It's been a blessedly cool summer in Seattle. Only a couple of brief warm spells and plenty of days with morning clouds. The rest of the nation has suffered through the hottest summer on record and still we will do nothing to address climate change. The big polluters and fossil-fuel giants are pushing an initiative in California to roll back that state's "Global Warming Solutions Act." The Great Recession drags on and things may get worse, much worse. The commentariat and leading economists refuse to see how much we have changed as an economy, as a country. The changes have accumulated, not least being the shattered social compact, and now we are trapped as surely as the Chilean miners, except no one is digging us out.
I'll be headed back to Phoenix for awhile. The civilization that thrives in Seattle lets me forget what it must be like to live every day amid the madness that has overtaken my home state. That wealthy Republican John Sidney McCain III won his primary against the hapless J.D. Hayworth should surprise no one. McCain has the backing of local and national elites. The media love fest with Maverick will resume. Few will ask: Four terms of McCain and what does Arizona have to show for it? It's not just what he didn't do, but what he did to actively hurt and hold back a state that wouldn't even exist without large amounts of federal investment.
The Kookocracy increases its hold. I had hoped that enough Arizonans would be horrified by this bunch, would actually notice that their policies, carried out for years, had failed miserably. It was not to be. Now the proto-fascism of the Arizona white-right is a national tide. As someone who was raised as a Theodore Roosevelt Republican, it amazes me that today's GOP is down to two ideas: Tax cuts for the rich and hate. They hate browns and blacks. They hate immigrants and Muslims. They hate gays. They hate the president, science, Social Security and women who want the government out of their reproductive decisions. They hate the First Amendment (but not the Second). They hate the poor, "liberals" and, of course, old Republicans, who are RINOs to be exterminated.