Generals Warn Trump He’s Surrendering U.S. Leadership in New Energy Policies

❝ Failure to adopt new energy technologies will hurt America’s chances to help slow climate change. It may also jeopardize U.S. global power and security.

“If we don’t want to necessarily repeat a lot of the tough lessons of the last 40 to 50 years,” said retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Richard Zilmer. “Better to plan now and get ahead of that — and control the process — than react to it.”

❝ The quest for cleaner and more efficient energy systems is already forging new trade ties and, consequently, political relationships, according to a report by Zilmer and 14 other former high-ranking military officials. Ultimately, those ties will bring “dramatic changes in global spheres of influence,” they wrote. China and European Union members are steering their economies into “the vanguard of manufacturing” and commerce, with the U.S. showing little competitive vision.

❝ Dismissing multiple decades of research into manmade climate change has been a common theme among Republicans who control Congress and now the White House. Dismissing market forces that push nations and industries to clean up while becoming more energy efficient, however, is another thing. The CNA Military Advisory Board report doesn’t mention “climate change” or “global warming,” but it makes clear that ignoring these market signals carries ominous implications for U.S. economic and national security.

❝ The report, called Advanced Energy and U.S. National Security [pdf], is the seventh analysis put out in 10 years by the nonprofit research group’s advisory board. Initiated in 2015, the study was led by 14 U.S. generals and admirals and a retired British Royal Navy rear admiral.

I doubt the current leadership of Congressional Republicans and their pimp in the White House could name very many military-based specialists in global energy policy. And I doubt Robert E. Lee wrote enough on the topic to catch their attention either.

Need a reminder? Republican Congressional candidate, “I do not support a livable wage”

❝ With two weeks until the election, Republican candidate Karen Handel has given her Democratic opponent a gift-wrapped present in the special election for an open Georgia House seat.

At a debate on Tuesday, Handel said that she did not support a “livable wage” because she’s a conservative, not a liberal. Immediately, Democrat Jon Ossoff pounced on the admission, releasing an ad highlighting his support for the living wage.

❝ “This is an example of the fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative: I do not support a livable wage,” Handel said…“What I support is making sure that we have an economy that is robust with low taxes and less regulation.”…

❝ Handel’s remarks, which were widely reported in the media, may prove another example of how conservative policy orthodoxy — rather than Donald Trump’s many scandals — are dragging down Republican candidates in congressional and state elections.

Some pundits have argued that Trump’s low approval ratings and Russia-related scandals are helping to sink Republican candidates nationally. But opposition to a living wage is well-entrenched as Republican Party dogma, going back decades. By contrast, though he’s taken contradictory positions, Trump began his campaign by running on increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour. It’s a position many of his voters supported. Republicans’ unpopular opposition on minimum wage hikes isn’t something they can pin on Trump.

Seattle is the best example of lying Republicans trying to hide from their opposition to an increased minimum wage. This instantly becomes disposable income – helping the wallets of folks who need a wage increase the most.

As for the Republican yawner about tax cuts and deregulation giving us a booming economy, take a look back at the Republican economies that started with this crap and ended with recessions or depressions. From Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush.

World’s largest investment group says “Coal is dead’ and oil faces “peak demand”


Of course, you could invest on Trump’s advice

❝ “Coal is dead,” Jim Barry, the global head of BlackRock’s infrastructure investment group, explained in a recent interview.

BlackRock, the world’s largest investment group, with $5 trillion in assets — more than the world’s largest banks — has begun to bet on clean energy. Why? “The thing that has changed fundamentally the whole picture is that renewables have gotten so cheap,” said Barry…

❝ President Donald Trump famously campaigned on restoring coal jobs, and has continued to reiterate that commitment as president, but the economic reality makes that a futile effort.

The U.S. alone has shuttered 40 gigawatts of coal plants since 2000.

“These [coal plants] will not reopen whatever anything President Trump does,” as Bloomberg New Energy Finance recently explained, “nor do we see much appetite among investors for ploughing money into U.S. coal extraction — stranded asset risk will trump rhetoric.”

The economic reality is that cheap fracked gas and plummeting prices for clean energy has squeezed both coal production and coal consumption to levels not seen for decades.

❝ Coal isn’t the only fossil fuel at risk. Because of the rapidly improving performance and cost of batteries, Barry is “bullish” on electric vehicles. And as a result, he is bearish on oil demand, noting that “there was always this historic view on oil about peak supply but it’s about peak demand being an equal dynamic.”

In short, the smart money is headed away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy.

Not that any of this means much to our state and national politicians. Smart money doesn’t concern them – just money. That’s what controls elections in our much-vaunted Republic. And, for now, the corporations most willing to provide funds to our political hacks are the ones who get representation.

The people? Looks like we’re still last in line.

Republican Bigots Pretend a Gay Prime Minister Didn’t Bring His Husband to the G7 Summit


Click to enlargeFirst Spouses

❝ The White House Facebook page failed to acknowledge First Gentleman of Luxembourg Gauthier Destenay, married to Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, in a post featuring the spouses of world leaders attending this week’s G7 summit in Sicily. The photo caption included the names of every other spouse, all of them wives, beginning with: “First Lady Melania Trump poses with Belgium’s Queen Mathilde, center, and other spouses of NATO leaders.”

❝ The omission of Destenay’s name in the official White House post remained for at least six hours on Saturday before Daily Beast editor Scott Bixby shared a screenshot on Twitter, writing: “Is there a reason the White House didn’t include the First Gentleman of Luxembourg in this photo caption? Like, a non-homophobic one?”

The Republican Party – regardless of Trump’s occasional hypocritical denial – plays a significant role in the international Axis of Bigotry. Putin’s United Russia Party, the Saudi Arabian Royal Family and their Wahabi jihadists are a perfect match for today’s Republican Party. Under the thumb of Tea Party nutballs – whether through cowardice or ideological unity – the last-named bastion of bigotry serves only the worst characteristics of American political history.

Trump is an ignorant neurotic. Pence leads the rest of the bobbleheads.


A wax dummy got the office – and the politician stands in the museum

❝ When history holds its trial to account for the Donald Trump presidency, Trump himself will be acquitted on grounds of madness. History will look at his behavior, his erratic and childish lying and his flamboyant ignorance of history itself and pronounce the man, like George III, a cuckoo for whom restraint, but not punishment, was necessary. Such will not be the case for Mike Pence, the toady vice president and the personification of much that has gone wrong in Washington.

❝ On any given day, Pence will do his customary spot-on imitation of a bobblehead. Standing near Trump in the Oval Office, he will nod his head robotically as the president says one asinine thing after another and then, maybe along with others, he will be honored with a lie or a version of the truth so mangled by contradictions and fabrications that a day in the White House is like a week on LSD.

❝ I pick on Pence because he is the most prominent and highest-ranked of President Trump’s lackeys. Like with all of them, Pence’s touching naivete and trust are routinely abused. He vouches for things that are not true — no talk of sanctions between Mike Flynn and the Russians, for instance, or more recently the reason James B. Comey was fired as FBI director. In both instances, the president either lied to him or failed to tell him the truth. The result was the same: The vice president appeared clueless.

❝ I don’t feel an iota of sympathy for Pence. He was among a perfidious group of political opportunists who pushed Trump’s candidacy while having to know that he was intellectually, temperamentally and morally unfit for the presidency. They stuck with him as he mocked the disabled, belittled women, insulted Hispanics, libeled Mexicans and promiscuously promised the impossible and ridiculous — all that “Day One” nonsense like how the wall would be built and Mexico would pay for it.

Read it and weep, folks. Weep for American families, American workers who voted for our so-called president and got every right-wing slug from Ryan to Pence, McConnell [again] and McCarthy. Creeps who couldn’t be elected to the presidency on a dare filled with diamonds. But, their grubby ideology of profiteering for the wealthiest and austerity for actual working-class Americans is the rulebook someone reads to Trump every morning.

RTFA for a bit more editorializing by folks from the Washington POST. They also do a terrific job of journalism as it should be. Not the craven pap that passes along press releases pretending to be news coated in goose grease.