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Changes being made by the Trump dictatorship in America –

Sessions orders Justice Dept. to end forensic science commission, suspend review policy

April 10

In a statement Monday, Sessions said he would not renew the National Commission on Forensic Science, a roughly 30-member advisory panel of scientists, judges, crime lab leaders, prosecutors and defense lawyers chartered by the Obama administration in 2013.

{ . . . }

The action marked the latest break by Sessions, a former federal prosecutor, with Obama-era priorities. The former senator from Alabama last week announced that top aides will review agreements reached with troubled police forces nationwide to ensure the pacts to overhaul departments do not counter the Trump administration’s goals of combating violent crime and promoting police safety and morale .

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/sessions-orders-justice-dept-to-end-forensic-science-commission-suspend-review-policy/2017/04/10/2dada0ca-1c96-11e7-9887-1a5314b56a08_story.html?utm_term=.a47e75b60b3d

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This could mean that efforts to have community policing programs that are more appropriate to the communities they serve – are being altered or even ended. The Trump administration’s war on science, scientific fact, documentary evidence and scientific fact collection with its inherent checks and balances of peer review continues obviously unabated – now at the Justice Department as well as at the EPA, NOAA, BLM and other agencies.

  • cricketdiane, 04-13-2017

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Also noted from the article above – this warning from scientists involved in the forensic commission at the Justice Department –

Even before the announcement not to renew the national commission, several commission members from outside the Justice Department warned against ending its work, saying the Trump administration has made several moves to reduce the role of science and independent scientists in policymaking.

In a letter Thursday, six leading research scientists on the panel urged re-upping the commission for an additional two years, saying, “for too long, decisions regarding forensic science have been made without the input of the research science community.”

[ . . . ]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/sessions-orders-justice-dept-to-end-forensic-science-commission-suspend-review-policy/2017/04/10/2dada0ca-1c96-11e7-9887-1a5314b56a08_story.html?utm_term=.a47e75b60b3d

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Trump Administration Seeks Big Budget Cuts for Climate Research

Its targeting of climate science goes beyond the work of NOAA and EPA

The administration is seeking a nearly 20 percent cut to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s budget, including to its satellite division, The Washington Post reported. That includes significant cuts to the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, which has produced research that disproved the notion of a global warming pause. NOAA’s satellites provide invaluable data on climate change that are used by researchers throughout the world. The NOAA cuts target the Office of Ocean and Atmospheric Research, which conducts the bulk of the agency’s climate research.

That’s on top of proposed reductions to climate research at U.S. EPA, including a 40 percent cut to the Office of Research and Development, which runs much of EPA’s major research. The cuts specify work on climate change, air and water quality, and chemical safety. The Trump administration also has proposed 20 percent staffing reduction at EPA.

[ . . . ]

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trump-administration-seeks-big-budget-cuts-for-climate-research/

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Research is an afterthought in first Trump budget

The plan covers $1.1 trillion in discretionary spending. (The more detailed May budget will also cover changes to mandatory social welfare programs and interest payments on the national debt.) The discretionary pot is now roughly split between defense and nondefense agencies. But Trump wants to hike spending on defense and national security by 10%, and pay for that $54 billion increase by cutting spending at all other agencies. To get there, Trump would cut nearly 20% at NIH and DOE science programs, and make even larger research reductions at EPA and NOAA. In contrast, NASA overall would receive only a 1% cut, although its earth sciences division would shrink by 6%.

[ . . . ]

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/research-afterthought-first-trump-budget

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Trump Lays Groundwork for Federal Government Reorganization

April 11, 2017, 11:00 PM EDT April 12, 2017, 7:48 AM EDT
President Donald Trump is issuing a presidential memorandum that will call for a rethinking of the entire structure of the federal government, a move that could eventually lead to a downsizing of the overall workforce and changes to the basic functions and responsibilities of many agencies.
The order, which will go into effect Thursday . . .
(etc.)
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Bureau of Land Management Changes Website Homepage to Coal Bed Photo

The Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the Interior Department, recently quietly changed its homepage website photo to a large bed of coal.

The photo was first posted around 6 p.m. on March 31, agency spokeswoman Kristen Lenhardt told NBC News on Thursday.

Before the switch, the website showcased a picture of two people wearing backpacks while standing atop a grassy mountain.

[ . . . ]

Trump may make major changes to the way we measure the strength of the US economy

 

Bob Bryan

Feb. 21, 2017, 12:34 PM

The new way of thinking would leave out what are known as re-exports, or exports of goods originally imported from another country, from the exports side of the equation while still counting the good as an import.

For instance, if a widget was imported from China, that would count toward the deficit as an import. If that widget is then sold from the US to a retailer in the UK, it would not count as an export in the ledger, making the deficit increase.

The effect of this would be a massive ballooning of the current US trade deficit, according to economists, which would allow the Trump team to paint the US as a loser in the international economy.

“Transparently a stunt to make the numbers look worse in order to shout at trading partners,” Pantheon Macro chief economist Ian Shepherdson told Politico’s Ben White about the change. “There’s no clamour for this shift among economists, and assuming the BEA continues to publish the data on the old (current) basis, I don’t think anyone will take any notice of the new data. Haven’t they got anything better to do?”

Additionally, the Journal said that non-political appointees at the Federal trade Commission strongly objected to the new idea but submitted updated figures using the new measure anyway.

(etc.)

According to reports on Friday from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, the official White House projections were set at 3% to 3.5% GDP growth in the coming years – much higher than the 1.9% projected by the Congressional Budget Office and 1.8% from the Federal Reserve.

The Post’s Catherine Rampell and the Journal’s Nick Timiraos reported that staffers at the Council of Economic Advisors were told to start with the 3% to 3.5% projections and work backward from there, rather than building their assessment from the current economic conditions.

[ . . . ]

http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/trump-changing-unemployment-rate-trade-deficit-economic-data-2017-2-1001769296-1001769296

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Trump budget proposes big changes in Forest Service, Interior spending

 

The Department of Agriculture would absorb a 21 percent, $4.7 billion reduction. The Department of the Interior, headed by former Montana congressman Ryan Zinke, would see a 12 percent, $1.5 billion cut.

Both agencies would see reduced funding for new federal land acquisitions through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that’s been consistently supported by Montana’s congressional delegation. The budget document was unclear whether the $120 million in offshore oil royalties that now go to LWCF would be diverted to other areas or shifted to maintaining and investing in existing parks, refuges and public lands.

[ . . . ]

The Agriculture budget would also reduce funding for USDA statistical capabilities and Service Centers while encouraging “private sector conservation planning.” It plans to save $95 million from the Rural Business and Cooperative Service and eliminates the International Food for Education program, stating it “lacks evidence that it is being effectively implemented to reduce food insecurity.”

It would eliminate $498 million in duplicative USDA water and wastewater loans and grants, saying rural communities could be served by private-sector financing or other federal investments such as the EPA’s state revolving funds. However, the EPA has its own budget slated for a 31 percent, $2.6 billion cut.

(etc.) – worth reading all of it, my note.

http://missoulian.com/news/local/trump-budget-proposes-big-changes-in-forest-service-interior-spending/article_4fff9c2e-ead0-5487-965f-95d6bf982b65.html

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Trump’s plan to dismember government

Updated 6:01 PM ET, Tue March 14, 2017

Dan Kanninen, formerly the Obama administration’s White House liaison at the EPA, said Trump nominees at the EPA, Education, and Housing and Urban Development, which Ben Carson now runs, are “ideologically bent against the mission and against the agency but they have no idea what the agency does.”
“It is certainly ideological and it is certainly ignorance and it is disdain for the fundamental institution of government — what Steve Bannon means by tearing down our institutions,” said Kanninen, now vice president for issues and advocacy at the Smoot Tewes group.
“What Mr. Trump does across the board is create doubt about our institutions,” he said. “It is to his advantage to tear down institutions.”
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Trump Budget Would Abolish 19 Agencies, Cut Thousands of Federal Jobs

 

With the aim of “making government work again,” the Trump White House on Thursday unveiled a $1.1 trillion budget blueprint for discretionary spending in fiscal 2017 and 2018 that would abolish 19 agencies and eliminate thousands of agency jobs.
[ . . . ]

The agency-by-agency plans include eliminating dozens of grant programs at the Education and Commerce departments—many of them related to climate change. And Trump would eliminate the following agencies:

The African Development Foundation;

the Appalachian Regional Commission;

the Chemical Safety Board;

the Corporation for National and Community Service;

the Corporation for Public Broadcasting;

the Delta Regional Authority;

the Denali Commission;

the Institute of Museum and Library Services;

the Inter-American Foundation;

the U.S. Trade and Development Agency;

the Legal Services Corporation;

the National Endowment for the Arts;

the National Endowment for the Humanities;

the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation;

the Northern Border Regional Commission;

the Overseas Private Investment Corporation;

the United States Institute of Peace;

the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness;

the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Many of those agencies have been on the target lists of conservative budget hawks for many years.

[ . . . ]

While applauding the Trump plan to offset spending hikes in fiscal 2018, she warned that debt and deficits would continue to rise. And “such aggressive domestic discretionary cuts will be hard to sustain given that this area of the budget has already undergone large cuts and is projected to grow more slowly than inflation,” she said.

One agency facing elimination under the Trump budget, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, sent Government Executive the following statement: “Museums and libraries throughout the nation provide critical resources and services that contribute significantly to Americans’ economic development, education, health and well-being. The grants and programs that IMLS administers are helping libraries and museums make a tremendous difference in the communities they serve, whether by facilitating family learning, sustaining cultural heritage or by stimulating economic development through job training and skills development.”

Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, said in a statement, “The elimination of federal funding to CPB would initially devastate and ultimately destroy public media’s role in early childhood education, public safety, connecting citizens to our history, and promoting civil discussions for Americans in rural and urban communities alike.”

 

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