The MAGA-bomber Is a Rabid and Deeply Deluded Trump Supporter
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One of the biggest surprises in my research on Trump's foreign deals, particularly the one in Azerbaijan with likely money-launderers for Iran's Revolutionary Guard, is how BAD TRUMP IS AT BEING BAD.
He got $5 million to lend his name to a $350 million $-laundering scheme. He's a sucker. Money launderers often get 20% of the money they're laundering.
If he were caught (well, he was, so, rather, if anyone cared if he was caught) he would face hundreds of millions in fines. That's just bad risk management. ESPECIALLY for a fraud-based operation.
Look at how Kim Jong-Un, Putin, and MBS play him. That's how ALL his partners treat him.
He really should be a multibillionaire. But he's too weak and dumb to do these deals well.
His dad was, at least, bold and a bit creative in his fraud and was able to do it at impressive scale.
Trump, himself, has been a chump. Trump the Chump. That's his vulnerability, imo.
“Any guy who can do a body-slam, he’s my kind of — he’s my guy,” Trump said in a Montana campaign appearance on Thursday, referring to Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) who pleaded guilty to assaulting the Guardian’s reporter Ben Jacobs, who had the temerity to ask Gianforte a health-care question. “I had heard that he body-slammed a reporter. And he was way up. … I said ‘Oh this is terrible, he’s gonna lose the election,’ ” Trump continued. “Then I said, ‘Well, wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him.’ And it did.” And his ghoulish fans ate that up.
The Guardian’s U.S. editor responded with a statement: “To celebrate an attack on a journalist who was simply doing his job is an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it,” said John Mulholland. “In the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists both here and across the world where they often face far greater threats. We hope decent people will denounce these comments and that the president will see fit to apologize for them.”
Trump won’t apologize, of course, nor will his devoted base hold his remarks against him. To the contrary, this is what they love about him — the contempt for a free press, the celebration of male thuggishness, the mindless emotional outbursts. Somehow it empowers them, to side with brutes and bullies, to revel in the silencing of a free press.
And in case you thought such moral depravity was limited to a few thousand fans, a concerted smear campaign against Khashoggi is underway. The Post reports:
In recent days, a cadre of conservative House Republicans allied with Trump has been privately exchanging articles from right-wing outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi, highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood in his youth and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago as an embedded reporter covering Osama bin Laden, according to four GOP officials involved in the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly. …
Just two years ago, amid global fanfare, the Paris climate accords were signed — initiating what seemed, for a brief moment, like the beginning of a planet-saving movement. But almost immediately, the international goal it established of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius began to seem, to many of the world’s most vulnerable, dramatically inadequate; the Marshall Islands’ representative gave it a blunter name, calling two degrees of warming “genocide.”
The alarming new report you may have read about this week from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — which examines just how much better 1.5 degrees of warming would be than 2 — echoes the charge.
“Amplifies” may be the better term. Hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, the report declares, should the world warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, which it will do as soon as 2040, if current trends continue. Nearly all coral reefs would die out, wildfires and heat waves would sweep across the planet annually, and the interplay between drought and flooding and temperature would mean that the world’s food supply would become dramatically less secure. Avoiding that scale of suffering, the report says, requires such a thorough transformation of the world’s economy, agriculture, and culture that “there is no documented historical precedent.” The New York Times declared that the report showed a “strong risk” of climate crisis in the coming decades; in Grist, Eric Holthaus wrote that “civilization is at stake.”
If you are alarmed by those sentences, you should be — they are horrifying. But it is, actually, worse than that — considerably worse.
That is because the new report’s worst-case scenario is, actually, a best case. In fact, it is a beyond-best-case scenario. What has been called a genocidal level of warming is already our inevitable future.
The question is how much worse than that it will get. Barring the arrival of dramatic new carbon-sucking technologies, which are so far from scalability at present that they are best described as fantasies of industrial absolution, it will not be possible to keep warming below two degrees Celsius — the level the new report describes as a climate catastrophe.
As a planet, we are coursing along a trajectory that brings us north of four degrees by the end of the century. The IPCC is right that two degrees marks a world of climate catastrophe. Four degrees is twice as bad as that. And that is where we are headed, at present — a climate hell twice as hellish as the one the IPCC says, rightly, we must avoid at all costs. But the real meaning of the report is not “climate change is much worse than you think,” because anyone who knows the state of the research will find nothing surprising in it. The real meaning is, “you now have permission to freak out.” As recently as a year ago, when I published a magazine cover story exploring worst-case scenarios for climate change, alarmism of this kind was considered anathema to many scientists, who believed that storytelling that focused on the scary possibilities was just as damaging to public engagement as denial. There have been a few scary developments in climate research over the past year — more methane from Arctic lakes and permafrost than expected, which could accelerate warming; an unprecedented heat wave, arctic wildfires, and hurricanes rolling through both of the world’s major oceans this past summer. But by and large the consensus is the same: We are on track for four degrees of warming, more than twice as much as most scientists believe is possible to endure without inflicting climate suffering on hundreds of millions or threatening at least parts of the social and political infrastructure we call, grandly, “civilization.” The only thing that changed, this week, is that the scientists, finally, have hit the panic button.
Because the numbers are so small, we tend to trivialize the differences between one degree and two, two degrees and four. Human experience and memory offers no good analogy for how we should think about those thresholds, but with degrees of warming, as with world wars or recurrences of cancer, you don’t want to see even one. At two degrees, the melting of ice sheets will pass a tipping point of collapse, flooding dozens of the world’s major cities this century. At that amount of warming, it is estimated, global GDP, per capita, will be cut by 13 percent. Four hundred million more people will suffer from water scarcity, and even in the northern latitudes heat waves will kill thousands each summer. It will be worse in the planet’s equatorial band. In India, where many cities now numbering in the many millions would become unliveably hot, there would be 32 times as many extreme heat waves, each lasting five times as long and exposing, in total, 93 times more people. This is two degrees — practically speaking, our absolute best-case climate scenario. At three degrees, southern Europe will be in permanent drought. The average drought in Central America would last 19 months and in the Caribbean 21 months. In northern Africa, the figure is 60 months — five years. The areas burned each year by wildfires would double in the Mediterranean and sextuple in the United States. Beyond the sea-level rise, which will already be swallowing cities from Miami Beach to Jakarta, damages just from river flooding will grow 30-fold in Bangladesh, 20-fold in India, and as much as 60-fold in the U.K. This is three degrees — better than we’d do if all the nations of the world honored their Paris commitments, which none of them are. Practically speaking, barring those dramatic tech deus ex machinas, this seems to me about as positive a realistic outcome as it is rational to expect. At four degrees, there would be eight million cases of dengue fever each year in Latin America alone. Global grain yields could fall by as much as 50 percent, producing annual or close-to-annual food crises. The global economy would be more than 30 percent smaller than it would be without climate change, and we would see at least half again as much conflict and warfare as we do today. Possibly more.
Our current trajectory, remember, takes us higher still, and while there are many reasons to think we will bend that curve soon — the plummeting cost of renewable energy, the growing global consensus about phasing out coal — it is worth remembering that, whatever you may have heard about the green revolution and the price of solar, at present, global carbon emissions are still growing.
Vice President Pence is giving a speech today at the Hudson Institute.
Normally that wouldn’t get a lot of attention, especially with so much else going on. But this is a bigger deal than it might appear.
Seeing portions of the speech now on Twitter, it is crystal clear that the White House is trying to delegitimize the on-going Mueller probe by setting up China is the real meddler in US internal affairs and democratic practice.
Most importantly, they are claiming that China is working against Donald Trump in 2018 and 2020. This is a big, big deal and I expect they will be expanding on it in the coming weeks and likely going into 2020.