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USA Today Editorial Board Calls Trump an 'Inveterate Liar' and Blasts Republicans for Enabling Him


"[N]o legislative priority is worth sacrificing your credibility to protect a president with so little regard for decency and honesty."


 

"It's bad enough that the president of the United States is an inveterate liar," the Editorial Board of USA Today opens its scathing op-ed. "It's even worse when members of Congress and his Cabinet feel compelled to lie on his behalf."

The piece focuses on President Donald Trump's racist reference to African nations as "sh*thole countries" and how Republicans are choosing to mislead the public by calling into question the reports that he made the remarks at all.

"It defies credulity to think that anyone else who was in the room could forget such a remarkable exchange," the Board writes. "Yet the other participants have chosen to lie, develop amnesia, or go mute."

The Board calls out a series of Republican leaders by name for refusing to set the record straight after being in the room when Trump made the vulgar remarks. "House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., the son of Cuban immigrants ? have gone radio silent on the subject. Let's hear from them."

As for Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's claim that she didn't hear Trump use the word "sh*thole," the Board responds, "Sure. Whatever."

The piece concludes that "no legislative priority is worth sacrificing your credibility to protect a president with so little regard for decency and honesty."

 

Related Stories


Source: USA Today Editorial Board Calls Trump an 'Inveterate Liar' and Blasts Republicans for Enabling Him
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Infoshop News / Could decentralized systems replace Google?
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Today at 06:29:12 AM »
Could decentralized systems replace Google?

Google now owns over 90 percent of the search engine market, and many fear the growing possibility of monopolistic oppression. Free of competition, internet search is essentially wholly controlled by Google, which enables them to operate in an opaque, ?do as they wish? manner.
Source: Could decentralized systems replace Google?
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AlterNet / Kamala Harris Blisters 'Racist' Kirstjen Nielsen in Fiery Senate Interrogation
« Last post by AlterNet on Today at 06:29:09 AM »
Kamala Harris Blisters 'Racist' Kirstjen Nielsen in Fiery Senate Interrogation


The Department of Homeland Security chief looked visibly uncomfortable.


 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) sparred with Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over the president?s racist remarks ? and the administration official?s apparent support for those views.

Nielsen said earlier Tuesday during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the president was simply repeating an observation about hard-working Norwegian immigrants, but Harris said Trump was unfavorably comparing them to African and Haitian immigrants.

?You spoke of them, according to the president, as the people of Norway ? well, you know, they work very hard ? the inference being the people of the 54 states of Africa and Haiti do not,? Harris said. ?That is a fair inference.?

She then blasted Nielsen?s claim under oath that she was not aware that Norway was a majority white nation.

?You run the Department of Homeland Security,? Harris continued, ?and when you say you don?t know if Norway is predominantly white when asked by a member of the United States Senate, that causes me concern about your ability to understand the scope of your responsibilities and the impact of your words ? much less the policies that you promulgate in that very important department.?

Harris asked Nielsen why she ignored domestic terrorist attacks by white supremacists in her opening remarks about security threats faced by the U.S. ? and she said the omission was "deeply troubling."

?You must understand the inference, the reasonable inference, that the American public is drawing from the words you speak much less the words of the president of the United States,? Harris said.

Nielsen later complained that Harris had unfairly drawn conclusions based on her testimony.

?If you don?t mind, it?s not a fair inference to say that my comments about Norway were in contrast to any other country,? Nielsen said. ?What I was describing was the president?s views upon meeting with the prime minister, and what I was quoting was what he was told in meeting with the Norwegian delegation. That?s what he repeated, words that he repeated that I repeated. It was not in contrast. With respect to white supremacy, we expanded our prevention efforts in the Department of Homeland Security to ensure we in fact are going after violence of any kind, any kind is not appropriate and I will not allow it to occur if it?s within our authority to stop.?

Harris made one brief response before ceding the floor.

?Mr. Chairman, I would just ask that the record ? so we can all review it ? will reflect in the opening statements when discussing challenges to our homeland in terms of security, the white supremacist threat was not mentioned,? Harris said.

 

 

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Source: Kamala Harris Blisters 'Racist' Kirstjen Nielsen in Fiery Senate Interrogation
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Infoshop News / World accumulation & Planetary life, or, why capitalism will not survive until the ?last tree is cut?
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:18:41 PM »
World accumulation & Planetary life, or, why capitalism will not survive until the ?last tree is cut?

Why does it seem easier to imagine the end of the world than to see the end of capitalism? Part of the answer turns on a rift between radical economic and ecological thought.
Source: World accumulation & Planetary life, or, why capitalism will not survive until the ?last tree is cut?
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Infoshop News / Why Is It So Hard for Americans to Get a Decent Raise?
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:18:41 PM »
Why Is It So Hard for Americans to Get a Decent Raise?

A new answer could change how we think about unions, monopolies, and the minimum wage.
Source: Why Is It So Hard for Americans to Get a Decent Raise?
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Infoshop News / MLK?s Advice on Strike Strategy Still Relevant Today
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:18:41 PM »
MLK?s Advice on Strike Strategy Still Relevant Today

Toward the end of his life, Martin Luther King Jr.'s thinking about poverty evolved from racial equality to more of a class perspective. He proposed a Poor People's Campaign to challenge the government to end poverty and a broad coalition to support it.
Source: MLK?s Advice on Strike Strategy Still Relevant Today
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What Martin Luther King's 1967 Speech Can Teach Us About the Relationship Between Race and Class Today



 
 
 



Dr. King identified the triplets of racism, militarism and materialism as the legacy we must overcome.


Fifty years ago the times were tumultuous, as they are now. Activists were fragmented by gender, race, tactics and issue silos then too. The machinery of surveillance and repression by local, state and federal government was intense and about to become more so.

Despite knowing the risk of speaking out, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King stepped forward to offer clarity and direction. His speech, Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence was delivered on April 4, 1967, to an overflow crowd at Riverside Church in New York City.

Now the speech is receiving new attention, not for reasons of wistful nostalgia but as a vision even more relevant to our times than it was then. To learn more about events already organized to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King?s ?A Time to Break Silence? speech or how to help initiate one yourself, go here.

In his speech, Dr. King identified the triplets of racism, militarism and materialism as the legacy we must overcome. Why triplets? Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a peace movement veteran, explains: ?Why did Dr. King use the word ?triplets? when ?three? or ?triad? would have been enough? Perhaps because biological triplets share a great deal of their DNA. What DNA do these triplets share? The DNA of subjugation, of top-down power.?

To be clear, Dr. King?s remarks did not incorporate the possibility of ecocatastrophe or the structures of patriarchy and sexism into his analysis and call. Can there be any doubt that today he would?

What?s more important is that we desperately need Dr. King?s coherent and comprehensive explanation of the system that we seek to change. That system is designed to frustrate and confuse us. It sorts us into categories so that some focus on immigration, some on tax policy, some on opposing war, some on gun control, some on the status of women, some on the environment, some on mass incarceration, some on labor issues. And so on. It?s as though some hidden overseer was demanding that whatever you do, don?t you dare see the forest. Just look at the trees. Or else.

The reaction to Dr. King?s 1967 speech proves the point. ?Dr. King?s Error? was the headline on the New York Times editorial of April 7, 1967. Its concluding sentence read, ?There are no simple answers to the war in Vietnam or to racial justice in this country. Linking these hard complex problems will lead not to solutions but to deeper confusion.?

The Washington Post piled on too. As Tavis Smiley reports in his excellent book, Death of a King, the Post said: "[King] has done a grave injury to those who are his natural allies. ... and an even graver injury to himself. Many who have listened to him with respect will never again accord him the same confidence. He has diminished his usefulness to his cause to his country and to his people." Even other civil right leaders including Bayard Rustin and Whitney Young opposed King?s systemic analysis.

One year to the day after giving the speech, Dr. King was assassinated.

Of all the points made in Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence, the notion of a radical revolution in values is the most enlightening. Why? For 400 years the see-saw political debate between what are now called ?liberals and conservatives? (those terms are relatively modern) has been essentially the same.

The argument has two moving parts: Should the violently established white male private property power system on which the nation is based be moderated? If so, in what way?

Over time white male property power has been mitigated. In most cases, blood was shed in the process, our delusional belief in ?peaceful transitions of power,? notwithstanding. What we call the Revolutionary War, which overthrew control by British white male property power in favor of local control was neither the first nor the last violent struggle. The viciousness of slavery and the slaughter of Indians created the military basis for the Revolutionary War in the first place.

Later, the war that ended chattel slavery and the counter revolution that followed generated enormous death, injury and destruction.

Some change has been more peaceful. Although the struggle was long and difficult, women gained the right to vote without loss of life, perhaps because women?s suffrage was seen as less threatening. For a brief time the union movement was able to offset some of the power of rapidly evolving corporate juggernauts with minimal violence.

More recently however, despite its dedication to nonviolence, the 1960s movement that overthrew the Jim Crow system was met with the assassination of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Viola Liuzzo, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, four little girls in a Birmingham, Alabama, church and many others. Peaceful demonstrators were routinely attacked with dogs, fire hoses, ax handles and other weapons.

Each diminution of white male private property power was met with ferocious resistance and backlash. By way of just one current example, the value of the vote for all citizens is under assault from many fronts including but not limited to gerrymandering, money in politics, mass incarceration, emergency management of local governments and voter suppression. Voting rights for African Americans are especially insecure.

This tendency of white male power to roar back like a cancer out of remission is a defining characteristic of U.S. history. Political parties come and go. But the underlying dynamic remains the same. As if to celebrate the continuity of the power class, one of President Trump?s first acts was to install in the Oval office a portrait of one of the most racist, bloodthirsty and sexist presidents of all time?Democratic Party icon Andrew Jackson.

?This is not who we are,? say those who deplore assaults and bigotry toward women, African Americans, immigrants or Muslims. But what if it IS who we are? What if we were able to admit to ourselves that fairness, equality and peace are the deviation, not the other way around.

What if we deeply understood the presidency of Donald Trump as a symptom, not the disease itself.

Dr. King?s speech, to which the late Dr. Vincent Harding was a major contributor, is a beacon drawing us to be honest with ourselves.

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men [in Northern ghettoes] I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked?and rightly so?what about Vietnam. They asked if our own nation wasn?t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about changes it wanted. Their questions hit home and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettoes without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today?my own government.

What if, as Dr. King preached, the values are themselves the problem? What if the core American value is hypocrisy? Did not the Founding Fathers proclaim in 1776 that all men are created equal while simultaneously creating the very first apartheid state in which only white male property owners had citizenship rights and some humans were bought, sold and brutally abused by the millions?

In 2017, when slavery is compared to immigration or the founding of historically Black colleges to schools of ?choice,? it is tempting to cringe or laugh. Or both. But something far deeper is going on here. We are not just a divided nation. Our individual minds are often confused and divided as well.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life?s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life?s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice, which produces beggars needs restructuring.

To revisit Dr. King?s speech is to open the possibility of more productive kind of conversation about our nation and the world in which find ourselves now.

Across the nation people are coming together in schools, churches, synagogues, mosques, community centers, and living rooms to read and reflect on Dr. King?s speech and how we can use it to build today?s movement. If there is no event near where you are, you can read Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence here or organize one.

Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says: ?Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word.?

To learn more information about the events already organized or how to initiate one yourself, go here:

www.kingandbreakingsilence.com

www.MLK50.org

http://www.beyondthedream50.org/

https://radicaldiscipleship.net/

#revolutionofvalues






Source: What Martin Luther King's 1967 Speech Can Teach Us About the Relationship Between Race and Class Today
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Richard Mellor / CLR James, Socialism, Racism and Revolution
« Last post by Richard Mellor on Yesterday at 06:01:04 AM »
CLR James, Socialism, Racism and Revolution

     
We share this commentary as a contribution to the discussions FFWP is having on the strategy and tactics of the struggle against racism and the approach of socialists in general. Admin

by Joel Schor Sailors Union of the Pacific, also affiliated ILWU

CLR James has been recognized by many from different political tendencies and outlooks as a profound thinker and fierce fighter on behalf of black people and the oppressed the world over.  Born in Trinidad under British rule as a Crown Colony, he was a teenage Cricket star, was active in the British Trotskyist movement up to the mid 1930's, before he emigrated to the United States and becoming part of the Socialist Workers Party SWP up to WWII. He lived his last thirty years in Britain from the 1950's forming what he termed an independent Marxist grouping. 


Like Franz Fannon, James came from the tradition of radical black West Indians inspired by the revolutions against despotism in the 18th Century. Notably in San Domingo - Haiti 1804- and in general the era of uprisings, naval mutinies, and slave rebellions in the Atlantic and Caribbean of the latter part of that century preceding the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the imperialist scramble for Africa, and the British colonization of India. This era of mercantile and naval war amongst the imperialist powers - Britain, France, Spain, and Holland -  was fought over trade routes and colonial territory for spices, sugar, and slave trading. 
 
Active in the Socialist and Labor movement of the 1930?s in the United States, James emphasized the strong symbiosis between the black and proletarian revolutions. Under the pen name J. R. Johnson, James met with Trotsky in 1939 in Mexico and developed a program which was accepted by the SWP on the Black or Negro question in the United States. Basically the program had already been laid out by Lenin in 1917 writing on the National Question in relation to the 1905 revolution against the Tsar and the 1916 Irish uprising. However, CLR James felt the Trotskyists in the United States to have been reluctant to put this program into practice.

While the Communist Party's characterization of the Trotskyists as "Social Fascists" was extreme and possibly ultra-left, the Trotskyists were in fact shying away from involving themselves in a more pro-active manner with the struggles of black people in many instances. It was his assessment that while the SWP was not actively doing harm, they were also not taking up the opportunities available to bring about a more powerful black and general workers fight back to racism and capitalist exploitation. As an example, on the West Coast in the maritime industry the Trotskysists, then a faction inside the Socialist Party USA, took up the position of craft union ?autonomy?  advocated by the Sailors Union in its fight with the Longshore Union in their joint struggles and jurisdictional squabbles.

While the Trotskyists saw themselves as upholding the principle of rank and file democracy, in many ways they ended playing left cover for a union leadership which looked the other way to racist practices within their organization. What CLR James proposed to the newly formed SWP in 1939 was that independent black struggles for democratic rights, for economic equality, self determination should all be considered as important to Socialists as the proletarian struggle itself, and also that the rank and file workers movements then coming about in maritime, steel, auto, and transport which all involved increasing numbers of blacks migrating into industrial areas from the South, were  themselves dependent on the independent black movements. 

In a document titled Revolution and the Negro, James looks at several key historical revolutions in European and American history and the involvement of black people. In the American Civil War, there was the underground railroad which defied the fugitive slave law of 1850, and at the same time the British working class demanding an end to slavery the world over just as it had been abolished entirely in the colonies and trade by 1807.An interesting account of the British workers and the American Civil War can be found in Philip Foner's British Labor and the American Civil War

The combined anti-war and slavery position of Gladstone and Karl Marx in Britain pressured Lincoln to make this demand to end slavery prescient in order to keep Europe out, despite the fact the position of Lincoln and the British Torry PM on the war were merely to appease the protectionist Northern Industrial class against the free trade Southern Agriculturalists. In the French Revolution where the ideals of  "Liberty, Fraternity, Equality" were proclaimed in 1792, a slave revolt had just ocured a year before on the island of San Domingo. In 1798 four years after France had banned slavery in its colonies the mulattos of the French West Indies overcame recent British invasions of those islands, and in San Domingo an independent nation was established which fought off an attempt of Napoleon to re-take the island and becoming Haiti in 1804. James pointed out that anti-colonial movements throughout the world sought the aid of the black revolutionaries from the West Indies including Simon Bolivar who traveled to Haiti several times. Also the role of blacks in the American colonies war of independence who's first casualty was a black man by the name of Crispus Attucks.
 
A few years after the formation of the SWP in America, James along with Max Schactman formed the Workers Party which proposed that the Soviet Union should not even be given critical support after the invasion of Finland and the division of Poland in 1941. While Schactman proclaimed the Soviet Union as bureaucratic collectivist, James had characterized it as "state capitalist" at that time. They continued as two factions within the Workers Party until after WWII when James split from Schactman and lead his group back into the SWP. After the series of betrayals by New Deal Democrats in the US and Labour politicians in Britain after WWII as well as the failed predictions of Trotsky for workers revolutions to come about in the European Countries, James re-newed his call on the SWP to consider the independent struggles of blacks as symbiotic and part of the proletarian struggle. James states at that time;

Those who believe that the Negro question is in reality, purely and simply, or to a decisive extent, merely a class question, they pointed out with glee to the tremendous growth of the Negro personnel in the organized labor movement. It grew in a few years from three hundred thousand to one million; it is now one and a half million. But to their surprise, instead of this lessening and weakening the struggle of the independent Negro movement, the more the Negroes went into the labor movement, the more capitalism incorporated them into industry, the more they were accepted in the union movement, it is during that period, since 1940, that the independent mass movement has broken out with a force greater than it has ever been before. ( Report to the 13th Convention of the SWP The Revolutionary Answer to the Negro Problem in the US in 1948 given by comrade J. Meyers).

James writes of how the strikes at Ford's Rouge River assembly plant in 1941 consisted of a great number of blacks despite the fact that Ford had been trying to paternalistically appease blacks, proclaiming that at least he hired them and gave them a chance out of poverty. He writes of subsequent housing struggles in Detroit lead by black women in 1943, and how a local CIO leader running for office was forced to take up their cause in order to save losing face to reactionaries who accused him of being a "Negro Lover".  

Whatever this CIO labor leader's attitude was towards this fight for public housing, he had to recognize this struggle as blacks were a growing part of his constituency and he could not seem to be weak against the accusatory whip of the counter-revolution. These were times, of course when the labor movement was on the rise and it could have a more direct effect on struggles like this. In the early 1950's the SWP had internal splits, CLR James left that organization, returned to London and proclaimed himself and a group of friends to be an independent Marxist current. The labor movement in the United States had been purged of radicals over the last decade like Ferdinand Smith of the National Maritime Union who was targeted with the help of his former allies and comrades and deported back to his native Jamaica. There were the Smith Act trials of 1951 against radicals such as Al Richmond who's mother had spent time in a Czarist prison for organizing resistance before the revolution and moved to San Francisco with the family. Senator Joseph McCarthy lead the second Red Scare into many institutions of society such as Hollywood, academia, and the defense Industry. 
   
In 1967 CLR James gave a talk Black Power  to an unnamed organization in Britain where he spoke of the movement spurred on by Stokely Carmichael - also a native Trinidadian - who had been active as a leading member of the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee SNCC working alongside Martin Luther King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. At the time of James' talk in Britain, Stokely had just become a fugitive of justice under J. Edgar Hoovers Counterintelligence program and had his passport revoked while overseas. It would just be another year until the King the assassination and the rise of the Black Panther Party would take off in the urban areas of the United States. 

In this talk James mentions several writers who he believed influenced the progress of the black struggle including Franz Fannon, Marcus Garvey, and W. E Dubois. They wrote of National Liberation against local elites in the third world, world consciousness of the African people in diaspora, and the morally destructive influence of slavery on civilization as a whole. James also spoke of his changing views and activism in the socialist movement from the 1930's to the time he was now speaking in the late1960's. In breaking with what he called "the premises of Trotskyism" in 1951, James stated that he went back to the fundamental premises of Lenin on the National Question and what Socialist Revolution therefore was. He quoted Lenin on the National Question during this point of the talk;

The socialist revolution in Europe cannot be anything else than an outburst of mass struggle on the part of all oppressed and discontented elements. Sections of the petty bourgeoise and of the backward workers will inevitably participate in it - without such participation, mass struggle is impossible, without it no revolution is possible- and just as inevitably will they bring into the movement their prejudices, their reactionary fantasies, their weakness and errors. But objectively they will attack capital, and the objective truth of a heterogeneous and discordant, motley and outwardly incohesive, mass struggle, will be able to unite and direct it, to capture power, to seize the banks, to expropriate the trusts (hated by all, though for different reasons) and introduce other bourgeoisie and the victory of socialism, which however, will by no means immediately "purge" itself of petty-bourgeois slag. (Lennin on the National Question)     

 CLR James ended that address to the British audience by stating he felt there had been no stronger voice raised for Socialism in the United States than Stokely Carmichael at that time in 1967. Whether you agree or not with this assessment, the transformation of CLR James's thought and activism in the Trotskyist movement is interesting. It is possible he intended to break with the practice of Democratic Centralism, yet I am not sure this is clear or even the intention. Certainly CLR James recognized that the practice of Trotskyists had serious flaws and certainly repudiated the Stalinist approach on the Negro Question in the 1930's of advocating a separate state for blacks in America. The mistakes made by the Socialist movement of his time were seemingly strategic and of the moment but they became much more he pointed out. James was without doubt a tireless advocate on behalf of the proletarian revolution who realized the dialectic of quantity becoming quality throughout his life. A multi-faceted person, he was also a historian of the Caribbean writing the Black Jacobinson the Haitian Revolution and a few works of fiction notably Mariners, Renegades and Castaways. We would all do well to understand CLR James and the complexity of his contribution to Socialism better.

Source: CLR James, Socialism, Racism and Revolution
9
Infoshop News / What the ?Santa Clausification? of Martin Luther King Jr. Leaves Out
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:01:03 AM »
What the ?Santa Clausification? of Martin Luther King Jr. Leaves Out

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated annually on a federal holiday on the third Monday of January. Politicians across the political spectrum put out statements praising his life?s work, and children in classrooms across America are told the tale of a man who stood up defiantly against racism and helped changed civil rights law.
Source: What the ?Santa Clausification? of Martin Luther King Jr. Leaves Out
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Infoshop News / NASA just made a stunning discovery about how fracking fuels global warming
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on Yesterday at 06:01:03 AM »
NASA just made a stunning discovery about how fracking fuels global warming

A new NASA study is one final nail in the coffin of the myth that natural gas is a climate solution, or a ?bridge? from the dirtiest fossil fuels to low-carbon fuels like solar and wind.
Source: NASA just made a stunning discovery about how fracking fuels global warming
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