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Trump's New Climate Czar: Carbon Dioxide Has Been Treated Just Like "Jews Under Hitler"

Where on earth do they find these cretins??

Trump’s New Climate Czar: Carbon Dioxide Has Been Treated Just Like “Jews Under Hitler”
William Happer, who is spearheading a proposed White House panel on climate change, believes CO2 “has undergone decade after decade of abuse, for no reason.”
by Bess Levin
February 20, 2019 4:10 pm

Last year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Trump administration released a terrifying report about climate change, which might as well have been simply titled, “You Should Be Shitting Your Pants Right Now.” The second volume of a federally mandated assessment, the 1,656-page investigation laid out the devastating costs associated with not taking immediate steps to combat climate change: $141 billion from heat-related deaths, $118 billion from rising sea levels, $32 billion from infrastructure damage by the end of the century, and so on. At the time, Donald Trump simply brushed the whole thing off, telling reporters, “I don’t believe it,” even though, by his own admission, he’d only read “some” of the report and his mind was probably elsewhere during the relevant sections (i.e. wondering if all the turkeys he didn’t pardon were going to rise up and peck him to death) But with certain lawmakers, irksome citizens, and, um, the director of national intelligence insisting that climate change is the most imminent threat of our lifetime, the White House knew it needed to do more to convince people this whole thing was a hoax. And reader, the administration has truly outdone itself this time.

The Washington Post reports that the White House is assembling a panel to “assess whether climate change poses a national security threat,” headed by a guy who makes coal lobbyist-turned-Acting E.P.A. Administrator Andrew Wheeler look like a radical environmentalist. Yes, the administration has hired some real crackpots before, but this guy laps those suckers by miles. So, just who is William Happer? According to the Post, he’s a former Energy Department staffer under George H.W. Bush who joined this White House in September to work on “emerging technologies,” and, naturally, has no formal training as a climate scientist. But what he lacks in relevant knowledge he makes up for in a deep and abiding love for carbon dioxide, which he said during a summit in December 2016 is “not a pollutant at all” and is “actually a benefit to the earth,” despite having been unfairly maligned by “decade after decade of abuse, for no reason.” And, of course, he thinks that abuse has some historical parallels.

“The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler,” Happer explained to CNBC in 2014, after yelling at Andrew Ross Sorkin to “shut up” about him supposedly being a climate-change denier. In January 2017, he added in an e-mail to a Jezebel reader that the vilification of carbon dioxide also “differs little from . . . the Soviet extermination of class enemies or ISIL slaughter of infidels.” (Upon learning that Jezebel would be writing an item about the correspondence and his views, he responded, “If I understand the thrust of the article you are writing, your organization is well named. The original Queen Jezebel had an innocent man, Naboth, smeared and stoned to death so her husband, King Ahab, could steal his vinyard [sic]. You can smear me, as the original Jezebel did, but if you want to physically destroy me, you may find it [a] bit harder.”)

Other choice quotes from Happer, who, shockingly, has received money from the fossil-fuel industry:

“If plants could vote, they would vote for coal.” November 2015

“It’s not as though if you double CO2 you make a big difference. You make a barely detectable difference.” November 2017

“Let me point out that if you have a well-designed coal plant, what comes out of the stack of the plant is almost the same thing that comes out of a person’s breath.” December 2016

“I am trying to explain to my fellow Americans the serious damage that will be done to us, and indeed to the whole world, by cockamamie policies to ‘save the planet’ from CO2.” March 2016

“Warming and increased CO2 will be good for mankind.” May 2010


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 20, 2019, 07:59 PM (9 replies)

Jared Kushner may have benefited from Trump White House scheme to sell nuke plants to Saudis...


Jared Kushner may have benefited from Trump White House scheme to sell nuke plants to Saudis: House Dem report
Brad Reed
19 Feb 2019 at 11:30 ET

A new report issued by House Democrats this week claims that key Trump administration appointees overrode the objections of top national security officials and attorneys to promote the sale of nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia — and these sales could have directly benefited Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Per the Washington Post, the report, which was issued on Tuesday by House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), claims that top national security officials including former national security adviser H.R. McMaster warned the administration against plans to sell nuclear power plants to the Saudis.

These national officials called for a halt to such sales in 2017 and cited “potential conflicts of interest, national security risks and legal hurdles.”

Despite this, however, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and other Trump appointees continued to push the sales of nuclear power to the Saudis.

Of particular interest in the report is the revelation that the Saudi nuke sales could have benefited Kushner, whose family in 2017 was desperate to secure investment capital at a troubled property in Manhattan.

“The Cummings report notes that one of the power plant manufacturers that could benefit from a nuclear deal, Westinghouse Electric, is a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, the company that provided financial relief to the family of Jared Kushner,” the Post writes. “Brookfield Asset Management took a 99-year lease on the family’s deeply indebted New York City property at 666 Fifth Avenue.”
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 20, 2019, 10:54 AM (9 replies)

Don't Dismiss Bernie Sanders


Don’t Dismiss Bernie Sanders
February 20, 2019 at 9:01 am EST By Taegan Goddard

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) kicked off his presidential campaign by raising an impressive $4 million in just 12 hours. He also won an immediate endorsement from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who had backed Clinton four years ago. And he signed a campaign manager with deep experience in the party, a strong contrast with the disjointed campaign he built in 2016.

Those are all good reasons for his Democratic rivals to take him seriously.

But a more important reason might be his demonstrated ability to energize younger voters.

The best Democratic nominee to go up against President Trump is one who can rebuild the Obama coalition — the women, minorities and young people who turned out in record numbers to twice elect Barack Obama.

Several current candidates can potentially energize women voters (Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand) and voters of color (Kamala Harris, Cory Booker). But Sanders is the only candidate — so far, at least — with a proven appeal to young people.

A recent Quinnipiac poll found that young voters like Sanders by a stunning 57% to 29% margin, while older voters do not, 40% to 45%. That’s a remarkable feat for the oldest candidate in the race. He’s obviously delivering a message that young people want to hear.

That said, Sanders is still mostly a factional politician and, for the last 30 years at least, Democrats have nominated candidates who can build broad coalitions. One of the current candidates, perhaps Kamala Harris, might also prove appealing to young voters. Or maybe it will be a new entrant to the race like Beto O’Rourke.

But until then, Democrats should not dismiss Sanders. He holds one of the keys to putting the coalition back together that allowed Democrats to hold the White House for eight years.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 20, 2019, 10:10 AM (37 replies)

Panel to Assess Climate Change as Security Threat


Panel to Assess Climate Change as Security Threat
February 20, 2019 at 8:09 am EST By Taegan Goddard

“The White House is working to assemble a panel to assess whether climate change poses a national security threat, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post, a conclusion that federal intelligence agencies have affirmed several times since President Trump took office.”

“The proposed Presidential Committee on Climate Security, which would be established by executive order, is being spearheaded by William Happer, a National Security Council senior director. Happer, an emeritus professor of physics at Princeton University, has said that carbon emissions linked to climate change should be viewed as an asset rather than a pollutant.”
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 20, 2019, 09:29 AM (0 replies)

Sen. Whitehouse: There's a 'Crisis of Credibility' at the U.S. Supreme Court

Sen. Whitehouse: There's a 'Crisis of Credibility' at the U.S. Supreme Court
The Roberts Court has shown an "undeniable pattern of political allegiance," the U.S. senator from Rhode Island says.
By Sheldon Whitehouse | February 15, 2019 at 02:50 PM

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Chief Justice John Roberts declared last fall in response to President Trump’s jab at an “Obama judge.” In spite of my distaste for Trump’s attacks on our judiciary, on this one, the facts are with Trump.

As a former U.S. attorney and state attorney general, I have spent my share of time in the courtroom before state and federal judges whose commitment to neutral principles and fairness made even losing parties respect their decisions. Today, that confidence is undermined by the Roberts Court’s undeniable pattern of political allegiance. Under Roberts, justices appointed by Republican presidents have, with remarkable consistency, delivered rulings that advantage big corporate and special interests that are, in turn, the political lifeblood of the Republican Party. The “Roberts Five” are causing a crisis of credibility that is rippling through the entire judiciary.

Several decisions have been particularly flagrant and notorious: Citizens United v. FEC wrongly held that unlimited special-interest spending couldn’t corrupt, or even appear to corrupt, American politics, unleashing torrents of corruption and public disdain. Shelby County v. Holder wrongly declared racism over, disabling key sections of the Voting Rights Act and prompting a surge of racist state voting legislation. District of Columbia v. Heller elevated as constitutional doctrine a Second Amendment argument once described by a former chief justice as a “fraud.” After a bald invitation from a Republican appointee, right-wing lawyers rushed to lose cases in lower courts so a friendly Supreme Court majority could deliver a blow to the labor movement in Janus v. AFSCME.

Dig a bit, and a pattern emerges far worse than just that handful of bad decisions. Since Roberts ascended to chief justice in 2006, the court’s bare 5-4 majority of Republican appointees has delivered such rulings not three or four times, not even a dozen or two dozen times, but 73 times in civil cases. There are 79 5-4 decisions with no Democratic appointee joining the majority since Roberts became chief justice; and 73 of them implicate issues important to powerful Republican political interests. The score in those 73 cases for the big Republican interests is 73-0. On this Republican judicial romp, the Roberts Five have been cavalier with any doctrine, precedent or congressional finding that gets in their way.

The 73 decisions fall into four categories: First are decisions to help the Republican Party and its donors in politics, suppressing votes, buying influence, sowing fear, and gerrymandering. Second are decisions that make it harder for regulators and juries to hold corporations accountable. Powerful interests muscle their way around Congress; they hate uncaptured government regulators and courtrooms where they have to be equal before the law. Third are decisions to restrict civil rights and condone discrimination, reflecting the worldview that corporations know best, that courts have no business remedying historical discrimination and that views and experiences outside the white, male, Christian mainstream of the Republican Party merit lower legal standing. Fourth are decisions that have given straight-up political victories to the right-wing base on issues like abortion, guns and religion—achieving by judicial fiat what Republicans couldn’t accomplish through the legislative process.

The court’s so-called conservatives often abandon conservative judicial principles to reach the desired outcome. Republican appointees routinely assure senators at their confirmation hearings that they will simply “call balls and strikes,” and “follow the law of judicial precedent.” Yet doctrines about modesty, stare decisis and respect for the judgment of elected majorities evaporate in these cases. Even the pet doctrine of originalism is ignored when inconvenient. These decisions are only conservative in that they benefit powerful conservative interests.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 20, 2019, 09:18 AM (28 replies)

Emails Reveal Coordination Between Chao, McConnell

Can this be legal??


Emails Reveal Coordination Between Chao, McConnell
February 19, 2019 at 7:45 pm EST By Taegan Goddard

“A trove of more than 800 pages of emails sheds new light on the working relationship between Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the most potent power couples in Washington — including their dealings with McConnell supporters from their home state of Kentucky,” Politico reports.

“Chao has met at least 10 times with politicians and business leaders from the state in response to requests from McConnell’s office… In some cases, those people later received what they were hoping for from Chao’s department, including infrastructure grants, the designation of an interstate highway and assistance in getting state funds for a highway project — although the documents don’t indicate the meetings led to those outcomes.”
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 20, 2019, 07:05 AM (4 replies)

CNN Staffers 'Demoralized' by Hiring of GOP Operative Sarah Isgur to Edit 2020 Coverage

CNN Staffers ‘Demoralized’ by Hiring of GOP Operative Sarah Isgur to Edit 2020 Coverage

The former Jeff Sessions flack has zero journalistic experience and yet she is tasked with guiding CNN’s 2020 reporting. CNN staffers and media critics alike are not pleased.
Maxwell Tani
02.19.19 5:47 PM ET

CNN staffers are upset and confused about the network’s decision to hire a partisan political operative to oversee its 2020 campaign reporting.

On Tuesday, a CNN spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Beast that the network has hired Republican political adviser Sarah Isgur as the politics editor helming CNN’s 2020 coverage. The move was first reported by Politico.

Throughout her decade-long career in Republican politics, Isgur has served as an adviser to Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney, and was Carly Fiorina’s deputy campaign manager for the 2016 Republican primary. Until last year, Isgur was a top spokesperson for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice.

A CNN spokesperson said Isgur will not be involved in the network’s DOJ coverage, but will guide TV and digital coverage of the 2020 election, occasionally offering on-screen analysis.

The hiring was met with a negative internal reaction, especially because many CNN staffers have been largely left in the dark on the controversial decision. While other marquee hires are often announced internally, as of Tuesday afternoon the company has not circulated any guidance to staff about Isgur’s new role, leading employees to wonder how much of a role she will have in day-to-day political reporting.

“It’s extremely demoralizing for everyone here,” one network editorial staffer told The Daily Beast.

“People are generally confused,” another editorial employee said, adding that the decision to hire a partisan operative for an editorial position comes off as “very bizarre.”


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 20, 2019, 06:52 AM (32 replies)

The Newsroom: Aaron Sorkin's HBO series could be returning to cover Trump years, says Olivia Munn

The Newsroom: Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series could be returning to cover Trump years, says Olivia Munn
The show, which chronicled the behind-the-scenes events at the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) channel, ended in 2014 after three seasons

Clarisse Loughrey

Olivia Munn has hinted that The Newsroom could be returning to TV screens.

The HBO series, which chronicled the behind-the-scenes events at the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) channel, ended in 2014 after three seasons.

Alongside Munn, who played economist Sloan Sabbith, the series featured Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Dev Patel, Alison Pill, and Thomas Sadoski.

Munn told Entertainment Tonight: ”Tom Sadoski and myself, we’ve actually been having conversations with Sorkin about that. He’s very busy, but we have very high hopes that it would be able to come together, hopefully.”


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Feb 19, 2019, 11:48 PM (4 replies)

Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump

Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump
Nathan Robinson
When it comes to beating Trump, the Vermont senator is the person for the job. Nobody else comes close
Tue 19 Feb 2019 15.23 EST
Last modified on Tue 19 Feb 2019 21.52 EST

Now that Bernie Sanders is officially in the 2020 presidential race, it’s time to face the obvious truth: not only can he beat Donald Trump, he is also a better candidate to do so than any of the other current Democratic contenders.

At a critical moment when the left needs to unify in order to end Trump’s reign of cruelty and ineptitude, Sanders is the person for the job. Nobody else comes close.

For the last two years, Sanders has been setting the Democratic party policy agenda. His 2016 candidacy entirely shifted the political landscape, to the point where the majority of Democrats now view Democratic socialism favorably. Medicare for All and universal free college are so popular that they have almost become litmus tests for prospective candidates. In polls, Sanders is well ahead of the other currently declared candidates, and at this point he should be treated as the presumptive frontrunner.

Ironically given his age, Sanders has been embraced by millennials – even millennial women preferred Sanders over Clinton. The face of the young left, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is a veteran of the first Sanders campaign. It makes sense. Young people have a sense of urgency about the future: we don’t want to live in a “neo-feudal” world in which corporations tell cities what to do, nor do we want to live on a ruined planet. We want our children and grandchildren never to have to worry about being unable to afford medical care. We want their public schools to be well-funded and their cities to be above water. We also want to be able to afford to have children in the first place.

The reasons that people on the left should support Sanders are obvious. Since his earliest days getting arrested for protesting segregation, Sanders has shown a firm commitment to advancing a progressive agenda. He’s someone we can trust: he has been “on message” for four decades, sounding pretty much the same over decades of speeches. He’s not someone whose ideals seem to have emerged conveniently just in time for their presidential campaign.

But even those who do not share Democratic socialist instincts should get behind Sanders. He’s a pragmatic choice. Nobody is better positioned to take on Donald Trump. Sanders has name recognition and widespread popularity. He knows how to campaign well, has a network of organizers, and can pack stadiums. He does well at town halls and in debates against Republicans.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Feb 19, 2019, 11:43 PM (37 replies)

Robert Reich: Dictator Trump


Dictator Trump
Robert Reich
February 19, 2019
The threat to American democracy has never been more pronounced.

A president who claims he has an absolute right to declare a national emergency and spend government funds that Congress has explicitly refused to appropriate for the ends he seeks, is assuming the role of a dictator.

A president who shuts down government in order to get his way on a controversial issue, such as building a wall along the border with Mexico, and offers to reopen it as a concession when and if his opponents give in, is treating the government of the United States as a bargaining chip. This, too, is the behavior of a dictator.

As is spouting lies over what Trump terms an “undeniable crisis” at the southern U.S. border, which is in fact no crisis at all.

Donald Trump is violating the Constitution. He is negating our system of government based on the rule of law. He is violating a president’s core responsibility to protect American democracy.


We also know that since he was elected, Trump has done little or nothing to stop Putin from continuing to try to undermine our democracy. To the contrary, Trump has obstructed inquiries into Russian meddling, and gone out of his way to keep his communications with Putin secret, even from his own White House.

He has also done exactly what Putin has wanted him to do—threaten to pull out of NATO, pull out of Syria, and accept Russia’s presence in Ukraine.

Perhaps Trump’s current attack on American democracy through his assertion of a fake national emergency is intended as to distract from this larger attack on America. No matter. Both threaten the essence of the nation.

There is only one answer: Donald Trump must be removed from office. Impeachment should start immediately.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Feb 19, 2019, 09:27 PM (1 replies)
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