“Mafia No Fear” is also not okay.
“No, no. I have a strong opinion. I want great climate, we’re going to have that, & we’re going to have forests that are very safe… that is happening as we speak.” pic.twitter.com/FkafOxZqtE
“Mafia No Fear” is also not okay.
He also promised to put $500 million “in the farm bill for management and maintenance of forests”
Make America Rake Again
We’re all committed — I’m committed to make sure that we’ve got all of this cleaned out, and protected. Gotta take care of the floors, you know, the floors of the forest. It’s very important. You look at other countries where they do it differently, and, it’s a whole different story. I was with the president of Finland, and he said, “We have a, much different — we’re a forest nation.” He called it “a forest nation.” And they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem. And when it is, it’s a very small problem. So, uh, I know everybody’s looking at that. To that end. And it’s gonna work out. It’s gonna work out well.
Translation: “We still want to believe the Saudis”
“While Facebook surely does exhibit liberal bias in some ways, they have also dramatically — and, in the end, devastatingly — overcorrected for that bias.”
Facebook didn’t tiptoe to avoid poking the bear on the left. They went right up to the bear and stabbed it repeatedly. And then goaded the right’s bear to join in the stabbing.
The power of leftist outrage mobs has been well-discussed. The power of conservative outrage mobs to affect corporate and political policy, even from left-leaning organizations, is arguably less acknowledged.
In no small part to placate the right, the liberal company Facebook misled the nation again and again about the nature of Russian interference in the election. They repeatedly fed right wing conspiracies while waving away criticism from the left. It’s hard to see how an ardently Trumpist company could do much better.
Historians claim 2018 is not the worst year to be alive
Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he’s got an answer: “536.” Not 1349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918, when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, mostly young adults. But 536. In Europe, “It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year,” says McCormick, a historian and archaeologist who chairs the Harvard University Initiative for the Science of the Human Past.
A mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months. “For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during the whole year,” wrote Byzantine historian Procopius. Temperatures in the summer of 536 fell 1.5°C to 2.5°C, initiating the coldest decade in the past 2300 years. Snow fell that summer in China; crops failed; people starved. The Irish chronicles record “a failure of bread from the years 536–539.” Then, in 541, bubonic plague struck the Roman port of Pelusium, in Egypt. What came to be called the Plague of Justinian spread rapidly, wiping out one-third to one-half of the population of the eastern Roman Empire and hastening its collapse, McCormick says.
A television viewer who does not understand forests, science, firefighting, or management continues to share his opinions about the use of forest management in fire prevention
“I was watching the firemen the other day, and they were raking areas — they were raking areas. When the fire is right over there and they are raking trees, little trees like this, that are, not trees — little bushes. That you could see are totally dry. Weeds. And they are raking them — they are on fire. That should have been all raked out — you wouldn’t have the fires. …
Maybe [climate change] contributes a little bit. The big problem we have is management. … You need forest management. I’m not saying that in a negative way, a positive — I’m just saying the facts.”
“[California officials and I] will be talking about forest management. I’ve been saying that for a long time. It should have been a lot different situation. But the one thing is that everybody now knows that this is what we have to be doing, and there’s no question about it. It should have been done many years ago. But I think everybody’s on the right side. It’s a big issue, it’s a big issue, a very expensive issue, but very, very inexpensive when you compare it to even one of these horrible fires. And we’ll save a lot of lives.”
“There is truth to statements he has made,” said Daniel Dructor, executive vice president of the American Loggers Council, a coalition of state and regional associations that represents independent contract loggers. “It’s time to rise above political posturing and recognize that active forest management — including logging, thinning, grazing and controlled burning — are tools that can and must be used to reduce fire risks and help mitigate the impacts to landscapes,” Mr. Dructor said in a statement.
One reason that scientists know that management isn’t to blame is that some areas now burning had fires in 2005 and 2008, so they aren’t “fuel-choked closed-canopy forests,” [Utah fire scientist Philip] Dennison said. In those earlier fires, Paradise was threatened but escaped major damage, he said. In the current blazes, it was virtually destroyed.
The other major fire, in Southern California, burned through shrub land, not forest, Dennison said. “It’s not about forest management. These aren’t forests,” he said.
The dean of the University of Michigan’s environmental school, Jonathan Overpeck, said Western fires are getting bigger and more severe. He said it “is much less due to bad management and is instead the result of our baking of our forests, woodlands and grasslands with ever-worsening climate change.”
The socioeconomics of saving your home from wildfires
By dawn last Friday, the Woolsey fire – now considered the most destructive in Los Angeles county’s history – descended on [Cornell, California]. Stretched thin as they battled the enormous Camp fire in the state’s north, firefighters weren’t there to stop the flames from spreading.
“It came in so fast,” said a Cornell resident, Jeff Allen. “People barely got out.” But Allen chose to stay. Determined to save his home and help his neighbors, he opted to risk it all and “just got the hose out”.
He was one of the many people who, when threatened by the southern California blaze this week, decided to fight rather than flee. … [T]he fire department’s capacity crunch in the face of devastating and erratic fires has showcased a growing social divide. In areas where some residents felt the need to put their lives on the line, celebrities and affluent homeowners filled the gap with private firefighters to protect their mansions from burning.
In an article published last spring, NBC highlighted that the insurance giant AIG offers wealthy homeowners access to their Wildfire Protection Unit, certified through authorities to respond to fires that threaten million-dollar homes.
TMZ reported this week that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West hired private firefighters to protect their $50m mansion in the hills of Calabasas. It narrowly survived the fire, but critics began wondering if the destruction-fueled “new normal” meant the affluent, yet again, could save themselves while others suffered.
Partisan gerrymandering has been carried out by both Democrats and Republicans throughout U.S. history. But an Associated Press statistical analysis based on 2016 election data found that more states had Republican-tilted districts than Democratic ones. Some of the largest GOP congressional advantages were in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where Republicans fully controlled redistricting after the 2010 Census. One of the Democrats’ biggest edges was in Maryland, where they were in charge of the last redistricting.
A follow-up AP analysis using preliminary 2018 election data shows the Republican statistical edge was cut in half under Pennsylvania’s new court-ordered congressional map but grew even larger in North Carolina.
Though an increasing number of states have adopted independent commissions, many states still rely on lawmakers and governors to draw legislative and congressional districts. Republicans controlled that process in far more states than Democrats because of their electoral success nationwide in 2010. Those maps were in place for the Nov. 6 elections, except in places where courts ordered them redrawn, and will be again in 2020.
Florida, the jammed paperclip perpetually short circuiting America’s democracy
In one of the most serious cases, Palm Beach County found “dozens of precincts missing a significant number” of votes during the machine recount, according to the supervisor of elections, Susan Bucher, causing the county to conclude that entire boxes of ballots may not have been counted.
Ms. Bucher blamed an overheated and outdated ballot-scanning machine. But the manufacturer of the high-speed scanner used in Palm Beach said its technicians had witnessed Palm Beach County elections workers, apparently worried that one of the machines was running too fast, jam a paper clip into the scanner’s “enter” button in an effort to slow it down. That, in turn, caused a short circuit that cut off the power, a company spokeswoman said.
The president who is permanently “at odds” with the conclusions of his nation’s intelligence community (and yes, he has been briefed)
[T]he CIA [has] assessed with high confidence that the Saudi leader [Mohammed bin Salman] ordered the killing [of journalist Jamal Khashoggi], based on multiple sources of intelligence.
“We haven’t been briefed yet. The CIA will be speaking to me today,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before leaving to survey damage from wildfires in California.
But the president has already been shown evidence of the prince’s alleged involvement in the killing, and privately he remains skeptical, Trump aides said. He has also looked for ways to avoid pinning the blame on Mohammed, the aides said.
The president’s most recent comments put him at odds with the findings of the CIA and senior intelligence officials.
And in urban areas and Western states, minorities make up the majority of their generation, according to Pew
Don’t miss the major political implications of this [Pew study]: 48% of Post-Millennials (now aged 6 to 21) are members of racial or ethnic minorities–far above the 39% in the Millennial generation (which itself was the prior record-holder). They are just starting to join the electorate..
The better educated, more diverse generation to come
A new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data finds that the “post-Millennial” generation is already the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, as a bare majority of 6- to 21-year-olds (52%) are non-Hispanic whites. And while most are still pursuing their K-12 education, the oldest post-Millennials are enrolling in college at a significantly higher rate than Millennials were at a comparable age.
The parents of post-Millennials are more well educated than the parents of Millennials and those of previous generations, and this pattern most likely contributes to the relative affluence of the households in which post-Millennials live. More than four-in-ten post-Millennials (43%) are living with at least one parent who has a bachelor’s degree or more education. Roughly a third (32%) of Millennials in 2002 had a parent with this level of education.
The high school dropout rate for the oldest post-Millennials (ages 18 to 20 in 2017) is significantly lower than that of similarly aged Millennials in 2002. And among those who were no longer in high school in 2017, 59% were enrolled in college – higher than the enrollment rate for 18- to 20-year-old Millennials in 2002 (53%) and Gen Xers in 1986 (44%).
The changing patterns in educational attainment are driven in part by the shifting origins of young Hispanics. Post-Millennial Hispanics are less likely than Millennial Hispanics to be immigrants – 12% of post-Millennial Hispanics were born outside the U.S., compared with 24% of Millennial Hispanics in 2002. Previous research has shown that second-generation Hispanic youth tend to go further in school than foreign-born Hispanic youth. That is borne out in this analysis, as 61% of second-generation Hispanics ages 18 to 20 who were no longer in high school were enrolled in college in 2017, compared with 40% of their foreign-born counterparts.
The hazardous air quality in northern California is not expected to improve until the middle of next week at the earliest
There have been widespread school and university closures. Many businesses have urged employees to work from home. Some public transit in San Francisco has been made free, in an effort to keep people inside as much as possible if they must commute.
In a region whose weather is usually pretty temperate, smoke days have become the Bay Area’s version of snow days. But instead of a joyful respite from work, wildfire smoke mixes a blizzard’s large-scale logistical nightmares with the anxiety of worsening climate change and a class divide that plagues American public health. Three of the five largest fires on record in California have occurred in the past three years, all in the northern part of the state. For the region’s residents, smoke days won’t go away once the Camp Fire is contained.
The risk posed by wildfire smoke is significant, and it goes far beyond a few days of coughing or headaches. According to Kristie Ebie, a professor of global public health at the University of Washington, the consequences of breathing wildfire smoke extend to other parts of the body because of the noxious nature of the tiny debris the smoke carries with it. “That affects not only people’s lungs, but it gets absorbed into people’s systems,” she says. Recent research shows that absorption can lead to cardiac arrest, stroke, and other deadly outcomes.
With kids home from school, people working from home, and few safe ways to leave the house, Northern Californians are looking for any outlet available to find some relief. “It’s very challenging, because everyone’s cooped up,” said Aubrey Hirsch as she sat on the floor of a Berkeley public library and built a Lego boat with her son, whose school closed on Friday. The boy was happy to be have the day off, but Hirsch, a writer, lost a day of work. Local officials have encouraged people to seek libraries as a safe destination for those who need or want to leave their homes, and especially for those who don’t have in-home air filtration or air conditioning, which can help cycle out smoke that seeps in. On Friday morning, every seat at the Berkeley library’s regularly scheduled story time was full.
As many as 7,000 households have been displaced by the Camp fire in Butte County , California
The ongoing search for remains
Camp fire missing persons list now over 1,000, confirmed death toll up to 71
Searchers combing through the ruins of the deadliest wildfire in California history found eight more bodies Friday, bringing the number of dead in the Camp Fire to 71 as more than 1,000 people remained unaccounted for.
Seven of the eight bodies were found in the town of Paradise, which was all but destroyed in the fire that broke out Nov. 8, and the other was in Magalia, north of Paradise, said Butte County Sheriff-Coroner Kory L. Honea said. All were found inside structures.
Honea cautioned that the number of unaccounted for — 1,011 as of Friday night — could include names that are duplicates or have different spelling variations, and that investigators were working to verify them. …
The Camp Fire has displaced thousands of people and led to the evacuation of some 52,000 at the fire’s peak. About 47,200 remained evacuated Friday, officials said. The fire has burned 146,000 acres and was 50 percent contained Friday. … [It] has destroyed at least 9,700 single-family residences, 144 multi-family residences and 336 commercial buildings, according to Cal Fire.
More deal-making at Mar-a-Lago
President Donald Trump will meet with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi — who is on his short list be his next attorney general — while he vacations at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach for Thanksgiving next week, according to a source close to the president.
Bondi, Florida’s first female attorney general, is finishing her second term. She is not legally allowed to run again, and has been mentioned as a possible administration appointee since Trump became president last year.
Three sources said Trump is seriously considering Bondi for the job.
The Abrams campaign says goodbye
Seven plaintiffs sue Dartmouth for ignoring alleged sexual misconduct of three professors involved in a “predators’ club”
One of the plaintiffs, Kristina Rapuano, alleges that professor Paul Whalen in March 2014 forced himself upon her and put his hands down her pants when she visited his office. About a year later, she attended a conference with Kelley and alleges that he got her drunk and raped her. The lawsuit does not say whether she went to the police.
After the assault, she alleges professor William Kelley kept pressing her for sexual favors. When Rapuano finally rebuffed him, she said Kelley became hostile, stopped providing her with academic guidance and attempted to undermine her research by sharing it with colleagues.
The end also appears near for Senator Bill Nelson’s recount hopes in Florida
Behind Gov. Rick Scott by an unofficial 12,603 Nelson needed to snare a majority of the thousands of undervotes and overvotes spit out by vote tabulating machines during an automatic machine recount that ended Thursday. In particular, he needed to do well in heavily Democratic Broward County, where 30,447 ballots were deemed to be “undervotes” left uncounted by machines because voters failed to follow directions or simply didn’t vote.
Nelson’s campaign hoped the large number of undervotes was machine-related. But there was so little work to do Friday in Broward’s Lauderhill elections headquarters that teams of volunteers were done in less than two hours and stopped working before the lunch catering arrived.
Montana Court rules neo-Nazis cannot harass woman on First Amendment grounds
The case against a Neo-Nazi publisher can proceed to trial on accusations he called for a “troll storm” against a Jewish woman, a federal judge ruled.
Claims by Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin that the First Amendment protected his speech were not enough to dismiss the case at this point, the judge said.
The troll storm began after a dispute between Gersh and fellow Whitefish resident Sherry Spencer. Spencer is the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer. Gersh became a target for hate after contacting tenants of a building owned by Sherry Spencer, warning them about possible protests over Richard Spencer’s views.
Fun times at the Federalist Society’s annual convention
House Ethics Committee sanctions Republican Mark Meadows and Democrat Ruben Kihuen for allegations related to sexual harassment
Meadows was found to have violated House rules “by failing to take appropriate steps to ensure that his House office was free from discrimination and any perception of discrimination.” This case grew out of an investigation into Meadows’ former chief of staff, Kenny West. Meadows kept West on his payroll even after learning of credible harassment allegations against the former aide.
Kihuen, who announced his retirement as the #MeToo movement swept Capitol Hill last year, was found to have “made persistent and unwanted advances towards women who were required to interact with him as part of their professional responsibilities.”
Both lawmakers were reproved by the bipartisan Ethics Committee, the least serious form of punishment it can mete out.
With the air quality index at 316, spending the day outside in Sacramento is like smoking over half a pack of cigarettes.