Monday, May 6, 2019

Last Call For Meanwhile In Bevinstan, Con't

Kentucky's primary for November statewide elections is coming up on May 21, and while Democrat Andy Beshear is expected to win his contest for the right to challenge GOP Gov. Matt Bevin, Republicans are eyeing Beshear's current job as Attorney General and are already dumping hundreds of thousands of dark money dollars into the primary race to assure Mitch McConnell protege Daniel Cameron is their candidate.

An independent “dark money” group from Washington reports spending $350,000 to influence the May 21 Republican primary in Kentucky’s attorney general race — more money than either candidate has in his own campaign.

The Judicial Crisis Network is promoting Daniel Cameron, former legal counsel to U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, in his contest against state Sen. Wil Schroder of Wilder. In their most recent finance reports, Cameron and Schroder said they had raised $286,921 and $135,311, respectively.

The nonprofit is paying for a heavy rotation of television commercials in Lexington and Louisville that tout Cameron’s past work for McConnell in helping to get conservatives confirmed to the federal bench. Cameron is “tough” and “will defend the Trump agenda,” the ads say. President Trump, who is popular in Kentucky, is featured prominently.

Apart from the commercials, Schroder said the JCN also filed requests under the Kentucky Open Records Act for police reports at the addresses of his current and previous homes around Northern Kentucky, possibly hoping to find embarrassing incidents that could be used against him.

And it paid for a “push poll” that called GOP voters in the guise of asking their opinions to tell them unflattering things about him, Schroder said, such as the fact that he once was a registered Democrat and he has accepted donations from trial attorneys.

“As far as I can determine, it’s unprecedented for an outside group to come into a Republican primary in a down-ticket race on the state ballot and try to do something like this,” Schroder said. “I think they’re desperate. I think they’re doing anything they can do in order to discredit this campaign. You have to ask yourself who’s behind this and why?”

Founded in 2005, the JCN raises tens of millions of dollars from undisclosed sources, spending it on public relations battles to get conservatives into judgeships and Republicans elected as states’ attorneys general. The group works closely with McConnell, whose powerful political machine is backing Cameron, his onetime aide.

Asked why it was intervening in a Republican primary, JCN executive director Gary Marx told the Herald-Leader: “The Judicial Crisis Network is supporting Daniel Cameron for attorney general because he is an outstanding, experienced attorney who is committed to the fair and impartial enforcement of the law. Mr. Cameron’s public service has been exemplary, and his record demonstrates he will fight for the people of Kentucky protecting their rights, their families and their values.”

Beshear has been standing in the way of Bevin and the GOP machine here in Kentucky, and getting rid of him is a top priority (along with Alison Grimes as Secretary of State).  With them out of the way, Kentucky can go full red state, with massive voter suppression and more.

Mitch's machine buying a primary for his henchman is standard operating procedure these days.

Climate of Destruction, Con't

Humanity is going to suffer badly in the decades ahead due to climate change, and according to the most comprehensive UN report yet in the post-Paris Accord era, we're going to take thousands of species into extinction along with us while we do it.

Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.
The 1,500-page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization. A summary of its findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday in Paris. The full report is set to be published this year.

Its conclusions are stark. In most major land habitats, from the savannas of Africa to the rain forests of South America, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century. With the human population passing 7 billion, activities like farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining are altering the natural world at a rate “unprecedented in human history.”

At the same time, a new threat has emerged: Global warming has become a major driver of wildlife decline, the assessment found, by shifting or shrinking the local climates that many mammals, birds, insects, fish and plants evolved to survive in.

As a result, biodiversity loss is projected to accelerate through 2050, particularly in the tropics, unless countries drastically step up their conservation efforts.

The report is not the first to paint a grim portrait of Earth’s ecosystems. But it goes further by detailing how closely human well-being is intertwined with the fate of other species.

For a long time, people just thought of biodiversity as saving nature for its own sake,” said Robert Watson, chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services,which conducted the assessment at the request of national governments. “But this report makes clear the links between biodiversity and nature and things like food security and clean water in both rich and poor countries.“

Unless we fix the problem now, the chain reaction will be impossible to stop.  We'll lose tens, if not hundreds of thousands of species in a mass extermination in just a few short decades.  Republicans certainly don't care, and if they do, they don't want to do a thing about it.

The Drums of War, Con't

Last night I said we were looking at three wars, one political, one trade, one shooting, this morning we're looking at maybe maybe four.

The United States is deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to send a clear message to Iran that any attack on U.S. interests or its allies will be met with “unrelenting force,” U.S. national security advisor John Bolton said on Sunday.

Amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran, Bolton said the decision was “in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.”

“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or regular Iranian forces,” Bolton said in a statement.

It marked the latest in a series of moves by President Donald Trump’s administration against Iran in recent weeks.

Washington has said it will stop waivers for countries buying Iranian oil, in an attempt to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero. It has also blacklisted Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Trump administration’s efforts to impose political and economic isolation on Tehran began last year when it unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal it and other world powers negotiated with Iran in 2015.

“The United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force,” Bolton said.

Bolton, who has spearheaded an increasingly hawkish U.S. policy on Iran, did not provide any other details.

Now US naval carrier task groups being sent to the Middle East is certainly nothing new, every president since Carter has done it at one time or another.  But Trump miscalculates badly, and Bolton plus Iran is nitro and glycerin on top of that.  We've already got North Korea spiraling out of control this week along with Venezuela, Trump's picking a full-on trade war with China, and now this?

The man will do anything to keep the headlines off of Putin and the Mueller report, won't he?


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