Trump EPA Pick: Scott Pruitt as EPA Head Signals Agency Will Ignore Climate Change

Jerri-Lynn here: President-elect Trump has already mastered the art of headfaking in one direction– by meeting with Al Gore earlier this week, at the instigation of Trump’s children— and proceeding full speed ahead with his intended agenda. Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma state Attorney General to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a textbook example of such tactical savvy.

I should draw the attention of readers to Pruitt’s seminal role in spearheading lawsuits  filed in conjunction with other state attorneys general to block various Obama administration climate change initiatives, including its Clean Power Plan and rule-making undertaken under authority of the Clean Water Act. Both measures have been suspended, pending the outcome of ongoing litigation in federal court. Pruitt is well-versed in legal and regulatory measures that could be speedily undertaken (or not undertaken) to unwind or otherwise vitiate existing climate change policy and commitments.

The WSJ reported:

“We’re very accustomed to the naysayers and the critics,” senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said when asked by reporters about criticism of Mr. Pruitt’s selection. “Attorney General Pruitt has great qualifications and a good record as AG of Oklahoma and there were a number of qualified candidates for that particular position that the president-elect interviewed. We look forward to the confirmation hearings.”

Note that I provide only my edited version of author Graham Readfearn’s complete biography below. My apologies if I have inadvertently omitted some key qualification, writing, or achievement; interested readers can find a more complete version on DeSmogBlog here.

By Graham Readfearn, who is an independent journalist based in Queensland, Australia, with 20 years experience as a reporter and writer on newspapers, magazines, radio and online. In his native UK, Graham has written for The Gazette in Blackpool and The Yorkshire Post in Leeds, and has written and produced for the BBC’s national 24-hour news and sport radio network FiveLive. After moving to Australia in 2005, he was a feature writer for Queensland’s main daily newspaper, The Courier-Mail, where he launched his first environment blog, GreenBlog, writing more than 650 posts and moderating in excess of 14,000 comments. Since then, his features, stories and commentary on climate change and sustainability issues have been published on The Guardian, G Magazine, ABC Environment, The Drum and Crikey. Graham writes the Planet Oz blog on The Guardian and occasionally blogs at Follow him on Twitter @readfearn. Originally published at DeSmogBlog.

Only a few days ago, some journalists and newspapers were editorializing a visit to Trump Tower by climate campaigner and former vice president Al Gore as a sign of hope.

Perhaps President-elect Donald Trump could be turned from his position as a climate science denier who had declared the issue a Chinese hoax? Was he softening?

Announcements in recent hours and days about just who will be working with the EPA, and who will lead it under Trump, will likely put that sentiment to rest.

Trump has reportedly confirmed that  Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt — a lawman who does not accept the mountains of evidence linking human activity to global warming — as the next lead administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A former state Republican senator, Pruitt has led legal efforts to challenge President Obama’s Clean Power Plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

In fact, Pruitt was among those Republican state prosecutors found to be holding secret, paid meetings with the fossil fuel industry just weeks before launching the lawsuit with these companies which is now tying up the Clean Power Plan in court.

At that same event, hosted by the Republican Attorney Generals Association (RAGA), Pruitt sat on a panel called “The Dangerous Consequences of the Clean Power Plan & Other EPA Rules” with representatives from Murray Energy and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), who donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to RAGA for that benefit.

Pruitt, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry in his state, has also been a key voice in the pushback against Democratic attorneys general who have tried to sue ExxonMobil for its backing of climate science denial organizations.

In May, Pruitt joined Luther Sterange in an article, where he wrote: “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.”

Climate campaigner Bill McKibben has described Pruitt as a stenographer for the fossil fuels industries that have funded his campaigns over the years.

In 2014, a New York Times investigation found Pruitt was using his state AG letterhead to write letters to the EPA and President Obama’s office that were actually drafted by lobbyists for oil and gas company Devon Energy.

Trump has also been stacking his so-called EPA “landing team” with climate science deniers, fossil fuel advocates, and operatives, from think tanks that have made it a mission to block laws to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The landing team is tasked with working with the current EPA staff to gather information so the incoming Trump administration can draw up action plans.

Conservation groups have heavily criticised Pruitt’s appointment.

Sam Adams, a director at the World Resources Institute US, said, “The selection of Attorney General Pruitt, who has consistently questioned climate science and actively fought EPA’s ability to reduce emissions, raises deeply troubling questions.”

“The critical issue is whether EPA will continue to play its vital role in protecting people’s health and safety in communities across the country,” he said in a statement.

Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said, “The mission of the EPA and its administrator requires an absolute commitment to safeguard public health and protect our air, land, water, and planet. That’s the litmus test. By naming Pruitt, President-elect Trump has flunked. The American people did not vote to return to the country to the dirty old days or to turn a blind eye on dangerous climate change.”

Some had even stronger words for Pruitt’s appointment.

“Pruitt is a wholly owned subsidiary of the oil industry,” Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, said in a statement. “Any Senator who doesn’t fight this nomination is handing corporate polluters a wrecking ball to destroy our future.”

Putting a climate science denier and fossil fuel advocate as the lead of the EPA with an advance team of like-minded operatives is not a sign of hope. It is the opposite.

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  1. UserFriendly

    I think someone needs to be compiling a list of oil executives and the politicians they bribe so that we know who to draw and quarter when the sea level rises 2 feet. They should know that their money will not save them, and in fact it will be clawed back from them and their heirs as half of the worlds population dies from Climate change. They will be lucky if they escape with their lives.

    1. Beskeptical

      When you offer scientists grants to prove global warming, they jump at it. You then get them to all agree climate change is bad. If you deny grants to prove global change is wrong then you get no one studying it. Open your eyes to see how our so called scientists have become corrupted like everything else. Wake up, learn to be skeptical about everything in this disinformation age.

      1. Vatch

        It’s the climate deniers who get grants to DISprove global warming. I don’t think there are very many grants to prove global warming, possibly none at all. There are plenty of grants to investigate and monitor the climate and the oceans, but that’s not the same as what you describe. The fossil fuel companies provide tons of money to deniers. Here’s an example of one:

        This, too:

    2. Aumua

      2 feet? Heheh that’s.. very optimistic. Here’s some of the latest thinking: 6 feet by 2100, and up to 50 feet or more down the line.

      I am skeptical of you, not the science nor the scientists who are doing it.

  2. divadab

    Well you can’t say Trump is doing anything different than what he said he would do. It’s terrible, stupid, reactionary, and wrong – but what did the Dems do in this regard? Did Mrs. Clinton take him on on this, or was she too busy hyperventilating about what an ogre Trump is and avoiding climate change as a topic because donor bribes?

    1. tegnost

      That’s true, I’ll take the somewhat controversial view the if the dems really don’t like this guy, they can fight to stop him, while in the vein of your comment, the dems had 8 years to make a difference and they hid behind lame excuses, let’s see if this gives them the inspiration they were so sorely lacking during the milquetoast years…

  3. a.matthey

    Are people around here still so confident about refusing the “lesser evil” paradigm ? The “Plague on both their houses” mentality led us to people no showing up and not voting strategically. Which caused that. What little progress had been made is now to be destroyed. The Supreme court will be stuffed with Ted Cruz characters, and so, no progressive or environmental political movement will have any meaning anymore, regardless of eventual electoral victory.

    1. Deathtongue

      Trump is going to be outright awful, yes. But you know something? As soon as Hillary Clinton won the 2016 primary, a climate-change denying, union-busting, granny-starving white nationalist with full control of the government was inevitable. Your only choice was whether to have it happen in 2016 or at increased strength in 2020.

      And you know something else? I’d frankly rather have it happen now. At least having Trump in 2016 gives us a chance for a counter-attack in 2018. Had Hillary won, what would have happened is that the GOP comes close to a veto-overriding majority in 2018 in Congress even if she played all of her cards perfectly. And it could get way worse! Imagine if the FBI investigation revealed something super-nasty about the Clinton foundation or e-mail or whatever these scandal magnets have going on in their closet. Or Ms. ‘I will not add a penny to the national debt’ Clinton screwed over the economy and her base with Bowles-Simpson 2.0. Or, most likely, she gets us into a Centrist-Approved Bipartisan War in Iran or Syria or wherever.

      All that, and nothing would’ve gotten done for the first four years. Both because Hillary is powerless and the things she does have power with her instincts run with the Woke Centrist Death Cult.

      If you give the choice between Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Tom Cotton in 2020 or Donald Trump in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020, I’m picking the latter! Because you know what? The Democratic Party MIGHT be able to recover from the disaster that was the Obama Administration. Rather than going into the next round of 2020 Gerrymandering with the GOP having a supermajority of state legislatures. Not saying that it will, but while the Trump/Biden combo portends probably doom, the Clinton/Cotton combo spells certain doom.

      THIS is what lesser evilism brings you, a.matthey. Your choices eventually become ‘Hitler now, or Super-Hitler in four years’. Like what’s happening right now.

      The Supreme court will be stuffed with Ted Cruz characters, and so, no progressive or environmental political movement will have any meaning anymore, regardless of eventual electoral victory.

      The GOP is currently one legislature away from being able to rewrite the Constitution and repeal the 14th amendment. Who gives a care about the SCOTUS?

      I don’t understand liberals and their perverse, myopic ‘pragmatism’. If you’re going to do the lifeboat ethics pragmatic nagging thing, for the love of God at LEAST construct it so that your praxis can see past the next year.

      1. Adam Reilly

        And it’s important to note that Hillary Clinton’s administration probably wouldn’t be noticeably better on climate change. Clinton is pro-fracking, pro-pipeline, pro-oil leases on public land and pro-environment destroying trade deals. We were going to get a climate destroyer no matter what; the only difference would have been how much Clinton would have tried to pretend otherwise.

    2. visitor

      What little progress had been made is now to be destroyed.

      Not yet. It still depends on what kind of activism will be pursued to hinder or derail Trump’s initiatives.

      How will Democrats proceed in this respect?

      Will they launch massive offensives in the Congress to block legislation, using all the constitutional tricks, and filibustering like there is no tomorrow?

      Will they block candidates proposed by Trump from being appointed head of important regulatory agencies, resorting to all the ploys the Republicans used in the past?

      Will they put their huge financial resources (see Clinton foundation) to support grass-root organizations opposing environmentally disastrous initiatives?

      Will they take advantage of their considerable influence and relation networks to hire super-charged attorneys for mounting serious legal challenges to Trump-originated anti-environmental decisions from local tribunals all the way to the Supreme Court?

      Will the remaining Democratic governors refuse to implement polluter-friendly plans from the Trump administration?


      Will Democrats just strike an outraged pose, sternly chastise voters for not having let Clinton become president, and loudly exhort citizens to “vote Democrat”?

      There is a reason why people did not vote Clinton. The Democrats had done almost nothing for them, but plenty against them in the socio-economic domains where it counted.

      The Democratic track record regarding environmental protection is dismal as well. Let us see how Democrats will handle the situation from now on. I am not optimistic; that snarky tweet about Elizabeth Warren’s loud support for activists against DAPL coming after the battle having been waged is revealing.

    3. tegnost

      The dems were half measures and handmaidens for industry while being global supply chain nimby’s. If they’re so great they’ll take a stand, in the mean time you can sit in a traffic jam and bemoan the cuts they made to public transportation and dream about the macondo shrimp cocktail you’ll have for lunch mr. “people around here”

    4. Katharine

      It’s not yet a done deal. The appointment has to make it past the Committee on Environment and Public Works, which at present has nine Democratic and eleven Republican members (I don’t know membership in next Congress: does anyone have a link with new lists?). Since the Democrats are probably uniformly opposed to this choice, all you need is to remind them they should be and find two or more Republicans who have somewhat reasonable environmental records and start working on them.

      1. Vatch

        Susan Collins of Maine and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire have the best League of Conservation Voters ratings among Republican Senators, but only Collins will still be in the Senate during the next Congress. Mark Kirk of Illinois is third, but like Ayotte, he lost his election in 2016.

  4. David

    A couple of issues with the vocal opposition are:

    1) The upper middle class-plus don’t want to deal with the core causes of our emissions and of climate change. They want to keep all the comforts of our energy-intensive consumer economy and pretend that we can greenwash it with renewables. Until that contradiction is faced, we aren’t going to get anywhere.

    2) The CPP was/is a horribly convoluted and poorly constructed mechanism. I work in the utuility industry. What we need is a carbon tax applied way upstream at the source (when the resource crosses the border or comes out of the ground). Then, we capture not only electric production, but the transportation sector as well (which no one actually wants, see point #1).

    3). The WOTUS rule was an attempt to bring every dry creek-bed in the country under federal jurisdiction (I exagerate for emphasis, but not by much). It is/was quite legitimately an example of federal overreach, so to my mind, its critics are not wrong.

    Granted, he will not be pursuing climate change mitigation, but again, the Democrats were really just talking about it while not actually doing anything substantive. We have to face up to the fact that our resource-intensive lifestyles are not going to continue. Proactive change is better that uncontrolled change forced upon us by circumstances, but we have a long, long way to go.

    1. HBE

      “The upper middle class-plus don’t want to deal with the core causes of our emissions and of climate change. They want to keep all the comforts of our energy-intensive consumer economy and pretend that we can greenwash it with renewables.”

      This +100.

      This is precisely the reason I hate “green energy”, it allows people to think there is a quick fix for climate change and the environment without having to make any lifestyle changes.

      It makes population control, minimalist lifestyles, etc. (you know things that help but actually require lifestyle changes) nonstarters for most people, because “green energy” will save us.

      1. DJG

        David and HBE: Yes, the upper middle class, which dominates the country economically and culturally, does not want to be inconvenienced. One instance is that, in this time when we should be penalizing waste of energy and building houses that minimize energy use, big-box houses with four and five bedrooms are still going up, at least in my neighborhood.

        Throw in the paranoid style of U.S. politics and the toxic brew of U.S. religion, and you have a majority of Americans supporting policies that will put the country firmly on the path of environmental and economic decline, which are already experiencing, although not fully. (I’m not persuaded that the U.S. populace is all that eco-savvy, partially by design, partially by sheer avoidance.)

        And the U.S. upper middle class will not go down without a fight. Not when there are proxy wars in Iraq and Syria and Yemen to subsidize.

    2. Vatch

      Of course we need a carbon tax. How is that ever going to happen with Republican control of Congress, and lobbyists like Grover Norquist terrorizing any legislators who support such a tax? “No new taxes” is a pious litany for Republicans, and they control the government.

      1. David

        I would argue that if we structure it in such a way as to hold people harmless on average, it would be seen as less of a burden. Take the proceeds from the tax, less admin expenses, and refund it on a per capita basis. This way, the government is revenue neutral, but the marginal decision making has been tweaked to include the cost of carbon.

        That aside, the Democrats, as I said, don’t want to deal with the root cause of the issue, which is our wasteful, resource intensive consumer economy. Until we acknowledge that conservation and significant reductions in consumption are an integral part of any solution and that “green growth” is a fantasy, we will continue to go in circles.

        1. Vatch

          I’m on your side regarding a revenue neutral carbon tax. Have you made your suggestions to conservative Republicans? If so, it would be interesting to know how they respond.

          There’s one other root cause that needs to be added to your list: overpopulation. Large families like the Duggars, the Bevins (Governor of Kentucky), and the Octomom rapidly consume resources and cause a lot of pollution.

          1. David

            The one occasion I had at an industry forum resulted in blank stares.

            And yes, we are way over the planet’s carrying capacity. This will self-correct in time. One haiku summary I’ve seen of Malthus:

            Population multiplies,
            but food adds. The good
            news is there are wars and plagues.

  5. Pwelder

    So now it’s going to be the Energy Protection Agency.

    Hey, they can re-cycle the initials. So I guess it’s all good.

  6. Vatch

    This is a clear example which provides evidence that Republicans, on average, are worse than Democrats. Yes, I know about villain rotation and the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party establishment. I know that the Democrats are servants of the oligarchs, but the Republicans are even more enthusiastic in their obeisance to the ultra rich and the giant corporations. After the revelations in Flint, Michigan, both parties should endeavor to actively protect our air, water, and soil from dangerous pollutants. Instead, Trump and Pruitt have raised their middle fingers to the American people.

    1. Adam Eran

      (Democrat) Boss Tweed used to say “I don’t care who people vote for as long as I can pick the candidates.”

      His spirit lives on…

  7. Greg T

    This is not surprising. Trump voters don’t give a hoot about climate change. Why? Democrat elites would say because they’re ignorant. In reality, how do you tell a family barely hanging on to survival that climate change has any meaningful impact on their lives? These families have already sacrificed their livelihoods to the neoliberal economic order. The last thing they want to hear is Al Gore telling them they need to sacrifice more for the sake of the planet and the human species. Moreover, look at geography. Most of the Democratic voters reside on the coastal areas, which is the front line for the rising sea levels associated with planetary warming. The US heartland doesn’t face as serious a threat in this regard.
    This is yet another illustration of Democratic Party failure. A successful party would combine the need to face the threat of climate change with a jobs program. Putting people to work by making buildings energy neutral, developing high speed rail networks and countless other things to mitigate the impact of warming and simultaneously reduce emissions would be a winning strategy.

    1. Jake

      If you think the impact of climate change will be felt mainly on the coasts, you probably should study the matter a bit more. Rainfall patterns will change, the midwest and west are already seeing it. A significant rise in sea level is going to make much of the Mississippi valley a shallow inland sea. Florida’s in deep trouble, as are the Gulf Coast states.

      From what I can see, is a whistle near the graveyard, we are past 400 ppm CO2 already and going for more. My guess is a 4 degree Celsius rise is in the works.

  8. kj1313

    You know what I rather have all the bad out in the open. All of it from every Trump policy and pick. No more mealy mouth incremental settling from corporate Dems, just full on evil policies from the other side.

    1. Vatch

      Yes, that is one of the few good things about having Trump as President. With Obama (or Clinton), some people refuse to see how pro-oligarch he (or she) is. Despite that, I still believe that Republicans tend to be worse than Democrats.

  9. Mike D

    This is a direct result of a large shortcoming of the Democratic Party strategy that has largely ignored local politics and abandoned large portions of what should be their natural constituency i.e. the current and recently demoted middle class. I live in the rural west and during the last election I had virtually no choices on the ballot that were not Republican and because of this there has been no credible discussion of issues that are not being driven by the Republican Party. Unless there is a larger local effort addressing local issues it is unreasonable to expect an expanded conversation that will include issues such as climate change causes and solutions. Democrats or others need to build up to their “glamour issues” by heeding Tip O’Neill’s admonition that “All politics is local.” The result of this lack of the less glamorous local politics is 25 states having Republican control of the governorship and the state house and senate versus 5 for the Democrats after the last elections (as per Ballotpedia) and as an outcome less credible discussion of things like Climate Change.

    1. Edward

      Of course, it seems as if.the DEMS are banking on converting ten of millions of illegals into the base of the new Democratic Party…. they never thought the GOP would ever win the Presidency again…then along comes Trump, and the DEMS are just about DOA,.

  10. Phil

    I vacillate between wishing the worst on the people who voted for this narcissistic psycho and hoping that I”m wrong about what he will do to this nation. I am developing a visceral hatred for Trump; not a healthy thing – for mind, or body. America is ripping apart at the sinews, and in a very real way it’s not just Donald Trump that is at fault.

    Was Hitler at fault for what his SS goons did to Jews, Gypsies, LGBT, and the mentally ill? *Every* Nazi goon had agency, and *every* Nazi *let* the hellish angels of their respective natures take hold; sadly, it’s easier for some people to let this happen. This is true for at least a significant minority of Trump voters.

    I have held many conversations with people who voted for Trump; most of them are not very reflective; there is the occasional outlier, , but by-and-large most appear to be driven by “getting back at the system”, or driven by some tin-foil-hat version of reality.

    I’m growing very weary of trying to understand a significant majority of these people, and thinking that it might be better for states rights to really take hold in a significant way. Let the Trump Neanderthals suffer the Darwin effect; that’s what the lower angels of my nature tell me, but then I think about the authentically powerless ones – children; the infirm, mentally ill; the ignorant (who are ignorant because they have not been permitted opportunity or education – *not* the willfully ignorant; they can go to hell), and so on.

    I’ve lived many decades, and have seriously considered putting a stop to following current political developments, because they are so dispiriting.

    Trump is, in a way, America’s death wish. Americans, especially compared to most of the earth’s billions, have it pretty darned good. When no real consequences come from bad actions, those actions tend not to extinguish; they persist, even if they are slowly self-defeating. It’s one of the flaws – the big flaws – of our species.

    I ran into a guy from Georgia the other day; he picked cotton as a kid, and his grandmother (who raised him) grew all of her own food; he knows how to go back to that life and isn’t afraid – not so for most Americans.

    Maybe what we need is a shock that will make people sit up straight and realize that they are going to lose *everything* if they’re not careful, but that’s probably wishful thinking on my part.

    IN any case, I’m still trying to figure out how what part to play in opposing this debacle. I think a lot of people are. I’m still in disbelief that – as Robert DeNiro so aptly put it – a “mutt” is in the White House. Trump is everything I despise – almost a kind of political anti-Christ. It’s depressing.

    1. pretzelattack

      what about the significant number of people who held their noses and voted for trump because he wasn’t clinton? or stayed home instead of voting for clinton? don’t just look at one side of the equation. i don’t know what trump is going to do, i’m sure most of it will be bad, but he isn’t hitler–he could be the second coming of bush 2. clinton scared me.

      1. Phil

        Clinton scared me too, but there is a *significant* difference between what Trump can do (and, indeed, has already done) and what Clinton would have done. I may be wrong, but I truly believe that Clinton, although very problematic, had grown in her views and sensitivities in a way that genuinely came closer to what Sanders was pushing for.

        Now, we have something happening that I believe will create *lasting* rifts between class, and geographic regions. JObs are *not* coming back, certainly not jobs that pay what most of Trump’s voters think. Corporations see labor as *one thing* – a line item…that’s all.

        I”m sure I would have had big differences with Clinton. Trump? No, he’s not Hitler, but he’s the worst thing that has ever happened to this nation in my living memory – and that’s saying something.

        Where is there any talk among either side about a guaranteed basic income? Aside from a small (privately funded) 1000 person experiment happening in Silicon Valley,who is thinking about what will surely be one of the only ways to deal with the massive displacement that automation will bring (and has already brought)?

        The entire nation, even many people who opposed Trump, are looking at the process of power transfer – which was set up by rational people – being made into tragicomedy. We have a buffoon PEOTUS who is a clinical narcissist – an admitted bully – whose constitutional makeup is burned in – i.e., is *incapable* of – change regarding his approach to getting what he wants – and sadly, we have good evidence re: just how this particularly sick puppy PEOTUS operates.

        As for those who stayed home, or those who voted for “not Clinton”, most of those fall into one of the two categories I mentioned above – either ignorant due to structural ignorance, or those who were willfully ignorant.I have had many conversations with people from both categories and I can tell you that the latter group are not redeemable, not unless they are hurt so bad that they finally see the light – and even then, many of these willfully ignorant types will find a way to blame anyone other than Trump.

        I maintain an open mind, and hope I”m wrong re: my current fears (and even perceptions) re: Trump, but at the moment I struggle with not nursing a visceral hatred for Trump,the person, and some of the people who surround and support him. Sadly, I don’t think I”m alone; that doesn’t bode well for an America that can be in any sense of the word, be called a “village”.

  11. Irredeemable Deplorable

    As someone on the right, I would class your despicable screed above as hate speech.
    But cleary, what do I know, as a “Neanderthal”, it’s suprising that I can figure out how to work a keyboard. Not bad for a guy with 2 college degrees and many technical certifications etc, I must have picked that knowledge up back in the cave.

    “I’ve lived many decades, and have seriously considered putting a stop to following current political developments, because they are so dispiriting.” I agree with this, up till the Fall of this year, the left has dominated almost all public conversations for the last 50 years, as proven daily by the #FakeNews MSM propaganda. Your left has had a good run, for the last 50 years, and it’s over now, as the cycle turns. Probably “progressives” will rise again in 50 years.

    But then I already have developed that “visceral hatred” for the left. I can’t have any sort of “conversation” with those on the left, because they immediately start yelling “You are just a ______ist!” at me. Real “Debate” is an unkown to most of those on the left, especially the younger ones, raised in their “Safe Space” culture. Our culture is divided now, there is really almost no room left for “debate” or “compromise” any more. The next step will likely be civil war, left vs right, and the left will lose that one very badly.

    No doubt Yves will call me a “troll”, as she has pretty much every time on the infrequent occasion I placed a comment on this website (2-3 times total). To her credit she did publish my comments, which is far more than most websites on the left will do when confronted with someone who disagrees.

    I still continue to read this website everyday, she can confirm that by my IP address, and very often I agree with what is posted, mostly regarding Wall St and finance. The “PropOrNot” fiasco proves this website is highly important to the cause of free speech without censorship, and for that I commend Yves, though “not so much” for many of the commenters.

    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

      Deplorable, which screed are you objecting to in particular? Your comment isn’t posted as responding to any particular comment, so I had to read through all the comments before I could make some guesses.

      There are a lot of commenters on this site. Some of them might assume you were irredeemable. Others have been saying pretty loudly that it is deplorable to characterize large swathes of the population as irredeemable.

    2. flora

      I had to search on the word “dispiriting” to find the comment you’re replying to.
      So much pre-judging of what will or will not happen with Trump. I’m taking a wait-and-see attitude right now.
      Too much “them”, “those people”, aka “not-one-of-us unAmerican” hyperbole in a lot of comments. I think there’s a lot we can all agree on about the economy, about jobs, about crap trade deals like TPP and TTIP, about maintaining a decent safety net. Well, just my 2¢.

    3. skippy


      Its hard to debate let alone converse with anyone that thinks the left has dominated – “almost all public conversations for the last 50 years” – when the media has increasingly been corporatist consolidated and the dominate economic ideology has been theoclassical.

      Disheveled…. that some people confuse social libertarianism branding by one faction of the same economic tribe vs the monotheistic patriarchal side… you’ll get that…

  12. Irredeemable Deplorable

    I was replying to “Phil” above, but the reply didn’t show up in the right place.

    Skippy: 50 years ago was the mid-60s, if you can’t see that society has moved steadily and relentlessly to the left since then, year by year, to where we are now, well I can’t help you. “Neo-liberal economics” yes, but economic policy is not society at large, I am talking about the social mood in general – today’s extreme “Political Correctness” culture as practised by our (for the most part) clueless Millenials, who have bought into what they are taught in school and shown in movies etc from an early age.

    I work with a large number of them, and about 20%, maybe, at best, might one day be responsible adults able to entertain concepts foreign to their indoctrination in “Progressive values”, but the rest will still be running to their Safe Space to hide under the bed when the evil right wingers say anything at all that does not agree with their Group Think.

    I have actually read the comments here almost every day, for years, as time allows, and I can agree with many, on a lot of issues, but the sense of smug superiority that makes most left websites unreadable to me can still be found in many of the comments. I suppose you could argue right wing websites are the same in reverse, but in fact I have found much more open and honest debate of real issues there.

    Don’t take it personally, it’s just we are on different sides of the great cultural divide of modern left vs modern right. This comment is getting too long, but one day soon I will post on another thread just why exactly so many voted for Trump, and it is not really explained well, if at all, by almost all of the comments I have read here from those who try to figure out why the election happened the way it did. The truth was not reported in the MSM, at all, shall we say. .

    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

      Hi Deplorable – thinking about your disagreement with Skippy in the first paragraph above, it seems to come down to the two of you using the word “Left” in different ways. My guess is that is that if you wanted to, you could probably short-circuit the whole linguistic dispute by using a term like “mainstream liberal/progressive culture” instead of “the left.” Unless that term isn’t a good summary of what you mean, which might also be interesting.

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