Automakers were eager from the minute the Trump regime took the reins at the White House in 2017 to weaken new vehicle emissions rules established by the Obama administration. While they wanted what they called “sensible” changes, what they got instead was much more than they asked for. In fact, the emissions rollback the Environmental Protection Agency announced in April 2018 worried the vehicle manufacturers because they knew it could generate big legal battles. The new emissions rule, negotiated in President Obama’s first term with automakers and environmental advocates, called for doubling fuel efficiency for passenger vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The automakers sought more flexibility in meeting the standard by that deadline. Instead, the EPA plan, if implemented, would freeze standards at the 2020 levels. For the automakers, the problem with that draconian move is that California—with 14 million cars and light trucks on the road—has long led the nation in setting higher standards for auto emissions and zero-emission vehicles. Litigation around the Trump plan might, they knew, split the U.S. auto market, something they most definitely do not want. But when the rollback was announced, there was glee at Marathon Oil, the gas and petroleum enterprise that earned $4.4 billion in 2017. As Hiroko Tabuchi explains in great detail in The New York Times Thursday, Marathon, working with petrochemical giant Koch Industries and an advocacy group called AFPM that includes Exxon, Chevron, and Phillips 66 on its board, ran a “stealth campaign” to maximize the rollback. Bottom line: more efficient cars means less gasoline sales, and that mean less profit for Marathon and other oil companies. Tabuchi notes that last week on an investor call, Gary R. Heminger, Marathon’s chairman and chief executive, said the rollback would mean industry sales of as much as an additional 400,000 gallons of gasoline every day.
For those of you who observe, I’d like to point out, with complete calm and absolutely zero panic, that OMG XMAS IS ONLY 12 DAYS AWAY [[breathes deeply]] So, yeah, I guess it’s time to start singing that classic holiday tune: The 12 Days of Session. What, you don’t know it? Here, I’ll hum a few bars, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Campaign Action On the 12th day of session, my legislator gave to me ... 12, the number of seats Minnesota House Democrats needed to flip to win the chamber (they flipped 18): In any other week, this item would have gotten something along the lines of a “#Demsindisarra … wait no the other thing” header, but this will have to do. Because being soundly drubbed at the ballot box in November wasn’t enough of an injury to Minnesota House Republicans, some members of their own caucus are adding a solid dose of insult. Four rural GOP members blindsided their colleagues late last Friday when they announced their plan to split from their ilk and form the extremely creatively named “New House Republican Caucus.” Unfortunately for their former fellow caucus members, these defections will further undermine their representation on House committees. Womp womp. 11, the time of night Michigan Republicans passed a bill to restrict ballot measures: Late Wednesday night, the Michigan House approved a measure that effectively gerrymanders the signature-gathering process for ballot measures. Currently, citizens must gather hundreds of thousands of signatures to get a measure on the ballot (the total varies based on the type of measure and the number of votes cast for governor in the most recent election—over the past decade, this figure has ranged from 157,827 to over 380,126 signatures). Because of high turnout in this year’s gubernatorial contest, the number of signatures required to get a measure on the ballot for the next four years will be bigger than ever. Currently, these signatures can come from any voter anywhere in the state. But the law House Republicans just passed in the lame duck session requires that no more than 15 percent of the signatures come from any one of Michigan’s 14 congressional districts. That’s not only a garbage requirement intended to make signature-gathering harder by preventing canvassers from racking up totals in accessible and densely populated urban areas, but it also effectively gerrymanders the ballot measure process by creating arbitrary caps based on Michigan's extremely GOP-skewing congressional map. 10, the day of April GOP Gov. Matt Bevin signed this terrible legislation: On Thursday, the Kentucky Supreme Court struck down the controversial law the GOP-controlled legislature rammed through during the final days of this year’s legislative session that would have gutted teachers’ pensions. The anti-pension measure was attached to a completely unrelated bill about sewage treatment on the 57th day of Kentucky’s 60-day legislative session. As a sewage bill, it had received public hearings and the necessary floor readings. As a pension-attacking Trojan horse, it had not. Because the anti-pension measure did not receive the required three readings on three separate days on the House floor, the court ruled it in violation of the state constitution, which specifically requires those three pesky readings. This doesn’t mean that the GOP-controlled legislature won’t try to pass the measure again—properly, this time. But if the thousands of education supporters who mobilized against the proposal last time it came up are any indication, lawmakers will do so in the face of serious public opposition.
Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, a RepublicanOfCourse, is settling in to his new position as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Inhofe, who got the job after the death of previous chairman John McCain, is a fervent believer in spending All The Money on defense, and is already pressing for steep increases in the defense budget because reasons. Oh, and after convincing the White House to pursue record defense spending, Inhofe days later bought between $50,000 and $100,000 of stock in major defense contractor Raytheon, says the Daily Beast. After The Daily Beast asked about the purchase, Inhofe’s office said the senator had contacted his financial adviser to cancel the transaction and instructed him to avoid defense and aerospace purchases going forward. The transaction was apparently canceled within a half hour of a reporter asking about it, so it appears Inhofe's office was keenly aware of just how bad it looked. A bit more hilariously, Inhofe and his staff were so aware of how bad it looked that he had flash cards made up to hand to reporters who asked him about the story this morning. «3rd-party financial adviser that manages my stocks in a fully discretionary account», the card says in part, along with «I am not consulted or involved in any stock transactions.» He needn't be so defensive. It's not currently illegal for Senate lawmakers to buy stocks in companies that they themselves are seeking to regulate, unregulate, boost, or sabotage. As long as they don't trade on non-public information, wink-wink, it doesn't count as insider trading. Regardless of how or when the stock is purchased, here's not much keeping a senator who owns, say, Raytheon stock for feeling the sudden, urgent patriotic need for the U.S. government to purchase another few warehouses worth of Raytheon's more profitable products. So Inhofe's botched stock purchase qualifies, in the current environment, as oopsie at best. It was nice of him to hand out flash cards, though. xSen @JimInhofe is handing out these paper card statements when asked by reporters about this story about buying defense stocks after pushing for military spending (he spoke to us, as well): https://t.co/K5MRGF8vaH pic.twitter.com/unSJt4FmPs— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) December 13, 2018
Get ready, Donald. When Democrats take control of the House, they’re coming for your tax returns. That’s according to the next speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi: “There is popular demand for the Congress to request the president’s tax returns,” she told reporters in the Capitol. “I’m sure the White House will resist and so the question is where do we go from there,” she said. So, yes, it is going to be a fight. It’s a fight that the White House might even win through foot-dragging and simple refusal, but not without the issue being in the news regularly accumulating headlines along with every other Trump scandal as 2020 approaches.
Campaign Action Donald Trump is getting worried about impeachment, reports NBC News, and holy crap is this a story where you want more detail on what the unnamed sources are telling reporters. The reasons Trump might be worried are obvious and many: his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, being sentenced to three years in prison after implicating Trump in some of his crimes; the publisher of the National Enquirer admitting to paying hush money to keep Trump’s affairs secret. The list goes on. But what is Trump saying to friends about all of this, and about his worries for himself? The reporters don’t even give us a direct quote of a source describing what Trump said to someone else: Trump has ranted about why no one around him is doing anything to stop any of it and vented about the lack of support he believes he has in Congress and within his own White House, the sources tell NBC News. Also, Trump “has in recent days been made aware” that prosecutors in the Southern District of New York could end up giving a report on their Cohen investigation that included details of Trump’s role in Cohen’s crimes. It’s all so tantalizing, but for now details are scarce even if the mental imagery of a spittle-flecked, desperate Trump is easy to come by.
Campaign Action The number of migrant kids detained by the Trump administration in a prison camp in Texas and in facilities all across the U.S. continues to soar. The Department of Health and Human Services says that the U.S. has nearly 15,000 children in custody, the vast majority of them minors who came to the U.S. alone, leaving children’s detention facilities near capacity at 92 percent full. “The situation is forcing the government to consider a range of options,” NPR reports, «possibly including releasing children more quickly to sponsors in the United States or expanding the already crowded shelter network.” But administration officials are actively undermining the former while already doing the latter. Officials used these kids as bait to arrest 170 immigrants who stepped forward to potentially sponsor them, despite nearly 110 of these adults having no criminal record at all. Because some sponsors are now getting scared away, more kids are remaining in custody for longer periods of time, including children in the Tornillo, Texas, prison camp, which was supposed to “temporary” but has no end in sight. More than 2,800 kids are now jailed at Tornillo, with capacity for another 1,000. The situation, “a source familiar with Tornillo’s operation” told NPR, “is unsustainable.” But this is a crisis of the administration’s own doing, and an administration that sure loves to tout record numbers—whether or not it’s actually a result of legislation or policy tied to this administration—has been quiet about this horrific record. Adding to this crisis is that former Trump official Scott Lloyd waived FBI background checks for Tornillo staffers, meaning kids will not only be in jail for Christmas, they could be at added risk. Lloyd should be out on his ass, but he’s instead moved on to another government job. »Detention is never in the best interest of a child,” said Kids In Need of Defense’s Jennifer Podkul, “especially when it's extended. It's bad for the child's mental and physical health."
Commodity outlook and trading ideas by Bhavik Patel - Sr. Technical Analyst (Commodities), Tradebulls.
Nifty outlook and top trading ideas by Jay Anand Thakkar, CMT -Assistant Vice President - Equity Research, Anand Rathi Research
Nifty outlook and few trading ideas by Vaishali Parekh, research analyst- technical research at Prabhudas Lilladher.
Nifty, Bank Nifty, ATat Steel, Hindustan Unilever, Wipro
To promote How to Train Your Dragon 3, arriving next February, Game of Thrones' Kit Harington's «lost audition tapes» surface on the internet.
Kirsten Green of Forerunner Ventures, Keith Rabois of Khosla, Alfred Lin of Sequoia and Alex Taussig of Lightspeed are backers of Faire.
Researchers report which genes are turned on or off, and in which order, to orchestrate the cellular processes required to protect and repair the genome in response to DNA damage. The research reveals the genetic framework controlling a complex biological process that has broad implications for understanding how plants in particular, and organisms in general, cope with DNA damage to ensure long-term health and fitness.
When humans experience stress, their inner turmoil may not be apparent to an outside observer. But many animals deal with stressful circumstances -- overcrowded conditions, not enough food -- by completely remodeling their bodies. These stress-induced forms, whether they offer a protective covering or more camouflaged coloration, can better withstand the challenge and help the animal survive until conditions improve.
Researchers recently discovered that by testing the level of NER (nucleotide excision repair) gene expression, pediatric oncologists can determine the likelihood of early relapse (less than three years) in their acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients.
In 1994, Chinese university student Zhu Ling began experiencing stomach pain, hair loss and partial paralysis. By the time doctors diagnosed Ling with thallium poisoning about four months later, she was in a coma. Two decades after the poisoning, mass spectrometry has been used to analyze several of Ling's hairs collected in 1994 and 1995 and established a timeline of her poisoning.
A new study found that while exercise -- in this case, a 16-minute conditioning class -- generally improved women's mood and body satisfaction, women felt even better if the instructor made motivational comments that focused on strength and health instead of on losing weight or changing the appearance of one's body.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A U.S. judge in San Francisco says a lawsuit accusing the Trump administration of denying nearly all visa applicants under President Donald Trump's travel ban will move forward. Judge James Donato said at the end of a hearing on Thursday that the lawsuit was not going ...
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas' attorney general is asking state regulators to review an agreement between the state's largest electric utility and environmental groups to eventually stop using coal at two power plants and shut down a natural gas plant. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge asked the state Public Service ...
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Latest on a proposal to ban short-term rentals of non-owner-occupied houses in New Orleans (all times local): 4:30 p.m. Airbnb says a proposal in New Orleans to ban short-term rentals of whole homes that are not owner-occupied would «devastate» some city residents who depend on ...
Fortnite and Stormy Daniels are heating up people’s fantasies: Both categories topped Pornhub’s 2018 Year in Review roundup. On Tuesday, Pornhub unveiled its 2018 Year in Review in a blog post, which highlighted […] The post ‘Fortnite’ and Stormy Daniels Dominate Pornhub’s Top Searches in 2018 appeared first on Geek.com.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - American conservationist Kristine Tompkins said Thursday that the creation of Argentina's first marine national parks is a milestone that gets it close to meeting its U.N. recommended goal for 2020. Argentina's Congress on Wednesday approved the «Yaganes» and «Namuncura-Banco Burdwood II» parks in the southernmost ...
Mission accomplished! Virgin Galactic completed its first test flight to space today, taking one step toward making space tourism a reality. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo space plane, called VSS Unity, took flight earlier today, […] The post Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Reaches Space for the First Time appeared first on Geek.com.
The Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals seek a rare victory as they try to move past rampant injuries that have derailed their seasons
Terry Bradshaw waited for the very last moment to get that big win.
Eric Berry takes the field alongside his Chiefs teammates prior to their TNF game against the Chargers.
The famous and beautiful 2.238-mile road course in Monterey County, CA will host Indy car racing for the first time in 15 years when it replaces Sonoma Raceway as the IndyCar Series finale in September 20-22. (For tickets to all IndyCar races, click here.) That event, the IndyCar Grand Prix of Monterey, will effectively be a four-day affair, with testing held on September 19. However, today ... Keep reading
Sports agent Scott Boras on Kyler Murray attending Oakland A’s spring training.