Macron — “Alas, the handholding is over!”

❝ France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump skipped through Tuesday kissing, hugging, holding hands and rubbing each others’ shoulders.

On Wednesday, before a joint session of of Congress, the charismatic French leader turned around and repudiated the US President’s political philosophy and worldview.

The startling contrast between Macron palling around with Trump on a state visit and his velvet hammer speech — effectively defending the world order from “America First” nationalism — encapsulated his intricate US strategy.

Macron wants to bind the Trump administration into the existing Western international system, to convince it to dive back into multilateral efforts to shut down Iran’s nuclear program, to battle climate change and to safeguard globalization and free trade…

❝ The contradiction between Macron’s own philosophy and his charm offensive with Trump was laced through a speech punctuated by multiple standing ovations and cheers.

More than Trump has ever received before Congress – or is likely to.

Celebrate World Penguin Day

❝ While penguins inspire a range of whimsical and warm emotions, they play a serious role as sentinels of ocean health. Perhaps no one knows that better than Michelle LaRue, an ecologist and science communicator at the University of Minnesota who has walked among these tuxedoed, flightless birds in Antarctica six times.

To celebrate World Penguin Day on April 25, we caught up with LaRue, whose current research focuses on using high-resolution satellite imagery to study polar animals, including emperor and Adélie penguins, and the effects of climate change on polar vertebrates. She has participated in many “species from space” studies, including the first global census of two Antarctic penguin populations.

RTFA, Worthwhile, interesting to all who care about how this planet proceeds into the future.

Trump Flunkey wants use of science reduced by EPA staff

❝ The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency broke with four decades of practice Tuesday and proposed limits on the science used to develop policies protecting public health and the environment.

The measure, backed by conservatives and some advisers to President Donald Trump who have warned of “junk science,” would prevent the EPA from considering scientific research unless all methodological, technical and other information is publicly available. But critics fear the move would exclude such research as public-health studies containing anonymized patient data.

This political hack has no comprehension of scientific methods, requirements for accuracy and information. He’s dedicated his career to pimping for the rich and powerful. It matters not to him whether they are criminal or simply opportunist frauds – like him and his boss, the Fake President.

❝ “It’s a perfect catch-22,” Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists Center for Science and Democracy, said. “You must protect the public health, but you can’t use public-health science to do it. Therefore, you don’t protect the public health…”

Scumbag Congressman claimed airfare for family rabbit as expense

❝ Rep. Duncan Hunter is attempting to set up a fund to raise money to pay for lawyers and other costs related to an ongoing FBI criminal investigation into allegations of misused campaign cash, according to documents filed in Congress…

Hunter’s chief of staff, Michael Harrison, did not immediately returns calls and emails seeking clarification about the status of the fund or how much money had been raised or spent…

❝ The Federal Election Commission and the San Diego Union-Tribune first questioned in April 2016 Hunter’s reported spending for video games and for children’s private school tuition. Federal law prohibits spending campaign funds for personal use.

A subsequent investigation by the Union-Tribune found a host of other potentially improper expenses, including for oral surgery, groceries, garage door repair, surfing equipment, dance recital trips, school lunches and airfare for the family rabbit

Understand that the greed and excess practiced by the thugs imported into our government by the Fake President are nothing new. Pimps and phonies in Congress like Hunter have been stealing like this for decades.

Norway Donates US$250 Million to Protect Colombian Rainforests


Norwegian PM Erna Solberg and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

❝ Colombia’s fight against illegal logging is being extended to 2025 as part of the nation’s pay-for results strategy, Norway’s prime minister announced after donating US$250 million to the project.

As part of the 2015 pact signed between Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway and Colombia, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed the cooperative battle to save Colombia’s rainforest would be extended by five years…

❝ Colombian Environment Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo said that within the next 12 years the government hopes to reduce deforestation to zero.

Norway’s donation represents the first alliance of climate and forest under the Paris Agreement. Prime Minister Solberg hopes the agreement will bring higher standards for inter-institutional collaboration in climate initiatives.

The Paris Agreement is just another one of those historically useful, politically constructive agreements, constructed by smart politicians in modern nations.

So, of course, our fake president withdrew the United States from all provisions of this agreement. And BTW, at minimum projected costs, a donation like this is less than 3 new F35s, the latest toy for our military..

The Silurian Precursor World

❝ If an industrial civilization had existed on Earth many millions of years prior to our own era, what traces would it have left and would they be detectable today? The authors summarize the likely geological fingerprint of the Anthropocene, and demonstrate that while clear, it will not differ greatly in many respects from other known events in the geological record. They propose tests that could plausibly distinguish an industrial cause from an otherwise naturally occurring climate event…

❝ One of the key questions in assessing the likelihood of finding such a civilization is an understanding of how often, given that life has arisen and that some species are intelligent, does an industrial civilization develop? Humans are the only example we know of, and our industrial civilization has lasted (so far) roughly 300 years (since, for example, the beginning of mass production methods). This is a small fraction of the time we have existed as a species, and a tiny fraction of the time that complex life has existed on the Earth’s land surface (∼400 million years ago, Ma). This short time period raises the obvious question as to whether this could have happened before. We term this the “Silurian Hypothesis”.

I love this stuff. The dialectic between science fiction and scientific inspiration is healthy and well.

Trump is stealing America blind

On Inauguration Day…As the new president’s motorcade left the Capitol, rolling past knots of supporters and protesters, it suddenly stopped three blocks short of the White House. Trump, the First Lady, and the rest of his family got out of their limos and took a three-minute turn in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.

❝ This was no random spot. The very first place Trump headed after being sworn in — his true destination all along, in a sense — was the Old Post Office and Clock Tower, which only 12 days before the election had been repurposed as the Trump International Hotel Washington. The elegant granite structure, whose architectural character Trump had promised to preserve, was now besmirched by a gaudy, faux-gold sign bearing his name. The carefully choreographed stop sent a clear signal to the foreign governments, lobbyists, and corporate interests keen on currying favor in Washington: The rewards of government would now be reaped by a single man — and the people would bear the cost…

❝ Nowhere has the self-enrichment been more evident than at his Washington hotel, which quickly filled up with the very lobbyists and swamp creatures Trump had railed against during his campaign. Oil companies, mining interests, insurance executives, foreign diplomats, and defense contractors all rushed to book their annual conferences at Trump’s hotels and resorts, where Cabinet members graciously addressed them. After hiking the nightly rate to $653 — 32 percent higher than other local luxury hotels — Trump collected $2 million in profits from the property during his first three months in office…

Draining the swamp, of course, is never going to happen. Not with the government run by a crook like our fake president. As the chumps who voted for him realize how many ways they’re being screwed by “tax reform”, as their children and grandchildren face the task of paying for the trillion$ deficit gifted by Trump and his pimps in a Republican-run Congress – perhaps, only perhaps – they may begin to learn that the slogan “as seen on TV” usually buys you overpriced crap that fails a day or two after the warranty expires.