98% of Fed Grant dollar$ to fight opioid addiction – going to counties that voted for Trump


Unloading sharps at the Mountain Center in Española, NM

❝ Despite Rio Arriba County having historically high opioid overdose rates, it did not make a list of 220 counties the federal government will focus on when allocating $100 million in grant money to create prevention, treatment and recovery programs for people suffering with opioid addiction.

The U.S. Department of Health and the Human Services Health Resource and Services Administration will use a 2016 Centers for Disease Control study that identified 220 counties vulnerable to an outbreak of HIV and rising of Hepatitis-C. Of the 220 counties on the list, 215 of them voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 general election. All of the counties have majority white, non-Hispanic populations…

❝ Rio Arriba County is about 70 percent Hispanic and 13 percent white, non-Hispanic.

❝ Instead of focusing on rural communities with the highest opioid overdose rates, the 2016 study identified six indicators that were associated with increased HIV and Hepatitis-C infection rates. These included drug overdose deaths, prescription opioid sales, per capita income, unemployment, potential buprenorphine prescriptions and being a white, non-Hispanic county.

You could look at the details of this administration’s decision and wonder what exactly are they trying to do? Are they focusing on a single demographic and arbitrarily deciding these folks are the only ones worth trying to save from addiction?

Or are they applying Trump-level ignorance and over-simplification? Trump gets lots of votes from white junkies and their families; so, they get the dollar$ in social and medical aid for their addiction.

EPA grants waiver to oil refinery owned by billionaire Trump supporter


Welcome, Don Carlo! I owe you.

❝ A fossil fuel company owned by former Donald Trump adviser and billionaire Carl Icahn received a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency meant to help small refineries struggling to meet fuel standards.

The waiver would exempt Icahn’s refinery in Oklahoma from the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which could save it tens of millions of dollars…

❝ With the waiver, Icahn’s company, CVR Energy Inc., can avoid compliance with an EPA biofuel regulation that mandates that businesses spend money to mix oil and gas products with ethanol or buy renewable fuel credits.

The Obama administration had denied the refinery an exemption…

❝ Icahn was an early supporter of Trump’s candidacy for the presidency…Icahn previously served as Trump’s special regulatory adviser but in August stepped down from the position after lawmakers raised concerns about his role playing both an adviser and an investor.

Who expects the fake president’s pimp to cut his profits?

GDPR comes with teeth – and it starts up May 25th

❝ GDPR is the European Union’s latest effort to protect the personal privacy of its citizens – and it comes with teeth. As a Regulation rather than a Directive, all member states, including the UK, must comply without the additional step of national ratification.

Businesses and people who don’t live or work in the EU aren’t immune. Anyone who has customers in the EU, or works with information processors in the bloc, is subject to the GDPR. In light of this, it’s a little scary to note that, as of today, 64% of US firms either don’t know or don’t care about GDPR.

❝ The concept of privacy protection makes sense, but whenever a governmental body steps into a debate, and then regulates, there is usually collateral damage. The scope of GDPR is wide and the impacts are nuanced and complex – which means there will be winners and losers once the regulation kicks in.

Unsurprising, the European Union is going ahead with privacy protection that American politicians haven’t the backbone to consider. In a globalized marketplace, American corporations – particularly those living and profiting from the Internet – will have to make the effort even while the profit pimps in Congress/White House are working at destroying access and affordability to the Web.

Major companies ask Feds to expand electric transmission infrastructure


Click to enlarge

❝ Five major global companies—all of which have ambitious clean energy goals in the U.S.—have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to intensify its focus on expanding the nation’s electric transmission system as one key part of its push for grid resilience.

❝ In letter sent to FERC last Wednesday, the corporate entities stressed that although the situation is “no emergency requiring immediate action” the federal grid regulators should seriously consider an improved and upgraded transmission line network in their proceedings on grid resiliency.

EL&P notes that the companies include Cargill, General Mills, Nestle, P&G and Unilever. They are among more than half of Fortune 100 firms-including Apple and others-which have set targets for getting half or up to all of their energy needs from renewable sources over the next few decades.

The companies argue that the nation’s transmission grid is not adapting to the future realities. Time for a nudge. Political, economic – did I mention political?

Guys who protect nuclear weapons — can’t find their hand grenades!


Something looking like this

The Air Force is offering $5,000 for leads on the whereabouts of a box of explosive grenade rounds that its personnel accidentally dropped on a road in North Dakota while traveling between two intercontinental ballistic missile sites — the facilities scattered across the U.S. heartland that stand ready to launch nuclear warheads at a moment’s notice.

Airmen from the 91st Missile Wing Security Forces team were traveling on gravel roads May 1 in North Dakota when the back hatch of their vehicle opened and a container filled with the explosive ammunition fell out, according to a statement from Minot Air Force Base.

❝ On May 11, the Air Force sent more than 100 airmen to walk the entire six-mile route where the grenades were probably lost, according to a statement from the local Mountrail County sheriff. But two weeks after it was lost, the box of explosives still hasn’t been found.

I think the appropriate phrase is “they can’t find their butts with both hands”…

The Bundys and their religious government

❝ The Bundys are Mormons who believe that the Constitution was inspired, if not more or less dictated wholesale, by God—and that the founding of the United States was the first step toward the restoration of Zion on the continent where most of the Book of Mormon takes place. They’ve taken much of this from W. Cleon Skousen, a fervent Mormon and formative figure of the postwar America extreme-right who believed in a divine America beset by internationalist conspiracies to overthrow the Constitution. The Bundys have identified parts of the Skousenite philosophy and built their own system on top of it—as much a practical guide to living as a political schema, and it’s something they teach as all their own, without citing any influences besides the Constitution and the Bible.

❝ The Constitution, for the Bundys, is an expression of certain natural rights, which are basically our rights to life, liberty, and property, with a heavy emphasis on property. These are supposed to have been implanted by God and so natively obvious that all people sense them intrinsically. Property, for them, is gotten and maintained, in a very frontier way, by your right to “claim, use, and defend” it, as they repeat ad nauseam. It’s a strange irony of the Bundys’ ability to generate media attention that this is maybe the key trio of words in their entire ideology, but that if you Google “claim, use, defend” along with the name “Bundy,” they seem to have not been able to get a single reporter to quote the phrase.

Yeah, they sound like so many of the John Birchers, Minutemen, Klan members I’ve encountered in almost 60 years of activism for civil liberties, civil rights. Including a few family members back East. Religious bigotry comes even easier than distorting the Constitution to most of these folks. Analysts who care about this crap more than I — have written, will write over and again detailed analyses of what drives this variety of populist ideology. I can’t crank up enough curiosity to drag my attention past their nutball crap. Focussing on their outlaw habits pretending to be civil disobedience is dangerous enough. More than that is deadly boring.