Trump, hiding from Michelle Wolf in Michigan, promises to “close down the country” if he doesn’t get his ridiculous, racist wall

Judging from Twitter right now, I think I should probably be writing about Michelle Wolf’s set at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the comments she directed at Trump propagandist Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and how she’s now getting eviscerated by some members of the press for being “unnecessarily cruel.” [Wolf, it would seem, crossed some sort of decorum threshold by noting Sanders’ distinctive eye makeup.] As time is precious, though, I’d rather focus on what Donald Trump said at a rally here in Michigan at roughly the same time Wolf was laying waste to his administration in DC. [Being too thin-skinned to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Trump fled to Washington Township, Michigan, where he found a friendly crowd of white people in MAGA hats to clap on cue as he ranted about immigrants, and join him in his unhinged condemnation of the lying press.

[note: One wonders if the folks at the White House Correspondents Association who, instead of defending Wolf’s first amendment rights, are now saying that her comments were “not in the spirit” of the the organization’s mission, can remember back, during the election, when Donald Trump, upon being asked about Putin’s history of murdering journalists, essentially said that it didn’t bother him, responding casually that our government kills people too. While I can certainly understand, given the rhetoric coming from their White House, their fear of being seeing as less than objective, I would argue that they’re naive if they think throwing Wolf under the bus will help them. Trump will continue to berate them, call them liars, and encourage hostility toward them. And Trump’s supporters, like the man at the Michigan rally who was screaming the press, calling them “degenerate liars,” aren’t likely to change their opinions based on the fact that journalists are now condemning Wolf. That train left the station over a year ago, and it’s not coming back.]

There’s a lot that we could talk about… like Trump’s false claim that he had 8 times as many people at a pre-election rally in Michigan than would have fit in the venue, or his repeated comments about the “phony” White House Correspondents’ Dinner that he’d come to Michigan to avoid, or the fact that he got a big laugh when he asked “Any Hispanics in the room?”… but, as I don’t have a ton of time, there are two things that I’d like to focus on.

First, Trump threatened to “close down the country” if he doesn’t get his border wall funded in September… Again, I don’t know how much we need to get into it here, but this wall, according to experts who study such things, would accomplish next to nothing. Not only is it thought that the wall will not decrease the flow of drugs from Mexico, but fewer people are crossing the border now than any time over the past four and a half decades. As we know, though, it was never about that. The wall was always just racist code — a shorthand way to talk about the changing demographics of America, and the desire to preserve a white majority. And the folks at the Michigan rally, for what it’s worth, ate it up. Of course, I doubt they’re aware that we’re talking about building this expensive, unnecessary wall at the same time Republicans in Congress are talking about cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Second, Trump commented on the fact that Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney who met with senior members of the Trump campaign in New York City prior to the election, just recanted her earlier statement about how she wasn’t an agent of Kremlin. So, for those of you taking notes at home, we now know that, when Donald Trump Jr. received that email on June 3, 2016 from Rob Goldstone promising dirt on Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” and responded “If it’s what you say I love it,” the woman he subsequently met with was, in fact, an agent of the Kremlin. Donald Trump, however, told those in attendance at his Michigan rally not to worry. This most recent admission by Veselnitskaya, he said, was just proof of how hard he’d been on Putin. She’s just saying this now, Trump told the crowd, because Putin wants to get back at him for being so tough. Of course, in saying this, Trump is also confirming that Veselnitskaya is now taking direct orders from Putin… but I doubt he thought it through.

As for Wolf, I didn’t love her set. There were good moments, but, generally speaking, I prefer my comedic assassins to wield stilettos, not clubs. But, with that said, I don’t think she crossed any lines. I think, when you’re going up against an administration led by a man who has referred to individual women as “pigs” and “slobs” with “fat ugly faces,” I think you’re well within your rights to make a comment about a press secretary’s not-so-artful application of the “smokey eye,” at least within the context which Wolf provided. [Wolf said that Sanders burned facts, and applied the ashes to her eyes.] But, like I said, I think the whole conversation about Sanders’ feelings being hurt is a distraction. The big news yesterday wasn’t that Michelle Wolf made a propagandist feel sad, but that a U.S. president, terrified to face the members of the press that he attacks on a daily basis, ran off to the white suburbs of Michigan to rant about racist walls and how we shouldn’t read too much into the fact that the Russian woman who met with his son during the election to discuss illegally acquired dirt on Hillary Clinton just outed herself as an agent of the Kremlin. That, it seems to me, is a bigger deal than anything Wolf might have said.

And, for what it’s worth, I do think history will judge the members of the White House Correspondents Association poorly for attempting to curry favor with an authoritarian regime when they should be speaking truth to power.

One last thing… This comes from our “What a Difference a Day Makes” file.

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  1. Politico
    Posted April 29, 2018 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    White House Correspondents’ Association president releases statement saying Wolf’s monologue was “not in the spirit” of unity the organization wanted to convey

  2. Posted April 29, 2018 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    OK, I know I said I’d rather not focus on the Wolf stuff, but the White House Correspondents Association just threw her under the bus… Thankfully, we have David Simon to respond.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted April 29, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Michale Ian Black: “Last night at his rally, the crowd booed when Trump asked if any Hispanics were in attendance, but a joke about eye shadow has people fanning themselves on their fainting couches.”

  4. wobblie
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Washington Township is not really “rural”. It is a classic white flight suburb. Subdivisions of 1 and 2 acre lots with 3 and 4 hundred thousand dollar homes. Romeo the township center has changed a lot over the last two decades.

  5. Kit
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Kid Rock is from Romeo, correct?

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Small correction: Wolf said that Sanders used the ashes of the truth to create a PERFECT Smokey eye. the distinction matters because Wolf is a feminist comic. She did not go after Sanders appearance except as a reflection of the artifice required to be a woman and support Donald Trumps bullshit. In face Wolf didn’t go after Trump much at all but went after the press and Trumps press team for being complicit, for giving him a forum and now attacking him, for secretly loving all things Trump, the reality TV star, even now, because he’s ‘good for business… ‘
    Wolf went hard band was historically vulgar about areas they are ‘sensitive’ About like women’s bodies and bodily agency and our unwillingness to rely on girl power mantras when other women are supporting our subjugation. She didn’t mention the handmaids tale unwittingly…
    It’s amusing to me that a truly feminist comic is the one to take out the correspondents dinner. Good. It’s been a pile of bullshit for years. It demonstrates exactly why comedy has risen above the regular press as provider of news information to the young. The comics tell the truth, without hedging.

    Ps Wolf’s arguably best line went after Clinton’s failure to appear in Michigan. Something about how Trump was colluding with the Kremlin and Hillary couldn’t even call Michigan.

    I’m glad I saw it live on hotel TV by chance without all the cultural noise around it telling me what to think.

    Ps the more women’s bodily agency is threatened, the more vulgar and openly angry we are going to get. We have been angry a lot time but playing nice to get by. Gloves off. Buckle in.

    Last pS There is nothing about Trumps trip here worth noting. More of the same. Glad it was no diversion.

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Phone again. Sorry. ‘ Was Hysterically vulgar’ not ‘historically,’ but we’ll see.

  8. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    “Wolf said that Sanders used the ashes of the truth to create a PERFECT Smokey eye. the distinction matters because Wolf is a feminist comic. She did not go after Sanders appearance except as a reflection of the artifice required to be a woman and support Donald Trumps bullshit.”


    Two things here:

    1) Astounding that people aren’t getting this. Did they not learn about metaphor in college?

    2) If Wolf had been a man, there would have been belly laughs to go around. Women have to sit down and behave. Remember Kathy Griffin?

    This country is truly fucked when people rally around an abusive misogynist against a political comedian speaking at a dinner meant to celebrate the 1st amendment. Tyrants expect good behavior and deference. Presidents of the United States should expect a daily flogging.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Thanks, IL.

    Men also can talk about their dicks ad nauseum but God forbid a woman talk about her pussy, even when open season on pussies has been declared by the POTUS.

  10. Eel
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Also in Michigan:

  11. site admin
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Wobblie. The mistake has been corrected.

  12. kjc
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Yes yes yes to JH and IL. She nailed it. Some jokes fell flat but it was funny how she didn’t care. Also funny watching all the people not laughing. In fact all the not laughing was hilarious!

    Don Lemon though. He probably broke a rib cracking up.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Matt Schlapp on CNN: “Journalists should not be the ones to say that the president or his spokesperson is lying.”

  14. Lynne
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I am just stunned (even though I shouldnt be) by how Trump still plays right into his racist base with that wall. I picture his base barely able to contain their glee at the news that hundreds of desperate refugees arrived in San Diego and are being refused with the excuse that immigration there is too busy to accept their applications for asylum. I hate it that so many Americans are such cruel people.

  15. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    “Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes, walked out of the dinner Saturday night after taking offense at Wolf’s monologue, saying that they had had “enough of the elites mocking all of us.””

    Do the Schlapps need a safe space?

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    The use of ‘elites’ is almost always amusing these days. It usually means ‘educated.’ Having worked in the service industry in. Liberal college town for decades, I can assure you that academics are often incredibly condescending, usually because they think they are smarter than everyone else in a areas, including, for instance, how to serve them breakfast. I will rail everyday about the hypocrisy of tenured scholars talking about ‘fordism’ In every industry but their own. I will rail against their rudeness, but I know they are not the elites anywhere, but here in their places where they could have considerable influence but choose security and belly-aching most days

    Like every populist trope, ‘elites’ contains a kernel of truth, but condescension is not the same thing as power. Condescension is a tool used by the powerless to make themselves feel better. I prefer it be used against the Schlapps than the local barista or shop clerk.

    Scholars get really upset when I call them out on being ruder to ‘the help’ than any frat boy or gop business guy ever.

    It seems the press also get upset when told they are part of the problem they despise.

    Ps if you watch past corespondents dinners the jokes always fall flat. These are people scared of their own shadows. They can not enjoy themselves outside of self-congratulation. They despise critique. They for sure have lost the capacity to laugh at themselves. This is the case with liberals and conservatives.

    I recently pointed up on social media that the most popular and ubiquitous hair cut among young middle class white boys looks exactly like that of Hitler youth (high shaved sides, strong side part, shock of hair to one side).

    It was an observation, not an accusation.

    ‘It’s just a haircut.’ Except when it’s not. It was eerie that so many white boys sport this hairstyle without they or their parents understanding the implication. It’s above my pay grade to explain why, but my guess it’s simply evidence of the growing ignorance of the holocaust. So that, even in this time of rising Nazi-ism here and abroad, we feel at ease with masses of boys in Hitler youth haircuts. It was the kind of forgetting we weren’t going to do, remember?

    Or maybe ‘it’s just a haircut.’

    I’d argue this cultural ‘forgetting’ is most promoted by our idea that critique (especially of what we see as part of our side) is impolite.

  17. M
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    From a friend on Facebook about the Trump rally in Michigan.

    “Oh hey, it’s Regent Ron Weiser kicking off the rally with, “..and I’m always proud to say Go Blue! But when it comes to the State I say, Go Red!”

    Speaking of Weiser, he’s going to have a great legacy. Not only is he cozy with Trump, but he’s also working to help raise money for Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, a man accused of sexual abuse and blackmail.


  18. anonymous
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Ron Weiser, the king of the McKinley Slumlords

  19. Anonymous
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Cheri Jacobs:

    I expect every person in the media who expressed sympathy to Sarah Huckabee Sanders for a comedian’s comments about her to also apologize to the women SHS called liars who said they were sexually harassed or assaulted by Trump — esp the ones he said were “too ugly” to assault

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink


    The standard function of decorum is to maintain and protect the status quo. Some institutions are worthy of protection. Some parts of the status quo in governance are worthy of protection. Normally I would consider bipartisan cooperation one of them, but not with Trump. The Trump Whitehouse does not deserve our consideration until it offers the same.

  21. Jean Henry
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Since we are pointing fingers at those who are complicit in Trump’s election. A bit oif history that might remind liberals not to be so self=righteous and that might remind leftists not to fantasize to heavily about the labor-centric (corrupt as hell) Dems of yore:
    “There are Vichy Democrats too. From the mid-1970s to the turn of the century, well before Trump debuted on The Apprentice or flirted more than glancingly with politics, he gained power and consolidated it with the help of allies among the elites of New York’s often nominally Democratic and liberal Establishment — some of them literally the same allies who boosted Cohn. Like Cohn (a registered Democrat until he died) and Trump (an off-and-on Democrat for years), their enablers were not committed to any party or ideology. Their priority was raw personal power that could be leveraged for their own enrichment, privilege, and celebrity.”

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Also this:

  23. Jean Henry
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Trump called Wolf ‘filthy.’ Filthy must be the new nasty. I’m cool with that.

    Wolf on Fresh Air today: “Yeah, I mean, I think I don’t know maybe I’m projecting this, but I think sometimes they look at a woman and they think “Oh, she’ll be nice,” and if you’ve seen any of my comedy you know that I don’t – I’m not. I don’t pull punches. I’m not afraid to talk about things. And I don’t think they expected that from me. I think they still have preconceived notions of how women will present themselves and I don’t fit in that box.”

    On being criticized for being a feminist comic making jokes about women’s appearances:

    Michelle Wolf: I think they didn’t pay attention to what was said.

  24. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I think that comedy should be about traditionally less empowered people kicking issues and people where it counts.

    It would seem that Ms. Wolf’s critics don’t seem to understand this.

  25. Iron Lung 2
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Stephen Colbert’s performance from the WHCD in 2006 is interesting knowing what followed.

  26. Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    In case I wasn’t clear in the original post, I do think the reaction to Wolf’s set is worth discussing. I just didn’t feel as though the content of what she said, in and of itself, was as important as what Trump was saying at the same time, here in Michigan.

  27. Jean Henry
    Posted April 30, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Did Trump say something new?

  28. Posted April 30, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    As I mentioned in the post, he said two things that I found interesting. First, he promised to shut down the country if he didn’t get funding for his wall. Second, he commented on the recent reversal by Natalia Veselnitskaya, who know confirms that she was, in fact, an agent of the Kremlin… I’ll concede, however, that the response to Wolf was probably more worthy of conversation than either of these items. I just didn’t find the prospect of a discussion about the specific details of what Wolf said, and whether or not she crossed an imaginary line, all that interesting. I don’t know that I’m articulating it all that well, but I can see a distinction between the two. I just thought it was more interesting to discuss the fact that Trump fled Washington for Michigan, than litigating the boundary between comedy and cruelty. I do think, however, that the subsequent response by the White House Correspondents Association head deserves discussion…. I’m tired…

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    Hmmm. I thought the Wolf discussion was about free speech, and the forces that most regularly rise up against it… and how they do it. Oh I also thought it was about what voices offend them. I didn’t think it was a discussion of decorum, except in that regard.

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Self suppression and ass kissing is also relevant to the issue. Especially by the press.

    These things matter.

    Mueller is ‘litigating’ Trump and Russia.
    Who is ‘litigating’ the press and their choices? Who is holding them accountable for their role?

    The fourth estate is accountable to us.
    Trump will be someday too.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink


  32. Jcp2
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I thought Ms. Wolfe was funny, in a raunchy comedy club sort of way. You know, those shows that don’t make it onto SNL, but are available on HBO or Showtime as adult programming. I’ve heard “worse” on satellite radio.

  33. Lynne
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I thought Ms. Wolfe’s timing was a bit off. Still, a minor criticism.

    Trump of course was making big promises such as a new lock in the Soo. I will believe it when I see it.

  34. Iron lung
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Though wolfs comments were metaphorical I grew up in the south where women making fun of womens looks is pretty standard conversation so perhaps i am immune to it.

    Either way, I’m not sure why men should care.

    Clearly they are shocked, though.

  35. Jean Henry
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I highly suggest listening to today’s Ms Wolf’s Fresh Air interview or watching her HBO special to gain a more clear view of her intention and approach. The HBO special, which a friend gifted to me, was brilliant. Kind of a relief, even, from the considerable fatigue of being a woman in this culture and just sucking it up 24/7.


  36. Lynne
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I guess I missed the part where Wolf made fun of anyone’s looks.

    Anyways, I will check out the HBO special. So thanks!

  37. Iron lung
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    She used sanders looks metaphorically but there dudes out there who obviously have problems with the english language.

  38. Lynne
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    She only praised Sanders looks though. The ONLY thing I caught about looks was her comment about burning lies and turning the ashes into her great and perfect smoky eye look. *shrug*. But yes, there obviously are dudes who are unclear on the concept. I know one of my friends on facebook is angry about leftist dudes saying that Sanders deserves to be criticized on her looks because she is so awful and I certainly do NOT agree with that. I have had to defend Sanders’s physical appearance on more than one occasion but not from Ms Wolf.

  39. Jean Henry
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    She made fun of only Mitch McConnel’s and Chris Christy’s looks and briefly and no one made a fuss. By her own account, she intentionally did not make fun of any woman’s looks, but focused on their work and how they do it. The press and 90% of the male population and apparently half of the female population projected that Ms Wolf was referring to Ms Sander’s appearance not the work she does when she compared her to Aunt Lydia in a Handmaid’s Tale. etc etc. Which as Ms Wolf makes clear would never happen if she had been talking about a man. They would never assume she was making fun of a man’s looks v his abilities.

    I personally can not wait until we stop focusing on women’s looks. What a fucking burden (and a mind-fuck), no matter where on the spectrum of feminine ideal one lies.

    To balance the scales, I have been threatening for years to run a social media campaign to free the male thigh. Bring back the short shorts! For 40 years the male thigh has been effectively quarantined behind cargo shorts. Lift the veil, gentlemen. Straight women do so much for you. Give a little back.

  40. Iron lung
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Sanders is not hideous because of how she looks but rather because of who she is.

  41. John Brown
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    The traitor occupying the WH talking about Soo Locks is not good. The global fascists he seems to represents want to make the St. Lawrence Seaway “Panamax” capable. That would allow most any global vessel to come all the way up into Lk Superior. Bad news for a fragile ecosystem already ruined by invasive species.

    One more reason that the extreme right must be pushed back by any means necessary. Despite being a minority they have the guns and conviction in their flawed beliefs. All you liberals with resources and skills had better start thinking how you’ll respond if this situation doesn’t self correct.

  42. Iron lung
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    In this country only uneducated sociopaths like Trump can get jobs. The rest just fall off the cliff. Some of them bet the family farm that uneducated sociopaths can help them. Stupid.

  43. wobblie
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    the best analysis of the WHCD I’ve seen

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Omg Wobblie— you need to upgrade your media consumption to hosts less amused with themselves than anyone else is, was or will be… ever.

  45. Iron lung
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    The Young Turks

    Yawn yawn yawn

  46. Jean Henry
    Posted May 1, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Leftist media is becoming increasingly idiotic. Far too susceptible to misinformation.Far too keen to tell the audience what they want to hear. It’s a damned shame.

  47. wobblie
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Comedians are far more perceptive about our culture than the MSM drivel you seem to listen too. Like all war mongers, you only feel good about your selves when tearing others down.

  48. Iron Lung 2
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    “Like all war mongers, you only feel good about your selves when tearing others down.”


    It isn’t that I dislike the content featured on the Young Turks but the delivery is about as flat as it can be. It is a well funded, politically well meaning and exceedingly amateur media outlet.

  49. Iron Lung 2
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Jean is right, much leftist news content online is moving to the level of FOX News, which is disappointing.

    I suppose if the only thing you are interested in is receiving some level of validation for your political views it works, but….

  50. Jean Henry
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    This whole war-mongerer narrative is really self-serving, Wobblie. I’m not pro-war just because I’m not a pacifist. I grew p around pacifists and can assure you their position did not prevent violence against them. It actually invited it. I would actually argue that being a pacifist is being pro-war and death and destruction, since it fails to step up to the cause of preventing it and only seeks to lay blame.
    I’m sorry I made fun of your lefty vloggers. It was a low blow, and FWIW, I felt bad about it afterwards. I just can’t believe you call that analysis. Not that comedy cant be analytical. They just weren’t analytical or funny. At least to me. Generally speaking. I avoid people who laugh at their own jokes. To each his own, right Wobblie? Even us craven war-mongerers.


  51. wobblie
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    JH, you have stated you are pro-nuke and pro-fracking. Pro-fracking means you are pro-fossil fuel which means you are pro-oil. All of our wars in the mid-east are about oil. . Being pro-nuke means you are pro military industrial complex, you can’t have one without the other. Your position on energy issues makes you pro-war. The economic policies you support make you a “war-monger”. I could care less if you are a pacifist or not, really irrelevant to your position on policy.

    IL, you clearly did not bother to check out the link. TYT’s have nothing to do with the Jimmy Dore show. As he says “I’m just a jag-off comedian”
    Here is Glenn Fords analysis of recent events-sure you both disagree with him as well.

  52. Iron Lung 2
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    “TYT’s have nothing to do with the Jimmy Dore show.”

    Yes, I did look at the link, and yes, I do know that the Jimmy Dore show has nothing to do with the Young Turks. I do, however, put them in the same boat.

    It isn’t a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. I agree with may things that the Young Turks, for example, might say. However, new media from the American left is amateurish, reactionary and often can hardly be considered news.

    There is a criticism to be made over the quality of media in 2018. Overall, it is poor. I find this a sad situation.

  53. Iron Lung 2
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Mr. Wobblie is an odd fellow. He seems to feel that people who are not enthusiastic about what he posts are somehow “the enemy” or “warmongers.” Very strange.

    This is exactly what is wrong with American leftist politics. It is now unacceptable to have an opinion, apparently.

    There is a lot wrong with American leftist politics. Purity tests will not make it better.

    I am sorry, Mr. Wobblie, that I do not meet your standard. I have not attacked you in any way. I have not called you names. I feel as though I have been civil, because I do not view you as my enemy (unlike some others who comment here.) I do not agree with everything you say, but, to me, there is no problem with that.

  54. Jean Henry
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    “JH, you have stated you are pro-nuke and pro-fracking. Pro-fracking means you are pro-fossil fuel which means you are pro-oil. All of our wars in the mid-east are about oil. . Being pro-nuke means you are pro military industrial complex, you can’t have one without the other. Your position on energy issues makes you pro-war. The economic policies you support make you a “war-monger”.” Wow. That’s rich. A fine example of ideological purity testing. No room for compromise. You’re with us or you’re against us.

    Your position, Wobblie, is the equivalent of a stand-aside from governance decisions within the existing reality. It’s not about helping people or solving problems but about being right and asserting that publicly. It’s ego-driven not political.

    I also don’t consider Wobblie an ‘enemy.’ I don’t think anyone here does. I think he’s a bit ridiculous, and I think his positions are useless and self-centering by and large. They are nonetheless, closer to my own views than not. I know he doesn’t accept that assessment but it’s true. If I was talking about politics philosophically, rather than based on existing political realities, I would find Wobblie’s positions compelling.

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    IL– noted that you used ‘traditionally less empowered people’ but object to the term ‘marginalized.’ I think I get why but it’s not easy territory to parse cleanly, as it were.

  56. Iron Lung 2
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I am pro-internet. I guess that makes me a warmonger.

    I also like medications against tropical diseases. And penicillin. And improved medical techniques to treat gun shot wounds. And language instruction programs. I like space exploration. And GPS.

    Also, kinda into drone devices to shoot cool video. Gillette razors are cool.

    Wait, Mr. Wobblie is using the internet. I guess he is a “warmonger,” too.

  57. Jean Henry
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    A view of the madding crowd at the MI Trump rally. Sobering. Or cause for drink.

  58. Iron Lung 2
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    If you want to find the dumbest of the dumb and the most devoted of the devoted, go to a political rally of any kind.

  59. Dan Richardson
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    It seems like there should be a special screening of The World’s Greatest Sinner at the next MPT session.

  60. Lynne
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Being pro nuclear power is not being pro military industrial complex. It is a reasonable position for someone who is concerned about climate change to take. FWIW, while pro-fracking is pro-fossil fuel, it is also pro lowered emissions in a meaningful way that is likely to actually get implemented with our current political climate. I too would have rather have had a congress and president more open to other energy alternatives but unfortunately some people voted third party so the reality is that we don’t have that kind of congress or president. We have a president who is doing all he can to bring *coal* back.

  61. Iron lung
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Sometimes it feels like the 1970s around here.

  62. Iron lung
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I make it a point to avoid arguing topics of decades ago and focus on what is happening now.

    Arguing about nuclear power in 2018 in the United States seems pointless and an odd distraction.

  63. Demetrius
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Over the past 30+ years, the nuclear power industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a sophisticated marketing campaign designed to convince people that nuclear power represents a “green” alternative to CO2-spewing fossil-fuel plants.

    Consequently, I’m always disappointed to hear otherwise bright, thoughtful people parrot their ridiculous propaganda.

    In fact, nuclear power is only “green” if you completely ignore the substantial risks inherent in the nuclear fuel cycle. Most critically, this includes the need/ability to securely store millions of tons of hazardous waste (that will remain incredibly dangerous to all life on earth for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years) at hundreds of individuals sites scattered all across the globe.

    So – what proponents of nuclear power are actually saying is that they wish to head off negative environmental consequences likely to affect us today, and in the near future (more greenhouse gas emissions) in favor of burdening untold numbers of future generations with a massive, deadly, toxic “legacy” of 20th/21st-Century human greed.

    The controversy surrounding nuclear power is far from settled. The only reason active debate now seems to be a legacy of the 1970s is because corporations and governments that depend on nuclear power (and its associated nuclear cycle) for massive profit (and, of course, military benefit) have waged an extremely effective campaign to sweep any substantial debate about its efficacy and safety to the margins of public discussion.

  64. Jean Henry
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m not interested in returning to debates from the 70’s. I would remind those who question my acceptance of nuclear energy and fracking as **transitional** CO2e reducing technologies, that in the 70’s I faced the loss of everything I knew from a nuclear meltdown. I don’t take that position lightly. I wish my direct personal experience with both nuclear threat and the difficulties of effective climate initiatives would be respected. Oh well.

    It’s not the 70’s and we face new peril. I understand from having worked in the climate action field that none of us get to dictate the precise path forward. My concern is lowering our GHG emissions, period. It’s important to have the debate now. Dismissal of any path forward seems ridiculous however. I’m happy that experts are spending their time spinning out various scenarios for solutions. I think sitting back and wagging fingers at other people’s informed positions is useless, divisive and self-gratifying. I support working towards climate solutions on all levels and in all areas. Period. I’m not willing to be purist about it.

    I would be interested in what IL has to say about this, as he asserted earlier that he does not support nuclear abroad. I assume he has a useful perspective.–

    [“In rich countries, people turn against nuclear,” said Shellenberger. “A lot of it is [not in my back yard]-ism. A lot of it is Malthusianism.”

    “Malthusianism” is often shorthand for population control, building on the ideas of 18th-century scholar Thomas Robert Malthus who projected that without checks, the number of people on Earth would grow faster than the resources available to sustain them.
    “In order to maintain the fiction of energy shortages, you have to take nuclear off the table,” Shellenberger said.

    Other countries that are counting on kilowatt-hours to cut infant mortality aren’t so picky, nuclear advocates note, and it would behoove wealthier parts of the world to help them gain access to energy, even if it’s not the cleanest available.]

  65. Jean Henry
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Oh look, they are debating this topic without hurling accusations! What?

  66. Demetrius
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    You say you “faced the loss of everything I knew from a nuclear meltdown …” yet seemingly, learned nothing from it. Instead, you seem to see no irony in defending dangerous, outdated technologies that threatens millions of people, and future generations, with similar risks.

    Neither nuclear energy nor fracking are **transitional** in any sense. They’re simply expensive, dangerous crutches that delay our inevitable switch to more renewable sources of energy (and more modest lifestyles) – while at the same time creating a toxic legacy (radioactive waste, poisoned water) with which future generations will be forced to contend.

  67. Iron Lung 2
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    When you put it all together, nuclear has resulted in fewer deaths, illness and injury than fossil fuels.

    It’s like how some people don’t want to fly in planes because it is “dangerous” despite being far more likely to die in a car.

    I’m not advocating for any particular type of energy production, but I think you have to take the data into consideration when discussing any subject.

    Just sayin…

  68. Demetrius
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I agree. I think you also need to take the whole picture (including present and FUTURE risks) into account.

    Just because relatively few people have died or been injured so far doesn’t mean this technology doesn’t entail enormous risks over a much longer time-frame. The area around Chernobyl is still uninhabitable, and the site itself is still leaking radiation. Fukushima continues leaking into the sea, and likely will for the foreseeable future. Luckily, both of these accidents were relatively modest, and limited in scope … but when thinks of all the facilities worldwide, and all their attendant risks – earthquakes, civil unrest, human error, terrorism, etc., it is only a matter of time before there there is a truly catastrophic incident that impacts thousands of square miles and/or millions of people. Will people still defend this technology as “green” when that happens?

  69. Iron Lung 2
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    “but when thinks of all the facilities worldwide, and all their attendant risks – earthquakes, civil unrest, human error, terrorism, etc.”

    Well, that’s why not every place should have the technology. Fukushima was a product of corruption, Russia ineptitude, it is telling that it happened in those particular countries. We should all be relieved that South Africa elected to walk away from it.

    The fact is that a past move toward a larger share of nuclear in the United States would have decreased our reliance on fossil fuels possibly reducing the damage cause by fossil fuels at every level.

  70. Jean Henry
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    More on Fukushima, please, IL.

  71. Jean Henry
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Demetrius– thank you for telling me how to appropriately feel about and respond to my personal experience, as guided by your ideology.
    What separates you from a religious conservative on that count?

    My point in mentioning it, which I have articulated in the past here, is to say my position was hard won and ran counter to my personal inclination. In my experience, a change in political position is usually the result of hard lessons and hold a greater integrity than positions that merely conform to one’s pre-conceived notions and belief systems.

  72. Lynne
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I don’t disagree that all possible pros and cons of any energy solution should be considered carefully. I also agree that fracking can be a transitional energy solution in situations (most) where the other alternatives are worse. If the immediate options are natural gas or coal, going with natural gas seems the way to go until more sustainable options are up and ready to go.

    The good news is that the pros and cons of energy sources can be quantified and measured fairly well as well as risks. We even have a Dept of Energy filled with experts whose whole careers involve this kind of analysis. We can make sound evidence based decisions but often don’t for political reasons. I wish I had the answer to that. I mean, I don’t have the numbers and am not planning on doing the kind of in depth analysis that would be required before making an actual decision but I know that even if it could be proven that nuclear power was the option with the fewest costs, it still would not be politically feasible due to people’s fears. Most individuals fail to see all of the costs too. What is the amount of carbon that goes into the production of a nuclear power plant? A windmill? Solar panels? A dam?

    The biggest cost to nuclear power is the waste. I do not dispute that at all. There are absolute costs and risk costs too. Arguing about those costs is reasonable and desirable but that doesn’t mean that someone who takes the position that it is worth doing is brainwashed by the nuclear industry or some kind of war monger as has been suggested here. I also think it is important to weigh the future risks of the waste against the future risks of global warming caused by fossil fuels. Also worth considering is the possibility that our technology could improve and provide us solutions to both things. We may figure out a way to reduce the carbon in the atmosphere from fossil fuels or we might figure out a use for the nuclear waste (like batteries!)

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