ZipDialog Roundup for Wednesday, September 13

Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple

◆ Bad as Hurricane Irma was, it could have been even worse

Homeowners’ preparations and evacuations meant relatively few deaths.

As for the physical damage, it is huge but still smaller than feared. One way to see that is to look at insurance company stocks.

Today, they are UP. Chicago Tribune headline: Stocks jump as relieved investors buy banks, insurers, tech

Small insurers, especially ones that do a lot of business in Florida, climbed. … Larger insurers also rallied. … Travel-related companies rose as investors felt their businesses won’t take such a big hit.  –Associated Press via Chicago Tribune

The most immediate problem now: restoring electric power to millions of homes.

 Apple makes a big noise with its rollout. $1k for new phones. Market is unimpressed (Wall Street Journal, subscription)

Comment: Students at elite universities will use the new phones to send selfies at demonstrations against inequality.

 Study: Over 90% of MSM reports on Trump are negative, same as previous studies (Washington Times)

Comment: To be fair, they do actually hate him.

 Trump’s travel bans finally made it to the Supreme Court, which affirmed the President (Washington Times)

The ruling, which stays a decision from the 9th Circuit, keeps some 24,000 refugees from entering the US, at least temporarily.=

Good economic news: Middle-class incomes in US for 2016 were highest in history (in real terms)  (Washington Post)

These figures from the Census Bureau cover the final year of Pres. Obama’s tenure.

Median household income rose to $59,039 in 2016, a 3.2 percent increase from the previous year and the second consecutive year of healthy gains, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. The nation’s poverty rate fell to 12.7 percent, returning nearly to what it was in 2007 before a financial crisis and deep recession walloped workers in ways that were still felt years later. –Washington Post

Seattle Mayor, Ed Murray, resigns after fifth person comes forward accusing him of child-sex abuse (Seattle Times)

The latest accuser: Murray’s cousin. He had been a teenager, like the others.

The computer scandal engulfing House Democrats continues to widen. Latest news: the IT contractor used a secret server, tried to hide it, and then falsified what was on it (Daily Caller)

Imran Awan, the Pakistani IT aide who worked closely with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, also used Dropbox to back up data, which is illegal for Congressional data.

Awan had access to all emails and office computer files of 45 members of Congress who are listed below. Fear among members that Awan could release embarrassing information if they cooperated with prosecutors could explain why the Democrats have refused to acknowledge the cybersecurity breach publicly or criticize the suspects. –Daily Caller

Comment: This scandal receives almost no coverage. That’s a scandal, too.




ZipDialog’s Roundup of News Beyond the Front Page . . Saturday, January 28

Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
Linked articles are in bold purple

 Annual “March for Life” receives unprecedented attention from incumbent administration  For the first time, a Vice President addressed the crowd in person. Beside VP Pence, Trump’s campaign manager and now senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway, addressed the crowd. (Washington Post) Attendees reportedly optimistic that Pres. Trump’s judicial appointments will favor their anti-abortion agenda.

USA Today adds “March for Life attendees upset their voices were left out at [last weekend’s] Women’s March”

Comment: The March received more media attention this year, partly because the Trump Administration pounded the media’s bias in not covering it in previous years.

 Trump issues Executive Order temporarily limiting refugees to US from 7 countries with significant terrorist problems  The text of Trump’s order is here. The news story is here. He also ordered that Christians fleeing persecution be given priority in refugee admissions. (New York Times)

The seven countries are:

  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Iran
  • Sudan
  • Libya
  • Somalia
  • Yemen

The leader of Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer, calls the Trump action “backward and nasty.” (The Hill)

 Head of Chicago organization to help survivors of priest abuse resigns. Says it is unrelated to lawsuit claiming he is receiving kickbacks from attorneys  (Catholic News Agency via Crux)

CHICAGO- A longtime leader of a controversial advocacy group for clergy sex abuse victims resigned weeks before a former employee filed a lawsuit charging the group was receiving kickbacks from attorneys who filed sex abuse cases, the group has said.

The [former leader, David Clohessy] said the lawsuit’s claim that SNAP was getting kickbacks from attorneys was “utterly preposterous.”–Crux

 Very slow economic growth in final quarter of 2016: 1.6%  (CNN Money) The low numbers were unexpected.

 Two Burger King employees arrested for selling marijuana at the drive-thru window  (AP via Hutchinson News) 

Drive-thru buyers would ask for “Nasty Boy,” then for extra crispy fries. –AP

Comment: And then get extra fried themselves. 

 Gravitational Waves, predicted by Einstein, may have been detected for the first time  (Economist)