The Mueller Report: A Few Reasonable Inferences

It’s only a few days since the Mueller Report has been issued, and we still know very little about it — basically only what has been set forth in the four-page summary letter sent to Congress by AG William Barr on Sunday. The key lines in the Barr letter are on pages 2 and 4, both quoting from the Mueller Report itself:

Page 2: “‘[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.’”

Page 4: “‘[T]he evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.’”

That may not seem like a lot. But as little as it is, there are some obvious inferences to be drawn — inferences which are extremely damning to the FBI, the Justice Department, the media, and most important, to the prior administration of Barack Obama and to Obama himself. . . .

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The Five Dumbest Things In The New York Times Coverage Of The Issuance Of The Mueller Report

The Mueller Report has been issued. At this moment, no one has actually yet seen it, other than a few top guys at the Justice Department — Barr, Rosenstein, maybe a handful of others. Nobody knows what’s in it, except for one thing: according to a “top Justice Department official” (probably Barr or Rosenstein), there are going to be no more indictments, whether relating to Russian “collusion” or anything else. Oh, wait a minute. Before today, there also had been zero indictments for anything having to do with “collusion” with the Russians by Trump or his campaign. So that one little thing that we know means that, after almost two years of investigation by Mueller and his team, and after another year plus of investigation by the FBI before that, the vast and awesome armies of our Justice apparatus have found exactly nothing in the way of criminal “collusion” between Trump or his campaign and the Russians.

Now of course, the New York Times cannot just pretend that this issuance of this Report is not happening. They have to cover it, and in a big way. (Same with the Washington Post. But, since I don’t get the Washington Post, I’ll have to let you read about their shame at other sites, for example at PowerLine.). Trying to live up to their readers’ expectations, the Times fills up oodles of space with “coverage” — about two-thirds of page A1 (three news articles), all of pages A14, A15, A16 and A17, the only unsigned editorial of the day on page A24, and an op-ed on page A25 by one Caroline Fredrickson (President of the American Constitution Society).

But what are we going to say? I mean, we are supposedly the most credible among credible mainstream media sources and we have now spent well over two years hyping this Russian “collusion” thing in dozens of pieces in an obvious attempt to damage if not bring down the President. And now it comes to nothing? Everything we’ve said about this for two plus years has been wrong? What are we going to say???? . . .

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On The "Cost" Of The Green New Deal

A few weeks ago on February 7 and 8, I had a couple of posts (here and here) commenting on the so-called Green New Deal, which had just been dropped on Congress by the team of Socialist it-girl Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and long-time Massachusetts Congressman and now Senator Edward Markey. In those posts, I did not attempt to put any “cost” figures on these proposals, but rather offered this general reaction:

In short, in the aggregate, this would be the total takeover of all economic activity in the United States.

According to the FAQ released along with the GND resolution, at least the following Democratic candidates for President support the GND: Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Jeff Merkeley, Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Jay Inslee.

In the interim, a few intrepid souls have gone where I had not, and have put some fairly specific cost estimates on the socialists’ proposals. Most notably, there is something called the American Action Forum, headed by Douglas Holtz-Eakin. On February 25, AAF came out with a Research Report titled “The Green New Deal: Scope, Scale, and Implications,” with Holtz-Eakin as the lead author. Holtz-Eakin is not nobody in this game, having headed the CBO for about three years (2003-05) during the George W. Bush administration. If there’s anybody who ought to be able to put credible cost figures on proposals for new government programs, it would be a former head of CBO. The fact that CBO is a non-partisan operation would also seem to give an added level of credibility to the conclusions of its former leaders.

After introducing their Report with a series of qualifiers (e.g., many of the changes “are impossible to quantify at this point”), the AAF guys nonetheless forge ahead with the exercise to at least put some broad ranges on the potential costs. In the aggregate the sums of the lows and highs of their ranges come to about $51 trillion to $93 trillion over the course of the 10 year span of the GND. The $93 trillion figure is the one most frequently attributed to the Report in subsequent press accounts.

$93 trillion compares to total U.S. GDP currently running at about $20 trillion per year. In other words, if you think that Holtz-Eakin and AAF are right, or even close to right, then they are saying that the GND will “cost” close to half of the entire U.S. GDP over the next decade or so. . . .

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More Flagrant Alteration Of The Past: Patrick Moore As Founder Of Greenpeace

By far the most-read posts on this site are the ones in my now twenty-two part series The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time. The specific subject of that series is the alteration by government bureaucrats of historical temperature data in the ongoing campaign to convince the public that there is dangerous global warming going on. At this point, the showing that earlier-year temperatures have been materially altered downward is completely definitive, made by simple comparison of currently-published official data to previously-published official data that can still be found online. Yet the bureaucrats at NOAA and NASA continue to disseminate the altered data, and even to make further ongoing “adjustments” to make the past appear to have been even cooler. And every time a NOAA or a NASA puts out a new breathless press release about the current year or month being the “hottest ever,” you can count on a dozen or more mainstream media sources to parrot the announcement without ever mentioning that the result derives entirely from fraudulently altered data.

The past has been changed. It’s official! Comparisons to the alteration of history by Stalin are completely appropriate.

In the last week, we have seen an even more ridiculous effort to change history in the enforcement of climate change orthodoxy. You may already have seen several references to it, but let me take you through the timeline of the story.

A week ago today (March 12) a guy named Patrick Moore appeared on the Fox morning news program “Fox and Friends.” I didn’t see the show, but apparently during his segment Moore was identified as a “co-founder” of the Greenpeace environmental group. Moore also took the occasion to call the so-called climate crisis “fake science.”

It seems that President Trump was watching the show. . . .

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"Pied-à-Terre" Tax Brings Excitement To The Air In New York City

What brings excitement to the air in your home town? Perhaps some annual festival, or the first flowers of spring, or maybe the arrival of the Christmas season? Well, here in New York it’s a little different. We feel excitement in the air when our politicians finally figure out how to stick it to the evil rich people who are so offending us by coming here and spending their money. And thus right now there’s some real excitement in the air, because we are about to teach those sinister people the lesson of a lifetime in the form of a brand new “pied-à-terre” tax.

Just a couple of months ago — January 23 to be precise — things were different. Then, it wasn’t excitement that was in the air, but rather the seething resentment felt by all right-thinking highly-successful Manhattanites when they find out that there is somebody out there who is even more successful and is going around showing off the wealth. January 23 was the day that the Wall Street Journal reported that a hedge fund guy from Chicago by the name of Ken Griffin had just closed on the purchase of the most expensive home ever bought in the United States. The home in question is a multi-level penthouse apartment at a new tower just being completed on Central Park South, lately known as “billionaires’ row.” The Journal reported the closing price as $238 million. Worse still, Griffin doesn’t even live principally in New York; and even on top of that, he’s been going around snapping up hugely expensive properties in one city after another. . . . Really, can we stand for this? . . .

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How Much Do The Climate Crusaders Plan To Increase Your Cost Of Electricity? -- Part V

How Much Do The Climate Crusaders Plan To Increase Your Cost Of Electricity? -- Part V

Over the past few years, I seem to have developed something of a specialty in tracking the costs of trying to run an electrical grid using more and more power sourced from the intermittent renewables, wind and solar. I started looking into this subject because it appeared to me to be obviously a huge issue that must be addressed if one is going to attempt to replace fossil fuels with these renewables; but hardly anyone else seemed to be paying attention to this. On the side of the climate crusaders, you just get one unbelievably naive piece after another. For example, here is one of my favorites from the New York Times of February 6, 2018, “Why a Big Utility Is Embracing Wind and Solar,” by Justin Gillis and Hal Harvey, taking the position that a utility “will be able to build and operate the new [wind and solar] plants for less money than it would have to pay just to keep running its old, coal-burning power plants.” So, just knock down the old coal plants and put up some new, cheaper wind turbines and solar panels! Your electricity will come from clean and green sources, and the planet will be saved. What could be easier?

The missing piece is that the wind and sun provide power only intermittently, and cannot on their own keep a grid for millions of people up and running and functioning continuously. They need either some kind of 100% backup which is idle much of the time but ready to go at all times, or alternatively storage for what could be many days — or even a month or more — of power. Does that add a little or a lot to the costs? How would you know? Believe me, Gillis and Harvey — and many others of their ilk — do not and will not address this issue.

For some background on this subject, here are a few of my previous pieces:

I return to this subject today because a Minnesota-based think tank called the Center of the American Experiment (CAE) is just out with a big Report . . . .

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