Peak Esposito

While it is difficult to date the onset precisely, we entered the Esposito phase of the Obama presidency within the past few years. It is the phase in which Barack Obama’s barking leftist mania for rule by decree became manifest. In late 2014, for example, The Hill took a look back at “Obama’s ‘pen and phone’ barrage.”

The barrage continues. Since then we have grown accustomed to it.

In Woody Allen’s Bananas (1971, written with Mickey Rose), it is the phase in which the revolutionary Esposito achieves power in the fictional Latin American backwater of San Marcos. The power promptly goes to Esposito’s head. Esposito starts issuing proclamations such as this one: “From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish. Silence! In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. Furthermore, all children under 16 years old are now… 16 years old!” Video of this scene is below (with Greek subtitles).

Bananas is a comedy that plays it for laughs. Barack Obama is about as funny as cancer. We probably entered into the Esposito phase of Obama’s presidency long ago, around the time Obama started rewriting unambiguous provisions of Obamacare on his own say-so.

Now we seem to be reaching peak Esposito. The thought comes to mind in connection with Rowan Scarborough’s mind-boggling Washington Times report “Pentagon orders commanders to prioritize climate change in all military actions.” Scarborough explains:

The Pentagon is ordering the top brass to incorporate climate change into virtually everything they do, from testing weapons to training troops to war planning to joint exercises with allies.

A new directive’s theme: The U.S. Armed Forces must show “resilience” and beat back the threat based on “actionable science.”

It says the military will not be able to maintain effectiveness unless the directive is followed. It orders the establishment of a new layer of bureaucracy — a wide array of “climate change boards, councils and working groups” to infuse climate change into “programs, plans and policies.”

The Department of Defense directive is posted online here. In his mania for destruction Obama exceeds Esposito. Esposito would never put his forces to such vacuous tasks.

Quotable quote from Roger Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado: “Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century. No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin. In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”