Midday open thread: GOP threaten caribou; millennials not so keen as elders on assault weapon ban

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

If Donald Trump manages to hang in there for his entire term, he has 1,151 days of potential golfing days remaining before he leaves the White House.

• What you can expect at Sunday Kos…

  • Seven questions for Mark Godsey, author of ‘Blind Injustice’, by David Akadjian
  • Invasion of the body hackers, by Steven Andrew
  • San Francisco: The year of hardening my heart, by Laura Clawson
  • Join a peace vigil to mark Sandy Hook’s five-year anniversary. Then demand action, by Sher Watts Spooner
  • Book Review: ‘Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Storming of the Presidency’, by Ian Reifowitz
  • GOP tax plan is the worst jobs bill ever, by Jon Perr
  • Nevertheless, she persisted. In 1863, she won, by Susan Grigsby



Transportation again generates the largest portion of greenhouse gases in U.S.:

[F]or the first time since the 1970s, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from transportation have eclipsed emissions from electricity generation as the top source of greenhouse gases.

The change comes as U.S. electricity generation relies less on coal and more on renewables and natural gas (a less carbon-intensive fossil fuel). Transportation emissions have also declined from a peak in 2008 due to steadily improving fuel economies, although there has been a small uptick recently as a result of a drop in gas prices. The projected growth in electric vehicles suggests decreases in CO2 transportation emissions are on the horizon. Even when accounting for how electricity is generated, an electric vehicle emits less carbon dioxide than a comparable gasoline car in a majority of U.S. states.

Millennials less likely than older Americans to favor assault weapon ban: 

Resistance to a ban on military-style assault weapons is strongest among millennials, according to a new Quinnipiac poll released this week. It’s a finding that experts said might be driven by the popularity of first-person shooter video games such as Call of Duty and the increasing prominence of military-style guns in the consumer market. […]

Opposition to an assault weapon ban was strongest among Republicans and among self-identified registered voters 18-34, the poll found. Unlike older Americans, millennials were closely divided on their support for an assault weapon ban, with 49% supporting and 44% opposing a ban.

There was huge support for a return to banning the sale of assault weapons from voters over 50, with 70% support from over-50s and 77% support from over-65s. 

If Republican tax reform were enacted, migrating caribou could be at risk:

If tax reform passes, Murkowski’s rider means the bulk of refuge stewardship is handed over to the Bureau of Land Management, cutting out current manager, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. […]

Mark Salvo, vice president of landscape conservation at Defenders of Wildlife,  said the organization is taking the threat to caribou seriously because drilling in the refuge stands to upset animal behaviors that have occurred for millennia.

Facebook’s tool for you to check to see if the social media platform exposed you to Russian disinformation is weak: Facebook announced Wednesday that it is building a tool that will let users find out if they were exposed to Russian propaganda during the 2016 election. It’s supposed to come out by the end of the year. This is, as Justin Hendrix at Just Security says, a “fig leaf” to meet congressional calls for notifying Facebook users who were exposed:

[T]he application as described is not a broad notification, but rather a self-service tool tucked away in the “help center” that users must navigate to purposefully. Many users who liked or followed known propaganda pages or accounts may never seek out this information. That must mean a significant drop off in the percentage of people who will be successfully reached. Facebook has stopped well short of promising to actually notify users with, say, a notice at the top of the timeline of every affected account. Imagine a car manufacturer posting, only in its online help center, information about a defective product without individually notifying the consumers that the company knows full well bought the product.Second, as the Wall Street Journal’s Jack Nicas pointed out, “the disclosure falls short of notifying more than 100 million other users who came across the pages’ ads and posts, and may have liked, shared or commented on them. And it provides little information to those users who did follow the pages.”