Hurricanes + Forest Fires + Global Warming



Global warming does not cause hurricanes and forest fires. Yet, it is a significant contributing factor to the extreme weather events like drought, floods, forest fires and hurricanes.  The photo on the left, is hurricane Laura and the one on the right is a forest fire in Siberia.  I could have made it more local, with a photo of fires in  California.

I have to say, my heart went out to the families having to evacuate from their homes in Louisiana.  Officials were right to require evacuation. I saw some really wonderful police officers and others helping people on buses.  More people die after a hurricane than during this one.

Fires have destroyed 1.4 million acres (2188 square miles)  in Northern California and the fires are still not under control.


Republican Convention Day 2

Watched it on several channels.  Liked it best on MSNBC when Raquel Maddow would cut in when she could, to correct blatantly false statements.   So what were the worse moments of Day 2 in the Opinion piece in the New York Times:

Mimi Swartz Tough choice, with the recently subpoenaed Eric Trump’s breathlessly praising his tough, incorruptible dad and the former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s smearing Biden family members. Runner-up: Mike Pompeo plays politics for Trump on a taxpayer-funded trip to Israel.

** Yes, that Pam Bondi who would not prosecute Trump University.

Héctor Tobar Trump’s signing a pardon and staging a naturalization ceremony, with grateful people of color. These prime-time acts of White House theater were a cynical attempt to erase years of race-baiting and anti-immigrant rhetoric. We haven’t forgotten, Mr. President: You’re still the same man who questioned Barack Obama’s citizenship, praised white supremacists and caged thousands of immigrant children.

** Immigrants are not props.

First Lady Melania Trump generally got the highest praise, as she offered her sympathy to the families who lost loved ones in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stay tuned,


New York Times


Day 1 Democrat convention

This is the week for Democrats.  I watched the entire 2 hours, form 9:00 to 11:00 pm.  I’ll have to admit that everyone’s perspective is different, and each night, the Democrats will try to convince you that their candidates are the right choice.  Then it will be time for the Republicans.  I’ve already seen a couple of Trump’s interviews, and their campaign is built on some sensationally false narratives, particularly strong on the failure of the Obama administration.

The two issues that began dominated the first 2 hours were the coronavirus epidemic and the black lives matter movement.  The convention priorities seemed to turn to the headline news.  Plus, as the convention closed for day 1, Michelle Obama attacked the personal character of Donald Trump.   I would have like to have seen a long list of his lies.  I hope this will be coming today.

One of these false narratives will date back to 2016, when Trump will say that our economy was ready to collapse.  By any economic measure, in 2016 our economy was booming.  It had really plunged into recession under George Bush’s administration during the housing or subprime crisis.   Bush deserves credit for supporting the TARP program, with an unprecedented  700 billion dollar package designed to help our economy in 2008.   It was hard for Bush to do, as it was admitting that the economy was in terrible shape, yet he was working with his advisors to fix things.   The actions of Bush, made it possible for Obama to continue to add to the stimulus package.  Yet,  it wasn’t until late 2009, that the stimulus finally started working.  Unemployment dropped from over 10% in 2009 to less than 5% in 2016.    The economy was not revived by Trump.   The same boom started by Obama continued through the Trump years.

On the economy,  if tomorrow we have the miracle vaccine, perhaps the Sputnik 5 really does work, then we still will not be “open for business”  with a massive government deficit and enormous unemployment.  This means less federal revenue in 2021 and the prospect of higher inflation.   So, if Biden is elected, he will be inheriting a mess which comes from the trillion dollars of stimulus.  The only way out is cutting government spending.  There will be an attempt to rollback the Trump tax cuts, but it is a heavy lift.   It is crazy, but the Democrat party must become more “republicanized” and promote improving trade relations with China and numerous other countries,  and cut government spending.

Trump will say with 100% conviction that a vote for Biden is one small step towards economic disaster.   He will say that let the Democrats run government, will be like handing the keys to the kingdom to the Chinese and illegal immigrants.  The stock market is still on a roll with Biden in the lead in the swing states.   I see the recent upsurge in the stock markets in solar and fuel cell technology as a very positive sign of a better future ahead, with cleaner energy sources.   Fossil fuels are not going away, as there is too much invested in a gasoline based transportation system.   But a higher percentage of our energy needs can be met with other sources of energy, and it will be a strong positive in an recovering economy.

Stay tuned and keep watching the online  DNC convention.


Economic Policy of Barack Obama administration 

Economic policy of Donald Trump administration



The US Post Office Scandal and the Pushback

I can hear Elijah Cummings saying, “Folks, we are better than this.”   The USPS is on a rampage to slow down mail service, right in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic.   First step is installing a Postmaster General whose only qualification is that he donated millions to the Trump campaign.   There were no announcements when the post office began removing vital sorting machines from their backrooms.  The Washington Post reported 671 sorting machines each capable of sorting up to 35,000 letters per hour, have been removed.   Actually, they can sort outbound mail at up to 55,000 letters per hour.  This is exactly what the States need to send out ballots.  Obviously, each state would be sending out a huge number of ballots perhaps millions all at once in mid-October.  Trump can say he’s against mail-in ballots,  but he really crossed the line on this one.  He had a long standing dispute on the rates the Post Office charges for packages – but this is a completely different issue.

So far, the slowdown of postal service under the new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy are:

  •  Disabling or removal of 671  sorting machines
  •  Removal of drop boxes nationwide
  • Denying overtime for postal employees.
  • Firing of 15 post office executives

GOP leadership has praised the new postmaster general as a man of strong action and leadership.   People involved in shipping have seen long delays in recent weeks.   Then legal counsel for the Post Office sent 46 letters to the Secretary of State of each state warning that the ballots might not arrive on time to be counted.   Florida allows residents to request mail-in ballots at 10 days before election day.   The USPS is saying this isn’t enough time.

Trump champions cost cutting and privatization.  But pulling our vital sorting machines about 100 days before an election, has nothing to do with cost cutting.   Yes, there had been a slump in general post office services, along with everything else, as our economy plunged.  But everything coming out of the White House has been rosy forecast of recovery, about how we’ll have a vaccine soon and we’ll be back in business.   To think we are gutting our postal services because of the current downturn in the economy is absurd.

Louis DeJoy is a wealthy man, and likely his investments will benefit from taking an axe to the  post office services.    He founded XPO logistics, and sold it in 2014 for 2014, but still retains stock in the company.

The news media didn’t catch the action of DeJoy to disable these huge sorting machines in  June.    I assumed the post office just ordered the machines shut off, and immediately mail piled up.  It just takes two people to run the machines, so do the math:  671 machines x 2 people = 1342 employees.   Maybe it’s twice this, if there are two shifts.  Now, how many letter per day are not sorted:  35,000 letters/hour x 671 machines x 8 hours per day (a guess assuming just one shift)  = 187 million letters per day not sorted.   If the machine operators are long gone, there has just been one massive slowdown of our mail.

The removal of mailboxes was first noticed in Billing, Montana.   Why there?   Surveys show that Trump is likely to win in Montana.   But Montana is an enormous swing state in control of the Senate by Republicans, with just 6 senate seats in the toss up category:  Montana (1),  Colorado (1),  Georgia (2),  North Carolina (1) and Maine (1).   Fortunately,  both Republicans and Democrats have renounced the mailbox removal and this has stopped.

Polls tell us that low voter turnout favors Republican candidates. From the recent Quinnipiac University  poll of Texas voters:

38. Thinking about the election for president in November, do you think you would feel comfortable or uncomfortable voting in person?

                                                               4 YR COLL DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
Comfortable          60%    84%    31%    60%    65%    54%    64%    73%
Uncomfortable        38     14     67     38     33     43     34     25
DK/NA                 2      2      2      2      2      2      3      2

Look at the second line “uncomfortable”  and skip to the third number in that row –  67% of Democrats polled are uncomfortable with voting in-person verses 14% of Republicans. This is a dramatic difference.  Biden’s supporters tend to be older and  more educated.   I’m sure this has not escaped the view of Trump. Nothing else makes this kind of difference. There have been dozens of surveys all coming back saying that Democrats are more worried about the spread of coronavirus, are more reluctant to go out to bars, restaurants and yes, polling places.

I don’t know what Plan B is for Louis DeJoy.   He’s  picked up a slew of drop boxes.  You can’t exactly sell a mailbox except for scrap.  Same goes for the sorting machines.  Probably have to first strip off all that expensive scanning equipment which have really evolved over the years, so they can be efficiently maintained.  Louis DeJoy is an investor and ardent Republican supporter.  He’s never worked a day for the US Post Office or any government agency.  His wife has been nominated as ambassador to Canada.  While DeJoy and his wife are getting excellent returns on investing in Trump,   I imagine a lot of the postal workers will be looking at their pension plans.

So, if Joe Biden gets elected, he’ll have a long uphill battle to restore postal services.

So I’ll end with where I began,  “Folks we can do better than this.”

Stay tuned,


Who Is Postmaster General Louis DeJoy?

Postal Service calls off removing mailboxes around Montana

Rachel Maddow “Pressure works” Aired 8/14/2020


I tape the show.   Unfortunately it will be expiring soon.

Louis DeJoy was one of four members of the Republican National Committee – Finance team working under Steve Wynn.












Steve Wynn , Elliot Broidy, Michael Cohen and Louis DeJoy on April 3, 2017 were “long time friends of the Party.”  So, what have these fine people done lately.   Sexual misconduct, financial fraud, and writing a soon to be released best seller.


The DOJ’s Pardon Powers and General Flynn

“The Government has engaged in highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the President,” Gleeson wrote in an 82-page brief to U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.  Judge Gleeson was assigned by Judge Sullivan to act as a friend to the court, and provide reasons why General Flynn should be sentenced.

General Flynn pleaded guilty to perjury.  Lying to the FBI isn’t a big crime.  George Papadopoulos plead guilty to lying to the FBI and got two weeks in jail,  and did a total of 12 days behind bars.

So why is this case so important?   Only the President can give a criminal a pardon.  The DOJ has no pardon powers.  They can’t roll back time, and try to “unprosecute” someone that they have already prosecuted.

The Department of Justice can accuse people of crimes, and prosecute them. They prosecute plenty of people to “the full extent of the law” every single day.

There is no way to claim General Flynn had an unfair trial, because he never went to court.  He can’t say he was conned or trapped because he had the best lawyers money can buy.   He plead guilty to all charges.  If you can’t fight the charges, the best one can do, is try to get a shorter sentence.  So Flynn cut a deal with the Mueller investigation in an attempt to reduce his sentence.   But he broke his deal.   If he did what he promised to do, he likely would not serve any time, just put on probation.  He might have been facing 6 months maximum.   And after that, Trump likely would pardon him, so he’d have a clean record.  But before his sentencing hearing, the DOJ gave him a “get out of jail free card”  which was really just as good as a pardon.  DOJ issued a motion for “leave of court”

Judge Sullivan believes he has the right to hold a hearing on the DOJ’s motion to dismiss all charges against Flynn.  It is a really unique situation, but if the DOJ wins, they have created a new “pardon” authority  which goes into effect immediately and there is no court review.

Trump’s pardon authority is a powerful tool.  A corrupt president can use to pardon criminals because they are the president’s friends or could do great harm with their knowledge of his activities. Trump  is within his authority to issue pardons to those who help him get elected:   Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn,  George Papadopoulos and  Rick Gates.  He can also pardon Rudy Giuliani’s business associates:  Igor Furman (Ukraine scandal, campaign finance) and Lev Parnas (Ukraine scandal, campaign finance).  He’s already commuted the sentence of Roger Stone.   In fact, I would be surprised if he doesn’t issue a long list of pardon once he loses the election.

Nobody know how the Appellate Court will rule.   It could be months until  the 10 judges to rule on the case.   Some did not seem to like idea of a judge being required to take orders from the Department of Justice,.  As reported, “‘The judge has to do some thinking about it, right? The judge is not simply a rubber stamp,’ one of the judges asked Powell.”  Sidney Powell is Flynn’s lawyer.   See link below.

So, this is push back from Judge Sullivan that  AG Barr didn’t expect to his  heavy handed meddling in the Flynn trial.    Sullivan just wasn’t going be Barr’s rubber stamp.

Stay tuned,