Notes from the Kakistocracy: Trump puts climate deniers in charge at NOAA

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Because real science is a pain in the ass, or something:

Mr. McLean had sent some of the new political appointees a message that asked them to acknowledge the agency’s scientific integrity policy, which prohibits manipulating research or presenting ideologically driven findings. The request prompted a sharp response from Dr. Noble. “Respectfully, by what authority are you sending this to me?” he wrote, according to a person who received a copy of the exchange after it was circulated within NOAA.

Replacing Mr. McLean, who remains at the agency, was Ryan Maue, a former researcher for the libertarian Cato Institute who has criticized climate scientists for what he has called unnecessarily dire predictions.

Just so you know how bad this is, Maue worked with an even crazier dude at Cato, who believes more atmospheric carbon is a good thing:

Wednesday News: Welcome aboard

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SOME 800,000 OF NC'S EARLY VOTERS THIS YEAR DID NOT VOTE IN 2016: More than 3.3 million people have either voted early in person or mailed in an absentee ballot. Nearly a quarter of them didn't vote in 2016, according to State Board of Elections figures. Of the 24 percent who are voting this time around after not voting in the last presidential election, most weren't even registered to vote in North Carolina back then. "We may be moving towards record turnout, which, you know, that’s what we’re in this for," Brinson Bell said. "We want to ensure that every voter has the ability to cast their vote, and if they’re turning out this year, that’s the best thing we could have happen." Early voting runs through 3 p.m. Saturday. But people have only until 5 p.m. Tuesday to request an absentee ballot if they don't want to or cannot get to a polling place either for early voting or on Election Day next week. The looming absentee deadline means it's too late to mail in a request, Brinson Bell said.
https://www.wral.com/nearly-quarter-of-state-s-early-voters-didn-t-cast-ballots-in-nc-in-2016/19355096/

Tuesday News: Mindless automatons

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TILLIS AND BURR GUSH OVER UNQUALIFIED SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: “I think Judge Amy Coney Barrett is going to go down in history as one of the great justices on the Supreme Court,” Tillis said in a seven-minute speech Monday on the Senate floor. “Judge Barrett has proven to be an exceptionally qualified and well-respected jurist. Throughout her distinguished career, she has demonstrated that she will faithfully serve as an impartial judge to defend the Constitution and rule of law,” Burr said in a statement after the vote. Barrett, a former law professor at the University of Notre Dame, has been an appellate court judge in the 7th U.S. Circuit since 2017, when she was nominated by Trump. Barrett is a mother of seven, including two adopted children from Haiti. In June, Burr and Tillis signed a brief asking the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade, the 1973 law that allowed women the right to seek an abortion nationwide.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article246726701.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

I agree with almost all of this, except this recommendation for Chief Justice Roberts:

Trump will go down in history as the anti-environment President

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Endangering the health of citizens and ecosystems alike:

The bulk of the rollbacks identified by the Times have been carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency, which has weakened Obama-era limits on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and from cars and trucks; removed protections from more than half the nation's wetlands; and withdrawn the legal justification for restricting mercury emissions from power plants.

At the same time, the Interior Department has worked to open up more land for oil and gas leasing by limiting wildlife protections and weakening environmental requirements for projects.

Before we get into the details of Trump's transgressions against the environment, here's another angle to consider: NC's Republican Legislative leaders pushed hard to restrict DENR (now DEQ) from enacting rules that were tougher that EPA guidelines, arguing the Federal rules were "more than enough" to protect our air and water. But have you seen those Republicans taking any steps to counter all these Trump rollbacks? That's a rhetorical question, because of course not. They simply don't care about the environment, clean water, breathable air, etc. Not on their radar, period. Back to Trump:

Monday News: Four thousand, one hundred fifty seven

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OVER A QUARTER MILLION NC RESIDENTS HAVE CONTRACTED CORONAVIRUS: At least 260,099 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 4,157 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 1,807 new COVID-19 cases, down from 2,584 the day before and a record high of 2,716 on Friday. About 7.2% of tests were reported positive as of Friday, the latest day for which data were available. That’s higher than the 5% target set by health officials. At least 1,148 people in North Carolina were reportedly hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday, down from 1,181 the day before. Private schools in North Carolina have more coronavirus clusters than public schools, The News & Observer reports.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article246712356.html

Strengthening Health Care Access and Affordability

In the ten years since President Obama signed it into law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has ushered in unprecedented improvements to our nation’s health care system by expanding affordable coverage to millions of Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions. For those less likely to be insured, like minority and low-income individuals, the ACA has been a much-needed remedy for disparities in coverage.

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