scharrison's blog

Last month was the warmest September on record

Fiddling while the forests burn:

Worldwide, last month was the warmest September on record, topping a record set just a year before, European scientists announced Wednesday. It was also the hottest September on record for Europe. Northern Siberia, Western Australia, the Middle East and parts of South America similarly recorded above-average temperatures.

The announcement, by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, an intergovernmental agency supported by the European Union, capped nine months of devastating wildfires and followed the most active Atlantic hurricane season since 2005.

But of course this is just another Democrat hoax, created decades ago to (eventually) make Donald Trump look bad. The John Locke Foundation has always been a climate change denier, or a proponent of "there's got to be a better way than renewables," while of course coming up with zero ideas to achieve that. But their decision to hire Amy Oliver Cooke to lead their organization was the ultimate kow-tow to the fossil fuel industry:

Trump admin specifically targeted migrant children as a deterrent

There is a special place in hell for people like this:

“We need to take away children,” Mr. Sessions told the prosecutors, according to participants’ notes. One added in shorthand: “If care about kids, don’t bring them in. Won’t give amnesty to people with kids.”

Rod J. Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, went even further in a second call about a week later, telling the five prosecutors that it did not matter how young the children were.

Aside from the inherent cruelty of Sessions' directive, it's also logically flawed. Who deserves amnesty more than small children? When your moral compass is so fucked up it points directly south, you have no business leading a barbershop quartet, much less the U.S. Justice Department. But while Sessions and Rosenstein deserve their own Nuremberg trials, it's the narcissistic sociopath Donald Trump who drove them to such inhumane actions:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

I agree. His latest op-ed reads like a GOP press release, blaming teachers and principals. He should have focused on bringing more resources to lower income school districts, instead of whining about no progress.

Trump's voter suppression machine kicks into high gear

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And harassing election officials is one of their weapons:

The strategy was on display last week when Trump tweeted about nine “discarded” ballots in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Then this week the hot spot was a Philadelphia fight over whether Trump campaign poll monitors could be allowed into newly opened satellite election offices.

Trump poll monitors requested entry, but city election offices said neither party's observers had a legal right to access the buildings. Under state law, poll monitors can only observe live, in-person voting and not places where people can register, fill out early ballots and drop them off to be counted weeks later. The campaign sent observers to the sites, and in one case, they were turned away by a Republican on the city election commission. The campaign sued the city Thursday night in an effort to gain access to the sites.

After tearing apart the Postal Service to slow down the mail (and make people fear mailing in their ballots), of course they're going to haunt boards of elections sites where people go to drop off their absentee ballots. All it takes is a few high-profile incidents and people will be afraid to do that, too. Wisconsin's Election Commission developed guidelines for poll watchers in 2018 that is a good model:

Over 1/3 of Americans are prone to conspiracy theories

This research is long overdue:

In the most comprehensive analysis to date of people who are prone to conspiracy beliefs, a research team in Atlanta sketched out several personality profiles that appear to be distinct. One is familiar: the injustice collector, impulsive and overconfident, who is eager to expose naïveté in everyone but him- or herself. Another is less so: a more solitary, anxious figure, moody and detached, perhaps including many who are older and living alone. The analysis also found, at the extremes, an element of real pathology — of a “personality disorder,” in the jargon of psychiatry.

First let's look at my introductory sentence above. It is based on a (maybe) subconscious belief that conspiracy theories have not been taken seriously by the mental health community, when in fact delusions have been studied intensely for at least the last half-century. It's easy to be reductive; to discount the efforts of professionals on a wide range of subjects, while having no direct knowledge of those efforts. That is not analysis, it's throwing poop from one's cage. Let's talk about that first group of people, the injustice collectors:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Trump's EPA is literally trying to kill us

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Andrew Wheeler just made millions for his coal industry pals:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a rule that revises regulations for coal-fired power plants, a move that will limit the number of generation facilities that could incur costs for failing to comply with pollution limits. The action on Aug. 31 revises a rule established in 2015, when the EPA issued an order that for the first time set federal limits on the levels of toxic metals in wastewater that could be discharged from power plants.

Coal industry executives, critical of the original restrictions which they characterized as costly and burdensome, praised Monday’s changes. Andrew Wheeler, the EPA administrator who is a former coal industry lobbyist, described the revisions as “more affordable pollution control technologies” that would “reduce pollution and save jobs at the same time.”

Bolding mine, because we see this nonsense all the time from Republicans. They are actually increasing pollution, not reducing it, but in this truth-challenged Trump era, casual lies like this are a daily staple. Thankfully, this rule change is on SELC's radar:

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