- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 21, 2014

Climate alarmism creates good melodrama but scanty policy. President Obama soon journeys to New York City, a destination now knee-deep in climate activism and boasting corporate endorsements, multiple sponsors and aggressive branding — amped up with hippie fervor, tubas, costumes, feathers, populist messages and endless social media. Mr. Obama will attend the United Nations Climate Summit, hosted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and attended by 125 heads of state and, of course, Al Gore. Both Mssrs. Ban and Gore walked in the massive People’s Climate March on Sunday; the president himself and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid endorsed the call to “walk the walk” against what is now billed as “climate disruption” rather than mere climate change.

Meanwhile, the ultimate goal of the U.N. summit is a productive, international climate agreement — an honorable idea, but one facilitated more by focus, inventive thought and strategic negotiations rather than distracting protest marches and political spectacle. The climate science also needs to be sorted out; conflicting and opportunistic reports are many, again obscuring potential causes of real alarm.

All that aside, it’s still officially Climate Week in Manhattan, where Mr. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will remain until Thursday. Indeed, the president addresses the climate summit Tuesday afternoon, followed by an appearance at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. There will be a quick fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee thrown in, followed by a reception for visiting dignitaries.

Wednesday, Mr. Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly, followed by a meeting, a luncheon, a terrorism summit, another meeting and, finally, a second United Nations address on Ebola come Thursday morning. Then it’s home to the White House, where the Islamic State matter looms, and “disruption” is of genuine concern.

HEADLINE DU JOUR

“Climate activists not ready for Hillary”

— heralding a story by MSNBC political analyst Alex Seitz-Wald

INTEL COMMUNITY PONDERS ‘IMMACULATE COLLECTION’

“We are expected to keep the nation safe and provide exquisite, high-fidelity, timely, accurate, anticipatory and relevant intelligence — and do that in such a manner that there is no risk, and there is no embarrassment to anyone if what we’re doing is publicly revealed. And there is no threat to anyone’s revenue bottom line — and there isn’t even a scintilla of jeopardy to anyone’s civil liberties and privacy, whether U.S. persons or foreign persons. We call this new approach to intelligence ‘immaculate collection,’ ” James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence, told a 1,000-member audience at a recent national security and intelligence summit in the nation’s capital.

They laughed. Heartily.

“By the way, we have to conduct immaculate collection on the cheap too,” the retired Air Force general added.

With all the hubbub about transparency, his office — representing the nation’s 17 clandestine agencies — has issued the “National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America,” which includes seven mission objectives, six enterprise objectives and seven ethical principles. A statement of vision aspires to create “a nation made more secure by a fully integrated, agile, resilient and innovative Intelligence Community that exemplifies America’s values.” There was a press release, Tweets, Facebook entries.

“There’s no ‘secret’ version of the NIS. Our oversight committees, our partners, the public and, for that matter, even our adversaries are all seeing the very same strategic direction I’m giving to the Intelligence Community,” Mr. Clapper vowed. See the document here: DNI.gov.

“I’ve often said publicly that we are facing the most diverse set of threats I’ve seen in my 50 years in the intelligence business. That’s true. It’s also true, however, that we are better organized to face these threats than we were 13 years ago,” Mr. Clapper notes in the forward.

TRUMPALICIOUS

“Our country has become so politically correct that it has lost all sense of direction or purpose. We are unable to move forward painlessly.”

Donald Trump in a Tweet on Sunday.

THEY’RE IN THE MONEY

Behold, the healthy Republican National Committee treasure chest. Chairman Reince Priebus reports that the committee raised $10.1 million in August, the largest on record for the time period; the RNC fundraising total is $150.4 million so far this election cycle — $15 million more than the Democratic National Committee. Contrary to the popular narrative of fat cat Republicans, the bulk came from smaller donations: 98 percent were under $200. The average donation was, in fact, about $62. The funds are destined for get-out-the-vote efforts, grass-roots outreach and smart use of data.

“Our mission from now until Election Day will be reminding voters that a vote for a Democrat candidate is a vote for the failed Obama agenda and Harry Reid’s dysfunctional leadership,” Mr. Priebus says. “Unlike the Democrat Senate, which has spent its time lately trying to rewrite the First Amendment while ignoring over 40 House jobs bills, a Republican Senate will vote on legislation to lower health care costs, expand school choice, create jobs, secure the border and improve energy security.”

Of historic note: Federal Election Commission records from the final weeks before the 2010 midterms reveal that GOP House candidates raised $502 million in total — their Democratic counterparts, $461.5 million. On the Senate side in 2010, Republican hopefuls raised $400 million, and the Democrats $347 million.

A SOLDIER COMES HOME

Sixty-three years have passed since Army Pfc. Arthur Richardson went missing during an enemy attack during the Korean War in January 1951. Company A, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division was deployed northeast of Seoul, attempting to delay the enemy’s advance when they, in turn, were attacked, suffering heavy losses. Richardson was taken prisoner and, according to a family account, died in a camp near Pyongyang. By 1954, Richardson’s status was changed from missing in action to presumed dead. The Massachusetts native was 28.

The nation, however, did not give up over the long haul. Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and Armed Forces DNA Laboratory were able to identify the soldier — via a DNA match with his niece and grand-niece — from a large group of human remains recovered from North Korea in 1991. His remains were returned to his family, and Richardson was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday.

POLL DU JOUR

• 96 percent of “consistently conservative” Americans say kids should be taught responsibility; 92 percent of “consistently liberal” Americans agree.

• 95 percent of the conservatives say kids should be taught the value of hard work; 82 percent of liberals agree.

• 86 percent of conservatives say kids should be taught good manners; 76 percent of liberals agree.

• 81 percent of conservatives say kids should be taught religious faith; 26 percent of liberals agree.

• 76 percent of conservatives say kids should be taught independence; 76 percent of liberals agree.

• 55 percent of conservatives say kids should be taught empathy; 86 percent of liberals agree.

• 41 percent of conservatives say kids should be taught tolerance; 88 percent of liberals agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 3,243 U.S. adults conducted April 29-May 27 and released Friday.

• Spectacles, cranky observations to [email protected]


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