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The US EPA Reduces Safety Rules (plus Tweets)

There is so much that is execrable to comment on in the Trump Administration, too much just goes under the radar. Covering Trump’s tweets every day is a full time job in itself. While he accuses others of fake news, his own outright lies are legion. The Washington Post documents over 2,000 lies or misleading statements in his first 355 days in office. And he spent 91 of those days playing golf.

However, Trump’s antics are distracting much of the media and therefore his country from a lot of the bad stuff other Republicans are doing. One of the worst is Scott Pruitt, head  of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Before he was head of the EPA, Pruitt was attorney general of Oklahoma. In that role he appeared to have ties with both the fossil fuel industry and conservative groups that supported it beyond what was normal. The Washington Post reports that liberal watchdog group CMD asked for Pruitt’s official emails released.

After two years of Pruitt refusing the request, a judge ordered him to comply. However, it was not until just after his confirmation as EPA head that he did so. It was soon clear why. The emails showed Pruitt’s relationship with the fossil fuel industry and their conservative supporters was dishonourable at the very least. I’m no lawyer, but if what he did is legal, it shouldn’t be. Either way, it should have meant he was ineligible for his new role.

As an example, attorneys at Devon Energy drafted a letter to the then EPA Administrator for Pruitt to sign that supported what they wanted. The Washington Post reports:

In another email chain on March 21, 2013, Whitsitt [of Devon Energy] wrote to Pruitt’s office offering a draft of a letter that state attorneys general might sign and send to the then-acting EPA administrator regarding limits on methane emissions. Devon, which has substantial shale gas and shale oil drilling operations, would have been affected by the rule.

Since becoming head of the EPA, Pruitt has continued in his actions to support the fossil fuel industry and the conservative groups that advocate on its behalf. The environment, on the other hand, is losing more and more of its protections. There have been several ways in which Pruitt has proven to be a joke when it comes protecting the environment. He announced another of his so-called “reforms” last week. From Mic:

The Environmental Protection Agency is changing the way it evaluates new chemicals for environmental and health hazards, reducing the burden on chemical companies to make their products safer.

Chemicals used in everything from cleaning products to consumer goods like children’s toys are expected to face fewer barriers to being approved for market, causing concern among safety activists and environmentalists alike.

The administration plans to stop making companies sign legal agreements known as “consent orders” for products that have risks associated with “reasonably foreseen” uses of their products that are not associated with the products’ intended use.

That means if a product has potentially dangerous effects to a person’s health or to the environment, but those effects only happen when people use the products in ways they weren’t designed for, companies will face fewer legal liabilities.

The media is doing a great job holding Trump to account, but while he distracts them, there’s a lot more going on. He insists “no-one loves the environment more than me.” But pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord and the multiple changes made by the EPA tell a different story. The Trump presidency is a danger to the improving record of the US on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Environment Tweets

This section is at the top today, because another of Trump’s appointees is doing an equally terrible job. This time it’s Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior. The article in the link about a mass resignation outlines the other disgraceful things he’s done as Secretary of the Interior. While the rest of the world is increasing the amount of land brought under government protection, the US is increasing the rape of both the land and the sea bed.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Political Tweets

(All via Ann German.)

America First, and the failure to include the Dreamers in legislation.

 

 

What is is about power that turns men into hypocrites?

 

Well that’s a turnaround for the books!

 

Mueller Time Tweets

Yet another shoe dropping.
(Via Ann German.)

 

There’s also a thread of nine tweets following the one above providing more information, including these three …

 

 

 

Pre-Mueller Time Tweets

Some of this looks like it may be exaggerated to me, but most is accurate.

 

Women’s March Tweets

(All via Ann German.)

 

Great response to above tweet …

 

 

“I Don’t Know Where Else to Put This” Tweets

Men and death. It has that effect. As Ann German said, “WE know that.”

 

“I don’t know what black pudding is, but it obviously has its uses.” That’s true. It does have uses aside from breaking out of a freezer, none of which I’d recommend, including eating one!
(Via Ann German.)

 

Human Rights Tweets

I love that sign: “Fight like a girl.”

 

Exactly. Think people.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Religion Tweets

I’ve been wondering when we would hear this (from the link in the tweet below):

Grandparents James and Betty Turpin have said they were shocked by the allegations, describing their son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren as a good Christian family who were “highly respected”.

“God called on” the couple to have as many children as they did, the grandparents added. …

They told ABC News that the children were given “very strict home-schooling” and they would memorise long passages of the Bible, with some striving to memorise it in its entirety.

And then there’s this:

Police then went to the home where they found “several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings”. …

Police said the parents “were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner”.

WTF? What logical reason could there EVER be to shackle children to their beds?

 

History Tweets

As Ann German said when she sent me this, “History repeating itself.”

 

Very cool!

History will remember this man kindly.

 

Entertainment Tweets

Is this where the inspiration came from?
(Via Ann German.)

 

I’m a few days late, but this is good.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Scenic Tweets

I’d love to go to Venice so much!

 

Space Tweets

Amazing!

 

New Zealand Tweets (Part One)

Another day where I’m proud to be a Kiwi. New Zealand is now a country that launches rockets. The other eleven are all big countries – US, Russia, China, India etc. Once again, we’re punching above our weight!

 

“Still Testing” is the name of the rocket.

 

 

New Zealand Tweets (Part Two)

Jacinda Adern is our prime minister.

 

She’s just announced she’s having a baby in June. She’ll take six weeks maternity leave, then her partner Clarke Gayford will be a stay-at-home dad. Those are Maori fish hooks carved from obsidian in the pic. They represent Clarke, Jacinda, and the baby.

 

Creepy Crawlies Tweets

More amazing macro-photography from A Bugz Wife …

 

Other Animals Tweets

What a cutie!
(Via Ann German.)

 

One for Linda Calhoun!

 

Wolfdogs are beautiful, but they need special care. Don’t buy one from a breeder!

 

Bird Tweets

Very sad. New Zealand has a goal of being predator-free by 2050. Several offshore islands are already predator free, but it’s going to be difficult to achieve in the North and South Islands. Some are being defeatist and saying we shouldn’t try. That personally pisses me off. I believe we can do it, except for pets.

 

A response to the above tweet …

 

This swan is a bird-brain!

 

I can’t remember if I’ve put this up before. My apologies if I have, but it’s cool anyway.

 

Lucky Detroit!
(Via Ann German.)

 

Dog Tweets

Waiting for dad.

 

Cat Tweets

The most surprising thing about this is no one has done it before! (Cue: all the people providing proof I’m wrong!)
(Via Ann German.)

 

Ugg boots are making a comeback! This kitteh doesn’t mind!

 

This is HILARIOUS!


 

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10 Responses to “The US EPA Reduces Safety Rules (plus Tweets)”

  1. j.a.m. says:

    Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018

    Good to see some people heeded the President’s call!

    • j.a.m. says:

      An Australian commentator looks at the accomplishments of MAGA Year One and notes, “The visceral and often irrational disdain for Donald Trump displayed by otherwise seemingly high-functioning adults is beyond easy explanation…

      “The mainstream media has given him virtually zero credit for any of this. Transparently, the political/media class accused Trump of taking the world to the brink of nuclear war by standing up to Kim, then wrote him out of the script when North Korea turned up for its first talks with South Korea in more than two years. They have ignored the defeat of Islamic State in Iraq as diligently as they averted their eyes from Obama’s red lines in Syria. Trump’s critics fall for his rhetorical tricks, delivering his messages for him. His Mexican wall is more a difference of building materials and language than of border security policy. Yet the exaggerated opposition gives him clear differentiation on a strong issue. Likewise, knee-jerk media defensiveness confirms his claim of partisanship. When serious journalists say Trump threatens freedom of the press because he accuses media of “fake news” and bias, they simply demonstrate their antipathy.”

      https://news22741224.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/trumps-first-year-truth-gets-lost-in-hysteria/

      • There’s so much wrong there I don’t even know where to start. It’s called Gish Galloping, and you engage in it frequently. If you want to try proper analysis, how about setting up your own website? You write on mine almost as much as I do. Of course, then you’d have to use your real name if you want to be taken seriously.

        If you have a valid reason for hiding behind a pseudonym, let me know privately. I never reveal such information. Otherwise, honesty would be appreciated.

    • Mark R. says:

      Thanks for reminding us so frequently of your pettiness and ignorance; not that we’ll soon forget. This comment is meant for j.a.m. and d.j.t.

  2. Linda Calhoun says:

    Thanks, Heather, for the goat/horse picture.

    L

  3. Mark R. says:

    Thanks for highlighting the demise of the EPA. It hasn’t been too difficult to follow (unless you’re a FOX viewer) though non-FOX MSM needs to do a better job covering the vast damage this administration is doing beneath Trump’s racist outbursts, distortions/lies and moronic Tweets (like the one j.a.m. proudly displayed above). Trump, his family, his administration and the GOP in general have one goal: personal gain. There is nothing so transparent as the tax-scam-bill to reveal this reality. They will destroy anything that gets in the way of their rapacious power-grab.

    I first learned about cats’ Herpetophobia on WEIT with (iirc) a cucumber or something that looked snake-like. I know the kitteh here is freaked, but I couldn’t help laughing. Maybe it thinks the lizards are toys, but can’t grok it when they become animated.

    No surprise that the Turpin’s were motivated by their loving jebus. The contrivance that is religion has destroyed many lives…always has, always will.

    Are those Maori obsidian fish hooks carved by hand? They look too perfect, but I’ve seen enough amazing hand-carved items to believe it.

    Venice is one of the coolest cities I’ve visited…give it at least two full days if you make it there. It is very colorful, but the photo above has been enhanced by (I think) saturation.

    • I first found out about cats and snakes on WEIT too with another very funny video of a series of cats freaking out to things like cucumbers.

      I don’t know for sure if those particular hooks are carved by hand, but even these days many still tend to do them by hand to maintain the integrity of the process. The only ones I’ve seen actually in the midst of being carved were being done with a machine though. Obviously the main reason for making them these days is the tourist market, and they’d be too expensive otherwise.

    • nicky says:

      Yes, those colours from Venice have been -not very subtly- enhanced, there is no doubt there,
      And I cannot believe these hooks are obsidian, at least not traditionally worked obsidian, too.

  4. nicky says:

    Indeed, the gutting of the EPA by Mr Pruitt will be one of Mr Trump’s most disastrous ‘achievements’ that will take about the longest time to repair, probably even longer than the gutting of the State Department and the planned gutting of the education system and the deluge of often unqualified, but solidly partisan, circuit and lower judges (basically Mr McConnell’s doing).
    The WaPo link is nearly a year old, it appears damaging, but I doubt all it describes is illegal, sad.
    It was clear from the beginning that putting Mr Pruitt in charge of the EPA was like putting a convicted rapist in charge of a girl’s orphanage.

    • All the stuff in WaPo came out at the time of his confirmation hearing. However, because it was unknown until the week after the hearing, the Dems were unable to get enough Reps on their side to oppose him. Trump, of course, didn’t care about the corruption and probably liked it because he clearly believes the end justifies the means, and he liked the end.

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