American Elephants


New Research Blows Climate Science Wide Open by The Elephant's Child

Did you ever wonder how the Global Warming Folly got started? Why did government get all excited and start supporting anything that promised to reduce the dreadful fate that science told us was about to descend on the United States and the world? Here’s how it happened back in June of 1988. James Hansen, perhaps envisioning a Nobel Prize for science, wanted to scare the Congress of the United States into supporting his vision of approaching disaster.

Watch as former Senator Timothy Wirth, (D-CO) speaking on a PBS interview about the June 1988 Senate hearing on global warming, gleefully describes his loss of integrity and respect for his office.

We didn’t know very much about climate. I’m not sure quite what the moves were, but the upshot was that climate scientists borrowed the computer programs that the financial sector had devised to predict the market, because they wanted to predict the future too. So they started with what science knew for sure, which wasn’t very much, and added educated guesses based on what they thought they knew, and finished off with uneducated guesses, because they just didn’t know. But such a warning had to be funded. Congress was scared. Grant money began to flow.

One Michael Mann’s doctoral thesis  at the end of the 1990s came up with an elaborate graph that spiked up sharply in the future, further scaring the people who controlled the funding. The UN’s IPCC was happy to get in the game, and anyone who could write a good grant proposal to prove how increasing warming of the earth was going to mess up everything, got their proposals funded. There was no money for those who were skeptical. The idea was that worldwide warming was unusual, and the pre-industrial temperature history had been uneventful, and was the ideal climate condition that we should all strive to maintain.

This required pretty massive ignorance of historical climate and ordinary history and literature that described the climate. Any anomalies were just local phenomena. But the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age as local North Atlantic events? Really? A nutty idea.  In the early 1990s, Japanese scientists Hiroyuki Kitagawa and Eiji Matsumoto had published clear data from the year 1995 that showed that temperatures over the previous 2000 years in South Japan fluctuated over a range of 5°C. A clear millennium cycle is depicted. Before Michael Mann.

About ten years later Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick (see the book The Hockey Stick Illusion by Andrew Montford) explained how the hockey stick graph resulted in the same conformation no matter what numbers were entered. Mann has never recanted, to his shame.

But one by one, the claims are falling apart. The polar bears are not endangered but thriving. Many of the ‘endangered’ species are not endangered. Many extinct species are not extinct. Sea level rise is not accelerating. Antarctic ice extent is still well above normal. Global Warming is not the number one threat to humanity. Corals are doing just fine in even the warmest places. New researchblows climate Science wide open. The trees may be at the heart of climate, not your SUV. And the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) got it wrong. Rajendra K. Pachauri, the head of the IPCC has been caught cashing checks from the WWF.

An increase in temperature due to a doubling of CO2 would be 1.9 degrees Celsius by 2050. We can adapt to a 1.9° increase in warmth, if it doesn’t continue cooling as it has been doing for the past 17 years.

Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve been had.

President Obama is in denial about both the climate and energy realities. The data shows that global warming isn’t happening. Electric cars aren’t happening, nobody wants them. If the president would just give up his backing for his cronies in the green energy industry who are getting wealthy on government largess with taxpayer’s money, it might do wonders for the budget.



Obama Bullies America’s Charities to Support His War on the Wealthy. by The Elephant's Child

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The Government Accountability Institute analysis of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) figures has found that audits of tax-exempt charities have increased by 79 percent under the Obama administration. GAI President Peter Schweizer has found that from 2001-2008  the IRS has audited an average of 6.205 tax-exempt organization a year.  From 2009-2011, the average number of returns audited jumped to 11,111. They suddenly got more dishonest?

GAI said the increase in audits is not explained by a greater number of returns being filed. In fact, for the years examined, the IRS received a lower average rate of returns  under Obama (819,417) than under President George Bush (847,898). We’re all in favor of charities being honest about what they do with our contributions, but why the increase?

These findings come closely after a controversial White House gathering last month with the heads of charitable organizations, in which the Obama administration allegedly engaged in “bullying” and “intimidation “ tactics to scare charities into supporting Obama’s tax hikes on the wealthy or face the prospect of losing their tax-exempt status.

The president’s first term taught businesses a clear lesson: CEOs and businesses that support the president and his policies will be rewarded with taxpayer-funded corporate-welfare, and favorable regulation, and those who oppose him will receive no benefits, and no favorable treatment. Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT), and Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) condemned the incident in a joint statement:

What the White House did today is disturbingly reminiscent of how it conducted itself during congressional consideration of Obamacare–telling groups that they better back the White House, or else. Bullying isn’t leading. These kind of intimidation tactics are unacceptable, and they need to stop now.

California Republican Party Chairman Thomas G. Del Beccaro  says that it is part of a war on charity designed to squelch the work charitable organizations provide because they detract from Obama’s big government agenda.

Obama truly is a big government liberal. He believes that government should be at the center of our lives. He believes government knows better and should set the rules for helping others. Look no farther than Obamacare to gauge his philosophy on caring for people. Simply stated, Obama doesn’t value private charities interfering with his vision of a centralized government.

How interesting that Obama is taking on charities because they are tax exempt but I notice that he is not taking on other tax exempt organizations like the big environmental charities like Sierra Club, NRDC, Audubon Society, Greenpeace, WWF, and dozens on others, nor the Foundations that are also tax exempt and in many cases not doing anything even close to what their founders intended. So it isn’t about seeing if charities are being honest with their funds, but about something quite different. The environmental organizations have been big Obama supporters, and he does their bidding.

Obama had no leadership or managerial experience when he chose to run for the presidency. The media fell in unconditional love with him from the beginning and didn’t bother to vet him or explain the huge holes in his resume. It has been clear from the start that he has a different view of the presidency. Most have embarked on the office hesitantly, unsure if they could measure up and serve the country well. Obama seemed quite sure of his ideological mission and his plans to reverse everything that the hated George W. Bush had done, and” fundamentally transform the United States of America.”



Paul Krugman Confirms that Sarah Palin Was Right! by The Elephant's Child

Paul Krugman is a man of the Left, an economist of the Keynesian persuasion, and a partisan hack who writes for the New York Times. He has found that writing partisan pieces is way more fun than doing serious economics. Well, I should talk, as I write partisan blog posts, and certainly politics are more divided and more partisan than I have ever seen in my lifetime.

The Holy Grail for the Left has always been single-payer, government-run health care. When government controls your life and death, they probably have your vote as well. And what matters to the Left is not you, or your health, or your well-being, but their power. If you assume that they care about you — you’re wrong.

They are sure that there is a better world out there without all the annoyances of ordinary life and without annoying people who disagree with them; and if they just have the power, they will bring about that perfect government and perfect society. They just won’t accept the untidy real world and the flawed nature of ordinary human beings. And they do not recognize that those who have had the very same dreams and the very same aims have invariably created the most repressive, murderous societies the world has ever known. This time it will be different. They just didn’t do it right. Right. Uh huh.

When the Left embarked on what we now call ObamaCare, the amusingly named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), they claimed to be modeling it on Massachusetts Care. Obama’s team of advisers, however, were all enamored (seriously) of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), where physicians are salaried employees, hospitals are run by the “National  Trust” and health care is “free” to the patient (except for high taxes), and except in unusual circumstances Labour is consistently reelected to power.  I expect that the last part of that last sentence is the important one.

What has transpired with the NHS is that the priority of the medical establishment has become getting paid and following the rules. And the priority of the government is saving money. That sets up a conundrum where the loser is the patient. All is well, when it’s a minor annoyance, but when you are really in need of major medical care, you’re in trouble. If you search the British papers for news about the NHS, over time, it’s frightening. The most recent concerns are with “The Liverpool Pathway” which is designed to cut the losses from expensive care for old folks, by gently easing them out of this world by cutting off their nutrition and  hydration, and probably neglecting to tell either the patient or his family that is what they are doing.

So, back to Paul Krugman. He was recently addressing a leftist group, and didn’t realize that he was being videotaped:

Eventually we do have a problem. That the population is getting older, health care costs are rising… there is this question of how we’re going to pay for the programs. The year 2025, the year 2030, something is going to have to give

We’re going to need more revenue… Surely it will require some sort of middle class taxes as well… We won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society will want without some increase in taxes… on the middle class, maybe a value added tax…

And we’re also going to have to make decisions about health care, doc pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits.

So the snarky version… which I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.

So Sarah Palin was right about death panels. The Obama health care advisers pointed out from the beginning that the major expenses for health care came in the final years of a person’s life. They talked about “life years” and “cost-benefits”, and how it was more important to treat young people who had many life years ahead of them, and old folks should just not have expensive treatments that would only extend their worthless lives unnecessarily. They didn’t use those words, or it would all have been over, but that was the idea.

The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is the 15 member board of bureaucrats that gets to decide what gets paid for and what doesn’t. The Death Panel. They are trying to fill the positions now, but they aren’t getting any candidates.

Everything about ObamaCare is and was a lie. High costs in health care had climbed, but were on the mend as new diagnostic techniques took hold and new medicines saved lives. In Britain, 60,000 patients have been put on the death pathway without being told, but minister still says the controversial end-of life-plan is “fantastic.” Medical specialty groups in this country back repeal of the IPAB. Nothing is “bending down” the cost curve of ObamaCare, instead cost of insurance is expected to triple.  But enough. My ObamaCare folder is brimming, My thanks to Paul Krugman for verifying what we all suspected.



The Rose-Colored Glasses Are Beginning To Come Off. by The Elephant's Child

There are cracks in the firmament, or perhaps I should say in the rose-colored glasses. The head of the NAACP has said the obvious out loud, that President Obama has not been good for black Americans. Unemployment rates for Black Americans remain way too high, and for black youth they are off the charts.

Chris Crane, president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement 118, told the House Judiciary Committee yesterday that President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security care more about “special interests” in the Democratic campaign base than the lives of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. This is the ICE Union boss.

“Death or serious injury to ICE officers and agents appears more acceptable to ICE, DHS, and Administration leadership, than the public complaints that would be lodged by special interest groups representing illegal aliens,” Chris Crane, president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement 118, told the House Judiciary Committee this afternoon.

Crane based that statement on the way government policies handcuff the ICE officers charged with enforcing immigration laws, such as the policy that bans using tasers on illegal immigrants even though law enforcement is authorized to use them on U.S. citizens in the course of an arrest.” ICE will not approve this equipment for political reasons,” Crane, a former United States Marine, explained.

Obama ‘s decision to implement the DREAM Act without congressional approval — “deferred action for childhood arrivals” (DACA) — has made it almost impossible to enforce the law. ICE immigration agents have been instructed to accept an illegal alien’s claim as to whether he or she graduated or is attending high school or college or otherwise qualifies for DACA. Immigration agents have heard illegal immigrants coaching about how to lie about their qualification for DACA privileges. ICE union members agreed in 2010 that they have “no confidence in the ability of the people Obama has appointed to run the agency.

Ed Whitacre, former CEO of General Motors appointed by Obama, has a new book out: American Turnaround. Whitacre initially believed that the government wanted to help the company survive and thrive. He found out that was not true. Their goal was not to maximize profits to ensure GM survival, but to keep control of the company as long as possible, to keep its union allies fat and happy and to pleas its green buddies by forcing GM to produce hybrid vehicles that the vast majority of Americans cannot afford, and perhaps never will.

He said the partial  IPO that the bankers allowed went well, but on that day, GM didn’t just get a few additional orders for the $20.1 billion offering, but orders worth $86 billion— enough that GM could have repaid the government the entire $43 billion it owed, but given the taxpayers a nice profit on top of that.

In a recent New York Times op-ed, David Rothkopf said that Obama’s lack of experience , and never having  an executive or leadership role in his career, makes him unsuited for running government effectively. Obama is a lousy manager.

But Mr. Obama and his team would benefit, as they begin the second term, by acknowledging that many of the biggest problems facing the administration flow directly from the man at the top. Mr. Obama is a lousy manager. As chief executive he gets a C — and then only if graded on a curve that takes into account his predecessor’s managerial weaknesses.

Often people with no management experience — academics, writers or politicians who have never run an office with more than a handful of people — are put in charge of giant, complicated government agencies or processes. In part this is because so many people in government mistakenly believe that being able to articulate ideas is the same as being able to put ideas into action.

In the New York Times.  They probably allowed the criticism because Mr. Rothkopf went on about Mr. Obama’s “notable achievements” which I would hardly agree are achievements, but then Mr. Rothkopf is clearly a chartered leftist, the publisher of Foreign Policy magazine. The whole op-ed is fairly amusing, and a window into leftist thinking, such as it is. Lots of sheer nonsense, and a few partly sensible suggestions.

The rose-colored glasses are beginning to come off, a little. Maybe they will even start photographing the president without the ubiquitous halo around his head. Comedian Chris Rock has created some real humor on the right today, by claiming that the president is our Boss, and the Obamas are our Mom and Dad, and we should mind them. Huh.

 




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