Fake President just invented his own “New Math”

On a drizzly day in January 2018, Jeff Alson, an engineer at the Environmental Protection Agency’s motor-vehicles office, gathered with his colleagues to make a video call to Washington, D.C….They had made the same call dozens of times before.

Speaking from Washington, James Tamm, the NHTSA fuel-economy chief, greeted the EPA team, then put a spreadsheet on-screen. It showed an analysis of the tailpipe rules’ estimated costs and benefits. Alson had worked on this kind of study so many times that he could recall some of the key numbers “by heart,” he later told me.

Yet as Alson looked closer, he realized that this study was like none he had seen before. For years, both NHTSA and the EPA had found that the tailpipe rules saved lives during car accidents because they reduced the weight—and, with it, the lethality—of the heaviest SUVs. In 2015, an outside panel of experts concurred with them….But this new study asserted the opposite: The Obama-era rules, it claimed, killed almost 1,000 people a year.

“Oh my God,” Alson said upon seeing the numbers. The other EPA engineers in the room gasped and started to point out other shocking claims on Tamm’s slide. (Their line was muted.) It seemed as if every estimated cost had ballooned, while every estimated benefit had shrunk. Something in the study had gone deeply wrong.

As you may expect, should expect, it wasn’t an accident. Trump’s flunkies produced a report filled with lies designed to improve the profit structure for companies selling cars into the US market. And screwing the rest of the nation firmly to the wall of carbon pollution. Another Trump trophy for deceit and greed.

Same as it ever was…


Click to enlarge

“On my wall a wooden mask
Face of an evil Japanese fiend, lacquered in gold.
I see with sympathy
The swollen veins on his brow, showing
How exhausting it is to be evil.”
(Bertolt Brecht, 1942)

Different wars, different time. Not much else has changed.

Big Pharma does love our money

Leading drug makers rang in the new year by once again raising list prices of their drugs—this time on more than 250 of them, according to an analysis reported by Reuters…

The larger price tags applied to a range of medications, from blood thinners to cancer therapies and treatments for respiratory conditions, HIV, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

Nearly all of the increases were below 10 percent, according to the 3 Axis analysis. So far, the median price increase is around 5 percent, though additional price increases could still be announced.

Don’t worry. They’re not doing themselves any harm. As of November, the 2019 inflation rate was 2.1 percent.

Bring a friend over the border! Both of you can sell your blood.

❝ Every week, thousands of Mexicans cross the border into the U.S. on temporary visas to sell their blood plasma to profit-making pharmaceutical companies that lure them with Facebook ads and colorful flyers promising hefty cash rewards.

❝ The donors, including some who say the payments are their only income, may take home up to $400 a month if they donate twice a week and earn various incentives, including “buddy bonuses” for recruiting friends or family. Unlike other nations that limit or forbid paid plasma donations at a high frequency out of concern for donor health and quality control, the U.S. allows companies to pay donors and has comparatively loose standards for monitoring their health.

❝ The U.S. is the largest supplier of blood plasma in a $21 billion global market…The border clinics are the most productive, according to internal…documents obtained by ARD [German TV]. While most U.S. centers receive around 1,000 paid donations a week, centers at the border count more than 2,300. The documents show that border centers also rank highest in donor frequency; they top of list of centers with customers who donate 75 times or more per year.

But, then, you would expect a leech like Trump to be aiding bloodsuckers profiting from poor migrants.

Only you in the future will know if we saved glaciers


Rice University

❝ The first of Iceland’s 400 glaciers to be lost to the climate crisis will be remembered with a memorial plaque – and a sombre warning for the future – to be unveiled by scientists and local people next month.

❝ The former Okjökull glacier, which a century ago covered 15 sq km (5.8 sq miles) of mountainside in western Iceland and measured 50 metres thick, has shrunk to barely 1 sq km of ice less than 15 metres deep and lost its status as a glacier.

❝ “In the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path,” the plaque reads, in Icelandic and English. “This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”…

❝ Cymene Howe, an associate professor of anthropology at Rice, said the plaque “would be the first to a glacier lost to climate change anywhere in the world”. Marking the moment should draw attention to what is being lost, she said.

Notice will be taken – and understood – by that small number of human beings who comprehend what is happening. And that even smaller number of politicians who care.