Rush Limbaugh told millions of his radio listeners to set aside any suggestion that climate change was the culprit for the frightening spate of wildfires ravaging California and the Pacific Northwest."Man-made global warming is not a scientific certainty; it cannot be proven, nor has it ever been," Limbaugh declared on his Friday show, disregarding the mountains of empirical evidence to the contrary.He then pivoted to a popular right-wing talking point: Policies meant to curtail climate change are, in fact, an assault on freedom."Environmentalist wackos" -- Limbaugh's phrase -- "want man to be responsible for it because they want to control your behavior," the conservative host said on the show. He added that they "want to convince you that your lifestyle choices are the reason why all these fires are firing up out on the Left Coast."Hours later, that message leapt to prime time on Fox 中港集運, where host Tucker Carlson said those who blamed climate change for the fires were merely reciting "a partisan talking point.""In the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky," Carlson told viewers. "You can't see it, but rest assured, it's everywhere, and it's deadly. And like systemic racism, it is your fault."Limbaugh and Carlson are two of the most prominent commentators in the right-wing media sphere, where a rich history of climate denialism has merged with Trump-era cultural warfare to generate a deep skepticism of the notion that climate change is a factor in the fires devastating the West Coast.Like President Donald Trump, conservative media stars dismiss climate change -- which scientists say is the primary cause of the conflagration -- and point to the poor management of forestland by local (and, conveniently, Democratic) officials. Fringe right-wing websites, like The Gateway Pundit, have blamed left-wing arsonists, fueling false rumors that authorities say are impeding rescue efforts.Visiting California on Monday to witness the destruction firsthand, Trump took Western states to task for failing to manage the forests properly. During a meeting with California officials who pushed him to acknowledge the role of climate change in the wildfires, the president said: "It'll start getting cooler. You just watch.""I wish science agreed with you," Wade Crowfoot, California's secretary for natural resources, replied."Well, I don't think science knows, actually," Trump retorted.The president's comments were likely to resonate with fans of the conservative media personalities who routinely defend his agenda."This has nothing to do with climate change, it has nothing to do with man-made climate change, and it sure as hell would help if these forests in these timber areas were free to be properly managed, but they're not," Mark Levin, another popular right-wing radio host, said on his nationally syndicated show Friday.Like Carlson, Levin drew a link between climate advocacy and recent demonstrations for racial justice, suggesting that both causes -- widely associated with liberals -- offered a cloak for more sinister intentions."They want to talk man-made climate change because, out of this, they want to control you," Levin said. "It's just like the race stuff -- 'systemically racist' -- well, what do you want to do about it? Control you. Beat you down. You need to change your lifestyle, need to confess to something."Some right-wing writers see even darker origins in the outbreak of a lethal blaze.The Gateway Pundit, a conspiracy website with a healthy online following -- its chief writer, Jim Hoft, was welcomed to the White House by Trump -- published posts asserting that left-wing anarchists were to blame, not the environment."Many arsonists have already been arrested in Oregon, Washington and California, but the Democrats continue to blame the wildfires on climate change," a Gateway Pundit story said Monday, alongside a video purportedly showing a woman in Oregon confronting an arsonist on her property. The site claimed that mainstream 中港集運 outlets were ignoring this story because "it goes against their global warming and anti-gun narrative."A man in Oregon was charged last week with starting the destructive Almeda Fire in a small town that was under orders to evacuate. But authorities say rising temperatures are a predominant cause of this year's outbreak.For the president's political supporters, the notion that rogue firestarters are causing havoc is an enticing echo of a key message adopted by Trump and Republican in the presidential race: that regions of the country have been consumed by left-wing violence.And Trump continues to play down environmental factors. Asked on Tuesday's "Fox & Friends" about his policy plans for fighting climate change, the president replied: "You have forests all over the world. You don't have fires like you do in California."Californians have been debating how to reduce the risk of deadly blazes, with some officials arguing for more controlled burns. An August 中港集運 release from the office of Gavin 中港集運om, the California governor, noted that the state's forests were "highly vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire and in need of active, science-based management," in part because of hotter and drier conditions created by climate change.中港集運om has called for the federal government to play a more active role in managing the state's forests. About 58% of California forestland is controlled by the federal government; the state owns 3%.For environmental advocacy groups, problematic media coverage of the wildfires is not limited to platforms associated with the right.The Environmental Defense Fund, in a scathing post, said many mainstream 中港集運 outlets had failed to draw a direct link between the widespread destruction and the dangerous consequences of a changing climate."It is like talking about the increased spread of COVID while ignoring the reason it is spreading," the group wrote.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
The U.S. satellite was missing for 50 years.
The president told the GOP to "go for the much higher numbers."
Trump took questions during the ABC town hall two weeks before he is set to debate Democratic nominee Joe Biden for the first time on live television.
In a year when the Republican National Committee skipped writing a party platform and President Donald Trump has offered little in the way of a plan for his second term should he win reelection, the agenda unveiled by House Republicans outside the Capitol on Tuesday was arguably the closest the party has come this year to presenting a road map for governing.But for those searching for a long-term accounting of where the GOP would lead the nation, the one-page policy proposal they pitched, billed "The Republican Commitment to America," offered relatively few answers.Instead, the document reflected a party preoccupied with navigating the country back to the way things were in February, just before the pandemic took a sledgehammer to the nation's health and economy -- and when Republicans still felt they might have a reasonable shot at retaking the House majority -- and then freezing the clock."Republicans helped build the greatest economy in a generation and the American way of life was thriving," Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the plan's main author, said as he laid it out Tuesday. "We will do it again. That is our promise to you."Though they called for ambitious new testing and vaccine deployment, it was far from the kind of forward-looking conservative vision that leading Republicans once insisted they needed to offer voters, and that past party leaders have rolled out every two years almost like clockwork. There was no mention of spending restraint or cutting entitlement programs, nor the party's yearslong quest to repeal the Affordable Care Act.The omissions were a bow to political reality at a time when Republicans are toiling to avoid losing an even larger share of the suburban voters who have flocked to Democrats in recent years, a trend that appears likely to continue in November. Trump has reminded Republicans just how powerful a political force a strong economy can be, and has demonstrated that adherence to what were once considered core party principles is no longer required. And undoubtedly, the gargantuan task of pulling the country out from a once-in-a-generation catastrophe will preoccupy whomever voters put in charge of the government come January.But the thin agenda also underscored how thoroughly congressional Republicans have transformed themselves in the age of Trump even from the recent days when, under Speaker Paul Ryan, they prided themselves on being the intellectual engine of their party.Four years into his presidency, the party has followed his lead and shied away from stances on the nation's biggest, most intractable problems, like how to fix a broken health care system or address the ballooning national debt, that were once considered Republican orthodoxy. The party of free trade has mostly embraced Trump's protectionist stance. The party of fiscal responsibility has overseen a record-setting explosion of the national debt. The party of free enterprise has stood by, mostly without criticism, as Trump has meddled in markets and individual businesses.What has been left behind are an ideological hodgepodge of narrower policies and cultural wedge issues, a commitment to tax cuts at nearly any cost and, above all else, the vilification of Democrats.On a sun-soaked morning in front of the Capitol, dozens of masked lawmakers gathered with McCarthy on Tuesday to tick through a range of proposals under slogans including "Restore Our Way of Life," "Rebuild the Greatest Economy in History" and "Renew the American Dream" -- all headings on a slickly produced website created for the occasion.Rep. Kevin Brady, R- Texas, pledged to make permanent the $1.5 trillion tax cut Republicans passed into law before they lost the House, making no mention of its contribution to the soaring national debt.Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., highlighted proposed investments in policing and body cameras, saying nothing about the police violence and nationwide protests for racial justice that have made law enforcement a top issue this campaign season.Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming -- the party's highest-ranking woman, who has made a point of separating herself from some of Trump's policies and is widely considered to be jockeying for a top leadership position beyond his presidency -- spent most of her time blaming Democrats for forest fires raging across the West and the fires set by mobs in America's cities."Every day you see the damage of years of Democrat policies," Cheney said. She had little to say about Republican alternatives.While Republicans glossed over their attempts to undo the health care law that has resulted in coverage for tens of millions of Americans, the document did include a pledge to protect coverage for preexisting medical conditions -- though there was no discussion of how. There was no plan for overhauling the immigration system, besides "secure our border, and enforce our immigration laws." Discussion of trade was mostly limited to plans to try to break the country's dependence on Chinese exports as part retaliation, part protection for past and future health crises.And after years of party platforms calling for painful belt-tightening of social safety net programs, the Republicans merely proposed "reaching bipartisan consensus to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare and reduce our debt" -- a position unlikely to offend anyone."A lot of this document can be summarized by saying, 'Let's delete the last seven months in our country,' because Republicans were certainly, at least from an economic perspective, feeling bullish about their chances this year," said Carlos Curbelo, a moderate Miami Republican who lost his House seat in the Democratic wave of 2018.Michael Franc, a conservative policy analyst and former adviser to House Republican leaders, said the shift was part of a longer-term realignment by Republicans toward a more populist, working- and middle-class-focused party. He noted that the most specific proposals included in the agenda, like school choice, a child tax credit and increased funding for the police, appeared to be aimed at that group, while the ideas most popular with conservative intellectuals and elites, like entitlement reform, were downplayed."That is institutionalizing where some people have seen the party going, and it's an acknowledgment that the days of talking about things like supply-side economics with voters are over," he said.The fact that Republicans in the House felt a need to produce their own platform at all, in a presidential election year when the top of the ticket typically sets the agenda, underscores the party's unique predicament under Trump, a leader who has never been guided by much of a policy vision.A handful of Republicans privately conceded that they were underwhelmed with the document. And despite the hoopla of Tuesday's 中港集運 conference, party leaders did not take any questions from reporters.The presentation underscored how pessimistic Republicans have grown about their chances of retaking the House this year. It also reflected the changing nature of the party's leadership on Capitol Hill.Ryan was a self-declared policy wonk, who in 2016 insisted on putting out a lengthy set of proposals to balance the nation's budget and pay for costly programs like Medicare or Social Security with draconian cuts. McCarthy has always leaned more toward politics than policy. He also watched as Ryan's policy proposals were shredded by Trump's 2016 campaign, in which he made deviation from Republican orthodoxy into a powerful selling point.Republicans who have been critical of the party under Trump said if nothing else, the plan might help House Republicans fighting to hold onto their seats in competitive districts by compensating for the lack of a clear agenda emanating from the White House."Trump is talking about fake 中港集運, rigged elections, players kneeling, 'Sleepy Joe,' Antifa invasions and whether dead soldiers are losers," said Brendan Buck, a former top aide to Ryan. "Whatever policy he's ostensibly for, he's not running on an agenda. And for House members in marginal districts, you need more than the stream of consciousness that he's offering every day."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
“Victories are slow, but they are happening.”
“It was a moment of rich opportunity. And yet…it already seems to be fading.”
“Any suggestion that lawmakers in Washington will be able to reach agreement on even the most basic reforms is wishful thinking.”
“The problem is that what we are seeing is a patchwork response...it’s very hard for that to do anything more than be a band-aid.”
“This will be a fight waged at the local level...Those fights rarely make national headlines.”