September 19, 2020

The White House Wants To Disrupt Elko County and a Whole Lot of Other Places in the West

ELKO, NEV. – From this rest stop desert city midway between Salt Lake City and Reno the snow peaks of the Ruby Mountains are like finely crafted wainscoting in an elegant ballroom. The slopes rise sharply to form triangles in the sky. In 1989, Congress approved permanently safeguarding 92,650 wooded acres along the ridge lines from any intrusions in the Ruby Mountain Wilderness. The big flat sagebrush valley that runs up to the base of …

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Trump Exit From Paris Climate Agreement Is Infuriating and Dangerous

BENZONIA — June 1, yesterday, was miserable and infuriating. President Trump announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. It was a decision as foolish and dangerous as the one George W. Bush made on August 6, 2001, when he tossed aside the intelligence briefing — “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US” — that warned of an imminent and monstrous Al-Qaeda attack. My thoughts on why: First, I’m heart sick …

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Amid Global Pivot, Ghost Dancing in American Coal Fields

SOMERSET, KY — There are reasons to feel empathy for the ghost dancers in America’s coal fields. Like the Plains tribes of the late 19th century, the men and women that supply the nation’s steadily eroding demand for coal raise closed fists of anguish, dance in circles, and call on false prophets for help. An industrial culture is dying. Unyielding, era-altering market and technology trends are running coal’s usefulness for supplying electricity to the ground. …

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Wire Tapping Trump Tower – Really?

SOMERSET, KY. — Another weekend. Another Trump tweet storm. The great global transition is pivoting around events in Washington. The president now accuses the former president of ordering wire taps on Trump Tower during the election campaign. The president provided no factual support for the charge. President Obama, the FBIO director James Comey, and Obama’s former chief of intelligence deny that wiretaps were ordered. There’s also no record of requests to tap Trump’s phone that …

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Sessions Meeting with Russian Ambassador Latest Trump-Putin Disclosure

SOMERSET, KY — In mid-January Buzzfeed and CNN published separate reports on the existence of a secret dossier focused on the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. The investigate findings, prepared by a former British intelligence officer for Republican opponents of the Trump campaign, included striking disclosures about Russian interference in the 2016 election. The document said Russia was intent on weakening the Clinton campaign, and helping to ensure Trump’s victory. The dossier also …

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Pay Attention to the Putin-Trump Links

SOMERSET, KY — Pay close attention to the Putin-Trump link. Like archaeologists wielding stiff brushes and dirt screens, investigators are uncovering and starting to assemble the dark bones and clay pottery shards of a momentous scandal. The president and his aides, mindful of the consequences, have sought evasions of every kind. They raised the red flag of fake news. They attacked U.S. intelligence agencies. They accused the news media of being the enemy of the …

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Trump Produces Collective National Trauma

SOMERSET, KY — It’s been six weeks since Donald J. Trump’s surprise election. The final national count is in. He lost by almost 2.9 million votes. The electoral college votes this week to formalize his victory. If this inspires personal vertigo you are not alone. Half the country is ecstatic. The other half has a headache and peptic distress. Ever brazen, and with scant control of his metaphorical filters, Trump bullies forward. One brash decision, …

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The Years of Fake and Fraud

SOMERSET, KY — The CIA has clear evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to assist Donald Trump. That’s what the Washington Post reported last week. Trump fired back. The assertion isn’t true, he said, and added that it comes from the same intelligence agency that got it all wrong about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Other skeptics of the Russian election interference noted with bottomless gravity that the disclosure was made by …

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Encountering the DTs

NEW YORK – Happy Thanksgiving from a city aswarm with misgivings about Donald Trump. I’m spending time here trying to help people decipher the details. I find it fascinating almost beyond measure — the careful work of a drama queen trying to calm the turbulent waters of the left and keep faith with his supporters on the right. Follow the steps Trump’s taken. They largely rely on appointing Steve Bannon as a White House advisor. …

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The 2016 Election Endgame: Decisive or Dangerous?

SOMERSET, KY — There aren’t too many redder places in this reddest of red southern states than Pulaski County. Mitt Romney beat President Obama in 2012 with 80 percent of the vote in this south central Kentucky county, and a nearly 16,000-vote margin — 20,714 to 4,976. Still, on my afternoon runs through the pleasant leafy neighborhoods of Somerset, the county seat, I haven’t seen one yard sign for Donald Trump. It’s as though in …

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