5 Reasons a Trump Administration Should Scare the Sh*t Out of Anyone Who Cares About the Environment

By Yvette

When you deeply want something to be true, that’s when you have to question it the most.

I want chocolate-covered bacon to be a health food. Who doesn’t want to get in shape by eating food so tasty it might give you an orgasm? To pretend it’s true, I could hunt and peck carefully through the internet to find sources that will tell me everything I want to hear. I’d find sources that bacon is heart-healthy. And there are articles all over the place that say chocolate may actually be a health food, so chocolate-covered bacon? You’re practically doing yoga while getting a kale enema. Namaste, motherfuckers.

Then I could really do the responsible thing, ask the hard questions about caloric density, breakdown of macronutrients and micronutrients, look for peer-reviewed articles, and come to the conclusion that this is a once-in-a-while food. Back to the salads with me.


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608 COMMENTS

  1. You can say what you want about the writing style of this article but the fact that it’s published in the magazine Cosmopolitan is a good thing. With a circulation of three million readers and international editions too, this article will reach their target audience of young single women.

    From Wiki:

    The magazine currently features topics including sex, relationships, beauty, fashion and health. The advice and feature articles in the US edition are written to a presumed audience of white women.[21] On September 2016, Michele Promaulayko was named the new Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan after Joanna Coles was promoted to Chief Content Office of Hearst.[22]

    Cosmopolitan has 64 international editions worldwide published in 35 languages with distribution in more than 100 countries making Cosmopolitan the largest-selling young women’s magazine in the world.[3] Some international editions are published in partnerships, such as licenses or joint ventures, with established publishing houses in each local market.

    The article gives an easily accessible overview on the state of the Trump situation as it stands now. At the end it encourages young women to get out and vote for candidates on all levels of government that can oppose his destructive policies.

  2. @OP – link! – What can you do?

    There’s a small ray of light here. This is not locked in for four years.
    In two years, you will have the opportunity to vote out every single member of the House and a third of the Senate to make sure the administration is beholden to politicians who understand science.
    Make phone calls, and write both emails and physical letters to your representatives about what’s important to you, including environmental policy.
    Track their voting record on issues that matter to you, so that when time comes for re-election, you know if your representatives have been working for you or not.

    Also, stay involved both at the state and local levels.
    So many of our regulations are put in place at the state level, and they’re made by concerned citizens who got off Facebook and got involved.
    Go to your town and local meetings, and have a voice. If you don’t want to run for office personally, consider volunteering for local campaigns and science-based environmental initiatives.

    I think this call for citizen involvement is the best prospect to reduce the damage!
    A loss of Republican majorities would delay some stupidity until the next presidential election gives the opportunity to remove the problem.

  3. He simply has to be removed from office. He will destroy earth with a nuclear war or by climate change and pollution. What methods are available?

    impeachment

    some sort of medical/mental disqualification?

    another country using violence.

    resignation from scandal

  4. Yvette d’Entremont ( Cosmo): Even if regulations are changed nationally, you can still be a good science-based environmentalist. No amount of regulations that the Trump administration strips away will stop you from buying a low-emission vehicle (or better yet, walking, cycling, and taking public transportation when you can), recycling, cutting down on meat consumption, supporting biotech that’s environmentally friendly, and if possible, adding a solar panel or two into your personal energy grid. And truly, no matter what Trump’s administration does, we’re getting less dependent on fossil fuels and moving more toward renewables all the time.

    Here’s the public-service-message bullshit we’ve been getting for years about climate change. It’s called global warming because the atmosphere doesn’t sit over the Prius parked in your driveway. Trump, despicable in so many ways, did not invent carbon emissions. Even before taking office he can serve as the decoy duck for limousine liberal demagogues jetting around the world: When Trump is deposed, your misery will vanish!

    Nonsense. Obama was in power when this happened:

    “Since 1751 approximately 392 billion metric tonnes of carbon have been released to the atmosphere from the consumption of fossil fuels and cement production. Half of these fossil-fuel CO2 emissions have occurred since the mid 1980s. The 2013 global fossil-fuel carbon emission estimate, 9776 million metric tons of carbon, represents an all-time high and a 1.1% increase over 2012 emissions. The increase marks a quick recovery from the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis which had obvious economic and energy use consequences, particularly in North America and Europe.”-

    See, what did I tell you? Where are your troubles now? Gone! (Line from master of ceremonies in Cabaret)

  5. @5 Pinball

    `banking on scandal’

    Yes, he seems to be very busy trying to distance himself from many of his past activities and not just the business ones.

    Might also be ‘got to’ by one of his own countrymen. It’s happened before, it won’t help if he’s not too popular with the security staff. A sign of that will be if he starts to use his own security in some way. Bit like the foreign body guards used by the more corrupt Roman emperors.

    I think the appointments he’s made don’t look very promising, they all look like a bunch of ‘yes’ men for a large corporate body, but maybe that’s not far from the truth.

    Could also run into problems with the GOP in some way. Especially if he goes that bit too far to the right, just a matter of how many really support him in his own party.

    Not too sure about his nuclear weapons comments it might be a good thing to make it clear he would use them if needed. As soon as anyone in his position looses credibility on that issue there is an immediate increase in the likelihood of actally having to use them just to prove it again.

  6. @6 Melvin

    I agree Trump didn’t cause the problem. But he’s in the driving seat now to get it fixed.
    And there’s the worry, the first step to fixing a problem is to admit it exists. If he’s starting with denial then he’s making the same mistake as the liberals have in their approach to Muslim extremism.
    That will get him voted out, but what damage will he have done in the mean time? Global warming if left unchecked will possibly be more devastating than nuclear war, just the time scale is longer hence it is no so obvious, you have to make predictions and understand more. It’s easy to see the consequences of a nuclear bomb exploding within seconds of the event. The effects of dumping CO2 in the atmosphere play out over centuries. The human brain struggles to comprehend over longer time scales, not everyone thinks on a logarithmic time scale. If Trump really wants to carry on as before then it has to be he really doesn’t see it our way due to a lack of education or intelligence, or both.

    If we have the confidence we are right the the best thing we can do is to either get Trump to understand the truth, give up or take extreme action, which we claim to be completely against. Thus the only correct approach is to practise what we preach by limiting our own CO2 production as far as we can and remove all investment we control away from carbon emission based businesses. If there is no demand for fossil fuels Trump and friends won’t want anything to do with it.

    Obviously it’s easier to do this from the platform of the Whitehouse, but that’s not the way it is. So educate Trump if we can, and in all other ways just ignore him and try to influence world opinion to overcome the grave threat we face or more accurately, our children and grandchildren face. By the way, doesn’t Trump have those too?

  7. Melvin #6
    Dec 26, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Oh dear! More diversionary denial – even after all the previous explanations on this site! !

    Even if regulations are changed nationally, you can still be a good science-based environmentalist. No amount of regulations that the Trump administration strips away will stop you from buying a low-emission vehicle (or better yet, walking, cycling, and taking public transportation when you can), recycling, cutting down on meat consumption, supporting biotech that’s environmentally friendly, and if possible, adding a solar panel or two into your personal energy grid. And truly, no matter what Trump’s administration does, we’re getting less dependent on fossil fuels and moving more toward renewables all the time.

    Here’s the public-service-message bullshit we’ve been getting for years about climate change.

    A “bullshit” personal grasp of the issues, along with a strawman
    “Public commitment will cost $gazillions and achieve nothing” claims, does not make the real message about real achievements and real opportunities, into any less real!

    It’s called global warming because the atmosphere doesn’t sit over the Prius parked in your driveway.

    True ! That’s why EVERYBODY has to do their part in reducing CO2 emissions – especially with collective-use energy systems.

    Trump, despicable in so many ways, did not invent carbon emissions.

    No – He just promised to make them a lot worse by promoting coal and oil, appointed like minded denialists to take charge of managing environmental safety, has railed against, and fought against clean generation systems for years, is threatening climate scientists, and promised to undo as much of Obama’s good work as he can!

    Even before taking office he can serve as the decoy duck for limousine liberal demagogues jetting around the world:

    Ah! – The cop-out of – ‘Not everyone is co-operating, so let ME join the foot-draggers at the back of the “citizens planning for the future, and taking responsibility for their actions” list’,!

    When Trump is deposed, your misery will vanish!

    Nope! The increased damage from his stupidity will remain for decades or centuries! – Possibly millennia!
    Fortunately not all world leaders are this stupid!

    Nonsense. Obama was in power when this happened:

    Rubbish!

    Huge progress has been made both in monitoring and predicting the effects of global warming, and in the technologies required to combat it, – as has been explained to you in numerous previous discussions.

    Back in the real world – and despite Republican obstruction in both houses:- Obama was in power when this happened:

    http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2012/08/renewable-energy-sees-explosive-growth-during-obama-administration.html

    During 2008, the last full year of the Bush Administration, non-hydro renewables accounted for 3.06% of net electrical generation with an average monthly output of 10,508 gigawatthours. By mid-2012, the average monthly electrical generation from non-hydro renewables had grown by 78.70% to 18,777 gigawatthours. Comparing monthly electrical output in 2008 versus 2012, solar has expanded by 285.19%, wind by 171.72%, and geothermal by 13.53%. However, electrical generation from biomass dropped by 0.56%.

    According to the latest issue of the monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update” published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects with data for the first half of 2012, 229 renewable energy projects accounted for more than 38% of new electrical generation capacity (not to be confused with actual generation). This includes 50 wind energy projects (2,367 MW), 111 solar energy projects (588 MW), 59 biomass projects (271 MW), 5 geothermal projects (87 MW), and 4 water power projects (11 MW).

    New renewable energy electrical generating capacity was more than double that of coal (2 new units totaling 1,608 MW). No new nuclear capacity came on line during the first half of 2012. However, 40 new natural gas units came on line with 3,708 MW of capacity (42% of the total). Renewable energy sources now account for 14.76% of total installed operating generating capacity (water-8.66%; wind-4.30%, biomass-1.23%, geothermal-0.31%, solar**-0.26%). This is more than nuclear (9.16%) but less than natural gas (41.83%) and coal (29.66%). The balance comes from waste heat (0.07%).

    The numbers speak for themselves — notwithstanding politically-inspired criticism, the pro-renewable energy policies pioneered by the Obama Administration have proven their worth through dramatic growth rates during the past three and one-half years. The investments in sustainable energy made by the federal government as well as individual states and private funders have paid off handsomely underscoring the short-sightedness of proposals to slash or discontinue such support.

  8. Tim Smith #8
    Dec 26, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    So educate Trump if we can,

    I think that is probably an impossible challenge!
    Trump has an incredibly long record of resisting attempts to teach him anything – especially science, and he consistently asserts he knows better than the experts trying to advise him!

    He has surrounded his little political bubble world with spoiled brat, ignoramus millionaire yes men, who share his delusions of asserted personal expertise on subjects they know nothing about.

    and in all other ways just ignore him and try to influence world opinion to overcome the grave threat we face or more accurately, our children and grandchildren face.

    In order to do anything, he and his bunch of reactionary clowns, will have to employ and co-operate with many other people!
    He will probably fall out with any competent ones fairly quickly, and get into multiple destructive disputes as he has done in the past!

    It remains to be seen just how much damage he will do and where exactly the damage will be.
    He cannot even open his mouth in public without putting his foot in it!
    His obvious lack of understanding of international issues and ignorance diplomacy does not bode well!

  9. When I was a teen, I went to see a play called the Firebugs by Max Frisch. A landlord has tenants who give escalating clues they are arsonists. For a variety of reasons, he pretends not to notice. Eventually, they set fire to his home. Trump makes it clear he plans a nuclear war and to send earth into runaway climate change. He HAS to be stopped, but nobody does. The Coca-Cola company would not approve (reference to Dr. Strangelove).

  10. Roedy, Damn, I’m glad I’m sixty. I’m not sure some of the people here will reach that age before things get out of hand.
    I’m hoping for another few years before the sky turns red.

  11. To clarify my critique, I give full credit to Yvette for informing readers of the background of Trump appointees and forecasting probable setbacks in U.S. policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions over the next few years. Nonetheless the article spews the fluff candy rhetoric of the global warming crisis you’d expect in popular media propaganda: “You can make a difference by buying a fuel efficient car, putting a solar panel on your roof, eating less red meat ( apparently from a vegetarian worried about methane gassing cattle farts?).

    For too long, the self-congratulatory narcissism of environmentalist elites have dumbed down the scale and intractability of anthropogenic global warming to the personified fault of this or that administration, regulations, resolutions or even at the level of individual “responsibility” to whining about microscopic differences in carbon footprints. Few people understand or appreciate that climate scientists have told us that annual increases in global carbon emissions may have reached the doomsday point of no return at 400 ppm CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. With over a billion people in China, over a billion people in India, over a billion people in Africa, the world awaits the tsunami of carbon pouring into the atmosphere over the next 80 years. The crisis will not be solved by going after a climate science denier congressman in backwater Alabama with a fly swatter. (Climate Science filtered through delusional prisms and reinforced by popular media may be too alarmist about predicting real world consequences.) In any case, the article will probably be skimmed with worried clucking, before the reader gets down to the serious Cosmo stuff about “Ten Ways to Turn Him on in Bed.”

  12. Melvin #14
    Dec 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Nonetheless the article spews the fluff candy rhetoric of the global warming crisis you’d expect in popular media propaganda:

    Oh dear! Oh dear! – Still in denial when it comes to each individual taking responsibility and doing what they can!

    “You can make a difference by buying a fuel efficient car,

    Yep! That reduces CO2 emissions!

    putting a solar panel on your roof,

    Yep! That reduces demand for coal and gas generated electricity!

    eating less red meat

    Yep! that gets your diet calories with less wastage of energy inputs into the food chain before it reaches you – and it can be more healthy.

    (apparently from a vegetarian worried about methane gassing cattle farts?).

    Wrong! That is only one aspect.
    The inefficiency of energy conversion via red meat is a key issue.

    http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/food-carbon-footprint-diet

    A Vegetarian’s foodprint is about two thirds of the average American and almost half that of a meat lover.
    For a Vegan it is even lower.
    But perhaps most interestingly, eating chicken instead of beef cuts a quarter of emissions in one simple step.

    An Average American’s diet has a foodprint of around 2.5 t CO2e per person each year.
    For a Meat Lover this rises to 3.3 t CO2e,
    for the No Beef diet it is 1.9 t t CO2e,
    for the Vegetarian it’s 1.7 t CO2e
    and for the Vegan it is 1.5 t CO2e.
    Each of these estimates includes emissions from food that is eaten, wasted by consumers and lost in the supply chain.

    In the average diet animal products make up 60% of emissions despite accounting for just a quarter of food energy.

    For the Meat Lover beef consumption causes almost half of emissions from just a tenth of food energy.
    In the No Beef diet all the reductions from the Average foodprint come by switching from beef to chicken.

    For too long, the self-congratulatory narcissism of environmentalist elites
    Disparaging “fluff-candy” rhetoric about perfectly effective action which an individual could or can take, is just a display of ignorance!

    have dumbed down the scale and intractability of anthropogenic global warming to the personified fault of this or that

    So back to psychological projection of dumb comments in the interests of abdication of personal responsibility…

    and “the personified fault of this or that” demonstrating the depth of investigation and level of personal grasp of the evidence!

    have dumbed down the scale and intractability of anthropogenic global warming to the personified fault of this or that administration, regulations, resolutions or even at the level of individual “responsibility”

    There is nothing dumb about identifying these real issues regardless of denialists taking the huff at the suggestion of individuals taking on the responsibilities of global citizenship, and nothing “intractable” about anthropogenic global warming.

    to whining about microscopic differences in carbon footprints.

    Oh dear! after a whinging tirade of ignorant rhetoric, combined with a demonstrable inability to find the easily accessible actual measurements –
    a silly assertion that differences are “microscoppic”.
    Differences in the carbon footprints of various diets, listed on the link, multiplied by population figures of millions, are VERY significant!

    Few people understand or appreciate that climate scientists have told us that annual increases in global carbon emissions may have reached the doomsday point of no return at 400 ppm CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

    I hope this isn’t a lame “We are all doomed so why bother!” fallacy!

    Those who don’t understand, had better learn fast!

    The reasons why developing countries will/can bypass centralised obsolete antiquated carbon based systems, and go for cheaper easier to install localised systems in widespread and remote locations, have been explained an well covered in earlier discussions.

  13. Alan4discussion #15
    Dec 27, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    There is a formatting error which I was too late to edit.

    This section:-

    For too long, the self-congratulatory narcissism of environmentalist elites
    Disparaging “fluff-candy” rhetoric about perfectly effective action which an individual could or can take, is just a display of ignorance!
    have dumbed down the scale and intractability of anthropogenic global warming to the personified fault of this or that

    Should read:-

    For too long, the self-congratulatory narcissism of environmentalist elites

    Disparaging “fluff-candy” rhetoric about perfectly effective action which an individual could or can take, is just a display of ignorance!

    have dumbed down the scale and intractability of anthropogenic global warming to the personified fault of this or that

    So back to psychological projection of dumb comments in the interests of abdication of personal responsibility…

    and “the personified fault of this or that” demonstrating the depth of investigation and level of personal grasp of the evidence!

  14. Question for Alan, others, about global warming:

    I just spoke with a friend (and a man of reason) who acknowledges that global warming is real and caused by Man, but doesn’t think that it is reversible. We will never be able to control India and other countries that are doing most of the polluting. He also says that environmental deregulation is at odds with capitalism itself, which has a life of its own, and can’t be controlled. (I think that’s what he said.) My question: how much damage has already been done? Is it reversible? How realistic or likely is it, from a (geo) political and a physical point of view, that we can put an end to it?

  15. Dan #17
    Dec 27, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Question for Alan, others, about global warming:

    I just spoke with a friend (and a man of reason) who acknowledges that global warming is real and caused by Man, but doesn’t think that it is reversible.

    There is a natural balance between the rate of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, (volcanoes, rotting vegetation, forest fires etc.) and the rate of absorption by plants (Ocean algae, ocean deposits of seashells, rainforests, peat bogs etc). This in combination with the intensity of sunlight, keeps the climate approximately stable.
    What humans are doing is massively overloading the system with burnt fossil fuel to the point where the natural absorption systems can’t cope and the level is going up.

    There are examples from nature, when cataclysmic events such as volcanoes erupting under coal fields, have caused similar massive releases of CO2 into the atmosphere.
    I give an example on this linked discussion.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/12/japan-is-obsessed-with-climate-change-young-people-dont-get-it/#li-comment-216168

    The danger is , that at certain temperatures and climate conditions severe feed-backs set in which add to the warming and then trigger more feed backs.
    The sorts of feed backs are drying of thousands of square miles of tundra peat and forests, which then catch fire and release all of their stored carbon as CO2.
    Another feed-back is ocean acidification which stops plankton from using CO2 in building their shells and dropping it form limestone on the ocean floor. – This is a main part of the recycling system which takes CO2 out of the atmosphere.
    A third devastating feed-back is the heating of polar oceans to the point which all the natural gas in clathrate layers, turns the oceans into a fizzing oxygen free, methane soup, killing most marine life and boosting atmospheric heating with massive amounts of methane which is much more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

    We will never be able to control India and other countries that are doing most of the polluting.

    India and China are already recognising problems as the atmospheres in their industrial cities are toxic enough to cause serious health problems already.
    They are starting to control themselves, but other countries could put tariffs on goods produced by polluting processes.

    He also says that environmental deregulation is at odds with capitalism itself, which has a life of its own, and can’t be controlled. (I think that’s what he said.)

    The free-trade fanatics preach deregulation, but of course freedom to pollute and rip-off other people or their environment, has aggrieved losers, who will take so much, and then turn on the sources of their poor living conditions.

    My question: how much damage has already been done? Is it reversible? How realistic or likely is it, from a (geo) political and a physical point of view, that we can put an end to it?

    We CAN take action to prevent catastrophic change, but some features like coastal flooding and more intense storms and droughts are probably being set to run for decades or centuries.

    The problem and biggest risk, is the uncertainty as to exactly what temperature levels locally or globally, will trigger feed-back effects, – which will trigger further feed-back effects, which will trigger further feed-back effects!
    In the past runaway greenhouse effects causing major extinctions have taken millions of years for life to recover!

    (See the linked comment)

  16. Alan4discussion #18

    Dec 27, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    The free-trade fanatics preach deregulation…

    Q: are the “free trade fanatics” for or against free trade? Trump is against free trade and for deregulation.

    Dan (“Dumbo”) is confused.

  17. The danger is , that at certain temperatures and climate conditions severe feed-backs set in which add to the warming and then trigger more feed backs.
    (Alan4 #18) The sorts of feed backs are drying of thousands of square miles of tundra peat and forests, which then catch fire and release all of their stored carbon as CO2.
    Another feed-back is ocean acidification which stops plankton from using CO2 in building their shells and dropping it form limestone on the ocean floor. – This is a main part of the recycling system which takes CO2 out of the atmosphere.
    A third devastating feed-back is the heating of polar oceans to the point which all the natural gas in clathrate layers, turns the oceans into a fizzing oxygen free, methane soup, killing most marine life and boosting atmospheric heating with massive amounts of methane which is much more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

    Watch it Alan! You’re starting to sound like an educated “Doomsday” skeptic.

    Since 1751 approximately 392 billion metric tonnes of carbon have been released to the atmosphere from the consumption of fossil fuels and cement production. Half of these fossil-fuel CO2 emissions have occurred since the mid 1980s.

    Looks like antropogenic greenhouse warming is actually a very recent phenomenon kinda creeping up on our species predominantly and at an accelearating pace since 1980 when world population stood at 4.45 billion now heading for a doubling of that astronomical number in 20 years. The world appreciates all the articles you cite telling us what to do and not to worry. But seriously, what are we really, really going to do? And by the way aren’t all the elephant-stomping tantrums irrelevant to one who is all 4 discussion? We’d better hope human kind has a century or two to achieve zero emissions from all the energy that 10 to 11 billion people will be consuming by then.

  18. Melvin,

    the increasing population is all the more reason why we need to deal with these threats. If we are going to allow unfettered consumption then any number of major issues will continue to hit us. You’ve expressed concern about population (a concern I share), but you seem to use this to deflect doing something about the immediate threat we face as a result of our overconsumption in this case global warming. So I’m curious about this aspect of your thinking.

    If population is your concern then a sure way of reducing it is to do nothing and climate change and the myriad of other environmental impacts we are causing (in no small part due to our population) will reduce it handily due to famine, extinction, natural disaster and the conflicts that are bound to follow as the catastrophe’s we are causing embrace us. However it seems to me more rational to deal with the issues we can including population. Even if we mandated a one child policy world wide the impacts of global warming would still wreak havoc, we clearly need to contend in the short term with climate change and be continuing to education people about the need to reduce population. It doesn’t really matter environmentally if our population is 1 billion or 20 billion what matters is the amount of consumption of the Earths resources consumed by those people. The planet would be fine with 20 billion if they all lived like some starving villager, however it is unlikely the world would handle half a billion if we all live like Donald Trump.

    So I hope we could agree that the real factor here is not the absolute numbers but the environmental impacts caused by the people that are here. Clearly we have this wrong and AGW is one of the things telling us we have not got this right. I don’t understand why you can not get on board with this project.

    Looks like antropogenic greenhouse warming is actually a very recent phenomenon kinda creeping up on our species predominantly and at an accelearating pace since 1980

    We have known about the connection between CO2 and greenhouse warming since 1890’s at the time due to our low amount of CO2 emissions it was thought a little help in that regard would be a good thing. By the 1980’s there was a pretty firm consensus hence the development of the IPPC. They suggested we reduce CO2 emissions by 20% in the next 20 years. What have we done since then? So if Alan and others here seem to be having tantrums we are not, we are just sick of the facts being ignored and people getting in the way of doing something serious about this. What is more people are starting to do the right thing, people are putting up solar, they are buying more efficient cars, they are buying more efficient appliances, they would buy electric vehicles if they were more available and more affordable. But to see people choosing to vote for climate change denying clowns like Trump is going to result in a strong voice of descent, and so it should. The discussion will and should be heated when people are refusing to listen to reason. After all our civilization is a genuinely at stake. We know what we have to do to reduce the impacts of climate change stop releasing carbon into the atmosphere. That’s what we really, really need to do, we’ve known so for decades, we have the technology now to do so at a fraction of our global GDP, why can’t you get on board with that?

  19. Dan #20
    Dec 27, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Alan4discussion #18 – The free-trade fanatics preach deregulation…

    Q: are the “free trade fanatics” for or against free trade? Trump is against free trade and for deregulation.

    Free-trade fanatics are against the regulation of trade.

    Trump is against the regulation of industry and against the regulation of trade, BUT in his disjointed thinking, he recognises that the polluting and unregulated industries of India and China can under-cut cleaner US industries. so he has a two pronged approach. – Deregulate the emission controls and (already weak) clean air requirements in the US, and restrict the cheaper imports from Asia.

    In addition to this, the EU is threatening to put tariffs on goods produced by polluters to produce a level playing-field in the market, so he wants reprisal tariffs against states which tax pollution-generating goods.
    The rest is just pandering to the isolationists living in their bubble of delusion – and trying to avoid importing (rational) foreign influences.

  20. Melvin #21
    Dec 27, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Watch it Alan! You’re starting to sound like an educated “Doomsday” skeptic.

    That must be a result of being an environmental scientist, who actually understands the mechanisms involved in both climatic and ecological stability, and the instabilities which arise when these are out of balance.
    I have given links to historical examples of past doomsday events which give analyses of the causes of those extinctions on Earth.
    There are also examples of the physics in action on other planets.

    Looks like anthropogenic greenhouse warming is actually a very recent phenomenon kinda creeping up on our species predominantly and at an accelerating pace since 1980

    It certainly is!
    It is co-incident with the history of the industrial revolution, and the scale of carbon burning throughout that period.

    But seriously, what are we really, really going to do?

    I think previous discussions spell out most of the options fairly clearly.

    And by the way aren’t all the elephant-stomping tantrums irrelevant to one who is all 4 discussion?

    Not at all! That’s why I challenge them and the associated asserted ignorance, when I encounter them!

    We’d better “hope” human kind has a century or two to achieve zero emissions

    We simply don’t have that length of time, so relying on “hope” is self-delusion!

    from all the energy that 10 to 11 billion people will be consuming by then.

    It humans don’t rapidly achieve clean energy and zero emissions, there won’t be 10 or 11 million.
    The changed climate (massive loss of farm land, loss of ice-cap irrigation water, coastal flooding, desertification of the tropics, powered up storms, longer and more erratic droughts, ocean acidification killing fish stocks, geographical migrations of invasive pests and diseases, etc.), will be killing them by the million – even before we start counting over-exploitation of the remaining resources and wars over these shortages!

    Denial of science, has a high cost to the populations involved in the consequences of mismanagement!

  21. Arkrid Sandwich #25
    Dec 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    A pretty concise explanation of why the people in Trump’s cabinet got their jobs.

    How very American Capitalist –
    The presidency and leadership, sold to the highest bidders!

  22. Just to mention one of Tump’s picks, Rick Perry, whilst Governor of Texas arranged a massive prayer meeting to pray for the Lord to send rain to drought stricken Texas. Apparently the Lord didn’t oblige and instead sent massive wild fires. Let’s just hope Rick Perry prays for global warming ?

  23. Mr DArcy #27
    Dec 28, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Just to mention one of Tump’s picks, Rick Perry, whilst Governor of Texas arranged a massive prayer meeting to pray for the Lord to send rain to drought stricken Texas. Apparently the Lord didn’t oblige and instead sent massive wild fires.

    Yep! Perry demonstrated the effectiveness of prayer and his personal grasp of climate science! !

    The 2011 Texas wildfires were a series of destructive wildfires in Texas, United States that … Texas Governor Rick Perry declared a State of Disaster starting on December 21, 2010, and renewed the proclamation every month.

    However – De Lawd works in mysterious ways, 🙂 so maybe Perry just couldn’t do the maths or just does not understand scientific terms such as: “increased erratic weather events” or “increased droughts and storms” resulting from a more energetic atmosphere!!

    https://weather.com/storms/tornado/news/plains-severe-weather-outbreak-historic-flooding-continues

    State of Disaster Declared in 31 Flooded Texas Counties as Storms Dump More Rain – Published Jun 2 2016
    A new round of severe thunderstorms drenched southeast Texas on Thursday morning, closing schools and forcing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to declared a state of disaster across 31 counties.

  24. Reckless Monkey #22: the increasing population is all the more reason why we need to deal with these threats. If we are going to allow unfettered consumption then any number of major issues will continue to hit us. You’ve expressed concern about population (a concern I share), but you seem to use this to deflect doing something about the immediate threat we face as a result of our overconsumption in this case global warming. So I’m curious about this aspect of your thinking.

    You make a lot of sense and your criticism is thoughtful. My focus on overpopulation derives from my observations that Homo sapiens are an animal species who destroy ecosystems including the atmosphere at their own peril. Unlike other species we have achieved a kind of transcendence over natural constraints on population growth. Understandably yet harmfully we’ve developed various kinds of transcendent language to celebrate our uniquely privileged position at the center of the universe – all because we happened to evolve with large inventive brains and manipulative fingers. “The Lord will provide” and “Science will solve the problem [global warming]” partake of the same ambition for transcendence.

    Advances in medicine, hygiene, crop yields -technology in diverse applications- have all but eliminated infant/childhood mortality. That every individual born to a species should survive to reproductive age is unique to human beings and catastrophic in consequence. The smallest birthrate above replacement level will result in infinite population growth at an accelerating pace as the child-bearing base grows. Fortunately we can avoid a nasty fate by bringing total average birthrates down to replacement level or sub-replacement level through contraceptives and elective abortion. It appears that world populations are headed in this direction but effective zero growth is mathematically impossible for another 80 years or so – delivering at least 10 billion human beings on the planet by 2100.

    I stand with Phil and Alan4 in solidarity along with many others trying to disseminate clean energy technology to the world in order to mitigate, stabilize, then reverse annual carbon emissions during this century. I believe, however, that the preponderant evidence, much of it examined by climate scientists themselves, shows that the mission will not be accomplished in the crucial limited time frame they propose.

    Consistent with a naturalist view of the universe and evolutionary biology, absent a pragmatic anticipation of a transcendent power of salvation, world leaders and the public should proclaim that Homo sapiens are an earthly animal species (however they may otherwise religiously or “spiritually” celebrate human uniqueness) and that ecological imperatives necessary for our species survival mandate social contracts to limit our numbers aligned in harmony between a flourishing environment and a flourishing humankind. Few have had the courage to take the first indispensable step.

  25. Arkrid

    Oh boy! That speech today has really ramped up the political drama! Trump must have steam shooting out of his ears right now! hee hee 😀

  26. Melvin #29
    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Advances in medicine, hygiene, crop yields -technology in diverse applications- have all but eliminated infant/childhood mortality. That every individual born to a species should survive to reproductive age is unique to human beings and catastrophic in consequence.

    Nope! There are other factors apart from birth-rates and wishful thinking!

    Fortunately we can avoid a nasty fate by bringing total average birthrates down to replacement level or sub-replacement level through contraceptives and elective abortion.
    It appears that world populations are headed in this direction but effective zero growth is mathematically impossible for another 80 years or so – delivering at least 10 billion human beings on the planet by 2100.

    Environmental resource constraints mean this projected mathematical fantasy simply does not happen in the real world!
    If humans do not restrain their population growth, nature has more brutal methods!

    http://www.worldhunger.org/2015-world-hunger-and-poverty-facts-and-statistics/

    Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition. Black et. al. (2013) estimate that undernutrition in the aggregate—including fetal growth restriction, stunting, wasting, and deficiencies of vitamin A and zinc along with suboptimum breastfeeding—is a cause of 3·1 million child deaths annually or 45% of all child deaths in 2011 (Black et al. 2013). Undernutrition magnifies the effect of every disease, including measles and malaria. The estimated proportions of deaths in which undernutrition is an underlying cause are roughly similar for diarrhea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%) (Black 2003, Bryce 2005). Malnutrition can also be caused by diseases, such as the diseases that cause diarrhea, by reducing the body’s ability to convert food into usable nutrients.

    Stunting

    Globally 161 million under-five year olds were estimated to be stunted in 2013.
    The global trend in stunting prevalence and numbers affected is decreasing. Between 2000 and 2013 stunting prevalence declined from 33% to 25% and numbers declined from 199 million to 161 million.
    In 2013, about half of all stunted children lived in Asia and over one third in Africa. (UNICEF et al. 2014b)

    Wasting and severe wasting

    Globally, 51 million under-five year olds were wasted and 17 million were severely wasted in 2013.
    Globally, wasting prevalence in 2013 was estimated at almost 8% and nearly a third of that was for severe wasting, totaling 3%.
    In 2013, approximately two thirds of all wasted children lived in Asia and almost one third in Africa, with similar proportions for severely wasted children. (UNICEF et al. 2014b)

  27. @31

    I canNOT listen to Republicans anymore. (Paul Ryan just said that Obama is “throwing Israel under the bus”.) It makes me crazy. And I find CNN infuriating.

    Lauwie, I stole this from you: canNOT. You stole this from me: hee-hee (I’m flattered.)

    This is a very difficult time.

  28. I stand with Phil and Alan4 in solidarity along with many others trying to disseminate clean energy technology to the world in order to mitigate, stabilize, then reverse annual carbon emissions during this century. I believe, however, that the preponderant evidence, much of it examined by climate scientists themselves, shows that the mission will not be accomplished in the crucial limited time frame they propose.

    Hi Melvin, I agree with most of what you have said in your reply to me. I disagree with part of what I have quoted from your reply above. I have to say (and I say this trying not to sound dismissive I’m actually interested in what your position is- and if it is as you have largely outlined in your reply we are not very far apart) that you responses often come across as against doing anything about climate change in the short term. This contradicts what you have said in your reply so I’m either misreading your tone or emphasis or you are not reading Alan and Phil’s tone/emphasis correctly. I’m certainly willing to accept that I am misreading your posts for what it is worth.

    I cannot speak for Phil or Alan (both of whom are far more educated on these matters than I – both of whom I look to for information on these matters) but I suspect that neither disagree that population is an issue. I suspect from what I have read that they consider AGW to be a priority now or our population will be controlled by Global warming. We all wish to see the negative effects of global population fall (read – over consumption fall – as I explained in my last post I’m not so worried about the numbers as the consumption per capita and how this relates the overall impact). I suspect what Phil, Alan and I (and also you) are united on is that we should try to achieve this without massive violent loss of life, due to storm, flood famine, drought etc.

    Obviously we need better education of birth control. On a personal level I have one child in no small part due to the consideration that I really have to make a good argument to consume that many more resources by bringing another child into the world. This was a factor (and not the only factor in the decision) that was shocking to many when I articulated it almost everyone in my circle. They had reactions from horror, disbelief to offense (as some have several children). I particularly feel this as someone of the West who consumes a lot more than I would if I was a rural villager where my per capita consumption and hence contribution to environmental impacts would be significantly lower.

    Where I think we may disagree is in priority, you seem to be saying that we need to continue dealing with climate change but your priority seems to be focused on population control. You seem to think that discussion should be more focused on population and less focused on abating climate change? Would this be a fair summary of your position?

    If so I suppose I’d only say if we wish to avoid violent population crash rather than a controlled reduction, we need to deal with the short term issues now of things like AGW and coral bleaching, massive plastics dumping into the environment and so forth, and at the same time educate people about effective and ethical family planning (a much harder issue in my opinion as religious beliefs are motivating much of it). If everyone stopped breeding now it’s going to take a human lifetime to stop population, as that is not going to happen any action taken today is going to take an average human lifetime to see the benefits, we have maybe 10 years to significantly reduce our CO2 or AGW will take care of our population problem in less than that time frame. I don’t want to live in that world or think of my son having to suffer through that. So perhaps we disagree only on priority, or perhaps we don’t really disagree very much at all, I’d be keen to know which.

    Regards

  29. Reckless Monkey #35: Where I think we may disagree is in priority, you seem to be saying that we need to continue dealing with climate change but your priority seems to be focused on population control. You seem to think that discussion should be more focused on population and less focused on abating climate change? Would this be a fair summary of your position?

    I believe you make a fair argument for setting priorities. The intractable problem is bringing the other 7 .4 billion people along with us, weening them from reliance on fossil fuels toward gradually accepting clean energy alternatives while building economies and raising standards of living out of the urgent need to break the bonds of poverty and deprivation. I’m pessimistic that this can be done on a global basis within the time frame that climate scientists allow for our survival. Let’s hope the global warming doesn’t exterminate us before 2050 or 2100; that the alarmists are simply wrong about that outcome for the sake of your child and grandchildren. Your thoughtful question underscores the double-bind our species has fallen into. Neither global warming nor overpopulation can be solved by choosing a priority now. It will take centuries to mitigate both.

  30. Melvin #36
    Dec 29, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Let’s hope the global warming doesn’t exterminate us before 2050 or 2100; that the alarmists are simply wrong about that outcome for the sake of your child and grandchildren.

    It seems that your persistent wish-thinking use of the denialists term “alarmist”, for those who ring alarm bells on real threats, contradicts and undermines the credibility of your other more positive statements!

    Someone who discovers a fire, sets off a fire alarm, and warns people to evacuate the building while the fire brigade tackle the fire, IS NOT AN ALARMIST!

    Prevaricating in calling the fire-brigade or trying to carry on with business as usual in the building, while paying lip-service to the fire situation, is also counter-productive!

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/alarmist
    alarmist – Someone who exaggerates a danger and so causes needless worry or panic: – ‘the problem is a fabrication by alarmists’

  31. I’ve just been watching All In with Chris Hayes, 27th Dec edition. There’s a segment on how a Russian colonel saved the world from nuclear war in 1983 when a Russian satellite decided it had detected American nuclear weapons being launched at Russia. Colonel Petrov made the decision that rational people in the USA don’t start nuclear wars like this with no reason and recommended to his superiors it was more likely to be a systems glitch in the satellite and to NOT retaliate.

    Chris made an excellent point. Petrov could only come to this decision because he could assume he was dealing with rational people in the USA. Trump is making it clear at every step, every cabinet appointment and with every tweet that he’s not rational. He’s an insane megalomaniac who does everything on a whim with precious little thought for consequences. No one really knows what he thinks or what he might do because he changes his mind every five minutes and sometimes between the start and end of a single sentence.

    I wonder what Petrov’s decision would have been if Trump had been president in 1983 and what decisions the rest of the world are now going to have to wrestle with over the next four years? It’s not global warming I’m shit scared about. Trump might set that back a bit for four years but that’s small beer in the long term scheme of things. What I’m shit scared about is whether with him in the White House, or Trump Tower if that’s where the USA is going to be governed from, whether there’ll be any of us left in four years time to worry about global warming rather than the nuclear winter enveloping the planet as he pisses off China, North Korea and India before he’s even got into office.

    I have to assume that his insanity, narcissism and megalomania are not going to diminish now he’s just been handed the most powerful position on the planet. Rather he’ll see that as a validation of his ambitions and they’ll magnify. He’s emboldening Israel to attack Palestine, Russia to expand its plans in Asia and Assad to retake Syria and commit more atrocities. He’s destabilised the world to a greater extent in 50 days than anyone thought possible and he’s not even in office yet. God knows what’s going to happen when he is.

  32. Akrid,
    While your point is valid,
    Think this over…. Ronald Reagan was President then. He was nuts. The Russians knew he was nuts

    I read a quote from (baseball pitcher) Nolan Ryan. he said, “it’s helps if they think you are little nuts”. He was responding to his tendency to throw a hundred mile fastball AT the batters head.

    Reagan had a staff astrologer. He was scary as hell (so is Trump-perhaps for different reasons). But what happened in your exemplar was level headed thinking by the Russian fellow. Thankfully he was there, because there wasn’t (isn’t) much level headed thinking at these levels of government.

  33. Reagan wasn’t nuts. He had Alzheimer’s late in his second term (I think). Nor was Thatcher. They were just wrong. Trump may or not be psychotic; but he is not rational; I agree with Arkrid. And when he talks there’s no one there; it’s obvious. He is a right-wing ignoramus. The man is cruel and incompetent, and is surrounded by fanatics like Flynn and others. When asked about Kerry’s speech, he said “it speaks for itself.” Not an answer.
    Then he says “everything will change when I get sworn in”. What? He’ll support Israel without question? That IS nuts. And as Laurie said, Palestinian suffering and rage will increase dramatically. And that is just one issue. There are a host of others. We are all in grave danger now.
    America made a big mistake. This is something new.

  34. Alan4 #37: It seems that your persistent wish-thinking use of the denialists term “alarmist”, for those who ring alarm bells on real threats, contradicts and undermines the credibility of your other more positive statements!
    Someone who discovers a fire, sets off a fire alarm, and warns people to evacuate the building while the fire brigade tackle the fire, IS NOT AN ALARMIST!

    The analogue is not pertinent. Climate scientists are projecting possible alarming consequences for human welfare – perhaps survival 20, 40, 80 years in the future. The challenge for those who want to prioritize dealing with the crisis by pouring massive inputs of financial and material resources into replacing the global fossil fuel infrastructure immediately with a clean-energy alternative must confront three daunting challenges: 1) Cost, 2) Effectiveness, 3)Credibility. Solar and wind provide an impressive share of energy in some locations but always as a supplement to fossil fuels on a global scale not as a cost-effective or practical alternative. The heavy lifting required by manufacturing, transportation and even large-demand household use cannot be met with solar and wind electricity generation alone. Rather than review the various biased claims to the contrary , the statistics of per capita CO2 emissions reaching fair parity in the 21st century virtually prove that global reductions are impossible over the next 30 to 50 years. If the greenest nations of Europe could reduce emissions 80% on a current base 10 to 2 metric tons per capita while developing nations could raise emissions to 2 metric tons per capita with growing populations dwarfing those of Germany, France, and the UK, world emissions would actually escalate.

    Examining trends, I perhaps discovered another discouraging development. Contrary to popular belief, the atmosphere did not begin to warm significantly with the onset of the industrial revolution comprehensively measured between 1750 and projected 300 years to 2050. Dangerous CO2 concentration build-up did not begin until after 1950. Put in personal perspective, if you were born in 1950 you would turn 10 without an inkling of atmospheric warming on the horizon. Today at age 66 you would have witnessed the entire disaster play out in your lifetime, almost exclusively in the last 30 years. The sudden quantum leap corresponded with overwhelming world population growth since 1950 when it stood at around 2.5 billion. The upward trajectory of emissions impacted our awareness well after 1960 when world population reached 3 billion and doubled to 6 billion by 2000. The threshold link between population growth and global warming cannot be denied.

  35. Population is significant; fine; but why would Trump hire climate change deniers, and very aggressive and committed ones, to occupy and deal with energy and the EPA? That’s suicidal and the height of hubris and greed. You can argue about stuff, various details; but we all know that climate change is real, is manmade, threatens our survival, and has already had an impact on crops, has caused fires and flooding, has and will affect food supplies, air, water, etc. Trump is determined to throw fuel on the fire. Is that the answer?

  36. Melvin #41
    Dec 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Why do you persist with these strawman claims and your personal mistaken notions of the proportions of the scales of developments and costs involved?

    Alan4 #37: It seems that your persistent wish-thinking use of the denialists term “alarmist”, for those who ring alarm bells on real threats, contradicts and undermines the credibility of your other more positive statements!
    Someone who discovers a fire, sets off a fire alarm, and warns people to evacuate the building while the fire brigade tackle the fire, IS NOT AN ALARMIST!

    The analogue is not pertinent.

    So you assert without any basis – but it looks absolutely valid as an analogy with the warnings from THOUSANDS of climate scientists, the attitude of deniers, and your insistence on prevarication!

    Climate scientists are projecting possible alarming consequences for human welfare – perhaps survival 20, 40, 80 years in the future.

    Although these are serious, and PROBABLE rather than POSSIBLE, it is only to a limited extent in the shorter time scale!
    The MAJOR key issues are on-going over a much longer term than that! – Centuries and millennia.

    The challenge for those who want to prioritize dealing with the crisis by pouring massive inputs of financial and material resources

    Why persist in these ridiculously exaggerated wild claims about economics, which you clearly do not understand, despite numerous previous explanations, about routine replacements, lower costs, and improved efficiencies! – or for that matter the MONUMENTAL costs of damage from letting the climate changes go wild!

    Once we include the costs of increased floods, wild-fires, droughts, crop-failures, storm damage, loss of water supplies, desertification, ocean acidification, etc. green technologies win all the way!

    into replacing the global fossil fuel infrastructure immediately with a clean-energy alternative must confront three daunting challenges:

    This only makes sense if by “immediately”, you mean, “within a couple of decades”, by progressively winding down obsolete costly polluting systems.

    1) Cost, 2) Effectiveness, 3)Credibility.

    Yep! Renewables massively out-perform carbon polluting systems, IF a proper evaluation of costs and liabilities is made.

    Solar and wind provide an impressive share of energy in some locations but always as a supplement to fossil fuels

    This is nonsense! There are plenty of other systems to supplement solar and wind. They have been listed often enough on this site.

    on a global scale not as a cost-effective or practical alternative.

    ???? Which alternative? – You really need to bin the fantasy finance notions you have picked up from carbonaceous Luddites on Faux News or something similar!

    The heavy lifting required by manufacturing, transportation and even large-demand household use cannot be met with solar and wind electricity generation alone.

    Of course it cannot – at least not in all locations!
    It needs a smart grid, tidal, hydro, geothermal, biomass, (probably some nuclear), and energy storage systems.

    Rather than review the various biased claims to the contrary ,

    Why not review your own biased claims which you persist in inventing or copying from science duffers?
    “I can only think about familiar obsolete polluting technology, so the world is stuck with this”, is not a reasoned argument!

    the statistics of per capita CO2 emissions reaching fair parity in the 21st century virtually prove that global reductions are impossible over the next 30 to 50 years.

    Mathematical projections which make crass assumptions, and fail to take account of change and innovation are meaningless, – but are also almost invariably wrong!

    On an earlier discussion I gave you a linked list of people who had made fools of themselves making predictions of what science and technology cannot do!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/11/stephen-hawking-just-gave-humanity-a-due-date-for-finding-another-planet/#li-comment-215232

    Examining trends, I perhaps discovered another discouraging development.
    Contrary to popular belief, the atmosphere did not begin to warm significantly with the onset of the industrial revolution

    It didn’t at the beginning, because the levels of carbon burning when coal was transported by horse wagon in the 1700s, was very low.

    comprehensively measured between 1750 and projected 300 years to 2050. Dangerous CO2 concentration build-up did not begin until after 1950.

    Wrong!
    Research shows the build up of CO2 and temperatures from the 1880s, as steam power began to dominate expanding industries.

    http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

    All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 15 of the 16 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. The year 2015 was the first time the global average temperatures were 1 degree Celsius or more above the 1880-1899 average. Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase.

  37. Melvin #41
    Dec 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Alan4 #37: It seems that your persistent wish-thinking use of the denialists term “alarmist”, for those who ring alarm bells on real threats, contradicts and undermines the credibility of your other more positive statements!
    Someone who discovers a fire, sets off a fire alarm, and warns people to evacuate the building while the fire brigade tackle the fire, IS NOT AN ALARMIST!

    The analogue is not pertinent.

    Allegedly!

    Melvin #41 – The challenge for those who want to prioritize dealing with the crisis by pouring massive inputs of financial and material resources . . . .

    INTO BUYING FIRE-ENGINES!

    must confront three daunting challenges: –
    1) Cost, 2) Effectiveness, 3)Credibility. 🙂

    ????????

    I suppose you can just let the fires spread and burn down the whole city and then spread into the nearby forest!

    Yeah! That saves laying out all those gazillions of tax $ on fire engines and crews!
    The alarmist fire- crews probably only told you to fit alarms, to keep themselves in a job anyway!

  38. There is another development over Trump’s election!
    Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who led the calls for the sanctions, said they “intend to lead the effort in the new Congress to impose stronger sanctions on Russia!!! –
    Which could lead to some very interesting situations in the Republican Party if Trump goes into aggressive denial again!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38463025

    The US has expelled 35 Russian diplomats as punishment for alleged interference into last month’s presidential elections, giving them 72 hours to leave the country.

    It will also close two compounds used for Russian intelligence-gathering.

    President Barack Obama had vowed action against Russia amid US accusations it directed hacks against the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    Russia has denied any involvement and called the decision “ungrounded”.

    The US state department declared the 35 Russian diplomats from the Washington DC embassy and the consulate in San Francisco “persona non grata”, and gave them and their families 72 hours to leave the US.

    The move follows calls from senior US senators to sanction Russian officials who are believed to have played a role in the hacking, which some lawmakers referred to as America’s “political Pearl Harbor”.

    Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who led the calls for sanctions, said they “intend to lead the effort in the new Congress to impose stronger sanctions on Russia”.

    A Kremlin spokesman told journalists in Moscow that President Vladimir Putin would consider retaliatory measures.

    Dmitry Peskov said the actions were “a manifestation of unpredictable and aggressive foreign policy”, and called them “ungrounded and not legal”.

    If it were not so serious, – that comment on OBAMA’s foreign policy, (rather than Putin’s buddy Trump’s), – would be comical!

    President-elect Donald Trump, who will take over from President Obama next month, has dismissed the hacking claims as “ridiculous” and said Americans should “get on with our lives” when asked about the possibility of sanctions before the announcement on Wednesday.

    Sanctions have also been announced against nine entities and individuals including Russian intelligence agencies, the GRU and the FSB.

    Russian intelligence compounds in New York and Maryland will be closed.
    ‘Necessary and appropriate’

    In a statement, President Obama called the moves a “necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm US interests” and said “all Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions”.

    Mr Obama also announced the US would declassify technical information related to Russian cyber activity to “help network defenders in the United States and abroad identify, detect, and disrupt Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities”.

    Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said in a statement that despite the measures being overdue “it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia”.

    Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, who is from Maryland, called for Congress to take action separately from the White House, and plans to introduce legislation to establish a committee “to further examine the attack and Russian’s efforts to interfere in our election”.

    Several US agencies, including the FBI and CIA have concluded that the hacked information was released to cause damage to Mrs Clinton and the Democrats in order to favour Mr Trump.

  39. Melvin #36

    The intractable problem is bringing the other 7 .4 billion people along with us, weening them from reliance on fossil fuels toward gradually accepting clean energy alternatives while building economies and raising standards of living out of the urgent need to break the bonds of poverty and deprivation. I’m pessimistic that this can be done on a global basis within the time frame that climate scientists allow for our survival.

    good I think this probably gets to the core of our area of disagreement. I’ll break up your statements and let’s see we get.

    The intractable problem is bringing the other 7 .4 billion people along with us,

    I agree it is very difficult but I don’t understand quite why you see the solutions to AGW as so intractable but don’t see population control in the same light. I remember at high school seeing Chlorofluorocarbons being considered impossible to replace or so expensive that it would collapse the whole economy in doing so, in the end the problem was largely solved and no-one had to stop having air-conditioners or fridges. Tell Catholics, Mormons or Muslims to stop breeding so much and I suspect a whole other order of complexity. Something we need to try but I feel switching to carbon free energy ultimately won’t be quite that hard.

    weening them from reliance on fossil fuels toward gradually accepting clean energy alternatives while building economies and raising standards of living…

    This is another area we disagree I think. Two things here raising standards of living is no necessarily a going to continue at the rate it is now, for one the Earth cannot handle it and left unfettered famine, flood and wildfires will cut the populations down and reduce productivity. So we need to face the fact that improving wealth must incorporate sustainable growth in living standards, likewise here in the west our challenge is to decrease our impact while maintaining our lifestyle. I believe it is possible. Another factor in small areas remote from grid power is often that using alternatives is often far cheaper. For example adding solar powered lighting and say using cow manure and green waste to generate methane for cooking is far less costly than mowing down areas of forest to put in electrical power and digging up coal. I have a mate here in Australia who went solar 20 years ago completely off-grid, this was expensive but far cheaper than the $40 000 quoted to put a line from the highway to his house (he lives in the bush). If he were to get the same kilowatts now using lithium ion batteries it would cost less than half of what he paid. Often the green solution is also the best and cheapest. In the West part of our issue is how to adapt a grid or system that we have already sunk a lot into. The developing world has the choice to go with more modern modular systems, this is what we should be helping them do IMO.

    I’m pessimistic that this can be done on a global basis within the time frame that climate scientists allow for our survival.

    You may be right, that is we may not succeed in bringing up the standard of living of all the poor in the third world, we may not succeed in dealing with climate change before it is catastrophic for us also. I suspect that even if we hit 4 degrees we’ll still survive but in a much more destructive, conflict ridden world. I’d like to avoid that. The scientists are trying to be alarmist, this is what the data is telling them and they have been telling us for decades to do something. If we’d acted in the 1980’s we’d be well on the way to having this problem if not solved then at least much better mitigated and we would have a more hopeful future, but because no-one wanted to act and we had decades of denial we are now going to have to take more stringent, more expensive in the short term action. But I too feel we may not have a very bright future unless we get off our arses right now. Are you feeling the scientists are wrong to state the current position as they see it or do you think they are exaggerating?

    Cheers

    P.S. just adding an edit

    Neither global warming nor overpopulation can be solved by choosing a priority now. It will take centuries to mitigate both.

    You are right that the carbon we have put into the oceans will continue to travel under the ocean and be spat back out again in about 700 years in memory serves. So what we do now will impact for centuries to come. What you are describing is much like driving down the highway, doing 150km/hr in the fog you suddenly realise there is a truck ahead that you will not avoid hitting you are definitely going to hit it no matter what you do. So you choices are hit the brakes do nothing or hit the accelerator. I choose hit the breaks (even though I know I’m going to be in a car wreck) every second we wait will make the consequences (the crash) more destructive.

  40. Another related issue:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/27/us/politics/trump-rick-perry-nuclear-weapons.html?_r=0

    Adding to the concern is Mr. Trump’s choice of a politician with no expertise in nuclear or technical matters, former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, to lead the Energy Department, which runs the nation’s nuclear-weapons labs and the safeguards program.

    Mr. Perry, who will follow two highly accomplished physicists if confirmed, is far more familiar with issues involving the oil and gas industry. But weapons programs account for more than half of the Energy Department’s $30 billion budget.

  41. In my last post I said…

    The scientists are trying to be alarmist

    of course I meant to say ‘scientists aren’t trying to be alarmist’

    typo sorry for any confusion.

  42. Come on, Reckless, you meant it – unconsciously.

    Kidding, but think about it: Why wouldn’t scientists want the public to be alarmed?

    Freud lives!

    🙂

  43. At what point do the owners of the world’s seaports wake up to understanding the cost of relocating themselves to cope with rising sea levels?

    If New Orleans is to be taken as an example, they won’t. Instead some opportunist will get rich on setting up an alternate port when one gets drowned, and any sudden disaster will be used as a convenient way to evict an unprofitable population to be replaced by a profitable one.

  44. I re-watched a nature documentary, a segment about mats of bacteria/algae growing in the hot mineral rich water flowing from hot springs. The mats grow and extend until they block the flow, which builds up until it washes them away, downstream where the water is colder and less sustaining, where they perish, leaving small patches of surviving biomass around the edges, to start over.

    None of this is conscious. It’s just Life. More and more I suspect Humanity (as opposed to individual humans) is no more conscious than this, it will simply expand into every niche until the niche turns them out by the consequences of the changes caused by Humanity….

  45. Hi Dan,

    I think scientists have kind of been misread over the years in terms of climate change. I we as a species are poorly equipped to deal with these issues even when we understand them. This video helps explain it

    here

  46. Alan4 #44: I suppose you can just let the fires spread and burn down the whole city and then spread into the nearby forest!

    Reckless Monkey, a friendly discussion on a tiny blog about what appears to be happening in the world around us has turned into ad hominem reductionism. It’s all MY fault! Inflammatory language (hah hah) aside, implacable conditions on the ground persisting at least to mid century make it statistically impossible to reduce CO2 emissions significantly and prevent concentrations rising from 405 ppm to 450 ppm. Climate change, global warming publications project both general and specific consequences that run all over the map like a wet hen. Many of these publications present the most respected credentials for scientific authority. Notwithstanding, some are highly infected with bias. Greenpeace and other environmentalist organizations; even the IPCC and the U.S. EPA are highly politicized with propaganda so entangled in vague language and conflicting data that they boggle the mind. Few touch the third rail of population growth or try to measure impacts out of fear of offending the species that has been granted dominion over the earth by a supreme being; or more precisely, by its own self-inflated ego.

    Until and unless new technology comes rapidly on the scene that extinguishes the burning of fossil fuels, we will have to rely improbably on feeble wind and solar to stop greenhouse gas emissions in their tracks then reverse them with all possible haste over the next 30 years. What actions would be necessary? If decoupling of economic growth (GDP) from CO2 emissions takes place in the next two days at a rate that approaches 100% by January 1, 2017; combined with an annual year on year reduction of 2% for 33 years we could reach 1970 levels by 2050. If per capita outputs continue to play even a rapidly diminishing role, assuming a huge per capita reduction of 80% to only 2 metric tons of carbon per person on earth, gross emissions by 2050 will still be higher than today adjusting for world population growth adding between 2.5 to 3 billion people. “Impressive” sounding reductions of 10% – 20% – 40% are worthless if not achieved on a global scale and if not achieved in 20 to 30 years. That’s it, folks. It is what it is no matter the stomping of feet or gnashing of teeth: Statistically impossible.

    Progress in lowering greenhouse gas emissions will proceed at a pace consistent with effective and affordable near-zero-carbon energy coming gradually on line and may well take a century or two to disseminate worldwide. In the meantime, I suspect we are being kept awake at night by the ephemeral contagion of hysteria emanating from the prism of climate science that either waffles about an uncertain future or has clearly traced the path of the bullet with our number on it.

  47. @Melvin

    Reckless Monkey, a friendly discussion on a tiny blog about what appears to be happening in the world around us has turned into ad hominem reductionism. It’s all MY fault! Inflammatory language (hah hah) aside,

    I’m genuinely sorry it appears that way, not my intension. I’m trying to get to where we disagree because you say things that sometimes appear that would make you appear to be an AGW skeptic then you explain you believe in AGW but think that population is prime importance. I’m trying to find out where we disagree as I feel it is important to get to the heart of an issue, I’m not trying for a gotcha, I’m trying to engage with someone who disagrees with me about aspects of a very important issue. Most of my last post to you was dealing with the one paragraph that appears to show the differences in our positions so I’m interested in getting to the heart of the issue and teasing out the areas we disagree. My motivation is not to cause offense and I’d be horrified to think I was using ad hominem attacks – can you outline what I have said that you found so aggressive? It certainly wasn’t my intention, even if we passionately disagree (I do with many many members of my family and friends) the goal is not to cause offense so sorry if poor wording on my part has led you to this conclusion.

    To the heart of the post.

    I can’t speak to the reliability of the EPA, I did read much of the IPPC report the last one not the Paris meeting while doing a unit on climate science in some post grad study I was doing, I found it measured and reasonable. Wind not feeble just not always blowing which is why you need a mix of power such as solar, geothermal, wave and tidal. Technologies are coming on but yes not fast enough, it would help enormously if governments began supporting them in the short term to mitigate the effects of climate change in the future. I’d also like to draw your attention to an argument you appear to be making…

    implacable conditions on the ground persisting at least to mid century make it statistically impossible to reduce CO2 emissions significantly and prevent concentrations rising from 405 ppm to 450 ppm.

    okay certainly not without us doing one hell of a lot more than governments seem prepared to do now. But I’m assuming you are basing your predictions on our current trends and general level of inaction. Regardless, let’s say you’re right for the sake of argument and we don’t stop at 450 pp, where is it safe to stop? Climate scientists are worried about this level because certain tipping points will be breached for example a lot of trapped C02 and methane will be released causing a greater problem. However clearly if we can’t stop at 450, we’d better be trying to stop as close as we can. We need to hit the brakes not coast to a stop, if we can’t halt it by 450ppm then it had better be as close as possible and as soon as possible or we are burdening future generations with our refusal to act.

    regards

  48. @OHooligan #51

    That comment reminded me very much of Schopenhauer and

    “…that variance with itself essential to the will [in nature and in the unconscious life of Man – which is no more or less a part of nature than anything else].”

    What applies to the bacteria/algae in relation to itself, and what applies to animals that must devour each other in order to survive, applies to Man in relation to himself (or Man in relation to the individuals that constitute Man). One and the same unconscious element (“Will”) which feeds on itself.

    A constant “fight for the matter, time, and space of another.”

    The phenomena of nature “snatches matter from one another.” But matter itself, constantly changing form, persists.

  49. OHooligan #51
    Dec 29, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    I re-watched a nature documentary, a segment about mats of bacteria/algae growing in the hot mineral rich water flowing from hot springs. The mats grow and extend until they block the flow, which builds up until it washes them away, downstream where the water is colder and less sustaining, where they perish, leaving small patches of surviving biomass around the edges, to start over.

    I made a similar point in this earlier discussion:-

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/12/japan-is-obsessed-with-climate-change-young-people-dont-get-it/#li-comment-216312

    On human consumption and population on a finite planet, the key question is:-
    “Can humans collectively manage their population and resources with more intelligence than a yeast culture in a barrel of fruit-juice?”

    The yeast of course, with a massive food supply and exploding population numbers, consumes all there is to consume, and all it can consume for a few months, until it dies of starvation, pickled in its own waste products, when there is nothing left for it to consume!

  50. Melvin #53
    Dec 30, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Alan4 #44: I suppose you can just let the fires spread and burn down the whole city and then spread into the nearby forest!

    Reckless Monkey, a friendly discussion on a tiny blog about what appears to be happening in the world around us has turned into ad hominem reductionism.

    Nope, As I have said before, calling out challenges to well evidenced science and competent scientists, based on ignorance and empty rhetoric is not ad-hominem.
    Challenging ridiculous, strawman, vacuous assertions, is what scientists do, so they are unimpressed by those who have got it wrong through personal ignorance of the subject, playing the offended card!

    It’s all MY fault! Inflammatory language (hah hah) aside,

    Well yes! The use of the term “alarmist” to describe carefully calculated evidence based warnings about climatic changes, IS inflammatory language! – No Ha! ha! about it!

    implacable conditions on the ground persisting at least to mid century make it statistically impossible to reduce CO2 emissions significantly and prevent concentrations rising from 405 ppm to 450 ppm.

    In your personal non-scientific opinion based on a lack of understanding of the mechanisms (demonstrated by your estimates – frequently wildly wrong by large factors).

    Climate change, global warming publications project both general and specific consequences that run all over the map like a wet hen.

    ??????? This is supposed to be a rational comment???

    Many of these publications present the most respected credentials for scientific authority.
    Notwithstanding, some are highly infected with bias. Greenpeace and other environmentalist organizations;

    Greenpeace is biased on occasions, but is a campaign organisation NOT the source of “publications the most respected credentials for scientific authority”!
    Simply lumping scientific research papers with political campaign documents, demonstrates an inability to distinguish one from the other!

    even the IPCC and the U.S. EPA are highly politicized with propaganda

    This is simply repeating ignorance based nonsense, equating media propaganda, media misreporting, and leaflets from campaigning groups, with original peer-reviewed scientific documents, and views built on corroborations from large numbers of them, assembled by scientific bodies.

    so entangled in vague language and conflicting data that they boggle the mind.

    “My mind is boggled, because I cannot understand scientific terminology and scientific calculations, therefore the calculations and conclusions are biased and wrong!” is not a rational argument!

    It simply demonstrates an inability to distinguish competently published scientific information, from low-grade personal opinion, and media propagandist bunk!

    Progress in lowering greenhouse gas emissions will proceed at a pace consistent with effective and affordable near-zero-carbon energy coming gradually on line and may well take a century or two to disseminate worldwide.

    You really don’t have a clue about climatology, costings, economics, or renewable energy do you?
    If it takes a century or two, the climate WILL SOLVE the problem of the human population explosion! – Possibly permanently!

    In the meantime, I suspect we are being kept awake at night by the ephemeral contagion of hysteria emanating from the prism of climate science

    . . . . . and you wonder why your ignorance is challenged when you produce this inflammatory nonsense as your asserted denial of science, based on your whimsical “suspicions”!

    that either waffles about an uncertain future

    Sorry, but your projected waffle, has little or nothing to do with the solidly evidenced and identified features of our changing climate, which are being mapped across the globe at the present time, by thousands of scientists and dozens of satellites!

    or has clearly traced the path of the bullet with our number on it.

    Several metaphorical bullets (artillery shells, and nuclear bombs), have indeed been clearly identified, (and listed on this thread), although the specific targets and times of arrival of some of them, have some error margins and uncertainties.

  51. I know the dangers Donald Trump now poses to his country and to the world are grave, and I know I am not really in a position to comment on them, except as a concerned non-American; but, now that images of him are being foisted on everyone much more regularly in the media, could he not at least solve the problem he seems to have been unable to solve for at least two decades, namely what to do with his hair? He needs a haircut! A number-2 would do the job nicely. A bald patch, if he has one, would look fine with such a haircut, at least on a man. Can he not get even that right?

  52. MODERATOR MESSAGE

    Thank you Alan4discussion, #59. And with that comment we will draw that exchange to a halt.

    Melvyn, the site is not here for idle chatter or the mere self-indulgence of being able to pontificate to a wider audience than one would have at home. This is a science site, an activity belonging to a foundation for Reason and Science. We will follow the science, and we expect the arguments made here to take account of the science. The issue of climate change and how to deal with it is far too important for us to allow scientifically informed discussions of it to be derailed by obstinacy and contrarianism, and there is no reason why other users who have amassed considerable expertise on this subject should be required to spend hours and hours rebutting sheer obstructionism. Enough is enough. We will not hesitate to remove any further comments that merely obstruct constructive discussion of the subject.

    The mods.

  53. Cairsley

    The horrific haircut is part of his personal product branding. If he had a buzz cut he’d be reduced to bland nothingness. In politics and Hollywood ALL news is good news. Love them or hate them, it’s all good but the worst thing that could happen is if they are boring and forgotten. He’s NEVER going to cut that hair. And by the way, Pinker’s hair has the same effect. Is there anyone else with hair like that? Love it or hate it, you see him turn up with that hair and there’s no mistaking who it is! These two guys with these two extravagant hair-do situations – it’s totally working for them!

    RD has his beautiful ties (I really like them) but what is needed now is a creative mop-top to go with them. Something with a purple tint I’m thinking. The new year is upon us. Let’s have Richard come strolling out on the streets of Oxford with a statement that’ll have the tongues wagging. You only go around once… 😀

  54. LaurieB #62
    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:49 am

    The horrific haircut is part of his personal product branding.

    It’s a bit like Boris Johnson and his carefully tousled mop which he assiduously rumples just before any camera focuses on him. Yes he looks like a dick but on the basis that no publicity is bad publicity it gives him a brand of some sort. I think in Trump’s case it is more utter vanity and narcissism because he simply can’t appreciate that people think he looks stupid. His ego doesn’t allow that.

    Humans have a very strong tendency not to think other people are actually insane. We rationalise it with they’re a bit unusual or individualistic but if you’re too far away from the median on behavioural aspects then by definition you are not normal. Trump is not normal. I think we underestimate how not normal he really is. I think his crushing inferiority complex from failing to live up to his father’s expectations make him more dangerous than we think. I’m not really sure there’s anything he won’t stoop to to bolster his ego.

  55. Arkrid

    I think we underestimate how not normal he really is

    Not me!!! I think he’s actually much more abnormal than he appears to be. I think he’s doing his damn best to appear normal and presidential but the crazy keeps shining out from between the cracks. O_O

    I agree with every insult and suspicion of mental illness you’ve ever put out here having to do with SFB Trump. I’ll say that I strongly suspect that he’s a psychopath but just don’t have evidence for it.

    The people who underestimate how not normal he is are his ignorant bully admiring supporters. People who are hell bent on getting that border wall built (somehow) and willfully ignoring his obvious alarming psychopathology. Like we need to build a wall on our southern border but dropping a nuke on Tehran…no biggie.

  56. He might learn a couple of things about the latest evidence for nutrition , but a good article for the mag it’s in I suppose …

  57. Moderator: Fair enough. I hope the issue of overpopulation will be kept open. In the meantime…

    Yes, Trump should do something about that horrible hair. It scares me.

  58. Was that the sound of Melvin moving on?

    Nope…wait…..sorry. I just heard some damp gunpowder going off!

    Sorry Mods!

  59. Dan #33
    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    And Netanyahu is spouting all over like a whale.

    It seems Netanyahu has a few personal shortcomings as well as Israeli ones to get wound up over!

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/28/israel-attorney-general-orders-criminal-probe-benjamin-netanyahu

    Benjamin Netanyahu subject of criminal investigation – report

    Attorney general orders investigation into two unspecified matters involving prime minister, Israeli television station says

    Netanyahu and his family have been subject to a series of allegations over the past two decades. In 1997, it was decided that there was not enough evidence to charge him over the appointment of an attorney general, though prosecutors said they had a “tangible suspicion” about Netanyahu’s role in the scandal.

  60. @Alan4Discussion

    “Can humans collectively manage their population and resources with more intelligence than a yeast culture in a barrel of fruit-juice?”

    For some reason this makes me want to have a large glass of wine.

  61. @LaurieB,

    Beautiful, I also have admired his ties. I would have thought Richard was a fairly conservative guy (as far as fashion is concerned), until I heard one of Sam Harris’s discussions with him on his second last podcast in which Richard explains he has taken to wearing odd socks to fight the tyranny of having to match or throw out socks when you loose one. Quite subversive, wouldn’t be surprised if he has a few tatoo’s sprinkled about the place. Perhaps a nice little Darwin fish on his ankle, the chorus to Tim Minchim’s Pope song across his shoulders in a nice decorative font.

  62. Arkrid, Laurie, et al—

    Trump’s hair is the least of our problems. But he reminds me of Hitler in that Hitler wore that mustache, which no one – except for a few copy-cats – has worn before or since. It says something about the man. He wants to stand out and thinks a little bit differently than everyone else.

    (As for Pinker, he looks like Pat Metheny, minus the musicality. I had something to say about him on the new Pinker thread.)

    Trump plans to privatize the VA. In the news today. No surprise. He wants to privatize, privatize. Evil bastards, and they are undermining the CIA and FBI. This is an insurgency, led by Bannon. Crazy situation. Trump himself is not the problem; he represents the interests of most of the Republicans (closet libertarians) in Congress and corporate interests, the interests of private power – and has the support of all the greedy ideologues in the country – who are as sick and twisted and devoid of empathy and filled with hate as he is.

    The rest were exploited, duped, tricked. They may come to realize this, or may not.

    Trump’s dismissal of the validity of intelligence findings re the hacking of the DNC and emails undermines the people working in intelligence who will soon be working for Trump. Plus it is part of a larger problem; Trump wants to discredit the media and all of the information that the public receives. Investigative journalism Watergate-style will not have any impact; Trump will just make it seem like it’s the liberal press, etc., feed the culture war, creating diversion and doubts in people’s minds.

    Trump is a manipulator and will not allow transparency or be held accountable.

    Slovenly and shady Steve Bannon, I suspect, is behind much of what they’re aiming for. A twisted uber libertarian, a nationalist, an extreme reactionary, was with the tea party. You remember them, right? (Remember that mob, those crazy, angry, foolish people who were protesting health reform?)—It was created by the ministerial and despicable Koch brothers with the help of Fox News, which is almost on a par with the Ministry of Propaganda.

    Extreme corruption, saber rattling (with nukes). Rick Perry to be in charge of energy / nuclear weapons. A position formerly run by physicists. I could go on. The environment! Education! Israel!….Ugh….It’s all so awful.

    A nuclear war is not impossible. (Pinker’ll be running around like a chicken with his head off when he finds out that we’re facing a missile crisis, but he’ll still be “right”.)

    AIPAC owns them all (Congress, Trump). Iran deal scrapped? Just what undemocratic Israel wants.

    Trump and his team are a million times more corrupt than Hillary. They sure did a number on her (who is on the right side of all or most of these issue; yes, she spoke at Goldman.—So what!), dragged her through the mud. The emails were never anything that serious. Nothing compared to all this. And he’s not even in yet.

  63. P.S. Reason demands clear thinking. I think things are worse than most people think. I have all but lost my equanimity and sense of hope. Trump is a gangster, a thug, a psychopath, a manipulator (tyrant) and all or most of his cabinet are serving the interests of the few, the interests of greed and private power. We are in great peril. I can defend this argument very easily.

  64. Psychology is not really my field although I’ve studied a bit of Hans Eysenck and suchlike but Trump’s behaviour strikes me as somewhat akin to that of a wife abuser and I wonder if others can throw more light on this. He alternates between nice and nasty keeping everyone off balance which is how abusive people control those who they want to dominate. Eventually they start to think the nasty episodes are perhaps their own fault for doing something wrong and it might be nice all the time if only they did better.

    He tweets that Boeing are too expensive and he’s going to cancel their order, their stock price crashes. A bit later Beoing are fine again and he’s attacking someone else. He starts whining about Obama obstructing the transition. Next thing he’s telling everyone what a nice phone call he got from Obama.

    I’d like to see him get a taste of his own medicine. I’d like Obama to come out and say that given Trump keeps interfering in presidential matters before he’s taken office then Obama is going to slap compulsory purchase orders on Trump Tower and Mar-a-lago and demolish them both before he leaves office.

  65. Dan: Fortunately our democratic system of government has too many checks and balances for Trump and his cabinet to do as much damage as you fear. We should also take great comfort in the popular vote that gave Hillary Clinton 3 million more votes than Trump giving moderates and progressives a significant lead in public opinion now considerably enlarged with those afflicted with buyer’s remorse after voting for him out of frustration and protest. Trump’s incompetence exceeds words we can find to describe it. I would speculate two main scenarios: 1) He makes so many egregious errors of judgement that harm American interests, economic well-being and public welfare that he is fatally marginalized at the mid-term elections or otherwise impeached for malfeasance; or 2) He limps along “delegating” real power to a coterie of advisors who are able to implement policies adequate enough to keep the ship of state from sinking at home and abroad until the Republicans are defeated in the presidential election of 2020 after disastrous losses to the democrats in the mid-terms. The two scenarios foresee much the same outcome.

    Trump is not comparable to Hitler historically, politically or morally. It’s 2017 not 1933 or 1940. Trump justifiably believes he is a good man acting within the constraints of normal morality and humanitarian empathy, however misguided his policies. He is not a murderer obsessed with genocidal ambitions like Hitler.
    Unlike Hitler he does not have the power or opportunity to dissolve congress and claim absolute power under a state of emergency that seemed to engulf civil society in bloody street conflicts during the Weimar Republic. He does not have the wartime opportunity for the remarkable victories Hitler’s armed forces achieved during the early years of WWII that sealed his popularity and the fanatical allegiance of the nationalist, militarist, and racist German people of the 1930s and 1940s. I can think of nothing more anathema to our times than the Hitlergeist.

  66. The president-elect holds rallies, lies his ass off, flatters those he likes, ridicules his enemies, uses scapegoats, avoids, demonizes and turns others, against the press (something truly worthy of a tyrant), is profoundly manipulative and narcissistic, is promoting private power, hates organized labor, is exploitative, appeals to the lowest common denominator, is a demagogue, an opportunist, is greedy and ruthless. Not sure how authoritarian he is or how enamored he is of war at this early stage – but there are already some red flags. How’s that for starters? —That’s enough to warrant a comparison – to Mussolini, to Hitler even. Genocide, no. I agree. Different time. We are not Germany in the 30s.

  67. We’re starting to see just how dangerous Trump is going to be in world affairs. After 8 years of the most supportive administration to Israel there’s ever been with another 38 billion dollars in Israeli support agreed to by Obama, Netanyahu completely disses him and accuses him of organising the UN vote against him and then thanks Trump profusely who isn’t even in office yet. Why?

    Because everyone has sussed out that Trump is a narcissistic 5 year old girl who responds to empty flattery. This is the way diplomacy is going to take place for the next four years. World leaders crawling up Trump’s arse and disowning their long time staunch allies to curry favour. It’s going to disrupt traditional allegiances and make the world a very turbulent and ephemeral place.

  68. @#45 – The US has expelled 35 Russian diplomats as punishment for alleged interference into last month’s presidential elections,

    Further to that link:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38479179

    An electrical company in the US state of Vermont says it has found malware code allegedly used by Russian hackers on one of its company laptops.

    The Burlington Electric Department said it had taken “immediate action to isolate” the computer, which was not connected to the electrical grid.

    The government alerted them to the “Grizzly Steppe” code on Thursday.

    The same day, the US expelled 35 Russian diplomats over alleged Russian interference in November’s election.

    The Burlington company said it was “working with federal officials to trace this malware and prevent any other attempts to infiltrate utility systems”.

    It has also briefed state officials and vowed to fully support the investigation.

    The statement followed a Washington Post report, citing unnamed US officials, that Russian hackers had penetrated the electrical facility, underlining the vulnerability of America’s national grid.

    According to the news website, US authorities were unclear why Russian hackers might have targeted the grid.

    “The incursion may have been designed to disrupt the utility’s operations or as a test to see whether they could penetrate a portion of the grid,” it added.

    US officials believe Russia was behind the hacking of Ukraine’s electrical grid in December 2015, which plunged parts of the country into darkness and left about 225,000 people without power.

    Experts said it was the first known power outage caused by a cyber attack.

    Trump’s knee-jerk babbling denials, suggest he has absolutely no idea how to deal with such issues!

  69. Oh my fucking god. Trump has just tweeted this as a New Year message.

    “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do, love!”

    I said earlier we hadn’t yet plumbed the depths of what he could stoop to but I still struggle with each new low.

    So, a show of hands. Does anyone still think he isn’t insane?

  70. Akrid,
    I said it a long while back…. Trump is a schoolyard bully. In my experience, the bully almost always runs into the tough fuck that beats his/her ass. He will get his ass whipped at some point because no one wins every time they put their fists up. My fear is that his defeat will come at my (our) expense. But, make no mistake, pride comes before the fall, and Mr. Trump is destined for an epic epic demise.

    And, do I think he is insane? No. He is a dangerous narcissist with a severe case of the confirmation biases. He is not particularly intelligent although he is educated in his field. He is the last gasp of the white male aristocracy and he will fail. The world has evolved past his macho chest thumping bullshit and will respond in accord.

  71. crookedshoes #80
    Dec 31, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    He will get his ass whipped at some point because no one wins every time they put their fists up. My fear is that his defeat will come at my (our) expense.

    The problem is, that because of his egotistical self-delusion, even after he has been given a severe whipping, he is still in denial!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/10/a-plan-to-defend-against-the-war-on-science/#li-comment-213014

    He was exposed to severe ridicule in Scotland, both in courts and by subsequent events, but just shrugged it off!

  72. Hi, Vicki,

    Well we’re all in the same boat. So don’t feel too bad (“weird”). A lot of people are worried and horrified. We’ll get through this.

    A happy new year to you and yours.

    Here’s a very good (and rather disturbing) piece, everyone, about the conservative movement in this country and where it wants to go, by Robert Reich (former labor secretary under Clinton). Reich is good. It’s the Christian Science Monitor, but don’t let that bother you; Reich’s just a “guest blogger”.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Robert-Reich/2011/1201/What-kind-of-society-do-Republicans-want-It-looks-like-social-Darwinism

  73. crookedshoes #80
    Dec 31, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    The release of his ludicrously undiplomatic and grossly incompetent letters to the then Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, make Trump a laughing stock in the UK, but he is too stupidly egotistical to recognise this – even after the event! – As linked posts #17 and #18 show!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/12/climate-change-skeptic-to-head-epa-mcmorris-rodgers-as-interior-secretary/#li-comment-216230

    They included a letter sent on 14 September 2011, in which Mr Trump told Mr Salmond: “Its adverse visual impact on my development and the beautiful Aberdeen coastline will be disastrous and environmentally irresponsible.”

    BTW: Aberdeen is a major industrial port – not some scenic backwater!

  74. Vicki #81
    Dec 31, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I am 59 years old, and have never been called an enemy of my own country. It feels weird.

    It’s quite easy to understand, once psychological projection is taken into account!

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

    Projection is the psychological phenomenon where someone denies some aspect of their behavior or attitudes and assumes instead that others are doing or thinking so. It is usually seen as the externalisation of a person’s negative traits, placing blame on an outside force such as the environment, a government, a society or other people.

    Projection can also extend to philosophy and knowledge. This occurs when a person or small group of people assume that everyone else is working with the same ideas and/or information that they are. When this fails to happen, however, it can lead to pluralistic ignorance.

  75. @Dan #83

    Hi Dan! I hope for you and yours a happy and healthy new year!

    Good article, thanks. I like Robert Reich; he did a great documentary on the widening income gap called “Inequality For All” and some of the causes behind it, as well as the damage it causes.

  76. crookedshoes #80
    Dec 31, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    He will get his ass whipped at some point because no one wins every time they put their fists up. My fear is that his defeat will come at my (our) expense.

    Maybe you recall the now deleted discussion on the old RDFS site,
    “Beware of Black Knights”!

    Trump very much reminds me the the Monty Python Black Knight!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Knight_(Monty_Python)

    . . . . Arthur moves to cross the bridge. The Black Knight moves slightly to block Arthur and declares “None shall pass”.
    King Arthur, in a conciliatory manner, asserts his right to cross, but the Black Knight says Arthur will die.
    Arthur orders the Black Knight to move but he says, “I move, for no man”.
    Reluctantly, King Arthur fights the Black Knight and, after a short battle, the Knight’s left arm is severed, which squirts out copious amounts of blood.

    Even at this the Knight refuses to stand aside, insisting “Tis but a scratch”, insisting that he has “had worse”, and fights on while holding his sword with his remaining arm.
    Next his right arm is cut off, but the knight still does not concede. As the Knight is literally disarmed, Arthur assumes the fight is over and kneels to offer a prayer to God.
    The Black Knight interrupts Arthur’s prayer of thanks by kicking him in the side of the head and accusing him of cowardice. When Arthur points out the Black Knight’s injuries, the Knight insists “‘It’s just a flesh wound!”.
    In response to the continued kicks and insults, Arthur chops off the Black Knight’s right leg.
    At this point, the Knight still won’t admit to defeat, instead he replies by saying, “Right, I’ll do you for that”, and attempts to ram his body into Arthur’s, by hopping on his left leg.
    Arthur is annoyed at the Black Knight’s persistence, and angrily asks the Black Knight if he is going to bleed on him to win.
    The Black Knight replies by saying, “I’m invincible!” to which Arthur replies “You’re a loony!”
    With an air of resignation, Arthur finally cuts off the left leg as well and sheathes his sword.
    With the Black Knight now reduced to a mere stump of a man, he says, “All right, we’ll call it a draw.”
    Arthur then summons Patsy and “rides” away, using coconuts to simulate the sound of a horse galloping, leaving the Black Knight’s limbless torso screaming threats at him
    (“Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to ya! I’ll bite your legs off!”).

  77. Scary stuff. I am not the only one that suspects that the idiot Trump is the puppet of a far right revolutionary madman. I “pray” that I am wrong. (Happy New Year.)

    ANDREW O’HEHIR SALON.COM (Excerpts)

    Steve Bannon, Bolshevik: Maybe Donald Trump’s alt-right Svengali really is a “Leninist”

    Steve Bannon has called himself a “Leninist,” and the ludicrous comparison isn’t quite as stupid as it sounds.

    At a book party at Bannon’s Capitol Hill townhouse in November 2013, Radosh recounted in the Daily Beast, Donald Trump’s future Svengali referred to himself as a “Leninist.” We’ll get back to the details of Radosh’s account, but Bannon has not denied it.

    Both men were members of the educated elite who became leaders of “revolutionary vanguard” movements that represented a highly motivated minority. Both perceived a “revolutionary situation” that was at once national and global, a moment when the existing political order was far less stable than it appeared to be, and could be overturned by applying the right degree of pressure in the right places.

    […] But Bannon also enjoys outraging nearly every sector of the right except his eager-beaver followers, and the specter of Lenin embodies everything regular-order conservatives claim to fear and despise: violent revolution, the overthrow of the old order […] When Radosh wrote to Bannon to seek confirmation of their 2013 conversation and brought up tactical criticisms raised by conservative economist Thomas Sowell in the National Review, Bannon replied: “National Review and the Weekly Standard are both left-wing magazines, and I want to destroy them also.”

    Also highly disturbing:

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/12/energy-department-says-it-wont-give-trump-team-list-of-climate-change-staffers/

  78. crookedshoes #80
    Dec 31, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Akrid,
    I said it a long while back…. Trump is a schoolyard bully…
    And, do I think he is insane? No.

    I’m afraid that’s barely scratching the surface in terms of analysing Trump’s behaviour. Read these articles on how to identify a psychopath.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3379996/How-spot-psychopath-Expert-reveals-traits-look-charm-eccentricity-manipulation.html

    https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-know-if-someone-is-a-psychopath?redirected_qid=6229939

    Trump displays every characteristic in spades. He could not possibly be more classically psychopathic than if he’d also read the right books and was trying to appear like one. However what Trump doesn’t have is either the emotional maturity or the filters between thought and action that most people have to be able disguise his psychopathy.

    Psychopaths have to learn to mimic human emotions because they have none themselves and they have to learn by rote which things to say and not say because they have no sense of propriety. Trump kept slipping up during the campaign as in he preferred soldiers who didn’t get captured (McCain) and proper soldiers shouldn’t get PTSD. He only sees these things, and people, in terms of usefulness to him or not. Now someone has obviously had a word and he’s talking about how badly vets get treated but I doubt he has any real concern for them.

    I’m afraid that with Trump we don’t get a high functioning psychopath who has learned to use it and disguise it. We get a psychopathic 5 year old girl throwing a permanent vindictive temper tantrum who is completely unable to rise to the gravity of the office he’s just inherited. I no longer see any chance of this changing. He’s a now a vindictive 5 year old with almost unlimited power.

    This is a person who thrives on retribution and to whom no slight is small enough to just rise above it. It’s hard to know just how much damage he can do and whether the checks and balances in the system will have any ameliorating effect but I am not sanguine.

  79. Another reason: Conjecture: DJT needs something Bigger than 9/11, and he needs it in his first year, like GWB got.

    Only thing better than being President is being a Waaar President. Commander in Chief just doesn’t have that zing to it in “peacetime”.

    Get back to me this time next year, tell me I was wrong. Please.

  80. @OP – 5 Reasons a Trump Administration Should Scare the Sh*t Out of Anyone Who Cares About the Environment

    It seems that includes the more informed republicans!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38484730

    A leading US Republican says she fears for the future of her seven grandchildren with Donald Trump in the White House.

    Christine Todd Whitman, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under George W Bush, accused Mr Trump of ignoring compelling science.

    And she warned that his threat to scrap climate protection policies puts the world’s future at risk.

    Trump supporters say rules on climate and energy are stifling business.

    But Ms Todd Whitman says the US must find ways of promoting business without unduly harming the planet.

    Details of Mr Trump’s climate policy are not yet clear, but his team have talked about boosting coal, opening new oil pipelines, and allowing mining on public wilderness or drilling in the Arctic.

    On the political side, they have suggested quitting the global climate deal, scrapping President Obama’s clean power plan, and dismantling the US energy department along with the EPA itself

    She said: “I find it very worrisome that there seems to be a disdain for the science on protecting the environment.

    “I worry terribly for the future of my family and families round the world because Mother Nature has never observed geopolitical boundaries and what one country does really does affect another country.

    “To walk away from something where you have 97% of scientists saying this is occurring and people have an impact on it … it’s gotten to the point where we’ve got to try to slow it down if we’re going to survive it.”

    She argued that Mr Trump was betraying a Republican heritage of conservation. George Bush Snr signed the UN Framework Convention in Rio in 1992. Abraham Lincoln, she remarked, was the first president to protect public land and Richard Nixon established the EPA.

    “Conservation is inherently conservative,” she said. “I hope to be proven wrong by Mr Trump but you have so many multi-millionaires from the oil industry in his Cabinet.

    “We want to have power and be energy independent but the problem is doing it in a balanced way to protect health and the environment. But from Trump’s view it doesn’t seem to enter the equation.”

    Mr Trump’s picks for Cabinet posts have alarmed scientists. Several of them have cast doubt on climate science – although it is impossible to know exactly how they will act once in office.

    The nominee for Energy Secretary is former Texas governor Rick Perry, who has in the past argued for the abolition of the department he is about to lead.

    The choice for head of the EPA is Scott Pruitt, who wants to scrap the clean power programme which underpins America’s pledge to the UN to curb CO2 emissions.

    Mr Trump’s pick for Secretary of State is Rex Tillerson, head of oil giant Exxon Mobil, which is being investigated for allegedly misleading its shareholders over risks to the climate.

    Supporters say the EPA has been exceeding its powers and needs to be reined in.

    Nick Loris from the libertarian Heritage Foundation told BBC News: “Scott Pruitt has led the charge against an overly aggressive EPA – an agency that’s run wild, rampantly, with excessive regulations that are devoid of any meaningful environmental benefit.

    “He wants to return environmental protection down to the state level where a lot of our environmental challenges can better be solved,” he added.

    But Ms Todd Whitman said she hoped the new administration did not prove to be as extreme as it appeared at first sight.

    “Once he’s in office, Pruitt will find it’s a lot more complicated than they thought,” she said. “Hopefully they’ll be able to listen – and then start to moderate.

    “Regulation can go too far and there probably are regulations that have outlived their usefulness and need to be cut back to a degree… but to throw it all out…”

    The impact of Mr Trump on global climate policy is hard to predict. Immediately after the election result, China, the EU, the UK and Germany – along with many developing nations – reaffirmed their determination to stick to the deal agreed in Paris last year to curb emissions.

  81. Dan #93
    Jan 2, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    It sure ain’t looking good. Here’s something else: the GOP, behind closed doors, just gutted the Congressional ethics panel. Now they’ll be “policing themselves.”

    It looks like more deceptive use of semantics by fanatical right-wing liars, with more of their “Right is right” mantra, regardless of lies, fraud, cronyism, or legal or scientific evidence to the contrary!

    @your link! – But GOP Rep. Hal Rogers, the Appropriations Committee chairman, told reporters he backed the proposal because “it’s the right thing to do.”

    But GOP Rep. Hal Rogers, the Appropriations Committee chairman, told reporters he backed the proposal because “it’s the Right thing to do.”

  82. Dan #93
    Jan 2, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    It sure ain’t looking good. Here’s something else: the GOP, behind closed doors, just gutted the Congressional ethics panel.

    It now seems that this “liberation from ethics” has been blocked and reversed!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38499284

    Republicans are to drop a plan to gut the independent body that investigates political misconduct, after an outcry.

    President-elect Donald Trump had criticised Republicans after they voted to strip the Office of Congressional Ethics of its independence.

    “Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!” Mr Trump said in a tweet.

    The proposal was dropped in an emergency meeting at the new Congress, unnamed lawmakers told the US media.

    Mr Trump made cleaning up corruption in Washington a key theme of his campaign, and he ended his tweet with “#DTS”, an acronym for “drain the swamp”.

    Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan had argued unsuccessfully against the vote but on Tuesday he defended the proposal.

    “I want to make clear that this House will hold its members to the highest ethical standards and the Office will continue to operate independently to provide public accountability to Congress,” he said.

    Donald Trump’s tweets have teeth. The president-elect took to social media to express his displeasure with the move and within hours those legislative efforts were abandoned.

    The independent ethics investigators had been a source of discomfort for members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and there was significant interest in limiting their ability to conduct inquiries.

    Even after Mr Trump’s tweets, many congressional Republicans appeared reluctant to back down. House Speaker Paul Ryan, an initial opponent of the measure, issued a statement defending the change.

    That ended up being little comfort to the party rank and file, however, as pressure increased for them to bend to Mr Trump’s political will. In his first confrontation with congressional leadership, the president-elect displayed his dominance.

    Mr Trump now has a valuable talking point when discussions inevitably turn back to his own ethical questions, such as how he will handle potential conflicts of interest involving his sprawling business empire.

    He has made it a bit easier, at least for now, to claim he’s standing behind his drain-the-Washington-swamp campaign rhetoric.

    Senior Republican Congressmen Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy had urged their party to seek bipartisan support and to wait to push for the change later.

    But Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte submitted the proposal against the advice of his own party’s leaders.

    With comments on from Trump tax, healthcare, and “other things” (which look like disputing science), I don’t think this means that the Republicans are going to be taking any moral high ground anytime soon!

  83. Talking about Republicans and their close associates being “liberated from ethics”, I see that Trump’s buddy Farage has had one of his aides jailed in the US after they visited the Republican Convention!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38495175

    An aide to former UKIP leader Nigel Farage is facing up to 20 years in jail in the US after admitting to fraud.

    George Cottrell struck a plea bargain with prosecutors, who said he had agreed to launder money for undercover agents posing as drug traffickers.

    He was arrested in July as he and Mr Farage were preparing to return to the UK after the Republican convention.

    Mr Farage told ITV he was surprised by what had happened and had “never had any suspicions” about the volunteer.

    The MEP, who stood down as leader in November, told Good Morning Britain he could not be held responsible for “what everyone around me does”.

    UKIP says Cottrell was an unpaid volunteer during the EU referendum campaign and the offence dates from before he was directly involved in the party.

    After being caught in an FBI sting operation earlier this year, Cottrell – who is in his 20s – faced 21 counts relating to money laundering, fraud, blackmail and extortion.

    These were reduced to one count of wire fraud as part of a plea agreement agreed with prosecutors in Arizona last month.

    In the plea bargain, Cottrell states he and an associate known as Banker communicated with the “traffickers” in 2014 and talked about ways that “criminal proceeds” could be laundered by transferring large sums of money out of the US and disguising them as “legitimate business income for tax purposes”.

    In the document, Cottrell – who posed as a “financier” on the internet – says: “I falsely claimed that I would launder the criminal proceeds through my bank accounts for a fee. Rather than launder any of the money, though, Banker and I intended to retain the money.”

    Cottrell was subsequently arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare airport in July en route back to Britain after accompanying Mr Farage to the Republic convention in Cleveland, where the British politician spoke at a rally for Donald Trump.

    Cottrell’s uncle, Lord Hesketh, is a former hereditary peer, who worked for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher before losing his seat in the Lords in 1999 as a result of the House of Lords Act.

    The peer later defected to UKIP.

  84. Alan4discussion #95
    Jan 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    It now seems that this “liberation from ethics” has been blocked and reversed!

    What we’re now starting to see is why sometimes it pays to be very careful what you wish for. The Republicans gambled on just obstructing everything Obama tried to do for 8 years in the hope that the American electorate, being generally so low information and so prone to voting against their own interests, would blame the Dems for not achieving as much as they wanted and forget it was the Repubs who actually stymied everything. It worked. They’re back in office with majorities in both houses. Now what was sauce for the goose for 8 years is now going to be sauce for the gander and it’s starting to implode very quickly.

    Now they’re stuck with a President who wants to govern in messages of 140 characters or less which just about fits his limited attention span and intellect. The Repubs can also no longer just rail against everything Obama did without coming up with something better. They can’t.

    The Repubs decide to gut the ethics committee after Trump bases much of his campaign on draining the swamp. Stupid move but Trump’s surrogate Barbiedoll Conway goes on tv defending the move just before Trump tweets he doesn’t like it. Oh dear. Barbie doll and silly hair clearly not on the same page here which looks like either they don’t talk much or Trump changed his mind in a split second thereby throwing her under the bus.

    Now the Repubs have come up with a 10 year budget resolution which starts off with an annual deficit of $583 billion in 2017 rising to over £1 trillion in 2026 for a total increase in the National Debt of $7.9 trillion over ten years! Suddenly they’re finding it’s not so easy to put a budget together with huge tax cuts for the rich on one side and huge infrastructure and defence spending on the other that still balances in the middle. The easy bit was sitting on the sidelines attacking Obama’s debt increase for the last few years, most of which though was forced on him by Bush tax cuts, two wars and a recession.

    Now we’re also seeing why Silly Hair doesn’t get many security briefings. It’s not because “I’m a really smart guy, I don’t need to be told the same thing every day”. It’s because he’s too dumb to get the briefing dates right. He’s also too dumb to check his dates before firing off on Twitter about it. So now he’s not just pissed off the security services even more than in the last few weeks, he’s revealing constantly just how stupid and impulsive he really is.

    With a president who is a compulsive liar, not very smart, not at all capable of keeping his own people on message, changes his mind and the message every five minutes anyway and a congress completely unable to think of anything that’s actually better than Obamacare or a budget that balances it’s heading for an internal civil war. Maybe the Dems don’t need to do much more than keep giving them more rope and they’ll hang themselves anyway.

  85. Holy crackers. Exxon Mobil are planning to give Rex Tillerson a $180 million resignation pay off if he’s appointed Secretary of State. Of course I’m sure he’ll give them no special privileges in return like easy access to the Russian oil fields he’ll be discussing with Putin soon.

    Trump meanwhile could benefit by billions just from the tax cuts he’s proposing which mainly benefit guess who? Ummm him. Still chicken feed though compared to the hundreds of billions he’s going to make when his family are esconsed in Russian oil interests rather than property. He’s going to rape this presidency for all it’s worth, wait and see.

  86. Arkrid Sandwich #98
    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Holy crackers. Exxon Mobil are planning to give Rex Tillerson a $180 million resignation pay off if he’s appointed Secretary of State. Of course I’m sure he’ll give them no special privileges in return like easy access to the Russian oil fields he’ll be discussing with Putin soon.

    Talking of Putin and trump . . . . . .

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38521503

    A top US intelligence official says the reason why Russia allegedly meddled in the US election will be revealed in a report published next week.

    Director of National Intelligence General James Clapper told Congress the motive of Russian President Vladimir Putin would be revealed.

    Intelligence agencies say the Kremlin ordered the hack of Democratic emails.

    Russia has denied involvement but the US has announced sanctions against Russian officials.

    A report on foreign meddling in US elections was given to President Barack Obama on Thursday.

    President-elect Mr Trump is to be briefed on the report on Friday and the unclassified version will be made public next week.

    Top US intelligence officials were giving testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee investigating the alleged interference.

    In their assessment, Moscow interfered to help Republican Donald Trump win against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    Asked by a congressman if they “will ascribe a motivation to Putin”, Mr Clapper replied “yes, we will ascribe motivation”.

    In joint testimony prepared for the hearing, officials said Russia had an advanced cyber programme that posed a major threat to a wide range of US interests.

    “Russia is a full-scope cyber actor that poses a major threat to US government, military, diplomatic, commercial and critical infrastructure,” the testimony said.

    It was written by Mr Clapper, Marcel Lettre, Undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, and Admiral Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency.

    Senator McCain, in opening the session, reminded the panel that they were not there to “question the outcome of the presidential election”.

    Mr Trump has repeatedly rejected allegations that the Russian government hacked into the computers of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, and the servers of the Democratic National Committee.

    On Thursday, he said he was a “big fan” of intelligence agencies, after months of casting doubt on the Russian link.

    Last week he said he would announce information about hacking “on Tuesday or Wednesday”, however no announcement came.

    Isn’t a “big fan” a device for moving large volumes of hot air? 🙂

  87. Meanwhile – fresh from Trump’s usual knee-jerk “foot-in-mouth” pronouncements on election email hacking, BEFORE his intelligence services security briefing giving him any evidence based information: –

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38524644

    The US Congress is exploring ways to pay for a southern border wall, with payment to be sought from Mexico later.

    President-elect Donald Trump made building a wall, paid for by the US neighbour, a central campaign pledge.

    The businessman sparked a storm of disapproval in 2015 when he said Mexico was sending criminals and rapists north to the US through a porous border.

    In a tweet on Friday, he lashed out at the “dishonest media” for saying taxpayers would foot the bill.

    “Any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!”

    Mr Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, insisted on Friday morning that the plan to seek reimbursement from Mexico after paying US money up-front “doesn’t mean he’s broken his promise”.

    “I think he’s going to continue to talk to them (the Mexican government) about that,” he told ABC News.

    Congressional Republicans confirmed they have the legal authorisation to build the wall under the Secure Fence Act passed by former president George W Bush in 2006.

    But to ensure they have the funding, they may seek to add billions of dollars to the government’s spending bill – which needs to pass by 28 April to keep the federal government open.

    Democrats may oppose that spending, risking a government shutdown.

    Voters won’t care – Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

    At Donald Trump’s campaign rallies, his supporters loved when their man asked who was going to pay for his border wall. “Mexico!” they shouted in unison.

    It made for powerful political theatre – a shared moment between candidate and voter. But polls indicated that few Americans, even Trump backers, actually believed Mexico would foot the bill.

    Now it appears their lack of confidence was well-founded. Getting any kind of a border wall built – let alone the “big, beautiful” structure Mr Trump envisions – will be a political grind. If it requires a diplomatic battle with Mexico before the first brick is laid, the chances of success would dwindle.

    The practical course was always to build first, then deal with Mexico.

    Political writer Salena Zito once observed that Trump’s supporters take their man seriously but not literally, while his media critics do the opposite.
    Trump voters may not mind if Mexico doesn’t pay, as long as the president-elect takes border security seriously.

    Mexico’s president and senior officials have said that they will not pay for the wall, despite Mr Trump’s campaign pledge.

    But Republican Congressman Chris Collins said he has no doubt the Mexican government will end up paying.

  88. Did someone say they thought/hoped Trump could change his mind in the face of reason or evidence???

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38532700

    Hacking had no effect on the outcome of the US election, President-elect Donald Trump has said after a meeting with intelligence chiefs.
    However, Mr Trump said he would ask for a plan within 90 days of taking office on how to stop cyber-attacks.

    US intelligence chiefs believe Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails to damage Hillary Clinton.

    But hours before the briefing, Mr Trump dismissed the claims as a “political witch-hunt” by his opponents.

    He told the New York Times that US institutions had been the target of previous hacking attacks, but they had not received the same media attention as the alleged intrusions during the election campaign.

    Later, Mr Trump described the briefing at Trump Tower by National Intelligence Director Gen James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey as “constructive”.

    In a statement he declined to single out Russia and said he had “tremendous respect for the work and service done” by those in the US intelligence community.

    “While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organisations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”

    @OP – When you deeply want something to be true, that’s when you have to question it the most.

    SEE! There was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election – The Lord High Trump has pronounced it to be so, so that must be right! 🙂
    (Who needs intelligence services, evidence, statisticians, poll data, or voting records?)

  89. Arkrid,

    Good post.

    There are a lot more of these financial conflicts of interest that you mentioned. I can’t keep up with them.

    Alan,

    Good post (99)

    A lot of reasons why Russia had a stake in this election and others in Europe and the UK. Can hardly keep up with that either. I heard something about Putin having a vested interest Scotland’s independence; it has something to do with nukes. Know anything about that? I’ll look it up. Okay. Done.
    http://thebulletin.org/scottish-independence-could-leave-uk-nuclear-weapons-homeless7395

  90. Dan #102
    Jan 6, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    I heard something about Putin having a vested interest Scotland’s independence; it has something to do with nukes.
    Know anything about that?

    @ your link – If moving Trident nuclear weapons to England would be that much of an ordeal, only one realistic alternative exists. That would be to place them in Kings Bay, Georgia, in the United States, where Britain already stores and maintains some nuclear warheads, thereby disarming the British Isles altogether. But this situation wouldn’t really be necessary. Multiple analysts—including Malcolm Chalmers of the respected think tank the Royal United Services Institute and Francis Tusa of the newsletter Defence Analysis—have suggested that the entire Trident system could be moved to England relatively quickly and at an affordable cost. So why is the Ministry of Defence arguing that any move would be catastrophic? The answer is simple: politics.

    The UK Government is not encouraging the Ministry of Defence to acknowledge or publish a backup plan for independence because it is sticking with its policy of “no pre-negotiations.” This might be a good line for those opposed to the Scottish National Party, but talking points are not enough for the severity of any situation involving nuclear weapons. It is almost laughable that the government of one of the most powerful nations on Earth is trying to dismiss its opposition by keeping the fate of some of the most powerful weapons on Earth uncertain.

    The UK nuclear submarine base is in Scotland, so if Scotland became independent, there would be questions about who was in charge of the weapons – with the Westminster (in London) and Scottish (in Edinburgh) governments playing politics.

    http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/where-we-are/naval-base/clyde
    HM Naval Base Clyde – commonly known throughout the Navy as Faslane – is the Royal Navy’s main presence in Scotland.
    It is home to the core of the Submarine Service, including the nation’s nuclear deterrent, and the new generation of hunter-killer submarines.
    The Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport, 8 miles from Faslane, is responsible for the storage, processing, maintenance and issue of key elements of the UK’s Trident Deterrent Missile System and the ammunitioning of all submarine embarked weapons.

  91. Putin was behind the hacks and interfered with the election.

    Trump and his team are liars: They said “no evidence that the election outcome was affected.” The report had no comment on that. They merely established proof of hacking and interference, which was extensive.

    Horrifying. Beyond serious.

  92. The unclassified part of the report has now been made public – but Trump is still in denial of the effects of the campaign!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38538002

    Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to help Donald Trump win the presidential election, a US intelligence report says.

    The unclassified report says the Russian leader “ordered” a campaign aimed at influencing the election.

    Moscow has not commented, but Russia has previously denied the claims.

    After being briefed on the findings, Mr Trump stopped short of accusing Russia of interfering, saying only that the election outcome was not affected.

    Mr Trump later went on to blame “gross negligence” by the Democratic National Committee for “allowing” the hacking to take place.

    Following the report’s findings, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that voting machines and other election databases would be classified as “critical infrastructure” and given more protection from cyber-attacks.

    The 25-page report says that the Kremlin developed a “clear preference” for Mr Trump.

    Russia’s goals, the document added, were to “undermine public faith” in the US democratic process and “denigrate” his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton, harming her electability and potential presidency.

    The unclassified version contained no detailed evidence of Mr Putin’s alleged role, but it said Russia’s actions included:

    Hacking into the email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and top Democrats;
    Using intermediaries such as WikiLeaks, DCLeaks.com and Guccifer 2.0 persona to release the information acquired from the hackings;
    Using state-funded propaganda and paying social media users or “trolls” to make nasty comments

    The report says Mr Putin liked Mr Trump because he had vowed to work with Russia and the Russian leader had had “many positive experiences working with Western political leaders whose business interests made them more disposed to deal with Russia, such as former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder”.

    In contrast, Mr Putin had blamed Mrs Clinton for inciting anti-government protests in 2011 and early 2012 “and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him”.

    The identities of the Russian agents allegedly directly responsible for the hack are known to US authorities but have not been released publicly, reports say, citing intelligence sources.

    The document, a cut-down version of the classified report presented to President Barack Obama on Thursday, was released shortly after intelligence chiefs briefed Mr Trump on their findings.

  93. Of course there are probably good legal reasons why Trump is in denial or foreign influences affecting the election result!

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/29/trump-campaign-donations-foreign-politicians

    Trump campaign may have broken law by seeking foreign political donations

    Watchdog groups will lodge a complaint alleging his campaign violated federal rules by soliciting money from politicians in Scotland, Australia and Iceland

    Donald Trump’s campaign has been asking foreign politicians for donations to help make America great again – possibly violating federal election rules in the process.

    On Wednesday, two campaign finance watchdog groups, the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, said they will lodge a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that Trump’s campaign has violated federal law by soliciting donations from politicians in Scotland, Australia and Iceland, among others.

    “Donald Trump should have known better,” said Paul S Ryan, deputy executive director of Campaign Legal Center. “It is a no-brainer that it violates the law to send fundraising emails to members of a foreign government on their official foreign government email accounts, and yet, that’s exactly what Trump has done repeatedly.”

    The Federal Election Campaign Act prohibits “any foreign national from contributing, donating, or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly. It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them.”

    The complaint argues that the Trump campaign has “knowingly and illegally” solicited donations from the foreign nationals. It includes several references to media reports of politicians receiving fundraising emails, including a number of members of parliament in Iceland and Australia as well as the 54 members of the Scottish National party and UK House of Commons.

    “This whole matter is very perplexing. The letter left me speechless,” Katrín Jakobsdóttir, head of the Left Green party and a recipient of one of the emails, was quoted as saying in Iceland magazine.

    Similarly, other recipients across the globe expressed confusion and even offense that they had been targeted as a potential donor.

    (Also:- See the comments on the link)

  94. I think it’s time to abandon any hope that Trump will ever rise to the gravity of the office. I clung to this for a while, hope against hope, stupid me perhaps, but it’s not to be apparently. As he wastes precious time gloating childishly at Schwarzenegger for not beating his Apprentice ratings, lambasts Toyota for daring to go about their own personal business as a foreign company which is none of his bloody concern and not build every car plant they’re thinking about in the USA, denies that Russia affected the election, insults and demeans the intelligence agencies whose people risk, and sometimes lose, their lives trying to keep his country safe, consorts with mobsters, sells access to himself for a handful of silver, refuses to divest himself of conflicts of interest, fills his cabinet with deplorables, puts foreign countries on what might be near as dammit a war footing before he’s even in office, lies and lies and just keeps fucking lying, – I think we have to admit defeat in the hope for any sanity. I thought Bush was dangerous but Trump is like a blowtorch in a fuel depot.

    A petulant child with no morals, no ethics, no common sense and no compassion now holds the keys to the kingdom. To those who voted for him, I hope you get everything you wished for. You stupid, short sighted, low information, zero critical thinking, gullible religious nutters.

  95. Arkrid Sandwich #108
    Jan 7, 2017 at 9:37 am

    @ # 107 – The complaint argues that the Trump campaign has “knowingly and illegally” solicited donations from the foreign nationals.
    It includes several references to media reports of politicians receiving fundraising emails, including a number of members of parliament in Iceland and Australia as well as the 54 members of the Scottish National party and UK House of Commons.

    . . . . and the gullibles are chanting “Lock HER up!” over emails illegally stolen by foreign cyber criminals from the Democrats, while Trump plays the victim, and blames the victims of the hacks for the activity of the hackers!

    Re. #107 – I think there needs to be an investigation into if Trump sent Putin emails inviting illegal (clandestine?) activity to support HIS campaign!

    To those who voted for him, I hope you get everything you wished for.
    You stupid, short sighted, low information, zero critical thinking, gullible religious nutters.

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Joseph_de_Maistre

    Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre (1 April 1753 – 26 February 1821)
    Letter 76, on the topic of Russia’s new constitutional laws (27 August 1811); published in Lettres et Opuscules.
    The English translation has several variations, including “Every country has the government it deserves” and “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.”
    The quote is popularly misattributed to better-known commentators such as Alexis de Tocqueville and Abraham Lincoln.

  96. “To those who voted for him, I hope you get everything you wished for. You stupid, short sighted, low information, zero critical thinking, gullible religious nutters.”

    That should be on the front page of the NY Times.

  97. It’s not that he denied that Russia affected the outcome of the election, Arkrid; he has denied Russian interference for months, and after the report was released he lied and said that the report indicated that the outcome was “absolutely not affected.” The Intelligence investigation did not indicate that, stated that it did not seek to establish any conclusion about that. But in addition to that lie, Trump and his surrogates are still unwilling to publicly acknowledge that Russia engaged in cyber warfare, interfered with the election, and wanted him to win.

    It is now known that the Russians celebrated his victory.

  98. Alan!

    “. . . . and the gullibles are chanting “Lock HER up!” over emails illegally stolen by foreign cyber criminals from the Democrats…”

    This is news to me. Is there evidence that this happened too? I’m confused. Are these the emails that Hillary’s enemies said she herself destroyed, or others? Both? The email “scandal/trust” issue was a huge factor in the election.

  99. Dan #112
    Jan 7, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    “. . . . and the gullibles are chanting “Lock HER up!” over emails illegally stolen by foreign cyber criminals from the Democrats…”

    I was referring to the chanting of “Lock her up” by Trump supporters, over the earlier “investigations” which cleared her of wrong-doing! They may have stopped chanting by now but seem stuck on the false notion according to some reports in December.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-supporters-rally-lock-her-up-chant-republican-thank-you-tour-ohio-prosecute-hillary-a7452456.html

    Donald Trump supporters still chanting ‘lock her up’ during his ‘thank you’ tour
    When asked about their spat on CBS the next morning, Mr Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway replied: “I think some people are stuck in a permanent campaign.”

    Yet Mr Trump’s supporters – some of whom are still stuck on the idea of Ms Clinton’s impending doom – are likely to be disappointed.

  100. A bunch of crooks! Look at this. Monica Crowley, one of Trump’s appointees, committed an egregious act of plagiarism, as you can see here. (Proof provided below.)

    “The Trump transition team says any attempt to discredit Crowley “is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country.

    Crowley is also one of these wacky conspiracy theorists, said Obama was not really black.

    Liars!!! Crooks!! They won’t be held accountable for anything!!

    http://money.cnn.com/interactive/news/kfile-trump-monica-crowley-plagiarized-multiple-sources-2012-book/

  101. What I find extraordinary about this Putin thing is that Trump campaigned on “make America great again” but even before he’s taken office he’s done more to make America weak than any president I can think of. As he aligns himself with Putin, refuses to acknowledge Russian wrongdoing, trumpets Assange over his own intelligence agencies it becomes harder to accept that he even holds American interests foremost. In fact it gets closer day by day to wondering if this is in fact treasonous on the face of it. Nevermind the actual facts about who hacked whom, it behoves the President or president elect to unwaveringly support his own people and their national interests above those of any foreign power, let alone an unfriendly one.

    What is now going to happen is several fold. Friendly foreign nations like the UK are going to become very wary about sharing future intelligence with the USA if it isn’t even certain that their president is not just a Russian puppet and might be sending that intelligence straight to Putin. That might sound far fetched but as I’ve said before, I believe Trump is a full blown psychopath with zero normal emotions and only considers his own interests and his own pocket. I don’t actually find it that far fetched that he might place the potential hundreds of billions of dollars his family could earn getting esconsed with Russian oil over and above any concern he has for the USA, if he even has the slightest such concern.

    Secondly we have to assume the American intelligence services are thinking the same thing as above. Do they continue to tell the White House everything they know if A) it’s just going to get ignored or even worse B) it gets sent to Putin.

    Do they even continue to put their operatives in harm’s way to glean intelligence that gets treated like this?
    Do the operatives continue to volunteer to be put in harm’s way for a president who might be a traitor?

    What we might see in time is a two tier political and security system. The actual administration which no one trusts and the security services and military working behind the scenes to try and keep America safe even if that means cutting out or bypassing Trump and his cabinet. Maybe in fact those services, foreign as well as domestic, might feel they can only work with trusted Democrats like Schumer, Dean and perhaps some Republicans like McCain but all on the downlow.

    This is very scary stuff. I would go so far as to say Trump has already crippled America’s standing in world affairs. If I were say the British prime minister I would already no longer trust him or any of his cabinet.

  102. Arkrid Sandwich #115
    Jan 9, 2017 at 1:38 am

    What is now going to happen is several fold. Friendly foreign nations like the UK are going to become very wary about sharing future intelligence with the USA if it isn’t even certain that their president is not just a Russian puppet and might be sending that intelligence straight to Putin. . . . . .. . .

    If I were say the British prime minister I would already no longer trust him or any of his cabinet.

    In a media self aggrandisement proclamation of his “wonderful choices” , Trump has been claiming his cabinet is the best ever!
    The delusion is strong in this one!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37999969

    Rex Tillerson, who was described by Mr Trump as “a world-class player”, runs the world’s most valuable, publicly traded oil company.

    The head of Exxon Mobil is known for his close ties with Vladimir Putin; in 2013, the Kremlin gave the Texan an Order of Friendship award.

    Republicans and Democrats have questioned Mr Tillerson’s links to the Russian president, which could make for a bumpy ride in his Senate confirmation hearing.

  103. Alan4discussion #116
    Jan 11, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    In a media self aggrandisement proclamation of his “wonderful choices” , Trump has been claiming his cabinet is the best ever!
    The delusion is strong in this one!

    Tillerson and Sessions have both been forced to contradict Trump on several points under questioning so far including on nuclear proliferation and immigration controls for muslims. This will no doubt not go down well with a autocrat like Trump but if you espouse insane views it’s pretty hard to get all your people to parrot them, especially when they’re seeking the approval of others.

    Meanwhile the Republicans, like jellyfish floating in the current, are waiting to see which way the wind blows about Trump. While he’s strong they’re desperately trying to hitch their horses to his wagon but if the tide starts to turn they’ll desert him like rats fleeing a sinking ship. “Little” Marco Rubio has some axes to grind after being humiliated in the primaries and he in particular gave Tillerson a hard time.

    Trump meanwhile continues to make it clear that nothing he’s ever said can be relied on as true. He’s not going to release his tax returns, not going to divest himself properly of any conflicts of interest and not going to stop doing deals after just boasting about discussing a $2 billion one with Dubai and claiming he could run the country and continue to run his businesses at the same time.

    He’s about to learn a hard lesson. So far in most of his life he’s been used to being in absolute charge of everyone he deals with but as he pisses off the intelligence community, the press, powerful foreign nations and members of congress, not to mention the electorate, there will come a time when the worm turns. Ladbrokes are quoting the odds of him surviving his first term without resigning or being impeached as only about evens now.

    https://sports.ladbrokes.com/en-gb/betting/politics/american/specials/donald-trump-specials/222881036/

    That’s unprecedented to an extraordinary degree and we can only assume the odds will shorten still further given his behaviour.

    No one wants to perform at his inauguration, his approval ratings are the lowest in history for an incumbent and the realisation of what they’ve done must surely be starting to sink in to those who voted for him.

    All this before he’s even in office but soon he’s indeed going to be appointed Potus (Psychopath of the United States) and then we’ll see.

  104. Good one, Arkrid.

    On top of everything else, the lying is very troublesome. Lying is a very effective form of treachery. He lies and lies and so do all of his spokespeople. His team is a conniving bunch of liars.

    The Russian connection looks awfully suspicious. Not treason. No war going on. I would say that Trump has almost committed treason, by giving “aid and comfort” to the Russian hackers (our “enemies” in this situation), and presumably to the Kremlin and Putin himself, by downplaying the whole thing.

    And look at this. (Democracy Now is one of the best independent news programs we have right now.)

    https://www.democracynow.org/2016/12/12/could_massive_russian_oil_deal_with

    One of the enormous deals that Vladimir Putin and Rex Tillerson worked on was a $500 billion oil exploration partnership between Exxon and the Russian government’s oil company, Rosneft. The Obama administration blocked the deal when it imposed sanctions against Russia for its intervention in the Ukraine. In a recent column for ThinkProgress titled “Trump, Putin, and ExxonMobil team up to destroy the planet,” Joe Romm, founding editor of Climate Progress, writes, “This deal could explain why Putin appears to have interfered in U.S. elections in favor of a Trump victory.” Romm goes on to say, “if the sanctions are lifted—something a new Secretary of State could help make happen—it would pay off big time for Exxon. … Imagine … if the oil giant is freed to produce and sell oil on the staggering 63.7 million acres of Russian land it leases, which is over 5 times the amount of land it leases in this country. Happy days are here again, for Exxon.”

  105. Dan #118
    Jan 12, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    On top of everything else, the lying is very troublesome. Lying is a very effective form of treachery. He lies and lies and so do all of his spokespeople. His team is a conniving bunch of liars.

    The Russian connection looks awfully suspicious.

    He also seems to be acting as a magnet for foreign right-wing nutty fringe politicians!

    First it was meeting Farage before members of the UK government, now Le Pen has been seen in Trump Tower!
    Maybe it is just a publicity stunt on her part!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38600560

    France’s far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has been seen visiting Trump Tower in New York.

    She declined to say whether she was there to see President-elect Donald Trump but the Trump team said there would be “no meetings”.

    Ms Le Pen is currently one of the top candidates for the first round of voting in April, opinion polls suggest.

    The National Front leader has called Mr Trump’s election “an additional stone in the building of a new world”.

    Ms Le Pen was seen with three men in the cafe. Agence France-Presse identified one as her partner, Louis Aliot, the National Front’s (FN) vice-president.

    Ms Le Pen also declined to answer when asked whether her visit was personal or professional.

    But when asked if she would speak to pool journalists later, one of her associates said “OK”.

    Trump team spokesperson Hope Hicks told reporters: “She is not meeting with anyone from our team.”

    Sean Spicer, who will be Mr Trump’s press secretary, re-tweeted a post by CNN’s Noah Gray that Ms Le Pen would not be meeting Mr Trump or anyone from the transition team, adding “Trump Tower is open to the Public”.

    Ms Le Pen’s campaign manager had earlier said she would not be meeting Mr Trump on her visit to New York.

    Ms Le Pen has herself referred to her trip as “private”.

    Unconfirmed reports suggest the man to Ms Le Pen’s right in the photo is Guido “George” Lombardi.

    He lives in Trump Tower, has links to a number of right-wing European parties and says he is an adviser to the Trump team, according to Politico.

    Marine Le Pen is the daughter of ex-FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, a convicted racist. She has denounced her father’s comments and has sought to distance herself from such toxic issues as Holocaust denial.

  106. Trump & Putin will ensure that each PROFITS from the next few years, why would anybody fail to see that capitalist icons will just feather their nests…..and the world will keep spinning….

  107. Finally, someone in the Trump team admits you can’t believe what comes out of his mouth. In an interview with CNN, Trump’s surrogate Barbiedoll Conway tried to defend his mocking of a disabled reporter and finally in desperation started whining why don’t you believe what’s in his heart rather than what comes out of his mouth? Well ta for that miss nutjob and let’s hope it comes back to haunt you many times over. So now we know that only psychics can interpret Trump properly as what he actually says A) doesn’t represent what he supposedly believes and B) can’t be taken as true.

    Of course we all know this anyway although I see no evidence that Trump actually has a heart for psychics or otherwise to look into even if they could. I imagine there’s some sort of shrivelled blackened organ in there where the rest of us have a heart but that’s about it.

    Meanwhile Rachel Maddow graphically portrayed just how big Exxon’s interests in Russia are. 63 million acres of leased land ripe for oil exploration (nearly 6 times what they have in the USA and 9 times what they have in Canada) which was all stymied when the USA banned such exploration under sanctions against Russia. As soon as those are lifted it’s drill baby drill and Tillerson, Trump and Putin become insanely filthy rich.

    No doubt there are lawyers and accountants busy at this very moment trying to work out the mechanics of how Trump can line his pockets without getting impeached too quickly. I anticipate that it will be his two sons Uday and Qusay who will run such enterprises until Trump leaves office so let’s see how long it takes them to set up an oil exploration company that can partner with Exxon and Russian oil once Trump has lifted the sanctions and syphon off a slice of the revenues.

  108. I begin to feel the start of a tipping point coming. Nothing concrete but my spidey sense is tingling mildly. Trump has just launched an attack on Congressman John Lewis, the last surviving speaker from the 1963 march on Washington led by Martin Luther King. Lewis is a hero of the civil rights movement. This is a man who was beaten by police for daring to be an uppity nigger and shed blood for his convictions. After Lewis stated that Trump is not a bona fide president, Trump tweeted that Lewis is all talk talk talk but no action and congressman for a “horrible” district.

    You don’t tell a man who marched to Washington to try and get blacks equal rights, and shed blood in the process, that he’s just talk and no action.

    Trump insulted the “Blue Star” Khan family who lost a son in Iraq. He parodied and ridiculed a disabled reporter. He called the greatest actress of our modern generation “overrated”. To ridicule Lewis though, a goddamn genyouwhine hero to millions, is something he’s going to come to regret though. This I feel is his step too far. The tide will now start to turn. There are still a few sane Republicans in congress and they will be starting to realise this man has no limits and get a sense of just how much damage he is capable of.

  109. Arkrid Sandwich #122
    Jan 15, 2017 at 4:47 am

    If you look at records, Trump’s response to any criticism of his ill-considered, irrational, and reckless outbursts/decisions, is an ad-hominem attack on the critic!
    He does not do “constructive evidence based debate”!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/12/climate-change-skeptic-to-head-epa-mcmorris-rodgers-as-interior-secretary/#li-comment-216230
    A series of colourfully-written letters sent by Donald Trump to then-Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has been published in full for the first time.

  110. Alan4discussion #123
    Jan 15, 2017 at 6:05 am

    If you look at records, Trump’s response to any criticism of his ill-considered, irrational, and reckless outbursts/decisions, is an ad-hominem attack on the critic!

    I have little doubt that if Jesus himself were to actually be real and come back to earth and declared that he didn’t support Trump then Trump would tweet “Just another Clinton stooge. The miracles were fake. So overrated. Sad!”

  111. Trump has just launched an attack on Congressman John Lewis…

    Arkrid, shocking tweets from the twit is a red flag to look around at what is actually happening.

    Of course, with the Orange Julius, it could be any number of things: repeal of the ACA, the inauguration, his golden shower episodes, the juvenile press conference, or the confirmation of his yes-men.

  112. It seems he is being warned, that once in the office of president, the knee-jerk blitherings must cease!
    It remains to be seen if Trump is any more inclined to listen to expert advice than he has been previously!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38630016

    Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan has warned US President-elect Donald Trump to avoid off-the-cuff remarks once he takes office.

    He said spontaneity was not in the interests of national security.

    Mr Trump is known for regularly making broad pronouncements on issues of national importance on his Twitter feed.

    Mr Brennan also said that Mr Trump did not fully appreciate Russia’s capabilities or intentions.

    “I think Mr Trump has to understand that absolving Russia of various actions that it’s taken in the past number of years is a road that he, I think, needs to be very, very careful about moving down,” he said.

    Mr Brennan’s remarks, in an interview for Fox News Sunday, come a week after the release of a US intelligence report which said Russian President Vladimir Putin had likely attempted to influence the election.

    Mr Trump is considered to have underplayed for months the conclusions of the intelligence community that Moscow hacked Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He only accepted them at a news conference on Wednesday.

    Mr Brennan said “talking and tweeting” was not an option for Mr Trump, who takes office next Friday.

    “Spontaneity is not something that protects national security interests and so therefore when he speaks or when he reacts, just make sure he understands that the implications and impact on the United States could be profound,” he said.

    “It’s more than just about Mr Trump. It’s about the United States of America.”

    The CIA director also took Mr Trump to task for accusing the intelligence services of leaking an unverified dossier which suggests Russian security officials have compromising material on him, which could make him vulnerable to blackmail.

    “What I do find outrageous is equating the intelligence community with Nazi Germany,” he said, referring to a tweet by Mr Trump last Wednesday.

    “There is no basis for Mr Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for leaking information that was already available publicly.”

  113. Wonderful stuff from Saturday Night Live this weekend as usual. Alec Baldwin’s portayal is going to go down in history of course but I especially liked the bit later in the show about Trump’s sons Uday and Qusay with the greased back 1980’s hair and vacant looks and whether when you look at them you wonder if they ever stood at the top of a deep hole and said “It puts the lotion in the basket!” I wouldn’t rule it out.

  114. “It puts the lotion in the basket!”

    Ha-ha, I wonder how many will get that one? That gruesome twosome seem to sum up their father perfectly: extreme misplaced narcissism coupled with extreme vacuousness.

  115. All great comments (119-127).

    I suspect that the tweets are designed, in part, to distract the TV news media (a bunch of gleeful, corporate stenographers, for the most part) – and they’re playing right into his hands. They’re forever talking about his tweets. The tweeting are worth discussing – especially the really inappropriate ones; but each individual tweet is given undue attention by CNN and MSNBC, at the expense of discussion of real issues and dangers, like the ones Vicki mentioned.

    Arkrid, I heard that loathsome lady Kellyanne say that too. She knows “what’s in his heart.” He wasn’t mocking the disabled reporter and rile up the mob. Oh no. He wouldn’t do that.

    What’s particularly frightening is that Trump and his surrogates, his whole team, are liars. They are all liars! I think Trump is basically an authoritarian autocrat. If he could he would abolish all opposition, dissent, oversight. Total control without any accountability, is what he is aiming for, and one lie after another.

    Look how he’s dealing with the press and what he’s saying about our own intelligence! He is a neo fascist – and that is THE TRUTH!

    Arkrid, I don’t think SNL or even Bill Maher is helping. I have suggested a moratorium on ridicule and satire on TV. It feeds into the illusion of normalization. This is a bloody crisis! Not a joke. Ha-ha-ha-ha….

  116. This week is going to be a firecracker. Is there enough momentum to stop the Great Pumpkin from taking over the White House.
    Is the DOJ going to file charges? Is the Pumpkin going to be in violation of laws as soon as he is sworn in?
    Does the Trump like pee?
    I can’t watch, the tension is deafening. (sorry Dan, its how I deal with insanity)

  117. Yes, Vicki, but it is horrible that they are going after the office of government ethics director – for doing his job! We have to rely on Dan Rather now for oversight? Better than nothing; but how much can an ex-news anchorman and Robert Reich do?

    How many people read The Nation? How many people watch Rachel Maddow?

    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/314109-oversight-panel-requests-interview-with-ethics-chief-who-criticized-trumps

    Trump is an autocrat and is trying to silence opposition, even if it comes from the CIA. (Confuse, divide, and conquer.) He and his accomplices will continue to lie and distort – and destroy. Very disturbing

    Alf, I joke around too; I just think that all this ridicule on TV gets us nowhere. They all need to get serious for once in their damned lives.

    Hi, Steven.

  118. @Dan

    I’ve added Riech, Rather, Maher, PBS and now Maddow to my social news feed. Getting the information prepares me for debates online. I do not think we can wait for someone else to fight Trump for us.

  119. I have just been watching two fascinating programmes on British television!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/0/tv-guide-tv-tonight/

    Monday 16 January
    Dispatches: President Trump’s Dirty Secrets

    Channel 4, 8.00pm

    Channel 4 have been studying the Trump phenomenon for some time now, with last year’s documentaries including President Trump: Can He Really Win?, The Mad World of Donald Trump and The World According to President Trump. As his inauguration approaches, on Friday afternoon UK time, the time for speculation is almost over, but before he’s sworn in, Trump is subjected to one last examination at the hands of the Dispatches team. Can his promises to “drain the swamp”, fight corruption and rein in special interests in Washington DC withstand scrutiny of a cabinet heavy with gas and oil tycoons, the vast majority of them lacking any legislative or governmental experience?

    Reporter Antony Barnett will be attempting to find out, talking to a key Trump adviser and weighing up Trump’s previously stated goals to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement on climate change. Energy strategy, it seems, may be one of the more unlikely issues to dominate the Trump presidency.

    It seems that Trump has has “drained the slurry from the swamp” of coal, oil, “Heritage” and climate-change-denial sponsorship, right into the White House, and into his cabinet!

    If you can’t get enough of American politics at the moment, Panorama: Trump: The Kremlin Candidate? follows at 8.30pm on BBC One, considering Trump’s close ties to Vladimir Putin.

    Hopefully there will be forthcoming follow-up press reports on these programmes!

  120. I have to say I’d love to hear a reporter with the guts to stand up at Trump’s next press conference and ask his sons one of the following questions.

    A) Have either of you ever stood at the top of a deep hole and shouted down “it puts the lotion in the basket?
    B) Have either of you ever made a suit out of human skin?
    C) What’s it like having a narcissistic sociopath for a father?

  121. Meanwhile in an American unwilling to provide affordable healthcare to its citizens:-

    http://news.sky.com/story/trumps-record-breaking-16374m-donation-haul-for-inauguration-10726967

    Donald Trump’s record-breaking £74m donation haul for inauguration

    With £74m of private donations so far, Donald Trump’s inauguration has proved to be an attractive way for corporations to set out their stall for America’s next commander-in-chief.

    Mr Trump’s inauguration committee has received enough money to pay for the event twice over – and the money is still flowing in.

    Most donors remain anonymous and the committee has 90 days to name them.

    Blue chip donors named so far include aircraft maker Boeing, which has donated £820,000.

    The company’s multibillion-dollar Air Force One contract was last month threatened with cancellation by Mr Trump.

    Oil and gas giant Chevron has donated £410,000 while AT&T has supplied extra mobile capacity for the National Mall.

    US taxpayers will provide a considerable share of the budget despite a big share of the inauguration costs being covered by the private donations.

    Public funds will pay for the £4.1m cost of building a bunting-decorated 10,000 square-foot platform for the swearing-in.

    The public also pays security costs for the event, which brings together a big chunk of the US political leadership, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans and a fair share of protesters.

    This will include a £2m overtime bill for the US Capitol police force.

    Federal funds will also pay for more than 5,000 service members from across the regular armed forces, plus a further 7,500 National Guard reservists.

    The District of Columbia expects to spend £24m, which it will claw back from federal government after the event.

    This leaves an unprecedented and unspent pot of private donations for Mr Trump’s inauguration team to spend on pop singers, parades, choirs, celebratory balls, bunting – and more than 1,000 portable toilets.

    The man who organised America’s last two inaugurations has questioned why donors’ money is still coming in and wondered where it will go.

    “We planned the two largest inaugurations in the history of our country and we never spent anywhere near that,” said Steve Kerrigan, who led Barack Obama’s 2009 and 2013 inauguration events.

    “I can’t imagine how they are going to spend that amount of money – and why they would even keep raising money,” he said.

    Mr Kerrigan’s committee collected £45m for Mr Obama’s first inauguration and £35m for his second.

    US government transparency advocates the Sunlight Foundation have said Mr Trump’s lack of disclosure of inauguration donors to date has “set a tone” and has implications for White House transparency and accountability.

    The President-elect’s inaugural team has failed to attract the kind of A-list performers who turned out in force for Mr Obama.

    Leftover donations will go to charity and other White House events.

    Mr Trump has not specified the charities which will benefit from money left over after the event. His past pledges to donate to charity have not always gone ahead as announced.

    Mr Obama used his excess inaugural dollars to help pay for the annual White House Easter egg roll and other public events.

  122. Trump just said that “everyone will have healthcare”. Let’s see what that really means.
    Alan, I don’t think we get BBC 1 in the US. You can get it, but you have to get “BBC player”– whatever that is.
    Vicki, try to watch Laurence O’Donnell too. He comes on right after Maddow. He’s the most hard hitting, although Maddow is good too; very informative.

  123. Well I just watched the Dispatches program “The World According to President Trump” and it was appalling. Just a puff piece really. No conclusions or even any revealing insights that we don’t already know.

  124. I’ve also now watched the Panorama program on Trump, The Kremlin Candidate. Much harder hitting with some good interviews. Some food for thought in that one.

  125. I see there is yet another example of the reckless, self-promoting, Twitterings of Donald Trump, and yet another competent person giving him good advice on correcting his incompetent, irresponsible, sloppy approach, to handling information!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-38647934

    ‘Wrong Ivanka’ from UK hits back after Trump tweet

    A woman from Brighton who was mistaken for Ivanka Trump on Twitter by none other than the US President-elect himself has told the BBC it has been a surreal start to the day.

    Ivanka Majic, a digital consultant, said she and her husband were woken at 06:00 by calls from the media.

    They told her she featured in a tweet to Donald Trump’s 20 million followers.

    Mr Trump was quoting praise for his daughter from another Twitter user, who had used the wrong username.

    Users were quick to jump in and point out the mistake, and Ms Majic has since replied:

    Ms Majic’s username is @Ivanka, while Ivanka Trump’s is @IvankaTrump.

    Ivanka Majic has emailed him this good advice:-

    @realDonaldTrump – And you’re a man with great responsibilities. May I suggest more care on Twitter and more time learning about climate change.

    This is the T-Rump who is shouting about the irresponsible promotion of “false news”!!!! 🙂

  126. I said a couple of days ago I felt a tipping point coming in the Trump transition. Monica Crowley has just dropped out as pick for national security advisor having been found to have plagiarised nearly everything she’s written for the last 25 years including her own Phd.

    His pick for secretary of HHS, rep Tom Price, seems to have been insider dealing in pharma stocks while he was pushing through legislation that would help them. He’s not dropped out yet but he might find it hard to run HHS from a jail cell.

    Andy Puzder may be dropping out as secretary of labour and in any event his confirmation hearing has been postponed.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/16/politics/andrew-andy-puzder-labor-trump/index.html

    It’s without doubt the most appallingly handled transition in living memory with apparently not even the most rudimentary vetting of Trump’s picks being done to see what skeletons they might have in the closet. It highlights Trump’s complete lack of understanding of the seriousness of the process and it augers very strongly for a much bigger disaster when it comes to actually governing. Hiring people for the national stage and the full spotlight of press exposure is not the same as hiring them for a reality tv show. If he can’t even get this bit right it’s not going to get easier later.

    He’s also made history with Jeff Sessions becoming the first senator to have another senator testify against his confirmation although I doubt it’s the type of history Trump wants to be remembered for. Even the alt-right has apparently lost its enthusiasm for Trump as it becomes clear that he only said what they wanted to hear but has no intention of doing much of it.

    There’s an old saying, you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Trump lied to everyone about everything and even with the gullible and stupid you can’t get away with that for ever. For a brief while his constant lying seems to have hypnotised everyone like a bird by a snake. The press simply didn’t know what to do with mendacity on this sort of scale and didn’t call it lying for a long time in case that sounded too negative. Now they’re starting to just flat out call the lies for what they are and him for being a liar. His supporters tried to give him a free pass by saying take him seriously but not literally but that’s starting to pall now as his cabinet picks come straight from the swamp he said he’d drain. No less than five Goldman Sachs executives after he accused Hillary of being in their pocket! That takes some gall.

    We’re now seeing, or more properly his supporters are now seeing, that he can’t spend all his time on Twitter or feting mobsters or going on victory tours and still do a proper job of being president elect. He said he could run his businesses AND the country at the same time but it seems he can’t even do one of these properly nevermind both. The only thing he can do really really well is boast about how great he is.

    I find very little in life that doesn’t at some point take me back to the late great Douglas Adams and my favourite books, the HHGTTG. This time it’s the products of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation whose only profitable department is their complaints department. Of their products it’s been said “It is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all. In other words – and this is the rock solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation’s Galaxy-wide success is founded – their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws.”

    Trump’s superficial design flaws, his tweet storms, lying, constant belittling of others and anyone who criticises him, boasting, slamming the press and now the intelligence services have, at least for a while, blinded everyone to his more fundamental design flaws. He’s completely fucking useless!

  127. Some time ago, and I have no idea in which thread now, I wrote a piece about the rise of mendacity in Republican politics. To summarise briefly, what limited honour there might once have been in American politics seemed to disappear at about the same time as religion got into Republicanism with Jerry Falwell and Ronald Reagan. This went through a number of stages. Politicians who got caught out in lies would initially apologise. That got to be thought of as too weak and the phrase “I mispoke” came into play for a decade or so. Now even that is too much of an admission so generally no backing down of any sort is used.

    What Trump has done though is raised the art of lying to a level no one could have foreseen and yet he still won the election. The danger of this is not just in his presidency but in what it tells Republicans they can now get away with. We’re starting to see this happen already. Not just in the lies but the complete disregard for accepted protocols and honourable behaviour. As Trump campaigned like this the Republicans decided to just not bother voting for a new Supreme Court judge. To the Dems astonishment they found there was nothing they could do about this. There are no time limits for Congress to hold such hearings by hence no way of making them do it.

    Trump didn’t release his tax returns, no doubt because they hold some horrible news about his real wealth and business dealings, so now the Republicans have decided not to bother providing the ethics vetting packages for Trump’s cabinet picks despite McConnell so vociferously calling for them for Obama’s picks.

    What Trump has done is shown the Republicans they had only previously scratched the surface of how mendacious, obstructive and two faced it was possible to be if you were prepared to thrown honour and decency completely under the bus. This I believe is the main cancer that he has introduced into the political system and it will be very hard to get rid of.

  128. Nothing to add re the tweets, save this one small aside: Trump uses tweets like a sorcerer, or a hypnotist. Mind-control.
    To put it another way, they are designed to (further) brain-wash his already brain-washed base.
    I had a nightmare about Steve Bannon, a ministerial, shadowy figure who compares himself to revolutionary Lenin and who greatly admires Dick Cheney. That delusional, nationalist, who looks like a drunk road manager, is running our f_ing country now.
    Kellyanne Conway: a ruthless, Satanic spinmeister. May she eventually suffer all the pains of hell.
    Comey: He used his office to influence the election. I think this is a terrible misuse of his office and a profound betrayal of the public trust. It’s sickening, and I pray he will eventually suffer all the pains of hell.

  129. Sickening.

    WASHINGTON — Repealing major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, while leaving other parts in place, would cost 18 million people their insurance in the first year, a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday. A repeal could increase the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million in 10 years, the report said, while causing individual insurance premiums to double over that time.

  130. Dan

    I really don’t believe that the Republicans care one iota about uninsured citizens. Our elected representatives have a very peachy health insurance policy paid for by our taxes so they’re all set. They have their sights set on the maximum profit model – a predatory private corporate medical insurance system. Big business as usual. Ethics, compassion, humanitarian values and fairness are lost on these people.

    Bernie said today that trashing Obamacare and moving back toward privatized insurance is the exact wrong direction to take. I agree with him as usual. Bernie is right. We need a revolution here.

    cue: Street Fighting Man

  131. Dan, I had a dream about a Neo-nazi stopping traffic on the top of the bridge.
    Today is the last day I spend above ground. I’m going into my bunker for a couple weeks. I have stocked four hundred pounds of peanut butter. The crackers haven’t come in yet.

  132. Arkrid 142

    There’s an old saying, you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    That was Lincoln who said that. I have said this before and will now say it again. Mr Lincoln should have added this: although you can fool too many of the people too much of the time. (I am quite sure that this witty and depressing remark of mine would have made Lincoln smile.)

    Laurie 146

    Spot on. You nailed it.

    Alf

    It’s awful, isn’t it? What a terrible situation. But don’t despair (yet); and remember; you are not the only one who is horrified. There are many others who feel exactly the way you feel.

  133. Quite a revealing interview that Trump did with the UK Times and German Bild newspapers this week. The full transcript in on the Times website but you have to sign up with a name and email address.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/full-transcript-of-interview-with-donald-trump-5d39sr09d

    I don’t know why he did this or what sort of questions he was expecting but he has revealed himself to be about as seriously out of his depth on international affairs as it’s possible to be. The answers were rambling “stream of consciousness” sorts of things much like what used to come out of Sarah Palin’s mouth. Words strung together with little coherent order revealing a mind flitting about internally unable to stay on a single topic for more than milliseconds. He apparently couldn’t remember who the British Prime Minister is, they had to insert the name in brackets to complete the transcript for him. Here’s one example of the cogency of his replies.

    Q: Can you understand why eastern Europeans fear Putin and Russia?

    “Sure. Oh sure, I know that. I mean, I understand what’s going on, I said a long time ago — that Nato had problems. Number one it was obsolete, because it was, you know, designed many, many years ago. Number two — the countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to pay. I took such heat, when I said Nato was obsolete. It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of terror. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying Trump is right — and now — it was on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, they have a whole division devoted now to terror, which is good.

    And the other thing is the countries aren’t paying their fair share so we’re supposed to protect countries but a lot of these countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to be paying, which I think is very unfair to the United States. With that being said, Nato is very important to me.”

    Q: Britain is paying.

    “Britain is paying. There’s five countries that are paying what they’re supposed to. Five. It’s not much, from 22.”

    Actually there are 28 nations in NATO although what any of that has to do with why Eastern Europeans fear Putin is not very clear.

    When asked about if he had any heroes from the past he mentioned his father briefly and then spent the rest of the reply talking about himself and what a great negotiator he is. In fact his default reply about most things is to start talking about himself. It’s a staggering level of narcissism but only the most fleeting level of comprehension about anything outside of his immediate sphere of interest – property development and his own greatness.

    Although we’ve all realised for a long time that he’s a narcissistic sociopath I may have even underestimated the degree of narcissism at work here. It’s so all consuming it’s hard to get ones head round. I wish I knew more about mental illnesses but it’s not really one of my topics but there’s a rampant megalomania and paranoia at work here of staggering proportions.

  134. Tim Kaine is excellent. I love this guy. (He would have made a great VP.) Check this out. It’s a tour de force. I liked him the first time I heard him speak at a rally with H. Clinton. There are some excellent senators in Congress: Warren, Franken, Sanders. Kaine, others.
    Watch Kaine grill Tillerson on climate and other matters. Unfortunately, the video ends before Kaine is finished.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4_KncbK0Jk

  135. Dan, I watch Devos get grilled by Warren. I have never seen a liar like DeVos calmly sit there and lie.
    I am glad Warren is on our side.
    And she calls herself a christian evangelical. These people are up to no good.
    My crackers came in today. I’m just waiting for three hundred pounds of canned sardines and i’ll be set.

  136. Trump now hires his 6th Goldman Sachs executive after campaigning that Hillary was in their pocket. Anthony Scaramucci who we castigated a while ago in here for claiming there used to be overwhelming scientific evidence the earth was flat and at the centre of the universe as he tried to deny climate change.

    The swamp must surely be deep enough now. I know Trump promised to create a really deep swamp but this one is not just the perfect habitat for alligators already, it’s got 1950s B movie monsters living in it.

    Oh hang on, my bad, Trump promised to drain the swamp not build a bigger one. I get confused so easily.

  137. I was watching as a pro-gun moron was expecting Trump to be far more sympathetic to the gun-toting citizens. Apparently he was expecting that he thinks that it will make it likely that children will be able to arm themselves in school (presumably to defend themselves against the next in-school shooter)…No modern democracy should need to arm children against psychopaths. How can anybody sane not see this?

  138. M27, Children with guns IS the problem. So if we give each child a 44 mag, there will be no more shootings. Sounds reasonable. If you live in a mental ward. (USA)
    How about we give them pepper spray instead? Just in case there is a “potential” bear around.

  139. And back to the OP (or something close to it), there’s this from the recent inauguration coverage and the changes already taking place:

    On the Internet, there were other signs of the seismic shift in power. The White House Web page — which that morning had touted President Obama’s initiatives to slow climate change — now touted a promise from Trump to eliminate “harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan.”

    Sigh.

    Source: Washington Post

  140. Trump now seems to be signing executive orders with the same ignorant gay abandon and lack of any competent advice, which is exhibited in his previous tweets!
    Government by reactionary knee-jerk, appears to be the new order of the day!

  141. On behalf of the rest of the sane Americans, I would like to take this opportunity to say,,,,,,,DUCK!
    We are fu*&$^KED……..
    And now, I’m going to have to start eating squirrels. I hate squirrels.

  142. I see Faux News are maintaining their usual standard of reactionary pseudo news presenters!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38695203

    Nigel Farage hired by Fox News as a political analyst

    Nigel Farage has been hired as a commentator for American TV network Fox News, the broadcaster has announced.

    The former UKIP leader will provide political analysis for the main channel, and the Fox Business Network’s daytime and primetime programmes.

    Mr Farage has been one of the UK’s most prominent supporters of US President Donald Trump and appeared alongside him during his election campaign.

    He was the first UK politician to meet Mr Trump after his win in November.

    It comes shortly after he was given his own nightly show on UK radio station LBC.

    Mr Farage travelled to Washington for Mr Trump’s inauguration on Friday.

    After the ceremony he tweeted his approval saying: “A very strong speech by @POTUS. He means it.”

    He also appeared on Fox Business to comment on the inauguration. He said: “Listening to the speech today, this is a political revolution and it’s very exciting.”

    Mr Farage has said he wants to be a “bridge” between the UK and Donald Trump’s US administration.

    The US president tweeted in November that Mr Farage would make a good British ambassador to the US but Downing Street rejected the suggestion, saying there was “no vacancy”.

    To our friends in the USA:-
    If you want him, you can keep him!
    He should fit really well into the Trump menagerie of pseudo-science, pseudo-economics, pseudo-planners, and pseudo-political analysts!

  143. All of our social and cultural programs will be gutted. This is the most reactionary and evil administration in the history of our country.

    The National Endowment for the Arts will be the first to go.

    “The moment Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States at noon on Friday, the LGBT, climate change, health care, and civil liberties pages disappeared from the website of the brand new Trump White House.”

    I am too depressed to post the links that informed me of all this pleasant news.

  144. A4D #159

    If you want him, you can keep him!

    We’re full up on crazies right now. If there’s an opening in the foreseeable future, we’ll keep him in mind.

  145. My friend in upstate NY just told me what happened to her this week. She was walking her dog at night on the leash, it saw something and bolted, pulled her over. She landed heavily on her arm and thought it was broken. She went to hospital. At least it wasn’t broken. Now she’s worrying how much it will cost her when the bill comes. She has healthcare but the deductible is so high she never actually gets any healthcare for free. Living in the UK I can’t imagine a society that operates like that. Having to consider whether you can afford to go to a doctor or a hospital is such an alien proposition it is difficult to get my head round. Under Trump she’s now afraid the premiums will go up even more and the deductible will too. I said well at least you still have a hospital there you could go to. That might not be true for much longer.

  146. Vicky, That’s the obvious problem no one seems to want to talk about.
    The problem is not the availability of medical care, its the cost.
    American doctors make ten times the salary of doctors in the UK.
    The whole health care industry and pharma industry are there to make money and there is no way to loosen their hold on our politicians.
    The shareholders of the corps that own the hospitals want profits.
    Capitalism has destroyed our medical system and put a high price on our lives that we can no longer afford.
    Even the democrat senators from my state, Washington State, voted no to importation of drugs from Canada basing their objection on the “danger” of imported drugs.
    Of course the Canadians are dropping dead from bad drugs………….(sar).

  147. While I’m on a rant, I would like to rip the government for the education system.
    If you want a degree so you can practice medicine, the cost for education is staggering. There is an expected return from this investment.
    In addition the loan practices are to blame.
    The Treasury give out loans to banks that give out loans to students so they can make money.
    The money is the taxpayers to begin with and then we have to pay interest to use it? In addition the USA has 1.5 TRILLIION in unpaid student debt that adds to the national debt.
    If we simply forgave those debts the national debt would decrease instantly. In addition the people could use the money to pay bills and inject more funds into the economy.

  148. President and immediately signs executive order to ‘ease the burden of Obamacare’. President Donald Trump signed his first executive orders in the Oval Office on Friday.

    ‘ease the burden of Obamacare’. – or translated into English – means insurers should “avoid paying out to claimants on their insurance” – so as to retain more profit!

    I see he also claims that in swearing and oath of allegiance, he is swearing “allegiance” to all Americans! – Apparently “allegiance” does not extend to looking after their health or environment! – or perhaps it just illustrates more of the deceptive disconnected incoherent double-talk babblings, with which his followers have become blissfully familiar!

    A notable feature of this election, has been the absence of any clear manifesto of joined up credible policy, a total and utter lack of democratic scrutiny of Trump’s knee-jerk decisions, and an absence of practical evaluation of even scraps of any disclosed plans!

  149. And,,,,,,,,This idea of giving tax breaks to companies has got to stop. At this point it is nothing but bribery.
    Since when if a company goes under does the equipment get destroyed the factory is leveled and the employees are killed?
    The company is turned over to a new owner, the equipment is reused and the employees have a new employer.
    The demand is still present and the profit will be obtained by a more efficient owner.
    We have been giving tax breaks to fuel failing companies when they should disappear.

  150. Our Obamacare is being taken down one piece at a time with no replacement in sight. Back to the bad old days of predatory insurance companies. Can’t afford to pay for your surgery? Then go away and die and stop bothering us…

    Americans have been conned by the super capitalists to believe that we have the best health care system in the world and that Canadians and Europeans have some sort of socialist backwards miserable failure system. I’ve lived in Europe for a few years a while back and our experience with their medical system was excellent. When I explain that to my fellow Americans they are astounded. They don’t know what they’re missing. They’ve been conned.

    When my husband retires in a year and a half he’ll get medicare but I have six years to go before I get it. And now no Obamacare to buy into. Six years with no insurance.

    Shopping for a new nationality.

  151. Inauguration/Trump

    I find this whole thing about “love of country” and this angry, contentious take-everything-over tone of his, and all this bs about the people ruling (libertarianism), and this America First business, highly disturbing and chilling. Chief adviser Bannon is behind it all. I don’t know what Bannon/Trump et al want, but it doesn’t look too good. Bannon is a man who identifies with revolutionary Lenin and also said that Cheney is the man that he admires most in recent history.

    The appointees are all millionaires/billionaires, CEOs and Goldman Sacks people, climate deniers and religious, free-market fundamentalists. Between all that and the way they are treating the press…

    Today the press secretary was shouting into the mic about the SIZE of the crowd, and how the “dirty press” got it wrong. All about size (of crowds and hands). Pathetic.

    Right wing populism, nationalism. What will become of us? I was heartened – a little – by the women’s march(es) today.

  152. Dan

    That press secretary is quite bizarre. Is he a Trump-mini-me ?

    The cabinet is the most pathetic collection of dumb asses I’ve ever seen.

    The marches are all wonderful. My daughters were both at the Boston march. They said it was fantastic.

    I read Kissenger’s autobiography years ago. In it he explains that the riots and demonstrations that were going on during the Vietnam war absolutely put pressure on the administration to get out of Vietnam and they undermined him in his negotiations at the end of that war because the opposition was well aware that things were blowing up on the campuses and everywhere here.

    Trump’s bunch are all saying that demonstrations don’t accomplish anything but just remind them what the anti-war protesters accomplished decades ago. They were a force.

  153. Epiphany!

    TRUMP IS INSANE AND ANYONE WHO DOES NOT THINK SO IS A STUPID IDIOT!

    This is beyond anything I have ever seen in my lifetime, the Trump presidency. In addition to our new president wasting time and energy debating the size of the mall crowd his press secretary held an angry press conference where he accused the media of intentionally underestimating the size of the inaugural crowd. Then he left and took no questions. THIS IS REALLY NUTS! Is this anyway to run a country?

    Trump is mentally ill, no doubt.

  154. Laurie,

    Even Nixon, years later, admitted that they were a force. But early on he dismissed the incipient movement as insignificant. (Just like Trump et al.)

    (Trump is worse than Nixon.)

    Vice President Hubert Humphrey accepted the Democratic nomination in August in Chicago, and 10,000 anti-war demonstrators showed up outside the convention building, clashing with security forces assembled by Mayor Richard Daley. Humphrey lost the 1968 presidential election to Richard M. Nixon, who promised in his campaign to restore “law and order”–a reference to conflict over anti-war protests as well as the rioting that followed King’s assassination in 1968–more effectively than Johnson had.

    The following year, Nixon claimed in a famous speech that anti-war protesters constituted a small–albeit vocal–minority that should not be allowed to drown out the “silent majority” of Americans.

    Demonstrations don’t do anything? I think they do. Well if the don’t maybe we’ll have to step it up and engage in civil disobedience. And a good boycott would do the job too. (The Montgomery bus boycott was amazing.) Boycotts are extremely effective. What should we boycott? Any ideas?

  155. Note: “Incipient movement.” By 68 the anti-war movement was not an incipient movement. Protests started as early as 65. Massive protests in 66, 67, 68. (The biggest was in 71, I think.) And Nixon still called them insignificant in 68. A lie.

    I think we should boycott health insurance, if the ACA is repealed and not replaced with something as good or better. (And it won’t be.) Let everyone who is healthy take a risk and go off their insurance for a year, at least. Pass it on.

    For what it’s worth, I heard, from a knowledgeable person in govt., that the major private insurance companies all got together, in anticipation of Trump’s possible victory, and conspired to raise premiums to make the ACA look worse than it is. Does that sound plausible?

  156. @Dan #179

    See, if we hang around long enough we start to agree.

    Boycott health insurance, that’s far enough out there to be brilliant. Crowdsource some funds for the inevitable major casualty of this movement to soften the impact, put your insurance premiums in there…

    … oh, wait, that’s doing an Uber, isn’t it — inventing a new insurance company, basically.

    Still, an Ethical Medical Insurance scheme whose shareholders are the members, the premium-payers. That’s a Co-operative, isn’t it? Do they have them in USA? Either not-for-profit or distribute the dividends as a percentage off the next year’s premiums. And no megabucks for the CEO either. Could it be done?

    As an aside, the repeal of the ACA might even make it easier to set up something like this, less government regulations to deal with, perhaps?

    But yes, healthy people, stop paying health insurance. That would really scuttle them. Even if you keep some kind of accident insurance, as separate cover.

    Well said, Dan. As for the Conspiracy Theory regarding insurance companies, what? When have competing businesses ever conspired to raise or maintain prices? Oh, yes, of course, they do it all the time as long as they think there’s small chance of getting seriously prosecuted.

  157. Now that sanctions have been lifted on Cuba I don’t see why Americans can’t go there now for their healthcare and drugs. As anyone who watched Sicko (Michael Moore’s documentary) knows the medical care there is excellent and 1/10th the cost of the USA. An influx of American customers would kickstart their economy too.

  158. Dan #176
    Jan 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm
    TRUMP IS INSANE AND ANYONE WHO DOES NOT THINK SO IS A STUPID IDIOT!

    I’m just up today here in the UK and catching up on yesterday’s news in the USA. I’m shocked to the point of total bewilderment. Trump’s comments to the CIA, standing in front of the wall of the fallen and talking about how many times he’s been on magazine covers and boasting and lying about the size of the crowds at his inauguration. My disgust knows no bounds. The disrespect. The inappropriateness of it. I’m actually trying to type this through falling tears.

    I’ve been saying for months now that as a sociopath Trump has no normal human feelings and hence is unable to know what he should and should not say. I’ve been saying he is mentally ill by any normal definition of that term. One person in here disagreed with me. Does anyone now still think he is not insane?

    And then the press release that Sean Spicer was no doubt forced to speak, lambasting the press for doctoring photos of the inauguration to make it look like the crowds were smaller. Lying about the numbers who travelled on the Metro system which were actually 1/3 less than in 2013.

    Horrific. The friend in NY I mentioned earlier, well I was chatting to her on Facebook yesterday before I just saw any of this and sent her a link to Joseph Goebbel’s sayings on propaganda.

    http://www.azquotes.com/author/5626-Joseph_Goebbels

    Read some of them and see what, and who, they now remind you of. “A lie told once is just a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”

    America is now a Fascist dictatorship I’m afraid. The truth will henceforth come from The Ministry of Truth. For those not familiar with Orwell, look up its motto. “War is peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength.”

    This is not a presidency. This is a war – on truth, on honesty, on respect, on freedom (of both the press and the people), on common sense, on empathy, on social justice.

    You gave Trump a chance to rise to the position of the office and he has not. It must now be clear he is incapable of such. He is a mad dog. Howling at the moon. The moderators will not like this but there is really only one certain cure for a mad dog.

  159. LaurieB #175
    Jan 21, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    That press secretary is quite bizarre. Is he a Trump-mini-me ?

    The cabinet is the most pathetic collection of dumb asses I’ve ever seen.

    Trump’s bunch are all saying that demonstrations don’t accomplish anything but just remind them what the anti-war protesters accomplished decades ago. They were a force.

    We should bear in mind that any resemblance of what Trump’s bunch says and reality, is purely co-incidental!

    Trump’s parades are what is to be expected! – All the money spent on show and hype, with nothing allocated for anything of substance or enduring value to the people!

    I think the world-wide protests about the unsuitability of a person to be US President, must be unprecedented!

    I think Trump is going to have a lot more to criticism to whinge about in the media as times goes on!
    His knee-jerk responses with personal attacks on critics makes him a prime target for world-wide ridicule!

  160. @OHooligan #180

    That’s a Co-operative, isn’t it? Do they have them in USA?

    The Amish have such a system within their community, and it seems to work pretty well. I work in a children’s hospital, and they are there often. Their kids have a lot of genetic disorders (my guess is because they only breed within their communities, too). They regularly get 25% discounts (sometimes more) because they pay the discounted price in full with a hand-written check, sometimes from the patient’s family and sometimes from the church. Many times the checks are tens of thousands of dollars.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_among_the_Amish

  161. Dan #174

    No, check this out 🙂

    http://www.snopes.com/trump-inaugural-address-plagiarism/

    I think things are going to be just about as bad as they can be with Trump, but for that very reason, we’re all going to need to be ultra-careful about passing on stuff just because it appeals. We’ve probably all been guilty of it at some point, and we’ve probably all fallen for it before now – I know I have.

    But if we make or pass on claims that are easily shown to be untrue, then we lose what we are going to need most over the coming years: our credibility.

    The “No, it’s not true, but it suits me so I’ll say it anyway” approach is clearly going to be Trump’s MO. But the way to beat it is not going to be to join it. If we do, we’re really going to be lost.

    There are so many lies flying around, from all quarters, we’re going to have to be scrupulous about checking everything – even, or perhaps especially, the stuff that “feels” true to us.

  162. Alan4discussion

    Trump’s parades are what is to be expected! – All the money spent on show and hype, with nothing allocated for anything of substance or enduring value to the people!

    As much as I disapprove of the ridiculous amounts of money spent on pomp and circumstance, it seems that this is something that humans enjoy in all places and in our history. A universal? On your side of the pond think royal family. From here, I have no idea why you Brits put up with those parasites and fill the streets with loud joyful fanfare and confetti throwing. I don’t get that at all but on the other hand I thought there could never be enough of that exact behavior on display when our Barak Obama won his Presidential election and his inauguration that followed. It’s totally subjective I know it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zGxi-7xDDw

    I’m with Sheldon on this one. It’s a social convention. No getting away from it although I’d be happier to be handed a check for the amount that these displays cost and put it to much better use. Housing and health care for the poor or scholarships for good students who can’t afford college, etc. It’s not gonna happen.

  163. Dan

    MSNBC reports that Trump will have a phone chat with Netanyahu later today.

    As our current meme suggests: Brace for impact!!

  164. LaurieB #190
    Jan 22, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Alan4discussion

    As much as I disapprove of the ridiculous amounts of money spent on pomp and circumstance, it seems that this is something that humans enjoy in all places and in our history. A universal? On your side of the pond think royal family. From here, I have no idea why you Brits put up with those parasites and fill the streets with loud joyful fanfare and confetti throwing.

    As far a “inaugurations” go, the UK has not had a royal coronation since 1952 /53.

    The regular pageantry in London seems to be a nice little earner in the tourist trade, which tends to balance out the costs of maintaining palaces etc.

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/the-queen-and-the-uk-royal-family-contribution-to-the-uk-economy-2015-9
    However, Brand Finance estimated that the Royal Family’s net contribution to the UK economy is around £1.155 billion ($1.8 billion) for this year.

    Basically, a bulk of the upside the Royal Family provides in tourism and sales is cancelled out when you take into account how much it costs to look after them.

  165. Marget #193
    Jan 22, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    God looked down upon Trump and stopped the rain for his inauguration.

    Almost everyone with any respect for honesty and integrity, looks down on Trump! 🙂

  166. Marget

    Good point. I’m appalled by the constant outpouring of religious blabbering and pious posturing that has gone on through the whole inauguration process. One thing has been made clear – God is on their side! God loves their plan for America and the world. A super mandate from a supernatural source. God bless America!!!!

  167. Laurie, I agree. God may be responsible for Trump. It all makes sense now.
    Racist, sexist, hateful, revengeful, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,They are so alike, I see the truth now.

  168. alf

    haha! Yes indeed. Two peas in a pod is what we’ve got here. Another way of putting it is – a couple of narcissistic assholes are running the place.

  169. And we shouldn’t discuss religion or politics in “polite” company?.
    These are the narcissistic assholes that we call politicans and the narcissistic assholes we call religious leaders.
    I’m tired of being polite.
    How about “political correctness” being applied to religion? I’m not going to be “pc” when it comes to religion.
    The religious right want to abolish “Pc” except when it relates to protection of their religion.

  170. It seems there is more evidence of the Trump team living in a hyped “alternative reality”!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38712182

    Key figures in Donald Trump’s administration have become embroiled in a fresh war of words with the media.

    On Saturday the president had condemned media reporting of the number of people attending his inauguration.

    White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said there was “an obsession… to de-legitimise this president. We’re not going to sit around and take it.”

    But photos show more people attended the inauguration of Mr Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama in 2009.

    Mr Priebus said on Fox News Sunday that the “media from day one has been talking about de-legitimising the election”. He said Mr Trump’s presidency would fight such coverage “tooth and nail every day”.

    The latest row was mainly sparked by the inauguration figures.

    He also said it was the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe”.

    Many US outlets, using photos of the National Mall showing the difference in numbers attending the 2009 inauguration and Mr Trump’s, hit out at Mr Spicer’s statements.

    The New York Times denounced “false claims” and described the statements as a “striking display of invective and grievance at the dawn of a presidency”.

    Both CNN and ABC News went into detail to refute Mr Spicer’s claims.
    ‘Alternative facts’

    Top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway also criticised the media in a feisty exchange on NBC.

    She was challenged by Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press to say why Mr Spicer’s first appearance had been to “utter a probable falsehood”.

    “If we are going to keep referring to our press secretary in those type of terms, I think we are going to have to rethink our relationship here,” she said.

    Pressed on Mr Spicer’s claims, she said he had been presenting “alternative facts”.

    “Alternative facts are not facts they are falsehoods,” Todd replied.

  171. LaurieB #191
    Jan 22, 2017 at 12:49 pm
    .
    MSNBC reports that Trump will have a phone chat with Netanyahu later today.

    Yep! It didn’t take long for Trump to thumb his nose at international law, and the UN, and then to put both his wellies in the two state peace process!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-38711701

    Israel has approved hundreds of new settlement homes in occupied East Jerusalem, after the staunch pro-Israel US President Donald Trump took office.

    I think messing up the US, Canadian, and Mexican free-trade agreement, is next on his agenda – if these “damned foreigners” won’t accept Trumponomics and “alternative facts”!

  172. Alan

    Israel has approved hundreds of new settlement homes in occupied East Jerusalem, after the staunch pro-Israel US President Donald Trump took office.

    So Trump is being led by the nose by American zionist extremists and blunders into this idiocy that will end up bringing down consequences that I don’t even want to imagine.

    He has a cabinet of Christian extremists who will insinuate religion into our public education and every aspect of government as far as they can.

    What the hell is wrong with him? Are the brainwashed control freaks manipulating Trump or is it the other way around? Or do the psychopath and the mind control bunch find themselves to be convenient bedfellows?

  173. Infrastructure/”alternate facts”

    I myself haven’t been hearing much about God and religion, although I did not see the inauguration. That’s par for the course with Republican inaugurations. Bottom line: I don’t see how any decent and intelligent person can think that this lying fascist oligarch has anything good in store for us.

    From Alternet:

    The Trump administration is pushing infrastructure privatization. But private, for-profit corporations are not good bets for managing municipal drinking water systems in the public interest.

    “Where I live in in downstate New York’s Rockland County, most of the water infrastructure is owned by Suez North America, a subsidiary of the $15 billion multinational Suez Environnement, which has a poor track record in the U.S. In Rockland its management has been marked by persistent complaints of deferred maintenance, understaffing, low water pressure, service interruptions, metallic tastes, bad smells, and brown, unusable water, to which the company has been less than responsive.”

    From Politico:

    Donald Trump kicked off his presidency by spreading falsehoods about how many people came to the National Mall to see him take the oath of office and apparently ordering his staff to do the same.

    GOP strategist Steve Schmidt’s alternative view: “purposeful deceit, willful lying by a government spokesperson, is the hallmark of a totalitarian or an authoritarian regime. It’s absolutely pernicious in a democracy.”

    “The issue is small, trivial and stupid — but the act of dishonesty and arguing about it is a big deal,” Schmidt added.

    “There are narcissists who think anything they do is right and anything they say — not persuaded by evidence — that is what is frightening,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian who met with Trump during the transition. “When you’re saying something that is brazenly false and expecting your followers to adhere to it, that’s a dictator. That is not an American president.”

    Oh!! No release of his taxes. Conway said (today) that they will not be released and that “people don’t care”. Another blatant lie. And Trump said he would release them after the “audit”, when he was campaigning!

  174. Phil,

    The end of that video was disappointing. He makes a series of nice points, presumably about Trump and the Republicans – and then tells us he’s been talking about Christianity the whole time. What exactly is the point? Why did you post that?

    Marco 188

    Wow! Incredible. Is that getting media attention? Thanks for that!

  175. Dan #205
    Jan 22, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Infrastructure/”alternate facts”

    Bottom line: I don’t see how any decent and intelligent person can think that this lying fascist oligarch has anything good in store for us.

    From Politico:

    Donald Trump kicked off his presidency by spreading falsehoods about how many people came to the National Mall to see him take the oath of office and apparently ordering his staff to do the same.

    GOP strategist Steve Schmidt’s alternative view: “purposeful deceit, willful lying by a government spokesperson, is the hallmark of a totalitarian or an authoritarian regime. It’s absolutely pernicious in a democracy.”

    “The issue is small, trivial and stupid — but the act of dishonesty and arguing about it is a big deal,” Schmidt added.

    I think with a cabinet filled with conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxers, Young-Earth-Creationists, Zionist fanatics, Global Warming deniers, protectionist isolationists, illogical wish-thinkers, mad militarists, science deniers, pseudo-economists, and lying propagandists, the USA has entered the era of Trumpist “TRRrrrooooo-Speak”, which closely resembles its earlier form!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Newspeak_words

    List of Newspeak words

  176. Yesterday I said this.

    “America is now a Fascist dictatorship I’m afraid. The truth will henceforth come from The Ministry of Truth. For those not familiar with Orwell, look up its motto. “War is peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength.”

    Today the electoralvote website said this:

    “On his first day as White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer told easily disproved falsehoods about the size of the inaugural crowd. When NBC’s Chuck Todd confronted Kellyanne Conway about this on “Meet the Press,” she said: “You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving—our press secretary, Sean Spicer, gave alternative facts to that.” At that point, Todd pointed out that there are no “alternative facts,” saying “Alternative facts are not facts; they’re falsehoods.” Aaron Blake of the Washington Post discusses this exchange and a memo circulating on social media that purports to come from someone who worked in a previous administration and makes three points:

    The new normal is lying to the press and not giving them a chance to ask questions
    Trump’s goal is to solidify his base, which believes everything he says, the rest be damned
    The goal of proposing “alternative facts” is to confuse people and make them think there is no such thing as truth.

    If we come to a situation in which large swaths of the country no longer believe there are actual facts and that everyone is entitled to have their own facts, a discussion of news, events, and reality itself becomes impossible. This appears to be what the administration wants. We are not quite at George Orwell’s “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength,” but Spicer has held only one briefing so far. ”

    http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2017/Pres/Maps/Jan23.html#item-1

    I’m feeling extremely prescient but I’m not happy to be so right. We are in completely unchartered waters in American politics. Lying is the new normal. Honesty now has no value. The electorate are sheep to be coralled and managed and maybe eventually slaughtered. This is fascist propaganda of a similar ilk to Nazi Germany in the 30s.

  177. Alan (and others), do you see any light at the end of the tunnel?

    Our institutions are fragile, our anemic democracy is fragile; can a society like ours endure when a wholesale effort to fool the people with sophisticated propaganda techniques is underway? They will gut all of our social and cultural programs, take away many of the rights that we now enjoy, and deregulate and privatize everything. This will cause great suffering, and great harm. Hard to undue what is done. And there are worse scenarios.

    A close friend of mine wrote this to me the other day. I don’t know how NOT to be pessimistic or “wrathful”. Is it reasonable not to be? Am I an hysteric?

    Daniel
    You are hysterical. Trump loves hysterics like you. You remind me of the type Dante wrote about in the Inferno. You are full of Wrath! […] Did you happen to notice the incredible peaceful protests across the world? Of course not. That would interfere with your Wrath! Your Wrath has completely taken you over […] Shame on you! Shameful. Shame on you!

  178. There is an interesting development here:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38714446

    A US legal watchdog says it will file a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, alleging he is violating a constitutional ban on accepting payments from foreign governments.

    The group of lawyers and researchers say he is receiving payments from foreign governments via guests at his hotels and leases on his buildings.

    They argue that a clause in the constitution bans such payments.

    Mr Trump’s son Eric described the move as “harassment for political gain”.

    Eric Trump, who is an executive vice-president of the Trump Organization, said the company had taken greater steps than the law required to avoid legal exposure, the New York Times reported.

    He said it had agreed to donate any hotel profits that come from foreign government guests to the US treasury.

    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew) said it would file the lawsuit in a Manhattan federal court on Monday morning.

    “We did not want to get to this point,” Crew executive director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.

    “It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office. We were forced to take legal action.”

    The US constitution says no federal official should receive a gift or “emolument” – a fee – from a foreign government.

    “President Trump has made his slogan America First so you would think he would want to strictly follow the constitution’s foreign emoluments clause, since it was written to ensure our government officials are thinking of Americans first, and not foreign governments,” Mr Bookbinder said.

  179. Dan #208
    Jan 23, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Alan (and others), do you see any light at the end of the tunnel?

    This sort of blatant incompetence, transparent lying, and disregard of constitutional and legal requirements, must be an embarrassment at least to SOME Republicans who will be looking to elections in two years time – and who will have to vote in Congress or the Senate on Trump’s proposals!

  180. I don’t know why sometimes when I post an article with a link in it it gets through straight away and other times it gets blocked for moderation. Hopefully what I posted a while back will appear in due course.

  181. Dan #209
    Jan 23, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Alan (and others), do you see any light at the end of the tunnel?

    It will be a hard fight and it will take the will, and protests, of the people to achieve. The Trump administration is as close to anything George Orwell wrote about in “1984” as anything I’ve seen in a modern democracy. His inauguration speech of a dystopian view (completely false view) of a country riddled with crime and the tombstones of derelict factories was horrific. He’s a cancer and cancers must be excised.

    BTW I’m not sure you need friends like that.

  182. Arkrid Sandwich #212
    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:16 am

    It will be a hard fight and it will take the will, and protests, of the people to achieve. The Trump administration is as close to anything George Orwell wrote about in “1984” as anything I’ve seen in a modern democracy.

    Trump has however, thrown down the gauntlet to the world’s press, – and while he had Faux News as cheerleaders during his campaign, the media of the world will not timidly take threats, attempts a bullying, or psychologically projected claims of promoting “false news”, from lying conspiracy theorists!

    The background criteria for selecting Trump’s buffoons, would suggest they have minimal capability for dealing rationally with evidenced criticism or exposure of their lies!
    The prospects of them dealing competently with ANY of their responsibilities requiring expertise, means they are likely to generate laughable beginner mistakes in quantity!
    The comedians are already having a field day at their expense!

  183. Hi Arkrid

    I don’t know why sometimes when I post an article with a link in it it gets through straight away and other times it gets blocked for moderation. Hopefully what I posted a while back will appear in due course.

    We’ve cleared it now.

    The mods

  184. Trump and his cabinet will make MONEY! and that is a certainty. I do have (and I have said this before) this horrible foreboding that Trump is “The Laughing Tiger” a.k.a. Greg Stillson. Lets hope that Stephen King doesn’t prove to be the same visionary as Jules Verne!

  185. Dan #206

    Wow! Incredible. Is that getting media attention? Thanks for that!

    Your sarcasm has been noted – and I apologise if I sounded patronising. But I stand by my comment.

    Trump poses a major threat to the USA and the world – on that we agree.

    And for that very reason we’re going to need every last drop of determination and energy and FOCUS to do whatever we can to keep the damage he inflicts to the absolute minimum.

    Meanwhile, as that press conference showed only too clearly, the Trump team is going to be throwing out distractions as fast as it can.

    If we allow ourselves to descend into wailing panic, throwing out links to claims that can be debunked in 10 seconds flat, chasing every hare he sets running, working ourselves up into greater and greater hysteria, we are just going to end up in an exhausted heap, having achieved precisely nothing.

    What’s going to be the best way of limiting the harm Trump can do? I don’t know. I wish I did. I totally get the emotion. Hell, I share it. I am not one of those saying “Give him a chance” and “It’ll probably be ok”. But we’ll all think more clearly and act more effectively if we can park the panic and engage our reason instead.

    At first glance this link might seem unconnected to the topic – but in a way, it goes right to the heart of it. In any case, it’s always incredibly inspiring and I guess a lot of us could do with some of that right now!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Rj3oJcOgM0

  186. A caller on the radio today put forward a theory that Trumps battle with the media is deliberate to desensitise America when the big stuff hits. Worked for Erdogan In Turkey!

  187. Olgun

    Ever been to a three ring circus? Action everywhere you look. Impossible to focus on any one thing going on. But that’s where the Ringmaster comes in. He directs our attention to what he wants us to see.

  188. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38721056

    President Donald Trump has fulfilled a campaign pledge by signing an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    The trade deal, a linchpin of ex-President Barack Obama’s Asia policy, was signed by 12 nations.

    “Great thing for the American worker what we just did,” said Mr Trump as he dumped the pact with a stroke of a pen.

    The massive trade deal, which covered 40% of the world’s economy, was negotiated in 2015 by nations including the US, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.

    Perhaps they will just trade with each other and dump Trump and the US!

    TPP’s stated aim was to strengthen economic ties and boost growth, including by reducing tariffs.

    It also included measures to enforce labour and environmental standards, copyrights, patents and other legal protections.

    Also on Monday morning, Mr Trump pledged to “massively” cut regulations and taxes on companies that keep jobs in the US.

    Ah well! That bit of deregulation should ensure that any companies which take advantage of it, will produce products which will be subject to legal breach of copyrights and patents in any exports, and that their products will fail to comply with local environmental standards in potential importing markets!

    This followed a meeting with executives from companies including defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin, apparel maker Under Armour, appliance manufacturer Whirlpool, electric-carmaker Tesla and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson.

    After meeting business leaders, Mr Trump also warned them he would impose a “very major border tax” on companies that move manufacturing out of the US.

    “We’re going to be cutting regulation massively”, but the rules will be “just as protective of the people”, he told reporters after the morning meeting in the White House’s Roosevelt Room.

    He pledged to lower corporate taxes to 15% or 20% from the current 35% and lift regulations by up to 75%.

    This treaty was carefully thought through and negotiated by 12 nations, but hey! – ideologist Trump can unilaterally change that in one morning with “a stroke of a pen” – no depth of thought, evaluation of implications, or scrutiny, required before starting a trade war!!!!

    Meanwhile, Teresa May (Brain of the secret no-Brexit-plan), is visiting Trump next week to arrange a UK trade deal with Trump to compensate for all the loss of trade with Europe her brexiteers are cheering for! (and are already suggesting they will play the martyr, if their fantasy privileged wonder deal is thrown out by the other 27 EU countries!)
    After all, – ONLY 44.6% of UK total exports were destined for the EU in 2014 – so a free trade deal with Trump should be a doddle!!! 🙂

  189. Press secretary Sean Spicer has been ranting for an extended period on how Trump & co. have very hurt feelings about the mention of a lesser crowd size between Trump inauguration and Obamas and Trump inauguration and women’s march. Very hurt feelings! A very long explanation of this by Spicer. Pathetic and bizarre.

  190. Marco 217

    “Wow! Incredible. Is that getting media attention? Thanks for that!”

    No sarcasm whatsoever. Sorry. I blame email and posted comments: they have the drawback of being tone-deaf. I was truly struck by the info provided by your link, and I was appreciative as well. More evidence of the unprecedented degradation of Trump and his team.

  191. M27 Holts

    I do have (and I have said this before) this horrible foreboding that Trump is “The Laughing Tiger” a.k.a. Greg Stillson. Lets hope that Stephen King doesn’t prove to be the same visionary as Jules Verne!

    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    I do have this terrible foreboding that Trump is that obdurate force (totalitarianism) whose image was painted by another prophet and visionary (Yeats), in the greatest political poem of the 20th Century.

  192. Everybody,

    Watch this fifteen minute interview. It is one of the most disturbing and frightening things I have seen in quite some time. This is sick stuff. Trump has decided that he is beyond reproach and has hired someone to deflect all questions that suggest otherwise, and to twist and spin and evade. This is obscene and dangerous. Every authoritarian state needs a propaganda minister. This is a nightmare.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA1vD_L8Mjs

  193. The insanity continues. Trump met congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle yesterday but instead of sticking to anything important he went off on one harangue about his inauguration crowd size which is clearly driving him crazy and which he still claims is the biggest in history and then despite the election now being 3 months ago he claimed that he also won the popular vote but for “3 to 5 million” illegal votes cast by Democrats.

    http://us.cnn.com/2017/01/23/politics/donald-trump-congress-leaders-obamacare/index.html

    There must come a limit when even those people giving someone the absolutely most elastic benefit of the doubt has to admit that he’s mentally ill. Constantly distracted by his petty and mainly imaginary grievances and vendettas this is a sick man unfit to hold office.

  194. The first thing that needs to happen in the fightback against Trump lies is for the press to grow a pair. They’ve been fairly pathetic for a long time now. They need to boycott Sean Spicer and KellyAnne Conway en masse. Simply refuse to attend White House press briefings or have that mad bitch on air. Take away all their oxygen. If Trump wants to get his lies out he’ll have to tweet them 140 characters at a time.

    Of course it’ll never happen although CNN did decline to show Spicer’s first “briefing” about imaginary crowd sizes on live air which was a small start I suppose.

  195. KellyAnne Conway is far more photogenic than Goebbels that’s for sure. Lets face it, Trump is like every bad guy in “Scooby Doo”, sooner or later somebody will strip him of his disguise and reveal the man behind the monster and for what he really is. Power mad psychopath. I really think that he won’t want any president to come after him and there is only one way he can achieve that!

  196. Arkrid Sandwich #226
    Jan 24, 2017 at 3:56 am

    The insanity continues. Trump met congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle yesterday but instead of sticking to anything important he went off on one harangue about his inauguration crowd size which is clearly driving him crazy and which he still claims is the biggest in history

    It is unsurprising that an ego-centric obsessive, who takes decisions on a basis of knee-jerk bigotry, is probably incapable of presenting a coherent analysis of actual issues!
    A feature of Dunning-Kruger confidence, is the utter lack of awareness of the existence of real issues!

    Trump contradicts, opposes, and destroys, what others have done. – Especially the work of “establishment” experts!
    There are signs in the records of some of his golf projects, that he finds complex environmental evaluations and planning issues, “too tedious to bother with”, so he just makes up crap and ad-hominem attacks, on opponents, expert opinion, and critics!

  197. It might be expected that someone unable to focus on important issues would still be whining three months later about an election they had lost but to be whining about one they won is hard to comprehend.

    Many months ago I gave an analysis of Trump’s raging inferiority complex and how people so mentally afflicted get a very temporary respite by attacking, demeaning and belittling others to make themselves feel better. But each time it’s only a temporary respite. Nothing really assuages the corrosion eating away inside you because it’s an integral part of your psyche. If Trump had won the popular vote he’d still be complaining it wasn’t a big enough win and that illegal Democrat votes had hurt it. If he’d taken 100% of the vote he’d probably be complaining about why people from foreign nations hadn’t also voted for him even though they aren’t allowed to. If his inauguration crowds had stretched from Washington to New York he’d still be complaining that the press had doctored the photos to make them look smaller.

    We can try to analyse why his behaviour seems not to be rational but the sad fact is simply he is not rational. He is insane by normal metrics. He is broken. Even winning the most powerful office on the planet will not assuage him for long. He will go to his grave thinking he still failed because it wasn’t a big enough win.

    What worries me is if he tries to make his presidency so outrageously different to try and give himself the place in history his ego craves this will entail the war of all wars, or the destruction of more of society than any other president has ever contemplated. He’s already slashing and burning trade agreements that took years to negotiate. I predict he will slash and burn relationships with countries that have been friendly as well soon. America will end up up isolationist, on the fringes of international pacts. Ridiculed by foreign leaders and ignored in world affairs.

  198. Arkrid Sandwich #232
    Jan 24, 2017 at 6:23 am

    We can try to analyse why his behaviour seems not to be rational but the sad fact is simply he is not rational.
    He is insane by normal metrics. He is broken.

    His swagger seems to appeal with the media hype message:-
    “I’m an ignorant red-neck – just like you – but filthy rich with it! – so that makes me your perfect aspirational image of role model as leader!”
    Lot’s of gullibles will buy into this!

  199. his ego craves this will entail the war of all wars

    That’s what I meant when I think that Trump wants to be the last president. Nearing the end of his tenure he will press the big red button and I don’t think that anything will stop him!

  200. Alan4discussion #220
    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    President Donald Trump has fulfilled a campaign pledge by signing an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    The trade deal, a linchpin of ex-President Barack Obama’s Asia policy, was signed by 12 nations.

    The massive trade deal, which covered 40% of the world’s economy, was negotiated in 2015 by nations including the US, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.

    Perhaps they will just trade with each other and dump Trump and the US!

    It seems that is also what Australia and New Zealand are thinking – while the USA retreats into being an isolationist backwater!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38725807

    Australia and New Zealand to pursue ‘TPP 12 minus one’

    Australia and New Zealand say they are hopeful of pressing ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, despite America’s formal withdrawal.

    The US-led 12-nation agreement was set to cover 40% of the world’s economic output.

    Pulling out of the TPP was one of Mr Trump’s first executive orders and fulfils a long-held campaign promise.

    Australia has already devised a name for a possible new agreement: TPP 12 Minus One.

    The country’s trade minister Steve Ciobo said Australia would not abandon the TPP just because it would require “a little bit of elbow grease” to keep it alive.

    Meanwhile China, which was not part of the deal, hinted it may look to take advantage of TTP’s collapse saying it was in favour of “open and transparent regional economic arrangements”.

    The trade agreement was negotiated by former US President Barack Obama and was aimed at deepening economic ties between member its countries, which were Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

    So what now for these countries – and indeed for China?

    Australia, among other nations, is looking for ways to salvage the TPP without the US.

    Mr Ciobo was in Switzerland last week to discuss new deals at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    “I’ve had conversations with Canada, with Mexico, with Japan, with New Zealand, with Singapore, Malaysia,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) from New York on Monday.

    “I know that there’s been conversations that have been had with Chile and with Peru. So there’s quite a number of countries that have an interest in looking to see if we can make a TPP 12 minus one work,” he said.

    Mr Ciobo also said the original architecture of the TPP was designed to enable other countries to join.

    “Certainly I know that Indonesia has expressed a possible interest and there would be scope for China if we were able to reformulate it to be a TPP 12 minus one for countries like Indonesia or China or indeed other countries to consider joining and to join in order to get the benefits that flow as a consequence,” he said.

    Perhaps Mexico will also apply to join these if Trump tears up the Nafta trade agreement or tries to dictate unreasonable terms!

  201. Trump seems to think he is going to dictate terms to everyone!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38713227

    US President Donald Trump has said that he will soon begin “renegotiating” the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts.
    Meetings have been scheduled with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, he said.

    The Nafta agreement came into effect between the three countries in 1994.

    Mr Trump has called it the worst trade deal the US has ever signed.

    The White House website says that if Canada and Mexico refuse to accept a renegotiation of Nafta that provides a “fair deal” for American workers, then the US will move to withdraw from it.

  202. Unbelievable. Spicer’s first press conference was to complain about the size of the inauguration crowds. Today’s task is to repeat Trump’s claim that he won the popular vote too apart from millions of illegal Democrat voters. What am I missing here? Is there anything about this nonsense that doesn’t make them all look bat shit crazy?

    There’s arguments that this is to deflect from other news or some sort of attempt to make all news fake news but I can’t get much further really than it just shows that Trump is insane.

  203. It’s now official. The most dangerous mouth on the planet is not on one end of a Nile crocodile, or a lion or a great white shark. It’s at the bright orange end of Donald J Trump. Connected to a brain of blithering stupidity, zero self restraint, inability to foresee consequences and a miniscule amount of policy knowledge, Trump’s irrational and off the cuff remarks at the CIA that America should have kept Iraq’s oil (a war crime btw) and “might” get another chance to do so have put every soldier trying to win hearts and minds and every diplomat working in an oil nation in clear and present danger. Not just danger of failing to be able to do their jobs now but actual danger of actual bodily harm from locals who’ve already been pissed off quite enough by the USA invading them in the first place and now afraid they might do so again just to steal their resources.

    The threat this deranged man poses to world peace is growing by the day.

  204. Vicki #238
    Jan 24, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    There’s arguments that this is to deflect from other news or some sort
    of attempt to make all news fake news but I can’t get much further
    really than it just shows that Trump is insane.
    10-executive-actions-trump-signed-far

    Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread!

    Trump just blunders in and disrupts whatever he and his clowns cannot understand – where he appears to be unable to understand ANY of the duties of a responsible president or government, or any of the mechanisms for seeking competent advice!

    His wrecking spree over the coming days and weeks, will take years to repair when he is dumped from office!

    AS @#235 and #236, Trading partners are already looking to make alternative agreements excluding the USA, while Trump dictates requirements to use skills which are probably not available in the US to build obsolete industries which are not needed!

  205. Talking of Trump and fake news:-

    http://www.thepoke.co.uk/2017/01/24/dutch-speaking-trumps-language-welcome-video/

    Now that Donald Trump is President, the Netherlands figured that it’s best to get along – so they decided to introduce their tiny country in a way that will probably appeal to him the most – using Trump’s delivery style and language.

    And no, obviously it’s not from the Dutch government – it’s from the satire show Zondag met Lubach (Sunday with Lubach) hosted by Arjen Lubach.

  206. Hey Dan,

    Remember when people were hinting that we were just a little bit hysterical???

    Et-hem. I think we were right on the mark.

    Just sayin…

  207. LaurieB #242
    Jan 24, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Hey Dan,

    Remember when people were hinting that we were just a little bit hysterical???

    We’ve known since November that the presidency was going to a 5 year old throwing a permanent temper tantrum. We didn’t then know how much damage this child could do. It’s looking worse than anticipated. There was a time I guess we all hoped he might just rise a little to the gravity of the office but that’s clearly not to be. If anything he is now emboldened by the power and sinking further into the slime at the bottom of the pond. His comments at the CIA are lethally dangerous and his disrespect to their service and to those who lost their lives in that service disgust me to the very core of my being. The Australians had it right when they branded him a revolting slug.

    However I said a while back I saw a tipping point coming and I think that has taken place. The press are calling him out on his lies, the marches against him have been, and will continue to be, huge. If nothing else it will inform the low information voters about the mistake they made so hopefully they don’t repeat it. But I don’t see it stopping anything he wants to do. He pays no attention to other people’s wishes. His approval ratings will plummet further and he will leave office as the most hated president in history. Pretty much as he entered it I suppose.

  208. The TPP has come under criticism for being too much on the side of corporations, for example allowing them to sue governments that don’t play their way. Examples cited were Big Tobacco and Big Pharma. I think exceptions were written into it so (for example) requiring plain packaging for tobacco products was something that couldn’t be challenged, and NZ’s centralised pharma purchasing agency (Pharmac) wasn’t dismantled as “anti-competitive” or something, but these seem to be specific exceptions, while the general rules are that governments basically cede a lot of their power to multinational corporations. There are also problems relating to patents and copyright.

    In short, the TPP isn’t necessarily a good thing, and it’s demise can be seen as an example of DJT accidentally doing some good for the rest of us. Note that the equivalent European deal, TTIP, was already tipped into the harbour by the EU side of the negotiations. I’m sure it’s a mistake, and I don’t expect he’ll learn from it, as he takes the bull-in-a-china shop approach to making ‘merica grate again.

    ps where did I read that the hats distributed at the (sparsely attended) ceremony were made in China? Any truth in this? Or were they in alternative fact made in some US Chinatown?

  209. Anyone watch Rachel Maddow tonight? An enormous number of man-made earthquakes in the state of Oklahoma since they started fracking and drilling there. That part of the country is particularly vulnerable. This has been proven. Guess who the Attorney General was over there? Pruitt, the future head of the EPA. He did nothing about it except complain of being harassed by the EPA.

    I noticed that the very official looking “FAQ” page of the Office Of The Secretary Of Energy & Environment in Oklahoma denies that this is due to fracking. I wonder who is telling the truth and who isn’t.

    https://earthquakes.ok.gov/faqs/

    Myth: Oklahoma’s earthquakes are caused by fracking.
    Experts say there is an important distinction to be made between saying that hydraulic fracking causes earthquakes and saying that the disposal of fracking wastewater causes earthquakes.
    “There are a very small number of actual ‘frack quakes’—earthquakes that happen during or immediately after a frack job. But these are not that kind,” cautions Boak.

    Cautions! Ha-ha!

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/01/scott-pruitt-and-oklahomas-manmade-earthquakes/513437/

  210. Arkrid Sandwich #237
    Jan 24, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    There’s arguments that this is to deflect from other news or some sort of attempt to make all news fake news but I can’t get much further really than it just shows that Trump is insane.

    It seems his staff think so too.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/01/trump-aides-cant-stop-blabbing-about-how-hes-a-madman.html

    Also a fascinating psychological analysis of Trump’s mental issues here.

    http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2017/Pres/Maps/Jan25.html#item-2

  211. Meanwhile – the fool’s rush to sign executive orders: without pausing for thought – continues!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38740717

    Donald Trump has said a “big day” is planned on national security, including an announcement to build a wall on the border between the US and Mexico.

    The new US president is expected to sign several executive orders regarding immigration and border security over the next few days.

    They are likely to include the “extreme vetting” of people coming from seven predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa.

    This would restrict refugee access.

    Mr Trump tweeted: “Big day planned on national security tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!”

    Building a 2,000-mile wall along the Mexican border was one of his key proposals during the presidential election campaign.

    There will also be measures that force so-called sanctuary cities in the US to co-operate with the authorities on deporting illegal immigrants.

    “Sanctuary cities” are places that don’t arrest or detain immigrants living in the country illegally.

    Later this week, Mr Trump is expected to announce immigration restrictions from seven African and Middle Eastern countries, including Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.

  212. Dan #223

    I was truly struck by the info provided by your link, and I was
    appreciative as well. More evidence of the unprecedented degradation
    of Trump and his team.

    I’m afraid I have no idea where you got that from. Trump and his team are certainly providing daily evidence of their “unprecedented degradation”, but my link did not. My link simply showed that the claim in your link – that Trump lifted parts of his inauguration speech from movies – is not true.

    Here it is again.

    http://www.snopes.com/trump-inaugural-address-plagiarism/

    It’s precisely because this is a crisis that we need to keep our heads.

  213. Dan

    I saw Maddow’s show. What really frightened me besides the fracking story was that she claims that the EPA is now under a gag order!

  214. @#248 – Meanwhile – the fool’s rush to sign executive orders: without pausing for thought – continues!

    When the UK brexiteers tried to bypass parliamentary scrutiny, with “executive Royal Prerogative decisions” and no coherent plan, the supreme court told them that MPs must decide by a vote in parliament!

    They are now being forced to prepare a White Paper setting out the proposals which they have kept hidden from the public for months!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38737967

    Theresa May has said the government will set out its Brexit plans in a formal policy document, during Prime Minister’s Questions clashes.

    It comes after the Supreme Court ruled MPs must vote on whether the government can start Brexit.

    A parliamentary bill paving the way for talks with the EU could be introduced as early as Thursday.

    More than half a dozen Conservative MPs including some ex-ministers had called for a White Paper – a government policy document which sets out proposals for future acts of Parliament – on Brexit to be published in the coming days.

    They have also belated decided to set up training courses for civil servants on how to conduct trade international negotiations – as the UK currently does not employ ANY qualified people!
    The brexiteer fantasies, (like the Trump agendas) are now starting to come into public view!

  215. Marco,

    I guess I misunderstood. I thought those were more examples of taking lines from movies. Sorry.

    Everyone,

    This is an unmitigated disaster. This can’t go on. It’s a nightmare, gets worse and worse every day and it’s been less than a week. Trump wants to investigate something that never happened! 3-5 million illegal votes cast, he he says!! This will usher in voter suppression. And now he wants “torture” back. One thing after another. Where will it end???

    Federal agencies have been ordered to restrict their communications:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-agencies-ordered-to-restrict-their-communications/2017/01/24/9daa6aa4-e26f-11e6-ba11-63c4b4fb5a63_story.html?utm_term=.6f6389c2557b

    “Vladimir Putin must be proud,” Cook said. “The EPA, like all federal agencies, is funded by taxpayer dollars, and Americans have the right to know what’s being done to protect or harm public health and the environment. Americans of all political stripes should be furious.”

    Separately, the Interior Department reactivated its official Twitter accounts early Saturday after an abrupt shutdown after the National Park Service account retweeted two items viewed as unsympathetic to the new president. One referred to the size of the inauguration crowd on the Mall, while another addressed policies that were excised from the White House website after Trump’s swearing in.

  216. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/14/505482691/an-obama-backed-change-at-voice-of-america-has-trump-critics-worried

    For decades, the international U.S. broadcasters were not allowed to present their programs to the United States, but that ban was lifted in 2013, accentuating the concerns of what a Trump administration might bring.

    “Congress unwittingly just gave President-elect Trump unchecked control of all U.S. media outlets,” Kempner told Politico. “No president, either Democrat or Republican, should have that kind of control. It’s a public jewel. Its independence is what makes it so credible.”

    The Washington Post’s editorial board, suggesting Trump could appoint the head of Breitbart News as the broadcasting CEO, wrote, “If Congress’s intention was for U.S. broadcasting to rival the Kremlin’s, it may well get its wish.”

  217. Remember when people were hinting that we were just a little bit hysterical???

    Et-hem. I think we were right on the mark.
    Just sayin…

    Well Laurie, his little band of thieves and perverts are now doing everything to destroy this country.
    Every thing is coming true that he threatened. He is silencing Govt scientists, clamping down on the media and now Breitbart news is going to be the official White House news.
    The cities have been threatened today with fund cutting over the sanctuary cities. Millions will be affected overnight.
    Womens rights are under attack. Torture has been deemed “ok’ by Trump. And Obamacare is now gone. And millions will be left in limbo.
    But the “unborn” will be protected.
    The “fucking” wall is now going to be built thanks to OUR tax dollars at sixty Billions dollars!
    But we can’t get any more money to the homeless or the Va or Medicare.
    If I were younger, I would be planning to leave this country. I’m still thinking about it.

  218. Oh yea, the DAPL.
    So now the pipeline has a go ahead without an EPA approval. And it will be drilled under the river.
    I am planning to go to N Dakota this summer. I’ve never been arrested before. But I’ve never been scuba diving either. Should be a new experience.

  219. Well said, Alf.

    Here’s something else well said, by someone named Leonid Bershidsky.

    http://www.salisburypost.com/2017/01/26/diversionary-tactics-president-throws-critics-off-trail/

    ….According to data collected by BuzzSumo.com, the most widely shared CNN news story about Donald Trump since Jan. 21 was one about his press secretary, Sean Spicer, attacking the media for their reporting on inauguration attendance. It was shared 169,700 times on Facebook. A story on Trump’s executive order to start rolling back Obamacare clocked just 71,100 shares. On The New York Times’ website, the most widely shared story debunked Spicer’s “alternative facts.” It showed up on Facebook 170,900 times. The New York Times piece about Trump’s executive order abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership got 44,600 shares.

    This is the result of a manipulation strategy described long ago by Noam Chomsky: “Keep the adult public attention diverted away from the real social issues, and captivated by matters of no real importance.” Leftists such as Chomsky argue that this is what capitalist elites do, but I know it as a common tactic of kleptocratic regimes such as Vladimir Putin’s in Russia….

    ….Trump’s and his team’s communications look awkward, inept, gallingly primitive. It’s time to wise up: These people know what they’re doing. They want their political opponents to be confused, to flail at windmills, to expend emotions on meaningless scandals to distract them from any targeted, coordinated action against specific threats. There are going to be many of these: Trump appears intent on keeping his promises. Calm concentration is needed to counteract dangerous policies….

  220. Remember when people were hinting that we were just a little bit hysterical???

    Remember when people were saying that they couldn’t vote for either candidate? I am feeling increasing resentment towards the people that said that Hillary Clinton was corrupt and that they were both bad candidates. I hate the halfwit losers that fell for fake news and the Bernie-only fanatics and the non-voters. Bravo to these slobs that helped get him elected.

    (I get a little angry sometimes. Hell, I’m entitled. We all are.)

    Oh yeah! —Shame on you, Cornel West! (Voted for Stein.) I like you, but that was a mistake. Shame on you! That’s right, Cornel; we have a “neo-fascist” president now.

  221. If the electoral system is so corrupt, broken, flawed and fraudulent that 5 million people who aren’t even registered to vote can somehow get past the officials, past the identity checks, into polling booths and place a vote then by Trump’s own metric the results of the election must be illegitimate by any reasonable definition of the word and he has no option but to resign until a “proper” election can be held. Over to you Mr Trump.

  222. alf1200 #258
    Jan 26, 2017 at 12:14 am

    The “fucking” wall is now going to be built thanks to OUR tax dollars at sixty Billions dollars!
    But we can’t get any more money to the homeless or the Va or Medicare.

    There seems to be a lack of a proper costing of this proposal, but the costs seem to rise over time as more detail is examined. Clearly Trump took the decision, and then started making up figures afterwards!

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/john-oliver-breaks-down-the-true-cost-of-donald-trump-s-mexico-border-wall-a6944271.html

    “The border wall is one of the few policy proposals Trump has talked about in detail, so instead of mocking or dismissing it out of hand, tonight let’s take a serious proposal by a serious presidential candidate seriously.”

    Trump first said that the border would cost $4 billion to construct, then $7 billion, then $10 billion, then $12 billion, when in reality, experts have estimated the 35 to 55-foot wall to cost $25 billion, and after seven years it would exceed that number to maintain it.

    The Congressional Budget Office estimates that wall maintenance costs will exceed the initial construction costs within seven years,” Oliver said. “It’s a big, dumb thing that only gets more expensive over time. It’s like getting a pet walrus: You think it’s stupid now, wait until you learn what a bucket of sea cucumbers costs — you’ve not prepared for that.”

    Oliver then compares the proposal to George W Bush’s border fence in 2006 where the federal government was forced to sue hundreds of US families who owned land across the border. He then says that building the barrier will not stop folks from overstaying their visas.

    “A wall can’t stop that,” Oliver said. “It’s like wearing a condom to protect against head lice. You could do that, but that’s not really how you keep the thing you’re worried about from happening.”

    Of course Israel and Egypt have been trying to maintain a people-proof border for years, – It works after a fashion on this much shorter fence.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel%E2%80%93Egypt_barrier

    Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the construction site in March 2012; by then nearly 105 km of fence had been built by 30 contractors working concurrently and building several hundred meters of the fence every day. The goal was to finish the remaining 135 km, including those running through the mountainous area of Sinai, in 2012. Construction of the main section was completed in January 2013. 230 km of fence had been built by then

    Meanwhile: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38753826

    Mexico will not pay for Donald Trump’s border wall, the country’s president has said in a message to the nation.

  223. It might be informative for our American cousins to know just how easy it is to vote in the UK given the hoops that they are often forced to jump through by voter suppression and so called voter fraud prevention laws over there.

    Voting in the Uk is based on the Electoral Roll which is the list of every adult living at every known residential address. Once a year a form arrives in the post asking if the details held since last year have changed. You can fill that in and post it back or complete it online in a couple of minutes. For many households it just means ticking a single box saying “no changes”. If you buy a house in the UK that triggers a new form so the details can be updated. No ID is required to be shown to anyone but you may be asked for your National Insurance number which is the UK’s unique identifying number for tax, social security etc which every citizen is allocated.

    When an election is held then every house gets a voting reminder card a few weeks in advance telling you where your polling station is and what day and times to go and vote.

    Up until now you don’t need to even take any form of identity to the polling station (although this may change soon). You just tell an official who you are and they tick your name off their electoral list when they give you a voting form. You could pretend to be someone else and then when that person arrived they’d get told someone had already voted for them but if it was a any sort of a major problem we’d hear about it. We don’t.

    The voting forms are much the same format everywhere. A single sheet of paper with the names or organisations you can choose between and a box by each one to tick. You tick one box, fold the form in half and drop it through a slot in the voting box. No hanging chads, no electronic machines to be hacked. Simple, foolproof.

    That’s pretty much it. No voter suppression laws, no identity document nonsense to go through. No attempts to make it harder for some types of citizen to vote than others.

    The American system(s) are a disgrace and make a mockery of democracy. It isn’t a democracy, nevermind the “greatest” democracy in the world, when millions of people are actively discouraged from voting.

  224. Stop Press. Trump says he “believes” moon is made of green cheese. He says “many many” people have told him this and he has evidence it’s true. Sean Spicer when quized by reporters says “look, it’s what he believes based on evidence he says he has”. When pressed to reveal this evidence Spicer starts to sweat profusely. When asked if there will be a congressional enquiry to get to the truth of this Spicer says he can’t confirm or deny but nothing is being taken off the table. Well other than sharp eating implements when Trump gets his boiled egg and soldiers for breakfast.

  225. Fortunately, it’s not just dictators who can take advantage of social media.

    Here is a list of several Twitter accounts, along with their descriptions, that will be resisting the Trump clampdown on science and facts:

    @AltForestServe
    The unofficial, and unsanctioned, “Resistance” team of the U.S. Forest Service. Not an official Forest Service account, and not publicly funded!

    @alt_fda
    Uncensored FDA

    @RogueNASA
    The unofficial “Resistance” team of NASA. Not an official NASA account. Follow for science and climate news and facts. REAL NEWS, REAL FACTS.

    @AltHHS
    Stand Up for Science!

    @ActualEPAFacts
    He can take our official Twitter but he’ll never take our FREEDOM. Unofficially resisting at the @EPA

    @altusda
    Resisting the censorship of facts and science. Truth wins in the end.

    @AltNatParkSer
    The Unofficial “Resistance” team of U.S. National Park Service. Not taxpayer subsidised! Come for rugged scenery, fossil beds, 89 million acres of landscape.

  226. Marco #266
    Jan 26, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Fortunately, it’s not just dictators who can take advantage of social media.

    Here is a list of several Twitter accounts, along with their descriptions, that will be resisting the Trump clampdown on science and facts:

    This does seem like a brilliant move!
    It could be further enhanced by making direct comparisons with official Trumplilated sites!

    There could be the alt-science site with ecological data and climate effects on National Parks, contrasted with the official Trumpilated official site, with its pretty pictures of mountains and animals – plus outline drawing print-outs for Trump and the Trumpettes to show off their “alternative facts” by colouring in brown Polar Bears and red Arctic Foxes with their crayons! 🙂

  227. I think we are starting to see what Trump’s real plans for Mexico are. He’s reiterated they are going to pay for the wall, Pena says they aren’t so Trump tweets maybe it would be best if Pena didn’t bother coming to meet him on the 31st. The USA imports more from Mexico than it exports to them. About $295 billion imports and $240 billion exports. So if both countries get into a trade war, Trump slaps a 35% import tax on Mexican goods and Pena slaps a similar one on American goods then prices for American consumers are going to go up and inflation is going to rise.

    However the USA accounts for about 80% of all Mexican exports. A trade war with the USA would devastate their economy while barely hurting the USA’s. Trump is going to bully Mexico into being his bitch.

    The best thing anyone could do to counter this is for other countries to prioritise Mexican goods and trade agreements. So if you hate Trump then buy Mexican.

    What Mexico could do to help this is put up a website showing what they export to every country in the world so consumers can look out for specifically Mexican food and other products.

  228. Arkrid Sandwich #268
    Jan 26, 2017 at 10:55 am

    The best thing anyone could do to counter this is for other countries to prioritise Mexican goods and trade agreements.
    So if you hate Trump then buy Mexican.

    Mexico is part of the TPP where Trump has just bailed the US out!

    Alan4discussion #235 – Jan 24, 2017 at 7:48 am

    President Donald Trump has fulfilled a campaign pledge by signing an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and some South American countries are discussing TTP 12 minus 1.

    @#236 there is a link to a US Canadian and Mexican trade agreement Trump is demanding to renegotiate.

    The countries of the world need to get together to stand up to this self-centred clown!

  229. Marco #266
    Jan 26, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Fortunately, it’s not just dictators who can take advantage of social media.

    Here is a list of several Twitter accounts, along with their descriptions, that will be resisting the Trump clampdown on science and facts:

    Great post Marco. Resistance is NOT futile. You will NOT be assimilated.

  230. OMG. Trump is starting a war. Not a nuclear one or even one with conventional explosive weapons but he is creating a climate where every right thinking person is going to resist him, push back, fight, claw tooth and nail to overcome (overcomb) this hateful narcissistic dictator. I said a tipping point was coming and I think it’s come. I’m actually feeling a bit optimistic now because the tide is turning so fast. I think he’s going to crash and burn.

  231. Alf

    So sad for you. I honestly don’t believe Trump & co. give two shits about veterans and their challenges. Nope. Not a shit. He hasn’t even got started with implementing the fundamentalist Christians’ agenda yet regarding their goals for reproductive rights and women’s issues. I expect they’ll get themselves a real frightening fundamentalist dinosaur into the Supreme Court and then dismantle Roe v Wade piece by piece. Our poor long suffering liberal Justices will suffer these defeats in front of us. Can’t bear to watch it happen.

    I hope you and everyone goes to these protests. I’m waiting to see when the science march on D.C. is scheduled for and I hope I can get there.

    We need to turn over the House of Reps and the Senate in the next election. I can’t think of any other way to cripple these fascists.

  232. Trump comes up yet again with a negative score for his diplomatic negotiating skills, and is probably the bottom rated president in the world!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38760671

    Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has cancelled next week’s trip to Washington to meet US President Donald Trump.

    His decision comes a day after the new US president unveiled his plan to build a wall along the Mexico-US border.

    Mr Trump also insisted the US would recoup the costs for the barrier from Mexico, which has strongly objected.

    Senate Republicans said the US Congress would move ahead with the plan, and it would cost $12bn (£9.5bn) to $15bn.

    Mr Pena Nieto announced that he had called off the 31 January trip after Mr Trump suggested he should do just that.

    “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting,” the US president wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning.

    White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters that they are looking “for a date to reschedule”, adding they will “continue to keep the lines of communication open”.

    Building a barrier along the 2,000 mile (3,200km) US boundary with Mexico was one of Mr Trump’s key pledges in the election campaign.

    As he signed the directive at the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, he spoke of a “crisis” on the southern US border.

    His executive orders also called for hiring 10,000 immigration officials to help boost border patrol efforts.

    “A nation without borders is not a nation,” Mr Trump said. “Beginning today the United States gets back control of its borders.”

    Of course most of the world knows that countries are responsible for their own border security, but negotiations and amicable agreements, can gain cooperation and assistance from neighbours!

  233. Laurie

    We need to turn over the House of Reps and the Senate in the next election. I can’t think of any other way to cripple these fascists.

    What scares the shit out of me is that we have become fascinated and frozen by the horror of a major psychopath in the White House who is gathering other psychopaths and intellectually unencumbered folk around him and we talk as if this might be solved by complaints and appeals to the electorate. But with his electorate Trump is pushing all the right buttons. They are punching the air right now. Too many others are thinking , maybe he has got something. The scary thing for me is we aren’t taking care of the knitting. The reason for change in this election cycle is this new cohort of the dispossessed, the folk who didn’t get a fair shake of the nation’s wealth, finally at breaking point (with a little push from Trump). They had little prospect of any change from Clinton especially given a superb smear campaign from Trump.

    Until plans are laid to repossess the dispossessed quickly, and before Trump smoke and mirrors an “improvement” for them, any mid term elections will be gutless.

    Putin works because he took a humiliated people and by playing the international bruiser in a great mix of high profile activities gave them some self esteem in place of actual improvements. Trump, I suspect, loves this trick. Creating a maximum amount of fuss which can be mistaken for worthwhile action. All the chaos of eggs broken is covered by the explanation that this is how omelettes are made and folk must be patient.

    There are too many stupid folk amongst the electorate to tackle this with appeals to grown up government. We must work on offering them fairness….and credibly so.

    We’ll need big news and mea culpas from the DNP soon…and plans.

    Blaming the electorate must now stop. Winning them back must start.

  234. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38764079

    President Donald Trump will seek a tax on goods imported from Mexico and use the revenue to build a border wall, the White House spokesman has said.

    The plan was announced just after the Mexican president cancelled a visit to Washington, amid a row sparked by the question of who will pay for the wall.

    Mr Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order to create a wall on the US southern border with Mexico.

    Making Mexico pay for it was one of his key election campaign pledges.

    But President Enrique Pena Nieto has always insisted that will not happen and on Thursday he pulled out of next week’s White House meeting.

    Hours later, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters that the president had discussed the funding proposal with lawmakers, and that they are considering making it part of a tax reform package the US Congress is planning.

    He said that a 20% tax could generate approximately $10bn (£8bn) in tax revenue per year.

    “Right now our country’s policy is to tax exports and let imports flow freely in, which is ridiculous”, Mr Spicer said aboard Air Force One, adding that the tax will “easily pay for the wall”.

    The two countries exchange about $1.6bn (£1.27bn) per day in cross-border trade.

    The plan is still being finalised, he explained, saying that the tax could ultimately be as low as 5%.

    Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, later said that the border tax is only one of several options being considered.

    The rift between the neighbours and trade partners has deepened just days into Mr Trump’s presidency.

    After Mr Pena Nieto pulled out of the summit, Mr Trump said the meeting would have been “fruitless” if Mexico didn’t treat the US “with respect” and pay for the wall.

    I would guess that lots of other countries, agencies, and professional bodies, are going to “fail to respect” Trump’s lunatic demands, and will probably regard Trumps demands for “respect” in negotiations and public statements, laughably ridiculous, in view of the examples in Trump’s personal behaviour towards others!

    Respect has to be earned!!

  235. It looks like there will be a severe shortage of expert experienced staff in the State department – not that an absence of expert advice or capability is likely to bother Trump!!

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/state-department-resignations/514550/

    Trump’s Hollowed-Out State Department – Abrupt departures of top officials Wednesday, under disputed circumstances, leave Foggy Bottom without a confirmed secretary or nominees for several top leadership jobs.

    When and if Rex Tillerson is confirmed as secretary of state, he’ll arrive to a Mahogany Row that is unusually quiet. On Wednesday, as the Associated Press and Josh Rogin of The Washington Post report, several top officials at the State Department resigned their posts.

    The resignations are not, primarily, a political story.
    They will further the impression among Trump’s critics that his administration is a chaotic mess staffed, when it’s staffed at all, by greenhorn newcomers. But the mass of voters don’t tend to get all that excited about internal managers at the State Department, especially since Trump and other Republicans have spent years railing against bureaucrats, and particularly bureaucrats who served under Hillary Clinton.

    But someone has to run the State Department, to keep the gears of diplomacy turning, and Rogin reports that the latest resignations are part of a “mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.”
    In early January, The New York Times reported that Trump’s team would not grant grace periods to any outgoing ambassadors, a break with tradition. A source dismissed concerns about their departures to Fox News, pointing out that many ambassadors are political appointees whose major qualification for their jobs was raising lots of money for Barack Obama: “The number twos are career foreign service officers and more than capable of stepping into the roles.”

    The question is what happens when the number twos start leaving, as well as the top career appointees in Washington.
    Several top State Department employees were on a list of officials asked to stay on during the transition period who refused to do so, Reuters reported on January 19. Tillerson’s business experience is expected to serve him well in marshaling an organization the size of the State Department,** but learning the in and outs of administration will take time, and that will be harder without top officials like the ones who resigned on Wednesday** around to help show the workings.

    The need for a professionalized, career staff to handle foreign affairs was clear nearly a century ago when the U.S. Foreign Service was created to grapple with the nation’s more ambitious global aspirations, and the faster pace of diplomacy in a world of modern communications.

  236. Phil

    We’ll need big news and mea culpas from the DNP soon…and plans.

    The news and the plans…like what? What will it take?

  237. Alf, Phil, others

    I believe I used the word “unencumbered” first, several months ago. “Intellectually unencumbered” doesn’t mean anything. Unencumbered means free of burden.

    They [the voters for Trump] had little prospect of any change from Clinton especially given a superb smear campaign from Trump.

    That’s BS. (I am seething.) Let me say this again: I am feeling increasing resentment towards the people that said that Hillary Clinton was corrupt and that they were both bad candidates. I hate the halfwit losers, the blue collar and rural voters, that fell for fake news and the UNENCUMBERED Bernie-only fanatics and the non-voters. Bravo to these slobs that helped get him elected.

    Why keep defending the Trump voters as victims only? Have you ever listened to one of these morons? Have you? Stupid as all hell! Completely stupid. (Not all of them.)Yes, the needs of the blue collar voters have to be addressed, as Sanders says. But many of these people have their facts all wrong, because they choose to be stupid, have their heads up their asses. And they are unaware of the reality of rapid technological changes vis-a-vis labor, unaware of the pros and cons of trade, etc. And they want to produce coal; coal is bad for us. How do you deal with willful ignorance and self-seeking? They are contemptible as well as disenfranchised. So it will be hard to reach these voters. And we have to vote for a Democrats now no matter what, and the ones that have the best chance of winning.

  238. Cont.

    These Trump voters are NOT all decent people, as Michael Moore says. Some are; many are the scum of the earth, are scapegoating bigots, filled with shame, fear, and self-loathing. It’s not just about reaching them; it’s about outnumbering them in upcoming elections too.

    In other news: The right wing neo nazis are now in bed with Israel. (The right-wing Parties and the Israeli regime work hand in hand.)

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.767509

    Senior Official From Marine Le Pen’s Party Visits Israel, Meets With Ruling Party Member.

    Barak Ravid Jan 26, 2017 8:35 AM

    The secretary-general of France’s National Front party, Nicolas Bay, arrived in Israel on Wednesday for a visit, during which he will meet with members of the French community here and met with Young Likud chairman David Shayan.

    The visit by an official from the party headed by Marine Le Pen, less than three months before France’s presidential election, is highly unusual. The Israeli government officially boycotts the National Front, many of whose members hold anti-Semitic views.

  239. Blaming the electorate must now stop. Winning them back must start. -Phil

    Yes and no. They must win themselves back as well. Educated people knew that Hillary was by far the better candidate. I do blame them (and will continue blaming them), and more than I blame the democrats. They were lied to and were stupid enough to believe the lies, and may have to learn the hard way. In the mean time, I say stop blaming the democrats all the time for Trump’s treachery, the malleability of the Trump voters, and for all the propaganda and media coverage that got an unhinged, corrupt, hypocritical, fascist dictator, who is reinforcing the interests of big banks and big corporations, elected!! (Big business is anti-labor, are against unions, but the blue collar voters haven’t yet learned this.)

    The democrats do need to be more aggressive. That’s their main problem.

  240. Alan4discussion #275
    Jan 26, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38764079

    President Donald Trump will seek a tax on goods imported from Mexico and use the revenue to build a border wall, the White House spokesman has said….. He said that a 20% tax could generate approximately $10bn (£8bn) in tax revenue per year.

    So the insanity begins in earnest as predicted above, all of it fueled by Trump’s ego. Some time ago I posted a section on how Trump used to put ridiculous, unnecessary terms into contracts just to humiliate the other guy and assuage Trump’s inferiority complex. It may well be that the “build the wall” stuff was a planned part of the Trump campaign but I suspect that the “make Mexico pay for it” was an off the cuff Trump ego thing. Like any president could build a wall just by allocating enough money but only me, the greatest negotiator, can make Mexico pay for it too. So now this is the part that actually matters most to him because a reverse here would be a humiliating blow to his ego.

    Of course Pena was never going to just pony up a cheque for X billion dollars so Trump is left with the need to cost Mexico bigly so he can say to his base he made them pay in some form or other and the only way to do that is a trade war.

    The bit they miss though is what happens when Mexico also slaps a similar tax on American imports? They trade in similar amounts so Mexico gets straight back in tax whatever tax America gets. The people who get hurt are the businesses and staff who depend on this trade which will of course diminish and the consumers who now have to pay more for their goods. Trump will destroy the livelihoods of tens of thousands for his petty self aggrandisment.

    Less than a week in now and he’s torching everything he can reach. I used to say George W Bush was the anti Midas because everything he touched turned to shit. I’m not sure where Trump fits into that analogy but everything he touches seems to wither and die or burst into flames. He leaves a trail of fear, despair and hopelessness in his wake.

    He said China was his greatest threat but he’s actually strengthened it by leaving TPP. An emboldened Israel is starting to build settlements again. Putin is laughing as he eyes up Ukraine, Georgia and various countries ending in Stan as he ponders again his ambition to reconstitute the Soviet Union. Assad is committing even more atrocities. The Middle East is on alert about anyone coming back to steal their oil.

    He’s already destroyed the trust of his own intelligence services and defunding organisations worldwide who give advice on abortion or provide abortions is going to have devastating consequences for millions.

    He needs to be taken to the vet and put down like a sick pet.

  241. Big business is an enemy of the working class, is against organized labor, unions; but the blue collar voters haven’t yet learned this. –Dan

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/chomsky-business-elites-are-waging-brutal-class-war-america-0

    ….Well, there’s always a class war going on. The United States, to an unusual extent, is a business-run society, more so than others. The business classes are very class-conscious—they’re constantly fighting a bitter class war to improve their power and diminish opposition. Occasionally this is recognized….

    ….The case of labor is crucial, because it is the base of organization of any popular opposition to the rule of capital, and so it has to be dismantled. There’s a tax on labor all the time. During the 1920s, the labor movement was virtually smashed by Wilson’s Red Scare and other things. In the 1930s, it reconstituted and was the driving force of the New Deal, with the CIO organizing and so on. By the late 1930s, the business classes were organizing to try to react to this….

    ….We don’t use the term “working class” here because it’s a taboo term. You’re supposed to say “middle class,” because it helps diminish the understanding that there’s a class war going on….

    ….In the U.S., organized labor has been repeatedly and extensively crushed, and has endured a very violent history as compared with other countries….

    ….That’s why unions had the slogan, “solidarity,” even though they may not have lived up to it. And that’s what really counts: solidarity, mutual aid, care for one another and so on. And it’s really important for power systems to undermine that ideologically, so huge efforts go into it. Even trying to stimulate consumerism is an effort to undermine it….

    Blaming the electorate must now stop. Winning them back must start. –Phil

    Not so easy to win them back; they wouldn’t have known “fairness” if it it them in the face, I’m afraid. Easy to put all or much of the blame on Hillary’s campaign manager and the Democrats, however. I agree that the Democrats need to be more progressive and more aggressive, separate themselves out from the Republicans more, and make a concerted effort to try to appeal to the working class more effectively; but this failure on the part of the Democrats is no excuse for voting for Trump! So, yes, I blame the electorate, I blame propaganda and lies; in other words, I blame those who are taken in by propaganda and lies. Not everyone was. I didn’t vote for Trump.

    But lies and propaganda are very effective forms of deception; so while I blame I also understand that the Trump voters are, to a certain extent, victims.

  242. Laurie

    What will it take?

    Convincing plans for real change in the way the state operates. Plans for actually draining the swamp. For properly tackling inequality. Demonstrating somehow (fuck knows….) that expertise of institutions are at the service of everyone and desperately needed by the poorest most.

    The DNP must see what they contrived to throw away with Bernie…and the mistrust it engendered with too many. They must drain their own swamp. Bernie’s tales of the lack lustre, time serving DNP folk makes depressing reading..

    Finally we must prepare folk for post Trump anyway. No band aid. A real fix.

    Dan

    Unencumbered means free of burden.

    There ya go. Intellectually etc.

    Why keep defending the Trump voters as victims only?

    I have defended no one, no one.

    Fairness breeds fairness. Iniquity, iniquity. All the time? No. Just a tendency. But that’s how it starts…that’s how it continues.

    The US is now toxically iniquitous, but, mixed with an unusual celebration of individualism and self reliance, becomes toxically, defensively, selfish also. It is the perfect breeding ground for parasitism. Pre-divided and needy.

  243. Question: Is there going to be an independent investigation of Russian interference/hacking? If it’s done by the CIA or FBI nothing will get done. The people heading these agencies are working for Trump now, were hired by him, and in bed with him, so to speak. Who is going to investigate? Under whose leadership? Comey? Sessions? Pompeo? They’re all beholden to or allied with Trump!

    Phil, what in the hell is the DNP? Doctor of Nursing Practice? Another infernal acronym. I looked it up. Nothing.

    Post Trump? What does that mean? They’re in the process of destroying this country; and that ain’t no exaggeration.

    (Nice to see you again.)

  244. what in the hell is the DNP?

    A brain fart, Dan.

    Elsewhere I’ve been writing about the DNC ‘n’ DP…. They just sorta slithered together here.

    Post Trump? What does that mean?

    He’s immortal? Fuuuuuck!

    Hitting the iceberg, you should be planning for amelioration of what follows.

    Sorry this is just a drive by. Hope you are well!

  245. repossess the dispossessed #274

    As a confirmed collector of Rimmerisms this one stands out. So many levels of association here: the yearning of the DNC to reclaim rural America; the mortgage bubble, economic collapse and subsequent wave of repos of the last decade; along with what I believe to be a gentle nod to the New Deal and the Forgotten Man, all in three words. And it’s alliterative. Remember young people, the essence of poetry is compactness and economy of language.