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What We Read Today 16 September 2016

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every day in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).


Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

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The rest of this post is available only the GEI Members.  Membership is FREE -  click here

Topics today include:

  • Median Household Income Rose 5.2% but Wages Not so Much

  • Elon Musk Has an Electric Car Horse Race

  • What Would a Really Useful EV Road Touring Car Have to Be?

  • Has Hillary Run Out Of Ammo?

  • What Will WikiLeaks Bring Against Clinton?

  • Trump Has, Doesn't Have and Has Again a Trillion Dollar Tax Cut Plan for Small Business

  • Trump Says Obama Was Actually Born in the U.S., Blames Clinton for Starting the Problem

  • Major Fertilizer Chemical Companies Facing $90 Billion Suit

  • EU Gives Itself 6 Months to Sort Things Out

  • Civilian Targets of Saudi Bombs in Yemen

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Is Hillary Clinton out of ammo to use against Donald Trump? (Fox News)  As poll after poll shows the presidential race tightening, Hillary Clinton has already fired most of her heavy artillery at Donald Trump.  She has called him temperamentally unfit, too dangerous for the Oval Office and ignorant about foreign policy. She has said he makes racist statements and that many of his followers are in fact racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic and Islamophobic. She has said he’s built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. She has denigrated his business record, mocked his corporate bankruptcies and accused him of stiffing small contractors.  What else has she got? How do you stage an October surprise if you’ve gone nuclear in July, August and September?  No wonder Democrats are getting nervous.

  • Assange says public has right to know about upcoming release of Clinton documents (Fox News)  More documents connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign are set to be released as early as next week, according to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.  Assange said in an interview with Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity, which aired Wednesday, the public has a right to know about these documents.  While he didn’t give much information regarding the details of the documents, Assange did say that,

“the material we are working on around the clock is significant”.

  • Trump Campaign Offers Conflicting Message on $1 Trillion Tax Cut Plan (The New York TimesMSN News)   A few hours after Donald J. Trump publicly backed away on Thursday from a $1 trillion tax cut for small businesses, campaign aides privately assured a leading small-business group that Mr. Trump in fact remained committed to the proposal — winning the group’s endorsement.  The campaign then reiterated to the Tax Foundation, a conservative-leaning Washington think tank it asked to price the plan, that Mr. Trump had indeed eliminated the tax cut.  Call it the trillion-dollar lie: Both assertions cannot be true.

  • Trump admits Obama was born in U.S., but falsely blames Clinton for starting rumors (The Washongton PostMSN News)   Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday acknowledged for the first time that President Obama was born in the United States, ending his long history of stoking unfounded doubts about the nation’s first African-American president but also seeking to falsely blame Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for starting the rumors.  This is not the first time that Trump has accused Clinton of first raising questions about Obama's birthplace, an assertion that has been repeatedly disproven by fact-checkers who found no evidence that Clinton or her campaign questioned Obama's birth certificate or his citizenship.   Trump said at his newly opened luxury hotel in Washington on Friday morning:

"Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it, you know what I mean.  President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period."

  • The Choice 2016 (Frontline)  This is the trailer of a 27 September two-hour program examining the personalities and characters of Hillary Clinton and Donlad Trump.

  • $90 Billion Whistleblower Suit Filed Against Four of the Nation's Largest Chemical Companies (Eco Watch)  Four of the country's largest chemical companies have been accused of selling billions of dollars worth of harmful isocyanate chemicals but intentionally concealing their dangers to consumers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the past several decades.   BASF Corporation, Bayer Material Science LLC, Dow Chemical Company and Huntsman International LLC have been named in a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit brought by New York law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP on behalf of the U.S. government.  EcoWatch learned that the recently unsealed whistleblower lawsuit was served on the chemical companies on Wednesday. The lawsuit was originally filed under seal in federal court in Northern California.  Kasowitz brought this action on behalf of itself and the federal government to recover more than $90 billion in damages and penalties under the FCA, which imposes penalties for concealing obligations to the government.


  • EU leaders look at 6 months for rebuilding EU dream (Associated Press)  With policy splits among European Union countries putting their bloc under existential threat, national leaders agreed Friday on a six-month time table to come up with solutions for the multiple crises hobbling their union. But they delivered few concrete commitments on ways to bridge the deep differences.


  • One in three Saudi air raids on Yemen hit civilian sites, data shows (The Guardian)  More than one-third of all Saudi-led air raids on Yemen have hit civilian sites, such as school buildings, hospitals, markets, mosques and economic infrastructure, according to the most comprehensive survey of the conflict.  The findings, revealed by the Guardian on Friday, contrast with claims by the Saudi government, backed by its US and British allies, that Riyadh is seeking to minimise civilian casualties.

Click for larger image.

Other Scientific, Health, Political, Economics and Business Items of Note - plus Miscellanea

  • Median Household Income Rose 5.2%! Yeah, That’s The Ticket (Lee Adler, Wall Street Examiner)  LA contributes to GEI.  Here he tries to understand the unexpectedly large increase in median household income in 2015.  He says assuming that 5.2% increase wasn’t just a fabrication or a data error, he has trouble seeing where it came from. It’s not earnings and not the increase in the number of men and women working. It’s not the other sources of income. By deduction, there could only be one source of the increase– an increase in household size.  See Chart of the Day – 5.2% Household Income Gain Vs. Reality.

  • Elon Musk Wanted a Race. Now He Has One (Bloomberg)  This week a century-old Detroit automaker, General Motors Co., not Tesla, unveiled the latest breakthrough electric car. The 2017 Chevy Bolt and its 238 mile range rivals that of the Tesla Roadster and at a third of the price. The Bolt’s $37,500 sticker price isn't exactly “affordable” for the average American buyer, but in terms of range per dollar spent, GM just bested every other electric vehicle on the market, including the full lineup of Teslas.  Econintersect:  To really have wide utility range will need to exceed 500 miles, or 250 miles with 15 minutes or less recharge time.  Given a choice, we would go for the quick recharge because it offers more flexible options for really long road trips. 

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