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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,831

Journal Archives

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says he's running for Senate

Source: LA Times

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Thursday that he will run for the U.S. Senate, becoming the immediate front-runner in a crowded Democratic field vying for the right to challenge Republican incumbent Cory Gardner.

Hickenlooper last year brushed off entreaties from Washington Democrats to challenge Gardner, widely seen as the most vulnerable Republican senator in the country. Instead he mounted a long-shot presidential campaign that collapsed before it ended in mid-August. Many Colorado Democratic and Republican strategists began to view a Hickenlooper entry into the Senate race as inevitable at that point.

Hickenlooper, an oil geologist turned brewpub owner who decided to run for Denver mayor in 2003 and won two gubernatorial elections, has loomed over Colorado politics for two decades. But his moderate, consensus-oriented approach may not be as good a fit in a state shifting to the left. Numerous Democrats — all younger than the 67-year-old former governor — announced their challenges to Gardner after Hickenlooper shifted his sights to the White House, and none has indicated he or she would step aside now. Indeed, one, state Sen. Angela Williams, warned “this won’t be a coronation.”

Some of the candidates raised almost as much campaign money as Hickenlooper did in his brief presidential bid. But national Democrats have been nervous that a messy and expensive primary would lead to a damaged challenger facing Gardner, widely acknowledged as a skilled politician and fundraiser. Though he will have to fight for the nomination, Hickenlooper is widely viewed as the front-runner because of his high name identification in the state and good standing among its Democrats.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-08-22/john-hickenlooper-senate-run-colorado

Anti-vaccine activist assaults California vaccine law author, police say

An anti-vaccine activist was cited for assault by the Sacramento Police Department on Wednesday after he livestreamed a physical confrontation with state Sen. Richard Pan, author of legislation to restrict vaccine exemptions.

Pan, a Democrat from Sacramento, was pushed from behind by Kenneth Austin Bennett, who challenged the senator in the 2018 primary but did not qualify for the general election. Bennett filed a recall petition against Pan earlier this year alleging the senator was committing treason by authoring bills to increase vaccination rates in the state.

A video Bennett posted to Facebook shows he confronted Pan near the state Capitol and was livestreaming when he struck him. Afterward, Bennett said on the video that “I probably shouldn’t have done that.” The Sacramento Police Department said Bennett was cited for assault and released. The Times was unable to reach Bennett for comment.

Pan, who was not injured in the attack, was walking with Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) during the incident.


Foolish president! Carmakers are smart to ignore Trump's auto emissions rollback

It looks like more carmakers are going to side with California in the President Trump versus the Golden State standoff over clean-car standards. That’s good news for anyone who cares about breathing and not baking the planet.

Last month, four of the world’s largest automakers — Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW — announced they will, in effect, ignore the Trump administration’s plan to relax fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards. Instead, they reached a deal with California to voluntarily make their vehicles more fuel efficient.

The New York Times reported this week that Mercedes-Benz is preparing to join the California deal. Another unnamed auto manufacturing power is also planning to reject the Trump rollback and “stick to the current, stricter federal emissions standards for at least the next four years,” according to The Times.

Neither company has announced that they are indeed bucking the Trump plan. But the president certainly thinks they’re going to, if his tweet Wednesday morning is any indication.


Discovery Pulls 'How It's Made' Nuclear Power Episode That Gave Iran Access To Top-Secret Designs

SILVER SPRING, MD—Emphasizing that they never intended to leak the vast trove of state secrets to a foreign entity, Discovery Channel pulled the controversial nuclear power episode of How It’s Made Wednesday after realizing the show had allowed Iran access top-secret U.S. Department of Energy designs.

“Had we known the Iranian government would one day use Episode 110: ‘How To Convert Uranium into Nuclear Fuel’ as a step-by-step guide to building their own reactors, we would never have released it,” said Discovery Channel spokeswoman Lisa Greenfield, adding that the 10-minute segment, which covered everything from uranium mining to milling to transporting yellowcake, was meant for educational use only.

“Although we pride ourselves on providing accurate tutorials, we should have known that releasing the blueprints of several nuclear power plants, including the Nuclear Generating Station at Palo Verde, was a bad idea. From now on, the only portion of that episode that will air are the segments on how chocolate is made and how belt buckles are produced.”

The Discovery Channel also pulled episodes covering the production of long-range nuclear missiles, the development of air-superiority jet fighters, and the manufacture and distribution of weaponized aerosolized botulism.


Tucker Carlson's Fox News Show Loses More Advertisers

In keeping with a monthslong trend, the exodus of advertisers from Tucker Carlson’s prime-time Fox News program continued this month.

Over the last year, dozens of advertisers, including Pacific Life, Farmers Insurance and SodaStream, have distanced themselves from Mr. Carlson, the host who caused an uproar with his recent on-air comments on white supremacy days after the mass shooting in El Paso. In the past two weeks, smaller companies, like the meditation app Calm and the online lending start-up SoFi, joined them.

The first wave of desertions came in December, when dozens of companies, including IHOP, Ancestry.com and TD Ameritrade, said they would stop advertising on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” after he said that the arrival of certain immigrants “makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”

More companies removed their ads from the show in March, when Media Matters for America, a liberal advocacy group, published years-old excerpts from the “Bubba the Love Sponge” shock-jock radio show featuring Mr. Carlson making offensive comments about women.


Suppressed federal report shows how Trump water plan would endanger California salmon

Source: LA Times

Federal officials suppressed a lengthy environmental document that details how one of California’s unique salmon runs would be imperiled by Trump administration plans to deliver more water to Central Valley farms.

The July 1 assessment, obtained by The Times, outlines how proposed changes in government water operations would harm several species protected by the Endangered Species Act, including perilously low populations of winter-run salmon, as well as steelhead trout and killer whales, which feed on salmon.

But the 1,123-page document was never released.

Two days after federal scientists submitted their review, called a biological opinion, a regional fisheries official pulled the document and replaced the team that wrote it with a new group tasked with revising it, as The Times reported in July.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2019-08-20/trump-california-water-salmon-farms

Chase ends with driver doing yoga poses next to smashed car, officials say

An erratic pursuit by deputies through a Northern California town ended when the driver crashed into a utility pole and launched into an impromptu yoga session in a field, sheriff’s officials said Tuesday.

The bizarre situation began Thursday morning when Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies were called about a woman who had parked her silver Nissan Xterra and was trespassing on property near Valley and Eastside roads in Willits.

Deputies couldn’t find the woman, so they left. But nearly three hours later, deputies received another call from a person reporting that the same woman had returned to the property and was lying face-down in a field.

Deputies responded and found Jennifer Risch, 39, sitting in the driver’s seat of the SUV, they said. When they tried to speak with her, she started the vehicle and drove off, sheriff’s officials said.


There's Florida Man, and then there's California Woman...

Scientists finally know how big earthquakes start: with many smaller ones

The vast majority of earthquakes we feel come soon after smaller ones, according to new research that offers new insights into how seismology works.

The finding offers unprecedented insight into what happens before moderate and large earthquakes — and scientists are finding that the vast majority of them occur after smaller earthquakes start rippling underneath the ground, sometimes days or even weeks before the main shock.

“One of the biggest questions in earthquake seismology is how earthquakes get started,” said the study’s lead author, Daniel Trugman, seismologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “We’re finding that most, if not all, of [significant] earthquakes are preceded by foreshocks that we can detect” with a new computing technique.

Previously, scientists observed that only half of all moderate quakes had precursor smaller events. Now, this new study of earthquakes in Southern California of at least magnitude 4 between 2008 and 2017 finds that at least 72% of them had earlier, smaller quakes.


Trickle-down theory is a monstrous lie intended to justify the rich getting richer

One of the biggest lies foisted on the American people is that as rich people get richer, we all benefit — the so-called trickle-down theory.

For decades, working families have been told not to worry about the growing wealth gap between the nation’s haves and have-nots. A rising tide lifts all boats, we’ve been told with encouraging smiles and pats on the back.

The magnitude of the deception borders on monstrous.

William Darity, a professor of public policy at Duke University, said it’s “nonsensical” to think that greater wealth for the rich translates to improved fortunes for everyone else.


'Tesla killers' are having a really hard time killing Tesla

It’s a trope that’s been around roughly as long as Elon Musk has been in the car business: When a new electric vehicle is unveiled, it’s dubbed a potential “Tesla killer.”

But from the flaming out of Fisker to present day, Tesla has largely dominated the American electric-vehicle market. Musk has even managed to expand the company’s preeminence over the still small segment despite two new battery-powered luxury SUVs arriving in U.S. showrooms in the last 10 months: Jaguar’s I-Pace and Audi’s e-tron.

Their starts are the latest indications that legacy automakers aren’t assured instant success when they roll out new plug-in models. Tesla’s Model S and X have largely held their own against the two crossovers that offer shorter range and less plentiful public charging infrastructure. Jaguar and Audi also lack the cool factor Musk has cultivated for the Tesla brand by taking an aggressive approach to autonomy and using over-the-air software updates to add games and entertainment features.

“If a customer is choosing the I-Pace over the comparable Tesla, they are making the conscious decision: I don’t want the Tesla,” said Ed Kim, an analyst at the car-market research and consulting firm AutoPacific. “You really have to be someone who doesn’t like Tesla, who doesn’t want the Tesla product, in order to go for this.”

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