Liberal Reporter Changes Tune on Benghazi





Benghazi MIA Obama Hillary SC

CBS’ Lara Logan has been roundly criticized for using Dylan Davies as a source, and by all accounts he was a fraudulent one. This does not, however, mean that all other elements of her report were entirely false, a theory that was put forward by Nancy A. Youssef, a reporter at McClatchy News.  Youssef’s reporting seems to indicate that she’s changed her thinking over the past month. Either that, or she’s operating in a strange world of doublethink. And Logan, who was placed on leave for her retracted “60 Minutes” report, is now set to return early next year.

Youssef penned a piece on November 13 that took apart Logan’s reporting and her hyper-reliance on the idea that al Qaeda took part in the Benghazi attacks and guarded the hospital where the Ambassador’s body was taken. “Logan claimed that ‘it’s now well established that the Americans were attacked by al Qaida in a well-planned assault,’” in her 60 Minutes feature, wrote Youssef. “But al Qaida has never claimed responsibility for the attack, and the FBI, which is leading the U.S. investigation, has never named al Qaida as the sole perpetrator,” she continued.

Al Qaeda may have never been named the sole perpetrator of the attacks, but the 100 pages of emails released by the Obama administration show the CIA and FBI fingering core al-Qaeda operatives as early as September 14, 2012—just two days after the attack. In an email sent that day from the CIA, a staffer wrote “Thanks… Fyi FBI says AQ (not AQIM) was involved and they are pushing that theory.”

“So we are not ahead of law enforcement now.”

This clearly establishes that, internally, at least, the FBI and CIA were pointing to core al Qaeda for the attacks.

“While Logan had multiple sources and good reasons to have confidence in them, her assertions that Al Qaeda carried out the attack and controlled the hospital were not adequately attributed in her report,” concluded Al Ortiz in his internal investigation of Logan’s “60 Minutes” report.

Youssef’s account is hardly unbiased. She continues, “Rather, it is believed a number of groups were part of the assault, including members and supporters of al Qaida and Ansar al Shariah, as well as attackers angered by a video made by an American that insulted Prophet Muhammad” (emphasis added). “The video spurred angry protests outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo hours beforehand.”

So, according to Youssef, al Qaeda’s role in the attacks was overblown by Logan; and the YouTube video, “Innocence of Muslims,” truly did help spark the attack on the Special Mission Compound. Must the false YouTube video narrative be re-litigated time and again before the media?

According to Youssef, “The report repeatedly referred to al Qaida as solely responsible for the attack on the compound and made no mention of Ansar al Shariah, the Islamic extremist group that controls and provides much of the security in restive Benghazi and that has long been suspected in the attack.”

“While the two organizations have worked together in Libya, experts said they have different aims—al Qaida has global objectives while Ansar al Shariah is focused on turning Libya into an Islamic state,” she reports.

That’s not the impression the U.S. government gave in August 2012, shortly before the attacks. And that’s not the impression “experts” give in Youssef’s December 2013 analysis, either. The 2012 report, al Qaeda in Libya: a Profile, stated that “Al-Qaeda has established a core network in Libya, but it remains clandestine and refrains from using the al-Qaeda name.”

And, the authors wrote, “Ansar al-Sharia (Supporters of Sharia), a militia group led by Sufian Ben Qhumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, could be the new face of al-Qaeda in Libya despite its leader’s denial” (emphasis added). The report speaks of an al-Qaeda “clandestine network” that has infiltrated the Libya Salafist movement “with which it shares a radical ideology and a general intent to implement sharia in Libya and elsewhere.” In other words, al Qaeda in Libya isn’t going to operate officially under the umbrella of al Qaeda; it’s just going to act like it.

In fact, the report characterizes Ansar al Sharia as an extension of al Qaeda, a fact Youssef quickly forgets. “Two of these local Islamist-oriented militias—Ansar al-Sharia and al-A’hrar Libya—are the tip of the iceberg,” write the authors. “They broadcast typical al-Qaeda-type propaganda on the Internet, and they have adopted the black flag, which symbolizes commitment to violent jihad promoted by [Al Qaeda senior leadership].”

“In a different direction, Ansar al-Sharia may become the new brand name under which jihadist groups in the Arab world seek to organize,” the report states (emphasis added). These are strong words to describe a locally oriented group.

Ironically, Youssef is the author of a more recent December 12 piece on Islamist militants in Libya, where international jihadis are being trained before shipping off to other countries. Her own reporting proves that Ansar al Sharia is not just locally oriented. “It also raises questions about the role of Libya’s homegrown militia, Ansar al Shariah, in the global jihadi movement,” Youssef writes, in a dramatic reversal. “Ansar al Shariah has its roots in the anti-Gadhafi uprising and it’s thought to have participated in the attack last year on U.S. facilities in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.”

“Any effort to train al Qaida-linked fighters here is unlikely to have gone forward without the backing of Ansar al Shariah, experts in the organization say” (emphasis added). If only Youssef would have said that much in November. What a difference just one month makes in her reporting.

 

This commentary originally appeared at AIM.org and is reported here with permission. 





As IRS Scandal Heats Up, Media Look the Other Way





IRS From Under The Bus Lois Lerner SC

The American Center for Law and Justice recently filed its second amended complaint against the U.S., the IRS, and a number of IRS officials. But this is another “phony” scandal, so don’t expect to hear about it in the mainstream media.

This is the scandal in which the IRS asked organizations to report donor lists, direct and indirect communication with legislative bodies, Internet passwords and usernames, social media postings, and even the political and charitable activities of family members. “Some of these organizations, even after receiving tax-exempt status, have been subjected to continued monitoring by the IRS based on the same unlawful purposes for which their applications were originally targeted,” states the ACLJ complaint, filed October 18.

Geoffrey Dickens wrote for the Newsbusters’ blog at the end of September that it had been approximately 60 to 90 days since “any aspect of the IRS scandal was mentioned on” the “big three morning and evening shows.” I guess we can’t expect wall-to-wall media coverage from those sources.

But Lois Lerner’s retirement did get some mention from the media. In the September 23 article, “Lois Lerner still Hill’s favorite piñata,” Politico writer Lauren French noted that “A Democratic congressional aide said the IRS was moving toward terminating Lerner after completing an investigation into her role in the targeting controversy.” The article’s title says it all: Lerner is a punching bag, not a government official who trespassed on free speech rights. Similar excuses have been made about Susan Rice after her Sunday talk show interviews and the ensuing criticism; after all, she’s part of another “phony” scandal the Obama administration would rather have buried. For her part in the Benghazi scandal, Rice got a promotion.

“The IRS found that Lerner, who led the agency’s unit that reviewed requests for tax exemptions, mismanaged her department and was ‘neglectful of duty’ but found no evidence of political bias, the aide said,” according to Politico (emphasis added). This despite the fact that she was using unofficial email accounts on the side and had a central role in the debacle. (Lerner is named among one of the sundry IRS officials responsible for targeting political speech by the ACLJ lawsuit).

In fact, it seems that Lerner herself knew what type of trouble was brewing for her office and the White House, given their ongoing targeting of Tea Party groups. “On March 2, 2012, Defendant Lerner received an email from IRS Deputy Division Counsel Janine Cook referring to an article in a publication known as the EO Tax Journal about congressional investigations into the IRS’s treatment of tax-exempt applications,” states the ACLJ complaint. “Defendant Lerner responded in part: ‘we’re going to get creamed.’”

Lerner—and her comrades Douglas Shulman, Sarah Hall Ingram, Nikole Flax, and Judith Kindell—took to “repeatedly us[ing] nonofficial, unsecure, personal email accounts to conduct official IRS business, including sending tax return information and official classified documents to non-agency email addresses, and that Defendant Lerner alone accumulated more than 1,600 pages of emails and documents related to official IRS business in a nonofficial, unsecure, personal email account, including almost 30 pages of confidential taxpayer information,” cites the complaint.

But the American people are not supposed to get suspicious about the motives of the IRS and the Washington politicians who were—indirectly or directly—pulling its strings.

What is most striking about the complaint is how it draws a parallel timeline between the actions of Democrats in Congress and President Obama, on the one hand, and the actions of IRS officials on the other. This demonstrates that the IRS did not act in a political vacuum, but rather was under considerable pressure to conform to Congressional desires. “ACLJ chief counsel Jay Sekulow said in a statement that the group’s lawsuit was amended because the ‘intimidation campaign conducted by the IRS is much more politically motivated and coordinated than previously thought,’” reported Newsmax.

“Embattled IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram made 155 visits to the White House [between 2011 and 2013] to meet with a top Obama White House official with whom she exchanged confidential taxpayer information over email,” reported The Daily Caller. “Of Ingram’s 165 White House meetings with White House staff, a staggering 155 of them were hosted by deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew, according to a June Watchdog.Org analysis of White House visitor records.”

Clearly, the lines of communication were open between the Obama White House and the IRS.

“In 2010, as the Obama Administration bemoaned the ‘shadowy’ influence of so-called ‘special interest’ groups, the IRS was not unaffected by this political rhetoric,” states the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform September Interim Report. “Evidence available to the Committee shows that the IRS was acutely aware of this public rhetoric and that the initial Tea Party applications were first identified and elevated due to this media attention.”

On October 19, 2010, Lerner said, “So everybody is screaming at us right now: ‘Fix it now before the election. Can’t you see how much these people are spending?’ I won’t know until I look at their 990s next year whether they have done more than their primary activity as political or not. So I can’t do anything right now.” Clearly, she was not unaffected by the political rhetoric at the time.

Were Tea Party, 9/12, Patriot, and other organizations subject to “viewpoint discrimination?” Consider this testimony before the House of Representatives: One Cincinnati IRS employee testified that in “normal (c)(4) cases we must develop the concept of social welfare, such as the community newspapers, or the poor, that type. These organizations mostly concentrate on their activities on the limiting government, limiting government role, or reducing government size, or paying less tax.” He thought that organizations with these values were different from other social welfare organizations.

In other words, limiting government so that other social groups can grow in the open spaces is not a social welfare concept in this IRS employee’s mind.

“Defendants knew, or reasonably should have known, that their conduct would violate Plaintiffs’ federal constitutional rights,” asserts the ACLJ lawsuit.

Some Democrats may not be taking this scandal seriously, and the news media are certainly giving them a pass. “During her appearance before the House Oversight Committee a week ago, Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.) tried to dismiss the investigation by treating the whole thing as a joke, asking [Sarah Hall] Ingram if she had ‘been consorting with the Devil,’” noted the New York Post editorial board on October 16. “When Ingram answered no, Connolly went on to ask about reports she could fly. ‘Greatly exaggerated, sir,’ she replied.”

“Getting the idea that Democrats in Congress, the White House and the IRS aren’t taking this investigation seriously?” the editorial asks.

“Looks like the joke is on us,” they conclude.

 

This commentary originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission. 

Commission Seeks Answers On Benghazi

Obama Who Is Benghazi SC Commission Seeks Answers on Benghazi

The Obama administration has been supporting jihadists and the Muslim Brotherhood abroad, thereby furthering the goals of Islamists in the Middle East, argued several speakers at Accuracy in Media’s Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) conference last week. Why is this important to the exploration of what happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012? First of all, it provides context for the terrible conditions that Ambassador Stevens faced when he traveled there that September, and the make-up of those who attacked our facilities there. It could also partially explain the administration’s eagerness to falsely blame the attack on a YouTube video that Muslims found offensive, rather than acknowledge poor security conditions and a growing al-Qaeda movement in the region. After all, the President believes that al Qaeda is on the run.

“Here’s the sentence, here’s the headline, that the Obama administration does not want broadcast anywhere or printed anywhere: ‘Obama Administration Arms Al Qaeda,’” Chris Farrell, Director of Research and Investigation at Judicial Watch, said at the conference. “That’s it, right there.”

Judicial Watch is the only organization litigating in Federal Court on Benghazi to date. It recently issued a new report, the second of two, on the Benghazi attacks and the Administration’s subsequent stonewalling.

“Look, this attack in Benghazi did not happen in a vacuum. It wasn’t a fluke. It didn’t just occur,” argued author and investigative journalist Ken Timmerman. “It was a policy shift that took place as soon as Obama took power to overturn our longstanding national security alliances in the Middle East and to support the Muslim Brotherhood.”

“I think the path, I think the green light, if you will, even, was given by President Obama in his 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt, when he green-lighted the Islamic uprising that would follow over the next two years,” said Clare Lopez, a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy. Lopez is a former CIA operations officer and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. “What happened in Libya was a follow-on to that green light, as well as what happened in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood rose up and seized power for a time.”

During the aforementioned Cairo speech, noted Timmerman, “sitting behind the President of the United States as he’s giving the speech, so they’re pictured in all of the news footage of it, are top members of the Muslim Brotherhood—at that point still an outlawed group although tolerated by the Mubarak regime.” Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt at that time, was not invited. This sends a clear message from our President.

As for Muammar Qaddafi, he was a brutal dictator, but “He had al-Qaeda jihadis in his jails,” said Lopez. “And yet, in March of 2011, the United States, together with NATO allies Italy, France, and others, decided to intervene in Libya. Why? To assist al Qaeda militias to overthrow a sovereign government that was no threat to the United States.” Those skeptical of the al Qaeda connections to Libya Shield, Ansar al Sharia, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), and other Libyan “liberation” freedom fighters should read John Rosenthal’s The Jihadist Plot, which details al Qaeda’s intricate plan to overthrow the apostate Qaddafi.

“As we know, we’ve had step-by-step accounts of the killing of Osama bin Laden, and some information that was probably classified,” noted Kevin Shipp, a former CIA officer and author of From the Company of Shadows, at the conference. “We’ve had step-by-step accounts of what’s going on in Syria, with the exceptions of some things about the gas. We’ve been given nothing about Benghazi. No, not even the smallest detail regarding what happened that evening.”

The reason we’ve been given step-by-step accounts of Osama bin Laden’s death is partially because it helped the President politically. Similarly, knowledge of Syria’s conflict assisted the President in making the case to send military and non-military aid. But Benghazi, where four people died? President Obama would rather that issue be swept under the rug.

Members of the Commission expressed their dismay that the administration did not mount a more vigorous attempt to rescue the Benghazi four and that, they argue, stand down orders were given.

“If the President’s child were in Benghazi, would the rescue attempt have been more aggressive?” asked Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, at the conference. Tyrone Woods was one of two former Navy SEALs who, along with Ambassador Chris Stevens and information officer Sean Smith, was killed that day in Benghazi. Charles Woods asked the same question at a hearing before Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) committee three days later. At the hearing, Rep. Issa announced that he had subpoenaed two Diplomatic Security agents who were on the ground in Benghazi that night. He said that the State Department had suggested to him that these two might not want to come forward because there was an FBI investigation ongoing.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), who also spoke at the conference, noted that those involved were consistently politicizing the FBI investigation by using it as an excuse to not provide information.

“I appreciate the fact that this Citizens’ Committee is here, but I wish that it wasn’t necessary,” said Woods. “I wish that it was not necessary, because the truth voluntarily should have been presented by our administration.”

The Commission is dedicated to finding out the truth behind the Benghazi attacks, and this work is ongoing. Captain Larry Bailey (Ret.) invited confidential sources to contact him and to be assured of total privacy and anonymity. Videos and transcripts from the September 16th conference are being posted at the CCB website.

 

This commentary originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission. 

Obama’s Misleading Obamacare Claims

Obama Santa Obamacare Aint Free SC Obama’s Misleading Obamacare Claims

Supporters of Obamacare were given reason to celebrate on July 17, when The New York Times announced that health care premiums in the Empire State could “tumble” 50% because of the new health care exchanges. “Obama touted recent news from New York, California, Oregon and other states that have reported that insurance companies will charge lower-than-expected premiums next year,” reported the Los Angeles Times. “And he highlighted a provision of the law that requires insurance companies to provide rebates if they don’t spend at least 80% of the premiums they receive on their customers’ medical care, rather than administrative expenses, such as executive salaries or dividends for shareholders.”

This week, in his prepared remarks for Knox College, President Obama once again touted this 50% decrease in premiums, saying: “Just last week, New York announced that premiums for consumers who buy their insurance in these online marketplaces will be at least 50% less than what they pay today. That’s right—folks’ premiums in the individual market will drop by 50%.”

This feather in President Obama’s cap serves as an example for some liberals of how the Affordable Care Act is just that—an affordable way to purchase health care for your family, coming soon to a state near you.

Except that it isn’t. As Accuracy in Media has repeatedly demonstrated, in reality, Obamacare instead causes health care premiums to skyrocket—even in the much-touted California market. According to Avik Roy of Forbes, however, Obamacare will increase individual health insurance premiums [in California] by 64 to 146% in one year.”

For New York State, it is a different story. That’s because a series of “reforms” made there in the 1990s over-regulated health care, got rid of preexisting conditions, and mandated that insurance companies charge the same regardless of age, according to Roy. “New York premiums have nowhere to go but down,” charges Roy in his latest article for Forbes. As he previously pointed out, when liberals championed the less-than-expected rate increases in California, this was an “apples to oranges” comparison.

“The real news is that New York ruined its individual insurance market two decades ago by imposing the same regulations that ObamaCare is about to impose on every other state,”argued The Wall Street Journal on July 23. “If the Empire State’s premiums do now fall, it will be because the Affordable Care Act partially deregulates New York insurance.” Perhaps someone should have clued President Obama into this simple fact.

“But New York, today, is in worse shape than Washington, and far worse shape than California,” writes Roy in his incisive column. “In 2010, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average premium in the New York individual market was $357 a month.”

The New York Times, in its oft-cited article, said that “State insurance regulators say they have approved rates for 2014 that are at least 50 percent lower on average than those currently available in New York.”

“Beginning in October, individuals in New York City who now pay $1,000 a month or more for coverage will be able to shop for health insurance for as little as $308 monthly.”

At least the Los Angeles Times had the conscience to write that these types of “savings” are an aberration. “New York, for example, announced this week that the average premium will be 50% lower for individuals who buy health coverage on their own, in large part because the state has some of the highest rates now,” they report (emphasis added). “New York may have been more ripe for savings than other states,” notes Bloomberg.

And even The Washington Post, a champion of Obamacare, points out: “But it shouldn’t be shocking: New York has, for two decades now, had the highest individual market premiums in the country.” USA Today led with the title “Most states won’t see N.Y.’s drop in insurance rates.” This, The New York Times cleverly left out of its reporting.

While conservatives might be surprised that New York’s rates are, indeed, going down, Roy puts this in perspective: “As a result, Obamacare does have the effect of lowering premiums in New York, to a weighted average of $301 a month: a 39 percent decrease from 2013 rates, and a 16 percent decrease from 2010 rates,” he writes. “According to several studies of the New York market, the biggest driver of the improvement is the fact that the mandate and the subsidies will encourage healthier people into the insurance pool, driving average costs down” (emphasis added).

This assumes that additional healthy people will add themselves to the rolls of the insured, instead of simply enduring the federal penalties. “The younger and healthier crowd is generally the group facing the most significant increases that are more likely to decide to pay the penalty and not buy health insurance next year,” Carl McDonald, a “Citigroup insurance-industry analyst” told Bloomberg.

As for The New York Times, it “inflated the impact of the ACA, implying that average premiums in New York City exceed $1,000 today vs. $308 under Obamacare; by our analysis, using a fairer comparison, the five-borough average for affordable coverage was $695, with a much lower average upstate,” writes Roy.

CBS News, in its report, accepted the $1,000 number and failed to mention that New York had high health insurance rates.

“New York’s rates will still be three times higher than those found in California before Obamacare,” Roy writes.

As a New Yorker myself, I have to say: if this is success, count me out.

 

This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission. 

Media Celebrate Obama’s Green Agenda

EPA Green Regulations SC Media Celebrate Obama’s Green Agenda

The IRS scandal refuses to disappear. Benghazi still raises questions. The press is still irate at the Administration because of its treatment of journalists who publish leaked information. This is the perfect time, apparently, for President Barack Obama to ignore the political firestorms. Instead, he moves to grab more power over the environment, and economy, by pushing for more Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

On Tuesday the President outlined a climate change agenda which will circumvent the halls of Congress and place additional authority into the hands of unelected bureaucrats. Far from criticizing such a move, the mainstream media have celebrated the Administration’s speech, and the suggested war on carbon emissions from new and existing power plants. National Public Radio calls it a “sweeping plan” and says the President is “striving to reach” an “emissions-reduction goal” he committed to in 2009 in Copenhagen.

“All of these proposals can be enacted without action on Capitol Hill,” writes Richard Harris. “That’s deliberate. Many Republicans in Congress reject the judgment of the National Academy of Sciences and other authorities who say climate change is a real concern.” In other words, Republicans are supposedly holding up the process to combat human-created global warming, and the President’s undemocratic sidestep is perfectly appropriate because progress must happen now.

Might there just be a reason that a major party in the United States opposes moving forward with climate change regulations?

Fox News even said that “Obama is expected to lay out a broad vision Tuesday, without detailed emission targets or specifics about how they will be put in place” (emphasis added).

U.S. News and World Report’s Michael Shank argued that “Obama Thinks Too Small on Climate Change.” “It is merely more of the same and most of it is safe,” writes Shank, director of foreign policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. 2013 is no time for a small pitch on things like power plant carbon parameters. We needed something big if America is to survive at all,” he writes.

“What the president did not do, but should have, was put a price on carbon, because it is becoming increasingly costly to our country and the world.”

However, carbon is an essential building block of our world. To label it as a pollutant is disingenuous, at best.

In addition, a carbon tax would be detrimental to our economy. “Without accounting for how the revenues from a carbon tax would be used, such a tax would have a negative effect on the economy,” concluded the Congressional Budget Office this year. “The higher prices it caused would diminish the purchasing power of people’s earnings, effectively reducing their real (inflation-adjusted) wages. … Investment would also decline, further reducing the economy’s total output.”

The President’s motivations are clear. Not only did he argue for bankrupting the coal industry in 2008, but one scientific advisor to the President recently called for a “war on coal.” “The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants,” Harvard University geochemist Daniel P. Schrag told The New York Times. (The Times has apparently scrubbed this quote from the original article, despite its being widely republished). “Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed,” said Schrag.

“The President’s advisor calls it a ‘War on Coal,’ but it’s even more than that,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) in a recent statement. “These policies, rejected even by the last Democratic-controlled Congress, will shutter power plants, destroy good-paying American jobs, and raise electricity bills for families that can scarcely afford it.”

“Analysis from The Heritage Foundation (in a forthcoming paper) finds that significantly reducing coal’s share in America’s energy mix would, before 2030, raise natural gas prices by 42 percent,” writes the Heritage Foundation.

“At nearly 40 percent, coal remains the single largest source of power in the U.S., and there’s no question the EPA’s new standards will make its use more expensive,” writes Brad Wieners for Businessweek. The news organization argues that the climate plan to “ditch coal” will “be good for business. Really.” Heritage’s data show otherwise.

“Ultimately, the arguments for and against Obama’s plan come down to deciding who will choose when to get serious about the inevitable transition away from fossil fuels,” writes Wieners.

What the President has said is that he is no longer listening to the “Flat Earth Society.” “Nobody has a monopoly on what is a very hard problem, but I don’t have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real,” he said at Georgetown University. “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.” This quote was widely republished by a rapt media.

“Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm.”

The President also said in his speech that “The 12 warmest years in recorded history have all come in the last 15 years.” In reality, some professors argue that we’ve been in a global cooling trend since 2002. “Professor Anastasios Tsonis…published a paper last March that found the world goes through periods of warming and cooling that tend to last thirty years,” according toClimate Depot. “He says we are now in a period of cooling that could last up to fifty years.” And Professor Judith Curry at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta says that “This shift and the subsequent slight cooling trend provides a rationale for inferring a slight cooling trend over the next decade or so, rather than a flat trend from the 15 yr ‘pause.’”

Obama’s statement also ignores the fact that the mainstream media have been searching for a way to explain the temperature rise “plateau” they believe we find ourselves in. The New York Times has sought to rationalize this plateau as the result of heat being trapped in the deep ocean, although measurements of this phenomenon are “not good enough to confirm it absolutely.” More recently, the liberal New Republic tried to grapple with this problem, titling the article “Explaining the Global Warming Hiatus: Grappling with climate-change nuance in a toxic political environment.” “Since 1998, the warmest year of the twentieth century, temperatures have not kept up with computer models that seemed to project steady warming; they’re perilously close to falling beneath even the lowest projections,” writes Nate Cohn.

The problem for the New Republic writer is that “in a political environment where vast swathes of the American right reject even the premise of global warming—and where prominent right-wing pols suggest it’s an enormous fraud—this inconvenient news could easily lead to still more acrimony over the subject.” So, it’s politically inconvenient that the Earth isn’t warming as fast as projected because some might doubt the existence of global warming. “Especially since scientists themselves aren’t entirely sure what the evidence means,” writes Cohn. “If scientific models can’t project the last 15 years, what does that mean for their projections of the next 100?”

The science of climate change is not settled, and Congress remains divided on the issue because of this ongoing skepticism. “A slew of recent studies discredit the ‘planetary emergency’ narrative,” Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, recently said. “For instance, sea-change over the next century probably will be measured in inches, rather than feet.”

Lewis also said that “if [President Obama] put this plan in a bill and submitted it to Congress, it would be dead on arrival.” Shouldn’t this serve as a warning as to what’s in President Obama’s plan?

The media shouldn’t praise unilateral actions by the President to address this climate issue, with the assumption that the debate is over.

 

This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission. 

Photo credit: terrellaftermath