Tuesday, March 31, 2015
During the prior 40 years, the US economy had grown at a 4% compound rate—the highest four-decade long growth rate before or since—- without any net change in the price level; and despite the lack of a central bank and the presence of periodic but short-lived financial panics largely caused by the civil war-era national banking act.Please read the entire blog entry to see how wrong Ben Bernanke is.
So in 1913 there was no conceit that a relative handful of policy makers at the White House, or serving on Congressional fiscal committees or at a central bank could improve upon the work of millions of producers, consumers, workers, savers, investors, entrepreneurs and even speculators. Society’s economic output, living standards and permanent wealth were a function of what the efforts of its people added up to after the fact—-not what the state exogenously and proactively targeted and pretended to deliver.
Professor Mark Perry: Every month, Walmart gets one “profit day” from its sales, while Apple gets 7.5
Why do progressives hate Walmart for low prices, 3% profit margin but love high-priced Apple and a 24% profit margin? http://t.co/6GnyiL1rf7— Mark J. Perry (@Mark_J_Perry) April 1, 2015
The Justice Department urged a federal appeals court Monday to reverse a hold a judge placed on President Barack Obama's immigration executive action.The struggle.
The 69-page brief was filed with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ahead of arguments scheduled for next month.
Lawyers for the federal government are challenging a preliminary injunction issued in February by a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas. That decision placed on hold an executive action that could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally.
California government entities and their unions are panicking because Obamacare’s punitive 40% “Cadillac Tax” beginning in 2018 will directly hit the low-deductible and broad-provider network type of “platinum” healthcare coverage that public employees have enjoyed under the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS).Federalism?
With the Cadillac Tax estimated at $770 million, public employees face a radical change to “narrow networks” and up to 1,000 percent increase in annual healthcare deductibles.
Hillary Clinton appears to have been damaged by revelations about her email use and is not seen as honest or trustworthy by about half of voters in three key states, according to a new poll.There's more:
A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday compares the former secretary of state with potential Republican candidates in swing states Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
In Pennsylvania, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is edging out Clinton 45 percent to 44 percent, compared with Clinton’s lead on Feb. 3, when she stood at 53 percent to 34 percent against Paul.A look at 2016.
“A red flag in blue state Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton, seemingly invincible before the e-mail scandal, ends up tied with Rand Paul,” Assistant Director of the Quinnipiac University Poll Tim Malloy said in a press release.
In Maryland, where the Netflix series “House of Cards” is shot, a recent report by the legislature’s nonpartisan staff found that for every dollar in film incentives the state doles out, it gets back only 10 cents in state and local tax revenue.The special privilege movement.
In Louisiana, known as “Hollywood South” for the size of its entertainment industry, a new study commissioned by the state’s economic development department says taxpayers lost as much as $184 million on film tax credits last year.
In the fall, Nevada shifted most of the money from its film incentives program into a package of tax breaks for electric carmaker Tesla. And Michigan and North Carolina have substantially scaled back their credits.
“They’re a colossal waste of money,” said Paul Stam, the Republican speaker pro tempore in North Carolina’s House of Representatives. “We were sending big checks to Hollywood producers and rich guys out of state.”
U.S. allies humiliate Obama, rush to join China’s new bank Observers say episode marks diplomatic defeat for Obama
The rush to join the China’s new development bank for Asia has become a stampede, with even longtime U.S. allies such as Georgia, South Korea, Australia and even Taiwan now saying they are ready to join despite the clear reservations of the Obama administration.The world is changing without Barack Obama.
China is putting up half of the planned $100 billion initial capitalization for the Shanghai-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), designed to help finance trillions of dollars in infrastructure projects needed for the booming East Asian region in the coming decades.
At least 42 countries are now expected to be “founding members” of the AIIB, up from 21 when China and a group of Asian and Middle East countries formally signed a memorandum of understanding to open the bank last October, including Germany, Britain, France, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia. Beijing has pressed countries to join by the March 31 deadline, saying only founding members will have a say in setting up the AIIB’s initial structure and lending guidelines.
THIS IS AN EASY SETUP FOR THE REPUBLICANS, IF THEY’RE SMART ENOUGH TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT: Roll Call: DCCC to Hit Republicans on College Campuses.
Hillary’s emails: Deleted but not gone The emails Clinton says she deleted from her personal server may still be recoverable.
As House Republican leaders weigh whether to try to force former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to hand over her personal email server, experts say the messages she deleted from it — or at least portions of them — can almost certainly be recovered.Just a reminder.
Half a dozen computer forensics experts interviewed by POLITICO said remnants of Clinton’s emails likely still exist on the server, although retrieving them could be time intensive and expensive.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Will Apple stop selling products in Saudi Arabia given their stance on gay people? Does Tim Cook like Saudi Arabia more than Indiana?
Will Apple stop selling products in Saudi Arabia given their stance on gay people? Does Tim Cook like Saudi Arabia more than Indiana?— Steve Bartin (@stevebartin) March 31, 2015
Chicago is suffering from a severe fiscal crisis. Like plenty of other municipalities, Chicago lacks the revenue to pay its bills, particularly its pension obligations to city workers. According to a 2013 Pew report, 61 other U.S. cities face similar difficulties, but Chicago's situation is one of the worst. "Voters must realize we are facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression," says Roosevelt University's Paul Green, the doyen of Chicago political experts. "If something doesn't happen, the city is beyond the abyss."The establishment looks at Chicago and it's not pretty.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has engaged in some interstate payback by attempting to lure Indiana companies over the state’s newly signed religious-freedom bill, but what he doesn’t mention is that Illinois already has a similar law.Imagine that.
In a Friday letter, Mr. Emanuel cited the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as a reason to “look next door to an economy that is moving forward into the 21st century,” referring to Illinois.
“Gov. Pence’s act is wrong. It’s wrong for the people of Indiana, wrong for the individuals who will face new discrimination, and wrong for a state seeking to grow its economy,” said the letter, a copy of which was posted on the Crain’s Chicago Business website.
Mr. Emanuel, a Democrat and former top aide to President Obama, failed to point out that the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act became law in July 1998. What’s more, Indiana Republicans say Mr. Obama voted for the measure as an Illinois state senator.
Back in 1995, as he was readying himself for his attempt to get elected to the State Senate of Illinois, this youngish Chicago lawyer (and former community organizer!) joined us to discuss his new book and his attitudes toward various major matters. Having heard him on the air for this hour and a half discussion would you have predicted a “big public career” to come? Frankly, it did not so strike me. But upon the guest’s departure the program’s producer, an otherwise calm, quite intelligent and slightly cynical recent Yale graduate, excitedly declared, “I don’t know where he’s going but I want to go there with him!!” How much of the Obama to come do you hear in this longish sample of the Obama that was?A revealing interview. Barack Obama says he struggles to be black and white.
A victory for Strongman Barack Obama.
The Supreme Court announced Monday that it would not hear a legal challenge to a part of Obamacare, one of many lawsuits against the sweeping health care law enacted five years ago.
The Court denied "certiorari" without explanation in Coons v. Lew, which alleges that the law's Independent Payment Advisory Board is unconstitutional because it has too much power and not enough oversight from Congress.
The board was designed as a safety valve to hold down health care costs by proposing recommendations to reduce Medicare spending growth if it exceeded a certain level. Congress could override the cuts with a two-thirds majority or by enacting a similar level of savings. Because health care costs have been relatively slow in recent years, the board has not taken effect.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the challenge for a lack of jurisdiction after a district court ruled against the challengers on the merits. The appeals court also rejected a part of the lawsuit that challenged the individual mandate, which the Supreme Court upheld in 2012.
In September, Susan Rodolfi celebrated an unusual anniversary: five years of missed mortgage payments.The great moments of theft.
She is like a ghost of the housing market’s painful past, one of thousands of Americans who have skipped years of mortgage payments and are still living in their homes.
Now a legal quirk could bring a surreal ending to her foreclosure case and many others around the country: They may get to keep their homes without ever having to pay another dime.
The reason, lawyers for homeowners argue, is that the cases have dragged on too long.
There are tens of thousands of homeowners who have missed more than five years of mortgage payments, many of them clustered in states like Florida, New Jersey, and New York, where lenders must get judges to sign off on foreclosures. However, in a growing number of foreclosure cases filed when home prices collapsed during the financial crisis, lenders may never be able to seize the homes because the state statutes of limitations have been exceeded, according to interviews with housing lawyers and a review of state and federal court decisions.
President Barack Obama leaped to the defense of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday as the embattled federal watchdog agency unveiled proposed federal regulations to rein in payday lending.There's more:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created by the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010. The law granted the new agency oversight over mortgages, credit reporting, debt collection and payday loans, among other financial products and services.You'll notice the U.S. Constitution requires Congress to appropriate money for government agencies. Are there any other government agencies "progressives" want to fund by fiat money at the Fed?
The bureau’s budget is funded through the Federal Reserve, an arrangement that insulates it from the politically charged congressional appropriations process.
Republicans say the bureau is a prime example of the federal government run amok – overpaid bureaucrats who hurt the economy and job creation by entangling businesses in too much red tape. They want to hold the agency more accountable by subjecting it to congressional budget approval. They’ve also proposed changing the structure of the agency from a single directorship to a five-person politically appointed commission. Some want to dismantle it altogether.
Obama pledged Thursday to veto any bill that would threaten the bureau or any other Wall Street regulation efforts.
Boston schools’ language barriers persist. US says city failing to improve English skills for thousands
The Boston school system is failing to adequately teach thousands of students who speak limited English and provide them with rigorous coursework, nearly five years after promising the US government it would overhaul programs to comply with civil rights laws, according to an ongoing federal review obtained by the Globe.The great moments of illegals flooding government schools.
The violations are so widespread — prompting repeated visits by federal investigators over the last few months — that the school system is increasingly concerned that the federal agencies might head to court to force compliance.
The situation is the most dire in the middle grades and the high schools, where 49 percent of students known as English-language learners are receiving insufficient levels of specialized instruction or none at all, according to the latest review by the US departments of Education and Justice, dated March 2. And 24 percent of elementary school students with language barriers are in a similar predicament.
Overall, about 30 percent of the system’s 57,000 students are classified as English-language learners.
Federal Bureaucrat objects to bumpersticker: ‘US Gov’t. Philosophy — If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It ’Til It Is’?
Proud of her federal agency’s role in eliminating due process at US colleges and engaging in lots of other forms of bureaucratic mischief, Department of Education bureaucrat Jane writes in the Washington Post that she wants to put an end to insensitive bumper stickers that are micro-aggressions, if not worse, against federal bureaucratsAn article well worth your time.
The federal government has signed agreements with three foreign countries — Mexico, Ecuador and the Philippines — to establish outreach programs to teach immigrants their rights to engage in labor organizing in the U.S.The Obama regime's union movement.
The agreements do not distinguish between those who entered legally or illegally. They are part of a broader effort by the National Labor Relations Board to get immigrants involved in union activism.
The shift to a more do-it-yourself approach to trading can be seen in many ways. At U.S. auctions this year, the 22 primary dealers designated to underwrite the debt and trade directly with the Fed bought 36 percent of Treasuries sold, the smallest share on record, Treasury data compiled by Bloomberg show.Today's bond market.
Deutsche Bank AG, the biggest bond firm by trading volume, is looking to shrink its interest-rate trading business, a person familiar with the matter said this month.
“As the president of Cornell University, I want to be clear that the notion that Cornell would allow ISIS training sessions on our campus is ludicrous and absolutely offensive,” Skorton emphatically declared.President Skorton probably likes MSNBC style journalism.
He then described Project Veritas as a “dishonest” and “deceitful” journalism organization, claiming that O’Keefe’s group edited Scaffido’s words in an unethical way.
“Project Veritas, the organization behind this shoddy piece of ‘journalism’ has been repeatedly vilified for dishonest, deceitful activity,” Skorton admonished. “It is shameful that any individual would pose as a student facing racial discrimination at another university, ask leading questions on hidden camera about Cornell’s tolerance for differing viewpoints and backgrounds, and then conveniently splice together the resulting footage to smear our assistant dean and our University.”