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Squinty Koch-worshipper Scott Walker, behaving in his familiar cartoon villain fashion, removed a specially commissioned David Lenz painting of three disadvantaged Wisconsin kids skipping down a snowy street from the mantelpiece of the governor's mansion. This seems about right, because the smiling faces of poor children probably leave scorch marks on Scott Walker's soul.  Show him a painting of some suffering, hungry children and he'll putthat into the statehouse next to his statue collection of unemployed teachers with untreated illnesses. The painting, which was part of a series of paintings with "subjects intended to remind state leaders of the people they represent," was replaced by a painting of a bald eagle. Scott Walker likes to be reminded of eagles, the people who elected him. FREEDOM WINS.


From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

In an interview, Lenz said he carefully selected the three children portrayed in "Wishes in the Wind." The African-American girl, featured in a Journal Sentinel column on homelessness, spent three months at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission with her mother. The Hispanic girl is a member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. And the boy's father and brother were killed by a drunken driver in 2009.

"The homeless, central city children and victims of drunk drivers normally do not have a voice in politics," Lenz explained in an email. "This painting was an opportunity for future governors to look these three children in the eye, and I hope, contemplate how their public policies might affect them and other children like them."

He added: "I guess that was a conversation Governor Walker did not want to have."

No, Scott Walker cannot have this conversation about poor children, because they do not really exist. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via ThinkProgress]

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Photo: Desmog Blog

The Washington Post reports the Trump administration is on the verge of forming a panel to reconsider the Pentagon and Intelligence community assessment that climate change poses a serious concern for national security. The idea that climate is a national security concern is hardly crazy -- the Pentagon has been warning about the implications of climate change for national defense since the 1990s, and by 2010, the Defense Department was urging that climate change should be considered a major force of destabilization around the world. Hungry people whose crops have dried up may get violent, you know? Or at least pick up and move elsewhere, where they may not be welcome. Similarly, the CIA in 2008 tried to assess the likely effects of climate change on security through 2030.

Of course, now that President ScienceBrain is in office, that's all in the trash, at least in the Oval Office. And this new effort to set up a "Presidential Committee on Climate Security" through an executive order has the potential to erase considerations of climate from national security planning, because the "president" doesn't believe it, and has surrounded himself with other great intellects who reject science too. And hoo boy, get a load of the guy in charge of the whole shebang: William Happer, a laser expert who worked on Reagan's Star Wars antimissile program and, not surprisingly, is not a climate scientist. Instead, he argues that we need a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere, because it's what plants crave.

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Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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