Open thread for night owls: Trump regime wants to chop 70% of the federal renewable energy budget

Andrea Germanos at Common Dreams writes—Trump Wants to Cut Energy Department’s Renewables Budget. Big Time:

The Trump administration is weighing putting the Energy Department’s budget for its renewable energy and energy efficiency program on the chopping block with a proposal to slash it by 70 percent.

That’s according to a draft 2018 budget proposal obtained by Axios.

It shows $613 million for sustainable transportation in 2017, but just $184 million for 2018—a nearly 70-percent drop. There was $451 million for renewable power in the budget for 2017 but $134 million proposed for 2018—a 70-percent drop. There was $762 million for energy efficiency in 2017, and $160 proposed for 2018. That’s a 79-percent drop.

In total, the data obtained by Axios show that Energy Department’s office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy budget went from $2,073 million in 2017 to a proposed $636 million for 2018, which marks a nearly 70-percent decrease.

The news outlet’s Amy Harder writes that the plan is unlikely to get congressional approval but is important nonetheless, as “[i]t puts a low marker down to negotiate with Congress. The lower the starting point, the lower the ultimate numbers could well end up.” […]

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“It will be difficult, even painful, but democracy will prevail in Russia. There will be no dictatorship, although relapses into authoritarianism are possible. That’s because we, or so it seems to me, have only come halfway.”
                    ~Mikhail Gorbachev, interview with Der Spiegel, August 2011



At Daily Kos on this date in 2003—War is a force that gives us meaning:

Chris Hedges new book, War is a force that gives us meaning, is not a memoir, but a remembrance of his years as a war correspondent. There are no great confessions or revelations, but an honest exploration of what war brings to us.

In the wake of 9/11, his book is especially powerful, since he shows how the state becomes the religion of the people in wartime, how nationalism subverts honesty and common sense.

Our inability to respond to Al Qaeda in a meaningful way comes from this impulse to bolster the state in time of war, to embrace the myths of heroic violence. A myth slowly and surely coming undone in Iraq. Heroism, embraced on the thinest of pretexts, is now being revealed as sham and artifice.

War is an odd and cruel beast. It changes everything around you even if you don’t notice it. We now chase our tails trying to trap Saddam, hunt him down and contain him, while his myth only grows stronger. The Saudis are not going to track down Al Qaeda any more than you’re going to build a cathedral in Medina. It’s no contest. The odds are high, if you asked, the most popular Saudi in Saudi Arabia is Osama, not the king or his sons. Too much would be revealed by an honest accounting of AQ and the Saudi government.

Hedges talks of how everything is perverted in war, but the one thing he didn’t mention was the encouragement of illusions.[…]

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin and David Waldman race the clock just to keep pace with the developments of the last day, and keep it under two hours. Mueller! Ailes! Lieberman! Flynn! Manafort! McCarthy and Ryan! Kushner! Bannon! The St. Martin manse and the Toronto tower!

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