- You people...rock! Since Markos announced our endorsement of Virginia state senate candidate Evandra Thompson over Liebermanesque turn-coat Rosalyn Dance, more than three hundred of you have donated more than $8,000 (quadrupling her cash on hand). More and better Democrats, at every level of government! Want to pitch in? You can do that here.
- You want scandal? Here's some real, potential scandal.
IT IS a lesson of the past five years that benchmarks in unregulated markets can fall victim to the incentives they create. Subprime mortgages bundled into securities often won high scores from ratings agencies that stood to profit in a busy market. The London Interbank Offered Rate, LIBOR, was sometimes underestimated by banks which were cast in a healthier light by lower interest rates. Has something similar been going on in energy?
That is the suspicion after a series of raids on May 14th by the European Commission’s competition authorities. The commission declared that it feared oil companies had “colluded” to distort benchmark prices for crude, oil products and biofuels. Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Norway’s Statoil and Italy’s ENI (which was not raided) all said that they were co-operating with the commission. The competition authorities also called on the London offices of Platts, a subsidiary of McGraw Hill, an American publisher and business-information firm, which sets reference prices for these commodities.
- Despite the obstructionist GOP's best efforts, we've still got mostly functioning judiciary. Here's why that's so important.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas law banning most abortions 12 weeks into a woman's pregnancy won't take effect while a legal challenge is pending, a federal judge ruled Friday.
U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright granted a request for a preliminary injunction against the ban, which was set to take effect in August.
- Today in "Sen. Chuck Grassley Tweets!" Okay, then. Thanks for playing!
- How the IRS "scandal" will get increasingly crazy-pants spun out for the next two-and-a-half years. You know who else got audited?
- Still haven't made your National Park summer camping plans? It's not too late. Here are some helpful tips for some of the most popular parks.
- Sometimes, science is unexpectedly and incredibly beautiful.
- And sometimes just mind-boggling cool.
[C]icadas with a prime-numbered life cycle had the most successful evolutionary strategy. If we discount those cicadas with life cycles of ten years or fewer (as being too close to predator life cycles), we find that the most successful emergence rates for cyber cicadas are thirteen and seventeen years—precisely what we find in the wild.
- Thank you, Seattle:
Over the next two weeks, 133 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and allies—many of them rejected by their families after coming out—will be awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships from two Seattle organizations.The scholarships are a twenty-year collaboration of the Greater Seattle Business Association, "the largest LGBT chamber of commerce in the nation, with membership ranging from restaurants to Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft and Boeing," and Seattle-based Pride Foundation. In those two decades, they've awarded almost $5 million in scholarships.