Sunday, March 23, 2014


William D. Nordhaus
January 15, 2004 Issue

...When we interpret the Nineties, (click here) it is natural for us to rely on histories written by economists who witnessed the events firsthand. Two books that will serve as excellent sources for this period are The Fabulous Decade, a careful analysis of national economic policy first published in 2001 by Alan Blinder and Janet Yellen, and The Roaring Nineties, a comprehensive review of the last decade by Joseph Stiglitz.
All three authors are distinguished academic economists who worked in different government agencies during the 1990s. Alan Blinder served in President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) in 1993 and 1994; he then became a governor and vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1994 until 1996, when he returned to Princeton University. Janet Yellen was a governor of the Federal Reserve from 1994 until 1997, and she then served as chair of the CEA from 1997 to 1999; she is now at the University of California at Berkeley....

The one woman dedicated to the recovery of Main Street.

By Erica Teichert

Law360, Washington (February 11, 2014, 5:51 PM ET)

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen(cilck here) on Tuesday refused to consider shelving implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act and Volcker Rule despite criticism from members of the House Financial Services Committee, saying the regulations are long-term fixes for the financial crisis. 

Although several Republican lawmakers voiced concerns that the Dodd-Frank Act and the Volcker Rule will hurt the U.S. economy and have put banks at a competitive disadvantage compared to their overseas peers, Yellen maintained the regulations have already made the financial industry more resilient.

“I think the impact of the [Volcker] Rule is something we'll monitor over time as it goes into effect,” she said during Tuesday's hearing. “The [financial regulatory] agencies have worked hard jointly to write a balanced rule that will permit banking organizations to continue to engage in critical market making activities. We'll be very careful in how they supervise institutions.”

But Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., claimed the rule has already damaged banks' market making activities and worried that the Fed and other financial regulators won't recognize those issues until they can't be repaired.

Be careful, The Fed might have someone that sincerely cares about the nation.

Then Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Janet Yellen with former President Clinton  and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin in 1997.

Remember the surplus? 

Fed Nominee Gives Views on Rates (click here)
Published: July 23, 1994

Janet L. Yellen, President Clinton's nominee to the Federal Reserve Board, dispelled some of the mystery surrounding her views on interest-rate policy today but did not take a clear position on whether she would support further increases in interest rates this year.

The views that Ms. Yellen sketched out at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee today suggested that she might be slightly less willing than her future colleagues to raise rates to curb inflation, but would still fall within the mainstream at the central bank.

If confirmed by the full Senate, as seems likely soon, Ms. Yellen would become President Clinton's second appointee on the seven-member Federal Reserve Board. Alan S. Blinder, a former member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, joined the board last month. Campaign Consequences
Some Wall Street economists have speculated that the new nominees may be slightly more reluctant to raise interest rates and slightly more willing to tolerate inflation than the five Republican appointees. The Fed's decisions in the coming months will have a tremendous influence on the health of the American economy in 1996, when President Clinton is expected to seek re-election....

..."I agree with the Fed's decision to reduce monetary stimulus -- before the emergence of obvious inflationary pressure -- in order to avoid overshooting the natural rate" of economic growth, she said. "On the other hand, the appropriate amount of tightening involves some guesswork and it is difficult to know whether the actions that have been taken thus far will prove sufficient to prevent overheating, insufficient to the task at hand or possibly excessive."...

...The overall tone of Ms. Yellen's comments was not that different from Mr. Greenspan's. She contended that the Fed's target should be to keep the economy growing no faster than growth in the economy's underlying capacity to produce goods and services. And she warned against tolerating inflation so as to achieve short-term reductions in unemployment, saying that inflation would inflict long-run harm to the economy.

But Ms. Yellen, 47, startled some in the audience when she emphasized the needs of working people. "What the Fed should be pursuing is the economic welfare of working people, of all Americans," she said....

...She said she would pursue all of the targets laid out by Congress in a 1978 Democratic amendment to the Fed's charter -- "maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates."

No bubble and bust. Get that part. "NO BUBBLE AND BUST."

Janet L. Yellen and George A. Akerlof , in 2006 would argue that stabilization policy would provide better outcomes to the social fabric of any economy. Basically, that stabilization policy would significantly lower unemployment. 

Interestingly, Chairwoman Yellen was the daughter of a medical doctor when the Great Depression hit. He charged $2.00 to those that could pay. Her father recognized the fact unemployment was a dangerous circumstance to anyone. 

Stabilization policy is a macroeconomic strategy enacted by governments and central banks to keep economic growth stable, along with price levels and unemployment. Ongoing stabilization policy includes monitoring the business cycle and adjusting benchmark interest rates to control aggregate demand in the economy. The goal is to avoid erratic changes in total output, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and large changes in inflation; stabilization of these factors generally leads to moderate changes in the employment rate as well.

It is a strategy to unravel the Phillips Curve and end bubble and bust as an economic strategy. Chronically stable economic policy that controls inflation, maintains a steady unemployment rate and provides room for all generations to be employed. As the population grows, demand grows and in a Stabilized Economy there is more room for employment simply because the community demands it. That 5 percent chronic unemployment rate allows for a place to store those needing a job while the economy opens up to provide from them. I mean children are born and they aren't looking for employment for nearly 16 years. Government can't even get that right? Those seeking employment aren't exactly a surprise when they come of age.

Yellen, Janet L. and Akerlof, George A., Stabilization Policy: A Reconsideration. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 1-22, 2006.

...In this paper (click here) we explore the economic rationale for stabilization as a  policy goal, concluding that it does, in fact, deserve high policy priority. We survey a large body of literature that critiques the validity of key assumptions in Lucas’s argument. We also offer suggestive evidence that stabilization policy can significantly reduce average levels of unemployment by providing stimulus to demand in circumstances where unemployment is high but underutilization of labor and capital does little to lower inflation. A monetary policy that vigorously fights high  unemployment should, however, also be complemented by a policy that equally vigorously fights inflation when it rises above a modest target level. The Federal Reserve Act thus wisely enunciated price stability and maximum employment as twin goals for monetary policy....

Why American students are up in arms about their prospects and potential. Is it their fault for pursuing an education?

This is the "Phillips Curve." Take a good look at it. Does unemployment serve Wall Street's best interests? Sure it does. Wall Street has the pick of the litter, so to speak, for a lot less money than it would have to pay if the unemployment rate was lower.

I have to ask myself, "Why exactly wouldn't the banks lend to improve employment rates?"

"They are always hiring in the Mail Room."

Now consider this when discussing "The Student Loan Bubble."

Phillips conjectured (click here) that the lower the unemployment rate, the tighter the labor market and, therefore, the faster firms must raise wages to attract scarce labor. At higher rates of unemployment, the pressure abated. Phillips’s “curve” represented the average relationship between unemployment and wage behavior over the business cycle. It showed the rate of wage inflation that would result if a particular level of unemployment persisted for some time....

The Tobin Tax

James Tobin

In 2001, in another context, just after "the nineties' crises in Mexico, Southeast Asia and Russia,"which included the 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, and the 1998 Russian financial crisis, Tobin summarized his idea:

The tax on foreign exchange transactions was devised to cushion exchange rate fluctuations. The idea is very simple: at each exchange of a currency into another a small tax would be levied - let's say, 0.5% of the volume of the transaction. This dissuades speculators as many investors invest their money in foreign exchange on a very short-term basis. If this money is suddenly withdrawn, countries have to drastically increase interest rates for their currency to still be attractive. But high interest is often disastrous for a national economy, as the nineties' crises in Mexico, Southeast Asia and Russia have proven. My tax would return some margin of manoeuvre to issuing banks in small countries and would be a measure of opposition to the dictate of the financial markets.

Posted by oxfameu on 12/03/12 

Over 70 organisations (click here) have urged the Danish EU Presidency to speed up negotiations on a financial transaction tax (FTT) in a letter sent ahead of tomorrow’s EU Finance Ministers meeting, where an EU FTT will be up for discussion.
Signatories want to see EU finance ministers take concrete steps towards a decision on the FTT  – otherwise know as the Robin Hood Tax – and stress that the opinions of opposing governments should not stop this from happening before the end of the Danish EU Presidency at the end of July.
Clearly, warm words on the FTT are no longer enough. It is time that European leaders stand up and be counted. They have a real opportunity to raise billions to help poor people here and overseas hit by the economic crisis, and to tackle climate change....

But, let me not be a chauvinist.

by George A. Akerlof
2001 Laureate in Economics

I wrote "The Market for 'Lemons,'" (click here) (a 13-page paper for which I was awarded the Prize in Economics) during my first year as assistant professor at Berkeley, in 1966-67.* "Lemons" deals with a problem as old as markets themselves. It concerns how horse traders respond to the natural question: "if he wants to sell that horse, do I really want to buy it?" Such questioning is fundamental to the market for horses and used cars, but it is also at least minimally present in every market transaction....

Behavioral Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Behavior (click here)

"...Unemployment is an issue that has driven your work over the years..."

Meet George A. Akerlof.

He is the fellow in the background who Chairwoman Yellin refers to as more than a 50% partner.

They are husband and wife with one son by the name of Robert. He is also an economist and a professor at England's University of Warwick.

Joseph Stiglitz has been of the same mind as Yellin.

His more recent writings takes him to income inequality and the depths of African policy that has failed their economies. Dr. Stiglitz was studying and advising policy before the "Trickle Down Economics" hubris of the Bush White House. 

It wasn't Reagan that started the political dogma of Trickle Down, while running against Reagan for the Presidential nomination in 1980, George H. W. Bush had derided Reaganomics as "voodoo economics."

But, Dr. Stiglitz advocated governments responsibility in economics as an observer and monitor as his work focused on how markets are not as efficient as most think.

He is a Nobel Laureate in Economics as of 2001. Studies in the theory of economic growth and income distribution. (click here).

His current works include a book entitled, "The Price of Inequality." It focuses on income inequality as a danger to economic growth and the fact even the 1% will pay a steep price. The 1% are the hoarders during all the Quantitative Easing of 1, 2 and 3.

Yes, Income Inequality, the 1%, the 99% has an origin from a highly distinguished economist. It is not simply political rhetoric. Is there any wonder that Chairwomen Yellin has a "To Do List" that includes Too Big To Fail. This is real and the danger continues.

Immediately below is the link to an article in Vanity Fair he authored.


The eurozone may be growing again but, (click here) in any meaningful sense, an economy in which most people's incomes are below their pre-2008 levels is still in recession

When the US investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, triggering the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression, a broad consensus about what caused the crisis seemed to emerge.

A bloated and dysfunctional financial system had misallocated capital and, rather than managing risk, had actually created it. Financial deregulation – together with easy money – had contributed to excessive risk-taking. Monetary policy would be relatively ineffective in reviving the economy, even if still-easier money might prevent the financial system's total collapse. Thus, greater reliance on fiscal policy – increased government spending – would be necessary.

Five years later, while some are congratulating themselves on avoiding another depression, no one in Europe or the United States can claim that prosperity has returned. The European Union is just emerging from a double-dip (and in some countries a triple-dip) recession, and some member states are in depression. In many EU countries, GDP remains lower, or insignificantly above, pre-recession levels. Almost 27 million Europeans are unemployed....

The point is there are real economics in multiple numbers that hold opinions on what real economic policy looks like and it doesn't even resemble any austerity or GOP trickle down theory.,  

Corporations are attempting to achieve by stealth (click here) – through secretly negotiated trade agreements – what they could not attain in an open political process

International investment agreements are once again in the news. The United States is trying to impose a strong investment pact within the two big so-called "partnership" agreements, one bridging the Atlantic, the other the Pacific, that are now being negotiated. But there is growing opposition to such moves....

...The agreements would significantly inhibit the ability of developing countries' governments to protect their environment from mining and other companies; their citizens from the tobacco companies that knowingly purvey a product that causes death and disease; and their economies from the ruinous financial products that played such a large role in the 2008 global financial crisis. They restrict governments even from placing temporary controls on the kind of destabilising short-term capital flows that have so often wrought havoc in financial markets and fuelled crises in developing countries. Indeed, the agreements have been used to challenge government actions ranging from debt restructuring to affirmative action....

According to Allen Meltzer QE failed. Quantitatively in realizing the sluggish growth, it did.

...Nowhere is this phenomenon more pronounced than in the United States, where the Federal Reserve has reduced interest rates to unprecedented levels and, through quantitative easing (QE), augmented bank reserves by purchasing financial assets. But inflation – which rapid money-supply expansion inevitably fuels – has so far remained subdued, at roughly 2%, because banks are not using their swelling reserves to expand credit and increase liquidity. While this is keeping price volatility in check, it is also hindering employment growth....

...America’s central bankers need not search far to find out why QE is not working; evidence is published regularly for anyone to see. During QE2 (from November 2010 to July 2011), the Fed added a total of $557.9 billion to reserves, and excess reserves grew by $546.5 billion. That means that banks circulated only 2% of QE2’s contribution, leaving the rest idle. Similarly, since QE3 was launched last September, total bank reserves have grown by $244.1 billion, and excess reserves by $239.4 billion – meaning that 99% of the funds remain idle....

Wall Street would say any QE was wildly effective, but, the American work force would disagree. If one considers the principles behind austerity and it's failure to stabilize and grow an economy, the only reasonable path to improve the economy was indulging Wall Street's wildest dreams in order to eke out at least 2% more circulating capital. QE pandered to the fact the banks had the power in 'too big to fail' and the only way that was going to change was to place so much money in their reserves they were willing to waste 2% by chance there would be a return on those monies. 

It is even easier to point to that fact in realizing the excessive indulgence with the London Whale. The monies lost by JP Morgan was chump change for the most part. It is that 'standard' of banking strategy that was at least working to return some employment in the USA. 

The policy changes that needed to occur to increase US Treasury income to reduce national debt and  to reduce taxes to increase circulating capital was very difficult to achieve. The lack of movement of policy changes primarily stalled after 2010 because the GOP's insistence to adhere to their election rhetoric. That rhetoric was set by the Tea Party and the growth of the USA slowed and has remained sluggish due to that party priority.

The sluggish USA economy received hard realities in that the GOP's austerity would even side line the Blue Angels for year while the banks were hoarding their reserves without lending.

At least The Fed managed to manipulate the banks enough to push through some circulating capital.
Nowhere is this phenomenon more pronounced than in the United States, where the Federal Reserve has reduced interest rates to unprecedented levels and, through quantitative easing (QE), augmented bank reserves by purchasing financial assets. But inflation – which rapid money-supply expansion inevitably fuels – has so far remained subdued, at roughly 2%, because banks are not using their swelling reserves to expand credit and increase liquidity. While this is keeping price volatility in check, it is also hindering employment growth.

Chairwoman Yellin believes monetary policy can temper the business cycle to benefit both workers and Wall Street.

Sound likes a real balancing act, doesn't it? It is. She is brilliant and knows exactly what she is doing. Rarely does anyone hear about her life long dedication of excellence in developing policy.

In self-identifying as reform-minded Keynesian she reflects not only her own priorities, but, that of former Chairman Bernanke. She is carrying out his policies to finish in six months. Six months should be no surprise to any Wall Street investor, the announcement was made at the beginning of QE3. There was a benchmark called unemployment of 6.5% of the USA.

An economic theory of total spending in the economy and its effects on output and inflation. 

Keynesian economics was developed by the British economist John Maynard Keynes during the 1930s in an attempt to understand the Great Depression.

Keynes advocated increased government expenditures and lower taxes to stimulate demand and pull the global economy out of the Depression. 

Subsequently, the term “Keynesian economics” was used to refer to the concept that optimal economic performance could be achieved – and economic slumps prevented – by influencing aggregate demand through stabilization and economic intervention policies by the government. 

Keynesian economics is considered to be a “demand-side” theory that focuses on changes in the economy over the short run.

There is no doubt Chairwoman Yellen in her statements and no reason to delay the end of Wall Street welfare.

The USA still exceeds other nations on Earth in productivity. The blip just north of $14 Trillion was 2008. 

The only country that didn't experience the blip was China. China relies on exports for it's economy and cheap exports at that. The iPhone is market level expensive, that does not add significantly to Chinese GDP. It makes sense those less expensive products would be in demand during a major recession. But, even with China's resilient growth it does not rival the USA GDP and it's recovery. As a matter of fact, China's lack of Middle Class has decreased it's growth. 

A country can grow at the expense of other nations for so long. When that nation's economy starts to diminish because other nations are experiencing diminished capacity due to trade imbalance, it then has to realize the problem is it's impoverished state of the citizens. Domestic wealth (The Middle Class has wealth) and it's consumerism actually creates it's own vibrant growth and recovery. 

Of the emerging nations affectionately referred to as BRIC, the one with most GDP per capita is Russia, but, Brazil is parallel in it's per capita GDP. With Russia running the risk of involving itself in expansionism and violent overthrow of post soviet nations there is a real possibility that Brazil will overtake Russia. I just don't see consent of Russian products on the market as being supported by consumerism. 

Yellen on the American economy: "I think we'll see stronger growth this year. Most of my colleagues on the Fed's policymaking committee and I are hopeful that the first digit [of GDP growth] could be 3 rather than 2... 

The recovery has been frustratingly slow, but were making progress in getting people back to work, and I anticipate that inflation will move back toward our longer-run goal of 2 percent." On the housing market, which had a brief lull this fall: "I expect it to pick back up and I do expect a further recovery."
It's Sunday Night

"Come Back To Me" by Janet Jackson (click here for official website)
Looking through my old drawer
Came across the letter you wrote
Said you needed time away
That was so long ago
All my life I've waited
To see your smile again
In my mind I hated
Not able to let go

Come back to me
I'm beggin' you please
Come back to me
I want you to
Come back to me
I'm beggin' you please
Come back to me

Lord knows that I have tried
To live my life as one
Friends tell me to hold on
Tough times don't last for long
My abandoned heart
Just doesn't understand
My undying love for you
Won't let me wait

Come back to me
I'm beggin' you please
Come back to me
I want you to
Come back to me
I'm beggin' you please
Come back to me

Please come back to me
I miss you so much
Wherever you are I love you
All my life I've waited
To see your smile again
In my mind I hated
Not able to let go

The Apollo astronauts didn"t have this much trouble landing on the Moon

NASA needs to get involved with a few oceanographers that specialize in the currents between Antarctica and Australia. Plant a flag on this thing already.

Call URI. I don't why I didn't think about them before. URI has one of the best ocean engineering departments in the world.

It is a matter of mass, buoyancy and movement.

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

Data is key to validating accuracy of climate models...

...By analyzing four years (click here) of continuous measurements of the current at Drake Passage, the narrowest point in the Southern Ocean, three University of Rhode Island oceanographers have concluded that the current carries 20 percent more water than previous estimates. They also found that the current remains strong all the way to the seafloor....

Daniel Strauss

"We realized that it wasn't so much about antagonizing them but sending out the countered safe that we are here for people who need that message and need that positivity" Megan Coleman, who helped make the sign, said according to Kansas' KSHB. 

The message didn't get across to all Westboro members. 

"I don't even know what they're saying," Westboro Baptist Chuch member Steve Drain said. 


What is there to demonstrate about at a Lorde's concert? Several of her songs are about not caring and living a life of  being disenfranchised. That is a common theme for teens. There is nothing that earthshaking about her entertainment. 

Actually, it is fairly benign. Her theme is about being up against the machine and finding the 'place' where they don't care. It actually is about empowerment in going forward in ways that ignore the status quo. Not a bad message, actually. 

Young people have incredible stress in their lives due to the demands placed on them by 'the system' so to speak. So, if they don't care and meet at the tennis court to talk about what they don't care about, that is fine. She is non-violent while still being non-conformist. That is being young and finding your way and your own message.

This is a border crossing area. Assad has turned loose his jets to kill innocent people. They need a No Fly Zone.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (click here) says its armed forces have shot down a Syrian military jet which had violated its airspace.

The incident reportedly took place in an area where Syrian rebels and government forces have been fighting for control of a border crossing.

Hundreds of thousands have fled Syria for Turkey to escape the three-year uprising against President Assad.

More than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began.
According to UN figures, 6.5 million Syrians have been displaced by the civil war, and 2.5 million are registered as refugees. Lebanon has taken the highest number of refugees, followed by Jordan and Turkey.

Mr Erdogan congratulated his air force on its actions on Sunday....

23 March 2014

...Now a photo exhibition (click here) in İstanbul tries to draw attention to this situation by inviting its visitors to take a close look at the current lives and the past stories of a group of these Syrian people who have been trying to hold on to life Turkey as the Syrian war has entered its fourth year.

On display until March 29 at Beyoğlu Cezayir, the exhibition “The Guest” is a joint effort between Kerem Yücel, Atlas magazine's photography editor, and Serdar Korucu, an editor with CNN Türk, who came together as part of a campaign launched by the İstanbul-based nongovernmental organization Hayata Destek (Support to Life) to help Syrian citizens seeking shelter outside of the refugee camps in Turkey. In the exhibition, Yücel's photos of the Syrians to which Hayata Destek has provided aid are accompanied by texts about their lives, fears and hopes penned by Korucu.

The exhibition refrains from labeling the Syrian citizens and embraces them with the utmost kindness of a generous host. “We neither represented one side nor preferred to be impartial while portraying the lives of these people. … We tried to address those who observe the Syrians," Yücel told Sunday's Zaman in a written interview....

"I'm going to Disney World!"

 Did you know the USA has two Disneys. For real. How many has Russia got? No time soon, huh? Ya think maybe that says something about the Russia economy? Maybe Russians can build a 'Drive a Missile for a Moment" Ride. I would be a good start to the real world.

By Daniel Politi
March 22 2014 4:44 PM

Russian forces (click here) used armored vehicles to smash their way into an air base in Belbek, effectively seizing what had become one of the last bases still under Ukrainian control in Crimea. Yet even as Russia consolidated its control over Crimea, it also seemed to send a sign that its ambitions did not extend beyond Crimea as it dropped opposition to international monitors being sent to Ukraine. The Russian forces stormed the air base following a standoff that lasted more than a week and as “an ominous mood was settling over the town,” notes the Washington Post. Earlier, the Russian troops surrounding the base had given Ukrainian forces inside an hour to surrender, reports Reuters....

It is amazing what you can do with the Tea Cup Ride. It could be adapted to the Armored Vehicles ride.

Even China is into the idea that life is a thrill. Even communism, nationalism and ethnic tensions doesn't stop the Chinese enthusiasm. Seriously. What the heck is wrong with Russia?
10 Inversion Roller Coaster is a roller coaster sitting Chimelong Paradise Park, located in Panyu District, Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, China. Opened in 2006, it is the second roller coaster in the world with 10 inversions after Colossus at Thorpe Park in the UK

Attempting to bend a Teflon fry pan is so old world, Vladimir. No self respecting strong man uses Teflon anymore. 

The US Environmental Protection Agency (click here) has identified a cancer-causing chemical used in the production of Teflon. Should we throw away our non-stick frypans?

And you shouldn't throw it in a landfill either.


Our guys are more into building material.

So, this is what we pay oil subsidies for, right? So migratory birds don't have a chance, right?

It is partially submerged.

By Rebecca Walezak

A barge that was carrying almost a million gallons of oil hit a ship in Galveston Bay on Saturday, spilling an unknown amount into the water.

According to the Associated Press, the Coast Guard had to send in booms to try to collect the spill. While it is unknown how much oil spilled into the water, there was reportedly a noticeable sheen left covering the bay area.

The barge, which was carrying 924,000 gallons of particularly thick oil, was on its way to Bolivar when the collision occurred. Six crew members on board of the towing vessel, which was moving the barge, were reported to have injuries but are in stable condition. Specifics on those injuries were not given out.
The Galveston Bay Foundation announced that it is looking for volunteers to help with the impact the oil spill will have. 

The Galveston Daily News reports that there is no immediate danger to the community due to the oil spill. There are, however, a few road closures to 
make crew access to the spill area easier.

It just seems like not matter where oil is found and transported there is always a mess.

By Associated Press 
Updated: Sunday, March 23, 12:32 AM

McALLEN, Texas — Crews (click here) armed with infrared cameras planned to work through the night after a barge carrying nearly a million gallons of especially thick, sticky oil collided with a ship in Galveston Bay, leaking an unknown amount of the fuel into the popular bird habitat as the peak of the migratory shorebird season was approaching.
Booms were brought in to try to contain the spill, which the Coast Guard said was reported at around 12:30 p.m. Saturday by the captain of the 585-foot ship, Summer Wind. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Kristopher Kidd said the spill hadn’t been contained as of 10 p.m., and that the collision was still being investigated.

Wayne LaPierre is wasting the membership's money again.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court (click here) has turned down a pair of 2nd Amendment appeals lodged by the National Rifle Assn., keeping in place laws that restrict those under 21 years old from buying or carrying a handgun.

Without comment, the justices dismissed claims by NRA attorneys who argued limits on those who are 18 to 20 infringe the “fundamental right” to have firearms for self-defense.
In one case, the court refused to hear a challenge to a 1968 federal law that bars federally licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to those who are under 21. Sales of shotguns or rifles are permitted to those who are 18 or older, however....

Clement is the only one who will take these cases. Not an ounce of sense in his head. Isn't 18 years old just close enough to high school to be worried? No, there should not be any worries, every 18 year old with a gun has a halo over his head.

Now, take Bieber, there is fine example pf a trust worthy 20 year old. What do courts know anyway, right?

...Former U.S. Solicitor Gen. Paul D. Clement filed one of the appeals on behalf of the NRA. He argued that gun owners are facing “massive resistance” in the courts when they assert their rights under the 2nd  Amendment. “It is unthinkable that a court would allow Congress to declare law-abiding individuals in the first years of their legal majority too ‘irresponsible’ to be entrusted with First Amendment rights,” he said. He urged the court not to allow “this fundamental right [to] be relegated to second-class status.”...

Snohomish County needs heavy construction to dynamite the debris dam threatening people's lives.

The water is rising 10 - 12 inches an hour. They can't wait forever. The pressure behind the debris dam will grow anyway and cause a larger problem when it does break down. The debris dam might be accessible from the side of the structure without risking lives to blow a hole in it.

If there are people still alive the rescuers have to have a chance to find them and they can't do it underwater. USGS might be able to estimate how stable the rest of the hillside is, too. 

Geologic map of the Snohomish Quadrangle, Snohomish County, Washington (click here)

I thought it looked like sand. (click here) These are old glacial deposits. It is mixed some iron, but, when sand gets dry and then fills up with water again, there is bound to be trouble.

 Rescuers to search through the night for mudslide survivors in Washington state after hearing cries for help (click here)

The Sheriff is asking residents in Oso and Arlington to evacuate. Lake Stevens is in the lower right corner of this image, and those towns are further north. They are in the next Quadrangle north of the Snohomish Quadrangle.