This will be my first installment to a legal challenge just getting underway in keeping Trump from office. Some say this is new, it is not. Some say Trump being charged with “insurrection” isn’t needed, it is. David Frum correctly says the Court will decide in the end. Frum also notes that if this tactic is opened up, our body-politic will be riddled with keeping our political foes from office. More distortions of the law will surely come as the Left uses Lawfare to attack the “Democracy” they say they want to protect. As more is written on these challenges and the hyperbole from the MSM and politicians splash into our lives, I will be posting on this more in the future.
Two Federalist Society law professors have published their findings stating that Trump is disqualified from serving as President based on the originalist interpretation of the 14th amendment ban on anyone who has engaged in insurrection against the United States from running for office. (MTN)
Donald Trump is ineligible to become president again, leading conservative scholars argue. “The Fourteenth Amendment, Section 3 says that anybody who takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and thereafter engages in or gives aid and comfort to an insurrection cannot hold any office under the United States, period,” Harvard University Carl M. Loeb University Professor of Constitutional Law Emeritus Laurence Tribe tells Joy Reid. (YAHOO NEWS)
Firstly, as much as the Left opines that an insurrection conviction isn’t needed, it is, in reality, in order to bar Trump from office. If the Left tries to push this thru without a solid legal ground, the electorate will clearly note this and there will be hell to pay.
And, I assume, in the end the Supes will need to get involved. Especially if pushed thru before the election like Trump’s 2nd shampeachment.
More on SCOTUS from David Frum below.
COURT CASE ALREADY STARTED
Here is a recent news story of a Florida case already being pushed thru:
A Florida lawyer is challenging former President Trump’s ability to run for president in 2024 under the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, citing the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
Lawrence Caplan, a tax attorney in Palm Beach County, filed the challenge in federal court Thursday, pointing to a clause in the amendment that says those who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the government cannot hold office.
….Despite the scenes of the attack on the Capitol and extensive investigations, the American people do not seem to agree that Trump took part in an insurrection or rebellion. Almost half the respondents in a THE HILL rejected the claim that the events of Jan. 6 were an actual “insurrection” (with the divide tracking partisan lines), and 76 percent viewed it as a “protest gone too far.”
Other considerations also call into question the claim that Trump instigated an “insurrection” in the constitutional sense. If it were clear that Trump engaged in insurrection, the Justice Department should have acted on the Jan. 6 Committee’s referral for prosecution on that charge. Special Counsel Jack Smith should have indicted him for insurrection or seditious conspiracy, which remain federal crimes. If it were obvious that Trump had committed insurrection, Congress should have convicted him in the two weeks between Jan. 6 and Inauguration Day. Instead, the House impeached Trump for indictment to insurrection but the Senate acquitted him.
The Senate’s acquittal is the only official finding by a federal or state institution on the question of whether Trump committed insurrection. The failure of the special counsel to charge insurrection and the Senate to convict in the second impeachment highlights a serious flaw in the academic theory of disqualification.
According to Luttig and Tribe, it appears self-evident that Trump committed insurrection. They assume Trump violated the law without any definitive finding by any federal authority. According to their view, he must carry the burden of proof to show he is not guilty of insurrection or rebellion — a process that achieves the very opposite of our Constitution’s guarantee of due process, which, it so happens, is not just provided for by the Fifth Amendment, but reaffirmed in the same 14th Amendment that contains the disqualification clause. It would be like requiring Barak Obama to prove he was native-born (a constitutional prerequisite for being president) if state election officials disqualified him for being foreign-born.
The Electoral College Chooses Presidents, Not State Officials
If this academic view were correct, it would throw our electoral system into chaos. One of the chief virtues of the Electoral College system is that it decentralizes the selection of the president: State legislatures decide the manner for choosing electors, with each state receiving votes equal to its representation in the House and Senate. States run the elections, which means that hundreds, if not thousands, of city, county, and state officials could execute this unilateral finding of insurrection. A county state election official, for example, could choose to remove Trump’s name from printed ballots or refuse to count any votes in his favor. A state court could order Trump barred from the election. A state governor could refuse to certify any electoral votes in his favor. The decentralization of our electoral system could allow a single official, especially from a battleground state, to sway the outcome of a close race in the 2024 presidential election.
Allowing a single state to wield this much power over the federal government runs counter to broader federalism principles articulated by the Supreme Court. In our nation’s most important decision on the balance of power between the national government and the states, McCullough v. Maryland, Chief Justice John Marshall held that a single state could not impose a tax on the Bank of the United States. Marshall famously observed that “the power to tax is the power to destroy.”
Marshall may well have frowned upon single state officials deciding to eliminate candidates for federal office on their own initiative. The Supreme Court lent further support for this idea in United States Term Limits v. Thornton (1995), which held that states could not effectively add new qualifications for congressional candidates by barring long-time incumbents from appearing on the ballot. Writing for the majority, Justice Stevens argued that allowing states to add term limits as a qualification for their congressional elections conflicted with “the uniformity and national character [of Congress] that the framers sought to ensure.” Allowing state election officials to decide for themselves whether someone has incited or committed insurrection, without any meaningful trial or equivalent proceeding, would give states the ability to achieve what term limits forbid.
We are not apologists for Trump’s spreading of baseless claims of electoral fraud or his efforts to stop the electoral count on Jan. 6. But as with the weak charges brought by the special counsel, the effort to hold Trump accountable for his actions should not depend on a warping of our constitutional system. Prosecutors should charge him with insurrection if they can prove it and have that conviction sustained on appeal. Congress should disqualify Trump if it can agree he committed the crime. Ultimately, the American people will decide Trump’s responsibility for the events of Jan. 6, but at the ballot box in 2024’s nominating and general elections for president…
TRUMP NOT CHARGED with INSURRECTION
Insurrection is still key in this endeavor, and, as mush as Laurence Tribe thinks it is self evident, the case has not been made. In THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR has a great little article worthy of noting,
For 31 months, the Democrats and their allies in the corporate media have characterized the Capitol Hill chaos that erupted on Jan. 6, 2021 as an “insurrection.” The House of Representatives reinforced this version of events by impeaching then-President Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” The Senate acquitted him, of course. Nonetheless, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th attack referred the case to the Justice Department for further investigation. Consequently, it was something of a surprise that the formal indictment unsealed last Tuesday by Special Counsel Jack Smith failed to charge Trump with fomenting insurrection.
This must have been particularly frustrating for those who have long insisted that the 14th Amendment prohibits Trump from serving a second presidential term. The primary purpose of the 14th Amendment was, of course, to grant citizenship to emancipated slaves. However, it also includes language in Section 3 that bars anyone who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the [United States]” from holding office in the federal government. This passage was included to prevent former officials of the Confederacy from returning to Congress and creating more mischief. The problem with using this clause against Donald Trump is explained by constitutional law professor Josh Blackman in Reason:
In some legal circles, advocates contend that it is so obvious that Trump committed insurrection. Yet, the special counsel, after studying the issue for months, opted not to bring that charge. Why? Perhaps Smith determined that he could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump engaged in insurrection. Or maybe Smith determined there were considerable legal questions about how to obtain such a conviction – most critically, was there an actual insurrection? (Yes, for the Supreme Court to knock Trump off the ballot, you need five votes to say that there was an insurrection as a matter of law – good luck with that!)
It evidently never occurred to the victims of Trump Derangement Syndrome that “insurrection” is a legal term with an actual definition in the U.S. Code. In order to convict former President Trump of this crime, the Special Prosecutor must prove that he fits the following description in 18 U.S.C. § 2383: “Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto.” Anyone convicted of insurrection can expect a long prison term and a hefty fine. It would be difficult to convict Trump under this statute, considering that not one participant in the Jan. 6 riot has been charged with insurrection…..
DAVID FRUM’S ATLANTIC PIECE
And it may be a 50-state attempt, which will push it to the Supes sooner rather than later. David Frum, a #NeverTrump guy, notes this will be a failed endeavor by simply stating in his ATLANTIC piece:
“The fourteenth amendment won’t save us from Donald Trump.”
Continuing he states:
….The least of these problems is the legal one: whether Trump’s scheme to seize the presidency by fraud, then violence, amounts to a “rebellion” or an “insurrection” under the amendment. There will be a lot of disagreement on that point, enough to generate litigation. But let’s suppose that the excluders win in court or that the courts abdicate altogether, kicking the dispute back to the elected branches of government as a “political matter.”
In that case, the use of the section to debar candidates would not stop at Trump. It would become a dangerously convenient tool of partisan politics.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Because Section 3’s meaning seemed so obvious in 1866, a lot of the hard questions about its interpretation and application were shrugged off. I’ll nominate just two examples.
First, the section does not apply only to candidates for president—it does not even mention the president. It mentions senators, House members, electors, and civil and military officers of the United States or any state. The section appears to apply to the presidency only as part of that final catchall category.
Second, that phrase “aid and comfort to the enemies thereof”—what does that mean? The language is copied from Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution. But there, the language was drafted to make it difficult to convict an accused person of crime: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”
Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment strips away all of the 1787 restrictions: the overt act, the two witnesses, the requirement of public confession. The question of what constitutes “aid and comfort” is left to the judgment of … wait—Section 3 gives no clue about how it should be enforced or by whom. Again, that’s understandable. In 1866, none of this looked complicated. But in a modern context, that enforcement question of a reactivated Section 3 will be nasty.
Consider the scenario in which Section 3 is invoked against Trump in 2024. Although he has won the Republican nomination, Democratic secretaries of state in key states refuse to place his name on their ballots, as a person who engaged in insurrection against the United States. With Trump’s name deleted from some swing-state ballots, President Joe Biden is easily reelected.
But only kind of reelected. How in the world are Republicans likely to react to such an outcome? Will any of them regard such a victory as legitimate? The rage and chaos that would follow are beyond imagining.
And then what? If Section 3 can be reactivated in this way, then reactivated it will be. Republicans will hunt for Democrats to disqualify, and not only for president, but for any race where Democrats present someone who said or did something that can be represented as “aid and comfort” to enemies of the United States. Didn’t progressive Representative Ilhan Omar once seemingly equate al-Qaeda with the U.S. military? Do we think that her political enemies will accept that she was making only a stupid rhetorical point? Earlier this year, Tennessee Republicans tossed out of the legislature two Black Democrats for allegedly violating House rules. Might Tennessee Republicans next deem unruly Democrats “rebels” forbidden ever to run for office again?
Where are the federal courts in all this? Do they actually stand aside as local officials exercise veto power over who’s a loyal enough American to be listed on the ballot for county commissioner? Do they really let the “elected branches” decide? And what would that mean in practice? The section transfers an otherwise presidential prerogative, the pardon power, to Congress. If the courts step back, does that not imply that the House and Senate must somehow find a way to wield the power of the section together?
That seems unlikely. But the alternative of judicial decision is fraught with institutional risks too. Imagine a serious effort to block Trump from appearing on ballots in 2024, and then suppose he challenges that block in court—and ultimately wins a ruling in his favor from the Supreme Court, by a margin of 5–4 or even 6–3. Now the rage and chaos would be reversed. A pro-Trump Thomas-Alito-Gorsuch-Barrett-Kavanaugh majority might obliterate whatever deference the Court still commands among Democrats and liberals. Although much is wrong with the present Court, this country will not be in a better or happier place if it loses its last, imperfect arbiter….
UPDATED ON 09/18/2023 | CNN Transcript
A CNN interview was just pointed out to me where a “not-fan of Trump” said rationally what David Frum said, and that is, allowing states to go down this path will create vindictive cross-fire that will spread through our body-politic:
STERLING: What we need to do is focus on the voters. We have a Constitutional Republic of laws that essentially empowers voters to make decisions. They make good ones. They make bad ones. They generally come out OK. We have to trust the voters in this.And anybody using an electoral scheme or a constitutional interpretation to remove anybody from the ballots is going to be a dangerous precedent.
Because I can guarantee you what happens, it start up from the Bork hearings in ’86. One side does one thing, the other side does something else. The other side blames the last side for doing it. There will be a Republican saying, you have violated your oath of office under the Constitution. I’m barring you from the ballot. That’s all we’re going to see happening.We need to have grown-ups in the room look at the long term implications of these things. Whether we disagree with the individual candidate or loved a individual candidate.
FRUM IS RIGHT
IN THE END, SCOTUS SAVES THE DAY
And Frum is exactly right on this point as well: Republicans will hunt for Democrats to disqualify. As much as I love the GOP using the Dems tactics against them. Take for instance Mitch McConnell’s warning to Harry Reid, which came to fruition when the Republicans [thankfully] used to get judges onto the bench that were center-right. If this “insurrection/sedition” tactic is unleashed, our system will have a ton of these potholes, forever disrupting the turnover of power peaceably.
The WASHINGTON TIMES also notes that this effort has already been unsuccessful with other Republican candidates
….According to the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan shared staff to congressional committees and members of Congress, “Invocation of the Disqualification Clause raises a number of novel legal questions involving the activities that could trigger disqualification, the offices to which disqualification might apply, and the mechanisms to enforce disqualification.”
CRS’ analysis of the 14th Amendment relating to the Capitol events adds, “The clause has been seldom used, and the few times it has been used in the past mainly arose out of the Civil War—a very different context from the events of January 6.”
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have joined Free Speech for People with plans to hit Mr. Trump‘s campaign with legal broadsides under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
They have written letters to state election officials requesting them to block Mr. Trump from the ballot and are preparing voter lawsuits and state election board complaints.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, enacted after the Civil War during Reconstruction, disqualifies someone from holding office after taking an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution but later engages in “insurrection or rebellion” against the country.
The clause was intended to deal with Confederate rebels who went to war against the Union or provided aid or comfort to national enemies.
Throughout 2022, liberal organizations such as Free Speech for People and Our Revolution sent letters urging election officials in all 50 states to disqualify Mr. Trump and his allies from qualifying for the ballot.
The groups cited the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, to make a case for barring lawmakers and the former president from running campaigns because of their perceived role in inciting the protest.
Liberal activists’ 2022 legal attempts under the 14th Amendment, however, to throw Republican House lawmakers they contended were “insurrectionists” off ballots in their home states were all unsuccessful.
These lawmakers were Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona, Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald of Wisconsin, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
A law firm recently filed a lawsuit arguing that former President Donald Trump can be disqualified from the elections. And while this is new, it pulls from an agenda that the establishment has been proposing since 2021. The basis is Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868 just after the Civil War. It says a person can be banned from election or appointment to any level of government office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the [United States], or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” The establishment has been arguing this could apply to President Trump’s actions to challenge the 2020 election, and for his alleged role in Jan. 6.
HOWEVER, as pointed out, Joshua Philipp points out this has already been tried, and failed:
John Yoo Says That January 6th Was “Thee Most Important Legal Event”
In this excerpted discussion John Yoo notes that the January 6th stuff is not nearly as strong as the Mara-Lago case (and in the fuller video he throws cold water on that as well). John Malcolm also discusses the ability of counsel to delve into all sorts of avenues of legal thought and advice. Jack Smith laid out an argument that undercuts his and Georgia’s entire case [should watch the above linked video for more]:
3.The Defendant had a right, like every American, to speak publicly about the election and even to claim, falsely, that there had been outcome-determinative fraud during the election and that he had won. He w6as also entitled to formally challenge the results of the election through lawful and appropriate means, such as by seeking recounts or audits of the popular vote in states or filing lawsuits challenging ballots and procedures. Indeed, in many cases, the Defendant did pursue these methods of contesting the election results. His efforts to change the outcome in any state through recounts, audits, or legal challenges were uniformly unsuccessful. (HERITAGE FOUNDATION)
Insurrection and Sedition Not Part of Indictments | PLUS: Trump’s State of Mind
In this excerpted discussion John Yoo notes the lack of “insurrection” or “sedition” in the indictments. John Malcolm speaks to Trump’s clear words of “peacefully and patriotically marching” – which he says is not in the record of the indictment. Trump’s state of mind is discussed a bit.
Brad Raffensperger/Trump Phone Call Dissected by John Malcolm
In this excerpted discussion John Malcolm quickly notes the failure of any criminal law breaking in the phone call between Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Donald Trump regarding the “finding” of votes. The worst of intentions is applied to Trump by those that dislike him, however, the law done well looks beyond people’s opinions of him.
EXCERPT FOUR: A Question About What Type Of Legal Advice John Eastman Gave
This is a question regarding John Eastman’s legal advice from the Q & A portion of the video.
Senior ABC Correspondent David Wright on Hidden Camera: How ‘Bosses Don’t See an Upside’ for Reporting News; ‘The Truth Suffers’; Says ABC Doesn’t ‘Give Trump Credit for What Things He Does Do’; ABC News Producer: New Yorkers Need to ‘Cross the Hudson River’ to Learn Why Voters Back Trump… WATCH
A person on FB said this was a “onsie”… to which I replied (with added info for the lazy person):
I don’t know what you are saying Mike. Maybe you have not followed Veritas’ Projects, but even Jeff Zucker is caught being biased and telling his people to be biased as well.
An undercover video released by Project Veritas on Monday shows a CNN staffer saying network president Jeff Zucker has a “personal vendetta” against President Donald Trump.
“[Zucker] was calling Fox News ‘fake news’ and a ‘propaganda machine,’ and with what I saw, that’s pretty much was CNN was,” he adds.
The video then cuts to leaked audio of CNN’s morning editors call featuring Zucker lambasting Fox News’ coverage over the years.
“The fake conspiracy nonsense that Fox has spread for years is now deeply embedded in American society,” he says. “Frankly, that is beyond destruction for America and I do not think we should be scared to say so.”
In another part of the video, Zucker is heard saying that while some CNN staffers have a relationship with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), it was “time to call him out”
“I just wanna say on the Lindsey Graham front, I know that there’s a lot of people at CNN that are friendly with Lindsey Graham. Time to knock that off and it’s time to call him out,” he is heard demanding….
Many people from CNN were recently filmed. These people did not know they were being filmed and therefore expressed thoughts without motive other than conversation
Hear for yourself the executive editor at the NYT’s talk about bias:
Another person filmed was New York Times senior home page editor Des Shoe, who’s based in the city. Her Times bio says she is “part of the team that produces the digital report for home page and mobile feeds,” but she says in the bar she “curates the front page.” Ms. Shoe says the paper is “widely, widely understood to be left-leaning.” (OK, that one’s not shocking.) But this admission is: “Our main stories are supposed to be objective. It’s very difficult in this day and age to do that.”
There is a strong desire in Greenland for full independence—especially among Greenland’s political elite. Only one political party does not support independence (and that party holds only one seat in the 31-seat parliament).
For Greenland, the question is not if it will become independent, but when and how.
Few inside Greenland’s government think it is ready now, but Denmark’s official position is that Greenland can become independent whenever it pleases.
After Germany invaded Denmark in 1940, the U.S. quickly deployed forces to protect Greenland from Nazi Germany. Ever since, the U.S. has maintained a military presence on the island.
In 1946, the Truman administration tried, unsuccessfully, to buy the entire island from Denmark for $100 million. The U.S. was, however, granted long-term access to important military sites.
Today, the main U.S. military presence is at Thule Air Base in the north of the country. Thule also serves as a very important early warning radar and satellite tracking station for the protection of the U.S. homeland.
So while the U.S.-Greenland security relationship is already good, U.S. policymakers should use the president’s newfound interest in Greenland to advance closer economic relations with the country and expand America’s diplomatic presence there.
The only way to fly commercially to Greenland is from Iceland or Denmark, but that could change in the coming years. Greenland is set to begin construction on three new airports this year, to be finished in 2023 (in Qaqortoq in the south, in Nuuk the capital, and Ilulissat in the north).
Greenland’s government hopes the new airports will allow direct flights from North America and open up new opportunities for business and tourism.
The U.S. is also making new initiatives.
After years of putting it on the back burner, the Trump administration recently announced that the U.S. will maintain a part-time diplomatic presence in Greenland. This is something The Heritage Foundation has been calling for. While this is a very welcome first step, over time this should become an enduring and permanent presence.
The U.S. once had a consulate in Greenland, from 1940 to the early 1950s. Greenland is in America’s backyard and a critical part of America’s security architecture….
The whole “debacle” — so called — is putting Greenland’s interests first. I found out that apparently this has been in the works for some time. Since WWII in fact… as well as more recently (PJ-MEDIA):
….Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) took his two Harvard degrees over to The New York Times to explain just why our real estate mogul POTUS may be onto something.
After news leaked last week that President Trump had expressed interest in acquiring Greenland from Denmark, his critics predictably derided him as crazy. But once again, the president is crazy like a fox. The acquisition of Greenland would secure vital strategic interests for the United States, economically benefit both us and Greenlanders, and would be in keeping with American — and Danish — diplomatic traditions.
Strategically positioned in the Arctic Circle, Greenland has long attracted the attention of American policymakers. As far back as 1867, Secretary of State William Seward explored the acquisition of Greenland around the time that he negotiated the purchase of Alaska from the Russians. I myself raised the prospect of acquiring Greenland with the Danish ambassador just last year.
Take that, haters!
This country has needed some big, original thinking for a long time now. While the liberals are forever looking for new ways to suck the joy out of our lives and diminish American achievement, Trump’s all, “You know…Greenland is just sitting there.”
We haven’t done a major real estate deal in over 150 years and we’re certainly not picking up any new territory via warfare these days, so buying Greenland is looking better and better if the U.S. is going to remind the world what’s what.
Sen. Cotton again:
America is not the only nation to recognize Greenland’s strategic significance. Intent on securing a foothold in the Arctic and North America, China attempted in 2016 to purchase an old American naval base in Greenland, a move the Danish government prevented. Two years later, China was back at it, attempting to build three airports on the island, which failed only after intense lobbying of the Danes by the Trump administration.
Beijing understands not only Greenland’s geographic importance but also its economic potential. Greenland is rich in a wide array of mineral deposits, including rare-earth minerals — resources critical to our high-tech and defense industries. China currently dominates the market in these minerals and has threatened to withhold them from us to gain leverage in trade negotiations. Greenland also possesses untold reserves of oil and natural gas.
It just got moved into the “No-Brainer” column, people…..
In other words… China is looking to the mineral rich and strategically powerful option of Greenland… why shouldn’t we? In fact, this geopolitical chess match with China has been going on (over Greenland) for a few years now. More on this in the Washington Times article below.
The WASHINGTON TIMES (the indomitable Tammy Bruce in fact) notes that Greenland is mismanaged by Denmark:
…But this usual panic from the jealous chattering class once again reveals the Democrats and envious Trump haters’ biggest unforced error — constantly underestimating Donald Trump. This requires deliberately maintaining a remarkable ignorance about the economic and national security issues we face as a nation.
One of those issues is the vital importance of Greenland, its horrible mismanagement as the Danish elite virtue signal about their environmentalism, condemning its 55,000 residents to poverty-stricken lives, and the national security risks economic dereliction invite. The incompetence ruining Greenland, in fact, compelled Greenlandic officials to reach out to China as they searched for a Sugar Daddy to fund infrastructure projects….
The WT’scontinues with the strategic infighting over the territory:
…what’s worth knowing is what precipitated the president’s comments. In 2017, Greenland’s prime minister flew to China and asked, as the Journal reported in February of this year, “Chinese state-run banks to finance the new commercial airports, including a big one for one of the smallest capitals on earth, Nuuk, which can now be served only by propeller planes. The bankers were interested, people at the meetings said, so long as a Chinese company constructed the airports.”
Reports indicate this action was triggered by Denmark refusing to help.
Then-Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis was not happy and convinced Danish officials to fund the infrastructure, sidelining China. This was an effort by China starting in 2018 and only ending when they officially withdrew in June of this year. For those who look past their shallow view of the United States and the administration, one would know it’s no coincidence that the president’s remarks on Greenland became public just two months after we successfully fought off China in their latest swing at the North American island….
Continuing still, the WASHINGTON TIMES notes the royal families response to the whole thing:
…After a few days of screeching from those paralyzed by Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Danish royal family is chiming in with comments indicating they may be moved by the art of the deal.
“In comments sent to Newsweek, along with other publications including The Sun, Dr. Princess Antonia of Schaumburg-Lippe … suggested the interest should be taken as a compliment. ‘A purchase offer is a compliment for magical Greenland, as only desirable areas receive offers,’ she said. ‘The people of Greenland should and can decide about their own destiny.’ Her son, Prince Mario Max Schaumburg-Lippe, added: ‘I love Greenland and want the beloved citizens there to be happy. ‘Whatever they feel best and decide, needs to be supported,’ ” the news magazine reported.
While Democrats and resisters continue to chase their tails, it would serve them well to stop and admit that American exceptionalism is back. For everyone.
On this episode of White House Brief [above], Jon Miller describes why Trump should take Greenland: ” President Trump canceled his trip to Denmark because of the prime minister’s rotten attitude over selling Greenland to us. America absolutely should acquire Greenland. It will capture our imagination and revitalize our spirit in a way not seen since the Louisiana Purchase.”
James Pinkerton over at BREITBART throws some “eco-unfriendly” water on the fire:
…Yet even from afar, we know that Greenland offers a fantastic development opportunity. And so, if the Danes are too green and politically correct to extract that wealth, perhaps the U.S. can blaze a rich new trail.
Of course, some will say that all this is a pipe-dream, even if the U.S. were to become sovereign in Greenland. That is, the greens in America would work just as hard as the greens in Denmark to stop any such development, preferring to leave Greenland as it is, undeveloped. Yes, American greens, backed up by numerous billion-dollar foundations, would do precisely that: They’d organize, agitate, and litigate to leave Greenland to the seals and polar bears.
So we can see: Green power is not to be underestimated. As a matter of fact, the greens are so powerful in the U.S. that they have, in much of the country, taken the issue of natural resource development off the table. That’s why, for example, efforts to fully exploit America’s hydrocarbon resources have been stymied. As has been pointed out by Breitbart News, the total value of oil and natural gas, under federal lands and waters, is $128 trillion. That’s a lot of wealth — six times America’s annual GDP, six times our national debt — and yet green power is such that few even talk about tapping into our natural abundance….
Pinkerton finishes his article with this:
…So let’s give Trump credit for his Greenland idea. Even if nothing comes of it during his presidency, he has expanded the “Overton Window” — that is, the range of acceptable political discourse — reminding us that greatness comes from expansion and innovation, not from contraction and enervation.
One fine day, development will come to Greenland, as well as to other desolate places. Such development can, and should, be done cleanly as well as profitably.
There may never be a Trump Tower in Greenland. But even so, the MAGA spirit could be extended to include the new phrase, MGGA — Make Greenland Great Again.
First, I want to start with a video from a Prager University flashback to the giant named Charles Krauthammer:
A compatriot on Facebook who is a #NeverTrumper posted a link to this article at the biased*WASHINGTON POST, entitled, “Trump’s wall is a monument to vanity and bigotry,” and then asked for the following:
Read this and THEN tell me why a wall (as described by Trump) makes sense. Feel free to comment if you have read the piece here by Michael J. Gerson.
I read the article and commented on it… here are some of my thoughts (I will add to the original comments for my site).
There are many issues with the article. A few being as follows, that Trump long ago said the Border Patrol wanted something different in parts and he would listen to them. He has also said a while back (during the campaign) that the BARRIER would be about a 1,000 miles long, again – some wall, and reinforcing fencing etc. Here, NPR (January 26, 2017) interviews the Border Patrol’s union leader Brandon Judd >>>
JUDD:I don’t think it’s going to be – well, OK, it’s going to be a lot more secure. But what we’re talking about is we’re talking about a wall in strategic locations. We’re not talking about a great wall of the United States. We’re not talking about a continuous wall from California down to Texas. We’re talking about a wall in strategic locations which then helps the Border Patrol agents do their job better.
INSKEEP:Because there are some places that are so sparsely populated and the ground is so fierce or so harsh you really don’t need…
JUDD: Correct, correct.
INSKEEP: So you’ve told us when you were on the program last time that about 10 to 15 percent of the border has serious fences in your view and maybe you’d double that under this proposal.
JUDD:That’s what I’m thinking. Again, I don’t have the exact specifics of what they’re going to do, but I do know that they’re looking in specific places like Laredo, Texas, where we have very, very little walls. Yet, the state that Laredo, Texas, borders is extremely violent. And so we’re looking in locations like that. They’re looking in locations like that, but I think it’s going to be very effective.
I post this clarification of the political hyperbole (on both sides) because the WaPo article refers to AN MIT ARTICLE discussing the cost of a 1,000 mile 50-foot wall. For all of Trump’s bluster, which the Left and #NeverTrumper’s take literally, like skeptics insist literalness in all places of the Bible instead of understanding hyperbole, and texts that do and do not incorporate it, such as: law text, history texts, wisdom literature, Hebrew poetry, prophecy, apocalyptic writing, and war texts. It would be like me reading EXODUS 15:8 and positing that God has a BIG nose, or reading PSALM 91:4 and saying God is a giant chicken. Many Christians would reject a skeptics misunderstanding in these areas (at least Christians true to a healthy hermeneutical approach to the Word).
Here is Brandon Judd in a more recent interview. Notice his position is the same, and in alignment with Trump:
First, understand the problem. In California, the migrants are targeting a part of the border where there is a barrier. But much of the border’s 1,954 miles remains uncovered. According to the Border Patrol, 354 of those 1,954 miles are protected by what is called a pedestrian primary fence, which is a single-layer fence. Another 37 miles are a pedestrian secondary fence, that is, double-layer fencing. And 14 miles are pedestrian tertiary, or a triple-layer fence. In addition, 300 miles are covered by vehicle fencing, which will stop a truck but allow anyone to walk through with no problem.
That is a total of 705 miles — 405 miles of some kind of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle fencing.
No one, or almost no one, says a fence should cover all 1,954 miles of the border. A significant part of the border is terrain so dangerous and imposing that it would be very difficult for migrants to cross. During the campaign, and during his presidency, Trump called for a wall along about 1,000 miles.
“We have 2,000 miles [of border], of which we really need 1,000 miles, because you have a lot of natural barriers,” Trump said in August 2016.
But Democrats oppose even that. And since Republicans could not pass wall funding when they controlled all of Congress and the White House, how could they possibly do it now, with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in charge of the House?
Still, there is one possible course for Republicans. It is Public Law 109-367, better known as the Secure Fence Act.
The Act was passed by big, bipartisan majorities in 2006, receiving 283 votes in the House and 80 in the Senate. It required the federal government to build reinforced fencing, at least two layers deep, along about 700 miles of the border. It specified the areas in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas where fencing would be installed.
If the law had been followed, many vulnerable parts of the border would now be secured. But the very next year, 2007, after Democrats won control of the House and Senate, Congress amended the Secure Fence Act. The amendment said that “nothing in [the original legislation] shall require” the installation of fencing if the government determines that a fence is not the “most appropriate” way to secure the border……
Do I wish Donald Trump would communicate his ideas more thoughtfully and cogently? Of course. I am also an adult who realizes he must excoriate language to get to the real meaning of the points made by this administration — not use hyperbole to make an embroidered political statement back at Trump (a hyperbolic position). Something our border residents do not need.
In another section of the WaPo article,
The era of limited government is emphatically over in the only political party where it once had some appeal. …. This is the strange case of a political metaphor slipping off the page and trying to break into reality. The images and symbols of political rhetoric can assume an importance beyond language. Ronald Reagan’s evocation of a “shining city on a hill” rooted his appeal in the American exceptionalism of our Pilgrim parents. …. But no one actually proposed getting the building permits for Reagan’s city…
The facile mantra I often hear is that “Reagan wanted to tear down walls; Trump wants to build.” WHAT NONSENSE!
For the record, liberals often falsely and inaccurately quote Reagan’s farewell address, in which he explained what he meant about the “shining city.” Yes, America was a nation of immigrants, but liberals fail to note his city had “walls” and “a door.” …. Reagan believed in borders, in earned American citizenship. He did not believe in breaking the law to get ahead.
It is a rejection of our broader concepts involved in our political history and battles thereof. In this regard, I have no idea why Michael Gerson would invoke Reagan? He wanted to spend money to reinforce the border along his Shining City. This is the most unlearned portion of the article. History is not the forte of the Left. Here is a reminder of Reagan regretting trying to make a deal with the Democrats from another post of mine. Reagan didn’t regret “amnesty,” he regretted TRUSTING THE DEMOCRATS who did not live up to securing the border ….. sound familiar? Larry speaks with John Heubusch of the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute:
What Trump Could Learn From The Reagan Immigration Amnesty: The Reagan Amnesty Of 2.7 Million Illegal Immigrants Was Paired With The Promise Of Controlling The Border
Of which I excerpt a portion of:
…In his book, Reagan: The Life, H.W. Brands writes about the president’s interpretation of a 1986 immigration bill at the time.
“Al Simpson came by to see if he had my support,” Reagan recorded in October 1986, shortly after the measure cleared the House. “They have one or two amendments we could do without, but even if the Senate conference can’t get them out, I’ll sign it. It’s high time we regained control of our borders, and this bill will do it.”
The legislation at the time was widely viewed as an enforcement-first measure, said then-Attorney General Edwin Meese III, who advised Reagan on the matter along with other Cabinet officials.
“It is very definitely a teachable moment,” Meese, the Ronald Reagan distinguished fellow emeritus at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal, when asked how the 1986 legislation might inform President Donald Trump in his negotiations with congressional Democrats on codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), implemented by his predecessor.
The Reagan amnesty of 2.7 million illegal immigrants was paired with the promise of controlling the border and penalizing employers who hire illegal immigrants. The legislation was better known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, named for its sponsors, Simpson and then-Rep. Romano Mazzoli, D-Ky.
The problem with the 1986 law was that the promised enforcement didn’t occur, but the amnesty did, Meese said….
President Reagan’s Remarks at Signing Ceremony for Immigration Reform and Control Act in Roosevelt Room. November 6, 1986
Steven Hayward, a historian and Reagan biographer, continues the idea in a DAILY SIGNAL, .
“I think President Trump has to insist that employment E-Verify, funding for serious border security, not necessarily a wall, and an end to chain migration have to be non-negotiable conditions of any deal,” Hayward said. “Reagan should have applied to immigration what he said about arms control with the Soviet Union, ‘Trust, but verify,’ or in this case, ‘Trust, but E-Verify.’ That’s the lesson Trump should take.”
The article mentioned that a better law for seasonal workers would work. Trump is not saying he doesn’t want this? Dumb. However, that would work better with the barrier.
Another glaring misstatement by the WaPo article is based off of this claim:
“Never mind that violent crime rates among migrants are significantly lower than among the native-born.”
This just is not true. The WASHINGTON TIMESnotes a more thorough study when they say conclusively that the “crime rate among illegal immigrants in Arizona is twice that of other residents, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday, citing a new report based on conviction data.” NATIONAL REVIEWrightly notes that John Lott used “more recent and comprehensive state data, found that illegal immigrants are far more likely to commit crimes than lawful residents.”
A SSRN STUDY by John R. Lott published in February 2018 found that from 1985-2017 illegal aliens had a 163% greater chance of being convicted of 1st degree murder than Arizona citizens. Illegals had a 168% greater chance of being convicted of 2nd degree murder than an Arizona citizen.
John Lott recently published a study that examines the incarceration of illegal immigrants in Arizona. Lott found that over the past 33 years, illegal immigrants have constituted an average of 4.8 percent of Arizona’s population. Yet during that same 33-year period, illegal immigrants constituted 11.2 percent of those convicted of crimes in Arizona — more than twice their share of the population. Lott found that illegal immigrants were dramatically more likely to be convicted of a homicide-related offense than either native-born Americans or legal immigrants during that 33-year period — 163 percent more likely to be convicted of first-degree murder and 168 percent more likely to be convicted of second-degree murder. “Undocumented immigrants were also consistently more likely to be convicted of manslaughter, armed robbery, sexual assault of a minor, sexual assault, DUI or DWI, and kidnapping.” Lott also found that illegal immigrants who met the age requirements for DACA were overrepresented in the prison population.
The Washington Post and the Left and #NeverTrumpers like to quote CATO Institutes study and Snope’s study refuting John Lott’s work. However, he has thoroughly responded to these works. Here are two examples — followed by others:
Between 4,000 and 6,000 people are murdered a year by illegal aliens (THE HILL & TIGER DROPPINGS). Remember, Obama declared a State of Emergency and stopped immigration over 4,000 deaths from H1N1.
When Gerson says the following,
Proposing a wall is really an argument that America can protect itself from the dangers of the world at its national boundaries. But this theory failed to contain the disorders of Europe and East Asia in the 1930s and 1940s.
He goes on to note the Cold War and terrorism. Even going so far as saying to end his article, “putting our faith in a wall requires us to unlearn the bloodiest lessons of the last century. And to repeat them.” WTH?
This is just silly.
First, walls throughout history have worked. Even during the Cold War. For instance, the wall built by Communists in Germany… worked. The wall and the “rampart” slashed defections to just 185 people per year. (All of the following comes from AMERICAN RENAISSANCE):
The reinforcing of the border barrier (16-foot-tall barrier [barbed wire fence] ran 152-miles) between Egypt and Israel worked as well. The 2013 upgrade reduced illegal incursions at the border by an average of 99.4 percent. The improvements completed in January 2017 cut illegal immigration to zero. As of June 2017, not a single person had breached the fence. Here is a graph noting the drop:
The wall separating the West Bank and Israel worked as well. By 2012, 63 percent (277 miles) of the border was walled (25 feet high) or fenced. They have not built past the 63% mark:
In July 2015, Hungary began building a 13-foot-tall fence along its borders with Serbia and Croatia. This barbed wire enforced fence accomplished it’s goal:
LIKEWISE, as the length of the southwest barrier increased—evidence that even a limited barrier can deter illegal immigration:
Simply put, Walls Work:
Michael Gerson basically said wall don’t work. But they do. That is, if you look to the real world and not “experts.” The Border Patrol say they work. Again [sigh],
When charges of “racism” and “xenophobia” fail, Democrats’ fallback argument against President Trump’s proposed border wall is that it simply “won’t work,” so why waste billions building it? Tell that to the residents of El Paso, Texas.
Federal data show a far-less imposing wall than the one Trump envisions — a two-story corrugated metal fence first erected under the Bush administration — already has dramatically curtailed both illegal border crossings and crime in Texas’ sixth-largest city, which borders the high-crime Mexican city of Juarez.
In fact, the number of deportable illegal immigrants located by the US Border Patrol plummeted by more than 89 percent over the five-year period during which the controversial new fence was built, ……..
The Border Patrol wants the same thing Trump does. An NBPC’s survey of more than 600 agents in two of the Border Patrol’s busiest sectors confirmed this: A stunning 89 percent of line agents say a “wall system in strategic locations is necessary to securing the border.” Just 7 percent disagreed.
To conclude my comments, I would have to say that only someone who has a bad taste for reality would say this is a good article. From using Reagan, to saying barriers don’t work, to not understanding what Democrats really want, etc., This is the low bar the Washington Post sets.
Sad. Sad that thinking Reaganite’s fall for it.
*Financial and readership decisions + dislike of Trump: “trump” civility and truth.
…former executive editor of the New York Times says the paper’s news pages, the home of its straight-news coverage, have become “unmistakably anti-Trump.”
Jill Abramson, the veteran journalist who led the newspaper from 2011 to 2014, says the Times has a financial incentive to bash the president and that the imbalance is helping to erode its credibility.
“Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,” Abramson writes, adding that she believes the same is true of the Washington Post. “Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.”
What’s more, she says, citing legendary 20th century publisher Adolph Ochs, “the more anti-Trump the Times was perceived to be, the more it was mistrusted for being biased. Ochs’s vow to cover the news without fear or favor sounded like an impossible promise in such a polarized environment.”
Abramson describes a generational split at the Times, with younger staffers, many of them in digital jobs, favoring an unrestrained assault on the presidency. “The more ‘woke’ staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the dangers of Trump’s presidency obviated the old standards,” she writes.
Trump claims he is keeping the “failing” Times in business—an obvious exaggeration—but the former editor acknowledges a “Trump bump” that saw digital subscriptions during his first six months in office jump by 600,000, to more than 2 million….
President Obama bypassed Congress and appointed Dr. Donald M. Berwick, a health policy expert, to run Medicare and Medicaid. (Posted by: Religio-Political Talk) In this short critique of a 2008 speech (video included) Dr. Berwick gave in Britain railing against our health system, Dennis Prager zeroes in on the Left’s fascination with “equality” and not “quality.” Not to mention that the free-market allows the most poor and disadvantaged to be helped that any other system yet. Here is a simple illustration: http://youtu.be/OI1sWq0Nakk
From a discussion on FB, I reference the above audio and say this:
Do you really think, Nick Novotny, that by edict, cost can be capped without costs being passed on to consumers elsewhere? Or, like in Canada, technology (MRIs, Cat-scans, mammograms, etc) takes a hit and fewer and fewer people can get the care they need. Just like that, a magic “government wand” and walla, costs are down and care percentages are up? Please, the naivete. As Dr. Dorin points out in his #4 of five reasons doctors do not like Obamacare:
4. The Ghost of Donald Berwick: Former Obama appointee and head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Doctor Donald Berwick, was openly in praise of the British National Health System. His admiration for socialized medicine was so great that he actively worked to fashion Obamacare into a powerful force to restrict the prescription drugs which doctors can write for you. Berwick and others utilized the concept of mini-HMOs, called ACOs, for “Accountable Care Organizations,” to begin the design of mandated electronic ordering systems that will limit the medicines which you can be given by your physician. ACOs will have almost unlimited control over the computer screen “platform” which displays ordering options for e-prescriptions. If your favorite medicine is not on the platform, good luck!
Dinesh D’Souza has revealed in an excellent article why he is a leading culturally minded conservative commentator/author of our day. I suggest reading the whole article, but D’Souza quotes from his fathers article where he says:
“We need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now.” The senior Obama proposed that the state confiscate private land and raise taxes with no upper limit. In fact, he insisted that “theoretically there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.” (page 3 of mentioned article)
This statement that may seemingly drive some of Obama’s thinking, brings to mind another statement made by his science czar, John Holdren. (Posts on Holdren at RPT, and at Blogspot [see Obama’s Czars].) Here is an impromptu attempted interview with Holdren… and take note these guys are radicals and wish to use and subvert language and definitions. So when Holdren says he was talking about using the free market to get his plans implemented, he doesn’t mean by allowing the free market to do so without coercion. His phrase in this exchange, environmental equality – is a code word for this coercion. Like Prager says, you can either have equality, or liberty, you cannot however, have them both.
The Blaze mentions that Holdrens co-authors, Paul and Anne H. Ehrlich, called for wealth redistribution (both within and among nations) “absolutely essential” in order to provide a decent life for everyone. Which makes sense of this goal quoted here:
Resources must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries,” Holdren and his co-authors wrote. ”This effort must be largely political, especially with regard to our overexploitation of world resources, but the campaign should be strongly supplemented by legal and boycott action against polluters and others whose activities damage the environment. The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.
This is all providing explanations for D’Souza’s list of apparent contradictions in Obama’s actions as an AMERICAN President. I look forward to Dinesh’s book. It should provide meat for the soul and mind. By the way, if you do not know about Paul Ehrlich background and failed predictive powers, I highly suggest a book by Julian Simon entitled, Hoodwinking the Nation. An absolutely fascinating read (click the book cover for a quick intro about the bet the two men made about resources). May I finish that when a person tells you that the two parties are the same, they have no idea what they are talking about.
We know in order to get the temperatures NASA and NOAA wish to promote…. they do not use the data from satellites when they state such things as 2015 was the warmest year on record. Whereas a 100% of satellites agree that temperature has been steady, a 100% of the modeling has been wrong.
Instead, they use readings from places like these that they can then add an addition algorythm to to “fix” the data:
In fact, since NASA/NOAA changed the temps due to McIntyre’s work, had the hottest years listed as: 1998, 1934, 2006, 1921 and 1931. NASA then changed them to…
1934, 1998, 1921, 2006 and then 1931;
then again to, 1998, 2006, 1934, 1921, 1999.
These government, taxpayer associations that should make data for such “corrections” available to the public representatives, instead, they refused to hand over what should have been easy info to give. This obfuscation by these public institutions are summed up well by McIntyre:
…“Fixing” bad data with software is by no means an easy thing to do (as witness Mann’s unreported modification of principal components methodology on tree ring networks.) The GISS adjustment schemes (despite protestations from Schmidt that they are “clearly outlined”) are not at all easy to replicate using the existing opaque descriptions. For example, there is nothing in the methodological description that hints at the change in data provenance before and after 2000 that caused the Hansen error. Because many sites are affected by climate change, a general urban heat island effect and local microsite changes, adjustment for heat island effects and local microsite changes raises some complicated statistical questions, that are nowhere discussed in the underlying references (Hansen et al 1999, 2001). In particular, the adjustment methods are not techniques that can be looked up in statistical literature, where their properties and biases might be discerned. They are rather ad hoc and local techniques that may or may not be equal to the task of “fixing” the bad data.
Making readers run the gauntlet of trying to guess the precise data sets and precise methodologies obviously makes it very difficult to achieve any assessment of the statistical properties. In order to test the GISS adjustments, I requested that GISS provide me with details on their adjustment code. They refused. Nevertheless, there are enough different versions of U.S. station data (USHCN raw, USHCN time-of-observation adjusted, USHCN adjusted, GHCN raw, GHCN adjusted) that one can compare GISS raw and GISS adjusted data to other versions to get some idea of what they did….
He then goes on to explain the lack of detail from the GISS numbers via the U.S. compared to the global temps:
…These differences are attributed to “regional” differences and it is quite possible that this is a complete explanation. However, this conclusion is complicated by a number of important methodological differences between the U.S. and the ROW. In the U.S., despite the criticisms being rendered at surfacestations.org, there are many rural stations that have been in existence over a relatively long period of time; while one may cavil at how NOAA and/or GISS have carried out adjustments, they have collected metadata for many stations and made a concerted effort to adjust for such metadata. On the other hand, many of the stations in China, Indonesia, Brazil and elsewhere are in urban areas (such as Shanghai or Beijing). In some of the major indexes (CRU,NOAA), there appears to be no attempt whatever to adjust for urbanization. GISS does report an effort to adjust for urbanization in some cases, but their ability to do so depends on the existence of nearby rural stations, which are not always available. Thus, ithere is a real concern that the need for urban adjustment is most severe in the very areas where adjustments are either not made or not accurately made.
In its consideration of possible urbanization and/or microsite effects, IPCC has taken the position that urban effects are negligible, relying on a very few studies (Jones et al 1990, Peterson et al 2003, Parker 2005, 2006), each of which has been discussed at length at this site. In my opinion, none of these studies can be relied on for concluding that urbanization impacts have been avoided in the ROW sites contributing to the overall history….
According to data on the NOAA website, 1997 was truly the hottest year on record at 62.45 oF. The average global temperature in 2015 was 58.62 oF or 3.83 oF below the 1997 temperature.
According to data on the NOAA website, the temperatures such as the 20thcentury average temperature and annual temperature anomalies, which must be fixed, have different values in the annual global analyses.
NOAA and NASA corrected historical temperature data and fabricated temperature data in areas without temperature record systematically, widely, and uni-directionally to “cool” the past in an attempt to prove the soaring temperature trend.
NOAA and NASA made efforts to discredit their own satellite data – which is consistent with the balloon data – because it suggests a global warming hiatus since 1998 contradicting with the NOAA and NASA preferred narrative.
NOAA and NASA refused to give data and information requested by the US House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology committee. There is no reason for them to withhold the data and information, which are public domain, unless they have something to hide.
This caused people to wonder if NASA/NOAA were doing the same thing as the Europeans had been caught doing. So the requests for the records started being made. Here is the WASHINGTON TIMES talking about it in 2009:
…The center’s chief has stepped down pending an investigation into the e-mails.
The center has also had to acknowledge in response to a freedom of information request under British law that it tossed out much of the raw data that it used to draw up the temperature models that have underpinned much of the science behind global warming.
Mr. Horner suspects the same sort of data-shaving has happened at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), another leading global warming research center.
Mark Hess, public affairs director for the Goddard Space Flight Center which runs the GISS laboratory, said they are working on Mr. Horner’s request, though he couldn’t say why they have taken so long.
NASA’s GISS was forced to update its data in 2007 after questions were raised by Steve McIntyre, who runs ClimateAudit.com.
GISS had initially listed the warmest years as 1998, 1934, 2006, 1921 and 1931. After Mr. McIntyre’s questions GISS rejiggered the list and 1934 was warmest, followed by 1998, 1921, 2006 and then 1931. But since then, the list has been rewritten again so it now runs 1998, 2006, 1934, 1921, 1999.
The institute blamed a “minor data processing error” for the changes but says it doesn’t make much difference since the top three years remain in a “statistical tie” either way.
Mr. Horner said he’s seeking the data itself, but he also wants to see the chain of e-mails from scientists discussing the changes.
The Freedom of Information Act requires agencies to respond to requests within 20 days. Mr. Horner says he’s never received an official acknowledgement of his three separate FOIA requests, but has received e-mails showing the agency is aware of them.
He said he has provided NASA with a notice of intent to sue under FOIA, but said he also hopes members of Congress get involved and demand the information be released.
NASA and CRU data are considered the backbone of much of the science that suggests the earth is warming due to manmade greenhouse gas emissions. NASA argues its data suggests this decade has been the warmest on record.
On the other hand, data from the University of Alabama-Huntsville suggests temperatures have been relatively flat for most of this decade.
…Judicial Watch sued the Department of Commerce after the agency failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted on October 30, 2015 – NOAA is a component of the Department of Commerce. The timeframe for the requested records is October 30, 2014, through October 30, 2015, and requests all documents and records of communications between NOAA officials, employees, and contractors regarding:
The methodology and utilization of night marine air temperatures to adjust ship and buoy temperature data;
The use of other global temperature datasets for both NOAA’s in-house dataset improvements and monthly press releases conveying information to the public about global temperatures;
The utilization and consideration of satellite bulk atmospheric temperature readings for use in global temperature datasets; and
A subpoena issued for the aforementioned information by Congressman Lamar Smith on October 13, 2015.
On November 26, Smith published an opinion editorial in The Washington Times, which accused NOAA of tampering with data to help promote global warming alarmism:
NOAA often fails to consider all available data in its determinations and climate change reports to the public. A recent study by NOAA, published in the journal Science, made “adjustments” to historical temperature records and NOAA trumpeted the findings as refuting the nearly two-decade pause in global warming. The study’s authors claimed these adjustments were supposedly based on new data and new methodology. But the study failed to include satellite data.
“We have little doubt that our lawsuit helped to pry these scandalous climate change report documents from the Obama administration. The Obama administration seems to care not one whit for a congressional subpoena but knows from prior experience that a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit cannot be ignored,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Given the lawless refusal to comply with our FOIA request and a congressional subpoena, we have little doubt that the documents will show the Obama administration put politics before science to advance global warming alarmism.”
Judicial Watch previously investigated alleged data manipulation by global warming advocates in the Obama administration. In 2010, Judicial Watch obtained internal documents from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) related to a controversy that erupted in 2007 when Canadian blogger Stephen McIntyre exposed an error in NASA’s handling of raw temperature data from 2000-2006 that exaggerated the reported rise in temperature readings in the United States. According to multiple press reports, when NASA corrected the error, the new data apparently caused a reshuffling of NASA’s rankings for the hottest years on record in the United States, with 1934 replacing 1998 at the top of the list….
I have a feeling this will end badly for NASA/NOAA. Why do I say that? Because if they have nothing to hide then there is no reason for them to withhold the data and information, which are public domain.
…The documents revealed a “new climate data scandal,” Judicial Watch said in announcing the suit.
“Information provided to the committee by whistleblowers appears to show that the study was rushed to publication despite the concerns and objections of a number of NOAA employees,” according to the committee.
The Romanian hacker who claimed he easily breached Hillary Clinton’s email server pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to two counts of computer hacking charges, as part of a deal with the Justice Department.
In exchange for a reduced sentence, Marcel Lehel Lazar – also known as Guccifer — has agreed to cooperate with federal authorities in the future.
Significantly, the report also reveals that Clinton and her top aides at State – Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, Huma Abedin, and possibly others – refused to cooperate with the IG’s investigation despite the IG’s requests that they submit to interviews.
The report is devastating, although it transparently strains to soften the blow. For example, it concludes that State’s “longstanding systemic weaknesses” in recordkeeping “go well beyond the tenure of any one Secretary of State.” Yet, it cannot avoid finding that Clinton’s misconduct is singular in that she, unlike he predecessors, systematically used private email for the purpose of evading recordkeeping requirements.
…A long-awaited State Department inspector general report on the impact of personal email use on recordkeeping at State was released to lawmakers on Wednesday, and concluded that Clinton violated the agency’s records rules. And as many Americans prepare for the traditional Memorial Day kickoff to the summer season, longtime Clinton aide Cheryl Mills is scheduled to sit for a sworn deposition Friday in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the conservative group Judicial Watch.
Mills’ testimony would be the first known time a member of Clinton’s inner circle has been questioned under oath in the email controversy. Another top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, is set to testify next month. And Clinton herself is awaiting a judge’s ruling on whether she should be required to give a deposition.
No matter how that comes out, Clinton also faces an ongoing FBI investigation into the email set up. Some of her aides have already been questioned. She’s expressed a willingness to sit down with investigators — something they’re expected to take her up on in the next few weeks. Unless it takes place in complete secrecy, such a session would be the highest-profile legal spectacle the former first lady has faced since she testified 20 years ago before a federal grand jury investigating the disappearance and reappearance of Whitewater billing records.
“I think the [Office of Inspector General] report is going to be of interest and the testimony is going to be out there,” said Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton. “I think the courts will take action this summer….I don’t see any of this going away.”
On top of all that, there’s an expected House report on Benghazi. And a slew of planned document releases from the State Department that a conservative group is planning to make into a movie.
“We have been for months and we will be for the next several months on the receiving end of document productions from the State Department and others,” said David Bossie of Citizens United, another conservative organization. “We have been and continue to be in the works on a Hillary documentary….We’d like to have something launch on or around the the Democratic Convention.”
“Whether it’s the Benghazi report, the state IG report or other types of releases, those are just a variation of bad for Hillary Clinton because on that day and time whenever those happen it is taking her off her message and making her have to answer questions related to these issues that she doesn’t want to talk about,” the veteran GOP operative said. “That’s called winning, if you’re Donald Trump.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly broke government policy by using her own secret email server and top aides misled other department staff to cover for her, an inspector general concluded in a report sent to Capitol Hill Wednesday.
Not only did her use of the secret server shield her communications from open-records laws, but she also broke department policy by failing to report several hacking attempts, the inspector general said in an 83-page investigative report that is devastating in its conclusions.
After one of the 2011 hack attempts Mrs. Clinton’s tech staffer shut the server down for a few minutes, hoping that would solve the situation, but quickly warned top aides not to send Mrs. Clinton “anything sensitive” after the attempted breach, according to the report, which was obtained by The Washington Times.
After another suspicious attempt Mrs. Clinton said she was scared to open email — but failed to report the matter.
“Notification is required when a user suspects compromise of, among other things, a personally owned device containing personally identifiable information,” the investigators said. “However, OIG found no evidence that the Secretary or her staff reported these incidents to computer security personnel or anyone else within the Department.”…
I have been a bit confused as well, but after a few days of digesting news — old and new media — I have come to the conclusion that if I had the time/money I would take a trip out to the Bundy Ranch and help. Below is some of the news that fortified this previous “on-the-fence” position I had.
(The below video is via GOP Daily Dose.) An earlier video had me hoping this would end well, but alas, it turns out Harry Reid was right for once when he said, “Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over” (Breitbart).
On Saturday, I wrote about the standoff at Bundy Ranch. That post drew a remarkable amount of traffic, even though, as I wrote then, I had not quite decided what to make of the story. Since then, I have continued to study the facts and have drawn some conclusions. Here they are.
First, it must be admitted that legally, Bundy doesn’t have a leg to stand on. The Bureau of Land Management has been charging him grazing fees since the early 1990s, which he has refused to pay. Further, BLM has issued orders limiting the area on which Bundy’s cows can graze and the number that can graze, and Bundy has ignored those directives. As a result, BLM has sued Bundy twice in federal court, and won both cases. In the second, more recent action, Bundy’s defense is that the federal government doesn’t own the land in question and therefore has no authority to regulate grazing. That simply isn’t right; the land, like most of Nevada, is federally owned. Bundy is representing himself, of necessity: no lawyer could make that argument.
That being the case, why does Bundy deserve our sympathy? To begin with, his family has been ranching on the acres at issue since the late 19th century. They and other settlers were induced to come to Nevada in part by the federal government’s promise that they would be able to graze their cattle on adjacent government-owned land. For many years they did so, with no limitations or fees. The Bundy family was ranching in southern Nevada long before the BLM came into existence.
Over the last two or three decades, the Bureau has squeezed the ranchers in southern Nevada by limiting the acres on which their cattle can graze, reducing the number of cattle that can be on federal land, and charging grazing fees for the ever-diminishing privilege. The effect of these restrictions has been to drive the ranchers out of business. Formerly, there were dozens of ranches in the area where Bundy operates. Now, his ranch is the only one. When Bundy refused to pay grazing fees beginning in around 1993, he said something to the effect of, they are supposed to be charging me a fee for managing the land and all they are doing is trying to manage me out of business. Why should I pay them for that?…. (continued after break)…
LOL! Government Thinks the 1st Amendment Is an Area (Scary)
“Let’s be clear: the BLM is its own worst enemy on this issue, and many others. The agency’s ludicrous mishandling of this week’s protests with “First Amendment Zones” and the like is part and parcel of a years-long and mounting disrespect for public involvement in the management of its own lands. The probably illegal denial of public comment at solar project hearings we reported on in 2011 remains BLM Desert District policy, an issue we’re continuing to track.” (KCET)
Mr. Reid’s son Rory Reid, a former Clark County commissioner, represented ENN Mojave Energy, a Chinese-backed company seeking to build a $5 billion solar plant near Laughlin, Nev. The company ultimately dropped those plans after failing to secure sufficient financial backing, according to reports.
That project was more than 100 miles from the Bundy Ranch, Ms. Orthman said.
A separate solar project, involving a local Indian tribe, that Mr. Reid has pushed also does not overlap with the Bundy ranch.
“[Harry] Reid’s push for solar energy development in southern Nevada included attendance last month at a groundbreaking ceremony for a solar power facility that involves the Moapa Band of Pauites and First Solar Inc.,” said the KLAS-TV report. “But that 250-megawatt power plant will be roughly 35 miles southwest of the Bundy ranch.”
Powerline continues to explain there may be some alternative energy interests (the Washington Times article directly above) involved in why the BLM is enforcing the issue right now, and then PL goes on to explain:
…So it is possible that the federal government is driving Bundy off federal lands to make way for mitigation activities that enable the solar energy development to the north. But I don’t think it is necessary to go there. Rather–this is the second and more important point–it is obvious that some activities are favored by the Obama administration’s BLM, and others are disfavored. The favored developments include solar and wind projects. No surprise there: the developers of such projects are invariably major Democratic Party donors. Wind and solar energy survive only by virtue of federal subsidies, so influencing people like Barack Obama and Harry Reid is fundamental to the developers’ business plans. Ranchers, on the other hand, ask nothing from the federal government other than the continuation of their historic rights. It is a safe bet that Cliven Bundy is not an Obama or Reid contributor.
The new head of the BLM is a former Reid staffer. Presumably he was placed in his current position on Reid’s recommendation. Harry Reid is known to be a corrupt politician, one who has gotten wealthy on a public employee’s salary, in part, at least, by benefiting from sweetheart real estate deals. Does Harry Reid now control more than 80% of the territory of Nevada? If you need federal authority to conduct business in Nevada–which is overwhelmingly probable–do you need to pay a bribe to Harry Reid or a member of his family to get that permission? Why is it that the BLM is deeply concerned about desert tortoises when it comes to ranchers, but couldn’t care less when the solar power developers from China come calling? Environmentalists have asked this question. Does the difference lie in the fact that Cliven Bundy has never contributed to an Obama or Reid campaign, or paid a bribe to Reid or a member of his family?
Based on the evidence, I would say: yes, that is probably the difference. When the desert tortoises balance out, Occam’s razor tells us that the distinction is political.
So let’s have some sympathy for Cliven Bundy and his family. They don’t have a chance on the law, because under the Endangered Species Act and many other federal statutes, the agencies are always in the right. And their way of life is one that, frankly, is on the outs. They don’t develop apps. They don’t ask for food stamps. It probably has never occurred to them to bribe a politician. They don’t subsist by virtue of government subsidies or regulations that hamstring competitors. They aren’t illegal immigrants. They have never even gone to law school. So what possible place is there for the Bundys in the Age of Obama?
Here is a good explanation in media form via FreeDomain Radio that clearly goes through the many aspects of this confrontation.. well:
(From the above videos description) Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy – of Bundy Ranch – is locked in a standoff with the federal Bureau of Land Management over illegal cattle grazing, endangered tortoises and property rights. It gets even better…
The fight involves a 600,000-acre area under BLM control called Gold Butte, near the Utah border. The is the habitat of the protected desert tortoise, and the land has been off-limits for cattle since 1998.
Five years before that, when grazing was legal, Bundy stopped paying federal fees for the right. Bundy stopped paying grazing fees in 1993. He said he didn’t have to because his Mormon ancestors worked the land since the 1880s, giving him rights to the land.
“We own this land,” he said, not the feds. He said he is willing to pay grazing fees but only to Clark County, not BLM.
“Years ago, I used to have 52 neighboring ranchers,” he said. “I’m the last man standing. How come? Because BLM regulated these people off the land and out of business.”
Nevada, where various federal agencies manage or control more than 80 percent of the land, is among several Western states where ranchers have challenged federal land ownership.
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Another good “new media” presentation filters out the junk and provides the below cache of the original issue and drive behind the Bundy Ranch “round-up” ~ pun intended. This comes via SCG News:
In February, Secretary of Energy dedicated the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System in southeastern California, calling it a “shining example of how America is becoming a world leader in solar energy” [no pun intended, apparently].
However, the project–funded by $1.6 billion in Department of Energy loan guarantees from the 2009 stimulus–is killing wildlife as it concentrates heat on reflecting towers to maximize output.
The Ivanpah array (seen from the air in a Breitbart News photograph above) is cited in a new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that describes it as a “mega-trap” for wildlife, according to the Palm Spring Desert Sun.
In one section of the report, law enforcement officers from the agency describe visiting Ivanpah and witnessing “birds entering the solar flux and igniting,” each becoming a “streamer” of fire and smoke…
1. Solar flux: Exposure to temperatures over 800 degrees F.
2. Impact (or blunt force) trauma: The birds’ wings are rendered inoperable while flying, causing them to crash into the ground. Birds that do not die are often injured badly enough to make them vulnerable to predators.
3. Predators: When a bird’s wings are singed and it can not fly, it loses its primary means of defense against animals like foxes and coyotes.
The study found that besides the intense heat, birds may be mistaking large solar panels for bodies of water. The injured birds then attract insects and other predators to the area. They, too, are then vulnerable to injury or death.
In one instance, researchers found “hundreds upon hundreds” of butterfly carcasses (including Monarchs). The insects were attracted to the light from the solar farms, which in turn attracted birds and perpetuated a cycle of death and injury.
Other issues with alternative energy:
But there is a “hidden” cost behind powering a plant not producing enough power:
…But Ivanpah uses natural gas as a supplementary fuel, and data from the California Energy Commission show the plant burned enough of it in 2014 – its first year of operation – to emit more than 46,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
That’s nearly twice the pollution threshold at which power plants and factories in California are required to participate in the state’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions.
The same amount of natural gas burned at a conventional power plant would have produced enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 17,000 California homes – roughly a quarter of the Ivanpah plant’s total electricity projection for 2014….
Piers Morgan challenged Newt Gingrich to provide examples of AR-15s being used in home protection. Obviously Newt has better things to do with his life (I don’t) than provide Piers with an all-encompassing history of this gun saving lives. (Posted by: Religio-Political Talk) Piers then goes on to say there haven’t been any. WhoooA buddy! I provide Piers with just two examples from the past few of weeks. I upload this only to provide evidence to the growing body of evidence that Piers Morgan is an ass! And that CNN is hurting its brand by trying to compete with MSNBC.
Washington Times: Students Ward Off Home Invaders with an AR-15:
….The committee also raised questions about whether the loan deal came about because of political influence, highlighting an email that they said showed how the White House was trying to hurry a loan approval so Vice President Joseph R. Biden could announce the deal in 2009.
The largest private investor in Solyndra is a venture-capital firm tied to Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, a fundraiser for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
….Solyndra became the first company to get a Department of Energy loan guarantee through the stimulus program, and it was hailed as an example of job creation and clean-energy technology by the White House. ….
….But in a report released by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, officials said documents show that OMB staff working on the loan approval felt pressure from the White House to finish their work in time for the groundbreaking, which also was attended by Mr. Chu and Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who was California’s governor at the time. Mr. Biden appeared via a satellite feed.
“And out there at Solyndra, you guys have figured it out,” Mr. Biden said. “You figured out how to harness the sun’s power for a better, more efficient, more prosperous future for all of America, and you’re creating more jobs.”
In his remarks, Mr. Schwarzenegger said the project would create thousands of jobs, and he applauded the Obama administration.
“So let’s give a big hand to President Obama and the Obama administration for this great job,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said….
….Mr. Waxman said the loan deal deserves scrutiny, and he raised questions about whether there was proper vetting and whether the company misled federal officials about its finances. He said the company even briefed him personally on its finances and assured him it was in solid shape. Still, he said, the company’s collapse shouldn’t keep the government from backing solar-energy initiatives.
But Rep. Mike Pompeo, Kansas Republican, said the collapse wasn’t surprising. He said that’s what happens when the government tries to pick winners and losers.
Despite President Barack Obama’s steep decline in job approval, especially this summer, the president has commanded a remarkable reserve of high personal regard from voters. Even as the polls show him approaching the kind of job support last seen with his predecessor George W. Bush in the post-Katrina era, Obama has not had to deal with significant levels of personal dislike in national surveys….
….It takes more than a bad bet to make a scandal — but Solyndra has connections all the way to Obama himself. When Solyndra initially applied for taxpayer subsidies, auditors at the Department of Energy questioned Solyndra’s stability. So why did the Obama administration fast-track Solyndra’s application? One reason might be that one of the chief investors in Solyndra is George Kaiser — who also was one of Obama’s campaign bundlers in 2008, raising more than $50,000. Solyndra executives made more than 20 visits to the White House between March 2009 and April 2011. Was it a coincidence that Solyndra ended up with an interest rate from the feds at one-fourth the going rate for green-jobs projects?….
….There have been other controversies in the Obama administration, such as Operation Fast and Furious in the ATF office in Phoenix and the Department of Justice. But Solyndra is the first controversy that has the potential to directly stain Barack Obama himself. Indeed, Obama might find that his well of personal favorability could run dry if investigations discover quid pro quos in Solyndra’s collapse and the vaporization of over a half-billion dollars in taxpayer funds.
The Obama Administration spent nearly half of the $38.6 billion funds ($17.2 billion) set aside for his green energy programs and was only able to create 3,545 permanent green jobs. This comes out to a staggering $4,853,000 per job.
The Obama Administration has blown billions of taxpayer dollars on green energy and has only succeeded in producing a few thousand jobs. The Washington Post reported:
“There are good reasons to create green jobs, but they have more to do with green than with jobs,” Princeton University economics professor and former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder has said.
But, there’s more… Top Obama bundler George Kaisermade multiple visits to the White House in the months before the company was granted a $535 million loan from the government. And top Solyndra officials also made numerous visits — 20 — to the White House, according to logs and reporting by The Daily Caller. Solyndra officials in the logs included chairman and founder Christian Gronet and board members Thomas Baruch and David Prend. The company secured the $535 million loan despite the fact that it was widely known Solyndra was in deep economic trouble and had negative cash flows since its inception.
There’s more… It has now been confirmed that White House officials sat in on the Solyndra meetings this past year before the company went under. The White House monitored the huge loans. And before the loan guarantees were granted officials knew the company would fail.