Please share the trailer for An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power in theatres July 28th. #BeInconvenient

Thank you for this post, Brooks. What a disturbing time.

Al Gore looks and sounds great in this trailer. I think he wants to run again for president.

He is energized.

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Make your voice heard. Please share the trailer for An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power in theatres July 28th. #BeInconvenient

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Coal Country Is a State of Mind – by Paul Krugman – NYT

“West Virginia went overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in November — in fact, he beat Hillary Clinton by almost a three-to-one majority. And it may seem obvious why: The state is the heart of coal country, and Mr. Trump promised to bring coal jobs back by eliminating Obama-era environmental regulations. So at first glance the 2016 election looks like a political realignment reflecting differences in regional interests.

But that simple story breaks down when you look at the realities of the situation — and not just because environmentalism is a minor factor in coal’s decline. For coal country isn’t really coal country anymore, and hasn’t been for a long time.Why does an industry that is no longer a major employer even in West Virginia retain such a hold on the region’s imagination, and lead its residents to vote overwhelmingly against their own interests?”

David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Thoughtful piece Paul Krugman, thank you. Trump is quite the Pied Piper.
An acquaintance grew up up in Kentucky, and her family moved to Ohio. She read “Hillbilly Elegy” because it was admired by several NYT op-ed writers. She said, my god this moved me, it describes many of my friends, family and neighbors growing up.

I had to read it, and I have to agree with the Economist, it does tell an important story about a neglected people, who strive in white ghettos, where the jobs they moved to, have mostly been shipped overseas.

To your credit, you have been writing laments for over a decade, about the tragedy of allowing high unemployment in the US. People turn on each other, they turn to drugs, and crime.
I’m waiting for Trump to turn his attention to his huge infrastructure promise.

I continue to support a return to the new deal, where the Government funds work programs, so that every citizen who wants one, can find some kind of life-supporting work. I would raise taxes on the wealthy, just like the Europeans do, to put our people to work. The great tragedy and irony of our time, is that the Trump administration misses that by massively investing in sustainable energies and converting our buildings into green, LEAD structures, we could revitalize our job market, while getting ahead in some of the fasted growing markets of the future.

Then there is better public transportation…..

The Empty Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing – by Linda Greenhouse – NYT

“The Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Judge Neil M. Gorsuch was just plain embarrassing, and not only for the nominee. But let’s begin with him, skipping over his Republican enablers, who had nothing to do but lob softball questions and praise his answers. If Judge Gorsuch wasn’t the least forthcoming Supreme Court nominee ever to appear at a confirmation hearing, it’s hard to imagine one who could be less forthcoming while still breathing. More interesting and less predictable answers could have come from Siri on an iPhone.

The previous contender for the title of least forthcoming was Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016 and whom Judge Gorsuch would replace. Nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and confirmed unanimously, then-Judge Scalia wouldn’t even tell the Judiciary Committee whether he supported Marbury v. Madison, the landmark 1803 decision in which the court under Chief Justice John Marshall established the principle that federal courts can invalidate unconstitutional statutes.”

Thank you Linda Greenhouse. I especially liked your defense of Ruth Ginsberg, who did actally answer many questions.

Here is a comment I reluctantly agree with. I say reluctantly, because I watched most of the hearing, and liked Gorsuch. He was warm, appealing and impenetrable.

PaulB

Cincinnati, Ohio 4 hours ago

The only way to judge a nominee is by his/her lower court rulings. Stealth jurists such as David Souter are exceedingly rare; most judges are consistent in their decisions, and leave a law library filled with past cases that reveal their judicial philosophies. Gorsuch, on that evidence, is a staunch conservative who, if past is prologue, will do great damage to church-state separation, support the disgrace of campaign finance as free speech, and limit the options of women under the law.

It is the Republican Senate, not Gorsuch, that have brought the nation to this miserable juncture. Their refusal to even consider Merrick Garland will stand as precedent for many years as the quintessential example of the legislative branch’s usurpation of the judiciary.

E.P.A. Chief- Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, moved late on Wednesday to reject the scientific conclusion of the agency’s own chemical safety experts who under the Obama administration recommended that one of the nation’s most widely used insecticides be permanently banned at farms nationwide because of the harm it potentially causes children and farm workers.

The ruling by Mr. Pruitt, in one of his first formal actions as the nation’s top environmental official, rejected a petition filed a decade ago by two environmental groups that had asked that the agency ban all uses of chlorpyrifos. The chemical was banned in 2000 for use in most household settings, but still today is used at about 40,000 farms on about 50 different types of crops, ranging from almonds to apples.”

Devin Nunes Is Dangerous – by Frank Bruni – NYT

“Representative Devin Nunes obviously fancies himself Jason Bourne. To sneak onto the White House grounds for that rendezvous with an unnamed source last week, he switched cars and ditched aides, vanishing into the night.

But Senator Lindsey Graham looks at him and sees a different character. Graham said on the “Today” show on Tuesday that Nunes was bumbling his way though something of an “Inspector Clouseau investigation,” a reference to the fantastically inept protagonist of the “Pink Panther” comedies.

I salute Graham’s movie vocabulary. I quibble with his metaphor. While Clouseau was a benign fool, there’s nothing benign about Nunes’s foolishness.As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes, a California Republican, is a principal sleuth in the paramount inquiry into whether members of the Trump campaign were in cahoots with Russia, and from all appearances, he either doesn’t want to know the answer or has determined it already — in President Trump’s favor.”

Go Frank.

Read DOD report: 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap | TheHill

This is the source of the link to Scribd.com, which has the document available to download for a fee.

“The Pentagon is integrating climate change threats into all of its “plans, operations, and training” across the entire Defense Department, signaling a comprehensive attempt to tackle the impacts of global warming.In a 20-page report released on Monday, the Pentagon details its strategic blueprint to address climate change, calling it a “threat multiplier” that has the power to “exacerbate” many of the challenges the U.S. faces today, including “infectious diseases and terrorism.”Read DOD report: 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap”

Source: Read DOD report: 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap | TheHill

Read DoD report: 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap | Climate

This is the document I found reference to, the link of which, at the DoD, has died. The Government sites no longer seem to have this document available.

“Department of Defense FY 2014 Climate Change Adaptation RoadmapClimate change will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the Nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national security. The Department is responding to climate change in two ways: adaptation, or efforts to plan for the changes that are occurring or expected to occur; and mitigation, or efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap (Roadmap) focuses on the Department’s climate change adaptation activities1. The Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP) articulates the Department’s sustainability vision to maintain our ability to operate into the future without decline in the mission or the supporting natural and man-made systems. The actions set forth in this Roadmap will increase the Department’s resilience to the impacts of climate change, which is a key part of fulfilling this vision.”

President Trump Risks the Planet – The New York Times

“Are there ways to avert this madness? Yes. Mr. Trump’s orders will not take effect right away. The E.P.A. will need a year or longer to develop a replacement for the Clean Power Plan. Progressive states like California and New York will almost surely proceed with their own initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases. And then there is public opinion. It punished the Republicans severely in 1994 when Newt Gingrich and his allies tried to roll back environmental laws. It punished them again in 2008 after eight years of denialism and prevarication on climate change under George W. Bush and his fossil fuel acolyte, Dick Cheney. There is time enough before Mr. Trump’s ignorance translates into actual policy for the public to make its opposition to this anti-science agenda felt again.”

All hands on deck.

Here is one of my favorite comments:

Socrates

is a trusted commenter Verona NJ 11 hours ago

In spite of Dark Donald’s, Dark Money’s and Dark Energy’s best medieval efforts to Make Pollution Great Again, we can take heart in something Donald Trump is not in touch with…reality.

Wind and solar power use is growing globally and nationwide as costs continue to sink and technology improves.

Increased photovoltaic panel efficiency and new designs allow photovoltaic modules to harvest the weak early morning and evening light and mobile panels follow the sun across the sky to increase yield; this makes solar projects cost-effective in cloudy places way up North.

The world is now adding more capacity from clean energy each year than from coal and natural gas combined, because solar is the cheapest form of new power installations.

And the sun and wind are free, and solar and wind power plant installations require human labor. When we pay for solar and wind power plants, we pay for human labor and good-paying jobs.

Bringing back coal is not only incredibly polluting and dangerous, it’s also bad economics compared to investing in sun, wind and other emerging energy technologies.

It’s rather poetic that the smart answer to stabilizing the climate is right above our noses in plain daylight in the sun and the wind as the right-wing Princes of Darkness continue to rip out the dark oil and coal under the Earth and darken the skies and humanity’s future with it.

While Donald’s heart of darkness brings back coal and stupidity, the enlightened world moves forward without him.

At BlackRock- Machines Are Rising Over Managers to Pick Stocks – The New York Times

“Still, the monster in the mutual fund room by far has been Vanguard, which, via index funds and exchange-traded funds, has had historic inflows.Last year, for example, $423 billion left actively managed stock funds and $390 billion poured into index funds, according to Morningstar. Of that amount, Vanguard captured $277 billion, nearly tripling the amount that went to its nearest rival, BlackRock.”

Here is a colorful comment, which makes cents to me.

James Osborn

La Jolla, CA 51 minutes ago

Over 90% of fund managers do worse picking stocks than trained monkeys throwing their poop at a stock list. Hedge funds over the long term are getting killed by brainless index funds. And for this horrendously poor performance, these guys make millions a year? On top of that they still demand that their income (it’s just that because they don’t their own money on the line) be treated as capital gains? It’s the biggest theft of money in the history of the world. It’s no wonder that computers will take over their jobs. At least computers have a chance of doing as well, if not better than trained monkeys. Idiot fund managers and so-called investment bankers certainly can’t.

Paul Ryan- Brought Down to Size – The New York Times

“That Mr. Ryan failed on the policy promise that Republicans have been running on for eight years makes it clear that if he is the policy wonk of the Republican Party, then the Republican Party has no policy. And with a health care plan that would have stripped 24 million Americans of basic care and drastically hiked premiums for people over 60, it seems that they don’t much care what Americans need or want.

The discrepancy between promise and reality should be no surprise to anyone who has looked at Mr. Ryan’s proposals over the years. Mr. Ryan has been rolling out grand pronouncements in bound volumes with fancy covers and snappy names, but the main message never changed: America‘s “path to prosperity” (remember that one? 2011) lies in tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, and slashing social programs and regulations.Three years ago, a House Republican leader said his report on antipoverty programs showed that “Paul Ryan remains our big-ideas guy.” We called it “a high-minded excuse” to “eviscerate programs like Medicaid, Head Start and food stamps.” “