US of America News

Maddow Devoted Half Her Show Last Night To TRUUUUUUUUCK, And It Was Great

We are also now pretty damn excited about TRUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

Two truck posts in two days? Sure why not.

When Joe Biden talked to folks at the Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan, yesterday, he introduced himself by saying, "My name is Joe Biden, and I'm a car guy." He's also the president, allegedly. But he really is a car guy.

And during that visit, he got to test-drive the new Ford F-150 Lightning, which is all electric, which will be officially unveiled tonight, and is set to go on sale next year.

We are also somewhat of a car guy, but we didn't realize what a big fuckin' deal this new electric F-150 was until Rachel Maddow, who is a Biden-grade car person, decided to devote her entire A-block last night to TRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

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Legal

NOT SHINY, NOT NORMAL: Chevron Allowed To Literally Prosecute Lawyer For Winning Judgment Against It

US vs. Donzinger? THIS WHOLE CASE IS OUT OF ORDER.

Yesterday, the final day of his criminal trial, was Steven Donziger's 650th day under house arrest.

Donziger's crime? Pissing off Big Oil.

Steven Donziger now describes himself as an advocate. He used to be an environmental and human rights lawyer. For 28 years, he represented more than 30,000 indigenous Amazonians and rural farmers in Ecuador in their fight against Chevron.

For decades, the oil giant had destroyed the local ecosystem, dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste, leaving pits of oily waste water the size of football fields.

In 2011, an Ecuadorian court awarded Donziger's clients $19.5 billion in damages.

Rather than finally pay for some of the damage it had done, Chevron — which has some $260 billion in assets — quickly sold all of its holdings in Ecuador and got to work doing everything it could to get out of paying the people it harmed.

And, in addition to fighting the judgment, Chevron had a new goal: Ruin Steven Donziger's life.

Let's start at the beginning

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Environment

A Bill To Make Louisiana 'Sanctuary State' For Fossil Fuels? Did Oil Write This?

Haha, the joke doesn't work if the answer is yes! Also, the answer is yes!

Back in Medieval times, it was possible all over Europe to murder someone or commit another crime and then run into a church and be safe from being arrested or otherwise punished — which usually resulted in being exiled instead. This, as you probably learned from reading or watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame, was called declaring sanctuary.

During the Trump administration (and even before that), cities across the country declared themselves sanctuary cities for immigrants — meaning that they would limit their cooperation with a bunch of exceptionally terrible federal immigration laws. California declared itself a sanctuary state. This was for both compassionate reasons and practical ones. People in these cities didn't want to spend money and resources hurting their neighbors because it made people who don't even live in those cities feel good about themselves.

But oh how the tables have turned! Somewhat. Late last month, Danny McCormick, a Republican Louisiana state rep and oil company owner, attempted to pass a bill that would declare the state a sanctuary state ... for fossil fuels. Probably out of compassion for said fossil fuels, who have simply come to Louisiana in search of a better life, so that they and their family members can be drilled out of the ground and turned into leaded or unleaded.

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Environment

Hooray! A Story About Elon Musk And Bitcoin Where You Don't Have To Pretend Either Makes Sense!

Much less like them.

Billionaire creepazoid/visionary/cult figure Elon Musk announced yesterday that his car company, Tesla Motors, will no longer accept Bitcoin as payment for cars, because of concerns about the astonishing amount of energy used in making Bitcoin happen. As with many times when Elon Musk Says A Thing, the announcement set off a bit of a panic, with the value of Bitcoin plunging and cryptocurrency markets losing something like $385 billion in value yesterday.

In the announcement, Musk said he was "concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining and transactions, and especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel," and while Tesla won't be selling off any of its Bitcoin holdings — about $2.5 billion, which seems like rather a lot — it will hold off any further Bitcoin trading until the cryptocurrency "transitions to more sustainable energy."

Now, before we go any further, let us reassure you that this is an energy and environment story, not a cryptocurrency story. You don't have to understand anything about no "blockchain" or "public ledgers" or anything, beyond knowing that in order to add a version of the scarcity that makes money "money," Bitcoin can only be mined with dedicated computers that must solve incredibly complex math problems in order to be able to trade the imaginary currency. (If you do want to understand Bitcoin more, then what is wrong with you, and you can find a good introduction in this Chris Hayes podcast, which is remarkably non sleep-inducing).

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