Dow Chemical gave $1 million to Trump’s inauguration, now wants pesticide risk study buried

Kiley Kroh  [http://thinkprogess.org]

The chemical manufacturer also pushed for a potentially dangerous insecticide not to be banned.

Andrew Liveris, president and CEO of Dow Chemical Company, is quite pleased with the new atmosphere in the White House. Liveris, who also heads Trump’s American Business Council, has praised the president’s business sense and cheered the administration’s regulatory rollback, sayingTrump and his team have “managed to move the ball in 45 days on regulatory reform more than in the previous eight years.”

Dow Chemical also joined several other major corporations in ponying up for Trump’s inauguration — giving $1 million to the organizing committee. Donors at that level “received tickets to a luncheon with Cabinet appointees and congressional leaders,” CNBC reported.

Two months later, Trump’s head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, announced that he would not follow the recommendation of the agency’s own scientists to ban the use of chlorpyrifos, an insecticide that has been linked to severe health consequences, particularly in children and farmworkers.

Chlorpyrifos is manufactured by Dow AgroSciences, a division of Dow Chemical. Dow has argued against a ban, claiming the science regarding potential health impacts is inconclusive. In announcing his decision to reject the ban, Pruitt said his agency was “returning to using sound science in decision-making — rather than predetermined results.”

Since then, Dow has already moved on to its next request. Last week, lawyers representing Dow sent letters to three of Trump’s cabinet heads asking them to ignore government studies regarding the harmful effects of a group of pesticides on endangered species, according to an Associated Press exclusive published Thursday.

“Dow Chemical wants to suppress the science showing that chlorpyrifos is harmful to everything it contacts. It damages children’s brains, contaminates drinking water, poisons workers, and threatens to wipe out Pacific salmon and other endangered species,”

“Over the past four years, government scientists have compiled an official record running more than 10,000 pages indicating the three pesticides under review — chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion — pose a risk to nearly every endangered species they studied,” the AP reported. “Regulators at the three federal agencies, which share responsibilities for enforcing the Endangered Species Act, are close to issuing findings expected to result in new limits on how and where the highly toxic pesticides can be used.”

As with its fight against the potential human health impacts of chlorpyrifos, Dow sought to cast doubt on the scientific findings regarding the threat its pesticides pose to endangered species. For years, environmental groups have pressured the EPA to more closely scrutinize the harmful effects of pesticides on humans and endangered species.

“Dow Chemical wants to suppress the science showing that chlorpyrifos is harmful to everything it contacts. It damages children’s brains, contaminates drinking water, poisons workers, and threatens to wipe out Pacific salmon and other endangered species,” Patti Goldman, managing attorney of Earthjustice’s Northwest regional office, said in an emailed statement to ThinkProgress. “Each time independent scientists reveal the dangers of this pesticide, Dow commissions its own ‘science’ and tries to delay the inevitable — banning this outdated and harmful pesticide.”

Dow Chemical has devoted a significant sum of money to influencing policy and lawmakers — spending $13.6 million on lobbying in 2016 alone, according to the AP report. The chemical giant gave $250,000 to both the Republican and Democratic party conventions last year, according to Federal Election Commission records, and its corporate PAC spent more than $1 million in the 2016 campaign cycle, according to OpenSecrets.

“Dow actively participates in policymaking and political processes, including political contributions to candidates, parties and causes, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws,” Rachelle Schikorra, director of public affairs for Dow Chemical, told the AP. “Dow maintains and is committed to the highest standard of ethical conduct in all such activity.”

 

Donald Trump has ‘dangerous mental illness’, say psychiatry experts at Yale conference

Experts say President is ‘paranoid and delusional’

May Bulman   [http://www.independent.co.uk]   @maybulman

Donald Trump has a “dangerous mental illness” and is not fit to lead the US, a group of psychiatrists has warned during a conference at Yale University.

Mental health experts claimed the President was “paranoid and delusional”, and said it was their “ethical responsibility” to warn the American public about the “dangers” Mr Trump’s psychological state poses to the country.

Speaking at the conference at Yale’s School of Medicine on Thursday, one of the mental health professionals, Dr John Gartner, a practising psychotherapist who advised psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, said: “We have an ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump’s dangerous mental illness.”

Bruce Springsteen Calls Donald Trump a Con Man in a New Protest Song

Ashley Hoffman [time.com]

Bruce Springsteen teamed up with his longtime collaborator Joe Grushecky for a protest song targeting President Donald Trump, titled “That’s What Makes Us Great.”

The song, which premiered on SiriusXM Wednesday, tackles a number of Trump’s actions with lyrics like “Don’t tell me a lie / And sell it as a fact / I’ve been down that road before / And I ain’t going back.” Later on in the song, he sings “And don’t you brag to me / That you never read a book / I never put my faith / In a con man and his crooks.”

Springsteen was a visible supporter of Trump’s opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, as well as President Barack Obama. A vocal critic of Trump, the rock star said “the republic is under siege by a moron” in a 2016 Rolling Stone interview. He later called the government’s restrictions on travelers “fundamentally un-American” during a concert.

The song is available to purchase for 99 cents Gruschecky’s website.

Melania Idly Wonders If She Would Get Heads-Up About Nuclear Missile Headed Toward New York

[theonion.com]

Melania Trump displays a deep understanding of the risks of nuclear holocaust.

NEW YORK—Saying she liked to believe she’d be given some kind of warning, Melania Trump idly wondered Wednesday whether she would get a heads-up if a nuclear missile were headed toward New York. “You’d think I’d receive a phone call with some sort of instructions if they knew a nuclear warhead was on its way,” said the first lady, despite being unable to recall her husband or any officials ever mentioning the existence of an alert system or notification protocol. “Maybe they have a secret shelter somewhere, and they’ll just show up suddenly to evacuate me and Barron. If they knew I was in the direct path of a nuclear weapon, surely they’d at least contact me so I could emotionally prepare, right? If absolutely nothing else, Donald would call to say goodbye and tell me he loved me, wouldn’t he? I mean, wouldn’t he?” After pondering the scenarios for a few minutes, Melania decided that, on second thought, it was probably better if she didn’t know.