Saturday, October 30, 2021

New CME Alert Issued - And Solar Plasma En Route To Earth - Will We See Aurora In Lower U.S.? Maybe


         CME captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in  2013

CMEs or coronal mass ejections, are intensely energetic eruptions of magnetized plasma from the solar corona. They are not to be treated lightly,  given they are the primary driver of what we call space weather. Powerful CMEs  are of such magnitude that they merit the name "Carrington events" and originate at the solar central meridian (relative to Earth observers) are events we wish to avoid.

The "ultimate" CME then is that which smacks us broadside, knocking down power grids like tenpins, and can disrupt other critical services, (communications, GPS) dependent on spacecraft. Hence, it is of interest to attempt to forecast these plasma monsters.  

Alas, currently we have only near real time forecasting, one of which has resulted in a CME alert for today and tomorrow. e.g.

Geomagnetic Storm Watch is in Effect for 30-31 Oct. | NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center

The current CME arose from a spectacular X 10 solar flare in sunspot region 2887.  This has been described by the Space Weather site as the strongest flare yet in the current cycle.  It was triggered on Thursday, the 28th.  Given the plasma  is propagating at an estimated 973 km/s and the Sun is at a distance of 150 million km this gives an estimated arrival of approximately 2 days.  This means the major effects are expected today, and likely delayed effects into early Sunday.

I plan to be out observing the northern sky from just after  dusk today and from midnight to roughly 2 a.m.

See Also:

Brane Space: Ensemble Modeling of Coronal Mass Ejections - A Superior Means Of Prediction? The Jury Is Still Out (


Update (11/1 ):  From Denver Post:

The Northern Lights didn’t make an appearance in Colorado Saturday night after all.

While forecasters expected a strong solar flare to potentially make it possible to see the Northern Lights from Colorado Saturday evening — a very rare event — the right conditions for a light show never developed, experts said Sunday.

“The Northern Lights turned out to be a bust last night,” said Ron Hranac, past-president of the Denver Astronomical Society.

Cloudy skies blocked the view for most Coloradans, but even if it had been clear, the effects of the sun’s flare weren’t strong enough to make the Northern Lights visible in Colorado.

Demons Are Real? Yeah - And Ghosts, Elves And Goblins Too - According To Too Many 'Muricans in YouGov Poll


               According to a YouGov poll 51% of Repubs Believe Demons Exist


Didn't the Bible have "demons" prancing about in those olden days? Well,, not exactly! Back then, two thousand odd years ago, psychiatry hadn't even been discovered yet. No one knew a neurosis from halitosis or a psychosis. So when the ancients were afflicted with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anti-social disorder and even just simply epilepsy (sending them into paroxysms of rictus and spasms) people of the day naturally assumed "demons" were responsible and possessing the person. What else could they think? They had no coherent science of the mind, or brain! It would be another 1800 years or more before Wilder Penfield would insert electric pens into various brain centers to elicit responses, or Freud would arrive at his remarkable theory of the subconscious.  

Now, in the 21st century, however, it appears "demons" are all over the place, at least in too many 'Muricans febrile brains.  According to a recent survey by YouGov 2 in 5 of our fellow citizens "believe ghosts exist" and - wait for it!  - "51% of Republicans believe demons exist" , while 34 % of Democrats agreed . What!?   No wonder the median IQ of the country has fallen 5 points - well, at least since 2016 when Trump was elected. Go figure!

There was at least some redeeming news in the survey:  Those Americans with postgraduate degrees were "less likely to believe in supernatural beings."    Well, at least that's some consolation the whole population hasn't been brain infected.  On the downside, we learn that women who completed a 4-year degree were more likely to believe in ghosts than men with the same education level. From which I can only conclude the women didn't major in physics, or engineering.  

Back to the demons. While 1 in 2 Repubs believe in them, along with more than 1 in 3 Dems, only 11 % claim to have actually seen one.  In other words, their belief supersedes their observation.  They have absolutely no evidence for the existence of these entities, apart from slightly more than 1 in 10 who've seen one.  This elicits the question of what form the demon took? Is it akin to the Belial demon at the top?  Or is it one of the demons depicted in the lower graphic, from an anthology of demons?   Or better, perhaps the Repub demon believers who actually saw one beheld Behemoth, e.g.  

This would make sense as it has an uncanny resemblance to the symbol of the Republican party - which of course has now become possessed by Donald Trump - so is a cult party.  

On a more serious note, we now know - in terms of 21st century science - no such things as demons exist.  They are merely inventions, creations of the human brain.  Much credit goes to neuroscientist Michael Persinger who was able to generate micro-seizures in subjects brains ("temporal lobe transients")  that triggered all manner of apparitions.  Persinger also allowed that spontaneous transients could occur resulting in specific "visions" - even of demons.  This is the most probable explanation for the entities observed by the 11 percent in the You Gov survey.  

Interestingly, Persinger also was able to show that the beliefs themselves originated in the temporal lobes and they spanned a wide gamut.  But why would a significantly larger proportion of Republicans believe in demons, say than Dems?  I speculate that Trump's emergence  in 2015 and over 30,000 lies in his 4 years in office- programmed more Reepo brains to accept the untrue, the fanciful, even nonsensical.  

After all, a good proportion of these Reeps also believe in QAnon rubbish, such as the elite Dems conducting "satanic sacrifices" of infants, drinking their blood etc.  My worry is this demonic garbage spreading if Trump should ever again get into power.  

But my bigger worry is the nation itself veering into authoritarian fascism - a real form of demoniality.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Bjorn Lomberg - Climate Change Clown Has No Clue Concerning Adaptation To A Rapidly Warming World


Lomborg - asked a question he can't answer about ocean acidification

Almost on cue, as the COP 26 climate conference begins Sunday in Glasgow, the skeptic brigade has emerged to cast aspersions on any alarm raised.  These skeptics come in various guises - from theoretical physicist Steve Koonin, to climate obscurantist Roger Pielke Jr,  and Matt  Ridley - a self-declared skeptic writer.

 Bjorn Lomborg - he of the now discredited "Copenhagen Consensus" -  has escaped a lot of scrutiny and for that reason I will deal with him now.

Give Lomborg props for refusing to give up on his minimizing fantasies to do with climate change.  Lomborg presents himself as a hard-headed analyst asking tough questions about the costs and benefits of climate policy, but he's more in line with a climate dilettante who cherry picks at will while invoking numerous strawman arguments on why the approaching climate catastrophe isn't the biggest crisis facing humanity. 

 In his latest WSJ op-ed ('Climate Change Calls For Adaptation, Not Panic', Oct. 21 )he more or less doubles down on his typical twaddle, writing:

"Adaptation doesn’t make the cost of global warming go away entirely, but it does reduce it dramatically. Higher temperatures will shrink harvests if farmers keep growing the same crops, but they’re likely to adapt by growing other varieties or different plants altogether. Corn production in North America has shifted away from the Southeast toward the Upper Midwest, where farmers take advantage of longer growing seasons and less-frequent extreme heat. When sea levels rise, governments build defenses—like the levees, flood walls and drainage systems that protected New Orleans from much of Hurricane Ida’s ferocity this year.  

Nonetheless, many in the media push unrealistic projections of climate catastrophes, while ignoring adaptation. A new study documents how the biggest bias in studies on the rise of sea levels is their tendency to ignore human adaptation, exaggerating flood risks in 2100 by as much as 1,300 times. It is also evident in the breathless tone of most reporting: The Washington Post frets that sea level rise could “make 187 million people homeless,

Lomborg appears not to grasp adaptation to a  post tipping point climate change world is a non-starter -  for the simple reason human biology isn't designed to survive weeks without a reprieve from 120-130F day temperatures that only dip minimally at night. And for which most places do not have the luxury of air conditioning. e.g.

As I noted therein, 

Lytton, B.C.  reached a high of 49.6C (121.3F) on Tuesday, the day before its residents evacuated as raging wildfires devastated the town.  In Portland according to one official:

People were literally crawling to the Sunrise Center because it was so hot. They were vomiting, burnt and dehydrated 

And what of the power grid that supports it? We're informed now that the residents of Seattle and Portland are trying to get a/c for their homes - and orders are backed up.  But as one official pointed  out, 'Our grid is not designed for such intensive use of air conditioning.  The grid will be overloaded.."  


But this is typical of Lomborg in ignoring facets of critical climate change emerging at tipping points - one of which we are currently in. Indeed, 2020 tied for the warmest year on record - harkening back to before the advent of the Industrial Revolution, ca. 1750, e.g.  

2020 Tied for Warmest Year on Record, NASA Analysis Shows | NASA

Added bad news:  The Amazon rain forest - once a carbon sink - has since become a carbon source because of ongoing burning. This along with increased methane release and ocean pollution has set us up for a mass extinction event.

In less than 50 years most power grids worldwide will no longer work 24/7 because of lack of capacity and tens of millions all trying to stay cool at the same time - overtaxing the system.  There is no "adaptation" for that (short of perhaps implementing nuclear fusion power) . Why be surprised when heat waves - rather than lasting 5 or 7 days will last weeks or more? Water access will also be at risk because of power grid collapse. If you can't get electrical power you won't have the ability to pump it into your faucets.

                         Prof.  Gunther Weller (1987)

Prof. Gunter Weller (formerly of the Univ. of Alaska-Fairbanks Geophysical Institute)  has estimated the runaway greenhouse effect would kick in when the CO2 concentration level of 600 ppm is surpassed-  which seems reasonable. If it is just over 415 ppm now - by many conservative measures. Doing the math (adding 2.5 ppm and 2.5 W/ m2 per year)  puts us in jeopardy even before 2100.

 Simon Kuper's  Financial Times heads up (June 5, p. C3)   ought to make even the most jaded skeptic take notice:

"A draft of the IPCC’s next report, just leaked to Agence France-Presse, is the panel’s scariest document yet, with increased predictions of droughts, floods and heatwaves by 2050. It also warns about the “tipping points” that could accelerate this future, such as the drying out of the Amazon rainforest or the collapse of ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic.

Greenland’s sheet is melting seven times faster than in the 1990s. Today’s climate disasters — such as the record-breaking heatwave in the western US — are portents of worse."

The 'tipping points' to which he refers are actually 'cusps' in catastrophe theory associated with new global minima of the climate system.  As the shape of the system potential V(x,c) changes the original global minimum becomes metastable or even disappears. The potential includes one or more control parameters, c (i.e. change in CO2 concentration)which changes can lead to  a new global minimum or tipping point.  That means transition to a system with different conditions described by the point x Î  R n    that minimizes the potential.  The trouble is the 'new system' is likely to  be one closer to the runaway Greenhouse effect, with much higher 'normal' temperatures such as we beheld in Portland and Lytton, B.C.

But this isn't even half of what Lomborg leaves out in his pie-eyed, Pollyannish adaptation nonsense. Totally ignored is ocean acidification and the long term effects it will have on human survival.  As noted in previous posts, the seas absorb CO2 from atmosphere forming carbonic acid, e.g.

H2O + CO2 ->   H2CO3   

The increase in this acid lowers the pH of the oceans, and the effect is in no sense benign.  While carbonic acid is weaker than other forms (e.g. nitric acid, hydrochloric acid), it still works the same way as the stronger acids - to lower pH.  It also releases hydrogen ions and binds carbonate ions that animals with shells need to live.

 In terms of the general effect,  ocean acidity has increased 30 percent in the last 200 years alone.  Over a billion people rely on the sea for their food and at least half of these are threatened by collapse of the coral reefs that harbor marine life.  As one special report from the NOAA's carbon program observed: "When shelled organisms are at risk, the entire food web may also be at risk."  

Ocean average pH thus far has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 - this drop since the Industrial Revolution.  According to  a Smithsonian report it is expect to fall another 0.3 - 04 pH units.   In the words of the report: "If we continue to add carbon dioxide at current rates, sea water pH may drop another 120 percent by the end of this century to 7.8 or 7.7 creating an ocean more acidic than any seen for the past 20 million years or more."   

The kicker? An ocean that acidic may spell the end of the phytoplankton from which most of our planet's oxygen gets generated (not from green land plants, as Carl Sagan once pointed out).  

"Aw but them differences is too tiny to do anything!"   The Trumper squawks.   Actually, for reference, a drop in one's blood pH levels by just 0.2 units is enough to cause seizures, coma, death.

Can one adapt to a lack of oxygen? Speaking for myself, I tried already (with my lung condition and before I got an oxygen concentrator) and it isn't possible.   But this is all of what Lomborg ignores.  Thus, putting him more in line with rabble rousers or distractors as opposed to serious climate change writers.


Lomborg has — to put it mildly — often seemed more intent on making provocative claims than on conducting careful analysis (for example, see these critiques from 20032010, and 2015).  His latest attack on the Paris climate agreement, in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago, is a case in point.

Lomborg makes two basic assertions: that implementing the Paris Agreement will have a negligible impact on global temperatures, and that it will be exorbitantly costly. But a careful review of his work and its underlying studies reveals significant flaws in Lomborg’s analysis.

Lomborg mischaracterizes the results of an MIT analysis that he claims agrees with his own. But he overlooks an important difference: In estimating the impact of the Paris pledges, the MIT study separates out the effect of the Paris commitments from previous pledges made in 2009 and 2010. Lomborg effectively lumps them all together, by comparing the Paris outcomes to a no-policy scenario. Moreover, the MIT study (unlike Lomborg) is careful to take China’s peaking commitment into account.  Rather than validate Lomborg’s approach, therefore, the MIT study only underscores the extreme nature of Lomborg’s conclusion — and the assumptions that drive it.

Lomborg assumes that policies do not have any lasting impact. To produce his estimate of a 0.08°F temperature reduction from all Paris pledges combined, he assumes that emissions rapidly return to the levels they would have reached in the absence of policy. This implies that after 2030, emissions rise even more rapidly than in the “business-as-usual” case, in order to “catch up.”

This approach reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the drivers of emissions and the impacts of policy; no credible model of the economy would produce such an outcome

The preceding sums up Lomborg's role as a clueless climate clown to a tee. It also elicits the question as to how or why this libertarian loser gets so much attention (and spin) in the media. One can only conclude it's because he loves to indulge in deliberate provocation and the online media sites (mainly) love him because he delivers more clicks than actual climate scientists.

See Also:

by Norman Solomon | October 28, 2021 - 5:07am | permalink


by C.J. Polychroniou | October 28, 2021 - 5:22am | permalink


by Sof Petros | October 29, 2021 - 6:14am | permalink

Despite Bjorn Lomborg getting factchecked on his lies, Fox and WSJ invite him to air them anyway | Red, Green, and Blue (

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Anti-Abortionists "Want To Show Women Another Way"? How About Paying For Child Care?


The  Pro-life pushers appearing often on FOX and  Newsmax, are fond of saying they only want to show abortion-inclined women "another way".  I.e. saving their fetus and caring for it.  Do they mean it?  Of course not since after birth the would -be mom is basically on her own. No government covered child care, not even paid parental leave to help the mom through the initial weeks after birth. It's all a lot of posturing and blather.

This is noted because the ongoing 'Sturm and drang' of the anti-abortion movement - whose recent ejection of Roe v. Wade in Texas has left Lone Star women with few options -  now threatens Virginia too.  This is if Trump clone Glenn Youngkin is somehow elected next Tuesday.  It would be laughable to impose these draconian anti- abortion measures on another state if it wasn't so hypocritical.  To quote the words of Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine nun and author of 'Just Love':   

"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion that makes you pro-life. In fact, in many cases your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born and not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed."    

This is because the anti-abortionists' concept of being pro-life doesn't include any  extended provisions to support it. Hence, in a strictly logical sense it isn't "pro life" at all but pro destitution, pro malnutrition, pro death.  This is because if one is truly pro life one must have go all in for its support - certainly in the early stages- you can't just stop at the birth.   That was Sr. Chittister's point. 

 What do I mean by early life support?  There are two critical props: 1) Paid maternal leave, hopefully at least for 12 weeks to support mother-child bonding,  and 2) Full government supported day care as exists in other advanced nations to support a mother's choice to go back to work.  Right now the Right's media legions are carping about over 4 million Americans still not returning to work, not processing that nearly one half are women who can't afford to because they can't afford child care costs - which can run close to a year's tuition at a private college.

Some takeaway facts:

Two thirds of American pre -K children have both parents in the workforce, meaning care outside the home is essential.

Eighty-five percent of these parents say that finding quality affordable child care in their areas is a problem somewhere between serious and impossible.

Nationwide the annual cost for a 4 year old child's day care averages about $13,000 in 28 states and D.C.   An infant's care center costs more than an 18 year old's public college tuition.

What are the right to lifers doing about any of these and the last one especially?  Well, nothing, because they aren't truly interested in being truly pro life because it costs too much to support that position, and they hate the government getting involved because that would be "socialism".   But they can't have it both ways. If they disdain socialized care - or what I call government social insurance support- then they aren't truly pro life, but hypocrites.  Because it's easier to just blabber about defending a fetus in the womb than defending and summoning the will to support the eventual born child's care  - including pre -K and even health measures beyond. Why is an extended social insurance support system needed?

For children under 3, only the poorest working families qualify for subsidies, through Early Head Start or the child care block grant, but fewer than 1 in 6 eligible children receive the help. For most families, the only direct government support for early care and education comes from the child and dependent care tax credit. It benefits higher earners most: The average credit is $586, and $124 for the lowest earners.

The situation is much different in many rich countries. In Europe, new parents have paid leaves of 14 months, on average, and it is common for children to start public school at age 3. (In the preschool years, the focus is on play — toddlers aren’t sitting at desks doing work sheets.) For children ages 1 and 2, parents are expected to pay more for child care, but governments still pay a significant portion of the cost of care — including payments for stay-at-home parents in countries including Finland, South Korea and Denmark.

Studies in the United States have also found that subsidized child care and preschool increase the chance that mothers keep working, particularly low income women. Research shows that children in the U.S. are less likely to have formal child care if their parents are low earners, Universal programs have been shown to shrink the gap in kindergarten readiness. Yet in the United States, 1 in 3 American children start kindergarten without any preschool at all.

Let’s be clear: Every rich country other than the United States already provides childcare, pre-K, child assistance, paid family leave, subsidized college, decent housing, and health coverage extending to vision and hearing. Every other rich country is taking measures to reduce climate change. We are the richest of the rich. Of course America can afford these, and it doesn't entail socialism in an strict sense,  or building an "entitlement society" as the obstructionist Dem senator Manchin claims.

All of this could change on a dime, the entire milieu for support, if the energized and active pro-lifers on the Right got themselves equally energized in protecting life after birth.   But right now, as Sister Joan Chittister notes, their concern that doesn't go that far.  Which means we have to question the motives behind any of their pro-life concerns and positions, i.e. as anything more than culture war posturing.

See Also:

by Jaime O’Neill | October 26, 2021 - 6:56am | permalink


by Sonali Kolhatkar | October 27, 2021 - 6:12am | permalink

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Now We Know More About 'Dark' Excitons' Role In Electron Band Structure Thanks To Recent Experiments

 The basic principles of photoemission and the photo-electric effect were first examined in this post five years ago, 

The basic idea is that radiation (e.g. UV light) falling on a metal plate or surface elicits ejection of electrons ("photoelectrons") from the surface and a photo current.   The maximum kinetic energy of these electrons can be found if the stopping potential  ( Vs )  is known.  This is the potential reached when most photoelectrons are stopped (so the photocurrent becomes zero).   Modern experiments to do with this effect go far beyond the basic concepts to investigate many other aspects of matter including electron band structure.  This is the range of energy levels electrons can have within a solid.

 Flash forward to the present: Angle-resolved  photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES)  may not be a familiar technique (or talking point) for most physics aficionados, but new experiments using it have shed light on electron band structure.  According to a February report in Physics Today  (p. 21) Julien Madéo and Michael Man, both at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan, and their coworkers,  turned to this method  for observing dark excitons.

In ARPES, incident photons kick electrons out of a target material and the electrons’ energies and momenta are measured.   E.g.

                                    From J. Madéo et al., Science 370, 1199 (2020)

It’s a preferred technique for probing electronic structures. But experimental challenges have prevented its application to excitons: The experiment must have extreme-UV (XUV) photon energies to break apart the tightly bound electron–hole pairs in solids and eject photoelectrons. Needed here is sub-picosecond temporal resolution to follow the exciton population’s evolution, and micron-scale spatial resolution to probe tiny samples of high-quality exciton-hosting materials. 

Focus once more on solids, and note the "band gap" refers to ranges of energy the electrons do not have.

When a valence electron jumps across a bandgap to the conduction band, it doesn’t always escape the hole it left behind. In some materials, Coulomb forces are strong enough to hold negatively charged electrons and positively charged holes together in neutral electron–hole pairs known as excitons. 

Excitons come in two types, bright and dark. A bright exciton forms when a single photon is absorbed. In the case of dark excitons, the electron and hole are connected by an optically forbidden transition, meaning the electron didn’t reach the conduction band through photon absorption alone—it also needed phonon scattering. Because they may form or recombine through many possible pathways, dark excitons are difficult to study through the usual optical methods.  Hence, the choice of ARPES by the Okinawa team to do the research.

The novel application of the preceding technique enabled the Okinawa Institute team to detect both bright and dark excitons while also monitoring the populations over time. Creation of excitons using two different photonenergies produced the same surprise result: Dark excitons were twice as prevalent as the bright ones.  This finding showed the importance of dark exciton dynamics in understanding the opto-electronic properties of exciton rich materials. 

The Madéo - Man team focused attention on one particular material: tungsten diselenide.  This bulk material has only an indirect bandgap - with the peak in the valence band and the lowest point of its conductive band having very different momenta.  The graphic below illustrates the differences - taking Energy v. wavevector (K):

                Electron band structure in monolayer tungsten (from Physics Today,  February, 2021)

The point is that the band gap can't be traversed using photon absorption alone.  But as can be seen from the graphic, monolayer tungsten has both a direct and indirect band gap - so can host both dark and bright excitons.   The latter - created via direct transmission make the material photo-luminescent.   

As the attentive reader can see from the diagram, the conduction band has minima at two wavevectors,  K   and  Q  in the standard nomenclature - which are denoted as K and Q "valleys".    The valence electrons can be excited into one or other of these valleys - which have nearly the same energies but different momenta.   As can also be seen (lower left) the valence band peaks at the K wavevector.  Thus only a few eVs photon will be able to push an electron across the band gap into a K valley, i.e. to form a K-K exciton. 

 However, the incoming photon has too little energy to impart enough momentum to push the electron into the Q valley.  This is why K-Q excitons are called "dark".  What is needed to provide the extra kick to make the transition happen? Usually a phonon. These are basically particles of heat, best visualized in crystals - for example - as trains of atoms that behave like springs. 

                                              Two modes of phonon vibration

When one atom in the train gets pushed or pulled it sets off a wave (phonon) that travels through the crystal. In reality,  most materials have a mix of phonons with different frequencies, all superposed on each other - and traveling in different directions. 

It will be interesting to see what applied research comes out of this electron band research. One possibility?  Molecular probes to investigate the molecular dynamics of assorted materials and how that can be used to examine the effects of mechanical stress by converting it into some kind of optical signal. Some progress, indeed, has already been made according to the PT  report.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Glenn Youngkin's Stealth Pro-Trump Campaign Could Indeed Turn Virginia Into Another Texas - Especially On Abortion Rights


               Glenn Youngkin - hoping his Trump connections don't get scrutinized too much before next Tuesday.

"Next month’s elections in Virginia coincide with a singular moment in U.S. history, in which one major party has turned against accepting the results of free and fair elections. That momentous juncture poses a character test for all Republicans, which turns on this question: Will they stand against the assault on democracy’s most basic precept, or will they tolerate it? Glenn Youngkin, the GOP gubernatorial nominee in Virginia, has failed that character test."  Editorial, 'Glenn Youngkin Has Failed The Test Of Character', Washington Post, Oct. 23    

Glenn Youngkin,  pro-Trump Virginia Repuke gubernatorial candidate,  is desperately  hoping voters don't scrutinize his background and Trump connections too closely. Especially, the multiple chat rooms on Right wing sites panting for his victory in order to "make Virginia as anti-abortion as Texas", i.e. getting a sham law passed to outlaw all abortions from 6 weeks and beyond, see e.g.

Is this histrionic? Not at all.  And Virginia's voters scoff at it at their own peril. It's no secret for those who are paying attention that Youngkin is a Trump puppet who intends to implement as many Trump policies as possible if elected, especially on abortion (emulating Texas' unconstitutional law - using vigilantes to go after abortion providers) and in scaling back voting.  

It is also absolutely true that Youngkin needs people to stay deaf, dumb, blind and ignorant so he can play his "parent card"  (with critical race theory as the dog whistle) to sneak into power.   That Youngkin is a Trump surrogate is no mystery, as this traitor enabler even allowed a rally to go on  in his name (despite not being there) in which the gathered Trump- Youngkins pledged allegiance to a flag hoisted at the January 6th insurrection. (Another good reason Dem candidate Terry Macauliffe needs to play videos of this travesty over and over in his ads).  As The W. Post editorial has noted, Youngkin is all in with the Trump Big Lie, e.g.

He has indulged and encouraged Republicans who have swallowed former president Donald Trump’s lie that last year’s presidential election was stolen and that American elections are not to be trusted.  Few stances could be more subversive to the American experiment or more corrosive to our pluralistic system’s fundamental legitimacy. Few shine so bright a spotlight on a candidate’s courage and commitment to the Constitution, or lack thereof.

That Youngkin could subscribe to the Big Lie and also push it discloses he is devoid of character as well as courage, and is merely using whatever slick technique he can in order to gain power and ram through Trump's vile programs.  Imagine then, women in Virginia - after he gets installed-  facing no access to abortions within 6 months of Reeps taking over the state house, senate. Imagine voting rights reduced as they have been in Texas and Georgia - where it's against the law to even bring water to a voter standing in line. 

 But Youngkin - a former private equity pirate-  is betting he can pull the wool over enough voters' eyes to get in.  He's choosing to do this using the hot button issue of "parental rights"  vis - a -vis mask -vaccine mandates and the supposed teaching of CRT or critical race theory in Virginia schools. In fact the CRT babble is just that and Youngkin knows it - even fessing up to Alex Wagner in the recent episode of Showtime's  'The Circus".  When Ms. Wagner pressed him on the issue of CRT being taught in Virginia schools, Youngkin smirked like a drugged skunk and responded: "Well, okay, maybe not in classes, but as a philosophy!"  

A philosophy? WTF is that?  Jeezus, you're going to buffalo 1 million Virginians to vote you in on a "philosophy' that's not even actually taught? You got them all hair on fire crazy for that?   But Youngkin believes he can pull it off and we will see in a week.  

Another dire aspect is that the Trump -appointed Post master Louis DeJoy may be in on it in trying to help the scumball.   Rachel Maddow, kudos to her, brought this up last night, e.g.

Meanwhile, the WSJ's Gerald Seib in his recent Capital Journal has observed :

Mr. Trump is inserting himself into this year’s Virginia gubernatorial race, and next year’s critical midterm congressional elections, in a manner designed to keep his party’s attention focused on his unsubstantiated claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. Accepting that claim, or at least declining to dispute it, has become a litmus test for Republican candidates hoping for Mr. Trump’s support. His grievances feature prominently in rallies he is holding, nominally in support of other Republicans.

Fear and loathing of Mr. Trump is one force that may keep such voters active and in the Democratic column, despite misgivings about Mr. Biden and the agenda of progressive Democrats.

This year’s governor’s election in Virginia on Nov. 2 is turning into a testing ground for these forces. Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin is trying to run a campaign focused on traditional Republican themes, such as lowering taxes, as well as the newest cultural controversy, over whether woke culture is creeping into school curricula.

But he also has tried to do just enough to woo Trump voters, without appearing to be a Trump clone. He has happily accepted Mr. Trump’s endorsement, and danced around the question of whether President Biden legitimately won the 2020, never quite saying he believes those Trump claims of election fraud but never quite disputing them either. He has tried, in short, to have it both ways.

That has been enough for Democrats to build their closing argument against Mr. Youngkin around his relationship with the former president. 

Bottom line: Youngkin is a clever, corporate Reepo schmoozer who believes his low key Trumpism and playing righteous, cool conservative dude to Virginia's voters will: a) get the Dem voters to stay home, bored and unmotivated, and b) rile up just enough Trumpies to get him into the state wreak  havoc.   Of all voters, Virginia's suburban, college -educated women ought to be the most motivated to prevent this pseudo-polished slimeball from grabbing power. Why? Because they have the most to lose - namely control over their own bodies - as in personal reproductive choice.

See Also:

Obama casts the Virginia election as historic, but will his energy spark Democrats to vote?


by Karyn Strickler | October 27, 2021 - 5:13am | permalink


Virginia Gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin disagrees with the scientific consensus that climate change is real and human-made, from burning fossil fuels. According to the 'American Independent,' when asked if human-made greenhouse gas emissions were responsible for climate change, Youngkin stated, "I don't know what's responsible for climate change, in all candor." He scores a zero on position and on leadership.