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Susan Estrich - Smile & celebrate a little

When she takes the oath of office as attorney general, after coming close to breaking records on how long it took to give her the courtesy of a vote, Loretta Lynch will become the first African-American woman to serve in that position.

And while it's easy to forget, to take such "firsts" as simply belated, which this one is, it is also deserving of celebration.

Loretta Lynch's confirmation should have been a nonissue. She's a career prosecutor, not a politician. She has close ties and has earned the respect of many in the law enforcement community. She has already announced plans to spend time this summer reaching out to police to build cooperation with minority communities.

The only reason for the delay that had anything to do with her — as opposed to an entirely unrelated fight that was causing an uncontroversial bill on sex trafficking to stall — was her defense of Obama's immigration policy. Seriously, what would anyone expect?

The rest was directly related to the partisan posturing that dominates the Senate and undermines confidence in government.

But even justice delayed can taste pretty sweet.

It matters that we have African-Americans and other minorities in top offices, particularly those with direct responsibility over issues that divide us on racial lines — like the criminal justice system too often does. Sure, you can say Loretta Lynch is a token, that her resume reads more conservative than the man she is replacing and that she comes from the law enforcement side of the criminal justice family, which should make her an easy vote for anyone.
All that is true, and yet, when I saw her smiling face on the TV, with the chyron "Confirmed as Attorney General" under her name, I couldn't help but feel that slowly, stubbornly, painfully, we are changing.
I felt the same way yesterday at a program put together by my old friend Beth Friedman, one of those Los Angeles women whose husband is rich enough and kids old enough that she could be leading a life of real leisure. She isn't. For her chapter two, she's devoted herself to women's rights. On Wednesday, she brought together a who's who of women working on every aspect of the campus rape problem. I was the old-timer in the group — I've been writing and occasionally hollering about the problem for about three decades now — and the familiarity of this week's discussion could have been depressing. But it wasn't. Because the audience was full of young and younger-than-me women who are ready to take up the gauntlet, or whatever it is, and advance the cause of prevention on their own campuses. And it was all because Beth decided to make a difference. One woman here, one woman there.

There is still so much to be accomplished in the struggle for sexual justice and gender equality. But there is progress, too. And every once in a while, it's important to smile and celebrate even as we continue the work that must be done.

(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)

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Mini ice age ended 160 years ago & earth has been warming since

To The Daily Sun,

I was amused by Dave Pollak's letter of April 21 on behalf of the man-made global warming scam. His letter fails to mention the long history of deceptions, inaccurate predictions, and mal-investments (e.g., ethanol, Solyndra) of the man-made global warming advocates. But his letter is a skillful advocacy for his political beliefs.
The fact is that most politicians want increasing amounts of money to direct to family, friends, and supporters; they use persuasive marketing techniques to justify taking that money from the people who earn it.
For example, politicians tell us our bridges are dangerous and they need more money to fix them; that's marketing. But bridge failures are rare. Obviously our truly failing infrastructure must be fixed, but politicians reveal this scam when they divert the money provided for infrastructure improvements to other projects. Obama's stimulus, about $800 billion, was enough money to fix all really bad problems, but little of the money was spent, as promised, fixing our infrastructure.
Similarly, man-made climate change is a marketing gimmick. Man-made climate change was called man-made global warming until there was no warming. Forty years ago some of today's global warming promoters were telling us to fear global cooling, until the earth started warming. A generation before that global warming was going to kill us all, before that global cooling, etc.
The scientists who Pollak calls "independent" are funded with billions of taxpayer money to generate whatever "science" the politicians use to justify taking more money from citizens.
Why do so few "peer reviewed" studies deny man-made global warming? Because the government funded organizations that control peer reviews typically refuse papers that don't support what the politicians want (remember Climategate?).
Pollak ignores all the data falsification, elimination of "inconvenient" data, disproven "facts" (e.g., the "hockey stick"), and repeated claims of impending disaster which didn't occur (e.g., the North polar icecap has grown not vanished, the oceans haven't risen as predicted, the predicted global warming simply hasn't happened).
Global warming projections are based on computer models which are only as good as their reflections of the nearly infinite variables that affect our climate, an impossible task with current knowledge and technology. But, by manipulating the model and input data, models can be made to generate the desired results, whatever the politicians want. Nevertheless the climate typically fails to cooperate with modeled projections.
Pollak tries to discredit some people who argue against man-made climate change by claiming they don't have the right college degrees, as if a degree is a meaningful indicator of expertise. (Since Lord Christopher Monckton doesn't have the "right" degree, why does Al Gore fear to debate him?) If we had to give up all the things created by people without the appropriate college degree, we'd probably have to live in 19th century conditions.
Is the earth warming? Yes. A mini ice age ended about 160 years ago and the earth has been warming since then. Global warming is good if you want more people to live (far more people die of cold than of heat).
The earth today is not nearly as warm as it was about a thousand years ago when farms (and people) flourished in northern lands (e.g., Greenland); and the earth has been much warmer than that in the past.
Is more CO2 a good thing or a bad thing? Since CO2 stimulates vegetation growth, more CO2 will help us grow more food and other useful vegetation. Actually the percent of CO2 in our atmosphere is lower than normal; an increase in CO2 would get us back toward normal.
Politicians and bureaucrats tell citizens to cut their energy use; politicians drive up our energy prices (e.g., ethanol, solar, wind, and other policies); politicians advocate reducing meat consumption because animals create greenhouse gases; but highly-paid bureaucrats funded by taxpayers travel on generous expense accounts and private jets to climate change conferences (boondoggles) in locations we would all like to visit.
But even the U.N. admits that the trillions of dollars that the politicians want to spend will have little impact on the climate (although they keep changing their claims).
The climate is going to change no matter what humans do. And, other things will impact life on earth (e.g., volcanos, earthquakes, asteroid impacts, solar flares). Humans have survived because we adapted, consider The Netherlands. Humans will adapt better to whatever happens if we are wealthier. (See "Cool It" by Bjorn Lomborg.)
Unfortunately government doesn't create wealth, it redistributes and consumes wealth. Much of the money that politicians tax away for their climate change boondoggle will be, as it has been in the past, badly invested or wasted. Government spending will reduce the growth of wealth that would enrich people's lives, improve our environment, and simplify adapting to, and surviving, whatever Mother Nature throws at us.
Don Ewing

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