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Experts condemn Trump’s ‘insane’ July 3rd Mt. Rushmore fireworks show

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Classic view of Mount Rushmore

President Donald Trump is forcing through his plan to headline a fireworks show at Mount Rushmore despite concerns from experts who know the national park and its 93-year old monument very well. Those concerns include the coronavirus pandemic, threat of setting off wildfires, water contamination from fireworks chemicals, and limited access to and from the park.

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“I think it’s insane to explode fireworks over flammable material and ponderosa pine vegetation,” Bill Gabbert, a former National Park Service fire management officer, told The Washington Post. Gabbert oversaw Mount Rushmore and six other national parks for three years.

Trump will get his way, fulfilling his years-long dream. 7500 tickets are being distributed by the state’s tourism department.

The president and his re-election campaign team will fly to South Dakota and Montana for a four-day “high-dollar” fundraising trip, followed by Trump’s July 3 fireworks show. Tickets to the fundraising events cost between $250 and $100,000. Trump is also headlining a July 4 “Salute to America” in D.C., where he will speak on “heritage.” The event will feature military flyovers and demonstrations.

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Other Mount Rushmore experts are also concerned.

“It’s a bad idea based on the wildland fire risk, the impact to the water quality of the memorial, the fact that is going to occur during a pandemic without social distancing guidelines and the emergency evacuation issues,” says Cheryl Schreier, superintendent at Mount Rushmore National Park between 2010 and 2019.

Schreier says there are “public health and safety risks, not only to the visitors but to employees.”

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“Fireworks shows,” the Post notes, “had been held at the memorial between 1998 and 2009, until U.S. Geological Survey scientists determined the activities left high levels of a toxic chemical called perchlorate in drinking water used by the 3 million people who visit the memorial annually.”

Trump in January, discussing his desire to have the fireworks at the historic monument honoring four of the nation’s greatest presidents, ignored all the risks.

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“What can burn? It’s stone.”

 

 

 

 


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2020 Election

Trump officials could face criminal charges for USPS sabotage — and the president may not be able to pardon them

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Members of the Trump administration could face legal jeopardy over efforts to sabotage U.S. Postal Service operations to interfere with the 2020 presidential elections.

"Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) made a criminal referral to the New Jersey Attorney General on Friday night, asking him to impanel a grand jury to look at possible breach of state election laws by President Trump, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and others for 'their accelerating arson of the post office,' he said. Alarming headlines have emerged in recent days as many states prepare to facilitate widespread mail balloting due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump openly admitted he was withholding federal aid from the postal service to prevent mail-in voting, and USPS has notified 46 states and D.C. that it will struggle to deliver some mail ballots on time," The Daily Beast reported Friday.

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Maddow reveals how one state stood up to Trump’s USPS cuts — and won

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow's opening segment on Friday focused on a positive story of political pressure stopping one of the Trump administration's attacks on the U.S. Postal Service.

Maddow reported how NBC Montana reporter Maritsa Georgiou had doggedly reported on the removal of postal boxes in Missoula, where she is based. Missoula has been a long-time Democratic Party stronghold.

Montana has a competitive U.S. Senate election in 2020, with Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock challenging first-term Republican Sen. Steve Daines.

As Georgiou chased the story, she learned there were also plans to remove boxes in the battleground of Billings. And more planned for the blue town of Bozeman. And other towns.

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2020 Election

Pepsi joins the chorus of people dunking on Tucker Carlson over Kamala Harris

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The Pepsi soda company mocked Fox News personality Tucker Carlson on Friday evening.

On Tuesday, Carlson flipped out after a guest attempted to teach him how to pronounce the name of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is running for vice president on Joe Biden's ticket.

Video of the exchange was posted on Twitter by Nikki McCann Ramirez, a researcher at the watchdog group Media Matters for America.

Tucker Carlson loses it when a guest corrects his pronunciation of Kamala Harris's name pic.twitter.com/1fHIrPGuwN

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