This Is Why “Blue No Matter Who” Is So Important

Experts are warning that the Trump administration’s jettisoning of scientific expertise–not to mention the president’s constant spreading of misinformation– has put the US in a much weaker position when dealing with the coronavirus.

It has been impossible to miss the  Administration’s constant assault on science and fact. In the midst of the daily evidence of official malfeasance, however, it can be easy to overlook the very real consequences of that assault. A pandemic tends to focus public attention on the dangers of an anti-science administration, but those dangers go far beyond coronavirus.

An investigative report from Reveal is a reminder of what is at stake.

TCE is a chemical that has been used widely for decades; it removes grease from electronics, medical devices, metal parts and aircraft, and it is used by dry cleaners. It is also often dumped and leaked, contaminating soil and groundwater in residential neighborhoods, military bases and industrial parks across the country.

Scientific studies have established that exposure to TCE, even at trace levels, is highly toxic to developing embryos. Toward the end of the Obama administration, the EPA had begun the process of banning several of its more common uses.

The Reveal reporters found that the Trump administration had recruited a “scientist” named DeSesso, known for his work on behalf of chemical companies (and for multiple conflicts of interest), to rebut the original study–the Johnson Report– and the fourteen subsequent studies, all of which had found that TCE was highly toxic.

Trump appointee Scott Pruitt halted the regulatory process, quietly dropping the proposed rule from its schedule of pending regulatory actions. The regulatory process would start over from scratch. No new restrictions would be announced until the EPA completed a fresh scientific evaluation.

That official evaluation was released for public comment last week, and it appears to show the influence of DeSesso and his chemical company sponsors. Dismissing the findings of the Johnson study and decades of scientific research, the published evaluation rejects fetal heart malformations as a benchmark for unsafe exposure levels to TCE.

“This decision is grave,” said Jennifer McPartland, a senior scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund. “It not only underestimates the lifelong risks of the chemical, especially to the developing fetus, it also presents yet another example of this administration bowing to polluters’ interests over public health.”

EPA scientists had reviewed copious research and had concluded that even trace exposure to TCE is unsafe. The White House nevertheless directed the EPA to override the findings of its own scientists. TCE continues to be widely used–it has a $350-million-a-year global market, a quarter of which is in the United States, according to the EPA.

As the reporters note,

Even without new regulations, cleanup costs for manufacturers and users, including the U.S. government, could run into the billions of dollars. Workers and residents exposed to the chemical already have won multimillion-dollar settlements, including a cluster of men from the same part of Tucson who were all diagnosed with a rare testicular cancer.

Several high-profile lawsuits are pending, including two by former employees of Brookhaven National Laboratory, a federal lab in New York, who suffered from TCE-related kidney damage. Lawyers in Minnesota are gathering clients to sue Water Gremlin after the fishing sinker manufacturer was fined $7 million for violating air pollution limits for TCE. Residents’ complaints include neurological diseases and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, another cancer linked to TCE exposure….

The sheer scale of the liability risk has put TCE and the science linking it to fetal heart damage at the center of the chemical industry’s efforts to block regulation of its most toxic products since the early 2000s.

Reveal obtained an internal document issued by the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Dated Dec. 20, 2019, it’s titled “Risk Evaluation for Trichloroethylene.” Each page is stamped “Interagency draft – do not cite or quote.”

This sort of document is a routine part of the EPA’s mission to protect the environment and human health and to regulate human exposure to toxic chemicals. Before proposing any new chemical regulations, the agency deploys a team of staff scientists to conduct a rigorous evaluation of the scientific literature to establish unsafe exposure levels. The process, designed to be impartial, has been subjected to intense political interference by the Trump administration, according to the agency’s own Science Advisory Board. But the internal draft of this TCE evaluation, when compared with the published one, provides evidence of extensive, detailed and thoroughgoing edits that have not been documented in other cases.

I strongly encourage readers to click through and read the entire, extensive and horrifying article.

In addition to all the other damage being done by this criminal administration, it is clear that what Trump’s EPA is protecting are the wallets of polluters–not the environment, and most definitely not the lives or health of the American people.

Vote blue no matter who. Lives depend upon it.


  1. If a leader does not have trust on the map, the leader has no followers, and cannot be trusted off the map.

  2. I just read an article yesterday that named Haynes International, in Kokomo, as a ‘super polluter’, one of the worst in the US for toxic emissions. My ex works there, and used to sneak home bottles of trichloroethylene (they called it ‘trike) to clean grease around the house & garage. “Sure it’s safe – we use it at work!”
    Save us from those who can’t think.

  3. Well, Biden is in the pockets of industry as is the DNC. Maybe not as blatant as the GOP, but they all twist scientific processes or create loopholes for themselves to operate within the dark.

    Indiana is one of the dirtiest states in the country. What we do to our children and the elderly should be criminal, but we are also ranked in the Top 5 for CEO satisfaction.

    As far as protecting children, we are an abject failure. Mike Pence played a role in our failures here and now Washington.

    How long have our polluters known they were trapping greenhouse gases which were overheating the planet?

    Once again, this goes to causation, capitalism and the structure of ownership with their motivations.

    Marjorie Kelly writes:

    “If our civilization is to live safely within planetary boundaries, with an economy that allows us all to flourish, more democratic economic decision-making processes will be needed. At the epicenter of this shift are new kinds of company ownership.

    Ownership is the original system condition of an economy. Every economy is defined by its dominant form of ownership – in the agrarian age, ownership of land by the monarchy and landed aristocracy; in the industrial age, ownership of railways and factories by the robber barons; in communism, ownership by the state; and in today’s financialised economy, asset ownership by the financial elite.

    If we are to move successfully from a disaster-prone economic landscape to one of potentially broad wellbeing, creating a new dominant enterprise paradigm will be among the core shifts needed. Without changing how corporations are owned – by whom, and towards what ends – other forms of change may be impossible, and are unlikely to succeed.”

  4. Read on Truthdig today “The One Choice Election” by Chris Hedges.” If Biden is the Democratic candidate the choice is not between Blue or Red, but between Dem Red or GOP Red. Only a revolution will save our democracy.

  5. The disinformation campaign also includes the bashing of the DNC, its candidates and its policies as being “in the pocket” of corporate America. All this whining does is strengthen the criminals running the biggest grift in the history of con games. As Willie Sutton said about banks: “It’s where the money is.” Well, corporations AND banks are where the money sufficient to run election campaigns in the screwed up, corrupt system lies. If purists want to have pure candidates who don’t need corporate money to run for office, push the movement to overturn Citizens United v. FEC. How many corporations will favor having that done? How will they bribe government to do their bidding? Why do you think the Citizens United issue ever came before the corrupt and criminally biased SCOTUS in the first place?

    This bribery is at the root of the current political and environmental disasters existing and looming. TEC = Tri-Chlor-Ethane, a relatively simple, non-polar organic compound that easily brings grease and other organic compounds into solution. As mentioned, it is used extensively in electronics manufacturing. Oh, and before we turfed all of our electronics manufacturing to China, TEC was common on the shop floor. Where was OSHA then, already knowing of the effects TEC has on human tissue? Well, nowhere. Add to TEC, acetone and Methyl-Ethyl Ketone (MEK) to the toxic brew on the shop floor and you have latent human health disaster. But corporate America turns to its Republican brethren to ignore these issues for the sake of – wait for it – more profit.

    So, it’s not the DNC that is the culprit in most of our electoral or government woes. They are fundamentally incompetent in their own right. Let’s all work to rid the nation of the Citizens United/lobbying horror show and make elections publicly funded, election day a national holiday and shorten the presidential election season to six months. Oh. Wait. That will put many of the stupid poster businesses on the shelf. We can’t have that, can we?

  6. Thank you, Vernon! The far left and the far right meet at the end of the curve with a sapphire bullet that solves all complexities of human society instantly. There are enough lessons from world history to show that those bullets are more likely to kill us all.

  7. Lester,

    “There are enough lessons from world history to show that those bullets are more likely to kill us all.”

    Take a look at the stock market today, we are already terminal. Our only chance, if there is one, is to RISE FROM THE DEAD. And we better start right now.


    You are right. Only a revolution can save our democracy. It has to be something new, if that is possible.

  8. Marv – 84% of the stock market is owned by the top 10% of wealth, so that worries you?

  9. Lester,

    “Marv-84% of the stock market by the top 10% of the wealth, so that worries you?

    It sure does. I’m even more worried about the 1% and what they will do through the MONSTER they helped elect.

  10. Since we don’t have anything to lose, we might as well try the impossible: Something more than just a PROCEDURAL DEMOCRACY, A SOCIAL DEMOCRACY AS WELL. What else is there?

  11. To be redundant:

    “I skate to where the puck is gonna be, not where it has been.”

    You have to anticipate. I was fortunate from a genetic standpoint, as my father was the best basketball defender of his generation in North Florida.

  12. We have to organize in such a way that we can effectively counter-attack before “all hell breaks loose.” We can’t afford to stand still any longer.

  13. Let’s see….with oligarchies and populist governments in all but a few western governments and ever increasing right wing movements in virtually all (yes, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, etc.) looks like a great historical time to go for big time far left…I wouldn’t want to bet with you folks in Vegas…

  14. Lester,

    “I wouldn’t want to bet with you folks in Vegas…”

    I wouldn’t want to bet on you and your folks either. Unfortunately, you and your folks have a very poor record in these types of situations. Do I need to explain further?

  15. The “vote blue no matter who” movement had not convinced this never Trump Republican to vote for Bernie Sanders. Bottom line, I’m not going to vote for someone who doesn’t believe in American capitalism. If Sanders were nominated, I was going to write in MItt Romney or Ronald Reagan. But seeing the polling this morning, Sanders has no chance of coming back. Biden will be the nominee. Biden I can vote for.

  16. Biden doesn’t take climate change seriously. As he considers tapping Jamie Dimon for Treasury, let’s not forget that by some measures, “he’s the oil, coal, and gas baron almost without peer.”

    “In the three years since the end of the Paris climate talks, Chase has reportedly committed a hundred and ninety-six billion dollars in financing for the fossil-fuel industry, much of it to fund extreme new ventures: ultra-deep-sea drilling, Arctic oil extraction, and so on. In each of those years, ExxonMobil, by contrast, spent less than three billion dollars on exploration, research, and development. A hundred and ninety-six billion dollars is larger than the market value of BP; it dwarfs that of the coal companies or the frackers. ”

  17. These pro-lifers have, among others, two salient problems: ignorance and venue. They apparently don’t know that chemical companies are killing their babies and they are protesting at the wrong venue. They should be carrying their signs and screaming at the headquarters of these Trump-protected chemical companies whose activities are not sanctioned by Roe, whose activities are killing not only babies but in the non-Roe covered adult population as well.

    Is there no end to what the current administration will do for a campaign contributions?
    Is the accumulation of assets (profits) now elevated over human life itself under the guise of service to the common good? Who are we, or better stated, what have we become?

  18. Lester,

    In 1961, I was the chief strategist for my father in breaking the color barrier in college football in the Deep South.

    In 1991, I was the chief strategist, as well as tactician, for the 10-year battle, that led to Dallas implementing 1 man, 1 vote, in its city and county elections.

    I don’t know about 2021, but I still haven’t been defeated, when it really counts.

    How about your resume? I know you have had some recent successes.

  19. So here you have it people from Paul K Ogden @ 10:50 am >>
    “The “vote blue no matter who” movement had not convinced this never Trump Republican to vote for Bernie Sanders. Bottom line, I’m not going to vote for someone who doesn’t believe in American capitalism. If Sanders were nominated, I was going to write in MItt Romney or Ronald Reagan. But seeing the polling this morning, Sanders has no chance of coming back. Biden will be the nominee. Biden I can vote for.” <<
    This should tell Democrats all they need to know about Joe Biden. He is acceptable to Reagan Republicans who are out in the Cold. I suspect the Reagan Republicans who can vote for Corporate Joe, will split their vote and select Republicans on the "down ballot".

  20. By the way, I’m NOT talking about bi-partisan politics. We have to re-organize from the ground up before November, in order to neutralize Trump. There are two BATTLES going on. One INSIDE of partisan politics: Sanders or Biden against Trump and the other OUTSIDE.

    “I’ll vote Blue no matter who.”

    But, I’m talking about the OUTSIDE which isn’t the main thrust of this blog. This blog, for the most part, is about PROCEDURAL DEMOCRACY which in my estimation there is none better. But I’m for neutralizing Trump NOW, not later, that puts me on the DEFENSE which is why I’ve been in and out of participating on the blog for the past five years.

    We have to counter-attack now, this is not the place for me to start ORGANIZING.

  21. Todd (and Marjorie Kelly),

    A new form of company ownership: boy, do I like that!! But the thought process needed to develop that new form of ownership seems trapped in a thought-tight box.

    Thinking out loud here… I see no other business structure options than those currently available. You all know there are 4 (some say 7) main types of business structures: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company. They seem to me to cover all the options, as far as structure are concerned.

    But Marjorie Kelly is not referring to structure; she wants a new kind of ownership, she says. But I read her differently: she really wants A NEW KIND OF COMPANY MISSION. Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), Cooperatives, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), Social Enterprises (mostly non-profit), Municipal Enterprises (city owned), and Hybrids (combinations of any of the above) are the sort of business models she pushes. All of them can and do function within existing business structures.

    The big difference between Kelly’s model businesses and predominant American corporations is WHO owns the business and WHY (profit or social service) the business exists in the first place, not how the business is formed.

    Still thinking…

    Let’s stipulate that Kelly’s wishes come true, and many more businesses in America are community owned and/or worker owned and that none of them are profit driven. Let’s also stipulate that these businesses are successful; they avoid bankruptcy and they provide services that benefit society. After all, there are several companies that Kelly examines which have been successful at both.

    So, then, we are left with a million or so unhappy individuals. What? How could that be? Who could be unhappy? Well, those who want very badly to run or own a company FOR PROFIT and/or make themselves rich; that’s who. And I see no legal or ethical way to prevent them from doing so. And so they shall.

    Thus, Post-Kelly America will not be much different than it is now.

    Still thinking, sort of at the edges of the box and…
    I would rather see legal limits to how much of a company one individual can own. Perhaps a graduated corporate tax (according to the percentage of the company that is owned by its largest shareholder, or its largest three shareholders) could achieve that goal. Company A’s three largest shareholders own 6% of the company, so IRS levies a 6% tax on the company’s profit. Company B’s three largest shareholders own 62% of the company, so IRS levies a 62% tax on profits. An additional graduated tax penalty could be added depending on how much bonuses are paid to top executives. Add to that a graduated tax reduction for the amount of a company that is owned by the workers and/or community.

    Today, legally speaking, a company is either a profit company or a non-profit company. I propose a graduated middle ground. Find a way to qualify your company as a 25% non-profit company and get a 25% discount on taxes, a discount that would extend to the income of workers and income from stock ownership.

    Still thinking…

  22. And today’s back and forth comments here show a good part of why the Democrats lose elections. Quibbling and fighting amongst each other over purity. Arguing about which fire extinguisher would best put out the fire, while the house is ablaze. “Or wait. I’m sure there’s a better fire extinguisher we can order on Amazon.”

    I’m personally not a big fan of either Joe or Bernie; neither would be my first choice.

    Let the Primary process, as flawed as it is, play out. If you still have the opportunity, vote for your choice — even if you view it as picking the lesser of two evils. Then support and vote for whichever one of them gets the nomination.

    If 2016 didn’t make abundantly and overwhelmingly clear, elections have consequences and those consequences are getting more dire day-by-day, actually minute-by-minute! To paraphrase those sage philosophers Mick Jagger and Keith Richards: You sometime can get some of what you want and maybe even a little of what you need, or you get nothing at all!

  23. This administration’s dereliction of duty to protect public health with clean water, air, and ground reveals the lie that the GOP is pro-life.

  24. I’ll tell you, we haven’t seen anything yet! About two and a half weeks ago or so, Italy was starting to get hammered with the coronavirus. They didn’t get on it right away, now it’s exploded! Italy has 16 to 18 million people quarantined in the northern part of that country. The prisons are in riot, some burning, people are panicking in the streets! A friend of ours that actually lives in Italy has been sending us her messages on Facebook in Italian no less, LOL. She is extremely fearful. She says that they have declared martial law in the northern part of the country, not good! If the Italian scenario happens here, how long do you think it will be before Trump declares martial law?

    All the screaming and whining about fake news, now you have two GOP senators self quarantining because they came in contact with a woman at CPAC who had corvid 19.

    You think Ted Cruz is yelling fake news now? He’s one of those who quarantined himself.

    Donald Nero is fiddling while Rome er the U.S. is burning.

    Since this POTUS decided to dismantle everything Obama, it looks like he’s going to pay the price for his complete ignorance and incompetence. of course, he’ll just say that the Democrats have invented the coronavirus to make him look bad, and his lemmings will follow right along with that thought process. why they don’t get ahead of that narrative is beyond me, I can’t believe everyone is that narrow-minded or tunnel-visioned, those blinders are gigantic!

    The POTUS cronies at the CDC just released a woman into the general population who tested positive for corvid 19, and what did she do? Went straight to the mall and spent the day shopping and eating! You tell me, is anyone really that stupid? Or is there something more nefarious involved here?

    The way they are going now, what’s going to happen here will make Italy look like a paradise.

  25. So, the CDC now says that they are not involved in a containment scenario but mitigation! What does mitigation mean? “To make less severe an offense or mistake”

    So how does the state do that? By Quarantining California, New York, Washington DC, Washington state Illinois?

    Maybe martial law? Depending on the severity, concentration camps? It seems to me, this is a means to an end!

  26. Politics is really about transitions aimed at adaptation from what worked in the past to what’s needed for the future. Trumpublican politics is about not leaving the past that fattened the 1% at the expense of the 99% hoping that it can be extended.

    The design of the transitions based on the belief that we don’t create the future, rather the future us is created by it, has been made significantly more difficult because of the backwardness of the Trumpence administration.

    Electing the next President is like committing to any path forward because we really don’t what we’ll get until after we have it.

    That’s why my choice is to let the flawed for sure DNC primary process do its job then board whatever bandwagon it results in.

    Blue no matter who is far from a certain strategy while re-election of Trumpublicans is: more of the same egress from progress that we’ve seen by people absolutely desperate to maintain their entitlements.

  27. Paul Ogden,

    Actually, Bernie DOES believe in American capitalism. He just doesn’t say so. American capitalism, in case you missed it, has had its regulations under attack by Republicans since the day Lincoln was shot. The monied class cannot stand regulations because they interfere with maximum profits in that sort of economic structure. Without capitalism, the socialistic aspects that keep ours and other similar economies humming cannot survive, e.g., the Soviet Union.

    Bernie’s views, though not very well stated, actually emulate FDR’s second bill of rights. It’s that simple. The billionaire class that Bernie rails at are those who cheat, lie and steal to avoid paying taxes and avoiding rules that affect their profit margins. The irony is that when billionaires and banks are allowed free rein over their micro-economies, they promptly allow their own greed to fuck it up and cause a recession or depression. IT HAPPENS EVERY SINGLE TIME THEY SKATE ON REGULATIONS. You can look it up.

    So, Bernie’s views seem way out of line, because ever since Reagan/Regan shifted our economics to the Friedman right, regulated capitalism has seemed anathema to “purist” capitalists. Be sure to do your research before making bold statements about candidates and their agendas.

    I am not a Bernie fan anymore. Why? Because what he proposes and who he is won’t bring enough Democrats into the Senate to get our government moving again. McConnell, Cornyn, Gardner, McSally, Collins,, need to be sent home and out of government. Trump is a proven criminal and should be perp-walked to jail the moment President Biden removes his hand from the Bible on 20 January, 2021.

  28. if someone did the math, the elderly and boomers,take up,X amount of population, the rest of the population,working age,and younger Y, would it balance the amount of jobs,existing now,if X was removed? would the economy have more living wage jobs,capacity to survive for Y,the balance? attrition, the strong survive,others are removed.. you see what im thinking.. if wall street,and the powers that be,have they discussed this? did they do a numbers crunch just to see? i have a very low regard for people who see money as power. theres very little intrest in anything that matters anymore,as far as money is concerned.if the musical seating WH and its cronies are merely signature,for the wall street greed,fed reserve,SEC, and corprate influence?.a real think, about a capitalistic hallacost?.after trump, mcconnel,and the system of alec, koch, markets, and what seems to be a total disregard for human life..its sounds wild,but ill make the question,and ask it? obviously, the lack of care,regard and a leadership, says it all, let em die.. hitler has his match,today…

  29. the answer to my question,,,
    jon schwarz
    coronavirus matters,the strock market doesnt,
    and thinking it does,may kill us..
    blaintant disregard for life..

  30. First, a distinction – Science is the main publication of the AAAS, the largest professional organization of scientists in the country. I have read it for over 40 years. Only under three Presidents were there extensive and frequent articles about the administration interfering with government scientists: Reagan, George W Bush, and Trump. Complaints about the Democratic Presidents were more along the lines of “we need more money”, which is the perpetual, and self-centered, complaint — that I agree with. 8)>

    My sister-in-law posted a great statement on Facebook by a friend of hers, that due to Facebook setting, I couldn’t share. I will try to summarize it here.

    It isn’t a question of do you vote or not vote for Bernie or Joe. The questions are:
    Are you voting for children in cages?
    Are you voting to have RBG replaced by a (possibly unqualified) ultra-conservative ideologue?
    Are you voting to allow our air and water be poisoned by agricultural and industrial pollution?
    Are you voting to have our National Parks turned into mining projects?
    Are you voting to ignore anthropogenic climate change?
    Are you voting to have the “dreamers” all deported?
    Are you voting to roll back basic equality for the LGBTQ community?
    Are you voting for increased violence against people of color, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ and women?
    Are you voting for the suppression of medical science and only valuing the stock market in national policy towards COVID-19?

    You can vote for these by voting for Trump, voting for a third party, or staying home – or you can “vote blue no matter who” and work for something even better in two and four years. My candidates were Buttegieg, Warren, Harris — and Sherrod Brown. So I will vote for Bernie or Joe – blue no matter who. BTW – I saw the purists in 1968. We got Nixon, 20,000 more American dead in Vietnam and many more Vietnamese and others — and a Nobel Peace Prize for bombing Cambodia

  31. BTW Sheila – Mark Twain said that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes – do you ever get the feeling that your blog commenters are rhyming with 1860? Just a thought. Fortunately, you keep it civil.

  32. What’s the big deal about a chemical that’s “highly toxic to developing embryos”? Embryos are only masses at cells. Who cares if they die?

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