Today’s comic by Ruben Bolling is A Calvinesque and Hobbesian look at the midterms:
• Spain is first nation to announce a goal of switching to 100 percent renewable energy sources. The deadline? 2050. So far, 99 U.S. cities, 11 counties, and two states, have announced a switch to 100 percent clean energy. Both Hawaii and California have set a goal of 2045 for getting 100 percent of their electricity from non-carbon sources, not necessarily all renewable in the case of California. If the Golden State were a nation, its gross domestic product would rank it as the world’s fifth largest economy, more than twice the size of Spain’s, currently ranked as the 14th largest economy:
Christiana Figueres, a former executive secretary of the UN’s framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC), hailed the draft Spanish law as “an excellent example of the Paris agreement”. She added: “It sets a long-term goal, provides incentives on scaling up emissions technologies and cares about a good transition for the workforce.”
Under the plan, “just transition” contracts will be drawn up, similar to the £220m package announced in October, that will shut most Spanish coal mines in return for a suite of early retirement schemes, re-skilling in clean energy jobs, and environmental restoration. These deals will be partly financed by auction returns from the sale of emissions rights.
• Ebola outbreak in the Congo spreads to city of 1.2 million: This 10th outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the worst-ever. More than 300 people have been infected and the government reported that 211 have died. Many of those have occurred in and around Beni, a city of 300,000. But now it’s struck Butembo, a city of 1.2 million in the heart of one of the Congo’s most volatile regions, where 28 have died. The outbreak in a densely populated area makes it more serious than in the past when ebola affected only rural areas, and it is expected that the count of infected and dead will rise sharply. Health workers have the added problem of the city being in a war-torn region “where a blend of insecurity, suspicion of aid workers and a large, mobile population have created an ideal landscape for the rapid spread of the disease.”
• Hostile workplace: A 57-year-old man has gone on trial in Germany charged with attempted murder for allegedly poisoning co-workers’ sandwiches since 2015. Using acetate and mercury, he is said to have put two people in the hospital, one with kidney damage and the other with brain damage that has left him in a coma. The motive, say authorities, was to watch them deteriorate.
(Ruth Buffalo, of Chiricahua Apache and Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara descent, has a couple of other names too, one of which is especially on target this election year: Woman Appears —MB)
• What Would Happen if the President of the United States Went Stark-Raving Mad? That’s the name of the re-released 1965 novel Night of Camp David, written in 1965 by Fletcher Knebel, the author of Seven Days in May:
Senator Jim MacVeagh is proud to serve his country—and his president, Mark Hollenbach, who has a near-spotless reputation as the vibrant, charismatic leader of MacVeagh’s party and the nation. When Hollenbach begins taking MacVeagh into his confidence, the young senator knows that his star is on the rise.
But then Hollenbach starts summoning MacVeagh in the middle of the night to Camp David. There, the president sits in the dark and rants about his enemies, unfurling insane theories about all the people he says are conspiring against him.
• Man at performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” in Baltimore shouts “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump”: The shout during an intermission sent some members of the audience fleeing from the Hippodrome Theatre for fear this might be a prelude to a mass shooting. Police were called and they escorted the man out. He was not arrested. A member of the audience said it was hard to focus on the play after that. “My heart was just racing. I didn’t even really pay attention to the second act.” “Fiddler” is the story story of a Jewish family persecuted in czarist Russia. Based on “Tevye the Dairyman,” a fictional story originally written in Yiddish, the play opened Tuesday and runs through Sunday in Baltimore.
• Utah County that was forcibly redistricted by federal court appeals move after Navajos win two commission seats. The three county commission districts had been designed in 2011 to load all Navajo voters into one district so that Republicans could maintain their decades-long majority control of the sprawling county of 15,356 residents, 49 percent of whom are of Navajo descent, 47 percent of whom are Latino or white. Willie Grayeyes and Kenneth Maryboy, both Democrats, won two of the county commission seats, giving American Indians a 2-1 advantage on the local governing body for the first time ever in San Juan County.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Facebook! Yikes! Trump! Yikes! OK, that’s all bad. But it’s the House leadership fight that occupies our time today. There’s lots going on and lots to say, about the “contestants,” the media coverage, and ourselves. It’s complex. It’s contradictory. Because Dems.