Monday, August 24, 2015

List of Anti Trump Conservative, Republican, National Review, and FOX Pundits Predicting and Hoping for Failure and Defeat of Trump Supporters

Cooke, Erickson, Goldberg, Hayes, Kristol, Krauthammer, Lowry, Luntz, Sabato, Will


Charles C. W. Cooke
(8/25/12)
Donald Trump Sounds Like a Drug-Addled Rock Star
Before his bombastic concert-in-the-park performance in Mobile, Donald Trump had come across chiefly as an amusing amateur whose total lack of basic political knowledge and essential reasoning ability had rendered him unwilling to do interviews that he could not phone in from the confines of his office. In Alabama, he broke out, transforming himself in the process into something else altogether. One part Alan Ginsberg, one part Jim Morrison, and one part Roderick Spode, Trump strode onto the Southern stage as might a troubled rock star. This, his insolent upper lip told the camera, was show time.
Attempting manfully to keep up with the spectacle, C-SPAN warned viewers bloodlessly that its closed-captioning system sometimes made mistakes and was therefore not to be trusted. One had to wonder how anybody could have known either way. Words, you see, are for losers. For the overrated. For the establishment. Real candidates leer and emote and strut back and forth.
At times resembling a man who hoped to discover whether methamphetamine or LSD served as the best accompaniment to a mostly whisky diet, Trump stood throughout his pageant in a cocksure fighting pose, breaking his stance only to turn around and bathe in the adulation. When he spoke, he did so as might a half-awake stranger at an underground poetry slam. His thoughts were meandering, irrational, and wholly self-contradictory; his grasp of reality left much to be desired; his aim was to offer up a firework-laden piece of self-serving performance art, aimed squarely at the unserious and the easily led. “I know how Billy Graham felt,” Trump preached before he launched into his quasi-hallucinogenic diatribe. Superficially, perhaps he does. But Graham, recall, was preaching about an external God.
Topics came and went like shooting stars. In the course of just under an hour, Trump took an irony-free shot at the stupid, complaining in mock-sorrow that “we have dummies, we have dummies, we have dummies!”; he explained earnestly why he would no longer be eating Oreos; he grew randomly angry with cyclists, and with a retired thoroughbred racehorse called “Secretariat.” He proposed a 35 percent tariff on goods from Mexico, before incongruously knocking China for its unfair import duties; argued that the presidential election should be held earlier so that he could win it; and supposed that constitutional amendments can be ignored at will. If the mood fell flat, he took to listing countries that the audience was expected to dislike, and to badgering the crowd about the brilliance of his book, which he compared to the Bible. Goo Goo G’joob, Mr. Kite.
His sentences, such as they were, invariably ended up in places that bore no relation whatsoever to their beginnings. His commitment to his sentiments, many of which appeared spontaneously, seemed to be driven in real-time by the crowd’s undulating, fickle, near-braying responses. In place of facts, he offered up falsehoods and wild generalizations, fading any details that he attempted to recall into vague “somethings” and “just abouts.” If, per Mark Twain, those who dislike the weather in New England need only “wait a few minutes” until it changes, so those who found themselves dissatisfied with Trump’s political positions needed only to exhibit a few moments’ patience before their preferences were indulged. In the early 1970s, a psychedelic David Bowie took to writing his lyrics by tearing up poetry, throwing the separated lines up in the air, and reassembling them at random after they had landed. If Trump is even possessed of a speechwriter, his address in Alabama left one wondering whether he had improved at all upon Bowie’s technique.Throughout, Trump made considerable hay of his not being a politician, to the point of boorish demagoguery. Given the scale of the dissatisfaction with Washington, D.C., one can understand why. One cannot, however, comprehend why his audience should not know better than to accept the ruse. In a cynical attempt to tap into latent unrest, Trump has set himself up not merely as another option, but as a veritable messiah who will bring salvation by sheer force of will, and who does therefore not have time to waste discussing details. As Alabama confirmed, it is not merely the case that Donald Trump is no politician; he’s not engaged in politics at all. In style, Trump’s shtick is akin to Barack Obama’s, pre-2009 — but, in the place of faux-moderation and ersatz Greek columns, he is offering mass public resentment and a kickass laser show.
All of which is to say that Donald Trump has matured in precisely the wrong direction, having moved from bumbling dilettante to Dunning-Kruger poster-boy in a single leap. Politics in a free republic consists of modesty, of compromise, and of dull perseverance. It is, by its very nature, the precise opposite of rock and roll. Self-described “conservatives” have historically prided themselves on their aversion to our gaudy celebrity culture and their disgust at the conflation of reality TV and the quotidian workings of the government. They should not abandon this virtuous instinct just because a rich and famous entertainer has donned an oversized hat and pandered to their prejudices for a summer. Not all stars that fall on Alabama should be given access to the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Let us leave Donald Trump to his trip.

 
Erik Erickson:
(8/7/2015)
I have tried to give a great deal of latitude to Donald Trump in his run for the Presidency.
He is not a professional politician and is known for being a blunt talker. He connects with so much of the anger in the Republican base and is not afraid to be outspoken on a lot of issues. But there are even lines blunt talkers and unprofessional politicians should not cross.
Decency is one of those lines.
As much as I do personally like Donald Trump, his comment about Megyn Kelly on CNN is a bridge too far for me.
In a CNN interview, Mr. Trump said of Megyn Kelly, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”
It was not the “blood coming out of her eyes” part that was the problem.
I think there is no way to otherwise interpret Mr. Trump’s comment. In an attempted clarification, Mr. Trump’s team tells me he meant “whatever”, not “where ever.”
The other day, we sent out the agenda for the RedState Gathering. The file had been saved with the “final” tag and the Washington sent it out. But it still had Governor Deal on the agenda and it did not have Donald Trump on it. Obviously, it wasn’t the final.
I called Mr. Trump’s campaign manager and apologized and told him I felt bad for Mr. Trump because he has gotten so much sh*t from so many people and the party itself wasn’t treating the guy at the front of the pack as legitimate.
I think that is true. And I’ve been very sympathetic to Donald Trump because so many of the people who have led the party astray refuse to even treat him as a legitimate candidate.
But I also think that while Mr. Trump resonates with a lot of people with his bluntness, including me to a degree, there are just real lines of decency a person running for President should not cross.
His comment was inappropriate. It is unfortunate to have to disinvite him. But I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong.
I have invited Megyn Kelly to attend in Donald Trump’s place tomorrow night.


Jonah Goldberg: 
(4/21/15)
Last week, up in New Hampshire, Steve was on a panel and referred to Donald Trump as a “clown.” In response, the famously tough businessman who boasts he can take on Putin, the Chinese Politburo, and the mullahs got very upset. And as any first-rate presidential aspirant would, started relentlessly tweeting like a 14-year-old girl about it...
Here’s me in 2011: Like the scorpion in Aesop’s fables who must sting the frog because that’s simply what scorpions do, the world renowned, self-promoting billionaire-clown must tout himself with passion and narcissistic self-regard. It was only a matter of time, for instance, before he came out with his own fragrance: Donald Trump Cologne by Donald Trump Eau De Toilettes. (You can find it on Amazon.com. One customer review is from a woman who discovered the scent as it wafted up from the stock boy at Toys R Us.)
But that’s not the smell that bothers me. It’s the stench of desperation coming up from those rallying around a Trump presidential bid. Still, that was four years ago and my most recent comment about Trump was four months ago. A bit tongue-in-cheek, I called him the “bane of humanity” and chastised the media, including some of my colleagues at Fox News, for taking him so seriously...
I guess Trump’s Olympian self-regard can lead him to never forget a slight, harbor grudges against critics for a very long time, and drive him to engage in childish name-calling late into the night, which are obviously some of the attributes we all look for in a presidential candidate.
A huge ego and a penchant for spite is totally the kind of guy we should entrust the nuclear football to. Still, I take this all very seriously...
Again, if Trump is a tenth as brilliant as he says he is, there’s a really clever scheme hiding amidst all of this juvenile whining, like a shiny pony obscured by piles of manure. The thing is, I’m too dumb to see it. All I see is a guy who’s been preening for attention with bogus talk about running for president for years who’s deeply offended that nobody believes him or cares anymore. Anyway, you can read all of his tweets here. It’s not exactly like reading Jefferson’s diary. If I didn’t find it all so hilarious, I’d think it was just a little sad.
(7/8/15) 
Poor Donald Trump. 
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. For years, wherever The Donald went, he met people who told him he should run for president. His retinue of sycophants surely saw little to gain from explaining that “birthers,” celebrity worshippers, and devotees of The Apprentice are not a statistically meaningful sample of the electorate.
Nor did it dawn on him that some people say “you should run for president” the way you tell your long-winded uncle “you should write a book.” History is full of failed men who mistook flattery for insight.
In the past, Trump always pulled back from the brink. Why risk his beloved TV show? Why endure the embarrassment of revealing he’s not as rich as he pretends to be? Better to play a Cincinnatus who won’t relinquish his plow — or in this case, his line of cologne. Flirt but don’t commit was the rule. 
But something changed. One too many Twitter followers said, “Do it!” One too many valets whispered, “America needs you” — probably just before asking for a raise. And Trump took the leap — though he hasn’t provided the required financial disclosures yet, which inclines me to think that either he will suddenly find an excuse to retreat or he has a team of accountants trying to figure out how he can simultaneously save face and avoid perjury.
In his announcement speech — the brevity and discipline of which were impressive only by the standards of Fidel Castro or Joe Biden — Trump shouted his certainty that Mexico is sending rapists and other criminals to America, but he could only “assume” (sotto voce) that “some” of those Mexicans are good people.
Many of my colleagues on the right have taken pains to logic-chop Trump’s remarks. And it is true that some number of rapists and drug dealers are illegally crossing the border. Others have defended Trump by noting that what people like about this Lonesome Rhodes in a $10,000 suit is his fearlessness, bluntly tackling issues that other politicians fear to touch. That is a fine point in an indictment of the professional political class, but it is not a defense of Trump.
His goal was to wave the rhetorical bloody shirt. It worked only too well, damaging a party he expresses contempt for daily.
Indeed, Trump’s commitment to the GOP has often been situational. Sure, he has put his money where his mouth is, but he’s as promiscuous with his mouth as he is with the Trump brand. He’s given money to Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, Andrew Cuomo, Eliot Spitzer, and the Clinton Foundation.
Asked to explain why, he said, “You’re gonna need things from everybody.” (One does wonder what Trump hoped to get from the Clinton Foundation.)
This attitude helps explain why Trump is such a fan of eminent domain. The man seeking the Tea Party’s support loves to use the government to seize private land he can’t — or doesn’t want to — buy fairly.
Given the fetid swamp of sanctioned corruption that passes for commerce in New York, it’s no wonder he sees nothing wrong with greasing the skids by funding liberal politicians. But one might expect a person who claims to be a conservative to at least pay some rhetorical tribute to virtue while admitting his vice. Alas, it is axiomatic that the shameless are incapable of exhibiting shame.The great irony is that the man who made his fortune playing the game of influence-peddling and celebrity-mongering forgot that the other players get a turn. Trump has lost his TV show. Macy’s will no longer carry his menswear. New York mayor Bill de Blasio, who governs like a banana-republic demagogue, has declared that he is reviewing Trump’s contracts with the city.
Meanwhile, too many of Trump’s GOP primary competitors, afraid of angering his fans, stand mute or mumbling. Republicans are fielding the best candidates in a generation, but Trump is poised to make them chumps by association. He has no chance of becoming president, but he has the huge potential to deny his alleged party a White House victory in 2016. And when that happens, he will of course stay a celebrity, but he will have traded his fame for infamy, even among those now cheering him on.


Stephen Hayes:
(7/18/15)
Trump is a complete and utter disgrace. An embarrassment to humanity.
(7/18/15)
Donald Trump confirmed two things during a stop in this central Iowa town Saturday: He has no class and he may well run as an independent when he does not win the Republican nomination.
There had been considerable public evidence of both long before his appearance here today at the Family Leader Summit but Trump, who is leading several national polls of the Republican primary, erased any doubt with comments he made about Senator John McCain and a prospective independent bid.
Trump was answering questions from Republican pollster Frank Luntz on stage when he declared that John McCain, who spent six years as a POW in Vietnam, was not a war hero. Trump went on to express his preference for soldiers who weren’t captured, suggesting a belief that prisoners of war have some say in their captivity. Luntz had asked Trump about his reaction to McCain’s comment that Trump had stirred up the “crazies” with his candidacy. When Trump attacked McCain, Luntz asked if Trump was comfortable with that kind of criticism of a war hero.
“He’s not a war hero,” said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” The comments clearly shocked the crowd at the summit, some of whom reacted with boos and shouts of condemnation.
McCain was shot down flying combat missions in Vietnam on October 26, 1967. He was taken captivity with a broken right leg and fractures in both arms. He was beaten and tortured repeatedly, in part because his father commanded the U.S. Navy in the Pacific.
At a testy press conference after his performance, and as the real-time scorn for his comments dominated Twitter, Trump doubled-down. He pretended that his criticism came because McCain “has not done enough for veterans in this country…I see the veterans. I’m with the veterans all the time. Some of these people wait four or five days just to see a doctor.”
Of course, if Trump had even passing knowledge of the current controversy over care for U.S. veterans, he would understand that some veterans wait literally months before seeing a doctor – not just four or five days. But fact-checking Donald Trump is like picking up after a dog with diarrhea; there’s just not much point.
I asked Trump if he was blaming John McCain for his capture, as his comments implied. “I am saying John McCain has not done a good job,” Trump responded, dodging the question.
When I repeated the question, Trump said: “I am not blaming John McCain for his capture. If he gets captured, he gets captured.”
“Why would you say you like people who don’t get captured?”
Trump: “The people that don’t get captured I’m not supposed to like? I like the people who don’t get captured and I respect the people who do get captured.”
Why would you say that in the context of John McCain: “Excuse me, excuse me. I like the people that don’t get – you have many people that didn’t get captured. I respect them greatly. You’ve got people that got captured. I respect them greatly also. Why – I’m not supposed to respect the people that don’t get captured?
Are you suggesting that John McCain did something to lead to his capture?
Trump: “Of course not.”
Why would you say what you said?
At that point, Trump turned and answered a question about China.
Later, I asked Trump if he would apologize to McCain. “No, not at all.”
And after that, I asked Trump if he had ever read any accounts of McCain’s time in captivity before he suggested McCain is not a war hero.
“It’s irrelevant.”
For those who find it relevant, McCain wrote about his experience in 1973...
Mark Salter, McCain’s former chief of staff who co-wrote several of McCain’s book on his service and the service of others, posted on his Facebook page shortly after Trump’s comments. “Is this a great country or what. Even morons can get rich here.”
Several Republican candidates denounced Trump in campaign appearances or on Twitter...  
RNC spokesman Sean Spicer, in a statement, said: “There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably."
Idiotic statements are nothing new to Trump, who called George W. Bush "evil," who has long advanced birther conspiracies about Barack Obama, and who used his announcement speech to suggest that Mexican illegal immigrants are “rapists.” 
Later in his appearance here, Trump was asked directly by an audience member whether he would rule out running as a third party candidate for president. “No, no,” Trump said. “I won’t go on record as saying that.”
It’s a comment that should surprise nobody, since Trump first flirted with politics as a potential candidate for the Reform Party’s nomination in 1999. Despite his announcement, Trump is not a candidate so much as a carnival barker on an extended ego ride. And if he runs as a third party candidate, he could well deliver the White House to Hillary Clinton – a past recipient of Trump praise and campaign contributions.
During his speech Trump was asked about Senator McCain's comment calling Trump supporters crazy, with Trump in return saying McCain insulted him.After a series of other reporters asked Trump questions about his feud with McCain, Hayes asked Trump: “You said John McCain—you said you like people who didn’t get captured…”“No, no I do like people who get captured and I like people who don’t get captured—“ Trump started to respond before Hayes cut him off.
“Are you blaming McCain for his capture?” Hayes interrupted.
“I am saying that John McCain has not done a good job—“ Trump began to answer again before Hayes cut him off again.
“No that’s not what you said,” Hayes interrupted. “That’s not my question. Are you blaming John McCain for his capture?”
“I’m not blaming John McCain—“ Trump began to answer before Hayes cut him off again.
“Why would you say—“
“Excuse me,” Trump continued his answer. “If he gets captured, he gets captured. They’re brave men because they were in the field.”
Hayes, still unsatisfied, cut Trump off again.
“You said you like people who don’t get captured—it’s a simple question,” Hayes said.
“I do like people—what? The people who don’t get captured, I’m not supposed to like?” Trump said. “I like people that don’t get captured and I respect the people who do get captured.”
Hayes interrupted yet again.
“Why would you say that in the context of John McCain?” Hayes asked, speaking over Trump.
“Excuse me, excuse me,” Trump started answering again. “I like the people that don’t get captured. You have many people that didn’t get captured. They’re great. You have people that did get captured. I respect them greatly also. What, I’m not supposed to respect the people that didn’t get captured?”
Hayes, still unsatisfied, interrupted again.
“Are you suggesting that John McCain did something to lead to his capture?” Hayes asked.
“Of course not,” Trump replied before Hayes cut him off another time.
“Why would you say what you said?” Hayes asked again.
“Go back to being a pundit,” Trump replied.
This isn’t the first time Hayes and Trump had a hot exchange. In a previous appearance in April, Hayes called Trump a “conservative of convenience” and a “clown.”
(8/6/15)
Trump was a clown-show.
(8/10/15)
Trump isn’t a departure from politics-as-usual; he's a mutant, exaggerated version of it.


Charles Krauthammer:
(6/17/15)
Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer during an appearance on the Fox News show "Special Report with Bret Baier” said Trump’s announcement showed “great showmanship” but little else.
"Look, this is a campaign that’s run on know-nothing xenophobia,” Krauthammer said. “It will damage the party,”
During his Fox appearance, Krauthammer used the opportunity of Trump's announcement speech earlier in the day to hammer the Donald.
“It was stream of consciousness,” Krauthammer said. “I think his single most important statement was ‘I am very rich.’ That’s the basis for the campaign.”
Krauthammer criticized Trump for his outlook on Mexico.
“But you know, look, you say, can you take him seriously? Can you really take seriously a candidate who says ‘Mexico is not our friend? It’s sending us immigrants who are criminals, drug dealers, and rapists. Although’ — and this is my favorite part — he says quote ‘Some I assume are good people.’”
Host Doug McKelway, filling in for Baier, commented on Trump’s ego and asked whether they saw contradictions in Trump’s speech.
“The contradictions were flying around that room every second,” Krauthammer responded.
Krauthammer did concede Trump had one redeeming characteristic: “He is very rich.”
(8/21/15)
“This was not a subject that was on anybody’s mind until I brought it up at my announcement.”
-Donald Trump, on immigration, Republican debate, Aug. 6
WASHINGTON — Not on anyone’s mind? For years, immigration has been the subject of near-constant, often bitter argument within the GOP. But it is true that Trump has brought the debate to a new place — first, with his announcement speech, about whether Mexican migrants are really rapists, and now with the somewhat more nuanced Trump plan.
Much of it — visa tracking, E-Verify, withholding funds from sanctuary cities — predates Trump. Even building the Great Wall is not particularly new. (I, for one, have been advocating that in this space since 2006.) Dominating the discussion, however, are his two policy innovations: (a) abolition of birthright citizenship and (b) mass deportation.
Birthright citizenship.
If you are born in the United States, you are an American citizen. So says the 14th Amendment. Barring some esoteric and radically new jurisprudence, abolition would require amending the Constitution. Which would take years and great political effort. And make the GOP anathema to Hispanic-Americans for a generation.
And for what? Birthright citizenship is a symptom, not a cause. If you regain control of the border, the number of birthright babies fades to insignificance. The time and energy it would take to amend the Constitution are far more usefully deployed securing the border.
Moreover, the real issue is not the birthright babies themselves, but the chain migration that follows. It turns one baby into an imported village.
Chain migration, however, is not a constitutional right. It’s a result of statutes and regulations. These can be changed. That should be the focus.
Mass deportation.
Last Sunday, Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd that all illegal immigrants must leave the country. Although once they’ve been kicked out, we will let “the good ones” back in.
On its own terms, this is crackpot. Wouldn’t you save a lot just on Mayflower moving costs if you chose the “good ones” first — before sending SWAT teams to turf families out of their homes, loading them on buses and dumping them on the other side of the Rio Grande?
Less frivolously, it is estimated by the conservative American Action Forum that mass deportation would take about 20 years and cost about $500 billion for all the police, judges, lawyers and enforcement agents — and bus drivers! — needed to expel 11 million people.
This would all be merely ridiculous if it weren’t morally obscene. Forcibly evict 11 million people from their homes? It can’t happen. It shouldn’t happen. And, of course, it won’t ever happen. But because it’s the view of the Republican front-runner, every other candidate is now required to react. So instead of debating border security, guest-worker programs and sanctuary cities — where Republicans are on firm moral and political ground — they are forced into a debate about a repulsive fantasy.
Which, for the Republican Party, is also political poison. Mitt Romney lost the Hispanic vote by 44 points and he was advocating only self-deportation. Now the party is discussing forced deportation.
It is not just Hispanics who will be alienated. Romney lost the Asian vote, too. By 47 points. And many non-minorities will be offended by the idea of rounding up 11 million people, the vast majority of whom are law-abiding members of their communities.
Donald Trump has every right to advance his ideas. I strongly oppose the idea of ostracizing anyone from the GOP or the conservative movement.
But that is not to say that he should be exempt from normal scrutiny or from consideration of the effect of his candidacy on conservatism’s future. If you are a conservative alarmed at the country’s direction and committed to retaking the White House, you should be concerned about what Trump’s ascendancy is doing to the chances of that happening.
The Democrats’ presumptive candidate is flailing badly. Republicans have an unusually talented field with a good chance of winning back the presidency. Do they really want to be dragged into the swamps — right now, on immigration — that will make that prospect electorally impossible?
Yes, I understand. The anger, the frustration, etc., etc., that Trump is channeling. But how are these alleviated by yelling “I’m mad as hell” — and proceeding to elect Hillary Clinton?


Bill Kristol:
(7/20/15)
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS : And, Bill Kristol, I think it was just yesterday you did a brief interview with ABC News, calling him older, wiser, richer Donald Trump would be better than Hillary.
Still think that?
BILL KRISTOL, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": I think he's still older and richer than Hillary Clinton.
Though if she gives a few more speeches maybe she'll catch up. But, no, I don't think that anymore actually. I think it's one thing, he was a controversial character who said some useful things, I think, and brought some people into the Republican tent. But he jumped the shark yesterday. He's dead to me.
He said to me -- no, seriously --
RADDATZ: -- to you --
KRISTOL: -- yes, seriously, no. I mean, he insulted every veteran, every -- certainly every veteran who's a POW, which is -- with these insane statements about how it's your fault that you're captured or shot down. And with total lack of respect for not just John McCain -- that I think other people made this point, Jim Webb, made this point -- for other people's military service and sacrifice.
So I'm finished with Donald Trump. And I don’t think it's going to -- he'll -- and I don't think -- I don't think he'll stay up in the polls, incidentally. Republican primary voters are pro-respect the military. And he showed disrespect for the military.


Rich Lowry
(8/26/15)
The rise of Donald Trump is, in part, a function of a vacuum.
He is thriving in a Republican field that is large, talented and, so far, underwhelming. There’s 17 candidates and nothing on. Except Donald Trump.
Now, this has much to do with the media, and with Trump’s unique qualities as a showman. He has the advantage of not caring, about anything apparently — the facts, his reputation, or, ultimately, winning the presidency. In consequence, he is a free man.
The Jorge Ramos incident was Trump in microcosm. He did what no other Republican politician could get away with (having a security guy manhandle a Latino reporter) and displayed a cavalier disregard for reality by denying he was having Ramos removed, even as he had him removed. But the episode was mesmerizing, and Trump — in his madcap way — was commanding in how he handled it.
If any other candidate had done that or something similar, it would have been a signature event of his campaign, but for Trump it was just another day on the trail, to be eclipsed by some other memorable event tomorrow.
Trump has at least half a dozen such indelible moments — his bizarre announcement, the John McCain diss, the Lindsey Graham cellphone, the Megyn Kelly fight (x2), the Mobile rally — when the rest of the field has almost none. No speech, no policy proposal, no argument, nothing from the other candidates has come close to capturing the imagination of voters, giving Trump the space to loom all the larger.
The weakness starts at the top, or what was supposed to be the top. In the normal course of things, the establishment front-runner provides coherence to the field. Hence, the expectation that the field would have Jeb Bush and a not-Bush, or maybe two. For the moment, this assumption has collapsed, as the current shape of the field is Trump and everyone else.
This is quite the comedown for Bush. His “shock and awe” has turned into getting sand kicked on him at the beach by a loudmouth and bully. It’s not just that Bush is trailing Trump badly in the polls; he has acceded to the terms of the debate being set by the mogul. It wasn’t long ago that Bush swore off talking about Trump, as basically beneath him. Now, he is sniping with him daily.
Before he got in the race, Bush spoke of only wanting to do it if he could run joyfully. Little did he know that he would be joyously grappling with an ill-informed blowhard who takes it as his daily obligation to insult Bush and trample on the pieties he holds dear.
In the argument with Trump over mass deportation, clearly Bush is right. But the split screen with Trump doesn’t necessarily do him any favors. Trump is such a forceful communicator that he comes off as some sort of throwback alpha male, whereas Bush is such an earnest wonk he looks and sounds like a sensitive dad from a contemporary sitcom. It’s like watching a WWE wrestler get a stern talking to from Ned Flanders.
Bush is not a natural performer to begin with (he struggles with set speeches), and he believes his contribution to the race is to be the nonthreatening Republican, which is often indistinguishable from the uninteresting Republican. So while Bush has methodically built the superstructure of an impressive campaign — with fundraising, organization and policy proposals — he has so far barely warmed up an ember among voters.
Scott Walker, in contrast, had a surge early in the campaign. It dissipated over time when his limited preparation on national issues didn’t match his outsized early press exposure. A so-so debate performance and the rise of Trump have continued his long fade to middle of the pack in the latest early state polling (tied for fourth in New Hampshire and tied for seventh in South Carolina).
Walker’s ability to appeal to both the establishment and activist wings of the party had looked like a strength, but now it seems a precarious balancing act, made all the more difficult by a panicky reaction to Trump.
No sooner had Walker pronounced himself “aggressively normal” in the debate than he seemed to opt for just “aggressive” in an attempt to play to the passions tapped by Trump. Who could have predicted that the Midwestern candidate who tells stories about buying shirts for $1 at Kohl’s would have to play populist catch-up with the New York billionaire who travels by eponymous helicopter?
Walker had already changed his mind about immigration, shifting from support for a “comprehensive” approach to strong opposition to amnesty. Trump has pushed him further, and Walker has gotten tangled up on the issue of birthright citizenship.
At the Iowa State Fair, he seemed at one point to say that he was opposed to it. Then, he told John Harwood of CNBC he wouldn’t take a position on it. Finally, on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” he danced around a question on the 14th Amendment before saying that anything that goes beyond simply enforcing our immigration laws is a red herring.
Earlier this week, Walker blasted President Barack Obama for hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping for a state visit, even though as governor he had been friendly to China and obligingly wore a Chinese-American flag pin in an appearance on Chinese state TV.
It’s one thing to play to the mood of voters; it’s another to give the appearance of not quite knowing who you are, which is much more deadly than an August dip in the polls.
As for Marco Rubio, for whom expectations have been so high, he has been the least reactive to Trump. His campaign is still betting on the long game. It believes his natural talent will tell over time, but he doesn’t have a natural geographic or ideological base, and his 21st-century economic agenda — although thoughtful — is not likely to stoke enthusiasm among primary voters.
Ted Cruz may be benefiting most from the Trump surge in his strategic positioning. He has a cogent theory of the case, which is that if he is nice to Trump — and the other outsider candidates — he eventually can inherent his supporters. This makes intuitive sense, although Cruz — exceedingly careful in crafting his words and in calculating his interest — is hardly a natural anti-politician.
It is still August, of course. The rules of gravity say Trump will come back down to earth. The media interest that is so intense now could burn out. His lack of seriousness should be a drag over time, and he will still have to weather more debates and presumably — should he stay strong — a barrage of negative ads.
Even if he fades, though, someone else will have to fill the screen. To this point, No one else has been big or vivid enough to do it.


Frank Luntz:
(8/7/15)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump may have outscored his fellow candidates in talk-time during Thursday night's GOP primary debate, but Republican strategist and CBS News contributor Frank Luntz said he saw the "destruction of a candidacy."
"Trump was the number one person walking into that debate. Almost all of his supporters (of the focus group) abandoned him because of what he said," Luntz said Friday on "CBS This Morning."
Trump's stand-out remarks included his response to Fox News host and debate moderator Megyn Kelly about comments he's made in reference to women as "fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals" and his insistence to not necessarily support another Republican if he doesn't become the GOP's nominee.
"When you're talking about a Republican presidential nomination, when these people want to defeat Hillary Clinton, that's not the language, that's not the strategy, that's just not what they want to hear," Luntz said.
Luntz gathered a group of Ohioans to watch the debate and used dials to register whether they liked or disliked what they were hearing.
"Make no mistakes, his popularity may even go up slightly, but the negativity around him -- because in the end you still have to be liked by the majority of Republicans to get the nomination," Luntz said.
The group of 13 men and 10 women was split between moderate and conservative Republicans and as expected, Trump made an impression.
"Remember this audience is a Republican audience and they are reacting to Republican language, Republican rhetoric, from Republican candidates, so you take a shot at Rosie O'Donnell, they like it, and they hate political correctness," Luntz said.
After the debate, Trump sent out several tweets, bashing Kelly and Luntz himself.
"I've been called a lot of things in my life but I've never been called a clown and those focus groups are accurate," Luntz said.
(8/18/15)
Donald Trump’s feud with GOP pollster Frank Luntz escalated Monday – with Trump calling on Fox News to fire Luntz from overseeing its post-debate focus groups, and Luntz launching a profanity-laden tirade to describe the real estate showman turned renegade presidential candidate.
In an interview with POLITICO, Luntz said Trump — and Democratic presidential insurgent Bernie Sanders — are “delivering a big ‘f—- you’ to the elites in America.
“And that resonates on both sides,” Luntz said. “But ‘f—- you’ doesn’t solve anything. ‘F—- you’ doesn’t make life any better. ‘F—- you’ makes you feel good, but it doesn’t get you where you need to go. ‘F—- you’ doesn’t make America strong. ‘F—- you’ doesn’t solve anything.”
Trump responded by accusing Luntz of harboring a long-held vendetta because Trump refused to do business with Luntz’s polling firm.
“I caught him cold,” Trump told POLITICO. “And frankly, if I was [Fox News President] Roger Ailes, I’d fire that guy so fast for what he did that his head would spin.”
Monday’s war of words, another chapter in a series of Trump vs. Luntz moments, was touched off when POLITICO asked Luntz about private comments that seem to call into question his objectivity as the man who facilitates the focus groups that appear on Fox News.
Luntz has insisted in an interview with Business Insider he has nothing against Trump and is only interested in accurately assessing the race.
But sources told POLITICO that, in the days before the Aug. 6 Fox News presidential debate where a Luntz-run focus group panned Trump’s performance, the pollster told a closed-door gathering of major conservative donors in Southern California that Trump was dangerous to Republicans and was “turning what we believe into a joke.”
People present at the gathering, which was organized by the political network helmed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, said Luntz argued that Trump is not a true conservative, but is “addicted” to the limelight and is likely to become increasingly enticed by the prospect of launching a third party presidential bid the longer he stays in the race.
Asked Monday about his private comments in Southern California, Luntz declined to directly address what he said at the donor confab, though he did not back away from the substance of his critique.
Luntz said people often “hear half of the comments or they hear what they want to hear and they get it wrong,” but he also called out Trump for stoking voters’ anger, without giving proper solutions.
“There’s something happening out there that is profound, but you gotta be careful; when you tap into it you better have a way to direct it. Trump has tapped into it. Bernie Sanders has tapped into it and they’re doing well, but you’re tapping into fire — that’s how hot the anger is,” Luntz said. “We are in a dangerous political environment that requires a higher standard for the candidates running. It requires them not just to stoke the anger, it’s already there. It requires them to provide the balm of solutions.”
That sentiment echoes Luntz’s presentation at the Koch donor conference. During a discussion called “Winning Messages,” he showed video clips of instances in which he said Trump had successfully connected with voters by tapping into their frustrations, according to multiple sources familiar with the meeting.
Three days after the session, Fox News hosted the first GOP presidential debate, followed immediately by a focus group conducted by Luntz, the members of which roundly criticized Trump’s performance as “angry,” repulsive and “bombastic.”
Trump responded by branding the focus group a “dumb panel” and calling Luntz “a low-class slob” and “a clown” and suggesting his polling is shaped by his failure to win polling work from Trump.
“[Luntz is] a clown. He’s got absolutely no talent whatsoever. He came to my office looking for money. He wanted to represent me in a corporate capacity which I had no interest in whatsover. The last thing I need is focus groups from Frank Luntz who can’t get himself arrested,” Trump said. “When I had no interest in hiring him, he went on to do some negative focus groups on television and frankly, he shouldn’t be working for Fox because he’s a total conflict of interest.”
Fox News did not return requests for comment.
Luntz has denied the allegation, telling Business Insider “You’ve got to understand that I don’t care who wins and loses — I only care that I’m accurate.” Luntz also said that he did meet with Trump, but that it was Trump who approached him first at an event in New Hampshire.
And Luntz specifically defended the objectivity of his focus groups on Monday, pointing to his résumé.
“You’ll have to ask CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, MSNBC, Fox and the BBC — all of them have televised my focus groups. Or President Obama or Vice President Biden — they’ve actually spoken to my focus groups,” he told POLITICO. “Or the dozens of Fortune 500 CEOs who have paid for them. Or POLITICO’s own reporters who have attended them and written about the results for your readers. In each case, they may not always like or agree with what they hear, but they know they need to hear it,” Luntz said.
Luntz did say Trump is dangerous to the Republican Party, because of the possibility he’d run as a third party candidate.
“Trump draws from a lot more Republicans than he does Democrats. And he draws from a group that is not partisan. It leans Republican but it’s not partisan and these are not guaranteed GOP voters if he’s angry and they are angry. So the GOP has to take his candidacy seriously. But even more importantly, they have to take his voters seriously and I don’t think they are doing that as well as they could be,” Luntz said.
When asked if Trump needed to be a more serious candidate, Luntz said to win an election, no, but to be a statesman, yes.
“This is not a game. It’s not a joke. And all these candidates have to take what they say seriously,” Luntz said.
Luntz’s tangles with Trump have helped shape the billionaire real estate developer’s presidential campaign, starting with a run-in at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa last month.
In an on-stage interview conducted by Luntz at the event, Trump lit into another of his foils, Arizona Sen. John McCain, for whom Trump said he had little affection “because I don’t like losers.”
Luntz interjected “But he’s a war hero!” to which Trump replied “He’s not a war hero … He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK? I hate to tell you. He’s a war hero because he was captured, OK? And I believe — perhaps he’s a war hero. But right now, he’s said some very bad things about a lot of people.”
The comment, which shocked the political and media worlds, drew nearly universal condemnation from Republicans and seemed to threaten Trump’s surprising rise. But it barely dented his poll numbers.
The McCain comments — combined with other intemperate remarks — have soured top conservative donors and officials on Trump, and there was little love for him at the Koch conference where Luntz panned him.
During the “Winning Messages” session, Luntz asked how many donors supported Trump’s campaign, and when no hands were raised, Luntz suggested he was not at all surprised, according to a donor who was present.
In a subsequent session later that day, Luntz conducted an informal applause poll of the donors, which revealed no support among the group for Trump or rival candidates Chris Christie, George Pataki or Lindsey Graham. The Koch network has refused Trump access to its vaunted data services and its events, and he taunted the candidates who made the trip to the donor conference, suggesting they were “puppets.”
But one conference attendee suggested that Luntz’s focus on Trump was not shared by any of the candidates, donors or operatives in attendance.
“Any thought that there was a bunch of restless attention about Trump is not accurate,” the attendee said. “That was just Frank’s opinion. It was only a reflection of him.”


Larry Sabato:
(7/21/15) 
Political analyst Larry Sabato said Tuesday he has one word for a potential Donald Trump presidency: "disaster."
"He would not really be able to govern because of his bombastic style," said Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, on CNN's "Newsroom with Carol Costello" program. "He's a billionaire. He's used to calling the shots."
The problem with that, Sabato said, is that the president of the United States "must work with members of Congress, must work with governors."
But, he told Costello, it's not possible to know exactly what kind of president Trump would made based on the positions he's taken so far, "because hasn't really taken that many."
"He stressed that he's opposed to illegal immigration," Sabato said. "He's pro veterans. He's against ISIS. Well, what president wouldn't be against ISIS and for veterans?"
When it comes to a president, said Sabato, "you have to look at style. You have to look at personality. Because those things really matter in the most personal office of all, the presidency."
But Sabato said he doesn't agree with a conclusion reached by The Des Moines Register, which featured an editorial asking for Trump to drop out of the race.
In the piece, the newspaper contended that "being electable isn't the same as being qualified, and Trump as proven himself not only unfit to hold office, but unfit to stand on the same stage as his opponents."
"I think they're wrong there about him being electable," Sabato said. "And if the Des Moines register attacks a Republican, it generally helps that Republican. They're a liberal and Democratic newspaper. Or at least they're seen that way by conservative Republicans in Iowa."
Sabato reminded Costello that during Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign, she was leading at one point in the polls in 2011, up against GOP candidates that included Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and John McCain.
"This is a message sending season," Sabato said. "It's the Trump summer. When people get close to voting, they'll get serious, because both of our major parties want to win. If Trump were nominated, it would be a landslide in the Democratic direction. Trump is probably the best and only chance to bring back Congress."
Meanwhile, Sabato said that Trump will most likely be in the Fox News debate on Aug. 6, and in the CNN debate in September, but expects him to start dropping after that.
"The first real votes are cast Feb. 1 in the Iowa caucuses," he said. "Feb. 1. It's [now] July. Think about how many days — no, how many hours, how many minutes there are for Donald Trump to say more outrageous things between now and then."


George Will:
(4/20/15)
... and $1 on Donald Trump in the hope that he will be tempted to run, be predictably shellacked, and we will be spared ever more this quadrennial charade of his.
(8/12/15) 
Donald Trump is a counterfeit Republican:
In every town large enough to have two traffic lights there is a bar at the back of which sits the local Donald Trump, nursing his fifth beer and innumerable delusions.
Because the actual Donald Trump is wealthy, he can turn himself into an unprecedentedly and incorrigibly vulgar presidential candidate. It is his right to use his riches as he pleases. His squalid performance and its coarsening of civic life are costs of freedom that an open society must be prepared to pay.
When, however, Trump decided that his next acquisition would be not another casino but the Republican presidential nomination, he tactically and quickly underwent many conversions of convenience (concerning abortion, health care, funding Democrats, etc.).
His makeover demonstrates that he is a counterfeit Republican and no conservative.
He is an affront to anyone devoted to the project William F. Buckley began six decades ago with the founding in 1955 of National Review — making conservatism intellectually respectable and politically palatable. Buckley's legacy is being betrayed by invertebrate conservatives now saying that although Trump "goes too far," he has "tapped into something," and therefore ....
Therefore what? This stance — if a semi-grovel can be dignified as a stance — is a recipe for deserved disaster. Remember, Henry Wallace and Strom Thurmond "tapped into" things.
In 1948, Wallace, FDR's former vice president, ran as a third-party candidate opposing Harry Truman's re-election. His campaign became a vehicle for, among others, communists and fellow travelers opposed to Truman's anti-Soviet foreign policy. Truman persevered, leaders of organized labor cleansed their movement of Soviet sympathizers, and Truman was re-elected.
He won also in spite of South Carolina's Democratic Gov. Thurmond siphoning off Democratic votes (and 39 electoral votes) as a Dixiecrat protesting civil rights commitments in the Democratic Party's platform. Truman won because he kept his party and himself from seeming incoherent and boneless.
Conservatives who flinch from forthrightly marginalizing Trump mistakenly fear alienating a substantial Republican cohort. But the assumption that today's Trumpites are Republicans is unsubstantiated and implausible.
Many are no doubt lightly attached to the political process, preferring entertainment to affiliation. They relish in their candidate's vituperation and share his aversion to facts. From what GOP faction might Trumpites come? The establishment? Social conservatives? Unlikely.
They certainly are not tea partyers, those earnest, issue-oriented, book-club organizing activists who are passionate about policy. Trump's aversion to reality was displayed during the Cleveland debate when Chris Wallace asked him for "evidence" to support his claim that Mexico's government is sending rapists and drug dealers to America. Trump, as usual, offered apoplexy as an argument.
(8/26/15)
Every sulfurous belch from the molten interior of the volcanic Trump phenomenon injures the chances of a Republican presidency. After Donald Trump finishes plastering a snarling face on conservatism, any Republican nominee will face a dauntingly steep climb to reach even the paltry numbers that doomed Mitt Romney.
It is perhaps quixotic to try to distract Trump’s supporters with facts, which their leader, who is no stickler for dignity, considers beneath him. Still, consider these:
The white percentage of the electorate has been shrinking for decades and will be about two points smaller in 2016 than in 2012. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first president elected while losing the white vote by double digits. In 2012, Hispanics, the nation’s largest minority, were for the first time a double-digit (10 percent) portion of the electorate. White voters were nearly 90 percent of Romney’s vote. In 1988, George H.W. Bush won 59 percent of the white vote, which translated into 426 electoral votes. Twenty-four years later, Romney won 59 percent of the white vote and just 206 electoral votes. He lost the nonwhite vote by 63 points, receiving just 17 percent of it. If the Republicans’ 2016 nominee does not do better than Romney did among non-white voters, he will need 65 percent of the white vote, which was last achieved by Ronald Reagan when carrying 49 states in 1984. Romney did even slightly worse among Asian Americans — the fastest-growing minority — than among Hispanics. Evidently minorities generally detected Republican ambivalence, even animus about them. This was before Trump began receiving rapturous receptions because he obliterates inhibitions about venting hostility.
Trump is indifferent to those conservative tenets (e.g., frugality: He welcomed Obama’s stimulus) to which he is not hostile (e.g., property rights: He adored the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision vastly expanding government’s power of eminent domain). So, Trump’s appeal must derive primarily from his views about immigration. Including legal immigration, concerning which he favors a “pause” of unspecified duration.
Some supporters simply find Trump entertainingly naughty. Others, however, have remarkable cognitive dissonance. They properly execrate Obama’s executive highhandedness that expresses progressivism’s traditional disdain for the separation of powers that often makes government action difficult. But these same Trumpkins simultaneously despise GOP congressional leaders because they do not somehow jettison the separation of powers and work conservatism’s unimpeded will from Capitol Hill.
For conservatives, this is the dispiriting irony: The administrative state’s intrusiveness (e.g., its regulatory burdens), irrationalities (e.g., the tax code’s toll on economic growth), incompetence (Amtrak, ethanol, etc.) and illegality (we see you, IRS) may benefit the principal architect of this state, the Democratic party. This is because the other party’s talented critics of the administrative state are being drowned out by Trump’s recent discovery that Americans understandably disgusted by government can be beguiled by a summons to Caesarism.
Trump, who uses the first-person singular pronoun even more than the previous world-record holder (Obama), promises that constitutional arrangements need be no impediment to the leader’s savvy, “management” brilliance, and iron will. Trump supporters consider the presidency today an entry-level job because he is available to turn government into a triumph of the leader’s will.
This is hardly the first time we have heard America singing lyrics like those of Trump’s curdled populism. Alabama Democrat George Wallace four times ran for president with salvos against Washington’s “briefcase totin’ bureaucrats who can’t even park their bicycles straight.” What is new is Trump promising, in the name of strength, to put America into a defensive crouch against “cunning” Mexicans and others.
Republicans are the party of growth or they are superfluous. The other party relishes allocating scarcities — full employment for the administrative state.
Trump assumes a zero-sum society, where one person’s job is another’s loss. Hence his rage against other nations’ “stealing” jobs — “our” jobs.In 2011, when Trump was a voluble “birther” — you remember: Obama supposedly was not born in America, hence he is an illegitimate president — an interviewer asked if he had people “searching in Hawaii” for facts. “Absolutely,” Trump said. “They can’t believe what they’re finding.” Trump reticence is rare, but he has never shared those findings. He now says, in effect: Oh, never mind. If in November 2016, the fragments of an ever smaller and more homogenous GOP might be picked up with tweezers, Trump, having taken his act elsewhere, will look back over his shoulder at the wreckage he wrought and say: Oh, never mind.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Global Warming articles that sound insane

[Articles: Time is Running Out, Generation Hot, Lake Erie 2050, End of Snow, Work Less to Save the Planet, Security Threat (Arctic Ice Free by 2013)...]

UN scientists warn time is running out to tackle global warming:
UK Guardian, May 4, 2007, David Adam

-Scientists say eight years left to avoid worst effects
-Panel urges governments to act immediately
Governments are running out of time to address climate change and to avoid the worst effects of rising temperatures, an influential UN panel warned yesterday [5/3/2007].
Greater energy efficiency, renewable electricity sources and new technology to dump carbon dioxide underground can all help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the experts said. But there could be as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C or more [3.6F+].
The warning came in a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published yesterday in Bangkok. It says most of the technology needed to stop climate change in its tracks already exists, but that governments must act quickly to force through changes across all sectors of society. Delays will make the problem more difficult, and more expensive.
Rajendra Pachauri, who chairs the IPCC, said the report would underpin negotiations to develop a new international treaty to regulate emissions to replace the Kyoto protocol when it expires in 2012...


Generation Hot by Mark Hertsgaard:

On April 17, 2011 The Buffalo News published this article warning about the danger of denying global warming...
[On April 17 Buffalo, NY recorded 0.14" of snowfall]
Here are some excerpts from this story:
Every child on Earth born after June 23, 1988 belongs to what I call Generation Hot.
Recently, I went to Capitol Hill with members of Generation Hot...
We wanted to know why my daughter and the other 2 billion members of Generation Hot have to suffer because Republicans in Congress refuse to accept [that] Man-made climate change is happening now and is extremely dangerous.
It is not a matter of political partisanship but journalistic accuracy that compels me to report that the vast majority of climate cranks on Capitol Hill are Republicans.
The youths of Generation Hot have been condemned to spend the rest of their lives coping with harsher heat waves...
Probably the most far-sighted government official on these matters in the United States is Ron Sims.... a Democrat with a strong commitment to social justice.
...solutions will not matter much if we do not break the climate deniers' hold over US government policy... I see how fiercely the young people of Generation Hot are willing to fight.
[Buffalo weather the next day: High temperature of 35 (20 degrees below normal) low temperature of 31 with 0.70" of snowfall recorded]


Global Warming, Lake Erie, The Buffalo News, Jerry Zremski, August 8, 2002
[Editor's note: This article helped cure me of the Global Warming hysteria I was afflicted with since the 1980's.] 

Imagine the Buffalo summer in 2050. It's hot the way summers used to be hot in the Maryland panhandle, before it got hotter there, too. 

Broad sandy beaches line Lake Erie. Bathers enjoy this new weather extreme as if it were an antidote to Buffalo's other new weather extreme: a big increase in precipitation, sometimes in the form of blizzards, but mostly rain.

One thing is missing from this lakeside scene: the ships. They disappeared as the beaches appeared, driven out of business by the new low water levels. 

These new hot summers are imperfect in other ways, too.
Shallower water means pollutants are more concentrated, wreaking havoc for local water authorities. 

The Niagara flows so slowly now that the river's great hydropower project is a historic relic. 

And the woods to the south and the east of the city aren't what they once were since the maple trees started dying off. 

Welcome to Western New York in the age of global warming. In some ways it's oddly reminiscent of 2001 and 2002. 

Just like then, winters pack an early wallop, and summers range from sultry to stifling. 

In other words, the Buffalo of your children's future is likely to be very different than the one you know, the Buffalo of consistent but not crazy lake effect snow, the Buffalo of soft summer breezes and radiant fall colors. 

Of course, that future scenario is just that - a projection of what very well could happen if the scientific models prove to be true. If they do, global warming will remake Western New York. 

"It's going to affect everything," said Rich Thomas, chief of water management at the Army Corps of Engineers in Buffalo, where the impact of climate change is a growing concern. 

Those concerns reflect a dramatic change in the global warming debate. A decade ago, the question was whether "greenhouse gases" - the kind that spew out of your car and into the atmosphere - are increasing temperatures across the globe. 

Yet after the warmest decade in recorded history, most scientists regard global warming as a reality, though there's still a political debate about what ought to be done about it. 

In fact, after the Environmental Protection Agency recently produced a report spelling out dire consequences, President Bush dismissed it as the product of "bureaucrats" and defended his own plan to limit the increases in greenhouse gases rather than cut their output. 

Those bureaucrats predict some big changes ahead. 

"For the Great Lakes region, the next century could bring one of the greatest environmental transformations since the end of the last Ice Age," the EPA said in a study on global warming in the Great Lakes. 

Temperatures are expected to rise, on average, from 31/2 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. Temperatures in Western New York might come to resemble what western Maryland experiences today, according to David Easterling, chief scientist for the National Climatic Data Center. 


Changes in Lake Erie

As temperatures rise, Lake Erie as we know it would be transformed. Like the rest of the Great Lakes, it would start to evaporate, meaning water levels would fall by as much as five feet over the next century. Most scientists expect the bulk of the drop to occur in the next few decades. The remaining water would be warmer and might never freeze during winter. 

There is a plus side. 

"You'd have some nice wide sand beaches," said Frank Quinn, retired head of the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich. 

But that's about where the plus side ends. 

Fed by greater evaporation from the Great Lakes, overall precipitation could increase 10 to 20 percent, the EPA says. 

"A lot of scientists mention getting fewer storms but of greater intensity," said Helen Domske, a researcher at the University at Buffalo's Great Lakes Program. "What could be a better description of last winter?" 

In the first few decades of warming, lake-effect snowstorms could be more frequent, thanks to Lake Erie's refusal to freeze. But Easterling said temperatures will probably warm to the point where lake-effect rain is increasingly common. As a result, lake-effect snow could decrease by half within a century. 

What's unknown is exactly when it will be warm enough for the snow to diminish. 

Essentially, the warmer temperatures would pick up more of Lake Erie and deposit it on the land. And that would create all sorts of problems. 

Great Lakes ships have to reduce their cargo load every time the level of the lakes drops, said Glen Nekvasil, vice president of the Lake Carriers' Association. And if the lakes dropped by five feet, the smaller loads would boost the cost of shipping so much that shippers might have to switch to the rails or trucks. 

"This could conceivably put the Great Lakes shipping industry out of business," Nekvasil said. 

It could do the very same thing to the New York State Power Authority's Niagara Power Project. When lake levels fell last year, the project's power output fell by as much as 20 percent. And last year's lake drop was minuscule compared to what's expected in the future. 

As a result, the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory predicts "greatly reduced electricity generation there under low flow conditions." 

Things don't look much better for municipalities such as Buffalo that get their water from the lake or its adjoining rivers. Thomas, of the Army Corps of Engineers, said most water intakes in the Great Lakes basin are located in spots where the water would likely be much more polluted if lake levels were lower. That could force hugely expensive improvements in local water plants. 

"The biggest problem will be the water intakes," Thomas said. "The quality of the water won't be as good." 

You might think that all of these problems might be solved through increased dredging, but that's unlikely. Costs would easily reach well into the billions of dollars, and by solving the water-level problem, the dredging could cause another: finding a safe place for all the contaminated sediment that would be removed.

Wells might run dry

Scientists say the shallower, warmer water could pose problems beyond the lakes, too. People who get their water from shallow wells might find them running dry. 

Brook trout could become increasingly rare in the Great Lakes basin, pushed aside by warmer-water fish such as bass and walleye. 

And Western New York's forests would come to look far different, too. Maple, beech and birch trees now dominate much of the forest cover in Western New York, but many researchers expect oak and pine to come to dominate over the next century. Fall would be far less colorful. 

"No, you're not going to have a dead-looking forest," said Ann Fisher, an environmental economist at Penn State who headed the study of the Mid-Atlantic region in a recent national assessment of global warming. "You'd just have a gradual change." 

Of course, that's just a prediction. Scientists caution that they're basing their descriptions of the future on climate models that may or may not be accurate. And there's debate among the scientists about those models. 

Brent Lofgren, a scientist at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, doubts that there will be a huge drop in lake levels. He notes that some of the most prominent studies look at warming on a strictly global basis and never fully consider the role of the Great Lakes. 

Nevertheless, scientists generally regard warming as a matter of fact now. "The consensus is getting very solid," said Reg Gilbert, senior coordinator at Great Lakes United, a Buffalo-based environmental group. 

What's less certain is exactly what should be done. 

Bush has proposed a plan that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent, relative to the size of the economy, over the next decade. "The president's plan is predicated on ensuring the strength and growth of the American economy," said James L. Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. 


Bush plan "science fiction'

Political opponents and many environmentalists say the Bush plan won't do nearly enough to curb greenhouse gases. For one thing, the administration refused to sign the Kyoto protocol, an international agreement to curb global warming. And for another, the plan it did put forward would allow overall emissions of greenhouse gases to increase. 

Add it all up and the Bush plan for addressing climate change is nothing but "science fiction," said Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who may run for president in 2004. For scientists looking toward the future, though, climate change is already a reality. Fisher, the Penn State economist, notes that she looked for benefits that might spring from global warming in the Mid-Atlantic. "It was very difficult to identify benefits," she said. 

"The damaging impacts tend to be larger."


The New York Times: The End of Snow by Porter Fox...
February 7, 2014
... Officials canceled two Olympic test events last February in Sochi after several days of temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a lack of snowfall had left ski trails bare and brown in spots. That situation led the climatologist Daniel Scott, a professor of global change and tourism at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, to analyze potential venues for future Winter Games. His thought was that with a rise in the average global temperature of more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit possible by 2100, there might not be that many snowy regions left in which to hold the Games. He concluded that of the 19 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics, as few as 10 might be cold enough by midcentury to host them again. By 2100, that number shrinks to 6.
The planet has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s, and as a result, snow is melting. In the last 47 years, a million square miles of spring snow cover has disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere. Europe has lost half of its Alpine glacial ice since the 1850s, and if climate change is not reined in, two-thirds of European ski resorts will be likely to close by 2100.
The same could happen in the United States, where in the Northeast, more than half of the 103 ski resorts may no longer be viable in 30 years because of warmer winters. As far for the Western part of the country, it will lose an estimated 25 to 100 percent of its snowpack by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed — reducing the snowpack in Park City, Utah, to zero and relegating skiing to the top quarter of Ajax Mountain in Aspen.
The facts are straightforward: The planet is getting hotter. Snow melts above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The Alps are warming two to three times faster than the worldwide average, possibly because of global circulation patterns. Since 1970, the rate of winter warming per decade in the United States has been triple the rate of the previous 75 years, with the strongest trends in the Northern regions of the country. Nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000, and this winter is already looking to be one of the driest on record — with California at just 12 percent of its average snowpack in January, and the Pacific Northwest at around 50 percent.
To a skier, snowboarder or anyone who has spent time in the mountains, the idea of brown peaks in midwinter is surreal. Poets write of the grace and beauty by which snowflakes descend and transform a landscape. Powder hounds follow the 100-odd storms that track across the United States every winter, then drive for hours to float down a mountainside in the waist-deep “cold smoke” that the storms leave behind.
The snow I learned to ski on in northern Maine was more blue than white, and usually spewed from snow-making guns instead of the sky. I didn’t like skiing at first. It was cold. And uncomfortable.
Then, when I was 12, the mystical confluence of vectors that constitute a ski turn aligned, and I was hooked. I scrubbed toilets at my father’s boatyard on Mount Desert Island in high school so I could afford a ski pass and sold season passes in college at Mad River Glen in Vermont to get a free pass for myself. After graduating, I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyo., for the skiing. Four years later, Powder magazine hired me, and I’ve been an editor there ever since.
My bosses were generous enough to send me to five continents over the last 15 years, with skis in tow. I’ve skied the lightest snow on earth on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, where icy fronts spin off the Siberian plains and dump 10 feet of powder in a matter of days. In the high peaks of Bulgaria and Morocco, I slid through snow stained pink by grains of Saharan sand that the crystals formed around.
In Baja, Mexico, I skied a sliver of hardpack snow at 10,000 feet on Picacho del Diablo, sandwiched between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. A few years later, a crew of skiers and I journeyed to the whipsaw Taurus Mountains in southern Turkey to ski steep couloirs alongside caves where troglodytes lived thousands of years ago.
At every range I traveled to, I noticed a brotherhood among mountain folk: Say you’re headed into the hills, and the doors open. So it has been a surprise to see the winter sports community, as one of the first populations to witness effects of climate change in its own backyard, not reacting more vigorously and swiftly to reverse the fate we are writing for ourselves.
It’s easy to blame the big oil companies and the billions of dollars they spend on influencing the media and popular opinion. But the real reason is a lack of knowledge. I know, because I, too, was ignorant until I began researching the issue for a book on the future of snow.
I was floored by how much snow had already disappeared from the planet, not to mention how much was predicted to melt in my lifetime. The ski season in parts of British Columbia is four to five weeks shorter than it was 50 years ago, and in eastern Canada, the season is predicted to drop to less than two months by midcentury. At Lake Tahoe, spring now arrives two and a half weeks earlier, and some computer models predict that the Pacific Northwest will receive 40 to 70 percent less snow by 2050. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise — they grew 41 percent between 1990 and 2008 — then snowfall, winter and skiing will no longer exist as we know them by the end of the century.
The effect on the ski industry has already been significant. Between 1999 and 2010, low snowfall years cost the industry $1 billion and up to 27,000 jobs. Oregon took the biggest hit out West, with 31 percent fewer skier visits during low snow years. Next was Washington at 28 percent, Utah at 14 percent and Colorado at 7.7 percent.
The winter sports industry contributes $66 billion annually to the nation’s economy, and supports more than 960,000 jobs across 38 states, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. A surprisingly large sector of the United States economy appears to be teetering on the brink.
Much of these environmental data come from a 2012 report, “Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States,” by two University of New Hampshire researchers, Elizabeth Burakowski and Matthew Magnusson. The paper was commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council and a start-up advocacy group called Protect Our Winters. The professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones started that group, known as POW, in 2007 when he realized that many of the slopes he had once ridden no longer held snow. It has since become the leading voice for those fighting to save winter, largely because few others are doing anything about it.
The National Ski Area Association has reacted with relatively ineffective campaigns like Sustainable Slopes and the Climate Challenge, while policies at ski resorts range from aggressively green to indifferent. Somewhere in between lie the majority of American ski areas, which are struggling to make ends meet while pushing recycling, car-pooling, carbon offsets and awareness campaigns to show they care.
The truth is, it is too late for all of that. Greening the ski industry is commendable, but it isn’t nearly enough. Nothing besides a national policy shift on how we create and consume energy will keep our mountains white in the winter — and slow global warming to a safe level.
This is no longer a scientific debate. It is scientific fact. The greatest fear of most climate scientists is continued complacency that leads to a series of natural climatic feedbacks — like the melting of the methane-rich permafrost of Arctic Canada.
Artificial snow-making now helps to cover 88 percent of American ski resorts, and has become the stopgap measure to defend against the early effects of climate change. Snow-making requires a tremendous amount of electricity and water, though, so it’s unlikely that snow guns will be our savior. In the Alps, snow-making uses more water in the winter than the entire city of Vienna, about 500,000 gallons of water per acre. Ski areas like Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin seed clouds with silver iodide to make it snow, but that won’t help much when it gets warmer. When it does, whatever the clouds bring will fall as rain.
With several dry winters back to back, the ski industry is waking up. Last spring, 108 ski resorts, along with 40 major companies, signed the Climate Declaration, urging federal policy makers to take action on climate change. A few weeks later, President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan, stating, “Mountain communities worry about what smaller snowpacks will mean for tourism — and then, families at the bottom of the mountains wonder what it will mean for their drinking water.”
It was a big step forward for skiers and the country. And it led people to ask me, “Why save skiing when there are more pressing consequences of climate change to worry about?” The answer is, this is not about skiing. It is about snow, a vital component of earth’s climate system and water cycle. When it disappears, what follows is a dangerous chain reaction of catastrophes like forest fires, drought, mountain pine beetle infestation, degraded river habitat, loss of hydroelectric power, dried-up aquifers and shifting weather patterns. Not to mention that more than a billion people around the world — including about 70 million in the western United States — rely on snowmelt for their fresh water supply.
I remember watching my first Winter Olympics in 1980. We were on a family ski trip at Copper Mountain in Colorado, where my brother and I skied the first powder run of our lives. It was on a gentle slope just off one of the main trails. We wiggled down the hill in chaotic rapture then skied the run again and again. The snow was soft and the turns effortless. You don’t have to be a skier to feel nostalgia for those whitewashed days — or to see the writing on the wall.

Porter Fox is the features editor at Powder magazine and the author of “Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow.”
 -A version of this op-ed appears in print on February 9, 2014, on page SR1 of the New York edition with the headline: The End of Snow?. 


Work Less to Slow Climate Change...
February 2013, David Rosnick

Center for Economic and Policy Research:

Western European countries have significantly reduced work hours (through shorter weekly hours and increased vacation time) while the United States has not.

A number of studies (e.g. Knight et al. 2012, Rosnick and Weisbrot 2006) have found that shorter work hours are associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions and therefore less global climate change. The relationship between these two variables is complex and not clearly understood...

Reducing work hours over the rest of the century by an annual average of 0.5 percent would eliminate about one-quarter to one-half of the global warming that is not already locked in.

It is worth noting that the pursuit of reduced work hours as a policy alternative would be much more difficult in an economy where inequality is high and/or growing.
To the extent that working less will result in lower production, however, lower production should result in a fall in emission of greenhouse gases.

Increased leisure is a viable alternative as well. As productivity increases, different societies may simply choose to work less rather than fully increase output.

“As productivity increases, especially in high-income countries, there is a social choice between taking some of these gains in the form of reduced hours, or entirely as increased production,” said economist David Rosnick, author of the paper. “For many years, European countries have been reducing work hours – including by taking more holidays, vacation, and leave – while the United States has gone the route of increased production.

“The calculation is simple: fewer work hours means less carbon emissions, which means less global warming.”


“Increased productivity need not fuel carbon emissions and climate change,” CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said. “Increased productivity should allow workers to have more time off to spend with their families, friends, and communities. This is positive for society, and is quantifiably better for the planet as well.”



We Can't Ignore the Security Threat from Climate Change
Senator John Kerry, 10/16/2009

HuffPo 8/31/2009:

On August 6, 2001, President George W. Bush famously received an intelligence briefing entitled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." Thirty-six days later, al Qaeda terrorists did just that.
Scientists tell us we have a 10-year window -- if even that -- before catastrophic climate change becomes inevitable and irreversible.
...
Atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels have risen 38% in the industrial era, from 280 to 385 parts per million (ppm). Scientists have warned that anything above 450 ppm -- a warming of 2 degrees Celsius -- will result in an unacceptable risk of catastrophic climate change.
...
Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now.
Make no mistake: catastrophic climate change represents a threat to human security, global stability, and -- yes -- even to American national security.  
Climate change injects a major new source of chaos, tension, and human insecurity into an already volatile world. It threatens to bring more famine and drought, worse pandemics, more natural disasters, more resource scarcity, and human displacement on a staggering scale.
...
The individual data points may sometimes be murky. But the pattern they create is irrefutably clear: We don't know if Hurricane Katrina was caused by climate change, but we do know that we are rapidly heading for a world where climate change causes worse Katrinas. We don't know with certainty whether climate change pushed Darfur over the edge, but we do know that it will cause more tension just like we've seen in Darfur.
Once you accept the science, it's clear that such massive environmental change will create dislocation, destruction, chaos, and conflict...
The people of the tiny coastal village of Newtok, Alaska offer a harbinger of the challenges ahead. Citizens there recently voted to move their village nine miles inland because melting ice shelves made their old home too dangerous.
...
Anyone who doubts the threat should talk to the 11 retired American admirals and generals who warned in 2007 that "Climate change can act as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world, and it presents significant national-security challenges for the United States."
...
Former CENTCOM Commander Anthony Zinni, no radical tree-hugger, put it simply: "We will pay for this one way or another. We will pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today, and we'll have to take an economic hit of some kind. Or, we will pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives. There will be a human toll."
Nowhere is the connection between climate and security more direct than in South Asia -- home to al Qaeda.
Scientists now warn that the Himalayan glaciers which supply fresh water to a billion people in the region could disappear completely by 2035.
Think about what this means: Water from the Himalayans flows through India and Pakistan. India's rivers are not only vital to its agriculture but are also critical to its religious practice. Pakistan, for its part, is heavily dependent on irrigated farming to avoid famine.
...
The bottom line is that failure to tackle climate change risks much more than a ravaged environment: It risks a much more dangerous world, and a gravely threatened America.
Unfortunately, not everyone in Washington appreciates the stakes. It's tragic that we live at a time when if one were to dismiss the threat of terrorism, you'd be sent home in the next election. But there are no similar political consequences if you dismiss the science or the threat of climate change.
This winter, delegates from 192 nations will gather in Copenhagen to create a new global climate treaty. Between now and then, the United States Congress is expected to act on climate legislation.
The decisions we make in coming months will determine whether we meet this challenge head-on and prevail or if we are to suffer the worst consequences of a warming planet.
This time we have to connect the dots before we face catastrophe.