Climate Change Doesn’t Affect NWS Forecasts

How long would firemen remain the nation’s genial mascot if they forced you to move into a hotel for a few days because you smelled smoke in the garage? As you were wondering if ten years of chainsaw, lawn mower and leaf blower gas cans were about to be launched into a low earth orbit while you waited for firemen to arrive, once the truck arrived the first responders weren’t worried.

They knew in 30 seconds the smell originated in an overheating freezer, and unplugging it solved the problem. But the brass was concerned.

The chief worried that since your house didn’t go up in a giant fireball, you would be so relieved that you’d fail to view the problem as the narrow escape from a fiery death that it was.

Consequently, you might be tempted to plug the freezer back into the socket after they departed; potentially melting you and the lamb chops if the freezer shorted out while you slept.

That’s why, to impress the gravity of the situation on your family, the chief delivered a scary, arm–waving lecture and ordered you to earn two nights of Hilton points at Embassy Suites.

Unlikely you say? Tell that to the National Weather Service.

It was responsible for scaring airlines into canceling 9,000 flights, schools into closing, the federal government into delaying three hours, the DC Metro into cancelling transit services for the handicapped and a variety of other private businesses into shutting down on Tuesday for a storm that put a mere 2 inches on snow on the ground in Washington, DC.

Even worse, the NWS knew “Winter Storm Stella” was going to be more on the order of Snow Shower Sweetie but it refused to revise the forecast. The Associated Press reports, “After announcing that snow could reach record levels in the city, NWS meteorologists in New York and other Northeast cities held a conference call Monday afternoon about computer models that dramatically cut predicted totals.”

Taking a cue from “climate scientists” who never cut back on their hyperventilating over smoldering polar bears – in spite of their computer model’s failure to come close to predicting how the climate has changed – the weather service took a stern line on sleet.

Instead of calling off the evacuation of the Eastern Seaboard, they decided to stick with hysteria. This monumentally bad decision relied on that byword of the modern bureaucrat: “Extreme caution.”

These Chicken Littles felt people wouldn’t view a storm with a potential for just two to seven inches of snow as a harbinger of the apocalypse. Which is right, since it isn’t.

Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Prediction Center observed, “I actually think in the overall scheme that the actions [by states and cities] taken in advance of the event were exceptional.”

If “exceptional” is another word for lunatic overreaction, then right on!

The NWS thought costing taxpayers millions of dollars in lost time, revenue and emergency daycare was a small price to pay if it prevented one granny from slipping on her way to the mailbox.

In their defense the weather wardens at the NWS are under a certain amount of pressure from the incoming Trump administration. Since it rained on him at the inauguration, the president has felt the NWS might be secretly participating in the “resistance.”

I’ve written the NWS is under a severe hiring freeze warning, which comes at a bad time for the organization because it’s been down 650 employees and no has appeared to notice. The solution for the weather mavens is to reinvent the NWS and make it part of the nation’s public safety apparatus, which the Washington Post says might allow NWS to exploit the hiring loophole Trump left for agencies involved in the military, public safety or public health.

If the NWS brass can finesse this textbook example of mission creep, the guy who eyeballs the rain gauge at the airport will join Seal Team 6 on the front lines of homeland defense.

Downgrading “Winter Storm Stella” into “Scattered Flurries Flo” and lifting the No Fly Zone on the East coast might have been accurate, but it wouldn’t enhance the sense of urgency management wants to convey to the White House.

Just mentioning these potential cuts in a previous column was enough to unleash hounds of humidity. My protestations that I’ve had my own Wi–Fi weather station on the roof for years fell on deaf ears connected to a dangerous high–anger zone.

I’ve suggesting the NWS concentrate on getting the data and let the private sector handle the forecasts, which in the case of the Weather Channel have proven to be more accurate. This latest exercise in paternalism and over–reaction hasn’t changed my mind.

Civil Servants Foment Civil Insurrection Against Trump

The United States is the only nation on earth where the saboteurs are both well paid and impossible to fire. Some nations call them spies, other nations — Iran comes to mind — claim they are Zionists, but here at home we call them “public servants.”

trump-why-doesnt-what-american-people-want-happenFederal employees have decided they’re the 4th branch of government and if you can believe the opposition media, they intend to do what they can to make the Trump presidency a failure. As Steven Hayward has written, “That bureaucratic government is the partisan instrument of the Democratic Party is the most obvious, yet least remarked upon, trait of our time.”

This is why it’s not surprising the New York Times writes, “Across the vast federal bureaucracy, Donald J. Trump’s arrival in the White House has spread anxiety, frustration, fear and resistance among many of the two million nonpolitical civil servants who say they work for the public, not a particular president.”

That concept is a convenient misunderstanding of the role of public employees by pretentious public employees. “Working for the public” means they are claiming to work for a concept. One that doesn’t issue annual performance reviews or provide direct supervision.

These “non–political” public employees — who just happened to send an astonishing 95 percent of their presidential campaign contributions to Pantsuit Nation in 2016 — will now claim to act as oracles who can divine the will of “public” and formulate appropriate policy.

If they get their way, it will be the Obama administration all over again without the annoying self–regard and afternoon tee times.

Now I’ve got you wondering: Who will save us? It depends. If someone sends the rest of my Newsmax.com column to President Trump and he takes my advice, there’s hope. See for yourself how I would put recalcitrant bureaucrats in their place by clicking here:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/employees-federal-public/2017/02/14/id/773615/

 

Future Is Cloudy With Occasional Trump Gusts at National Weather Service

How many weather people does it take to change a forecast? Evidently more than we currently possess.

The National Weather Service Employees Organization is issuing a severe hiring freeze warning. The union is afraid if Donald Trump’s freeze order is applied to the National Weather Service it will be a cold day in hell before it can add another employee.

global-warming-forecasts-mckeeThe union hopes it can slip through a loophole under cover of a rhetorical fog bank. Trump’s order doesn’t apply to agencies involved in the military, public safety or public health. The Washington Post says the NWS is hoping to reclassify itself as an integral part of the nation’s public safety apparatus: First responders when the precipitation hits the fan.

If NWS brass has its way, soldiers fighting for our freedom, anti–terror agents protecting the homeland and doctors battling dread disease will be joined by the guy who eyeballs the rain gauge at the airport. Each doing their small part in the vital effort to keep taxpayers alive and paying taxes.

Normally you would call this sort of bureaucratic aggrandizement “mission creep” but in the case of the weather service we’ll call it moisture creep.

The real problem facing weather wizards is it’s difficult to make the case for 650 new hires before Hurricane Donald arrives, when the desks have been empty for years and no one, outside the cleaning crew that dusts the monitors, has noticed.

A union functionary claims the vacant slots are “Emergency Essential” and it’s a big deal, “meaning those employees are critical to the life-saving mission of the NWS, so they must report to work (in hurricanes, floods, blizzards, furloughs, etc.).”

That’s a confusing explanation. I’d have thought an employee who shows up at the office after being furloughed is a potential source of workplace violence, not a reason to consider NWS workers the equivalent of Marines with barometers. As for the rest of the examples, when the morgue is empty it’s easy enough to claim your agency was responsible, but where’s the evidence these vacant slots represent a “life–saving mission?”

When a city is short of cops or has a surplus of demonstrators crime goes up. With a shortage of doctors patients pile up. But it will take some convincing to persuade me a shortage of weather oracles encourages tornadoes.

Making the case the NWS is a public safety necessity is difficult when the weather service has trouble coping with normal weather. Last week, while a blizzard was slamming into Maine and California was wondering if leftist sanctuaries would protect citizens and illegals from flood waters, the NWS system went offline.

A case could be made the cat was out of the bag and Maine and California were already familiar with the weather, but knowing if the rain was expected to stop would have been helpful to the sandbag crew.

Instead two “core routers” failed and the system was offline for three hours. The WaPost’s weather blog reminds us NWS systems failed as Hurricane Matthew was bearing down on Florida last October and in July it experienced another network issue.

It’s almost as if Hillary is the IT consultant.

Even if NWS bureaucrats can convince Trump a weather watcher wielding a weathervane is the public safety equal of a doctor brandishing a thermometer, there is the vetting problem.

In a government that yawns over classified phone call transcripts being leaked to the opposition media there’s a surprising amount of paranoia regarding the five–day forecast. Higher level NWS employees are for some unknown reason required to have a security clearance.

It’s not like you can hide the weather, just go outside and you know as much as President Trump. The only forecasts that have any usefulness are next day predictions. Three and five–day forecasts, which you can get from any weather poodle on TV, are about as reliable as a Republican Congressman’s promise to repeal Obamacare.

I suppose if your life is wrapped up in humidity the staffing shortfall is a big problem, but to me it looks like a good way to save money. It would be cheaper to let NWS focus on gathering weather data and let the private sector handle the forecasts. Using the same data the NWS employs, the Weather Channel is already more accurate and if you don’t like those global warming fanatics there’s always your local TV weather babe.

Why fight it? The missing 650 employees are approximately 14 percent of total employment. Since Trump wants to cut the federal workforce by 20 percent, the NWS’ head start puts it well on the way to meeting that goal.

It’s new motto could be: All the Weather at 80 Percent of the Cost!

Senate Still Can’t Understand Why Trump Won

Hammer–wielding petulants attacking Larry King’s rented limo in DC may boast of being “the Resistance,” but their effect on the Trump administration will be as fleeting as their fame.

Same goes for the estrogen–ettes who held their march the day after the inauguration, proving even angry women have trouble being on time.

rat-republicans-against-trumpThe real resistance to Trump’s agenda wasn’t marching on the streets. It was sitting behind him as he took the Oath. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander personify the Republican Resistance to Trump. They’re the “don’t start your budget cutting with me,” the “don’t disturb my complacency” and the “I’m strictly a big picture guy” wings of the Can’t Do Caucus.

The Can’t Do Caucus — led by “Mitch McClellan” — is composed of GOP politicians who campaign as conservatives and govern as spendocrats. They go along with the base just far enough to get re–elected.

Their charming combination of duplicitousness and inertia is the reason Trump won. Conservatives are tired of being told the issues they supported and voted for at election time are completely impractical at governing time.

Since establishment Republicans can’t comprehend why Trump won and still believe Jeb! may be viable in 2020, they not only resist draining the swamp, most will claim there is no drain.

Senate votes aren’t divided between Republicans and Democrats. The division is between self–interest and the national interest and so far the national interest is on the short side of the ledger.

That’s why I’ve been studying the photo of the large “Resist” banner that was hung from a crane near the White House. Is that Mitch McConnell dangling just out of the frame? Can’t be sure. But I am sure Trump will be fighting more than just Democrats in Congress.

You can find out who the ringleaders are of the internal opposition and why they are fighting Trump by clicking on the link below and reading the rest of my Newsmax column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/federal-senate-spending/2017/01/25/id/770378/

 

Uncle Remus’ Solution to Obamacare Repeal

“Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”

Uncle Remus Stories

Gullible Republican House and Senate members, convinced that repealing Obamacare also involves replacing Obamacare, are preparing to throw Democrats right into the middle of the federal briar patch that is their natural home.

repeal-obamacare-cartoon-heller-495x342

Sure Democrats are making a big deal out of the repeal of Obamacare — there are even rumors Obama himself cut back to golfing only six days per week — yet replacing Democrat meddling in the healthcare marketplace with Republican meddling is no improvement and worse still, gives Democrats an avenue to expand their interference in the future.

Think of Obamacare as one of those patients with a pre–existing cancer. The merciful response is to eradicate the cancer once and for all. There will be some pain and uncertainty, but in the long run the patient and the country will be much better.

Exchanging Obamacare for some jury–rigged replacement only means Republicans decided they want a tumor of their own. It makes federal intrusion into healthcare a permanent feature of modern life.

Our weak, vacillating GOP leadership faces a Treaty of Versailles situation. At the conclusion of World War I the allies wanted to end Germany’s war–making capability, but during negotiations the allies made a crucial mistake. They repealed the Imperial German Army and its General Staff, replacing it with a smaller Weimar Army. German bureaucrats just hid General Staff personnel in a tame sounding “troop office.”

When Hitler came to power the foundation of the Wehrmacht already existed, all he had to do was add manpower. That’s the danger for “Mitch McClellan” and Paul Ryan: Replacing Obamacare with the Wehrmacht–in–waiting. When the next Democrat Congress or president takes office they simply have to ramp up spending and “reform” the Republican replacement and we’re back where we started.

So what should Republicans do after repealing Obamacare? I have a four–point program that protects Constitutional government, taxpayers and patients. You can find all the details by clicking on the link below and going to my Newsmax.com Insider column.

Thanks.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/obamacare-repeal-replace-legislation/2017/01/12/id/768208/

 

 

Social Life a Little Slow? Award an NEA Grant!

December was a great month for entertainment, unless you’re an atheist. There’s an almost unlimited menu of plays, concerts, exhibits and lectures. Even jihadis look forward to Christmas because of the targeting opportunities.

Yet the best part is all this activity takes place without being subsidized by a single dollar of taxpayer money.

Buffet from Hell.

Buffet from Hell.

(Note: I’m not talking about Christmas counter–programming. For example, Santa as a cross–dressing lesbian who kills “Rudolph The Oppressor” and liberates the reindeer, thereby preventing the enslavement of millions of vulnerable children by a rapacious consumer society. Those are government grant productions, notable for their grim intensity, thin skin and lack of audience.)

You might find this shocking, but prior to 1965 EVERY “art” production managed to get by without a single federal taxpayer handout.

Most of us don’t recall 1965 as being such a cultural wasteland that it required federal intervention for culture to continue.

Movie audiences enjoyed Doctor Zhivago and The Sound of Music. Theatre attendees witnessed Man of La Mancha and The Lion in Winter. And readers plowed through Dune, In Cold Blood, Autobiography of Malcolm X and Midnight Cowboy.

Local theatre groups continued to gratify relatives and stupefy audiences without any assistance from Uncle Sam. Museums opened, exhibits appeared in galleries and artists committed “art” without the assistance of Uncle Sam’s “arts” apparatchiks.

So what happened? LBJ and “intellectuals” for one and the result has been expensive and insulting for taxpayers. I have a personal anecdote and a solution, but you’ll have to click the link below to visit my Insider column at Newsmax to find it:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/national-endowment-for-the-arts-government-waste/2016/12/23/id/765398/

 

2016 “Spendy” Award Winner Announced!

It’s time to announce the 2016 “Spendy” award, bestowed upon the federal agency with the most extensive record of incompetence and contempt for the taxpayer. Bonus points are awarded to agencies performing a function completely absent from the Constitution and better left to the private sector.

100-bill-toilet-paperSpendy winners are characterized by cabinet secretaries who condescend to attend congressional hearings, where hours are spent detailing the mismanagement, waste, theft, and general uselessness found in their kingdom. After which the secretary looks the committee chairman straight in the eye and blames all his troubles on Russian hackers.

Who was in the running this year? Well, we had last year’s winner the US Dept. of Agriculture and the runner–up Veterans Administration, along with perennial contender, the US Patent & Trademark Office.

Then there was the Pentagon, which is always in a class of its own.

So how did I pick a winner among these unworthies and who was it? You know the drill. Click on the link below and be whisked to my Newsmax Insider column where all will be revealed.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/congress-pentagon-usda-va/2016/12/29/id/766070/

 

Pentagon Remains a Quart Low on Integrity

The biggest mistake the Germans made in World War II wasn’t the invasion of Russia. It was failing to line the beaches on D–Day with Members of Congress. Evidently these worthies are such fierce antagonists that installing a few Barbara Comstocks or Chuck Schumers in each pillbox would have meant a devastating repulse for the Allied invasion.

After that crushing setback the only hope for the Allies would have been to send GIs over as “undocumented immigrants” and hope Berlin wouldn’t notice.

defense_guide-to-cutting-waste-spendingThe news on the potency of politicians with regard to the Pentagon is deep in a Washington Post story on waste. Pentagon officials commissioned a study and when the researchers found $125 billion being spent on superfluous bureaucrats they buried the report.

The scenario was a little like Rocky I. The Defense Business Board, composed of experienced corporate executives and management consultants, was supposed to find chump change–sized waste that could be easily eliminated earning the Pentagon high praise and bonuses.

But like Rocky Balboa, the committee didn’t know they were a palooka. It discovered the Pentagon spends “almost a quarter of its [yearly] $580 billion budget on overhead and core business operations such as accounting, human resources, logistics and property management.”

Compare that with overhead spending in the private sector where Alix Partners analyzed over 1,900 public and private companies with revenues over $500 million. Overhead as a percentage of sales varied between 14.6 and 15.2 percent, a bit over half what the Pentagon spends. The numbers are even worse for the Pentagon, because many private sector overhead employees are instrumental in producing revenue.

Whereas in the Pentagon, revenue just rolls in like the tide and the bureaucracy wastes it.

So what happened to the recommendations from the study? How does the Pentagon compare with private sector staffing? How much do the generals in charge of firing money into the air know about total Pentagon spending?

All will be revealed when you click on the link below, which will whisk you to the rest of my Newsmax.com column.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/pentagon-government-waste-department-of-defense/2016/12/09/id/763199/

 

McConnell & Ryan Join Trump Troika Under Duress

It appears the Trump, McConnell, Ryan honeymoon is over before the marriage was consummated.

term-limits-adSure Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan made the right noises just after Trump’s astonishing victory. On the Senate floor McConnell said, “Speaker Ryan and I have had productive discussions with the president-elect last week and we’re both looking forward to working with him.”

McConnell was even ready to take on Obamacare, “It’s pretty high on our agenda, as you know. I would be shocked if we didn’t move forward and keep our commitment to the American people.”

Yes it’s been on Mitch’s “honey–do” list for almost a decade, just under “defund National Endowment for the Arts,” “zero out PBS” and declare war on North Viet Nam.

I always had my doubts as to the durability of this menagerie of three. As 1 Corinthians 14:8 advices: “For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for battle?”

And as McConnell has proven over the years his whoopee cushion call–to–action inspires neither his troops nor the voters. (For complete details on McConnell’s reluctance to fight for conservative principles see my earlier column here.)

Now that Trump is serious about “draining the swamp” and the denizens thereof, not only is a divorce in prospect — the fight over who gets custody of the GOP is going to be nasty. In a post–election interview with “60 Minutes” Trump declared, “We’re going to put on term limits, which a lot of people aren’t happy about, but we’re putting on term limits. We’re doing a lot of things to clean up the system.”

That choking noise you just heard was McConnell gagging on his Senate Bean Soup.

So what’s the time–server’s response and the Trumpista solution? You can find out by clicking the link below and traveling to my Newsmax.com column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/president-elect-trump-mcconnell-paul-ryan-term-limits/2016/11/22/id/760234/

 

Mitch McConnell, Trump’s Uncertain Senate Trumpet

It turns out Donald Trump and Abraham Lincoln have a lot more in common than a passing reference in the second presidential debate. You may recall a leaked transcript from one of Hillary’s closely guarded speeches had her admitting “both a public and a private position on certain issues.”

Hillary explained she was only following the duplicity precedent set by Abraham Lincoln during passage of the 13th Amendment.

Gen. George McClellan & Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McClellan

Gen. George McClellan & Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McClellan

It was an audacious lie, but a lie nonetheless.

As Trump said, “Now she’s blaming [her] lie on the late great Abraham Lincoln…okay, Honest Abe never lied…That’s the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you.”

It’s not surprising Hillary would use the dead to buttress a lie — rumor has it she blames Vince Foster for the email server — what’s surprising is learning Trump and Lincoln both confronted a similar governing situation.

Both lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College. Lincoln and Trump were met with riots instigated by political opponents. Each wanted to take control of the capital, although in Lincoln’s case it was Richmond.

Lincoln’s top priority was success on the battlefield, while Trump’s is success in the political arena, yet both must rely on subordinates who oppose their plans and hold them in contempt.

Lincoln’s burden was Maj. Gen. George McClellan. Trump’s is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McClellan.

Whoops, make that Mitch McConnell.

The parallels between these two timid, ineffective, self–protecting “leaders” and the damage they do their putative cause are remarkable. You’ll be amazed at my insight, but you know what comes next: First you’ll have to click on the link below to be taken to Newsmax.com to read the remainder of the column.

As always, feel free to re–post:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/lincoln-mcconell/2016/11/17/id/759488/