Politics: February 2010 Archives

At yesterday's health care summit, Paul Ryan, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin, took six minutes to go point-by-point through the budgetary sleight of hand used to make the Democratic health care plan appear to reduce the deficit. The list includes double-counting, cuts to Medicare reimbursement (the kind of cuts that Congress always reverses) that likely won't happen, and the biggest trick of all -- ten-year budget scoring includes ten years of tax increases and ten years of Medicare cuts but only six years of new spending. An honest calculation, looking at the first ten years of spending, results in a cost of $2.3 trillion.

(Via Hot Air.)

On Tuesday, U. S. Sen. Jim Inhofe called for a Department of Justice investigation into possible scientific misconduct and criminal actions by scientists involved in misleading or fraudulent research into anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Over the last several months, key assertions by AGW advocates have been exposed as lacking sound scientific basis and some of these have been retracted by the International Panel on Climate Change. There is some indication that there was an effort to conceal accurate information from the public in general and policy-makers in particular. Inhofe calls the situation, popularly known as Climategate, "the greatest scientific scandal of our generation."

From a press release announcing an 84-page report by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Inhofe serves as ranking Republican on the committee), "'Consensus' Exposed: The CRU Controversy":

The report covers the controversy surrounding emails and documents released from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). It examines the extent to which those emails and documents affect the scientific work of the UN's IPCC, and how revelations of the IPCC's flawed science impacts the EPA's endangerment finding for greenhouse gases.

The report finds that some of the scientists involved in the CRU controversy violated ethical principles governing taxpayer-funded research and possibly federal laws. In addition, the Minority Staff believes the emails and accompanying documents seriously compromise the IPCC-based "consensus" and its central conclusion that anthropogenic emissions are inexorably leading to environmental catastrophes.

In its examination of the controversy, the Minority Staff found that the scientists:

- Obstructed release of damaging data and information;

- Manipulated data to reach preconceived conclusions;

- Colluded to pressure journal editors who published work questioning the climate science "consensus"; and

- Assumed activist roles to influence the political process.

"This EPW Minority Report shows that the CRU controversy is about far more than just scientists who lack interpersonal skills, or a little email squabble," said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. "It's about unethical and potentially illegal behavior by some the world's leading climate scientists.

"The report also shows the world's leading climate scientists acting like political scientists, with an agenda disconnected from the principles of good science. And it shows that there is no consensus-except that there are significant gaps in what scientists know about the climate system. It's time for the Obama Administration to recognize this. Its endangerment finding for greenhouse gases rests on bad science. It should throw out that finding and abandon greenhouse gas regulation under the Clean Air Act-a policy that will mean fewer jobs, higher taxes and economic decline."

According to the report, several laws may have been violated by the scientists involved in Climategate:

  • Freedom of Information Act: "The Minority Staff is examining emails to determine whether scientists deliberately withheld information to prevent FOIA release. It is worth noting that a federal employee who arbitrarily and capriciously withholds documents which are subject to FOIA release may be subject to disciplinary action."
  • Shelby Amendment, which applies FOIA to data produced by government-funded research: "...failure to comply with an Agency request for raw data produced with federal funds could be deemed a breach of the funding agreement. Consequences of a breach could range from suspension to debarment."
  • Office of Science and Technology Policy "Misconduct in Research" directive, issued during the final months of the Clinton Administration
  • Pres. Obama's Transparency and Open Government Policy: "...as the data quality requirements define 'quality' to include 'objectivity' and 'objectivity' is defined to include unbiased information,85 the recent questions about the impartiality of the IPCC and EPA's TSD bring into question whether EPA has followed the President's Transparency and Open government policy."
  • Federal False Statements Act: "...jurisdiction exists regardless of whether the defendant communicated the statement directly to the government, or knew that the government had jurisdiction over the false statement. Similarly, knowingly submitting false data, from whatever source, could be deemed a violation."
  • Federal False Claims Act: "Creating a tampered data base and them making a claim for payment, e.g. for salaries and expenses, which will be paid, in whole or in part, with Federal funds can raise the prospect for a False Claims Act violation."
  • Obstruction of Justice: Interference with Congressional Proceedings: "Federal statute 18 U.S.C. 1505 concerns obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, or committees, which includes Congressional hearings.Thus, providing false or misleading testimony could create liability under this provision."

The report includes a list of key figures in the controversy and a selection of the e-mails and files that exposed Climategate.

On the February 9, 2010, edition of CNBC's Mad Money with Jim Kramer, Oklahoma 1st District Congressman John Sullivan discussed the regulatory obstacles to using America's reserves of natural gas to move toward energy independence. Kramer called Sullivan one of the "good guys in Washington when it comes to the need to adopt natural gas" and mentioned Sullivan's authorship of HR 1622, funding for natural gas vehicle research, development, and demonstration projects -- the bill passed the House last year and is awaiting action by the Senate Energy Committee. Kramer also mentioned that Sullivan is one of the original cosponsors on HR 1835, the NAT GAS act (New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions), which would give tax credits to auto manufacturers for building natural gas-powered vehicles and to consumers for buying them. HR 1835 and companion bill S 1408 are both stuck in committee.

In the interview, Kramer and Sullivan discussed the possibility that the EPA could ban the principal method for reaching and extracting natural gas from rock formations, in the name of protecting drinking water. Sullivan said that there's never been a case of the hydraulic fracturing technique contaminating an aquifer.

Congressman Sullivan will hold a town hall meeting tonight, Thursday, February 18, 2010, at 5 pm, at the Central Center at Centennial Park, on 6th Street west of Peoria in Tulsa.

MORE: T. Boone Pickens (whom I may eventually forgive for his hostile takeover attempt on Cities Service back in the early '80s) comments on the Kramer/Sullivan interview:

When it comes to investing, natural gas is a "long-term theme," says Mad Money host Jim Cramer, who describes it as an energy source that's 40 percent cleaner than coal, 30 percent cleaner than oil, and much more realistic as a bridge fuel than wind or solar when it comes to combating climate change or ending America's addiction to foreign oil.

So what's Cramer's problem with natural gas? He thinks Washington doesn't get the picture, that's what. Cramer invited Rep. John Sullivan (OK-1) on his show Monday night to discuss the prospects for enhancing America's energy security with this inexpensive, clean-burning domestic fuel.

He couldn't have picked a better guest. For decades, Oklahoma's First Congressional District, which Sullivan represents, has been been a national leader in energy production. Sullivan is continuing this tradition as the lead Republican sponsor of the bipartisan NAT GAS Act in the House, which now has 130 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle.

Sullivan's take on natural gas is simple and straightforward. It is "the bridge fuel as we look at an all-of-the-above strategy," he told Cramer. Later, he added that "alternative energy sources aren't going to happen for a long time. We have 120 years' reserves of natural gas here in America."

American Majority's Tulsa candidate training seminar, originally scheduled for just before Christmas, will be held in two Saturdays, on February 20, 2010, from 8:30 to 4:00. It will be at the Tulsa Technology Center Lemley Campus, in the Career Services Center, at 3638 S Memorial. There is a registration fee (see below).

There will also be an American Majority activist training seminar in Tulsa this Tuesday night, February 9, 2010, 6:30 - 9 p.m., at St. James Methodist, 111th & Yale. This event is free of charge.

Here are the details for the activist training event:

American Majority Oklahoma together with OK for Tea is pleased to announce that an Activist Training will be held on Tuesday, February 9th in Tulsa, OK for citizens looking to make a difference in their community, state and nation.

The seminar will be held at St. James United Methodist Church located at 5050 E. 111th Street in Tulsa. Registration for the event will begin at 6:15 pm, with the first session beginning at 6:30 pm. The seminar will end at approximately 9:00 pm. This cost for this training is FREE and open to the public.

American Majority Activist Trainings are designed specifically to educate and unite liberty-minded activists from around the state by giving them practical ideas for successful activism and equipping them with creative ways to be more effective in their communities.

Topics for the seminars include: "Building Coalitions and Organizing Events", "Hitting the Campaign Trail", and "Holding Elected Officials Accountable through Effective Communication"

Upon completion of the seminar, participants will receive complimentary continuing education materials, communications curriculum, and a list of recommended reading materials to become better equipped and stronger activists in their communities.

To RSVP for the event or for more information, contact Trait Thompson with American Majority Oklahoma at 918-289-0159 (e-mail: trait@americanmajority.org).

Here are the details for the candidate training event:

Every elected official, from school board member to state legislator to the President of the United States plays a vital role in shaping the policies and direction of our communities, states, and nation. These offices deserve men and women who are grounded in the principles of liberty and individual freedom.

American Majority Oklahoma is hosting a Candidate Training on Saturday, February 20 at Tulsa Technology Center (Business and Career Development Training Center) located at 3638 S. Memorial in Tulsa. The training will run from 8:30am to 4:00pm with registration beginning at 8:00am.

Regardless of campaign experience, American Majority's Candidate Training Program makes running for office easier! American Majority Candidate Training Seminars are designed specifically to educate candidates on every level how to run effective and victorious campaigns and prepare them to become successful elected officials.

The Candidate Training Program includes:

  • Lectures* from campaign veterans, including:
    • "Your Campaign Plan to Win: Planning for the Time, People and Money to Win."
    • "Dollars and Sense: Fundraising for What You Need, Not What You Can Get."
    • "New Media Engagement: The New Ways to Talk to Voters and Engage Supporters."
    • "Grassroots Action: How Ordinary People can get Extraordinary Results."
    • "American Majority's Core Principles."
  • Personalized communications training.
  • Interaction with individuals thoroughly involved with the issues confronting your state.
  • The opportunity to network with other liberty-minded candidates.
  • A complimentary resource guidebook full of material designed to further assist candidates.

Upon completion of the seminar, candidates will receive continuing education materials, access to podcasts and other presentations, communications curriculum, and suggestions to help them utilize think-tank resources.

The cost is $50 per candidate/first attendee in advance or $75 per candidate/first attendee at the door, and $25 for each additional attendee (spouse, campaign staff, campaign volunteers, etc.) in advance or $40 for each additional attendee (spouse, campaign staff, campaign volunteers, etc.) at the door. Space is limited.

Please click here to use our online reservation system and secure your place now! If you have any questions, please contact Trait Thompson at Trait@americanmajority.org or call (918)-289-0159.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

*Lectures are subject to change

Oklahoma 1st District Congressman John Sullivan has introduced a resolution (H. Res. 1063) targeting the individual health insurance mandate, one of the components of the Democratic Party health insurance proposal that passed the U. S. Senate in December, according to a news release on Sullivan's House website, issued today:

"My resolution builds off the efforts of at least 36 state legislatures, including Oklahoma, that are looking to limit or oppose health mandates in the House and Senate passed health care reform bills that would require purchase of government approved health insurance. These state actions are in direct opposition to the draconian national health care reform measures that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are negotiating behind closed doors behind the backs of the American people"

"Throughout the healthcare debate, the Administration and this Congress have largely ignored the most fundamental question of all - whether or not the federal government is overstepping its constitutional bounds by taking over our healthcare system " Sullivan said. "Even back in 1994, the non partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) wrote that it would be an unprecedented form of federal action for Congress to mandate that all individuals are required to purchase health insurance. I introduced this resolution to send a strong message that the personal mandates in both the House and Senate passed healthcare bills are unprecedented and unconstitutional - nowhere in the Constitution is Congress given the power to force Americans to purchase a good or service or enter into a contract - which these bills would do. By forcing Americans to purchase government approved health insurance, President Obama and Democrat leaders in Congress are essentially saying that you don't have a right to choose what health insurance plan is best for you, your family or your business - I strongly disagree."

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from February 2010.

Politics: January 2010 is the previous archive.

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