Not every profile has to be of Trump voters. Here, @ryangrim pens lovely & inspiring piece about a middle-aged woman in rural Pennsylvania who became a grassroots organizer in response to Trump. theintercept.com/2018/09/15/jes…
Middle-aged women are the glue that holds this f'ing country together (for which they get no credit whatsoever). Now they are the primary political force that might save the country from itself. And still political media almost completely ignores them.
The other non-obvious, non-Trumpist profile I remember enjoying is, ironically, from the NYT -- this one, about Latino hotel workers in Vegas. What are some others? nytimes.com/2016/11/06/us/…
The most disturbing revelation of the Trump years is that an American slide to fascism does not need to be kept hidden. It doesn't need to be subtle, or covered with dog whistles. It can unfold right in front of us, plain as day, and institutional leaders will mostly just gawp.
This seems like as good a place as any to put on record one of my most depressing predictions: the increasing severity of climate impacts will not serve as impetus to international cooperation, but the opposite. It will empower nationalists, isolationists, & reactionaries.
I'm looking out my window at a 4-story residential building across the way. In one window, two young boys are teaching each other to break dance. In another, a family is eating dinner around a table. In front of another, a guy is on his balcony smoking.
One family is out on their back balcony, laughing as they tear laundry down from the line (it's started raining). Another woman is pacing back & forth with her cell phone, gesticulating. No one has their blinds closed. It's just a panorama of life, in all its banal glory.
We're all in separate apartments, but in a weird way, we're all living together. I f'ing love cities, I guess is what I'm saying.
1. OK I should go to bed but I'm all jet-lag-frazzled so instead I'm gonna do a thread on everyone's favorite topic: carbon taxes! You read the IPCC report (ok, a story about it). You're freaked out. You keep hearing about carbon taxes. What should you think about them?
1.5 Yeah, I'm gonna tell you what to think about them. They don't call me Dr. Vox for nothing. I'm going to voxsplain all up in this shit.
2. So, people often ask, will a carbon tax work? Are you for a carbon tax? These questions are unanswerable. It is as if we were contemplating a large-scale construction project and you asked, "Will a tool work?" Well I mean yeah, but.
The thing is, conservatives like the distortions & anti-democratic features of the US system because they benefit conservatives. If they didn't, "respect for the Founders" would evaporate in a heartbeat.
Just one more area where cons are reasoning backward from outcomes & libs are wasting countless hours & brain cycles taking it seriously.
No one but historians truly, genuinely gives a shit what the Founders intended - certainly not in a way that overrides more proximate political preferences. It's just a convenient rhetorical tool.
The new IPCC report is out. The top line is familiar: we can still limit climate change to non-catastrophic levels if we act quickly. But underneath that, what counts as "quickly" has grown ever more ludicrous. vox.com/2018/10/5/1793…
Basically, stopping warming at 1.5C would involve an immediate, coordinated crash program of re-industrialization, involving every major country in the world. It would be like the US mobilizing for WWII, only across the globe, sustained for the rest of the century.
Nothing like that has ever happened. Nothing even remotely similar has ever happened. There are currently no indications that any such effort is getting underway, and indeed the US is vigorously moving the other direction.
Seems @RadioFreeTom is done: "[Collins'] speech on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh convinced me that the Republican Party now exists for one reason, and one reason only: for the exercise of raw political power." theatlantic.com/author/tom-nic…
I expect this process will continue. The last remaining Rs with a twinge of decency, a devotion to something other than tribal power, will peel off -- and what remains of the party will be the resentful, nihilistic, and increasingly dangerous core.
The entire right convinced themselves of this lunacy - ignoring evidence, dismissing Ford's testimony, & closing off further inquiry - EASILY. Without breaking a sweat. The entire GOP has embraced Trump's narcissism, delusion, & cruelty. They were just waiting for permission.
Remember this next time some pundit says Dems shouldn't do/say something because it might "give the right ammunition." The right is now entirely capable of making shit up out of whole cloth -- high school doppelgangers, Soros plots, pizza joint child sex rings, sharia law ...
They don't need ammunition. They've got a giant propaganda machine & a base trained to revel in being lied to. They can collectively convince themselves of *anything* now, almost overnight. Protesting assault survivors are paid Soros agents? Sure! They'll gobble it up.
"Arrest political opponents & seize their assets" is a semi-joke now. Ha ha, just triggering the libs. And then it gets joked about & mentioned enough until it's kind of a thing. And then it will start to seem only fair, given [the latest lurid Antifa fantasy]. And then ...
Let me ask you this: can you identify an element or faction on the US right that would *push back* if Trump start using police powers to jail political opponents?
If Trump tipped over into full-on violent autocrat, what contemporary conservative would make a peep?
This is how it happens -- we know, b/c dozens of people who have lived through it warned us, over & over. Each incremental step toward fascism seems like a small thing relative to the last one. And all along, those who warn what's several steps ahead are dismissed as hysterics.
The only line from Collins' speech that matters: "I found her testimony to be sincere, painful and compelling. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life. Nevertheless ..."
They're actually pushing the line that Ford had this intense trauma that she remembered for decades, including fine details, but she somehow mis-remembered who it was on top of her. Do you suppose they really believe it?
I can't decide what's more contemptible, if he believes this or if he's just using it for cover.
1. All right, nothing is more pointless than a post-midnight tweet thread, but I'm wired & and I can't sleep, so what the hell. Let's talk about "real men."
2. I've known a few guys in my life that I would characterize as Real Men, in the sense that they fully embody what I think is best about masculinity. I've had occasion to both learn from and envy such guys. They are quite rare.
3. They haven't all been physically strong or traditionally handsome. They haven't all been heterosexual. They haven't all been involved in stereotypically "manly" professions. What they have in common, if I had to put words on it, is a deep sense of confidence & self-possession.
If there is a political reporter who genuinely has no opinion about whether Kavanaugh should be seated, there is something *wrong with that person*. It would require an almost sociopathic distancing from any value set at all.
"Objectivity" is such a weird myth. Spending years training yourself to withhold judgment does not make you a better reporter. It makes you an easy target! Judgment is a muscle that grows weak with disuse.
You might say, "the problem is Bazelon *expressed* her opinion, thus calling her objectivity into question." But again, be serious: ALL reporters have an opinion on this (at least those w/ a brain cell & a heart). The only difference between them & Bazelon is, *you know hers*.
If you live in Philadelphia, you can come see me talk tomorrow, between 5-6pm, about how I blog. Er, "the challenges of communicating scientific discovery and technology innovation in the politically charged arena of energy and climate policy." kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/events/communi…
In retrospect, electrifying everything is a terrible subject for a general-interest talk -- I really should have gone with something in the Trump-is-bad family -- but we're all committed now (me and the 12 people who show up, that is).
Happy Friday night, party animals! The EIA has just released a bunch of cool new graphs. Here are US energy-related CO2 emissions from 1990-2017. eia.gov/environment/em… …
Why are US energy-related CO2 emissions declining? There are two reasons. The first is that coal use has plunged. (Oil also never recovered from the recession. Natural gas use has risen, but not enough prevent overall declines in emissions.)
Second is the rise of "non-carbon generation," specifically wind and solar.
The eternal problem: we need a movie a 13yo & his parents can enjoy. Something fun & adventurous & funny & not too dark but also not too dumb.
Actually, cancel the search! My wife, just now: "We're watching Ocean's 8 because I want to see some women kick ass and you're both watching it with me because I want you to and also Kavanaugh."
I am very sorry to report that Ocean's 8 is ... not good. The whole point of those movies is to be fizzy & funny & fast, but O8 is just flat & boring. It's a pretty amazing accomplishment, given that cast. I mean, I would happily watch Blanchett or Bullock brush their teeth!
Nothing but love & respect for the survivors who confronted Flake ... but honestly, it demonstrates what is so frustrating about Rs. They somehow can't believe problems & suffering are real unless someone in their orbit shoves it in their faces & makes them *feel* it.
You read about this with Rs all the time. Like, an R wants to slash all social spending except on a particular disease his niece has. Or an R who supports background checks because a close friend was shot. Or an R who opposes torture because he was tortured.
The perverse thing is, the press plays these things up as though they are praiseworthy! Uses them to show that this or that R is not really cruel or thoughtless. He loves that cute niece with the disease! Human, just like us.
LOL at people patiently explaining to conservatives that "innocent until proven guilty" is a legal concept, applicable only in a court where both sides can call witnesses. Spoiler: THEY. DON'T. CARE. They will say whatever words work to achieve the tribal goal.
The Controversial New Conservative Legal Doctrine of WE BASH YOU ON HEAD, Explained
"The 37 constitutional scholars we contacted largely agree that WE BASH YOU ON HEAD is best understood through reference to the work of 18th century legal scholar ..."
Liberals: "A ha! We did the research and we have compiled a devastating rebuttal to your WE BASH YOU ON HEAD doctrine, reviewed by a team of legal scholars, replete with footnotes. Checkmate!"
2. Don't have a lot of time, so this is going to be quick and sloppy. (No jokes, people.) One reaction to my post, which I very much expected, was: "the public supports 100% renewables because people are dumb (and/or misled by enviro propaganda) & don't know it can't work."
3. Such people are continually infuriated by my refusal to adopt their perspective, so I frequently get called an enviro propagandist myself. (The kind of people involved tend, as a general matter, to be untroubled by humility or doubt.)
I was a teen in the '80s and I'm prepared to testify: men's hair really was that bad.
There's a picture in our family photo album ... I'm roughly 16, with a) leather boat shoes w/ no socks, b) aquamarine short shorts, c) an oversized, baggy, bright red sweatshirt, and d) a poofy, middle-parted mullet. Incel before incel was cool, basically.
The thing is, on Kavanaugh, even apart from the truth of specific accusations ... we know this guy, right? We've all met this guy. He's a very familiar type. At the root of all this is the fact that conservatives *like that type*. nytimes.com/2018/09/24/bus…
When you see children of privilege exercising unearned power by demeaning & belittling those outside the circle of privilege, how do you react? Are you repelled & angered? Or do you feel, on an almost subconscious level: yes, this is right, the natural hierarchy is playing out.
When you see those with power using it arbitrarily, to suppress the freedom & welfare of those with less power, do you identify with the suppressed? Or do you look at those with power & think, yes, that's the winner's circle, I want to be in there, with them.
And while you're at it, read this piece from @mattyglesias (who's on a roll), making the simple point that's been on my mind for weeks: conservatives just don't care about sexual assault. That's the only way to explain their behavior. vox.com/2018/9/24/1789…
2. And then read Andrew Sullivan's latest bit of bloviating, as he contemplates the horrible suffering visited upon Ian Buruma (who, uh, lost his job) by the mean old partisans: nymag.com/daily/intellig…
3. And then ask yourself: has someone who has truly grappled with & internalized the former ... still sit down and write the latter? This is what I tried to get at in my piece -- this is less about arguments & more about what you do or don't see: vox.com/2018/9/10/1782…
1. "At minimum, approximately $81 billion per year is spent by the U.S. military protecting global oil supplies. This is approximately 16 percent of recent DoD base budgets. ..."
2. "... Spread out over the 19.8 million barrels of oil consumed daily in the U.S. in 2017, the implicit subsidy for all petroleum consumers is approximately $11.25 per barrel of crude oil, or $0.28 per gallon." secureenergy.org/report/militar…
3. Cost of defending US supplies of wind & sun: $0.