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What We Read Today 28 May 2017

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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Topics today include:

  • Get Ready for Peak Oil Demand

  • The White House Flouts Ethics Rules

  • 10 things that will soon disappear forever

  • Is The Dollar Going To Turn?

  • Fareed Zakaria: Liberals think they're tolerant, but they're not

  • The Russia investigation: Everything you need to know

  • How Worried Should Jared Kushner Be?

  • Celebrate our mad trillion dollars in national security spending!

  • Graham: It's 'stunning' Comey never told Congress about fake email

  • Firmer growth and inflation trends should allow the Fed to continue to normalize policy in 2017

  • 40 million people under the gun for hail, damaging winds before holiday

  • While campaigning, Merkel says Europeans can't 'completely' rely on US, others

  • European allies see the two sides of Trump

  • Iraq's Iran-backed paramilitary advances toward Syria border

  • Russia squares up to Boeing, Airbus with maiden jet flight

  • And More

Special notice:  Due to staff vacations this week there may be spotty publications or What We Read Today, Earlt Bird Headlines, and Market Close articles.  At this point it is quite possible there will be no 'What We Read Today' posts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  'Early Bird' may not catch any worms on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. 

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • The Russia investigation: Everything you need to know (CNN)   After months of dramatic congressional testimony, bombshell news reports and partisan jousting, the ever-evolving saga about alleged Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election and investigation into possible collusion by members of Donald Trump's campaign continues to pick up momentum as new revelations seem to surface on a daily basis.

Currently, the Justice Department and both chambers of Congress are investigating whether there were improper contacts between those in the Trump orbit and Russia during the 2016 election.

Here is a summary of known connections between Trump associates and Russia.

Click for large image.

  • How Worried Should Jared Kushner Be? (The New Yorker)  The conclusion of this author is that there is much more unknown at this point than is known.  "We still don’t have a crime in this case, but there is an awful lot of coverup."  Here is the crux of the situation regarding Kushner:

The F.B.I.’s interest in Kushner appears to be related to the two known meetings that he had with Russian officials. The first, which was originally reported by The New Yorker, occurred in early December, at Trump Tower, when Kushner and Michael Flynn, then the incoming national-security adviser, met with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the United States. On Friday evening, the Washington Post added dramatic new details about what occurred at this meeting, which it said took place on December 1st or 2nd. Kushner and Kislyak, according to the Post’s sources, “discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring.”

Celebrate another trillion-dollar defense budget! Much of that spending is irrelevant to the wars we are actually fighting and disproportionately large vs. the spending of our potential foes. Yet our geopolitical experts scream for "more"! While we burn money on defense our infrastructure rots. It's the fast path to national decline.

  • Graham: It's 'stunning' Comey never told Congress about fake email (CNN)   It is reported that the then FBI Director James Comey took action on Clinton emails in 2016 before the election beased on a fake email, presunably planted by the Russians.  Some in the GOP are stunned.  Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that former FBI Director James Comey would have been "incredibly incompetent" if he took actions based on email he knew to be fake.  Graham said in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" that Comey told the Senate and House select committees on intelligence about such an email, but never indicated it was fake.  Graham said:

"He talked to members of the Senate and House intel committee that he was sitting on emails that the Russians had between the Democratic Party and the Department of Justice that were highly explosive.  He never once told a member of the House or the Senate that he thought the email was fake."


  • 40 million people under the gun for hail, damaging winds before holiday (CNN)  Millions of people will get drenched or pummeled by severe weather that's arriving just in time for Memorial Day.  Destructive winds and large hail threaten 40 million people from Texas to Pennsylvania on Sunday, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. The storms could also spawn Isolated tornadoes.


"The times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over.  I experienced that in the last a few days, and therefore I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands."

  • European allies see the two sides of Trump (Reuters)  In Sicily, Donald Trump listened attentively during complex G7 debates over trade and climate change, smiled for the cameras, and for the most part refrained from provocative tweets.  In Brussels, he bashed NATO partners for not spending more on defense, shoved the prime minister of Montenegro and renewed his attacks on Germany's trade surplus with the United States.

America's allies witnessed the two sides of Trump on his first foreign trip as U.S. president, a nine-day tour that began with sword dancing in Saudi Arabia and vague pledges in Israel to deliver Middle East peace.

As Trump headed home, European officials were left with mixed feelings: relief that he had been patient enough to listen to their arguments and unsettled by a Jekyll-and-Hyde figure who is still finding his way on the big policy issues.


The villages taken by the Popular Mobilisation paramilitary force include Kojo, where Islamic State fighters abducted hundreds of Yazidi women in 2014, including Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar, recipients of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.

Kojo and the other villages of the Sinjar mountain region will be returned to the Yazidi community, a Popular Mobilisation leader, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, told Iraqi state television.   


  • Russia squares up to Boeing, Airbus with maiden jet flight (Rueters)  Russia carried out the maiden flight of its new MS-21 medium-range passenger plane on Sunday, its first post-Soviet foray into production of a mainline commercial aircraft which it hopes will rival those of its Western competitors.  In a surprise statement, manufacturer Irkut Corporation (IRKT.MM) and its state-controlled parent company United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) (UNAC.MM) said an MS-21-300 model had successfully completed a 30-minute flight at a height of 1,000 meters and traveling at 300 km an

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

  • Get Ready for Peak Oil Demand (The Wall Street Journal)  The world’s largest oil companies are girding for the biggest shift in energy consumption since the Industrial Revolution: After decades of growth, global demand for oil is poised to peak and fall in the coming years.  New technologies that improve fuel efficiency are starting to push down the amount of gasoline and diesel that’s needed for transportation, and a consensus is growing that fuel demand for passenger cars could fall as carbon rules go into effect, electric vehicles gain traction and the internal combustion engine gets re-engineered to be dramatically more efficient. Western countries’ growth used to move in lockstep with their energy consumption, but that phenomenon is starting to decouple in advanced economies.   But there is disagreement about justr when peakoil demand will hit.  Estimates range from 2030 to after the middle of the century.

  • The White House Flouts Ethics Rules (Richard Bowen)  One of the most resected financial system whistleblowers describes unethical actions taken by the Trump administration, the latest being the appointment through a procedural "trick" of a career attorney for banks to regulate his clients.   The "trick" enabled the appontment to avoid the usual Senate confirmation process.  Bowen says:

When the U.S. government starts looking for, or creating, loopholes, and I believe this has been steadily evidenced, we are on a dangerous slippery slope. This brazen back door maneuver does not bode well.  I’ve predicted an eventual meltdown; I hope I’m proven wrong.

  1. Keys

  2. Blackouts

  3. Fast-food workers

  4. The Clutch Pedal

  5. College textbooks

  6. Dial-up internet

  7. The farm plow

  8. Your privacy

  9. The incandescent light bulb

"American universities seem committed to every kind of diversity except intellectual diversity. Conservative voices and views are being silenced entirely." 


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