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The rise of anonymous trolls has brought out the usual uninformed/ under informed/ possible Racist comments, the article below is an example of the types of responses required for these trolls who hide behind anonymity. MA

Chrissy Teigen responds to people who say she ‘never looked or acted as if she was genuinely suffering’ from depression

Yahoo Beauty 18 hours

0:18 0:48


Chrissy Teigen has been extremely candid about her recent health struggles, and unfortunately, she’s facing criticism for it. The supermodel wrote a tweet on Monday night with the simple message, “I dunno how you can be this mean” next to snapshots of the jabs people have taken at her on social media.

Model Chrissy Teigen has been candid about her struggle with health issues from postpartum depression to drinking too much. (Photo: Getty Images)
In some of the comments, people reference Teigen’s recent revelation that she’s sworn off alcohol after saying that she has difficulty controlling how much she drinks, as well as taking a stab at her history with postpartum depression. Teigen was specifically called out for being “melodramatic” about her health issues, and a commenter said that she has “never looked or acted as if she was genuinely suffering” with depression.

Teigen recently revealed to Cosmopolitan that she has difficulty controlling how much alcohol she drinks. “I was, point blank, just drinking too much,” the supermodel said. “I got used to being in hair and makeup and having a glass of wine. Then that glass of wine would carry over into me having one before the awards show. And then a bunch at the awards show. And then I felt bad for making kind of an ass of myself to people that I really respected. And that feeling, there’s just nothing like that. You feel horrible.”
She also opened up in March about her battle with postpartum depression, saying in an essay for Glamour that she “couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy” after having her daughter Luna. “Most days were spent on the exact same spot on the couch and rarely would I muster up the energy to make it upstairs for bed,” she wrote. “John would sleep on the couch with me, sometimes four nights in a row. I started keeping robes and comfy clothes in the pantry so I wouldn’t have to go upstairs when John went to work. There was a lot of spontaneous crying.”
It’s a common misconception that people suffering from depression look or act a certain way, but it’s just that — a misconception, Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist Jessica Zucker tells Yahoo Beauty. Postpartum depression in particular “has a variety of faces and can express itself through anger, having the inability to tolerate emotion — a whole range of things,” Zucker says. “These people are just being cruel.”
Unfortunately, these kinds of comments are not surprising, clinical psychologist John Mayer, author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, tells Yahoo Beauty. “There is no typical way depression looks,” he says. Rather, people suffering from depression have root characteristics like sadness, weepiness, feelings of hopeless, and low motivation. Depression also affects people differently, he says, and people cope with the condition in different ways.
Appearance isn’t even part of the diagnostic criteria for depression, unless you count sudden weight gain or loss (which doesn’t happen to all sufferers), Simon Rego, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, tells Yahoo Beauty. “The sad truth is that mental health disorders often have no visible signs of what someone is experiencing in their mental health,” he says.
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for adults aged 15 to 44, according to data from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and about one in nine women is affected by postpartum depression, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s also an equal-opportunity illness. “It can affect anybody,” Rego says. “It doesn’t select by age, intelligence, or socioeconomic status — it impacts everyone.”
It’s easy to dismiss the comments that Teigen received as mean words from internet trolls, but statements like those can make an impact on people suffering from depression, Zucker notes. Depression and postpartum depression in particular are often stigmatized, she points out, and comments like these don’t help — and they may even discourage someone who is suffering from seeking treatment.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or postpartum depression, it’s important to seek help. “The sooner you get help, the sooner you get better, and the sooner things turn around,” Zucker says.

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ALANNA DURKIN RICHER, Associated Press 11 hours ago

A handful of descendants of Confederate Civil War leaders Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Jefferson Davis are siding with those who believe monuments to their famous ancestors should be pulled down and moved to other settings, such as museums.
And a relative of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee says he would be fine with removing statues to his storied ancestor if it helps the country heal.
The director of a Mississippi estate that was Davis’ retirement home, meanwhile, has suggested that the monuments could be relocated there.
Criticism of Confederate monuments has been intensifying since Saturday, when a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent after white nationalists opposed to the city’s plan to remove a statue of Lee clashed with counter protesters.
President Donald Trump agrees with some in the South who say the monuments speak to America’s history and heritage; but opponents of such symbols believe they glorify a shameful era of slavery.
On Thursday, a great-great-grandson of Stonewall Jackson told The Associated Press that he believes the monument to his legendary Confederate ancestor, as well as others in Virginia’s capital of Richmond, were constructed as symbols of white supremacy and should be taken down.
“They were constructed to be markers of white supremacy. They were constructed to make black people fearful,” Jack Christian said. “I can only imagine what persons of color who have to walk and drive by those every morning think and feel.”
Christian told the AP that he used to be open to the idea that the statues on Richmond’s famed Monument Avenue — which memorialize southern Civil War leaders, including Jackson — might be acceptable if context were added to explain why they were built.
However, the racially charged violence in Charlottesville has shown that to be impossible, Christian said.
A descendant of Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederate States of America, said he supports moving the statues to appropriate settings, such as museums.
Bertram Hayes-Davis told the AP on Thursday that he believes that “complete removal is wrong” and believes the best solution would be to put the statues “in a historic place where the entire story can be explained.”
Tom Payne says he knows the perfect place: Beauvoir, a privately run museum on 52 acres (20 hectares) in Biloxi, Mississippi, that once served as Davis’ retirement home. Payne, executive director of the museum, issued a statement Thursday offering to accept monuments that “any city or jurisdiction has decided to take down.”
Payne said he would hope for donations, but would consider raising funds to cover any costs of relocating the monuments. He said the monuments could serve an educational purpose for Beauvoir visitors while being displayed in gardens out of general public view.
Robert E. Lee V, an athletic director at The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia, the great-great-grandson of the Confederate general, said the family hates to see the statues be a source of division.
“If taking down the statues helps us not have days like Charlottesville, then we’re all for it,” Lee said. “Take ’em down tonight.”
Christian and his brother, Warren Christian, said in a letter to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney published by Slate on Wednesday that it is “long overdue” for the city to remove overt symbols of white racism and white supremacy. The men said they want to make clear that the statue — and their great-great-grandfather’s actions — do not represent them.
“While we are not ashamed of our great-great-grandfather, we are ashamed to benefit from white supremacy while our black family and friends suffer,” the brothers and Richmond natives wrote. “We are ashamed of the monument.”
Michael Shoop, who wrote a book on the genealogy of the Jackson family, confirmed that the men are descendants of the Confederate general.
Christian said he would like to see the statues preserved after they are removed from public display. He said he has heard from one relative who said she agreed with the sentiments expressed in the letter.
Christian said he’s pleased the Richmond mayor has decided that the former capital of the Confederacy will consider removing or relocating its statues.
The mayor had previously said he thought the monuments should stay but have context added about what they represent and why they were built, but changed course after the events in Charlottesville, where white supremacists rallied after the city voted to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Chaos erupted at the Charlottesville rally, which included neo-Nazis, skinheads, and Ku Klux Klan members, and is believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade. They clashed violently with counterdemonstrators, and after authorities ordered the crowd to disperse, a car plowed into a group of marchers, killing a woman and injuring 19 people. Two state police troopers who had been monitoring the chaos were also killed when their helicopter crashed outside the city.
The events in Charlottesville have quickened the pace of the removal of Confederate monuments across the country. Four Confederacy-related monuments were hauled away on trucks under cover of darkness late Tuesday night and early Wednesday in Baltimore. In Birmingham, Alabama, a 52-foot-tall (15-meter) obelisk honoring Confederate soldiers and sailors was covered by wooden panels at the mayor’s order.
Associated Press writers Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia; Kevin McGill in New Orleans; and Matt Barakat in McLean, Virginia, contributed to this report.

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Each of us has an opinion on something and that is as it should be. What should not be is any opinion on anything that is not based on correct information. It often takes several readings and some research to find the true information behind your opinion. Many quotes by well known people (living and dead) have been repeated as fact but are often repeated incomplete or out of context. These misapplied quotes have been the subject of many debates and arguments. It is incumbent on us all to get the real quote and its background to fully understand what is said or intended. All of this information is readily available if one chooses to seek it out. We are already under siege by the constant stream of inaccuracies (lies if you will) from some media outlets, our political leaders(?) and influencers which puts the onus on us readers and citizens to parse out the truth. Our ability to read and reason is the strength we have over lower animals yet we (some of us) still follow the ludicrous nattering of politicians and so called experts or well known pundits.  Many writings are designed as thought pieces with as much truth as is available, others are just slightly less than full blown lies. It is the duty of us all to seek the truth when the so called fresh fish stinks!

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Behind closed doors the Administration and its minions are portraying their personal beliefs as the will of the people . MA
JULY 19, 2017
In a single day, an absurd pile of events suggests that the government may indeed be trying to “immanentize the eschaton.”
In a speech delivered behind closed doors to an anti-LGBT hate group, the attorney general of the United States held forth with his philosophy of religious freedom. It wasn’t “the government’s job to immanentize the eschaton,” he said.
The reason we know that is an actual thing that Jeff Sessions said—or at least planned to say—in his July 11 speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is that Buzzfeed’s Dominic Holden prepared a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the speech, which apparently prompted the Department of Justice to release the text, as prepared for delivery, to a right-wing website, The Federalist. The ADF earned is classification as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its work as “a legal advocacy and training group that specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage, and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBTQ communities in the U.S. and internationally,” according to the SPLC website.
I should perhaps note here that it is not really normal for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer to address a hate group, or address any group in secret.
To those unfamiliar with eschatology, the eschaton is a fancy Greek term for the End of Days or Kingdom Come, or whatever name you wish to call the apocalypse.
In fairness to Sessions, it should be noted that on the matter of the eschaton he was quoting William F. Buckley, a man mistaken by right-wingers for having been a brilliant mind because he knew a lot of words. To those unfamiliar with eschatology, the eschaton is a fancy Greek term for the End of Days or Kingdom Come, or whatever name you wish to call the apocalypse. Some use it as a catch-all for a combination of the Heaven-on-Earth period that some Christian sects claim will precede the big Lights Out/Party Over itself. Others take the Greeks at their word, seeing it as the End. In his coinage of the phrase “immanentize the eschaton,” Buckley, who never said in two syllables what he could say in twelve, was speaking of that combo-concept, meaning that it wasn’t government’s job to make things nice for people by granting them their civil rights and feeding the starving poor. To do that would create Heaven on Earth, which would necessarily bring about cosmic extinction. And who would want that?
The topic of the attorney general’s speech to the ADF, which is defending Christian-owned businesses for the right to discriminate against queer folk, was “religious freedom.” Sessions promised that, any day now, he would issue a guidance to government agencies on how to apply the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in ways that conform to his novel interpretation of the First Amendment. The ways in which an anti-LGBTQ bias could be applied to the work of government agencies boggles the mind, given that the government is charged with providing health care to millions, fair housing protections, asylum requests, and ensuring the rights of all. For many, the eschaton may indeed be immanentized.

I FIRST LEARNED the term “immanentize the eschaton” not from Buckley, but from the Illuminatus Trilogy, a trippy, satirical, phantasmagorical 1975 novel by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea rooted in the jokey-but-not-a-joke Discordian philosophy birthed in the 1960s. Discordianism takes a spin on Taoism, but uses avatars of Western civilization—two minor Greek goddesses whom the Discordians seem to have invented themselves—to illustrate its concepts. Along the way, there’s lots of fun made of all kinds of religions and philosophies, and most of all, any presumption of order in the world. I’ve never been one to latch on to a single philosophy or to live strictly within the bounds of a particular ideology, so in the Age of Trump, I find myself drawn to the rueful humor and syncretized heresies of those ancient Discordians. The events of Tuesday alone give me cause.
As I write this, we’ve just learned that, try as he may, the Senate majority leader has failed to revoke the health care of millions by legislative means. In light of that failure, the president plans to use administrative action (or inaction) to allow the Affordable Care Act to stop working on its own in places where market forces are not holding it together.
Another of Tuesday’s revelations is the previously unreported ad hoc hour-long meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a banquet at the G20 summit, to which only an interpreter on Putin’s payroll was privy. (Among the Illuminatus Trilogy’s more memorable lines is an admonition to “never whistle while you’re pissing,” which may have particular salience in the Russia investigation, given the compromising information Putin is alleged to have on Trump.)
It was a treasure trove of absurdist horrors, Tuesday was, with the added development of an eighth member named of the famous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting convened by Donald Trump Jr.—the one from which he hoped to glean dirt on Hillary Clinton that was described as having been obtained by Russian intelligence services. The newly revealed kompromat trafficker is an employee of a real-estate company owned by the oligarch who partnered with the president in the production of the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.
In the meantime, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer returned to the podium for no-camera briefing to the press corps, where he was unable to answer basic questions about what the president discussed with Putin, such as the diplomatic tussle over two U.S. vacation houses owned by the Russian government and used by its diplomats and/or spies, depending on whom one talks to. (A sometimes brilliantly annotated transcript of that press conference was posted by The Washington Post’s Callom Borchers.)
“The president really liked the firetruck,” Borchers wrote in his notes on the transcript.
Spicer spent a good chunk of the presser highlighting the administration’s naming of this as “Made in America” week, with a forklift from Mississippi and a firetruck from Wisconsin gracing the White House lawn, examined and applauded by a president wearing a tie likely made in China with his own name on the label. (“The president really liked the firetruck,” Borchers wrote in his notes on the transcript.)
And while Spicer attributed the slow pace of filling administration positions to Democratic obstruction, Garry Kasparov, the chess champion and Putin critic who is a Russian ex-pat, took to Twitter to note that the vacancies Trump has been slow to fill likely serve the president’s purposes well by keeping control of agencies to a tight circle of insiders.
In the meantime, the State Department announced it would shutter its war crimes office.
“It was the year when they finally immanentized the eschaton,” Wilson and Shea wrote in the opening line of the Illuminatus Trilogy. Though set in the 23rd century, the authors may have been too optimistic in their timeline. If not yet immanentized, the eschaton is standing at the ready. It will take a mighty resistance to stave it off. Time to get to work.

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This article  explains a question I have had and found hard to get an answer for. MA.


The Atlantic


The word is invoked to refer to a number of surprisingly diverse worldviews — and politicians take advantage of that.
Roughly two-fifths of Americans call themselves “conservative.” What do they mean by the word? It depends. And during a Republican primary, that can be problematic. Every candidate is vying to be the standard-bearer for conservatism, and exploiting the fact that its meaning is variable.
Thus, the need for this exercise.
What follows is an attempt to tease out the many different worldviews Americans are referring to when they invoke the word conservative — and then to figure out which of these worldviews best describe Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul, the choices before Republicans. Bear in mind that what follows aren’t my definitions of conservatism, but what various Americans mean when they use the word.
1. An aversion to rapid change; a belief that tradition and prevailing social norms often contain within them handed down wisdom; and mistrust of attempts to remake society so that it conforms to an abstract account of what would be just or efficient.
2. A desire to preserve the political philosophy and rules of government articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
3. A belief that it is imperative to preserve traditional morality, as it is articulated in the Bible, through cultural norms.
4. A belief that it is imperative to preserve traditional morality, as it is articulated in the Bible, using cultural norms and the power of the state.
5. An embrace of free-market capitalism, and a belief in the legitimacy of market outcomes.
6. A belief that America is an exceptional nation, a shining city on a hill, whose rightful role is leader of the free world.
7. A belief that America should export its brand of democracy through force of arms.
8. The conviction that government should undertake, on behalf of the American polity, grand projects that advance our “national greatness” and ennoble our characters.
9. An embrace of localism, community and family ties, human scale, and a responsibility to the future.
10. A belief that America shouldn’t intervene in the affairs of other nations except to defend ourselves from aggression and enforce contracts and treaties.
11. A desire to return to the way things once were.
12. Affinity for, identification with, or embrace of Red America’s various cultural cues. (For example, gun ownership, a preference for single-family homes oriented around highways rather than urban enclaves organized around public transit, embrace of country music, disdain for arugula and fancy mustard, etc.)
13. Disdain for American liberalism, multiculturalism, identity politics, affirmative action, welfare, European-style social policies, and the left and its ideas generally.
14. A desire to be left alone by government, often coupled with a belief that being left alone is a natural right.
15. A principled belief in federalism.
16. The belief that taxes should be lower and government smaller.
17. The belief that the national debt and deficits put America in peril.
18. The belief that whenever possible, government budgets should be balanced.
19. Consciousness of the fallibility of man, and an awareness of the value of skepticism, doubt and humility.
20. Realism in foreign policy.
21. Non-interventionism in foreign policy.

Granting that any list of this kind is imperfect, I contend the foregoing is sufficient for our purposes. So where do the presidential candidates I’ve mentioned fall?
As best I can tell, Mitt Romney definitely shares the attitudes in 2, 3, 5, 6, 16, and 17. There is controversy about whether he in fact believes in 4 or 13. And he may well believe in 15, but if so it isn’t a defining part of his worldview.
Newt Gingrich definitely subscribes to 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, and 13. He inconsistently invokes 15 and 16, taking actions contrary to them on many occasions.
Rick Santorum is a believer in 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 17, and 19. He claims to believe in 16 but has been inconsistent.
Ron Paul subscribes to 2, 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 21.
Unwieldy as this approach to grappling with the candidates is, it complicates the conversation about who is “most conservative” in a way that increases rather than detracts from clarity. And for that reason, I hope this is the beginning of a conversation, for I’m sure my imperfect product can be improved upon, especially by folks who actually self-identify as conservatives. Are there any significant strains I’ve missed? Are distinct ways of thinking conflated in a single item? Are the beliefs of the candidates accurately summed up? Is there a more concise way to lay all this out? I’ll be checking comments, reading email, and surveying the blogosphere to see how this might be improved.

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Was there a fire extinguisher nearby during this press conference? MA


Jenna Amatulli, HuffPost 12 hours ago

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at Wednesday’s briefing that she didn’t think it was “appropriate to lie from the podium or any other place.”
Sanders’ job is to defend President Donald Trump’s actions, and defend she does. But despite her saying that her job is to “communicate the president’s agenda” and “answer questions as honestly” as she can, Sanders has a history of not doing that with complete truth.
Here are just a few examples of Sanders giving us reasons to pause:
1. When she said at Wednesday’s press briefing that Trump didn’t lie about calls from the Mexican president and leaders of Boy Scouts of America.
Trump said Monday that the president of Mexico called him directly to offer praise for his immigration policies. President Enrique Peña Nieto said in a statement that he “has not had any recent telephone communication with President Donald Trump.” Sanders said in the briefing that this call Trump claimed to have had was actually a reference to a conversation the two presidents shared at the G20 summit. As for the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America, Sanders said they “congratulated” and “praised” Trump after his controversial speech at the National Scout Jamboree last week (though the group says this never happened).
Sanders then admitted that no “actual phone calls” took place; rather, they were in-person conversations. When ABC News’ Cecilia Vega indicated that the president lied, Sanders said she “wouldn’t say it was a lie.”
2. When she said “the president is not a liar.”
In June, former FBI Director James Comey said in his Senate testimony that the Trump administration had spread ‘‘lies, plain and simple,’’ “defaming’’ him at the agency. Sanders then disputed this testimony amid an off-camera briefing at the White House by saying, “The president’s not a liar.’’
According to The New York Times, Trump “told public lies or falsehoods every day for his first 40 days.”
3. When she said that the White House heard from “countless members” of the FBI about their respective lack of confidence in James Comey.
The acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, told lawmakers in a congressional hearing May 11 that that was inaccurate and said that Comey “enjoyed broad support within the FBI, and still does to this day.”
4. When she said that Trump has never “promoted or encouraged violence” after a slew of tweets about the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
During his presidential campaign, in February 2016, Trump said to a crowd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?”
“Seriously. Just knock the hell … I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees,” he added.
5. When she said “multiple news outlets” reported that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps on Trump.
Sanders said “high-profile sources” like The New York Times and BBC had reported this, but the only claim appears to have come from “a November 2016 blog post based on anonymous sources that has not been corroborated by independent U.S. journalists.”
Sanders clearly needs to rethink her definition of honesty ― we’re not even 200 days into this administration.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost .

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The Trump White house has apparently had a revolving door installed. Now Reince Priebus is out and Scaramucci is definitely in. It seems that TOTUS is attempting to get rid of evidence of something. He temporarily silenced Kellyanne Conwoman, shoved Steve Bannon off to the side, fired James Comey and has threatened Jeff Sessions. We have in the mix the departure of Sean Spicer (pushed by the now ousted “Mooch”). The majority party is definitely not looking favorably on all of this along with the ever present tweet storm. With the appointment of General Kelly, Scaramucci is out, who is next in the revolving door?


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Natasha Geiling
Reporter at ThinkProgress. Contact me:
Aug 1

“Today the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth.”

A senior official with the Environmental Protection Agency has resigned from her post, citing the Trump administration’s anti-environment and anti-regulatory agenda in her exit statement as part of her reason for leaving.
Elizabeth Southerland worked for the EPA for 30 years, most recently as Director of the Office of Science and Technology for the agency’s Water Office.
In her farewell letter, posted publicly by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), Southerland singles out several Trump-era regulatory rollbacks, which she argues are threatening the core mission of the EPA.
Southerland criticized EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s approach to working with states on environmental enforcement, arguing that Pruitt’s desire to shift environmental protection to the states while cutting funding for federally-funded state environmental programs would merely force states to either increase taxes or decrease environmental enforcement.
She also raised concerns over the administration’s new requirement that for every new regulation, one regulation must be repealed.
“This poses a real Sophie’s choice for public health agencies like EPA,” Southerland wrote. “Should EPA repeal two existing rules protecting infants from neurotoxins in order to promulgate a new rule protecting adults from a newly discovered liver toxin? Faced with such painful choices, the best possible outcome for the American people would be regulatory paralysis where no new rules are released so that existing protections remain in place.”
EPA environmental justice leader on his resignation: ‘I needed to stand up’

Mustafa Ali has been with the EPA since 1992. He told ThinkProgress that he “saw something that was significantly…

But Southerland noted that Pruitt has already begun repealing 30 existing environmental regulations, like the Clean Power Plan, the Clean Water Rule, and a rule requiring stricter emissions monitoring for oil and gas operations on federal lands.
“When the federal government abandons the polluter pays principle, it will be up to the states, tribes and local government to decide how much of the polluters bills they will ask their residents to take on,” Southerland wrote of the Trump administration’s deregulatory approach. “The best case for our children and grandchildren is that they will pay the polluters bills through increased state taxes, new user fees, and higher water and sewer bills. The worst case is that they will have to live with increased public health and safety risks and a degraded environment.”
Southerland concluded her letter by railing against the Trump administration’s antagonism towards scientific fact. Under Pruitt, the EPA has begun a red-team, blue-team initiative aimed at challenging consensus climate science, and has regularly chastised the Obama administration for it’s “war on coal.” Pruitt, meanwhile, is under review by the EPA’s Office of Inspector General for comments he made suggesting that carbon dioxide is not the primary cause of climate change — a statement contradicted by broad scientific consensus.
“Today the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth,” she wrote. “The truth is there is NO war on coal, there is NO economic crisis caused by environmental protection, and climate change IS caused by man’s activities.”
Southerland told the Washington Post that she wrote the letter because she felt it was her “civic duty to explain the impact of this administration’s policies on public health and safety.”
Southerland is not the only senior EPA official to voice criticism of the current administration upon their resignation. Mustafa Ali, former head of the environmental justice program at the Environmental Protection Agency, told ThinkProgress in March after his resignation that he “needed to stand up” to the new administration. And Mike Cox, who retired from the agency in April after three decades, wrote in his resignation letter that “this is the first time I remember staff openly dismissing and mocking the environmental policies of an administration” and, by extension, the EPA administrator.
Thanks to Samantha Page.


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Robert Kuttner
August 1, 2017

The president looks to be on the verge of repeating Richard Nixon’s fatal miscalculations.
An earlier version of this article appeared at The Huffington Post.
Donald Trump’s vendetta against Attorney General Jeff Sessions has gone underground for a few days, as the president deals with the serial firings of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Anthony Scaramucci. But Trump’s rancor at Sessions has not gone away.
His obvious motive in wanting Sessions out is getting an attorney general willing to do Trump’s bidding and fire the special counsel, Robert Mueller. In this chess game, key Republican senators have indicated their support for Mueller, even warning Trump that they would refuse to confirm a successor and that they would block a recess appointment by keeping the Senate technically in session during the August break.
But the string of recent firings reinforces the sense that Trump, even when he knows the stakes, is incapable of restraining himself when he wants someone fired.
In the case of Scaramucci, Trump made the mistake of auditioning the Mooch for the communications director job in real time, as in reality TV. Scaramucci evidently failed the test, making the calamitous error of thinking that the White House had room for two Trumps.
Trump looks to be on the verge of repeating Richard Nixon’s fatal miscalculations in the October 20, 1973, Saturday Night Massacre, in which both Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than following Nixon’s order to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Nixon kept working his way down the Justice Department hierarchy until he found someone willing to do his bidding, Solicitor General Robert Bork.
This move got rid of Cox, but fatally damaged Nixon’s relations with Congress and public opinion. A successor special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, picked up Cox’s investigation, and Nixon was brought up on impeachment charges and was compelled to resign once his removal looked inevitable.
Trump is not famous for reading history, much less learning from it. Once Trump makes up his mind that Mueller has to go, he will likely go as far down the Justice Department food chain as he needs to until he finds someone willing to do the deed.

Trump has a penchant for firing prosecutors when they begin getting too close to his affairs. He fired the FBI director James Comey, after Comey refused to follow Trump’s suggestion that he go easy on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. And he fired Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, who was investigating the Trump family’s financial dealings.
Trump has clumsily tried to impugn Mueller’s integrity by suggesting that Mueller or his associates have conflicts of interest, and he as much as told The New York Times that if he didn’t like where Mueller’s investigation was heading, he would be inclined to force Mueller out.
Senator Lindsey Graham said flatly that firing Mueller would be “the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.”
But Republicans have warned Trump that if he fired Mueller they would change the law to make the special counsel fireproof. Senator Lindsey Graham said flatly that firing Mueller would be “the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.”
However, that remedy could take some time. And in the meantime, Trump’s designee could fire Mueller and order his files and his investigation to be turned over to the main Justice Department, thus slowing things down.
One thing Mueller might do is to give an interim report to key congressional committees. If Trump or his henchmen try to fire Mueller, he could also provide Congress with key documents, as well as litigate the firing.
Republicans in Congress, many of whom loathe Trump and his behavior, have been willing to work with him, opportunistically, because he serves their purposes of destroying government regulation, weakening public institutions, cutting taxes, and undermining several policies of the Obama era.
But after last week’s serial reversals, Republican patience may be coming to an end.
On the heels of the defeat of the effort to repeal Obamacare and the astonishing way Trump used Anthony Scaramucci to oust Priebus and then dumped Scaramucci, at least two dozen key Republican legislators have warned Trump not to fire Sessions.
For Trump to oust Sessions and then Mueller would be reckless, and ultimately self-annihilating, for it would undermine what’s left of Republican loyalty to this president. But everything in Trump’s character and recent behavior suggests he will try to force Mueller out anyway. And that could indeed be the beginning of the end.

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