* We’ve all been waiting anxiously for Russian President Vladimir Putin to weigh in with his thoughts about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump…haven’t we? Today he finally did. In a sane world, this would qualify as a “death hug.”
“He’s a very lively man, talented without doubt,” Putin said according to the Interfax news service after the news conference. He added that Trump is the “absolute leader in the presidential race.”
* For a while now I’ve been saying that one of the reasons television ads aren’t working for candidates these days is because no one is watching them. Check out what Patrick Ruffini tweeted today:
Running a Google Consumer Survey in Iowa with a striking finding. 65% report seeing no campaign ads despite 3,000+ booked spots.
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) December 17, 2015
That includes over 50% of seniors.
* Here’s a really important read today from Adam Serwer titled: The Antidote to Trump.
There is no progress that cannot be rolled back if those who benefit from it lack the power to maintain it.
There is also no arbitrary line Trump can cross that will unify the country against him. There is only power, those who can project it, and those who can check it. At this moment, the firewall against Trumpism is not Republican primary voters or the party leadership. It is the religious and ethnic groups in America who see Trump’s prejudice as a reflection of the same ones they face and have leveraged enough hard-won victories to have a say in the political process. It is the American electorate. But it is only that.
* Equally compelling is this article by Rebecca Traister titled: The Election and the Death Throes of White Male Power.
The public spectacle of this presidential election, and the two that have preceded it, are inextricably linked to the racialized and gendered anger and violence we see around us…
Whatever their flaws, their political shortcomings, their progressive dings and dents, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton mean a lot. They represent an altered power structure and changed calculations about who in this country may lead…
This is our country in an excruciating period of change. This is the story of the slow expansion of possibility for figures who have long existed on the margins, and it is also the story of the dangerous rage those figures provoke.
* Finally, it appears as though Morocco will become the super-power of solar power.
Morocco’s enormous concentrated solar power plant—which will be the world’s largest once fully built—will complete phase one next month and bring energy to 1 million people, BBC News reports.
Located outside the city of Ourrzazate, the plant will take up the same amount of space as Morocco’s capital, Rabat, and will generate 580 megawatts of electricity.
The plant employs a large number of movable mirrors that can follow the sun’s path and harness sunlight to melt salt. The molten salt stores energy and can be used to power a steam turbine, allowing for energy production even at night.