In 133 Days, We’ve Gone From Being The World’s Engine, To The Caboose. Now We’re Unhitching The Caboose

In Leaving Paris Climate Agreement, Trump Isolates U.S. From Almost Every Single Other Country In The World

Here’s Who’s In The Paris Accord

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, European Union, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada. Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast ,Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestinian Authority, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Here’s Who’s Not

Nicaragua, Syria, United States

Why Should We Care?

Because pretty much the whole world, except us now, thinks it’s good. (Heck, even North Korea’s in there!) And even though it put a lot more pressure on European Union countries, China, and (until Thursday) the U.S., than most of the other countries involved, there are really only 2 ways to look at it:

1) It’s one of the only times in history virtually every single country in the world has agreed on something.


2) It’s a ploy by the rest of the world to hurt the U.S. economy, make us look weak, and laugh at us.

President Trump’s gone with the latter. And if you think we might be engaging in hyperbole, here are some actual quotes from his speech:

•“We want fair treatment for our taxpayers. We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore.”

•”At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us as a country.”

•”Foreign lobbyists wish to keep our magnificent country tied up and bound down.

•”This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”

It’s a theme he kept returning to again and again and again.

What Trump Didn’t Say

When we watched the President’s speech today, we were struck by the fact that Trump did not question the science of climate change even once. In fact, he did not use the word “science” in his speech even once. Or “hoax”. His entire stated reasoning for dropping out was (as we mentioned above) based entirely on economic issues (and paranoia that foreigners are “laughing at us.”)

One could even argue he implicitly endorsed climate change as a valid issue when he said the U.S. will try to renegotiate and re-enter the Paris agreement “if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”

His indifference isn’t exactly inspiring. And perhaps it’s a bit of a stretch. At the same time, why even say you’re willing to re-enter a pact, if you consider the problem it is trying to address a non-issue?

You can watch Trump’s whole speech here. (Ignore the silly headline, it’s not live)

Anyway, What’s The Big Deal? Paris Accord Was A Non-Binding Agreement Anyway…

Because it leads us “into a vortex of escalating harm” according to this brief, scary and very comprehensive piece by a Hoover Institution Fellow.

And keep in mind this is exactly the kind of thing many people who voted for Trump are counting on him to do.

So what’s the difference between staying in and not complying (which would’ve been an option) vs. dropping out?

Because pulling out risks a real sea change in world leadership. Mitt Romney may be bitter, but he’s right when he Tweets, “the Paris Agreement is not only about the climate: It is also about America remaining the global leader.” Very simply: we’re not going to be at the table.

Will that seriously hurt American business? Many in business say yes. And that includes lots and lots of American CEOs. Still, the stock market remains at historically high levels, even with the climate agreement withdrawal (and also something Trump made sure to take credit for at the beginning of his speech.)

It’s hard to argue in “going rogue” the U.S. is not ceding power to EU countries, China, and maybe India. Trump may actually be doing German Chancellor Angela Merkel a favor, bolstering her stature as a world leader, and helping her chances in elections coming up in September. China is already benefiting from Trump’s earlier decision to pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.

France’s new President Emmanuel Macron responded with a brief statement (in English) that included an astounding invitation. Here’s the key quote:

•”To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the President of the United States, I want to say that they could find in France, a second homeland. I call on them: come, and work here, with us.”

Macron concludes with a twist on Trump’s favorite slogan:

•“Make our planet great again.”

You can watch the whole thing here (ignore the silly headline, it’s not ours):

is Macron really offering domicile to all Americans who disagree with Trump’s decision, and you don’t even have to be a scientist, just a “responsible citizen”?!

This Is The Campaign Promise You Keep?

On the same day as Trump made good on his pledge to “cancel” the climate change agreement, he backed out of another: the guarantee he’d move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. As we’ve previously pointed out, although it was not widely reported by the media, just a few days before the election last year, Ivanka Trump appeared in synagogues and Jewish centers in Florida with a message: “Trump will move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem 100%.” Senator Bob Corker was quoted saying Trump even wanted to make the move at 12:01 PM on Inauguration Day.

Trump Wants Supreme Court To Immediately Let Him Do Travel Ban

The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to let the White House immediately implement its travel ban, even while the court considers the case. Late Thursday, Justice filed emergency requests to set aside a decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that froze the ban, and lift an injunction by a federal judge in a case that’s now before the 9th Circuit. The emergency requests represent a test of whether the court will start leaning toward Trump, now that he’s got a guy (Gorsuch) installed. As the Washington Post points out, in order to do what the White House wants, the court would have to determine that the government would likely prevail its case, and that it would be irreparably harmed if the 4th Circuit’s decision remained in place for now. Timing is also at issue: The Supreme Court would have to act before it closes down for the season at the end of the month. Either that or wait til the first Monday in October.

Strategy Becoming Clear For How Trump And His Lackeys Are Going To Try To Distract You And Me And Fox Viewers From Russia Investigation, Probably With Varying Degrees Of Success.

You’re going to hear the word “unmasking” a lot. As in:

That follows a stealthy announcement from House Intelligence Committee chief Devin Nunes, that he’s subpoenaed three top former Obama administration officials to look into whether they abused a process called “unmasking”. That allows administration intelligence officials to request the actual identities of people referred to anonymously in intelligence reports.

Note that Politifact rated the claim that “it is unusual” for a White House official to make unmasking requests as “False.”

Nunes, who worked on Trump’s transition team, recused himself from his committee’s investigation of possible Trump/Russia ties, but not until it turned out documents he was passing around making Trump look good, he’d gone up and gotten from the White House. And the recent moves are leading to critics saying he’s still in it after all.

The new line of investigation follows a typical “Trump pattern”: “You’re saying I’m doing X? Well, you did Y!” But there’s a big difference here: the “unmasking” probe targets people who are no longer in office, so even if they did what he says, the most that’s going to come out of it is us saying “Ooh, these people did something bad.” (And Trump, of course, saying “I was right all along.”) Still, don’t these types of plots at some point start smacking of desperation? (Answer: not if they’re the top story on “Fox & Friends.”)

Also, house committees have limited resources, so any new avenue that’s opened up in an investigation, diminishes the ability to focus on other parts.

Putin: Yeah, Hacks Might’ve Come From Russia

Not from the government. But a “patriotic” private citizen, maybe. The comments came during a St. Petersburg briefing with international news agencies. He suggested it’s understandable patriotic hackers might choose to “fight against those who have bad things to say about Russia.” (Putin made no secret of his dislike of Hillary Clinton, because she wouldn’t stop criticizing.) But he added: “We are not engaged in this on the state level and we are not going to.”

Still, that’s a step beyond where President Trump is: he still hasn’t updated his “it could’ve been China or a 400 lb. person” theory. And it goes beyond what Putin has said before, categorically denying Russia as the source of hacking.

Without going off the speculative deep end: does this indicate Putin knows damning information is going to come out during investigations into Trump campaign ties, and he’s trying to preemptively spin it?

“Who’s behind the hacks?” is something Trump’s effectively turned into a distraction too: by repeatedly arguing no one cares except the Democrats going crazy because they lost the election. But that’s not what this story is about. There’s always meddling in elections from lots of different places. Strong candidates withstand it. This is potentially about a whole new level of intervention, where an entire campaign may have been compromised, and an entire administration could still be compromised by direct influence from a foreign power, and rival.

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