House Republicans' "water-reform" bill

“Reform,” in Rightwingspeak means eliminating public influence on decisions about water in Western states, which, contrary to California Rep. Tom McClintock’s assertion, is scarce, not abundant. Decisions about how water is to be used or left alone require more, not less, public commentary, particularly from groups or individuals arguing on behalf of the environment. HR 6217 seeks to “streamline” water contracts, transfers and other manipulations.

Which way is Costa going to jump?

Editor's update, 9:26 p.m. -- Rep. Jim Costa said on the floor of the House of Representatives today that he had listened to him constituents and that he had decided to vote for the impeachment of Trump. At the end of his short speech, he made one of the better points made all day: he, Rep. Costa had taken the oath of his office and the president had taken his oath; to live up to his oath, Costa said, he'd have to vote for impeachment because Trump had not lived up to his oath.

Thanks, Congressman Costa

Dam improvements at Pacheco Pass

The nation’s dams are over a half-century old on average. The Pacheco Dam is even older: It was built in 1939.
“There are thousands of people in this country that are living downstream from dams that are probably considered deficient given current safety standards,” Mark Ogden told AP. Ogden is a former Ohio dam safety official who is now a technical specialist with the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, which estimates it would take more than $70 billion to repair and modernize the nation’s more than 90,000 dams.

A cry for help from Hong Kong

An old friend of mine, a Hong Kong resident, sent me this note from his wife yesterday. There have been news reports all evening of escalating levels of violence at the university she mentions. There are obviously great differences between the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong but violent repression won't settle them any more than violent repression approaching genocide has "settled" Tibetan Buddhism, Uighur Islam or Falun Gong Taoism. But it seems to be communist atheism or nothing in the PRC. -- wmh



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