Thursday, June 01, 2017

How Does The Country Protect Itself From Trump?


Gaius was in L.A. this week. One night he and his wife came to dinner with Digby and I (Nerano-- unbelievable). At one point we entertained the idea that "the deep state" really is seeking to overturn the will of the people who put Trump in the White House. (In my mind that would be some combination of Putin, people addicted to prescription drugs and these folks; that said, I still respect the process and insist the only way to stop him is by electing progressives to Congress in 2018.)

None of us were especially comfortable with the idea that we're in the midst of a soft coup by the deep state and its an idea being pushed, more and more hysterically by Bannon and Trump (and Dennis Kucinich). How dare they think they can overturn the results of an election Putin worked so hard to fix for Señor Trumpanzee!

This may be intellectually dishonest and expose me for lacking integrity... and I probably feel less horrible about a soft coup against Trump, Pence and Bannon because of the existential threat this people are putting democracy, the country and the world in. Especially the world. A bumbling imbecile like Trump has no conception of the damage he can cause with his war against Science, a war that includes not just hiring that Pruitt maniac to head the EPA but by withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord. Sources on the right say he's decided to go for it. It helps explain why this horrible picture is so popular on social media:

Chelsea Clinton is ready to scold anyone who dares laugh at this

People are serious about saving the planet, even if it's beyond Trump's ken. Hopefully the dementia treatment he's getting-- the flashing red lights in the White House residence windows the other night-- will help wake him up more than Ivanka has been able to do.

Wednesday morning Michael Shear warned NY Times readers that "three officials with knowledge of the decision" have confirmed that Señor Trumpanzee "is expected to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement... A senior White House official cautioned that the specific language of the president’s expected announcement was still in flux Wednesday morning. The official said the withdrawal might be accompanied by legal caveats that will shape the impact of Mr. Trump’s decision. And Mr. Trump has proved himself willing to shift direction up until the moment of a public announcement. He is set to meet Wednesday afternoon with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has advocated that the United States remain a part of the Paris accords and could continue to lobby the president to change his mind."
[F]aced with advisers who pressed hard on both sides of the Paris question, Mr. Trump appears to have decided that a continued United States presence in the accord would harm the economy; hinder job creation in regions like Appalachia and the West, where his most ardent supporters live; and undermine his “America First” message.

Advisers pressing him to remain in the accord could still make their case to the boss. In the past, such appeals have worked. In April, Mr. Trump was set to announce a withdrawal from the Nafta free trade agreement, but at the last minute changed his mind after intense discussions with advisers and calls from the leaders of Canada and Mexico. Last week, a senior administration official said Mr. Trump would use a speech in Brussels to make an explicit endorsement of NATO’s Article 5 mutual defense provision, which states that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all. He didn’t.

The exit of the United States, the world’s largest economy and second-largest greenhouse gas polluter would not dissolve the 195-nation pact, which was legally ratified last year, but it could set off a cascade of events that would have profound effects on the planet. Other countries that reluctantly joined the agreement could now withdraw or soften their commitments to cutting planet-warming pollution.

“The actions of the United States are bound to have a ripple effect in other emerging economies that are just getting serious about climate change, such as India, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton, and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that produces scientific reports designed to inform global policy makers.

Once the fallout settles, he added, “it is now far more likely that we will breach the danger limit of 3.6 degrees.” That is the average atmospheric temperature increase above which a future of extreme conditions is considered irrevocable.

The aim of the Paris agreement was to lower planet-warming emissions enough to avoid that threshold.

“We will see more extreme heat, damaging storms, coastal flooding and risks to food security,” Professor Oppenheimer said. “And that’s not the kind of world we want to live in.”

Foreign policy experts said the move could damage the United States’ credibility and weaken Mr. Trump’s efforts to negotiate issues far beyond climate change, like negotiating trade deals and combating terrorism.

“From a foreign policy perspective, it’s a colossal mistake-- an abdication of American leadership ” said R. Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and the under secretary of state during the presidency of George W. Bush.

“The success of our foreign policy-- in trade, military, any other kind of negotiation-- depends on our credibility. I can’t think of anything more destructive to our credibility than this,” he added.

But Mr. Trump’s supporters, particularly coal state Republicans, cheered the move, celebrating it as a fulfillment of a signature campaign promise. Speaking to a crowd of oil rig workers last May, Mr. Trump vowed to “cancel” the agreement, and Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, has pushed the president to withdraw from the accord as part of an economic nationalism that has so far included pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade pact, and vowing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Coal miners and coal company executives in states such as Kentucky and West Virginia have pushed for Mr. Trump to reverse all of President Barack Obama’s climate change policies, many of which are aimed at reducing the use of coal, which is seen as the largest contributor to climate change.

...Although the administration has been debating for months its position on the Paris agreement, the sentiment for leaving the accord ultimately prevailed over the views of Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and close adviser, who had urged the president to keep a seat at the climate negotiating table.

...Without the United States, there is likely to be far less pressure on major polluting countries and industries to accurately report their emissions. There have been major questions raised about the accuracy of China’s emissions reporting, in particular.

Goal Thermometer “We need to know: What are your emissions? Where are your emissions?” said Todd D. Stern, the lead climate negotiator during the Obama administration. “There needs to be transparent reporting on countries’ greenhouse gas emissions. If the U.S. is not part of that negotiation, that’s a loss for the world.”
Is that a good enough reason for either a soft coup or... a Kathy Griffin solution, which Señor Trumpanzee claimed his 11 year old son Barron is having "a hard time" with? If Trump goes through with his plans for Climate Change, it's likely Barron Trump and every other 11 year old will have a much harder time a very few decades down the road. In the end, though, I don't believe in coups or assassinations and I'm convinced we can and will win back the House in 2018 and stop Trump's madness from irreparably harming the country and the planet that way. Agree? If you do, please consider helping the progressive House candidates you'll find by tapping the ActBlue 2018 thermometer on the right.

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At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

coupla things:

the drumpfsterfire was amused when tad nugent advocated killing obamanation. But when it's his own vacuum-filled skull it's "difficult". Did the secret service "investigate" nugent? did nugent apologize? no and no. fucking hypocrites.

just how will empowering Pelosi, hoyer, scummer, Crowley et al with majorities change one single thing? How much money have they taken from extraction and how much more will they gleefully rake should they win a majority?

Sure, the new "progressives" will be allowed to talk about stuff, but they and their party won't DO shit about anything the donors don't want. Just like the past 8 years.

I still fail to see how electing even a few more good people as Ds will change anything. Never did before. What's different now?

And, I'll repeat, it's already too late. The geologic record shows that 350 ppm is more the threshold than 400. And we're already well past 400. Once past 350, the systems of climate forcings and feedbacks became resonant. We're not at 3.6 degrees (which is far more than we can abide anyway) yet, but we'll get there as sure as americans will end up electing someone worse than the drumpfsterfire ... cuz that's how we react to horrible -- we elect horribler.

Climate dynamics rarely manifest palatable change in human timelines (a supervolcano eruption, as in Yellowstone, could change things suddenly). And humans are morons who believe in astral fairies that will save us.. or some of us, anyway. But that's where we are going. You can quote me.

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have yet to find a way for anyone to defend themselves against themselves. We Americans ARE Trump. We allowed a foolish clown to take power over our nation because we see him as our avatar.

Changing ourselves for our own good is incredibly painful We Americans don't do pain well. It will have to be forced upon us from outside, including from Mother Nature. And since it's clear we are too stupid as a species to survive, we deserve to die off.

At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the people who put Trump in the White House. (In my mind that would be some combination of Putin, people addicted to prescription drugs and these folks"

In other words, "these folks" are a bunch of ignorant hicks, certainly not the sort of class to be found at Nerano. In fact, 90% of Trump voters are the same group that voted for Mitt and McCain--predominately college educated suburban whites, both males and females. Probably a few were scattered not too far from your table. Perhaps 10% were former Obama supporters in the midwest who wondered where that America was that Hillary proclaimed was already great.

Culturally I suspect you have far more in common with those 90% than the latter. And btw--your callous attitude to "deplorables" who are drug-addicted channels the stereotypes that the political elites use against inner-city black residents--"they're stupid and on drugs".


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