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Climate Change is a VERY elaborate hoax

Climate Change is a VERY elaborate hoax

Liberal hoax sparks wildfires in godless Los Angeles

This can be a challenging time for good honest Americans who understand the truth about climate change. Sometimes it’s difficult to view your YouTube videos or Infowars posts through the sweat dripping into your eyes, the floodwaters lapping at your door, or the fires on the horizon. Here are just a few of the frightening weather events popping up around us that are definitely unrelated to climate change.

Cool, foggy San Francisco hit 106 degrees over Labor Day weekend. Eight of the ten hottest days in San Francisco history have happened in the past thirty years. Four of them since 2000. Two of them were last week.

Hurricane Harvey was the largest rain event in US history, but that’s perhaps not the most remarkable fact about the storm. Over the winter meteorologists warned about unusual heat in the Gulf of Mexico. For the first winter in recorded history water temperatures there never dipped below 73 degrees. From November to February, Galveston experienced 31 record highs. Temps were so high that scientists worried about errors in their equipment. This map of ocean surface temperatures in the days leading up to Harvey shows the remarkable heat in the Gulf, but look at the deviations from normal farther north, toward the Arctic!

There was practically no winter over the Upper Midwest, with Chicago experiencing only a single significant snowfall over the whole season. For the first time in the city’s history, there was no snow on the ground in January and February.

Earlier this year Antarctica experienced its highest temperatures ever recorded. In August, Greenland caught fire. That’s right, Greenland. For two weeks in August peat fires from an unknown source burned out of control in a remote section of tundra. The fire was extinguished last week by a torrential rain event. Wildfires were put out by Arctic thunderstorms.

While Houston was reeling from Harvey, Los Angeles was fighting the largest wildfires in its history. Fires crested the hills over Burbank, creating a spectacular scene.

Smoke from wildfires blanketing Montana spread across the Great Lakes, creating beautiful sunsets and haze. Fires stretch from the southern Rockies far into Alberta and British Columbia.

Europe has been crippled by a heat wave stretching from France to Siberia. Triple-digit temps in Paris left the city struggling, as few residences and businesses use air conditioning.

Record monsoons have killed more than a thousand people in South Asia. Floods stretched from Nepal to Southern India. Almost a million homes have been destroyed in Bangladesh alone.

Death Valley set a record in July for the hottest month ever recorded. Congratulations America, We’re #1 again!

This year marked the fourth mass coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef since 1998. Two thirds of the reef are now impacted. Continuing, concentrated cycles of bleaching threaten to kill off much of the northern zone of the reef. A lethal combination of heat, and acidity from rising carbon levels is threatening reefs all over the world, but Florida is particularly vulnerable. The economy of the Keys faces devastation from the accelerating decline of the only major coral reefs in the continental US. Voters in the Keys’ supported Donald Trump by a 51-44 margin.

As a pure coincidence, CO2 levels have been consistently above 400ppm since late in 2015. In April we breached the 410ppm mark for the first time in history.

Republican politicians tell me that climate change is a hoax. We have to believe them because they love Jesus and get all their data through prayer. It should be noted, however, that climate change is a particularly elaborate hoax, one so devious that it seems to be impacting our weather. Just more evidence of the danger of liberal lies.

Remember to ignore anything you witness that conflicts with your bigoted beliefs, and Have a Blessed Day.


  1. The thought we don’t have an impact on our planet is as stupid as letting your dog poop in your own back yard and expecting “God” to take care of it. Sooner or later, it’s going to have an impact, and no God of any variety is going to save you from the consequences.

    The whole denial thing is just a facet of partisan warfare pushed by those who seek to profit from continued ignorance and laziness. To assume we can’t have an impact is baseless, selfish, ignorant, and negligent in every sense of the words.

    The planet doesn’t need us, and will be there long after we’re gone. Nobody is going to save us from ourselves. The longer you neglect a problem, the worse the consequences are, and this problem has been a century in the making.

    We have the technology and the science to do things better, but there’s something about 20th century industry that has fossilized greed and negligence into a barrier against diligence and responsibility.

    1. Oblivious to common sense, ignorance of science – these have become the shades which filter facts from opinions. With the election of T, America has reached the nadir of its journey of denial of reality. Unread, shallow thinking, insensitive, this man, America’s leader, continues to set an example for the degradation that occurs when the democratic process is abridged. I give you, DJT, who, once again, dismays, shocks, and sullies our proud nation.

    1. Texan, Our family vacationed for decades in FL and lived 5 years in the panhandle before moving to the wonderful world of conservatives – TX. I can tell you unequivocally, I was happier living in FL. The Politico piece is a great read. In hindsight, the move was smart the destination (TX) was a poor fit. Seniors living in an area as prone to weather disruption as FL, are risking life savings and life from weather events which are becoming the norm rather than the exception due to climate change.

      I loved the statement about Floridians calling animal control to retrieve alligators in their yards, not recognizing that maybe we are in the alligators yard! Indeed. That can be said of many areas and many people. The Indians – as a prime example. The march of civilization has had many blessings and consequences. I hope FL rides this out with the best possible outcome but I worry that this storm is a harbinger of problems to come. What will be interesting is to see how many Floridians move from this vulnerable area.

    2. It’s not that we can’t live in such places, but rather we have to figure out how to live on each local environment’s terms if we want to minimize the losses. Mother Nature bats last, and she hits 1.000.

      Miami looks to have dodged the bullet this time, but no way that real estate market doesn’t crash, probably within my lifetime.

      1. Which brings us back to the “Ike Dike”. Galveston would have been the city Houston became except for the great storm of Galveston in 1900. The difference is the intensity and devastation these too frequent weather events are having on our populated coastline. What to do? Can America afford to wall off our entire eastern and southern coastal areas? Build the IKE Dike and the coastal areas to its east and west flood.

        There is a great book about flooding that is not only a terrific read, but it is narrative history extremely well presented. It is: Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, by John M Barry. Another great book about the 1900 Galveston Hurricane (and flood), is the non-fiction account, Isaac’s Storm, by Erik Larson.

        One day, I’ll read them both again. They are that well written.

    3. Interesting article – to me the central point of the article is that humanity has been able to build cities in many areas where they should never have been built. That is not only true of South Florida but many other areas. With the sea levels rising much of South Florida will be below sea level in a few decades. That will also be true of many of the coastal cities throughout the US and the rest of the world. Rather than attempting to reverse or even stabilize global warming the US is ignoring it and pretending that it doesn’t exist. There has been some discussion on this blog regarding designing the infrastructure to accommodate water and floods. That is well and good and something that needs to bed done, but we need to do much more. The massive amounts of water stored in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will have to go somewhere. Those ice sheets are in the process of collapsing.

    4. I got a kick out of the logic in this line from the article: “In 1926, a few weeks after the Miami Herald urged its readers not to worry about hurricanes because “there is more risk to life from venturing across a busy street,” a Category 4 storm flattened Miami, killing 400 and abruptly ending the coastal boom.”

    1. If you miss it, you can probably listen to it later via podcast.

      The first half of the show is about whether certain forms of free speech should sometimes be stifled.

      The second half looks at whether demonstrators should not be allowed to carry weapons during protests.

    2. Tutta, I am enjoying the New Yorker Radio Hour program on Free Speech. Great speakers – wonderful vocabularies and very deep thinkers. I’ve heard two so far and now listening to the third speaker. Thanks for the link and encouragement. I need to listen to more programming like this. Balance……..Intelligence.

  2. I just listened to an incredibly informative, interesting radio interview on NPR on flood management on NPR on a regular Sunday program, “Living on Earth”. The topic was: “Flood Insurance & Resilience” and the expert being interviewed was Larry Larson with the Association of State Flood Plain Managers. Mr. Lars0n is deeply informed on this topic. I highly recommend that you read or listen to the interview (16 min.) as this discussion is what our nation needs to be engaged in at all levels. His biography is readily available online and is extensive in this area. Larson is exactly the kind of thinker we need to help guide policy and planning on this problem.

  3. I just got word from my brother who lives in Punta Gorda that he is being evacuated to North Port, FL. An 8 foot storm surge is expected in Punta Gorda. He said that he expects to lose most of his furniture and belongings. His apartment is likely going to be flooded. He was hit severely by the depression and lost most everything then. He is just been getting back on his feet in the last couple years.

  4. “GOP Reps. Joe Barton, Jeb Hensarling, Sam Johnson and Mac Thornberry all voted no on a $15.25 billion aid package Friday that is on its way to President Trump’s desk. Much of that money will boost federal emergency responders and help small businesses and homeowners rebuild. Some of it could go to victims of Hurricane Irma, which is barreling toward Florida this weekend.”

    Do you think their vote will have a negative impact on their next reelection campaign?

  5. Well, the family’s hunkered down and prepared as best as we can be for Irma. The power’s certainly going to be out for a few days at least, but hopefully everything goes well and we won’t suffer any significant damage. Small miracle that we’re not in an evacuation zone or anywhere prone to substantial flooding.

    Seeya all when the lights come back on. Take care.

    1. I add my wishes for your safety during Irma. Please post as soon as you can to let us know how your family has managed.

      I know Stephen also lives in FL and wish him and his family well also.

      It’s awful to have this monster bearing down on you and all one can do is leave or prepare properly either at shelters or at home. I just want to bash the heads of all of those who refuse to even consider taking steps that scientists have outlined that could help reduce the impact of climate change. It doesn’t matter “why” this is occurring, only what we do to mitigate it that is within our control.

      Stay safe Ryan and Stephen and all others who may be in harm’s way.

      1. Thank you. Staying with one of my daughters. Looks like we are out of the brutal eye area and only will have tropical force winds. But the gulf coast and pan handle area are in for a beaten. Praying for them. NPR article showed Trump handly carried the Keys. Those who stayed there are most likely dying right now and most homes I think will be destroyed there. Unbelievable how people will delude themselves even to the point of death and or financial destruction.

      2. Glad to see you checking in safe Stephen!

        As for anyone who stays in a dangerous spot and loses their life, I wonder how many listened to el rushbo. I don’t think there would be a legal case to be made against him, but a moral case? Oh yeah. He of course gave in to the hype he decried, and evacuated.

    1. Note that all three are moderates and are likely facing difficult reelection campaigns. This is a continuation of a trend in the Republican party of forcing the moderates out. Sofar none of the far right rabble rousers have announced retirement. If the D’s can capture the seats and also the majority, that will be helpful. Regardless, the remaining Republican party will move to the right. Dent was being primaried by another right winger.

      Already the national Republican Party is much further to the right than the American people as a whole. How much further right they can go and still win elections is the question. This blog does provide considerable discussion in that regard.

      1. I believe what we’re seeing is the makeup of the Republican Party changing in real-time. For whatever reasons, whether political, moral, or a mix of both, moderates are leaving one after another and, if word of mouth is to be believed, even some self-proclaimed conservatives are growing increasingly tired of the daily shitshow that is Washington these days.

        It’s still far too early to determine just how many retirements we’ll see on the Republican side heading into ’18, but what signs we have could point to quite a flurry if the proverbial dam breaks. FiveThirtyEight has Democrats with slightly under a ten-point advantage at the moment. If that lead holds and even expands heading into next year, don’t be surprised if you start seeing Republicans cutting their losses and jumping ship.

      1. I know Reichert is moderate having followed him for years. However, as all R’s he had a tendency to follow the party line much of the time. I did check the web site for Ros-Lehtinen and she appeared to be fairly moderate as well. But again she probably followed the party line much of the time.

        But you are correct in that the Freedom Caucus will also attempt to elect more ultra-conservatives. Dent was already being primaried by a far-rightwinger. Dent is from the Lehigh Valley, an old industrial area that has declined. Allentown and Bethlehem, PA are in that District. That was the home of Bethlehem Steel. I have worked with Engineers from Allentown and though they were conservative, they are not ultra-conservative.

        Regarding Reichert, you can refer to my earlier post. He has been moderate because his District demanded it. As I said the District has been drifting Democratic for years. Even though the high-tech portions were moved in 2011, the remaining exurban areas are moving in that direction as people are commuting from those areas to Seattle and mass transit is beginning to serve those areas. The Cook PVI now has it as even.

      2. Consider this scenario: Robert Menendez, D-Senator-NJ, is on trial for bribery. Should he be found guilty before Christie leaves his post as Governor, he gets to appoint Menendez’ replacement…If a Democrat is elected Governor prior to the end of the trial, he/she would have that opportunity. James Pindell who writes for the Boston Globe said this one bears watching…why? Christie “could” legally appoint himself or, another Republican…widening the GOP margin in the Senate.

        If the GOP gains a majority in the US Senate, democracy will be in dire straits.

      3. “I’m afraid that the Freedom Caucus will also see this as an opportunity to back and elect more ultra conservative Republicans to replace the moderates.”

        Which begs the question of where do they keep unearthing these uber right wing, religious nut jobs from? The number of people who are identifying with a particular religion is declining and the younger generations are identifying as “irreligious” and bisexual so where do these Bachmann and Oral Roberts types come from?

        I can only hope they are the last survivors of a dying breed screaming and desperately holding on to the last shred of relevancy in a changing world they are terrified of.

      4. Where do they find “these” people? They are likely your neighbors. While we can hope that this group (uber-right/religious) will continue their slide in numbers, the alt-right/nationalist movement is growing – and they are younger mostly white males. If we as citizens of America do not change those who are running our country, this is what we can look forward to. Our young people offer hope but they do not yet have the numbers (nor the voting consistency) to do the job for the rest of us.

        If T were removed from office, the order of succession puts Pence in line – a member of the Uber-right/religious wing…If T continues his term, the cabinet he has assembled will dominate policy and budget decisions hewing ultra right.

        Where does that leave us? Mid terms will provide a hint…but mid-terms are not usually Dems strongest turnout and the odds this election due to how many Dems are up for re-election – especially in the Senate – are a real challenge.

        It’s going to take a real concerted effort in the 2018 election from those of us who not only understand what’s at risk but are willing to put in the work to GOTV. The only strength we have currently is in our Senate position, which while in the minority, we keep Repubs from having a filibuster-proof majority. You see McConnell trying to ramrod votes using Reconciliation and how hard that’s been. If he picks up a few more seats from blue states, the GOP agenda is guaranteed as America’s new governing mechanism.

        2018 is truly a test of resolve and engagement.

      5. More on what’s happening within the Republican Party. You won’t be surprised. Question is – can Dems cash in on the internal chasm in the GOP or will T’s steadfast base counter the national frustration? Dems have to GOTV because we know clearly that T’s base will be rallied. In a mid-term election, this could be critical in terms of pure number of votes cast. The wild card appears who else within the GOP ranks are likely to depart, and, will this be an opportunity the Freedom Caucus will seize to steer the GOP even further right?

      6. “Which begs the question of where do they keep unearthing these uber right wing, religious nut jobs from?”

        When the Tea Party was a ‘Phenomenon’ (capital P), most articles said, “Newcomers and people not involved with politics before.” Any article that looked into it, however, saw that these were people who had been involved before — typically who were voted out after scandals in lower offices, or lost against more moderate GOPs before, or were generally considered persona non grata in the party.

        I can’t be the only person who noticed that the people who were quickest to embrace Trump were the politicians that were most feeling the noose tightening around their necks. Many were end-of-career, failures-to-launch, or like Chris Christie, see the writing on the wall and knew that if they didn’t cozy up to an administration, they’re toast (too bad it didn’t work out, eh Christie)? These were people ‘the electorate’ were getting increasingly impatient with and that nobody fucking likes.

        Now they run the federal government. Their hail-mary bid to save their asses worked, and they’re the ones that get to formulate what the party stands for.

        Obama got elected and suddenly the GOP ‘base’ started voting for every loser and whack-job they couldn’t stomach before, because of ‘incumbents.’ Nothing to do with racism, though.

    2. I don’t know if you are on the Daily Kos updates email list but their piece today on voting rights has a number of interesting facts in it about tactical moves Republicans are making in new states. It’s kind of “weedy” but since we’re all die-hard politicos, hope you’ll find time to read through. Apparently, there is no act too low to discourage the Democratic base from being able to vote.

  6. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Fear of a Black President” was one of the most significant articles I had ever read, in putting to words in a detailed and direct manner, with references and careful logic, the inherent racism behind people’s reactions to Obama’s presidency. I have found myself returning to it and rereading that article on many occasions.

    Now he has another homerun article that basically takes Chris’ points and the grumblings of people here and several activist groups I work with, and succinctly pulls it all together into a single, elegant, beautifully written document:

    Frankly, it’s only because I’ve gotten used to Nehisi’s use of language that I’ve gone beyond being astounded by his quality of writing, and am now simply astonished that he can so directly confront an issue at its roots without at least once breaking face and inserting a quick, “And seriously, fuck these people.”

    1. I read this yesterday. Pretty much nails Trump and his voters. Of course, everyone already knew why people voted for Trump. Bill Maher even addressed the odd, virulent hatred for Obama way before Trump. He said “he’s black”. Racism was at the core of Trump’s votes.

      The only thing I disagree with is the idea that rednecks are always low wage workers. I think of a “redneck” is more of a lifestyle than an economic issue down here. I know several guys I’d call “redneck” who make plenty of money. They go to work in a suit and tie in their huge pick ups, come home, drink a six pack and go fishing, hunting or boating on weekends. They have tons of “toys” too and a “good old boy” attitude.

      1. EJ

        You’re right, and it’s important to address that point.

        Many people who voted for Trump are poor, uneducated and rural. However, most people who voted for Trump also voted for Romney before him. This tells us nothing about Trump’s own power base.

        If one looks at the precincts that Trump won which Romney did not, then one sees that they earn above the average amount, and are likely to be suburban rather than either urban or rural.

        At the time of the election, at least, Trump was a middle-class phenomenon.

      2. Dins has spoken often about his concern that violence is not too far from reality given our political and cultural divide. While I am not consigning rednecks to the ranks of those who make up the majority of those involved in “civil disobedience”, I would also not count them out. It’s a perfect “fit”.

        WaPo takes a dive into this issue – who makes up these groups? It’s a growing movement, evidently, which the SPLC has documented in their hate group roster.

      3. I avoid discussing politics in public. Generally, the taboo subjects are religion and politics while in public though I have noticed this breaking down along with good manners in general.

        I was out with my SO for dinner the other night. We generally sit at the bar if it’s just the two of us and some guys at one end were discussing how great Trump was and bashing “liberals” and some of us at the bar were getting very uncomfortable. My SO is fairly conservative but he thought they were being very rude, defiant and combative as if they were spoiling for a verbal fight particularly with one patron who had identified himself as a democrat. Polite political discourse is a thing of the past.

    2. Coates writes beautifully. However, he builds an intricate and lovely structure with no real foundation. His argument has the stability of an elaborate sandcastle on a Florida beach.

      There are multiple reasons why Trump won the election. Not the least being that he was running against Hillary Clinton.

      To refresh your memories, Hillary is light-skinned, blond, blue-eyed, corrupt and has problems with technology (and telling the truth).

      If Barack Obama had been allowed to run for a third term – or if Michelle Obama had been willing to run – Coates’ argument might have had some validity.

      Coates’ sandcastle building enterprise is great for the Republican party. While Coates’ premise of racism is no doubt sincerely believed, it is only one factor in a multitude of reasons why the election was lost.

      Democrats are welcome to build their top-heavy structures on sand. Hopefully, they bought windstorm and flood insurance.

      1. You are entitled to your opinion but Trump’s core base are racists and they are pretty blatant about it too. I read too many comments on the internet about Obama that called him the “n*gger in the WH”, and “fumigate the smell of Camels and Purple Drank out”, Michelle was a “gorillas in heels”, really awful things and Trump IS a white supremacist and he actively sought their votes and encouraged them.

        Was it the only reason he won? No.

        I’m not sure how anyone can call Hillary corrupt while overlooking Trumpand all other politicians. Seems hypocritical at best. Personally, I could have voted Republican if they had put anyone else on the ticket. Okay, maybe not Lyin’ Ted Cruz.

      2. Tutt, I hope you like the enjoy the Coates article. My problem with Coates is that he bases his opinion on emotion and then tries to build a case despite glaring faults that contradict his assumptions.

        As he writes, he gets emotionally wound up with the beauty of his prose and loses further contact with reality and objectivity.

        His writing is beautiful – even passionate – and a pleasure to read, but the foundation of his thinking is often wrong.

        He no more knows what it’s like to be a white Trump voter than I know what it’s like to be a black Obama voter.

        Voters had varied reasons for voting for Trump that had nothing to do with racism. I recently talked to a friend from Houston who is a doctoral student. While he was quite open about his disagreement with many of Trump’s business and moral choices, he (like me) thought that the next Supreme Court position needed to be filled by a conservative for the sake of religious freedoms.

        His wife, an Indian immigrant, was appalled that immigration had gotten so out of hand. She thought illegal immigrants were held to a different standard than immigrants who tried to do things the right way. The 2016 presidential election was the first election she could vote. She voted for Trump.

        From gun rights to abortion to job insecurity, voters had numerous reasons to prefer Trump to Clinton. It would be easy to blame everything on racism, but Democrats do so at their peril.

        Blaming it all on racism is like a big, bad wolf bedtime story that lets liberals make sense of their world without having to grapple with issues like the economy. It may comfort them with the feeling that they are superior to conservatives, but in the long run, it will continue to lose them elections.

        Sleep tight Democrats and let me read to you from the Atlantic. Everything is due to racism ….. ZZZZZZZZZZZ Nighty, night.

      3. Tutt, I hope your cousin will be okay. I have a niece who lives in Florida and evacuated. My brother-in-law’s side of the family lives in Fort Meyers. Three members of the family had to stay because they were first responders – a police officer, a fireman and a paramedic.

        I check the weather often.

        I’m heading northwest tomorrow. I’m expecting a smoky ride to California to visit my beloved mother-in-law. Cough, cough. I might need to shorten the trip due to the wildfires…

      4. I tend to take assertions (assumptions) that Mr. Trump’s victory was due primarily to White supremacism with a grain of salt, because we really can’t see what is in people’s hearts. It’s true that a great many racists voted for Trump, but that doesn’t necessarily lead to the conclusion that anyone who voted for him is racist, especially when there are people who voted for Mr. Obama and now voted for Mr. Trump. I doubt they became racist from one election to the next. Moreover, there are Blacks and Hispanics who voted for Trump.

        Still, I would like to read what Mr. Coates has to say about the matter. I respect his viewpoint.

      5. Who exactly is Trump’s “base?” I tend to think of his base as the people who voted for him primarily for White nationalist/supremacist/racist reasons — a truly “base” group of people. Or is his base composed of voters who support him no matter what he does, who were on his side from the start, and voted FOR him, as opposed to voting AGAINST Mrs. Clinton, or who would have voted Republican no matter who the nominee was?

      6. Trump’s core base are people who insist he’s “doing great” despite numerous scandals and his courting of white supremacists and still screaming about Hillary and, yes, low info party slaves who vote R no matter what the person is like.

        “next Supreme Court position needed to be filled by a conservative for the sake of religious freedoms.”

        This makes no sense to me. No one is taking anyone’s religion away except “christians” trying to force their religion on the rest of us.

        “Blaming it all on racism is like a big, bad wolf bedtime story that lets liberals make sense of their world without having to grapple with issues like the economy. It may comfort them with the feeling that they are superior to conservatives, but in the long run, it will continue to lose them elections”

        Continuing to deny that a large number of closet racists voted for him lets conservatives sleep at night in contented delusion. Objv, I’ve always tended to believe you were a partisan slave and still do. You will vote party over person. Was Clinton perfect? Hell, no. Was she sane and more than capable of doing the job? Yes. Was she imminently better qualified than the psychopathic criminal in office now?

      7. Tutt, I don’t really understand what is meant by “Trump’s base” either.

        I’m sure there are some people who are white nationalists, but I have never met any. Have you?

        I’m sure there are people who are racist, but our country has made great strides forward when it comes to race.

        Does opposition to illegal immigration make one a racist? My Indian-American friend is as dark as many African-Americans and she is opposed to illegal immigrants cutting in line in front of other people patiently waiting for the opportunity to come here.

        People will be debating why Trump won for a long time. I personally believe that there were multiple factors that allowed Trump to win. Racism might have been one factor, but Clinton’s scandals might have been another. Many of Trump voters cast their ballots because of other issues that they cared about.

        The Obama administration failed large swaths of the population who found themselves in worse economic shape than before and Obamacare was a disaster to millions of people.

        Blaming everything on racism made for a nice narrative, but was it really the main driver for Trump voters?

      8. Exactly what scandals is Hillary guilty of that are worse than treason, colluding with an enemy and money laundering for the mob? Seriously, despite many witch hunts what has Hillary done? Emails?

      9. “Objv, I’ve always tended to believe you were a partisan slave and still do.”

        I’m a slave? … Okay, with me as long as I’m not charged with cultural appropriation and minimizing what African-Americans endured.

        Actually, there might be a tenuous connection with slavery after all. Since my DNA shows that I am of Eastern European extraction, I’m Slavic. The word slave was derived from the Slavic people who were enslaved by other Europeans.

        Well, time to turn my computer off before my trip. Hope you all stay safe despite the many disasters affecting our country. We’re all in this together no matter who we voted for.

        My husband’s DNA showed some Sub-Saharan West African.

      10. OV, as far as I know, I have never met any White supremacist Trump supporters, so I guess I need to get out more. I have seen the ugly online comments mentioned by Kay Ray, so I have no doubt they exist. I just don’t think they make up that high a percentage of Trump supporters, or even that all or most Trump supporters hide a deep-seated racism.

      11. I ran across this story while reading the WaPo this morning and found it interesting and inspiring. Within the story about this man’s quest , is a link to the documentary which premiered at South by Southwest last year (also posted). For the record, I do not believe everyone who voted for Trump is racist; however, I do believe they made a very poor decision – as was their right but the consequences have been terrible for this nation (except for white nationalists and Republicans who espouse a hard right governing philosophy).

      12. I do think that racism was more likely to have played a part in people’s decision to vote AGAINST Mr. Obama than it did in people’s decision to vote FOR Mr. Trump.

        Some people are simply closed to the prospect of voting for a Black person, and they would have voted for Democratic Mrs. Clinton over Republican Dr. Ben Carson just because she is White.

      13. As for a “typical” Trump supporter, I don’t think there is any such thing. I have met several people who voted for Mr. Trump, and their reasons are varied. I have also met several Clinton supporters, but there didn’t seem to be a need for them to defend their position. 🙂

      14. OBJV,

        you seem to be caught up, again and again, on this idea that that someone doing an action complicit with racism is the same thing as someone being a full out white supremacist racist. The distinction between being a racist, and being complicit with racism, is important.

        In fact, your knee jerk reactions to this stuff is so unreal to me because you read, over the Internet at least, exactly like what liberals talk about when they talk about ‘white fragility’: that you treat being called out for your complicity with racism as so much more offensive than actual racism is offensive.

        You voted for a man who ran a campaign centered entirely around white grievance, who bragged about sexually accosting women, and who to date refuses to offer transparency in his business ventures, the same business ventures that are under federal investigation for fraud.

        You voted for a racist, molesting fraud. Are you a racist, molesting fraud? Apparently not, and I’ll take you at your word for it. But you voted for one, so you’re complicit with racism, sexual assault, and fraud. You can argue to the ends of the earth your values, but your actions put a racist, molesting fraud into the highest office of the United States.

        You’re complicit with racism. If you don’t want people to think that way about you, don’t vote for a racist. End of story.

      15. No one should have to “defend” their vote. In the end it’s no one’s business but the person who voted but this is place is meant for conversation. Personally, if people ask me who I vote for I usually say “none of your business” just as I would if I were coming out of the polls and was stopped.

      16. The problem arises when these same people are critical of the “other” candidate and justify their opposition to charges that have little or no validity. It is really hard to be white and not racist “at all”. As a race and class, we are uber-privileged. What’s unforgivable to me is not admitting it and not being able to empathize with those who have been fighting for basic equality for generations.

        I am not an expert on health care but I’ll stack my efforts to inform myself against the vast majority of lay people (WX Wall aside). The statement that Obamacare made millions of lives difficult without an acknowledgement of how many more millions it helped, is pure hyperbole without substance. There is not one knowledgeable person who follows health care closely who would say that it is not complicated nor that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Access plan (aka “ACA”) is perfect. Yet Republicans have ignored addressing health care for decades when they were in the majority. Why? Because they had health care? What about their civic and moral responsibility as leaders to address the 45 million who lacked health care when Obama came into office? Those people.

        In short, I am not OK with only some people in America having access to affordable, quality healthcare. Universal Health Care in some workable, affordable form is not only needed, it is the moral thing for a nation to offer its people – all of them. “Obamacare/ACA” may be failing in many ways but at least President Obama and the Democrats tried. What did they get for it other than the scorn of the Republican Party and a brainwashed base who offered nothing in return except the promise to cut $186 Billion from Medicaid which money would have been used not to expand health care but to fund tax cuts for the wealthy and tax reform for corporations who pay on average about 13% in taxes given the plethora of tax loopholes their fancy attorneys have carved out for them with cooperation from Congress.

        WHAT have Republicans ever offered in health care for America? They fought Medicare and Social Security; they continuously reduce workmen’s comp benefits and SNAP. Trump has proposed cutting $70 Billion from SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). Undoubtedly, some of these programs need reform and those who abuse them need to be held accountable. But why is it so unacceptable to conservatives to work with Dems to develop consensus on a plan for our nation that helps those without workplace health care access, are poor, elderly and disabled or, are our children living in poverty? CHIP was designed (by that witch HRC) and every budget cycle this program is on the cutting block.. Its funding runs out Sept. 30. The better question to ask is why our MoC are not focused on working together to cut waste, improve services, cut costs (pharmaceutical cost…remember how Trump was going to make sure drugs became more affordable?), and my lord, offer preventative care that makes sense from a health and financial vantage! Perish the thought that having a free pap test, PSA, and other presently covered basic health tests might cost us a few bucks. Look at the savings not only in $$ but in lives!! and productivity, and in quality of life.

        Instead, the one piece of health care legislation that Republicans passed was the Medicare Prescription D Plan. Guess what – it utilized off budget funding and there were no offsets. Cry me a river on how much Republicans care about health care.

        At the end of the day, at her absolute worst, HRC would have been world’s better than DJT even with all her flaws, email server issues, and Benghaziiiiiiii.
        People are free to like her or not, but at least she was highly qualified with her experience as an attorney, her work as a US Senator, her role as wife of a president, and her years as SOS. She ran a poor campaign and she was targeted by Russian interference and her failure to relate adequately to the needs of people who were worried. That’s on her. But had she been elected, she would have known: what she was doing (not making it up as she went); she would have not installed a cabinet whose purpose it is to destroy the agencies that have been working for years; she would have been dignified and not potty-mouthed or juvenile; she would have had the respect of world leaders not their scorn; and she had plans ready for governing.

        People should vote for whoever they like but do not justify DJT by dissing without substance the work that Barack Obama did and that HRC would have done. There is simply no comparison nor justification for the defense of Trump based upon cutting down these two people.

      17. Excellent summary Mary.

        President Lyndon B. Johnson: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

      18. True, Kay, no one is obligated to say whom they voted for or why, but these people volunteered the information, and the Trump people felt compelled to explain their vote even though I did not ask. I prefer not to discuss politics outside this blog, but the election was and continues to be on people’s mind and they bring it up, not me.

      19. There is a reason for that, Tutta. HRC may not have been “likable enough”, but she was damn straight better qualified than either of the other two candidates. That is what made the choice less difficult to explain of make. I’ll take the “best” surgeon over the one with the “best” bedside manner any day if they’re going to operate on me. With T, we have neither.

        Former Governor Edwin Edwards made this statement when he was in a difficult race for his 4th run for governor against David Duke – the KKK Grand Wizard at the time. “Hold your nose and vote for me.” Edwards was morally compromised but he was a capable governor. Given the choice between true evil and a man they knew at his best and worst, LA chose EWE. When LA had to choose between HRC and DJT, however, the tables turned and Trump won. (See link below which story preceded the final outcome.) To their credit, LA had enough sense to vote in the first Democratic Governor since Edwards final term with John Bel Edwards. It is not clear that LA will have enough sense to elect him for a second term.

  7. So now that Irma is going to do massive damage to south Florida, after flattening about half a dozen Caribbean countries, at what point do people not only run out of financial resources to donate, but also run out of the emotional resources to care? How many storms of the century does it take before people start saying “you chose to live there, you deal with it”.

    And of course, then we have 8.1’s occurring in Mexico….

    1. “So now that Irma is going to do massive damage to south Florida, after flattening about half a dozen Caribbean countries, at what point do people not only run out of financial resources to donate, but also run out of the emotional resources to care? ”

      One thing 45 has done for me is held me accountable to my desire to donate x percentage of my income to causes I truly believe in. I divide $15 per month between three causes on a rollover basis, but have a sidebar account for ‘issues as they come.’ Last paycheck was Harvey and next will be Irma.

      There’s another method of getting these sort of regular donations with additional issues-as-they-come emergency funds, as even a potential precalculated percentage of income. They’re called ‘taxes.’ But, you know, taxes is just the federal government attacking your liberty.

      1. Aaron, I commend your charity and discipline. I give personally give to local charities and one larger trans-national charity. But I am talking in larger terms.

        Last estimate I heard was Houston is going to “cost” 180 billion, or a tad under 1% of the GDP. Now, I fully realize that to some degree disasters are “good for business”, as it stimulates economic growth in people buying stuff and infrastructure rebuild.

        But at what point will individuals and even the gov’t says “sorry, we are tapped out”. Imagine this scenario. A 10 foot storm surge hits Miami, and floods its downtown, and among other things contaminates the water supply for weeks, or months. Let’s say that the damage from Irma is half of Houston, so only 90 billion. And there is another cat4 in the Atlantic, and a much smaller one in the Gulf. Let’s say that not this year, but in the next 3, the southern U.S. is nailed with three Houston’s in the same year.

        Not even getting into the discussion of the impact on poor Caribbean countries, just how much can the U.S. insurance system, private and public, plus FEMA resources, plus the general public handle before it is stretched too far?

        When the next big one hits New Orleans, does someone in a position of power say, “sorry, we just don’t have the cash to rebuild.”?

      2. I read the Politico article. The Republican rhetoric followed the standard script – complaining about the excessive amounts of money being spent and the deficit. The historical difficulty with this rhetoric is that during Republican administrations the deficit surges because of tax cuts largely for the wealthy. Vice versa, during Democratic administrations the deficit decreases, because the taxes on the wealthy tend to increase and the economic performance tends to be better. Any changes for middle class taxes are minimal, either way. But the services that the middle class depends on get cut during Republican administrations. The health care debate we just went through is a perfect example. The forthcoming “tax reform” is primarily a tax cut for the wealthy and corporations.

      3. I follow heath care debate closely. There is a concerted effort underway within the GOP to revisit repeal/replace. The absolute irony of timing is amazing – right in the midst of two of the most major hurricanes ever to strike the United States, millions of homes and businesses lost along with people’s savings and jobs, and NOW the Republicans plan to repeal the ACA? Sigh……..I can only surmise that John McCain’s statement that he would sign the Grassley/Cassidy ACA Replacement Plan has induced a euphoria – or, is it delusion?

      4. I might add to my previous comment that the GWB administration managed to get us into the worst financial crisis since 1929-32. The deficit surged during the first years of the Obama administration because revenues decreased drastically and additional spending was required. But that began in Fiscal 2008, before Obama took office. The Republican rhetoric always blames Obama for the large increases in the debt during the initial years of his administration, but they never put it in context or look at the historical record.

      5. The health care repeal effort is a zombie that refuses to die. If the efforts of the right wingers can be held off until Sep 30, when Reconciliation can no longer be used, they may give up for the time being. Unfortunately the opposition groups have relaxed. That is what happened in the House. They’ll have to re-energize. But Trump is still trying to sabotage the ACA. Thanks for watching it Mary.

      6. Dinsdale, you point out a glaring problem with the concept of GDP. If you want to make your personal contribution to GDP go through the roof, get a nasty divorce and then have a heart attack. On the other hand, you could grow some heirloom tomatoes in your back yard, and add nothing to GDP.

  8. Politics again, but this is going to be a very interesting 3 – 6 months in Washington. With the DACA mess in addition to the Debt Ceiling, Budget, and now with Trump suddenly be on working terms with Pelosi and Schumer. Ryan and McConnell are going to find themselves challenged as never before. Ryan may find that Meadows and the Freedom caucus launch a challenge quite soon.

    1. It’s already happened….150 Republican members of the conservative House Study Committee have just come out against the agreement made by Trump with Schumer and Pelosi for a 3-month debt ceiling/budget extension. An impetuous, fickle, vindictive Trump is playing with the GOP….Why? Why not? It appears that the only group that he cares about is his base…and he appears to be more narrowly defining “who” that base consists of. His policies (?) and positions have totally abdicated promised working class issues, so, who is he trying to please? Does he even care?

      1. Furthermore, I think Meadows is laying the groundwork for a leadership challenge. I know he has had some meetings regarding “strategies for moving the House in a more conservative direction.” What that actually means, who knows, but I suspect he is considering a direct challenge to Ryan.

      2. >] “It’s already happened….150 Republican members of the conservative House Study Committee have just come out against the agreement made by Trump with Schumer and Pelosi for a 3-month debt ceiling/budget extension. An impetuous, fickle, vindictive Trump is playing with the GOP….Why? Why not? It appears that the only group that he cares about is his base…and he appears to be more narrowly defining “who” that base consists of. His policies (?) and positions have totally abdicated promised working class issues, so, who is he trying to please? Does he even care?

        I wish I had a better way of describing this, but you’ll have to pardon me. Trump’s just pulling off a really, really stereotypical guy thing here. It’s just one of those base instincts that you either understand or you don’t.

        Trump has no ideological core to anchor himself to. Personal and family issues aside, what drives him perhaps more than anything else is the desire to WIN. This is why he can turn on a dime from “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer” one day and embrace him like his best pal the next. Same goes for Nancy Pelosi. All the better if they help him infuriate Republicans and rip out their receding hairlines every time he works with Pelosi. He relishes it like almost nothing else, I guarantee you.

        It’s a weird sort of dynamic for a guy who so openly fears conflict and being confronted, but the simple answer is that he’s a coward. He loves to win and to beat down on his perceived enemies, but he shrinks from any actual fighting it takes to get there, hence why he jumps at a convenient workaround like working with Schumer, a New York guy like himself who ‘gets it’.

        It’s kinda disturbing in retrospect, but I’m pretty confident about this because Trump’s my exact opposite in this way. I get what he’s thinking because it’s exactly what I wouldn’t do. I relish fighting and conflict itself, FAR more than I do any actual victory. Of course I love to win, but if I haven’t exerted the whole of my abilities in achieving it, any hypothetical victory rings naught but hollow to me.

        Substance matters to me. Trump just wants to win, however fleeting or fickle a win it may be.

      3. I hope this ends up below Ryan’s comment.

        I believe Ryan described Trump correctly. He desperately wants to win, but is extremely scared of conflict of any sort. He is very much a coward and is very insecure. Basically he is a quivering, weak mass of jelly. I am not only talking physically but in terms of personal confidence.

        He has compensated for his insecurity, weakness and cowardness, by being an overpowering bully. He has been successful in development because he had money from his father, and development is one field where those attributes tend to work.

        As Tuttabella stated “Appeal to his better nature, flatter him, play his game. Kill him with kindness. Diplomacy works wonders.” He is particularly susceptible to that approach, because of his weakness and insecurity. Both men and women can use that approach as Schumer and Pelosi just did. That is part of diplomacy and political skill.

        When one throws his misogyny into the mixture, I suspect that he would be particularly susceptible to that with women. Pelosi just demonstrated that. On the other hand when Hillary confronted him during the debates, he responded by stalking her and was called a “nasty woman”.

      4. As Fly said. Sucking up to a man like T is not only something I couldn’t live with personally, it would never be enough. There would always be a “next time” with him. How would you ever trust a man like T? Why would you want to give him that power over you? No, if I were ever in close proximity to the man, I would turn my back to him.

      5. “Do I think it’s planned?”

        Back when Trump announced his run I told a few people that perhaps he was doing it deliberately to create a GOP implosion. A sort of Manchurian candidate. He was pro-choice, non-religious and had voted Democrat before. He hardly seemed the type to suddenly start courting the uber right wing fundamentalist nut jobs who he started holding “prayer circles” with.

    2. The oval office photo that accompanied the announcement?

      If you hate Pelosi, you may have no appreciation for her expression.

      From my vantage point she looks square into the camera to say, “Children, pay attention. You’re seeing political skill here. Take note.”

      The Ds should have no illusions about 45. But they should use him when they can. And they did.

      1. And as I have noted in the past, for better or for worse, this President’s preferred method of communication happens to be Twitter, and Mrs. Pelosi played along and took advantage of his Twitter habit and encouraged him to transmit an encouraging message to the Dreamers.

      2. I didn’t pay much attention to the photo. But when, it comes to political skill, Pelosi beats Ryan hands down. Pelosi is the best Speaker that the House has had since Thomas Foley was knocked off in 1994 in the Gingrich revolution. Schumer probably has far more skill than McConnell, who is a superb tactician, but whether he has any real skill at leadership or in moving legislation is still an open question after over two years as the Majority Leader.

      3. McConnell may be a superb tactician but he is so dour. Schumer gets results because he’s equally talented in legislative maneuvers AND he’s more likeable. That still matters. Of course, so do 52 votes. That can make a Senate leader look positively brilliant.

      4. If he can hold onto them. McConnell sure as hell did not in the ACA debate. Of course he had most of the American people against him and they were vociferous. But still a good majority leader would never have been boxed in as McConnell was. For my money Schumer has shown more leadership in 9+ months than McConnell has in over two years, but I am biased.

      5. Maybe not, Mime, but the fact that Mrs. Pelosi convinced him to do anything is a sign of how malleable he can be if you play your cards right. Today a tweet, tomorrow an executive order or bill signed into law.

      6. Malleable is your term, shallow is mine. Trump thrives on hurting other people – and being the “quick silver” in all situations. People like that are destructive – they don’t build anything unless it is for themselves.

      7. “Appeal to his better nature, flatter him, play his game. Kill him with kindness. Diplomacy works wonders.”

        I doubt he has a better nature, but he definitely loves the flattery. David Brin expounded on that particular strategy in some of his blog posts- political jujitsu. That seems to be in Nancy and Chuck’s skill set. It’s definitely not in mine -if I don’t like you, I can’t pull off a convincing act of flattering you.

  9. The part that gets to me at weird times is how absurd it is that this situation came about at all. Towards the end of Bush Sr.’s term in the early 90s, global warming was a known, believed fact by both political parties and even the oil companies.

    Then, a small group of wealthy men on the boards of Exxon and Koch Industries used the playbook of the tobacco guys and the ozone chlorofluorocarbons guys to launch a PR operation to discredit the science. They decided prolonging the milking of their cash cow just a little bit longer was more important than the earth. Their success was spectacular, probably surprising even to themselves. Large swaths of the USA electorate continues to believe that carbon is not a greenhouse gas, apparently because Al Gore occasionally flies on a jet instead of living in a teepee in the desert.

    It’s not clear what would have happened if we acted swiftly and aggressively worldwide to cut back on carbon emissions 25 years ago, but one imagines we would be better off than we’re inevitably going to be now.

    Its inconceivable that the lives of literally every one of our 7.5 billion humans and the futures of countless species of plants and animals are going to be different in unpredictable ways because of the actions of a small group of greedy men and the gullibility of Americans. This was all so avoidable.

  10. I know most of you are focused on Harvey and Irma, plus the other Trump news of the week. But there was a major political development in Washington’s 8th CD today. Dave Reichert, who is in his 7th term and is a Republican announced his retirement.

    The 8th CD was created in 1980 as a solidly Republican and suburban district to balance Seattle’s 7th which is solidly Democratic. At that time the suburbs were still solidly Republican. A Democrat has never held the seat.

    The seat has been trending Democratic for years and became a swing district. After 2010, it was very close to flipping. However, the 2010 Redistricting Commission modified the borders by moving two Central Washington counties (across the Cascades Wall and Republican) into the District. Though they are conservative, they are not hard conservative. They are fairly close to the metropolitan West Side, so there is a lot of metropolitan influence. The Republican exurban areas were left in the District. Currently the Cook PVI is even for the District and Clinton carried the District. My thought is that Reichert knew he was facing a very difficult reelection battle with Trump, the AHCA debacle (he voted against it), and now with the DACA mess. The two counties in Central WA that were added are agricultural, grow a lot of fruit crops and depend on the seasonal workers. Plus being a moderate in the current Republican House is a fast ticket to nowheresville. So he decided to retire.

    This represents a major pick-up opportunity for the Democratic party. It was already targeted. Now it will move to the top of the list. If the D’s pick it up, WA will become 7D and 3R, which is approximately where we should be.

    1. Read my post below. Many countries, and I am talking free, democratic countries, more democratic than the U.S., have hate speech laws. There are certain things you can’t just say or do. Try being pro-Nazi in Germany and see what happens.

      I am to the point that anti-global warming rants are hate speech in the purest form. People that knowingly spread the lie against GW simply hate humanity.

      Ask yourself one question: Is the planet better if people like Limbaugh are not on it? I fully recognize the very slippery, unbelievably steep slope it embarks us on by shutting this slug down (I can only imagine what the puppet tyrant and sessions would love to do about free speech).

      I guess that leads to a second question: Is the damage people like limbaugh, trump, pruit, the koch’s et al worth do to the planet worse compared to if we start removing them, at the very least, from public pulpits?

      1. Dins – Yes, the world would be better off without the people you named, plus a million+ others. But there is a process that needs to be followed – even when it looks like it is working poorly or hardly at all.

        Forty percent of registered voters in America Why? That has to change. I listened to a wonderful discussion on NPR about the problems in the U.S. as seen from abroad. The speaker said his greatest concern was the rise in individual cynicism – i.e., people believing that government was not working; that they had no control over their own lives; that the democratic process was not working anymore. I think there is great truth in this and I believe this is the focus of those who would destroy our country – to make us believe that we can no longer individually make a difference. This is when the forces of evil have won and we begin the slide into something far worse than dealing with the demagogues you cite.

      2. Removing them from the pulpit is not, nor should be, an option. It makes more sense to use our own right to free speech to fight against them, to counter them, in order to defeat them. Their free speech versus ours. Win by reason, education, knowledge, and direct experience if possible. If not, defeat their supporters at the polls.

    2. I’ve been wondering if we should prosecute people who post fake hurricane reports showing the projected path of a storm to be going somewhere it is not, like the one showing Irma to be going direct to Houston.

      I normally support free speech in all its forms, no matter how controversial, but posting fake maps incites people to panic, and it could cost lives.

      1. There was conspiracy theory bullshit going around a couple weeks ago that the forecasts for Harvey were being UNDERSTATED!

        You probably could make a case against someone posting a fake weather forecast, after a bunch of people died from following it. But IANAL.

      2. Also, at some point lies could be considered intent to defraud, like on a formal, written contract, but a radio/TV host or journalist who puts out misleading information is simply giving his personal opinion and thus exercising his or her right to free speech. You can’t prosecute someone for that. It’s up to the audience to determine what is true or not, and how to react, unless maybe the misleading information leads to immediate chaos, in which case it could be considered incitement to violence. Just some of my thoughts on the matter.

      3. Limbaugh uses the “I’m an entertainer” loophole. So does Alex Jones. Personally, I think anyone stupid enough to believe them and their ilk is begging for natural selection in a case like not heeding weather forecasts. But some of these people would have kids who don’t have a choice.

      4. An officer of our HOA emailed that faux report about Harvey’s danger being under reported.

        It was from some local lawyer. Who within a few hours was swatted by the county judge, among others. Why he chose to publish it is one matter.

        What I don’t understand is why the HOA rep fell for it.

        To my eyes and ears, it was obviously off. It literally made no sense. Who or what govt entity would benefit from under-reporting a massive threat?

  11. I have posted it several times. Anyone denying global warming or not help mitigate it is perpetrating a crime against humanity, and should be dealt with accordingly, and immediately. I am all for killing the Koch’s and their ilk, any number of politicians, and anyone else who actively spreads the lie to personally profit.

    I realize that sounds more than a little hypocritical since I drive a car and use energy to warm my house, but those that are heavily invested in the fossil fuel industry are doing everything they can to slow the unstoppable wave of green energy technology, starting with the regime in the White House. That cannot be allowed to continue.

    1. Spiny Norman is to blame. This very large, invisible hedgehog started it all off in the 1800’s when he decided that tax payers in the USA in 2017 needed to be fleeced, so he developed 160 year conspiracy involving 10,000’s of scientists and researchers and every major Academy of Science.

      Devious rodent!

  12. Well what about those places where it is supposed to be rainy and cool? Normally by Labor Day the North Pacific High has broken down and we start getting winds coming in from the ocean with the first minor rains of fall. This weekend was in the 90’s every day and we had a “smoke inversion”, i.e. a thick layer of smoke from the Eastern Washington and Oregon fires. The winds have been northerly and easterly. This morning there was a layer of ash on our cars. This is the second week long “smoke inversion” of the year. It makes for beautiful blood red sunrises and sunsets, but I’m getting tired of them.

    This is a lot better that the floods on the Gulf Coast, so I’m not really complaining. Nevertheless, it is good to know that we are just being punished for being one of those liberal enclaves, that doesn’t know the true religion. Thanks for clarifying that, Chris!

  13. One of the problems is that the costs of climate change are externalized. Just look at Houston, which will get $150bil in federal aid from the rest of the country, even as they got the benefit of cheap housing on open floodplains.

    I think we should fundamentally alter FEMA to be more like the IMF: when a country nearing bankruptcy goes to the IMF, it gives loans but conditioned on the country implementing (sometimes painful) reforms of their economy so that such an event doesn’t happen again. Now, I’m not a fan of the IMF because I strongly disagree with the reforms they impose, but I don’t disagree with the principle of giving money only if you change the conditions that led to the bailout in the first place.

    Similarly, FEMA should offer money only on the condition that the receiving city / county / state implement reforms to prevent such a disaster from happening again. Perhaps the Army Corps of Engineers puts together a package of expected changes, and unless the state agrees to them, they don’t get any money. In Houston’s case, it would probably be some combination of implementing proper zoning, reforming building codes to ensure new properties have appropriate drainage, reverting some land back to natural bayous and wetlands, etc.

    Is this anti-democratic? Yes. As are the IMF’s conditions. But states have a choice. If they don’t want to implement FEMA’s plans, they can pay for their bailout themselves. Plenty of countries, after seeing the draconion measures the IMF forced on several countries in the 90s, vowed that they would never again put themselves in a position of needing IMF money, and started accumulating large foreign exchange reserves themselves.

    If states (and hopefully municipalities) were forced to either pay for their own bailouts, or implement policies that reduce that external cost to the rest of the country, then maybe we could start seeing real action on climate change.

    FWIW, one of the few bipartisan policies in disaster management moves in this direction. Congress has passed a couple of bills to ensure that public flood insurance charges market rates, rather than be subsidized. As flood insurance rates have skyrocketed (now accurately reflecting risk), many properties in coastal areas are essentially worthless, as no buyer wants to pay the flood insurance. The upside is that many of the most flood-prone coastal regions are not being built up anymore, and left in their natural state. Even as a Bernie-supporting progressive, I believe this insurance market is better served as a private market with costs reflecting a true accounting of flooding risk. Indeed, once public insurance is priced at market rates, private insurers will re-enter the market, shrinking the need for govt intervention.

    The only liberal concession I’d make is some sort of one-time payment to people who bought houses before the pricing changes were implemented, to grandfather people who might have lost a significant chunk of their home value (and ergo, their life’s savings) when the insurance rates rose. Even with this one-time payment, market-rate flood insurance should have a huge impact on reducing development in floodplains which will ultimately save us trillions in disaster relief.

    Now if we can only develop private insurance markets for the other risks of climate change…

    1. Good ideas, WX Wall. Other than high risk areas along coastal areas and rivers and such, does flood insurance rate a home by location as well as value? Isn’t part of the problem that Congress has cut FEMA’s budget so that they lack the resources to keep their flood maps current?

      1. This is one of the problems with flood insurance being a government program (yes, I did just criticize a govt program 🙂

        The actual enforcer of buying flood insurance is your mortgage lender. Right now, if you live in a govt-designated 100-yr flood plain, you must buy flood insurance because your mortgage lender will require it. They require it because they can’t sell such a loan to Fannie Mae without it (Fannie Mae requires flood insurance before buying any mortgage on a home in a flood plain).

        This means one of the chokepoints that’s developed is that everyone relies on the fed govt to manage those floodplain maps. Not only does this mean it’s subject to congressional budget cuts, but also with congressional meddling. For example, if FEMA decides to designate a rich part of the Hamptons as flood prone, leading to flood insurance costing 10x more, you can be sure there will be plenty of irate homeowners calling up Sen. Schumer to get FEMA to change its designation. And many times (especially if it’s billionaires’ property in Sag Harbor) it will bow to those interests.

        But there’s no reason why Fannie Mae can’t designate several private (or maybe a consortium of academic institutions, etc.) floodplain maps as acceptable to them. If they do, it would open up the process for private surveyors. This is similar to bond rating agencies like S&P and Moody’s: several of them are designated acceptable by the govt, which doesn’t actually rate bonds itself.

        Of course, the performance of S&P and Moody’s during the financial crisis is a huge black mark against letting private companies manage ratings like this, so maybe the better option is just to fund FEMA adequately 🙂 It could be done pretty simply by saying that all flood insurance must carry a $1-2 surcharge which goes directly to funding the maintenance of the maps. By removing the mapping agency from the vagaries of congressional budgeting, it shouldn’t be a problem keeping the maps up-to-date and making it much less susceptible to lobbying. I bet even the private insurance companies would like it, since their goal is to have accurate assessments of flood risk to guide their underwriting. If the maps are bad, they stand to lose billions by mispricing their risk.

        Now, can such a non-partisan, pragmatic change get through this congress? I’ll believe it when I see it.

      2. The surcharge idea is sound. I don’t know if you read an earlier post I made in which I shared the fact that despite living on the marsh abutting a huge inland bay (with gulf access), and within one mile of the gulf – the developer had succeeded in not having any of this property designated as a “flood zone”. Pretty amazing when you think about it – for 2 seconds – then it just stinks.

      1. Mime, I read somewhere that our new, most important difference is in political stance, that these days parents dread the prospect of their child marrying someone of the opposing political party, just as they used to dread the idea of them marrying someone of another religion or race. It’s sad that it’s come to that.

      2. I agree and I also understand because in today’s political environment, what party one belongs to says a great deal about the values they hold dear. I do believe our young people are smarter than we adults in this regard, which may result in our young teaching our old/older adults how to live with and respect diversity.

  14. Minnesota had one of the mildest winters last year, it freaked me out when I was driving down my driveway one winter evening and saw a opossum wandering about in the front field. When I first moved to Minnesota in 1989 I never laid eyes on an opossum out and about like that. I am gonna be pissed off to no end when Texas cockroaches start moving north and invade. It is just no coastal flooding that going to be a shock, wait until these people get up in the middle of the night for a glass of water and the kitchen floor is moving, not to mention all kinds of other insects and mammals that start changing the ecological balance of the area.

    God I hate roaches, thanks a lot climate deniers.

    1. You and me both. I cannot stand those little sneaky bastards. Spiders, snakes and lizards don’t bother me but if I see a brown blob on the wall waggling it’s antennae at me I go into hysterics. If you try and spray or smash them be prepared to just piss it off and have it dive bomb you and, in the words of Dave Barry, if you come into the kitchen and catch it making a ham sandwich quietly back away.

      Houston is about to get a rare cool front by Thursday from what I’m hearing, down into the sixties. If I hear one more idiot on the internet claiming it’s good to have global warming because “more carbon dioxide will help crops”, I’ll reach through the screen and throttle them. Where do they get this garbage from?

    2. Now that was funny, Tex. Growing up in SW Missouri, and spending a lot of time in the woods and pastures, I had never seen an armadillo. Now, it seems they are pests.

      A couple of sentences from the above link. I think their point is clear.

      “Although live-trapped armadillos can be relocated to other areas, this practice can pose several problems and is generally not a good idea. ”

      “For information on the various recommended methods for handling and disposing of a carcass, visit the ICWDM website’s carcass disposal page”

  15. When it comes time for the evangelists and hard-core Catholics to acknowledge a problem for all the plagues befalling us, they won’t look at climate change as a root cause. Instead, they’ll ask to look at the sins of the nation…the gays, the feminists, the liberals and the atheists. There’s no reason for them to seek to change course; this upheaval is a self-made miracle that will favor only the Christianists who are looking for a way to bring God back in favor – with all the power that comes with it.

      1. I’ve been waiting for this….Case in point: you build next to a water reservoir in a flood plain. The 800 year storm occurs threatening the collapse of the reservoir walls. The decision is made to release water inundating homes in its path in order to avoid worse catastrophe. Those formerly “dry” homes below the reservoir now flood. They now sue the US Corps of Army Engineers to make them responsible for the damage to their homes. Homes that should never have been built in a flood plain. Next to two huge water reservoirs. That are upstream of their homes.

        What can I say? It was just a matter of time.

  16. The old saying “It rains on the just and the unjust” needs updating: Climate change burns/floods/starves the realist and the denier.

    When (not if, but when) most of FL is permanently under water, maybe then the fools will start having second thoughts. The people who have been putting out all this anti-science propaganda may have committed the all time worst crime against humanity

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