American Elephants

Corona virus Update by The Elephant's Child

King County, Washington reports 388 confirmed cases, 35 deaths. 3 more deaths have been reported since this morning.  Snohomish County, just to our north, has reported 154 confirmed cases. There is a smattering of single cases throughout the state.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports 1,629 total cases in the country, and 41 total deaths. As you can see, most of them are obviously from here. They report that slightly more than half, nationwide,  are travel related. That includes people returning from Wuhan, China, from Italy, and 46 from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship.

If you go to the CDC website, and look for the COVID-19 in the U.S. there’s a dandy map if you scroll down that gives the numbers for the whole country. Page is updated at noon, Monday through Fridays. 46 states are reporting and the District of Columbia. Not sure who is missing, Alaska and Hawaii I would guess, and…?

Here in King County, there’s a lot of hoarding going on. Grocery stores are being raided as people think of themselves as “stocking up” just in case. Unfortunately grocery shelves are stripped and anyone who did not grasp the greed of their fellow citizens is out of luck. Nice going, neighbors.

COVID-19 Update by The Elephant's Child

Yes, the Corona virus is scary. Here in Washington state, we learn that we are the leader in the center of the virus in the U.S.  Governor Inslee has closed the schools starting Tuesday, for at least a month. Nationally, the media is still trying to blame it all on President Trump — who is handling the outbreak very, very well indeed. When that becomes fairly clear ( He declared a national emergency today, which frees up more government money and more government action) the media turn their attention to his calling the virus the “Wuhan virus” or the Chinese virus” as “racist” and “xenophobic”, ignoring the obvious point that it arose in Wuhan, China, and was spread from there.

Now there is constant talk about the “shortage” of testing kits, as the president is arranging for “drive by” testing at cooperative popular retailers who have drive by windows. Mostly left out of the conversation is the fact that you shouldn’t request a test unless you have some symptoms. If you seem perfectly healthy, you probably are. Stay home, wash your hands a lot, wipe down packages that are delivered with antiseptic, and try not to hoard and unnecessarily stock up as if for the duration of a war.

Here are some articles that you may find useful. The first is from Heather Mac Donald, who does correct math, and researches facts carefully. The second is from John Hinderaker on “The Politics of Coronavirus.” The third from Paul Mirengoff also from Powerline about “The Coronavirus in Iran.” Here’s David Harsanyi from National Review on “COVID-19:Scary Enough without the Scaremongering.” And from City Journal, Clark Whelton recalls the 1957 Asian Flu pandemic.  I was around then, but have no memory of that one. Obviously I didn’t get it or I would remember. All good articles, and good common sense as opposed to all the Media hype and hysteria. The American media has a lot to answer for these days. They are partisan and forgetting, shamefully, what journalism is all about, or what it is supposed to be.

King County WA cases: up slightly from Wednesday: 328 confirmed cases, 30 deaths. Washington state has 568 cases,most in adjacent counties.

Italy has had 1,266 deaths, and we are reminded that the population of Italy is the oldest in Europe. They are not even treating the oldest people, but saving resources for the younger. France has 3,661 cases and 70 deaths, Spain  4,209 cases and 120 dead. The UK has only 798 cases. Helps to be an Island.

Updating Statistics: We’re Doing Pretty Well. by The Elephant's Child

Imagine my astonishment to learn that I am writing from the center of the novel corona-virus in the United States. Washington state has so far had 11 deaths from the virus, and there are 79 confirmed cases. Health care workers who are caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk, as are travelers who are returning from international locations where community spread is occurring.  Total cases in the U. S. are 164. 19 states report cases. Of the cases reported, 36 are travel related.

Some schools have closed and are doing lessons online, with loaner computers for those who don’t have them. Some businesses are encouraging workers to work from home if they can. There are some runs on hand sanitizer, toilet paper and more people are having their groceries delivered so they don’t have to go to the store.

Consider that we have brought our people who were in Wuhan, China home, as well as other people who were in China, and travelers who were in bad international locations, and we’re doing pretty well. If you were abroad and COVID-19 happened, you’d probably want to come home too.

Ben Carson said that President Trump has handled the COVID-19 outbreak very, very well. Do recall that before he was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Carson was a renowned neurosurgeon, and knows whereof he speaks. So a difficult  time and unfortunate deaths, but we’re doing remarkably well in the face of a worldwide contagion.

ADDENDUM: From a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Holman Jenkins:

In a startling statement, the WHO’s Michael Ryan claimed in a Monday briefing: “Here we have a disease for which we have no vaccine, no treatment, we don’t fully understand transmission, we don’t fully understand case mortality, but what we have been genuinely heartened by is that unlike influenza, where countries have fought back, where they’ve put in place strong measures, we’ve remarkably seen that the virus is suppressed.”

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.

Washington State General Election Nov. 7. American Elephant Endorses! by The Elephant's Child

The picture isn’t us, but it captures the spirit of the occasion.

Off-year elections don’t get as much attention as presidential election years, but they are every bit as important for they affect city and county positions, school boards, fire districts, and as is usual a series of proposed tax increases. The Democrats, of course, want more money. Washington State has no income tax, and it would take a Constitutional amendment to get one, and they’re working on it.  In the meantime, raising the property tax to aid “vulnerable populations” — not just modestly—they want to double it! Vote NO  That’s just plain greed.

In the 45th District in the State Senate, Jinyoung Lee Englund, a most attractive newcomer, is the most important candidate in this election. Her election would keep the State Senate from moving to Democrat control, which would be a disaster. Washington might face a constitutional reform to allow a state income tax. We don’t need it, they are just  grasping for power, a characteristic of the Left.

Her opponent, Manka Dhingra,  has said she is willing to raise taxes and support heroin injection sites in King County. This is a batty idea of how to save addicts from overdosing, by providing a nurse at sponsored injection sites. A few days ago it was reported that a young man brought his heroin and needle and told the nurse at the injection site that he had never done this before and wanted to do it right — so the nurse showed him how to use the rubber tubing, and where to inject. How to solve the opioid  crisis! Englund is the daughter of a disabled vet, and the wife of a currently deployed serviceman, and a terrific candidate.

Also for the State Senate, 7th Legislative District on the East side of the State, Shelly Short, and in the 31st District, Phil Fortunato.

For the State House, in the 7th Legislative District: Vote for Jacquelin Maycumber, and in the 31st Legislative District: Morgan Irwin.

Seattle is electing a new mayor, which we hope will be Jenny Durkan. The previous one was forced to resign after another sex scandal. After the Mayor’s office, the second most powerful office is City Attorney. Seattle has more than 400 illegal homeless encampments, mostly drug addicts, and the highest property crime rate in the country. Time for a new City Attorney. Vote for Scott Lindsay.

The Bellevue City Council is facing some big problems, and some of the incumbents favor building low barrier homeless shelters near schools, parks and residential neighborhoods. “Homeless” is a term the left gave to the addicts sleeping under the freeways, to encourage sympathy, rather than actual help. It’s all about feelings, not assisting in recovery efforts. Conrad Lee is a long time successful councilman who pays real attention to taxes and thrift and responsible spending and should be returned for another term, and as many more as he wants. Jared Nieuwenhuis is an active volunteer, who puts neighborhoods first, wants to reform city hall (splendid idea), supports sustainable growth (apartments are going up all over, and the whole nature of the city is being changed). Steve Fricke is a former Deputy King County Criminal Prosecutor, an engineer, attorney, and community volunteer. Philip Yin, a journalist and small businessman, knows about the problems of small businesses. He will increase transparency, and keep our neighborhoods safe.

There are times when you just have to stand up to be counted.


Washington State Turned Out to Vote on Saturday. by The Elephant's Child

Today is Super Tuesday for Republicans.  A large number of states are either voting in primaries or caucusing.  Results to be seen. Here in Washington state, we had our Republican caucuses on Saturday. The media has been emphasizing the lack of interest, disappointment in candidates, way too many debates (most of  us would agree), and general boredom among Republicans and Conservatives.

Washington is a funny state. You have the left coast which contains the large cities and dominates the state. The (very left) coast is divided  from the rest of the state by a range of significant mountains including an assortment of (currently) dormant volcanoes, but many will remember the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980. The left coast has long been home to loggers, fishermen and Utopian experiments which have an unrivaled record of failure. The left  simply does not understand human nature.

Over the mountains is a different country, a vast plain which was once home to the Yakima, Spokane, Shoshone, Palouse, Kootenai, Cayuse, Flathead and Walla Walla, and bisected by the great Columbia River, and is now home to their reservations, wheat fields, wine country, apple orchards and a Columbia river tamed with hydroelectric dams. Not so Left.

On Saturday the disinterested Republicans turned out for the caucuses. Four years ago, 12,000 people turned out. Saturday, there were 51,000, a 400% increase. What everyone saw was interest and enthusiasm. So much for the media.

Here’s Why We Like Dino Rossi. by The Elephant's Child

Good guy. Experienced as a businessman and as a legislator in getting things done.  He understands basic economics, and what will work and what won’t.  Good down-to-earth common sense.  That’s what we need in our nation’s capitol, that seems to be sadly missing today.

He would be a strong voice in Washington DC, for the folks in Washington State.

Dog Bites Man: Democrats Raise Taxes by American Elephant
June 2, 2010, 8:43 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Politics, Taxes | Tags: , ,

When all you have is a hammer, as they say, every problem looks like a nail. In that vein, when you are a leftist so-called “progressive”, which by definition means you don’t know how to do anything but use government force, then the answer to every problem becomes using that force to take more and more power, more liberty and more life’s-work away from the American people.

Washington State Democrats, desperate for more money to pay their own exorbitant salaries and benefits, have now added brand new “sin” taxes on soda, candy, beer and bottled water.

Coincidentally, unemployment can now be expected to increase in the local soda, candy, beer and bottled water industries.

When government spending is the problem, how stupid do you have to be to think more government spending is the solution?

“Global Warming” My Big, Fat, Frozen Butt! by American Elephant

It’s the middle of April and it’s snowing in Seattle. Seattle is known for rain, not snow — and for good reason. I’ve lived here since I was a toddler and we never get more than a few sporadic inches, and never past early January.

It’s April for crying out loud!!! I’m cold! Would everyone please run their car engines, turn on all the lights, and perhaps burn some oily rags in the fireplace?! This “global warming” crap is taking far too long!

Oh, what’s that you say? The globe hasn’t warmed in ten years and this past year has been the coldest on record since 1900? The polar ice caps are growing and the computer models that are the basis for all the global warming alarmism have been proven to be junk that can’t predict today let alone the future?

Then could someone tell me why we’re even talking about so-called “global warming” anymore? And while you’re at it, could you pass me a blanket?

Update: In the interest of full disclosure, the above photograph is not Seattle (it may or may not be the cascades), nor, as I have been reminded, is my butt big and fat. I claim artistic license!

Democrats — Still Crazy After All These Years by American Elephant

Almost eight years later, Democrats in Washington State are still grousing about President Bush preventing Algore from stealing the 2000 election. (They later used precisely the same tactics ruled unconstitutional by a 7-2 vote of the US Supreme Court to successfully steal the gubernatorial election from the winner, Dino Rossi.) The state senate has just voted to potentially disenfranchise the majority of Washington voters:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – State senators have approved a bill that would deliver the state’s electoral votes to the U.S. presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.

The bill, which passed 30-18 Monday, now heads to the House.

The bill would change Washington’s current system of typically giving all of the state’s electoral votes to the candidate who wins the statewide election to awarding all of the state’s delegates to the national popular vote winner. [read more]

So bitter are they still over the 2000 election results, that they are incapable of envisioning a situation where Washington State might vote for someone who does not win the popular vote, even though that is precisely what happened in 2004.

Had this ridiculous plan been enacted then, Washington State’s electoral votes would have gone to George W. Bush, even though the majority of voters in our state voted for Kerry.

In fact, as liberals are fond of pointing out, if Kerry had won just a few hundred thousand votes here, and a few hundred thousand votes there, he might have won the presidency even though Bush won the popular vote.

In other words, they would be handing the election to the opponent of the candidate the majority of their constituents voted for, disenfranchising the millions of people it is their job to represent.

Bush Derangement Syndrome.

First Snow by American Elephant
December 1, 2007, 8:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

first snow

We had our first snow of the season here in the Seattle area today. It was a little reluctant to stick at first, but it was coming down pretty heavy and volume eventually won out. Everything blanketed in a layer of crisp white.

Unfortunately, snow rarely sticks around in Seattle. Forecast is for rain tomorrow.

Easy come, easy go.

Oh well, maybe it will come again in time for Christmas.

My former Representative, Jennifer Dunn, died today by American Elephant
September 5, 2007, 4:02 pm
Filed under: News, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Former Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn

What a sad and shocking day.

I had just learned of the passing of Ohio Congressman, Paul Gillmor, and was reading the news reports when I was shocked to find at the end of one the articles that my own former congresswoman, Jennifer Dunn, also died today.

Representative Dunn was a statesman, a stalwart conservative and an elegant lady, and we are grateful for her service to our district, Washington State, the Republican party and the nation. Among her many, many accomplishments, Representative Dunn led the charge on welfare reform, the Amber Alert system, and the repeal of the estate tax. We will miss her and our prayers go to her family and loved ones.

Former Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn, one of the state’s most prominent Republican figures for more than two decades, died unexpectedly Tuesday night. She was 66.

Ms. Dunn suffered a pulmonary embolism and collapsed in her Alexandria, Va., apartment and never regained consciousness, her family said in a statement. She died later at the hospital, where she was surrounded by family members.

“We’re just trying to pull ourselves together,” said her son, Reagan Dunn, a King County councilman. “It was a total shock.

“She gave her whole life giving to other people. She touched a lot of lives and did a lot for her country.”

Ms. Dunn served six terms in the U.S. House, from 1993 to 2005, representing Washington’s Eighth District, which includes Bellevue, much of east King County and part of Pierce County. She became the first woman to serve on the House Republican leadership team.

She retired from politics in 2005 and went to work for a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.

Before serving in Congress, Ms. Dunn became the first woman elected as chair of a state Republican Party — a position she held from 1981 to 1992.

News of Ms. Dunn’s death shocked Republicans and Democrats alike.

“I’m just stunned,” said Brett Bader, a Republican consultant from Bellevue. “It’s like a whole generation of Republicans have lost their mom. She was that giant of a figure.”

“I feel terrible for her family,” said U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, who has known Ms. Dunn since they were teenagers. “They should be very proud of all she accomplished and the way she did it.”

Dicks, D-Bremerton, described Ms. Dunn as a fiercely loyal Republican but said she was always willing to work together when the state’s interests were at stake. He cited their efforts at reducing international trade barriers and support for Boeing.

“Her passing is a loss for all Washingtonians,” Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire said in a written statement. “She was a devoted wife and mother and always kept her family as her top priority. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this difficult time.”

In Congress, Ms. Dunn served as a member of the Ways and Means Committee, vice chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee and a member of the Republican caucus campaign team.

She was a frequent spokeswoman for the House, once giving the Republican response to a State of the Union address by then-President Bill Clinton. She helped run three Republican national conventions. She was elected to the U.S. House in 1992, the year Clinton was elected president, and easily beat back a series of Democratic challengers for her seat. [read more]

Leaders react to the passing of Representative Dunn.

Seattle Times photo gallery of Representative Dunn.

Seattle P.I. coverage.

%d bloggers like this: