Yesterday, in the Fridumpiest of Friday news dumps, the government released the FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT a document required by law to be prepared by agencies of the federal government. For Democrats, it is a call to arms: we must stand up to shortsighted Republican policies that threaten to destroy our planet and our future.
The news for humans was not good. The first four bullet points in the Summary Findings highlight that:
Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.
Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.
3. Interconnected Impacts
Climate change affects the natural, built, and social systems we rely on individually and through their connections to one another. These interconnected systems are increasingly vulnerable to cascading impacts that are often difficult to predict, threatening essential services within and beyond the Nation’s borders.
4. Actions to Reduce Risks
Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.
That bears repeating: “The [current mitigation and adaptation efforts] do not approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.”
In other news, the Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. He warned of the threats to our democracy by the attacks from the Trump administration against Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
(Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA))
This much we know: Russia attacked our democracy in 2016. And we have to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure that no crimes were committed along the way. […]
Two weeks ago, when the president fired the Attorney General, he also upended decades a precedent by going around the line of succession in the Justice Department and installing an Acting Attorney General whose primary qualification for the job seems to be that he has publicly criticized the Mueller investigation. […]
No one in our country is above the law, including the president. And with the failure of Mr. Whitaker, the Acting Attorney General, to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation, it is incumbent that the Congress pass the bipartisan legislation that’s already passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee that would protect the integrity of the special prosecutor’s investigation. Now more than ever, all of Congress needs to stand firm in support of rule of law.
(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)
11/25/2018 -Raw transcript from CSPAN (lightly edited):
Hi, I’m Mark Warner, Senator from Virginia in the vice-chairman of the senate intelligence committee. On the intelligence committee, it is our job to ensure our country, our people, and our values are protected against some of the most dangerous threats facing the United States. At times, however, serious challenges to our democracy can come from right here at home. Today, I want to talk about the president’s threats against the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. And what the implications are for our country. I know it can be easy to get lost in all of the details of this investigation. There have been so many concerning revelations of that it can be truly overwhelming. But let’s be crystal clear. This much we know. Russia attacked our democracy in 2016. And we have to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure that no crimes were committed along the way. The senate intelligence committee continues to conduct a bipartisan inquiry into what happened in 2016. As important as that investigation is, only the special counsel Mueller has the necessary independence, tools and law enforcement authority to pursue justice and prosecute criminal activity. That investigation has already made significant progress, exposing Russia’s assault on our democracy. The special counsel has already obtained six guilty pleas and over 30 indictments. And that list of guilty pleas includes a campaign manager of the trump campaign, the deputy campaign manager, campaign foreign-policy advisor and the president’s former national security advisor. Let’s be clear. This is no witchhunt as the president has falsely tried to claim. This is a methodical, professional, unbiased, criminal investigation. And the special counsel must be permitted to continue doing his job which is to follow the facts until we get the whole truth. If the president has nothing to hide, he should welcome this investigation. If he’s done nothing wrong, they have nothing to fear from the special counsel. Ask “why does he publicly keep threatening this investigation?“ Two weeks ago, when the president fired the attorney general, he also upended decades a precedent by going around the line of succession in the Justice Department and installing an acting attorney general whose primary qualification for the job seems to be that he has publicly criticized the Mueller investigation. As acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker has the power to shut down the investigation, to deny it subpoena power or shut off the resources needed to get the job done. It appears that is why the president went around the line of succession and appointed Mr. Whitaker to the job. No one in our country is above the law, including the president. And with the failure of Mr. Whitaker, the acting attorney general, to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation, it is incumbent that the Congress pass the bipartisan legislation that’s already passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee that would protect the integrity of the special prosecutor’s investigation. Now more than ever, all of congress needs to stand firm in support of rule of law. Thank you.
Congress is in recess for the Thanksgiving holiday and so there was no House press conference on Thursday.
From House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s newsroom:
November 20, 2018
Dear Democratic Colleague and Members-elect,
Congratulations once again on your victory and for being part of an historic new Democratic Majority!
We celebrate the election of so many dynamic, diverse and determined Democratic Members in a spirit of gratitude to our outstanding Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Co-Chairs: Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Congressman David Cicilline and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.
In the campaign, House Democrats won because we were laser-focused on our forward-looking, ambitious agenda For The People; a powerful, positive message that reflected the guidance of our Caucus and the priorities of the American people, which was instrumental in delivering the biggest Democratic Majority since Watergate!
We must now prepare ourselves to build on the tremendous success of our Election Day victory. That is why I am recommending to the Caucus that we create the new position of Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, in addition to the three Co-Chair positions.
This change also reflects similar modifications that Senate Democrats are currently advancing. This enhancement to the DPCC will position House Democrats to best take advantage of the new size and diversity of our Caucus, bringing greater resources and staffing to this vital Committee.
We must be ready to deliver For The People on Day One, and beyond: lowering health care costs and the price of prescription drugs, increasing pay with strong economic growth by rebuilding America and cleaning up corruption to make Washington work for the people.
We must communicate that we are ready to govern and that focus will prepare us to once again own the ground for the next election.
Any bolding added.
November 23, 2018
Dear Democratic Colleague and Members-elect,
This Thanksgiving week has brought an outpouring of gratitude from people across the country to Democrats for winning the House and saving our country.
Our outstanding victory from sea to shining sea has made this truly a Thanksgiving of Hope, a hope that springs from the renewed faith that we have in the goodness of the American people. That hope also springs from our For The People agenda: lower health care costs, higher wages by rebuilding America and restoring integrity in government led by restoring the Voting Rights Act.
Our victory has sprung not only from the quality of our candidates and the strength of our message, which one news report said was delivered “like a jackhammer,” but also from the mobilization of the outside groups that helped carry that message. As we go into the new Congress, it is important that we continue to unify our inside maneuvering with the groups’ outside mobilization.
This election was transformative in the effective use of social media which is the wave of the present and will be more so in the future. Online mobilization allowed us to engage the groups to own the ground, amplify our message and raise funds from hundreds of thousands of new, small donors. Our Caucus must harness the transformative and ever-advancing potential of the latest technologies to be responsive to our grassroots.
It has been my vision in Congress to take us even further down a path that began in the days after the 2016 election. That is when the American people saw the urgency, wanted to take responsibility and gave us the great opportunity to deliver For The People. The outside groups, whom I will honor next Wednesday, spoke truth to power and we now will use our victory to give power to truth.
Your views and participation are essential as we demonstrate how we execute the important reforms that so many Members have suggested as part of our Rules package. I am very pleased that our Rules package will establish a select committee to improve the operation of Congress, ensuring that we deliver in a manner that is transparent, bipartisan and unifying. In addition, I have assured Members our committee ratios will be fair and our committees will have representation from all corners of our Caucus.
I thank so many of you for the strong support you have given me for Speaker. Respectful of the views of all Members, I request that we all support the nominee of our Caucus for Speaker on the Floor of the House. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power.
I again convey to you the gratitude from so many for taking our country back for the American people. Again, congratulations on your victory and thank you for your leadership.
Any bolding added.
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