Fri 3.9

Florida governor signs gun law in defiance of NRA
NY Times
Friday, Gov. Rick Scott broke with the National Rifle Association and signed into law requirements to raise the minimum age and waiting period to purchase a gun. It was the most aggressive action on gun control taken in the state in many years, following the shooting of 17 students and staff last month at a high school.
The sweeping and bipartisan $400 million Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act imposes new restrictions on firearm purchases and the possession of “bump stocks,” funds school police officers and mental health services, broadens law enforcement’s power to seize weapons, and allows certain staff to carry guns in schools.

Florida lawmakers say yes to permanent Daylight Saving time, but…
Governor and Congress not yet on board.

Voter surpression
Kansas count finds 5 “illegals” who tried to vote
Out of 1.3 million ballots cast
Topeka Capital Journal

Oklahoma teachers seek $10,000 raise, more $$$ for education
ABC Tulsa

California destroys dams in hopes of saving salmon
A $100 million project removing dams and helping fish route around others is returning a badly endangered salmon to spring-fed waters in northernmost California, giving cold-loving native fish a life-saving place to chill as scientists say climate change, drought and human diversions warm the waters.

John Rueth, assistant hatchery manager of the Livingston Stone Hatchery for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife at Shasta Dam, holds a winter run chinook salmon for measuring and tagging, which was later transferred to a holding tank where it will be artificially spawned, Wednesday, March 13, 2002. Chris Crewell Sacramento Bee file

And people, not bots, are spreading it
Fake news typical audience 100 times bigger than for genuine news
Truthful stories rarely spread to more than 1,000 people, while clicky false stories can reach up to 100,000 people, MIT researchers found. “Falsehoods were 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than the truth,” the researchers wrote, in a paper to be published in the journal Science.
Researcher Joan Donovan was not surprised that humans are the primary culprits when it comes to spreading rumor and falsehoods. “When people share things they suspect are false, they don’t do it necessarily because the information is true or false,” she said, but “because it says something about their participating in the political discussion.”

Mississippi passes nation’s most restrictive abortion law
Mississippi has passed an abortion bill believed to be the nation’s most restrictive—and state Attorney General Jim Hood says he expects an “immediate and expensive legal challenge.” House Bill 1510 bans abortion after 15 weeks following a woman’s last menstrual period, down from 20 weeks under the previous law.

Texas “blue wave” looking more like a ripple
Christian Science Monitor
“Republicans have not lost a statewide race in Texas since 1994,” says Professor Cal Jillson. That kind of dominance means “voters are used to supporting your candidates, you’ve got a fully blown-out campaign organization, and you’ve got deep fundraising experience – and the other side has none of that.”

Burger-flipping robot suspended for being too slow
USA Today
Patrons at Caliburger looking to see Flippy were greeted by a sign thanking them for visiting, and advising them that Flippy would be “cooking soon.” A date on the sign is listed as just “TBA.”

The three US cities that would be first to run out of water
It sounds like a Mad Max movie, but the Cape Town water shortage is quite real and could be closer to reality for the rest of us than we would like. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that by 2025, two-thirds of the world population could be struggling with water shortage. And right here in the U.S., cities across the country are watching their water reserves dwindle.

Rhode Island “crusader” would block computer porn–
unless users pay $20 fee
Our political system encourages “so-called lawmakers”  to score political points by proposing bills that have no chance at surviving a court challenge. This is one of them. By the way, the dude behind this law is an admitted porn addict who can’t decide how to spell his name…

We’ve heard this before but …
MIT scientists see nuclear fusion in 15 years.
The Guardian
The collaboration between scientists at MIT and a private company, will take a radically different approach to other efforts to transform fusion from an expensive science experiment into a viable commercial energy source. The team intend to use a new class of high-temperature superconductors they predict will allow them to create the world’s first fusion reactor that produces more energy than it uses.

Feds pushing ferry service that would boost Kushner resort
— LONG BRANCH, New Jersey — The federal government has been advising a beach town on the Jersey Shore on plans to build a pier and start a ferry service that would speed New Yorkers to the doorstep of a resort co-owned by Jared Kushner.
— Kushner’s resort sits right next to the proposed pier, which places the federal government in the awkward position of helping steer a project that would benefit President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Once the project is complete, a former city official said, it would boost property values at the Kushner resort, which is currently selling 269 condos for as much as $1.9 million each.

Trump supposedly will meet Kim. We’ll see.
His other big promises?
> Mexico paying for Wall? Nope.
>Kill Obamacare on Day One? Nope.
> Total and complete ban on Muslim immigration? Nope.
> Preserve Medicaid, Social Security? They’re seeking cuts now.
> Invest $550 billion in infrastructure? Nope.

The risks of Trump’s meeting with Kim
The Weekly Standard
Opinion by Steven F. Hayes
— The nuclear program is the core of the North Korean regime, at the center of the regime’s identity. The leadership believes, correctly, that the nuclear program explains why the United States and other global heavyweights have been willing to negotiate and offer goodies for some three decades. The bad behavior of the regime—development, testing, proliferating—has been consistently rewarded by the US and its allies because of the progress toward nuclearization.
— Kim almost certainly believes that he’ll be able to extract concessions from Trump in a face-to-face meeting, perhaps even get Trump to agree to things he’s on record opposing. And he’s not crazy for believing this. You may recall two high-profile meetings between President Trump and members of Congress about immigration and guns, where the president found himself agreeing to all sorts of positions floated by his opponents.


Thur 3.8

500 Canadian doctors protest: pay raise is too much!
> In Canada, more than 500 doctors and residents, as well as over 150 medical students, have signed a public letter protesting their own pay raises.
> “We, Quebec doctors who believe in a strong public system, oppose the recent salary increases negotiated by our medical federations,” the letter says.
> The group say they are offended that they would receive raises when nurses and patients are struggling.
> “These increases are all the more shocking because our nurses, clerks and other professionals face very difficult working conditions, while our patients live with the lack of access to required services because of the drastic cuts in recent years and the centralization of power in the Ministry of Health.”

Hundreds of religious leaders ask Trump admin
to stop expansion of offshore drilling
The Hill
> In a letter sent to Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Thursday, the religious leaders said the drilling plan should be reconsidered as it brings “unacceptable risks to God’s oceans and coastal communities.”
> The group of religious leaders, mainly of individual churches representing Catholic, Jewish and evangelical faiths among others, warned that no drilling company could guarantee the safety of ecosystems and the environment.

Trump to Stormy: Shut the fuck up
NY Times
> President Trump’s lawyer secretly obtained a temporary restraining order last week to prevent a pornographic film star from speaking out about her alleged affair with Mr. Trump, according to legal documents and interviews.
> The order, issued by an arbitrator in California and reviewed by The New York Times, pertained to the actress Stephanie Clifford, who had been paid $130,000 shortly before the 2016 election in what she calls a “hush agreement.” In recent weeks, she had prepared to speak publicly about Mr. Trump, claiming his lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, had broken the agreement.
> The details of the order emerged on Wednesday after the White House’s spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that Mr. Trump’s lawyer had won an arbitration proceeding against Ms. Clifford, who goes by the name of Stormy Daniels.

And maybe America has lost its sense of the absurd because…
“Abstinence” sex ed making gains under Trump
The Hill
Guided by Trump’s sexual morality?

Tariffs to join wall, Muslim ban in Trump’s steaming pile of bullshit
Voice of America
> Trump is expected to sign tariffs on steel and aluminum imports as early as Thursday, with some trading partners receiving temporary exemptions.
> White House officials said Mexico and Canada would get a 30-day exemption that could be extended.
>>> China vows “necessary response”
The Guardian

“When large companies can pressure politicians to force everyday Americans to fork over unearned millions, we should all question the fairness of the system.”
–Charles Koch
(Another American whose sense of irony has apparently failed. Koch recently shoveled $500,000 to Paul Ryan to grease the GOP tax cut.)

Tillerson not ready to kiss & make up with N. Korea
Vice News
Sec’y o’ State says said before there can be any negotiations about denuclearization, there need to be “talks about talks,” adding he wasn’t certain that conditions were right for negotiations about North Korea’s nuclear program.

no12-trickedDrunkest states:
N. Dakota, Wisconsin, Alaska

Tennessee, W. Virginia, Utah

USA Today
Fargo, Green Bay, Fairbanks among the most soused cities.

The “right to repair” movement comes home to California
> The right to repair battle has come to Silicon Valley’s home state: Wednesday, a state assemblymember announced that California would become the 18th state in the country to consider legislation that would make it easier to repair your electronics.
> “The Right to Repair Act will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, a practice that was taken for granted a generation ago but is now becoming increasingly rare in a world of planned obsolescence,” Susan Talamantes Eggman, a Democrat from Stockton who introduced the bill said in a statement.

Citing “security threat”, US bans gov’t workers from Playa Del Carmen
The Yucantan Times
This after a ferry explosion, and the discovery of explosives attached to another vessel. Motives and suspects unknown. US Consular Agency shut down.

The poisoning of Russian spy Sergei Skripal, explained
Reuters/Moscow Times

Sinclair TV group urges anchors to read “fake news” proclamations on air
Raw Story

How biased is your news source? This chart might give you a clue.
Market Watch

Wed 3.7

US focuses on painkiller pills, 
but real killers are heroin and fentanyl
Vice News
> Centers for Disease Control notes that the dramatic increase in overdoses is “possibly related to the wide variation in the availability and potency of illicit drug products (e.g., fentanyl sold as or mixed into heroin) that increase overdose risk and drive increases in mortality.”
> That finding is starkly at odds with how the government — including the CDC itself — has tried to combat the opioid crisis thus far, by cracking down on doctors who prescribe opioids and making it much harder for people get access to pain medications.
>>> Meanwhile, the feds can’t seem to stop China from flooding the US with fentanyl VIA THE US POSTAL SERVICE. Here’s the headline from Ars Technica:
With Google, Bitcoins, and USPS, Feds realize it’s stupid easy to buy fentanyl

Appeals Court says Texas “Shocking Judge” done the defendant wrong
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
> Judges are not allowed to shock defendants in their courtrooms just because they won’t answer questions, the appeals court said. “We do not believe that trial judges can use stun belts to enforce decorum,” an appeals judge wrote.
> During the trial of Terry Lee Morris, the device was used as punishment when he refused to answer Judge George Gallagher’s questions properly during his 2014 trial on charges of soliciting sexual performance from a 15-year-old girl.
> The conviction was set aside.

Cohn’s exit leaves economic hard liners in charge at White House
Gary Cohn was regarded as one of the few political moderates close to the president. His absence will amplify voices like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and trade adviser Peter Navarro who back the president’s impulses to buck convention and pick trade fights on a global stage.

From Bush 1 to present, our Country has lost more than 55,000 factories, 6,000,000 manufacturing jobs and accumulated Trade Deficits of more than 12 Trillion Dollars. Last year we had a Trade Deficit of almost 800 Billion Dollars. Bad Policies & Leadership. Must WIN again!
— D.J. Trump, making America great via Twitter

— Fact check: Trump’s deceptions on trade
NY Times
Is it really a surprise that the con-man who brought us Trump University has distorted and exaggerated America’s trade deficits?

After a year of Trump, trade deficits get worse, especially with China

Hapless Alabama stoner embarrasses sheriff, goes to jail —
Internet outcry sets him free

It’s all connected to the scam that allows sheriffs to pocket the money they save by feeding the prisoners crap.
qualls-sketch-2.jpg> The 20-year-old man who was arrested last month four days after published critical comments he made about Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin has been released from jail amid a public outcry over his arrest.
> Matthew Qualls accepted a plea deal last week that required him to plead guilty to first-degree marijuana possession, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records. He was initially arrested Feb. 22 on multiple charges including felony drug trafficking.

Boozy Coke coming to Japan
USA Today
Absolutely no plans to try this trick in US, company officials say. But were they sober when they said it?

Oakland sex shop owner wants to operate at San Francisco airport
SF Examiner
sex-shop.jpg> One businesswoman has her eyes on potential customers getting on and off planes at San Francisco International Airport — with an emphasis on getting off.
> Nenna Joiner wants to open up SFO’s first sex toy shop but is prevented from doing so by the terms of the airport’s small business program, which she said isn’t meeting its goal of helping truly small, local businesses.

2/3rds of Millennials have nothing, ZERO, saved for retirement

Madison, Boston top cities for attracting educated Millennials
City Lab
The list: Boston, Madison, San Jose, San Francisco, Washington DC, Hartford, NYC, Raleigh, Mpls-St.Paul, Denver.

Texas Dems make stronger showing in primary
The Hill
> Texas Democrats on Tuesday more than doubled their primary election turnout from four years ago, providing the party with a modest boost as it looks to take on the GOP in the conservative state during this year’s midterm elections.
> As of early Wednesday morning, more than 1 million Democrats cast ballots in the party’s primary election, compared to 1.5 million who voted in the Republican primary. That puts the Democratic share of votes cast at about 40 percent, a significant increase from the 2014 midterms, where Democrats made up less than 30 percent of the vote.
> More than 1.3 million voters backed Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in his Republican primary on Tuesday, while about 640,000 backed Rep. Beto O’Rourke(D). The two will square off in the November general election.

Invasive stinkbugs now in 43 states, decimating crops and infiltrating houses all across the country. Will we ever be able to get rid of them?
The New Yorker
brown-marmorated-stink-bug-from-side-whiteThe species is not native to this country, but in the years since it arrived it has spread to forty-three of the forty-eight continental United States, and—in patchwork, unpredictable, time-staggered ways—has overrun homes, gardens, and farms in one location after another. Four years before Stone’s encounter, a wildlife biologist in Maryland decided to count all the brown marmorated stinkbugs he killed in his own home; he stopped the experiment after six months and twenty-six thousand two hundred and five stinkbugs. Around the same time, entomologists documented thirty thousand stinkbugs living in a shed in Virginia no bigger than an outhouse, and four thousand in a container the size of a breadbox. In West Virginia, bank employees arrived at work one day to find an exterior wall of the building covered in an estimated million stinkbugs.

Australia on brink of eliminating cervical cancer
Why not America too? Well, prevention depends on a vaccine, and Americans, you know, aren’t so comfortable with all this sciencey kind of stuff. 

Travel trend
Skip housekeeping, save money, maybe help the environment?
NY Times
More hotels, more guests see the logic behind fewer housekeeping visits — or sometimes none at all.

Tue 3.6

Oh, that cuddly Kim family
N. Korea says would freeze nuke program if US will talk
The Guardian
> North Korea is willing to discuss relinquishing its nuclear weapons, and will freeze its nuclear and missile programmes if it begins direct talks with the US, in a dramatic easing of tensions after a visit by senior South Korean politicians.
> The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, will also meet his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, in late April in the first summit of its kind in more than a decade, Moon’s office said. The two leaders will meet at Panmunjom on the highly militarised border.
>>> Skeptical US general on N. Korea offer: “Show me.”
Washington Examiner

There goes the house, honey
Flynn selling home to cover legal bills from Mueller probe
The Hill
Sending a chill through Trumplandia. Maybe signing on with the Orange One wasn’t such a smart move? 

Speaking of Demented Donny:
“Lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY,” the president tweeted Tuesday morning. “Problem is, we don’t have Stars anymore – except your President (just kidding, of course)!”

nunberg2-sketchNunberg sobers up
The Hill
Sam Nunberg’s apparent capitulation came after he spent most of Monday declaring in a series of media interviews that he would defy the subpoena from Mueller, who is investigating Russian election interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

But wait, there’s more…
“Just spoke with Sam Nunberg. He told me he’s fully cooperating now with Mueller’s team and he’s intending to go get treatment following his grand jury appearance on Friday.”
— Charles Gasparino, Fox Business Network
So maybe this was Nunberg’s strategy: Show up drunk and crazy on TV, testify before Grand Jury, blame it all on the booze and hope to escape with stint at Hazelden?

Doctors protest Medicare change
that would allow pharmacists to deny opioid Rxs

Judge: Man’s car is his castle …
a ruling that could benefit homeless
>  A Seattle man is celebrating after a judge ruled that the truck he has been living in is his home and the city can’t sell it to pay for a hefty parking ticket and fines. The ruling could affect hundreds of homeless people living in their vehicles.
> The judge’s ruling is based on the 123-year-old Homestead Act that says the government can’t force anyone to sell their home to satisfy debts. This is apparently the first time anyone has successfully argued that a vehicle can be a home.

“Today’s storms will be tomorrow’s high tides”
 “A storm [such as we experienced] along the East Coast of the United States this weekend, that will be a high tide at some point in the future, whether that’s two or three decades or eight decades, we’ll see, but it’s coming.”
— NOAA oceanographer William Sweet

cartoon-george-bushBush the Younger:
Trump “Sorta makes me look pretty good, doesn’t he?”
National Journal via Twitter
I don’t know George. You DO remember the million who were killed and the vast fortune that was wasted in a war fought because you and your cronies twisted the facts, right? WMD and all that, right? 

Conspiracy whack-jobs arrested at church, site of mass shooting
San Antonio Express

“Your daughter never even existed. Show me her birth certificate. Show me anything to say she was here.”

> Two conspiracy theorists who have pushed the idea that the mass shooting at Sutherland Springs on Nov. 5 didn’t happen were arrested Monday at First Baptist Church, the site of the massacre, after the church’s pastor accused them of repeatedly harassing the community.
> The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office declined to provide charging information on Robert Ussery, 54, who founded conspiracy website Side Thorn, and his partner Jodi Mann, 56, who is referred to as “Conspiracy Granny” online.

Teacher unrest spreading to Oklahoma
“A walkout would be the last resort, but we want more money for education in the state, that means more money for supplies, more staff, and pay raises so teachers will stay. Teachers are leaving left and right, we’re the lowest paid in the country.”

>>> W. Virginia cheapskates cave, promise teachers their 5% raise
” WV administration is saying teacher raise money will have to come from cuts to Medicaid. This is how austerity governments throw ice water on labor organizing: they make it seem like a zero-sum game. Any gains for a particular group of workers must come at the expense of others. ”
–Meagan Day on Twitter

Oregon to deny gun ownership to abusers, stalkers 
Oregon Public Broadcasting
> A bill prohibiting domestic abusers and people under restraining orders from owning firearms became America’s first new gun control law since the Feb. 14 Florida high school massacre.

Washington first state to write its own net neutrality rules




Mon. 3.5

After a night of lunacy on national TV,
ex-Trump aide Nunberg says he’ll
cooperate with Mueller probe after all
AP via Washington Examiner

Escort claims her recordings prove Russian meddling in US elections
NY Times
> BANGKOK — A Belarusian escort with close ties to a powerful Russian oligarch said from behind bars in Bangkok on Monday that she had more than 16 hours of audio recordings that could help shed light on Russian meddling in United States elections.
> The escort, Anastasia Vashukevich, said she would hand over the recordings if the United States granted her asylum. She faces criminal charges and deportation to Belarus after coming under suspicion of working in Thailand without a visa at a sex-training seminar in the city of Pattaya.

Alexander Kirillov, left, the organizer of a sex seminar in Thailand, and Anastasia Vashukevich, center, a Belarusian escort, spoke to journalists from a detention center in Bangkok. Ms. Vashukevich claims to have recordings that prove Russian meddling in the American election.

Russian deputy proposes death penalty
for foreigners who meddle in election
Moscow Times
> “We should give 25 years [for interference in Russian elections]. Or the death penalty, because it’s a [call to] change the constitutional order,” State Duma deputy Leonid Kalashnikov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Monday.
> “That’s the worst crime that there is, other than rape and murder,” he added.

Speaking of the death penalty
Russian spy dosed with mystery substance in UK
Another victim of Vlad the Impaler?

US State Dep’t given $120M to fight Russian meddling.
It has spent $0.

NY Times

10 years after financial crisis
Senate prepares to weaken banking regulations
Congress’s appetite for pulling back bank regulations shows the renewed clout of the financial sector in Washington, not just in the GOP but also among Democrats. Eight years after nearly every Senate Democrat backed a sweeping set of new rules for financial firms large and small, the party is now split, with moderates, several of them facing tough midterm election contests, working with the opposing party.

Trump: Maybe no tariffs if NAFTA deal re-brokered
Not worth reading the details. He makes it up as he goes along, obviously, and Sarah Sanders will “explain” what he meant in a few hours.

>>> Bootlicker Ryan begs Trump to ditch tariff plan
The Hill
>>> Trump: ‘We’re not backing down.’

Making $85,000 in San Francisco?
You may end up living in a “dorm”
NY Times
> In search of reasonable rent, the middle-class backbone of San Francisco — maitre d’s, teachers, bookstore managers, lounge musicians, copywriters and merchandise planners — are engaging in an unusual experiment in communal living: They are moving into dorms.
> Shared bathrooms at the end of the hall and having no individual kitchen or living room is becoming less weird for some of the city’s workers thanks to Starcity, a new development company that is expressly creating dorms for many of the non-tech population.
> Starcity has already opened three properties with 36 units. It has nine more in development and a wait list of 8,000 people.

For $2,200 a month, Carla Shiver rents a Starcity room with a queen-size bed, a bedside table and a chair. Shiver, 38, moved to SF from Georgia after a divorce.

Facebook asks: Is it okay if we become a pedo platform?
Vice News
Facebook admitted Monday that asking users whether the platform should allow pedophiles to proposition 14-year-old girls for sexually explicit images was “a mistake.”
> The social network published the UK survey Sunday, posing two questions about underage teens being groomed by older men, part of the organization’s ongoing attempts to improve its battered reputation.

How to pretend you’ve seen all the Oscar films
Pithy and witty throwaway lines to make you seem like a culture vulture, even if you’ve decided attending the movies isn’t worth $12 per screening.

Italian votes signal warnings for EU
The Guardian
> Unlike British voters, Italians would not support an exit from Europe or a referendum on leaving the eurozone, but their backing of populist parties who have previously been open to a referendum on the euro – which would legally be exceedingly difficult to do – was an important barometer of the mood of the country.
> The vote on Sunday also appeared to mark the political ascendency of two relatively new political parties that had until recently been considered fringe: the anti-establishment Five Star Movement(M5S), which early results showed had 31% of the vote, and the anti-migrant and Eurosceptic League, formerly known as the Northern League, which performed far better than expected.

319 NYPD employees skated after bad conduct
> Many of the officers lied, cheated, stole, or assaulted New York City residents. At least fifty employees lied on official reports, under oath, or during an internal affairs investigation. Thirty-eight were found guilty by a police tribunal of excessive force, getting into a fight, or firing their gun unnecessarily. Fifty-seven were guilty of driving under the influence. Seventy-one were guilty of ticket-fixing. One officer, Jarrett Dill, threatened to kill someone. Another, Roberson Tunis, sexually harassed and inappropriately touched a fellow officer. Some were guilty of lesser offenses, like mouthing off to a supervisor.

Weekend 3.3 & 3.4

Will be updated all weekend

> EU to tax Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, at 2% to 6%
> W. Virginia teachers stay out as lawmakers welsh on raise
> Trump slams “very stupid” trade deals, threatens EU with auto tax
> Sweden’s Electrolux reacts to tariff, drops plans for US plant
> China’s condoms are ‘too small’, says Zimbabwe’s health minister

“(China’s Xi is) now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”
Donald J. Trump, chief lunatic, United States of America
(via CNN)

Food stall charges $12 for lunch,
unless you’re white,
then how about $30

tunfr-wey.jpg>Chef Tunde Way opened his pop-up stall in the city’s Roux Carre venue in early February. The listed price for the Nigerian food is $12. But when white people walk up to order, they are asked if they want to pay $30. Why? “It’s two-and-a half times more than the $12 meal, which reflects the income disparity” between whites and African-Americans in New Orleans, says Wey.
> The difference between the $12 and $30 meals, customers are informed, will be redistributed to minorities who buy food at the stall. How do white customers react to the proposition?
> “Some of them are enthusiastic, some of them are bamboozled a bit by it,” Wey says. “But the majority of white folks, nearly 80 percent, decided to pay.”
> “That was definitely higher than we expected,” says Anjali Prasertong, a graduate student in public health at Tulane University who helped Wey design the experiment and collect data.

Publishers go berserk chasing Hicks tell-all
The Daily Mail
Problems with this story?
hicks-sketch1) The Daily Mail, historically, has little integrity.
2) The story relies on a heap of anonymous sources.
3) Even if it’s true, the legal implications would be hair-raising, and anything actually published would be ground into oatmeal by Hicks’ lawyers — and the publishers.
4) That supposed $10M payday? Reduced to $7.5M after agent & manager fees… $4.5M after atty fees… $2.2M after taxes. How long before we see Hicks’ GoFundMe page?

Pervy Roy Moore begs American whack-jobs to give him $250,000.
The Hill
… to fight lawsuit filed by woman who says she was his victim … 
“Gays, lesbians, and transgenders have joined forces with those who believe in abortion, sodomy, and destruction of all that we hold dear. Unless we stand together we will lose our Country.”

Roy Moore, riding high during his campaign.

China warns of “huge impact” of US tariffs
Voice of America
“If the final measures of the United States hurt Chinese interests, China will work with other affected countries in taking measures to safeguard its own rights and interests.”
>>> Euros eye Levis, Harleys as trade targets
> Hours after Trump tweeted that “trade wars are good, and easy to win,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the bloc is prepared to respond forcefully by targeting imports of Harley-Davidson Inc. motorbikes, Levi Strauss & Co. jeans and bourbon whiskey from the U.S.
> Juncker’s threat heightened the prospects of a global free-for-all, as the World Trade Organization said the potential of escalating tensions “is real” and the International Monetary Fund warned the restrictions would likely damage the U.S. and global economy.
>>> A simple, clear explainer on the tariff — 
AP via Kentucky Today

Sonic offers the beef-mushroom alt-burger
burger-sketch> Come Monday, though, two new items on Sonic’s menu will make that leap. They’re blended beef-mushroom burgers, a food that the institute has boosted through its “menus of change” initiative. According to the institute, this is the kind of menu change that’s “a powerful, and previously underappreciated, way to drive improvements in our health and our planet.”
> The idea is that mixing chopped mushrooms into our burgers boosts the umami taste, adds more moisture and reduces the amount of beef required for a burger. And reducing the need for beef has a big impact on the environment. According to the World Resources Institute, if 30 percent of the beef in every burger in America were replaced by mushrooms, it would reduce greenhouse emissions by the same amount as taking 2.3 million vehicles off of our roads.

As surgery centers expand, some patients are paying with their lives
> The surgery went fine. Her doctors left for the day. Four hours later, Paulina Tam started gasping for air.
> Internal bleeding was cutting off her windpipe, a well-known complication of the spine surgery she had undergone.
> But a Medicare inspection report describing the event says that nobody who remained on duty that evening at the Northern California surgery center knew what to do.
> In desperation, a nurse did something that would not happen in a hospital.
> She dialed 911.
> By the time an ambulance delivered Tam to the emergency room, the 58-year-old mother of three was lifeless, according to the report.
> If Tam had been operated on at a hospital, a few simple steps could have saved her life.
> But like hundreds of thousands of other patients each year, Tam went to one of the nation’s 5,600-plus surgery centers.

Scott and Sandy Van Veldhuizen’s 12-year-old son died following complications during a tonsillectomy in 2016.

In Kentucky, mystery lobbyists sandbag bill to prohibit child brides 
USA Today
> Research shows Kentucky has the third-highest rate of child marriages in the nation, according to the women’s justice center.
> Texas is first and Florida is second in child marriages, said Jeanne L. Smoot, a lawyer with the center. However, Texas has since changed its law to limit marriages to adults and Florida is considering a similar change, she said.

Fri 3.2

MIT study
Uber, Lyft drivers median hourly wage: $3.37
The Guardian
> Uber and Lyft drivers in the US make a median profit of $3.37 per hour before taxes, according to a new report that suggests a majority of ride-share workers make below minimum wage and that many actually lose money.
> Researchers did an analysis of vehicle cost data and a survey of more than 1,100 drivers for the ride-hailing companies for the paper published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research. The report – which factored in insurance, maintenance, repairs, fuel and other costs – found that 30% of drivers are losing money on the job and that 74% earn less than the minimum wage in their states.

“This business model is not currently sustainable,” said Stephen Zoepf, executive director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University and co-author of the paper. “The companies are losing money. The businesses are being subsidized by [venture capital] money … And the drivers are essentially subsidizing it by working for very low wages.”

Guess who’s not coming to America? International students
International students are America’s “golden goose.” They provide billions of dollars to the U.S. economy every year, subsidize the education of U.S. students and are a key source of talent that  help make American tech companies the envy of the world. So why is the Trump administration trying to drive away international students? More important, is the administration succeeding? New data suggest the answer may be “yes.”

Crappy 848-square foot house sells for $2 million in Silicon Valley
Mercury News
Yep, it’s a “tear-down.” And no extra charge for the garden hose.

Iowa must defend law that gags meat industry foes
Courthouse News Service

Easiest places to buy a gun: US, Yemen
Many more steps required in China, Britain, India, Israel, Canada etc.

Two fatally shot at Central Michigan U

Georgia lawmakers slap Delta over NRA thingy
… Revoking tax breaks they should never have given in the first place.

NPR: Russian documented efforts to influence NRA
> Russian politician Alexander Torshin claimed his ties to the National Rifle Association provided him access to Donald Trump — and the opportunity to serve as a foreign election observer in the United States during the 2012 election.
> These revelations come amid news that the FBI is investigating whether Torshin, the deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to assist the Trump campaign in 2016.

You could call it remorse
or you could call it … 

Company that made gun used to kill Florida students “shares nation’s grief”
And by the way, “We will operate our business under the assumption that the next 12 to 18 months could deliver flattish revenues.”

Any teenager could have produced this GIF
Graphic of Putin’s “new” nuclear weapons at least a decade old
Moscow Times
Some news outlets immediately pointed out that the footage displayed on the giant screen in Putin’s address was taken from a documentary titled “Satan” that was broadcast in 2007 on Russia’s state-run Channel One television channel.
>>> “Goodbye America” … Russians suggest names for Putin’s nuclear weapons


Trump: ‘Trade wars are good, and easy to win’
“Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!”
>>> Are Trump’s tariffs a “middle finger” to his aides?
Raw Story
“Tired of the restraints, tired of his staff, Trump is reveling in ticking off just about every person who serves him.”
>>> Wall Street Journal scolds Trump over tariffs
“Apparently Mr. Trump can’t stand all this winning.”

Euros warn that tariff could “blow up” World Trade Organization
The Hill
> A European trade group warned on Friday that President Trump’s plan to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could “blow up” the World Trade Organization.
> “This whole issue can blow up the WTO,” Axel Eggert, the head of the European Steel Association, told Bloomberg in an interview. “This is not about national security. This is about propping up a U.S. industry that isn’t viable.”

Who didn’t see this one coming?
NRA hints of Trump retreat from gun control
NY Times
WASHINGTON — The top lobbyist for the National Rifle Association claimed late Thursday that President Trump had retreated from his surprising support a day earlier for gun control measures after a meeting with N.R.A. officials and Vice President Mike Pence in the Oval Office.
> The lobbyist, Chris Cox, posted on Twitter just after 9 p.m. that he met with Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence, saying that “we all want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep guns away from dangerous people. POTUS & VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don’t want gun control. #NRA #MAGA.”

If so, she could be totally screwed
Trump may have talked Russia with Hicks
The problem is especially acute for Hope Hicks and other aides subjected to Trump’s venting, given special counsel Robert Mueller’s known interest in whether Trump has sought to obstruct justice from within the White House.
Hicks’ exit from the White House in the coming weeks will hardly immunize her from legal headaches. But it will spare her from “learning more things on the inside that could potentially lead to a second or third visit to the special counsel’s office and higher legal bills,” as one former Trump aide put it.

Such a good Christian
Pence loses legal battle to keep Syrian refugees out of Indiana
Vice News