The Evening Blues - 11-17-16
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features Louisiana swamp pop musicians Cookie And The Cupcakes. Enjoy!
Cookie & The Cupcakes - Got You On My Mind
“The morning we all found out he was president, I just couldn’t believe it at first. And then I was so angry, because the idea of actually having him as our president enraged me. I couldn’t understand how a human being would vote for someone who I consider a monster. But after the anger settled, I began to think that this is now an opportunity for all the communities who have been targeted by his campaign – Latinos, Muslims, LGBTQ and people of color – to come together and unify.”
-- Ceci Bastida
News and Opinion
The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians. ...
White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process. ...
What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success. Second we must bear witness to justice. We must ground our truth-telling in a willingness to suffer and sacrifice as we resist domination. Third we must remember courageous exemplars like Martin Luther King Jr, who provide moral and spiritual inspiration as we build multiracial alliances to combat poverty and xenophobia, Wall Street crimes and war crimes, global warming and police abuse – and to protect precious rights and liberties. ...
Rightwing attacks on Obama – and Trump-inspired racist hatred of him – have made it nearly impossible to hear the progressive critiques of Obama. The president has been reluctant to target black suffering – be it in overcrowded prisons, decrepit schools or declining workplaces. Yet, despite that, we get celebrations of the neoliberal status quo couched in racial symbolism and personal legacy. Meanwhile, poor and working class citizens of all colors have continued to suffer in relative silence.
As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump’s neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do.
For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.
Sit down. This is going to shock you. (Not). We reported Monday on the telephone call between US president-elect Trump and Russian president Putin, where the current and future presidents discussed the need to set aside differences and look to more constructive future relations. With serious observers of this past year’s increasing tensions between US and Russia openly worrying about a nuclear war breaking out, with some 300,000 NATO troops placed on Russia’s border, with sanctions hurting average businesspersons on both sides, a normal person might look at the slight thaw in Cold War 2.0 as an early positive indicator of the end of the Obama Era.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) begs to differ.
In a blistering statement he released today responding to the Trump/Putin telephone call, Sen. McCain condemned any efforts by President-elect Trump to find common ground with Putin.
We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies, and attempted to undermine America’s elections.
Interesting that Republican McCain has taken to using the Hillary Clinton campaign line (the one that lost her the election) that somehow the Russians were manipulating the US electoral process. The claim was never backed up by facts and Hillary’s claim that some 17 US intelligence agencies agreed with her was shown to be a dangerous and foolish lie.
Hezbollah recently paraded their considerable arsenal of vehicles around publicly, and one of the sets of vehicles raised a number of questions: a collection of US-made M113 armored personnel carriers mounted with old Soviet ZPU-2 anti-aircraft weapons. ... It is unclear exactly where they got ahold of the US made M113s.
Some US officials suggested the age might be a clue, pointing to the long-collapsed Israel-backed Southern Lebanese Army (SLA). ... Others are theorizing that Hezbollah, active in Syria, might’ve captured them during a battle with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front. ... ISIS is known to have captured some M113s in Iraq, so they conceivably might’ve initially smuggled some into Syria, but for Nusra to get them would require the vehicles to change hands at least a couple times before finding their way to Hezbollah.
Either way, that Hezbollah is openly using US vehicles is another public embarrassment, reflective of the US obsession with ever-growing arms exports leaving several regions so awash in US-made arms and vehicles that every side of every conceivable conflict has managed to get ahold of some.
Occupied by the Kurdish YPG way back in August, the status of the city of Manbij has been a major source of tension with neighboring Turkey, which has warned that the Kurds aren’t allowed west of the Euphrates and have to abandon the city immediately.
The YPG reinforced the city, then promised to leave it, then insisted they were never there to begin with. Today, the YPG once again announced their intention to withdraw from the city, claiming they have ensured ISIS will never be able to return.
Early in the ISIS war, Kurdish Peshmerga forces advanced into the city of Kirkuk, after Iraqi military forces fled. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) insisted at the time that they believe Kirkuk was a Kurdish city that should be in their autonomous region.
Over the past week, the KRG’s Peshmerga forces have reportedly been marking a new border on the outskirts of Mosul, saying their involvement in the offensive is over. KRG President Massoud Barzani confirmed that the Kurdish forces will not “retreat” from any territory taking in the war. ...
There was already considerable tension between Iraq and the KRG before the ISIS war, and the new territorial disputes are likely to add a lot to the tension, setting the stage for an increasingly likely war of secession when the current ISIS war wraps up.
Hillary, the gift that keeps on giving...
About 100 people are feared drowned in the Mediterranean after a migrant dinghy capsized off Libya, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has said, after 27 survivors were rescued from the boat.
“The 27 men now on board the Argos were on board a boat carrying 130 people. They are the only survivors. This tragedy is just unbearable,” MSF said in a tweet. ...
Departures from Libya are continuing unabated despite worsening weather in the Mediterranean, and more than 3,200 people have been rescued from crowded and unseaworthy dinghies since Saturday.
The latest tragedy raises the death toll from migrant boats sinking to more than 340 people this week.
Neoconservatives spent months attacking Donald Trump, arguing that he has been insufficiently supportive of overseas military intervention. But the news that he is considering a former Bush administration superhawk to lead the State Department is persuading some that Trump is willing to give war a chance.
It is heavily rumored that former Bush U.N. Ambassador John Bolton — a man who has been a vocal advocate of attacking Iran — may be picked as Trump’s nominee to head the State Department. Bolton was critical of some of Trump’s remarks earlier in the campaign, but later came to his side.
Some of Trump’s loyal supporters reacted to the rumor with outrage. ...
President-Elect Donald Trump must repel the neocon “never Trump” boarding party. @realDonaldTrump did not beat Jeb to empower his lackeys
— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) November 11, 2016
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who supported Trump as part of his pledge to support the GOP nominee, wrote an opinion piece on Rare headlined “Will Donald Trump betray voters by hiring John Bolton?” that “one of the things I occasionally liked about the President-elect was his opposition to the Iraq war and regime change.” But, Paul wrote, “At a time when Americans thirst for change and new thinking, Bolton is an old hand at failed foreign policy. The man is a menace.”
Specifically, Paul wrote, “we should resist any would-be leader who wants to bomb now and think later.” ...
Warhawks are increasingly trying to find a way into his administration — and just like the lobbyists who are already staffing his transition team, his campaign promises may give way to the Republican establishment.
Just hours after Donald Trump took the stage on election night to deliver his acceptance speech, critics warned that the inexperienced new leader would inject a previously unknown level of instability into the world of U.S. intelligence and security.
That remains a strong possibility, especially after Mike Rogers, the hawkish former chair of the House Intelligence oversight committee, and Matthew Freedman, who had been in charge of the planning for the National Security Council, left the transition team on Monday in what NBC described as a “Stalinesque purge.”
But the national security establishment has one hope left: Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, remains in charge of intelligence hiring, and his record harkens back to a GOP establishment focused on powerful espionage and influence on the world stage. He’s reportedly favored to be the new director of National Intelligence, replacing James Clapper.
In other words, there’s still a chance the spies will be just fine.
Burgess’s 38-year military career has reassured some former spies and intelligence experts that the administration might not devolve into amateur-led chaos. ...
Burgess served as the director of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Southern Command, at a time when torture at Guantanamo Bay was well underway. When the Senate Armed Services Committee questioned him in 2004 concerning torture at Abu Ghraib, he insisted he had no previous knowledge of complaints about abuses there.
Russian digital forensics firm Elcomsoft has found that Apple’s mobile devices automatically send a user’s call history to the company’s servers if iCloud is enabled — but the data gets uploaded in many instances without user choice or notification.
“You only need to have iCloud itself enabled” for the data to be sent, said Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft.
The logs surreptitiously uploaded to Apple contain a list of all calls made and received on an iOS device, complete with phone numbers, dates and times, and duration. They also include missed and bypassed calls. Elcomsoft said Apple retains the data in a user’s iCloud account for up to four months, providing a boon to law enforcement who may not be able to obtain the data either from the user’s carrier, who may retain the data for only a short period, or from the user’s device, if it’s encrypted with an unbreakable passcode. ...
It’s not just regular call logs that get sent to Apple’s servers. FaceTime, which is used to make audio and video calls on iOS devices, also syncs call history to iCloud automatically, according to Elcomsoft. The company believes syncing of both regular calls and FaceTime call logs goes back to at least iOS 8.2, which Apple released in March 2015.
And beginning with Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 10, incoming missed calls that are made through third-party VoIP applications like Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber, and that use Apple CallKit to make the calls, also get logged to the cloud, Katalov said.
Because Apple possesses the keys to unlock iCloud accounts, U.S. law enforcement agencies can obtain direct access to the logs with a court order.
Barack Obama will meet Angela Merkel in Berlin to talk about Russian sanctions, the fight against Islamic State and the future of the EU-US trade agreement in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election victory. ...
On Thursday, two working meetings are to be held, in which the leaders will discuss the treatment of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, the situation in Ukraine, climate change and the future of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the German government said.
In a joint op-ed published on the eve of the president’s visit in the German weekly Wirtschafts Woche, the leaders appealed on behalf of TTIP, the future of which is in doubt after Trump’s election success and protests across Europe, saying “there will not be a return to a world before globalisation”.
On Friday, they will be joined by the British prime minister, Theresa May, the French president, François Hollande, the Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, and Spain’s Mariano Rajoy.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory, the Obama visit [to Merkel] has been declared a symbolic passing of the baton.
Such colossal expectations are not entirely without foundation. In the aftermath of the US result, Merkel acknowledged Trump’s triumph with the conditionality usually applied to diplomacy with Russia or China. She offered cooperation on the basis of values such as “democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and the dignity of humankind – independent of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views.”
In a joint op-ed published in Wirtschaftswoche on the eve of the visit, Obama and Merkel vowed: “There won’t be a return to a world before globalisation. Germans and Americans have to seize the opportunity to shape globalisation according to their values and ideas. We owe it to our businesses and our citizens – the whole global community, even – to broaden and deepen our cooperation.”
During Europe’s refugee crisis, Merkel has pursued a course emphasising universal values rather than pure national interests. And while the policy decisions required by that course have come at the cost of the resurgence of a new rightwing populist movement – manifested by painful defeats in a string of state elections – Germany’s political landscape remains more stable than that in Britain or France. ...
At the start of the year, Germany’s defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, vowed to reverse years of declining military spending, and observers believe the country is now seriously committed to meeting the target of 2% of GDP spending recommended for Nato members. ... But the German public’s appetite for military intervention remains low, as Obama discovered when it held back Nato and EU ambitions in Libya in 2011, and after the Ghouta chemical attack in 2013, when Merkel said her country would not get involved in a military campaign in Syria.
If there’s one certainty that emerged in the 2016 elections, it was that Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat stemmed from her loss of four so-called “Rust Belt” states: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, which had previously been Democratic strongholds, and Ohio, a swing state that had twice supported Barack Obama.
The 64 Electoral College votes of those states, most of which hadn’t even been considered battlegrounds, put Donald Trump over the top. Trump’s numbers, it is now clear, were produced by a combination of an enthusiastic turnout of the Republican base, his picking up significant numbers of traditionally Democratic voters, and large numbers of Democrats staying home.
But this wasn’t a defeat by default. On the economic issues that motivate many of these voters, Trump had a message: The economic recovery was a mirage, people were hurt by the Democrats’ policies, and they had more pain to look forward to should the Democrats retain control of the White House.
The problem for Clinton was that the opportunistic message of this demagogue rang true to the middle class and working class voters in these states, even if the messenger himself was quite flawed.
True, these working class voters going over to Trump or boycotting the polls were mainly white. But then these were the same people that placed their faith in Obama in 2008, when they favored him by large margin over John McCain. And they stuck with him in 2012, though his margins of victory were for the most part narrower.
By 2016, however, they’d had enough, and they would no longer buy the Democrats’ blaming George W. Bush for the continuing stagnation of the economy. Clinton bore the brunt of their backlash, since she made the strategic mistake of running on Obama’s legacy — which, to the voters, was one of failing to deliver the economic relief and return to prosperity that he had promised eight years earlier, when he took over a country falling into a deep recession from Bush.
Sanders & Clinton Supporters Debate the Path Forward for the Democratic Party Under Trump Presidency
The Federal Reserve could raise US interest rates “relatively soon” if economic data keeps pointing to an improving labor market and rising inflation, Fed chair Janet Yellen said on Thursday in a clear hint the central bank could hike next month.
Yellen said Fed policymakers at their meeting earlier in November judged that the case for a rate hike had strengthened. ...
Yellen did not mention the election in her prepared remarks. Other Fed officials in recent days have said a major change in fiscal policy could force them to shift gears if, for example, inflation begins to accelerate. But they also said they need to wait and see what the new administration proposes and what gets approved by the Republican-controlled Congress.
As it stands, Yellen said the current federal funds rate of between 0.25 and 0.5% is boosting economic activity, and that the country has “a bit more room to run” before inflation becomes much of a concern.
After a humiliating election loss just eight days earlier, the Wall Street Democrats in the U.S. Senate laid the groundwork for another humiliating defeat in the midterms in 2018 by electing Senator Chuck Schumer to be the Senate Minority Leader.
Schumer is considered the poster boy for Wall Street — as their mouthpiece for lax regulation and a reliable Senate confirmation vote for Wall Street cronies to lead regulatory agencies. Over the past five years, Schumer has raised over $25.8 million for his campaign committee and Leadership PAC with the leading donors being security and investments firms and their outside law firms, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Schumer’s top ten largest donors over his entire political career include seven major Wall Street banks: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, UBS and the now defunct Bear Stearns. Also in the top ten are two law firms that regularly represent Wall Street firms when they are charged with fraud: Paul Weiss and Sullivan and Cromwell.
The Democrats’ head-in-the-sand vote yesterday came despite progressive activists staging a sit-in in Schumer’s office on Monday to demand that he step aside and allow the Senate Minority Leader post to go to Senator Bernie Sanders – now widely seen across America as the true leader of the Democratic Party. ...
As part of the Democratic caucus vote yesterday, Sanders was elected as “Outreach” chair. True progressives in the party may see this as more smoke and mirrors from an entrenched establishment in Washington who want to keep the millions of dollars flowing into their campaign coffers from Wall Street while delivering lip service to the poor and middle class who are being economically crushed by the unstoppable income and wealth flowing to the top one percent. ...
Can we still count on Sanders to make his fiery speeches from the Senate floor when people like Jack Lew are served up for Treasury Secretary? Or will Sanders, like so many before him, be socialized to silence by his peers in the Senate with harsh whispers in his ear that he is hurting the party.
IBM is ready to make money from the Trump administration. ...
In a letter obtained by CNBC, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty personally congratulated the president-elect and stated, “I know that you are committed to help America’s economy grow in ways that are good for all of its people.” She then laid out six separate ways in which IBM’s business could dovetail with Trump’s national agenda — including information services available to the most erratic, dangerous presidency in American history. Those services included a “cognitive computing system” for the Department of Veterans Affairs, artificial intelligence for infrastructure, and “data analytics, data center consolidation, and the use of cloud technologies” to cut government costs.
One of the items on Roomette’s list doesn’t involve IBM (and companies like it) exchanging services with the government for money. Instead, IBM (and companies like it) would get the money in exchange for nothing.
The current statutory tax rate for U.S.-based multinational corporations is 35 percent on profits earned anywhere in the world. ... Donald Trump’s official economic plan calls for the $2.4 trillion to be taxed at a special, one-time rate of 10 percent. Then the statutory rate going forward would be lowered from 35 percent to 15 percent. ... In her letter, Rometty calls the current tax system “outdated and punitive” and said Trump’s plan will “free up capital that companies of all sizes can reinvest in their U.S. operations, training and education programs for their employees, and research and development programs.”
This is exactly the kind of claim made by U.S. corporations when lobbying for a previous tax holiday in 2004. After that corporate bonanza, U.S.-based multinationals actually cut jobs and decreased spending on research and development. ... Instead corporations used the money for stock buybacks and to pay executives more. ... IBM, in fact, was one of the main beneficiaries of the 2004 bill.
Trump's transition site says administration will 'modernize Medicare'—code for Ryan-style death by privatization
Is Paul Ryan's years-long dream of gutting Medicare about to come true?
The Donald Trump transition website states that the administration will "modernize Medicare"—a euphemism, according to Jonathan Cohn and Jeffrey Young at the Huffington Post, that corresponds exactly to what Ryan has in mind.
Speaking Thursday on Fox News's "Special Report," Ryan said, "Medicare is going broke, Medicare is going to have price controls because of Obamacare," adding, "You have to deal with those issues if you are going to repeal and replace Obamacare. Medicare has serious problems [because of] Obamacare."
Those statements are false, Michael Hiltzik writes at the Los Angeles Times:
Medicare faces fiscal problems, but it's not going broke, and according to both the Medicare trustees and the Congressional Budget Office, the Affordable Care Act [also known as Obamacare] has in fact alleviated those problems rather than caused them. The trustees reported in 2010 that passage of Obamacare had postponed the projected exhaustion date of the Medicare trust fund by 12 years—to 2029 from 2017. Projections of Medicare spending growth have consistently come down, year after year, at least in part due to changes in the program imposed through Obamacare.
The program's fiscal situation would be "substantially improved," the trustees said, because the ACA instituted new cost controls and provided new tax revenues for the program. Both those features would disappear if the GOP repeals the ACA, as is its intention.
Simply put, economist Dean Baker writes, Ryan's plan "will require seniors to deal with insurance companies who will profit by denying them care."
California Senate President on How His State Prepares to Challenge Trump from Climate to Immigration
If the incoming Trump administration makes good on its campaign promises about mass deportations, California will have a giant target on its back.
The state – the fifth largest economy in the world – is home to close to 3 million undocumented immigrants, almost a quarter of the national total. That, in turn, suggests a looming showdown between the Trump administration and local political leaders, almost all of whom see immigrants as a vital part of Californian life and the state’s powerhouse economy, and are determined to do whatever they can to protect them. ...
Los Angeles is one of a growing number of cities – along with San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and New York – that have publicly declared their intention to keep local police away from immigration enforcement, even if the Trump administration follows through on its threat to cut federal funding in retaliation.
Mayor Garcetti has promised to help immigrants in other ways, too – including directing his legal staff to keep filing legal briefs in defense of the immigrant community, and encouraging eligible candidates to apply for citizenship through an education program run through Los Angeles’ public libraries.
Many California cities have created so-called safe zones in their schools that prevent federal immigration officials from entering except under extraordinary circumstances. State legislators, meanwhile, plan on re-examining confidentiality rules to make it as difficult as possible for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to gain access to driver’s license records, school and medical records.
It was a case that gripped the nation. A police officer in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota pulled over Philando Castile on July 6 and fired seven shots after the 32-year-old black man reached for his waistband. Then, the world watched him bleed on Facebook Live.
Castile later died at a hospital.
The St. Anthony police officer responsible, Jeronimo Yanez, was charged with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
“It is my conclusion that the use of deadly force by Officer Yanez was not justified and that sufficient facts exist to prove this to be true,” said Ramsey County attorney John J. Choi.
A supporter of President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday cited the United States' use of internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II as a "precedent" for Trump's rumored "Muslim registry."
Carl Higbie, a spokesperson for the pro-Trump Great America PAC, defended the proposed registry to Fox News's Megyn Kelly, who had quoted a counter-argument that the American government does not catalog people based on religion.
"Yeah, well, we have in the past. We've done it based on race, we've done it based on religion, we've done it based on region," Higbie said, later adding, "We did it during World War II with Japanese." ...
Top Trump adviser and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said last week that the incoming administration is drafting plans for a database that would require immigrants and visitors from countries where extremist groups are active to register with the government.
Muslim-Hating Conspiracy Theorist Frank Gaffney May (or May Not) Be Advising Trump’s Transition Team
After the Wall Street Journal and New York Times both reported yesterday that Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, is advising the Trump transition team, Gaffney denied it this afternoon.
Gaffney told Politico that “I had not been contacted by anyone from the team.” ... Trump spokesman Jason Miller also denied that Gaffney was advising the transition team in any way in an appearance today on MSNBC.
Neither the Wall Street Journal nor the New York Times have corrected their stories.
If Gaffney is a Trump advisor, it’s an extremely bad sign. Every society has people like Gaffney, but in healthy, functioning democracies they live quietly in their parents’ basements, free to play with action figures and construct intricate fantasy worlds without hurting anyone else.
If President-elect Donald Trump wants to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate deal, he’ll face an unlikely foe: corporate America. More than 300 companies and major investors signed a letter urging Trump to roll back his campaign promises and leave low-emissions policies in place.
In the joint letter sent from Marrakesh, Morocco, where the fine points of implementing the Paris Climate Agreement are being hammered out, major American companies like Gap, General Mills, Intel, and Monsanto wrote to “re-affirm our deep commitment to addressing climate change through the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Agreement.” ...
Corporate America, which has been preparing for the business disruption that will be caused by climate change, could become a significant hurdle for Trump. Signers of the letter include some of the world’s biggest food conglomerates including Mondelez International, Kellogg Company, and Mars Inc. Notably absent are representatives of the oil, gas, coal and automotive industries.
Trump, who is the first self-declared climate change denier to lead one of the world’s top emitters, has dismissed global warming as “very expensive … bullshit” and claimed the concept “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”.
But speaking at UN climate talks in Marrakech on Wednesday, China’s vice foreign minister, Liu Zhenmin, pointed out that it was in fact the billionaire’s Republican predecessors who launched climate negotiations almost three decades ago.
“If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” Liu was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. ...
With the American commitment to fighting climate change suddenly in doubt, activists have urged Beijing to continue leading the international effort.
“Not only is climate change no Chinese hoax, but Chinese seriousness may be our best hope,” Deborah Seligsohn, an expert in environmental governance from the University of California at San Diego, argued in an article on the China Dialogue environmental website.
Long before he set his sights on Mexico, Donald Trump had his eyes on a different wall. He wanted to build one on the Irish coast of County Clare – a 13ft high structure erected to protect his luxury golf resort, the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel, from increasingly volatile storms and rising sea levels.
While the president-elect announced a climate-change skeptic as the leader of the Environmental Protection Agency transition team, this move to protect his investment suggests Trump recognizes the effects of a changing climate.
This summer, the Irish Times reported that planning authorities at An Bord Pleanála rejected an application to designate the wall a “strategic infrastructure development”, further delaying the construction of the planned 200,000-ton structure that would span 2.8km (1.74 miles) of the dunes. But Trump’s Irish firm, TIGL Ireland Enterprises, is relodging an application with the local county council and warned that without the wall, the “viability of the entire resort and its potential closure” would be in question.
His son, Eric Trump, visited the course this summer, a property he says his family loves and invested upwards of $50m to $60m in. He recalled first seeing the course in 2014 when “20 or 30 metres of dunes” had already been eroded. A few more heavy storms, and he worried their redesigned, luxury course might be lost completely. ...
There have been other measures taken to try to protect the course, none of which have worked. In 2001, owners of the original golf course tried to implement sand trap fencing, a “soft” erosion protection measure, but it was washed away by a storm within weeks. A 2014 report warned that erosion was a natural part of the dunes’ dynamic system and that “construction of physical barriers” could lead to “beach starvation and increased rates of erosion”. ...
Trump tried to build the wall once before but failed. ... The local county council halted the construction and Trump’s wall was thwarted by the tiny, narrow-mouthed whorl snail, which lives in the dunes. The snail, around since the ice age but now endangered, is protected in Ireland, and binding conditions in the original planning permission demand regular monitoring to ensure activities on the golf course do not endanger it. The snail has become a mascot for those opposing the wall, with organizations such as Friends of the Irish Environment, Save the Waves and local surfer associations backing a #NatureTrumpsWalls campaign. More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition to “Stop Trump’s Irish Wall”.
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
Here comes Obama, a day late and a dollar short, proposing a plan that he can't implement, wouldn't have proposed while he was able to promote it and now puts it out there to point to as part of his "environmental legacy." What a miserable, gibbering poseur:
A Little Night Music
Cookie And The Cupcakes - Close Up The Backdoor
Cookie & the Cupcakes - Betty & Dupree
Cookie and the Cupcakes - I cried
Cookie And The Cupcakes - Shake 'Em Up
Cookie and the Cupcakes - Mathilda
Cookie and the Cupcakes - Sea Of Love
Cookie and The Cupcakes - Honey Hush
Cookie and The Cupcakes - I Almost Lost My Mind by Cookie
Cookie and the Cupcakes - All My Lovin’ Baby
Cookie and The Cupcakes - Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Cookie and The Cupcakes - I've Been So Lonely
Cookie and The Cupcakes - Married Life
Cookie and the Cupcakes - Mathilda finally came back
Cookie and the Cupcakes - Blue bayou shuffle
Cookie And The Cupcakes - I'm Twisted