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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 11,584

Journal Archives

No, it's not your 'God-given right' to buy a new gas-powered car


For years, automakers have pleaded that, much as they’d love to lead the way to a zero-emissions vehicular future, they just can’t wean Americans from their love of SUVs and other gas-guzzlers.

California just called their bluff.

An executive order signed Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom aims to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and light trucks in the state by 2035.

What we’re sending is a demand signal...The last piece of the puzzle for the automobile manufacturers is that they need the certainty that the demand will be there in the largest domestic auto market in America.

The first-in-the-nation policy is far more stringent than anything the state has implemented before. But given that a dozen states accounting for 40% of the American market already conform to California’s auto rules, the policy could spread quickly.

Newsom placed his order firmly in the context of the crisis of climate change, which is on vivid display via California’s ferocious wildfires.


Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to end local restrictions on restaurants

Source: Tampa Bay Times

The Florida governor is looking at a “preemption” of local government authority.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to prohibit local governments from being able to close restaurants and bars, as some locals did to slow the spread of COVID-19 earlier this year.

DeSantis, appearing ready to ease state restrictions that place a 50 percent indoor occupancy limit on restaurants and bars, believes a “preemption” of local government authority can be enacted through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which oversees licensing.

“I don’t think it’s as much of the state having restrictions as much as it’s, we may need to provide some level of assurances for people against some of the local restrictions that we’re seeing,” DeSantis said after a health-care event Thursday at the Capitol.

DeSantis said he wants to eliminate any uncertainty that restaurants could be shut down if there is another surge of COVID-19 cases, as people are now becoming more comfortable in dining out.

Read more: https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2020/09/25/gov-ron-desantis-wants-to-end-local-restrictions-on-restaurants/

Amazon Prime Offers to Aid Peaceful Transfer of Power by Shipping Trump Out in Twenty-four Hours

SEATTLE (The Borowitz Report)—In order to ease the peaceful transfer of power this coming January, Amazon has offered its Prime delivery service to ship Donald J. Trump out of the White House within twenty-four hours.

Speaking from his corporate headquarters, the Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, said that he understood why Trump had misgivings about leaving the White House. “Moving is always hard,” Bezos said. “At Amazon, we want to make Donald Trump’s move as speedy as possible.”

Bezos said that, on Inauguration Day, an Amazon Prime delivery truck will arrive at the White House to prepare Trump for shipping, “free of charge.”

After he has been packed, bar-coded, and scanned into the system, Bezos said, Trump will be expedited to the destination of his choice.

“Amazon Prime guarantees that he will be at Mar-a-Lago within twenty-four hours,” Bezos said, adding that it would take slightly longer if the shipping address is in Moscow.


Trump and McConnell are speeding the GOP to permanent minority status

Opinion by Joe Scarborough

The Republican Party is sealing its fate.

While President Trump refuses to guarantee a peaceful transfer of power, his vassals in the Senate are moving quickly to guarantee that Trump’s latest Supreme Court justice will be on the court in time to swing the results of any election challenge. GOP leaders, of course, have the constitutional right to jam through a vote, but any victory they secure in the coming confirmation fight will be Pyrrhic.

Washington insiders have long considered Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to be a shameless and cynical operator. But the Kentucky Republican’s actions over the past four years have so radicalized the Supreme Court selection process that Democrats will surely respond to McConnell’s extreme partisanship once back in power. During Trump’s presidency, “the world’s greatest deliberative body” has been reduced to a crude vote-counting chamber; this new legislative reality means Democrats would need only 50 senators and one president to pack the Supreme Court in 2021. Expect that to happen, since McConnell’s callous response to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death will speed the GOP toward a permanent minority status.

To be fair, the Republican Party’s future was already grim; White resentment doesn’t mix well with revolutionary demographic change. And the appointment of yet another Trump justice before the election will only further alienate Republicans from women, suburban voters and independents.


Gov. DeSantis proposes college 'bill of rights' to party

Governor Ron DeSantis says he would establish a “students bill of rights” in the wake of crackdowns on college parties and other social gatherings that some blame for a surge in COVID-19 cases.

At a news briefing at the Capitol on Thursday, the Republican governor also said he would block local governments from closing restaurants again.

He says there's little evidence such closures have slowed the spread of the coronavirus. On Thursday, Florida reported 2,541 more COVID-19 cases and 177 more virus-related deaths.

This brings statewide totals to more than 693,000 cases and at least 13,795 deaths.


Police raid in Vietnam finds more than 300,000 used condoms being packed for resale

Vietnamese police said they will investigate a factory that was found recycling about 320,000 used condoms for resale, local media reported Thursday.

Following a tip from a local resident, Binh Duong provincial market inspectors over the weekend raided a factory near Ho Chi Minh City where they found used condoms being repacked for sale at the market, the state-owned Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

A market inspector said the owner of the factory, a 34-year-old woman, confessed that they bought the used condoms from a man in the province. The condoms were washed, reshaped and packed into plastic packages, the newspaper said.

It said police announced they will investigate and track down others involved in the operation. A call to police for comment was not answered Thursday.


Elon Musk promises $25,000 Tesla and says Model S 'Plaid' is coming soon

Source: CNN

Elon Musk ended Tesla's big battery event Tuesday evening with some big promises about the pricing of Tesla's future cars and the announcement of a new ultra-fast version of today's Model S.

After reviewing improvements in Tesla's own battery designs and manufacturing advancements that could result in huge reductions in battery costs, Musk promised a $25,000 Tesla electric car that would be available in about three years.

That would be much cheaper than any car Tesla has made so far. Musk has a history of sometimes under-delivering on promises, or even not delivering at all. Years ago, Tesla promised a $35,000 electric car, the Tesla Model 3, but even then the Model 3 was only available at that price for a short time.

Musk also promised on Tuesday that the $25,000 car would be capable of driving fully autonomously, a difficult feat because the sensors and other equipment needed for even partly autonomous driving are expensive. And even as he touted the company's ambitious future plans, he admitted that the company's fully-autonomous driving software experienced unforeseen challenges, prompting a "fundamental rewrite" of the "entire software stack," though he did not detail when that rewrite occurred.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/22/business/tesla-elon-musk-battery-day/index.html


A volcanic eruption over the weekend in central Ecuador has covered several nearby provinces with ash, and also caused an area airport to temporarily close. The Sangay volcano erupted early Sunday, sending an ash plume as high as 10 kilometers (6 miles) into the sky.

Such activity is nothing new for Sangay, which is typically described as the country’s most active volcano. The “earliest report of a historical eruption [by Sangay] was in 1628. More or less continuous eruptions were reported from 1728 until 1916, and again from 1934 to the present,”according to Google Earth.

Several videos of the recent rash of falling ash have been posted, including one in which the person filming it says it’s leaving the area “completely dark.” A separate video shows an Ecuador Police patrol car driving down a street completely covered in ash and plagued with poor visibility.

The officer gives citizens safety measures to follow, including staying at home if possible and driving slowly if they must go out — as well as remembering to wear a mask due to COVID-19 precautions.


Trump's contempt for truth leaves a toxic legacy around the world

IF PRESIDENT TRUMP is defeated in November, much of the damage he has inflicted on the political system and on U.S. international alliances can be reversed. Joe Biden could restore past norms of presidential behavior and revive ties with traditional U.S. friends. But one part of Mr. Trump’s toxic legacy will likely persist: his degradation of truth as a common currency in public life.

Democracies cannot function if ideological differences are compounded by the circulation of conspiracy theories and falsified data; established facts are the foundation for policymaking and legislative compromise. Mr. Trump has greatly accelerated what was already a drift by elements of the Republican Party toward rejection of science and other hard reporting. His incessant lying — from inflation of the crowds at his inauguration to the course of the coronavirus pandemic — has led many of his followers to beliefs that are provably false and, in some cases, are the product of disinformation campaigns by hostile powers.

Mr. Trump, meanwhile, has waged a relentless campaign to discredit the institutions that seek to disseminate truth and discredit false stories, especially the U.S. intelligence community and the news media. Thoroughly documented intelligence reports on Russia’s interventions in U.S. politics, including the current election campaign, are, he says, “a hoax” conjured by a “deep state.” Media revelations of corruption and malfeasance in his administration are “fake news.”

Previous presidents have lied or twisted the truth, but Mr. Trump’s distortions are on an epic scale. As of July, according to a database maintained by The Post, he had made more than 20,000 false or misleading statements in just 3½ years, including more than 1,000 about the coronavirus alone. His mendacity has been accelerating: While his first 10,000 lies accumulated in 827 days, The Post Fact Checkers reported, it took only 440 days to double the total.


"This Nomination is a F--k You to the Left": Trump Campaign is Itching for a Culture-War Fight

RBG’s death, and the opportunity to push the Supreme Court further right, is a Comey-level election game changer, Trump’s allies insist. “It just changed the calculus for any conservatives who were on the fence,” says one.

As Donald Trump was considering who should succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court in the summer of 2018, he met for lunch with Sean Hannity and Rudy Giuliani at his private golf club in West Palm Beach. According to a source briefed on the conversation, Hannity and Giuliani argued that Trump should nominate Amy Coney Barrett, a federal appeals court judge and Notre Dame law professor, because her conservative credentials would mobilize the president’s base. “Hannity and Rudy said, ‘You’re going to have a confirmation fight anyways, so pick Barrett,’” the source said. Trump told them he was going to pick Brett Kavanaugh, whom he viewed as a safer choice.

With 43 days left until the election, Trump is itching for a fight as he moves quickly to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat. “This nomination is a fuck-you to the left,” a Republican close to the White House told me. Two years later Barrett is the front-runner. According to a source, Trump told Federalist Society cochairman Leonard Leo prior to Ginsburg’s death that he would nominate Barrett to fill her seat if it opened up. The White House did not provide comment.

Barrett’s divisive positions on issues like abortion, which held her back last time, could now be seized upon to goad the left into a culture-war battle in the campaign’s waning months. “It would be malpractice not to nominate Barrett,” former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg told me. “You’ll have a Catholic judicial legal powerhouse who will be attacked by the left,” he said. “This will be especially useful in Pennsylvania to remind Catholic voters that [Joe Biden] supports third-term abortions.” (Biden, also a Catholic, “has not explicitly expressed support for late-term abortions,” notes NPR.) Other sources, however, said Trump is strongly considering Barbara Lagoa, a Cuban-American federal appeals court judge from Florida. Lagoa, it’s believed, would help secure a Florida victory in November.

The SCOTUS drama has infused the Trump campaign with renewed optimism after it has been battered by weeks of devastating book bombshells, widening polls, and a U.S. coronavirus death toll nearing 200,000. Just one day after Ginsburg’s death, the MAGA faithful were chanting, “Fill that seat!” at Trump’s North Carolina rally—and the campaign is already selling T-shirts with the slogan. Sources said Trump sees selecting Ginsburg’s replacement as if he is scripting a new story line in the reality show he’s producing. “I guarantee you he parades female judges through the White House every day for the next week,” a former official said. “This is his thing. He loves the nomination guessing game.”


Pretty much every thing Republicans do is a "fuck you" to the left. And to common decency.
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