Thursday, November 6, 2014

The People have spoken, but full speed ahead

Dear President Obama,
      "The Republicans had a good night"?  Where is your connection to reality?  It's not that you don't have your heart in the right place: it's that your staff and administration don't seem to be competent enough to handle the large job you have been elected to and you don't realize what you don't know.  You need help, not good intentions.  Shake up your staff.  Hire people with experience of, for instance, meeting a payroll, if you want to help the middle class.  
     There is another option than executive orders and saying that the ball is in Congress's court.  Those are copouts.  Assume that you do have the responsibility to the American public that you declared last night.  Put together a program and push it personally.  Lead! Personally!  Go over to the Congress, personally. Don't lecture them publicly.
     Is having a bourbon with McConnell a smirking joke?  Or having press conferences more often so obviously ironic?  Have them over to your place, often!  You are only 1/3rd of the government.  The Congress doesn't owe you anything.  Do you take responsibility for anything?  I didn't hear you take responsibility for the CDC bungling on Ebola, or the targeting of Tea Party people at the IRS, or the bungling of the Affordable Care Roll Out.  It's always somebody else's fault.  And then you lecture them in public.  
This is mainly a personal problem, not a conceptual or an organizational one.  You are the king of the platitude and it's hard to know when you have a real plan to get something accomplished and when you are whistling in the wind.
     Everything is not all right.  Our culture isn't supporting education and thoughtful government and our citizens, at least the ones in Wall Street, are excessively greedy with money as the final goal.  Please don't take credit for propping up badly run companies so that the same old cronies can make as much money with as little effort as possible.  That's not healthy.  Things like new energy sources, which is the major reason the economy (i.e. the rich people) is not in recession,  are not due to your clairvoyance.  In fact, you seem to be annoyed that carbon-based fuels even exist.  Treat alternative methods as what they are, alternatives.  And eliminate as many obstacles to nuclear as are based on the fear of a bomb.
     This leads to the final area where you are pushing an agenda that you don't understand.  The science of the climate is complicated and shaky, and is not well understood.  The claim that most scientists agree on the subject is just not true.  Just saying it more and more often doesn't make it true.  In my opinion as a high energy particle physicist who was one of a group of 10 or so to receive a Nobel Prize for the discovery of the quark and has followed the arguments in detail, the affect of the added CO2 to the atmosphere  is between vanishingly small and negative, i.e. might make it colder.  Objective studies aren't sure whether the feedback from CO2 is positive (makes it hotter) or negative (resists making it hotter).
I hope you will be allowed to read this, but am not hopeful.   However, the voters are saying that something needs to change. I hope you can figure out what it is and fix it.
Good luck.
Charles Jordan

Columbia University (1968)