So there's this "Florida" place that's gradually being swallowed by the ocean, what with rising sea levels. But Gov. Rick Scott is quite sure that isn't really happening, because he is pretty much the mayor of Amity Island in Jaws.* If nobody in Florida government says "climate change" or "global warming," the problem will just go away. Actually, what problem? There is no shark sea level rise problem. Plenty of land still above water, please come to Florida and build some more condos, won't you?

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But come on, there's no way the state government can actually enforce that silly policy, because as the state has made quite clear, there is no official written policy banning employees from saying "climate change." It's just that they need to be very careful in how they communicate, as a state employee learned when he was suspended without pay for using the phrase in minutes of an environmental meeting where You-Know-What was discussed. A press release by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility says Barton Bibler, a Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) employee, was reprimanded for taking detailed notes on a February 27 meeting discussing rising sea levels and That One Topic, and then including the Bad Words in his notes:

He was directed to remove any hot button issues, especially explicit references to climate change, and then was given a letter of reprimand for supposedly misrepresenting that the “official meeting agenda included climate change.”

In addition, Bibler was suspended for two days without pay and required to get his head examined by a doctor to prove that he was sane enough to return to work. Yes, really.

[H]e received a “Medical Release Form” requiring that his doctor supply the DEP with an evaluation of unspecified “medical condition and behavior” issues before being allowed to return to work.

After all, wouldn't want a dangerously unstable person running loose at the Department of Environmental Protection, spouting off about crazy conspiracies that only 97% of climate scientists think are real.

Mind you, it's not that Bibler violated any official ban on saying You-Know-What. As we have established, there's no written policy banning that phrase. Rather, it's that he was insubordinate and dishonest, according to his official reprimand:

I asked you to provide a summary of the meeting. You first provided a takeaway summary of the meeting, but had provided that summary in a document that used the agenda header from Ann Lazar, the meeting moderator, which gave the appearance that this was Ann’s official meeting agenda that included climate change. This was not part of the original agenda developed by Ann, and resulted in a complaint of misrepresentation.

Look, if That Thing was discussed but it wasn't on the agenda, then by golly, you'd better not make it look like anyone at DEP planned to talk about That Thing. Are you trying to get us all fired?

Worse, after being asked to submit a revised set of notes, Bibler sent back an email with an attachment that apparently consisted of "the words Keystone XL Pipeline with a red circle and a cross through it," which we'll admit was probably a bit on the passive-aggressive side. Shame on you, Barton Bibler! It's people like you what cause unrest.

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Bibler was also admonished to "comply with directives as assigned," as well as to never again "insert any personal agenda or political advocacy into the work you perform," because using state workers to advance a political agenda is Gov. Rick Scott's job, not some snotty DEP punk's.

PEER called for the DEP's Inspector General to investigate the incident, including whether the punishment of Bibler was excessive and whether his supervisor's order to modify the summary of the meeting was a violation of "Florida law forbidding alteration of official records." The Florida director of PEER, Jerry Phillips, said, "If anyone needs mental health screening it is Governor Rick Scott and other officials telling state workers to pretend that climate change and sea-level rise do not exist.”

So there you go -- get too insistent about the existence of climate change, and your employer may consider you deranged. Now, where's Robert Shaw to run his fingers down the chalkboard and offer to take this CO2 problem off our hands?

*Comparison borrowed shamelessly from NPR's On the Media.

[AddictingInfo / WTSP / Image by "siralbertus," Flickr]

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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Nancy Pelosi is making news again today after her weekly press conference, mostly because she said this about yesterday's nutbag performance from President Stable Genius:

[T]his time, another temper tantrum — again — I pray for the President Of The United States. I wish him and his family, his administration and staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.

She prays for him. And she's just kind of suggesting that maybe the president is unwell, in his brain. She's being very subtle!

When Glenn Thrush asked afterward what kind of "intervention" she might be talking about, she suggested that Article 25 would be just fine.

But many folks out there right now are saying "BUT WHAT ABOUT INPEACH! They are not going to do an intervention, because the intervention is called INPEACH!" (They are taking her words very literally, it would seem.) Every other damn day lately, there is news about how "NANCY SAID INPEACH IS BAD" or "NANCY SAID TRUMP'S ACTIONS IS SELF-INPEACH-ATORY, WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN, NANCY!" and whatever else, we don't know, because we have muted all of Twitter until further notice. (Here is some news about the House Democrats' weekly meeting yesterday, most of which was about Democrats yelling INPEACH! while Nancy Pelosi gave them cold showers.)

Here's the thing:

In today's presser, Pelosi was clearer than ever about her feelings on impeachment -- she doesn't like it, and she'd really hate for the nation to get to a place where that's inevitable, she is just saying it would be truly terrible for them to have to do that -- but they might just be FORCED to go there. And wouldn't that be just terrible? Nancy Pelosi is praying about that just like she is praying for Trump, under a big oak tree that casts all the shade she threw at Donald Trump for her entire fucking presser.

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Happy Throwback Thursday! Remember Paul Manafort? He's still in jail, don't worry. But it looks like he might be getting some company soon from his old pal Stephen Calk, who just got indicted today by the Southern District of New York.

Calk was a simple CEO and COB at the Federal Savings Bank of Chicago, but he had big dreams. He'd been an army pilot and a money guy, so he figured he was competent to be either Secretary of Treasury or Secretary of Army. He'd take Commerce or HUD, or even a cool ambassadorship to France, or the UK, or the UN -- he wasn't picky. Just any old position befitting a guy who is 100 percent going to be played by Michael McKean in the movie version of this nightmare.

Luckily Calk knew a guy on the inside. Sure that guy had recently been You're Fired from the Trump campaign for ratfucking the Ukrainian election, but Paul Manafort was still waving his bits all over Trumpland in the summer and fall of 2016, so Paul Manafort had the hookup that Calk needed. Luckily, Calk had what Manafort needed, which was MONEY. Manafort's fountain of untaxed cash had dried up since the Ukrainians gave his guy Viktor Yanukovych the boot, and he was in danger of losing multiple investment properties to foreclosure. So naturally Calk stepped up to the plate with $15 million in loans to keep the wolves at bay, because what are friends with more political ambition than scruple for, right?

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