POLITICS (National): Climate change study, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Rep. Lamar Smith, controversy: "Standoff over government climate study provokes national uproar by scientists" ....

***Following up on earlier item noted here (climate change, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Rep. Lamar Smith)....

* Washington Post:  "Standoff over government climate study provokes national uproar by scientists" - From the WP:

A top House lawmaker’s confrontation with government researchers over a groundbreaking climate change study is provoking a national backlash from scientists, who say his campaign represents the most serious threat Congress has posed to scientific freedom.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, has subpoenaed scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and demanded that they turn over internal e-mails related to their research. Their findings contradicted earlier work showing that global warming had paused, and Smith, a climate change skeptic, has accused them of altering global temperature data and rushing to publish their research in the June issue of the journal Science. So far, NOAA officials have resisted Smith’s demands, and the showdown has escalated.

The lawmaker has threatened to subpoena Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, while scientists have rallied in solidarity with the researchers. On Tuesday, seven scientific organizations representing hundreds of thousands of scientists sent an unsparing letter to Smith, warning that his efforts are “establishing a practice of inquests” that will have a chilling effect.


The lead signatory was the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the country’s oldest and largest general scientific society. Other signers include .........................


SACRAMENTO: Political consultants, "California GOP consultant Rob Stutzman helped sink Vitter in Louisiana"; online wagering, "What is California doing about the daily fantasy sports controversy?"; law enforcement, "Even after release, California convicts contend with digital trail" ....  

***Various items regarding doings in and/or relating to the Capitol....

* Sacramento Bee:  "California GOP consultant Rob Stutzman helped sink Vitter in Louisiana"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Even after release, California convicts contend with digital trail"

* Sacramento Bee:  "What is California doing about the daily fantasy sports controversy?"


POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump campaign rallies, protesters, supporters: "Trump rallies get rough" ....

* Politico:  "Trump rallies get rough" - "Protesters and supporters increasingly mix it up in the most combustible atmosphere on the campaign trail." - From Politico:

Last month, protesters interrupted a Donald Trump rally in Virginia with chants of “Dump Trump” and clashed with his supporters, one of whom was caught on camera spitting in a protester’s face. Another video caught a protester chanting “black power” and a Trump supporter responding with “white power” as a police officer stood between the two.

Multiple groups of Hispanic protesters interrupted the mogul at a rally in Miami, where video showed a Trump supporter dragging a protester to the ground and kicking him. In September, outside a Trump rally in Dallas, dozens of police officers, some on horseback, pushed back hundreds of shouting protesters after breaking up a tense standoff with the real-estate tycoon’s supporters. On Wednesday, a protester who was once convicted of bringing a bomb to a military facility was arrested at a rally in Massachusetts, and on Saturday video showed supporters punching and kicking a protester who interrupted a rally in Alabama, while Trump himself later suggested that the man had it coming.

Welcome to the most combustible presidential campaign in recent memory.

The candidate’s angry rhetoric — on subjects like undocumented Mexican immigrants, political correctness and “thugs” in Baltimore — has made his run a magnet for disaffected supporters and for identity politics protesters determined to steal the spotlight and disrupt his events. Trump's relish for confrontation, where other politicians would seek to minimize it, has only fueled the fire ..................


L.A. CITY HALL: Homelessness, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana: "L.A. official understands homelessness as policymaker, concerned citizen" ....  

* Los Angeles Times (Steve Lopez):  "L.A. official understands homelessness as policymaker, concerned citizen" - From the LAT:

It happened on many occasions. Mr. Santana would come out of his apartment in downtown Los Angeles and see the woman in her usual spot, not far from Pershing Square. "She sleeps sitting up on a bus bench," he says. "She wears an overcoat and has a suitcase, and if you don't look carefully, you wouldn't know she was homeless." That may have been her goal: To avoid getting rousted by being not just anonymous, but practically invisible.

He guesses the woman was in her late 60s or early 70s. She wasn't interested in conversation, and it became clear to Santana that she had some form of mental illness. She took a liking to his dog, though, and that would lead to the slightest bit of chit-chat. "One night it was really cold and I thought about her, so I went down to give her a blanket," Santana said. "She refused to take it. She said she didn't want to have to carry it around, and I said, 'Don't worry, I'll pick it up in the morning.' But she still wouldn't take it."

Mr. Santana's first name is Miguel, and he's the administrative officer for the city of Los Angeles. For many years, beginning with his volunteer work at missions while going to Whittier College, he's looked at homelessness as both a policy maker and a concerned citizen. In the case of the woman on the bench, he made some inquiries on her behalf. "I was able to find her an apartment through the Skid Row Housing Trust, and when I went to see her I said, 'I think I can help you get housing.'"

The woman asked Santana why he was doing this. "I said, 'Because I want to help you,' and I said 'Here's the address.' She looked at it and said, 'I'm not going there. It's in skid row.'"

Even among homeless people, there are desirable and undesirable neighborhoods . . . . . . . .

Whatever the psychology, the woman told Santana she would live anywhere but skid row. But about a year ago, before he could help make that happen, she disappeared.

The experience was a reminder for Santana of the complexities of addressing homelessness .................


MISCELLANEOUS: Credit cards, "chip technology": "Longer waits at the checkout counter? Blame credit cards with chip technology" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Longer waits at the checkout counter? Blame credit cards with chip technology" - From the LAT:

It's a few days before Thanksgiving, and so many shoppers have queued up that their carts are backed into the aisles at a Glendale Trader Joe's. Part of the checkout crush comes from the sheer number of people, several with baskets laden with fixings for Turkey Day feasts. But in a few lines, shoppers have had to insert their credit cards over and over again. One man pulls his card out of the terminal too quickly, prompting the cashier to reset the transaction while covering the card slot to prevent any premature movements. Another woman smiles apologetically at the next customer in line as she repeats her transaction.

The holiday shopping season means waiting in line. But this year may be even worse. New chip technology in credit cards is making consumers' purchases safer but also appears to be causing longer lines at some retailers. For merchants, that meant ensuring their sales terminals had a slot to read the new cards, as well as the software to accept these payments. The American Bankers Assn. estimates that 70% of credit cards will be chip-enabled by the end of the year.


The cards are designed to reduce counterfeiting by making it harder to create fakes using stolen data and easier for merchants to authenticate cardholders. Instead of swiping a magnetic stripe, a customer inserts the card into the reader, chip end first. The card then stays in the reader until the machine OKs its removal.


Although large retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., and Home Depot Inc. have already transitioned to the new technology, many smaller businesses are still upgrading, Schulz said. Full compliance on the merchant side won't happen until 2017, when automated fuel dispensers are also required to have payment terminals that accept the chip card.

Security experts estimate that standard cards with a magnetic stripe will remain in circulation for years, and even chip cards still have the stripe on the back. That can pose a problem in stores, where customers sometimes swipe their chip cards not realizing they need to insert them into the terminal ...................