January 9, 2010

WaPo Blogger Wants Weather Served With a Side Order of ‘Climate Science’ — Only When It’s Hot or Stormy

GlobalWarmingHoaxThe one good thing you can say about Andrew Freedman’s “Cold weather in a hot climate” entry at the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang blog (HT James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web) is that he’s at least not hiding his bias.

Boiling it down, Freedman believes that weather broadcasters should use the occasions of heat waves and serious storms as global warming teachable moments, yet become strict info relayers when it’s extraordinarily cold. In doing so, he advocates a continuation of what Julie Seymour at the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute has already observed:

The news media constantly misuse extreme weather examples to generate fear of global warming, but when record cold or record snow sets in journalists don’t mention the possibility of global cooling trends. While climatologists would say weather isn’t necessarily an indication of climate, it has been in the media, but only when the weather could be spun as part of global warming.

Freedman, whose post quotes Julie’s work without linking to it, confirms that the bias she has observed is in his case quite conscious. In the process, he goes to a leading apologist for the “Hide the Decline” Climategate charlatans who have fraudulently been manipulating their so-called scientific research while “somehow” losing critical raw data, propagandizing and scrubbing supposedly objective reference sources like Wikipedia, and attempting to discredit, intimidate and marginalize skeptics for a decade or more:

When covering a heat wave, I would be on solid scientific footing if I were to say that the event is consistent with observations and projections of global climate change.

…. where skeptics see a media conspiracy to ignore cooling, I see an effort to accurately communicate climate science to the public. Of course there is a “possibility” that the earth is cooling, but virtually every peer reviewed climate study has shown the opposite to be true.

…. So what, then, should the press be doing differently today? In my view, journalists should make an effort to include the broader climate context whenever it is scientifically justified. That means that it might be unnecessary to mention climate change in a story about a short-term cold snap, but could be integral to a story on heavy snowfall.

For perspective on how this might be done, I turned to Joe Romm of the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP), who has been pushing for more coverage of the links between extreme weather and climate events and global climate change.

“If we see record-breaking extremes of a very certain kind — those that are consistent with climate science predictions — those I think are newsworthy,” Romm told me in an e-mail interview earlier this week. …. “merely reporting it’s cold in January isn’t news that has any relevancy to global warming.”

Romm is a senior fellow at CAP’s Action Fund and is the editor of its Climate Progress blog. While the CAP Action Fund characterizes itself as “a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization,” a Thursday blog entry by Romm reassures his readers that “Democratic majorities are safe, for now.” NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard has noted in previous posts how Romm tagged global warming as the cause of a December blizzard and a June rainstorm.

Other recent shrill posts at the Climate Progress blog carry such titles as:

  • “Rolling Stone on “The Climate Killers: 17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb the climate catastrophe.”
  • “Meteorological Malpractice: Accuweather’s Joe Bastardi pushes the “70s Ice Age Scare” myth again.”
  • “Chris Matthews: Politico serves as the Drudge-Like “news conduit” for Dick Cheney.”
  • “Can U.S. skiing be saved?.”

The last entry cited makes reference to a 2006 “sky is falling” study about the weather in Apsen, Colorado, fretting that “if global carbon emissions continue to rise, Aspen will warm by 14 degrees by the end of this century,” and asserting that “Continued growth in global greenhouse gas emissions is projected to end skiing in Aspen by 2100 and possibly well before then.” But Julie Urquhart, Aspen correspondent at the Glendwood Springs (CO) Post Independent, reported on January 1 that the weather in the three Decembers has stubbornly failed to cooperate with the hysteria:

December in Aspen: Average snowfall, but boy, was it cold

…. The average low temperature last month was 4.97 degrees Fahrenheit, according to data maintained by the city’s water department. That compares to an average low of 9.97 degrees in December 2008 and 9.77 degrees in December 2007. The average low in December 2006 was a relatively balmy 11.83 degrees.

The Journal’s Taranto made this quite fitting observation yesterday:

To figure out how to cover a disputed and highly politicized area of science, Freedman turns to an advocacy group on the left. He thereby reinforces every suspicion global-warming skeptics have ever had about the media. He may thereby have unwittingly done a service to the truth.

Thanks, Andrew.

BMI’s Matthew Philbin also caught another egregious example of Freedman’s bias at the same WaPo blog in February of last year.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Harry Reid’s Apology Is For the Wrong Thing

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:53 pm

Reid (also see original entry at the Atlantic) called Barack Obama a “light-skinned” African American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

I could care less what the President’s racial heritage is, but if you’re going to go there, you ought to get it right.

Thus, if Harry Reid should be apologizing for anything, it would be for mischaracterizing Barack Obama’s ethnic makeup:

…. claiming to be African-American is the soul and substance of his claim to fame. It is what he has used throughout his adult life to distinguish himself from other competitors. It is the ethnic identity he proclaims, and it is the ethnic identity he craves. Without it, he is just another mixed race Caucasian Arab with an African influence playing on his skin’s pigmentation.

But no matter what he (Barack Obama) craves, no matter what he has used to propel himself through life, no matter the racist presumption of seeing his skin and without question calling him black, the hard, cold, genetically inarguable reality remains: he is not an African-American.

That means that Mr. Obama is 50% Caucasian from his mother’s side. He is 43.75% Arabic, and 6.25% African Negro from his father’s side.

Put another way, his father could honestly claim African-American ethnic classification. He was the last generation able to do so.

Sen. Obama could honestly say, “My father was African-American.” Racist presumptions led an Ivy League admissions committee, and lazy “newspapers of record” factcheckers, to presume that if his father is African-American, then Sen. Obama must be African-American also.

But it doesn’t work that way. Racist presumptions coupled with sloppy vetting don’t turn a lie into the truth.

Sen. Obama is one generation too far removed from the ethnic African Negro input to make the same claim as his father, Harvard’s Admission’s stamp of approval notwithstanding.

Facts are stubborn things. An objectively false self-characterization based on the bogus modern invention known as the “one drop” construct can’t change the reality, no matter how many hundreds of millions of people choose to believe it does.

‘Strangers On My Flight…’

Filed under: Activism,General,Taxes & Government,Wide Open — Rose @ 2:11 pm

This is hysterical. Go to the link, crank up the volume and sing along!


Pity Party at NYT: Obama Finding It ‘Hard to Focus on Any One Issue’ When Reality Intrudes

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:45 am

In a Friday news analysis piece that appeared in the paper’s print edition today (teased at its web site as seen on the right), Jackie Calmes at the New York Times began with a pathetic headline, and opened with pity on our poor overwhelmed, stressed-out, stretched-in-all-directions President:

Obama Tries to Turn Focus to Jobs, if Other Events Allow

President Obama keeps trying to turn attention to “jobs, jobs, jobs,” as his chief of staff has put it. But he is finding that it can be hard to focus on any one issue when so many demand attention, often unexpectedly.

This is simply another variation on the “distracted” President theme I noted last year (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). You know, if those terrorists and other messy realities wouldn’t intervene, Barack Obama could do his job sooooo much better.

Calmes resumed the pity party in her seventh paragraph:

Meanwhile, the world keeps intruding as Mr. Obama tries to execute his promised pivot.

No sooner was the president home on Monday from his Hawaiian holiday break than he was closeted for days at the White House with his national security team, on responses to the foiled Christmas Day airliner attack.

With House and Senate Democrats now in the home stretch of their negotiations for a compromise on health care legislation, he will have to be more directly involved than ever before in those gritty legislative details.

Anita Dunn, until recently Mr. Obama’s communications director, said that when the health care bill was completed, “that will give the administration more space to really communicate to the American people about those things that have been done and that the president continues to push forward on to make the economy work for middle-class families.”

Mr. Obama, in his Friday afternoon statement on the job numbers, called them a reminder “that we have to continue to work every single day to get our economy moving again. For most Americans, and for me, that means jobs.”

Calmes’s citation of statist health care legislation is particularly intriguing. A strong argument can be made that if the president wants to do something to quickly improve the prospects for job creation, suggesting that Congress abandon its effort to have the government seize de facto control over one-sixth of the economy might be the ticket.

The Wall Street Journal backhandedly makes that very assertion in an editorial today:

With so much policy uncertainty out of Washington and the state capitals, no one can be sure what they will pay for energy (rising oil prices, cap and trade) or new regulation (antitrust), how high their taxes will rise, and how much each new employee will cost (health care). In this kind of world, employers will wait as long as possible to add new workers.

Removing the health care component of that uncertainty could and probably would do wonders for employers’ current hiring avoidance. If the president were really interested in “get(ting) our economy moving again,” he would focus on that. Don’t hold your breath.

Finally, how interesting it is that Calmes went to Anita “Mao Inspires Me” Dunn for a comment. Van Jones must not have been available.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


UPDATE: Coincidence? The tease for Calmes’s calamity at the NYT’s home page went away shortly after this post and its NewsBusters mirror went up.


Filed under: Activism,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 8:15 am

From the “No sh#* Dick Tracy” Department and Warner Todd Huston:

Sen. Ben Nelson: Say, Maybe We Shudda Waited on Healthcare ‘Reform’
-by Warner Todd Huston

Every week we are seeing another Democrat deciding not to run for re-election or one that is switching parties to the GOP all due to the wild, left-wing overreach indulged in by the Obama Administration and its cohorts in Congress. Connecticut’s Senator Chris Dodd is only the latest heavy hitter Democrat that is looking for an “exit strategy,” if you will. And with all these pols looking to jump ship, the infamous 60th vote on healthcare, Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, suddenly finds that bringing healthcare to a vote so soon was a bit of a mistake!

On Wednesday, Nelson, a master of the understatement, told the Fremont Tribune, “I think it was a mistake to take health care on as opposed to continuing to spend the time on the economy.”

Right after that statement, Nelson pronounced the maiden voyage of the SS Titanic “a bit of a flub,” said that Amelia Earhart made a “miscalculation” in her flight plan, and decided that founding the city of Pompeii at the foot of a volcano was probably “misguided.” But he still thought that his 60th vote for Obamacare was a good one.

Warner goes on to reiterate that the “special conditions” under which Nelson signed this monstrocity may be the very reasons it fails…I think the buzzwords will be “passing Constitutional muster,” but seeing how this administration loathes our Constitution, I could be wrong.

Nelson is a wuss…a coward…a hypocrite. Unfortunately for us, he is not alone. Unfortunately for them, this is an election year in which we can mix things up a bit.

Positivity: East Bay native plays basketball with one hand, big heart

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:54 am

From Riverdale, NY and New York City:

Posted: 12/27/2009 07:46:13 PM PST
Updated: 12/28/2009 08:12:51 AM PST

For Skip Connors, whose son, Jackson, was born in the spring without a right hand, the biggest fear was the unknown.

Kevin Laue chased away that fear.

Connors read in The New York Times about how Laue, a 6-foot-10 graduate of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, signed a national letter of intent in April with Manhattan College, making him the first one-handed Division I scholarship player in NCAA men’s basketball history.

Connors, who lives in New York City, is friends with Manhattan coach Barry Rohrssen. Last summer, the coach arranged for Connors to meet Laue on campus in the tiny Bronx community of Riverdale.

“I don’t know why,” Connors said, “but one of the first things I asked him was, ‘How do you tie your shoes?’”

Laue bent down and tied a knot with his right hand. “I looked up and he was real teary-eyed,” Laue recalled. “He was like, ‘My son can do anything.’ ”

“I still get choked up,” Connors said. “It gave some clarity to a few things.”

For years, Laue’s quest to play college basketball was a personal battle.

Not anymore.

Laue, 19, has become an inspiration to people who saw him featured on “The Early Show” on CBS and in Sports Illustrated. A Los Angeles-based filmmaker is completing three years of work on a documentary called “Twice as amazing.” Oprah Winfrey’s people have called. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.

AP: Bad Jobs Report Good Thing for Obama, Enabling Him to ‘Change Subject’ From Terrorism


The Associated Press’s Tom Raum had to work really, really hard to come up with a sunny way to present today’s jobs report and the President’s reaction to it, which consisted of awarding $2.3 billion in “New Clean Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits.”

Here’s what he concocted: The weak employment report gave Obama the chance to change the subject from terrorism, where he continues to get hammered by Republican meanies, to something else. It’s as if the only reason that the job losses occurred is because the Undie Bomber distracted Dear Leader’s attention from his domestic agenda.


Here are key paragraphs from Raum’s ramblings:

Obama refocuses on jobs after weak labor report

His agenda altered by the Christmas bombing attempt, President Barack Obama pivoted back to the domestic economy on Friday, promoting new U.S. spending to create tens of thousands of clean-technology jobs.

He outlined the initiative after a weak government jobs report raised new questions about the sustainability of the recovery.

“It’s clear why such an effort is so important. Building a robust clean energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future, jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced,” Obama said in late-afternoon economic comments at the White House.

Obama spoke after the Labor Department said the U.S. jobless rate was unchanged at 10 percent in December, following a decline the previous month. But the government’s broader measure of unemployment – which includes people who have stopped looking for work or can’t find full-time jobs – ticked up 0.1 percentage point to 17.3 percent.

That, plus the larger-than-expected loss of 85,000 jobs in December, put new pressure on the administration to step up job creation.

…. Riveted for the past two weeks on terrorism, the White House has been eager for a subject change. And Friday’s remarks were an attempt to return national attention to Obama’s domestic agenda, particularly jobs.

As long as the focus remains on terrorism, Obama is vulnerable to criticism that he isn’t aggressively addressing the jobs crisis – potentially damaging politically for Democrats in this year’s midterm elections. Polls show that jobs are the No. 1 concern of Americans.

At the same time, the constant focus on the botched Christmas Day attempt to blow up an airliner bound for Detroit – and U.S. intelligence failures surrounding the episode – has offered Republicans an easy opportunity to keep pounding Obama for national security lapses.

For what it’s worth, Tom, it isn’t just Republicans “pounding” Obama on the topic. Democrat Ed Koch, who endorsed and campaigned for the president in 2008, joined the chorus, and in the process asked a couple of really good questions:

Why haven’t we honored that brave civilian (who prevented Flight 253 from becoming a disaster)? And why haven’t we publicly shown appreciation to the two police officers who risked their lives to take down the Fort Hood Muslim terrorist, Major Nidal Hasan, before he could kill and maim others?

Why indeed?

As to the jobs announcement, $2.3 billion for 17,000 jobs is $135,000 per job. That seems more than a little disproportionate to the potential benefit. It wouldn’t cost the government anything resembling that amount per job to remove barriers to domestic exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas. In fact, it would raise trillions in extraction royalties, even before considering the income and other taxes that would be paid by the workers hired and the companies hiring them.

That idea would appear to makes too much sense for this bunch, who, despite Raum’s contention of lost focus, have a consistent agenda that’s less about creating jobs than it is about increasing the size and scope of what they control and micromanage.

(The picture at the top right is from the Christian Science Monitor, whose Linda Feldman took the same reporting tack as the AP’s Raum.)

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.