The Oreskes question: Is Blood thicker than Objective Reporting @NPR ?

Watts Up With That?

Left to Right: NPR headquarters, Michael Oreskes, Naomi Oreskes

If anyone had engaged in a one-word internet search of the name “Oreskes” prior to October 31st, 2017, the results would have largely been for Naomi Oreskes, famed ‘exposer of corporate-corrupted skeptic climate scientists,’ with a sprinkling of other references to National Public Radio Chief Editor Michael Oreskes. After October 31st, albeit largely buried by news of the Manhattan terrorist attack, the news about Michael Oreskes’ alleged indiscretions was hard to miss.

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The Fusion Collusion

Democrats are trying to protect the firm’s secrets—so the GOP should keep digging.

 

Kim Strassel, WSJ

Washington is obsessed with the word “collusion” but has little understanding of its true meaning. The confusion might explain why D.C. has missed the big story of collusion between Fusion GPS and the Democratic Party.

To read the headlines, a poor, beleaguered opposition-research firm was humiliated and constitutionally abused this week by partisan Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee. Fusion’s lawyers sent a 17-page letter to the committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, accusing him of misdeeds, declaring his subpoenas invalid, and invoking a supposed First Amendment right to silence. Yet the firm’s founders, the story went, were hauled in nonetheless and forced to plead the Fifth. “No American should experience the indignity that occurred today,” Fusion’s lawyer, Joshua Levy, declared.

Fusion is known as a ruthless firm that excels in smear jobs, but few have noticed the operation it’s conducting against the lawmakers investigating it. The false accusations against Mr. Nunes—that he’s acting unethically and extralegally, that he’s sabotaging the Russia probe—are classic.

This is a firm that in 2012 was paid to dig through the divorce records of a Mitt Romney donor. It’s a firm that human-rights activist Thor Halvorssen testified was hired to spread malicious rumors about him. It’s a firm that financier Bill Browder testified worked to delegitimize his efforts to get justice for Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer beaten to death in a Russian prison.

It’s the firm behind the infamous “dossier” accusing Donald Trump of not just unbecoming behavior but also colluding with Russia. Republicans are investigating whether the Fusion dossier was influenced by Russians, and whether American law enforcement relied on that disinformation for its own probe.

But Fusion’s secret weapon in its latest operation is the Democratic Party, whose most powerful members have made protecting Fusion’s secrets their highest priority. Senate Democrats invoked a parliamentary maneuver in July to block temporarily Mr. Browder’s public testimony. Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, has been engineering flaps to undercut and obstruct Mr. Nunes’s investigation. Democrats on the House Ethics Committee have deep-sixed what was meant to be a brief inquiry to clear Mr. Nunes so as to keep him sidelined.

Then there is the intel committee’s meeting this week. Despite the spin, forcing Fusion to appear was Republicans’ only recourse after months of stonewalling. Fusion’s letter ludicrously claimed that Mr. Nunes’s subpoenas were invalid, which essentially forced the committee to show otherwise. It was a question of authority.

Florida Rep. Tom Rooney put the Fusion attendees through a series of questions not out of spite but to clarify finally just what topics the firm is refusing to talk about. The Fifth Amendment doesn’t provide protection against answering all questions. It only protects against providing self-incriminating evidence. It is therefore revealing that Fusion took the Fifth on every topic—from its relationship with British spook Christopher Steele, to the history of its work, to its role in the dossier.

The untold story is the Democrats’ unprecedented behavior. Mr. Rooney had barely started when committee staffers for Mr. Schiff interrupted, accused him of badgering witnesses, and suggested he was acting unethically. Jaws dropped. Staff do not interrupt congressmen. They do not accuse them of misbehavior. And they certainly do not act as defense attorneys for witnesses. No Democratic lawmakers had bothered to come to the hearing to police this circus, and Mr. Rooney told me that he “won’t be doing any more interviews without a member from the minority present.”

Private-sector lawyers also tend not to accuse congressmen of unethical behavior, as Mr. Levy did in his letter to Mr. Nunes. But Fusion’s legal eagle must feel safe. He’s former general counsel to the Senate’s minority leader, Chuck Schumer. He has also, I’m told by people familiar with the committee’s activities, more than once possessed information that he would have had no earthly means of knowing, since it was secret committee business. Consider that: Democratic members of Congress or their staff providing sensitive details of an investigation to a company to which the committee has given subpoenas.

The Washington narrative is focused on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. But the ferocious pushback and unseemly tactics from Democrats suggest they are growing worried. Maybe the real story is that Democrats worked with an opposition-research firm that has some alarming ties to Russia and potentially facilitated a disinformation campaign during a presidential election.

The media has its own conflict of interest, since it would prefer nobody find out about its years of, ahem, colluding with Fusion. Don’t expect any investigative reporting. But also don’t believe the stories about GOP harassment. The ferocity of the Fusion-Democrat campaign is proof Republicans are looking in the right place.

Write to kim@wsj.com.

 

Conservationists take nine flights a year, despite knowing danger to environment, study shows 

Tallbloke's Talkshop


All talk and very little action it seems – so what are these ‘fully informed’ conservationists conserving? This Telegraph report gets funnier as it goes along.

Conservationists may preach about the importance of going green to save the planet, but most have a carbon footprint which is virtually no different to anyone else, a new study has shown.

Scientists as Cambridge University were keen to find out whether being fully informed about global warming, plastic in the ocean or the environmental impact of eating meat, triggers more ethical behaviour.

But when they examined the lifestyles of conservation scientists they discovered most still flew frequently – an average of nine flights a year – ate meat or fish approximately five times a week and rarely purchased carbon offsets for their own emissions.

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In Australia, faulty BoM temperature sensors contribute to “hottest year ever”

Watts Up With That?

More hot days — or “purpose-designed” temperature sensors at play?

Guest essay by Dr. Jennifer Marohasy, republished from the Australian Spectator with permission from the author.

I don’t believe in conspiracies of silence except when it comes to Harvey Weinstein and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

For some time, weather enthusiasts have been noticing rapid temperature fluctuations at the ‘latest observations’ page at the Bureau’s website. For example, Peter Cornish, a retired hydrologist, wrote to the Bureau on 17 December 2012 asking whether the 1.5 degrees Celsius drop in temperature in the space of one minute at Sydney’s Observatory Hill, just the day before, could be a quirk of the new electronic temperature sensors. Ken Stewart, a retired school principal, requested temperature data for Hervey Bay after noticing a 2.1 degrees Celsius temperature change in the space of one minute on 22 February 2017.

In both cases, the Bureau assured…

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Climate Craziness of the Week: Michael Mann hawking “climate toothpaste”

Watts Up With That?

You just have to see the photo below, from the Mann himself, who has on occasion referred to me as a “carnival barker” while apparently not fully understanding how he looks at times. Hilariously, we have this photo from his Facebook Page:

Here is a closeup of the product. Ridiculous as it is, it’s a real product, sold at something called “The Climate Store”.

Apparently, the intrepid Dr. Mann is getting behind this woman, Ms. Meitiv, who seems to be running for a county council position. She apparently asked him to give a talk called “What’s up with the weather?”. Hmmm.

It was part of a publicity stunt at a bar and grill called “The Barking Dog” and seemed to be “heavily” attended:

So, the next time Dr. Mann throws a Twitter tantrum, which is almost daily, we can now say to him: GO WASH YOUR MOUTH…

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Part 2- The TV5 Monde Hack and APT28

Climate Audit

In his attribution of the DNC hack, Dmitri Alperovitch, of Crowdstrike and the Atlantic Council, linked APT28 (Fancy Bear) to previous hacks at TV5 Monde in France and of the Bundestag in Germany:

FANCY BEAR (also known as Sofacy or APT 28) is a separate Russian-based threat actor, which has been active since mid 2000s … FANCY BEAR has also been linked publicly to intrusions into the German Bundestag and France’s TV5 Monde TV station in April 2015.

Alperovitch’s identification of these two incidents ought to make them of particular interest for re-examination (CA readers will recall that the mention of Peter Gleick in the forged Heartland memo proved important.)  In each case, including the DNC hack, attribution of the TV5 Monde and Bundestag hacks resulted in a serious deterioration of relations between Russia and the impacted nation – arguably the major result of each incident.

In today’s post, I’ll…

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Al Gore unhinged – now even climate change believers are ‘deniers’

Watts Up With That?

Bjorn Lomborg  writes:

Al Gore recently had a telling altercation with a journalist. The Spectator’s Ross Clark wanted to ask him about Miami sea-level rises suggested in the new film, “An Inconvenient Sequel.” The reporter started to explain that he had consulted Florida International University sea-level-rise expert Shimon Wdowinski. Gore’s response: “Never heard of him — is he a denier?” Then he asked the journalist, “Are you a denier?”

When Clark responded that he was sure climate change is a problem but didn’t know how big, Gore declared, “You are a denier.”

I was recently on the receiving end of a similar rebuff from Chile’s environment minister. I’d written an op-ed for a Chilean newspaper that, among other things, quoted UN findings on how little the Paris climate treaty would achieve and argued that vast investment in green energy research and development is a better policy. Marcelo Mena proclaimed…

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