PS Blog: Is TIME Screwing Photographers?
Guardian.UK: Pfizer’s injection of Botox may cause more than cosmetic damage.
“... while Pfizer may be able to rush this deal to completion before US legislators can react, it is surely nonsense to think US politicians will then shrug their shoulders and carry on as if nothing has happened. Pfizer is a company that, like most US pharma giants, has prospered for decades on the back of the high prices Americans pay for their prescription medicines.” Please, Congress, start a brouhaha over this.
Guardian.UK: Texas family struggles to keep health insurance – and survive cancer.
“Just don’t go the doctor. Don’t do those preventative care visits that probably helped me find out I had breast cancer and thyroid cancer early on. Just don’t find out and don’t get it fixed. [snip] Which is ludicrous but at this point what do you do? It becomes insanely expensive, it’s a whole different ball game from what it used to be.”
Vox: UnitedHealth might quit Obamacare. That would be a huge deal.
“But in the long term, United pulling out of Obamacare might signal something even more troubling: that the marketplaces aren’t a good business decision for other large carriers like Blue Cross Blue Shield or Aetna.” Uh, Vox? BCBS is already gone from NM. Wake up and smell the beginnings of a death spiral.
Mashable: Fiat’s all-electric 500e is worth adjusting your life around.
“The entire time, every second I was behind the wheel, I was thinking about the car. I was altering my driving style, suffering from icy toes because turning on the heat would zap precious battery life. And I wonder if I ever looked directly out the windshield at all, as my eyes were oft locked on the battery charge-level screen.” Oh yeah, sounds delightful.
naked cap: 10 Economic Facts that Power the Sanders Insurgency.
Read of the day. Not anything we didn’t know, really, but piled together ...
SF New Mexican: Mayor seeks $50K to launch city film commission.
Announced from the Red Pony bar set from Longmire.
Guernica/Robert Reich: The Rigging of the American Market.
“For example, Americans pay more for pharmaceuticals than do the citizens of any other developed nation. That’s partly because it’s perfectly legal in the US (but not in most other nations) for the makers of branded drugs to pay the makers of generic drugs to delay introducing cheaper unbranded equivalents, after patents on the brands have expired.” My italic emphasis. You learn something new every day ...
naked cap: Hysteresis and Aircraft Maintenance - Don’t Go Up In Any Large Planes.
EOSHD: Samsung NX1 officially dead - Samsung announce complete discontinuation in Europe.
Reviewers and esp. video wonks loved it. Roland, this may be the first ‘death’ of DSLRs.
WolfStreet: Fed Trips over Commercial Real Estate Bubble; Looks, Sees “Early Signs”.
“It has been one heck of a party in commercial real estate.” Good lordy. “When the walls, come tumblin’ down ...”, I hear it in my head.
SF New Mexican: Passenger traffic still on decline at Albuquerque airport.
“It’s not just passenger numbers that are in decline — the average number of daily departures has fallen by about 40 percent since 2008.” Hmmm. Makes one wonder where NM True is getting their shiny positive numbers from, including increases in air visitation (Here, check “Visitor Profiles”, 2013 and 2014, two PDFs about halfway down the page). I suspect some flaws in their econometric analyses.
naked cap: The TPP and State Sovereignty.
“Notice also that the Lester says it’s going to take a year to figure out what the language of the tobacco carve-out really means. However, TPP, if it is to be passed, can be passed in less than a year. So, once again, we might have to pass a bill to find out what’s in it (and in this case, we’ll be informed by the decisions of unaccountable international tribunals with no ethical canons. What could go wrong?).” You can bet your boots interested parties know exactly what the agreement says - and more importantly, how to leverage it for profit.
naked cap: Full Text of TPP, Including Annexes, and Boy is it Nasty.
Scan through this one. Even if you only have a minute or three. Scroll to the bottom bullet points. Link to full text documents, including annexes.
Mefi: TPP - Made in America.
Here. EFF says, “So far no one has indicated that the White House has declared their intent to sign. If they truly haven’t, it means that there’s still at least three months before Obama can officially sign the agreement. But given how underhanded this administration has been about the TPP all of these years, we have reason to be suspicious, and we fear that they could be surreptitiously moving ahead with the Fast Track trade approval process.” My italic emphasis.
Guardian.UK: TPP trade deal - text published online.
Folks seem to be having a difficult time downloading it. Awaiting critical analyses.
The Atlantic: Regulating Payday Loans Is a Start But It Won’t Fix the Underlying Problem.
“Short on cash and without a strong enough credit history to get a bank loan to tide them over, Melissa went to a payday lender, taking out a meager $450. When they weren’t able to pay the debt back in a matter of weeks, the amount ballooned to $1,700 thanks to the high interest rates, fees, and rollover loans (loans that get folded into new, larger loans when a borrower is unable to repay their initial loan).” On usury.
Adweek: Watch People in Other Industries React Hilariously to Being Asked for Free Spec Work.
Folks buying photography need to see this.
Prestigious medical journals rejected stunning study on deaths among middle-aged whites - The Washin
PS Mag: Confessions of a For-Profit College Inspector.
“Debt was what everyone paid off with lucrative post-college careers.” This idea was starting to grow moss even when I attended college.
The Atlantic: For Some Americans, the Housing Crisis Isn’t Over.
I’ve been feeling mighty alone on the internet, saying the ‘recovery’ isn’t here. Look at the chart, ‘Negative Equity by County”. Looks like an entire third of New Mexico is affected. Presidential candidates, the ball’s in your court. Let’s hear what you will do.
naked cap: The New York Times Covers ObamaCare as Enrollment Opens.
Oh yeah. In NM, now that BC/BS has pulled out, Healthcare.gov shows three providers: Molina, Christus (Catholic) and Presbyterian. All HMO. NM Health Connections screwed up something, and won’t be available on the Exchange until the 15th of the month.
The Atlantic: How to Beat Surge Pricing.
“The researchers therefore suggest a method for beating the surge when requesting an Uber. Look at the surge map, figure out where the nearest adjacent pricing area is, and then change the location in the Uber app to request a car from inside that area. There’s a good chance the price offered will be cheaper. If so, and if it’s close enough to where you actually are, you should be able to request a car and walk to the new pickup point by the time it arrives.” Being a pedestrian saves you $$.
NY Times: A Rainstorm in Penn Station.
“And that is all I have to say for today about the state of America’s mass-transit infrastructure, the inability of government to build and maintain decent public spaces, the abandonment of excellence in construction and infrastructural integrity, and the gross loss of dignity suffered daily by workers who are forced to depend on neglected, rotting, overcrowded, underfunded, abysmal, soul-deadening transportation systems to get to work and home and back again.” Think about all the damage you *can’t* see. Here’s a thought - infrastructure failure may start killing more people than gun violence.
Economist/Buttonwood: Take it easy.
“Positive economic news will make the outlook for profits more rosy but will also mean that the Fed is more likely to push up rates. And bad economic news may mean a respite from monetary tightening but is still bad news.”