Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Late Night

Rock on.

Hillary Clinton Revolution

I'm not comparing Clinton to either Ron Paul or Mike Gravel (or, earlier, Ross Perot), but I do agree that the idea that young people are looking to vote for a young is pretty silly. Paul, Gravel, and Perot all had a strange amount of young supporters. I'm not exactly sure why, but...

Money Well Spent

I actually care about the civil liberties more, but I still keep coming back to the fact that all this stuff is just a colossal waste of resources.
The New York Police Department has abandoned a secretive program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and built detailed files on where people ate, prayed and shopped, the department said.

The decision by the nation’s largest police force to shutter the surveillance program represents the first sign that William J. Bratton, the department’s new commissioner, is backing away from some of the post-9/11 intelligence-gathering practices of his predecessor. The move comes as the federal government reconsiders and re-evaluates some of its post-9/11 policies, including the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection.

Make Jeff Bezos Give Me Money

Can't afford it? Just don't want to contribute? All fine. But if you shop at Amazon and might enjoy giving some of that money to me instead of Jeff Bezos, just click on this link or the ad at the lower right, or search bar to the left, before you make a purchase.

Probably best if my drone army is funded before Jeff's is.

The Road Not Taken

I'm not normally one to cheer on the troubles of higher education. Most of my friends are academics, after all, and I was one. But there's something about the problems of law schools, places long immune from normal academic standards, with inflated salaries due, in part, to the belief that the Profs could magically get jobs as partners at Big Law if only they weren't making big sacrifices for their students.

Don't get me wrong. To the extent that law schools are cash cows, I'm happy for the profs to collect the moneys, much in the same way I'm happy for baseball players to collect the moneys instead of the owners, but when the money dries up...

Luxury Car Services

I suppose as an urbanist I'm supposed to embrace new things like Uber. I think there are good reasons to have a well-regulated taxi market in cities. Pricing should be transparent. Revenues should be such that a hail-able cab market exists in the denser parts of the city.

But, aside from all of that, I am so tired of people complaining about freaking Uber. It's like everyone is discovering that their new boyfriend is a jerk, but maybe next time he'll be nicer. Let it go.

It's a luxury car service.

Anniversary Week Fundraising Fun House Day Two!

Thanks to all who have contributed so far. Consider a wee contribution.








The Maths

Graduate with six figures in debt. Pay those loans off while saving for your retirement and a downpayment.

How's this supposed to work again?

Ban Law Schools

Not that long ago I met someone who said she was $200K in debt from law school with no realistic hope of getting the kind of high paying job that can service that debt. I'd heard the numbers before, of course, but meeting an actual human in that situation brought it home a bit more.

I really don't understand how people of immense privilege can fail to see the reality of the con they're running, or how more generally people bitching about the kids today and their iphones and bippity bop don't get how even people who supposedly did the right thing (as their elders advised them to) are starting life basically screwed. 25 with a mortgage without a house attached to it.

Some Sanity Returns

This whole thing was just nuts.
The Social Security Administration announced Monday that it will immediately cease efforts to collect on taxpayers’ debts to the government that are more than 10 years old.

The action comes after The Washington Post reported that the government was seizing state and federal tax refunds that were on their way to about 400,000 Americans who had relatives who owed money to the Social Security agency. In many cases, the people whose refunds were intercepted had never heard of any debt, and the debts dated as far back as the middle of the past century.

What's Next

Absent economic downturn - which could happen! - I expect the deficit will continue to shrink.

It's your money, people. It'll be tax cut time.

CoT: Lifeblood of the Pundits

Translation.  And exegesis.

In case you were wondering, policy discussion is not the source of pundit power.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Late Night

Rock on.

Monday Night

Have a song.

Huzzah

Civilization returns, at least a bit.

SEPTA will restore all-night subway service on Fridays and Saturdays, at least temporarily, beginning in June, officials said Monday.

SEPTA's proposed new operating budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 includes several hundred thousand dollars to run the Broad Street subway and the Market-Frankford subway-elevated line all night on Fridays and Saturdays.

Getting rid of all night service was more of a security issue than a financial one, and I'm curious whether it will really cost (net) all that much more than the night buses.

I'm old and I'm never out this late, but for service workers, early shift workers, and, yes, drunk people who shouldn't be driving, this is good.

Recognized

I never really understood how the key parts of DOMA and the refusal of states to recognize same sex marriages performed elsewhere were ever thought to be constitutional. Whether or not states (either due to federal or their own constitutions) are required to issue licenses to people is perhaps a more complicated legal question, but those things just seemed to be obvious.
A federal judge in Ohio on Monday ruled against the state law barring recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages, although the order is temporarily stayed until state officials take further action.

In a 45-page decision, U.S. District Judge Timothy Black determined the Ohio law barring recognition of out-of-state same-sex weddings violates protections under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Scandalous Tweet Of The Day

Really doesn't seem like that big of a deal.

Shoethers

Or maybe it was thrown by the ghost of Vince Foster?