Is it performance art? Is it pica?
If there is one thing that Laura "The Marina Abramovic of the Right" Ingraham is tired of, it is liberals like us going around telling her that she should not eat light bulbs or drink steak with a straw. It's all she ever hears! "Hey Laura, don't chew glass!", "Hey Laura, a steak cannot actually fit through a straw. Maybe put it in a blender first, if this is something you are committed to doing?" But Laura is not going to let us keep her down or tell her what she can and cannot eat. Which is why, we have to assume, she decided last night on her show to attempt to eat a dinner of steak and light bulbs through a straw.
Naturally, she included a little trigger warning for those of us who might be too delicate for such an act of defiance.
"Okay. A warning, here it is, the ultimate trigger sculpture, kind of culinary sculpture, it has everything that Democrats hate," Ingraham said. "Steak, plastic straws, and light bulbs. And if I could have put an SUV on this I would have."
The part where Amy Klobuchar ate a supercharged V-6 engine onstage was cool, too.
CNN held its great big Climate Change Town Hall last night, a SEVEN-HOUR marathon of detailed discussion about what the 10 Democrats who'll be in the next debate want to do about what they all agree is the greatest challenge we face. Considering how hard it is to do anything on TV for seven hours and keep people engaged (your own video game or streaming addictions excepted), it turned out to be pretty good! Especially with a nap during part of it. We won't try to summarize everything (here are some good rundowns and takeawayses; the consensus seems to be that Jay Inslee won by getting the thing to even happen), so here are Yr Wonkette's Top Four impressions of the whole darn affair.
Stupid Democrats, it's probably snowing somewhere RIGHT NOW.
When Jay Inslee dropped out of the presidential campaign, he told the other candidates that his extensive climate plan, easily the most complete blueprint for addressing global warming in time to prevent the worst possible effects, was now an "open source" document that any candidate should feel free to adopt. Elizabeth Warren, who had already released a climate plan and has included climate components in many of her other plans, has now signed on to the Inslee plan, saying Inslee's roadmap to net zero carbon emissions by 2030 works just dandy with her presidential agenda. And she'll go it one better, she says, adding an extra trillion dollars over 10 years to achieve an
economic transition to clean and renewable electricity, zero emission vehicles, and green products for commercial and residential buildings.
All told, a federal investment of $3 trillion will leverage additional trillions in private investment and create millions of jobs. And we will achieve:
- By 2028, 100% zero-carbon pollution for all new commercial and residential buildings;
- By 2030, 100% zero emissions for all new light-duty passenger vehicles, medium-duty trucks, and all buses;
- By 2035, 100% renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation, with an interim target of 100% carbon-neutral power by 2030.
That extra trillion would come from repealing Trump's big fat tax cuts for rich fuckwads, making Warren the last Democratic candidate to use that particular piggy bank in a spending proposal.
Since we've already gone over Inslee's plan (and Warren's earlier plan), we won't get all wrapped up in the details; go read her position paper released yesterday. We will point out that -- like the Green New Deal and several other candidates' proposals -- the Warrinsleen Plan makes jobs and labor rights a central part of the proposal, because if you're going to transform a nation's energy economy, you damn well need to talk job creation, and Inslarren makes clear all that construction and new manufacturing will mean millions of jobs.
With no butter.
Donald Trump is highly unlikely to lose the farm vote in 2020. Although he is giving it the old college try! Seriously, what the hell is this?
Suck it, FARMERS! If you only knew how to agriculture good, you'd find someone else to buy your soybeans when the Chinese close their markets in retaliation for yet another round of punitive American tariffs. Russia, if you're listening ... oh, whoops, Russia is ramping up its soybean sales to China to take advantage of the trade war. Excuses!
Maybe the rest of the world could just pay Brazil to leave the Amazon rain forest alone?
The Brazilian government may consider accepting $20 million in help from the Group of Seven nations for firefighting and reforestation in the Amazon, but first, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro wants French president Emmanuel Macron to apologize for saying mean things about him, NBC News reports.
Bolsonaro appeared offended by Macron's comments related to his handling of the unfolding crisis in the Amazon, and wanted them retracted.
"And then we can speak," he said, according to The Associated Press.
And that, kids, is why a region that produces roughly six percent of the world's oxygen* may or may not be getting international assistance to stop devastating wildfires, many of them set by farmers hoping to make some money following Bolsonaro's declaration that the rain forest should be sacrificed for agriculture. Can't get too worked up over a potential ecological disaster, because the real issue is the Brazilian president's sense of honor. As of this morning, Bolsonaro appears willing to accept the aid as long as there are no foreign strings attached, although it's unclear whether the G7 nations will go for that.
*Update: We earlier mentioned a much-cited but erroneous estimate that the Amazon is responsible for 20 percent of Earth's oxygen. The real science is more complicated.
You know, it's almost as if these temperamental nationalist assholes will take 20 different positions before finally deciding on one -- and then change again. Seems familiar somehow.
Thank God Brazil's president has a conspiracy theory to explain it.
We would hate to sound like alarmists, but it's probably a very bad thing that massive wildfires are destroying huge swaths of the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon has seen enormous rates of deforestation since rightwing president Jair Bolsonaro took office January 1, and Bolsonaro's response so far has been 1) to accuse the government agency that measures the deforestation of lying and being the tool of evil international NGOs trying to make him look bad; 2) to fire the head of that agency when he pushed back, and 3) to blame the fires on his political enemies. As of yet, Bolsonaro hasn't yet argued that someone needs to be raking the forests more carefully, but we imagine he'll get there. Perhaps he could blame fish, or maybe abortion, too.
Also available to be Climate Czar.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced last night he's ending his presidential campaign after not reaching the polling threshold to be included in the September Democratic debates. On MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Inslee said he was glad his campaign had "advanced the dialogue" on climate change in the 2020 race, and that he believes America is finally ready to take the action needed to prevent the worst possible effects of global warming.
I've been fighting climate change for 25 years, and I've never been so confident of the ability of America now to reach critical mass to move the ball.
Inslee also said that his detailed plan to address climate change, which he said has been recognized as the "gold standard," is now "open source" and should should be adopted by other candidates. Quip points to Maddow, who said Inslee's multi-part program "isn't just a road map, it's an atlas." Whoever gets the nomination and replaces the guy Inslee called "the climate denier in the White House" now has available to them a thorough plan to meet the goal of getting the US to net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and resume the role of world leadership on the greatest threat to humanity. Here's hoping they take it.
Burn baby burn.
Donald Trump would set fire to the last glacier on earth if it meant he could win Pennsylvania again in 2020. He spent the entire day yesterday in the swing state getting high on the fumes of burning hydrocarbons and his own flaming ego. And you, the lucky American taxpayer, paid for the matches! Because the White House isn't even pretending to segregate the people's business from campaign events, as every president since Reagan has done. They just book him at a Shell plant in Monaco, Pennsylvania, stick a regular MAGA rally speech on the Teleprompter, and call it Remarks on American Energy and Manufacturing.
Ooops, make that Monaca, Pennsylvania. Thanks, crackerjack professionals in the White House Press Office!
Endangered species thrown under the Trump Train.
The Trump administration announced new federal rules yesterday that would gut the Endangered Species Act and allow more development, logging, drilling, and mining in areas where vulnerable wildlife may be affected. Whatever Trump's fate may be in the 2020 elections, he has at least brought to fruition one of Republicans' wettest decade-long dreams. The shuddering orgasms from lobbyists' offices could be heard across the nation, and will soon be followed by the dying gasps and gurgles of millions of birds, mammals, and fish, not to mention plant species, though they tend to at least expire silently. Stupid natural world should have hired better PR firms if it wanted to be taken seriously. Show us a big fat check from Mother Earth to the Trump Inaugural Committee and maybe we'll talk.
The new rules, first proposed last July by now-quitfired Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, will go into effect next month, assuming they aren't sued into oblivion. Thanks for loading up the courts with pro-Trump judges, Mr. McConnell! Guess eliminating a bunch of turtle species will be a fitting revenge for all the mean jokes!
It's Warren rural pluralism!
Elizabeth Warren is at it again with another policy proposal, this one aimed at revitalizing rural America, which she says has been squeezed by increasingly consolidated agribusinesses, and largely ignored by Washington. It's a good old progressive agenda for the heartland that should shut up anyone who thinks reaching out to rural voters means you have to sound like Donald Trump without the overt racism. Warren, who grew up in Oklahoma, knows better, as does Yr Editrix's mom.
The plan also makes an overt call for Democrats not to write off red-state progressives. Yes, there are more Dems in the urbs and suburbs, but you can't ignore such a big chunk of the country. (Hello, 50-state strategy!)
A strong America requires a strong rural America. Rural communities are home to 60 million people, hundreds of tribal nations, and a growing number of new immigrants who account for 37% of rural population growth. These communities feed our nation. And they are leading the country in sustainable energy, generating 99% of America's wind energy and pioneering efforts to harness solar energy.
As with many of her policy proposals, Warren emphasizes America is paying a huge opportunity cost by centering the economy on the already rich and the financial sector. Invest in rural areas, and millions of families will be able to create and develop wealth, benefiting the country as a whole. While we're at it, maybe it would be a good idea to notice that rural areas are on the front line of climate change -- if the nation's food supply is imperiled by changing growing conditions and invasive species, we're in a spot of trouble, no? (Wouldn't you know it, feral hogs are among the malign critters whose range and numbers are increasing with warmer climate. Fuckers are everywhere, though not in the Warren policy paper.)
He seems fun.
Meet first-term Congressman Ross Spano, who was elected to represent the 15th District of Florida just last year. In a teevee interview on WFLA Sunday, Rep. Spano said he's not convinced humans are causing climate change, and what's more, it really bugs him that people like him who reject the consensus of scientists get portrayed as idiots. It's just not fair, he says! If only there were some way for him to find out more about the topic, perhaps he would be convinced! But although he readily admits to knowing very little about it, and seems disinclined to learn, he gets to make laws about energy and environmental policy, and isn't that what makes America great?
Here's the clip of the gentleman beclowning himself on a local interview show, "Politics On Your Side." Every expense was spared by the WFLA production team, and it shows!
You know, maybe it's better that this Trumper never shows up to work.
The US Senate voted yesterday to confirm Kelly Craft, the former US ambassador to Canada, as the new American ambassador to the United Nations. The post had been vacant for months after the departure of previous UN ambassador Nikki Haley. But now the US will have a perfect Trump administration pick at the UN: Craft's main qualification for the job is that she and her husband, coal billionaire Joseph Craft III, donated $2 million to the Trump campaign and inaugural, and to other GOP causes.
It also probably helped a bit that the Crafts have a home in Kentucky, and are very good friends of Mitch McConnell. Moscow Mitch recommended Craft for the diplomatic job after Trump's first pick, Heather Nauert, dropped out because she had a nanny who wasn't legal to work in the USA. We'll just have to get along somehow without having a Fox News face in the nation's second most important diplomatic job.
It's the 50th anniversary of a science fiction classic.
This weekend, fifty years ago, human beings landed on the Moon and left a plaque saying they'd "come in peace for all mankind." Also this weekend, the eastern United States is experiencing a heat wave of the sort that's likely to become more common in the unfolding climate disaster humanity has brought upon itself. And during the past week, the "president" of the USA explained that some Americans just plain don't belong here, and deserve to be expelled. Seems like as good a time as any to discuss Ursula K. Le Guin's visionary 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness, a story about climate and civilization on an inhospitable planet, gender politics, and for that matter, patriotism and exile.
Plus, the book is set on a planet in the midst of an ice age, so perhaps talking about it will help you stay cool.
For this week's Book Club, we'll be focusing on the first eleven chapters of Left Hand, so as a courtesy to folks who haven't read ahead, please try to avoid spoilers about the second half of the novel, mmkay? You're also more than welcome to join in even if you haven't read the book, or haven't read it recently, because if there's ever been a real-life book club meeting where everyone finished the book, we haven't seen it! And remember, there's still plenty of time to catch up for next week's discussion! You can buy the nifty 50th anniversary edition with a nice kickback to Yr Wonkette, or grab a used or library copy, or even dust off that cool old copy you read decades ago, like this Wonkette reader did:
You know those Montana juries, just constantly oppressing septuagenarian veterans for violating environmental laws!
In the final installment of a rather bizarre turn of events, last week the Ninth Circuit vacated the conviction of a Montana man who had destroyed government property and polluted streams and wetlands, in violation of the Clean Water Act. But in doing so, they just might have saved the Clean Water Act for the rest of us.
In 2016, Joseph Robertson was convicted of polluting US waters and destroying government property for building illegal ponds and ditches. He claimed that he built them to help fight fires. Robertson was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $130,000.
At first glance, that sounds like a pretty harsh penalty for digging some ditches. But let's look at the details -- and also remember that Robertson was a 77-year old military veteran. Convicted, by a Montana jury, of violating nanny state environmental laws. In Montana.
Somebody in the White House thought this was a good idea.
Some Republican consultants looked at just how abysmally Donald Trump's environmental record is polling with Millennials and suburban women, so the White House hosted a bizarre press availability yesterday in which Trump bragged about what a terrific friend of the environment he is. He was accompanied by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, and by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist, and they all pretended the Emperor had a beautiful new suit of organically grown hemp clothes, we guess.
The New York Times reports the poll-driven exercise in doublethink appears to have been aimed at reassuring a very tiny slice of voters who don't already have their heads all the way up Trump's tailpipe:
While the numbers showed that Mr. Trump was "never going to get" the type of voter who feels passionately about tackling climate change, a senior administration official who reviewed the polling said, there were moderate voters who liked the president's economic policies and "just want to know that he's being responsible" on environmental issues.
And since they're Trump voters, apparently they're also dumb enough that if he says "Message: I Care" about the environment, then they'll smile and believe it. The White House brought in an appreciative audience, at least -- maybe some interns from the Heartland Institute or some other oil-funded think tank?
Oregon Republicans Take Ball, Go Home, Throw Away Ball, Get Wins For Rest Of Season, Demand Payment For Ball They Stole And Games They Didn't Play, And Get It
Gee, hope this doesn't encourage shitty Republican behavior somehow.
Last week, all 11 Republicans in the Oregon state Senate walked out and hid across state lines in an attempt to kill HB 2020, which would put in place a cap and trade system to reduce carbon emissions. (As the bill number might suggest to you keen readers, it had already passed the state House.) Tuesday, the Democratic president of the Senate announced there weren't enough votes to pass HB 2020 anyway, so would Rs please come back and pass other bills, like a budget, before the official end of the session on June 30?
So far, the Republicans don't appear willing to do that either, so we imagine Senate President Peter Courtney will now have to ask pretty please, and maybe promise to give the Republicans a nice apology for having caused them all that trouble. Hell of a way to run a supermajority.
Courtney's announcement, which came without any warning to Senate Democrats, sure had all the characteristics of a sincere, spontaneous hostage statement:
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