Senator Whitehouse apologizes for inciteful tornado remarks

Recall this story from yesterday: US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse From Rhode Island Provides Erroneous Information To American Public in Global Warming Rant

Foxnews reports on the apology. Note that about the same time, Barbara Boxer was making similar claims.  Later, you get to decide with a poll:

Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has apologized for remarks Monday in which he linked Oklahoma “cyclones” to climate change while berating Republicans for their stance on the issue — around the time a massive tornado killed dozens in that state.

A Whitehouse spokesman said Tuesday the politically charged remarks were pre-written as part of the senator’s weekly Senate floor speech on climate change.

“Tragically and unbeknownst to the senator at the time, a series of tornadoes were hitting Oklahoma at the same moment he gave his remarks,” the spokesman said. “Senator Whitehouse regrets the timing of his speech and offers his thoughts and prayers to the victims of yesterday’s storms and their families, and he stands ready to work with the senators from Oklahoma to assist them and their constituents in this time of need.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/21/democratic-sen-whitehouse-apologizes-for-climate-republican/#ixzz2TyKkWX3C

Here is the text of his speech: http://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/speeches/time-to-wake-up-gop-opposition-to-climate-science-

And his statement today: http://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/release/statement-on-tragedy-in-oklahoma

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84 thoughts on “Senator Whitehouse apologizes for inciteful tornado remarks

  1. Meh. Let him apologize for engaging in the worst kind of propaganda. Then maybe we’ll have something.

  2. “A Whitehouse spokesman said Tuesday the politically charged remarks were pre-written as part of the senator’s weekly Senate floor speech on climate change…”

    His constituents must believe rain smells like urine.

  3. I refuse to participate in any survey that has not been approved by John Cook as representing a 97% consensus.

  4. Okay, that’s just wrong.

    Am I parsing this correctly? It’s OK to make absurd claims about cyclones, climate, and policy so long as nobody is getting socked by cyclones at that particular moment?

    It’s fascinating to watch the intricate and sometimes bizarre dance of politics and political correctness. Or maybe it’s political expediency. I’m starting to become a little colorblind in this range.

  5. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse finds religion:

    “Tragically and unbeknownst to the Senator at the time, a series of tornadoes were hitting Oklahoma at the same moment as he gave his remarks.”

    Therefore….THE DEVIL DID IT ! ! !

    Whitehouse > doghouse….you’ve got some AGW homework to do.

  6. Once again, Boxer (and Whitehouse too) provide perfect examples why politicians should have IQ tests before they’re allowed to run for office. I’ll bet neither one could pass a sixth grade science test. Of course, the voters who put them in office need to pass an IQ test too.

  7. Mr. Watts, can you slow things down a bit? Tornadoes, F5′s, Senate speeches, Cosmic rays. It’s difficult to keep up! ;)

  8. Unfortunate that political apologies these days are so weak and that most of us just don’t believe them anymore.

    As far as political brilliance goes, how do these remarks compare to Hank Johnson remarks regarding Guam tipping over?

  9. Anthony, this post and the vote is more along the lines of hit them were it hurts, which I have become a recent advocate of after observing the shenanigans by ‘Warmists’ the past couple of years.
    From a sceptical lukewarmist with other, bigger, concerns.
    Regards

  10. Mark Bofill says:
    May 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Any Politician should have a better sense of timing.

  11. A Whitehouse spokesman said Tuesday the politically charged remarks were pre-written as part of the senator’s weekly Senate floor speech on climate change.

    Any bets that the staffer who had pre-written those “politically charged remarks” has been re-assigned? It’s always easier to blame some low-level functionary than to acknowledge your own failings.

  12. I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt about Oklahoma. However, he still gets nought out of ten for speech accuracy and content.

    I think he beats Barbara Boxer but is well behind Hank Johnson. Guam tipping is a classic!

  13. Listening to Bastardi on big mouth Bill Oreilly right now responding to Sheldon. Interesting….

  14. He bloviates about Science and then spouts non-sense.
    He talks about millions from a few billionnaires and ignores multi billions of tax dollars funding PC scientists reworking dodgy records into non-functional climate models and repetitious statistical studies that prove nothing.

  15. I wonder if he could give me hints on my lottery numbers, if he can accidentally predict the Oklahoma hurricane tragedy he might accidentally get my lottery numbers. Yeah right we believe him. NOT!

  16. You know the absolutely most STUPID part about this? Fox gets a lot of flak from the public, and a lot of it is very deserved I will say because they do spin things very heavily to the right. BUT, I will say this. My familiy has had FOX on for several days because of all the stuff about Obama. Today, we had FOX on all day and ALL they focused on all day was talking to the victims and asking for donations to the Red Cross.

    I think this is very classy for Fox to dedicate 90% of its news time to this disaster even in the wake of incriminating things against Obama and even their own reporters.

    What is DISGUSTING is that the Democrats, both in congress and on other networks, use this devastation that has hit those poor heartland states to further their own agenda.

    That is SICKENING and I’m so sick of it.

  17. Yes the American ObamaNation is without compare.. One would think a second term for that smug bag of wind would have the Dems taking the high road.. Unfortunately a disaster in a “red denial” State is cause to grandstand and rub salt..

    Kicking your political opponents when disaster has them down is what they mean by Change?

  18. “Sorry, the web page you have requested is experiencing technical difficulties. The Webmaster has been alerted.

    You will be automatically redirected to the http://www.senate.gov home page after 10 seconds.

    If this problem persists, please contact the Office of the Secretary Webmaster at webmaster@sec.senate.gov

  19. Apology not accepted senator. Get back with everyone after about a year or two and we’ll see how your actions match your speech.

  20. He is apologizing for his timing, not his nonsense. Less rant, more read was exactly right, and the timing was irrelevant.

  21. Bring Back Charles!

    I miss the Mods on here – far too much petty politicking and sometimes, namecalling etc etc on here these days

    Reply:It’s good to be missed, but I am in retirement. ~ctm

  22. Gaum tipping over??? Listen to Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia. Listen to how he repeats himself and how he can’t seem to get a thought together. HE WAS ON DRUGS!!! Is there a single person who sees that video who does not absolutely know that he was on drugs?

    Eugene WR Gallun

  23. So, the Senator apologized because he didn’t know we were having a tornado here at the time?
    He didn’t know that we had several tornadoes the day before, with deaths and property damage in three different Oklahoma communities? He didn’t know?
    We are deniers and polluters and it is our fault?

    Putz!

  24. And there was me thinking it was all Gods vengeance on gay marriage…sigh. So many faith based prejudices to pick..

  25. Justus McNeal, you’re not likely to hear a lot of people agree with your position on Fox. They’re more “center” than “right”. You’re so used to the far, far left media that it only seems right in comparison.

    And Eugene WR Gallun, it doesn’t have to be drugs. My dad has Alzheimer’s and often does the same thing. He gets stuck on a thought, no matter how trivial or ridiculous, and will repeat it for hours if not re-oriented. He’s never, however, been under the illusion that an island can tip over and/or sink… that’s just nuts.

  26. What’s really exposed here is Whitehouse, Boxer and the rest of them sincerely exited that people get killed and injured by some tragedy, so they can jump to their feet and cry for more power, ashamed only by the public’s realization of their MOTIVE.

    On every issue they lurk like ambulance chasing lawyers watching from the street corner hoping a car runs over someone. Only then, we see HOW FAST they spring to action, to SAVE the people.

    What we’re witnessing is not just wrong. It’s evil.

  27. I was a bit surprised by the poll results at first (even though I contributed to the lopsidedness). But upon further reflection and having read the comments on the previous post, I am not surprised. It is telling that except for a few raving lunatics (Trenberth and Boxer), the Alarmists have hunkered down on this one. Even the normal trolls of the boards I frequent have been eerily silent about the outrageous ghoulishness of the few who spoke up first and firmest. Of which I count Whitehouse as one of the ring leaders.

  28. If his political life goes south, Sheldon has a bright future as a tent-carrying evangelist. He even writes in rhythm.

  29. The tornado started on 20 May at 2:45pm CDT. That’s 3:45pm ET. Senator Whitehouse’s speech appears to have been given at 4:44pm ET (http://www.infowars.com/democratic-senator-uses-okla-tornado-for-anti-gop-rant-over-global-warming/). If I have interpreted the times correctly, there is surely no way that Senator Whitehouse could have been unaware of the tornado at the time he gave his speech, ie.in his apology, he lied.
    And : If he didn’t know about it, why on Earth would he refer to cyclones hitting Oklahoma, when Oklahoma is 400 miles from the coast?

  30. Hes not only full it, he’s a BS expert too. Unfortunately for him he has stuck a size 13 boot in a size 12 mouth, it will always leave an impression!
    What can I say about Boxer that any sane person doesn’t already knows, she’s a looney tune!!!!

  31. The IQ of Whitehouse equals last night’s temperature at Fraser, Colorado, which I believe was 34.

  32. I shudder to think the carnage Whitehouse, Boxer and Hank Johnson could do to the country if they somehow amassed half a brain between themselves..

  33. He said this:

    I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma, and hurricanes swamp Alabama, and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, for billions of dollars to recover.

    And the damage your polluters and deniers are doing doesn’t just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas; it hits Rhode Island with floods and storms, and Oregon with acidified seas, and Montana with dying forests. So like it or not, we’re in this together.

    You drag America with you to your fate.

    My take is that these things are very often written by staff…and OK is tornado country. But, honestly, I don’t care. He is a demagogue, and that much is clear

  34. Yancey Ward [May 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm] says:

    “Proving oneself dumber than Barbara Boxer is quite a challenge.”

    You got that right. But you gotta admit the competition is absolutely fierce.

    The US Senate is the pinnacle of the Peter Principle and contains probably 70 of the dumbest people in America.

  35. “Tragically and unbeknownst to the senator at the time, a series of tornadoes were hitting Oklahoma at the same moment he gave his remarks,”

    Then he is doubly stupid. The tornado outbreak was predicted at least 48 hours ahead of time. The day before tonados spun up as predicted. If you are going to speak on climate, then maybe you should check the weather.

  36. Blade, AMEN. What is sad is they prove it every day, in every way.
    They hold all judiciary appointments hostage, yet the federal courts are grossly overworked and understaffed. They hold market treaties at bay owing to union influences, which diminishes our ‘free trade’ chops with countries already inclined to move otherwise. And they vote to exempt themselves and their toady staffs from laws they are eager to push on the rest of us, including (unbelievably) things like sexual harassment prohibitions. (it is impossible to make this up).
    Good or bad, about time to take out a big electoral eraser and start over with folks more aligned to the founding values of what was a great country, and can be again.

  37. Don’t try to figure out just how I feel inside,
    Just tell me something good so I can soothe my pride.
    I’ll tell you anything to save my precious hide,
    But don’t think twice, it’s a LIE!

    Whitehouse might not have known about the “cyclone” of yesterday, but in that case he was surely referring to those of the day before. To pretend he was referring to Oklahoma “cyclones” in the abstract is totally disingenuous. Sincere people who apologize declare their offense. He gave a weak excuse instead. Man up, Senator!

  38. Mike Jonas says: “The tornado started on 20 May at 2:45pm CDT. That’s 3:45pm ET. Senator Whitehouse’s speech appears to have been given at 4:44pm ET”

    What he deduced. Whitehouse’s speech was about 58 minutes after Tornado hit.
    It is possible Whitehouse did not know, and his speech was coincidence of terrible timing.
    It is also possible Whitehouse jumped on Oklahoma Tornado to push Global Warming F.U.D. like a GW Climatologist jumps on more taxpayer funding.

  39. Senator Wheldon’s speech shows an amazing breadth of ignorance as well as stunning lack of judgment.

  40. “…offers his thoughts and prayers to the victims of yesterday’s storms and their families…”

    His thoughts are certainly going to do them a lot of good.

  41. In the USA common usage for the event would be tornado. The term hurricane is used for the severe “cyclonic” storms coming from the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, to have the term cyclones “pre-written as part of the senator’s weekly Senate floor speech on climate change” is either false, or the senator and his staff ought not to be commenting on weather events the terminology of which baffles them. Also, that he gives a weekly speech on climate change prompts this question: Why?

  42. Global warming didn’t work. “Climate Change” either. Perhaps they should “fight” the current decades long Climate Stability!!!

  43. Well perhaps the politician is apologizing but on Yahoo skeptics, the Director of the Climate Institute, Mike MacCracken is playing with innuendos of Global Warming cause while responding to a regular poster:

    “I would just note that it is not seasonal trends that determine tornado intensity—it is what is happening in particular weather situations and averaging over a season can cover up a lot of things. What happened with the tornadoes in this case was some very moist Gulf of Mexico air was pulled (and so the issue is how the water vapor concentration compared to high levels in the past, etc.) and there was a large meander in the jet stream persisting in a region for a good bit of time (which is just the type of circulation situation that the work of Jennifer Francis suggests could become more likely due to the reduced meridional temperature gradient caused by the warming Arctic).

    And then it also makes no sense just to be looking at the last 15 years, especially given how trends can vary over short periods (which is why the normal time for determining the climate is 30 years). (…) Mike
    ==

    Obviously cold air must be coming from anywhere but the “warming” Arctic… LOL
    Once again MacCracken fails…

  44. TomRude Quoting Mike MacCracken:

    (which is why the normal time for determining the climate is 30 years).

    He doesn’t even have that right… the reason it’s 30 years is that even the most uneducated on climate know that a climate cycle is 60-70 years… so 30 years is only used for maximum fear factor…

  45. The headline on this page is misleading. Senator Whitehouse didn’t actually “apologize” for anything that he said, or for what he meant to say. Rather than apologize, Whitehouse’s “Statement on Tragedy in Oklahoma” merely states that he “regrets the timing of his speech”.

    There’s absolutely nothing within his statement regarding the content or the intent of “his speech”. With that in mind it’s relevant to consider the twisted sense of logic Whitehouse tends to use.

    Using Whitehouse’s distorted logic he and all his anti-2nd Amendment colleagues would be guilty of aiding and abetting criminal activity, every time any predator thug commits crimes against any law abiding citizen that has been denied easy access to firearms…

    • @Just Tex – Good catch! The apology was no apology. His original statements still stand. And his lies about the timing are merely that – lies.

  46. PaulH says:
    May 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    A Whitehouse spokesman said Tuesday the politically charged remarks were pre-written as part of the senator’s weekly Senate floor speech on climate change.

    Mike Jonas says:
    May 21, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    The tornado started on 20 May at 2:45pm CDT. That’s 3:45pm ET. Senator Whitehouse’s speech appears to have been given at 4:44pm ET (http://www.infowars.com/democratic-senator-uses-okla-tornado-for-anti-gop-rant-over-global-warming/). If I have interpreted the times correctly, there is surely no way that Senator Whitehouse could have been unaware of the tornado at the time he gave his speech, ie.in his apology, he lied.
    And : If he didn’t know about it, why on Earth would he refer to cyclones hitting Oklahoma, when Oklahoma is 400 miles from the coast?

    I claim he is a blatantly, deliberately lying.

    The tornadoes – the day previous to this speech – were concentrated across Texas, Oklahoma, and other states, but the tornado underway as he spoke his hate-filled diatribe against conservative (Oklahoma voters who support James Inaofe was killing Oklahoma residents. There was NO reason for ANY of his staffers to write such a speech the day before that would call out OK specifically!

    Further, I challenge this “spokesperson” to produce the speech – on paper, dated the day before the deadly tornado, that was used. A digital copy as well from the Senate archives, proving the date written, and the back copies for that night proving it was not “back-dated” …

  47. Statistically speaking, there is a Poisson relationship between extreme weather happening after an extreme weather speech. I suggest we use that as “causality” just as the pro-AGW people use it to denounce AGW. Those familiar with Poisson distributions will know exactly why there silly rants will look like causally induced extreme weather. “If they just didn’t talk about it, it wouldn’t happen.”

  48. The day I start believing any politician is the day the kids should put me in ‘the home.’

  49. A Whitehouse spokesman said Tuesday the politically charged remarks were pre-written as part of the senator’s weekly Senate floor speech on climate change.

    Well that certainly explains it. One would like to think a US senator giving a public address on the Senate floor would take the time to read it in advance to make sure it was what he wanted to say, but apparently not.

  50. Treachery and malice aside, do we really need people in the senate reading stuff aloud? A local radio station can do a better job, for less.

  51. So this is an admission that the White House writes Senators public remarks. That is the part I fund troubling. These are not his words, but the administrations.

  52. what an excuse – apparently we should accept his apology because he didn’t know about the tornadoes he was talking about when he was talking about them. Riiiiiiigghttt….

    Although with regard to what Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 asked, I wouldn’t expect a Senator to know any more about a speech he was about to read than I would expect Ron Burgundy to know what was going to be in his newscast, or the Big O to know what was about to show up on his teleprompter, for that matter.

  53. Have to agree with Sheldon on this one. He’s not too bright, but bright enough not to make this kind of political mistake while knowing the disaster was going on right at the moment. Will he say the same thing at some point in the future? Of course. But he just will be a bit more careful on the timing. In other words, his staff will be there to control the situation.

  54. It just blows me away that this administration thinks that we need to have a “weekly climate change speech”. It just shows how politicized and polarized the topic has become at that level.

  55. Whitehouse lies and the truth is not in ‘em. Works for me………………

  56. 91.27% of voters think Whitehouse is a liar. Consensus? It must be if 97% of climate scientists think that man is responsible for AGW. But then – like one commenter stated in a another column, shouldn’t man be responsible for 100% of AGW?

  57. There are indeed possible impacts of inputs other than local conditions on tornado formation. The bad outbreak last weekend was due to a piece of energy that swept in from CA. That piece of energy spun up off of the massive Alaskan cold pool (the same cold pool that gave us the late ice outs). On that note, there may be more on the way. We got hammered by a cold advection outbreak overnight, lots of very cold readings this AM. Memorial Day may be ruined by a Gulf of Alaska storm system. Watch out in the Southern Plains for the next week or so.

  58. I’d like another poll option: No; he wanted to incite controversy with outrageous remarks to deflect from the various ongoing scandals hitting the administration; and we will see more of that.

  59. “Montana forests dying”–of a beetle infestation, tied to global warming only
    by single-issue fanatics.

    “Rhode Island with floods and storms”–ever hear of the Great New England
    Hurricane of 1938, Senator? Was THAT caused by “polluters and deniers”?

    This guy Whitehouse is clearly taking orders from the climate wingnut currently
    residing in the White House–the one who expounded in his most recent SOTU
    speech about “12 of the 15 warmest years”, and “Superstorm Sandy”, among
    other bloviations.

  60. 97% agreed with Whitehouse before the apology….and after. The answer is always 97%.

  61. Rud Istvan at May 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    The U.S Constitution specifically exempts legislators from being questioned for most crimes except felonies and treason. However, Republicans in the 90′s passed many laws aimed at curtailing lawless lawmaker’s privilege. Still, are the laws constitutional?

  62. Ha, Ha, Ha, Lol, Lol. Oh you guys at WUWT are a scream, the comments here are so very witty! Let us have a vote on who is the biggest political warmist fool. 1. Nancy Pelosi ( Jack (Jill) in the Box, Nancy) 2. Barbara Boxer 3. Sheldon Whitehouse or wait for it……. “Julia Gillard” The soon NOT to be the PM of Australia.

    Yeah I know the list is huge, but that was the first 4 that bashed me in the brain.

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