February 25th, 2017
Yes, it’s true, a Complaint has been filed with the D.C. Office on Disciplinary Council, Board on Professional Responsibility against tRump’s Kellyanne Conway:
Misconduct Complaint_Kellyanne Conway
It’s about time…
February 25th, 2017
The Minnesota legislature is trying to repeal the legislative mandate to the MPCA for rulemaking on silica sand particulate emissions! Why is this a priority? How is it in the public interest? This effort to quash rulemaking is rather odd because the silica sand boom has gone bust, Bakken BOOM! has gone bust, the market has decided and there are few (no?) plans for new silica sand mines in Minnesota. Now is the best time to enact protective legislation, while there’s no pressure for new mining permits.
The legislature passed the following rulemaking mandate in CHAPTER 14–S.F.No. 1086 way back in 2013 (keep in mind this is 2017, FOUR YEARS LATER and it is STILL not done!) with the exemption from Minnesota Statutes section 14.125 “no time constraint” added by moi:
Sec. 105. RULES; SILICA SAND.
(a) The commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency shall adopt rules pertaining
to the control of particulate emissions from silica sand projects. The rulemaking is exempt from Minnesota Statutes, section 14.125 [no time deadline].
(b) The commissioner of natural resources shall adopt rules pertaining to the
reclamation of silica sand mines. The rulemaking is exempt from Minnesota Statutes, section 14.125 [no time constraint].
(c) By January 1, 2014, the Department of Health shall adopt an air quality
health-based value for silica sand.
(d) The Environmental Quality Board shall amend its rules for environmental
review, adopted under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 116D, for silica sand mining and processing to take into account the increased activity in the state and concerns over the size of specific operations. The Environmental Quality Board shall consider whether the requirements of Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.991, should remain part of the environmental review requirements for silica sand and whether the requirements should be different for different geographic areas of the state. The rulemaking is exempt from Minnesota Statutes, section 14.125 [no time constraint].
EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.
WHAT? Who’s behind this? Mining industry? Given Sen. Tomassoni is one sponsor, perhaps, and given former Sen. Saxhaug’s nastiness about the enabling legislation, even more likely. MPCA? Given their foot dragging and resistance to citizen involvement, perhaps. Back when this rulemaking was just getting going, the MPCA was against having a Citizens Advisory group is authorized by Minn. Stat. 14.10:
Each agency may also appoint committees to comment, before publication of a notice of intent to adopt or a notice of hearing, on the subject matter of a possible rulemaking under active consideration within the agency.
And the MPCA’s objection:
MPCA staff’s report to the EQB stated inexplicably and incredibly that they were “confused,” claiming ignorance of how rulemaking works and the impact of comments at this stage – from their memo to the EQB:
Members of the public expressed interest in a citizen committee to participate in the rulemaking. It is not clear how a citizen committee would affect the rulemaking process laid out in Minn. Statutes Ch. 14. A multi-step public review and comment process is already required in that statute and we just completed the preliminary step. Rulemaking is essentially creating law: Minnesota Rules have the force and effect of law. Rulemaking is a lengthy process, averaging about two years.
So now we have this bill, headed to the House and Senate Environment Committees, contact info below.
Contact the House authors and ask that they withdraw HF 1666 (be sure to put bill number in subject line):
February 24th, 2017
Department of Homeland Security Report says the “7 countries” pose little threat.
I’ve been reading “By Order of the President” about Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, beginning internment of American Japanese, and the factors leading up to EO0966. With the stroke of a pen, and with no due process, Roosevelt enacted the will of racist fear-mongering, where official reports of those charged with evaluating the potential threat stated that there was no threat to the US from Japanese Americans.
With tRump’s signing of EO13769, a first step of the Muslim Ban, promised specifically as such in his campaign, and still specifically stated in writing on tRump’s campaign site (he leaves this up, what?!?), and the multiple restraining orders stopping enforcement of EO13769, I followed closely the Washington state and Minnesota challenges, and started digging into Constitutionality of such EOs. And when planning our vacation, I learned of Manzanar National Historic Site, and put it on the agenda. … sigh… it was awful… and it was good. The U.S. likes to pride itself on “openness” and “melting pot” but we are not. This is real. Japanese immigrants were prohibited by the Immigration Act of 1924 from becoming citizens! Japanese immigrants were prohibited from owning land in the U.S. 100,000+ Japanese Americans were rounded up like cattle, with little notice, were forced to sell at fire-sale prices or walk away from everything they owned but what they could carry, and were imprisoned for years. This history is something that should be specifically part of secondary education, something everyone should become familiar with.
And in reading “By Order of the President” by Greg Robinson, the similarities of how that was set up, framed, the events and campaigns prior to Roosevelt’s signing of EO9066 and Japanese internment; and how the Muslim Ban has been set up, framed, prior to EO13769, a step toward the Muslim Ban. Roosevelt’s administration charged agencies and individual staff with evaluating the potential risk and threat posed by Japanese Americans before and after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, and consistently, the reports were that the Japanese Americans in Hawaii and the West Coast posed very little risk, they were deemed loyal to the U.S., and eager to demonstrate that loyalty, whether immigrants or first generation Americans. Roosevelt disregarded or downplayed the intelligence in those reports, and claimed a national security crisis and proceeded with internment. Now, tRump has a similar plan, one to ban Muslims, claiming a national security need. The federal courts issued restraining orders regarding both individual plaintiffs, and in Washington’s and Minnesota’s challenge of the Constitutionality of EO13769. and the federal Court of Appeals upheld the WA/MN restraining order, specifically noting that the government had not produced any evidence that this was a national security issue. The report released today is additional evidence that this is not a “national security” issue.
The Associated Press released a report from Dept. of Homeland Security that shows that the “7 countries” that are subject of EO13769 have little terrorist risk. Here’s the primary document:
And here’s the AP article with background (it’s also in STrib):
DHS intel report disputes threat posed by travel ban nations
By VIVIAN SALAMA and ALICIA A. CALDWELL
51 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Analysts at the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence arm found insufficient evidence that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries included in President Donald Trump’s travel ban pose a terror threat to the United States.
A draft document obtained by The Associated Press concludes that citizenship is an “unlikely indicator” of terrorism threats to the United States and that few people from the countries Trump listed in his travel ban have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the U.S. since Syria’s civil war started in 2011.
Trump cited terrorism concerns as the primary reason he signed the sweeping temporary travel ban in late January, which also halted the U.S. refugee program. A federal judge in Washington state blocked the government from carrying out the order earlier this month. Trump said Friday a new edict would be announced soon. The administration has been working on a new version that could withstand legal challenges.
Homeland Security spokeswoman Gillian Christensen on Friday did not dispute the report’s authenticity, but said it was not a final comprehensive review of the government’s intelligence.
“While DHS was asked to draft a comprehensive report on this issue, the document you’re referencing was commentary from a single intelligence source versus an official, robust document with thorough interagency sourcing,” Christensen said. “The … report does not include data from other intelligence community sources. It is incomplete.”
The Homeland Security report is based on unclassified information from Justice Department press releases on terrorism-related convictions and attackers killed in the act, State Department visa statistics, the 2016 Worldwide Threat Assessment from the U.S. intelligence community and the State Department Country Reports on Terrorism 2015.
The three-page report challenges Trump’s core claims. It said that of 82 people the government determined were inspired by a foreign terrorist group to carry out or try to carry out an attack in the United States, just over half were U.S. citizens born in the United States. The others were from 26 countries, led by Pakistan, Somalia, Bangladesh, Cuba, Ethiopia, Iraq and Uzbekistan. Of these, only Somalia and Iraq were among the seven nations included in the ban.
Of the other five nations, one person each from Iran, Sudan and Yemen was also involved in those terrorism cases, but none from Syria. It did not say if any were Libyan.
The report also found that terrorist organizations in Iran, Libya, Somalia and Sudan are regionally focused, while groups in Iraq, Syria and Yemen do pose a threat to the U.S.
The seven countries were included in a law President Barack Obama signed in 2015 that updated visa requirements for foreigners who had traveled to those countries.
Christensen said the countries were also selected in part because they lacked the ability to properly vet their citizens and don’t cooperate with U.S. efforts to screen people hoping to come to the U.S.
The report was prepared as part of an internal review Trump requested after his executive order was blocked by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It was drafted by staff of the Homeland Security Department’s Intelligence and Analysis branch at the direction of its acting leader, David Glawe.
White House spokesman Michael Short said this was not the full report that Trump had requested. He said he believes “the intel community is combining resources to put together a comprehensive report using all available sources, not just open sources, and which is driven by data, not politics.”
The intelligence document was circulated beyond Homeland Security.
The draft document reflects the tensions between the president’s political appointees and the civil servants tasked with carrying out Trump’s ambitious and aggressive agenda. Trump has repeatedly complained about leaks meant to undercut his policies and suggested he does not trust holdovers from the Obama administration.
Trump originally said the ban was necessary to overhaul the vetting system for both refugees and would-be foreign visitors, saying that terrorists may try to exploit weaknesses to gain access to the United States. The order sparked chaos, outrage and widespread protests, with travelers detained at airports and panicked families searching for relatives.
But several courts quickly intervened and the 9th Circuit ultimately upheld a ruling blocking the ban and challenged the administration’s claim that it was motivated by terrorism fears.
Trump’s ban temporarily barred citizens from the seven countries from coming to the United States for three months. The order also temporarily shut down the U.S. refugee program for four months and indefinitely banned anyone from Syria.
A senior administration official told the AP on Sunday that a draft of the revised order will target those same seven countries. The official would not be named discussing the document before it is made public.
In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee Friday, Trump reiterated his claims on terrorism.
“We are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” Trump said.
He said he singled out the seven countries because they had already been deemed a security concern by the Obama administration.
February 24th, 2017
A couple of past lives ago, I was part of KFAI, Community Radio in South Minneapolis, as programmer, live tech, and on the Board of Directors. I got into it with zero experience, and no idea what to expect, and between that “on the job” training and seat-of-pants learning, and some journalism and production courses, and the ongoing four or five years of more than “full time” work in radio, I got a good feel for the role of the press, and the importance of broad coverage of events. More importantly, I learned how much important info was not reported on, was not covered, utterly ignored by “mainstream media,” and I saw what an important role Community and Public radio played, TV too, particularly public and public access TV, is coverage of this neglected news (though I’m biased against TV, don’t own one, haven’t for decades, due to onslaught of commercialism and cost of cable, obscene!). That’s one of the reasons Reagan cut federal public media funding, that was during my time at KFAI. This public radio and TV coverae is why tRump is planning to slash budgets and eliminate Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, devasting impacts for a teensy .016% of the federal budget:
tRump’s attack on corporate mainstream media and public media is shamefully transparent because his targets are the ones exposing truth, fact checking him and reporting on his constant lies, challenging his delusional rants. He’s branding mainstream media, trying them in the court of public opinion using the “if you say it often enough, people will believe it” theory, because he can’t prevail legally because he’d have to prove that what they’re reporting is wrong, and he’d have to prove it was reported with “actual malice.” He can’t prove it’s false because it’s true — they’re reporting his lies, exposing his incompetence, his tantrums, which all the world can see him displaying with wild abandon and arrogance in videos across the internet. What’s so odd about tRump’s “enemy of the people” framing is that these are mainstream media, by tRump’s own admission,. These are not leftist propaganda organs in any sense. Fake news? CNN? New York Times? ABC? CBS? NBC? LA Times? WTF?
Look at tRump’s “survey” about “mainstream media” to see his agenda:
This morning I listened to much of tRump’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) speech, it was packed full of lies, twisted logic (lack of logic) and projection of his actions and agenda outward on others — that’s in addition to his usual narcissistic rants. Observers were quick to point that out, with specifics.
Here’s the CPAC speech, listen in bits and pieces, because it’s too much to stand all at once:
And here are a couple fact checks of tRump’s CPAC speech:
This particular one was hilarious, because he claimed the lines to get in went back six blocks, but no, they didn’t, and the venue’s city isn’t even six blocks long!
Not much later, Spicer chose to specifically prohibit attendance at his “gaggle” today:
Despite this prior pledge not to ban news outlets from White House — but of course, the White House mouthpieces are documented liars, particularly, or should I say spectacularly, Spicer:
tRump, get a grip, and have someone read the Constitution to you and explain it.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Stop shutting out the press, stop trying to shut down the press.
February 20th, 2017
tRump seems to be trying to build the case for his treatment of the press. Or to see how his spin is taking. Does he really think we, or the press, are this stupid?
Take the time to fill out this questionnaire, using the essay option, to demonstrate that we’re not a bunch of sycophant toadies. Here’s the link:
Here are the questions, note the negative and double negative framing that is pretty tough to parse out. Here’s a pdf to preview, with jpgs belo: