Saturday midday open thread: Cincinnati 100th city to pledge 100% renewables; border arrests surge

Peaceful marchers thread their way through the streets of Katowice, Poland, Saturday to mark the end of the first weeks of talks at COP24, the 24th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

What’s coming up on Sunday Kos:

  • Something must be broken deep in our hearts when it comes to police violence, by Frank Vyan Walton
  • North Carolina election fraud case evokes a history of U.S. election scandals, by Sher Watts Spooner
  • ‘Panama Papers’ and Colombian government demonstrate how to decrease tax evasion by the wealthy, by David Akadjian
  • Yes, Virginia, there are progressives in rural America, by Chris Reeves
  • I see George H.W. Bush through my Panamanian eyes, and the deaths he caused were unforgivable, by Egberto Willies
  • Process crimes, perjury traps and the criminalization of politics: The legacy of George H.W. Bush, by Jon Perr
  • Hey Republicans—Elijah Cummings and crew are coming to investigate you, by Denise Oliver Velez
  • Climate change is real, man-made, and no amount of disbelief will change that, by Mark E Andersen
  • Lame duck power theft shows Republicans don’t believe in democracy, only their own power, by Ian Reifowitz    

Six days into a crucial climate conference in Poland and the media coverage that ought to be on every front page is … sparse. Surrounded by a heavy police presence, around a thousand activists joined a March for Climate Saturday in Katowice—the city in southern Poland where COP24, the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change —to mark the end of the first week of the talks. More than 25,000 participants, observers, and delegates from 190 nations are attending the two-week conference. It is widely called “Paris 2.0” because signatory nations are meant to scrutinize and expand the pledges they made at the 2015 conference that led to the Paris Climate Agreement:

The heavy police presence in Katowice comes after the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki signed an order declaring an ALFA alert — the first of four increasing terrorism security levels — across the entire southern province of Silesia and the city of Krakow for the duration of the climate talks.

The March for Climate had been given permission by the authorities, but a ban on all spontaneous protests continues to apply in Katowice until December 15.

Open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act ends in most states on December 15: If you’ve been delaying, there are just seven days left if you need insurance! Free help is available. Answers to your questions about signing up and trained professionals who can talk your through your options are just a phone call or click away. Call 1-800-318-2596 or visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to make a one-on-one appointment now.

MIDDAY TWEET

Air Force failed four times to take action that might have stopped killer of 26 in a Texas church from buying guns: A report released Friday by the Department of Defense’s inspector general said the U.S. Air Force failed to submit Devin Kelley’s fingerprints to the FBI, which allowed the former airman to clear background checks for buying the guns that he used in his slaughter at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs Nov. 5, 2017. A bystander twice shot Kelley as he fled the scene. After he crashed his vehicle, Kelley killed himself with a shot to the head. The first missed chance to bar him from buying comes arose in 2011 when it came to light that Kelley had beaten his stepson while stationed in New Mexico. The second came in 2012 when the Air Force learned of allegations he was beating his wife. The third time was when he confessed on video to injuring his stepson. The four came after he was court-martialed for these assaults in 2013. “If Kelley’s fingerprints were submitted to the FBI, he would have been prohibited from purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer,” the report said. In the three weeks after the shooting, the military added 4,000 names of dishonorably discharged service members to the background check system.

City council pledges to power Cincinnati with 100% renewable energy by 2035: The move will include the city’s vehicle fleets. The city of 300,000 is the 100th municipality to either achieve or set a goal of 100 percent renewables in its electricity supply. The Sierra Club estimates that 48.7 million people, or 15 percent of the U.S. population, live in cities or states that have set a 100 percent mandate. San Diego and San Jose are among the largest, with populations over a million each. More about the pledges of the 100 cities can be found here.

November arrests on U.S.-Mexico border rise 78 percent from a year ago: People trying to cross the border without papers are increasingly families or children traveling alone. That trend is years old, but last summer it began accelerating. The U.S. Border Patrol made 25,172 arrests of people who came as families last November, about four times as many as in the same month last year, according to authorities. In addition, arrests were made of 5,283 unaccompanied children, up 33 percent from a year earlier.

Former Watergate assistant prosecutor says Trump must be impeached: On MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell’s The Last Word show Friday, Jill Wine-Banks, a former federal Watergate assistant prosecutor, made the case: “I think that there’s a difference between the political judgment and calculation that you have to make as to whether you can succeed in impeachment and conviction, and with having a public hearing so that at least the people will know,” she said. “And the evidence here is to me quite clear that crimes have been committed. So the only question is do you let him get away with it or do you try to do some justice either through the criminal system or through the political system, which would be impeachment.”

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