A federally issued 1,600-page report on the dangers of climate change has been quickly dismissed by the White House in a reckless manner that defies logic and common sense.
Congress ordered the National Climate Assessment to document the harm caused by climate change, which some on the right have foolishly mocked. Critics of the White House's friendly fossil fuel-industry policies on the environment say the document may be used in court to challenge the executive branch's attempts to undo previously set policies intended to, for example, protect endangered species and preserve federal lands. These types of lawsuits could require taxpayers to fork over money we don't have to uphold President Donald Trump's shortsighted policies.
Congress asked for this report for a reason. That the Trump administration released it on Black Friday provides a clue as to what they wanted to do with it: bury the bad news while most Americans weren't paying attention.
But survey after survey shows Americans are paying attention to climate change, and they want policies that preserve the environment so their children can grow up in a world that's as beautiful as the one they enjoyed.
When Congress returns next year, we believe they should take a serious look at the findings of the report and weigh the cost-benefits of doing nothing versus the health of their children. They deserve that consideration, if nothing else.
Closing the Border
While the economy is humming along, Trump seems determined to throw another tantrum to scare the markets, which have seen big ups and downs over the past few months.
The latest salvo is the president's threat to close the border with Mexico because of the reported migrant caravans that have traveled from Central America and wait in Mexico to be processed for potential asylum.
It's this sort of hyperbole that has limited the president's Twitter opinions to mere nonsense — thankfully — but once again, he is embarrassing the nation by catering to his base and, in the long run, playing into Democrats' hands by provoking nativist tensions that already are inflamed in a way that has arguably led to riots and, at the least, furthered the partisan divide that instead needs to be bridged.
Perhaps we're wasting space by asking his advisers to take away his tweeting privileges, but then again, it is a free country and everyone is allowed to have an opinion, no matter how reckless and dangerous it may be. There are limits on the First Amendment, however, and the president seems determined to find that line.
We hope he will stop damaging the reputation of respectable Republicans and instead focus on the nation's problems instead of sending the military to do a job that has been tasked to the Border Patrol. If he is not satisfied with them, he has the power to fix it. If he doesn't want to do that, perhaps another round of golf is in order.
REPRINTED FROM THE PANAMA CITY NEWS HERALD