

If Democrats retake Congress in November, a national carbon tax is likely to be part of their agenda. A referendum in Washington state next month is a test of public support. (my italics) It is correctly Initiative Measure No.1631 concerns pollution  (cute tag line)

Two years ago nearly 60% of Washington voters rejected a ballot initiative to impose a “revenue neutral” carbon tax. Green groups opposed the referendum because it wouldn’t generate money for environmental largess. Businesses said it would destroy jobs and increase energy prices, which is true.

Democrats are very fond of taxes on things that make it sound like they are saving the Earth from the horrors of climate change. In California they used the proceeds from cap-and-trade revenue on their fabled bullet train to nowhere that is pauperizing much of California. Also funded low-income housing and public transit, and handouts for the greenies.

We already have the third highest gas prices in the country after Hawaii and California, so the tax would raise those only by 13 cents a gallon in 2020 and 59 cents a gallon by 2035, doesn’t sound too bad until you start out adding how many gallons it takes to fill up your car or cars. Since we rely heavily on electricity from our dams in the Columbia, electricity rates would rise more modestly.

The National Economic Research Associates analysis estimates that the tax would cost Washington households an average $440 in 2020, and would reduce the state’s economic growth by 0.4% over the next two years. So the referendum requires that 10% of revenues must be spent on reducing energy costs for low-income residents. That more or less admits that the cost will be significant, does it not. $50 million must go to support those who work in fossil fuels. Our refineries process crude from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale.

Some of the emissions would be exempt from the tax, including “energy-intensive trade-exposed” industries like aluminum production, agricultural diesel oil and fossil fuel — and fuel purchased by local and state governments. Can’t have a tax that costs the government union jobs. That suggests that all the state bureaucrats will get to fill up at the state’s free pumps, doesn’t it? See the post below for a rating of the nation’s governors. Jay Inslee comes in dead last, with a solid F.

The discredited IPCC is still babbling about a climate apocalypse, and estimates a global carbon price of between $135 and $5,500 per ton would be necessary to save us all. That’s not going to happen, but neither is the climate apocalypse. If you recall, Christiana Figueres, the General Secretary of the IPCC let the cat out of the bag a few years back when she admitted that the goal was not to save the planet, but to end Capitalism.

The Journal is more concerned that if the referendum passes, liberals will see a green light to pass carbon copies in other states. Here the whole deal is a thinly disguised grab for more revenue for the politicians in Olympia.



Governor Jay Inslee Wants to Save the Children From Climate Change with A New Carbon Tax by The Elephant's Child

Oh my goodness. Our very own governor here in Washington state has announced in a tweet, that “we have just 59 days to do our part to save our children from an endless cycle of crop-killing droughts one year, and rivers spilling their banks the next. To save salmon from dying in ever warning rivers, and our forests from being reduced to plumes of ash.” dated 12:49 PM – Jan 9, 2018 (Interesting, My clock on my desk says it’s just 26 minutes past 10, What’s this future tweet?)

Governor Inslee is making a fool of himself once again. He’s all hot and bothered to get a Carbon Tax, which he thinks would be a good idea because he can’t be bothered to do his homework, which would mean reading up on the actual science instead of just getting ideas from Jerry Brown. A carbon tax might bring in some extra money, but it would accomplish nothing, nothing at all. The 59 days refers to the end of this legislative term and the amount of time the legislature has to pass his bill adopting a worthless carbon tax.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is plant food. It has contributed to a vast greening of the earth, which is helping to feed hungry people around the world. It has no measurable effect on global warming in the next 100 years.  Global warming has meant so far that the earth is almost 1º warmer on average than it was in 1900, a century ago. Since the sun has gone quiet, worrying about a new ice age would be more appropriate. The planet is cooling. The arctic is not melting. And in case you were worried about them, the polar bears are just fine, and their population is growing.

The Washington State Supreme Court has said the state has to do a better job of funding its schools. Inslee’s plan would tax carbon dioxide emissions at $20 a ton in 2019 that would gradually rise at 3.5 percent above inflation each following year.

The governor’s office estimates it will raise $3.3 billion over the next four years. About $950 million would go to education programs, the rest would go toward green energy programs and research (waste of money unless it’s nuclear power) water infrastructure,(new dams? or going to stop dumping sewage in the Sound?) wildfire mitigation,  and some money would offset taxes or go to poor families. The plan could raise household electricity prices by 5% and gas prices by 10% according to official estimates.

The Wall Street Journal recently commented on Governor Inslee’s machinations. Not flattering. If you are a Washingtonian, you might want to read this, for the rest of you, never mind. Will the people of the United States learn something from the Left’s inability to successfully run anything? Probably not, but you might want to total up the cities run by Democrat administrations. It’s not a pretty picture.



Unintended Consequences: by The Elephant's Child

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Unintended consequences. Someone speaks, or takes an action, advocates a policy, and aside from the immediate political response, the world shifts a little, and all  you can do is hope that if there are unintended consequences, they will not be too bad. President Obama famously said “he has a phone and he has a pen” and even today, announced at Monticello that “He is President of the United States and he can do whatever he wants to.”

That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. There is the oath of office, and a long history of presidential terms in office, and the assumption that a president, any president, will struggle mightily to do the right thing for the people of the United States. Why else did he run for office? President Obama had something quite different in mind. He ran a nebulous campaign full of theatrics and empty words like “yes we can” and “we are the ones,” and people fell for it. But finding that now that he no longer has a Democrat-controlled Congress, but has to actually attempt to debate, discuss and compromise with Republicans in the House, like a petulant child, he announces that he will not compromise on anything, but will just act independently— with his pen and his phone.

Well, if the President of the United States can just act on his own, why not governors? Why do we need laws and customs and rules and tradition? Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, noted empty suit, has decided that while he is in office “During my term we will not be executing people.” He has the authority under RCW  10.10.120to commute a death sentence to life in prison at hard labor, and upon a petition from the offender, to pardon the offender, or to offer a reprieve which is to be issued “for good cause shown, and as the Governor thinks proper.”

Washington State does not have a particularly high murder rate with the exception of a couple of really bad serial killers. Ted Bundy’s case was famous. But the one that raised questions about the death penalty was that of the “Green River Killer,” Gary L. Ridgway. King County prosecutors gave up on capitol punishment  in exchange for his cooperation with providing details that helped solve dozens of open murder cases. He pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated first-degree murder  in 2003 and was sentenced to life in prison. Forty-eight murders seemed like a good reason for a death penalty, though there were 48 families who deserved some kind of closure.

Governor Inslee’s actions are again reminiscent of President Obama’s efforts to escape blame for anything. Inslee doesn’t want to be blamed for any executions, and will shove them off on his successor.




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