Following Up and Following Down: July 2019

Once in a while you need to glance in the rear view mirror

Once in a while you need to glance in the rear view mirror

July went by pretty fast, but WC is determined to try to make these monthly follow up blog posts a little more timely. So, without any attempt at Actual Journalism, here are follow up notes to earlier posts, stuff that didn’t justify a full blog post and other bits and pieces that got caught up in the Magpie Principle.

Remember Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission? It was disbanded without ever admitting that there wan’t any evidence of extensive voter fraud. As Commission member Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap noted, “The plural of anecdote is not data.” Well, it turns out there has been some voter fraud, in the Republican-controlled state of North Carolina. By a – gasp – Republican operative. WC knows you share his shock. Leslie McCrae Dowless was charged Tuesday with two counts of felony obstruction of justice, perjury, solicitation to commit perjury, conspiracy to obstruct justice and illegal possession of absentee ballots, according to a statement by Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman. Don’t confuse those charges with the earlier indictment of Dowless for fraudulent conduct in the primary election.The latest charges arise out of the general election, which had to be thrown out on account of Dowless’s crimes. WC’s emails to former Election Fraud Commission Co-Chairs Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, asking for comment, have gone unanswered. Naughty, naughty Republican operative.

The Alaska Legislature has undone Governor Dunleavy’s foolhardy vetoes, passing largely curative budget amendments by considerable majorities in both the House and the Senate. And providing for a Permanent Fund Dividen that is only about half of Dunleavy’s campaign promise. The budget now sits on Dunleavy’s desk, awaiting his signature. Or veto. There are other developments. A movement to recall Dunleavy is underway, led by three highly regarded volunteers: Joe Usibelli, Arlys Sturgelewski and WC’s own fave, Vic Fischer. Those three names lend immense credibility to the recall effort. And the first day of signature-gathering was amazingly successful. If Dunleavy isn’t worried about that, he should be. The Anchorage Economic Development Council has weighed in, too. It announced the Governor’s vetoes “essentially eliminate any chance of economic recovery and in fact promise to keep the local economy in recession for two to three more years.” Dunleavy is also up against a sharp deadline if the PFDs are to go out on time. WC is sorry his friends in Alaska have to go through all this. It’s a reinforcing lesson on electing governors from Wasilla.

The hot spell that cooked Europe has moved over Greenland, where it has accelerated the already rapid melting of Greenland’s ice. Some 217 billion tons of ice have melted in July alone. A billion tons here; a billion tons there; it adds up. In fact, it adds up to about 2/10ths of an inch in worldwide sea level in one month. In one month, folks. Do the math. That same hot spell cooked Russia and Siberia, where the taiga, the northern forest, is now on fire as a result of drought and heat. Nearly 11,580 square miles of territory in Siberia and the Russian Far East have burned, an area the size of Belgium, with no relief in sight. And the President of these United States thinks anthropogenic climate change is a Chinese hoax.

Economics is complicated, but some parts of it aren’t. Despite what President Trump says, imposing tariffs on Chinese goods doesn’t put the increased costs of the goods on the Chinese. The increased cost is paid by you, by Americans. It’s a tax hike on Americans. That didn’t stop Trump from imposing an additional $300 billions in tariffs on Thursday. Trump’s economic policies – what Professor Paul Krugman calls “Trumponomics” – continue to fail and to be counterproductive. The gigantic tax cuts last year didn’t “trickle” down to all of us non-millionaires, didn’t produce a boost in business investment and didn’t raise income for anyone but big corporations and the very rich. The trillions of dollars in tariffs that Trump has imposed haven’t gotten the U.S. any significant new manufacturing jobs. And the economy is in enough trouble that the Federal Bank’s Board of Governor’s lowered interest rates in an effort to prop up the economy. So much winning.

WC’s recent post on Ben Stevens was shared across Facebook, and attracted comments from folks who don’t usually deign to read this blog. It was interesting to read those comments. This is from someone named Bill Scudder:

I hope you morons realize this site is less reliable than the national inquirer……oh yea you do not care. It is all about what you are owed for breathing.

Sweet! Scudder commits three logical fallacies in one comment! WC doesn’t usually feed the trolls, but would note that unlike the National Enquirer, WC very rarely just makes stuff up. Or engages in the ad hominem fallacy. In the same spirit, WC offers Mr. Scudder a quote from the late Walt Kelly’s Pogo,

Y’see, when you start to lick a national problem you have to go after the fundamentables. You want to cut down air pollution? Cut down the original source… Breathin!

WC can’t top Pogo. We’ll leave it there.


One thought on “Following Up and Following Down: July 2019

  1. “Logical fallacies” – ha! That final sentence: “It is all about what you are owed for breathing” is the mater of all nonsense non-sequiturs.

    You can’t make this stuff up. Oh, right: Mr Bill Scudder just did.

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