Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Oct. 24, 2018
Remember how Trump and his enablers railed against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server? Well, it turns out that as president Trump routinely make calls on his unsecured cellphone, despite repeated warnings from aides. Intelligence officials now believe that Chinese and Russian spies are eavesdropping on his conversations, according to a new report.
Trump's hypocrisy knows no bounds. At the same time, congressional Republicans who led endless hearings and inquiries into Clinton's emails will undoubtedly ignore this development. I would be surprised if Fox News even covers it. You can almost hear the laughter in Moscow and Beijing.
Oct. 22, 2018
Conservative megadonors Sheldon Adelson and Miriam Adelson have doled out more than $100 million to aid Republicans in the midterm election, far outpacing their giving during the 2016 presidential cycle.
A new $25 million donation puts the billionaire benefactors’ total spending toward helping Republicans hold on to both chambers of Congress at $113 million, Bloomberg reported. The donation was to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
That total surpasses the $82.6 million the couple spent on the 2016 cycle. 
And it makes the Adelsons’ spending on this year’s midterms the new benchmark for the most any individual household has spent on one election — including campaign committees, parties and PACs — since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision in 2010, according to OpenSecrets. The rankings by OpenSecrets do not include donations through 501(c)(4) “dark money” groups.
Oct. 24, 2018
Earth's strongest storm of 2018, Super Typhoon Yutu, was pounding the U.S. Northern Mariana Islands late Wednesday morning (U.S. EDT) with sustained winds of 180 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). At 10 am EDT, the northern eyewall of Yutu was over Tinian Island, which will likely experience catastrophic damage. Yutu is Earth’s tenth Category 5 storm of 2018, an astonishing total that has only been exceeded only once on record (twelve, in 1997). Yutu is tied with Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which also had 180 mph winds, as the strongest storm of 2018.
The U.S. Northern Mariana Islands is a U.S. commonwealth, separate from the U.S. territory of Guam. Close to two-thirds of residents of the Northern Marianas are U.S. citizens, according to a 2015 report from the commonwealth government. The three main islands are:
Saipan: population 52,263 (2017 estimate)
Tinian: population 3,136 (2010 estimate)
Rota: population 2,477 (2010 estimate)
Yutu is a large typhoon, with typhoon-force winds that extent out up to 85 miles from the center, and tropical storm-force winds that extend out up to 240 miles.

[I suggest reading the whole article at the following link.]
Oct. 23, 2018
Fact checkers identify increasing rates of false claims by the president
At a Monday rally, President Trump made comments about a caravan of Central American migrants that had fact-checkers on the alert. Since the president took office, they’ve identified 2,915 claims that cannot be verified by the truth.
That is more than four false claims a day on average.
Daniel Dale:
Yes. We have quantified it.
And so, in 2017, he averaged 2.9 false claims per day. As of now, it's 4.5 false claims per day. So, it's more than five per day in 2018. And it's escalated even further as we have gotten closer to the midterms.
So, every successive month, June, July, August, and September, set a new record for the president's false claims. So over time, he's getting more dishonest.
Oct. 24, 2018
A piece of the United States has been dramatically wiped off the map after an island in Hawaii was washed away by a powerful hurricane.
East Island, a remote spit of gravel and sand that sat atop a coral reef, has vanished after having this misfortune to come into contact with Hurricane Walaka, an intense storm that surged past Hawaii earlier this month.
East Island was, at about half a mile long and 400ft wide, the second largest island in the the French Frigate Shoals, an atoll in the far western reaches of the Hawaiian archipelago. Until 1952, it hosted a US Coast Guard radar station.
Despite its size, the island played an important role for wildlife, including the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal, a species that numbers just 1,400 individuals, with many of the seals raising their young on East Island. Green sea turtles, which are also threatened, and seabirds such as albatrosses, which often had their young preyed upon by circling tiger sharks, also depended on the island.
If conditions align, an atoll would always be at a small risk of being erased by a powerful hurricane. But climate change is causing the ocean and atmosphere to warm, making storms fiercer, while there’s evidence that hurricanes are moving further north into the latitudes where East Island once lay.
Rising sea levels are also eroding away low-lying islands, with several fragments of land in the Pacific vanishing in recent years.
Oct. 16, 2018
The Science of Inequality
How high economic inequality negatively impacts nearly every aspect of human well-being—as well as the health of the biosphere
Oct. 11, 2018
n Environmental Protection Agency panel that advises the agency’s leadership on the latest scientific information about soot in the atmosphere is not listed as continuing its work next year, an E.P.A. official said.
The 20-person Particulate Matter Review Panel, made up of experts in microscopic airborne pollutants known to cause respiratory disease, is responsible for helping the agency decide what levels of pollutants are safe to breathe. Agency officials declined to say why the E.P.A. intends to stop convening the panel next year, particularly as the agency considers whether to revise air quality standards.
Environmental activists criticized the move as a way for the Trump administration to avoid what they described as the panel’s lengthy but critical assessment of how much exposure to particulate matter is acceptable in the atmosphere.
Oct. 18, 2018
Newly available wage data for 2017 show that annual wages grew far faster for the top 1.0 percent (3.7 percent) than for the bottom 90 percent (up only 1.0 percent). The top 0.1 percent saw the fastest growth, up 8.0 percent—far faster than any other wage group. This fast wage growth for the top 0.1 percent reflects the sharp 17.6 percent spike upwards in the compensation of the CEOs of large firms: executives comprise the largest group in both the top 1.0 and top 0.1 percent of earners. The fast wage growth of the top 1.0 percent in 2017 brought their wages to the highest level ever, $719,000, topping the wage levels reached before the Great Recession of $716,000 in 2007. The wages of the top 0.1 percent reached $2,757,000 in 2017, the second highest level ever, roughly only 4 percent below their wages in 2007.
The growth of wages for the top 0.1 percent is the major dynamic driving the top 1.0 percent earnings as the top 0.1 percent more than tripled its earnings share from 1.6 percent in 1979 to 5.2 percent in 2017.

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