Climate change skeptic to head EPA; McMorris Rodgers as Interior secretary?

By Joe Connelly

The Trump administration appears set to take a hard right turn on environmental policy, with climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt as boss of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., a possible Interior secretary.

Pruitt is Oklahoma’s attorney general and a down-the-line ally of the oil and gas industry. The EPA appointment was leaked Wednesday afternoon.

The Oklahoma AG has sued the EPA over its Clean Power Plan, designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions at power plants.  He has also sued the EPA for its recently announced measures to curb emissions of methane from oil and gas plants.


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27 COMMENTS

  1. q

    This is a quite stunning film. It is a gripping narrative of the two most destructive forces in US culture.

    I like to set it against “Slow West” which is a metaphor for the deep well of decency that can survive the desperate struggle for survival out West which latter still haunts American sensibilities with its residuum of selfishness.

  2. Look at this far-right lunacy, this insidious propaganda! This is from the website that the shadowy, nefarious, libertarian, abortion-hating, religious, nationalist Steve Bannon ran before becoming Trump’s chief adviser. He is still his adviser.

    An excerpt:

    In the headline I call the climate change industry a hoax. That’s because, on any objective level it is. I don’t mean that all the scientists and businesses and politicians promoting it are abject liars — just most of them, even if it means that in order to keep earning their living they have to be dishonest with themselves about something they know in their hearts not to be true.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/08/climate-change-the-hoax-that-costs-us-4-billion-a-day/

  3. These bastards. Rick Perry is now on board. This is absolutely a war on climate science, and the height of madness. No one talked about climate change in the media. No money in that. It was all about Trump “softening his position” on immigration – for weeks, and about he said this and she did that, and the debates, where this issue wasn’t even raised. Hillary was not a climate change denier, and I believe most people knew that and didn’t care – because she’s so “dishonest”! Pathetic country.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/us/politics/rick-perry-energy-secretary-trump.html?_r=0

  4. Meanwhile – back in the real world:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38307176

    Scientists have used Cold War spy satellites to reveal the dramatic environmental changes in the Himalayas.

    They compared pictures collected by a US reconnaissance programme with recent satellite data to measure the extent of glacial melt.

    They believe the now-declassified images could help to show how other remote regions have changed over time.

    The research was presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall meeting in San Francisco.

    “This imagery will be getting used more and more,” said Josh Maurer from Columbia University in New York.

    The images were taken by a United States spy satellite programme that went by the codename of Hexagon.

    During the 1970s and 1980s, it launched 20 huge reconnaissance satellites into space, which secretly snapped areas of interest below.

    The images were taken on rolls of film, which were then dropped by the satellites, and collected mid-air by passing military planes.

    The material collected was declassified in 2011 and is now being digitised by the US Geological Survey (USGS) for scientists to use.

    Among the spy images are pictures of the Himalayas, an area for which historical data is scarce. By comparing them with more recent satellite imagery from Nasa and Jaxa (Japanese Space Agency) scientists have been able to see how the region has changed.

    “What we are trying to do is to quantify by exactly how much are the glaciers retreating, how much ice are they losing and at what rate,” said Josh Maurer.

    “So we’ve used the images to extract 3D models of the terrain back in the 1970s.

    “We can see the height of the glacier ice in 1973, and we take those elevation models, and can take the difference between those and the modern day elevation models, and we can work out how the ice volume is changing over time.”

    The researchers have found that the extent of the ice loss has been great.

    “At every point on the glacier surface across the whole of the Himalayas a quarter of a metre of water is being lost each year,” said Mr Maurer.

    “I wouldn’t say it’s surprising given the climate data we have, but it is very very interesting to see how much ice is lost.

    “And populations downstream where they depend on these water resources are going to be affected.

    “As the glaciers shrink and retreat, the amount of run-off they provide to these streams will increase in the short term as they melt, but over the next 100 years it will decrease more and more, and that’s going to have a negative impact on water resources.”

  5. I think Trump’s strategy, both for winning the election and for what he intends to do during his presidency has finally become clear to me. I’m going to post an analysis shortly but I’m still working on a few things. I’m afraid it’s going to be rather long so apologies for that. I’ll write it offline and paste it in. I might as well make a complete tit of myself by predicting the future and ending up being proven completely wrong but we’ll see. If I’m right though the world is about to become a very interesting place.

  6. It seems he is waging war on all the constructive and intelligent policies he can find! – and has again selected the worst reactionary candidate available!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38337108

    US President-elect Donald Trump has chosen right-winger David Friedman as America’s next ambassador to Israel.

    The 57-year-old lawyer is strongly critical of the long-held US goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    He also supports Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank, which the Obama administration considers an “obstacle to peace”.

    A liberal Jewish group opposed his nomination. Conservatives welcomed it.

    Mr Friedman said he looked forward to working “from the US Embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem”, a statement that will anger Palestinians.

    The United Nations does not recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the US embassy has been located in Tel Aviv for decades.

    But Mr Trump had promised during the presidential campaign to move it to Jerusalem, one of several overtures he made to Israel.

    The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contentious issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Mr Friedman advised Mr Trump on US-Israel issues during the election campaign.

    He has made clear his support for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which he refers to using the biblical names of Judea and Samaria, and East Jerusalem.

    About 570,000 Israelis live in more than 130 settlements built in these areas since 1967.

    The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

    J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group based in Washington, said it was “vehemently” opposed to the nomination of Mr Friedman.

    “As someone who has been a leading American friend of the settlement movement, who lacks any diplomatic or policy credentials and who has attacked liberal Jews who support two states as ‘worse than kapos’, Friedman should be beyond the pale for senators considering who should represent the United States in Israel.

    So here’s a really good move to boost recruitment for ISIS and BOKO HARAM, which should also build up the US image as “The Big Satan” in the Arab and Islamic world!!

  7. The world under Trump – an analysis of Trump’s election and future presidential strategy

    It’s fair to say the world has been stunned by Trump’s success in the 2016 election. Most people have found it hard to understand why people would vote for an incorrigible liar, narcissist, sociopath with very few specific policy statements other than he’s going to make America great again, lock Hillary up and build a wall. It’s becoming clearer though that he won with Russian assistance and his cabinet picks are showing what his intentions are, and no doubt always were. To understand those we need to go back in history a few years.

    In the year 2000 American gdp was about 10 trillion dollars. It sat way out at number 1 with Japan in second place with just under half that gdp at a bit less than 5 trillion. China was down in 6th place with 1.2 trillion dollars, behind Germany, France and the UK. Russia was barely a blip on the graph with 259 billion dollars in 17th place.

    Today the USA’s gdp is over 18 trillion with China in 2nd place with 10 trillion, over half the USA’s gdp at current exchange rates whereas Japan, now 3rd, has stagnated at its former 5 trillion.

    But that’s not the whole story. GDP at current exchange rates doesn’t tell you what a country can do with its money inside its own borders. To see that we need to know what goods actually cost in each country. Most western countries have exchange rates locked together so that goods cost about the same amount in local currency everywhere. A car or a big Mac in the USA cost a similar amount in dollars as they do in pounds in the UK converted at the exchange rate. Poorer countries and those outside of this exchange rate system can be much cheaper to live in. An average basket of goods in China costs about half of what it does in the USA relative to what people earn in their local currency. If China wants to build a dam for hydroelectricy or expand its military it costs about half what that same dam, or army, would cost in the USA. So although China only has just over half the USA’s gdp at current exchange rates it can do twice as much with that gdp.

    In terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) China is actually the world’s largest economy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

    That’s why Trump sees China as the greatest threat to American dominance of world affairs. With even more internal purchasing power than the USA but an exchange rate that mean its goods are half the price of American ones it can sell to the rest of the world to drive its economy even higher while buying very little from outside.

    Enter Russia. By far the largest country in land area, even after the break up of the Soviet Union, it has enormous natural resources, many of them untapped because its languishing economy doesn’t have the money to exploit them. The world’s largest natural gas reserves, second largest coal reserves and 8th largest oil reserves. Much of this is locked under Siberian permafrost making it difficult to get at. If that permafrost were to melt it would release trillions of dollars worth of resources and turn vast areas of frozen wilderness into productive farm land leading to an enormous potential expansion of population and gdp.

    There’s a fly in the ointment though. For countries which aren’t buried under permafrost, global warming is a threat to their coastlines, agriculture and way of life. Global warming isn’t in doubt. We’ve long known the relationship between CO2 and atmospheric heat retention. It’s much less clear how the planet’s weather systems will react to this though. Enough doubt for the fossil fuel industry to muddy the waters about how much of a threat global warming really is.

    Russia also has a very low exchange rate. Goods cost even less there than in China. If Russia actually had goods that the rest of the world wanted it could sell them very cheaply. Other than oil and gas it has very little high tech or other manufacturing though. What might it do with a huge investment from the USA in both money and technology? The answer is it could become a major player in cars, computers, ships and especially fossil fuels. It could align with the USA to provide oil and gas reserves for decades to come, create huge job opportunities for American fossil fuel and tech companies and create a bulwark against Chinese economic superiority.

    What better then than if two sociopathic oligarchs aligned their interests, one secretly helping the other to win election in return for vast investment to unlock its resources and become a major world player again?

    On January 20th 2017 we are going to see the beginning of the Russo-American hegemony. Trump is currently worth a paltry few billion dollars. 10 by his own reckoning and maybe 4 by other people’s. Aligned with Putin who is young enough to stay in power for years to come he’s soon going to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. With his children and surrogates taking charge of vast fossil fuel, property and technology conglomerates until his presidential conflicts of interest are past he can leverage the presidency into becoming the richest family in world history.

    To help make all this possible global warming doesn’t just have to be dismissed scientifically it has to be encouraged to flourish. Melting Russian permafrost, unlocking resources and with vast additional benefits to Trump and Putin. Countries which are already hot are going to become hotter and less habitable. China has been playing the long game in Africa, investing heavily to secure future supply of metals needed in high tech industry. If Africa turns into desert that investment will be crippled to some extent. The Middle East has long been the world superpower in oil terms. With Russia’s reserves unlocked it’s going to dwindle in importance and what farm land there is will disappear.

    Russia has nearly twice the land area of the USA but less than half its population. In decades to come with sufficient global warming it could support several times that population on the new Siberian mega farms in a temperate climate and with an economy propped up by oil and gas. The USA would suffer, especially the south, but the Trump family descendants will be living in the semi-tropical north, on high enough land to not worry too much about rising sea levels.

    The trick is going to be to accomplish all this without too many people raising concerns. A population educated in creationism and with science denial built in might help. Enter Betsy Devos. Try and guess how much of his time Tillerson is going to be spending in Russia? All of it? A secretary of energy who loves oil, loves religion and hates science could be handy. He doesn’t have to be smart, just groomed in what to say. Hello Rick Perry.

    This is and always was Trump’s plan IMO. Of course he couldn’t tell anyone about it hence the campaign of lies and obfuscation and zero policy proposals. I think the Obama administration is finally beginning to see it. They didn’t make the most of intelligence about Putin’s hacking when they had the chance and now they’re scrambling to get a report out before Trump quashes everything. It’s too little, too late though. On January 20th Putin becomes the real vice president and all contrary opinion will be crushed. Obamacare and Mexican walls will disappear as topics of interest. All that matters from now on is oil, gas and global warming denial. Trump and Putin are going to dominate the planet together.

  8. I’ll make a few more specific predictions based on the above. The conflict in Syria might now soon be over. With Russia’s continued support and if Trump does indeed become aligned with Putin then Assad is going to start mopping up the opposition, executing everyone who opposed him, taking back the north from the Kurds and in the process defeating ISIS.

    There are huge gas and oil reserves to the east and north of the Caspian in the former Soviet countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Expect Putin to start looking at ways to bring those countries back into the Russian fold with Trump’s support. Military intervention would be risky but clandestine undermining of their governments and oil and gas exploration permits in return for economic support might bring much of the benefit with less risk of international condemnation.

  9. Sometimes I feel Trump is trying to cause as much chaos, scandal and calumny possible, akin to a skit on Reality TV or a match on WWF, thinking this will translate into good viewing, ratings and money for him.

  10. Donald Trump is an angry, cranky old man who thinks he has the absolute truth and wants to impose his views on everyone else.

  11. Angry, cranky and not very literate apparently. China nicking one of their drones is “unpresidented” it seems. I rather think that electing a turd like this to office is more “unpresidented”. Too smart to need security briefings but not quite smart enough to spell properly. I suppose that’s the penalty you pay for tweeting constantly without having a grown up check your spelling before you press send.

  12. Arkrid Sandwich #13
    Dec 17, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Angry, cranky and not very literate apparently. China nicking one of their drones is “unpresidented” it seems.

    Why does this remind me of the loss of a US “innocent weather survey plane”, when the purpose built U2 Spy plane was shot down?

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/american-u-2-spy-plane-shot-down

    The U-2 spy plane was the brainchild of the Central Intelligence Agency, and it was a sophisticated technological marvel. Traveling at altitudes of up to 70,000 feet, the aircraft was equipped with state-of-the-art photography equipment that could, the CIA boasted, take high-resolution pictures of headlines in Russian newspapers as it flew overhead. Flights over the Soviet Union began in mid-1956. The CIA assured President Eisenhower that the Soviets did not possess anti-aircraft weapons sophisticated enough to shoot down the high-altitude planes.

    On May 1, 1960, a U-2 flight piloted by Francis Gary Powers disappeared while on a flight over Russia. The CIA reassured the president that, even if the plane had been shot down, it was equipped with self-destruct mechanisms that would render any wreckage unrecognizable and the pilot was instructed to kill himself in such a situation. Based on this information, the U.S. government issued a cover statement indicating that a weather plane had veered off course and supposedly crashed somewhere in the Soviet Union. With no small degree of pleasure, Khrushchev pulled off one of the most dramatic moments of the Cold War by producing not only the mostly-intact wreckage of the U-2, but also the captured pilot-very much alive. A chagrined Eisenhower had to publicly admit that it was indeed a U.S. spy plane.

  13. @Karl Cruse #11

    …akin to a skit on Reality TV or a match on WWF, thinking this will translate into good viewing, ratings and money….

    That almost gives me a glimmer of hope. The hope that he remembers that to get the ratings, he needs the viewers, unkilled by nuclear weapons or other bad things. And he needs the infrastructure to deliver his vacuous content. But then, the internet was built to withstand a nuclear war, wasn’t it, back in the beginning.

    And also, as he’s only playing to the gallery, to his fanbase, all the non-viewer population are expendable in the quest for ratings. That means us. Glimmer seems to have vanished.

  14. Someone on TV just now compared the transition and the Trump phenomenon to a reality TV show again. Bullshit. People don’t die on those shows.

    Reality TV does not capture it. And there should be a moratorium of all jokes on TV. SNL needs to stop, in my opinion. It is indecent to make jokes now. That is how bad it is.

    Not just a war on science; that’s one part of it; it’s a war on people. It’s all about about money and God knows what else. No one knows what they have in store for us all. I don’t know for sure what or who Trump is. He does seem like a performer – but that is true of most dictators. He may be a puppet in the hands of alt-right libertarians. He may be an authoritarian, true despot, an autocrat, a war-monger. No way to know right now.— But his divisive words and his cabinet picks and appointees (Fox News contributors mostly) suggest to me that we are, in all likelihood, entering a truly nightmarish period in American life.

    Lower taxes for those at the top and only one way to pay for it.

    People will suffer, get sick, get poorer – and the rich will get richer.—That we do know.

    “His nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, a Republican congressman from Georgia, has been a champion of cuts to all three of the nation’s large social programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.” —NY Times

  15. cbrown #12
    Dec 17, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Donald Trump is an angry, cranky old man who thinks he has the absolute truth and wants to impose his views on everyone else.

    I think you have summed him up very neatly!

    I also think this article illustrates the point!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-38397644

    A series of colourfully-written letters sent by Donald Trump to then-Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has been published in full for the first time.

    The letters formed part of an intense lobbying campaign against plans for an offshore wind project near Mr Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf resort.

    In one, Mr Trump said he was attempting to “save Scotland”.

    In another, he claimed Mr Salmond would be known as “Mad Alex” if the plan went ahead.

    And the US president elect predicted the “insanity” of the project would bankrupt Scotland, and destroy Mr Salmond’s hopes for Scottish independence.

    Details of some of the correspondence has been made public before.

    But the Huffington Post obtained full copies of all of the documents after submitting a freedom of information request.

    They included a letter sent on 14 September 2011, in which Mr Trump told Mr Salmond: “Its adverse visual impact on my development and the beautiful Aberdeen coastline will be disastrous and environmentally irresponsible.”

    Less than a fortnight later he sent a one-sentence missive to the then first minister asking why Swedish energy firm Vattenfall was being allowed to “ruin” the Scottish coastline, adding: “Let them ruin the coastline of Sweden first.”

    On 9 February 2012, Mr Trump told Mr Salmond: “With the reckless installation of these monsters, you will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history.”

    The correspondence showed Mr Trump becoming increasingly frustrated by the turbine plan.

    On 12 March 2012 he asked Mr Salmond: “Do you want to be known for centuries to come as ‘Mad Alex – the man who destroyed Scotland’?

    Ah! A foretaste of Trump’s “diplomatic skills” in dealing with leaders of foreign governments!!!!

    He added: “If you pursue this craziness Scotland will go broke and forever lose whatever chance you currently have of making Scotland independent.”

    The following month he warned about the economic damage that reliance on wind power would do.

    Writing on 19 April 2012 he said: “Your economy will become a third world wasteland that global investors will avoid.”

    In two separate messages on 2 May of the same year, Mr Trump gave an insight into what he believes makes a great leader – and said the wind turbine plans were a “mad march into oblivion”.

    The correspondence reveals that Mr Trump also lobbied UK ministers, with one letter to then defence secretary Philip Hammond praising the Ministry of Defence’s concerns about the project.

    In the 16 August 2012 letter he told the cabinet minister: “The defence of the UK is far too important to tinker with just to satisfy Alex Salmond’s bloated ego.”

    Ha! Ha! Coming from Trump, this psychological projection is laughable!

    The released papers include one reply from Mr Salmond to Mr Trump, in which he told the tycoon that the renewable energy industry would help create job opportunities in Scotland.

    In the 12 April 2012 response, Mr Salmond said: “We are determined to be on the right side of this debate, to deliver a future for the next generation, and a prosperous one at that.”

    Mr Salmond was an outspoken critic of Mr Trump ahead of the US presidential election, calling for him to be banned from the UK after Mr Trump said he wanted to deny Muslims entry to the US.

    He reflected on his dealings with Mr Trump in July of this year, when he said: “Most American presidents don’t send you ‘green ink’ letters, often capital letters. Usually couriered overnight with press articles attached to them, ‘READ THIS!’ Underlined, three times.

    Vattenfall is now going ahead with the £300m construction of Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility
    after Mr Trump’s efforts – including a Supreme Court challenge – failed
    .

  16. @#17 – On 9 February 2012, Mr Trump told Mr Salmond: “With the reckless installation of these monsters, you will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history.”

    Meanwhile – back in the real world – Scotland is ahead of its previous renewable targets and has moved on!

    http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/Facts

    There are 21,000 jobs in the low carbon and renewable energy economy in Scotland across 9 renewable energy sectors. The largest single sector was onshore wind, followed by solar PV, and heat pumps.
    Source: The Size and Performance of the UK Low Carbon Economy

    Renewable electricity generation in Scotland made up approximately 26% of total UK renewable generation in 2015

    Renewables are the single largest contributor to electricity generation in Scotland—higher than both nuclear generation (33%) and fossil fuel generation (28%).

    The Scottish Government has an ambitious but achievable target for renewable energy in Scotland to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of gross annual electricity consumption and 11 per cent of heat consumption by 2020.

    In 2014, the two largest renewable technology generators were wind with 62% and hydro with 29%

    Wind generation in 2015 was at a record high level at 14,136 GWh and is nearly 7 times the level of wind in 2006

    Scotland boasts 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resources

  17. I see Trump continues to be consistent in selecting the worst candidates for his appointments!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38399712

    US President-elect Donald Trump has appointed economist Peter Navarro, a fierce critic of China, as the head of a new national trade body.

    He will lead the White House National Trade Council, and serve as director of trade and industrial policy.

    Mr Navarro advised Mr Trump during the campaign. His books include The Coming China Wars and Death by China.

    A statement from Mr Trump’s transition team said the appointment of Peter Navarro showed his “determination to make American manufacturing great again”.

    During the election, the president-elect made trade issues a core campaign issue, criticising deals made with countries like China and Mexico.

    Many other economists, however, fear that aggressive moves against Chinese trade could prompt a trade war, with repercussions on both sides.

    =========

    Mr Trump has also named billionaire investor Carl Icahn to become a special adviser on regulatory reform.

    Mr Icahn, who will not be a federal employee, has said that US businesses are being “crippled” by excessive regulations.

  18. Alan4discussion #8
    Dec 16, 2016 at 6:52 am

    US President-elect Donald Trump has chosen right-winger David Friedman as America’s next ambassador to Israel.

    The 57-year-old lawyer is strongly critical of the long-held US goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    He also supports Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank, which the Obama administration considers an “obstacle to peace”.

    A liberal Jewish group opposed his nomination.
    Conservatives welcomed it.

    I see Trump tried to cause further mischief in the middle east by making a most unusual intervention, but others seem to have frustrated his efforts!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-38421026

    The United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution urging an end to illegal Israeli settlements after the US refused to veto it.

    The Egyptian-drafted resolution had been withdrawn after Israel asked Donald Trump to intervene but it was proposed again by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela.

    The US has traditionally sheltered Israel from condemnatory resolutions.

    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not abide by the vote.

    The Palestinian leadership welcomed the resolution, which was passed by 14 votes to zero, with one abstention.

    President-elect Trump, who will be inaugurated on 20 January, tweeted after the vote: “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th.”

    The issue of Jewish settlements is one of the most contentious between Israel and the Palestinians, who see them as an obstacle to peace.

    About 500,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
    The settlements are considered illegal under international law
    , though Israel disputes this.

    US policy reverse: By Barbara Plett Usher

    The resolution reflects an international consensus that the growth of Israeli settlement-building has come to threaten the viability of a Palestinian state in any future peace deal.

    It is a view strongly shared by the Obama administration, and for that reason the US reversed its policy of vetoing any UN Security Council criticism of Israel.

    It is a decision that was taken after months of debate within the administration about whether and how President Obama might be able to define his position on a two-state solution before leaving office.

    But his successor Donald Trump has made clear he intends to strongly support Israeli government positions, even making a highly unorthodox intervention before the vote by publicly urging Mr Obama to veto the resolution.

    In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said: “Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms.

    A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: “The Security Council resolution is a big blow to Israeli policy, a unanimous international condemnation of settlements and a strong support for the two-state solution.”

    On Thursday, Mr Trump had urged the Security Council to defeat the motion.

    “Peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations,” he said in a statement. “This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

    Like Trump, Israel thinks it is a law unto itself!
    I think the 14 – nil vote, sums up the international informed balanced moral view, on the activities of this rogue state, which spawn injustice and provoke terrorism.

  19. Even though I’m very worried about the consequences of Trump’s future plan for the entire Middle East, this action by the US today is an important statement of support for the two state solution (even though I have no hope for it) and a swift kick in the as for Trump and his fascist zionist apartheid supporters. Trump will reek havoc here in the US and of course our citizens and electoral college system did put him into power here, but I can’t stand to think about the utter misery that he and his entourage will inflict on the long suffering Palestinians and every other person in that region, including Jews. Innocent people who are just trying to live their lives like the rest of us are and then the psychopath President elect of the US comes along and puts the people there out of their misery once and for all.

    I canNOT freakin believe this is happening.

    Thanks for abstaining even though it’s too little too late.

  20. Laurie, Danny Boy is confused. Doesn’t abstaining mean that we (the US) don’t support the end of settlements? How is it a good thing that we abstained? Please explain.

    Vetoing it would have been worse; but abstaining is not a good thing either, is it?

  21. I think I get it now. Abstaining was better than vetoing.

    “Netanyahu and Trump had both called for the United States to veto the draft resolution.” —Al Jazeera

    I CANnot believe this is happening either!

  22. LaurieB #21

    Dec 23, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    …this action by the US today is an important statement of support for the two state solution (even though I have no hope for it) and a swift kick in the as for Trump and his fascist zionist apartheid supporters. Trump will reek havoc here in the US and of course our citizens and electoral college system did put him into power here, but I can’t stand to think about the utter misery that he and his entourage will inflict on the long suffering Palestinians and every other person in that region…

    Very true. Well said. We will all soon be in the hands of true monsters – the worst of the worst. The political system has been corrupt for a long time; now there isn’t even any pretense about it. It’s all out in the open.

    The veil has been lifted.

    And the Devil (a partial metaphor à la Mailer) is happy now, is alive, feels he can really get to work now.

  23. Trump seems to think he can personally dictate policy to all and sundry “on the hoof”.

    Toyota is a world leading Japanese multinational motor manufacturer serving a world wide market.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38525389

    Donald Trump has tweeted that Toyota will face hefty tariffs on cars built in Mexico for the US market.
    The President-elect said the Japanese company would be hit with a “big border tax” if it went ahead with plans to build Corollas south of the border.

    American car companies have faced harsh criticism from Mr Trump for building cars more cheaply outside the US.

    Toyota’s President Akio Toyoda said the company had no immediate plans to curb production in Mexico.

    “We will consider our option as we see what policies the incoming president adopts,” said Mr Toyoda, speaking in Japan on Thursday.

    The company’s US arm issued a statement which said that production and employment levels at Toyota in the US would not decrease as a result of the new plant in Mexico. The company has ten manufacturing plants in the US.

    “Toyota looks forward to collaborating with the Trump Administration to serve in the best interests of consumers and the automotive industry,” the statement said.

    Mr Trump has already targeted American carmakers General Motors and Ford for manufacturing south of the border, resulting in Ford’s decision to cancel its plans for a $1.6bn (£1.3bn) plant in Mexico and expand operations in the US instead.

    The Nafta free trade area, and the lower cost of labour, makes it attractive for firms to build cars in Mexico for sale in the US.

    But Mr Trump has said he would end this practice, as it was costing American jobs.

    Toyota announced in April 2015 it would build a $1bn Corolla factory in central Mexico. Construction began in November 2016.

    It has existing manufacturing facilities in Baja, Mexico which were established in 2002.

    The Nafta free trade area is an international agreement which can’t just be altered unilaterally by knee-jerk spasms of Trump in relation to specific products!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement#Provisions

  24. Arkrid #9, #10

    Thanks for directing me here Arkrid.

    To add to your Syria comment in #10, I watched as Asad called all Syrian groups, specifying that they be only Syrian, then he was willing to talk about the future of Syria. This took in Turkeys requirements that he is not in office in any agreements. Now Turkey and Russia are able to work together. I think you are spot on.

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