Open Thread

The Open Thread for June 2, 2017

President Donald Trump has announced the US will withdraw from the Paris climate deal, sparking intense reaction around the world.   Trump argued that the climate accord was a bad deal for the US and will hurt job growth, which is of course not true according to reporting from CNN.  Trump said he’s interested in renegotiating a new plan, but if he can’t, “that’s fine.”  Foreign leaders have already responded that there will be no renegotiation and that the world will move one and leave the United States behind and isolated.

Indeed, Trump and idiot climate denying Republicans are being left behind and isolated even in their own Country.  First off, who was the idiot speechwriter who wrote this line: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” without checking about the facts of Pittsburgh, its people and its mayor.  Pittsburgh has reinvented itself as a green city after the closure of all the steel plants, it voted for Hillary by 80% and its mayor said this in response:

In California, “[f]or the past two years, Gov. Jerry Brown has been aggressively recruiting other state and local governments to sign on to their own, sub-national climate pact,” Politico reports.  “But that campaign has taken new urgency under President Trump, who announced Thursday that he’ll withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. It’s a reflection of the roiling conflict between the president and the nation’s most populous state, but also the ambition of a governor who, after a lifetime in politics, is seizing an unexpected opening on an international stage.”

More reaction:

“The Trump administration Thursday night asked the Supreme Court to reinstate its travel ban blocking entry from six Muslim-majority countries,” CNN reports.

“In its filing, the administration asked the nine justices to consider the legality of President Trump’s executive order, a move that appeals a ruling by the 4th Circuit that upheld a nationwide halt to the ban.”

“Before he was named Trump’s health secretary, Tom Price took a congressional trip to Australia and pressed officials to extend protections for drug companies in an international trade agreement,” ProPublica reports.

“Price’s lobbying abroad, which has not previously been reported, is another example of how his work in Congress could have benefitted his investment portfolio. He traded hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of shares in health-related companies while taking action on legislation and regulations affecting the industry. ProPublica previously reported that Price’s stock trades are said to be under investigation by federal prosecutors.

“The White House and a Russian state-owned bank have very different explanations for why the bank’s chief executive and Jared Kushner held a secret meeting during the presidential transition in December,” the Washington Post reports.

“The bank maintained this week that the session was held as part of a new business strategy and was conducted with Kushner in his role as the head of his family’s real estate business. The White House says the meeting was unrelated to business and was one of many diplomatic encounters the soon-to-be presidential adviser was holding ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration.”

“The contradiction is deepening confusion over Kushner’s interactions with the Russians as the president’s son-in-law emerges as a key figure in the FBI’s investigation into potential coordination between Moscow and the Trump team.”

A new WSB-TV poll in Georgia’s 6th congressional district shows Jon Ossoff (D) barely leading Karen Handel, 49% to 48%.  Just 3% were undecided, “a sign of the total saturation of the race for the suburban Atlanta district.”

Meanwhile, across the pond, it is beginning to look like Jeremy Corbyn might just win this thing.   A new YouGov poll in Britain finds that Labour is closing the gap with Tories and now stands just three points behind Theresa May’s Conservative party, 42% to 39%.  “The poll points to a remarkable change in fortunes for the Tories, which had a 24-point lead over Labour when the snap general election was called in April.”

A new ICM Unlimited/The Guardian poll also shows the Tories just three points ahead, 33% to 30%.  Said one Tory candidate to HuffPost UK: “It’s a completely different experience to what it was four weeks ago. It’s made my job a hell of a lot harder. It’s a completely different experience. I’m pretty fucked off.”

Ezra Klein: “The world is currently on track for catastrophic levels of global warming. Destroying one of our last best chances to set a different path might prove Trump’s most consequential, and disastrous, legacy.”

“If it does, historians living in the altered climate of 2050 will look back on the 2016 campaign in horror. As they read the coverage, they will find a polity that knew of the danger and importance of climate change, but preferred to talk about Hillary Clinton’s emails instead. Indeed, as Media Matters documents, there was less coverage of climate change in the 2016 election than in the 2014, 2012, or 2010 elections… Meanwhile, networks’ flagship news shows devoted more coverage to Clinton’s emails than to every policy issue combined.”

“We often look back on past generations and wonder about their cruelty, their blithe dismissal of actions that seems to us, now, to be obviously moral, obviously right. But imagine how future generations will look back on us. We knew all we needed to know about how climate change would likely affect our descendants, and we decided to let it happen anyway.”

“The Trump administration is moving toward handing back to Russia two diplomatic compounds, near New York City and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, from which its officials were ejected in late December as punishment for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election,” the Washington Post reports.

“Then-President Barack Obama said Dec. 29 that the compounds were being ‘used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes,’ and gave Russia 24 hours to vacate them. Separately, Obama expelled from the United States what he said were 35 Russian ‘intelligence operatives.’

“The White House disclosed Wednesday evening that it has granted ethics waivers to 17 appointees who work for President Trump and Vice President Pence, including four former lobbyists,” the Washington Post reports.

“The waivers exempt the appointees from certain portions of ethics rules aimed at barring potential conflicts of interest. In letters posted on the White House website, the White House counsel’s office wrote that the waivers were in the public interest because the administration had a need for the appointees’ expertise on certain issues.”

“The rate at which the Trump White House has handed out waivers is far faster than that of the Obama administration, which issued 17 exemptions for White House appointees over eight years.”

Politico: “Steve Bannon and Scott Pruitt have sought to outsmart the administration’s pro-Paris group of advisers, including Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who were hoping the president could be swayed by a global swell of support for the deal from major corporations, U.S. allies, Al Gore and even the pope. But some of that pro-Paris sentiment wound up being surprisingly tepid, according to White House aides who had expected that European leaders would make a stronger case during Trump’s trip abroad earlier this month.”

“Those who want Trump to remain also faced an insurmountable hurdle: The president has long believed, rightly or wrongly, that the U.S. is getting a raw deal under the accord, and it proved nearly impossible to change his mind.”

Mike Allen: “Allies say Trump — with no ironclad policy convictions on climate, and buffeted by conflicting campaigns from rival advisers — defaulted toward delivering on a campaign promise that catered to his last refuge, the voters who put him in office.”

Shifting away from his previous blanket denials of Russian involvement in cyberattacks last year to help the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any state role on Thursday but said that “patriotically minded” private Russian hackers could have been involved, the New York Times reports.

Said Putin: “If they are patriotically minded, they start making their contributions — which are right, from their point of view — to the fight against those who say bad things about Russia.”

Barack Obama put out the follow statement on President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement:

A year and a half ago, the world came together in Paris around the first-ever global agreement to set the world on a low-carbon course and protect the world we leave to our children.

It was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made that achievement possible. It was bold American ambition that encouraged dozens of other nations to set their sights higher as well. And what made that leadership and ambition possible was America’s private innovation and public investment in growing industries like wind and solar – industries that created some of the fastest new streams of good-paying jobs in recent years, and contributed to the longest streak of job creation in our history.

Simply put, the private sector already chose a low-carbon future. And for the nations that committed themselves to that future, the Paris Agreement opened the floodgates for businesses, scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation on an unprecedented scale.

The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

20 comments on “The Open Thread for June 2, 2017

  1. We’re living “The Idiot’s Guide to Isolationism”.

    • Prop Joe

      We could make this the largest comment thread in BD history just trying to come up with as many applicable fillers to “The Idiot’s Guide to ________”, using the first six months of Trumpis’ presidency as fodder.

  2. Stephen

    So we’re all supposed to be scared to death that Trump pulled out of this Paris Climate Treaty. I’m not.

    Obama was a key force in this Paris Climate Thing. Obama’s Science Czar was John Holdren. John Holdren is only good at two things: scaring people and being WRONG.

    Here are a couple examples of Obama’s top scientist, John Holdren, doing what he does best:

    Paul Ehrlich, who was Holdren’s mentor, wrote in his 1987 book “The Machinery of Nature,” “As University of California physicist John Holdren has said, it is possible that carbon dioxide climate-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020.”


    In 1980, Holdren made a famous wager with an economist that certain metals (namely chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten) would be a higher price in 1990 than 1980 because Holdren predicted a scarcity of resources. He was WRONG on all five counts.

    These are just a couple of his incorrect thoughts on “climate change.” Read his books; they are hilariously wrong. But he’s considered the top scientist by Obama and the establishment.

    Let’s all pay taxes through the nose, use less energy, and stop having babies… because someone who is always WRONG wants us to! Haha, so dumb.

    And Holdren thinks that people who are skeptical of his (wrong) predictions are “dangerous”. Haha. Wooo!

    • Prop Joe

      John Holdren Stephen is only good at two things: scaring people and being WRONG.

      Fixed that for you!

    • You didn’t even read the quotes you put in your comment.

      “As University of California physicist John Holdren has said, it is ****possible**** that carbon dioxide climate-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020.”


      See the word I surrounded in asterisks? “Possible”. Possible =/= definitive.

      I’m going to go ahead and just discount the rest of your comment because you jumped before you had a conclusion to jump to.

      • Stephen

        Haha. John Holdren repeatedly (in books, papers, and interviews) predicts starvation, famines, and death to be the results of humans using fossil fuels. And he’s repeatedly wrong! Haha. The “possible” possibilities he always talks about are death! He’s a creep. And repeatedly wrong!

        And he was Obama’s senior advisor on science? The Paris Climate Thing is probably wrong then! Haha.

        • Eastern Africa has seen increased drought activity for more than a decade. With plenty of starvation and famine and death. The western US (California especially) has had a drought for a few years. Governor Brown called off the drought emergency, but it will take some time for aquifers, etc. to recover. No starvation, because we can import food, but plenty of farmers had their livelihood damaged.

          So he isn’t quite as wrong as you are here. Surprise.

          • Stephen

            Any starvation or famine is horrific.

            With that said, John Holdren is totally wrong when he predicted that 1 billion people might die by 2020 due to “climate induced famines.” Since he said that, less than 12 million people have died from famine. We’re nowhere close to his 1 billion number, thankfully.

            Here’s another article saying that 70 million people have died of famine since 1900. Even that number isn’t close to the 1 billion that Holdren predicted! Thank God this guy is wrong!

            He’s totally out in left field. And he was in the Obama White House helping develop the Paris Climate Thing. His goal isn’t science. His goal is trumpeting the establishment’s agenda of higher taxes and more control over citizen’s lives.

            • And here you are, still wrong. And still cheerleading for the destruction of a forward-looking economic future. The Koch Brothers are proud of you.

  3. @Stephen Don’t worry you made an argument, that they don’t agree with, that’s a no-no.

    • Actually, he didn’t make an argument. He just trotted out the Fox News bullshit of the day.

      • No different than the BS you find at this site. Bullshit is Bullshit whether from the right or the left.

        • Prop Joe

          And yet here you are, reading our leftist, socialist, communist bullshit… Site traffic being your only contribution of note to the whole equation

      • That was from Forbes.

    • I’m embarrassed to be in the same generation as Mr. Epstein. No wonder Obama’s science guy didn’t answer those questions. If I were him, I’d have had some much better prepared questions to ask someone in that position in the US Gov’t.

      But they wouldn’t fit into 140 character Tweets. So.

      • Stephen


        I think Epstein was trying to ask Holdren (who was the one fielding questions via Twitter like a “scientist” should) some good questions. I would have loved to hear Holdren’s replies…. but oh yeah, Holdren didn’t answer any of them.

        Alex Epstein’s book is a pretty solid and clear case for the use of fossil fuels. But oh gosh, I know, let’s not debate or answer questions (like why are the scientists in charge always wrong).

  4. Stephen

    The fact that Trump could so easily pull the USA out of this Paris Climate Thing just reminds me how weak Obama was when he signed that executive order “adopting” the Paris Climate Thing.

    No President should be able to sign the USA onto a binding document without the approval of the people, through their representatives. That’s why Obama and the establishment don’t call it a Treaty, because treaties must be approved by a TWO-THIRDS vote in the Senate. Obama said, nah, I’ll just order that the USA “adopts” it. What a guy!

    So now Trump can just decide to undo that weak move by Obama.

    Remind me how this is the end of the world again?

  5. The incorrect predictions of a single scientist ≠ debunking climate science. That you think it does shows how far out of your depth you are.

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