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The congressional effort on climate change is a good effort. Hope it works

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The Congressional Effort On Climate Change Is A Good Effort. Hope It Works
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Colorado residents are probably wondering what to make of the Inflation Reduction Act. Is this a reckless tax and spending scheme that includes teeth in the form of 86,000 new IRS agents, or is this a fiscally responsible way to save us from the deepening crisis of global warming ?

First of all, yes the headline is ridiculous – it is unlikely to reduce inflation significantly, although it will reduce health insurance costs for those who buy their plans on the ACA market with a continuation of increased subsidies.

A much more accurate title would be the Renewable Energy Incentives and Tax Reform Bill.

The bottom line is that the legislation will do demonstrable good in helping the United States move away from fossil fuels, and we don’t think you need to worry too much about additional IRS funding…unless it there is something big in your tax record that you’d rather the IRS didn’t know about, bunch of offenders.

In addition, the bill is paid with a minimum tax of 15% on companies whose profits exceed 1 billion dollars. This means that even though some of America’s largest corporations have found clever ways to cut their tax bill well below the 21% rate, they will still pay a minimum of 15% (with some caveats and deductions).

The net bill reduces the annual deficit (by how much our $30.6 trillion national debt grows each year) by about $300 billion. Much of this reduction comes from Medicare finally being able to negotiate drug prices, so these are theoretical savings for now.

Compare that cut, however, to the reconciliation bill of 2017, Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and almost immediately caused a huge increase – from 3% of GDP in 2016 to 4.6% in 2019 – in the federal deficit, long before COVID wreaked havoc on our economy and federal spending. Today, our deficit stands at an unhealthy 12.1% of GDP, higher even than spending during the last economic crisis.

The bill attempts to reduce carbon emissions to slow global warming with a three-pronged approach: incentives for makers of solar panels, wind turbines and other green technologies; incentives for families to reduce their carbon footprint; and an excise tax (read penalty or fine) on methane emissions that trap 25 times more heat in our atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, who helped keep negotiating lines open with the necessary Democratic retainer vote, Sen. Joe Manchin, said the bill would be a watershed.

“The objective of this bill was to use the power of the market to drive a transition. We’re going to call it the big transition day, and we’re going to look at 2021-22 as the tipping point,” Hickenlooper said in a meeting with the Denver Post on Wednesday. “We’re going to scale when you look at $100 billion in incentives for wind and solar. We will attract large investment companies. We are talking about huge amounts of clean energy at lower cost.

Hickenlooper’s optimism is contagious. He speaks of a bipartisan revival in the Senate with such hope — Senator Mitt Romney came to his rescue when he and his wife, Robin Pringle, needed a place to quarantine during their battle with COVID. Manchin’s demands for the bill were entirely reasonable, as Hickenlooper says, including common-sense measures like putting a revenue cap on tax incentives for electric vehicles and fuel efficiency improvements. home efficiency.

However, while we would like to be sure that the $100 billion donated to green energy manufacturing efforts will be used effectively by corporate America, we have seen too much fraud and corruption with corporate incentives to celebrate with too much. of enthusiasm. We still remember Obama’s $80 billion investment in green energy, which suffered so many failures, including the collapse of Solyndra after receiving a $500 million loan guarantee, that it has eclipsed all successful businesses.

Whether or not the bill is a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money or whether it ushers in a new green economy will largely depend on who gets the incentives, how honest they are and how successful their company is in cutting costs. and improving green energy technology.

We also recognize, however, that Congress needed to do something, and doing something has not been Congress’ strong point of late.

Hickenlooper has done well to get the ball rolling, and perhaps corporate America will rise to the task of using our taxpayers’ money wisely and efficiently. We hope because there is no alternative to hope.

Ultimately, we hope that Coloradians view the bill as a fiscally responsible step in the right direction for a government that has been unable to take a step in many years.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit it online or see our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.

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Hurricane Ian nears Florida landfall with 155 mph winds

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Hurricane Ian Nears Florida Landfall With 155 Mph Winds
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By CURT ANDERSON

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., (AP) — Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified as it neared landfall along Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday morning, gaining top winds of 155 mph (250 kph), just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. Damaging winds and rain lashed the state, and the heavily populated Naples to Sarasota region was at “highest risk” of a devastating storm surge.

U.S. Air Force hurricane hunters confirmed Ian gained strength over warm Gulf of Mexico water after battering Cuba, bringing down the country’s electricity grid and leaving the entire island without power. Ian was centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west-southwest of Naples at 7 a.m., swirling toward the coast at 10 mph (17 kph).

“This is going to be a nasty nasty day, two days,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said early Wednesday, stressing that people in Ian’s path along the coast should rush to the safest possible shelter and stay there.

“If you are in any of those counties it is no longer possible to safely evacuate. It’s time to hunker down and prepare for the storm,” DeSantis said. “Do what you need to do to stay safe. If you are where that storm is approaching, you’re already in hazardous conditions. It’s going to get a lot worse very quickly. So please hunker down.”

The massive storm appeared on track to slam ashore somewhere north of Fort Myers and some 125 miles (201 kilometers) south of Tampa, sparing the bay area from a rare direct hit from a hurricane. The Fort Myers area is popular with retirees and tourists drawn to pristine white sandy beaches and long barrier islands, which forecasters said could be completely inundated.

The hurricane center warned of catastrophic storm surges raising the water level as much as 12 feet (3.6 meters) to 16 feet (4.9 meters) above ground level for coastal areas straddling Punta Gorda and Fort Myers, which are between Naples and Sarasota.

More than 2.5 million people were under mandatory evacuation orders, but by law no one could be forced to flee. The governor said the state has 30,000 linemen, urban search and rescue teams and 7,000 National Guard troops from Florida and elsewhere ready to help once the weather clears.

“The assets we have are unprecedented in the state’s history and, unfortunately, they’ll need to be deployed,” DeSantis said.

Florida residents rushed ahead of the impact to board up their homes, stash precious belongings on upper floors and join long lines of cars away from the shore.

“You can’t do anything about natural disasters,” said Vinod Nair, who drove inland from the Tampa area Tuesday with his wife, son, dog and two kittens seeking a hotel in the tourist district of Orlando. “We live in a high risk zone, so we thought it best to evacuate.”

Winds exceeding tropical-storm strength of 39 mph (63 kph) reached Florida by 3 a.m. and the first hurricane-force winds were recorded by 6 a.m., well in advance of the eyewall moving inland, the Miami-based center said. Rainfall near the area of landfall could top 18 inches (46 centimeters).

Overnight, Hurricane Ian went through a natural cycle when it lost its old eye and formed a new eye. The timing of this is bad for the Florida coast because it means the storm got stronger and larger hours before it was set to make landfall, making it even more of a menace. Ian went from 120 mph (193 kph) to 155 mph (250 kph) in just three hours, the second round of rapid intensification in the storm’s life cycle.

“With the higher intensity you’re going to see more extensive wind damage. The larger wind field means that more people will experience those storm-force winds,” University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said. And “it will really increase the amount of storm surge.”

Ian’s forward movement slowed over the Gulf, enabling the hurricane to grow wider and stronger, and its predicted path shifted slightly southward. That would likely spare Tampa and St. Petersburg their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

Instead, the most damaging winds could hit a rapidly developing coastline where the population has jumped sevenfold since 1970, according to the U.S. Census, which shows Lee County has seen the eighth largest population growth among more than 180 Atlantic and Gulf coast counties in the past 50 years.

There were 250,000 people in the Fort Myers/Lee County mandatory evacuation zones, and authorities worried ahead of the storm that only 10% or so would leave.

Gil Gonzalez wasn’t taking any chances. He boarded the windows of his Tampa home with plywood and laid down sandbags to guard against any flooding. He and his wife packed their car with bottled water, flashlights, battery packs for their cellphones and a camp stove before evacuating.

“All the prized possessions, we’ve put them upstairs in a friend’s house,” Gonzalez said.

Airports in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Key West closed, as did Disney World theme parks and Sea World in Orlando ahead of the storm.

A couple from England on vacation in Tampa found themselves faced with riding out the storm at a shelter. Glyn and Christine Williams of London were told to leave their hotel near the beach when evacuations were ordered. Because the airport shut down, they could get no flight home.

“Unfortunately, all the hotels are full or closed, so it looks as though we’re going to be in one of the shelters,” Christine Williams said.

Her husband insisted all would be fine. “You know, you got to go with the flow,” Glyn Williams said. “So we’re quite happy doing what we’re doing.”

The precise location of landfall was still uncertain, but with Ian’s tropical storm-force winds extending 175 miles (280 kilometers) from its center, flash floods were possible across the whole state. Parts of Florida’s east coast faced a storm surge threat as well, and isolated tornadoes were spinning off the storm well ahead of landfall. One tornado damaged small planes and a hangar at the North Perry Airport, west of Hollywood along the Atlantic coast.

Florida Power and Light warned those in Ian’s path to brace for days without electricity. As a precaution, hundreds of residents were being evacuated from several nursing homes in the Tampa area, where hospitals also were moving some patients.

Parts of Georgia and South Carolina also could see flooding rains and some coastal surge into Saturday. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp preemptively declared an emergency, ordering 500 National Guard troops onto standby to respond as needed.

Before turning toward Florida, Ian struck Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province with sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and causing destruction in the island nation’s world-famous tobacco belt. No deaths were reported.

Local government station TelePinar reported heavy damage at the main hospital in Pinar del Rio city, tweeting photos of collapsed ceilings, widely flung debris and toppled trees. Some people left the stricken area on foot, carrying their children, while buses tried to evacuated others through waterlogged streets. Others opted to stay at their damaged houses.

“It was horrible,” said Yusimi Palacios, a resident of Pinar del Rio inside her damaged house. “But here we are alive, and I only ask the Cuban revolution to help me with the roof and the mattress.”

___

Associated Press contributors include Christina Mesquita in Havana, Cuba; Cody Jackson in Tampa, Florida; Freida Frisaro in Miami; Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee, Florida; Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida; Seth Borenstein in Washington and Bobby Caina Calvan in New York.

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Man killed in Douglas drive-by shooting – NBC Chicago

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Man Killed In Douglas Drive-By Shooting – Nbc Chicago
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A man was fatally shot while driving in Douglas on Tuesday evening, police said.

The 30-year-old man, who has not yet been identified, was driving east around 10:15 p.m. on the 200 block of East 31st Street when someone in a white sedan fired the shots, Chicago police say .

The man was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

There is no one in custody and Area One detectives are investigating.

Police did not give further details.

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Other voices: Alex Jones again demonstrates the depths of his depravity

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Other Voices: Alex Jones Again Demonstrates The Depths Of His Depravity
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Poisonous gasbag Alex Jones has already lost the defamation suit brought by families of children and educators killed at Sandy Hook Elementary; the only purpose of a Connecticut trial is to determine the damages he’ll pay for defaming them by saying the murder of 20 first graders and six educators was staged.

On the stand last Thursday, questioned by an attorney for the families, Jones demonstrated his contempt for the entire exercise: “You’re unbelievable,” he spat: “You switch on emotions on and off when you want. It’s just ambulance-chasing.”

“Why don’t you show them respect?” replied the lawyer. “You have families in this courtroom that lost children, sisters, wives, moms.”

Retorted Jones: “Is this a struggle session? Are we in China? I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times and I’m done saying I’m sorry. I didn’t progenerate this. I wasn’t the first person to say it. American gun owners didn’t like being blamed for this as the left did, so we rejected it mentally and said it must not be true, but I legitimately thought it might have been staged. And I stand by that and I don’t apologize for it.”

The reptile whose words smeared murdered kids and their loved ones as crisis actors remains incapable of remorse. Meanwhile, his website Infowars continues mocking the proceedings. Soak the snake.

— The New York Daily News

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Ian just shy of a Category 5 hurricane as it nears Florida

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Ian Just Shy Of A Category 5 Hurricane As It Nears Florida
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By CURT ANDERSON

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., (AP) — Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified off Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday morning, gaining top winds of 155 mph (250 kph), just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. Damaging winds and rain lashed the state’s heavily populated Gulf Coast, with the Naples to Sarasota region at “highest risk” of a devastating storm surge.

U.S. Air Force hurricane hunters confirmed Ian gained strength over warm Gulf of Mexico water after battering Cuba, bringing down the country’s electricity grid and leaving the entire island without power. Ian was centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west-southwest of Naples at 7 a.m., swirling toward the coast at 10 mph (17 kph).

“This is going to be a nasty nasty day, two days,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said early Wednesday. “This is going to be a rough stretch.”

The massive storm appeared on track to slam into the Florida’s southwestern Gulf coast somewhere north of Fort Myers and some 125 miles (201 kilometers) south of Tampa, sparing the bay area from a rare direct hit from a hurricane. The Fort Myers area is popular with retirees and tourists drawn to pristine white sandy beaches and long barrier islands, which forecasters said could be completely inundated.

The hurricane center warned of catastrophic storm surges raising the water level as much as 12 feet (3.6 meters) to 16 feet (4.9 meters) above ground level for coastal areas straddling Punta Gorda and Fort Myers, which are between Naples and Sarasota.

More than 2.5 million people were under mandatory evacuation orders, but by law no one could be forced to flee. Florida residents rushed ahead of the impact to board up their homes, stash precious belongings on upper floors and join long lines of cars away from the shore.

“You can’t do anything about natural disasters,” said Vinod Nair, who drove inland from the Tampa area Tuesday with his wife, son, dog and two kittens seeking a hotel in the tourist district of Orlando. “We live in a high risk zone, so we thought it best to evacuate.”

Winds exceeding tropical-storm strength of 39 mph (63 kph) reached Florida by 3 a.m. and the first hurricane-force winds were recorded by 6 a.m., well in advance of the eyewall moving inland, the Miami-based center said. Rainfall near the area of landfall could top 18 inches (46 centimeters).

Overnight, Hurricane Ian went through a natural cycle when it lost its old eye and formed a new eye. The timing of this is bad for the Florida coast because it means the storm got stronger and larger hours before it was set to make landfall, making it even more of a menace. Ian went from 120 mph (193 kph) to 155 mph (250 kph) in just three hours, the second round of rapid intensification in the storm’s life cycle.

“With the higher intensity you’re going to see more extensive wind damage. The larger wind field means that more people will experience those storm-force winds,” University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said. And “it will really increase the amount of storm surge.”

Ian’s forward movement slowed over the Gulf, enabling the hurricane to grow wider and stronger, and its predicted path shifted slightly southward. That would likely spare Tampa and St. Petersburg their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

Instead, the most damaging winds could hit a rapidly developing coastline where the population has jumped sevenfold since 1970, according to the U.S. Census, which shows Lee County has seen the eighth largest population growth among more than 180 Atlantic and Gulf coast counties in the past 50 years.

There were 250,000 people in the Fort Myers/Lee County mandatory evacuation zones, and authorities worried ahead of the storm that only 10% or so would leave.

Gil Gonzalez wasn’t taking any chances. He boarded the windows of his Tampa home with plywood and laid down sandbags to guard against any flooding. He and his wife packed their car with bottled water, flashlights, battery packs for their cellphones and a camp stove before evacuating.

“All the prized possessions, we’ve put them upstairs in a friend’s house,” Gonzalez said.

Airports in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Key West closed, as did Disney World theme parks and Sea World in Orlando ahead of the storm.

A couple from England on vacation in Tampa found themselves faced with riding out the storm at a shelter. Glyn and Christine Williams of London were told to leave their hotel near the beach when evacuations were ordered. Because the airport shut down, they could get no flight home.

“Unfortunately, all the hotels are full or closed, so it looks as though we’re going to be in one of the shelters,” Christine Williams said.

Her husband insisted all would be fine. “You know, you got to go with the flow,” Glyn Williams said. “So we’re quite happy doing what we’re doing.”

The precise location of landfall was still uncertain, but with Ian’s tropical storm-force winds extending 175 miles (280 kilometers) from its center, flash floods were possible across the whole state. Parts of Florida’s east coast faced a storm surge threat as well, and isolated tornadoes were spinning off the storm well ahead of landfall. One tornado damaged small planes and a hangar at the North Perry Airport, west of Hollywood along the Atlantic coast.

Florida Power and Light warned those in Ian’s path to brace for days without electricity. As a precaution, hundreds of residents were being evacuated from several nursing homes in the Tampa area, where hospitals also were moving some patients.

Parts of Georgia and South Carolina also could see flooding rains and some coastal surge into Saturday. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp preemptively declared an emergency, ordering 500 National Guard troops onto standby to respond as needed.

Before turning toward Florida, Ian struck Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province with sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and causing destruction in the island nation’s world-famous tobacco belt. No deaths were reported.

Local government station TelePinar reported heavy damage at the main hospital in Pinar del Rio city, tweeting photos of collapsed ceilings, widely flung debris and toppled trees. Some people left the stricken area on foot, carrying their children, while buses tried to evacuated others through waterlogged streets. Others opted to stay at their damaged houses.

“It was horrible,” said Yusimi Palacios, a resident of Pinar del Rio inside her damaged house. “But here we are alive, and I only ask the Cuban revolution to help me with the roof and the mattress.”

___

Associated Press contributors include Christina Mesquita in Havana, Cuba; Cody Jackson in Tampa, Florida; Freida Frisaro in Miami; Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee, Florida; Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida; Seth Borenstein in Washington and Bobby Caina Calvan in New York.

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Other voices: Reforming the Electoral Count Act should not be controversial

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Other Voices: Reforming The Electoral Count Act Should Not Be Controversial
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The U.S. House of Representatives this month passed a bill to reform how Congress certifies electors after a presidential election. That bill (or a similar but slightly weaker Senate one) needs to pass the Senate now.

After the November general election, Congress’ focus will turn to the 2024 presidential race. Good luck getting any meaningful election reforms passed then.

Ostensibly, the Presidential Election Reform Act is a response to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and its aftermath. When Congress reconvened, 147 Republican representatives and senators voted against certifying that President Joe Biden had won. There also were desperate machinations to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence to throw out the election result.

Jan. 6 is only the impetus of the hour, though. The need for reform has been clear for decades. It just took a near-complete collapse of the process and democratic-norms to prompt action.

The problem goes back to the 1887 law known as the Electoral Count Act. Historians, lawyers and Constitutional law scholars for decades have argued that it was so poorly written, vague and ambiguous that it was only a matter of time until some lawmakers tried to abuse it.

Indeed, Republicans in 2021 weren’t the first to object to certifying presidential electors, though they took it further than anyone before. Some Democrats objected to certifying electors in 2001, 2005 and 2017 when Republicans won the White House. The difference was that those were just protests after a candidate had already conceded, not an outright attempt to overturn a fair election.

The House bill would clean up the Electoral Count Act. It would raise the bar for members of Congress to object to certification and would make it explicit that the vice president’s role is strictly ceremonial. It also would establish clear rules for who in the states certifies electors.

None of this should be controversial. Establishing well-defined ground rules for elections and the transfer of presidential power benefits everyone. Yet only nine Republicans in the House joined Democrats in passing the bill. Most of the nine also had voted to impeach Trump after Jan. 6 and won’t return to Congress after this year’s election.

The Senate should act without delay, though whether it can overcome a Republican filibuster is uncertain. If it cannot, senators should vote on a similar Senate bill that does have bipartisan support. That one doesn’t go quite as far, but something is better than nothing. The alternative is heading into 2024 with the same broken law that led to a riot and members of Congress trading their honor for fealty to a losing presidential candidate.

— The Seattle Times

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Insurance regulator asks general insurers to offer long-term policies

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Insurance Regulator Asks General Insurers To Offer Long-Term Policies
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The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked general insurers to offer long-term policies, particularly with three different segments forming the majority of the business. These three segments are automobile insurance, health insurance and property insurance.

A working committee of 21 members was formed for this purpose. This working committee is made up of representatives from the general insurance industry, the regulatory side and the banking side.

The committee basically expected to give its recommendations and suggestions to the insurance regulator in terms of structure, operation of long-term products in these three segments as well as pricing and accounting mechanism.

This decision will help policyholders stay with one insurance company over the long term. The possible industry indication is that there could be 10-year auto insurance policies, health insurance policies, and property insurance policies.

This committee is supposed to give recommendations to the regulator. Once this is collected by the regulatory body, final regulations will be developed regarding the appearance of these products.

To learn more, watch the attached video

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