scharrison's blog

Not a hoax: Multi-agency Climate Change report predicts devastation

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And of course Trump is on the wrong side again:

The report, which was mandated by Congress and made public by the White House, is notable not only for the precision of its calculations and bluntness of its conclusions, but also because its findings are directly at odds with President Trump’s agenda of environmental deregulation, which he asserts will spur economic growth.

Mr. Trump has taken aggressive steps to allow more planet-warming pollution from vehicle tailpipes and power plant smokestacks, and has vowed to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, under which nearly every country in the world pledged to cut carbon emissions. Just this week, he mocked the science of climate change because of a cold snap in the Northeast, tweeting, “Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

Trump is an idiot. But he isn't just an idiot, he's a "Contrarian" idiot; he automatically opposes and attacks opinions held by those more intelligent than he is (an extremely long list), because it's not about the science, it's (always) about his ego. Call them what you will, long-term "agency bureaucrats" or "deep-state operatives," most of these people are professionals, highly credentialed, and they need to keep doing their job the way they see fit, and not the way the 72 year-old orange toddler thinks they should. Here are just some of the findings in said report:

NC DOT needs to encourage rural transit, not stifle it

Bus route in Henderson County is on the chopping block:

The route serves 150 to 180 people per month with a 12-seat transit van with three trips each morning and three each afternoon. It takes riders from the east side of Hendersonville on a loop that travels Sugarloaf Road, Ridge Road and Pilot Mountain Road to the Edneyville Post Office before heading back into Hendersonville via Chimney Rock Road.

But WCCA can no longer get grant funding for the route under the state’s new interpretation of what constitutes a consolidated system, Crisp told Times-News staff writer Andrew Mundhenk. Henderson County’s website states that the service is being discontinued “due to state budget cuts,” and directs people to call 828-698-8571 for more information.

As readers are likely aware, I'm a big proponent of public transportation. And not just the high-density metro systems, but also smaller systems that connect rural and suburban areas to commercial hubs and county seats. Money is always an issue, but there are two sides to that money debate. Especially in our current economy, physical mobility is critical in the pursuit of financial independence. But people's health is at stake, too:

The real Thanksgiving story: The Pequot Massacre

Would you like a little genocide with that turkey and stuffing?

In 1637, the Pequot tribe of Connecticut gathered for the annual Green Corn Dance ceremony. Mercenaries of the English and Dutch attacked and surrounded the village; burning down everything and shooting whomever try to escape.

The next day, Newell notes, the Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony declared: “A day of Thanksgiving, thanking God that they had eliminated over 700 men, women and children.” It was signed into law that, “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots.” Most Americans believe Thanksgiving was this wonderful dinner and harvest celebration. The truth is the “Thanksgiving dinner” was invented both to instill a false pride in Americans and to cover up the massacre.

Sixteen years before this massacre, there was (supposedly) a three day feast in which Puritans and Wampanoag Native Americans took part. There is virtually no corroborating evidence of this idyllic gathering, but oral history of the tribe seems to support the story. But even if it did happen, it is far more important to remember what happened to the Pequots after coming into contact with these particular illegal immigrants:

Tyrants of a feather: Trump's love affair with murderous Crown Prince

If we're not talking about oil, guns, and money, I don't want to hear it:

Tuesday’s message could become something of a blueprint for foreign leaders — a guide to how they might increase their standing in the eyes of the American president as well as how far they can go in crushing domestic critics without raising American ire.

It was also a revealing meditation on the role that Mr. Trump believes facts should play in political decision-making. The C.I.A. concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia had ordered Mr. Khashoggi’s killing, American officials said last week. But on Tuesday, the president dismissed not only that assessment but also the very process of seeking the truth, implying that it did not really matter anyway. (“Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Mr. Trump wrote of Prince Mohammed.)

It's not just the Khashoggi killing that such irresponsible behavior affects; those 85,000 dead Yemeni children will likely be joined by tens of thousands more, because Trump will allow Saudi Arabia to continue with business as usual in that war-torn country. And what may be behind that unflinching support is that Saudi Arabia has only spent a fraction of the money on arms deals that Trump has been bragging about, and the more bombs they drop on Yemen, the more $$$$ may be forthcoming:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Also on the list of post-Thanksgiving shenanigans:

Thomas Farr is the worst possible choice, especially in a district with such a high level of African-American populations. But there may be some hope:

A culture of tyranny: GOP Legislatures attacking Dem governors

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You would almost think they had conspired together:

In Michigan, where the GOP has held the levers of power for nearly eight years, Republican legislators want to water down a minimum wage law they approved before the election so that it would not go to voters and would now be easier to amend.

Republicans in neighboring Wisconsin are discussing ways to dilute Democrat Tony Evers' power before he takes over for GOP Gov. Scott Walker. And in North Carolina, Republicans may try to hash out the requirements of a new voter ID constitutional amendment before they lose their legislative supermajorities and their ability to unilaterally override vetoes by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

In addition to power-grabbing policy moves, these multi-state Republicans have another thing in common, which made those power-grabs possible: Gerrymandering. If the following sounds familiar, there's a reason for that:

Too big to regulate: Facebook's manipulation of Congressional review

Using opposition research to undermine government:

“At the same time that Facebook was publicly professing their desire to work with the committee to address these issues, they were paying a political opposition research firm to privately attempt to undermine that same committee’s credibility,” Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the panel, said in a statement. “It’s very concerning.”

The documents obtained by The New York Times provide a deeper look at Definers’ tactics to discredit Facebook’s critics. The Times reported on Wednesday that Definers also distributed research documents to reporters that cast the liberal donor George Soros as an unacknowledged force behind activists protesting Facebook, and helped publish articles criticizing Facebook’s rivals on what was designed to look like a typical conservative news site.

You almost have to be a professional conspiracy theorist to even understand the machinations involved. But that complexity might just be an integral part of the program, and not just a by-product. Because it introduces an element of uncertainty for lawmakers, especially those who have a few skeletons in their closet. They might be on the verge of a career-ending sudden release of damning information, if they push too hard on his royal majesty Mark Zuckerberg, who has mastered the art of strategic denialism:

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