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Not saying Ron DeSantis looks like a manatee. We just like manatees better.

Mother Jones brings us a truly surprising story about Ron DeSantis, the rightwing schmuck who rode a bunch of racist dog whistles into office over Andrew Gillum last fall. DeSantis had a shitty environmental voting record in Congress and refused during the campaign to even answer whether he accepts the scientific reality of climate change, instead saying he didn't think anyone should be an "alarmist" about it. But a whole three months and change into his gubernatorialship, DeSantis has so far failed to be an exploding crude oil hauling trainwreck on environmental issues. Already, DeSantis has done better than Rick Scott did in eight years. That bar is lower than the sub-basement of "Cheers," but DeSantis made it over!


Frank Jackalone, head of the Florida chapter of the Sierra Club and a man who clearly had a terrible time in middle school, says nobody would have expected anything less than full-on horribleness from DeSantis:

He had an abysmal voting record in Congress [...] He voted against the environment 98 percent of the time. That's bad, even for a Republican, considering that he was in Congress for six years.

And yet so far DeSantis has actually taken some action on environmental issues. Of the helpful kind, we mean, not monkeying up regulations on polluters.

Jackalone suggested it's probably at least in part because nearly everyone agrees that the toxic disaster of red tides -- toxic algae blooms that have devastated marine life in coastal areas -- were simply too big to ignore (unless you are Rick Scott). DeSantis, like most candidates in both parties, refused to accept donations from the sugar industry, which has been blamed for the runoff that may contribute to red tides. But beyond that, he openly criticized the industry, which may actually require Florida Republicans to go to confession, even if they're not Catholic. (Big Sugar, we non-Floridians know, is the baddie in Carl Hiaasen's Strip Tease, and some of the best passages in the novel -- and Hiaasen's journalism -- are his rants against the environmental crimes of sugar plantations.)

DeSantis published an op-ed just before his inauguration promising he would prioritize

environmental issues like water quality and cleaning the environmental mess that has resulted in toxic blue-green algae and exacerbated red tide around the state [...] We will put Everglades restoration into high gear and make it the reality that Floridians have been promised for three decades.

Then once he was in office, he issued an executive order that actually committed to doing stuff, calling for

-- $2.5 billion for Everglades restoration over four years—the highest level of funding for Everglades restoration in the state's history, according to the governor's office.

-- the Department of Environmental Protection to "adamantly oppose" offshore drilling and fracking in Florida.

-- a blue-green algae task force to reduce "the adverse impacts of blue-green algae blooms now and over the next five years."

-- two new government offices, one for "environmental accountability and transparency," the other for "resilience and coastal protection."

-- a chief science officer "to coordinate and prioritize" data and research "to ensure alignment with current and emerging environmental concerns most pressing to Floridians."

MoJo notes the order definitely does not use the words "climate change" and certainly doesn't say humans done it, but it nonetheless calls for creating an "Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection" that would help mitigate the effects of that phenomenon that shall not be named, by helping

prepare Florida's coastal communities and habitats for impacts from sea level rise by providing funding, technical assistance and coordination among state, regional and local entities

Heck, if he wants to do a tax credit for solar and wind power and name it after Ronald Reagan, we'd be fine with that, too.

MoJo notes DeSantis's budget also reflects real environmental action, even. WEIRD:

His suggested $91.3 billion 2019-20 budget, released in late January, called for $625 million for Everglades restoration and clean water projects (including support of the blue-green algae task force), which would put his administration on track to meet the promised $2.5 billion over four years. (It remains to be seen how much money will pass in the budget bills in the state legislature.)

We checked the timestamp on the article, and yes, it was published yesterday, not a week earlier.

DeSantis even appointed a real live scientist, Thomas Frazer, as his "chief science officer." Frazier, head of the U of Florida's School of Natural Resources and Environment, actually says climate change is real and humans caused it -- openly, in a newspaper, where people could see it was him! He even goes out in public after having written the word "ecosystems" more than once. It is unclear whether DeSantis has ordered a 24/7 security detail for Frazer.

Mind you, it will take a while for DeSantis to really convince anyone he's doing more than a bare minimum for the environment, and plenty of skeptics point out that "doing more than Rick Scott" is hardly a heavy lift. Remember, that dude banned state employees from even saying the words "climate change." Then again, let's not get too excited here -- DeSantis's office also "did not respond to repeated requests for comment from Mother Jones," because darned if he's about to go on the record as a traitor to his entire party -- if he is at all.

So hey, one cautious cheer for Ron DeSantis! When Republicans do good things, we like to provide reinforcement! Good Ron! Also, we'll be watching you; you'd better not Milkshake Duck on the environment.

And now apologize for all the times you acted like a fucking racist, will you? (Progressives are just never pleased).

[Mother Jones]

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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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