Monday, August 07, 2023

Ain't we havin' some fun now!

Seems like its been one of those crazy weeks, so I found some interesting comments to share.
First,Trump just cannot seem to shut up, and everyone is down for it: 
keep going,’re about to find what it’s like to no longer be above the law. 
you’re going run your stupid mouth until you talk yourself into custody, and you’ll have no one to blame but your own reckless self. 
 Donald Trump has the right to remain silent. too bad he doesn’t have the ability. 
 pass the popcorn. this is going to be entertaining as fuck. 
But we're going to be living in dangerous times for the next two years:
What the lawsuits against Trump have done is back the most dangerous politician in the country into a corner. 
 I don’t want to turn this objectively good piece of news—the despotic former president finally going down for his crimes—into doom and gloom. It’s good that these charges have been filed; it’s good that the walls are closing in on Trump. But I think it’s very important that now, more than ever, we prepare ourselves for what could unfold over the next 18 months or so, if only so that we’re not surprised when something even more violent than January 6 flares up at a crucial time. 
...Despite Smith and other prosecutors’ harsh handling of many January 6 defendants, the forces that made that day so violent and so dangerous have not gone dormant. They are still around, organizing rallies at drag shows to fuel the flames of culture wars and seeding misinformation across the internet to pave the way for more chaos to come. 
All of these people know that Trump is their best shot at power. By now, the conservatives who wanted off the Trump Train have reached their stop and disembarked. Everyone else is in it for the long haul—and there’s no telling what they’ll do to clear the tracks ahead. 
Basically, these are not people who are going to change their minds about their love for Trump. John Ganz describes his own experiences arguing with people who used to be a subgroup called the "alt-right" but they're now main "right"
Unpopular Front - They're all like that, by John Ganz: ...I’ve seen the way these people think and operate up close. Believe me, it is not pretty. 
... I don’t have much confidence anymore in my ability persuade or argue with people. I can point out till I’m blue in the face that they are playing around with awful ideas or that truly sinister things are slithering among them, but it’s never made that much of a difference. From my perspective, things have only gotten worse. People just don’t care or they actually like that shit. I realize I can’t persuade or change people through my writing. They are going to be who they are. All I can do is to try to tell the truth, as I see it. 
Here's an interesting observation, regarding Trump's poll numbers -- recent polls are showing Biedn ahead in all age groups except 45-64, and here's one explanation why:
No More Mister Nice Guy - Alex P Keyton is killing the democrats, by Steve M: 
...45-to-64-year-olds favor Trump by 9 points. I'm 64, so I'm at the upper bound of this age range, but I don't think of this group as my people. They're largely Reagan youth. They grew up during the presidency of a controversial former media star who persuaded much of the country that he was just a harmless patriot who loved regular American folks. And now nearly half of them are eager to vote for Donald Trump. 
I'm oversimplifying, obviously, but this isn't the first poll I've seen with this skew. It may be more about the life stages these voters are in -- mid- to late career, with an awareness that a comfortable retirement won't be as easy to attain as it was for their elders. (But the generations who are even younger have it worse, and they're mildly or significantly pro-Biden.) 
It may be that these respondents are old enough to be alienated by race and gender changes in American society that younger people approve of. (But you'd expect senior citizens to be more put off, yet they have a slight preference for the Democrat.) If these poll numbers suggest enduring Reaganism, it's a mix of economic anxiety and hate for people seen as "others" -- and there's some irony to that, because much of the Reagan generation's economic anxiety is the direct result of the way Reaganism funneled (and still funnels) cash from the poor and middle class to the rich. 
"Othering" was a Reagan skill, although he substituted a smile and a wink for the scowls of George Wallace and Richard Nixon. (Trump often seems to be having a good time when he's othering people, too.) And Reagan specifically othered Democrats, in a way that GOP politicians and right-wing media outlets have done ever since. 
 Bill Clinton and Barack Obama embodied at least part of subsequent eras, and their message was inclusive. Reagan's wasn't. So it doesn't surprise me if many of the children of his era are Trumpers now.
And speaking of anxiety, here's a fascinating piece about how climate change is going to destroy the southern US as a desirable place to live: 
...Heat comes for everyone. It blankets entire cities, states, regions. It does not touch one home and leave a neighbor’s unscathed. Nor does it arrive unpredictably. The heat will come, you can be sure, every summer. And it will reliably get hotter. And hotter. And hotter.
...For the past week, you could have put your finger on the northern border of South Carolina and traced a line heading west, following the northern borders of Georgia and Mississippi and Alabama and Arkansas and Oklahoma and New Mexico and Arizona and Nevada and slicing through California to the sea, and every single state under that line would have been dealing with 100-degree temperatures....
the heat is going to change things. It is going to change the entire US of A. 
...The heat is drying up the Colorado River, which supplies water for 40 million people in the West. The heat both strains the electric grid and makes blackouts a life or death issue, as people will die if their air conditioning stops. The heat is already costing cities like Houston and Phoenix billions of dollars, as people shelter inside and spend less on goods and services. The heat means that stores and restaurants see less walk-in traffic; it means that outdoor work from construction to agriculture becomes dangerous and operates more slowly and becomes harder to hire for; it means fewer tourists visiting your scorching hellscape, and fewer transplants deciding to relocate there. ...economic and cultural vibrancy will wilt and fade under the relentless sun. You may notice that people enjoy living in warm and sunny cities, but not in Death Valley. As the cities become less like paradise and more like Death Valley, the public will change its mind about where to live.
...The grotesquely uncomfortable nature of the heat may be our final salvation. Its price will be that a large part of America becomes, like the fossil fuels we leave in the ground, a stranded asset. The strip malls of Phoenix and the golf courses of Scottsdale will return to the desert from whence they came. All in all, not a bad trade. 
Nolan also wrote a great piece in May about how increasing hurricanes and forest fires will mean that people in the path of climate change disasters aren't going to be able to get house insurance. Good times! 
Finally, a palate cleanser - lovely, isn't it?

No comments: