Paris Climate Accord

According to a Washington Post article, “The U.S. is the world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter and would otherwise have accounted for 21 percent of the total emissions reductions achieved by the accord through 2030.”  If Trump pulls the US from the Paris agreement, other countries are likely to withdraw as well worsening the warming of the planet.  The agreement has been signed by over 190 countries and was backed by global fossil fuel companies like Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, and BP.

And yet here we are, being teased about the fate of our planet like it’s the next episode of the Apprentice.

I will be announcing my decision on Paris Accord, Thursday at 3:00 P.M. The White House Rose Garden. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2017

There are already more jobs in clean energy than there are in coal and yet the President continues to try and save a dying industry.  The climate skepticism and shortsightedness of Steve Bannon, Scott Pruitt, and the President will leave the US without a seat at the international table while continuing to destroy the planet.

Mother Jones shared this video from filmmaker Ian Cheney.  “In just over 12 minutes, he explores the scale of the challenge facing humanity: scientific and technical, the emotional, psychological, and political. Cheney doesn’t pretend to offer answers or specific solutions; he only seeks to shine a light into the fog, to look for shapes and patterns, and ultimately to explore the many reasons why the problem of climate change is so difficult for humanity to even fathom, much less come together to solve.”

SNL is irrelevant 

I haven’t watched last night’s episode of SNL yet, but I already heard about Trump’s tweet about it. President-elect Trump is whining that SNL is making fun of him.  I tried to come up with a snarky tweet of my own but couldn’t fit my frustration into 140 characters or less.

Supporters are defending him by saying how irrelevant and unfunny SNL is. That line of defense only proves how childish he is acting. If SNL is irrelevant, then why does Trump care what they have to say about him?  Saturday Night Live has spent decades poking fun at presidents and politicians. It has been hilarious at times, and has fallen short plenty of other times.

You know what really isn’t funny? How easily Trump is provoked.  Do you think other countries haven’t noticed how thin skinned he is?  How is he supposed to lead, much less protect us, when he can’t even take a joke?  Of all the issues facing this country and he’s worried how he is being portrayed on a sketch comedy show.  It’s time for his staff to take away his tweeting privileges again.

Post election

I’ve tried to avoid social media in the days following the election.  I needed a break from the gloating and whining.  A Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that the majority of Americans (62%) believe Trump is unfit and doesn’t have the temperament to be President, which means there had to be some other compelling reason to vote Republican.  In my inconsequential opinion, the Supreme Court implications were underestimated.  People voted to secure conservative nominations to the Supreme Court more than they voted because they liked Trump.  Then again, polls haven’t been the most reliable source of information this election cycle.

While news outlets figure out how they got it wrong, anti-Trump protests have erupted.  I respect their right to protest although I don’t quite understand what they hope to accomplish.  Let’s be honest, there was going to be protests no matter who won.   It goes to show just how divided we are as a country.  We can debate the benefits and drawbacks of the electoral college like we seem to do every 4 to 8 years, but Trump will be our next President.  I’m not moving to Canada or anywhere else.  And of all places, why does everyone say they are going to Canada?  Are they afraid they’ll be put to work building the wall if they move to Mexico?  Nothing against our friendly neighbors to the north, but there are plenty of tropical locations that I would rather relocate to in protest.

During my short sabbatical, I’ve been binging on the HBO series, The Newsroom.  I’ve never watched it and a show about reporting news with integrity and ethics seemed like a nice departure from reality.  Plus, how can you not like the quick-witted dialogue of Aaron Sorkin?  It’s a cross between Broadcast News and Sports Night;  not that you need a review of a 4 year old show.

None of us knows what’s to come in the next 4 years.  However I think we can all agree that these Joe Biden plotting against Trump memes are winning the internet.

 

 

 

Just the facts, Ma’am

What’s scarier; illegal immigrants voting or uninformed registered voters? Facebook is great for keeping up with friends and family and also for spreading false information. A friend recently commented on a  link regarding President Obama saying in an interview that illegal immigrants should be able to vote without repercussions. There is a video clip from Fox News host Neil Cavuto stunned by what he interprets the President is suggesting. It was on TV so it must be true!  Except that it isn’t.

I hesitated to comment and post the link explaining the context of the conversation because, for one, I don’t know these people.  Nothing like a friend of a friend jumping in and correcting everyone.  I respect that people have different opinions.  My issue is that we are completely disregarding facts.  We see a story that aligns with our own beliefs and we share it without considering whether its true or not.

In a recent episode of the This American Life podcast, they spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper .  Set aside your opinion of Jake Tapper and CNN for the moment, but he made a good point in that facts, especially when it comes to the Trump campaign, are considered partisan.  Facts are facts whether you agree with them or not.  Fact = truth.  You can’t argue with that, and yet we do.  Later in the podcast the host speaks to his Uncle Lenny, a conservative that believes every conspiracy theory related to President Obama.  We are well beyond disagreeing with policies, but questioning even the most mundane aspects of Obama’s life.  We all know someone like Lenny; “Obama isn’t who he says he is and he’s trying to destroy the country.”  No matter what the facts show, we believe what we choose to believe and those beliefs often originate with cable news and talk radio hosts.

I can’t imagine that there has ever been a time when people distrusted fact based media as much as they do now.  “It’s the liberal media’s fault.” “It’s the right wing media’s fault.” Honestly, it’s the 24 hour news cycle.  Everything is “Breaking News” on cable news.  Hosts over analyze and speculate every last detail of the latest development.  They break down stories and interviews sentence by sentence and that is how you end up with Neil Cavuto claiming the President wants illegal immigrants to vote.   Pundits are on TV every day saying how the (left/right) media is to blame, as if they themselves aren’t part of the problem.  The hypocrisy is astounding!

If the talking heads on cable news and social media is your only source of information, then you are uninformed.  In another 24 hours we will elect a new President.  Everyone has made up their minds at this point.  All that’s left is to cast and tally the votes.  Unfortunately it won’t end there.  Trump’s self fulfilling prophecy of the election being rigged will cast a shadow over the process for at least the next few weeks, if not months.  I truly believe Donald Trump doesn’t actually want to be President.  He just doesn’t want to lose.  When faced with the idea that he could lose, he casts doubt and conspiracy theories.  Before you support or rally behind ridiculous theories, check your facts.  Be informed.  Think before you post/share.

 

No ordinary stump speech

Dan Rather shared this video on Facebook in its entirety because as he says, “Regardless if you agree or disagree with what the First Lady has to say, I believe you cannot deny that this speech marks a singular chapter in our national story.”

At the end of the day the First Lady is campaigning for Hillary and her party, but she is so well spoken that I’d vote for her right now.  Before you start, “Yeah, but…”  Just watch. Very moving.

Vote!

Election day is less than a month away.  The two major parties want you to believe the world will end if the other candidate wins.  I promise you the sun will rise on November 9th regardless of the outcome.  The years of demonizing each other have left us extremely divisive and with two candidates that no one really wants.

Everywhere you turn, we’re being told to vote.  It’s your civic duty!  I even got a Facebook notification telling me when the deadline is to register in Missouri.  Unfortunately, I think the campaign to encourage voting is missing a vital part.  Be informed.

We aren’t only deciding who will be the country’s next leader, but there are congressional races to consider, statewide office races, and local ballot measures that need your attention.  It’s these races that affect our daily lives.  You can see a sample of your local ballot that lists all the candidates and measures at ballotpedia.org.  Don’t cast your vote blindly or even all for one party without doing your due diligence first.  Yes, you should vote.  But take the time to make an informed decision.

Sorry, not sorry

“I apologize if anyone was offended.”  That was Trump’s response to the audio that was released of him from 2005 degrading women with Billy Bush.  That’s not an apology, Donald.  It’s nowhere near the apology that women deserve.  It’s just the latest incident in a long line of disturbing things Trump has said that his surrogates spin or ignore.

At what point is enough enough?  Trump is a liar, a narcissist, sexist, racist, xenophobe, and a bully, but the really scary thing is… he has supporters.  The scary thing is that no matter what he says or does apparently,  people will still support and defend him.  They either share his prejudiced views or they are blindly supporting the party.  They blame the liberal media or say Hillary is just as bad, or worse.  No.  Hillary is no saint, but you can’t even compare the two.

In no way am I endorsing Hillary Clinton.  I’m saying don’t vote for Trump.  The USA Today Editorial Board has never taken sides in a Presidential race, until now. Here is why they believe Trump is unfit to be President.  Let’s instead imagine an election between Hillary and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein.  The former Communications Director of the Make America Great Again Super PAC, Stephanie Cegielski, details how Trump never expected to be in this position in the first place and why she stopped supporting him in this open letter.  It’s okay to support someone else.  Anyone else, really.  There’s still a month left.  Let’s start a write-in campaign for literally anyone else.

Trump released a video statement regarding the 2005 audio, “I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.”  That’s marginally better, but lacked any sincerity.  Billy Bush has at least said he is ashamed of the comments.  Trump had an opportunity for a heartfelt apology but instead used it to attack his opponent.

I’m really just venting out of frustration. Frustration that we’re even in this situation. I know I’m not changing anyone’s mind. Politics is a lot like cheering for your favorite sports team.  Even when you’re losing, you support your team and hope  that things turn around.  You have an allegiance to your team that can’t be swayed because you share a certain set of beliefs.  However, you should not vote for Trump just because the leaders say he is on your team.  He isn’t.  He isn’t on anyone’s team.  His name is his brand and all he cares about is his brand.  He lacks the knowledge, temperament, and basic human decency to be President and we as a country deserve so much better.