Thursday, February 23, 2017

Last Call For Bridge To Labor

Meanwhile, we know a bit more about Trump's quest for a new Labor Secretary, which is kind of difficult because rich CEOs are all terrible at convincing anyone they care about the guys making minimum wage.  It seems like Trump's next plan was simple: Pick a Republican who's such a loser, they'd jump at the chance.

President Trump offered New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie the job of Labor secretary after a lunch meeting last week, Politico reported on Wednesday. 
The offer came as the president’s previous labor secretary pick Andrew Puzder’s nomination was in jeopardy. He eventually withdrew from consideration, and Trump quickly tapped Alexander Acosta for the job. 
Christie, who backed Trump’s presidential bid early on, served as the head of the president’s transition team until November, when he was replaced by Vice President Mike Pence
Still, the New Jersey governor and onetime GOP presidential candidate has been the frequent subject of rumors that he could be tapped for a post in the Trump administration. 
In an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly earlier this month, Christie said he was not offered a job in Trump’s administration that would have made him consider leaving his current post as governor. 
“The fact is that I wanted to be the governor of New Jersey, and if the president had offered me something that really was compelling me to get to Washington, I would have made the sacrifice to do it,” Christie said. 
And while he ultimately turned down the Labor secretary offer, that position was one of several jobs Trump has offered to Christie, according to Politico.

Actually, I'm fairly sure Christie my end up with a higher approval rating than Trump pretty soon. Go figure, even facing Bridgegate and a possible indictment and a GOP that hates him now, Christie still figures he's in a better position than Trump, at least good enough to turn the man down for a cabinet position.

Think about that.

Climate Of Disaster

Meanwhile, the worst flooding in a century in San Jose, CA has forced thousands out of their homes along the Coyote Creek.

Over the last two weeks, heavy rains pushed water levels at Santa Clara County’s largest reservoir into the danger zone, with officials warning it could overflow.

That happened over the weekend, sending massive amounts of water into the Coyote Creek, which runs through the heart of San Jose.

By Tuesday, the creek was overflowing at numerous locations, inundating neighborhoods, flooding hundreds of homes and forcing the frantic evacuations of more than 14,000 residents, who remained out of their homes Wednesday.

The worst flooding to hit Silicon Valley in a century left San Jose reeling and residents angry about why they were not given more warning that a disaster was imminent. Even city officials on Wednesday conceded they were caught off guard by the severity of the flooding and vowed a full investigation into what went wrong.

“If the first time a resident is aware that they need to get out of a home is when they see a firefighter in a boat, then clearly there has been a failure,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “There is no question that we’ll need to do things differently next time.”

Late Wednesday, Assistant City Manager Dave Sykes said officials had learned that the information they had on the capacity of Coyote Creek channel was not accurate. He also said the city was working with the Santa Clara Valley Water District to determine whether debris caused blockages that contributed to flooding.

“The creek spilled over the banks faster and higher than anybody expected,” said city spokesman David Vossbrink.

Residents told harrowing stories of water flowing into homes and flooding streets. Many had to be rescued by boat. Some said they were surprised they did not get urgent warnings about the extent of the flooding.

“They didn’t say it was going to go up as high as it did,” said Louis Silva, 48. He said that his possessions were swallowed up in the flood and that the city should have warned people about the scale of the disaster with a cellphone text alert or by knocking on doors.

“They should’ve put the footwork in to show the urgency of the situation,” Silva said. “It hurt everyone. ... When Mother Nature shows up, she shows up.”

Dawn Rogers, 47, said she was in the mandatory evacuation zone but decided to hunker down instead of leave. She watched as firefighters took a boat down the street to rescue residents in homes that were flooded.

By 1 p.m. Tuesday, residents were rushing to fill up their cars with priceless valuables.

It was scary,” Rogers said. “Being in a drought for all these years, you don’t ever think you’re ever in danger of a flood.”

Remember, the problem with climate change isn't just long-term temperature increases, but the appearance of more extreme short-term weather events (like floods) and medium-term ones as well (like California's four-year drought) and the occurrence of these events more often and in a shorter time space.  Going from a 100-year drought to a 100-year flood is a really, really good example of this.

Expect to see a lot more of this in the near future, especially with this regime in charge.

The Criminalization Of Dissent Continues

Republicans aren't wasting any time in their legislative response to protesters around the country as the party has been saddled with the most unpopular regime in modern history.  Now the GOP is moving at the state level to criminalize these protests and in Arizona at least the goal is to seize all assets of anyone involved in assembly.

Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened.

SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.

But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated. And what’s worse, said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is that the person who may have broken a window, triggering the claim there was a riot, might actually not be a member of the group but someone from the other side.

Sen. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix, acknowledged that sometimes what’s planned as a peaceful demonstration can go south.

“When people want to express themselves as a group during a time of turmoil, during a time of controversy, during a time of high emotions, that’s exactly when people gather as a community,’’ he said. “Sometimes they yell, sometimes they scream, sometimes they do go too far.’’

Quezada said, though, that everything that constitutes rioting already is a crime, ranging from assault to criminal damage, and those responsible can be individually prosecuted. He said the purpose of this bill appears to be designed to chill the First Amendment rights of people to decide to demonstrate in the first place for fear something could wrong.

Join a protest, get rung up on RICO charges if anyone so much as breaks a window...even if it was not anyone involved in the protest.  Republicans will not tolerate dissent, and they will use the power of the state to crush anyone who disagrees with them.

But Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said that chilling effect is aimed at a very specific group of protesters.

“You now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder,’’ he said.

“A lot of them are ideologues, some of them are anarchists,’’ Kavanagh continued. “But this stuff is all planned.’’

There’s something else: By including rioting in racketeering laws, it actually permits police to arrest those who are planning events. And Kavanagh, a former police officer, said if there are organized groups, “I should certainly hope that our law enforcement people have some undercover people there.’’

Once again, the next step is to declare liberal protest groups and organizations like Black Lives Matter as terrorists and enemies of the state.  These are the laws that will be used to justify that the full power of the state be used to obliterate anyone who fails to bow to Trump the Tyrant.

These laws will be used against American citizens.  They will be spread to other states, and I would suspect they will be implemented as federal crimes as well, and soon.

We're moving very quickly into the authoritarian era of America.  My prediction that the next major Black Lives Matter protest in a red state will be met with overwhelming, lethal force is all but a guarantee at this point.

This is happening in real-time, guys. 


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