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They look like the Taliban!

(David Bythewood) #746

Sharpie-gate rears its head again. New documents out show definitively that Trump broke the law by tampering with maps to cover up a simple mistake.

(David Bythewood) #747

I am thankful for the leakers, because without them things would be so much worse.


You are more optimistic than I. We now have permission to run crooked elections and a despot who will not give up this “kingdom”. Plus a bunch of nuts backing him.

(David Bythewood) #749

Key House committee votes to reverse Trump administration’s harmful changes to Endangered Species Act

split this topic #750

A post was merged into an existing topic: Who is mystery NY Times Op Ed Author


A second worker at Mexico’s famed monarch butterfly sanctuary has been found murdered, sparking concerns that the defenders of one of Mexico’s most emblematic species are being slain with impunity.

The body of Raúl Hernández Romero, a part-time tour guide, was found on Saturday, showing injuries possibly inflicted by a sharp object, according to prosecutors in the western state of Michoacán.

Hernández had been reported missing on 27 January in the town of Angangueo, in the heart of the federally protected Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a Unesco world heritage site some 180km west of Mexico City.

His death came just days after the body of Homero Gómez González, who managed the El Rosario monarch butterfly reserve, was discovered floating in a well with a head wound. Gómez Gonzalez had been reported missing two weeks earlier.

Officials in the state of Michoacán said they were unsure if the two deaths were linked – or related to the men’s work in the butterfly reserve. The state has seen a rising tide of violence in recent years, and the region around the monarch butterfly reserve has been rife with illegal logging, despite a ban imposed to protect the monarchs, which winter in the pine- and fir-covered hills.

Some illegal clearcutting is also carried out to allow for the planting of avocado orchards – one of Mexico’s most lucrative crops and an important part of Michoacán’s economy.

The deaths again called attention to the disturbing trend in Mexico of environmental defenders being killed as they come into conflict with developers or local crime groups, who often have political and police protection.


I feel a special connection with the workers in Mexico who are risking their lives to protect the butterflies. Each year monarchs migrate through our community and it is a breathtaking site – hundreds of thousands stream through the skies overhead. However, their numbers are dropping precipitously as described in this article.

A crucial decision will be made this December as to whether or not the Monarch should be placed on the endangered species list. This is yet another reason to oust the Trump Administration which is relentlessly dismantling our environmental protections. Should we fail to place the Monarch on the endangered list, that will undoubtedly embolden the forces in Mexico bent on clear cutting the butterfly preserves. And if we do manage to return reason to our environmental policies and flag this butterfly for preservation, it will open doors for partnering with Mexico to help them protect the preserve workers and the butterflies’ habitat.

The number of monarch butterflies spending the winter along California’s coast is at critically low levels — for the second year in a row. An environmental group said Thursday that the migration is at risk of collapsing.

Between 1994 and 2016, the eastern monarch population plunged more than 80% and a federal review found “a substantial probability” of collapse in the next two decades.

According to Xerces Society, a non-profit environmental organization focusing on invertebrate conservation, the monarch population during the 2018-19 winter was at an all-time low. This year’s numbers were no better.

Between 1994 and 2016, the eastern monarch population plunged more than 80% and a federal review found “a substantial probability” of collapse in the next two decades.

The monarch has been pushed to the brink of extinction by habitat loss and pesticide use, Tierra Curry, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, told CBS News last March. She fears climate change could finish the job.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently considering adding the monarch butterfly to the Endangered Species Act. It will issue its decision in December.


This would go under “I Really Don’t Care, do you?..” and shows how T can not even stay standing for the National Anthem…He makes a mockery of it. Yes, where’s Kaepernick to comment?

(David Bythewood) #753

Most Trump clemency grants bypass Justice Dept. and go to well-connected offenders

(David Bythewood) #754

Trump had the “perfect call”.

Now Mike Pompeo claims his attacks on U.S. media are “a perfect message about press freedoms” while he tours Central Asia speaking about increasing transparency and civil liberties.

It is… for an authoritarian regime.

SEAL Commander Who Clashed With Trump to Leave Early

The Lies We Tell About Soldiers’ Traumatic Brain Injuries

A combat veteran on what Trump doesn’t understand about the “invisible wounds” suffered by soldiers in the Iranian attack

If you show most people an invisible wound, you’ll get invisible compassion.

Trophy hunting event to auction ‘dream hunt’ with Donald Trump Jr

Nevada convention to culminate with chance to hunt deer with ‘accomplished conservationist’ Trump Jr and son

Yes, they really called him a conservationist. He isn’t even a conversationalist.


This doesn’t relate directly to what just happened in Iraq, but I thought I’d mention another trauma that is a challenge for our soldiers: hearing loss. I’d never even thought about this until I happened upon a fascinating podcast from 99% Invisible.

The problem is that soldiers are subjected to a tremendous amount of noise from heavy machinery, combat training, and combat itself. Yet they can’t simply put in earplugs because they need to be alert to everything around them and they need to communicate with their fellow soldiers – so they wind up getting pummeled by all the “bad” noise while straining to hear the “good” sounds. In the end, many struggle with hearing loss for the rest of their lives. – Another reason, to honor and show gratitude to those who protect our freedoms.

BTW, 99% Invisible produces amazing podcasts on just about any topic under the sun.

(David Bythewood) #756

I can’t say I am surprised. My father had severe hearing loss due to his time in the navy.

I recently got hit hard when I found out something else about him also.

He passed in 2013, a year after my mother. I only recently discovered for certain it was from complications due to Agent Orange exposure and improper treatment of it (the VA had him on prednisone, something nobody should be on long term if avoidable, especially as a diabetic, which he was; what he needed was Humira, which he used to get when he worked for Abbott labs after he retired from the navy, before he retired entirely (24 years navy)).

Before he died, my wife’s father asked him if he’d ever want a child of his to join the armed forces.

He said, “no”, but not for the reasons one might suspect.

As to the combat dangers (he was a medical corpsman in Vietnam), he said that anybody who enlists generally expects those.

No, it was the thing they don’t tell you about: being poisoned and then abandoned by your country. Agent Orange. Gulf War Syndrome. Chemicals on the ships. Tainted water and housing on bases, including for families.

All of this needs to be fixed. We must do better.



Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio has been selected as the next ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee by the House Republican steering committee, a GOP source tells CNN.

Jordan, a fierce defender of President Donald Trump, will replace Rep. Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican who is running for the Senate in a primary against Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

While the full Republican conference still needs to approve Jordan for the position, the panel usually supports the steering committee’s recommendation.


So Gym Jordan got a promotion. :roll_eyes:

(David Bythewood) #759

This is an utterly shameful and inane ruling. An appeals court has struck down one of the Democrats’ emoluments cases on the basis that not enough of them to make a difference in a legislative capacity signed on to it. That should have NO bearing whatsoever on whether or not what Trump is doing is legal or constitutional!

Washington (CNN) - A federal appeals court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit by congressional Democrats alleging President Donald Trump violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by refusing to allow lawmakers to review and approve his financial interests.

The ruling is a major triumph for the President, who’s intensely sought to keep his business affairs in private, just days after the Republican-held Senate voted to acquit him on impeachment charges for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The case’s dismissal effectively kneecaps one of several attempts Democrats have made to dig up more information about Trump’s business holdings.

Before Friday’s ruling the lawsuit was paused just as Democrats began subpoenaing the Trump Organization.

This emoluments case was one of three ongoing constitutional challenges to Trump and his business, alleging that the President is violating the anti-corruption emoluments clause. Two other emoluments cases attack Trump for his alleged competitive advantage at the Trump-branded real estate empire. Those cases are still moving through the court system.

The three-judge panel – Judges Karen Henderson, David Tatel and Thomas Griffith – was in unanimous agreement, saying the Democratic lawmakers lack the standing to challenge the President, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled.

The Democrats’ “claim is based entirely on the loss of political power,” the appellate panel wrote in the opinion. “Our conclusion is straightforward because the Members – 29 Senators and 186 Members of the House of Representatives – do not constitute a majority of either body and are, therefore, powerless to approve or deny the President’s acceptance of foreign emoluments.”

The Democrats originally filed the lawsuit in 2017, before the party held power in the House of Representatives.

“The Members can, and likely will, continue to use their weighty voices to make their case to the American people, their colleagues in the Congress and the President himself, all of whom are free to engage that argument as they see fit,” the ruling states. “But we will not – indeed we cannot – participate in this debate. The Constitution permits the Judiciary to speak only in the context of an Article III case or controversy and this lawsuit presents neither.”

The DC Circuit’s ruling could face additional appeals, including to the Supreme Court.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

If ability to legislate was always an issue, so many lawsuits would be tossed out. My wife tells me they could re-file with the current House majority, but still, this is stretching.


More unfathomable news

(David Bythewood) #761

The Geraldine Assistant Police Chief isn’t apologizing because Nancy Pelosi and “Left-Wing Democrats” would “hit a road-side bomb.”

He said it. He meant it. He’s apologizing because he was called out on it and wants to keep his job.

What President Trump’s company charges the Secret Service




Ah, our Whiner in Chief. When did the Republican party become the Party of Whiners? Remember this Republican? If I were to jump in a time machine and find myself in the 50’s, I probably wouldn’t agree with many of his policies, but at least I would respect him for having a backbone – for sucking it up and getting a job done without sniveling.


(David Bythewood) #764

Climate change & healthcare go hand-in-hand; new extremes in climate mean new issues with healthcare.

This is a thread about my issue with cedar fever & how it’s far from just my issue. I am posting it here because the weather IS news now, and this is just one of the issues we’re going to have to deal with going forward.