I thought oil was supposed to be fungible, so I was curious as to why a barrel of Brent could be selling in the low $100s while WTI was around $85/barrel. That sixteen dollar spread is some sort of record.
The protest movement in Egypt has suddenly alerted many Westerners to the existence of the Muslim Brotherhood, a newish group who did not emerge in Egypt until almost the end of the Coolidge Administration. Furthermore, this fast-breaking development has alerted Western pundits, bloggers, and politicians to the urgent need to say something about the Muslim Brotherhood.
There's an old chestnut that says that two democracies have never gone to war. It's not quite true, or only true if you aggressively redefine "democracy" until you've fallen into the "no-true-Scotsman" fallacy. ("No true democracy ever goes to war with another ...." ) But it is an instructive half-truth: functional democracies very rarely go to war with one another.
Having watched events unfold in Egypt this past week, I must say I am impressed by the bravery and strength of will shown by the Egyptian people. They are standing tall against a dictatorial regime, and that is to be applauded.
My wife and I noticed several months ago that the food we chose to buy was getting much more expensive. I was probably more inspired by Michael Pollan and she by Mehmet Oz, but years ago we agreed that we would cut out the hydrogenated stuff and the high fructose stuff and the high sodium stuff.
Doomer James Kunstler is telling us, Gird Your Loins for Lower Living Standards. He says something like that every year right about now, so it must be time to put the Xmas tree back in the box. Still, he is entertaining.
I agree that hearing Julian Assange's lawyers outrage that leaked information pertaining to the rape charges against him should have never been made public is funny. I also agree with David Seaton that politics is politics and that anything that makes Assange look like a hypocrite is bad news for him. In the game he's playing image is important. You can't be for the release of all secrets except for your own. All absolutists find their petards hoisted sooner
One of my fondest memories was showing Fahrenheit 451 to my stepson. After Guy Montag finds the community of living books at the end (of the film), my stepson proclaimed them heroes with the sort of ardor most kids reserve for famous athletes. He's a librarian now.
The Post Carbon Institute posts this series of videos of a talk by Richard Douthwaite, co-founder of Feasta, an Irish think tank concerned with sustainable economics. He was speaking by phone and video to a group in Michigan, about a month before last year's Copenhagen Summit climate talks, so it is like watching Max Headroom do a slide show. The first four videos are about the problem, the last two are Feasta's proposal for a cap and share system and debt-free currency to keep the poorer folk going.
Two months later, on March 15, 2013, Bannon happened to be attending the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington when Trump took the stage. Trump had been a marginal figure at most in politics up to that point, entertaining a Reform Party run in the 2000 election — when he speculated that he would probably take more votes from the Democratic candidate than the Republican one — and leading a conspiratorial crusade in 2011 to force Obama to release his birth certificate. The possibility that he might be a suitable host body for Bannon’s worldview had not occurred to Bannon before Trump spoke.
HHS Tom Price: Measuring outcomes denies, interferes with doctor patient freedoms! ..Hospitals and physician groups have been counting on support from Medicare - the federal insurance program for the elderly and disabled - to continue driving payment reform policies built into Obamacare that reward doctors and hospitals for providing high quality care at a lower cost.
MOSCOW — Thousands of people crowded into Moscow's Pushkin Square on Sunday for an unsanctioned protest against the Russian government, part of a wave of demonstrations taking place throughout the country.
Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is leading the opposition to President Vladimir Putin, was arrested while walking from a nearby subway station to the demonstration, according to Associated Press journalists at the scene.
[....] He even blasted gender equality as a "Zionist plot" aimed at corrupting women's role in society. "Making women a commodity and an object of gratification in the Western world is most likely among the Zionist plots aiming to destroy society," Khamenei was also quoted as saying. [....]
Khamenei suggested that Western views of women used to be "more decent," "more prudent," and "more suitable" with "the nature of men and women."
March 23, 2017 | KIEV — In the plush, crimson-decked lobby bar of Kiev’s five-star Premier Palace Hotel, Denis Voronenkov, a Russian lawmaker who had defected to Ukraine, knew he was in danger. “For our personal safety, we can’t let them know where we are,” he said Monday evening as he sat with his wife for an interview with The Washington Post. Less than 72 hours later, he was dead, shot twice in the head in broad daylight outside the same lobby bar. It was a particularly brazen assassination that recalled the post-Soviet gangland violence of the 1990s.
Chuck Schumer is prepared to push the Senate into a nuclear confrontation over the Supreme Court.
In an extensive interview with POLITICO Thursday, the Senate minority leader made his most definitive statement to date that Democrats will deny Neil Gorsuch the 60 votes he needs to clear a Senate filibuster and ascend to the Supreme Court [....]
The article points out while that plenty are currently wavering, he seems supremely confident.
Back in December, as Russia and Turkey unveiled their surprise agreement on how to settle their Syria spat, I wrote a piece here suggesting that Trump would want in on the despots' deal, and that exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen would be his key bargaining chip. It turns out the Trump camp were way ahead of me. Michael Flynn, then a Trump adviser, had already floated the idea -- in September! -- of a non-judicial way to hand Gulen over to Erdogan. Was Flynn free-lancing or was he actually negotiating with the Turks on behalf of then-candidate Trump? Either way, ex-CIA director James Woolsey says the conversation he overheard struck him as potentially illegal. I agree.
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, on Friday morning announced that he would not vote for the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare... He cited one of the last-minute additions to the bill, a provision that would repeal Obamacare's requirement that insurers cover Essential Health Benefits. "it would place significant new costs and barriers to care on my constituents in New Jersey.."
Keep an eye on this one...Flynn is constitutionally incapable of choosing to disclose any truth that embarrasses him and his proven inability to internalize the likely scope of the potential scrutiny is a source of constant amazement.