Midday open thread: Wind power costs down 50% by 2030? Pepe the Frog creator busts ‘alt-right’ book

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Today’s comic by Jen Sorensen is New frontiers in right-wing propaganda:


If Donald Trump manages to survive his full term, he has 1,239 days left in office.

Zoning-free Houston was built with no thought of what it would mean for absorption of flood waters with all that pavement everywhere.

Federal prisons now required to make a variety of menstrual pads, tampons available free to inmates:

Federal prisons are now required to provide female inmates with a range of feminine hygiene products free of charge, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

A memo, issued by the bureau this month, requires all federal facilities that house female inmates to make two sizes of tampons and maxi pads available, in addition to panty liners. […]
The bureau’s policy memo comes a month after Democratic Sens. Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin and Kamala Harris introduced the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act. If passed, the law will require several reform measures in federal prisons, including an overhaul of visitation policies, a ban on shackling pregnant inmates or keeping them in solitary confinement, and a ban on charging inmates for phone calls. It would also require that multiple sizes of tampons, pads and liners be made available to female inmates for free.

Two dead, four injured in New Mexico library shooting:

Two people were killed and four others were injured when gunfire erupted inside a public library on Monday, throwing an eastern New Mexico community into a panic as officers swarmed the building with their guns drawn.

The gunman surrendered and was taken into custody without incident after police entered the downtown building, authorities and elected officials with the city of Clovis said during a news conference.

• Pepe the Frog’s Creator Gets Alt-Right Children’s Book Pulled, Vows to ‘Aggressively Enforce His Intellectual Property’

Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe the Frog, struck back against a self-published children’s book that depicted Pepe as an Islamophobic, alt-right champion on a mission to make his farm great again.

Thanks to Louis Tompros and Don Steinberg—intellectual property lawyers at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP—Furie has reached a settlement with The Adventures of Pepe and Pede author Eric Hauser. That settlement prevents further sale of the book and forces Hauser to donate all profits to a Muslim-American advocacy group.

Wind power costs predicted to fall another 50% by 2030:

Fresh off the first-ever American Wind Week, the Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a new report finding wind energy cost reductions of 50 percent are possible by 2030. That’s on top of the 66 percent cost reduction since 2009.

Envisioning the wind plant of the near-future—a “collection of intelligent and innovative machines operating in a highly coordinated way”—NREL expects advancements in wind turbine design, materials and controls to unlock major performance improvements and cost reductions.

There’s a long-term threat to environmental rules from Trump: Federal judge appointments:

Lawyer Richard Ayres has been fighting for the environment in federal courts for nearly five decades, but he says he’s never seen an onslaught on basic environmental protections like the one coming out of the Trump White House. Still, something scares Ayres even more than the determination of the Trump team to dismantle President Barack Obama’s climate change initiatives, shrink federally protected lands, weaken smog standards, scale back habitat for rare species, and expand drilling into the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

What most unnerves Ayres and other veteran environmental lawyers and legal experts is the unprecedented opportunity President Trump has to fill the federal judiciary with anti-regulatory, pro-business appointees.

Trump has far more openings to fill than previous presidents, and Democrats have far less power to block his nominees than the opposition party has had in the past. And while Trump has trailed his predecessor in nominating officials for the executive branch, he has far outpaced recent presidents in selecting federal judges. So far, he’s nominated 31 judges to fill 140 open slots out of the 890 federal judgeships. By contrast, Obama had 54 openings for federal judges when he took office.

Can anybody fix the failed state of Oklahoma?

• 10 legal experts on why Trump can’t pardon his way out of the Russia investigation:

There is, however, one scenario in which Trump could save himself and others from potential prosecution. It’s what Susan Bloch, a law professor at Georgetown, calls the Nixon scenario: “Trump pardons them [Flynn, Kushner, Manafort, and Donald Trump Jr.] as he is exiting the White House and Trump exits early, allowing Pence to become president, and Pence then pardons Trump. Trump will then have successfully shielded himself and his colleagues from criminal liability.”

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Trump, who sucks, toddles off to TX. We had a mass shooting & nobody noticed. Two viral pics illustrate a single C-ville moment. Were you wondering where the cops were? There’s always more to the story, and sometimes it takes KITM to get it.

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