Weather Vain: Obama Uses Climate Hoax to Bully Govs
If you can’t beat ‘em, buy 'em! That’s the President’s new approach to climate change skeptics in conservative states. The Obama administration is apparently so desperate for support that it’s willing to blackmail governors into adding global warming to their disaster planning – or block their federal funds. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the conform-or-pay rules would go into effect next March. In the meantime, governors have a choice: they can bow down to the Left’s faulty science or lose millions of dollars in FEMA relief planning.
Under the new regulations, only states that tackle the effects of “changing environmental or climate conditions” in their long-term “hazard-mitigation plans” will qualify for funding. Specifically, governors must “identify tools and approaches that enable decision-making to reduce risks and increase resilience from a changing climate.” It’s a shocking amount of political arm-twisting, even for this administration.
Clearly, the rules were made to hurt – and it’s no secret whom. Republican Governors like Rick Scott (Fla.), Bobby Jindal (La.), Chris Christie (N.J.), Pat McCrory (N.C.), and Greg Abbott (Texas) have been openly critical of the administration’s climate push, and these guidelines are payback. Of course, many of these regions – including my home state of Louisiana – are coastal, meaning that they are especially vulnerable to storms and other natural disasters. And while FEMA promises that it won’t attach these same strings to hurricane, flood, or other post-disaster relief, the administration’s word is about as reliable as the Left’s science.
Interestingly enough, FEMA’s extortion plan comes on the heels of a pretty damning report from key environmental experts, who agreed last year that the White House’s National Climate Assessment is a “masterpiece of marketing” that crumbles like a “house of cards” under the weight of real-world evidence. In an open letter, the group of 15 blasted the government’s “climate models” for “dramatically fail(ing) basic verification tests. Nowhere do they admit to these well-known failures. Instead, we are led to believe that their climate models are close to perfection.” The real damage control started well before when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was forced to admit that the world’s temperatures haven’t risen in 17 years. (If you thought the holes in the Ozone layer were big, you should see the ones in the Left’s credibility!)
Without any real science to prop up his agenda, the President is pulling a page from his abortion playbook: government extortion. Unfortunately, this kind of ideological hostage-taking is nothing new for the White House. When Catholic Charities wouldn’t pledge allegiance to the administration’s abortion views, HHS pulled the plug on more than $5 million in human trafficking grants, despite the fact Catholic Charities is among the most qualified organizations to render aid and assistance to the trafficked.
Obviously, the totalitarian tactics of this administration knows no bounds. “This story really brings together all the elements of Obamaism,” writes Dan McLaughlin. As HotAir puts it, “It’s legally dubious; it ignores Congress… it’s an obvious political pander to the Left with a bonus of putting right-wingers in a spot, even at the expense of placing citizens at risk; and it (mocks) state autonomy. Basically, it’s the environmental equivalent of executive amnesty. All that’s missing is 18-24 months of Obama statements denying that he’d ever do something like this before turning around and doing it.”
Navy Becomes Career Destroyer
The Navy wouldn’t think of using outdated equipment – but it sure doesn’t mind using outdated policies. Lt. Commander Wes Modder is living proof of that. The long-time chaplain could very well lose his career because his commanding officer is resorting to “obsolete” regulations to punish him. That bombshell came courtesy of Liberty Institute, which was stunned to find that Captain J.R. Fahs was refusing to apply the Defense Department’s new religious liberty laws to Chaplain Modder’s case. “Navy officials appear to be rebelling against the new DOD regulations and thumbing their nose at Congress and the Secretary of Defense. That is totally unacceptable.”
When Chaplain Modder was hauled before representatives of the military’s Equal Opportunity board for holding biblical views on marriage and sexuality, the meeting shouldn’t have ended with Modder cleaning out his office. Under the DOD’s new law, chaplains are “never required to compromise the standards of their religious organization.” Yet that is exactly what the Navy is demanding of the Chaplain, whose own assistant secretly combed through paperwork, “privileged conversations,” and counseling files to report him.
“I didn’t know he was unhappy,” Chaplain Modder told me on Friday’s “Washington Watch.” “I did not know that he was 'married’ (to his gay partner) and trying to adopt a child. I didn’t know any of that… he never indicated that he was unhappy. On December 6, he came in with some command Equal Opportunity representatives and decided to file charges against me. And that was shocking. I felt betrayed, I felt dishonored and disrespected.”
Explaining that he and the young Naval Officer had several genuine and heartfelt conversations about marriage, Modder said he was totally blindsided. “My entire ministry is based on care…I will work with anybody in my office. It’s not based on lifestyle.” The culture has changed, he pointed out, “Navy culture has changed, and Navy policy has changed… but God’s word has not changed. The government wants me to change… But in private counseling sessions, when people are looking for a biblical response, as I am a Christian minister, ordained in the Assemblies of God Church… that’s not going to change.”
Michael Berry, Modder’s attorney, shared my astonishment that the Navy would intentionally assign a homosexual man to work in the office of a Bible-believing chaplain. If the military will investigate Modder, why not this young man, who may have very well violated confidentiality or privacy rules in his religious witch hunt? Clearly, he had an agenda, and somehow that it has superseded this chaplain’s constitutional rights. Today, we learned that the U.S. Navy has taken its punishment of Chaplain Modder a step further by banning him from even attending a sailor’s memorial service.
Join us in standing with Wes Modder – and all of the Modders out there who are facing this kind of open hostility to their freedom. More than 98,000 Americans have signed FRC’s petition to Defense Secretary Ash Carter demanding the chaplain’s reinstatement. Help us make it 100,000! Also, if you missed it, check out the interview with Modder and Michael Berry here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.