By Robert A. Vella
Scientists have warned that climate change will make some parts of the world uninhabitable for humans and other animals later this century, and now there is immediate concern for the Indian subcontinent. Meanwhile, a massive high pressure heat dome is building over Alaska this week which threatens to shatter the state’s temperature records. White supremacists are flocking to Washington D.C. to attend President Trump’s militarized and politicized 4th of July celebration, and anti-fascist protesters are expected to face them. Riled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of his fallacious rationale for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, Trump is pressuring the Department of Justice to find another rationale the court might be more amenable to. His insanity is causing a lot of confusion and handwringing within the government because everyone except Trump had considered this case closed. It also reminds me of a recurring gag on the old 1960s sitcom Get Smart when Agent 86 (actor Don Adams) confronted by incredulity over his flawed reasoning would offer a variety of other paltry excuses in the vain hope that one might prove convincing (“Would you believe…?”). There are two new court rulings against anti-abortion measures enacted by the Trump administration and by Republicans in Ohio. Tea Party libertarian and House Freedom Caucus co-founder Justin Amash is leaving the Republican Party over its support of Donald Trump.
Intense heat waves have killed more than 100 people in India this summer and are predicted to worsen in coming years, creating a possible humanitarian crisis as large parts of the country potentially become too hot to be inhabitable.
Heat waves in India usually take place between March and July and abate once the monsoon rains arrive. But in recent years these hot spells have become more intense, more frequent and longer.
India is among the countries expected to be worst affected by the impacts of climate crisis, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
All-time heat records are at risk in Alaska in coming days as a massive and abnormally intense area of high pressure locks in and strengthens over the region.
Anchorage is predicted to test or best its highest-temperature ever recorded of 85 degrees (set in 1969) on five straight days between July 4 and 8. It could even flirt with 90 degrees.
Anchorage’s nighttime lows may settle only in the mid-60s during this hot stretch, which is close to its average high at this time of year.
Racists flock to D.C.
US president Donald Trump’s “Salute to America” Fourth of July celebration will feature tanks, military plane flyovers—and potential clashes between white supremacists and counter-protestors.
Members of the Proud Boys, Identity Evropa (now known as the American Identity Movement) and the anti-fascist protesters who oppose them are planning to spend July 4th and the following weekend in Washington, DC, according to both the groups themselves and local law enforcement monitoring them.
And last week, the same day the donation was announced, the company — Phantom Fireworks of Youngstown, Ohio — got what it wanted: Trump decided to hold off on his threatened $300 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, which include fireworks.
Trump pressures DOJ
Mr. Trump’s comments prompted a chaotic chain of events, with senior census planners closeted in emergency meetings and Justice Department representatives summoned to a phone conference with a federal judge in Maryland.
The Supreme Court last week rejected the administration’s stated reason for adding the citizenship question as contrived. But Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, left open the chance that the administration could offer an adequate rationale.
Mr. [Joshua] Gardner [a Justice Department special counsel for executive branch litigation] said that census forms would continue to be printed without the citizenship question, and that federal court rulings barring its inclusion, upheld in part by the Supreme Court, were still in force. But he added that he could not promise that would remain the case. [clarification by The Secular Jurist]
SEATTLE (AP) — Trump administration rules that impose additional hurdles for low-income women seeking abortions are on hold once again.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday vacated a unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel and said a slate of 11 judges will reconsider lawsuits brought by more than 20 states and several civil rights and health organizations challenging the rules.
The rules ban taxpayer-funded clinics from making abortion referrals and prohibit clinics that receive federal money from sharing office space with abortion providers.
(Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction blocking Ohio from enforcing a law that critics said could ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett said the “Heartbeat Protection Act” signed by Republican Governor Mike DeWine in April imposed an “undue burden” on a woman’s constitutional right to obtain a pre-viability abortion.
Rep. Justin Amash, the only Republican in Congress to have accused President Trump of impeachable acts, said Thursday he is leaving the GOP and becoming an independent, bemoaning that “modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral, but there is an escape.”
In an op-ed in The Washington Post, the Michigan congressman described himself as a lifelong Republican who has grown disenchanted with party politics and frightened by a two-party system that has “evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”
Citing the warnings of George Washington in his farewell address, Amash said Americans “have allowed government officials, under assertions of expediency and party unity, to ignore the most basic tenets of our constitutional order: separation of powers, federalism and the rule of law.”