Monday, December 22, 2014
Posted by Steve Bartin at 4:37 AM
The International Business Times reports:
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel carries a well-earned reputation as a man who's comfortable with controversy, someone who'd rather be powerful than loved. So it is with his handling of accusations that his campaign improperly accepted contributions from companies that manage city pension funds. Even as Emanuel confronts calls from local lawmakers for a federal probe, he has just accepted another infusion of cash from the same financial services firms whose contributions triggered the scrutiny.Rahm Emanuel: America's most "conflicted" Mayor.
Last week, Emanuel raked in more than a half-million dollars in campaign cash in a single day. Among the contributions were $100,000 from top executives at Madison Dearborn Partners and another $50,000 from John Buck, the principal of the John Buck Company. Those two firms currently manage Chicago pension money and their executives have previously made major campaign contributions to Emanuel, who appoints members of the boards overseeing pension investments. Emanuel, 55, is running for a second term in Chicago's municipal election in February.
Chicago lawmakers have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate possible violations of the agency’s “pay-to-play” rule, designed to prevent campaign contributions to public officials from executives at firms managing public pension money.
The lawmakers also asked the city’s inspector general to investigate whether the campaign contributions violated an executive order (signed by Emanuel himself) that bans campaign contributions to him from city contractors and subcontractors. That order says “it is necessary that public officials and contractors adhere to the highest ethical standards and avoid transactions and circumstances that may compromise or appear to compromise the independence of any City decision.”
Posted by Steve Bartin at 4:32 AM
Koch brothers bad, Castro brothers Boy Scouts. The left’s reaction to the president’s Cuba move illuminates liberal hypocrisy
The Washington Times reports:
Liberals were in a near euphoric state on Wednesday after President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba are on a path to normalizing relations between the two nations, a move that will pave the way for a U.S. Embassy in Havana, and may eventually lead to lifting a 50-year-old American trade embargo.The typical tenured professor is closer ideologically to the Castro brother than the Koch brothers.
I mean sure, the Castro brothers are oppressive to their own people. So they’ve killed an untold number of political dissidents or imprisoned them in forced labor camps. So they don’t allow “freedom of speech,” or “freedom of the press,” or “the right to assemble.” Yeah sure, they’re a “state sponsor of terrorism.”
Posted by Steve Bartin at 4:28 AM
The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
Companies that Chicago Board of Education member Deborah Quazzo has an interest in have seen the business they get from the city’s schools system triple since Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed her to the board last year, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show.There's more:
From 2010 until her June 2013 appointment, the total payout to companies that Quazzo invested in has come to about $930,000, the records show.
Quazzo’s companies have gotten an additional $2.9 million in Chicago Public Schools business in the year and a half since the millionaire venture capitalist joined the board to fill a vacancy left by Penny Pritzker when President Barack Obama named Pritzker commerce secretary.
In all, five companies in which Quazzo has an ownership stake have been paid more than $3.8 million by CPS for ACT prep or online help with reading, writing and math. One of them stands to collect an additional $1.6 million this year from a district contract.
Last year — the district’s 2013-14 budget year — records show CPS paid ThinkCERCA, which offers an online teaching aide, a total of $416,210 to help teachers from at least 84 schools and two school networks try to meet the state’s new Common Core standards. So far this year, the payments total about $493,000.Imagine that.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 4:21 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 4:14 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 4:11 AM
The New York Times reports:
A machine that administers sedatives recently began treating patients at a Seattle hospital. At a Silicon Valley hotel, a bellhop robot delivers items to people’s rooms. Last spring, a software algorithm wrote a breaking news article about an earthquake that The Los Angeles Times published.Better robots may decrease the demand for labor in many jobs. That's why raising the minimum wage is the exact wrong thing to do.
Although fears that technology will displace jobs are at least as old as the Luddites, there are signs that this time may really be different. The technological breakthroughs of recent years — allowing machines to mimic the human mind — are enabling machines to do knowledge jobs and service jobs, in addition to factory and clerical work.
And over the same 15-year period that digital technology has inserted itself into nearly every aspect of life, the job market has fallen into a long malaise. Even with the economy’s recent improvement, the share of working-age adults who are working is substantially lower than a decade ago — and lower than any point in the 1990s.
Economists long argued that, just as buggy-makers gave way to car factories, technology would create as many jobs as it destroyed. Now many are not so sure.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:55 AM
Wall Street Cheat Sheet reports:
Using Labor Statistics data on the fastest growing occupations, coupled with information from Payscale’s College Major ROI report and a study performed by NBC, we determined a list of useful college majors to provide a few ideas. Some of these degree options don’t necessarily guarantee the most money, but they do provide a solid foundation, decent career prospects, and a bit of variety.Check out the list.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:41 AM
Yahoo Sports reports:
Until we have some actual progress involving an NFL team moving to Los Angeles, maybe it's best to stop the breathless speculation about which teams will move there.Another year without NFL football in Los Angeles.
There won't be a team moving to Los Angeles in 2015. ESPN.com's Adam Schefter said commissioner Roger Goodell told the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams – the three hottest candidates to move to L.A. if that ever happened – that there will be no team in Los Angeles next season.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:37 AM
The Hill reports:
Senior Democratic and Republican aides in the Senate and House blame the White House for killing several attempts to pass a two-year extension of a package of expiring tax breaks.We'll bet Barack Obama does the same thing next year and then attempts to blame Republicans when things don't work out.
They argue the White House’s motivation was to put pressure on Congress to review the tax code again in 2015.
The lame-duck Congress approved a one-year extension of the package, which sets up a new debate for next year.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:32 AM
Bloomberg Businessweek reports:
The town of South Pittsburg, Tenn., has just passed the best social media policy ever. At least, that’s what certain people have to say—because South Pittsburg has barred them from criticizing the town on social media.How much longer before America's biggest cities adopt this stand on free speech?
The town of 3,000 people, just west of Chattanooga, passed a resolution on Dec. 9 that applies to anyone professionally connected to South Pittsburg—including employees, volunteers, and contractors—from “publicly discuss[ing] information about other employees and/or volunteers not approved for public communication” on social media, according to the official resolution. It also warns against writing anything on a personal Facebook (FB) page or on Twitter (TWTR) that might be considered defamatory or libelous. People “should have no expectation of privacy whatsoever,” the policy states.
“The first thing everyone wants to say is, ‘I can’t post anything on Facebook,’” the town’s commissioner, Jeff Powers, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “Well, you can. Just not [anything] that sheds a negative light on any person, entity, board, or things of that nature.”
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:24 AM
The courtroom victory of the only Swiss banker to beat the U.S. in a trial over offshore tax evasion may embolden other indicted financial workers to leave a legal limbo some have occupied more than five years.An article well worth your time.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:20 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:12 AM
Truth Revolt reports:
Following the execution of two New York Police Department officers, a Brandeis University student leader wasted no time in making it clear that she did not care that they were murdered.Update on this story, she's now resigned.
“i have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today,” Khadijah Lynch, a junior and an Undergraduate Department Representative in the African and Afro-American Studies Department, wrote on Twitter.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:03 AM
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
The federal government issued a warning Friday about additional cyber attacks using the malicious software from the Sony Pictures cyber attack.Just a reminder.
The U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) said the targeted destructive malware affecting Microsoft Windows systems could be used in additional attacks.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 2:53 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Posted by Steve Bartin at 7:49 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 7:48 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 7:31 PM
NYPD Officers TURN THEIR BACK TO Mayor De Blasio As He Enters Police Press For Murdered Cops (VIDEO)
Posted by Steve Bartin at 6:14 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 6:11 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:43 PM
New Geography reports:
For more than 40 years, the Democratic Party has drifted far from this tradition, its policies increasingly a blend of racial and gender politics combined with a fashionable brand of environmental fanaticism. No longer does it constitute a reliable, middle class-based alternative to the corporatist mindset of the Republicans. “Today’s Democrats have no more in common with Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson ,” notes author Michael Lind, “than today’s Republicans have in common with Abraham Lincoln or Dwight Eisenhower. “You'll want to read the entire article.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:00 PM
Skull and Bones Member Writes Book About Skull and Bones Member Suppressing Any Mention of Skull and Bones: George W. Bush Keeps Quiet About Ties to Secret Society
George W. Bush suppressed the the Skull and Bones connection in the new book he wrote about his father.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 4:52 PM
A California Assault on Free Speech That Would Shock the Founders. The state’s attorney general is attempting to silence a foundation that educates Americans on free markets.
The Wall Street Journal on the fascist movement out in California.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 11:07 AM
The Daily Caller reports:
Appearing on “Fox and Friends Sunday,” former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that those who had created an atmosphere of “severe, strong, anti-police hatred,” including President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and activist Al Sharpton, should be ashamed of themselves.Conflict in Blue America.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 11:00 AM
The American Interest reports:
As the United States staggers toward the seventh year of Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, a growing disquiet permeates the ranks of the American left. After six years of the most liberal President since Jimmy Carter, the nation doesn’t seem to be asking for a second helping. Even though the multiyear rollout of Obamacare was carefully crafted to put all the popular features up front, delaying less popular changes into the far future, the program remains unpopular. Trust in the fairness and competence of government is pushing toward new lows in the polls, even though the government is now in the hands of forward-looking, progressive Democrats rather than antediluvian Gopers.An article well worth your time.
For liberals, these are bleak times of hollow victories (Obamacare) and tipping points that don’t tip. For examples of the latter, think of Sandy Hook, the horrific massacre in Connecticut that Democrats and liberals everywhere believed would finally push the American public toward gun control. Two years later, polls show more Americans than ever before think it’s more important to protect gun access than to promote gun control.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 10:50 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 10:43 AM
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Posted by Steve Bartin at 12:34 AM
The Daily Caller reports:
Common Core has plenty of other notable advocates who’ve recently weighed in with words, if not evidence. University of Miami president and former Clinton administration official Donna Shalala penned an op-ed stating that the country needs Common Core to address “gender-based inequities” hurting female students. Not only did Shalala offer no evidence supporting the notion that the Core would fix inequities, when it comes to college- and career-readiness – what the Core is supposed to put on turbo boost – women are outperforming men, 57 percent of college students are female and only 43 percent male, and women far surpass men in taking rigorous Advanced Placement courses in high school.What better proof than this that Common Core is a total fraud?
Posted by Steve Bartin at 12:11 AM