Democracy Has Prevailed.

September 30, 2019

Just Your Typical Monday Reminiscing About The Weekend...

Sadly, yes. We got that.

September 25, 2019

This Will Not Age Well (Guy Reschenthaler on Impeachment)

From Representative Guy Reschenthaler:
This is a sad day for our democracy. Speaker Pelosi’s decision to begin a formal impeachment inquiry based on secondhand allegations shows just how desperate the Democrats are to undo the will of the American people. President Trump has agreed to release the unredacted transcript of his phone call with the president of Ukraine and the House Intelligence Committee has yet to hold any hearings on this matter. Calling for impeachment before learning the facts sets a dangerous precedent and shows that once again, House Democrats are putting political theatre before the needs of the American people.
A few things:
  • Doesn't Guy know we don't live in a "democracy" but a "representative republic"?? I only ask that because whenever anyone on my TEEVEE says we live in a democracy, some MAGA hatter will snark, "It's not a democracy, it's a representative republic, you idiot!!" (Note: the "you idiot" is silent)
  • Doesn't Guy know that his hero Trump lost the popular vote by about 3 million votes? The "will of the American People" was actually Trump's opponent.
  • Doesn't Guy know that Trump admitted to pressuring a foreign government for his own political gain? Doesn't Guy think that that, alone, is worthy of an impeachment inquiry? I mean, what if Obama did it? Or Hillary?
Yea, this statement won't age well.

September 24, 2019

My HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVENTH 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."

Donald Trump admitted to pressuring the Ukrainian Government to dig up dirt on one of his political opponents.

Senator, you took an oath to "support and defend" the Constitution of the United States. At what point do you think you'll speak out against Trump's actions? If pressuring a foreign country to interfere with US elections isn't an impeachable offense, what do you think is?

Or don't you think he did anything wrong?

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


September 23, 2019


This actually happened:

September 21, 2019

Vice President Joe Biden On Donald Trump

On the reporting that Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into an investigation into his son, Joe Biden released this statement:
If these reports are true, then there is truly no bottom to President Trump’s willingness to abuse his power and abase our country. This behavior is particularly abhorrent because it exploits the foreign policy of our country and undermines our national security for political purposes. It means that he used the power and resources of the United States to pressure a sovereign nation — a partner that is still under direct assault from Russia — pushing Ukraine to subvert the rule of law in the express hope of extracting a political favor.

Such clear-cut corruption damages and diminishes our institutions of government by making them tools of a personal political vendetta. At minimum, Donald Trump should immediately release the transcript of the call in question, so that the American people can judge for themselves, and direct the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to stop stonewalling and release the whistleblower notification to the Congress.
In his defense, Trump said that "it’s nothing … just another political hack job."

And while he doesn't know the whistleblower's name, has heard "it's a partisan person."

Thus spake The Donald.

And since he has thus spaken, I have a few questions:
  • How does he know it's a "political hack job"?
  • Who told him?
  • If he doesn't know the name of the whistleblower, someone must. Who told Trump that the person was "partisan"?
  • Which political party is this "partisan person" a member? 
  • Or at least which party's politics does this person adhere?
  • How is that information known?

September 20, 2019

Meanwhile Outside...

The Science from NOAA:
The August temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.66°F above the 20th century average of 60.1°F and tied with 2015 and 2017 as the second highest for August in the 1880–2019 record. The five warmest Augusts have all occurred since 2014. August 2016 is the warmest August on record with a global land and ocean surface temperature departure from average of 1.76°F.
The June–August 2019 average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.67°F above the 20th century average of 60.1°F and the second highest for June–August in the 1880–2019 record. June–August 2016 was the warmest such period on record at 1.71°F above average. The five warmest June–August periods have occurred in the last five years. The global land and ocean surface temperature for the three-month season has increased at an average rate of 0.13°F per decade since 1880; however, the average rate of increase is more than twice as great (0.32°F per decade) since 1981.
If you're free today at noon at the City County Building:
On September 20th, students worldwide will strike for climate action. Climate change has reached a crisis point. There is no time left to spare. This global protest will show those in power that they can no longer ignore the damage they have done to our Earth. Pittsburgh will join this global movement, demanding climate action in our community.

Join us at the Pittsburgh City-County Building on September 20th to strike for the future. There will be speakers, food trucks, and fun. Bring your best signs and all the friends you can. We can’t wait to see you there!
Even while Trump was doing whatever it was that he was doing to scare the Intelligence Community (and it looks real bad!), it's getting warmer outside.

September 19, 2019

Um, Guys? We Have A HUGE Problem Here.

From CNN:
A communication between President Donald Trump and a world leader prompted a whistleblower complaint that is now at the center of a dispute between the director of national intelligence and Congress, a source familiar with the case told CNN.

The concern was first revealed by The Washington Post, which reported that an official in the American intelligence community was so bothered by a "promise" Trump made to a foreign leader that the official filed a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general of the intelligence community, citing two former US officials familiar with the matter. CNN has not independently confirmed the detail about a "promise" made to the foreign leader.
From Talkingpointsmemo:
There’s a lot of discussion and context in the Post article. But that’s the central reported detail. It’s not clear who the foreign leader was or what was promised or really anything else. The additional key detail is this: the complaint from the unidentified whistleblower was submitted to Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson. He determined that the complaint was credible and troubling enough to be a matter of “urgent concern”, a legal standard that requires reporting the matter to Congress.
The decision to withhold the information from Congress was made by acting DNI Joseph Maguire, who’s in that position after the dismissal of Dan Coats. But the Post suggests that it’s not actually Maguire’s choice. The Department of Justice told him to withhold the information from Congress.
And then TPM quotes The Post:
Defenders of Maguire disputed that he is subverting legal requirements to protect Trump, saying that he is trapped in a legitimate legal predicament and that he has made his displeasure clear to officials at the Justice Department and White House.

After fielding the complaint on Aug. 12, Atkinson submitted it to Maguire two weeks later. By law, Maguire is required to transmit such complaints to Congress within seven days. But in this case, he refrained from doing so after turning for legal guidance to officials at the Justice Department.

In a sign of Atkinson’s discomfort with this situation, the inspector general informed the House and Senate intelligence committees of the existence of the whistleblower complaint — without revealing its substance — in early September.
So Trump's DOJ instructed acting DNI Maguire not to inform Congress, as he required to do so by law, about a matter of "urgent concern" regarding Trump's communication with a foreign leader.

Yep, this is normal. This is good for America.


September 18, 2019


From The Independent:
Lewandowski hesitantly confirmed every aspect of President Trump's obstructive requests: On June 19 2017, two days after President Trump asked then-White House Legal Counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller, Lewandowski met with Trump in the Oval Office. President Trump dictated a message that he wanted Lewandowski to deliver to Sessions which would've ordered Sessions to limit the scope of Mueller's investigation. Trump then followed up with Lewandowski on July 19 2017, and told Lewandowski to tell Sessions that if he refused to meet with him, he would be fired. Lewandowski never delivered either message.

Aside from the obstructive act at hand, there were also some moments where Lewandowski contradicted Mueller's report or outright lied.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and a number of other House Democrats, caught Lewandowski repeatedly claiming that he has taken dictations multiple times for President Trump. Mueller's report states that he has only done so once. Either the Mueller report is incorrect or Lewandowski is lying.
How many Benghazi hearings were there?

How often did Trump lead a "Lock her up" chant at his rallies?

Back to The Independent:
Lewandowski also claimed he knew nothing about the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia. That was a lie.

September 17, 2019

Hey, Look What I Wrote!

My second climate science column at The Pittsburgh Current!

An excerpt:
Climate science deniers have two separate but related problems when denying the science; the evidence and the science explaining the evidence. In order to succeed, they’d have to explain how all the known evidence,,,is wrong — and wrong in a way that just happens to be the most agreeable to their position. All the seawater measurements? Wrong. All the satellite data? Wrong. Humidity? Weather stations? Glaciers? Wrong. Wrong. And wrong.

Just try to imagine the scope of the conspiracy necessary to fake all of that data over all those years.

Then there’s the science we looked at in the last column. The data only shows that the temperatures are rising, the oceans are growing and the glaciers and sea ice are shrinking. If the deniers can show that the scientific explanation itself is flawed, then perhaps another, more benign explanation can take its place — one that finds less blame in our human behavior.
But they can't solve either problem (denying the evidence or the science), can they?

My HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIXTH 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."

Now that the NYTimes has published new details about some more sexual misconduct committed by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was an undergraduate at Yale, do you have any second thoughts regarding your support of him?

Do you have any problems with out limited (by design) the FBI investigation was? For example, agents were denied the authorization to follow up on one set of leads (25 witnesses) and didn't investigate at all any allegations for another incident (even though the they were informed of that incident by a United States Senator).

Doesn't this trouble you, at all?

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


September 10, 2019

My HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIFTH 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."

CNN (and then the NYTimes) reported that the US Intelligence Community "extracted" a high level spy in the Russian Government in part because Donald J Trump "and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy."

The NYTimes reported that Trump's commerce secretary threatened to fire NOAA employees if they "didn't disavow" Trump's (inaccurate) tweet regarding Hurricane Doria and Alabama. It's their job to deliver accurate truthful weather information to the public and they did. Trump's secretary threatened to fire them because of it.

This week's question: How can you still support this man and his administration? When will it be enough for you to break ranks?

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


September 6, 2019

Climate Change Is Still Undeniable, But Thanks To Trump, The Evidence Is Harder To Find

Hey, remember when I posted this?

It's from 2010 and it links to a NOAA report that outright states that "global warming is undeniable."

Well, the report itself is no longer there.

This is what you get when you follow this link:

Granted, the "Highlights" brochure is still available.

But the report itself outlined ten separate indicators of warming - each with it's own multiple sets of support.  Like this:

See that part in the bottom of the chart that says "7 Sets of Data"?

You could find them in the full report.

But with the climate science actively disappeared by the Trump administration, finding the science from this report is now just a little more difficult.


September 3, 2019

Hey, Look What I Wrote

My SECOND column at The Pittsburgh Current.

It's about the science of climate science and not the evidence (rest assured, that's coming!).

Did you know that the basic idea of greenhouse gasses trapping the sun's heat is an idea that's more than a hundred years old?

It's also not a hoax.

My HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FOURTH 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."

As this is still an on-going thing, we have to talk about the kids in Trump's concentration camps.

An investigation detailed in a lawsuit recently filed by 19 states found that teenage girls being detained in those camps are being denied sanitary napkins and showers while they are on their period.

Doesn't this trouble you at all? This is America. We're supposed to be the good guys. We're supposed to be Reagan's "shining city on a hill." Instead, this is just cruel.

Will you be speaking up against the cruelty?

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