Wednesday, September 18th, 2019


Energy Star Wars

"The weakening of dishwasher rules is just one of many cases where a Trump administration regulatory rollback is in fact opposed by the very industry the White House claims it will help ... The administration is also preparing to loosen proposed Obama-era standards for tailpipe emissions on cars and light trucks, even though automakers say the move would cause them 'untenable' instability and hurt their profits. It also plans to eliminate rules that restrict methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure even though some companies have argued for continued regulation ... The administration has also tried to eliminate funding for Energy Star, a popular federal government program that lets companies put Energy Star labels on products that meet energy efficiency standards." The NYT on the effort to deregulate just about everything. Inside Conservative Groups' Effort to Make Dishwashers Great Again. (The key is to use plastic plates and utensils and then just burn them in an open coal powered fire...)

+ NBC: Trump axes California's right to set own auto emissions standards.


Netflix Before Chill

"We'd been in trouble before, but the dot-com crash was different. Selling had seemed to be our only way out. And Goliath didn't want to buy us—he wanted to stomp us into the ground. As long a shot as Blockbuster had been, I had genuinely held out hope that it would save us. Now it was clear that if we were going to get out of the crash alive, it was entirely on us. We would have to be ruthless in our focus on the future. As my father used to tell me, sometimes the only way out is through." In Vanity Fair, Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph recalls a now infamous meeting between Netflix and Blockbuster. Netflix wanted to sell for $50 million. Blockbuster all but laughed them out of the room. (I still like Blockbuster's chances...)


Kingdom Comeback

"Saudi Arabia's defense ministry has shown off what it says is wreckage of drones and cruise missiles that proves Iranian involvement in weekend attacks on two oil facilities." BBC: Saudi Arabia oil attacks: Weapons debris 'proves Iran behind them.'

+ "Over the next few days or weeks, he will almost certainly face the reality that much of the world — angry at his tweets, tirades, untruths and accusations — could be disinclined to believe the arguments advanced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others that Iran bears responsibility for the attack." David Sanger: Trump's Challenge: Can His Word on Iran Be Trusted? (If you don't know the answer, you really haven't been following along very closely...)

+ So far, the Secretary of State sounds more hawkish than the Commander in Chief.

+ WaPo: President Trump named Robert C. O'Brien, who has served as the U.S. hostage negotiator, as his new national security adviser Wednesday, replacing the ousted John Bolton.


Netanyahu’s on First?

"With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, Netanyahu's decade-long grip on power appeared to be slipping. His center-right Likud party was expected to win 31 seats, while its main rival, the centrist Blue and White party, was pulling ahead with 32 seats, according to the Central Election Committee." NBC News: Netanyahu cancels trip to U.N. as he appears to fall short in Israel elections.

+ Vox: Israel's election results show Netanyahu is in serious trouble.

+ Meanwhile, Trump said he hasn't talked to Bibi since the election and emphasized, "Our relationship is with Israel, we will see what happens." (Brrr...)


Delhi Cuts

"The ban is bad news for American vaping companies like Juul, the world's largest maker of vaping products with more than 70% of the vaping market. The company had been planning to launch in India, home to more than 106 million smokers — second only to China — by the end of this year." While America is banning flavors here and there, India is banning vapes altogether. Buzzfeed: A Huge Market With Millions Of Smokers Just Banned Vapes Entirely.

+ Bloomberg: Tide Turns Against Vaping as India Bans Sales, China Sites Pull Juul.


Tech No Beat

"Across political party identification, Americans are pretty consistent about breaking up Big Tech. The poll shows that on the more extreme ends of both the left and the right, there is more enthusiasm on the matter." According to a recent poll, two-thirds of Americans want to break up companies like Amazon and Google.


New Mexico-pay

"Some education experts, presidential candidates and policymakers consider universal free college to be a squandering of scarce public dollars, which might be better spent offering more support to the neediest students. But others say college costs have become too overwhelming and hail the many drives toward free tuition." NYT: New Mexico Announces Plan for Free College for State Residents. (Maybe New Mexico will pay for the wall?)


Butter Emails

"I will be interested to see whether the newer and growing attention to intensive farming and sustainability effects further change, especially since I suspect that the butter mystique is particularly a factor for older generations." Vice: The Push to Make Fake Butter Cool (Again).

+ Bloomberg: Japanese Milk Bread Is Coming for Your Lunch. (Our gluten-allergic, lactose intolerant society is ready and waiting...)


Immaculate Reception Committee

"Dabo Swinney's faith has aided in the recruiting that's made Clemson a college football powerhouse, while drawing the ire of groups that say he runs afoul of the First Amendment." The Guardian: Baptisms at practice: How college football became a Christian empire.


Bottom of the News

"When you give an adult time, we overanalyze and overthink everything. When you give them that time restraint, they can create anything. They just have to get outside of themselves, and you do that when you move fast. You shut down that anal side of your brain and your creative side opens up." Also, a few drinks doesn't hurt. Creativity without the pressure at ‘paint and sip' studios.

+ "The police force said the women are there to de-stress drivers from the standstill, and so that drivers will be embarrassed to violate traffic rules in front of pretty women." The Philippines Is Deploying 'Really Pretty' Female Officers to Distract Drivers from Traffic.

+ Mercedes-Benz quietly enters the e-scooter market.

+ UK's best sea view photography competition 2019.