The Breakfast Club (Kryptonite)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Outbreak of World War One; Troops disperse ‘Bonus Army’ marchers; A U.S. Army bomber crashes into the Empire State Building; Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and author Beatrix Potter born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

When Harvard men say they have graduated from Radcliffe, then we’ve made it.

Jackie Kennedy

Breakfast News

Hedge funds tell Puerto Rico: lay off teachers and close schools to pay us back

Billionaire hedge fund managers have called on Puerto Rico to lay off teachers and close schools so that the island can pay them back the billions it owes.

The hedge funds called for Puerto Rico to avoid financial default – and repay its debts – by collecting more taxes, selling $4bn worth of public buildings and drastically cutting public spending, particularly on education.

The group of 34 hedge funds hired former International Monetary Fund (IMF) economists to come up with a solution to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis after the island’s governor declared its $72bn debt “unpayable” – paving the way for bankruptcy.

NSA will destroy millions of American calling records ‘as soon as possible’

The Obama administration has decided that the National Security Agency will soon stop examining – and will ultimately destroy – millions of American calling records it collected under a controversial program revealed by former agency contractor Edward Snowden.

When Congress passed a law in June ending the NSA’s bulk collection of American calling records after a six-month transition, officials said they were not sure whether they would continue to make use of the records that had already been collected, which generally go back five years.

Typically, intelligence agencies are extremely reluctant to part with data they consider lawfully obtained. The program began shortly after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, but most of the records are purged every five years.

BP reveals $6.3bn quarterly loss due to Deepwater Horizon bill

BP has revealed a loss of $6.3bn (£4bn) for the second quarter after being forced to book new costs linked to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The UK oil company slid into the red after taking an extra $10.8bn charge related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.

The provision follows the $18.7bn legal settlement reached by BP earlier this month to cover US federal, state and local claims.

The Deepwater Horizon bill led to BP recording a replacement cost loss – the benchmark measure for the oil industry – of $6.3bn for the quarter and $4.2bn for the first half of 2015. This compares witha profit of $6.7bn in the first half of last year.

Lafayette shooting highlights failures of gun background check laws

In the wake of the Lafayette theater shooting, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal on Sunday called on other states to strengthen their background check laws for gun purchases, implying that his state’s laws could have prevented the shooting.

“Like I said, in Louisiana, we toughened our laws a couple of years ago,” Jindal said Sunday on Face the Nation. “If [the shooter] had been involuntarily committed here, if he had tried to buy that gun here, he wouldn’t have been allowed to do that.”

But Louisiana’s system has several holes. In fact, that state’s flawed adherence with existing federal law illuminates just how unreliable existing background check laws are.

US bans cilantro imports from Mexican farms littered with feces and toilet paper

The US has banned imports of cilantro from several farms in the Mexican state of Puebla after an investigation found growing fields littered with human feces and toilet paper.

A joint investigation by the US Food and Drug Administration and Mexican authorities found “objectionable” hygiene conditions in eight of 11 cilantro farms inspected in Puebla, Mexico’s fourth-biggest state, 130km (80 miles) south-east of the capital.

Five of the eight Puebla farms have been linked to recurrent outbreaks of the serious gastric disease cyclosporiasis in the US since 2012. The herb is thought to be at least partially responsible for a current outbreak which has so far sickened 200 people in Texas.

US family make million-dollar gold find from Spanish fleet off Florida

A Florida family has been rewarded for years of treasure hunting after finding gold artefacts worth $1m or more from the wreckage of a 1715 Spanish fleet that sank in the Atlantic, according to a salvage company.

The find included 51 gold coins of various denominations and 40ft (12m) of ornate gold chain, said Brent Brisben, whose company, 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels LLC, owns the rights to the wreckage.

The Schmitt family, who hunt for treasure off their salvage vessel Aarrr Booty, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Brisben said he timed the announcement to coincide with Friday’s 300th anniversary of the sinking of 11 galleons brought down by a hurricane off the coast of Florida, as the convoy was sailing from Havana to Spain.

World’s most popular song is not under copyright, according to lawsuit

You may have noticed something very strange about birthdays in movies and on TV. Namely, that the lucky recipient of the presents rarely has Happy Birthday sung to them – instead they might get For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow, a song only heard in movies and on TV. That’s because Happy Birthday – often claimed to be the world’s most popular song – has been under copyright to the publisher Warner Chappell, which has zealously enforced its right to royalties and earns an estimated $2m a year from Happy Birthday. [..]

Now attorneys for Nelson’s Good Morning to You Productions have found a songbook from 1927 containing Happy Birthday, with no copyright notice – predating Warner Chappell’s copyright by eight years. The songbook was in documents handed over by the publisher this month, which were “mistakenly” not produced during the discovery period in the case, which ended more than year ago.


Must Read Blog Posts

One Way to Ease the Worldwide Water Crisis – End Privatization Gaius Publius, naked capitalism

Will Hillary Clinton Adopt Hedgie Billionaire John Arnold’s Schemes for Retirement Insecurity? Lambert Strether of Corrente, naked capitalism

Greece Negotiations Already Starting to Look Wobbly Yves Smith, naked capitalism

Obviously, No One Ever Would Have Thought Of Remote Controlled Sex Toys Without This Patent Tim Geigner, Techdirt

Police Shut Down Hologram Concert Of Rapper Because They Don’t Like His Lyrics; Pretty Clear First Amendment Problem Mike Masnick, Techdirt

[Brain-eating amoeba is eating Republican brains Frederick Leatherman, FDL

Brain-eating amoeba is eating Republican brains Jon Green, AMERICAblog


Your Moment of Zen