Climate Denier Gets EPA, “They Will Own It”
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Vol. 5, No. 343
In Denial: Donald Trump has chosen Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a climate change skeptic and ally of the fossil fuel industry, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has been a leader in the fight against President Obama’s climate change policies and can be expected to dismantle them.
Obama has been trying to force power plants to reduce their emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide.
Pruitt wrote in the National Review earlier this year, “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” Trump has called global warming “a hoax.”
In Transition: Trump is naming retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, whose son was killed in action in Afghanistan, to be Secretary of Homeland Security. Kelly was in the Marines for 40 years and oversaw intense fighting in western Iraq.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who has called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “long-time friend,” is expected to be named US Ambassador to China.
The President-elect also named Linda McMahon, co-founder of World Wrestling, to head the Small Business Administration. Her husband, the loud-mouth impresario Vince McMahon, actually fake-wrestled Trump on one of his shows.
Cover Man: Time Magazine named Trump its Person of the Year. The magazine says, “For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year.” Time has a circulation of about 3 million.
It’s Political: NY Sen. Charles Schumer tells the Washington Post that if the Republicans repeal Obamacare and fail to offer a reasonable replacement, the Democrats will have nothing to do with it. “The odds, after they repeal without any replacement, of us sitting at the table to do something that will chop one arm off instead of two is very small,” Schumer said.
Republicans are betting that the Democrats will step up rather than let millions of people lose their healthcare, but Schumer said, “If they repeal without a replacement, they will own it.”
Hindsight: In an interview with a NY Times reporter, the man who entered a Washington, DC restaurant looking for a child sex ring purportedly run by Hillary Clinton said, “I just wanted to do some good and went about it the wrong way.” Edgar Welch, 28, said he kept finding articles about the restaurant on his computer, but when he went there, he found nothing. “The intel on this wasn’t 100 percent,” he said.”
Levelled: A new book called “The Great Leveler” by a Stanford University professor poses the possibility that the only thing that will solve income inequality around the world is nuclear war. Walter Scheidel, a history professor, writes that “only all-out thermonuclear war might fundamentally reset the existing distribution of resources.” He says history shows that, “peaceful policy reform may well prove unequal to the growing challenges ahead.”
Scheidel writes that all civilizations throughout history have developed a class of wealth hoarders and that the big equalizing moments “shared one common root: massive and violent disruptions of the established order.”
Endangered: After a population decline of 40 percent over the past 30 years, scientists have listed giraffes as an endangered species. Their living space is shrinking and they’re being killed by poachers and disease. There are believed to be about 97,000 giraffes in the wild.