What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 21, 2019

Un-American. Simply Un-American

From The NYTimes:
President Trump said on Tuesday that any Jewish person who votes for a Democrat is guilty of ignorance or “great disloyalty,” intensifying his efforts to drive in a partisan wedge over religion and support for Israel even as he appeared to draw on an anti-Semitic trope.
There's no context by which his utterance can be justified.


Anyone not denouncing his anti-antisemitism is condoning it.

August 20, 2019

Hey, Look What I Wrote!

Hey, I'm a columnist, now!

If you need an idea as to what's in the piece, here's the headline:
Rep. Reschenthaler’s attack on Robert Mueller is based on either ignorance or dishonesty
Yep, that's me.

My HUNDRED AND TWENTY-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 - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

Senator, I've asked previously about this administration's immigration policy and I have to ask about it again.

Recently it was reported that an early August ICE raid in Clarion, Mississippi netted a mother of three children (all American citizens, thanks to the 14th Amendment) while she was getting off work at a Koch Foods plant. Her youngest is 4 months old - breastfeeding age.

The woman had been working at the plant for 4 years, It's also been reported that  employers at some of the raided plants knew they;d hired undocumented immigrants - a violation of the law. While the workers have been arrested, so far the employers have not.

Simple question: Doesn't the cruelty of this situation bother you? Is this America to you?

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


August 18, 2019

Um...We Kinda Already Knew A Lot Of This (Cordelia Scaife May In The NY Times) UPDATED

I am sure some, if not most, of you have read this piece from The New York Times about Cordelia Scaife May. It begins with this:
She was an heiress without a cause — an indifferent student, an unhappy young bride, a miscast socialite. Her most enduring passion was for birds.

But Cordelia Scaife May eventually found her life’s purpose: curbing what she perceived as the lethal threat of overpopulation by trying to shut America’s doors to immigrants.

She believed that the United States was “being invaded on all fronts” by foreigners, who “breed like hamsters” and exhaust natural resources. She thought that the border with Mexico should be sealed and that abortions on demand would contain the swelling masses in developing countries.

An heiress to the Mellon banking and industrial fortune with a half-billion dollars at her disposal, Mrs. May helped create what would become the modern anti-immigration movement. She bankrolled the founding and operation of the nation’s three largest restrictionist groups — the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies — as well as dozens of smaller ones, including some that have promulgated white nationalist views.

Today, 14 years after Mrs. May’s death, her money remains the lifeblood of the movement, through her Colcom Foundation. It has poured $180 million into a network of groups that spent decades agitating for policies now pursued by President Trump: militarizing the border, capping legal immigration, prioritizing skills over family ties for entry and reducing access to public benefits for migrants, as in the new rule issued just this week by the administration.
As if this is news.

Why do I say this? Because of this:
A committee organized to welcome the world to Pittsburgh for the September G-20 economic summit has received a donation from a foundation that has, in the past, given millions of dollars to anti-immigration organizations including two listed as hate groups.

The Colcom Foundation, founded by Cordelia Scaife May, a now-deceased heir to the Mellon fortune, has been one of the major contributors to a web of groups founded by John Tanton, a Petoskey, Mich., ophthalmologist who has long been at the forefront of efforts to restrict immigration into the United States.

During Ms. May's lifetime, the foundation also underwrote the work of Samuel Francis, a self-described "white nationalist" who edited a newsletter for the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group that has advocated racial separation. Mr. Francis also was a regular speaker at conferences sponsored by American Renaissance, an annual gathering of academics who theorize on racially based differences in intelligence, contending that black people have lower intelligence than whites and Asians.
Heidi Beirich, head of research for the Southern Poverty Law Center who has done extensive studies of the immigration control movement, called the list of Colcom recipients "quite a lineup of haters."

"It's beyond ironic that Colcom would be giving money to welcome the world to Pittsburgh, while simultaneously having bankrolled notorious white supremacists like Sam Francis and some of the most racist anti-immigrant groups in the country," Ms. Beirich said.
Check the date of publication: July 1 2009.

Within a few weeks, the Southern Poverty Law Center even commented on Roddy's piece:
Roddy’s article showed how the Colcom Foundation, founded by Cordelia Scaife May, a now-deceased heir to the Mellon banking fortune, had given money to extremists such as Samuel Francis, a white nationalist who edited a newsletter for the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a group that has advocated racial separation and believes blacks to be a “retrograde species of humanity.” The foundation started by May, who died in 2005, also donated massive amounts of money over several decades to the various anti-immigrant institutions created by John Tanton, a retired Michigan ophthalmologist who is the orchestrator of the modern nativist movement. Two Tanton-linked organizations listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups — the Social Contract Press and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) — are among those that received funds in the past from Colcom.
That was 10 years, 2 months and 3 days before The Times.

How is this news?

Wasn't news to me.

UPDATE: Via an email, Dennis Roddy had a comment:
During the Corbett administration I found environmental groups happily accepting Colcom money all the while knowing that it was being used to essentially “greenwash“ the foundation's anti-immigrant behaviors. Nobody in the Capitol press corps would touch the story.

August 16, 2019

Meanwhile, Outside...

From the science done at NOAA:
The global land and ocean surface temperature departure from average for July 2019 was the highest for the month of July, making it the warmest month overall in the 140-year NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880. The year-to-date temperature for 2019 tied with 2017 as the second warmest January–July on record.
Nine of the 10 warmest Julys have occurred since 2005, with the last five years (2015–2019) being the five warmest Julys on record. July 1998 is the only value from the previous century among the 10 warmest Julys on record.
Meanwhile, in Trump's America:
One of the nation’s leading climate change scientists is quitting the Agriculture Department in protest over the Trump administration’s efforts to bury his groundbreaking study about how rice is losing nutrients because of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Lewis Ziska, a 62-year-old plant physiologist who’s worked at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service for more than two decades, told POLITICO he was alarmed when department officials not only questioned the findings of the study — which raised serious concerns for the 600 million people who depend on rice for most of their calories — but also tried to minimize media coverage of the paper, which was published in the journal Science Advances last year.

“You get the sense that things have changed, that this is not a place for you to be exploring things that don't agree with someone's political views,” Ziska said in a wide-ranging interview. “That's so sad. I can't even begin to tell you how sad that is.”

The departure comes soon after several other government officials resigned from their posts over accusations that the administration is censoring climate science — reports that have raised alarm about scientific integrity in the federal government.
It's Trump's America - I'm just hoping we all survive it.

August 15, 2019

And Now The Truth Is Out In The Open

August 14, 2019

Another Donald Trump LIE

I'll just let Richard Mellon Scaife's Tribune-Review frame the dishonesty:
President Trump boasted Tuesday afternoon about his administration’s efforts to “revive” the nation’s energy and manufacturing sectors during a visit to Royal Dutch Shell’s ethane cracker plant construction site in Beaver County.

Trump also took credit for the multibillion-dollar project’s existence.

“It was the Trump administration that made it possible, no one else,” Trump said during his speech inside a warehouse at the Shell site to an audience of mostly construction and trade workers employed there. “Without us, you would have never been able to do this.”

Shell formally announced in June 2016, before Trump was elected, that it would go ahead with construction, but the company and government leaders began working on the project years before that. The company signed a land-option agreement to begin evaluating the sprawling property as a potential plant site in March 2012.
Speaking to a crowd of thousands of workers dressed in fluorescent orange and yellow vests, Trump said “This would have never happened without me and us.” In fact, Shell announced its plans to build the complex in 2012, when President Barack Obama was in office. A Shell spokesman said employees were paid for their time attending Trump’s remarks.
Wait, the chanting crowd was paid to be there?

And Trump outright lied to them.

August 13, 2019

My HUNDRED AND TWENTY-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, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

Senator, Donald Trump recently retweeted a ridiculous conspiracy theory linking the death of accused sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein (then in the custody of his Department of Justice) with a one-time presidential rival and her husband, a former president of the United States of America.

First off (and this is important), do you believe the theory?

If you do not then do you think it's appropriate presidential behavior to use Roosevelt's "bully pulpit" to push such dangerous ridiculousness into 60 million twitter feeds?

Don't you think Donald Trump has a responsibility to tell the truth to the American people? And if he believes the conspiracy theory to be true isn't that, in itself, a serious threat to American society?

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