Friday, September 25, 2020

Stock Market: Trump Brags, But Obama Was Better

Thomas Friedman Also Expects Trump Delegitimizing the Election and Civil War

Thomas Friedman also has some serious concerns about a second civil war in America and Trump delegitimizing the election. He says he's never been more afraid in his life. Click the picture for the video.

Breaking: Americans Say, 57-38%, Next Prez Should Choose SCOTUS Seat

 Via WaPo

The Post-ABC poll, conducted Monday to Thursday, finds 38 percent of Americans say the replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week, should be nominated by Trump and confirmed by the current Senate, while 57 percent say it should be left to the winner of the presidential election and a Senate vote next year.

That there's a right mighty gap.

Three Protests, Five Miles, Rainy Day

The Proud Boys (not men, I guess) are protesting in Portland tomorrow, despite being denied a permit on the grounds of the coronavirus. They announced plans to hold their protest the outskirts of town in Delta Park, a complex of athletic fields. I've been there many times watching my nephew play lacrosse, but alas this year there are no lacrosse, soccer or softball players. The left-wing is demonstrating, also permitless, in a park about three miles away, and BLM about two miles further beyond.

Why do I feel those distances are going to evaporate, even with the forecast calling for the day to be cloudy with showers, winds 5-10 mph, high 67 Fahrenheit. Because there have to be confrontations for the iPhones, the Androids and the evening news. This is Oregon, so everyone has pretty good rain gear, so everyone will come ready to protest for the entire day. 

The Oregon State Police and the County's Sheriff's Office have refused to help with crowd control because of the city's ban on the use of tear gas. If they can't use their toys -- toys banned in warfare by the Geneva Protocol of 1925 -- they ain't gonna play.

With the way protests are going around the country this summer and this past week in Louisville, it won't surprise me if guns get drawn and someone gets shot, or three. Or someday not far off, twenty or thirty. That's where things are headed, it seems to me. There are 400M guns in America and lots of open carry laws, even for assault guns, and the idiot legislators with their gun ideologies probably weren't smart enough to foresee the day when things turned like this. (Or, even more frightening, they were.) Once this starts -- and it seems to me this summer was a fair to middling shove off -- it's hard to stop it, especially if this election is a mess, as it seems it will be, thanks to Commander Chaos. A lot of people, especially the clowns on the extreme right wing, are just itching to dress up in their Walmart commando gear and play Red Dawn in real life that they've all been playing some version of virtually since they were kids. 

I don't like where things seem to be heading. Worse, a good friend of mine, a retired Presbyterian minister, agrees with me that something like a civil war is coming and America is slowly but surely circling the drain. She's the last person I would have expected to hear that from.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Cure

"The only cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."

— Dorothy Parker, American writer (1893-1967)

No Peaceful Transfer of Power

Wow. Trump is again declining to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election. In light of RBG's death and another coming stolen Supreme Court justice, this takes on a whole new meaning. Has a US president ever said such a thing before, let alone this many times, let alone this close to the election? AP
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday again declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said at a news conference, responding to a question about whether he’d commit to a peaceful transfer of power. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
Last month Trump told Sean Hannity
This year, with a judge no longer watching, the Republicans are recruiting 50,000 volunteers in 15 contested states to monitor polling places and challenge voters they deem suspicious-looking. Trump called in to Fox News on August 20 to tell Sean Hannity, “We’re going to have sheriffs and we’re going to have law enforcement and we’re going to have, hopefully, U.S. attorneys” to keep close watch on the polls. For the first time in decades, according to Clark, Republicans are free to combat voter fraud in “places that are run by Democrats.”
which sounds exactly like something a fascist would do, does it not? 

And The Atlantic goes on about what you've all heard, the doubt Trump has sown about mail-in voting, about votes counted after Election Day, about foreign interference (the nerve), and more. It's worth reading.

There's no way there isn't going to be a big mess after the day of the election, unless Biden wins very big. And probably not even then. Probably not even then.  

Added: The Majority Leader from the Great State of Hypocrisy twote

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Trump Just Admitted He's Trying to Steal the Election

 From the NY Times:

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Wednesday that he wants to ensure confirmation of a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by the Nov. 3 election because he expects disputes over who won the White House to be resolved by the Supreme Court.

“I think this will end up in the Supreme Court,” Mr. Trump told reporters at a White House event on social media, adopting an argument for quick action made by his ally, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. “And I think it’s very important that we have nine justices,” instead of the eight seats currently filled.

The president again asserted without evidence that Democrats were trying to rig the election and said he wants a high court that will agree with him. “This scam that the Democrats are pulling — it’s a scam — the scam will be before the United States Supreme Court,” Mr. Trump said.

Five of the eight current court members were appointed by Republican presidents, including two by Mr. Trump. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, has on a few occasions sided with the liberals, which could potentially mean a 4-4 split.

Mr. Trump made clear he is counting on whomever he appoints for Justice Ginsburg’s seat to support him and that he wants to be declared the winner by an overwhelming majority if the results go to the Supreme Court.

“And I think having a four-four situation is not a good situation, if you get that. I don’t know that you’d get that. I think it should be eight-nothing or nine-nothing. But just in case it would be more political than it should be, I think it’s very important to have a ninth justice.”

— Peter Baker

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

An Interview While Working From Home

Last week Gretchen Goldman, a scientist from the Union of Concerned Scientists, went on CNN to discuss NOAA's atrocious hiring of the notorious climate denier David Legates. Anyway, on left is how she appeared on camera. At right is how it looked as she was on camera, a photo taken by her husband. She swears she's wearing shorts, not underpants, as she told Slate in a (funny, insightful, parental) interview.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Oregon Party Registrations

Just for fun, here are the Oregon party registration numbers as of April 2020: There's an "Independent Party" by name, so if you want not to be a member of any party, you have to register as unaffiliated.

Good Question About RBG Replacement:

Conversation at the NY Times:

Bret Stephens: ...which just reminds me of another way in which Trump is not conservative. After all, if he’s so confident he’s going to beat Sleepy Joe, why not wait till January?

Gail Collins: Hahahahaha.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Why Trump is a Sociopath, Latest Evidence

 Jonathan Chait, today, in New York magazine:

There’s a term for a person who views other humans purely as instruments for his own advancement, and is unable to conceive of the idea of caring about them independent of his own self-interest: “sociopath.” The United States has had some terrible presidents before, but probably never a sociopathic one. When his own aides warn the public that he does not care if the people he is tasked with helping live or die, we should take their warnings with the utmost seriousness.

This comes via today's Daily Howler. But it also comes from an aide to VP Mike Pence, which I've been meaning to get to. This is from Olivia Troye, a former senior aide to Vice President Mike Pence and member of the administration's Coronavirus Task Force. She spoke on Friday, saying she will vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden and encouraged other Republicans to do the same.

To recap the most striking part: She calls it 

“...shocking to see the president saying that the virus was a hoax, saying that everything’s okay when we know that it’s not. The truth is, he doesn’t actually care about anyone else but himself. He made a statement once that was very striking. I never forgot it because it pretty much defined who he was, when we were in a taskforce meeting the president said, ‘maybe this COVID thing is a good thing. I don’t like shaking hands with people, I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people.'”

Can you imagine saying such a thing!? Robert Lewis Stevenson [is said to have] written, "All men have secret thoughts that would shame hell," but to say this out loud!! As President of the United States, in an important meeting?!?!

Of course there is more evidence, from Trump's niece, a trained clinical psychologist, that he is a sociopath. As the Daily Howler notes, the best-selling book by Yale psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee. And all the weird and disturbing things we've seen Trump do and tweet for years now. The constant lying. Constant and obvious. His strange denial of facemasks. The strange, anti-productive tweets like "LIBERATE MICHIGAN." The admission to Woodward that he intentionally lied to America about COVID-19. The book by Bolton. They all portray him as a lying dummy who understands nothing, and lies to cover up his ignorance. His lies that he has a health care plan just ready to go, two weeks away, which he's been saying since 2016. How f--king stupid does he think Americans are? It shows how stupid he is to think this is how stupid Americans are. 

He simply doesn't care. About, apparently, anything. Except himself. Whatever's good for him. And that's exactly why he's a sociopath.

"...maybe this COVID thing is a good thing. I don’t like
shaking hands with people, I don’t
have to shake hands with
these disgusting people."

Friday, September 18, 2020

Talking Referees

No other sport I know of has this kind of ref-player relationships:

COVID-19 Cases on the Rise Again

After two months of a decline in COVID-19 cases -- thought never getting back to the level of the first peak -- it looks like cases are increasing again. Who to blame? One obvious group are the idiots who won't wear masks, like the Idiot-in-Chief, the idiots who go to his rallies and cram in together without wearing masks, the Target store idiots (fined), North Dakota maskless idiots, and the entire crowd of ignorant Americans who are ruining this country and bringing about its downfall. From the NY Times:

When is it time to get out?

Talk on Fire and the Warming Climate

Some of you might enjoy this talk.

You have to register: move your pointy thing over there and clicky click

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

On Fire: The Escalating Consequences of a Warming Climate, with Park Williams, PhD, and questions from Alex Halliday, Director

Join us online for a lecture by Park Williams about how climate change is fueling dangerous wildfires--and what we can expect in the future.

The Speaker:

Park Williams, PhD is a Lamont Associate Research Professor of Biology and Paleo Environment at Columbia University’s Earth Institute - Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He is a bioclimatologist focused on the impact of climate variability and climate change on the living world. His work seeks to improve understanding of drought and its effects on terrestrial systems, including ecosystems, the carbon cycle, agriculture and humanity

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Comparing GISS and NOAA for August Temperatures

I said I might compare the GISS and NOAA global surface temperatures by bringing them to a common baseline period, and I really thought I would be too lazy to do that, but low-and-behold I had already done this on my spreadsheets and forgotten.

Both datasets start in 1880, and the common baseline period I had calculated with is the 30-year period 1880-1909. 

So with that the GISS anomaly for August 2020 is 1.08°C and the NOAA anomaly is 1.17°C. 

People, we are in the range of 1.1°C of total global warming and quickly heading into the 1.2°C range. (And that's not even comparing to the true pre-industrial period, pre-1850 period, or maybe pre-1750, depending.)

Warming is stacking up fast. Easily 0.2°C/decade now. And accelerating. 

GISS's 30-yr slope for the global surface temperature is now 0.23°C/decade. Ten years ago it was 0.18°C/decade; ten years before that, 0.17°C/decade. In July 1990, 0.14°C/decade. July 1880, 0.05°C/dec.

Should have put that in a table or graph, sorry.

But there's no doubt warming is accelerating. Someone tell Trump. I'm sure it will make all the difference to the scientific heathen, to the climate arsonist.

Scientific American Endorses Biden

They elaborate here. First paragraph: 
The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future.