Zinke on wife’s birthday: Wouldn’t you agree our anniversary is coming?

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) and a gun in the living room

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) and a gun in the living room

Montana’s man in Congress, Representative Ryan Zinke, unleashed a novel argument last week: the President shouldn’t have attended the Paris summit on climate change, because ISIS is the bigger threat. Commander Zinke pestered Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on that subject in a House Armed Services Committee meeting shortly after Thanksgiving.

“We have ISIS, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, North Korea, an emerging China and Russia. Mr. Secretary, where would you rack and stack global warming with that list?” he asked. Although Carter initially declined to order that list of terrorists, nations, and weather patterns, Commander Zinke pressed on. “Would you agree the imminent threat, the 5-yard, 5-meter threat—the most damaging threat facing us today—would be ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and the non-nation state terrorist activities?”

Carter agreed ISIS was the imminent threat, probably because hearing “rack and stack” and “5-meter threat” made him dive into a combat roll and shout “affirmative!” But man, I’m pretty sure another two feet of sea level will dampen us whether they’re beheading apostates in Raqqa or not. And I’m pretty sure the number of people who will starve, steam, or thirst to death in 2080—probably in the billions, if our grandchildren ever meet somebody nice—is more than ISIS could kill with a whole battalion of radicalized health inspectors. But the immediacy of ISIS makes global warming a bullshit problem, as Commander Zinke explained on Facebook:

I agree with President Obama that his climate summit will “send a message” to ISIS. The message is crystal clear: Obama is out of touch, he doesn’t understand the threat of radical Islamic terrorism, he is more concerned about his legacy than anything else, and he is willing to do anything to avoid confronting ISIS head-on.

It was kind of a stretch. I submit that Commander Zinke would rather talk about ISIS than global warming or virtually any other subject because it’s the kind of problem you can shoot at. They are bad and we are good, which makes them easier to discuss than how to get billions of people and dozens of industrialized nations to sacrifice money and comfort on behalf of animals and people who haven’t been born yet. You can read all about it in this week’s column for the Missoula Independent. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links!

New Quinnipiac poll has Trump ahead of Rubio by ten points

"I will validate your petty resentments or, if you prefer, your despair."

“I will validate your petty resentments or, if you prefer, your despair.”

Oh boy: a new Quinnipiac poll released today has Donald Trump leading the Republican field with support from 27% of respondents nationwide—10 points ahead of Marco Rubio and 11 points ahead of both Ben Carson and Ted Cruz. All other candidates polled at 5% or less. Three out of four Republican front-runers are insane, you guys. These are exciting times to have access to national polls which, we should remember, are poor predictors of actual outcomes this far in advance. Still, in preparation for taking up the mantle of leadership, Trump told Fox & Friends he would kill terrorists’ families:

“I would knock the hell out of ISIS… [and] when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. I say ISIS is our number one threat, we have a president who doesn’t know what he is doing and all he’s worried about is climate change, he thinks climate change is something that’s going to go kill us.”

Only an idiot would concern himself with climate change, when world events offer so many better opportunities for violent revenge fantasies.

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Charlie Hebdo won’t draw Muhammad anymore

The prophet Muhammad receives his revelation from the angel in a 14th-century illustration.

The prophet Muhammad receives his revelation from the angel in a 14th-century illustration.

In an interview with the German magazine Stern last week, Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Laurent Sourisseau said his paper would no longer publish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. You may remember Charlie Hebdo from January, when two Islamic militants attacked its Paris offices and killed 12 people. The paper has received an outpouring of support since then, including the sympathetic Je Suis Charlie movement and dramatically increased circulation. Also, its surviving staffers live under police protection, and pretty much every issue since the shootings has been an object of scrutiny. You can only make so many bold declarations of Enlightenment values against religious tyranny before you’re just exhausted. Over at Politico, though, Michael Moynihan argues that the terrorists won. He is probably right.

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