Things related to the 2012 Republican primary

007, 007, and Oceans 11

Al Gore was very fat last year:

Average surface temperatures in 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, were 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2015

If you look at charts, the surface temperatures have gone up about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 25 years.

This is even scarier, while oceans have risen an average of about 0.11 inches a year since 1983, that could accelerate rapidly:

If high levels of greenhouse gas emissions continue, they concluded, oceans could rise by close to two meters in total (more than six feet) by the end of the century. The melting of ice on Antarctica alone could cause seas to rise more than 15 meters (49 feet) by 2500.








If I ever lose my faith in you

I’ve always been a big skeptic of having faithless electors choose someone other than Trump to be president (though I do admire conservatives who suggest this should happen). For one thing, I think it sets a terrible precedent. For another, most plans seem to involve installing a regular Republican like Kasich, and it’s not clear to me that a regular Republican wouldn’t do more damage than Trump. A regular Republican president would probably be more popular and possibly seen as less illegitimate, and that would give that president more latitude to do all the awful things Paul Ryan wants done on the domestic front.

The revelations about Russian interference in the election have changed my mind. I don’t think it’s a good thing to have a president who is beholden to Putin for his electoral victory, especially when that president has also expressed admiration for Putin and skepticism about NATO and has had advisors who got a lot of money from Putin and may owe a lot of money to Russian oligarchs, and so on. Maybe this makes me an idiot jingoist who can’t accept the true leftist fact that the US deserves to be run by foreign agents after what it did in Central America.

But it’s what I believe nevertheless.








We’re only making plans for Nigel

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the Western right’s love for Vladimir Putin. Here’s another example:

Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit movement in the UK and formerly head of the far-right UK Independence Party (he retired after the Brexit win), is in talks with the Russian government owned RT news network to a be roving reporter covering Donald Trump’s presidential campaign this fall.

And who knew crunchy cons loved repressive dictatorships so much (via)?

[N]ews broke about a young Russian atheist provocateur who got himself arrested by playing Pokemon Go inside a large Orthodox church in Yekaterinburg, his hometown…

[….]

They say he faces up to five years in prison. I find that excessive, but I don’t feel sorry for this jackass. His fellow atheists committed mass murder of and terror against Orthodox Christians when they were in power during the Bolshevik tyranny.

I don’t think there’s any measure by which Putin has been a successful leader, other than his ability to simply remain in power. He’s the head of a petro-state with a terrible economy and a GDP roughly the size of Mexico. He has a high approval rating in Russia but my impression is that they’d like any leader who is strong like bull (hope I’m not offending anyone).

But in a world under constant siege from black Jewish homosexual atheist feminazis, he’s the last bastion of white Christian male strength, I guess.



I was dreaming when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too fast

Al Gore made some serious mistakes in 2000 — not having Bill campaign with him, picking Lieberman — but establishment media’s anti-Clinton/Gore jihad is the main reason the race was so close. If you’re not up-to-speed on this topic, Bob Somerby has devoted even more words to it than it deserves. I’ll give a quick Billy Joel-style rundown of American politics from 1999 to 2003: “Earth tones, Gore lactating, Chris Matthews pontificating, cowboy king, another war, I can’t take it anymore”.

It’s happening again.

Krugman:

So I would urge journalists to ask whether they are reporting facts or simply engaging in innuendo, and urge the public to read with a critical eye. If reports about a candidate talk about how something “raises questions,” creates “shadows,” or anything similar, be aware that these are all too often weasel words used to create the impression of wrongdoing out of thin air.

And here’s a pro tip: the best ways to judge a candidate’s character are to look at what he or she has actually done, and what policies he or she is proposing. Mr. Trump’s record of bilking students, stiffing contractors and more is a good indicator of how he’d act as president; Mrs. Clinton’s speaking style and body language aren’t. George W. Bush’s policy lies gave me a much better handle on who he was than all the up-close-and-personal reporting of 2000, and the contrast between Mr. Trump’s policy incoherence and Mrs. Clinton’s carefulness speaks volumes today.



Nothing’s gonna change my world

If Hillary wins by 8 points and the Democrats take the Senate, that will be great because it means Democrats are likely to establish a long-term majority in the Supreme Court. But to think that the victory will be seen as a mandate or that Republicans will pivot to the center is just stupid:

I don’t think even a massive landslide would crush Trumpism. Goldwaterism didn’t go away after 1964 — it morphed into Wallaceism and, more significantly, the GOP’s Southern strategy. David Duke lost badly when he ran for governor of Louisiana in 1991, but the GOP continued to appeal to its voter base with Duke’s message translated into dog whistles; shortly after that Duke loss, a Louisiana politician named Steve Scalise declared himself “David Duke without the baggage.” He’s now the House majority whip.

In fact, we’ll be told that Democrats have to move farther to the right to become a true majority party. Sure, Ryan Lizza is especially bad but expect a lot of this:

I like magical thinking, but the truth is the super-majority coalition never develops, the meteor never hits, the levee never breaks. Hillary wins, most likely, then Trump challenges the results in a half-ass way, Ryan and the rest of the conservative Beltway nobility support his challenge in a half-ass way, while still being hailed as serious moderate thinkers, and then we get back to dealing with filibusters and the usual bullshit.

I don’t mean this to sound pessimistic. To the contrary, it all makes me glad we have a president like Obama and a candidate like Hillary. Because it’s all a tough slog, not an episode of West Wing or a documentary about the Roosevelts.

Update. I shouldn’t say “never”, just not soon. A few more generations of kids voting Democratic 20+ over Republicans (and voting democratic socialist +60 over neoliberal in primaries), and, yes, the levee breaks.



Only love can break your heart

I’ve been impressed by how many right-wing pundits — George Will and Robert Kagan stand out — are so freaked out and upset about Trump that they’re willing to be anti-Trump all the time and note devote any columns to fragging Hillary. Meanwhile, the professional centrists continue to treat Trump and Hillary as two sides of the same coin:

Why is the convention so negative? For the same reasons next weeks’ Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia likely will be an anti-Trump orgy.

[….]

Shouts of “fascist” from the convention floor, for example, would be the Philadelphia analogue of “Lock her up!” Smug dismissals of Trump’s populist approach and policies might be viewed by undecided voters as an indictment of them.

Ron Fournier and Matt Bai aren’t upset that the country could devolve into a fascist dictatorship under Trump (note: I don’t think it probably would, but some on the right make a good case that it might). It would just be further proof of the corrupt duopoly derp derp and, anyway, they have plenty of money so it probably wouldn’t hurt them much.

A lot is made about how the country has become too polarized and angry. Well, fury can be misdirected but being mad as hell is at least a sign that you give a fuck.

In the comments a few times, some of you have mentioned studies that show that people can’t make decisions if the part of the brain that deals with emotion is incapacitated. I hate to go into Boboish pseudoscientific gibberish here, but I do think that sober-minded, nonpartisan, objective blah blah blah analysis has its limits. That it’s not just that Ron Fournier is a sociopathic asshole but that the whole nonpartisan project is doomed to failure.