Saturday's midday open thread: Trump BSes at Naval Academy; offshore wind gains in New England
• AP fact-checks Trump’s Naval Academy speech and reveals—surprise!—more lies: Of course the AP doesn’t call them lies. They just say he “misrepresented” and was “wrong.” Specifically, Trump said: “Going to have new equipment and well-deserved pay raises. We just got you a big pay raise. First time in 10 years. We got you a big pay increase. First time in over 10 years. I fought for you. That was the hardest one to get, but you never had a chance of losing.” Utterly false. The military has received raises every year for the past decade, and in several instances those raises were more than the latest one. Trump also claimed that the Navy will “soon” have 355 ships. “That’s almost a couple of hundred more ships,” Trump said. In fact, the Navy is slated to boost its fleet from the current 283 ships to 355 by the 2050s, nowhere near 200, and nowhere near “soon” except maybe in geologic time.
• Massachusetts, Rhode Island award contracts for what could become the nation’s largest offshore wind complex:
On Wednesday, Massachusetts announced that Vineyard Wind, a project backed by Iberdrola’s Avangrid Renewables and Danish investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, had won a contract to build up to 800 megawatts of wind turbines off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The consortium beat out two other contenders, Bay State Wind and Deepwater Wind, which also hold leases on the stretch of windy coastline. [...]
Also on Wednesday, Rhode Island announced it would award a 400-megawatt offshore wind project to Deepwater Wind. That’s not an unexpected choice, given that Deepwater is also the developer of the 30-megawatt demonstration-scale Block Island project off the state’s coast — the only offshore wind power installation in the country to date.
• Democrats say ballot order in Florida favors Republicans:
Democratic organizations and activists claim in court that Florida’s “ballot order” law unfairly puts their candidates at a disadvantage by listing Republican candidates first year after year.
In a federal lawsuit filed in Tallahassee, the Democrats contend the statute mandating candidates of the governor’s political party to be listed first on a ballot creates “position bias” and gives the governing party an unfair advantage.
• Off-and-on U.S.-Korea talks get a boost from latest meeting of leaders from North and South: Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-lin met Saturday to see what can be done to make happen the summit that Pr*sident Donald Trump suddenly canceled Thursday but said Friday might be back on and said Saturday might even still happen in Singapore on the originally scheduled June 12 date. One day it’s mutual insults flung about, the next day it’s conciliatory communications. Diplomacy matters, and cranking down tensions between two nuclear nations definitely matters. Yet this whole summit business is being played as if it’s on Reality TV instead of in reality.
• Three Ojibwe women are running to be Minnesota’s next lieutenant governor.
• Senior EPA officials collaborated with climate science-denying groups:
Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials working closely with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming, counter negative news coverage and tout Scott Pruitt’s stewardship of the agency.
John Konkus, EPA’s deputy associate administrator for public affairs, repeatedly reached out to senior staffers at the Heartland Institute, according to the emails. [...]
Follow-up emails show Konkus and the Heartland Institute mustering scores of potential invitees known for rejecting scientific warnings of human-caused climate change, including from groups such as Plants Need CO2, The Right Climate Stuff and Junk Science.
• Fake “pregnancy crisis centers” outnumber abortion providers 10 to 1 in Texas: And more than 50 of these centers, which flat out lie to pregnant women, receive taxpayer money thanks to Republican domination of the state legislature.
• 10 families sue EU over climate change:
Ten families from Fiji, Kenya and countries across Europe who are already suffering the effects of climate change filed a case against the EU Wednesday in a bid to force the body to increase its commitments under the Paris agreement, AFPreported.
The “People's Climate Case,” as it is being called, challenges the climate policies of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, saying they will not reduce emissions quickly enough to stop rising temperatures from disrupting the plaintiffs' lives. While an increasing number of communities and individuals have taken fossil fuel companies and governments to court over climate change in recent years, this is the first such case to be brought against the EU as a whole.
The case was brought before the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice by people who “are already being impacted by climate change, already incurring damage … and they are saying: 'EU, you have to do what you can to protect us because otherwise our damage will be catastrophical,'” Roda Verheyen, the lawyer arguing the case, told AFP.