Showing posts from August 11, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Trump warns N Korea that US military is 'locked and loaded', BBC News
Congress Is Pushing Back Against Trump’s Dangerously Ignorant Nuclear Threats, The Nation

NSC memo exposes ties between Trump Jr. and the White House, Think Progress [The full memo is posted at Foreign Policy.]

The 39 most eyebrow-raising Donald Trump quotes on Thursday alone, CNN

Why President Bush’s North Korea Failure Is Important to Remember, Talking Points Memo [Excellent point: it was George W Bush who blew up the framework agreement that had successfully constrained North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.]

Trump’s DC hotel is mostly empty but hugely profitable because people pay inflated prices, Think Progress

The rise of electric cars could leave us with a big battery waste problem

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[Carmakers, recyclers and tech start ups are only now working to solve the question of how to deal with lithium-ion batteries when they wear out. *RON*]
Joey Gardiner, The Guardian, 10 August 2017
The drive to replace polluting petrol and diesel cars with a new breed of electric vehicles has gathered momentum in recent weeks. But there is an unanswered environmental question at the heart of the electric car movement: what on earth to do with their half-tonne lithium-ion batteries when they wear out?

British and French governments last month committed to outlaw the sale of petrol- and diesel-powered cars by 2040, and carmaker Volvo pledged to only sell electric or hybrid vehicles from 2019.

The number of electric cars in the world passed the 2m mark last year and the International Energy Agency estimates there will be 140m electric cars globally by 2030 if countries meet Paris climate agreement targets. This electric vehicle boom could leave 11m ton…

New Conservative Petition Vows to Defund University Research, Empowering Anti-Abortion Groups

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[Essentially using a free speech argument to cut funding for people who disagree with their point of view. *RON*]
Press Progress, 9 August 2017

So much for the new and improved "mild-mannered,""middle-of-the-road" Conservatives.

The Conservative Party of Canada is currently promoting an online petition vowing they'll strip funding from universities and shut down critical research projects in the name of "free speech" – something anti-abortion figures say would amount to an "enormous victory for pro-life activists across the country."

Who came up with that Orwellian idea? Thank new Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

After all, it was Scheer who originally put forward the idea in a bid to appeal to the social conservative base that elected him party leader in May, promising to block research grants and cut Canada Research Chairs if any "forbidden topics" are "silenced, contained and quarantin…

Refugee rescue ship sails to aid of anti-migrant activists stranded in Med

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[Oh, brother! German NGO says its rescue vessel is sailing to help a group of far-right activists after their ship got into trouble off the coast of Libya. *RON*]

Jon Henley, The Guardian, 11 August 2017

An NGO vessel that has saved the lives of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean is sailing to the rescue of a group of far-right anti-immigration activists whose ship is in difficulties off the coast of Libya.

The German NGO Sea Eye said one of its search and rescue boats was on its way to the C-Star, manned by members of the extremist Generation Identity group, which sent a distress signal after an engine failure left it unable to manoeuvre.

Michael Busch Heuer, the founder of the Regensburg-based aid organisation, which operates two rescue vessels active in the Mediterranean since early 2016, said it was the duty of anyone at sea “to help those in distress, irrespective of their origin, colour, religion or beliefs”.
Sea Eye said in a statement…

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall retiring from politics

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[Talk about pipelines! Wall says he doesn't know what he'll be doing next. If he doesn't have a sweet sinecure lined up as a pipeline lobbyist with the year, I'll eat my socks! *RON*]

Creeden Martell, CBC News, 10 Aug 2017
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall announced on Thursday he is retiring from politics after 14 years as the leader of the Saskatchewan Party.

Wall, 51, said he would stay on as premier until the party elects a new leader.

"Together with [my wife] Tami, I have decided that now is the time for renewal ­— for my party, for the government, for the province. It's time for me to retire from politics," Wall said Thursday morning in a video posted to Facebook.

Wall, who is in his third term as premier, mentioned the decision to retire was made around the end of June.

The announcement comes in the midst of a tumultuous term due to a slumping economy and highly criticized cuts made in March's provincial budget…

B.C.’s NDP government to join legal challenges against Trans Mountain pipeline

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[I'm not sure what they can do, exactly, but Berger is a good man to have on the job, and I'm glad that they're taking action, as they promised. *RON*]

Ian Bailey, The Globe and Mail, 10 Aug. 2017

British Columbia’s new NDP government warned Kinder Morgan on Thursday that the company won’t be able to begin construction on its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, as the province pledged to join a legal challenge to ultimately kill the project.
The government’s plan to oppose the project, a key election promise from the spring campaign, also lays the groundwork for a confrontation with the federal and Alberta governments, which both maintain the B.C. government has no power to block the $7.4-billion expansion from the Alberta oil sands to the Vancouver region.
“Our government made it clear that a seven-fold increase in heavy oil tankers in the Vancouver harbour is not in B.C.’s best interests,” said Environment Minister George Heyman, a for…