Climate-Hater-in-Chief

From AP News

President Donald Trump in the coming days will sign a new executive order that unravels his predecessor’s sweeping plan to curb global warming, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Sunday.

EPA chief Scott Pruitt said the executive order to be signed Tuesday will undo the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, an environmental regulation that restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The 2015 rule has been on hold since last year while a federal appeals court considers a challenge by coal-friendly Republican-led states and more than 100 companies.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Pruitt said Trump’s intention is to bring back coal-mining jobs and reduce the cost of electricity.

I’ve been saying this a lot, but… Agent Orange hates the earth. He wants to destroy the climate. He wants to make things worse.

I think the idea of a post-apocalyptic future where a toxic climate has destroyed most life and surviving humans live underground and have to breathe bottled oxygen, and “going outside” could mean certain death without protective gear, turns him on.

Jared Kushner Tapped to “Fix Government with Business Ideas”

From the Washington Post

President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.

The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump. Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements.’

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Keystone XL Pipeline a Go… Maybe…

Welp… this is bad news mixed with some spotty hope…

From Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration approved TransCanada Corp’s (TRP.TO) Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, cheering the oil industry and angering environmentalists even as further hurdles for the controversial project loom.

The approval reverses a decision by former President Barack Obama to reject the project, but the company still needs to win financing, acquire local permits, and fend off likely legal challenges for the pipeline to be built.

“TransCanada will finally be allowed to complete this long-overdue project with efficiency and with speed,” Trump said in the Oval Office before turning to ask TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russell Girling when construction would start.

“We’ve got some work to do in Nebraska to get our permits there,” Girling replied.

“Nebraska?” Trump said. “I’ll call Nebraska.”

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How the GOP Health Care Proposal Hurts Mental Health

Let’s get a little more specific, shall we? From the Pacific Standard

One of Congress’ rare bipartisan victories under the Obama administration was the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill hastily passed last December that, among other provisions, intended to allocate $6.8 million to mental-health services and expand access to services on both a federal and state level. Despite the bill’s financial pittance, as well as mounting complaints that other provisions within the bill adversely affect Medicare while aiding pharmaceutical companies’ bottom lines, the 21st Century Cures Act was hailed as a symbolic, yet necessary, victory for a divided Congress. The message was clear: mental health matters.

But now, as the Trump administration’s contentious health-care bill comes to a vote on the House floor later today, Congress finds itself more divided than ever — even within the Republican Party itself. With less care at higher costs, constituents of all political leanings are worried about what a change could mean for their coverage: a group that includes the millions of people who rely on Obamacare for their mental-health treatment. Roughly 42.5 million Americans deal with mental illness each year; about one out of five adults. What would this change mean for them?

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Stephen Hawking Has Words for Agent Orange

From LiveScience

Stephen Hawking does not feel welcome in Donald Trump’s America. The renowned physicist made this unhappy claim in a recent interview, and he expressed particular concern about how the Trump administration is treating the issue of climate change.

Hawking discussed U.S. politics during an interview with ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” on Monday (March 20). Hawking, who once called Trump a “demagogue,” said the new U.S. president was elected by “people who felt disenfranchised by the governing elite in a revolt against globalization.” The Trump administration’s policies pertaining to climate change, and science in general, are an attempt to satisfy that electorate, Hawking told interviewer Piers Morgan.

Well… okay then, Professor Hawking…

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Gorsuch Confirmation Should be Delayed for Russia Investigation

Here’s something I agree with, from Politico

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for a delay of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation Tuesday given the ongoing FBI investigation into potential collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.

“You can bet, if the shoe were on the other foot and a Democratic president was under investigation by the FBI, the Republicans would be howling at the moon about filling a Supreme Court seat in such circumstances,” Schumer said on the floor.

His call was later echoed by Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted that FBI Director James Comey “testified @realDonaldTrump’s campaign is under investigation for collusion with Russia. Lifetime court appointments can wait.”

The emerging Democratic demand is highly unlikely to gain traction with Senate GOP leaders, who are planning a vote on Gorsuch early next month. But the move illustrates Schumer’s interest in using the stain of an FBI probe to undercut the rest of Trump’s agenda and echoes entreaties by liberal groups that have pressured Democrats to filibuster Gorsuch.

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Well Now I’m Torn

I’ve always been one of those who’s hated that we didn’t take what happened with the moon landings further than we did. I’ve never understood why we didn’t build a base on the moon. I’ve never understood why people aren’t there today. I’ve never understood why we didn’t set a goal for putting humans on Mars back then, as well.

I mean… okay… I do understand. We went to the moon in the first place because of the Cold War. It could be argued that we wouldn’t even have a NASA today if not for the Cold War, so…

But that doesn’t make the fact that we didn’t continue that momentum after the Cold War any less annoying. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s really sad that the Cold War was our only motivation.

But now…

Now, NASA’s new budget has been slightly increased, and they’ve been given a goal of putting people on Mars.

should be excited by this. It’s something I support.

The problem?

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A Double Whammy from James Comey

I’m still mad at James Comey for his actions during the election.

I know that blame for Agent Orange’s win is spread very thin, as, at least for me, Bernie Bros, white people, conservatives, hacking, the Electoral College, the Democratic Party, and many, many more things and people can be blamed for Clinton’s ultimate loss (despite her massive popular vote win). But I do think Comey shares at least a little of the blame.

However… he also seems to be trying to make up, at least a tiny bit, for his actions. He has not been cooperative with Agent Orange at all, and these are yet more proof of that…

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Neil Gorsuch’s First Hearing…

From Reuters

Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, on Monday emphasized the need for judicial independence even as Trump castigates jurists who have ruled against him, while Democrats questioned whether he would rule against abortion rights and gun control while favoring corporations.

With the ideological balance of the Supreme Court at stake, the Senate Judiciary Committee opened its confirmation hearing for Gorsuch, a conservative federal appeals court judge from Colorado. Republicans praised Gorsuch, 49, as highly qualified for a lifetime appointment as a justice.

“I think we’re off to a good start,” Republican Chuck Grassley, the committee’s chairman, said afterward, with senators getting their first shot at questioning Gorsuch on Tuesday.

Committee Democrats noted Gorsuch has the chance to join the court only because Senate Republicans last year refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama’s nomination of federal appellate judge Merrick Garland. Despite slim chances of blocking his nomination in the Republican-led Senate, Democrats raised questions about Gorsuch’s suitability for the job.

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Agent Orange Published List of Agencies That Refuse to Cooperate With Deportations

From the Washington Post:

Homeland Security officials on Monday unveiled the administration’s first list of law enforcement agencies that refused to detain jailed immigrants beyond their release dates so that the federal government could take them into custody and try to deport them.

Federal officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in a conference call with reporters, said local agencies, including some in Maryland and Virginia, failed to honor 206 detention requests from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3.

On the plus side, at least most of will know who the “good guys” are in this…

But this bullying tactic cannot go unpunished.