President Sh*tmouth Breaks Wind
Windmills are lovely and Donald Trump is nuts. None of this is news, of course, but this rant to Charlie Kirk's Junior Racist League Saturday night was amazing even for the Dementor in Chief. After introducing Rush Limbaugh, who's "got like 39 million people listening" -- Rush has 15 million, which is like 40 percent of 39 million, but let's not get waylaid -- he was off on the Green New Deal.
We'll have an economy based on wind. I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much. I've studied it better than anybody I know. It's very expensive. They're made in China and Germany mostly — very few made here, almost none. But they're manufactured tremendous — if you're into this — tremendous fumes. Gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint — fumes are spewing into the air. Right? Spewing. Whether it's in China, Germany, it's going into the air. It's our air, their air, everything — right?
Okay, we lied. First there was like 900 words of lie-ranting about NAFTA and polls and witch hunt and Mazie Hirono wanting to build a train to Hawaii to get rid of airplanes. Which she doesn't, but more to the point, WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK is this? There are 100,000 American wind jobs according to the American Wind Energy Association (where my wonderful brother works, more on that in a minute), and there are 52,000 coal miners. No one wants to put those miners out of a job, but between those two groups, only one of them produces a product designed to spew gas into this tiny world in our bigly huge universe.
So they make these things and then they put them up. And if you own a house within vision of some of these monsters, your house is worth 50 percent of the price. They're noisy. They kill the birds. You want to see a bird graveyard? You just go. Take a look. A bird graveyard. Go under a windmill someday. You'll see more birds than you've ever seen ever in your life.
You know, in California, they were killing the bald eagle. If you shoot a bald eagle, they want to put you in jail for 10 years. A windmill will kill many bald eagles. It's true.
No, wind turbines don't diminish property values. No, they aren't a major killer of birds. No, they don't put you in jail for 10 years if you kill a bald eagle. But hey, you know what does diminish property values? Having your groundwater contaminated with fracking chemicals. You know what kills birds? Power plants. And cats, which kill 79 million birds a year. In point of fact, eagles aren't remotely endangered, they're a protected species because of our sentimental attachment to them, not because of actual population numbers.
And you know, our numbers, environmentally, right now are better than they've ever been before, just so you know, because I'm an environmentalist. I am. I want the cleanest water on the planet. I want the cleanest air anywhere — crystal-clean water. I want perfectly clean air. And we have the best numbers right now that we've ever had, meaning in the last 40 years. (Applause.) I assume the numbers a couple of hundred years ago were better because we didn't have anything. So, over the last 40 years — we're in very good shape.
He's an environmentalist! You bet. Leaving aside the fuzzy math on the dates of the Industrial Revolution, Donald Trump's all-out push to keep coal-fired power plants open is probably not going to get us "perfectly clean air." Nor will his rollback of the Waters of the United States rule, requiring a permit before polluters can dump shit into streams and wetlands, give us "crystal-clean water." And by the by, Trump just raised fuel bills in the mid-Atlantic, Ohio, and Illinois by 12 percent by attacking state-level clean energy standards to make renewables appear more expensive and allow fossil-fuel companies to maintain their market share. Which they're hoping you won't notice because it's buried in technical jargon about the Minimum Offer Price Rule and Electricity Capacity Markets. So maybe we don't have "the best numbers" after all.
It's all so goddamn depressing. So, Wonkers, if I may, a personal story in this holiday season ...
In the last eight years of his life, my grandfather kept company with a lovely, kind woman, to whom I will be forever grateful. After my grandmother died, we never thought he'd be happy again. But with "Sharon," he was. And if we had to smile and nod when she garbled a story from "Dateline" or sneak back into the restaurant to leave an extra twenty on an eight percent tip when she took us out to dinner, it was more than worth it.
On one especially memorable night, Sharon was holding forth on windmills. My beloved brother is a wind lobbyist and I actually get a little teary driving into Western Maryland and coming over the hill to see "his" windmills. Sharon demanded to know how could windmills be efficient when you had to use gas to run the motors at night when the wind wasn't blowing. Well! My brother did the only sensible thing, which was to shout, "Liz, let me help you clear the table!" Because we are very close, and there was nothing for it but to race off to the kitchen and lose our shit together, leaving the rest of the family to fend for themselves. Sorry, Mom!
Once Sharon told my brother that she hoped he would one day earn enough to buy a car without even worrying about the mileage at all. Unfortunately, we were at my aunt's house with nowhere to escape to. But it did make for a good story!
Anyway, the point is, you don't elect Sharon president of the goddamn United States of America. Because that's insane! You don't elect a mean, orange Sharon who has clearly lost the plot to start flipping the switches of the world's economy blabbing whatever nonsense he misunderstood from last night's news. And you don't run the richest country on the planet based on stuff that feels true and gets a big applause at the Hitler Youth rallies. And my brother and I may be privileged, white Gen X'ers, but we're not leaving this planet a filthy boiling sea for our children. Because like Barack Obama, we really do care. And I know that you, who are reading this, care, too.
So what I'm saying here, really, is Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, and let's go into 2020 ready to fight for our lives and not fight each other. And I know you know what I mean. Much love, Wonkers, and I'll see you on the other side.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.