Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday roundup

Not that it's going to lead to a reversal of the referendum's outcome, but the codification of the changes to the Turkish constitution that Turks voted on Sunday, while now pretty much a done deal and sealing Erdogan's status as a dictator, appears to be fraught with fraud:

Article 94 of Turkey’s Election Law states that election tabulators cannot count envelopes and votes inside not carrying the official stamp of the election. The rule was enacted to prevent ballot-stuffing. Yet, an hour after the ballot boxes were opened, the High Electoral Council reversed its decision.
Then, in Turkey’s southeast where the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) dominates, observers were removed from the balloting room for “security reasons” so only the government-appointed officials in the room counted and tallied results. Fraud in this process alone may have changed the results. This isn’t just theoretical: In Urfa, a Facebook video emerged showing ballot stuffing.
The Republican Peoples Party says it is filing objections involving 2.5 million votes. If only one-fifth of that total changes, the final result will change as well.
The de-fanging of the EPA is already bearing marvelous fruit. The coal industry is coming back strong:

Buried in an otherwise-humdrum jobs report was the jaw-dropping pronouncement by the Department of Labor that mining jobs in America were up by 11,000 in March. Since the low point in October 2016, and following years of painful layoffs in the mining industry, the mining sector has added 35,000 jobs.

And coal companies with which to get those jobs are once again more numerous:
There's more good news for the coal industry. Earlier this month, Peabody Energy -- America's largest coal producer -- moved out of bankruptcy, and its stock is actively trading again. Its market cap had sunk by almost 90 percent during Barack Obama's years in office. Arch Coal is also out of bankruptcy.

Okay, so that's one for the good-move side of the ledger, and here at LITD we duly - indeed, heartily - note those. But consider some realities regarding Trump the man and Trump the president that Kevin Williamson at NRO enumerates:

No fighting China on currency, no wall, no NATO reform. Add a few more items to the list: Janet Yellen was definitely out before she wasn’t; our relationship with Russia was “great” during the campaign but today is a “horrible relationship” that is “at an all-time low” (he may not know about the Cuban missile crisis); the president could not make war on Syria without congressional approval (“big mistake if he does not!”) until he could. The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land. Steve Bannon of Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs, Steven Mnuchin of Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell of Goldman Sachs are firmly ensconced in their various roles throughout the Trump administration. The alt-right basement-dwellers and sundry knuckleheads beamed that Trump was going to be a “nationalist,” and that he would give the boot to coastal elitists, moderates, and Ivy League snoots. In reality, Trump is a New York Democrat who is being advised by other New York Democrats — Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner prominent among them — who are more or less the sort of people who brought you the Obama and Clinton administrations: business-friendly corporate Democrats, people who think of themselves as post-ideological pragmatists, consensus progressives who are much more interested in opening up backdoor channels to Planned Parenthood than they are in the priorities of people they consider nothing more than a bunch of snake-handling rustics and talk-radio listeners stockpiling gold coins and freeze-dried ice cream in their basements. Trump was a Clinton donor and a Chuck Schumer donor, and he is acting like one.


Williamson mentions "business-friendly corporate Democrats, people who think of themselves as post-ideological pragmatists," but even if they think of themselves that way, they are in fact moral cowards hoping the climatista alligator eats them last, as Rick Moran discusses at PJ Media:

Despite the talk from climate hysterics about greedy corporations opposing efforts to combat global warming, the facts tend to speak for themselves.
International corporate giants have been on board the climate-change bandwagon for more than a decade. Their reasons have nothing to do with science and everything to do with reading the writing on the wall. If the world is going to go off half-cocked and suck the life out of the industrialized economies combating climate change, big business wants to be in a position to influence what happens to them.
It's no different than hiring another lobbyist in Washington or Brussels. Whatever expense there is in supporting the climate hysterics will be more than offset by savings in guiding the debate in ways that keep them operating.
So the question is, will corporations use their influence on President Trump to urge him to accept the Paris climate accord?
The smart money is saying yes.
To varying degrees, most major companies producing coal, natural gas and oil either explicitly back sticking with the 2015 climate deal struck in Paris, or they're opting not to lobby against it, a dramatic shift from just a few years ago. They're not necessarily cheering global efforts to address the issue, but the decision not to oppose it has the same effect as tacit backing.
The reasons corporate America is uniting on global climate policy are many and often depend on the products made and how global a company's operations are:
  • Consumer-facing companies like Starbucks and Pepsi, have long prioritized policies to cut carbon emissions because they don't sell products that directly contribute to the problem. They also have more direct interaction with consumers who like to buy from green-minded corporations.
  • C ompanies that generate electricity have said, for much of the past decade, that they're moving away from coal toward cleaner burning sources of power, including natural gas and renewables. The Edison Electric Institute, the trade association representing investor-owned utilities, held a reception last year honoring the Paris climate deal after its conclusion, even though it officially doesn't have a position on the deal.
  • Companies with huge global footprint s, like General Electric and ExxonMobil, know that pulling out of one diplomatic deal can only weaken the U.S. standing on other geopolitical issues, which could hurt their operations around the world.
  • Publicly traded fossil-fuel companies are facing growing calls from their investors to address climate change, or at least to not fight such policies. This is a newer trend that's gained influence over the past couple of years.
  • Major oil companies, like ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, have increasingly invested in natural gas, which emits 50% less carbon than coal when burned. Companies with big natural gas portfolios will gain with climate policies that accelerate a shift already underway to replace coal with natural gas. ExxonMobil, which bought big natural-gas producer XTO Energy in 2010, sent a letterto the White House in March urging Trump to stay in the deal. That letter followed a tweet by the company's top lobbyist just hours after Trump won the election expressing support for the accord.
"When we hang the capitalists they will sell us the rope we use," Joseph Stalin reportedly said. The corporate mindset is entirely predictable, based as it is on the simple concept of maximizing profits given the realities in which they exist. Any claim to morality or "good citizenship" is true only as long as it serves that overriding goal.
So yes, it's a great PR move to play along with climate-change hysterics, all the while working as hard as they can to keep the devil from their door.  
Jared Dobbs at The Federalist provides one of the best explanations of why Christians objecting to participating in same-sex weddings is not bigotry LITD has come across.


No comments:

Post a Comment