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Sheldon Whitehouse doesn’t let a tornado disaster go to waste

Sheldon Whitehouse doesn’t let a tornado disaster go to waste

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has been a focus here over the years because he’s Professor Jacobson’s home state Senator. 

Whitehouse’s speech against opponents of Obamacare, in which he invoked Kristallnacht and lynchings, is legendary in the wrong way:

History cautions us of the excesses to which these malignant, vindictive passions can ultimately lead. Tumbrels have rolled through taunting crowds. Broken glass has sparkled in darkened streets. Strange fruit has hung from Southern trees. Even this great institution of government that we share has cowered before a tail-gunner having secret lists. Those malignant movements rightly earned what Lord Acton called “the undying penalty which history has the power to inflict upon wrong.”

He then went on to accuse opponents of racism:

So it’s not really shocking that amidst the reports of the death and destruction caused by the tornado in Oklahoma on Monday, Whitehouse is at it again.

The most tragic aspect of this disaster is that the twister hit an elementary school:

At least 20 of the 51 people killed by a devastating monster tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., were children, the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner said this evening, as searchers picked through the rubble of schools, homes and businesses leveled by the storm.

I follow climate science discussions closely, and figured that it would be about 24 hours before some politician would tie the tornado to man-made global warming.

It didn’t even take half that time before a Democratic Senator made the distasteful and unscientific commentary:

While many Americans were tuned into news coverage of the massive damage from tornadoes ravaging the state of Oklahoma, Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse took to the Senate floor to rail against his Republican colleagues for denying the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

Whitehouse spent 15 minutes chastising GOP senators and justified his remarks by alluding to states that seek federal assistance in the wake of natural disasters.

“So, you may have a question for me,” Whitehouse said. “Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn’t just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas, it hits Montana with dying forests. So, like it or not, we’re in this together.”

There is a fairly long list of tornado outbreaks that have impacted this country over its history.  They include time periods before the use of fossil fuels and the Republican Party (e.g., The Great Natchez Tornado of 1840).

More dead than injured
Today, most government agencies — the National Water Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency and others — put the death toll at 317 and 109 injured, the only tornado where the dead outnumber the injured…The tornado’s destruction on land and water was estimated at $1,269,000 in 1840 dollars. That would translate today into about $21 million.

How strong was it?
So destructive was the storm that a piece of a steamboat window was reportedly carried 30 miles. Government weather agencies have no idea where on the Fujita scale of F1 to F6 the tornado would rank, though it seems likely that its devastation would certainly equal an F5, the highest ever recorded, which carries winds of 207-260 mph

It would be very refreshing to see a Democratic representative refrain from using children’s deaths to deride Republicans for a change.

And I say that as a Democrat.

Update: Sen. Whitehouse pleads ignorance, says he had no idea about Okla. tornado when he gave his global warming remarks. And he also didn’t know his investment advisor was selling out his portfolio just before the 2008 crash, Sheldon Whitehouse, luckiest investor in America?


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Weren’t not even finished with the coolest Spring in 60 years

    GrumpyOne in reply to Neo. | May 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    As one who has had a “little” training in meteorology, the answer would depend on where you are located.

    Generally speaking, North American has been slow to warm this year along with Europe. Siberia OTOH warmed pretty quickly.

    Here in Texas there was no real “spring,” but rather a switch from late winter to early summer a couple of weeks ago hence the recent outbreak of tornadoes a week or so ago.

    Regarding the political aspect of all this… Whitehouse is a bat sh*t crazy doofus from my native state and is yet another reason that I’ll never return there to live. In fact visiting becomes painful after a couple of weeks!

    Finally, the benchmark year of 1998 still remains a constant in the current climate change hysteria. There’s been no significant “warming” since that time..

moonstone716 | May 21, 2013 at 8:27 am

Leslie is a Democrat? Thanks for the heads up; I won’t bother with her/his blogs anymore. And I seriously, for the first time ever, question the Prof’s judgement now.

    maybe you should research the history, reasons, and subsequent actions of the author before making stupid comments like that.

      moonstone716 in reply to dmacleo. | May 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

      Research is irrelevant. A Democrat is, by accepted definition and in this example, a person who identifies with and votes for Democrat politicians. Democrat politicians do not like this country and are trying to change it in a way that will be detrimental to all of us. If Leslie is a Democrat, then I don’t care about anything else she has to say on a political forum. And shame on the Professor for giving her one. There are many “Tea Party Leaders” who are not of the party of Nancy Pelosi; he could give one of them a forum instead.

      And BTW – you must be a fellow traveler of Leslie’s, two sentences and you couldn’t resist the school-yard insults. Typical.

        I call an idiot an idiot when the idiot acts like an idiot.
        deal with it.

        IrateNate in reply to moonstone716. | May 21, 2013 at 11:26 am

        May I assume, then, that you define yourself as a Republican? If so, why do you bother paying attention to national events if, by accepted definition, you simply pull the GOP straight ticket lever?

    Ragspierre in reply to moonstone716. | May 21, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Since the inception of the TEA Party movement, everybody was welcome to join.

    Leslie is a TEA Party leader, who elects to still identify as a Democrat for reasons of her own.

    Open that mind up just a leeeeetle bit.

      moonstone716 in reply to Ragspierre. | May 21, 2013 at 8:51 am

      Nope. It’s way, way past time to pick sides. Democrat leaders are happily and actively destroying much of what this country stands for. Any Democrat voter is on their side. End of story.

        Ragspierre in reply to moonstone716. | May 21, 2013 at 9:11 am

        When Leslie joined…and became a leader in…the TEA Party, her side was chosen.

        Or did you miss that part…???

        And who said she’s “a democrat voter”? Remember Reagan Democrats?

          moonstone716 in reply to Ragspierre. | May 21, 2013 at 9:23 am

          Oh, come on….you’re really reaching. Why would she say she’s a Democrat if she doesn’t vote for Democrats? Reagan Democrats were so named because they made an exception to voting Democrat when they voted for Reagan.

          Anyway, defend Democrats all you want; I don’t care. You probably think Obama is a “good man” too. Whatever. I’ve spent enough time arguing with and about people I neither know nor care to know.

          Nothing personal.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | May 21, 2013 at 9:35 am

          “Why would she say she’s a Democrat if she doesn’t vote for Democrats?”

          That is a fair question. And one you should ASK her, instead of simply condemning her with no evidence.

          having access and knowledge of the local party there and knowing how to fight it is bad I guess,
          he’s an idiot, not wasting anymore time on him.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | May 21, 2013 at 10:10 am

          Hell, I voted in the Deemocrat primary as part of my very own “Operation Chaos”.

          I EVEN caucused with ’em. Then I went home and bathed in bleach.

          Ragspierre: Thank you for stepping-up and explaining a bit of my background. I would like to offer a couple of quick reasons why I opted to retain my Democratic Party status.

          1) It diffuses any argument made that I am saying anything because I am a Republican Party tool. As an example, here is a joint interview I did on Fox Business in which liberal talk show Leslie Marshall tried to dismiss Tea Party because she was a Democrat. Note the shock on her face when I say I am also a Democrat — and she had trouble recovering from that moment.

          2)It is an acid test: If I sound more conservative than a Republican, you may be dealing with a RINO. 😉

          If people don’t want to read my posts simply because of my party status, it says more about them than it does about me. 🙂

          BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Ragspierre. | May 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm

          I prefer Lesley – the proper spelling for a girl .

          But Leslie is nowhere as bad as Stanley.

        Viator in reply to moonstone716. | May 21, 2013 at 10:21 am

        “I’ve spent enough time arguing with and about people I neither know nor care to know.”

    GrumpyOne in reply to moonstone716. | May 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Uh, quite a few democrats are conservative and Leslie is in that group working from within.

    Her narratives here have been excellent and we need all the help we can get.

    I’ll close with the fact that this blog counts accuracy before fluff…

I am shocked that this man would do this at a time when they had not even recovered the bodies of the students – I mean really shocked!! I thought the first words out of the liberals mouth would be – Multiple deaths of students in a tornado free school zone – WE DEMAND TORNADO CONTROL LEGISLATION NOW!!! sarc/off

Massachusetts Tea Party Gaining Steam, Holding Protests. “The growing controversy over the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups is ‘like hitting a Tea Party hornet’s nest with a baseball bat,’ said Scott Ferson, a Democratic strategist with the Liberty Square Group.”

    Valerie in reply to Ragspierre. | May 21, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Rags, good luck with the moonbat. You are far kinder and more patient than I.

    There’s a word for sweeping purists in politics, and it is “loser.” Both the Republican Party and the TEA Parties need to avoid this attitude.

My God, Professor. Here I’d figured that NOTHING more could shock me from these Slime. This one leaves me gasping. “Finally, Senator, have you no shame..?” Oooops, another ’50s flashback.

From the guys who care about the middle-class, the working people, and the children.

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Midwest Rhino | May 21, 2013 at 10:20 am

last report on FOX interviewed some official saying the official number is now (at least) 24, 9 of them children. She said something about double counting because phones were down, but the 51 is wrong. Of course the number could still go up.

If these were Democrats I’d suspect them of deliberately inflating the numbers, to get donations, playing their news cycle game.

moonstone716: “I’ve spent enough time arguing with and about people I neither know nor care to know.”

Then stop arguing.

No, seriously – people voted for this guy?

If you ask a warmist if a particular storm was caused by global warming, you will most likely get a vague claim that the climate models they believe in predict an increase in violent storm activities. In other words, a particularly violent storm can be touted by believers as evidence of global warming without actually having to prove it.

Because of the way its advocates have tried to frame the debate, global warming is a theory that can never be falsified. One example: a large number of hurricanes in the Atlantic in 2005 is touted as “proof” of global warming, but a lull in hurricane activity since then is dismissed as a statistical anomaly. Another example: the recent severe drought in my home state of Texas was hailed as evidence of global warming even though the models predicted a rise in violent thunderstorms in North America rather than drought. And does anyone remember the claims that major coastal cities would be underwater by 2020? Note how that prediction has been pushed back to 2050 or even forgotten entirely.

My background is in engineering and mathematics, and I have experience in modeling chaotic systems. The notion that it is possible to make the kind of precise predictions some climate scientists are making is nonsense.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to rec_lutheran. | May 21, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    99.99% agree with you, however, AGW, as first proposed, was a hypothesis that absolutely could have been falsified (however long that would have taken).

    But you are absolutely correct that the initial claim has long since devolved into an unfalsifiable, therefore unscientific, assertion requiring constant fixing to match the latest data, moving of goalposts, castigation of nonbelievers (deniers), and all the other claptrap that typically accompanies pseudoscience.

    As you know, accurate modeling of chaotic systems depends on knowing and accounting for variables, something AGW modeling comes nowhere near doing. In fact, certain AGW propagandists doctor the models to create the predictions they need for political agenda.

      A half-century ago it was proved that the weather could not be predicted very far into the future with any degree of reliability – even with a computer. Nevertheless, warmists now say they can accurately predict the weather decades into the future.

      Of course, some of the wild earlier predictions by warmists have since been dumped down the memory hole (example: many islands such as the Maldives were supposed to have been submerged by now). Nevertheless the science is settled, we are told, even if the data and conclusions seem to change daily.

Callipygian1 | May 21, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Sheldon Whitehouse reminds me of Hank Johnson; the only time he is ever in the news is to offer up a lunatic screed. However his wordsmithing indicates his vaulting past the 6th grade unlike Johnson.

[…] Sheldon Whitehouse doesn’t let a tornado disaster go to waste […]

BannedbytheGuardian | May 21, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Somebody at weasels stated simply –

Behead him as a warning to others.

Short & sweet.

[…] is blaming global warming and budget cuts for the disaster.  Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-CT) blamed Republicans for the disaster on the Senate floor last […]