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  • By Sarah Gibbens

    Ensuring clean air, land, and water—this is how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses nearly 90 percent of its budget. However, in a controversial move that has many advocates c […]

    • Laurie, others

      Steve Horn says federal agencies are now being staffed by advocates of clean coal, expanded fossil fuel drilling, and hunting of endangered animals.

      This article might clarify the situation a bit. Trump’s administration is simply up to it ears in corruption. Big business and environmentalism don’t go together (in the Trump’s White House); in fact they are mortal enemies.

      http://portside.org/2017-03-11/former-koch-agents-staffing-trumps-federal-agencies

      “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.” —Hitler

      And one enabler of this deadly far-right “populism” is the corporate-owned media. I like Maddow too (although I’m not as close to her as you are, Laurie); she’s one of the best news people on TV right now; and she informs me. But have you noticed that they NEVER discuss the environment on MSNBC except in passing? And have you noticed that many of the commercials on that channel are for oil and gas?

      By the way, Mika Brzezinski, on Morning Joe just now, was discussing these monstrous budget cuts with a few people. She remarked with passion that she’s known Mr. Trump for fifteen years and that he can be very kind. Thanks, Mika, for that controversial and incisive comment.

    • Chilling article, Dan.

      Here’s CNN contrasted with MSNBC.

      https://mediamatters.org/research/2016/04/25/study-cnn-viewers-see-far-more-fossil-fuel-advertising-climate-change-reporting/209985

      If MSNBC is a crappy gold standard (as used here), then this is indeed grim.

    • Phil

      It is grim.

      They’re both operating with one hand tied behind their back – or should I say both hands, as far as this issue, of being constrained by the fear of alienating the advertisers, is concerned. (It is indeed odd to watch a good segment by Maddow or Chris Hayes followed by a slick commercial telling us that “gas is right under our feet” as the kiddies sleep, blissfully.) I am not aware of any difference between the two networks in this regard. Sanders has addressed this serious problem in his interview with Sarah Silverman, and maybe elsewhere. Chomsky has written voluminously about this constraint on the part of these news outlets, has written about this for years. An alternative should be developed. That is no easy task. Even PBS is constrained.

    • Dan, I have proposed a way to remedy (I mean, slightly improve) this a few times here, i.e. encouraging Universities to become more active as content generators for worthy but under-resourced public publishers etc.

      An extended version of this valuation of published output is needed and should be updated regularly.

      By Sarah GibbensEnsuring clean air, land, and water—this is how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses nearly 90 percent of its budget. However, in a controversial move that has many advocates c […] [Read more]– Tris Mamone (@tmamone_cfi) Mar 16, 2017

    • @OP- Ensuring clean air, land, and water—this is how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses nearly 90 percent of its budget. However, in a controversial move that has many advocates concerned, this same budget has been slated for deep proposed cuts.

      Trump seems to expect Congress to be a rubber stamp for his edicts!

      Let’s see if some senators (including Republicans) have got what it takes, to say they expect professional standards in drafting legislation, and expect the public interest to feature in policies and budgets?

      There are already signs in the instance of his wild wire-tapping allegations, that Congress is not going to allow an assumed backing of his blundering diktats by them, to be taken for granted by Trump!

      When challenged, Trump has considerable unrepressed belligerent skills in:- how to foolishly and aggressively contradict experts, how to gratuitously insult people, and how to unnecessarily make enemies! 🙂

    • Phil (4), others

      That sounds like an excellent idea, if it can be implemented.

      I am thinking about something Arkrid Sandwich wrote not long ago. (I am using the word “monsters”, rather than “Republicans”.)

      “So what motivates these [monsters]? The only answer I can come up with is a deliberate attempt to create a plutocracy where only the wealthy enjoy any quality of life.—That alone should be enough to tell the poor and middle class that voting for Republicans can never be in their best interests. Republicans simply have no concern for anyone except the most wealthy. And yet the proletariat still vote that way.”

      Did you see Dr. Strangelove? I have this image in my head of the ending, except Steve Bannon is riding the Doomsday Bomb like a cowboy, and tossing his hat around as the bomb falls. A last, mad gasp of the human spirit before the end. Maybe these guys are profound pessimists at heart, and understand that we’re already screwed; and so they want to take (loot) as much as they can, for themselves and those they’re beholden to, and create a short-lived gilded age, a veritable Kingdom of Heaven, while they still can – and before everything ends. Or maybe there’s a kind of death wish: “let’s just get this over with.”—The reticent Tillerson has recently used alarming language vis-à-vis the North Koreans. Nothing is off the table, he said. And why the arms build-up?

      Just a thought….

      But clearly, we are a nation under siege, and are, right now, in the hands of fiends.

      Here’s a snippet from a news article / interview I just read. I trust this site.

      March 17, 2017

      Trump’s Budget Shreds the Social Safety Net

      President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget so far reflects Steve Bannon’s agenda to ‘deconstruct the administrative state’

      http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=18683

      *. . . As much as the president and this new administration are calling this the “skinny” budget, I would actually call this the “starvation” budget. This budget goes in and it’s starves the agencies, especially the agencies that are tasks with protecting the public, whether it’s with clean air and clean air or we’re talking about protecting workers, in the workplace, this budget really goes to the heart of these agencies to really starve them and the resources that they need to do their job. This cuts against protections and agencies that would protect these Americans, whether they’re financial agencies or these are the Department of Labor, which would really help different working Americans. Whether it’s through getting the right and proper overtime or increasing their wages or paid sick leave, these are things that actually help working Americans. But, if you’re part of that wealthy class or you’re from big business, these are agencies that you see as kind of a pain in your back. These are the agencies that are going to make sure that you’re doing the right things. And if it’s the EPA, they’re making sure that you’re not dumping toxic chemicals into the water. . .*

    • P.S. That quote hadn’t been proofread yet, according to the site. Sorry. I hope you get the gist of it.

    • The proposed reduced funding for the EPA and other federal agencies
      was instated to accommodate a nearly $54 billion increase in funding
      for the military.

      This quote is from a source article. Any time when Trump or any ‘general’ in this world starts to take care of “security” of population it is time for alert. Obviously, they have prepared circumstances in advance so security is an issue par excellence. Probably the eldest and innermost feeling of homo sapiens is to seek safety. So rhetoric of “security” is the perfect weapon to change someone attitudes almost about anything. While real enemy of american people is Trump with corporations. 🙁 There is no politician, in my opinion, who is a representative of people. They are there (in government) to represent themselves, and I would rather like to see that people all over the globe start getting this in their heads. To think that the politicians are going to unconditionally give anything to people is wrong. It is like asking enemy for mercy. It is not going to happen. But I think, in relations parent-child like, (the one that govern all socio-political systems) children are used to believe that parent loves them and that it takes care of them, so this mental obediance continues even if ‘people’ are adults. Well, they are adults perhaps only physical. Not psychicly though. So when Trump and others create circumstances of insecurity it is normal for children to seek security. The more Führer are stricter, children increasingly depend on them.

      Politicians are clearly dreanged people with their ‘devide and conquer’ agenda on their mind, and in my opinion people have to start watching them as such. They are mentally disturbed monsters with hunger for power as their main characteristics. I wonder when masses of people are going to realise that they do not have power, but that they have donated their power and freedom to this monsters. It is costing us more and more. In this particular case healthy ecosystem which is one of basic human needs and right. We all know that human rights shouldn’t be questionable but as long as we have this monsters around us they are going to be questionable and manipulative ones, and we are paying for loss of our freedom to highly.

      Why people are permiting this? Perhaps because in times of insecurity they desperately need parent to tell them what to do. Politicians know they have children before them, but I am not sure that populations are aware that they are in effect, obedient children. To think that politicians can be corrected with education or pointing them to a truth, or something like that is useless, I think. They have real mental deviations, they are mentally ill people (perhaps some of them are not so much so; but we can find them on lower branches of hierarchy)… and we all should be affraid of such people. We should start looking at them as enemies instead of someone who has our best interest in their hands. We should have our best interest in our hands. Adults generally do. 😉

    • Some first rate insights, Modesti.

      (I wouldn’t put all “politicians” in one basket, however. Jefferson and Lincoln were politicians. Wilson, a prejudiced man – but progressive, and FDR were politicians. Sanders and Warren are politicians. I think you mean most politicians, or corrupt and authoritarian politicians.)

      Apropos of what you’ve written, one of my favorite authors is Norman Mailer, who said:

      “Democracy is a grace. It’s something essentially splendid because it’s not at all routine or automatic. Fascism goes back to our infancy and childhood, where we were always told how to live. [Italics mine.] We were told, Yes, you may do this; no, you may not do that. So the secret of fascism is that it has this appeal to people whose later lives are not satisfactory.”

    • @Alan #10

      I read the list. This administration has reached an unprecedented level of degradation, foolishness, loutishness, and corruption.

      A warning unheard:

      “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense, a theft. The cost of one modern, heavy bomber is this: a modern, brick school in more than 30 cities.” –Eisenhower

      “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” –Eisenhower (1961)

    • @ Dan

      Well, I was talking about todays politicians in general. I do not know much about Sanders and Warren, but in general in todays world I haven’t seen that politicians are primary concerned about people and that they are fighting for them. I see only that they will concern about people if that gives them some personal benefit. Their basic feelings are in my opinion narcissistic. First them, later people. The higher position of politician, the narcissistic heshe gets to be. In my opinion politics attracts people who want to have power ower others. That is in my opinion already ill. There are many things one can do for common benefit and do not have to be politician. There is lots of articles on web about psychopatology and politicians, this is only small one: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/handy-psychology-answers/201101/the-psychology-politics

      Very nice quote. And about democracy… I do not see any demos-kratos anywhere hahaha. You know ;). Who has the power? Everyone? No. A subset of a group? Yes. Corporatives? Yes in many cases (capitalism is doing its best to inflict this views to all countries). Democracy? It is not the common people’s power to rule themselves. It’s the common people’s power to elect a group of people to rule them, to have power over them. Unfortunately. 🙁 It seems there is thin line among democracy and fascism. 🙁

    • Dan #11

      I’ve always loved those Eisenhower quotes/warnings. They were a great parting gift, showing Eisenhower to be one of the truest Patriot’s the US has bred. A lover of the People’s Peace from the time when Republicans could be egalitarians and surprisingly decent.

    • @Allan,

      Thank you Allan for this information. It is interesting how much Saudi Arabia and Oman are spending for military. So high percentage from GDP! Terrible, terrible.