Blog Archive

Thursday, January 26, 2017

U.S. government scientists go 'rogue' in defiance of Trump

The Twitter account of Rogue NASA is seen replying to a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump in a photo illustration in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, editing by Lisa Shumaker, Reuters, January 26, 2017
Employees from more than a dozen U.S. government agencies have established a network of unofficial "rogue" Twitter feeds in defiance of what they see as attempts by President Donald Trump to muzzle federal climate change research and other science.
Seizing on Trump's favorite mode of discourse, scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and other bureaus have privately launched Twitter accounts - borrowing names and logos of their agencies - to protest restrictions they view as censorship and provide unfettered platforms for information the new administration has curtailed.
"Can't wait for President Trump to call us FAKE NEWS," one anonymous National Park Service employee posted on the newly opened Twitter account @AltNatParkService. "You can take our official twitter, but you'll never take our free time!"
The @RogueNASA account displayed an introductory disclaimer describing it as "The unofficial 'Resistance' team of NASA. Not an official NASA account." It beckoned readers to follow its feed "for science and climate news and facts. REAL NEWS, REAL FACTS."
The swift proliferation of such tweets by government rank-and-file followed internal directives several agencies involved in environmental issues have received since Trump's inauguration requiring them to curb their dissemination of information to the public.
Last week, Interior Department staff were told to stop posting on Twitter after an employee re-tweeted posts about relatively low attendance at Trump's swearing-in, and about how material on climate change and civil rights had disappeared from the official White House website.
Employees at the EPA and the departments of Interior, Agriculture and Health and Human Services have since confirmed seeing notices from the new administration either instructing them to remove web pages or limit how they communicate to the public, including through social media.
The restrictions have reinforced concerns that Trump, a climate change skeptic, is out to squelch federally backed research showing that emissions from fossil fuel combustion and other human activities are contributing to global warming.
The resistance movement gained steam on Tuesday when a series of climate change-related tweets were posted to the official Twitter account of Badlands National Park in South Dakota, administered under the Interior Department, but were soon deleted.
A Park Service official later said those tweets came from a former employee no longer authorized to use the official account and that the agency was being encouraged to use Twitter to post public safety and park information only, and to avoid national policy issues.
Within hours, unofficial "resistance" or "rogue" Twitter accounts began sprouting up, emblazoned with the government logos of the agencies where they worked, the list growing to at least 14 such sites by Wednesday afternoon.
An account dubbed @ungaggedEPA invited followers to visit its feeds of "ungagged news, links, tips and conversation that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is unable to tell you," adding that it was "Not directly affiliated with @EPA."
U.S. environmental employees were soon joined by similar "alternative" Twitter accounts originating from various science and health agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Weather Service. Many of their messages carried Twitter hashtags #resist or #resistance.
An unofficial Badlands National Park account called @BadHombreNPS also emerged (a reference to one of Trump's more memorable campaign remarks about Mexican immigrants) to post material that had been scrubbed from the official site earlier.

Because the Twitter feeds were set up and posted to anonymously as private accounts, they are beyond the control of the government.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Our new CIA head Mike Pompeo, Tea Party, anti-Obamacare, rejects climate change (our biggest national security threat), and the list goes on

Dear Readers,

This wikipedia post is bound to be changed, so for the record, I am posting it here (although, perhaps, other sites will also have a copy).

Mike Pompeo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo official Transition portrait.jpg
Director of the Central Intelligence AgencyNominee
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byMeroe Park (Acting)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded byTodd Tiahrt
Personal details
BornMichael Richard Pompeo
December 30, 1963 (age 53)
Orange, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Susan Pompeo
EducationUnited States Military Academy at West Point (BS)
Harvard University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1986–1991[1]
RankUS military captain's rank.gif Captain[1]
Unit2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment4th Infantry Division[2]
*Pending Senate confirmation
Michael Richard "MikePompeo (born December 30, 1963) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Kansas's 4th congressional district since 2011. He is a member of the Tea Party movement within the Republican Party.[3][4] He was a Kansas representative on the Republican National Committee. On November 18, 2016, he was selected by President-elect Donald Trump to be Trump's nominee for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.[5]

Education, and early career[edit]

Pompeo was born in Orange, California, the son of Dorothy (née Mercer) and Wayne Pompeo.[6][7] He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he majored in Mechanical Engineering, graduating first in his class in 1986 and subsequently serving in the Regular Army as an Armor Branch cavalry officer from 1986 to 1991.[8]He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He then worked as a lawyer for Williams & Connolly.[9]

Military service[edit]

As a teenager, he enrolled at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated first in his class from West Point in 1986.[6] According to his official biography, he then served as a cavalry officer patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall.[10] He also served with the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the Fourth Infantry Division. He served his last tour in the Gulf War.

Business career[edit]

Pompeo founded Thayer Aerospace and Private Security.[11] In 2006 he sold his interest in Thayer (which was renamed Nex-Tech Aerospace). He became the President of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment company.[12]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


In the 2010 Kansas Republican primary for the 4th District Congressional seat, Pompeo defeated State Senator Jean Schodorf (who received 24%), Wichita businessman Wink Hartman (who received 23%), and small business owner Jim Anderson (who received 13%). State Senator Dick Kelsey also ran for the nomination, but ended his campaign before the August primary and endorsed Pompeo.[13][14][15] Late in the primary, Schodorf began to surge, prompting two outside groups—Americans for Prosperity and Common Sense Issues, an Ohio-based political group—to enter the race, spending tens of thousands of dollars in the final campaign days to attack Schodorf and support Pompeo.[16]
In the general election, Pompeo defeated Democratic nominee State Representative Raj Goyle. Pompeo received 59% of the vote (117,171 votes), to 36% for Goyle (71,866).[17]
During the campaign, Pompeo received $80,000 in donations from Koch Industries and its employees.[18]
In his 2012 re-election bid, Pompeo defeated Democratic nominee Robert Tillman by a margin of 62%-32%.[19]
Pompeo won the general election, defeating Democrat Perry Schuckman, with 66.7% of the vote.[20]
Pompeo won the general election with 60.6% of the vote.[21]

Committee assignments[edit]

Nomination to be CIA Director[edit]

On November 18, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Pompeo to be the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.[23]

Political positions[edit]

Pompeo speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.


Pompeo is strongly opposed to abortion, except in cases when the mother's life is at risk.[24]

Energy and environment[edit]

The bill placed a 12-month deadline on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, requiring it to approve or reject any proposal for a natural gas pipeline within that timeframe.[26] The bill passed the House along party lines but not voted on in the Senate.[27]
Pompeo rejects many concepts about global warming.[28] In 2013, he said, "There are scientists who think lots of different things about climate change. There's some who think we're warming, there's some who think we’re cooling, there's some who think that the last 16 years have shown a pretty stable climate environment."[28]
Pompeo has referred to President Obama's environment and climate change plans as "damaging" and "radical".[29] He opposes the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, and supports eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency's greenhouse gas registry program.[30] He has said that Obama's Clean Power Plan does not provide "any measurable environmental benefit."[29]
He signed the Americans for Prosperity's No Climate Tax pledge.[31] He has called for the elimination of wind power production tax credits, calling them an "enormous government handout".[32] He predicted a new energy bill would cost millions of jobs and make the United States a net food importer.[33][clarification needed]


Pompeo is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, which has endorsed him.[34]


Pompeo opposes the Affordable Care Act.[35]

Genetically modified foods[edit]

Pompeo opposes requiring food suppliers to label food made with genetically modified organisms, and to that end in April 2014 introduced the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act" to block states from requiring mandatory GMO food labeling.[36]

Government shutdown[edit]

Pompeo supported the U.S. federal government shutdown of 2013, blaming President Obama while acknowledging that the Republican Party could take a hit from the shutdown. He stated that he believed the shutdown was necessary to avoid a predicted "American financial collapse 10 years from now."[37]
In January 2014, Pompeo voted against a two-year budget deal drafted by Paul Ryan that would avert any government shutdown until 2015 and cut deficits by $23 billion.[38]


Pompeo introduced the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 into the House on May 7, 2013.


Pompeo has been critical of President Obama, whom he repeatedly alleged was indecisive and not appropriately respectful of military leaders such as General McChrystal, who was forced to submit his resignation for having made negative comments about the president to Michael Hastings (1980 – 2013) from Rolling Stone magazine (The Runaway General). Pompeo accused the Obama of "unforgivably fail[ing] to provide the total commitment of our national means to our servicemen in the field."[39]

National security[edit]

Pompeo speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C.
Pompeo supports the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, characterizing the agency's efforts as "good and important work."[40] In March 2014, Pompeo denounced NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's inclusion in the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, and called for Snowden's invitation to speak via telecast at the annual Texas event be withdrawn, lest it encourage "lawless behavior" among attendees.[41] In February 2016, Pompeo said Snowden "should be brought back from Russia and given due process, and I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence."[42]
Pompeo has advocated for rolling back post-Snowden surveillance reforms, saying "Congress should pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database. Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed. That includes Presidential Policy Directive-28, which bestows privacy rights on foreigners and imposes burdensome requirements to justify data collection."[43]
On July 21, 2015, Pompeo and Senator Tom Cotton alleged the existence of secret side agreements between Iran and the IAEA on procedures for inspection and verification of Iran's nuclear activities under the Iran nuclear deal. The Obama administration denied any clandestine or secret actions.[44][45][46]
Administration officials acknowledge the existence of agreements between Iran and the IAEA governing the inspection of sensitive military sites, but deny the characterization that they are “secret side deals,” saying instead that they are standard practice in crafting arms-control pacts and that the Administration had provided the information on them that was at its disposal to Congress.[45]
In a 2013 speech on the House floor, Pompeo said Muslim leaders who fail to denounce acts of terrorism done in the name of Islam are "potentially complicit" in the attacks.[47] The Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Pompeo to revise his remarks, calling them "false and irresponsible".[48]
Pompeo opposes closing Guantánamo Bay detention camp.[49] After a 2013 visit to the prison, Pompeo said, of the prisoners who were on hunger strike, "It looked to me like a lot of them had put on weight."[50]
Pompeo has criticized the Obama administration's decision to end the CIA's secret prisons (so-called "black sites"), and the administration's requirement that all interrogators adhere to anti-torture laws.[51]


  1. Jump up to:a b Staff (2011). "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier" (PDF)Legislative AgendaAssociation of the United States Army. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  2. Jump up^ "Biography – Congressman Mike Pompeo".
  3. Jump up^ Gehrke, Joel (August 7, 2014). "Tea-Party Power Endures". National Review. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  4. Jump up^ Senator Roberts survives Tea Party challenge,; accessed October 21, 2015.
  5. Jump up^ "President-Elect Donald J. Trump Selects U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency" (Press release). New York, New York: Office of the President Elect and of the Vice President Elect. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  6. Jump up to:a b Jarlson, Gary (May 31, 1986). "Santa Ana Cadet Wins Top West Point Honor"Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  7. Jump up^ Lee, Teresa (October 20, 2010). "Pompeo Visits Mother's Childhood Home"The Wellington Daily News. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  8. Jump up^ "Congressman Mike Pompeo". Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  9. Jump up^ Lefler, Dion (2010-07-29). "Pompeo hopes varied background gives him edge"Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
  10. Jump up^ Kelly, Mary Louise (December 14, 2016). "For CIA Nominee Mike Pompeo, 'Not A Good Situation To Inherit'". National Public Radio. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  11. Jump up^ Wilson, Benet (2010-03-05). "Thayer Aerospace Founder Vies For Congress"Aviation Week. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
  12. Jump up^ Mike Pompeo. "Congressman Mike Pompeo Biography". Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  13. Jump up^ Lefler, Dion; Ron Sylvester (2010-08-03). "Pompeo, Goyle to Meet in 4th District race"Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 2010-08-04Republican National Committeeman Mike Pompeo survived a bruising GOP primary and Rep. Raj Goyle of Wichita steamrolled his Democratic opponent to set up the general election battle in the Kansas 4th Congressional District.
  14. Jump up^ Miller, Tricia (2010-08-04). "Pompeo Likely To Replace Tiahrt"CQ Politics. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
  15. Jump up^ D'Aprile, Shane (2010-08-04). "Pompeo wins GOP primary in Rep. Tiahrt's district"The Hill. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
  16. Jump up^ "Pompeo, Goyle to meet in 4th District race"Wichita Eagle. August 3, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  17. Jump up^ "House Results Map"The New York Times. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  18. Jump up^ Eggen, Dan (March 20, 2011). "GOP freshman Pompeo turned to Koch for money for business, then politics"Washington Post. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  19. Jump up^ "Wichita attorney Dan Giroux announces challenge to Rep. Mike Pompeo". Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  20. Jump up^ "Kansas Secretary of State 2014 General Election" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State. November 4, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  21. Jump up^ "Official Vote Totals" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State. p. 2. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  22. Jump up^ Lowry, Bryan (2014-05-09). "Rep. Mike Pompeo appointed to Benghazi investigation committee". Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  23. Jump up^ "President-Elect Donald J. Trump Selects U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency"President Elect Donald J. Trump. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  24. Jump up^ "Election 2012: Mike Pompeo"Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  25. Jump up^ "H.R. 1900 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  26. Jump up^ Kasperowicz, Pete (November 21, 2013). "Thursday:Pipelines in the House, amendment fight in the Senate"The Hill. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  27. Jump up^ "Congressional Bills and Votes H.R. 1900"The New York Times.
  28. Jump up to:a b "Mike Pompeo on Washington Journal". Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  29. Jump up to:a b "Kansas starts working toward clean air plan that Pompeo wants to kill"Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  30. Jump up^ "Mike Pompeo's Issue Positions". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  31. Jump up^ "Pledge Takers"NoClimateTax.comAmericans for Prosperity. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  32. Jump up^ Pompeo, Mike (September 30, 2012). "Rep. Mike Pompeo: Wind tax credit harms economy"Wichita Eagle. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  33. Jump up^ "Pompeo predicts new energy bill would cost millions of jobs and make the United States a net food importer"[dead link],; accessed September 24, 2015.
  34. Jump up^ "National Rifle Association Endorses Pompeo"Pompeo for Congress. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  35. Jump up^ Pompeo, Mike (September 3, 2013). "The ObamaCare train wreck: Column"USA Today. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  36. Jump up^ Gillam, Carey (April 9, 2014). "U.S. bill seeks to block mandatory GMO food labeling by states"Reuters. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  37. Jump up^ Wilson, Bill (October 2, 2013). "Pompeo: For the GOP, shutdown is now about reforming entitlement programs"Wichita Eagle. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  38. Jump up^ "Key Votes by Mike Pompeo – U.S. Congress Votes Database – The Washington Post".
  39. Jump up^ "Pompeo Responds to President's West Point Speech". Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  40. Jump up^ Lefler, Dion (November 4, 2013). "NSA is doing 'important work', Pompeo tells Wichita State students". Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  41. Jump up^ Drusch, Andrea (March 9, 2014). "SXSW 2014: Mike Pompeo wants Edward Snowden off the bill"Politico. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  42. Jump up^ "Lawmaker: 'Traitor' Snowden deserves death penalty"Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  43. Jump up^ Jr, Mike Pompeo And David B. Rivkin (2016-01-03). "Time for a Rigorous National Debate About Surveillance"Wall Street JournalISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  44. Jump up^ Demirjian, Karoun. "'Secret deals' become latest congressional complaint about Iran deal".
  45. Jump up to:a b Jordan Fabian and Kristina Wong. "White House launches Iran side deals counterattack".
  46. Jump up^ Schulberg, Jessica. "John Kerry's Confident The IAEA Can Handle Iran, But Congress Isn't Buying It". Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  47. Jump up^ Kasperowicz, Pete (June 11, 2013). "GOP lawmaker: US Muslim leaders 'complicit' in terrorist attacks"The Hill. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  48. Jump up^ "GOP lawmaker: US Muslim call Pompeo comments leaders "false and irresponsible"" (PDF). Council on American-Islamic Relations. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  49. Jump up^ "Senate debates Guantánamo in first hearing on closing prison since 2009"Associated Press. July 24, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  50. Jump up^ "GOP Rep: 'No crisis' at Gitmo, detainees 'have put on weight'"MSNBC. May 26, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  51. Jump up^ Davis, Julie Hirschfeld (2016-11-18). "Trump Turns to His Right Flank to Fill National Security Posts"The New York TimesISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-11-19.