Climate Change

Obama lays out a starkly leftist tone to begin his second term

Obama takes oath of office

Yesterday, President Barack Obama delivered his inaugural address, symbolically beginning the start of his second term in office (he was actually sworn in on Sunday in a private ceremony, per constitutional requirements).

The ceremony was filled with the usual pomp and celebration that we’ve come to know with presidential inaugurations. Hundreds of thousands descended on the Mall in Washington to watch Obama take his oath and listen to his second inaugural address. Many stuck around to watch the inaugural parade, which went on into the evening.

The celebration, as Doug Mataconis explains, “places far too much of an air of monarchism around the Presidency.” Seeing the lengths we take to celebrate one branch of our government — one that is supposed to have only as much power as the legislative and judicial branches — is ridiculous; not to mention incredibly costly. But I digress.

For all of the celebrating that took place in Washington yesterday, President Obama’s inaugural address left much to be desired.

It was a well-delivered speech, but there wasn’t much there on substance. While he talked about the unifying, there was nothing in the speech that came even close to hinting that Obama is ready to work with Republicans in Congress. He couldn’t have delivered that message any clearer.

LOST should be sunk by the Senate

LOST

Have you been following the debate over the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST)? If you haven’t perhaps you should. This UN-backed treaty, which requires ratification by the United States, may not seem important since it deals with a rather mundane issue. However, it could become a vehicle for more nefarious propositions; including backdoor cap-and-trade, a policy that was defeated in Congress back in 2009.

LOST has some powerful supporters in the Senate and among special interests, for example, the United States Chamber of Commerce supports its ratification. However, a number of Republicans in the Senate are looking to derail it, permanently:

The Obama administration’s all-out push to join the United Nations international maritime treaty is just four votes short of being doomed after two more senators this week added their names to the list of lawmakers who have vowed to oppose it.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) are the two latest senators to sign on to the letter, The Hill has learned, bringing the total to 30. Treaties need a two-thirds majority to pass in the Senate, meaning 34 signatures would effectively kill it.

Accession to the treaty is championed by a powerful coalition that includes the U.S. Navy, the business community and the oil industry but that hasn’t been enough to assuage concerns that the convention would impinge on U.S. sovereignty.

Tim McCarver: Global warming is causing more homeruns

We’ve all become accustomed to Al Gore’s constant preaching about global warming. He put together a movie about climate change and managed to win a Nobel Prize due to his fear-mongering and alarmism. We’ve heard various theories and claims over the years from Gore and the like about global warming and its effects. However, I may have heard the strangest claim to date.

Tim McCarver, who may be the worst sports broadcaster I’ve ever listened to, recently said that global warming is causing more homeruns in Major League Baseball. Seriously, he actually said this:

There have been all kinds of reasons given for the increasing number of home runs in baseball over the decades including more tightly-sewn balls, steroids, improved fitness training programs, and bat technology.

On Saturday, renowned Fox sportscaster Tim McCarver blamed it all on Al Gore’s favorite money-making scam.

“It has not been proven, but I think ultimately it will be proven that the air is thinner now, there have been climatic changes over the last 50 years in the world, and I think that’s one of the reasons balls are carrying much better now than I remember,” McCarver said during Saturday’s game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Really? I’ve never been one to take McCarver seriously. In all honesty, I refuse to watch games that he’s broadcasting. The guy drives me nuts. However, McCarver’s claim here deserves to be looked at a little deeper, and since it’s baseball, it makes the issue more interesting.

This particular question is one that I’ve never really looked at in-depth, but last night I went through the data dating back to 1993 to last season (the chart below shows 1992 and 2012, but I couldn’t get rid of those years for some reason).

A Global Warming Challenge for Liberals

For several years now there has been an ongoing debate regarding the impetus for President Obama’s economic policies. Were they the work of the smartest president in history, a man so intelligent that his wisdom could supplant the collective experience and choices of 300 million Americans, and in so doing restore our economy? Were they the well-intentioned but errant contemplations on an Ivy League egghead with lots of “book learnin’”, but without a shred of private sector experience that is the proving grounds for such ideas, being exposed to the unmerciful judgment of markets?

At this point I have come to the conclusion that it is an intentional effort to replace America’s free-enterprise system with a democratic-socialist style, centrally-planned, government run economy. Look at the evidence…the massive stimulus package which failed spectacularly, the auto union bailouts, government employee bailouts, Cash for Clunkers, Son of Stimulus, and myriad other economic “remedies”. Combine this with calls for increased taxes of “the rich”, more regulation and more government intervention in the market, and we end up with a long-term stagnant economy. One can no longer chalk it up to pure stupidity. If it were pure stupidity then the law of probabilities would dictate that Obama would have made the right decisions, even if only by accident, somewhat approaching fifty percent of the time.

Merry Christmas, Suckers

Just in time for Christmas, Washington has a gift for all of you feeling the joy and optimism of the season… a giant, economy killing, power grab by the EPA.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  The polar bears will continue to thrive while Americans suffer record unemployment and poverty!

In a perfectly timed press release, the EPA announced their intention to begin limiting emissions from coal-fired power plants to combat so-called climate change late last night.   While most people aren’t going to pay much attention to this story, it’s going to have significant affects for all of us.  Almost half of the electricity generated in this country comes from coal-fired power plants, so even if your personal power bill doesn’t see an immediate and significant increase, you can certainly expect the price of many of your “Made in the USA” products to increase substantially.  Until the exact provisions are released to the public, however, we can only speculate how much this massive power grab is going to cost each of us, but know that it is going to cost you.

Obviously, if these regulations are adopted, they certainly aren’t something that will aid our economic recovery, to say the least.  It is going to be sadly interesting, however, to see how detrimental these new regulations will be to the economic recovery in specific regions of the country.  For example, why would a company that is building a new factory ever consider an area where the cost of electricity has been artificially and unnecessarily inflated by the geniuses in Washington?

Climate Refugees and Other Global Warming Hysteria

climateul

Leftists are fascinating creatures. They claim to be the ones devoted to scientific inquiry, yet in reality they are only interested in the science that confirms their own biases, and they are willing to use government force to silence anyone offering any objections, criticisms, or facts which are contrary to their preferred narrative.

For example, though Leftists claim to be pro-science, they claim that gender is determined by how one “feels”, rather than the tried-and-true method of taking a peek in one’s Fruit of the Looms and seeking if you are an “innie” or an “outie”. This leads to their denial of the absolute and irrefutable biological differences between the sexes, and to attributing differences in men and women not to biology, but to social indoctrination.

Likewise, despite being repeatedly and demonstrably wrong for decades, the left also denies science in the area of global warming (or is it climate change? Or climate chaos? Or carbon pollution? It changes so often it is difficult to keep up). Hence the latest hysteria being peddled as science…climate refugees.

Climate refugees are those who are being displaced from their homes by changes in the Earth’s climate, which the left blames on global warming, which is in turn blamed on man’s drive to industrialization. As they tell the story, the more mankind industrializes, the more CO2 we generate, which in turn creates a force field around the Earth which traps greenhouse gases, which heats up the Earth, which melts the polar ice caps, which causes the sea levels to rise, which will lead to all of us living next door to SpongeBob at the bottom of the ocean by the end of the century.

And then they came for the delicious cheeseburger: Climate alarmists want to take beef off the menu

cheeseburger

Ron White, whom you may remember from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, once talked about a friend who railed against the raising of cattle because it was bad for the environment. “What are you doing to help the environment?” the friend asked, according to White, to which the comedian replied, “I’m eatin’ the cows.”

It makes for a hilarious joke in a comedy routine. But there are actually people out there who want people to swear off beef because, they suggest, it’s harmful our health and bad for the environment. Jayson Lusk, a professor at Oklahoma State University, explains the thinking of these radical environmentalists:

The documentary film “Cowspiracy,” released this week in select cities, builds on the growing cultural notion that the single greatest environmental threat to the planet is the hamburger you had for lunch the other day. As director Kip Andersen recently told the Source magazine: “A lot of us are waking up and realizing we can choose to either support all life on this planet or kill all life on this planet, simply by virtue of what we eat day in and day out. One way to eat takes life, while another spares as many lives (plant, animal and otherwise) as possible.”

Today in Liberty: White House wanted Geithner to lie on Sunday shows, Boehner won’t arrest Lerner

“Increasing the minimum wage is political pandering, pure and simple. It does nothing to increase economic growth, which would create millions of jobs and lead to higher wages for everybody. The government shouldn’t set the price of labor, the free market should. It’s sad that some would rather play politics instead of making the case for pro-growth policies like tax reform and passing new trade deals with other nations.”Club for Growth President Chris Chocola

— White House wanted Geithner to lie about Social Security: In his new book, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises, former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says that the White House wanted him to lie about Social Security’s impact on the federal deficit on Sunday talk shows. “I remember during one Roosevelt Room prep session before I appeared on the Sunday shows, I objected when Dan Pfeiffer wanted me to say Social Security didn’t contribute to the deficit. It wasn’t a main driver of our future deficits, but it did contribute,” Geithner writes. “Pfeiffer said the line was a ‘dog whistle’ to the left, a phrase I had never heard before. He had to explain that the phrase was code to the Democratic base, signaling that we intended to protect Social Security.” By the way, Social Security consumed 4.9 percent of the economy in 2013, slightly more than major government healthcare programs. Over the long-term, the Ponzi scheme will be outpaced by Medicare, but not by much.

Today in Liberty: Harry Reid is the new Nancy Pelosi, taxpayers subsidize state-owned businesses

Today in Liberty is a daily roundup of recent political news and other interesting stories presented with liberty-minded commentary. We frequently keep tabs on liberty-minded politicians and candidates in these updates. We also inject some humor on occasion. Click here to receive Today in Liberty every weekday morning via email.

— Harry Reid is the new hotness: The Senate majority leader is the villain in this year’s mid-term election, in case you haven’t already noticed, and he’s one that can be used in both House and Senate races. “A GOP strategist said Pelosi is still No. 2 on the list of liberal villains that scare conservative donors into action, after President Obama. But others say Reid has become a more compelling bogeyman,” The Hill explains. “The main reason? Pelosi no longer runs the House after the GOP reclaimed the lower chamber in 2010. Republicans have been unable to strip Reid of his majority leader title, but they think this will be the year they do that.”

— Al Gore is still around: And he’s stull super serial about climate change. After three  pretentious opening paragraphs, Politico Magazine catches us up on what former Vice President Al Gore is doing these days and his frustrations with the lack of action on climate change. Basically, big money and the Koch brothers are blamed. Oh, and when asked if he’ll run for president again, Gore said this: “I am a recovering politician. And the longer I avoid a relapse the more confidence that I will not succumb to the temptation to run yet again. But I’m a recovering politician. I’ll just leave it at that.”

Washington Post blasts Obama administration’s Keystone XL delay

The Washington Post is tired of President Obama’s “foot-dragging” on the latest delay of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The paper’s editorial board, which has expressed support for the pipeline in previous missives, blasted the administration yesterday:

 


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