How Americans Use The Land


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❝ There are many statistical measures that show how productive the U.S. is. Its economy is the largest in the world and grew at a rate of 4.1 percent last quarter, its fastest pace since 2014. The unemployment rate is near the lowest mark in a half century.

What can be harder to decipher is how Americans use their land to create wealth. The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that Americans use to feed themselves, power their economy and extract value for business and pleasure.

Click through to the article. This is a delightful, informative, visual and intellectual education – online. One of the best educational pieces assembled by the crew at Bloomberg…from work by the US Dept. of Agriculture and other federal agencies. Kudos!

Why are reporters leaving Fox News?


Adam HousleyRichard Shotwell/Invision/AP

❝ Another on-air reporter is leaving Fox News over frustrations with the direction and tone of the network, the second in the last three weeks to defect for those reasons.

Adam Housley, a Los Angeles-based reporter who joined Fox in 2001, felt there was diminished opportunity at the network for reporters and disapproved of the tenor of its on-air discussion…

❝ Housley believed that as the network’s focus on Trump has grown — and the number of talking-head panels during news shows proliferated — it had become difficult to get hard reporting on air, according to one of those former employees.

Housley’s objections to the Trump-era Fox News are widely shared within the network’s reporting corps, according to current and former employees of the network. Conor Powell, the former Fox News Jerusalem bureau reporter, left the network earlier this month for similar reasons…

I’m a news junkie for decades. Never had the slightest inclination to waste time at Fox News. Too many other legitimate sources available on the Web.

Puerto Rico was a Disaster. Washington Still Is.

Republicans are so eager to pretend that Trump can make no mistakes that they’re ignoring life-and-death lessons from Hurricane Maria.

❝ There’s a new official death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and it’s ugly: The island now estimates that 2,975 people died. Donald Trump, however, is still telling everyone his administration did a “fantastic job” and making excuses for the things that did go wrong, which he somehow also doesn’t acknowledge.

And Congress? They don’t seem very interested in the subject.

❝ The thing is: We really don’t know how the response went so wrong. It’s fairly clear that Trump didn’t do his job very well; he didn’t push the bureaucracy to make Puerto Rico relief a high priority, which is something presidents can really do to affect overall government response.

But beyond that, a year later, no one really knows how much of the disaster was the responsibility of the president; how much the responsibility of FEMA; how much was Puerto Rican officials; and how much was other parts of the federal government. Nor do we know how much was simply the inherent difficulty of emergency operations on the island.

❝ The continuing deliberate ignorance is a disaster in itself. It’s one thing for government operations to go wrong; it’s another for the incumbent party to falsely claim that everything is just peachy keen.

There is nothing new about the Republican Party ignoring the plight of folks who mostly vote Democrat. Throw in the fact they speak Spanish – the language at the top of the list of “furriners it’s OK to treat like dirt” – you have a perfect form for ignoring a chunk of Americans and their difficulties.

An investigation might provoke change. More likely, Trumpkins would rather wait till someone “important” is crapped on by Mother Nature. Like a clot of lower middle-class racists in some gerrymandered Confederate suburb.

Serena Williams pokes French tennis stiffs in the eye with her tutu

❝ For the stylish 23-time Grand Slam champion’s first match of the 2018 U.S. Open, Williams sported a one-shoulder black athletic tennis dress with a ballerina-esque tutu skirt. The outfit was created by Louis Vuitton and Off-White designer Virgil Abloh…

❝ Williams, who emerged from her first round of the US Open victorious, made headlines for her on-court fashion just days earlier after French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli told Tennis Magazine that the catsuit that Williams wore to the tournament this year will “no longer be accepted…one must respect the game and the place.”

Every sport has the odd official more concerned with conformity to social norms than experiments which may advance the skill of athletes. Serena answered the French Federation’s Grande Poobah with style and humor.

NotPetya — Tale of a Global Cyberattack

❝ It was a perfect sunny summer afternoon in Copenhagen when the world’s largest shipping conglomerate began to lose its mind…

The gift shop also houses a technology help center, a single desk manned by IT troubleshooters next to the shop’s cashier…Across the street, an IT administrator named Henrik Jensen was working in another part of the Maersk compound, an ornate white-stone building that in previous centuries had served as the royal archive of maritime maps and charts. (Henrik Jensen is not his real name.)…Jensen was busy preparing a software update for Maersk’s nearly 80,000 employees when his computer spontaneously restarted…

❝ Jensen looked up to ask if anyone else in his open-plan office of IT staffers had been so rudely interrupted. And as he craned his head, he watched every other computer screen around the room blink out in rapid succession.

“I saw a wave of screens turning black. Black, black, black. Black black black black black,” he says. The PCs, Jensen and his neighbors quickly discovered, were irreversibly locked. Restarting only returned them to the same black screen.

That was how it started. A long, complex tale of a cyberattack that was more powerful than even the originators of the attack could have predicted. A worthwhile read.

Fake President Lies About Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

❝ Trump’s fond of talking about jobs, jobs, jobs, and how they’re “pouring” back into the country and being created in record numbers.

❝ A picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture is a non-starter: 190k/month versus 190k/month. Despite massive deregulation, tax cuts (and a ballooning deficit), walking away from any number of treaties, various trade wars and tariffs. The net results over the following year and a half has been . . . no change.

I guess “Keep American Jobs The Exact Same it Was Under Obama” was too long to fit on a hat . . .

Our fake president’s lies seem simplistic, easy to verify as crap…because he isn’t capable of anything truly creative. Including his lies.

Thanks, Barry Ritholtz