Tag Archives: Tea Party

Doing the Scott Walker Dance

Scott Walker is perfecting a new dance. When asked a question about the President of the United States, e.g. is he a Christian, the governor deflects. In essence, he is sending out the code words of the extreme right that signal he believes to some degree that the president is secretly a Kenyan-born Muslim out to destroy America. Never mind producing any evidence. That is Orly Taitz’s or Donald Trump’s or Joe Arpaio’s job.

The governor got caught in what he will claim is a “gotcha” question. However, when you spend time associating with people who make these outlandish claims—the president is Kenyan, the president is Muslim, the president hates America, etc.—it stands to reason that you should at least clarify where you stand. Especially since you are spending time in Iowa like you are a viable candidate for national office.

The tactic is to take offense at the nature of the question without ever addressing the substance of the question. A right winger wins on two fronts. First, he or she has blasted the mainstream media and that is always a winning strategy despite the fact that the mouthpiece of the right win is Fox News which is the mainstream media. Second, he or she never has to actually make a statement of belief so that person can always go back to the whack jobs and say, “I never said the president wasn’t a secret Kenyan!”

Taken to the extreme it results in a silly rhetorical dance. It’s Wednesday, I am bored, so let’s play the Scott Walker Dance Game:

Do you believe that Governor Scott Walker is a Minnesota Vikings fan? I do not know that the governor is not a Vikings fan, but we have never had a conversation as to the degree to which he is loyal to everything Packers related.

Do you believe that Governor Scott Walker is a fan of Justin Bieber? I do not know with certainty that the governor is or is not a Belieber, but Wisconsin is close enough to Canada to make it possible that he also likes Nickelback.

Do you believe that Governor Scott Walker is a Satanist? I have never had a conversation with the governor about his beliefs in the power of the dark lord.

Do you believe that Governor Scott Walker is a zombie? While I have never seen the governor on an episode of the Walking Dead I have not had a conversation with him about his current state of decomposition.

Do you believe that Governor Scott Walker is a pandering stooge and tool of the Koch brothers? Well…yes.

I could do this for hours.

Friday Linkage 2/14/2014

During the winter residents of the Midwest who have lived here more than a few years are pretty stoic about the cold and snow.  This winter, with its epic cold snaps and constant moisture events, have made people look toward days where the temperatures sneak above 32 degrees Fahrenheit with a hunger bordering on salacious.

Next week’s anticipated temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit will feel downright tropical.

On to the links…

Sustainable Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough Raises Hopes for Ultimate Green Energy—Nuclear fusion is the holy grail of green energy development and would alter the face of the world if it could be made to work at a scale that was economical.  Every step forward toward that goal is important, even if it is incremental at best.

Company Has Yet To Stop Leaks That Have Been Spilling Tar Sands In Alberta For 9 Months—Do you want to know what the future looks like if we fully exploit Canadian tar sands?  Look no further than this leak in Alberta that has been occurring for the past nine months.  Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. should be ashamed but they will probably just use it as an excuse to push for more development in some twisted logic that only an oil man would understand.

Pipe Break At Coal Facility Contaminates West Virginia Waterway—Can’t West Virginia catch a break.  Not when your state is owned by coal interests.  It looks like Patriot Coal, the spinoff of everyone’s favorite coal villain Peabody Coal, is responsible this time.  The company will find a way to weasel out of paying any damages.

6 Ways Ted Cruz Wants To Increase Carbon Pollution, All In One Bill—Ted Cruz is really swinging for the fences as he attempts to position himself as the presumptive wingnut nominee for President of the United States.  Please run.  It could be worse, we could be hearing from Rick Santorum.

U.S. Average Fuel Economy Increases In January—Not all U.S. energy news was bad this week.  Fleetwide U.S. fuel economy increased to 24.9 miles per gallon in January 2014.  The surprising part of the statistic is that “green” cars like hybrids and EVs actually saw sales fall, but high mileage traditional engine cars made up for the decline with marked improvement in fuel economy.

Wind of Change Sweeps Through Energy Policy in the Caribbean—Aruba was spending close to 16% of its annual income on fuel imported from outside the country.  By 2020, the island nation hopes to be free of fossil fuel imports.  If a small island nation can commit to the transition why can’t more countries?

India Wants To Switch 26 Million Water Pumps To Solar Power Instead Of Diesel—We all love the idea of rooftops covered in solar panels, but there so many applications for solar that do not involve residential electricity.  What is the market for 26 million systems look like?

Interactive Map Shows 47,000 Onshore Wind Turbines in U.S.—Maps are cool.  Maps that show wind turbines are really cool.

California has One-Third of Nation’s Solar Jobs—This is not surprising given the scale of California’s solar programs and companies like SolarCity being established in the state.  It also gives hopes to other states that have great solar resources to exploit in experiencing job growth associated with a new industry.

I Spent 28 Hours on a Bus. I Loved It.—Meteorologist Eric Holthaus decided to reduce his personal carbon footprint.  The most significant single driver that he could impact was to cut out flying.  Read about trying to travel long distances in this country without using air travel.

14 Food Waste Facts That Will Make You Want to Change the World—One of the easiest changes that we can make on a personal level to reduce our carbon footprint is to stop wasting food.  The statistics about food waste are kind of mind bending.

7 Things Republicans Would Be Shocked to Learn About Ronald Reagan—For most Republicans Ronald Reagan stands atop the their personal Mount Rushmore even though a lot of his actions in office run counter to their current crop of ideals.  Taxes?  He raised them.  Illegal immigrants?  Amnesty.  Guns?  Regulated.  Tear down this myth already.

Amid Elephant Slaughter, Ivory Trade in U.S. Continues—Yes, the idea is that the ivory predates rules about the traffic in illegal ivory but it is impossible to enforce.  There should be a complete ban on the sale of ivory goods in the U.S.  Plain and simple.

Camels Had No Business in Genesis—One can never make the “Bible is literal” crowd believe because their default retort is impossible to assail even as it is the most asinine belief system in the world.  Science is just a lie to these people.  What amazes me, however, is how prominent many of these whack jobs have become.

Friday Linkage 6/14/2013

The weather and what not is getting crazy.  Forest fires in Colorado turn out to be the most destructive in history every year.  First it was Waldo Canyon last year and this year we get the Black Forest fire.  In the Midwest we saw a 200 mile plus long storm front roll through this week that spawned tornadoes and the ever popular straight line winds.

For anyone who is a climate change denier, look outside and ask yourself what is going on.

On to the links…

Farm Subsidies Leading to More Water Use—Here is what is messed up about our farm policy in the United States…the programs in place often have the opposite effect of the desired outcome.  It’s amazing how messed up these things can get.

Regulatory Nominee Vows to Speed Up Energy Reviews—This just ticks me off because the White House could be making forward progress without Congress, yet is failing to take action because of some political calculus.  Ugh!

The U.S. Added 723 Megawatts of Solar during the 1st Quarter of 2013—On top of the good news, the U.S. is expected to add a total of 5.3 GW of solar capacity over the course of 2013.  That is enough to power almost 1 million average American homes with carbon free power.  Also, a 5.3 GW increase would be more than a 50% increase in the installed solar capacity in the U.S.  Damn!

Tea Party Takes On Georgia Power Over Lack Of Solar Energy—Just absorb the delicious irony of that title for a moment.  Tea Party…solar…Georgia…yep, solar power is the real deal when the Tea Party in the south is supporting its adoption.  Watch out king coal!

Master Limited Partnerships will Bring More Investment to Clean Energy—  Master Limited Partnerships (MLPS) are one of those boring, but very important, financing tools used by fossil fuel companies to acquire the capital to build out projects.  Congress is working on a bill that would expand the ability to use the tool to renewable energy.

What’s Needed to Get Sustainable Energy for All—Here is what it would take to move the entire world to a more sustainable energy future:

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How Big Soda is Losing the Battle for American Hearts and Bellies—If there is one thing that you can do to improve your health—assuming you do not smoke—it would be to eliminate soda—regular or diet—from your daily routine.  The stuff is just bad news.  Maybe the tide is turning in the war against the corn syrup horde.

Cod Stocks Recover after Years of Overfishing—It seems like the news from restricted fisheries is that stocks will return if left alone for long enough.  This is probably little comfort to the people who depend on the cod stocks off North America, which have yet to recover from recent collapses, but it provides hope.

Cheap Food is a Thing of the Past—If there is one thing that will destabilize the world as climate change worsens it will be empty bellies.  Deny people their daily bread and riots ensue.

The Cool Factor (With Feathers): New York Chefs React To Pastured Poultry—  We are what we eat and we are what are animals eat.  We are also what our animals lives are like before they are slaughtered for dinner.

Edible Landscape Transforms Minnesota Lawn—Edible landscaping is awesome and expanses of green grass are tyranny.  I love the look of this garden.  It’s organic, in the organizational sense, and folksy.  I would want one if my front yard were more than a small pizza slice shaped chunk of lawn.

Climbing and Cloning Sequoias—This is an interesting idea.  Find the world’s largest trees, clone them, and distribute the clones to create groves of super trees.  I doubt that it can have a measurable impact on the carbon in the atmosphere, but it is better than giving up.

Watts For Lunch? (Or Why Humans Are Like Light Bulbs)—All you need to be a human for an average day is the power to light up one 120 watt incandescent light bulb.  Interesting.

Tiny Aerosol Particles, Big Impacts—Black carbon, or soot, is a nasty aerosol particle that traps a ton of heat in the atmosphere.  Like 650 times more than carbon dioxide alone.

Glamorous Killers Expand their Range—Cougars are making a comeback.  The animals are increasingly being seen in suburban habitats.  I am guessing that this will become more of a problem like bears in the Front Range.

Friday Linkage 2/22/2013

By the time this is published I will be on my way to Kauai.  Therefore, this is the last post for a while but I should have a lot to talk about once I get back from paradise.  That is if the chickens let me sleep.

On to the links…

Eat Bray Love—I used to be a Tony Bourdain fanboy.  I loved Kitchen Confidential and No Reservations, not the silly movie with Catherine Zeta-Jones, was a must-see Monday night event.  What happened?  The bitch god of success has suckered him into playing a diet version of himself on a show with a third rate contestant from Top Chef.  How the mighty have fallen.

What’s It Like to Wake up from a Tea Party Binge?—If you want a preview of what the world would be like if the current crop of Republicans had their way, visit Florida.  If you are rich, it’s great.  If you are not…it basically sucks goat phallus.  I am sure Ayn Rand would have liked it that way.

Chinese Companies Projected To Make Solar Panels for 42 Cents Per Watt In 2015—Between 2009 and 2012 the cost per watt of Chinese solar panels dropped almost 50%.  If the targets are met in 2015, the price will have dropped another 30%.  At what point does solar PV become ubiquitous?

New Outdoor Industry Data Show The Power Of The Recreation Economy In Every State—People value the outdoors.  People are willing to pay money to recreate outdoors.  These do not seem like crazy statements, but to some people the idea is foreign.  Almost socialist.

Here’s How Billionaires Launder Their Climate-Denial Cash—It’s basically a front for billionaires to funnel money into pet causes that might cause them public embarrassment and force some sort of contrition.  Alas, it’s all a big dark pool.

15 Uncanny Examples of the Golden Ratio in Nature—If nature does not, in general, blow your mind on a daily basis then you are probably not looking around very much.  It is amazing the order that has developed out of chaos.  Sorry, I am not buying the whole “God did it” argument even if that would make things easier to explain to my daughter.

Why Food Workers Need Paid Sick Days—That person handling your cheeseburger?  Rockin’ the flu.  The person who picked your salad?  Strep throat!  The people who handle our food are some of the most under protected and it endangers all of us.

The Dark Side of How Flavored Coffee is Made—Basically, when you buy flavored coffee you are getting stale beans that have been soaked in chemicals to mask the real flavor of the coffee.  Sounds good?

What Does 200 Calories Look Like—Just an interesting set of photos showing you how much or how little food is represented by 200 calories.

Effort Growing to Ban Styrofoam in Boulder—It would come as no surprise to anyone who has spent any time in Boulder that there is an effort to ban Styrofoam food containers.  It may seem fringe right now, but I am sure that is what people said about banning plastic bags years ago.

Trashy No More—People who manage to do massive reductions in lifestyle like this amaze me because I am overwhelmed by the stuff in my own life.  Okay, I do not have twenty something dining chairs or multiple tables.

Girl Scout Cookie Infographic—The tables are set up outside every store right now and half of my co-workers seem to have passed the order sheets around.  What time is it?  Girl Scout cookie time:

girl-scout-business info_