Naked Cap: Wells Fargo CEO Stumpf Tries to Brazen Out Fraud.
“If anything, the Republican members were more angry about this issue than the Democrats, with several Tea Party members upbraiding Stumpf for making the case for ‘the other side,’ meaning fans of regulation.” As I keep telling people, capitalism has no moral or ethical requirements. “Do the right thing” doesn’t exist.
NY Times: Why New Jersey’s Trains Aren’t Safer.
You could just have crush zones, like the long sand inclines you see on ski mountains for brakeless trucks. Tech fails. Analog (physical) fixes are more reliable. And CHEAP. NJ Transit’s skint.
I’m going to say it again. November 1 and November 8. Hillary, inoculate yourself.
The new ACA rates come out on November 1. Election is November 8. The new rates are going to sink you, Ms Clinton, unless you do something NOW. Your polling margins are terribly slim. Even three days of the 24/7 news cycle can sink you. Please listen, take my advice. DO SOMETHING. Don’t just shimmy.
I told everyone back when this started that the media would do their utmost to make this entire political season a 50/50 horserace. They have done so through simply terrible journalistic practice and false equivalence. When you’ve blogged through as many elections as I have, and had to suffer Bush/Gore, you know the territory. Sometimes I hate being right.
The Economist: Bill and Hillary Inc.
“An obvious question is what ancillary benefits donors thought they were getting, and here the Clintons’ sloppy approach to conflicts of interest is evident, with the three pillars of their activities—public, private and charitable—colliding. Donors to the foundation attempted to get, and on occasion may have got, favours from Mrs Clinton while she was secretary of state. Most of these requests appear to have been for meetings with her. There was a flow of communication between donors, aides and Mrs Clinton’s government office.” I’ll note that The Economist basically endorses Hillary as the only choice this election. But they’re keeping their eye on her, as evidenced by this article. Hillary supporters won’t like it, but they cannot call it misogynist (the overuse of which, I should mention, is not changing behaviors but quietly and productively driving male voters over to Trump). I don’t fault her for making speeches - I know the industry. Make hay while the sun shines. But that last sentence in the pullquote above bothers me, and I’ve made no bones about it. The Clintons are supposedly smart people. The only conclusion I can draw is, they never really seriously planned for Hillary to do a national run. They experimented all along the way, to see where the roadblocks would occur, and never changed their other long-range plans laid down after Bill left office. Now they have to do the fast-shuffle. “Nothing to see here, just move along!” isn’t going to work.
Naked Cap: Fade OPEC.
“Oil prices sustained in the low $50s is the level that seduces more capital in shale ... thus Saudi better be careful what it wishes for. We already expect supplies to flatten out in the US in early 2017 with limited increases in rig activity. A rebirth of activity could prompt a rapid rise in US oil output within 6-months, offsetting OPEC’s efforts once again.” Oh God, please spare Mora County ...
OilPrice.com: Oil And Gas Bankruptcies Set To Double This Year.
naked cap: New Data Disproves US Corporations’ False Narrative on Taxes.
Jeez. Take the money and run, why don’t you?
Reuters: Parent bloggers question role in Mylan’s EpiPen schools push.
“The bloggers, more than a dozen mothers of children with serious allergies, embraced the effort Mylan outlined in a series of ‘summits’ it held for them beginning in 2013. They wrote impassioned posts on blogs shared with tens of thousands of followers on social media. Their personal testimony helped persuade a number of state lawmakers to pass bills to get schools to stock epinephrine injectors, such as the EpiPen, according to legislators and others familiar with the lobbying effort. During the same period, the company was marking up its EpiPen to more than $600 per twin pack, six times the 2007 price, creating a burden for many of the bloggers’ followers, other parents of children whose lives are threatened by bee stings and peanuts.”
Note this is the same strategy big pharma uses with doctors; symposia held in exotic locations. Read: bribery. I used to wonder that anyone would accept such largess without having at least one night of moral indigestion. I’ve since learned humanity has an incredible capacity to rationalize just about any action.
Bloggers, wake up. List your favor-granting, tchotchke-supplying influencers. Even if offered for free or for ‘loan’. List your sponsors. I understand you want or need to make money. Be open and honest, please.
I have no sponsors, have had none. If I did, they would be prominently listed in my right-side nav section here.
Vox: New research suggests an aging workforce is holding back economic growth.
Read to the end before, like me, you have a bloody fit. A lot of assumptions here. At 56, I’m more productive than I’ve been since my 30’s. But I have to be. I wonder if they included sole proprietors and/or freelancers in the study.
Reuters: U.S. lawmakers blast Mylan CEO over ‘sickening’ EpiPen price hikes.
Even a Republican’s pissed. Nice to know there’s still only so far down they’ll go.
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Our Tiny Home is Revolutionizing How My Wife and I Fight.
“So is it worth all the money you saved? Well, let me put it this way… when I look into the eyes of my spouse as she does dishes in our bathroom-kitchen hybrid and I see the eternal look of resentment on her face, well, you can’t put a price tag on that.” Trouble in tiny paradises?
The Atlantic: The Economic Woe of Young Liberal-Arts Majors.
“In the labor market for young college grads, non-college jobs have proliferated faster than jobs that have historically required a college degree.” Yet, don’t eschew the liberal arts. As I found throughout my career, if you’re not going for a specific engineering degree, the liberal arts give you a leg up in just about any other field (philosophy majors on Wall Street ... architecture graduates creating Broadway sets ... etc. etc.).
The Atlantic: The Vexing Economics of Obamacare.
“Single-payer health care ... [snip] ... would be the clearest way of solving the access-affordability conundrum.” Their ‘con’, that people ‘don’t want to give up their plans or physicians’ - they’ve already had to multiple times now, due to the ACA. That’s not a valid argument.
NY Times: Could Ancient Remedies Hold the Answer to the Looming Antibiotics Crisis?
“Meanwhile, the world indulged in the existing array of antibiotics in such a reckless fashion that it’s hard to know where to place blame. Physicians are just as guilty of overprescribing antibiotics — even to mollify hypochondriacs — as patients are of demanding the drugs too often.” No, you are wrong, NY Times. This is incorrect and placing blame squarely in the wrong place. Physicians were given perks to push antibiotics to patients - by drug companies. I worked as an A/V tech long enough to see how the third-generation cephalosporins were marketed. “Your patient could take amoxicillin and be better in a week, or take our new cephalosporin and be better in A DAY.” Doctors were complicit, but they wouldn’t/couldn’t have done it alone. To blame the patient, after the use of the above marketing? Revisionist history.
In These Times: On the Clinton Foundation, Why Are Journalists Telling Us to Look the Other Way?
ITT is a left-leaning organization, and they’re printing this. Take note. Some will feel, with Clinton’s recent health issue, turning a blind eye is the best strategy to ensure a win in November. The Foundation is a serious problem now, and will be a problem after election. It’s not a disqualifying one, but it needs addressing beyond PR talking points.
Just like the ACA. And I’ll mention again, the ACA’s new rates hit on November 1. Election is November 8. There are going to be a LOT of upset people.
I don’t see the Democrats doing a damned thing about it. And yet, the Republicans haven’t even made a feint at this sitting duck.
It’s a season of political idiocy all the way around.
Guardian.UK: Trump and the Republican Party are doing Big Oil’s bidding.
They’re bankrupting NM, and one can see how they’re ... shaking up ... Oklahoma. This is not good at all. And if you confront them, you’ll either be answered “because jobs” or “because war”.
The Atlantic: Bayer and Monsanto Announce $66 Billion Merger.
Two of the biggest GMO/pesticide companies. It’s not a monopoly, there are many others, but holy hell they’re going to wield a great deal of power.
The Atlantic: Trump Unveils Plan to Boost Support for Child Care.
Guardian.UK: Household incomes rose in 2015 for first time in eight years, US Census says.
“Household incomes in the US finally broke free of the recession in 2015, rising for the first time since the Obama election, the Census Bureau announced on Tuesday, but they still remained below levels before the recession.” As I’ve been saying repeatedly ... the Administration and the media have been hooting and hollering about ‘recoveries’ for years now. We’re still NOT back. Hurts worse in the poorer states (NM being one).
Dazed: A British artist is stranded on a boat in the open Pacific.
One of the more bizarre stories you’ll read this month. Make some time. Nothing really earthshattering, but still ... an artificial ‘connected’ no-(wo)man’s-land. It must be like suspended animation.
Bill Moyers: We, the Plutocrats vs. We, the People.
“So what brought on that spasm of rebellion? They simply couldn’t see beyond their own prerogatives. Fiercely loyal to their families, their clubs, their charities and their congregations — fiercely loyal, that is, to their own kind — they narrowly defined membership in democracy to include only people like themselves.” So many parallels to the privileged classes vs. the third estate in the French Revolution. History repeats.
WaPo: Democrats wonder and worry - Why isn’t Clinton far ahead of Trump?
It’s going to be the craziest 60 days we’ve ever seen in politics. I’ll say it again. Obamacare’s cost increases go live on November 1. One week before election. Hillary better have a fix long before, or else she could lose this with her current slim margins. Back-pocket election. Many things can happen in between, but that could end up being the nail in the coffin.
NY Times: The Partisan Winds Aimed at Kansas’ Court.
“Upon taking office in 2011, Mr. Brownback promised to succeed with “a red-state model” of the trickle-down myth that big upper-bracket tax cuts somehow promote economic growth. Instead, revenues plummeted, resulting in an education funding crisis that threatened schools with closings.” This cause-and-effect has been known since 1984. That it still gets rolled out every election - and voted for - boggles anyone with a shred of common sense. Trickle-down has never worked. Not once. Remember this quote? “If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” No sh-t.
NY Times: A Big Blast in North Korea, and Big Questions on U.S. Policy.
IMHO, sanctions have not worked for decades. This should have been realized and restrategized ages ago.