Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Case Against Donald Trump - marking our situation and the decision in front of all of us

CORRUPTION
ANGER
CHAOS
INCOMPETENCE
LIES
DECAY

END OUR NATIONAL CRISIS

The Case Against Donald Trump
BY THE NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD
The Editorial Board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values.

THE VERDICT
Donald Trump's re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.

Mr. Trump's ruinous tenure already has gravely damaged the United States at home and around the world. He has abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents, shattering the norms that have bound the nation together for generations. He has subsumed the public interest to the profitability of his business and political interests. He has shown a breathtaking disregard for the lives and liberties of Americans. He is a man unworthy of the office he holds.

The editorial board does not lightly indict a duly elected president. During Mr. Trump's term, we have called out his racism and his xenophobia. We have critiqued his vandalism of the postwar consensus, a system of alliances and relationships around the globe that cost a great many lives to establish and maintain. We have, again and again, deplored his divisive rhetoric and his malicious attacks on fellow Americans. Yet when the Senate refused to convict the president for obvious abuses of power and obstruction, we counseled his political opponents to focus their outrage on defeating him at the ballot box.

Nov. 3 can be a turning point. This is an election about the country's future, and what path its citizens wish to choose.

The resilience of American democracy has been sorely tested by Mr. Trump's first term. Four more years would be worse.

But even as Americans wait to vote in lines that stretch for blocks through their towns and cities, Mr. Trump is engaged in a full-throated assault on the integrity of that essential democratic process. Breaking with all of his modern predecessors, he has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, suggesting that his victory is the only legitimate outcome, and that if he does not win, he is ready to contest the judgment of the American people in the courts or even on the streets.

Kathleen Kingsbury, acting editorial page editor, wrote about the editorial board's verdict on Donald Trump's presidency in a special edition of our Opinion Today newsletter. You can read it here.

The enormity and variety of Mr.Trump's misdeeds can feel overwhelming. Repetition has dulled the sense of outrage, and the accumulation of new outrages leaves little time to dwell on the particulars. This is the moment when Americans must recover that sense of outrage.

It is the purpose of this special section of the Sunday Review to remind readers why Mr. Trump is unfit to lead the nation. It includes a series of essays focused on the Trump administration's rampant corruption, celebrations of violence, gross negligence with the public's health and incompetent statecraft. A selection of iconic images highlights the president's record on issues like climate, immigration, women's rights and race.

The urgency of these essays speaks for itself. The repudiation of Mr. Trump is the first step in repairing the damage he has done. But even as we write these words, Mr. Trump is salting the field — and even if he loses, reconstruction will require many years and tears.

Mr. Trump stands without any real rivals as the worst American president in modern history. In 2016, his bitter account of the nation's ailments struck a chord with many voters. But the lesson of the last four years is that he cannot solve the nation's pressing problems because he is the nation's most pressing problem.

He is a racist demagogue presiding over an increasingly diverse country; an isolationist in an interconnected world; a showman forever boasting about things he has never done, and promising to do things he never will.

He has shown no aptitude for building, but he has managed to do a great deal of damage. He is just the man for knocking things down.

As the world runs out of time to confront climate change, Mr. Trump has denied the need for action, abandoned international cooperation and attacked efforts to limit emissions.

He has mounted a cruel crackdown on both legal and illegal immigration without proposing a sensible policy for determining who should be allowed to come to the United States.

Obsessed with reversing the achievements of his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, he has sought to persuade both Congress and the courts to get rid of the Affordable Care Act without proposing any substitute policy to provide Americans with access to affordable health care. During the first three years of his administration, the number of Americans without health insurance increased by 2.3 million — a number that has surely grown again as millions of Americans have lost their jobs this year.

He campaigned as a champion of ordinary workers, but he has governed on behalf of the wealthy. He promised an increase in the federal minimum wage and fresh investment in infrastructure; he delivered a round of tax cuts that mostly benefited rich people. He has indiscriminately erased regulations, and answered the prayers of corporations by suspending enforcement of rules he could not easily erase. Under his leadership, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has stopped trying to protect consumers and the Environmental Protection Agency has stopped trying to protect the environment.

He has strained longstanding alliances while embracing dictators like North Korea's Kim Jong-un and Russia's Vladimir Putin, whom Mr. Trump treats with a degree of warmth and deference that defies explanation. He walked away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a strategic agreement among China's neighbors intended to pressure China to conform to international standards. In its place, Mr. Trump has conducted a tit-for-tat trade war, imposing billions of dollars in tariffs — taxes that are actually paid by Americans — without extracting significant concessions from China.

Mr. Trump's inadequacies as a leader have been on particularly painful display during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of working to save lives, Mr. Trump has treated the pandemic as a public relations problem. He lied about the danger, challenged the expertise of public health officials and resisted the implementation of necessary precautions; he is still trying to force the resumption of economic activity without bringing the virus under control.

As the economy pancaked, he signed an initial round of aid for Americans who lost their jobs. Then the stock market rebounded and, even though millions remained out of work, Mr. Trump lost interest in their plight.

In September, he declared that the virus "affects virtually nobody" the day before the death toll from the disease in the United States topped 200,000.

Nine days later, Mr. Trump fell ill.

The foundations of American civil society were crumbling before Mr. Trump rode down the escalator of Trump Tower in June 2015 to announce his presidential campaign. But he has intensified the worst tendencies in American politics: Under his leadership, the nation has grown more polarized, more paranoid and meaner.

He has pitted Americans against each other, mastering new broadcast media like Twitter and Facebook to rally his supporters around a virtual bonfire of grievances and to flood the public square with lies, disinformation and propaganda. He is relentless in his denigration of opponents and reluctant to condemn violence by those he regards as allies. At the first presidential debate in September, Mr. Trump was asked to condemn white supremacists. He responded by instructing one violent gang, the Proud Boys, to "stand back and stand by."

He has undermined faith in government as a vehicle for mediating differences and arriving at compromises. He demands absolute loyalty from government officials, without regard to the public interest. He is openly contemptuous of expertise.

And he has mounted an assault on the rule of law, wielding his authority as an instrument to secure his own power and to punish political opponents. In June, his administration tear-gassed and cleared peaceful protesters from a street in front of the White House so Mr. Trump could pose with a book he does not read in front of a church he does not attend.

The full scope of his misconduct may take decades to come to light. But what is already known is sufficiently shocking:

He has resisted lawful oversight by the other branches of the federal government. The administration routinely defies court orders, and Mr. Trump has repeatedly directed administration officials not to testify before Congress or to provide documents, notably including Mr. Trump's tax returns.

With the help of Attorney General William Barr, he has shielded loyal aides from justice. In May, the Justice Department said it would drop the prosecution of Mr. Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn even though Mr. Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. In July, Mr. Trump commuted the sentence of another former aide, Roger Stone, who was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation of Mr. Trump's 2016 election campaign. Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, rightly condemned the commutation as an act of "unprecedented, historic corruption."

Last year, Mr. Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation of his main political rival, Joe Biden, and then directed administration officials to obstruct a congressional inquiry of his actions. In December 2019, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Mr. Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors. But Senate Republicans, excepting Mr. Romney, voted to acquit the president, ignoring Mr. Trump's corruption to press ahead with the project of filling the benches of the federal judiciary with young, conservative lawyers as a firewall against majority rule.

Now, with other Republican leaders, Mr. Trump is mounting an aggressive campaign to reduce the number of Americans who vote and the number of ballots that are counted.

The president, who has long spread baseless charges of widespread voter fraud, has intensified his rhetorical attacks in recent months, especially on ballots submitted by mail. "The Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED," he tweeted. The president himself has voted by mail, and there is no evidence to support his claims. But the disinformation campaign serves as a rationale for purging voter rolls, closing polling places, tossing absentee ballots and otherwise impeding Americans from exercising the right to vote.

It is an intolerable assault on the very foundations of the American experiment in government by the people.

Other modern presidents have behaved illegally or made catastrophic decisions. Richard Nixon used the power of the state against his political opponents. Ronald Reagan ignored the spread of AIDS. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying and obstruction of justice. George W. Bush took the nation to war under false pretenses.

Mr. Trump has outstripped decades of presidential wrongdoing in a single term.

Frederick Douglass lamented during another of the nation's dark hours, the presidency of Andrew Johnson, "We ought to have our government so shaped that even when in the hands of a bad man, we shall be safe." But that is not the nature of our democracy. The implicit optimism of American democracy is that the health of the Republic rests on the judgment of the electorate and the integrity of those voters choose.

Mr. Trump is a man of no integrity. He has repeatedly violated his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Now, in this moment of peril, it falls to the American people — even those who would prefer a Republican president — to preserve, protect and defend the United States by voting.

Explore the Other Stories
AS EVIDENCED BY
HIS UNAPOLOGETIC CORRUPTION
BY MICHELLE COTTLE
WHEN SCIENCE IS PUSHED ASIDE
BY JENEEN INTERLANDI
HIS DEMAGOGY
BY JESSE WEGMAN
HIS FAKE POPULISM
BY FARAH STOCKMAN
HIS INCOMPETENT STATESMANSHIP
BY SERGE SCHMEMANN
WITH LASTING CONSEQUENCE

WOMEN'S RIGHTS UNDER ATTACK
Photographed on January 19, 2018


IMMIGRATION HALTED
Photographed on June 26, 2019


BLACK LIVES AT RISK
Photographed on June 6, 2020


A PLANET IN PERIL
Photographed on September 29, 2020


AN ECONOMY IN TATTERS
Photographed on April 9, 2020


THE HIGH PRICE OF THE HIGH COURT
Photographed on September 26, 2020


TOO MANY FINGERS ON TOO MANY TRIGGERS
Photographed on April 30, 2020


L.G.B.T.Q. PROTECTIONS DISMANTLED
Photographed on June 14, 2020

Video by Michael Vahrenwald for The New York Times

Monty Bannerman
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Friday, October 16, 2020

The Wall Street Journal: More than 1,000 current and former CDC officers condemn U.S. COVID-19 response

Real Americans stand up.


More than 1,000 current and former CDC officers condemn U.S. COVID-19 response

Read in The Wall Street Journal: https://apple.news/ADfNAobTHRcWHWrP2Kf04gw


Shared from Apple News

Phys.org: Quantification of Unprecedented energy use since 1950 has transformed humanity's geologic footprint

Phys.org: Unprecedented energy use since 1950 has transformed humanity's geologic footprint.
https://phys.org/news/2020-10-unprecedented-energy-humanity-geologic-footprint.html 

Phys.org: New feature found in energy spectrum of universe's most powerful particles

Phys.org: New feature found in energy spectrum of universe's most powerful particles.
https://phys.org/news/2020-10-feature-energy-spectrum-universe-powerful.html 

Physicists Discover First Room-Temperature Superconductor | Quanta Magazine - although requiring crushingly high pressures

Fwd: Introducing Atlantic Planet


Date: Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 4:03 PM
Subject: Introducing Atlantic Planet
To: Monty Bannerman <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>

A new way of thinking about climate change | 
Jeffrey Goldberg headshot Jeffrey Goldberg
Editor in chief, The Atlantic

"I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil—to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society."

So begins Henry David Thoreau's landmark essay "Walking," which was published in The Atlantic in 1862. Thoreau is one of many Atlantic writers to explore in our pages the complicated, fraught, and surpassingly consequential relationship between humanity and the environment. The Atlantic was a pioneer in writing about the environment, and we continue that tradition with the launch of a new section, Atlantic Planet, devoted to covering the changing climate.

We have no shortage of crises at the moment, but climate change may be the defining challenge of our time. It is already reshaping every aspect of our lives, from how we do business to where we live to what foods we eat. This is why The Atlantic is committing itself to examining the ways in which climate change will remake life as we know it, and to investigating and illuminating solutions that could allow humanity to save itself from possible catastrophe.

In Planet, you'll find: Vann R. Newkirk II on heat as the human-rights issue of the next decade; Lawrence Weschler on a climate future beyond denial and despair; Sabrina Imbler on the health and environmental risks of gas stoves; and an introduction to the new section by our lead climate reporter, Robinson Meyer.

Meyer is also the inquisitive and kinetic mind behind The Atlantic's forthcoming newsletter, The Weekly Planet, which we are thinking of as the curious person's guide to living through climate change. Every Tuesday, he'll bring you big ideas that are driving the climate conversation, along with vital information that will help us survive (and perhaps even flourish) on a changing planet. Sign up to receive the first edition of The Weekly Planet on October 20.

In the meantime, I hope you take a moment to explore Atlantic Planet and to read the stories that, like Thoreau's, speak up for Nature.

Jeffrey Goldberg
Editor in chief

Support The Atlantic's vital reporting

Help ensure a bright future for our journalism. Subscribe today, starting at less than $1 a week, and enjoy unlimited access to all of The Atlantic.

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

NYTimes: Fact-Checking the Trump and Biden Town Halls - the contrast you could expect

Fact-Checking the Trump and Biden Town Halls https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/10/15/us/fact-checking-town-halls

Monty Bannerman
mob: +1 305-984-1177
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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Verge: Solar energy reaches historically low costs - Now More Rapidly and Relentlessly than ever.

The Verge: Solar energy reaches historically low costs.
https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/13/21514902/solar-energy-cost-historic-low-energy-agency-outlook-2020

Monty Bannerman
mob: +1 305-984-1177
tel: +1 646-402-5076

NYTimes: As Coronavirus Spread, Reports of Trump Administration’s Private Briefings Fueled Stock Sell-Off - insider trading on a scale exponentially larger than that which sent Martha to jail

As Coronavirus Spread, Reports of Trump Administration's Private Briefings Fueled Stock Sell-Off https://nyti.ms/34W02AB

Monty Bannerman
mob: +1 305-984-1177
tel: +1 646-402-5076

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Friday, October 9, 2020

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Top Trump aide Stephen Miller tests positive for Covid - hopefully turbocharged with karma



Monty Bannerman
MicroGrid Networks, LLC
cell: +1 305-984-1177
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From: Harry Strulovici <operatorsm1@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 7:10:14 PM
To: Monty Bannerman <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>
Subject: Fwd: BREAKING NEWS: Top Trump aide Stephen Miller tests positive for Covid
 


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: POLITICO <email@politicoemail.com>
Date: Tue, Oct 6, 2020 at 7:08 PM
Subject: BREAKING NEWS: Top Trump aide Stephen Miller tests positive for Covid
To: <operatorsm1@gmail.com>


Stephen Miller, a top aide to President Donald Trump, tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Miller, a senior adviser to the president with a wide-ranging portfolio in the White House, joins Trump's wife, press secretary, campaign manager, party chair, counselor and numerous other staffers who have tested positive for coronavirus. Trump himself spent his first full day at the White House on Tuesday after a three-day stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/06/stephen-miller-covid-trump-426924

To change your alert settings, please go to https://login.politico.com/_login?base=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.politico.com.



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Sunday, September 27, 2020

NYTimes: Trump’s Taxes Show Chronic Losses and Years of Income Tax Avoidance

Trump's Taxes Show Chronic Losses and Years of Income Tax Avoidance https://nyti.ms/3jmgeBf 

New York Times reveals it has obtained the US president’s tax return data for thousands of personal and corporate returns going back more than two decades.


New York Times reveals it has obtained the US president's tax return data for thousands of personal and corporate returns going back more than two decades.

Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.

He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed. Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.

The tax returns that Mr. Trump has long fought to keep private tell a story fundamentally different from the one he has sold to the American public. His reports to the I.R.S. portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes. Now, with his financial challenges mounting, the records show that he depends more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest with his job as president.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Something more upbeat from a plainspoken activist in NJ

Posted l by Laura Merz from NJ 11th For Change:

I don't know who needs a pep talk today but by god, you're going to get one so buckle up. There will be swearing.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg did not last for 3.5 years with pancreatic cancer for us to lose all hope and give up upon her death. Fuck. That. Noise.

No. I refuse to accept it. I'm not saying the fight won't be a lot harder. But I refuse to be fatalistic. There's a blog that I follow where the author has repeatedly said "Hope is a discipline."

I don't know if you all remember, but in 2018 we blue waved the fuck out of this country! We had a map that was hideously against us and we lost ground in the senate by only one seat. Only one! And let's face it, Florida and Georgia were totally rigged. Despite the horrific GOP gerrymandering, we gained 40(!!!!) seats in the house. In 2017 when
the GOP held the senate, house, and white house, we save the ACA. Not RBG. Not the supreme court. We did that! We pressured and showed up every day and we saved that vital first step in getting us all healthcare. 

You know what has happened since then?? We. The. People. voted to expand medicare in multiple states. We. The. People. elected
governors to expand medicare in other states.

 So I don't want to hear"We're doomed." or "We're powerless." Fuck. That. Noise. We the people have the power. We are coming up to
an election where we can flip the senate, get rid of the filibuster, and pack the court. Can we save this iteration of Roe? Maybe not. But
can we enshrine reproductive choice and justice into federal law and thus take away the need for court battles every few years? Yep. We sure can. Can we save the ACA in its current form? Maybe not. But can
we pack the court and enshrine medicare for all into law? Yes we can!

Remember the panic when we were terrified that Rosenstein would be fired and then Mueller would be fired because he was going to save us? I do. And you know what? They didn't save us. We don't need them to
save us. We. Save. Us.

Is it going to be easy? No. It wasn't easy when John Lewis and a whole bunch of brave Black activists marched for voting rights. Police Dogs,fire hoses, and batons greeted them. They still marched. And they won. Black men and women survived generations of slavery, Jim Crow laws, red lining, and police brutality to this very day. And you know what?
They're organizing and protesting and getting laws changed. Is it dangerous? Yes. Is it difficult? Yes. Are they scared? Yes. Are they
still doing it? Yes. 

That's where we must be. I know you feel scared and hopeless and helpless. That's how autocrats come to and hold on to power. But you aren't helpless. And you shouldn't be hopeless. When the freedom riders started in the 50s, when the march for civil rights happened in the 60s, do you think they
believed that they'd see a Black president in just a few decades?! 

The seeds of change are being planted now. We are seeing a great awakening of young people. We are seeing people who have never been interested in politics before jump in. We are seeing people who were GOP jumping into the fray for Biden. We are seeing coalitions that we never thought would happen.


RBG didn't back down from a fight. So god damn it, I'm not either. I'm going to mourn her in the only way that honors her - I dissent! I
protest! I will stand up for the marginalized communities. I will protect people. I will gather up my people and I will fight for the
rights of everyone. I expect every one of you to do the same. We didn't ask for this fight, but we are the ones who will fight it.

We may see some setbacks in the next few years. But by the time my niece (who is 6) turns 16, I'm giving her a country that respects her rights, that stands for liberty and justice for ALL, and that provides for her health and education in a way that we can't even imagine right now. So get ready to flood phone lines. Get ready to protest. And get ready to put yourself on the line. Because the only way we ensure our children have the future we want for them is to elect people who will deliver for us and hold those people accountable.


If you aren't plugged in with a campaign, tonight is a damn good night to start! There is no room to stay in your comfort zone. And you can't stay where it's safe if you are opposed to trump and what he represents. 

If you mourn RBG, do it right and dedicate yourself to this fight. I'm scared. But I'm not giving up. And I'm not giving up hope either. 

Hope is a discipline. Work at it every day. RBG and John Lewis passed the mbtorch. I'm picking it up and running with it. Join me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

NOAA taps David Legates, professor who questions the seriousness and severity of global warming, for top role - yet another outrage

The Washington Post: NOAA taps David Legates, professor who questions the seriousness and severity of global warming, for top role.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/09/13/noaa-hires-david-legates-climate/ 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

BBC News: Ex-Google boss Eric Schmidt: US 'dropped the ball' on innovation

I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

Ex-Google boss Eric Schmidt: US 'dropped the ball' on innovation - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54100001

* Disclaimer *

The BBC is not responsible for the content of this email, and anything written in this email does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the email address nor name of the sender have been verified. 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Monday, September 7, 2020

Trump vs Democracy: Anne Applebaum on authoritarianism - The Lincoln Project




Trump vs Democracy: Anne Applebaum on authoritarianism

From Wednesday 2 September 2020

https://pca.st/ax23wbs6

Friday, September 4, 2020

Year End Covid projections

A new long-term forecast predicts a significant acceleration in Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. as colder weather takes hold. Under the latest projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington's School of Medicine, deaths could rise to 410,000 by the end of 2020. In a worst-case scenario, there could be 620,000 fatalities, more than three times the number of Americans who have died over the past eight months. The difference between the projected and worst-case scenarios comes down to how diligent authorities are in mandating masks and social distancing, according to the report. More than 187,000 Americans have perished from the novel coronavirus. —David E. Rovella, Bloomberg News
Monty Bannerman
Managing Director
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Chicago launches $200M RFP to power city facilities by renewable energy | Utility Dive - Big Cities making the shift - and quickly

Thursday, September 3, 2020

"Ignore the C.D.C." - Harold Varmis, Nobel prize winnining former Director of the US National Institutes of Health



https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/31/opinion/cdc-testing-coronavirus.html

Monty Bannerman
mob: +1 305-984-1177
tel: +1 646-402-5076

Ignore the C.D.C. - Harold Varmis, Nobel prize winnining former Director of the US National Institutes of Health

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/31/opinion/cdc-testing-coronavirus.html

Monty Bannerman
mob: +1 305-984-1177
tel: +1 646-402-5076

Biden presidency could decarbonize US power sector by 2035, Trump win would delay past 2050: Woodmac | Utility Dive - 15 Years We Can't Afford

Trump’s Broken Coal Promises Could Cost Him 2020 Election Support - And how about costing taxpayers over $1B of foolish expenditure and complete destruction of our environmental protections?

Tesla ramps up interest in electricity utility business - its pretty clear to see how being a licensed utility deliver a lot of opportunity if you own a massive number of charging stations and installed base of customers with tesla cars and powerwalls in garages.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

NYTimes: Homeland Security Blocked Warnings of Russian Campaign Against Joe Biden - looking more and more like secret political police

Homeland Security Blocked Warnings of Russian Campaign Against Joe Biden https://nyti.ms/3hVWNOJ 

Federal debt nearly equals U.S. annual economic output for first time since World War II, CBO finds


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: The Washington Post <email@washingtonpost.com>
Date: Wed, Sep 2, 2020, 3:28 PM
Subject: News Alert: Federal debt nearly equals U.S. annual economic output for first time since World War II, CBO finds
To: <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>


The U.S. government has borrowed trillions of dollars this year to fund its response to the coronavirus pandemic. The budget deficit this year is expected to reach $3.3 trillion, the Congressional Budget Office said.

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News Alert

Sept. 2, 3:27 p.m. EDT

 

The U.S. government has borrowed trillions of dollars this year to fund its response to the coronavirus pandemic. The budget deficit this year is expected to reach $3.3 trillion, the Congressional Budget Office said.

Read more
 
 
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U.S. court: Government Mass surveillance program exposed by Snowden was illegal

Concerned Americans standing up and taking action

Friday, August 28, 2020

SkyDrive Tests a Flying Car With a Man On Board, Aces Liftoff | Observer

Fact Checker: Republican convention was an ocean of falsehoods




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The Washington Post
Fact Checker
The truth behind the rhetoric.
 
 
Salvador Rizzo   By Salvador Rizzo
 Email

Trump's Republican convention was an ocean of falsehoods

For viewers tuning in this week, the Republican National Convention was like a daily highlight reel taken from President Trump's collection of falsehoods and twisted truths. For The Fact Checker, it was like running a marathon while playing Whack-a-Mole.

We ended up with 90 claims fact-checked over four nights, 25 of them from Trump's acceptance speech on the White House lawn Thursday. The deceptions can be divided into three themes:

1. Parroting Trump's falsehoods

Donald Trump Jr. (Night One): "Look to the man who did what the failed Obama-Biden administration never could do and built the greatest economy our country has ever seen."

Trump inherited a thriving economy and has presided over a slowdown, with 8.1 million jobs created in the last three years of the Obama administration to 6.6 million in the first three years of Trump. Once the coronavirus pandemic began in the fourth year, the economy went into a tailspin from which it is beginning to recover.

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Going back further in time, by just about any important measure, the economy under Trump did not do as well as it did under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson or Bill Clinton.

Eric Trump (Night Two): "Biden has pledged to defund the police."

False. Biden supports increased spending on social programs, separate from local police budgets, but he also wants more funding for police overhauls such as body cameras and training on community policing approaches.

"No, I don't support defunding the police," Biden told CBS. "I support conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness. And, in fact, are able to demonstrate they can protect the community and everybody in the community."

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2. Huge exaggerations

Vice President Pence (Night Three): "Joe Biden — he supports taxpayer funding of abortion right up to the moment of birth."

Biden does not support funding abortion "right up to the moment of birth." Trump, Pence and antiabortion advocates argue that some laws and court decisions have opened loopholes that allow abortions to the very end of a pregnancy. Experts have told us that abortions up to the moment of birth are not happening in the United States and that it's false to equate Biden's position with support for infanticide.

Biden supports abortion rights and says he would codify in statute the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade and related precedents, which generally limit abortions to the first 20 to 24 weeks of gestation.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley (Night One): "Obama and Biden let North Korea threaten America. President Trump rejected that weakness, and we passed the toughest sanctions on North Korea in history."

That happened in 2017. Haley conveniently leaves out the rest of the story. Trump met with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, the first time a U.S. president sat down with a North Korean leader. "His country does love him. His people — you see the fervor. They have a great fervor," Trump said after the meeting. Then, Trump met Kim again. Then, Trump met him a third time. The result of this? A joint statement by the two leaders that included weaker commitments than previous U.S. presidents got. North Korea continues to develop its weapons program.

3. Contradictions

Trump (Night Four): "We will always and very strongly protect patients with preexisting conditions. And that is a pledge from the entire Republican Party."

We've given Trump's claim our worst rating, a Bottomless Pinocchio. He immediately began efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act upon taking office, and now, his administration is asking the Supreme Court to strike down the entire law, including the preexisting condition coverage guarantee. Trump has not offered a replacement plan, despite promising one since days before taking office in 2017.

We have also given Four Pinocchios to several Republican senators who have consistently worked to undermine the Affordable Care Act and its coverage guarantee, and who support the GOP lawsuit pending before the Supreme Court.

Trump (Night Four): "We took the toughest, boldest, strongest, and hardest-hitting action against China in American history."

Many economists say Trump's trade war with China has made matters worse for American farmers and exporters. First, Trump imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of goods from China. In retaliation, China reduced purchases of U.S. crops such as soybeans. Then, Trump directed subsidies to American farmers to soften the blow.

Studies by leading economists have shown that the cost of Trump's China tariffs is largely borne by American consumers, because companies pass down the cost. The two countries eventually resolved some sticking points in the first phase of a trade deal that took effect in February. But China is lagging far behind in its commitment to purchase $200 billion in agricultural, manufactured and energy products above 2017 levels. Yet Trump deceptively claims they are "more than living up to" their commitments under the deal.

For the full fact checks, click on the following links: Night One, Night Two, Night Three and Night Four.

Marathon Whack-a-Mole, the book

For a more complete guide to the claims from Trump and the Republican convention, check out our new book, a national bestseller. "Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth," published by Scribner, tells the story of a president who has racked up more than 20,000 false or misleading claims — and what it's like to fact check him.

Over 386 pages, we debunk a host of statements and tweets Trump has made on the economy, immigration, foreign policy, his impeachment, the Russia probe, the coronavirus pandemic and more. The book is as comprehensive as it is reader-friendly, divided into chapters by subject. It's available in print, e-book and audiobook.

Reviewers have called it "a great public service," "an extremely valuable chronicle," "an authoritative and pull-no-punches guide through Trump's alternate universe" and "a fascinating and necessary guide to his behavior, well-suited both to those only vaguely familiar with U.S. politics and those who follow Trump's every move."

We're always looking for fact-check suggestions.

You can reach us via email, Twitter (@GlennKesslerWP, @rizzoTK, @mmkelly22, @SarahCahlan) or Facebook. Read about our process and rating scale here, and sign up for the newsletter here.

Scroll down for this week's Pinocchio roundup.

Fact-checking President Trump's acceptance speech at the GOP convention

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Fact-checking the third night of the 2020 Republican National Convention

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Fact-checking the second night of the 2020 Republican National Convention

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Fact-checking the first night of the 2020 Republican National Convention

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The absurd claim that Trump is the 'most pro-gay president in American history'

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