United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley discusses upcoming international issues that will be addressed by President Trump this week at the United Nations General Assembly.
Topics include: (1) upcoming sanctions against any nation that engages with Iran [stage 2 sanctions scheduled for November 1]. (2) The ongoing conflict in Syria. (3) The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and issues with North Korea ballistic missiles. (4) the ongoing trade reset and geopolitical strategy with China.
Climb every mountain,
Search high and low,
Follow every byway,
Every path you know.
Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.
A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live….
August, 2018 Report
We have been schooled over the past 40 years that Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is rising to levels never seen before on this planet and as a result the world’s average temperature is rising to levels that will, if nothing else, destroy large areas of the planet. The latest UN predictions indicate a major Catastrophe will happen by 2040 unless we do something drastic right now. This destruction will be from two factors; one, ocean levels raising and flooding all worlds coastal areas forcing the world population to higher ground; and two, even if those moves are accomplished the increased temperatures will bring massive storms that will ravage the areas not flooded. The only solution to prevent this from happening is, stop using carbon based fuels; petroleum, natural gas, and coal which, all, generate large amount of water and carbon dioxide and replacing them with wind or solar energy.
These dire projections are based on the belief that CO2 is the “primary” driver of global temperature changes; i.e. more CO2 in the atmosphere is very bad. This view is severally distorted and more likely entirely false. One can argue the reasons for these lies but it really doesn’t matter whether they are innocent or malicious in their construct; either way promoting something that is tearing up the worlds civilizations by misallocation of resources is very misguided.
- The planets global temperature is directly related to the energy arriving here from our sun
- That energy manifests itself in a form which we call temperature
- Temperature is a measure of the amount of heat (energy) that an object holds
- The planets temperature is directly related to the amount of water in the atmosphere
- Without water in the atmosphere the earth would be 330 Celsius colder and frozen solid
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a requirement for life to exist on this planet
- More Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is better as planets grow faster, less Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is bad
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2) only indirectly affects temperature probably less than 5% that of water
- Climate is a measure of the average of all the factors that produce a stable environment
- Weather is a measure of local factors that may make large changes in daily or seasonal conditions
- The planets temperature in geological times ranged from170 Celsius +/- 60 Celsius
- 12,000 or so years ago the last ice age ended for no reason we can determine
The first thing that needs to be done when developing a theory is to identify and define the issue or problem. The issue was that after WW II there was a large buildup of industry required to rebuild the devastated planet and that rapid uncontrolled growth created real environmental problems. Much good resulted from the original environmental emphasis such as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, however, others in the 90’s saw a way to gain power and wealth by exaggerating aspects of the movement. During the 80’s and the 90’s global temperatures were going up so these people saw a way to increase the size and scope of government to their advantage with a carbon tax. They picked increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere as the strawman argument and funneled large amounts of research money into universities to study how bad the increases were.
Unfortunately, federal grant money is “directed” money so it was given to find out how bad the issue was, not to find out if it was even bad or even real. Therein was the problem as this is a very complex math and physics study in a subject that had not been previously studied in detail such that 30 years later the key variables and relationship are still not known with specify. The mistake that was made in the attempt to quantify the apparent increase in global temperatures was that increased CO2 in the planet’s atmosphere was that CO2 was the ONLY REASON the global temperatures were increasing. Unfortunately this assumption was not true as there had been several warm and cold periods in history going back thousands of years. The previous little ice age in the seventeenth century was one of these and the warming we now have, about 10 Celsius, is partly from the northern hemisphere still coming out from that cold period.
Next we’ll review some important information on temperatures and how it’s measured. We need to understand the details before we can draw conclusions. The problem, intentional or not, goes back to physics and how we show information. It’s critical that when we talk to nonscientists that information is properly displayed. And nowhere is this more important than when we are discussing global temperature in relationship to anthropogenic climate change.
When we talk about climate (long term changes; centuries) or weather (short term changes; decades) local temperatures are going be in Celsius (C) in the EU and science, or degrees Fahrenheit (F) in America. The base temperature for the earth that NASA established is 14.00 C or 57.20 F; but these are both relative measures and do not tell us how much heat (thermal energy) is there. To know that we must use Kelvin (K) or Rankin (R) and that would be 287.150 K and 516.870 R all four of those numbers 14.00 C, 287.150 K 57.20 F, and 516.870 R are exactly the same temperature, just using a different base. But if the current temperature went from 14.00 C, to 14.860 C that is a 6.14% increase in C, an increase of 2.71% in F and an increase of .30% in K and R; so which one is real? The answer is .30% because Kelvin and Rankin are the only ones that measure the total increase in energy! Table One shows these relationships that we just discussed.
The next step is to plot Carbon Diode (CO2) from NOAA-ESRL and the estimated global temperature as published by NASS-GISS each month. As can be seen in Table One It doesn’t really matter whether we would use Kelvin and Rankin since the increase in thermal energy is exactly the same either way; but we’ll use Kelvin as that is the accepted norm in the scientific community for determining the amount thermal energy in any object especially when looking at changes in temperature or measuring the thermal energy in any object. There are other less known temperature scales that have specific purposes but they don’t really apply here in this subject.
The important thing is how much has the temperature actually gone up since we started to measure CO2 in the atmosphere? To show this graphically Chart 8 was constructed by plotting CO2 as a percent increase from when it was first measured in 1958, the Black plot, the scale is on the left and it shows CO2 going up about 30.0% from 1958 to May of 2018. That is a very large change as anyone would have to agree. Now how about temperature, well when we look at the percentage change in temperature from 1958, using Kelvin, we find that the changes in global temperature are almost un-measurable. The scale on the right side had to be expanded 5 times (the range is 20 % on the left and 4% on the right) to be able to see the plot in the same chart in any detail. The red plot, starting in 1958, shows that the thermal energy in the earth’s atmosphere increased by .30%; while CO2 has increased by 30.0% which is 100 times that of the increase in temperature. So is there really a meaningful link between them that would give as a major problem?
Chart 8 and all the rest of what is shown here in this paper are based on the following two data series. First NASA-GISS estimates of a global temperature shown as an anomaly (converted to degrees Celsius) as shown in their table Land Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) and shown in Chart 1 as the red plot labeled NASA the scale for the temperatures is on the left. The NASA LOTI temperatures are shown as a 12 month moving average because of the very large monthly variations. Second NOAA-ESRL CO2 values in Parts per Million (PPM) which are shown in Chart 1 as a black plot labeled NOAA the scale for CO2 is shown on the right no change is required to the NOAA data set it is ready to use as is.
NASA published data is shown as an anomaly, but what is a temperature anomaly? An anomaly is a deviation from some base value normally an average that is fixed. There were two problems with the system that NASA picked which were number one there is no “actual” global temperature and two since climate is a variable and always has been so there cannot be a real base to measure from. NASA known for its science and engineering expertise back in the day thought it could get around these issues and created a system to do so. First they developed a computer model which took the readings from all over the planet and made adjustments to them in software which they called homogenization and came up with the estimated global temperature. Second they picked the period 1950 to 1980 (30 years) and averaged the values found in that period and came up with 14.00 degrees Celsius and make that their base. Lastly they took the calculated monthly temperature and subtracted the base from it which gave them the anomaly and multiplied the result by 100.
The problem is that both are arbitrary. Why pick 1950 to 1980 as the base period? Is there something special about that time frame? And as to a global temperature there is no such thing for many reasons like the earth faces the sun so one side is cool and onside it warm. Higher latitudes are cooler than the equator and higher elevations are cooler than lower. And finally there are many areas where there are no measurements taken. Therefore there is no one temperature only an artificial artifact solely dependent on the soundness of the software used to create that one temperature!
Chart 1 below is 100% accurate and based only on NASA and NOAA data as published.
Now that we have a base to work with we are going to add to Chart 1 three things. The first is a trend line of the growth in CO2 since that is according to the government through NASA and NOAA the entire basis for climate change. That plot is superimposed over the black plot of the actual NOAA CO2 values as the cyan line labeled as the CO2 model and one can see there is a very good fit to the actual NOAA values so there should be no dispute about its validity, and it’s historically accurate. This plot allows us to make projections to future global temperatures according to the projected level of CO2The second added item is James E. Hansen’s 1988 Scenario B data, which is the very core of the IPCC Global Climate models (GCM’s) and which was based on a CO2 sensitivity value of 3.0O Celsius per doubling of CO2. This plot is shown here in lavender and is from a presentation that Hansen showed congress in 1988 to help support the UN in setting up the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This plot is labeled as Hansen Scenario B which Hansen stated was the most likely to happen based on his 1979 climate theories’. The third item is the current plot of the most likely temperature of the planet based on the growth of CO2 published by the IPCC. This plot is shown in Red and is labeled as IPCC AR5 A2 as that is the table where the data was found. This plot is a GCM computer projection of the planets temperature based on the complex relationships developed by the IPCC primarily though NASA and NOAA.
It can be seen in Chart 2 that the lavender plot and the Hansen plot are very close from 1965 to around 2000. However there isn’t a good correlation between the growth in CO2 and the increase in the planets temperature, as shown in Chart 8. The CO2 is going up in a log function and the temperature was going up until 2000 then it plateaued from 2000 until 2014 where there was a mysterious spike up of .5 degrees Celsius just in time for COP21 in Paris. Then after CP21 was over the unexplained change in temperature started to come back down. The climate doesn’t make changes like what the NSA/NOAA data shows that would be weather if it even was real.
Chart 7 looks at the period from 2010 to 2020 so we can see where a change in CO2 of only a few ppm has caused a major change in the global temperature way beyond anything previously shown in any published NASA data. There are three ovals on Chart 7 one at the top of Chart 7 which is a black oval around the CO2 levels from 2010 to 2018 and it’s very obvious that there has been very little change, maybe 3 ppm a year Then at the bottom of Chart 7 is dark red oval around the NASA global temperature levels from 2013 to 2018 and its very obvious that there has been a sudden large change, almost .50 degrees Celsius in 3 years. There has never been such a large increase in temperature from such a small increase in CO2. By contrast the previous comparable period of the last part of 2010 through 2013 Blue oval shows about the same increase per year for CO2 but global temperature decreased.
An explanation is needed here as the NASA temperature plot in Chart 7 seems to show the jump in temperature in 2016 not 2015; this is a result of the very large jump in temperature shown by NASA. Since we are using a 12 month moving average and the increase occurred in only a few months it actually shifted the curve into 2016. The raw data for December 2012 was at a low of 14.44 degrees Celsius but by February 2016 the temperature was at a record high of 15.35 degrees Celsius a .91 degree Celsius increase, Red arrow. With the global temperature over 15.0 Celsius at COP21 in December 2015 at the Paris COP21 conference the climate accord was approved and the manipulation was a success. After COP21 the Fake Warming was no longer needed so we are now seeing a downward trend developing. The current temperature for June 2018 is 14.88 degrees Celsius.
In summary, the IPCC models were designed before a true picture of the world’s climate was understood. During the 1980’s and 1990’s CO2 levels were going up and the world temperature was also going up so there appeared to be correlation and causation. The mistake that was made was looking at only a ~20 year period when the real variations in climate move in much longer cycles of centuries which can be observed in the NASA data but they were ignored for some reason. By ignoring those actual geological trends and focusing only on CO2 the Global Climate Models will be unable to correctly plot global temperatures until they are fixed. Also the temperature data from 1850 to 1880 was dropped for some reason as it showed a lower temperature than would be expected. The lower temperatures’ in that period would have shown a shorter cycle they didn’t want shown.
A decade ago when I started looking at “climate” change the first thing I did was look at geological temperature changes since it is well known that the climate is not a constant; I learned that 53 years ago in my undergrad geology and climatology courses in 1964. The next paragraph explains currently observed patterns in climate related to this subject and is historical accurate.
Ignoring the last Ice Age which ended some 11,000 years ago when a good portion of the Northern hemisphere was under miles of ice the following observations give a starting point to any serious study on the subject of climate. First, there is a clear movement up and down in global temperatures with a 1,000 some year cycle going back at least 3,000 to 4,000 years; probably because of the apsidal precession of the earth’s orbit of about 20,000 years for a complete cycle. About every 10,000 years the seasons are reversed making the winter colder and the summer warmer in the northern hemisphere. 10,000 years from now the seasons will be reversed again. Secondly, there are also 60 to 70 year cycles in the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans that are well documented. These are known as the Atlantic Multi Decadal Oscillations (AMO) in the Atlantic and as La Nina and El Nino in the Pacific. Thirdly, we also know that there are greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide that can affect global temperatures. Lastly the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) estimated that carbon dioxide had a doubling rate of 3.0O Celsius plus or minus 1.5O Celsius in 1979 when there were only two studies available and one for sure and maybe both were not peer reviewed.
The result of looking objectively at the three possible sources of global temperature changes was a series of equations based on these observations that when added together produced a sinusoidal curve that seemed to follow NASA published temperatures very closely when first developed in 2007, and modified a few years later when it was found the short and long cycles were related to multiples of Pi. Since this curve was based on observed temperature patterns it was called a Pattern Climate Model (PCM) which has been described in previous papers and posts on my blog and since it is generated by “equations” many assume it is some form of least squares curve fitting, which it is not. It does seem to be related to ocean currents where the bulk of the planet’s surface heat is stored and cloud formation.
Chart 5 shows the PCM a composite of two cycles and CO2. There is a long trend, 1036.7 years with an up and down of 1.65O Celsius (.00396O C per year) we in the up portion of that trend. Then there is a 69.1 year cycle that moves the trend line up and then down a total of 0.29O Celsius and we are now in the downward portion of that trend (-.01491O C per year), which will continue until around ~2035. Lastly, there is CO2 currently adding about .0079O Celsius per year so together they all basically wash out at -.0039O C per year, which matches the current holding pattern we were experiencing until 2014. After about 2035 the short cycle will have bottomed and turn up and all three will be on the upswing again duplicating what was observed in the 1980’s. Note: the values shown here are only representative from what is in the model.
When using a 12 month running average for global temperatures up until 2014 the PCM model was within +/- .01 degrees of what NASA was publishing in their LOTI table since the early 1960’s as shown in Chart 5. Further the back projection of the PCM plot matched historical records and global temperatures going back past the time of Christ. It should also be considered that geologically CO2 levels have reached levels many times that of the current 400 ppm without destroying the planet so the current hysteria over the current very small numbers can only be explained by political science not real science.
Lastly, Chart 9 shows what a plot of the PCM model, in yellow, would look like from the year 1400 to the year 2900. This plot matches reasonably well with recorded history and fits the current NASA-GISS table LOTI data, in red, very closely, despite homogenization. I do understand that this PCM model is not based on physics but it is also not some statistical curve fitting. It’s based on two observed reoccurring patterns in the climate and a factor for CO2. These patterns can be modeled and when they are, you get a plot that works better than any of the IPCC’s GCM’s. If the real conditions that create these patterns do not change and CO2 continues to increase to 800 ppm or even 1000 ppm then this model will work well into the foreseeable future. 150 years from now global temperatures will peak at around 15.750 to 16.000 C and then they will be on the downside of the long cycle for the next ~500 years.
The overall effect of CO2 reaching levels of 1000 ppm or even higher will be about 1.50 C which is about the same as that of the long cycle. The Green plot on Chart 9 shows the observed pattern with no change in CO2 from the pre-industrial era of ~280 ppm. CO2 cannot affect global temperatures more than 1.500 C +/- no matter what the ppm level of CO2 is. The reason being that the CO2 sensitivity value is not 3.00 per doubling of CO2 but less than 1.00 C per doubling of CO2 as shown in more current scientific work and it’s a logistics curve not a log curve.
The purpose of this post is to make people aware of the errors inherent in the IPCC models so that they can be corrected.
The Obama administration’s “need” for a binding UN climate treaty with mandated CO2 reductions in Europe and America was achieved as predicted at the COP12 conference in Paris in December 2015. To support this endeavor NASA was forced to show ever increasing global temperatures that will make less and less sense based on observations and satellite data which will all be dismissed or ignored. Within a few years the manipulation will be obvious even to those without knowledge in the subject, but by then it will be to late the damage to the reputation of science will have been done. Fortunately President Trump pulled us out of the bad agreement.
In closing keep this in mind. The current panic generated by the government using political science is that the current global temperature of around 15.0O Celsius is an increase of 7.14% from the 1960’s when the global temperature was 14.0O Celsius; and that does seem like a lot. However those views would be in error as the actual increase in thermal energy, as measured by temperature, would be only .35% because we must use Kelvin not Celsius when working with heat energy. When we use kelvin the temperature goes from 287.15O K to 288.15O K which is only .35% not 7.14% about 1/20 of what is implied by the IPCC. What the IPCC shows is not technically wrong as much as it is extremely misleading to anyone without a science background.
Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian and British philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. He is considered one of the most influential philosophers for science of the 20th century, and he also wrote extensively on social and political philosophy. The following quotes of his apply to this subject.
If we are uncritical we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmations, and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories.
Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.
… (S)cience is one of the very few human activities — perhaps the only one — in which errors are systematically criticized and fairly often, in time, corrected.
Armstrong Economics Blog/Climate
Re-Posted Sep 23, 2018 by Martin Armstrong
COMMENT #1: Mr. Armstrong; I met you here in Edmonton years ago. I think you are the only analyst to have ever bothered to come up this far. I still read you as to many here. I just wanted to tell you that the snow is early and in Alberta, it looks like we will have crop failures because of it. I suppose it’s time to start moving south. Just have to convince the wife. The kids are out the door.
COMMENT #2: Marty; you have a lot of readers here in Alberta. It has begun to snow here already and it has broken all records. I suppose Justin Trudeau will say it because the global warming tax is not high enough. That’s my bet for the excuse how taxes do not change anything.
All the best
REPLY: Well you have a point. When the medieval doctors would bleed you to get the disease out and you died, the excuse was always they were too late to bleed you, never that they took too much blood. Obviously, this is all your fault. You are just not paying enough in global warming taxes and you insist on heating your home and driving to work. How dare you! So, what do you expect? You are responsible for changing millions of years of weather if not billions. The answer is obvious. You should stop working, live by candlelight, and kill a bunch of animals to stay warm – lol.
Yes, it was snowing late into June and now you are breaking historical records for snow in September. I am not a fan of the cold. I will pay for Global Warming thank you. Trudeau wants to just tax you to pay for his pension for the money does not go to anything really for the environment
Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Kevin Hassett, appears on Fox News to discuss the overall economy and key performance indicators related to ongoing economic policy. Within the interview (02:32) Chairman Hassett notes the unusual intransigence of Canada to join the U.S-Mexico trade deal.
There are numerous indicators that Canada has made the decision to exploit a “no deal” trade position for maximum domestic political benefit. However, despite Canada’s intransigence the U.S. and Mexico are positioned to finalize the agreement bilaterally.
“I’m a little surprised that the Canadians haven’t signed up yet. I worry that politics in Canada is trumping common sense because there’s a very good deal that was designed by Mexico and the U.S. to appeal to Canada. And they’re not signing up and it’s got everybody over here a little bit puzzled.”
Supporting the U.S. and President Trump today; and underlining how strong the U.S-Mexico trade agreement is; Mexico even went so far as to tell Canada today to be ready for a CAN-MEX bilateral if they don’t join.
Obviously the Mexican trade team is firing a few shots across the Canadian bow; astunning Trumpian-inspired shift in North American trade alliances.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s incoming government will pursue a bilateral deal with Canada if talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement falter, Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday.
After more than a year of talks to modernize the NAFTA trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada, the United States and Mexico reached a side deal in late August.
Days later, Canada began negotiating with the United States to close a deal on the 24-year-old trade pact. But the talks have hit an impasse over U.S. threats to impose tariffs to Canadian auto exports.
“We would like the government of the United States and the government of Canada to come to an agreement so the treaty can be trilateral, as it was originally signed,” said Lopez Obrador, a veteran leftist who takes office in December.
“But in the event that the governments of the United States and Canada do not come to an agreement … we would have to maintain the bilateral deal with the United States and seek a similar deal with Canada.” READ MORE
Reuters Top News✔ @ReutersAdviser says U.S. close to Mexico-only NAFTA deal, Canada unmoved https://reut.rs/2NxNkSu
Adviser says U.S. close to Mexico-only NAFTA deal, Canada unmoved
– The United States is getting “very, very close” to having to move forward on its trade deal with Mexico without Canada, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said on Friday.US
Mexico will seek deal with Canada if NAFTA talks fail: Lopez Obrador https://reut.rs/2I5oWSm
Mexico will seek deal with Canada if NAFTA talks fail: Lopez Obrador
Mexico’s incoming government will pursue a bilateral deal with Canada if talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement falter, Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said…
Canada is clueless – Watch:
September 21, 2018
Today President Trump is holding a MAGA rally at JQH Arena in Springfield, Missouri, on behalf of GOP Senate candidate Josh Hawley. President Trump may include thoughts on the latest NYT hit piece targeting DAG Rod Rosenstein.
UPDATE: Video Added
The anticipated start time for President Trump comments is 7:30pm EST. However, there are pre-rally speakers and events ongoing.
Earlier this morning President Donald Trump delivered remarks prior to signing HR 5895 The 2019 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act.
Transcript] – North Las Vegas, Nevada – 11:11 A.M. PDT – THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. Please. It’s great to be with you. And thank you to Secretary Wilkie, who is doing an incredible job, I have to say. And also to the great leadership of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Some of those great leaders are with us today.[
Today,I’m honored to be at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center to sign into law a historic government funding bill that will renovate our nations military bases and provide great world-class care to our great veterans. (Applause.) Unless you don’t want it. Unless you don’t want it.
I want to thank your states great senator,Dean Heller. He has been so helpful. Dean has really been helpful. He’s worked all the way, right from the beginning. And this was very important for him. But for working so hard to get the bill passed and get it put right on my desk, and to pass the groundbreaking VA reform. There’s never been reform like we’ve been able to do over the last very short period of time.
Thank you, as well, to Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval for being such a strong advocate for Nevada’s veterans. We’re also — (applause) — thank you, Brian. Thank you, Brian.
We’re also very grateful to be joined by Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt. (Applause.) Thank you, Adam. Great job. Hear he’s doing well.
To every veteran here today: We are eternally grateful for your noble service to our nation. I would like to ask all of the veterans with us now to, please, proudly stand. (Applause.) That’s great. That’s great. You’re fantastic people. You’re really fantastic people. Please. Thank you. You really are.
And we’re fighting to make sure that you get the care that you so richly earned. And today’s legislation is one more promise that the Trump administration is keeping. And we’ve done a lot of promises, and we’ve kept them all. And this is another one for the veterans.
With this funding bill, we’ve increased the VAs budget to the largest ever. We are delivering the resources needed to fully implement crucial VA reforms that, as you know, we’ve gotten. You know the reforms. We’re going to go over them in a minute, but they are some reforms. And to deliver for our great veterans, just the way I said I would constantly on the campaign trail. You backed me, and I back you. That’s the way it works, right? That’s the way it’s supposed to work in life. (Applause.)
And with our booming economy — which is now, I think we can easily say, the greatest economy maybe we’ve ever had in our country. Stock markets yesterday — and I believe they’re up today, so that means today. But the stock markets yesterday hit the highest they’ve ever been in the history of our country. And we’ve broken the record, now, over 100 times. So we keep breaking it, breaking it. And actually, we have a long way to go. There’s tremendous potential. (Applause.)
So with our booming economy, I’m also proud to report that the veterans unemployment recently achieved its lowest level in more than20years. That means a lot of jobs. A lot of jobs are taking place.
Last year, I also signed into law the landmark VA Accountability Act. You know all about that. And that was something that was very important to me. Because you couldn’t do anything — you couldn’t — if somebody was bad. You got a lot of great people, but you have some bad ones. You couldn’t do anything. Now you can do it.
So I want to thank the dedicated Veterans Affairs doctors, nurses, and staff members who join us. Now,\ we’re finally rewarding the many great people at the VA, while also ensuring that those who mistreat our veterans — we had people that really mistreated our veterans — they are now being held accountable. That’s why it’s called the VA Accountability Act. And they are being held, seriously, accountable. Right, Mr. Secretary? He’s had a lot of fun. (Laughter.) He’s had a lot of fun.
We take care of our good ones, and the others are held accountable. Right? And there was no way you could hold them accountable. They could be sadists. You had some of them, too. It doesn’t sound nice. They could be thieves. They could rob you blind. They could steal money, and you couldn’t do anything about it. Now you can do whatever you want. Now you do what’s right. And you have a Secretary that’s doing what’s right. He’s tough and he’s smart. (Applause.) It’s true.
And I can tell you — this is always a good sign — General Mattis was not happy when I took him out of the Department of Defense. (Laughter.) You know, we were going to have him for a short while. And then we said, “You know, he’s doing so good, we’re going to keep him here.” He wasn’t happy, and that’s usually a good sign. Isn’t it, Governor? When they’re not — if they’re happy, that’s not a good sign. (Laughter.) He wasn’t happy. He’s still not happy. But that’s all right. But you’re happy, right? (Applause.)
In a few months — and a few months ago, I was very proud to sign into law another tremendous victory for our veterans. Maybe this is the one that we kept talking about and talking about — 48 years. They couldn’t get it approved. It made so much sense. I used to talk about it because I thought I was this great guy that had this great vision. It’s called “VA Choice.”
And I said, “You know, if you have lines where you can’t see a doctor for two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, twelve days, eight days — how about one day? No good.” I said, “I have an idea. Send them out to a private doctor. We got great doctors, and they’ll be taken care of immediately. We’ll pay the bill.” I thought it was like this great idea.
Well, they thought about it for 40 years. They couldn’t get it passed. We got it passed. So we have, now, VA Choice. (Applause.) So, now, if a veteran can’t get the care they need from the VA in a timely fashion, they have the right to go see a private doctor.
Today, for the first time in American history, I am about to sign a bill that will fully and permanently give our great and cherished veterans choice, so you don’t have to wait on line for 18 days to take care of a simple — I mean, we had people waiting on line with a simple problem that, by the time they saw the doctor, they were terminally ill. No more of that. If you have a line, you go see a doctor. You get yourself taken care of. We take care of it. Okay? Good. It was amazing. (Applause.) It was amazing.
You would think that would have been easy to pass. Well, there’s a reason it took so many years; it wasn’t easy. You have different groups and different people. But in the end, we all came together and we got it done. VA Choice.
Here with us today is Vin Putignano, a Vietnam veteran who is a great guy, who lives in Las Vegas. And, now, through the Choice program, he can see the specialist doctors that he needs while still getting his primary care through the VA medical centers like this one.
And that’s the other thing: There’s so many great things that they do that people don’t recognize. And you don’t have to go out all the time to get what you need, because so much of it is taking place here. We have some tremendously talented people. I always hear about the incredible level of treatment and talent that the doctors have. You have really incredible doctors and nurses. You had to get to them; that was the problem. But you have some tremendously talented people.
So, Vin, I’d like you, if you would, to say a few words about VA Choice, please. Thank you, Vin. (Applause.)
MR. PUTIGNANO: First of all, good morning. Thank you, Mr. President, for those kind words. I wish my mom was here. (Laughs.) Because she wouldn’t believe you. (Laughter.) Anyway, it’s an honor to stand with you today in your continued fight to bring the VA to where it is and should be.
Your leadership and your support, specifically for the Veterans Choice Program and signing this VA Mission Act that is — from what I understand, is going to be the blueprint of the future of the VA, controlled by Secretary Wilkie and yourself.
I’m a 100-percent disabled Marine Corps combat veteran, who had the privilege of serving my country during the Vietnam War. I was a part of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division. I’ve lived here in Nevada for the past two years. And because of the VA Choice program, I now receive outstanding treatment by doctors and nurses, both in the VA here and outside to the community — the medical community outside.
Like they said, this is a very special situation. I’m getting old. I think a couple of us in here are, too. (Laughter.) But with this age thing comes, you know, special needs problems. I got a bad heart, got cancer, and just plain old getting old. You know? It’s a pain.
I wish to share with you a personal story. In the last five years, I have had a bleeding ulcer on my toe that we’ve not been able to fix. And because of VA Choice, I’ve been able to — with the support of the Veterans Administration, I’ve been able to find a podiatrist who operated 10 days on me — 10 days ago on me.
And the man did something that blew my mind. I got home. I took off the boot. There was a little bit of blood, and I called. He came and made a house call. Who does that? (Laughter.) Not anymore, right? (Applause.)
Anyway, Dr. Wesley Lyon and his staff are treating me. They’re taking care of me. And, by the way, with this whole upset with this toe, my golf game went right out the window.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, that’s terrible. (Laughter.)
MR. PUTIGNANO: But there’s a chance of it coming back.
THE PRESIDENT: It’ll come back. It’ll be better than ever. Better than ever.
MR. PUTIGNANO: I don’t know. (Laughs.) I want to thank you, Mr. President, for the commitment that you have made to myself and to my brother and sister veterans, and those of us from World War II right up to the current time of our existence — of our military people.
No longer do they have to — as you just said, do they have to go and stand and wait, and not get the proper care. That’s all gone away. That’s all because of you, and because of your staff and your government. And must I say — I must say that I really am impressed with the fact that you and your government are really focusing on making the country’s promise to us a reality. Because you know what? We earned it. (Applause.)
Thank you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Vin. That was beautiful. Thank you very much. Take care of that toe. (Laughter.)
The bill Im signing today also provides the VA with vital funding for opioid treatment and prevention — a big problem in this country, a big problem here, and in the country; for mental health care services; telemedicine, which is the new thing; and more than $1 billion for veterans electronic health records. We’ve done a lot of work on health records, and now you’re able to transfer easily from Department of Defense to the VA, and back and forth. Before, it was almost impossible. It was a big thing.
Today’s funding package also delivers for the men and women now serving in uniform. The legislation includes more than $10 billion to build, renovate, and repair houses, schools, training centers, and other facilities on military bases. They need it. There’s been a lot of — a lot time has gone by, and they’re in bad shape. But they’ll, very shortly, be in very good shape.
This is terrific news for Nevada’s nearly 20,000 active-duty and reserve soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and National Guardsmen. We are providing nearly $100 million for three bases right here in Nevada: Creech Air Force Base, Nellis Air Force Base, and the National Guard Readiness Center, just a few miles away.
This bill also includes $15 billion for the Department of Energys Nuclear Weapons Security program, which is so important, to modernize our nuclear arsenal and keep the deadliest weapons from falling into the wrong hands.
Finally, we have secured $7 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers to build crumbling ports and waterways, and to keep and improve flood and storm barriers so that America remains safe.
On Wednesday, I visited North and South Carolina and met with first responders and survivors of Hurricane Florence. Incredible people. I was inspired by their unbelievable courage and resilience.
Our nation mourns the tragic loss of life. And I don’t know if you’re aware, but, by tomorrow afternoon, massive amounts of water will flood into South Carolina. They got hit, but the big hit comes days later. And it will be the biggest they’ve ever had. I said, Well, is there a chance I was there. I said, Is there a chance that maybe it doesn’t show up? They said, Nope. It’ll be here at about 2:30. And its going to be very, very bad. But theyre ready. They’re ready. They’re really ready. And folks that — in the military, and FEMA, and first responders — they’ve been incredible.
But our nation mourns the tragic loss of life, and we are moved by the countless ways Americans have come together to rescue those in danger. You see it all the time. You turn on the news at night, and youll see people being pulled from cars by first responders, and the military, FEMA workers, and, frankly, citizens that are there.
Last night, a car just got taken away by the water with people in it, and they were able to get them out at tremendous danger. Working with state and local leaders, we will not rest until that entire rebuilding — North and South Carolina, predominantly — is complete. Really great leadership in both places — the governors, the senators. I met with everybody, and they’re really ready. They’re really ready.
And North Carolina has largely been hit. They’re almost at the stage where they’re rebuilding. In South Carolina, as I said — watch tomorrow. Its going to be a tough one.
In everything we do, and everywhere we go, we are committed to safety, prosperity, and opportunity for all Americans and for every hero who wears the uniform. And that’s really why I am here today. I love those people who wear that uniform. I love our law enforcement, the job they do. Our firemen and women. These are incredible people. And I think, for the most part, our nation is beginning to realize it, maybe more than they ever have before. Incredible people.
With this legislation, we are securing a better future for our citizens. We are modernizing our nations infrastructure. And we are building military bases worthy of our great heroes. We are ensuring that our brave veterans are respected and cherished like never before.
And our country is respected again. Our country is respected like never before. Its a big difference. (Applause.) The country is respected again. Thank you. Thank you.
So I want to thank you all for being here, and just say God bless you. God bless those who serve. And God bless the United States of America. Thank you all for being here.
And Ill sign. Thank you. (Applause.)
(The bill is signed.)