What Fresh Hell Is This?

July 31, 2016

Jack Kelly Sunday

Good Morning JKS fans!

Today we look at how, in his column this week, Jack Kelly (conservative columnist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) rehashes a debunked by more than a year conspiracy theory about, you guessed it, Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton.

After framing the election this way:
Donald Trump will run as if he were in a Democrat primary. He’ll be to Ms. Clinton’s left on some economic issues, in sync on most social issues. He’ll aim his pitch at Sanders backers and the white working-class that Democrats have abandoned.

This strategy comports with Mr. Trump’s political views, such as they are. It will discombobulate Ms. Clinton, who doesn’t respond well to the unexpected. Trumpkins will applaud whatever he says. Republican “leaders” are too ethically compromised to complain.

After outlining well in his acceptance speech why America is in crisis, Mr. Trump said: “I am your voice. I alone can fix it.”

This is Chavismo, Caesarism. Only megalomaniacs say such a thing. Only morons believe it.
For the record, that was Jack Kelly calling Trump supporters "morons."

(And if some local Inspektor des Sicherheitspolizei und SD is reading this sometime after January 2017, I want to make sure Jack's standing right next to me facing the local militia's firing squad - BTW, I mean that "sarcastically.")

Anyway, Jack frames the debunked conspiracy with the emails:
The FBI thinks Russian intelligence hacked the DNC emails. Ms. Clinton turned over fewer than half the emails she sent through her private server while she was secretary of state. Odds are the Russians have the ones she didn’t.

That’s bad news for Ms. Clinton, because the Russians have a powerful interest in electing Donald Trump. He has a man-crush on Vladimir Putin and has indicated a willingness to dismantle NATO, Mr. Putin’s foremost foreign policy objective.

The gaps in Ms. Clinton’s email record coincided with meetings with shady foreign characters who got favors after making megabuck contributions to the Clinton Foundation, noted Peter Schweizer of the Government Accountability Institute. Few Americans know how badly Ms. Clinton has harmed national security. Most would be appalled by evidence that she may have solicited bribes.
Let's take a look at the source of this smear: Peter Schweizer (of the Government Accountability Institute).  Who is this guy?  The way Jack describes him, he sounds politically neutral, right?  Some sort of apolitical guv'ment watch dog who can be trusted to call the balls and strikes fairly, right?

Yea, that's a no.

He's got a bio at the right wing Federalist Society that says this:
Peter Schweizer is the William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and a best-selling author. He is a partner in the Washington, D.C. firm Oval Office Writers which provides speechwriting and communications services for corporate executives and political figures.

From 2008-9 he was a consultant to the Office of Presidential Speechwriting in the White House. He has also served as a member of the Ultraterrorism Study Group at the U.S. government’s Sandia National Laboratory and is a former consultant to NBC News.
By the way, I tried to find out something (ANYTHING) about this "Ultraterrorism Study Group" at the Sandia National Lab.  Interestingly, I couldn't find any reference to it that wasn't included in a Peter Schweizer bio.  Try it yourself: google ["ultraterrorism study group" -schweizer] and you won't find ANY references to speak of.  At this writing, I'm seeing one that includes a misspelling of his last name and others that are obviously spam.  Works the same if you include type the word "ultra-terrorism".

Was there an "ultra terrorism study group" at Sandia?  And if so who else was on it?  And if it existed the way Peter Schweizer wishes us to believe it existed, WHY CAN'T I FIND ANYTHING ABOUT IT ON-LINE?

Is everything except Peter Schweizer's participation in the group a state secret?

Please, if I am incorrect and there is some credible findable information about this Sandia committee that Schweizer says he was a part of, please email it in.  I'll post an update.  I want to be incorrect.  I don't want to have found out that this guy lied about his own bio and has been lying about it for years.

On the other hand, Melania Trump lied about having an architecture degree from Slovenia.  So...

Anyway, he's also the guy who wrote the roundly debunked smear on the Clintons, called Clinton Cash.

And that's where Jack got this story about the Clintons:
Rosatom, the Russian nuclear agency, bought a Canadian mining company. “The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain,” reported The New York Times in April 2015.

The deal, which gave Rosatom control of 20 percent of U.S. uranium production, had to be approved by the State Department, because of the national security implications. The shareholders of Uranium One contributed $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. The deal went through.
Funny thing.  This story's bogus - and it was shown to be bogus in April of 2015:
The author of “Clinton Cash” falsely claimed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State had “veto power” and “could have stopped” Russia from buying a company with extensive uranium mining operations in the U.S. In fact, only the president has such power.

At the time of the sale, Clinton was a member of the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, which is required by law to investigate all U.S. transactions that involve a company owned or controlled by a foreign government. Federal guidelines say any one of nine voting members of the committee can object to such a foreign transaction, but the final decision then rests with the president.
Wait, did Jack really not tell us that there were eight other members of that committee that also had to agree with a sale that eventually went through?

Jack also fails to tell us that there is a conspicuous lack of evidence tying Clinton to that sale.  Curiously Chris Wallace (of Fox News) is the one Factcheck quotes.  (Remember this is from 2015.):
Wallace, April 26: Nine separate agencies and they [Clinton campaign officials] point out there’s no hard evidence, and you don’t cite any in the book that Hillary Clinton took direct action, was involved in any way in approving as one of nine agencies the sale of the company?

Schweizer: Well, here’s what’s important to keep in mind: it was one of nine agencies, but any one of those agencies had veto power. So, she could have stopped the deal.
Factcheck points out that Schweizer is also incorrect in asserting that Clinton had "veto power" in that situation:
The committee, which is known by its acronym CFIUS, can approve a sale, but it cannot stop a sale. Only the president can do that, and only if the committee recommends or “any member of CFIUS recommends suspension or prohibition of the transaction,” according to guidelines issued by the Treasury Department in December 2008 after the department adopted its final rule a month earlier.
And that's what Jack based his story of Clinton Corruption.  A smear that was debunked 15 months ago.

WHY CAN'T ANYONE AT THE P-G FACT-CHECK JACK KELLY?

This has gotta be embarrassing for the staff at the Post-Gazette - knowing they're pulling down a paycheck from the same folks who both a) pay Jack Kelly and b) can't keep him from making a fool of himself in print.


July 29, 2016

More On Donald Trump

A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.

Let me ask you [Mr Trump], have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.

July 28, 2016

Vice President Joe Biden, Last Night

Folks, let me say, let me say something that has nothing to do with politics. Let me talk about something that I'm deadly serious about. This is a complicated and uncertain world we live in. The threats are too great, the times are too uncertain to elect Donald Trump as President of the United States. Now Let me finish.  No major party, no major party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less or has been less prepared to deal with our national security.

We cannot elect a man who exploits our fears of ISIS and other terrorists, who has no plan whatsoever to make us safer. A man who embraces the tactics of our enemies, torture, religious intolerance.  You all know. Other the Republicans know - that is not who we are.

It betrays our values.
Donald Trump betrays our values.

For a full (though not official) transcript, go here.

That was one of the best episodes of America I've seen

July 26, 2016

I'm just going to go ahead and repeat this because it bears repeating


Congratulations, Hillary!

Reasons Why Donald Trump Is Unqualified For The Presidency (List #1)

Note: these are not the ONLY reasons nor are they necessarily the BEST reasons - I am assuming this list will be updated from time to time.

But for this morning, here's my list:
While the first two are simply products of a stubborn politically-enforced intellectual inactivity (to put it nicely), let's all remember that waterboarding is torture and that torture is a war crime.

The GOP candidate for the Oval Office has advocated committing war crimes.

Let that sink in for a second.

That alone disqualifies him for the highest office in the land and should have disqualified him from the start.

July 23, 2016

The Tribune-Review's Colin McNickle MISREPRESENTS A Source

This one has been bouncing around in my head for some time, forgive me.

A few weeks ago my BFF, columnist Colin McNickle, wrote this piece at my absolutely positively favorite news source in the entire galaxy (it's true - believe me), the Tribune-Review.

It's titled:
Here's the foundation of the 2nd Amendment
And in it he very subtly misquotes his main foundation/source - United States Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story.  It's interesting to note that a columnist for the conservative/libertarian Tribune-Review would be so enamored of a Justice "deeply committed to a strong national union" but there you have it.  Strange bedfellows and all that.

About Joseph Story, he was nominated to SCOTUS on November 15, 1811 and confirmed by the Senate three days later.  And according to the Federal Judicial Center:
His appointment to the Court came after three other nominees, including John Quincy Adams, had either declined the offer or failed to win Senate confirmation.
Wait, The Senate voted on the nominees back then? Within days?? Did you know this Senator Toomey?

Anyway, in 1833, Story published his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, from which Trib columnist selectively selects his snippets to bolster his pro-gun argument.

This is what McNickle says Story wrote:
Once upon a more cogent time, the right to bear arms scarcely was questioned. The right was considered as natural as breathing — a natural right, not a common law right. As Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story put it in “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States,” his seminal 1833 book, “The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons who have duly reflected on the subject.”

It was Mr. Justice Story who distilled the Second Amendment — “the palladium of the liberties of a republic” — into its essence:

“The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms ... offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
And then in a quote within a quote (McNickle is quoting this article at The Federalist and that article is quoting Poli-Sci professor Edward Erler):
The right to revolution — and even merely the specter of it, I would interject — is “an essential ingredient of the social compact and a right which is always reserved to the people. The people can never cede or delegate this ultimate expression of sovereign power. Thus, in a very important sense, the right of revolution (or even its threat) is the right that guarantees every other right.”

Or as Story put it, “There is certainly no small danger that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause in our national bill of rights.”
Now, let's go see what Joseph Story really wrote.  I'll highlight the parts that McNickle chose for you to see:
The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.
Ohmigod! Take a look at what Colin McNickle chose not to show you.  Immediately after the first sentence he takes from Story, we see this:
The militia is the natural defence...(sic)
And then in the sentences immediately before the last that McNickle chooses for you, we see this:
And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see.
Regardless of what you (or I) might think of the Second Amendment's meaning, do you really think Joseph Story was talking about an individual's right to own weaponry rather than a State's right to a militia made up of citizen-soldiers?  Story is obviously talking about a "well regulated militia" as the "natural" defense against tyranny and complaining how there was (even then) a growing indifference to any sort of "militia discipline" and strong disposition "to be rid of all regulations."

My my - plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, I suppose.

This leads me to McNickle's biggest sin.  Take a look at the context into which he places Story's last sentence.  It's a discussion of "the people's" right to revolution.  That's where McNickle writes about indifference going to disgust and then to contempt.

Now take a look at where Story actually uses the word "indifference."  It's in two places; "the growing indifference to any system of militia discipline" and then the danger that it leads to disgust and so on.

Story is NOT talking about any sort of revolution there is he, Colin?

You mis-represented your main source didn't you, Colin?

Isn't that kind of a bad thing to do when you're a columnist?  I'm just asking.

July 22, 2016

RIP: GOP

From Huffingtonpost:
Republicans mourned the Grand Old Party after presidential nominee Donald Trump gave his acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention on Thursday.

Nicole Wallace, communications chief under former President George W. Bush, didn’t mince words after Trump spoke.

“The Republican Party that I worked for for two decades died in this room tonight,” Wallace said on NBC.
And again:
A small group of veteran Republicans who are die-hard Donald Trump opponents gathered Thursday evening to mourn ― and effectively protest ― a party they no longer recognize.
Meghan McCain:
The party I was part of is dead.
And so on.

Meanwhile, on the speech itself, here's NBC:
TRUMP CLAIM: My opponent wants to essentially abolish the 2nd amendment.

THE FACTS: Clinton has proposed gun regulations, like background checks to purchase firearms. Yet the 2008 Supreme Court decision protecting and individual's right to possess firearms also stated that the right isn't unlimited — and can be subjected to regulations.

TRUMP CLAIM: Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America's fifty largest cities. That's the largest increase in 25 years.

THE FACTS: Trump is correct that there has recently been an uptick in crime, including in some (but not all) of America's largest cities. But overall, violent crime is down significantly since the 1980s and 1990s, according to FBI statistics. And the current violent crime rate is lower today per the most recent data (365 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 people) than when President Obama first took office in 2009 (431 incidents per 100,000 people).
There are other places that find Trump equally fact-free:
And so on.

Sad to see how low this once dignified party has sunk - but let's not forget, that by courting 2-3 decades of fact-free demagoguery (Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, the Tea Party) the GOP has only itself to blame.

Let's hope we never ever see that again. 

July 21, 2016

GOP Convention Day Four Theme: "Tomorrow Belongs to Me"

I'm here in Cleveland and I managed to get some video of the rehearsal for the last night of the GOP convention. Rehearsal? Right! I guess there have been so many missteps, they're leaving nothing to chance for the grand finale. Anyway, the rock group Queen has repeatedly requested that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump no longer use their song "We are the Champions" as his theme song, so the Trump campaign has gone in a different -- and some might say -- a more appropriate direction. From my iPhone:



Looks like the focus group of delegates are eating it up! Can't wait to see Trump enter to this!

They will also be revealing the new campaign poster:


I'd say another winner!

As per the program notes for the evening, directly after Trump gives his speech, Hillary Clinton -- having been tried in absentia and found guilty by potential Attorney General Chris Christie -- will be dragged into the Quicken Loans Arena where her head will be shaved and she'll be "shot for treason." 

What a show!

July 20, 2016

Meanwhile, Outside...It's Still Getting Warmer. (Trump and Pence BOTH Deny Climate Science)

We all know that GOP Presidential Nominee (and husband of a well-known Slovenian plagiarist), Donald Trump thinks that climate science is a hoax.  But what about his Vice Presidential nominee?

He's also a climate hoaxer - from way back in 2001.

Meanwhile, however, it's still getting warmer outside.  From NOAA:
Warmer to much-warmer-than-average conditions dominated across much of the globe's surface, resulting in the highest temperature departure for June since global temperature records began in 1880. This was also the 14th consecutive month the monthly global temperature record has been broken—the longest such streak in NOAA's 137 years of record keeping. The June 2016 combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces was 0.90°C (1.62°F) above the 20th century average, besting the previous record set in 2015 by 0.02°C (0.04°F). June 2016 marks the 40th consecutive June with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th century average. The last time June global land and ocean temperatures were below average was in 1976 (-0.07°C / -0.13°F).
Warmest June since temperature records began in 1880.

For those who can't be bothered to read here's a chart:


Yea, some hoax.

Something else to think about come November.  Which party agrees with science and which doesn't?

July 18, 2016

Yea, The Tribune-Review Ed. Board Lies AGAIN About The Climate Lawsuit

This won't take long.

Take a look:
The hypocrisy of liberal state attorneys general in their pursuit of climate change “deniers” and, specifically, ExxonMobil, is on stark display in their bitter response to subpoenas served by the House Science Committee.
And:
And while the same AGs suggest racketeering by those who dare to question the “settled science” of climate change, they, themselves, colluded with environmentalists, who briefed them on prosecuting the “deniers,” The Times reports.

Free speech on climate science is not the malicious “fraud” that the AGs make it out to be. They should exercise their own First Amendment right, preferably before the House Science Committee.
Like most everything else you say about climate change, you can keep saying it but that doesn't make it true.

Here's the truth.  Based (in part) on this story:
The state of New York is investigating whether Exxon Mobil misled the public and investors about the risks of climate change, a move sought by environmentalists that could signal a broader reckoning with the conduct of big energy companies.

A spokesman for Exxon Mobil confirmed Thursday that the company had received a subpoena from the office of the attorney general of New York, Eric Schneiderman, related to the subject of climate change and was “assessing” its response.

The investigation focuses on whether Exxon Mobil intentionally clouded public debate about science and hid from investors the risks that climate change could pose to its business according to a person familiar with the matter.
Guys, you know we've been here before

As far back as the late 70s, Exxon knew the science was right and yet within a few years began to fund the "think tanks" that would sow doubt into the minds of the gas-purchasing public in order to keep the profits going.  That's fraud.

Fraud is not a free-speech issue.

July 17, 2016

Jack Kelly Sunday

I guess Jack learned nothing from this column from last September.

Then, he was repugnant regarding the echoes of slavery.  This time it's Black Lives Matter.

Hm, I'm wondering if there's a common thread here triggering Jack's disgust.  Something that connects or otherwise overlaps those two issues - the first regarding the current effects of the past enslavement of African-Americans (aka "black people") here in Amurika and the second a movement formed to protest (among other things) police brutality called Black Lives Matter.

Hm.  Thinking.  Pondering.  Wondering.  WHAT COULD THOSE TWO ISSUES POSSIBLY HAVE IN COMMON THAT JUST MIGHT HAPPEN TO BOTHER POST-GAZETTE COLUMNIST JACK KELLY SO MUCH??

I think I know but I won't say because I could be wrong (but I don't think I am - in fact, I doubt even Wendy Bell could miss it).

Jack begins:
To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible,” said Black Lives Matter after five Dallas police officers were killed during a BLM protest by a black man who was upset over recent incidents in which police officers killed black men.

BLM doesn’t practice what it preaches. Neither do President Barack Obama or most in the news media. It’s also dangerous and irresponsible to jump to conclusions when black men are shot by police.

The shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota “are symptomatic of …the racial disparities that appear across the [criminal justice] system year after year,” Mr. Obama said. But the more we learn about those shootings, the less it appears they were racially motivated.
Too bad, Jack didn't follow up on Obama's statement of July 7.  Had he, Jack would've seen this:
If communities are mistrustful of the police, that makes those law enforcement officers who are doing a great job and are doing the right thing, it makes their lives harder. So when people say “Black Lives Matter,” that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter; it just means all lives matter, but right now the big concern is the fact that the data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents. [Emphasis added.]
Interestingly Jack tries to dance the data-dance, too!

Let's see how he does:
In what he said was “the most surprising result of my career,” Harvard professor Roland Fryer, who is black, found no evidence of racial bias in his study of shootings in 10 major police departments, although he did find that blacks were more likely to be cuffed or roughed up.
Here's that Harvard prof's study that Jack almost gets right.  Note what he tucks into the last phrase of that paragraph.  Professor Fryer describes what Jack rhymes into that phrase this way (this is from the intro to the paper Jack may or may not have read):
The results obtained using these data are informative and, in some cases, startling. Using data on NYC's Stop and Frisk program, we demonstrate that on non-lethal uses of force -   putting hands on civilians (which includes slapping or grabbing) or pushing individuals into a wall or onto the ground, there are large racial differences. In the raw data, blacks and Hispanics are more than fifty percent more likely to have an interaction with police which involves any use of force. Accounting for baseline demographics such as age and gender, encounter characteristics such as whether individuals supplied identification or whether the interaction occurred in a high- or low- crime area, or civilian behaviors does little to alter the race coefficient. Adding precinct and year fixed effects, which estimates racial differences in police use of force by restricting to variation within a given police precinct in a given year reduces the black coefficient by 19.4 percent and the Hispanic coefficient by 26 percent, though both are still statistically larger than zero. Including more than 125 controls available in the data, the odds-ratio on black (resp. Hispanic) is 1.173 (resp. 1.120).
To Jack, that was worth 10 words.

Jack also omits this part from the study:
Our results have several important caveats. First, all but one data set was provided by a select group of police departments. It is possible that these departments only supplied the data because they are either enlightened or were not concerned about what the analysis would reveal. In essence, this is equivalent to analyzing labor market discrimination on a set of firms willing to supply a researcher with their Human Resources data! There may be important selection in who was willing to share their data. The Police-Public contact survey partially sidesteps this issue by including a nationally representative sample of civilians, but it does not contain data on officer-involved shootings.

Relatedly, even police departments willing to supply data may contain police officers who present contextual factors at that time of an incident in a biased manner - making it difficult to interpret regression coefficients in the standard way.
So the data used might be accurate but (maybe) not indicative of the whole picture OR it might not be reliable.

Or as is stated at Slate:
Fryer was quite explicit about the fact that his data were specific to Houston and more data are needed in order to understand whether police shootings are racially biased in other parts of the country.
Did Jack tell you any of that?

No, he didn't.  It could've put some nuance and context in this us-versus-them, black-and-white column.  He could have put it there, but he didn't.  He doesn't want nuance.  He doesn't want context.  And now you should ask yourself why.

Then look at these paragraphs from Jack Kelly's column:
When Mr. Obama was elected, the silver lining in the cloud I saw descending on America was that the election of the first (half) black president might promote racial healing. But he’s been the most racist president since Woodrow Wilson.

For every black person killed by a white cop, 71 blacks are killed by other blacks. The real tragedy is that so many blacks must live in inner-city neighborhoods where gangs run riot, schools are terrible, jobs are scarce.

Whites aren’t to blame for the terrible conditions in which so many blacks live. Those at fault are local government officials (Democrats mostly), politicians in Washington whose policies hurt black families (Democrats mostly), and blacks themselves.
Problem solved!  Racism in this country isn't the fault of anyone other than the Democrats who run things locally and nationwide AND blacks themselves!  And the (half) black president is also to blame for not cleaning up 600 years the mess in a measly 8!

Can Jack Kelly be any more of an embarrassment to the P-G?

I'll give the president the penultimate word:
And so when African Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment; when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently, so that if you’re black you’re more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested, more likely to get longer sentences, more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime; when mothers and fathers raise their kids right and have “the talk” about how to respond if stopped by a police officer -- “yes, sir,” “no, sir” -- but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door, still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy -- when all this takes place more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid. (Applause.) We can’t simply dismiss it as a symptom of political correctness or reverse racism. To have your experience denied like that, dismissed by those in authority, dismissed perhaps even by your white friends and coworkers and fellow church members again and again and again -- it hurts. Surely we can see that, all of us.
And Roland Fryer the last:
Black Dignity Matters.

July 14, 2016

The Tribune-Review Editorial Board Must Define "Fact" Differently Than Everyone Else

Take a look at this from today:
In preparation for their convention this month, Democrats are taking aim at so-called “climate deniers.” Lending a hand is the father of the long disputed “hockey stick” global-temperature graph, who now says facts no longer are necessary to substantiate the climate change story line.
They're going after Mann's hockey stick?  AGAIN?

Don't they know that their use of the word "disputed" is simply not supported by the scientific facts?

Let's move on:
People can simply see the outcome of man-made emissions, says Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State.

Climate models “increasingly are unnecessary,” says the climate researcher, because the manifestations of climate change are “playing out in real time.” Would these be the same climate models used by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which have been consistently wrong?
Ah...the computer models.  To the rightwing pundits, they don't work.

To the actual climate scientists, they do:
Climate models are unmatched in their ability to quantify otherwise qualitative hypotheses and generate new ideas that can be tested against observations. The models are far from perfect, but they have successfully captured fundamental aspects of air, ocean, and sea-ice circulations and their variability. They are therefore useful tools for estimating the consequences of humankind's ongoing and audacious planetary experiment.
The braintrust continues with its assault on facts:
Mr. Mann, who has sued a number of his critics for defamation, this spring acknowledged the early 2000 “warming slowdown.” He now says that climate change is obvious in hurricanes, flooding and droughts in different parts of the United States.
Wait..."slowdown"? Not "stop" or "pause"?  Doesn't that mean that warming continued but at a slower pace?

Doesn't that mean that the braintrust acknowledges the warming??

Then there's this braintrust embarrassment:
But just last year the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies reported that the nine-year reduction in Category 3 hurricanes, starting in 2006, beat the previous record of eight years in 1861-68. Wouldn't that suggest that temperature patterns are cyclical rather than influenced by human activity?
Yea, let's go to the facts.

The "nine year reduction" is not a global phenomenon but a local one.

From NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies:
The United States hasn't experienced the landfall of a Category 3 or larger hurricane in nine years — a string of years that's likely to come along only once every 177 years, according to a new NASA study.
And then there's this:
While the study did not delve into the meteorological causes behind this lack of major hurricane landfalls, Hall said it appears it is a result of luck.

"The last nine hurricane seasons were not weak — storms just didn't hit the U.S.," Hall said. "It seems to be an accident of geography, random good luck."
So what Scaife's braintrust uses as evidence against, really isn't evidence for anything at all.

Goshers, that's embarrassing.  But isn't that how they argue climate science over there at the Trib?

Meanwhile, it's still warming up outside and we're still to blame.  No amount of right wing propaganda is going to change that.

July 11, 2016

This Cannot Be Unseen


From The Atlantic:
It is a remarkable picture. A single woman stands in the roadway, feet firmly planted. She poses no obvious threat. She is there to protest the excessive force which Baton Rouge police allegedly deploy against the city’s black citizens. She stands in front of police headquarters, on Saturday. And she is being arrested by officers who look better prepared for a war than a peaceful protest.

There are images that are impossible to forget, searing themselves into our collective consciousness. One man staring down a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square. A high school student attacked by police dogs in Birmingham, Alabama. This is such a photo.

Once seen, it cannot be unseen.

July 10, 2016

Jack Kelly Sunday

With this week's column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, columnist Jack Kelly tries, yet again, to dance the Benghazi dance.

Didn't he realize that he was in trouble with his beginning sentence?

Here it is:
We used to expect more of our presidents than that they not have been indicted for felonies.
Yea like waterboarding, eh Jack?

Remember when Jack Kelly defended the use of waterboarding?  That was only 3 or so years ago.   Here's what Jack wrote wa-a-a-ay back then:
Torture, according to Merriam-Webster, is "the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing or wounding) to punish, coerce or afford sadistic pleasure." Federal law defines torture as "severe mental or physical pain," and mental pain as "prolonged mental harm." Because waterboarding inflicts neither physical pain nor prolonged mental harm, it isn't torture, said the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration.
Interesting he went to the dictionary first, rather than international law - but whatever.  Also interesting that he omitted the first definitions he found in his Merriam-Webster.  They are:
  1. a: anguish of body or mind
    b: something that causes agony or pain
Anyone want to guess how much agony and/or waterboarding causes?  If there's any, then Jack lied to all of us 3 years ago about waterboarding.

Then there's International Law (a law signed by President Reagan and ratified by the US Senate) that states:
For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.
And yet, Jack Kelly said waterboarding isn't torture.

Why should we trust him on anything?

But let's move on to this current perspiring pile of fetid feculence.

After pointing out the "rejected pleas" for more security at Benghazi, Jack amplifies his argument with this:
“This was a suicide mission,” a security officer assigned to the consulate told a superior in Washington. “There was a very good chance that everybody here was going to die.”

“Everybody back here in D.C. knows that people are going to die in Benghazi,” responded a diplomatic security desk officer. “Nobody cares, and nobody is going to care until somebody does die.”
Which is curious because while he probably got this quotation from Breitbart (or some such right wing "news" source), if you took a look at the Breitbart piece, the link is to the Democratic Benghazi report (the one issued a few days before the Republican report).

The source of quote has been named "Agent B" and did you know Agent B wasn't posted at Benghazi at the time of the attack?  Did you know he was there about 10 months earlier concerning the security situation there about a year before the Benghazi attacks?

If that's even something Jack Kelly knew, it was something he decided to tell you.  Think about the two possibilities.  Either he didn't know the context of the quotation he was using (bad, Jack!) or he did and he chose not to tell us (very bad, Jack!).

Not only that, but the Democratic report follows up on those concerns:
The Select Committee did not interview the DS Desk Officer referred to by Agent B, but that official was interviewed by another congressional committee in August 2013. Although he never described that specific conversation in his interview, the DS Desk Officer confirmed that Deputy Assistant Secretary Lamb was responsible for the decision to provide only three DS agents.

Both Agent A and Agent B left Benghazi in 2011 before their security requests were fulfilled. Following the approval of the December 2011 memo extending the Department’s presence in Benghazi, the Department funded and implemented a number of these physical security requests.[Emphasis added.]
Huh. Jack didn't tell you that either, did he?

Then there's this from Jack:
The Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team in Rota, Spain, probably could have gotten there before former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed. But its departure was delayed while officials, including Ms. Clinton, bickered over whether the Marines should wear their uniforms. The Marines changed clothes four times.
Look carefully at that passage.  Nothing about Sean Smith or Ambassador Stevens, right?  And were there other delays than the Marines changing clothes?

Let's to to the Republican report on just this subject.

Page 150:
One of the FAST platoons ordered to deploy by the Secretary arrived in Tripoli at 8:56 p.m. local time [2:56 p.m. in Washington D.C.] the evening of September 12, nearly 24 hours after the attacks began. 456 As military witnesses have posited on many occasions, the mission of a FAST Platoon is not hostage rescue but to “put that layer of steel around a critical infrastructure of the United States to say to our enemy, ‘ Don’t mess [with us].'"
Wait, the FAST platoon is not a hostage rescue team?  But didn't Jack Kelly, former "National Security" correspondent at the P-G just say that the team "probably could have gotten there" before Woods and Doherty were killed?  What for, if not as a rescue team?

But let's go deeper into the timeline, shall we?  Let's see if what Jack so casually wrote was even possible.  The attack begins shortly before 10pm (Libya time) on September 11, 2012.

Then:
10:30 p.m.: Stevens and State Department information management officer Sean Smith have taken refuge in the main building in the compound, behind a fortified door with metal bars that keeps the attackers from breaking in. But the militants set fire to the building. Within minutes, Stevens and Smith are overwhelmed by smoke.
Then:
1 a.m.: A U.S. rescue team arrives in Benghazi from Tripoli, Libya’s capital. Nearly 30 Americans are rescued from the compound. Shortly thereafter, Stevens is taken to Benghazi Medical Center and pronounced dead on arrival, according to a hospital source.
And then:
4 a.m.: Gunmen launch an assault using mortars against the CIA annex. Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods, both former Navy SEALs, are killed.
And the Senate Select Committee report of 2014 states (page 31):
Sometime between midnight and 2:00a.m. Benghazi time, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta verbally ordered two Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams (or "FAST platoons") to deploy from their base in Rota, Spain, to Libya.
Between 2 and 4 hours before the mortar attack that eventually kills Woods and Doherty at the CIA annex.

One team was to go to Benghazi, the second to Tripoli.  However it would take 96 hours for the Tripoli team to arrive.

However:
Because all Americans were evacuated from Benghazi before the first FAST platoon could arrive, it was diverted to protect the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli and arrived at 8:56p.m. Tripoli time, 011 September 12, 2012.
You'll note that the Post timeline says that at 1am a rescue team from Tripoli was able to secure 30 at the compound.  This would be within an hour (in either direction) of Secretary Panetta ordering the FAST platoon to deploy.

Now take a look at this from the Marine Corps Times:
The FAST Marines, who were based out of Rota, Spain, were ready to leave for Libya at 5:45 a.m. local time the morning after the attack, the team's platoon commander told the committee. The Marines waited six hours for Air Force C-130s to arrive in Spain, but then they were delayed on the ground. Rota is about 2,000 miles from Benghazi.
That's an hour and 45 minutes after the mortar attack that kills Woods and Doherty.  They were ready to go but they were still 2000 miles away.  And then they had to wait six hours for the C-130s to arrive.  If my arithmetic is correct the earliest they could have departed Rota was almost 8 hours after the mortar attack began.  And if a C-130 cruises about 300 mph, it would still have to take more than 6 hours to get to Libya.

Does retired Marine Jack Kelly really believe that they "could have gotten there" in time to save Woods and Doherty were it not for a 3 hour delay regarding uniforms?  Does he think that the C-130 is some sort of time machine?

Do I really need to beat him down any more over this ridiculous column?  I'm feeling kinda guilty at this point so I'll just stop except to ask this question yet again:

Doesn't anyone at the Post-Gazette (where this poop is published) fact-check Jack Kelly ?

If they are, they're doing a crappy job of it.

Jack, see ya next week maybe?

July 7, 2016

My Issue WIth The Clinton Email Server

By now we've all read about Clinton's damn emails:
The investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of private email while secretary of state is closed, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday, removing a legal cloud that threatened the presumptive Democratic nominee's presidential bid.

Lynch said she accepted the Federal Bureau of Investigation's recommendations that no charges be brought in the probe, as Republicans made clear they would not let Clinton's email headaches fade away easily.
But the statement by FBI Director Comey is hardly something for anyone on Team Clinton to be happy about.

Here's my problem.  Regardless of the question of legality/illegality (which seems to have been resolved) my issue is one of judgement on the Secretary of State's part.

She was at the core (if not at the core then certainly standing right next to) of all of those Clinton "scandals" of the nineties:
  • Whitewater
  • Filegate
  • Travelgate
  • The LA Haircut
  • Vince Foster's death
  • Ron Brown's death
  • And so on.
None of which actually amounted to anything.  Ken Starr brought no charges regarding any of them, and the Clintons had nothing to do with either Foster's or Brown's deaths.  The haircut didn't cause any delays.  And so on.  All Bill got snagged for was misleading the OIC about the non-wifey blowjobs. 

And that was it.

But remember how the GOP and their friends the media (right wing and otherwise) treated each?

Scandal!  Scandal!!  SCANDAL!!

It's not too much of an exaggeration to propose that if, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton were to use the wrong fork for her salad either Larry Klayman and/or Judicial Watch would file a FOIA lawsuit to find out why.

Given all that, what was she thinking to even set up those email servers in the first place?  And did she think that no one would find out and ask questions about them?  Ever?

Even if the use of those email servers was completely OK (and again, no charges but the picture Comey painted wasn't pretty) then it was her team's responsibility to make sure that every aspect of their use was beyond squeaky clean.

Yes, it's unfair and yes it's a double standard but given her last name and the GOP/media appetite for Clinton scandals, it's completely understandable.

Or at least it should have been when they were thinking of setting up those servers.  They should have gotten an official OK for every circuit board, every USB cable, every keystroke, everything.  They should have done that so that when the inevitable congressional investigation began they had it officially covered. 

They should have done this beforehand.

But they didn't.  At the very least they misread and underestimated their political and journalistic adversaries - and that means they didn't learn the lessons of 20 years ago well enough. 

And that's a big problem.


July 5, 2016

The Tribune-Review Editorial Board Is Misleading You On Climate. Again.

(Dammit, I'm still on vacation!!)

Take a look:
Adding more fuel to the fire over man-made global warming/climate change, a former Greenpeace official says carbon dioxide emissions might well be aiding Earth's environment.

Patrick Moore, a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre, a Canadian public policy think tank, reports that 18,000 years ago, CO2 dropped to its lowest level — to the point of actually stunting plant growth. If those levels were to continue at the same rate, carbon-based life on Earth eventually would begin to die, he writes.

Fossil fuels have reversed the CO2 decline and likely will foster increased growth rates for plants, including food crops, according to Mr. Moore. Rather than disrupt the environment, human emissions have restored balance, he says.
Let's start with Patrick Moore.

This is not the first time his name has been wetly plopped onto the pages of the Tribune-Review - we noted his existence there in March, 2014.

Scaife's braintrust called him (incorrectly, as it turns out) "Greenpeace co-founder" then.  Sadly, he's been demoted to a mere "former Greenpeace official" now.

Poor Pat, what's a shill for the nucular industry to do?

Anyway, perhaps this is the reason for the demotion, as I posted almost 2 1/2 years ago:
Patrick Moore frequently portrays himself as a founder or co-founder of Greenpeace, and many news outlets have repeated this characterization. Although Mr. Moore played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada for several years, he did not found Greenpeace. Phil Cotes, Irving Stowe, and Jim Bohlen founded Greenpeace in 1970. Patrick Moore applied for a berth on the Phyllis Cormack in March, 1971 after the organization had already been in existence for a year. A copy of his application letter and Greenpeace's response are available here (PDF).
But that still doesn't quite get to the braintrust's characterization.  Luckily, Greenpeace has another page devoted to Moore.  On that page we read:
Patrick Moore often misrepresents himself in the media as an environmental “expert” or even an “environmentalist,” while offering anti-environmental opinions on a wide range of issues and taking a distinctly anti-environmental stance. He also exploits long-gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes.

While it is true that Patrick Moore was a member of Greenpeace in the 1970s, in 1986 he abruptly turned his back on the very issues he once passionately defended.
1986?  That's 30 years ago!  He hasn't been in agreement with Greenpeace for three frickin decades!

How long ago was 1986?  Let's keep things pop-culturally, shall we?  In 1986
  • Diane was still waiting tables at Cheers in Boston
  • Denise Huxtable had yet to attend Hillman College
  • Rachel Green was in High School and still 8 years away from leaving her fiance at the altar
That's now long ago 1986 was.

But let's get back to what the braintrust leaves out about Moore's "science" shall we?

Here's what he actually said:
This study looks at the positive environmental effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a topic which has been well established in the scientific literature but which is far too often ignored in the current discussions about climate change policy. All life is carbon based and the primary source of this carbon is the CO2 in the global atmosphere. As recently as 18,000 years ago, at the height of the most recent major glaciation, CO2 dipped to its lowest level in recorded history at 180 ppm, low enough to stunt plant growth.

This is only 30 ppm above a level that would result in the death of plants due to CO2 starvation. It is calculated that if the decline in CO2 levels were to continue at the same rate as it has over the past 140 million years, life on Earth would begin to die as soon as two million years from now and would slowly perish almost entirely as carbon continued to be lost to the deep ocean sediments. [Emphasis added.]
If you thought that 30 years is a long time, 2 million is waaaay longer!

For that, Moore says burning fossil fuels right now is a good thing.  It'll save life on earth for the next 2 million years.

It'll also keep the profits rolling.

In the mean time, here's a handy chart plotting out CO2 levels over time.  It's from NASA (where they actually have some real life climate scientists:


You might have to take a look at a bigger image to get all the details. It's here.

See that last low point?  That's what Moore's talking about.  See that last high point?  Its just to the right of that last low point. That's where we are now - that's where our current climate change problems lie.  Moore sees the world's fossil fuel burning as "correcting" the downward trajectory of CO2 (what downward trajectory??) but he curiously omits the fact that CO2 levels are the highest they've been in 800,000 years.  When will they be corrected downward?

Do you see how nuts Moore really is?

But wait, there's one more point where Scaife's braintrust is lying to you.  It's here, in their last paragraph:
What's clear — and has been since climate alarmists tried to convince us about global cooling in the 1970s...
That was never the case.

Another reason another season for Tribune-Review science denial.

Whoopee!

July 4, 2016

July The Fourth

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

July 3, 2016

More Climate Misinformation From The Tribune-Review Editorial Board

I really don't want to have to do this (I'm on vacation, for Jebus' sake!) but here I am pointing out that there are THREE bits of Climate misinformation on the Trib's editorial page today - last two connected and the first an old reused bit of science denialist nonsense.

Let's go in order:
New scientific research suggests the Earth soon will enter a “solar minimum phase” — in 2019 or 2020 — that could signal the beginning of a mini Ice Age. The coming phase supposedly is signaled by a lack of any sunspot activity. Watch for Al Gore to start buying parka futures. [Bolding in Original.]
If this feels familiar, it is.  It's a cowplop warmed over (pun, get it??) from last December.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves - here's the reporting in the Daily Mail:
The sun is in the currently in its quietest period for more than a century.

For the second time this month, Vencore Weather claims the sun has gone into 'cue ball' mode, with images from Nasa showing no large visible sunspots on its surface.

Astronomers say this isn't unusual, and solar activity waxes and wanes in 11-year cycles, and we're currently in Cycle 24, which began in 2008.

However, if the current trend continues, then the Earth could be headed for a 'mini ice age' researchers have warned.
And so on.  The clue to knowing that we've seen this before is tucked away a few paragraphs later:
Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the 'mini ice age' that began in 1645, according to the results presented by Professor Valentina Zharkova at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno.
There it is - the work of Valentina Zharkova. And that's what leads us back to the Trib of last December.

But let's take a different tack at this bit of nonscience.  From last July in Physics.org:
This month there's been a hoopla about a mini ice age, and unfortunately it tells us more about failures of science communication than the climate. Such failures can maintain the illusion of doubt and uncertainty, even when there's a scientific consensus that the world is warming.

The story starts benignly with a peer-reviewed paper and a presentation in early July by Professor Valentina Zharkova, from Northumbria University, at Britain's National Astronomy Meeting.

The paper presents a model for the sun's magnetic field and sunspots, which predicts a 60% fall in sunspot numbers when extrapolated to the 2030s. Crucially, the paper makes no mention of climate. [Emphasis added.]
In any event, the sun has been slightly cooling in the last few decades while the Earth's temperatures have still been going up:


Ask yourself this: given that the number of sunspots goes up and down in 11 year cycles and the temps have been more or less rising for a hundred years doesn't it mean that the two phenomena barely connected, if at all?

Now go look at what the Braintrust wrote.  See Braintrust mislead.  Silly Braintrust.

Then there's the other two cowplops - each balancing on the ongoing lawsuit against Exxon:
In other climate-clucker news, the Democrats' platform to be formally adopted in Philadelphia this month asks the Justice Department to prosecute climate change “deniers.” Perverting scientific inquiry and criminalizing free speech is called a “progressive Democratic value.” Good grief. [Bolding in Original.]
You'll note the mislead - we've seen this before from Scaife's braintrust.

While the braintrust repeats the lie, I can only repeat the truth: The lawsuit is not targeting climate denial, it's targeting corporate fraud.  Look at this subpoena from the lawsuit:
ExxonMobil is suspected to have engaged in, or be engaging in, conduct constituting a civil violation of the Criminally Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 14 V.I.C. §605, by having engaged or engaging in conduct misrepresenting its knowledge of the likelihood that its products and activities have contributed and are continuing to contribute to Climate Change in order to defraud the Government of the United States Virgin Islands (''the Government") and consumers in the Virgin Islands, in violation of 14 V.I.C. § 834 (prohibiting obtaining money by false pretenses) and 14 V.I.C. § 551 (prohibiting conspiracy to obtain money by false pretenses ).
See that?  Exxon is charged with "...having engaged or engaging in conduct misrepresenting its knowledge of the likelihood that its products and activities have contributed and are continuing to contribute to Climate Change in order to defraud the Government...." not with simple climate change denial.

And anytime (which is to say, EVERYTIME) the Trib says otherwise, THEY ARE LYING TO YOU.