Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Oh What A Deal! Will City of Miami capitulate to Florida Power and Light? We hope NOT ... by gimleteye

It is still a question to be addressed at Thursday's city commission meeting, but judging from the fine print of an exhaustive agreement, the City of Miami will "only" pay $27 million as its portion of the cost to bury high voltage power lines along US Route 1; part of the infrastructure program ratepayers will otherwise shoulder for two new nuclear reactors that FPL is aiming towards the lowest lying floodplain in Florida.

In return for this "great" deal? The City of Miami will agree to drop its lawsuits against FPL. Up until this point, the city's legal department has been a credible protector of taxpayer and citizens -- unlike the City of Coral Gables -- in the uproar over installing high voltage power lines along one of the busiest residential and business districts in South Florida.

It's insanity, and you may have a chance to express your objections and opposition at the Thursday meeting of the Miami City Commission. Please read this action alert from Miami Waterkeeper:

Dear All,

We have recently become aware that the City of Miami is considering settling with FPL on the transmission line suit. Unfortunately, this settlement also would require the City to dismiss other critical suits against FPL, including challenging FPL's 1) application to license and operate two new nuclear power plants at Turkey Point, 2) the siting challenge for the 2 new plants, and 3) their ability to charge the public for the construction of the new plants that will likely never be build. The settlement would also require that the City not get involved in other ongoing cases against FPL. And, all this when the City has been making great progress on these issues against FPL and is one of the biggest dogs in this fight.

All in all, it seems like a terrible deal for the citizens and for the environment and a big win for FPL. 

The City Commission is voting on this item at this Thursday's commission meeting (3500 Pan American Drive, Miami, FL 33133). There is an opportunity for public comment at 9am and before the item is heard. 

We would like as many people as possible to show up to give public comment at both the 9am comment session and before the item is heard. We also ask that people contact the Commissioners to ask them to vote against this settlement. Commissioner Russell is already voting no. 

Please also share on social media:

"Tell the City of Miami not to give in to FPL at the commission meeting this Thursday at 9am (3500 Pan American Drive). We need them to stay in the fight for our community's health and safety -- and for the environment too! Call your commissioners ( today!" 

​Please share with others so that we can get a critical mass in attendance!​

Thank you,

Rachel Silverstein, Ph.D.
Executive Director & Waterkeeper
Miami Waterkeeper

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Annette Taddeo will face Jose Felix Diaz in the District 40 Florida Senate race. By Geniusofdespair

Primary results today: Annette Taddeo trounced Ana Rivas Logan with 70.64% of the Democratic vote. 9,990 Dems voted in the primary. In the Pub primary 13,262 people voted. Jose Felix Diaz won the pub primary with 57.73% -- twice as many votes as Alex Diaz de la Portilla.

September 26th is the election. Democrats, you have to vote. You rule the district in numbers so use your power: VOTE.

More evidence that climate change deniers in Trump White House and GOP Congress intend to push people off the life rafts ... by gimleteye

Fascinating how the Trump administration is racing away from the reality of climate change and severe threats to national security at the same time evidence accumulates that Trump and the GOP are wrong.

Unless one happens to be in the fossil fuel supply chain, or, an electric utility that depends on centralized, mass market power distribution, you are in fact being pushed off a life raft as civilization heads toward the climate change rapids.

Exactly a year ago, I was on my second visit to Greenland by small plane. Our photos clearly showed the darkening of the Greenland ice cap. At the time I attributed the darkening to industrial soot and wildfire ash from continents away. That's what scientists had concluded.

Now a new BBC report offers important additional information: it is not just contamination that is darkening Greenland ice. Fast growing algae is also to blame.

The most alarming part of this disclosure is that the potential influence and impact to the ice sheet melt from rapid growth of algae is not even considered by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report that represents the scientific consensus on global warming.

In Miami, scientists have predicted up to a three foot rise in sea level by the end of the century. (Florida Power and Light is using a 6 inch sea level rise in its plans for new nuclear reactor plants at Turkey Point!)

As we have pointed out time after time on EOM, the reality of emerging climate change is exceeding every metric laid down by peer reviewed science. In other words, climate change impacts are happening much, much faster and with greater consequence than conservative scientific inquiry has predicted.

All the more reason to be furious that a GOP Congress, the US EPA under Scott Pruitt, and Trump White House is determined to hold and protect the privileges of insiders and cronies at push the rest of humanity off the life rafts. Florida, under Senator Marco Rubio, Gov. Rick Scott and Ag. Secretary Adam Putnam, is no help.

How will you vote in 2018?

Science & Environment
Sea level fears as Greenland darkens
David Shukman
Science editor
24 July 2017

The Greenland ice sheet covers an area about seven times the size of the UK

Scientists are "very worried" that the melting of the Greenland ice sheet could accelerate and raise sea levels more than expected.

They say warmer conditions are encouraging algae to grow and darken the surface.

Dark ice absorbs more solar radiation than clean white ice so warms up and melts more rapidly.

Currently the Greenland ice sheet is adding up to 1mm a year to the rise in the global average level of the oceans.

It is the largest mass of ice in the northern hemisphere covering an area about seven times the size of the United Kingdom and reaching up to 3km (2 miles) in thickness.

This means that the average sea level would rise around the world by about seven metres, more than 20ft, if it all melted.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Palmetto Bay Councilman David Singer accused of Battery in Police Report. By Geniusofdespair

The victim's wife was an off-duty police officer. Palmetto Bay Councilman David Singer said he was sucker punched after a verbal altercation, but the witnesses said David grabbedrhe off duty Coral Gables police officer's husband by the neck first, before hubby punched Singer. Now why didn't she stop the fight? Doesn't she have training?

According to the report the councilman trespassed at Gilberts and was asked to leave by their staff. The police report was last modified on 7/24. Wonder what it looked like on 7/16.

William and Benacio were evaluated by Fire Rescue (the victims). David Singer and his son Daniel were not evaluated, even though David was punched. He was seen as the aggressor in the incident. This can only help the David  Zisman suit if Singer decides to pursue it.

I wrote about this on July 23rd.

An appeal to Trump supporters ... by gimleteye

A fascinating report in The New Yorker by Peter Hessler: "How Trump is transforming rural America: In Colorado, the President's tone has started rubbing off on residents." One interviewee said, "What they hate about him, is what they hate about me."

This personalization of opposition to Trump feels foreign and strange, in part because the compression of internet-based cultural influences has stripped the capacity of rational discourse to surmount inchoate anger.

It is not "hate", for example, to have mortal fear for the future of our democracy. I do not "hate", but I do have sorrow and anger for the way many American voters and US senators like Mitch McConnell accepted and stirred the non-stop vilification of President Obama. On what evidence?

Trump has no policy prescriptions beyond a willingness to sacrifice ordinary Americans' welfare to make oligarchs richer, an intent to consolidate political power in the hands of a few, a disregard for basic rule of law and to allow predetermined outcomes to defeat fact and science. He regularly and routinely expresses the chaos and disorganization of an egocentric bully with no prior experience in government, an unwillingness to trust a bureaucracy unless they swear loyalty to him personally, without coherent programs or policies from immigration reform to individual rights, and climate change.

How do any of these objections match up with "hating" Trump supporters? Trump famously quipped, "I love the poorly educated." His supporters cheered. His was theirs "inside joke": that the elites they abhorred looked down on them.

These objections are not about looking down, or, feeling morally superior. There are real, factual and practical points that Trump supporters experience as much as the rest of the nation.

In Salon: Historian Timothy Snyder: “It’s pretty much inevitable” that Trump will try to stage a coup and overthrow democracy.
With Trump, one sees the new variant of this where a candidate can run by saying, “Look, we all know — wink, wink, nudge, nudge — that this isn’t really a democracy anymore.” He doesn’t use the words but basically says, “We all know this is really an oligarchy, so let me be your oligarch.” Although it’s nonsense and of course he’s a con man and will betray everyone, it makes sense only in this climate of inequality.
Trump hard liners in the alternate media universe are already spreading the counter-rumor: that a coup will emerge from the left. It is laughable, given that the left has no practical grasp on the levers of power or politics (except perhaps in the vacuum Trump is in the process of creating).

No. When "the center does not hold", as Yeats wrote a century ago, those closest to power will take as much as they can. It is Un-American at its core. That is what we object to, in Donald Trump, not out of hatred but for love of country.

Climate Change in Miami Slow to Impact Real Estate Buyers. By Geniusofdespair

According to this Bendixen & Amandi poll printed in the Miami Herald, almost 60% of realtors are concerned about the impact of climate change on Miami real estate. Only 36% of their clients have asked realtors about it. That is a substantial percentage considering most people live in a bubble.  I expect prices to dive when the clients percentage reaches 60%. But that is just my prediction.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Palmetto Bay: Did David Singer Get Punched in the Face This Week? By Geniusofdespair

Palmetto Bay's Favorite Son, Councilman David Singer had an altercation in a boating incident while docking his boat. Something to do with a Dad protecting his kids.

Ah, more details are coming in. David Singer was allegedly punched after words were exchanged. He was at Gilbert's in Key Largo. He was trying to dock his boat and kids were in the water and  he yelled at the kids to get out of the water. The Dad and others got mad. David Singer was alleged to have been asked to leave Gilbert's. David Singer was alleged to be bleeding from the altercation and there were cops there.

You can see Singer has a temper -- I have included a video at the end of him I found on line. I am sure there is a police report in Key Largo. 

Meanwhile David Singer was suing David Zisman (who ran for the Council of Palmetto Bay against Singer) for Libel/Slander.  That is hard to prove because Singer is a public figure. On July 11th Zisman was granted a motion to dismiss the suit. Singer has 30 days to amend his suit. This suit was started by Singer 12/20/2016.

Reason for lawsuit against Zisman this video, Singer left this message on David Zisman's answering machine and Zisman put it on YouTube:

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Donald Trump Changes the Playing Field to Increase Work Visas and EVEN Hires Foreign Workers. By Geniusofdespair

THIS IS SO UNREAL READERS....Department of Labor Website:

The H-2B program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States

According to the Miami Herald:

The Trump organization is using the program to fill jobs at its two resorts in Florida.

Vox News reported:
This week, the Trump administration defied its “America First” rhetoric with a policy change that would make it easier for companies to hire guest workers from foreign countries. The Trump Organization is already poised to benefit from it.

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security raised the cap on H-2B visas for foreign guest workers from 66,000 visas per year to 81,000.

On Thursday — just three days later — Trump’s properties told the Department of Labor that they wanted approval to hire 76 guest workers using those visas.
On Thursday, the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, said it wanted to hire 15 housekeepers for $10.33 an hour; 20 cooks for $13.34 an hour; and 35 servers for $11.88 an hour. The Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, was asking for six cooks to hire for $13.34 per hour. These requests are published in a database updated by the Department of Labor.

Also gone from the Department of Labor Database is this PDF about Trump Models:
This TRUMP PDF is gone from the Department of Labor Website
America First except at Trump businesses. Here is the the info from the Dept. of Labor:
On July 19, 2017, the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor published a final rule increasing the numerical limit (“cap”) on H-2B nonimmigrant visas by up to 15,000 additional visas through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017. These visas are available only to American businesses which attest that they will likely suffer irreparable harm without the ability to employ all the H-2B workers requested in their petition.

This is a one-time increase based on a time-limited statutory authority. It does not affect the H-2B program in future fiscal years. It will expire at the end of the day on Sept. 30, 2017. Secretary Kelly’s decision to increase the cap was determined in accordance with Section 543 of the FY 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act (“FY 2017 Omnibus”). Congress delegated its authority to Secretary Kelly to set a numerical cap for the remainder of the fiscal year. Secretary Kelly considered the needs of American businesses and other factors, including the impact on U.S. workers and the integrity of the H-2B program.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Vote for Annette Taddeo in the Democratic Primary. By Geniusofdespair

Tuesday: District 40 DEMOCRATS Vote for Annette Taddeo in the primary.

Associated Industries of Florida, (they are so bad we wrote about them 33 times) and Big Sugar and FPL are putting out negative ads to the tune of $150,000 in the primary (8 negative mailers so far) on Annette via a very alarming PAC out of Broward County.  They want you to vote for Ana Rivas Logan because she probably can't win against the Republican. They did the polls you have to figure that much out from the money in this PAC. Don't all be stupid voters -- always look at who puts out fliers. She has a sterling reputation.

Get out and vote if you are Democrat in that district and don't let evil interests dissuade you from Annette. Even you extra Lazy Democrats, turn off MSNBC long enough to go vote. We could pick up a seat. Hillary Clinton won this district by 18%.

You can't just sit home and complain about Donald Trump. YOU MUST LEARN TO VOTE IN ALL ELECTIONS. If you live in this pink area vote Tuesday for Annette Taddeo. You have to be a registered Democrat. If you are not registered with a party, get off the independent voter list and pick a party, you are doing yourself a disservice because independents are not allowed to vote in primaries.

There are 299,367 voters in this district, Dems account for 105,092 (35.10%). Republicans 95,676 (31.6%).

There are a lot of non Cuban Hispanics in this district (meaning Dem). 

For those with poor comprehension: The ELECTION IS THIS TUESDAY.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

John Feffer, The Invisible Monster of Climate Change

Tomgram: John Feffer, The Invisible Monster of Climate Change
By John Feffer
Posted on July 18, 2017, Printed on July 18, 2017

A Fairy Tale from 2050
Donald Trump and the Triumph of Anti-Politics
By John Feffer

Once upon a time, long, long ago, I testified before the great assembly of our land.

When I describe this event to children today, it really does sound to them like a fairy tale. Once upon a time -- a time before the world splintered into a million pieces and America became its current disunited states -- this old woman was a young idealist who tried to persuade our mighty Congress that a monster was stalking the land.

“Did they listen to you, Auntie Rachel?” they typically ask me.

“Oh, they listened to me, but they didn’t hear me.”

“So, what did you do?”

“I thought and I thought, and I wrote and I wrote, and I put together an even better presentation,” I say patiently. “I had to somehow make that monster visible so those mighty people could see it.”

“What did it look like, Auntie Rachel?”

“It was invisible, my dear children, but we could feel its hot breath. And we could see the terrible things that it did. It could make the oceans rise. It could make the crops wilt in the fields. Still, we kept feeding this terrible beast.”

“But why?”

“It’s what the monster demanded. Some monsters want to devour little children. Others insist on young maidens. But this one insisted on tankers of oil and truckloads of coal. Even as it grew, it only demanded more and more.”

At this point, the children are always wide-eyed. “What did you do then?”

“I talked to those great people again. And this time I tried even harder to describe the monster.” As I slip into the past, the faces of the children become those of long-dead politicians. “I provided more detailed graphs of rising temperatures. I cited statistics on the impact of burning coal and oil and natural gas. I displayed photos of what the melting ice and the surging waters had already done. And then I showed them pictures of what the future would look like: submerged cities, drought-stricken lands, dead seas. They looked and still they didn’t see. They listened and still they didn’t hear. Great people,” I conclude, “are not always good people.”

“What did you do then?” they always ask.

“I stopped talking, my darlings. I came here to escape the monster. I came to Arcadia.”

They look disappointed. The children know their fairy tales. They expect someone -- perhaps a knight in shining armor -- to appear suddenly and slay the monster.

“There was no knight,” I lament. “And the monster still lives. We can feel its hot breath even now.”

Of course, my young charges don’t really understand my story. Today, in 2050, there is no Congress. There are no committee hearings. There are no intergovernmental panels or global gatherings. I might as well be telling them about Roman banquets or medieval jousts. And yet my little students always clamor for more stories of the vanished world of Washington, D.C., 2017, just as they would beg for yet another of Aesop’s fables. But they don’t quite see how these tales of long ago connect to their lives today.

After all, they live in a post-political world.  (click, read more)

Russia's favorite congressman: Dana Rohrbacher

Last summer, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher used information he received directly from the Russian government to promote one of President Vladimir Putin’s top priorities: removing the name of the martyred Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky from a global anti-corruption law.

He is Russia's favorite congressman, but one could as easily claim based on the videotape yesterday, that he is just out of his mind like the rest of the the Washington Republican establishment. Cray-cray.