Democrats see political opportunity in Trump’s decision to abandon Paris climate deal


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President Trump’s triumphant Rose Garden ceremony announcing his withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement sent a message loud and clear to his supporters: Promise kept.

But the move also served as a clarion call to angry Democrats, potentially complicating the political path for Republicans facing tough midterm challenges and, ultimately, Trump’s own reelection bid.

Trump, whose approval rating has hovered around 40 percent for most of his presidency, probably did not gain new converts with his decision, and Democrats now see an opportunity to further intensify the focus of their base in the 2018 midterm elections. They also foresee the climate-change decision as a key part of their broader argument to college-educated swing voters who have been among Trump’s weakest supporters.

“He’s unleashed a number of forces that I don’t think he understands that ultimately are going to work against him,” said Tad Devine, a longtime political strategist and former adviser to the presidential run of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “People are interpreting this not as my house is going to be flooded tomorrow, but our federal government is being run by people who don’t care about science.”

Trump’s gamble could pay off. If the pace of economic growth quickens and jobs return for his core supporters, he could point to the decision to exit the accord as proof of his leadership, his backers say.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democrats-see-political-opportunity-in-trumps-decision-to-abandon-paris-climate-deal/2017/06/02/c05229da-47ae-11e7-a196-a1bb629f64cb_story.html?utm_term=.e45762ed9450

What was the Paris climate agreement — and what else do you need to know about climate politics?


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It’s official — on June 1, President Trump announced that “the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” but suggested that he would be open to new negotiations that are “fair” to the United States.

Here at the Monkey Cage, we’ve provided in-depth analysis over the years on the Paris accord, climate change, energy security and environmental developments. For a full listing of these posts, see below.

In our June 1 post, Joshua Busby at the University of Texas answers the big questions: What does this mean, and what’s next? He writes, “Under the normal rules of the agreement, the United States cannot withdraw until November 2020,” but “there is a nuclear option.”

Jessica F. Green, an New York University professor and frequent contributor on environmental policy topics, explains why the Trump decision would not roll back the considerable U.S. progress on environmental protection. She notes, “States, cities and many companies in the United States realize that sensible climate policy is, well, sensible.” With U.S. companies pursuing green options and U.S. utilities phasing out coal-powered plants, she points out that the U.S. government does not control — or make — many of these decisions.

ttp://www.washingtonpost.com/video/business/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-paris-agreement-on-climate-change/2016/09/30/b3d0a8c6-8747-11e6-b57d-dd49277af02f_video.html

Monkey Cage contributors have also looked closely at the Paris accord itself. Was there too much flexibility in the wording? What made the Paris accord different from other climate change negotiations? More broadly, what happens to global security if the effects of climate change force millions to migrate? And what are the nuts and bolts of energy politics, aviation emissions  and U.S. energy conservation programs? We invite you to keep reading.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/06/03/what-was-the-paris-climate-agreement-and-what-else-do-you-need-to-know-about-climate-politics/

Former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning, 94, found guilty of facilitating in the murder of 170,000


A 94-year-old former Nazi SS guard was found guilty Friday of being an accessory to the murder of more than 170,000 people, a majority of them Jews. Reinhold Hanning, who served at the Auschwitz death camp, was sentenced to five years in prison.

Hanning was an SS guard during Nazi-occupied Poland between January 1943 and June 1944. During that time hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were murdered.

The trial took place in the city of Detmold in western Germany. A doctor determined that Hanning was fit to stand trial, but each session lasted only two hours. At first, Hanning refused to speak and, according to witnesses, avoided eye contact with survivors who had flown in from Canada, the United States, Hungary and Britain to give their testimony.

But at one point during the four-month trial, Hanning broke his silence. “I deeply regret having been part of a criminal organization responsible for the deaths of so many innocent people and destruction of countless families,” Hanning said to a packed courtroom.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/17/former-auschwitz-guard-reinhold-hanning-94-found-guilty-of-killing-more-than-170000-people/

 

 

 

Veterans still can face long waits for care — if they get it at all


Veterans newly enrolling for health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs and requesting an appointment commonly wait for months before they first see a medical provider and the department’s way of measuring those waits understates them, a House committee was told on Tuesday.

VA officials faced a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee skeptical of the department’s response in the two years since a hearing there triggered a flood of revelations that veterans had been enduring long waits for care and that some patient records had been fudged to hide it.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/04/19/veterans-still-can-face-long-waits-for-care-if-they-get-it-at-all/

 

Justice Dept. grants immunity to staffer who set up Clinton email server


The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official.

The official said the FBI had secured the cooperation of Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009.

As the FBI looks to wrap up its investigation in the coming months, agents are likely to want to interview Clinton and her senior aides about the decision to use a private server, how it was set up, and whether any of the participants knew they were sending classified information in emails, current and former officials said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-clinton-email-investigation-justice-department-grants-immunity-to-former-state-department-staffer/2016/03/02/e421e39e-e0a0-11e5-9c36-e1902f6b6571_story.html

 

GOP strategist Castellanos: Time to rally around Trump, ‘too late to ask mommy to step in and rewrite rules’


Even as major Republican donors coalesced Wednesday around a last-ditch effort to halt Donald Trump’s march toward the GOP presidential nomination, resignation was setting in among some onetime Trump critics.

“It is too late,” Republican media strategist Alex Castellanos, who had unsuccessfully urged top GOP contributors to back an anti-Trump campaign earlier in the cycle, wrote in an email. “There is a fantasy effort to stop Trump, like a fantasy campaign to stop yesterday but it exists only as the denial stage of grief.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/03/02/gop-strategist-castellanos-time-to-rally-around-trump-too-late-to-ask-mommy-to-step-in-and-rewrite-rules/

Israel to launch one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world, with U.S. help


A joint exercise now being conducted between thousands of Israeli forces and the U.S. European Command represents a final test before Israel begins to deploy one of the most sophisticated missile defense systems in the world.

When it is complete, Israel’s multibillion-dollar rocket and missile air defense system will be far superior to anything in the Middle East and will likely rival, and in some ways surpass, in speed and targeting, air defenses deployed by Europe and the United States, its developers say.

The United States has provided more than $3.3 billion over the past 10 years to support the defensive system, which will be able to knock down not only ballistic missiles but also orbiting satellites.

Though Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama have had a strained relationship, rubbed raw by their deep disagreement over the Iran nuclear deal, U.S. spending on Israel’s air defenses has soared in the last decade, from $133 million in 2006 to $619 million in 2015.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israel-to-launch-one-of-the-most-advanced-missile-defense-systems-in-the-world-with-us-help/2016/03/03/6383cb88-dfd5-11e5-8c00-8aa03741dced_story.html