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thefederalist.com Florence Proves Weather Is Climate, But Only When It Suits The Left Robert Tracinski
During the approach of Hurricane Florence, the left has been going all Pat Robertson on us, claiming that the storm is a higher power’s vengeance on America for our wickedness. No, it’s not God who is sending this storm to smite us for our sinful debauchery. It’s global warming that has come to punish us for not listening to Al Gore.
The Washington Post’s argument is that Trump is to blame because global warming is supposedly causing sea levels to rise, which “encourages higher storm surges.” Sea levels are rising at about one tenth of an inch per year. Florence’s storm surge is expected to be more than 10 feet. I’m sure the difference will be noticeable.
Having longtime emergency response plans in place is great. But changing weather patterns, rising sea levels and receding coastlines mean that this won’t be enough: these emergencies are going to come more often, and they are going to be more devastating. Florence, for example, is projected to near Category 5 status as it approaches warm coastal waters. By comparison, Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, was a Category 3 storm whose profound effects—and numerous deaths—came from a storm surge.
You might have noticed that by the time Florence hit, it was a mere Category 1 hurricane—enough to cause plenty of damage, but not enough to justify the apocalyptic coverage CNN has been giving it all week.
But back to Al Gore for a moment. He is more responsible than anyone for this idea of associating a hurricane with global warming. The posters for his 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth went so far as to feature the image of an industrial smokestack belching forth a hurricane.
Gore was capitalizing on the fresh memories of Katrina, the massive hurricane that hit the Gulf Coast at Category 3 the year before.
But that’s where we have a problem, because the moment Gore said that, it was like he jinxed the whole hurricane thing. Here’s a rundown of what actually happened with hurricanes over the past fifteen years.
In 2004 and 2005, a series of big Category 3 and 4 hurricanes hit the US, including Charley, Ivan, Katrina, Wilma, and Rita. Then in 2006, just as Al Gore was touring the country with his alarmist slide show, something weird happened: nothing. Not a single hurricane hit the U.S. that year.
For 2007 and 2008, the Gulf Coast was harassed by couple of Category 1 storms. Then in 2009 and 2010, again, nothing. In 2011 and 2012, there was a single Category 1 storm each year. There was also Sandy, which dropped below Category 1 before making landfall. It was famous for its damage, but that was due less to the power and intensity of the storm than to the fact that it hit a densely populated area where many coastal houses hadn’t been built to modern hurricane-resistant standards.
There were again no hurricane hits in 2013 and 2015, a single Category 1 in between in 2014, and a pair of Category 1s in 2016. Toward the end of that year’s hurricane season, The Washington Post—yes, the same paper moaning about hurricanes now— reported that the U.S. was in an “unprecedented hurricane drought.” The drought would ultimately be broken when Harvey hit Houston in 2017, the first major hurricane in 12 years and the first Category 4 to make landfall in 13 years.
So, no, I don’t think you can take a hurricane making landfall in the U.S. as proof of more intense storms caused by global warming. Instead, the record of the last 15 years is one of far less intense storms hitting the U.S.
Now, you may object that this is only part of the story. The number of hurricanes to make landfall in the continental U.S. is not the same thing as the total number of hurricanes. The pattern of landfalls over the past 15 years doesn’t necessarily tell us about longer-term trends. What you would need would be a more in-depth analysis such as this one from Chris Landsea—the perfect name for his job, really—at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, who sums it up in a graph that goes only to 2010, less than halfway through the hurricane drought.
Landsea concludes, “instead of a long-term increase, what remains are periods of increased activity like the 1870s-1890s, 1930s-1950s, and the 2000s interspersed by quiet periods during the 1850s-1860s, 1900s-1920s, and 1960s-1990s.”
Moreover, none of this is dispositive, one way or another, when it comes to whether the global climate is warming, what might be causing it, or what we should do about it.
And that’s precisely my point. All of this is the context being blatantly ignored by those who hype Florence as proof of global warming. Ironically, The Washington Post editorial includes a boilerplate disclaimer that, “It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change”—which they promptly ignore in order to attribute Florence to global warming. Maybe they should have listened to their disclaimer and stopped right there.
We’ve been told for years that “weather is not climate,” that one weather event is not necessarily an indication of a wider, long-term trend. We are told this every time there is a nasty cold snap in the middle of winter. But the real message of Florence is that weather totally is climate—when it suits the agenda of the left.
Robert Tracinski is a senior writer for The Federalist. His work can also be found at The Tracinski Letter.
The Alternative Reality where Democrats and the media now reside went back to 1991 to resurrect Fake Accusations of sexual abuse to block the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice.
According to the New Yorker, a woman says that when they were in high school (separate ones) they met at a party, drank, and he and a buddy tried to to force themselves on her.
The story said, "She was able to free herself. Although the alleged incident took place decades ago and the three individuals involved were minors, the woman said that the memory had been a source of ongoing distress for her, and that she had sought psychological treatment as a result."
Kavanaugh's statement was blunt, "I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time."
Democrats tried this same smear with Anita Hill, who made the mistake of making literally textbook allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas. The examples she cited were copied from complaints their office had handled.
But Democrats succeeded in knocking off Roy Moore last year. Once Democrats secured the Senate seat, the allegations and lawsuits magically disappeared. Democrats played Alabamians for suckers.
Now Democrats try again.
I no longer give a fig or a noodle about allegations about Republican candidates. Unless there is a conviction involved, I dismiss the allegation as the desperate attempt to steal a Senate seat, a presidency, or in this case, a seat on the Supreme Court.
Only a lobotomized moron would believe the media or Democrats in a case like this.
In fact, it makes me more determined to see that justice is done and the victim of these lies -- Kavanaugh -- is confirmed.
Better to let 100 Al Frankens go unpunished than to punish one innocent man like Clarence Thomas.
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Federal prosecutors in New York are weighing criminal charges against former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig as part of an investigation into whether he failed to register as a foreign agent in a probe that is linked to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to sources familiar with the matter.
In addition, these sources said, prosecutors in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are considering taking action against powerhouse law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where Craig was a partner during the activity under examination.
Apparently the fact that Skadden Arps and Paul Manafort collaborated in the conduct for which Manafort was prosecuted has been in the public domain for a while:
The inquiry into Craig and Skadden is closely linked to a case against Manafort, and details about Skadden’s work in the matter were disclosed in superseding criminal charges filed Friday by Mueller’s office against Manafort. …
According to the filing, which charged only Manafort, in 2012 Manafort “solicited” a law firm on behalf of the then-president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, and the Ukranian government’s Ministry of Justice. The firm, which was Skadden, according to people familiar with the matter, was hired to write a report on the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister of Ukraine and political rival of Yanukovych. In advance of the report’s official release, “Manafort arranged to have the law firm disseminate hard copies of the report to numerous government officials, including senior United States executive and legislative branch officials,” the filing says. The partner who worked on the report — according to court proceedings in another related case, that of former Skadden lawyer Alex van der Zwaan — was Craig, CNN has reported.
A former Skadden lawyer has already pled guilty to lying to federal investigators about Skadden’s role. Skadden was paid $4.6 million for writing the report. That’s a heck of a report. I would think the fee can be explained only by the expectation that Skadden would use its political influence on behalf of the Ukrainian faction that paid for the report. In that case, presumably Skadden should have registered under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.
It is not easy to see how Manafort can be prosecuted, but not Greg Craig and Skadden Arps. But then, there is this unintentionally revealing observation:
Any action against Craig or Skadden would be an extraordinary step, given Craig’s prominence and Skadden’s position as one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the country.
As opposed to Paul Manafort, who is a nobody and a Republican to boot.
Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm by the time it made landfall, which means it’s but a puny thing compared to Hurricane Trump, the Category 5 storm that hit Washington DC on January 20, 2017, and whose wind speed hasn’t abated yet. Talk about a stalled-out storm system! The winds of change can be like that some times. (Pssst, liberals: I’ve got more heavy weather news for you. Hurricane Kavanaugh will make landfall at the Supreme Court next week. Definitely a Cat 5.)
Trump, watching an Obama speech.
Headlines of the week:
NOT a parody.
Had to happen sooner or later, you m-effer.
Dog of the week:
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Yesterday morning I revisited former Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry’s coaching of the powers that be in Iran on the fine art of resistance to the Trump administration. Yesterday afternoon Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked at a press conference (transcript here) about Kerry’s freelance diplomacy, as Michael Rubin calls it in this excellent New York Post column. Pompeo responded: “What Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented. This is a former Secretary of State engaged with the world’s largest state sponsor of terror…” Going further, Pompeo condemned Kerry’s conduct as “beyond inappropriate.”
Pompeo spoke firmly but diplomatically, as befits the office he holds, but how sweet the sound of Kerry being called out by a Secretary of State seeking to squeeze the Iranians into civilized norms of behavior.
Quotable quote: “I remember, I saw him. I saw him in Munich at the Security Conference. He was there with – if I have my facts right, because I think I saw them all with my own eyes – Secretary Moniz and Wendy Sherman, the troika. And I am confident that they met with their troika counterparts, although one can perhaps ask Secretary Kerry if my recollection with respect to that is accurate. I wasn’t in the meeting, but I am reasonably confident that he was not there in support of U.S. policy with respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran, who this week fired Katyusha rockets toward the United States embassy in Baghdad and took action against our consulate in Basra.”
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Earlier this year I wrote a series of posts contra the dross of April Doss. The “dross” was found in the Weekly Standard cover story by Doss. The cover story disparaged House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and asserted that he is retailing a “conspiracy theory” involving the Obama administration’s misuse of FISA on Carter Page to investigate the Trump presidential campaign. Doss purported to lay down the truth about Nunes and FISA. The truth is that Doss’s cover story was a disgrace.
The FISA warrant applications on Carter Page open a window onto the biggest scandal in American political history. I have embedded them here previously and have embedded them again below. They are the ocular proof of the scandal.
The invaluable Andrew McCarthy has now cracked open the window a little wider in two columns with one theme: FISA Docs Show: Long Before Mueller, Trump-Russia Was an Investigation Without a Crime. The first column (posted yesterday afternoon) is “Reading the FISA redactions.” The second is “In the Russia Probe, It’s ‘Qui S’excuse S’accuse’” (posted this morning — the French expression is to the effect that “he who excuses himself accuses himself”).
These are long, detailed, illuminating and educational columns that draw on McCarthy’s professional expertise. Stick with them — both of them. Do not miss either one.
Andy says he has read the FISA applications so you don’t have to. He has performed a great public service in these columns. Even so, I say you have to review the FISA applications with your own eyes. They are shocking. Drawing from my series on Doss’s Weekly Standard cover story, I want to restate the relevant background in the context of Andy’s linked columns:
• Under Title I of FISA — see this useful House Intel Committee summary — it was the burden of the government to establish probable cause that Page was engaging in espionage, terrorism, or sabotage by or on behalf of a foreign power that involved a violation of a criminal statute. (Doss stated: “Although Page had left the campaign, the FBI feared Russia was using him for its own purposes. The application states that the FBI alleged there was probable cause to believe Page was an agent of a foreign power under a specific provision of FISA that involves knowingly aiding, abetting, or knowingly conspiring to assist a foreign power with clandestine intelligence gathering activities, engage in clandestine intelligence gathering at the behest of a foreign power, or participate in sabotage or international terrorism or planning or preparation therefor.”)
• Doss to the contrary notwithstanding, the allegations cited by Doss in her article don’t make out probable cause that Page is a Russian agent on any fair reading of the facts once the Steele dossier is seen for what it is.
• The FBI relied in substantial part on the allegations of the Steele dossier to obtain the FISA warrant on Page. Although the applications swear otherwise, these allegations were unverified. I observed in my series that Andy was one of the knowledgeable observers who disputes Doss on the propriety of this reliance. Doss simply omitted any acknowledgement of the related issues.
• The FBI nevertheless secured the FISA surveillance warrant on Page in October 2016 and renewed it three more times at 90-day intervals. I held out the possibility that the cited facts together with the redacted material fairly establish probable cause, but we have yet to see it. McCarthy now demonstrates that this is highly unlikely.
• Whether or not the FBI made out probable cause, it must have monitored Page’s every communication by text, email and cell phone for a year. Yet Page remains a free man. No charge of any kind — not even a process crime such the one used against Michael Flynn and George Papadoploulos — has been brought against Carter Page. The circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that Page is not a Russian agent.
• Given the year-long surveillance on him without any resulting charge, Page might not only not be a Russian agent, he might be the cleanest man in Washington.
• Carter Page was a victim of government misconduct whose true object was Donald Trump.
Quotable quote: “[L]et’s dispense with the tired claim that the Obama administration did not really spy on Trump and his campaign. Every one of the four FISA warrant applications, after describing Russia’s cyberespionage attack on the 2016 election, makes the following assertion (after two redacted lines): ‘the FBI believes that the Russian Government’s efforts to influence the 2016 election were being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with Candidate #1’s [i.e., Trump’s] campaign.'”
One more: “For Mueller, the Russia counterintelligence probe was cover to conduct a criminal investigation of Trump in the absence of grounds to believe a crime had occurred.”