You guys can live without luxuries like 'civilization,' can't you?
The fact checkers at the Associated Press, Washington Post, and FactCheck Dot Org, apparently driven mad by the stress of all Donald Trump's lies, turned both sides of their attention Wednesday to Tuesday's Democratic debate, and they did find some actual errors and exaggerations: Julián Castro flubbed some unemployment data, Tom Steyer got wage growth wrong, and Joe Biden said "Syria," not Turkey, had fired on withdrawing US troops. And in an unusual error, Kamala Harris actually understated the number of assault weapons in circulation in the USA -- she said it was five million, but the gun industry estimates it's 16 million.
But they also indulged in some hellacious nitpicking in their zeal to show that Democrats are somehow just as slippery as Republicans -- and as usual, it was a perfectly true and reasonable statement by Bernie Sanders that got them itching. Let's get our fine-toothed steel comb out and pick those nits right back! (Ew.)
The omissionary position isn't helping.
Congratulations, America! With a giant festering pustule occupying the White House and getting an infectious ooze on everything he touches, America in 2018 achieved a record high number of infections from three sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new report from the US Centers For Disease Control. The CDC reports more than 2.1 million combined cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia! Way to go! Now that the Trump administration's gag rule on family planning funding for groups that so much as mention abortion has led Planned Parenthood to drop out of the Title X program, we can certainly look forward to a quick end to STD outbreaks, as crisis pregnancy centers take up the slack and tell people not to fuck, ever.
Heart eyes emoticon!
Elizabeth Warren is out with another of her darn plans, this time a proposal to pursue environmental justice as part of her overall commitment to fighting climate change. This is the seventh Warren policy proposal to touch on some aspect of addressing the climate crisis, and she vows to devote at least a third of federal climate funding to communities that have been screwed over by the fossil fuel economy. That's roughly a trillion dollars over ten years. Warren would make sure those communities that have borne the brunt of our messed-up climate have a say in how the cleanups and the green manufacturing of tomorrow will go forward -- a topic she brought up while visiting voters in Charleston, South Carolina, yesterday.
The timing of the new plan coincides with California's biggest electric utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, choosing to cause a huge blackout because its antiquated equipment and grid risk sparking wildfires. PG&E's crappy management and haphazard maintenance caused multiple California wildfires in recent years, made worse by the climate change caused by burning coal and oil for electricity for a century. More and more parts of the country can look forward to that kind of disruption becoming the norm.
Quick, somebody tell us we can't afford clean energy.
Oh, yes, and he agrees with the Bundy family that the federal government can't own land.
We suppose it shouldn't be the least bit surprising anymore to learn that the Trump administration's pick to be the (acting) director of the Bureau of Land Management turns out to be a standard-issue rightwing wackaloon with a long history of statements claiming science is fake, that immigrants are a "cancer" on America, and that all Muslims are at war with US America. We suspect it may actually be in the job description. Still, we can remember the olden times when that sort of thing might have been a problem for somebody running an entire federal agency. Now, thanks to a CNN backgrounder published yesterday, let's get to know (acting) BLM Director William Perry Pendley, appointed in June by (actual) Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. No, don't get too close, he's frothing at the mouth, and that can't be good.
Get out the wicker man!
Back in school, when we learned about the Salem Witch Trials, most of us thought to ourselves, "Wow, those people were fucking crazy/ignorant, going around killing people they thought had magic powers and what have you. Good thing people aren't like that anymore!"
To some degree, they're not. After all, witchcraft has not been a capital offense in the colonies since at least 1750, and we haven't even had a real witch trial since that second thing in Salem, in 1878, when the lady who founded the Christian Scientists accused a former disciple of doing "mind crimes," "malicious animal magnetism," and mesmerism to some broad in Ipswitch.
We somehow still have to deal with backwards townfolk screaming about "witchcraft." In the '80s, it was the Satanic Panic. A couple years ago (and today, still), we had all the people wigging out over Marina Abramovic's performance art and claiming that Hillary Clinton was doing a bunch of performance art-related witchcraft. It seems that no matter how we all try to evolve there will always be someone standing in that corner crying WITCH!
Today, that person is Sumantra Maitra, columnist at The Federalist, who has made the bold claim that Greta Thunberg and all the "climate worshipers" out there are practically doing paganism. Because "Mother Earth" and, I guess, twerking.
Greta Thunberg is a hero.
On Wednesday, Greta Thunberg bluntly told Congress that it's time to step up and actually do something about climate change. "You're not trying hard enough. Sorry," said the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist.
Thunberg and four other student activists were invited to speak to the House Climate Crisis Committee and a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee about climate change. Rather than read her prepared remarks, Thunberg submitted the UN's 2018 report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Why? "I don't want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists."
"This is not political views or my opinions," said Thunberg. "This is science."
Everything Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Said Before Congress | NBC New York www.youtube.com
Just as long as short-sighted greedheads aren't running everything. Uh-oh.
One of the big rightwing talking points against pursuing clean energy just got a lot weaker, thanks to a pair of new reports from the Rocky Mountain Institute. We've been told forever that wind and solar (and large-scale storage) will never ever be cheap enough to be economically viable, despite the huge decline in costs of renewable energy over the past decade. Now, the RMI studies project that by 2035, renewable energy will actually undercut the costs of natural gas, to the point that 90 percent of planned new natural gas power plants, and the pipelines that would need to be built to fuel them, won't be able to compete with clean energy. This is good news for the climate, and good news for electric ratepayers -- but only if utilities decide to skip building those gas power plants, which run the risk of becoming expensive white elephants whose losses would have to be eaten by ratepayers.
Instead of natural gas, which has become hugely cheap due to all the fracking, being a "bridge" from coal and oil to a clean energy future, it might make a lot more economic sense for utilities to expand their use of clean sources now, and remember that somebody trying to sell you a bridge is probably running a con.
It's STILL. GOING.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is one of Donald Trump's greatest loyalists, so when Trump took to griping last week about how he was actually completely right to warn Alabama it was in the path of Hurricane Dorian, Ross knew just how to back up the Great Man. Ross, who was traveling in Greece, called up the acting head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to demand the agency rebuke those awful meteorologists in Alabama who, shortly after Trump's September 1 tweet, pointed out there was no threat to Alabama, not at all. Shame on them for preferring "reality" over Trump!
The New York Times reports that Ross didn't just demand NOAA release a statement backing up the wise smart "president"; he also threatened that if the rogue forecasters weren't repudiated, heads would roll at NOAA. And so NOAA issued an unsigned statement Friday claiming the statement from the Birmingham office of the National Weather Service had been "inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time." NWS meteorologists immediately lost their shit about the weather being Stalinized, and everyone started citing George Orwell on what two plus two equals.
In response to the Times story, a Commerce Department spokesperson insisted Ross had definitely not threatened to fire anyone, no sir, but the Times also points out the spokesperson
declined to comment on whether Mr. Ross had spoken with the NOAA administrator or ordered the agency to rebut the statement contradicting the president's assertion about a threat to Alabama.
This seems like a good opportunity to mention that Wilbur Ross totally lied to Congress about why his department wanted to add a citizenship question to the Census. So yeah, let's trust him on this.
It's your Daily Alabama Hurricane Watch. Yes, again!
We simply cannot write the post "Hurricane Continues To Swallow Alabama In President's Brain, But Don't Worry, Alabama, It's Super Nice Outside Right Now" each and every fucking day. But yet, we do have to cover this thing, as long as it continues. (Yes, we do. We'll talk about why in a second.)
First, let's just run down some stats:
This is never going to end.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes tweeted a very important question on Thursday:
And yr loyal Wonkette tweeted back a very important answer:
Guys, he's STILL DOING IT.
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.
President Things-Knower drew dicks on the hurricane chart, OK? The dicks is on ALABAMA, OK, YOU SEE?
Hahahahaha, this is so alarming, but Donald Trump has been tweeting hurricane maps since yesterday, and he doesn't show any signs of stopping. We're witnessing some sort of mental breakdown, right before our very eyes. Because the world's stupidest president in the history of all presidents cannot just accept that he fucked it all up last week when he said Hurricane Dorian was headed toward Alabama, because he cannot just say OOPS I DID IT AGAIN, he is going to obsess over "setting the record straight" until he feels we all understand that ACTUALLY ORIGINALLY all the forecasts said Dorian was on a collision course with Alabama, NO WRONG ABOUT HURRICANE, NO WRONG ABOUT HURRICANE, YOU'RE WRONG ABOUT HURRICANE!
We don't want to make light of an extremely dangerous situation, both for the people currently in the path of Hurricane Dorian, which strengthened back into a Category 3 last night and is already doing damage in the Carolinas, and for the syphilitic squirrels who (allegedly!) live inside the president's brain, as they must be sooooooo scared right now. But LOL WHAT IS HAPPENING? "Hurricanes go to Alabama" is his new "Deep State." It is his new "EXTREMELY CONFLICTED ROBERT MUELLER!" It is his new "JAY POWELL THE FED GUY IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!"
OK, let's back up.
This latest round started on Wednesday, when Trump gathered all his bestest aides and the press around for Hurricane Storytime, like presidents do. It was actually supposed to be an update of sorts. But it all went terribly, horribly wrong.
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.
Tax shelter in place.
With Hurricane Dorian expected to hit South or Central Florida with Category 3 or even Category 4 winds sometime early next week, the "president" of the United States of America took to Twitter to urge those in the path of danger to take appropriate steps to stay safe. Or to join him in slack-jawed amazement at the awesome power of nature. Or perhaps just to ramble unfocusedly about what a big frickin' deal this giant storm is, the biggest and yoogest storm he's seen on the TV, holy crap, wow.
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.
Add another item to the 'Donald Trump's Dumb Obsessions' list.
it shouldn't be the least bit surprising to see Axios reporting that Donald Trump has repeatedly asked whether the USA could just snuff out hurricanes by dropping hydrogen bombs into them. It's exactly the sort of thing you'd expect from a guy who says he has a really good brain for science, and that's why he thinks all the climate scientists are wrong. Remember, while he got more attention for being the Chosen One and the King of Israel last week, Trump also tweeted a bunch of nonsense about how if car companies just started building all their vehicles as pollute-y as they used to be, new cars would cost thousands of dollars less. Everyone's dumb uncle knows cars were cheaper without all that emissions crap.
He is the stupidest man in the bar and wants everyone to know it. President Cliff Clavin, your dirigible will be here shortly. You know, we could fly those a lot more cheaply than jets, and they're definitely ripe for a comeback.
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