* No one has done a better job of capturing the utter depravity of Donald Trump’s racism and sexism than Adam Gopnik.

By 2011, Trump had simply succeeded in making this racist conspiracy theory so prevalent that Obama, who had released his birth certificate three years earlier, concluded that it was more efficient to end it for all time by asking Hawaiian officials for special permission to let him give out the “long form,” archival version than to let it go on…

Yet Trump continued last night his self-congratulations for compelling the President to do this, along with the grotesquely racist notion that it was “good for him” (i.e., for the President). It slowly dawned on the listener that this was all of a piece with the rest of Trump’s racial attitudes: he believes that, as a rich white man, he had a right to stop and frisk the President of the United States and demand that the uppity black man show him his papers. Stop-and-frisk isn’t just a form of policing for Trump; it’s a whole way of life…

By sexism, we mean something specific, not the business of appreciating beauty – if Trump wants to host beauty contests, let him – but the habit of conceiving of a woman as being a lesser species, one defined exclusively by appearance. His cruelty to Alicia Machado was unleavened by any apparent respect for her as a human being in any role other than as an envelope of flesh – an attitude he only doubled down on the following morning by complaining that she presented what he saw as an obvious problem as a reigning Miss Universe: she had gained “a massive amount of weight” (by Trump standards, that is).

* Gabe Ortiz gives us a more personal look at Trump’s reference to Alicia Machado as “Miss Housekeeping.”

When Donald Trump bullied Alicia Machado as “Miss Housekeeping,” it was meant as so much more than a personal, racist insult. He showed the contempt he has for the immigrant women who support their families as housekeepers and domestic workers, like my mom…

What’s clear is that Donald Trump doesn’t know the first thing about hard work. Hard work is tending to the houses of others at the expense of your own. Hard work is cooking and feeding the children belonging to other mothers and not being able to see your own until late at night. Hard work is being seen as insignificant — or not being seen at all.

So when Donald Trump attempts to denigrate Alicia Machado as “Miss Housekeeping,” it’s personal. Donald Trump not only insults her, he insults me and the many other US citizens who call housekeepers and domestic workers our mothers. Our message to Donald Trump must be clear: we won’t forget, and we will vote.

* Ian Millhiser attended the Court of Appeals’ hearing on West Virginia v. United States Environmental Protection Agency – the case that will decide whether or not President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (which is the basis of our country’s commitments in the Paris Climate Accord) can go forward. It is important to keep in mind that when/if their decision is appealed to the Supreme Court, a 4/4 tie would let their ruling stand. In other words, what this Federal District Court decides could be a BFD.

The coal industry and its allies hired enough attorneys to crew a small armada of sailing frigates. On Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard their arguments for why the EPA’s most ambitious effort to fight climate change should be struck down — and the court’s hearing was conducted with the sort of efficiency normally reserved for Humvees and faculty meetings. A scheduled three-and-a-half hours of oral arguments stretched for at least six. By the end, many of the judges sat in spent silence, their brains swimming with obscure details like whether EPA’s decision to halt mercury pollution somehow diminishes its power to reduce carbon emissions.

So let’s cut to the chase. If you don’t want to learn the interminable details of how dozens of lawyers spent their Tuesday pondering every word uttered by a panel of ten judges, the punch line is that the government is probably going to win. These ten judges include six Democratic appointees and four Republican appointees. There were few signs that any one of them is going to cross over to vote with the other side (although there is an off chance that EPA could win 7–3). When everything is said and done, EPA’s Clean Power Plan will probably survive its seemingly never-ending day in court.

* In light of that, Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s comment to Sam Stein might be humorous if it weren’t so frightening that a member of the U.S. House of Representatives could be so ignorant.

HP: Do you believe that climate change is a hoax?

BLACKBURN: I do not believe in climate change. I think the Earth is in a cooling trend. It is not in a warming trend.

* If Congress doesn’t pass a continuing resolution on the federal budget by Friday, we could be facing a government shutdown. As it stands right now, Amber Phillips reports that a shutdown is not likely. Here are the folks that could pose a problem.

Even though none of the congressional leaders want a shutdown, you can’t count out one entirely, says Stan Collender, a prominent budget analyst also known as @thebudgetguy.

“Things are so screwy,” he said. “You’ve got Republicans fighting Republicans in the House, you’ve got Republicans fighting Republicans in the Senate. You’ve got the election. You’ve got Donald Trump. You’ve got so many different things going on that it’s hard to just say ‘No, it’s not going to happen.’”

Not to mention a shutdown is “like a campaign event,” for some of these folks in ultraconservative, anti-Washington districts, Collender said.

* Finally, I always thought that Barack Obama should have adopted Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama” as a campaign theme song. Perhaps in 2016, she’s come up with one for Hillary straight from The Boss.

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