PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – On Global Warming, It’s Policy-Based Evidence – More Mueller madness

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – On Global Warming, It’s Policy-Based Evidence – More Mueller madness

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • On Global Warming, It’s Policy-Based Evidence
  • The Power Line Show, Ep. 73: Michael Walsh’s ‘Fiery Angel’
  • Trump looks back in anger
  • More Mueller madness
  • Sunday morning coming down
On Global Warming, It’s Policy-Based Evidence

Posted: 03 Jun 2018 03:41 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)Liberals often claim to be proponents of evidence-based policy, but when it comes to climate change, that formula has been reversed. This is from the Science and Environmental Policy Project’s The Week That Was:

Australian Don Aitkin, former Chairman of Australia’s National Capital Authority and former Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Canberra, comments on “The unfolding saga of Peter Ridd.” Professor Ridd is a “well-published academic whose fields of research include coastal oceanography, reef systems and peer review, has been for ten years the Head of the School of Physics at James Cook University (JCU).” He was disciplined for drawing attention to what he considered “exaggerations in the way fellow academics at his university were describing the condition of the Great Barrier Reef.” …

Aitkin writes:

But it is a problem, and a rapidly growing one, in areas of research where what is actually the case is contested vigorously by others. An eye has to be kept on the source of the money going to higher education research, which in our country is overwhelmingly the Australian Government. In 2014, not quite four billion dollars was available within the higher education system for research, all of it from the Commonwealth. In addition, universities made another billion or thereabouts from consultancy and research for other funders. That is a lot of money. As the last Chairman of the Australian Research Grants Committee in 1987, I had a little over $30 million to parcel out. The engine has been most effective.

In the last forty years, governments have become interested in universities’ finding academic support for what they are proposing or have in place. We are in an era of “policy-based evidence”. We are also in an era of a particular political correctness, where it is very difficult indeed to get funds for research if the purpose of the research seems antithetical to current government policy. “Curiosity-directed research” now comes with some serious barriers. Nowhere is this situation clearer than in the case of research on the Great Barrier Reef, in which Professor Ridd has been involved. A bucket-load of money has been devoted to “the Reef”, and another half-billion was forecast in the recent Budget, some of which will doubtless go the James Cook University, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The Reef, as is frequently said, is an Australian “icon”. An icon is a religious object. Professor Ridd is a scientist, not a priest.

But climate science is a religion. Worse, it is a religion that is also big business.


The Power Line Show, Ep. 73: Michael Walsh’s ‘Fiery Angel’

Posted: 03 Jun 2018 01:46 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Just in time—a day ahead of our regular schedule!—Power Line Show Episode 73 is now up, in case you’re looking for some fun listening for a Sunday afternoon. We’re very pleased to welcome back to the show author, screenwriter, journalist and all-around smart guy Michael Walsh, to talk about his brand new book, just out from our friends at Encounter Books, The Fiery Angel: Art, Culture, Sex, Politics, and the Struggle for the Soul of the West.

This book is a sequel to his 2016 book The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, about which we did a podcast with Michael (which you can find right here) that I highly recommend as well as this new one. Michael’s knowledge of high (and low) culture is immense, and in Fiery Angel he draws out several layers of depth in art, literature, and music from Homer to Rocky IV (seriously), with extensive detours into opera, modern musical composition (especially German and Russian composers—the title, Fiery Angel, comes from Prokofiev’s opera by that name), novels, and everything in between. He uses this approach as a counterpoint to the left’s deep hatred for Western civilization and culture, which has achieved more or less formal status on the left. His erudition is overwhelming, but you come away at the end with a cultural vitamin shot, along with a new appreciation for what has been slipping away from us in recent decades.

The real reward comes toward the very end of our conversation, where Michael offers up a provocative and highly spirited answer to my question, “Why are conservatives so bad at art and culture?” It proves to be a perfect conclusion to a terrific and wide-ranging conversation.

As always, listen or download the episode from the window below, from our hosts at Ricochet, or by subscribing to Power Line in iTunes (but not until you leave a 5-star review, please!).



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Trump looks back in anger

Posted: 03 Jun 2018 08:16 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)In a couple of tweets this morning, President Trump raises a question that I have wrestled with on Power Line. Why didn’t the FBI warn off then-candidate Trump from one or the other of the figures who appear to have prompted the initiation of the counterintelligence investigation penetrating his campaign? First President Trump raises the question: why wasn’t I told?

As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn’t the FBI or Department of “Justice” have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign? Should have told me!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2018

Mr. President, I think I can answer that. They were looking hopefully for dirt on you (and you greatly disappointed them). He is seething about it. Note “Justice” in quotes. Let us draw the conclusion ourselves!

Trump responded in a fashion to his own question in the subsequent tweet.

….Paul Manafort came into the campaign very late and was with us for a short period of time (he represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole & many others over the years), but we should have been told that Comey and the boys were doing a number on him, and he wouldn’t have been hired!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2018

“Comey and the boys were doing a number on him” expresses Trump’s thought with great concision in the American vernacular. I think, however, they were doing a number on Trump himself.


More Mueller madness

Posted: 03 Jun 2018 07:07 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)When it comes to primary documents like the 20-page letter dated January 29, 2018, from former Trump lawyer John Dowd and the preceding 11-page memo dated June 23, 2017, both resisting an interview of the president by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, my preference is to give readers the originals via Scribd. Having obtained their own copies, the New York Times is forcing us to consult the originals here along with the Times’s annotations. The related Times article is posted here.

These documents are must reading. Paul comments on one aspect of Dowd’s January 2018 letter here. I especially enjoyed the list of 16 topics about which Mueller seeks to sit the president down. I have quoted them below with the paragraphs immediately preceding and following:

In our conversation of January 8, your office identified the following topics as areas you desired to address with the President in order to complete your investigation on the subjects of alleged collusion and obstruction of justice:

1. Former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — information regarding his contacts with Ambassador Kislyak about sanctions during the transition process;

2. Lt. Gen. Flynn’s communications with Vice President Michael Pence regarding those contacts;

3. Lt. Gen. Flynn’s interview with the FBI regarding the same;

4. Then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates coming to the White House to discuss same;

5. The President’s meeting on February 14, 2017, with then-Director James Comey;

6 Any other relevant information regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn;

7. The President’s awareness of and reaction to investigations by the FBI, the House and the Senate into possible collusion;

8. The President’s reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation;

9. The President’s reaction to Former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on March 20, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee;

10. Information related to conversations with intelligence officials generally regarding ongoing investigations;

11. Information regarding who the President had had conversations with concerning Mr. Comey’s performance;

12. Whether or not Mr. Comey’s May 3, 2017, testimony led to his termination;

13. Information regarding communications with Ambassador Kislyak, Minister Lavrov, and Lester Holt;

14. The President’s reaction to the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel;

15. The President’s interaction with Attorney General Sessions as it relates to the appointment of Special Counsel; and,

16. The statement of July 8, 2017, concerning Donald Trump, Jr.’s meeting in Trump Tower.

It is our understanding that the reason behind the request for the interview is to allow the Special Counsel’s office to complete its report. After reviewing the list of topics you presented, it is abundantly clear to the undersigned that all of the answers to your inquiries are contained in the exhibits and testimony that have already been voluntarily provided to you by the White House and witnesses, all of which clearly show that there was no collusion with Russia, and that no FBI investigation was or even could have been obstructed.

Putting the legal disputation to one side, I would simply like to note that the list of topics runs far afield from the subject of Trump-Russia campaign collusion that we are led to believe is the subject of Mueller’s investigation. Anyone can see that this is a living farce.


Sunday morning coming down

Posted: 03 Jun 2018 05:59 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Shawn Colvin settles in for four nights at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in Minneapolis this coming Wednesday. I’m attending in support of my anger management therapy; I bought tickets for all four nights. If you’re within shouting distance of the Twin Cities you might want to pay us a visit.

Shawn is a singer/songwriter/interpreter who achieved stardom with the Grammy-winning pop hit “Sunny Came Home” on A Few Small Repairs in 1997. Taylor Swift called on her to appear magically coming up through the floor (on a hydraulic lift, like Paul’s grandfather in A Hard Day’s Night) during a 2011 performance in Austin, Texas — Shawn’s current hometown. Swift testified to her inspiration by Shawn. You can see the video of the song shot by someone in the audience at that show here.

I tuned in to Shawn with her first three major-label recordings. Her Grammy-winning Steady On in 1989 was followed by Fat City (1992) and Cover Girl (1994). These recordings all struck a nerve with me.

In 2012 Shawn released the compact disc All Fall Down and the memoir Diamond in the Rough. “It’s a double opportunity to fail,” Shawn told the New York Times. In her memoir, Shawn recounts her self-discovery as a writer and performing artist while struggling with alcoholism, anorexia, addiction and persistent depression. You can hear the struggles transformed in her music.

She opens the book with a confession: “I see my life as pretty much starting when I heard the Beatles.” Indeed, her music is confessional in the singer-songwriter mode. In her case, however, the confessions hark back to the poet Anne Sexton and her famous struggles with depression. Shawn took the epigraph of her memoir from Sexton: “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.” I find her to be a compelling artist.

She opens her second album with her own song “Polaroids.” Writing the song, she struggled to find an ending. It finally came with a twist courtesy of a dream, just as it says in the song. In the live version below, the bass line sounds like the artist’s heartbeat. I love this song and this version. “The vows that we never keep…”

On Cover Girl, she first collected a set of songs written by others. She is a brilliant interpreter. The disc is full of knockouts. One such is Jimmy Webb’s “If These Walls Could Speak.” You can’t help but feel the personal connection she finds to Webb’s lyrics. I don’t think any clip captures her artistry better than the amateur video below of Colvin performing Jimmy Webb’s song as an encore before an appreciative audience at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano in December 2011. Her eyes well up with tears as she sings that touching chorus.

I thought Shawn must have written “Crazy” the first several times I heard her perform it. Instead, she identifies with it so completely that she turns it into a personal anthem. The original is by the soul duo Gnarls Barkley (Cee Lo Green et al.).

Shawn last appeared at the Dakota for three nights in 2016. I attended all three shows. Coming off a break from touring, she changed up the set lists each night. On night 2, I think, someone asked her to perform “Twilight,” the Robbie Robertson song from Cover Girl. She demurred, saying she was rusty on the lyrics, then performed it as an encore. “We’ve all got certain trials burning up inside.” Listen up!


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