American Elephants


Please! Stop Embarrassing Us! by The Elephant's Child

Mitt Romney was just in Israel, and in a speech said he was happy to be in the capital city of Israel, Jerusalem. This is notable because Jay Carney, hapless press secretary, twisted himself into knots recently to avoid admitting that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. A witless representative of the State Department actually said that it was to be determined by negotiation. Just stop it. You are embarrassing us.

Israel is a sovereign state. Jerusalem is not only its historic capital, Israel says that Jerusalem is its capital.  They are the only ones who get to decide. It’s their country.

The United States does not get to decide what is the capital of Israel. Jay Carney does not get to decide. President Barack Obama does not get to decide. Secretary of State  Hillary Clinton does not get to decide, and the witless State Department woman does not get to decide. And stateless Palestinians don’t get to decide. If they can stop shooting rockets and trying to kill people, they might someday get their own state.

Washington DC is the capital of the United States. If the Congress of the United States should decide, with the approval of the people, that we should move the capital to Plato, Missouri (which is the population center of the country) — then that would be the capital — but for the present, it remains in Washington DC, where Congress decided to put it, back in July, 1790.

It’s all really very simple.  Can we stop being stupid.



Helping Obama Get His Message Out… by American Elephant

I always try to be helpful, so, I thought I’d help Obama get his message out…



Romney ad: So, what ever happened to that “hope & change” thingy? by American Elephant

Hillary Clinton: Say, that Obama fellow is quite dishonest, isn’t he?! by American Elephant

Video: Happy Flag Day, from Mitt Romney! by American Elephant

Nicely done. Patriotic, hopeful, inclusive. I particularly like that it starts out with a little dig at Obama’s divisiveness.



Smart Investments? And How Did That Turn Out? by The Elephant's Child

The Obama Campaign, noted for its brilliance, oddly seems to want to have a debate about which of the two candidates is more qualified to run the world’s largest economy.  Obama’s economic policies vs.Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital?  Um, you might want to rethink that.

Obama has made it clear that he really doesn’t understand the concept of profit. Liberals are often taught that profit is a bad thing that the rich sometimes do to line their disgusting pockets and pay for their yachts.

It is obvious that the administration is a little unclear about just how jobs are created. Today’s dismal jobs report makes that very obvious. Three and a half years later is really too late to keep blaming George W. Bush. At what point does the economy become Obama’s? When the recession is over? That happened in June of 2009, officially, from the agency that makes those decisions.

The Obama team does understand hiring, and have done a lot of it, creating new government departments and issuing new regulations; but they miss the detail about who pays for what. Government jobs are just another bill for the taxpayers to pay. From the president on down to the lowliest janitor, taxpayers pay their salaries and benefits.  Government has no money of its own, a fact that liberals forget until they need more revenue, at which point they expect taxpayers to pony up without complaint funds which, when received, will become ‘government money.’

Bain Capital buys failing companies that they hope to revive, with private money from themselves and from investors. They look at the books carefully before they invest, and determine what is needed— money, better management, eliminating a sector that is losing money, a new business plan — and consider what they can successfully provide. If the business still fails, Bain and their investors will lose money, and have a harder time raising investment money the next time. Not every business can be made to succeed, but under Mitt Romney more than 70 percent of their businesses did succeed, many dramatically so. It’s a very good record.

The Obama Administration has picked businesses to fulfill their ideological interest in green energy. They have listened to promoters’ talk of capacity and potential, and had the benefit of having supporters or campaign bundlers in charge or as investors so there were some familiar faces.

They did not ‘invest” their own money, but invested billions of taxpayer funds in speculative businesses that had no track record nor no evidence of expertise or professionalism. When one of those businesses goes bankrupt, it is just another total loss for the taxpayers. The administration’s goals are policy driven — intended to fulfill green ideology, not return on investment driven. We’re still looking for one clean energy success. Just one.

Mitt Romney showed up at Solyndra’s empty building to make the point that when the administration invested in Solyndra, it wasn’t the administration that lost money, it was the taxpayers. The Obama campaign is trying to claim that Romney’s policies in Massachusetts were an economic failure because during his tenure, Massachusetts unemployment rate was 4.7%. Um, 5% unemployment is usually considered full employment.

Obama has big problems arising from his inexperience. He has made universally bad bets. Attempting to invest in “green” energy in spite of the abundant evidence from Spain and other European countries is folly. You would need extensive investigation from trained professionals in the technology and business prospects. Making investments with politically connected business ventures has led to charges of corruption and cronyism. The largest bets went to friends and contributors to Mr. Obama. The biggest losses went to the taxpayers.



Romney: ‘Day One’ by American Elephant
May 18, 2012, 1:47 pm
Filed under: Conservatism, Election 2012, Politics | Tags: , ,



Happy Birthday, Ann Romney! by American Elephant
April 16, 2012, 2:15 pm
Filed under: Conservatism, Election 2012, Heartwarming, Politics | Tags: , ,


Excellent commercial. It introduces America to the woman Hilary Rosen and other Democrats have been attacking, and makes them look even worse for doing so. Ann comes across as a sweet, warm, loving, and strong wife and mother.  With Mitt’s voice-over, and the collage of photographs, the commercial is really about family, and makes the Romneys very likeable indeed.



Has Obama Lost His Cool? by The Elephant's Child

Over at Investors, Andrew Malcolm asks “Who is this guy pretending to be president?” He argues that the optimistic hopeful fellow with the charming smile is gone and has been replaced by the “2012 Obama who is strident and mean, even deceitful, divisive, telling half-truths after half-truths.”

This Obama is in full-time campaign mode, though his accomplishments are pretty wispy. The Republican primary is essentially over, and he now has someone to run against. They tried out their prepared “war on women” theme, but that isn’t going too well, though they still have hopes. Turns out that women are a lot more concerned about the economy in general than about the cost of a month’s supply of birth control pills.

More women have been laid off from their jobs than men—177,000 women compared to 55,000 men. Mitt Romney said that his wife told him that’s what women were worried about, which prompted a new line of attack by the Obama campaign.

What did Ann Romney know about what women cared about, they asked: she’d never worked a day in her life,” That was to be a new, but connected theme — the Romneys were elite, rich, and out of touch with ordinary people.  Because they were so rich, Ann Romney just got to loll around their many houses while authentic women went out to work. That pathetic claim is something left over from the 60s. Raising five boys to be outstanding young men is not “not working.” And Mitt is supposed to be really out of touch. Square, still living back in the 50s. Above all, not cool.

Very interesting. Obama’s initial campaign was largely based on”cool.” Not just that he would be the first African-American president, but the logo everywhere, on the soon-to-be-presidential airplane, on every sign, on the podium, soon, you didn’t need words—just the ubiquitous logo. In the years since, photoshoppers have had great fun with the logo, and it has perhaps lost its cool in the process.

The new president would prove just how cool he was with his myriad accomplishments, making the hated Bush appear small and well-rid-of as the new guy in charge showed how things should be done. Hope springs eternal.

But all the dreadful things Bush did turned out to be the inevitable and correct thing to do. The terrorists in Guantanamo weren’t innocent boys imprisoned by the warmongering Bush people; they actually were the worst of the worst; and Guantanamo never did get closed. The fundamentalist rule against embryonic stem cells would be waived but the halt didn’t walk again. Whatever happened to the twenty volunteers who were waiting for the real kind of stem-cell transplant?

Major government investment in 21st Century technologies like new, towering wind turbines and cutting edge solar shingles would make dependence on foreign oil a thing of the past, except they simply did not produce the electricity that was promised by the promoters, and the countries that Obama pointed to as examples to be copied, like Spain, have gotten out of the solar business altogether.  Germany is slowly shutting theirs down, and it turns out that they weren’t the 21st century new, new thing but only old-fashioned ideas that have never worked very well.  The Volt goes about the same distance on a charge as the 1896 Roberts electric car.  There’s more, of course.

Seems to me the case that Mitt and Ann Romney are out-of-touch and not cool may be a little iffy.  Americans mostly don’t envy the rich — they hope to get rich themselves someday. They expect their president to honor the Constitution and separation of powers and  respect the traditions of the office, and to understand enough about free enterprise and how the American economy works, to avoid spending all the money on big ideas of the wonders of big government. Surely that’s not asking too much.



Who cares if Romney wants to index? A generation of young people may. by American Elephant
February 4, 2012, 7:30 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Election 2012, Liberalism, News, Politics | Tags: , ,

We’re excited to present the following guest-post, contributed by reader & twitter friend, Erik Newton (follow him on twitter at @Newtonslawpc), a smart young conservative who makes lots of sense. Give him a read, we’re sure you’ll think so too.

A firestorm erupted this week in conservative circles when Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney (R-MA) reaffirmed his longstanding commitment to automatic indexing to inflation of increases in the federal minimum wage. Romney held this position at least as far back as his campaign for governor of Massachusetts in 2002. To many Romney supporters, this is their candidate again sticking to his guns, showing his “constancy,” and refusing to flip-flop. It is the second such major issue on which he’s refused to nuance his views to come in line with those of many conservatives in the GOP base. The first is Romneycare, from which Romney also refuses to distance himself even in the heat of the 2012 campaign.

In 2007, Romney said he supported indexing the minimum wage because he likes the “idea of getting the political debate out and [likes] the idea of not having the huge jumps as we do now.” Most practical politicos probably didn’t think much ado about this explanation, but it has fed some critics. The first part of Romney’s defense, that indexing “get[s] the political debate out,” seems to detractors like Romney is again trying to back what is of immediate political advantage to him. He’s backing an “anti-growth” policy, as Club for Growth’s Chris Chocola calls it, so he doesn’t have to defend free markets when it comes to wage prices, so goes the criticism of Romney.

But to understand what is behind the criticism of Romney’s minimum wage position as a policy matter, one has to take a closer look at the minimum wage and the state of the law. To take the second area first, Romney’s own explanation for his indexing support relied, in part, on avoiding “the huge jumps” we’ve had in the federal minimum wage recently. From an economic standpoint, Romney does have a fair amount of support for this argument—large shifts in the wage price floor create dramatic distortions in the wage market. Smaller, incremental shifts create smaller distortions. But Romney’s leading opponent in the 2012 GOP presidential contest, Newt Gingrich, uses the former’s own argument against him. He points out periods of hyperinflation (14% in 1980; 15% in 1947-48), and says indexing “would be a very dangerous idea,” for exactly the reason Romney supports it. In an inflationary period, the minimum wage would jump dramatically through indexing, something Romney professes the desire to avoid.

There is no avoiding that several states have adopted a minimum wage that is indexed to inflation. Some of these measures were passed through the legislature, such as Florida, whereas others were passed by voter initiative, such as Washington. All told, there are six states with annual minimum wage increases indexed to inflation: Florida, Washington, Arizona, Montana, Ohio, and Missouri—quite a mix of the red, purple, and blue. Since these laws were adopted, the nation hasn’t faced the level of inflation, as referenced by Gingrich, which would put to the test the reasonableness of these automatic hikes. While certainly not a majority of states, or even an “evolving trend,” these state policies show Romney is not alone among politicians (not even among Republicans, at least in private), who would love to avoid taking minimum wage votes.

So, what’s the big deal with the minimum wage? As Rush Limbaugh said on his radio program, “Why not $10. Yeah, okay. Well, why not $15? Now we’re talking!” This may sound a little bombastic, but the late Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts was long an advocate for a “living wage.” Kennedy’s idea was to guarantee each citizen an amount earned that will cover their basic costs of living, which is only a small change in policy and no change in logic from current law. But the point Limbaugh highlights is a concern with both a “living wage” and an ever-increasing “minimum wage”: the higher the wage floor, the more low-skilled and younger workers will be out of work. These laborers are priced out of the market for work, because they can’t charge as much for their labor and employers aren’t allowed to pay less.

Without a wage price floor (a minimum wage), small and other business are more likely to hire unskilled and younger workers. To be clear, depending on the job, some companies are still able to hire such workers even at a pretty high minimum wage. There is no denying that McDonald’s hired 50,000 such workers last year. But all this says is that for McDonald’s, with its success and profit margins, it is willing to hire X number of people even at the current $7.25 federal wage price floor. It says nothing, for example, about how many young and low-skilled laborers McDonald’s would hire at, say, a wage rate of $4.25. Additionally, President Obama has complained about the rise of automation, including ATMs. Left unexamined is how the government’s distortion of the wage market drives companies towards what might otherwise be a prohibitive level of investment required for automation. This is particularly true of a company like McDonald’s, which spends hundreds of millions each year inventing or implementing such devices as the computerized fountain drink dispenser—a job previously done by a young worker. Of course, a fact lost on the President is that most of this trend in automation is nothing more than the march of economic history (no more jobs filling drinks; now you have to know how to fix the drink filler). But it is important to point out that wage market distortions, such as the minimum wage, also drive companies toward these types of investments today by making the investments presently more cost-effective.

The reality is that most minimum wage jobs (indeed, the vast majority) are held by young and unskilled workers. Those are the people hurt most by a minimum wage and its effects. Those effects mean less jobs (remember full service gas stations and window washers? (Yes, I know NJ and OR still have them by state fiat!)) and higher unemployment. The unemployment rate among 16-17 year-olds is 28.1 percent and 18-19 year-olds is 22.4 percent. Among young African-Americans the unemployment rate is over 38 percent—a national disgrace of epic proportions. Having a job gives a person dignity and one’s first or early jobs train them in productivity and open doors for future promotion and social mobility. It is also an exercise individual liberty. If a young person, whose fundamental right is to their own labor, chooses to agree with a business to work at a certain rate, why should the government say otherwise? One needs to learn to trade their services, exercise their rights, and make these important decisions. But the minimum wage and its effects hinder these very important hallmarks of a successful society.

By Erik Newton (Twitter: @newtonslawpc)



Conservative Marbles by American Elephant

I’ve been reading and hearing a great deal of conservatives saying they won’t vote for John McCain. Ann Coulter, James Dobson, Rick Santorum, radio hosts, their callers and many of my fellow bloggers have expressed their intentions to collect up all their marbles and go home.

I understand the sentiment, but it’s dangerously wrong.

John McCain is not my first choice for the Republican nomination. He is not my second, third, fourth or even tenth choice for the nomination, but unfortunately, I don’t control who throws their name in the hat.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.”

Nor, in the end, do I control who makes it to the general election.

Rudy Giuliani was my man, but even now that he has left the race and endorsed McCain, I will still not be voting for John McCain in our primary next week. I’ll be filling in my little bubble for Mitt Romney… not that I think he is the ideal candidate either, I’ve criticized him heavily in the past for his appearance of pandering and seeming insincerity.

Nanny Huckabee is even worse. He has proved beyond a doubt these past couple weeks, and yesterday in particular, that he is every bit the sleazy, slimy, corrupt, mean-spirited, big-government, rat-bastard that his record, his ethics troubles, and those who have worked with and for him have said he is. There can be no doubt after yesterday’s shenanigans in West Virginia, that he has struck a deal with McCain and is staying in the race only as a spoiler to Romney.

Now some have suggested he has made a deal to become McCain’s running mate. I don’t trust the Huckster as far as I can spit, and I have never before experienced a ticket that would pain me more to vote for….

However I will vote for the Republican ticket, even if it is John McCain and the Huckster, and I strongly suggest everyone hold their noses, get a little drunk if necessary and do the same. Elections are not popularity contests we hold every four years — they have very real, very nation-changing consequences.

If Democrats win the presidency, and hold onto or increase their majorities in congress (as seems likely):

1. they WILL nationalize and destroy the healthcare industry. And can anyone point out an entitlement program that once started was ever ended? There will be no going back. Ever.
2. they WILL pull out of Iraq. If you are not aware why this would be an unmitigated disaster on all fronts, let me know, I will be happy to expound.
3. they WILL appoint anywhere from 2 to as many as 5 youthful Ruth Bader Ginsburgs to the SCOTUS and pack the appellate courts to bursting with same. They could very well shift the balance of the Supreme court back to the left for generations to come. (A Republican president, even a President McCain on the other hand could ensure the court becomes even more conservative and remains that way for the next 40 years.)
4. they WILL extend many if not all constitutional protections to terrorists.
5. they WILL shrink the military and do extraordinary damage to it, to the intelligence community, and to homeland security.
6. they WILL pass amnesty and weaken border security. They want illegal immigrants in America and they want them voting.
7. they WILL reinstate the fairness doctrine to silence dissent, but only for talk radio. There will be no fairness doctrine for the liberal media.
8. they WILL, as their top priority, pass whatever legislation they can to ensure they never, ever, ever, ever end up in the minority again. (Think: amnesty, motor voter, fairness doctrine, nationwide absentee ballots, nationwide extended voting, making it illegal to ask for voter ID, etc, etc)… does another 40 years in the minority sound appealing to anyone?
9. the WILL commit America to Kyoto and any other number of international treaties designed by our competitors to cripple our economy, and it will have just such an effect. As Bill Clinton accidentally let slip, “We have to slow down the economy.”
10. they WILL allow the Bush tax-cuts to expire, increase taxes on top of that, and drastically increase regulation driving business of all sizes out of business and overseas.
11. they WILL make energy extraordinarily more expensive both intentionally through additional gas taxes, energy company taxes and regulations, and unwittingly through all the “green” crap they want to pull from outlawing light bulbs, to Kyoto, to dangerous foreign policy.
12. the economy is in very uncertain territory. It can be turned around, but Democrats WILL devastate it.

These are not just possibilities. With a strong majority in the house, a majority in the senate and approximately 10 RINO Republicans, a large number of Republican retirements, and a greater number of Republicans up for re-election, it is very, very likely that Democrats will gain strong enough majorities to ram almost anything they want through congress. These are all at the top of their agenda.

I understand the temptations to gather up all your marbles and go home when you don’t get most of what you want. John McCain is a media suck-up and compromises conservative principles far too much. I can think of very few Republicans I would support less than Nanny Huckabee.

But if the only choice I am given is to see all 12 of those things come to fruition, or only half of them, then I know what I must do. Vote and yes, even campaign for the lesser of two evils.

In 230 years, there has been only one Ronald Reagan. There have been very few “great” presidents. Some conservatives are behaving as though they are entitled to one every 4 years.

Democrats have been extremely successful in pushing this nation further and further into socialism because when they cannot make large gains, they are content to make incremental gains. They stand poised to make huge gains. Imagine the damage Democrats can do to this country in just 2 years if they have strong majorities in congress and the White House. Conservatives, conversely, seem only willing to settle for the whole enchilada. They aren’t content to make gains when they can, and hold the line when they can’t. No, many on the right seem to want the whole bag of marbles, or nothing at all.

THAT needs to stop. THAT is how we will lose our country.



Mild-Mannered Wednesday’s Political Hangover by American Elephant

For future reference, Super Tuesday is perhaps not the best day to spend setting up the new computer. We had a spike in traffic yesterday, people obviously looking in to see our predictions or take on which way the tsunami would wash — for which we are very grateful, and apologize for the lack of prognostication.

The reasons I didn’t post are several:

1. A bright shiny new computer with a big beautiful new monitor arrived on my doorstep and I couldn’t keep my hands off of it. (No doubt the timing of the delivery was a diabolical plot by liberals at UPS.)

2. Elephants never forget, and are therefore very insightful, but we are not, as yet, psychic, and therefore tend to shy away from predictions. And, in all seriousness…

3.  Since Rudy withdrew from the race, I have been doing a great deal of thinking and I simply hadn’t fully reached my conclusions yet. (I’ve gotten much closer, however. More on that in the next post.)

Here are  my observations of Super-Duper-Uber-Tsunami-Tuesday for what they’re worth:

First of all, if Obama wins the Democrat nomination and loses the general election — the mainstream media and the rest of the left will  gnash their teeth and tear at their hair for the next four years proclaiming how racist America is. Never mind that he is utterly unqualified — they see only his skin color, so they presume the rest of America sees only his skin color as well.

Fine.

In the interest, then, of equal standards and fair and balanced treatment, it must be said that since both Hillary and Obama are equally and utterly unqualified (the only distinctions between them being their genitalia and degree of pallor), then half the Democrat party is obviously racist and the other half blatant misogynists.

Secondly, McCain hasn’t won yet. It takes 1,191 delegates to secure the Republican Nomination. Senator McCain has only amassed 525. (The number he still needs to win? 666. Whether that’s amusingly coincidental or religiously significant is a judgement that rests far above my pay grade.)

The  longer and tighter the race between Obama and Clinton, the better for Republicans. The longer their battle lasts, the more damage they do to each other, and the more money they spend.

Both Ted Kennedy and Mr. Theresa Heinz-Kerry endorsed Obama. The media made a huge stink about the former. Yet Massachusetts went decidedly for Hillary.

Nanny Huckabee has obviously made some sort of deal with McCain. Mitt Romney was cruising toward a victory in West Virginia so McCain threw all his support behind Huckabee to prevent a Romney win. Huckabee hasn’t got a chance of getting the nomination. It is now clear he remains in the race as a spoiler for Mitt Romney.

I think its disgraceful politicking, but it just goes to further support all the claims by conservatives who have known and worked with him, that the Huckster is a mean-spirited, vengeful and corrupt politician.

Oh, and have I mentioned, this election season is far too long?




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