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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 5,016

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How Scientists, Car Companies, And The Military Are Creating The Smartest Energy Solution

Back in February, Tesla Motors sent a shock wave through the energy technology world when it announced plans to build the globe’s biggest battery factory.

The sheer scale of the proposed “gigafactory” is enormous. “[Tesla's] goal by 2020 is to be producing 500,000 cars — 500,000 battery packs — out of that gigafactory,” said Steve LeVine, a journalist for Quartz who’s writing a book on batteries and their potential to transform energy as we know it. If Tesla hits that target, it would literally double global production of lithium-ion batteries.

For anyone concerned about climate change, this is big news. Making every vehicle electric would reduce carbon emissions by moving cars off a pure oil diet and onto an electricity mix of coal, natural gas, and some renewables. But we need to move that electricity mix fully onto clean energy as well — and do it fast — to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

That will require dealing with the intermittency of green energy sources like wind and solar. Electricity is relatively unusual in that we don’t make it until we use it — and if we don’t use it right when it’s made, we lose it. So fossil fuels like coal and natural gas have an advantage in that we control when we burn them. But the sun shines and the wind blows where and when they will, limiting renewables to a supplemental energy source at best. To change that, we need to be able to store renewable electricity when it’s made, and then release it when we need it.

And that means batteries. Lots and lots of batteries.


A life in the day of a weed delivery service ... Speed Weed ...

Speed Weed is a marijuana delivery service chain in southern California. Amanda Lewis of LA Weekly rode along with a delivery driver and wrote about it

4:20 p.m.: Next stop: a new customer in Encino, who ordered $40 of Granddaddy Purple and $60 of Pineapple Express. The packaging for the latter says, "Seth Rogan [sic] avail for additional fee." Covington writes all of the descriptions; he says a lot of people call and ask, in all seriousness, how much it would cost to get the movie star to come over.

4:24 p.m.: "We have a ton of porn star clients," Joyner says. "Porn and weed definitely go hand in hand. They're usually very good tippers."

4:59 p.m.: We get off the 101 and pull up to a row of freeway-adjacent, hideous condos. Joyner calls the customer and says he will meet her in front of the lobby.

5:07 p.m.: Two girls with dyed blonde hair come out of the building, one in studded jorts and the other barefoot, in yoga pants. "I just moved here from Chicago, like, a year ago," says the barefoot girl, marveling at the fact that she can get weed delivered. "Like, is this real life?" She pays in cash and doesn't tip.


More Than A Million Young People Enrolled In Obamacare Last Month

Source: Think Progress

Obamacare experienced a surge in enrollment last month, as nearly 3.8 million people selected a plan through the exchanges, including 1.2 million young people, administration officials announced on Thursday. The rush represented “an 89 precent increase in the cumulative number of individuals” who enrolled in a health care plan through the exchange between March 1 and April 19.

Cumulatively, more than 8 million people have enrolled in an Obamacare plan though state or federal marketplaces since the beginning of open enrollment. 2.2 million of those people — or 28 percent — are between the ages of 18 and 34.

The administration also confirmed that 4.8 million people enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), 5 million enrolled in coverage outside of the marketplaces, and 3 million young people were able to remain on their parents’ health care plans.

Officials did not say how many of the new enrollees were previously uninsured, however, or what percentage paid for their premiums. The report notes that insurers have indicated that “90 percent to 90 percent of the people who have selected a Marketplace plan have made premium payments.”


Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/05/01/3433258/more-than-a-million-young-people-enrolled-in-obamacare-last-month/

and Republicants said it wouldn't work ... and are still trying to make up shit to say it doesn't work ... LMAO

EXCLUSIVE: Here's The House GOP's 'Incredibly Rigged' Obamacare Survey

The survey that House Republicans used to conclude that only 67 percent of HealthCare.gov enrollees had paid their first premium appears designed to yield an unfavorable result -- at least that's the perception of one of the people whose company was asked to respond to it.

"The survey was so incredibly rigged to produce this result, it was a joke," a source, whose company received it and who provided it to TPM, said. "Everyone who saw it knew exactly what the goal was."

The survey included language that explicitly left out the fact some people would still have time to pay their premium after April 15, which is when the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked companies to return their answers.

The GOP survey simply asked companies for the number of enrollees who paid their first premium and the number who have not -- but it did not account for the fact that some people in the latter group could still pay until at least April 30.


Elizabeth Warren: What happened to the middle class?

CNN) -- A great crack in America's middle class came to light recently: While our country continues to lead the world as the richest nation, our middle class, once the most affluent in the world, has fallen behind. According to an analysis by The New York Times, Canada's middle class is now the wealthiest, and working families in many countries have seen their incomes rise much faster than those in the United States.

The hollowing out of America's middle class has been years in the making, but it wasn't inevitable that working families would fall further and further behind. Instead, it was the direct consequence of deliberate choices Washington has made over the past generation to put the rich and powerful first and to leave working people to pick up whatever crumbs were left behind.

It didn't have to be this way. America knows how to build a middle class that is the envy of the world. After the Great Depression, America made two critical decisions.

First, it put in place strong rules to level the playing field for families, putting more cops on the beat to monitor financial markets and passing basic safety rules to temper the boom-and-bust financial cycle.



30+ years in destroying the middle class ...

Seattle Announces $15 Minimum Wage, Highest In The U.S.

Source: Think Progress

Seattle will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour over the coming years under a deal brokered by Mayor Ed Murray and blessed by labor and business groups alike, city leaders announced Thursday afternoon.

The new pay floor will phase in at different speeds for businesses of different sizes, but all employers will have to meet the $15 minimum wage by the end of the decade. Businesses with more than 500 employees nationwide will have a three-year phase-in period, while smaller employers get five years to ratchet up their payscales.

After reaching $15 an hour, the city’s minimum wage will automatically climb by 2.4 percent each year regardless of the rate of inflation. Even among states with relatively strong minimum wage laws, automatic increases are uncommon. Thursday’s deal will make Seattle the national leader on municipal minimum wage laws. Washington currently has the highest pay floor of any state at $9.32 per hour.

The deal was a long time coming, with Murray first indicating he wanted to establish a $15 floor back in September during the mayoral campaign. Murray created the 24-member advisory group that crafted the compromise package back in December, and the group of local business owners, restaurateurs, and labor leaders has been grinding toward an agreement for the past four months.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/05/01/3433227/seattle-15-dollar-minimum-wage/

Can somebody say FINALLY ....

Donald Sterling banned from Bunny Ranch brothel following 'racist' rant

American brothel owner Dennis Hof has banned disgraced LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling from his Nevada sex clubs out of respect for his "smoking hot" African-American prostitutes and NBA players.

Mr Sterling found himself the subject of an outcry in the US last week, after he was allegedly recorded making racist remarks in an explosive conversation with girlfriend V. Stiviano.

In the recording obtained by gossip website TMZ, Sterling allegedly told her not bring black men to basketball games or post photographs on her Instagram account associating herself with black people.

The sports mogul has been banned from the National Basketball Association (NBA) for life and will have to pay a $2.5 million fine, the most severe punishment ever handed down to a team owner, for his "deeply offensive and harmful" remarks.



LOL, only in America ...

Conservatives, Evil and Psychopathy: Science makes the link!

It’s not the least bit surprising that Rush Limbaugh is still defending Donald Sterling, spinning an elaborate conspiracy theory about how Sterling was “set up” as Elias Isquith described here at Salon: “Whoever set this up,” Limbaugh said with understated drama, “is really good.”

He continued: “They covered every base. They’ve got the media wrapped around their little finger. I mean, when you get rid of the anthem singer — I used to be in charge of anthem singers at the Kansas City Royals. When you can get rid of (the) anthem singer, you’ve got power.”

Sure, it’s so far gone it’s silly, but defending old white guys is Limbaugh’s thing. Especially rich old white guys. And when he does it, he’s simply being a good conservative. Defending wealth, power, privilege, hierarchy—it’s just what conservatives do. Now, however, some folks—including social scientists—are beginning to ask, in effect, if they’re not actually defending, even promoting, evil as well.

Sterling’s self-immolating drama vividly illustrates what the questions involve. It’s not just that Americans—unbeknownst to Sterling, Cliven Bundy and Limbaugh—have come to an overwhelming consensus that racism itself is evil, though that’s certainly enormously important in and of itself. But there’s also the additional factor of interpersonal depravity—psychopathy, if you will, which people are increasingly coming to see as significantly over-represented in the 1 percent.



I didn't need science to confirm reality ...

John Boehner assures Slave owners he won’t push immigration reform

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday reassured fellow Republican lawmakers that he will not push them to pass immigration reform and said he was just teasing last week when he criticized his caucus’s reluctance on the issue.

Boehner held a closed-door meeting with Republican House members to cool their anger over remarks he made last Thursday at a Rotary Club luncheon in his Ohio district.

In that widely reported speech, Boehner described the attitude of other House Republicans as: “Don’t make me do this.”

After Tuesday’s meeting in Washington to address the issue, Boehner told reporters: “You all know me. You tease the ones you love, but some people misunderstood what I have to say and some members misunderstood.”

Some congressional aides and immigration reform advocates viewed Boehner’s comments last week as a possible signal of a renewed drive to pass an immigration bill in the House. But Republican House members emerging from Tuesday’s meeting said the speaker played down that prospect.


Corporations Divest Nearly $60 Million From Private Prison Industry

Three corporations announced their divestment from Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, the two largest private prison companies in the United States, late last week.

Scopia Capital Management, DSM North America, and Amica Mutual Insurance pulled nearly $60 million in investments from CCA and GEO Group in the final quarter of 2013, marking full divestment for DSM and Amica and a 27 percent decrease in shares for Scopia. (Scopia has decreased its private prison stock by 59 percent since December 2012.) Their announcements mark the first round of success for civil rights nonprofit Color of Change, which has been pushing over 150 companies to divest from for-profit incarceration companies since last year. Color of Change is one of 16 organizations working towards these divestment goals as part of the National Prison Divestment Campaign.

"Companies that continue to stay with their investments in CCA and GEO Group are making a real decision about where they want their money and the ethical obligations they have to the greater society," Color of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson told Mother Jones. Human rights advocates strongly oppose private prisons, alleging that they prioritize profit over rehabilitation and help fuel mass incarceration. Privately owned prisons have also been shown to have higher levels of violence and recidivism.

The founders of asset management company Scopia Capital, who donate to Democratic politicians like Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, and have ties to other progressive organizations, have drawn criticism in the past for their company's stake in GEO Group. In its 2013 end-of-year filing, Scopia reported owning 4,320,339 shares of GEO Group, down from 10,621,223 shares at the end of 2012. According to Color of Change, the company has committed to a full divestment of GEO Group holdings, and is on pace to reach this target within the coming year.



OMG -- Ethical behavior from Corporations ....


BALTIMORE (AP) — Health officials are investigating what may have sickened over 100 people who attended a conference where more than 1,300 food safety experts had gathered.

No one at the Food Safety Summit held April 8-10 in Baltimore was hospitalized, according to health officials, and most people reported cases of diarrhea.

Alvina K. Chu, who is leading the Maryland Department of Health's investigation, said Tuesday that officials haven't yet determined what caused people to get sick. It's not yet clear if the illness was transmitted by food or from person to person, she said.

The Baltimore City Health Department received complaints of nausea and diarrhea from four people one week after the conference. After the illnesses were reported, city health officials inspected the convention center after and its in-house catering company, Centerplate, on April 16, and issued a violation for condensation dripping from an ice machine, according to city health department spokesman Michael Swartzberg.

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