Category Archives: Biden

Climate Media vs. Climate Science

WSJ  4/13/2021  By   Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

Joe Biden has put a presidential imprimatur on climate change being an existential threat, and he doesn’t mean in the Jean-Paul Sartre sense of man’s search for meaning in an uncomforting universe.

He means the end of humanity, a claim nowhere found in climate science.

This is odd because the real news today is elsewhere. Its movement may be ocean-liner-like, the news may be five years old before the New York Times notices it, but the climate community has been backing away from a worst-case scenario peddled to the public for years as “business as usual.”

A drumroll moment was Zeke Hausfather and Glen Peter’s 2020 article in the journal Nature partly headlined: “Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome.”

This followed the 2017 paper by Justin Ritchie and Hadi Dowlatabadi asking why climate scenarios posit implausible increases in coal burning a century from now. And I could go on. Roger Pielke Jr. and colleagues show how the RCP 8.5 scenario was born to give modelers a high-emissions scenario to play with, and how it came to be embraced despite being at odds with every real-world indicator concerning the expected course of future emissions.

In a simple model of the world, authority figures say absurd and false things, and the media calls them out. The reverse happened this time, with the climate crowd reacting to the media’s botched coverage of the Fourth National Climate Assessment in 2018, itself a strained compilation of extreme worst-case scenarios that still couldn’t deliver the desired global meltdown.

Even David Wallace-Wells, the author of 2019’s climate-crisis book “The Uninhabitable Earth,” was moved to call on fellow activists to revise their advocacy “in a less alarmist direction.”

To this day, the print edition of the New York Times has never mentioned RCP 8.5, the unsupported emissions scenario on which so many of its climate jeremiads rest.

The Washington Post has used it twice, once to say it portended a climate disaster and more recently to suggest its falling out of favor didn’t mean the climate wasn’t headed for disaster.

How did we get from reality to Greta Thunberg, Joe Biden and a Bloomberg columnist who says Exxon “threatens the continuation of human life on earth”? Decades ago, casual theorizing suggested global warming might cause the oceans to stop circulating and North America to freeze over, giving rise to the 2004 cinematic and scientific disaster of a movie known as “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Al Gore touted the same scenario but later dropped it, and climate catastrophism has had to survive ever since without scientific underpinning.

The strain of holding realism at bay is starting to tell. John Kerry, the new climate czar, recently blurted out that the Biden green agenda will have no effect on climate unless countries like China and India join, which they already declared they won’t.

A bigger moment of truth will come with a book by Steven Koonin, a theoretical physicist and chief scientist of the Obama Energy Department, demonstrating what the science—the plain, recognized, consensus science—says about climate change: It won’t be catastrophic. It’s unlikely to be influenced in a major way by policy actions. The costs will be large in relation to everything except the future, richer economy that will easily pay for them.

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Let’s turn to a nearby letter from Tom Gjelten that breezes past the substance of his own NPR report as well as my criticism of it: his failure to tell listeners that 40% of U.S. refugee slots in 2020 went unclaimed because of the pandemic. Mr. Gjelten’s real focus is to defend a bureaucratic trope. His “refugees” are people under the care of friendly governments and aid groups whom the U.S. agrees to resettle, when the vast majority who seek succor in the U.S. nowadays are those he calls “asylees,” tens of thousands fleeing violence in our own hemisphere who show up directly at our border with only the U.S. accepting any responsibility for them.

His pet refugee program, known as USRAP, admitted just 801 people in 2019 from all of South and Central America, when more than 250,000 were known to have fled Honduras alone. It boggles Mr. Gjelten’s bureaucratic sense of propriety that I use the term refugees for people who are, you know, refugees. And the parody continues: Catherine Rampell, in the Washington Post, now accuses Mr. Biden of being the “most anti-refugee president in history” even as he adds to a 600,000-plus backlog of people admitted while their claims of persecution are being vetted.

There are terms that apply—reification fallacy, equivocation fallacy—for a journalism that loses sight of the world and plain meanings in its quest to situate itself among prefab talking points. Let this process run away with itself, and that’s how you get a climate journalism more founded in fantasy than in science, with Joe Biden feeling the need to blather about the end of the world.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-media-vs-climate-science-11618355224?mod=opinion_featst_pos3

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White House Giving Journalists ‘Zero Access’ to Border Patrol Operations

Excerpt:

Separately, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has been questioned during briefings about the lack of press access.

“The DHS oversees the Border Patrol facilities, and we want to work with them to ensure we can do respecting the privacy and obviously the health protocols required by COVID,” the press secretary said on March 18 in response to one question about press access.

A reporter then noted that no photos have been released either about the border crisis.

“Again we remain committed to sharing with all of you data on the number of kids crossing the border, the steps we’re taking, the work we’re doing to open up facilities, our own bar we’re setting for ourselves, improving and expediting the timeline and the treatment of these children,” Psaki said. “And we remain committed to transparency. I don’t have an update for you on the timeline for access, but it’s certainly something we support.”

The Epoch Times has contacted the DHS for comment. . .

The Epoch Times  3/21/21 

https://www.theepochtimes.com/white-house-giving-journalists-zero-access-to-border-patrol-operations-photographer_3742722.html?&utm_source=news&utm_medium=email&email=mrrossol@yahoo.com&utm_campaign=breaking-2021-03-21-2

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Gradual Ruin About to Become Sudden ruin

The Epoch Times 3/15/1021 by Roger Kimball

Commentary

I am not a particular fan of Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises.” 

But there is one exchange between two of the characters, Bill Gorton and Mike Campbell, that has stuck with me.

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.

“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”

That passage has been running through my head a lot recently.

I thought of it last week when I learned that Dr. Seuss Enterprises had decided to stop selling six books by the famous children’s author because—according to the bureaucrats at the concession—they depict various ethnic groups in ways that are “hurtful and wrong.”

I thought of it again last week when Disney decided that some of its most popular shows did not pass muster with the woke wardens of political correctness and restricted access to Dumbo, Peter Pan, and other children’s classics because they, too, were “racially insensitive.”

Closer to home, Amazon, the self-described world’s largest bookstore, joined the censors by delisting a book I published a few years ago at Encounter, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.”

The book is a thoughtful and scholarly analysis of the psychological costs of treating gender dysphoria with drugs and surgery, but Amazon suddenly and without any explanation dropped the book because, they said, they no longer “sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.”

Mr. Anderson’s book does no such thing, but no matter. Amazon is in this respect like the Lord: man proposeth, Amazon disposeth,

These little cultural markers—and there are plenty more where they came from—suggested to me that we were about at an end of the gradual phase of cultural decay and were about to embark on the sudden part of the journey.

Elections

Then there is the more serious stuff: the nearly $2 trillion so-called “Covid relief” package that all-but-guarantees a spike in inflation but shovels much, much more money to teachers’ unions and favored racial groups than to people who have suffered from the government lockdowns during the CCP virus pandemic.

There is the passage in the house of H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People” bill, which would effectively assure that were was never another fair election in this country.

It would do this by all-but-obliterating voter ID requirements—you need an ID to board a plane but not cast a vote—mandating same-day voter registration and at least two weeks of early voting, and by requiring states to provide unsupervised drop boxes to receive completed ballots.

In other words, H.R. 1 would centralize presidential elections, taking responsibility for oversight away from the states, where the Constitution placed it, and arrogating it to the clutches of the federal government and its sprawling bureaucracy.

If, as seems almost certain, H.R. 1 becomes the law of the land, it would be the final nail in the coffin of electoral integrity.

The widespread irregularities (that’s polysyllabic periphrasis for “fraud”) that attended the 2020 election would be codified into law assuring that, for as long as anyone could envision, 2016 would have to be counted as the last free, fair, and open presidential election.

It used to be that American was the land of the free and home of the brave. A robust culture of free speech was every American’s birthright.

We had free and fair elections, unlike the banana republics we were always called upon to bail out or police.

We also had borders, and even politicians eager to increase immigration understood the difference between entering the country legally and opening the floodgates to the hordes massing on our Southern border.

That’s all behind us now, or at least those traditions appear to be on life support—no, the patient was on life support, but someone came to euthanize him and pulled the plug.  The signs and portents are many and they are not encouraging.

Perhaps the most disturbing episode last week was Joe Biden’s alarming performance when he announced the elevation of two women to the status of combat generals.

Biden went on to underscore the “intensity of purpose” with which his administration would be pursuing “body armor that fits women properly, tailoring combat uniforms for women, creating maternity flight suits, updating their hairstyle requirements.”

This was not from a Saturday Night Live skit: it was the President of the United States live in front of the cameras.  I say “live” but I really mean “not prerecorded.” Joe Biden is “live” only in the sense that he cannot legally be interred.

He went on to demonstrate that sad contingency when he strained, unsuccessfully, to remember the name of his Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, who was standing right behind him, or the building where Austin worked, the Pentagon.

‘Ruin in a Nation’

Adam Smith once remarked to a disconsolate correspondent that there’s a “deal of ruin in a nation.” I quoted that remark to a friend some years ago when America was reeling from the twin assaults of the financial meltdown and the ministrations of Barack Obama. “Especially this nation,” my friend replied, and I had to agree.

For a moment, during Donald Trump’s tenure, it seemed as though we’d returned to the sunlit uplands. Leave aside his partisan successes, the judges and tax cuts, for example.

Concentrate instead on what he did to secure the borders, to upgrade the military, to make America energy independent.

It’s only mid-March 2021. In just six weeks, and with 60-odd executive orders behind him, Joe Biden has largely unravelled all that and more.

This is the reality: Joe Biden has set us on a collision course with tyranny at home and armed conflict abroad.

He has denominated his political opponents “domestic terrorists” and directed the FBI to harass and arrest them. He has done everything in his considerable power to surrender the country to the woke mob.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is not standing still. Look for a kinetic clash with Russia, China, or Iran soon. It’s coming to a theater near you by the end of this summer, and I do not mean a movie theater.

Expect the velocity of our declivity to increase—the gauge is set to move from “gradually” to “suddenly” now, and there will be plenty of shock and awe when it does.

Is this alarmist? Maybe, but that is appropriate when the situation is alarming.  Expect also to hear many people quoting the poet Delmore Schwartz: “Even paranoids have enemies.” It’s going to be a wild ride.

Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “Who Rules? Sovereignty, Nationalism, and the Fate of Freedom in the 21st Century.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/for-us-gradual-ruin-is-about-to-become-sudden_3733858.html?utm_source=morningbrief&utm_medium=email&email=mrrossol@yahoo.com&utm_campaign=mb-2021-03-16

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Neera Tanden’s Death by Twitter

Its almost beyond credulity that she would even be nominated. Shhh, maybe no one was following her tweets??? Not many know the classical texts anymore, but one says: “If you live by the sword, you die by the sword.” mrossol

WSJ 2/25/2021.  By Daniel Henniger

Joe Biden’s nomination of Neera Tanden to run the Office of Management and Budget looks as if it is going to fail Senate confirmation because of her . . . tweets. As the long-ago talk-show host Jack Paar was the first to say, I kid you not.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin most likely sank Ms. Tanden’s nomination when he said he would vote against her. He joined three Republicans in opposition—Sens. Rob Portman, Susan Collins and Mitt Romney. On Wednesday, two Senate committees “postponed” votes on her nomination, which means, it’s melting.

 

In her years before the Twitter mast, Ms. Tanden tweeted that Mitch McConnell was “Voldemort” and “Moscow Mitch,” compared Ted Cruz unfavorably to vampires, called Tom Cotton a “fraud,” said that Bernie Sanders —a frequent Tanden target—was helped by Russia in the 2016 Democratic primaries, and called Sen. Collins’s reasons for voting to confirm then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh a “pathetically bad faith argument as cover for President Trump’s vicious attacks on survivors of sexual assault.”

For readers by now wondering how the phrases “Neera Tanden” and “U.S. budget director” fit together, let it be noted that Ms. Tanden was once president of the Center for American Progress, a left-of-center think tank that has published fact-filled policy papers on public issues. Which is to say that in an earlier life, Ms. Tanden was a serious person. Then she discovered Twitter.

Amid Ms. Tanden’s current crucible, it has been reported that in preparation for her confirmation hearings, she deleted 1,000 of her Twitter account’s 88,000 tweets. A thousand deleted tweets???!!! Does Twitter have a tool for scanning and erasing a user’s tweets, which on second or third thought were a bad idea?

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says it will be hypocritical if Ms. Tanden is defeated for a cabinet post by Republicans who “looked the other way” from Donald Trump’s all-through-the-night Twitter rants, which by the way, the New York Times took the time to compile last month as “The Complete List of Trump’s Twitter Insults (2015-2021).”

In fact, rather than turn a blind eye to Mr. Trump’s Twitter feed, everyone begged him in public and private to stop doing it, but he refused, insisting this was how he “communicated” with his base. Who can doubt it? But the belligerence of his tweets contributed to the erosion of Mr. Trump’s re-election support among suburban voters, who simply couldn’t take it any more. Neera Tanden isn’t setting any precedent as a high-level Twitter self-immolator. She’ll always be No. 2.

Beyond self-destruction, a more serious concern is the implication for free speech of disqualifying people for what they have said (or tweeted).

 

I think calling Mitch McConnell “Voldemort” is kind of funny and fair game—just as the connotative effect of calling Sen. Schumer “Chuck” makes sense. Columns of political opinion, one may have noticed, would be out of business if they had to be written in patty-cake prose.

But it’s hard to credit progressives’ complaints about punishing Ms. Tanden for free, if ill-considered, speech when they have transformed what people say—going back to writings in college—into a justification for routine political and personal destruction. When that stops, the free-speech dialogues can begin.

No one would understand better than Ms. Tanden, a famously hardball political player, that you pays your money and you takes your chances. She took hers with this endless stream of insults against U.S. senators.

I think Sens. Manchin, Collins and Portman are concerned about something beyond Ms. Tanden’s OMB nomination. Mr. Manchin has become famous recently for saying he won’t vote to end the legislative filibuster, as has fellow Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. Actively protecting the Senate’s prerogatives is an overdue step toward not letting the legislative branch become moribund in an era when national policy is increasingly set by whoever wins the presidency, as in Joe Biden’s stream of executive orders and those of the two presidents before him.

 

Sen. Manchin, explaining his opposition to Ms. Tanden, said her “toxic” tweets would impair her ability to work with Congress as budget director. That assumes she has much interest in working with Congress, which I doubt. Diminishing the role of the legislative branch is a progressive goal dating back to Woodrow Wilson, as Ms. Tanden surely knows. She has little use for Congress, which would explain why she was so dismissive of even Sen. Sanders and why she reflexively mocked senators. It’s not them personally but their institution that is an impediment to her force-fed agenda.

The Center for American Progress was the originator of the arguments for Barack Obama’s unilateral pen-and-phone authority. That expertise is why Joe Biden, or someone, wanted her at OMB. She published the blueprints for ignoring Congress.

A vote to defeat her isn’t personal. It’s about making sure the Senate still matters.

Write henninger@wsj.com.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/neera-tandens-death-by-twitter-11614207594?mod=hp_opin_pos_2

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