American Elephants


Ten of the Dumbest Things Said About The San Bernardino Attack by The Elephant's Child

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California Senator Barbara Boxer said, the day after Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik carried out Islamic jihad in San Bernardino, California, that “sensible gun control works,” and cited the example of California to prove it.

Yes, clearly California’s sensible gun control works. The weapons used were illegal. If you think that some new regulation on guns would eliminate mass killings, please explain just how it would control the 12 pipe bombs the perpetrators had constructed.

What is far more troubling was the Left’s reaction. They immediately blamed it on right-wing militia backwoods types.This seems to be a recurring fantasy on the part of the Left. They are nervous about the vast territory between the right and left coast—Appalachia and the South, the Rocky Mountains. Who knows what lurks in the deep woods — evidently lots of guns.  Another of their false narratives is the idea of a post 9/11 backlash against Muslims and Arabs in this country.

Minutes after the shootings, before anyone knew anything the president was already off on his gun control hobby horse.

Speaking to CBS News moments after news broke of the shooting, Obama called for “common sense gun safety laws” and urged lawmakers to pass a law to prevent individuals on the “No Fly List” who are barred from boarding commercial flights, from legally purchasing firearms.

Marcos Moulitsas quickly blamed it on Republicans — tweeting “Yo GOP, kinda hard to talk about “keeping people safe” when your peeps are shooting up America.” Then they went off on people who said “thoughts and prayers.” whose sentiments didn’t seem to save any lives.

Yes. ordinary people, appalled at such a useless tragedy, want to express their sorrow and fellow feeling for the families and survivors. That was quickly picked up by all sorts of smug Lefties. One of the ugliest flaws in the Leftist character is its inability to tolerate alternate viewpoints.

The shootings were accomplished by a married couple of Pakistani heritage who seem to be ISIS adherents. There was said to have been a third person, but that has apparently been dropped. The FBI is being cautious and refusing to release any information or opinion until they are confident that is the case. At first they said it may ba an act of terrorism. Now they are saying that it is an act of terrorism. Which is as it should be.

ADDENDUM: Changing information, apparently the weapons were purchased legally, under California’s ‘tight’ gun laws, but altered illegally.



Pin the Tail On the Donkey! by The Elephant's Child

Over the Fourth of July weekend in Chicago, 30 people were shot in 8 hours overnight. A 7 year-old boy and two men were killed. The Confederate flag has been withdrawn from store shelves and public display because it has suddenly been decided that it is a racist symbol and might offend someone. No one is particularly offended by 30 people being shot in a city with very strict gun control. Chicago has not had a Republican mayor since 1931.

Even before the Baltimore riots, gun violence was up more than 60% compared with last year. Protesters from Ferguson were reportedly sent to Baltimore by a George Soros associated group. There were 32 shootings over Memorial Day weekend.  Baltimore has been run by Democrats since 1967.

In Milwaukee, homicides were up 180% by May 17 over last year. Shootings in St. Louis were up 39%. robberies 43% and homicides 25%. St.Louis Alderman Joe Vacarro said “Crime is the worst I’ve ever seen it” in a May City Hall hearing. Milwaukee’s last Republican Mayor left office in 1906, St. Louis’s last Republican Mayor left office in 1949. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid May, Democrat Mayors have run Atlanta since 1942.

What has happened is a relentlessly dishonest campaign against law enforcement, which the Wall Street Journal called “the Ferguson Effect,” beginning with Trayvon Martin, who was pictured as an innocent young boy in a hoodie, instead of the huge violent young man, and extending through one innocent young black man after another, with out-of-control violent policing supposedly at fault.

Shooting incidents were up 500% in East Harlem, 100% in South Central Los Angeles. And in many cities, police are afraid to confront suspects for fear that they will be attacked or wrongly accused of misbehavior. Cops are not perfect. There are bad apples. There are racists, but the majority of police across the country are trying to keep the peace and forestall crime. Attacking the police, making poor neighborhoods believe that they cannot trust the very people who are trying to protect them is a vast disservice. When that protection is lessened or withdrawn because police are fearful for their own lives, crime and murders go up and trust drops even more.



Don’t Blame Me! Blame The Oil Industry! by The Elephant's Child

In his weekly address yesterday, the president went after the oil companies. With the price of gas at the pump doing real damage to his approval rating, Obama is not about to let anyone blame him for the high price when there is hated Big Oil to blame.  I mean everybody hates Big Oil don’t they?  And you can remember all the times that Obama took responsibility for things that didn’t go well.

As oil and gas companies make tens of billions in profits and the government scours the budget for savings, President Obama called on Congress to stop handing them $4 billion annually in taxpayer subsidies. America’s oil production last year reached its highest level since 2003, but we need to invest in the energy of the future, instead of subsidizing the energy of the past. …Of course, while rising gas prices mean real pain for our families at the pump, they also mean bigger profits for oil companies. This week, the largest oil companies announced that they’d made more than $25 billion in the first few months of 2011 – up about 30 percent from last year.

The president added that” he doesn’t have a problem with any company being rewarded for their success”… but, he said he does “have a problem with the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies we’ve been handing out to oil and gas companies —to the tune of $4 billion a year.”

If you’re trying to shift blame, this sounds pretty good, except it’s a lie.  We don’t “subsidize” oil companies. When a business buys a big piece of machinery, or builds a building, or spends vast amounts of money to extract oil, the government has long recognized that those things have a finite life, and so they get to depreciate them on their taxes over time. Different things have different rules and different terminology, but one of the things that they are not, is taxpayer subsidies and the president knows it.

The impression is also that oil and gas companies don’t pay their “fair share” of income taxes.  Oil companies face a much higher tax burden than the highest corporate marginal tax rate of 35% because they also pay state income taxes and foreign income taxes at a rate of 41.1%.  There are also royalties, excise taxes, and other transfers to governments that aren’t included in that rate.

So if you wonder why business isn’t aggressively hiring and expanding, here’s one good example.  You follow all the rules, pay your taxes, and get attacked by the White House, which asks Congress to “stop subsidizing the oil and gas industry.”

Economist Mark Perry provides an interesting explanation of ExxonMobil’s profits and taxes.  The media has trumpeted the $10.65 billion in first quarter earnings, but neglected to explain that the company’s  6.1% average profit margin ranks #112 among all industries for the most recent quarter.  Internet providers captured 23%, periodical publishers 51.6%, and the silver industry 31%.

So don’t blame the laws of supply and demand.  Don’t blame the president for shutting off the supply of oil.  He’s doing it because he has the unfortunate idea that he can change the energy needs of the world with windmills.  Good luck with that one!




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