Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Once Again: The Current "Super Freeze" Doesn't Mean Global Warming Is A Hoax

Image result for polar vortex

Once again, almost like clock work, the  "dummy brigade"  has emerged (mainly on FOX, Limbaugh) to dismiss the bitter sub-zero temperatures sending the mid-western U.S. into a deep freeze  as  part of a "natural cycle".  Thereby arguing there's really no global warming, no climate change and hey,just bundle up more for the polar vortex.  It's all a "hoax"according to these nitwits.  


A recent example of the latter was a  letter in the local press (COS Indy, Jan. 2-8, p. 4 ) by a  Mark Rozman who claimed:

Climate change is a natural, ongoing process as evidenced by tree ring data   etc.

But there is more than tree ring data to be factored in here.   While tree ring data is a useful proxy indicator, it still doesn’t come close to ice core analysis in ascertaining the increasing concentration of CO2 and its effect on climate. In ice core analysis the air trapped in  cylindrical ice cores (extracted from deep within the Earth)  is chemically assayed .  The gases are analyzed to quantify the  CO2  concentration, then related to the climate at the time.

One of the most prolific ice core researchers - who originally discovered (ca. 1986) that the Arctic was warming much more than the continental U.S.  -  was Prof. Gunther Weller of the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska- Fairbanks :

Prof.  Gunther Weller (1987)

 His work and that of others has disclosed that over the past 800,000 years the CO2 concentration of  300 ppm was never crossed until after the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the burning of fossil fuels.  Further, it has been found that no Ice ages have occurred whenever the CO2 concentration exceeded 200 ppm.  This means that climate change cannot be a “natural ongoing process.´ How can it when the greatest spike in CO2 concentration (now approaching 410 ppm) occurred after the human-instigated Industrial Revolution? 

In terms of tree rings, the relevant indicator is the ratio of the C14 isotope to the C12 isotope, as disclosed by solar physicist John Eddy.    

Eddy showed (‘The New Solar Physics’; p. 17, 1978) that an anthropogenic effect could be deduced from a graph of C14:C 12 deviations over a long enough period, i.e. 2,000 years.  

Specifically, “the sharp upward spike at the modern end of the curve is  attributed to anthropogenic causes and is the mark of increased population and the industrial age.” (Op. cit.)

Eddy’s work  in concert with many others, shows clearly humans are the primary agents driving climate change. Remove the human influence from the past 250 years or so and we are not approaching 410 ppm of CO2 concentration. Not even close!

Now what about the polar vortex? What is its role in climate change- global warming?

This Arctic heat emphasis, for example,  was exposed in the January , 2016 zonal temperature map :
No photo description available.

Data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that January was, for the entire  globe, was an extraordinary month. In particular the data showed the Arctic took the brunt of heating (see graphic) with a temperature increase more than 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 1951 to 1980 average in this region. (This data constitutes a "zonal mean" temperature map, which shows how the temperature departures from average change based on one's latitude location on Earth.)

The finding dovetailed  with Prof. Gunther Weller's predictions (from the mid -1980s) - based on his ice core analyses- that future warming would be greatest in the Arctic.  This is  a phenomenon known as "Arctic amplification".  In papers and seminars delivered at the GI over 1985-1990 he pointed out that a much warmer Arctic also means a much more unstable polar region with more frequent intrusions ("waves")  of the polar vortex,  leading to frigid temperatures in parts of the U.S. such as we've seen the past few years.  In one seminar he described it "almost like moving the Arctic to the continental U.S."

Unpacking it further: there is generally an immense cold mass of air that sits over the Arctic.  Because of global warming, climate change the Arctic has experienced diminished sea ice, E.G.
Image result for brane space, aRCTIC SEA ICE

As the sea ice mass melts there is less reflection of radiation into space and hence more rapid warming of the surface.  This diminished sea ice then results in more heat dispatched into the atmosphere. This in turn destabilizes the polar vortex - a low pressure area normally residing over the north pole. This instability then allows polar air to plunge southward into the continental U.S. .

The details leading to what we've seen the past several days (with temperatures in some locations even rivaling those in Antarctica) occurred on January 2nd.  NOAA monitors showed that part of the stratosphere had a rapid rise of 50 degrees F in just a few days.    The event split the unstable polar vortex, so that part broke off. Afterward, pockets of Arctic air migrated south causing the current deep freeze.

Let's also process that the warming onslaught is exacerbated by the rapid melting of permafrostVast expanses of former  Arctic permafrost have been reduced to mud, and also in the process of warming released methane - perhaps the Greenhouse gas which is most potent.  See e.g.

http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2017/03/more-rapid-permafrost-melting-triggers.html

As reported by the University of Alaska -Fairbanks Arctic Research site:
In 2016, the latest year of complete records, the majority of Arctic observation sites reported the highest permafrost temperatures on record.

The takeaway is that these sub-zero super freezes we're seeing with polar vortex intrusions are likely to become more frequent in the future, not less. The deniers and climate dummies would do well to learn more about this phenomenon and why they should be fearful, not wise ass snarky, to play into the agnotology narrative.  See e.g.



Brane Space: The Pseudo-Science Agnotologists Strike Again!




Tuesday, January 29, 2019

How Does An Atheist -Materialist Deal With The "Camus Conundrum"?



In his review of John Gray's book, 'Seven Types of Atheism' (WSJ, Dec. 18,  p. A17), Tim Crane writes: "If Atheism is simply the denial of God's existence then why should it be more of a worldview than the denial of anything else?  After all, the denial of extraterrestrial life, or fairies or Santa Claus, does not constitute a world view"

But as I pointed out in my recent letter published in Physics Today,  e.g.


Readers' thoughts on science and religion: Physics Today: Vol 71, No 6




"Because a supernatural domain cannot be approached in any scientific or objective way, then by my reckoning it doesn't exist. One need not even deny its existence because to all intents the supernatural entity becomes logically unnecessary or redundant. It doesn't help us make scientific predictions or explain natural phenomena—say, coronal mass ejections or auroral substorms"

In other words, the basis of the Atheist-Materialist worldview is not denial but rather the essential redundancy of invoking supernatural artifacts and constructs.  This is important to grasp if one is going to debate or discuss Atheism in any kind of intelligent context.  In a way, this comports with John Gray's definition (in his cited book) that Atheism "has no use for a creator god."  

Well, again, basically true because belief in the entity doesn't help me make any predictions. I can't predict the next class 4 x-ray or optical flare, or when the next supernova will be explode in terrestrial skies.  So in that sense science has no use for it - and since Atheism- Materialism is mainly predicated on naturalist science, it doesn't either.

Besides that, as I have noted in multiple previous posts,  the invocation of  the generic deity is laden with peril.  This is because even if we did agree some ultimate power started at all  there’d still be no agreement on the entity’s specific  attributes, nature or powers.  The late Carl Sagan, for his part, equated 'God' to the physical principles and laws that govern the universe, which let's be clear, is more a physical God.  Albert Einstein himself invoked "Spinoza's God" - which comes to the same thing. The point here is that it makes more sense not to interject the issue of 'God' at all, because no two people can even agree on what the noun means.

However, there exist problems - or perhaps conundrums- where Atheism -Materialism can be put to severe test.  Then  the different types of Materialism, in particular,  can be exposed as useful or not.   One such problem I introduced in my book, 'Beyond Atheism- Beyond God' and called "the Camus Conundrum" -    after author Albert Camus, as expressed by a character in  The Plague[1]

The essence is embodied in a question Camus’ character Jean Tarrou asks his friend, Rieux[2]:

Why do you show such devotion considering you don’t believe in God?

Author Greg  Epstein puts this in a contemporary setting, referencing a 2006 book tour by Richard Dawkins for his God Delusion. According to Epstein[3], Dawkins was somewhat startled when a young man approached him and asked directly: "Dr. Dawkins, I am thinking of committing suicide, what do you have to say?:

 Epstein relates that initially Dawkins was so nonplussed he could think of nothing to say then suggested the young man (a student at Harvard) could go to the humanist chaplain or – if he’d been at Oxford, he could go to the Anglican chaplain.

            In understandable astonishment, Epstein observed[4]:

Is that the best we can do? Rage, rage against the dying of the Enlightenment then shoo our troubled youth back to religion because we’re too distracted or cerebral or both to spend a few minutes of our deep thoughts on being more loving and more helpful?


Indeed. But let’s be clear the Camus conundrum highlighted in modern form by Epstein isn’t just a problem for Dawkins! I am certain that in a similar situation, all the current hard core crop of "New Atheists" would be at a loss for words, but perhaps more out of diplomacy. If they were truly honest and forthright they’d likely answer along the lines of:

"Well, you are just an assembly of molecules and atoms when all’s said and done. Killing yourself is therefore nothing to worry over.  You don’t have to fear Hell since when you’re dead, that’s it! You are in the end a complex machine, but only a machine nonetheless, so killing yourself is no different from pulling your own plug."


  What else could the reductionists say or do, if they have cast their lot with a remorseless meme that sees each human as merely an assemblage of trillions of inert component molecules? More to the point, they allocate no quantum mechanical dimension to any of those constituents, especially for the human brain.

 As an emergent Materialist, on the other hand, I would have told Dawkins’ questioner that emergence of a unified energy whole is more foundational than matter or apparent separation, as the professed realist-reductionists claim. I would have encouraged him to learn and become part of that emergent energy substrate or Being of which his consciousness was part.  I’d then have added that this transcending consciousness conferred meaning and also abhorred extinction via its individual conscious units. In other words, killing oneself amounted to killing an expression of Being within oneself. It meant killing a unique expression of Being manifest in the cosmos, and hence extinguishing a light that might be there for others.

But let me clear here, lest too many misinterpret my meaning: The Being to which I refer is  basically the same physical, nonlocal entity described and discussed by physicist Bernard d 'Espagnat in his book, 'In Search Of Reality'. It is not supernatural nor does it work "miracles'.  If I were pressed to pinpoint the nature in more specific terms it would be analogous to David Bohm's holomovement, described in detail in his book, 'Wholeness and the Implicate Order'.  See e.g.

In the implicate order proposed by Bohm, the separateness of the universe is ultimately submerged within its higher dimensional implicate aspect. All seemingly separate entities are ultimately unified into one, much like the apparently separate ‘waves’ seen on the ocean ultimately dissolve and submerge into the vastly greater background sea that spawned them.  This illustration helps to understand the relation:


INDIVIDUAL FORMS (EXPLICATE ORDER)
___Ç___Ç___Ç___Ç___Ç___

DIRAC ENERGY SEA (IMPLICATE ORDER)


In human terms, this implies that at a higher dimensional level all matter, especially as embodied in human forms, along with human minds, becomes interfused into one reality, one whole without division. As Bohm describes it[5]:



In the implicate order we have to say the mind enfolds matter in general and therefore the body in particular. Similarly, the body enfolds not only the mind but also in some sense, the entire material universe.


If it is true that not all Materialist philosophies are created the same, and there is a subset that must be false, then it is incumbent on us to expose the latter.  Contrary to a physicalist model that incorporates quantum mechanics and mind, we have the hyper-reductionists real locality models which  Graham Smetham dismisses as false. These embody a false Materialism because they attempt to explain something as complex as thought and consciousness using simple bio-chemical interactions. As Smetham puts it [6]:

In the most up-to date understanding of quantum theory, it is quite clear that all apparently material structures and processes, including the brain, are emergent from quantum insubstantial ‘dream’ stuff, to use a description by Wojciech Zurek.

  In other words, in the valid theories of Materialism, consciousness is not an epiphenomenon of material hardware but rather the author of the brain’s running software. In other words: the material of the brain is ultimately immaterial.  (De Broglie waves) 

Central to discriminating opposing Materialist models of mind are qualia. The term refers to subjective properties perceived in the material world, including colors, shapes and sounds (music). Arguably, none of these have objective existence but are tied to our neural processing and mode of consciousness. The qualia problem is often also called the Mary problem since it presents a hypothetical character (“Mary”) who inhabits a black and white world, but knows everything about colors in physics terms. Still, though she knows what color signifies – e.6. a particular wavelength  (say 660 nm)  in the electromagnetic spectrum – she has never experienced it.  The qualia problem helps to distinguish between what many call monistic physicalism and what I refer to as quantum or nonlocal physicalism.

In monistic physicalism, reality is structured around locality (predicated on particles), and quantum wave mechanics and its inherent potentiality never enters the field Y  to the extent of overturning particle dominance. In this way, emergence and holism are kept at bay. Conversely, J.S. Bell’s awareness of the hidden variable X [7]:

Although Y is a real field it does not show up immediately in the results of a ‘single measurement’, but only in the statistics of many such results. It is the de Broglie –Bohm variable X that shows up immediately each time.

And what of Man? According to physicist Henry Stapp [8]:


Classical physics portrayed man as a puppet controlled by the iron hand of destiny ordained at the beginning of time. Man was thereby removed of all  responsibility for his acts.

But this is in contradiction to quantum facts, i.e. (ibid.):


Brain processes involve chemical processes which must, in principle, be treated quantum mechanically. In particular, the transmission process occurring at a synaptic junction is triggered by the capture of a small number of calcium ions at an appropriate release site.
 
 In a quantum mechanical treatment, the locations of the calcium ions must be treated quantum mechanically: a quantum mechanical component must be added to the other uncertainties such as those generated by thermal noise, that enter into the decision as to whether the synapse will fire.

Which means (op. cit.):


Reinstatement of human freedom by appeal to quantum theory resurrects human
responsibility...this approach to the mind-body problem creates a quantum
mechanical conception of man and his role in nature.  

He is no longer a passive observer of a cataclysmic initial act of creation, but rather an active participant in the  process of creation

Evidently then, we can gather that the choice isn't between "God" or "no God" but between whether we humans invoke a perspective based on monistic physicalism or nonlocal physicalism.  In the first we remain as mere assemblies of atoms and molecules, or "puppets controlled by the iron hand of destiny" in Stapp's parlance.  In the latter we have the potential for a nonlocal emergence and enhanced freedom as cosmic participants- though not as "souls"-   but rather as explicated centers of energy grounded in a higher dimensional implicate order.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] Albert Camus: The Plague, 126.
[2]  Camus: Ibid.
[3] Greg Epstein, op. cit., 64.
[4] Ibid.
[5] David Bohm,  p. 209
[6] Graham Smetham,  Philosophy Now, No. 93, 28.(Nov./Dec.               2012), p. 30
[7]J.S. Bell,: Foundations of Physics, (12,) .989
[8] Henry Stapp: Foundations of Physics, (15), 35



Monday, January 28, 2019

Kim Strassel - Unable To See The "Conspiracy Theorist" Staring Back At Her In The Mirrror

Image result for kimberley strassel

Kim Strassel in her latest WSJ column ('Mark Warner's Enablers', Jan. 25, p. A13) continues her all in balderdash that her conspiracy theory (actually ideation, since it isn't testable) is the reality and Sen, Mark Warner (and the rest of us) are pushing Trump-Russia "conspiracy theories."  As she puts it:

"Hand it to Sen. Mark Warner. Of the many Russia-collusion theorists, how many get to claim “bipartisan” credentials? That’s one question that accompanied Thursday’s supposedly big news that the Senate Intelligence Committee had subpoenaed former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to testify in February. If anything comes from this appearance—it would be surprising. Senate Intel is the committee Mr. Warner, as ranking Democrat, has turned into the black hole of the Russia investigation, with Republican signoff.."


What Kim means - in her blind consternation- is that committee Chairman Richard Burr has evidently suffered a "mugging" in allowing  Mark Warner's thesis to accumulate credibility - say instead of distorting it and burying it like the scumball Devin Nunes did with the House Intel investigation.   According to Kim, "Mr. Burr appears to have suffered a political mugging".  Then adopting the usual Rightie trick of trying to blame the "left" media for his taking a more principled and honest stand than Nunes.

After all, according to Kim, how could Burr not see the REAL conspiracy  (unearthed by Nunes and his sycophant Reep House cohort) staring him and the other GOP Senate Intel members in the face. As she puts it (ibid.):

"Thanks to House committees, we know the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted surveillance of the Trump team based on opposition research from Hillary Clinton's campaign. And Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee blew the lid off the FBI's feckless relationship with dossier author Christopher Steele."

Re: the House committees, we now know they were fronts set up to protect Trump by deflecting attention to the Steele dossier, the FBI and Hillary (via the 'Uranium One' and Clinton Foundation tropes). With the release of a redacted Democratic memorandum in February, we beheld just how deeply Nunes had embedded himself in Trump's orbit to become his top bootlicker and enabler. At least in the Repug House, by running interference for a traitor.  That Democratic House memo, even with redaction, boldly countered Nunes' claims that top FBI and Justice Department officials has "abused their powers in spying on Carter Page" the former Trump campaign aide. 

Kim - possibly in the throes of an MJ candy high,   vaping overdose or sporadic hormonal imbalance - also again appears not to recall the Fusion GPS oppo research was originally launched by The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news site. The relevant  WSJ editorial at the time noted it was funded by big GOP donor Paul Singer.  Singer wanted oppo research done on a two bit Queens' chiseler and lowlife he didn't trust. Singer and a group of old guard GOP donors hired Fusion GPS to do the job of digging up dirt on the Queens' grifter. Subsequently, after Trump won the Repub primary,   the material was handed off to the Clinton campaign. This was NOT in any way sinister or illegal as Strassel tries to portray.  Nor in any way conspiratorial, certainly like seeking the help of a hostile foreign power to meddle in a presidential campaign.

What was illegal was the Trump team holding more than 100 meetings - that we now know of -  with Russians, including GRU intelligence agents.  Specifically in "Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration,"   The NY Times tracked down "more than 100 in-person meetings, phone calls, text messages, emails and private messages on Twitter," all made by "at least 17 campaign officials and advisers [who] had contacts with Russian nationals and WikiLeaks, or their intermediaries."

Further, foreign intercepts of meetings of Trump cronies, e.g. Carter Page, with Russian  (GRU) agents meant that the U.S.  FBI  had to enter the picture with its own FISA warrants, surveillance, etc. Not to do so would have violated agreements with foreign intel sources, assets, and would have amounted to dereliction of duty.   Hence, there was no evil conspiracy by the FBI, it only exists in Kim's mind.  Or perhaps in her fervid, MJ-laced dreams?

Why else spout such unhinged bollocks as:

"In recent weeks Mr. Warner has painted the lurid possibility of Trump-Russia collusion."

Well, it ain't just a "possibility",  Kim. Text messages, phone records, foreign intercepts, emails  - other documentation of the meetings-   point to clear conspiracy with the Russkies to alter  the 2016 election. And as former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah made clear Friday night ('All In'):

"There's just so many facts in this indictment about the coordination of the Trump campaign with Wikileaks, through Roger Stone. Remember that GRU indictment - if you go back to that- one of the objects of the conspiracy is not just hacking but hacking and disseminating.  You can't look at them alone, you have to go back to everything we know, the Trump Tower meeting, the calling out by Trump to Russia (to grab Hillary's emails)...there's just so many other things."

Rocah, in other words, has put her former federal prosecutor's finger on exactly why the reactionary Right media is able to peddle this balderdash there's "nothing there".  Because they count on massive amnesia of their readers, viewers concerning the reams of evidence that came before.  This is also what fuels The Wall Street Journal's lame editorials, e.g. 'Keystone Kops Collusion', p. A12,  Jan. 26-27)  as when this one claimed:

"Robert Mueller's indictment Friday of Roger Stone proves Donald Trump has awful judgment in political associations. What it doesn't show is Trump-Russia collusion."

Which take could have been right out of Andrew McCarthy's National Review piece, "Stone Indictment Underscores That There Was No Trump-Russia Conspiracy."
 

 But as blogger P.M. Carpenter has observed: "Mueller has never suggested that the Trump campaign's Russia collusion was smooth, slick or sophisticated. Stumblebums and poseurs are often at the center of political campaigns. "

So the WSJ editorial amounts to the classic red herring.

I have also pointed out repeatedly - and Ms. Rocah has also noted -  there is no federal statute for collusion, there is for conspiracy. And that case is nailed shut when the compendium of evidence is assembled from the Papadopolous' meeting onward - say to the Trump Tower meeting, and then Trump's invitation to the Russkies to hack Hillary's emails.

According to Robert Mueller's "GRU  indictments" cited by Rocah:


"On or about July 27, 2016, the conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts on a domain hosted by a third party provider and used by Clinton's personal office. They also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton campaign. '

Most interesting, this happened on the very same day Traitor Trump appeared in front of the media cameras and pleaded with Russia to hack Hillary's emails, e.g.

"I will tell you this, Russia if you're listening, I hope that you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. You will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let's see if that happens."


And after all, Hillary lost thanks to Trump's conspiracy with the Russians to leverage him into power. So who is really the victim here, Kim?   National Security specialist and counterinsurgency expert Malcolm Nance also reaffirmed yesterday on MSNBC the peril facing Stone and how  he was the "bridge and link for that information" passed from the Trump campaign to Russian intelligence. Adding: "This is a critical,  critical indictment. They're saying they've identified the link.", i.e. in showing the bridge and coordination between Stone,  the Trump campaign, and the Russians.    Adding: "This indictment is based not just on the hearsay or the testimony of others. Robert Mueller brings documentation to the table....And believe me there's also other information in the special counsel's office we don't know about especially from other members of the Trump team including Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn and others."

This was echoed by Georgetown Law professor Paul Butler, citing the "treasure trove" of documents, emails, phone messages, interdicted foreign wiretaps, etc. Mueller has on him.  Prof. Butler then stated Stone could "face twenty" years for his part in the conspiracy.

Strassel's other favorite target has been Christopher Steele and his dossier.  It's almost like Strassel goes to bed every night dreaming about it.  Well,  at least dreaming of novel ways to incorporate it into her conspiracy ideations.  But the facts are much less astounding. The dossier has been a frequent target of  the WSJ- FOX- Dotard Axis which seeks to heap incessant   derision upon it. But the probe into the Trump campaign originally was sparked by a separate matter that Steele never wrote about:  a tip from an Australian diplomat that a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, appeared to know Russia had obtained damaging emails on the Democrats. (Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents.) 

The dossier itself is actually several memos, based on conversations with Russian sources, that were written between June and December of 2016.   Further, in retrospect nearly all of the dossier has been substantiated or confirmed.

Strassel whines at the end of her piece that "we all want adult behavior"  and to that end "someone on the intelligence committee needs to step up and supervise Mr. Warner."  Actually, the only ones that need supervising - apart from Trump - are Kim Strassel and her coven of Wall Street Journal conspiracy spinners, "witch hunt" protesters and  Trump enablers  - especially as they seem unable to discern real conspiracies from fake ideations. 



Saturday, January 26, 2019

Ann Coulter Admits To Being "A Stupid Girl" To Bill Maher- And Why There Won't Be Another Shutdown In Three Weeks



Incredibly,  harpy and Right extremist bomb thrower Ann Coulter admitted on 'Real Time' in front of millions to being a "very stupid girl".   Well, we knew that already.  Here's how the interview's key segment went.  The White Nationalist Harpy Hag began by telling host Bill Maher how it was “crazy”  that she expected Trump “to keep the promise” to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that he’d made “every day for 18 months.

Maher:  "You voted for him, Donald Trump, and now you’re finding out he’s a lying conman. What was your first clue?”

Coulter: “OK, I’m a very stupid girl, fine.”

Well, at least she's finally admitted it. And yeah, there are worse things than brainless blonde viragos  who spout xenophobic venom.  There are racist, xenophobic presidents who have no clue how to do the job and mainly seek to inspire fear and hatred.  But Coulter and her devolved ilk are bad enough and emblematic of what's wrong with the Right wing in this country who seek to rule by fear and lies.  Coulter herself last night pumped out the usual bilge, i.e. that illegal immigration is actually favored by the ultra-rich Koch-level Republicans, asserting:

“They want cheap nannies."

Maybe some do but that misses the larger point: That American businesses, from landscaping, to restaurants in need of kitchen help to crabbers (in Maryland), to agricultural operations in California, , are finding that there aren't the American workers to do the jobs needed.  I repeat, the Americans.  Given the Trump cabal has cut immigration quotas, many businesses have been left to chase the labor they need via lotteries. But these seldom deliver the numbers needed to meet demand, so often the businesses - like lobster distributors in Maine, or CA  fruit grower- have to shutter, or let crops rot.  As a result, productivity is lost, and GDP  takes a hit

From another perspective we beheld the federal shutdown of the last 35 days which cost millions of paid-hours in economic activity and still is!  The reason is that very few of the media reported about the lost income of the federal contractors, only the 800,000 core federal employees (IRS agents, TSA screeners, FDA inspectors etc.)   But as Paul C. Light noted (WSJ, 'The Hidden Cost of a Government Shutdown',  December 28, p. A15):  "There are two federal workforces, the contractors and the regular federal workers."   For perspective, these include no fewer than "1.2 million grantees and 4 million full time contractors."   

So even as regular American business activity has contracted on account of not enough immigrant workers to do the jobs needed, so also has there been a massive economic stagnation and contraction arising from millions of federal workers not receiving pay the past month.  This lack of income has directly affected the communities in which they live, from which they purchase groceries, or pay rent or whatever.

Coulter,  earlier in the day yesterday, tweeted that Trump was “the biggest wimp ever to serve” as president, after he agreed to reopen the federal government for three weeks without having convinced Congress to fund the wall.

Let's recall here it was Coulter (along with Rush Limbaugh) who had not only advised  Trump to shut down the government in order to fund his border wall pet project but called him out when he caved Friday.  That cave in to Pelosi and the Dems saw her branding Dotard (her former "god")  “the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States.”  

Even before these latest insults,  Trump either blocked or unfollowed Coulter on Twitter in December 2018 after she called him “gutless.” Many political observers claim Trump believes Coulter represents his base, which she alluded to her in her sit-down with Maher, and that her views can affect his decisions.  (Well, they did in December, after having agreed to a continuing resolution to keep the gov't open, he acceded to the vitriol of Coulter, Limbaugh & Co. and scrapped the deal-- leading to the shutdown.

Obviously, this means the putative leader, the president of this once powerful nation, is a slave boy to Right wing loons. He's prepared to do their bidding -  go over board for them - even shutting the government down for 35 days - to pander to them.

Will it happen again on February 15th?  No way in hell, and even today's WSJ editorial ('After The Shutdown Fiasco',  p. A12) admits:

"Trump's problem is that he is still largely at Ms. Pelosi's mercy.   He said Friday that without the money for his wall he'd shut the government down again in three weeks or declare a national emergency himself.

Trump would be blamed for another shutdown and an emergency declaration would be enjoined by the courts or set a precedent that the next President could exploit to go around the GOP."

In other words, 'game, set, match', Trump and the Trumpers lose. And no, there will be no future round in which they win. Not now, not ever.  Their best bet is to keep the government open, do the work of government and the people- i.e. governing - and cease the terrorist hostage taking, narcissist theatrics and bad faith.  They aren't going to get the better of Nancy Pelosi, who basically schooled these reprobates on the extent of her powers and how they can be skillfully used - especially against a know nothing, bombastic buffoon.

Despite these realities, the Trump nativist xenophobes remain enthralled and obsessed with half-baked notions of retribution and that "it is too early to declare victory".   Actually, it's just the right time.

These nitwits can't seem to process that the debacle their brainiac mutt caused is still a rolling disaster which will take weeks, months to play out, as millions of the federal contractors are still feeling the pain. Unlike the regular 800,000 federal workforce they get no back pay - so they are now (many if not most) in hock up to their eyeballs for utility bills, medical needs as well as rent and mortgage payments.

Will the (sentient, sane) American populace tolerate another shutdown after the spectacle of pain they've beheld in the just concluded one?  Absolutely not. And Trump also knows if he tries it his disapproval numbers will tank even further, to levels unseen even for Nixon in the Watergate era. In a word it would be political suicide. He knows it, his staff knows it and his fawning toadies and groupies know it, not matter what manner of bilge and bollocks they spout on Sunday talk shows.

As for the State of the union, it still should not go on for Tuesday night, all Peggy Noonan's mawkish sermonizing ('The State of the Union Is Missing', WSJ, p. A13) notwithstanding.  The pain is still too unbearable- feelings too raw, especially after the spectacle of federal workers in breadlines (even as asshole Wilbur Ross divulged on CNBC he "couldn't understand why they just didn't take out loans").  Besides, Dotard - the imp and swine that he is - would still use the occasion to bloviate more lies out of his ass, and attack Pelosi and the Dems.  There is no reason on god's green earth to commit the unforced error of giving him a national stage to lick his wounds in front of his deplorables as he attacks the rest of us.

 Besides, technically the government still hasn't opened for good.  Let's see how the next three weeks play out and whether Trump is an honest broker before giving him the Capitol bldg for the SOTU.

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by P.M. Carpenter | January 27, 2019 - 7:54am | permalink