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The Worst of Politics, w/o August 13, 2018

Monday

Fire and Fury

I’m finally getting around to reading it now, though events since its publication haven’t made it any less terrifying and in fact have made it more believable.

But I want to read it before Omarosa’s book comes out.

Who would have thought that bringing her into the closest circles of power would be a mistake?


But when she says that Trump repeatedly used the “N” word — can anyone seriously doubt her?

Tuesday

Oh Lordy

But if you don’t want someone to say bad things about you, about you don’t say bad things about her call her a dog?

At TrumpWorld, everyone lies. Everyone says one thing one day, and they change their story the following day.

Wednesday

Today’s Dumbest Environmental Terrorist

Has to be Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who blames California’s plague of wildfires on “environmental terrorists.”

“Whether you believe or don’t believe in climate change, it doesn’t relieve you of the responsibility to remove the dead and dying timber and manage our forests, so you don’t have these burns…”

“But we have these radical environmentalists that close off roads, refuse to have firebreaks, refuse to have any timber harvested, no grazing, and the result is these catastrophic fires…”

I’m not sure I understand. Is he saying that loggers what to harvest the dead branches and trees? I don’t think that’s their gig.

Certainly there’s room for better forest management, and the accumulation of litter on the forest floors can make things more combustible. But who is going to provide and pay for that service right now? Certainly not the budget-cutters in this administration. And when things are hotter and dryer it’s undeniable that they’re more flammable. When your state puts up the fire danger rating, they’re not looking at the success/failure rate of local environmentalists. They’re looking at the temperature, amount of recent rainfall, and the moisture level of what’s on the ground.

But meanwhile there’s this.

Holidaymakers in Spain and Portugal have been warned to stay out of the sun as the region approaches the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Europe.

Eight Portuguese regions have already smashed their local records as a warm blast of air from North Africa sweeps the continent.

At least three people in Spain have reportedly died from heatstroke as temperatures crept towards 47C [116F], and experts warn that even higher peaks could be on the way.The Independent

And in Sweden, “[wildfires] mostly in central and western Sweden as well as in the North above the Arctic Circle and on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland.”

Yes, above the Arctic Circle.

Sweden battles 21 raging wildfires amid worst drought in 74 years
SWEDEN are battling their most serious series of wildfires in decades as drought sweeps through the country.

Map of wildfires in Sweden, summer 2018.

Now, are environmental terrorists ruining Swedish forests? Well it’s a godlessly liberal country. I suppose maybe it’s possible. But in Russia?

More than 300,000 acres have burned in recent days after a record heat wave and severe drought. July was the hottest month in Moscow in 130 years of recorded history. The Guardian

Last month there were temperatures in the 90s at the Arctic Circle. Think on that for a moment.

Smoke from the fires in Siberia has already found its way to the western United States.

Thursday

Truth Hurts

The New York Times’ editorial page feature on the free press is a must-read. Every word of it, because cumulatively it presents the overwhelming importance of the news media.

“The biggest injustice of Trump’s smear of the press presumes that a Trump supporter cannot and will not think critically and fairly about their news. The president’s supporters deserve to be held to a higher standard.”The Commons, Brattleboro, VT

The President, as is his habit, replied with breath-holding, foot-stomping and name-calling.

It’s remarkable the congruence of what is “fake news,” and what is criticism of Mr. Trump. Does he ever call out “fake news” on any subject other than himself?

Oh, and childish:

Speaking to reporters ahead of a cabinet meeting, Mr. Trump briefly alluded to the editorials.

“If you’d like, you can stay. If you’d like, you can leave,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “Freedom of the press.”—The New York Times

Friday

This Ought To Be Easy

It should be a simple cut — do you love your country more than you love yourself? It is simple, actually. Are you willing to sacrifice for your country? Trump loves himself more, and is happy to blow off any kind of normal behavior that taxes his ego even a tiny little bit. These people are the opposite.

More Orwellianisms

Newspeak is the lingua franca of the Republican party.

In Oceania, language will eventually be stripped down to a minimum number of words. Shades of meaning will be eliminated, making it impossible to conceive of unapproved concepts or actions. Cooperating, colluding, conspiring, coordinating, participating, joining, uniting — all of these can be dispensed with except for one. Let’s use colluding. So now, hey, everybody colludes. What’s the big deal?

It’s a trend that’s double-plus ungood.

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