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The Trump / Republican / Russian War on Facts, Data, and Reality


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#1 LFC

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 12:58 PM

I figure this one should have its own thread.

Now that Republicans are in power we can expect more and more attacks on science and reality. Their politics virtually depend upon saying that up is down. First up we have Scott Pruitt, major climate change science denialist, getting ready to replace half of the EPA's advisory panel members.

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt decided to replace half of the members on one of its key scientific review boards, while Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is “reviewing the charter and charge” of more than 200 advisory boards, committees, and other entities both within and outside his department. EPA and Interior officials began informing current members of the move on Friday, and notifications continued over the weekend.

Pruitt’s move could significantly change the makeup of the 18-member Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), which advises EPA’s prime scientific arm on whether the research it does has sufficient rigor and integrity. All of the people being dismissed were at the end of serving at least one three-year term, although these terms are often renewed instead of terminated.

EPA spokesman J.P. Freire said in an email that “no one has been fired or terminated” and that Pruitt had simply decided to bring in fresh advisers. The agency informed the outside academics on Friday that their terms would not be renewed.

“We’re not going to rubber-stamp the last administration’s appointees. Instead, they should participate in the same open competitive process as the rest of the applicant pool,” Freire said. “This approach is what was always intended for the board, and we’re making a clean break with the last administration’s approach.”


But that's just the tip of the quickly melting iceberg since they've frozen the work of all Dept. of the Interior advisory panels. That comes to over 200 groups that, at least until now, provide expertise.

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Separately, Zinke has postponed all outside committees as he reviews their composition and work. The review will effectively freeze the work of the Bureau of Land Management’s 30 resource advisory committees, along with other panels focused on a range of issues, from one assessing the threat of invasive species to the science technical advisory panel for Alaska’s North Slope.

“The Secretary is committed to restoring trust in the Department’s decision-making and that begins with institutionalizing state and local input and ongoing collaboration, particularly in communities surrounding public lands,” Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said by email Monday. “As the Department concludes its review in the weeks ahead, agencies will notice future meetings to ensure that the Department continues to get the benefit of the views of local communities in all decision-making on public land management.”

Two of the biggest enemies of science in America are thrilled.

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Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who questions the link between human activity and climate change and has several former aides now working for Pruitt, said in an interview earlier this year that under the new administration, “they’re going to have to start dealing with science, and not rigged science.”

House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) held a hearing on the issue in February, arguing that the Scientific Advisory Board should be expanded to include more non-academics. The panel, which was established in 1978, is primarily made up of academic scientists and other experts who review EPA’s research to ensure that the regulations the agency undertakes have a sound scientific basis.

“The EPA routinely stacks this board with friendly scientists who receive millions of dollars in grants from the federal government,” Smith said at the time. “The conflict of interest here is clear.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#2 Traveler

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:09 PM

Dont worry. They got plenty of private sector scientists to replace them libruhl scum. Some might actually have a conscience. Problem is, these boards will have industry "representatives". So we gonna have a hiatus in any progress. But we ain't gonna go back to the Cuyahuga River. Us enviros are gonna be totally busy fixing stuff that is already baked in law and budgets all over. So yes, a major shame and waste of time and resources there, but it is not the end of environmental world. Be thankful for judges and advocates. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
That said, there are some really counterproductive regulations in my corner of the enviro field. Stormwater management is a key element invoked to retard growth in developing areas. NIMBY elitists use this environmental issue to justify their own self interest. And many state and local laws reflect this. They have over-detention requirements that defy geomorphology and hydrology, thinking that more what is good is somehow better. It isnt, like overdosing. Except to drive up prices.

And none of that rant had anything to do with the EPA. They are the only sane ones out there. Shame. I want to throttle some of the idiots that cooked up that crap locally. Which is why pushback happens, misguided as it may be.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#3 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 06:11 AM

We need to recall the lack of ANY political norms with our GOP. When we get a Democratic majority again Republicans should be fired wholesale in DC. Certainly after Comey (spit) there should be NO agency heads from the opposition.
Trump delenda est.
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#4 Traveler

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 08:43 AM

Guess this is as good a place to drop this turd.

Quote

Perhaps Comey’s most surprising revelation was that Huma Abedin — Weiner’s wife and a top Clinton deputy — had made “a regular practice” of forwarding “hundreds and thousands” of Clinton messages to her husband, “some of which contain classified information.” Comey testified that Abedin had done this so that the disgraced former congressman could print them out for her boss. (Weiner’s laptop was seized after he came under criminal investigation for sex crimes, following a media report about his online relationship with a teenager.)


The New York Post plastered its story on the front page with a photo of an underwear-clad Weiner and the headline: “HARD COPY: Huma sent Weiner classified Hillary emails to print out.” The Daily News went with a similar front-page screamer: “HUMA ERROR: Sent classified emails to sext maniac Weiner.”

The problem: Much of what Comey said about this was inaccurate. Now the FBI is trying to figure out what to do about it.

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#5 LFC

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 09:28 AM

Every story I read about Comey makes me see him as a bigger and bigger turd, but one who believes in his superiority.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#6 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 12:32 PM

All POGers are the best turds, truly superior pices if shit!

Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
Resist!

#7 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:58 AM

View PostLFC, on 08 May 2017 - 12:58 PM, said:

“The EPA routinely stacks this board with friendly scientists who receive millions of dollars in grants from the federal government,” Smith said at the time. “The conflict of interest here is clear.”

The solution to this problem is obvious: replace the so-called "scientists" with representatives of the Heartland Foundation and coal companies who will bring much-needed fairness and balance to the subject.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#8 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:00 AM

View PostProgressive whisperer, on 09 May 2017 - 06:11 AM, said:

Certainly after Comey (spit) there should be NO agency heads from the opposition.

Comey's problem was that despite protestations he was a politician, but he wasn't an honest politician. Or as someone else once put it, "when you sell your soul, don't try to hedge your bet."
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#9 LFC

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:04 AM

No surprise but it turns out that the man you can bait with a tweet is also a man you can sway with just one fake "news" article, one that he doesn't even bother reading all the way through. And different people in the administration have apparently figured out how to manipulate him by dropping fake news on his desk.

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White House chief of staff Reince Priebus issued a stern warning at a recent senior staff meeting: Quit trying to secretly slip stuff to President Trump.

Just days earlier, K.T. McFarland, the deputy national security adviser, had given Trump a printout of two Time magazine covers. One, supposedly from the 1970s, warned of a coming ice age; the other, from 2008, about surviving global warming, according to four White House officials familiar with the matter.

Trump quickly got lathered up about the media’s hypocrisy. But there was a problem. The 1970s cover was fake, part of an Internet hoax that’s circulated for years. Staff chased down the truth and intervened before Trump tweeted or talked publicly about it.

The episode illustrates the impossible mission of managing a White House led by an impetuous president who has resisted structure and strictures his entire adult life.

While the information stream to past commanders-in-chief has been tightly monitored, Trump prefers an open Oval Office with a free flow of ideas and inputs from both official and unofficial channels. And he often does not differentiate between the two. Aides sometimes slip him stories to press their advantage on policy; other times they do so to gain an edge in the seemingly endless Game of Thrones inside the West Wing.

The consequences can be tremendous, according to a half-dozen White House officials and others with direct interactions with the president. A news story tucked into Trump’s hands at the right moment can torpedo an appointment or redirect the president’s entire agenda. Current and former Trump officials say Trump can react volcanically to negative press clips, especially those with damaging leaks, becoming engrossed in finding out where they originated.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#10 golden_valley

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:26 AM

This sort of thing is what we all feared. Trump doesn't know much about much. The people around him have agendas that they will use him to advance. The man should not be in the Oval Office. Those people like McFarland should not be anywhere near the Oval Office. And the Congressional Republicans sit on their hands...

#11 LFC

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:39 AM

View Postgolden_valley, on 15 May 2017 - 11:26 AM, said:

This sort of thing is what we all feared. Trump doesn't know much about much. The people around him have agendas that they will use him to advance. The man should not be in the Oval Office. Those people like McFarland should not be anywhere near the Oval Office. And the Congressional Republicans sit on their hands...

Donald Trump; hand that can hold a pen.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#12 LFC

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 02:08 PM

Another piece said that Corey Lewandowski not only knew that Trump could be easily manipulated, he gave that advice to clients he was paid to lobby for!

Quote

Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who abruptly ended his career as a lobbyist earlier this month, reportedly told his clients that he could use his appearances on Sean Hannity’s TV show to directly influence President Donald Trump’s decision making.

According to a big profile of Lewandowski in GQ, the one-time Trump campaign chief told medical AI startup Flow Health that he could help them get Veterans Administration Secretary David Shulkin fired by badmouthing him on Hannity’s Fox News program.

“Lewandowski proposed using an upcoming appearance on Hannity’s Fox News program to brand Shulkin a ‘bad hombre’ who needed to be fired,” GQ writes. “After seeing him trash his VA secretary on his favorite cable-news channel, Lewandowski said, Trump would almost certainly call him to find out what was up.”

Flow Health wanted Shulkin out after the VA cancelled a contract it had with the company over concerns about protecting veterans’ data.

“We took this action after it was determined that the agreement, which involves genomic data from the Million Veteran Program (MVP), may violate regulations, VA policy, and VA’s longstanding commitment to our Veterans to protect their data,” Shulkin told Venture Beat at the time of the contract’s termination.

However, it turns out that Lewandowski never trashed Shulkin during his Hannity appearance, which apparently damaged his firm’s relationship with Flow Health.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#13 LFC

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 11:51 AM

It's not just Hannity that's parroting the right-wingnut conspiracy that the DNC hacking was an inside job. Here's a Rep from the great state of Texass desperately trying to use an internet rumor that is 100% basis free to defend Trump from the Russia investigation that consists of several separate dumpster fires.

Quote

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) told CNN’s John Berman that the Russian hacking of the election was actually an “inside job.”

“My fear is our constant focusing on the Russians is deflecting away for some other things that we need to be investigating in,” Farenthold said. “There’s still some question as to whether the intrusion of the DNC server was an inside job or whether or it was the Russians.”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Berman repeated, seemingly shocked. “The ‘inside job?’ What are you referring to here because I hope it’s not this information that Fox News just refused to be reporting.”

Farenthold then went on to create a conspiracy theory claiming that the DNC contracted their own cybersecurity firm to dive through their data breach and it could have been faked.

“Congressman, do you think it’s responsible to bring up things, in your words, that ‘are swirling on the internet’ and give it justification as if there’s a there-there when we know nothing on that yet?” Berman asked.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#14 golden_valley

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 12:02 PM

Is there such thing as reverse sour grapes? I think the Republicans are wallowing in it. They won, but the evil people and enemies of the people are refusing to allow them to celebrate and dominate the news cycle so they are bitter, bitter...

#15 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 12:50 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 24 May 2017 - 12:02 PM, said:

Is there such thing as reverse sour grapes? I think the Republicans are wallowing in it. They won, but the evil people and enemies of the people are refusing to allow them to celebrate and dominate the news cycle so they are bitter, bitter...

Ehh, it was largely the same when they had control under Bush the lessor. The least resistance was enraging to them. I think anger is all they have - maybe it fills the hollow where they should have a soul.
Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
Resist!

#16 LFC

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 12:59 PM

I think it goes back to a quote that I can't quite remember (and I think by some TRSer) that basically said that conservatism had devolved to a point where it was nothing more than constant outrage which defined itself by its enemies. Trump was the natural outcome.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#17 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 01:27 PM

Sadly, rage turns them out on Election Day while Democrats get complacent.

At the moment, Dump seems to be tickling the Democrat's rage, so...

Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
Resist!

#18 LFC

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 05:09 PM

Scott Pruitt continues his war on science. Trump sure picked the right guy. He's the shilliest shill that has ever existed in all of shilldom. And Trump continues to sell out Americans to a handful of big business owners.

Quote

he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Tuesday it will bar certain scientists from serving on its independent advisory boards, a move critics say could open the way to more industry-friendly advisors on the panels.

The EPA barred scientists who have won agency-awarded grants in the past, billing the step as a way to preserve the independence and diversity of the boards, which provide the scientific input for agency decisions around pollution and climate change regulation.

“Whatever science comes out of EPA, (it) shouldn’t be political science,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, said in a release, adding that committee members will be “financially independent” from the agency.

Senator Tom Carper, the top Democrat on the Senate environment committee, said Pruitt’s decision was part of an EPA effort to “delegitimize the work of nonpartisan scientists.” Carper added, “this crusade endangers the health of every American, and it cannot be tolerated.”

Pruitt signaled the move during a speech last week at the conservative Heritage Foundation, when he questioned the independence of scientists who have won past EPA research grants, and promised to “fix” the situation.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#19 golden_valley

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 05:42 PM

View PostLFC, on 31 October 2017 - 05:09 PM, said:

Scott Pruitt continues his war on science. Trump sure picked the right guy. He's the shilliest shill that has ever existed in all of shilldom. And Trump continues to sell out Americans to a handful of big business owners.

I see. The only good scientist is the one bought and paid for by Pruitt's former clients.

#20 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 08:24 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 31 October 2017 - 05:42 PM, said:

I see. The only good scientist is the one bought and paid for by Pruitt's former clients.

The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO





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