Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 9/25 - Change And A Reckoning Is Coming, Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong

Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 11:09 AM

Economy

Change Is Coming, and With It a Reckoning - A Fire Smoldering in the Minds of Men (Adam)

"Wealth, in even the most improbable cases, manages to convey the aspect of intelligence. Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding. In a community where the primary concern is making money, one of the necessary rules is to live and let live. To speak out against madness may be to ruin those who have succumbed to it. So the wise in Wall Street are nearly always silent. The foolish thus have the field to themselves. None rebukes them.

“Unprecedented amount of fraud”: Decade after Great Recession, Denver attorney still cleaning up Lehman mortgage mess. (tmn)

Carrington, who never worked for Lehman but rather the bankruptcy estate, had the task of getting borrowers to admit in depositions that the information on their loan applications wasn’t true. If he could show a loan was sought under false pretenses, it could be kicked back to the originators, some of whom the large surviving banks had acquired.

Why the latest warnings about cuts to Social Security and Medicare are a reason to worry (Sparky1)

The bad news doesn’t end there. This week’s report by the Social Security trustees—the head trustee is Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin—had even tighter time frames for other pieces of the social safety net. It said that Medicare’s hospital insurance fund will be depleted in 2026, three years earlier than it forecast a year ago. That means come 2026, unless changes are made, the program will only be able to pay about 91% of costs.

Brexit: Flights 'at risk' under no-deal, government warns (Thomas R.)

However, the EU has not yet done so and will stop recognising UK safety standards if there is a hard Brexit.

"If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place, UK and EU licensed airlines would lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK and the EU without seeking advance permission," the government said.

Dyer: Attack in Ahvaz prelude to coming war with Iran (Paul D.)

If that’s the Saudi/American strategy, then sooner or later they will manage to goad the Iranian regime into committing some atrocity in return, and then we’re away to the races.

Russia will establish an unofficial no-fly zone over Syria (Paul D.)

I have to admit that I am surprised by the magnitude and quality of this response. Clearly, the arrogance of the Israelis did not pay off and this time their usual chutzpah was met with a great deal of Russian anger (albeit carefully controlled anger). For Bibi Netanyahu, the Russian reaction is an absolute disaster because it undermines his entire policy towards Syria (and Lebanon and Iran). The Israeli strikes (over 200, of which they bothered to notify Russia in only about 10% of the cases) did not yield any tangible benefit for Israel, but has now fundamentally undermined Israel’s relationship with Russia. As I have said it many times, for all their self-serving propaganda about being so smart, the Israelis are actually pretty incompetent being blinded, as they are, by their quasi infinite arrogance.

Americans Are Living Longer. That Will Mean More People With Alzheimer’s. (Thomas R.)

And as people in the United States live longer, far more of them will be stricken with the disease, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Within 40 years, the number of people in the United States with Alzheimer’s disease will almost triple, from about 5 million to nearly 14 million.

Walmart Requires Certain Produce Suppliers to Deploy Blockchain Technology (Thomas R.)

The company’s Vice President of Food Safety, Frank Yiannas, stated that Walmart will require a similar traceability system “for other fresh fruit and vegetable providers within the next year.” Walmart told Bloomberg that over 100 companies will be required to implement IBM’s blockchain service.

Walmart claims that blockchain tech implementation will “dramatically [improve] efficiency.” Frank Yiannas conducted a traceability experiment with sliced mangoes, asking his team to track that product back to a farm.

Alcohol Causes 5% Of Deaths Worldwide, A New Study From The World Health Organization Found (Thomas R.)

Vladimir Poznyak, a WHO alcohol-control expert, told The Guardian that “the health burden of alcohol was unacceptably large” but that these latest figures likely underestimate what’s really happening. “Alcohol use starts in many countries well before [age] 15,” Poznyak told The Guardian, “so that is why we can say that our estimates are quite conservative because we don’t count at all the impact of alcohol consumption on kids below 15.”

Drug Industry Tries to Slip $4 Billion Windfall Into Opioid Bill (jdargis)

“Big Pharma is trying to hijack the bill and turn it into a giant pharmaceutical company bailout,” Senator Tina Smith, Democrat of Minnesota, said in a Twitter post.

Obesity to become leading cause of cancer in women (Thomas R.)

The charity analyzed cancer incidence data between 1979 and 2014 to make the projections and used the results as a further call for national campaigns and legislation to reduce the prevalence of obesity by following the blueprint used for smoking campaigns.

Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong (tmn)

And the medical community’s primary response to this shift has been to blame fat people for being fat. Obesity, we are told, is a personal failing that strains our health care system, shrinks our GDP and saps our military strength. It is also an excuse to bully fat people in one sentence and then inform them in the next that you are doing it for their own good. That’s why the fear of becoming fat, or staying that way, drives Americans to spend more on dieting every year than we spend on video games or movies. Forty-five percent of adults say they’re preoccupied with their weight some or all of the time—an 11-point rise since 1990.

Tesla is making its own car carriers (Thomas R.)

Earlier this month, Musk acknowledged that the company was facing more logistical problems now than production delays. He has been under intense pressure to prove he can deliver consistent production numbers for the Model 3 sedan, which is seen crucial to Tesla’s plan to become a mass-market automaker.

$100 Oil Is A Distinct Possibility (Michael S.)

That means that there isn’t the same upward pressure on WTI as there is on Brent, largely because infrastructure bottlenecks in the shale patch keep supplies somewhat stuck within the United States. And it isn’t just in West Texas where the constraints are causing problems. “[B]ottlenecks in the Permian basin could well extend to other areas such as the Bakken or the Niobrara, and we do not even rule out temporary export capacity constraints in the Gulf Coast as domestic output overwhelms logistics,” BofAML said in a note.

Monsanto's global weedkiller harms honeybees, research finds (PaulJam)

“The biggest impact of glyphosate on bees is the destruction of the wildflowers on which they depend,” said Matt Sharlow, at conservation group Buglife. “Evidence to date suggests direct toxicity to bees is fairly low, however the new study clearly demonstrates that pesticide use can have significant unintended consequences.”

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