Saturday, December 31, 2016

BloggeRhythms

The last day of 2016 comes just 20 days before the last day of Obama’s presidency. And it appears he’ll go out unchanged from the way he’s presided from the start. Too little accomplished far too late with very little positive impact, regardless of the issues involved.  

In that regard, Jennifer G. Hickey reported yesterday @foxnews.com that Obama expelled 35 Russian intelligence officials and imposed sanctions as part of a “necessary and appropriate response” to Russia’s alleged interference in November’s elections. "But experts question whether it is strong enough to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin.” 

Former UN ambassador John Bolton on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” yesterday said: "I don't think they will have much impact at all.” 

In the same vein, Liz Peek, also on Fox wrote about the POTUS’s recent actions being “a good old-fashioned foot-stomping world class temper tantrum. He is just beside himself that the stupid American voter elected Donald Trump.” 

Ms Peek went on to explain that Obama finds it incomprehensible that one so eruditely loved and admired by “nearly every news organization in the nation” had his personal plea to elect Clinton rejected by voters. It was a personal insult and “beyond comprehension.” 

What the POTUS is far more used to is flattery from close advisors like Valerie Jarrett, who says things like he’s “just too talented to do what ordinary people do.” And moreso: “I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. …” He is so smart, said Jarrett, that “he’s been bored to death his whole life.”

What's more, he’s been told this over and over, “even by the Nobel Committee that awarded him their coveted Peace Prize on spec– that he is extraordinary. So when a man like The Donald bests him, a man Obama clearly considers a joke, he is undone.” 

Nonetheless, Obama’s convinced he knows better than the people do about what’s good for them, which is why he’s presently putting “America’s valuable natural resources permanently off limits, because only Obama can see the future. Taking over vast swatches of the west is in the best interests of the reluctant residents there, because only Obama will protect our environment. That publicly confronting Russia for cyber misbehavior after years of looking the other way is called for, even if it complicates diplomacy in a number of theaters. Because Obama knows best.”

The same holds true for Israel, where upending long-standing tradition, he’s allowed “our only true ally – and the only democracy -- in the Middle East to be further isolated and compromised, in the interests, we are told, of seeking a meaningful peace. The reality is that Obama fully expected that by dint of his winning personality, superior insight and sympathy for the Muslim people, to conquer the divides in that region.” 

As far as Putin’s concerned, Ms Peek considers him a “dangerous adversary [who] should never have been allowed out of the penalty box inflicted by drooping oil prices.” Yet, Obama gave him “running room” by putting him in charge of the Syrian debacle and making him a key figure in the Iran nuke deal. Those quests were so important to Obama, he “chose to ignore Moscow’s serial aggressions and misbehavior.” Afterward, calling Putin to thank him for his help.

Ms Peek concludes by opining that once again Putin has outfoxed Obama. Because while 35 Russian diplomats were evicted and other grave-sounding but ultimately unimportant retaliatory measures were threatened, Putin invited the children of U.S. diplomats to the Kremlin for a holiday party. 

Leading Ms Peek to ask in summation: “Who looks like the adult in the room?”

What’s most interesting is that while all this last minute scrambling by Obama to make Trump’s transition and term in office as miserable as possible goes on, the American public doesn't seem to care very much about it at all.  

Fox’s Dana Blanton reports that for majority of voters, a Fox News poll shows that it was a good year and they’re “feeling optimistic about next year too.”

While some 53 percent say 2016 was a good year for them, the “poll finds 70 percent of Donald Trump voters are optimistic about how things are going. Just 39 percent of those who supported Hillary Clinton feel the same.” 

Indicating that if Trump can deliver as promised, Obama and what’s left of the Democrats are going to have a very hard, perhaps impossible task in gaining favor for their typical negativity and anti-progress stances.    

Bringing us to another favorite subject, which may finally wind up where it belongs, out of the headlines altogether.

RealClearInvestigations James Varney writes @realclearinvestigations.com that researchers who see global warming as something less than a planet-ending calamity expect a a more inclusive approach under Trump.

Georgia Tech scientist Judith Curry wrote this month at her popular Climate Etc. blog: “Here’s to hoping the Age of Trump will herald the demise of climate change dogma, and acceptance of a broader range of perspectives in climate science and our policy options,” 

William Happer, professor emeritus of physics at Princeton University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is similarly optimistic. “I think we’re making progress,” Happer said. “I see reassuring signs.” 

However, it was Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, who delivered the most analytically correct explanation of the current status of the subject.  

Although he’s long questioned climate change "orthodoxy," he’s also skeptical that a “sunnier outlook” is upon us. Because: “The field is cluttered with entrenched figures who must toe the established line, pointing to a recent congressional report that found the Obama administration got a top Department of Energy scientist fired and generally intimidated the staff to conform with its politicized position on climate change. 

“Remember this was a tiny field, a backwater, and then suddenly you increased the funding to billions and everyone got into it,” Lindzen said. “Even in 1990 no one at MIT called themselves a ‘climate scientist,’ and then all of a sudden everyone was. They only entered it because of the bucks; they realized it was a gravy train. You have to get it back to the people who only care about the science.” 

And there you have it. To explain the warming phenomenon and cries of panic, simply follow the money. It works every time you try it.  

Nonetheless, after reading about real hope that the enormous waste of taxpayer funding on the warming farce will abate, a sophisticated reader's comments set me back considerably. That's because, lacking accredited expert's credentials subjects me to correction from those possessing them. And what this one wrote had me thinking that perhaps I’ve been wrong all along. 

In order to get the full magnitude, one must read John (magnum) Malcom’s comment through to the end, as follows:  

“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulate at Bergen Norway 

“Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. 

“Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. 

“Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. 

“Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones,the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. 

“Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. 

“Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coast cities uninhabitable.” 

* * *
* * * * * *
“I must apologize. 

“I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post - 93 years ago. 

“This must have been caused by the Model T Ford's emissions or possibly from horse and cattle flatulence?” 

Reader Benof67 responded: “Excellent post, you had me going. Then you posted the date and then I had to laugh, at the ridiculousness of Global Warming.”

Feeling much better now, it's time to say: That's it for today folks. 

Happy New Year to all

Adios

Friday, December 30, 2016

BloggeRhythms

Today’s combination of items taken from major news story’s illustrate a dedicated effort by Obama to paint Trump as one unworthy of ascension to the Oval Office. Yet, as that process continues, the results trend more toward painting himself and his party into a corner instead.    

The unilateral presidential actions include Thursday’s decision to sanction Russian entities for election-related hacking. 

That followed the administration’s allowing the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israeli settlement activity, potentially having an indelible impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

There was also the permanent ban on oil and gas drilling across large swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, the closing off of 1.6 million acres of Western land to development and scrapping the last vestiges of a registration system used largely on Muslim immigrants.

Simultaneously in the background, as reported by Paul Bedard @washingtonexaminer.com, the “lame duck” administration imposed new regulations a rate of 18 for every new law passed, “according to a Friday analysis of his team's expansion of federal authority.”

While Congress passed just 211 laws, “Obama's team issued an accompanying 3,852 new federal regulations, some costing billions of dollars,” adding up to a record 97,110 pages of red tape. 

At the same time as Obama continues building the bureaucracy in his last gasps of power, in her column @wsj.com today Peggy Noonan delivers some insights into the public’s disdain for the overbearing weight of unnecessary regulation on them.  

Ms. Noonan writes about photojournalist Chris Arnade, holder of a Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins in 1993 who worked 20 years as a bond trader at Salomon Brothers, through its end as Citigroup. Leaving Wall Street in 2012, he ”started taking long treks through New York City, 10 miles and 20. “I was a numbers guy,” he said, a professional who lived on data. Now he wanted to see things. “Eventually I started taking pictures and talking to people about their lives.”

A political “progressive,” he spent the past year traveling through much of the country taking pictures of regular people in challenging circumstances and writing of their lives. 

A week before the election he “angered his side, and some media folk, by foretelling the victory of Donald Trump." Because: “The people he met were voting for him. Many saw the America they’d grown up in slipping away. They wanted a country that was great again. They experienced elite disdain for Trump as evidence he might be the one to turn it around.”

Most interesting, was his rationale for touring the nation: “Looking back, for me it was an evolution of trying to . . . stop being that arrogant Ph.D. kid who knew it all.” What he saw was “injustice.” He wanted to see “if what I found in the Bronx was true in other parts of the U.S.” 

In Ms Noonan's words: “In his work you see an America that is battered but standing, a society that is atomized—there are lonely people in his pictures—but holding on. Two great and underappreciated institutions play a deep role in holding it together. 

“The first is small churches, often Pentecostal and Evangelical. They’re in a dead strip mall or on a spur off a highway and they give everyone an embrace. “Any church that has a sign that says We Welcome Everybody, that’s where I go.” He looks for the ones “that are often literally on the edge of town.” One in Alabama was a former Kentucky Fried Chicken. 

“The other institution that helps hold people together is McDonald’s. Mr. Arnade didn’t intend to discover virtue in a mighty corporation, but McDonald’s “has great value to community.” He sees an ethos of patience and respect. “McDonald’s is nonjudgmental.” If you have nowhere to go all day they’ll let you stay, nurse your coffee, read your paper. “The bulk of the franchises leave people alone. There’s a friendship that develops between the people who work there and the people who go.” “In Natchitoches, La., there’s a twice-weekly Bible study group,” that meets at McDonald’s. “They also have bingo games.” There’s the Old Man table, or the Romeo Club, for Retired Old Men Eating Out.”

Summarizing what’s been told to her by Mr. Arnade, Ms Noonan construes his analysis as seeing a divide as between the front-row kids at school waving their hands to be called on, and the back-row kids, quiet and less advantaged. The front row, he says, needs to learn two things. “One is how much the rest of the country is hurting. It’s not just economic pain, it’s a deep feeling of meaninglessness, of humiliation, of not being wanted.” Their fears and anxieties are justified. “They have been excluded from participating in the great wealth of this country economically, socially and culturally.” Second, “The front-row kids need humility. They need to look in the mirror, ‘We messed this up, we’ve been in charge 30 years and haven’t delivered much.’ ” “They need to take stock of what has happened.” 

However, many of those reading the column perceive that Ms Noonan too, sounds like an elitist. One who's reaching out, attempting to explain the feelings and rationales of a Middle-America she does not and cannot understand as an insider herself.

In a very appropriate comment, reader Trudy Ahearn, wrote: “How many weeks after the election, seven?  Peggy is still trying to "explain" the Trump victory!  The majority of the American people understand why he won.  The East coast, West coast elitist will never understand or accept his mandate.  Peggy needs to stop trying to explain his victory to her people and she and they need to GET OVER IT!   Happy New Year to all my people, the middle of the road, love your God and your Country, make America great again majority!”

And that brings us right back to Obama, who doesn’t understand it ether. Because the more he cries about a lost election, lost for a myriad of valid reasons, the more he revolts the huge numbers of everyday Americans who voted for Trump.

What's’ more, the issues he’s picked for his last stick in the eye of Trump and American voters are harmful to significant numbers of his own party, many of whom are now starting to back away from him themselves. But, it may be too late for that.

Because, the way things are going for Trump and his job-building success before even taking office, indicate that the corner into which Obama is painting himself will soon be crammed full of party constituents colored by the same brush.

That's it for today folks.

Adios 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

BloggeRhythms

Ties between Israel and the U.S. reached their lowest point last Friday, when the White House cleared the way for a U.N. resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. 

At the time, the Obama family was vacationing in Hawaii for 17 days. That brings the costs to date for the the first family’s personal travel to $85 million. Although, according to Judicial Watch based on federal government records, the amount spent is likely to climb to $90 million after additional records are released. 

According to Mark Knoller, a CBS News White House correspondent who maintains an authoritative record of presidential activities, Obama’s taken “28 vacations spanning all or part of 217 days.” The numbers do not include the current 17 day Hawaii trip, expected to end January 2. 

Some quick arithmetic shows that to date, vacation days total 234 which divided by 8 equals 29, or the equivalent of a month per year. That’s double the time taken by average, regularly employed citizens who actually work for a living.

The reason for raising the subject is that Trump is also on vacation, at his own place in Palm Beach, Florida, as mentioned by Charlie Spiering @breitbart.com who writes: “When Obama went on vacation, we got millions of dollars in bills for lavish resorts.

"When Trump goes on vacation, we get 8,000 new American jobs."

Trump tweeted: “Hello everybody, we just had some very good news, because of what is happening and the spirit and the hope, I was just called by the head people at Sprint and they are going to be bringing 5,000 jobs back to the United States. They have taken them from other countries. They are bringing them back to the United States.” 

He also confirmed that OneWeb would be hiring more workers as well, a deal reached after working with “SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, a billionaire investor in technology who currently owns 80 percent of Sprint and has invested $1 billion in OneWeb.” 

“OneWeb, a new company is going to be hiring 3,000 people so that is very exciting,” 

On another subject, a breitbart article found on Facebook this morning, concerned Thomas Sowell’s submission of his final syndicated column on Tuesday after 25 years.   

In appreciation of Dr. Sowell’s brilliant and prescient observations 11 of them were presented as favored samples of his work. Three of them follow:  

“The Failure of Government Bureaucracy: A Personal Odyssey

“In the summer of 1959, as in the summer of 1957, I worked as a clerk-typist in the headquarters of the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington. The people I worked for were very nice and I grew to like them. 

“One day, a man had a heart attack at around 5 PM, on the sidewalk outside the Public Health Service. He was taken inside to the nurse’s room, where he was asked if he was a government employee. If he were, he would have been eligible to be taken to a medical facility there. Unfortunately, he was not, so a phone call was made to a local hospital to send an ambulance. By the time this ambulance made its way through miles of Washington rush-hour traffic, the man was dead. 

“He died waiting for a doctor, in a building full of doctors. 

“Nothing so dramatized for me the nature of a bureaucracy and its emphasis on procedures, rather than results.” 

And if that doesn’t perfectly describe the big-government destruction of everything it touches, nothing does.  

Then there’s this one on “Diversity”: 

“The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.” 

And lastly: “A Legacy of Liberalism”: 

“Nearly a hundred years of the supposed “legacy of slavery” found most black children being raised in two-parent families in 1960. But thirty years after the liberal welfare state found the great majority of black children being raised by a single parent. 

“The murder rate among blacks in 1960 was one-half of what it became 20 years later, after a legacy of liberals’ law enforcement policies. Public housing projects in the first half of the 20th century were clean, safe places, where people slept outside on hot summer nights, when they were too poor to afford air conditioning. That was before admissions standards for public housing projects were lowered or abandoned, in the euphoria of liberal non-judgmental notions. And it was before the toxic message of victimhood was spread by liberals. 

“If we are to go by evidence of social retrogression, liberals have wreaked more havoc on blacks than the supposed “legacy of slavery” they talk about.” 

While Dr. Sowell’s last thought speaks for itself, it leads right into another breitbart article, this one by Ian Hanchett where the comments from readers present a very clear picture of the disappointment with Obama felt by virtually all of them.   

“On Wednesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Huffington Post Senior Politics Editor Sam Stein stated, “you look at the destruction of the Democratic Party under Barack Obama’s leadership and you have to wonder…what were the electoral benefits that he gave to the party?” 

“He leaves them in a much worse position. He — the states are decimated. They’ve lost control of the House and the Senate. The governorships are decimated. So, yeah, maybe — he is obviously a gifted candidate. He did won — he did win election twice, by substantial margins, but his legacy as a politician is a bit muddied by all that.” 

And then came some of the readers thoughts. 

Michael Memorable Event wrote: “Obama worked at self improvement throughout his presidency. He is a much better golfer now than he was 8 years ago.” 

Dee Dee added: “King Putt.”

Next was Deplorable John: “King putz”

Followed by Veteran for Trump: “Commander in Cleats”

mom58 wrote: “the Bogeyman”

duckduckgoose typed: “He was a sand wedger, for sure.” 

The Deplorable Avenger opined: “And he still sucks. His swing is awful and his putting stroke is pathetic.”

Then there was Jason, who thought: “His behavior is par for the course;)”

B Ward closed with: “He's a hole in one. All he left the Democrats is the hole they're in.”

All of which led up to a closing graphic posted by a Facebook friend today: