Link Roundup, 8/16/2020

From The New York Times: YRC trucking bailout came from a $17bn slush fund handed to Mnuchin to dole out to Trump friends.

From CNN: Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, stands to gain millions from Post Office trouble.

From Nature: The Greenland ice sheet has passed the point of no return, with discharge exceeding new annual gains in a permanent cycle.

From MIT Technology Review: A college kid built an AI to operate a fake blog. More interesting than the fact that it worked is the way he did it.

From The New York Times: The tiny, Trump-connected company the Administration is using to process Covid-19 data refuses to answer questions from Congress.

7 Comments

  1. I read that Nature article. It really puts everything in perspective. Like Covid, nature does not care about politics.

    There are a ton of energy and mineral extractors that are thrilled with the news that the Arctic will be ice free much faster than any projection has stated, but when I wonder exactly when the insurance companies stop paying out for flood and fire damage and loss, or when Florida waterfront property is 2 feet under water for 3 months of the year, the NY subway is useless after monthly storms, and Logan airport is a nice new shoal for fish.

    At this point, well, all is lost in the fight against global warming. It is time to accept a massive loss in the biosphere and go into triage mode. Who am I kidding…. If the death cult, and their acolytes all over the world don’t accept mitigation attempts against Covid, they sure as hell won’t accept any mitigation attempts against Global Warming.

    I hope Canada plans, like now, on creating a nuclear weapon program to protect against americans coming for its water.

  2. So it appears the tyrant does not even have to rig the election. though he and his regime have already done so. This is an excerpt from the subsequent CNN article. It is over. Anything within the margin of error will be manipulated for the tyrant’s regime:

    “Across 15 battleground states, the survey finds Biden has the backing of 49% of registered voters, while Trump lands at 48%. ”

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/16/politics/cnn-poll-biden-trump-august/index.html

    I simply cannot fathom how this is true, but CNN is not fox, sinclair, brietbart, nor oann.

  3. The USPS mess that Trump is fomenting is a transparent and flagrant affront to a principle established long ago by Richard Nixon. (Yes, he who resigned in disgrace, but he did have some outstanding achievements, too!) One of his top priorities was to take politics OUT of the Postal Service, which had forever been nothing but a political playpen for whichever party was in power. No longer was it to be a cabinet-level department rife with patronage appointments, but an “independent establishment within the Executive Branch” which would operate on a business-like basis.

    My first job in the Executive Branch (1969) was to help navigate this legislation through the Democratic-controlled Congress. Not an easy task, at times it seemed impossible, but it finally became a successful effort. From that time forward — until about a month ago — there really had been no suggestion that I ever heard of any political interference with the independent, non-political mission of this organization known as the United States Postal Service. And now this.

    There’s only one word for Trump’s unwelcome and — I am quite certain unlawful — intrusion: Reprehensible.

    1. The 2006 Postal Accountability Act was definitely a partisan political meddling in the USPS, forcing the USPS to pre-fund retirement plans for employees not yet born. If that retirement funding was refunded, the USPS would be pretty alright.

      Also, allowing the USPS to set prices relative to how much work is being done would also fix their financing problems.

    1. One link I’d like to add: we’re approaching the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Ike, and the time since that wake up call has not been used wisely.

      https://spacecityweather.com/heat-continues-and-a-word-on-hurricane-ike/

      For any readers who don’t know this site, Eric and Matt are the guys with the straight dope on hurricanes. While their blog is Houston weather-centric, they will cover any hurricanes that threaten US territory.

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