Gleanings & Observations

President Biden and environmentalists concerned about global warming are betting a lot of chips on their ability to persuade consumers to switch from gasoline-fueled vehicles to electric cars and trucks. There will be heightened incentives, financing of charging stations and other steps to accelerate the conversion from global-warming fossil fuels to green-friendly EVs.

Elon Musk, the father of Tesla and the acknowledged leader in the development of EVs, announced last week that its new, less-expensive electric battery using lithium iron phosphate accounted for more than half of all battery production in China, the world’s largest auto market.

Teslas account for 76% of EVs sold in America according to HIS Markit. Because the plants in which they are manufactured are not unionized, Musk is excluded from all government-convened conferences on steps to speed the adoption of EVs, and Tesla from all subsidy programs. Saving the planet takes a back seat to pleasing the trade unions that remain at the center of the President’s plans to Build Back Better, but in this case not greener.

Congress has passed and the President has signed a law banning imports for China’s Xinjiang region to prevent American companies from supporting China’s use of forced labor by persecuted Uyghurs detained in Xinjiang camps. American companies notified their suppliers of this new law, infuriating president of the People’s Republic, Xi Jinping. Xu Guixiang, A PRC spokesman, warned American companies “not to underestimate the consequences” of what he called “sneaky political manipulation”

Walmart, Intel and other American capitalists immediately apologized to the communist regime for notifying their suppliers of the new legal restrictions on imports manufactured in the Xinjiang region. Whether these international companies, many of which lobbied hard to prevent the passage of the new law, will treat President Xi Jinping’s displeasure as a de facto veto and over-ride of President Joe Biden’s signature is not known.

The Chicago teachers’ union called a strike that closed schools for 5 days in a dispute over Covid-19 testing and remote learning, although health officials saw no need to suspend in-person learning.

It is unclear what a pandemic that began in 2020 had to do with Chicago teachers’ strikes in 1969 (2 days), 1971 (4 days),1973 (12 days), 1975 (11 days), 1980 (10 days), 1983 (15 days), 1984 (10 days), 1985 (2 days), 1987 (19 days), 2012 (7 days), 2019 (11 days). List provided by the Chicago Tribune. The WSJ adds a one-day walkout in 2016 to that list.

Illinois politicians, many recipients of some of the more than $1 million the union seems to spend annually on lobbying and other political activity, have scheduled a referendum later this year that would increase the union’s already massive power later this year.

Chicago students, members of the Chicago Public Schools Radical Youth Alliance (Chi-Rads), walked out shortly after their teachers’ union agreed to reopen schools. Their 39-item list of demands includes greater safety, laptops for virtual learning, free vaccines, additional staff support, and Covid-19 stipends.

The population of Illinois declined by a record 113,776 from July 2020 to July 2021. Chicago’s black population fell nearly 10% over the past decade. The loss of 85,000 black Chicagoans and “a loss that is leaving some communities hollowed out and the mayoral administration searching for ways to convince them to stay,” reports Eric Gunderson in Black Voices, who points out that “school closings” are not solely to blame.

Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan) will introduce legislation to publicize Dr Anthony Fauci’s salary and pension, payback for being called a “moron” into a hot microphone by the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci says he doesn’t not use the word “moron” capriciously.

Senator Marshall’s Financial Accountability for Uniquely Compensated Individuals would throw what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis long ago called “sunlight, … the best of disinfectants” into the dark corners of the civil service compensation system.

Fauci, said to be the nation’s most highly paid civil servant, was paid $434,312 in 2020, and will retire with an annual pension worth up to $350,000 per year. The man who declared “I represent science” might be worth that much, but when asked by an interviewer if he had millions invested in vaccines, he coyly replied, “No, I got zero. I am a government worker. I have a government salary.” Oh!