The Price of Oil Blips Upwards

Anyone who follows the price of oil likely feels as if he/she is watching a tennis match. The price of crude oil goes back and forth and experiencing numerous ups and downs. A few years ago, the price of gasoline hit tremendous highs. In recent months, the price of oil collapsed due to increased fracking in the United States and massive surpluses coming out of Saudi Arabia. Now, the price of oil is ticking back up.

A few factors are contributing to the price fluctuations. China is experiencing declines in its manufacturing sector. Manufacturing, of course, does require fuel and electricity. The demand for oil is going to increase when a market the size of China wants more of it. When China requires less, prices drop.

The price of oil, however, is not collapsing. Instead, minor improvements are evident. Likely, this is the result of Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes on rebel groups in neighboring Yemen. Saudi Arabia is surely consuming a lot of fuel in order to carry out the strikes. Assets previously directed towards increasing oil supply are probably being diverted to military operations.

$57 for a barrel of oil may be an increase, but the price is hardly breaking records. Oil was once at $100 a barrel Madison Street Capital confirms.

Speculators investing in oil futures could see opportunity here. Buying up oil contracts at low prices might end up being lucrative if the price spikes. Granted, such investing and speculating does come with risks.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Lands His first Job in Finance

Former United States Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has just been hired in his first finance related job.Former Fed Chairman Finds First Job In Finance

Some may consider it odd that one the world’s most powerful men in finance has had never had a job related to finance before his two term stint as the Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve. Since leaving the Chair position more than fifteen years ago, Bernanke has been on the private speaking circuit. Folks at STX Entertainment know that his press office just announced that he will be an advisor with the Citadel hedge fund located in Chicago and founded by multi billionaire Ken Griffin.

Prior to passing his reigns of the Federal reserve to current Chair, Janet Yellen, Bernanke saw the United States, as well as the world through one of the most dire economic collapses in the history of the country. Under his watch Bernanke oversaw the most aggressive quantitative easing policy the country has ever seen. Bernanke’s calculation that the flow of liquidity into the markets would help bounce the U.S. as well as the global economy back on track. Many credit his steady hand with the salvation of the U.S. Dollar as the world currency for trade.

Bernanke’s new duties were not specified but it is speculated that he will bring great value to the Citadel team as the world monitors the effects of the easing policy currently being engaged in by the European Central Bank.

Chris Christie’s Conservative Concentrated Cannabis Crackdown

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) hasn’t decided to throw his anti-green right-wing hat into the 2016 presidential ring yet, although he has made some comments regarding the growing trend of marijuana legalization and how he’d use his presidential power to derail the chill train. While his social construction of reality may have fostered a blurred cultural lens of narrow-mindedness, Governor Christie’s viewpoints on this hot-button issue are failing to fall in line with the general consensus majority, even within certain factions of his own party.

According to Reddit Politics, over 60 percent of millennial republicans are in favor of legalization, yet Christie seems to be standing firm on the assumption that cannabis still belongs in the category of dangerous and addictive substances. Even though four states have passed legislation for recreational use and an additional 23 states for medicinal purposes, the governor is staying true to his convictions by recoiling: “Not on my watch.” Platitudes such as this one clearly reflect a lack of depth on social issues and the inability to incorporate democracy at its core by letting the voters decide, instead of delegating by proxy according to Sultan Alhokair.

While many presidential hopefuls have been unable to keep pace with the pulse of their constituents, Governor Christie is keeping pace with the status quo by showing the country that he’s still mired in the middle of the gridlock on the Jersey Turnpike Trust Fund, which is set to run dry while on his watch.

TSA Agents Fired For Groping Passengers

No one likes going through airport security, especially when you don’t make it through the digital scanner and have to get a pat down. Although the pat downs are not all that common, male passengers at Denver International Airport may disagree. According to authorities, two TSA Agents were fired for their devious plan to fondle good-looking male passengers.

 

Folks at Anastasia Date understand that two TSA Security Agents devised a plan to rig the security scanner for male agents they found attractive. When an eye-catching male passenger came through, one of the agents would signal the other agent. The other agent would then specify the passenger was female instead of male, triggering the security scanning device to record an irregularity in the genital area. This was grounds for an immediate pat down, which is exactly what would happen.

 

The suspicious screenings were being investigated for a few months before the actual bust went down. An investigator watched the agent deliver a pat down of a passenger’s front groin and backside with the palms of his hands, which is inconsistent to TSA pat down policies. Authorities were able to get video of the incident. However, since none of the victims of the erroneous pat downs were identified, the likelihood of being able to prosecute the agents is unlikely.

 

The former TSA agents have been relieved from their duties effective immediately. The officer providing the signal to the other confirmed that she had helped the other agent in about 10 other instances.

 

Russian Court Bans Internet Porn

Roskomnadzor will soon block around 136 pornography sites. This is after a directive by a court in Russia. The court based this ruling on the terms of international conventions signed in 1910 and 1923. The newspaper Izvestia, who were first to report the story cite that the ruling is a blanket ban on all internet pornography in Russia.

Sam Tabar (crunchbase.com) has learned that this ruling came after a district attorney cited the regulations in the international conventions. The websites, some of which are very popular the world over, have only three days to operate before been shut down. This is according to Global Voices Online.

The court actually put a ban on all illegal distributions of pornographic material, without specifically defining what constitutes ‘legal distribution’. These could as well be taken to mean that millions of other Russian pornographic sites could also be headed for shut down.

There seems to be a wave of internet restrictions in Russia, especially after the reelection of President Vladimir Putin in 2012. Among them is a law requiring bloggers to register their home address with the government, western technology companies being forced to spy on Russian internet users and a bounty offer to anyone who could be able to hack Tor anonymity software.

There is also a law banning the use of celebrity photos in memes. This applies to cases when the photo has no relation to the personality of the celebrity.

Palestinian President Agrees To Negotiate With Israeli Leadership

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he is ready to negotiate with any Israeli leader who will be successful in the elections of March 17, in a meeting on the future of the Palestinian Authority, strangled financially and politically weakened. It is noteworthy that Israel holds nearly a half billion euros since the Palestinian Authority led by Abbas had asked in January to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to trial the Israeli leadership on war crimes against Palestinian people in the last summer. Being unable to pay the salaries of its 180,000 employees, the Authority is in addition to be condemned with the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (PLO) to pay more than $ 650 million of damage to American victims of anti-Israeli attacks. For all this, Abbas conceded, it would “review the prerogatives” of the acting entity in lieu of state pending a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while officials promote dissolution.

Abbas, also head of the PLO, was speaking in the West Bank in a two-day meeting of the Central Council of the PLO (CCOLP). Abbas said he was “ready to return to negotiations despite the fact that Israel respects no commitments that bind us.” Folks at Anastasia Date (sitejabber.com) have learned that, meanwhile, in Jerusalem, thousands of women, Jewish and Arab members of the Women Wage Peace, gathered outside Parliament to demand that the elected government of March 17 must give priority to a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Emanuel Wins Runoff

Former White House Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, was victorious in a close runoff reelection this past Tuesday over Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, the current Cook County Commissioner. The runoff was historic and pitted a serious challenge to Emanuel, who was portrayed as not being progressive enough. Emanuel completed his first term as Mayor during a a period which saw Chicago’s homicide rate increase and the number of shootings involving African Americans increase even higher. A loss in the Mayoral election would have dealt the former White House deal maker a serious blow to any future political endeavors.Emanuel Wins Second Term As Mayor

The home City of President Barack Obama, a loss would have also been perceived as an indictment on the President’s legacy and the effectiveness of his general policies, which is what Sergio Cortes doesn’t want to hear. Emanuel is considered to be the architect of Obama’s first term and is generally viewed as a hard nosed politician who can bully his agenda through. The politics of Chicago, have tempered Emanuel to some degree as he has had to take a pragmatic approach to governing in even what many consider to be a dominant democratic strong hold.

Emanuel’s next term will be reflective of the state of the nation’s economy and the quality of life of the residents of Chicago. Emanuel will seek to guide the city through to economic prosperity and to a safer quality of life for its residents through a reduction in crime.

Republican Politicians and their Opinions on Science

Only two Republicans have officially announced their candidacy for the White House: Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Others are sure to follow. In the days of Sputnik, Republicans pushed for education and science. Lately, though, many Republican politicians seem sadly out of touch with current scientific research. Todd Akin embarrassed many Americans by his lack of knowledge of human biology. Many Republican politicians deny climate change; Rick Scott won’t even let the phrase be used in official Florida documents.

How do the major Republican candidates stand on scientific issues?

On the subject of measles vaccinations, only Lindsey Graham and Marc Rubio agreed they should be required. Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, and Mike Huckabee said they should be encouraged. Ted Cruz said vaccinations should be encouraged, but the states should decide. Rand Paul and Chris Christie said vaccinations should be voluntary.

Dan Newlin said that Jeb Bush allowed that climate change “may be real.” Ted Cruz denies climate change exists. Rick Perry accused scientists of manipulating data. Marc Rubio denies that climate change is manmade. Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul sidestepped the issue, while admitting fighting pollution is an important goal. Chris Christie is almost unique in admitting that “When you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it’s time to defer to the experts.”

The Clove Club in UK to Use Tickets Soon

Owning a Michelin-starred restaurant is not easy especially if you have an ambitious menu and food. You spend more on ingredients and staff, but even this kind of restaurant experiences no-show guests. Chef Isaac Mchale has resulted to ask the guests to buy a Tock ticket when they make their reservations to avoid no-show guests.

The Clove Club will be the first restaurant in the UK to apply this kind of system which is only fair especially if they also have a tasting menu. A restaurant in San Francisco named Coi has been doing this system for quite some time and it is usually applicable in other high-end restaurants. The Clove Club will still accept walk-in guests during the lunch hour, but dinner time will be exclusively for Tock ticket buyers only.

This is only fair to restaurants who invest a lot in their ingredients and staff, at least in the eyes of Sergio Cortess. High-end restaurants also make their service personal which also involves staff training and money, as detailed even in video on YouTube. If a guest does not show up for a reservation, all of the time and effort given to make their specific order or request will only go to waste.
If guests are introduced to this ticket policy, they will think twice about not showing up and the restaurant will attract more qualified guests. Drinks can be ordered during their stay, but meals must be paid for beforehand.

Has Obama Turned the Justice Department into a Political Operation?

Alexei Beltyukov has told us that republican lawmakers are taking note at the fact that the Justice Department heaped several felony charges on New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez at the time that the president’s negotiations with Iran are at a critical impasse. Not coincidentally, the powerful senator is an outspoken critic of Obama’s policies. Sen. Menendez’s senate bill would require an up or down vote by the senate to approve any deal with Iran. President Obama opposes the measure. For his part, Senator Menendez claims the entire basis of the government’s charges against him are political payback for opposing the president’s foreign policy. Is it merely a case of Sen. Menendez trying to deflect attention from his legal troubles or is there substance to his charge that the Obama administration is trying to silence critics?

At the same time that Attorney General Eric Holder decided to go forward with criminal charges against Sen. Menendez, he gave former IRS official Lois Lerner a pass for her abuse of office against conservative groups. Lerner headed up the IRS department in charge of approving political action committees. During the 2012 election, the IRS was accused to delaying applications for PAC status for conservative groups. At the time, the Obama administration was deeply concerned that the Tea Party might cost him reelection. After all, the party single-handedly recaptured the House for the GOP and a majority of the nation’s governorships and legislatures two years earlier. With a substantive case against Lerner, it is suspect as to why the DOJ decided not to prosecute her.