Wednesday, October 1, 2014

If a private business did this they would be prosecuted. Politicians? Not so much....

Why doesn't the New York Times just increase its prices instead of firing people?

The New York Times does not believe raising the minimum wage will decrease demand for labor, but obviously believes increasing the price of its newspapers will decrease demand for them so continues to fire employees:
The New York Times plans to eliminate about 100 newsroom jobs, as well as a smaller number of positions from its editorial and business operations, offering buyouts and resorting to layoffs if enough people do not leave voluntarily, the newspaper announced on Wednesday...

 ...The reductions, they said, were intended to safeguard the newspaper’s long-term profitability.
 If the New York Times is so convinced that having the government forcibly increase the cost of labor is a good thing why don't they lobby government to legislate an increase in the New york Times' subscription and advertising rates?

A not so gentle reminder about following the "smart money"

As per Bloomberg in May of this year when Fannie Mae was trading at almost $5 a share:

Bill Ackman, who runs the $15 billion Pershing Square Capital Management LP, said that Fannie Mae (FMCC) and Freddie Mac will probably soar because there’s no way to replace the mortgage guarantee companies. 

Fannie Mae could be worth $23 to $47 a share over time, said Ackman, 47, speaking at the 19th annual Sohn Investment Conference in New York, where he referred to a 110-slide presentation on the mortgage companies. Fannie Mae reversed losses and rose 3 percent to $4.10 at 4 p.m. in New York trading. Freddie Mac shares rose 6.3 percent to $4.23.

Today after shareholder lawsuits were dismissed by the courts:

 Chart forFederal National Mortgage Association (FNMA)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just a reminder of who Al Sharpton is

Camille Paglia injects some sense into the campus rape debate

Wildly overblown claims about an epidemic of sexual assaults on American campuses are obscuring the true danger to young women, too often distracted by cellphones or iPods in public places: the ancient sex crime of abduction and murder. Despite hysterical propaganda about our “rape culture,” the majority of campus incidents being carelessly described as sexual assault are not felonious rape (involving force or drugs) but oafish hookup melodramas, arising from mixed signals and imprudence on both sides.
Colleges should stick to academics and stop their infantilizing supervision of students’ dating lives, an authoritarian intrusion that borders on violation of civil liberties. Real crimes should be reported to the police, not to haphazard and ill-trained campus grievance committees.

Too many young middleclass women, raised far from the urban streets, seem to expect adult life to be an extension of their comfortable, overprotected homes. But the world remains a wilderness. The price of women’s modern freedoms is personal responsibility for vigilance and self-defense.

Current educational codes, tracking liberal-Left, are perpetuating illusions about sex and gender. The basic Leftist premise, descending from Marxism, is that all problems in human life stem from an unjust society and that corrections and fine-tunings of that social mechanism will eventually bring utopia. Progressives have unquestioned faith in the perfectibility of mankind...

For more go here

Union lies, media cooperation and fodder for politicians


From  AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch webpage:

In 2013 the CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 331:1 and the CEO-to-minimum-wage-worker pay ratio was 774:1. America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, a country where hard work and playing by the rules would provide working families a middle-class standard of living. But in recent decades, corporate CEOs have been taking a greater share of the economic pie while wages have stagnated and unemployment remains high.

Wow!  Inequality squared. 

However,  courtesy of the always excellent Mark Perry, these  highly selective data points are nothing but a classic bait and switch:

The AFL-CIO is comparing: a) the average salary of a small sample (350) of the highest paid US CEOs, out of a total CEO population in 2013 of 248,760 CEOs, according to BLS data here,
and b) the average worker pay for production and nonsupervisory workers, which represents only 8.5 million factory workers out of a total of 136.3 million payroll employees nationwide.
In other words, the AFL-CIO’s reported “CEO-to-worker pay ratio” of 331:1 is calculated by ignoring 99.9% of all US CEOs and 93.8% of all US workers.
 A more accurate description would be to call it a ratio of the pay for 350 of the highest-paid US CEOs to the pay of only 6.2% of the American labor force, or a ratio of an unrepresentative, infinitesimally small, and statistically insignificant group of CEOs to a small minority and unrepresentative group of US factory workers. It’s a completely bogus and meaningless comparison.
 The top chart above shows a more statistically valid comparison of CEO pay to average worker in the US pay by considering: a) the average annual pay of all US CEOs in every year from 2002 to 2013 (data here) and b) the average annual pay of all US workers in a comprehensive, national BLS dataset...

... Based on those data, the average CEO earned $178,400 last year, the average worker earned $46,440, and the “CEO-to-worker pay ratio” was 3.84:1, and that’s a LOT different from the AFL-CIO’s ratio of 331:1 by a factor of more than 86 times! Call it a “statistical falsehood-to-truth ratio” of 86:1 for the AFL-CIO’s exaggerated, bogus ratio. 

The chart also shows that the real CEO-to-worker pay ratio has not been increasing as is frequently reported, but instead has been remarkably constant over the last 12 years, averaging 3.8:1 in a tight range between a maximum of 3.89:1 in 2004 and a minimum of 3.69:1 in both 2005 and 2006. The ratio of 3.84:1 in the most recent year (2013) was actually slightly lower than the ratios in 2004 (3.89:1) and in all years between 2009 and 2012...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Shock: If government gives stuff away for free there is high demand and low accountability

 And by "gives stuff away free" I mean makes taxpayers pay:

Six-hundred-and-forty-five thousand Maryland residents had so-called Obamaphones in 2012 — one hundred times as many people as there were in 2009, and double the number in that state who are supposed to be eligible for the program based on their income.

The program, officially called Lifeline, is run by the Federal Communications Commission and imposes hefty fees on every paying customer to give free phone service to low-income Americans....

For more go here

Illinois: Case study against term limits

Here’s an interesting argument against term limits: Government business is hard. That’s why we need politicians to hold office for a long time – so they can gain the experience they need to understand how to govern effectively. 

That’s effectively what Christopher Mooney, director of the institute of government and public affairs at the University of Illinois, argued recently when he spoke out against a recent term-limits referendum: “If public policy and the legislature are in any way complex, lawmakers’ effectiveness will increase with experience, on average and to some limit. So less time in the legislature means less effectiveness for individuals and, on average, for the body.”

By that measure, Illinois should be among the most effective legislatures in the entire country. Illinois’ four top legislative leaders have a combined 115 years of state legislative experience.
With 115 years of experience, Illinois tops the nation for legislative leader experience. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

How removed from reality can politicians be?

More than we can possibly imagine:


According to Democrat John Lewis African Americans in Detroit and Chicago  "despite of what may appear are doing pretty well"...

I hear he is also fairly positive on the outlook of Fukashima...

Government workers: The new nobility

According to the Wall Street Journal not only do Federal workers get paid more than their private sector peers they also work less:
"What we found was that during a typical workweek, private-sector employees work about 41.4 hours. Federal workers, by contrast, put in 38.7 hours, and state and local government employees work 38.1 hours. In a calendar year, private-sector employees work the equivalent of 3.8 more 40-hour workweeks than federal employees and 4.7 more weeks than state and local government workers. Put another way, private employees spend around an extra month working each year compared with public employees. If the public sector worked that additional month, governments could theoretically save around $130 billion in annual labor costs without reducing services."
The article concludes: 
"This fact may hold different lessons for different people, but our own take is simple: Before we ask private-sector employees to work more to support government, government itself should work as much as the private sector."

Despite this Senator Richard ("I didn't serve in Vietnam") Blumenthal doesn't think government workers  should have to pay their student debt like the rest of us and has proposed legislation to would make it easier for them to get their student loans forgiven.  

From Redalert:

“Teachers, police officers, public health workers and other public servants should be applauded and supported—and not drowned in debt to pay for the degrees many such jobs require,” Blumenthal said in a release. “The current Public Service Loan Forgiveness program should be expanded—and made more flexible—to enable student debt to be worked down or off completely.”
His bill would change the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program so that it would forgive 15 percent of a government worker’s student loan after two years. Two years later, another 15 percent would be canceled.

After six years of working in the public sector, an additional 20 percent would be forgiven, followed by another 20 percent after eight years. The remaining 30 percent would be forgiven after 10 years on the job.
The current Public Service Loan Forgiveness program requires people to work government jobs and make student loan payments for 10 years. Once they reach the 10 year threshold, the rest of their loan is forgiven.
Where is the outrage?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wear your safety belt in South Carolina

— An S.C. trooper who stopped a man for a seat belt violation outside Columbia and then shot him – apparently without provocation – was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature...

Read more here:
  For more go to The State

Odd how left wing unversities produce so many billionaires....

 ...or maybe its just because most universities are left wing

Police State: You decide

From Reason:
Video footage has been released in the shooting death of John Crawford, the man who was gunned down in a Beavercreek, Ohio, Walmart by cops who apparently thought he was armed and dangerous. In reality, Crawford had picked up a pellet rifle from the hardware section of the store and was carrying it around while he talked on the phone.

The police maintained that Crawford had refused orders to drop the weapon; the video footage proves definitively that that was not the case—the cops shot the man almost immediately after encountering him. Claims in some media outlets that Crawford had been walking around the store and pointing the gun at people also seem false, unless those occurrences happened during the few seconds that Crawford was out of range of the surveillance camera.

Nevertheless, a grand jury declined to indict the two officers involved, according to The Huffington Post. The U.S. Department of Justice will look into the matter, however.

Well we know what would have happened to him, but what will happen to her?

A man suspected of raping a woman at knife point after hours on the El Molino High School campus was to be released from jail Thursday after prosecutors said they found evidence that may clear him of the assault. 

Sheriff’s officials initially said a masked David J. Kocalis, 24, of Guerneville sneaked up behind the woman Aug. 30, held a knife to her and raped her near the Forestville school’s tennis courts. 

He was arrested the next day on charges carrying a possible life sentence after the woman identified a prominent tattoo, and the car he was driving was captured on videotape. 

But prosecutor Brian Staebell said Thursday investigators have since uncovered evidence that may point to his innocence. A judge allowed Kocalis, who had been held on $1.2 million bail, to be released on his own recognizance.

His lawyer, Evan Zelig, said a review of cellphone records showed Kocalis and the 18-year-old woman knew each other. Earlier in the day, she sent him a text message inviting Kocalis for sex, Zelig said.

Their tryst began inside his borrowed Porsche SUV but moved to a spot near the tennis courts because the car’s alarm kept going off, Zelig said. 

After it was over, Kocalis drove the woman home, the lawyer said. She fabricated a story about being raped because she missed her curfew and Kocalis refused to lend her $20, Zelig said...

For more go here

To be fair this would make anyone look stupid

Is this the naughty schoolboy chair at the United Nations?


Imperialist hypocrisy at its finest

From The Guardian:
The US secretary of state, John Kerry, has called for North Korea to shut down its “evil system” of prison camps.

Kerry made his comments on Tuesday at a gathering of foreign officials and activists to draw attention to the findings of a UN commission of inquiry that in February concluded that North Korea’s authoritarian government had committed crimes against humanity.

Kerry said the abuses detailed in the commission’s 400-page report “have no place in the 21st century”...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Oh, you were able to scale our fence, well try this one that is half the size.

Actually they are ladders disguised as bike racks that people can use to get over the fence.

If bombing is so effective why doesn't Obama do it in Chicago?
Glenn Greenwald:
The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.
That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by the 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate – after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq.

The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya even after Congress explicitly voted against authorization to use force, and very few people seemed to mind that abject act of lawlessness; constitutional constraints are not for warriors and emperors).

It was just over a year ago that Obama officials were insisting that bombing and attacking Assad was a moral and strategic imperative. Instead, Obama is now bombing Assad’s enemies while politely informing his regime of its targets in advance. It seems irrelevant on whom the U.S. wages war; what matters it that it be at war, always and forever.

Six weeks of bombing hasn’t budged ISIS in Iraq, but it has caused ISIS recruitment to soar. That’s all predictable: the U.S. has known for years that what fuels and strengthens anti-American sentiment (and thus anti-American extremism) is exactly what they keep doing: aggression in that region. If you know that, then they know that. At this point, it’s more rational to say they do all of this not despite triggering those outcomes, but because of it. Continuously creating and strengthening enemies is a feature, not a bug, as it is what then justifies the ongoing greasing of the profitable and power-vesting machine of Endless War.

If there is anyone who actually believes that the point of all of this is a moral crusade to vanquish the evil-doers of ISIS (as the U.S. fights alongside its close Saudi friends), please read Professor As’ad AbuKhalil’s explanation today of how Syria is a multi-tiered proxy war. As the disastrous Libya “intervention” should conclusively and permanently demonstrate, the U.S. does not bomb countries for humanitarian objectives. Humanitarianism is the pretense, not the purpose.

Well this is awkward

Obama Ebola

...For many feminists, questioning claims of rampant sexual violence in our society amounts to misogynist “rape denial.” However, if the CDC figures are to be taken at face value, then we must also conclude that, far from being a product of patriarchal violence against women, “rape culture” is a two-way street, with plenty of female perpetrators and male victims.

How could that be? After all, very few men in the CDC study were classified as victims of rape: 1.7 percent in their lifetime, and too few for a reliable estimate in the past year. But these numbers refer only to men who have been forced into anal sex or made to perform oral sex on another male. Nearly 7 percent of men, however, reported that at some point in their lives, they were “made to penetrate” another person—usually in reference to vaginal intercourse, receiving oral sex, or performing oral sex on a woman. This was not classified as rape, but as “other sexual violence.”

And now the real surprise: when asked about experiences in the last 12 months, men reported being “made to penetrate”—either by physical force or due to intoxication—at virtually the same rates as women reported rape (both 1.1 percent in 2010, and 1.7 and 1.6 respectively in 2011).

In other words, if being made to penetrate someone was counted as rape—and why shouldn’t it be?—then the headlines could have focused on a truly sensational CDC finding: that women rape men as often as men rape women...