Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

A firefighter douses flames as they push towards homes during the Creek fire in the Cascadel Woods area of unincorporated Madera County, California on September 7, 2020. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

A firefighter douses flames as they push towards homes during the Creek fire in the Cascadel Woods area of unincorporated Madera County, California on September 7, 2020. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

The American West Is Burning But Trump Hasn't Mentioned Historic Wildfires in 'Any Way, Shape, or Form' for Nearly 3 Weeks

"President Trump's silence and complete disregard for the millions of people at risk is horrifying," said one climate advocate.

Jessica Corbett

Climate action advocates and journalists are calling out President Donald Trump's silence for nearly three weeks, as historic wildfires have torn across the western United States, devastating communities that were already struggling in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and related economic crisis.

Both CNN and the group Climate Power 2020—which works to put the Trump administration on defense for ignoring scientists and serving polluters—pointed out Thursday that the president hasn't publicly addressed the climate change-fueled fires "in any way, shape, or form" since August, despite attending dozens of events.

Trump's last comment on the fires came on August 23, according to a Climate Power 2020 analysis that tallied 46 appearances since the press conference almost three weeks ago, when the president noted that he had approved a disaster declaration for California and spoken with Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

A few days earlier, as CNN reported, Trump slammed the state's forest management practices, telling the crowd at a rally, "I said, you gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forests—there are many, many years of leaves and broken trees and they're like, like, so flammable, you touch them and it goes up."

Referencing Trump's track record of dismissing the human-caused climate emergency as a "hoax," Climate Power 2020 executive director Lori Lodes slammed his refusal to even acknowledge the ongoing fire crisis spanning over a quarter of U.S. states as a dereliction of duties as president.

"President Trump's silence and complete disregard for the millions of people at risk is horrifying," Lodes said. "It shouldn't matter if it's a red state or a blue state, the president should be above politics in moments of crises. He calls climate change a 'hoax' when we can all see our nation is burning. Voters see through his B.S."

As Lodes' group noted in a statement Thursday:

In 2019, Trump threatened to withhold FEMA disaster funding for the state because of a political grudge. As Politico reported: "He told us to stop giving money to people whose houses had burned down because he was so rageful that people in the state of California didn't support him," said Miles Taylor, former chief of staff to former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.

White House spokesperson Judd Deere told CNN on Thursday that "the federal government continues to support our western neighbors who are battling raging wildfires in a locally executed, state-managed and federally supported emergency response."

"President Trump is closely monitoring and continues to urge individual emergency preparedness and citizens in impacted areas to listen to the warnings of state and local officials," Deere added.

For this current wave of fires, FEMA "has freed up some federal funds for combating the blazes," according to CNN. "The White House said 24 fire management grants have been approved since mid-August for Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Profits Before People: 'The Facebook Papers' Expose Tech Giant Greed

"This industry is rotten at its core," said one critic, "and the clearest proof of that is what it's doing to our children."

Jon Queally ·


New York Taxi Workers Stage Hunger Strike to Demand Medallion Debt Relief

"They are an essential industry here in New York City," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, "and we need to make sure we're doing right by them."

Julia Conley ·


'It's Not Coming Out': Bernie Sanders Stands Firm on Medicare Expansion

"It's what the American people want and, after waiting over 50 years, what they are going to get."

Julia Conley ·


'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo