Everything worth reading on December 13, 2016
Trump and Related
[Trump is] seeking to put the former Texas governor in control of an agency whose name he forgot during a presidential debate even as he vowed to abolish it…
“The fact that Gov. Perry refuses to accept the broad scientific consensus on climate change calls into question his fitness to head up a science-based agency like DOE,” said Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. But, he added, as governor Perry “increased the ambition of the state’s Renewable Energy Standard, directed state funds to innovative wind energy R&D initiatives, and created a ‘Competitive Renewable Energy Zone’ that helped expand transmission of renewables, bringing clean wind energy from rural communities to new state markets.”
Drinking water can be affected at any stage of the fracking process, the report notes, from acquiring the water that will be used to injecting it into production wells and disposing of the wastewater afterward. Impacts are generally seen at sites close to production wells.
North Dakota officials estimate more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from the Belle Fourche Pipeline into the Ash Coulee Creek.
688 institutions and nearly 60,000 individuals in 76 countries [have divested] themselves of shares in at least some kinds of oil, gas and coal companies, according to the report.
Having an independent repository of the sum total of American knowledge of the climate system will serve as a testament to future fundraising efforts, if necessary, to support universities or other nongovernmental organizations to continue the (previously public) practice of climate science in the United States. I see our efforts as a firewall against a hostile administration: The more we can preserve before Trump takes power, the less incentive he has to stand in the way of science.
On (the) Media
This is a really good take on the Tomi Lahren “Daily Show” interview.
While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA’s analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named…
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose evidentiary standards require it to make cases that can stand up in court, declined to accept the CIA’s analysis — a deductive assessment of the available intelligence — for the same reason…
“It’s obvious that the Russians hacked into our campaigns,” [John]McCain said. “But there is no information that they were intending to affect the outcome of our election and that’s why we need a congressional investigation,” he told Reuters.
The current discourse on this issue is plagued by partisan gibberish — there is a disturbing trend emerging that dictates that if you don’t believe Russia hacked the election or if you simply demand evidence for this tremendously significant allegation, you must be a Trump apologist or a Soviet agent.
The reality, however, is that Trump’s reference to the Iraq War and the debacle over weapons of mass destruction is both utterly cynical and a perfectly valid point. U.S. intelligence agencies have repeatedly demonstrated that they regularly both lie and get things horribly wrong. In this case they may well be correct, but they cannot expect Americans to simply take their word for it.
Ignore the title of this video. It provides an interesting glimpse into the minds of Trump supporters as well as Bernie Sanders’ take on Trump’s campaign promises:
The new abortion regulations, which will take effect in 90 days unless a court halts them, will make it a fourth-degree felony for a physician to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy when the fetus is viable. The crime is punishable by up to 18 months in prison. A conviction also would result in the loss of a physician’s medical license.
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