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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 88,979

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

The Legal Odds Are Shifting in the A.I.G. Case

WASHINGTON — When David Boies delivers his closing arguments on Wednesday in a case that pits Maurice Greenberg against the federal government over the 2008 bailout of American International Group, he will have already achieved something that few had thought possible: a chance to win.

In 2011, when Mr. Greenberg filed his lawsuit, arguing that the government lifeline, which ultimately totaled $182 billion, had shortchanged A.I.G. shareholders, the case seemed unpromising at best. “Chutzpah,” several lawmakers had called it. Government lawyers described Mr. Greenberg as an “ingrate.”

Carl Tobias, a law professor and litigation expert at the University of Richmond, said the A.I.G. case had been widely seen as one that “really bordered on frivolous.” Referring to Mr. Boies, he said, “People couldn’t imagine how he could put together a legal theory that would really work.”

But as the trial unfolded in the fall in the United States Court of Federal Claims, Mr. Tobias said, the consensus among legal experts began to shift.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/22/business/dealbook/the-legal-odds-are-shifting-in-the-aig-case.html

Yevgeny Plushenko to return to figure skating competition

Two-time Olympic champion Yevgeny Plushenko will return to figure skating competition with an eye on a fifth Olympics in 2018, according to Russian reports.

Here are Russian reports by agency TASS and R-Sport, quoting Plushenko saying he will return to training Monday.

Plushenko, 32, won Olympic silver in 2002, gold in 2006, silver in 2010 and team event gold in 2014, his last competition. He would return to a men’s scene led by Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan and World champion Javier Fernandez of Spain.

Plushenko had March 2014 back surgery, returned to training in May and performed in ice shows starting last summer.

Read more: http://olympictalk.nbcsports.com/2015/04/17/evgeni-plushenko-comeback-figure-skating-winter-olympics-russia/

Milledgeville Pharmacist Refuses to Fill Prescription for Miscarriage Patient

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.-- Brittany Cartrett recently learned some bad news from her doctor about her pregnancy. She miscarried around five or six weeks along.

"So we made the decision to not do a D&C and to get a medicine. So he said I'm going to give you this medicine, you'll take it, and it will help you to pass naturally so that you don't have to go the more invasive route", said Brittany Cartrett.

The doctor's office called the Milledgeville Walmart to fill the prescription but they were told no and they were not given a reason.

"So we found another place to fill it but I still had to go up there to get another prescription so when I went up there she asked if I had any questions about this prescription I said no I don't but I do have a question about the other one. And she looks at my name and she says oh, well...I couldn't think of a valid reason why you would need this prescription", Cartrett said.

The drug in question is Misoprostol, which can also used to induce abortions.

Read more: http://www.wgxa.tv/news/local/Milledgeville-Pharmacist-Refuses-to-Fill-Prescription-for-Miscarriage-Patient-299421801.html

Greece Endgame Nears

By Yves Smith

Despite the market jitters of last Friday, which were triggered in part by the recognition that the odds of Greece reaching a deal with its creditors are far lower than had been widely assumed, Greek-related coverage has ratcheted down, even as Greece seems certain not to get any funds released in the April 24 Eurogroup meeting and is very likely to miss the end of April deadline for getting its reforms approved by the Troika and Eurogroup. Per a Bloomberg story yesterday (hat tip George P):

Greece and its creditors remained at loggerheads with time running out to unlock aid and avert a default.

The sides haven’t even set 2015 budget targets, let alone on policies to meet them, an official representing creditors said Monday, asking not to be named as talks aren’t public. Euro-area finance ministers said in February that a list of measures must be agreed upon by the end of April.

In keeping, Mohamed El-Erian said yesterday in a Bloomberg column yesterday pegged the odds of a “Grexident” at 45% (although El-Erian also conflated a default with a Greek exit, when we have pointed out the first does not necessarily mean the latter; given that the Greek government wants to remain in the Eurozone, it would be the ECB that would be the one to force a de facto Grexit by cutting off its bank system life support, the ELA). Greece’s lenders seem willing to continue pushing Greece into submission negotiating past the old drop-dead date.

But the official enforcers have gotten even firmer in their position: Greece must do its homework, as in prepare detailed reforms, and has to hew closely to the existing structural reforms. Christine Lagarde of the IMF last week increased the pressure by saying it would not give Greece a grace period on its payments coming due, as some had hoped.

Never mind that Greece has actually done more in the way of complying than any other European victim and has also shown the worst economic results. Various European officials have stated that they’d rather not have Greece default but they are not prepared to cut Greece any favors in order to avert that outcome. Making sure Greece complies, in other words, is worth the cost of what they believe will be short-term disruption. And they clearly don’t care one iota as far as the cost in Greek lives is concerned.

Read more: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/04/greece-endgame-nears.html

Who Is Saudi Arabia Really Targeting In Its Price War?

Saudi Arabia is not trying to crush U.S. shale plays. Its oil-price war is with the investment banks and the stupid money they directed to fund the plays. It is also with the zero-interest rate economic conditions that made this possible.

Saudi Arabia intends to keep oil prices low for as long as possible. Its oil production increased to 10.3 million barrels per day in March 2015. That is 700,000 barrels per day more than in December 2014 and the highest level since the Joint Organizations Data Initiative began compiling production data in 2002 (Figure 1 below). And Saudi Arabia’s rig count has never been higher.

Figure 1. Saudi Arabian crude oil production and Brent crude oil price in 2015 U.S. dollars. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, EIA and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc

Market share is an important part of the motive but Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali al-Naimi recently emphasized that “The challenge is to restore the supply-demand balance and reach price stability.” Saudi Arabia’s need for market share and long-term demand is best met with a growing global economy and lower oil prices.

That means ending the over-production from tight oil and other expensive plays (oil sands and ultra-deep water) and reviving global demand by keeping oil prices low for some extended period of time. Demand has been weak since the run-up in debt and oil prices that culminated in the Financial Collapse of 2008 (Figure 2 below).

Figure 2. World liquids demand (consumption) as a percent of supply (production) and WTI crude oil price adjusted using the consumer price index (CPI) to real February 2015 U.S. dollars, 2003-2015. Source: EIA, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.

Read more: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Who-Is-Saudi-Arabia-Really-Targeting-In-Its-Price-War.html

Legal case of Texan who embraced ISIS, flashed guns on Web--problem is that he is a felon.

It would seem like a convicted felon, who therefore is not able to legally have a gun, would hesitate before going on Twitter and Facebook to share photos of himself brandishing weapons; declare a love for the Islamic State group; and boast of being ready to shoot at white people.

But if federal authorities have it right, according to this document made public late Tuesday, Frederick Robinson did all that and then some as he went online.

More at http://blog.chron.com/narcoconfidential/2015/04/10-points-from-case-of-texan-who-embraced-isis-flashed-guns-on-web/#32331101=0

A partial list of the allegations in the charges:

Perry says he would attend a gay wedding

Rick Perry said he would attend a same-sex wedding if asked, but said he didn’t deem it an important subject.

Perry was the latest presidential hopeful asked by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt about his attitude regarding personally accepting an invitation to a gay marriage.

“Yeah, well I probably would,” he said, before protesting that the real issues that should be addressed are the economy and foreign policy.

Hewitt previously had asked Ted Cruz, who said he hasn’t been asked to such a wedding and refused to otherwise answer. Rick Santorum said he would not attend because it would conflict with his religious convictions.

Read more: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/04/perry-says-he-would-attend-a-gay-wedding.html/

Bill Would Prevent Gay Teens From Becoming Felons For Consensual Sex

It’s illegal in Texas to have sexual contact with a person under 17.

However, if two consenting teens are within three years of age and of the opposite sex, state law provides an “out” for the older party—an affirmative defense to the charge of indecency with a child, otherwise a second-degree felony.

The same affirmative defense is not offered to teens of the same sex, meaning LGBT youth can face prison time for consensual sexual contact, including heavy petting.

It’s unclear whether an LGBT teen has ever been charged under the statute, but House Bill 71, by Rep. Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso), aims to prevent it from happening in the future. The bill would remove five words—”and of the opposite sex”—from the affirmative defense provision.

Read more: http://www.texasobserver.org/bill-would-prevent-gay-teens-from-becoming-felons-for-consensual-sex/

Study: Gas Activities "Most Likely" Caused Texas Quakes

Gas industry activity “most likely” triggered a series of earthquakes that shook two North Texas towns from late 2013 through early 2014, new peer-reviewed research shows.

More than two-dozen small earthquakes during that period rattled residents near Reno and Azle, towns atop the gas-rich Barnett Shale, and put pressure on Texas oil and gas regulators to address concerns about man-made temblors. A combination of industry activities likely caused the phenomenon, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

More specifically, according to the research, operators’ withdrawal of brine – naturally salty water removed during oil and gas drilling – and the high-pressure injection of huge volumes of wastewater from gas wells were to blame.

Mapping two intersecting faults in the area, scientists from Southern Methodist University, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Texas at Austin found that the interplay of those gas activities likely altered fluid pressure underground, unleashing the quakes.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/04/21/study-gas-activities-most-likely-caused-azle-quake/

Perry's Super PAC Lands Seasoned GOP Pollster

The super PAC supporting former Texas Gov. Rick Perry's expected presidential candidacy has hired Glen Bolger, one of the Republican Party's leading pollsters, as a senior strategist and pollster.

Bolger is a seasoned veteran of many gubernatorial and Senate campaigns who also served as a super PAC pollster in the 2012 presidential campaign. He is joining the Opportunity and Freedom PAC to promote Perry's likely bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, according to Austin Barbour, a senior adviser to the group.

"Glen is in the very, very top tier of Republican pollsters and political strategists in the country," Barbour said in an interview. "It's a huge deal for us to have Glen become a part of our team. He sees the same path for Gov. Perry that all of us do, in terms of favorability with voters and political ideology."

Since his humiliating loss in the 2012 presidential campaign, Perry has been methodically and exhaustively preparing for redemption in 2016. He has held lengthy tutorials with conservative scholars to become better versed on domestic and foreign policy issues and logged thousands of miles on the road meeting with activists in Iowa and other early caucus and primary states.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/04/21/perrys-super-pac-lands-seasoned-gop-pollster/
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