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What We Read Today 18 September 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".).


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Topics today include:

  • A sea level Golden Horseshoe nominee

  • How much is sea level rising? 

  • UQx Denial101x Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

  • Maria strengthens into Category 4 hurricane

  • Extreme Concern about Maria Continues - 18Sep2017 - Update 1

  • New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum

  • McCain Holds Out on GOP's Last-Gasp Push to Repeal

  • Navy fires 2 more top officers after fatal ship collisions

  • Dems fear lasting damage from Clinton-Sanders fight

  • Trump's Legal Nemesis Gets His Day in Court in Bid to Save DACA

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world



  • New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum (The Hill)  A last-ditch effort by Senate Republicans to repeal and replace ObamaCare is gaining steam, suggesting lawmakers could face another vote on ending the former president’s signature law later this month.  Supporters do not have the 50 votes necessary to pass the bill yet, but pressure is growing on Republicans to back the measure, which could replace much of ObamaCare with block grants for states.  See also McCain Holds Out on GOP's Last-Gasp Push to Repeal Obamacare (Bloomberg).

  • Navy fires 2 more top officers after fatal ship collisions (ABC News)  The Navy said it has relieved two more top officers because of a "loss of confidence in their ability to command" after two fatal collisions over the summer.  The destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship in the Sea of Japan in June, killing seven sailors. In August the USS McCain, another destroyer, collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore, killing 10 sailors.

On Monday, Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, the commander of the 7th Fleet, relieved the commander of Task Force 70 (CTF 70), Rear Adm. Charles William, and the commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, Capt. Jeffrey Bennett. While the Navy's press release announcing the leadership changes did not mention the collisions, the officials relieved of their duties were in the Fitzgerald's and McCain's chains of command.

  • Dems fear lasting damage from Clinton-Sanders fight (The Hill)  Democrats are worried that the fight between former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is doing lasting damage to their party.  As the bickering between the former rivals grows more intense, Democrats say it needs to end.  One former senior Obama administration official said: 

“It reiterates that our party is still led by people with fatal flaws.” 

  • Trump's Legal Nemesis Gets His Day in Court in Bid to Save DACA (Bloomberg)  Los Angeles attorney Ted Boutrous has been itching for a courtroom battle with President Donald Trump. Now, he’s got it.  Boutrous is taking on the president over the proposed end to a program that protects so-called Dreamers -- children who were brought to the U.S. by undocumented immigrants. Last year, he offered free legal services to women Trump threatened to sue for claiming he sexually harassed them.

Boutrous sued Trump on Monday on behalf of six program participants, most of whom came from Mexico before they were 10. Trump’s decision to end the program in six months is a "cruel bait and switch" motivated by an "unconstitutional bias against Mexicans," according to the complaint.

  • Tax cuts quiet once-deafening GOP call for fiscal discipline (ABC News)  Republicans spooked world markets in their ardor to cut spending when Democrat Barack Obama occupied the White House. Now, with a GOP president pressing for politically popular tax cuts and billions more for the military, few in the GOP are complaining about the nation's soaring debt.

The tea partyers and other conservatives who seized control of the House in 2010 have morphed into Ronald Reagan-style supply siders while the GOP's numerous Pentagon pals run roughshod over the few holdouts. Tax cuts in the works could add hundreds of billions of dollars to the debt while bipartisan pressure for more money for defense, infrastructure, and domestic agencies could add almost $100 billion in additional spending next year alone.

The bottom line is the $20 trillion national debt promises to spiral ever higher with Republicans controlling both Congress and the White House.

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

  • A sea level Golden Horseshoe nominee (Real Climate)  The author reviews the available data that could support the claim (made by several others) that "as regards the catastrophic sea level rise in the Pacific, it became obvious some 20 years ago that results from island tide gauges did not support computer predictions. Scientists from Flinders University in Adelaide set up new, modern, tide-gauges in 12 Pacific islands to test whether there was in fact any evidence of sinking. Recently the whole project was abandoned as there had been no sign whatsoever of a change in sea level at any of the 12 islands for the past 16 years."  The findings:

  • The project has not been abandoned.

  • The data interpretation is "completely wrong every single aspect".

  • How much is sea level rising? (Skeptical Science)  Current sea level rise is after all not exaggerated, in fact the opposite case is more plausible. Observational data and changing conditions in such places as Greenland suggest if there's a real problem here it's underestimation of future sea level rise.  If one selects data over short periods of time (for example 1980-1990 or 1955-1965) one could claim sea levels were actually falling, when the longer term trend cclearly contradicts.


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