American Elephants


In a Difficult Climate, Republicans Have Some Stellar Accomplishments! by The Elephant's Child

andyspond

I wrote a couple of days ago:

Conservatives everywhere constantly wonder what is the matter with the left, and try to find a satisfactory answer. We just had what can fairly be called a “wave” election.  Republicans will control the House of Representatives by 247 to 188 Democrats. They will control the Senate, by 54 to 44 with 2 independents. The GOP controls the governorship and the legislature in 23 states compared to 7 states for the Democrats. Legislative power has slipped from the hands of the American left.

This is a marvelous accomplishment. Even if you give all the credit to Obama’s policies (He did say that his policies were on the ballot) instead of to the Republicans, it is something to celebrate. Yet what I am reading and hearing is how awful John Boehner is, and that the Republicans should dump him. This is not the people’s choice, it’s the choice of the members of the House about who they choose to lead them.

Back in October, the House had passed more than 200 bills, which Harry Reid promptly tabled, and the Senate passed a mere 59 bills. That’s possibly a record low. I think the Senate ended up passing 111, and the House over 400, but I’m not sure of those numbers. The point is that bills do not become law with just the vote of the House.

Much has been made of the fact that we won the election, and how come they didn’t repeal ObamaCare, slash the national debt and stop Obama’s executive illegal immigrant amnesty? Doesn’t work that way. Even with both House and Senate, a bill does not become law without the president’s signature, or enough votes to override his veto.

Did you notice that John Boehner outsmarted Obama in the 2013 budget negotiations and because of John Boehner federal spending has declined over a five-year period for the first time since the post World War II cutbacks. The sequester has decreased total federal spending 1.5%-2.0% in real inflation-adjusted dollars, and it will do the same in 2014.

Largely because of Boehner, and also the much maligned Mitch McConnell, the unfolding catastrophe of ObamaCare is fully a Democrat disaster. There has not been a single Republican vote for any part of it. They own it! That may be the reason Republicans regained the House and Senate.

Obama has told our enemies publicly just what our strategy will be and when we will leave the battlefield, which has made every military person cringe. John Boehner does not reveal Republican strategies in advance. His job is not to lead the nation, nor to act as a cheerleader for the conservatives or the establishment — but to weld a bunch of fractious politicians into a political band that can accomplish as much as possible in difficult circumstances. That means accepting losses where they are inevitable, horse trading, and trying to squeak some important stuff through in spite of the odds.

Nearly two million fewer Americans are receiving jobless benefits than a year ago, in part due to the elimination of an extended benefits program last December. Economists on both left and right agree that generous jobless benefits keep people from looking for work and discourages employers from offering work. Businesses have to pay higher wages to urge people away from benefit programs, and taxes go up to pay for the benefits.

The Cromnibus bill, that 1,603-page bi-partisan $1.2 trillion federal funding bill prevents the EPA from regulating farm ponds under navigable waters legislation. Not a big deal? Andy Johnson received a state permit to build a little dam to create a watering hole for his cattle along the Six Mile Creek that crosses his property. He did not get a separate permit from the Army Corps of Engineers because the creek flows into the Black Forks River which flows into the Green River which the EPA had designated under the 1972 Clean Water Act as a “navigable interstate water of the United States.” Fine from the EPA — $75,000 per day! The EPA’s attempted power grab is both far-reaching and outrageous.

The EPA can’t implement a White House proposal to cut dairy industry methane emissions by 25% by 2025. Their attempted listing of the greater sage grouse and the Gunnison sage grouse as endangered can’t be done until studies prove it necessary. There’s the poultry poop posse attempting to regulate chicken poop, and  an order to limit cow plop to eliminate 500 liters of individual cow emissions of methane. Reined in.

Obama promised $3 billion to poor countries in retribution for climate damage caused by our fossil fuel pollution — that got cut. Even Michelle Obama was reined in — school lunch programs will not be restricted by standard low-sodium and whole-grain menus. Kids will be relieved.

I complain a lot that this regulation business is getting out of hand. Credit John Boehner tor reining them in and for doing some hard bargaining.



Is This Finally the End of the IPCC? by The Elephant's Child

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 244–179 on February 19, to eliminate U.S. funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The  Republican majority went on record as saying that it no longer wishes for the IPCC to prepare its climate assessments.

The IPCC was founded over 20 years ago by politicians who intended to use the government-funded establishment to achieve policy goals. The IPCC does no research, but merely reports. A total of 23 climate models cover a wide range of warming estimates for our future — but there is no way to test them to see if their climate change predictions are accurate.

The climate has been far warmer in the past, and far cooler as well. Why should today’s warmth be manmade when the Medieval Warm Period was natural.  I’ve always suspected that baby-boomer scientists just can’t believe that anything important happened without them — but that’s just me.

Do follow the link. Dr. Roy Spencer works on the satellite program that measures global temperatures — the only accurate measurement of temperatures that we have. He is always ready to explain what we know and what we don’t know. An assessment without the usual scare–mongering is always welcome.

At Climate Depot, Marc Morano reports on the more than 1000 International scientists who dissent over man-made global warming claims — more than 20 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

They always claim that there is a scientific consensus on climate change. We are told that there is by pundits and the press.  They typically point to the number 2500 — the number of scientists associated with the UN’s IPCC.  Those 2500, the press believed had endorsed the IPCC position. That wasn’t true. Those 2500 had merely reviewed some portion of the IPCC studies. Many of those scientists actually disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions.

The pundits, embarrassed, looked for an alternate number. They found the statement “97% of the world’s climate scientists” accept the consensus.” That number comes from a 2009 survey of 10,257 earth scientists conducted by two researchers from U. of Illinois. The researchers chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change.  They started out by excluding any of the thousands of scientists who were most qualified to speak on climate. They excluded the solar scientists, space scientists , cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists and astronomers. About 1000 of those surveyed did not have a PhD, and some didn’t even have a master’s degree.  So they asked two non-questions

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

Since the Little Ice Age did not end until around 1850, global temperatures have risen, and many skeptics believe that human activity has played some part in what warming there has been, the questions were pretty meaningless.  But that ‘s how the climate battles go.

In science, there is no such thing as “consensus”.  Whether organizations of scientists approve or disapprove is meaningless. That’s not how the scientific method works.



A House Spending Bill Prohibits Funding for EPA’s Damaging Climate Regulations. by The Elephant's Child

A government spending bill written by House Republicans was unveiled on Friday night.  It would prohibit funding for Environmental Protection Agency climate regulations through September, the end of the fiscal year.

The continuing resolution, which is this year’s funding for the government, since Democrats couldn’t get around to passing a budget bill — their primary task — so they passed a temporary “continuing resolution”.  This is Republican’s latest attempt to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions — the EPA’s attempt to accomplish by regulation the cap-and-trade bill that Congress refused to pass.

Republicans state that pending EPA climate rules will significantly damage the economy and result in major job losses.  The bill would block funding for all current and pending EPA climate regulations for stationary sources. Every shop and building could fall under the EPA purview  for emitting CO2 — a beneficent gas that is one of the basic building blocks of life. The notion that CO2 is harmful or a pollutant in any way has been soundly debunked, but the media has not caught up with the science.

The bill cuts EPA funding by $2 billion, 29% below fiscal year 2010.  The legislation cuts funding for the Bureau of Land Managements “wild lands” policy which would allow the Obama administration to protect lands that have not been formally designated as wilderness land. It has been an administration attempt to restrict oil and gas drilling.  The bill also prevents the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from terminating a license review for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

All in all a splendid bill, accomplishing important things.  Cutting the EPA’s funding is a major step in reining in an out-of-control agency playing politics with the American economy and American jobs.




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