House Republicans To Launch Climate Caucus After Biden Claims Global Warming Is Greatest Threat To American Security

House Republicans are preparing to launch a caucus designed to educate members on the effects of climate change.

The effort, led by Representative John Curtis (R-UT), will, according to The Hill, “give members information and new strategies for how to talk about” climate change and “possibly even change some minds” on the topic.

The climate caucus reportedly already has 45 members.

Curtis says he is seeking bipartisan solutions on matters such as limiting greenhouse gasses in other countries and supporting nuclear power.

Still, he believes other less popular options for the GOP “should be on the table.”

“I didn’t really know what solutions were good solutions. I didn’t know which ones I could support,” said Curtis.

“It felt like, and I think a lot of Republicans feel this way, I had to endorse the Green New Deal if I was going to … be part of the solution, and a lot of Republicans find that troubling.”

RELATED: Biden Tells Military Servicemembers Global Warming Is Greatest Threat To American Security: ‘Not A Joke’

Climate Caucus After Biden Declares Global Warming America’s Greatest Threat

President Biden, during a speech to Air Force personnel in the United Kingdom earlier this month, warned that global warming is the “greatest threat” facing America and that it is “not a joke.”

Biden claimed he was told this by Pentagon officials when he was serving alongside Barack Obama in 2009.

“When I went over to the tank in the Pentagon when I was first was elected vice president with President Obama, the military sat us down and let us know what the greatest threats facing America were, the greatest physical threats,” he told those in attendance.

“This is not a joke,” he insisted. “You know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest physical threat facing America was? Global warming.”

Curtis has been seeking to get his GOP colleagues to take the matter of climate change more seriously for some time now.

“This is a Republican bread and butter issue,” he said at a climate change town hall last September. “We care about the Earth, now let’s show it.”

“We have to stop being so afraid of this conversation,” he insisted.

“We’ve got good answers. We’ve got answers that don’t kill the economy. We’ve got answers that can be bipartisan,” Curtis said. “We’re in this. We want to be part of this.”

RELATED: CA To Spend Billions Clearing Forest Floors To Combat Wildfires After Media Mocked Trump For Suggesting It

Curtis Sought to Censure Trump

On Tuesday, The Political Insider reported that wildfires in California, something Democrats have consistently blamed on climate change despite their existence throughout history, are being fought through billions of dollars in funding meant to clear out forest floors.

Perhaps that topic will be addressed in the new Republican climate caucus.

Clearing forest floors to combat wildfires in California is something that was frequently suggested by former President Donald Trump.

He was ridiculed for such suggestions.

Curtis, shortly after the Capitol protest on January 6th, introduced a resolution to censure and condemn Trump.

“The events at the Capitol last week were abhorrent; all those involved must be held accountable, including President Trump,” he said at the time.

“Censuring the President and making it clear that Congress does not support any level of his involvement in the riots nor any attempts to undermine an election is a critical step in holding him accountable as more facts continue to unfold,” added Curtis.

The Utah Republican voted against impeachment, however, citing a lack of time for a full inquiry.

 

 

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Yevgeny Vindman receives Army promotion after Pentagon wipes retaliatory Trump claims from record

During the first of what would become two distinct Donald Trump impeachment trials, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman became an important witness for doing what none of Trump's surrounding Republican partisans could muster: giving a full, under-oath accounting of the events surrounding Trump's linkage of congressionally mandated military aid to an at-war Ukraine to a brazenly corrupt pressuring of that government to announce an investigation of Rudy Giuliani-pushed conspiracy theories against Trump's presidential election opponent.

For that testimony, both Alexander Vindman and his brother Yevgeny, also a lieutenant colonel, faced the retaliation of the crooked White House. Alexander chose early retirement after Trump and cronies booted him from his post, forcibly escorted from the White House, and blocked him from further military promotion. Yevgeny filed a complaint charging that the White House's identical retaliations against him were spurred not just for his own cooperation with impeachment investigators but his own whistleblower reports against previous episodes of administration crookedness, a complaint that was backed by House Democrats and which is still being probed by the Pentagon's office of inspector general.

There is now at least some small amount of good news to report. Now that conservatism's least-organized organized crime family has been expelled, Army. Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman has been selected for the promotion he was previously due, and will now become a full colonel.

It wasn't necessarily going to turn out this way. Trump's team of crooks retaliated against each of the witnesses against them, in the Vindmans' cases penning new performance reviews designed to squash any military attempt to promote them. While there has yet to be any consequences for those retaliation efforts, the Vindman promotion is a signal that the Pentagon powers-that-be do indeed consider those reviews to have been retaliatory, rather than accurate. And that's a ... surprising amount of common sense from inside the military bureaucracy.

Indeed, Politico reports that Army assistant deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen. Michel Russell determined the evaluations to be "not objective," and in January those retaliatory reviews were wiped from Vindman's record.

As for brother Alex, he remains retired. In a Monday op-ed endorsing defamation lawsuits against conservative media liars, he writes that he made a mistake when he "did not respond forcefully to the threats and defamation" against him by Trump proxies, and that he "should have sued those who amplified [Trump's] campaign of defamation."

"When Fox News stars and more fringe networks like Newsmax and One America News Network make baseless and outrageous claims about “stolen elections,” “communist Democrats,” and “fascist main-stream media,” they are building on lies about individuals,” Vindman wrote. “They are galvanizing extremism on the back of defamation. Too many of those defamed individuals, including myself, have allowed extremist claims to go unanswered."

Report: National Guard Members Sickened After Being Served Undercooked Food While Guarding Capitol

Fifty Michigan National Guard troops have complained of “gastrointestinal” issues after being served undercooked meals and food contaminated with metal shavings, Fox News reports.

The tainted food complaints began in mid-February, were initially resolved, and resurfaced this past weekend.

In a letter to the National Guard, the entire Michigan delegation in the House reported that “contracted meals” were being used “to support the entire federal response stationed at the Capitol.”

“However, it is clear that these contracted meals are poorly prepared, oftentimes inedible, and highly inadequate to support our soldiers,” the letter states, urging them to switch contractors.

It goes on to describe as “completely unacceptable” the fact that “men and women serving in Washington D.C. are being hospitalized due to the food they are being provided.”

A spokesman for the National Guard indicated that 50 members had been treated for “gastrointestinal complaints,” but none were hospitalized.

The Detroit News reveals that “service members, who often stand outdoors for shifts of up to 12 hours, are increasingly spending their own money to eat because they don’t trust the food from the contractor.”

RELATED: Biden Suggests Former Military, Police Are Helping To Fuel Growth Of White Supremacy

Contaminated Food Is Just One More Way National Guard Troops Have Been Mistreated

National Guard troops receiving contaminated food comes just two months after they were hauled into the Capitol during President Biden’s inauguration, only to later be banished to a parking garage.

One Guardsman at the time accused lawmakers of using them as a prop, though the order came from the Capitol Police themselves.

“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service,” he said.

“Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage,” the Guardsman added. “We feel incredibly betrayed.”

Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a spokesman for the joint task force that commands the Capitol security mission, told the Detroit News that the contaminated food problem is not “systemic.”

“So far we haven’t found substantial issues that we’ve recorded,” he told a reporter. “The contractors know that we are watching, and they have been cooperative and responsive to our concerns.”

One soldier last month wrote to a lawmaker, however, indicating “multiple soldiers have been getting sick and vomiting after eating, and most of the food is being thrown away,”

“Morale is very bad,” the message reads. “Many have served overseas and cannot believe the quality of food they are being fed here.”

RELATED: Democrats Seeking To Root Out ‘White Supremacists’ From The Military

Leaving in Mid-March

A spokesperson for the Pentagon believes the National Guard troops will be ending their mission in the nation’s capital sometime in mid-March.

“There’s no incidents to report,” the spokesperson told Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto. “Things are safe and secure right now.”

7,000 troops have remained at the Capitol during the Senate impeachment hearings, due to concerns about “civil unrest,” down from the 25,000 sent there during Biden’s inauguration.

Democrats have been actively smearing the military and veterans ever since the riot at the Capitol on January 6th.

President Biden last month suggested that former military and former police officers are helping to fuel the growth of white supremacy and white supremacist groups in America.

“You see what’s happening — and the studies that are beginning to be done … about the impact of former military, former police officers, on the growth of white supremacy in some of these groups,” Biden said during a town hall.

Leading up to Biden’s inaugural address, National Guard troops were vetted for ‘extremist’ views despite there being “no intelligence indicating an insider threat” to the event.

And last month, Democrat lawmakers reportedly sought to add language into this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would keep alleged white supremacists from joining the military.

The post Report: National Guard Members Sickened After Being Served Undercooked Food While Guarding Capitol appeared first on The Political Insider.

Wednesday night owls: ‘Letting the Pentagon Loose With Your Tax Dollars’

Night Owls, a themed open thread, is a regular feature at Daily Kos .

Mandy Smithberger is the director of the Center for Defense Information at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). At TomDispatch, she writes—Letting the Pentagon Loose With Your Tax DollarsCreating a National Insecurity State. Spending More, Seeing Less:

Hold on to your helmets! It’s true the White House is reporting that its proposed new Pentagon budget is only $740.5 billion, a relatively small increase from the previous year’s staggering number. In reality, however, when you also include war and security costs buried in the budgets of other agencies, the actual national security figure comes in at more than $1.2 trillion, as the Trump administration continues to give the Pentagon free reign over taxpayer dollars.

You would think that the country’s congressional representatives might want to take control of this process and roll back that budget—especially given the way the White House has repeatedly violated its constitutional authority by essentially stealing billions of dollars from the Defense Department for the president’s “Great Wall” (that Congress refused to fund). Recently, even some of the usual congressional Pentagon budget boosters have begun to lament how difficult it is to take the Department’s requests for more money seriously, given the way the military continues to demand yet more (ever more expensive) weaponry and advanced technologies on the (largely bogus) grounds that Uncle Sam is losing an innovation war with Russia and China.

And if this wasn’t bad enough, keep in mind that the Defense Department remains the only major federal agency that has proven itself incapable of even passing an audit. An investigation by my colleague Jason Paladino at the Project On Government Oversight found that increased secrecy around the operations of the Pentagon is making it ever more difficult to assess whether any of its money is well spent, which is why it’s important to track where all the money in this country’s national security budget actually goes.

The Pentagon’s “Base” Budget

This year’s Pentagon request includes $636.4 billion for what’s called its “base” budget—for the routine expenses of the Defense Department. However, claiming that those funds were insufficient, Congress and the Pentagon created a separate slush fund to cover both actual war expenses and other items on their wish lists (on which more to come). Add in mandatory spending, which includes payments to veterans’ retirement and illness compensation funds and that base budget comes to $647.2 billion.

Ahead of the recent budget roll out, the Pentagon issued a review of potential “reforms” to supposedly cut or control soaring costs. While a few of them deserve serious consideration and debate, the majority reveal just how focused the Pentagon is on protecting its own interests. Ironically, one major area of investment it wants to slash involves oversight of the billions of dollars to be spent. Perhaps least surprising was a proposal to slash programs for operational testing and evaluation—otherwise known as the process of determining whether the billions Americans spend on shiny new weaponry will result in products that actually work. The Pentagon’s Office of Operational Test and Evaluation has found itself repeatedly under attack from arms manufacturers and their boosters who would prefer to be in charge of grading their own performances. [...]

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QUOTATION

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It's not just the food service industry�27% of private-sector workers in the U.S. don't have the ability to stay home from work without losing a paycheck. We need to make sure our response to the coronavirus includes solutions that protect workers, their families, & communities. https://t.co/suV0mzUscM

— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) March 4, 2020

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2004—FDR’s “Hundred Days” Honeymoon—1933:

Whether you count from the inaugural or, as historians do, from March 9, the Hundred Days, like the Hundred Years’ War, didn’t actually add up to a hundred, but they have nonetheless been the measure—usually in negative terms— for what succeeding administrations have accomplished. A study has even gone so far as to determine how effective presidents before Roosevelt were in their first 100 days. None came close. During the emergency session of Congress FDR called 15 major laws were passed and signed, all by June 16.

That legislation—some of it conservative, most of it moderate, none of it radical, all of it experimental—derived from no over-arching plan, and certainly not from any liberal ideology that Roosevelt presented during the campaign and brought with him into the White House. Rather than a package of legislation, as implied by the Hundred Days label, what Roosevelt and his "Brain Trust" of academics and economic theorists produced was a mish-mash, exactly what would be expected of experimentation in the face of a daunting crisis. "The notion that the New Deal had a preconceived theoretical position is ridiculous," said Frances Perkins, who would become FDR’s, Secretary of Labor from 1933-45, the first woman ever to serve in the Cabinet.

The experiments worked not just for what they actually achieved—which was a mixed bag—but also for how their very coming into being changed the nation’s somber mood. As Roosevelt said at his inaugural: "This nation asks for action, and action now"; "We must act, we must act quickly"; People want "direct, vigorous action." As Jonathan Alter wrote in The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, "In the argot of a later age, Roosevelt was relentlessly on message." He spurred hope in the face of despair by force of personality.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: What's so super about Tuesday? Well, Joan McCarter, for one thing. And you probably weren't expecting Sexy Vinyl Vixen Brit Hume! How Trump's been gaming the FVRA. Coronavirus, continued. Impeachment vs. pardons: Let's all say we believe it!

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Lt. Colonel Vindman Escorted Out Of The White House – ‘Reassigned’ To Pentagon

By David Kamioner | February 7, 2020

U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, a disappointing star Democratic witness in the House impeachment inquiry, has been fired from his White House National Security Council post and will return to the Pentagon for assignment.

He was escorted off  White House grounds mid Friday by security personnel. Numerous media sources confirm this.

Vindman gave contradictory and conflicting testimony in front of the House Intel Committee and was an easy witness to discredit. GOP committee member Jim Jordan was especially effective in challenging Vindman and highlighted the fact that during the Ukrainian phone call in question, and immediately after in swore deposition, Vindman stated he saw nothing wrong in the president’s conduct.

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The Democratic response to the firing has been swift and negative, as Democrats again accuse the president of abusing his office and breaking the law regarding “whistleblowers” by firing Vindman. The Pentagon termed it a mere “reassignment.”

Vindman’s lawyer, David Pressman, opined, “There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House. LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful.”

MORE NEWS: Buttigieg hit by New Hampshire feminists

The president cited another reason early Friday.
“You think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not,” Trump said, adding that a decision would be made soon.
It was.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
New video shows Pelosi practicing ripping up Trump’s State of The Union speech
Ex-Spokesman for Romney campaign says Trump guilty vote was ‘motivated by bitterness and jealousy’
Trump State of the Union speech a triumph

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