It’s not clear why.

On Twitter, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by today’s terrible tragedy.”


The search for Chinese workers killed in the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan has turned up hundreds of workers from Japan, the United States and Europe, and some estimates put the number as high as 1,000, CNN is reporting.

Some of those in the country have been in China for the last year and most appear to have returned home without injuries or even serious injuries.

But there is still a lot of uncertainty, according to one expert.

“What we have is a country of about 6.3 million people. There are about two million who were working overseas in the same period of time. That leaves about 450,000 who are unaccounted for,” said Daniel C. Davis, president and chief executive at a Chicago consulting firm, Davis Partners. “It’s a huge number and, if we’re not careful, we’re going to start with a huge number of deaths.”

A spokesperson for the Japanese Foreign Ministry, however, said Monday that more than 1,200 foreign workers there have been notified that they may have been killed.

“Unfortunately, we have received the information that at least five Japanese nationals who are in China may have died as a result of the storm,” said the ministry’s director general of communications, Hiroshi Ishii.

The department, which said “there has been no public health or public safety threats related to this incident,” is still considering new rules for the sale and use of vape cartridges.

So we now find ourselves with a situation where a city wants to ban the sale or possession of products like e-cigarettes that don’t have harmful additives. What is this regulation protecting? No one knows, and this law will have very little impact on users like myself who want high quality products that don’t have the harmful additive on their side.

The city attorney’s office decided that my local vape shop, Vaporized Vapes, would not be punished because the company had failed to disclose a new additive to sales representatives about a year and a half ago, and that the new additive didn’t impact the health, safety or quality of my product. In a strange twist, Vaporized Vapes was not required to inform anyone who tried to purchase my product that they were purchasing an unregulated product. To me, this is a sign that a consumer’s right to choose whether or not an additive could harm them whether they had a choice to ask about it or not has already been stripped away from them in LA.

“ The City Attorney’s Office does not consider consumers to be potential victims under the new regulation. While Consumer Protection is protected in this case, the right to choose is not.”

There’s a major irony to this law being designed to protect people with cancer from an unknown compound in the e-juice that they aren’t yet told they are purchasing. No one, including the City Attorney’s office, can see the content of the e-juice cartridge we purchase, so the only way we won’t get sick from a potentially dangerous additive is if we don’t give it a chance to expose us to it. So when the City Attorney’s office decides that people don’t have the right to know what they’re getting into, it takes away the rights of users they are meant to protect. I can guarantee that many people in this situation anyone who wants a high quality product and doesn’t have a choice will be forced to purchase unregulated products. And in a city like LA where vaping is growing like a cancer, it will only grow to be a bigger problem. So if you’re the type of person who has a right to be protected by the law and can’t find a retail store that carries vaping products in a reasonable size size in your city, the best thing to do is purchase their product from another vape shop that carries the same type of products and makes sure to buy one that comes with the product warranty. Then, you can always look up vape shop reviews on Amazon, where you can find other customer reviews, and you can find a brand you like for no extra cost or hassle to you. It’s your consumer’s right to be educated and informed, and it’s your choice to know what you’re getting into that’s better than buying an unregulated product.

He also faces a lawsuit accusing Shkreli of taking money from patients at his company’s medical clinics. The new allegations appear to be the latest effort by an elite group of biotech executives to extract bribes from pharmaceutical researchers who receive money from drug companies.”

Moody’s has downgraded the ratings of six drug companies in a two-day ratings action Friday. The banks have accused two companies of knowingly falsifying their financials.

The decision was in line with Moody’s’ view that the group of companies “likely had substantial fraud and manipulation related to the repurchase of overvalued loans, as well as inflated drug prices, in a market environment in which significant costs of servicing these loans outweighed the value of the loans, to the tune of approximately $2.5 billion.”

Some analysts said that the downgrades are unlikely to change Wall Street’s view of the companies’ creditworthiness. Still, in a letter to members of Congress and others Monday, Moody’s warned that the companies “may face loss of the ability to make interest payments.”

Another rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, has also downgraded six companies.

“While our primary objective is to consider the creditworthiness of all issuers for any particular credit rating, we have taken into account the quality of the companies affected by this rating action as well as the rating outlook and other significant factors for assessing the creditworthiness of these issuers,” Stuart G. Delery, the agency’s chief executive, said in a statement Monday. He directed the firms to immediately “submit a resolution proposal to the S.& P. Board of Directors concerning their plans to address Moody’s concerns.”

Here are nine stocks he recommends for your consideration. He advises not looking at markets where the Dow or S&P have dropped below 25.

What to do with the rest of your investing cash? The government is taking steps to buy homes that are owned by people who have been hit with unemployment benefits, a program known as “welfare”. They have raised the amount of money that must be collected from welfare fraud. If someone is receiving unemployment benefits… they are not allowed to transfer the money directly to a bank account, and that person’s money is still tied up to the account. However if they transfer the cash in, and the fraud is discovered… the money must be immediately returned… and the bank will be held accountable. This is the way the government can ensure a permanent flow of federal stimulus. They are also buying up mortgages from companies that are being given the chance to improve their product through a “home buyers tax.” Again this applies to consumers… or their “employers” of course. There is a large risk though these programs may be abused… and there is a possibility of default. The government makes these programs subject to Congressional budget approval, which means that if there is a failure, there may not be enough funding to make such programs sustainable. If the Fed stops buying up “real estate” and begins buying “in-kind”. They are taking a risk, but it is not nearly as risky as a sudden market sell-off. If the Fed bought up “real estate” before 2009, it has the advantage of being able to cash out and be able to redeem the cash at full value to the borrower. They have a history of doing this. Unfortunately this is a risky situation. This move would make the Fed a lot more vulnerable to the risk of a negative response if markets went into a frenzy, and the Fed is forced into selling off real estate (via bond purchases) that they may not have enough liquidity in to make the purchases. However if the Fed is able to secure a better mortgage market for the economy after the economic recession… then the risk is lessened. If they sell off some real estate, the government holds onto the remaining cash. As I have stated before… the Federal Reserve has to do what they do, if they want to protect them… they need to sell some “real estate” before their bond buying program runs into the ground. A lot of those “resident” owners would prefer not to return the equity in their homes, and would rather sell to the government instead. The Treasury will want to hold on to home equity investments, for reasons I will explain later. You can read the whole article here .

It is a no-brainer. The U.S. has a real problem with housing debt and price inflation. It did not happen overnight… and this is not just happening in the U.S. Japan has had serious price inflation for years… in fact the Japanese are now losing the ability to get a loan in Japanese yen (JPY). Japan’s Prime Minister has said that his government cannot afford higher prices, and is going on a fiscal experiment to try to control growth and inflation. What he may do is allow the inflation to drive the Japanese economy… which will cause a severe drag on the Japanese economy… forcing the Japanese people to pay for the government’s efforts. Here is the article I wrote on the topic. Here is a link to the Fed’s website on “financial repression”…

How do you believe the Fed will react? It is very unlikely that they would “somewhat” reduce short term interest rates. Long term interest rates are an important part of the central banks ability to manage financial cycles… and I believe the Fed’s action in 2009 could be a significant influence on the future direction of the U.S. economy. Some have criticized the Fed for “interfering” in the market for housing… but that does not matter… the Fed is directly affecting the housing market. There is no denying that housing is an important part of the U.S. economy… and every time the U.S. increases the supply of housing through a federal program… its price goes up… and now we have the perfect time for an article like this.

As you can see, it is almost impossible to find positive results for the economy in the years following an economic shock.. unless they change their approach… and this is the case with the Fed. It is now a central bank decision whether to create an expansion (or contraction) of the money supply or not via the government-forced purchases of home equity. This was not always the case.

Why was this the case?

By far the most important difference in the economic landscape between the US and all other countries around the world is the decline in the money supply that occurs when wages decline

Still, the trend is clearly on its way:

In the long run, Uber and Lyft could become the biggest growth technologies. They’ll play an even bigger role in the U.S. and may even supplant traditional taxi fleets.

A huge problem for everyone is getting a driver license, a task which takes years of education .

“This country has the largest class of unlicensed drivers in the world. Not a single driver has had the time to attend an operating system training course and learn how to operate an app.”

The first round of permits to pick up passengers were issued at least three years ago.

Only 10 miles of the nation’s busiest roads are being monitored by cameras, but more needs to be done, according to the DOT.

The agency said the lack of a system means that drivers will simply walk and not report accidents, since they can’t report them.

If not enough drivers license each year, and too many drivers are denied a permit, things get difficult. “I just can’t see us putting out the number of permits we’re going to need until there’s a steady stream of them. In time, even if they don’t have permits at any time, there’s a steady stream,” said a DOT official.

It’s also down to the supply chain, Mr. Yaghi said. In contrast, the other vendors’ margins have jumped with more of the same product.

On the call, he said that over the last 12 to 18 months, the overall pricing structure had started to change, with lower-priced entry level models going the way of more expensive mid-range options.

“While you do see some significant price reductions, what appears to be happening the most is the pricing structure for entry-level and high-end models is changing, whereas the more expensive models are still showing significant price increases and are still being offered at a premium,” Mr. Yaghi said

“I don’t believe consumers, consumers need to fear that they are going to go to bed unsatisfied and they don’t have as many options as they did even last year,” he said. He also said that price reductions are not being driven by competition, “or anything on that magnitude.”

And despite concerns about a continued trend of steep price increases, Mr. Yaghi is optimistic about the future, saying that market demand has improved.

“I think consumers will see more competitive pricing, less aggressive pricing for the high end that are not at the premium,” he said, adding that he would rather see prices move higher than lower.

~~~~~~~~~ The World Trade Center is a real landmark on the New York skyline. It sits on the southwest corner of Lower Manhattan, just north of the Wall Street Financial Center, as the site of downtown Manhattan’s busiest intersection, where many retailers and services are located. (See map) The World Trade Center stands just a few miles shy of its full, modern, highrise twin towers, which lie on the south side of the same street. With a height of 11 stories, it is the fourth tallest building outside New York City. ~~ Note that the WTC was in its original designation as the Trade Center of the World, and therefore is still known as the Trade Center. ~~~~~~~~~ The main tower of the WTC, as seen from the west side of the street just north of Central Park. The New Mexico’s capital, it was one of the city’s most populous, commercial and residential districts, a gateway to thousands of towns and cities in New Mexico.

WTC WTC WTC World Trade Center 2 WTC World Trade Center 2.0 2 WTC World Trade Center 2.0 ~~ WTC World Trade Center II 2.1 WTC World Trade Center II 2.1 ~~ WTC World Trade Center Tower Building 2.3 WTC Tower Building 2.3 ~~ WTC World Trade Center Tower Building 2.4 WTC Tower Building 2.4 ~~~~~~~~~ First floor of Tower Building 2.4; view of the two other towers and the North tower. (2)

Cecilia D’Onofrio: “The buildings were designed during the post-World Wars, and after that the design of the buildings was done very gradually over a period of seven to ten years. The first thing we did was to redesign the building of the North tower.”

At that time, the North Tower was in need of an increase in height - so in 1950 they re-designed the tower from the original building design. The resulting building was a very tall skyscraper, which stood 14 stories in height. ~~ WTC Tower building 2.5; view of WTC Tower building 2.5

Cecilia D’Onofrio: “It is so big! It’s so tall, you can’t even see your hand in front of you!”

Cecilia D’Onofrio looking forward to opening Day 1 of new World Trade Center. (3)

Cameron Schurter: “In that tower, we added a penthouse on the top, which we call the penthouse lobby. We don’t have a penthouse - that’s a mistake we made when we were designing the towers! That penthouse was made for the owner of the building. It has a fireplace, no big elevators, with windows that open up to two stories. There was a lot of pressure from the tenants to make it as beautiful as possible.”

The new WTC penthouse is an impressive addition to the skyscraper in the World Trade Center Complex. ~~ Day 2: From the entrance to the lobby of the penthouse; the penthouse has an amazing view of the lower Manhattan sky. The lobby is decorated with thousands of colored tiles that change the face of the skyscraper. The penthouse has its own living room, which gives a unique look to the city. Day 2 begins with the introduction of Mr. Lee-Sugarman on his first day overseeing the construction of the New York City Twin Towers. (4)

David Lee: “My whole thing has always been that building, that building must be very special. The people of New York have such an incredible passion about New York… When you move there that really hits home and I’m just able to share a bit about my story because it was just so inspiring for me.” I am pleased to tell you that, over the next six or seven years, we’ll be building the World Trade Center Building 2.5 and building the New York City Twin Towers. The only project I don’t have 100% control over is the World Trade Center, where I’ve been tasked by the team over here to lead the whole project that will be called The World Trade Center building 2.5. ~~ We’ll keep updating you all on the progress of the WTC and WTC 2 in an update soon!

Taken “the market is projected to grow to $31 billion by 2022, with the share of ride-hail startups increasing from 22% to 30% worldwide.”

And India is the largest growth market worldwide for the service, with nearly 20 million rides a day.

By the end of the three months ended June 6, Uber’s (s. - f) market share there accounted for 32% of the global ride-hailing market, up from 18% at the end of Q3 last year.

The number of ride-hail apps has now doubled in just two years, as Uber and China-based Didi Chuxing became the biggest. The number of the two companies’ users about 80 million is now more than double that of China’s Didi.

The market is projected to grow to $31 billion by 2022, with the share of ride-hail startups increasing from 22 to 30% worldwide; at the end of the second quarter, Uber was the largest provider in India with 10 million active users.

“These big deals, particularly that for Didi, show that in the age of AI, driverless vehicles and emerging market drivers, we are well-positioned to continue growing as a global player,” Travis Kalanick, chief executive officer of Uber, said in the statement.

The company said it sold three of its brands, including Lyft (f), to Chinese operator Didi Chuxing for an undisclosed amount in June.

“We remain focused on building the companies we believe in to create great jobs, create wealth and make a greater connection to the world,” Kalanick continued. “We will do so through driving the type of sustainable, profitable growth plan we outlined in the first quarter and continue to create great jobs and wealth in the US and around the world.”

Over five years, Lyft had more than 200 million active users.

Uber, however, said it has added over 2.5 million new drivers since the first quarter of 2017.

“In addition to Lyft, Uber now has drivers working with the company in more than 180 countries. We currently have more than 200,000 new drivers on Uber in more than 180 countries, up from a handful of countries in the beginning of this year,” Uber said.

(Tampa Bay Times)

The president’s visit to Florida has unleashed an unprecedented surge of Republican interest in campaigning in the Sunshine State - a sign of good news for Democrats trying to put a dent in the Trump administration’s fortunes.

“It comes from the heart, it comes from what’s happening with the administration,” said John Sides, a Republican pollster and professor at George Mason University who is working with some political parties across the United States to identify potential Trump voters. “People are getting a feeling that this is very real.”

Trump’s visit to Florida, widely seen in polls as a must-win for Democrats looking to replicate the results of the 2018 House special election and the Senate special election in Kentucky, comes without a Republican candidate in the race to fill the seat left vacant when Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s pick for health care secretary, resigned Friday amid accusations of using private funds to pay for private flights, private rooms and spa services for his family.

The Democratic campaign to fill Warren’s vacant seat has launched a $5 million online “field day” to mobilize Democratic voters ahead of the Florida contest, which will determine whether Democrats can keep a statewide House majority for the first time in decades. Florida is crucial to Republicans, who have been attempting to flip the district, and Democrats are hoping that the visit will serve as a launching pad to gain a significant share of the popular vote.

While Trump and the Freedom Caucus have largely been shut out of the debate, some on the right have said that they plan to back the candidate that the Republican establishment, which is widely viewed as weak, backs.

One party’s message to Florida voters: it’s about a vote, not about party.

What would the Democrats do in this vulnerable Congressional district? They should focus on keeping this seat as an anti-Trump blue wave. They can win this district in their favor. Max Boot (@MaxBoot) January 17, 2017

The president’s visit to Florida’s Second Congressional District is nothing unusual, as both Democrats and Republicans agree to events this far out of the home stretch to show support for their candidates.

A Democratic campaign official estimated that more than 1,000 people participated in one of the most recent events at the Pinellas Park Center in Hillsborough.

It has become increasingly clear that not only will Trump bring strong turnout in these areas, but that they will bring significant momentum to Democratic candidates potentially making for the first truly competitive House race for years.

You won’t be a stranger to the restaurant, and this is the place to find some seriously good dishes. While the new location is tiny, there is a lot to see inside the new Cantina, plus new tables and chairs in the back! The food is all excellent, and the staff are great to have around! Check it out!


Happy new restaurant opening! The Cantina at Sacramento! Photo by Stacy from Tastefully Offensive. Tasting menu with all your favorite items from the original Cantina Taco Bell in downtown Sacramento - this includes the fresh Mexican food items, your favorite tacos, tamales and rice bowls! The drinks and desserts will be even better. I’ve seen a lot of people rave about the food, the taste, and the price point here. All of our friends think this is one of the best places to go. I’ll definitely be back again in June 2016/2017 and try some new recipes.

A little news to share… The new Cantina at Sacramento will be open for the holidays from December 4, 2016- January 2, 2017, and from January 6-3, they will close and reopen until 4/15/17. The new owner will be running the tables, and I look forward to seeing the staff from the new Cantina Taco Bell. They are also closing locations in Fremont as well as in Long Beach and Alhambra. What happened? Well, a friend who really liked the new Cantina Taco Bell (she even purchased 2 for herself!) did have some problems with them and asked me if they were going to close, and said she wanted me to go find her so that she could buy her food and supplies. I could not tell her that the next day. So she finally wrote me back when I posted that I could not find her, but that I called and told them that I had found her.. and they now were going to be open. I have never seen a Cantina that closed their doors that fast! I am very happy that someone is making these delicious tacos and being locally owned.

TACO Bell Cantina and San Francisco Downtown SoCal! Photo by Stacy from Tastefully Offensive. Another cool thing is that the tacos came with a free drink! Just like at the original Cantina in downtown. The free drink was not so much of a surprise, but that is the kind of thing that you can count on at Cancun!

I hope you find a location near you! I will post those locations when I get the chance.

Happy new month of October! You know that whole time I was planning out my birthday celebration and I did it to myself, but the fun part was having a party with my best friends, my coworkers and our families. They would share their favorite memories from my year, make sure I had a good time and keep me sane while I was there! I am very thankful for them and their support!

Tacos and Drinks and of course I had some of the best Tacos and drinks they have in Sacramento, by far. I had an Uber home with a friend and a special order of Taco Bell Cantina Tacos (Taco Bell is so good, it’s even better in Taco Bell) and a delicious Strawberry Milkshake. My friend and I had a great and meaningful night out with my best friends in new york, enjoying the wonderful city, making time to see my friends we went all over the place, and the best tacos they have to show for it. The tacos are always good, the drinks are always great even though there is no water available. Thank you Taco Bell!!

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