Midday open thread: GOP appoints deniers to climate panel; tortured student's parents rebuke Trump

Liberal News

Today’s comic by Mark Fiore is Trump’s tour of duty:

What’s coming up on Sunday Kos:

When politics and sports collide: Why I am no longer a Cubs fan, by Sher Watts Spooner 
Trump scandals still demand way more coverage—like how the press covered Bill Clinton, by Eric Boehlert 
Women’s History Month: statues, monuments, and street names, by Denise Oliver Velez 
A move to the center is a continued fraud on Americans by Egberto Willies 
Mitt Romney deserves no credit and no apologies on Russia, by Jon Perr 
International Digest: After Labourites defect, Jeremy Corbyn calls for a new referendum on Brexit, by Daily Kos Elections
Michael Cohen shows we should never stop blaming GOP primary voters for picking a criminal, by Ian Reifowitz
I did not turn my back on the church, it turned its back on me, by Mark E Andersen

Parents of student treated lethally in North Korea respond to Trump’s support for Kim’s claim of innocence in the matter: In a putrid, feckless display at a press conference before he left the Hanoi summit Thursday, Donald Trump told the world that North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un “felt badly about it” but he took him “at his word” when the dictator told him he hadn’t known what was happening in prison to Otto Warmbier. That 22-year-old college student was arrested on a five-day visit to North Korea and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel room. After 17 months, Warmbier was released to the United States in a coma in 2017 and died a few days later from a severe neurological injury. In a statement issued Friday by their lawyer, Otto’s parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier said: “We have been respectful during this summit process. Now, we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.” Invited by Trump to attend his State of the Union address, the Warmbiers had received two standing ovations during the speech. Rosa Park, director of programs and editor at The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, indicated that Kim’s claim he didn’t know what was happening to Warmbier is bogus. “Anything that the leadership does has to be approved by the man at the top,” she said.

Republicans appoint right-wingers to the House Select Committee on Climate Change: Speaker Nancy Pelosi had appointed Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida as the Democratic chair of the committee two months ago, and the rest of the Democratic members early last month. Considered toothless by many environmental advocates, the committee has no subpoena power nor can it move legislation to the floor of the House. The ranking Republican assigned to the panel, Garret Graves of Louisiana, at least accepts the science of climate change and has worked in the past with former Gov. Bobby Jindal to address rising sea levels. But his environmental record is a joke and he received $217,751 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry in 2018 while the nine Democratic members on the committee took a combined total of $198,000. The remaining five Republican members have made statements in the past showing they don’t buy the scientific consensus that the climate crisis is real and caused by human behavior. Rep. Carol Miller of West Virginia, for example, tweeted that, “It is important to remember that today coal is clean, affordable, dependable and allows our country to be self-reliant.” The other four members are Gary Palmer of Alabama, chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee and a Freedom Caucus member, fellow Freedom Caucus member Morgan Griffith of Virginia, freshman Rep. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, and Buddy Carter of Georgia. None of the six Republican members have a score above 6 percent from the League of Conservation Voters.



The front page of the @latimes on this day 45 years ago: “7 INDICTED.” Nixon resigned five months later. pic.twitter.com/30KGQzVet5

— Nathan Fenno (@nathanfenno) March 1, 2019

U.S. Capitol police lieutenant left his pistol in a restroom Monday night: The firearm, a Glock 22 carried by Lt. Mike Byrd, was left in the Capitol Visitor Center complex after the House of Representatives had adjourned for the day. It was later discovered by another Capitol Police officer. Byrd is the commander of the House Chambers section of the Capitol Police and was on the job Tuesday and Wednesday. During the Tuesday morning roll call, Byrd brought up the incident and said he “will be treated differently” because of his rank as a lieutenant, but did not explain what exactly what he meant by that, according to fellow officers. A spokeswoman said, “Following the investigation’s conclusion, appropriate actions will be taken in accordance with the Department’s official policies and procedures.” In 2015, there were a number of incidents when Capitol Police left their firearms in bathrooms. In one case an 8-year-old visitor found the weapon. A sergeant was suspended over the leak to the media of a photo showing one of the left-behind weapons stuffed together with a magazine in the toilet seat cover holder of one of the bathroom stalls. It had been left there by a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security detail.

Space-X’s Crew Dragon will be launched to the space station early Saturday: No humans will be aboard this time, but “Ripley,” the official name of the anthropomorphic test dummy or ATD, will be, along with supplies for the International Space Station:

The flight, officially known as Demo Mission-1 (or DM-1), stars an upgraded version of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft. SpaceX has always intended for its Dragon capsules to ferry humans, but every SpaceX Dragon capsule launched so far has only shuttled cargo to and from the ISS. The upgraded version, debuting on DM-1, will feature new crew life-support systems, seats, control panels, and a propulsion system that can be used to keep the crew safe during a launch emergency.

Treasonous Oliver North, now president of the NRA, shows the organization has no intention of changing its spots: At the Conservative Political Action Conference this week, the former Marine lieutenant colonel who sold weapons to Iran and used the money to circumvent congressional prohibitions of assistance to the terrorist contras of Nicaragua in the 1980s, told the assembled right-wingers:

“Our opponents ought to call themselves the vanguard of the disarm America movement,” North said. “They’re not going to be content to simply ignore the last four words of the Second Amendment, they want to repeal all 27 words and confiscate every firearm in the country.”

North went on to describe the NRA as the “nation’s oldest civil rights organization” and described the Second Amendment as “the purest metaphor for freedom.”

“If the disarmament movement takes over the country every one of those God-given freedoms are up for grabs,” North said. “The America we know will cease to exist.”

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: A longer look at the Kushner security clearance story than you’ll get anywher else, and what the reporters might have missed. Actual reporting backs up our speculation about AOC’s much-lauded hearing performance. Weekend reading on Otto Warmbier.

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Source: dailykos