Monday, February 29, 2016

'Luther'

  If you are into British detective shows and have not seen 'Luther' you are in for a terrific ride. I very much dig the show, presently binge watching season 3. You might not be able to understand 30% of the dialogue with its thick London accent but still, the show has all the right notes and then some.

As Ugly As It Gets

WaPo: Trump’s feigned ignorance about the KKK raises disturbing questions
The harsher reality is that the next GOP nominee will be a man who refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan and one of its most infamous grand wizards when telling the ugly truth wouldn’t have cost him a single vote.

Strange Bedfellows

  Interesting article suggesting that neocons may be interested in aligning with Hillary.

The Intercept: Neoconservatives Declare War on Donald Trump
Kristol also sits on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel — a dark money group that assails candidates it perceives as insufficiently pro-Israel. The group started airing an ad this weekend against Trump portraying him as an ally to despots like Bashar Assad, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Qaddafi — mostly because he argued that military invasions of Libya and Iraq left those countries worse off:

Rubio

'A Tour Of The British Isles In Accents'

Take Another Look

  This week I plan to post artwork by Lucas Cranach the Younger. Last week I posted work by Lucas Cranach the Elder. The painting directly below is by the Elder.

  I posted this painting on Saturday but I wanted to just give it another look. I would offer that this is one of the strangest and mysterious paintings that you will ever see. It depicts several biblical events including the Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus all in one painting as if one could represent the events of a movie in one image. But that's not all, what is particularly curious in my opinion is the top right corner of the painting. Here we see the heads of what I would suppose are angels, circling an opening in ordinary reality. There is the depiction of an orifice opening that apparently would be an entrance into another world, another reality, probably heaven. This strikes me as a stunning, and very curious depiction - an opening in the seamless reality we experience which transports you into a different realm. It's like a black hole perhaps. Let's push it a bit, it's like a female opening into another universe.


Have A Great Monday

work by Lucas Cranach the Younger

The Onion - Takeout Burrito Shielded From Cold As Though It Were Week-Old Newborn

Skin Cells Used Fight Cancer

Science Daily: Groundbreaking discovery made use skin cells to kill cancer - Skin cells turned cancer-killing stem cells hunt down, destroy deadly remnants inevitably left behind when a brain tumor is surgically removed
summary - In a first for medical science, pharmacy researchers turn skin cells into cancer-hunting stem cells that destroy brain tumors known as glioblastoma -- a discovery that can offer, for the first time in more than 30 years, a new and more effective treatment for the disease.

TRNN - Is Mexico A Democracy?

The Ongoing Degeneration Of The GOP

  Make no mistake American politics has gotten low but this is the bottom of the barrel. This is GOP politics on full display. They sound like 11 year old boys on a playground name calling tirade.

MSNBC: Donald Trump has ‘small hands,’ Marco Rubio says
Rubio also targeted Trump’s notorious tan, saying he “doesn’t sweat because his pores are clogged from the spray tan.”

“Donald Trump isn’t gonna make America great, he’s gonna make America orange,” he said.

Seventy People Killed In Suicide Bombing In Iraq

Gurdian UK: Isis claims responsibility for double suicide bombing in Baghdad - Terrorist group lays claim to blasts in a Shia district of the Iraqi capital, which have killed 70 people
A double suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State has killed 70 people in a Shia district of Baghdad in the deadliest attack inside the Iraqi capital this year, as militants launched an assault on its western outskirts.

It's War

Guardian UK: Rubio and Cruz seek to destroy Trump as Republicans wage all-out war - Rubio attacks ‘con artist’ as Cruz links Trump to mafia - John Kasich predicts frontrunner will win all Super Tuesday primaries - Trump declines to condemn former KKK leader who backed him
His (Trump) claim to know nothing about Duke also contradicted a statement he made in 2000, when he called Duke “a Klansman” and said: “This is not company I wish to keep.”

Global Warming - US Coastal Flooding

Krugman On The Upcoming Presidential Election

AlterNet: Krugman: This Presidential Election Is an Up or Down Vote on the Survival of Humanity - The Republican Party has somehow managed to get even more destructive in eight years.
"Just eight years ago the G.O.P. nominated John McCain, whose platform included a call for a “cap and trade” system — that is, a system that restricts emissions, but allows pollution permits to be bought and sold — to limit greenhouse gases. Since then, however, denial of climate science and opposition to anything that might avert catastrophe have become essential pillars of Republican identity."

The Market On Monday

  Good morning. It is 49 degrees and it is overcast here in the Upper Hudson Valley. The forecast shows an entire week with temperatures mostly in the 40s with a few colder days here and there. We are into the last few weeks of the mild Winter of 2015-16, there's no snow outside, it's like the last part of Fall never ended. This is global warming. I did not follow the Oscars, I don't really care truthfully, most movies stink and are hopelessly juvenile. I like having HBO because I can turn something off if it doesn't appeal and not waste my time. We see that over the weekend Trump has once again crapped all over himself by claiming he needs to learn about the KKK and David Duke. What a steaming pile that is. I mean let's use GOP logic here. If we need to call it "Radical Islamic Terrorism", Trump needs to call David Duke and the KKK "Radical Christian Terrorism". That's just keeping with 'GOP logic', which lately is more of an oxymoron. No doubt Trump support will grow as a result of the man's obvious racist stance.

  At 9:00 a.m. ET futures a slightly higher and the price of oil per barrel is up touching $33 a barrel. The market is poised to open higher.

  We see that Iran will now be increasing the amount of oil out there in the globe. The glut of oil continues. Out doing errands on Sunday I could not help but notice how many parking lots in town are filled with large SUVs. Humanity has not really embraced global warming and CO2 reduction, not really.

CNN: Stocks: 4 things to know before the open
A senior Iranian official told CNN the country was pushing ahead with plans to increase oil production by one million barrels per day, despite a global supply glut.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Closed Sundays

  The blog is closed on Sundays, see you bright and early Monday morning.

Sounds About Right

Hillary Wins South Carolina

  It is the margin of victory that pops out - practically 75% to 25%.

ABC News: Black Voters Boost Hillary Clinton To South Carolina Primary Win

Bernie

  Bernie Sanders is the superior candidate from either political party.

WaPo: With expected loss looming in S.C., Sanders addresses 10,000 fans in Texas

Spectacular

NY Magazine: The GOP's Spectacular Failure to Take Out Donald Trump By Chas Danner
GOP Senators Up for Re-election Should Feel Free to Attack Trump

Marco Rubio’s Failed Courtships of Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Mitt Romney

Dreaming of a Contested Convention

Now we're getting serious: Rubio says Trump has "the worst spray tan in America," says Donald "should sue whoever did that to his face."

Have A Great Saturday

work by Lucas Cranach the Elder

The Onion - More Realistic Meat Substitute Made From Soy Raised In Brutally Cruel Conditions

Living Computers

Science Daily: Building living, breathing supercomputers
summary - The substance that provides energy to all the cells in our bodies, Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), may also be able to power the next generation of supercomputers. The discovery opens doors to the creation of biological supercomputers that are about the size of a book.

TRNN - The Documentary The Koch Brothers Don’t Want You To See

Investigative journalist Bruce Livesey’s documentary was pulled days before it was set to air and he was fired from Global News. Watch the promo and see how you can help.

Nightmare And Repulsive Spectacle

MSNBC: The GOP race becomes the nightmare the party feared
“America must have a strong leader again that can restore American jobs that can restore American confidence – and Donald Trump is just the man to do it,” Christie said at a rally with Trump in Fort Worth, Texas.

Within hours, Maine Governor Paul LePage – a kind of proto-Trump who recently railed against drug dealers who might “impregnate a young, white girl” in his state – added his endorsement as well.

An Exceptional Life

Guardian UK: ‘I’m not doing as much as I used to’: meet the man with 20 jobs - He’s the lighthouse keeper, the sheep farmer, the firefighter, the air-traffic controller… We try to keep up with Billy Muir, the pensioner who almost single-handedly keeps the tiny island economy of North Ronaldsay afloat
He’s both firefighter and air-traffic controller, he does the contracting for the wind turbines, sits on the local council, the island trust and the Crofting Commission, collects the rubbish, refuels and fixes everyone’s cars and farm machinery, builds houses, does electrics, plumbing and stonemasonry, manages the lighthouse holiday cottages and takes tours of the light.

How To Make Brilliant

Guardian UK: How to raise a brilliant child without screwing them up - Forget tiger mother techniques, the best way to make sure your children achieve their full potential is to nurture their interest gently, says psychologist Oliver James
For instance, one in three exceptional achievers in all fields that have been studied lost a parent before the age of 15 (compared with 18% before modern medicine). That applies equally to prime ministers, American presidents, British entrepreneurs and exceptional writers. These people are driven by the pain of loss and a terrifying loss of control to wrest their destiny from fate.

Global Warming - West Virginia

ABC News: Global Warming Doubts Spur Push to Block Science Standards
In a state defined by a coal industry that is now on life support, the Republican (of course) -led House of Delegates voted 73-20 on Friday to delay the new science standards related to Common Core.

Robert Reich - Ten Rubio Facts

Friday, February 26, 2016

Rubio Stump Speech

  This is earlier today. Unfortunately for Rubio, Christie's endorsement of Trump is taking over the news cycle. Rubio gets off some zingers against Trump and the zingers are funny.

Nate Silver On Trump, Rubio, Cruz

Five Thirty Eight: Marco Rubio Finally Steps Up As The Anti-Trump By Nate Silver
That sends a signal to Republican voters, donors and party elites: If you want to take down Trump, I’m (Rubio) your guy.

Endorsed By Christie

  I could be wrong, but this represents the first insider establishment endorsement for Trump, that would be an endorsement from a sitting governor, senator, or congressperson. Christie should be run out of town on a rail for this one. (Update) I am wrong, earlier this week Trump got two endorsements from sitting congresspersons.

NYT: Chris Christie Endorses Donald Trump and Calls Marco Rubio ‘Desperate’

Today's Must Read

  Kagan is one of the core neocons.

WaPo: Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster. Now he’s strong enough to destroy the party. By Robert Kagan
The Republicans’ creation will soon be let loose on the land, leaving to others the job the party failed to carry out. For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.

Yes It Has

Have A Great Friday

work by Lucas Cranach the Elder

The Onion - Report, Getting Out Of Bed In Morning Sharply Increases Risk Of Things Getting Even Worse

The Milky Way

  This is very cool.

Science Daily: ATLASGAL survey of Milky Way completed
summary - A spectacular image of the Milky Way has been released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere for the first time at submillimeter wavelengths and in finer detail than space-based surveys. The APEX telescope allows the study of the cold universe, a few tens of degrees above absolute zero.

TRNN - How The Democratic Candidates Can Adopt A More Progressive Immigration Platform

Unconventional

MSNBC: Why Democrats fear Donald Trump
“While on its face it may make sense to root for Trump to win the nomination because he seems like the easiest to defeat, variables are not your friend in a presidential campaign,” said Ben LaBolt, a former Obama campaign aide. “You need to build a model that predicts turnout on both sides. And because Trump is such an unconventional politician, it’s hard to predict who will show up for him.”

Iran Votes

Guardian UK: High turnout as Iranians vote in first elections since nuclear agreement - President Hassan Rouhani’s reformist-moderate alliance seeking to make gains against conservatives and hardliners
Iranians began voting on Friday in the first polls since last summer’s landmark nuclear agreement and the lifting of sanctions in a key test of whether reformists and moderate supporters of the president, Hassan Rouhani, can make significant gains against conservatives and hardliners.

Stuttering And Defensive


  I did not watch the debate as I have virtually no interest in any of the remaining candidates. However I'm surprised that it has taken this long for candidates to go after Trump. Up to this point they have been gingerly walking around him, and the question is why. I've said from the very beginning that Trump would crumple under an intense assault, now it's probably too late.

Guardian UK: US elections 2016: Republican debate turns nasty as Rubio lays into Trump - Rubio and Cruz go after frontrunner on immigration, healthcare and more - Both campaigns claim victory ahead of crucial Super Tuesday races in US 2016 elections - Sexual assault allegations against Trump resurface - Republican debate in Texas: 11 things we learned
Trump, who has emerged as the Republican frontrunner with remarkably little vetting, was consistently attacked for employing foreign and illegal workers, for his business record and for his lack of policy specifics.

It left Trump stuttering and defensive.

Global Warming - The Aliso Canyon Leak

  The aging and decrepit US infrastructure has global warming implications.

Climate Central: Study: California Methane Leak Largest in U.S. History
Though the global climate impacts of the leak were minimal, it showed that aging and degraded natural gas wells and pipelines in the U.S. could be at risk of emitting millions of tons of methane into the atmosphere, with significant implications, the study’s authors say.

In Their Own Words

  Republicans on Trump

AlterNet: 7 Astounding Confessions From Conservatives About the Dismal State of the GOP and Likely Nominee Trump - "Is the Republican Party truly not going to resist its own debasement?" By Steven Rosenfeld
At The Federalist, Bill James, cites all the rational reasons why Trump is unqualified to be president, but then notes his party’s base is filled with “morons” supporting him.

The Market On Friday

  Good morning. It is 25 degrees and it is mostly sunny here in the Upper Hudson Valley. The forecast is predicting a sunny and warmer weekend with the temperatures back into the 50s on Sunday. What I like about the end of February is the obvious increase in daylight. If you add in the period of light prior to the sunrise and after the sunset, then we are already close to equal amounts of light. This year the equinox is on Sunday March 20th, it's just around the corner.

  At 9:00 a.m. ET futures are significantly higher and the price of oil per barrel is up close to $34 a barrel. The market is poised to open higher.

  Two things of interest for this morning: First, fears about China are at this moment quieted after positive comments from the head of China's Central Bank. Second, the revised fourth quarter GDP is slightly higher than the original numbers. The market is poised to open in a feels good position.

CNN: Stocks: 6 things to know before the open
Investors may have been placated by comments from the head of China's central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan, who said the central bank still has the ability and tools to support the nation's economy.
Reuters: Futures extend gains after GDP data
GDP increased at a 1 percent annual rate instead of the previously reported 0.7 percent pace (in the fourth quarter). The economy grew at a rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mass Shooting In Kansas

A Storm Is Brewing

Politico: The Coming Anti-Trump Onslaught By Rich Lowry
Trump’s negatives are already sky-high with the general public (60 percent), and a Democratic campaign to disqualify him would seek to make his unfavorable rating not merely alarming, but completely radioactive.

Unfavored

  Can Trump pull out a victory with little to no support among people of color?

WaPo: Poll: Trump’s negatives among Hispanics rise; worst in GOP field
Today, 8 in 10 Hispanic voters have an unfavorable view of Trump. That includes more than 7 in 10 who have a “very unfavorable” impression of him, which is more than double the percentage of any other major candidate.

Chomsky On Trump, Sanders, Poverty

AlterNet: Noam Chomsky: We Owe the Rise of Trump to Fear and the 'Breakdown of Society' - Leading GOP candidate is taking advantage of America's fears. By Aaron Williams
Objectively, poverty and suffering were far greater (in the 30s). But even among poor working people and the unemployed, there was a sense of hope that is lacking now, in large part because of the growth of a militant labor movement and also the existence of political organizations outside the mainstream.

Have A Great Thursday

work by Lucas Cranach the Elder

I'm beginning to think that Lucas Cranach the Elder 1472 to 1553, was a bit of a pervert.



The Onion - Depraved Candidate Struggling To Support $100,000-A-Day Advertising Habit

Controlling Not Eradicating Cancer

Science Daily: Unconventional treatment strategy controls -- rather than eradicates -- cancer
summary - Can we learn to live with--rather than kill--cancer? A new study suggests that frequent, low-dose chemotherapy that keeps tumor growth under control may be more effective than standard high-dose chemotherapy that seeks to eradicate cancer cells completely.

TRNN - Clinton And Sanders’ Mixed Record On Deportation And Guest Worker Policies

Inside The Mind Of The Trump Supporter

'Older, Whiter, Poorer, Less Conservative, Less-Well Educated'

Guardian UK: 'I won everything': just who are Donald Trump's supporters? The Republican frontrunner has bragged about picking up support in nearly every demographic – and he’s not far off base. Now Trump supporters could reshape the country’s political map
“He (Obama) destroyed America,” she said.

"...I believe Trump is the only one who will serve the American people.”

Analysis of recent polling and elections survey data indicates that while his base his broad, its members tend, overall, to be older, whiter, poorer, less conservative, less-well educated and, going by past voting records, less likely to turn out than supporters of rival candidates. Many have spent their lives on the fringes of politics.

Brian Sandoval

  Bad move.

Guardian UK: Brian Sandoval for supreme court seat is 'downright absurd', liberal activists say - Obama vetting Nevada governor for nomination could be strategy to break GOP blockade but may prompt resistance from Senate Democrats, experts say
His nomination could leave Senate Republicans in battleground states struggling to explain why they object to one of their own. The Senate unanimously confirmed Sandoval as a district court judge in 2005 after he was nominated by President George W Bush. He quit the bench in 2009 to run for governor and has implemented Obama’s Affordable Care Act. But many Democrats would find such an overtly political move unpalatable.

Global Warming - Ocean Acidification, Coral Reefs

Climate Central: Bleak Picture of Great Barrier Reef’s Changing Chemistry
Ocean acidification is caused by carbon dioxide pollution and it’s associated with a decline in calcium carbonate, which coral use to make their tough sheaths. That’s weakening coral reefs around the world, making them more vulnerable to impacts of ocean warming and water pollution.

Getting All Gushy For Fascism

AlterNet: How the U.S. Went Fascist: Mass Media Makes Excuses for Trump Voters - Networks and newspapers are trying to explain away racism from a prominent GOP candidate. By Juan Cole
Donald Trump should have been kicked out of the Republican Party the moment he began talking about violating the Constitution. The first time he hinted about assaulting the journalists covering his rallies, he should have been shown the door. When he openly advocated torture (‘worse than waterboarding’), he should have been ushered away. When he began speaking of closing houses of worship, he should have been expelled. He has solemnly pledged to violate the 1st, 4th and 8th Amendments of the Constitution, at the least. If someone’s platform is unconstitutional, it boggles the mind that a major American party would put him or her up for president.

The Market On Thursday

  Good morning. It is 54 degrees, darkly clouded, and there is also a hint of sunshine here in the Upper Hudson Valley. Last night we had a real downpour going on, there was thunder and lightning too. Tomorrow it gets really cold for the day so one might expect it to get icy. Then it's back to the mild Winter of 2015-16 from the weekend on out. Are you steeling yourself for a GOP Trump presidential run and a potential Trump presidency? I'm still in shock about that reality and I can only think about it a little at a time, otherwise I kind of get sick.

  At 8:50 a.m. ET futures are modestly higher and the price of oil per barrel is down trading around $31.50 a barrel. The market is poised to open slightly higher.

  Chinese stocks are under a lot of pressure today and have dropped in value. This has affected the global market and right now there is a pretend calmness in the futures market, a holding pattern is temporarily in place.

CNN: Stocks: 5 things to know before the open
Chinese index down over 6%: The benchmark Shanghai Composite index plummeted 6.4% on Thursday, snuffing out a recent recovery rally in brutal fashion. Now losses for this year are close to 23%.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Idiocracy

'An Existential Threat To The Republic'

The Nation: The Hate Behind Donald Trump’s Success - Why is no one in the Republican establishment directly condemning Trump’s nascent movement of thugs and fanatics? By Sasha Abramsky
These men and women (GOP power players like McCain, GW Bush et al) know what Trump is. They have to understand what is at stake here. They have to see that Trump and his followers have now crossed fundamental Rubicons, embracing such antidemocratic, such thuggish views—the mindset of the pogrom, the death squad, the race-and-religion war—that they now represent an absolute and existential threat to the Republic.

Something

  Is something brewing among conservatives or is this all just hot air like it has been so far.

CNBC: Ron Paul: I wouldn't support Trump as GOP nominee

The Atlantic: Will Conservatives Mount a Third-Party Challenge If Trump Is the Nominee? Doing so would hobble the billionaire’s ability to take the White House—making it the most potent piece of leverage left to conservatives.
Erick Erickson - A lot of Republicans are going to start claiming that we must rally to the nominee, no matter who he is. I know for certain a large number of Trump supporters will not rally to a Cuban. I will not rally to Trump. If Trump is able to get the nomination, the Republican Party will cease to be the party in which I served as an elected official. It will not deserve my support and will not get it if it chooses to nominate a pro-abortion liberal masquerading as a conservative, who preys on nationalistic, tribal tendencies and has an army of white supremacists online as his loudest cheerleaders.

'GOP Pundit Admits It’s The End Of The GOP If Trump Is Elected'

Have A Great Wedneday

work by Lucas Cranach the Elder

The Onion - Leather-Clad Ted Cruz Greeting Voters At Reno-Area Fetish Club

'Smaller Than A Cheeseburger'

Science Daily: Reef sharks prefer bite-size meals
summary - Sharks have a reputation for having voracious appetites, but a new study shows that most coral reef sharks eat prey that are smaller than a cheeseburger.

TRNN - Four Billion People Experience Water Scarcity

Old And Angry

Voting In America

  Chaos on full display...

Nevada: Nevada caucuses chaos: reports of double voting, Trump attire on poll staff - Vote-counting and voter registration mistakes were also reported in multiple caucus sites, and disorganization led to long lines at sites across the state
The Republican caucuses in Nevada descended into chaos on Tuesday evening, with multiple reports of double voting, and even more of caucus volunteers – who are supposed to remain neutral as they distribute and count the ballots – wearing Donald Trump apparel at caucus sites.

Gasp

Guardian UK: Donald Trump cements frontrunner status after big win in Nevada - Exit polls indicate a sweep of virtually every demographic in Nevada - Republican frontrunner extends lead after winning most early voting states
He got the loudest applause when he pointed out exit polls that showed he won close to half the Latino vote. The exit data, from CNN, was based on a small sample of Latino voters, but it was nonetheless a surprising figure for a candidate who has called Mexicans “rapists” and “criminals”.

“Number one with Hispanics,” Trump said. “I’m really happy about that.”

Global Warming - Searing Heat Waves

Reich's Latest

Robert Reich: The End of the Establishment?
Wealth, power, and crony capitalism fit together. So far in the 2016 election, the richest 400 Americans have accounted for over a third of all campaign contributions.

The Market On Wednesday

  Good morning. It is 34 degrees and lightly raining here in the Upper Hudson Valley. Looks like we get rain over the next few days. We woke up with a patina of snow and that is quickly disappearing. All in all it's been a relatively snow free Winter around here and curiously Syracuse which is a short drive west on the thruway is having record snow. Go figure. We see that Trump has scored a huge victory in Nevada approaching 50% of the vote no less. It looks like the GOP has settled on Trump, and a new virulent scourge proudly rises up in America. Hold onto you hats, this is not going to be pretty. When agnotology rules the day, the results will not be good.

  At 8:40 a.m. ET futures are significantly lower and the price of oil per barrel is down, now trading above $31. The market is poised to drop at the opening bell.

  The oil war continues unabated. Investors were 'hoping' the Saudi oil minister would offer reasonable words on Saudi and OPEC oil production and instead got another boatload of confusion. We are left thinking that OPEC is not only fighting to reduce US oil production but they are fighting with themselves. At some point maybe many years down the road, sanity will prevail, but not anytime soon.

CNN: Stocks: 5 things to know before the open
Investors were also discouraged by comments from Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali al-Naimi. He said it would be a waste of time to seek a coordinated global production cut.

"Not many countries are going to deliver, even if they say they will cut production they are not going to deliver," he said at an energy conference in Texas.

...weekly updates have recently been showing that America is pumping so much oil that it's running out of places to keep it all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wrestlemania 23 - Trump Brawls, Trump Shaves McMahon's Head

  This is real, the year was 2007, 80,000 in attendance.

How Long

Who Is To Blame

WaPo: My very peculiar and speculative theory of why the GOP has not stopped Donald Trump - What if political scientists are to blame for his rise?
But I wonder: Just how much of Trump’s rise came about because the people who could have stopped him read analyses asserting that he had no chance of winning? How much did political scientists refute their own hypotheses?

Gitmo

NPR: Obama Says Guantanamo Prison Doesn't Help U.S. Security, 'It Undermines It'
Several times during his speech, Obama invoked his predecessor, President George W. Bush, noting that Bush oversaw the facility's use to house suspected terrorists — and also wanted to close the prison.

"I give him credit for that," Obama said, calling it "an honest assessment on his part on his part of what needed to happen.

Sucker

Have A Great Tuesday

work by Lucas Cranach the Elder

The Onion - Scientists Warn All Plant Life Dying Within 30-Yard Radius Of Ted Cruz Campaign Signs

Antarctic Ice Sheets

Science Daily: Antarctic ice sheet is more vulnerable to carbon dioxide than expected - Researchers assess Antarctic ice sheet variables and behavior
summary - Results from a new climate reconstruction of how Antarctica's ice sheets responded during the last period when atmospheric carbon dioxide reached levels like those expected to occur in about 30 years, plus sediment core findings reported in a companion paper, suggest that the ice sheets are more vulnerable to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide than previously thought.

TRNN - Col. Wilkerson, All War Games Between China And US Lead To Nuclear Attacks

The Drought

Blue GOP

Syria

Guardian UK: Syrian government agrees to 'cessation of hostilities' plan - Assad regime says it will comply with US-Russia brokered deal if attacks on Isis and al-Nusra can continue
There is scepticism that the ceasefire will hold due to the difficulties in marking out what territory is covered, and the way in which some opposition groups are interwoven with al-Nusra.

Business As Usual

Global Warming - Sea Level Rise

Climate Central: Study Reveals Stunning Acceleration of Sea Level Rise
The findings also warn of much worse to come.

...95 percent certainty that at least half of more than 5 inches of sea level rise they detected during the 20th century was directly caused by global warming.

Creation

The Market On Tuesday

  Good morning. It is 22 degrees and it is overcast here in the Upper Hudson Valley. We are expecting anther mild Winter day in the 40s and more mildness over the next week as well. It's another day in the election process as Nevada will now deal with the GOP. There was a quote this morning about how Trump wanted to literally hit a protester. It's really a stunning period in American history where Trump can say something so outside of the realm of anything related to being presidential and still he attracts more and more of the Republican electorate. Violence and hatred have become the cornerstone of the Trump campaign, they love it,  and there's not even a second thought about it, no wondering if this might not be very good.

  At 9:00 a.m. ET futures are slightly lower and the price of oil per barrel is down now floating around $33 a barrel. The market is poised to open lower.

  Different day, same message - the stock market is linked at the hip to the price of oil. As oil floats between $25 and $35 a barrel, up or down, so does the rest of the equities market float up and down.

CNN: Stocks: 6 things to know before the open
Traders are taking their cue from the oil market, where crude futures are dipping by about 2%. Stock market moves have been heavily correlated with oil prices over the past few months.

Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali al-Naimi will be making a speech in Houston on Tuesday morning. Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest oil exporter, and agreed last week with Russia to freeze output at January levels, provided other major producers do the same.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Nothing

Army Indeed

  If Trump ultimately gets the nomination, establishment Republicans must step forward and do everything in their power to help him lose. They know why too.

WSJ: How Donald Trump’s Army Is Transforming the GOP - Populist agenda trumps traditional conservative ideologies for the new breed of Republican voter

Bernie In WV

Vote!

Commentary By Danielle Allen

Chicago Tribune: Commentary: Moment of truth: We must stop Trump
...I have spent my life perplexed about exactly how Hitler could have come to power in Germany. Watching Donald Trump's rise, I now understand.

Have A Great Monday

work by Lucas Cranach the Elder

The Borowitz Report - Iraqis Celebrate As Threat Of Third Bush Presidency Is Over

Dietary Cholesterol

Science Daily: High-cholesterol diet, eating eggs do not increase risk of heart attack, not even in persons genetically predisposed, study finds
summary - A new study shows that a relatively high intake of dietary cholesterol, or eating one egg every day, are not associated with an elevated risk of incident coronary heart disease. Furthermore, no association was found among those with the APOE4 phenotype, which affects cholesterol metabolism and is common among the Finnish population. In the majority of population, dietary cholesterol affects serum cholesterol levels only a little, and few studies have linked the intake of dietary cholesterol to an elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases. Globally, many nutrition recommendations no longer set limitations to the intake of dietary cholesterol.

TRNN - Subprime Mortgage Whistleblowers Warn Bigger Crash On Its Way

Rubio

  Do you believe this - Trump, Cruz, Rubio.

MSNBC: Rubio poised to benefit from Bush’s exit, with Kasich in pursuit

Get Drunk, Just Don't Twerk

Guardian UK: How a Mississippi bounce concert was shut down over anticipated twerking - State enforces rules that limit the intersection of scantily clad entertainment and liquor – and hip-hop artist Big Freedia and fans were not pleased
“Even though we do ass shaking, it’s the culture of bounce music. I didn’t know twerking violated anybody’s amendments. Our right is to be who we want to be and dance in a manner that we want to.”

HPV

Guardian UK: HPV rates drop 64% in decade since recommended CDC vaccination - Although human papillomavirus vaccination rates are relatively low in the US, this the first time a study has shown evidence of the effect on women in their 20s
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US and about 79 million Americans currently have the infection, according to the CDC.

Global Warming - Rainforests

Rural Revival

The Market On Monday

  Good morning. It is 32 degrees and very sunny here in the Upper Hudson Valley. The forecast is predicting another very mild week of temperatures and once again we go up into the 50s in a few days. This is the very mild Winter of 2015-2016. I hope you had a good week, I did, got outside a lot and rested well. We see that Jeb Bush indeed left the presidential race on Sunday. Personally I'm rather neutral about that, the remaining candidates in the GOP race all pretty much scare the hell outa me. Considering what they are preaching, from hatred to bringing back the old religion, (most of us had not realized it had ever left), to warring and throwing even more gobs of breaks to the corporate world, to removing any social advances, it's a mess.

  At 9:00 a.m. ET futures are significantly higher and the price of oil per barrel is up. The market is poised to open higher.

  Looks like Wall Street is partial to Jeb leaving the race - just kidding. Oil is up and don't forget that whenever the word comes out that OPEC will cut production or is even considering cutting production, that oil prices and gas prices will rise, gas more than oil too. The people who are unwisely buying gas guzzling SUVs now based on cheap gas, may have to pay the piper later on the down the road.

CNN: Stocks: 6 things to know before the open
Crude oil futures are trading just above $32.50 per barrel, which is roughly the highest level they've seen since the start of February.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has set June 23 as the date for a historic referendum when voters will decide whether they want the U.K. to exit the European Union or stay put.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Closed Sundays

  The blog is closed Sundays, see you bright and early on Monday morning.

1940


Must Read

Sleepy

Amen


Really Low Energy

  I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this article, it could be b.s.

the American independent: Mr. Low Energy Is Out Of Money: Bush Campaign To Officially Call it Quits On Sunday
A call went out last night to Jeb Bush campaign operatives informing them that there is no money left to pay campaign staffers. Donations to the Jeb PAC “Right To Rise” have ironically fallen precipitously over the last few weeks and came to a grinding halt after last Saturday’s blood bath debate performance. Bush was again caught flat footed trying to defend his brother’s failed war in Iraq and the 911 attacks which occurred on George W’s watch.

The establishment has moved on. They’ve decided to go with the man with even less experience than Bush, Marco Rubio.

Have A Great Saturday

work by Albrecht Dürer

The Borowitz Report - Conspiracy Theorists Say Republican Party Did Not Die From Natural Causes

New Yorker: Conspiracy Theorists Say Republican Party Did Not Die from Natural Causes
“McCain tapped Palin to be his running mate, and that led directly to people like Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Donald Trump being considered credible candidates,” he said. “There is no logical reason why McCain would have chosen Palin unless he wanted to kill the Republican Party.”

Charon

Science Daily: Pluto’s ‘hulk-like’ moon Charon: A possible ancient ocean?
summary - Pluto's largest moon may have gotten too big for its own skin. Images from NASA's New Horizons mission suggest that Pluto's moon Charon once had a subsurface ocean that has long since frozen and expanded, pushing outward and causing the moon's surface to stretch and fracture on a massive scale.

TRNN - Bayer Pharma, Fetal Deaths, And Illegal Kickbacks

Full Lunacy On World Display

  Think about this for a second. You have an inept utterly unqualified and essentially brutally dangerous candidate like Trump setting the bar on what we like to call 'being Presidential'  to a record breaking low as it were. What does this mean? It means that from here on out we get a stream of candidates that will take Trump's noteworthy low bar accomplishment and set the bar even lower. Mark my words, you can take it to the bank.

MSNBC: Trump hails torture, mass killings with ‘pigs blood’ ammo in SC
“He took fifty bullets, and he dipped them in pig’s blood,” Trump said. “And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the fifty people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the fiftieth person he said ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem, okay?”

The story appears to be a hoax spread via e-mail forwards, according to rumor tracker Snopes.com, with no evidence it occurred.

Nevada, South Carolina

  Can we get this over with now somehow? I'm already sick of the steady stream of major B.S coming from the entire lot of candidates. To think that this has to go on basically all year, that's misery.

Guardian UK: God, guns and dirty tricks: Republicans trade shots as Democrats divide on race - Bill and Chelsea Clinton stump in Nevada, Sanders accuses rival of pandering to black Americans, while Trump calls South Carolina to war against Apple

Albert Woodfox

  This is unimaginable torture, I literally gasped when I read this.

Guardian UK: Albert Woodfox released from jail after 43 years in solitary confinement - US’s longest-standing solitary confinement prisoner set free in Louisiana after more than four decades in form of captivity widely denounced as torture
...a six-by-nine-foot cell almost continuously for 43 years...

...kept in solitary following the 1972 murder of a prison guard for which he has always professed his innocence, marked his 69th birthday on Friday by being released from West Feliciana parish detention center.

Global Warming - Sumba

Climate Central: Small Island Offers Big Lessons on Clean Power
In 2009 the Dutch non-governmental organization Hivos realized the potential these resources offered and conceived of a plan to fully electrify the island using only renewable sources by 2025.

Sugar With Your Sugar

AlterNet: 5 Everyday Foods That Have More Sugar Than You Might Have Thought - The stuff you thought you knew had lots of sugar? There's still more.
...a can of Campbell’s Healthy Request Classic Tomato Soup has 20 grams of sugar, as much as two Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Carl Jung On War

  A long essay but highly recommended, it will turn you around a little.

ILP: excerpt from Jung's 'Psychological-Analysis of Nietzsche's Zarathustra'. Seminar given by Jung in Zurich 1938.
We can never become anything else because we are caught in that contradiction, on the one side we want to do good and on the other we are doing the worst. How can man develop? He is forever caught in that dilemma. So you had better acknowledge the evil, what you call it doesn't matter. If there were priests who said that the god of war must be propitiated that would be a way of protecting yourself. But of course there are no such things, so we must admit that we prepare the war, that we are just thirsty for blood, everybody.

The Keyless Car Arrives

BBC: Volvo tries out 'keyless car' app in Sweden
The Bluetooth app can control door locks and start or stop the engine, but the firm told the BBC that additional security measures would also be used inside the vehicles.

Umberto Eco Dies

Friday, February 19, 2016

Anti

  Today's New York Daily News cover

And The Winner Is

  The 3:28 PM EST 2-19 update has Clinton with a 72% chance of winning Nevada. Let's see how it holds up.

Five Thirty Eight: Nevada Democratic caucus

SCOTUS

TPM: Outside Groups Warn GOP: Don’t Even Think About Holding A SCOTUS Hearing
Outside conservative groups with influence on Capitol Hill -- and particularly those that inhabit its far-right flank -- were quick to cement the line McConnell drew.

“Senator McConnell is right, under no circumstance should the Republican Senate majority confirm a Supreme Court nominee as Americans are in the midst of picking the next president,” Michael Needham -- the head of Heritage Action, the lobby arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation -- said in a statement posted Monday.

The Family Research Council is also advocating that Senate refuse to take up any nominee Obama submits.

Oregon

Have A Great Friday

work by Albrecht Dürer

The Onion - Mitch McConnell Has Hands, Vocal Cords Removed To Prevent Self From Holding Hearing On Scalia Replacement

Zika

Science Daily: Zika virus can cross placental barrier, but link with microcephaly remains unclear, new evidence suggests
summary - Zika virus has been detected in the amniotic fluid of two pregnant women whose fetuses had been diagnosed with microcephaly, according to a study. The report suggests that Zika virus can cross the placental barrier, but does not prove that the virus causes microcephaly, as more research is needed to understand the link.

TRNN - Pope Vs Trump

Down

  Two things come to mind reading this; it's either accurate or it's a very good attempt to discredit Trump, just as Trump might conjecture. I don't know, maybe something really is sticking to Trump, it's not like his severe inconsistencies and lack of credibility are not there, they are indeed very present.

MSNBC: Trump loses ground in South Carolina: Poll
Donald Trump is now leading Saturday’s South Carolina Republican primary by 5 points – down from his 16-point lead in the state a month ago, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.

Degradation

  The bar of human caused human degradation gets lowered another rung.

Guardian UK: Isis sending children to die at unprecedented rate, report warns - Analysis of 89 deaths of minors finds 39% drove vehicles laden with explosives, while a third died as foot soldiers
“Children and youth don’t really receive any special treatment from Isis propagandists. They’re celebrated in exactly the same way adults are. And they’re celebrated alongside adults rather than being given any recognition for their age … It’s almost an incidental fact.”

US Airstrikes

Global Warming - The Arctic

Eh

  I don't know, Trump is the most recent version of the Teflon man. Nothing, literally nothing sticks to him and when any accusation comes forth, his numbers go up. Go figure.

AlterNet: Ted Cruz Levels the One Right-Wing Attack That Could Really Damage Trump - Trump's sketchy record on abortion might hurt him in upcoming primaries. By Amanda Marcotte
Cruz is running an ad in South Carolina featuring a 1999 clip of Trump declaring himself “very pro-choice.” Trump’s lawyers, in a move that reeks of desperation, have threatened to sue for defamation.

The Market On Friday

  Good morning. It is 20 degrees and it is partly sunny here in the Upper Hudson Valley. The temperature is expected to almost reach 40 degrees this afternoon and then we are back into the 50s on Saturday. It cannot be said enough but this area of the Northeast has barely gotten any snow, and the temperatures have been relatively mild, actually very mild. We learned yesterday that January 2016 was the warmest month ever recorded meaning roughly within the last 150 years or so. What does that tell us?

  At 9:00 a.m. ET futures are down and the price of oil is down now around $30.50 per barrel. The market is poised to open lower.

  Until OPEC production levels drop, it appears that the $25 to $35 per barrel range of oil is going to stick around. I regret to see that more people are buying larger SUVs and that gas mileage is presently going in the opposite direction of where it needs to go to curtail CO2 emissions.

CNN: Stocks: 6 things to know before the open
Traders are keenly monitoring moves in the euro and British pound as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron tries to renegotiate his nation's membership in the European Union. All 28 EU nations will have to unanimously agree to any changes so it's unclear if any deal will be reached before the weekend.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Donald Trump Responds To The Pope

Earlier today -

The GOP Establishment

Five Thirty Eight: The Party Is Deciding On Rubio By Harry Enten
But Rubio is starting to do better than some previous endorsement leaders at this point in the campaign.

German Shorthaired Pointer CJ Wins Westminster Dog Show 2016

Is Not

Headline Of The Week

Have A Great Thursday

work by Albrecht Dürer

Dürer's self portrait at age 13.



The Onion - Obama Tells Nation To Just Chalk Up Today As Loss

Short-Sighted

Science Daily: Half the world to be short-sighted by 2050 - One billion high myopes globally by 2050
summary - Half the world's population (nearly 5 billion) will be short-sighted (myopic) by 2050, with up to one-fifth of them (1 billion) at a significantly increased risk of blindness if current trends continue, says a new study.

TRNN - We Can Now Hear The Universe

Cruz 28%, Trump 26%, Nationally

  The battle between the two scariest candidates in recent presidential political history is shifting in favor of Cruz.

MSNBC: Donald Trump Falls Behind Ted Cruz in National NBC/WSJ Poll
In the poll, Cruz is the first choice of 28 percent of Republican primary voters, while Trump gets 26 percent. They're followed by Marco Rubio at 17 percent, John Kasich at 11 percent, Ben Carson at 10 percent and Jeb Bush at 4 percent.

El Niño

The Face Of Hate

Guardian UK: Southern Poverty Law Center affixes Trump as face of 'year in hate' report - The annual report focuses on how hate speech, mostly from Donald Trump, has pervaded mainstream politics, as well as the 14% increase in US hate groups
Counted among the hate speech in the report were Trump’s statements on how illegal immigrants, especially Mexicans, are more likely to be rapists; his proposal to ban Muslim immigration to the US; and his tweets that regurgitate racist propaganda or retweeting of white supremacists. All of these statements, the SPLC said, caused the candidate to receive, “glowing endorsements from white nationalist leaders”.

Global Warming - January 2016, Warmest Month On Record

Climate Central: January Smashed Another Global Temperature Record
This January was the warmest January on record by a large margin while also claiming the title of most anomalously warm month in 135 years of record keeping. The month was 1.13°C — or just a smidge more than 2°F — above normal.

Iraq

AlterNet: The Biggest Iraq War Scandal That Nobody's Talking About - In a new book, a former U.S. Marine and Army sergeant reveals how a Dick Cheney-connected company got rich while U.S. soldiers got poisoned. By Liam O'Donoghue
In a nutshell, a healthy young man shipped off to Iraq, was stationed at a U.S. military base where he was exposed to a constant stream of toxic smoke, returned home with horrible respiratory problems, was denied care by the VA, developed brain cancer and died.

Thousands of soldiers have suffered similar fates since serving in the vicinity of the more than 250 military burn pits that operated at bases throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.

...the burn pits were operated by Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR), a former subsidiary of Halliburton, the company where Dick Cheney was CEO before ascending to the White House.

The Market On Thursday

  Good morning. It is 20 degrees and sunny here in the Upper Hudson Valley. We are in for a colder day as it may stay in the 20s. I did watch Tweety's interview with Kasich last night. Kasich is very much on the extreme right and what is discouraging is that he actually represents the most reasonable of all the remaining GOP candidates. The GOP is now inhabiting only extreme right wing views, the era of the moderate Republican is gone.

  At 8:50 a.m. ET futures are moderately higher and the price of oil per barrel is up. The market is poised to open higher.

  Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to keep their oil production levels at present rates and now Iran has agreed to do the same. That news is boosting oil prices slightly. The US meanwhile is producing so much oil that there's no place to put it. The globe is awash in oil and this represents a significant challenge to those of us who want to see CO2 emissions restricted. That is not happening, emissions are cranking.

CNN: Stocks: 5 things to know before the open
Crude oil futures are holding around $31 per barrel after jumping on Wednesday.

Oil prices got a lift after Iran said it would support any measures to stabilize the energy markets.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

'Lilt'

  Some of my music work circa 2005.

Amazing Indeed

Business Insider: These Amazing Pictures Show What Iraq Was Like Before The Country's Decades Of Chaos

Basra once known as the Venice of the Middle East.

Pre-Emptive Attack

Raw Story: John Kerry says world leaders already hate Donald Trump: ‘I hear about it everywhere’
“I’m out of politics now… and judging by the Republican field half of them are, too.”

Rescued Sea Otter

On Trust

"Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement." Golda Meir

"The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool." Stephen King

"Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters." Albert Einstein

"Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do." Benjamin Spock

Have A Great Wednesday

work by Albrecht Dürer

The Onion - Female Presidential Candidate Who Was United States Senator, Secretary Of State Told To Be More Inspiring

Oral Bacteria And Stroke

Science Daily: Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke - Brain researchers demonstrate the importance of oral health in stroke
summary - In a study of patients entering the hospital for acute stroke, researchers have increased their understanding of an association between certain types of stroke and the presence of the oral bacteria (cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans).

TRNN - What Turkey And Saudi Arabia Aim To Gain With Possible Ground Invasion In Syria

  Larry Wilkerson explains -

Obama On The Presidential Race

MSNBC: Obama: ‘I continue to believe Trump will not be president’
Trump shrugged off the comments, and said they were “actually a great compliment.”

“You’re lucky I didn’t run the last time when Romney ran because you would have been a one-term president,” Trump said.

U.N. Convoys To Syria

Guardian UK: Syria: humanitarian aid convoys readied for starving civilians - Food and medicine packages are expected to be sent to seven besieged locations including Madaya and Zabadani
Aid convoys to seven besieged locations in Syria have been loaded with food and medicine to relieve starving civilians and are awaiting instructions to depart for their destinations.

Nevada

Global Warming - US Methane Emissions

Climate Central: Study Ties U.S. to Spike in Global Methane Emissions
“I’d say the biggest takeaway is that there is more we — the U.S. — could be doing to reduce our methane emissions to combat climate change,” study lead author Alex Turner, a Harvard University chemical engineering Ph.D. candidate, said.

The White Supremacist's Dream Candidate

AlterNet: 16% of Trump Supporters in South Carolina Willing to Tell Pollsters They Are Openly White Supremacist - Only 14% are not sure if whites are the superior race. By Adam Johnson
The poll also found that 62% of Trump voters support a national database for Muslims, with the next closest Marco Rubio at 47%. A whopping 56% of Trump supporters don't think the religion of Islam should be legal, with 33% wanting to ban it outright. The next closest was Ted Cruz with 27%.

The Market On Wednesday

  Good morning. It is 34 degrees and overcast here in the Upper Hudson Valley. The forecast predicts that we are back to the very moderate Winter we have experienced most of this season. The frigid temperatures we felt over the weekend are not about to reappear in the near future. On top of that the forecast predicts that we go back into the 50s this weekend. Basketball fans around the country are waiting for 3 p.m. Thursday, that is when the NBA trade deadline expires. Fans of the NY Knicks, ahem like myself,  are hoping the team can pull off a deal to land a speedier point guard.

  At 9:00 a.m. ET futures are significantly higher and the price of oil is trading near $30 a barrel. The market is poised to open higher.

  The equities market is very much linked to the price of oil, most but not all of the time. As oil has slightly rebounded this week, so the market goes as well. The Fed will be releasing all kinds of salient data today and as has become the custom, investors will look through the documents for signs of another possible base interest rate hike.

CNN: Stocks: 4 things to know before the open
At 9:15 a.m., the Federal Reserve will post an update on industrial production and capacity utilization in January.

And then the Fed will release the minutes from its latest policy meeting at 2 p.m. Investors will parse through these documents for any clues about the Fed's plans for rate hikes in 2016.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Who Did It, GOP Sleuths Are On The Hunt

Pushing His Weight Around

Trumpery

trump·er·y (archaic)

noun: trumpery; plural noun: trumperies
  1.attractive articles of little value or use. practices or beliefs that are superficially or visually appealing but have little real value or worth.

adjective: trumpery
  1. showy but worthless. "trumpery jewelry" delusive or shallow. "that trumpery hope which lets us dupe ourselves"

Origin - late Middle English (denoting trickery): from Old French tromperie, from tromper ‘deceive.’

Have A Great Tuesday

work by Albrecht Dürer

The Onion - Obama Compiles Shortlist Of Gay, Transsexual Abortion Doctors To Replace Scalia

Mind-Controlled Prosthesis

Science Daily: Mind-controlled prosthetic arm moves individual ‘fingers'
summary - Physicians and biomedical engineers from Johns Hopkins report what they believe is the first successful effort to wiggle fingers individually and independently of each other using a mind-controlled artificial "arm" to control the movement.