Monday, November 25, 2013

Obama, Iran & Peace In Our Time

The single greatest threat to the world is Iran and its drive towards a nuclear arsenal. It took almost eight years to get real international sanctions in place against Iran in an effort to end their nuclear program short of war. And now, Obama has ratified Iran's nuclear program while loosening the international sanctions that were finally starting to bite. Hot Air describes the deal thusly:

When you dig into the details of this arrangement, there’s a lot of frosting and not much cake. First of all, this is not a permanent agreement in any way shape or form. It’s a six month “arrangement” which Iran could simply walk away from at the end (or at any point, really) after receiving a massive fiscal injection in the form of sanction relief. It is also simply a “suspension” of certain enrichment activities, with no dismantling of any of Iran’s facilities. The entire show can be started back up at any time. There’s additional transparency, with more inspectors allowed into additional facilities, which is good, but much like the suspension of enrichment this can be terminated any moment Iran decides not to honor the deal. (As they have done numerous times in the past.) The deal also allegedly limits the level of uranium enrichment the Iranians can reach, but that’s the same bone we’ve been chewing on for years. And finally, we have the Iranians on every cable channel doing an end zone dance saying this is “formal recognition” of their right to enrich uranium, while Kerry and his team are saying the opposite. It’s hard to imagine how solid any “deal” can be when the two sides are announcing essentially 180 degree opposite conclusions on basic terminology.

This is insane. The mad mullahs of Iran are every bit as evil, every bit as bloody, every bit as genocidal, and every bit as expansionist as the Nazi regime of old. And the world, led by Obama, is making the same mistakes as the United Kingdom and France of 1938. With this agreement with Iran, war is now more likely in the long run, not less.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beware The Obamacare Legislative Trap

Stalin was able to collectivize agriculture in the Soviet Union because he was not accountable. Anyone who didn't like what he was doing or was hurt by it didn't matter. Stalin killed over 20 million of them.

The problem for the "progressives" in our country, as they attempt to take over and run health care, is that they can't dispense with all the people they are hurting - the young who have to subsidize the old, the middle class who are being massively taxed to subsidize Obama voters, those on medicare who will be hurt by the massive raids on that program, the religious who object to being made to violate their conscience, the workers who will be losing their jobs, or at least their working hours, over Obamacare, etc., etc. To the contrary, all those people can and will vote.

Usually, the progressive left gets their way because their pathological altruism sounds far more empathetic, and when whatever program they are pushing has negative consequences, it is so discrete in effect that they can successfully lie about it. The vast majority is none the wiser. Not so with progressive's penultimate overreach - Obamacare. It effects every American.

Now that Democrat legislators find themselves caught out, they are panicking, and therein lies a trap for the right. This from Redstate:

. . . They are about to consider, in the House of Representatives, legislation by Congressman Upton that would allow people to keep their insurance plans.

There’s a problem though. It is widely acknowledged that Congressman Upton’s legislation is more messaging than substance. His legislation does not have anything in it that can force insurance companies, in the topsy-turvy world of Obamacare, to keep insurance plans going.

But there is a plan than does. Senator Mary Landrieu has written legislation in the United States Senate that the Democrats love. It mandates insurance companies have to keep people on their present insurance. The GOP is supposedly against mandates and against government forcing private businesses and individuals into contracts they don’t want.

Here’s what is going to happen.

The House, with the help of a good number of Democrats, will pass the Upton plan and send it to the Senate. Harry Reid will substitute the Landrieu plan and send it back to the House. The House will be forced to either vote for the Landrieu plan or be characterized as siding with insurance companies against people.

In one fell swoop, the Democrats will have the GOP on record saving Mary Landrieu’s re-election in Louisiana by casting her as the one who saved Americans’ health care plans, and also getting on record as really being in favor of fixing Obamacare with the use of mandates.

In truth, Obamacare is not fixable. The only solution is to fully repeal it. The Republicans should not be helping Democrats with their re-election plans, which is all the are doing with Upton/Landrieu.

The GOP is walking right into the trap.

The GOP could not be better positioned right now. Not a single Republican voted for Obamacare. And indeed, it was just a few weeks ago that Ted Cruz and the House shut down government explicitly over Obamacare. And as countless people have noted, Obamacare can't be fixed, it must be repealed. The GOP must continue to demand it - and nothing less.

My suggestion to Republicans is simply refuse any bill that is a fix to Obamacare, short of getting a major, major capitulation in return, such as tort reform, and even then, only in return for a short term fix. Beyond that, alter anything such as the Upton bill with riders that would bring an end to Obamacare.

The only other caveat to that is that Republicans need to unanimously agree on their own plan for medical insurance reform and attach it as an alternative. Up to this point, while there are Republican plans out there, they are individual proposals without a single consolidated plan that all support.

Two, the right has been largely silent, preferring to dwell on the evils of Obamacare rather than their own proposed solutions. This has been a tactic to keep all attention on Obamacare and not to give the left a chance to rail against the right's ideas. We are fast approaching the time when Republicans need to take the next step and present their consolidated plan as an alternative to the obscenity that is Obamacare.


Obamacare - The Schadenfreude Is Almost Too Much

Almost . . .

Today's Obamacare vignettes:

- Update: No one, and I mean no one, seems to be experiencing more schadenfreude than Jonah Goldberg:

[F]rankly, this has been one of the most enjoyable political moments of my lifetime. I wake up in the morning and rush to find my just-delivered newspaper with a joyful expectation of worsening news so intense, I feel like Morgan Freeman should be narrating my trek to the front lawn. Indeed, not since Dan Rather handcuffed himself to a fraudulent typewriter, hurled it into the abyss, and saw his career plummet like Ted Kennedy was behind the wheel have I enjoyed a story more.

- First up, the numbers:

On Wednesday, the Obama administration finally released its first numbers for Obamacare health insurance exchange enrollment dating from October 1 to October 31. The numbers were not pretty: just 106,185 people “selected a Marketplace plan” using the exchanges, after the administration predicted that 494,620 people would do so.

Even the Associated Press was forced to lament the “dismal numbers.” The federal health care exchange signed up less than 27,000 people. . . .

- As the same article goes on to point out, in round numbers, that makes for 100,000 signed up for Obamacare, 5,000,000 who have already lost their insurance.

- According to CNN's Jake Tapper, Democrat Congress critters have gone into hiding since the numbers came out, refusing to appear on his show.

- But not all Dems are silent. For Crazy Nancy, the only truth that matters is "socialist truth.":

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.) tweeted out a claim that one million people have applied and are eligible to get insurance through the Obamacare marketplace and 500,000 have already secured coverage.

- According to The Hill, Democrat Congress Critters are on the verge of "going crazy" over the Obamacare debacle.

- How about this for a winning ad . . .

. . . This is disturbing on a number of levels, but from a purely practical point of view, how stupid does the Obama administration think young women are? They are going to pay through the nose for insurance under Obamacare - they are, after all, subsidizing their parents and grandparents health insurance - but getting a small percentage of that back as free contraception is going to sell them?

- Not all young people are quite so ignorant of math as Obama obviously hopes. From Instapundit, "Generation Opportunity Throws Anti-Obamacare Tailgate Party: Students at The University of Miami celebrated opting out of Obamacare with beer pong, pizza, and partying with Creepy Uncle Sam."

- The Obamacare girl . . .

. . . is the perfect metaphor for an Obama administration project. She is not a U.S. citizen, she has not signed up for Obamacare, and she was not paid by the government for the use of her image on the Obamacare website.


Obamacare is the gift that will keep giving for a long time to come. It is reality smashing into the "socialist truth" of the left. It is everything we on the right said it would be; it demonstrates better than anything else could the difference between the left and the right in America today. As Thomas Sowell wrote in his essay, The Prejudices Of The Elite:

[T]he political left, even in democratic countries, . . . [believe] that knowledgeable and virtuous people like themselves have both a right and a duty to use the power of government to impose their superior knowledge and virtue on others.

They may not impose their presumptions wholesale, like the totalitarians, but retail in innumerable restrictions, ranging from economic and nanny state regulations to “hate speech” laws.

If no one has even one percent of all the knowledge in a society, then it is crucial that the other 99 percent of knowledge – scattered in tiny and individually unimpressive amounts among the population at large – be allowed the freedom to be used in working out mutual accommodations among the people themselves.

These innumerable mutual interactions are what bring the other 99 percent of knowledge into play – and generate new knowledge.

That is why free markets, judicial restraint, and reliance on decisions and traditions growing out of the experiences of the many – rather than the groupthink of the elite few – are so important.

Elites are all too prone to over-estimate the importance of the fact that they average more knowledge per person than the rest of the population – and under-estimate the fact that their total knowledge is so much less than that of the rest of the population. Central planning, judicial activism, and the nanny state all presume vastly more knowledge than any elite have ever possessed.

The ignorance of people with Ph.D.s is still ignorance, the prejudices of educated elites are still prejudices, and for those with one percent of a society’s knowledge to be dictating to those with the other 99 percent is still an absurdity.

Amen . . . and pass the popcorn


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Other Obama Administration Scandal

Bob: "Did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?

Jim: "You mean the Mexican gun running?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean SEAL Team 6?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean the State Dept. lying about Benghazi?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean voter fraud?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean the military not getting their votes counted?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean that 3 or 4 of Obama's GAY friends were mysteriously MURDERED when they came forward with claims he was gay too?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?"
Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean the drones in our own country without the benefit of the law?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "Giving 123 Technologies $300 Million and right after it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Bob: "No the other one:.

Jim: "The IRS targeting conservatives?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The DOJ spying on the press?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "Giving SOLYNDRA $500 MILLION DOLLARS and 3 months later they declared bankruptcy and then the Chinese bought it?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The president's ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants  from jails and prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The president's threat to impose gun control by Executive Order in order to bypass Congress?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The president's repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The 2012 vote where 115% of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The president's unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate's advise-and-consent role?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The State Department interfering with an Inspector General investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?"

Bob: "No, the other  one."

Jim: "I give up! ... Oh wait, I think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don't pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?


(H/T American Digest)


Saturday, November 9, 2013

America Goes To School On Obamacare & Socialism 101

Dr. Krauthammer does a superb job of describing the intent, arrogance and fraud of the Obamacare design.

Obamacare, sold on breathtaking lies (keep your insurance, keep your doctor, lower your healthcare premiums, better insurance, reduce the deficit) and built on a mountain of perverse incentives (part time work chief among them), is finally hitting home for the many Obama supporters. They are being schooled in Obamacare and socialism. Idiots.

Have we finally reached the point of far left overreach? I hope so, for the nation.

Many Democrat legislators who voted for Obamacare are now seeing their political obituaries written for 2014. They have no way to fix the Obamacare obscenity, but they are clamoring to put off Obamacare for another year - to get them past the next election. I have two thoughts on that. One, the damage is done, so Republicans agreeing to such an extension would be giving up very little. Two, they should only agree to that single change in exchange for medical malpractice tort reform - something that actually would stop defensive medicine and, if done properly, would actually bend down the cost curve of medical care. Other than that, let Obama and every naive idiot that voted for him - or indeed, any Democrat - twist on the end of the Obamacare rope.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Future of Obamacare & "Liberalism"

We are sitting at the tip of the Obamacare nightmare. Virtually all of the horrible consequences forecast for this obscenity will come to pass.

According to Krauthammer, the Obamacare debacle could be the death knell for "liberalism."

And if the U.S. voters were rational, that would be true. But as 2012 taught us, they aren't. I hate to disagree with Krauthammer's assessment, but don't count on Obamacare or any big government program being killed off until our nation itself is in extremis.

One - no leftie will ever admit that their grand government programs have failed, regardless of the results. They will only go so far as to say that there are a few problems - often blamed on the opposition - and that just some slight tweeking of the laws may be needed to obtain perfection. This is a script replayed in a loop ad inifinitum.

Two - the left is utterly shameless and without a shred of intellectual integrity. What matters for them is only "socialist truth" - those claims, whether or not with any basis in reality, that advance their cause. They will never take any responsibility. They will shamelessly lie. In the vast majority of cases, they will do so with the complicity of the MSM. And the reality is that many, many people will believe them.

Three, the pathological alturism that sits at the heart of the leftwing movement is a siren's song. It paints a picture of rainbows and unicorns - a picture people want to believe.

And lastly, the left has made so many systemic changes over the past century to our form of government that act as safe harbors for them that it is doubtful they can be killed off. The left has found endless ways to funnel tax payer money to interest groups - unions, community organizing groups, Planned Parenthood, etc. - who cycle it back to the party in an endless loop. We are now governed by regulators whose "laws" bypass our elected representatives. And our courts have been used by the left to vastly change our nation for decades, with their decisions becoming effectively unchangable but by Constitutional amendment.

There will be a death knell in the end, but I think it more likely for our nation than the liberalism that will destroy it.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Obamacare: The Mother Of All Market Distortions (Updated)

Market distortion occurs when government imposes artificiality on markets through regulation. Such distortions always - always - always - cost the economy and individuals. I am not talking about laws of contract and fraud which set the parameters of the playing field for the operation of the free market, but rather regulations limiting free market decisions. Some are simply corrupt - i.e., the protection of vested interests. Others are more insidious and derive from the penultimate deceit of the left - that they are more intelligent than millions of individuals making their own decisions on how and what to purchase and sell.

Its hard to top the left's subprime housing crisis that brought our economy to its knees for market distortion. But that was a distortion that took fifteen years to bear its poisonous fruit. The biggest market distortion we are likely to see in our lifetimes and this side of the Soviet Union - one that is already bearing immediate fruit - is Obamacare. Healthcare is one sixth of our entire economy, and Obamacare is just starting to explode it.

The left has taken over our healthcare industry, mandating vastly expanded mandatory areas of coverage, from pregnancy, mental health, pre-existing conditions, "free" wellness checks, and "free" contraception, including the "morning after" abortion pill. They have mandated universal coverage - for supposedly an additional 30 million people - as well as subsidized coverage for lower and lower middle economic class. For this to work without adding to government debt, the middle and upper class are going to have to pay much more for their coverage, the young need to buy into the plans so as to subsidize the old and sick, and there is going to have to be a lot of new tax revenue to take up the slack for subsidies.

There is zero chance that this plan will work as advertised by Obama and the left. It will not save people money. It will not bend down the cost of health care. It will not provide universal coverage. It will not reduce the deficit. And of course, people who like their coverage will not be able to keep it at their choosing.

Some of these claims were knowing falsehoods.

Others seem to be attributable to the supreme conceit of the left, that they are smarter than the free market.

Because Obama has unilaterally put off the employer mandate to 2015, we are going to have to wait one more year to be able to take full stock of the near term impact of Obamacare in all of its 'glory.' But my full expectation is that it will add steeply to the deficit, that it will send the economy into even greater stagnation, if not outright recession, and jobs will further contract. It will be a far left trifecta.

The only good thing about this is that the far left owns this monstrosity. Whatever the right does, it should not agree to anything as a fix. Any attempt to put a band aid on this cancer will only extend out the pain. There is one answer only - repeal.

There will likely never be a greater experiment in socialist and Keynsian economic theory than the Obama administration policies in virtually all areas of government. The only question is whether the American people will ever take realistic stock of the outcomes.

Additional Updates: From Powerline on the higher costs of insurance under Obamacare:

For a succinct explanation of why Obamacare is making health insurance more expensive for millions of Americans, check out this short interview with Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini. Bertolini identifies three main factors: 1) Obamacare imposes a requirement that, on an actuarial basis, insurance cover at least 60% of health care costs. Currently, more than half of Americans who buy individual coverage are below 50%. 2) Obamacare imposes 4% to 5% additional cost in the form of new taxes and fees. Aetna alone will pass on $1 billion in Obamacare taxes and fees to its policyholders. 3) Obamacare mandates many coverages, whether customers want them or not, and requires insurers to provide subsidized coverage to those who are already sick.

And via Hot Air, there is Charles Krauthammer:


Monday, October 28, 2013

Sixty Minutes On Behghazi

Sixty Minutes has done an expose on Benghazi - interviewing one of the participants on the ground that night. It might lead one to think that there might be something more to the Benghazi "scandal" than simple partisanship:

There are three legs to the Benghazi scandal - the Sixty Minutes episode dwells on the first and only alludes to the other two. Just as a reminder, those three legs are:

1) The refusal over months to provide increased security in the face of an open and obvious threat, was criminally reckless. There is some evidence that this was part of a deliberate policy to go forward with a light footprint in Libya for political reasons - though the author of that policy has never been identified. Moreover, this failure to provide adequate security shows an administration that completely misunderstands the threat we face from radical Wahhabi Islamists, and indeed, whitewashes Wahabbi Islam to the point of portraying it as benign.

2) The Obama administration refused to send any military assets to rescue our people once the attack started. Our people were left to die - my suspicion, because of domestic political considerations. No assets were scrambled, irrespective of whether they would have been there in time.

3) The complete whitewash and cover-up in the wake of Benghazi. One element of this was Obama and Clinton blaming the attack on a rogue movie review. A second element was an "official investigation" that did not include any interviews of high ranking State Dept. officials, including Clinton herself. The third element is that no one has been held accountable for any of this. Even the four mid-level staffers at the State Dept. who were identified anonymously as the people who had made the security decisions that led to the Benghazi slaughter still have their jobs at the State Dept.



The Past Will Come Back To Haunt Us:

The iconic Halloween monster is undying - whether it be demons, vampires, Michael Myers or Freddy Kruger. They keep coming back to do us harm.

And so it is with the policy of the modern far left - horrifying and undying. In this instance, the same policies that gave us the financial meltdown of 2008 are not merely alive and well, but being strengthened under Obama.

In 2008, I composed a long post, Hurricane Subprime, taking an in depth look at the causes of our economic meltdown. The "but for" cause of the Great Recession was social engineering that eviscerated color-blind credit rating standards. And as I pointed out when Dodd Frank was proposed, the Obama administration, rather than correcting this insanity, actually doubled down on it. Now this from Power Line:

The Obama administration is pressing ahead with its plan to impose racial quotas on the financial industry via the Dood-Frank law. Dodd-Frank requires agencies with financial sector regulatory responsibilities to “establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion” that will develop diversity and inclusion standards for workplaces and contracting.

Accordingly, these agencies have published in the Federal Register a proposed “Policy Statement Establishing Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies.” As Roger Clegg reports, that Statement, which applies not only to the agencies themselves but also to all those regulated by it, insists on the use of “metrics” and “percentage[s]“ to ensure compliance with the diversity requirement.

In other words it imposes quotas — quotas that will apply to hiring, promotion, and contracting.

There’s plenty of irony here; for it was the imposition of race-conscious lending practices on the banking industry that led to the financial crisis, that led to Dodd-Frank. . . .

This is horrendous. But as bad as it is, it is not the only devastating policy that gave us the melt-down - and which remains ensconced in our financial system. As I pointed out in Hurricane Subprime, the only unknown at the time was how the Credit Rating Bureaus played into all of this. They were supposed to be the backstop which would have prevented the financial crisis. But these agencies were wholly complicit in giving AAA ratings to subprime mortgage backed securities so that they could be traded throughout our financial system - many institutions by law can only purchase AAA rated securities. Clearly these rating agencies did not function as they should have. The "why" was finally answered in a superb article in Rolling Stone, The Last Mystery Of The Financial Crisis:

Thanks to a mountain of evidence gathered for a pair of major lawsuits by the San Diego-based law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, documents that for the most part have never been seen by the general public, we now know that the nation's two top ratings companies, Moody's and S&P, have for many years been shameless tools for the banks, willing to give just about anything a high rating in exchange for cash.

In incriminating e-mail after incriminating e-mail, executives and analysts from these companies are caught admitting their entire business model is crooked.

"Lord help our fucking scam . . . this has to be the stupidest place I have worked at," writes one Standard & Poor's executive. "As you know, I had difficulties explaining 'HOW' we got to those numbers since there is no science behind it," confesses a high-ranking S&P analyst. "If we are just going to make it up in order to rate deals, then quants [quantitative analysts] are of precious little value," complains another senior S&P man. "Let's hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of card[s] falters," ruminates one more. . . .

Do read the whole article - it will leave you wanting to grab the pitchforks and torches. It should also be noted that Obama has not put a single one of these people in jail. Sure, there have been a few civil suits that have amounted to hitting up organizations for a bit of their pocket change. But countless people who committed outright fraud, albeit almost forced to by Barney Frank and the left, have skated because, to hold them accountable would require that the whole house of cards created by left be exposed.

It should also be noted from the article that a simple fix to this utterly broken credit rating system was actually proposed by Sen. Al Franken. It died - I hate to say this - in the Republican controlled House. It is just beyond belief.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Nothing More Racist (Or Regressive) Than A "Progressive"

Pat Condell hits the nail on the head in his discussion of those who style themselves "progressives," from their complete lack of intellectual honesty to their regressive politics to their racism of low expectations:

Pat's take misses on one point and only alludes to another worthy of more specific citation. Condell describes the world view of "progressives" correctly, even down to their view of the West as imperialists with the stain of original sin (while ignoring that the most imperialist force in world history has been Islam). It is worth noting that this view comes directly from Karl Marx and his theory that all history is a struggle between the oppressed and the oppressors. In the progressive world view, we are the oppressors while anyone who can be shoehorned into a victim group are the oppressed entitled to permanent special treatment.

What Condell misses in his analysis is the animus of progressives towards Christianity. To understand fully the motivation of progressives, one must note their abhorrence of Christianity. Christianity is the foundation of Western civilization; progressive are warring against it. Christianity must be removed from the public square for "progressives" to achieve their goal of remaking society with themselves as the sole arbiters of morality. Thus the "progressive" treatment of Islam is more nuanced than simply that "brown skinned" people are not to be held to the same standards. Muslims also seek to displace Christianity, and thus they are, in many ways, allied with progressives.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Getting Mugged By Obamacare Reality

The schadenfreude is almost worth it. This from a KOS diarist:

My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don't go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe.

Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife's rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284.

I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any fucking penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?

Oh, ok, if we qualify, we can get some government assistance. Great. So now I have to jump through another hoop to just chisel some of this off. And we don't qualify, anyway, so what's the point?

I never felt too good about how this was passed and what it entailed, but I figured if it saved Americans money, I could go along with it.

I don't know what to think now. This appears, in my experience, to not be a reform for the people.

What am I missing? . . .

And it is not merely the rates. In an effort to keep down skyrocketing premiums across the land, the insurers have been forced to offer plans with massive deductibles and / or much higher co-pays. All of this free stuff is hitting the pocket book of middle America quite hard.

Of all the promises Obama made on his healthcare plan, the two most ridiculous were always was that this would drive down the cost of healthcare and that it would somehow reduce the defecit. We are seeing the first of those promises blow up today, the second is in the offing.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Blacks Worse Off Under Obama

I've been pointing this out for two years, but I suppose it matters more when Tavis Smiley says it.

Obama's skin color is, well, skin deep. Those who voted on his skin color still don't want to admit that they've been naive on a grand scale. Beneath the skin - and this the alpha and omega of what all on the right object to - is a far left ideologue. He is a sort of American version of Clement Attlee.

At any rate, for Smiley and the left to at least speak honestly of the economic plight of black America is a big step forward. The biggest step awaits. That would be for them to figure out that they are being manipulated on a historic scale. The left values blacks individually very little. It is only the black vote that counts to the left - and at the top of the left wing steaming pile of dung sits Obama.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This has got to be the best prank in years.

Priceless. It is a promo for a remake of the horror movie, Carrie.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

AR5 & IPCC Fraud

Who the hell does the IPCC think they are fooling?

In the final draft of the IPCC report, made public approximately ten months ago, the IPCC included the following graph showing the computer models set against the observed temperature (with a meaningless gray background).

This chart clearly shows that observed temperatures (black dots) have fallen outside the projections of each of the computer models used by the IPCC. It is clear and easy to assess.

In the final report, just released, with the IPCC now claiming that the computer models have not failed, we get the following graph:

This goes beyond being a ridiculous attempt at obfuscation - it is outright fraud. Instead of showing an average of temperatures, the IPCC plots so many multiple points on a spaghetti graph as to make it virtually impossible to read. Moreover, the IPCC has shifted the computer model projections downward so that, mirale dictu, all of the plots now fall comfortably within the computer model projections.

Steve McIntyre, in his post at Climate Audit attempting to asses this fraud, notes that:

None of this portion of the IPCC assessment is drawn from peer-reviewed material. Nor is it consistent with the documents sent to external reviewers.

In other words, some people at the IPCC - and we need names for this one - snuck in this fraud at the 11th hour, site unseen even by the IPCC scientists tasked with reviewing the document.

Tar and feathering is simply not enough for these people.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Obama & The Anti-Science Of EPA's War On Coal

. . . The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions. Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions. If scientific and technological information is developed and used by the Federal Government, it should ordinarily be made available to the public. To the extent permitted by law, there should be transparency in the preparation, identification, and use of scientific and technological information in policymaking. . . .

President Barack Obama, Memorandum, Subject: Scientific Integrity, 9 March 2009

Ah, remember those idealistic days of 2009, when our Moralizer In Chief Barack Obama promised to "restore" scientific integrity to our government. Well, those days are long gone.

Obama is using the EPA to conduct a war on coal, promoting new guidelines under the Clean Air Act that will stop the creation of any new coal fired power plants and force the shut down of many existing plants as they reach a point of needing to upgrade. Since coal is the primary source for our nation's electricity needs, this will end up costing our nation dearly - with the poor and middle class being the hardest hit.

The justification for these new guidelines is that they will save lives. The EPA is basing this assertion on two longitudinal, observational scientific studies, the Harvard Six Cities Study (HSCS) and the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS II):

Both studies showed that exposure to fine particle air pollution (that is, particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns, or PM2.5) was linked with increased mortality. Their results provide the basis for most EPA regulations targeting air quality because, the EPA claims, such regulations will save a large numbers of lives.

There are some real questions about the reliability of the conclusions reached by the researchers. For Instance:

The association of PM2.5 with mortality shows geographic heterogeneity – no such association is seen in the western US, where the climate is dry and PM2.5 make-up differs from that in the eastern US.

Second, the results of the studies have been presented in a way that focuses narrowly on PM2.5 and precludes putting the association in perspective relative to other predictors of mortality, including cigarette smoking, income, and other factors.

Third, reports from these two studies tend to cite only supporting studies and to ignore studies that have not found an association of PM2.5 with mortality."

But here is the kicker. Those two studies are . . . wait for it . . . secret.

What what what?

Yes, the EPA is claiming that the data, meta-data, computations - in short, everything about the "scientific studies" that would allow the studies to be subject to vetting and reproduction (i.e., the scientific method) - are secret and cannot be released.

This is the polar opposite of scientific integrity.

And, believe it or not, it gets worse, the same people who "carried out the studies used by the EPA as the basis for regulation and are also involved in the implementation of EPA policy."

The ostensible reason given for not releasing the information regarding these studies is the claim that to do so would violate third party confidentiality rules:

[I]f third parties are given access to the data, the identity of study participants could become public, in violation of the researchers’ guarantee of confidentiality. The lead researcher on the CPS II study has made this argument. Supporters of the subpoena argue that the dataset could be stripped of personal identifiers.

In fact, the issue of confidentiality appears to be a dodge since large datasets of this type are routinely stripped of personal identifiers to protect subject confidentiality and enable use by researchers.

The EPA should be shut down over this. Republicans have been trying to have the EPA provide this data for over two years. The EPA has steadfastly refused. Republicans have now filed a subpoena to which Democrats have objected - their grounds:

The ranking Democratic member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D – TX) characterized Chairman Smith’s action as an attempt to make the data available to “industry hacks” in order to discredit the research and weaken clean air regulation.

The scientific method - the ability to pour over another's experiment line by line and either prove it or disprove it - is the sina que non of scientific integrity. Rep. Johnson either doesn't seem to know that or otherwise puts it in a back seat to politics. This, from Obama's EPA, is just politicized science at its very worst.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Of Global Cooling, Computer Models & Polar Bears

The only news sources not to parrot the IPCC line when it comes to "man made global warming" are Fox and the Daily Mail. But it is the Daily Mail that is by far the most aggressive in challenging the IPCC with facts. My hat is off to them for it.

In response to the release of the AR5 Summary For Policy Makers (SPM) by the IPCC (see post below), the Daily Mail on Sunday has published two articles on point. The first is on the lack of global warming for the past 17 plus years and what that means for all of the IPCC computer models used to predict global warming. The second article deals with the "endangered" polar bears which, at least until recently, were the poster children of the green's emotional campaign against illusory (but, mind you, 'catastrophic') global warming.

In the IPCC's SPM, they attempt to brush off the fact that there has been no warming for over 17 years, and they shamelessly lie about it when it comes to the implications for their computer models. All of the computer models posit that temperatures will steadily increase in proportion to man pumping ever more CO2 into the atmosphere. Those models have all failed. This from the Daily Mail:

The global warming ‘pause’ has now lasted for almost 17 years and shows no sign of ending – despite the unexplained failure of climate scientists’ computer models to predict it.

The Mail on Sunday has also learnt that because 2013 has been relatively cool, it is very likely that by the end of this year, world average temperatures will have crashed below the ‘90 per cent probability’ range projected by the models.

These also provide the main basis for the sweeping forecasts of a perilous, hotter world in a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The graph above covers the period June 1997 to July 2013. It was drawn using the official Met Office ‘HadCRUT4’ monthly data for world average temperatures, and shows the lack of a warming trend. . . .

A footnote in the new report also confirms there has been no statistically significant increase since 1997.

Last night independent climate scientist Nic Lewis – an accredited IPCC reviewer and co-author of peer-reviewed papers – pointed out that taking start years of 2001, 2002 or 2003 would suggest a cooling trend of 0.02-0.05C per decade, though this would not be statistically significant.

At a press conference to launch the report in Stockholm, the IPCC refused to say how long the pause would have to go on before casting doubt on the models, suggesting trends were only meaningful if they lasted 30 years. But some of the report’s authors are less confident.

Piers Forster, Leeds University’s Professor of Physical Climate Change, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘If it does get beyond 20 years, that would get very interesting.'We would have to revisit the models. As it goes on, it would get more and more peculiar.’

He added: ‘We are right on the edge of the probability distribution now. We have to accept that if we are going to come up with projections, they have to be correct.’

Even this marks a big change from earlier statements by eminent climate scientists. In 2009, Professor Phil Jones, head of the East Anglia University Climatic Research Unit, said in a leaked ‘Climategate’ email: ‘Bottom line: the no upward trend has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.’

However, not only does the report deny the importance of the pause, it makes a firm, short-term forecast that it is about to end – claiming that the period 2016-2035 will, on average, be 0.3-0.7C hotter than 1986-2005. . . .

Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, said that since 1980, climate models had on average overstated the extent of warming by between 79 and 159 per cent. . . .

‘This does not mean that there is not some global warming, but it likely means that temperature rises will be lower than originally expected. That fact makes alarmist scenarios ever more implausible.’

He added: ‘The EU will pay $250 billion [£166 billion] for its current climate policies each and every year until the end of the century. For almost $20 trillion, temperatures will be reduced by a negligible 0.05C.’

In Stockholm, IPCC leaders described the models as ‘more and more remarkable’, insisting that the pause has no significance. . . .

It said no conclusion should be drawn from the lack of warming since 1998 because this was one of the hottest years on record, while the models were ‘not expected to reproduce the timing of internal variability’. Yet the pause has lasted since January 1997, not 1998, and 1997 was not a hot year.

This is all getting more surreal by the day. One has to love how the left claims the models are getting ever more accurate as the data shows them utterly failing. It truly is Soviet-esque. Now, as to the polar bears - whom the greens were able to have listed in 2008 as an endangered species wholly on the basis of computer models that posited that polar bear habitat would fall to global warming - . . .

. . . they are seeming rather fat and happy of late. This from the Daily Mail:

A bitter wind blows off the Arctic Ocean but the mother polar bear and her two cubs standing just 50ft in front of me are in their element.

For more than an hour I watch from a boat just offshore, transfixed and oblivious to the below-freezing temperatures, as the four-month-old twins gambol across the snow.

For years polar bears have been the poster boys of global warming – routinely reported to be threatened with extinction due to melting ice-packs and rising sea temperatures.

Indeed, when they were put on the US Endangered Species list in 2008, they were the first to be registered solely because of the perceived threat of global warming.

One prominent scientist said their numbers would be reduced by 70 per cent by 2050 while global warming proponents – including Al Gore and Sir David Attenborough – used emotive imagery to highlight their ‘demise’.

Yet there is one small problem: many polar bear populations worldwide are now stable, if not increasing. . . .

Last week I travelled to Kaktovik, Alaska – an Inupiat village of 239 hardy souls on Barter Island at the edge of the Arctic – which has become an unlikely boom town thanks to an influx of polar bears.

Village administrator Tori Sims, 26, beamed as she told me: ‘This has been a great year for the bears.

'They are fat, happy and healthy. We’re seeing a boom in tourism which brings much-needed revenue to the village and helps us continue to live the traditional life we cherish.

‘I’ve lived here all my life and there are more bears every year. I read stories about polar bears being on the brink of extinction because of global warming, look out of my window and start to laugh.’ . . .

Laugh? At the IPCC and ManBearPig? How atrocious. The last thing the left wants is for people to start confusing the issue of global warming with facts.

The damage being done to mankind by the global warming scam is the true catastrophe. There needs to be a reckoning for these people. They cannot be allowed to simply slip away into the night as this scam is finally exposed.

Should you think me a bit too vindictive, consider this:

Tar and feathering simply would not be enough. I suggest stripping them of their wealth and positions, then sending them en masse to Siberia where they can enjoy all the global warming they want.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Gloom & Doom With A Distinct Odor Of BS - The IPCC Releases AR5 Summary For Policy Makers

[AR5 Summary For Policy Makers] in a nutshell: Since we started in 1990 we were right about the Arctic, wrong about the Antarctic, wrong about the tropical troposphere, wrong about the surface, wrong about hurricanes, wrong about the Himalayas, wrong about sensitivity, clueless on clouds and useless on regional trends. And on that basis we’re 95% confident we’re right.

Comment from Ross McItrick to post at Watts Up With That, Reactions To IPCC AR5 Summary For Policy Makers, 27 Sep. 2013

The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change today released their SPM [Summary For Policy Markers] to their about to be released AR5 report on climate change. It is a painfully tortured attempt to keep the meme of catastrophic man made global warming alive - and the money flowing in.

The IPCC faced multiple problems with this report. Their mission is to shill for man made global warming (really - their mission statement is not to analyze climate change, but "human induced" climate change). Yet the earth hasn't warmed for the past 17 plus years despite steadily increasing human contributions to CO2 levels; every one of the climate models used by the IPCC have failed with observed temperatures now falling at or below their minimum projections, Antarctica is adding ice, not losing it; and hurricanes are down.

So how does the IPCC address these problems - a lot of tap dancing and a lot of studied ignorance, all laid over top truckloads of bull excreta. The single most glaring example - the claim of 95% confidence that global warming is occurring and that man is the cause juxtaposed with this nugget in footnote 16 of the SPM:

No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity [to increases in CO2] can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies.

In other words, as to the central thesis of climate change alarmism, the IPCC can no longer agree on whether more CO2 will increase temperature by a nominal amount, a measurable amount, or a catastrophic amount. In other words, there is nothing approaching a consensus to their 95% confidence level.

It is only downhill from there.

The IPCC explains away the 17 year hiatus in warming with a wave of its hand, saying its either volcanoes and a weak sun (yet the models do not account for either) or that the missing heat from all the new CO2 over the past fifteen years has gone into the deep ocean. Why the deep? Because the upper and mid level portions of the ocean, for which we have good data measurements via ARGO, show no appreciable warming. How heat is transferred from the surface to the deep ocean without heating the upper and middle layers of the ocean - that is a mystery. And what little data we have on deep ocean temperatures shows only 1/100th of 1 degree of heating over the past 44 years. This hypothesis - which is the last best hope of the warmies - is more than a bit weak. Yet they do not blink in raising it. Shameless.

The IPCC continues to talk about the rise of the oceans, and how this is caused by melting ice. But the truth is that is done using corrupt data. Joe D'Aleo explains here, that instead of relying on the single best measurement source - satellites - the IPCC cherry picks from tidal gauges at places where the land is subsiding. These people really should be indicted for fraud.

As Richard North states of the AR5, it is not science, "it is a political statement by a politically motivated body, made for political reasons. And if you need to know the basis of the politics, start with Rio in 1992 and Agenda 21."

And on a related note, the next time you here Obama justify destroying our energy sector in response to global warming based on a claim that the period 2002 to 2012 was the hottest on record, note two things. One, the "record" they refer to - of recorded observation - only extends back 130 years, with only the the last 50+ years being global. Two, that record has been corrupted. The claim that this most recent period is the warmest is based on tenths of degrees. And yet, the warmies in charge of our temperature records have systematically altered the raw data to make the older temperature records appear colder. For but one example, this from an essay by Jim Steele, Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University:

The warm peaks from the 1930s and 40s had been adjusted downward by 3 to 4°F and these adjustments created dubious local warming trends as seen in examples from other USHCN stations at Reading, Massachusetts and Socorro, New Mexico.

What Dr. Steele has stumbled upon is the trick Jim Hansen played on us in 2007, "homogenizing" the raw data in a way that significantly cooled the temperatures from the 1930's and 40's. Without that adjustment, the hottest decade on "record" would be the 1930's. There needs to be a reckoning for these people. The harm they are causing our nation to pay for this scam, the harm they are causing our children by inculcating in them an unquestioning belief in this junk science, it must all be paid for in the end. Bastards.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Crazy Nancy Strikes Again

Nancy Pelosi has what can only be described as a tenuous relationship with reality:

All of her talk here shows it, but the nadir starts at 3:03 into her interview. Republicans hate Obama because he is "brilliant," "respectful" of other views, "strategic," "eloquent" and . . . "non-partisan." Each of those is pretty ridiculous, but "non-partisan?" No sane person would ever even make that claim.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Samantha Power, Obama & New Adventures In Cluelessness

This . . .

. . . is Samantha Power, an Irish-born former Harvard professor, one of Obama's long time foreign policy advisors and now our nation's ambassador to the UN.

This woman thinks that, well, . . . this:

President Obama's team thought the regime might abandon dictator Bashar Assad over his use of chemical weapons in Syria's civil war.

Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, hoped that a team of UN investigators — many of whom, presumably, have a longstanding relationship with Iranian leaders -- could write a report that would convince Iran to abandon its ally at the behest of the United States.

"We worked with the UN to create a group of inspectors and then worked for more than six months to get them access to the country on the logic that perhaps the presence of an investigative team in the country might deter future attacks," Power said at the Center for American Progress as she made the case for intervening in Syria.

"Or, if not, at a minimum, we thought perhaps a shared evidentiary base could convince Russia or Iran — itself a victim of Saddam Hussein's monstrous chemical weapons attacks in 1987-1988 — to cast loose a regime that was gassing it's people," she said. . . .

Now, the mad mullahs are the single greatest threat to the West in the world today. The mad mullahs have their hands covered in blood. They are in the midst of developing nuclear weapons - things that dwarf chemical weapons. They are the world's single greatest sponsor of terrorism. They are an authoritarian theocracy that cannot be trusted to act rationally. They have been at war with the U.S. since 1979. Syria is their only Arab ally - and an absolutely critical one, as Syria links Iran to Lebanon and the West Bank.

So how clueless, how out of touch with reality must Samantha Power be, if she can think for even a nanosecond that we can deal with the mad mullahs. If this is the nature of her advice to Obama, we are in deep, deep trouble. This is a degree naivete the world hasn't seen since Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from his 1938 meeting with Hitler to announce that he had secured "peace in our time." This is scary.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Left & Right Agree - Obama's Economic Policy Has Been "An Astonishing, Horrifying Failure"

Another month into the Obama presidency, another horrid economic report. This from Hot Air:

The August jobs report from BLS offers yet another installment on the four-year stagnation period after the Great Recession. The US economy added 169,000 jobs, just above the 150,000 needed to keep pace with population growth. The U-3 jobless rate edged downward to 7.3%, but that’s because the labor force participation rate hit another 35-year low. . . . [A]lmost twice as many people [312,000] left the work force as found new jobs.

Obama, and indeed, the entire left, are simply economically incompetent. They shouldn't be allowed to run a lemonade stand. They see businesses as, at once, an enemy to be regulated and punished and as a cow to be milked for all they want.

The only thing keeping this economy afloat, even in this sad state, has been the Federal Reserve's "quantitative easing" - running the printing presses overtime, printing money to buy up government bonds in something akin to the world's biggest ponzi scheme. The danger of that is run away inflation, and indeed, the Fed has indicated that it intends to start unwinding this massive accumulation of debt at some point here in the near future as unemployment numbers fall.

The only part of the U.S. economy that is doing well is the stock market - and that is a bubble derived by Quantitative Easing (QE) that will burst the moment QE and the Fed's easy money policy stops. There is a reason today that Wall St. is celebrating the horrid economic numbers from the August BLS report - it means that QE will continue. This via Bizzy Blog:

Speaking today, at least one very famous economist says that we have suffered through five "years of tragic waste" under Obama:

[B]y any objective standard, U.S. economic policy since Lehman has been an astonishing, horrifying failure.

I couldn't agree more. That is indeed a damning indictment, but who is the economist that said this? Thomas Sowell? Art Laffer?

No. It is former Enron Advisor, Obama cheerleader and far left economist Paul Krugman writing in the NYT. As Krugman points out:

[T]he failure of policy these past five years has, in fact, been immense.

Some of that immensity can be measured in dollars and cents. Reasonable measures of the “output gap” over the past five years — the difference between the value of goods and services America could and should have produced and what it actually produced — run well over $2 trillion. That’s trillions of dollars of pure waste, which we will never get back.

Behind that financial waste lies an even more tragic waste of human potential. Before the financial crisis, 63 percent of adult Americans were employed; that number quickly plunged to less than 59 percent, and there it remains.

Do remember that Krugman blessed off on Obama's "stimulus" plan several years ago, both in design and size. Now he claims that the real problem is that the stimulus was three times too small. As Powerline describes it:

Of course, Krugman thinks the problem with Obama’s policies is that the stimulus was too small, the United States isn’t far enough in debt, and we don’t have a big enough public sector. More cowbell! The salient point, I think, is that we can say it is now unanimous: Left and Right agree that Obamanomics has been an utter failure. The only question at this point is whether to go even farther left–to, what, the policies of Fidel Castro or Kim Jong-un?–or return to the principles of limited government and a free market that produced our prosperity in the first place. Seems like an easy choice.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Svensmark's Theory Of Climate, The 97% BS Consensus & Climate Modelling

Hans Svensmark hypothesized, in 1996, the "radical" and much maligned theory that the sun - not trace amounts of atmospheric CO2 - was the primary driver of our climate. According to Svensmark's theory, solar rays drive cloud formation, and it is cloud cover that ultimately determines warming or cooling of the earth by limiting how many of the sun's rays contact earth. He explains his theory in the video below:

Well, Svensmark's theory, already given foundation by recent CLOUD experiments at CERN, just took another big step towards confirmation. This is a summary from Anthony Watts:

Between flaccid climate sensitivity, ENSO driving “the pause”, and now this, it looks like the upcoming IPCC report will be obsolete the day it is released.

From a Technical University of Denmark press release comes what looks to be a significant confirmation of Svensmark’s theory of temperature modulation on Earth by cosmic ray interactions. The process is that when there are more cosmic rays, they help create more microscopic cloud nuclei, which in turn form more clouds, which reflect more solar radiation back into space, making Earth cooler than what it normally might be. Conversely, less cosmic rays mean less cloud cover and a warmer planet as indicated here. The sun’s magnetic field is said to deflect cosmic rays when its solar magnetic dynamo is more active, and right around the last solar max, we were at an 8000 year high, suggesting more deflected cosmic rays, and warmer temperatures. Now the sun has gone into a record slump, and there are predictions of cooler temperatures ahead This new and important paper is published in Physics Letters A.

The article cited by Watts goes on to address what was a primary argument against Svensmark's hypothesis, that while solar radiation caused small molecular formations in our atmosphere, these were too small to reach the critical mass necessary to form clouds given our current understanding of the chemical processes involved. The experiments done in Denmark show that to be false, that these small molecular formations do indeed reach critical mass. The implications of this are huge – in essence disproving the theory that CO2 is the primary driver of our climate.

In other news, the claim that 97% of all scientists believe in anthopogenic global warming is based on a methodology so broad that the mere mention that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas was considered confirmation. That sole fact is completely meaningless to the debate on what drives global warming - and thus meaningless to any supposed consensus. In other words, this study does nothing to separate those who believe carbon dioxide is the primary driver of our climate from those who do not. The study on which the 97% claim is made was done by global warming activists as propaganda to drive public opinion.

And as to Climate Models used to forcast doom to mankind because we have been pumping ever more carbon dioxide into the air - something which should, according to the models, be ever increasing the temperature:

A paper published today in Nature Climate Change finds climate models have greatly exaggerated global warming over the past 20 years, noting the observed warming is "less than half" of the modeled warming. The authors falsify the models at a confidence level of 90%, and also find that there has been no statistically significant global warming for the past 20 years. . . .


Foreign Policy As Politics - Following The Obama Example

Foreign policy, including the use of force, should always be based on national interests, not politics. Just a reminder, as we consider Obama's call to attack Syria because Assad violated Obama's redline and slaughtered over a thousand innocents, recall if you will how the left tried to legislate defeat of our nation during the Iraq War for purely political gain and irrespective of the consequences. This from James Taranto at WSJ:

In 2007 Obama asserted that American troops should be withdrawn from Iraq even if that would result in genocide:

"Well, look, if that's the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now--where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife--which we haven't done," Mr. Obama told the AP. "We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven't done. Those of us who care about Darfur don't think it would be a good idea."

These past statements indict the president for hypocrisy, but they do not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. In his defense one might claim that his moral sensibility has matured over the past six years. Perhaps, that is, he has grown in office--though he has not grown nearly enough by other measures that one can say he is up to the job.

Unless in the next week or so he discovers a heretofore unrealized capacity to move public opinion on substantive matters of policy, the expedient thing for lawmakers of either party to do will be to vote "no" while smugly minimizing the moral stakes by noting that while Assad is of course "a bad guy," he poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, the Syrian economy is in shambles, there are lots of other mass-murdering dictators and we can't bomb 'em all, and so forth.

Any opportunistic lawmaker who takes that path will be following the example set by the man who is now president of the United States.

As I said in the post below, I would support attacking Syria if the attack was of sufficient strength to change the trajectory of the Syrian civil war because, that, in the long run, is in our national interest. It is in our national interest primarily because it would hurt Iran, and they are the true enemy in the Middle East that has to be defeated. But I will say, it is a bitter pill to swallow, to now give the traitorous left moral and political cover to use force.