Democracy Has Prevailed.

July 26, 2023

Meanwhile, Outside...

Some climate science from the climate scientists at NOAA:

June 2023 set a record as the warmest June for the globe in NOAA's 174-year record. The June global surface temperature was 1.05°C (1.89°F) above the 20th-century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F). This marked the first time a June temperature exceeded 1°C above the long-term average. The Junes of 2015–2023 rank among the ten warmest Junes on record. June 2023 marked the 47th consecutive June and the 532nd consecutive month with global temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average.

And of course, there's a chart:

And so on.

But wait. There's more. 

According to this report out of the Imperial College of London:

  • Heatwaves are amongst the deadliest natural hazards with thousands of people dying from heat-
    related causes each year. However, the full impact of a heatwave is rarely known until weeks
    or months afterwards, once death certificates are collected, or scientists can analyse excess
    deaths. Many places lack good record-keeping of heat-related deaths, therefore currently
    available global mortality figures are likely an underestimate.
  • In line with what has been expected from past climate projections and IPCC reports these events
    are not rare anymore today. North America, Europe and China have experienced heatwaves
    increasingly frequently over the last years as a result of warming caused by human activities,
    hence the current heat waves are not rare in today's climate with an event like the currently
    expected approximately once every 15 years in the US/Mexico region, once every 10 years in
    Southern Europe, and once in 5 years for China.
  • Without human induced climate change these heat events would however have been extremely
    rare. In China it would have been about a 1 in 250 year event while maximum heat like in July
    2023 would have been virtually impossible to occur in the US/Mexico region and Southern
    Europe if humans had not warmed the planet by burning fossil fuels.
  • In all the regions a heatwave of the same likelihood as the one observed today would have been
    significantly cooler in a world without climate change. Similar to previous studies we found
    that the heatwaves defined above are 2.5°C warmer in Southern Europe, 2°C warmer in North
    America and about 1°C in China in today’s climate than they would have been if it was not for
    human-induced climate change.
Yea. It's getting hotter and hotter out there.

July 25, 2023

I'm Back - What Did I Miss?

I've been away for a few weeks and now I'm back.

What have I missed?

Oh, yea. This:

The letter former President Donald Trump received from special counsel Jack Smith informing him that he is a target of the federal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election mentions three federal statutes related to the deprivation of rights, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and tampering with a witness.

Those three federal statutes were included in the letter Trump said he received Sunday night, according to two attorneys with direct knowledge of the document. The context surrounding the statutes is unclear, and including them in the letter does not necessarily mean that Trump will be charged with related counts or that an indictment would be limited to only those three statutes.

Digging deeper, we find this

The letter to Mr. Trump from the special counsel, Jack Smith, referred to three criminal statutes as part of the grand jury investigation into Mr. Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss, according to two people with knowledge of its contents. Two of the statutes were familiar from the criminal referral by the House Jan. 6 committee and months of discussion by legal experts: conspiracy to defraud the government and obstruction of an official proceeding.

But the third criminal law cited in the letter was a surprise: Section 241 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which makes it a crime for people to “conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person” in the “free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”

The Times explains:

A Justice Department spokesman declined to discuss the target letter and Mr. Smith’s theory for bringing the Section 241 statute into the Jan. 6 investigation. But the modern usage of the law raised the possibility that Mr. Trump, who baselessly declared the election he lost to have been rigged, could face prosecution on accusations of trying to rig the election himself.

If you look at how the statute starts:

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same...

You'll see a scary word: conspire. If they're looking down this road, aren't they looking for a conspiracy?

More on that in a bit. Back to The Times:

The line of 20th-century cases raised the prospect that Mr. Smith and his team could be weighing using that law to cover efforts by Mr. Trump and his associates to flip the outcome of states he lost. Those efforts included the recorded phone conversation in which Mr. Trump tried to bully Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” enough additional votes to overcome Mr. Biden’s win in that state and promoting a plan to use so-called fake electors — self-appointed slates of pro-Trump electors from states won by Mr. Biden — to help block or delay congressional certification of Mr. Trump’s defeat.

“It seems like under 241 there’s at least a right to an honest counting of the votes,” said Norman Eisen, who worked for the House Judiciary Committee during Mr. Trump’s first impeachment. “Submitting an alternate electoral certificate to Congress (as opposed to casting false votes or counting wrong) is a novel scenario, but it seems like it would violate this right.”

So on top of everything else, it looks like they're looking at the fake electors. The Times calls them "self-appointed slates of pro-Trump electors from states won by Mr. Biden" in case you missed it.

That happened in Pennsylvania. Did you know that?

Yea, I'm sure you did.

And look who was involved in Pennsylvania:

Previously undisclosed emails provide an inside look at the increasingly desperate and often slapdash efforts by advisers to President Donald J. Trump to reverse his election defeat in the weeks before the Jan. 6 attack, including acknowledgments that a key element of their plan was of dubious legality and lived up to its billing as “fake.”


As they organized the fake elector scheme, lawyers appointed a “point person” in seven states to help organize those electors who were willing to sign their names to false documents. In Pennsylvania, that point person was Douglas V. Mastriano, a proponent of Mr. Trump’s lies of a stolen election who is now the Republican nominee for governor.

And then there's this from WESA:

An earlier media report, published last week in the online political journal Politico, also features an email from Bobb that links Mastriano to the effort. It reported that "Bobb wrote [that] Trump's team was waiting to hear from the office of state Sen. Doug Mastriano ... to get a room for the alternate electors" in Harrisburg, where Mastriano represents Adams County and adjoining areas.

They needed him to get them a room?? 

How much you wanna bet that Doug Mastriano's name at least came up at some point in Jack Smith's investigation of Trump's "fake elector" scheme?

Probably a safe bet.

Any comment for the blog, State Senator Doug Mastriano?



July 5, 2023

Hottest Day Ever (SO FAR)

First, there's this from Reuters:

Monday, July 3, was the hottest day ever recorded globally, according to data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

The average global temperature reached 17.01 degrees Celsius (62.62 Fahrenheit), surpassing the August 2016 record of 16.92C (62.46F) as heatwaves sizzled around the world.

And then this from The Washington Post:

Tuesday was the hottest day on Earth since records began in 1979, with the global average temperature reaching 62.92 degrees Fahrenheit (17.18 degrees Celsius), according to data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction. 

As a result, scientists believe July 4 may have been the hottest day on Earth in around 125,000 years, due to a dangerous combination of climate change causing global temperatures to soar, the return of the El Niño pattern and the start of summer in the northern hemisphere.

And The BBC:

Scientists say the reading was the highest in any instrumental record dating back to the end of the 19th century.

The high heat is due to a combination of the El Niño weather event and ongoing emissions of carbon dioxide.

Researchers believe there will be more records in the coming months as El Niño strengthens.

Hence the "SO FAR" in the title to this blog. 

The Climate Reanalyzer at the University of Maine has a handy chart:

See that jagged green line in the center at the top of the chart? The one that's pointing more or less upward?

That's now.