American Elephants

Got Another One Wrong, Not Entirely My Fault! by The Elephant's Child
January 21, 2015, 7:11 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Misled by the media.The press exaggerated Attorney General Eric Holder’s civil forfeiture reform. The impact of the reform will be limited by his exception for state and local seizures that result from investigations assisted by or coordinated with federal authorities. The executive director of Americans for Forfeiture Reform argued that “the exception swallows the rule.”According to the Justice Department’s own numbers, the reform just doesn’t do much at all.

Holder’s order applies only to “adoption” — which happens when a state or local agency seizes property on its own and then asks the Justice Department to then pursue forfeiture under federal law. The press release from the DOJ announcing the ‘reform’ says that “adoptions accounted for roughly 3 percent of the value of forfeitures in the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program.” Something like 86 percent of the loot that state and local law enforcement agencies collect through federal forfeitures will be unaffected by Holder’s new “reform.”

The Washington Post last Friday said:

“Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without warrants or criminal charges,” the Postreported, saying the new policy “would eliminate virtually all cash and vehicle seizures made by local and state police from the [equitable sharing] program.” The Post did note, deep in the story, that Holder said equitable sharing would continue in cases “where local and federal authorities are collaborating.” But it said “most of the money and property taken under Equitable Sharing since 2008…was not seized in collaboration with federal authorities.”

Also, The Hill, and Time.

The reform remains a good thing,  but one that does not go far enough. Sen. Rand  Paul (R-Ky) plans to reintroduce a forfeiture reform bill soon. The odd idea that is the basis of the State’s legal theft is that the property itself (the cash) is guilty, so they don’t have to prove the owner of the money or property guilty at law.

I gave Mr. Holder a little too much credit. My bad.

The Political Maneuvering About Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

The Senate voted on Wednesday that “climate change is real and is not a hoax” — an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline vote sponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) which passed, to Democrats’ astonishment, with only Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker  voting ‘no.’

In a surprise, the Senate’s leading skeptic of climate science, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), voted in favor of the amendment — but made clear he doesn’t believe humans are the primary driver of climate change.

The Hill apparently regarded this as astonishing. Democrats think they have accomplished something, for they regard Republicans as “climate deniers,” which is another of their false tag operations. The climate is always changing. We have had ice ages and the Medieval Warm Period, and the Roman Warm period when the climate was milder. Nobody denies that there is climate change.

The news has been full of the claim that 2014 was the “hottest year” on record, based on unreliable surface thermometer records and even that refers only to four-hundredths of a degree — which is hardly significant. The only significant measurements of global temperature are the satellite temperatures which indicate that temperature changes since 2001 are “statistically insignificant.” We have had satellite measurements for 36 years.

The only place where climate alarmism is rampant is in climate computer programs where they try to predict the future based on a representation of earthly climate they have programmed in. Unfortunately, the predictive ability of the programs cannot even produce the temperatures of today or any time in the past 36 years when we know what the global climate was. GIGO.

The idea that the Keystone XL pipeline has any effect on climate is preposterous. Climate scientist Roy Spencer PhD who runs the satellites out of Huntsville AL commented on the ‘hottest year on record.’ His website has some excellent short explanations of climate change and what we know and what we don’t.

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