Posts Tagged ‘Junk Science’

The Cost Of Junk Science

by Thomas E. Brewton on Thursday, February 27th, 2014

This is article 253 of 264 in the topic energy

GERMAN GOVERNMENT ADVISERS CALL FOR ABOLITION OF RENEWABLES SUBSIDIES

BASF, the world’s biggest chemical maker by sales, will make the most of its capital investments outside Europe for the first time, as it responds to the continent’s higher energy costs and growing demand in North America and emerging markets such as China. “In Europe we have the most expensive energy and we are not prepared to exploit the energy resources we have, such as shale gas. We have relatively high wage costs and we have a stagnating market,” said Kurt Bock, BASF chief executive. Mr Bock has been a prominent critic of German and European Union climate and energy policies, arguing these are ineffective, raise costs for industry and cause job losses.—Chris Bryant, Financial Times, 26 February

If anyone thinks Germany’s move to renewable energies has been a success, you may want to take a few minutes and read what center-left news weekly Der Spiegel has just written. Overall Germany’s energy revolution has made the country’s energy unaffordable, unreliable and has ruined its own idyllic landscape, and ravaged rainforests abroad as well. “Rising energy costs are becoming a problem for more and more citizens in Germany. Just from 2008 to 20111 the share of energy-poor households in the Federal Republic jumped from 13.8 to 17 percent.” Much of the rapid increase in energy prices is owing to Germany’s growth in expensive wind and solar energy. Ironically, despite more than 20% of Germany’s energy now being supplied by renewables, CO2 emissions have been rising just the same.—Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 24 February 2014

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Sleepless in New Jersey – Christie Drinks the LGBT Kool-Aid

by Rev. Michael Bresciani on Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

This is article 54 of 62 in the topic Gay Rights

tn_Christie.jpgWhether it’s a hurricane or a storm of LGBT assertions of junk science, it is certain that it doesn’t take the discovery of an actual ‘gay gene’ to blow Chris Christie into the great RINO Sea.

The Governor played doctor for the press in exclaiming that the health risks of changing a child’s sexual orientation outweigh the concerns over the government setting limits on parental choice. This choice bit of nonsense may make sense to government officials and low IQ’d societal dropouts, but anyone with a speck of gray matter knows this is just high sounding nonsense.

In a Pelosi-esque exhibition of apostasy from his own religion (Catholic) Christie has to climb over the churches’ teaching, the Bible and every bit of common sense his mother may have tried to instill in him.

Shouldn’t we hang on until the still missing, mysterious magic ‘gay gene’ is found? The alcoholic gene is still undiscovered and in 1997 the Fed chose to end all aid to alcoholics under Social Security disability.

Christie used the seven deadly words that are associated with all spiritual and sometimes civil rebellion. He said “I’ve always believed that people are born with…” a predisposition to be homosexual. What part of the word ‘predisposition’ has anything to do with genetic science, medicine or legitimate psychiatry?

Who cares what Christie or the LGBT “believes” – is fostering the gay agenda a faith movement? There isn’t even junk science to support Christie’s goofy assertion, so are we now making laws from the personal beliefs of governors?

Will Chris begin a systematic thinning out of New Jersey prisons by deciding which prisoners had a predisposition to rape, murder, robbery, et al? Why punish them, why rehabilitate them, why bother them at all? ‘Predisposition’ is a barely definable term that can be arbitrarily used to cover just about any behavior known to mankind. Come in for a landing Gov.!

How quickly the mighty have fallen. Apostasy knows no boundaries. Catholics, Protestants, eighth graders and governors are all susceptible to the great leader’s (Barack Obama) influence. The almighty God cannot get a word in edgewise.

Not so – when we reach out and touch the little ones we will run headlong into an angry God.

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Mt 18: 6)

Depending on what age the so called ‘pre-disposition’ begins to occur in children is all important. In God’s economy children are not supposed to have any pre-disposition of a sexual nature. God hasn’t moved over for Sigmund Freud or any other classic icon of modernity. Children should be allowed to have a childhood. Any involvement or coercion in their childhood to direct their inclinations would be an ‘offense’ in God’s eye.

Banning gay conversion therapy is elevating an abominable sin that God hates to the level of idolatry. So what, you say?

If we can’t legislate morality, how long will a civilization last when we begin legislating immorality? With the stroke of the pen the Governor has sent God to the back of the bus.

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JUNK SCIENCE? Study Links Suicide Risk with Rates of Gun Ownership, Political Conservatism

by Stephen Levine on Saturday, April 6th, 2013

I am tired of seeing statistical studies which confuse correlation with causation and produce results that are little more than: send more money, more research is needed.

  • The correlation between those who drink water and those who commit suicide is 100%, yet common sense will tell you that drinking water does not cause suicide.
  • Common sense will also tell you that there is a high correlation between mentally ill people and people with seemingly intractable or painful problems and suicide.
  • Common sense will also tell you that people who are contemplating suicide often use the nearest means at hand, in many cases a gun, pills or other methods.
  • Common sense will also tell you that guns are an efficient means of committing suicide.
  • Common sense will also tell you that you do not need a research study to claim “individual behavior is influenced not only by personal characteristics, but by social structural or contextual attributes.”

What I find interesting, however, is the difference in what the media is being told by an institutional public relations team and what fellow scientists are being told by the researcher.

What the media said …

Study Links Suicide Risk with Rates of Gun Ownership, Political Conservatism

Released: 4/4/2013 6:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of California, Riverside

UC Riverside sociologist also finds that high rate of church membership at state level reduces suicide risk

Residents of states with the highest rates of gun ownership and political conservatism are at greater risk of suicide than those in states with less gun ownership and less politically conservative leanings, according to a study by University of California, Riverside sociology professor Augustine J. Kposowa.

The study, “Association of suicide rates, gun ownership, conservatism and individual suicide risk,” was published online in the journal Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology in February.

Suicide was the 11th leading cause of death for all ages in the United States in 2007, the most recent year for which complete mortality data was available at the time of the study. It was the seventh leading cause of death for males and the 15th leading cause of death for females. Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide by males and poisoning the most common among females.

Kposowa, who has studied suicide and its causes for two decades, analyzed mortality data from the U.S. Multiple Cause of Death Files for 2000 through 2004 and combined individual-level data with state-level information. Firearm ownership, conservatism (measured by percentage voting for former President George W. Bush in the 2000 election), suicide rate, church adherence, and the immigration rate were measured at the state level. He analyzed data relating to 131,636 individual suicides, which were then compared to deaths from natural causes (excluding homicides and accidents).

Many studies show that of all suicide methods, firearms have the highest case fatality, implying that an individual who selects this technique has a very low chance of survival,” Kposowa said. Guns are simply the most efficient method of suicide, he added.

With few exceptions, states with the highest rates of gun ownership — for example, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Alabama, and West Virginia — also tended to have the highest suicide rates. These states were also carried overwhelmingly by George Bush in the 2000 presidential election.

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Seattle Union Fights Standardized Test: Will The Results Reveal Their Failings As Educators?

by Stephen Levine on Sunday, February 10th, 2013

This is article 178 of 257 in the topic Education

For the student, life is pretty much a round of reading, lectures, homework and testing. Students accept testing as part of the educational process to determine whether or not they have learned the subject matter being taught. However, for teachers, testing represents a clear and present danger of revealing that some of their fellow educators are not getting the job done and that the test results might be used for disciplinary measures. So the unions are running scared. Worried that poor achievement scores will result in fewer union members and less money with which to threaten politicians.

High school teachers in Seattle are saying no to the spread of high-stakes standardized tests. On January 10, the staff of Garfield High School voted unanimously to refuse to administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test to their ninth-grade students. For two weeks they’ve held firm, even as the superintendent of schools has threatened them with a 10-day unpaid suspension, and teachers at other schools have joined their boycott.

Jean Anyon, professor of social and educational policy at the City University of New York Graduate Center and a supporter of the boycott, called what the Seattle teachers are doing “amazing.” “There have been very few groups that have decided to defy these tests,” she pointed out. “In terms of an outright boycott by a school, if it’s not the first it’s close to it.” The tests, Anyon noted, are notoriously unreliable, with results varying from year to year and nearly impossible to replicate.

Ira Shor, professor of rhetoric and composition at CUNY Graduate Center, who writes on composition theory and urban education, commented, “The tests themselves are known as ‘junk science’ because of their pseudo-scientific basis in metrics while they notoriously produce unreliable, unreproducible, and even faked results. Yet these tests are used to judge what students know and how well teachers are doing their job.”

What is going on here?

One might assume that the tests themselves were created by educators and standardized by comparing several generations of test scores with academic performance. Or that the tests themselves have some statistical validity.

So why are they being demonized as “junk science” at this point in time?

  • Because teachers have done an abysmal job of educating our students in spite of the increasing amounts of money thrown at education?
  • Because it is more about the big money being siphoned out of the classroom by teachers unions that administer those billion dollar pension funds.
  • Or is it because teachers and their unions are afraid of the parent revolt when they find that educators have produced another generation of functional illiterates, trained more in political correctness and touchy-feely subjects than learning real-world skills that can be applied in today’s competitive marketplace?

More corruption between educators, politicians and the special interests who “service” the educational marketplace?

The MAP test is a particularly egregious example of the problems with standardized testing. It was acquired by the former Seattle Schools superintendent while she was on the board of the company that sells it; a state audit in 2011 found that she committed a serious ethics violation by not disclosing this fact when the school district spent about $4 million on the test.

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Good riddance and DLTDHYOTWO: Ken Salazar exiting Interior in March

by Michelle Malkin on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

This is article 14 of 23 in the topic White House Advisors/Czars

Screw up, cover up, move up, pack up. After trampling the rule of law, defying court orders, doctoring scientific conclusions, threatening the media for asking inconvenient questions, and destroying countless jobs in the name of environmental protection, President Obama’s loathsome cowboy Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is finally headed for the exit door.

The Denver Post reports late tonight that the rogue Department of Interior chief will step down in March to spend more time with family in Colorado:

The secretary is not shy talking about how much he loves his job as steward of the country’s public lands. He often says the Department of Interior is really the Department of America.

“As I think about my role as secretary of the Interior, it is perhaps the most wonderful job of any cabinet position in the United States,” Salazar said in December. “I would not trade it for attorney general or Housing and Urban Development or Transportation because I would find those jobs a little boring.”

But the pull of family obligations — he and his wife are primary caretakers of their 5-year-old granddaughter who has autism and is enrolled in a special school — was too great to commit to four more years, Salazar’s office said.

His days in Washington are long. Some weeks he spends 16 hours a day traveling from one far-flung location to the other — from some pristine causeway in California to the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged New Jersey coast.

You know whose days are also long? The days of all the workers and companies that Salazar helped crush over the last four years.

Good riddance and DLTDHYOTWO. For the sake of my fellow Coloradans, let’s hope Salazar isn’t headed for the revolving door back into another position of power. We’ve had enough.

Previous:

Junk science job-killer Salazar strikes again, shuts down oyster company
Yet another Obama Interior Department scandal unfolds
The latest on Obama’s rogue Interior Department: Stone walls and revolving doors
Obama’s Interior Department still going rogue
White House lied, jobs died
The high priests of eco-destruction
One measly deepwater drilling permit: Hoo-freaking-rah
Culture of contempt: Interior Department spanked yet again
The Interior Department’s culture of contempt
Obama jobs death toll: Coal, oil, gas workers on the chopping block
Obama jobs death toll: Killing the drilling industry
Omnibus double whammy: The Dems’ lame-duck land grabs
Another Obama stealth land grab: Salazar and the NLCS
Throw Carol Browner under the bus; Update: Senate GOP calls for probe
Confirmed: Obama job-killlers Salazar, Browner lied about drilling ban rationale
Another ass-kicking: Judge rejects Obama drilling ban again
Obama’s Beltway Chainsaw Massacre
The White House War on Jobs
Pushing back: Thousands of Obama’s drilling moratorium victims rally in La.
Why does Ken Salazar hate our economy? Update: Western Energy Alliance calls for reinstating oil leases
Ken Salazar needs another ass-kicking
Another ass-kicking: 5th Circuit rejects White House drilling ban appeal
Ken Salazar gets an ass-kicking. Over to you, Capitol Hill. 6/24 update: Judge refuses White House drilling ban stay request; judge gets death threat
Breaking: Judge rules against Obamatorium on drilling; link to decision added; Interior Secy Salazar roasted

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Junk science job-killer Salazar strikes again, shuts down oyster company

by Michelle Malkin on Friday, November 30th, 2012

This is article 68 of 95 in the topic Environmental

The Interior Department is on a roll — a steamroll over American jobs at the expense of common sense, sound science, and integrity in government. Earlier this week, I called attention to the 9.6 million acre land grab masquerading as a northern spotted owl rescue that will cost thousands of timber-related jobs, while subsidizing the shooting of a different species of owl to save the other.

Yesterday, loathsome cowboy/Interior Secretary Ken Salazar administered another blow to the economy. He announced he would not renew the lease of a popular family oyster farm at Point Reyes National Seashore in California that has been in business for four generations. The move ushers in the end of more than a century of shellfish production.

The decision will allow the National Park Service to turn the picturesque bay where Sir Francis Drake landed more than 400 years ago into California’s first federally designated marine wilderness area.

Salazar made his decision a day before the 40-year lease allowing Drakes Bay Oyster Co., to harvest shellfish in the estuary expires and one week after visiting the site.

“After careful consideration of the applicable law and policy, I have directed the National Park Service to allow the permit for the Drakes Bay Oyster Company to expire at the end of its current term and to return the Drakes Estero to the state of wilderness that Congress designated for it in 1976,” Salazar said in a statement. “I believe it is the right decision for Point Reyes National Seashore and for future generations who will enjoy this treasured landscape.”

As usual, the decision is tainted by cronyism and book-cooking. I reported on the ethics mess related to the government’s targeting of Drakes Bay Oyster Co. in February:

–Take Obama’s head of the National Park Service, please. While serving as the Pacific West regional director of the NPS, Jon Jarvis was accused of at least 21 instances of scientific misconduct (pdf) by Dr. Corey Goodman, a high-ranking member of the National Academy of Sciences. Extensive information about Jarvis’ alleged role in cooking data about a California oyster farm’s impact on harbor seals at Point Reyes was withheld during the 2009 nomination process. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has ignored complaints and follow-up from both Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Sens. James Inhofe and David Vitter.

The National Research Council determined that the NPS had “selectively” slanted its report on the oyster farm. The federal Marine Mammal Commission found that “the data and analyses are not sufficient to demonstrate a causal relationship” between the farm’s operations and harbor seal health. In a letter blasting the NPS for bullying the small oyster farm, Feinstein — normally a reliable eco-ally — concluded earlier this month that the “crux of the problem is that the Park Service manipulated science while building a case that the business should be shuttered.”

Given Salazar’s own role in manipulating science while building his case for the White House offshore drilling moratorium — actions for which several federal judges spanked Salazar in the past two years — it’s no wonder he’s looking the other way. Remember: Two years ago, Salazar and former Obama eco-czar Carol Browner falsely rewrote the White House drilling ban report to wholly manipulate the Obama-appointed panel’s own overwhelming scientific objections to the job-killing edict.

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Hurricane Sandy’s Message to America

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, October 28th, 2012

This is article 208 of 264 in the topic energy

When Mother Nature demonstrates her extraordinary power, I always hope that people will draw a lesson from it, but they never seem to. Hurricane Sandy is just the latest example of the futility and foolishness of thinking that humans can do anything about a hurricane or similar demonstration of who is really in charge. It is the planet. Not us.

This suspension of common sense is worsened when our President goes on television, as he did last Friday on MTV, to say “I believe the scientists, who say that we are putting too much carbon emissions into the atmosphere, and it is heating the planet and it is going to have a severe effect.” This is literally junk science, long since debunked by legions of scientists who know that carbon dioxide has nothing to do with the Earth’s temperature. The planet has been in a cooling cycle since 1998.

I keep hoping, too, that lacking the vital lifeblood of our nation–electricity—millions of people sitting around in the dark will ask themselves where it comes from, what generates it, how does it get to their home, and perhaps even why its cost keeps increasing even though the U.S. sits atop enough coal and natural gas to provide affordable power for two hundred years at current consumption rates.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in March of this year electricity from coal has fallen from 50% production to less than 40% by the end of 2011. Other sources include natural gas at 26%, nuclear at 22%, hydroelectric at 7% and “other” was said to be 6%. It should be noted that oil is a transportation fuel and not used to generate electricity. I believe that the amount that solar and wind produces is more likely closer to three percent. It is unreliable and uncompetitive and requires a traditional plant as backup when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun is obscured by clouds and, of course, at night.

Not surprisingly, the environmental organizations such as Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club are already beating the drums about “climate change”, asserting “unpredictable, extreme weather.” The planet is alwaysin a state of climate change if for no other reason that it is subject to the seasons. Blaming extreme weather on “climate change” is just a code for keeping the “global warming” hoax alive. The only reason President Obama talks about climate change is his hope that a carbon tax can be imposed to raise more money for the government to waste.

Electricity is not magic. Some form of energy must be burned to generate it and then it must be transmitted by a huge, very old grid to consumers.

In January of this year, The North American Electric Reliability Corporation warned that the reliability of the grid was in jeopardy. Thanks to the Obama administration’s (i.e. EPA) relentless attack on coal, the NERC noted that beyond the 38 gigawatts of electricity capacity that has already been announced to retire, it estimated that another 35 to 59 gigawatts will come off-line by 2018 depending on the “scope and timing” of EPA regulations.

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Liberal-Progressives’ Wishful ‘Thinking’

by Thomas E. Brewton on Thursday, September 27th, 2012

This is article 122 of 194 in the topic Liberalism

Obama’s cherished green technology simply isn’t selling too well, even with ideological compulsion by the EPA.
Toyota drops plan for widespread sales of electric car

GM offers big discounts to boost Volt sales

A fundamental aspect of liberal-progressivism is the hubristic assumption that reality is a projection of their minds.  In their atheistic world, people’s actions and human nature itself can be controlled and redirected by materialistic factors, chiefly government regulations.

By definition, atheism presumes to usurp the role of God.  Which in practice means that liberal-progressive governments ride roughshod over individual morality and individual initiative in order to herd everyone into planners’ collectivist cattle pens.

Their predisposition to controlling whole industries (which is the definition of socialism), indeed the whole of society, is evident in Obama’s announced intention to bankrupt coal mining companies.  He and his fellow liberal-progressives, still enamored of the junk science preaching man-made global warming, are confident that they can foresee climate conditions decades into the future, that in effect collectivist planners can control the world’s climate.  In their vision coal, natural gas, and petroleum have no place.  All of our energy needs will come from wind farms and solar panels.  So they impetuously leap into what, in real life, proves to be an abyss.  In areas like Texas, which has power needs growing more rapidly than the other parts of the nation, power already is in short supply.  Without the slightest forethought for such mundane constrictions, Obama’s ideological Environmental Protection Agency aims to force private utility companies to take coal-fired electric generating capacity permanently offline.

What hardships they cause to real individuals is not a consideration when compared to whole-hog programs geared to abstractions called social and economic classes.  Obama’s class-warfare demand for taxing the rich is of the same genre.  It leads to upside down economic theories that governments, not real people, build businesses and create jobs.

In the same vein, having taken control of General Motors, screwed the bondholders, and increased the power of blood-sucking labor unions, Obama forced GM to concentrate far too much of its limited cash resources in production of the Chevy Volt.  Selling Volts at big losses cuts down GM’s cash resources; worse, it drains manpower and cash needed to design and market automobiles that can readily be sold to the public at a profit.  Without the latter, GM’s survivability prospects diminish.  Security analysts and institutional investors, the hard-eyed realists who aren’t concerned with Al Gore’s pie-in-the-sky, already are watching for the next GM bankruptcy.

Obamacare is another example of the liberal-progressive leap-into-the-abyss mentality.  When the legislation was rammed through Congress by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid no one had even read its full thousand-plus pages.  And no liberal-progressive had given sufficient consideration to the paralyzing multitude of disruptions and additional costs that might (and have) eventuate.

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The BPA Wars: Junk Science and Junk Journalism

by Alan Caruba on Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

This is article 10 of 30 in the topic Science

On Tuesday, September 18, FoxNews.com posted an article by Alex Crees, a health news reporter, “Chemical BPA linked to obesity in children, teens.” If Ms. Crees had done any research to verify the facts she recounted in “a new study”, she would have known it was yet another bogus effort to correlate eating food with BPA.

Bisphenol-A, more commonly called BPA, is a chemical that has been in wide, safe use for over 50 years. It is used to coat the insides of aluminum cans and plastic bottles and protects them against food pathogens such as botulism and has the added value of protecting plastic bottles against breakage.

As I noted in my six-part series, The BPA File, In 2011 “the German Society of Toxicology released a review of more than five thousand previous studies of BPA exposure that concluded that BPA ‘exposure represents no noteworthy risk to the health of the human population, including newborns and babies.’” Researchers concluded that BPA is neither mutagenic nor likely to be a carcinogen.’”

Let me repeat that, “more than five thousand previous studies.” At what point can one expect a Fox News journalist to actually check her facts?

A graduate of New York University, Ms. Crees studied journalism, psychology, and Spanish. There is no indication she studied chemistry. If “journalism” is defined as mindlessly repeating some news release that says BPA “may increase the risk of obesity in children and teens”, permit me to suggest that eating lots of snacks, ice cream and candy “may” also increase that probability!

Anyone who wants to learn the truth about BPA is advised to visit Junkscience.com, the website of Steve Milloy who has gained a solid reputation for debunking so-called “science based” fear campaigns. His data on BPA reveals that there is no scientific evidence that BPA:

• Has ever harmed anyone despite 50 years of use;

• Acts as an endocrine disruptor; and

• Has any health effects at low doses;

Furthermore, the data debunks some of the most oft-cited and false claims about BPA.

• BPA is not carcinogenic or mutagenic;

• BPA does not adversely affect reproduction or development at any realistic dose;

• BPA is efficiently “metabolized” and rapidly excreted after oral exposure

My series on BPA confirms Milloy’s findings, but Ms. Crees has written an article intended to add to the multitude of similar distortions while questioning the facts offered by authoritative sources.

The effect of this avalanche of articles has triggered a number of governments to ban some uses of BPA despite more than a half century of its use without any evidence of alleged harm, but governments are famous for acting on the bogus “precautionary principle” that essentially says that anything that might cause harm should be banned.

Going back centuries, it has been known that it is the amount of any given chemical that represents harm. Let’s understand a fundamental determination of what is toxic or not. As Paracelsus (1492-1541) said long ago, “All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison.”

Ms. Crees’ article noted that “the study’s lead investigator Dr.

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Dick Durbin: Buy hybrid cars or get killed by tornadoes

by Doug Powers on Saturday, April 7th, 2012

This is article 168 of 328 in the topic Global Warming

If CNN ever needs a guest meteorologist, they’ve found their man:

Sen. Dick Durbin reacts to the tornadoes in Dallas, Texas earlier this week. Durbin calls for more laws regulating carbon output while he sends a dire warning that we must convert to hybrid cars or lose our life. Durbin says we must spend money now to fix the problem.

“It’s your money or your life,” he said a press conference. “We are either going to dedicate ourselves to a cleaner, more livable planet and accept the initial investment necessary or we’re going to pay a heavier price in terms of loss of human life, damage and costs associated with it.”

Language that makes the forced funding of a “clean energy future to be named later but paid for now” sound like a mugging at gunpoint is actually one of Durbin’s more honest moments. Big-spending “clean energy” politicians armed with junk science are the highwaymen of the 21st century.

Click the pic to roll tape at RCP:

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From Dick Durban’s book of facts: At the beginning of the movie The Wizard of Oz, if you listen closely as the tornado approaches the house, Dorothy can be heard to say “this wouldn’t be happening if we’d have bought a Volt, Toto!”

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