• “October. November. December. January. February. And now March. For the sixth month in a row, we’ve had a month that has broken the global high temperature record.”
At some point in 2016, we’ll likely have a month that isn’t record-setting — one in which the global average temperature doesn’t quite exceed what it was in 2015 or 2014. At that point, Sen. James Inhofe and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Donald Trump will rush to say this proves the world is no longer warming, or that climate change has stopped (or “paused”), and that this shows us that climate is cyclical and there’s nothing to worry about and drill, baby, drill. Sure, we had that little hot streak of the past two decades, they’ll say, but now we’re cooling off.
• Narcissists are so pure they probably can’t vote for anybody: “Voting no longer provides me the indulgence and satisfaction it once did.”
That’s from a Salon piece written by and for people who treat voting — and politics in general — as exactly that, as something that’s supposed to “provide me … indulgence and satisfaction.” Welcome to the Anti-Kitten-Burning Coalition of the by-stander left, where it’s all about “me.”
Scott Lemieux calls this “Voting as a Self-Affirming Consumer Choice,” which is an apt description, although it’s probably a consequence and a sub-set of a more general outlook of ethics and virtue as primarily a self-affirming consumer choice. This starts out, I think, from an admirable impulse to avoid complicity, but that quickly slides into an attempt to avoid culpability and then the full embrace of irresponsibility. And in this view, irresponsibility is a badge of honor — the ultimate symbol of personal purity, and thus the ultimate source of indulgence and satisfaction.
• As a tonic and antidote to that outlook, try this: “Meet the black activist who derailed a big polluting project before graduating college.”
• Beleaguered, ineffective, anagramatically named Republican Party chair Reince Priebus says that, contrary to what others may think, he doesn’t hate his job. “This is fun,” he said of his role. “I’m not pouring Baileys in my cereal.”
That’s a vivid, and oddly specific, image for someone who starts their day by trying to drown their sorrows at breakfast. It’s also almost tempting — not as breakfast, but perhaps as a late-night snack. The choice of cereal matters here, of course, and that may require a bit of experimentation to get it right. But I’m thinking that maybe someone tucking into a bowl of, say, Cocoa Pebbles with a tasty splash of Baileys wouldn’t so much be the quintessence of misery as a picture of someone living the dream.
• This is a personal testimony: “I Was a Men’s Rights Activist.” Thanks for sharing, and keep coming to meetings.
• Kudos to Southern Baptist pastor Bart Barber of Farmersville, Texas, for proposing a resolution “on sexual predation in the Southern Baptist Convention.” Christa Brown discusses the limits of that resolution, and what more the SBC needs to do.
• The title of this post comes from Billy Bragg: