Say what you will about Donald Trump as a candidate for president. It seems the mainstream media cannot say enough about him; it's like he's a celebrity or something. Say what you will about Donald Trump as a conservative. Just about everybody saying they themselves are a conservative for fun or profit, including most recently the whole crowd at National Review, are saying that Trump is not. Say what you will, but Trump's gift seems to be saying what YOU will about the contentious issues in a contentious way. And say what you will about Trump supporters, but you must concede that their righteous but unfocused anger and frustration are reasonable given the circumstances. I am not convinced that this anger necessarily translates into votes for Mr. Trump, nor if it does, how that translates into desirable and effective public policy. We will know about the first question tomorrow, in Iowa. I really wish I had more faith in the second.
Oh, hooray! The folks in Paris have ironed out all the "details" of a Climate agreement and the planet is saved! There are unfortunately a few minor details still not resolved in this Great Deal. They concern the fundamental problem to which this agreement is supposedly the solution, namely, the Theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic (i.e. manmade) Global Warming (CAGW).
-- First, it is not a Theory, but a hypothesis, scientifically speaking. It doesn't become a theory until predictions from the hypothesis are tested and match real observation, 85 years from now. Twenty years in, it ain't lookin' too good.
-- Second, it's not Catastrophic. This agreement is supposed to hold temperature rise to a totally arbitrary number of 1.5 degrees C (which NO climate model predicts possible under the most extreme change to manmade CO2) while most scientists believe the Earth could warm at least 2.5 degrees and actually be beneficial.
-- Third, it's not Anthropogenic. Human activity creates only about 4% of the CO2 added to the atmosphere; Mother Nature creates the rest. (And by Al Gore's admission, Nature does so only centuries AFTER Earth is warmed from some other cause.)
-- Fourth, it isn't Global. Antarctic and Greenland ice is growing. Surface temperature readings come from a very limited set of unreliable surface stations and colder ones are sometimes discarded by NOAA, and then the data is "adjusted," making the data essentially fraudulent. Satellite measurements are un-falsified and truly global.
-- Fifth and finally, it isn't Warming. The satellite data shows no significant warming in the last 19 years, while the climate models on which this agreement lies for its sense of urgency predicted a (mathematically significant) higher temperature.
The best thing for the people of this planet would be if this agreement and its leaders were summarily rejected, and a stop put to this cruel hoax. The best thing for the people of the planet AND the planet itself would be if this agreement were simply ignored while the leaders crowed about having applied a "historic" non-solution to a non-problem, and saw no need to ever meet again on the subject. That alone would save more hot air than this agreement ever will.
I'm not Catholic and so have no idea whether the Pope's supposed infallibility matters or not. To me, it only matters because some people are going to believe that he is when clearly he is not, on the issue of "climate change." I suppose some of it could be blamed on bad advice from his advisors, but his more recent remarks make it clear that he actually believes that Man can destroy what God has made. I'm sorry, but that is a stretch of faith too far and too wide.
First of all, just calling it "climate change" is a lie, because every piece of scientific "evidence" mustered by the True Believers only applies to Global Warming, not "change." And that lie is BASED on a lie, according to a number of scientists who have examined the data. When you consistently "correct" the raw data to show each year "the warmest on record," the data is worthless as evidence of anything other than "evidence tampering." Meanwhile, the satellite data—unfudged and truly "global"-- shows almost 19 years now of essentially no global warming and the computer modelers themselves admit that 20 years of that would "cause them to question the accuracy of the models." Those significantly erroneous models, meanwhile, absent some Divine Revelation we lack, are the ONLY "evidence" of coming catastrophe. And even if they were right, according to the US EPA in trying to justify Obama's new "Clean Power Plan" regulations, a radical reduction in US CO2 would reduce global temperatures by a negligible 0.02 degrees! So, if the acolytes of the great Church of Global Warming are right, they are wrong by their own confession! You can chalk all this up to a hoax, or a scam (billions of dollars are involved), or just a grossly misguided and irrational cult, but infallible it is not. Hopefully there will be an epiphany in Paris.
Gov. Bobby Jindal gives a brilliant speech, saying we should, “…grow our economy faster, improve our health care system, explore new sources of energy, and put more Americans back to work” and then completely blows it by calling these ideas "conservative." Rand Paul, in the recent Republican debate, attacked Marco Rubio because his ideas were "not conservative." To all this, I say, "WHO CARES?" An idea or issue position is either a good idea or a bad idea. Sure, most good ideas about public policy are those that "conservatives" would agree with, but saying so is just a distraction, and an overall negative. Over the years, the word "conservative" has become almost as demonized (and misused) as the word "liberal" and we don't have an alternative like "progressive" to fall back on. I wish our candidates would simply drop the word "conservative," quit trying to "out-conservative" one another, and substitute the word "commonsense." Wouldn't it be great to elect a bunch of folks with common sense ideas, for a change?
That’s the trouble with being a caucus-convention-primary state. There are so few around that it is hard to know how best to “operate” within it, and it is quite obvious that Minnesota Republicans do not. How else to explain this intense concern over pledges or promises by candidates to “abide by the endorsement”? Think about it. If the pledge is mandatory, you have just closed the endorsement process, while the primary is OPEN. If the pledge is voluntary, most candidates will not sign on until they are reasonably certain of the outcome of the Convention, which usually happens during, or just before, convention. And any candidate who believes he/she is still the best choice (often the reality) will STILL go to the primary.
Either way, the GOP organization is trying to force the candidates to value (and seek) endorsement, when all that is accomplished is to DE-value it, with some of the best candidates skipping endorsement entirely. The way to make the endorsement have value, so that candidates WANT it, is to make it a valuable part of a winning strategy. If the endorsement carried with it a huge outpouring of volunteer hours, financing, enthusiasm and communication opportunities, candidates would be far more likely to compete for the chance to be endorsed rather than bypassing it. Right now, though, after granting a 60% endorsement, the remaining 40% of delegates usually say, essentially, “He’s not my guy, so I’m done,” while the other 60% say, essentially, “Well, I did my job as delegate and got him the endorsement, so I’m done.” This means the endorsement has almost no real value.
Here’s the reality: Even if the delegates managed to endorse unanimously, there is still one more thing required of them, to guarantee victory in November. Each and every one of them must then go out and somehow convince ONE THOUSAND more voters that this candidate is their best choice. No candidate pledge can ever make that happen, and it would be unnecessary if the delegates brought that value to the endorsement.
All of this uproar about who among Republicans should replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House is not only premature, but worthless until somebody establishes what the true qualifications are for the job. Right now, the belief seems to be that the proper qualification has to do with some sort of ideological test, whether the person is “conservative enough” or “establishment enough” to either “advance the conservative cause” or “get things done,” respectively. That’s simply wrong, and seems to echo too many of the internecine battles we have choosing our candidates, which is ALSO wrong.
What Republicans need, first and foremost, is a Speaker that can SPEAK- intelligently, clearly, persuasively, in quotable bits or lengthy argumentation. That such speaking must also be believable and “common sense” goes without saying. The second requirement, necessitating the first, is a brilliant tactician that can find a way to actually pass legislation using House rules, parliamentary procedure and the management of public perceptions. Note that the ideological content matters little, here. When Republicans actually pass a budget funding everything BUT Obamacare, for example and as they should, they get blamed for shutting down the entire government because the Democrats in the Senate refuse to take up any budget whatsoever, and get away with blaming the Republicans! There should be ways to not only put the blame where it belongs, but to force Democrats to act in the best interests of the country. Wouldn’t THAT be different? Republicans could finally stop being the “stupid Party” that challenges and then rolls over.
I see Obama has won a great “victory” by getting 34 stupid Democrats to uphold his veto of Congressional rejection of his Neville Chamberlain prize. Now isn’t that a convoluted process, regardless of what is actually in this deal? Since when do treaties not follow the Constitutional process requiring a 2/3 approval in the Senate and no action by the House, rather that a 2/3 majority of BOTH houses to reject it? I know, it’s that stupid “Corker Amendment,” but since Republicans don’t seem to have the spine to stand up and stop it, preferring to give Obama his political victory over common sense foreign policy, I offer the free advice to them here.
Look, this is a terrible deal, OK? So the House and Senate should both reject it, since both have Republican majorities. BUT, as part of that rejection, there should be a retraction of the Corker amendment, including language saying that the Corker agreement does not apply because the terms of that amendment, most notably no “side deals,” make it moot and therefore requiring that 2/3 Senate approval. Then, there must be a resolution—NOT veto-able by Obama—to the effect that this is a Treaty, and the appropriate Rules committee should change the rules of consideration in the Senate to define it as such and require a 2/3 APPROVAL, not disapproval. Since the deal will then fail, Obama will have nothing to veto. Then let him scream and fume and do all the adolescent histrionics he is capable of, but at least common sense foreign policy and Constitutional law will have been preserved. Now, where’s that Republican spine?
Numerous politicians and autocrats have extolled the so-called Clean Power Plan and its “public health benefits," but there are a few things we all should know. First, this is not an act of Congress; it is Pres. Obama's EPA vastly exceeding its authority, to serve a radical environmentalist agenda. This "carbon pollution" is not some noxious byproduct of coal burning, but the simple chemical reaction combining coal (C) with oxygen (O2). The ONLY way to reduce CO2 by 32%, as mandated, is to burn 32% less coal and to generate 32% less electricity! We can easily imagine the COSTS of 32% less electricity by the number of people in the coal industry who will lose their jobs, by the number of lives lost from lack of electrical heat or food storage or air conditioning, and economic losses from expensive electricity, not to mention your electric bill. Perhaps we should call this the “Affordable Power Act” and re-use the slogan “if you like your power plant you can keep your power plant.”
But what are the “benefits”? There is ZERO direct public health benefit to reducing CO2. You have 10,000 times the CO2 concentration in your lungs as there is in the atmosphere! The “benefit” here is to reduce global warming, and by EPA's own numbers, that amounts to 0.018 degrees over the next 100 years! Even if their crystal ball is 100% right (highly doubtful), does anyone think there is a negative health effect from 18/1000 of a degree? Yet EPA claims a “cost/benefit ratio” of 1:7! Maybe somebody IS benefiting from this mindless “war on coal,” but it’s certainly not the general public.
Now, let me see I understand this deal correctly. Iran gets immediate relief from the sanctions that were supposed to be holding back their nuclear weapons program. They get to keep, rather than destroy, several tons of weapons-grade material they have already created, useless for "peaceful purposes,” and they get to keep and even enhance their ability to make more. They get a "signing bonus" of something like $150 billion to use any way they want, including purchase of conventional weapons, purchase or development of [nuclear] missile capability, and continued or expanded support for international terrorism, with not even a promise to do otherwise. Of course they DO have to submit to "inspections" of their nuclear sites, but they get to decide which sites are off-limits, to delay inspections up to 24 days, and then they get to name their own inspectors! They do not even have to disclose what progress they have made towards a nuclear bomb, when the whole idea here was to keep them "one year away." And after 10 years even that restriction goes away, which means Iran certainly gets a nuclear bomb 11 years from now, unless they cheat during that time, or unless they have enough material to build one already. Heckuva deal.
Oh, and we get? Ah, yes, a handful of wonderful magic beans.
Apparently, not even our elite universities teach math and logic anymore, at least not in the curricula that our politicians pass through. The candidates are quoted as favoring or opposing Obama’s radical 32% cut in CO2 emissions, imposed from ON HIGH, but all seemingly based on whether electricity bills and employment will go up or down. Republicans (and Obama ’09) insist that electricity bills will skyrocket, while Obama NOW tells us that costs will go DOWN and jobs will go UP—sort of an “if you like your power plant, you can keep your power plant” statement.
But the truth is readily discernible. It needs no weasel words, emotional appeals, tarot card readings nor the defense of outright lies. The laws of chemistry say you cannot cut the emission of CO2 from coal burning—the combination of C and O2—by 32% unless you reduce the amount of coal burned by 32% and the amount of energy produced by 32%. That skyrockets electric bills and costs jobs because less coal will be mined and transported, and more costly electricity will reduce profit margins in business leading to layoffs. Simple and straightforward effects. But think of the outstanding benefits that will accrue from reducing this deadly, global-warming-causing pollutant, they say? By the EPA’s own analysis, even in the highly unlikely case they are correct, this rule fully implemented will reduce global temperatures by a whopping 0.018 degrees. That’s 18/1000 of a degree! I don’t care whether you’re Fahrenheit or Celsius, that’s nothing! The cost/benefit ratio of this edict is therefore astronomically and indefensibly large and denying that—Obama’s greatest ability is denying truth— ought to get you laughed off the news and condemn this stupid rule to the joke book of history, not the regulatory rulebook.
Well, the Supreme Court has definitively settled one matter of law last week (though not two, as you might think). That matter is that these nine justices should never again be allowed to make rulings in the middle of a 3-day drunk.
How else to explain an Obamacare ruling that ignores the clear language, clear intent, and clear initial implementation of the law in favor of the overall supposed intent, clearly belied by its disastrous failure to fulfill that intent? And if gay marriage must be legal because a woman can marry a man and a man cannot, then have we overturned Roe v. Wade because a woman can have an abortion but a man cannot? How drunk do you have to be???