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#483

And this humble President leaves us this inspired message on this very hard day. Thank you


#484

Reminds me of this quote

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds ,

By Andrew Freedman ,

September 11 at 1:29 PM

President Trump told his staff that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration needed to correct a tweet that seemed to contradict his statement that Hurricane Dorian posed a significant threat to Alabama as of Sept. 1, in contrast to what the agency’s forecasters were predicting at the time. This led chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to call Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to tell him to fix the issue, senior administration officials said.

Trump had complained for several days about the issue, according to senior officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter.

Mulvaney then called Ross but did not instruct him to threaten any firings or offer any punitive threats, officials said. He simply told Ross that the agency needed to fix it immediately, leading to a new statement that was issued on Sept. 6. The New York Times reported some elements of these events earlier Wednesday.

And this from nyt

White House Pressed Agency to Repudiate Weather Forecasters Who Contradicted Trump


(David Bythewood) #485

Wow. Talk about despicable. After promising there would be no votes today, NC Republicans held a vote to over-ride the Democratic governor’s veto of their budget, knowing that he and nearly all Democratic lawmakers would be away observing a 9/11 ceremony. This should be challenged in court. It is utterly unethical.

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/article234966387.html


(David Bythewood) #486

Scientists have quit or been fired from the Trump regime at utterly unprecedented levels, studies have been ignored or directly altered when they contradict Trump lies, and climate change and pollution have been accelerated.

“Pompeo’s whopper: Team Trump is the most science-friendly in history”

“He wept at the sight.”

“All of them dead…”

The clams of Barra del Chuy were victims of Climate Crisis in ‘94.

Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/climate-environment/climate-change-world/


(David Bythewood) #487

California bans private prisons – including Ice detention centers

Bill removes profit motive from incarceration and marks latest clash in state’s battle with Trump over treatment of immigrants

It’s so nice when people state exactly who they are. For instance, here’s Ivanka Trump quite effectively telling us all she has zero morals.

Ivanka tells donors she got her moral compass from her dad


#488

Listened to Fareed Zakaria CNN talk with Tony Blair, former Prime Minister…on Sunday and read the transcript this am. Learned a few things about Brexit but also about what a common view in politics in general.

They both talk about highlighting where the common themes of Conservative politics - they go after garnering votes by appealing to cultural norms, ie - immigration and scare people into how it will affect your livelihood. And these kinds of appeals are emotional, and therefore more binding. And progressives think all solutions are economic which may be true but won’t expand their base. And if the economy is good, then no new ground can be gained.

Fareed Z states this…

ZAKARIA: Part of what seems to me to be happening is that in these kinds of uncertain times, the left always assumes that the answer is economics. That if you offer people more of good ease, you look at what’s happening in Democratic primaries, but what really happens is people don’t move left economically, they move right culturally.

and Blair emphasizes that Social Media compounds the issue as well as who may have the momentum.

FZ

Why is it that the center left seems to have lost ground here? Which seemed – you know, what you represented, what Bill Clinton represented, what is your diagnosis of that?

BLAIR: My diagnosis is twofold. One, we stopped providing the momentum for change, in an era where people want change, if you’re the guardian of the status quo, you’re in trouble. So the center left, center right appeared to be in that position. Secondly, I often say to people, it’s also because social media is transforming the entire way politics is conducted. But one of the interesting aspects of that is that social media creates the circumstances in which a takeover of a traditional political party is very easy.

Transcript below. Interesting discussion as it intersects with American politics, the Democratic debate etc.

ZAKARIA: And we are back with Tony Blair, former prime minister of the United Kingdom and founder of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

One of the things that last week – I think it was George Osborne, the former chancellor of the Exchequer, said that Britain is going to face an awful choice between a hard Brexit advocated by a party, that is Boris Johnson’s Tory Party, and a socialist, even a Marxist Labour Party leader, Corbyn.

[10:20:07]

Why is it that the center left seems to have lost ground here? Which seemed – you know, what you represented, what Bill Clinton represented, what is your diagnosis of that?

BLAIR: My diagnosis is twofold. One, we stopped providing the momentum for change, in an era where people want change, if you’re the guardian of the status quo, you’re in trouble. So the center left, center right appeared to be in that position. Secondly, I often say to people, it’s also because social media is transforming the entire way politics is conducted. But one of the interesting aspects of that is that social media creates the circumstances in which a takeover of a traditional political party is very easy.

And therefore, what I would say is, for example, in Britain at the moment, a centrist proposition is not really on over. So when people say it doesn’t work, well, it doesn’t work for either of the two main political parties. It’s a much more open question as to whether it’s actually lost support among the people.

And if you look around Europe today, if you see the victory of Emmanuel Macron in France, for example, it’s not entirely clear to me that the center ground can’t win, but it’s got to be offering a politics of change, it’s got to show a narrative of optimism about the future, which, I think, by the way should be focused around the technological revolution that’s happening at the moment. And it’s got to be offered by a credible political party.

ZAKARIA: Part of what seems to me to be happening is that in these kinds of uncertain times, the left always assumes that the answer is economics. That if you offer people more of good ease, you look at what’s happening in Democratic primaries, but what really happens is people don’t move left economically, they move right culturally.

BLAIR: Right.

ZAKARIA: And the right is very good at offering cultural solutions, immigration, you know, whatever it is.

BLAIR: Yes. Absolutely. And this is – so my view is that there is a certain peaking of this populism, because in the end, of course, these people say they provide answers and they really don’t. And after a time when you’re experiencing them, you’re saying, OK, but we were promised everything was going to be fantastic, and look, my life is not that changed.

But it is cultural as much as economic. And a low may peak and provide an opportunity for, I would say, sensible, serious-minded politics to recapture the initiative. It’s got to do it. And the risk is that people say, well, look, people have gone for a populism of the right, so maybe if we provide a populism of the left, then they’ll go for that, too. Well, first of all, I don’t think that’s true. I think in the end, a

populism of the right faced with a populism of the left, I think the right usually wins, I’m afraid. Because the tunes, the right player are more immediately attractive and appeal deeper to the emotions of people. But quite apart from that, if you’re going to deal with the current situation, you have to focus on the culture as well as the economic.

And these questions to do with immigration and the values around that, it’s very, very important that if you’re from a center left, progressive, liberal tradition, you don’t just dismiss those anxieties or say people who are engaged in worrying about them are somehow sort of quasi-racist. So this is – you know, my view is, the right wins when the left facilitates.

And the most important thing right now, therefore, in any politics in which you’re fighting a right-wing populism, is you’ve got to build from the center. It’s just, in my view, a fundamental strategic mistake if you then say, well, look, OK, what we really want to do is to get in and we’re going to give you a revolution from the left. Particularly if that revolution seems to people to be ignoring what are genuine cultural issues and simply focusing on economic ones.

ZAKARIA: Sol I think if I would translate Tony Blair’s, you know, message and attitude to the Democratic primaries, for example, it would be Democratic candidates should be saying things like crossing the border illegally is a crime. You know, there is a reality to a problem of illegal immigration. We have – in other words, you have to sound like you’re credible on those issues.

BLAIR: Well, you have to sound like you understand that there is a genuine problem and you want to deal with it. But I always say to people, if you don’t deal with these types of problems like immigration, and deal with it properly, consistent with your values, of course, you should treat people properly.

Immigration, by the way, is a good thing, not a bad thing for a country. All of that is true, but if you want the permission to make that argument, you’ve got to understand that there is genuine anxiety if immigration is uncontrolled or it’s happening illegally.

If you’re not prepared to reach out to those people and understand that, then I’m afraid you’re just going to be left in a position where, sure, you’ll get a round of applause from a group of party activists, but I’m afraid those don’t decide the election.

[10:20:03]

So, this is – you know, this is the age-old perennial problem of progressive politics. That it’s – and, you know, I obviously have followed the Democrat debates here, but it’s important if you’re standing to win an election in a country, right, you want the country to come behind you, you’ve got to appeal to more than your base.

ZAKARIA: And what do you say to those who say, yes, but, that is not going to excite the Democratic debate, the Labour base. In other words, your argument is there’s a kind of cold national centrism, but what’s going to stir people and bring them out, you know, in droves, which is what you need is some kind of – you know, the drama, the romance?

BLAIR: Yes. What I say is, but without power, these are just words. I mean, they’re just words. They don’t advance anyone. Look, before I came – let me give you two specific examples from my own experience in government. Before I came to office in 1997, there was no minimum wage in the U.K. The policy against a minimum wage from the Conservatives used to be used against Labour time and time and time again.

We then introduced a minimum wage that’s now part of the consensus politically in the U.K. But we only did it because we reached out to business anxieties and worked with them in order to do it in a sensible way.

The other thing is gay rights, right? Before I came to power, the Conservatives, as a political party, used to use this issue the entire time as a sort of wedge issue with the right-wing vote. Today, gay marriage is actually an accepted part of the political consensus between Conservatives and Labour. So if you want to make real change, you’ve got to – you’ve got to have your politics motivated by strategic discipline, not by self-indulgence. And it’s just – it’s a simple thing that you’ve got to do.

And if you’re not prepared to do it, then what it means is, in the end, it’s all about you. It’s not about the people. It’s about you, it’s about how you feel about yourself as a political activist. But, no, it’s not, in the end. You know, your political activism is pretty meaningless unless it ultimately results in a better life for them, for the people you want to represent.

ZAKARIA: Tony Blair, pleasure to have you on, sir.

BLAIR: Thank you.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1909/15/fzgps.01.html


(David Bythewood) #489

Trump’s “Obama Netflix?” comment is a bigger deal than people realize.

It shows that even after nearly 3 years in office Trump doesn’t know or care how our government works.

He sees the presidency in terms of what it can give him, and does not comprehend that there are rules.

Trump Administration Officials Arrested for Scamming Puerto Rico Out of $1.8 Billion in Hurricane Relief Funds


(David Bythewood) #490

‘Trollbots’ Swarm Twitter with Attacks on Climate Science Ahead of UN Summit

A new tool is tracking automated and otherwise questionable social media accounts as they sow disinformation, discord and division. Climate change is a target.


#491

And more Russian things blow up - A research center…it is shocking and scary what this could be…release of ‘dangerous strains of smallpox, anthrax, Ebola and other viruses.’

All glass in the building was said to have been broken in the blast.

In the 1970-1980s, the research center was developing biological and bacteriological weapons, as well as means of protection against them.

Under Rospotrebnadzor supervision, the center stores dangerous strains of smallpox, anthrax, Ebola and other viruses.


#492

This is fascinating

If it looks like art to you, then odds are you disapprove of Trump’s job performance. If it doesn’t, then odds are you like him.

The Coffee Thyme Gap is actually larger than the college degree gap, which is one of the biggest and most widely discussed predictors of Trump support. And there’s reason to believe the bachelor’s degree serves as an imperfect proxy for underlying psychological attributes that are better captured by asking about art.


(David Bythewood) #493

Russia carried out a ‘stunning’ breach of FBI communications system, escalating the spy game on U.S. soil

The impetus for the Obama admin’s expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats from the U.S. in 2016 was a massive Russian breach of the FBI’s communications system

https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-russia-carried-out-a-stunning-breach-of-fbi-communications-system-escalating-the-spy-game-on-us-soil-090024212.html

Mitch McConnell blocked Obama from warning us about Russia. Donald Trump has worked from day one to control, subvert, or dismantle the FBI. Do not forget.


(David Bythewood) #494

Trump when asked about Cokie Roberts: “I never met her. She never treated me nicely. But I would like to wish her family well. She was a professional and I respect professionals. I respect you guys a lot, you people a lot. She was a real professional. Never treated me well, but I certainly respect her as a professional.”


#495

We miss you, Cokie. :cry:


#496

Extinctions, plural.

Buried in the Interior Department’s plan to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an admission that oil and gas development may lead to extinctions in the remote expanse of Alaska.

The final environmental impact statement for oil and gas leasing in ANWR, released on Thursday by the Bureau of Land Management, downplays the impact that drilling would have on the climate.

Rising levels of carbon dioxide are cast as part of a natural cycle reaching back to the ice age, while human emissions are described as being indirect effects of oil drilling. Interior officials said more thorough climate analyses will happen when individual projects are proposed.


#497

This may make a difference.

Sandy Hook parents release chilling ‘back to school’ PSA


(David Bythewood) #498

I watched that. It’s… powerful.

Also, this:

20,000 immigrants were sent south through the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Half of them are children.

The US said they’d get work, schooling and health care. Instead, they’ve been robbed, kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery


Saudi First: Trump Wants to Start a War With Iran When MBS Gives the Order


#499

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is urging President Trump’s new national security adviser Robert O’Brien to prioritize reestablishing the White House cybersecurity coordinator position.

The post was eliminated in 2018 following the departure of former Cybersecurity Coordinator Rob Joyce.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton then formally eliminated the position, which was originally created by President Obama in 2009 to help coordinate cyber efforts across federal agencies.

With President Trump’s designation of O’Brien, who previously served as the chief hostage negotiator for the State Department, as the new national security adviser on Wednesday, Thompson called on O’Brien to immediately bring back the cybersecurity coordinator position.

“Mr. O’Brien, President Trump’s fourth National Security Advisor, is named when threats facing the nation have evolved and our adversaries are exploiting cyberspace in new ways to advance their economic ambitions, assert influence, and undermine U.S. power,” Thompson said in a statement.

Thompson emphasized that O’Brien’s “first act as National Security Advisor must be to bring back the position of White House Cybersecurity Coordinator. Despite concerns raised when the position was eliminated last year, the White House has done little to address the vacuum left behind.”

He added that “with cyber threats becoming more sophisticated and growing by the day, including the persistent threat to our election systems, there is no reason that the White House should have allowed this position to be eliminated.

Glad to see that Rep. Thompson is pushing to have this post restored. I found it highly suspicious when the Trump Administration eliminated it in May at a time when we have a Presidential election coming up while Russia is attacking our election process. I mean WTF?! Is Trump trying to hand Putin our election on a platter?

Here’s an excellent report from earlier this year about how effectively Russia is attacking our election process through social media:

And here’s an abundance of evidence establishing that Russia has also directly targeted our voting and registration systems in every state!


(David Bythewood) #500

Long-Awaited EPA Study Says Fracking Pollutes Drinking Water

Trump’s plan to pay for border wall with Air Force funds risks national security, report says

The report, compiled by the U.S. Air Force and obtained by NBC News, details the importance of each of the 51 military projects chosen by the Trump administration to lose their funding.

New mural of Ruth Bader Ginsburg pops up in Washington

Russian Embassy: Trump offers Putin help in fighting Siberian wildfires



#501

The current fracas involving a whistleblower who has information regarding a potentially treasonous act by Trump, reminded me that Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, former head of the Senate Judiciary Committee and high-profile Trump supporter, is also a staunch advocate for our whistleblower laws. I wonder if he will have the guts to demand that the DNI obey the law and turn over the whistleblower’s complaint to Congress.

Here’s Grassley on the Senate floor last year encouraging FBI agents to leverage the whistleblower laws and root out corruption wherever they find it. Just like our whistleblower in the news is doing today.


National Whistleblower Center

Senator Grassley Reminds FBI Agents of Their Whistleblower Rights

By Ben Kostyack on May 25, 2018

Longtime advocate of whistleblower protections Sen. Chuck Grassley delivered a strongly-worded floor statement to the United States Senate on Thursday, saying that FBI whistleblowers, and all federal law enforcement agents, are protected when reporting misconduct to Congress, and they should not fear retaliation. The Senator from Iowa and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee cleared up any misconception of agents not being able to approach Congress without a subpoena.

“FBI agents and all federal law enforcement are protected for providing information to Congress. That’s true whether it is by a subpoena or not,” said Grassley. “If that is news to you, I encourage you to research the law yourself. It is found at title 5, United States Code, section 2303.” …


(David Bythewood) #502

North America has lost more than a quarter of its entire bird population since 1970, around 3 billion birds, according to a new study.