Edwards indicted: Couldn’t happen to a more deserving slimeball

June 3, 2011

Pardon me while I laugh with glee and do a jig:

Former presidential candidate John Edwards was indicted Friday on criminal charges by a federal grand jury in Raleigh, N.C, for misusing campaign funds to cover up an affair.

Edwards faces six counts — four of illegal campaign contributions, one of conspiracy and one of false statements.

Edwards, a Democrat who served one term in the Senate representing North Carolina and who was Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) vice presidential running mate in 2004, fell from grace over the last three years after admitting an affair with Rielle Hunter and then that he had fathered a child with his former staffer, all while his wife Elizabeth Edwards battled cancer.

Earlier Friday, there were reports that talks toward a plea deal between Edwards’s lawyers and the Justice Department had collapsed.

I have despised John Edwards with a visceral passion ever since he came on the national scene in 2004. Everything about him screamed “hypocrite,” “phony,” and “fraud.” He was an unctuous snake-oil salesman who personified all the worst, most cynical aspects of our politics and legal system. (Hey, he was a plaintiff’s trial lawyer who made his money off exploiting medical malpractice suits. What did we expect?) He’s the living embodiment of Elmer Gantry, a con artist who’d take your trust, your money, and your vote, pat you on the back, and laugh inside at what a fool he’s made of you. In all the years since, I have never understood how anyone could fall for his act.

Really, I have to ask of any (hopefully former) Edwards supporters in the audience: How could you be so dumb?

And to think, but for a few thousand votes in Ohio, this sanctimonious charlatan almost became vice-president, one gunshot or heart attack from the Oval Office, itself.

My friends we truly dodged a nightmare in 2004, and I don’t just mean having Lurch for president.

But once again we see how hubris is brought down by nemesis; in this case, John Edwards was the instrument of his own destruction.

It’s a reminder that there is Justice in the world, and yes, I take great pleasure in this moment.

Enjoy your stay at Club Fed, John!

RELATED: Previous posts on John Edwards.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Bombshell allegation: Mexican presidents colluded in drug trafficking?

March 1, 2011

And the accuser isn’t some minor politico or crime figure, but a former state governor from the long-time ruling party, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) . According to Borderland Beat, Mexican presidents from Miguel de la Madrid through Ernesto Zedillo, nearly 20 years, bought social peace by telling the cartels which routes they could use to bring their drugs to the United States and which areas they had to leave alone:

In a conference with students held on Wednesday, February 23, at the Law School of the Autonomous University of Coauhuila in Saltillo, Socrates Rizzo delivered a bombshell that has rocked Mexico as the campaign for the 2012 presidential election approaches.

During an interview session the former PRI Governor admitted that previous PRI presidents held strong control over drug trafficking routes that prevented the attacks on civilians and the violence that Mexico is undergoing today.

Although an open secret in Mexican society and a charge occasionally leveled publicly by the country’s two other major political parties, the National Action Party (PAN) and the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), this is the first time in recent history that a former or current PRI politician has admitted publicly that this arrangement existed.

“Somehow the problems with drug trafficking were avoided, there was a strong State control and a strong President and a strong Attorney General and a tight control of the Army.”

“Somehow they (drug traffickers) were told: ‘You go through here, you here, you there’, but do not touch these other places,” he said in his speech.

The former Governor added that this strategy allowed the State to ensure the social peace that has been lost in the war on drugs launched by the PAN administration of Felipe Calderon.

“What the old guard says is that we had control by the Government and the Army. The big problem is consumption, and while consumption exists in the U.S. there will be drug trafficking in that direction.”

“What control by the PRI governments guaranteed was that drug trafficking did not disturb the social peace.”

Former Governor Rizzo also said Mexico’s current troubles with violence began with the electoral victory of the National Action Party‘s (PAN) presidential candidate, Vicente Fox, in 2000. They knew nothing of the deal with the cartels, didn’t want to know, and indeed tried to crack down, with the bloody results we’ve seen in years since, especially since President Calderón took office in 2006. In fact, the PRI candidate in 1994, Luis Donaldo Colosio, may have been assassinated by the cartels because he didn’t want to play along, breaking the deal. Rizzo laughably says the problem with the PAN presidents was a lack of “professionalism.” I guess “professional” in his book means “willing to play along.”

Not that the three PRI presidents, de la Madrid, Salinas de Gortari, and Zedillo were just honest brokers trying to spare their people as much as possible. Concern for their people may have been part of it, but they and those under them were getting their cut, too. In fact, the corruption grew so bad under Salinas that his predecessor, de la Madrid, was shocked at his greed. (Sort of like Louis in “Casablanca?”)

Rizzo retracted his story the next day under heavy criticism, especially from two Mexican senators from the PRI Party, Manlio Fabio Beltrones and Fernando Baeza Melendez, both former governors themselves and both reputedly in tight with the cartels. Fabio Beltrones, in particular, is mentioned as a possible presidential candidate next year, should the party’s golden boy, Enrique Peña Nieto, falter. Wouldn’t that be sweet if he wins? “We’re back in business, boys!”

The trouble with Rizzo’s retraction, however, is that his accusations are just too plausible: not only are his critics rumored to have heavy ties to the cartels, but the problem with violence after Calderón started his crackdown didn’t spring from nowhere. Large cartels were known to exist in the 80s, for example, Rafael Caro Quintero’s Guadalajara Cartel. It’s hard to believe they could do the volume of business they did in the 80s and 90s without some sort of under-the-table official protection.

And corruption in Mexico is known to have crawled up into the federal ranks. With that much money at stake, it’s inevitable  that a lot was spread around to ensure “cooperation.” But it didn’t happen overnight, and Rizzo’s allegations argue that these corrupted cops were just following El Presidente’s lead — at least until the new guys screwed up a sweet deal.

But don’t think that this can be solved by Calderón or his successor cutting another deal with the Devil. As the Borderlands piece points out, Mexico now has its own drug consumption problem, and these guys are fighting over markets inside the country, not just for prime routes north. It will be much harder for Fabio Beltrones, for example, to come to a new understanding with the cartels that allows him to tell them what to do.

Of course, the big question for us is “Isn’t this all history?” In a sense, yes. What those three presidents did years ago has done its damage in the United States, and Mexico is now paying the price of cleaning it up — if it can be cleaned up. The monster de la Madrid and his successors summoned may have grown too big for their successors to defeat without a lot more blood being spilled, which has predictable implications for our own security.

But one also has to ask what happens if PRI wins the next election, particularly if Fabio Beltrones or some other cartel-friendly candidate becomes president. If Rizzo’s accusations are true, then it is a dubious question whether almost any PRI president and his administration can be considered a reliable partner against the cartels — or whether he is their partner.

Do read the whole thing. It’s long and it relies in part on rumor and anonymous sources, but it has a disturbing ring of truth to it, too.

via Business Insider

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


How corrupt is the Congressional Black Caucus?

November 16, 2010

I asked that question a few months ago. Now we have another fact with which to build answer. Actually, we have 11 facts, as the Democrat-dominated House Ethics Committee found Congressman Charles Rangel (D-Corruption) guilty on 11 of 13 counts against him:

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the adjudicatory subcommittee and the full House ethics committee, announced the decision late Tuesday morning following an abbreviated public trial of the 20-term lawmaker and nearly six hours of deliberations.

“We have tried to act with fairness, led only by the facts and the law,” Lofgren said. “We believe we have accomplished that mission.”

The full ethics panel will now convene a sanctions hearing to recommend a punishment. Serious sanctions — including formal reprimand, censure or expulsion — require a vote on the House floor. Expulsion requires a two-thirds vote, while a reprimand, which Rangel refused to agree to in July, or a censure would need just a simple majority. The ethics panel could also impose a fine and diminish some of Rangel’s privileges.

While Rangel richly deserves expulsion, don’t expect that to happen. The Democrats would almost certainly never toss out one of their own (Especially one who knows where a lot of bodies are buried), and the CBC would have an absolute fit; Rangel is a co-founder of the Caucus and one of the longest-serving African Americans in the House. And with (soon to be ex-)Speaker Pelosi needing their votes to remain as minority leader (and she already has trouble on that flank)… No, there’s no way Charlie gets shown the door. Most likely is a reprimand and perhaps the permanent loss of his committee chairmanship seniority.

If Rangel is smart, he’ll take his medicine now, before the Republicans gain control of the House.

As for the corruption of the CBC, I suspect the long-overdue clean up will be starting soon.

EDIT: Made the change above since, with the election, Charlie’s post as Chairman is gone for good.

UPDATE: From David Freddoso, word that Charlie is in denial.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Just how corrupt is the Congressional Black Caucus? Part two

September 8, 2010

A follow-up to this story:  It seems Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was a lot more directly involved than she has admitted in funneling scholarship money meant for poor children to her own relatives:

Letters bearing Eddie Bernice Johnson’s signature ask that scholarship money be sent directly to her grandsons

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson apparently asked the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to send scholarship checks directly to her two grandsons and two great-nephews, rather than to their colleges.

Johnson has insisted repeatedly that she left scholarship decisions to aides.

But two letters she sent the foundation from 2006 undermine claims that she wasn’t involved in obtaining $31,000 for her relatives and two other ineligible recipients.

Neither her aides nor the foundation responded to repeated requests to discuss the letters, which were obtained separately by The Dallas Morning News and by Johnson’s GOP challenger, Stephen Broden, who released them Tuesday.

But the letters suggest a far more direct role for the Dallas Democrat than she acknowledged in the last week after revelations by The News that she awarded at least 23 scholarships to her relatives and the children of a top staffer – in violation of the foundation’s nepotism and residency rules.

“There have been statements made by Congresswoman Johnson that she was oblivious to the process and that she was sort of detached from it and was not involved in the detail,” Broden said. “We see here that she was orchestrating how the checks should be made out.”

The letters are on Johnson’s U.S. House letterhead. They bear a fax stamp from her Dallas office and a signature that appears to match hers from previous correspondence unrelated to the scholarships.

Oh, my. What’s that hand doing in the cookie jar, Eddie?

As Ed Morrissey puts it, if you’re going to be a crook, don’t leave a paper trail.

As a reminder, you can help clean up Dallas politics by donating to Congreswoman Johnson’s opponent, the Reverend Stephen Broden.

LINKS: More from Pajamas Media.

EDIT: Forgot to include the link to the Dallas Morning News story. D’oh!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Just how corrupt is the Congressional Black Caucus?

August 30, 2010

First Charlie Rangel, then Maxine Waters, and now Eddie Bernice Johnson:

Longtime Dallas congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has awarded thousands of dollars in college scholarships to four relatives and a top aide’s two children since 2005, using foundation funds set aside for black lawmakers’ causes.

The recipients were ineligible under anti-nepotism rules of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which provided the money. And all of the awards violated a foundation requirement that scholarship winners live or study in a caucus member’s district.

Johnson, a Democrat, denied any favoritism when asked about the scholarships last week. Two days later, she acknowledged in a statement released by her office that she had violated the rules but said she had done so “unknowingly” and would work with the foundation to “rectify the financial situation.”

Initially, she said, “I recognized the names when I saw them. And I knew that they had a need just like any other kid that would apply for one.” Had there been more “very worthy applicants in my district,” she added, “then I probably wouldn’t have given it” to the relatives.

Uh-huh. Sure. We’re to believe a Representative who’s been in office for almost 20 years, chaired the CBC, and sat on the board of this foundation didn’t know that giving money to her grandkids and the children of her aide -none of whom lived in the district- violated the rules? That there were no children from poor families in her district who were better qualified? None?

I bet she promised to respect her constituents in the morning, too.

I’ll grant that corruption is a bipartisan problem (Remember Duke Cunningham?), but it does seem the CBC has more than its fair share. (Let’s not forget a former member, William ‘Icebox” Jefferson)

The problem has nothing to do with their ethnicity, of course, and everything to do with a sense of entitlement born of being in DC far too long, in which “public service” becomes “the public serves me.” Combine control over money with a sense of “I make the rules, so I can break them,” and this is what you get: a politician who thinks of herself as a modern day aristocrat, not a public servant.

Corruption, I think, is also more a problem with modern social liberalism, with its emphasis on government solutions by concentrating money and its distribution in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats, creating temptation. Again, “If the money is mine to distribute, what does it hurt if a little of it goes to help my own?” Nothing, except for gutting the belief that anyone else outside of the well-connected few has a fair shot at it. To the extent that CBC members are almost all social liberals (at least) and statists, it shouldn’t be surprising that these problems keep showing up among its members.

The solution, of course, is to replace oligarchs like Johnson, Rangel, and Waters with genuine representatives who will treat public money as a public trust, not a private piggy bank. And, while I’ve been opposed to term limits for legislators in principle, this is another in a long series of incidents that’s slowly changing my mind: if the problem is caused in part by being in Washington too long, then perhaps we should limit how long a person can stay there.

LINKS: More from Hot Air. Moe Lane points out that Congresswoman Johnson not only diverted money to her own family, but helped create her own district. An oligarch, indeed. Her opponent in November is the Reverend Stephen Broden. Perhaps we can all help clean up Congress by sending a little money his way.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


When crooks no longer fear the cops

August 2, 2010

President Obama’s hometown of Chicago has a problem: a declining clearance rate for violent crime has lead to an increase in crimes such as robbery and murder, which is further fed by declining morale in an underfunded, undermanned police department. The situation is so bad, even the cops themselves are being gunned down in the streets:

And it gets worse. Three Chicago police officers have been murdered in the last two months, the most recent of whom was Michael Bailey, who at age 62 was only weeks away from retirement. On the morning of July 18, Bailey had finished an overnight shift guarding the home of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and was in front of his own home cleaning his new car, which he had bought as an early retirement gift to himself. He was still dressed in his police uniform when someone tried to rob him. Police officers everywhere accept the risks to life and limb attendant to the job, but it’s generally taken for granted among cops that the uniform will serve as a deterrent against being robbed on the street. What level of depravity has a city reached when a uniformed police officer is no safer from a street robbery than anyone else? More important, what is to be done about it?

Other problems come to mind besides the lack of money and competent leadership that Dunphy talks about in his article: Chicago is a city with an absolute ban on handgun ownership, though that’s now been overturned in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonald v. Chicago. Criminals know that their victims are likely to be unarmed and that itself makes violent crime a less risky proposition for the criminal. In effect, gun control increases crime. Perhaps if the City of Chicago would stop fighting its residents rights under the Constitution, violent crime rates would drop.

The other problem that comes to mind is the notorious corruption of Chicago, itself. It’s not surprising that the cities Dunphy mentions as having worse murder rates than Chicago, New Orleans and Detroit, both also have serious problems with corruption. Corruption not only steals the public’s money and cheats them of the services for which they’ve paid, but it also saps morale among those who serve the public and aren’t corrupt themselves, inevitably making problems such a city’s crime rate worse.

To turn back to Chicago, how bad must the decline of law and order be, when criminals don’t fear even the police? Bad enough that one of its own cops says the city is on the fast track to anarchy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Transparency Watch: Oh, that 40-grand!

June 29, 2010

Somewhere in my memory, way back around the time Obama was elected and a new era of Hope and Change had dawned for America, the then-candidate promised us a new era of transparency in government.

That was then, this is now:

White House aide failed to disclose $40K payout

President Barack Obama’s political director failed to disclose that he was slated to receive a nearly $40,000 payout from a large labor union while he was working in the White House.

Patrick Gaspard, who served as the political director for the Service Employees International Union local 1199, received $37,071.46 in “carried over leave and vacation” from the union in 2009, but he did not disclose the agreement to receive the payment on his financial disclosure forms filed with the White House.

In a section on his financial disclosure where agreements or arrangements for payment by a former employer must be disclosed, Gaspard checked a box indicating that he had nothing to report.

Bill Burton, a White House spokesman, told POLITICO Monday that Gaspard was in the process of correcting his disclosure form to reflect that he did in fact have an agreement for severance.

“We have made the small administrative change to this year’s and last year’s forms to indicate that part of the final payment to Patrick reflected their typical severance of one week of pay for each of his nine years of service at Local 1199 of SEIU,” Burton wrote POLITICO in an e-mailed statement.

Such financial disclosures are governed by federal law, but Stan Brand, a former House general counsel and ethics expert, said the Justice Department is unlikely to pursue an investigation unless they suspected a “knowing or willful” intent to deceive.

Call me a paranoid, racist, dangerous right-wing potential extremist (and don’t forget “Nazi!“, too), but I find it hard to believe that someone could just forget $40,000 paid out to him by his former employer, especially when he needed the money to pay down nearly $80,000 in debts.  Hey, it happens all the time, right?

Oh, and the former employer happens to be a powerful union allied with one’s new boss and his political program. And that union’s then-head was and is a frequent visitor to the White House.

What a coincidence.

They must be using the Tammany Hall definition of “transparency.”

(via Ed Morrissey)


So, let me get this straight

May 20, 2010

We’re supposed to elect San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris as California’s next Attorney General? But we’re not to pay attention to her lousy courtroom record?

The records show that while Harris’ overall conviction rate has reached new highs over the past several years, that success is based almost entirely on plea deals negotiated before defendants accused of serious crimes proceed to trial. (Such pleas form the bulk of any D.A.’s convictions.) By contrast, felony convictions for cases that actually go to trial and reach a jury verdict — a comparatively small group that nevertheless includes some of a district attorney’s most violent and emotionally charged cases — have declined significantly over the past two years.

In 2009, San Francisco prosecutors won a lower percentage of their felony jury trials than their counterparts at district attorneys’ offices covering the 10 largest cities in California, according to data on case outcomes compiled by officials at the San Francisco Superior Court as well as by other county courts and prosecutors. (Officials in Sacramento, the state’s seventh-largest city, did not provide data.) Harris’ at-trial felony conviction rate that year was 76 percent, down 12 points from the previous year.

Okay, so she’s better at plea bargains than winning in court. Maybe she’s a great manager who will lead the Attorney General’s office to better days?

Um… no.

A well-known private defense attorney whose “unimpeachable judgment and independence” will assist District Attorney Kamala Harris with a brewing scandal and has contributed thousands of dollars, and public support, to Harris’ political aspirations.

On Friday, Harris announced that John Keker, the founding partner of a San Francisco law firm who rose to prominence as the chief prosecutor of Oliver North, would be assisting the District Attorney’s Office free of charge after prosecutors failed to follow basic legal protocols, putting convictions of hundreds of criminals at risk.

The office has come under scrutiny because, by law, prosecutors are required to provide any information that could be used to disqualify the testimony of an expert witness, such as criminal history or internal disciplinary actions. But the Police Department has never provided information about its own employees to prosecutors, and the prosecutors failed to ask for the basic information, jeopardizing convictions.

But the issue recently came to light in the fallout of the police drug-testing lab shutdown amid allegations that lab technician Deborah Madden took cocaine from evidence samples. Madden had a criminal past that was never divulged to defense attorneys. The scandal has already led to more than 600 drug cases being tossed.

So, Kamala Harris is lousy in court and can’t manage a large department. Tell me again why California voters should elect her in November?  I dont know

For the record, the coveted* Public Secrets endorsement for Attorney General goes to John Eastman, running for the Republican nomination.

*(Yeah, right.)

UPDATE: A San Francisco judge rips into Harris for her mismanagement.


Like leaving a satyr to guard a brothel

February 26, 2010

President Obama has appointed SEIU head Andy Stern to his “deficit reduction commission:”

The president also appointed Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, and former Young & Rubicam Brands CEO Ann Fudge for the panel, to serve on the panel.

“I am proud that these distinguished individuals have agreed to work to build a bipartisan consensus to put America on the path toward fiscal reform and responsibility,” Obama said in a statement announcing the appointments. “I know they’ll take up their work with the sense of integrity and strength of commitment that the American people deserve.”

Oh, please, Mr. President. If you’re going to play the tool and pay off your union allies, don’t insult our intelligence at the same time. Stern doesn’t give a damn about responsible fiscal policy or even the workers he supposedly represents: he wants the Fed to spend money in ways that help him build his corrupt union empire.

Are even Chicago politics this brazen?

RELATED: More on Stern and the SEIU’s corrupt activities. This bunch of corporatist thugs would fit right in with Mussolini’s Italy.

BTW: The whole concept of a “deficit reduction commission” is a pathetic joke. We already have one – it’s called the United States Congress, and it’s about time they started doing their jobs.

(via Hot Air)


The global warming scam in action

February 25, 2010

How to lay off hundreds of people, end a nation’s steel industry, do nothing to clean up the environment, and make-off with a billion UK Pounds, all with British Government approval.

This is where the junk science religion of Anthropogenic Global Warming has very real and very harmful effects.

(via Climategate)


Another day, another global warming claim goes *poof!*

February 16, 2010

First it was the temperature data and the Dread Hockey Stick of Doom that turned out to be near-total fabrications. Then it was the glaciers that weren’t really melting as fast as claimed, and the rain forests that weren’t receding as much as claimed. And now it’s the increase in the frequency and power of hurricanes that isn’t happening:

Dr. Les Hatton, a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, today released a global statistical analysis testing six Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) statements against raw data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) Administration to prove there has been no increase in global hurricanes or typhoons, contrary to IPCC claims.

Hatton was inspired to analyse the IPPC hurricane data after the climategate email revelations and found that although the North Atlantic hurricane activity increased significantly, the increase was cancelled out overall by diminished activity in the East Pacific. Thus, the declines balance the increases. His detailed report can be found in this PDF.

  • “When you average the number of storms and their strength, it almost exactly balances.”

I begin to wonder if there’s anything true at all in anything the IPCC has published. The organization’s credibility has been ruined, a self-inflicted death. Time for it to be disestablished.

Oh, and time for Al Gore to surrender his Nobel Peace Prize and his Academy Award.

LINKS: More at Hot Air and Fausta.


CRU’s chief weasel admits the science isn’t settled.

February 14, 2010

Via NewsBusters. This is like a Catholic cardinal admitting he’s an agnostic. Phil Jones, the director of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, one of the primary sources of ammunition for global-warming alarmists, admits in a BBC interview that there has been no statistically significant warming in recent years, acknowledges the likelihood of warmer periods in the past (such as the Medieval Warm Period), and admits to manipulating key data to support the alarmist case. Here’s an example:

A – Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

An initial point to make is that in the responses to these questions I’ve assumed that when you talk about the global temperature record, you mean the record that combines the estimates from land regions with those from the marine regions of the world. CRU produces the land component, with the Met Office Hadley Centre producing the marine component.

Temperature data for the period 1860-1880 are more uncertain, because of sparser coverage, than for later periods in the 20th Century. The 1860-1880 period is also only 21 years in length. As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different (see numbers below).

I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998.

So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

Read the whole thing. If this were an episode of Perry Mason, Jones would be crumbling under a cross-examination and just seconds away from confessing he murdered Mr. Boddy in the library with the candlestick. His evasions and caveats aside, Jones admits that the science is not settled, that the data is questionable, and that natural causes could explain climate changes. It’s a far cry from the “science is settled” arrogance pushed by leading alarmists and their puddingheaded followers.

Oh yeah, about that manipulated data:

Q – Let’s talk about the e-mails now: In the e-mails you refer to a “trick” which your critics say suggests you conspired to trick the public? You also mentioned “hiding the decline” (in temperatures). Why did you say these things?

This remark has nothing to do with any “decline” in observed instrumental temperatures. The remark referred to a well-known observation, in a particular set of tree-ring data, that I had used in a figure to represent large-scale summer temperature changes over the last 600 years.

The phrase ‘hide the decline’ was shorthand for providing a composite representation of long-term temperature changes made up of recent instrumental data and earlier tree-ring based evidence, where it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were.

This “divergence” is well known in the tree-ring literature and “trick” did not refer to any intention to deceive – but rather “a convenient way of achieving something”, in this case joining the earlier valid part of the tree-ring record with the recent, more reliable instrumental record.

I was justified in curtailing the tree-ring reconstruction in the mid-20th Century because these particular data were not valid after that time – an issue which was later directly discussed in the 2007 IPCC AR4 Report.

The misinterpretation of the remark stems from its being quoted out of context. The 1999 WMO report wanted just the three curves, without the split between the proxy part of the reconstruction and the last few years of instrumental data that brought the series up to the end of 1999. Only one of the three curves was based solely on tree-ring data.

The e-mail was sent to a few colleagues pointing out their data was being used in the WMO Annual Statement in 1999. I was pointing out to them how the lines were physically drawn. This e-mail was not written for a general audience. If it had been I would have explained what I had done in much more detail.

Weasel. Both Marc Morano at American Thinker and Coyote at Climate Skeptic, as well as Steve McIntyre at Watts Up With That?, demonstrate exactly the deception Jones and his colleagues were up to when they tried to hide the decline.

I’d call this a death-blow to the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming, but the persistence of folly never fails to amaze. And now that the cult has credulous Western governments on its side, the inertia behind economy and liberty destroying programs that will do no good and much harm will be difficult to overcome.

But they’re on the run.

RELATED: More at the Daily Mail, Watts Up With That, Climategate (headline: “OOOPS!”), Hot Air, Blue Crab Boulevard, Fausta, Hot Air again, and the Times of London. That last is another body blow. And have you noticed that almost all the good MSM coverage of Climategate is coming out of the UK, and precious little of it here in America?

Almost as if the US press is married to a particular agenda…  Thinking


The ten most corrupt people in Washington

February 5, 2010

And nine of them are Democrats:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2009 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

  • Senator Chris Dodd
  • Senator John Ensign (the lone Republican)
  • Representative Bawney Fwank Barney Frank
  • Treasury Secretary Timothy “Turbo-Tax” Geithner
  • Attorney General Eric Holder
  • Representative Jesse Jackson, jr.
  • President Obama
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • Representative John Murtha

And Representative Charlie Rangel, whose entry we reproduce below:

Rangel, the man in charge of writing tax policy for the entire country, has yet to adequately explain how he could possibly “forget” to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. He also faces allegations that he improperly used his influence to maintain ownership of highly coveted rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, and misused his congressional office to fundraise for his private Rangel Center by preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company in exchange for funding. On top of all that, Rangel recently amended his financial disclosure reports, which doubled his reported wealth. (He somehow “forgot” about $1 million in assets.) And what did he do when the House Ethics Committee started looking into all of this? He apparently resorted to making “campaign contributions” to dig his way out of trouble. According to WCBS TV, a New York CBS affiliate: “The reigning member of Congress’ top tax committee is apparently ‘wrangling’ other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles…Since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him.” Charlie Rangel should not be allowed to remain in Congress, let alone serve as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and he knows it. That’s why he felt the need to disburse campaign contributions to Ethics Committee members and other congressional colleagues.

Well done, one and all!  Applause

Be sure to read the whole list, and savor the quality of your elected leaders.

(via Big Journalism)


Quote of the day

February 5, 2010

Jim Geraghty, from his Morning Jolt e-newsletter, on the current state of Democratic politics in Illinois:

So, just to clarify, seeking to turn the page on the era of Rod Blagojevich and Roland Burris, the Democrats’ statewide candidates this year are Rod’s two-time running mate, Tony Rezko’s banker, and the psycho ex-boyfriend who’s blackmailing Katee Sackhoff’s character on 24 this season.

That about sums it up. 🙂

For background, Ed Morrissey has a good summary.


Is there anything the IPCC hasn’t lied about?

January 27, 2010

Ye gods. The whole edifice of their “settled science” is crumbling like a wet cookie. From James Delingpole:

After Climategate, Pachaurigate and Glaciergate: Amazongate

AGW theory is toast. So’s Dr Rajendra Pachauri. So’s the Stern Review. So’s the credibility of the IPCC. But if you think I’m cheered by this you’re very much mistaken. I’m trying to write a Climategate book but the way things are going by the time I’m finished there won’t be anything left to say: the battle will already have been won and the only people left who still believe in Man Made Global Warming will be the eco-loon equivalents of those wartime Japanese soldiers left abandoned and forgotten on remote Pacific atolls.


Here’s the latest development, courtesy of Dr Richard North – and it’s a cracker. It seems that, not content with having lied to us about shrinking glaciers, increasing hurricanes, and rising sea levels, the IPCC’s latest assessment report also told us a complete load of porkies about the danger posed by climate change to the Amazon rainforest.

Hint: The geniuses of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claimed we were in danger of losing up to 40% of the Amazon rainforests to global warming. Trouble is, there’s no evidence to back their claims.

At this rate, only carbon-trading con artists and bawling emo-hippies will take this global-warming garbage seriously.


Arrogance, corruption and stupidity

December 24, 2009

Early this morning Last night the Senate passed its version of health-care reform on a party-line 60-39 vote, the first time that’s happened on a truly major piece of legislation since the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Thankfully, I’m not into omens, but how fitting that Nebraska should reprise its old role! The LA Times called the moment “historic.” Perhaps, but I would remind them of what Karl Marx once said about historic repetitions.

And yes, the oddity of me quoting Marx has not gone unnoticed. But the progress of this abominable bill through the Senate has brought us to an odd time, indeed, when even cats and dogs will ally.

I was all set to write a long screed about what a terrible piece of legislation this is and how rotten the process became, but Oklahoma’s Senator Tom Coburn, a physician, does it for me:

This vote is indeed historic. This Congress will be remembered for its arrogance, corruption and stupidity. In the year of 2009, a Congress ignored the coming economic storm and impending bankruptcy of our entitlement programs and embarked on an ideological crusade to bring our nation as close to single-payer, government-run health care as possible. If this bill becomes law, future generations will rue this day and I will do everything in my power to work toward its repeal. This bill will ration care, cut Medicare, increase premiums, fund abortion and bury our children in debt.

This process was not compromise. This process was corruption. This bill passed because votes were bought and sold using the issue of abortion as a bargaining chip. The abortion provision alone makes this bill the most arrogant piece of legislation I have seen in Congress. Only the most condescending politician can believe it is appropriate to force Americans to pay for other people’s abortions and to coerce medical professional to take the lives of unborn children.

(via Gaius)

Go, read the rest. Some form of nationalized health care, whether the Senate’s, the House’s, or a compromise monstrosity, is almost certain to pass in the next few months. Regardless of which, just remember the arrogance, corruption, and stupidity of those who passed it when you go to vote next November.

RELATED: A powerful House Democrat is not impressed with ReidCare.


Michelle Obama behind Inspector General firing?

December 14, 2009

It’s way too early to ask that famous question (paraphrased), “What did she know and when did she know it,” but Byron York reports on strong indications that the White House may be trying to hide the First Lady’s involvement of AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin, who had uncovered corruption in one of her favorite charities:

Congressional investigators looking into the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin have discovered that the head of AmeriCorps met with a top aide to First Lady Michelle Obama the day before Walpin was removed.

According to Republican investigators, Alan Solomont, then the chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, had denied meeting with Jackie Norris, at the time the First Lady’s chief of staff.  But recently-released White House visitor logs show that Solomont met with Norris on June 9 of this year (as well as on two earlier occasions). President Obama fired Walpin on June 10 after an intense dispute over Walpin’s aggressive investigation of misuse of AmeriCorps money by Obama political ally Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, California.

After being presented with the visitor logs, investigators say, Solomont explained that he met with Norris to discuss Corporation business but did not discuss the Walpin matter.  When pressed, Solomont said he might have made an offhand comment, or a mention in passing, about the Walpin affair, but that he and Norris did not have a discussion about it.

Solomont’s explanations have left both Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Sen. Charles Grassley, top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, frustrated and vowing to continue their investigation of the Walpin matter. In a letter to Solomont, sent Friday, Issa wrote that he has “serious questions about the veracity of your…testimony.”  In a statement Saturday, Grassley said he is “concerned about the accuracy and completeness of Mr. Solomont’s answers to questions.”

Solomont changed his story several times and was caught in a bald lie by committee investigators. The question is inevitable: if nothing wrong was done, why not admit he had discussed that troublesome IG with Mrs. Obama’s chief of staff? (And who soon thereafter was appointed to the board of AmeriCorps supervising corporation.) Unless, of course, the First Lady was to some degree involved in the illegal firing of Mr. Walpin? AmeriCorps is a favored charity of hers, and Mayor Johnson is a major Obama supporter and friend. A little Chicago-style hardball politics to make Walpin go away wouldn’t be alien to her, someone steeped in it from childhood.

Again, it’s too early to scream j’accuse, but the behavior of those involved is both curious and suggestive. But, with the Republicans in the minority and Democrats seemingly uninterested in pursuing IG-gate, we may have to wait for January, 2011, for the full story to come out.

RELATED: A friend reminds me of a potentially similar prior scandal, from when our Secretary of State was herself First lady. This time, however, there’s the added spice of the current First Lady possibly intervening to protect a supporter who misuses federal funds and sexually harasses interns. Sweet! I’d better order more popcorn…

LINKS: More at Hot Air.


Quote of the day

November 24, 2009

R. S. McCain on the major media’s continued “hear no evil, see no evil” approach to the growing Inspector-General scandal:

Here you’ve got Johnson, accused of sexual misconduct by three different St. HOPE students, and one of the St. HOPE board members — who also happens to be Johnson’s fiancee — is trying to get the Inspector General to drop his investigation, in the middle of Johnson’s 2008 campaign for mayor. The accused sexual predador is a close friend of the president, and Little Miss Predator-Enabler is the head of D.C. public schools?

On what planet is this not front-page news?

More on IG-gate here and here.


Sunday funny

September 27, 2009

From the pen of Joe Heller of the Green Bay Press-Gazette:

acorn


Mr. Tax-law writing tax-evader

September 23, 2009

A loving tribute to Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY):

Congratulations, Charlie! You earned it! Applause Party

(hat tip: Fausta)