Winning Weariness

Trump warned us that there’d be so much winning that we’d get tired of all the winning. And while this week has been consumed, as usual, with the sideshow of another one of Trump’s impetuous tweetstorms, the ledger is indeed showing a lot to celebrate.

Some headlines:

Germany ‘Massively Weakened’ Draft G20 Climate Plan to Appease Trump

Germany’s G20 presidency dramatically weakened a climate action plan, gutting it of ambitious language and defining gas, and potentially even some coal power, as “clean technologies”, in an attempt to appeal to US president Donald Trump.

The action plan was intended to be agreed at next week’s Hamburg G20 summit. Climate Home has seen two versions, drafted in March and May of this year. The latter shows the degree to which the German presidency has bent to the will of the Trump White House.

Several elements that have been removed in the May draft are:

A 2025 deadline for the end of fossil fuel subsidies

References to the risk of “stranded assets”

A call for “the alignment of public expenditure and infrastructure planning with the goals of the Paris Agreement”

A push for carbon pricing

A commitment to publish mid-century decarbonisation blueprints by next year

A pledge to develop a “profound” climate plan for multilateral development banks

Seven references to the UN’s 2018 review of nationally-determined contributions

11 references to the 2050 mid-century pathway for net zero emission

16 mentions of infrastructure decarbonisation

“The US massively weakened the language in the energy part of the action plan,” one source with knowledge of the negotiations said. “It pushed for references to so-called ‘clean’ fossil fuels and made it less explicit that the energy transition has to be built on energy efficiency and renewables.”

This is indeed called “winning” (though actually the hypocritical Germans probably secretly desire all of these changes themselves, because they know their silly greenery has hit the wall). Maybe this next story has something to do with it:

Is The U.S. Close To Achieving ‘Energy Dominance’?

By David Blackmon

If you hadn’t heard, the Trump Administration has declared this week to be “Energy Week”, a week during which the President and his senior officials are focusing on the theme of “U.S. Energy Dominance.” Not “energy independence” or “energy security”, both themes past presidential administrations have focused upon – “energy dominance.”

So, what does it all mean, and can the United States actually achieve it? Good questions. . .

The full article walks through the angles, but the short answer is Yes. Winning!

Tired of all the winning yet? Wait—there’s more:

European Union Rattled by Trump’s Visit to Right-Wing, Anti-Immigrant Poland

. . . Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and Mr. Trump have similar views on migration and climate change and share a suspicion of international bodies and globalisation.

The president also backed Brexit and predicted the further break-up of the EU; his dealings with the rebellious, right wing governments of Central Europe will be watched closely by Brussels.

Let the sprouts in Brussels stew, though it’s hard to get any mushier than they are already.

Some other winning headlines:

New York Times Editors Decry “Humiliating Process” Of Layoffs 

You might well think that working for the New York Times is humiliating enough, but I suppose getting laid off by the Times really is more humiliating. Meanwhile, CNN’s ratings are starting to slump again.

You want another sign that Trump is on a roll? This story:

There’s Actually A Wrestling Villain Called ‘The Progressive Liberal’

“The Progressive Liberal Daniel Richards” is fighting on Friday ― and it isn’t in the political arena.

He’s a pro wrestling villain gone viral, and he’ll gladly rub his lefty views in the face of his opponents and the Donald Trump-loving spectators who watch him compete in the Kentucky-based Appalachian Mountain Wrestling.

His real name is Daniel Harnsberger, a 36-year-old real estate agent from Richmond, Virginia, who moonlights on the mat as a smug Democrat in need of a beatdown.

Wearing a Hillary Clinton T-shirt, he told viewers in a recent match promo (below), “You people need to be reprogrammed. You continually vote against your own interests.” He added, “We’re going to help you get jobs with clean energy.”

Oh, he knows how to get under the fans’ skin. “You know what, I think Bernie Sanders would make a great Secretary of State,” Richards said before a match, per Deadspin ” He later declared, “I want to exchange your bullets for bullet points. Bullet points of knowledge.”

Would this little cultural beacon have come to be if Jeb Bush had been the Republican nominee? Yeah, health care reform is stalled, but in general Trump is on offense, even without a complete offensive line in the form of senior appointees. And in politics it’s a simple rule that if you’re on offense, you’re more likely to be winning.

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