China plans for an end to gasoline and diesel-powered cars

Volvo plans on selling a million electrified cars by 2025

China, the world’s biggest car market, plans to ban the production and sale of diesel and petrol cars and vans….The country’s vice minister of industry said it had started “relevant research” but that it had not yet decided when the ban would come into force…

China made 28 million cars last year, almost a third of the global total

Chinese-owned carmaker Volvo said in July that all its new car models would have an electric motor from 2019…Geely, Volvo’s Chinese owner, aims to sell one million electric cars by 2025…and has announced plans to go electric across the board.

Other global car firms including Renault-Nissan, Ford and General Motors are all working to develop electric cars in China.

Automakers are jostling for a slice of the growing Chinese market ahead of the introduction of new rules designed to fight pollution.

China wants electric battery cars and plug-in hybrids to account for at least one-fifth of its vehicle sales by 2025.

The proposals would require 8% of automakers’ sales to be battery electric or plug-in hybrids by next year, rising to 12% in 2020.

Trump and the Republican Party are debating whether or not they want cars sold in the USA to be all fossil fuel-burners or coal-burners.

Someone Tell Republicans it is 2017, Not 1981 — and Trump Ain’t Reagan

❝ It’s not 1981 anymore. That’s the message of an editorial in the conservative Weekly Standard, which warns Republicans not to design a tax reform patterned on the one that Ronald Reagan signed in his first year as president.

Mimicking the Reagan tax cuts is a temptation both because of Republicans’ enduring admiration for the 40th president and because his program has been the source of the economic ideas they have championed ever since his time in office.

❝ But the Standard is right that times have changed. That doesn’t mean the Gipper’s basic disposition toward lower and less onerous taxes needs to be junked. It means that today’s Republicans (and Democrats!) need to grapple with four differences between our time and his.

❝ First: The federal debt is much larger now…

❝ Second: The top individual income tax rate is a lot lower than it was in 1981…

❝ Third: The payroll tax for Social Security and Medicare has grown in importance while the income tax has shrunk…

❝ Fourth: The corporate tax rate has become a bigger problem. It has fallen since 1981…But other countries have cut their rates further.

I have my doubt if few – if any – Republicans have the economic smarts to move beyond ideology their electoral base thinks is heavenly writ. Establishment Democrats retain their backbone [or absence of same] problem.

Trump Picks Nixon’s “Jew Counter” to lead Think Tank

❝ On Wednesday, President Trump announced his intention to appoint longtime Republican operative Fred Malek as chair of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a highly recognized think tank that is part of the Smithsonian Institution.

While the position may be a relatively obscure one, Trump’s selection of Malek — coming as it does on the heels of the president defending neo-Nazis who were involved in a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — is significant, as Malek was involved in one of the most notorious anti-Semitic episodes in modern American history.

❝ Malek, now 80, served as a special assistant to President Richard Nixon. In that role, in 1971, he put together a list of “important Jewish officials” who were working in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Four of those officials were later demoted.

❝ As The Atlantic has detailed, Nixon had come to believe that Democratic Jews in the BLS were conspiring against him after the bureau released a report playing down a drop in the unemployment rate, and ordered Malek to work on purging them from leadership positions.

We’ve got to get a man in charge who is not Jewish to control the Jewish… Do you understand?” Nixon told chief of staff H.R. Halderman.

In classic fashion, Malek said he “was only following orders”. Should fit in perfectly with the fake president.

While the South is drowning, the West is burning

Click to run

As of last week, 77 large fires are burning across 1.4 million acres in eight western U.S. states. That’s an area more than three times the size of Houston.

The burning is part of a long-term trend of increasing wildfire in the West, brought on by a variety of factors, none more significant, according to recent research, than human-caused climate change.

RTFA. If your Congress-critter is still in denial about climate change, kick their sorry butt out of office. You can work to put someone useful into office and the dullard can try to find an honest job.

Just like New Orleans after Katrina – it will take undocumented workers to rebuild Houston

Rebuilding New Orleans after KatrinaMario Tama/Getty

❝ As the waters recede, Houston families and insurance agents are surveying the damage to the city: water-logged homes, ruined appliances, sagging roofs, and streets littered with debris.

Now the city faces this question: Who is going to rebuild the nation’s fourth-largest city as construction companies nationwide struggle to find workers?

❝ Unauthorized immigrants were crucial to rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. And they are likely to be desperately needed as Texas rebuilds to clean streets, demolish buildings, and reconstruct homes and offices.

But it’s a hostile time to be undocumented in Texas. Even beyond the Trump administration’s harsh rhetoric and actions on immigration, Texas leaders are engaged in a crackdown on unauthorized immigrants, passing a slew of laws to make it harder for them to live and work in the state. In such an environment, these laborers might not stick around for the work that will be needed…

❝ After Hurricane Katrina…Undocumented laborers — mostly from Mexico and Central America — did the dirtiest jobs in rebuilding the city, making an average of about $10 an hour. They started by sweeping streets and removing moldy debris from buildings. They cleaned out rotting food from refrigerators. They put FEMA tarps on homes. They ended up removing more than 38 million cubic yards of trash and debris from the city. When reconstruction began, they were the ones installing new roofs and sheet rock on buildings….

❝ …Study showed that American workers did more skilled work, such as the electrical and plumbing jobs. Undocumented immigrants were more likely to do more dangerous, labor-intensive work, such as laying roofs, painting homes and installing sheet rock.

Unlike Texas, Louisiana didn’t have a large number of Latino immigrants, which meant that many laborers moved to the area specifically to find work. Many ended up staying in Louisiana and starting families, even though immigration agents routinely raided their homes and businesses…

❝ So far, the Trump administration has said nothing about potential labor shortages in Houston, or any actions he might take to make it easier to rebuild the city. And based on his current anti-immigrant policies, it’s unlikely that undocumented workers will get any of attention from the federal government.

I doubt the Texas legislature is any smarter than our fake president. After all, most of them live someplace that didn’t get ruined by Harvey. Most of them fit the bill for whites-only bigots, upper middle class to upper crust incomes, who really don’t give a damn about a mostly working class population.

Houston might take twice as long as Katrina to get on its feet – excepting the immediate areas around unhealthy if not toxic industries needing workers nearby to feed corporate profits.