Inflation Reduction Act Passes And Trump Story Continues To Change like The Weather

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Will Trump’s Lies Ever End?

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Trump Pleads The Fifth 500 times

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Bill Gates: We’re on the Verge of a Remarkable Moment for Congress and the Country

By Bill Gates

Mr. Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft, is also the founder of Breakthrough Energy and the author of “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.”

Turn on the evening news, and it immediately becomes clear that Americans are experiencing the effects of climate change. Extreme heat and drought are affecting tens of millions of people as floods and wildfires ravage communities from Appalachia to California. In the coming days, Congress has the opportunity to face the climate crisis while strengthening our country’s energy security, creating opportunities for businesses and improving the lives of Americans. We can’t afford to miss it.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 may be the single most important piece of climate legislation in American history. It represents our best chance to build an energy future that is cleaner, cheaper and more secure. Senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia deserve a lot of credit for reaching this agreement, as do countless others. Many business leaders and activists I’ve gotten to know through Breakthrough Energy, the climate organization I founded in 2015 to accelerate the clean energy transition, have worked relentlessly for decades for this moment. But although it appears the legislation will pass, success is not guaranteed, so it’s critical to keep pushing for it. Let me explain why.

Many of the technologies we’ll need to reach net-zero emissions don’t exist, are in early stages of development or are still too expensive to scale up. At the same time, more mature technologies like solar, wind and electric vehicles must be deployed more quickly in more places. Through new and expanded tax credits and a long-term approach, this bill would ensure that critical climate solutions have sustained support to develop into new industries.

These incentives would also provide the private sector with the confidence to invest for the long term. This legislation would begin to transform the parts of our economy that are hardest to decarbonize, like manufacturing, which we must do to reach net-zero emissions. As many Americans face summer blackouts, power shortages and high electricity bills, these measures would help build a modern, reliable power grid so all can have access to affordable, abundant and clean energy.

With those incentives and investments, this bill would catalyze a new era of American innovation. The ability of America’s universities and industries to innovate remains second to none, yet the country risks falling behind as other countries race to build their own clean energy economies. This legislation would help turn American energy innovations into American energy industries and unlock huge economic opportunities in the energy market. If it becomes law, few nations would have the capacity for producing homegrown clean energy like the United States. America could quickly become a leader in the deployment of clean energy at the scale required.

OPINION CONVERSATIONThe climate, and the world, are changing. What challenges will the future bring, and how should we respond to them?

Moving Forward On Trump Corruption And The Inflation Reduction Act

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The Senate Has Passed The Inflation Reduction Bill

WASHINGTON — The Senate passed legislation on Sunday that would make the most significant federal investment in history to counter climate change and lower the cost of prescription drugs, as Democrats banded together to push through major pieces of President Biden’s domestic agenda over unified Republican opposition.

The measure, large elements of which appeared dead just weeks ago amid Democratic divisions, would inject nearly $400 billion into climate and energy programs. Altogether, the bill could allow the United States to cut greenhouse gas emissions about 40 percentbelow 2005 levels by the end of the decade.

Whitmer Supports Reproductive Rights

Dear Michigander,

On Wednesday, I filed a motion again urging the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately consider my lawsuit from April, which asks the court to decide if Michigan’s state constitution protects the right to abortion.

On Monday morning, a ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals caused confusion and fear by clearing a path for county prosecutors to prosecute doctors and nurses for providing reproductive care. Several of those prosecutors had announced that they would bring prosecutions against health care providers. On that same day, I secured a temporary restraining order against prosecutors with abortion clinics in their counties, ensuring those health care providers could keep doing their jobs without fear of being prosecuted.

Monday’s fire drill is yet another example of why the Michigan Supreme Court must act. A legal patchwork that changes day to day, county to county is untenable. It makes doctors, nurses, and pharmacists fear that they will face criminal liability for simply doing their jobs. We need certainty that access to abortion is constitutionally protected in Michigan. Every day we delay, health care providers will question if they are able to provide care safely, or if their work will lead to prosecution and possible jail time.

Let me be clear: access to safe, legal abortion is still available in Michigan.

But we are constantly battling those seeking to punish women and prosecute nurses and doctors. We cannot risk further confusion for women, health care providers, and all Michiganders. The status of abortion in Michigan remains precarious, and I am fighting like hell to make sure medical decisions are left between a woman and her doctor. Our doctors and nurses cannot wait any longer. Our women cannot wait any longer.

We’re pulling out all the stops to protect reproductive rights in Michigan, and I’m not giving up.

Sincerely,

Governor Whitmer

Alex Jones Held Accountable?

How Alex Jones Helped Mainstream Conspiracy Theories Become Part of American Life

Shannon Bond/NPR

Name a traumatic news event in recent decades, and it’s almost certain Alex Jones has claimed it didn’t happen — or not the way you think it did.

The Boston Marathon bombing in 2013? Staged by the FBI.

The shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords in 2011? A government mind control operation.

The September 11th terrorist attacks? An inside job.

All lies.

The conspiracy theorist and radio host was confronted with his track record of fabulism this week in an Austin, Texas, courtroom. He was on trial to determine how much he should pay for defaming the parents of a first grader killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, after years of falsely claiming that no children died and the families were “crisis actors” in a “giant hoax” designed to take away guns.

“Would you agree with me that there is not a mass tragedy, mass bombing, mass shooting that has occurred in America in the past 15 years that you have not attached the words ‘false flag’ to?” Mark Bankston, the parents’ attorney, asked Jones.

“I have asked the question because I believe a lot of things are provocateur or allowed to happen,” Jones replied.

The jury ordered Jones to pay $49.3 million in damages to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, for the mental anguish caused by his lies about Sandy Hook.

Jones has a history of prolific fabulism

Jones got his start in public access broadcasting in Austin, Texas, in the 1990s. From his early days on air, he spouted conspiracy theories about the siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. 

When his wild claims got him fired from a local radio station, he founded Infowars in 1999 and started broadcasting over the internet and in radio syndication.

After the September 11th attacks, Jones surged to fame as a “truther,” claiming the Bush administration was behind the tragedy.

As his audience grew, Jones popularized a vocabulary for pernicious doubt: not just that officials and media are hiding the truth, but that tragic events are being engineered for nefarious purposes.

“He’s at least a catalyst of those prevailing narratives that follow almost every newsworthy tragedy, whether it’s a mass shooting or otherwise,” said Sara Aniano, a disinformation researcher at the Anti-Defamation League.

Jones’s response to Sandy Hook was perhaps the most egregious example. For years, Infowars aired falsehoods that the tragedy was invented and implied the families of the murdered children were lying.

That created a template to cast doubt on subsequent mass shootings.

“A lot of people who share these theories that those were staged by the government for gun control reasons or that the children and parents are crisis actors will reference Sandy Hook as the basis of that conclusion,” Aniano said.

The lies on Infowars had real-world consequences.

At the trial, Lewis and Heslin testified about the harassment and death threats they’ve received from people who believe Jones.

“When you say those things, there’s a fringe of society that believe you, that are actually dangerous,” Lewis said in emotional testimony addressed directly to Jones.

Infowars profits from “preaching apocalypse”

Infowars doesn’t just disseminate harmful lies; it profits from them.

According to a forensic economist called by the parents’ lawyers, Infowars’ parent company raked in $64 million in sales of supplements, survivalist gear and other products last year.

The plaintiffs also presented evidence from Jones’s own cell phone showing in 2018, Infowars was making as much as $800,000 a day.

The combined net worth of Jones and Infowars is between $135 million and $270 million, the economist estimated.

Jones is not the first person to grift off conspiracy theories, but Infowars harnessed the power of the internet to do so on a massive scale — a model that’s been imitated by anti-vaccine advocatesCOVID-19 deniers and champions of baseless claims that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election.

“You preach apocalypse and then you sell stuff that can help you in an apocalypse,” said Yunkang Yang, a communications professor at Texas A&M.

Trump and Jones find common ground in conspiracism

Jones has also left a mark on conservative politics.

When Barack Obama was president, Infowars and Donald Trump both promoted the racist lie that he was not an American citizen.

Infowars was also a big spreader of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which falsely accused Hillary Clinton and other Democrats of running a child sex trafficking ring out of a Washington, DC pizzeria. Days after Jones urged his audience to investigate, a man, who told the New York Times he listened to Jones’s radio show, entered the restaurant and fired a rifle. (Jones later apologized to the restaurant owner for promoting the lie.)

In late 2015, ahead of Republican primaries, Trump called into Infowars for a mutually fawning interview with Jones.

Trump “gave those folks who are conspiracy theorists signals that he was their guy and they had a candidate who was a conspiracy theorist for the first time,” said Melissa Ryan, CEO of consulting firm CARD Strategies, which tracks disinformation and extremism.

“Trump won by being willing to appeal to this base of supporters that other people in the party would have kept at arm’s length,” she said, “lest they be called out for having extremist views.”

The early years of Trump’s presidency may have been the peak of Jones’s mainstream influence. By 2018, pressure mounted on tech companies to crack down on hate speech and harmful falsehoods. Jones and Infowars were kicked off Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Apple’s app store.

That curbed his ability to reach a wider audience, but according to evidence presented in court, he’s still making plenty of money. The forensic economist called by the plaintiffs said Jones’s deplatforming has not dented his revenues.

Now, Jones and Infowars are facing multiple trials that could put them on the hook for further damages to the victims of his lies.

Jones is trying to shield his assets through bankruptcy, but has vowed to keep Infowars alive.

But even if Jones were to go silent and Infowars went out of business tomorrow, the seeds of doubt he so effectively planted are flourishing.

“Conspiracy is a permanent part of our political and cultural discourse now,” Ryan said. “I think you can say that Alex Jones was an innovator in that.”