Barr’s Playbook on honesty, memos, press conferences


“I’ve summarized the principal conclusions”

❝ On Friday the thirteenth October 1989…news leaked of a legal memo authored by William Barr. He was then serving as head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). It is highly uncommon for any OLC memo to make headlines. This one did because it was issued in “unusual secrecy” and concluded that the FBI could forcibly abduct people in other countries without the consent of the foreign state. The…implication of the legal opinion at that moment in time…appeared to pave the way for abducting Panama’s leader, Gen. Manuel Noriega.

❝ Members of Congress asked to see the full legal opinion. Barr refused, but said he would provide an account that “summarizes the principal conclusions.” Sound familiar?…

Barr withheld the full OLC opinion in 1989 and said to trust his summary of the principal conclusions…When the OLC opinion was finally made public long after Barr left office, it was clear that Barr’s summary had failed to fully disclose the opinion’s principal conclusions. It is better to think of Barr’s summary as a redacted version of the full OLC opinion. That’s because the “summary” took the form of 13 pages of written testimony…this 13-page version omitted some of the most consequential and incendiary conclusions from the actual opinion. And there was evidently no justifiable reason for having withheld those parts from Congress or the public.

He’s certainly had beaucoup practice prior to everything he’s done so far as Attorney General to protect the scumbag playing at Fake President in the White House.

I’ll be going about my usual day…the highest priority being fitness and sound nutrition. Even old leftwing geezers need to keep the physical plant in shape if the engine is going to offer useful products over a long period of time. 🙂

Over the day, I’ll catch up with the news. I doubt we’ll get to see the report as constructed by those entrusted with the research, analysis and conclusions until some time after this fake president and his obedient pimps are long gone. Yes, I’m cynical as ever about the American electorate as currently constituted and manipulated by thugs slightly sharper than the average mid-level drug dealer. If circumstances aid the cause and course of honesty in the months before the next election, that may come about sooner.

I ain’t holding my breath.

Trump holds press conference boorish even by his standards

❝ On Wednesday afternoon, President Donald Trump took a victory lap via an almost-90-minute news conference that came fewer than 24 hours after his party lost control of the House but strengthened its Senate majority.

Trump seemed entirely unconcerned with his party’s loss of one of the chambers of Congress — instead he focused on reading out the names of Republican House members who refused to embrace him (and lost) and sparring with reporters. I went through the transcript of the whole thing and pulled out the best lines.

Here’s the link to Chris Cillizza’s complete article – topped by video excerpt. Our own creepy hoser in action.

Obama and Xi pledge cooperation on greenhouse gas emissions

China and the US have unveiled new pledges on greenhouse gas emissions, as the leaders of the two countries met for talks in Beijing.

US President Barack Obama said the move was “historic”, as he set a new goal of reducing US levels between 26%-28% by 2025, compared with 2005 levels.

China did not set a specific target, but said emissions would peak by 2030.

China has cut carbon intensity for nine years in a row.

The two countries also agreed to reduce the possibility of military accidents in the air and sea…

In case you didn’t notice, only one of those two countries is stacking up military forces in air and on the sea – next to the other.

The two countries together produce about 45% of the world’s carbon dioxide…

President Obama’s offer is based on cuts in carbon emissions from coal power (a policy the Republicans threaten to reverse).

China’s offer to peak emissions is a long-awaited decision. Its emissions trajectory is now similar to Europe and the USA, just further behind because it still has so many people in poverty.

Scientists will fear this agreement is not yet strong enough. But it does show leadership – and it sends a powerful signal to financiers that investing in dirty fuels for the future is becoming a risk.

Except, not for the next two years at least. The Party of NO is now in a position to try to turn back what little has been done.

In September, China told a United Nations summit on climate change that it would soon set a peak for carbon emissions and that it would make its economy more carbon efficient by 2020.

China had previously aimed to reduce its carbon intensity, which meant reducing the amount of emissions per dollar of economic output. This meant that with its rapidly growing economy, its emissions could still rise.

Wednesday’s pledge is the first time it has agreed to set a ceiling, albeit an undefined one, on overall emissions.

China can speak for themselves and their actions speak much louder than editorial content in the NY TIMES. As an American citizen, I’m concerned with what my nation does – or in the case of any political topic requiring commitment at least 6th grade science, what my nation does not do.

Americans aren’t educated. Our politicians reject education and science – aside from lip service. As the recent mid-terms proved, our nation not only does not vote in their own self-interest, they don’t vote.

I think my cynicism is justified.

NASA Iris satellite shows sun in amazing detail

The region located between the surface of the sun and its atmosphere has been revealed as a more violent place than previously understood, according to images and data from NASA’s newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS.

Solar observatories look at the sun in layers. By capturing light emitted by atoms of different temperatures, they can focus in on different heights above the sun’s surface extending well out into the solar atmosphere, the corona. On June 27, 2013, IRIS, was launched, to study what’s known as the interface region – a layer between the sun’s surface and corona that previously was not well observed.

Over its first six months, IRIS has thrilled scientists with detailed images of the interface region, finding even more turbulence and complexity than expected. IRIS scientists presented the mission’s early observations at a press conference at the Fall American Geophysical Union meeting on Dec. 9, 2013.

The quality of images and spectra we are receiving from IRIS is amazing,” said Alan Title, IRIS principal investigator at Lockheed Martin in Palo Alto, Calif. “And we’re getting this kind of quality from a smaller, less expensive mission, which took only 44 months to build.”

Click through the link [above] and discover details, photos and a snazzy video. Enjoy!

NASA press conference on extra terrestrial life – today!

NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

It will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency’s website at http://www.nasa.gov.

For NASA TV streaming video and downlink information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

I’m presuming there have been significant advances in exoplanet research, knowledge, conclusions. I ain’t going to miss the press conference.

Will Salazar cave-in on religion demands – halt wind farm?


Click on photo for news video
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

There was US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the man deciding the fate of the controversial wind farm, sitting on the bridge of a Coast Guard vessel and peering out across the Sound with binoculars a few hours after meeting with Native Americans opposed to the Cape Wind project.

“Very meaningful,’’ said Salazar about his visit that included a private sunrise meeting with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe on a Cape Cod beach, and a later discussion with the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe on Martha’s Vineyard…

Salazar announced no conclusions yesterday about the advisability of locating the wind farm in the scenic Sound, but his visit to the Wampanoag and the area underscores just how high-stakes the Cape Wind farm has become to the Obama administration, which is hoping to accelerate renewable energy efforts and show the world it is serious about fighting manmade climate change. If completed, the project’s developers say it will supply, on average, the equivalent of 75 percent of the energy needs of Cape Cod and the Islands…

Salazar’s visit appeared to ease the Wampanoag tribes’ longstanding complaint that the federal government never took them seriously when they said the wind farm would interfere with their spiritual sun greetings and be built on ancestral grounds that were dry land thousands of years ago…

Speaking to the reporters, Salazar reiterated that a final decision on Cape Wind would be made by April.

He said he was not “holding my breath for a consensus’’ among Native Americans and the project’s developer…

I don’t think it matters to the future of energy and environmental costs whether or not the folks concerned about their view are Native American priests or Kennedy-level brahmins of Massachusetts politics. They’re standing in the way of clean energy for the whole region strictly on selfishness.