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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 15,246

Journal Archives

California attorney general says Florida responsible for flying migrants to Sacramento

Source: Tampa Bay Times

The migrants had documents stating they were transported through a program run by Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, officials said.

Florida appears to have arranged for a group of South American migrants to be transported from Texas to California and dropped off in Sacramento, California’s attorney general said, noting that he’s looking into whether any crimes may have been committed.

If true, the 16 Colombian and Venezuelan migrants who turned up at the Roman Catholic Church diocese’s headquarters in Sacramento on Friday would be the latest to have been moved from a Republican-led state to one led by Democrats.

Attorney General Rob Bonta said that although the circumstances surrounding their arrival in the California capital are still being investigated, the migrants had documentation that appeared to have been issued by Florida.

He also said he’s evaluating whether violations of civil or criminal law took place.

“While we continue to collect evidence, I want to say this very clearly: State-sanctioned kidnapping is not a public policy choice, it is immoral and disgusting,” Bonta said in a statement.

Read more: https://www.tampabay.com/news/nation-world/2023/06/05/california-attorney-general-says-florida-responsible-flying-migrants-sacramento/

Looks like DeSantis is burnishing his MAGAt credentials.

Electric vehicles appeal to conservative buyers sick of gas guzzlers

A few red counties in Texas are experiencing higher-than-average EV growth, as drivers tire of gas prices and chase the latest tech

Tony Federico bought his Tesla Model 3 in 2018. A former Marine who votes Republican, Federico said he was drawn by the cool technology and the chance to save money on gas.

“I think selfishly it was, you know, how is this going to help my pocketbook,” he said from his living room one recent morning. Environmental concerns were “not really” on his radar, said the head of the local Tesla owners club.

Electric vehicles are often associated with liberal coastal types who speak of saving the planet. But in this Republican stronghold north of Dallas, more and more people are deciding that driving an EV is just common sense.

In Collin County, home to Plano, EV market share is well above the national average and growing fast, reaching 8.7 percent of new-vehicle registrations last year, according to S&P Global Mobility. In neighboring Denton County, also reliably red, EVs grew to 7.3 percent of the market. Nationwide, electric cars were about 6.2 percent of new-vehicle registrations last year.


EV Makers Confront the 'Nickel Pickle'

Large amounts of the mineral are needed for electric car batteries, but getting it out of the ground and refining it often requires clearing rainforests and generating large amounts of carbon

In the electric-vehicle business, the quandary is known as the nickel pickle.

To make batteries for EVs, companies need to mine and refine large amounts of nickel. The process of getting the mineral out of the ground and turning it into battery-ready substances, though, is particularly environmentally unfriendly. Reaching the nickel means cutting down swaths of rainforest. Refining it is a carbon-intensive process that involves extreme heat and high pressure, producing waste slurry that’s hard to dispose of.

The nickel issue reflects a larger contradiction within the EV industry: Though electric vehicles are designed to be less damaging to the environment in the long term than conventional cars, the process of building them carries substantial environmental harm.

The challenge is playing out across Indonesia’s mineral-rich islands, by far the world’s largest source of nickel. These deposits aren’t deep underground but lie close to the surface, under stretches of overlapping forests. Getting to the nickel is easy and inexpensive, but only after the forests are cleared.


Arizona's water troubles show how climate change is reshaping the West

Jay Famiglietti moved to Arizona this year after a career using satellites to study how the worst drought in a millennium was sapping groundwater beneath the American West.

He has documented that the decline of groundwater in California’s Central Valley accelerated dramatically in recent years, and that states along the Colorado River were losing their aquifers far faster than the more visible shriveling of the nation’s largest reservoirs.

It was not a satellite but an airplane, however, that was on Famiglietti’s mind as he picked up his wife at the airport earlier this year: a charter flight of people arriving in Phoenix as part of a major expansion of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., one of Arizona’s premier economic development jewels. This symbol of Arizona’s future brought home the stakes of this moment.

In one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country, it’s a boom time — water-intensive microchip companies and data centers moving in; tens of thousands of houses spreading deep into the desert. But it is also a time of crisis: Climate change is drying up the American West and putting fundamental resources at ever greater risk.


How California, land of Nixon and Reagan, turned blue and changed American politics

Bill Clinton was busy filling cabinet positions and shaping his economic agenda when a memo landed from a team of political advisers. Although Clinton was still more than a month away from becoming president, the topic was his reelection nearly four years off.

Marked confidential and spilling over nearly eight pages, the document outlined a strategy considered vital to Clinton’s hopes for a second term: Lock down California and its generous share of electoral votes so his campaign could “concentrate its energy on other, more tightly contested, states.”

In 1992, Arkansas’ five-term governor became the first Democratic presidential candidate in nearly three decades to carry California, the political birthplace of Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Few, if any, considered Clinton’s victory in California the start of a political realignment; he won just 46% of the vote.

But his victory and a repeat in 1996 — the product of relentless courtship and a fire hose of federal spending — helped color California a lasting shade of blue and dramatically reshaped the fight for the White House.

It augured a major partisan shift throughout the West, which over the last 20 years has become a Democratic stronghold, stretching from the Pacific coast, across the desert Southwest into the Rocky Mountains.


Tesla Model Y was the best-selling car worldwide in the first quarter

It's also the first time a pure EV topped the global sales rankings.

Tesla scored a huge milestone in the first quarter amid its crusade to ramp up global EV adoption — producing the best-selling car in the world.

But the electric vehicle maker may have paid a big price with lower profit margins.

A new report from data firm JATO Dynamics, along with automotive site Motor.1.com, found the Tesla Model Y was the No. 1 selling vehicle globally in the first quarter of the year, marking the first time an EV was the top-selling vehicle.

JATO said Tesla sold 267,200 Model Ys in Q1, up 69% from a year ago. The second-best-selling car was Toyota’s Corolla, with 256,400 vehicles sold globally. JATO’s data spanned 53 international markets, plus data and forecasts for 31 other markets and estimates for the balance of global markets.


Why Your Steak Is Getting Pricier

Ranchers are shrinking cattle herds because of drought and high costs, cutting down the nation’s supply of beef. That threatens to push prices for steaks and burgers to records.

Hamburgers and steaks, already near record-level prices, are set to get more expensive.

The culprit is a rapidly shrinking supply of cattle. Years of persistent drought conditions, which make cattle more expensive to raise, pandemic disruptions and widespread cost increases have prompted ranchers to sell off livestock, bringing the number of cattle in the U.S. to its lowest level in nearly a decade. U.S. beef production is on track to drop by more than 2 billion pounds in 2024, the biggest annual decline since 1979, according to Agriculture Department data.

With costs rising for nearly every aspect of raising cattle, ranchers say they are running out of reasons to replace the livestock they send to slaughter, let alone enlarge their herds. “We’re spending $1 million to make $4,000,” said Ryan Stromberger, a rancher in southwest Nebraska just outside the city of Ogallala who also has two feedlots.

With less beef available, consumers shouldn’t expect lower grocery bills for now. Prices for ground beef, up more than 20% since 2020, could hit record highs this summer during peak grilling season and an estimated average retail price of $5.33 a pound this year, according to analysts at agricultural lender Rabobank. Prices could add at least 15 to 25 cents in 2024, the analysts said.


Federal Court Rules Sacklers Can Still Go To Heaven

NEW YORK—In a decision that shields the former owners of Purdue Pharma from personal liability for America’s opioid crisis, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that members of the Sackler family could still go to heaven.

“It is our determination that the Sacklers should receive immunity from damnation for their crimes so that they may enter into the eternal kingdom and be granted everlasting life,” said Judge Eunice C. Lee, who explained that by paying a $6 billion settlement for their involvement in an addiction crisis that took the lives of 500,000 Americans over two decades, the Sacklers would cleanse the blood from their hands and fully atone for their sins.

“Richard, Theresa, David, Jonathan, Ilene, Beverly, Kathe, and Mortimer D.A. Sackler, as well as the souls of their late forbears Raymond and Mortimer, will be guaranteed permanent residence in God’s shining paradise in the clouds. And as far as the justice system is concerned, everyone who died from an OxyContin addiction can go straight to hell.”

The court also ruled that the Sacklers would be allowed to sell opioids once more when they entered the gates of heaven.


Elizabeth Holmes Immediately Defrauds Biggest Inmate To Gain Other Prisoners' Respect

BRYAN, TX—As soon as she reported Tuesday to the federal prison camp where she is to be incarcerated, former biotech entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes is said to have immediately defrauded the biggest, toughest inmate she could find in an effort to gain the respect of her fellow prisoners.

“You’re getting in on the ground floor of a venture that will revolutionize the prison industry,” Holmes said as she walked up to the facility’s most feared convict and swindled her out of all her money, reportedly hoping to send a clear message that she was “nobody’s bitch.”

“This is a groundbreaking technology that will change the world while paying huge dividends on your initial investment of 30 packs of cigarettes. And if you give me just a small cut of your prison wages every week, I’ll make sure you’re drinking the finest hooch by the time we take the company public.”

At press time, inmates were seen scattering in every direction after Elizabeth Holmes and her gang entered the prison yard armed with spreadsheets and asking who wanted to go all-in on a new venture.


Trump takes big lead over DeSantis among California Republicans

Former President Trump has vaulted back to a substantial lead in California over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, as the party’s voters brush aside his legal travails, a new poll finds.

Trump has the support of 44% of California’s likely Republican primary voters, while DeSantis was backed by 26%, according to the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by The Times. That’s a notable reversal of their standings three months ago, when DeSantis led Trump by 8 percentage points among the state’s GOP voters.

The former president’s rise shows his ability to use the media to galvanize the voters most likely to back his third White House bid, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the IGS poll.

“Trump dominates the news, and I think he enjoys that, and I think he gets the sense when he is dominating the news, he’s probably expanding his messaging to his base,” DiCamillo said. “I think this poll pretty much proves that. Even when the news isn’t necessarily great, he’s able to give his own opinion about why things are the way they are, and the Republican base pretty much believes him.”


This smells like good news to me.
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