American Courts are Defending Democracy and the Environment

Despite unprecedented challenges, America's legal system has held. In recent weeks the courts have repeatedly defended democracy and in the last four years they have overturned a wide range of environmental assaults. The stacking of the Supreme Court with conservative justices did not prevent the highest court in the land from rebuffing baseless accusations of voter fraud. Dozens of lower court rulings have also denied lawsuits designed to overturn election results. Trump and his allies are currently 1 for 59 in their legal efforts to subvert democracy. The Supreme Court denied Texas' petition to invalidate election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania,...

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Boycott Culture and Brand Influence During Trump’s Presidency and Beyond

Brands wield enormous influence over popular culture and whether they are pursuing core social values or trying to preempt boycotts, brands are finding it harder to ignore social, environmental and political issues. Boycott culture has grown since Donald Trump emerged as a candidate in 2015. Trump has repeatedly used his office to advocate boycotts as have anti-Trump advocates. Earlier this year Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear after company guidelines were leaked that instructed employees to avoid wearing politically affiliated attire including MAGA hats. Goodyear issued a  nuanced statement that read as follows, "we ask that associates refrain from workplace...

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Why John Kerry is the Right Man to Tackle Climate Change

John Kerry will serve as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate in the Biden administration. . He has a distinguished track record on climate issues in both the Senate and as Secretary of State in the Obama administration. He was instrumental in securing the landmark Paris Climate Agreement. Under Kerry the US doubled its financial contributions to vulnerable countries impacted by climate change. In 2016 the Trump administration pulled out of the agreement but President-Elect Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the deal on "day one". Kerry helped to craft Biden's climate agenda which includes a plan that will seek  to...

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What we can Learn from the Pilgrims this Thanksgiving

The origins of Thanksgiving date back to a 1621 feast in which the Wampanoag people helped the Pilgrims to survive in the New World. We can draw inspiration and wisdom from the plight of the first English settlers who colonized this country.  If we peel back the sanitized renditions of this narrative we are confronted by unspeakable hardships. These settlers were ravaged by malnutrition and disease and most did not survive their first winter. This year the COVID-19 pandemic makes this a Thanksgiving like no other.  While many Americans are heeding advisories from public health officials and foregoing the usual...

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Trump’s Coup Attempt and his Scorched Earth Policy

U.S. president Donald Trump and his allies are doing everything they can to tie President-Elect Joe Biden's hands before he is inaugurated. They seem intent on burning down the house as part of a scorched earth policy designed to make life as difficult as possible for the incoming administration. They are poisoning people with baseless accusations of electoral fraud and impropriety, while resisting science based action to combat COVID-19.  They are firing key personnel, hiring loyalists, announcing sanctions, withdrawing troops and rattling the sabers of war.  All the while they are continuing their assaults on environmental protections and climate action....

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Trump is no Kingmaker

Many predict that U.S. President Donald Trump will be a kingmaker, however, there is more than ample reason to suggest that his brand is dying. Exhibit one is the million MAGA march in Washington DC on Saturday November 14. Attendance at this event was more than 980,000 short of the million people the White House had hoped for.  The administration lied about attendance in even more spectacular fashion than they lied about crowd size at Trump's inauguration.  Trump's legal options are dwindling as his baseless allegations of electoral fraud are being dismissed by the courts. Similarly his hopes that the...

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Environmental Plebiscites: Municipal Referendums and State Ballot Initiatives

The November 3rd election not only elected an environmentally responsible president it also gave Americans a chance to vote on environmental issues in five state ballots and two city referendums. Americans  weighed-in on clean energy, fossil fuels and wildlife. Issue 1 referendum in Columbus, Ohio asked the electorate in that state to vote on whether they want to the city to run on 100% renewable energy by 2022. It gives the government the power to buy renewable electricity for residents of Columbus (passed). Measure 4 in East Brunswick, New Jersey asked voters to decide if they want to give residents and...

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Biden is the Last Great Hope for our Planet

Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States and this could pull us back from the precipice and change the course of history. The former vice president garnered more votes than any candidate since the dawn of the republic more than two centuries ago.  A Biden presidency will preserve democracy and return the U.S. to a fact-based approach to governance. Science will once again take its rightful place informing policy including national efforts to manage COVID-19. However, the most important corollary of this election may be reviving hope that we can act in time to preserve the...

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Trump and Biden: Presidential Endorsements

Trump is the most consistently unpopular president in the history of the republic. The most recent polls show the Biden leads trump by an average of 8.8 points nationally. This is the largest deficit by an incumbent president in decades. Biden has the support of Blacks, Latinos, women, seniors, independents and educated voters while Trump has Christian evangelicals, rural voters, older uneducated white men and police associations. Trump has also been endorsed by the Taliban and the Proud Boys. as well as authoritarian leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin,, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Pilipino President...

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Anatomy of a Failed Presidency

US president Donald Trump is a failure. He has consistently foundered throughout his life but the presidency has exponentially amplified the scale of his failings. Despite repeated warnings Trump chose to playdown the Coronavirus and this may prove to be his apex of evil. More than 228,000 Americans have died due to this pandemic and an additional 200,000 are expected to die by the end of the year.  Trump's corruption may be legendary but it is eclipsed by his epic mismanagement of the pandemic.  His inactions will go down in history as one of the most callous failures of any president in...

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