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Beto O'Rourke went from pretty much zero concrete policy proposals to wow! yesterday with the release of an ambitious plan to leverage five trillion dollars toward getting America to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 -- the reduction in greenhouse gases needed to prevent the very worst outcomes of climate change. The plan aims to get us halfway to that goal by 2030.

It's not exactly the Green New Deal -- and in terms of actual policy proposals, it's actually more detailed than that resolution, which at this stage is more about setting goals than the actual mechanics of reaching them. O'Rourke's plan immediately became the most detailed 2020 Democratic candidate's plan for addressing climate, if only because others are still on the way. It also looks very very doable, although of course the Usual Suspects will proclaim it the end of America.


O'Rourke's plan (here's the PDF version if you prefer) has four basic elements. He pledges on the first day of his presidency, he would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement framework and issue executive orders undoing all the anti-climate executive actions Donald Trump has taken. Beyond that, he'd order new rules to reduce emissions of the very worst greenhouse gases like methane and hydrofluorocarbons, which cause more warming than carbon dioxide, and restore pre-Trump efficiency standards for auto and power plant emissions. All federal contracts would be subject to "buy clean" requirements (similar to the "buy American" provisions already in place). And like Elizabeth Warren, he'd immediately stop new oil and gas leases on all public lands.

Plank Two would get Congress into the act with a bill to spend $5 trillion over a decade on green energy and carbon reduction, including $1.5 trillion in direct spending and $3.5 trillion in tax incentives, loans and the like. O'Rourke would cover the direct spending part through eliminating subsidies for fossil fuels, as well as tax increases on corporations and rich fuckwads. The funds would go toward research and development as well as grants to improve efficiency in public housing and transportation, plus grants to train people for green jobs. O'Rourke would also fund pensions and transitional training for fossil fuel workers who'd be displaced by the switch to green energy.

Part Three would get into the regulatory framework of actually reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with half of that to be achieved within a decade. Vox has a good summary:

[Rather] than a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, O'Rourke is anchoring a legally-binding net-zero emissions standard by 2050. "This standard will send a clear price signal to the market while putting in place a mechanism that will ensure the environmental integrity of this endeavor — providing us with the confidence that we are moving at least as quickly as we need in order to meet a 2050 deadline," according to O'Rourke's proposal. This doesn't rule out pricing carbon but instead focuses on setting definitive goal posts.

So maybe some kind of carbon tax, but the exact mechanism isn't yet specified -- and in fact, the plan promises to build in constant fine-tuning to make sure the goals are being met, by "[r]igorously measuring our progress, scaling what works and scrapping what does not." That's reminiscent of how Franklin Roosevelt suggested the original New Deal would try a variety of methods and discard those that didn't result in economic recovery.

Finally, O'Rourke would work to help prepare communities for the very real effects of climate change that are already happening, like increased extreme weather events, sea level rise, droughts, and fires. He wants a tenfold increase on "pre-disaster mitigation," since that would save money over rebuilding, and calls for changes in the law to ensure that when disasters do strike, recovery won't simply "leave communities vulnerable to the next fire, flood, drought or hurricane." Hey, how about NOT rebuilding expensive coastal homes just like they were, and ensuring that poor communities aren't located in floodplains?

Throughout the plan, O'Rourke takes care to note that poor people and communities of color have historically borne the brunt of pollution, and insists the path away from a carbon-based economy must address such environmental racism. Even so, the O'Rourke plan differs from the Green New Deal in one significant aspect: while O'Rourke has a substantial investment in green jobs and infrastructure, his plan lacks the full employment goals (and the shift to national healthcare) that makes up the "New Deal" part of the Green New Deal. His is a plain and simple climate action plan (as if anything about addressing the climate were either of those), not the GND's more fundamental restructuring of the economy outside the energy sector.

As soon as O'Rourke released the plan, it was denounced as not ambitious enough by the Sunrise Movement, a group pushing for the Green New Deal. A Sunrise spokesperson says we have to aim for full net zero emissions by 2030, not 2050. Vox offers a pretty good overview of the arguments there, which we won't get into, although we'll just note that the GND's Senate sponsor, Ed Markey, says the resolution doesn't have such an advanced timeline. Yes, the sooner we reach greater emissions reductions, the better, obviously, but even getting halfway there by 2030 seems enormously challenging.

And now that Beto O'Rourke has a plan out there, we're looking forward to what the rest of the field comes up with. For the first time in years, it's finally looking like this country is getting serious about making the changes necessary to keep this planet livable for large mammals like us.

[Beto O'Rourke climate plan (PDF version) / Vox / Atlantic]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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