Monday, September 09, 2019

Honey Bee~!


  1. Stories from Sunday, mostly. Watercolor class Monday morning.

    Air Force leaders order probe of Trump resort stays [Click] “Stopovers at Scotland airport have tripled since 2015 and overnight stays in the area are up five-fold.” Here’s hoping the AF generals have more sense of rectitude than the NOAA brass.

    Inside Democrats' 2020 Trump war room [Click]

    Trump Will Visit Baltimore This Week [Click] Here’s hoping he gets a warm welcome.

    “I come from the corporate state of the world, Delaware. Many of you are incorporated there.” — Joe Biden, quoted by CNN, at a fundraiser in Massachusetts.

    Manufacturers Invest Less as Trade War Continues [Click]
    But Canadian lobster sales are going great guns! [Click]

    Republicans and Democrats denounce Trump's shock Taliban talks revelation [Click] It seems Mr. Great Deal Maker didn’t handle this very well. But it does show that bipartisanship still lives…

    Why industry is going green on the quiet [Click]

  2. Frank Bruni in the NYT: The Republicans Are Dropping Like Flies [Click] “What do retiring members of Congress know that President Trump doesn’t?”

    1. Does the article say what they know?

      (I encountered a paywall.)

    2. I get past their paywall by using multiple browsers. But to answer your question, they seem to know that it is not fun being in the minority--and their party is likely doomed.

  3. The great break-up of Big Tech is finally beginning [Click] “Google and Facebook are the subject of big antitrust investigations. This is good news for our democracy and the free press”

    Chief Scientist to Investigate Why Agency Backed Trump [Click]

    U.S. Extracted Top Spy from Inside Russia In 2017 [Click]

  4. Valerie Plame for Congress [Click] Certainly a memorable advertisement—wonder if it presages more like it.

  5. This e-mail just arrived in my inbox from Gravel 2020:

    Dear Friends,

    At last week’s presidential climate forum, we saw the good, the bad, and the ugly of where the Democratic Party is heading on climate change.

    There were commitments from candidates to take drastic action on the crisis that confronts humanity, and commitments from candidates to take only the most perfunctory and ultimately useless sort of action.

    The path of the Democratic Party on climate change still isn’t settled. One place it is settled, however, is within the Green Party. And one candidate who’s got a robust plan to confront it is Howie Hawkins, who should be included in all climate forums going forward.

    Howie Hawkins is a retired Teamster; he spent the better part of the last two decades unloading trucks for UPS, and now he's running for the presidency under the Green Party ticket. Way back in 2010 he ran for Governor of New York on a Green New Deal, and he hasn't wavered. His vision for the party and his 2020 run is clear: get the party up running and organized, bring a radical vision to the table, put a Green New Deal factory in every congressional district, and fill the urgently needed space for a party willing to go the distance on an agenda you hear little from elsewhere.

    Like our campaign, Hawkins wants to do a lot with a little. We need that in a country where, like in South Dakota, the Democratic Party completely abandons entire states to the increasingly reactionary Republican Party.

    That’s why we're asking you to contribute to Howie’s campaign to help the Green Party qualify for federal matching funds as soon as possible.

    The money will go towards ballot access initiatives, collecting signatures, and building a progressive infrastructure where none today really exists.

    We need a transition as fast as we can, and we need to pursue that transition through all the avenues we can. Thanks, as always, for your support in building a better world free from war and deprivation.

    Copyright © 2019 Gravel 2020, All rights reserved.

    Here's a link:
    About Howie - Click

  6. Commerce Chief Threatened Firings at NOAA [Click]
    “The Secretary of Commerce threatened to fire top employees at NOAA on Friday after the agency’s Birmingham office contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama,” the New York Times reports.

    “That threat led to an unusual, unsigned statement later that Friday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration disavowing the office’s own position that Alabama was not at risk. The reversal caused widespread anger within the agency and drew criticism from the scientific community that NOAA, a division of the Commerce Department, had been bent to political purposes.”

    According to Wikipedia the Secretary, Wilbur Ross, [Click] was already involved in enough scandals to sink a fleet.

    1. It was widely surmised that folks' jobs had been threatened. I could understand the top officials of NOAA trying to save their underlings' jobs, but it is sad to think they were more likely saving their own. Had they simply refused and revealed the threat to the media, then they would have come out looking like the good guys. And had they lost their jobs over it, there would have been other jobs offered to them readily. Sigh.

      I cannot stand waiting for 2021~!!

    2. Wilbur Ross could be impeached, and if convicted not only removed from office but permanently disqualified from holding government office.

    3. Sounds good...but he won't be. *sigh*

      Why, Listener? What's so special about 2021? Even if by some miracle Trump is defeated, you don't actually expect him to hand over power quietly, do you? By that time, he'll be thoroughly, undisguisably, barking mad and he simply will refuse to vacate the presidency. And he'll have enough rednecks and white supremacist militiamen to terrorize the country. I would suggest having your passport in order.

  7. From The Economist's e-newsletter:

    Donald Trump’s dim decision to scrap Obama-era lightbulb rules

    New efficiency standards would save consumers money and reduce carbon emissions. Mr Trump says they are “not worth it”

    HOW MANY Republicans does it take to change a lightbulb? Americans may soon find out. On September 4th the Trump administration announced that it was rolling back energy-efficiency standards for household bulbs. The rules, which environmental groups say would lower energy bills and reduce carbon emissions by millions of tonnes per year, were set to come into force in 2020. But the administration says they are “not economically justified” and will limit consumer choice. The Department of Energy says its action “will ensure that the choice of how to light homes and businesses is left to the American people, not the federal government.”

    The controversy is reminiscent of the lightbulb wars of Barack Obama’s presidency. In 2010 Republican lawmakers became preoccupied with a set of standards, contained in a law known as the Energy Independence and Security Act, aimed at boosting the energy efficiency of American household bulbs by 25%. Although the regulations did not ban any bulbs outright, they were designed to phase out traditional incandescent bulbs in favour of more efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). These newer bulbs cost more up front but save consumers money over the long-term. LEDs, for example, use 75-80% less energy than incandescents, last 25 times longer and produce about ten times as much light per watt (see chart).

    Although passed with bipartisan support in Congress and signed by George W. Bush in 2007, for some Republicans the regulations became a symbol of the federal government’s intrusion into Americans’ lives. Tea-party Republicans decried the rules as an assault on personal freedoms. Presidential candidates such as Michele Bachmann, a former congresswoman from Minnesota, railed against them on the campaign trail. “If you want to buy Thomas Edison’s wonderful invention,” she declared in 2011, “you should be able to!” Despite such efforts, the rules stayed; Edison-style incandescent bulbs continued to lose market share.

    Last week’s decision seems to be motivated more by undoing the work of Mr Trump’s predecessor than championing consumer choice. In the final days of Mr Obama’s administration, the energy department eliminated some exemptions in the 2007 law, thereby expanding the efficiency standards to four additional types of bulb. According to an estimate by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the change would reduce carbon emissions by 540m tonnes over the next ten years and save consumers $120bn over 30. Mr Trump was apparently unconvinced. He said he was scrapping the rule because “what's saved is not worth it”.

    Graphic detail
    Sep 9th 2019

  8. I do expect him to leave peaceably. I have seen and see no evidence of any kind of courage or willingness to fight for anything.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Reply repaired:

      Agreed. When he encounters significant resistance he typically folds like a cheap suit. He rants and pouts and blames someone else, but he gives way none the less.

  9. I suppose that we will be getting a more efficient refrigerator-freezer, although I didn't check the specifications on the old and the new ones. Just after my sweetie finished cleaning the refrigerator today, the door dropped off! It dropped straight down and she was able to hold it upright until I could get ahold of it (maybe 15 or 20 seconds). And it wasn't even thirty years old! New parts for it are not readily available (I know--I have made repairs two or three times). So we ordered a new one from Costco which is supposed to arrive on Thursday. When we bought the present one Consumer Reports said the part most likely to give trouble on such refrigerators was the ice maker, but it never gave a bit of trouble--it was the door stops and finally the lower door hinge that failed.