Whatever Happened to the Scientific Consensus? + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Tue 01/20/2015 by

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“Amplification is the vice of modern oratory.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to David Harding, 1824

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Whatever Happened to the Scientific Consensus?

The alarm dial cranked to full throttle Friday after NOAA released its much-anticipated “bombshell” report analyzing last year’s climate numbers. According to NOAA, at 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit (0.69 degrees Celsius) above average, global temperatures sizzled to a value unmatched by previous years. We preemptively debunked the report in December and cautioned against falling for the dubious data crunching methods employed by federal agencies. But did the government actually come to the conclusion it’s claiming? Not exactly. The report “failed to mention … that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C,” the Daily Mail revealed. That’s important because “[t]he margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much.” The Mail continued, “As a result, GISS’s [Goddard Institute for Space Studies] director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted [government officials believe] the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent.” And you can bet they’ll take that “consensus” to the bank. More…

Sandy Hook Panel to Recommend More Gun Control

After the horrific murders in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, Democrat Gov. Dannel Malloy and the state legislature exploited the emotional panic to enact strict gun control measures. Malloy also set up a commission to investigate what further gun measures the state could employ to make people safer infringe the Second Amendment. The full report isn’t due until Feb. 14, but at last Friday’s meeting the 16-member panel decided to recommend – surprise! – even stricter gun control. Reuters reports the details: “Its recommendations included banning the possession of guns or ammunition clips [sic – they’re magazines] holding 10 or more bullets [sic – bullets are only part of a round], and expanding a 2013 law that prohibited the sale of such weapons but allowed continued possession. The panel dropped a recommendation that would have allowed Connecticut gunmakers to continue manufacturing such weapons for sale out of state.” Many, if not most, handguns hold more than 10 rounds and that’s not, as Reuters calls it, “high capacity” – it’s standard capacity. Naturally, law enforcement will be exempt, which seems to indicate that more than 10 rounds might come in handy when battling a criminal who’s not abiding by the law in the first place. Leftists like to yammer about “common sense,” but we don’t hold out much hope for that in the Constitution State. More…

State Dept. to Undermine Obama’s Keystone Veto Threat?

Barack Obama may have greeted the 114th Congress with threats to veto the Keystone XL pipeline, but the State Department signaled it’s wrapping up its review of the project, possibly undermining the president’s threat. Obama’s reasoning for threatening the veto was because the executive branch hasn’t reviewed the project – as if Obama cares about the separation of powers. Now, State has set a deadline for Feb. 2 to gather the executive branch’s thoughts on Keystone. “Fox News has learned eight agencies have been asked to provide their views. The State Department has been wading through a review process for months and in setting a deadline, signaled it was preparing to make a final decision.” The Fox News report continued, “That is important because the White House had said previously that it was waiting for the agency to conclude its probe before President Obama decides whether to support the project.” The State Department’s move seems to weaken Obama’s stance, but we expect them to find environmental reasons for ditching the pipeline, thereby giving the president even more ammo. More…

Canadian Firefight in Iraq Indicates U.S. Mission Slip

In an instant, the Canadian Special Forces, who were only in Iraq to train the Iraqi Army to fight ISIL, found themselves in a firefight with jihadists. Canadian Brigadier General Michael Rouleau told AFP, “My troops had completed a planning session with senior Iraqi leaders several kilometers behind the front lines. When they moved forward to confirm the planning at the front lines in order to visualize what they had discussed over a map, they came under immediate and effective mortar and machine gunfire.” It took some Canadian sniping to “neutralize both threats,” according to the general, which we infer means Canadian snipers – boots on the ground – sent a few ISIL soldiers to meet their 72 virgins. Increasingly, the 2,200 American soldiers who also advise Iraqi troops are coming under ISIL mortar fire themselves. If the distinction between Obama’s military advisers who have “no boots on the ground” and active soldiers is a firefight, America is creeping towards another campaign in Iraq. More…

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Does Anything But

In Orwellian fashion, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does not protect consumers’ finances, but wastes them. In starting luxurious renovations on its building – which include a glass staircase and a water wall – the bureau ignores the fact that consumers are taxpayers. And they are wasting the taxpayers’ money. “A government report pegs the price of the work at $210 million – $120 million more than initial estimates, with off-site leasing costs included,” Watchdog.org reports. “‘That’s more per square foot than the Bellagio hotel-casino in Las Vegas,’ said John Berlau, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. And, critics add, CFPB doesn’t even own the building.” The bureau is less than five years old (the bureau was created in response to the 2008 financial crisis), but it’s already become a monument to big-government narcissism and inefficiency. Too big to fail, indeed. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

America Brimming With Anticipation for Another Obama Speech

The State of the Union Address tonight is part of a long presidential tradition, but to call Barack Obama’s speech highly anticipated is a stretch. The administration has spent much time since New Year’s jetting the president around to various campaign stops to preview his address. Sure, there might be a surprise announcement, but after six years of Obama’s SOTU speeches there is already a strong sense of what the president will say.

He will propose tax hikes. Every single Obama SOTU address has included calls for tax hikes on the “wealthy,” corporations, banks or all of the above. This time around, it will be a sharp increase in capital gains and dividend taxes, which economists routinely warn are the worst kinds of tax hikes if you want to grow the economy.

Then there will come the giveaways. This year it’s “free” community college, which will supposedly be paid for with the aforementioned tax increases. He also wants to use tax hikes on the “wealthy” to pay for tax breaks for the middle class, including a new $500 credit for households with two incomes. Too bad for you, stay-at-home moms and dads.

The president will also spend some time talking about himself, as he always does, and how he won’t allow the Republican Congress to stand in the way of his agenda. Despite the electorate’s clear rejection of his policies, the president will offer nothing but more Obama.

He will claim the state of the union is strong and rattle off a series of economic statistics about low unemployment, low oil prices, high investment and a strong stock market. He will not, however, mention the historically low labor participation rate, the still-shaky housing market or the flight of investment capital. And he is also unlikely to spend much time talking about his failed foreign policy record, though what he does mention will be chest-thumping spin.

The pomp and circumstance associated with the SOTU since the days of Franklin Roosevelt has long given way to sheer political theater in an age of over-stimulated and dangerously cynical citizens. For many of the first hundred-plus years of this country, the SOTU was little more than a letter the president sent to Congress, meeting an obligation laid out in Article II of the Constitution to update the legislative branch “from time to time” on the state of the union. It wasn’t until Woodrow Wilson decided to give his report in the form of a speech that we came to expect the president to make an annual trek down Pennsylvania Avenue.

But the SOTU has suffered steadily declining viewership since Bill Clinton’s presidency. With few exceptions – George W. Bush’s 2002 SOTU and Obama’s first address in 2009 – the event seems to draw little excitement from the country at large.

Obama is unlikely to change the SOTU’s viewing trends this year or next. His own aides admit there is little political value to it, which means that they’re going to put forth the minimum effort. Obama has pretty much already announced what he’s going to talk about, and, by pre-announcing vetoes to the Republican agenda for 2015, there almost doesn’t seem any need to give a SOTU address at all. If it weren’t for the fact that Obama loves few things more than the sound of his own voice, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he just sent Congress a sternly worded letter.

So, if you, like the vast majority of your countrymen, decide to skip the speech in favor of important things like rewinding your CD collection, Mark Alexander will persevere through the speech and offer his annual rebuttal tomorrow. After all, the speech still lays out the president’s agenda. Stay tuned.

Supreme Court Agrees to Define Marriage

For Americans who maintain that marriage is between one man and one woman, gear up for the next battle. On Friday, the Supreme Court announced it had agreed to hear cases regarding same-sex marriage. Given the track record of activist judges on the High Court, we are not overly optimistic the justices will rule in favor of the third pillar of Liberty.

In October, the Supreme Court declined to hear cases from five states seeking to preserve their lawful, voter-approved definitions of marriage. By choosing not to take on those cases, the Supreme Court left in place lower court rulings overturning laws on same-sex marriage.

And two years ago, the Supreme Court tossed Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that the federal government is bound to recognize same-sex marriages from states in which they are legal. The justices did not, however, go so far as to declare same-sex marriage a right – yet.

The result of that decision led to most of the lower courts striking down numerous state bans on same-sex marriage.

There was one exception: The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld traditional marriage laws in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Judge Jeffrey Sutton said in that ruling it was not the place of the courts to decide such an important social issue. What a novel concept. “When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers,” Sutton wrote. “Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way.”

Given the split among the circuit courts, it was almost certain the Supreme Court would step in to settle the dispute.

It’s worth noting the timing of the Court’s announcement. There is growing capitulation among Republicans on the issue, and the party’s candidates offered little debate over marriage during the campaign season. The GOP’s new congressional majorities are occupied with other agenda items. Should the Supreme Court rule to redefine marriage (as many political pundits presume it will), the GOP could be further divided on this issue leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

Regardless of whether the Supreme Court discovers a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, any Republican candidate who has or continues to oppose same-sex marriage will be portrayed as a bigot. But a Court ruling could move the needle further. There will also be many potential candidates who would argue that, since the Court ruled, the matter is settled.

On the other hand, there could also be ample opportunity for candidates to stand firmly on principle. Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review notes, “If the Supreme Court does issue such a ruling, Republicans in the presidential primaries will be under a bit more pressure to say that they back a constitutional amendment reversing the decision and to say explicitly that they’ll appoint justices who don’t tend to agree with that sort of decision.”

Aside from the political fallout for the GOP from a Supreme Court decision that is presumed to side with the homosexual agenda, the greater impact will be on the people. A majority of voters in a majority of states have said that marriage is a sacred institution that does not change at the whim of progressive lobbyists and activist judges. Their voice will have been rejected.

And don’t think for a moment that a ruling redefining marriage will have no impact on churches and religious liberty in America. If the Supreme Court can redefine marriage, then is that same Supreme Court not powerful enough to impose its will on those who preach, teach and believe that the only true marriage is that between one man and one woman? Where does it end? Bakers, florists and photographers are already under assault – just wait until same-sex marriage is a “constitutional right.”

America had better wake up, because regardless of which way the Court rules the issue of what constitutes marriage isn’t going away any time soon.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964): “I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.”

FRC president Tony Perkins: “Terror swept across Africa and Asia over the weekend, as radical Muslims set fire to churches, smashed glass, destroyed villages, and brutally murdered innocent Christians in protest of France’s Charlie Hebdo. … Meanwhile, the media seems quick to rally around Charlie – but what have they said about these Christians? Will there be protests and newspaper headlines across Europe and the U.S. for the tens of thousands of Christians brutally slaughtered, tortured, or forced to flee their country for their faith? While it’s important to stand up for our freedoms, we cannot ignore the one from which all others spring: the freedom of religion. President Obama is particularly guilty of this, as his administration continues its own march to sanitize the public square of faith. Yet on occasions like Friday’s Religious Freedom Day, words hardly matched up to the White House’s actions. ‘The First Amendment prohibits the Government from establishing religion,’ the President proclaimed. ‘It protects the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith, or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free from persecution and fear… Promoting religious freedom has always been a key objective of my administration’s foreign policy…’ Could have fooled us.”

Columnist Cal Thomas: “Here’s a suggestion for Joni Ernst, the new Republican senator from Iowa, who will deliver the GOP response to the State of the Union address Tuesday night. Get a chorus together and open with this old Sammy Cahn-Jule Styne number: ‘It seems to me I’ve heard that song before; it’s from an old familiar score, I know it well, that melody.’ Advance leaks of the president’s address indicate he will call for higher taxes on the wealthy and successful in order to pay for programs for the poor and middle class. This is boilerplate Democratic wealth redistribution we’ve heard since New Deal days, which appeals more to emotions than it does to principles with a long history of success. … Leaders should inspire others to follow examples of people who have succeeded in life. Instead, the Democrats’ mantra has been that the poor and middle class can’t succeed without government help. If that were true, the money spent on programs aimed at the poor and middle class would have succeeded by now. It’s long past time for a new direction and for a new ‘song’ with different words. In the month we observe the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., how about ‘We HAVE overcome’?”

Comedian Conan O’Brien: “After the State of the Union Address, President Obama plans to sit down with three YouTube celebrities. That’s right – the President is going to have lunch with a cat, a bear, and a waterskiing squirrel.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

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