...until David in Cal deals with this issue.
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Friday, October 30, 2020
David Appell might say that criticizing black American culture is automatically racist. All cultures are equally valid, according to many liberals. I disagree with that POV.
And then the President of your country says this, and the people listening to him laugh:
TRUMP: “You know, our doctors get more money if someone dies from COVID, you know that right?”— Tim Hogan (@timjhogan) October 30, 2020
Beyond reprehensible. pic.twitter.com/k5wuLDZOrz
Question: How exactly do you feel?
Angry at restrictions on gatherings in Minnesota that prevented him from speaking in front of a large crowd of supporters, Trump stalked off the stage after less than 30 minutes at his final stop of the day Friday.https://t.co/BHHDSn7eZk— Annie Karni (@anniekarni) October 31, 2020
"[There's] no time when the president takes off his blue suit, red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt and kaki pants uniform and hides from the American people to play golf," Springsteen continues — going on to note the lack of "images of the first family together enjoying themselves together in a moment of relaxation," like the Obamas in Hawaii or the Bush family in Kennebunkport.I've always been surprised that not one Trump kid ever told their daddy to shove his money and went off to do what they wanted, whether it was become a stockbroker or computer programmer or build kayaks in British Columbia. The likelihood is that they were as beaten and cowed by their pathological father as he was by his.
"Where'd that country go? Where did all the fun, the joy and the expression of love and happiness go?"
When Springsteen wrapped up the reading, he added his own final line: "On November 3rd, vote them out."
The yellow line is from sodium from meteors burning up in the upper atmosphere, as Scott Manley explains here:
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed. Happy Birthday, @HillaryClinton!— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) October 27, 2020
2) McConnell says the new Supreme Court justice will be a "political asset." And we thought the judiciary was to be politically neutral.
McConnell: Newly confirmed SCOTUS Justice Amy Coney Barrett will be a "political asset" for GOP candidates pic.twitter.com/0lKwHsqQsU— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 27, 2020
3) Racist Jared Kushner says blacks "have to want to be successful:"
Jared Kushner on the Black community: "President Trump's policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they're complaining about, but he can't want them to be successful more than that they want to be successful." pic.twitter.com/SX9vWiAfag— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 26, 2020
Monday, October 26, 2020
We have made tremendous progress with the China Virus, but the Fake News refuses to talk about it this close to the Election. COVID, COVID, COVID is being used by them, in total coordination, in order to change our great early election numbers.Should be an election law violation!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2020
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Here's a supercut of a guy throwing up what appears to be a white power hand gesture throughout Trump's rally in The Villages, Florida pic.twitter.com/QdZv3yIyyl— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 23, 2020
Friday, October 23, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
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
“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
...yes https://t.co/RzZ3j3zoAL— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 19, 2020
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.Mocked Biden by saying he will listen to scientists:
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."
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 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.
“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.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
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.
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.
A moderate to strong La Niña is now likely for the upcoming winter. While this pattern is warm for most of the Lower 48, there is a lot of variability. This map set shows temps during the 14 strongest La Niña's since 1925. [Corrected a title mistake on a previous post.] pic.twitter.com/Pxk5mDXk8z— Brian Brettschneider (@Climatologist49) October 16, 2020
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.
The quaint notion the Republican Party after Trump will be a normal political party focused on common good is absurd. https://t.co/7wVUmo0rhh— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) October 18, 2020
Friday, October 16, 2020
My opponent, GOP Sen. David Perdue of anti-Semitic attack ad infamy, just mocked Sen. Harris' name as "Kamala-mala-mala-whatever" at a Trump rally.— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) October 16, 2020
We are so much better than this. pic.twitter.com/9AvoQK4RdN
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?
Watch the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand humiliate an American COVID denier:
“Sorry Sunshine Wrong Place” belongs on T-shirts and Bumper Stickers https://t.co/8AyxVU70ul— Jay Rouse (@JayRouseDC) October 16, 2020
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.
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.)
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
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Monday, October 12, 2020
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.
Sunday, October 11, 2020
- Views of Chocorua May Differ - This is one of many photos I have taken from the same place, as part of a larger project. 22:30 20 September 2020, 8", f/2.5, ISO 5000 There was an aurora (Kp=2) visible far to the north. There is a trail of a meteor at about 11:30, 2/3 of the way from the peak to the upper edge.
- Morning glory - A rainbow yesterday morning. 07:35 8 October 2020, 1/320", f/9.0, ISO 100
Our weak, ranting, infected-by-Covid chief executive is not plotting a coup, because a term like “plotting” implies capabilities that he conspicuously lacks.
He lacks popularity and political skill, unlike most of the global strongmen who are supposed to be his peers. He lacks power over the media: Outside of Fox’s prime time, he faces an unremittingly hostile press whose major outlets have thrived throughout his presidency. He is plainly despised by his own military leadership, and notwithstanding his courtship of Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley is more likely to censor him than to support him in a constitutional crisis.His own Supreme Court appointees have already ruled against him; his attempts to turn his voter-fraud hype into litigation have been repeatedly defeated in the courts; he has been constantly at war with his own C.I.A. and F.B.I. And there is no mass movement behind him: The threat of far-right violence is certainly real, but America’s streets belong to the anti-Trump left.So if you judge an authoritarian by institutional influence, Trump falls absurdly short. And the same goes for judging his power grabs. Yes, he has successfully violated post-Watergate norms in the service of self-protection and his pocketbook. But pre-Watergate presidents were not autocrats, and in terms of seizing power over policy he has been less imperial than either George W. Bush or Barack Obama.There is still no Trumpian equivalent of Bush’s antiterror and enhanced-interrogation innovations or Obama’s immigration gambit and unconstitutional Libyan war. Trump’s worst human-rights violation, the separation of migrants from their children, was withdrawn under public outcry. His biggest defiance of Congress involved some money for a still-unfinished border wall. And when the coronavirus handed him a once-in-a-century excuse to seize new powers, he retreated to a cranky libertarianism instead.All this context means that one can oppose Trump, even hate him, and still feel very confident that he will leave office if he is defeated, and that any attempt to cling to power illegitimately will be a theater of the absurd.
Saturday, October 10, 2020
campaigning speaking at the White House today, and his audience is a conservative group called Blexit, which WaPo describes as "a campaign to convince African Americans and other minorities to leave the Democratic Party." Lining up to get in, naturally very few of them were wearing masks.
The leader of Blexit is Candace Owens, who went on a rant when a police woman stopped her and her husband at Whole Foods for not wearing a mask. But more to the point today, she once said that Hitler would have been OK if he had just stuck to Germany. Really.
Here is video of Candace Owens' full answer on nationalism and Hitler pic.twitter.com/NfBvoH8vQg— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) February 8, 2019
Oregon has warmed about 2.5°F (1.4°C) since the beginning of the 20th century, according to NOAA data.
The last 10 years have been the warmest on record, as have the last 30. In this graph, "MA" = moving average:
The warmest year so far was 2015, followed by 1934, 2014, 1992 and 2004.
Oregon's climate, though, is strange, because the state is sharply divided into two different climate zones depending on which side of the Cascade Mountains you're looking at. (They bisect the state from north to south.) The west side, where most of the population is, with the cities of Portland, Salem and Eugene, is rainy much of the year with the forests almost rain forests. The east side of the mountains, where the major city is Bend, is huge, and dry, high-altitude, scrub forests. It reminds me a lot of New Mexico. So I don't know how meaningful a statewide average is -- one really needs averages for each of the two regions to get a clear picture.
Friday, October 09, 2020
I'm a little under the weather and don't feel like blogging much at the moment -- and who can keep up with reality anyway -- but this interview with a sheriff in Michigan who knew some of the
militia armed gang members just arrested for allegedly plotting to kidnap the governor is...disturbing.
“It’s just a charge.” We have a serious police problem. https://t.co/i5L1WRiqgY— Francis Wilkinson (@fdwilkinson) October 9, 2020
Monday, October 05, 2020
This is real genius. George Takei, Star Trek's original Mr Sulu, organized a takeover of the #ProudBoys hashtag late last week. Now the hashtag is full of photos like these below on Twitter. The Proud Boys could think of no more clever way to respond than their stereotype would suggest. Those Kids just can't take a joke.
The Proud Boys have not responded kindly to the hashtag takeover. On Parler, a conservative social media app, followers of the Proud Boys group expressed outrage, with many commenting on images of the tweets with homophobic slurs, according to Forbes. One member created a meme of Takei making a white-supremacist gesture and another replied using Nazi terms like “final solution.”
Lots more here.
Our Sociopath-in-Chief is a goddamn lunatic who is utterly incapable of thinking of anyone but himself.
The lying to Hannity, the going to New Jersey when he knew he had been in close personal contact with an infected person (Hicks), the fake photographs and signing a blank piece of paper, making his doctor's lie to the press about his condition, the pathetic joy ride yesterday past a crowd on the highway and disregard for his security's health -- still not enough damage done, apparently. Now he tweets this madness:
I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2020
On Sunday, as he stepped out of his suite at Walter Reed Medical Center, where he’s being treated for the coronavirus, President Donald Trump made one of the most unwittingly revealing remarks in his entire term in office. “I’ve learned a lot about COVID,” he told reporters, then added:Apparently, the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans, the infection of 7 million, the many briefings from the nation’s most prominent health specialists, the profound toll that the virus has taken on every aspect of life worldwide—none of this made much of an impression.* It was only when he caught the bug, sweated with fever, gasped for air, and suffered who knows what other sensations we haven’t been told about, that he realized COVID-19 was “a very interesting thing.”
The talk of the president’s release from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center came as Conley and two other physicians treating Trump gave an upbeat but incomplete characterization of his condition. Outside doctors said they were mystified by what they said was an inconsistent portrayal of the president’s illness as relatively mild despite the aggressive mix of treatments he is getting....Robert Wachter, chairman of the University of California at San Francisco’s department of medicine, said any patient of his with Trump’s symptoms and treatment who wanted to be discharged from the hospital three days after their admission would need to sign out against doctors’ orders because it would be so ill-advised.“For someone sick enough to have required remdesivir and dexamethasone, I can’t think of a situation in which a patient would be okay to leave on day three, even with the White House’s medical capacity,” Wachter said.“Absolutely not,” William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University’s medical school, said of the idea of sending Trump back to the White House on Monday.Medical consensus has emerged that covid-19 patients are especially vulnerable for a period of a week to 10 days after their first symptoms. Some patients who seem relatively healthy suddenly deteriorate, either because of the virus itself or an excessive immune response that can cause damage to several organs, including the heart.
Nearly One-Third of Covid Patients in Study Had Altered Mental State:The hospitalized patients showed signs of deteriorating neurological function, ranging from confusion to coma-like unresponsiveness, new research indicates.
Sunday, October 04, 2020
Despite being at last Saturday's Republican superspreader event, US Attorney General Bob Barr doesn't plan to self-quarantine. What's he going to do, show up at work tomorrow as if everything's normal?
Still many Republicans don't get it and are holding indoor, largely maskless events.
A Trump campaign spokesman is still mocking Biden for wearing masks. Also, "Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), despite his own positive test result, criticized mask mandates while saying masks are 'certainly not a cure-all.'"
2016: "At a rally in Manheim, Pa., Oct. 1, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump mocked Democratic rival Hillary Clinton stumbling during a 9/11 ceremony after she had been diagnosed with pneumonia. 'She's supposed to fight all these different things, and she can't make it 15 feet to her car,' Trump said."
Then, of course, there was the time when Trump mocked a disabled reporter. That should have been the end of his campaign right there but 40 percent of Americans apparently couldn't be bothered.
Business Insider op-ed headline: "Trumpworld delighted in cruelty. Now that Trump has COVID, it demands empathy."
One of these recent events is not like the other: compare the House of Representatives’ masked-up, physically distanced #NotoriousRBG Lying In State ceremony to Trump’s maskless, crammed #SuperspreaderACB Rose Garden party. pic.twitter.com/Qn8JJq8T7f— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) October 3, 2020
Jaime Harrison, the Democratic candidate for Senate in South Carolina running against Lindsey Graham (and tied
The photos released by the WH tonight of the president working at Walter Reed were taken 10 minutes apart at 5:25:59 pm and 5:35:40 pm ET Saturday, according to the EXIF data embedded in both @AP wire postings that were shared by the White House this evening. pic.twitter.com/EzeqIkGdf7— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) October 4, 2020
Saturday, October 03, 2020
Here's a picture from the Rose Garden announcement at the White House last week announcing the president's choice of nomination to the Supreme Court vacancy. Except for the press, who you can see sitting/standing in the back, these would be almost all Republicans, if not 100% Republicans:
Maybe 10% have a mask on. Maybe. These are the idiots running the United States. What else can you call this but a cult?
TMZ also has video from the aftermath of the announcement, showing people mingling:
Friday, October 02, 2020
The president is age 74, male and heavy—all factors linked to more severe cases of the illness
It’s a measure of the cynicism that has infected American politics — and, yes, me — that among my initial reactions to the news that President Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus was: Are we sure? Can we trust that? A man who so frequently and flamboyantly plays the victim, and who has been prophylactically compiling ways to explain away or dispute a projected election loss to Joe Biden, is now being forced off the campaign trail, which will be a monster of an excuse.I couldn’t help thinking that.I couldn’t help thinking, too, about karma, and I immediately felt and still feel petty for that. Trump has spent much of the past six months, during which more than 200,000 Americans died of causes related to the coronavirus, downplaying the pandemic, flinging out false reassurances and refusing to abide by the very public health guidelines that officials in his own government were fervently promoting.He didn’t wear a mask. He encouraged large gatherings — including the Tulsa, Okla., rally that Herman Cain attended before falling sick with the coronavirus and dying, and his big convention speech — at which hundreds and even thousands of people, many without any facial covering, packed in tight. At the first presidential debate on Tuesday night, he mocked Biden for so often wearing a mask, suggesting that it was a sign of … what? Timidity? Weakness? Vogueishness? Moral vanity?
"Watchdog groups and analysts have debated about how to classify the Proud Boys. Its members explicitly disavow white supremacy in a bid for respectability, but its ideology is clearly white supremacist: Photographs of members flashing the white power sign, the presence of members at white power events and at rallies and expert analyses of the group’s online content make this clear."