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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 11,985

Journal Archives

The New Tesla Roadster Aims to Astonish

The first Tesla Roadster, produced from 2008 to 2012, was stunningly fast for the time, capable in its fastest iteration of achieving 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds. And 244 miles of range was quite impressive, too. Just 2,450 were built. But, with the second Roadster due in 2020, Tesla is seriously increasing the stakes—and taking aim at the world’s supercars.

Let’s do the numbers. The all-wheel-drive Roadster, with three electric motors, will have four seats instead of the two in the previous car, a removable glass roof, and insane acceleration of 1.9 seconds to 60 mph. The company says 250 miles per hour is possible. The torque figure is given as an awesome 7,400 pound feet.

The Roadster will go 620 miles on a charge of the 200 kilowatt-hour battery pack, which tops any electric on the road. But the Roadster won’t be competitive just with other electric cars, but will rival the performance of any vehicle on the road today.

The price is squarely in supercar territory, too. The first cars will be “Founder’s Editions,” selling for a lofty $250,000—with the full amount due at reservation time. Only 1,000 will be built. After that, the car will go down to $200,000, and you’ll need a $50,000 deposit to get in line.


Paul Erickson, Russian Agent Maria Butina's Boyfriend, Indicted for Fraud

Source: Daily Beast

Paul Erickson, the American political operative and boyfriend of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in South Dakota on charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

The U.S. attorney for the district of South Dakota is handling the prosecution, which is separate from the case that was lodged against Butina in Washington, D.C.

Erickson, 56, was arrested on Tuesday and entered a plea of not guilty at an arraignment, according to the court filings.

The indictment alleges that Erickson ran a criminal scheme from 1996 to 2018 using a chain of assisted living homes called Compass Care. Erickson also allegedly defrauded investors through a company called Investing with Dignity that claimed to be “in the business of developing a wheelchair that allowed people to go to the bathroom without being lifted out of the wheelchair.” The indictment says he also ran a fraudulent scheme that claimed to be building homes in the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/paul-erickson-russian-agent-maria-butinas-boyfriend-indicted-for-fraud

Trump will call for 'unity' tonight. It's a scam, and here's the proof.

It’s one of the most dispiriting rituals that attend State of the Union addresses in the Trump era: White House advisers piously promise us that President Trump will issue new calls for unity and bipartisan comity, and for reasons that remain baffling, far too many observers then feel obliged to pretend that these soothing exhortations are real.

But this time around, there’s just no excuse for playing along. That’s because we’ve already seen what happens in the real world after Trump stands before Congress and carries out his unity routine — not once, but twice.

The New York Times reports that White House officials are previewing a speech that will supposedly “lean into a bipartisan and optimistic vision for the country.” White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway vows that it will call for “comity” and “compromise.” Former White House spokesman Raj Shah gushes that Trump can “turn the page” with “unifying, patriotic, and optimistic themes that have worked well for him in previous addresses.”

So let’s talk about those “previous addresses,” and about what happened in their wake.


The Loneliest Generation: Americans, More Than Ever, Are Aging Alone

Danny Miner, a 66-year-old retired chemical plant supervisor, spends most days alone in his Tooele, Utah, apartment, with “Gunsmoke” reruns to keep him company and a phone that rarely rings.

Old age wasn’t supposed to feel this lonely. Mr. Miner married five times, each bride bringing the promise of lifelong companionship. Three unions ended in divorce. Two wives died. Now his legs ache and his balance is faulty, and he’s stopped going to church or meeting friends at the Marine Corps League, a group for former Marines. “I get a little depressed from time to time,” he says.

Baby boomers are aging alone more than any generation in U.S. history, and the resulting loneliness is a looming public health threat. About one in 11 Americans age 50 and older lacks a spouse, partner or living child, census figures and other research show. That amounts to about eight million people in the U.S. without close kin, the main source of companionship in old age, and their share of the population is projected to grow.

Policy makers are concerned this will strain the federal budget and undermine baby boomers’ health. Researchers have found that loneliness takes a physical toll, and is as closely linked to early mortality as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day or consuming more than six alcoholic drinks a day. Loneliness is even worse for longevity than being obese or physically inactive.


Pence Begs Trump Not to Make Him Sit Next to Woman at State of the Union

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Vice-President Mike Pence has begged Donald J. Trump not to make him sit next to a woman during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, sources confirmed on Monday.

According to those sources, an emotional Pence came close to breaking down in tears as he explained that being seated next to a woman other than his wife was a violation of his personal code of behavior.

Pence offered Trump a variety of solutions to the problem, including introducing a third chair between him and the woman where his wife, Karen Pence, could be seated for the duration of the speech, “to make sure that that woman doesn’t try anything.”

“Let Mother sit next to me, or let me sit on Mother’s lap, but don’t make me sit next to that woman alone,” Pence reportedly sobbed.

According to those with knowledge about the meeting, Trump was less than receptive to Pence’s impassioned plea. “God, Mike, you’re such a loser,” he reportedly said.


Sierra blizzard drops so much snow that some ski resorts close

Several ski resorts in the Eastern Sierra and Tahoe closed part or all operations Monday because of a blizzard that dropped as much as 9 feet of snow in the biggest storm system so far this season.

Blizzard conditions with winds up to 50 mph are forecast in both areas through Monday, bringing up to 3 more feet of snow Monday evening and into Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Ski operations at June Mountain in June Lake closed, as did most runs and the Main Lodge at Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes. “We had so much snow it takes a while to safely open the mountain,” spokesman Tim LeRoy said Monday.

Mammoth received almost 7 feet of snow and was expecting another 2.5 feet by Tuesday night. June Mountain already had received 9 feet of snow from the current storm.


Sounds as if there may be plenty of water to replenish the reservoirs this spring.

Iraqi president hits back at Trump over US army presence

Source: AP

Iraq's president hit back at Donald Trump Monday for saying U.S. troops should stay in Iraq to keep an eye on neighboring Iran, saying the U.S. leader did not ask for Iraq's permission to do so.

"We find these comments strange," said Barham Salih, speaking at a forum in Baghdad.

Trump's comments added to concerns in Iraq about America's long-term intentions, particularly after it withdraws its troops from Syria. Trump has angered Iraqi politicians and Iranian-backed factions by arguing he would keep U.S. troops in Iraq and use it as a base to strike Islamic State group targets inside Syria as needed.

In an interview with CBS News' "Face the Nation," he said U.S. troops in Iraq were also needed to monitor Iran.

Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/iraqi-president-slams-trumps-remarks-staying-iraq-133342076.html

Standing ovations for James Comey in Sarasota as he slams Trump's leadership

Former FBI Director James Comey has a lot to say – on leadership, his disdain for President Donald Trump and plenty of other topics – and on Monday the self-described “semi-employed celebrity” spent more than an hour expounding on his views during an appearance in Sarasota, where he disputed Trump’s frequent assertion that the special counsel investigation is a “witch hunt.”

“It sure caught a lot of witches,” Comey said Monday during a press conference before a speech at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall as part of the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture series.

Comey was fired by Trump on May 9, 2017 in one of the most consequential acts of Trump’s presidency.

The firing prompted Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosentein to appoint a special counsel to investigate potential ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. It also prompted Comey to start speaking out about Trump, and to write a book titled “A Higher Loyalty.”


Trump doesn't understand even the basics of national intelligence

Having worked inside the U.S. intelligence community for decades, I know all too well how much presidents dislike bad news. But when Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel and their colleagues presented the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment to an open session of Congress last week, they had to stand up to a president who wants only good news, and only about himself.

Delivering the report before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Coats and Haspel stressed the growing cyberthreat from Russia and China. They also concluded that North Korea is unlikely to give up its nuclear arsenal, while Iran is not, for now, building a bomb. The latter assertions contradict two of President Trump’s foreign policy initiatives.

For openly disagreeing with the president — a virtually unprecedented move among recent intelligence chiefs — Coats and Haspel received a by-now familiar response from Trump, delivered via Twitter: “They are wrong!”

The episode reveals an administration that doesn’t understand even the basics of national intelligence and so risks stumbling into a dangerous crisis.


Americans Relieved to Learn That Trump Spends Sixty Per Cent of Time Not Using Powers as President

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—A leak of Donald J. Trump’s official White House schedule has left millions of Americans deeply relieved that Trump spends approximately sixty per cent of each day not using his powers as President.

In conversations across the country, Americans called the revelation that Trump devotes the majority of his day to “executive time,” a euphemism for watching TV and checking Twitter, the most reassuring news out of the White House in months.

“Like most of the people I know, the idea of Donald Trump sitting behind his desk doing things that affect the country has me in a state of mortal terror,” Carol Foyler, a resident of Minneapolis, said. “Just knowing that he’s spending sixty per cent of his time doing basically nothing makes me feel somewhat better.”

Harland Dorrinson, who lives in Detroit, agreed that it was “great news that Trump is only President forty per cent of the time” but called on the entertainment industry to create more diverting programming that might distract Trump for a larger portion of his day. “It would be fantastic if we could push the sixty per cent of his day that he does nothing up to seventy or even eighty per cent,” he said. “Maybe someone could come up with a podcast that he could get into.”

But Tracy Klugian, a Baltimore resident, said that the leak of Trump’s schedule did little to allay her darkest fears. “Until I find out that he’s spending a hundred per cent of his time not being President, I won’t sleep at night,” she said.

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