Atomic Labs Across the U.S. Race to Stop Iran

Interesting article in the NY Times about how scientists in nuclear research labs in the US aided the negotiations with Iran

It was over one of those dinners in Vienna last summer that several of the experts began wondering how they might find a face-saving way for Iran to convert its deep-underground enrichment plant at Fordo, a covert site exposed by the United States five years ago, into a research center. That would enable Iran to say the site was still open, and the United States could declare it was no longer a threat.“The question was what kind of experiment you can do deep underground,” recalled a participant in the dinner.

Source: Atomic Labs Across the U.S. Race to Stop Iran – NYTimes.com

Middle East Friendship Chart

Slate has a great interactive chart showing friend/ambivalent/enemy status between middle eastern countries. In the interactive version you can click on each cell and see the explanation.

Examples such as:

Graphical version

Ranking friendliness

Taking a -1, 0, +1 to rank the entities it seems Iraq is the only country with a surplus of friends and the US isn’t looking as bad as you’d think:

  • Al-Qaida: -10 (friends with no one)
  • Egypt: -6
  • Hamas: -3
  • Hezbollah: -2
  • Iran: -2
  • Iraq: +1
  • ISIS: -12 (everybody’s enemy)
  • Israel: -6
  • Palestinian Authority: 0
  • Saudi Arabia: -3
  • Syria: -5
  • Turkey: -4
  • US: -1

Making it friendlier?

If we ignore Al-Qaida (no one’s friend) and ISIS (everyone’s enemy) the results become a little more positive but still not an outpouring of friendship:
– Egypt: -4
– Hamas: -2
– Hezbollah: 0
– Iran: -1
– Iraq: +3
– Israel: -4
– Palestinian Authority: 2
– Saudi Arabia: -1
– Syria: -3
– Turkey: -2
– US: +1

Corporate Taxes: Maybe not so high

So you think US corporate taxes are too high? It’s holding back the economy? Here is what poor General Electric has had to pay.

Grab 0011

What’s that right most graph? “Effective Tax Rate”: aren’t those numbers negative? What, US taxpayers paid them money? They most have declared heavy losses. What, they made billions of dollars every year for the past seven years except for 1 year!
Corporate welfare at it’s best!