SocraticGadfly: 9/27/20 - 10/4/20

October 03, 2020

COVIDIOTS abound in the Beltway's chattering classes, and not all of them ride the Trump Train

And no, it's not just Trump himself, who as you know if you haven't been on Mars, has it.

It's his family, of course. And, who let them do this? The plutocrat corporatists at the Commission on Presidential Debates, ultimately.

More here:

That said, will he break quarantine? Click the link to vote. Or just look below.

But, it's more than just his family.

It's also people like Maskless Mark Meadows.

Or Larry Kudlow.

Speaking of, if Trump does break quarantine, will they say anything? Click the link to vote. Or below:

But, it's not just Trump, or his family, or his sycophantic flunkies.

It's the Beltway culture:

Per the Tweet? Yes, they ARE addicted to access.

This is even more clear with word that Trump's press stonewaller, Kayleigh McEnany, also has it

Update, Oct. 7: Now we have a ButtFeet reporter not showing up for her "shift," and someone from Politico pinch-hitting.

That said, it's time to move to the Mopac Beltway and America's favorite wingnut Lite Guv, and remarks of his several months ago.

Well, what about it?

NO worries. Surely John Cornyn is on the job:

And, I've already taken care of that one too:

Let's not forget climate change denialists crosspollinating into or as coronavirus denialists.

October 02, 2020

RIP Bob Gibson; Ozzie Smith now Mr. Redbird

Just a couple of weeks after Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, the Cardinals' greatest pitcher ever, has passed away.

His 1968 still ranks as one of the greatest pitching seasons ever, and being only the second pitcher, after Walter Johnson, to hit 3,000 Ks is also a biggie. As ESPN notes, he's ranked No. 31 on Sporting News' Top 100 players, or was at the time of the list.

Sadly, Brock was one of two teammates to put, indirectly, one black mark on his record — the Game 7 loss in 1968. If Brock slides at home against Bill Freehan, he scores and there is no Game 7. And, of course, Curt Flood's misplay.

Lifetime? He's 25th in WAR for pitchers. And 14th on the JAWS ranking. Twelfth on WAA. Also, to me, "A-list" HOFers have a WAA that is more than 50 percent as high as their WAR. Gibby was at the 60 percent mark. He's also one of the few pitchers to win an MVP. And, he recorded two 10-WAR seasons. As part of his luster, he's also one of the few pitchers in baseball to have positive WAR as a career batter.

Tim Kurkjian offers more thoughts.

B-Ref has Jim Palmer as top similarity score, but to me, they're not that close. Bob Feller, with war service asterisk, is more like it.

That then said, with Brock and Gibson now gone, and Red Schoendienst two years ago, Ozzie Smith is Mr. Redbird, right. Thank doorknob Tony La Russa is no longer manager.

The only person to possibly compete with the Wizard for the honor would be Ted Simmons, but, he had enough years away from St. Louis to not quite be a "face," and also, in his post-career life, he just hasn't had that same degree of connectedness.

Antifa slouches further toward Gomorrah

I do not support people who, under the alleged "antifa" label and in reality as the moral descendants of the old Black Bloc, use the excuse of protesting against police brutality to engage in anarchic behavior. And, I'm not alone. In part for the same reasons, legit Black Lives Matter people and other persons of color in cities like Portland have said they don't like outsiders horning in.

The newest is nearly all-white marchers, again without full BLM buy-in, going into largely white residential neighborhoods and saying things like "take down that flag." And finding out that Black veterans think they're full of it. Elsewhere, in Rochester, New York, going to restaurant outdoor seating areas and dumb shit like shaking tables? Beyond other issues, this is promoting claims of collective guilt that I reject philosophically.

To me, it's not primarily an issue of whether the tagalongs are primarily White or not. And, were I Black (or American Indian or Hispanic) in Portland, whether or not they're outsiders might not be a huge deal. But? Anarchism for anarchism's sake? Different kettle of fish.

After all, that's part of the background behind Trumpist alt-righter Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly killing two people.

I condemn anarchism even before it reaches this point of destruction of property, and I'm not a hypercapitalist or even close. I disliked the original Black Bloc ever since it did this Kabuki theater at the 1998 WTO meeting in Seattle. I generally halfway distrust explicitly anarchist Greens for this reason. Per stories from Kenosha and elsewhere, this isn't Fortune 500 businesses being destroyed.

October 01, 2020

TX Progressive: Coronavirus, wk 26 — calling out tribalism

Just a brief update this week, with politics-relative COVID news as well as medical items. Indeed, half the items on here or more this week are more politics than medicine. And not just Trumpist politcs.

Here in Tex-ass, Democraps as well as Rethuglicans have grifted off local governments to enable friends with shady pseudo-medical claims to win sweet contracts on COVID-related issues. That's some of the elected Democratic grifters at left.

Texas has the nation's largest "digital divide," kind of like having the highest uninsured percentage and other "We're No. 1" stuff that Gov. Strangeabbott and other Texas Rethuglicans don't like to discuss. The Observer asks how this is going to affect remote learning over a full school year. 

DMag has a photojournalism report from the lonely virtual State Fair.

Erin Garcia de Jesus worries about the "twindemic" of COVID plus influenza.


Sturgis-related? COVID diagnosis are up sharply in South Dakota and three other upper Plains states. And, hospitalizations are up strongly in South Dakota and every bordering state except Iowa.

Wisconsin had a massive spike in cases that started last week. Fortunately, deaths haven't spiked much, so far.

AND ... breaking after I first posted, but a HUGE example of tribalism? Shasta County, California, a new hotbed of coronavirus denialism. Businessman there (sadly, not named by Michael Lewis, a leader in this denialism. And then, his mother dies. Of COVID. And, let's let Lewis take it from there.

Only weeks ago, one of the loudest protestors in Shasta County, a businessman who had refused to take steps to prevent the spread of the disease, had watched his mother die of Covid. In that moment, a political opinion was challenged by a fact; one of them needed to be altered. The man called the coroner and demanded that the county change the cause of death.

Just wow.

AND ... breaking after that? Of course, the news that Trump himself has "got it." See this Twitter poll and this second Twitter poll about the Trump Train and my thoughts as to whether or not Trump breaks quarantine.

Global and COVID tribalism

• Tribalism has more than two sides on COVID stories both here and abroad, as a WaPost opinion columnist talks about sub-Saharan Africa's successes and never mentions South Africa, including never mentioning it has the 10th highest total number of cases in the world and a death rate higher than Canada's. (South Africa's daily cases are down NOW, but two months or more ago, it was a mess.) And, the reasons why many countries there appear to be doing well may sometimes be appearance, not reality. Poor public health monitoring and reporting structures come to mind, for example. Disruptions by civil wars also come to mind. Yes, select African nations did well in battling Ebola outbreaks a few years ago. BUT ... while it has a higher lethality, it has a much lower spread vector and it never was a pandemic in the sense of "all nations."

And, there's one other factor. We DON'T EVEN HAVE TESTING INFORMATION from seven sub-Saharan African nations. NOTHING, per Worldometers. It is the empirical equivalent of a classical informal logic fallacy to claim "success" when you literally have nothing by which to measure success.

Per Our World in Data, a product partially of the University of Oxford, confirming what I was hinting at above, there's a fairly tight correlation between testing frequency and per-capita income.

In addition, I'm going to "concern troll" Karen Attiah over things like this:

It’s almost as if they are disappointed that Africans aren’t dying en masse and countries are not collapsing.

Ahh, "they."

And this, related to the correlation link above.

The BBC came under fire for a since-changed headline and a tweet that read “Coronavirus in Africa: Could poverty explain mystery of low death rate?”

Yes, in this case, the Beeb could have phrased it better. But, poverty is correlated with lack of testing, which means that many cases that would have been reported as COVID-caused here in the US might not be so in sub-Saharan Africa. That's just reality.

Update, Oct. 9: In the wake of new Nigeria-focused protests on Twitter about SARS, it's interesting, or "interesting," that Attiah never mentions battles with SARS, or Nigeria as a country.  (Different SARS, I now realize, but, still, ties to the original SARS.)

And, as far as sub-Saharan Africa's success against Ebola? Well, also, it has an R0 a fair amount lower than COVID, per Skeptical Raptor.

Speaking of, on to related ...

• I mean, the Beeb notes that India has the second highest cases in the world AND has abysmal testing. So, Karen Attiah is coming off like an African-American tribalist for sub-Saharan Africa. It's not quite as bad as being a "Plandemic" or other type of conspiracy theorist tribalist, but it's bad enough. (And one blue wave #TheResistance type got a mild earful back after calling me out on Twitter.

• And, speaking of testing? Tribalists, or whatever, claiming that Vietnam has "crushed coronavirus" a second time? Given that it ranks 164th in the world's countries in per-capita testing, we don't know that it's crushed anything. I mean, a country that's not much better off financially, the Philippines, has done more than three times as many tests per capita. Uzbekistan four times as many. And, the India above? Five times as many. (Of countries for which we have test rates, only 30 rank lower.) We DO know that, because of claims it's crushed COVID a second time, it obviously did NOT crush it the first time, despite naivete or whatever of some Western doctors. Logic 101.

Our World in Data, apparently with different info, says that Vietnam is in the sub-Saharan camp, with NO information on daily testing. It also lists China as "no data." More here. (Sadly, Our World in Data engages in the same illogic mentioned above, when it elsewhere claims Vietnam is "winning.")

Nutters on Twitter:
Bye, eventually. Said person eventually admitted this was circular reasoning, which it obviously is, as you can't know about total cases until you test enough people, therefore, it was only 750 per already confirmed case. And, the second sentence then means that Vietnam engaged in the faulty assumption that it had "crushed" it. Some people noted it left the Chinese border more open after spring. (Obviously, if Chinese illegals were spotted in Danang this summer.) Maybe it didn't test enough in the highlands. Maybe it left too many expat Brits bring friends to the country. (Hint, hint.) In any case, contra the Daily Mail et al, it didn't "crush" anything.

Andrew was joined by a NON-expat Brit who eventually fessed up to tribalism:
Also bye. As I told him, bad use of data (or arguably, bad use of nondata) in the service of a stance like his is tribalism.

And a non-smart freethinker:
No. You could be failing to trace the asymptomatic, for one thing. Second, this assumes Vietnam had rigorous contact tracting. 

Three of the four English-language responders to me have less than 30 followers. Yes, that's close to a classical logic fallacy, but at some point? (And I will note that one of the Vietnamese respondents has "Hanoi Facts" as part of their handle.

As far as claims we'd see Vietnamese "dropping like flies"? Several things wrong with that.
1. How much non-governmental news comes to the US out of Vietnam?
2. I'm not presuming anything above the current 5-6 percent fatality rate, so that's a bit of a strawman.
3. From 1 and 2, 50,000 cases with 5 percent fatality? That's "just" 2,500. Small, but much more than now. The same as Poland, albeit with more than double the populatoin. Small enough to fly at least somewhat under radar screens.

This all said, there may be another factor. Our World in Data admits that Vietnam's youthfulness may be a factor in the low reported death numbers. This, of course, would also apply to sub-Saharan Africa, to the degree its death numbers are true. That said, COVID comorbidity may not be getting filed as COVID deaths, either. (The same webpage notes that Vietnam's contact tracing is high, but per capita testing is low.)

As I read this, I see it as Vietnam trying to do something like "ring immunity," which by itself is good, but then claiming that the success of ring immunity means "we've won." Given that general testing is low, you don't know that.

And, contra earlier breathlessness, the late summer outbreak brought deaths. It also brought an admission from the Vietnamese government that it doesn't have the testing capability for generalized mass testing. Oops.
Update, Oct. 16: The government has cancelled the Vietnam Grand Prix ... due to COVID fears. This was first set for April, then postponed. It was to be the initial version of the race.

I'm not saying Vietnam is horrible. I am saying that it shouldn't be used as a tribalist cudgel. I'm also saying that beyond tribalism, while Vietnam is not horrible, I have no way of knowing that it's actually fantastic.

The “why” of that is itself, per Idries Shah, an issue with MANY more than two sides.

And, tribalism is a form of twosiderism and seeing only "both sides." Can the US learn "ring immunity" type contact tracing ideas from Vietnam? Yes. Can it also learn that even in countries that appear to have COVID under control, vigilance is still needed? Yes. Can we also learn that, especially in the face of asymptomatic transmission, Vietnamese actions aren't enough? Yes. Can we learn that because of this, Vietnam's reported positivities, or deaths, aren't guaranteed accurate? Yes? Can we learn to not "elevate" Vietnam? Yes.

Ditto on sub-Saharan Africa. I'm sure there are things we can learn from Ghana on what to do. And on South Africa on what NOT to do. And, to stop considering the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, with twice the population or more, and twice the landmass, of the US, as "one country."

Will "we"? Probably not.

• Seriously. This would be like me claiming "My car gets 50mpg" when my car has neither a fuel gauge nor an odometer.

• In addition, there's the the language of "crushing it." Besides noting Vietnam didn't do that the first time, this "War on Coronavirus" language and mindset is as idiotic as the "War on Drugs."

September 30, 2020

White fragility, SJW Manicheanism

That was the snappiest title I could think of for my review of Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility." I've not added much to the Goodreads review of this book, written in 2018 but newly trending after George Floyd's death.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About RacismWhite Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A deeply problematic book, for both better and for worse, but primarily for worse.

First, let me “qualify” myself.

I am a White leftist. Not liberal. Leftist, at least for America. Related, while I don’t go as far as Doug Henwood and claim that issues of race almost always, and almost completely, reduce to issues of class, I believe they often do at least to some degree.

Second, while I don’t always use the phrase “social justice warrior” pejoratively, I do often have healthy skepticism about those who might be characterized as such.

Third, I reject the author’s definition of racism, period. Here’s why.

Individuals of any so-called race can be racist, first, and with racist, sexist, ageist, and “religionist” (more on that in a moment), the “-ist” is always the adjective to the “-ism.” Period. So, good linguistics and philosophy of language says reject her definition on that grounds alone.

Part two of that? Minorities can be and indeed are racist, not just to Whites, but to other minorities. I’ve seen and heard instances of this.

Part three? Contra her claim that only Whites have the power to induce what we might call “sociological racism,” since I need a qualifier to her definition of racism (pace Wittgenstein) to talk about it, this is not true. First, to go to “religionism,” the religious-based parallel to racism? The anti-goy stance of certain ultra-Orthodox Jews plays out sociologically, and to some degree legally, in a place like Kiryas Joel. Anti-White (or anti-Jewish) racism by Nation of Islam plays out within in neighborhoods within Black-majority areas where NOI “patrols” have degrees of control over the neighborhood.

So, no, racism is a mindset, a mentality, a psychology, not a structure. That said, a majority group with overall national power (but see point three above) has the greatest possibility of making sociological racism systemic. I don’t argue with DiAngelo on that at all. That said, with that said, “systematic racism,” not “racism,” is what she’s talking about. Eventually, it would become tiresome to repeat that over and over, but it should have been done at the start, and on occasions after.

Of course, I’m sure she’d reject my definition as much as I reject hers.

Near the end of Chapter 2, she does around the edges cherrypicking on some stats. She also either does cultural cherrypicking or shows cultural ignorance when lumping “Chinese food” with everything else. Most Chinese food in the US that is not historically in mainland China was invented by Chinese Americans not Whites. Crab Rangoon is the only notable exception. She also totally misframes Jackie Robinson, claiming that no whites have ever seen his becoming the first Black in baseball as she says it actually was.

Chapter 3? Most examples of what she cites as things that fall under so-called “new racism” aren’t new. Well, they may be new temporally, but the ideas aren’t new. Second, without stereotyping, yes, Blacks may apply for some jobs in fewer numbers. We know that Religious Right types don’t pursue jobs in secular academia, then have people like Jonathan Haidt claim this is an example of bias in academia. Next, more of her data points are snapshots, not synchronous views of changes, and possible improvements.

I skipped the next chapter because an N=1 anecdote from her personal life isn’t data.

Chapter 5? She talks about “good-bad binary” while ignoring the irony or more, as in hypocrisy, that her whole book is about making “White fragility” into one half of a binary, one end of a polarity. This includes a presumption that “color-blind” statements are always wrong and that only “color-celebrate” statements are allowed. At this point, per John McWhorter’s review (below) I had to wonder how much of this book was coming from a place of huge lake of self-awareness.

And for all her white liberal (not leftist) earnestness? A John McWhorter, no radical (actually, overall, a Black conservative, but not a Tim Scott wingnut) says she still comes off as talking down to Black people.

“I have learned that one of America’s favorite advice books of the moment is actually a racist tract,” McWhorter says.

McWhorter totally agrees with me on Robinson and other things.

One biggie is calling her a “shape shifter,” noting how she can claim at one point that most Whites are unaware of their “privilege” but, just a few pages later, describing them in general as tribalist.

He makes a couple of other good points. One is that DiAngelo seemingly wants to have all White people wear hair shirts, saying that for her, it’s about the suffering, not the solutions.

The second, per my “introduction,” is that she writes class out of the issue entirely. McWhorter admits he has suffered “at the margins” from racism, but that in general, with the civil rights movement, he’s not done too badly.

A third point is one that, being White, I can’t speak to directly, but he says that she “infantilizes” black people.

Finally, per McWhorter’s observation that his book reads like a diversity seminar training manual, maybe that’s what it IS! There’s plenty of gold in them thar hills! From Melanin Base Camp making boatloads of false accusations in a High Country News piece to other things, can and do minorities (as well as “woke” librul Whites) with money to make off this issue lie? Well, is a bear a Presbyterian? Does the pope shit in the woods?

Speaking of, why is DiAngelo a former professor and current consultant? Did she screw the pooch at university and get her tenure bid rejected? Or, per grifting, is there more money in diversity training? That then gets back to race and class issues.

That said, while McWhorter is honest enough to admit that he has benefitted a fair amount from socioeconomic class, he fails to note the obvious corollary: Many non-White people, including Blacks, haven’t. The “why” of that is itself, per Idries Shah, an issue with MANY more than two sides.

THAT then said, this gets back to a big problem with the book: the issue IS, contra guilt-trips DiAngelo wants to put on fellow White librulz, more than two-sided.

This is one of those books that I eventually gave two stars not one, and in part for one big reason: its revelation of the author’s mindset. The other reason it gets two stars not one is that, even at 25 percent of face value, her anecdotes remind us there is still plenty of work to do in America on racial issues, even though she and people like her are NOT the ones, White or Black — or Hispanic, South Asian, East Asian or American Indian — that we need to be leading the effort.

View all my reviews

September 29, 2020

So, Luther vs Springer in the SD30 runoff

That's what it's looking like at 10 p.m., and I'm not surprised. Contra Brains (and others, Dems or Green-leaners, engaging in wishful thinking) I never expected Jacob Minter to crash his D into the runoff.

And, after hearing the Gainesville debate among Rethugs, I knew that Chris Watts hadn't done enough to distinguish himself from Shelly Luther, Drew Springer, Craig Carter and Andy Hopper, to pick up non-wingnut votes that would go to Minter instead. I mean, the Denton mayor couldn't even win the half of Denton County that's in the district.

So, will Springer's buying up have an effect in the runoff more than it did in the initial round? Possibly, but that much?

Will any of the three R runners up endorse anybody? I mean, I assume Carter and Hopper backers break Luther, and Watts' probably breaks Springer, even without endorsements, but that could help turnout.

And, what will Minter's backers do. Stay home?

After all, the logical date for the runoff (yea, ballots have already been printed, but still) is Nov. 3, but we know that the same Gov. Strangebbott who cooked up this special election date along with Springer and the departing Pat Fallon would choose ANY date besides that, even if ballot printing costs were no object. 

It will of course be after Nov. 3., but when? Is Strangeabbott hoping that if he waits longer, like December, ignoring his previous tender coronavirus concerns, that the boom for Luther will fade? I doubt it, especially assuming coronavirus ramps up and forces Abbott to be Jesuitical again on social distancing orders.

Texas Progressives talk SD30 special election, Jim Schutze, more

As we await the results of tonight's special election for Texas Senate District 30, most likely seeing which two of the six candidates make a runoff, Texas Progressives is talking about the run-up to that and various other state and national political and social items. Coronavirus news is split off again, but running after the other news and politics roundup due to election timetables reversing the normal order.

That said, one thing this corner of the Progs is not holding his breath over is the first presidential debate tonight. I'll be swimming in my apartment pool, eating late dinner and checking Twitter feeds after that, but that's it.

With that, let's dig in!


At Texas Monthly, Peter Holley asks if Shelley Luther's callout of Strangeabbott as a tyrant will help her win the SD30 special election. It's a damn good question, and the race is clearly getting feisty, complete with Drew Springer, the man who hates public schools, buying the URL for That said, Uncle Drew does have some good takedowns, including her being a coronavirus closure Karen. (My take on the race here. Assuming there's a runoff, I'll have a take on that shortly.)

Off the Kuff stays on top of the voting litigation news, with updates about the wingnut assault on early voting, and the probably short-lived reinstatement of straight-ticket voting, which Kuff unironically and without self-reflection salutes while ignoring the state's duopoly parties and state government all working together to restrict third-party voting. My take on the crock of shit ruling here.

I guess Jim Schutze didn't have enough Amber Guyger stanning at the Dallas Observer. He's now taken it to D Mag.

Malware/phishing has hit Hamilton County's elections office. Will this ramp up in weeks ahead? 

Austin is SOOO liberal on things like plastic bags. On stuff that really matters? It has finally stepped forward, as the Observer notes in talking about the city's 30-year war on homelessness, recently reversed.

Corona Connor draws some interesting maps of CD10, one of the three Congressional districts from 2018 that Beto carried but the Republican incumbent won. 

Busi Peters-Maughan implores us to respect and care for the Black matriarchs in our community. 

Grits for Breakfast calls Greg Abbott's pro-police "reforms" a distraction from his failures on COVID-19. 

Fernando Ramirez reports on Barack Obama's latest round of endorsements, which includes MJ Hegar for Senate. 

Climate change national/global

SocraticGadfly shakes his head at bipartisan foreign policy establishment doyens still too ready to guzzle Xi Jinping Thought Kool-Aid, in this case on climate change, along with notes about the Kabuki theater that is the UN General Assembly opening. (An upcoming post will look at certain non-skeptical leftists too willing to guzzle Xi Jinping Thought Kool-Aid on Uyghur camps.

New Mexico's new (from last year) laws on oil and gas emissions control appear laden with loopholes, especially on methane. Given that ConservaDem Gov Michelle Lujan Grisham touted them, is this any surprise?

Speaking of ConservaDem govs in love with Big Oil? The former Mayor Pothole, Gavin Newsom, has said one thing but often done another on regulating the industry. The story notes that things are made worse by a lot of California's oil being "heavy" and thus having additional carbon costs.


AOC tells liberal Zionists where to get off on a Rabin memorial she claims was misrepresented to her.

A reminder that the Federalist Society isn't wingnut Protestant Religious Right, it's Opus Dei Catholic like, or more specifically, Knights of Malta based. But, as the Protestant Religious Right and Israeli politicians are bedfellows of convenience, even as the Catholic headcount on SCOTUS threatens to go to six, the same here.

Conservative Cafeteria Catholics are a real thing (note winger elected officials who ignore church statements against the death penalty as firm as its anti-abortion stance), and Trump is pandering to them by attacking Pope Francis for calling him unchristian. That said, Pope Francis needs to read history. The post-Constantinian Xn-friendly Empire had walls, as did the post-Theodosius II eastern and western empires, in which Christianity was the state religion, although Constantine and his successors started moving away from static walls to defense in depth. See here, and here. This is not an endorsement of Trump, or his wall, nor a denigration of Francis. Rather, as a secularist, it's another marker in the old battle against claims that "Christianity is 'X.'" I also don't totally agree with the second "here." I think Hadrian could and should have held on to more of the Mesopotamia that Trajan had seized from the Parthians than he actually did. Francis' predecessor, Pius X, didn't use a physical wall, but boarded himself up inside the Vatican after 1870 because of the secular Italian state's riffraff, too.

September 27, 2020

Foreign Policy guzzles Xi Jinping Thought on climate change

China's maximum leader made all sorts of climate change promises to the UN General Assembly kickoff this year, a lollapalooza whose Kabuki theater level rivals that of the Republican National Convention and its Democratic counterpart.

And, per that link above, Foreign Policy largely drank the Xi Jinping Thought Kool-Aid. I will give it credit for being skeptical, but only partial credit, as that skepticism only starts halfway through the piece:

There are reasons to be skeptical. Xi is not promising an immediate turnaround. The peak will still be expected around 2030. Recent investments in new coal-fired capacity have been alarming. A gigantic 58 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity have been approved or announced just in the first six months of this year. That is equivalent to 25 percent of America’s entire installed capacity and more than China has projected in the previous two years put together. Due to the decentralization of decision-making, Beijing has only partial control over the expansion of coal-burning capacity.

And, it ignores Xi's own past. He, along with Dear Leader Obama, made sure the Paris Accords were largely toothless Jello

Back to the piece itself.

Xi is saying this because, per the Kabuki above, the UN General Assembly is always a good time for PR. China, the US, Israel and a few other countries are major players. And, between remaining coronavirus anger, new border skirmishes with India, Belt and Road Project souring by many alleged beneficiary nations and other things, China's got plenty of PR it needs to sow. Speaking of, Xi's actual statement to the UN is itself full of blather, mainly on coronavirus. If Xi REALLY cares about "coming together," drop the opposition to Taiwan joining WHO. (Also not mentioned at FP by Adam Tooze.)

Beyond THAT? Per the link in the pull quote, Chinese shoddy construction, even by US standards, means for a lot of ongoing reconstruction. (Which is also a Chinese regional governors' jobs issue.)  And, that means more construction-related carbon emissions. 

Indeed, that link deserves its own pull quote.

A broad announcement by chairman Xi, and one made in front of the world’s assembled heads of state, has the potential to mobilize the resources of the society and re-align the five-year plan targets. If the signal goes out to the bureaucracy that this vision is something to be implemented from now on, it can kick China’s energy transition into high gear. But one can just as easily imagine a future where this target gets relegated into the category of lofty long-term visions to be addressed by the distant successors of current bureaucrats and state-owned company bosses.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Well, actually, I could have mentioned China's past cheating on carbon emissions.

Beyond THAT THAT? This is the Xi Jinping who got the post-Deng two-term limit on being president tossed for him, and is creating Xi Jinping Thought. 

Beyond THAT THAT THAT? How many of the China-stanners in certain precincts of the left will ALSO guzzle this?

Beyond THAT THAT THAT THAT? Going beyond the worst Trumpian ideas of a national security establishment "deep state," the bipartisan foreign policy establishment incestuousness is a real issue.


Nov. 12: Via Yale Climate Connections, Barbara Finemore of Natural Resources Defense Council (shock, #GangGreen) is peddling the Kool-Aid, too.