IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Florida braces for Hurricane Irma, but is climate change to blame?
- Trump is talking with Democrats about eliminating the debt ceiling entirely.
- Several states sue Trump over ending DACA.
- Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?” —John Page (1776)
By Jordan Candler
This weekend, Floridians will be bracing for another tropical impact just weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas as a Category 4 storm. This week, Hurricane Irma solidified itself as the strongest hurricane to develop in the Atlantic (important note: this excludes the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean). At one point, the storm exhibited 185 m.p.h. sustained winds — easily Category 5 strength — and provided stunning satellite imagery of a structure more reminiscent of a Pacific super typhoon (ironically, the typically busy Pacific is currently without a single named storm). As of this writing, south Florida appears to be the virtually certain landfall destination, but several states over the South will feel its effects.
To be clear, this is a dangerous weather pattern right now, and it demands the appropriate media coverage and preparation. Which is to say: If you’re in the path, leave. Sadly, though, this also means more climate hyperbole and sensationalism. Those under the impression that this late summer’s hurricane frenzy is unimaginable should think again. One reason it may seem so is because the U.S. has become accustomed to a fairly remarkable lull in strong landfalling hurricanes. Moreover, it’s September — the peak of the hurricane season. If strong hurricanes are going to develop in rapid succession, this is naturally when you would most expect to see them.
Let’s juxtapose the current time period with the mid 1900s. Patriot Post contributor and meteorologist Joe Bastardi — who, by the way, worries that Irma hasn’t yet achieved its maximum intensity — addressed the question in a May column, “Is This Really the Worst Time Ever?” In the 1930s, eight major hurricanes (major is defined as Category 3 or higher) hit the U.S. From the 1940s up until 1960, a whopping 19 additional major storms made landfall over the U.S. Tally it all up, and over the span of just 28 years, 27 major hurricanes struck the U.S. Some of those storms went on to make multiple landfalls as a major hurricane. For example, Donna, in 1960, hit the U.S. three times as a Category 3 or higher. Florida was the predominant target in the ‘40s. Consider how a repeat of the 1930s-1950s would be interpreted today.
We already have a clue: Irma — because of its strength — is being blamed on climate change. For example, Bloomberg, under the headline “Hurricane Irma Made Worse by Climate Change, Scientists Say,” claims: “Climate change didn’t cause Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm to form in the open Atlantic Ocean, but did make it much stronger, scientists in Germany and the U.K. said.” And climate blowhard Bill “The Science Lie” Nye added, “It’s the strength that is almost certainly associated with global warming.”
Perhaps then he’d like to explain why the U.S. went 12 years between major hurricane strikes? Was that also the result of climate change, or is it more accurately described as a cyclical outcome? As the Cato Institute’s Ross McKitrick writes in the Washington Examiner, the climate-link rhetoric unscrupulously allows scientists to have their cake and eat it too. “The climate alarmists offer a vague prediction: Hurricanes may or may not happen in any particular year, but when they do, they will be more intense than they would have been if GHG [greenhouse gas] levels were lower,” McKitrick notes. “This is a convenient prediction to make because we can never test it. It requires observing the behaviour of imaginary storms in an unobservable world. Good luck collecting the data.”
Importantly, McKitrick adds, “Science needs to be concerned not only with conspicuous things that happened, but with things that conspicuously didn’t happen. Like the famous dog in the Sherlock Holmes story, the bark that doesn’t happen can be the most important of all.” In the days ahead, there will be heart-wrenching stories as Irma traverses the lower East Coast. But keep in mind, “You’re also talking about 2 of the most flood-prone cities in the U.S. — Miami & Charleston,” observes meteorologist Eric Fisher. “Both flood during full moons let alone storms.” Hurricanes, like any other weather event, require context.
Climate records show not just similarly major hurricanes but an onslaught of them. The world is also much different today: bigger buildings and populations, as well as better technology and communication. And for the most part that’s a good thing. As Danish statistician and author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg writes, “Because we’re much richer and better protected, death rates from hurricanes in the US have declined dramatically. Even the 1800+ terrible deaths from Katrina in 2005 constitute more of an average hurricane risk in the early part of last century.”
Unfortunately, these tools also give climate extortionists the perfect storm to spread climate rhetoric that erroneously links man-made emissions to tropical systems. Even most scientific establishments that adhere to man-made global warmism are hesitant to make that leap. Keep this in mind as you pray for and aid our beleaguered fellow Americans over the coming days.
One of the results from Donald Trump’s decision to side with Democrats on connecting the Hurricane Harvey relief package with raising the debt ceiling was an agreement that the debt ceiling should be eliminated altogether. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee expressed Trump’s position on the issue, stating, “The president encouraged congressional leaders to find a more permanent solution to the debt ceiling so the vote is not so frequently politicized.” House Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R-WI) argued against the idea, saying, “I think the debt limit should be used to try to bring reform in Congress. I think the debt limit is a good vote to have.”
Trump’s plan isn’t good news for fiscal conservatives, but it’s not surprising news either. From an ideological perspective, Trump isn’t a fiscal conservative, and thus his stance on the debt ceiling doesn’t look good. Concerns over too much government spending and a ballooning national debt leading to an eventual crisis are real. Hence the logic behind the debt ceiling. However, practically speaking, the debt ceiling has proven to be little more than a minor speed bump, good only for providing regularly repeated moments of political grandstanding and partisan bickering threatening government shutdowns, all while spending continues and debt grows. Political theater vs. actual solutions.
Trump is clearly not an ideologue, and his frustration with Republicans over their inability to repeal ObamaCare has given him license to seek solutions across the political aisle. Practically speaking, this consideration by Trump makes sense, and it removes an obstacle for Republicans in the future. The growing debt problem most certainly needs to be addressed, but the debt ceiling has proven inadequate for the task.
In America, we are witnessing a dangerous trend of elected leaders who spurn laws with which they disagree in favor of their own emotion-based “morals.” When Donald Trump rescinded Barack Obama’s unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order, several elected officials on both sides of the aisle seemingly lost all objectivity on the Constitution’s designed separation of powers. Their arguments amounted to emotional agonizing over the situation for these “Dreamers,” while little perspective was offered as to how this whole problem was created. Honestly, for those members of Congress blaming Trump, their ire is misplaced. They should be blaming themselves for not passing legislation and Obama for unconstitutionally implementing a law they didn’t pass.
On Wednesday, attorneys general from 15 states filed a federal lawsuit against Trump over his DACA decision. While the merits of DACA may be debated, there is no debate as to the unconstitutional manner by which Obama declared it the law. Now that Trump has moved to correct Obama’s error, it’s laughable that these Democrat-controlled states are calling Trump’s action “unconstitutional.”
The lawsuit argues that Trump’s actions on DACA are “animus-driven,” unconstitutional and are driven by his desire “to punish and disparage people with Mexican roots.” In other words, their argument boils down to “Trump doesn’t like Mexicans, therefore its unconstitutional.” It’s ironic that these attorneys general who allegedly deal with issues of law and order on a daily basis are suing to maintain a “law” that was illegally created. They are undermining the very system they’re sworn to uphold, all to put Trump in check. They are assuming and promoting a double standard, but then again, what else is new?
House votes to send $15.3 billion Harvey aid package to Trump; funds government through Dec. 8 (The Washington Post)
Trump’s debt deal was better than Paul Ryan’s, many Republicans admit (Washington Examiner)
While you aren’t watching, Trump is doing a great job of nominating lower-level judges (Washington Examiner)
Equifax data breach exposes Social Security numbers, other data of 143 million Americans (The Washington Times)
Associated Press reports on DACA in Chicago, refers to “undocumented citizens” (Associated Press)
Homeland Security cancels massive roundups of illegals (NBC News)
Environmentalists file new challenges to Trump’s border wall prototypes (The Washington Free Beacon)
The U.S. now has more than 400 million privately owned firearms (The Truth About Guns)
FBI chief sees no evidence of White House interference in Russia probe (Reuters)
Policy: Betsy DeVos’ new approach to Title IX guidelines looks promising. (Washington Examiner)
Policy: How Republicans can make good on tax reform. (Bloomberg View)
For more, visit Patriot Headline Report.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- Why Is Wage Growth So Slow? — All while the stock market is booming, unemployment is low, and consumer confidence is on the rise.
- A Shift in Campus Rape Priorities? — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos takes on Obama’s attack on justice and the Rule of Law.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Victor Davis Hanson: Beware of Narratives and Misinformation
- Cal Thomas: On Taxes and Immigration: Look to Hungary
- Hans von Spakovsky: Andrea Mitchell Is Wrong About the Term ‘Illegal Aliens’
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
David Limbaugh: “It’s rich that rule of law-scoffing Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin grilled one of President Trump’s judicial nominees, law professor Amy Coney Barrett, for placing her religious beliefs above the law. … Let’s just ask the senators whether their own worldview leads them to oppose the death penalty and, if so, whether that worldview would prevent them from following the law in death penalty cases. Better yet, would their worldview — religious or not — lead them to ignore and rewrite the law in any other areas, such as abortion, immigration, health care and taxes? We know the answer. Ends-justify-the-means leftists, almost to a man (or woman), have no hesitation in subordinating the law to their policy goals. It’s only when a Republican officeholder or nominee is openly Christian that they get worked up about this. But as usual, their simulated concern is misplaced, because Christian constitutionalists are the last people they need to fear in such cases. As adherents to the rule of law, they will not, no matter how religious (or ‘orthodox’) they are, ignore the law. Despite their posturing, Durbin and Feinstein know that most liberal senators wouldn’t even face a dilemma in such cases. If the existing law doesn’t suit them and they don’t have the political clout to amend it through the proper legislative process, they’ll just ignore it as a bygone relic. They are fooling no one.”
Insight: “The greatest danger to liberty today comes from the men who are most needed and most powerful in modern government, namely, the efficient expert administrators exclusively concerned with what they regard as the public good.” —Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992)
Cute spin: “The Chicago Sun-Times reports that school officials say about a third of the school’s students are undocumented citizens.” —Associated Press
Braying Jackass: “[John Kelly] is not a general today. He’s a politician. He works for Donald Trump and now supports Donald Trump’s xenophobic, racist policies, and he’s carrying them out as his chief of staff.” —Rep. Luis Gutiérrez doubling down on his opinion of Kelly — that he’s “a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear.”
Alpha Jackass: “Ivanka Trump, who promised to try to influence her father on certain issues like climate change, has quietly accepted the administration’s lack of action on this very serious issue. Ivanka Trump can say what she wants about climate change, but as long as she quietly stands back, she remains complicit in the destruction we all face at the hands of her father’s administration. That’s why we’re petitioning the World Meteorological Association to rename Hurricane Irma to Hurricane Ivanka.” —Care2 petition
Village Idiots: “There’s an important distinction that doesn’t get said enough — the difference between Black Lives Matter and the KKK and the skinheads and the alt-right is this: Black Lives Matter was protesting in support of racial equality. Period. Sometimes it got out of hand, absolutely. But that’s what they were doing. You can never say, ‘Well, those guys were bad and these guys were bad.’ And to hear those words come out of the president of the United States, that is a great crime.” —George Clooney
Belly laugh of the week: “I just want to try to straighten things out for everyone to get along together.” —Kim Jong Un’s BFF Dennis Rodman, who thinks he can prevent nuclear war
And last… “Imagine how distraught Mr. Obama must have been over President Donald Trump’s Wednesday speech in North Dakota. … In both style and substance, virtually every moment was a repudiation of Mr. Obama and his economics. … [Trump] talked about unleashing restrictions on U.S. oil production, approving pipelines and dominating world markets. Come to think of it, this speech may have annoyed Vladimir Putin almost as much as Mr. Obama.” —WSJ’s James Freeman
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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