URLs du Jour

2017-01-22

Over 24 hours into the Trump Administration, and no nuclear holocaust yet. I'm cautiously optimistic.

  • At Reason, Ronald Bailey asks the musical question: "Is President Trump a 'Climate Menace'?". Answer: everyone seems to think so, based on selective snippets of tweets and speeches. But, Trump being Trump, he's not especially coherent or consistent on the issue.

    Looking at the Cabinet picks, Bailey picks up a different vibe:

    In the hearings for various cabinet nominees, Democrats have sought valiantly to unmask them as "climate change deniers." So far, not one has questioned the scientific reality of man-made global warming. On the other hand, they have tended not to be as alarmed as their interlocutors, and/or have failed to endorse the climate policies that Democrats prefer.

    That last bit is key. It's possible to stake out a middle ground, accepting the reality of anthropogenic climate change without buying into massive scaremongering and proposed statist power grabs.

  • Jonah Goldberg's G-File is online, written on January 20 from D. C. But:

    I didn’t go down to the Mall today, but it’s not because I was “boycotting” Trump. A team of scientists could harvest the DNA of Abe Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan, Phil Gramm, William F. Buckley, Winston Churchill, and Rowdy Roddy Piper and create some sort of super president with laser vision and a Kung Fu grip and I still wouldn’t want to go down to the Mall, get bumped by other people, and stand in the cold for hours only to hear a speech in the rain.

    Jonah rambles, but it's an entertaining ramble.

  • At the NYT, it's John McWhorter with News You Can Use: "How to Listen to Donald Trump Every Day for Years" Step one is to accept Trump's impossible-to-diagram word flow.

    The truth is that President Trump’s choppy, rambling self-expression is not so exotic. A great many thoroughly intelligent people talk more like Donald Trump than they might know. What’s new is that someone who talks like this in public has become the president of the United States. Yet it isn’t surprising, and if we are not to spend the next four to eight years alternating between exasperation and confusion as he sounds off, we need to learn a new way of listening.

    Yes, the New York Times does, on occasion, still print things worth reading. I know, I was surprised myself.

  • But all is not well, sorry. At Reason (again), Eric Boehm invites us to "Listen to CIA Spooks Applaud Trump for Baselessly Accusing 'The Media' of Lying About Inauguration Crowds".

    Trump discoursed on the media, "among the most dishonest human beings on Earth", drawing applause.

    Apparently feeding off the applause, Trump doubled down and claimed, without any evidence at all, that the media had covered up the size of the crowd at his inauguration. He claimed to have seen a report this morning claiming turnout of 250,000 for his speech, but the president said that could not have been true because he saw people lined up "all the way back to the Washington monument" when he spoke.

    This was a "same old Trump" moment, displaying one of his most worrisome traits, one noted during the campaign: he's obsessed with crowd numbers, applause, TV ratings. Trump's self-aggrandizement combined with his thin skin is notable, even for a politician.

    As Boehm and Patterico note, this obsession leaked into last evening's press conference with Sean Spicer, who … well, let's turn it over to this guy:

    But (unless I've missed something) all the Kristallnacht-style violence and overheated rhetoric is still coming from the other side. So that's something. Although that "something" is far from reassuring.