Monday, July 17, 2017

Rumors that bring speculation as to "Who got to him and for how much?"

I would never put it past a Republican administration full of billionaires to find a cushy job somewhere for a former US Supreme Court Justice, like a professorship that never lectures or a Dean or a Chancellor. 

June 26, 2017
By Ruth Brown

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy isn’t resting his case just yet. (click here)

The high court broke for its summer recess Monday without an anticipated retirement announcement from the 80-year-old judge. He could still make the call at any time, but the last day was seen as the most likely time.

Kennedy hasn’t actually said anything publicly to suggest he’s hanging up his gavel anytime soon, but speculation has been swirling for months, fueled by his colleagues and lawmakers.

The gossip mill went into overdrive after his former law clerks moved up a planned reunion to last weekend — as judges traditionally announce retirement plans to their clerks before the public — but after teasing the assembled alum with a big announcement, it wasn’t what they expected....

It is a corporate gimmick to drive voters to the polls in 2018. That's all.

Where is Robert Reich when you need him?

May 15, 2017
By Lee Fang

AFTER USING GOLDMAN Sachs (click here) as a punching bag for his campaign, sharply criticizing his political opponents for ties to the investment bank, Donald Trump has taken unprecedented steps to appoint former Goldman Sachs attorneys and executives to the upper echelons of government.

It goes far beyond what’s been reported. Not only is Jay Clayton Trump’s chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, after serving as the attorney who advised the bank during the bailouts of 2008, but new disclosures show that the team Clayton brought with him to oversee the financial market regulator are also former Goldman Sachs attorneys.

The Intercept obtained the ethics disclosure form for Sean Memon, Clayton’s deputy chief of staff, which shows that Memon previously worked for Goldman Sachs, as well as a range of other Wall Street clients, including Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, AIG, MetLife, Ally Financial, and Deutsche Bank.

Last month, Clayton also brought in Steven Peikin as one of two directors of the enforcement division of the SEC, one of the most prominent positions at the agency. Peikin, likMemon, previously served as an attorney to Goldman Sachs and other banks. All three men are former lawyers with Sullivan & Cromwell, arguably the most influential law firm of the 20th Century. 

While previous administrations have retained staff with ties to major banks, Trump has turned his administration into somewhat of a Goldman Sachs alumni organization....

Maybe this is like a 'Cheney Thing' where rewarding those that can prosecute and sue you is better for the personal wealth fund. If Trump was defaming Goldman during his campaign, this might be a way to prevent lawsuits, etc. No different than Cheney, Halliburton (later KBR) and Iraq. 

July 14, 2017
By Guelda Vioen

Easterly Government Properties, (click here) a landlord specializing in real estate that is leased backed to the U.S. government, secured $127 million towards its purchase of Loma Linda Ambulatory Care, a U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs medical facility in Southern California, Commercial Observer can exclusively report.

The ten-year, fixed-rate, interest-only CMBS loan was provided by Goldman Sachs, according to a representative for CBRE, which brokered the deal. The 60 percent loan-to-value in the financing represents a total purchase price of about $212 million.

Tom Traynor, James Millon, James Scott and Bernard Van der Lande of CBRE represented the borrower in the transaction. If Goldman retained representation, it was not immediately clear. A Goldman representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment....

Amazing. I thought the Kurshners and Chinese investors would have the inside track.

Aramark is looking for you:

Food Service Worker - Goldman Sachs 200 West (click here)

Get out there and be all you can be!

New Zealand leads the world in teen suicide. In the USA it is the third largest reason for deaths in ages 15 -24.

When a country's sincere problems are politicized, there never is an answer that matters. The end of Medicaid in the USA could have a direct impact on teens at risk.

17 July 2017
By Olivia Carville

...King has been a crusader (click here) in raising awareness on youth suicide across New Zealand since an unprecedented cluster of teen suicides in Northland in 2012. He has spoken to students in dozens of schools about this issue and last month he Controversially stepped down from the Government's suicide prevention panel, claiming its draft plan to prevent suicide was "deeply flawed" and self-serving....

..."New Zealand has become a country where we expect others to fix everything while the rest of us sit around in judgment and make excuses. Poverty, the housing crisis, colonisation and the growing gap between rich and poor were all listed as reasons why young people are dying by their own hand....

Wall Street priorities have a direct connection to mental health in New Zealand. As young people begin to take on the world seeking a productive life and are disappointed in their outcomes, it becomes an issue of self-esteem and why they can't succeed.

"Self-esteem is a huge issue for young people and is often the first step on the road to suicidal thinking. Young people with self-esteem issues - who deep down think they are 'bad' - are battling demons that no one can see because they battle them alone, often behind a mask of happiness....

..."However, the statistic we should all be concerned about is that 80 per cent of kids who have recurring thoughts of suicide never ask for help, from anyone, ever.

"For some it is because they don't know who to ask, or they believe they can fix it themselves. For others it's embarrassment, fear of looking stupid or hurting people they love. But for the overwhelming majority it's the fear of judgment. In a world that worships perfection they are worried what others will think, say or do if they disclose their true feelings.

"And it doesn't help when our health and education system discourages any type of open discussion around suicidal thinking for fear of contagion. Can you imagine how traumatic that must be for a young person? I've just diagnosed myself with an incurable disease but if I open up and talk to any of my friends about it they might catch it and die.

"There are three reasons kids give me for wanting to end their lives:

1. I am hurting! 'I am in so much pain and I just want it to stop. Everybody tells me that with time things will get better but everyday I wake up and it's worse. I just need it to stop!'

2. I am causing hurt! 'I feel like I've become a burden to everybody and everyone would be better off without me.'

3. I want to cause hurt! 'You hurt me, so now I'm going to hurt you.'...

In the USA, it is believed teen suicide is treatable. From the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Last Updated:
Teen Suicide, Mood Disorder, and Depression (click here)

Thousands of teens commit suicide each year in the United States. In fact, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds.
Suicide does not just happen. Studies show that at least 90% of teens who kill themselves have some type of mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse, or a behavior problem. They may also have problems at school or with friends or family, or a combination of all these things. Some teens may have been victims of sexual or physical abuse. Others may be struggling with issues related to sexual identity. Usually they have had problems for some time.
Most teens do not spend a long time planning to kill themselves. They may have thought about it or tried it in the past but only decide to do it after an event that produces feelings of failure or loss, such as getting in trouble, having an argument, breaking up with a partner, or receiving a bad grade on a test....
The words teens and young adults hold dear are opportunity and achievement. American teens and young adults have to be provided a path to success. That means their government is sensitive to the financial infrastructure that has to exist to succeed. The USA grossly lacks in educational achievement on a global scale.
...One of the biggest cross-national tests (click here) is the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which every three years measures reading ability, math and science literacy and other key skills among 15-year-olds in dozens of developed and developing countries. The most recent PISA results, from 2015, placed the U.S. an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsors the PISA initiative, the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science....
And the USA wants to fly to where? Mars? Really? With what Japanese immigrants doing the math on EB5 Visas?
Teens in a manic or a mixed state may:
  • Strongly overreact when things do not go their way
  • Become hyper, agitated, or aggressive
  • Be overwhelmed with thoughts or feelings
  • Sleep less
  • Talk a lot more
  • Act in impulsive or dangerous ways
  • Feel they can do things they really can't
  • Spend money they do not have or give things away
  • Insist on unrealistic plans for themselves or others

Teens with depression may:

  • Feel sad, down, or irritable, or not feel like doing things
  • Have a change in sleeping or eating habits
  • Feel guilty, worthless, or hopeless
  • Have less energy, or have more difficulty paying attention
  • Feel lonely, get easily upset, or talk about wanting to be dead
  • Lose interest in things they used to enjoy

Mood disorders can be treated. Ask your teen's doctor about treatment resources. 
Give them a future they can believe it, damn it!
And I don't want to hear how Jeb Bush's 3 year olds are going to lead the world someday. Believe that and you may as well hand me a rainbow. Take it away Dorothy!

I agree with Elon. However, imagine instead of clerks every USA Congressman and woman be given a single AI. It is food for thought.

Could an AI go to jail for threatening Mitch McConnell to end the threats against humanity? I don't think so. And would the AI threaten McConnell? Perhaps the AI would find the calculation of threatening a waste of time. Would the AI campaign for humanity? Or. Would the calculation of prolonged existence with humans be a burden it would seek to effect? 

I wonder.

Is Mitch McConnell already an AI that even Trump doesn't know exists? He is cold enough to be one. No eating, no sleeping, but, I hear they can learn to be good in the sack. Perhaps, Russia already owns Mitch McConnell. I mean what is it that he endorses Trump without question? Scared or possessed? 

I can see the headlines in the National Enquirer now: "Truth revealed, Mitch McConnell has been taken over by Russian AI. And. Does that make him an alien?"

Is AI the future of the Undead?


Tesla CEO Elon Musk (click here) warned a bipartisan gathering of U.S. governors on Saturday that government regulation of artificial intelligence is needed because it's a "fundamental risk to the existence of human civilisation."
But first, he asked for some governors to lift a different kind of regulation: state franchise dealership laws that ban the direct sale of his company's electric cars to consumers.
Musk spoke broadly about solar energy, space travel, self-driving cars and other emerging technology during a question-and-answer session at the summer conference of the National Governors Association in Rhode Island.
He also met privately with some governors, including Louisiana Democrat John Bel Edwards, who recently signed a law that Musk's Palo Alto, California-based company says blocks it from selling cars there.
Edwards said Tesla asked for the one-on-one meeting with Musk, which was short.
"I just asked him to come down to Louisiana and sit down with us, sit down with the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association and work out some sort of a compromise, which they have successfully done in other states," Edwards said.                 

Out of the University of Auckland, Business School

Some of the nearly 900,000 New Zealanders (click here) who suffer hearing loss could be at extra risk of developing dementia.

Professor Peter Thorne, a leading New Zealand academic heading up a project to research hearing loss, says the condition has big consequences for brain health and is "increasingly being shown to be an additional risk factor for developing dementia".

"There is a relationship between hearing loss and good brain health," he says. "The problem increases with age so we are working on ways to identify it earlier, to develop measures to prevent and treat the condition, and to help adults age well."

Thorne, who is based at the University of Auckland's Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, says there are many unanswered questions around the possible links between the illnesses.

He says one theory suggests the brain, if the hearing loss is untreated, can become overwhelmed by years of straining to hear, making those with hearing loss more vulnerable to dementia; while others include the possibility hearing loss could lead to what is a known factor in dementia - social isolation....

...Thorne's work is building on international research. A 2011 study into the links between hearing loss and dementia at the John Hopkins School of Medicine in the United States found elderly people with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop other cognitive problems and dementia than those who retain their hearing.

The study leader Dr Frank Lin, said hearing loss is a slow and insidious process associated with ageing, and because of this a lot of people ignore it, feeling they are not affected.

Thorne says a major cause of hearing loss, apart from ageing, is exposure to loud noise (a World Health Organisation report estimates more than a billion people worldwide aged between 12 and 35 are at risk from high noise levels in recreational settings)....

...Thorne says balance disorders - including dizziness, spinning sensations, fatigue and ringing in the ears - is estimated to affect four out of ten people: "It contributes to falls in older people and, like hearing loss, good balance function plays a vital role in maintaining brain health," he says. "It too is considered a risk to the development of dementia."...

Fascinating stuff. Imagine an annual hearing check as a lead into larger problems that can be averted. 

I am sorry to hear that Senator John McCain has suffered a brain blood clot, but, I also hope this gives him pause about hurting people far less fortunate than himself.

I wish him a speedy recovery. It sounds as though he was very fortunate and didn't have residual effects. I don't want any one to suffer to understand the impacts of ill health, but, this happens to Americans everyday and they have little protecting them from losing everything they worked for without health insurance.

I hope Senator McCain will reflect on what would happen to an American like himself, but, didn't have the benefits of good health insurance. Would that American be able to return to work in a week? Or afford some of the best surgeons in the world? Or would that American have been discovered to have such an ailment and survive at all. Lack of health care kills. That is a fact.

July 16, 2017
By Denise Grady and Robert Pear

The condition for which Senator John McCain (click here) had surgery on Friday may be more serious than initial descriptions have implied, and it may delay his return to Washington by at least a week or two, medical experts said on Sunday.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has already announced that votes on a bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act will not begin until Mr. McCain’s return. A statement released by Mr. McCain’s office on Saturday had suggested that he would be in Arizona recovering for just this week, but neurosurgeons interviewed said the typical recovery period could be longer.

The statement from Mr. McCain’s office said a two-inch blood clot was removed from “above his left eye” during a “minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision” at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, “following a routine annual physical.” Surgeons there are not conducting interviews. Mr. McCain’s communications director, Julie Tarallo, said further information would be made public when it became available.

A craniotomy is an opening of the skull, and an eyebrow incision would be used to reach a clot in or near the left frontal lobes of the brain, neurosurgeons who were not involved in Mr. McCain’s care said....

There is about one per day of police shootings lately. Albuquerque, Tulsa and the usuals..

"Morning Papers"

The Rooster


July 17, 2017
By Katie Mettler, Kristine Phillips and Mark Berman

A yoga and meditation teacher (click here) in Minneapolis was fatally shot by police Saturday night after she called 911 to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home.

The woman was identified by family in local and Australian news reports as 40-year-old Justine Damond (nee Justine Ruszczyk), a native Australian who studied to be a veterinarian in Sydney before moving to Minneapolis to be with her fiance, Don Damond. The couple planned to marry next month, but Justine Damond had already taken her fiance’s last name.

The call for help came in just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a news release from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the state agency investigating the shooting. Two Minneapolis Police Department officers went to an alley near her home in the Fulton neighborhood, on the city’s southwest side.

“At one point an officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman,” the statement said....

"Good Night, Moon"

The waning crescent

22.4 days old

47 percent lit

July 16, 2017
By Loren Grush

It was two years ago, (click here) on July 14th, 2015, that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto — marking the first time we had ever explored this mysterious small world. The probe whizzed by within 7,750 miles of the dwarf planet’s surface and snapped the first ever close-up images of Pluto and its weird moons. Now, New Horizons is way beyond Pluto, journeying to another object at edge of the Solar System. But you can relive the flyby with this new animation from NASA that takes you over Pluto’s unique terrain.

Members of the New Horizons mission team put together the animation using data collected by the spacecraft, as well as elevation models of Pluto’s surface. The video starts just southwest of Sputnik Planitia — the huge plains of nitrogen ice that form part of Pluto’s signature giant heart. It then passes over numerous other locations, showcasing the various mountain ranges, basins, and fractured landscape of Pluto’s surface. The elevations have been exaggerated a bit, too, just to illustrate just how dynamic the geography is. But the result is a captivating view of this complex little planet and a reminder of just how much the surface changes throughout....