Category Archives: Infrastructure

Season 3 of The Apprentice – White House, episode one: ‘The Wall Brawl’

Season 3 of the alt-reality TV series The Apprentice – White House premiered Tuesday with Donald Trump trying to cash in on the trendy revival of old TV series this season by adding elements of his World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fake wrestling days. Trump invited Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over to the White House for some pre-match bluster and braggadocio in an overly contrived episode one: “The Wall Brawl.”

Dana Milbank has the play-by-play. “Let’s get ready to rumble!” Emergency! It’s time for Trump to fabricate another crisis!

Robert Mueller is circling, recessionary clouds are building, and Democrats are rising to power. For President Trump, this can mean only one thing: It’s time to fabricate a new crisis.

And that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Trump summoned Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to the Oval Office on Tuesday for what was supposed to be a negotiating session about border security. Instead, he used them as props in an impromptu, 17-minute reality-TV show.

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“Look, we have to have the wall,” Trump bellowed at the Democratic Senate and House leaders — seated awkwardly on couches — while the TV cameras rolled. “This is a national emergency. Drugs are pouring into our country. People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in, and in many cases it’s contagious.”

Emergency! Drugs and contagion!  And then, a threat: “If we don’t get what we want one way or the other. . . . I will shut down the government, absolutely.” The president added: “I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it. . . . I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security.”

The Trump Shutdown. Own it.

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New Maricopa County Democratic Party Executive Board ready to make Arizona Blue in 2020

The new Maricopa County Democratic Party Executive Board. They are (from left to right): Treasurer: Tom Krepitch, 1st Vice Chair: Carol Maas, Secretary: Roberta Neil Miller, Chair: Steven Slugocki, Sergeant-at-Arms: Patrick Seifter, and 2nd Vice Chair: Lynsey Robinson

A jubilant crowd of Precinct Committeepersons and County Democratic superstars and candidates attended the Maricopa County Democratic Winter Convention at Central High School in Phoenix on December 8, 2018. Speaker after speaker vowed to work together with everyone in the audience and those who could not attend to continue the trend started in this year’s election of turning Arizona to a blue state. Delegates to the convention also voted for a new Maricopa County Democratic Executive Board to help pave the way to victory in 2020.

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No Planet B: Climate change deniers will be the death of us all

Greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are growing at an accelerating pace this year, researchers said Wednesday, putting the world on track to face some of the most severe consequences of global warming sooner than expected. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accelerate Like a ‘Speeding Freight Train’ in 2018:

Scientists described the quickening rate of carbon dioxide emissions in stark terms, comparing it to a “speeding freight train” and laying part of the blame on an unexpected surge in the appetite for oil as people around the world not only buy more cars but also drive them farther than in the past — more than offsetting any gains from the spread of electric vehicles.

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“We’ve seen oil use go up five years in a row,” said Rob Jackson, a professor of earth system science at Stanford and an author of one of two studies published Wednesday. “That’s really surprising.”

Worldwide, carbon emissions are expected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2018, according to the new research, which was published by the Global Carbon Project, a group of 100 scientists from more than 50 academic and research institutions and one of the few organizations to comprehensively examine global emissions numbers. Emissions rose 1.6 percent last year, the researchers said, ending a three-year plateau.

The new report comes as delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Poland to debate their next steps under the Paris climate agreement. Many nations haven’t been meeting their self-imposed targets.

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House Democrats have won an historic mandate

FiveThirtyEight now projects The Last Unresolved House Race Of 2018, the California 21st is likely to be the 40th Democratic pickup. Democrat TJ Cox will turn out Republican Rep. David Valadao.

NBC News reports, Democrats smash Watergate record for House popular vote in midterms:

Democrats won the House with the largest margin of victory in a midterms election for either party, according to NBC News election data.

While votes are still being tallied, Democratic House candidates currently hold an 8,805,130 vote lead over Republicans as of Monday morning. The Democrats’ national margin of victory in House contests smashes the previous midterms record of 8.7 million votes in 1974, won just months after President Richard Nixon resigned from office in disgrace amid the Watergate scandal.

Of the more than 111 million votes cast in House races nationwide, Democrats took 53.1 percent — retaking control of the House of Representatives by flipping nearly 40 seats — while Republicans received 45.2 percent of the vote.

Brent Budowsky writes at The Hill, House Dems won a historic mandate (excerpt):

In the most important midterm election in a century, after voter turnout of epic and historic proportions, House Democrats won a popular vote majority of more than 9 million votes. By contrast, Donald Trump lost the 2016 popular vote by some 3 million votes, and is now viewed as a great divider and dangerous pariah by peoples and leaders of democratic nations throughout the world.

Politics is about power. Effective January 2019, no bill will be enacted into law, and no dollar will be authorized or appropriated, without the support of the Democratic House. House Democrats have won a dramatic mandate to propose — and ultimately pass — legislation to lift the health, wages and lives of Americans, as well as to set the stage to elect the next Democratic president and Democratic Senate in 2020, when most senators running for reelection will be Republicans.

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Climate Change Deniers Must heed the Lessons of Noah and the Ark

In the telling of the later versions of the Genesis tale of Noah and the Ark (those not in the original Biblical accounts), the people are shown mocking Noah and his family for wasting a century in constructing the large vessel that would sustain them and the selected animals during the flood. In other versions, they ignore Noah’s warnings to build arks of their own so they avoid the cataclysm that God intended for Earth. Today, with a significant portion of the Trump (formerly Republican) Party denying the existence of human-made climate change, it is easy now to see the Genesis Flood story as one of climate change with Noah as the protagonist warning people of the natural catastrophe that was about to be unleashed and the rest of the populace denying and ridiculing him until it was too late. Today, it is the scientists warning of the consequences of our actions and inactions on climate change and it is the Trump Administration, in denying its own far-reaching report, that are not heeding the lessons of history and pursuing policies to combat the problem while it still can be.

We need to pay heed to the environmental lessons of Noah and the Ark.

It is ironic that the now Trump Party in its former Republican Party form once embraced and championed science, land conservation, and environmental protection. It was a Republican President Theodore Roosevelt that helped develop the United States Forest and Park Services. It was a Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, following the launch of Sputnik, who oversaw the creation of N.A.S.A. and the start of the space race. It was a Republican President Richard Nixon that signed the legislation that created the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) and Clean Air Act.

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