«

»

Sep 11 2017

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Paul Krugman: The Paranoid Style In Conservative Politics

Lots of people are having fun with Rush Limbaugh’s insistence that warnings about Irma were a liberal plot, part of the great conspiracy to scare people about climate change — plus a sales gimmick for batteries and bottled water. (He evacuated his Palm Beach mansion soon afterwards.)

But you’re missing the point if you think this is about Rush Limbaugh. Crazy conspiracy theorizing about climate change isn’t an aberration on the right, it’s the norm. Almost every senior figure in energy and environmental policy within the Trump administration is a climate change denier, with most of them having expressed the view that the science is a hoax. And in this case Trump isn’t bypassing the GOP establishment: these people are the party’s establishment.

Christine Todd Whitman: How Not to Run the E.P.A.

I have been worried about how the Environmental Protection Agency would be run ever since President Trump appointed Scott Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma, to oversee it. The past few months have confirmed my fears. The agency created by a Republican president 47 years ago to protect the environment and public health may end up doing neither under Mr. Pruitt’s direction.

As a Republican appointed by President George W. Bush to run the agency, I can hardly be written off as part of the liberal resistance to the new administration. But the evidence is abundant of the dangerous political turn of an agency that is supposed to be guided by science.

The E.P.A.’s recent attack on a reporter for The Associated Press and the installation of a political appointee to ferret out grants containing “the double C-word” are only the latest manifestations of my fears, which mounted with Mr. Pruitt’s swift and legally questionable repeals of E.P.A. regulations — actions that pose real and lasting threats to the nation’s land, air, water and public health.

Charles M. Blow: Soul Survival in Trump’s Hell

My mother always told me that when I was going through something tough and dispiriting. It was her way of saying that trouble doesn’t last forever, that even in your darkest place, hold fast to the hope and the light, that though today you are in the valley, tomorrow you shall scale the peak.

Well, Mama, this is hell. Indeed, Donald Trump’s America is the Ninth Circle.

And while I know that a president is limited to two terms, and I highly doubt that Trump could be re-elected to a second term and think that Robert Mueller’s investigation may curtail the first, I am still struggling to maintain optimism and perseverance.

E. J. Dionne Jr.: Trump has spent his whole presidency making Democrats stronger

Be wary of anyone who purports to understand the deep meaning of President Trump’s decision to side with the Democrats on short-term budget issues. Nobody knows what he’s up to, and this probably includes Trump himself.

Nonetheless, his recent foray into bipartisanship provides the occasion to explore the path he chose not to take at the beginning of his administration. He had the opportunity to put Democrats in a tight spot. Instead, he has spent his energies since Jan. 20 strengthening the hand of his opponents and weakening his own party. [..]

Democrats will certainly try to press the temporary advantage they seem to have on behalf of immigrants endangered by Trump’s moves against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. They’ll also push for Obamacare funding, an end to the debt ceiling and a variety of budget concessions.

We should have learned long ago that looking for coherence from this president is a fool’s errand. He may have happened on a wiser political strategy too late to do himself much good but just in time to hurt his already ailing party even more.

Robert Kuttner: Hurricane Donald: Changing Course And Highly Dangerous

In case you had any doubt, the two most recent super-storms, Harvey and Irma, whose damage will hit $300 billion, underscore the fact that the U.S. will need to spend many trillions of dollars protecting our shorelines and modernizing our infrastructure. Only the federal government can do this, as right wingers like Texas Senator Ted Cruz found, when he changed direction on states’ rights and groveled for more aid for Houston.

Donald Trump took office promising big bucks for infrastructure spending and make-it-in-America jobs. Such a program might have lifted his popularity above the mid-30s — and still could. The ever impulsive Trump seems to be changing course again.

Having cast his lot with the Republicans, Trump is furious that the House and Senate don’t just follow his decrees. A poor student of the American constitution, he misses the nuances of separation of powers and the fact that we are not a parliamentary system. The entire Senate GOP caucus doesn’t just defer to Mitch McConnell. Each senator is a free-lance.