What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 30, 2016

The "Can You Hack Up Words Like Camille Paglia" Contest!

It's a very late April Saturday and my Sanders friends and Clinton friends are still hard at work trashing each other's candidates - a fight I refuse to join or endorse - while Donald Trump continues his unending two-step through the rubbish-tip that is contemporary GOP politics.

I'd been waiting for a break in the noise since when, about week ago, I stumbled across this Wonkette page:
Readers, it’s time for a group project! Camille Paglia, as we all know, is the most insufferably obnoxious writer in the United States of the Entire Universe. As the late great Molly Ivins explained in her seminal piece on Paglia’s masturbatory oeuvre, she is a fan of “sweeping generalizations” that always argue from whatever viewpoint she’s finding most contrarian that day, and she seems to revel in it. Also, every single thing people do is somehow related to the secret feelings in their penis and vagina regions, and these secret feelings connect all the way back to the Greek gods and OMG THE COSMOS. She’s a fucking hack, is what we are saying.
And then:
So we figured we’d turn this into a contest for you, the gentle readers. Can YOU write dumbstupid, contrarian mumbo jumbo in a self-congratulatory way, rife with sweeping assertions and bizarre psychosexual allusions that make your readers want to back away slowly?
While I would not call Camille Paglia "the most insufferably obnoxious writer in the United States of the Entire Universe" I certainly wouldn't argue much with anyone who thought so.  She can be tiresome and dreadful with an excruciatingly bad habit of basing her critiques of any aspect of feminism with what happened to her personally - when she was at Yale, in New Haven, in the 1970s.  Like here:
Hillary [Clinton] was attending the Yale Law School while I was a graduate student across the street. In 1970, a sparsely attended feminist conference was held at the Law School, featuring well-known figures like Kate Millett and Naomi Weisstein. If Hillary was there, she did nothing to stand out. It was at that conference that I realized that second-wave feminism, then barely three years old, was already going off the rails. For example, the radical lesbian Rita Mae Brown said to me, “The difference between you and me, Camille, is that you want to save the universities and I want to burn them down.”

I have written elsewhere about my many clashes with early feminists—such as a near-fistfight with the New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band over my fervent love of the “sexist” Rolling Stones or a rancorous confrontation about the very existence of sex-hormones with women’s studies professors at an Albany restaurant.
While there may be valid critiques of second (and third) wave feminism(s), I hardly imagine they have anything to do with an argument between Camille and Jennifer Abod.

But I would've been about 10 yrs old and living about 20 miles north of Camille at that point, so how would I know?

If you want to languish in Ivins' seminal slapdown of Camille masturbatory oevre, it can be found here.  It ends this way:
There is one area in which I think Paglia and I would agree that politically correct feminism has produced a noticeable inequity. Nowadays, when a woman behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, “Poor dear, it’s probably PMS.” Whereas, if a man behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, “What an asshole.” Let me leap to correct this unfairness by saying of Paglia: Sheesh, what an asshole.
Yea, that's about right.

Did you know Camille's also a birther?

So I decided, a few days ago, try my hand at writing like Camille.  Only, I am going to post it here at 2PJ rather than sending it to Wonkette (sorry Wonkette but it's too good of an idea not to steal).  I may not be a Yale-trained PhD but I know academic BS when I see it.  My plan for my "Hack up words like Camille" piece is:
  • Reference some details from obscure mythological figure mentioned in Paradise Lost and/or Spenser's Fairie Queene.
  • Quote out of context some unknown pre-Freudian writer on sex and/or anthropology
  • Mention, to the point of uncomfortable obsession, personal similarities to Keith Richards and/or Madonna
  • Tie some pop-culture and/or political event to how vapid the Democratic Party and/or contemporary Hollywood is
  • Get in an unfair criticism of contemporary feminism and/or lesbians
And my guess is that it will miraculously write itself.  Only a few paragraphs, that's all I'll need to produce.

If YOU have a submission that you want to see posted here, please feel free to send it in.

April 29, 2016

I Saw This Last Night

From Amy Schumer:


I know it's just comedy, but it's also something to think about in the upcoming election.

April 27, 2016

Senator Pat Toomey's In Deep Doo-doo

First, let's start with the results from last night's Republican Primary in Pennsylvania.

According to CNN, Donald Trump, the billionaire bigot, won pretty handily last night, with about 890,000 thousand votes (57%) to about 340,000 (22%) and 300,000 (20%) votes for Cruz and Kasich, respectively.

Trump got more votes than the other two clowns got - combined.

Senator Pat Toomey, in order to put some political distance between himself and the Trump steamroller, on the other hand did this:
Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey says he cast his presidential vote for Ted Cruz, describing the Texas senator as having a deep understanding of the issues and "concrete" ideas on the economy and national security.

"He's a solid conservative," Toomey said this morning outside his polling place in Zionsville. "We don't agree on everything, but having served with him in the Senate, I know Ted pretty well and I think he's got a real, real viable shot of beating Hillary Clinton in the fall."
And in doing so put himself at odds with his own constituency.

But that's not the only bad news for Pat.

Take a look at how Cruz sees things:
Four Democrats in the state are competing for Toomey's Senate seat. Cruz told the “Chris Stigall Show” that the Pennsylvania lawmaker will retain his seat if Cruz is at the top of the ticket. But Trump, he argued, puts every Republican running in a blue or purple state “in grave jeopardy.”

“If I’m the nominee, Pat Toomey gets reelected,” Cruz said. “If Donald Trump is the nominee, the Senate is gone and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Yea, Pat's in deep doo-doo.

April 26, 2016

Vote for Jessica Wolfe...And a few others


It's no surprise to anyone reading this blog that I will be voting for Hillary Clinton for President today in PA's Democratic primary. I find her to be a brilliant and accomplished woman who will build upon President Obama's progressive successes, as well as staying true to her own passion for helping women and children.

I will also be voting for Joe Sestak for U.S. Senator for his promised ban on fracking, as well as "his ceaseless drive to connect with voters" (Gertrude Stein Political Club of Greater Pittsburgh).

I'll vote for Josh Shapiro for PA Attorney General, because, as the Stein Club puts it, "we believe he’s the most progressive candidate on social issues, by any yardstick. We hope to see ever-increasing fairness and human rights, as far as prosecution, if Mr. Shapiro is elected."

I'm voting for Eugene DePasquale for PA Auditor General, who's an honest, progressive good-guy.

In PA State House District 24, I endorse Ed Gainey. A responsive, reliable progressive.

In PA State House District 19, I endorse Jessica Wolfe. As I have stated before, I know Jessica and knowing the kind of person she is, I know she'd be a real asset to the House and a tireless and caring worker for her constituents.

As for my own PA State House District 36, I will most certainly not be voting for incumbent and DINO Harry Readshaw. As usual, I will write in "A. Prochoice Democrat."

Your mileage may vary.




PRIMARY DAY!


GO VOTE!


The Democrats have a pair of great presidential candidates and, regardless of your own political leanings towards either, each would be infinitely better than any of the clowns gunning for the GOP nomination.

And, as I am a member of neither party, that's all I'm gonna say about that.

April 25, 2016

Fetterman Who?

Mayor John Fetterman via PopTech via Flickr

There's a Bernie Sanders town hall on MSNBC now. It's taking place in PA. The host just asked Sanders why he hasn't given any support to Braddock Mayor John Fetterman for Senate as Fetterman has been one of the few elected Democratic officials who has endorsed Sanders and they seem like such a natural fit.

Bernie basically disclaimed knowledge of Mayor John ("I honestly don't know John and I've heard just a little bit about him...").*

Nice one, Bernie! Way to get that whole revolution thing going.


* Updated to include his actual quote.

Delegate Math Vs. Bernie Math

April 23, 2016

The Tribune-Review Editorial Board Complains (Climate Science, EXXON and the CEI)

From today's Trib:
The question of collusion, supposedly by climate-change “deniers” and industry “exploiters,” is more appropriately directed to the Democrat attorneys general in their United for Clean Power campaign. Emails reveal that prior to the AGs' announced initiative, they received briefings from environmental activists.
Um, guys?

First, you got the name wrong.  While at the news conference in March:
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today joined Attorneys General from across the nation to announce an unprecedented coalition of top law enforcement officials committed to aggressively protecting and building upon the recent progress the United States has made in combatting climate change.
There was a sign on the podium that read:

 
It's not like that's the name of the plan.  In fact, as far as I can tell, if you google "United for Clean Power" you get a small non-partisan DC lobbying firm.

It's a tiny point, granted, but for a newspaper to give out information that's that misleading, is probably a mistake.

So let's move on.  What is it that this AG coalition doing?

From the NYAG:
The participating states are exploring working together on key climate change-related initiatives, such as ongoing and potential investigations into whether fossil fuel companies misled investors and the public on the impact of climate change on their businesses.
That's what the braintrust is looking to spin into a "silence-the-skeptics crusade" - Fraud, pure and simple.

We've already written about the fraud part - about how Exxon knew, as far back as the late 70s, that the science was true and yet misled the public in order to scoop up more profits.

But the braintrust is taking a different approach today.  They're calling out the hidden communication between the AGs and some climate scientists - using the sticky word "collusion" to describe it.

Interesting that they'd be looking for backroom connections - all while hoping (I surmise) that no one will notice their own connections to this very story.

It's in this paragraph:
So while some state AGs demand that ExxonMobil come clean on any climate-change deception — which ExxonMobil denies — and the U.S. Virgin Islands subpoenas the Competitive Enterprise Institute for its global-warming critiques...
That would be the same Competitive Enterprise Institute mentioned numerous times by the Trib over it's "climate" reporting.  And that would also be the same Competitive Enterprise Institute that's accepted close to $4 million from foundations controlled by the former owner of the Tribune-Review.

If the alleged fraud was perpetrated by Exxon to fund the CEI for its science denial, what about all that money given to it by Scaife and company?  Was that part of the alleged fraud as well?

I guess now we know why they're struggling to spin this into a "silence-the-skeptics" story rather than what it is: a "fraud for profits" story.

April 21, 2016

Have The Torture Prosecutions Begun?

A hopeful sign - from the AP:
The Justice Department has signaled that it won't try to block a lawsuit arising from the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques, leaving the door open for a court challenge over tactics that have since been discontinued and widely discredited.

Lawyers call the government's stance unprecedented, but also a recognition that a once-secret program is now largely out in the open. They say it's the first time the Justice Department has not sought, as its first step, to dismiss a lawsuit over the interrogation program by arguing that its mere existence is too secret to discuss in court. Judges have previously accepted that assertion, turning aside cases about a program that was designed to extract intelligence from suspected militants captured overseas.
However, there's a rather large "but" (and I like big buts, I cannot lie):
Stephen Vladeck, a national security law professor at American University, said it was too early to know the significance of the government's filing. The lawsuit might eventually be dismissed, or as the matter proceeds through discovery, the Justice Department might yet decide that it involves too many secrets after all and should be dismissed, he said.

"Whether this is going to have the consequences that I suspect the ACLU hopes remains to be seen," he said.
Torture is illegal.  Prosecute the torture.

April 20, 2016

Meanwhile, Outside..

Regardless of the delegate/superdelegate count, it's still warming up outside.

From NOAA, regarding last month:
The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for March 2016 was the highest for this month in the 1880–2016 record, at 1.22°C (2.20°F) above the 20th century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F). This surpassed the previous record set in 2015 by 0.32°C / (0.58°F), and marks the highest monthly temperature departure among all 1,635 months on record, surpassing the previous all-time record set just last month by 0.01°C (0.02°F). Overall, the nine highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred in the past nine months. March 2016 also marks the 11th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in NOAA's 137 years of record keeping.
Have you been watching the news about the flooding in Houston?  Lotsa rain.  Extreme amounts of rain.

Think of that when you read this from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine:
As climate has warmed over recent years, a new pattern of more frequent and more intense weather events has unfolded across the globe. Climate models simulate such changes in extreme events, and some of the reasons for the changes are well understood. Warming increases the likelihood of extremely hot days and nights, favors increased atmospheric moisture that may result in more frequent heavy rainfall and snowfall, and leads to evaporation that can exacerbate droughts.

Even with evidence of these broad trends, scientists cautioned in the past that individual weather events couldn't be attributed to climate change. Now, with advances in understanding the climate science behind extreme events and the science of extreme event attribution, such blanket statements may not be accurate. The relatively young science of extreme event attribution seeks to tease out the influence of human-cause climate change from other factors, such as natural sources of variability like El Niño, as contributors to individual extreme events.

Event attribution can answer questions about how much climate change influenced the probability or intensity of a specific type of weather event. As event attribution capabilities improve, they could help inform choices about assessing and managing risk, and in guiding climate adaptation strategies. This report examines the current state of science of extreme weather attribution, and identifies ways to move the science forward to improve attribution capabilities.
But hey, Senator Inhofe brought a snowball into the Senate Chamber, so we know that all that is a Chinese hoax.

And remember yesterday? That thing about Bill Nye?

Take a look:


Gee, I wonder who will win the bets (assuming Bastardi will even take them).

Some surely unsolicited advice


Dear Bernie, 

What you need to do now is to not drop out. Stay in until the end by all means. BUT, agree -- in exchange for more power in determining the platform and whatever else you can get -- to go back to expounding on the issues instead of attacking Hillary personally. 

I'm sure you don't want to hear this, but you started losing women voters when you started saying Hillary was "not qualified." Hillary won female voters in NY by a whopping 61% to 39% -- a 22% margin and far higher than in previous primaries. 

You want your issues to win? Then make it about that instead of about her.

Sincerely,
Me

April 19, 2016

Congratulations, Hillary Clinton!

If he can't make it there...



#ImWithHer #HillYes

Bye Bye Bernie!

Sarah Palin vs Bill Nye. WHO'S The Scientist?

Since some of my friends on the left are screaming at each other vis-à-vis Clinton V Sanders (and by  Grabthar's hammer, I am so happy I'm not involved in that one!), I'm veering sideways to another argument.

This one:
Of all the causes Sarah Palin has embraced in her varied career as hockey mom, Alaska governor, Republican vice-presidential nominee, Fox television commentator and Donald Trump supporter, none perhaps may be as bold or – as she still likes to say, “rogue” – as trying to take down a much-beloved children’s television personality: Bill Nye the Science Guy.

But that was where hardcore climate change denial landed Palin on Thursday: a wood-panelled committee room in Congress where she disputed the credentials of a hugely popular science educator who has designed devices for Nasa (sic) and been awarded several honorary degrees.

“Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am,” Palin told the gathering. “He’s a kids’ show actor. He’s not a scientist.”
That's right.  The governor-who-quit-half-way is as much a scientist as Bill Nye?

Can we get a fact-check on this?

Sure:
So how do Nye and Palin’s scientific credentials compare?

Palin has none. She has a bachelor’s in communications-journalism from the University of Idaho. She has spent her career in politics. In addition to serving as governor of Alaska from 2006 to 2009, she was chairperson for the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission between 2003 and 2004 and Republican vice presidential candidate in the 2008 election, among other posts.

Nye has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell. He also has six honorary doctorate degrees, including Ph.D.s in science from Goucher College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He held various positions as an engineer between 1977 to 2009, such as contributing to the designs of 747 planes for Boeing and the designs of equipment used to clean up oil spills.

From 1999 to 2009, Nye worked with a team at the NASA and California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to design and create the MarsDial, a sundial and camera calibrator attached to the Mars Exploration Rover.
And so on and so forth.

That she's still taken seriously by some of our friends on the right is screamingly laughable and maddening all at the same time.

He's right and she's wrong.

April 16, 2016

Pat Toomey Met With Merrick Garland - OR - Pat Simply LOOKS Like He's Doing His Job When In Fact He's Simply Misleading The Voters.

So, Senator Pat Toomey has issued a ruling (heehee - SNARK!) explaining his current and ongoing Senatorial Obstruction.  In doing so, he's misleading you - the voting public - in a number of different ways.

He opens by saying that he supported the nomination of Justice Sotomayor but opposed the nomination of Justice Kagan - thus, I suppose, "proving" that he's fair (one for, one against, see?  FAIR AND BALANCED!).

Except that when you look even at the pieces he published (one in at philly.com, the other at the P-G), you'll see how he's changing his own rules to find a way to obstruct.

When he supported the nomination of Justice Sotomayor he wrote:
When John Roberts and Samuel Alito were nominated to the Supreme Court, Republicans argued that they should be confirmed based on their impeccable qualifications and mainstream jurisprudence. Now, Democrats are in power, and the same standard should apply.

After listening to much of Sonia Sotomayor's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and carefully examining her 17-year record as a federal appellate judge, I have come to two conclusions. First, her record is somewhat left of center, and I would likely disagree with many of her rulings if she were a Supreme Court Justice. Second, she is an extremely capable and qualified jurist.

If I were a U.S. senator, I would vote for her confirmation, because objective qualifications should matter more than ideology in the judicial confirmation process. [Emphasis added.]
So even though they'd disagree on her rulings he'd vote for her because she was qualified.

And even with is non-support of the Kagan nomination, he undercuts his current and ongoing obstructionism.  Take a look:
Last year, I supported President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. In an op-ed, I noted that while I knew I would likely disagree with many of Justice Sotomayor's decisions, she was nonetheless worthy of support because objective qualifications should matter more than ideology in the judicial confirmation process.

I stand by that position and maintain that a president's selection should not be thoughtlessly vetoed or filibustered by the Senate based on the nominee's presumed ideology. Rather, the Senate should only deny a nominee if he or she holds positions outside the judicial mainstream or is otherwise hostile to basic constitutional principles. [Emphasis added.]
Wait.  Pat Toomey wrote that?

Yep.

But let's remain on his opposition to Kagan for a second.  As I wrote at the time, he got a number of very important facts just plain wrong.   For example he mislead the public when he wrote that:
  • She wouldn't rule out the use of federal power to force citizens to eat their veggies all in the name of the Constitution's "Commerce Clause" (in fact she said that noneconomic activity - like eating - was beyond congressional authority given to it by the Commerce Clause).
  • She argued for the congressional authority to ban political pamphlets (when in fact, she was arguing that a corporation must use a PAC not any general funds to fund any political speech).
  • She circumvented federal law by denying military recruiters equal access to students at Harvard (when in fact she was following the federal law in regards to any recruiter who discriminated).
So now that we've established that Pat Toomey is not above misleading the public in order to justify blocking a Supreme Court nominee, let's take a look at what he did say about Merrick Garland's record.

First he said this:
Under our Constitution's system of checks and balances, federal courts play an essential role in limiting executive abuses of power.
Then after a few paragraphs regarding the EPA, he wrote:
I also raised with Judge Garland his approach to terrorist detainee cases. He authored an opinion that resulted in the release of 17 Guantanamo Bay prisoners who were part of a group of violent Islamist extremists the State Department had designated as terrorists.

They were captured after fleeing an Afghanistan training camp funded by al Qaeda and the Taliban. Judge Garland overruled a military tribunal's unanimous finding that these detainees were enemy combatants.

He second-guessed the military finding, contrary to federal statute. And his conclusion left the military with the choice of either jeopardizing the safety of intelligence informants or releasing enemy combatants.

As a result of Garland's decision, the detainees were ordered released into the United States. Fortunately, another panel of judges on the D.C. Circuit halted this, and the detainees were instead released into other countries.

In our discussion, Judge Garland again did not allay my concerns.

In an era in which terrorists are actively using every weapon at their disposal to kill innocent Americans, we cannot afford to appoint a Supreme Court justice who fails to understand these dangers.
It took a while but I found the conveniently-unnamed-by-Toomey opinion written by Merrick Garland.  It was almost as if he didn't want anyone to see the facts of the case.  But I could be wrong.

Here's the opening paragraph of that opinion:
A Combatant Status Review Tribunal has decided that petitioner Huzaifa Parhat, a detainee at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is an “enemy combatant.” This is the first case in which this court has considered the merits of a petition to review such a decision under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. The Act grants this court jurisdiction to “determine the validity of any final decision of a Combatant Status Review Tribunal that an alien is properly detained as an enemy combatant.” We conclude that the Tribunal’s decision in Parhat’s case was not valid. [Emphasis added.]
Wait.  Didn't Pat say that "contrary to federal statute"??  And isn't that completely wrong?

Let's move on to the second paragraph of the opinion:
Parhat is an ethnic Uighur, who fled his home in the People’s Republic of China in opposition to the policies of the Chinese government. It is undisputed that he is not a member of al Qaida or the Taliban, and that he has never participated in any hostile action against the United States or its allies. The Tribunal’s determination that Parhat is an enemy combatant is based on its finding that he is “affiliated” with a Uighur independence group, and the further finding that the group was “associated” with al Qaida and the Taliban. The Tribunal’s findings regarding the Uighur group rest, in key respects, on statements in classified State and Defense Department documents that provide no information regarding the sources of the reporting upon which the statements are based, and otherwise lack sufficient indicia of the statements’ reliability. Parhat contends, with support of his own, that the Chinese government is the source of several of the key statements. [Emphasis added.]
Wait.  Didn't Pat say that Garland failed to understand the dangers of terrorists who will use "every weapon at their disposal to kill innocent Americans"?  But didn't Garland write that Parhat is not Taliban or al Qaida and never participated in any terrorist act against the US or it's allies?

Isn't that a Y-U-U-GE lie of omission by Pat Toomey?

And now the third paragraph of Garland's opinion.  The third paragraph:
Parhat’s principal argument on this appeal is that the record before his Combatant Status Review Tribunal is insufficient to support the conclusion that he is an enemy combatant, even under the Defense Department’s own definition of that term. We agree. To survive review under the Detainee Treatment Act, a Tribunal’s determination of a detainee’s status must be based on evidence that both the Tribunal and the court can assess for reliability. Because the evidence the government submitted to Parhat’s Tribunal did not permit the Tribunal to make the necessary assessment, and because the record on review does not permit this court to do so, we cannot find that the government’s designation of Parhat as an enemy combatant is supported by a “preponderance of the evidence” and “was consistent with the standards and procedures” established by the Secretary of Defense, as required by the Act.
Not a terrorist.  Not a member of al Qaida or the taliban and yet dumped into Gitmo solely on the authority of the unitary executive.

What was it that Pat Toomey said about the courts being a balance to any abuses to the power of the executive branch?

How many times has Pat Toomey mislead us?  I've stopped counting.

April 15, 2016

Ugh - THIS "Argument" Again (A Republic, Not A Democracy)

I've heard this silly nonsense for years.

This week, it sullied up the pages of the Tribune-Review editorial page:
The simple fact of the matter is that the United States is not a democracy. It is a constitutional republic. And it is representative governance that protects us from the anarchy of pure democracy for which so many apparently pine. [Italics in Original.]
Eugene Volokh, of the blog The Volokh Conspiracy vehemently denies:
But there is no basis for saying that the United States is somehow “not a democracy, but a republic.” “Democracy” and “republic” aren’t just words that a speaker can arbitrarily define to mean something (e.g., defining democracy as “a form of government in which all laws are made directly by the people”). They are terms that have been given meaning by English speakers more broadly. And both today and in the Framing era, “democracy” has been generally understood to include representative democracy as well as direct democracy.
And here's his reasoning:
I often hear people argue that the United States is a republic, not a democracy. But that’s a false dichotomy. A common definition of “republic” is, to quote the American Heritage Dictionary, “A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them” — we are that. A common definition of “democracy” is, “Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives” — we are that, too.

The United States is not a direct democracy, in the sense of a country in which laws (and other government decisions) are made predominantly by majority vote. Some lawmaking is done this way, on the state and local levels, but it’s only a tiny fraction of all lawmaking. But we are a representative democracy, which is a form of democracy. [Emphasis added.]
BTW, lest you think that he's some tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, liberal, the libertarian/conservative Volokh has shown up on those same sullied Trib pages as this silly argument.

For example here:
UCLA constitutional scholar Eugene Volokh tells Fox News that a rule barring Nassau County, N.Y., prosecutors from bearing arms at home without special permission is a violation of their Second Amendment rights and an Empire State statute that protects gun collectors and target shooters from job-related restrictions. And talk about turning into sitting ducks those who help to bring some of the scummiest scum of the Earth to justice.
And here, where Colin McNickle, favorably  quotes him in another discussion of Second Amendment rights:
Thursday's California ruling is seminal and one that, if upheld and by extension, solidifies the Framers' notion that the Second Amendment, as constitutional scholar Eugene Volokh reminds, “is not restrictive, it is inclusive.”
Volokh's even had an e-book reviewed by an actual member of the braintrust! And it's critical of the ACA! Take a look:
“Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby: Corporate Rights and Religious Liberties” by Eugene Volokh (Cato Institute) — Oral arguments in the case referenced in this book's title will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. Filed by the family that owns the Hobby Lobby retail chain, it has been consolidated with another case that involves another business, Conestoga Wood Specialties. The publisher calls this e-book-only release “a comprehensive primer” on the constitutional issues at stake, which arise from religiously motivated opposition to the Affordable Care Act's requirement that firms employing 50 or more people provide contraceptive coverage in their group health plans. The author, a leading First Amendment scholar, combines material previously published via the Volokh Conspiracy blog, which he founded, with new content and analysis. Cato Institute constitutional scholar Ilya Shapiro contributed the book's foreword, which covers the case's “historical, legal, and current policy framework.” [Emphasis added.]
Guys, when someone on your side of the political aisle says that there's no basis for this silly argument, don't you think it's time to finally set it aside (I Corinthians 13:11)?

April 13, 2016

"Ted" Cruz And How Wrong He Is About The Climate

A few days ago we reported on what the Canadian-born junior senator from Texas, Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz, had to say on a woman's right to choose and on marriage equality.

So today, we're gonna look at how wrong he is on the climate.

He's been fact-checked by CBS:
CRUZ: "The satellites that actually measure the temperature, that we've launched into the air to measure the temperature, they have recorded no significant warming whatsoever for the last 18 years."

THE FACTS: Scientists, including those who work with the very satellite measuring system that Cruz refers to, say he's misusing the satellite data. They do show warming, albeit relatively little over the period Cruz cites, says Carl Mears, senior scientist for Remote Sensing Systems, which produces the data that Cruz refers to.

But by starting his comparison period in 1997, Cruz has selected a time when temperatures spiked because of an El Nino weather pattern. Starting at an artificially high point minimizes the rate of increase since then, Mears said, adding, "If you start riding your bike at the top of a big hill, you always go downhill, at least for a while."

More important is what's measured at the Earth's surface, where people live, Mears said. Those ground-based systems show a greater degree of warming.

The long-term trend that Mears' satellites show is about 0.7-degree warming since 1979, when satellites started measuring temperature. Ground-based monitors show a warming of about 1 degree during the same period. And 1979 was not among the top five hottest or coldest years in the 36 years of records.
And factcheck.org:
As for Cruz’s claim that “climate change is the perfect pseudoscientific theory because it can never, ever, ever be disproven,” Mann told us that “absolutely” climate change could be disproved. “That’s true in any area of science,” he said. “It’s true in physics. It’s true in biology. It’s true in climate change.” As he explained above, the theory of climate change rests upon the accuracy of the theory of global warming, which, in turn, depends on the theory of the greenhouse effect.

One way to disprove climate change might be to disprove the greenhouse effect, Mann told us. This would entail finding strong evidence that suggests gases like carbon dioxide don’t trap the sun’s heat. But the likelihood of this occurring is slim to none, as the theory has been verified time and again since it was first proposed by the physicist Joseph Fourier in 1824.

In fact, Mann says, “things as basic as the design of heat-seeking missiles rely upon an understanding of the greenhouse effect.”

Another way to disprove climate change would be to challenge the theory of global warming, adds Mann. Since global warming can be thought of as an enhanced greenhouse effect (see NASA’s definition of the term here), this method of falsification would be related to — though different from — disproving the greenhouse effect.

In other words, instead of finding strong evidence that suggests carbon dioxide, for example, doesn’t trap the sun’s heat point blank, scientists would have to show that higher average global temperatures aren’t the result of increased levels of greenhouse gases. But scientists have found no evidence to support this claim.
And a fact-check from the Chicago tribune even showed up at the libertarian-lovin' Reason.com:
The topic was global warming. Every major scientific body has confirmed its existence, but as "the son of two mathematicians and computer programmers and scientists," he feels particularly qualified to debunk it.

"The scientific evidence doesn't support global warming," he informed NPR. "For the last 18 years, the satellite data—we have satellites that monitor the atmosphere. The satellites that actually measure the temperature showed no significant warming whatsoever."

There are two flaws in his argument. The first is that satellite data are not the only scorecard. Records of surface temperatures, for example, show that "warming during the first 15 years of the 21st century is at least as great as the last half of the 20th century," according to a study by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The second is that the satellite data don't refute global warming. NASA says that based on surface temperatures, 2014 was the warmest year on record. Based on satellite data, it was the third-warmest.

The same data indicate that of the 14 hottest years ever, 13 occurred in this century. When Cruz says there has been "no significant warming" since 1997, he's engaging in brazen deception.
And this is the guy the merely moderately crazie Republicans want instead of the billionaire bigot, Donald Trump.

April 12, 2016

John Kasich? MODERATE??

This ad showed up on my TV this weekend:


It's an ad for Ohio Governor John Kasich.  It presents him as a viable stable candidate in a field of two other crazies.

I am not denying that the other two are batshit crazy but John Kasich?

Take a look at this from Salon.

After linking to this story where this happened:
Staff of a Columbus, Ohio Planned Parenthood clinic were greeted Monday morning with a freshly painted message in red scrawled on the outside of their clinic: “SATAN DEN OF BABYKILLERS GOD SEE ALLLL Mark 9:14.”

Heather Digby Parton goes on:
It’s just the latest in a string of vandalism acts against Planned Parenthood since the bogus “Center for Medical Progress” released its fraudulent videos. But Ohio is actually one of the ground zero states for anti-abortion activism and the genial 1950s dad, John Kasich, is their most powerful and ruthless leader. For all of his alleged caring and sharing for the poor and weeping in public, he’s the women of Ohio’s most merciless adversary when it comes to their reproductive freedom.

It’s no surprise that anti-choice zealots are vandalizing one of the few Planned Parenthood clinics left in the state. Just two weeks ago Kasich came off the presidential trail to sign a bill to pull all federal funding from the clinics, cutting all state aid tied to insurance companies that cover abortion. It’s a cruel measure that will also deny funding for the other life-saving and health enhancing services that Planned Parenthood provides to tens of thousands of women.

And the whole thing is based upon those hideous hoax “baby parts” videos, the makers of which are under indictment in Texas for breaking laws in the making of them. Despite the fact that every single investigation in states across the country has not found any proof of wrongdoing, states like Texas are ignoring the evidence and continuing to use them as an excuse to shut down clinics.
And:
In 2013, Kasich approved a budget that included some of the harshest anti-abortion legislation in the country, including a provision requiring abortion clinics to have “transfer agreements” with private hospitals. The innovation in his law was that they also banned clinics from partnering with any public institutions such as those affiliated with state Universities. And wouldn’t you know it, most of the private hospitals in Ohio are owned by the Catholic church, which obviously will refuse to accommodate clinics that perform abortion. Oh well.

Then, just to prove that he has a sense of humor, Kasich and his henchmen in the legislature made a provision for clinics to seek a “waiver” and then populated the department that would approve such waivers with anti-abortion zealots.
 John Kasich, Republican Moderate.

At least he ain't a billionaire bigot or some crazie from Canada!

April 10, 2016

The Tribune-Review Editorial Board Misleads (Again) On Voter ID (Wisconsin Edition)

Here's what the braintrust wrote:
The Brennan Center for Justice, your garden-variety “progressive” outfit, is incensed that — GASP! — enforcing Wisconsin's new photo identification law led to — OH, MY US! — longer voting lines. Holy moley, those without the proper ID were audaciously asked to register in one line, apply for proper identification in another, then — HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS! — wait in another line to cast their ballots. Said the center's Wendy Weiser: “Wisconsin's strict photo ID law does nothing but create a hassle and confusion at the polls.” Earth to Ms. Weiser — we'll bet it also made would-be fraudsters think twice. Had bona fide voters taken the responsibility to register and obtain those IDs in advance, they could have voted in a more timely fashion. [Bolding in Original.]
Let's start with the description of The Brennan Center.  Did you know that it's based at the NYU School of Law?  No?  Perhaps the braintrust should have told you that.  In any event, here's what they say about themselves:
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them — in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.
Hardly "garden-variety" of any sort.

But let's move on to the major mislead by the braintrust.  It's found in these two sentences:
[T]hose without the proper ID were audaciously asked to register in one line, apply for proper identification in another, then — HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS! — wait in another line to cast their ballots.
And:
Had bona fide voters taken the responsibility to register and obtain those IDs in advance, they could have voted in a more timely fashion.
So what did the braintrust leave out of it's criticism of those irresponsible Wisconsin voters?

Simple:
On April 5, when voters cast ballots in Wisconsin’s Republican and Democratic primaries, the state’s controversial voter ID bill will face its biggest test since Governor Scott Walker signed it into law in 2011. For the first time in a major election, citizens will be required to show approved forms of identification in order to vote. The law mandates that the state run a public-service campaign “in conjunction with the first regularly scheduled primary and election” to educate voters on what forms of ID are acceptable.

But Wisconsin has failed to appropriate funds for the public education campaign. The result is that thousands of citizens may be turned away from the polls simply because they did not understand what form of identification they needed to vote.
Here's what that section of the law actually says:
SECTION 144. 0 Nonstatutory provisions.
(1) PUBLIC INFORMATIONAL CAMPAIGN. In conjunction with the first regularly scheduled primary and election at which the voter identification requirements of this act initially apply , the government accountability board shall conduct a public informational campaign for the purpose of informing prospective voters of the voter identification requirements of this act.
And lest you think that the law had nothing whatsoever to do with politics, as part of the plan some DMV offices (where voters could get the necessary IDs) were closed while others' hours were extended.

Guess which ones?  The AP reported:
Gov. Scott Walker's administration is working on finalizing a plan to close as many as 10 offices where people can obtain driver's licenses in order to expand hours elsewhere and come into compliance with new requirements that voters show photo IDs at the polls.

One Democratic lawmaker said Friday it appeared the decisions were based on politics, with the department targeting offices for closure in Democratic areas and expanding hours for those in Republican districts.

A high-ranking DOT official rejected that claim, saying the changes were based on economics, not politics. [Emphasis added]
Sure, of course.  Why wouldn't the people of Wisconsin believe that??

Needless to say, this obviously economic, obviously non-political plan wasn't implemented.

But still the state was supposed to fund an educational campaign to inform the public which IDs to use.

But they didn't.

Voter confusion, long lines and the Trib braintrust blames the voters in those lines and not the Republican legislature who created the problem in the first place.

We'll say it again, in an effort to fix a problem (Voter Fraud, VOTER FRAUD, VOTER FRAUD!!) that simply doesn't exist the Republican legislature -- GASP! -- implement a plan  -- HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS! - designed to do little more than make it harder for people to vote for the Democrats.

Our friends on the Trib editorial board just luuuuv democracy, don't they?

April 9, 2016

Senator Pat Toomey Shows Up For His Job, Tells Them He's Not Gonna Do It Anyway

From today's P-G:
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland will get his meeting with Sen. Pat Toomey but time seems to be the only thing the Pennsylvania Republican is willing to give to the president’s nominee.

Mr. Toomey already has said he will not vote to confirm any candidate nominated by Barack Obama during the president’s waning time in office.

“Sen. Toomey has made his position on the nomination clear, namely that the American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court nominee,” when they elect a new president in November, Toomey spokeswoman E.R. Anderson said this afternoon.
I still think, then, that since the people of Pennsylvania should also have a voice in every decision the Senator should be making in the next few months (since he's in the last few months of his term, too!) he should do nothing until the next Senate is sworn in in January.

And if the state "goes blue" in the next presidential election, even if Toomey is reelected, he should do nothing since the population of the state will have voted against his party and his political ideology by electing another non-republican president. They will have spoken.

Note to the Trolls: those last two paragraphs are intended to be absurd, they're intended to show how absurd the GOP's position is regarding Merrick Garland.  It's absurd because simply not a rational position for the GOP to take.  And yet there they are. 

And sitting right in the middle of them is Pat Toomey, embattled Senator running for re-election in the State of Pennsylvania.

He's still not doing his job.  By sticking to the notion that the "American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court nominee" he's ignoring the obvious fact that they already had their voice heard - twice, when they elected Barack Obama.

Senator Toomey, you should be supporting, instead, the notion that Merrick Garland deserves a hearing and an up or down vote.

April 8, 2016

The Tribune-Review Tries (and Lies) AGAIN WIth The "Voter Fraud" Myth

Our friends on the Tribune-Review editorial board are at it again - this time with a little help from a favorite Scaife Funded think tank.

But let's back up a little.  All the way up to Wisconsin:
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R), a far-right freshman from Wisconsin, generated national headlines this week when he admitted on television what many have long assumed. Looking ahead to this year’s presidential election, the Republican congressman expressed confidence about the GOP doing well in the Badger State, thanks in part to one specific policy.

“[N]ow we have photo ID,” Grothman said, “and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference.”

At least in public, Republicans are supposed to say voter-ID schemes have nothing to do with rigging elections by suppressing voting rights, though some on the right occasionally slip and accidentally tell the truth, as Grothman helped prove.

Now, another shoe has fallen. A former Republican staffer in the Wisconsin legislature wrote a Facebook message this week, confirming that he saw GOP state lawmakers who, while considering voter-ID measures, “were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters.”
So it's hardly a surprise that we see this on the pages of the Trib:
As rosters of voters swell during this presidential election year, expect considerably more voter fraud in states such as Pennsylvania, where spurious arguments over “disenfranchisement” have derailed reform and opened the door to mischief.

Nationwide, The Heritage Foundation voter-fraud database lists more than 400 proven cases of vote-buying, ineligible voting, absentee-ballot shenanigans and bogus registration. Then there are the abuses committed by election officials.
Wow. 400 cases.  In a nation of 300 million.

But anyway.  Let's take a look at that database - specifically the 6 cases they found in Pennsylvania (they start at page 174 in the report).  2 are listed as "Impersonation Fraud at the Polls", 2 are listed as "Fraudulent Use of Absentee Ballots" and the final 2 as "False Registrations" (those two are ACORN prosecutions).

You'll note that the braintrust is, yet again, using this story to pitch:
Commonsense measures to ensure the integrity of elections — such as voter-identification laws in Pennsylvania and elsewhere — have been sidelined by ambiguous claims of minority disenfranchisement.
And that Voter ID laws would only have impacted only 2 of the 6 (the Impersonation Fraud).

Do my friends on the braintrust need to be reminded of this?
As the Justice Department investigates Pennsylvania's voter ID law on the federal level, a coalition of civil rights groups is gearing up for a state trial starting Wednesday examining whether the law is allowable under Pennsylvania's constitution.

In that case, Pennsylvania might have handed those groups and their clients (including 93-year-old Viviette Applewhite) a bit of an advantage: They've formally acknowledged that there's been no reported in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania and there isn't likely to be in November.

The state signed a stipulation agreement with lawyers for the plaintiffs which acknowledges there "have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states."[Emphasis added.]
I guess not.

No voter fraud - certainly not "rampant" (or even approaching rampant) voter fraud.

The braintrust is lying to you, yet again, about the need for Voter-ID laws.  Laws whose only real purpose is to make it just a little bit harder for poorer or older (ie Democratic Party supporters) voters to vote.

Reprehensible.  Absolutely reprehensible.

April 6, 2016

Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz On Abortion, Marriage Equality

Now that the Canadian-born Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz won the Wisconsin primary, we might want to take a closer look at how the leading non-Trump in the race on the GOP side deals with some of our nation's issues.

For example, this one:
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz told Fox News host Megyn Kelly on Monday that he did not support abortion rights even in the case of rape or incest because it was not “the child’s fault.”
And this one:
In an interview with influential social conservative commentator Robert George on the Catholic television network EWTN last month, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said that the president should defy the Supreme Court’s “fundamentally illegitimate” decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage, which he compared to “Nazi decrees.”

George, the co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage and a mentor of Cruz’s, likened the court’s “tragic mistake” in Obergefell to infamous Supreme Court decisions including Dred Scott, asking Cruz, “Was Lincoln right to defy the court on [Dred Scott] and would you, as president, do that with the Obergefell decision?”

“Lincoln was absolutely right, I agree with President Lincoln,” Cruz responded. “And courts do not make law. That is not what a court does. A court interprets the law, a court applies the law, but courts don’t make law.”

Saying that it is “profoundly wrong” to refer to the gay marriage decision as the law of the land, Cruz said, “I think the decision was fundamentally illegitimate, it was lawless, it was not based on the Constitution.”
Except that the Supreme Court said it was.  And they should know.  They're the Supreme Court.

This is the guy that's gonna save the GOP from the oncoming Trump trainwreck. 

April 5, 2016

The Tribune-Review Editorial Board Continues To Mislead The Public

And it's again about Climate Science.

Take a look:
On the latest front to silence the skeptics of “settled” climate change, attorneys general from at least 17 states (sans Pennsylvania) have announced a “unified campaign” to shut up those companies that challenge the accepted “narrative.”
Right there, they're misleading.

This is what's going on:
The New York attorney general has begun an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business.

According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.

The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research.

The people said the inquiry would include a period of at least a decade during which Exxon Mobil funded outside groups that sought to undermine climate science, even as its in-house scientists were outlining the potential consequences — and uncertainties — to company executives. [Emphasis added.]
The whole thing is really just a continuation of what happened back in November.

It was reported that:
At a meeting in Exxon Corporation's headquarters, a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world's use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity.

"In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels," Black told Exxon's Management Committee, according to a written version he recorded later.

It was July 1977 when Exxon's leaders received this blunt assessment, well before most of the world had heard of the looming climate crisis.
That's the fraud they're looking to investigate, my friends.  That's a long time for Exxon to know the truth and still be funding the science denial.

And for those of you keeping score, July, 1977 is about 2 and a half years before Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy for the Presidency - that's a long time ago!

Then there's this from the Trib braintrust:
As the AGs see it, the First Amendment “does not give you the right to commit fraud,” Mr. Schneiderman declared. But what if the government-funded, predisposed “science” of anthropogenic climate change is, in fact, the fraud?
If the science is a fraud, then why is the Pentagon going along with it?
Global climate change will aggravate problems such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership and weak political institutions that threaten stability in a number of countries, according to a report the Defense Department sent to Congress yesterday.
And:
The report finds that climate change is a security risk, Pentagon officials said, because it degrades living conditions, human security and the ability of governments to meet the basic needs of their populations. Communities and states that already are fragile and have limited resources are significantly more vulnerable to disruption and far less likely to respond effectively and be resilient to new challenges, they added.
My question to the braintrust: Given the above, you must think that the Pentagon is part of the fraud, right?  So, shouldn't someone be investigating that?


April 4, 2016

It's BASEBALL SEASON!

Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St Louis Cardinals in the home opener, 4-1.

It's a little known historical fact that before the Cardinals moved to St. Louis from Chicago in 1960, there was another team, a legendary team, that played in the Mound City.

The St Louis Wolves.

And boyoboyoboy, they had some players with some strange names on their team.

Take a look:


But as any good journalist/blogger knows, one has to confirm with a second, reliable source in order for one's assertions (in this case that the St Louis Wolves actually existed and actually had players with weird names) are taken seriously.

Here's the confirmation:


See?  Same story but a completely different frame of reference - so it has to be true!

Right?

Happy Baseball!

April 2, 2016

The Tribune-Review's Colin McNickle - Climate Science Denier - Deceives His Readers. Again.

Take a look:
Coal might be dirty. But government is dirtier.

Witness the social re-engineering political machinations in which, through taxpayer funding, the government created a very large body of very shoddy “climate change” (formerly “global warming”) research — then, contrary to the scientific method, threatened to prosecute those who dared question its slipshod “science” — that set the dominoes in motion now killing America's coal industry.
Geez Colin, do we really have to do this again?

I guess we do.

Let's start in the middle and work our way out.  Colin touches on something that the science deniers usually think is a "gotcha" moment when he did this:
...“climate change” (formerly “global warming”) research...
You've seen it elsewhere, I am sure.  It's the "they changed the name!" myth.

Skeptical Science has a whole page devoted to the myth.  Interestingly enough, they actually use evidence to back up their assertions (something Colin and the other deniers conveniently avoid).

For instance, did you know that:
Both of the terms in question are used frequently in the scientific literature, because they refer to two different physical phenomena. As the name suggests, 'global warming' refers to the long-term trend of a rising average global temperature, which you can see here:




'Climate change', again as the name suggests, refers to the changes in the global climate which result from the increasing average global temperature. For example, changes in precipitation patterns, increased prevalence of droughts, heat waves, and other extreme weather, etc.
They go on to show that the two different terms have been in use for decades (in fact there's evidence to show that the "new" term ("climate change") was in greater use earlier and has always been the norm in the scientific literature.

Not that Colin McNickle would know what the "scientific literature" is.  But let's move on to McNickle's second deception - that the guv'ment is threatened to prosecute those who dared question its slipshod “science."

Simply saying the science is "slipshod" doesn't make it so.

But Colin, if you have a problem with the science, I'll tell you what I tell anyone who's a science denier, namely take it up with:
  • NASA
  • NOAA
  • Met Office
  • Japanese Meteorological Society
They threw together this graph:


If you don't want to wrestle with those eggheads, why not these?
  • American Meteorological Society: There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities. This scientific finding is based on a large and persuasive body of research. 
  • American Chemical Society: [C]omprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem. 
  • National Academy of Sciences: Rigorous analysis of all data and lines of evidence shows that most of the observed global warming over the past 50 years or so cannot be explained by natural causes and instead requires a significant role for the influence of human activities.
Colin, mon ami, how much more do you need?

And about that prosecution?

It started with this letter to President Obama and AG Loretta Lynch.  In it there's this:
We appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress. One additional tool – recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse – is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change. The actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peerreviewed academic research (Brulle, 2013) and in recent books including: Doubt is their Product (Michaels, 2008), Climate Cover-Up (Hoggan & Littlemore, 2009), Merchants of Doubt (Oreskes & Conway, 2010), The Climate War (Pooley, 2010), and in The Climate Deception Dossiers (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2015). We strongly endorse Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation.

The methods of these organizations are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry. A RICO investigation (1999 to 2006) played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking. If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible so that America and the world can get on with the critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize the Earth’s climate, before even more lasting damage is done. [Emphasis added.]
That was the letter that was discussed in AG Lynch's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

From The Blaze:
During Lynch’s testimony at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said that he believes there are similarities between the tobacco industry denying scientific studies showing the dangers of using tobacco and companies within the fossil fuel industry denying studies allegedly showing the threat of carbon emissions.

He went on to point out that under President Bill Clinton, the Justice Department brought and won a civil case against the tobacco industry, while the Obama administration has “done nothing” so far with regard to the fossil fuel industry.

Whitehouse concluded his comments by posing a question to the country’s top law enforcement officer.

“My question to you is, other than civil forfeitures and matters attendant to a criminal case, are there other circumstances in which a civil matter under the authority of the Department of Justice has been referred to the FBI?” he asked.

“This matter has been discussed. We have received information about it and have referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action on,” Lynch answered. “I’m not aware of a civil referral at this time.”
And so Colin.  The threat you talked about would be where, exactly?

And how much more evidence do you need to see before you drop the "slipshod" and "shoddy" from your discussion of the science?

Unless you can explain how NASA, NOAA, et al are all wrong.  Go ahead.  Drop some science (actual real science) on us to explain why you're right and they're wrong.

We're waiting.

April 1, 2016

April Fools Day!

Continuing with this blog's long tradition of April Fool's Day(!) pranks, we'd like to offer this years APRIL FOOL'S DAY jokes:
  1. Donald Trump would make America grrreat again - April Fools!
  2. Climate Science isn't settled - April Fools!
  3. The Middle East is a safer place now that Saddam Hussein is out of power - April Fools!
  4. The short form birth certificate is a fake - April Fools!
  5. The long form birth certificate is a fake - April Fools!
  6. Waterboarding isn't torture - April Fools!
  7. There's rampant voter fraud in Pennsylvania - April Fools!
  8. Planned Parenthood sells baby parts - April Fools!
  9. America was founded on Christian principles - April Fools!
  10. George W. Bush failed to fulfill his duty in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam war -no wait, that one's true
April Fools!!