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Mosby's Journal
Mosby's Journal
November 6, 2020

Trump's Forever Campaign Is Just Getting Started

While you watch Donald Trump’s presidency stagger to what appears to be its ugly end, always keep in mind how it began: Trump entered the political world on the back of the birther conspiracy theory, a movement whose importance was massively underestimated at the time. Aside from its racist undertones, think about what a belief in birtherism really implied. If you doubted that Barack Obama was born in the United States—and about a third of Americans did, including 72 percent of registered Republicans—then that meant you also believed that Obama was an illegitimate president. That meant, in other words, you believed that everyone—the entire American political, judicial, and media establishment, including the White House and Congress, the federal courts and the FBI, all of them—was complicit in a gigantic plot to swindle the public into accepting this false commander in chief. A third of Americans had so little faith in American democracy, broadly defined, they were willing to think that Obama’s entire presidency was a fraud.

That third of Americans went on to become Trump’s base. Over four years, they continued to applaud him, no matter what he did, not because they necessarily believed everything he said, but often because they didn’t believe anything at all. If everything is a scam, who cares if the president is a serial liar? If all American politicians are corrupt, then so what if the president is too? If everyone has always broken the rules, then why can’t he do that too? No wonder they didn’t object when Trump’s White House defied congressional subpoenas with impunity, or when he used the Department of Justice to pursue personal vendettas, or when he ignored ethics guidelines and rules about security clearances, or when he fired watchdogs and inspectors general. No wonder they cheered him on when he denigrated the CIA and the State Department as the “deep state,” or laughed and smiled when he called journalists “enemies of the people.”

Not all of this was Trump’s doing. Many Americans had lost trust in democratic institutions long before he arrived on the scene. One recent survey showed that half of the country is dissatisfied with our political system; one-fifth told pollsters that they would be happy to live under military rule. Trump not only exploited this democratic deficit to win the White House, but he expanded it while in office. And now his political, financial, and maybe even emotional strategy requires him to damage America’s faith in its democracy further.

He is launching that strategy right now. And to be clear: It is a strategy, not a random reaction to events. Trump is no good at governing, but he has long understood, with the intuition of a seasoned con man, how to create distrust, and how to use that distrust to his advantage. The journalist Lesley Stahl has said he once told her that he attacks the media to “discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.” He discredited and demeaned public servants such as the National Security Council staffers Fiona Hill and Alexander Vindman too, so that when they spoke honestly about his behavior, no one would believe them either.


July 31, 2020

Dogs can sniff out COVID-19 with 94 percent accuracy, study says

Man’s best friend could soon be man’s best chance at ever setting foot in a stadium again.

Dogs can sniff out the coronavirus with a striking 94 percent accuracy rate — raising the possibility of instant tests at sporting events and airports, according to a new study.

Canine handlers trained eight dogs from Germany’s Armed Forces to discern human saliva infected with COVID-19 from healthy saliva, according to the study, which was lead by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover and the Hanover Medical School.

Researchers then set up samples from 1,000 people at random, ordered the dogs to pinpoint the infected ones — and found the animals were accurate 94 percent of the time, according to the study.


July 31, 2020

People should consider Jill Bidens words

Questions about the impact of the stinging debate exchange on Harris’ vice presidential outlook had been raised in light of Biden’s comments in her 2019 book that while her husband doesn’t hold grudges, she often does.

"I remember every slight committed against the people I love. I can forgive, sure—but I don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior," Biden wrote.

July 9, 2020

You tried to tie emissions to population and that's less relevent

Than my "bang for the buck" metric.

The post that I responded to that you decided to insinuate yourself into stated:

The survival of all life on earth depends on what happens in November.

Which I think is a pretty asinine thing to say, but the notion that the US is somehow singularly responsible for most of the world problems is a common view these days. It's wrong.

Climate change is happening, regardless whether the US ever reaches zero emissions, and we can thank China et al for that.
June 25, 2020

The Hottest Day Ever in Phoenix: An Oral History

Esmé will always remember June 26, 1990. People don’t tend to forget days when their underpants literally melted due to the heat. The Valley resident was working at Sky Harbor International Airport as a wardrobe artist on a commercial shoot for the now-defunct America West Airlines.


The temperature outside would eventually reach 122 degrees, a record hasn’t been broken since. It was part of a miserable, weeklong heat wave in Arizona that — in addition to baking everyone’s brains and giving transplants a reason to second-guess their decision to move here — resulted in dozens of hospitalizations and at least three deaths.

Phoenix earned headlines nationwide and was the butt of quips from late-night TV talk show hosts. Valley meteorologists had a field day. Entrepreneurs made a fortune selling commemorative T-shirts within hours. Local utility Salt River Project reported sky-high power usage figures. A lot of people freaked out.



I was working in Sun city at the time, driving there on my motorcycle. The heat was just unreal.

June 2, 2020


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