Commentary

The Nightly News

img_1977

Some articles you may have missed in all the excitement of the day…..

 

Environmental Issues

Dakota Access pipeline vandalism highlights sabotage risks read full article at Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The developer of the Dakota Access pipeline has reported “recent coordinated physical attacks” on the much-protested line, just as it’s almost ready to carry oil.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners didn’t give details, but experts say Dakota Access and the rest of the nearly 3 million miles of pipeline that deliver natural gas and petroleum in the U.S. are vulnerable to acts of sabotage.

It’s a threat that ETP takes seriously enough that it has asked a court to shield details such as spill response plans and features of the four-state pipeline that the company fears could be used against it by activists or terrorists.

A Running List of How Trump Is Changing the Environment.  read full article at National Geographic

The Trump administration’s tumultuous first months have brought a flurry of changes—both realized and anticipated—to U.S. environmental policy. Many of the actions roll back Obama-era policies that aimed to curb climate change and limit environmental pollution, while others threaten to limit federal funding for science and the environment.

The stakes are enormous. The Trump administration takes power amid the first days of meaningful international action against climate change, an issue on which political polarization still runs deep. And for the first time in years, Republicans have control of the White House and both houses of Congress—giving them an opportunity to remake the nation’s environmental laws in their image.

It’s a lot to keep track of, so National Geographic will be maintaining an abbreviated timeline of the Trump administration’s environmental actions and policy changes, as well as reactions to them. We will update this article periodically as news develops.

 

NY Leads 10-State Lawsuit Against Trump Administration Over Stalled Pollution Rules read full article at Huffington Post

Blocked energy efficiency standards would help the environment and save consumers $24 billion, New York’s attorney general says.

New York judge dismisses ExxonMobil’s attempt to block climate change fraud case read full article at DAILY KOS

The ongoing case concerns what ExxonMobil knew about climate change and fossil fuel’s part in global warming—and for how long. New York and Massachusetts Attorney Generals Eric Schneiderman and Maura Healey have been investigating ExxonMobil for fraud in their history of climate change denials to the public. In turn, ExxonMobil has been suing these attorney generals saying that their attacks are politically motivated. Unsurprisingly, ExxonMobil has used the full weight of Republican fossil-fuel shills, like Texas Rep. Lamar Smith and our Republican White House, to drum up support.

President Donald Trump is donating the $78,333.32 salary he has earned so far to the National Park Service. read full article at CNN

The Sierra Club called the move a “publicity stunt.”
“If Donald Trump is actually interested in helping our parks, he should stop trying to slash their budgets to historically low levels,” Michael Brune, director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement.
A budget blueprint submitted by the Trump administration last month proposed an 11.7% funding cut for the Department of the Interior.

Budget Cuts

ALA is leading the charge for libraries in Washington! read full article at American Library Association

The President has proposed eliminating virtually all federal library funding and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the agency that distributes most of it to every state in the nation. Now budget-cutters in Congress are considering whether to follow his lead. This year, like never before, libraries and everyone who loves them must tell their members of Congress to support full federal funding for critical programs like the more than $210 million provided annually for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) programs.

Rights

US cites abortion provision in cutting off UN agency funding read full article at Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is cutting off U.S. funding to the United Nations agency for reproductive health under an abortion-related provision in a law that Democratic and Republican administrations have used as a cudgel in the global culture wars.

The U.N. Population Fund will lose $32.5 million in funding from the 2017 budget, the State Department said, with funds shifted to similar programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development. The administration accused the agency, through its work with China’s government, of supporting population control programs in China that include coercive abortion.

California Senate OKs statewide immigrant sanctuary bill read full article at Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers gave initial approval Monday to a measure that prevents law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials, a measure that proponents said rebukes President Donald Trump for his immigration crackdown.

It makes California a statewide sanctuary for many people who are in the country illegally.

The Trump Administration Just Suffered a Defeat on Voting Rights read full article at Mother Jones

In a significant rebuke of the Trump administration Monday, a federal judge in Texas rejected the Department of Justice’s request to halt a major voting rights case that had been filed during Obama administration.

The case in question dates back to 2013, when the Obama DOJ joined voting rights advocates, Democratic lawmakers, and a group of Texas residents in suing to block a draconian voter ID law in Texas.

Trump signs order that could hurt working women read full article at Axios

The week before Equal Pay Day, which recognizes the wage gap between men and women, Trump signed an executive order reversing Obama’s 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order — and working women could suffer in two ways.

Companies could deny providing documents to employers detailing how much they made in a pay period, their deductions, overtime hours, etc. At a time when women are fighting for equal pay, they could be stuck making salary negotiations without really knowing everything about their company’s wages.

Forced arbitration clauses would prevent women from taking their company to court over sexual harassment, assault or discrimination. (Example: Gretchen Carlson had to sue Roger Ailes instead of Fox News in order to get around her contract’s forced arbitration clause.)

Interviews for Resistance: Reproductive Justice Is About Way More Than Abortion read full article at In These Times

Access to abortion is critical, yes. But so are a whole host of other healthcare issues.

Courts/Justice System

Neil Gorsuch on the Issues read full article at Associated Press

a run down of Gorsuch’s opinion on a variety of issues.

Sweeping Federal Review Could Affect Consent Decrees Nationwide read full post at NYT

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a sweeping review of federal agreements with dozens of law enforcement agencies, an examination that reflects President Trump’s emphasis on law and order and could lead to a retreat on consent decrees with troubled police departments nationwide.

High Times

Four governors team up, urge feds to keep marijuana enforcement status quo read full article at The Cannabist

Governors in four states have joined forces with a marijuana message for two top officials in the Trump administration.

In an open letter, the governors on Monday asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to “engage with us before embarking on any changes to regulatory and enforcement systems.”

The signatories of the letter are Gov. Bill Walker of Alaska; Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado; Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon; and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington. They lead the first four states to implement laws allowing recreational marijuana sales.

War/Defense

Trump said he’d stop dragging us into war. That’s yet another fat lie read full article at Stop The War Coalition

President Trump told a group of senators this week that the US military was “doing very well” in Iraq. “The results are very, very good,” Trump said. The families of the hundreds of innocents who have been killed in US airstrikes since Trump became president might disagree.

Remember when presidential candidate Donald Trump blasted former president George Bush for dragging the United States into the Iraq war, calling the invasion a “big, fat mistake”? How, then, does that square with now President Donald Trump stepping up US military involvement in Iraq, as well as in Syria and Yemen, and quite literally blasting hundreds of innocent civilians in the process?

Trump Shifts Course on Egypt, Praising Its Authoritarian Leader read full article at NYT

Ever since he seized power in a military takeover nearly four years ago, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt has been barred from the White House. But President Trump made clear on Monday that the period of ostracism was over as he hosted Mr. Sisi and pledged unstinting support for the autocratic ruler.

“We agree on so many things,” Mr. Trump said as he sat beside Mr. Sisi in the Oval Office. “I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President el-Sisi. He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. The United States has, believe me, backing, and we have strong backing.”

A Cornerstone of Peace at Risk read full article at NYT

One of the big security decisions facing the Trump administration in the next few months is what to do about Russia’s violation of a 30-year-old treaty that bans intermediate-range missiles based on land. How the administration reacts will say a lot about how it views the threat from Russia and will have a profound effect on European security.

An American decision to withdraw from the treaty, known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or I.N.F., would be disastrous. The treaty, a cornerstone of an international arms control regime that has prevented nuclear war, was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader. It prohibits the testing, production and possession of ballistic and cruise missiles, with either nuclear or conventional warheads, that can travel between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. Sea-based missiles and air-launched missiles are not affected.

Opinion/Editorials

Martin Luther King, JR. “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” Full Text and Recording at King Encyclopedia Stanford Edu. 

Iconic speech as relevant as it was 50 years ago today.
There is a jobs crisis brewing that the Trump administration should not ignore read full article at Washington Post

Everyone has heard the old anecdote about the frog in a pot of water. If the temperature is raised slowly, the frog won’t react, eventually allowing itself to get boiled. That’s where we’re heading as a country when it comes to technological advances and the threat they pose to millions of jobs.

Seemingly every day there are new stories in the media about artificial intelligence, data and robotics — and the jobs they threaten in retail, transportation, carrier transport and even the legal profession. Yet no one is jumping out of the pot.
All the things wrong with the web today, according to its inventor read full article at Quartz

Tim Berners-Lee just won the most prestigious prize in computer science, the AM Turing Award, given each year by the Association for Computing Machinery. Berners-Lee, of course, invented the world wide web, the technology that enables you to read this article in your web browser.
Berners-Lee isn’t particularly pleased with the way things have gone with his creation. He has previously and loudly pointed out the problems with the modern web, and in a number of interviews published today, he took the opportunity to underline his disappointment. Here’s what the web’s inventor thinks is wrong with the web today:

 

Return to Evolutionary Times

 

Categories: Commentary, Nightly News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s