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‘Utter madness’: Trump’s assault on the truth continues as weather agency releases unsigned statement in his defense

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President Donald Trump has been fixated all week on his false claim made Sunday that Alabama “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” by Hurricane Dorian, a statement which wasn’t supported by the evidence at the time. Through a whirlwind of lies, distortions, and even potentially criminal forgeries, Trump has tried to beat back the criticism he received for the gaffe, a campaign that peaked Friday when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration criticized a Birmingham branch of the agency for a tweet that contradicted the president.

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Shortly after Trump tweeted falsely about Alabama on Sunday, the National Weather Service (a branch of NOAA) in Birmingham tweeted:

Now, in a statement, NOAA disavowed the tweet:

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There are several things to note about this new development. First, it comes on the heels of Trump apparently forcing a Homeland Security official to come to his defense, even though his claims didn’t support the president’s initial or subsequent falsehoods. Second, this new statement is particularly dubious given that no administration official was willing to put their name on it. Third, it doesn’t address Trump’s myriad false claims about Hurricane Dorian, including his first claim on Sunday which created a completely false impression about the risks Alabama faced.

Now, as I have noted multiple times, there were a few indications around the time of Trump’s false claim that a relatively small portion of Alabama had a small chance of experiencing strong winds because of the hurricane. (Trump has also shifted ground on what claim he is defending because on Thursday, he asserted that his belief had been that “Alabama may also be grazed or hit” by the storm. He had previously said there had been a “95 percent” chance of the storm hitting the state.) One projection said there was a 5 percent chance of a tiny part of the state feeling 39+ mph winds.

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So it’s possible that the NWS tweet somewhat overstated the confidence that there would not be “any” impacts in Alabama, though many dispute the idea that there was anything wrong with the statement. Nevertheless, Trump’s claim was still unequivocally wrong, which he hasn’t admitted; he said that the chances the state would get hit hard had dramatically increased when they were diminishing down to zero. In fact, state officials were so unconcerned about the impact of the storm on Sunday that Alabama’s governor wasn’t on a conference call at FEMA, as the Washington Post reported:

During a briefing at FEMA headquarters on Sunday afternoon, Trump acknowledged governors who had dialed in from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. He then turned to a state that wasn’t represented on the line.

“It may get a little piece of a great place: It’s called Alabama,” Trump said. “And Alabama could even be in for at least some very strong winds and something more than that, it could be. This just came up, unfortunately. It’s the size of the storm that we’re talking about. So, for Alabama, just please be careful also.”

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Since his initial false prediction, Trump has made repeated false claims in his defense and is apparently pressuring government officials to back him up. Instead, he could have admitted he made a mistake or, alternatively, just let the matter drop. The fact that he can’t, and that he’s using the administration to serve his misguided impulses, is deeply disturbing. Many observers continued to express concern about Trump’s behavior:

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Trump’s attack on Sotomayor and Ginsburg backfires as people point out conservative justices’ conflicts of interest

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This Monday, President Trump attacked liberal Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader and demanded that they recuse themselves from any cases that involve him.

“‘Sotomayor accuses GOP appointed Justices of being biased in favor of Trump,’” Trump tweeted while citing Laura Ingraham of Fox News. “This is a terrible thing to say. Trying to ‘shame’ some into voting her way? She never criticized Justice Ginsberg when she called me a ‘faker’. Both should recuse themselves on all Trump, or Trump related, matters!”

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2020 Election

If Bloomberg is so rich, why does he steal workers’ wages?

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Michael Bloomberg has been pummeled over the treatment of women at his media and data company. Yet that is not the only blemish on the employment record of Bloomberg L.P. The company also has a serious problem with wage theft.

Violation Tracker lists a total of $70 million in penalties paid by Bloomberg for wage and hour violations, putting it in 32nd place among large corporations. Yet many of the companies higher on the list – such as Walmart, FedEx, and United Parcel Service – employ far more people than the roughly 20,000 at Bloomberg.

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Tennessee Christians are replacing health insurance with ‘sharing ministries’ that require people to live Godly lives: report

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christian evangelicals raising hands in praise prayer

On Tuesday, Brett Kelman of The Tennessean wrote about a spike in the uninsured rate in Tennessee — driven in part by 31,000 Christians in the state foregoing health insurance in favor of church-backed "sharing ministries."

These ministries are pitched as alternatives to medical coverage, but they are not health insurance at all — rather, they are better described as religious crowdfunding ventures where fellow congregants may cover your medical bills. But the key word is may. According to Kelman, "these groups don't actually guarantee any payment, and if you break their rules by smoking pot or having unmarried sex, you are on your own."

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