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Elaine Chao for Sec of Transportation - any conflicts here?

Elaine Chao for Sec of Transportation - any conflicts here?

Was reading Wikipedia about this lady, Elaine Chao that Trump may pick for Secretary of Transportation.
Chao's family owns Foremost Shipping, specializing in shipping coal internationally? Is this right?
Foremost flags their vessels with African country Liberia where ships can be registered and they don’t have to comply with any labor regulations? And Chao was Secretary of Labor - under Bush administration the whole 8 years?
Married to Mitch McConnell - and Chao's family gave Mitch millions of dollars - read this on Wikipedia. Maybe as much as $25 million.
McConnell in the Senate - he is majority leader of the Senate. Conflict here too?
Read in Wikipedia about coal mines and Chao cutting more than 100 coal mine safety inspections back in 2005-06 time frame - then there were these mine disasters? Was there a connection? Was Chao favorable to coal cause her family ships it? Just asking. We need to check these things out, right? Or just don't read and ignore?
Do American voters just not keep up with government?
Do politicians in Washington laugh at us?
Coal?
That's not what we need to abate climate change. We need green energy.
What's going on?
Hello?
Are we going back 100 years?

carlk | 1 dicembre 2016

It looks pretty bad. How would it look when Chao testifies in the senate? They won't rehearse in bed the night before? And wait until you see Trump's son and son in law start to mingle with politics while still oversee Trump's financial empire. Make America a great banana republic again.

Dramsey | 1 dicembre 2016

It's funny to see liberals suddenly so concerned about conflicts of interest...

When Obama was campaigning, he promised that no lobbyists would be appointed to posts in his administration. Two days after he was sworn in, he nominated William Lynn, the chief lobbyist for Raytheon, as deputy secretary of defense. Lynn immediately started pushing to relax rules on contractor payments.

More alarmingly, the Obama administration removed conflict of interest disclosure reports-- which officials are required to file-- from public view back in May of this year. Gee, I wonder why they'd do that?

http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/25/obamas-admin-deletes-conflict-of-inter...

However, this whole thing highlights one of the advantages of a Trump presidency: unlike Obama, whom a compliant media and sycophantic supporters would allow to get away with virtually anything, Trump's every move will be endlessly dissected, scrutinized, and criticized.

sosmerc | 1 dicembre 2016

A whole new set of "checks and balances".......sort of like the Fox slogan "fair and balanced". It's going to be a "bumpy ride" :).......

finman100 | 1 dicembre 2016

FT2016

stevenmaifert | 1 dicembre 2016

Expect the focus to be on rebuilding a crumbling transportation infrastructure. Who knows, she might even propose raising the Federal gas tax to pay for it.

vperl | 1 dicembre 2016

Ten bucks a gallon.

vperl | 1 dicembre 2016

Ten bucks a gallon.

TeslaTap.com | 1 dicembre 2016

@stevenmaifert - What raise a federal tax? I don't expect to see it in my lifetime - at least not a tax that affects oil and gas interests that basically own Washington's both parties.

RedShift | 1 dicembre 2016

@dramsey

"Obama, whom a compliant media and sycophantic supporters would allow to get away with virtually anything,"

Thank god for the obstructionist (may be semi-nihilist!) republicans then. :-)

carlk | 1 dicembre 2016

Tax and spend. Isn't that what Republicans have always been accusing Democrats are doing? And huge deficit spending is becoming a good thing for Republicans now?

codyb12889 | 1 dicembre 2016

@Dramsey

"However, this whole thing highlights one of the advantages of a Trump presidency: unlike Obama, whom a compliant media and sycophantic supporters would allow to get away with virtually anything, Trump's every move will be endlessly dissected, scrutinized, and criticized."

Do not be fooled. As soon as it is not good for ratings the majority will be back to ignoring most every move. Considering the president-elect has already cooled on his actions with Obamacare, scaled back on his wall, and basically walked back his entire campaign I would say that he will be quietly screwing us over like every other politician by mid January.

kevin | 1 dicembre 2016

@ carlk
Yes, Democrats tax and spend. Republicans just spend.

SCCRENDO | 1 dicembre 2016

Despite some tantalizing comments from Trump suggesting he may backtrack or soften some of his campaign promises his cabinet appointments suggest otherwise. He is reneging on"draining the swamp" by appointing Washington and Wall Street insiders, billionaires etc. However this appointment is yet another example of him attempting to keep his campaign promises. Fossil fuel transportation will be encouraged and any infrastructure related to the fossil fuel industry will be promoted. Not sure whether oil pipeline etc fall under transportation but they certainly will be encouraging as part of his infrastructure job promoting policy

flight505 | 1 dicembre 2016

@ Dramsey

Thanks for bringing William Lynn to our attention. I'm not for putting anybody with a conflict of interest into government positions, including Lynn or anybody else, Chao included.

My question is the following: Are you okay with Elaine Chao becoming Secretary of Transportation? If so, is that yes based on the fact you agree with her interest or viewpoint, however conflicting to her office? I mean her family is shipping coal internationally and she is the head of the Department of Transportation. Also, her husband Mitch McConnell is Senate Majority Leader and received millions of dollars from shipping coal. Are you okay with this?

SCCRENDO | 1 dicembre 2016

From what I understand Dramsey is a libertarian so would not stand in the way of an industry moving forward even if it is coal mining. @Dramsey. Remind me. Do you believe in AGW and if so how aggressive should we be be in ameliorating it?

Dramsey | 1 dicembre 2016

@flight505,

"Are you okay with Elaine Chao becoming Secretary of Transportation?"

Well, this may seem cynical of me but...

I. Don't. Care.

I expect the Federal government, regardless of whom runs it, to be incompetent at best and actively malicious at worst. I expect corruption and graft to have more effect on government policy than principle ever will. I expect that the influence of unions, lobbyists, other special interests, and naked partisanship will _always_ be more important than the interests of the American people.

I formed these attitudes some decades ago after watching politicians whom I believed in recant their words and positions, and betray principles they professed to hold dear. In the intervening years I have never been disappointed.

(The thing that amazes me is that there are so many people who _don't_ see this. How even the most fervent Obama supporter could still believe in the man after "If you like your medical plan, you can keep it. Nobody is going to take it from you. Period.", especially after it was revealed that he knew this was a lie at the time, escapes me. But I digress.)

So I am completely indifferent to which capering monkey, gung-ho general, or business tycoon is ensconced in what spot. I can't affect it; all I can do is react to it by (say) changing investment strategies. So that's what I do.

Dramsey | 1 dicembre 2016

@SCCRENDO,

I admire the Libertarian political philosophy, in the same way that I admire, say, the Courts of Fairie. Both have similar chances of being significant in the real world.

Regarding AGW: I am certainly willing to entertain it as a theory. But historically the models produced to support it have poor record of prediction.

RedShift | 1 dicembre 2016

@dramsey

If the politicians didn't have ny impact on us, being cynically aloof is fine. However, they can and do affect our life. Sometimes very seriously.

flight505 | 1 dicembre 2016

@ Dramsey
I sympathize with your frustration of politicians. I also feel pretty helpless to what goes on.

However, if Americans paid more attention I think we would make better choices, so voters are partly to blame - me included.

I would like to see favorable laws and policies to advance EV's and green energy.

I don't want to give up.

SCCRENDO | 1 dicembre 2016

@dramsey. I am also a cynic and I agree most politicians are corrupt to a varying degree. However sitting on the sidelines not being involved yet complaining is not a wise option. Thus you need to pick your options that support your views as best as possible. As regards climate change you are smart enough to look at the data objectively. Either the data is real or it isn't. There is not middle path. If what we understand is true standing by is not an option. Not sure what family you have but having children and grandchildren I would like to leave them with a future.

Dramsey | 2 dicembre 2016

Oh, I vote. This last election not a single thing I voted for passed....although realistically I don't suppose there was ever any chance of "None of the above" winning. But I live in hope. No, I jape: not really. I mean, look who we just elected! (Was Trump the douch or the turd sandwich? I forget. South Park reference for those not in the know.) The one bright spot I have is the bracing bath of schadenfreuden I take every morning.

Anyway! Onwards!

"Either the data is real or it isn't"...one of the reasons I remain skeptical of the "A" is the way historical temperature records are continually adjusted (always for Scientifically Valid Reasons to Account for Newly Discovered Biasing Factors, of course)....so the data everyone was working off years ago suddenly changes. Guess that means it wasn't real to begin with.

Lemme give you an example: remember "the pause"? That hiatus in the increase in mean surface temperatures starting in the late 1990s? It was a great mystery. There were dozens of explanations offered by climate scientists: volcanic aerosols. Heat being stored in the deep oceans. The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. El Niño. Variations in solar output. Et cetera. It was the climate science version of the Missing Mass problem.

Suddenly, the pause vanished! It was easy: historical temperature records were "adjusted". Now the pause is a "myth". Everyone knows this. Never happened, and if you bring it up, you're a "denier".

Of course, ideological data tampering-- if that's what it is-- doesn't by itself invalidate a hypothesis. But still.

The future? Well. Progressives voted in a "pen and phone" president who preferred to govern via executive fiat. They eliminated the filibuster. Gave vast powers to unelected bureaucracies who subsequently discovered hitherto unknown regulatory muscles. That rainwater ditch on your farm? The EPA has it covered.

The Federal government has been weaponized to accomplish progresssive goals that couldn't be achieved through the normal democratic process. Then we handed that weapon to Trump. So...

Do I sound bitter? I'm not, really. After all my new 90D should be here in a few weeks. Never though I'd consider an Audi A6 as a penalty box, but as with so much in life, my expectations have changed.

Kids? Nope.

carlk | 2 dicembre 2016

I'm equally cynical of people as I am of politicians. The only problem with politicians is they are human too. There is nothing wrong otherwise with the governing system. Giving people freedom to do things without governance is going to be much worse than having politicians to control our life. We at least still have some say in how politicians work. If the libertarian concept is unconditional personal freedom without governance than it is bound to fail.

Dramsey | 2 dicembre 2016

"I'm equally cynical of people as I am of politicians."

I, surprisingly, am not. The difference between the two classes is that politicians have power over people; the inverse is not true. You know what they say about power corrupting, right? Politicians have vastly more power to do damage than do their subjects.

"Giving people freedom to do things without governance is going to be much worse than having politicians to control our life."

We're gonna have to agree to disagree on this point...

"We at least still have some say in how politicians work."

But less all the time. Ever-growing bureaucracy means new powers are granted to agencies without public comment or approval. See my EPA example: one day, they decided that the whole "navigable waterways" thing defined in the Clean Water Act of 1972 was just, you know, too much of an impediment...so they expanded their purview to virtually any trickle of running water. Don't like it? Sue them in Federal court. Bring LOTS of money.

"If the libertarian concept is unconditional personal freedom without governance than it is bound to fail."

I'm sure there's a balance somewhere between this and the out-of-control regulatory state we have now.

RedShift | 2 dicembre 2016

@dramsey

Agree mostly with everything you say.

People, as in people who have no power over you, are obviously going to be nice. At least neutral. Whenever that changes, is when you discover their true nature.

Oh look, now we are getting philosophical.

carlk | 2 dicembre 2016

@Dramsey

Power corrupts but corporate power can be even greater than government power especially when checks and balances are not there anymore Let's say if you got your wishes and we get rid of all levels of governments and send those politicians home. Do you think they will behave any better when they become CEO and executive of large corporations? I think they will be even worse when they will no longer be responsible to anyone, not even to voters.

flight505 | 2 dicembre 2016

So, what about Elaine Chao?

carlk | 2 dicembre 2016

What about Elaine Chao? Isn't having to go to bed with Mitch Mcconnell every night enough punishment for her?

carlk | 2 dicembre 2016

I mean if that's how to be the secretary of transportation would you take it? ;)

flight505 | 2 dicembre 2016

But, seriously folks,
Chao

SCCRENDO | 2 dicembre 2016

@dramsey. Your point about science I believe is off the mark. Science works with the best data and if you believe in the data you need to act upon it. If the data is statistically significant on multiple occasions it would suggest a low probability of this being due to chance. The beauty about science is that when new data comes up we review it and act upon it. And if the science is correct (and the probability that it isn't in extremely low) we need to act. We have been trying to cure cancer for decades. And the science has evolved. Just because some of the old science may be contradicted is not a good reason not to treat cancer.

Guys. Please don't gross me out. It's dinner time. The thought of someone sleeping with Mitch McConnel is horrible. That is immediate grounds for disqualification from an important leadership post. I guess we shouldn't be surprised that she supports the fossil fuel industry.

bigd | 2 dicembre 2016

SCCRENDO states "Guys. Please don't gross me out. It's dinner time. The thought of someone sleeping with Mitch McConnel is horrible".Am I to take it you thought the Majority Leader of the senate before him was better ?.

SCCRENDO | 2 dicembre 2016

@bigd. Yes I did. But i guess he supported an agenda that I liked. McConnel has no backbone as is completely obstructionist. He was a big part of the gridlock problem. But again I am being facetious. I have a dislike for him beyond his policies.

RedShift | 2 dicembre 2016

@bigd

Let's say democrats and those opposed to Trump decided to do what Mitch McConnel did for the last 8 years. Would you like that? I understand, dems don't have a chance, given how much ground they have lost. Hypothetically, if they were to do the same crap, would you approve?

bigd | 2 dicembre 2016

SCCRENDO " I have a dislike for him beyond his policies." Now you see why I do like you, you are honest! Therefore I will not get into a "pissing contest" about reed/mcconnel. In my opinion they both suck :-)

RedShift "Hypothetically, if they were to do the same crap", Please be specific on your "crap". What I see is that Trump is not even the president yet and what the dems say is deplorable. I am not saying you are wrong or that republicans were not as bad in 2008 but hey, if you want to talk politics been crappy you will have to get specific as most of politics fall into this category.

RedShift | 2 dicembre 2016

Bigd

"Please be specific on the crap part"

Ok, if you want to know the news flash - the vow that they would make Obama a one term president and obstruct everything he did. I simply cannot believe I have to actually spell it out, though. Have you not been listening to the news these past 8+ years?

SCCRENDO | 2 dicembre 2016

@Bigd. The reality is that Reid supports my agenda and McConnell blocked anything constructive from happening. Now again it's likely we view them differently because of our different beliefs. But I found McConnell someone who could not be reasoned with. He was hijacked by the tea party wing and didn't have the guts to stand up to them. Obama as a compromise nominated a relatively conservative Supreme Court nominee. Hillary would have nominated someone much more liberal. Yet he wouldn't even allow him a hearing never mind a vote. I do understand that it would be wonderful if the Dems could have the same blocking abilities as the Republicans had as I think much of what Trump is planning needs to be blocked but they came out of this election too weak. While I understand politics is a dirty game I think the Dems are generally more gentlemanly about it. The Republicans under Obama have been the worst I remember out of anybody in my time in the US. I would put the blame squarely with the Tea party that has hijacked the Republican Party. In fact they rule now and Trump is in effect a tea party guy although your guess is as good as mine as to how he will behave

bigd | 2 dicembre 2016

Sure I have, I just thought that such a intellect would have something intelligent that I was not aware of.hmmm a republican saying that his goal is to make a dem a one term president is shocking -- um not. again at least honest. When the policies and views are so radical I would expect nothing less. I don't have a problem with a dem saying they want to make Trump a one termer (as you have said). but if he does well then he will make it 2 terms :-). but to elaborate on your commit. they ascended to power due to "obstructing" they destructive policies
or did you mean 2006 ---
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/after-bush-was-re-elected-in-2004-demo...
or was it
http://www.speaker.gov/general/all-obstruction-all-time-democrats-senate

bigd | 2 dicembre 2016

that was to red not you SCCRENDO

SCCRENDO | 2 dicembre 2016

@bigD. I agreed that politics is dirty on both sides. Certainly my perception is that the Republicans do it more particularly the last 6 years. I dont think we should really look at your second link because most Dems do not trust Ryan as far as we could throw him. I'm going to bed now but I'll try find an independent link that both of us can trust to give us the true figures.

bigd | 2 dicembre 2016

red --- the rather than they, "they destructive policies"

bigd | 2 dicembre 2016

SCCRENDO In my life the best for this country was the Clinton/Gringrich and Reagan/tipper because they new how to work together !!!!!! Not saying I agree with the outcome but we were not as divided as the last great divider we had.

bigd | 2 dicembre 2016

knew not new

bigd | 2 dicembre 2016

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder LOL true but understand I am an independent and know whom obstructs my friend. Speaking of friends has anyone heard from grinning in a while??????

RedShift | 3 dicembre 2016

@bigd

So your response amounted to 'politics is dirty all around'. Not exactly exonerating Mitch McConnel, you agree?

To repeat: would you be OK with dems paying him back in the same coin?

Dramsey | 3 dicembre 2016

@carlk,

"Power corrupts but corporate power can be even greater than government power especially when checks and balances are not there anymore"

Hm. How many people have died in wars started by corporations?

"Let's say if you got your wishes and we get rid of all levels of governments and send those politicians home."

That's not my wish. I wish for a (much) more limited Federal government. Something along the lines of "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Getting back to my EPA example, what do you think the Founders would make of Federal control of my rainwater ditch?

@SCCRENDO,

"Science works with the best data and if you believe in the data you need to act upon it."

I don't recall, but I believe you have a scientific background, right? M.D.? Anyway, let's review the Scientific Method, the basis of Western civilization (IMO):

1. You collect or generate data.
2. You invent a hypothesis to explain the data.
3. You devise experiments to test the hypothesis.

With climate science, we run into substantial difficulties in steps 1 and 3. The data on the climate is fragmentary and unreliable, especially when you're trying to infer temperatures hundreds of years ago from various sketchy proxies. Even the modern data seems subject to endless revisions and "adjustments".

And we obviously cannot devise any experiments, as we do not have an unpopulated duplicate Earth to use as a control. Instead, we must _predict_: our computer models and calculations predict THIS average temperature or ease in major storms or whatever.

And the predictions have been crap. As the saying goes, when your hypothesis and reality disagree, your hypothesis is wrong.

Now, this doesn't mean the AGW hypothesis is wrong. It's easy to demonstrate CO2 absorption of IR in the lab- heck, I did a lot of IR spectroscopy in college back in the 70s. But the poor predictive record and the lies told to the public about it have made me skeptical.

But hey! What about that Elain Chao?

SCCRENDO | 3 dicembre 2016

@Dramsey. Yes I am an MD scientist and I am not an expert in climate science. I have been doing a lot of reading and looking at papers over the last 6-12 months.

The data generated is observational data but is pretty rigorous and I believe very good. Certainly there have been some modifications to the data based on improved knowledge and measurement techniques but that I believe has served to improve the data. Experiments are designed to test many parts of the hypothesis particularly the scientific correlations. The potential weakness is that are short term experiments extrapolatedto longer time periods. Science is never 100% in anything but the probability that this is all due to chance is really low. Most of the scientific world understands the correlation between man's activities, greenhouse gases, global warming and the consequences to our planet. The deniers on this site don't understand the science enough to provide good counter arguments. The closest we get is Mitch who parrots a handful of smart deniers sponsored by the Koch brothers and fossil fuel industry. What they tend to do is cherry pick small areas of the data and extrapolate. Skeptical Science is a good site that shows you the fallacies of the denier argument.

Elain Chao supports the fossil fuel industry and sleeps with Mitch McConnel

bigd | 3 dicembre 2016

RedShift "Thus, one key to all this rests in Congress. Will eight years of Republican objections to “executive overreach” still apply when a Republican president takes the same actions? Will Democrats who cheered Obama’s willingness to end-run legislative gridlock now object to presidential directives?
The likely answers: no, and yes. For most political actors, presidential power is only bad when it is exercised by a president of the opposing party. There’s been a lot of change in American politics recently — but it’s a good bet that this particular form of bipartisan hypocrisy will remain constant. msn dot com

RedShift | 3 dicembre 2016

@bigd

Me no comprende. What's the quote from me you are trying to respond to?

Dramsey | 4 dicembre 2016

@SCCRENDO,

Like you, I have scientific training but am certainly not a climate scientist. The best description I can make of my position on AGW is "unconvinced skeptic".

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