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India, Keurig, and real environmentalism

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India Keurig and real environmentalism

As Syria and Nicaragua both sign on the the Paris Climate Accord, the Unites States difiantly remains the lone nation out. While Nicaragua conceded that the deal was better than nothing, Syria found time to look into it amidst their Civil War and also as a chance to spite the US for their contributions to the terrorist rebels. But while the Trump administration has stated its willingness to renegotiate for more favorable terms, French President Macron is steadfast with his take it or leave it approach, and said so after Trump gave his Rocketman speech at the UN.

About a year ago, India committed to the Paris Climate Accord with promises of being 40% non-fossil fuel energy. Yet reports have surfaced about the toxicity of the air in India. India has long had the world’s most dangerous air in terms of health hazards, but a real crisis has emerged. While India boasts ambitious goals for clean energy, they are certainly lacking one year later in making real progress towards clean air, which after all should be a priority for environmentalists.

Perspectives

One year ago: India to ratify Paris climate change agreement at UN

India has committed that by 2030, at least 40% of its electricity will be generated from non-fossil sources. This includes 175GW renewable energy capacity by 2022.

Manish Bapna, executive vice-president and managing director of the World Resources Institute, said India “has one of the boldest renewable energy targets in the world, making it destined to be a major player in solar and wind markets”.

Money will be a big challenge for India, which says it will require over $2.5tn (£1.9tn) to meet all its targets. It says it will achieve the targets only if other countries give it money and discounts on new technology.

Associated Press: Anger Rises as Toxic Air Chokes India’s Capital

This past week the air was the worst it’s been all year in the capital, with microscopic particles that can affect breathing and health spiking to 75 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization.

Experts have compared breathing the air to smoking a couple of packs of cigarettes a day. The Lancet medical journal recently estimated that some 2.5 million Indians die each year from pollution.

United Airlines suspended its flights between New Delhi and Newark, New Jersey, for Saturday and Sunday because of the heavy air pollution in the Indian capital, said Sonia, an airline official who uses one name.

She said doctors in recent days have been dealing with a 20 percent spike in emergency hospital admissions from people suffering heart and lung problems. And that’s in a city, she said, where one in every three children already has compromised lungs.

Enter Keurig

The coffee giant sailed into political tides over Sean Hannity’s interview with Roy Moore. Their social media fiasco, some might call it, prompted protests by loyal Hannity supporters and praise from the left. So while Hannity fanatics may be boycotting Keuring, they are unknowingly doing a very good thing for the environment. The premise of Keurig is humanity at its dumbests. Keurig found a way to trick people into paying more for coffee by offering convenience and an expensive machine to deliver that convenience. This expensive machine Keurig 2.0 only takes official K-Cups because it’s more computer than coffee maker. Somehow the pods they made weren’t even a recyclable plastic which furthers how detrimental these things are for the environment. However recycling barely mitigates this problem because, humans suck at it and recycling plastic only creates an inferior plastic. That is why companies use “virgin” material as a value proposition for vinyl/plastic products.

K-Cups are basically the “water bottles of coffee” except less recyclable. But disposable water bottles are evidence of the limitations of recycling. Keurig is simply the same thing as Juicero except, it caught on.

Further Perspectives

Vice: Keurig Coffee Machines Are Hell Devices That Everyone Should Boycott

Keurig manufactures a hell machine that has been disavowed by its inventor. It encapsulates the very worst facets of late capitalism and should be boycotted by everyone for reasons that have nothing to do with Hannity. Besides making a product that is horrendous for the environment in its very premise, Keurig was also a pioneer in creating unrepairable, proprietary, single-use hardware and bringing Digital Rights Management and patent law loopholes to coffee machines.

If you’re not familiar, Keurig machines are designed to make single servings of coffee. “K-Cups” are single-serving plastic coffee pods that are disposable, not compostable, and, for the most part, not recyclable (Keurig introduced its first recyclable K-Cups last year and hopes to make all of its K-Cups recyclable by 2020)

Roughly 10 billion K-Cups are sold each year; a 2015 story by The Atlantic noted that if you laid out all the K-Cups sold in 2014 end-to-end, it would circle the globe roughly 10.5 times. Most of these are not recyclable because only a handful of K-Cups are recyclable as of this writing.

Inventor John Sylvan, who left Keurig several years ago, told The Atlantic that Keurigs are “kind of expensive to use” and noted that “no matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable.” This is because humans are shitty at recycling in general—how many plastic water bottles have you seen end up in trash cans—and most recycled things are actually down cycled, meaning they become something less useful as they go through its end-of-life.

Forbes: Why Juicero Needs To Be Squeezed Out Of Existence

To the uninitiated, Juicero is a $400 cold press juicing machine that uses $8 packs that, it turns out, you can squeeze by hand (although the CEO does not want you to do this). The tech blogs and Twitter have been having a field day with the machine — some love it while some are calling it out. Why, though? Google Ventures and other investors have poured over $120 million into a company that is effectively redundant.

A product that isn’t needed and should have had the sense to be better priced or had the marketing toned down significantly. The world needs more sense and value right now, and Juicero provides too little of both.

Final Thoughts

The Left constantly criticizes conservatives and Republicans for not caring about the environment. They cite evidence like opposition to the Paris Climate Accord, Kyoto Protocol, and unaccountable EPA regulations, ignoring the core principles of small government conservatism. However, India clearly shows that they don’t care about the environment despite supporting these things. As mention above they will only fulfill their energy ambitions if given discounts and money. Without these things, India will happily continue to pollute the earth with no remorse. India wants OPM to make their energy grid more self-sustainable. Gee, if someone gave me money to buy solar panels, I’d be a fool not to use OPM to buy something that will provide an economic benefit for years to come. This is what India is doing and they are championing the Paris Climate Accord in order to receive OPM. That’s not environmentalism, that’s phonyism.

Now, Keurig is the most socially irresponsible product to exist in this decade. If you truly care about the environment, you would boycott this product regardless of Hannity. If you truly care about the environment, you would avoid/limit your use of disposable water bottles. I hate my city water, but instead of routinely purchasing water bottles, we have a Brita filter pitcher. Problem solved and we go through a lot of water. You might be reading this and think I claim Americans don’t care about the environment, and you’re close.

Americans do care, but we aren’t taught how to care. Liberals preach that the government should solve pollution by regulating corporations and private citizens. But this removes the personal accountability for our consumer choices. We create a demand for irresponsible products, so companies supply it. Instead of relying on government regulation, we should take actions ourselves. We need to care for the environment with our consumption and at local levels, rather than rely on federal and global measures, which historically haven’t accomplished a thing.

It’s the same fallacy as equating welfare to charity. Many people support government entitlements to compensate for their lack of private charity. Likewise, many on the left support government action to compensate for their own lack of environmentalism.

Democrats

Mapping the Senate in the midst of midterm elections

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Mapping the Senate in the midst of midterm elections

There’s never a stoppage of talk about a Blue Wave in politics. The midterm elections are the rallying beacon for the left. Ever since Democrats acknowledged Trump would assume the Whitehouse, winning the 2018 elections has been a top priority and a great source of rhetoric. In history, there are numerous occasions where the party in power loses midterm elections, leading to all sorts of political havoc. But this doesn’t happen every time. In 2010, Obama lost the House, stopping much of his agenda in its tracks from a legislative point of view. But is Trump doomed to the same fate? In the House, the answer is less certain. The vast amount of open seats gives measure to unpredictability. The Senate, on the other hand holds the power of impeachment and should Democrats really want Trump removed, they would need control.

Current Senate: 51 Republicans, 49 Democrats

North Dakota

The first seat that the Democrats will likely lose is North Dakota. The GOP had nearly twice as many votes than the Democrats in the primary. Heidi Heitkamp won a high turnout election in 2012 by a slim margin of 1%. She needs to build upon that to survive, but can she against a very formidable opponent? Kevin Cramer was also elected to Congress that same year. He won with 12248 more votes than Heitkamp received in a victorious election for the Democrats. In North Dakota, the congressional district is at-large meaning the Senate race and the Congressional race is virtually the same in that the candidate must have statewide appeal in order to win. Cramer has proven his appeal to voters achieving 233980 votes in 2016, 72643 more votes than Heitkamp received. Cramer has the same race, but a different opponent. It is likeliest that North Dakota turns red out of every blue seat. The math just doesn’t look good for the Democrats. On top of that, Heitkamp voted against confirming Kavanaugh, a move that signaled concession.

West Virginia

Joe Manchin has toted a moderate stance, but West Virginia is becoming more Conservative. Joe Manchin, on the other hand is attached to the ever left moving Democratic party. Patrick Morrisey doesn’t seem to have the same post-primary momentum that his counterparts in Trump voting states have had. This can be attributed to Joe Manchin’s likability and his ability to make moves that pander to his voters. His lone Democrat vote for Kavanaugh was a populist move, both cowardly and brave at the same time. It may, in fact, save his campaign. On the flip side, the left may snub Manchin seeing very little difference between the two. This race is a tossup.

Wisconsin

The Primary Election yielded the strongest candidate for the GOP’s chances in November, in stark contrast to Indiana. Leah Vurkmir already has the backing of the well organized Wisconsin GOP, the same GOP that successfully campaigned for Scott Walker during his recall election. This same level of organization already found favor with the more conservative Vurkmir who handily crushed her primary against despite what polling had to say. She’s got game and doesn’t have major scandals holding her down. The Democrats neglected Wisconsin in 2016. So the Republicans better have capitalized off of Hillary’s idle hands. Vurkmir is a great test for the prowess of the GOP in Wisconsin. She makes this race a tossup.

Arizona

This race began with a lot more promise. However, the emergence of Martha McSally does not bode well for Republicans. She is one of the most left leaning Senate candidates among Republicans, and she doesn’t have the military background that John McCain won with, though she is a veteran herself. It’s very likely that many Republicans snub their noses at this obvious RINO of a candidate. The Democrats on the other hand are nominating a candidate who actually supported Kate’s Law, so were dealing with a Joe Manchin level of Democrat rather than a Claire McCaskill. It doesn’t quite energize any bases to have two similar candidates. However Krysten Sinema’s true colors are coming out. Despite a seemingly moderate time in Congress, she is being revealed as far left. She has made statements bashing her own state and the country. As a result, McSally may be pulling ahead. But still this race is a tossup.

Florida

In 2016, the Republicans used the more likable Marco Rubio to maintain the Senate seat. They look to employ the same strategy with Governor Rick Scott. Rick Scott knows how to outperform polling which is what Republicans need in such a time as this. He is capable of winning statewide elections and faces a three term Senator. The GOP can’t run with anything less than a complete professional level campaigner. The Florida GOP is also more organized, similar to Wisconsin. The GOP knows how to win the state and is in the process of solidifying Florida as a red state. Most experts have this race as a tossup, which is why I give the edge to Rick Scott.

Texas

Social media is gunning for Cruz’s seat. Unreliable polls have this race as close. But can the guy who thinks that kneeling for the anthem is patriotic really win a state like Texas? I doubt it. But Ted Cruz will have to work for his reelection, which he will probably enjoy doing. Trump will come to Cruz’s assistance later in the campaign to solidify Trump voters with Cruz. I think Beto’s chances are hyped but losing by single digits are in the realm of likelihood. Ted Cruz will win, especially with Abbott running for reelection.

Indiana

Joe Donnelly won in 2012 due to facing a weak candidate Mike Braun came out of one of the worst Senate primaries of the GOP. Should he win, it would be achievement of the Indiana GOP to carry such a poor candidate to victory. But Trump won Indiana by 20 points. This is a hard race for Donnelly to win, yet Donnelly isn’t the most left Democrat. He is closer to a Manchin than Feinstein, but that might change with his no vote on Kavanaugh. This unpopular move is hard to justify in a state that swung for Trump so heavily. The Indiana GOP should be glad he voted no. Donnelly sabotaging his own chances is way more likely than Braun running a sealed campaign. This race is a tossup.

New Jersey

Bob Menendez may have survived charges related to his corruption, but is one of the most unpopular Senators in the country. Powerful allies have turned on him. Because of his meteoric unpopularity, this race can be considered a tough one. Still New Jersey is heavy on the leftism and Conservatism is little known there. Bob Hugin is no Conservative but will give Menendez a good run if nothing else. Its hard to imagine Republicans stealing a seat in the New Jersey, but its also hard to vote for blatant corruption even if you are a pussy hat wearing soy boy. I think Hugin will lose by a only a slim margin.

Ohio

Jim Renacci was a terrible candidate from the beginning despite easily winning his primary. Trump’s team handpicked him, and he has done nothing to capitalize off this endorsement. Since the primary he has had terrible poll numbers, but the bigger problem is his lack of advertising. The Blaze reports on his lack of ads:

Brown, evidently understanding the seriousness of the challenge from Renacci after Trump won Ohio in 2016, has spent freely on television and radio ads — roughly 25 times more than Renacci has in the time since the May primary.

Brown has spent $12.5 million since May, compared to only $481,000 from Renacci (which paid for ads that ran in June statewide). In 2012, Josh Mandel spent $12 million on broadcast ads in an unsuccessful bid to unseat Brown.

State Republicans can’t figure out what Renacci’s strategy is by spending so little on ads.

Still if Renacci was good for one thing it’s the actions that inspired headlines like this Republican Jim Renacci Defends Decision To Fly On Strip Club Owner’s Private Plane To Meet Religious Leaders. Sherrod Brown saw the red wave and acted accordingly.

Montana

Jon Tester is another Democrat Senator holding a seat where Trump won bigly in 2016. However, like Indiana, this race seems to be a race to the bottom. Jon Tester is an underperformer but Matt Rosendale is seen as a carpetbagger. Rosendale is having some trouble campaigning, so it seems. Perhaps Tester voting against Kavanaugh and Gorsuch will give Rosendale an edge, like Braun in Indiana. Other factors in this race include a potential Libertarian spoiler candidate. This race is a tossup, but perhaps a debate between the candidates will change the tide.

Nevada

This is the second most likely seat to flip blue. Dean Heller is the only Republican up for reelection in a state carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Dean Heller is looking for a Kavanaugh bump in what looks like a dead heat of a race. His challenger, Jacky Rosen, is also looking for a Kavanaugh bump. She is the Left’s best potential reinforcement in the Senate. Along with Kavanaugh, Rosen is hedging a bet on Obamacare to sink Heller. It’s a risky strategy, but ultimately this race will be a referendum on these two issues. The California pollution is a major disadvantage for the Republicans in Nevada, rendering their incumbent in a tossup.

Missouri

Claire McCaskill is another unpopular Democrat Senator. Her opponent, Josh Hawley is the darling of the Missouri GOP. This race had major implications from the beginning thus invited a large field of candidates for the primary. Josh Hawley is a likable candidate who won’t make a legitimate rape comment that gave McCaskill the seat in the first place. He even avoided campaigning with a controversial pastor. He doesn’t want people to not like him, thus he waited a long time within his campaign to clearly articulate his positions. Josh Hawley is the Missouri Marco Rubio and should carry the GOP across the finish line. There is a lot of money riding on this election. Other factors in this race may be the confusion with the lawsuit surrounding Missouri’s voter ID law. This race is a tossup on paper, but Hawley will likely take it.

Tennessee

Can the Democrats take this seat away from Republicans? Yes? Tennessee is the third of three seats that have a possibility of flipping blue as part of the Blue Wave? The only problem for leftist is that Phil Bredesen isn’t all that leftist and a victory in this race is not an indication that the country is embracing socialist or anticapitalist policies. Rather Phil Bredesen is perhaps a political unicorn: fiscally conservative and socially moderate. Paige rogers write this much prior to him winning his primary.

Under his tenure, the fiscally conservative Bredesen understood and respected Tennesseans’ preference for low taxes over “government goodies” and did not attempt to force more taxes down our throats. Tennessee also requires a balanced budget, which basically means that the state can’t spend more than it takes in. In a 2011 exit interview, he remarked, “As long as you’re willing to tell people there are certain things you can’t do — you can’t have Massachusetts services and Tennessee taxes … [then there’s an understanding] that Tennessee’s future lies more in being a low-tax state and accepting the level of services that implies.” And so, under the taxation-restrictive environment of Tennessee, he made the most of what he had to work with.

The threat to the GOP is real. Bredesen has even stated that he would have voted for Kavanaugh. Meanwhile, the overrated pop star Taylor Swift is shelling out for him calling Marsha Blackburn, a woman, bad for women. Tennessee is a red state, and Trump supports Marsha Blackburn. Bredesen is playing the Joe Manchin card, but Project Veritas released a video implicating his moderate act as a lie. These are critical advantages. But this race is close. This race is a tossup.

Michigan

John James is a fantastic candidate on paper and a savvy campaigner, but that was in the primary. He will need a lot more than that if he wants to flip a union heavy state. Michigan went for Trump but that was very telling of how bad Hillary Clinton was rather than how popular the Republicans are. If the Republicans win in Michigan, then the Red Wave would be catastrophic. This race is winnable. Tom Rogan describes this race as one to watch.

And it’s clear the Stabenow campaign is growing increasingly concerned. Their focus has shifted away from broad appeals to Michigan voters and toward a narrative that the Republican Party wants to penalize Americans with pre-existing health conditions. It’s a basic fear strategy, devoid of factual foundation, but one they hope will be enough to shut down James’ lead.

And with Kid Rock due to campaign for James next week, the Democrats want to blunt James’ rise before he can catalyze it. James finished very strongly in his primary, after trailing his main GOP opponent for most of the race, and he’d like to pull off a similar feat next month.

Perhaps a Kavanaugh bump paired with some solid campaign ground game will deliver the upset. Just maybe he might do it. But for now, this is a blue seat.

Before Election Day Republicans 42 Democrats 23


I considered this map very liberal (not Left) with its use of tossups. At a glance, the GOP already secures 49 seats, two fewer seats than what they currently hold. A Democratic majority would require the Democrats to win all 9 toss up races along with securing the competitive races that aren’t tossup. The Democrats max out at 51, maybe 52 if they drum up some rape allegations on Ted Cruz; it’s approaching that time in the race if they are going to do that. In contrast the Republicans max out at 59, all of the tossups and a W in both New Jersey and Michigan.

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Democrats

With Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit dismissed, will Michael Avenatti go away?

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With Stormy Daniels lawsuit dismissed will Michael Avenatti go away

Don’t count on it.

Part of me hopes he doesn’t go away.

Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit against President Trump was dismissed by U.S. District Judge S. James Otero today. Adding insult to injury, he ordered her to pay President Trump’s legal fees.

Her notorious lawyer, Michael Avenatti, took to Twitter to attack the decision and post details of the appeal he is filing.

Avenatti took a hit earlier this month when his other high-profile client, Julie Swetnick, essentially had her accusations against Brett Kavanaugh ridiculed or ignored. Some Democrats even speculated Avenatti may have been a GOP plant all along, claiming his actions and the accusations by his client were a turning point that actually helped push through Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

The lawyer has been very public about his ambitions of sitting in the Oval Office. He has done everything short of declaring his intention to seek the Democratic nomination and continues to push himself onto every national news outlet that will have him.

No, Michael Avenatti isn’t going away.

Personally, I hope he sticks around. He will almost certainly be a rabid dog who attacks his fellow Democrats during the primaries, inflicting maximum damage and helping to turn the nomination process into as much of a debacle as everything else he touches.

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Opinions

Can Republicans keep their House majority?

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Can Republicans keep their House majority

At the beginning of the year, most of the momentum and every bit of positive press favored the Democrats to win majorities in both the House and Senate. The positive press is still there; Democrats could run Kermit Gosnell and mainstream media would paint him as a saint. The momentum, however, has shifted towards Republicans.

Is it enough to get them over the hump and retain control of the House of Representatives?

The Senate seems to be safely in their hands. One should not get complacent as a shift in a couple of elections could change the GOP’s fortunes drastically, but at this point it appears the Democrats will actually lose seats instead of winning enough for a majority. The House, on the other hand, is leaning towards the Democrats.

Here are three things the GOP and their voters must do if they’re going to keep majorities in both chambers of Congress.

  1. Focus on races they can win – This is going to offend some. Nobody wants to admit defeat, but anyone down by double digits this late in the game needs a true October Surprise to reverse their fortunes. State and national groups must pull out and redirect efforts elsewhere. For the most part this is already being done but I’ve seen resources spent on longshots as recently as yesterday.
  2. Put safe candidates on the trail with vulnerable candidates nearby – Mitt Romney is going to win his Senate race. Mia Love is currently tied in Salt Lake County. Romney needs to focus all of his efforts helping Love win her election. A Senate seat is still a Senate seat whether it’s won by 3% or 30%. Currently, Romney is up by about 30%.
  3. Get conservative national news outlets to cover close Congressional races – This is the most important thing that’s currently not being done. National Review, for example, has article rightly highlighting close Senate races with attack articles against Jon Tester and Kyrsten Sinema on their front page. I’m not suggesting they shouldn’t continue to help hold the Senate, but where are stories about Danny Tarkanian who is currently tied with Susie Lee in Nevada’s 3rd District? A National Review article would go a long way towards helping Randy Hultgren padd to his 4% lead in Illinois’ 14th District. These national news outlets have clout that local publications do not.

The Senate is sexy. It’s the stepping stone for presidential candidates. It gets to help President Trump put conservative judges in the various courts. Senators get all the press and the best seats at church. But the House has a different type of influence that is arguably more important. It should not be ignored.

Perhaps the most motivating reason Republicans needs to do everything they can to retain control of the House is that it will demotivate Democrats. They will be completely deflated if they can’t make it out of their first Trumpocalypse-era election without moving the needle. On the flip side, winning control of the House will make them push even harder for 2020 and 2022. They’ll point to the GOP’s House victory in 2010 as the beginning of the Republican Party’s rise to power and challenge their voters to do the same thing but more rapidly.

Most analysts say the House is clearly leaning towards the Democrats. Of course, these same analysts were more certain Hillary Clinton would win the Presidency than they are about the 2018 House races. Don’t believe polls. Get out and make a real impact.

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