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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, September 12, 2020

Amber Phillips: A search of the president's Twitter feed and his public comments from Factba.se, plus a search of recent White House news briefings, finds no mention by him or his press secretary of one of the worst natural disasters to hit the West in modern times ...the increasingly deadly, catastrophic wildfires in California and Oregon that have displaced 500,000 people, caused fire tornadoes, killed a 1-year-old in Washington state, and blotted out the sun in one of America's largest metropolitan areas.

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The president's relative silence on the West's wildfire crisis matches up with his relative silence on three other issues: the struggles of Democratic-led states, climate change, and crises that require empathy.

It's ...no secret that the president spends a lot of time attacking Democrats. His supporters call it punching back. His detractors call it needless partisan warfare, especially when it comes to a pressing issue threatening people's livelihoods and lives, such as the pandemic or these wildfires.

The second reason the president may be silent on these fires is because of the underlying dynamic that's making them so dangerous. Wildfires occur naturally, but climate change is making these worse. But similar to how he approaches aid for Democratic states, climate change is not a part of the president's vocabulary - unless it's to attack Democrats' plans to address it.

Finally, empathy for human struggle has also never been one of Trump's strengths. After mass shootings, or hurricanes, or as the death toll climbs from the pandemic, his attempts at empathy are awkward at best and almost always fall back on politics.

When you mix together the fact that this crisis is happening in Democratic-run states, is closely tied to a scientific phenomenon he denies even exists, and requires a level of empathy to talk about, you get three potential reasons the president has been so silent on it.

The most virulent climate change skeptic had to be shaken to their core when witnessing this week's images from our western states which more resembled a big-budget Hollywood CGI version of Dante's Inferno than it did the iconic images we're used to seeing all our lives. Orange-red skies are things from movies set on Mars, not noon in San Francisco on a random weekday.

And let us not forget another reason why Trump has been totally silent on the burning of our western landscape: He has no earthly plans or ideas, or even expert advice for utilizing the power of the federal government in any meaningful way to mitigate what we're seeing.

As with most issues he's found himself on the wrong side of, doing nothing about them is not going to help solve the problem, it only guarantees that without affecting any changes more than likely things will get worse. And it will continue to happen on his watch, not someone else's.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-09-12 09:47 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Donald Trump avoids hard work. These fires are hard. He's sitting on his ass, as usual.

#2 | Posted by Zed at 2020-09-12 10:52 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Oregon preparing for mass fatality incident' in wildfire recovery
www.koin.com

...Officials are preparing for a "mass fatality incident" after Oregon wildfires have burned over 1 million acres this week and destroyed thousands of structures.

During a press conference with Gov. Kate Brown on Friday, Director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management Andrew Phelps said they are preparing for a "mass fatality incident" based on the areas burned but did not yet have an accurate number of deaths to report.

"We know we're dealing with fire related deaths and we're preparing for a mass fatality incident based on what we know and the number of structures lost," Phelps said.

"This is going to be a long term recovery operation," he said. "The long term recovery is going to last years." He said he knows this based on how California towns are recovering from recent devastating wildfires. ...



"Mass fatality incident" is a standard emergency management term that pretty much is self-defining.

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-09-12 11:13 AM | Reply

There just isn't any transaction for Trump to gain from in these wildfires. He knows that these fires are unprecedented because the photos we're seeing are something never seen before and cannot be shrugged off as some one-off after the last few years of fires already getting progressively worse.

And it shines a spotlight on his climate change denialism - literally going up in smoke before our irritated eyes. When you can see the air you're breathing and need headlights at noon, everyone knows something is far from normal.

Trump has no "win" here and he knows it. In actuality, it will be interesting to see if the polling starts to move against him in the northwestern red states now dealing with fires. All of a sudden the people in Oregon he's tried to scare into thinking antifa and BLM were burning down Portland are now actually seeing whole communities burned down in wildfires.

Kinda takes the sting out of his fearmongering, so as it regards the West, Trump demagoging "burning cities" has now taken on an entirely different context - one he has no solutions for solving.

#4 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-09-12 11:13 AM | Reply

@#4 ... When you can see the air you're breathing and need headlights at noon, everyone knows something is far from normal. ...

As Smoke Seeps Into My Daughter's Room, Climate Change Haunts Me
www.bloomberg.com

...There are the obvious, most heart-wrenching consequences of the wildfires ripping through California: the 19 people who've died, the 3 million acres torched, the thousands of homes and businesses destroyed.

And then there's the one quietly seeping through my windows: smoke so thick it swallows up the sun, casts a sickly orange pall over my house here in Oakland and has my daughter, Sophia, wondering why it's dark out at 8:30 a.m.

Even a two-year-old knows this isn't right.

We haven't opened a window in three days, are blasting the one air purifier we were fortunate enough to have before California went up in flames, and the inside of our home still smells like an ashtray. I'm coughing, sneezing and have a splitting headache. I'm a little nervous to hear what a scientist has to say about this, but I call one anyway....


#5 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-09-12 11:22 AM | Reply

In California the apocalypse is here.

We are surrounded on three sides by fire and the ocean is to our backs.

Send more rakes!!

#6 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-09-12 11:30 AM | Reply

Laziest occupant of the WH EVER. In a press briefing, he actually had the gall to list eight hours of his stories that he likes to watch; I'm sure he does that daily since he can't be bothered to read or even receive his PDB. Hopefully, we make him unemployed in January; then, he can spend all day every day sitting in his diaper, watching his stories in the memory care home.

#7 | Posted by _Gunslinger_ at 2020-09-12 11:31 AM | Reply

The fact that 58% of California forest land is under federal control while only 3% is under state control (the remainder is privately owned) may play a factor as well, since Trump continues to attack Governor Newsom for "poor management" of California's forests, which includes the Governor failing to force the state's citizens to spend their weekends "sweeping the forest floors".

OCU

#8 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-09-12 11:32 AM | Reply

Trump is just being presidential and he doesn't want to cause panic!

"MAGAts

#9 | Posted by anton at 2020-09-12 11:52 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

DT's hot wind would only fan the flames. He is counting on homeless Democrats not being able to vote.

#10 | Posted by Jaspar at 2020-09-12 11:53 AM | Reply

Laziest occupant of the WH EVER. In a press briefing, he actually had the gall to list eight hours of his stories that he likes to watch; I'm sure he does that daily since he can't be bothered to read or even receive his PDB.

I'm breathlessly hoping that each moderator in the Presidential debates asks the simple but obvious questions which will draw Trump's worst instincts and failures into stark relief. Such as

Since both of you have Executive branch experience, please describe a normal workday as you've lived them as President and Vice President, and talk about what your priorities are each day.

What are your substantive plans for a) wildfires, hurricanes, and other climate related; b) infrastructure c) healthcare - especially Covid-related expenses d) NATO e) fill in the blank, rinse and repeat

Trump has no plans and he has nothing to show for 4 years of governing. Biden has concrete policies for most every issue facing America. The contrasts couldn't be more stark.

#11 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-09-12 12:00 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

If I had been a climate change denier during this past several decades I"d be ashamed to comment those fires too. As Gov. Newsome said yesterday, the argument is over, climate change is no longer debatable it's just a fact. Anyone still trying to pretend otherwise should shouted down and told to just leave public life. The talking heads who have done so for years are just paid shills for fossil fuel industries who don't even believe the lies they spew daily. Today it is obvious, denying climate change is an equal crime to falsely yelling "Fire" in a crowded movie theater and should be punished in the same way.

#12 | Posted by danni at 2020-09-12 12:11 PM | Reply

Well it's not hurting him with the Cali Trump cult because they're all trying to recall Newsom and blame him for not managing the forests after Trump told him to last time. For them it's an "I told u so" moment, not global warming.

#13 | Posted by justagirl_idaho at 2020-09-12 12:16 PM | Reply

Much of the land currently burning in Oregon is wilderness area. Fires are a natural part of the wilderness. So long as you have wilderness areas, you'll have fires. NBD.

#14 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-12 12:32 PM | Reply

"As Gov. Newsome said yesterday, the argument is over, climate change is no longer debatable it's just a fact."

You can make an equally factual argument that the restriction on fire management in wilderness areas led to fires that were uncontrollable.

60 years ago, something like this could have been pre-empted. Now...not so much. Wilderness areas are designed to burn when the time comes.

#15 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-12 12:34 PM | Reply

"NBD."

You're joking, right? 10% of Oregon's population is under evacuation orders. Meanwhile, it's dark at 8:30am, orange when there's "sunlight", and the state smells like a full ashtray.

NBD if you live in Germany, I guess.

#16 | Posted by Danforth at 2020-09-12 12:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 6

@#16 ... Meanwhile, it's dark at 8:30am, orange when there's "sunlight", and the state smells like a full ashtray. ...

As I mentioned in #3, Oregon is preparing for a mass fatality incident.

But I guess that's NBD since Oregon is a blue state.



#17 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-09-12 01:01 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"You're joking, right? 10% of Oregon's population is under evacuation orders. Meanwhile, it's dark at 8:30am, orange when there's "sunlight", and the state smells like a full ashtray."

Well, you can get rid of the wilderness act. I would support it. But so long as it is in effect, wilderness areas will remain "untrammeled," which means that fire management in those areas doesn't exist.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Utah in 1990s.

Germans aren't abject ------- -------. I don't think they would put their citizens at risk in the interest of maintaining "untrammeled" wilderness,

#18 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-12 01:03 PM | Reply

"But I guess that's NBD since Oregon is a blue state."

Hell, rioters have been burning Portland night after night. Maybe this is just mother nature getting in on the protest scene...

#19 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-12 01:04 PM | Reply

"But I guess that's NBD since Oregon is a blue state."

Oregon isn't all that blue. Mostly just the idiots in the northern part of the Willamette Valley.

#20 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-12 01:05 PM | Reply

If Trump were to talk, maybe it would be about rescinding the Wilderness act and allowing the government to conduct preemptive fire management activities.

#21 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-12 01:15 PM | Reply

I don't think they would put their citizens at risk in the interest of maintaining "untrammeled" wilderness,

#18 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER AT 2020-09-12 01:

Hm. You've never walked through a German forest.

#22 | Posted by Zed at 2020-09-12 01:22 PM | Reply

What is happening today might very well be impacted by the Wilderness Act, but I've yet to see a single person but for Mad. even mention it.

They just showed a map of current wildfires in the US, and they extend from west Texas north to the Canadian border and in every single state west of that line. Every state.

The air quality in the western US is the WORST ON THE PLANET right now. These fires are unprecedented in recorded history, this is not some slight aberration from a normal season.

We've seen the progression of wildfires getting larger and larger each year recently, and never in history have our western city's skies resembled Mar's landscape. The issue is how dramatically and drastically the climate is changing and doing so in a manner that threatens human life like it never has before.

#23 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-09-12 01:24 PM | Reply

they extend from west Texas

#23 | POSTED BY TONYROMA AT

Thinly populated areas, but scarcely wilderness.

#24 | Posted by Zed at 2020-09-12 01:29 PM | Reply

The future of America is trees, trees, and more trees. Millions and millions of new forests need to be planted.

#25 | Posted by Zed at 2020-09-12 01:31 PM | Reply

A reporter just stated that breathing the outdoor air in the aftermath of the fire is currently the equivalent of smoking 20 packs of cigarettes a day. The environment is literally toxic to millions with respiratory issues right now.

Nothing about this is analogous to a normal wildfire season.

#26 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-09-12 01:31 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

@#20 ... Oregon isn't all that blue. Mostly just the idiots in the northern part of the Willamette Valley. ...

Since fmr Pres Reagan, Oregon has voted for Democratic presidents.

Oregon is considered a blue state. Probably why Pres Trump is ignoring it.

#27 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-09-12 01:31 PM | Reply

Much of the land currently burning in Oregon is wilderness area. Fires are a natural part of the wilderness. So long as you have wilderness areas, you'll have fires. NBD.

#14 | Posted by madbomber

So why are they getting so much worse stupid?

You know more head causes things to dry and out burn don't you?

Well let me back up. What grade did you flunk out of school so I know how much science I need to teach you?

#28 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2020-09-12 01:40 PM | Reply

Germans aren't abject ------- -------. I don't think they would put their citizens at risk in the interest of maintaining "untrammeled" wilderness,

#18 | Posted by madbomber

So you're proposing more big government spending and solutions?

Should we follow the german model for healthcare too?

#29 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2020-09-12 01:41 PM | Reply

I guess that's NBD since Oregon is a blue state.
#17 | POSTED BY LAMPLIGHTER

This is exactly why Trump is ignoring the fires.

Exactly the same reason Kushner gave for why a nation wide strategy for covid was ignored.

Because Trump is actually trying to kill Americans.

200,000 dead. I wonder how much Putin pays Donnie for each dead American.

#30 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-09-12 02:01 PM | Reply

Fire management is socialist. It is best to just let the fires wash over confederates in east Oregon and California. The death toll will be under 200,000.

#31 | Posted by bored at 2020-09-12 02:04 PM | Reply

Untrammeled wilderness.

One of the main problems I have with religions is the premise that some god gave man dominion over the plants and animals and the entire earth.
Well good job, we hunted the whales to damn near extinction, we decimated wolves and buffalo etc,etc, etc.
We've polluted everything we come across.
We don't need to own every square inch of this planet, it belongs to all god's creatures. Untrammeled roadless wilderness needs to be protected and increased.
Not many bears,wolves,deer and salmon contributed to global warming.
We did this.

#32 | Posted by bruceaz at 2020-09-12 04:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

It's not untrammeled. Oregon does controlled burns. The mission creep from regulations makes them less frequent through narrowed smoke management windows. The consequence is larger uncontrolled burns when they break out. It's not magic.

#33 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-09-12 06:49 PM | Reply

Even the indigenous people to the continent used controlled burns. The untamed wilderness is a white people myth handed down by popular authors from early eras.

#34 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-09-12 06:51 PM | Reply

I am aware that the indigenous peoples used controlled burns on the east coast. And have heard of fires to run the buffalo off cliffs in the midwest. But I don't believe they set the forests on fire in the west. There weren't 300,000,000 people in the country either, there was untrammeled wilderness.

#35 | Posted by bruceaz at 2020-09-12 07:28 PM | Reply

Not many bears,wolves,deer and salmon contributed to global warming.
We did this.

#32 | POSTED BY BRUCEAZ AT 2020-09-12 04:43 PM | FLAG: | NEWSW

I am sure it is just a coincidence that it is the hottest driest year ever.

#36 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-09-12 08:09 PM | Reply

Forecast here for the next 3 days is "Smoke".

#37 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-09-12 08:44 PM | Reply

They've become Much hotter and drier and it's not a one year fluke. Beat our old record of 33 days over 110 by three weeks!
Measurealble rain at my house once since May.

But what I am really trying to say is "don't blame the fcccking wilderness "

Old growth logging is part of it too.

#38 | Posted by bruceaz at 2020-09-12 08:45 PM | Reply

Forecast:smoke

We have our fair share of fires going here too, desert fires. The smoke has come low in the valley like I have never seen.

But the California smoke, honest to god I thought we were having a couple cloudy days until I saw the satellite pictures.

#39 | Posted by bruceaz at 2020-09-12 08:50 PM | Reply

I think most of the current smoke here is coming from Oregon and Washington, and one big fire 100 km to the west depending on the wind.

#40 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-09-12 08:54 PM | Reply

That anyone could vote for this idiot is something that those of us fortunate to live outside of your Shi+hole country cannot believe.

#41 | Posted by Jaspar at 2020-09-12 11:05 PM | Reply

"Hm. You've never walked through a German forest."

Not for the last 15 minutes or so.

There is no Wilderness Act equivalent in Germany. At least none that I'm aware of. If you want to cut down a tree, you ask the local Forstmeister (mine lives right behind me), and then you go cut down the tree.

#42 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-13 03:01 AM | Reply

"The future of America is trees, trees, and more trees. Millions and millions of new forests need to be planted."

Uhh...no Scott...that's not how it works. Fires are part of nature. The whole intent of the wilderness act is to allow nature to run it's course.

Outside of wilderness areas, sure, but so much of the west has been designated as wilderness that much of it may remain barren.

#43 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-13 03:03 AM | Reply

"So you're proposing more big government spending and solutions? Should we follow the german model for healthcare too?"

So, in response to the first part of your question: the last time the Federal Government sent people in to help control fires, the left lost their ------- minds.

As to the second, I think that if the US were to adopt another country's healthcare model, Germany would be a good option. Really any country in Western Europe. But I don't think many USans want the 20% Value Added Tax that comes along with it.

#44 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-13 03:08 AM | Reply

"This is exactly why Trump is ignoring the fires."

Several months ago, Trump was being criticized for not ignoring the fires in Oregon.

#45 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-13 03:10 AM | Reply

But what I am really trying to say is "don't blame the fcccking wilderness "

Not. I'm blaming the Wilderness Act. And blame isn't really the right word. This was the desired outcome resulting from the Wilderness Act. Forest fires are a function of untrammeled wilderness. If you don't do controlled burns or conduct fire management, this is what happens. And that's OK from a Wilderness Act perspective. And while it may be bad this year, it's not likely to happen again for a long time. It will take decades for sufficient fuel to return to those areas.

#46 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-13 03:14 AM | Reply

But I don't believe they set the forests on fire in the west. There weren't 300,000,000 people in the country either, there was untrammeled wilderness.

#35 | POSTED BY BRUCEAZ AT 2020-09-12 07:28 PM | FLAG:

There hasn't been untrammled wildnerness here since before ANY people showed up. It's a racist, white myth. The Pacific NE alone had at least 19 tribes by the time white people made it here with high population densities in what's now the Canadian border area. They used controlled burns and had material based cultures that used extensive environment management strategies.

You're perpetuating white, racist myth of unspoiled wilderness.

#47 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-09-13 08:32 AM | Reply

You're perpetuating white, racist myth of unspoiled wilderness.

#47 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

It is true that there were humans here before the white man arrived in the Americas.

However, we Americans are spoiling the ---- out our wildernesses and everything we touch. You make a trail or a road to some beautiful pristine place and if it is easy to get there soon it is spoiled by our very presence.

You and I may individually respect the land. But when we as a country find a piece of paradise we build a road to it it and a parking lot on it and then trample and ruin it just by our very presence. You know this to be true. We ruined the land the natives cherished and respected and cared for for as long as they existed.

The natives were Leavers.

The white men are Takers.

We took and took and left them and the land nothing.

#48 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-09-13 10:48 AM | Reply

...we build a road to it it and a parking lot on it and then trample and ruin it...

I drove up to Old Faithful in Yellowstone a few years ago but never got to see it. Drove around three Wal*Mart sized parking lots for a while but they were all full, so I left.

#49 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-09-13 11:40 AM | Reply

#48

You forgot the Pink Hotel, Boutique and Swinging Hot Spot.

#50 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2020-09-13 11:48 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

I see you been there Tao... Hawaii is one of the best examples of us destroying paradise and putting up hotels and parking lots.

#51 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-09-13 12:06 PM | Reply

"Why Trump Isn't Talking About the Western Wildfires"

You think maybe he'd be crowing just a little, seeing as the fires are hurting the people who need to get hurt.

#52 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-09-13 12:29 PM | Reply

It's why I've always enjoyed hiking. You get to see areas away from the parking lots.

Don't remember the name but there was a waterfall in the NC mountains that had a large rock at the very top in the middle of the river. If you were bold you could wade out to the it. The roar of the falls drowned out everything and the view was spectacular. I sat there for a good hour reading "On the Road" and just soaking in the solitude. Then I got in trouble apparently the year before someone tried to do the same thing slipped and went over the falls and died. That was the second time it had happened.

Still glad I did it as it is one of my fondest memories ever.

I was born in HI but left before I could remember anything went back at 11 and yeah the beach is just one long string of hotels. While I can't compare it to pre-hotels I do remember Waikiki being surprisingly well preserved despite the number of tourists.

#53 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2020-09-13 12:31 PM | Reply

Why should Trump care about wildfires? He knows he's not going to win most of those states anyway.

#54 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2020-09-13 01:06 PM | Reply

Visibility down to less than a mile here now.

#55 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-09-13 07:42 PM | Reply

"There hasn't been untrammled wildnerness here since before ANY people showed up. It's a racist, white myth."

Wilderness areas are a new phenomenon. Much of it was created in areas that had been lived in and developed. In some cases by Native Americans for thousands of years.

#56 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-14 12:26 AM | Reply

"However, we Americans are spoiling the ---- out our wildernesses and everything we touch."

Let's be clear. "Spoiling" is OK, so long as it's done naturally. For instance, you can't take a Jeep into the wilderness. But you can take as many horses are you would need in order to achieve the same results as if you had a jeep.

If you go up into the wilderness of Montana and Wyoming during hunting season, you can see where the hunting camps have been due the fact that the horses have eaten and trampled everything in the area. Normally, they'll set up temporary pastures which are very visible.

But horses are a part of nature...so it's OK.

#57 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-09-14 12:30 AM | Reply

But horses are a part of nature...so it's OK.

#57 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

It's not the horses fault you idiot. Horses don't naturally go to hunting camps and trampled things into the earth by themselves. How can deplorables be so dense?

Thank the Gawds the winds have shifted.

The good Lord tells me he can get me out of the mess but he is pretty sure the rest of you are fooked.

#58 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-09-14 09:27 AM | Reply

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