Rivers running to the sea!

Trump has something novel to complain about. In addition to failing to rake their forests, California allows their rivers to flow.

To add to the irony, he complains to Hannity that AOC and others are “not-bright people” who “don’t have any experience with the environment”.

Why is this nincompoop still president?


  1. brightmoon says

    Hopefully he won’t be for long . I’m not sure whether his current erratic behavior is due to the Covid , the steroids he’s been taking or his always present stupidity,arrogance, and narcissism .

  2. stroppy says

    brightmoon @2

    All of the above. Plus the stirring realization that his castle may be successfully stormed is driving him over the edge, like a villain in a bad melodrama. Who knew that sometimes people have to face consequences? Even you Mr. “President.” Shocking.

    In truth, he’s been on a downhill slide from the day he was born.

  3. mailliw says

    The really sad thing is that the Colorado river no longer reaches the sea, and the water demands of California are one of the reasons.

  4. mailliw says

    Randy Newman’s Mr President, Have Pity on the Working Man (written in 1974) seems remarkably prescient

    Maybe you’re cheating
    Maybe you’re lying
    Maybe you have lost your mind
    Maybe you only think about yourself

    Too late to run now
    Too late to cry now
    The time has come for us to say goodbye now
    Mr President, have pity on the working man

  5. raven says

    Trump accidentally points out a serious problem with modern life with 7.8 billion people on the earth. Fresh water is getting to be a scarce resource.
    A lot of rivers no longer run to the sea due to complete diversion for human uses.

    .1. The Colorado long ago ended before the sea.
    .2. The Rio Grande.
    .3. The Nile.
    .4. The Indus.
    .5. The Yellow river of China.

    When you run out of river water, what is left to do.
    Desalinate sea water, which is becoming more and more common. It’s also a lot more expensive than sticking a pump in a river.

  6. says

    So long Twittler, you are toast.
    No longer will we hear you boast
    Of how you’re strong and resolute
    For you are going down the chute,
    Along with all your depraved cronies,
    The craven, lying, thieving phonies.
    As well the debased Senate throng
    That fellates your small misshapen dong.*
    And when at last we burst your bubble
    And your legacy is rubble,
    You will stand revealed in whole —
    A hollow man without a soul.

    *Thanks to Stormy Daniels for the info.

  7. robro says

    mailliw @ #6 —

    The really sad thing is that the Colorado river no longer reaches the sea, and the water demands of California are one of the reasons.

    So true…and to be a little pedantic that Colorado River water goes to overpopulated cities in southern California and southern Nevada, and to big agribusinesses in southern California. The effort to funnel water from northern California down there is a long-standing, just under the surface political battle in California.

    Speaking of sapping water out of the Colorado: Las Vegas casino moguls, Trump, and his taxes make a special appearance in the NYT this morning. Who knew? (Short of almost anyone with their eyes open.)

  8. davidc1 says

    Cadillac Desert is a great book for anyone wanting to know how how the SW of America ,plus Texas and I think Mexico has been ruined by the incessant demand for water .

  9. Cal says

    The thing I always remember is that his supporters love him because “he says what we are thinking”. So I can only assume they are just as ignorant as he is about reality…

  10. says

    Why is this nincompoop still president?

    Same reason he got to be President in the first place — the Democrats wasted the opportunity to actually fix problems under Obama, so that they lost their mandate and then their control of either house of Congress, and then decided to run the single least-popular person of national standing in the party for President in 2016, which meant that they maximized opposition turnout and couldn’t possibly regain control of anything. Republicans can get away with letting things fall apart because that’s their stated goal. Democrats run on a platform of actually trying to fix things, and then don’t do it because they want to please the rich more than they want to please voters, and you can only do that so often before the voters give up. Trump was an inevitable candidate for the Republicans, but his victory was not inevitable — it was caused by the rightward drift of the Democrats.

    And the Democrats are again running a right-winger whose goal is to fix no problems, so even if they take the presidency now they will lose it again in 2024. I don’t know whether the Republicans will run Mike Pence in 2024 or Ted Cruz or Ivanka Trump or Hitler’s brain in a jar or some other as-yet-unknown candidate who makes all of them look saintly, but since Biden’s goal is to veto any actual solutions, the Republicans are going to win that one if they lose this one. The only question in the event of a Biden presidency will be: will Biden live long enough to run again (because he’s obviously lying about only wanting a single term, just like he lied about not having tried to cut Social Security or being a rapist or being a supporter of the Iraq invasion), or will it be Harris who loses because the Democrats spent yet another 4 years demonstrating that they don’t actually oppose the Republicans in any meaningful way? At this point, the question is only of interest to academics — or, I suppose, to people who care whether right-wing policy is announced via Twitter or whether it comes through more traditional channels.

  11. robro says

    robertbaden @ #14

    Doesn’t salt water start moving inland if the rivers no longer flow out to sea?

    Salt water intrusion is an issue, but it depends on the circumstances from what I understand. In the case of the Colorado River, most of the water is diverted so the river completely dries up in Mexico well back from the delta. Salt water probably does intrude into the lower delta. Somewhat good news is that starting in 2014 they have intentionally released water into the river bed to restore the ecosystem.

  12. robro says

    I often read a comment without paying much attention to the person posting it. I read the first sentence of #13, which jumps from why we have Trump to blaming Democrats and Obama. “That sounds familiar” I said, so then I checked. Yeah, that’s why.

  13. unclefrogy says

    same here then I stopped having read the same thing before.
    There are many reasons why we do what we do in regards to water we did what was cheap, without any real in depth analysis of the river systems we were using. Short term thinking forced by immediate needs primarily. The reduced water flow besides the problem of salt water intrusion also has a negative effect on important coastal fish populations thus trading food for water to grow food., kind of circular I think.
    the water does end up back in the ocean though just mostly in the west. it enters out of a huge network of undersea pipes often with a large burden various partially digested solids and other contaminates added.
    uncle frogy

  14. PaulBC says

    Trump has been saying stupid things about California since he’s been in office, and it’s far from the first time he has blame this state for “letting all the water run out to the sea.”

  15. PaulBC says

    (Stealing this from a FB friend) He thinks the ecology works just like a golf course with sprinklers and groundskeepers. It’s all he knows. When you put yourself into this mindset, you can begin understand where he comes up with this nonsense.

  16. ORigel says

    @13 The Democrats have actually been drifting leftward lately. Biden is not a right-winger or even a centrist, but a moderate Democrat. He will sign whatever Congressional Dems pass. To pass it, they need to flip the Senate, preferably by large margins (like 53-47 or more, which is possible) to get past the Blue Dog vote.

    (Then the courts will strike their legislation down, unless they actually expand the Supreme Court.)

    So VOTE for Biden/Harris and down-ballot Democrats.

  17. Numenaster says

    Raven said at #8 “A lot of rivers no longer run to the sea due to complete diversion for human uses.”

    40% of her list is wrong: this does not describe the Nile or the Yellow Rivers, which still flow heavily enough that they continue building out their deltas. The land under the Nile delta is subsiding, which is leading to seawater intrusion, but flow is nowhere near stopped.

  18. Numenaster says

    Okay, I did find a reference for occasional halts in the Yellow River. Occasional.

  19. StonedRanger says

    Holy shit Mr. President, fish dont do well without water??? AUUGGGGHHHHHH the sky is falling.!!!!!!!
    Please, let this idiot die before he can do anything else to damage us.

  20. seachange says

    All y’all from areas where it rains all the time and which are not massively overpopulated, I’m afraid you’re naive. Water is a huge honking major deal anywhere in the west of the United States and definitely in California. There is no water anywhere west of the Rockies that is not under decades of ruthless engineering and legal control.

    I hate to defend that weasel, but this time he’s right. In a completely evil, childish, and hostile to life way. The California Aqueduct totally could suck the Sacramento Delta so dry in such a way that it destroys little (endangered!) delta smelt fishes. And destroys our rice industry. And kills lots of lands that are vital flyways.

    IF we wanted to. Which we don’t despite powerful municipal and agribusiness interests that wish we would. We are indeed allowing the Sacramento River and the San Juaquin (mostly sucked dry already and mostly non-existent) to reach the sea.

    We are also starting to allow other rivers to reach the sea in order to increase salmon. Go figure. But those aren’t little fishies.

    Incidentally, we also have gigabarrels of oil off our coast. We do not allow it to be piped because federal regulations on how it is drilled actively favor environmental disaster, cf anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico. We import our gasoline from Texas.

  21. raven says

    30 times
    Drying Up of the Yellow River
    The Yellow River has dried up more than 30 times since 1972, when it ran dry for the first time in recorded history.
    YELLOW RIVER | Facts and Details
    factsanddetails.com › China › Places – North Central China

    Which letter of dry don’t you understand?

  22. raven says

    We woke up in a desert’ – the water crisis taking hold across Egypt
    UN says the country will face ‘absolute water scarcity’ by 2025, but for some villages the catastrophe has already arrived – as the Middle East faces severe heatwave. Mada Masr reports

    Just about all the water in the NIle is already being used.
    The UN says it will all be used by 2025. That isn’t very far in the future.

    Nile Delta: ‘We are going underwater. The sea will conquer our lands’
    The Nile Delta is under threat from rising sea levels. Without the food it produces, Egypt faces catastrophe

    “but a vast network of irrigation canals continued to bring gallons of fresh water to the people who worked the land, the fellahin, ensuring salinity levels remained low.

    Today, however, Nile water barely reaches this corner of the Delta. Population growth has sapped its energy upstream, and what “freshwater” does make it downriver is increasingly awash with toxins and other impurities.
    Farmers such as Maged now essentially rely on waste water – a mix of agricultural drainage and sewage – from the nearby town of Sidi Salim.

    The result is plummeting fertility; local farmers say that whereas their fathers spent just a handful of Egyptian pounds on chemicals to keep the harvests bountiful, they now have to put aside between 25 and 80% of their profits for fertilisers just to keep their crops alive.”

    It’s pretty dubious that the Nile is still flowing into the Mediterranean.
    The water near the sea has basically been used once already, it’s a mixture of industrial waste, sewage, and agricultural runoff.
    There also isn’t much of it.
    Salt water intrusions happen when the flow of river water has declined.

  23. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Mark Twain said it: “Whiskey’s for Drinkin’. Water’s for fightin’ over.

  24. PaulBC says

    seachange@25 I think California has made the right call by not going for easy bucks on dirty resources like offshore drilling. The coastline is a lot more valuable and there are many higher-return industries (and I’m aware of the historical impact of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill).

    California has a vibrant economy and doesn’t need it, but of course, it was never about California. It’s about private interests who see California as one more piñata to swing at.

    I agree that Trump isn’t quite as dumb as he sounds and is basically echoing the interests of his rich buddies with their own agenda for California. On the other hand, he’s not all that bright and these ideas get rather garbled by the time he verbalizes them.

  25. nomdeplume says

    @29 No, Trump is quite as dumb as he sounds. Occasionally he picks up fragments of something someone has said and misunderstands everyone of them. He is incapable of original thought, or analytical processing. And he has an educational background summed up by having someone else sit his SATs. Hard to believe that a human being can be this dumb, so people give him the benefit of the doubt. But he really is this dumb.

  26. chrislawson says


    The Preznit is not bemoaning the environmental damage from excess diversion of California river water, he’s bloviating that California should divert more and more because he defines anything above 0% ocean outflow as wasted water.

    I’d also like to caution you against your misapprehension that areas of high rainfall and low population don’t appreciate water conflicts. There’s the matter of infrastructure that means even in regions of high natural abundance there can be shortages of potable water. And even in the best-managed regions with good annual supply, there can be devastating droughts.

    Just as a for instance, a region about 170 km from me called Mount Tamborine has an annual rainfall of 1550 mm (cf Los Angeles 373 mm) and a population density of 43/km^2 (cf LA 2910/km^2). And yet the water table has been exhausted to the point that the local bores have all run dry, including the state school which has had to ship in water for the first time in its history. Meanwhile commercial water companies continue to truck out 100M litres a year to drinks manufacturers. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/20/running-on-empty-tamborine-mountain-and-the-growing-anger-over-water-mining

    (To be fair to those companies, the full scientific story is much more complex and it’s possible that they are not contributing to the drying out — see the article for details — but it’s still an example of a high-rainfall, low-density area with a significant water conflict.)

  27. stroppy says

    nomdeplume @ 30

    “Hard to believe that a human being can be this dumb, so people give him the benefit of the doubt.”

    More than that, people can’t believe the system could be so FUBAR that someone that dumb could become president. So, hey, he must be some kind of secret genius. Plus he said “I’m a very stable genius.” Because he sounds self-confident therefore he must know what he’s talking about. Right? (One of those glitches that seems to be hardwired into our Stone Age brains.)

    Simpler explanation: Dumb people think a dumb president makes sense.