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Midday open thread: Texas breaks wind-generation record; China beats Russia on rocket launches

Today’s comic by Matt Bors is left vs. liberals:

Cartoon by Matt Bors -- left vs. liberals

• Big organizing can change U.S. politics and end Trumpism:

 One of the greatest lessons from the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign was that a relatively tiny number of staff using fairly basic technology can unleash hundreds of thousands of volunteers to do serious work to advance a nationwide movement. There is no reason this energy shouldn’t continue to grow. Passionate, moral, and urgent opposition to Trumpism could represent the greatest opportunity for mass participation in politics since the antiwar movement of a half-century ago.

Giant lobster set free:The 4-feet-long, 23-pounder was caught off New Brunswick Sunday. It could be more than a century old. Vegan Katie Conklin paid 230 Canadian dollars (U.S. $170) to return the quickly named King Louie to the ocean, telling news channel CTV she hopes "he lives a happy life for his second chance."

Fidel Castro’s ashes being ceremonially taken around Cuba. They are been carried on a 500-mile journey from Havana to Santiago, the reverse of what he and Cuban rebels took when they overthrew Fulgencio Batista in 1959:

A small, Cuban flag-covered cedar coffin containing the remains of the 90-year-old leader was taken out of Cuba's Defense Ministry just after 7 a.m. and placed into a flower-bedecked trailer pulled by a green military vehicle for the more than 500-mile (800-kilometer) procession. The ashes will be interred Sunday, ending the nine-day mourning period for the man who ruled the country for nearly 50 years.

Politico founders explain their plan for media domination:

The much-anticipated new media venture from Politico co-founder and former C.E.O. Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, the founding father of its Playbook newsletter (the lifeblood of the enterprise for years), has been shrouded in mystery since the duo departed earlier this year. VandeHei seemed to suggest its broad contours through various well-placed hints and intimations. Now, he and his partners are unveiling the company name and its mission statement, neatly rolled out ahead of VandeHei’s appearance at a Recode conference later today.

The name: Axios. The mission statement: “Media is broken—and too often a scam.”

If you added an emphatic “Sad!” at the end of that sentence it might credibly pass as the latest tweet from President-Elect Donald Trump

Texas breaks wind-generated electricity record: According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), wind turbines generated 15,033 megawatts Sunday afternoon for the first time ever. That was about 45 percent of total demand for electricity at the time. At peak demand times, an installed megawatt is enough to power 200 homes, up to 500 in non-peak periods. The ERCOT region accounts for 80 percent of electricity demand in the Texas. In 2015, 11.7 percent of electricity in the ERCOT region was generated by wind turbines. So far this year, they have generated 14.7 percent of electricity needs in the region.

• Los Angeles municipal utility to install 400 low-income homes with solar: The Department of Water & Power’s pilot program, which is expected to cost $13 million over its 20-year life, including construction, lease payments, administrative, operation and maintenance costs, is being initiated as part of the state’s mandated 33 percent renewables target by 2020. The LADWP has so far built 177 megawatts of the 400 MW it hopes to reach by the end of next year. It has an additional 70 megawatts under construction. Cost of the system to applicants who are approved will be $30 a month.

China’s orbital rocket launches will surpass Russia’s this year: There was a time when the Soviet Union put 100 rockets into space every year. But in 2016, the total will be 18, while China will have launched 19. The U.S., which depends on the Russians for getting its astronauts to the International Space Station, has launched 20 orbital rockets this year. 

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin reminds us how much danger Medicare is in. More cuckoo Trump tweets. Contract clause could sink Trump’s DC hotel. No self-dealing safeguards for the inaugural committee. LePage as mini-Trump. Plus segments from John R. & Brian Munroe!

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Midday open thread: Texas breaks wind-generation record; China beats Russia on rocket launches

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