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In yet another policy proposal -- she just can't seem to stop herself! -- Elizabeth Warren pledges to fix the damage Donald Trump has done to America's public lands, and then some. Restoring the national monuments Trump cut back to almost nothing (so they could be mined and drilled for oil) is just a start. Warren promises to sign an executive order her first day in office to end offshore oil drilling. Might not be quite as sexy as taxing the super rich, but it's a beautiful proposal for class warfare on interests that have been despoiling our natural resources and making the planet uninhabitable. Plus, it's going to piss off the Bundy family no end, so that's nice, too.


Warren points out that 25 percent of the nation's total land is public, but the public is often the last priority when it comes to how that land is used:

The Trump administration is busy selling off our public lands to the oil, gas and coal industries for pennies on the dollar — expanding fossil fuel extraction that destroys pristine sites across the country while pouring an accelerant on our climate crisis.

It doesn't have to be this way. We must not allow corporations to pillage our public lands and leave taxpayers to clean up the mess.

Since fossil fuel extraction on those lands accounts for "nearly a quarter of all US greenhouse gas emissions," Warren would use her presidential power to knock that shit off, with a first-day executive order putting a stop to it (OK, fine existing contracts can't be eliminated):

I will sign an executive order that says no more drilling — a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases, including for drilling offshore and on public lands. I'd also reinstate the methane pollution rule to limit existing oil and gas projects from releasing harmful gases that poison our air, and reinstitute the clean water rule to protect our lakes, rivers, and streams, and the drinking water they provide. [emphasis in original]

What's more, Warren would work to use public land to promote clean energy, with a goal of providing 10 percent of US electricity from wind, solar and geothermal on public lands or offshore.

She also promises to restore the full boundaries of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, which were drastically reduced under a Ryan Zinke plan to hand over huge tracts of land to uranium mining. Warren is quite clear on the "public" in public lands, and opposes turning over national forests or wildlife refuges to state control, which in practice would mean to moneyed interests and let's not pretend otherwise. We have a feeling Warren wasn't courting the radical antigovernment rancher vote anyway. We have to confess, it sure would be nice if there were a way to lock that in -- it would suck to see the national monuments contract every damn time a Republican's in office -- assuming the party survives its current criminal leadership.

In addition, while her proposal doesn't mention the Green New Deal (she's a cosponsor), Warren offers a VERY New Deal idea: bring back a form of FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps, which provided jobs maintaining public lands:

I will recruit 10,000 young people and veterans to jumpstart a 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps — and increase the budget of AmeriCorps' one-year fellowship program to fund it. This will create job opportunities for thousands of young Americans caring for our natural resources and public lands, deepening their lifelong relationship with the great outdoors.

Finally, Warren would make access to the national parks free to all Americans, because damn it, they're our parks. Says Warren,

There's no better illustration of how backwards our public lands strategy is than the fact that today, we hand over drilling rights to fossil fuel companies for practically no money at all — and then turn around and charge families who make the minimum wage more than a day's pay to access our parks.

She notes that maintenance in the national parks (and other public lands) has been deferred for far too long -- it's one of those things previous administrations have found easy to cut or put off -- and promises to "fully fund our public land management agencies and eliminate the infrastructure and maintenance backlog" on all public lands. That backlog has grown so huge, however, that the timeframe for fixing it would be during her first term, because there's a hell of a lot for all those teenagers to be put to work on.

It's a pretty impressive vision, and sure to piss off the extraction industries. Good. And while Warren's plan doesn't mention this specifically, wouldn't it be nice to have America's wildlife policy not set by big game hunters anymore?

[Elizabeth Warren on Medium / NYT]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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You guys, hi, hello, it is almost the holiday weekend, so we are going to share you a real video posted last night by "Doctor" Sebastian "Don't Call Me A Nazi" Gorka, that hilarious old knucklecuck. We guess now that he had to give up (or gave up voluntarily!) his Fox News contract, he just makes videos for the Twitter. Hoo ... ray?

Anyway, Gorka is super-excited that Donald Trump issued that order last night, giving Bill Barr all kinds of new powers to expose the Deep State for what it is and PROVE once and for all that the gremlins who live inside Trump's diarrhea are correct when they say Hillary ordered the Deep State to do an illegal witch hunt to Trump, yadda yadda yadda, you've seen these people huff paint before, we don't have to type it all.

Here is the video, after which Wonkette will either transcribe it OR we will provide our own dramatic interpretation. Which one will it be? We don't know! Would you be able to tell the difference between the two? We don't know!

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We want to say right here at the outset that we hate Julian Assange. Aside from the sexual assault allegations against him, and aside from the fact that he's just a generally stinky and loathsome person who reportedly smeared poop on the walls at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while reportedly not taking care of his cat, an innocent creature, he acted as Russia's handmaiden during the 2016 election, in order to further Russia's campaign to steal it for Donald Trump. All signs point to his campaign being a success!

So we are justifiably happy when bad things happen to Julian Assange. We are happy his name is shit the world over, and that any reputation WikiLeaks used to have for being on the side of freedom and transparency has been stuffed down the toilet where it belongs. We are happy he looked like such a sad-ass loser when the Ecuadorian embassy finally kicked him out and he was arrested.

And quite frankly, we were OK with the initial charge against him recently unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia. If you'll remember, he was charged with trying to help Chelsea Manning hack a password into the Defense Department, which is not what journalists do. Journalists do not drive the get-away car for sources. Journalists do not hold their sources' hair back while they're stealing classified intel. Assange is essentially accused of doing all that.

Now, put all that aside. Because -- and this is key -- journalists do publish secrets they are provided by sources. That's First Amendment, chapter and verse, American as fucking apple pie and fast-food-induced diabetes. And that is what much of the superseding indictment of Assange unsealed yesterday was about. (And nope, it wasn't about anything regarding Assange's ratfucking the 2016 election or Hillary's emails. Why would the Trump Justice Department prosecute anything about that? It's all about the older Chelsea Manning stuff, the stuff the Obama Justice Department considered charging Assange with, but ultimately declined, because of that little thing called the First Amendment.)

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