Sunday, August 30, 2015
Posted by Steve Bartin at 7:25 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 1:15 AM
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Posted by Steve Bartin at 6:58 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 6:06 PM
The Hill reports:
Facing long odds at retaking the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Democrats are pushing hard for redistricting reform as a potential route back into control of the lower chamber.The odds.
The legislation is not new –– many Democrats, including Pelosi, have been advocating for independent redistricting panels for at least a decade –– nor is it going anywhere in a Congress led by Republicans who are benefitting handsomely under the current process.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 6:02 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:52 PM
Des Moines Register reports:
Liberal revolutionary Bernie Sanders, riding an updraft of insurgent passion in Iowa, has closed to within 7 points of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race.Look at what lengths the establishment will go to in hiding Comrade Sanders' socialist label.
She's the first choice of 37 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers; he's the pick for 30 percent, according to a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll.
But Clinton has lost a third of her supporters since May, a trajectory that if sustained puts her at risk of losing again in Iowa, the initial crucible in the presidential nominating contest.
This is the first time Clinton, the former secretary of state and longtime presumptive front-runner, has dropped below the 50 percent mark in four polls conducted by the Register and Bloomberg Politics this year.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:45 PM
New Geography reports the danger of relying on progressive taxation for state budgets:
California goes through these repeating cycles like a bad dream. Asset prices increase. California’s revenues increase. Sacramento spends that windfall as if asset prices will continue to rise forever. Worse, legislators commit to future spending as if the boom will continue forever.There's more:
Of course, booms don’t go on forever. Inevitably, prices fall. The gains that drive California’s revenue turn into losses, and California faces yet another budget crisis. Sacramento responds by raising taxes on the wealthy, and increasing the state’s reliance on the few wealthy. This pretty much guarantees that the problem will be even worse in the next cycle.
It’s a self-reinforcing boom and bust cycle of ever increasing revenue volatility.
It’s amazing to me that California’s leadership continues to do this, and that Californians allow it. It can only be possible because so few Californians understand the state’s finances. The people who responded to me are relatively well informed; far better informed than most Californians. Yet, even they don’t know how California’s revenues work.
It appears that California’s susceptibility to asset volatility is California’s best kept secret. That needs to change.
A decline in asset prices would have a detrimental impact on California’s budget because California’s tax system is extraordinarily progressive, with the result that a few really wealthy people pay a huge proportion of California’s taxes. California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office has estimated that the top one percent of California’s population paid half of the state’s income taxes in 2012. Income taxes are California’s major revenue source, comprising about 65 percent of the state’s income.An article well worth your time.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 1:25 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 1:15 PM
Apple's Tim Cook Likes Big Brother Government. Steve Jobs famously disdained D.C. Tim Cook’s quietly taking it on.
As Apple chief Tim Cook quietly slipped out of a public meeting at the White House for a private lunch with Eric Holder in December 2013, the attorney general braced himself for a rough encounter. His Justice Department had sued Apple more than a year earlier, after all, for the way that the company priced its e-books, touching off a bruising legal war between the two. And this time Apple seemed even more apoplectic. It was seething over a flurry of reports that the NSA had quietly cracked its servers and gained access to untold millions of its customers’ personal communications.Is Apple entering the rent-seeking era of their business? It appears so.
Cook and Holder hotly debated security and privacy during their first-ever meeting on that freezing December day, but the attorney general said he sat across a much different leader than he had expected. “We found we had a mutual Alabama connection,” Holder recently explained in an interview. The sister of Holder’s wife had helped desegregate the University of Alabama, and Cook, a gay man born and raised in the South, knew firsthand the impact of discrimination.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 12:38 PM
Angry parents sending death threats on social media to their children's teachers, shock survey reveals
The New York Daily News reports:
Parents are sending death threats to their children's teachers on social media, a shock new survey has revealed.Anger.
Three out of four teachers in in the U.K. have said parents’ behavior toward them has become more obnoxious in the last five years.
The poll of 796 teachers in England and Wales also revealed that the parents of younger pupils tend to be more verbally aggressive to teachers.
And teachers have been subjected to nasty comments about their appearance, weight and sexuality — as well as having their teaching ability called into question.
Teachers said parents’ use of social media was making the problem worse, with one teacher in Cumbria, England, saying she received late-night threats.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:32 AM
You can't say Nassim Taleb didn't warn you: the outspoken academic-philosopher, best known for his prediction that six sigma "fat tail", or black swan, events happen much more frequently than they should statistically (perhaps a main reason why there is no longer a market but a centrally-planned cesspool of academic intervention) just had a black swan land smack in the middle of the Universa hedge fund founded by ardent Ron Paul supporter Mark Spitznagel, and affiliated with Nassim Taleb.You've been warned.
The result: a $1 billion payday, translating into a 20% YTD return, in a week when the VIX exploded from the teens to over 50, and which most other hedge funds would love to forget.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:24 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:10 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:02 AM
The Boston Herald reports:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is drawing protests from another Latino organization — this time, one based in the music industry.Some people don't want to be respectful of American immigration law.
The organization that runs the Latin Grammys and promotes the genre around the world, the Latin Recording Academy, says that "Trump needs a respectful reminder" of the "countless contributions Latinos make to American culture."
Posted by Steve Bartin at 8:53 AM
The Washington Examiner reports:
In a webcast with Jewish groups Friday, President Obama dodged concerns that the campaign to defend his nuclear deal with Iran is flirting with anti-Semitic stereotypes.The manners of Strongman Barack Obama.
Citing "appalling" attacks by fellow Jews against Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat who came out in favor of the deal a week ago, Obama challenged the idea that supporters had engaged in equivalent rhetoric, saying the attack on Nadler "is the kind of stuff that people have to be deeply concerned about."
He also said everyone should keep in mind that "we're all pro-Israel."
But he did not condemn, nor did he mention, that Sen. Chuck Schumer also has been subjected to vitriolic attacks since he came out Aug. 7 against the deal. Among those who fired back at Schumer, also a Jewish Democrat from New York, were former top Obama administration advisers Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor, who suggested that Democrats should replace him as their incoming Senate leader before next year.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 6:39 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 6:37 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 6:12 AM
With Hillary Clinton claiming GOP candidates wanting to send illegals back in box cars : it time to look at the Democrat party hero that rounded up Japanese-Americans and put them in internment camps. The FDR library reports FDR signed an Executive Order forcing 110,000 Japanese-Americans from their homes into internment camps. FDR: hater of civil liberties, Japanese-Americans, and of course blacks.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:59 AM
The New York Post reports:
GOP frontrunner Donald Trump on Friday ripped longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her hubby Anthony Weiner, calling the ex-Congressman a “perv” and a “sleazebag” during a speech in Boston.There's more:
Trump said that Abedin — whose first name he repeatedly mispronounced “Ooma” — worked closely with the former first lady and has access to classified information.
“And who is Huma married to?” Trump asked, according to The Hill. “One of the great sleazebags of our time, Anthony Weiner.”
Though Trump said he knew Weiner “was a bad guy then,” he donated $2,000 to his campaign in 2010, the Website reported.Donald had to pay the shakedown fee to operate in New York.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:42 AM