Germany: Court rejects climate lawsuit against automaker BMW

Source: SFGate

“A German court on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit by environmental campaigners seeking to force automaker BMW to stop selling vehicles with combustion engine by 2030. The group Environmental Action Germany, also known by its German acronym DUH, argued that manufacturers such as BMW pose a threat to people’s right to property, health and life if they continue making vehicles that produce greenhouse gas emissions. The Munich regional court ruled Tuesday that while the plaintiffs’ arguments couldn’t be dismissed from the outset, ‘at present there is no threat of illegal encroachment’ of their rights. Judges noted that German and European lawmakers, spurred partly by a 2021 ruling by Germany’s top court, have taken numerous measures to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord. As such there was no absence of laws that would warrant civil action against BMW ‘at last not at this time.'” (02/07/23)

Cancel the State of the Union; it could be an email

Source: Politico
by Jack Shafer

“How did the State of the Union (which owes its origin to a one-liner in the Constitution instructing the president to ‘from time to time give to the Congress Information of the state of the Union’) become an annual political carnival that requires an UltraMax security cordon to be cast over the Capitol Building, swallows hours of live TV coverage on a half dozen networks, and goads reams of pre- and post-analysis out of the typing press, become such an all-consuming gala? The Constitution’s authors didn’t think the SOTU was essential, giving presidents the wide instruction that they must only address remarks to Congress ‘from time to time’. If the president stiffed Congress on the SOTU, no constitutional crisis would ensue. Nor must the president present his remarks in person. Every president from Thomas Jefferson to William Howard Taft produced remarks for Congress and then mailed them in.” (02/07/23)

BP Cuts Climate Pledges While Reporting Record $28 Billion in Profit

Source: Common Dreams

“BP, a London-based oil giant that has attempted to style itself as a leader of the renewable energy transition, announced Tuesday that it is slashing its emission-reduction goals and planning more fossil fuel output than previously expected after reporting a record $28 billion in profits for 2022 — more than double what it made the year before. Compared to its earlier plan to curtail fossil fuel production by 40% below 2019 levels, the company said it now intends to cut output by just 25% by 2030. ‘BP correspondingly now aims for a fall of 20% to 30% in emissions from the carbon in its oil and gas production in 2030 compared to a 2019 baseline, lower than the previous aim of 35-40%,’ the company said in a press release. The oil giant also said it plans to pour just as much money (up to $8 billion) into its fossil fuel businesses as its so-called ‘transition growth engines’, which include renewables, by 2030.” (02/07/23)

End the COVID-19 “Emergency” — Now

Source: Town Hall
by Stephen Moore

“Almost every decision that has been made in Washington and in the states that deals with COVID-19 has been about politics and money, hundreds of billions of dollars, and not about public health. COVID-19 is a deadly virus that has killed over a million Americans — almost all over the age of 65. But from day one, the overreaction and misinformation from politicians and the public health industrial complex was a campaign to embarrass and discredit then-President Donald Trump. It became an excuse to get Trump out of office. For the record, I was in the Oval Office many times with Trump, and he always wanted to get the economy reopened as quickly as possible. But Democrats and the public health industrial complex … wanted lockdowns as long as possible. And they wanted to spend trillions of dollars to redistribute income.” (02/07/23)

AZ: Elderly rancher charged with murdering Mexican man on his property

Source: New York Post

“An Arizona cattle rancher living near the US border with Mexico has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a man believed to be a Mexican citizen. George Alan Kelly, 73, was arrested last week in connection to a Jan. 30 killing that took place on his property, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s office said. Authorities say the victim, identified as Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, 48, was living in Nogales, Mexico — separated by the border from an American town by the same name. Officials believe Cuen-Butimea was a Mexican citizen because of a Mexican voter registration card he carried. The fatal shooting took place just outside of Nogales, Arizona, in the Kino Springs area, according to Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Gerardo Castillo. … Authorities have not provided much information about the killing, including a possible motive or whether the two men had known each other before the shooting.” (02/07/23)

Report: Amid soaring crimes, Memphis cops lowered the bar for hiring

Source: SFGate

“Beyond the beating, kicking, cursing and pepper spraying, the video of Tyre Nichols’[s] deadly arrest at the hands of young Memphis police officers is just as notable for what’s missing — any experienced supervisors showing up to stop them. That points to a dangerous confluence of trends that Memphis’[s] police chief acknowledged have dogged the department as the city became one of the nation’s murder hotspots: a chronic shortage of officers, especially supervisors, increasing numbers of police quitting and a struggle to bring in qualified recruits. Former Memphis police recruiters told The Associated Press of a growing desperation to fill hundreds of slots in recent years that drove the department to increase incentives and lower its standards.” (02/07/23)

Government By Panic

Source: Racket News
by Matt Taibbi

“Empires can’t be ruled without belief. Without confidence in official words, subjects will lack direction, becoming ‘lost at sea,’ as Revolt of the Public author Martin Gurri put it. They’ll support Brexit, Catalan independence, Trump; they’ll wear yellow vests, throw away masks, even refuse the shot. When you tell them Beto O’Rourke is Robert Kennedy, they vote as if he were Ralph Nader. Now take a hypothetical. Say you’re a member of the American political establishment after the 2016 election of Donald Trump. You’re staring at four years as part of a government-in-exile and need a new message to solve your belief problem. What’s your answer? My hypothesis is such people never bothered to find one. Instead, they declared a state of emergency. What emergency? Doesn’t matter. Russian interference was a good startup disaster, but you can keep changing them.” (02/06/23)

Hong Kong: “Subversion” show trial trial begins

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The trial for the largest national security [sic] case in Hong Kong has begun, with some 47 people accused of ‘subversion’ for holding an unofficial primary election. They include some of the city’s most prominent pro-democracy figures, such as activists Joshua Wong and Benny Tai. Most of them have been [held as political prisoners] for the past two years on security [sic] grounds. Critics [notice that] the city’s controversial national security [sic] law is used as a tool to crush dissent. But Chinese and Hong Kong authorities maintain it is needed to curb unrest. On Monday long queues of supporters were seen outside the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court, where the hearing is taking place. A small group of protesters also gathered outside the court. ‘Crackdown is shameless’, read one banner, ‘Immediately release all political prisoners.'” (02/06/23)

Democrats’ [sic] spending threatens Americans’ high standard of living

Source: Fox News Forum
by Betsy McCaughey

“The average American home is almost 2,200 square feet. An average home in the United Kingdom is a minuscule 818 square feet, in Finland 880 square feet and in Germany under 1,200 square feet. Cramped. Americans have bigger houses and a higher material standard of living — more appliances, clothing and cars — largely because they can keep more of what they earn. The U.S. is a low-tax nation, for now. Europeans, in comparison, have to fork over much more of their earnings to the government. They enjoy paid maternity leave, free health care, nearly free college and many other government benefits. But they settle for a lower standard of living. Are Americans willing to settle for less, too?” [editor’s note: As if Republicans spend any less than Democrats – TLK] (02/06/23)

Haiti: Henry appoints council amid push to hold general elections

Source: WRAL News

“Haiti’s prime minister on Monday formally appointed a transition council charged with ensuring that long-awaited general elections are held in a country with no democratically elected institutions. While many doubt the creation of the council will help the government hold elections this year as envisioned, Prime Minister Ariel Henry said it was a significant step toward that goal. ‘It is the beginning of the end of the dysfunction of our democratic institutions,’ he said. Haiti has failed to hold elections since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise. Henry assumed power shortly after Moise’s death, and promised that his administration would do so. In early January, the terms of the remaining 10 senators expired, leaving no elected officials in place for a country of more than 11 million people.” (02/06/23)