The Renew Act of 2017
50 minutes ago
"And Bannon actually made sense of Trump’s seemingly bizarre habit of naming people to head up agencies whose missions they openly oppose.
"... the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Bannon explained that officials who seem to hate what their agencies do — one thinks especially of Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who has sued it repeatedly to the benefit of oil and gas companies — were “selected for a reason, and that is deconstruction.”
Thus did Bannon invoke the trendy lefty term “deconstruct” as a synonym for “destroy.”
In practice, this is a war on a century’s worth of work to keep our air and water clean; our food, drugs and workplaces safe; the rights of employees protected; and the marketplace fair and unrigged. It’s one thing to make regulations more efficient and no more intrusive than necessary. It’s another to say that all the structures of democratic government designed to protect our citizens from the abuses of concentrated private power should be swept away."
|Whale shark feeding on plankton at night|
"Patrick Parenteau, an environmental law specialist at the University of Vermont Law School, said that rather than “modernizing” the Act, so far all he’s seen is “weakening” in the form of making it harder to list species, designate critical habitat, prevent habitat loss, and even base decisions on sound science.
He said Republican leaders have come out so strongly in favor of changing the ESA because “it gets in the way of development and activities that destroy habitat and frustrates narrow but politically powerful economic interests.”
“States, counties, wildlife managers, home builders, construction companies, farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders are all making it clear that the Endangered Species Act is not working today.”I wonder what he defines as not working? Well, let's look at what the reformers want to do, and then interpret. From Planet Experts:
"The reform agenda is focused on delisting endangered species and effectively removing restrictions on their habitats, capping the number of species listed, making it harder for citizens and civil society to file suits supporting conservation, and decentralizing decision authority so states and private entities– rather than the federal government – have rights over public lands."So, to make the ESA "work", the Republicans would likely:
"1957. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. The base of the lighthouse has been developed as a public observation deck, with a circular roof to provide shelter and a broad stairway leading down to the beach."
|Kaimondake volcano on the horizon|
In a stunning demonstration of the power and resiliency of our new post-factual political culture, Mr. Trump and his allies in the right media have already turned the term “fake news” against its critics, essentially draining it of any meaning. During the campaign, actual “fake news” — deliberate hoaxes — polluted political discourse and clogged social media timelines.
Some outlets opened the door, by helping spread conspiracy theories and indulging the paranoia of the fever swamps. For years, the widely read Drudge Report has linked to the bizarre conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who believes that both the attacks of Sept. 11 and the Sandy Hook shootings were government-inspired “false flag” operations.
All administrations lie, but what we are seeing here is an attack on credibility itself.
The Russian dissident and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov drew upon long familiarity with that process when he tweeted: “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”
"What Republicans don’t seem to have come to terms with is that, as a political matter, they already will be held responsible for whatever happens to health-care markets, even if they don’t introduce a replacement soon. An executive order Trump signed relaxing enforcement of Obamacare, and the constant talk of repeal, have injected a debilitating uncertainty into the health-care market — essentially beginning the unraveling of Obamacare with nothing to replace it."While I don't want anyone to lose insurance, exposing this major lie by Trump and the Republicans would be flat-out great.
"The lighthouse of Biarritz stands on Saint Martin Point. It is a 44 m tower that was built between 1830 and 1834. From its upper deck (248 stairs to climb!), a wonderful 360° panorama opens to the visitors eyes and on a clear day even the i the Spanish city of Saint Sebastian can be seen on the horizon!"Here's a page with more technical info, translated from the French: Biarritz Lighthouse
“I agree with the consensus view that combustion of fossil fuels is a leading cause for increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” he wrote to Cardin. “I understand these gases to be a factor in rising temperature, but I do not believe the scientific consensus supports their characterization as the ‘key’ factor."First of all, why are they called "greenhouse gases", Rex? And if of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (which by their very identity are known to be responsible for maintaining the temperature of the planet's atmospheric layer) aren't the key factor in Earth's rising temperature, then what the f*ck (excuse me) is?
"But the shallowness of Trump’s preferred form of communication indicates deeper things. His mind seems perfectly suited to a medium that rewards impulsiveness, that ignores fact-checking and that encourages incivility. Those are not generally the traits we hope for in a new president."Well, as we are seeing daily, President Trump has a lot of traits we don't want in a new President. But we're stuck with him and those traits. In the scripted words of Denzel Washington, "God Help Us All."