The Stupid Party Strikes Again: Science on the Chopping Block

February 5, 2018

If you think Science is expensive, try ignorance.

Washington Post:

The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documents obtained by The Washington Post.

Many of the sharp cuts would probably be restored by Congress, but President Trump’s budget, due out in February, will mark a starting point for negotiations and offer a statement of intent and policy priorities.

The document underscores the administration’s continued focus on the exploitation of fossil fuel resources — or, as Trump put it in his State of the Union address, “beautiful clean coal” — over newer renewable technologies seen as a central solution to the problem of climate change.

The Energy Department had asked the White House for more modest spending reductions to the renewable and efficiency programs, but people familiar with the process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share unfinished budget information, said the Office of Management and Budget had insisted on the deeper cuts.

The cuts would also be deeper than those the Trump administration sought for the current fiscal year but was unable to implement because of the budget impasse in Congress. The federal government has been operating on a series of continuing resolutions that have maintained existing spending. The current continuing resolution expires Feb. 8.

Not just renewable energy. In the midst of the worst flu epidemic in decades, Republicans heading toward gutting the Center for Disease Control as well.

The Center for Disease Control.

Think Progress:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) dwindling pot of money aimed at fighting infectious-disease epidemics like Ebola will run out this year, and the agency doesn’t anticipate new dedicated funds. So the CDC is scaling back epidemic prevention work in 39 countries, and this has experts, including a United Nations Dispatch on Friday, saying “you should be freaking out.”

The United States currently partners with 49 countries to address the global vulnerabilities to public health threats. The global health security agenda’s mission is clear: “ensure that a trained workforce has the tools needed to prevent, detect, and respond rapidly and effectively to infectious disease threats.”

Congress gave the CDC $600 million for the initiative after the Ebola pandemic exposed major weakness in the global capability to address outbreaks. The agency now has about $150 million left for the initiative, a senior government official told the Washington Post. The funds will exhaust in 2019, and the agency doesn’t expect the Trump administration to dedicate additional budgetary resources. So last month, CDC began notifying staffers abroad to downsize activities, the Wall Street Journal first reported.  On Thursday, Washington Post reported notices are now being issued to country directors.

The CDC is reportedly scaling back first in China, Pakistan, Haiti, Rwanda, and Congo. Last year, the World Health Organization confirmed an Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo, the first since 2014. But CDC-trained officials and rapid responders helped contain it fast. China is also undergoing a severe bird flu outbreak, which researchers believe could trigger a global pandemic. The senior government official told the Post that the CDC will instead focus on 10 “priority countries” in 2019: Guatemala, India, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Thailand, Uganda, and Vietnam.

“This 80% to CDC”s foreign operations cut may save some money in the short term, but it comes at the expense of enhanced security and possibly the health of Americans in the homeland,” wrote Alanna Shaikh, for UN Dispatch.

Not too long ago one of the leading intellectual lights in the GOP was Governor Bobby Jindal, a former Rhodes Scholar. In 2013, he pleaded with his cohort to “..stop being the stupid party.”

How’s that been going?

CNN:

The former chief of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the decision to cut 80% of its epidemic prevention activities overseas could pose a grave danger to the United States because it “would significantly increase the chance an epidemic will spread without our knowledge and endanger lives in our country and around the world.”

The CDC informed personnel in the past two weeks that it was discontinuing its work in 39 out of 49 countries where its Center for Global Health helps prevent, detect and respond to dangerous infectious disease threats, such as Ebola and the Zika virus. The agency said it was forced to make the decision because it doesn’t expect any new funding for the programs.
The decision sparked outrage among an array of top health officials and organizations who said Congress and the Trump administration are leaving the nation vulnerable to an outbreak that could affect millions of Americans.
“We can either help other countries stop disease outbreaks abroad or fight them here at home,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC from 2009 to 2017. “If funding for global health security isn’t found, CDC will have to retreat from the front lines of fighting not terrorism but terrible organisms in 30 countries.”

So anyhow, all this budget cutting must be doing great things for the deficit, right? I mean, Republicans are all about that deficit.
How’s that “generate new revenue by cutting taxes on rich people”  fiscal approach working out?

Washington Post:

It was another crazy news week, so it’s understandable if you missed a small but important announcement from the Treasury Department: The federal government is on track to borrow nearly $1 trillion this fiscal year — President Donald Trump‘s first full year in charge of the budget.

That’s almost double what the government borrowed in fiscal year 2017.

Here are the exact figures: The U.S. Treasury expects to borrow $955 billion this fiscal year, according to a documents released Wednesday. It’s the highest amount of borrowing in six years, and a big jump from the $519 billion the federal government borrowed last year.

Treasury mainly attributed the increase to the “fiscal outlook.” The Congressional Budget Office was more blunt. In a report this week, the CBO said tax receipts are going to be lower because of the new tax law.

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9 Responses to “The Stupid Party Strikes Again: Science on the Chopping Block”

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    The Fascists have always hated other people. That’ll never change.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Uh, Chucky? Have you got a source for this quote? Time and place? I took a quick look and couldn’t find it—–is it fake news? (although it’s quite believable coming from a guy who keeps a book by Hitler on his nightstand for bedtime reading)


      • Source: http://www.burrardstreetjournal.com/trump-obama-worse-than-hitler/

        The Burrard Street Journal Disclaimer
        If you clicked here then you are probably doubting the legitimacy of one of our articles. Well friend, those are some good instincts, as the Burrard Street Journal is a satire news, parody and humor website and is for entertainment purposes only.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Thank you for that. The disclaimer also says: “burrardstreetjournal.com is intended for a mature audience”, and that excludes our resident “sophomoric” Chucky. Someone needs to exercise some parental control on his internet activities.

      • Sir Charles Says:

        It’s indeed a parody on your beloved president, dumb old guy. Thanks for taking the bait again…

      • Lionel Smith Says:

        Give Charles a break DoG he is one of the good guys, one from my side of the pond at a guess but, another guess, on an island a little closer to the US of A.

        • Sir Charles Says:

          Sometimes, our island has indeed been too close to the US and A, Lionel 🙂
          But – at least – we also could learn from the US and A. Therefore our country has recently banned fracking – at least onshore.

          => Shale Gas Bulletin Ireland

        • dumboldguy Says:

          I used to think Chucky was one of the “good guys” too—-when he stuck to climate change topics.

          Of late, he has taken a nasty turn, posting things that can only be described as churlish and anti-American. We in the USA are in the throes of dealing with a serious threat to our nation and the world in the person of Trump, and Chucky makes sophomoric jokes about masturbation and posts an Obama-Hitler thing that looks serious without any attribution or indication that it’s a “parody”? (and a not very funny one at that). We don’t need some narcissistic maggot for his own amusement throwing gasoline on our dumpster fire by posting things that add to the divisiveness and turmoil here,

          And he crows that he has “baited” me again and speaks of our “beloved” president”? JFC! Perhaps you could speak instead to Chucky, Lionel? IMO, he is becoming no better than the Russian trolls that we used to suffer with on Crock.


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