“Bipartisan = bought and paid for.” Yves Smith
The Iceman Cometh: Oil prices have increased by over $22 a barrel in the last 2 months. The U.S. currently consumes just over 19 million barrels a day – even at $110 a barrel. We are now spending $400 million a day more filling up than we did two months ago. What gives first, the food budget or the whole enchilada when the IMF’'s predicted 60% price increase sets in?
License, Registration, Cell Phone: Michigan police are using the CelleBrite UFED, a device that can grab all of the photos and videos along with call history, texts, address book and geolocation from a driver's cell phone in less than 2 minutes. Without being physically attached to it. Search warrant? We don't need no stinking search warrant...
Poorcast: Saudi Arabia, without mentioning its famed 12 mbd 'capacity', now claims its production “will not rise” during the next five years, but that it can lift its output to 10.8 mbd by 2030. This is going to sorely chafe the IEA which is depending on Saudi Arabia being “able to increase oil production by 75% (to 15 mbd) through 2030.”
Strategy: When the Republican plan to substitute vouchers for traditional Medicare is explained clearly, more than 80% of Americans oppose the idea. The Republicans will come up with a misleading name and a dishonest story and try to cram it down our throats so the insurance companies can reap the rewards. Business as usual.
Non-sequitur: Yes, of course Homeland Security is out of control. Why do you ask?
Rusts Belt: Aggressive new strains of wheat rust diseases have ruined up to 40% of wheat fields in North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucuses. In these areas, wheat provides 40% of the calories and 20% of the protein in a typical diet. Researchers claim rising temperatures and the increasing variability of rainfall contributes to the spread and severity of rust diseases.
Up to No Good: NYU's Courant Institute is developing a bird-sized, self-flying plane that can navigate through both the urban environment and in forests.
Because We're Bigger Than
You Bradley Manning: The Pentagon has moved PFC Manning into Limbo, a new holding facility in Kansas. After holding him for 11 months, they've decided to simply keep him “in pre-trial confinement” indefinitely. The Pentagon has made it clear this could happen to you.
Why? Apple iPhones keep track of where you go (via GPS) and stores about a year of the data in a secret file on the phone, ready for the DA to download. It's a feature.
Bad Idea: Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam announced a joint decision on the future of the proposed Xayaburi dam on the Mekong in Northern Laos. In that preliminary work on the dam is well underway, the decision is rather anticlimactic, But what could go wrong with damming such an important river?
Resolved:The euro-world continues to waste away. The yield on Greek 2-year bonds is now over 22% and the 10-year can be had for 40% off. Also, there's a rumor of Greek default as early as this weekend.
9 Month Plan:Russia is spending $53 billion to increase the birth rate and lengthen life expectancy in order to reverse Russia's declining population. They don't call it Mother Russia for nothing.
Freedom Means Not Having to Clean Up After Yourself: The US Supreme Court has indicated it does not view favorably an attempt by the states to make polluters cut their carbon emissions. Power companies are 'people' and everyone exhales a little CO2.
Birther of A Nation: Donald Trump is a proud birther, which means he thinks that 50 years ago a massive conspiracy began that included state officials, doctors, Honolulu newspapers and various civil servants and resulted in a Kenyan Socialist from Chicago... etc. Okay, that's hard to imagine. So is Trump as president.
In The Beginning: Taking advantage of some intentional vagueness in the UN Libya resolution, France and Italy are sending a small numbers of advisers to professionalize the rebels. The EU is sending armed guards to accompany humanitarian aid to Libyan civilians. The camel's nose is in the tent.
Porn O'Graph: Studying for credit, or vice versa.