24 Jan 2017 – A Rogue National Park Is Tweeting Out Climate Change Facts in Defiance of Donald Trump

Badlands National Park posted several facts about climate change on its official Twitter account Tuesday afternoon, sharing statistics that might contradict the beliefs of President Donald Trump’s new administration.

“Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years. #climate,” the park tweeted on Tuesday.

Time

https://archive.is/A1HZz

24 Jan 2017 – Trump Bans EPA From Talking To Press, Posting On Social Media

President Donald Trump appears to have banned employees with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from speaking with reporters and posting updates on social media.

According to the Associated Press, the social media ban is part of new restrictions at the EPA under Trump’s administration.

Just a day before, the Huffington Post reported EPA grants had been frozen and agency employees were not allowed to speak about it.

According to the Hill, Trump administration officials reportedly told the Department of Interior to stop sending tweets from its accounts this past weekend after the National Park Service retweeted information about crowd sizes at Trump’s inauguration.

Trump Bans EPA From Talking To Press, Posting On Social Media

https://archive.is/NTqKU

23 Jan 2017 – Trump issues executive order freezing hiring for federal workforce

In 1982, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined hiring freezes imposed by former presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and determined that was not an effective strategy.

Hiring freezes have “little effect on Federal employment levels,” the GAO said. The report said the freezes “disrupted agency operations, and in some cases, increased costs to the Government.”

Washington Post

https://archive.is/gh2y2

 

23 Jan 2017 – After ethics review, Senate postpones committee vote for Betsy DeVos

“Here’s some bullet points and a basic timeline:

•Each senator present was given 5 minutes to address DeVos. (there were maybe 20 senators present, I didn’t count).


•Democrats realized immediately they would not have enough time to ask all their questions and began asking about the committee leader about the opportunity of a second round of questions. Committee chair Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) stated that no second round of questions would be allowed because it would be “unfair treatment because Obama’s 2 picks before didn’t have a second round of questions”.


•Multiple Democratic senators then cited that all previous committee reviews were given the option of a second round of questions. I believe it was Warren that quoted Committee chair Alexander from previous sessions on the record directly asking if anyone wanted a second round of questions, then she provided counts of the number of senators that had stayed to participate in a second round of questions in multiple previous occurrences. Alexander dismissed that sticking by his statement that having a second round of questions for DeVos would be unprecedented, would be unfair, and would not be allowed.


•Democrats pointed out that all previous appointees had submitted their ethics review documents prior to the hearing so that the senators could review it in advance, and that DeVos had not done that. They wanted to wait until she had provided those documents before asking more questions, and chair Alexander basically said it doesn’t matter, its not a law that she has to do the ethics survey, and she won’t be required to if she doesn’t want to.


•Democrats had a litany of really eye-opening facts and questions that she either flatly denied, refused to answer, or evaded. When presented with a question like “do you think all schools that get federal funding, whether they are public/private/charter, should be subject to the same accountability and performance requirements, she said “I’d leave that to the states” and when repeated the question making emphasis on “federal” she just said “i support accountability” and then refused to say anything else.


•Franken (D-MN) asked specific questions about her thoughts on rating schools and students based on progress/improvement versus arbitrary proficiency standards, and she didn’t understand the difference.


•DeVos’s whole campaign stance is that “parents need to have options to send their kids to the school that is right for their student”. However there was no mention of distance, cost, funding, ability, performance, etc. It was a very similar attitude as “states rights”, basically that the federal government obviously can’t run public schools properly, so as the public schools are shown to be failing, strip their funding so that other forms of school (charter/private) obviously need to be strengthened, and that the states would know what’s best for their schools. It was then pointed out that Michigan charter schools (where she was republican chairwoman) have 17% proficiency rates, so how could she be trusted with the whole nation? she evaded and blamed poverty in Detroit as the reason.


•DeVos has never attended a public school, and none of her kids of family has either. She has never worked at a public school either. She has never led or been involved with an entity with even 1/1000th the budget of the education department.


•Republicans of course praised her, didn’t really ask any questions, except a few generic slow pitch questions like “are you a good pick?” or “do you support equal education opportunities for all students?” of which she of course thanked them for the question, smiled, and said yes. It was oddly creepy, the circlejerking the republicans were doing.


•DeVos never ONCE mentioned anything about what she would do for public schools, other than ensure they were held to accountability standards so that if they fail, they are closed/stripped of funding. ”  ——/u/elislider

Washington Post

https://archive.is/rmhjh

20 Jan 2017 – All References to Climate Change Have Been Deleted From the White House Website

“President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.”

White House

https://archive.is/U89Ec

16 Jan 2017 – Trump’s cabinet pick invested in company, then introduced a bill to help it

Rep. Tom Price last year purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company, raising new ethics concerns for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary.



After Price offered his bill to provide Zimmer Biomet and other companies relief from the CMS regulation, the company’s political action committee donated to the congressman’s reelection campaign, records show.

CNN

https://archive.is/nRb5Y

15 Jan 2017 – Trump’s first foreign trip as president will be to meet Putin

“The U.K. newspaper said Trump and his team told British officials that their first foreign trip would be a summit in Iceland with Putin within weeks of his inauguration.

Iceland has not been formally contacted about such an event”

The Hill

https://archive.is/4uEtL

 

14 Jan 2017 – Donald Trump kicks off MLK weekend by slandering Civil Rights hero John Lewis

@realDonaldTrump: Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart…

John Lewis represents Georgia’s 5th district, which includes 3/4 of Atlanta. While I don’t have statistics for the 5th district exclusively, the Atlanta metro area is America’s 8th largest economy, and contains America’s third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies.

@realDonaldTrump: …not to mention crime infection…

While crime in Atlanta is a problem, between 2001 and 2009, Atlanta’s crime rate dropped 40%, with homicides down 57%, rape down 72%, and violent crime overall down 55%.

@realDonaldTrump: All talk, talk, talk – no action or results.

Lewis’ civil rights activism during the 60’s resulted in him being beaten multiple times and even had his group’s bus fire-bombed by the KKK. He was quoted as saying, “We were determined not to let any act of violence keep us from our goal. We knew our lives could be threatened, but we had made up our minds not to turn back.”

Share Blue

https://archive.is/Gb6hd

13 Jan 2017 – Trump aide in frequent contact with Russian envoy

President-elect Donald Trump’s national security adviser and Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. have been in frequent contact in recent weeks, including on the day the Obama administration hit Moscow with sanctions in retaliation for election-related hacking, a senior U.S. official said Friday.

After initially denying that Michael Flynn and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak spoke Dec. 29, a Trump official said late Friday that the transition team was aware of one call on the day President Barack Obama imposed sanctions.



Associated Press

https://archive.is/pZamo