Usher’s News & Analysis, Feb. 28, 2020

Nancy Pelosi signals comfort with Sanders nomination

Trump targeted a large number of very low-cost small business programs for elimination or drastic cuts in his budget. Make no mistake: These cuts will have virtually no impact on the debt caused by Trump’s tax cuts. Rather, they reflect the values of a president who just doesn’t care about small business.

Remember, in Trump’s 2017 tax bill, he provided permanent tax cuts to huge corporations, but the limited tax breaks for some “pass through” small businesses expire in 2025. This means that while fat cats are still getting tax reductions, you and I will be paying higher taxes. And it reflects Trump’s limited commitment to small business owners.

Does President Trump hate small businesses? Read his 2021 budget proposal and decide

A billion Wi-Fi devices suffer from a newly discovered security flaw

Russia is fighting in Syria for one main reason: to eliminate al Qaeda (jihadi terrorists) there. Idlib is dominated by al Qaeda. Once upon a time, the US claimed to be at war with al Qaeda. Turkey is backing al Qaeda in Idlib. Everything else is false propaganda.

Turkey readies for conflict with Russia in Syria

Fall Of Saraqib: Syrian Army Retreats Under Turkish Strikes In Eastern Idlib

Putin believes the only thing to “negotiate” with al Qaeda is nonnegotiable: its complete and unconditional surrender.

US proposals to start dialogue with terrorists in Idlib are unacceptable – Russian FM

“It was a shady, shady business,” says one person involved in the work, adding that frequently the individual journalist would believe they were working for an opposition group, and have no idea that a British communications company was running their media office, under contract to the UK government.

REVEALED: The British government’s covert propaganda campaign in Syria

While it is true that varying intensity of energy from the sun has driven long-term climate changes like ice ages in the distant past, the sun can not explain the recent spike in warming.

Over tens and hundreds of thousands of years, the Earth’s tilt and orbit around the sun varies in predictable cycles. The way these cycles interact with each other cause gradual increases or decreases in the energy from the sun reaching the Earth. That change in energy can gradually — over thousands of years — ease the Earth into and out of ice age cycles. Over about the past 800,000 years, these ice/melt cycles have occurred about every 100,000 years.

But the pace of the recent temperature spike has been markedly faster — taking place over 150 years, with the majority happening over just the past few decades. At that same time, the sun’s output has been going in the opposite direction, diverging from the direction in temperature.

If you were of age in the 1970s you might remember a number alarming newspaper headlines warning of an ice age on the way. But a deeper dive reveals those articles were based on a small number of papers very much in the scientific minority.

Climate scientists are often accused of making alarming assertions about climate change, like “the impacts will be catastrophic by 2030” or “we only have a decade left to save the planet.” First and foremost, scientists are not predicting this. However, some politicians and media headlines have used select bits of scientific data to fuel the impression of impending Armageddon.

10 common myths about climate change — and what science really says

This is the worst I’ve seen Elizabeth Warren being. The bit about Bernie supposedly saying that a woman can’t be elected President (which was exactly the opposite of his many decades old openly stated position) was bad enough, but this just leaves me completely cold concerning her. She’s being so bad, I wonder out loud here as to whether or not she’s burning her bridges (or her Clintonite advisors are doing it for her while she mindlessly follows their advice). She could be primaried by more progressive candidates and lose her seat in the Senate.

Elizabeth Warren on superdelegates, then and now

Krystal and Saagar look at how much has changed on Elizabeth Warren’s position on superdelegates.

Wow, I wrote my comment above before I got to the part where Krystal said Warren should start rebuilding the bridge to Bernie.

… the action violated the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, which protects art which has gained recognition.

Federal Appeals Court in New York Approves of $6.7M Award to Graffiti Artists

… the pipe contained carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide and that residents in the area complained of green gas and a noxious odor.

300 Residents Evacuated, Dozens Treated After Pipe Rupture in Mississippi

If you want clean water to drink and clean air to breathe where you live, you’re going to have to get your state legislators to move as quickly as possible to completely phase out the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer ….

The Other Evil Lurking in Your Food, Water and Air—And What To Do About It

Recombinetics is a commercial company that, in 2016, created a hornless cow it claimed was the intended result of a precise gene edit. But FDA researchers who examined the company’s own DNA sequence data were subsequently able to show that both of the independently edited calves contained, at the site of the edit, entire antibiotic resistance genes (Norris et al., 2020).

By the time FDA was able to show this, however, offspring of the calves where already incorporated into a Brazilian breeding program. This breeding program has now been abandoned.

… With companies and biohackers hoping to bring genome-edited products rapidly (and without regulatory scrutiny) to the market, this research represents a significant cautionary tale; especially since the authors speculate that their results probably apply equally to other editing methods, such as TALENs and Zn Finger nucleases.

Researchers Are Substantially Undercounting Gene-Editing Errors, Concludes a New Paper


Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) introduced legislation today that would set a national goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions from the U.S. agriculture sector by 2040. The Agriculture Resilience Act also introduces sweeping changes to federal conservation and agriculture programs to reach that goal.

“It’s definitely the biggest, most comprehensive climate and agriculture bill that’s been introduced, just in terms of its sheer scope, addressing everything from research to conservation to energy to food waste,” said Ferd Hoefner, senior strategic advisor to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC).

A Comprehensive New Federal Roadmap for Climate Action on Farms

Coronavirus: China likely overestimating economic recovery by leaving out hard-hit small businesses

More than 100 times candidate Trump said “I love Wikileaks” on the campaign trail.

Trump loved it when Wikileaks exposed the criminality of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, as it cheated to deprive Bernie Sanders of the Democratic Party nomination. Wikileaks’ release of the DNC emails exposed the deep corruption at the heart of US politics, and as a candidate Trump loved the transparency.

Then Trump got elected.

The real tragedy of the Trump presidency is nowhere better demonstrated than in Trump’s 180 degree turn away from Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange.

Trump’s Betrayal of Julian Assange

The woman, who is in her 40s and a resident of Osaka in western Japan, tested positive on Wednesday after developing a sore throat and chest pains, the prefectural government said. She first tested positive on 29 January and was discharged from hospital after recovering on 1 February, before testing negative on 6 February.

Coronavirus: Japanese woman tests positive for second time

The price of the bonds is falling through the floor. It means nobody wants to risk buying them. They pay about 11%. The yield at the current price of 40% would be significantly higher depending upon when the virus is declared a pandemic.

Is Wall Street Behind the Delay in Declaring the Coronavirus Outbreak a “Pandemic”?