Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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July 2019

Greenland is melting away before our eyes

Eric Holthaus reports: Amid an ongoing heat wave, new data show the Greenland ice sheet is in the middle of its biggest melt season in recorded history. It’s the latest worrying signal climate change is accelerating far beyond the worst fears of even climate scientists. The record-setting heat wave that sweltered northern Europe last week has moved north over the critically vulnerable Greenland ice sheet, triggering temperatures this week that

Alaska’s sweltering summer is ‘basically off the charts’

The Washington Post reports: Steve Perrins didn’t see the lightning, but he couldn’t miss the smoke that followed. It was around dinnertime on July 23 at Alaska’s oldest hunting lodge, nestled in the wilderness more than 100 miles northwest of Anchorage. What began as a quiet evening at the Rainy Pass Lodge soon turned frantic as Alaska’s latest wildfire spread fast. The Alaska National Guard soon evacuated 26 people and

White House ‘undercutting evidence’ of climate crisis, says analyst who resigned

The Guardian reports: A former senior government analyst has accused the Trump administration of “undercutting evidence” of the threat to national security from the climate crisis after his report on the issue was blocked by the White House. Rod Schoonover, who worked as an intelligence analyst for the federal government for 10 years before resigning earlier this month, submitted a written testimony on the “wide-ranging implications” of global heating over

Homes are being built the fastest in many flood-prone areas, study finds

The New York Times reports: In many coastal states, flood-prone areas have seen the highest rates of home construction since 2010, a study found, suggesting that the risks of climate change have yet to fundamentally change people’s behavior. The study, by Climate Central, a New Jersey research group, looked at the 10-year flood risk zone — the area with a 10 percent chance of flooding in any given year —

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Criticizing the occupation doesn’t make you anti-Semitic or anti-Israel

Haaretz reports: Freshman Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as a myriad of other topics, while on New York radio station Hot 97’s morning show “Ebro in the Morning” with Ibrahim “Ebro” Darden. “How do you have white supremacist Jews?” Ebro asked the congresswoman. “How do you have people like Stephen Miller? How do you have these individuals who are legit aligning with racism and white

George Wallace’s daughter: ‘Unfortunately it does look like the ‘60s now’

John Archibald writes: Peggy Wallace Kennedy went to political rallies with her dad – George Wallace – as he ran for president in the ‘60s and ‘70s. She saw hate and anger that a child should not have to see. She felt a bitterness she did not at the time comprehend. She didn’t know why protesters in the northeast threw ink on her new beige dress outside one of those

Jeffrey Epstein hoped to seed the human race with his own DNA

The New York Times reports: Jeffrey E. Epstein, the wealthy financier who is accused of sex trafficking, had an unusual dream: He hoped to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women at his vast New Mexico ranch. Mr. Epstein over the years confided to scientists and others about his scheme, according to four people familiar with his thinking, although there is no evidence that it ever came

Music: Esbjörn Svensson Trio — ‘Seven Days of Falling’

 

Republicans see Israel as a model for what they want America to be: A white, Judeo-Christian state

Peter Beinart writes: If you listened earlier this month to Republican responses to Donald Trump’s call for Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley to “go back” to the “places from which they came,” you noticed something odd. Trump’s defenders kept mentioning Israel. “They hate Israel,”replied Lindsey Graham when asked about Trump’s attacks on The Squad. Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin called Omar and Tlaib “anti-Israel.” Trump himself responded

Trump intel pick John Ratcliffe started conspiracy theory about FBI anti-Trump ‘secret society’

The Daily Beast reports: Donald Trump’s new pick for director of national intelligence played a role last year in popularizing what briefly became one of the right’s most easily debunked conspiracy theories about the investigation into the president and Russia, offering what he presented as evidence of an anti-Trump “secret society” operating within the FBI. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, has been an outspoken

What Mueller said

Politico: ROBERT MUELLER was panned last week for being short in his testimony before Congress, giving little ammo to Democrats who wanted to capitalize politically from his appearance. … BUT DEMOCRATIC AD-MAKER MARK PUTNAM has cut the first paid ad from the hearings, funded by TOM STEYER’S Need to Impeach, a spot that’s going to grab many eyeballs in the coming days. The group is spending in the mid-six figures

Trump ineligible for California primary next year unless he discloses his tax returns

The Los Angeles Times reports: President Trump will be ineligible for California’s primary ballot next year unless he discloses his tax returns under a state law that immediately took effect Tuesday, an unprecedented mandate that is almost certain to spark a high-profile court fight and might encourage other states to adopt their own unconventional rules for presidential candidates. The law, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on his final day to

As deficit explodes, GOP demands emergency tax cut for the rich

Bess Levin writes: A sitting U.S. president who can’t stop attacking black and brown people. A never-ending trade war that has necessitated more than one multibillion-dollar farm bailout. A humanitarian crisis on the border of his own state. These are just a handful of the many issues that Senator Ted Cruz could be focused on. Instead, he’s currently devoting his efforts to a much more important cause: demanding another tax

How the government actually spends your federal tax dollars

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress claim that America spends too much on things like food stamps, welfare, and foreign aid. But let’s look at how the government actually spends your federal tax dollars each year. pic.twitter.com/yHPOvPZvRN — Robert Reich (@RBReich) July 30, 2019

To be able to remember, you have to be able to forget

Lauren Gravitz writes: Memories make us who we are. They shape our understanding of the world and help us to predict what’s coming. For more than a century, researchers have been working to understand how memories are formed and then fixed for recall in the days, weeks or even years that follow. But those scientists might have been looking at only half the picture. To understand how we remember, we

Music: Esbjörn Svensson Trio — ‘The Face of Love’