March 30th, 2017
Each day it’s something. In the beginning, it was a flurry of Executive Orders and Memoranda that were poorly thought out, worsely executed, even posted on White House website with different wording than what was actually signed — I know because I was tracking them closely as they were coming out and posting them and resulting court losses via Temporary Restraining Orders and decisions here and here and here, for example.
A friend was looking at how to frame this problem, and branded it “TrumpCo.” TrumpCo is what’s developed from Trump’s claim that government should be run like a business, and his efforts to initiate that plan. Just the facts about how tRump runs businesses (into the ground, fact check on that, yes, multiple bankruptcies) should give us pause, but deeper thought about the purpose and functions of government should stop this in its tracks. Dream on… these guys are relentless. Meanwhile, Republican #notmyPresident Donald Trump is putting his son-in-law Jared Kushner in charge of ??(hard to tell, Senior White House Advisor, etc?), his daughter Ivanka installed in an office and requesting security clearance, and sons on US taxpayer business trips, WTF?
Son-in-law Jared Kushner has a large role in TrumpCo:
The Office of American Innovation is expected to tackle domestic issues such as Veterans’ Affairs, workforce development and opioid addiction, the Associated Press reports.
“The government should be run like a great American company,” Kushner told the Washington Post of the initiative, one of the few interviews he has granted since becoming a senior adviser. “Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.”
March 30th, 2017
tRump signed a Memorandum pushing Keystone XL (and Dakota Access) pipeline inviting them to reapply, which they did two days later:
And today, a Complaint has been filed by Northern Plains Resource Council, Bold alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club to stop KXL from going forward:
The focus is on the extensive record of the earlier proceeding, the prior rejection of the Presidential Permit, NEPA violations, and the arbitrary and capricious nature of the Memorandum and moving forward with this project. The specific claims are:
- Violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321 et seq., and Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706, by Defendants State Department and Under Secretary Shannon
- Violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321 et seq., and Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706, by Defendants Interior Department, Bureau of Land Management, and Secretary Zinke
- Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706, by Defendants State Department and Under Secretary Shannon
The third claim is what I’d been noting after tRump issued the Memorandum. With the lengthy and voluminous record, and the denial, to with the stroke of a pen say “go ahead,” that’s arbitrary and capricious on its face. From the Complaint:
The State Department has failed to adequately explain and justify (a) its reversal of positions on whether Keystone XL is in the national interest, and (b) its reliance on a stale and inadequate environmental review. Its approval decision is arbitrary and capricious.
… and oh, what a good example that Memorandum is, itching for challenge. Well, here it is.
March 28th, 2017
Hot off the press from the Federal Appellate Court — Missouri Western District
From the Order:
ATXI is an Illinois corporation authorized to do business in Missouri and engaged in the construction, ownership, and operation of interstate transmission lines that transmit electricity for the public use. It does not generate, distribute, or sell electricity to the general public or serve any retail service territory.
And the law is clear:
“If any of the items required under this rule are unavailable at the time the application is filed, they shall be furnished prior to the granting of the authority sought.” 4 CSR 240-3.105(2) (emphasis added).
And interpretation of the law:
The general language of section 393.170.3 authorizes the PSC to impose “reasonable and necessary” conditions on a CCN. However, the specific language of section 393.170.2 states that evidence of the county commission consents “shall” be on file before the PSC grants a CCN. “Where one provision of a statute contains general language and another provision in the same statute contains more specific language, the general language should give way to the specific.” Id.
And bottom line?
The PSC’s Report and Order is vacated as it was entered in excess of the PSC’s statutory authority.
Love it when this happens!
March 26th, 2017
And now for something completely different… Way back a year and a half ago we got our “new” 1997 Palomino Yearling, and it took a awhile to get set up, figure out what we needed, but we’re there. Little Sadie loves it too:
We’ve put a lot of miles on it, got to many of the State Parks here in Minnesota. Frontenac 1st, and Scenic which was fully booked, and which had no internet or phone at all:
Wild River,where we had a pesto festo with friends and campground neighbors, but alas, sketchy internet:
Charles Lindbergh, which rents canoes, has internet access, and right by town, highly recommend:
Itasca (which has WiFi at the bathrooms in both campgrounds!) Prefer Bear Paw Campground and the lake view sites :
Tettegouche, and this year Cascade River for the Grand Marais Wooden Boat Show. Not long after we got it, we took it up to Big Bog for the Great Northern Transmission Road Show, cool place because it has docks for the campsites, a fishing camp for sure with all the big BIG trailers and pick up trucks, HUGE RVs (and the flies and mosquitos as big, they remain trapped in the screens to this day, never seen so many ever, do NOT recommend going up there) and NO internet access whatsoever, what a pain, nope, take it off your list:
Nerstrand with good internet through the phone, close to home and Tokyo Grill, a great sushi restaurant in Northfield:
Even Wisconsin. Wisconsin State Parks seem to be set up a little better than Minnesota (gasp!), with sites further apart, and much larger, there’d be room for two campers and two cars in most of the Wisconsin sites I’ve seen. Mirror Lake State Park is very popular, and the best site — it’s booked solid already, had to grab a few early days:
Perrot State Park soon, I hope. We also went down to Arkansas and back, out to the Black Hills with buffalo in a pasture right next to the campground bathrooms, and Hell Creek State Park in Montana (got to tour the dam while we were out there, how cool is that?!?) that has 26 miles of the dirt road from hell to get there.
Here’s Hell Creek State Park in Montana then and now. First is Hell Creek State Park, MT, in 1966 and the next is last spring at the same spot, it only took 50 years to get back:
It was a lot more hospitable now, but May v. August in 1966, no surprise. No park ranger with a bag of rattlesnakes this time either! And after going through the Bakken BUST, we even got to Ft. Stevenson, North Dakota (no relation to anyone at Xcel Energy):
It’s been a long winter. As a kid, I remember my father spent the winter with maps, and planning our month of August on the road. So in that tradition, I’ve spend the winter looking at camp sites, picking out our next trips, campsites, and we’re ready to hit the road… but wait, not so fast. Over the winter, I also got carried away looking at rehabs on The Pop Up Princess, and the thought of spending another summer with those 1990s maroon and green cushions is more than I can bear.
Alan’s been busy working on the camper, well, me too. And as you can see, it’s good to go. We’ve already added what we need to camp in comfort, roughing it has no appeal to me anymore, yes, we’re old farts. We’ve now got a deep cycle battery, new propane tank, Alan scraped and primed the frame, put in bearing buddies of course, new tires too (had a flat in Arkansas, at least we were prepared).
Alan has wired in outlets and USBs in the small dinette (office!), some other lights repaired inside and out, LED all around, and a 6″ PVC pipe on the back for all the poles so they don’t mar the floor bouncing around.
Also my fridge from the truck to replace the icebox, a toaster, a conveciton/toaster oven and a fold up Coleman oven too, microwave, CampChef storage and toolbags for cooking equipment and spices/condiments…
… and a couple of tables for kitchen duty, YUGE outdoor mat, chairs, and doofy awning lites, and I even sewed a cover for it (to match the air conditioner covers!!):
And I gots me a chuckbox, what more could one want in life!
Best of all, I’ve now got my Subaruski to pull it!
We’re all set… and we’ve really been getting around! Yes, it’s just fine the way it is, but… but… that inside is SO 90s. And that’s where The Pop Up Princess comes in. Check these rehabs, like wow! And it’s not all that hard. It can be a real mess if you really want to rip everything up, but a makeover can be done fairly easily.
That fabric, URP! It is so gross, dark, and scratchy, it’s got to go.
With something different, something cheery and bright, it’s a whole new camper. And SR Harris had a big sale on fabric, $3.99/yard, so… TA DA!!!! Cheeriness personified!
It’s mostly a light blue with tan, brown, and seafoam and green and some off white.
Have the cushion fabric riding around in the back of the Subaru, and will pick up some of the cushions to get a start on it this week. The floor, well, we have laminate that came up off the mud room floor, but it is so butt ugly, yes, it would match, but it would also be heavy, a lot more work, so I found a rich brown poly rug to cut and trim with off white twill tape, it’s thin enough to sew, a lot easier than those ($*%)#(*)#*% Subaru seat covers I made out of throw rugs! Cut this to fit, glue the back edges so it doesn’t fray, and sew on twill tape binding all around, and toss it on the floor, take it out to hose it off now and then, how hard can it be?!?!
The off white twill tape arrived last week, and the rug is resting up on the couch. The cabinets will be glaze off white, got the deglosser and found great pulls at Restore $0.25 each, and Rustoleum spray metallic paint so the hinges will match the pulls. Don’t need to redo the curtains because they’re the same seafoam green and dark green of the new fabric, and they will look just fine after those 90s cushions are covered. The countertops and tables are OK as is, because they’re off white too.
This will be a good project to do so I’m not thinking about tRump at least now and then!
March 25th, 2017
How many investigations on Trump, his campaign, and his administration are now in the works? Well, here’s another!
The Inspector General of Department of Health and Human Services has opened an investigation into Trump’s “decision to stop paid advertisements and temporarily suspend other outreach efforts directed at Marketplace enrollment in the final days of the 2016-2017 open enrollment season.” What that means is that tRump stopped advertising and outreach for registration for Obamacare.
Here’s his letter acknowledging the investigation:
When the Inspector General gets going, that’s something to take seriously. There was no authorization to stop advertising, already paid by Obama administration, nor was there authorization to stop free social media/email notice to folks of the deadline. The tail end of the open enrollment period is always when there are the most sign-ups, and reaching people in that time frame is crucial. Failing to advertise, stopping outreach, works against filling the pool to spread the risk. Some call that sabotage. Yeah, that sounds apt.
One more thing to nail tRump and his administration on, it just keeps piling up.