December 16, 2016

"By all means, stand with the Department of Energy as it protects civil servants whose work displeases the incoming administration."

"And when the time once again comes when government tries to silence deniers of climate change, stand with those deniers as well. It's a matter of principle, not just politics."

Writes Megan McArdle. I don't know if I agree with everything she says, but she opens up a topic I'd like to talk about. 

165 comments:

David Begley said...

I really, really resent the use of the word "denier" in the context of climate change. This is a rhetorical device to tie this issue about a possible FUTURE EVENT to the denial of the historical event of the Holocaust. Despicable.

CAGW is a projection about a future event that uses flawed models and corrupt data.

David Begley said...

From the linked article a short discussion about some State AGs going after Exxon. There is demand on the Left to punish XON for denying CAGW. A big conspiracy. Political opponents must be destroyed and silenced.

lgv said...

The term climate change should be banned. It doesn't exist beyond what we have experienced in millions of years. The term was created to counteract the failure of the warming trend to follow greenhouse gas emissions for the last 17 years.

So, it's not warming, it's extreme weather events. There is no science to back up an increase in extreme weather events.

Where the science of the results of warming? If we all agree that we are warming, what are results? The idea that a warmer earth might actually be better can never enter the mind. That would kill the cause.

Lastly, asking about who worked on something = persecution is a bit premature. The real mindset of the department is the problem. These people are deniers that they are employees of the administration rather than makers of their own employment rules.

Wilbur said...

I'd like to see the Department of Energy reduced to about 150 employees. About 2 per state oughta' do it.
I have little sympathy for those resisting the effort to identify and marginalize the CAGW zealots. If possible, fire 'em. If that's legally impossible, hand them a broom and tell them start sweeping.

As our dear departing president told us, elections have consequences. You lost.

Sally327 said...

So government employees and the contractors hired by government employees have the right to burrow into the bureaucratic apparatus and carry on their work in secrecy with total anonymity and zero accountability. That's a great idea. This isn't like trying to out the NOC list from the CIA.

I have no idea what the law is in this area but I find it hard to believe that the Trump administration can't eventually figure out who's who and who's working on what. It's a government agency, more transparency now!

EDH said...

"By all means, stand with the Department of Energy as it protects civil servants whose work displeases the incoming administration."

This is an argument for a permanent government uncoupled from democratic control, and does not even express a viewpoint neutral protection of "civil servants".

Can the DOE point to even one "civil servant" whose work displeased the previous administration?

rhhardin said...

If you work for your political party instead of your employer you're out.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Deniers." Anyone who uses this word with regard to a scientific subject is not interested in science, only politics. Nobody with any devotion to science would use such a word. The scientific method - the great source of our expansion of knowledge in recent centuries - is based on doubt, skepticism and constant testing of assumptions and conclusions. Politicians hate the scientific method. They want witches to burn.

Larry J said...

David Begley said...
I really, really resent the use of the word "denier" in the context of climate change. This is a rhetorical device to tie this issue about a possible FUTURE EVENT to the denial of the historical event of the Holocaust. Despicable.


Yes, plus I don't know of anyone who denies that the climate is changing. The Earth's climate has been constantly changing throughout geologic time. The key questions are:

1. Is human activity a significant contributor to changes in the climate?

To answer that, we need a better understanding of the natural variability of the climate. For example, we know that ice ages have come and gone naturally. What caused those events of global cooling and warming? We know that the Little Ice Age ended around 1850, which coincidentally is the point where all of the AGW crowd picks as their starting point. What caused the LIA to end? If we don't know what normal climate change is, how can we prove that the current climate change is abnormal and therefore may be human caused?

2. If the answer to 1) is yes, what is the best course of action to deal with these changes?

The current proposed methods of dealing with climate change involve transferring a great deal of power and money to global politicians and bureaucrats. Sorry, but that makes me skeptical of the purity of their motives. Another approach is to tamper with the climate but given how poorly we understand the climate, that may not end well. Another approach is to deal with the consequences. If you go back around 15,000 years ago, Canada and much of the northern US, Europe, and Asia were covered by an ice sheet thousands of feet thick. Somehow, humans survived. When some really serious global warming occurred to melt most of those ice sheets, primitive humans adapted. Are we less capable of adapting to change than our stone age ancestors?

Michael K said...

The present commotion in DC is an argument that the Civil Service concept has lost it reason to exist.

I hope they are aware of how little sympathy there is for this in the rest of the country. I doubt they are,

I like the idea of moving some of these agencies to a more central location, like Detroit or St Louis.

AllenS said...

If you analyze the time period of, say, 200,000 BC to today, please tell me what normal temperature/weather would be like without the interference of those nasty humans.

Arthur James said...

I am convinced the issue comes down to the existence of God, a higher destiny for the world and man. Trust in God; based upon faith, hope, and charity--endows believers to conquer fear. Living within personal and communal imperfection, the believer accepts the reality of a Master plan. The secular mindset sees itself as the master plan, progress based upon reason, education, and an advanced collective consciousness. The core issue is so deep, steeped in psychological complexities, social implications, emotional tendencies, political affiliations, that it is difficult to decipher the truth. It cannot be placed isolated. Overall, the climate change advocates seem intellectually rebellious--Camus' 'Rebel': rejecting the ways of man and God, attempting to define a new reality based upon the imperfection of the past. God is dead, their forefathers were wrong, and their political opponents are corrupt, vicious and selfishly wrong. Utopia is possible, within their grasp and will power. Everything is up to them. No one can disagree with them. In truth, who really has the knowledge, experience, and skills to possess a definitive answer on climate change? And if climate change does exist will the government be the entity to fix everything? Is Al Gore really a savior? It all seems so strange.

Michael K said...

We know that the Little Ice Age ended around 1850, which coincidentally is the point where all of the AGW crowd picks as their starting point. What caused the LIA to end?

Here is where we find evidence of dishonesty in people like Michael Mann. His "Hockey Stick" does not show the Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age.

Charlie Currie said...

This is not personal, it's business.

What do you do here?
Who do you report to?
Who reports to you?
How long have you been doing it?
What have you accomplished?
Where do you see yourself in five years?

Been asked, have asked.

Meet the new boss...not the same as the old boss.

Charlie Currie said...

Here's how you protect the freedom of your employees.

They are free to get on board with the new management.
And, they are free to search out other opportunities.

Original Mike said...

I don't understand this story yet. Of course the agency has to tell the Administration which employees are working on climate change in their official capacity. Likewise, if they attended the Paris conference on the government's dime that should be public record.

OTOH, I don't understand what the big rush is. You put managers in place and they direct the employees as to their new job duties. If they balk, well then you replace them.

sykes.1 said...

All the agencies of the US federal government are highly politicized and cannot be trusted to produce objective data or recommendations. We would be better served by a spoils system of political appointments to government jobs. At least they could be fired by the next administration.

Birkel said...

If those federal employees have conspired to deprive people of Life, Liberty or Property without Due Process or conspired to deny civil rights, they should be fired.

Further, they should never be eligible for federal employment or federal contracting for the rest of their natural lives.

David Begley said...

Larry J

Amen!

I would add that there is a big financial incentive to switch the US power market from oil and gas to wind and solar. Think IPOs. Solar City and Tesla are the tip of the iceberg. And both would not exist but for federal tax credits and other federal tax incentives.

Original Mike said...

"By all means, stand with the Department of Energy as it protects civil servants whose work displeases the incoming administration."

I'm disappointed in McArdle, who I generally respect. EDH said it well: "This is an argument for a permanent government uncoupled from democratic control"

""We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department," spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder told Reuters."

Sorry, Eben, you're not a university. You're a government agency. Your people are free apply for university jobds, but while you're employed by the government, you take direction from the duly elected Administration.

Bob Ellison said...

"...stand with the Department of Energy as it protects civil servants whose work displeases the incoming administration."

"Civil servants" are unicorns. Was Harry Reid ever a servant?

Individuals work for money and power, and respond naturally to the incentives they find.

Make 'em 'fess up.

This is not a matter of principle, but a matter of politics, because politics are everywhere. We have this notion that people like reporters, teachers, and weather forecasters are magically immune to politics. They're not. Wake up!

Hagar said...

Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) --> Energy Research and Development Agency (ERDA) --> Dept. of Energy (DoE).

Someone has to deal with nuclear matters - military or civil, and it is going to take more than 150 people - but whether the Federal government should engage in research and promotion of any and all "alternative energy resources" and, if so, to what extent, are legitimate political decisions for the President in office to make.

Guildofcannonballs said...

McArdle is advocating the DOE use genocide as a means to protect civil servants?

Rape too is a means.

Why is this psycho paid to write?

roesch/voltaire said...

While we are at it give me the names of the CIA officers who claimed Russia hack the emails of the Dems and Rebs. Trump will settle that issue as well.

Hagar said...

Having an opinion on CAGW is one thing, letting out billion dollar subsidies to dubious firms for solar panel production is another, as is making legitimate firms advertise for unproven theories they do not believe in by court orders and threats of further fines if they do not comply.

SDaly said...

The reason I lost all faith in government "science" is this:

The Battle of Butter Threats and attacks on freedom of speech are all coming from the gov't anointed side.

gspencer said...

They should all be reassigned to the Dept of Low Energy,* now headed by Jeb Bush.

Meaning unemployed.

The Drill SGT said...

Wilbur said...
I'd like to see the Department of Energy reduced to about 150 employees. About 2 per state oughta' do it.


You know of course that DOE owns all of the nuclear weapons in the country? They build them, store them, and hand receipt them to the military. The USAF pushes a test button each day on the weapons and if all green lights come up, things are good. If a red light comes on, they send the nuke back to DOE for repair ( a bit simple and yes, the USAF can change bulbs, and batteries, etc).

If We had a nuclear war, I have this fantasy that some surviving USAF guy would prepare a report back to some surviving NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) guy, listed all the nukes that were either "expended" e.g. used, or "Combat loss" e.g. blown up before launch. The hand receipt would be adjusted...

Sebastian said...

"By all means, stand with the Department of Energy as it protects civil servants whose work displeases the incoming administration. And when the time once again comes when government tries to silence deniers of climate change, stand with those deniers as well. It's a matter of principle, not just politics." Two problems. 1. Civil servants are supposed to take orders from their bosses, elected by us. If the people don't like it, they can pick other bosses. 2. Progs will never "stand with those deniers" and don't do principle, so forget it. Especially after O weaponized the federal bureaucracy.

The Drill SGT said...

On the primary topic. The new Admin has the right to know, what people have worked on, and align their new duties to match incoming priorities. It does not have the right to inquire about political or religious beliefs (AGW) of employees.

MadisonMan said...

My inclination is this is another broadside at the incoming administration, vaguely trying to make him seem like a Nazi, again. "First, they came for the Climate Scientists..." etc. etc. That and the nonsense stories about people rushing to save data.

McCardle seems to argue for consistency though. If you're salivating at the prospect of this happening, then you should also support the reverse when administrations change.

Oso Negro said...

Despite being a noted Trump-detester, I applaud their action to root out the radicals in the Department of Energy. Let's be honest, the Federal government, aside from the Army and Marine Corps enlisted, is 95% Democrats. D.C. voted 97% for Hillary. This must be addressed. I have long advocated what Michael mentioned in regards to relocating the Federal agencies. There is no reason whatever for Federal employees to think it is business as usual. And refusing to provide the requested names and data is insubordination.

Thorley Winston said...

Has anyone else noticed that almost every media outlet that is uncritically repeating the DOE’s assertion that this is a “witch hunt” usually doesn’t print the actual questions that the Trump transition team sent them? I found one blogger who took the time to go through all of the questions and it looks like Trump’s people asking some very uncomfortable questions like – what have you been doing, where did you get the authority to do what you’ve been doing (e.g. statutory or “somewhere else”), as well as some probing questions about various projects (e.g. grid modernization, electric cars, fusion research, etc.). Basically it looks less like a “witch hunt” than the prelude to a major “house cleaning” – which IMO is a better use for a broom.

Original Mike said...

"That and the nonsense stories about people rushing to save data."

Do you know if any of that is really happening? I can't believe people are that unhinged.

rehajm said...

At this point I'm comfortable with making them live by their own rules, reprehensible as they are.

Laslo Spatula said...

Ingmar Bergman Unfinished Script “Wheat and Oranges” —Excerpt”

“Olaf, I have gotten a job with the Government.”

“It is a bowl of soup, Sven. It is a bowl of pitiful radish soup.”

“I do not understand what you are saying, Olaf, even if I try to understand in a Godless way.”

“Your days will be spent as if a radish, floating in tasteless lukewarm broth. The broth of Government is all Hope filed away into endless cabinets. Rows of cabinets, for which you and the other radishes will retrieve one folder after another, endlessly, before putting each of them carefully back, one at a time. You will be reduced to a scribble in the margins of a yellowing paper no one will ever read.”

“But it will lead to a comfortable life, Olaf. I will be able to afford shoes.”

“Better to be barefoot in the snow, Sven, than to wear shoes while shoveling other people’s offal with bare hands.”

“Surely there is good I can do in my new position, Olaf. The Government must be good for something.”

“The Government will always refuse more than it allows, Sven. It is a headless chicken that rules the roost.”

“But the government gives wheat to the poor.”

“A man given free wheat will never tend oranges, Sven. That is the price of Government: plentiful wheat and empty orchards.”

“You speak as if Government is meaningless, Olaf.”

“Everything is meaningless, Sven. But in the midst of this meaningless universe I find hope in one orange, not in man.”

“You have given me much to think about, Olaf. Perhaps I shall wander out into the snowy forest and lose my way, beneath an uncaring sky.”

“One day, Sven, the Government will not let you do even that…”


I am Laslo.

Thorley Winston said...

Much as I generally admire Megan McCardle (who after 15 years remains one of my favorite bloggers), I don’t see the two situations she describes as analogous. The Department of Energy is part of the executive branch of the federal government which ultimately answers to the President. If one wants to argue that they can refuse Trump’s request until he’s formally sworn in next January, fine (although if I had a new boss who was starting in a month and asked me to begin working on a report for him, I’d probably wouldn’t wait until his formal start date to begin working on it). But once he is sworn in, he’s their boss and the boss has a right to ask for an accounting of what the people under him are doing including specific projects. He also has the right as the duly elected President to decide whether to allocate finite resources in support of those projects or (barring a statue to the contrary) to cancel them altogether. If they refuse to provide that information, he can and should be able to fire them. The alternative to that is to have a permanent bureaucracy which is unaccountable to the leaders that the American people elect.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute and other private organizations don’t work for the State Attorneys General and what they have to say about AGW or any other issue is their own business. As Megan pointed out correctly in her article, there was no criminal wrong doing alleged and this was simply harassment by the government of a private party for their political beliefs which is precisely the reason why we have First Amendment in the first place.

Finally, I would encourage people to actually read the questions that Trump's transition team sent to the DOE.

MadisonMan said...

Do you know if any of that is really happening? I can't believe people are that unhinged.

I know of no one rushing to save data because of Trump. Fake News IMO.

Original Mike said...

Thanks, MM. I was dismayed when I read these reports.

Francisco D said...

Get ready folks,

The next four years will be a constant bombardment from the MSM-DNC about how the Earth is dying, the rich are getting richer, racism, sexism and homophobia are resurgent and ...

wait for it ...

Homelessness is on the rise!

It's the same script every time a Republican gets elected POTUS. I have seen this movie a few times. The plot lacks verisimilitude and originality, but it gets four stars for hysteria.

Unknown said...

The Drill SGT,

You know, I hope, that the DOE doesn't actually do much of anything anymore? Actual work is contracted to private entities, and DOE mad Congress pay more or less tells the "government owned, contractor operated" facilities what they expect to see.

Oversimplified, but DOE gets general guidance from Congress (what they're interested in), proposes a budget to spend money in those areas, has the National Labs propose research or activities in those area that meet the DOE criteria, and passes out checks.

This forces politics into research, so that 'research' doesn't have to have any use, meaning or purpose outside of some Congressman's mind.

Turn weapons over to the military, where it belongs. Think DARPA for research side of the weapons complex.

rehajm said...

I'm disappointed not a single person has followed through on their promise to move to Canada.

We trusted them.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The incoming administration has a right to delve into the practices, policies and other inner workings of each and every department that they are going to be heading. EPA, State Dept, HUD, VA, and on and on. If the budgets, loans, personnel, history of the agencies is hidden, there is not going to be any easy way to properly manage the departments. Make budget adjustments. Create efficiencies.

The rats in the ship are trying to scurry around and hide.

Trump and all of his incoming appointees are going to have to go to WAR. The first year at least of this administration is going to be dealing with rebellious, traitorous, recalcitrant people who will do everything they can to not only just keep their cushy jobs, but to undermine the efforts of a Trump administration to do business.

It is WAR with the entrenched underlings, civil servants who are not servants at all. WAR. And we'd better win or else nothing good will be able to happen.

Fire the lot of them. Since they are all UNIONIZED and protected that likely won't happen. So......Transfer them to remote undesirable, miserable locations and give them shit jobs to do that can't harm anything. Store them in a backwater closet.

OH....and Global Warming is a scam.

MadisonMan said...

DOE Grants are at this page.

Wilbur said...

"You know of course that DOE owns all of the nuclear weapons in the country?'

OK, we'll let 'em have 175 employees.

Unknown said...

Hagar,

DOE has a total research focus and doesn't care about nuclear power per se. The DOE view has little interest and considers 'nuclear' not a particularly good field for research. The only real surviving interest is kind of operations research, like how do we establish reprocessing -- and since it would take longer than a decade to make it happen, this kind research never survives changing political climate in a meaningful way.

You'll get arguments to the contrary, and there are small individual efforts to the contrary that can be held up as evidence that DOE still cares about nuclear power, but look where the money goes and look at the requests for proposals put out by DOE.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the force for nuclear power. A few years ago Congress recognized DOE's failure to support the nuclear industry and gave NRC a small amount of funding to support research in issues that the industry needs, like materials research, but DOE still has the research banner and most of the money.

Original Mike said...

"You know of course that DOE owns all of the nuclear weapons in the country?'

So I guess they have the means to fight back.

Rit said...

The Department of Energy is a government agency which is run by the executive branch. The incoming Trump administration has every right to know what its staff is working on and where and how its resources are being expended so that it can re-prioritize as it sees fit.
How McArdle can believe this is the same thing as lawmakers, government agencies, and AGs attempting to do the same thing to private enterprises and corporations such as the CEI and ExxonMobil is simply beyond stupid.

Unknown said...

If the trump administration wants to get rid of all positions that primarily deal with climate change, then that is their prerogative. Much like it is any other businesses prerogative to get rid of a branch that they want to get rid of, for any reason really.

M Jordan said...

While I laud Trump sticking Democrat faces in feces of their own making, if Trump were to go full eye-for-an-eye we will devolve into a first-world Hutus/Tutsi tribal war that will never end. He must take the high road after eight awful years.

MikeR said...

I like McArdle's writing a lot, but this is silly. Trump and Perry will _run_ that organization. Sections of it that refuse to cooperate can simply be defunded - Bye! That's what any businessman would do to a section of his company that decided to rebel. The people there have fallen into an elementary trap.

McArdle was comparing this to a bunch of _lawyers_ who wanted to scare up some crime to persecute climate deniers. Not quite the same thing.

Kristian Holvoet said...

"What Trump does not have the right to do is to fire or punish the employees because they worked on things he did not like."

Unless the actions are required by law, he kinda will have a lot of authority to do just that. To lower level civil service? Nope. To policy types that 'serve at the pleasure of the President', well that kinda gives it a way, no? And if people who are in those positions are manipulating public policy on AGW that he won't support, well...start updating that CV.

Also, can you imagine a business not telling the new owner such information?

Sure. They are known as the soon-to-be-unemployed.

I can see the conversation, 'So, this is a swell chair. Fitting for a President, dontcha think? By the way, which one of youse guys decided not to give me the information I requested?'

Maybe Trump can get the two Bob's to come in a find out what people do? I don't suppose many would have a better answer then 'I have people skills, D--N IT!'

Hagar said...

I once estimated a small construction job at Sandia Labs. Their plant engineering division wanted a X4 multiplier of the estimated construction cost to review my preliminary design and estimate.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Also, can you imagine a business not telling the new owner such information?"

--> I know many bosses who know how they'd respond to that. "Since Bob's division provided no input on what they do by the due date, I must assume that they do nothing. Bob, and his division, will have their desks cleared out by noon tomorrow or a report on my desk. Their choice."

TosaGuy said...

The DOE should be moved to Williston, ND, because that is where the energy is.

DOE employees: move there or resign.

PB said...

Scientific freedom is not really a thing. "Scientists" under government employ don't have the freedom to research anything they want. Work must be approved after a proposal and funding process. Priorities change as can funding.

The same goes for university academics. If you're hired and then given tenure in a specific field/department, your work must be relevant to that field/department and it must be proposed and funded. Things change and even university researchers have to follow the direction of their bosses. You can't be hired as a plasma physicist and expect to keep your job if you desire to start researching jet skis.

Hagar said...

Sorry. I messed that up.
What plant engineering wanted was 4 times our estimated total fees for consultant design and construction phase services.
I think Sandia management compromised on allowing them just twice as much.

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree with the consensus (probably almost unanimity) above. The fundamental difference between the DOE and ExxonMobil is that the former is receiving tax money, and the latter is using private money. The former is part of the Executive branch of our govt., and, as such, is expressly and Constitutionally under the control of the President. They pretty much have no legal basis for refusing to answer the questions asked, once Trump is sworn in as President. None. No doubt, they know this, but are delaying the inevitable as long as they can, so that they can burrow in and hide as much as they can in the next month or so.

I would suggest that everyone here read the article linked by Thorley above (The DOE vs. Ugly Reality). What is pretty obvious from the article, and the questions being asked, is that the incoming Administration is anticipating a major, maybe even catastrophic, house cleaning in that department. Someone, or probably some group, has done their research, and knows where a lot of the bodies are buried there. The question about the UN IPCC conferences is just maybe the most incendiary, at least for those involved. But is really only one of 65 or so questions. My favorites, maybe, were the ones asking about Yucca Mountain (the almost completed nuclear disposal site shut down at the behest of Dingy Harry Reid).

John Taylor said...

Statements From the Swamp, brought to you, by You.

Susan said...

You'd think they'd be PROUD to list all the ways they are working on saving the planet. Something that vitally important should be easy to quantify and justify.

Or maybe people's phony baloney jobs are at stake and a report on who's doing what would let the lunch meat out of the bag.

Real American said...

I look forward to the purge.

Original Mike said...

"My favorites, maybe, were the ones asking about Yucca Mountain (the almost completed nuclear disposal site shut down at the behest of Dingy Harry Reid)."

I really want them to reopen it and name it the Harry Reid Nuclear Dump.

Rick said...

MadisonMan said...
McCardle seems to argue for consistency though. If you're salivating at the prospect of this happening, then you should also support the reverse when administrations change.


The reverse already happened so even if the most extreme interpretation of Trump's action turns out correct it's only returning government to the original status quo. Over the last several decades activist ideologues have worked with politicians to capture the bureaucracy and further an agenda they couldn't enact legislatively. Part of this is purely political like Lois Lerner's actions, but much is worse. Consider Catherine Llamon issuing a Dear Colleague letter threatening universities with losing federal funds based on the nonsensical claim that non-discrimination in education mandates schools creating kangaroo courts and hopelessly biased investigatory procedures including such specifics as requiring the preponderance of the evidence standard.

When people like James Hansen used their government positions to attack those who disagree with them it's perfectly justifiable to support returning to non - or less - politicized bureaucracy.

mikee said...

The DoE was created to handle nuclear plants that produce material for DoD weapons.
They do that extremely hazardous and essential job damn well, and will be remediating about 50 years of nuclear waste mis-disposal for likely the next 50 years. Let them keep doing that. Stop the mission creep.

Funding climate change research out of DoE? Why? Should be NOAA's concern.

Hagar said...

There is an old story about a high-ranking physicist with super-duper security clearance at Sandia Corp. who each day arrived at his bankvault office, locked the door behind him, and set to work on research in high-level nuclear physics, except that what he actually was doing was entering different versions of the Biblical texts into his computer and comparing them against each other.

mockturtle said...

Laslo's line: “The Government will always refuse more than it allows, Sven. It is a headless chicken that rules the roost.”

...is one for the ages.

Big Mike said...

I really want them to reopen it and name it the Dingy Harry Reid Nuclear Dump.

Fixed it for you, Original Mike.

Laslo Spatula said...

Thank you, Mockturtle! I was pretty proud of that one...

I am Laslo.

Chuck said...

Althouse, I am surprised that you would be at all solicitous of this Megan McArdle column. I like your opening the discussion topic, but I am thoroughly unimpressed that there is much of a debate about any "censorship" issue. I trust that "censorship" is the legal issue that interests you, and not some grand, vague debate about anthropogenic global warming writ large.

I think this McArdle column is garbage. Pretty much from start to finish. It isn't "censorship," to de-fund your federally-funded soapbox to preach Climate Change as religion. GlobalWarmists can practice their religion on their own time and their own dime. And it isn't "censorship" to change DoE policy.

I see a number of commenters here remarking that they otherwise have liked Megan McArdle's writing. I can't think of anything she has written that impressed me. Can anybody point to a link that might make me change my mind?

mockturtle said...

Some have already mentioned the issue of private contractors doing the work that our government departments are paid to do. This extends even to the Army. A young man just back from deployment in Afghanistan told me that, though he had been trained for specific IT work, private contractors were hired to actually do the work. I suspect that every government department has parallel private entities doing the work. We don't need both.

I don't want everything privatized. I just want our government functions to be run by people who look out for the interests of the country using the best and most innovative leaders to oversee them, root out the deadwood and close down operations that are obsolete. This is a real opportunity to do this if we take it.

MadisonMan said...

The DOE should be moved to Williston, ND, because that is where the energy is.

That's a simple way to drain a swamp. Move it!

Why are all the Departments in DC now? It doesn't make much sense anymore, unless you're a lobbyist. It's pretty easy to telecommute, or fly in for a meeting. The Nuts and Bolts should be moved out. Distribute the wealth, so to speak. Bonus: People get to avoid the DC Beltway.

mockturtle said...

A test of this will be Rick Perry, who advocated closing down the DOE. Will he cast his own empire onto the scrap heap? I hope so. But I won't hold my breath.

MayBee said...

It's interesting to see how much the Media-Political complex views what happens under Democratic administrations as "the norm" and Republican administrations as a potential disruption.

mockturtle said...

Why are all the Departments in DC now? It doesn't make much sense anymore, unless you're a lobbyist. It's pretty easy to telecommute, or fly in for a meeting. The Nuts and Bolts should be moved out. Distribute the wealth, so to speak. Bonus: People get to avoid the DC Beltway.

Excellent point, Madison Man! And one could realistically promote this idea as a security measure.

Seeing Red said...

I agree with Thorley.

Read the questionnaire.

MayBee said...

CNN was talking about an Oprah special that is happening tonight, where Oprah is interviewing Michelle Obama about her feelings about leaving the White House.
The reporter said Michelle Obama is disappointed about who is coming into the White House, and isn't afraid to show it, and wasn't afraid to show it when she only released a still photo of her meeting Melania Trump.

And I ask you all...can you imagine how Laura Bush would have been treated had she acted the same way, and expressed the same displeasure about Michelle Obama?

But no, you see, we are supposed to see the Obamas as wanted, and normal, and the Trumps as unwanted.

MayBee said...

Thank you, Thorley.

And I agree with all the people who find the term "deniers" to be grinding. Jake Tapper used it too. As if it's just an ok term to use.

campy said...

"You know of course that DOE owns all of the nuclear weapons in the country?'

You know of course that the US had nuclear weapons for 32 years before there was a DOE?

MikeR said...

"I see a number of commenters here remarking that they otherwise have liked Megan McArdle's writing. I can't think of anything she has written that impressed me. Can anybody point to a link that might make me change my mind?"
One of my all-time favorites: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/02/a-last-word-on-kitchens/71181/

Seeing Red said...

What Trump should do is just pick up the pen and sign an EO that all climate science is to be open sourced.

And let the hobbyists go at it with a fine tooth comb.

It would be like East Anglia GIGO.

Then Hockeystick and his ilk, if they want taxpayer money, will actually have to show their work.

Which is what needs to be done. No hiding behind university skirts.

Jack Wayne said...

McMegan claims to be a libertarian and she used to write articles about regulatory capture and what a bad thing it is. But now that she has lived in the DC bubble for a few years working for the left of center Bloomberg, she has changed. When confronted with an egregious example of regulatory capture, her first instinct is to protect the captured agency and those who have captured it. All in the name of fairness. Pretty sad.

eric said...

I am hoping that Trump turns out to be as "bad" as these people envision. They've made Trump possible. They called Bush, McCain, Romney, and every other Republican the most vile of names. You really can't be worse. Along comes Trump. Compared to the previous fellows, he is dastardly, in their view. But, what can they do?

If you call Bush names, he tries to work with you. In other words, he lets the overtone window get pulled to the left.

It seems to me Trump Yanks that window back to the right. Quite violently. And it's scaring the crap out of the progs.

I hope it's all true. I hope Trump has Reagan moments where he fires all the pilots. But, I'm cautiously optimistic. Cautious because I know the media and the left always overstate their case. Maybe Trump is just like Bush and Romney and the rest and the noise from Democrats is all hyperbolic. I hope not.

Gahrie said...

Where the science of the results of warming? If we all agree that we are warming, what are results? The idea that a warmer earth might actually be better can never enter the mind. That would kill the cause.

Not only does humanity (and all life for that matter) do better when it is warmer and worse when it is colder, the current interval of global warming began around 12,000 years ago and allowed humanity to develop agriculture and civilization.

Greg said...

'Do you know if any of that is really happening? I can't believe people are that unhinged.

I know of no one rushing to save data because of Trump. Fake News IMO.'

Students and faculty at the University of Toronto are holding a climate data storage/ rescue event because Trumps going to invade Canada to seize their data or something.

Do a search for U of T guerrilla archiving event - lots of hits

Chuck said...

Mike R:

Do you really think that McArdle column for which you provided the .url is a good one? It is an apologia for things she got significantly wrong in a prior column, and a long-winded defense of things she got half-wrong. A full column, without making a single large point for me as a reader. Nothing but her own involved naval-gazing.

Seeing Red said...

MM had a meltdown about Trump and why she was voting for Evita.

She didn't want his hand on the nuke button.

We laughed at her.

Ahh, to be a Cold War baby. She was, but it didn't connect.

It's like Pavlov's homeless, they only exist with an "R" after the name.

eric said...

mockturtle said...
Some have already mentioned the issue of private contractors doing the work that our government departments are paid to do. This extends even to the Army. A young man just back from deployment in Afghanistan told me that, though he had been trained for specific IT work, private contractors were hired to actually do the work. I suspect that every government department has parallel private entities doing the work. We don't need both.

I don't want everything privatized. I just want our government functions to be run by people who look out for the interests of the country using the best and most innovative leaders to oversee them, root out the deadwood and close down operations that are obsolete. This is a real opportunity to do this if we take it.


TSA is a good example of this. Privatise them.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"McCardle seems to argue for consistency though. If you're salivating at the prospect of this happening, then you should also support the reverse when administrations change."
*****************

But it's always a one-way-street for the progs. For example, Clinton fired all 93 US attorneys when he took office, and no one objected. But when "W" fired EIGHT of them, the Dems went bonkers.

https://www.mrc.org/biasalerts/nets-ignored-clinton-firing-93-us-attorneys-fret-over-bushs-8-3142007

And remember: civil servants (NOT political hires) are supposed to be immune from politics, BUT they are also supposed to serve the administration's policies and NOT just do what they hell they want. IOW they have to be accountable.

Today's unionized government workers open and notoriously support the Democrats, and are far removed from the idea that they are politically neutral. Trump will remind them forcefully that he's the boss.

What's REALLY interesting is that JFK allowed government workers to organize via Executive Order.

The Donald could undo that via a stroke of a pen. The public might like that, as they did when Reagan destroyed the Air Traffic Controller's union after its illegal strike.






Matthew Sablan said...

... wait.

Why weren't scientists backing up their data at external sites BEFORE today?

Big Mike said...

Thoughts about anthropogenic global warming:

(1) When I hear someone talking about AGW in terms of "believing" in it or "denying" it, I get a flashback to evangelical Christians asking me "Brother, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior"? I.e., it's like a theology question. Lefties don't like reading what I just wrote (and MadMan probably less than most), but essentially it's the same thing applied to different theologies. You have to believe in the literal truth of the New Testament or you're a heretic, and ditto for AGW. However science isn't about "belief." You don't have to believe in gravity to fall down, and disbelieving relativity doesn't explain why time dilation occurs. When I hear newscasters explain that a polar vortex is "proof" of global warming, but so too are hot days in summer, well, I realize that newscasters aren't scientists. But there's no excuse for real scientists not setting them straight.

(2) If we are getting warmer, is that necessarily bad? The whole argument for the fierce urgency of doing something -- anything! -- is that somewhere out there is a tipping point where temperatures will run away irreversibly. But so far every time anyone has tried to pin down precisely why there would be a tipping point, it gets back to Michael Mann's hockey stick graph, which competent mathematicians debunked almost immediately. Perhaps MadMan is aware of other studies that don't rely on crap mathematics conclude that a tipping point is out there, somewhere, but I'm not aware of any.

Also, it has not escaped my notice that available research claims that there were periods of time in the geological past when temperatures were warmer and CO2 concentrations higher. Why didn't we get runaway then?

Meanwhile no one seems to be asking whether warmer winters will mean fewer people freezing to death (not to mention less CO2 released into the air to heat our homes!) and whether longer growing seasons in the north central plains states and western Canadian provinces will mean fewer people will starve.

(3) If global warming is real and is bad -- which I don't necessarily concede -- is cap and trade the right way to deal with it? Or is cap and trade merely another way for the disgustingly rich to amass even more wealth at the expense of poor people? I see very little in cap and trade other than legally-sanctioned graft on the part of very wealthy donors to the Democrat party.

(4) Meanwhile, there are climate scientists who note that the Little Ice Age correlated with a period of extremely low sunspot activity. While correlation is not necessarily causation, it is more than a little scary to note that the sun seems to be entering another period of extremely low sunspot activity. Russian scientists have been warning about this for years.

(5) And finally the models. The unvalidated, or at best poorly validated, models. I have to wonder whether the same model developers contributed to the Clinton campaign model that predicted a five percentage point win for Clinton in Michigan? There's a reason why competent mathematical modelers validate their models before relying on them, even at the "back of the envelope" level of modeling.

And when I see that great scientist John Travolta warning about the dangers of AGW after flying around on his very own 707 using original, highly polluting, engines, then I have to agree with Glenn Reynolds -- I'll believe in AGW when the people who claim to believe in AGW act like they really do believe in AGW.

Original Mike said...

"Why weren't scientists backing up their data at external sites BEFORE today?"

I guess Trump's storm troopers are going to commandeer those sites, hence the need to store data in another country.

To the extent that any of these "data saving" activities are true, it really calls into question the judgement of people who are asking us to trust them with respect to their research results.

Matthew Sablan said...

Why not... just release the data?

Kristian Holvoet said...

TSA is a good example of this. Privatise them.

But then how will they perform the security theater required to convince the proles that the government is keeping them safe? And covering up the mess that is our airports, which require an external throttle to keep people from seeing how inefficient flying really is.

I believe that absent the TSA, flying wouldn't be hardly be any better due to obsolete and bad facilities, bad union contracts, bad location. It is to the airline industry's benefit that they can blame everything on a, essentially unaccountable, government entity.

MadisonMan said...

(2) If we are getting warmer, is that necessarily bad?

For us land-locked, probably not. An ice sheet melting would cause more difficulty along the coast. All those man-made Chinese Islands would be submerged.

I think the more important problem is the increase in CO2 and its effect on ocean chemistry. You don't really need a model to predict what happens as more and more CO2 dissolves in seawater.

Big Mike said...

@MadMan, I was typing the above while you posted your comment at 10:08. Yes to the need to move agencies out across the country. Does the DOE do a worse job because it is located in Germantown, roughly midway between DC and Frederick, MD, than if it was located on the mall? I note that the agency people think of first when they think of government -- the Social Security Administration -- gets its checks out to retired folks like me on time each month despite (or is it because of?) being located in Baltimore.

Maybe you and I can find common ground after all, MadMan.

But offer still stands -- let a skeptical mathematician and experienced stochastic modeler (that'd be me) review your data and your methods section of a recent paper and let me tell you whether I agree with your methods and conclusion.

Kristian Holvoet said...

Why not... just release the data?

More crazy talk. People in flyover country aren't sophisticated enough to understand how the data has to be normalized to show warming. The unsophisticated might see the adjustments as an attempt to force the model to emit the desired results, rather than work from hard data and seeing where it leads. As Dr. Covey says, "Begin with the end in mind" (but don't let them catch you!)

mockturtle said...

Big Mike says, aptly: You don't have to believe in gravity to fall down, and disbelieving relativity doesn't explain why time dilation occurs.

I would propose that God exists, whether one believes him or not. ;-)

Big Mike said...

@MadMan, but if the CO2 is dissolving in seawater, is it heating up the atmosphere as greenhouse gas?

Given the volume of CO2 dissolving in seawater, which (back of the envelope calculation!) should be proportional to the surface area of the oceans, and the total volume of the seawater in our oceans (which is, well, a volume and not particularly related to surface area) I wonder whether there would be any measurable impact on pH for millions of years.

Big Mike said...

@mockturtle, the universe doesn't make sense to me mathematically if there is a personal God. I could be wrong. I'm seventy, so I'll find out sooner rather than later.

Drago said...

roesch/voltaire: "While we are at it give me the names of the CIA officers who claimed Russia hack the emails of the Dems and Rebs. Trump will settle that issue as well."

The fact that you are being utterly dishonest in the characterization of what was actually being requested (Having the CIA reps come in to a secure hearing with the appropriate governmental House Intelligence Oversight Committee and share the information that is already being leaked by someone at the CIA to public sources) tells us just about everything we need about you.

So, the newest anti-Trump modified limited hangout is that the federal departments should never have to share any information about their activities to any republicans at any time.

Original Mike said...

"I'll find out sooner rather than later."

Ahh, but you won't.

Eric Landgraf said...

Ann,
Have you received, read & analyzed the 70 interrogatory questions that the Trump team sent to the DOE? It is out there on the internet. Here is a useful link:https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/10/the-doe-vs-ugly-reality/STOP

Yes, I love the comments sections attending each query.

MY take is the questions simply represent those interrogatory statements that employers would ask the employees of a newly acquired business firm upon the completion of a M&A event. Queries like the ones contained in the link article are normal for employees of firms being sorted out after a takeover. Essentially the new management team wants to know what is going on and where do projects and operations stand. I don't see any 1st Amendment rights violations in these questions. When you take the ruler's gold or lick his salt then you must play by his rules. I understand this sort of job requirement also occurs at mid-western B1G universities.


OBTW, I understand the EPA is targeted for a similar treatment, as is the DOJ / OCR. Life in WDC is going to get really exciting. My sister's ex-sister-in-law is freaked out that EPA is next in line. She is searching for a safe space even as I type this reply. When you work in a governmental unit that is not established by statute you run these risks. WELCOME to reality missy.

n.n said...

It's an assessment, not an abortion rite.

Gahrie said...

The unsophisticated might see the adjustments as an attempt to force the model to emit the desired results, rather than work from hard data and seeing where it leads.

Take one of the alarmists' graphs, remove all the actual data from it leaving behind only the adjustments made by the scientists to the actual data, and you have something that looks exactly like Mann's hockey stick.......

mockturtle said...

@mockturtle, the universe doesn't make sense to me mathematically if there is a personal God.

Ah, but it makes perfect sense to God. ;-)

GRW3 said...

I found the list of seventy four (74) questions on another website. Anybody at management level who has ever been involved in the "acquired" side of an acquisition would recognize them. Billionaires have Acquisition Lawyers on staff and that's the obvious source of this. The freedom of research is a red herring:
1) Nobody is stopping them from quitting and doing their own research, working for the taxpayer they need to do the work we want done.
2) DOE isn't fight club, they publish the heck out or their opinions. A Google Scholar search of DOE garnered 1,630,000 references in 0.06 seconds.

No, I think the real angst comes from the repeated inquiries in multiple questions: "What is the statutory justification for the effort?" or the similar "What is the statutory justification for this position?".

I know that the questionnaire was pulled back as a mistake. Sure. I bet. This was a shot across the bow. Smart DOE managers will have this information available Jan 20. Smart managers in other agencies will be ready too because this was meant as a signal to the whole federal government.

This is not a change in administration. This is an acquisition.




Dave D said...

"You don't really need a model to predict what happens as more and more CO2 dissolves in seawater."

Shellfish and aquatic plant life would flourish? Duh!

Original Mike said...

"I know that the questionnaire was pulled back as a mistake. Sure. I bet. This was a shot across the bow. Smart DOE managers will have this information available Jan 20. Smart managers in other agencies will be ready too..."

I was disappointed that it was "pulled back" but you're right, This might even be better. See who's done their homework and who hasn't.

Original Mike said...

"Take one of the alarmists' graphs, remove all the actual data from it leaving behind only the adjustments made by the scientists to the actual data, and you have something that looks exactly like Mann's hockey stick......."

That's what I've read. Would be interested if the claim has been rebutted.

boycat said...

Back in the 60s Willam F Buckley was prescient when he said "a liberal is someone who is determined to reach into your shower and adjust the water temperature for you," because "climate change" is nothing but precisely that in action. The tell is it only calls for other people to change, you and me, but not those in charge. The Al Gores and such get to keep on keeping on with their showers as warm as they want. We see this double standard in all communist countries, and Orwell wrote of it in Animal Farm.

Hagar said...

You don't really need a model to predict what happens as more and more CO2 dissolves in seawater.

It settles out as limestone?

exhelodrvr1 said...

""Why weren't scientists backing up their data at external sites BEFORE today?"

That has been a problem with this - several years ago, one of the large OK groups involved with this "research" actually lost the raw data that was used for their calculations, and just had the adjusted values.

rcocean said...

So now that we have a Republican president who might get rid of them liberal/Democrat employees its "We need to protect the independence of our civil servants" and "Its Joe McCarthy all over again".

Of course, when Clinton and Obama got rid of conservative/Republican employees, it was no big whoop.

rcocean said...

Trump has a perfect right to know who in the DoE is a big Climate change supporter. Not only might they replace them with someone who supports Trump's position, but they need to know who might sabotage any policy changes.

Nixon and Reagan both had a problem with liberal/Democrat civil servants who tried to sabatoge their policies while pretending to be "objective" and "Neutral"

MadisonMan said...

I wonder whether there would be any measurable impact on pH for millions of years.

I don't know of a whole lot of measurements, but there is one in the IPCC report, and it does show a pH reduction of about 0.05 or thereabouts.

Also:

@MadMan, but if the CO2 is dissolving in seawater, is it heating up the atmosphere as greenhouse gas?

It is increasing in the atmosphere and also dissolving. I vaguely recall a ~30% into the ocean figure, but I can't find that right now with a web search.

Original Mike said...

"several years ago, one of the large OK groups involved with this "research" actually lost the raw data that was used for their calculations, and just had the adjusted values."

"We lost it". (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

hombre said...

Most transparent administration ever. Lol.

Also, this: "If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations." Hans Von Storch, Climate Scientist, U. Of Hamburg (mainstream warmist), Editor, "Climate Research", interviewed in "Der Spiegel," 6/2013

So, expect the warmists to remain in denial until 2018, projecting denial onto their adversaries as all good lefties do.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"You don't really need a model to predict what happens as more and more CO2 dissolves in seawater."

**********************

Oh yes you freakin' do. CO2 forms a weak acid when dissolved in ocean water, and the ocean itself has many buffering agents that limit H2CO3's effects.

https://www.eolss.net/Sample-Chapters/C01/E6-18-03-03.pdf

On top of that, the bazillions of creatures in the ocean, from whales to plankton, take arbonates into their bodies, effectively removing H2CO3 from the ocean.

It's a very complex system.

Jupiter said...

An awful lot of people seem to imagine that the President can fire federal employees at will. That is not true. They have a union.

The President can install a new director at the agency, who can attempt to force the lifers there to do things differently. Good luck with that.

The federal bureaucracy always grows, its funding always increases, and it always becomes more independent. This is called the "ratchet effect". I hope Trump can do something about it, but I doubt it. These guys are expert at playing the Legislative branch against the Executive branch to protect their entrenched positions. They have been doing nothing else since they got out of college.

Original Mike said...

"An awful lot of people seem to imagine that the President can fire federal employees at will. That is not true. They have a union."

I read today that the union, or I guess permission for it, stems from an Executive Order by JFK. Is there more backstopping it than that?

Perhaps Trump should give Scott Walker a call. My wife's state union abruptly disappeared a couple of years ago.

Hagar said...

"several years ago, one of the large OK groups involved with this "research" actually lost the raw data that was used for their calculations, and just had the adjusted values."

I think you are talking about East Anglia University, the original source of all this, and they did not "lose" the data; they trucked all the original paperwork collected from sources across the globe off to the rubbish dump.

Chuck said...

eric said...
...
TSA is a good example of this. Privatise them.

Or, alternatively, militarize them. Just don't leave them as they are, as unionized federal paycheck-cashers.
I hate to say it but it is true; John McCain was one of the lead Republicans in caving to Dem pressure on that when they opened the TSA post 9/11/01.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The establishment of religion clause mandates firing the retards. They believe in magic of co2 concentration forming a glass hot house over the earth at a certain area of the atmosphere.

That odd belief has been exposed as a total myth thousands of times...but they cling to their grants and their religion.

tim in vermont said...

Anyone seen the new paper out that tries to validate Mann's hockey stick? Spoiler alert, Mann's premise fails and the whole thing falls apart and the assertion that this is the warmest in a thousand years dies with it. Turns out that the skeptics were right.

http://m.pnas.org/content/early/2016/12/07/1610156113.long

Maybe Mann can get a court order to suppress the paper!

mockturtle said...

Once again, the late, great George Carlin had it down: Save the Planet

Original Mike said...

"I think you are talking about East Anglia University, ..."

I wondered if he was referring to a separate incident. Perhaps he'll tell us.

steve uhr said...

Since Trump and his businesses own a lot of coastal property around the world, he will probably become a convert to the majority position purely for selfish reasons.

tim in vermont said...

Models proved that Hillary was going to be president. The math was fine, probably, they fell down on the assumptions.

tim in vermont said...

Why Steve? The way to make real money is to bet against idiots when everyone else still believes them. Maybe you should watch The Big Short again but think about the elite all believing some different model, instead of the mortgage one.

Naah! That's critical thinking! Can't do that!

steve uhr said...

Tim -- I never saw The Big Short but will try to this weekend since too much snow and cold to go anywhere here in cold (burrr) Minnesota.

sunsong said...

Meanwhile there is unconscionable slaughter going on in Syria. A much higher priority to many of us...

sunsong said...

Meanwhile...'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?'

exhelodrvr1 said...

Hagar,
Thanks for the correction - you are right, that is what I was referring to. (I didn't remember the specifics.)

steve uhr said...

It's sort of like Pascal's Wager. Even if global warming highly unlikely, if you stand to lose a lot of $$ if it is true, then you want other people to pay $$$$ to prevent the small possibility that you will lose $$.

Unknown said...

The current administration already decides what type of research they will fund. Do you think Dept Energy gives out grants to deniers? hahahahha Yet they don't want to admit that the boss (ie, the pres) gets to decide what work to fund. More or less to windmills, solar, nuclear, climate change, social cost of carbon, super computing--it is all decided from the top. Some is given out as basic disciplinary grants, but not much. I worked at Nat'l labs 14 yrs and applied for grants, so I know a little about it.

Original Mike said...

Blogger steve uhr said..."Since Trump and his businesses own a lot of coastal property around the world, he will probably become a convert to the majority position purely for selfish reasons."

One thing that's always puzzled me is some people's complete lack of recognition of time scales. Trump is 70 years old.

eric said...

Blogger steve uhr said...
Since Trump and his businesses own a lot of coastal property around the world, he will probably become a convert to the majority position purely for selfish reasons.


There is another option explained many years ago by John Stossel. He was talking about rich people buying homes in dangerous places. Like Malibu, where mud slides destroy this million dollar homes all the time. What happens when the home is destroyed?

The government pays. Especially if insurance doesn't cover it.

This is the sort of thing money goes to when you have a Katrina, for example. Trump has insurance, I'm sure. But if something happens to destroy his property not covered by insurance will most likely be bad enough to effect lots more people than trump. And they'll all be made whole by government monies.

MayBee said...

Did all the Democrats just discover Aleppo since Trump's election or something?

Do you guys know about Yemen, Sunsong?

Bob Ellison said...

I plan to record some of the Althouse commenters in the voice of the Superfriends narrator.

tim in vermont said...

I wonder if Sunnsong, who supports Hillary, thinks about Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State sending weapons into Syria and escalating the violence there? Naah!

JaimeRoberto said...

"Matthew Sablan said...
Why not... just release the data?"

No, no, no, you have it backwards, my friend. Data paid for by taxpayers should remain private while Exxon, a private entity, should release all its communications.

SukieTawdry said...

This request reeks of witch-hunting people because they might have views on climate change that our president-elect, or someone on his staff, dislike. That is no way to run an organization, or a nation.

And yet it's the way the Obama administration has run the Executive Branch and Democratic governors and state attorneys general have run their states and departments.

That’s why we establish a very broad and neutral principle that you don’t go after anyone for what they believe, whether those ideas are right or wrong, whether they are held by a government employee or a corporation, and whether those who hold them are in power or out of it.

I think it's perfectly permissible to "go after" people in government for what they believe if their ideas result in bad policy or harmful regulations. We're not asking that they be sent to the gulag, only that they be removed from positions of authority. The DOE and EPA are rife with people who use the excuse of environmental and climate concerns to run rampant over our lives and seek to make us march exclusively to their drummers. If Trump, and his secretaries, can clean out these nests of petty tyrants, he will go a long way to securing my vote next time out.

By the way, Megan, we on the right try very hard not to violate your "very broad and neutral principle." They on the left, not so much.

gadfly said...

The Department of Energy is involved in things such as carbon-based energy commodity pricing, operating power plants, giving away money to so-called renewable energy sources while at the same time working vigorously to block development of Thorium-based power, while blessing every known cause sponsored by conservationists.

In 2016, Energy spent $27 billion and employed 16,000 overpaid unionist bureaucrats. The biggest category of spending fell to "Nuclear Security" in the amount of $11.5 billion! Does it really take that much spending to secure atomic weapons and why isn't that a Defense Department budget item? Then there is $5 billion for "Science" and I fear that means "climate-control non-science."

Now the facilities under Energy control are further protected by your Congressperson every year. We cannot be dumping unneeded federal facilities, ya know. Reagan was right that the Department of Energy should be downsized and it would have been far easier back then.

I know that Megan McArdle leans left but her attempt to protect worthless Democrat bureaucrats is a bridge too far. I say we downsize the Department and eliminate most of its regulations - then we can use the $13.5 billion to open the safest, cleanest energy around by authorizing the Thorium Molten Salt Reactors strategically across the country.

If they need another new project for Energy, we need to find a better way to distribute electricity without depending upon the massive and vulnerable grid networks now in place. With all this spending, youda thunk the problem would have been solved already.



Bob Loblaw said...

If you work for your political party instead of your employer you're out.

I'd like to see civil service rules scrapped for this reason. Too many government bureaucrats were acting as agents for the Democratic party in the last election. It's so bad who could believe the CIA when they say Russia did this or that during the election? Is it real, or is it something they're putting out for partisan advantage?

Original Mike said...

"I think it's perfectly permissible to "go after" people in government for what they believe if their ideas result in bad policy or harmful regulations. We're not asking that they be sent to the gulag, only that they be removed from positions of authority."...

...per the results of the recent election.

Amen.

SukieTawdry said...

@wholelottaesplainin': For example, Clinton fired all 93 US attorneys when he took office, and no one objected. But when "W" fired EIGHT of them, the Dems went bonkers.

It's customary for incoming presidents to ask for US attorney resignations. Reagan did it, so did Bush II. It's unusual, however, for a president to fire his own appointees mid term. It's the president's prerogative, of course, but some of those firings did seem a little suspect.

I hope Donald Trump doesn't ask for US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara's resignation.

Michael said...

sunsong
"Meanwhile there is unconscionable slaughter going on in Syria. A much higher priority to many of us."

What does this mean, this "much higher priority to many of us?" That you "care" more about it than this thing we are talking about here? More important than Trump's election? Than Brexit?

I can see that the statement is meant to show you have mounted a high horse, but which one?

Michael K said...

Reagan did it, so did Bush II. It's unusual, however, for a president to fire his own appointees mid term. It's the president's prerogative, of course, but some of those firings did seem a little suspect.

No, Bush DID NOT fire them when he tok office because the Democrats were slow walking every appointment through confirmation. They had the Senate when Jeffords flipped. As a result, all through Bush's term he had the Clinton DoJ doing sabotage all the time. Senator Ted Stevens was one victim of abuse of prosecution.

By the time the miscarriage was corrected, he was out of office and dead.

So when Department of Justice prosecutors chose to have the senator indicted less than 100 days before the 2008 elections, those who knew him were stunned. The senator pleaded not guilty (emphatically) and demanded a speedy trial, wanting to clear his name before November.


“This case is about concealment,” the Department of Justice’s lead lawyer stated in her opening statement, claiming that the senator had concealed that he had not paid full value for renovations to his modest Alaska cabin. In fact, Ted Stevens and his wife had paid more than $160,000 for renovations that independent appraisers valued at less than $125,000 at the time.


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But relying on false records and fueled by testimony from a richly rewarded “cooperating” witness that the senator was merely “covering his ass” when he wrote a note stating that his desire to comply with all Senate rules, government prosecutors convinced jurors to find the him guilty just eight days before the general election, which he lost by less than 2 percent of the vote. The cooperating witness, wealthy Alaska businessman Bill Allen, was testifying for his own freedom (he was guilty of unrelated crimes), that of his children (who received immunity from prosecution after the government apparently threatened them) and the ability to sell his company for hundreds of millions of dollars.


That is why Bush should have fired them all and why Democrats raised a stink when Gonzales tried to get rid of the most partisan.

Todd Roberson said...

Where is Rhythm & Balls?

Michael K said...

What's REALLY interesting is that JFK allowed government workers to organize via Executive Order.

The Donald could undo that via a stroke of a pen. The public might like that, as they did when Reagan destroyed the Air Traffic Controller's union after its illegal strike.


Yes, the dot gov Civil Service employees can't be fired without cause but the union is based on an EO and another one can kill it.

It will be interesting to see if Trump has the guts to do so.

Since Trump and his businesses own a lot of coastal property around the world, he will probably become a convert to the majority position purely for selfish reasons.

This is such a silly assertion. There are ports and stone piers and docks in the Mediterranean that are thousands of years old.

A few places have sunk but many are in areas like deltas and river estuaries.

There is no evidence that oceans have risen in a thousand years.

Hagar said...

Outside my late sister's house, there is a Roman causeway that is under water at high tide, but that is because the south of England is sinking due to the teeter-totter effect of Scotland sill rising after the last glaciation.

Hagar said...
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Hagar said...
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The Drill SGT said...

Unknown said...
The Drill SGT,

You know, I hope, that the DOE doesn't actually do much of anything anymore? Actual work is contracted to private entities,


DOE is our firm's largest customer

Big Mike said...
Does the DOE do a worse job because it is located in Germantown, roughly midway between DC and Frederick, MD


DOE HQ is on the DC Mall in the Forrestal Building. I have staff at both locations.

The DOE should be moved to Williston, ND, because that is where the energy is.

My DOE Nuclear Engineering customer is in Idaho, as are some of the staff that support him.

tim in vermont said...

Sunsong is probably responding to Slate's tweet about Trump ordering the bombing of Aleppo. Because, you know, Obama, Hillary, and Kerry sure aren't responsible for the clusterfuck they created.

SukieTawdry said...

@Michael K: Yes, the dot gov Civil Service employees can't be fired without cause but the union is based on an EO and another one can kill it.

I think it would be difficult in the extreme to kill federal public employees unions with a stroke of the executive pen, but I'd sure like to see someone try. At the very least it would get the conversation going.

Not only do federal employees have the protections of civil service law and their unions, they have the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) to which they can appeal if they are fired for cause. When some VA mucky-mucks were fired after the scandal erupted, they appealed to the MSPB. The board restored them to their former positions. Their reasoning? That there were other people in the system who were guilty of the same infractions and had not been fired.

If we were to apply that standard to criminal law, we would not be able to prosecute any crime unless we apprehend and bring to justice everyone who has committed that crime. Since the MSPB was created by Congress, it's they who would have to deal with it. So lottsa luck.

Big Mike said...

@Drill SGT, I understand that the real day to day work is done in the Germantown facility.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...

I see a number of commenters here remarking that they otherwise have liked Megan McArdle's writing. I can't think of anything she has written that impressed me. Can anybody point to a link that might make me change my mind?

She is better than almost all NRO writers.

Achilles said...

sunsong said...
Meanwhile there is unconscionable slaughter going on in Syria. A much higher priority to many of us...

This will be one of the biggest blemishes on the legacy of President Barrack Hussein Obama, who happens to still be in charge retard.

But he is going to retaliate against Russia for hacks that cost democrats political power dontya know. We know what really motivates the left. You people don't give 2 shits about the people of aleppo.

Welcome back anti-war protesters! We missed you!

JAORE said...

" A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario."

Well many of the AGW crowd are now "deniers" that there has been a pause.

Adjustments must and have been made.

The dogma ate my baseline data.

Adjustments were made.... but not recorded.

The data came from one or more of the cherry trees in that orchard. Sorry don't remember which tree(s) or which limb(s). But it must be valid. We all use it.

I can not recall which department (Interior) where the Sec. said words to the effect, we don't want any deniers working here. I must have missed the outrage.

I have, FWIW and partially tongue in cheek,proposed two new, massive Federal Centers. One in North Dakota. One in Death Valley. Employees to be relocated to ND around October. Back to Death Valley in June. In actuality you could move some high profile obstructionists to field offices with no loss in pay and be OK under merit protection. "Here's your new office/broom closet sir or ma'am. See you in four to eight years".

Word would get around.

Hagar said...

Trump may not be able to abolish gov't employee unions with the stroke of a pen, but he surely could stop the Treasury withholding union dues from their paychecks?

sdharms said...

if you read the 85 interrogatories that were posed to the DOE by the transition team you will see that they are GOOD BUSINESS PRACTICE. Every incoming dept should do this-- just like a newly hired CFO hires a thorough external audit . How can you govern if you don't know what has been going on? You cant. this is how companies decline also, the top level people get prevented from knowing what is really going on.

hombre said...

"Where is Rhythm & Balls?"

There is probably a food fight in the cafeteria.

zefal said...

She uses "climate change" instead of "global warming" is a giveaway that she is an apostle of the fraudulent scince that backs up their claims. The period of time since the industrial revolution hasn't seen anything unusual in change. The earth was already in a warming trend after the little ice age. The amount of glacier melting that has occured is a fraction of percentages of the total loss of glacier mass in the last 12,000 years. The earth isn't a sealed glass tube and doesn't have the same thermal dynamics of such. That's is the only "proof" they have now that the tree ring proxies have been thoroughly debunked.