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70-plus science journalists pen open letter condemning Barrett for enabling 'ecological crisis of our times'

October 25, 2020 in Blogs

By Common Dreams

More than 70 science journalists have signed an open letter warning that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s close ties to the fossil fuel industry and refusal to publicly acknowledge the established science behind human-caused climate change make her an enabler of “the ecological crisis of our times.”

First published in Rolling Stone on Sunday, the letter slams Barrett’s responses to basic climate questions during her confirmation hearings as “factually inaccurate, scientifically unsound, and dangerous.” As Common Dreams reported, the right-wing judge insisted she has “no firm views” on the climate crisis and, in later written responses, called the science of climate change “controversial.”

“It is frightening that a Supreme Court nominee—a position that is in essence one of the highest fact-checkers in the land—has bought into the same propaganda we have worked so hard to dispel,” reads the letter, which was signed by author and environmentalist Naomi Klein, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, and other prominent climate writers.

“How can Judge Coney Barrett rule on pending issues of climate change liability, regulation, finance, mitigation, equity, justice, and accountability if she fails to accept even the underlying premise of global warming? The answer is that she cannot,” continues the letter, which comes hours before the Republican-controlled Senate is set to clear a procedural hurdle and pave the way for a final vote on Barrett’s confirmation Monday.

Below is the full letter and list of signatories:

We are science and climate journalists. We are researchers and weavers of information, creating a fabric that explains the work of scientists who themselves are working to describe our natural world and universe. We are published in the nation’s leading outlets, both large and small, including Scientific American, Nature, National Geographic, MIT Technology Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New Yorker and many more. Over decades of reporting on the threats and now deadly and devastating harms of worsening climate change, we have succeeded in at least one respect. The vast majority …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Watch: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez teaches CNN how a representative democracy is supposed to work

October 25, 2020 in Blogs

By Walter Einenkel

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was on CNN Sunday morning with Jake Tapper on his State of the Union show. In part because Democratic reps going on Sunday shows, like Republican reps going on Sunday shows, is about this coming election, and in part because newscasters are not particularly deep or creative when it comes to talking about politics, Tapper decided to spend a lot of time trying to get Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to attack Joe Biden for their differences of political opinions. Newsflash: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, progressive hero, co-author of the ambitious Green New Deal environmental package, and Vice President Joe Biden aren’t exactly on the same page as to how to handle climate change.

More to the point, Tapper asked Ocasio-Cortez whether or not she was bothered by the fact that Joe Biden has not said he would outright ban fracking. The move to ban fracking in states across the country has been a seesaw battle of fossil fuel interests fighting against progressive environmentalism and science. Biden’s refusal to provide whole-throated support for a ban on fracking is disappointing to many of us on the left, but it isn’t surprising. Even more importantly, it is below the most essential first step the progressive movement—and the country for that matter—needs to take: getting rid of Donald Trump from the White House, and getting rid of the Republican majority in the Senate.

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Rep. Ocasio-Cortez isn’t going to be pulled into a pointless argument about fracking with Jake Tapper. Her position is well-reported. So is Joe Biden’s. AOC explains very clearly that this is how politics work in a representative democracy.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: It does not bother me. I believe, and I have a very strong position on fracking. You know, the science is very clear, the methane emissions from fracking are up to 64 times more powerful than CO2 emissions and trapping heat in the air, and from a perspective of stopping climate change there is a scientific consensus. However, that is my view. Vice President Biden has made very clear that he does not agree with the fracking ban and I consider that, you know—it will be a privilege to lobby him should we win the White House but we …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Pence refuses to cancel Senate visit as 5 around vice president test COVID-19 positive

October 25, 2020 in Blogs

By Hunter

Vice President Mike Pence is head of the White House’s coronavirus task force. He’s also the center of a new apparent superspreader cluster: The New York Times reports that five members of Pence’s inner circle have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few days. This includes Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short, outside Pence adviser Marty Obst, and three unidentified Pence staffers.

Despite five of his closest contacts testing positive for COVID-19, the Times reports that Pence has no plans to quarantine. In fact, he’s going to continue his schedule as planned, including in-person rallies. On Monday, he also plans to visit the Senate to preside over the confirmation vote of Trump’s newest far-right Supreme Court pick. CNN correspondent Manu Raju reports that Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell would not answer questions on whether Pence should cancel his Senate trip, but Sen. John Cornyn opined that he would “leave it up to his good judgment.”

While one might hope that the putative “head” of the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic response would show some small amount of competence in curtailing the virus’ spread among his own damn staff, Pence has consistently parroted whatever dismissive talking points Donald Trump and top White House advisers have used to downplay the virus. The White House continues to be contemptuous of mask usage, which in large part explains why the White House has now been hit with two separate COVID-19 clusters in recent weeks.

Throughout the rest of the United States, pandemic numbers are again skyrocketing as cold weather sets in, increasing the amount of time Americans spend indoors. The White House response in the closing days of the election, however, has been a coordinated giving up.

Newest White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told host Jake Tapper “We’re not going to control the pandemic.” He’s right: It’s clear at this point that the Trump White House is not only not going to control the pandemic, but is incompetent at even controlling the spread of the pandemic within their own offices.

The absolute contempt the Republican Party has shown for expert-recommended moves to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, as it soars towards another new peak even as much of the rest of the world successfully limits pandemic spread, remains bizarre and grotesque. Pence is insisting on continuing his rally schedule despite the …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Harris slams WH after chief of staff 'admits defeat' on COVID: 'Greatest failure of any presidential administration' in history

October 25, 2020 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on Sunday slammed the Trump administration for “admitting defeat” in the fight against COVID-19 after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN “we are not going to control the pandemic.”

Meadows made the remark Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, telling host Jake Tapper that the president’s strategy is “to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas,” even as cases skyrocket across the United States.

“They are admitting defeat,” Harris told reporters when asked about Meadows’ comment. “This is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of America.”

Noting that Meadows told Tapper that COVID-19 “is a contagious virus just like the flu,” Harris ripped the administration for once again “suggesting to the American people that this is like the flu.”

“We have known from the beginning — and they knew since January — that it’s five times more deadly than the flu,” Harris said

“We are breaking records for the number of people that are contracting a deadly virus,” she continued. “And this administration fails to take personal responsibility or responsibility in terms of leading the nation through this dangerous and deadly mass casualty event. And that’s why they have forfeited their right to a second term.”

Asked about Vice President Mike Pence refusing to quarantine despite his chief of staff Mark Short testing positive for coronavirus, Harris argued her team has been a model for how to handle outbreaks during a tough campaign season.

“They should take out lead,” she said.

Watch the video below:

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Fox News report crushes Hunter Biden smear after network investigation ‘found no role for Joe Biden’

October 25, 2020 in Blogs

By David Edwards

A Fox News investigation “found no role for Joe Biden” in the business dealing of his son, Hunter, the network said on Sunday.

The admission was made by Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins.

Jenkins explained that the news organization had been provided documents by Tony Bobulinski, Hunter Biden’s former business partner.

“You’re talking about a business venture with the Chinese energy company in 2017 at a time when Joe Biden was not vice president,” Jenkins explained. “But Fox’s review of Bobulinski’s documents, which were given to us, found no role for Joe Biden in that business venture.”

“There’s another former business partner who says he knows of no involvement by Joe Biden,” Fox News host Howard Kurtz added. “The Wall Street Journal says it also reviewed the text messages and emails, saying, they don’t show either Hunter Biden or James Biden — the brother — discussing a role for Joe Biden.”

Kurtz added: “My problem with this is these emails are from 2017. At that time, Joe Biden is out of office. So while it may have been unseemly — if it was true that Joe Biden was even acquiescing in a potential deal with China — he no longer has the power of the White House behind him at that time.”

“That’s correct,” Jenkins agreed. “One thing is for sure, it’s not getting the kind of attention that Fox has given it and the New York Post and others as we get close to this election.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.


Fox News investigation ‘found no role for Joe Biden’ in Hunter Biden documents

youtu.be

…read more

Source: ALTERNET