Republicans’ capacity for destruction seems to rank up there with Mother Nature’s in the eyes of some Senate liberals. And rarely has that been more evident than after Monday’s terrible events in Oklahoma. In the aftermath of the tornado that devastated the Oklahoma City region, some Democrats decided to criticize conservatives for indirectly causing the tragedy by refusing to aid efforts to reduce global warming. Though climate change has not held the spotlight in the last few years, politicians on the left have seized on the Oklahoma tragedy as an opportunity to bring more attention to the subject. Rhode Island Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse led things off with a tirade on the Senate floor. “So, you may have a question for me,” Whitehouse said, addressing Republicans. “Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together.” He went on to bash Republicans for failing to recognize the dangers of ignoring climate change: “You drag America with you to your fate. I will keep reaching out and calling out, ever hopeful that you will wake up before it is too late.” Whitehouse has since issued a statement apologizing for any insensitivity his speech may have reflected toward the Oklahoma victims. However, he made no effort to retract his statement that conservatives were an indirect cause of extreme weather. California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer also jumped at the chance to blame Republicans. “This is climate change,” she said, according to the Daily Caller . “We were warned about extreme weather: not just hot weather, but extreme weather.” For Boxer, it was the perfect opportunity to push her carbon tax bill, also sponsored by noted Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders. The bill would put a fee on carbon emissions to subsidize other energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. “Carbon could cost us the planet,” Boxer said. “The least we could do is put a little charge on it so people move to clean energy.” But is warming really a cause of tornadoes? Is there any substance behind Democrats’ hot air? Let’s take a look at the science behind the formation of tornadoes, since Whitehouse and Boxer evidently haven’t. According to the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), heat plays a small-to-nonexistent part in the formation of tornadoes. Highly destructive tornadoes form from mesocyclones, which are rotating thunderstorms with firm radar circulations. Temperature differences across the downdraft air on the mesocyclone sometimes correlate with the formation of twisters, but studies show that temperature variation often plays no role in their creation. A prime example of this is the tornado outbreak of May 3-4, 1999. The tornado count over the two-day span rose to 70 and claimed over 40 lives. The NSSL states that “very little temperature variation was observed near some of the most destructive tornadoes in history” during that time. So it seems unlikely that heat had anything to do with Monday’s terrible storms. Right now the temperature of the lower troposphere over the U.S. is below average. Also below average is the number of tornadoes that have hit the U.S. in the past year and a half. According to The Examiner , Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory, notes that “the 12-month period from May 2012 to April 2013 was remarkable for the absence of tornado activity and tornado impacts in the United States.” Not that politicians like Whitehouse and Boxer care about the facts. It says something that they’re willing to politicize a natural disaster in order to gain political traction. Such statements draw to mind Thomas Schelling, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and global warming advocate, who perfectly demonstrates liberals’ thought processes in promoting their agendas, no matter what the cost. “Probably you have to find ways to exaggerate the threat,” Schelling said in a 2009 interview with The Atlantic . “I sometimes wish that we could have, over the next five or ten years, a lot of horrid things happening—you know, like tornadoes in the Midwest and so forth—that would get people concerned about climate change.” The death toll is currently at 24 people in Oklahoma. I wonder: Would Schelling deem this tragedy a large enough “horrid thing” to promote his cause? Whitehouse, Boxer, and other global warming advocates need to focus more on efforts to help the devastated areas instead of seizing the tragedy to push new bills. Here’s hoping this is the last we’ll see of their ludicrous statements on natural disasters.
View original post here:
I recently asked a wise friend of mine who lives in Virginia what his take is on the upcoming election for governor between the state’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, and former DNC chairman, Clinton confidante and fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe. My friend said “At this stage, it’s hard to figure. Cuccinelli is really weak…McAuliffe, on the other hand, has more baggage than a wagon train. I’d say it’s McAuliffe’s to win. He’s a colorful character, if a bit shady. Cuccinelli has a tough race ahead of him…Cuccinelli will have an awful time trying to get anyone beyond the base to vote, far less vote for him… As to Cuccinelli, I still think he and McAuliffe deserve each other and none of us deserves either of them. ” Not living in Virginia, and thus having only limited contact with that state’s politics since George Allen’s disastrous “macaca” moment, I’ve been favorably inclined toward Cuccinelli as one of the leading champions of the legal fights against Obamacare, despite the results due to the treachery of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Virginia is a very important state, a bellweather of purple states, and potentially critical in a presidential election. Whether the governor is a Democrat or a Republican matters. I had been hoping that my friend was too pessimistic, though he’s right far more often than wrong, but this weekend’s turn of events at that state’s nominating convention now has me thinking that Virginia will soon have the unbelievable spector of Governor Terry McAuliffe, a nouveau-riche carpet-bagger in perfect Clinton style. Due, I’m told by a (different) friend who was a the convention, to a rousing speech, brimming with deeply felt conservative principle, the party nominated E. W. Jackson to be Cuccinelli’s running mate, i.e. to run for the office of lieutenant governor. Unfortunately, Jackson, who is a pastor, along with having a remarkable personal history of serving in the Marine Corps and then earning a law degree at Harvard Law School (items which the media will certainly ignore), has a history of, shall we say, extremely un-PC remarks about homosexuality. The National Journal suggests that Virginia Republicans are “ panicking ” over Jackson’s nomination. In a country that is moving rapidly toward acceptance of gays, connecting homosexuality to pedophilia is political suicide. There is a lot to recommend Mr. Jackson, from his service to his obvious intelligence to his passion for the things he believes in. And of course, Republicans are always looking to put forward black conservative candidates. But politics is, as much as anything else, about winning. With the choice of Jackson, Virginia Republicans showed either ignorance of his history (much like the disaster that befell Colorado when Tea Party groups championed the unaccomplished-at-best Dan Maes simply because he wasn’t “establishment”) or of recent political history, where outrageous (both in substance and in political idiocy) statements by Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock not only cost those men their elections but likely cost Republicans control of the Senate. It appears that even among the most politically active and theoretically well-informed, one can prove the maxim that people get the government they deserve. Unless Mr. Jackson steps aside, it strikes me as likely that Virginia will face the depressing prospect of Governor Terry McAuliffe. For the good of his state and of the country, I hope Mr. Jackson will consider removing himself from the ticket while there’s still time to find a credible replacement.
Follow this link:
Did Virginia Republicans Just Elect Terry McAuliffe?
As the death toll in Oklahoma rises due to yesterday’s devastating tornado, Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island wasted no time blaming Republicans for the disaster. Whitehouse criticized Republicans for denying the existence of global warming, thereby facilitating the onslaught of such natural disasters by refusing to help decrease its effects. “So, you may have a question for me. Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together,” Whitehouse said, according to the Daily Caller. If Whitehouse had taken just a few minutes to check his facts, he would know that the Continental U.S. Temperature Lower Troposphere is actually below average. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the amount of tornadoes in the U.S. in 2012 was also below average. In addition, the U.S. Tornadoes Daily Count and Running Annual Total are below average. According to the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, highly destructive tornadoes form from mesocyclones, which are rotating thunderstorms with a defined radar circulation. While tornado formation sometimes relates to the temperature differences across the downdraft air on the mesocyclone, studies show that temperature variation often plays no part in the formation of a tornado. For example, the outbreak of over 70 tornadoes on May 3-4, 1999, which claimed over 40 lives, showed hardly any temperature variation at all. The Senate observed a moment of silence at noon for the victims of the tornado. Whitehouse needs to take a few moments to sort out his priorities by helping efforts to aid the devastated areas instead of seizing the moment to bash Republicans for weather-changing powers they do not possess. “You drag America with you to your fate,” Whitehouse said to Republicans. “I will keep reaching out and calling out, ever hopeful that you will wake up before it is too late.” Clearly, it’s Whitehouse who needs the wakeup call.
There’s a huge red flag in the Benghazi mess, but conservatives are letting the media get away with using a red herring to avoid it. Give the establishment media credit for obstinacy: Once it settles on a standard narrative or explanation for a particular subject, it shows remarkable discipline in explaining away any evidence that contradicts its own approved spin. So it has been with the media’s 250-day old determination to downplay the scandalous nature of the Obama administration’s treatment of its outpost in Benghazi before, during, and after the terrorist attack there that took four American lives. After a rough week or so when developments actually shook the media’s Benghazi façade, it was the Washington Post ’s editorial page that did double-back flips to re-establish the official line : Nothing to see here, children; move along; don’t trouble your pretty little heads about it. (After all, as the Post theorized last November, the whole idea of this as a scandal probably stems from endemic Republican racism. Yes, really .) Yet by any objective standard, the totality of the Benghazi affair contains numerous elements that, if the partisan affiliations were reversed, would have made the Post apoplectic. The most obvious red flag is the administration’s treatment of Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya. Here we have a career public servant of impeccable reputation (and personally a Democrat, no less) who has said he was A) ordered not to talk to a Republican congressman; B) berated for daring to voice internal dissent from talking points he knew for a fact were untrue; C) actually demoted for trying to insist on the truth; and D) then in effect called a liar by the administration for claiming he had been demoted — which is not even a disputable fact, because no matter how one explains it away, moving from deputy chief of mission to a desk officer slot is by any reasonable definition a demotion. When in the history of scandals has the Washington Post ever averted its eyes and stifled its tongue when a whistleblower in a major matter has been so obviously, flagrantly bullied and retaliated against? Completely apart from every other aspect of the Benghazi mess, the treatment of Gregory Hicks alone is a major scandal. It becomes more scandalous still when one examines the substance to which Hicks testified. According to his testimony, which was entirely believable (and in many cases proved by other documents and testimony), the administration A) had ignored multiple requests for added security in Benghazi before the attacks — and then, in the days after the assault, scrubbed that fact from its talking points; B) ordered a team of four commandos in Tripoli, who were ready and eager to fly to Benghazi during the attack, to stand down — and then, in the days after the assault, given the impression that no armed help had been available anywhere; C) had repeatedly been told, with no room for doubt whatsoever, that the attackers were affiliated or associated with a jihadist militia — and then had repeatedly, for weeks, provided another story, while scrubbing the mention of jihadists for political reasons: so that this fact would not be “abused by congressmen to beat the State Department for not paying attention.” The Post now acts as if the security failures are old news — a subject worth examining for future policy changes, but certainly not a scandal. But in those first weeks after the terrorist assault, which was when the cover-up was occurring, it was certainly not old news. Indeed, considering the date — 9/11 — the repeated requests for more security, the five prior dangerous incidents in Benghazi, and the utter flat-footedness of the entire administration’s response, the dereliction of responsibility itself was at least borderline scandalous. But the cover-up thereof was certainly a scandal, especially in the context of the obvious political motivations at play. There was a political campaign ongoing — and control of the first few days of the news cycle, as every campaign consultant knows, is absolutely crucial in helping the public decide whether to tune in or tune out to a story, and to what aspects of the story to tune in. The red herring by the media is that the e-mails released so far by the White House, regarding the talking points developed several days after the terrorism, are the most important aspect of the cover-up — and therefore that the lack of a smoke-belching howitzer in them proves the lack of scandal. But that’s wrong. The e-mails do not cover the first 67 hours after the attack began, which is when the narrative of the “anti-Islamic video” was first given traction. And what they show isn’t an administration struggling with what to first tell the public, but rather a State Department desperately trying to scrub the talking points of information that just happened to be the exact evidence (imagine that!) that could contradict the story it already had been telling for nearly three days. And why was it so important to strip from the talking points all mentions of jihadist links and of previous CIA warnings, while leaving in the vague reference to “demonstrations” in Cairo? Because the “demonstrations” comport with the narrative blaming the video rather than the administration — and because the “blame the video” narrative already had become a political football. Remember that it was around noon on the day of the attacks (U.S. time zone), shortly after the embassy walls in Cairo had been breached, that somebody in Cairo first put out a statement apologizing for the video. It was before midnight, U.S. time, that Republican candidate Mitt Romney released a statement blasting the Obama administration for apologizing to the attackers before strenuously denouncing the attack. By mid-day Sept. 12, when Romney held a press conference , the big story was whether Romney’s criticism was a politicization of tragedy. And by then, the administration, including the president himself and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had distanced itself from the “apology” but had firmly set its flag in the soil of the “blame the video” narrative. So as the Romney camp worked to explain the assaults as evidence of failed administration policy, the administration was feverishly trying to push all the blame onto an obscure film maker. Sure, there was politics on both sides. But the difference was that the administration already knew, from multiple sources, that the Benghazi attack was jihadist in nature and almost certainly pre-planned (which also was an obvious supposition, considering the 9/11 date). The administration knew the facts, but tried to distract the public from them. Obama recently asked why the administration would conduct a cover-up “for only three days.” Well, aside from the fact that it was eight days (three until the talking points e-mails, two more days until Susan Rice’s Sunday news-show appearances, and another three before admissions in Hill testimony began to grudgingly acknowledge the jihadist link), the answer is that in a presidential campaign, eight days can mean the world. Keeping the focus on the video, rather than the administration’s screw-ups on security and policy, undermined the Romney criticisms, enlisted the media’s sympathy, and inoculated Obama against further Romney attacks on the subject. (Even the ultimate acknowledgment wasn’t proactive, but came only after the “video” excuse had begun to publicly fall apart.) The bigger question isn’t whether the White House specifically and directly interfered with the talking points, via e-mail, but with how the administration settled on the “blame the video” narrative in the first place — a narrative that, in retrospect, was absurd on its face. In that light, the president’s 10 p.m. phone call on Sept. 11 with Secretary Clinton takes on supreme importance, just as Andrew McCarthy has noted at National Review Online : We do not have a recording of this call, and neither Clinton nor the White House has described it beyond noting that it happened. But we do know that, just a few minutes after Obama called Clinton, the Washington press began reporting that the State Department had issued a statement by Clinton regarding the Benghazi attack. In it, she asserted: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.” Gee, what do you suppose Obama and Clinton talked about in that 10