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kristopher

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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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FP's Max Boot: Donald Trump Is Proving Too Stupid to Be President

Donald Trump Is Proving Too Stupid to Be President
“You know, I’m, like, a smart person.” Uh huh.
BY MAX BOOT JUNE 16, 2017

I’m starting to suspect that Donald Trump may not have been right when he said, “You know, I’m like a smart person.” The evidence continues to mount that he is far from smart — so far, in fact, that he may not be capable of carrying out his duties as president.

There is, for example, the story of how Trump met with the pastors of two major Presbyterian churches in New York. “I did very, very well with evangelicals in the polls,” he bragged. When the pastors told Trump they weren’t evangelicals, he demanded to know, “What are you then?” They told him they were mainline Presbyterians. “But you’re all Christians?” he asked. Yes, they had to assure him, Presbyterians are Christians. The kicker: Trump himself is Presbyterian.

<snip>

More broadly, Trump has had a lifetime — 71 years — and access to America’s finest educational institutions (he’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, he never tires of reminding us) to learn things. And yet he doesn’t seem to have acquired even the most basic information that a high school student should possess. Recall that Trump said that Frederick Douglass, who died in 1895, was “an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.” He also claimed that Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War, “was really angry that he saw what was happening in regard to the Civil War.”

Why does he know so little? Because he doesn’t read books or even long articles. “I never have,” he proudly told a reporter last year. “I’m always busy doing a lot.” As president, Trump’s intelligence briefings have been dumbed down, denuded of nuance, and larded with maps and pictures because he can’t be bothered to read a lot of words. He’d rather play golf.

The surest indication of how not smart Trump is that he thinks his inability or lack of interest in acquiring knowledge doesn’t matter. He said last year that he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.”

How’s that working out?...

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/16/donald-trump-is-proving-too-stupid-to-be-president/

Roger Stone unveils plan to get Trump to legalize weed

THIS MAN MAY BE LEGAL WEED’S BEST HOPE
Roger Stone unveils plan to get Trump to legalize weed

By Keegan Hamilton on Jun 15, 2017

One of the most notorious dirty tricksters in American politics has a new cause: Convincing Donald Trump to legalize marijuana.

Roger Stone, a longtime Trump friend and ally who’s a prominent figure in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, has formed the United States Cannabis Coalition, a new political organization whose stated purpose is to “lobby the Trump administration from the top on down to recognize the medicinal value and potential of cannabis.”

Trump said on the campaign trail that he thinks marijuana “should be a state issue,” and Stone told VICE News his “first and foremost” goal is to “urge the president to keep his pledge and direct the Justice Department to reflect the views you stated in the campaign.”

That might prove tricky.

Trump’s views on marijuana policy are still hazy — he called Colorado’s recreational pot law “bad” last year and said it caused “some big problems” for the state — and his cabinet is stacked with anti-weed hardliners like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who believes that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Sessions oversees the DEA and recently asked Congress for permission to go after the medical marijuana industry, heightening fears of a federal crackdown.

It’s also unclear whether the 64-year-old Stone still wields any influence over Trump. ...

https://news.vice.com/story/roger-stone-unveils-plan-to-get-trump-to-legalize-weed

Trumps argument for withdrawing from Paris agreement contains multi-trillion dollar math error

Trump’s argument for withdrawing from Paris agreement contains multi-trillion dollar math error
In a cost-benefit analysis, you’re supposed to analyze the costs and the benefits.
-Samantha Page, Climate Reporter at @ThinkProgress

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the United States would abandon the Paris climate agreement, but his justification for withdrawing was rooted in a false economic claim.

Trump claimed that U.S. commitments under the Paris accord would cost the country’s GDP $3 trillion, but the report he took that estimate from “does not take into account potential benefits from avoided emissions.”

In other words: The study did not account for any benefits of participating in a global plan to avoid the worst effects of climate change. It is a report on climate mitigation that ignores climate change. The report also does not consider the economic benefits to renewable energy industries, nor does it consider the health costs that are associated with fossil fuel pollution.

<snip>

A 2015 report from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School found that the “present value of the damage caused by human-caused climate change from a moderate warming scenario is an astonishing $400 trillion.”

The same year, a report from Citibank found that not addressing climate change will cost $44 trillion by 2060, while investing in low-carbon energy would save $1.8 trillion through 2040, as compared to a business-as-usual scenario.


https://thinkprogress.org/trillions-cost-no-c617bc9ff0de

Jimmy Carter Brilliantly Explains How The Establishment Gave Us Trump

Reich: choice between repeal of the ACA and Medicare for All is likely to be #1 issue in 2020

Looking forward to those pedantic posts telling us Reich doesn't understand what single payer means...

From FB:

Robert Reich
June 10, 4:18pm

Faced with a choice between a watered-down Affordable Care Act that pushes tens of millions off health care, or Medicare for All (a single-payer plan that builds on Medicare), swing voters will opt for the latter.

Whatever Senate Republicans come up with in the next month or so, it will still transfer resources from sicker and poorer Americans to wealthier and healthier ones. By contrast, Medicare for All would cover everyone at far lower cost.
This political reality is playing out in Congress, as Democrats move toward Medicare for All. Most House Democrats are co-sponsoring a Medicare for All bill there. Senator Bernie Sanders is preparing to introduce it in the Senate. The California Senate has advanced a single-payer bill for the state.

With health care emerging as the pubic's top concern, according to recent polls, the choice between repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All is likely to be the major domestic issue in the presidential campaign of 2020 (other than getting Trump out of office, if he lasts that long).

And the better choice should be clear. Private for-profit insurers spend a fortune trying to attract healthy people while avoiding the sick and needy, filling out paperwork from hospitals and providers, paying top executives, and rewarding shareholders. And they’re merging like mad, in order to make even more money. This is why health insurance is becoming so expensive, and why almost every other advanced nation – including our neighbor to the north – has adopted a single-payer system at less cost per person and with better health outcomes.

Most Americans support Medicare for All. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May, a majority would like to see a single-payer system implemented. An April survey from the Economist/YouGov showed 60 percent of Americans in favor of “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.” That includes nearly half of people who identify themselves as Republican.

Obama should have led with Medicare for All instead of the Affordable Care Act. But after Republicans gut the Affordable Care Act, the American public will be presented with the real choice ahead: Expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.
What do you think?

Michael Flynn, Russia in grand scheme to build nuclear plants in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world

MICHAEL FLYNN, RUSSIA AND A GRAND SCHEME TO BUILD NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS IN SAUDI ARABIA AND THE ARAB WORLD

BY JEFF STEIN ON 6/9/17 AT 7:00 AM
Newsweek


By the time Michael Flynn was fired as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser in February, he had made a lot of bad decisions. One was taking money from the Russians (and failing to disclose it); another was taking money under the table from the Turks. But an overlooked line in his financial disclosure form, which he was forced to amend to detail those foreign payments, reveals he was also involved in one of the most audacious—and some say harebrained—schemes in recent memory: a plan to build scores of U.S. nuclear power plants in the Middle East. As a safety measure.

In 2015 and 2016, according to his filing, Flynn was an adviser to X-Co Dynamics Inc./Iron Bridge Group, which at first glance looks like just another Pentagon consultancy that ex-military officers use to fatten their wallets. Its chairman and CEO was retired Admiral Michael Hewitt; another retired admiral, Frank “Skip” Bowman, who oversaw the Navy’s nuclear programs, was an adviser. Other top guns associated with it were former National Security Agency boss Keith Alexander and retired Marine Corps General James “Hoss” Cartwright, former vice chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whose stellar career was marred when he was prosecuted last year for lying to the FBI during a leak investigation.

In the summer of 2015, knowledgeable sources tell Newsweek, Flynn flew to Egypt and Israel on behalf of X-Co/Iron Bridge. His mission: to gauge attitudes in Cairo and Jerusalem toward a fantastical plan for a joint U.S.-Russian (and Saudi-financed) program to get control over the Arab world’s rush to acquire nuclear power. At the core of their concern was a fear that states in the volatile Middle East would have inadequate security for the plants and safeguards for their radioactive waste—the stuff of nuclear bombs.

But no less a concern for Flynn and his partners was the moribund U.S. nuclear industry, which was losing out to Russian and even South Korean contractors in the region. Or as Stuart Solomon, a top executive along with Hewitt at his new venture, IP3 (International Peace, Power and Prosperity), put it in a recent speech to industry executives, “We find ourselves…standing on the sidelines and watching the competition pass us by.”...

More at http://www.newsweek.com/flynn-russia-nuclear-energy-middle-east-iran-saudi-arabia-qatar-israel-donald-623396

What could possibly go wrong? Turmoil, terrorism, war and nuclear power plants are a wonderful combination for progress, no?

Japan nuclear workers inhale plutonium after bag breaks

Japan nuclear workers inhale plutonium after bag breaks
Safety and security concerns raised after equipment inspection at research facility just north of Tokyo goes wrong
Wednesday 7 June 2017 22.16 EDT


Five workers at a Japanese nuclear facility have been exposed to high levels of radiation after a bag containing plutonium apparently broke during an equipment inspection.

Contamination was found inside the nostrils of three of the five men, a sign they had inhaled radioactive dust, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) said on Wednesday. All five were also had radioactive material on their limbs after removing protective gear and taking a shower.

Agency spokesman Masataka Tanimoto said one of the men had high levels of plutonium exposure in his lungs. The worker, in his 50s, had opened the lid of the container when some of the 300g of plutonium and uranium in the broken bag flew out.

The incident occurred on Tuesday at the agency’s Oarai research and development centre, a facility for nuclear fuel study that uses plutonium. It lies in Ibaraki prefecture, just north of Tokyo.

The cause of the accident is under investigation...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/08/japan-nuclear-workers-inhale-plutonium-after-bag-breaks

Solar PV cleans The Establishment's carbon powered clock.

Fuck Trump and his owners the Koch brothers.



The International Energy Agency (IEA)
Wiki: The International Energy Agency (IEA) (French: Agence internationale de l'énergie) is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organization established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. The IEA was initially dedicated to responding to physical disruptions in the supply of oil, as well as serving as an information source on statistics about the international oil market and other energy sectors.

The IEA acts as a policy adviser to its member states, but also works with non-member countries, especially China, India, and Russia. The Agency's mandate has broadened to focus on the "3Es" of effectual energy policy: energy security, economic development, and environmental protection.[1] The latter has focused on mitigating climate change.[2] The IEA has a broad role in promoting alternate energy sources (including renewable energy), rational energy policies, and multinational energy technology co-operation.

IEA member countries are required to maintain total oil stock levels equivalent to at least 90 days of the previous year's net imports. At the end of July 2009, IEA member countries held a combined stockpile of almost 4.3 billion barrels (680,000,000 m3) of oil....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Energy_Agency


About the International Energy Agency's (IEA) World Energy Outlook (WEO) report:
The annual World Energy Outlook (WEO) is now the world’s most authoritative source of energy market analysis and projections, providing critical analytical insights into trends in energy demand and supply and what they mean for energy security, environmental protection and economic development.

The WEO projections are used by the public and private sector as a framework on which they can base their policy-making, planning and investment decisions and to identify what needs to be done to arrive at a supportable and sustainable energy future.

The WEO received numerous awards from governments and energy industry for its analytical excellence.
http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/aboutweo/

Source for graph.
https://twitter.com/AukeHoekstra/status/866313289306963969

A 1980 Letter on the Risk of Opioid Addiction N Engl J Med 2017

A 1980 Letter on the Risk of Opioid Addiction
N Engl J Med 2017; 376:2194-2195June 1, 2017DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc1700150

ArticleMetrics
To the Editor:

The prescribing of strong opioids such as oxycodone has increased dramatically in the United States and Canada over the past two decades.1 From 1999 through 2015, more than 183,000 deaths from prescription opioids were reported in the United States,2 and millions of Americans are now addicted to opioids. The crisis arose in part because physicians were told that the risk of addiction was low when opioids were prescribed for chronic pain. A one-paragraph letter that was published in the Journal in 19803 was widely invoked in support of this claim, even though no evidence was provided by the correspondents (see Section 1 in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org).
We performed a bibliometric analysis of this correspondence from its publication until March 30, 2017. For each citation, two reviewers independently evaluated the portrayal of the article’s conclusions, using an adaptation of an established taxonomy of citation behavior4 along with other aspects of generalizability (Section 2 in the Supplementary Appendix). For context, we also ascertained the number of citations of other stand-alone letters that were published in nine contemporaneous issues of the Journal (in the index issue and in the four issues that preceded and followed it).
We identified 608 citations of the index publication and noted a sizable increase after the introduction of OxyContin (a long-acting formulation of oxycodone) in 1995 (Figure 1FIGURE 1
Number and Type of Citations of the 1980 Letter, According to Year.). Of the articles that included a reference to the 1980 letter, the authors of 439 (72.2%) cited it as evidence that addiction was rare in patients treated with opioids. Of the 608 articles, the authors of 491 articles (80.8%) did not note that the patients who were described in the letter were hospitalized at the time they received the prescription, whereas some authors grossly misrepresented the conclusions of the letter (Section 3 in the Supplementary Appendix). Of note, affirmational citations have become much less common in recent years. In contrast to the 1980 correspondence, 11 stand-alone letters that were published contemporaneously by the Journal were cited a median of 11 times.
In conclusion, we found that a five-sentence letter published in the Journal in 1980 was heavily and uncritically cited as evidence that addiction was rare with long-term opioid therapy. We believe that this citation pattern contributed to the North American opioid crisis by helping to shape a narrative that allayed prescribers’ concerns about the risk of addiction associated with long-term opioid therapy. In 2007, the manufacturer of OxyContin and three senior executives pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges that they misled regulators, doctors, and patients about the risk of addiction associated with the drug.5 Our findings highlight the potential consequences of inaccurate citation and underscore the need for diligence when citing previously published studies.

Pamela T.M. Leung, B.Sc. Pharm.
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Erin M. Macdonald, M.Sc.
Matthew B. Stanbrook, M.D., Ph.D.
Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, ON, Canada
Irfan A. Dhalla, M.D.
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
David N. Juurlink, M.D., Ph.D.
Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
david.juurlink@ices.on.ca

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1700150
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