What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 17, 2018

In Case You Missed It - A Four Star General Speaks Out Against Trump. Again.

Let's list (some of) the man's accomplishments:
And so on.

To be sure, this is not the first time he's spoken out against the porn star-boffing vulgarity.  Here he is in August of 2016:
My public comments in the media on national security since leaving active service have tried to steer clear of partisan debate. I am not registered with either political party. I have worked with loyalty and genuine respect at very senior levels for both President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton.

The shameful reaction by presidential candidate Donald Trump to the mother and father of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan prompts me to state publicly that Trump should never serve as our commander in chief. The decorated Capt. Khan, who was killed in action in Iraq at age 27 while bravely defending his soldiers during a suicide attack, is the best America offers. His grieving parents were understandably outraged at the degrading notion that America should have a religious screen, legally denying immigration status to Muslims.

Trump’s cruel cultural jab at Ghazala Kahn as a grieving Gold Star mother is simply the final straw. In my judgment, Trump, if elected, would provoke a political and constitutional crisis within a year. He has called for the illegal torture of enemy detainees. He has called for the deliberate targeting and murder of civilians as retribution. He has questioned whether the U.S. should actually fulfill our defense obligations under the NATO pact. These NATO obligations are a U.S. Senate-ratified treaty that Trump should know is the highest law of the land.
And here he is in March of 2016:
Known for his direct talk and unvarnished opinions, McCaffrey had a blunt description of the current political landscape: "I must admit that 10 years ago, if you tried to describe the situation with an aging socialist, with a possibly indicted competent Democrat, against someone who can be kindly characterized as a braggart and buffoon, it would be hard to believe that this would be the situation." Being personally familiar with numerous public figures and politicians, he stated that "generally speaking I am very empathetic to political leaders. We get better than we deserve for the most part," and he added, "I know Hillary Clinton quite well and she is very competent."
This time we simply cannot say we got "better than we deserve" with Trump. Maybe we got exactly what we deserve OR we deserve better than we got, but we can't say the pussy-grabbing charlatan is "better than we deserve."

March 16, 2018

Torture Is Immoral. Covering It Up, Also Immoral

From the Washington Post:
President Trump on Tuesday chose CIA veteran Gina Haspel to be the spy agency’s next director, picking a woman who spent multiple tours overseas and is respected by the workforce but is deeply tied to the agency’s use of brutal interrogation measures on terrorism suspects.

Back to the WaPost:
Haspel was in charge of one of the CIA’s “black site” prisons where detainees were subjected to waterboarding and other harrowing interrogation measures widely condemned as torture.

When those methods were exposed and their legality came under scrutiny, Haspel was among a group of CIA officials involved in the decision to destroy videotapes of interrogation sessions that left some detainees on the brink of physical collapse.
Torture and then covering up the torture.

Before we proceed, there's a necessary correction of the word "detainees" in that first paragraph. Propublica has it:
On Feb. 22, 2017, ProPublica published a story that inaccurately described Gina Haspel’s role in the treatment of Abu Zubaydah, a suspected al-Qaida leader who was imprisoned by the CIA at a secret “black site” in Thailand in 2002.

The story said that Haspel, a career CIA officer who President Trump has nominated to be the next director of central intelligence, oversaw the clandestine base where Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding and other coercive interrogation methods that are widely seen as torture. The story also said she mocked the prisoner’s suffering in a private conversation. Neither of these assertions is correct and we retract them. It is now clear that Haspel did not take charge of the base until after the interrogation of Zubaydah ended.
The New York Times, which also reported last year that Haspel oversaw the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and another detainee, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, published a second story this week making the same point. It quoted an unnamed former senior CIA official who said Haspel did not become base chief until late October of 2002. According to the Times, she was in charge when al-Nashiri was waterboarded three times. [Emphasis added.]
The use of the plural "detainees" is inaccurate as she was only in charge during the waterboarding of one person, not more than one. This, however, does not change the fact that Haspell was in charge when al-Nashiri was waterboarded.

So that's still torture, just less of it.

We've written extensively about how torture is a war crime. Gina Haspel oversaw a prison where one human being was tortured. Even if she was just following orders, the Geneva Convention states:
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture. (Part 1, Article 2, Sections 2-3)
She's a war criminal. Everyone in the chain of command above her is a war criminal.

Then there's the cover-up.

From Frontline:
When news of the ["enhanced interrogation"]program was first published in the Washington Post in 2005, Jose Rodriguez, who at the time ran the agency’s Counterterrorism Center, grew concerned that the videotapes might be made public.

“I was told if those videotapes had ever been seen, the reaction around the world would not have been survivable,” Jane Mayer, a New Yorker reporter, told FRONTLINE. “So the CIA is in a panic. They’ve got these red-hot videotapes on their hands.”

As Rodriguez later wrote in his memoir, in 2005, Haspel, then his chief of staff, “drafted a cable” at his direction ordering that the tapes be destroyed. Then, he said, he “took a deep breath of weary satisfaction and hit Send.”
Covering up the torture.

I don't think this will make much of a difference to Trump or his true-believers. He thinks he can just bring back torture by executive fiat as well as order the deaths of suspected terrorists' families.

Torture is immoral. Torture is illegal. Prosecute the torture.

March 13, 2018

My FIFTY-SECOND Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - a constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

I'd like to ask you about this weekend's rally in Moon Township. During Donald Trump's speech he referred to an old appearance he'd made on NBC's "Meet The Press" by saying, "It's 1999, I'm on Meet the Press, a show now headed by 'sleepy eyes Chuck Todd.' He's a sleeping son of a bitch, I'll tell you." The crowd, as you probably already know, roared in approval.

This is not the first time he's attacked the Constitutionally protected news media. During the same speech he referred to "a certain anchor on CNN" as "fake as hell." He tweeted about the New York Times reporter who broke the story about Trump in discussions with a Clinton impeachment attorney as "a Hillary flunky."

And at this time I'd like to remind you of a letter I sent you almost exactly a year ago. Then, Donald Trump referred to the media with the Stalinist "enemy of the people."

So here's my question: Is any of this appropriate behavior for a sitting President of the United States? Yes or no?

I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.


March 12, 2018

More On Rick Saccone (The Trump And "P-G" Endorsements)

Tomorrow is the day voters in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional district choose which candidate:
  • Conor Lamb, the Democrat - a retired Marine Corps officer and former federal prosecutor
  • Rick Saccone, The Republican - a torture supporter and religious zealot
will fill out disgraced Republican Tim Murphy's term in the House of Representatives.

In the past few hours, there's been some fallout from the events of this weekend:
  • The endorsement by the Toledo Block Bugler (formerly known as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • The endorsement by pussy-grabber in chief, Donald J Trump
First there's this from the Washington Post about the Bugler's endorsement:
The largest newspaper in southwest Pennsylvania endorsed the Republican candidate ahead of Tuesday’s special congressional election with a rationale unlike any cited in other races: Democratic control of the House would hurt the country by setting the stage for a presidential impeachment.
I didn't write about that angle in my own analysis of the endorsement yesterday but it certainly fits with a publisher who's doing what he can to make nice with the orange vulgarity now sitting in the Oval Office.

The ridiculousness of the Bugler's endorsement is shown by these two snippets from The WaPost:
Neither Rick Saccone nor Conor Lamb, the Republican and Democratic nominees in the 18th Congressional District, has talked about impeachment during the campaign.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who would chair the House Judiciary Committee if his party won a majority, told The Washington Post this year that impeachment would not be pursued unless both parties agreed to it, as removal of the president would require a supermajority vote in the Senate.
And yet the Bugler's endorser says it's a reason to back Saccone.

Driving the point home, the endorsement goes on:
The prospect of a Democratic House may please partisans, but it might be bad for the country. The Democrats in the House have only one agenda item at the moment, and it isn’t health care or jobs. It is impeachment. Regardless of whether one likes this president or his policies, one must ask what the consequence for the country will be if we dive into so great a distraction.
Yes, so if Trump colluded with the Russians for a win and/or if he then covered up whatever happened and/or if he's obstructing the subsequent investigation in any way and/or if he violated FEC laws by paying off the pornstar he schtupped (repeatedly) to keep her quiet, that should all be ignored because it will be a distraction for the country.  Rule of law be damned.

Then there's this from inside the White House itself:
There's a reason Trump said hardly anything about Republican candidate Rick Saccone during a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night that was supposed to promote his candidacy.
And this is it:
Trump thinks Saccone is a terrible, "weak" candidate, according to four sources who've spoken to the president about him.
So if Saccone wins, Trump takes the credit. If Saccone loses, he's already prepared the narrative that it's not Trump's fault.

March 11, 2018

The Post-Gazette Endorses...RICK SACCONE

Think back to when we were a world-class republic (it was only a little more than one year ago) and then remember that there was this raging election going on for the future of the country. One candidate (the Democrat - a woman) had a great deal of governmental experience (with a resume that included Secretary of State) and the other (the Republican - a man) was an admitted harasser of women who lied/misspoke/got things factually wrong more often than he pumped his orange hair solid with hairspray.

Hundreds of newspapers endorsed the former. Six endorsed the latter. One-two-three-four-five-six.

Showing the first signs of being infected with teh crazie, once left-of-center Post-Gazette published an editorial that went a different route. They went all-neutral and refused to endorse either candidate.

To paraphrase Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
If you are neutral in situations of sexual harassment, you have chosen the side of the harasser. If the elephant has admitted to some non-consensual pussy-grabbing and you say that you are neutral, no one should appreciate your neutrality.
Then there was this lil bit o'racism that was so nasty the Pittsburgh Foundation and Heinz Endowments felt compelled to respond with this:
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has done our community and the cause of justice a grave disservice with its lead editorial, “Reason as Racism,” published of all days on Martin Luther King Day, when we as a nation commemorate the ongoing fight to end racism in our country.

Repeated verbatim from an opinion piece printed Saturday in its sister publication the Toledo Blade, the editorial is a silly mix of deflection and distortion that provides cover for racist rhetoric while masquerading as a defense of decency. It is unworthy of a proud paper and an embarrassment to Pittsburgh.
It is said that nature abhors a vacuum. In Pittsburgh, with the passing of one ultra-rich right-wing nutjob (Richard Mellon Scaife) and the shrinkage of his media outlet - the Tribune-Review - from national to regional importance, I suppose that left open room for another ultra rich right-wing nutjob (John Block) to expand his media outlet - the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - into the political vacuum of thus created.

 And so, we can see today's endorsement of Rick Saccone.

Let's see what the Toledo Block Bugler has to say about Tim Murphy, the guy they want Saccone to replace. If you don't get the reference, that's ok google it. The right wing Tribune-Review editorial board used to taunt the P-G by calling it the "Block Bugler" because John Block owned both the Toledo Blade AND the Post-Gazette. Now back to our story:
It was pragmatic, moderate conservatism — not extremism — that sustained Mr. Murphy for almost 15 years in office. The issues he pursued, such as an overhaul of mental health law and saving the national veterans cemetery in Cecil, had practical benefits for his constituents.
Hmm...they think Murphy was a moderate conservative. I wonder how they'd explain these ratings:
  • 100% rating from the National Right To Life Committee (exceptionally ironic considering how and why Murphy was forced to resign) 
  • 60% rating from the John Birch Society (60%! - from The BIRCHERS!)
  • 100% rating from the Family Resource Council (again, ironic considering the affair and the talk of abortion)
  • 93% rating from the NRA
This is a moderate conservative to the Toledo Block Bugler?  Evidence that the frame itself has already silently skewed rightward.

When describing Saccone, they go with:
A former Air Force counterintelligence officer who later worked in North Korea and studied the Middle East in Egypt, Mr. Saccone would bring a valuable resume to Congress. He is also a college professor and a four-term state legislator. Given his time of life, he is 60, and varied background, he is equipped to be a strong and independent voice for the 18th.
Independent voice? Look at what they leave out of Saccone's experience.  A decade ago he wrote:
Our politicians should support coerced interrogations and stop demagoguing the issue. Respectable newspapers should refuse to print stories, such as the one about the three young men and only continue to blur the debate.
And by "coerced interrogations" he meant waterboarding, but only when done by trained professionals and fall "short of those that leave long-lasting or permanent physical harm."

Seven years ago he said:
Basically, torture is an act intentionally intended to inflict severe and long-lasting physical and mental pain, including amputation, scarring, burning, maiming, mutilation. Coercion means a much lower threshold of pain or discomfort such as stress positions, pushing, temperature change, meal manipulation, loud music, exploiting phobias, trickery, yelling, etc. If done skillfully and in the right circumstances, water-boarding or WB is very effective and causes no long-lasting damage. It is used to train our special forces so I don't consider it torture.
Too bad that Rick Saccone doesn't get to define "torture" as it's defined by UN Convention and US Law and it's always a war crime:
For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.
Then there's this lil bit o'crazie - legislating 2012 as the year of The Bible while at roughly the same time co-sponsoring Anti-Sharia legislation .  So I guess the "good" religion can be lauded while the "bad" religion can be banned.

How is any of that constitutional?

And this is the guy the Toledo Block Bugler thinks would be a better representative than Conor Lamb.

This is not the Post-Gazette we knew.

This is the new right wing Toledo Block Bugler.

March 10, 2018

Senator Toomey RESPONDS To Another Letter (And Deflects Off The Real Question To BS Me)

Yesterday, I received via the Post Office, another Toomey response letter.

Dated February 21 of this year, it begins thusly:
Thank you for contacting me about the recently-enacted budget agreement, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-123). I appreciate hearing from you.
Still good to know he appreciates hearing from me. I guess I'll have to keep writing to him. And let me take a moment to encourage anyone reading this to contact Senator Toomey - or any/all of their own elected representatives - with any concerns they might have. Snail mail offers the best chance of a response or so I've heard.

Anyway, let's go see if we can find out what letter of mine triggered this response from Toomey and/or his office.  Toomey writes in his fourth paragraph:
Specific to your concerns, the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA18) funded the government through March 23, 2018, while suspending the debt limit until March of next year.
Bipartisan Budget Act? When did I ask about the Bipartisan Budget Act? What is the BBA18 anyway?

Since Toomey's letter is dated the February 21st, we can safely assume it's not a response to any of my letters written after that date, time being a strict progression of cause to effect (on the other hand, some think that time, seen from a non-linear and or a non-subjective viewpoint, is more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey "stuff". We report you decide.) 

There may be a clue here. It's a pamphlet put out by the American Academy of Family Physicians.  This is from the first paragraph:
After a brief government shutdown, on February 9, 2018, the Senate and House passed the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA18, Public Law 115-123), funding the government through March 23, 2018. The spending package was strongly bipartisan, passing in the Senate 71-28 and in the House 245-182. The bill includes many important health provisions, and the AAFP released a statement from Dr. Michael Munger, AAFP President, praising many aspects of the bill prior to its passage. The AAFP also joined five other frontline physician organizations in releasing a joint statement urging the bill’s passage.
Wait, so the BBA18 was passed in response to the brief gov'ment shut down in February. That's what Toomey's talking about? When did any of this come up in any of my letters?

You simply won't believe where. It's here, hidden in Letter 45 - where I open with this:
I was going to ask you about the government shutdown but since it's more or less resolved at this point, I'll move on (but I mean really, the GOP controls the White House AND The Senate AND The House of Representatives. How is it that you couldn't pass a budget on time? YOU OWN THE STORE.)
And that's all I had to say about that. I then quickly moved to the actual reason for writing that particular letter:
No, Senator. I am going to have to ask you about Stephanie Clifford (who, as you know, works in adult film industry under the name "Stormy Daniels").
And then here's the question:
Senator, let me ask you this week's question. Given your solid standing among the nation's social conservatives (100% rating from the Christian Coalition, for example) would you still have voted for Donald Trump in 2016 had you known that 1) he'd had unprotected sex with a woman who wasn't his wife and 2) paid her off in order for the public not to know about it, especially since that pay off might have violated FEC rules regarding an "unreported in-kind contribution" to the Trump Campaign?
As politically cynical as I am, it's completely shocking to me that Senator Pat Toomey and/or his office would deflect from that set of questions with what amounts to a full page ad regarding his disapproval of a bipartisan budget deal (and here's an interesting bit: the no votes were also bipartisan as ten Democrats and one Independent - Bernie Sanders of Vermont - all voted against).

Let me ask you, Senator. Did you really just try to avoid answering a question about your support of Donald Trump - a man who paid for the silence of the adult film actress he slept with - in order to distract a constituent with some BS about your objection to too much gov'ment spending??

Say it ain't so, Senator. Say it ain't so.

If I'm wrong, Senator, drop me a line with what I got wrong. You know the address.

Text of the letter:
Thank you for contacting me about the recently-enacted budget agreement, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-123). I appreciate hearing from you.

Since coming to the U.S. Senate, of of my highest priorities has been reining in our nation's unsustainable deficits and spending. The United States has run persistent budget deficits since 2001 due to rising levels of federal spending, with this year's spending expected to exceed $4 trillion. As a result, our national debt is now more than $20 trillion. The consequences of since fiscal mismanagement will be devastating to future generations who will be saddled with debt and a government they can no longer afford.

The federal treasury does not suffer from a lack of tax revenue. Excessive federal spending that continues to grow at a faster pace than our economy is the primary cause of persistent federal budget deficits. Federal revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) has equaled 17.4% over the last fifty years, nearly three points below the average level of federal spending. Both prior to and after passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, spending growth is projected to significantly outpace revenue into the future. It is long past time for the federal government to live within its means by curbing runaway spending.

Specific to your concerns, the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA18) funded the government through March 23, 2018, while suspending the debt limit until March of next year. The bill also removed statutory caps on discretionary spending that were imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 - the fourth time in the past six years that Congress has done so. While this budget agreement propose a badly needed spending increase to strengthen national security, rebuild our neglected military, and honor our commitment to veterans, it unfortunately adds $131 billion in non-security spending, without any real, meaningful offsetting spending reductions.

On February 9, 2018, the House and Senate both agreed to BBA18. Although I voted against this budget deal, the legislation passed by a 71 to 28 vote in the Senate and was signed into law later that day. This budget agreement failed to address our overspending problem - in fact, it makes the problem worse by increasing spending.

Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.

March 8, 2018

Rick Saccone Was Quoted In The Trib And In ONE SENTENCE Showed His Disrespect

Take a look at this from The Trib:
He (Conor Lamb) has really no life experience at all. He has one political appointee job. He never worked in the private sector. I've had 40 years of life experience in education, diplomacy, the military, government and international business. There is no match for that. If this were any other race than a special election, there would be no contest. [Emphasis added.]
Let's look at Conor Lamb's "life experience" shall we?

Since Saccone's quoted in The Trib, let's start with what the Trib has to say about Lamb's bio, shall we?  Here it is:
Lamb graduated from Central Catholic High School in 2002 and the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. He earned his law degree from Penn in 2009.

Lamb served in the U.S. Marine Corps prior to being appointed as an assistant U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh in 2014. He worked in that office for three years.
That's five years in the Marine Corps.

Mt Lebanon Democrats have more:
Prior to his appointment as a federal prosecutor, Lamb was a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. He completed active duty service in 2013 and joined the Marine Corps Reserves.
A Marine Corps Officer - now in the Marine Corps Reserves.

And this is how Rick Saccone described that time: "REALLY NO LIFE EXPERIENCE AT ALL."

March 6, 2018

My FIFTY-FIRST Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

I'd like to ask you, yet again, about something Donald Trump said recently.

Recently to a crowd of Republican donors at his private club in Florida, Trump reportedly praised China's President Xi Jinping for being able to consolidate his power over that communist country, adding that "He's now president for life." Trump then added, to the laughing approval of that crowd, "Maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day."

There's some question as to whether he was joking.

Here's this week's set of questions: Do you think he was joking? If so, do you think that's an acceptable thing for a leader, who's term-limited by the same Constitution he swore to uphold, to be joking about? What do you think your response (or indeed, the responses of your fellow members of the GOP) would have been had the previous (Democratic) President joked about exactly the same thing?

I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.


March 5, 2018

Why Is This NOT Surprising? (EPA Chief Pruitt DOUBTS Science - Evolution, This Time)

Granted, this was 2005 and that was a dozen years ago (more than enough time to become educated) but this is hardly surprising coming from someone already on record doubting Climate Science:
I think the basis of humanism is evolution and there aren’t sufficient scientific facts to establish the theory of evolution, and it deals with the origins of man, which is more from a philosophical standpoint than a scientific standpoint so I believe that there is great establishment concerns in that situation.
There's more from Politico:
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt dismissed evolution as an unproven theory, lamented that “minority religions” were pushing Christianity out of “the public square” and advocated amending the Constitution to ban abortion, prohibit same-sex marriage and protect the Pledge of Allegiance and the Ten Commandments, according to a newly unearthed series of Oklahoma talk radio shows from 2005.

Pruitt, who at the time was a state senator, also described the Second Amendment as divinely granted and condemned federal judges as a “judicial monarchy” that is “the most grievous threat that we have today." And he did not object when the program’s host described Islam as “not so much a religion as it is a terrorist organization in many instances.”
Of course the defense of the science denier is obvious and obviously strawman:
Asked whether the administrator’s skepticism about a major foundation of modern science such as evolution could conflict with the agency's mandate to make science-based decisions, spokesman Jahan Wilcox told POLITICO that “if you're insinuating that a Christian should not serve in capacity as EPA administrator, that is offensive and a question that does not warrant any further attention."
Wave the bloody shirt, why doncha.

For the record, it's not about a Christian serving as EPA administrator (as the EPA Administrator during the Obama Administration is a Christian - a Catholic, specifically). It's about someone holding that office who denies the validity of one of the foundations of modern science - evolution.

On the one hand there's Scott Pruitt, climate science denier, who thinks "there aren’t sufficient scientific facts to establish the theory of evolution" and on the other hand there's this statement:
We agree that the following evidence-based facts about the origins and evolution of the Earth and of life on this planet have been established by numerous observations and independently derived experimental results from a multitude of scientific disciplines. Even if there are still many open questions about the precise details of evolutionary change, scientific evidence has never contradicted these results:
  1. In a universe that has evolved towards its present configuration for some 11 to 15 billion years, our Earth formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago. 
  2. Since its formation, the Earth – its geology and its environments – has changed under the effect of numerous physical and chemical forces and continues to do so. 
  3. Life appeared on Earth at least 2.5 billion years ago. The evolution, soon after, of photosynthetic organisms enabled, from at least 2 billion years ago, the slow transformation of the atmosphere to one containing substantial quantities of oxygen. In addition to the release of the oxygen that we breathe, the process of photosynthesis is the ultimate source of fixed energy and food upon which human life on the planet depends. 
  4. Since its first appearance on Earth, life has taken many forms, all of which continue to evolve, in ways which palaeontology and the modern biological and biochemical sciences are describing and independently confirming with increasing precision. Commonalities in the structure of the genetic code of all organisms living today, including humans, clearly indicate their common primordial origin.
The "We" in the first sentence refers to all these scientific academies:
Albanian Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, Argentina
Australian Academy of Science
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Bangladesh Academy of Sciences
The Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium
Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazilian Academy of Sciences
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
RSC: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada
Academia Chilena de Ciencias
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Academia Sinica, China, Taiwan
Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences
Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences
Cuban Academy of Sciences
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Egypt
Académie des Sciences, France
Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities
The Academy of Athens, Greece
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Indian National Science Academy
Indonesian Academy of Sciences
Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Royal Irish Academy
Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
Science Council of Japan
Kenya National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic
Latvian Academy of Sciences
Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Academia Mexicana de Ciencias
Mongolian Academy of Sciences
Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco
The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Nigerian Academy of Sciences
Pakistan Academy of Sciences
Palestine Academy for Science and Technology
Academia Nacional de Ciencias del Peru
National Academy of Science and Technology, The Philippines
Polish Academy of Sciences
Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Singapore National Academy of Sciences
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Academy of Science of South Africa
Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Spain
National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Council of the Swiss Scientific Academies
Academy of Sciences, Republic of Tajikistan
The Caribbean Academy of Sciences
Turkish Academy of Sciences
The Uganda National Academy of Sciences
The Royal Society, UK
US National Academy of Sciences
Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences
Academia de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y Naturales de Venezuela
Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences
African Academy of Sciences
The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS)
The Executive Board of the International Council for Science (ICSU)
Evolution is a fact. Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator is wrong on the science. Again.

March 2, 2018

NEWSFLASH! The Republicans Are Lying About Conor Lamb

Yea, I know. WHAT. A. SURPRISE.

Let's remember that the GOP is the party of:
  • Benghazi!!
  • Obama's fake Kenyan heritage
  • John Kerry's "fake" war heroism
So it's hardly surprising that the GOP's gone all truther on Marine Corp Reserve Major Conor Lamb.

Case in point - the "drug kingpin" TV ad. I'm sure you've seen it. It's on my TV every 25 seconds or so.

The (Conservative) Free Beacon has the GOP frame:
The campaign arm of House Republicans on Wednesday released an advertisement blasting Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb for negotiating a plea bargain with a drug kingpin while the nationwide opioid epidemic devastated American families
The P-G has the facts:
He was one of nearly 50 people indicted in Fayette and Washington counties following an FBI wiretap investigation and announced at a news conference in January in which U.S. Attorney David Hickton said interconnected drug rings were “menacing neighborhoods” in Fayette County.

Saunders was charged in September with 270 counts of laundering drug money as well as conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. This winter he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and took responsibility for the money-laundering.
And then there's the official press release:
In addition to the sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, Saunders will forfeit the following property to the United States: a 2008 BMW sedan; five luxury watches and a necklace; $325,120.00 in cash; his home in Uniontown; the proceeds of the sale of a property in Uniontown; a 9mm pistol; and a money judgment of $100,000.00.
A drug dealer off the streets for 10 years and the forfeiture of hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and stuff - that's the "weaker sentence" the GOP wants you to fret over.

FactCheck called this a "weak case" and WTAE's Bob Mayo interviewed Pitt Law Professor David Harris who says (at 0:57):
He succeeded. He got a severe penalty to the central charge in the case. That is what every prosecutor is after.
And yet the GOP truthers are trying to convince you that something else entirely happened.

Check the facts and remember who's been lying to you.