Economic Humor For A Friday

Closing Thought–14Feb20–#2

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the lovers here on IST…..I hope your day will be good and filled with love…..

I always like it when some self-absorbed d/bag feels he/she needs to add his/her voice to any conversation…..this time it is the candidacy of Bernie Sanders……

The face of a crook that got away with massive theft….

Premium: Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs 170920

This time it is the former CEO of Goldman-Sachs has added his voice to the attacks on Bernie…..

Following his win in the New Hampshire primary last night, Sanders has emerged as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination to face President Donald Trump in November’s election.

In a rare outburst on Twitter, Blankfein suggested that Sanders becoming the nominee would mean “the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the U.S.”

“Sanders is just as polarizing as Trump AND he’ll ruin our economy and doesn’t care about our military. If I’m Russian, I go with Sanders this time around,” the former Wall Street titan tweeted.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/12/former-goldman-ceo-blankfein-if-im-russian-i-go-with-sanders.html

How good is this the same d/bag from Goldman-Sachs that helped blow up the economy in 2008?

This d/bag is not worried about Bernie’s economy he is worried that if Bernie wins election he will have to pay taxes on the cash he stole from the people.

How pathetic….some wealthy crook telling the American people to watch out for someone who will blow up the economy….

Seriously?

This would be humorous if it weren’t so goddamn pathetic.

Just another d/bag trying to look like he cares about anything but the accumulation of wealth and fucking anyone in their way.  Capitalism at its worse.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Deepwater Horizon

Closing Thought—14Feb20

Not some terrible movie that did a little to help change things but rather the real life disaster that is still adversely effecting the Gulf of Mexico……

Seafood is still not recommended for consumption….which is devastating to a region that depended on seafood for a livelihood….plus all the freshwater in the Gulf has killed the oyster harvest for a couple of years.

Back to the oil spill…..a decade on and the news it was worse than first reported……

The Deepwater Horizon spill was worse than thought, thanks to “invisible and toxic oil,” say researchers. Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico disaster, a study out of the University of Miami suggests the spread of the spill was 30% larger than satellite data indicated, reports the Washington Post. “There was a substantial fraction of oil invisible to satellites and aerial imaging,” says study co-author Igal Berenshtein, per USA Today. Co-author Claire Paris-Limouzy explains that satellites easily detect oil that comes to the surface “as a thick layer” but miss smaller concentrations. The researchers used 3D computer simulations to identify a greater range of damage, one that stretches from Texas to the east coast of Florida, reports CNN.

What’s more, the “invisible” oil was so toxic it could have killed half of all marine life it touched, according to the study in Science Advances. “Oil in these concentrations for surface water extended beyond the satellite footprint and fishery closures, potentially exterminating a vast amount of planktonic marine organisms across the domain,” the authors write. The hope is that their approach will be used in conjunction with satellite imagery to detect the full extent of future spills. The Deepwater spill dumped somewhere between 168 million to 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf.

After destroying the economy of the Northern Gulf of Mexico what did BP do to change things?

The changed their ad direction to make them sound all sunshine and unicorns and green tech…..

In 2014 BP asks the SCOTUS to let them off the hook….


By way of background, in the wake of the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP sought to buy its way out of thousands upon thousands of lawsuits brought under the federal Oil Pollution Act. BP knew that defense of many of those cases would be nigh on impossible, and would take literally decades and untold billions of dollars in legal fees. The beleaguered business owners of the Gulf Coast states, who’d seen their businesses throttled by BP’s massive pollution, knew that protracted litigation would not serve their interests, either. After all, when your seafood restaurant in Jackson faces both a decline in sales due to a concern over safety and an increase in price for inferior replacement items, the prospect of money 5 years down the line is cold comfort.

Enter the class action settlement of all Business Economic Loss (BEL) claims.

https://cottonmouthblog.blogspot.com/2014/05/bp-to-ask-us-supreme-court-to-let-them.html

I spend time talking with locals and there are areas that they will not fish and their business is still suffering….

My small protest I do not sue BP products unless it is an emergency…..just my small voice.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Virus–Talk Of The Town

Every blog of the information kind has had a post on the virus originating in China……that is all but IST…..so I will rectify that oversight by me.

News has come out that at least 100 people a day have been dying from this pandemic…..

China’s daily death toll from a new virus has topped 100 for the first time, with more than 1,000 total deaths recorded, the health ministry announced Tuesday. The spread of the contagion shows little sign of abating, the AP reports. Though more offices and stores in China have reopened after the Lunar New Year break, many people appear to be staying home. Health authorities are watching to see whether workers’ returning to cities and business resuming worsens the spread of the virus. Another 108 deaths were reported over the previous 24 hours, the National Health Commission said. That increased the death toll to 1,016, well beyond that of the 2002-03 outbreak of SARS, which comes from the same family of coronaviruses as the current pathogen. Newly confirmed cases fell slightly to 2,478 from 3,062 the day before, bringing the total to 42,638 on the mainland; some of those patients have since been released from hospitals.

The outbreak’s persistence is dimming optimism that the near-quarantine of some 60 million people and other disease-control measures might be working. Britain, meanwhile, declared the virus a “serious and imminent threat to public health” and said it would forcibly detain infected people if necessary. France tested scores of children and their parents after five British tourists contracted the virus at a ski resort. The director-general of the World Health Organization said that the agency is still unable to predict where the outbreak is heading but that he believes there is still an opportunity to contain it. “In recent days, we have seen some concerning instances of onward transmission from people with no travel history to China, like the cases reported in France yesterday and the UK today,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The detection of the small number of cases could be the spark that becomes a bigger fire, but for now, it’s only a spark.”

There have been numerous advice comments and posts on how to avoid the virus….and then I saw this one and decided it was time for me to weigh in….

A US businessman named Rick Pescovitz wore a personal, transparent tent in the window seat of a commercial airliner.

Pescovitz — the brother of BoingBoing‘s David Pescowicz, who blogged about the ordeal — says he was reportedly to avoid contracting the deadly coronavirus that’s been claiming the lives of hundreds of people around the world.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/man-personal-plastic-tent-flight-virus

Okay it was a publicity stunt….but think about it…..could prevent the spread if everyone walked around in this “tent” when out in public……you would not have to isolate yourself until the plague passes……

But not to worry….according to Trump it will be gone by April…..

After remaining relatively mum on the coronavirus thus far, Donald Trump told supporters at a rally in New Hampshire Monday night that the virus will be gone by April, claiming that when temperatures rise, “the virus” will “miraculously” go away. Unsurprisingly, he offered no scientific or medical explanation to support his theory. Nor was that the first time he’d floated the theory; earlier in the day, during a meeting with the nation’s governors, the president, a noted germaphobe, predicted that the whole thing will be wrapped up around Easter through divine intervention via the weather. “The virus that we’re talking about having to do, a lot of people think that goes away in April, with the heat, as the heat comes in, typically that will go away in April,” he said. Referring to the United States, he added: “We’re in great shape, though. We have 12 cases, 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.”

So I am not worried in the bit now that he has spoken…..but ask yourself how would he know when it will end?

But not to worry again for there is a new one waiting in the wings…a new virus that is……

Researchers in Brazil have discovered an entirely new kind of virus that is so foreign to science that not even its genes have been previously identified. The virus, which is described in a new research paper, was found in a Brazilian lake in the city of Belo Horizonte.

As ScienceAlert reports, the virus has been named Yaravirus in honor of a Brazilian mythological figure known as “Iara,” and it’s posing an exciting challenge for researchers who are working to better understand its genome. The virus doesn’t qualify as a “giant virus,” which the international research team has discovered before, but it’s still incredibly unique.

Oh good, there’s a new virus in Brazil that scientists can’t even recognize

Just a thought!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

After New Hampshire

College of Political Knowledge

#3 in series

The front runners before Iowa and New Hampshire seem to be dwindling in their leadership…Warren and Biden….

Let’s start with Biden…..

Biden has done everything he can to make himself look better than all other Dems….and so far he has been a dud…a flop…..

Candidates who flame out early in presidential primaries, almost by definition, do not make history. But Joe Biden may be an exception. Biden’s presidential campaign is now almost certain to fail, but he has done more than any other candidate to shape the outcome. And the result is likely to be disastrous — for Biden’s personal legacy and political agenda.

Biden has run for president three times. He has not yet managed to finish higher than fourth in any primary or caucus. Biden may, or may not, have been a good enough politician to win a presidential campaign in his prime. He is now well past his prime. His campaigning pace is languid, his debate performances unsettling. And he hasn’t built the kind of campaign apparatus that could drag him over the finish line. He has far fewer endorsements than a traditional Establishment favorite, and his organization has underperformed in Iowa and New Hampshire.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/02/bidens-campaign-was-a-disaster-for-liberalism-and-his-party.html

Now Warren……

Sorry but Warren’s campaign has fallen far short from the proposal that she could bridge the gap between Bernie and the Centrists…..far short…..

Elizabeth Warren’s presidential hopes are looking dim. After a third-place finish at the Iowa caucuses, she is heading for a distant fourth in New Hampshire, with less than 10 percent of the vote. Her progressive rival Bernie Sanders is leading the Democratic primary and appears to be consolidating support from the party’s left wing. Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are winning over college-educated women, cutting away another key part of Warren’s base. In a speech Tuesday night, the senator from Massachusetts seemed to assure supporters that she wouldn’t drop out any time soon. “We might be heading for one of those long primary fights that last for months. We’re two states in,” Warren said. But it’s unclear how, exactly, she could make a comeback at this point.

It’s a sad denouement for a once-promising candidate who seemed capable of bridging the party’s left and its establishment and who could articulate a progressive vision for the country without the baggage of referring to herself as a socialist. She laid out a sweeping agenda and injected bold policy ideas like mass student debt forgiveness and a wealth tax into the center of the race. She terrorized billionaires, who wept on television at the thought of her presidency. This fall, as she surged to a slim lead in national polls, Warren briefly seemed like a legitimate front-runner. But then, within a couple of months, it all fell apart.

https://slate.com/business/2020/02/elizabeth-warren-new-hampshire-primary-losing-why.html

Both campaigns have become dismal failures in their promises to the donors and the people…..there is a chance that Biden could pull a rabbit out of his political hat but I do not see much hope for Warren as it is today.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Few Early 2020 Political Views

Lots of notes are being taken by me on this year’s political season….too many to bombard my readers with separate posts so to make things simpler for them I have combined a few here for their consideration….

We all know by now that the Iowa vote was a massive clusterf*ck….but could it have an up side?

Iowa Democrats wanted to modernize their caucuses and expand access. Instead, problems with a mobile app and many other issues forced the party to delay announcing the winner. 

But what is an embarrassment for state Democrats might be a win for democracy. For some election integrity advocates, the mess in Iowa was the perfect example of why caucuses no longer work and need to be replaced.

Troy Price, head of the Iowa Democratic Party, officially called for an independent investigation to determine what happened on caucus night. To some, however, the answer is clear and a solution obvious. Had the Iowa caucus been conducted through ranked-choice voting on paper ballots, argued Neal Simon, an Independent who ran for the US Senate in Maryland in 2018, election night would have been more “transparent, immediate, and private.”

Iowa Caucus Mess Bad for Democrats, Good for Democracy?

With the screw up in Iowa and the vote in New Hampshire should no longer be first in the nation…..they are not representative of the nation…..

Iowa and New Hampshire, two states widely seen as setting the tone for the presidential primary, have one major thing in common: They’re extremely white.

Both states’ populations are roughly 90 percent white — a stark contrast with both the country, which is 60 percent white, and the Democratic Party’s base, nearly 40 percent of which is made up of people of color.

That discrepancy has always been a point of contention. But now, particularly as the Democratic Party places a larger focus on representation than ever before and a once historically diverse field of candidates has narrowed to a slate of white frontrunners, it’s driving home a pointed question: Does the order of the early primary states discount voters of color? The data, as it stands, suggests that it does.

https://www.vox.com/2020/2/3/21046546/presidential-primary-state-order-iowa-new-hampshire-south-carolina

A few thoughts from around the world on the fallout of the impeachment process…..

United Kingdom: Sky News, Amanda Walker “Mr Trump desperately wants to win the 2020 election. But it’s not just about victory for him anymore. It’s about revenge against the party that exposed his behavior and tried to bring him down.

“This impeachment has surely proved that Mr Trump is willing to go outside acceptable norms to secure victory.”

The specter of dynastic authoritarianism — a Caesar in the White House — now looms large over the United States, Germans were warned…


Germany: Die Welt, Hannes Stein — “Trump has a good chance of a second term. And one thing has long been clear: In this second term Trump will do everything to secure the rule of his clan. Already Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s eldest son, is installed as heir to the imperial Trumpism throne and the Republican party base cheers him on.

Trump, 2020 Election and Impeachment Fallout — What the World Thinks

Now a thought on the GOP fallout from their actions as a pack of cowards and sycophants…..

One of the most edifying aspects of the recent impeachment process has been the sheer, magnificent variety of Republican approaches to denying reality and avoiding accountability, for themselves and their president. Putting aside the creativity, the bottom line is that not a single Republican made a compelling or coherent case for acquitting the president. There just wasn’t one to be made.

That didn’t stop them from rolling out a range of tactics, from distortion to dissembling. 

Sen. James Inhofe (OK) took the traditional (and widely imitated) approach of just making up the facts to fit his predetermination to defend the president no matter what. “The House hasn’t even accused the president of a crime,” Inhofe claimed, adding: “Presidents should be held to the highest standard.” 

Brain-Dead Republicans Acquit Guilty President — Now What?

Just a few thoughts…like them or not…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Yemen For 2020

The saga around the events in the Middle East, especially Iraq and Iran, have made the news but a war torn Yemen falls to the back pages of the paper…..

The people are still suffering and the war continues….but there are a few things that needs to be reported more widely…..but there was a window of opportunity to find a lasting ceasefire…..but that is not so likely now…..

The narrow window of opportunity to end the Yemen war that opened in late 2019 may fast be closing. Fighting along key front lines in northern Yemen, along with Huthi rebel missile strikes and the resumption of Saudi-led aerial bombardment, threatens to tilt the conflict toward a major escalation, reversing tentative steps toward dialogue. There is still a chance to break the cycle by expanding newly opened communication channels between Huthi rebels (who call themselves Ansar Allah) and Saudi Arabia to include the internationally recognised Yemeni government and others in order to negotiate a truce on all major fronts. But success will require a coordinated and continuous regional and international effort.

The swing from stalemate and de-escalation to shooting war was sudden. On 18 January, after a month that UN Envoy Martin Griffiths described as one of the conflict’s quietest periods, the government alleges that the Huthis launched missiles at one of its military camps in Marib governorate (the Huthis refuse to confirm responsibility). The strike reportedly killed more than 100 soldiers in one of the war’s deadliest single incidents to date. It came amid intensified combat along previously stalemated front lines in al-Jawf, Nihm and Marib between allies of the Huthis, on one side, and of the government, on the other. These battles became still fiercer after the strike, with both sides suffering heavy losses. The Huthis have since fired several more missiles at military facilities in Marib. Saudi Arabia, in turn, has ramped up its air campaign, launching dozens of raids in what the Huthis argue is a breach of a putative cross-border truce. Saudi officials label the fighting a Huthi attempt to take advantage of border ceasefire negotiations under way since October. For now, neither the Huthis nor the Saudis wish to abandon the talks, but the de-escalation process is under severe strain.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/yemen/breaking-renewed-conflict-cycle-yemen

For years if not decades the media and the Pentagon has been spinning the yarn that the Houthi rebels were terrorists….akin to AQ or ISIS….well that may not be as likely as the news reported…..

The death toll in Yemen has reached 102,000 according to data released by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project in October of 2019. Since the war started in 2015, the United States government has maintained one steadfast talking point. The Houthis are an Iranian proxy in Yemen. Government officials and those in mainstream media have repeatedly regurgitated this talking point without ever providing evidence to back up this claim.

By repeatedly claiming that the Houthis are an Iranian proxy, it allows the United States government to try and justify what is happening in Yemen daily. All the United States has to do whenever a government official has to answer a question about the war in Yemen, is mention Iran. No matter how undefendable America’s involvement in the war in Yemen has become the excuse to justify the atrocities in Yemen never falter, its Iran’s fault.

US Admits Yemen’s Houthis Aren’t an Iranian Proxy as the Death Toll Climbs

Just another illustration how the propaganda molds societal attitudes.

As always it is LIES to justify armed conflict……Hitler would be proud the MSM and the Pentagon.

The more you know the less you support war of adventurism.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”