Donald Trump

Lawsuit challenges Trump's erosion of Endangered Species Act

Somebody has to say, "Enough is enough.":

Earthjustice filed the lawsuit on behalf of Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Parks Conservation Association, WildEarth Guardians and the Humane Society of the United States.

For more than 40 years, the Endangered Species Act has been a successful conservation law that protects imperiled species and their habitats. In the years since it was enacted, 99 percent of listed species including the bald eagle, Florida manatee and the gray wolf have been spared from extinction, according to the release.

I'm actually surprised it took him this long to target endangered species. In the mind of Trump, animals that need protection are "weak," and probably should be allowed to go extinct. I'm sure there are a lot of humans that fit into that category as well, at least in the mind of the Narcissist-In-Chief. Here are some of the main complaints detailed in the suit:

Leading while Black: Charlotte Council members get racist hate mail

Trump's rhetoric is dangerous, and spreading:

More than a dozen city leaders, all of them African American except for one, received a letter in the mail to their respective offices that was threatening and racist. Now, police are taking a close look. "If I can assume the intent, the intent was to intimidate," Councilman Braxton Winston said.

The letter read in part, "...Each of you despicable BLACK democrats should be tarred and feathered and run out of town (my town) on a rail..." It blamed African Americans for various things, praised President Donald Trump and used a phrase that was chanted by his supporters at a North Carolina rally earlier this year: "Send her back"

Even if I didn't agree with Braxton's assumption (I do), his background in Anthropology makes that more than just an assumption, it's a studied assessment. But for people like the letter writer, none of that matters. He's Black, and that is an irredeemable trait. It's important to understand that, before any time is wasted by looking at the attitude or performance or potential character flaws of those who have been threatened. We have an almost automatic impulse to argue against such, to present reasons why these bigots are wrong, but that's like trying to groom a skunk. You'll stink for days after the effort, and the skunk will still be a hot mess.

Greenville's minorities still reeling from "send her back" rally chant

It's just not the same anymore:

Police in Greenville say they have seen no increase in reported hate speech or crimes since the president’s July 17 visit. But to immigrants, refugees and others who don’t fit neatly into some people’s ideas of what an American should look like, the appearance has spawned fears that the president’s words could be used as a pretext for violence.

And the crowd’s chant has prompted painful reflection: Was the hostility on display at the rally new for Greenville? Or was it here all along, just waiting to be activated? Heidi Serrano, who was born in Guatemala but has lived in Greenville her entire adult life, has reluctantly concluded the latter. And now she wonders if some of her neighbors and co-workers truly want her here.

Ten years ago, I would have told her not to worry about those on the fringe; that radical white supremacist groups struggle to get more than two dozen like-minded idiots to flock to their cause. I can't tell her that now. Trump has exposed the 30+% extreme racist underbelly of our country, and given them a mandate to hate:

Wealthy pedophile and child sex-trafficker hangs himself in jail

Not shedding any tears for this piece of trash:

Jeffrey Epstein, the financier indicted on sex trafficking charges last month, committed suicide at a Manhattan jail, officials said on Saturday.

Manhattan federal prosecutors last month charged Mr. Epstein, 66, with sex trafficking of girls as young as 14, and details of his behavior have been emerging for years. Mr. Epstein, a financier with opulent homes, a private jet and access to elite circles, had been dogged for decades by accusations that he had paid dozens of girls for sexual acts in Florida.

Don't say I never post good news or upbeat stories and such. This is better than a baker's dozen of fluffy bunnies.

Federal debt projected to reach 28 Trillion by 2029

I've never been much of a deficit hawk, but this is crazy:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government — aka U.S. taxpayers — will spend $455 billion on interest next year. By 2029, that figure is projected to rise to $921 billion.

Beginning next year, he said, the federal government will spend more on interest than it will on programs affecting children. By 2025, he said, taxpayers will pay more on interest than they do on national defense. “Our budget will be spending more on our past than we do on our future,” Peterson said. “That’s a stark reminder of what we’re leaving our children here.”

Reaganomics was bad enough, when excessive tax cuts for the wealthy ended up with Social Security recipients paying fricking tax on their own retirement money. But Trumpism has broke the mold, and we will look back on the $1.5 Trillion tax giveaway as the epitome of ignorance by the time 2030 hits. And before you say, "they always do it," take a look at the late 1990's:

NC's tobacco farmers get the shaft in Trump's trade war

When your market is destroyed and nobody wants to help you:

The USDA lists more than two dozen crops that are eligible for the payments, but tobacco is not included among them due to federal rules that preclude the crop from receiving federal funds to promote its sale or export. “Tobacco did not receive one penny of that money,” said Larry Wooten, president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau. “And I’ve got news for you, the new money that’s coming out, tobacco is not going to share in that either.”

Wooten said that North Carolina farmers exported $162 million worth of tobacco products to China in 2017. In 2018, that figure was $4 million. He said the state’s farmers this year have planted the smallest crop of tobacco since before World War II.

I hesitated to write about this because I realize that probably 95% of the people reading don't care, and a good portion of you would love to see NC stop growing tobacco entirely. I get that. But that unbelievable drop in exports listed above is a stark reminder of just how dangerous this President is to our economy. And like it or not, tobacco was one of the main drivers of NC's economic growth for centuries. Follow below the fold for a mostly pointless and boring personal anecdote:

Trump admin blocks Utah from expanding Medicaid

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And they would likely do the same to North Carolina:

According to the senior officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, White House advisers argued that it did not make sense to approve generous federal funding under the ACA while the administration is arguing that the entire law should be overturned.

White House advisers on the Domestic Policy Council, Office of Management and Budget, and National Economic Council, which are controlled by conservative Republicans, were the staunchest opponents of allowing Utah to receive enhanced federal funding for its expanded Medicaid program.

For every action there's a reaction. It may not be equal and opposite, but it trends that way. Utah voters passed a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid, and Trump blocking that might just lose him that state in 2020:

The Trump Effect: Overt racism is becoming much more common

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This is what happens when a President gives people a license to hate:

"There are still pockets of deep racism in this country," Neal said, "pockets, even here, even in 2019, in which people are still very comfortable using that kind of language to describe African-Americans." Goodman's attempt to control the women's behavior is indicative of a recent trend nationwide, he said.

"We’re in a moment where there are a lot of random white citizens that have been attempting to police black behavior, whether it’s in a restaurant or a swimming pool or a Starbucks," he said.

This trend is undoubtedly racist, but it also may be a narcissistic "bleedover" from Trump. His constant self-aggrandizement is leading many people to believe that they too are infallible, and that they are operating from a position of authority over minority populations. And it's not just the South where this is occurring:

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