The strategy behind Rubio’s Trump feud – By MARC CAPUTO 09/24/15 07:01 PM EDT

The decision to go after Trump is a departure from Rubio’s low-key campaigning style, but the benefits could be huge.


Sweaty. Lightweight. A no-show worker. Disloyal. A kid. A borrower “with no money, zero.”

Donald Trump has spent the past two days bashing Marco Rubio with these insults as a way to send a message: Criticize the big dog and get bitten.

On Thursday, Rubio barked back at Trump, calling him “a very touchy and insecure guy.” Rubio also attacked Trump at his points of pride: his stage presence and his poll numbers.

“He had a really bad debate performance last week,” Rubio told Kentucky Sports Radio. “He takes shots at everybody that gets anywhere close to him, in terms of a poll, or anytime he hits a rough spot that’s what he does.”

The conflict between the two men introduces a new feud to the race.

For Trump, it gives him a new target and a fresh round of headlines. The billionaire businessman had slugged it out for weeks with Jeb Bush, after taking on Scott Walker while pot-shotting almost every other candidate. Trump began attacking Rubio in force after the Florida senator leveled some of his most direct criticisms when he said Tuesday that the Republican frontrunner hasn’t “met the threshold” to be president due to his relative lack of foreign-policy knowledge.

For Rubio, it’s a gamble. It ends a long-term strategy of trying to ignore slugging it out with Trump. Rubio wants to avoid fighting on Trump’s terms. Rubio is a skill puncher. Trump’s a brawler. Polling in the middle of the pack, Rubio has been running a low-key campaign that has allowed him to pick friendly media outlets for interviews and that has kept him largely out of the spotlight of a more-critical mainstream media.

“I’ve made a decision here with Donald Trump, you know, if I comment on everything he says, my whole campaign will be consumed by it. That’s all I’ll do all day,” Rubio said in August on Meet The Press. “We’ll let him answer for what he says and so forth. At this point, I mean, we’ve got to focus on our message. Otherwise my whole campaign will be what — how do you feel about what Donald Trump said about something. He says something every day.”

But since then, Rubio has taken an increasing number of veiled shots at Trump because it plays to Rubio’s strength: foreign policy. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rubio wants to talk about Iran, Vladimir Putin and Cuba. The front-runner Trump is a perfect foil. That creates conflict that produces free media coverage, but it also draws Rubio into a direct confrontation with Trump, whom he has largely avoided criticizing in the same way that, say, Bush has.

Also, Rubio’s criticisms aren’t part of a plan to make the contest a two-way race with Trump — a Bush tactic. Instead, Rubio’s campaign strategy revolves around waiting for the right opportunity to make news. Unlike Bush, who isn’t comfortable personally attacking another candidate, Rubio has fewer qualms about trading barbs and belittling an opponent — a tactic he honed in his 2010 race against Gov. Charlie Crist (a Republican defector who was supported by Trump, Rubio noted during the first presidential debate).

And then there’s Carly Fiorina. She proved last week that Trump’s not invincible, landing a solid blow during the CNN debate when asked about his disparaging “look at that face” comment. She showed others that the counter-counter-punch can be pretty sweet, as shown by her surge in the polls.

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ONE YEAR AGO…My how things change….The Politico 50 Survey 09/03/14, 11:48 PM EDT


Louisiana’s Coastal Crisis: Oil And Water – Vice News Published on Aug 29, 2015

Louisiana is currently losing around a football field’s worth of land every hour to the encroaching ocean. The erosion is due to an array of factors, from an ill-conceived historic levee system, the legacy of oil and gas drilling and, of course, the area’s susceptibility to hurricanes.

VICE News travels to the site of one of the largest man-made environmental and economic disasters in US history to see what can be done as the situation continues to deteriorate.

Watch: The Recovery That Wasn’t: Two Years Since Hurricane Sandy –

Today this is happening in Zambia…tomorrow it will be next door – John Vidal Saturday 1 August 2015 17.30 EDT

‘I drank the water and ate the fish. We all did. The acid has damaged me permanently’

Farmer Langsu Mumbelunga in his polluted field near the Mushishima stream, Zambia. Photograph: John Vidal for the Observer

Farmer Langsu Mumbelunga in his polluted field near the Mushishima stream, Zambia. Photograph: John Vidal for the Observer

You can’t see the old Chingola copper mine, with its smelter and refinery, from the village of Shimulala. It’s miles away, beyond 300ft-high hills of waste tailings, the leach plant, the main pollution control dam and the 1,600ft-deep open pit that is one of Africa’s largest holes.

But you can smell and taste the pollution from the biggest copper mine in Africa. If you pump a glass of water from the borehole outside the little church in Shimulala, you will see it is bright yellow, smells of sulphur and tastes vile.

Mining giant Vedanta’s subsidiary company KCM drilled the borehole in 2010 for the village after the Mushishima stream was turned into a river of acid when mining chemicals spilled into it. But a leaked company letter says that chemists who tested borehole water there in 2011 found it tainted with copper residues, acid and minerals, and said it was unfit for consumption. Now the villagers must use the stream too.

1,800 people from Shimulala, Hippo Pool, Hellen and Kakosa villages took their complaints to the high court in London in a case that could last years and make giant mining companies working in developing countries address local pollution more seriously.

The villagers say acid spills and contaminated water in their streams, rivers and boreholes are getting worse. “The frequency and severity of spills is higher and more consistent. Before we could not smell [the pollution] but now we can. The ground is contaminated, our crop yield has dropped, the maize crop is about half what it was,” said Leo Moulenga of Shimulala. “When there is a spill, the air is very acidic. Last week they spilled a lot. It was awful. In the future we don’t think people will be able to live here. It is becoming uninhabitable. The pollution has been incremental. Now it’s getting worse.”

Floribert Kappa, of Hippo Pool, said: “I used to go to the Kafue river to draw water and started drinking it as normal. I saw that fish had died and were floating on the river. We ate the fish and soon everyone started crying with stomach pains. I was given some medicine, but the pains got worse. I collapsed and was taken to a hospital. The diagnosis was that I had drunk or eaten something acidic which had caused damage to my chest and intestines. I was told the damage was permanent. Now I live on painkillers. Everyone here has been affected in some way. We all use the same water. We have tried chlorinating and boiling the water but it still smells acidic.”

Last year Vedanta/KCM made up to £320m profit from the mine but engineers who have worked there say that its pollution treatment works have been pushed beyond their limits by the company to maximise output.

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Scientists fear toxic algae bloom spreading on Pacific coast – by Ryan Schuessler August 1, 2015 5:00AM ET

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at Aug 1, 2015 6.11

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The toxic algae blooms in the Pacific Ocean stretching from southern California to Alaska — already the largest ever recorded — appear to have reached as far as the Aleutian Islands, scientists say.

“The anecdotal evidence suggests we’re having a major event,” said Bruce Wright, a scientist with the Aleutian Pribilof Island Association, the federally recognized tribal organization of Alaska’s native Aleuts. “All the populations [of marine mammals] are way down in the Aleutians.”

While algal blooms are not uncommon in the Pacific, 2015’s blooms appear to be the largest on record, scientists say. Stretching from Southern California to Alaska, the blooms are responsible for unprecedented closures of fisheries and unusual deaths of marine life up and down the Pacific coast.

Pseudo-nitzchia is one species of algae that produces domoic acid, a neurotoxin that can be lethal to humans and wildlife. The toxin is ingested by shellfish and krill that, when consumed, pass the toxin onto the predator — in some cases, people.

Raphael Kudela, a professor of ocean sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said climate change may be a factor enabling the blooms to thrive. “I think, personally, it’s quite possible that these warm conditions just set up the ideal incubator conditions for this organism. It’s doing really well and lasting a lot longer than usual.”

In California, researchers in Monterey Bay observed some of the highest levels of the toxin ever seen. Oregon’s Department of Agriculture has shut down recreational harvest of razor clams along much of its coast. In Washington, authorities instituted an unprecedented closure of the state’s lucrative Dungeness crab fisheriesA fishery near Vancouver was closed in June over concerns of the algae’s toxin, which can cause seizures and death if consumed by humans.

“In Monterey, things have kind of calmed down a bit,” said Kudela. “We have been monitoring several times a week now. We still see toxin, so it hasn’t gone away.”

He added that the bloom may have moved further offshore and deeper in the ocean.

The algae were detected in southeastern Alaska in June. The discovery of nearly a dozen dead whales in the Gulf of Alaska near Kodiak also raised suspicion.

A dead sea lion that washed up near Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands is what prompted the most recent round of testing, Unalaska’s community broadcast network KUCB reported. Other die-offs of species have been reported along the Aleutian chain, stretching nearly 1,500 miles across the north Pacific, 2,000 miles north of Seattle.

“The best thing to keep an eye on is if they keeping seeing it in Alaska,” Kudela said. “And that would be a pretty clear indication of if the bloom has extended.”

“There’s just not a lot of resources going into understanding these big algal blooms,” Wright said. “The government doesn’t spend a lot of money on it, and I think that’s a big mistake. And in the future I think that’s going to be a big mistake as waters continue to warm in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea.”

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