The Trump Effect: More Countries Now View the Influence of the U.S. as a ‘Major Threat’

One of the most recognizable personality flaws of Donald Trump is his compulsion to brag about everything he does as the bestest, most awesomest of whatever it is in the history of mankind. To be fair, he is entitled to some credit in specific areas. For instance, no president has ever been documented as telling more lies (8,000+) than Trump.

Donald Trump

However, pretty much everything that Trump has done more of than anyone else has had a decidedly negative impact on the country and the world. They include his withdrawal from the Paris Accords on Climate Change, his ditching the Iran nuclear treaty, his tax scam that benefitted only corporations and the wealthy, and his shutdown of the government over a useless and ineffective vanity wall along the southern border.

To this list we can now add a new accomplishment. According to a worldwide survey by the Pew Research Center, The United States is now seen by more nations as a “major threat” than prior to Trump’s presidency:

“More people now say [the U.S.] is a threat than in 2013 and 2017. Indeed, in 10 countries, roughly half or more now claim that American power is a major threat to their nation.” […]

“The largest change in sentiment among the global threats tracked are for those who see U.S. power and influence as a major threat to their countries. In 2013, only a quarter across 22 nations saw American power as a major threat to their country, but that jumped substantially to 38% in 2017, the year after Trump was elected president, and to 45% in 2018.”

That represents a twenty-five percentage point increase from the presidency of Barack Obama to the Trump regime. Many of the countries with the highest increases are neighbors and allies like Mexico (64%) and Japan (66%). Germany, France, and even Canada reported significantly greater concerns about the threat of U.S. influence. And all of these numbers rose in sync with survey results showing “a strong connection between seeing America as a threat and lack of confidence in U.S. President Donald Trump.”

It’s notable that this PEW study focuses on what the global community regards as threatening, and that most of them cite Climate Change at the top of their list. Of the twenty-six countries surveyed, fifty percent consider Climate Change to be the most serious threat they are facing. That compares to less than a third who named ISIS. And the perception of Climate Change as a threat increased by eleven points worldwide, a gain that is second only to the the U.S. It’s not surprising that this rising concern coincides with Trump’s dismissal of Climate Change as a hoax.

Clearly, there is no ambiguity about the cause of this decline in the international reputation of the United States. Trump is driving America to a new low in the world, particularly with our longtime allies. It is not only embarrassing and disruptive, it is dangerous. And it is deliberate on the part of an ignorant narcissist whose only goal is to glorify himself and disparage the majority of Americans who disagree agree with him.

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

Is Paris Burning? Donald Trump’s Flaming Lunacy Abounds in Bonkers Fox News ‘Interview’

The Big 4-0. That’s what Donald Trump has hit with his latest infomercial (aka interview) on Fox News. It’s his fortieth since becoming president. As usual it was a slobbering love-fest with Fox host Harris Faulkner hand-holding Trump through a series of softball questions. And when he wasn’t filibustering with barely comprehensible blather, he was interrupting with almost relevant filler (video below).

Donald Trump Climate Change

The Oval Office affair covered a few pertinent subjects with the thinnest veil of substance. Harris asked about Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen and his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, but she never pressed him to answer for their criminal activities or how they implicated him. Nor did she challenge any of his meandering obviously deflecting replies.

However, she did bake up some sweet questions that displayed her sincere devotion to her guest. Faulkner never once challenged any of Trump’s dishonest answers. She prefaced a question about the disclosures in Michael Cohen’s sentencing by quoting a former anti-Clinton special counsel saying that “he couldn’t see grounds for impeachment over that.” Then she described Cohen as “someone who has surreptitiously recorded you and is now known as a criminal liar.”

It seems every question was waterdown with platitudes before Trump even had to answer. When referencing a new Fox poll showing that Trump is still underwater at 46-52 percent, she spun it as being “just a couple tics off your highest point.” Which means, of course, that he has never risen above fifty percent. But she wouldn’t say that. Although she did let him get away with bragging about how well he did with women in 2016 (he lost women).

When he lied about how well he’s doing with China and trade, Faulkner chimed in that “that takes the pressure off the economy a little bit.” She did note that all of the gains for 2018 in the market are gone, but then added with a big smile that the market is still up since his inauguration (due to the record bull market that began in 2009 under President Obama). While discussing the economy and jobs, Faulkner got nearly teary-eyed about her impression of Trump going after companies that have had to impose layoffs, saying “I love this, cause I hadn’t planned to ask this, but your you’re calling out companies and what not. And the nation got to see you.” After his incoherent non-response she praised him saying that “This is your wheelhouse. Everybody knows this. I mean, to see the energy and the electricity as you talk about these issues.” Does anyone else need a towel?

As Faulkner wrapped things up she couldn’t help but show more unconditional love by asking him “What do you love about being President?” Trump’s reply was a vague “I love getting things done for the people,” but that it’s “a nasty job because I get hit so hard.” And Faulkner closes by sucking back the drool and telling Trump that “You have such energy for this.”

But perhaps the most disturbing part of this extended fluffing session was Trump’s insistence that he’s been a fantastic steward of the environment. His justification for that delusional self-appraisal was this disjointed nonsense:

“The Paris Accord is not working out too well for Paris. Take a look at what’s happening over there. Because of the Paris Accord that whole country is burning down, OK? And I was the one that kept us out of the Paris Accord. If I was in the Paris Accord we would be paying trillions of dollars, trillions of dollars for nothing.”

It’s somehow appropriate that Trump would come so close to the question that Adolf Hitler reportedly asked about Paris after ordering his troops to destroy the city rather than let it be re-captured by the Allies: Is Paris Burning? Well, no. It wasn’t then and it isn’t now. While there is some civil unrest, the city is not a charred wasteland. And the protests have nothing to do with climate change, despite Trump’s deranged attempt to conflate them. Also, the trillions of dollars he said would have been spent are a figment of his diseased imagination.

Sadly, this is the sort of warped dialogue that America is forced to engage in with a president who is too demented to grasp any subject that might come across his desk – or reality. And it doesn’t help when an alleged “news” network acts like the propaganda arm of a White House determined to mislead the public and work against the interests of the nation.

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

Who Was Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Why Would Donald Trump Have Hated Her?

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Parkland, Florida school, where fourteen kids and three adults were murdered by a maniac with an AR-15 assault weapon, has become a flash point in the debate for gun safety. That debate has been driven mainly by the student survivors themselves. Their passionate and articulate commitment to finally making change happen is one of the few signs of hope in the aftermath of yet another massacre.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas

However, little has been reported about the namesake of the school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. As it turns out, she was an inspiring woman who was a fierce advocate for speaking out on matters of importance. During a life of activism and personal sacrifice she was quoted as saying “You have to stand up for some things in this world.” She lived those words throughout her life and inspired others to do the same. In 1993 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton. And while in the White House that day she was invited to witness the signing of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (the Brady Bill).

But that isn’t the only eerie coincidence about Douglas and the specific focus of her activism. According to a biography on the National Park Service website:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, born April 7, 1890 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, graduated from Wellesley with straight A’s with the elected honor of “Class Orator.” That title proved to be prophetic.

In 1915, following a brief and calamitous marriage, she arrived in Miami, working for her father at the Miami Herald. She worked first as a society reporter, then as an editorial page columnist, and later established herself as a writer of note. Here she took on the fight for feminism, racial justice, and conservation long before these causes became popular.

So Douglas began her professional career as a journalist. Or as Donald Trump would say “an enemy of the American people.” She went on to champion women’s rights, something Trump has ridiculed and whose personal history of sexual harassment and assault demonstrates extreme disrespect and misogyny. Douglas was also a proponent of civil rights and racial justice. That contrasts with Trump’s overt bigotry and that of his base, which includes KKK and Nazi leaders and organizations. And finally, Douglas was best known for her environmental activism and her work to conserve the Florida Everglades. She wrote a landmark book on the subject titled, The Everglades: River of Grass.

Trump surely doesn’t know anything about Douglas or her lifelong dedication to service and social change. But if he did he would certainly despise her and attack her with a flurry of furious and derogatory tweets. He would insult her and make up stupid nicknames. And he would express his opposition to everything she stood for. All of this adds a rather somber poignancy to the tragedy in Parkland. But it may explain the stirring and righteous reaction from the students who probably do know Douglas and her work. They are likely inspired by quotes like this one: “I believe that life should be lived so vividly and so intensely that thoughts of another life, or of a longer life, are not necessary.”” And it may explain the heartrending intensity of their oratory as exemplified in this speech by student Emma Gonzalez:

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

Trump Wishes for Some of ‘That Good Old Global Warming’ that Will Kill Millions

After nearly a year, no one is particularly surprised when Donald Trump demonstrates just how stupid he is, but it is sometimes jarring to see how proud he is of it. And on Thursday night Trump provided a perfect example of both his painfully weak grasp of common knowledge, along with a massive dose of callous insensitivity toward the needless suffering of others.

Donald Trump Climate

This example came in the form of a thoughtless tweet that served no purpose other than to belittle sincere advocates for the health of the planet and its inhabitants. Trump tweeted:

By wishing for “a little bit of that good old Global Warming,” Trump is in effect wishing that millions of people suffer and die. He clearly doesn’t have even the slightest understanding of Climate Change, and thinks it’s cute to pray for more of it.

Let’s be clear, the record cold temperatures that are blanketing much of the Northeast and Midwest are, in fact, the result of Climate Change. Higher temperatures in arctic regions and oceans push frigid weather patterns farther south than they ordinarily go. And that’s why people from Maine to Minnesota will be shivering and many will be in mortal peril.

Trump and his science-denying ilk still don’t understand that aberrant weather patterns are a product of Climate Change (which is why scientists don’t call it global warming). He doesn’t know the difference between climate and weather. He can’t connect the incidence of extreme temperatures and natural disasters like hurricanes to the climate disruptions caused by human industry and behavior. And even when there are episodes of cold temperatures in one particular locality, in other places it is uncommonly warm. Southern California is in the eighties. Australia is experiencing record highs. So chills in New York don’t negate the fact that the planet’s climate is rising. 2016 was the hottest year ever. 2017 is set to be one of the three hottest years on record.

Trump’s flagrant ignorance is compounded by his brazen lying. Who knows what he’s talking about with regard to the United States spending “trillions of dollars” to protect against climate change. Efforts to mitigate climate disasters were being put into place internationally until Trump petulantly withdrew from the Paris Accords. But the cost never approached trillions. Fortunately, many states, cities and private companies repudiated the President and still intend to implement the initiatives outlined in Paris.

Finally, Trump tagged on a stony and insincere tip to “bundle up.” Really? That’s all he could muster for one of the coldest periods on record. Doesn’t he realize that people die under these circumstances? It was apparently too much trouble to post information on finding shelters for the homeless. Or to help those affected to stay warm in poorly insulated apartments and homes. Or to offer advice on how to prevent pipes from freezing or where to get help if someone is suffering from hypothermia. Just bundle up and mock science by wishing for the problem to get worse.

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

Crybaby: After Joking About Hurricane Irma, Alt-Right Icon Milo Yiannopoulos’ House Is Destroyed

As Hurricane Irma is downgraded to a tropical storm, its destructive consequences are still being evaluated. There is no doubt that it was the most powerful hurricane recorded in modern times. Dozens of fatalities have already been reported in its wake, and the numbers are expected to increase. The human tragedy is only just beginning to be fully understood as flood waters continue to rise.

Milo Yiannopoulos

These facts didn’t stop conservative pundits and politicians from belittling Irma’s impact. Prior to its landfall in Florida, Rush Limbaugh unleashed his conspiracy theory that the media was over-hyping it to juice their ratings. Some commentators assessed the aftermath as less than what they were led to believe by a panicky press.

They should tell that to the families who lost loved ones and homes. And no doubt the estimated six million people who are without power would disagree. Affected communities will continue to struggle with blocked roads and closed hospitals and schools. And, sadly, two Palm Beach officers died in the line of duty.

Among those who sought to underplay the disaster was the alt-right leader, Milo Yiannopoulos. He’s a former Breitbart author who was pilloried for comments defending pedophilia. He’a also a proud climate science denier. Prior to Hurricane Irma’s landfall in Florida he thought it would funny to joke about the imminent danger. As reported in The Independent:

“Mr Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart News writer and editor and a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, had earlier appeared to joke about the destruction the hurricane had caused. Last week, as the storm hit the Caribbean, he wrote on Facebook: ‘In more positive Irma news, Richard Branson’s Necker Island has been devastated.'”

“And, as the hurricane headed towards the impoverished Caribbean island of Haiti, he said: ‘Irma is about to finish what Hillary started: leaving Haiti in ruins.’ That was a reference to Hillary Clinton, who faced questions during her presidential campaign against Donald Trump over the work of the Clinton Foundation in Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake there.”

He’s hilarious, isn’t he? But what’s really funny is what he posted on Facebook after the hurricane passed through his home of Miami. In all caps he whined “MY HOUSE IS GONE.”

Apparently that silly old hurricane blew his home away. In all seriousness, it is never funny when anyone suffers this sort of tragic loss. Natural disasters are not selective and they do not discriminate. Even though some of their victims, like Yiannopoulos, do in overtly racist ways. They nevertheless deserve sympathy and whatever assistance is rightfully theirs from their neighbors and their government. That’s one of the enduring strengths of America and the caring people who live here.

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

However, in Yiannopoulos’ case, he also deserves his share of ridicule and shame for not giving a damn about any of this until it affected him. That’s a common personality flaw of right-wingers. But we also have to be alert to the possibility that he is lying. It would not be unlike him to use the tragedies of others as prank to get attention. Assuming he’s being truthful about his loss, he can apply for aid from FEMA as needed. But he also has to accept the laughter aimed at his blinding selfishness. Maybe he will learn something from it.

UPDATE: As I speculated above, it turns out that Yiannopoulos may be lying. The Miami Herald did a little digging and found evidence that the picture of rubble Yiannopoulos said was his home belongs to someone else. If this is a prank, it is an especially heinous one that exhibits callousness toward real people who are really suffering. But then, that’s pretty much what you’d expect from this sleazeball.

BREAKING: Donald Trump Says Something That’s Actually True – Hurricane Irma Will Be ‘Not Good’

The frequency with which Donald Trump has been caught lying has broken all records for political chicanery. And in the world of politics, that’s saying something. The Washington Post has documented more than a thousand Trump falsehoods just since Inauguration Day. PolitiFact records sixty-nine percent of his statements as being “Mostly False,” “False,” or “Pants on Fire.” Consequently, another disgorged dishonesty isn’t really news anymore. But when he says something that’s true – even accidentally – Stop the Presses!

Donald Trump

Wednesday morning is one of those rare occasions when Trump uttered something with some semblance of truth buried in it. That’s if you could decipher the inarticulate word salad he tosses around. In response to reporters questions about the approaching Hurricane Irma, Trump managed to squeeze out this brutal mangling of the English language (video below):

“The fact that there’s a new and seems to be record-breaking hurricane heading right towards Florida and Puerto Rico and other places. We’ll see what happens. We’ll know in a very short period of time. But it looks like it could be something that will be not good. Believe me. Not good.”

Well, the residents of “Other Places” better be on high alert. Because “something that will be not good” is headed their way. Apparently it’s very different than the catastrophic weather that pummeled Texas recently. When visiting the victims there Trump described it in positive terms saying that “It’s been a wonderful thing.”

However, the “not goodness” of Hurricane Irma may just be another example of the left-wing media fake news. At least according to Rush Limbaugh. He floated his theory yesterday that the the press focus on Irma was really just part of a devious plot. The purpose of the plotters was to help markets sell more bottled water and other supplies. It’s Limbaugh’s confirmation of the notorious cabal between Democrats and the convenience store lobby. What’s more, Limbaugh also claims that warnings about Irma advance the “hoax” of climate change:

“You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic. You don’t need a hurricane to hit anywhere. All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it’s mission accomplished, agenda advanced.”

Since Limbaugh, a resident of South Florida, isn’t buying the fake news reports about Irma, he might want to consider a day at the golf course. He surely doesn’t need to prepare for that phony storm the media is trying to sell. Maybe he could even plan to meet Trump at the President’s mansion on the island of St. Martin. Which is, or is not, in the direct path of Irma, depending on whether you believe Limbaugh or some nerdy scientists.

Trump has yet to embrace Limbaugh’s conspiracy theory. But that may just be because he’s too busy manufacturing his own. The White House reported today that the President will go to North Dakota to deliver remarks about his (still non-existent) tax reform initiative. He tweeted the announcement of his trip saying that “We are the highest taxed nation in the world.” And with that, he added another notch to his belt of outright lies. We are not even close to the top. But at least he got the thing about Hurricane Irma being “not good” right. Even if he did sound like choleric two-year old.

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

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’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.