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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Surging shale production is poised to push U.S. oil output to more than 10 million barrels per day - toppling a record set in 1970 and crossing a threshold few could have imagined even a decade ago. And this new record, expected within days, likely won't last long. The U.S. government forecasts that the nation's production will climb to 11 million barrels a day by late 2019, a level that would rival Russia, the world's top producer. The economic and political impacts of soaring U.S. output are breathtaking, cutting the nation's oil imports by a fifth over a decade, providing high-paying jobs in rural communities and lowering consumer prices for domestic gasoline by 37 percent from a 2008 peak. U.S. energy exports now compete with Middle East oil for buyers in Asia. Daily trading volumes of U.S. oil futures contracts have more doubled in the past decade, averaging more than 1.2 billion barrels per day in 2017, according to exchange operator CME Group. read more

Monday, January 15, 2018

January 15, 2007. Washington Post Editorial Board:

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., conservative. That description of the civil rights leader whose birth we celebrate today might surprise or even offend many of the people coming to town to celebrate the inauguration of a new president and the supposed triumph of conservatism in some form or other.

The faith that he defended and helped refine was a sort of national creed based on what had come to be widely accepted, after many painful years, as the immutable truth in the Declaration of Independence -- that all of us are created equal -- and on the idea that Americans are united not by race or by a particular religious belief or ethnic origin, but by our devotion to the concepts of popular government and individual rights.

This is a part of American "exceptionalism," but through much of our history, a greater part of it could be found in the kind of biblical message that Dr. King carried to the pulpit and the nation. read more

Friday, January 12, 2018

A child of entertainment royalty and an early witness to "power used for ill," the son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow opens up about helping bring down Harvey Weinstein ("My family background made me understand abuse from an early age"), the NBC News debacle and what's next (a big HBO deal) as mom Mia reveals why she was "increasingly concerned for his safety." It was Farrow -- the golden-haired progeny of Hollywood royals Woody Allen and Mia Farrow -- who took a journalistic sledgehammer to this industry's meticulously tended facade when he (along with reporters from The New York Times) revealed decades of sexual predation by now-disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein. His Oct. 10 exposé for The New Yorker upended the town's historic casting-couch culture and spurred a wave of disclosures that have toppled powerful men in Hollywood, the media and politics. read more

California Governor Jerry Brown said legal rulings may clear the way for making cuts to public pension benefits, which would go against long-standing assumptions and potentially provide financial relief to the state and its local governments. Brown said he has a "hunch" the courts would "modify" the so-called California rule, which holds that benefits promised to public employees can't be rolled back. The state's Supreme Court is set to hear a case in which lower courts ruled that reductions to pensions are permissible if the payments remain "reasonable" for workers. "There is more flexibility than there is currently assumed by those who discuss the California rule," Brown said during a briefing on the budget in Sacramento. He said that in the next recession, the governor "will have the option of considering pension cutbacks for the first time." read more

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal say President Donald Trump has had generally positive effects on U.S. economic growth, hiring and the performance of the stock market during his first year in office.

The professional forecasters also predicted 2018 would see solid growth and a continued decline in the jobless rate. One factor: the tax cuts signed into law by Mr. Trump in December, which most economists say will boost the economy for several years at least.

More broadly, most forecasters surveyed by the Journal suggested Mr. Trump's election deserves at least some credit for the economy's recent strength. read more


The reason they drink so much sugar drinks may be that they don't get enough money to buy enough real food so they substitute with something that seems to stave off hunger.

#17 | POSTED BY CORKY AT 2018-01-18 12:45 PM

That is ane argument that has been thrown around forever but is belied by the fact that SNAP recipients are more likely to be obese than poor who do not receive SNAP and higher income Americans:

Food stamp recipients are more likely to be obese than the general population, according to new research from the federal government.

Most Americans are heavier than they should be, of course, but a U.S. Department of Agriculture study delving into National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2007 through 2010 found Americans on food stamps were more likely to be obese than other groups -- including people who didn't receive benefits even though they were poor enough to qualify.

Forty percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program beneficiaries were obese during those years, the study found, compared with 32 percent of poor people who didn't get SNAP benefits and 30 percent of higher-income Americans.

No one who gets SNAP should be "starving" and at least 40% of SNAP recipients are getting plenty of calories.

Food Stamp Recipients More Likely To Be Obese, Study Finds

A 2013 Duke study showed that healthcare spending in the US for obese people (Body Mass Index (BMI) of greather than 33) are more than double compared to people with a healthy BMI of 19 and 60% more than "merely" overweight people (BMI of 25). Extrapolating that out, if obesity levels were to drop to merely overweight by even 20% we could shave hundreds of billions of dollars off the $3T that is spent in the US on healthcare every year.

Health Care Costs Steadily Increase With Body Mass

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