Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Debate Prep?

The Times has a very interesting article up about how the respective Trump and Clinton camps are preparing for the first debate. It looks like the Donald is going to wing it. Can't wait!

This was my favorite bit from the piece.

“Trump has severe attention problems and simply cannot take in complex information — he will be unable to practice for these debates,” said Mr. Schwartz, who was the subject of a New Yorker profile last month that portrayed Mr. Trump as a charlatan. “Trump will bring nothing but his bluster to the debates. He’ll use sixth-grade language, he will repeat himself many times, he won’t complete sentences, and he won’t say anything of substance.”

All of the words I've bolded perfectly describe pretty much every right wing blog and right wing blog commenter out there. He's definitely their guy!!

The Colin Kerfuffle

I don't get the outrage over Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand during the National Anthem. This is his right and his view is justified. This isn't Game of Thrones or Germany in the 1930s. We don't bend the knee to the flag or our nation. They serve us and are supposed to represent equality. Clearly, they still don't.

I'm further perplexed by Donald Trump's attack on Kaepernick.Hasn't Trump been going on and on about how awful our country is... how awful it is for black people? It seems to me that they are essentially saying the same thing. At least Kaepernick is taking a principled stand and putting himself at considerable risk.

Kaepernick is using his celebrity status to take a stand on an issue that is still a deep wound in our country's soul. We are not doing a good job of addressing the fallout from slavery...even in the year 2016. I hope he is the first of many to let his voice, or silence in this case, be heard.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Referendum on Right Wing Bloggers

Now that Stephen Bannon has taken the helm of the Trump campaign, we can officially have a national referendum on what America thinks about right wing bloggers. Many of my posts from the last few months during this election have shown how the theme of the Trump campaign is most reminiscent of the comments sections of right wing blogs. But with the Brietbart chief running the tiller, it's official. Let's take a look at some of their best headlines, shall we?

Hmm...seems like they have a little hostility towards women. Probs because they and their readers look like this...

It's going to be pure joy watching them get their asses handed to a woman!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Be Sensitive To White People!

Climate Cognitive Dissonance

As Chris Mooney has pointed out many, many times, nothing will likely get through.

On the off chance that it might, here's that link again for those of you that have requested the handy list of denier arguments and how to bury them with the peer reviewed science.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Lot Of What He Believes...

The "Final Stand" of the Angry Old White Man

There's a big myth out there that Donald Trump has galvanized a whole mess of new conservative voters that will put him over the top come November 8th. David Wasserman over at 538 breaks down why this doesn't really matter and is, in fact, a myth.

There’s no doubt Trump compelled hundreds of thousands of conservative voters to switch their registrations to Republican to vote for him in closed primaries, accelerating these voters’ exodus from formal Democratic affiliation. But do they constitute a surge of new November voters? Not so much. It’s likely that most of these party switchers were already voting Republican.

He then follows this assertion with quite a bit of data. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Why Do They Support Donald Trump?

Answered here.

Why They Support Trump:

Ability to translate the violent dissonance in their heads into cogent, plain-stated hate

Monday, August 22, 2016

Ya Think?

The mea culpas continue...

Sykes’ many arguments with listeners over Donald Trump’s serial outrages have exposed in much of his audience a vein of thinking—racist, anti-constitutional, maybe even fascistic—that has shaken Sykes. It has left him questioning whether he and his colleagues in the conservative media played a role in paving the way for Trump’s surprising and unprecedented rise. 

Ya think? Sheesh...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Trump Supporter Attacks Interracial Couple Kissing in Public

From the Washington Post:
Daniel Rowe was apparently enraged at the sight of a black man and a white woman kissing on the streets of Olympia, Wash., Tuesday night. But police say he hid his violent intent behind a stony face until he was close enough to strike. . . .

Rowe, 32, walked up to the couple and, without warning, yelled a racial slur and lunged with his knife, police say. The blade grazed the woman and went into the man’s hip, according to a news release from Olympia police. . . .
After the attack, Rowe ran off as stunned onlookers dialed 911. The 47-year-old male victim, not realizing how badly he was injured, chased Rowe and “tripped him up,” said Lt. Paul Lower, a police department spokesman. Rowe hit his head on the ground and was knocked unconscious.
No one involved had life-threatening injuries, but police said Rowe’s behavior grew stranger as officers tried to wrestle him into the back of a patrol car.

“He tells them, ‘Yeah, I stabbed them. I’m a white supremacist,'” Lower said. “He begins talking about Donald Trump rallies and attacking people at the Black Lives Matter protest.”

According to court documents obtained by the Olympian, Rowe, who was unconscious when police encountered him, had tattoos that read “skinhead,” “white power” and “hooligan.” One tattoo showed the Confederate flag.
Trump's been egging these guys on for a year now. Is it any surprise they're starting to take action?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

An Excellent Summation of Conservatives Today

The question is...are these people reachable? Will they change? I find it incredibly difficult to be tolerant of such intolerance. Honestly, I think we just need to leave them behind..

More American Climate Refugees

This past July was the hottest month on record, by a lot. And it wasn't a fluke: it was the 15th straight month of record breaking temperatures.

This has produced crazy floods in Louisiana:
In just one day over the weekend, more than 31 inches of rain fell in some parts of Louisiana. The ground became saturated, and some rivers rose six feet higher than ever recorded. Rescuers evacuated more than 30,000 people, and about one-third of those have been forced to stay in emergency shelters. On Tuesday, the governor also added eight parishes to the list of federal disaster areas, raising the total to 12.
Two months ago West Virginia was hit by a "1,000-year rain," killing 23 people. Last week parts of Minnesota had eight inches of rain -- two months worth -- in just a few hours.
We're having 100-, 500- and 1,000-year rains a couple of times a year, all over the country.

Why? Higher temperatures produce heavier rains because warmer air can hold more water vapor.

Climate change has wrought a different disaster in California: drought, which has brought a slew of wildfires.
A small brush fire that started Tuesday morning near San Bernardino, California, has rapidly spread to 18,000 acres and forced more than 80,000 people from their homes.

California’s drought, now in its fifth year, has left the landscape and its vegetation parched; that, along with hot temperatures and dry winds, has given the Blue Cut fire such explosive growth that Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Bernardino County. The fire was first reported at about 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, and within two hours it’d scorched 1,500 acres. By Wednesday morning, the fire was expanding in every direction. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department went door-to-door asking people to leave their homes, and the fire now threatens to burn several communities in the rural hills in Southern California.
The problem with all that water in the air is that it doesn't come down evenly: geography dictates precipitation patterns, and California and the American West get stiffed on rain because of their mountain ranges and other factors.

Sea level rise is hammering the Alaskan coast, and forcing an island village in Alaska to move:
Residents of Shishmaref, Alaska, voted Wednesday to relocate its ancestral island home to safer ground, escaping eroding shores and rising seas brought on by climate change.

Melting sea ice has strengthened the storms that beat along the island's shores, causing chunks to drop off into the ocean, even as the permafrost on which the community is built is rapidly disappearing.
A band of Louisiana Indians were the first American climate refugees, forced out of their homes in February.

All of these disasters were forecast by climate scientists decades ago. Yet their computer models have historically underestimated the pace of climate change.

It's been 10 years since Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth came out, and most of its warnings have proven true. The prediction that hurricanes in the Atlantic would become more severe hasn't panned out, but it wasn't totally wrong: warmer water in the Pacific has produced a large number of record-breaking tropical cyclones and typhoons in the western Pacific.

Ultimately these problems boil down to simple physics: the more CO2 in the atmosphere, the hotter it gets. The hotter it gets, the more water vapor the air holds, and the more energy in the atmosphere. More water and more energy bring heavier rains and more severe storms, which means more flooding in areas prone to heavy rainfall and drought in other areas.

A Dream of the Future

Hitting Reset Again

The Trump 2016 campaign hit the reset button yet again with the hiring of Brietbart News' Stephen Bannon as its chief executive. Trump also brought Kellyanne Conway on board to be the campaign manager. I guess I'm not sure what the difference is between the two roles. Paul Manafort just resigned as campaign manager so that probably helps with the confusion.

So, basically an already failing campaign now has two bosses instead of one. Bannon has vowed to "let Trump be Trump" but that has actually caused far more damage than anyone in the organization would care to admit.

Donald Trump’s Crucial Pillar of Support, White Men, Shows Weakness

I agree with Nate Silver on this one. Trump is doubling down on a losing strategy. He looked a little more polished yesterday, which the media is attributing to Ms. Conway, but this is only one day. Can he actually sustain this? Worse for him, though, is the fact that his main base of support loves it when he is NOT polished and makes offensive comments.

If he becomes someone else, will they lose their interest?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Portrait of Heartache and Tragedy

The Incoherence of Trump

Recently Donald Trump gave a speech in which he blasted George W. Bush and Barack Obama for "nation building." In that same speech he said, "I have long said that we should have kept the oil in Iraq."

Donald Trump seems to think the oil in Iraq is like the Hope diamond, locked up somewhere in a safe that we could just crack open and bring home.

Never mind that stealing Iraqi oil is a war crime, immoral and unethical, and a violation of the basic tenets of Christianity that forbid stealing and killing. Does it make any kind of economic sense?

Iraq's oil reserves are estimated to be 140 billion barrels. Crude oil production in 2016 was about 4.55 million barrels a day. In 2008 production was half that. The oil fields are spread out over tens of thousands of square miles of mostly desert.

If you do the math, it would take 84 years to implement Donald Trump's plan to steal all Iraq's oil. We would need to have hundreds of thousands of American troops in Iraq for the duration to fight the ongoing insurrection. Furthermore, we would need to embark on a huge ongoing nation building effort in Iraq to repair the infrastructure required to run the oil industry, which Iraqi insurgents would be blowing up constantly, as they did throughout the American occupation from 2003-2011.

For example, oil production requires large amounts of electricity, consuming about 10% of total Iraqi demand. That means you need a functioning electrical grid (one of the big "nation building" projects we spent so much money on in Iraq). This is a problem because power plants and power lines would be constant targets of the Iraqi resistance. No problem, Trump says. Just bring in generators and make electricity in the  field. Not so fast: generators need refined fuel (they can't burn crude). That means you need to haul in diesel fuel (refined in the United States, probably) along the highways that the Iraqi insurgents are blowing up with IEDs all the time.

The Iraqi petroleum industry directly employees thousands of workers. Thousands more are needed to provide basic services (truckers, sailors, mechanics, janitors, cooks, plumbers, electricians, blackjack dealers and hookers -- this is a Trump operation, after all). It was hard to find enough Iraqis willing to assist Americans when we were helping them. How many will collaborate when we're stealing their oil?

Without the Iraqis' help we would have to bring in hundreds of thousands of workers to replace Iraqi workers, which means we'd have to bring in hundreds of thousands more troops to protect the workers. In the end it could take half a million people to steal Iraq's oil.

And the cost would be prohibitive: we spent a trillion dollars on the eight-year Iraq occupation. Eight years of oil is 13 billion barrels. At $50 a barrel, that would be worth $664 billion. Stealing Iraqi oil would cost twice as much as it's worth.

And that cost would likely be much higher, because Americans working in Iraq would get paid 10 to 20 times more than Iraqis. Plus, there's the lifetime medical costs for medical care for the troops. Speaking of which, an 84-year occupation of Iraq would mean the end of the volunteer armed forces. Who would volunteer to die in Iraq to steal oil for Donald Trump? We'd need a draft (imagine how the vote in Congress for this would go down), or we'd have to hire mercenaries on the world market, which would be really pricey.

What kind of an idiotic businessman would go for a deal that costs more than it's worth? No wonder Trump declared bankruptcy so many times.

Now, I assume that Trump doesn't mean any of this. He's just saying stupid stuff because it gets applause at his rallies. His own supporters don't believe he would actually steal Iraq's oil. Nor do they believe he would build the stupid wall, deport all the Mexicans, or ban all the Muslims.

He's just venting anger and hate, and his supporters love anger and hate more than anything else.

Thus, Trump's supporters have absolutely no idea what Trump will do if elected (he doesn't either, it seems). You did get some sort of an idea when he trots out his economic plan: tax cuts for billionaires and the businesses that have been stiffing American workers for decades.

For decades Republicans have succeeded by getting their voters to vote against their own economic self interest by appealing to religious, sexist and racist sentiments. Trump supporters have finally wised up and are mad at establishment: they realize they've been fed a steady diet of Republican bullshit.

But Trump has just repackaged the the same bullshit in an angrier package. Just like his supporters know he won't steal Iraq's oil or build the border wall, they should realize he's not going to stop trade deals or bring back factories back from China and Mexico.

Because after you listen to any Trump speech, after you brush away all the asides, the contradictions, the sarcasm, the insults, the wild tangents, the misplaced adjectives and unintelligible ejaculations, the only thing Trump ever really says is that he's a businessman, and that he would negotiate a "better" deal.

Which is a completely empty promise. What's "better" for Trump and American CEOs is not better for the people who work for Trump and American corporations.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Trump Triples Down on Racism and Sexism

As Trump's polling numbers have cratered in the last couple of weeks he has made three new hires.

Paul Manafort, who has sold warlords, dictator and despots to the U.S. government for forty years, is being ousted by two right-wing zealots from Breitbart: Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway.

Breitbart News has been the voice of the "alt-right," pushing racist right-wing conspiracy theories. These people peddle the standard crypto-fascist propaganda about Muslims, blacks and Hispanics. Contributors to Breitbart include Milo Yiannopoulos of Gamergate fame, who openly spout the most vile garbage against women.

Trump has also hired Roger Ailes to help him prepare for the debates, though the Trump campaign denies this because it's so damning with the dozens of former Fox employees who have come out with their own stories of Ailes' abuse.
Ailes was recently fired from Fox News for decades of harassing women in the news room. Several other Fox managers and "personalities" pulled the same sort of thing; women who refused lost their jobs or didn't get plum assignments that were contingent on sexual favors. Bill O'Reilly settled one such harassment suit for an untold sum, but the initial figure mentioned was $60 million.

These moves make it clear Trump intends to amp up his racist and sexist diatribes and has no desire to appeal to anyone but the ever-declining population of old white men and the vanishingly small number of gay men who are virulent misogynists.

Remember President Obama?

All this talk of Trump and Clinton has made most folks forget about our current president who is currently shaping up to be what Ronald Reagan was for the GOP-a legacy president who will be remembered as one of the best. Take a look at this, courtesy of 538.

2000Bill Clinton57%66%
1960Dwight Eisenhower5860
2016Barack Obama53*
1988Ronald Reagan5163
1976Gerald Ford5053
1968Lyndon Johnson4349
1992George H.W. Bush3449
1980Jimmy Carter3434
1952Harry Truman3232
2008George W. Bush2529

Stunning. And this is with all the BS that the right threw at him for the past decade. Essentially what we have here is the recognition that the man deserves from people who live outside of the know, in REALITY.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Watch The Senate Slip Away

538 has a piece up about how Trump is dragging down GOP candidates for Senate in tossup states.

Check it out

Trump may be dragging down Republican Senate candidates

At this point, it seems likely that the Dems will take back the Senate. But by how much?