Please share the trailer for An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power in theatres July 28th. #BeInconvenient

Thank you for this post, Brooks. What a disturbing time.

Al Gore looks and sounds great in this trailer. I think he wants to run again for president.

He is energized.



Make your voice heard. Please share the trailer for An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power in theatres July 28th. #BeInconvenient

Coal Country Is a State of Mind – by Paul Krugman – NYT

“West Virginia went overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in November — in fact, he beat Hillary Clinton by almost a three-to-one majority. And it may seem obvious why: The state is the heart of coal country, and Mr. Trump promised to bring coal jobs back by eliminating Obama-era environmental regulations. So at first glance the 2016 election looks like a political realignment reflecting differences in regional interests.

But that simple story breaks down when you look at the realities of the situation — and not just because environmentalism is a minor factor in coal’s decline. For coal country isn’t really coal country anymore, and hasn’t been for a long time.Why does an industry that is no longer a major employer even in West Virginia retain such a hold on the region’s imagination, and lead its residents to vote overwhelmingly against their own interests?”

David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Thoughtful piece Paul Krugman, thank you. Trump is quite the Pied Piper.
An acquaintance grew up up in Kentucky, and her family moved to Ohio. She read “Hillbilly Elegy” because it was admired by several NYT op-ed writers. She said, my god this moved me, it describes many of my friends, family and neighbors growing up.

I had to read it, and I have to agree with the Economist, it does tell an important story about a neglected people, who strive in white ghettos, where the jobs they moved to, have mostly been shipped overseas.

To your credit, you have been writing laments for over a decade, about the tragedy of allowing high unemployment in the US. People turn on each other, they turn to drugs, and crime.
I’m waiting for Trump to turn his attention to his huge infrastructure promise.

I continue to support a return to the new deal, where the Government funds work programs, so that every citizen who wants one, can find some kind of life-supporting work. I would raise taxes on the wealthy, just like the Europeans do, to put our people to work. The great tragedy and irony of our time, is that the Trump administration misses that by massively investing in sustainable energies and converting our buildings into green, LEAD structures, we could revitalize our job market, while getting ahead in some of the fasted growing markets of the future.

Then there is better public transportation…..

Ignoring Diplomacy’s Past and Its Future Promise – The New York Times

One of America’s greatest contributions to international peace resulted from a historic investment in foreign aid. After defeating Fascism in World War II, Washington channeled billions of dollars into the war-torn nations of Europe and Japan, helping transform them into economic success stories and vital democratic allies.That’s a lesson worth remembering as President Trump tries to slash the State Department and its foreign aid programs by about 30 percent in the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, while raising Pentagon spending by 10 percent. The cruelest cuts may be a reported $1 billion reduction for the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations and programs that care for needy children.”

Bravo. Such stark and grave mismanagement, on the day the NYT runs the devastating story of civil war refugees in Niger. Yesterday, there was a tragic story of climate change refugees in Somalia. The Times is on a role of important reporting of bad and unpleasant news.

Here is one of several good comments I recommend:

Christine McM

is a trusted commenter Massachusetts 16 hours ago

I think the board is far too charitable to Trump and Tillerson regarding their clear decisions to defund diplomacy.

Frankly I was shocked to hear Tillerson state categorically that the cuts are fine because “the US I’ll be engaged in fewer wars.”

Huh? Is Rex Tillerson clairvoyant? How can he possibly know how many wars will demand our response? Or could he possibly be taking his marching orders from Russia, not Trump? As part of that big “thank you” they owe to cousin Vlad.

Something very odd is going on in the Trump administration’s plans for the state Department, the role of diplomacy, our participation in NATO, and our commitment for leadership of the free world.

By shrinking all the above, Trump is upending the entire postwar dynamic and balance of power. He’s also playing right into Putin’s desire for a lesser US role. Whether this is by accident or by design should be determined by the FBI and/or Senate investigations.

The Empty Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing – by Linda Greenhouse – NYT

“The Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Judge Neil M. Gorsuch was just plain embarrassing, and not only for the nominee. But let’s begin with him, skipping over his Republican enablers, who had nothing to do but lob softball questions and praise his answers. If Judge Gorsuch wasn’t the least forthcoming Supreme Court nominee ever to appear at a confirmation hearing, it’s hard to imagine one who could be less forthcoming while still breathing. More interesting and less predictable answers could have come from Siri on an iPhone.

The previous contender for the title of least forthcoming was Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016 and whom Judge Gorsuch would replace. Nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and confirmed unanimously, then-Judge Scalia wouldn’t even tell the Judiciary Committee whether he supported Marbury v. Madison, the landmark 1803 decision in which the court under Chief Justice John Marshall established the principle that federal courts can invalidate unconstitutional statutes.”

Thank you Linda Greenhouse. I especially liked your defense of Ruth Ginsberg, who did actally answer many questions.

Here is a comment I reluctantly agree with. I say reluctantly, because I watched most of the hearing, and liked Gorsuch. He was warm, appealing and impenetrable.


Cincinnati, Ohio 4 hours ago

The only way to judge a nominee is by his/her lower court rulings. Stealth jurists such as David Souter are exceedingly rare; most judges are consistent in their decisions, and leave a law library filled with past cases that reveal their judicial philosophies. Gorsuch, on that evidence, is a staunch conservative who, if past is prologue, will do great damage to church-state separation, support the disgrace of campaign finance as free speech, and limit the options of women under the law.

It is the Republican Senate, not Gorsuch, that have brought the nation to this miserable juncture. Their refusal to even consider Merrick Garland will stand as precedent for many years as the quintessential example of the legislative branch’s usurpation of the judiciary.

E.P.A. Chief- Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, moved late on Wednesday to reject the scientific conclusion of the agency’s own chemical safety experts who under the Obama administration recommended that one of the nation’s most widely used insecticides be permanently banned at farms nationwide because of the harm it potentially causes children and farm workers.

The ruling by Mr. Pruitt, in one of his first formal actions as the nation’s top environmental official, rejected a petition filed a decade ago by two environmental groups that had asked that the agency ban all uses of chlorpyrifos. The chemical was banned in 2000 for use in most household settings, but still today is used at about 40,000 farms on about 50 different types of crops, ranging from almonds to apples.”

Fleeing Boko Haram- Thousands Cling to a Road to Nowhere – The New York Times

“More than 130,000 people have amassed along this desert highway outside Diffa, Niger — National Route 1. They now call its barren, sandy shoulders home.All of them have been chased from their villages by Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group that kidnaps and kills indiscriminately in a campaign of violence that has lasted eight years. The New York Times spent weeks documenting the stories of people living along this road, interviewing more than 100 residents — including 15 in the following image — clinging to its edges to survive.”

” “We can sleep now,” said Fati Fougou, a 40-year-old mother of seven who was chased from three different villages by fighters before settling along the road with her children, “because no one is shooting.”

A handful of aid groups help. Unicef trucks in water. The International Rescue Committee hands out bags of rice, sardine tins and powdered milk. Doctors Without Borders runs small clinics. But formal camps don’t exist. All of the displaced here are squatters.”

Thank you  DIONNE SEARCEY and  ADAM FERGUSON and the NYT. Also, the three organizations mentioned above:


International Rescue Committee

Doctors Without Borders,  Medecins Sans Frontiers

I plan to support all three. Chú Cuội or The Man in the Moon

“Chú Cuội or The Man in the Moon

“Long time ago, in a tiny bamboo hut beside the jungle, there lived a poor woodcutter named Chú Cuội. He had lived every day of his life cutting small trees in the woods and gathering dry sticks to sell as fuel in the market. He then would tie the woods and sticks up in bundles and carry them home with a long wooden pole he uses to hold the bundles on both ends, which he would balance on his shoulder. Because Chú Cuội is poor and had no money to buy himself an ox and wood cart, he carries the bundles all the way to town and to the market by himself.

One morning, as he was gathering stick in the woods, he spotted three tigers playing among each other. He looked around and learned that the three cubs were left alone by their mother to hunt for food. Desperate to make some money to buy himself an ox, Chú Cuội planned on catching one of the cubs and sell it in the market. Slowly, he laid down his bundle of sticks and crept behind a fallen log. While waiting for a chance to grab one of the playing cubs, the youngest one accidentally rolled right next to him. Quickly, Chú Cuội grabbed it by the back of its neck, careful not to be bitten and scratched as the cub kept on squirming. The two other cubs saw what happened to their brother and scampered away in fear.”

Source: Chú Cuội or The Man in the Moon

My talented copy editor thought there were no stories of a man in the moon in Vietnam.

Trump Is a Chinese Agent – by Thomas Friedman – NYT

“The big story everyone is chasing is whether President Trump is a Russian stooge. Wrong. That’s all a smoke screen. Trump is actually a Chinese agent. He is clearly out to make China great again. Just look at the facts.

Trump took office promising to fix our trade imbalance with China, and what’s the first thing he did? He threw away a U.S.-designed free-trade deal with 11 other Pacific nations — a pact whose members make up 40 percent of global G.D.P.The Trans-Pacific Partnership was based largely on U.S. economic interests, benefiting our fastest-growing technologies and agribusinesses, and had more labor, environmental and human rights standards than any trade agreement ever. And it excluded China. It was our baby, shaping the future of trade in Asia.

Imagine if Trump were negotiating with China now as not only the U.S. president but also as head of a 12-nation trading bloc based on our values and interests. That’s called l-e-v-e-r-a-g-e, and Trump just threw it away … because he promised to in the campaign — without, I’d bet, ever reading TPP. What a chump! I can still hear the clinking of champagne glasses in Beijing.”

Bravo Friedman.

China announce plan to invest $500 Billion in sustainable energy systems. Trump undoes the Clean Power Program, unleashing big coal, for a refreshed export market. Woe is U.S.

Here are the two top comments do date.

James Landi

Salisbury, Maryland 7 hours ago

Tom, It’s “deja vu all over again “– just when you think we’re rid of “The Stupids Come to Washington” yet another election cycle comes along, and you find out just how gullible and fickle and uninformed, and lacking in critical thinking skills the American electorate really is. Trump’s candidacy and positions on nearly every public policy promised to reset reality back fifty years. Coal, trade, the environment, you name it, and Trump et al presents the stupid retrograde, short sighted position. And as he resets America to be Really Weaken Again, suddenly the likes of Lindsey Graham and John McCain and Susan Collins are our last best hope for sanity in the Republican led stupid government. It’s a nightmare of epic proportions.

NYT Pick

Stephen Woodmansee

Malaysia 6 hours ago

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Imagine you are a 50 something Australian, living and working in Malaysia, like me.
Trump tears up the TPP. What does that tell you?
The only conclusion I can come to is that the US is becoming isolationist and you are pulling back from a US – Australian partnership that has been rock solid ever since I was born. A partnership born in blood and shared values. Australia has to trade, we are a modern dynamic economy and we need reliable trading partners. The US, not us, have pivoted and we have to react to survive. This is not optional.
We will join China’s trading block because we don’t have a choice. I would be happier with the US’s trading block, but the world has changed.
As a long time supporter of the US, I have to say I am surprised and saddened at how you have decided to squander your influence in Asia. It will certainly be to your detriment, and to ours, I believe.

Devin Nunes Is Dangerous – by Frank Bruni – NYT

“Representative Devin Nunes obviously fancies himself Jason Bourne. To sneak onto the White House grounds for that rendezvous with an unnamed source last week, he switched cars and ditched aides, vanishing into the night.

But Senator Lindsey Graham looks at him and sees a different character. Graham said on the “Today” show on Tuesday that Nunes was bumbling his way though something of an “Inspector Clouseau investigation,” a reference to the fantastically inept protagonist of the “Pink Panther” comedies.

I salute Graham’s movie vocabulary. I quibble with his metaphor. While Clouseau was a benign fool, there’s nothing benign about Nunes’s foolishness.As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes, a California Republican, is a principal sleuth in the paramount inquiry into whether members of the Trump campaign were in cahoots with Russia, and from all appearances, he either doesn’t want to know the answer or has determined it already — in President Trump’s favor.”

Go Frank.

Read DOD report: 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap | TheHill

This is the source of the link to, which has the document available to download for a fee.

“The Pentagon is integrating climate change threats into all of its “plans, operations, and training” across the entire Defense Department, signaling a comprehensive attempt to tackle the impacts of global warming.In a 20-page report released on Monday, the Pentagon details its strategic blueprint to address climate change, calling it a “threat multiplier” that has the power to “exacerbate” many of the challenges the U.S. faces today, including “infectious diseases and terrorism.”Read DOD report: 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap”

Source: Read DOD report: 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap | TheHill