Trump continues to provoke hatred and civil strife

Yet another controversy involving Trump and his allies came about this week when Facebook removed some campaign ads that used an infamous symbol from the 1930s: a red inverted triangle, which Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime used to identify political prisoners ranging from communists and liberals to members of opposition parties. Trump’s campaign has, in essence, responded that it didn’t use that symbol to promote Nazi ideology but to smear Antifa. Nonetheless, Trump’s critics have asserted that using that symbol in the first place was clueless and ignorant. And according to Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent, a leaked internal document from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security makes Trump and his allies look even worse in this controversy.

“After Facebook removed the ads amid an outcry,” Sargent explains, “the Trump campaign continued to defend the use of the image — which was used by Nazis to identify political prisoners — by claiming it’s a ‘common Antifa symbol.’ The suggestion, of course, is that the image is justified by the idea that it’s associated with Antifa, so it’s merely a warning of a continuing menace to the country. ‘STOP ANTIFA,’ the ads say, warning of ‘dangerous MOBS of far-left groups’ that are ‘DESTROYING our cities.’”

Sargent adds, “Meanwhile, Trump and his top officials have continued to blame unrest and violence at protests on Antifa, to cast the violence more broadly as primarily left-wing in orientation. But the DHS document I obtained undercuts this series of claims.”

The leaked DHS document, according to Sargent, shows that Antifa has not been a major source of violence at the recent “Justice for George Floyd” protests that have been taking place all over the United States.

“The document — which is an assessment of ongoing ‘protest-related’ threats to law enforcement dated June 17 — makes no mention at all of Antifa in its cataloging of those threats,” Sargent notes. “The DHS document states that ‘anarchist and anti-government extremists pose the most significant threat of targeted low-level, protest-related assaults against law enforcement.’ It bases this assessment on ‘the observed ideologies of recent attackers and the body of reporting of tactics noted by violent opportunists used over the last two weeks.’ Thus, as of this week, ‘anarchist and anti-government extremists’ pose the most serious ongoing threat, according to Trump’s own Homeland Security Department.”

Although Trump and his allies have been smearing Antifa in order to terrorize Trump’s base of older white male voters, their assertions have demonstrated that they don’t know much about Antifa (which stands for “anti-fascist”). First, Antifa is a movement, not an organization. Second, Trumpistas tend to lump Antifa and Black Bloc anarchists together even though they’re separate movements. And Sargent, in his column, shows that he clearly knows the difference between Antifa and anarchists.

Sargent says of the DHS document, “Not only does this document not name Antifa, this description of generic ‘anarchist extremists’ does not describe what we’ve come to understand ‘Antifa’ to be. While there might be some loose overlap between Antifa and anarchists, Antifa isn’t even a group — and adherents are characterized by specific resistance to perceived neo-fascist movements. Meanwhile, the DHS document defines ‘anti-government extremists’ as motivated by ‘their belief that their liberties are being taken away by the perceived unconstitutional or otherwise illegitimate actions of government officials or law enforcement.’ Obviously, that’s not Antifa either.”

Former DHS official Juliette Kayyem reviewed the document at Sargent’s request and told him, “This document shows that the government itself does not view Antifa as a significant threat in the homeland. The document shows how absurd the Trump campaign’s justification for using the symbol really is. It undercuts their defense.”

Although the DHS document doesn’t cite Antifa as a threat, it is specific about who it does consider a threat — and in addition to anarchists, it mentions white supremacists and the far-right Boogaloo movement (which is hoping to bring about a second civil war in the United States). In Northern California, Steven Carrillo — a man believed by the Department of Justice officials to be associated with the Boogaloo movement — has been charged with murder following the shooting of a security officer. And the DHS document that Sargent and Kayyem reviewed specifically mentions Carrillo.

Sargent writes, “The DHS document actually does cite the ‘Boogaloo movement’ as a threat in this context. It notes that Carrillo is likely associated with it, defining it as ‘a term used by some violent extremists from a variety of movements who seek to incite a race war or the collapse of society.’”

Sargent concludes his column by noting that the DHS document warns of “the possibility of more attacks on law enforcement” and quoting a former DHS official who told him that making misleading claims about Antifa does a disservice to law enforcement.

The official told Sargent, “Attributing the risk to one group (or mischaracterizing its structure) is dangerous, because it misses the holistic nature of the problem, excludes those that do present a danger and ultimately, puts law enforcement at increased risk.”

Source AlterNet – Alex Henderson

 

New restrictions for Humboldt, but the airport remains open? WTF?

It still seems like there is a lot of unnecessary vehicle traffic all over the county too

With the Trump “enabled” Coronavirus spreading everywhere the county is allowing flights into Humboldt????

Health Officer Issues Updated Order for Humboldt County

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich issued an updated Health Order further clarifying and enhancing the Shelter in Place requirements for county residents.

The updated order addresses county residents’ concerns regarding tourists visiting the area, prohibiting short-term rental properties, including hotels, vacation rentals and campgrounds, from renting to non-County residents.

Additionally, the order further limits activity in parks and other outdoor recreational areas that facilitate public gathering.

The order clarifies the definition of essential businesses, recognizing those businesses that support the County’s response to COVID-19 and eliminating the exemption for businesses that “supply products which would enhance the quality of life.”

This updated order will remain in effect until rescinded by the Health Officer.

Ok, but why is the airport still open to the public? It should be open for emergencies only 

 

Trump: “I don’t take responsibility at all”

President Harry Truman had a famous sign on his desk reading “the buck stops here,” signifying that he was the decision-maker and responsible for the nation. When asked if he was responsible for the failures in testing for coronavirus, President Donald Trump passed the buck.

“I don’t take responsibility at all,” Trump told the crowd of press in the Rose Garden Friday.

Trump then moved on to attack former President Barack Obama for not acting on Swine Flu, or H1N1. (Which is a complete lie). The Obama administration declared an emergency about a week after the problem was discovered and by this time in the process, they had tested 1 million people. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that the mortality rate for the H1N1 disease in the United States was 0.002 percent. Compared to 1% at least for Coronavirus.  So the coronavirus is likely to kill far more people.

Former Obama campaign manager Dan Pfeiffer recalled Trump’s declaration in 2016: “I alone can fix it.”

NPR has Reported Trump dropped the ball on Coronavirus testing because he only wanted good news. Trump is worried about the ballot box in November, not the health of Americans

 

US Climate denial could disrupt the entire economic system

American companies are ignoring the risks of climate change at their own peril, extreme weather caused by the climate crisis could result in a devastating economic recession.

Financial markets are failing to account for the risks that increasingly frequent and worsening floods, droughts, and other extreme weather events pose to the economy, according to an article published in the journal Nature Energy this week.”

If the market doesn’t do a better job of accounting for climate, we could have a recession—the likes of which we’ve never seen before,” said study author Paul Griffin, an accounting professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. Griffin said in the article that his years of research concluded that “unpriced risk” was the “main cause” of the 2007-08 Great Recession and companies are once again failing to assess the damage extreme weather events can wreak on their business.

“Right now, energy companies shoulder much of that risk. The market needs to better assess risk, and factor a risk of extreme weather into securities prices,” he said. “Without better knowledge of this risk, the average energy investor can only hope that the next extreme event will not trigger a sudden correction to the market values of energy firms.”

Soaring temperatures, like those now seen annually in Europe and parts of the United States, aren’t just dangerous to human life, he argued. They also hurt the farming and agriculture industry all over the world and slow economic growth. They also sometimes cause massive power outages that affect a huge variety of industries, like when PG&E shut down energy delivery across much of California last year in an attempt to reduce fire risk. The company also filed for bankruptcy after it was blamed for causing the wildfires in 2018. Extreme weather also disrupts transportation and water delivery, hurting not just those industries but countless others that rely on workers being able to get to work and drink clean water.

“Despite these obvious risks, investors and asset managers have been conspicuously slow to connect physical climate risk to company market valuations,” Griffin wrote. “Loss of property is what grabs all the headlines, but how are businesses coping? Threats to businesses could disrupt the entire economic system.”

Griffin also warned that energy companies are particularly vulnerable in areas where their operations are threatened by rising sea levels. Oil refineries in California and the Gulf Coast are especially at risk of being inundated by severe floods, storms, and wildfires.

The insurance industry would also grow overwhelmed by the cost of claims from extreme weather events and may not cover such risks, the article said, not to mention “litigation, sanctions and even loss of business from the property destroyed.”

“Extreme heat events can create uncertain and longer duration power outages, threaten critical infrastructure, exacerbate energy supply and demand imbalances, and trigger significant legal liability for energy firms,” he wrote. “Despite these obvious risks, investors and asset managers have been conspicuously slow to connect physical climate risk from extreme weather events to company market valuations.”

“While proprietary climate risk models my help some firms and organizations better understand future conditions attributable to climate change, extreme weather risk is still highly problematic from a risk estimation standpoint,” he wrote. “This is because with climate change, the patterns of the past are no guide to the future, whether it be one year, five years or 20 years out. Investors may also normalize extreme weather impacts over time, discounting their future importance.”

Financial institutions are increasingly worried about this trend as well. A report issued by an organization of the world’s central banks earlier this year similarly warned that financial institutions lack the tools to deal with what could be a devastating economic challenge.

“Think the subprime crisis in 2008 was bad? Imagine a real estate crisis caused by rising sea levels and coastal flooding that renders thousands of square miles of land uninhabitable or useless for farming,” wrote The New York Times’ Jack Ewing in his summary of the report. “By some estimates, global gross domestic product could plunge by nearly a quarter by the end of the century because of the effects of climate change. Central banks have enough trouble dealing with mild recessions, and would not be powerful enough to combat an economic downturn of that scale.”

“In the worst-case scenario, central banks may have to intervene as climate rescuers of last resort or as some sort of collective insurer for climate damages,” the report warned.

An earlier study published in Science in 2017 attempted to quantify the economic impact posed by the effects of climate change. That study warned that the US economy may shrink by up to 3 percent, and certain regions may be hit even harder without significant intervention. Many regions could see gross domestic product (GDP) decline by more than 10 percent, and Florida’s worst-hit areas could see GDP losses up to 28 percent, according to the study.

That research relied on the United States meeting its goals in the 2015 Paris Agreement, but that seems unlikely now that Donald Trump withdrew from the pact and repeatedly gutted Obama-era policies intended to combat climate change.

“Is there climate change? Yeah. Will it go back like this, I mean will it change back? Probably,” Trump told Axios in 2018, despite extensive research from his own administration arguing that certainly will not be the case. The last decade was the hottest on record, according to NASA and NOAA, and it is only getting worse.

Trump said that his decision to pull out of the Paris Accord would improve the economy and vowed to negotiate a deal with terms that are “fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers,” though he has made no efforts to do so since.

Despite Trump’s claims, the country’s largest companies quickly sounded the alarm that the move would hurt, not help, the economy.

“By strengthening global action over time,” said a letter from leading US companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Adobe, Morgan Stanley, Gap, Intel, and Hewlett Packard, “the agreement will reduce future climate impacts, including damage to business facilities and operations, declining agricultural productivity and water supplies, and disruption of global supply chains.”

 

from Salon

Trump/Putin in 2020

 

Fox News is continuing to provide enormous spin for Donald Trump. Earlier this week they twisted the news that Trump was angry an intelligence official briefed Congress on Russia attacking the 2020 election to help get him re-elected, by claiming “Trump Upset Over Kremlin Trying to Re-Elect Him.”

The irony, of course, is our intelligence agencies brought the information to leaders in our government. House Republicans were furious upon hearing the news – furious that they were being told the truth, and wanted to stomp it out. So Rep. Devin Nunes told Trump, who then fired his Director of National Intelligence.

Predictably the Kremlin is laughing off claims they are once again interfering in the 2020 election, saying the very notion is “paranoid.”  “The Kremlin said on Friday that allegations from U.S. intelligence officials that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election campaign and trying to boost Donald Trump’s re-election chances are false and the result of paranoia, ” before adding Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, “These are more paranoid announcements which, to our regret, will multiply as we get closer to the (U.S.) election.”

However, in a report for the Daily Beast, Russian media expert Julia Davis explains that, despite Donald Trump’s disavowals, his presidency has been highly beneficial to the Kremlin, they could not be happier and the state-run press has no qualms about boasting about it.

With reports coming out that the Russians are once again interfering in the presidential race, and Trump’s fury that intelligence community has been briefing Democrats about it, Davis claimed that you don’t need an intel briefing to know who they support in 2020 — and why.

Writing that Russian state media has “consistently conveyed the message that Trump’s election has proven exceedingly beneficial for the Kremlin, Davis writes, “Indeed, Trump’s presidency is so valuable for President Vladimir Putin that even ‘tough’ sanctions are minor by comparison. The Chekist( the first of a succession of Soviet state security organizations). in the Kremlin is willing to make temporary sacrifices in order to keep such a disruptive figure in charge of the mightiest country in the world, and Russian state media repeatedly make the point that Russia’s gamble will continue to pay off since the Kremlin is holding, as it were, the trump card.”

“Russian experts and pundits on state television frequently express their desire to see Donald Trump re-elected,” she continued. “Appearing on Russia’s popular state television news talk show 60 Minutes last October, political analyst Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak gushed: ‘I look at Trump and think: ‘May God grant him good health—and another term.’ This is a great situation for Russia… may he flourish and get re-elected…Trump is a great candidate. I applaud him… For America, this isn’t a very good president.’”

According to her report, Russian officials fully expect to cash in on another four years of Trump, “… from the removal of sanctions imposed after Putin annexed the Crimean Peninsula and backed a separatist war in Ukraine, to restoration of access to diplomatic compounds the U.S. seized after Russia’s effort to murder a defector in Britain.”

“Normally, spymasters seek to shroud in secrecy their relations with those who wittingly or unwittingly serve their interests,” she wrote. “But Russian state media openly gloat about the Kremlin’s influence over Trump, believing that he can endure the exposure without repercussions, and by flaunting the Kremlin’s sway with the White House, Russia further weakens U.S. democracy, which has always been one of its main pursuits.”

“The Kremlin wants to be perceived as a force to be reckoned with, fostering an atmosphere devoid of accountability for Russia’s human rights violations, foreign invasions, land grabs, and assassinations. In the style of ‘fake it till you make it,’ Putin is determined to persuade the world that resistance is futile and the Kremlin is omnipotent,” she warned. “Every denial of Russian election interference coming out of the White House brings Putin one step closer to the fulfillment of his goals. Every election security bill that is blocked by the GOP in the Senate gives an advantage to our foreign adversaries—and they are not sick of winning.”

Raw Story

Time for Estelle to find another job

The North Coast People’s Alliance voted unanimously to endorse Michael McKaskle for Humboldt County Supervisor.

McKaskle, who is running for District 2 against incumbent Estelle Fennell, has a long history of civic involvement in Southern Humboldt, having served on the Redway Community Services District board for 6 years and as chair of the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission. One of his primary issues is preparation for the effects of climate change, which is one of the reasons he decided to run for the Board of Supervisors. “I jumped in at the last minute in large part because I felt the environment was not enough of an issue. We need to plan for sea-level rise. We need a more localized economy,” said McKaskle. “We need walkable towns and a world-class trail network between them, and through our world-class scenery. Much of this is land-use regulation, that is what we do as County Supervisors and we can do better.”
In addition to meeting the challenges posed by climate change and sea-level rise, as a Supervisor McKaskle would work to create officially sanctioned, sanitary campgrounds for houseless people. This, along with his support of public banking and renewable energy micro-grids, is why NCPA members voted to put their support behind him.

Let’s finally get rid of blowhard Rex

Ya Rex, you’ve had 8 years and you’ve FAILED!

Last Wednesday night, Rex Bohn was finally confronted directly about his bigotted comment that he made at a fundraiser last year. Bohn asked if a Mexican tamale dinner was authentic enough “to make you go out and steal hub caps,” using a tired old racist stereotype about Mexican people and crime.

Outrage has followed since Bohn’s racist slur, but he was adamant at the Wednesday night candidate forum that his “Hispanic friends” forgave him. “They know I don’t have a racist bone in my body,” he said.

Cliff Berkowitz, his opponent, was unforgiving of Rex’s half-ass apology, saying Bohn “should have apologized straight out.

Here are three great letters from the Times-Standard:

It is time to get rid of the 1st District incumbent

A county supervisor’s No. 1 job is to make decisions. Unfortunately, the 1st District incumbent has a long history of bad decisions. He supported such money pits as an untenable east-west Railroad, a potentially hazardous liquefied natural gas terminal, and an environmentally disastrous onshore wind farm. He appointed a climate denier to the planning department. When confronted on the incompetency

of a public defender, his response was to have lunch with the man and declare him a good guy. (He may be a good guy, but he was the wrong guy and letting him go cost the county $50,000. Other bad personnel decisions have cost us many thousands more.) He supports a plan that encourages large cannabis grows at the expense of mom-and-pop operations, which hurts our local economy (and benefits his son). He has failed to insist that the Humboldt County fair board comply with the Brown Act, which means the fair loses much-needed state funds. His motto of “Humboldt is open for business” risks turning our unique home into a sprawling mass of tract homes and chain stores.

I could go on. These are just a few of the reasons it is time to get rid of the incumbent and elect someone with integrity, someone who is fair, transparent, and has given 25 years of service to Humboldt County.

Please visit Cliff4Supervisor.com, then vote for Cliff Berkowitz on March 3. Debra Kaufman, Bayside

Vote Cliff Berkowitz for 1st District supervisor

I’ve heard it said many times that Rex is such a nice guy that he’d give you the shirt off his back — I cannot disagree with that. That very statement may be the reason for many of his decisions — he’s a pleaser and hates to disappoint.

I recall before a full municipal auditorium that he was touting the benefits of a Cal Pine liquefied natural gas plant on the bay — never mind the health effects of off-gassing or the fact that, if there were an accident, or in this day and age a terrorist attack, that most everything in a 5-mile radius would be incinerated. I believe that Cliff uses the “wisdom” of the people and not so much the promises of fast-talking out-of the- area lobbyists who have no skin in the game.

Eight years has been long enough to see we are getting nowhere; time to try a different perspective and approach.

First District voters — here’s your chance on March 3 to keep your eye on the ball, aim for the fence and hit it out of the park.

VOTE FOR CLIFF — more consensus, less drama. W.R. Engles, Eureka

Berkowitz has been champ for many local causes

I want to thank Cliff Berkowitz for running for first district supervisor. I first became acquainted with Cliff through his work with KHUM radio. He has been involved in our community and has been a champion for many local causes for more than 25 years.

During the power outages, he was a lifeline to my family and the community. The announcements that he made on KHUM helped us to stay connected to what was happening. We heard updates on where we could buy gas, get a generator, which grocery stores were open, etc.

I know that Cliff is concerned with climate change and are rising sea levels. He cares about our land, water and preserving the resources that may Humboldt County desirable. Cliff is a strong proponent of our trail systems. And Cliff will work hard for us to create jobs and housing.

This is his website: Cliff4Supervisor.com Thank you, Cliff!

Carrie Foster, Kneeland

 

Ten years after: grim and getting worse

Ten years ago, in January 2010, the Supreme Court released its disastrous Citizens United decision. The court, either through remarkable naivety or sheer malevolence, essentially married the terrible idea that “money is speech” to the terrible idea that “corporations are people.”

The ruling put a for sale sign on our democracy, opening up a flood of corporate, special interest, and even foreign money into our politics.

Through Citizens United and related decisions, the Court made a bad situation worse. We saw the proliferation of super PACs, which can accept and spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, and the rise of dark money, which is undisclosed political spending that can come from any special interest, including foreign countries.

In the 10 years since the decision, there’s been $4.5 billion in political spending by outside interest groups, compared to $750 million spent in the 20 years prior to the case.

From 2000-2008, there were only 15 federal races where outside spending exceeded candidate spending. In the same amount of time following Citizens United, this occurred in 126 races. Now, almost half of all outside spending is dark money that has no or limited disclosure of its donors.

That money isn’t coming from the farmers suffering through Donald Trump’s trade war or the fast-food workers fighting for a living wage. It’s coming from the wealthiest donors, people often with very different priorities than the majority of Americans. In fact, a full one-fifth of all super PAC donations in the past 10 years have come from just 11 people.

This has led to an unresponsive and dysfunctional government. With so many politicians in the pockets of their big donors, it’s been even harder to make progress on issues like gun safety, health care costs, or climate change.

Not to mention, we’re left with the most corrupt president in American history, who’s embroiled in a series of scandals that threaten our prosperity, safety, and security.

To name just a few of these scandals: Trump urged a foreign country to investigate his political opponents. His lawyer’s “associates” funneled money into Trump’s super PAC through a sham corporation. The National Rifle Association spent tens of millions of dollars in unreported “dark” money to elect him while allegedly serving as a Russian asset.

Trump and his accomplices should be held accountable, through congressional impeachment, the judicial process, or both. But we also need meaningful anti-corruption reforms.

Thanks to a class of reformers elected in 2018, we’ve already begun that process. Last year, the House of Representatives passed the For the People Act (H.R. 1).

H.R. 1 would strengthen ethics rules and enforcement; reduce the influence of big money while empowering individual, small-dollar donors; and, along with a bill to restore the Voting Rights Act, protect every American’s right to vote. It also calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

Sadly, this bill is being blocked by Mitch McConnell in the Senate.

These reforms are all popular with the American people. We can unrig the system and restore that faith by fighting for these priorities, and by pressuring elected officials to act. Join groups like End Citizens United or Let America Vote to push back against our rigged system and put people ahead of corporate special interests.

Together, we can restore trust in government, prevent corruption, strengthen our national security, and ensure Washington truly works for the people.

 

 

from Times-Standard by Tiffany Muller
Tiffany Muller is the president of End Citizens United. Follow her at @Tiffany_Muller. 

 

Putin’s favorite candidate this election cycle

Tulsi with war criminal Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad

 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat running for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination, continues to scoff at charges that her campaign is being backed by prominent Russian sympathizers. She like Trump calls it “fake news.”

“Fake news”  is the favorite phrase of the Trumpies, Trump himself has tweeted it hundreds of times during his reign.

Gabbard has received donations to her 2020 campaign from supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, including a Russian studies professor and an employee of the Russian government-funded broadcaster RT.

Gabbard also has received sharp criticism for her refusal to call Syrian President Bashar Assad a war criminal — a position aligned with Russia’s stance not that of the United States.

Gabbard is called a progressive by some but there no evidence of that  It’s true that she has voiced support Medicare for all and free college tuition, her actual record skews center-right. She has broken from her party on votes to increase restrictions on refugees and weaken gun control. She has introduced legislation supported by GOP donor Sheldon Adelson and interviewed for a possible position in Trump’s Cabinet.

Many Democrats balk at Gabbard’s tactics and lengthy opposition-research file, which is bulging with ties to controversial figures and lingering questions about her conservative upbringing. While some say her opposition to military intervention in Syria makes her an advocate for peace, others say it makes her a “mouthpiece” for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In 2017, she was widely rebuked for taking a meeting with Assad, an act that legitimized the accused war criminal, and saying she was “skeptical” of the U.S. conclusion that Assad had used chemical weapons. The previous year, she was one of only three members of Congress to vote against a resolution condemning the Syrian government’s use of force against its own people.

Gabbard grew up a spiritual follower of a Hare Krishna sect that has been accused by former members of being an authoritarian cult. Its teachings include anti-gay activism, something that has already created headaches for Gabbard’s presidential campaign. As a teenager, Gabbard worked with her father, a fervent crusader against gay rights, at the Alliance for Traditional Marriage, which supported conversion therapy and helped pass an anti-same-sex marriage law. At least twice as a state representative, Gabbard referred to LGBT-rights advocates as “homosexual extremists.” She has since apologized,

All in all, she looks like Putin’s perfect replacement for Jill Stein this election cycle.