Thursday, December 28, 2017

Let The Retrospectives Begin! (Cont.)

We're continuing our year- end survey of surveys of 2017 -- a.k.a., anno horriblis.  As always, please go to the links to read the entire posts.

Medea Benjamin and Nalini Ramachandran remind us that not all was bad. Here are just the first three of their list of 10 items:
1. #MeToo movement has empowered victims of sexual harassment and assault, and encouraged accountability. Those two small words defined a social media-based movement in which women, and some men, have come forward to publicly share their stories of sexual assault and harassment, and expose their abusers... [snip] 
2. The year has seen an explosion of grassroots organizing, protest, and activism. An active and uncompromising spirit of revolt has blossomed in the face of a frightening political climate during Donald Trump’s presidency... [snip] 
3. We’re already seeing rebukes of Trump at the ballot box. A wave of Democratic electoral victories swept some unlikely regions of the country, showing popular rejection of Donald Trump and his party... [snip]
Unfortunately, as we all know, these heartening events have been overshadowed by the lasting damage being done to our country and the world by the nihilist Trump regime. Much of this damage is being done "under the radar" by the reactionary knuckle- dragging Republicans in Congress. EcoWatch points to how these evildoers approached endangered species protection in 2017:
The Republican-controlled 115th Congress has introduced at least 63 separate pieces of legislation that would strip federal protections for specific threatened species or undermine the U.S. Endangered Species Act, according to a new analysis from the Center for Biological Diversity. That's one such bill every six days in 2017 alone. 
The majority of these bills were introduced by Republicans, the Center for Biological Diversity noted. Gray wolves, greater sage grouse and elephants were targeted the most. 
“Republicans in Congress continue to attack the Endangered Species Act despite overwhelming support from Americans of all political stripes for this landmark conservation law," said Brett Hartl, government affairs director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “These attacks are designed to reward special interests that would plunder our natural resources even if it causes wildlife to go extinct." 
Unfortunately, with President Trump in the White House, "these types of attacks are more likely to become law, severely harming our nation's imperiled wildlife," the Center for Biological Diversity warned. 
The only species we would love to see endangered, if not extinct: Republicans.

Unfortunately, there's more. Jeremy Schulman at Mother Jones gives us his list of "the worst anti- science bs" from right- wingers in 2017, including:
1. White House declares climate science a “waste of your money” 
In March, Trump released a budget proposal calling for steep cuts to the climate research conducted by NASA, the EPA, and other government agencies.... [snip] 
2. Trump staffers play dumb on the global warming “hoax” 
For a week this spring, as the administration rolled out Trump’s decision to begin withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, reporters repeatedly asked whether the president still believed what he’d said over and over: that global warming is a hoax. Rather than respond to this basic question, multiple administration officials simply pretended to not know the answer.... [snip] 
5. Citing Bible, Indiana county ends needle exchange program 
... In August, the county council of Indiana’s Madison County voted to cut off funding for its needle exchange program. Then in October, the Lawrence County Commission voted to end its own exchange program. Michelle Woodward, Lawrence County’s top prosecutor, told the commissioners before the vote that she “cannot and will not offer support for a program that makes it easier or facilitates illegal use of drugs.” One of the commissioners, Republican Rodney Fish, told NBC that he had given a “great deal of thought and prayer” to the matter but that ultimately he voted to kill the life-saving program because it’s “a moral issue.” Fish reportedly quoted the Bible while explaining his vote.
When you put the inmates in charge of the asylum, this is what you should expect.

Turning our attention to the spectacle Rump has made of the United States abroad, Jennifer Williams at Vox has compiled her list of 9 bizarre things Rump did on the world stage. Here are just a few:
3) Shoved the prime minister of Montenegro  
In May, Trump attended his very first NATO summit in Brussels, where he delivered a tense speech lecturing the assembled leaders of America’s NATO allies for not spending enough on their militaries. 
After the speech, the heads of state gathered to take a group photo. As they began taking their places, Trump found himself in the middle of the pack, obscured by several other world leaders — including Prime Minister Dusko Markovic of Montenegro. 
But instead of politely saying “Excuse me” and maneuvering around Markovic, Trump decided to grab the prime minister by the arm and physically shove him out of the way. Trump then adjusted his suit jacket.... [snip]
4) Hung up on Australia’s prime minister 
Just one week into his presidency, Trump used a January 28 phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to alienate the leader of one of America’s closest and most loyal allies. 
Trump bragged about the size of his electoral college win and ranted at Turnbull about a deal the Obama administration had struck with the Australian government to take in a small number of refugees who were trying to enter Turnbull’s country. 
Trump was angry that he had to honor this deal his predecessor had made — a deal he didn’t seem to fully understand but hated nonetheless. Turnbull calmly and respectfully tried to correct Trump’s misunderstandings, but it didn’t go well. 
"I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous," Trump said. He then ended the conversation, just 25 minutes into what was supposed to be an hour-long call....[snip]
5) Revealed a covert CIA operation on Twitter 
In a late-night tweet attacking the Washington Post July 24, Trump confirmed the existence of a covert CIA program to arm and train Syrian rebels to remove Bashar al-Assad from power.... 
The pride, it's just welling up inside!

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