Tesla Rolling Out Prototype Semi Truck Look and Test-Ride in October

Tesla’s announcement of an electric semi-truck is a big deal – not only does it have the potential to disrupt one of the nation’s largest industries, but it marks another leap forward in making Tesla’s grand vision a reality. That said, we caution that it will take years for the Tesla Semi to come to market.

❝ Based on Tesla’s history, the most logical go-to-market approach would be staggered: Within about 3 years, Tesla could target short haul trucking (think of UPS or Fedex trucks that return to a depot to be charged at night). Then in about 5 years, Tesla could target long haul trucking, and, in 6-10 years, offer a fleet of trucks as a service. We expect the Oct 26th event will be short on details (we don’t expect details on pricing or delivery date) and long on the opportunity. That opportunity is ripe for Tesla’s taking, considering legacy truck manufacturers’ past struggles with innovation.

Way cool!

Treasury Department Flunkies Silence Study Showing Trump Tax Plan Won’t Do Crap for the Working Class


Trust me!Alex Wong/Getty Images

❝ Earlier this week, the Trump administration revealed its long-awaited tax plan, the broad strokes of which are massive tax cuts for people like…Donald Trump and corporate America, at the expense of low-income families and the middle class…Of course, even Team Trump and the G.O.P. know they can’t win support for the plan by just coming out and saying, Rich people, this one’s for you; sorry, we’re not sorry, peasants!, which is why they’ve been claiming their framework is all about helping the average American…Lying.

❝ …Until recently, a 2012 paper by the Office of Tax Analysis that could be found on the Treasury Department’s Web site found that “workers pay 18% of the corporate tax while owners of capital pay 82%,” with the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimating that “capital bears 75% of the long-run corporate-tax burden, with labor paying the rest.” In other words, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s claim that slashing the corporate tax rate would disproportionately benefit workers is, to use economic jargon, total bullshit. It’s the rich guys who disproportionately stand to save the most — by a lot.

Mnuchin does what you expect him to do: ❝ The Treasury Department has taken down that 2012 economic analysis that contradicts Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s argument that workers would benefit the most from a corporate income tax cut.

Asked about the curious case of a paper at odds with the administration’s point of view, a Treasury spokeswoman told the Journal, “The paper was a dated staff analysis from the previous administration. It does not represent our current thinking and analysis.”

There’s a surprise, eh? BTW, most surveys never find fewer than 75% of economics professionals agreeing with that paper – and not agreeing with creeps like Trump and Mnuchin.

Reality of human society and pollution – in one Photo


Click to enlargeJustin Hofman

❝ Justin Hofman was leading an expedition through Borneo when a small group broke off for some impromptu snorkeling near the town of Sumbawa Besar. “The reef was actually in surprisingly good shape. It was devoid of big fish though the corals were thriving,” Hofman says. “After about an hour or so of bobbing around the tide started to turn. My good friend and expert wildlife spotter Richard White found this tiny sea horse drifting near the surface.”

❝ Seahorses ride the ocean currents by grasping floating objects with their tails. What began as amusement watching the tiny fish grasping bits of sea grass coming in with the tide turned to anger as plastic and other unnatural debris began to overtake the scene. Although a rising wind splashed polluted water in his snorkel and caused both camera and seahorse to bob around, Hofman stayed with it, capturing this image along with several others.

❝ “It’s a photo that I wish didn’t exist but now that it does I want everyone to see it,” he wrote on Instagram. “What started as an opportunity to photograph a cute little sea horse turned into one of frustration and sadness as the incoming tide brought with it countless pieces of trash and sewage. This photo serves as an allegory for the current and future state of our oceans.”

An amazing number of politicians around this little ball of mud we live and die upon would see nothing wrong in this photo.

Hamilton 68: Tracking Putin’s Propaganda Push in the United States [and more]

❝ In the Federalist Papers No. 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote of protecting America’s electoral process from foreign meddling.

❝ Today, we face foreign interference of a type Hamilton could scarcely have imagined, a world in which global powers use instantaneous media networks and a mix of overt and covert programming to reach into our homes and workplaces and shape our view of the world.

The Hamilton 68 dashboard, a project with the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, seeks to expose the effects of online influence networks and inform the public of themes and content being promoted to Americans by foreign powers.

Worthwhile addition to your bookmarks.

Roy Moore Represents the End of the Republican Party

❝ For the GOP, especially its Trumpist wing, the moment is piled high with irony. The primary victory of Roy Moore in Alabama over the candidate for the U.S. Senate seat backed by President Trump suggests that that not even Trump himself can control the forces that he unleashed.

❝ Moore’s win is an acid flashback to 2010, when GOP voters in Senate primaries nominated Christine “I am not a witch” O’Donnell in Delaware and the unelectable Sharron Angle in Nevada, who announced a 2018 campaign in March. Republicans had hoped that they had exorcised those characters after that debacle. But years of stoking a sense of perpetual outrage has created a new political dynamic that has given us Roy Moore, a perfect stew of extremism, ignorance and intolerance…

❝ Do not confuse this with any sort of coherent ideology. Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican for Kentucky, tried to diagnose the mindset of the Tea Party voters when he told the Washington Examiner, “I thought they were voting for libertarian Republicans.” Massie continued, “But after some soul-searching, I realized when they voted for Rand and Ron [Paul] and me in these primaries, they weren’t voting for libertarian ideas. They were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class.”…

❝ While Trump continues to gratuitously stoke culture wars by attacking the NFL, the GOP’s invertebrate dysfunction continues to be on full display…So far, no prominent Republican officeholder has refused to back Moore’s candidacy or been willing to point out its toxicity for the future of the GOP.

…Republicans seem to have given up on talking to voters outside of their own echo chamber. Instead, the party is locked in an endless feedback loop as it tries with diminishing success to placate its most bombastic voices. The most obvious consequence is their inability (so far) to legislate. But in the longer term, we are seeing the crack-up of one of the nation’s two major political parties.

Today, Donald Trump is the face of what the GOP has become. Roy Moore is the face of what it is becoming.

Sisters and brothers, say “Amen”.

New Mexico’s Republican Governor wants science education to retreat to the Dark Ages

❝…In an attempt to make it easier for states to handle science education a bit better, a group of prestigious scientific societies banded together to make their own science education standards. The resulting Next Generation Science Standards were offered to the states free of charge, allowing them to be adopted in their entirety or modified to fit a state’s needs.

❝ Last week, it became apparent that New Mexico’s modification of the standards was a bit extreme, eliminating references to climate change, the age of the Earth, and evolution. And this week, some New Mexico legislators are blaming it on a misguided attempt to “politically sanitize” the science…The problems came to light earlier in September, when New Mexico’s Public Education department released a formal notice that it was seeking input on new science standards…Mother Jones decided to have a look at some of the changes, and they were rather striking.

❝ For example, a mention of “Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old geologic history” was chopped down to “Earth’s history,” neatly getting rid of the information about how old it is. A reference to the evolution of life was cut entirely. The clear rise in global temperatures was swapped out in favor of talk about temperature fluctuations. In short, the proposed new standards get rid of basic facts, specifically in areas that are politically or culturally contentious…for Republicans and other anti~science nutballs.

The one thing that was missing was why. This wasn’t a case of local politicians messing with science education as a part of their platform, as has happened in Texas and elsewhere…Two Democratic lawmakers have pointed the finger at the state’s Republican governor, Susana Martinez. The lawmakers, Bill McCamley and G. Andrés Romero…had been supporters of a bill that would see the Next Generation Science Standards adopted verbatim, a course that had been recommended by a panel of education experts organized by the state. The bill passed both houses of the state legislature but was vetoed by Martinez

You don’t have to be trapped by Know-Nothings in the American Confederacy to have children’s education threatened by bigots and superstitious fools. Martinez is governor by virtue of a Democrat Establishment throwing away easy electoral opportunities to satisfy a cabal more concerned with lineage in political power – than issues.

The Medical Mystery That Traced Back To Slaughterhouse Profits and Shelf Life

❝ In the 1950s, the U.S. poultry industry began adopting a new process: Acronizing. Ads that ran in women’s magazines pictured crisp-skinned whole chicken that tasted “fresh,” “wholesome” and “country sweet” thanks to a “revolutionary process which helps maintain freshness in perishables” like chicken.

❝ In reality, Acronizing referred to the use of antibiotics. Birds were doused in a diluted solution of antibiotics while they were being butchered. The goal was to keep the meat from spoiling, allowing birds to be sold not just days, but weeks after slaughter.

❝ But as Acronizing became widespread, so too did its misuse. Slaughterhouse workers didn’t always get training on how to use the antibiotics properly, and even those who did sometimes used way more of the drugs in their solutions than the manufacturers called for. That meant some birds might be getting far more antibiotics than could be denatured through the heat of cooking.

As Maryn McKenna writes in her new book, Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats…”it was possible that housewives were unwittingly feeding their families tetracycline-laced fish and chicken. And doctors would soon discover that the people responsible for getting those proteins to dinner tables were being exposed to antibiotics in a manner that no one had accounted for.”

RTFA, an excerpt from her book

Father Drives 20,000 Miles From Nanjing, China to Seattle to Drop His Daughter Off at College

❝ After 108 days on the road, globetrotting father-daughter pair Huang Haitao and Huang Xinyi have finally arrived at their final destination: orientation.

Back in May, the duo set out on the ultimate adventure, road-tripping from their home in Nanjing in Eastern China to Xinyi’s college of choice, Seattle University…

❝ The decision to drive (flying over the Atlantic) the 18,642 miles from their home to her college came after Haitao promised to personally take his daughter to school if she were accepted into an American university. According to the Yangtze Evening News, the pair traveled through 26 countries, making stops in Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Switzerland, Austria, and many other new destinations. Once they reached the U.K., they boarded a plane to the U.S., shipping their car by boat overseas, and eventually picking up the road trip again on American soil. They drove along the historic Route 66 to Los Angeles before heading north to Seattle…

❝ For Xinyi’s father, the road trip was an important experience to share with his daughter before sending her off into adulthood.

“After she goes to college, there won’t really be many opportunities in future for me to spend so much time with her,” Mashable translated from the Yangtze Evening News. “She’ll have her own life, so the least I can do is send her onto the next chapter of her life.”

My kind of dad.