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Why Americans Aren’t Buying More EVs (Maria)

The authors write, “Clint and Rachel Wells had reasons to consider buying an electric vehicle when it came to replacing one of their cars. But they had even more reasons to stick with petrol. The couple live in Normal, Illinois, which has enjoyed an economic boost from the electric vehicle assembly plant opened there by upstart electric-car maker Rivian. … But the couple decided to ‘get what was affordable’ — in their case, a [gas-engine] Honda Accord costing $19,000 after trade-in. An EV priced at $25,000 would have been tempting, but only five new electric models costing less than $40,000 have come on to the US market in 2024.”

Biden Campaign Calls on GOP to Drop Lawsuits Over Mail Ballots, Citing Trump’s New Fondness for It (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign … called on top Republicans to drop litigation seeking to curtail aspects of mail balloting now that Donald Trump has begun to embrace the method. Trump for years falsely claimed voting by mail was riddled with fraud, but his 2024 campaign began a program this month to encourage mail voting if convenient for people. It is part of Republicans’ attempt to increase mail voting among their supporters. At the same time, the Republican National Committee, newly under the former president’s control, has sued or joined lawsuits seeking to limit certain aspects of mail voting.”

The Chilling Reason You May Never See the New Trump Movie (Russ)

The author writes, “This week I finally got to see The Apprentice, an absorbing, disturbing movie about the relationship between the red-baiting mob lawyer Roy Cohn and a young Donald Trump. The film, which was received with an extended standing ovation and mostly appreciative reviews when it premiered at Cannes last month, is a classic story of a mentor and his protégé, chronicling how Trump first learned from and later surpassed his brutal, Machiavellian fixer. … Unfortunately, you may not get a chance to anytime soon, at least in the United States.” 

‘Cheapfake’ Biden Videos Enrapture Right-Wing Media, But Deeply Mislead (Dana)

From The Washington Post: “[Last] week, the RNC feed … misleadingly called attention to two video clips of Biden. One was so distorted that it resulted in a ‘community note’ on the X platform calling out its dishonesty. But the RNC’s dismal track record — which we have highlighted on multiple occasions — has not stopped right-leaning outfits from echoing the RNC’s framing and reinforcing its narrative that Biden has lost a step.”

Illinois Passed a Law To Clean Up Coal Ash 5 Years Ago. What’s Taking So Long? (Laura)

The author writes, “Coal ash is a cocktail of hazardous pollutants leftover from coal combustion. Across the country, plant operators dumped that heavy metal-laden sludge into holes in the ground, sometimes called ponds or impoundments. Sometimes these ponds are lined, and sometimes they aren’t.”

We Should Focus on Rising Wages, Not Just Inflated Prices (Gerry)

From Brookings: “Part of the reason people are unhappy about inflation is that they don’t know that wages have been catching up — and neither politicians nor in most cases the media is telling them.”

Are Plants Intelligent? It Depends on the Definition (Sean)

The author writes, “Goldenrod can perceive other plants nearby without ever touching them, by sensing far-red light ratios reflected off leaves. When goldenrod is eaten by herbivores, it adapts its response based on whether or not another plant is nearby. Is this kind of flexible, real-time, adaptive response a sign of intelligence in plants?”


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