Thursday, March 15, 2012

SAR #12075

Tomorrow is going to be better, isn't it?

Rollercoaster: The IEA says that non-OPEC producers will export less oil this year, but oil fell in NY because US stockpiles are at their highest level in six months and from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait promise they will make up any shortfall even if half of Iran's crude oil is taken from the market. We certainly hope so, because Soc Gen says that a supply disruption would tip the the global economy back into recession.

Maybe, Maybe Not: Most Americans are against the US or Israel starting a war with Iran unless the administration can make up some convincing stories about Tehran building nuclear weapons. Maybe Dick Cheney can show Obama how to do it.

Shocker! Google is secretly just a billboard, an advertising company. Its business is delivering bound and gagged customers for its sponsors to bombard with 'Buy me!' messages. So is Facebook. And American Idol. And your local newspaper.

Read 'em and Weep: US corporations are holding at least $1.4 trillion in cash, about half of it overseas out of reach of the taxman. Why? Because they can't find anything profitable to do with the money.

The Beating Goes On: Wisconsin has now joined Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Rhode Island in banning private insurance coverage to pay for abortions. Do I need to point out that the Republicans control the legislature and statehouse in Wisconsin? No, I didn't think so.

Guiding Light: Apple is now worth more than the entire US retail establishment. What happens when it stumbles?

Ask Your Doctor: The next time your doctor prescribes something for you, ask the all knowing physician what the "number needed to treat" is. NNT is the number of the appropriate population for the drug who need to take the drug in order to have one person benefit from taking the drug. Most antibiotics have a NNT of about 1.1 - they nearly always work. That baby aspirin to prevent cardiovascular problems - that's an NNT of 50. And statins (think Lipitor), which has been force fed to nearly every man over 50, has an NNT of 100. Also you might want to know over what time frame the drug achieves its NNT. If you do ask, be prepared to find another doctor, one who takes more kindly to being questioned.

You're Fired: Arizona Republicans now want to give employers the right to deny insurance coverage for birth control pills and to fire employees who use birth control.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: The Justice Department has asked the courts to keep any partnership that may exist between Google and the National Security Agency secret. Which suggests it might be worse that we thought.

Porn O'Graph: Oil slick.

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