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New Report Shows ’Sharpiegate’ Foretold Trump’s Carnage

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

While it was dismissed by some as an overhyped media obsession, the presidential scandal that has come to be known as "Sharpiegate" was, in fact, an early warning sign of the truly catastrophic potential of Donald Trump.

The story arose out of Hurricane Dorian, which began its deliberate march up toward the East Coast of the United States in late August and early September of 2019. It ravaged the Bahamas, and officials feared the damage it could inflict stateside. But then came a Trump tweet on Sept. 1, and later comments to reporters, in which he warned that Alabama was in the storm's path. He said it was among the states "most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated."

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As Dorian Wreaks Havoc, Fox News Dismisses Climate Science

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

As Hurricane Dorian swept through the Bahamas and makes its way along the United States coast, Fox News has been quick to cast doubt on the connections between the hurricane — and other recent natural disasters — and climate change.

As Dorian moves along the U.S. coast, it has left devastation in its wake, most notably in the Bahamas. In addition to being a powerful storm, Dorian is unusually slow-moving, ravaging the Bahamas in part because of its 1 mph speed.

The link between Hurricane Dorian’s catastrophic impact and climate change is clear — warmer water caused by climate change fuels hurricanes and increases their strength. The Union of Concerned Scientists explained the science of this relationship in three parts: Warmer water gives more fuel to hurricanes; rising seas worsen storm surges; and warmer air holds more water for rainfall. NPR conducted an interview with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration atmospheric scientist Jim Kossin, who explained how slow-moving hurricanes like Dorian are linked to climate change. Such storms will also likely increase in intensity in the future due to climate change. In short, scientists widely agree that “the science connecting climate change to hurricanes like Dorian is strong.”

Despite this clear consensus, Fox News has tried to shift blame away from human-made climate change and cast doubt on widely accepted science. Instead, Fox has insisted that hurricanes have always existed and therefore, climate change has nothing to do with them; has brought climate deniers on air; and has resorted to a favorite line of attack: berating Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). This time, the network assailed her for linking climate change to Dorian.

The Fox & Friends co-hosts chided Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for linking Hurricane Dorian to climate change, arguing that “hurricanes have been happening since the beginning of the atmosphere.” They also asserted that Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are “telling everybody who is pumping oil for a living, who is transporting gas for a living, who is working in the natural gas or oil industry” that “you are the problem, you are the nicotine in today’s society.”

During coverage of Hurricane Dorian on September 3, Fox “news”-side anchor Martha MacCallum hosted climate denier Roy Spencer, who denied the proven links between climate change and hurricanes and claimed that climate change-driven “warming is very slow.”

Trump Uses Hurricane To Promote New Campaign Hat

Trump wore a new hat while being briefed on Hurricane Dorian in photos distributed by the White House over the weekend.

By Wednesday, the hat was on sale on Trump’s official campaign website for $40.00, labeled “Official USA 45th Presidential Hat – Navy.”

“Did President Trump use Hurricane Dorian and the White House press office to launch a new product on his campaign website? It sure looks that way,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a corruption watchdog, wrote in a statement.

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Trump’s campaign site touted itself as “the only place online to purchase the Official USA rope hat worn by 45th President-Elect Donald J. Trump, himself.” And proceeds from the hat will go to Trump’s reelection campaign.

There is also a very good chance that Trump himself will see some of the money from the hat sales. The two committees tasked with his reelection have thus far spent at least $379,383 at Trump properties.

Because Trump has not divested from his holdings, money spent at his properties means that Trump profits personally.

Trump has previously used the intense international exposure he gets from the presidency to model hats that have then been put up for sale by his campaign.

In August of 2017, the White House released photos of Trump wearing branded hats as part of the response to Hurricane Harvey. The hats were simultaneously on sale in Trump’s online store.

Last November, Trump went to the scene of wildfires in California sporting a campaign hat.

“The fact that the president has yet again showed up to a natural disaster wearing a hat sold exclusively by his campaign for $40 shows that he can’t tell the difference between a tragedy and a campaign rally–or a money making opportunity,” CREW noted at the time.

The incidents show Trump using all the trappings of the presidency to showcase his campaign merchandise, which leads to sales and personal profits. The cycle continues.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

Trump Has New Weather Map To Defend Alabama Claims

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

This is just getting tiresome.

After repeatedly humiliating himself in an attempt to defend his false claim on Sunday that Alabama was among the states that “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” by Hurricane Dorian — a claim quickly refuted by government experts — President Donald Trump shared a map \ Wednesday night on Twitter that he claimed vindicated him. (This was a different map than the one he showed in the Oval Office, which had apparently been clumsily falsified, seemingly with a Sharpie.)

But this new attempt to defend his mistake didn’t actually help. The map was from Aug. 28, as the map itself showed, long before Trump’s false claim on Sept. 1, at which point the forecast had changed and become more precise.

And the text at the bottom of the map even further undermined Trump’s defense.

That text revealed that the prediction apparently came from the South Florida Water Management District and that the National Hurricane Center would “supersede” its predictions.

It even adds: “If anything on this graphic causes confusion, ignore the entire product.”

And, as we know, the predictions had tightened by Sunday when Trump made his false claim about Alabama. Even after the National Weather Service corrected him, Trump refused to back down from his false claim, even though the very evidence he’s now citing says he should have done exactly that.