Taylor Swift is stalkin’ him

Ray Stevens has been creating novelty hits since I was a child; his recording career dates back to 1957. I haven’t heard about Stevens for a long time and didn’t know his creative juices are still flowing. I was therefore delighted to discover when we received a message from Stevens’s Nashville publicist yesterday that in his newly released video (below), Stevens “claims the world’s biggest superstar, Taylor Swift, is watching the veteran Grammy winner’s every move.” The veteran Grammy winner, let it be noted, has an impressive handle on the Swiftian oeuvre.

Stevens’s plaintive paranoia captures an aspect of the present moment that I thought readers might appreciate. The song’s happy ending, however, requires a deus ex machina lacking in the moment. This is comic art.

We are advised that “Taylor Swift Is Stalkin’ Me” is a track from Stevens’s album Here We Go Again, to be released on March 24. Orders can now be placed on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

Pachauri Out at IPCC

We reported here over the weekend that Rajendra Pachauri, the railroad engineer and sometimes smut novelist who somehow headed the UN’s IPCC climate change circus, was in trouble for some kind of chakra-releasing problem.  Today he resigned as head of the IPCC:

The head of the UN climate change panel (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri, has resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Mr Pachauri said he was unable to provide strong leadership.

Indian police are investigating a complaint from a 29-year-old woman working in his office in Delhi.

Lawyers for the woman say the harassment included unwanted emails as well as text and phone messages. Mr Pachauri has denied the allegations.

Mr Pachauri, who had chaired the IPCC since 2002 and whose second term was due to end in October this year, denies any wrongdoing and says his email account and mobile phone were hacked.

Hacked!  Anthony Weiner should sue for copyright infringement.  In his resignation letter, incidentally, Pachauri says this:

“For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

Funny, I always thought climate change was about science, not religion or dogma.  Methinks Pachauri inadvertently slipped up and told the truth here.

But this may not be the end of the resignations from the diplomatic corps over the next few days:

Senior State Dept. official arrested for allegedly soliciting sex from a minor

EXCLUSIVE: A senior State Department official in charge of federal counterterrorism programs was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly soliciting sex from a minor, Fox News has learned.

Fairfax County Police officials say Daniel Rosen was arrested by a county detective about noon at his Washington, D.C. home after he allegedly sought to arrange sex with a minor. The detective, a female officer working in the county’s Child Exploitation Unit, had been posing as the minor in online exchanges with Rosen, police said.

Rosen, who is the director of counterterrorism programs and policy at the State Department, was arrested and transported to the D.C. jail and charged with one count of Use of a Communications Device to Solicit a Juvenile. . .

Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said late Tuesday, “We are aware that a State Department employee has been arrested and charges have been issued.

“For issues related to Department personnel and for privacy reasons, we are not able to confirm the identity of the individual or specific charges.

“His security clearance will be suspended and he will be put on administrative leave while this proceeds to its end through any judicial process. We are following standard procedure in this case.”

Smart diplomacy breaking out everywhere.

The Smearing of Willie Soon

A blockbuster peer-reviewed paper in the Science Bulletin, authored by Christopher Monckton, Matt Briggs, David Legates and Wei-Hock (“Willie”) Soon, is roiling the global warming Left. The paper identifies flaws in the computer models that predict major global warming–which shouldn’t be a surprise, since the models’ predictions have flopped. It concludes that due to mathematical errors, the models overstate the impact of CO2 on the climate by a factor of three times.

So far, global warming Leftists haven’t been able to find any technical flaws in the Science Bulletin paper, which you can download here. So, naturally, they have resorted to smearing its authors. Greenpeace focused on Dr. Soon, an astrophysicist who works part time for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Greenpeace served a Freedom of Information Act request on the Smithsonian, a public entity, for documents relating to funding of Dr. Soon’s projects. Greenpeace claims that these documents show that Dr. Soon’s projects received funding from Southern Company Services that was not disclosed in certain papers that Dr. Soon published.

The New York Times, having been fed the documents by Greenpeace, eagerly took up the cudgels for global warming Leftists, publishing a supposed expose under the headline, “Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher.” The Times and its fellows on the Left argue that Dr. Soon should have disclosed certain corporate funding with respect to past projects–not, however, the recent paper that the Left seeks to discredit.

You can read about the controversy here and here, and draw your own conclusions. I am not able to sort out whether Dr. Soon should have made additional disclosures with regard to the funding of projects completed years ago; in any event, that has nothing to do with the current paper on the defects in the alarmists’ models.

This is the point I really want to make: the New York Times and other pro-government sources assume that government funding of research is lily-white, while corporate funding is inherently suspect. This is ridiculous. Put aside, for a moment, the fact that the American environmental movement is funded by Russia’s state-controlled oil company.

That isn’t the real scandal. The real scandal is that the overwhelming majority of money spent on climate research comes from governments. Governments, most notably ours, fund climate hysteria to the tune of billions of dollars per year. Why? Because the whole point of global warming alarmism is to persuade voters to cede more control over Western economies to government. (No one actually cares about CO2 emissions from India or China, which together vastly exceed ours.)

Governments fund climate research–but only climate research that feeds alarmism–because they are the main parties in interest in the climate debate. Governments stand to gain trillions of dollars in revenue and unprecedented power if voters in the U.S. and other Western countries can be stampeded into ceding more power to them, based on transparently bad science.

The New York Times and other left-wing news sources assume that government funding is no problem, but private funding is a scandal. I think the opposite is true. It is a scandal that our government spends billions of dollars, enriching many compliant climate scientists–Michael Mann is just one of many examples–to promote its own power. Thank goodness that there is a tiny amount of independent funding that supports objective research and contributes to a debate that is being won, hands down, by climate realists like Dr. Soon.

Jeff Sessions Stands Up For the Constitution and American Workers

I don’t think we have great debates in the Senate any more, but occasionally we have great speeches. A great speech requires a momentous occasion, and the effort to block President Obama’s unconstitutional usurpation of power, while defending American workers, is such an occasion.

I am not sure what machinations are unfolding in Washington. Some reports suggest that Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republican leadership are in the process of caving in to the Democrats. But as usual, it is Jeff Sessions who raises the banner of constitutional government and defense of American workers. Here are excerpts from the speech he delivered on the Senate floor today:

A number of things have been happening today with regard to the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. There’s been a lot of spin about that and that somehow the Republicans are blocking the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. This gives new meaning to the word “obfuscation,” I suppose, or “disingenuousness.” The truth is, the House of Representatives has fully funded the Department of Homeland Security. It’s provided the level of funding the President asked for. It’s kept all the accounts at Homeland Security as approved through the congressional process. It simply says, but, Mr. President, we considered your bill, this amnesty bill that will provide work permits, photo IDs, Social Security numbers, Medicare benefits. You can’t do that. We considered that and rejected it. So we’re not going to fund that.

Now, the President has told us and his staff that they have across the river in Crystal City, they’re leasing a new building and this building is going to hire a thousand workers, paid for by the taxpayers of the United States, part of Homeland Security. Are those thousand workers going to be utilized to enforce the laws of the United States? Are they going to process applications for citizenship or visas? No. Those 1,000 people, costing several hundred million dollars, in truth, those people are going to be processing and providing these benefits to people unlawfully in America…

So Congress says, wait a minute, we didn’t authorize money for that. You can’t spend money to fund exactly the opposite of what we’ve enacted. So we’re just going to put some language in the bill, the normal bill that funds Homeland Security, and say you can’t spend the money to violate the law. You can only spend the money to enforce the law, like you were supposed to do. And the bill comes to the Senate and what spectacle do we have? We have the Democratic members in lockstep unity blocking even proceeding to this bill. And they contend that we’re not funding Homeland Security. Can you imagine that? …

Congress is a coequal branch. It’s not subordinate to the President. If anything, the Constitution provides even more power to the legislative…. The most power in Congress is the power of the purse. Congress is not obligated to pay for anything it believes is unwise, and it has an absolute duty not to fund anything that’s unconstitutional or illegal, which is what we’re dealing with here. So the House of Representatives acted wisely, properly, funding Homeland Security and not allowing activities to be carried out that are unlawful and that Congress has rejected…

How my colleagues have the gall to come to the floor, have a press conference this afternoon, and blame Republicans for shutting down Homeland Security is beyond me.

Now, there are some even on the Republican side that say, “Oh, gosh,” you know, “The President will blame us even if it’s not our fault and we might as well cave in and give him what he wants.” But what he wants is something he can’t be given. What he wants is for Congress to capitulate and erode its powers and responsibility. He wants Congress to violate its duty, to fund something that is illegal and contrary to Congress’s wishes. He can’t demand that. He has no right to demand that.

So Congress cannot fund—cannot, must not fund—an illegal action in hopes that another branch of government will intervene. Now, I say that because some have said, “Well, a court has ruled in Texas that a part of this action by the President is unlawful.” The court was narrow in its decision… I would point out that the Texas court’s injunction addresses only a part of Obama’s lawless actions and could be lifted at any time.

We should stand up for Congresses in years to come, for our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, and defend the power of the purse and defend the integrity of this Congress. …

I think that Senate Democrats and the President must answer why they believe funding executive amnesty and unlawful immigration policies would make this country safer. They say, “Well, you won’t pass a Homeland Security bill like we want it, you’re not making America safe.” I say that their policies eviscerating law enforcement are making America less safe.

We want to fund fully Homeland Security. We want the laws enforced. We don’t want to spend money from Homeland Security to eviscerate the law of the United States and undermine immigration law in America, and we don’t want to fund an unlawful action by the President.

One of the things that was done in this executive amnesty that’s been too little commented on, when the President signed these orders in November, is another policy, another program that has not been authorized by law that would add several hundred thousand new workers to our country… Now, the H-1B program was set up for certain individuals to come and work for three years and then extend maybe another three years, …and it does allow the spouses to come, but since its beginning, it barred spouses from working, or else we were doubling the number of workers. So this [executive action] now just up and approved the ability of spouses of H-1B workers to work. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service estimates—and I’m reading from [their release], “the number of individuals eligible to apply for employment authorization under this rule could be as high as 179,600 in the first year and 55,000 annually in subsequent years.” …

Well, what if your child wants a job? What if you want a job? What if your spouse wants a job and is looking at a job and now we’ve got another, what, 250,000 job applicants, contrary to law?

The first thing we should do is be focusing on getting jobs for Americans that are unemployed. Are we going to keep Americans on welfare and benefits while we bring in more and more foreigners to take jobs when we’ve got Americans ready and willing to take those jobs?

That certainly is what the Obama administration has in mind, because such a policy will increase poverty and government dependence, thereby creating more Democratic voters.

The strangest thing about the current crisis in Washington is the Democrats’ insistence that the Senate’s minority has the right to dictate all legislation relating to appropriations and spending. If the Senate minority wants to enact an appropriations bill in a certain form, or in a certain amount, then the Senate majority and the House of Representatives are obliged to fall in to line and adjust their preferences to accommodate the Senate minority.

This is a position for which I can find no support in the Constitution, and it has never before been advanced. But Republicans should keep it in mind if they find themselves in the minority in the Senate in 2017. No doubt the principle will be consistently applied.

Missing Paddy Chayefsky

We already noted yesterday the tendentiousness of the “gender pay gap” theme that made an appearance at the Academy Awards Sunday night—an entertainment moment that seems to be reverberating like like Cady Stanton at Seneca Falls or something.  (In his typically provocative way, Glenn Reynolds suggests Republicans pass a bill mandating equal salaries for men and women lead actors of equivalent billing in all Hollywood productions, and watch hilarity ensue.  For one thing, I imagine George Clooney gripes about being paid less than Sandra Bullock for Gravity.  Heh.)

Perhaps the best way to think about this is to view the following tart comment from screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, a three-time winner of the Oscar for best screenplay, at the 1978 Academy Awards.  Chayefsky followed a politicized acceptance speech about “Zionist hoodlums” from Vanessa Redgrave with this splendid smackdown, starting at the 0:50 mark in this 8 minute video (transcript below if you’re short of time):

Puts you in the frame of mind to recall one of his greatest lines from one of his screenplays: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more!”  He didn’t.  Wish we had someone like him at the Oscars this year.

Transcript:

I would like to say, personal opinion, of course, that I’m sick and tired of people exploiting the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own personal political propaganda. I would like to suggest to Ms. Redgrave that her winning an Academy Award is not a pivotal moment in history, does not require a proclamation, and a simple ‘thank you’ would have sufficed.”

The Associated Press Revisits the Trayvon Martin Case

The Department of Justice announced today that it will not pursue a federal civil rights charge against George Zimmerman, arising out of his fatal altercation with Trayvon Martin. That was pretty much a foregone conclusion, but the Associated Press took the opportunity to revisit the case:

George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin in a 2012 confrontation with the teenager, will not face federal charges, the Justice Department said Tuesday. …

Zimmerman has said he acted in self-defense when he shot the 17-year-old Martin during a confrontation inside a gated community in Sanford, Florida, just outside Orlando. Martin, who was black, was unarmed when he was killed.

Not only did Zimmerman say that he acted in self-defense, the jury in the case so found. The physical evidence, including wounds to the back of Zimmerman’s head, along with the testimony of the only eyewitness, who saw Martin sitting on top of Zimmerman and pounding his head into the pavement, virtually compelled that finding. And here is a news flash for the liberal media: you have a right to defend yourself against an unarmed person who is beating the daylights out of you, or who you reasonably believe will do so.

Once Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder by a state jury in July 2013, Martin’s family turned to the federal investigation in hopes that he would be held accountable for the shooting.

If Zimmerman acted in self-defense, as the jury found, prosecuting him on federal charges wouldn’t be holding him accountable, it would be persecuting him for political gain.

That probe focused on whether the killing amounted to a federal civil rights violation, which would have required proof that it was motivated by racial animosity. Although Martin’s parents have said Zimmerman initiated the fight…

With all due respect to Martin’s parents, they have no idea who initiated the fight. The jury found self-defense, and that finding was amply supported by the evidence. But for whatever reason, the A.P. and other liberal news sources can’t let the matter go.

…the Justice Department said there was not enough evidence to establish that Zimmerman willfully deprived Martin of his civil rights — a difficult legal standard to meet — or killed the teenager on account of his race.

Self-defense is a complete defense to the federal civil rights charge, just as it was to the state homicide charge. Martin’s race is irrelevant.

Representatives of DOJ met with the Martin family and their lawyer:

“What they told his family and I was that because Trayvon wasn’t able to tell us his version of events, there was a lack of evidence to bring the charges. That’s the tragedy,” [lawyer Ben] Crump said.

One can only hope that the DOJ representatives didn’t actually say this. The Zimmerman/Martin case was a rather clear-cut case of self-defense. The tragedy of Martin’s death has been compounded by the actions of politicians and hustlers who tried to turn the story into one about race. Eric Holder, sadly, was one of that group.

Fifty Shades of Gay?

I related in National Review how I ran afoul of the gender police by mocking here on Power Line the ever-changing acronyms of sexual correctness—“what goes by the LGBTQRSTUW (or whatever letters have been added lately) ‘community.’”

Well, at Wesleyan University it is now LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM.  Here’s the full explanation of “open house” at 154 Church Street, which is apparently not a parody:

154 Church Street

Open House is a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.

I’m starting to get the impression that the campus left is obsessed with sex.