Midday open thread: Sen. Warren builds House allies; fossil fuel's green veneer at climate talks

Today’s comic by Ruben Bolling is Scientific giants of all time – Donald Trump’s Guts:

•  The International Trade Emissions Associations, a business lobby that includes some of the world’s biggest polluters, is throwing its weight around at climate talks in Poland:

IETA is open about its lobbying efforts. It publishes its priorities and proposals on its website and sets-out how it “plays a valuable role” on behalf of its members at the talks — a strategy IETA’s CEO Forrister says is no different to what NGOs are doing.

But for NGOs, the comparison has little credibility. “This is not a level playing field,” said Gilles Dufrasne, policy research for NGO Carbon Market Watch, who pointed out that big companies’ lobbying efforts were backed by huge profits, with companies seeking bigger profits still.

Inside the conference, the involvement of big polluters is unabashed. One of Europe’s largest coal companies is sponsoring the talks and a host of oil and gas companies are also wielding influence behind the green veneer.

Don’t Worry About Deepfakes. Worry About Why People Fall for Them. “There will always be new ways of doctoring the truth. Instead of focusing on the latest technologies for fabricating fake media, we should be focusing on the psychological and sociological factors that underpin the spread of false narratives.”

Trump cancels annual Christmas Party for the press:

The decades-old tradition would see reporters and the president put aside their differences for one night for a lavish party that would see spouses and family invited to drink and be merry. But Trump, whose disdain for the media is no secret, will keep the baubles in storage this year, Fox News reports. One of the main events of the parties was picture-taking sessions in which the president and first lady would pose with guests in front of a Christmas tree, with the White House sending out the photos. Trump held the gathering last December but refused to pose for pictures.

Whether you’re a member of the press or not, you can send your special holiday message to Melania and Donald by clicking on this link. 

MIDDAY TWEET

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This is the first picture of Native Americans ever taken at the White House. It was taken on Dec. 31, 1857 after these leaders met with President James BuchananYou can see my grandfather Iron Whip pointing over toward either Buchanan’s dog or the woman smiling out the window pic.twitter.com/taH5SCZSVD

— Brett A. Chapman (@brettachapman) December 13, 2018

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is building strategic alliance with House Democrats. She knows her proposals can’t pass the GOP-controlled Senate, but she’s gaining allies and laying the foundation for when Democrats gain the majority there:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is pushing three big ideas — cracking down hard on DC lobbying, giving workers more of a say in how corporations operate, and creating 3 million new affordable housing units — and now she has found partners for all of them among key House Democrats.

This week, Warren and House Democratic members introduced two of her sweeping bills in the House — the Accountable Capitalism Act, and the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act — to complement ones she has already introduced in the Senate. Her third bill, a broad anti-corruption bill called the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act, was introduced in the House a few weeks ago.

• Open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act ends in most states on December 15: After today, there’s only two days left to enroll if you need insurance! Free help is available. Answers to your questions about signing up and trained professionals who can talk your through your options are just a phone call or click away. Call 1-800-318-2596 or visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to make a one-on-one appointment now.

Michigan official facing criminal charges in Flint water crisis is hired for another state job:

Dr. Eden Wells, the chief medical executive for Michigan who is currently facing a jury trial on a criminal charge of involuntary manslaughter for her role in the Flint water crisis, was just hired by the state for a new job.

Wells, an appointee of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, was hired to fill a new position in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that will be protected in ways that her current job is not and will pay her $179,672, according to MLive-The Flint Journal. The state claims that Wells was the only person to apply for the “advisory physician” position and that it had been posted for less than a week in November before they decided to offer her the cushy job.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin & Armando join us in a tour of today’s topics: Trump’s wall flop; Chief of Staff Newt; National Enquirer ready to blab; NY’s new AG is on the case; Pelosi locks it down; Muller’s phase two; just go ahead and indict, already; Inhofe steps in it.

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