Borderless News And Views
Gun Control: The More Things Change, the More they Stay the Same

Gun Control: STOP gun violenceWhat exactly would it take for the people of the United States to come together and agree that maybe buying guns should be just a little bit harder to do? The tragedy of Sandy Hook seemed almost like a cartoonishly evil hypothetical answer to that kind of question. Maybe, you might have said, if a classroom full of kindergartners was shot to death, that would be enough for people to agree that some limits on gun ownership wouldn’t be totally crazy. But, of course, it wasn’t.

You could say it was enough for nearly three-quarters of Americans to agree that private gun sales and sales at gun shows should be required by law, but for some reason it wasn’t enough for the Senate to pass a bill that would actually make that happen.

Now comes another tragedy: not as horrific as Sandy Hook, but similarly shocking in its details. A nine year old girl accidentally killed her shooting instructor with a fully automatic Uzi earlier this month. This happened at a shooting range with every safety precaution in place that any gun advocate would claim is essential when handling firearms.

An image from moments before the accident shows the instructor and his tiny student wearing the proper ear and eye protection with the weapon pointed, correctly, downrange. But a man still died. And a little girl somehow has to find the strength to keep on living her life after killing a grown man. But of course this incident isn’t nearly enough to convince anyone that there’s a chance there’s something inherently dangerous about guns.

People will continue to claim guns are a piece of machinery that has its risks like any other, but this argument doesn’t hold much water. I mean, take a look at this bulldozer. There’s a piece of machinery. The thing weighs 229,848 pounds. Intimidating, right? But guess what: that bulldozer is designed to move some serious dirt around, not kill people. Guns were conceived, designed and sold specifically to put holes through living things to make them not live anymore. It’s not a piece of machinery that’s potentially dangerous; it’s a piece of machinery intended to deliver danger faster than the speed of sound. Even the National Rifle Association (NRA) should agree that nine-year-old girls have no business handling automatic weapons.

But whether it’s the lobbying of the NRA, people believing their right to hunt is greater than others’ right to live, or just plain old inertia, it seems really unlikely that any single event a la the Port Arthur massacre in Australia will jolt this country towards a productive conversation about gun control. Why am I so pessimistic? Because we’ve been unsuccessfully trying to get the same meager measures passed since the ’60s.

Check out Lyndon Johnson’s comments on a bill in 1967 that came in the wake of the shooting at the University of Texas. If you’re under the impression that mass shootings are distinctly a 21st Century phenomenon, then you might be surprised to learn that Charles Whitman climbed to the top of a 307 foot tower on the UT campus and killed 13 people while wounding 31 others way back in 1966. LBJ thought something should be done about it.

Using the period’s labels for the mentally ill and worried about the time’s equivalent of the Internet, President Johnson wrote: “There is no excuse,” for selling guns to “hardened criminals” and “mental defectives.” He backed a bill that would “limit out-of-state purchases and interstate mail order sales of firearms.” Sound familiar? It should; it’s basically the same bill, introduced in 2013, that three-quarters of the country supported. The one that didn’t get passed.

Of the failed 2013 bill, President Obama said: “We’re talking about convicted felons, people convicted of domestic violence, people with severe mental illness.” He said all the bill did was “extend the same background check rules that already apply to guns purchased from a dealer to guns purchased at gun shows or over the Internet.”

Both bills failed. Now, if LBJ’s bill passed would it have prevented Sandy Hook? If Obama’s passed, would that shooting instructor still be alive? No one knows for sure, but probably not. The guns used at Sandy Hook were stolen from a gun owner operating within the law. The Uzi at that range was not purchased by someone with a mental illness over the internet. But in both cases, it is undeniable that guns were used to kill innocent people.

Furthermore, these outrageous instances should be enough to call attention to the fact that 30 people are shot and murdered every day in the United States. If these bizarre, unbelievable stories aren’t enough to convince people that guns are something we should be making a little harder to get, then what will be? Let’s hope that when another basically identical gun control law comes up fifty years from now, it will gain a little more traction in the legislature.

Goodell Must Go

Maybe the naysayers don’t have it completely wrong. Maybe there is something to be said about the dangers of getting swept up in every gust of opinion that blows its way across the national stage. Perhaps it’s true that bowing to public pressure isn’t always the best course of action, and a mob mentality shouldn’t decide whether or not people should get to keep their jobs.

However, in the case of Roger Goodell, the embattled commissioner of the National Football League (NFL), it’s clear that the public outcry is well founded. Say what you will about the 24/7 news cycle outrage machine, but it certainly has this one right.


Roger Goodell - NFLGoodell suspended Ray Rice, running back for the Baltimore Ravens, for two games after Rice was charged with aggravated assault for knocking his then-fiancée unconscious. After TMZ leaked the graphic video that depicted exactly what that domestic violence looked like, Goodell responded to the enormous public backlash by suspending Rice indefinitely.

Goodell did his best to act like he was just as shocked as everyone else to see what really happened in that elevator, but the truth is, the release of that video showed him absolutely nothing he didn’t know before deciding to suspend Rice for only two games.

Goodell previously tried to frame the incident as one where both parties were at fault. After making the unbelievably stupid decision to interview Janay with Ray in the room – sure, why wouldn’t she be honest when the man who hit her is sitting right there – Goodell concluded it was more or less a mutual fight. Yes, Ray decided to put a ring on it and marry Janay, but their marriage after the incident has no bearing on the nature of their confrontation.

After Goodell categorically denied that the NFL had seen the tape before the leak, several reporters with trusted sources in the league were stuck wondering why they were told the NFL had access to the elevator tape back in July, and then the AP released a recording of someone in the NFL acknowledging receipt of the video on a voicemail. Presumably, because he was stuck, all Goodell did was continue to say no one to his knowledge had seen it again and again.

He is almost certainly lying about that, but here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if he saw the tape or not. He did, but let’s indulge his fantasy and pretend he didn’t. So, what information did he have at his disposal when he decided to suspend Rice for only two games?

He had the first video that showed Rice dragging Janay’s unconscious body out of the elevator. More importantly, he had a police report that fits perfectly with the events of the video. He had the knowledge that the police dropped the bogus charges against Janay and upgraded those against Ray after they watched that video. The outrage here is not only warranted; it’s a little late.


It’s better late than never, though, because now it seems to be building enough to hit the NFL in the only place they really care about: their wallet. CoverGirl’s ill-timed partnership with the NFL took off for reasons they definitely weren’t hoping for as people tweeted photoshopped versions of CoverGirl’s “Game Face” promotion. The image of a Ravens fan was altered to turn her purple makeup into a black eye; a brutal reminder of domestic violence. The images were tweeted out with references to a CoverGirl boycott, and that is exactly the kind of thing that can make sponsors, and the NFL, nervous.

The only people who can fire Goodell are the team owners. The only thing the team owners care about is if their investments in the league are still profitable. Goodell is popular with these owners, because in his tenure, the league has been very profitable – regardless of whether that was because of, or in spite of, him. They will vote to remove him if that profitability changes, and that will only happen if sponsors start dropping. A boycott and a storm of negative press just might make that happen.

Goodell is a liar and a protector of abusers. He has no business running the country’s biggest sports league and must go.

Want Legalized Marijuana? Then Change Drug Testing Policies

Marijuana is becoming an increasingly more accepted drug in our society. Medical marijuana use is now permissible in over a dozen states, and consumers can legally use marijuana for recreation in Colorado and Washington. Although marijuana is a powerful, mind-altering drug, there are some benefits to its use. In states where medical marijuana is legal, doctors have prescribed it to cancer patients and victims of other serious diseases because it can help relieve some of the pain associated with these illnesses.

MarijuanaMany employers, however, have not changed their drug policies to reflect marijuana’s legalization. Even in states like Colorado, where pot was first legally used for recreation, many companies have a zero tolerance approach to marijuana use. This applies not only on the job but also after hours, as many employers require their employees to take random drug tests. Drugs like marijuana will stay in your system long after you feel the effects, meaning even if you only use marijuana occasionally and outside of work, you could still fail your drug test.

Here are some of the reasons why this could be one of the biggest barriers to marijuana legalization elsewhere in the United States.

Tests for Drugs but Not Alcohol

Although marijuana has the same legal status as alcohol in Colorado and Washington, employers definitely treat the two substances differently. Indeed, many standard employee drug tests will screen for marijuana and other drugs but not alcohol. Obviously, companies want employees to be neither drunk nor high on the job. However, the fact that some higher-ups test for one but not the other still shows they view marijuana as worse than alcohol despite its legal status in some states.

A Better Test for Drugs

The standard employee drug test doesn’t just test for whether or not employees use drugs on the job. It pretty much tests whether they use drugs period. Most drugs will stay in your system long after you feel the effects, meaning you could smoke up in the evening and the next morning trace amounts of the drug would still show up in your system. This isn’t enough to impact your performance, just enough for you to fail your drug test.

Since the whole reason for drug testing is employers do not want substances to affect employees’ performance, a better test for drugs might measure their effects. For example, employees might take a baseline cognitive test at hire and then take a quick test at the start of the day or after lunch randomly throughout the year. This would make it so that employees could still use substances on their own time — just not when it would affect their job performance. This would also test for alcohol, which many employee drug tests do not do.

Medical Marijuana

What may be especially unfair about employee drug tests is that they do not make allowances for medical marijuana, even in states where it’s legal. In some instances, this has caused employees to get fired from their jobs. Brandon Coats, a 35-year-old former employee of the Dish Network in Colorado, is one example of someone who was fired for taking medical marijuana. Mr. Coats was paralyzed in a car crash some time ago, and he takes medical marijuana off the clock to help relieve painful spasms. Mr. Coats asserts his medical marijuana use was always done after hours and never affected his job performance.

A Lawsuit Could Change Everything

Like so many things in our country, the issue of whether or not medical marijuana users can be fired will probably be decided by the court. Just like they make landmark rulings on whistleblowing and carbon emissions, the courts may also decide to what extent companies can regulate their employees’ marijuana use. Brandon Coats is currently involved in a legal battle with his former employer, Dish Network, over his termination. Mr. Coats lost his appellate but plans to take the case to the Colorado Supreme Court. A victory there would be huge for medical marijuana users everywhere.

Do you think employees with a medical marijuana card should be exempt from a marijuana drug test? If so, do you think a ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court could impact the country at large?

A Zero Emissions Manifesto for the Climate Justice Movement

Zero emissions is an ambitious but achievable goal.” —UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Zero has become the most important number for humanity. Why?

Any chance of stabilizing the climate hinges on transitioning to zero greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as humanly possible. Simply slowing the rise of emissions will not work. For the first time, the world’s leading climate authority, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has embraced a goal of near zero greenhouse gas emissions or below.

Top military experts and government institutions like the U.S. Department of Defense and National Intelligence Council warn that climate destabilization threatens our national security, yet global emissions just keep going up. Leading biologists like E.O. Wilson warn that the sixth great extinction is now upon us, yet emissions keep going up.

By heating the globe at such a relentless rate, we are playing a deadly game of planetary Russian roulette. In the words of Michael Mann, professor of meteorology at Penn State University: “There is no precedent for what we are doing to the atmosphere. It is an uncontrolled experiment.” If you believe your own eyes that climate chaos has already gone too far, the only logical response is to stop making things worse.

We are not suggesting ending the use of fossil fuels tomorrow. Decarbonizing our industries, homes, transportation, power generation and food production will take years of concerted effort and require every ounce of courage, ingenuity, patience and humility we possess. But intergenerational justice demands that we commit ourselves now as a nation to leading this green industrial revolution.

Some will no doubt call this goal unrealistic, saying it cannot be achieved, but they would underestimate the creative genius of the American people. What is unrealistic is thinking we can continue with business as usual and leave a habitable planet for our children. Americans are a supremely resourceful people with a long history of meeting, and exceeding, monumental challenges. While we have never faced anything as daunting as the global climate crisis, there are precedents for the U.S. overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.

When destiny came knocking during World War II, we initially resisted, then answered by leading the allied forces to victory in three and a half short years.

It took a Civil War to end the scourge of slavery, and a monumental civil rights struggle to outlaw segregation, Jim Crow laws and discrimination, but we not only overcame, we elected a person of color as President of the United States.

When President John Kennedy boldly challenged America to land a man on the moon in less than a decade, our best and brightest responded by accomplishing this seemingly impossible task ahead of schedule.

It is now time for our generation to do something great.

Zero Emissions Bandwagon

It may surprise you to learn that zero emissions has already been embraced as a goal by business leaders as well-known as Bill Gates, and world leaders as prominent as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria; UN climate chief Christiana FigueresPrince Charles; and former President Jimmy Carter, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of The Elders.

Again, even the conservative, consensus-based IPCC supports near zero emissions or below, albeit on a year 2100 timeline that belies the urgency of their August draft report, which warns of “irreversible impacts” from continued emissions.

Major corporations, like Google, have embraced a zero carbon goal. Others like Microsoft and Deutsche Bank are moving in this direction by committing to net zero emissions, or carbon neutrality (using carbon offsets or carbon credits to balance out remaining emissions). 684 college and university presidents (and growing) have taken a similar climate neutrality pledge. And a fossil fuel divestment movement is picking up steam on college campuses (including Stanford UniversitySydney University and historically black colleges and universities) and in houses of worship around the world.

SwedenIcelandCosta Rica and the Maldives are among the nations vying for carbon neutrality. Denmark is committed to becoming fossil fuel free, with Copenhagen seeking to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025. In the U.S., cities like Austin and Boulder are striving for carbon neutrality, with San Francisco pledging to generate all of its electricity from renewables by 2020.

Scotland is on track to generate 100 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020. The Philippines aims to shift the country’s fuel system to 100 percent renewables in ten years. The German state of Schleswig-Holstein is set to go 100 percent renewable this year. Munich’s goal is 100 percent renewables by 2025. The British Labour Party wants to decarbonize the UK’s electricity grid by 2030. And the island nation of Tokelau is already 100 percent renewable.

In stark contrast, neither the U.S. President, nor a single member of the U.S. Congress, has yet publicly called for a zero emissions goal for America.

2ºC Wrong Target

Just because the governments of the world accept 2° Celsius of heating above the preindustrial average as the agreed-upon target does not make it the right target. To the contrary, last December, preeminent climate scientist James Hansen and seventeen co-authors released a study in the scientific journal PLOS ONE revealing the UN-approved 2°C ceiling is based on politics, not science, and would unleash “disastrous consequences” beyond our control.

Dr. Hansen, economist Jeffrey Sachs, and others argue that “morality” demands a rapid and dramatic cut in global carbon emissions to stay as close as possible to a 1°C ceiling (we are already at 0.85°C). Here’s what they said about the urgency of dropping from the current level of 400 parts per million (a level not reached in at least 800,000 years) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million (ppm), the level many consider the uppermost safe limit for civilization:

“It is instructive to see how fast atmospheric CO2 declines if fossil fuel emissions are instantly terminated. Halting emissions in 2015 causes CO2 to decline to 350 ppm at century’s end. A 20 year delay in halting emissions has CO2 returning to 350 ppm at about 2300. With a 40 year delay, CO2 does not return to 350 ppm until after 3000. These results show how difficult it is to get back to 350 ppm if emissions continue to grow for even a few decades.”

We’re obviously not going to achieve zero emissions by 2015. The point is we need to do it as soon as necessary to avoid catastrophe impacts from global climate change. Every day we delay buries us deeper in the climate hole.

Failure of Moral Leadership

The United Nations, Congress and the White House are all failing in their moral obligation to stem the tide of this gathering storm.

The United Nations is not leading on this issue, as it must. Since 1990, when the IPCC issued its first report, CO2 emissions have increased by approximately sixty percent. Last year in Warsaw, after 19 successive sessions of the UN Conference of the Parties (COP) failed to achieve meaningful emissions reductions, labor and environmental groups walked out after deciding governments were performing so poorly they could no longer legitimize the climate cop-out with their presence.

Congress is not leading on this issue, as it must. Since refusing to ratify the 1997 Kyoto protocol, the U.S. Congress has failed to enact any significant climate legislation. The closest they came was a Wall Street-friendly “cap and trade” bill passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in 2009. Described as an “unacceptable compromise” by Greenpeace and “a step backwards” by Friends of the Earth, it called for a modest 17 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2020. Five years later, too few members of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives are even willing to admit humans are changing the climate.

The White House is not leading on this issue, as it must. The EPA’s proposed rules to limit carbon pollution from existing coal-fired power plants are a step in the right direction, but President Obama’s widely heralded “climate action plan” will be more PR than plan, with no chance of stabilizing the climate, unless the White House takes bold action. In fact, the administration’s attempt to please all during this climate crisis with its all-of-the-above energy strategy promises more climate chaos by promoting natural gas fracking;mountaintop removal mining; deepwater and Arctic oil drilling; tar sands mining; and deafening seismic oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast. That the President has not yet denounced a scheme as “absurdly reckless” as Keystone XL’s northern leg speaks volumes.

Even the renewable energy industry is not leading on this issue, as it must. Four years after it was first pointed out, America’s largest wind, solar and geothermal trade associations continue to embrace incrementalism, when the times call for revolutionary change.

Because the climate crisis threatens all life on Earth, it is first and foremost a moral issue. We have already seen how the poor and communities of color bear the brutal brunt of fossil fuel extraction and suffer the most from extreme weather disasters. Three out of four African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant. African-American children have an 80 percent higher rate of asthma, and are nearly three times more likely to die from asthma, than their white peers. The moral urgency of this crisis requires a rainbow coalition of people – reflecting the diversity of our great nation – coming together to solve it.

Alarmingly, latest projections by the U.S. Energy Information Administration have fossil fuels supplying almost 80 percent of the world’s energy use through 2040, with carbon dioxide emissions rising 46 percent from 2010 levels. If this perilous trend is not reversed, runaway climate change could cause most of life on Earth to go extinct, testing the survival of humanity itself.

As the nation that historically contributed the most to global climate pollution, and is in the strongest position to respond, the U.S. has a moral imperative to lead this global charge.

Making the Great Transition

It is time for America to unleash its entrepreneurial can-do spirit through a wartime-like mobilization to help save America, and the world. Innovating to zero emissions will not only help ensure our collective survival, it is the key to revitalizing our ailing economy and putting America back to work. But we don’t have until 2100, or even 2050, to transition off of fossil fuels. Scientists are calling for deep cuts in emissions now. Leaders showing us how to get there include:

  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which in 2012 commissioned a Renewable Electricity Futures Study showing that 80% of all U.S. electricity demand can be met with currently commercially available renewable energy technologies at the hourly level every day of the year.

Zero Emissions Mandate

Zero Emissions Manifesto - Environmental IssuesWe have solutions. They even have names: conservation; energy efficiency; solar power; wind power; geothermal power; standing forests; organic farms; industrial hemp; electric vehicles; bicycles; mass transit; wave energy; tidal power; zero waste …

Here and there aggressive initiatives are underway. China is developing a single 38,000 MW wind project large enough to electrify a country the size of Poland. Four states in Germany already get more than 50 percent of their electricity from wind power, while in the U.S., Iowa and South Dakota are generating more than 25 percent of their electricity from wind farms. But progress is not being made at anything close to a speed and scale commensurate with the scope of the planetary emergency we face.

On, Sept. 23, a UN Climate Summit is being held in New York City. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has challenged world leaders to bring their pledges to set the world on a low-carbon path. We entreat Mr. Ban, who calls zero emissions an “achievable goal,” to challenge attendees of the UN Climate Summit to bring their zero emissions plans to COP20 in Peru this December and to COP21 in France in 2015. Anything less will show our governments are not serious about solving this existential threat.

Our colleague Bill McKibben, who earlier this year called out the Obama administration for sabotaging the 2009 Copenhagen climate negotiations through NSA spying, has issued a “call to arms” inviting all who “give a damn about the biggest crisis our civilization has ever faced” to gather in New York City on Sept. 21 for a People’s Climate March to demand bold climate action at the UN Summit. We ask, what could be bolder than zero emissions?

Earth is the only known habitable planet in the universe, making the climate risks to humanity so great as to warrant the utmost precaution. Now is the time for the climate justice movement to rally around a goal of zero emissions, with the U.S. leading the way by enacting zero emissions policies at the local, state and federal levels. For the love of humanity, and our children, we must act now.

Zero emissions: because the first step to making things better is to stop making things worse.


Cross-posted with EcoWatch

Follow Tom Weis on Twitter:

tweisTom Weis is a social change agent with 25+ years of environmental and political organizing experience. He currently serves as president of Climate Crisis Solutions, a mission-driven environmental consulting firm. In 2011, Tom led a 2,150-mile “rocket trike” tour from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast in opposition to TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. In 2010, he rode 2,500 miles from Boulder, CO to Washington, DC calling for a green energy moon shot for America. Prior to conceiving the Ride for Renewables, Tom spent six years in the wind industry working as a public outreach consultant to enXco, one of the nation’s largest renewable energy companies. During this time, he helped permit 600 MW of wind energy projects and served as Strategic Advisor to the president of the board of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), where he received AWEA’s 2009 Special Achievement Award for his role in co-creating the American Wind Wildlife Institute.

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus, is a minister, community activist and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life.

A national leader within the green movement, Rev Yearwood has been successfully bridging the gap between communities of color and environmental advocacy for the past decade. Rolling Stone declared Rev Yearwood one of our country’s “New Green Heroes” and Huffington Post named him one of the top ten change-makers in the green movement.

Rev Yearwood entered the world of Hip Hop Politics when he served as the Political and Grassroots Director of Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Summit Action Network in 2003 and 2004. He was also a key architect of P. Diddy’s “Vote Or Die!” campaign. Then in 2004 he founded the Hip Hop Caucus to build a sustainable organization for Hip Hop politics.

Rev Yearwood is a proud graduate of the University of the District of Columbia & Howard University School of Divinity. He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Mitt Romney: Zombie Candidate for 2016?

Chances are, the last time you saw Mitt Romney it was when he was on TV giving his concession speech or, days later, when a photo of the disheveled looking former presidential candidate was snapped as he pumped his own gas. This, it seemed, is what it looks like when someone’s political career is over. When they don’t care anymore if their hair is perfect, if their face is stuck in a perma-grin, or if they’re stuck doing menial chores that they wouldn’t have had to do as leader of the free world. “Are you happy now?” The picture seemed to ask, “You won’t have old Mitt Romney to kick around anymore.”

Mitt Romney's Mental Health?And yet, here we are less than two years away from the run up to another Presidential election and it seems that same Mitt Romney is making moves to come back from the dead for one last run at the White House. Well, even if he isn’t shambling around the countryside, there’s at least some indistinct moaning and scratching at the doors of the crypt.

There’s a Netflix documentary out now, called Mitt, which makes the bold move of portraying Romney as something other than a soulless automaton. There’s also the fact that Romney has gained some attention for his impressive fund-raising efforts for mid-term candidates in this year’s election. His reason for success in those efforts is the same reason his name is being talked about in relation to the Presidency: he remains the closest thing the GOP has to an elder statesmen.

His former campaign advisers swear that he’s not running, but at this stage that means next to nothing. If another viable Republican candidate doesn’t emerge soon, Romney may feel like he has no choice. Because, really, the fact that there’s a chance that Mitt “Binders Full of Women” Romney has another shot at the GOP nomination says a lot more about the state of the Republican Party than it does about Romney himself.

Chris Christie seemed to be on the verge of taking a real leadership role in the party until he got embroiled in that bridge scandal, but I’m sure no one will hold that against him. Right? Who among us hasn’t shut down traffic to get revenge on a political enemy?

Rand Paul is generating a lot of buzz for 2016 as well, but there are perhaps too many people in the old guard who wouldn’t like somebody who could reasonably be called a Libertarian leading the party. Marco Rubio seems like a fresh new face, but that inexperience will be weighed against him, and his stance on immigration counters the whole “keep ‘em out at all costs” party-line. Jeb Bush might make a run, mostly thanks to name recognition, but he might meet resistance from people who haven’t gotten any friendlier with his older brother since he left office.

It’s not as if Romney stands clearly ahead of all of these potential candidates, but the field is enough of a mess that he isn’t out of the conversation entirely. Furthermore, it’s not as if getting elected after losing would be unprecedented, either. Richard Nixon lost a Presidential and gubernatorial election before he became President. Conservative demigod Ronald Reagan lost to Gerald Ford in the primaries before he was elected four years later. It wouldn’t be completely crazy if this kind of thing happened again.

But perhaps more important is the fact that Romney’s economic policies are a perfect match with the prevailing opinion within the GOP. If the GOP were to conjure up a made-to-order candidate for economic policy, they would get Romney. He’s still really rich and is all about deregulation and regressive policies, as he has been throughout his career. People like the Koch brothers, the kind of donors who make or break elections, are all about that kind of economic record. After all, if there’s one thing that could make Romney rise from the dead, it has to be money.