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The Crumbling Climate-Change Consensus

Extremists’ rhetoric heats up as their case falls apart.

By John Fund     •     National Review Online

climate change_global warming_scienceThe United Nations Climate Summit will begin in New York this Tuesday, but environmental activists didn’t wait. All day Sunday, they filled the streets of Manhattan for a march that featured Al Gore, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, and various Hollywood actors.

But they certainly didn’t act like a movement that was winning. There was a tone of fatalism in the comments of many with whom I spoke; they despair that the kind of radical change they advocate probably won’t result from the normal democratic process. It’s no surprise then that the rhetoric of climate-change activists has become increasingly hysterical. Naomi Klein, author of a new book on the “crisis,” This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, said, “I have seen the future, and it looks like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.” In her new book she demands that North America and Europe pay reparations to poorer countries to compensate for the climate change they cause. She calls her plan a “Marshall Plan for the Earth” and acknowledges that it would cost “hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars.” But she has an easy solution on how to pay for it: “Need more money? Print some!” What’s a little hyperinflation compared to “saving the planet”? [Read more...]

Maintaining American High Tech Defense Superiority Must Remain Job One

by George Landrith     •      Townhall

America’s warfighters are the best and most effective on the planet. But if we hope to maintain that advantage we have to continue to give them the best tools and the best information. Our access to space is critical if we hope to provide our warfighters with the best information, positioning, coordination and integration available.

After the Cold War ended in the early 1990s, there was significant concern within the U.S. Government that scientists and engineers of the former Soviet Union would sell critical technologies, particularly ballistic missile and weapons technologies, to U.S. adversaries and rogue groups. Given its low cost and outstanding performance, the RD-180 rocket engine was at the top of that list. The U.S. made the decision to buy these engines instead of making investments in developing new advanced rocket engines of our own and today we lack the high performance capability the Russian engines provide. Thanks to Congressional pressure and funding, we are well down the road towards a new American made engine to replace the RD-180 and this problem will be solved by the next presidential election. But in the meantime, we have to put in place some stop gap measures to ensure we don’t see our access to space compromised or see our high tech superiority slip. [Read more...]

Judge rules in favor of House Republicans in Obamacare lawsuit

Says administration usurped Congress’s power of the purse

By Tom Howell Jr.     •     The Washington Times

President Obama has been hoping to shore up his health legacy — roughly 20 million have gained coverage under his reforms — instead of fending off repeated legal challenges to reforms. (Associated Press)

A federal judge dealt President Obama and his health care law a major blow Thursday, ruling in favor of House Republicans who said the administration broke the law and trod on Congress’ fundamental powers by paying Obamacare insurers without permission from Capitol Hill.

An appeal is certain, but should U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer’s ruling be upheld, it could spark the economic “death spiral” Republicans have predicted and Democrats feared would doom the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

But the ruling has implications far beyond Obamacare, signaling that federal courts may begin to play a more active role in reeling in executive powers that many legal experts say have grown far beyond what the country’s founders intended. [Read more...]

200 years ago, the sky went dark and there was no summer

by Ishaan Tharoor     •     Washington Post

Sulfuric gases from Mount Tambora’s crater seep around its caldera area in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, on June 22, 2011. (Fikria Hidayat/KOMPAS Images via AP)

As summer approaches, many in the United States will be awaiting warmer, balmier days. It’s a prospect keenly felt right now by those in the nation’s capital, which has endured two weeks of ceaseless rain.

But things could be much worse. Two hundred years ago, the U.S. Eastern Seaboard registered record-low temperatures. On June 6, 1816, six inches of snow fell across wide swaths of New England. “The heads of all the mountains on every side were crowned with snow,” one area farmer wrote. “The most gloomy and extraordinary weather ever seen.”

A Connecticut clockmaker recalled at the time having to wear an overcoat and mittens for much of the summer; another bookkeeper noted in his diary that “the vegetation does not seem to advance at all.” Frosts set in and crops failed. In Montreal, there were reports of frozen birds dropping dead on the city streets. Denizens of Vermont were forced to subsist on “nettles, wild turnips and hedgehogs.” [Read more...]

Harvard Prof Urges Liberals to Treat Evangelical Christians Like Nazis

by Thomas D Williams     •     Breitbart

A Harvard Law professor is telling his fellow liberals that the culture wars are over and the victorious Left should treat conservative Christians the way the allies treated Germany and Japan after World War II, offering no quarter or clemency.

In an online post, the 70-year-old professor Mark Tushnet, a surviving member of the old guard of 1960s liberal elites, advises his like-minded minions to unabashedly take up “aggressively liberal positions,” because they will no longer meet resistance, especially after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Since “they lost, we won,” Tushnet confidently announces, it is time to press the liberal advantage and abandon any defensive positions. [Read more...]

Former Obama speechwriters laugh at ‘you can keep your plan’ promise

By T. Becket Adams     •     Washington Examiner

Obamacare HurtCharlie Rose and a trio of former Obama speechwriters laughed it up this week at the mention of the president’s infamous promise that that under the Affordable Care Act, “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.”

The moment occurred during the Monday edition of “Charlie Rose: The Week,” as the host and former speechwriters Jon Lovett, Jon Favreau and David Litt discussed the president’s writing abilities and his gift for oration.

Lovett mentioned that he was most proud of the president’s more serious speeches on the economy and healthcare, and that’s when Favreau ribbed him for the “you can keep your plan” line.

“My point is, do you have equal impact on serious speeches? Because it’s about style, use of language, etc.?” Rose asked. [Read more...]

Government Regulations Add $84,671 to New Home Prices

Average cost of regulation is rising more than twice as fast as ability of Americans to pay for it

by Ali Meyer     •     Washington Free Beacon

Government regulations are responsible for adding $84,671 to the final price of a new single-family home, according to a report from the National Association of Home Builders.

According to the report, regulations implemented during the lot’s development are responsible for 14.6 percent of the total, while 9.7 percent is due to costs that accrue after the builder has purchased a finished lot.

“Regulations come in many forms and can be imposed by different levels of government,” explains the report. “At the local level, jurisdictions may charge permit, hook-up, and impact fees and establish development and construction standards that either directly increase costs to builders and developers, or cause delays that translate to higher costs.” [Read more...]

A Confession of Liberal Intolerance

by Nicholas Kristof     •     New York Times

We progressives believe in diversity, and we want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table — er, so long as they aren’t conservatives.

Universities are the bedrock of progressive values, but the one kind of diversity that universities disregard is ideological and religious. We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.

O.K., that’s a little harsh. But consider George Yancey, a sociologist who is black and evangelical.

“Outside of academia I faced more problems as a black,” he told me. “But inside academia I face more problems as a Christian, and it is not even close.”

I’ve been thinking about this because on Facebook recently I wondered aloud whether universities stigmatize conservatives and undermine intellectual diversity. The scornful reaction from my fellow liberals proved the point. [Read more...]

Welcome to Your Curated Future

You’re going to miss out on a lot

By Sonny Bunch     •     Washington Free Beacon

The reverse-chronological social media feed—that relic of, oh, like, five years ago that showed you all the posts by everyone you followed on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram—is dying. Indeed, it’s only a matter of time until it’s dead altogether:

Not everyone trusts large tech companies, of course. Whenever and wherever the chronological feed is replaced with its curated descendant, users worry that information they want to see will be hidden, while the content they don’t (like, say, advertisements) will be promoted. It’s an understandable fear. But, well, that ship has sailed: We’ve already given a lot of our online identities and public conversations over to social networks that we can’t hold directly accountable.

When it’s a question of simply seeing photos in a different order, well, that’s no real biggie. What about when it’s something a bit more substantial, however?

Hm. [Read more...]

Is online free speech under attack?

By Rudy Takala     •     Washington Examiner

Internet World Wide WebRegulators in Washington are showing increasing interest in tightening rules on political speech on the web, arguing that the dissonant voices enabled by “new media” have become too influential. If that effort is successful, experts wonder whether it could impact more traditional media as well, especially in how it relates to conservatives.

“The best example we can give is going back a few years to when the [Federal Communications Commission] was looking at trying to silence talk radio, which was obviously a realm of conservatism,” said Drew Johnson, executive director of the nonprofit group “Protect Internet Freedom.” He was referring to the agency’s “Fairness Doctrine,” which required broadcasters to grant equal time to opposing political candidates.

Democrats on the Federal Election Commission demonstrated a similar regulatory ambition in February, when they voted unsuccessfully to apply campaign finance laws, which are traditionally intended to govern paid political advertisements, to unpaid political accounts on Twitter. [Read more...]

Ben Rhodes Reveals How Obama Duped America Into The Dangerous Iran Deal

President Obama—with the help of an equally arrogant 38-year-old national security fabulist, Ben Rhodes—remade the Middle East to empower America’s most hated enemy.

By David Reaboi      •     The Federalist

Obama Iran Nuke DealThere are few things in the world less popular in the United States than the Islamic Republic of Iran. As the then-new, optimistic promise of the Obama presidency beckoned in 2008, Gallup found that overall opinion of Iran in this country was 8 percent favorable and a dramatic 88 percent unfavorable. These numbers have been remarkably consistent over time; there’s no better evidence that, in the eyes of the American people, Iran is our enemy.

By 2009, the American people were well aware of the anti-American and anti-Semitic ranting of Iran’s then-president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and were worried about the Islamic Republic’s development of nuclear weapons and clear threats to use them. Even without Iran’s direction and sponsorship of militias killing of thousands of American soldiers in Iraq, the genocidal anti-Israel pronouncements of its leadership, death sentence on novelist Salman Rushdie, or efforts to advance the worldwide Islamic revolution on which the regime is based, the American people have not forgotten the 30 years of enmity since Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution.

However, even as the American people remained rightly skeptical of Iran in the last year of President Obama’s first term, the Obama White House had begun secret talks with the Ahmadinejad regime, which would result in the world’s acquiescence to Iran’s nuclear program. [Read more...]

Safe From “Safe Spaces”

On the rare good sense of a college administrator.

The New Criterion

Rendered-helpless-by-microaggression-cartoonThe Ohio state legislature ought to give the Ohio State University President Michael Drake some sort of medal or commendation.

We’ll come back to the admirable President Drake below. First, the story thus far. For the last six months, since the disruptive and pitiable nonsense at the University of Missouri and Yale made headlines nationwide, university administrators have been in full-cringe mode. Students across the country, seeing what pushovers the administrators at Yale and Mizzou were, have tied themselves into squalid little knots of needy and petulant resentment. At Yale, a posse of students showed up at President Peter Salovey’s house at midnight to present him with a list of demands, including the demand for “a University where we feel safe.” President Salovey, though acknowledging that the students had appeared “somewhat late” on his doorstep, professed himself “deeply disturbed” by the “distress” they felt and promised that he would “seriously” review their new demands.

He certainly did that. Among many other accommodations, he promised to distribute $50 million to the congeries of ethnic, racial, and sexual pseudo-disciplines that provide holding pens for the exotic populations with which contemporary universities assuage their guilty consciences. [Read more...]

Are Liberals Bailing On ObamaCare, Too?

Investor’s Business Daily

obamacare tire mud“I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.” That was President Obama in a speech before Congress back in Sept. 2009, pitching the health reform plan he’d sign six months later.

It doesn’t look like he’s going to get his wish.

In the three-plus years since the ObamaCare exchanges opened, the law is teetering on the edge of the abyss. Enrollment is well below expectations, not enough young people are signing up, insurers are failing or dropping out of the program, and, by all appearances, premiums are set to spike even higher than last year.

Now a Kaiser Family Foundation survey released late last week shows that the public is far from satisfied with what Obama claimed was the be-all and end-all of reform. [Read more...]

University President Defies Trend, Defends Intellectual Diversity

In an open letter to faculty, George Mason University president resists descent into grievance culture.

By Alice B Lloyd     •     Weekly Standard

In the May 9th issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, the Scrapbook reports a particularly shameful episode of campus outrage. Recently, at George Mason University, thuggish puritanical progressivism apotheosized in a meeting of the university’s faculty senate and a vote to disapprove of naming the law school for the late Justice Scalia. “Thus continues the closing of the campus mind,” the Scrapbook wrote.

But in an open letter on Friday April 29, GMU president Angel Cabrera responded to his faculty. He defended the future Antonin Scalia Law School and commended his dean’s fundraising prowess, bucking the New York Times’ front page “exposé” of major donors’ alleged undue influence. More importantly, though, he came out on the side of education:

“…We must ensure that George Mason University remains an example of diversity of thought, a place where multiple perspectives can be dissected, confronted, and debated for the benefit and progress of society at large. Rejecting a major naming gift in honor of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice on the basis that some of us disagree with some of his opinions would be inconsistent with our values of diversity and freedom of thought.”

Read the full letter.

 

Does the United States Need Nuclear Weapons?

by Peter Huessy

US-nuclear-missileDoes the United States need nuclear weapons? What role do they play? And if they are valuable, how much should we spend supporting such a nuclear deterrent? In addition, what level of nuclear weapons should we aim to achieve to maintain stability and deterrence? And finally, does the type of nuclear deterrent maintained by the United States bear a relationship to whether nuclear weapons proliferate in the world, especially in Iran and North Korea?

The Center for Strategic and International Studies held a day long conversation on these questions on May 5th. Joe Cirincione, the President of the Ploughshares Fund laid out a four part narrative that the US was (1) maintaining a vastly bloated nuclear deterrent, (2) unnecessary for our security, (3) unaffordable, and (4) in need of at least an immediate unilateral one-third reduction in American nuclear forces to jump start efforts to get to zero nuclear weapons world-wide. [Read more...]