Monday, April 10, 2017

How Many Americans Have To Get Mesothelioma Before Republicans Agree To Impeach Trump?


On his show Friday, Bill Maher, made a case that since Trump entered the White House his party's guiding premise is now just "some warped idea that the way to show strength is by being a dick. And that in a nutshell is what Republicanism has become. Looking at any problem and saying, 'what would a dick do?'" Obviously he soon turned to Trump's Pruitt-directed EPA-- okaying a pesticide known to cause brain damage in children and working to allow asbestos again. Asbestos, you know, the cancer-causing substance banned in 58 countries, including all 28 nations of the European Union. In Canada asbestos prohibition starts next year. During the Senate confirmation hearings into Pruitt Ed Markey noted that "More than 30 Americans die each day from diseases like asbestosis and cancer caused by asbestos." Since asbestos is responsible for something like half of all occupational cancer deaths, many senators were concerned that Trump is publicly on record as an asbestos fan, calling it the "the greatest fireproofing material ever made" during 2005 Homeland Security Committee testimony, blaming the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11, on the lack of asbestos in the buildings. Earlier, in The Art of the Comeback (1997) his ghost writer asserted that the anti-asbestos movement is a mob-led conspiracy, insisting that mob-related companies would do the asbestos removal." Senor Trumpanzee, environmental expert, claims asbestos is "100 percent safe, once applied."

The World Health Organization begs to differ-- as do all scientists who have ever studied the matter since asbestos is a well-known human carcinogen with no safe level of exposure. Pre-Trump, the EPA asbestos as a top-10 high-risk chemical for priority action, primarily because it causes mesothelioma cancer and causing approximately 15,000 deaths in this country annually. Trump and Pruitt will never allow it to be banned. Which brings us to a powerful fuck-off retirement letter last week from EPA employee Mike Cox to Pruitt.
“I, along with many EPA staff, are becoming increasing alarmed about the direction of EPA under your leadership … ” Cox said in a letter to Pruitt. “The policies this Administration is advancing are contrary to what the majority of the American people, who pay our salaries, want EPA to accomplish, which are to ensure the air their children breath is safe; the land they live, play, and hunt on to be free of toxic chemicals; and the water they drink, the lakes they swim in, and the rivers they fish in to be clean.”

...He can get away with being so blunt because he sent the letter on his last day on the job. Yet his views reflect the disgust and frustration among the agency employees he left behind. Interviews with staffers point to a workforce demoralized by President Trump’s and Pruitt’s statements that conflict with science. They are worried about a new, backward direction for the agency and nervous about proposed, drastic budget cuts.

They are also fearful.

Twice during an hour of interviews for this column, EPA workers in different parts of the country asked to communicate with me by using encryption software. All who spoke feared retaliation and would not allow their names to be used.

“It is pretty bleak,” one staffer, an environmental engineer, said about employee morale.

“It’s in the dumps,” said another.

“Pretty much everybody is updating their resumes. It’s grim,” added a third.

They and their colleagues are dedicated to EPA’s mission to “protect human health and the environment.” They fear that Trump administration policies will do the opposite.

Like Cox, they are upset with an administrator casting doubt on the central role carbon dioxide plays in climate change. “You will continue to undermine your credibility and integrity with EPA staff, and the majority of the public, if you continue to question this basic science of climate change,” Cox wrote.

Of course, Pruitt’s position is no surprise for a man who was appointed by a president who called climate change a hoax.

...Trump’s proposed EPA budget is the vehicle for his science-doubting policies.

His 31 percent budget decrease would be the largest among agencies not eliminated. It would result in layoffs for 25 percent of the staff and cuts to 50 EPA programs, the Washington Post reported Sunday. Lost would be more than half the positions in the division testing automaker fuel efficiency claims.

...Cox challenged the “indefensible budget cuts,” asking Pruitt “why resources for Alaska Native Villages are being reduced when they are presented with some of the most difficult conditions in the country; why you would eliminate funds for the protection and restoration of the Puget Sound ecosystem which provides thousands of jobs and revenue for Washington State; and why you would reduce funds for a program that retrofits school buses to reduce diesel emission exhaust inhaled by our most vulnerable population-- children.”
One EPA manager, aware that the Trump Regime intends to fire anyone and everyone at the agency who voices disagreement with its anti-environment agenda, told the Post that "people here are committed to the mission and not necessarily to a paycheck."

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