A Few Comments On The Latest Revelations Of FBI Corruption

Apologies to all for not being on the job when yesterday's big New York Times compilation of the latest FBI leaks dropped on the world. . . .

In the intervening day since the latest FBI revelations, a few thousand commentators have already thrown in their thoughts on the situation.  Rather than repeat what many others have already said, I will just offer a few observations.

First, I told you so.  On the question of FBI, and Obama administration, surveillance of the Trump campaign, sadly things are playing out just as I predicted over a year ago (April 7, 2017), in a post titled "Reasonable Inferences About The Weird Obsession With Russia."  The gist of that post was that you would be very unlikely to go wrong by inferring, even from what was known then, that high-ranking officials in the Obama administration had succumbed to the overwhelming temptation to use the tools of state surveillance to advantage their political friends and disadvantage their enemies.

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At Pravda, Touching Faith In The Perfection Of Government Bureaucrats

You knew it would come sooner or later, and then yesterday, there it was:  the New York Times lead editorial loudly calling for a world-wide ban on "trans fats."  The headline was "Making Trans Fats History," or, in the online version, "The World Doesn't Need Trans Fats."   Obviously, these things are evil -- poisonous, really -- foisted on us by the massive industrial corporations sometimes known as "big food."  Excerpt:

Trans fats are responsible for about 540,000 deaths around the world every year — deaths that could be avoided if countries banned the use of industrially produced partially hydrogenated oils, which can be replaced with healthier options like vegetable oil. Beyond the United States, countries like Canada and Denmark have taken action against the use of trans fats, but lawmakers and regulators in many other places haven’t — because they are either unaware of the health risks or they are reluctant to take on the food industry.

The link about the "540,000 deaths" goes to one of those very dubious epidemiological studies, this one from the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2016.  Are you sure that you've got the real cause right this time, guys?  Well, nobody ever got ahead in nutritional science by showing a lack of self-confidence.  

So, on to the world-wide ban.

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More On The "Science" Behind The Global Warming Scare

If you are still reading or watching legacy "news" sources like the New York Times, Washington Post, or one of the major TV networks, you may have the impression that all is going swimmingly in the consensus (groupthink) "science" supposedly proving that human CO2 emissions are destroying the climate.  Certainly, there continues to be unanimity among Democrat politicians that human use of energy from fossil fuels is a drastic problem that can somehow be cured by building thousands of windmills and solar panels at great cost.  See, e.g., Andrew Cuomo, Gerry Brown, and the 49 Democrat Senators who voted unanimously against the confirmation of suspected climate "skeptic" James Bridenstine to head NASA.

Lately, most of my posts on the subject of energy and climate have been devoted not so much to the science in question, but rather to the ridiculous costs and complete futility of trying to reduce CO2 emissions by means of the preferred solutions of windmills and solar panels.  See, for example, "Some Perspective On Efforts To Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions" on May 13, "Everyone Knows That Trying To Control The Climate By Reducing CO2 Emissions Is A Joke" on May 3, and "What's Really Happening In The World Of CO2 Emissions" on April 6. 

But still, it's fair to ask, is there any strong basis to believe the human CO2 emissions operate as some kind of direct control knob on atmospheric temperatures?  So today, let's return briefly to that subject.

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Some Perspective On Efforts To Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Here in New York, we are embarked on a religious campaign to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions dramatically.  It's to save the planet!  The official New York State Energy Plan, adopted in 2015, calls for reduction in total "greenhouse gas" emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.  By the same year, we supposedly will be getting some 50% of our electricity from renewables.  Dramatic!

California has announced very similar goals.  Indeed, their plan for GHG reductions by 2030 is exactly the same in percentage terms: a 40% reduction.

But somehow, when these plans and goals are announced and discussed, it's always put in terms of some percentage reduction, without any mention of absolute figures.  Nobody ever puts these plans into the context of overall world emissions to see whether anything meaningful is being accomplished.

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The Question Of Eric Schneiderman's Successor

Before the execrable Eric Schneiderman completely disappears down the memory hole of history, perhaps we should pause for one more post to consider just how truly bad an Attorney General, and a man, this guy was.  Those issues are also relevant to the question of who should be his successor.

In my previous post on Schneiderman ("Good Riddance To Eric Schneiderman"), I considered only a couple of examples of his abuse and politicization of the prosecutorial powers of his office, namely his supposed "criminal" investigation of Exxon and his shakedowns of the banking industry.  But, as significant as those two examples may be, they were only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  Holman Jenkins, writing in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, reminds us of the endless scope of Schneiderman's abuse:

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Good Riddance To Eric Schneiderman

The whole thing took about three hours.  Some time around five o'clock yesterday afternoon, the New Yorker magazine put up the latest piece by Ronan Farrow, this time detailing accusations of physical abuse of several women committed by Democrat New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  By 7:30 or so, Governor Andrew Cuomo had called on Schneiderman to resign.  And by about 8, Schneiderman had announced he would quit.  That was quick!

And good riddance!  Frankly, I wish I had a stronger term than that to use.  This guy was just about as bad as an Attorney General could be.  

And that comment has nothing to do with the recent allegations of sexual misconduct.  I haven't independently investigated those allegations, and have no knowledge of whether they are true or false.  But Schneiderman's departure is an appropriate time to comment on his conduct of the high office that he held, which was reprehensible.  Schneiderman took abuse of power and politicization of the office to whole new levels -- and that's saying a lot, given that one of his recent predecessors was Eliot Spitzer.  In a post about a year ago titled "Good Riddance To Preet Bharara," commenting on the firing of New York's then federal prosecutor, I had this to say:

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is "politicized, overreaching, and consumed with personal ambition" and 10 is "completely honest and independent," Eliot Spitzer was a 1 and Bharara about a 3.   

On the same scale, Schneiderman would get about a negative 5.

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