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May 12, 2017

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maybe he's draining the swamp in his head, onto the rest of the world.

like some terrible post-nasal drippings, that's seeping into every crevice of our democracy.

Drain the swamp.

Sapient, do you ever get the feeling that maybe, just maybe, the Trump White House has a totally different take on what constitutes "the swamp" than the rest of us do? 180 degrees different.

Just to demonstrate that you never really know what to expect, there's this. The Supreme Court just ruled, 5-3, that North Carolina's Congressional redistricting was illegal because it relied excessively on race as a criteria for drawing the boundaries.

The surprise is that the 4 liberal justices were joined, not by Chief Justice Roberts but by . . . Mr Justice Thomas! (Perhaps this wasn't actually a liberal/conservative or a partisan issue after all...?)

The surprise is that the 4 liberal justices were joined, not by Chief Justice Roberts but by . . . Mr Justice Thomas!

outstanding.

not my favorite guy, but credit where credit is due.

The SC does seem to retain the capacity to surprise every so often.

Meanwhile, another authoritarian narcissist with a tenuous grip on reality might be falling out with your homegrown one:
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/22/trump-turkey-protesters-security-guards-clash-238681

The SC does seem to retain the capacity to surprise every so often.

The SC will tend to give you will more surprises when you try to shoehorn the justices into the prevailing left/right paradigm.

Because 'shoehorning' Thomas into a conservative paradigm would be just ridiculous...
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideological_leanings_of_U.S._Supreme_Court_justices

The title of the article does contain the word, "leanings."

And just because a vote by a justice appears to be left/right doesn't mean the vote was motivated by left/right ideology.

Of course... in Thomas' case, just coincidence, I guess.

It seems that NC went a bit too far on the racist gerrymandering for even Clarence Thomas to stomach.

I learn that it's OK to indulge in overtly partisan gerrymandering, so long as one avoids doing it on racial lines.

Wouldn't it be great if the USA were a democracy?

I have not had time to read the decision, but Thomas not only voted with teh 'left', but took the trouble to authored a concurring opinion.

On other matters:

The left is in deep doo-doo wrt climate change.

and upside down on one other important matter.

Carry on!

The left is in deep doo-doo wrt climate change.

the doo-doo will be widespread, and will be no respecter of either persons or their political leanings.

don't try pinning that on the "left".

don't try pinning [climate change] on the "left".

Oh, it's TOTs the "left"'s fault!

Why? Because when the scope of the problem was clear, what did the "left" do?

'Houston, we have a problem... Houston?.......Houston?'

Instead of just slaughtering all the GOP greedheads that stood in the way of actually dealing with the problem.

History will judge the "left" harshly, you'll see.

as a matter of national public policy, the US will do nothing for the forseeable future. less than nothing, our policies will be harmful.

because money.

the rest of the world, including a variety of entrepreneurial private actors in the US, will work around that, to the best of their ability.

that's not a prediction, it's a description of what is happening now.

it'd be really helpful if the feds would get on board, but they probably wont. not with (R)'s driving the bus.

it will end up wherever it ends up.

to the degree that judgements are due, history will judge us all.

people, and the world in general, will adapt, but there is likely to be a lot of damage along the way. unless you're a life form that is well adapted to whatever planet earth ca. 2100 or 2500 looks like. in that case, bobs your uncle.

remains to be seen how we humans make out.

Why would anyone with a problem call Houston?

as a matter of national public policy, the US will do nothing for the forseeable future. less than nothing, our policies will be harmful.

because money.

You're giving a whole lot of people a pass here. The reason we have allowed these monsters to do this is because people don't choose based on logic when elections roll around. Our system, even with its flaws, allows less wealthy people to prevail over wealth.

That middle finger f'd us all.

Our system, even with its flaws, allows less wealthy people to prevail over wealth.

only if they use their heads.

Lemieux's new article about Thomas is interesting:

https://newrepublic.com/article/142825/clarence-thomass-rulings-race-idiosyncratic

although if you want to replace"because money" with "because obstinate ignorance and self-defeating stupidity" I will not argue the point.

although if you want to replace"because money" with "because obstinate ignorance and self-defeating stupidity" I will not argue the point.

Yes, this.

as a matter of national public policy, the US will do nothing for the forseeable future. less than nothing, our policies will be harmful.

More accurately, the US will do nothing as a nation. But while national policies will not be helpful, a lot of states will have policies on the subject as well. Some of them big enough markets that companies will have an incentive to make changes to their products. (Think one state's policies can't make a difference? Think about Texas and school book content.)

Plus, in a number of cases, companies have discovered that making helpful changes actually helps their bottom line. They might not have tried making those changes without the policies initially. But now they know, and they aren't going to change back just because some ignoramus has changed the policy.

We won't do as much as we could have (and should have) done. And some companies will do things that are actively detrimental. But the situation isn't quite as dire as your words suggest.

The situation is pretty dire though, wj. For example, a piece I saw yesterday on hilzoy's feed (I think) said scientists now report that half the Great Barrier Reef has died.

In other news, I apologise in advance for this because in a way it doesn't tell us anything we don't know, or advance our enjoyment, or stimulate discussion, not to mention it was posted on twitter. But here is Trump's note left at Yad Vashem, next to Barack Obama's ditto:

https://twitter.com/brianklaas/status/867001555735769088/photo/1

There are no words adequate.

But the situation isn't quite as dire as your words suggest.

I completely agree that states, local municipalities, and private sector actors will step up to address the issue.

And it will help.

"Dire" exists on a spectrum. Are we all gonna die? No. Are there going to be harmful effects? Yes.

Apparently my area - anything in the vicinity of the Gulf of Maine - is likely to see disproportionately large effects in the near-ish term. For "near-ish" read "now".

Other folks will get their turn later on. Or, maybe, never, in which case lucky them.

There are parts of the world that are likely to see truly disastrous effects. People who live in those areas may have to go somewhere else. Or starve.

Bangladesh, as an example, has about 160M people, and it basically sits in the biggest delta in the world. It won't take much of either climate pattern change or water level rise to make it necessary for a lot of them to go elsewhere.

Note that the presence of just 5M Syrian refugees has contributed to destabilizing the EU, and helped foster the resurgence of reactionary or even fascist right-wing political movements there.

So, dire is a possibility.

GftNC, no question that the physical situation is dire. But my point was that the action/regulatory situation, while certainly not good, is not quite as dire as russell seemed to be suggesting.

Ah, sorry wj, I'm doing a lot of drive-by shooting at the moment because of huge and energy-draining situations here, so not giving the evolution of the thread(s) sufficient attention I guess. Apologies.

The strongest protection against climate, current and speculated, is the elimination of poverty as quickly as possible. Not first world poverty, but the kind in the third and developing worlds.

"Other folks will get their turn later on."

The biggest change I've noticed over the past 23 years is that winters in my area are usually much milder now, especially when there are El Ninos. Between this and buying at the bottom of the real estate market moving here was the smartest decision I ever made.

Of course I feel horribly guilty about it all.

Of course I feel horribly guilty about it all.

Sarcasm?

the elimination of poverty as quickly as possible

better get some AI on it, because humans haven't had any luck solving that one.

Some people some places must be doing something right as billions of people have escaped abject poverty in just the past couple of decades.

Nope. Not sarcasm. When the El Ninos are causing destruction and misery for so many people around the world it's pretty weird to enjoy the better weather they cause here.

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