Sorry Trump: House Votes to Affirm that Climate Change is a ‘Direct Threat’ to National Security

Donald Trump is unarguably the most hostile president to the environment this country has ever seen. He is an unabashed science denier who believes that climate change is a hoax invented by China. He petulantly withdrew the United States from the Paris Accords that mobilized more than 170 countries to protect the planet. His director of the Environmental Protection Agency is an avowed critic of the institution and has lobbied to abolish it. Trump opposes development of eco-friendly, renewable energy and supports expanding use of coal and fossil fuels.

Climate Change

That reprehensible record of extremist anti-environmentalism notwithstanding, many of Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress just told him to frack off. An amendment to the Pentagon’s budget sought to eliminate language that addressed the threat of climate change. But the amendment failed with the help of some Republicans and most Democrats. As reported by Axios:

“Forty-six House Republicans joined Democrats Thursday to protect language in defense policy legislation that calls climate change a ‘direct threat’ to national security and requires new Defense Department analysis of its effect on the military. The House voted 185-234 against GOP Rep. Scott Perry’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have stripped the language.”

The bill’s author argued that the military has more important matters to deal with and should leave climate change to other agencies. But others pointed out that rising sea levels are already threatening existing military installations. Even more troubling is the fact that global weather patterns are creating disasters that exacerbate regional conflicts. And countries suffering from drought, floods, and resource depletion can become dangerously unstable and vulnerable to extremist insurrections and war.

Opposition to Trump’s climate blindness from within his own ranks is nothing new. Earlier this year his Defense Secretary, James Mattis, openly contradicted his boss. Mattis said that climate change is “a real-time issue, not some distant what-if.” And furthermore, “it is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.”

Mattis isn’t the first defense secretary to hold these views. In fact, six of the past Secretaries of Defense (Mattis, Ash Carter, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Donald Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that climate change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And four of the six are Republicans. Especially notable is Rumsfeld, under whose leadership the Pentagon published a report on the subject. It’s title was “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.” The report warned that threats posed by climate change were even more perilous than terrorism.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It’s encouraging that a few dozen Republicans joined with Democrats to kill this amendment. But it’s troubling that the majority of the GOP still voted in favor of it. Trump and the Republican Party continue to deny the accumulated wisdom of both scientific and military experts. They support an agenda that advances the interests of oil barons and apocalyptic Christianists. So this victory must be celebrated with a measure of uncertainty and a resolve to keep fighting for positive goals.

Trump Sinks to Historic New Low in Approval Due to His Asinine Actions on Climate Change

There seems to be no bottom for Donald Trump in the minds of the American people. His job approval rating continues go down with almost every action, statement, or tweet that he excretes. He is a political avalanche that is hurtling down the mountainside crushing weak-kneed Republican defenders it its wake.

Donald Trump

Gallup’s latest tracking poll shows that Trump fell six points to thirty-six percent in just the last week. Needless to say, there are lots of pending calamities facing Trump and his administration. Most notably the ever-tightening noose that is his unsavory relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia. Not only is that not going away, it is getting more treacherous with the investigation by special prosecutor, Robert Mueller. But the week just concluded had a couple of specific anchors dragging Trump ever deeper underwater.

The most prominent news event last week was Trump’s highly promoted address in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday. (Excluding the terrorist attacks in London on Saturday that occurred to late to impact the poll). He gathered the media to announce that he is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Accords on Climate Change. His interminably long and rambling speech was ridiculed and riddled with factual misrepresentations and outright lies. And it appears that the public didn’t buy any of it.

The American people are more concerned about Climate Change now than ever. Unlike Trump, they do not believe it’s a hoax perpetrated by China. And specifically with regard to Trump’s actions, there is overwhelming support for remaining a part of the Paris Accords. Even a new poll by Fox News showed that Americans fear Climate Change more than Terrorism.

Consequently, it should come as no surprise that Trump’s approval rating took another dive. Following his rebuke of 147 nations who signed onto the accords, Trump seems petty, ignorant, and rabidly nationalistic. It’s a position that can only be explained as pandering to his wingnut base and corporate, fossil-fuel benefactors. Conversely, it’s a slap in the face to rest of the country – and world.

And speaking of the world, it plays a role in another news event from last week that is likely affecting Trump’s dismal polling. He just returned from his first trip overseas as president. To put it mildly, it didn’t go especially well. He praised Saudi Arabia as a “magnificent” kingdom without any mention of its severe human rights abuses. The sold them billions of dollars of weapons that previous administrations explicitly withheld from them. When he landed in Israel he mentioned to his hosts that he was just returning from the Middle East. Then he posed for some of the most awkward photos ever with the Pope. And finally, he insulted our NATO allies with ignorant rants about how awful they are.

That misadventure surely had some impact on Trump’s plummeting popularity. And along with his short-sighted, boneheaded move on Climate Change, he is assuring that his ratings will remain in the cellar for the foreseeable future. That isn’t going to help his floundering legislative agenda either. His attempt to repeal ObamaCare was rejected by the public and went nowhere in Congress. The tax proposal he put forward was equally disliked and there’s no sign that Congress will even consider it.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

All of this is going to make it much easier for Republicans to abandon him when Mueller concludes his investigation. If impeachment hearings are in order, the GOP will have free reign to go along in order to save their own skins. Trump won’t have any leverage to bully them or even beg for help. He is in a downward spiral of his own making and likely already knows that there is no way out. So look for him to get even more desperate and irrational. And fasten your seat belts. It’s gonna be bumpy ride.

Trump’s Defense Secretary Says Climate Change Is a Real Threat to American Interests

The Republican Party has long been a fierce opponent of any efforts to mitigate climate change. Their opposition stands in stark contrast to the near unanimous consensus in the scientific community. But that hasn’t stopped conservative leaders from twisting their heads firmly into the sand on behalf of their fossil fuel benefactors.

Donald Trump James Mattis

Donald Trump is among those who refuse to accept the reality of climate change. He has called it a hoax perpetrated by China. He installed an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) director, Scott Pruitt, who doesn’t think that carbon dioxide is a driver of global warming. And much of his domestic policy is focused on advancing the financial prospects of oil and coal producers. But there are some new fissures beginning to show in the administration. The Huffington Post is reporting that:

“Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asserted that climate change is real, and a threat to American interests abroad and the Pentagon’s assets everywhere, a position that appears at odds with the views of the president who appointed him and many in the administration in which he serves.”

Indeed, the new Pentagon chief is directly disavowing the position of the President. He went on to stress that “this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if.” According to “Mad Dog” Mattis “Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.”

This is not a particularly new opinion within the walls of the Pentagon. The military has been crystal clear for years about the very real consequences of a world where water and arable land become scarce, and nations erupt into chaos and war. And it isn’t just liberal tree-huggers who have signaled the alarm on climate change. For instance, the Rolling Stone documented this notorious right-wing influencer:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.”

Rumsfeld is not alone either. Six of the past Secretaries of Defense (Mattis, Ash Carter, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that climate change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And four of the six are Republicans.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump has variously said that he would rely on his generals, but also that he knows more than they do. It’s too soon to say which side he’ll come down on with regard to Gen. Mattis’ remarks. Trump is well known for not backing off of any position he takes, no matter how flawed. But if he insists on opposing the accumulated wisdom of six defense secretaries, and hundreds of climate scientists, he will only be digging himself and the Earth’s inhabitants a deeper grave.

Chickenhawk Republican Climate Deniers Just Killed Critical Military Funding

The Republican Party has distinguished itself for its shameless, knee-jerk opposition to anything with even a faint fragrance of liberalism. Their robotic rejection of any policy proposed by President Obama, or any other Democrat, is evidence of their acute aversion to critical thinking – or thinking period. And now they may have demonstrated that their assholiness even extends to weakening America’s national security.

Chickenhawk GOP

The Pentagon has long regarded Climate Change as a credible risk factor for international affairs. It is predicted that it will cause more severe natural disasters like hurricanes and drought, and multiplying refugee crises. All of this will profoundly increase the sort global tensions and conflict for which the United States must be prepared.

In response to these risks the Pentagon implemented a strategy (Department of Defense Directive 4715.21) for dealing with the consequences of a warming world. It was a fairly innocuous plan that mainly called for assigning specific people the responsibility of insuring that necessary measures were being taken to address potential problems. But even that plan was too much for the anti-science GOP, as reported by Politico:

“Last week, however, House Republicans voted to block it. By a 216-205 vote Thursday, the House passed an amendment prohibiting the department from spending money to put its new plan into effect. Not a single Democrat voted for the amendment, which was attached to the defense spending bill.”

The amendment was authored by Colorado Republican Ken Buck, who has no experience in either science or the military. His ignorance on the subject led to a defense of his amendment that makes little sense:

“The military, the intelligence community [and] the domestic national security agencies should be focused on ISIS and not on climate change. The fact that the president wants to push a radical green energy agenda should not diminish our ability to counter terrorism. […] The president has talked about an increase in the climate temperature on the planet. It is a fraction of a degree every year. How that is a current threat to us is beyond me.”

Indeed, this entire subject is beyond Rep. Buck. Apparently he thinks that the Defense Department, with 3.1 million employees and a budget of more $600 billion is incapable of concentrating on more than one thing at a time. Buck also believes that being prepared to respond to future military threats is part of a “radical green agenda.” His absurd position suggests that the U.S. should also drop any projects related to Russia, North Korea, NATO, cyber-warfare, or anything else not directly concerning ISIS.

Republican fear mongers, and their PR division at Fox News, are heavily invested in fighting a narrowly defined war on “radical Islamic terrorism” that mainly consists of reciting those three magic words and watching the bad guys dissolve into the ether. They have no affirmative suggestions for achieving victory, but they are overflowing with pointless criticisms. They mock those, including President Obama, who correctly assert that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than Climate Change.”

Conservatives who dispute the looming danger of a world with declining resources like water and arable land dismiss the warnings of 97 percent of the scientists who study the matter. They believe the whole crisis is a hoax that was invented to enrich greedy professors or, as Donald Trump laughably claimed, by the Chinese. However, the issue was laid out in stark detail by a Republican administration with an icon of modern conservative national security taking the lead:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.”

And Rumsfeld is not alone among security professionals in warning about Climate Change. The Politico article quotes several, with decades of military experience, who regard Buck’s amendment as foolish and more costly in the long run. In fact, four of the past Secretaries of Defense (Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that Climate Change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And three of the four are Republicans. Those are the people Ken Buck and his fellow Republicans are overruling with this ill-considered budget cut.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So why would the GOP advance this nonsense that is contrary to the non-partisan opinions of most experts? Because conservatives don’t really care about national security. What they want is to terrify people by focusing on the immediacy and bloodshed of incidents like the recent massacre in Orlando. Which is, ironically, the same thing the terrorists want. And that purely political, self-serving objective overrides any genuine interest in the welfare of the American people or the world.

John Kerry Rips Donald Trump’s ‘Unbelievable Contemptuous Ignorance’ On Climate Change

The Republican Party long ago committed itself to a position on climate change that is at odds with reality. The question is settled with 97 percent of the scientists who study the subject agreeing that climate change is occurring and that it is caused by human activities. But that hasn’t stopped faith-based GOP politicians, with help from the Fox News propaganda machine, from rejecting the voluminous data validating the unprecedented scientific consensus.

John Kerry

Leading the brigade of science deniers is the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump. In a widely ridiculed comment he called climate change a hoax that “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He advocates anti-environment policies such as eliminating regulations on energy exploration and production, opening up federal lands to oil drilling, and building the KeystoneXL pipeline. He promises to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which he thought was called the Department of Environmental (DEP?). And most recently he said that he would rip up the United Nations’ historic Paris climate agreement that currently has 177 signatories.

Responding to Trump’s attack on the Paris accords, Secretary of State John Kerry was interviewed on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes (video below). He did not mince words when asked about Trump’s hostility toward the international effort to mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change:

“Ripping up the climate agreement that was reached in Paris would be reckless, counterproductive, self-destructive. It would be an act of extraordinary danger to our country because of the path it would put us on both in terms of our global leadership on the issue as well as the actual policies we need to implement and it would in the end be an act of ignorance, of utter unbelievable contemptuous ignorance to get rid of something that the world has worked for since 1992 in Rio.”

Kerry didn’t stop there. He addressed the fact that each of the past years and decades marked record highs in global warming and were each hotter than those that preceded them, poignantly noting that “Somewhere people ought to be catching on to what is happening.” Along with the obvious and harmful impact of rising temperatures and sea levels, there is an alarming threat to national security. Kerry summarized this threat saying:

“Refugees that are being created in various parts of the world as a result of lack of water, or fights over food, or the fact that they have to move from where they live today. To talk about casually, without even understanding the work that has gone into it or the rationale for it, ripping it up would be one of the most reckless irresponsible, historically wrong acts I can think of.”

Conservative opponents of environmental reforms frequently try to belittle proponents as prioritizing climate change over terrorism. Of course, there is no reason why both issues cannot be tackled simultaneously. More to the point though, climate change actually is a more ominous threat that has the potential to instigate bloody wars and wipe out billions of people. Terrorism is unquestionably a tragic reality that requires a determined effort to defeat, but it does not approach the scale of climate change for global disaster. This was realized by no less a figure of right-wing stature than former George W. Bush defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. The Rolling Stone published a comprehensive examination of “The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk,” that cited Rumsfeld:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.”

OK? So now the climate-hoaxers cannot simply blame Obama and his socialist cabal of Sharia lawyers for inventing the crisis. Sources as deeply ingrained in the rightist dregs of warhawk free-marketism as Rumsfeld and Bush warned of the very same threat. In fact, four of the past Secretaries of Defense (Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that Climate Change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And three of the four are Republicans.

That leaves Donald Trump and his ilk to be the standard bearers of an utterly delusional rejection of the dangers that face a planet that is rapidly heating up, both in terms of temperature and hostility. Kerry characterized Trump’s denialism perfectly by labeling it reckless and ignorant. Unfortunately the Republican Party is now Trump’s plaything and they can be expected to wholly embrace his ignorance with enthusiasm and obedient blindness.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Really? Fox News Debuts The Anti-Climate Change Armadillo

In its continuing effort to disinform its viewers on the indisputably real threat of climate change (as documented by 97% of the scientists who study it), Fox News invited the notorious climate denier, Marc Morano, to deliver one of the most absurd and dishonest arguments against the facts to date (and to plug his new propaganda film).

Fox News

On Fox & Friends Sunday morning, host Steve Doocy introduced Morano as an expert on climate science and took a swing at President Obama in the process (video below):

Doocy: The Obama administration bypassed Congress and signed a U.N. treaty on climate change. But many hailing the decision are the same people who swore doomsday was upon us decades ago and many of those scenarios never came true.

First of all, Doocy’s assertion that the Obama administration bypassed Congress is the sort of deliberate falsehood that Fox uses to smear the President as an out of control tyrant. In reality, the “Paris Agreement,” signed by Secretary of State John Kerry, was part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a treaty that was ratified by the Senate in 1992. The Congress has no role whatsoever in the follow-on agreements to a treaty already ratified.

Secondly, Doocy’s contention that those supporting the Paris Agreement had made prior warnings that never materialized is also false. For one thing, he provides no names to back up his claim. And virtually everything that has been warned about climate change has, in fact, come to pass. 2015 was the hottest year on record, and 2016 is already poised to surpass that.

But what made this segment remarkable was the absurdity of how the argument was presented. Morano brought in a stuffed armadillo, in a cage for safety (?), to illustrate his fairy tale that the beleaguered beast was burdened by global cooling in the seventies and warming today. Once again, no evidence was provided to support the claim that “We were worried about a coming ice age” in the 70s. However, the global cooling fallacy has long been used by climate deniers, even though it was based on a single magazine article and was never advanced by anyone in the science community.

For the record, Morano has been lying about climate for several years despite the fact that he has no background at all in science. Just like Sarah Palin, who recently bragged that she is “as much a scientist” as Bill Nye (which is demonstrably untrue), Morano is as much a scientist as Palin.

Morano began his career as a Republican operative who worked for the Senate’s stupidest climate denier, Jim Inhofe. Morano’s resume also includes stints with Rush Limbaugh, the ultra-conservative CNSNews, and he was one of the original “swiftboat” liars who smeared Kerry’s service as a Vietnam veteran. He has a purely political past that in no way prepares him to comment on climate science. And with today’s partnership with a stuffed armadillo, Morano continues to turn an important issue into the sort of silliness that a Fox News viewer can understand, never mind that it is completely untrue.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News Is Hyperventilating About Climate Change vs. Terrorism – Again

One of the most predictable lines of attack on President Obama by Fox News and other right-wing media is to latch unto his commitment to mitigating the catastrophic effects of anthropomorphic climate change, and suggesting that his commitment to fighting terrorism is lax in comparison. The idiocy of that argument has been demonstrated numerous times, but since the right keeps bringing it up like a meal of rotten clams, it still needs to be debunked.

Fox News

The latest regurgitation of this nonsense came when Obama spoke at a press conference with the President of Argentina. He was asked a question about the post-Brussels optics of his decision to stay in Cuba and attend a baseball game. Obama expanded on his previous statement asserting that allowing the terrorists to disrupt our lives would be counter-productive, and that the message we need to send is that “You do not have power over us.”

Obama: Groups like ISIL can’t destroy us. They can’t defeat us. They don’t produce anything. They’re not an existential threat to us. They are vicious killers and murderers who perverted one of the world’s great religions. And their primary power, in addition to killing innocent lives, is to strike fear in our societies, to disrupt our societies, so that the effect cascades from an explosion or an attack by a semi-automatic rifle. And even as we are systematic and ruthless and focused in going after them, disrupting their networks, getting their leaders, rolling up their operations, it is very important for us not to respond with fear.

That profound and powerful statement was contorted into an expression of indifference by the spinmeisters at Fox News with help from CNSNews, a division of the uber-rightist Media Research Center. The problem they had with Obama’s remarks was that they were followed by his support for advancing a positive agenda, including solutions to the very real global threats posed by climate change.

Obama: So it’s important for the U.S. president and the U.S. government to be able to work with people who are building, and who are creating things and creating jobs, and trying to solve major problems like climate change, and setting up educational exchanges for young people who going to create the next great invention or scientific breakthrough that can cure diseases. We have to make sure that we lift up and we stay focused as well on the things that are most important to us.

The Horror! President Obama had the audacity to advocate a path forward that seeks to prevent suffering from disease and worldwide climate-related disasters. Anyone with a clear perspective understands that these are real threats that will affect millions of people. And while terrorism is unarguably agonizing and barbaric, it’s impact is much more narrow in terms of victims. What conservatives want is to terrify people by focusing on the immediacy and bloodshed of incidents like those in Brussels. Which is, ironically, the same thing the terrorists want.

However, most experts on terrorism and international security (including four of the past Secretaries of Defense, three of whom are Republicans) have concluded that climate change, unlike terrorism, is an existential threat. The military has been crystal clear for years about the very real consequences of a world where water and arable land become scarce, and nations erupt into chaos and war. Last year the Rolling Stone published an extensive examination of The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk. Among its many documented examples of the threat certified by numerous military analysts is one that ought to be persuasive to the conservative Republican deniers:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.

You might think that with Rumsfeld warning about the dangers of climate change from a national security perspective, the naysayers at Fox would keep their mouths shut. You would be wrong. And that’s because their goals have nothing to do with solving problems. The Fox propagandists are tightly focused on bashing the President to the exclusion of any other objective, including the best interests of the American people and the rest of the world.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

For the record, Obama didn’t just bring up climate change at the press conference to rattle conservative cages. The issue was one of the key subjects on the agenda for his trip to Argentina. And during the visit Obama and Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri agreed to take significant measures to cut carbon emissions from air flights and integrate solar and wind power into electricity grids.

What’s more, the criticism from the right that Obama has not properly prioritized the fight against terrorism in his public statements was put to rest the very same day in these remarks which Fox News neglected to report:

“I’ve got a lot of things on my plate. But my top priority is to defeat ISIL and to eliminate the scourge of this barbaric terrorism that’s been taking place around the world. The issue is how do we do it in an intelligent way. But what we don’t do, and what we should not do, is take approaches that are gonna be counter-productive. So when I hear somebody say we should carpet-bomb Iraq or Syria, not only is that inhumane, not only is that contrary to our values, but that would likely be an extraordinary mechanism for ISIL to recruit more people willing to die and explode bombs in an airport or in a metro station. That’s not a smart strategy.”

In conclusion, Fox News is blatantly disinforming their dimwitted audience when they try to portray Obama as disinterested in terrorism, when in fact it is one of his highest priorities. And they are likewise disinforming their audience by leading them to believe that climate change is not an existential threat, in particular when compared to terrorism. But what they are doing mostly is advancing the interests of terrorists by helping them to spread the fear that is at the heart of their strategy.

Are The Obama Haters At Fox News TRYING To Look Stupid?

Yesterday President Obama and French President Francois Hollande held a joint news conference at the White House to address the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris. They presented a united front against terrorism and each delivered opening statements that virtually mirrored one another. The gist was that, as Obama said…

“This barbaric terrorist group — ISIL, or Daesh — and its murderous ideology pose a serious threat to all of us. It cannot be tolerated. It must be destroyed.”

It was a forthright statement of unequivocal determination to prevail over evil and nothing Hollande said surpassed it in tone or substance. Nevertheless, Obama’s critics in the American media snarled predictably about what they viewed as the weakness of his remarks, as compared to Hollande, without citing a single instance of how they differed. For example, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post (and Fox Nation website) disparaged Obama in a headline article as being “dangerously nonchalant about ISIS threats.”

However, where they went cascading overboard was with their wildly absurd misinterpretation of comments both leaders made about the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference in Paris. For the record, here are the excerpts from each opening statement that addresses the conference:

Obama: Next week, I will be joining President Hollande and world leaders in Paris for the global climate conference. What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.

Hollande: There is no greater symbol than holding this conference on climate in Paris with some 150 heads of state and government. Never before did France host so many leaders of the international community. They’re coming to sort out the climate challenge, and again, to work and to find the right agreement so that we can limit greenhouse gases emissions and make sure that our children and our grandchildren live better, or simply can live.

What is plainly obvious is that both men were declaring their resolve to forge ahead with the conference despite the attempt by terrorists to stir panic and to disrupt the lives of free people in Paris and everywhere else. It was a proclamation of their commitment to proceed with life’s affairs without being hobbled by fear. But the Fox News crowd is either to stupid to recognize that, or they are deliberately twisting it to arrive at a ludicrous conclusion that fits their anti-Obama narrative. Here is a sampling of their mindless exercises in disinformation:

Fox News

  • Rudy Guiliani: You know, you know, I really feel very stupid. I consider myself somewhat of an expert on law enforcement, terrorism, cybersecurity, security, and I never thought of the fact that if we just waged war on global warming we could defeat ISIS, and that’s really going to shake them up. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything more absurd from a president.
  • K.T. McFarland: President Obama thinks that climate change is the greatest strategic and geological and existential threat to our future. You know, here we are — and the irony, if it were not so tragic it would be funny — here we have ISIS, which is attacking with suicide vests and Kalashnikovs and potentially chemical weapons in the French water supply. What are we doing? We’re going to fight ISIS. We’re going to have windmills. We’re going to have solar panels. We’re going to show them. It’s just really — all it does is it gives encouragement to the terrorists who feel that they have been selected and chosen by Allah to establish the caliphate and kill everybody who disagrees with them.
  • Eric Bolling: At the White House news conference alongside the leader of France today, President Obama really stuck it to the terrorists by reminding them he’ll be attending a weather summit soon.
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle: Wow, we’re going to stick it to the terrorists when we start talking about climate change.
  • Jesse Watters: He’s saying we need to fight terror by using a poem on the Statue of Liberty. OK, I don’t even know what that means. And then he’s going on and saying the biggest rebuke to terrorism is to talk about the weather. […] I don’t think Americans care if we rebuke the terrorists. I think we should be nuking the terrorists.
  • Andrea Tantaros: Obama: wait til they get a load of us at the Climate Summit in a few wks….”a rebuke.” Because nothing scares jihadists like the weather.
  • Peter Johnson: I think the people join me at home today on this in being confounded and astounded … by that statement that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, the most potent weapon in his arsenal against ISIS, against al-Qaeda, against all of these terrorists, is somehow convening a conference on global warming, on climate change.

These maroons actually believe that Obama was arguing that Climate Change reform was his response to terrorism. They are so intellectually feeble that they could not grasp that he was talking about proceeding with the conference, rather than canceling or rescheduling it, as the “rebuke” in that it demonstrated that the terrorists could not upset our lives with their barbarous tactics. We will persevere no matter what they do, they cannot force us to retreat into bunkers. It is a message of strength. And even though the Fox dimwits directed their insults at our president, while praising Hollande, they completely ignored the fact that Hollande said exactly the same thing.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This is what happens when people allow themselves to become so consumed with hate that they can’t hold a coherent thought in their diseased brains. It exposes them as frauds who have only their own narrow interests at what remains of their heart. But most of all it signals an innate idiocy and inability to engage in critical thinking. Which may be a good thing for Fox News pundits. Because their audience is even less able to understand simple concepts or process information in any logical manner. Fox knows who they’re playing to, and their audience appreciates being talked down to – and even lied to.

Flat-Earther Ted Cruz Makes A Valiant Effort To Out-Trump Trump

The Republican presidential primary has utterly devolved into a festival of crotchety buffoons whose most steadfast goal is to attract more publicity than their current front-runner, Donald Trump. However, it says something rather pitiful about a collection of GOP candidates that are repeatedly upstaged by a boorish TV reality show host. That’s gotta hurt.

Consequently, every so often one of them will take a wild swing for fences to see if they can sponge up a little attention. Doing so almost never involves contributing something meaningful to the discourse on government, politics, or society. No, it usually means sinking to lower levels of dumbfuckery than Trump himself. And the latest contestant to step up to the plate is Sen. Ted Cruz, who in the pre-Trump era was the undisputed champion of the lunatic fringe.

Ted Cruz

Speaking at gathering of wealthy Republican donors sponsored by the wealthiest of them all, the Koch brothers, Cruz addressed the subject of Climate Change. He began by making the bizarre assertion that the vast majority of scientists whose studies prove that Climate Change is a real and imminent threat, are “Flat-Earthers.” That’s right, he used the phrase that ordinarily mocks those who reject science against actual scientists. And he used it to reject science.

You have to give Cruz some credit for managing to pull off this daring escape from reality with a straight face. And undoubtedly the imbeciles listening to this tripe will soak it up eagerly since they have already demonstrated that their capacity for rational comprehension is at or near zero. Cruz went on to dismiss Climate Change as a hoax saying that…

“If you look at satellite data for the last 18 years, there’s been zero recorded warming. The satellite says it ain’t happening … They’re cooking the books.” […and that…] “It is always disturbing to hear science use the language of theology. Deniers. Heretics. That’s not what science is supposed to be about. Science should follow the facts.”

Indeed. Science should follow the facts. And with 97% of scientists who have studied Climate Change agreeing that it is real and is caused by humans, the facts are not in doubt. What’s more, Cruz’s complaint about the “language of theology” comes entirely from his warped imagination. The term “deniers” was previously used mostly with reference to fake historians who claimed that the Holocaust never occurred. That is not a theological reference. And I would wager that Cruz could not cite a single instance of someone referring to Climate Change deniers as heretics.

As for Cruz’s claims about satellite data, cooked books, and the alleged absence of any recorded warming, he is obviously working from materials provided by the same Exxon lobbyists who previously worked for cigarette companies on the health benefits of tobacco. Because if he had asked the scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration they would have told him that the planet has been steadily warming for decades and that 2014 was Earth’s warmest year on record. And that 2015 is on track to surpass 2014.

This isn’t the first time that Cruz has wondered from the realm of reality by flipping the concept of flat-Earthers. Back in May he said much the same thing while adding that he and other science-deniers were modern-day Galileos. The only problem with that is that it is bass-ackwards. Galileo was persecuted for advocating theories derived from scientific method (like the 97%). His critics, mainly the Catholic Church, rejected his work because they were committed to preserving long-held myths that benefited the status quo (like Koch brothers). So Cruz assuming the mantle of Galileo is a complete reversal of logic. He’s the one using an unsupported belief system to supplant today’s Galileos who rely on actual science.

Perhaps the funniest diversion from sanity in Cruz’s speech was his ludicrous reasoning for why Democrats are pursuing Climate Change as an issue. First, he says that they plan to use it as a means to assert total control over … EVERYTHING! It’s all part of a grand conspiracy that concludes with universal slavery to environmental dictators forcing people to live with clean air and water in a habitable climate. The fiends! And even worse, Democrats only pretend to care about the issue in order to please the army of environmentalist billionaires (we all know how numerous and bloodthirsty they are) and to gain access to their campaign donations. Keep in mind that Cruz was offering this ominous conspiracy theory to a room full of some 450 wealthy campaign donors assembled by the Koch brothers from whom he is seeking donations.

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The only question for Cruz is, is this blockheaded stunt crazy enough to steal back some of Trump’s thunder? In ordinary times it would have more than sufficed. But these are not ordinary times. Trump has advanced the idiocracy to new, unforeseen heights. If Cruz really wanted to clinch the deal he should have accused the scientists of aiding and abetting ISIS, or thrown in a reference to environmentalist Nazis like Mike Huckabee did with Planned Parenthood. Now that’s how you out-Trump Trump.

Are Voters Willing To Pay To Combat Global Warming? Don’t Ask Fox News

For anyone looking for additional evidence that Fox News makes people stupid, another splendid example popped up on the Fox Nation website today.

Fox Nation

The article’s headline posed the question “Are Voters Willing To Pay To Combat Global Warming?” Both the question and the original source for the article came directly from the ultra-conservative pollsters at Rasmussen Reports. The folks at Rasmussen answered the question by stating flatly that “Most voters still aren’t ready to pay much, if anything, to fight global warming.” Fox News repeated the same thing without any critical assessment of its accuracy.

It would not be surprising, then, for Fox’s audience to come away believing that the poll showed that Americans are unwilling to pay up in order to prevent the scientifically verified dangers of Climate Change. And if they won’t pay to mitigate the harm, then they must not think it’s very important.

The problem with that conclusion, however, is that it flies in the face of both reality and the actual results of the Rasmussen poll. Reading further on the Rasmussen article (which Fox did not report) reveals a very different representation of the public opinion:

“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of Likely U.S. Voters say they are willing to pay nothing more in higher taxes and utility costs annually to to generate cleaner energy and fight global warming. But that’s down from 48% last August and the lowest level measured in regular tracking since January 2013. Another 24% are willing to spend only $100 more per year, unchanged from earlier surveys. Twenty-six percent (26%) are ready to spend $300 or more a year to combat global warming, with six percent (6%) who are ready to spend at least $1,000 more annually.”

To sum up, with 24% willing to pay at least $100.00 per year, plus 26% willing to pay over $300.00 per year, plus another 6% willing to pay more than $1000.00 per year, you get 56% (a clear majority) of Americans who believe that Climate Change is a problem that is serious enough to shell out significant funds to address. Yet somehow Rasmussen, and subsequently Fox News, spun the poll results as saying that “most voters still aren’t ready to pay much, if anything.”

So how did they arrive at that obviously contrary conclusion? One guess is that they simply decided that either $100.00 or $300.00 is not “much” money. But that’s a subjective analysis and many Americans would dispute it. Even Fox News would dispute it under different circumstances. For instance, if they thought that someone’s health insurance premium was going to increase $100.00 per year they would regard it as an outrage and renew their calls to repeal ObamaCare.

Another possible explanation for how the poll results were so absurdly twisted is Rasmussen’s methodology wherein they split the responses into four groups (pay nothing, $100.00, $300.00, or $1000.00). The effect is to divide all the responses where there is willingness to pay into three answers, while leaving a single answer for those unwilling to pay anything. Consequently, you get a plurality of 41% who won’t pay, compared to smaller numbers who will pay different amounts. So long as no one adds up those other amounts and realizes that they total 56%, a deceptive pollster could claim that those who won’t pay are the largest single group.

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Rest assured that the Fox News audience won’t do the math. In fact, they probably won’t even click through to read the article. And for the foreseeable future they will believe, falsely, that the majority of the American people are against any attempt to address Climate Change if it is going to cost them anything. Nice work Fox. Your dishonesty will keep your audience mired in ignorance, just the way you like them.