Impeach Trump

I didn’t vote for him, but was a supporter from day one. I agreed with most of his policies, and especially enjoyed all the schadenfreude and bulging eyeballs on the left. I never liked his personal behaviors; but who does?

Now, I’m done. The retreat from Syria, and the resignation/firing of the Secretary of Defense lead me to decide President Donald Trump is a threat to national security.

Yes, the withdrawal from Syria fulfills a campaign promise, but the way it was done must discourage our military. How will they react the next time this President or future leaders ask them to put their lives on the line? The President’s decision on Syria was contrary to the advice of his own military advisers. That decision, and the firing of the Secretary of Defense lend comfort to our enemies (Iran and Russia), and are discomfiting to our allies (Israel, NATO, South Korea).

The President serves at the pleasure of Congress, as written in Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The Constitution provides a legal process, but the decision is political. Here is one definition of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’:
The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct by officials, such as perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, unbecoming conduct.

It’s clear where history will stand on this: the President on a daily basis shows us the quality of his judgment and character. This is a huge opportunity for any Senator or Congressman, especially any Republican, to set themselves apart from the herd. Call for impeachment. Congress should make it clear that when a President makes decisions like this, contrary to professional advice and without careful consultation with our allies, they will lose support of Congress and their job. National security is too important.

The bottom line
Sadly, I told you so. I’ve written before about the tendency to start military involvements that we don’t finish, and our failure to support allies. Harry Truman was a non-entity before being pushed into the Oval Office. Hopefully, Mike Pence will turn out to be just as good.

Cost-benefit Analysis and the Paris Agreement

For months we’ve heard how important the Paris Agreement is. Environmentalists and their friends use language like “key to planetary survival”. The Paris Agreement is all about saving us from global warming. Let’s grant that there is a scientific consensus that global warming is real, but there is no consensus on the impact of the Paris Agreement.

The core goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep “a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels”. Before the deal was agreed at Paris researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Global Change Science released a statement saying this: “even if negotiators reach a deal … it probably won’t be enough to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”

The problem appears to be what climate negotiators call “leakage”, defined here as: “a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases within the State that is offset by an increase in emissions of greenhouse gases outside the State”. In this case, as stated in the MIT report: “For Africa, the Rest of East Asia and Rest of Eurasia the leakage is sufficient to overwhelm the emissions-reducing effects of the expected policies and measures”. It seems that the Paris negotiators sent us down a rat hole, leaving us with a non-functional plan.

The left loves global warming because of the synergy with its favorite tools for world domination: regulation and taxation. The details of the Paris Agreement are contained in a series of INDCs: Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Each INDC contains a country’s commitment for action in the Paris Agreement. For example, see the European Union’s INDC, a list of proposed taxes and regulations.

The French government is now facing riots against taxes on fossil fuels, which are exactly what climate negotiators say are needed to fight global warming. Maybe the taxes are intended to discourage use of fossil fuels, or maybe the taxes are intended to fund prevention of global warming. Constituents are unhappy.

There’s a new term that sums up the Paris Accords: ‘virtue signaling’, defined this way by my Bing search engine: “the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue”.
There are problems with the Paris Accord: unrealistic, politically unviable. If global warming opponents are interested in solutions rather than just the opportunities offered by exploiting the issue, I suggest they try again with a program that actually gets us somewhere, and provide a realistic assessment of the costs.