Call me former Senator Barbara Boxer
By Martha Montelongo
Who can forget California Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer's put-down of Brigadier General Michael Walsh, during a June 2009 committee hearing? When he addressed her as "Ma'am," in answering a question about the New Orleans levee system, she petulantly interrupted: "Could you say Senator, instead of Ma'am? I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it."
"Ma'am" is a term of respect given by military personnel to superior female officers. So she's right. She didn't deserve it. Her behavior was once again disrespectful, arrogant, condescending – and a disgrace to a Congress whose public esteem is deservedly at a record low.
As Californians head to the polls November 2, they should ponder very carefully whether they really want, and can really afford, another six years of Barbara Boxer.
The Golden State's junior senator has long been dismissive of anyone who dares to disagree with her, no matter what experience, expertise or evidence they might bring to a Senate proceeding. She epitomizes the overbearing attitude of the power elite, the ruling class that thinks it knows more than we do, is better than us, and is in Washington not to serve or represent us, but to rule us.
In 2005, the late Dr. Michael Crichton testified before the same Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, stressing the need for sound science and above-reproach analysis in making laws and public policies. He offered not his well-deserved reputation as an author and filmmaker – but his expertise as a Harvard-educated physician and medical researcher.
Dr. Crichton expressed his growing concern that science is being politicized, misused and abused to advance an unproven global warming hypothesis, and justify policies that will adversely affect our energy supplies, jobs, living standards and liberties. Those policies will also give Washington politicians and bureaucrats unprecedented power and control over our lives.
Science, he emphasized, relies on "independent verification." A scientific hypothesis or assertion "is valid and merits acceptance only if it can be independently verified." The Food and Drug Administration, he noted, has strict rules governing the conduct of drug research, to ensure honesty and integrity, and protect the public's health and welfare. The gold standard is randomized double-blind studies that involve four separate teams: one plans the study, another administers the drug to patients, an third assesses its effects, and a fourth analyzes the results.
"The teams do not know each other, he observed, "and are prohibited from personal contact of any sort, on peril of contaminating the results." Deviate from those rules, and your $100-million study will be declared null and void. But in climate "research," every one of these rules is routinely and deliberately violated, to further an agenda that will affect, not just a company or small group of patients, but every single American business, citizen and community.
In climate science, Dr. Crichton pointed out, "it is permissible for raw data to be modified by many hands. Gaps in temperature and proxy records are filled in. Suspect values are deleted because a scientist deems them erroneous" -- or inconvenient. Researchers "may elect to use parts of existing records, and ignore other parts." Peer review "by pals" is unavoidably biased," but commonplace in the climate arena. Predictions are treated as facts.
Crichton singled out Penn State University Professor Michael Mann and his infamous "hockey stick" temperature graph as a prime example of this unacceptable, politicized science. That's because the hearing preceded Climategate and its revelations that Mann and other researchers hid data, and the IPCC's use of student papers and environmentalist press releases as "peer-reviewed science."
Meteorologist and hurricane expert William Gray followed Dr. Crichton, emphasizing that computer models are not valid predictive tools. They don't factor in precipitation, ocean circulation or solar effects properly, and their predictions have been totally out of synch with real world temperature and storm data.
Dr. Gray challenged the notion that carbon dioxide is driving climate change, and noted that Earth has been through countless climate cycles, none of them caused by humans. He rejected Senator Boxer's claim that there is no disagreement "among the real experts" that humans are causing unprecedented warming, and thus the intensity and frequency of storms.
Dr. Gray also questioned the impartiality and expertise of her favorite "real expert," astronomer James Hansen, who repeatedly rails about "runaway" global warming and "death trains" carrying coal to power plants. Gray also predicted, "in 15 or 20 years, we are going to look back on this whole business [of manmade climate disasters] as the Eugenics movement."
The junior senator went on a tear, firing off prosecutorial questions, interrupting every response – then pouting, "I am asking you something, I still don't have an answer." She attacked Dr. Gray for not having enough climate papers peer reviewed by processes and people that systematically refuse to review or publish them. She blasted Crichton and Gray for not being climate change experts – but accepted without question statements by a Brookings Institution lawyer with no training in any branch of science. The "few dissenters" to her global warming disaster claims, she harrumphed, are funded by oil and coal companies.
Last year she did it again. National Black Chamber of Commerce CEO Harry Alford had introduced an expert study his organization had commissioned, concluding that cap-tax-and-trade legislation would result in 1.3 million fewer net jobs, increase energy and consumer costs, and hurt minority families, despite any green jobs supposedly created through massive taxpayer subsidies. Boxer wouldn't hear it.
She presented two letters that supposedly contradicted Alford's study, by making meaningless claims about global warming and renewable energy. The NAACP "approved a historic resolution addressing climate change legislation," said one. "Clean energy will unlock millions of jobs, and NAACP support is vital to ensuring that these jobs help rebuild urban areas," said the other.
"What does that mean?" Alford wanted to know. "You're trying to put up another black group to contradict me." These people "would be proud" that they were being quoted in this committee hearing, Boxer retorted in her most imperious and condescending tone.
When he responded to her accusation that he wasn't from California – noting that he was born and raised there and still owns property in the state – she stopped him with a testy "Let me talk to you." (In other words, "Don't get uppity with me.")
Barbara Boxer is on a mission. She intends to control our economy, opportunities and lives. Put the federal government in charge of an American energy and free enterprise system that created more health, opportunity and prosperity for more people than any other system in history. And replace hydrocarbon energy and the tens of millions of jobs it sustains – with "green" jobs created by using money confiscated from families, businesses and our grandchildren to subsidize favored companies and minority groups that will help ensure that liberal politicians are reelected in perpetuity.
She is not about to let some uppity black man, contrary economic analysis or "fake" experts like William Gray and Michael Crichton derail her scheme. No wonder the left-leaning San Francisco Chronicle dis-endorsed her, saying: "Her most famous moments on Capitol Hill have ... been ones of ... delivering partisan shots. There is no reason to believe that another six-year term would bring anything but more of the same uninspired representation."
On November 3, let's call her former Senator Barbara Boxer.
Martha Montelongo is a writer and radio commentator. She has been the host on Make Sense with Martha, Straight Talk with Martha and CRN's Digital Talk Radio Network. Visit her website at MarthaMontelongo.com.