Trump flunkies magically vanish 98% of the effects of carbon pollution

❝ The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has adjusted the social cost of a ton of carbon from around $51 to $1 in its proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, a significant reversal of a policy developed by the Obama administration and widely adopted by governments both local and foreign…

❝ The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has adjusted the social cost of a ton of carbon from around $51 to $1 in its proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, a significant reversal of a policy developed by the Obama administration and widely adopted by governments both local and foreign.

❝ When adjusted to 2017 dollars, the estimate placed the social cost of carbon at around $51/ton for 2020. That value has been adopted by some states, companies and foreign governments as the go-to number for assessing the damages of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. Canada, for instance, has embraced the U.S. value and has signed an agreement with Mexico that will see the two countries harmonize their assessments of damage caused by carbon…

❝ When adjusted to 2017 dollars, the estimate placed the social cost of carbon at around $51/ton for 2020. That value has been adopted by some states, companies and foreign governments as the go-to number for assessing the damages of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. Canada, for instance, has embraced the U.S. value and has signed an agreement with Mexico that will see the two countries harmonize their assessments of damage caused by carbon.

❝ That officials are now seeking to rewind the existing social cost of carbon is no surprise, given that President Donald Trump issued an executive order in March directing agencies to stop using the Obama administration’s estimate and disbanding an interagency working group charged with reviewing the issue. The new policy on the social cost of carbon made its debut in a Sept. 27 regulatory impact analysis for the Bureau of Land Management’s delay of the 2016 methane waste prevention rule for the oil and gas industry.

What? You thought Trump and the Trumplets in the Republican Party give a damn about methane pollution, carbon pollution, any kind of pollution which isn’t a clear and present danger to the Lives of the Rich and Richer?

As the Russians say, “It is to laugh.”

You think the GOP will dump Trump!?


Stay upwind…it helps!

❝ “Big News — Budget just passed!” President Trump tweeted Thursday, after sharing this uncharacteristically sage nugget: “Do not underestimate the UNITY within the Republican Party.”

Trump is provably wrong about much in the fact-based universe, disgorging on average five false statements daily since taking office, according to the painstaking tally by long-suffering fact checkers. But don’t fool yourself into thinking he’s lying about one very important thing.

After passionate denunciations in the last week, by former president George W. Bush and three GOP senators, of Trump’s assault on truth, decency, and democracy, you might think there are cracks in his support. You would be wrong.

❝ “I called it a love fest, it was almost a love fest. It was a love fest. Standing ovation . . . There’s great unity in the Republican Party,” Trump rambled of his lunch with Senate Republicans, and yes, there were ovations…

❝ Trump’s disapproval ratings are near 60 percent, and majorities see the president as reckless, dishonest, uncompassionate, and unstable, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. What this obscures is that his support among Republicans remains strong; 77 percent of party faithful in the same poll approve of his performance. So it should come as no surprise their elected representatives do too. Thanks to redistricting gerrymandering, most come from reliably red districts.

❝ Republicans ignore his uncivil discourse and threats to foundational principles of democracy so long as he’s their ticket to eyes-on-the-prize goals like lowering taxes on corporations and the rich…

Don’t expect Republicans to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him anytime soon. As long as he serves their purposes, it’s party over country.

Same as it ever was. Just not this public – with uniquely contemptible practices and a fake president.

Pharma Billionaire Arrested – Charged with Bribing Doctors to Prescribe Opioids

❝ Insys Therapeutics Inc. founder John Kapoor is accused of helping fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic by bribing doctors to prescribe a powerful form of fentanyl to patients who didn’t need the potent drug.

Kapoor, 74, was arrested Thursday in Arizona and charged with racketeering conspiracy and other felonies. He’s scheduled to appear in a Phoenix court later in the day.

❝ Kapoor and other former Insys executives are also accused of defrauding insurance companies that were reluctant to approve payments for the drug by improperly getting prior authorization directly from the insurers and pharmacy benefit managers…

❝ The opioid epidemic is killing 175 people a day and costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars annually, according to the government. President Donald Trump plans to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency on Thursday.

Trump did so and – in classic Republican style – refused to allocate or ask for the appropriation of funds to do anything at all to fight this public health emergency. But, he had a chance to smile at the cameras and pretend he isn’t a fake president.

Electric cars will change the cultural landscape


Alix Paultre

❝ There are many reasons for the birthing pains behind the development and deployment of the next generation of electric vehicles. In the marketplace, range anxiety is the primary criticism, but in reality, the issues go much deeper.

A car (or van or truck) isn’t just a means of conveyance for you and the people and things that you want to take with you. It is part of some people’s personal identity and the lens through which they choose to engage the world. Reinventing the car alters our relationship with it. Change the car, and you change society.

The tipping point is coming — in years, not decades.

❝ We’ve seen this before. Many people were highly critical of HDTV deployment and early-generation flat-screen TVs. Complaints ranged from price points to real performance issues, such as phosphor burn-in on plasma sets, and many people believed that flat-screen high-resolution TV would remain a playground for rich folks and tech geeks. Then flat-screen TVs crossed a price-point threshold, and the market reached its tipping point…

The electric car is already here, and the industries that support it are in a disruptive renaissance of creative development, shaping the future as they go along. Our staffers have put together a collection of reports that take a look at several important aspects of the electric car and the infrastructure inside and out.

RTFA for hints – and links to the articles Alix Paultre references. A Renaissance Man in his own right, I have no doubt you’ll find them readable, informing, and if you’re in one of the electronic arts he addresses – carrying new directions to your attention.

Thanks, SmartAlix

Wanderer from another star system

❝ Telescopes only picked it up a week ago, but it’s likely been traveling through interstellar space for millions of years.

For centuries, skywatchers have chronicled the comings and goings of thousands of comets. Every one of them has come from someplace in our own solar system, either the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune or the much more distant Oort Cloud at the fringes of the Sun’s realm.

But an object swept up just a week ago by observers using the PanSTARRS 1 telescope atop Haleakala on Maui has an extreme orbit — it’s on a hyperbolic trajectory that doesn’t appear to be bound to the Sun. Preliminary findings, published earlier today by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, suggest that we are witnessing a comet that escaped from another star

❝ Now it’s headed out of the solar system, never to return. It passed closest to Earth on October 14th at a distance of about 24,000,000 km (15,000,000 miles), and astronomers worldwide have been tracking it in the hopes of divining its true nature — especially whether it’s displaying any cometary activity…

❝ This object entered the solar system moving at 26 km (16 miles) per second. At that speed, in 10 million years it would traverse 8,200,000,000,000,000 km — more than 850 light-years.

I guess this brief look was sufficient. If there is any communication back to intelligent lifeforms, they now know there is little of value here excepting the usual commodities probably found in other solar systems.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Trump wants Tax “Reforms” like Kansas — Huh? Wha?

❝ Earlier this year, Kansas’ GOP-controlled legislature voted to effectively end a five-year push to slash taxes on individuals and businesses after revenues plummeted and forced deep cuts and tax hikes elsewhere. In doing so, they overturned a veto by Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican who drew national attention in conservative circles when he launched his ambitious tax-cut program in 2012.

❝ For Democrats, Kansas has become Exhibit A in their prosecution of the Trump tax cuts. It’s routinely cited as evidence the new GOP proposal won’t grow the economy or pay for itself, and that proposed business tax reduction similar to Brownback’s will create a new loophole for wealthy individuals to exploit.

“It was a real-life experiment in a Republican state, similar to what President Trump announced,” Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor. “It added so much money to their deficit over four years that they have had to figure out ways to raise taxes now, just as Ronald Reagan did in 1986.”

The chart is revealing:

The results were not as promised:

❝ “Over the next five years, state and local governments battled over a dwindling revenue supply, including a roughly $700 million drop-off in the first year. Job growth, meanwhile, lagged behind the national average and neighboring states.

Republicans will go to their metaphorical grave swearing that dribble-down economics will save America’s workers, middle-class, you name it. Failure after failure for decades doesn’t sink into heads billiard ball-clean of experience or recorded economic history.

Thanks, Barry Ritholtz

Record-Melting Fall Heat Wave Bakes Southern California — and More


Tuesday, 24th, 1PM PDT

❝ It’s not every October 23 or 24 that millions of Americans are swathed in temperatures above 100°F. This week has done just that, bringing some of the toastiest weather ever observed in the United States during late October, and more pre-Halloween heat is on the way. By far the most scorching weather has been in Southern California, although it’s also been exceptionally mild this month in settings as far-flung as Michigan, Florida, and New England…

The first three weeks of October were remarkably mild for most of the United States east of the Rockies. Overnight lows across most of the Northeast on Monday night were in the 50-70°F range—warmer than the average highs for this time of year! Albany, NY, “dipped” to 68°F early Tuesday, compared to its average high and low for the date of 57°F and 37°F. If the temperature stays above 64°F through midnight, it’ll be Albany’s highest daily minimum ever recorded this late in the year, in data going back to 1874.

Don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the prairie; but here in northern New Mexico we used to plan for the first fire in our living room stove on October 15th. Not in a number of years. In fact we stockpiled the usual amount of firewood the last 2 autumns – and didn’t bring in any, this year. We have enough leftover for a full-sized old-fashioned winter, stacked and waiting. No fire in the stove, yet.