Sunspots, a Crucial Climate Indicator

Sunspots, a Crucial Climate Indicator
Posted on April 12, 2009 by chillguy33
Commenters on this blog (Julia LeVan on Human CO2 Snuffs Out Sun’s 10.7cm Band) have noted that anthropogenic carbon dioxide may be unlikely to affect conditions on the sun. This is an important insight which may have a lot of truth in it, notwithstanding the likely resistance of climate scientist and global warming pundit and businessman Al Gore. Particularly since conditions on the sun are seemingly of primary, if not dominant, significance in Earthly climate.

Dr. Willie Soon, a senior Harvard astrophysicist, has observed that “when sunspots are present, the temperature goes up; and when sunspots are absent, the temperature goes down.” It may be disputable I suppose, but I think Dr. Soon is referring to temperatures on Earth, actually.

Dr. Soon goes on to further ignore (or perhaps minimimize is fair) the importance of carbon dioxide in controlling Earth’s climate, in this most interesting article, Harvard astrophysicist: Sunspot activity correlates to global climate change

H/T: ICECAP ‘Curious’ Why the Sun Has Been So Dim Lately, under category Blogosphere

Further quoting Dr. Soon, and his explanation of three rather direct ways in which solar output could have dominant influence on terrestrial climate:

“When the energy input to the Earth from the sun is lower, you can easily imagine then what the first effect would be — heating less of the ocean’s surface. This promotes less evaporation of water vapor from the ocean, reducing what we all know to be the major green house gas, water vapor, in contrast to atmospheric carbon dioxide. Then, you would say that if the sun provides less energy to warm the ocean’s surface, and there is less of this water vapor and less of the water vapor greenhouse effect, then the Earth begins warming less so than you would normally have during the normal sunspot activity maximum when the sun gives off more light-energy to the planetary system.

“The second way to think about this is if the sun is giving less light to the ocean’s surface, then you will also give less energy to transfer the heat, or even the material itself, from the surface to the upper atmosphere. The connection between the surface and the upper atmosphere is less than it would be, including the circulation patterns of the weather and the oceans.

“And then one can think about it another way, if you give less energy to transfer energy from the surface to higher up in the atmosphere, as high as 5 or 8 kilometers, then the chance for the system to produce these so-called thin high-cirrus clouds is less. These are the clouds that are very, very effective as a greenhouse blocker, these thin high-cirrus clouds. This is the idea that Professor Dickenson from MIT has suggested, that the Earth system may act like an iris. If it’s too warm, then the iris opens, if it’s too cold it closes, so that this fixture can trap heat, providing a very efficient way to warm or cool the Earth system.

“During a solar activity minimum, imagine that you produce less of these high-cirrus clouds, then the ability of the Earth to shed heat itself is a lot easier, therefore the system cools. And then continuing, when you don’t have enough energy to bring all of this water vapor and the currents more than a few kilometers up, then it all accumulates at the bottom of the system, producing more of the low clouds. And on low clouds we know that they are very effective at reflecting sunlight. So again, it’s another way that the Earth system can cool.

“And even another way to think about it is less energy intercepted in the tropical region, from say 20 or 30 degrees north and south latitudes, then you are able to transfer less heat energy to the polar regions, resulting in the arctic regions getting slightly cooler in that sense as well.

“So these are some of the possible scenarios that we’ve reached which in sort of a low-sunlight scenario would affect the Earth’s weather.”

Dr. Soon does not give much notice to carbon dioxide of any kind. He is also not a strong advocate of the “chilling stars” theory of Dr. Henrik Svensmark and others apparently; but his thoughtful explanation of three distinct and very reasonable mechanisms by which solar conditions strongly influence Earth’s climate is very noteworthy.

“If this deep solar minimum continues and our planet cools while CO2 levels continue to rise, thinking needs to change.”

Or even if the deep solar minimum does not continue (but our planet continues to cool while CO2 levels continue to rise).

Interesting WBZ-TV video here: ‘Curious’ Why The Sun Has Been So Dim Lately.

Filed under: Willie Soon | Tagged: Willie Soon

Israel to US: Stop favoring the Palestinians

Israel to US: Stop favoring the Palestinians
Rick Moran
In retrospect, the Netanyahu/Obama meeting of a fortnight ago may be seen as a turning point in Israel-US relations. The fact that the government of Israel feels it even has to ask this question does not bode well for the future.

Barak Ravid writing in Haaretz reports:

Tensions between Washington and Jerusalem are growing after the U.S. administration’s demand that Israel completely freeze construction in all West Bank settlements. Israeli political officials expressed disappointment after Tuesday’s round of meetings in London with George Mitchell, U.S. President Barack Obama’s envoy to the Middle East.

“We’re disappointed,” said one senior official. “All of the understandings reached during the [George W.] Bush administration are worth nothing.” Another official said the U.S. administration is refusing every Israeli attempt to reach new agreements on settlement construction. “The United States is taking a line of granting concessions to the Palestinians that is not fair toward Israel,” he said. The Israeli officials attributed the unyielding U.S. stance to the speech Obama will make in Cairo this Thursday, in which he is expected to deliver a message of reconciliation to the Arab and Muslim worlds.

The speech in Cairo, after a stop to bow before Saudi King Abdullah again, will no doubt be conciliatory toward Israel, but firm on the settlements. It is a balancing act that Obama is not doing a good job of so far because you cannot appease both sides in this conflict. Obama, the master straddler, has no place to hide on the Israeli-Palestinian question and he will find that he will get no favors from the Arabs simply for showing empathy toward the Palestinians by taking a hardline stance against the settlements.

Page Printed from: at May 31, 2009 – 02:59:07 PM EDT

GOP takes aim at Obamas’ NYC trip

GOP takes aim at Obamas’ NYC trip
By: Politico Staff
May 30, 2009 05:44 PM EST

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama landed in New York Saturday afternoon, and after taking a helicopter from JFK into Manhattan, drove up the West Side Highway, where the northbound lanes were shut down by police for their visit, past Ground Zero, into the Village for dinner at the Village’s Blue Hill restaurant. From there, they went north to Times Square, where they went to to see a production of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” at the Belasco Theater on West 44 Street.

Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest read a statement from Obama: “I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished.”

Asked about the cost of the trip, which Republicans have criticized as indulgent, coming just ahead of the expected announcement of GM’s bankruptcy filing on Monday, Josh Earnest told pool reporter Dave Michaels of the Dallas Morning News, that he “didn’t anticipate being able to provide a cost estimate tonight.”

After the play let out at about 11:30 p.m., the presidential motorcade went down Sixth Avenue, shut down by the NYPD, and onlookers packed onto the East side of the street cheered as the presidential motorcade passed as the Obamas headed back to JFK for a return flight to Washington.

The Republican National Committee slammed the outing in an “RNC Research Piece”: “As President Obama prepares to wing into Manhattan’s theater district on Air Force One to take in a Broadway show, GM is preparing to file bankruptcy and families across America continue to struggle to pay their bills. … Have a great Saturday evening – even if you’re not jetting off somewhere at taxpayer expense. … PUTTING ON A SHOW: Obamas Wing Into The City For An Evening Out While Another Iconic American Company Prepares For Bankruptcy.”

The RNC’s Gail Gitcho added: “If President Obama wants to go to the theater, isn’t the Presidential box at the Kennedy Center good enough?”

The president traveled in a smaller, Gulfstream-type plane rather than the larger planes typically used as Air Force One. Two other planes carried staff and reporters.

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Here are Dave Michaels’ pool reports to the White House press corps:

“We touched down at JFK International Airport about 4:35 p.m. in the first plane of three. We held in helicopter for POTUS AND FLOTUS arrival at 4:43 p.m., which we witnessed through windows. We took off before Marine One and passed over the rooftops of Queens before turning south over the East River. Just after passing over the Brooklyn Bridge we landed at the downtown Manhattan Heliport, which I’m told is also called the Wall Street landing zone.

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“The sky is clear and blue here, same weather as in Washington. No traffic on West Street as NYPD had cleared the road. Some observers watched for Marine One from a pier about 100 yards north. I could see ten or more NYPD motor jocks, a bunch of cruisers and a rather large RV-style van, perhaps a mobile command center.

“We headed north on West Street in vans and passed Ground Zero. Southbound traffic on the Westside Highway seemed light, but probably slowed down as the rubber necking began. We turned right on Clarkson Street and headed cross town. Plenty of pedestrians and diners at the trattoria checking us out.

“POTUS waved to enthusiastic watchers as his vehicle headed toward the Blue Hill restaurant on Washington Place.

From an earlier report from Michaels as the presidential party took off from Washington: “Three presidential helicopters descended on Andrews Air Force Base about 3:42 p.m. A group of about 20 people, a few members of the military wearing camouflage and what must have been their families, watched from a distance of 50 to 75 yards.

“Exactly five minutes later, President Obama and Michelle Obama stepped down from Marine One. POTUS was business casual, but very sharp, in a dark blue suit and black shoes. His white shirt was unbuttoned at the top — no tie. Mrs. Obama wore a black cocktail dress and black heels. Her hair was up and she held a small blue purse, which I’m informed is called a clutch. They boarded a presidential Gulfstream 500 and we took off shortly before 4 p.m. en route to New York City, where the first couple is to have dinner and watch a play, ‘Joe Turner’s Come and Gone’ at the Belasco Theater. The name of the production is courtesy of the New York Daily News.
“The first couple has left the Blue Hill restaurant in the West Village and headed north of the Belasco Theater, arriving at 7:55 p.m..

“NYPD had blocked 6th Avenue for our motorcade to move north from the restaurant toward Midtown. Pedestrians lined both sides of the street, taking photos and waving behind metal barricades, as if we were part of a parade.

“A bit earlier, your pooler asked Josh Earnest, deputy press secretary, how much this trip costs taxpayers. He said other reporters had asked and he ‘didn’t anticipate being able to provide a cost estimate tonight.'”

Obama Outlines Coordinated Cyber-Security Plan == Big Brother is now Watching the Right Wing Radicals

Obama Outlines Coordinated Cyber-Security Plan
WASHINGTON — President Obama declared Friday that the country’s disparate efforts to “deter, prevent, detect and defend” against cyberattacks would now be run out of the White House, but he also promised that he would bar the federal government from regular monitoring of “private-sector networks” and the Internet traffic that has become the backbone of American communications.

Mr. Obama’s speech, which was accompanied by the release of a long-awaited new government strategy, was an effort to balance the United States’ response to a rising security threat with concerns — echoing back to the debates on wiretapping without warrants in the Bush years — that the government would be regularly dipping into Internet traffic that knew no national boundaries.

One element of the strategy clearly differed from that established by the Bush administration in January 2008. Mr. Obama’s approach is described in a 38-page public document being distributed to the public and to companies that are most vulnerable to cyberattack; Mr. Bush’s strategy was entirely classified.

But Mr. Obama’s policy review was not specific about how he would turn many of the goals into practical realities, and he said nothing about resolving the running turf wars among the Pentagon, the National Security Agency, the Homeland Security Department and other agencies over the conduct of defensive and offensive cyberoperations.

The White House approach appears to place a new “cybersecurity coordinator” over all of those agencies. Mr. Obama did not name the coordinator Friday, but the policy review said that whoever the president selects would be “action officer” inside the White House during cyberattacks, whether they were launched on the United States by hackers or governments.

In an effort to silence critics who have complained that the official will not have sufficient status to cut through the maze of competing federal agencies, Mr. Obama said the new coordinator would have “regular access to me,” much like the coordinator for nuclear and conventional threats.

Many computer security executives had been hoping that Mr. Obama’s announcement would represent a turning point in the nation’s unsuccessful effort to turn back a growing cybercrime epidemic. On Friday, several said that while the president’s attention sounded promising, much would depend on whom he chose to fill the role.

James A. Lewis, a director at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, a Washington group that published a bipartisan report last year calling on the president to appoint a cyberczar, said that the White House had now narrowed the list of candidates for the position to fewer than 10, but that choosing the right person would be difficult.

“There aren’t a lot of people who have the policy and the strategy skills and the technological knowledge to carry this out,” Mr. Lewis said. “If you’re talking about missiles and space, there are a lot of people who know policy and technology, but in cyber its such a new field we’re talking about a really small gene pool.”

For the first time, Mr. Obama also spoke of his own brush with cyberattacks, in the presidential campaign. “Between August and October, hackers gained access to e-mails and a range of campaign files, from policy position papers to travel plans,” he said, describing events that were known, though sketchily, at the time.

“It was,” he said, “a powerful reminder: in this information age, one of your greatest strengths — in our case, our ability to communicate to a wide range of supporters through the Internet — could also be one of your greatest vulnerabilities.”

Mr. Obama’s speech delved into technology rarely discussed in the East Room of the White House. He referred to “spyware and malware and spoofing and phishing and botnets,” all different approaches to what he called “weapons of mass disruption.”

Although the president did not discuss details of the expanding role for the military in offensive and pre-emptive cyberoperations, senior officials said Friday that the Pentagon planned to create a new cybercommand to organize and train for digital war, and to oversee offensive and defensive operations.

A lingering disagreement has been how to coordinate that new command with the work of the National Security Agency, home to most of the government’s expertise on computer and network warfare. One plan now under discussion would put the same general in charge of both the new cybercommand and the N.S.A. Currently, the security agency’s director is Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who would be expected to be the leading contender for the new, dual position.

Industry executives were generally supportive of the initiative Mr. Obama announced, but also cautious.

“There was nothing I was disappointed in,” said Mark Gerencser, a cybersecurity executive at Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm that deals extensively in the government’s cybersecurity strategy.

Mr. Hamilton noted that the United States had separated defense and offense in the cybersecurity arena, while its opponents, including Russia and China, had a more fluid strategy.

“It’s like we’re playing football and our adversaries are playing soccer,” he said.

Thom Shanker contributed reporting from Washington.

How Lawmakers use Tax dollars to fund lavish lifestyles

How Lawmakers use Tax dollars to fund lavish lifestyles
Rick Moran
The scandal in Great Britain over Members of Parliament using expense accounts to fund purchases of luxury items threatens all major parties and many prominent MoP’s.

The Wall Street Journal’s Louis Radnofsky and T.W. Franam decided to take a gander at what our lawmakers have been up to as far as expensing their lifestyles and what they found will blow your socks off:

U.S. politicians, unlike their counterparts in Great Britain, can’t bill taxpayers for personal living expenses. The U.S. Treasury gives them an allowance to cover “official and representational expenses,” according to congressional rules, and the lawmakers enjoy a fair amount of discretion in how they use the funds.

The Senate and House release volumes of the reimbursement requests for these allowances, but do not make them available electronically. A Wall Street Journal review of thousands of pages of these records for 2008 expenses showed most lawmaker spending flowed to areas such as staff salaries, travel, office rent and supplies, and printing and mailing.

But it also turned up spending on an array of products, from the car leases and electronics to a high-end laptop computer and $22 cellphone holder. Rep. Howard Berman expensed $84,000 worth of personalized calendars, printed by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, for his constituents. A spokeswoman for Mr. Berman, a California Democrat, didn’t return requests for comment.

The records show that some lawmakers spent heavily in the final months of the year to draw down allowances before the end of December — a time when U.S. households were paring their budgets and lawmakers were criticizing Detroit auto executives for taking private aircraft to Washington to plead their case for taxpayer funding.

One lawmaker, Eni Faleomavaega, the House delegate from American Samoa, used the official account to purchase 2 46′ televisions. And Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings spent $25,000 leasing a 2008 luxury Lexus hybrid sedan.

This is not surprising to anyone who follows Congress. Ed Lasky adds:

It only took the WSJ people to review thousands of pages of documents to reveal this story.

I suppose Congressmen just want this information buried in a blizzard of paper. Where was the New York Times on this story? Nowhere. Don’t give too much credit to Nancy Pelosi. She is married to a very wealthy man who benefited from a big fat contract given to the company CB Richard Ellis. Pelosi’s husband is a major investor in the company and is chairman of the board.

Why is this kind of thing a major scandal in Britain while flying below the media radar here? Probably because most Americans assume the worst about Congress and it is not quite the shock to discover lawmakers enriching themselves here as it is in Great Britain.

We are used to the idea of our lawmakers being greedy, money grubbing Babbits.

Page Printed from: at May 30, 2009 – 12:20:32 PM EDT

American capitalism gone with a whimper

American capitalism gone with a whimper

27.04.2009 Source: Pravda.Ru URL:

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

Then came Barack Obama’s command that GM’s (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of “pure” free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a “bold” move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK’s Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our “wise” Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper…but a “freeman” whimper.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set “fair” maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.

The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

Stanislav Mishin

The article has been reprinted with the kind permission from the author and originally appears on his blog, Mat Rodina

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Study Finds Even Climate ‘Alarmed’ Americans Don’t Want Cap-and-Trade

Study Finds Even Climate ‘Alarmed’ Americans Don’t Want Cap-and-Trade
By Marc Sheppard

Eighteen percent of Americans have been so “alarmed” by climate alarmists that they’d strongly support any and all policies that would reduce carbon emissions. Any, that is, except cap-and-trade. In fact, while the group as a whole truly believes that unchecked greenhouse gas emissions will trigger apocalyptic climate change of biblical destructive proportions – more among them strongly oppose than strongly support a national carbon trading scheme.

So found researchers at Yale and George Mason universities, who’ve just released the results of an autumn 2008 survey that categorized 2,129 adult Americans into six groups based upon their global warming beliefs, attitudes, fears and behaviors. In addition to the segment appropriately labeled “Alarmed,” in descending order of climate anxiety, they classified the “Concerned,” the “Cautious,” the “Disengaged,” the “Doubtful” and finally, the inappropriately labeled “Dismissive,” hereinafter the “Realists.”

According to the report, Global Warming’s Six Americas 2009: An Audience Segmentation Analysis, each group represents 33, 19, 12, 11, and 7 percent of the population, respectively. And a greater number within each group, from the most to the least climate concerned and every stratum in-between, strongly oppose than strongly support a national cap-and-trade market.

Here’s how each segment scored.

Of those considered Concerned, who represented the largest group and mostly consider global warming real and problematic, though less so than the Alarmed, 12% strongly support cap-and-trade while 15% strongly oppose it. And twice as many of the Cautious, who are only somewhat convinced that global warming is real and even less concerned about it than are the Concerned, strongly oppose (16%) than strongly support (8%). Even those who say they neither know nor care much about the subject – the Disengaged – are more likely to strongly oppose (11%) than strongly support (9%). Not surprisingly, 41% of the Doubtful — many of whom are actually Realists — who seriously question warming, its causes, its impact and its proposed remedies, strongly oppose, while a meager 4% strongly support. And — needless to say — while absolutely no one in the Realists camp, which essentially rejects manmade global warming outright, strongly supports cap-and-trade, 64% strongly oppose it.

At the time of this survey, nearly twice the number of Americans strongly opposed cap-and-trade (23%) than strongly supported it (11%) — and the total number in opposition was 47%. But according to the 57% voicing contrariety in last month’s Zogby Poll, things have changed dramatically. This implies the nearly eight-month-old figures are likely biased somewhat to the support side. And last month’s Rasmussen poll reported that the lowest number of voters ever polled — one-in-three — believe that global warming is caused by human activity, a complete reversal from the prior year when that same ratio attributed long-term planetary trends. As 28% of the Concerned, 60% of the Cautious and 72% of the Disengaged revealed they could easily change their minds, it’s logical to assume much of the shift came from within their ranks, further suggesting still stronger current contravention to cap-and-trade.

Still, while the ideological divides may have repositioned, the Yale paper provides great insight into just how broadly the opposition transcends them.

To be sure, whereas these disparate groups share a common distaste for cap-and-trade, their motives couldn’t be any further apart. The Alarmed likely adhere to NASA’s James Hansen’s concern that cap-and-trade is only “a minor tweak to business-as-usual” and will interfere with green dreams of wholesale wealth redistribution realized through centralized energy rationing. After all, they “tend to be moderate to liberal Democrats” and 62% of them agreed that “the world would be a more peaceful place if its wealth were divided more equally among nations.” Imagine that.

Of course, we “Realist” types recognize it for what it is – a stealth carbon tax scheme that will have no impact whatsoever on climate, yet is sure to raise energy prices, drive American businesses overseas and further disrupt the economy – all at a time when we can least afford it. Those belonging to the “in between” groups may oppose it for the same reasons as either extreme, or for any number of compelling reasons. Perhaps simply because lacking any viable alternative energy sources, it’s likely to drive up consumer energy costs while having little or no impact on either utilities’ bottom lines or the tonnage of fossil-fuels burned annually.

Unfortunately, the cap-and-trade-heavy Waxman-Markey Bill (the 648-page American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009) passed the Democrat-controlled House Energy and Commerce Committee last week, despite the pleas of virtually all Republicans and a pack of Blue Dog House Democrats to shelve it. Hopefully, the absence of strong support from voters on either side of the global warming issue will play a significant role as the Bill moves forward through additional committees and perhaps an ultimate full floor vote.

And should it somehow survive the House, it will still require the support of 60 US Senators bold enough to ignore dwindling constituent approval, particularly in coal and energy-producing states and those in the Rust Belt. And they’ll be forced to champion policies all but identical to those which have failed miserably overseas and rely heavily upon the cooperation of increasingly uncooperative developing nations.

And there’s no denying that economic realities are quickly trumping green fantasies abroad, where EU anti-pollution directives force coal-fired power plants to close in favor of unprepared (or non-existent) renewable alternatives. Energy costs are skyrocketing, blackouts are becoming more prevalent and an uncertain green tax future is causing already cash-strapped companies to leave for non-greener pastures.

Earlier this month, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd came down from his haughty high horse just long enough to announce the postponement of his country’s own costly emissions trading scheme, purportedly until the global economic slowdown has ended. Of course, you can read that to mean until after the next parliamentary election. The move divulged neither wisdom nor nobility, as acting otherwise would have amounted to political suicide – a lesson certainly not lost on our own power-hungry leaders. After all, it being an honorable undertaking, how many of our Senators do you suppose possess the virtues requisite to occupational hara-kiri?

In a similar admission of green fiscal incongruity, Germany announced plans on Monday to prevent green-policy-driven runaway energy costs from driving energy-intensive companies out of the country by reimbursing them for the cost of cap-and-trade that utilities are pricing into their power bills. Once again, the burden will be left to smaller businesses and individual households. Exactly the problems Republicans have been predicting cap-and-trade would inflict on this side of the pond.

Now, Liberals generally love waving European “success stories” in American’s faces, even when the “success” is actually anything but (can you say National Health Care?). Yet these polls suggest that many in their ranks are finally absorbing the domestic ramifications of the European disaster story entitled cap-and-trade. Perhaps the specter of unavoidable energy inflation (even in the face of proposed “common man” rebates), especially in these hard times, has prompted all but the most ardent believers to question the efficacy balance of their sacrifice. Particularly considering that developing nations have understandably made clear their intentions to continue industrial development, and thereby their greenhouse gas emission escalation. That actuality recently prompted Berkshire Hathaway Inc. CEO Charlie Munger to call the very idea of instituting a subsequently futile national cap-and-trade “almost demented.”

And he’s quite right — China continues to demand that the “rich countries” supposedly responsible for current atmospheric CO2 levels shoulder the entire burden of “cleaning up the mess.” I won’t even get into the blatantly false dilemma their position represents, but even among those who adamantly believe that mankind’s emissions remain in the atmosphere for centuries and that rising temperatures follow rising CO2 levels, the “If America takes the lead they will follow“ promise must ring hollow.

Just last Thursday, China insisted those “rich countries” cut emissions a whopping 40 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels while contributing at least 0.5-1.0 per cent of their annual economic worth to greenhouse gas reduction and global warming adaptation schemes of poorer countries before Beijing will even consider taking any action of its own. To give you an idea just how inane that demand is, the awful Waxman-Markey Bill would attempt to cut US carbon emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. And that’s not nearly enough for the United Nations.

At December’s upcoming Battle of Copenhagen, greenies worldwide hope to hammer out a U.N. treaty to succeed the 2012 expiring Kyoto Protocol to cut carbon emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. And China refuses to budge unless the world doubles even that ridiculously lofty goal. Add the extortion money the Reds demand and it should be obvious to even the most naive that the rapidly developing (and now number one CO2 emitting) China is merely raising the bar beyond the scope of achievement and has no intention of ever mitigating its emissions.

So while the Alarmed (and perhaps some of the Concerned) believe it’s insufficient sacrifice, most everyone else has figured out that it’s way too much sacrifice and for too little or no gain. According to an MIT study, Waxman-Markey “could cost the average household more than $3,900 per year.” A similar Heritage Foundation study predicted “cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses of at least $1.7 trillion that could reach $4.8 trillion by 2030 (in inflation-adjusted 2006 dollars).” Others predict between 3 million and 7 million manufacturing jobs either driven overseas or lost entirely. And I’d certainly be remiss were I to neglect to add my usual reminder that it’s all for naught as warming stopped in 1998 and there’s absolutely no proof whatsoever that any actions of mankind might influence global temperatures 1°C — in either direction.

Yale claims there are six unique audiences within the American public on the subject of global warming. And 92% of one — the Alarmed — told researchers that they trust Al Gore as a source of information about global warming, compared to a surprisingly high 2% of another — the Realists. But the report also revealed many philosophical similarities within in each group extending far beyond their climate beliefs. For instance, 53% of the Alarmed feel they’re more a citizen of the world than a citizen of a country. Only 13% of the Realists share similar feelings. And while 68% of the Realists strongly believe that people should be allowed to make as much money as they can, regardless of any inequity it may create, only 9% of the Alarmed agreed. Fascinating.

But perhaps of most significance is that while 100% of the Alarmed, 89% of the Concerned, 59% of the Cautious and 55% of the Disengaged want the U.S. Congress to do more to address global warming, only 14% of the Doubtful and not a single member of the Realists concurred.

And yet, there’s one thing they all agree they don’t want the U.S. Congress to do — make carbon cap-and-trade the law of the land.

Marc Sheppard is the editor of AT’s forthcoming Environment Thinker.

Page Printed from: at May 29, 2009 – 01:20:31 PM EDT

Lawyers tag nominee as ‘terror on the bench’

Friday, May 29, 2009
Lawyers tag nominee as ‘terror on the bench’
Tom LoBianco (Contact)

Lawyers who have argued cases before Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor call her “nasty,” “angry” and a “terror on the bench,” according to the current Almanac of the Federal Judiciary — a kind of Zagat’s guide to federal judges.

The withering evaluation of Judge Sotomayor’s temperament stands in stark contrast to reviews of her peers on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Of the 21 judges evaluated, the same lawyers gave 18 positive to glowing reviews and two judges received mixed reviews. Judge Sotomayor was the only one to receive decidedly negative comments.

Judge Sotomayor’s demeanor on the bench will be one of the issues the Senate Judiciary Committee tackles when she appears for her confirmation hearing. A lack of a good temperament has been used as a line of attack against nominees in the past – most notably conservative Judge Robert H. Bork, whose nomination to the Supreme Court was defeated.

But several lawyers and legal scholars on a call organized by the White House said the criticism is misplaced and that Judge Sotomayor’s legal acumen is overwhelming.

“She does not suffer fools gladly,” said Kevin Russell, a partner for Howe & Russell P.C. who argued a case before Judge Sotomayor about respiratory ailments suffered by the men and women who cleaned up ground zero after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “I guess it is predictable that some of those fools would then complain about it.”

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Much of the public vetting of Judge Sotomayor, whom President Obama nominated to be the first Hispanic woman to sit on the nation’s highest court, has focused on her range of rulings on hot-button social issues.

Although the same lawyers who chastised her temperament gave her high marks on her legal abilities, Judge Sotomayor was the only member of the 2nd Circuit to receive a universally negative review of her temperament.

“She really lacks judicial temperament. She behaves in an out-of-control manner. She makes inappropriate outbursts,” one lawyer told the almanac. Another said she “abuses lawyers.”

The authors of the almanac interviewed at least eight lawyers who practice regularly before the judges and granted them anonymity so that they could provide candid assessments, said Megan Rosen, the editor of the almanac. The guide profiles every federal judge.

Ms. Rosen said that although Judge Sotomayor’s evaluations in the area of temperament were harsh, lawyers clearly respect her abilities – something not true of every judge reviewed in the almanac.

“Generally, when lawyers have respect for a judge it shows in all their other categories,” Ms. Rosen said. “If you know it’s just the general demeanor of the judge, it can help ease some of the tension that would otherwise be there.”

The lawyer reviews cover the rulings, political leanings and legal abilities of the jurists. The almanac, published in November, said Judge Sotomayor writes good opinions, is liberal but careful to follow precedent and has good legal abilities.

“She is a direct and candid questioner,” said Thomas H. Dupree Jr., a former U.S. deputy assistant attorney general who has argued five cases before Judge Sotomayor since 2007.

People often mistake her intensity for aggression and anger, Judge Sotomayor told the Associated Press in 1998.

During a high-profile national security case heard by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in December, Judge Sotomayor gave the attorney for a Canadian man who had been detained by U.S. forces little room to work.

Judge Sotomayor interrupted the lawyer, David Cole, numerous times about whether there was standing for a U.S. court to hear the case, before eventually explaining her aggressive questioning.

“That’s why I’m trying to figure out and untie your arguments a bit,” Judge Sotomayor told Mr. Cole.

Legal scholar Jeffrey Rosen documented concerns from 2nd Circuit law clerks and New York prosecutors in a piece he wrote for the New Republic earlier this month. In the piece, he quoted anonymous members of the New York legal community who described Judge Sotomayor as an intellectual lightweight and “kind of a bully on the bench.”

On the White House-organized call, Judge Sotomayor’s colleagues praised her careful reading of laws and characterized her as a judge bent on restraint and narrow readings of statutes.

Lawyers on the call couched her aggressive questioning as a product of a “hot bench” and poring over details meticulously.

• Obama names first Hispanic to high court
• Sotomayor battled bias in D.C.
• Sotomayor would be court’s 6th Catholic
• Sotomayor deflected Republicans before
• Sotomayor reversed 60% by high court

Judge Sotomayor’s judicial temperament was raised during her 1997 confirmation hearing to the appeals court. Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who recently became the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Judge Sotomayor that she was out of bounds when she criticized mandatory minimum sentences from the bench during one sentencing proceeding.

“I do think that a judge, would you not agree, has to be careful in conducting themselves in a way that reflects respect for the law and the system,” Mr. Sessions said.

Judge Sotomayor said she probably should not have used the word “abomination” to describe the guidelines, but that her record showed she didn’t let her personal opinions affect her rulings.

“I do what the law requires, and I think that is the greatest respect I could show for it,” she told Mr. Sessions.

Harvard law professor and Obama mentor Charles Ogletree said lawyers caught off guard by Judge Sotomayor’s demeanor who criticize her are “misconstruing her sense as a well-prepared judge, one who is not on a fishing expedition.”

Conservative activists have decided on attacking Judge Sotomayor as a judicial activist who would work outside the rule of law. The Judicial Confirmation Network, which is leading a coalition of conservative groups, is airing an ad featuring Judge Sotomayor talking about whether judges set policy from the bench.

Newt: Sotomayor a ‘racist’

Newt: Sotomayor a ‘racist’
By: Andy Barr
May 27, 2009 05:54 PM EST

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Wednesday charged that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a “racist.”

“Imagine a judicial nominee said ‘my experience as a white man makes me better than a Latina woman.’ Wouldn’t they have to withdraw? New racism is no better than old racism,” Gingrich wrote in a post on his blog.

“A white man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw,” he added.

Gingrich was referring to a comment Sotomayor made during remarks at the University of California, Berkeley’s annual Judge Mario G. Olmos Law and Cultural Diversity Lecture.

“A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” Sotomayor said.

Gingrich’s comment came a day after conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh called Sotomayor a “racist.”

Responding to Gingrich’s post, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Sotomayor’s opponents should be “exceedingly careful” in their criticisms.

Asked about the dangers in attacking the first Hispanic nominee to the nation’s highest court, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told CNN radio on Tuesday, “you have to be careful,” adding that “you don’t want to be perceived as a bully.”

In a statement issued the same day, Steele said that “Republicans will reserve judgment on Sonia Sotomayor until there has been a thorough and thoughtful examination of her legal views.”

But RNC new media director Todd Herman reposted Gingrich’s comment on Twitter today, writing “new racism = no better than old.”

RNC communications director Trevor Francis said the committee would not respond to a “personal tweet by one of our staffers” before adding that “the RNC’s and the chairman’s position on the nomination of Judge Sotomayor are reflected by our statement yesterday.”

© 2009 Capitol News Company, LLC

The Race: Sotomayor Belongs To Anti-White, Left-Wing Extremist Hate Group

The Race: Sotomayor Belongs To Anti-White, Left-Wing Extremist Hate Group
May 28th, 2009 Posted By Pat Dollard.

From Hidden Truth:

As columnist Michelle Malkin reports, La Raza seeks to inculcate young people with its worldview by funding a number of charter schools that advocate ethnic separatism and anti-American, anti-white attitudes.

With regard to national security concerns, La Raza has strongly opposed most of the U.S. government’s post-9/11 counterterrorism efforts, alleging that they have “undermined” the rights of “noncitizen Latinos.”

For example: La Raza was a signatory to a March 17, 2003 letter exhorting members of the U.S. Congress to oppose Patriot Act II on grounds that it “contain[ed] a multitude of new and sweeping law enforcement and intelligence gathering powers … that would severely dilute, if not undermine, many basic constitutional rights”; it has endorsed the Community Resolution to Protect Civil Liberties campaign, a project that tries to influence city councils to pass resolutions to be non-compliant with the provisions of the Patriot Act; it endorsed the December 18, 2001 “Statement of Solidarity with Migrants,” which was drawn up by the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and called upon the U.S. government to “end discriminatory policies passed on the basis of legal status in the wake of September 11″; and it endorsed the Civil Liberties Restoration Act of 2004, which was designed to roll back, in the name of protecting civil liberties, vital national-security policies that had been adopted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

NCLR’s major policy positions also include the following:

– It supports access to driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.
– It opposes the REAL ID Act, which requires that all driver’s license and photo ID applicants be able to verify they are legal residents of the United States, and that the documents they present to prove their identity are genuine. According to La Raza, this law “opens the door to widespread discrimination and civil rights violations.”

-It opposes the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act (CLEAR), which would empower state and local law-enforcement authorities to enforce federal immigration laws. La Raza argues this would “result in higher levels of racial profiling, police misconduct, and other civil rights violations.”

-It lobbies for racial and ethnic preferences (affirmative action) and set-asides in hiring, promotions, and college admissions.

-It supports bilingual education and bilingual ballots.

-It supports voting rights for illegal aliens.

-It supports stricter hate-crime laws.

-It opposes the Aviation Transportation and Security Act requiring that all airport baggage screeners be U.S. citizens.

-It opposed President Bush’s signing of the “Secure Fence Act of 2006″ which authorized 700 miles of new border fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

World Net Daily:

As President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee comes under heavy fire for allegedly being a “racist,” Judge Sonia Sotomayor is listed as a member of the National Council of La Raza, a group that’s promoted driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, amnesty programs, and no immigration law enforcement by local and state police.

According the American Bar Association, Sotomayor is a member of the NCLR, which bills itself as the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.

Meaning “the Race,” La Raza also has connections to groups that advocate the separation of several southwestern states from the rest of America.

Over the past two days, Sotomayor has been heavily criticized for her racially charged statement: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

The remark was actually made during a 2001 speech at the University of California’s Berkeley School of Law. The lecture was published the following year in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal.

Could Mexico retake the southwestern United States? Get the DVD that says the invasion is already happening!

The comment is being zeroed in on by voices from the political right.

“I’m not saying she’s a racist, but the statement sure is,” columnist Ann Coulter said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Imagine a judicial nominee said ‘my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman,’” blogged former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga. “Wouldn’t they have to withdraw? New racism is no better than old racism. A white man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw.”

Radio’s Rush Limbaugh noted, “And the libs of course say that minorities cannot be racists because they don’t have the power to implement their racism. Well, those days are gone because reverse racists certainly do have the power to implement their power. Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he’s appointed one. …”

But others are suggesting Sotomayor’s racial views will have little impact on her confirmation to the bench.

“She’s gonna get confirmed. Get out of the way of the truck,” political analyst Dick Morris said tonight on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor.”

Host Bill O’Reilly responded, “The core conservative person … does not understand that the GOP is shrinking and needs to expand.”

The NCLR is applauding the Obama for his selection of Sotomayor.

“Today is a monumental day for Latinos. Finally, we see ourselves represented on the highest court in the land,” said Janet Murguia, NCLR’s president and CEO.

La Raza also praised former President George W. Bush for nominating Alberto Gonzales to succeed John Ashcroft as attorney general.

As WND previously reported, La Raza was condemned in 2007 by former U.S. Rep. Charles Norwood, R-Ga., as a radical “pro-illegal immigration lobbying organization that supports racist groups calling for the secession of the western United States as a Hispanic-only homeland.”

Norwood urged La Raza to renounce its support of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan – which sees “the Race” as part of an ethnic group that one day will reclaim Aztlan, the mythical birthplace of the Aztecs. In Chicano folklore, Aztlan includes California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Texas.