Category: Government

By on April 15, 2016

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Building Plaque, Washington, DC, Image: TexasGOPVote.com/Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/60064824@N03/)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is dropping proposed policy language that would have done, well, nothing.

That’s right, and it would have made a great Seinfeld story line: faceless bumbling government agency seeks to reframe public debate with a redundant, unenforceable, and unnecessary policy revision only to meet unanticipated wrath from industry and enthusiasts, forcing it to ultimately retract its proposal.

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By on April 14, 2016

M1A1 Abrams tank

Despite their psychopathic barbarity, ISIS fighters fear many things — women, music, culture, bathing, and now a lone tank dubbed “The Beast.”

According to U.S. military official Col. Steve Warren, an American-trained Iraqi tank crew has become a one-vehicle Dirty Dozen in the aptly named Iraqi city of Hit, the Associated Press has reported.

As part of ongoing efforts to retake the city from ISIS militants, the lone crew is “tearing it up” with its distinctively midwestern machine, obliterating every unfriendly target of opportunity with its General Dynamics M1A1 Abrams.

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By on April 14, 2016

Map from the January 1971 U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration Interstate System Route Log & Finder List. "The routes and route numbers shown are those designated as of October 1, 1970."

Somewhere between storming the beaches at Normandy and marching into Berlin, General Dwight D. Eisenhower became enamored with the German Autobahn system of superhighways, and so resolved to create a similar system in the United States — or so goes the legend.

After the war, America began to build out from its crowded urban cores, placing new homes and businesses where before there was farmland and wilderness. At first, these new developments were reachable only by hastily expanded surface streets, and longer distance trips used the U.S. Highway system of two-lane roads first designed in the 1920s.

For a forward thinking superpower, this was not enough. Enter the Interstate Highway System — and the Highway Trust Fund that literally paid to pave its way.

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By on April 12, 2016

UBC Lamborghini Aventador

That’s the sound of a sad trombone playing.

Dodgy offshore tax havens get a lot of press lately, but what about mass movements of capital to friendlier shores that hide in plain sight? The New York Times has a heartbreaking story today of young Chinese adults in Vancouver, Canada who just can’t figure out what to do with all that cash their fathers earned.

They do know one thing it’s good for: obscene quantities of ultra-high-end cars.

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By on April 12, 2016

texting behind the wheel of death

As the state of New York debates new distracted driving legislation, an Israeli firm is putting the finishing touches on a “textalyzer” device that could rat out drivers for using their phone before a crash.

Israeli mobile forensics firm Cellebrite developed the data-scanning device, according to Ars Technica, which could become the newest — and most controversial — law enforcement tool since the Taser.

Cellebrite, which sounds like a medication for over-sexed honors students, specializes in data extraction and decoding, and boasts of its 15,000-plus military and law enforcement customers on its website. The firm really knows its stuff — it’s generally believed that they helped the FBI hack into the iPhone at the heart of the San Bernardino/Apple controversy.

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By on April 11, 2016

Tesla Model 3

Much to the delight of EV fanatics and sandal enthusiasts around the world, Tesla reported last week that 325,000 people had placed refundable $1,000 deposits on its Model 3 sedan. Even pessimistically projecting a defection rate of 25 percent, that’s still nearly a quarter of a million cars which need to be built and delivered starting late next year.

Industry analysts have nattered at length about the logistics of the mass order and Tesla’s ability to pull it off. However, there is a new obstacle on the horizon, this time involving the core reason many have given for reserving a Model 3: tax credits.

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By on April 8, 2016

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, has been hit with a second lawsuit from a U.S. law firm that represents owners of diesel vehicles, despite recent evidence that could render the suit invalid.

The suit from now-familiar firm Hagens Berman accuses the German automaker of employing an emissions “defeat device,” a la Volkswagen, in its diesel vehicles, according to Reuters (via Automotive News).

The suit alleges the device must be the cause of laboratory emissions test results that show higher nitrogen oxide emissions than during real-world tests.

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By on April 7, 2016

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

The Napleton Automotive Group of Illinois tread a well-worn path to its lawyers yesterday, this time filing a suit against Volkswagen for damaging its business model.

Three Volkswagen dealerships owned by Napelton filed the suit, which seeks class-action status, alleging the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal amounts to “criminal racketeering,” Automotive News has reported.

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By on April 6, 2016

Elon Musk

Tesla founder Elon Musk wants to build a new European factory to satisfy growing demand on the continent, and France knows just the place he should do it.

French Energy Minister Segolene Royal reportedly pitched the idea of using the site of a soon-to-be-mothballed reactor to Musk, according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe).

“He didn’t say no,” said Royal, who plans to follow-up the pitch by meeting with Tesla management.

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By on April 6, 2016

Kortezh Putin Limo, Image: Sergey Subbotin/Sputnik

It’s a limousine with the swagger of a KGB gunfighter.

Steely eyed Russian president Vladimir Putin can look forward to taking ownership of a new ride next year, Sputnik News reported (via Autoblog). And guess what? It’s a vehicle anyone in the Motherland (with money) can buy!

The limousine is a product of the state-funded Kortezh (Cortege) project, a 12.4 billion ruble ($181.9 million) venture implemented by the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Institute in Moscow.

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  • Bark M., United States
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  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
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