* I’ve read some rumblings about Clinton reaching out to Republicans along with questions about what she might give in return for their support. According to Alex Seitz-Wald, in her speech about economics this week, Clinton answered that question with, “You get nothing.”

What economic policy concessions might Hillary Clinton offer up to woo Republicans? If her speech Thursday in Warren, Michigan is any indication, the answer is: Nothing.

In her first major economic address since her campaign began actively courting the Republicans turned off by Donald Trump, Clinton made no major pivot to the ideological center.

Instead, Clinton reiterated several of the policy positions she adopted during her primary fight against Bernie Sanders, even while making a direct appeal to Independent voters and Republicans…

Clinton has paid no price for leftward shift, since Trump is more interested in litigating her character than her policy in any kind of traditionally ideological way…

Republicans siding with Clinton are doing so in spite of her policy, not because of it.

* Here is the play: say something incendiary and then claim it was just a joke or sarcasm.


* This is an interesting development:

A handful of moderate House Republicans in tight reelection contests have done something that most Republicans would consider unthinkable — renounce the GOP catechism on repealing Obamacare as they fight for their political lives. They say they oppose the health law but are reluctant to tear it up completely.

“Unless there is a bipartisan solution to fix the law, I don’t think we should be taking symbolic votes,” to repeal it, said Rep. Bob Dold of Illinois, who is casting himself as a bipartisan voice in Congress as he fights to hang on to one of the most competitive districts in the country.

* The Republican line on energy has consistently been to suggest that we have to choose between a sustainable planet and jobs. Here is a great response.

Your job as an explosives handling expert at the coal mine is almost certainly in peril, now that America’s clean air standards more accurately represent the danger that coal poses to the climate. What to do now?

A future as a Solar PV Technician would be the best fit for your skillset, says a chart-laden study published in the journal Energy Economics. Will you miss exploding things? Probably — we’re all human. But the extra cash might help soothe that loss — the median wage for an explosives expert in the coal industry is $55,973, versus the $62,270 that a PV technician makes. And while coal is crashing, solar is adding workers at 12 times the rate of the rest of the economy.

Is there a hitch? There always is. This study is more of a thought experiment than anything else. For example: Edward Louie and Joshua Pearce, the study’s authors, have a few theories about who could pay for this job retraining…

What goes unsaid is the most obvious: Even if all 174,000 coal workers in the United States became solar technicians, it would take more than that to make the switch to a clean energy economy. We can take this as a reminder that access to affordable education — for everyone, no matter what part of the country they live in — is an environmental issue.

* Speaking of jobs and a sustainable planet, how about this?

Outside Reno, in Nevada’s high desert, Tesla is building what it says is the world’s largest battery factory. The Gigafactory, as it’s called, will churn out batteries for the company’s electric cars. But it’s also making something new — a battery for the home…

Nevada beat out several states by offering an incentive package worth more than $1 billion. State lawmakers are watching like hawks for the economic benefits, such as making sure Nevadans make up a big part of the factory’s 6,000 workers.

* Finally, we hear a lot these days about how Americans are polarized. But beyond the red/blue divide, there is another one lurking in the shadows. I’ve often thought that the people of this country could be divided into two groups: dog people and cat people. There have been times that I’m tempted to challenge my predecessor by starting a “Friday Dog Blogging” feature. That one will have to wait. For now, we’ll leave it with this evidence on the superiority of canines 🙂

In San Antonio, the din of awakening trainees pierced the quiet of a new day. The noise traveled uphill, to the parking lot of the main office, and penetrated the windows of a van carrying guests down to the yard. The commotion intensified as the vehicle drew closer to the barracks. As the passengers unloaded, a staff member handed out earplugs The residents barked, whined and pawed at the concrete walls and chain-link fencing. The winter classes of the Transportation Security Administration’s Canine Training Center at Lackland Air Force Base, which instructs up to 150 recruits, were ready to serve. They just needed someone to let them out…

In public settings around the country, dogs are becoming as ubiquitous as security cameras and as visible as X-ray machines.

The dog — all wet nose and whiskers — is the new face of security.

“There is no better overall detector of explosives than a dog’s nose,” TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger said. “Dogs work an environment like no technology can. They are versatile, mobile and very accurate.”

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.