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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Climategate: Exposing Global Warming

Climategate: Exposing Global Warming

There is good science, which helped mankind get to the moon, allowed for longer life and health through medical science and improved wildlife habitat through better biological and wildlife science.   Then there is junk science or “on demand science” used by industry, or environmental groups or “mono-maniacs” to drive political agendas and one issue public policy.   Thus we have the Waterloo for the global warming advocates, as e-mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU), located in the University of East Angila (British-UK) have revealed political advocacy over sound science, global warming trends unsupported by the actual science and collaboration with friends (of global warming) at the expense of peer reviewed research.   All using UK taxpayer dollars, and probably some US and other country taxpayer dollars to push a political agenda under the guise of global warming science. Climategate, as critics of global warming have called it, is turning the world of climate science upside down.

In the Wall Street Journal editorial page on 11.27.09 Kimberly Strassel writes:

Will Climate Scandal Be a Tipping Point?  So declares Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, taking a few minutes away from a Thanksgiving retreat with his family. "Ninety-five percent of the nails were in the coffin prior to this week. Now they are all in."

This week he's looking prescient. The more than 3,000 emails and documents from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) that have found their way to the Internet have blown the lid off the "science" of manmade global warming. CRU is a nerve center for many of those researchers who have authored the United Nations' global warming reports and fueled the political movement to regulate carbon.
Their correspondence show a claque of scientists massaging data to make it fit their theories, squelching scientists who disagreed, punishing academic journals that didn't toe the apocalyptic line, and hiding their work from public view. "It's no use pretending that this isn't a major blow," glumly wrote George Monbiot, a U.K. writer who has been among the fiercest warming alarmists. The documents "could scarcely be more damaging." And that's from a believer.
This scandal has real implications. Mr. Inhofe notes that international and U.S. efforts to regulate carbon were already on the ropes. The growing fear of Democrats and environmentalists is that the CRU uproar will prove a tipping point, and mark a permanent end to those ambitions.    Wall Street Opinion Journal 
For more Opinion from the WS Journal

Iain Murry is the Vice President for Strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute,  based in Washington, DC.   He has been a long time critic of global warming science, in particular with the lack of scientific protocol on climate change research that attributes global temperature variations exclusively to human activity.

“So what does this all mean? It does not mean that there is no warming trend or that mankind has not been responsible for at least some of the warming. To claim that as result of these documents is clearly a step too far. However, it is clear that at least one branch of climate science — paleoclimatology — has become hopelessly politicized to the point of engaging in unethical and possibly illegal behavior.
To the extent that paleoclimatology is an important part of the scientific case for action regarding global warming, urgent reassessments need to be made. In the meantime, all those responsible for political action on global warming should stop the process pending the results of inquiries, investigations, and any criminal proceedings. What cannot happen is the process carrying on as if nothing has happened.”   Iain Murray, CEI, Wash DC

And news from England indicates that the University of East Anglia’s “Climate Research Unit” CRU is moving towards releasing information, as the public outcry over how the climate scientists at the CRU handled their research.   Lack of peer reviews and lack of scientific protocols have been exposed in over 3,000 leaked e-mails and documents from the CRU.

“Releasing the CRU’s data files is a big breakthrough in the scandal and begins the process of bringing climate science into line with other scientific disciplines. It is standard practice in most scientific research to make data and methodologies available to other scientists in order that they can be checked and conclusions confirmed or questioned. In much climate science, secrecy has been the norm and many scientists have in effect demanded that their conclusions be accepted without any way to scrutinize their research. Thus the nations of the world have been embarking on policies that could cost trillions of dollars based on little more than assurances that “we’re experts and you can trust us.”  Myron Ebell, CEI, Wash, DC

Source: Myron Ebell, Director of Energy & Global Worming Policy, Competitive Enterprise Institute,

© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,   

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Conservative Case

The Conservative Case (Rep Mike Spence)

Rep Mike Spence made the compelling case for the conservative movement, as the keynote speaker at the recent American Spectator annual Robert L. Bartley dinner (and the keynote was posted on November 23rd on line   archives)

Here is the opening paragraph from Rep Mike Spence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference: “I stand before you today at an historic moment for the conservative movement and for this great country. The coming weeks and months may well set the course for this nation for a generation and beyond. How we as conservatives respond could well determine whether America retains her place as a beacon of hope in the world, or whether we slip into the abyss that has swallowed much of Europe in an avalanche of Socialism.”

Rep Spence related the position of John Adams, our second US President about the real American Revolution and yearning for a free society as Americans:  “According to our second President, the real American Revolution was a revolution of self-reliance and independence, casting off dependency on the crown, in the hearts and minds of the American people. It was a rejection of the spirit of dependence in favor of a society of free and independent people.”

Later, Representative Spence related a story and quotation to US President Abraham Lincoln, “Our 16th president knew that as well. Passing through my home state of Indiana, Abraham Lincoln stopped at the Clay Pool Hotel on 11 February 1861. Headed to Washington to assume the presidency, he said words that are now chiseled in a modest bronze plaque, and I quote: "I appeal to you, to constantly bear in mind that it is not with politicians, it is not with presidents, it is not with office seekers, but with you is the question: Shall the union and shall the liberties of the country be preserved?" Lincoln went on to say, "It is your business if the union of these states and the liberties of this people shall be lost, and it is your business to rise up."

For the complete text of the speech by US Representative Spence:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dem Altmire Votes No on Healthcare Bill

REP. JASON ALTMIRE: Why I voted no on health reform
Without cost-control, health-care reform is an empty promise

Friday, November 20, 2009
The need for health-care reform is clear: The skyrocketing cost of health care threatens America's financial future and our ability to effectively care for our citizens.
When Congress set out to accomplish health-care reform earlier this year, I had two main goals in mind: slowing the growth of health-care spending over the long term and building a system that focuses on quality of care, rather than simply quantity of care. Achieving these goals would allow us to greatly reduce the number of Americans without health-insurance coverage and improve the quality and affordability of our health-care system overall.
Unfortunately, the health-care reform bill (H.R. 3962) that was passed in the House on Nov. 7 failed to include the reforms necessary to meet these goals. This is why I voted against it.
I support many aspects of the House bill, such as the insurance reforms prohibiting both lifetime health-insurance caps and denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions. I also support the emphasis the bill places on wellness initiatives; its promotion of health-information technology; its creation of a health-insurance exchange; and its investment in research to better inform patients and doctors about the difference between the best treatments and the most profitable treatments.
Despite the bill's strong points, it failed to address the one issue we cannot ignore in any truly effective health-care reform bill: out-of-control health-care spending. Until we tackle this core problem, we will simply be perpetuating an inefficient system that is unsustainable. This is the reason health insurance is so unaffordable to so many.
In recent months, politicians and analysts have discussed the need to "bend the health-care cost curve." The concept is simple: We must do something to make the system more efficient and slow the growth of health-care spending that is increasing at an annual rate well above that of wages and inflation. Until we bring these costs under control, premiums will continue to rise faster than incomes, more small businesses will be unable to afford coverage for their employees and government spending will escalate year after year.
The key to bending the cost curve and achieving true health-care reform is changing the way we pay for health care. We must transform our current fee-for-service system -- which pays providers primarily based on the quantity of care they provide -- into a system that pays providers based on the quality of care they provide. This is crucial because our current payment system incentives inefficiency and over utilization because providers are paid for the number of times they see patients and the number of tests they run -- not for how healthy they keep patients.
A number of academics, economists and health-care experts from across the political spectrum -- including the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services -- have documented that under the House bill, both federal and overall health-care expenditures would increase in the long term compared to current law.
Instead of leaving the difficult decisions about systemic reform to future generations, I believe we must seize this historic opportunity and enact a health-care bill that includes incentives for providers to keep their patients healthy and out of the health-care system in the first place. The best way to contain costs and slow the growth of health-care expenditures is to change behavior through reforming the way health care is delivered and paid for in this country.
Supporters of the House bill have argued that it is fiscally responsible because it does not add to the federal deficit. While this is true, there is a big difference between not adding to the deficit and bringing down health-care costs. The House bill pays for itself primarily by raising taxes, not by making the fundamental reforms necessary to bring down the cost of health care.
We cannot simply add tens of millions of uninsured people into today's inefficient health-care system and expect that it will yield different results. Absent the necessary systemic reforms, this approach would only compound our nation's budgetary problems and do little to make health care more affordable for families and businesses.
The American people deserve better. I am hopeful that Congress ultimately will pass a bill that represents true health-care reform -- a bill that would both expand coverage and lower costs. The issue is too important for us to miss this opportunity.
Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, represents Pennsylvania's 4th Congressional District (

Monday, November 16, 2009

Federal Deficits Up, State Revenues Down

Federal Deficits Up, State Revenues Down
The U.S. budget deficit for October surged to $176 billion, a record for the month, the Treasury Department announced today.
During the month, the government racked up $311 billion in outlays compared with $135 billion in receipts.  (Blogger note:  This means the US Gov’t spent 225% of October tax receipts!  Clearly a dangerous level of out of control spending.)
The October numbers mark the first month for the new fiscal year after the U.S. wrapped up the 2009 fiscal year that ended on September 30 with a record-high $1.4 trillion budget deficit due to increased government spending to stop the recession and the financial crisis. The final deficit for the 2009 fiscal year was equal to 10 percent of the nation's GDP, the highest shortfall relative to GDP since 1945, the final year of World War II.
Meanwhile, according to the Rockefellow Instititute, which has ongoing research on State budgets (by state and region) is reporting record drops in tax revenues, including declines in 49 states.  
In the RI report of October 15, 2009 (for 2nd quarter 2009);  “Both nominal and inflation adjusted figures indicate that the second quarter of 2009 marked the largest decline in state tax collections at least since 1963. The same is true for combined state and local tax collections, which declined by 12.2 percent in nominal terms.
Second quarter revenues fell by amounts unseen in at least five decades. Total state tax revenue in the second quarter of 2009 declined by 16.6 percent relative to a year ago, before adjustments. The income tax was down by 27.5 percent, the sales tax was down by 9.5 percent, and while the corporate income tax increased by 2.9 percent.
At the same time, in the Rocky Mountain region (Colorado, Idaho, Montana & Utah), personal withholding state tax collections were off 7.3%, while in the Southwest Region (Arizona, NM, Oklahoma) personal withholding declined 10.9%.     Estimated state tax payments (2009 vs 2009) for the April to June 2009 period (2nd quarter) were down 44% in Colorado and 44.9% in Arizona.    Across the US, state estimated payments (taxes) were down 32.3% (median)”   Lucy Dadayan & Don Boyd, 
States are being forced to cut spending by 5% to 15% (year over year), as they are unable to deficit spend (unlike the undisciplined Federal Government).   
According to the recent Rasmussen Reports, the US economy is at the top of the list of Importance of Issues to the American people.     Not health care  (#3), or the war in Iraq (#8).  
So what to do next?   Work with the US private sector, with the business community and small business to create a better environment for business in the United States.   Stop the health care bill, and start over with a bi-partisan approach. Put climate change legislation through an economic impact analysis, before passage of any bill.  Cut capital gains taxes for one year (or reduce down to 5% or 10%) and reduce corporate income tax (now the US is the 2nd highest in the world). Really address unnecessary Federal regulations, mandates and laws that adversely impact small business and tamp down innovation.  Finally, the hardest task of all, slash Federal government spending, programs and mandates.    Unless the Federal government is put on an austere financial diet, the US risks becoming a third world debtor nation, beholden to Far East (China) and Middle East sovereign wealth funds and unfriendly governments.
© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Josh Penry to Bow Out of Colorado Guv Race

Josh Penry To Bow Out of Colorado Guv Race

Breaking news and press reports on Monday 11/9/09 indicate that State Senator Josh Penry will announce his withdrawal from the Colorado Governor race in 2010 as a GOP candidate leaving former Congressman Scott McInnis as the front runner to challenge Democrat Bill Ritter.

The Washington Post (political blog by Chris Cillizza) reported on Monday November 9th that Penry would announce his intentions to withdraw this week:

CO-Gov: Penry to exit race  (from WP blog by Chris Cillizza)
“Colorado state Sen. Josh Penry (R) plans to end his gubernatorial campaign and endorse former Rep. Scott McInnis (R), according to two sources familiar with his thinking.
Penry's decision to opt out of the race is a stunner as many national Republicans had touted him as a potential rising star (and we had featured him in our "Rising" series that looks at up and coming politicians).
Political chatter in the immediate aftermath of Penry's decision suggested he might be considering a run against 3rd district Rep. John Salazar (D) who won the Western Slope seat when McInnis retired in 2004. Salazar's seat is one of 49 held by Democrats that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried in 2008. (McCain won it 50 percent to 48 percent for President Barack Obama.) But, Republicans already have a candidate -- state Rep. Scott Tipton -- they are high on in the race.
Sources close to Penry suggested that he was heavily influenced by the victories for Republicans in New Jersey and Virginia last week -- wins due, at least in part, to the lack of competitive primaries on the Republican side.
Penry was worried that a bruising August primary would potentially compromise the eventual nominee's chances of beating Ritter. Combine that with his youth (he is 33) and his role as state Senate Minority Leader and Penry decided that dropping out of the race was the best option for him and the party.”

By Monday evening, GOP Candidate Dan Maes had sent out an e-mail of the Penry exit from the race.    Club 20 had chimed in on e-mail and several other Colorado news outlets carried the impending announcement by Penry.

This will shift the competition for the 3rd Congressional District race, as newcomer Bob McDonnell (former US Army Ranger) is already challenging Democrat John Salazar, with reports that State Representative Scott Tipton and possible State Senator Josh Penry about to throw their hats into the GOP ring as candidates for the 3rd CD in Colorado.  Mr. Tipton was elected to the 58th state representative District (Montrose, Cortez) in 2008, and he was previously the GOP nominee for the 3rd CD in 2006 (but lost to Salazar).  

The recent mid term elections (November 2009) have emboldened GOP challengers across the Rocky Mountain West, and Colorado is no exception.

© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,   

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Health Care Debate in the Balance

Health Care Debate in the Balance

From the blog of Representative Frank Lucas, R-Oklahoma. Carried on the Hill web site, homepages of the

So where is the vote count in the US House of the socialization of 1/6 of US economy by Pelosi and her liberal allies in Congress?   To give you an indication of how tight the vote count is, the newly elected Democrat Bill Owens from District 23 in New York is being sworn in so he can vote with the Dem majority.   But Majority Leader Hoyer may not have the votes.

All 177 House Republicans have long been expected to vote against the bill, meaning that Democrats can lose no more than 40 of their 258 members and still pass their highest legislative priority.

According to the Hill  “Democratic leaders, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have given away as many concessions as they could spare in an effort to get to 218 "yes" votes.

And they continued to try to do so even late into the day Friday, as a pocket of pro-life Democrats needed further tweaking of language designed to guarantee that federal funds won’t find their way to insurance plans offering abortion coverage. Into the wee hours of Saturday morning, the Rules committee approved an up-or-down vote on an amendment blocking any money in its healthcare overhaul from funding abortions, risking the votes of members who support abortion rights.”

According to Politico  at least 23 members of the Democrat caucus of 258 plan to vote NO on the health care bill.    If 41 members, plus the total GOP caucus of 177 members vote NO, the Pelosi-Reed-Obama health care bill with not pass the House.  Thus the secondary vote on taxpayer funded abortions, which the original bill had in the draft.    Now the Stupak amendment is being proposed the health care bill to bar Federal funding of elective abortions will be held, in order to keep the fragile majority of Democrats on board.

You may have been surprised by the American Medical Association endorsement of the health care bill?   According to Fox News   it turns out that the AMA took the controversial position without the support of the organizations House of Delegates.    Thus, the rank and file AMA membership is up in revolt and they have moved to have the endorsement voted on and withdrawn.

“The American Medical Association's much-touted endorsement of the House health care reform bill has triggered a revolt among some members who want the endorsement withdrawn.
Some members are outraged that the group's trustees made the endorsement without the formal approval of the organization's House of Delegates.
On Monday, delegates will vote on a resolution offered by some members that, if approved, will withdraw the AMA’s endorsement of the bill.
President Obama cited the endorsement of the influential AMA, along with AARP's, in a surprise appearance Thursday in the White House briefing room as he attempted to beat back criticism that the bill would gut Medicare.”  Fox News Political

On Saturday, the US House (on a party line dominated vote of 242-192 moved the Health Care bill to the full House for floor debate.   A vote could take place by Saturday evening, although some sources indicate it may be early next week before a vote is taken.   The delay is due to serious problems in the 2,000 page bill, that even Democrats are reluctant to support.     We’ll see which Democrats are willing to vote with their constituents and which ones cave to Democrat party pressure.

© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,  

The Weekly Standard Blog

The Weekly Standard Blog

Most leading political and news publications have Blog sections on their web site pages.    Usually the key reporters, colunmists, pundits and writers will pen short reports, feature web links and release breaking news.   The Weekly Standard has a great blog

With the recent 2009 mid-term election, health care debate and news that unemployment is over 10%, the Weekly Standard   has plenty of articles, columns and punditry.

(c) 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,  

Friday, November 6, 2009

Alternative to Dems Health Care?

Alternative to Dems Health Care?

With the 2,000+ page Democrat health care bill cruising like the ill fated ship Titanic, the Democrat majority is trying to desperately push the massive bill as though we have no choice in America but their “government first” approach.

Instead, we could be debating the GOP alternative health care bill.  It has private sector incentives, a real reform provision on medical malpractice, reduces the deficit and leaves open personal responsibility for health care.   This compares to the Democrat bill which explodes the Federal deficit, sets the stage for the government take over of health care and makes the private sector (i.e. the private insurance industry) out to be a villain.

Three recent articles and blog posts in Washington DC Examiner are reflective of just how expensive the “government first” approach to health care is, and how the Democrats are struggling to keep 218 members of the Dem caucus (out of 258) voting for the unpopular health care bill.  
From the Washington DC Examiner:
“The CBO put the price tag for the GOP plan at $61 billion, a fraction of the $1.05 trillion cost estimate it gave to the House bill that lawmakers are set to vote on this weekend. And the CBO found that the Republican provision to reform medical malpractice liability would result in $41 billion in savings and increase revenues by $13 billion by reducing the cost of private health insurance plans.”

The Congressional Budget Office Wednesday night released its cost analysis of the Republican health care plan and found that it would reduce health care premiums and cut the deficit by $68 billion over ten years. 

The Republican plan does not call for a government insurance plan but rather attempts to reform the system by creating high-risk insurance pools, allowing people to purchase health insurance policies across state lines and instituting medical malpractice reforms. 

"Not only does the GOP plan lower health care costs, but it also increases access to quality care, including for those with pre-existing conditions, at a price our country can afford," House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.   Source:  DC Examiner, Susan Ferrechio  
        See blogs section

And now of the Democratic “Hope & Change” health care bill, that is slated to be voted on within the week.  It will raise taxes on ALL Americans, and will overwhelm the Federal budget that is already underwater:

The CBO reports that, in their true first 10 years, the House bill would cost $1.8 trillion, and the Senate bill would cost $1.7 trillion. Pelosi would raise Americans’ taxes by $1.1 trillion over that period, while Reid would hike them by $1 trillion.  So the financial bottom lines are almost the same.

And if we discount the bills' claims to divert hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare (which is already on the edge of insolvency), the CBO says the House bill would raise our national debt by about $650 billion in its real first decade, while the Senate bill would up it by $740 billion.      Mark Hemingon, Beltway Confidential    

As Examiner colleague Susan Ferrechio explains the quest for 218 votes from the 258-member Democratic caucus in the House is providing plenty of drama on Capitol Hill: protesters outside, the president doing plenty of arm twisting, warnings to freshman and sophomore members about being fed to the wolves next year if they don’t tow the party line. 

It’s not a bill anyone likes particularly and those from swing district who vote for the plan will have to watch some of the socialistic benefits be erased by the Senate: All of the blame, less of the credit.

Writers Carl Hulse and David Herszenhorn were on the scene and talked to some of the 40 Democrats who will be allowed to vote against the bill. If the Speaker wants to keep her defection list at 40, the opt outs need to not seem to be so happy.     Source:  DC Examiner, Susan Ferrechio  

A point lost to many is that within the majority Democrat caucus, there are a number of recently election (2006 or 2008) Congressmen from moderate to conservative districts that are feeling (and seeing based on Nov 09 mid term elections) the heat from their constituents.    Now the liberal Democratic leadership in Congress is asking them to walk the plank.   Will at least 218 Democrat members walk away from the American people? 

© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,  

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election 2009: Winds of Change

Election 2009:  Winds of Change

What is the number issue on voters’ minds?    The economy and the uncertainty around their pocket book were major issues.   According to ABC news exit polls from Tuesday November 3, 2009:

Voters who expressed the highest levels of economic discontent heavily favored the Republican candidates in both states – underscoring the challenge Obama and his party may face in 2010 if economic attitudes don't improve. The analogy is to 1994, when nearly six in 10 voters said the economy was in bad shape, and they favored the out-of-power Republicans by 26 points, helping the GOP to a 52-seat gain and control of Congress for the first time in 42 years.   

In Virginia on Tuesday, voters who were "very" worried about the economy concern supported the Republican winner, Bob McDonnell by a wide margin, 76-24 percent. In New Jersey, while the gap wasn't quite so broad, voters who were most worried about the economy backed Republican Chris Christie by 59-36 percent.     ABC News 

So how does this project into the upcoming 2010 elections throughout the US?    Not good news for incumbent Democrats, especially those in conservative leaning or GOP districts (that either Bush and/or McCain carried in 2006 or 2008).     But it also reflects that any incumbent that is running for re-election in 2010 will have his or her hands full.   

According to CCN exit polls from Election Day 2009, also indicate the power of the swing Independent (Unaffiliated vote) in the Governor races in Virginia (where GOP McDonnell leads with 59% of the vote  and in New Jersey where Republican Chris Christie is leading incumbent Dem Corzine). 

(CNN) - Independents appear to be playing an important role in the country's two off-year gubernatorial races. 
In Virginia, where 30 percent of voters identify themselves as independent; 65 percent cast their ballots for CNN's projected winner, Republican Bob McDonnell. That's according to early CNN Exit Poll data. Democrat Creigh Deeds earned the votes of 34 percent of independents.
In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie took 58 percent of the independent vote while incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, got only 31 percent. Independent candidate Chris Daggett got just 9 percent of the independent vote. Independents made up 28 percent of the voters in New Jersey race.

On Wednesday morning the Democrat and Republican pundits will begin spinning the election results.    The White House and Democrats will downplay the results.  The GOP will trumpet them.    But one thing is clear: Any elected official, at what ever level of public service, will need to heed the will of the American people in the area of the economy, taxes, jobs and government that is smaller, but actually works for the people.  Or they’ll be retired like Jon Corzine, despite an endorsement from President Obama and spending millions to be reelected.

© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,