Midday open thread: NRA outspent in midterms; tool Zinke bars public input on endangered species

Today’s comic by Tom Tomorrow is On a rampage:

What you may have missed on Sunday Kos:

How the Brett Kavanaugh fight strengthens the case for the Democratic House to impeach, by David Adkajian
Rising Arctic temperatures triggering alarms about climate change, by Sher Watts Spooner
We must not be complicit in Trump’s distortion of the huge Democratic Midterm 2018 win, by Egberto Willies
The first House investigation should be into the voting problems of the midterm election, by Frank Vyan Walton
A reminder. Now that we control the House, Democrats must aid Puerto Rico, by Denise Oliver Velez
The legacy of Greg Orman’s independent campaign for Kansas, by Chris Reeves
Doughboys, Devil Dogs, and Hellfighters, by Mark E Andersen
Doctored White House video shows Republicans believe in unlimited gov’t power—when they wield it, by Ian Reifowitz

Two gun-control groups spent more than the National Rifle Association in the midterm elections: Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords—a group founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after she was gravely wounded by an assailant who killed six people and wounded 19 in 2011—spent $11 million. The NRA, which spent $55 million in 2016, $31 million of it to help elect Donald Trump, and $25 million in 2014, spent only $10 million this year, 

Indiana ranks 7th in the U.S. in coal production, 3rd in coal consumption, but a utility says replacing two coal-fired plants with renewables will save Indiana customers $4 billion: In its latest Integrated Resource Plan, a blueprint for future electricity generation, Northern Indiana Public Service Co. proposes to mix solar, wind, energy storage, demand management, and increased efficiency as the most cost-effective approach going forward for two of its coal-fired power plants. Bottom line: NIPSCO customers will save more than $4 billion by 2050. Coal use at the plants will shrink from 65 percent today to 15 percent in 2023 and zero in 2028. The company’s 1900-megawatt Schahfer plant in Wheatfield is one of the dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the nation, emitting 8 million tons of CO2 each year. 

MIDDAY TWEET

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“I’m sorry for the ones that died right away (at Iwo Jima), but I still feel sorry for the ones that haven’t finished the battle in their mind,” said former Navy corpsman Escolastico Griego, 94. “I’m sure glad I finished my battle.” https://t.co/mMd9uDDz8e

— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) November 11, 2018

Indivisible leaders look at the Democratic future. They’re not all that happy to hear Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi talking about bipartisan cooperation in the wake of the midterm election:

A healthy democratic body would’ve rejected Trump the same way a healthy body rejects a virus,” [Ezra] Levin said. “That didn’t happen. And it didn’t happen because of a conscious effort by conservatives that is decades old to undermine democracy—disenfranchising young people and communities of color in order to entrench their power. And the way that we get all the nice things we want, whether it’s environment or taxes or immigration or reproductive rights, is by fixing the system so it actually responds to the will of the people.”

Of course, none of this will happen under Trump. But Levin and [Leah] Greenberg say that Democrats should start building support for these ideas and crafting a long-term policy agenda now. “This is the time when you have those conversations within the Party,” Greenberg said. “So that, when you’re actually in power, you’re ready to go and you have a consensus solidified around the approach.”

She added, “You’re going to have to move beyond ‘We’re the party that cares about preëxisting conditions.’ ‘We’re the party that doesn’t want things to get worse’ is not an acceptable message for 2020.”

Court: No immunity for cop who shot truck driver: The two got into a brawl, but ultimately the man threw up his hands and twice said he surrendered. Up to 15 seconds elapsed before the cop shot him in the stomach. The driver survived and was later convicted of battery on a police officer. The three-judge panel of the Seven Circuit Court said there was no reason that the officer should be accorded immunity for his use of deadly force in the 2013 incident.

How big business tool Ryan Zinke at the Department of Interior displayed his affinity private interests seeking to extract resources from public land:

“All the new administration was interested in was their checklist for dismantling regulations and weakening environmental and land use protections,” said the former staffer. “Instead of asking why a senator or lobbyist or CEO was asking for a special favor and whether or not it was allowed under the law, this administration wanted to know why the special favor wasn’t already done and which deep state employee was standing in the way.”

Meanwhile, Interior is squeezing out scientists and the public when it comes to designated endangered species: In a lawsuit, the Center for Biological Diversity argues that on Zinke’s watch the department has violated the law by not letting the public give input on changes made to “species status assessment” guidelines. Those guidelines, established under President Barack Obama in 2012, affect “nearly all” decisions the department makes regarding the protection of species under the Endangered Species Act, according to Ryan Shannon, the center’s attorney.

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On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin helps round up the weekend. Trump toddles through another disaster abroad. Gop desperately telling “fraud” tales to stop the bleeding at the ballot box. NRA picks a fight with docs. Trump dumps on military morale. The Game of Gavels.

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