I found the commentary by Rep Mike Kelly against the IRS targeting of conservative 501(c)4 organizations to be one of the few laudatory political statements I have heard in over a decade. We had amazing political statements post 9-11 from both sides of the aisle, when the nation rallied against a murderous and vile enemy. Since that time though, it has been pretty much crap.
Last week, in the wake of government power and abuse run amok, we were enlightened by a populist rant that also will rally the people. But this time – hopefully – rally them to clean up our own government gone out of control and mad.
Before we get to Kelley’s commentary, lets reprise why his statement was so powerful. And that begins with laying out why the IRS actions were not the simply mistakes of fools, as the testimony by those responsible implied. But clearly premeditated immoral – and likely illegal – acts.
How could it be “an accident” to only target (and then delay) conservative group tax exempt applications in the wake of a rising tide of new organizations, when there was no rise in applications?
A number of people have sought to explain the IRS targeting of Tea Party, patriot, and 9/12 group applications — as well as those from other conservative groups — for “specialist team” treatment (mainly delays and excessive and inappropriate questions) in 2010 by pointing to the Citizens United decision that year allowing for unlimited, undisclosed fundraising by such groups. That’s the explanation IRS official Lois Lerner gave a week agowhen she first revealed that the agency had improperly handled a slew of applications — the political shorthand was a mistaken attempt to deal with a surge in applications.”[W]e saw a big increase in these kind of applications, many of which indicated that they were going to be involved in advocacy work,” Lerner said.But Todd Young, a Republican congressman from Indiana, pointed out at Friday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing with former acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller and Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George that this was not the case, according to the very data the IRS provided to the Treasury IG’s office.
There were, he noted, actually fewer applications for tax-exempt status by groups seeking to be recognized as social-welfare organizations that year than the previous one, according to this IRS data.
A senior Internal Revenue Service official knew in 2011 that IRS agents were giving extra scrutiny to conservative Tea Party groups, according to documents from a watchdog office obtained by Reuters on Saturday.
The TIGTA report finds that Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS’s tax-exempt groups unit, knew of the extra scrutiny as early as June 2011.
In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked.
That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn’t be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months.
In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows.
Notice how the targeting started in March 2010, and was beginning to raise a stink by June the next year!
Well, if this was nothing more than a way to filter applications, why were there delaya only on right leaning groups? Clearly that excuse is not passing the BS-Smell test either. And one wonders, were those liberal groups subject to the same invasive, irrelevant and out of bounds questions? Were liberal organizations asked to explain the contents of their prayers to their God?
Finally, was this problem with non-profits universal? Did it apply to larger, established groups? Apparently not:
And yet, the IRS effort between 2010 and the presidential election last November exclusively targeted small start-ups opposed to the administration’s agenda while leaving the big players alone, the Associated Press reports today:
That smell coming from the IRS is BS, piles and piles of BS. As we know, the IRS does not give taxpayers any leeway in terms of excuses or ignorance. There are no excuses for errors or omissions – simply penalties.
Which is why Mike Kelly struck such a sympathetic nerve with America’s taxpayers. Taxpayers who would be in real hot water with the IRS if they proffered such obvious lies as to why they did not pay the proper amount of taxes. Kelly speaks for the American taxpayer, channeling how fed up we are with people who take our money, blow it constantly, and then add more debt onto our backs as if nothing else matters.
This is why this is the video of the year, if not the election cycle:
A long, long time ago I postulated that “Global Warming” is more likely due to dynamics in the Earth’s crust than human produced CO2. One of my first posts on the matter was in reference to a large undersea volcanic explosion under the Arctic Ice Cap at the bottom of the Arctic Sea. Many people do not understand that the Northern Ice Cap floats on an open ocean, unlike the Southern Ice which sits atop one of the 7 continental land masses:
Above is three-dimensional view of the Arctic Basin.
The North Pole is in the vicinity of that large ridge the runs from Russia to Greenland.
This map of the continent of Antarctic shows the land mass at the South Pole
So when I learned about massive volcanic explosion at the bottom of the Arctic Sea, not too far distant in time from the recent loss of Arctic Ice mass, I realized there were MORE forces at work than simply solar energy and green house gases.
The natural basin that is the Arctic Ocean is possibly the reason why Arctic water temperatures were rising because the warming caused by these massive underwater explosions couldn’t really circulate out of the basin. Is this the real culprit for why the ice and glaciers have been receding in the Arctic and ice as been growing in the Antarctic? Seems highly possible.
A Russian-U.S. expedition comprising 28 scientists has, in its research of the Arctic seas, found powerful methane emissions in the northern sector of the Laptev and Bering seas. Expedition Chief Igor Semiletov says that ‘methane torches’ have been running up from the depth of the ocean with methane emitted into the air. Possibly, methane comes from the depth of the Earth crust, which is a sign of a strong seismic activity in this region, Semiletov said.
The danger of methane releases triggered by seismic activity in the Arctic was described by Carana in Runaway Warming (2011a) and in Runaway Global Warming (2011b) and by Light (2011). The link between earthquake activity along the Arctic Gakkel Ridge with destabilization of the submarine Arctic methane hydrates and the release of giant plumes of methane to the atmosphere was highlighted by Light and Solana (2002).
I strongly recommend researching the links. One has this to say about methane in the atmosphere:
Methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere, having 20 times more warming potential than CO2 over a 100 yr period and 56 times more over a 20 yr period.
It is hypothesized that this bias is driven by the desire to more accurately capture the observed recent acceleration of warming in the Arctic and corresponding decline in Arctic sea ice. However, this convergence is difficult to justify given the significant and widening discrepancy between the modeled and observed warming rates outside of the Arctic.
My initial assessment was that the frigid Humbult Current that comes north from the Antarctic region along the west coast of South America (the mirror image of the current that drops down from the Arctic along the west coast of North America) could not be warmed so drastically in such a short time by sun and air alone. This is due to the physics of ocean currents and the massive amount of heat required to warm tons of cold water moving northward per second
Higher volcanic activity in these areas clearly cause more warm water to rise and heat the surface, creating the conditions for El Niño. Lower activity allows the cooler currents to dominate, bringing on La Niña.
Long time scientists researching the phenomena claim the Trade Wind changes are the driver. I still think the fact is ocean temperature and currents would influence the winds more than the reverse. But I there is combined model that could work too. All systems have stability points. Under one set of conditions the system stabilizes to one condition, under others it stabilizes to a different one. All things equal (solar energy, water temp, wind and wave action) it is not implausible to see how adding a lot of under water heat energy (that rises and mixes with the surface waters at ever increasing surface area) could effect cloud formation, pressures and then winds. And then another year with less energy poured into the seas reverses the winds.
It still seems more likely to me that the enormous thermal energy source under our thin crust would drive climate stronger than small changes in solar energy or CO2 levels. We are talking about thousands of kilometers of molten rock and iron, covered by a crustal boundary 100 or so kilometers thick. A boundary which has cracks and mission ocean ridges that vent a lot of energy into the oceans. A phenomena we know extremely little about.
I have to laugh that Obama & Holder both just got nailed for snooping on the News Media by the very same conspiracy crap the liberal left tried to nail President George W Bush on!
Back in Bush’s first term, the NY Times tried to concoct a scandal for George W Bush on the FISA court and how its process had been changed after the attacks on 9-11. I spent years writing on this subject, and I concluded (with others) that the FISA process was never bypassed, but it was also not allowed to get in the way of promulgating evidence to the FBI related to terrorists who made it into the country. Back in the bad old days, if the terrorists we were monitoring overseas got inside our borders, we could not pass the evidence onto the FBI to take over monitoring and stepping in if things looked to be heading towards mass death. Thus 9-11 and 3000 dead Americans.
This barrier between overseas intelligence and the FBI was the result of a bureaucratic processes building up over years without anyone considering the danger that process was exposing us to.
But a different picture emerges if you look past the AP’s spin. DOJ is investigating a leak of national security information to AP reporters that culminated in a May 7, 2012 story that disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped a terrorist plot in early 2012. The story had the byline of five AP reporters. DOJ opened an investigation into the leak to the AP, and pursuant to its published special rules on investigations involving the media investigations, issued subpoenas to find out what numbers were dialed from the relevant AP reporters during the months of April and May 2012. Presumably the thinking is that AP reporters called their sources, and the investigators want to trace the phone numbers
As I said many times back during the FISA faux pas scandal, the only way the News Media could get in the FISA cross-hairs was to communicate to terrorists. Apparently I was wrong: they found another way by leaking sensitive information. Information which put Americans and allies providing the intelligence at risk, and of course could result in victims of attacks arising from losing this insight into the plans of terrorists.
The AP probably deserves to be investigated. And they probably realized they were about to get legally screwed, so they pulled the alarm bell and their media brethren jumped in. And of course the GOP took advantage of the mess to destroy Obama’s political base. But that looks to be all smoke screen to the core issue, which is a very serious leak of classified data.
In the end, the Bush-era fixes to FISA after 9-11 demand two things happen to get to this point. One is that only the Attorney General can make the case to the FISA court for these kinds of actions. And the second aspect of this is the AG is working as the voice and authority of the POTUS. And it is obvious no AG would go after the Press without POTUS authorization (since the AG cannot ac without POTUS concurrence).
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday that the Bush administration once considered issuing the type of subpoena that the Justice Department issued against the Associated Press, but ultimately opted against it.
“There was at least one occasion in which we were engaged in a very serious leak investigation and we had to make some very difficult choices about whether or not to move forward, going after the reporters in order to try to figure out where the source of the leak is,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe. “And sometimes, the department finds itself in a situation where they have exhausted all means and they have to make a very hard determination as to whether or not they want to subpoena the reporter, if they want to subpoena the reporter’s notes. So yes, I’ve had that situation. In the instance that I have in mind, we ultimately decided not to move forward.”
This is all truly ironic. Holder and Obama are getting roasted for doing what Bush never did, but the liberal left claimed Bush did all the time.
I almost wrote the title of this post as “Using The IRS Against Political Enemies“, but realized using the word ‘enemies’ would only give credence to the paranoid and power hungry delusions of Team Obama. The victims here are simply American citizens participating in our political process.
One theory is Team Obama is trying to deflect Bengahzi with another lesser scandal that will suck all the oxygen out of the media cycle. Or it could be the wheels are falling of this bus faster than anyone feared.
Either way, using the IRS as a political weapon will enhance the standing of Libertarian and Tea Party movements, and energize the electorate going into 2014. What better example of an out of control, oppressive government run amok than this story?
“This is truly outrageous. And it contributes to the profound distrust that the American people have in government. It is absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review. And I think that it’s very disappointing that the president hasn’t personally condemned this and spoken out,” Collins told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on “State of the Union.”
Those who have faith in government based solutions fail to see the irony of this story. It is proof positive Sarah Palin and other Tea Party, Libertarian, small-government voices are right. How would you like to answer these kinds of questions to the one government organization able to drag you through audits so deep they make a colonoscopy look like fun:
That is just one example out of 10, all of which would scare off most sane people interested in getting involved in government advocacy. If voter suppression is wrong, how is suppressing this form of political speech right? How is targeting someone who uses the word “Patriot” going to make all those who feel patriotic about this country feel?
Senator Collins is correct, this kind of abuse is going to fire up the small-government voters. As it should.
When four people are horribly murdered, it is incumbent upon society to resolve why, and bring those to justice who were at fault. It does not matter if those at fault pulled the trigger, or where simply responsible to protect the dead and were derelict in their duty (which some are paid huge sums of money to perform). The dead deserve justice when their life is taken brutally from them.
If we do not bring justice to the murdered, we are not civilized, we are not progressive. We are simply brutish thugs playing the age old game of the powerful living high on the toils, pain and suffering of the masses. If we do not resolve what happened in Benghazi and why four Americans died, then they died for nothing. And we – America – threw all they were away.
That is why what ABC News has discovered is not just about memos that were edited. It was about people who knew they screwed up, people who put those 4 Americans in an impossible situation – ordered them to go – and then tried to hide their tracks when their directions got those 4 Americans killed.
If someone in the State Dept had told these four people to drive a car know to have a safety issue, and they were killed because the car failed in the very way everyone knew the car was unsafe (pick bald tires as an example), that State Department person would be heading to court and likely jail. Now mix in that State Department person trying to hide the reports on those bald tires, and claiming it was something else that caused the accident and killed those people. Then what do you think would happen?
Changing the records to cover up clear wrong doing is not simply editing a memo:
In an email to officials at the White House and the intelligence agencies, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland took issue with including that information because it “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either?
Four Americans, one the US Ambassador to Libya, are dead and these idiots are worried their careers are over because they ignored the warnings! Damn straight you are going to get beat up for it! You ordered people into an area that was dangerous, and stripped down their security before doing it! Only Hillary can order someone to do something this dangerous (and stupid).
Which explains her emotional outburst about the matter in front of Congress
What difference does it make? People died and your Department’s incompetence was the reason they were exposed and killed. The difference is to bring justice to the dead, vs cover the political ambitions of some DC pol and her minions.
Listen to the end, because Hillary explains to everyone why this needs to be run to ground. She herself says we need to find out what happened so it does not happen again. And in her case, let the chips fall. If her team covered it up, she and her team are responsible.
Some of the dumbest excuses I have heard about what went wrong in Benghazi was help could not make it in time to save our 4 brave Americans under attack.
That is pure BS.
We are talking a battle that raged for hours and moved from one location to another. We are talking about tee-shirt wearing terrorist thugs with small arms. We are talking about what a terrorist on the ground could do against the air power of America.
Would any sane person keep attacking in the open when a few of these arrived on the scene?
This is an F-22 Raptor, capable of extended hypersonic cruise. In other words it can get on the scene quick. Shockingly quick. And its machines guns and bird’s eye view would be enough to disperse 500 ‘men’ on the ground with assault rifles.
Or how about if one or two of these showed up?
These puppies have taken out numerous Jihadis from incredible heights. Those 50 caliber Gatling guns would have sent the attackers in Benghazi running for the hills.
“I believe if we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split,” he said. “They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them.”
We did not need a huge show of force, just a rapid show if overwhelming force. Either of these would have bought time for ground/security forces to arrive. Check out this video:
Of course, if the security was at the proper level in the first place….
This why whoever delayed taking action pretty much damned those Americans to death. They were fighting back waiting for the cavalry they knew we had, and someone held the cavalry back.
We know that the State Department inspector general is investigating the Accountability Review Board. It is unclear whether there is overlap between the whistleblowers and the IG’s investigation. Again, if we learn witnesses were suppressed or accounts changed for political reasons, even the mainstream media might have to change its story.
If this was known to our intelligence community shortly after the attack, there is further reason to question why administration officials were perpetuating the notion that this was a spontaneous attack prompted by an anti-Muslim video.
In my own reporting, I’ve pointed to instances in which the State Department refused to repeat the false narrative coming from the White House, especially in the days after the attack. On Oct. 9 in a background briefing coming from State, the national media first got an accurate inkling of the chain of events. Others have reported that the role of Islamic terrorists was known by the intelligence community almost immediately.
So who does that leave as the instigator of a false narrative and effort to downplay the entire incident in the weeks before the 2012 election?
Yes indeed, what does this leave? - end update
From day one of the Benghazi 9-11 anniversary attack that killed our Ambassador and 3 of his protectors, I have wondered what the hell was so politically bad about the attack that caused the administration to fabricate the lie that it was the outgrowth of Egyptian protests, 100′s of miles away. An accident of coincidence, that just happened to be the first time al Qaeda (or their sympathizers) were able to pull off an anniversary attack on 9/11/12.
Here’s my conundrum. Attacks on American interests always result in the public rallying to the President. Those who ply the trade-craft of Saul Alinsky should have seen the attack as a political gold mine for the liberal, wimpy Barack Obama. One of the elements of the 9-11 Truther conspiracy theory is how Bush and Cheney were behind 9-11 to gain control over the levers of government. 9-11 did provide political capitol and room to address the threats, so that part of the theory is accurate. But it is based on the long standing result Americans rally together when attacked.. So what was it about the Benghazi attacks that caused this administration to go into full coverup instead?
This week we will find out more about what was covered up, but I am not sure we will find out why it was initiated. One thing is for sure, Team Obama’s cover story was a poor work of fiction – clearly created in the haste of panic.
“There were no protests outside the Benghazi compound there. This was a deliberate and strategic attack on the consulate there,” said the Democratic congressman.
“It was false information. There’s no excuse for that.”
UPDATE: Here’s the relevant transcript:
Lynch: “They certainly weren’t accurate. I don’t know what the process was there. But, absolutely, they were false. They were wrong. There were no protests outside of the Benghazi compound there. This was a deliberate and strategic attack on the consulate there. So any statements that this was sort of like the other protests that we saw in Cairo and other embassies- this was not that type of case. This was a concerted effort. ”
As intelligence officials pieced together the puzzle of events unfolding in Libya, they concluded even before the assaults had ended that al Qaeda-linked terrorists were involved. Senior administration officials, however, sought to obscure the emerging picture and downplay the significance of attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. The frantic process that produced the changes to the talking points took place over a 24-hour period just one day before Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, made her now-famous appearances on the Sunday television talk shows. The discussions involved senior officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the White House.
“I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning,” Greg Hicks, a 22-year foreign service diplomat who was the highest-ranking U.S. official in Libya after the strike, told investigators under authority of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Hicks, the former U.S. Embassy Tripoli deputy chief of mission, was not in Benghazi at the time of the attack, which killed Chris Stevens – then the U.S. ambassador to Libya – and three other Americans.
“For there to have been a demonstration on Chris Stevens’s front door and him not to have reported it is unbelievable,” he said. “I never reported a demonstration; I reported an attack on the consulate. Chris – Chris’s last report, if you want to say his final report – is, ‘Greg, we are under attack.’
“…I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career, as on that day,” Hicks continued in his interview with investigators. “The net impact of what has transpired is, [Rice,] the spokesperson of the most powerful country in the world, has basically said that the president of Libya is either a liar of doesn’t know what he’s talking about. ….My jaw hit the floor as I watched this.”
I wonder how all those administration media puppets feel about being duped like this? They were played and their trust abused.
Going back to the second link to the Weekly Standard article, we get a glimpse into how those inside the DC political power bubble cover up for each other. There was no priority to understand how our Ambassador was killed, there was just the typical power playing around. A bunch of Nero’s fiddling as the world burns around us.
The White House provided the emails to members of the House and Senate intelligence committees for a limited time and with the stipulation that the documents were available for review only and would not be turned over to the committees. The White House and committee leadership agreed to that arrangement as part of a deal that would keep Republican senators from blocking the confirmation of John Brennan, the president’s choice to run the CIA.
Sickening. This is why we need to clean house in DC and get the Federal Government back into its limited box as outlined in our Constitution.
To the terrorists who knew better about what happened in Libya than anyone else, these administration lies were a green light to escalate. Nothing could have made them happier than to have Team Obama try and hide what happened. The stink of panic must have been exhilarating. And the result of that misstep is playing out today in Syria. As I wrote a while back, the obvious response from al Qaeda and their ilk is “full speed ahead” – there is a wimp in the White House. Here’s what I wrote November 26, 2012:
The 9-11 Terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya – which resulted in the murder of our Ambassador and the death of some of his security attachment - are the roots of the unrest we now see in the Palestinian areas surrounding Israel, in Syria and in Egypt. And expect this unrest to expand since the Islamo-Fascist smell blood in this incompetent administration.
Only an incompetent administration not only fails to beef up security at this exposed and previously attacked location, they actually reduce security leading to 9-11. That is a sign of criminal ignorance in my opinion, since the result was 4 dead Americans. It was an avoidable result running up to 9-11. It was an avoidable result during the attack, as nearby forces were told to stand down and not intervene. As we learn more, the missteps and mistakes are stunning.
The cover up afterwards was nothing more than a desperate attempt to hold onto power prior to national elections. It is obvious that Obama political appointees wrote over (and therefore attempted to hide) the after-action assessment of career warriors who have spent years focused on defending this nation and its people, at home and abroad.
So this leads any half-wit, Islamo-Fascist in Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya or Palestine to realize Israel and the other centrist nations (Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Iraq) are vulnerable. If all this White House will do is throw top generals under the bus when attacked, then obviously they have 4 years to take action and try and gain ground.
Sadly, this is one of those times I was dead on accurate in predicting not only what had happened behind the scenes of government, but how these actions would play out on the world stage. This is why you cannot lower your standards too far when electing leaders. And this is why this week’s hearing really are a big deal. Finally, from the CBS article linked above:
Issa said his committee’s hearing this week will try to get to the heart of why “the talking points were right, and then the talking points were wrong.” Though he said it might be “in part” a cover-up effort in light of the State Department having turned down requests from diplomats on the ground for heightened security, “it does seem like it’s bigger than that.”
Yeah, it does. Covering up the fact security was reduced at an exposed consulate would seem to be easy to paper over for this crowd. So what was it that caused the panic in the White House?
Update: Some Damning Reporting from the Weekly Standard, as we find the initial internal reporting on the attack was accurate, and nothing like the BS that was being spread by Susan Rice:
The CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis prepared the first draft of a response to the congressman, which was distributed internally for comment at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, September 14 (Version 1 at right). This initial CIA draft included the assertion that the U.S. government “know[s] that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.” That draft also noted that press reports “linked the attack to Ansar al Sharia. The group has since released a statement that its leadership did not order the attacks, but did not deny that some of its members were involved.” Ansar al Sharia, the CIA draft continued, aims to spread sharia law in Libya and “emphasizes the need for jihad.” The agency draft also raised the prospect that the facilities had been the subject of jihadist surveillance and offered a reminder that in the previous six months there had been “at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy.”
That was probably the paragraph that sent the Political players into a tizzy. They probably thought Obama could not win election and tell the truth about what happened. So they lied. And in this case, these lies are not about interns and office play, they are about the deaths of Americans.
2nd Update: Want to add the “Face The Nation” video clip. It is very powerful, and asks the same question as my post:
Has the liberal madness in DC once again left a putrid taste in the mouths of voters and businesses? Has Obama’s train wreck with Obamacare and Illegal immigration pushed the electorate into a state that will make the 2010 election shellacking of Democrats look mild?
Only two days into the general election to fill Secretary of State John Kerry’s Massachusetts Senate seat, the race between longtime Democratic Rep. Ed Markey and Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez is fairly close.
According to an Emerson College poll released Thursday, Gomez trails Markey by just six points in the blue state, 36 percent to 42 percent.
The close dynamic of this race is in stark contrast to the Special 2010 Election where Republican Scott Brown trailed Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) 58% to 27% (Suffolk University Poll 11/8/2009).
Katherine Ham links to an interview with the moderate Republican candidate:
One thing for republicans, libertarians and conservatives to remember is: control of the Senate is imperative to undo the madness of Obama, Reid and Pelosi. The current political stalemate (as our economy once again stalls) is a clear reminder of why we need a full spectrum of GOP views to gain a majority, and how purity is the path to irrelevance. Here’s hoping for a 2014 blowout election.
Boy, you could not set up a more polarizing race than the one brewing in Massachusetts. And I don’t mean political poles, I means reality poles.
I was born and raised inside the beltway. I am one of those rare NoVa natives who understand the world of DC, but being from across the river and out in the woods (or what were the woods) of Virginia I am also very much a fly-over kind of person. In the words of the esteemed Jeff Foxworthy – “I are one!” In the sense I am not a DC power addict. Just the opposite. I are (am) Average Joe American
The nation has been dividing, but not so much along racial, p0litical, religious social or even sexual lines. There are, of course, fracture lines in these areas (I would be shocked if there weren’t). But the big schism developing is between the Political Industrial Complex (PIC) – inhabited by the Political Elite and their entourage (read ‘media’ here, as well as lobbyists, handlers, etc) – and everyone else living and working and raising their families in the real America that exists outside DC. The opposing poles have been building between our failed and washed up leaders (who have gone over the deep end on so many levels) and the rest of America.
It is a battle between the “Know-It-Alls” and the “Do-It-Alls”
Gabriel E. Gomez, a 47-year-old son of immigrants who became a Navy pilot and SEAL before becoming a private equity investor, won the Republican nomination tonight for the US Senate special election to replace John F. Kerry, bringing a fresh face to a race that had drawn scant interest from an electorate distracted by the Boston Marathon bombings.
Meanwhile, veteran US Representative Edward J. Markey beat fellow Representative Stephen F. Lynch in the race for the Democratic nod in the traditionally blue state.
“If you are looking for someone who refuses to work with the other party, I’m not your guy. … If you are looking for an independent voice, a new kind of Republican, take a look at our campaign. I’d welcome your support,” he [Gomez] said.
He promised to “approach this job with a military man’s discipline, a father’s sensitivity, and a businessman’s experience.”
The guy is the epitome of Main Street. A defender, a home builder and a businessman. No wonder he won the primary. Let’s just see if the GOP establishment can stop from panicking (as they do whenever a force from outside the PIC comes knocking, ref Herman Cain) and get this guy elected.
Ed Markey is, well, a career politician:
Markey, 66, of Malden is a long-time liberal with 36 years in the House. He is considered a Washington insider and experienced dealmaker who steadily pursues his goals. Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said he was one of the “disrupters” when he first arrived in Congress but now knows “how to get the job done.”
Hopefully Gomez has a strong small-government, Libertarian core in him. Either way, he will be needed to replace retiring New England Senators (which are needed to keep control of the Senate).
So now we have a race. Between the old-and-busted, and the new-hotness!
The Gore-effect is in full force this spring. If you are not aware of what the Gore-effect is, it is Mother Nature’s way of telling everyone to ignore the big blow-hard behind the green curtain (check it out, it really was green!]:
The Toronto based national newspaper Globe and Mail defined the term in 2007 quoting a user’s submission to the online Urban Dictionary website as “the phenomenon that leads to unseasonably cold temperatures, driving rain, hail, or snow whenever Al Gore visits an area to discuss global warming.”
This spring, Mother Nature seems to be completely fed up with Gore, The Hockey Team and the IPCC because she has been sending a frigid reminder of how wrong the IPCC predictions were about global climate. This year the US is experiencing the second coldest spring since we have been keeping temperature records. Here is the composite DATA RECORD (not some theoretical model output promoted by the Green CAGW crowd).
More here on the fact the globe is not warming, at least not our part of the Northern Hemisphere (which is a big portion of the globe):
Record cold and snow has been reported in dozens of cities, with the worst of the chill in the Rockies, upper Midwest and northern Plains. Several baseball games have been snowed out in both Denver and Minneapolis.
Cities such as Rapid City, S.D.; Duluth, Minn.; and Boulder, Colo., have all endured their snowiest month ever recorded. (In all three locations, weather records go back more than 100 years.) In fact, more than 1,100 snowfall records and 3,400 cold records have been set across the nation so far in April, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
Last month was a chilly one, ranking as the second-coldest March in the continental United States since 2000, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The average temperature across the United States this March was also 13 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees Celsius) lower than in March 2012, and a late-winter blizzard broke snowfall records in many areas.
So, why has it been so cold?
We actually know very little about the global climate, or how the oceans, sun, Earth’s orbit and our Solar Systems’ path through the galactic structures of the Milky Way impact it. The arrogance behind the IPCC science is monumental.
What I do know is measuring tree rings is not going to give us the answer to how climate works over tens of thousands of years. The myriad of statistical games played by those biased gatekeepers who used to run the IPCC blinders (where contrary science was not allowed to make an appearance in the ‘peer reviewed’ literature) is what created hockey sticks from cherry-picked data. It was an interesting, if not self-deceiving, attempt at science that actually showed how little we can derive about historical climates from proxies, where temperature is a minor signal (if even that).
I want to draw attention to how the uncertainty (grey haze in the background) collapses around the modern period. The blue is the proxy record, the red is modern temp records stuck on as if it is one coherent data set. Well it isn’t. The reason the uncertainty around the modern temp records slims down to nearly nothing is this is the so called ‘calibration period’. This is where the cherry pickers ply their trade, and select only proxy data that mimics the red temperature data. This means proxy data which doesn’t follow temperature is filtered out.
OK, a elf deluding act if there ever was one. But the real ‘crime’ came when the scientists let the cherry-picked tree ring proxies run beyond the calibration period, to free-wheel with nature. No more cherry-picker filter, just proxy and reality.
And what happened was that nature went her merry way. What we had was a divergence!
The tree rings started to show a massive cooling, while the selected thermometers (and their special, IPCC green adjustments) went warmer. Who knows which is right, but one thing is for sure, they did not agree anymore. When the tree rings diverged, they expanded the error bars on the historic stick portion of the graph, meaning today’s temps would not be any different from past temps. They did this because it meant the temperature signal was being drowned out by other factors (such as moisture, nutrients and disease).
Figure 3. Re-stated Mann et al (EOS 2003) Figure 1 showing the decline.
Had Mann and his 13 co-authors shown the Briffa reconstruction, without hiding the decline, one feels that von Storch (and others) might have given more consideration to Soon et al’s criticism of the serious problem arising from the large-population failure of tree ring widths and density to track temperature.
See that yellowish-orange line dropping down at the end? That is the missing data. Steve McIntyre has a very polite and low key way of saying, if all the data was made public, the IPCC’s case about recent, unprecedented global warming would have collapsed.
This charade was exposed years ago, and still the IPCC and its media puppets expound the myth of global warming. Mother Nature seems to be taking offense, as she seems hell bent on applying the Gore Effect for real:
Global warming which has been the subject of so many discussions in recent years, may give way to global cooling. According to scientists from the Pulkovo Observatory in St.Petersburg, solar activity is waning, so the average yearly temperature will begin to decline as well. Scientists from Britain and the US chime in saying that forecasts for global cooling are far from groundless. Some experts warn that a change in the climate may affect the ambitious projects for the exploration of the Arctic that have been launched by many countries.
What we are seeing is the Epic Failure of a bunch of alarmists who used shoddy and questionable means to convince the world that the sky was falling. In other worlds, we are witnessing the exposure of one of the biggest Chicken Little scams seen in quite some time.
Well, well, well. It seems our petulant President is realizing the trap he set for himself with sequestration, and is now becoming a pissy, petulant President. In this week’s POTUS address to the nation, we see a bit of strain and arrogance coming through as Obama threatens pain on Americans if they don’t do as he says:
In his weekly address, Pres. Obama threatened Americans with more sequester “pain” if they don’t convince Congress to pass his budget.
“This week, the sequester hurt travelers, who were stuck for hours in airports and on planes, and rightly frustrated by it.”
And, there’s more pain on the horizon, Obama warned: “These cuts are scheduled to keep falling across other parts of the government that provide vital services for the American people.”
Yep, Obama proposed less funding than when the FAA came out of sequestration. How does that work? The House and Senate put into the FAA more than Obama requested. Then when the cuts hit, they were still more than the President requested. So the furloughs were an attempt at extortion – plain and simple
The pain on travelers was all manufactured by Team Obama. Which, as I noted before, should be illegal:
What happened in 1969 – and this week at ICE – is a clear dereliction of duty and an abuse of power. No person should be able to hold America hostage like this. Not even (and maybe especially) the POTUS. There are CLEARLY billions of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse to trim before any government official needs to pull needed services. As a previous post of mine noted, you cannot blow $100,000 of dollars on dog training lessons, or billions of dollars on Green boondoggles, and then claim there is no money to protect the nation, its resources and its people.
So here is the answer and what the GOP needs to push through Congress this week (and I dare the Dems to fight it).
Make it illegal to pull services, support, etc from mission critical activities as long as there are non-mission critical funds available. This would make it impossible to hold us hostage or threaten us before, say, salaries are cut, or regulations are cut, or new programs on the drawing board are cut, etc.
Make it a felony for anyone to play games like this – and we will see an end to this kind of dumb melodrama! Let’s make political melodrama ILLEGAL!
Yes, it is well past time to outlaw Drama Queens in DC.
Sorry for the total lack of posting. I needed a break from the dismal world of politics. The “leadership” we have right now is pretty pathetic and truly painful to watch in action. And the fact they can only seem to work on useless or reckless proposal just underscores how out of gas Big Government is. The other part of my exhaustion with politics is actually living the madness of wasted federal spending during my day job. I sadly see it up close, and it makes you want to puke some days.
Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Thursday that the Department of Homeland Security is using roughly 1,000 rounds of ammunition more per person than the U.S. Army, as he and other lawmakers sharply questioned DHS officials on their “massive” bullet buys.
“It is entirely … inexplicable why the Department of Homeland Security needs so much ammunition,” Chaffetz, R-Utah, said at a hearing.
Is this just to make gun owners feel the pain of increased prices?
That is waste and abuse in federal spending. And I see it everyday, a bureaucracy on autopilot, the epitome of the drunken sailor in port throwing away money.
Anyway, today is an interesting day, because President Obama may have backasswardly created a new political and fiscal dynamic that will play well for the Libertarian/Tea Party/Small government voters. President Obama and his party have finally provided the path out of our financial tailspin.
Finally, the situation that SHOULD have been in place in 2011 (after the GOP swept the house) is finally here. President Obama, due to the rules of sequestration, must now start cutting costs. And true to form, his incompetent team started cutting melodramatically – to create political theater.
But the problem with this simpleton idea is the fact that the bloated federal government is ripe with waste, fraud and abuse – and at every level. The train of failed Solyndra’s alone will provide endless fodder for GOP to push back on team Obama’s melodramatic cuts:
Either he [President Obama] makes melodramatic cuts, which are [then] answered by the GOP pointing out where cuts should have been made, or Obama makes smart cuts and is labeled an exaggerator whose words mean nothing.
And this is why you need a spine in this town to actually win the day. This day should have arrived 2 years ago.
That’s the simple reality of Friday’s vote to ease the pain for the Federal Aviation Administration. By assenting to it, Democrats have agreed to sequestration for the foreseeable future.
Recall the Democrats’ original theory of the case: Sequestration was supposed to be so threatening that Republicans would agree to a budget deal that included tax increases rather than permit it to happen. That theory was wrong. The follow-up theory was that the actual pain caused by sequestration would be so great that it would, in a matter of months, push the two sides to agree to a deal. Democrats just proved that theory wrong, too.
In effect, what Democrats said Friday was that in any case where the political pain caused by sequestration becomes unbearable, they will agree to cancel that particular piece of the bill while leaving the rest of the law untouched. The result is that sequestration is no longer particularly politically threatening, but it’s even more unbalanced: Cuts to programs used by the politically powerful will be addressed, but cuts to programs that affects the politically powerless will persist.
This epiphany by Ezra Kline is both accurate and pathetic. Here, Kline calls people who travel by air “the politically powerful”. And of course, the Homeland Defense’s bullet addiction represents the politically powerless! He should know anything that really impacts Americans will be seen as a important enough to fund, like efficient AND secure air travel.
What we are seeing, left-wing drama queens, is called prioritization. We are making decisions on what we can afford and not afford. There is so much waste in government you could probably cut it in half and we would not see a serious impact in needed, obvious services.
Team Obama was dumb to pick a fight with everyone flying – and of course he lost. Just like the GOP lost when they shut down government.
But what does this incident tells us about the future? It tells us we need to expand and grow sequestration, to force the government and the governed to prioritize. Let’s just call it the death panel for endless growth in federal spending. Every single program is now up for assessment. It must prove its value and need not in isolation, but in comparison to all the other priorities coming. What can we dump to keep Head Start? That is now the question!
And as long as Dems field this kind of political genius to argue for Big Government spending, We The People will be able to whittle the bloated federal behemoth down to size. One program at a time.
Looks like Team Obama is going to have an Obamacare headache come 2014, thanks in no small part to the fact government solutions are always costly, always delayed and always much less than promised. One thing the left has never realized is that their obsession with government run solutions is their greatest political Achilles’ Heel. Once they get a chance to implement these Rube Goldberg schemes, the reality hits and it hits hard. Obamacare is just the latest, biggest example of government intruding where it can only make things worse.
I mean, the Kool Aid had to be really potent the day they created this plan, and concluded it would reduce cost and increase benefits:
Let me try to understand this: the key incentive for small businesses to support Obamacare was that they would be able to shop for the best deals in health care superstores — called exchanges. The Administration has had three years to set up these exchanges. It has failed to do so.
There has also been the studied inattention to the myriad ineffective job-training programs scattered through the bureaucracy. There have been the oblique and belated efforts to reform Head Start, a $7 billion program that a study conducted by its own bureaucracy — the Department of Health and Human Services — has found nearly worthless. The list is endless.
Yes, the President has faced a terrible economic crisis — and he has done well to limit the damage. He has also succeeded in avoiding disasters overseas. But, as a Democrat — as someone who believes in activist government — he has a vested interest in seeing that federal programs actually work efficiently. I don’t see much evidence that this is anywhere near the top of his priorities.
Delays in implementing popular pieces of ObamaCare are hurting it with Democrats.
Ahead of an election year in which Republicans promise to make healthcare an issue again, Democrats are criticizing the White House for delaying policies that could help build support for the unpopular law.
Democrats complained this week about a one-year delay in a key program designed to help small businesses — a central selling point for the healthcare law that now won’t be in place when voters head to the polls next year.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) told The New York Timesthe delay will “prolong and exacerbate health care costs that are crippling 29 million small businesses.”
And people wonder why the jobs are drying up? Most entry level jobs are now not even full time, thanks to Obamacare. Young people need to find TWO part time jobs to make ends meet as they begin their career paths. The unemployment rate for the upcoming generation of American workers is criminal:
22.9%: The unemployment rate for Americans under age 25, adjusting for the decline in the labor force since the start of the recession.
Nearly a quarter of this new generation is struggling to start their lives. And all of the blame can be laid at the feet of the administration that blows trillions of dollars a year, racking up mountains of debt, and producing an economic disaster in return. The only thing really mind boggling is any headline that still uses the word ‘unexpectedly‘. Just as I knew the minute the stimulus package was passed in 2009 it would never work (due to the snail’s pace and waste of government spending), I knew when Obamacare was passed it too was doomed from the start.
Spendulus has passed. America as seen the largest theft of money by ideologues in its history. No war ever caused this to happen. And the so called ‘stimulus bill’ has very little real stimulus in it. What there is is not enough to turn the economy around, and the spending doesn’t really kick in until the summer of 2010 – at which time the mood of the country should be just about right to evict the Dems from Congress and repeal this mess before it can do the long term damage the CBO predicts it will do.
Seems like 2014 might be looking like a rerun of 2010 mid terms. Sadly, it is not because the GOP is doing anything right, but because the Dems keep putting all their bets on big government.
Back in the 90′s Paleo Climate Science was a harmless, niche research area with a broad range of scientific and mathematical skill represented. Face it, the big scientific money in those days was not in dating ice cores, tree rings, dead animals or lake bottom mud. Top minds tended to gravitate elsewhere where there was money, fame or a “cool factor” .
Even on NASA projects and programs, the pay is pretty mediocre and you won’t become a Bill Gates or Sir Richard Branson. Astronauts get all the glory, scientists and engineers get the gold watches. You have to love the field to spend decades of your life pursuing the final frontier for middle class wages. If NASA has trouble attracting top talent, imaging what fun it is to get top notch minds to ponder mollusks and mud!
It is clear now the rigor of Climate Science – especially related to the ‘ol boy peer review screening process for paleoclimaye – was not up to normal scientific and engineering standards. In fact is was sub par in many ways. How else could someone like Phil Jones become a leading scientist and still be totally flummoxed by Excel-based statistics.
The “hide the decline” debacle – where the last few decades of tree ring data were covered up by the Hockey Team to hide the fact trees signaled cooling in the last decades of the previous century while thermometers showed warmth – was bad enough. This shell game by ‘scientists’ covered up the fact that the preselected tree rings the Hockey Team cherry-picked to represent the last 1000 years of climate, failed to represent that last 60. The rings immediately diverged from reality once the data was outside the calibration range (after 1940 or so). Which means tree rings are not thermometers (duh) and any historic climate record derived from them has ENORMOUS error bars. Error bars that would swamp the fraction of a degree increase supposedly identified by these less then stellar scientists, which in turn is the basis for all their Chicken-Little alarm bells.
The reaction to the 2003 heatwave was extraordinary. It was blamed for 2,000 deaths, and taken as a warning that Britain was horribly unprepared for the coming era of snowless winters and barbecue summers. The government’s chief scientific officer, Sir David King, later declared that climate change was “more serious even than the threat of terrorism” in terms of the number of lives that could be lost. Such language is never used about the cold, which kills at least 10 times as many people every winter. Before long, every political party had signed up to the green agenda.
Since Sir David’s exhortations, some 250,000 Brits have died from the cold, and 10,000 from the heat. It is horribly clear that we have been focusing on the wrong enemy. Instead of making sure energy was affordable, ministers have been trying to make it more expensive, with carbon price floors and emissions trading schemes.
10,000 deaths in a fluke heat wave, 25 times that number because of the fact the IPCC got it wrong on global warming.
And all those ‘skeptics’ who tried to bring out contrary scientific results – and who were barred by the Hockey Team from participating in a real scientific debate by their control over who was published for peer-review – are now looking pretty damn smart. They are looking smart because the warming has stopped for 20 years now.
And they probably ARE smart because most skeptics don’t come from niche scientific and engineering fields, but hail from mainstream professional areas that would weed out crap like we have seen in the above mentioned papers.
OVER the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar. The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010.
The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now. It does not mean global warming is a delusion. Flat though they are, temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century remain almost 1°C above their level in the first decade of the 20th. But the puzzle does need explaining.
Actually, the explanation is obvious. Today’s climate is the same as in the Medieval and Roman Periods. What is different is what happened between then and now.
So is it really a big surprise the Earth is still warming back to the Medieval Climate levels after this record cold snap? Not really. But apparently it is a surprise to many who only dabble in science.
The IPCC and Hockey Team have made a grave mistake. Their models are falling apart as are their theories – underscoring just how little they truly know with confidence about present and past climate. And in their arrogant pronunciations, they prescribed a deadly concoction of remedies which included high energy prices and restricting the modernization of the poorest areas of the world. Because modern society is built on energy, and energy is the supposed evil force behind the mythical global warming, we clearly can’t have that!
That is the harsh truth about all the shoddy science produced by this one time niche area of academic thinking. Deadly mistakes spawned out of dodgy and questionable science.
In a report that could prove a big political headache for the administration, the Society of Actuaries estimated Tuesday that insurers will have to pay out an average of 32 percent more for claims on individual health policies under the Affordable Care Act, a cost likely to be passed on to consumers.
By 2017, the estimated increase would be 62 percent for California, about 80 percent in Ohio and Wisconsin, more than 20 percent for Florida and 67 percent for Maryland. Much of the reason for the higher claims costs is that sicker people are expected to join the pool, the report said.
Color me not surprised at all. Who could have predicted Obamacare would not only raise prices, but due to the increased cost of premiums, lower or restrict services and options! Now that prices are spiking, the death panels will have to step in and cut costs by limiting access.
I mean really, who was so naive they failed to understand this result was a fate compli.
Addendum: You know, since Obamacare is failing to meet its primary promise – and we tax payers will be left holding the bill – I think this latest evidence DEMANDS Obamacare is immediately suspended before it does real damage.