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Archive → April, 2014

U.S. Navy Invents Process To Make Energy Out Of Seawater? The End-Times For Fossil Fuels Is Finallly Here?

Linked to By Frank Byronn Glenn

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Surf’s up!    The Navy appears to have achieved the Holy Grail of energy independence    –    turning seawater into fuel:

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After decades of experiments, U.S. Navy scientists believe they may have solved one of the world’s great challenges: how to turn seawater into fuel.

 

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The new fuel is initially expected to cost around $3 to $6 per gallon, according to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which has already flown a model aircraft on it.

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Curiously, this doesn’t seem to be making much of a splash (no pun intended) on the evening news. Let’s repeat this: The United States Navy has figured out how to turn seawater into fuel and it will cost about the same as gasoline.

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This technology is in its infancy and it’s already this cheap? What happens when it’s refined and perfected? Oil is only getting more expensive as the easy-to-reach deposits are tapped so this truly is, as it’s being called, a “game changer.”

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I expect the GOP to go ballistic over this and try to legislate it out of existence. It’s a threat to their fossil fuel masters because it will cost them trillions in profits. It’s also “green” technology and Republicans will despise it on those grounds alone. They already have a track record of trying to do this. Unfortunately, once this kind of genie is out of the bottle, it’s very hard to put back in.

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There are two other aspects to this story that have not been brought up yet:

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1. The process pulls carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas driving Climate Change) out of the ocean. One of the less well-publicized aspects of Climate Change is that the ocean acts like a sponge for CO2 and it’s just about reached its safe limit. The ocean is steadily becoming more acidic from all of the increased carbon dioxide. This in turn poisons delicate ecosystems like coral reefs that keep the ocean healthy.

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If we pull out massive amounts of CO2, even if we burn it again, not all of it will make it back into the water. Hell, we could even pull some of it and not use it in order to return the ocean to a sustainable level. That, in turn will help pull more of the excess CO2 out of the air even as we put it back. It would be the ultimate in recycling.

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2. This will devastate oil rich countries but it will get us the hell out of the Middle East (another reason Republicans will oppose this). Let’s be honest, we’re not in the Middle East for humanitarian reasons. We’re there for oil. Period. We spend trillions to secure our access to it and fight a “war” on terrorism. Take away our need to be there and, suddenly, justifying our overseas adventures gets a lot harder to sell.

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And if we “leak” the technology? Every dictator propped up by oil will tumble almost overnight. Yes, it will be a bloody mess but we won’t be pissing away the lives of our military to keep scumbags in power. Let those countries figure out who they want to be without billionaire thugs and their mercenary armies running the show.

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Why this is not a huge major story mystifies me. I’m curious to see how it all plays out so stay tuned.

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UPDATE:

People have been asking for more details about the process. This is from the Naval Research Laboratory’s official press release:

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Using an innovative and proprietary NRL electrolytic cation exchange module (E-CEM), both dissolved and bound CO2 are removed from seawater at 92 percent efficiency by re-equilibrating carbonate and bicarbonate to CO2 and simultaneously producing H2. The gases are then converted to liquid hydrocarbons by a metal catalyst in a reactor system.

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In plain English, fuel is made from hydrocarbons (hydrogen and carbon). This process pulls both hydrogen and carbon from seawater and recombines them to make fuel. The process can be used on air as well but seawater holds about 140 times more carbon dioxide in it so it’s better suited for carbon collection.

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Another detail people seem to be confused about: This is essentially a carbon neutral process. The ocean is like a sponge for carbon dioxide in the air and currently has an excess amount dissolved in it. The process pulls carbon dioxide out of the ocean. It’s converted and burned as fuel. This releases the carbon dioxide back into the air which is then reabsorbed by the ocean. Rinse. Repeat.

Will Putin Continue Playing “Russian Roulette” in Ukraine?

By Frank Byronn Glenn  —

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I’m guessing they will.  From Putin’s point of view — there is no way he can allow a neighbor so large and geographically so strategic to fall into the sphere of the American and European aligned NATO group.  He’d be seen as too weak and too undeserving to rule Russia.   Not that that fact alone would force him from power — but it would inflame the Russian Federation denizens — who have been embarrassed and dismayed by the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the fall from power and prestige worldwide that accompanied it.  So, much like Hitler, who rose to power promising to restore proud Germans to their rightful place of power and prestige on the world stage — Putin is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as a result of this “tough guy” act toward his neighbors and in his interactions with other world powers.  “Putin and Russia are no one to mess with now,” he hears them murmuring in his ears.

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And then there is the Ukrainians.  Over-matched and mercilessly bullied since time-immemorial by their over-sized and undiplomatically oriented big-brother neighbor — Russia —  they appear to be fast approaching a “nothing to lose”  moment in the itinerary of their floundering “ship of state”.  Ukrainians are a proud people, too.  With a country, culture, and history they are proud of.  And now the course of their forward  history appears to allow for only what Russia approves of — as a permissible path forward for them — and everyday Ukrainians   may reject that.

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For their sake — for the sake of the rule of law and international treaties — and the role of diplomacy in solving world problems without armed conflict — let us hope that the chest thumping by Putin — that the Russian people have applauded so enthusiastically — will be enough to satisfy Putin and his cronies this time around — and they can allow themselves to settle into something sensible and hopeful in terms of a future for Ukrainians and Russians — and the rest of the world — and we won’t have to continue stumbling along this high-wire of high risk, nonsensical foreign policy theatrics — that still has yet to make an ounce of sense to most objective observers around the world.  And to the extent that there is a glimmer of rhyme or reason to Putin’s actions — it clearly fails the rudimentary, common-sense,  cost-benefit analysis that you would hope a world leader in a great country — like Russia — would be capable of making.

India: World’s Largest Election — Will Narendra Modi Prevail In The End?

Links assembled and compiled by Frank Byronn Glenn

What you need to know on Friday about India’s elections: Voter turnout rose in most districts in the fifth phase of the elections compared with 2009, the Indian National Congress appears to be missing its youth unit, and voters at the world’s highest polling station remain optimistic that someday a politician will visit them.

The fifth and largest phase of India’s elections saw a surge in voter turnout in most places compared with the 2009 elections. (The Economic Times)

The youth wing of the Indian National Congress is conspicuously absent in this year’s elections. (Hindustan Times)

Since 1951, no candidate has visited Hikkam in the state of Himachal Pradesh, which has the world’s highest polling station at 14,500 feet above sea level, but voters come out in large numbers in the hope that one day a politician will hear their concerns. (The Times of India)

India needs to have an honest debate on the merits of its system of quotas for underprivileged parts of society, argues an advocate in the Madras High Court. (The Hindu)

Varun Gandhi of the Bharatiya Janata Party offers his suggestions on how to improve the way Parliament operates. (The Times of India)

How to fix the credibility and accuracy of Indian opinion polls. (Economic & Political Weekly)

The Congress party’s candidate in Vadodara, Gujarat, has so far outspent his Bharatiya Janata Party opponent, Narendra Modi. (The Indian Express)

Live microphones catch a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate and a yoga guru talking about election funds. (The Times of India)

The human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike since November 2000 to protest a draconian antiterror law, was not allowed to vote in the state of Manipur.

China’s Farmland Is Increasingly Polluted — Causing Food Contamination and Health Concerns Worldwide!

 By Frank Byronn Glenn —  Manufacturers have been moving production to places like China in a frenzy — in part, of course, because of radically lower labor costs.  But a less often talked about and publicized reason, sometimes, is that environmental regulations are more lenient in that country — and as a consequence there is a windfall to corporations in the form of much lower environmental compliance and clean-up costs.  But like every silver lining — there is usually a “dark cloud” for it to surround with its bright lining.  Yes, costs are lower to produce things in China — but the collateral costs in the form of damage to the environment and pollution of productive farmland is on the dramatic increase.

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According to a recent study, nearly one-fifth of China’s farmland is dangerously contaminated with toxic metals like cadmium, nickel, and arsenic.

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A soil survey conducted between 2005 and 2013 showed contamination in 16.1 percent of the country’s soil and 19.4 percent of its arable land. Beijing-based lawyer Dong Zhengwei told the Associated Press that, because the survey dates back nearly a decade, the current situation is likely worse than the report suggests.

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The trade-off between China’s rapid industrialization and the windfall rush of foreign corporations sprinting to move production to China to enjoy lower labor costs and lax environmental regulation and pollution standards — has come initially at high cost to the Chinese people’s health and quality of life.  Subsequently, U.S.  imports from  China contaminated potentially toxic food because of the lower cost of production and acquisition.

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The sooner earth’s inhabitants realize and accept the fact that there are no free lunches — and only very temporary financial gains — to be had from moving production to pollution control free zones like China, Mexico, Vietnam, and other environmentally lax countries — the quicker we will begin to transform public policy and sustainable production procedures to permit a healthier, more sustainable,  long term environment for life on earth.  To trade the sustainability of life on our planet earth, ultimately, for a few dollars more in corporate coffers today — is the fool’s errand of a civilization that does not deserve to survive  — and of governments so lacking in understanding, knowledge, and courage as to be unworthy of  governing in the first place.

These unstainable practices are hard to understand, unless you are incorrigibly driven by the insatiable lust for power and money.   But the fact that you would do it anyway — even if it killed your  friends, your family, your children and your grandchildren — just so  you could get a little bit richer – is beyond the pale – and unconscionable.    And a species or a civilization that would do that — or permit that —  doesn’t sound much like a species or a civilization worthy of survival to me.

 

Top Political News of the Day! — April 18, 2014

Links Compiled by Frank Byronn Glenn

 

InPolitics

Republican And Foxx News Desparation — Devolves Into Praising Despotism and Championing Criminality!

By Frank Byronn Glenn

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It all started during the campaign for Presidency in 2008. Right wingers had geared up for a fight with an old, familiar foe, Hilary Clinton. Barack Obama’s emergence caught them off guard – mostly because it was unfathomable to most Republicans that a black guy could ever get elected President of the United States.

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They vowed on virtually the first day of his administration that they would do anything they could to make his administration a failure. And as bad and as unpatriotic as that was on the face of it – it was almost criminal considering the state of disaster and calamity our economy and financial system were in. Republicans have always been about “power” and taking maximum advantage of the political, social, and financial power of holding office. Their philosophy is simple. Once elected, if you do not use the power you get to increase your power and political advantage and weaken your opponents’ power and opportunity – then you are wasting the advantage – and point of – acquiring power. And in the final analysis, I think Republicans really are more interested in power and money –  than they are simply racist. I think as long as they have the power and money they are completely capable of working cordially with ethnically diverse entities to achieve their objectives.

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It’s when they are out of power that it gets ugly. Republicans were shocked that a black man could get elected President. It irked them that a black man had that much power. And they also knew that a significant segment of their political base had been driven to the point of distraction and desperation over the fact that the United States had elected a black President. And many didn’t really believe it. Something, in their minds, was terribly wrong. And since governing is only about power with Republicans, their response to losing power was simply to attempt to thwart any attempts by Democrats to exercise their legitimately derived power. Their goal from the beginning was to undermine and stymie any efforts by Democrats to effect policy and influence the political dynamic of the nation.

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They were substantially devoid of ideas and tarnished by the unpopular decisions, policies, and programs of the Bush/Cheney regime – so they had no ideas of their own to offer as solutions to the American people. We had seen what they had to offer – and rejected it. They had eight years of putting every Republican wet dream of a right wing utopia into effect, and the nation had had eight years to see what that looked like – and rejected it.

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They had nothing to answer with — in response to the criticisms of the Bush/Cheney regime years — because the Bush/Cheney years had been a euphoric, eight years of Republican tax cuts, unnecessary for profit wars, mismanaged and subverted government agencies, attacks on the social safety net and social fabric of the majority of Americans – culminating in their taking every untoward advantage of every crisis, fear, and loathing that surfaced after 9-11 – to put their neo-con, corporatist, free market, monopolistic crony capitalistic mecca in place — even though the Bush/Cheney gang ultimately had to violate the U.S. Constitution and the United Nations Charter – and lie repeatedly to the American people — to achieve those goals.

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And when Obama was elected – significantly as a rejection of all Republicans had to offer – it drove them insane.

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The “Birther” movement began as an attempt to give a reason other than the fact that he was black for low-information red neck racist voters to reject the legitimacy of the Barack Obama as the President of the United States. GOP politicians and the Foxx News lackeys began immediately to say, “he just doesn’t ‘understand’ America. He’s not one of us. His ideas, and his outlook are, well – “foreign”. (His father was Kenyan, remember?) His views, to the extent that they were from the 21st century – were European socialist ideas – and we all know how “retrograde” those are. They demonized Obama because their racist base saw him as a ‘demon’ already. They said he didn’t “get” America, because – how could a black guy “get” America. He wasn’t one of us – really. And the whole idea of the protestations that Barack Obama was in numerous ways unqualified, un-entitled, and undeserving to be President — was just clumsy sublimations of the emotional truth (for them) that “no way in hell a black guy should live in our White House.”

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The fact that even as a novice, Barack Obama was a better politician and political strategist than most of their dyed in the wool, hard core GOP political operatives — even furthered their fury. They conjured up fears of the “angry” black man finally in power. They spread fear that an angry black man finally in power was no doubt going to take his black army (the left over black panthers from the sixties, no doubt) and round up racist white guys, confiscate their guns, and in order to deal with the guns they missed, Obama was going to create an ammunition shortage so they couldn’t even fight back when the hoards of angry black men came after them and their women (whom they secretly feared would prefer black men anyway).

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So – what we have witnessed is a political party which – once out of power – lost its political and moral bearings. They realized that long term demographics worked against Republicans – so they seized upon that — to gin up hysteria in their base. They turned a profound sense of financial and social insecurity – and loss, or diminishment — among their white male blue collar base into a struggle to return the “old order” – to “right the ship”. To, in the words of many a right wing politician – “take out country back!” They curried sentiment for a return to an order in which women were more obedient – more appreciative and accepting of – and more subservient to the white male head-of-household’s wishes. And a day when we had a white man back in the “White House.” There was a true nostalgia in the Republican right wing base.

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The Republican party attempted to turn white old male revulsion that an uppity black guy got to the white house – into a full on attempt to de-legitimize everything any facet of the government attempted to do – as coming from the evil plan to destroy America “as we know it” by the “other” in the White House. Republicans had so little to offer and yet at the same time their right wing racist base greeted any attempt to de-legitimize the programs and policy proposals of the Obama administration so enthusiastically (as if they were a full out assault on them, their values, their way of life –and their opportunity to have a decent “American” life) — that the assaults on the Obama administration in particular – and on government in general — became a substitute for the Republican party actually proposing conservative ideas and solutions the country might actually have considered – or liked.

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It started with the knee jerk reaction to reject anything President Obama or his administration proposed – or even talked about. It devolved into a world-view that anything Obama did or said had to be rejected outright – on the face of it – with no serious discussion or evaluation – because the forgone conclusion they had created and nurtured was that anything Obama did or proposed was – by definition – either worthless — or dangerous — and un-American.

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They took advantage of their base’s rejection of a black President, and nurtured it into an expectation on the part of the base that everything Obama did “must” be rejected outright – as illegitimate, illegal, and dangerous — for America. It wasn’t long before Republicans became trapped in that strategy – because at the first whiff of a sensible response to a situation, event, or policy proposal – Tea Partiers would trot out an extremist candidate as “red meat” for the base and the incumbent GOP politician was “primaried”, and thus became an instant “endangered species”.

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Before long, a feeding frenzy broke out on the right to see who could become the new “center of gravity”, politically speaking – for this frenzied, stridently vocal, “red meat” demanding right wing faction of the party. Before long, there just wasn’t enough “legitimate” reasons to reject every single thing Obama or the government did – or they just were not objectionable “enough” to feed the red meat, power starved base. Republicans began to stretch the truth – and exaggerate – to make their point. “Death panels”. Granny being selected to die. Government bureaucrats in the doctors office – instead of your doctor. Soaring medical expenses. It’s all a plan to bankrupt the country – and make us a UN colony. There’s European socialism around every corner now. The world economy will collapse. The apocalypse is upon us!

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There was “Fast and Furious”. Benghazi. The IRS. Conspiracies were everywhere! But somehow – in the end — they weren’t sustainable. The facts just didn’t support them. Darrell Issa’s witch hunts became to glaringly one-sided, coerced, manipulated, and distorted. Facts had to be mis-represented, selectively revised, or made up. Slowly – people figured it out.

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There just wasn’t enough provable scandal, incompetence, or abuse of power to make a sustainable case on the merits or the facts. So they had to turn to other things.

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The other things they turned to was – abandoning the pursuit of the facts they had hoped could be massaged to elicit the desired message – or indictment of Obama – or government. In desperation – the strategy became – simply – whatever Obama and the government does – is automatically wrong and bad for America.    And unconstitutional.

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The result was – we should have intervened more in Egypt. We should have bombed Iran. We should never have taken troops out of Iraq or Afghanistan. We should invaded Libya and Syria outright. Putin was the strong leader – Obama was the weak and indecisive “yes, man”. The dead beat, thieving Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, was a national hero – standing up to the big, old corrupt Obama government like a revolutionary patriot. And the armed thugs who showed up hoping to achieve the same infamy as the Branch Davidians did in Waco – were freedom fighters striking a blow for liberty in the face of a tyrannical government of armed thugs.

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All of this stuff was — and continues to be – outright non-sense. What we have is a political party in the Republicans that allowed itself to be lulled into rejecting even their own good ideas — as a short term solution for and response to the disastrously failed years of the Bush and Cheney administrations – and them obviously having no defense or explanation for it. Then they got trapped into an obstructionist and all encompassing rejection of “all things government” — frenzy — such that now they look ridiculous even participating in government – because their stated philosophy now is that everything government does is bad – and for everything and everyone that disobeys the law, violates treaties or contracts – and carries a gun threatening violence against any government official or agency doing anything anywhere in America – is good. Patriotic even.

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So now they end up endlessly trying to repeal ObamaCare – which is actually a good thing for millions of Americans. They go on national television and cheerlead an international despot and dictator (maybe even a madman) in Putin – as a great world leader who knows how to “lead”. And they end up singing the praises for a crazy old crooked cowboy who has outlived his time and usefulness — and touting the gang of hoodlums who rallied from around the country to fight “big gov’ment” on his behalf – as the “heir apparents” of American patriots of yore.

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They have moved from obstructionist, to lying and distorting, to championing outlaws and outcasts and criminals — as representing the best that America has to offer. The only real questions remaining is – when will the majority of American people figure out that the majority of the Republican party is too ignorant to elect to office, to incompetent to trust with anything important – and in the end – too irrelevant to pay attention to.

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I say: “Off with their heads! Vote the bastards out of office and send them back to the landfills and dustbins of history – from whence they came!” That would be good for America!

Wild and Crazy News Wrap-Up — Read It and Reap! April 17, 2014 – 6:00pm

Selected and Linked to By Frank Byronn Glenn

Hate the federal debt? Here’s your chance to do something about it.

The Treasury accepts donations to be used only to reduce the public debt — and, ironically, it takes credit cards.

Filing your tax returns? Don’t do this…

As millions of Americans faced the nation’s annual tax-filing day Tuesday, Department of Justice officials cited Francis E. Chandler as a negative role model. Nearly six years ago, the Hawaii man filed a (…)

SEC ‘just says No’ to pot stock

The Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading in shares of marijuana-related pot stock, GrowLife over worries about the “accuracy and adequacy” of information the company (…)

First Q1 bank earnings mixed

Shares of JPMorgan Chase were down nearly 2% in early Friday afternoon trading after the nation’s largest bank missed Wall Street estimates by reporting sharply lower revenue results.

Stocks fly as Fed doves soar

Stocks shot up in afternoon trading Wednesday after the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s mid-March meeting showed the Fed is not in a rush to raise rates.

A chart shows why cash is trash

If you had parked $100,000 in a 6-month CD last year, you earned just $390 in interest, according to this eye-opening chart from J.P. Morgan Funds second quarter 2014 Guide to the Markets.

Blistering IPO market gets even hotter

The number of companies launching their IPOs doubled in the first quarter, and the red-hot market for new issues is expected to continue. All told, 71 companies sold shares to the public for the (…)

S&P 500 closes at new closing high

The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index started the second quarter on a winning note Tuesday, closing at a new all-time closing high. According to preliminary calculations, the benchmark index (…)

And they’re gone!

The U.S. mint sold out of all 50,000 of its first-of-its kind curved commemorative gold coins on Monday. The coins — the first curved coins ever minted — were part of its 2014 National Baseball Hall (…)

Ask Matt: Hot IPOS on the horizon

Q: What are some of the biggest IPOs in the pipeline? A: Investors are looking for a little something new for their portfolios again. And with the IPO pipeline filling up, investors will have (…)

Stocks end quarter on bullish note

The bull, which looked winded in recent trading sessions, finished the first quarter with a strong sprint to the finish line. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average on Monday rallied 134.60 (…)

“TINA” trade sings the blues in 2014

The so-called “TINA” trade didn’t pan out so well for stock investors in the first three months of 2014. For those not familiar with Wall Street-speak, TINA isn’t a play on pop icon (…)

Gold mining funds: Dead money walking

Funds that invest in gold mining stocks were the top performers for the first quarter, coming as a welcome surprise to their long-suffering investors. Although more than 37 people actually own (…)

Is the stock market rigged? Author says yes

Trying to outsmart the pro traders? Good luck with that. Professional investors have such a wide edge over individuals that the stock market is “rigged,” author Michael Lewis told CBS’ 60 (…)

Yellen talks, this time market jumps

When Janet Yellen talks, investors normally listen and like what they hear, and push asset prices higher. But that wasn’t the case on March 19, when the new Federal Reserve chair spooked markets during (…)

Monday’s market numbers

Here’s what we are keeping an eye on this Monday morning. Key numbers: U.S. stock futures are on the up (Dow +0.3%, S%P 500 +0.4%, Nasdaq +0.5%). European shares advanced: (…)

Traders say aging bull has legs: survey

Is the Wall Street bull winded? No way, say traders surveyed by Charles Schwab. So how much longer will the bull, which turned 5 earlier this month, live? Findings from Charles Schwab’s Trading (…)

Baxter shares jump on breakup plan

Baxter shares are up sharply today, as investors are easily impressed when companies announce a strategy breakup. Shares are up $3.81, or 5.4%, to $73.89 as the medical company told investors it’s (…)

Bell rings, stocks lack pop at open

Investors are hoping the stock market can snap its recent slump, as the Dow has fallen 3 of the past 4 sessions. But stocks basically hugged the flat-line after the opening bell Thursday. The Dow rose (…)

Netflix getting hammered on net neutrality

Netflix shares have crashed 20% from their all-time high Wednesday as investors worry the video streaming business is trouble from net neutrality and Apple. These concerns are only half warranted, based on (…)

Bye, bye corporate shares

Corporate America is buying up shares of its own stock at the fastest pace since the 2007 market top. In 2013, companies in the S&P 500 stock index spent $475.6 billion on share repurchases, the most since (…)

Tech M&A on best pace since 2000

The M&A business in tech world is on pace for its best year since 2000. YOu can thank Facebook for swallowing up virtual reality firm Oculus Tuesday for $2 billion and its$19.5 billion deal for WhatsApp (…)

Stocks rally out of the gate

The open on Wall Street was positively bullish. Right after the opening bell rang, the Dow is up more than 80 points, or 0.5%, the S&P 500 is up 0.5% and the Nasdaq is up 0.7%.

Hope for more stimulus boosts Europe shares

If there’s one thing investors love, it is the prospect of more stimulus from a major central bank. Well, comments Tuesday from the European Central Bank, which is headed by Mario Draghi, hinting at (…)

Survey: 1/3 of investors still wary of stocks

NEW YORK The financial scars of the financial crisis have yet to wear off, according to a survey by Wells Fargo Private Bank that found that one-third of investors are still wary of putting money in the stock (…)

Dow jumps 100 points

The blue chip Dow is up about 100 points, or 0.6%, with about 75 minutes to go in Tuesday’s trading session, outpacing the S&P 500, which is up 0.4% and the Nasdaq composite, up just 0.2%. (…)

401(k) investors turn “passive”

The king of index funds says 401(k) investors have doubled their use of index funds since 2004. In a study released Tuesday, Vanguard said low-cost index funds, which replicate broad baskets of stocks such as (…)

Brokers’ fee gimmick can really rob you

Q: Is my broker tricking me by selling investments with high fees? A: Brokers face endless temptations. And pushing their clients into investments with high fees are one of them. Investors often seek (…)

Investors gear up for Candy Crush

King Digital Entertainment, the company behind the Candy Crush mobile game, is expected to set the price on its shares late Tuesday. The initial public offering, one of the biggest tests yet of (…)

Can S&P 500 break out of ‘rut’?

It’s been a go-nowhere-fast stock market this year. “The S&P 500 is stuck in a tactical rut,” Stephen Suttmeier, technical market strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Indeed, (…)

Home prices still on the rise

The foundation of the housing recovery remains intact, despite rising interest rates and the worst winter weather in recent memory. U.S. single-family home prices continued to rise in January. The (…)

Bounceback Tuesday for stocks

It looks like bounce back Tuesday on Wall Street. Investors will be watching to see if the high-flying Nasdaq stocks in the biotech and social media space rebound Tuesday after crashing to earth the past (…)

Sick biotechs infect Nasdaq

Blame the pain the Nasdaq composite suffered Monday on sick and sinking biotech shares. Biotech, the high-flying sector that came back to earth on Friday when the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology exchange (…)

Did Wall Street read Yellen comments wrong?

Rep. Vance McAllister Video-Taped Kiss — Just An Affectionate, Tongue-In-Her-Cheek Moment!

By Silvia Parthlemon –I was shocked and amused to discover “family values” man, Vance McCallister’s memorable little indiscretion the other day.  Now I am kind of a “consenting adults” person, when it come to what we all do with the various interesting ( or not so interesting)  parts of our anatomy.  And God did give us all of those — so if he didn’t want us sharing ours with yours — or showing you ours as an enticement to get you to show us yours — then why did HE/SHE give us those interesting parts, anyway?

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My only advice for Rep. McAllister is, if you’re running for office and representing yourself as a “family values” kind of guy — and you preach “traditional marriage” to the exclusion of anything considered not traditional —  then please try not to do “non-traditional marriage” things in your personal or public life. And even if you aren’t married — try not to do it with a staffer in a subordinate position to you — who is “traditionally” married.   And if you must do it, don’t video tape yourself doing it.   And try and not vide0 tape yourself and your other “traditionally married”, subordinate staffer doing it for 29 minutes and 37 seconds.  And if you plan to insist that it was just a friendly, end of day, thank you for your good work – peck of affection — try and not do it so “tongue-in-her-cheek” ferociously that it looks like you are trying to lick the inside her mouth clean of all its DNA.  And then don’t collapse exhaustively into her office chair and spend 30 minutes or so pulling yourself together before you pick yourself up and saunter out the office on your way home to dinner at your traditional marriage house, with your traditional family partner, in your traditional family home where you live with your traditional marriage wife and your traditional marriage children — you great good traditional marriage champion – you!

Anthony Weiner Says Whether Or Not He Has Stopped “Sexting” Now, is, well — “it’s none of your business”!

By Frank Byronn Glenn I was a fan of Anthony Weiner’s when he was in Congress.  He was on the cable news shows frequently,  calling crap on Republican corporatism and hypocrisy, and I thought his political star was on the rise.  I even said more than once that I thought he should run for President.   I was surprised — and a little saddened when I learned he was out there trolling for connections with what seemed to be almost anybody and everybody.  I felt sorry for him and his personal short-comings and the obvious things that were missing in his life to make him want to do that — or to be unble to stop himself from doing that.  I thought for a long time that Weiner married his wife, an inseparable aid to Hilary Clinton, as a favor to the Clinton’s to deflect the heat and speculation as to why Udda was Hilary’s almost constant companion, no  matter what she was doing, where she was doing it, and in what part of the world.  Now that is really incomparable assistant stuff, for my money.

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I wasn’t surprised when his wife did not divorce him, because marriages for poliltical effect or convenience do not often carry the same emotional charge that traditional marriages — presumably for love — seem to carry,  when infidelity or inappropriate and questionable behavior surface in the public arena.

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I still like Anthony Weiner.  I do not delude myself that he will be President some day now — or even a politician of consequence going forward.  But he’s comparatively young, the American (and more importantly, the New York voters in his district) democratic constituency is fairly forgiving, — so anything is possible.  But the most important thing is that Weiner himself has to want to be in public life sufficiently badly enough that he would put that  ambition ahead of his proclivity to take pictures of his private part areas and ask the teaming internet multitudes to gaze admiringly upon them.  Something a little too stove up  and too weirdly exhibitionist about that for even a politician to come out looking okay.after that — or in continuing that.

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If it were me, and I had not further political ambitions — and my wife seemed to not mind or to be mostly indifferent — I would probably say my “sexting” is between me and my fans — or me and my twitter followers — and the rest of you be damned.  The salient question, however, remains.  Anthony, my boy — w hat are you doing — and why?  And for whom — if anybody beside yourself — and just exactly what need are you trying to satisfy such that you feel compelled to do that stuff?  And that’s a question Mr. Weiner need only ask himself now — if he even cares.  You’re a grown up now, Anthony.  And you might have to start acting like it.  You might have to keep your knickers on.

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The former congressman / New York City mayoral candidate no longer wants to go down what he calls the “rabbit hole” about his personal life, and he declined to answer the sexting question posed by Jorge Ramos during a recent Fusion TV interview.

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“I’m a private citizen now,”  Weiner remarked.   “I frankly recognize that I have a political background that has a biography that’s attached to it that I live with … I think if anything at this point of my career, I’ve earned the right to say, ‘it’s none of your business.’” Weiner is not active in politics at the current time. He works writing a political column for Business Insider.

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Weiner famously sent provocative pictures of himself to women via Twitter, which caused him to resign from Congress in 2011. Two years later, he launched a comeback and was moving up in public opinion polls for the Democratic nomination for New York City mayor — until he admitted he continued sexting even after he stepped down from the U.S. House.

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In the Fusion TV interview, Weiner was also asked to comment about Rep. Vance McAllister, the Louisiana congressman exposed on videotape kissing a female aide.

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While he said he didn’t want to judge McAllister — who has resisted calls from top Republicans to resign — Weiner noted that “hypocrisy is a pretty high order of crime.”

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“I’m not really a great person to judge other people’s things since I’ve had embarrassing things in my background,” Weiner said.  Well said, Anthony.  You could at least grade him,  though, couldn’t you?   If politicians are out there trying to ruin their political careers, Weiner  seems eminently qualified to hazard a guess as to whether or not a contemporary political peccadillo should be able to get the job done.  He’s got a track record on that one!

Crooked Cattleman Cliven Bundy Poses As A Political Activist — So He Can Steal From The Rest Of Us!

By Bifford Caulfield You can hardly blame Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy for fighting as hard as he can to escape paying the grazing fees and fines for using public lands illegally for twenty years or so.  Its a little like a bank robber caught red-handed robbing a bank (on camera) protesting the mean old fascist laws passed by a money-grabbing Congress just to curry favor with fat cat bankers who donate money to politicians.  Yes, some banks are too big to fail and should be broken up.  Banks are predator and take unnecessary risks in the pursuit of out-sized financial gain, which when they go bad threaten not only the perpetrator bank but the entire financial system — then cry for the government to save them or the whole world will collapse.  But if you don’t like things banks do, or want them regulated more tightly — or want them more loosely regulated — the way to make you point is not to go out in broad daylight and rob a bank.  That’s just no logical.

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Bundy has grazed his cattle for free for decades, and now he protests that the over-reaching government is preying upon poor little ol’ him and his poor little ol’ hungry cows.  Bullshit.  Bundy is the worse of his kind.  As his way of protesting the government, he robs from all of us, and then claims he doesn’t belief in government, so he should be left to do whatever he pleases.  Maybe I don’t believe in banks either — so should I be allowed to rob them for twenty years with impunity — then when I am caught and arrested, claim I am not guilty because I don’t even believe of banks –and anyway that banks shouldn’t even exist — therefore, I am certainly not guilty of robbing one, am I? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Of course it makes no sense.  And neither does Bundy.  And we do have some business advice for Cliven Bundy, also.  If your goal is to raise cattle, yet keep the cost of feed low enough that you are guaranteed to make a nice fat profit when you sell the cattle — we suggest that you are going about it all wrong.  Instead of sneaking around grazing your cattle illegally on public lands without paying the grazing fees like all the other ranchers do — just skip the grazing stage.  Just let some other poor dumb bastard of a rancher feed the cattle until they’re nice and fat and ready for market — and then rustle his cattle and sell them.  That way you have zero cost for feeding the cattle  — and no run ins with the BLM.  Of course, cattle rustling is a crime — but then so is grazing illegally on public lands — so it’s a wash there!  It’s just a little more efficient — and therefore a little more profitable — and everything else is pretty much that same — just a little less up front hassle!  So come on Cliven — lean into it a little!  Put your back into it!

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According to the right wing media, paying the obvious penalty for openly refusing to obey the law for decades suddenly translates into victimhood for rancher Cliven Bundy and “harassment” by the government, as conserving hero and a massive Fox News flip-flop has taken place. The facts of the Bundy case are not in dispute. Since 1993, Bundy has refused to pay grazing fees for his use of 600,000 acres of public land. Bundy does not recognize the unambiguous authority of the federal government to administer the lands. In July 2013, a federal court ordered the defiant rancher to remove his cattle from the land or they would be confiscated to pay off the $1 million in fees and trespassing fines Bundy owes. He disobeyed, and confiscation of the cows began last week, before being halted because of the Bureau of Land Management’s “serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public.” Even Fox’s Megyn Kelly conceded that legally, Bundy “doesn’t have a leg to stand on.” Nonetheless, the stampede of support for lawbreaker Bundy has been nearly all encompassing on the right. National Review Online’s Kevin Williamson called the presence of armed agents “inflammatory” and condemned the government’s actions as a “siege,” while The Drudge Report recklessly hyped the growing fear of a violent standoff between anti-government militia members and federal forces. On Fox, Sean Heannity has served as ringmaster for the insurrectionist circus that unfolded in Nevada and Hannity has clearly singled out law enforcement as the enemy. “Not once did Hannity mention concern for the well-being of law enforcement officials,” noted the Fox-watching site NewsHounds. “Not once did Hannity discuss the federal government without demonizing them and suggesting that they were behaving in a criminal, fascist manner that deserved to be fought.” Yet that’s the same Hannity who’s been part of the right-wing campaign to denounce Obama for being outside the law; for his alleged “pattern of lawlessness.” “Obama’s Politicized, Lawless Executive Branch,” was the headline to David Limbaugh’s TownHall.com column just last week. “Obama Adds Irrationality To Lawlessness — While Threatening Prosecution,” came from National Review Online’s Andrew McCarthy this winter. (“It is wearying to catalogue President Obama’s lawlessness,” he complained.) And from Rush Limbaugh in February [emphasis added]:

What do we do to stop somebody as lawless, some president as lawless this?  What do we do?  Nobody knows.  Nobody knows what to do.  Nobody knows how to stop him giving away money.  Nobody knows how to beat him giving away money.  Nobody knows how to deal with a guy who makes up the law every day as he gets up. We’ve never confronted this before.  We’ve never had a president who is so lawless. We’ve never had a president who is so unconcerned with the Constitution.

That central attack theme has been repeated hundreds (thousands?) of times across the right-wing media since Obama was first sworn in and has come to define the conservative opposition to Obama: The current President of the United States, who happens to be an attorney and a former law school professor, shows no obedience to American laws or its courts, which is why Fox News, for instance, has repeatedly wondered if Obama should be impeached for his alleged lawbreaking. Someone so arrogantly lawless that he pays no mind to U.S. jurisprudence? Kind of like a Nevada rancher who’s been in open defiance for more than 20 years and views himself as being immune to federal law? How can you tell the embrace of Bundy and his lawbreaking crusade is so obviously driven by partisan politics? Just recall the Occupy Wall Street movement and how conservative pundits uniformly howled their indignation. Why? Because left-leaning activists were breaking the law. At National Review, editor Rich Lowry warned, “It’s become clear during the past few weeks that there is a lawlessness at the heart of Occupy Wall Street.” Lowry was amazed at how activists refused to obey orders from police:

When asked to do something by an officer of the law, the instinct of most people is to comply, especially if they are violating a rule. The instinct of many of the Occupy protesters is to resist, then inflate their arrests or clashes with the police into a monumental struggle with the forces of oppression.

Keep in mind Lowy’s claim that “most people” comply with officers of the law while watching this clip from a Nevada confrontation over the weekend, dubbed a “Ranch Riot” by a Bundy sympathizer. In it, pretesters not only fail to comply with “officers of the law,” would-be militia members rain down epithets on law enforcement officials, denouncing various officers as being a “terrorist,” “loser,” “chickenshit,” and a “fucking pussy.” (Lots of the name calling starts at the 5:00 mark.) It’s safe to say Sean Hannity would have started hyperventilating on-air if he ever got his hands on a profanity-laced, anti-police Occupy Wall Street clip like the one that came in from Nevada. (Anarchists!) But suddenly at Fox, anti-government loudmouths who condemn law enforcement officials as chickenshits are the ones being cheered and depicted as freedom fighters. So much for law-and-order at Fox News.

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Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity
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