Sunday, October 25, 2020

Proud Boy Repeatedly Flashes White Supremacist Symbol at Trump Rally

Here's a man in a Proud Boys hat at Trump's recent rally in Florida repeatedly flashing the white supremacist "OK" hand sign. He's wearing a white shirt/sunglasses/black hat with a yellow logo, just to the right of Trump from our point of view:
Here's a close-up of his hat
which matches the Proud Boy logo you can see amongst this image page of them, such as this:

The Atlantic's Endorsement

Ending to only the fourth time The Atlantic has made an endorsement for president:

Two men are running for president. One is a terrible man; the other is a decent man. Vote for the decent man.

It's all worth reading.

Friday, October 23, 2020

When Trump Mocked Biden for Wanting to Talk About Middle-Class Families

Here was an astonishing Trump response last night at the debate, captured by Slate, showing that Trump is ensconced in a Fox News bubble and just doesn't get that he's the president of real people with real problems. Biden:

Trump's response:
Trump mocks Biden for wanting to turn the conversation to the problems of middle-class families, calling him a "typical politician!"

Trump would rather talk about a fake scandal, avoid talking about his own scandals and corruption, or the coronavirus problem (a scandal), or the economic depression, or anything in his record. Really telling.

Eleven days until this fool is kicked out.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wow, Joe Really Gets It

One of the biggest, most significant, most courageous statements ever made by a major American politician:

Great Line

 Joe Biden, to Trump: "this guy has a dog whistle about as big as a fog horn."

Cooling Down a Warming Place to Make it Warmer

I once heard a comedian tell a joke about the butter box in a refrigerator, a warm box in the otherwise cold refrigerator, and the refrigerator was a cold box in a warm house, with the house being a warm box in the cold outdoors. That was the gist of it.

This is even worse: According to The Guardian, in the Arctic, ConocoPhillips is looking into "cooling devices that will chill the ground beneath its structures, insulating them from the effects of the climate crisis."

CleanTechnica says this means making the permafrost stable enough for trucks to drive over it and oil rigs to drill into it. Here's the Environmental Impact Statement if you want to dig into it. Notice the caribou on the cover page -- their babies too! -- happily coexisting amidst all the oil infrastructure, one big happy family. 

Of course, the more drilling they do, the warmer the planet gets, so the more permafrost will melt, and the more cooling they'll have to do. I wonder how long it can go on. Probably longer that I can imagine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Luntz on Trump

“Nobody cares about Hunter Biden … why is [Trump] spending all his time on him?” Luntz asked. “Hunter Biden does not help put food on the table. Hunter Biden does not help anyone get a job. Hunter Biden does not provide health care or solve COVID. And Donald Trump spends all of his time focused on that and nobody cares.” 

-- Prominent Republican pollster Frank Luntz, The Hill, 10/20/20.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Biden Says, Yes, He'll Listen to the Scientists

Trump Getting Wilder Still

In just the last 24 hours....

Trump called Fauci an "idiot" in a Monday morning call with his campaign staff: 

"People are saying whatever. Just leave us alone. They're tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots..." Trump said.

Despite slamming the coronavirus expert, the president went on to say "Fauci is a nice guy" before saying "he's been here for 500 years."

During the call, Trump also insisted that if he had listened to Fauci's advice there would be "700,000, 800,000 deaths."
Mocked Biden by saying he will listen to scientists:

President Trump mockingly warned at his rally in Nevada late Sunday that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would “listen to the scientists” if elected and there would be more lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

Trump told attendees in Carson City that supporters of his opponent would surrender their “future to the virus,” saying: “He’s gonna want to lockdown.”

“He’ll listen to the scientists,” Trump added in a mocking tone before saying, “If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression instead — we’re like a rocket ship. Take a look at the numbers.”

He also took aim at Democratic governors, accusing them of “keeping their states closed” with preventative measures to mitigate the spread of the pandemic. According to Johns Hopkins University data, the coronavirus has led to more than 8.1 million cases in the U.S. and more than 219,000 deaths.

(I wonder if most job losses have occurred in red states or blue states.) 

Finally, Trump was back on the "Merry Christmas" wagon again, as if this Christmas is going to be so great.

“The Christmas season will be cancelled. Look, remember I said we’re going to bring back Christmas? The name. Remember? We brought it back. Remember?” he asked.

"They’d say, 'Have a great season.' I say, 'No, I don’t want to have a great season. I want to say 'merry Christmas.' Say 'merry Christmas.' Now, they’re all saying 'merry Christmas,' " he added.

The 538 average of polls ticked up another tenth of a percentage point for Biden, who now leads by 10.7 pct pts. Maybe that's why Trump is losing it.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Biden's Classy Response

I think Fred Hiatt is on to something in his Washington Post essay on Friday, headlined "The most illuminating answer Biden gave in his town hall:"

One answer during his Thursday night town hall appearance crystallized why former vice president Joe Biden may be exactly the right person for this moment in American history. 

It wasn’t a particularly eloquent answer. It rambled a bit. Political consultants might have judged it a whiff on a fat pitch down the middle of the plate.
But that, in a way, is the point. 

The exchange took place toward the end of the show, when a member of the audience, Keenan Wilson, asked Biden “hypothetically, if you lose,” how he would continue fighting for his ideals. 

We know how President Trump would have answered: with his usual mix of menace and whine. I won’t lose. I can’t lose. I can only lose if the election is rigged. 

Most politicians would also have refused to entertain the hypothetical. 

“Keenan, I appreciate the question, but I’m not thinking that way right now,” they would have said. “This election is far too important for us to lose. I’m convinced the American people are ready for a change, and if we just make sure that we all get out and . . .” 

Blah blah blah. 

That’s not where Biden went. 

“Hopefully, I will go back to being a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and making the case that I have been — made and at the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, focusing on — on these same issues relating to what constitutes decency and honor in this country,” Biden said. “But it’s the thing that’s motivated — my dad used to have an expression, for real. He said, ‘Everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity,’ everybody. And it was real. Everybody is. 

“And so, whether I’m a defeated candidate for president back teaching, or I’m elected president, it is a major element of everything that I’m about, because it reflects who we are as a nation.” 

That’s only part of Biden’s reply — trust me, we don’t have room for it all — but it gives you the idea. He didn’t pretend that losing was impossible. He didn’t pretend he’d never given it any thought. He didn’t even presume that he could, for sure, get his teaching jobs back. 

And when moderator George Stephanopoulos followed up by asking, “If you lose, what will that say to you about where America is today?” Biden again accepted the hypothetical — and declined to finger potential scapegoats. 

“Well, it could say that I’m a lousy candidate, and I didn’t do a good job,” he said. 

That statement was met with applause, not because the audience agreed with the premise, but because we’ve all become so unaccustomed to a politician showing humility in any way.

Trump, of course, lacks such class and introspection. Here he is on Friday, talking about the same subject.

He also seemed to acknowledge things might not go his way in the end. "Running against the worst candidate in the history of presidential politics puts pressure on me. Could you imagine if I lose?," Trump mused.

"What am I gonna do?," he continued. "I'm not gonna feel so good. Maybe I'll have to leave the country. I don't know."

He couldn't give an honest answer, from the heart. First he had to denigrate his opponent, apparently not realizing, or able to admit, that if he loses to the "worst candidate in history" that will make him even worse. Then he gives a flippant answer, because he's not going to leave the country, and everybody knows it. He'd never get the attention anywhere else that he can get here (unfortunately). He just reeks of insincerity. 

Temperature Variations During La Ninas

Here's a very interesting depiction of temperature variations in the US during the last 14 strongest La Ninas, going back to 1925. It's difficult to find a pattern -- variations are all over the map (ca-ching). 
Check out the replies to the tweet. One notes that Alaska is usually cool. Also note that, surprising, La Nina stops at the US-Canadian border. If you find any patterns, let us know.

So far, this autumn has been a moderate La Nina. Generally that means depressed global mean surface temperatures, so 2020 may not quite surpass 2016 as the hottest year.

This is How Low Republicans Are Going Now

Aided by a television station that supports them fully. 

This kind of corruption will continue even after Trump loses, too. Republicans simply have no shame and will tear the country apart if they cannot be in power.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Republicans Can't Help Being Pieces of Shit

FY2020 Deficit a Whopping $3.1 T!

Note: First wrote $3.1 B, but of course it was $3.1 T. 

The US Government fiscal year ended on September 30th, so the books were finalized for the previous 12 months. One of the more astounding statistics was the budget deficit for the fiscal year: -$3.13 T. 

It's not yet possible to calculate this as a percentage of the 2020 FY GDP, since the GDP for 3Q20 in't in. But it will be high. I suppose most of it is understandly high. But all of it?

An Idiotic America In New Zealand

Watch the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand humiliate an American COVID denier:


Solar Energy Now “Cheapest Electricity in History”

The International Energy Agency just released its annual report, and the highlight is that solar energy is now the “cheapest electricity in history.”

The IEA charges €120 for their report, so I don't know if there are any caveats on this statement. I would think it would be latitude-dependent, at least. 

The Atlantic writes:

At the same time, it substantially downgraded its forecast for coal, saying that the fuel source will soon enter a prolonged and irreversible decline. That means global carbon pollution could peak in the next several years—though, without further policy, it will not decline as rapidly as needed to avoid catastrophic global warming.

Trump Admin Reverses Course on California Disaster Assistance

I suspect this was the plan all along -- blame administration officials, then let Trump look like the bigger man. But it was no doubt Trump's decision all along. (Yes, that's how cynical this administration make us.)

Trump Gives California the Middle Finger

Wow -- the Trump administration has rejected disaster relief aid for California's wildfire damage. 

The Trump administration has rejected California’s request for disaster relief aid for six major wildfires that scorched more than 1.8 million acres in land, destroyed thousands of structures and caused at least three deaths last month....

Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said President Trump had already come to the state’s assistance when his administration authorized increased funding for debris removal from the fires as well as relief for the August fires.

“The more recent and separate California submission was not supported by the relevant data that states must provide for approval and the President concurred with the FEMA Administrator’s recommendation,” Mr. Deere said.

Trump isn't going to win California anyway, so what does he care. This is yet another reason why the Electoral College must be scraped and the winner of the presidential election should be determined by popular vote. (And California has about 13 million of them -- about 10% of the national vote.)

Trump is such a small man. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

NOAA: Warmest September in Their Records

NOAA just recorded this September as the warmest in their records, 0.97°C (1.75°F) above the 20th-century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F). 

That's 1.20°C (2.16°F) above their earliest 30-year period, 1880-1909. 

If you do a linear fit to their results, the total warming is now 1.06°C (1.91°F), which now rounds to "1.1°C." 

But there's now a nontrivial acceleration to the warming, which (for the entire dataset) is 0.016°C/dec2

More details here. Here's their anomaly map for the month. Notice Siberia.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Graphic: Watch COVID-19's Rise in the Red States

Watch COVID-19 cases' relative rise in the red states compared to the blue states:

Monday, October 12, 2020

Florida Home Sales and Sea Level Rise

From today's NY Times, here are two graphs on the impact of sea level rise -- or rather, the worry about it -- on home sales and prices in Florida:

I'm not as convinced on the prices chart -- why did they lead from 2013-2017? Is it only since 2017 that Floridians have become more aware of the impact of sea-level rise there? Maybe.

These kind of financial impacts -- plus increases in insurance costs, or the inabilityvto get insurance at all -- will probably be the only thing to get people to take sea level rise completely seriously. Including governments. Once seaside towns start losing homes -- and property taxes -- partially or completely, they're going to demand their state and federal goverenments do something. What, I don't know.