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EPA Issues Landmark Rules To Curb Auto Emissions, Bolster EVs (Maria)

The author writes, “The EPA has finalized the rules limiting auto tailpipe emissions from cars, SUVs and pickups, as part of a push to accelerate the US transition to electric vehicles. Transportation is the largest source of domestic greenhouse gas emissions, with light duty vehicles being the largest source within this category. The new rules follow a proposal issued in April, and come as challenges to Biden administration auto standards are already underway.. … The rules do not mandate that automakers transition their fleets over to sell more EVs by a certain date. But with tighter emissions curbs, manufacturers are likely to favor more EVs to comply with the rule.”

The Multiple Sly Layers of Degradation in Putin’s Election (Russ)

The author writes, “Now that Putin has graciously accepted the public’s faith in returning him to power, let us shake out the sham. Throughout the process, anyone half-way sentient was agog at the danse macabre of the Russian election. What a lot of effort and expense. Why go to so much trouble to pretend, creating phony challengers, acting as if you need to campaign intensively, to appear on television interviews and lobby the Russian people, when they knew and you knew the entire thing was rigged? One could argue that verisimilitude is important.”

Adult MAGA Rage Is Making Schools More Dangerous for Students (DonkeyHotey)

From Salon: “Last week saw national headlines regarding two tragic stories that illustrate how MAGA radicalization of adults endangers kids in school. First, a medical examiner reported that Nex Benedict, the non-binary Oklahoma 10th-grader who passed away recently after enduring a beating in a school bathroom, apparently died by suicide. Then, James Crumbley, the father of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for providing his disturbed son with a gun. The boy’s mother, Jennifer Crumbley, was convicted of the same crime in February. What links these stories is that they are both case studies in how the hatreds and obsessions of MAGA adults are trickling down into the lives of children, and causing real harm and even death.”

Facing Three Global Crises, the American Empire May Be Nearing Final Collapse (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “Empires don’t just fall like toppled trees. Instead, they weaken slowly as a succession of crises drain their strength and confidence until they suddenly begin to disintegrate. So it was with the British, French, and Soviet empires; so it now is with imperial America. … America’s post-Cold War victory lap suffered its own crisis early in this century with disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, looming just over history’s horizon are three more imperial crises in Gaza, Taiwan, and Ukraine that could cumulatively turn a slow imperial recessional into an all-too-rapid decline, if not collapse.”

State Medicaid Offices Target Dead People’s Homes To Recoup Their Health Care Costs (Sean and Reader Steve)

From AP News: “As Salvatore LoGrande fought cancer and all the pain that came with it, his daughters promised to keep him in the white, pitched roof house he worked so hard to buy all those decades ago. So, Sandy LoGrande thought it was a mistake when, a year after her father’s death, Massachusetts billed her $177,000 for her father’s Medicaid expenses and threatened to sue for his home if she didn’t pay up quickly. ‘The home was everything’ to her father, said LoGrande, 57. But the bill and accompanying threat weren’t a mistake. Rather, it was part of a routine process the federal government requires of every state: to recover money from the assets of dead people who, in their final years, relied on Medicaid, the taxpayer-funded health insurance for the poorest Americans.”

Financial Toll of Climate Crisis Hitting Women Harder, UN Says (Laura)

From The Guardian: “Women in rural areas suffer substantially greater economic losses from the impacts of climate breakdown than men in developing countries, research has shown, and the gap is likely to widen further. Households headed by women in rural areas lost about 8% more of their income to heat stress than male-headed households, and their reduction in income when floods struck was about 3% greater than the loss to men, according to data released by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. The difference, taken across the world’s low- and middle-income countries, adds up to about an extra $37bn lost to women from heat stress and $16bn extra from floods each year. … Children and women also tend to have to work more when extreme high temperatures strike, with children working nearly an hour extra a week in rural areas on average.”

Massachusetts Library Will Let You Pay Late Fees With Cat Pictures (Dana)

The author writes, “Who would think that one day you could use a cat picture as currency? Well, in an effort to encourage library use, the Worcester Public Library in Massachusetts is accepting photos of cats as payment for outstanding fines on lost or damaged library materials throughout this month. Library officials say a significant number of young patrons have accumulated fees since the start of the pandemic, and they hope the cat photo program will incentivize their return.”

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