Sharpiegate Rumpus Misses the Real Scandal at NWS

Yes, Donald Trump is an idiot for mobilizing his entire sadministration – including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service – to back up his chronic moronic claims that Hurricane Dorian would ravage Alabama, even though the storm came nowhere near the Yellowhammer State.

And yes, Donald Trump is likely a criminal for altering an official graphic of Dorian’s projected path.

From Business Insider:

“Whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather conditions falsely representing such forecast or warning to have been issued or published by the Weather Bureau, United States Signal Service, or other branch of the Government service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ninety days, or both,” the relevant part of the US Code reads.

That’s monkey business as usual in Trumpworld.

But the real scandal is Trump’s monetizing the National Weather Service. And it’s revealed in Michael Lewis’s book The Fifth Risk, which details how Trump loyalists are taking over federal agencies.

From Ari Shapiro’s interview with Lewis on NPR’s All Things Considered last October.

Inside the Department of Commerce, there is the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service has, over the past few decades, gotten extraordinarily good at predicting the weather. … And it saves lives — lots of lives — every year with hurricane and tornado forecasts.

Barry Myers of AccuWeather has been nominated to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but has yet to be confirmed by the Senate.

The person that the Trump administration has appointed to run this operation [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service] is the CEO of AccuWeather — who’s campaigned for the last couple of decades to prevent the National Weather Service from communicating with the American public so that AccuWeather can make more money doing it.

This is a catastrophe for anybody who is in the path of dangerous weather.

As Los Angeles Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik reported this week, it’s just a matter of time before Myers gets the job.

As we reported in May, the Myers appointment raised fears that it would snare NOAA in a massive conflict of interest. The nomination has remained in limbo ever since, though it could be brought to the Senate floor for confirmation at any time by a wave of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s hand.

And that’s the projected path of Hurricane Donald.

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