Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Think the Smartest People in the World Are Big Time Investment Advisers? Think Again

Harvard’s $35 billion endowment loses 2.2% when S&P Rose 4%

Houghton College (who?) Beats the Pants Off of the Ivies

One of the great myths of American Finance is that there are a bunch of really smart people out there who can consistently beat the market.  This is not true for two reasons.  The first is that the random nature of markets is such that consistently beating them is very difficult, and the second is that the fees these so called smart people charge mans that in order just to tie the market they need to beat the market.

So it is no surprise that Harvard with its huge number of very highly paid investment folks did terrible in 2016.

Harvard said its investments declined by 2 percent, and its endowment total dropped by $2 billion because of the investment losses and spending. Harvard is now shaking up its endowment management.

What about Yale.  Well a lot better but still below the market average.

Yale did much better than many of its peers, gaining 3.4 percent. But that still lagged the 4 percent return over the same period for the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and wasn’t enough to offset spending. Yale’s total endowment dropped by $200 million, to $25.4 billion.

So who was the big winner?  Why Houghton College of course.

Compare the results with those of Houghton College, a liberal arts institution affiliated with the Wesleyan Church in the Genesee Valley in western New York. Houghton has just over a thousand students and an endowment of $46.4 million.
Houghton emerged in the top quartile of all endowments, according to Nacubo, with a return of 11.85 percent for the year ended Sept. 30. (Houghton uses a different fiscal year.) For the calendar year, the results were also impressive, at 7.54 percent. Houghton has been able to lower its spending rate — the amount it withdraws each year to fund operations — to an enviable 4.5 percent, and may be able to lower it further, to 4 percent.
And how did hey do it?  Simple

The answer is pretty simple: Houghton got out of hedge funds and all alternative investments a year and a half ago, and moved the entire portfolio to a mix of low-cost index funds and mutual funds at the fund giant Vanguard.
Houghton’s endowment is now invested in a simple mix of 76 percent in stocks, evenly divided between United States and foreign, and 24 percent in fixed income, according to Vincent Morris, who joined Houghton last year as its vice president for finance after a stint in risk management at the insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher. Roughly half the endowment is in low-cost index funds, and the rest is in actively managed mutual funds.
See this person paid attention in college.

Houghton’s investment committee met this week, and is likely to move even further from active management, Mr. Morris said. “I went to the University of Chicago, where I sat in a lot of investment classes,” he told me. He learned how difficult it was for active managers to outperform market averages, “especially year after year,” he said, adding, “I’m a big believer in passive investment.”
As for hedge funds and other high-cost alternatives, “the whole two-and-20 model” — in which investors typically pay 2 percent of assets under management and 20 percent of any gains — “is ridiculous,” Mr. Morris said. “The cost structure is outrageous. As they say on Wall Street, ‘Where are the customers’ yachts?’ I’m not going to play that game.”

Trump orders military to come up with a new strategy to defeat ISIS - Real Fake News

Cause Trumpie Said He Had a Plan and He Knew More About Defeating ISIS Than the Generals

Oh, apparently he don't.

Here's some real fake news from McClatchy.  Of course we know its fake because why would a military strategy genius like Donald the Trump have to have someone else come up with his plans.

President Donald Trump on Saturday ordered military leaders to give him a report in 30 days that outlines a new strategy for defeating the Islamic State terrorist group.
“This is the plan to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, in other words ISIS,” he said as he signed the order. “I think it’s going to be very successful. That’s big stuff.”
The plan is expected to include recommendations on changes to military actions, diplomacy, coalition partners, mechanisms to cut off or seize the group’s financial support and a way to pay for the strategy, according to the language released by the White House.
He charged Defense Secretary James Mattis with developing a plan with the help of the secretaries of State, Treasury and Homeland Security, the director of national intelligence, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the assistant to the president for national security affairs and the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article129377294.html#storylink=cpy

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio - First a Liar, Now a Coward

Increasingly the Face of the GOP

Back when he thought he was going to be President of the United States Florida Senator Marco Rubio said emphatically he would not run for re-election to the Senate from Florida.

Marco Rubio is a U.S. senator. And he just can’t stand it anymore.
“I don’t know that ‘hate’ is the right word,” Rubio said in an interview. “I’m frustrated.”
This year, as Rubio runs for president, he has cast the Senate — the very place that cemented him as a national politician — as a place he’s given up on, after less than one term. It’s too slow. Too rule-bound. So Rubio, 44, has decided not to run for his seat again. It’s the White House or bust.
“That’s why I’m missing votes. Because I am leaving the Senate. I am not running for reelection,” Rubio said in the last Republican debate, after Donald Trump had mocked him for his unusual number of absences during Senate votes.

Then when it became clear he would not be President, that he would not be the Republican nominee, that he would not be tapped for VP, that he could not compete with Donnie he said he would run.  Nothing really new here, just another lying politician, they are common in both parties.  And in remarkable display of tolerance Florida re-elected him.  Ugh.

Now that it is time to face the voters in Town Halls, Sen. Rubio just doesn't have the guts to do it.  From Taegan Goddard.

Sen. Marco Rubio address the Heritage Action Presidential Candidate Forum
 on Sept. 18, 2015 in Greenville, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Another finger right back at you Marco (I only appear
in venues where I am liked) Rubio

Rubio Says He Won’t Do Town Hall Meetings

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) won’t participate in town hall meetings because he says political activists will crash them to create a media spectacle of people who “heckle and scream at me in front of cameras,” Politico reports.
Said Rubio: “They are not town halls anymore. What these groups really want is for me to schedule a public forum, they then organize three, four, five, six hundred liberal activists in the two counties or wherever I am in the state.”
Now this is not uncommon, most pols are hypocrites.  It's just that Rubio is so darn good at it. Are'nd from the Boston Globe here's what Chris Christie had to say

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, R, said Sunday that the Trump administration needs to be more mindful of ‘‘perception’’ and urged GOP lawmakers not to shy away from holding town hall events, though they might be confronted by protesters.
‘‘I understand why members of Congress don’t like it,’’ he said of the town halls. ‘‘But you know what? You asked for the job. Go do it.’’
Gosh how bad is Little Marco that he has to be school by Christie?

Historic Black Colleges and Universities Were Created Because Racist Colleges and Universities Would Not Admit Them

Ed Sec Betsy (I am just a clueless white billionaire) Thinks It Was About School Choice

America likes to bury its ugly history of racial discrimination.  The fact that African Americans were denied admission to many private and state funded colleges well into the 1960's is just not something those prestigious institutions want to dwell on.  But until that time if you were Black, you didn't go to places your tax dollars supported.  Then racists would blame lack of Black advancement on the fact that they were stupid and not willing to go to college.  Yeah, that happened.

So in response in the South segregated colleges and universities were started.  They were the only way for African Americans to obtain higher education.  They still exist today, integrated, underfunded and under appreciated.  Well the current Secretary of Education appreciates them.

Angry social media users flew into an uproar Monday evening after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a statement that some said ignored the context under which historically black universities were created.
The statement called historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) “real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” and came shortly after President Donald Trump held a meeting with several HBCU leaders on Monday.

Good grief, it is almost impossible to catalog the ignorance in that statement.  Options mean you have choices, black Americans were given no choice, no rights, no way to go to the top public colleges in the South.  These schools were set up as segregated schools, not as 'options'.  And 'freedom of choice' has a history.  After the Brown decision southern schools decided the way to comply was with freedom of choice, that is, to let students in a school district go to whatever school in the district they wanted to.  Of course if black students made the wrong choice, that is, a white school, they were harassed and their parents were attacked and fired.    That was 'choice' in the 1960's.

Ms. DeVos is one of the most ignorant persons ever to hold a high government position.  She never attended public schools, her children never attended public schools and she has spent her life in luxury and attempts to crush and destroy public education.  The damage she will do to the nation's educational system will live long after she has gone back to her exclusive clubs, her private jets, her support of private schools that only the ultra wealthy can attend.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Will Oscar Mixup Finally End This Fatuous Display of Self Congratulating Blather

No, Not Likely - Hollywood is Too Stuck on Itself

It's not that hard to announce the winner of an Oscar.  You read the list of nominees, you open the envelope and you announce the winner.  If for some reason you were given the wrong envelope you stop, you ask for the right envelope and you announce the winner. But apparently that is too difficult for the pseudo glamorous stars of the movie industry.

Every year the movie industry puts on a four hour display of self congratulating themselves for entertaining the public.  These people, whose collective IQ is probably lower than the approval rating for Congress live to tell the world how wonderful they are, no not how wonderful the world is, how wonderful movie stars are.  But this year they could not even get that right and announced the wrong Best Picture winner.

So one would hope, certainly in vain, that this spectacle would stop.  That citizens would look at the movie industry for what it is, entertainment.  That citizens would recognize that no, movie stars do not know more about policy and politics than anyone else and do not have a need to spout their views even if those views agree with what most citizens are thinking.  That no, the public is not interested in a four hour show to present the Oscar to the Best Short Film Documentary in Black and White From a Non European Country Written By Dwarfs.

But that will not happen of course, and next year the undeservedly rich and famous will once more strut in ultra expensive clothes and jewels although hopefully none will be wearing Ivanka Trump.

Is This Extortion? Well Not When a Company Like Duke Power is Doing It

Getting Harder to Tell the Crooks From the Corporations Any More

Want to get a little bit of compensation from Duke Energy for their mismanagement of their coal ash which resulted in polluting your home’s water?  Sure, just sign away your rights.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Neighbors living near Duke Energy Corp's coal ash pits in North Carolina are being told they have to give up the option of suing over any future water problems if they want extra compensation from the utility.
The country's largest electric company sent out letters last week to about 1,000 homeowners living near 13 of the company's coal-burning power plants spread across North Carolina. In them, the utility said it will require the waiver to release the company from "any claims for further compensation or recovery from Duke Energy" related to alleged groundwater pollution or unsatisfactory municipal water connections.
Duke Energy said its coal-ash pits are not to blame for any contaminants detected in groundwater. The company is offering a $5,000 "goodwill" payment to neighbors "to support your transition to a new water supply," the letters said.

To be fair Duke is offering some other compensation condition free.  But it is clear what is going on here, the company is trying to buy indemnification from homeowners who probably have little understanding of the issues for $5k.  

Politico: Trump Believes Thousands of Voters Bused From Massachusetts to New Hampshire to Fraudulently Vote

Real Story:  Thousands of Boaters Bused to New Hampshire 

From Politico we have one of the more bizarre stories of the year, which is saying quite a bit.

“As soon as the door closed and the reporters allowed to observe for a few minutes had been ushered out, Trump began to talk about the election, participants said, triggered by the presence of former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who lost her reelection bid in November and is now working for Trump as a Capitol Hill liaison, or “Sherpa,” on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch.

The president claimed that he and Ayotte both would have been victorious in the Granite State if not for the “thousands” of people who were “brought in on buses” from neighboring Massachusetts to “illegally” vote in New Hampshire.

According to one participant who described the meeting, “an uncomfortable silence” momentarily overtook the room.”

Wow, what a story!  And of course we mean story in the definition of Wow, what a fib!

But no one should accuse Trumpman of just making stuff up.  See it turns out that last year near the election thousands of people in Massachusetts chartered buses to take them to New Hampshire to go boating, and the headline in the newspaper said

 “Thousands of Massachusetts Residents Bus to New Hampshire to Boat”

Image result for images of boaters
A few of the thousands of voters boaters on their way to
New Hampshire to vote boat illegally

Trump, who as we all know now is not the smartest pickle in the jar just confused boaters with voters.

When asked about the confusion Soviet Sean Spicer (so nicknamed because of his resemblance to a Soviet era press person who lies constantly) said “The President saw the story and he knew perfectly well that the lying media was using the term “boaters” as a code word for “voters”.  Spicer said anyone who disagrees with the President on this story just wants America to be defenseless against terror attacks and is helping the enemy whom he identified as radical Muslim extremists and federal judges.

Later on cable TV, which for unexplained reasons still has her on, Commie Conway (so nicknamed because of her resemblance to a Soviet era press person who lies constantly) said that the President was entitled to this alternative interpretation of the story and then proudly showed off her new Ivanka Trump outfit, hand sewn in Outer Mongolia by little pre-teen girls and available at fine department stores nationwide for the modest price of $395.00.

Chris Christie Trying to Leave At Least One Positive Legacy in New Jersey Before He Leaves

Let’s Hope He Does

Exhibit A in the reality show that portrays the corrupting nature of politics is soon to be former governor of New Jersey Chris Christie.  A complex man who had some good points that were consumed by an ambition and combative personality, Christie will be term limited out of office at the end of the year.  He will probably end up with a great job in some high powered law firm, unless Donnie can overcome his loathing of the man and put him in some federal position.  Not likely.

In his last year Christie is trying to do something about opioid addiction.

“Citing long waiting lists at many treatment centers, Mr. Christie wants to increase the availability of both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. The governor has urged the state legislature to pass laws limiting the quantity of opioids doctors can prescribe and mandating insurance coverage for addiction treatment.
“With the rest of the time that I have as governor, a little less than a year, most of my time is going to be spent on this,” Mr. Christie said at an event in Trenton last week. “Trying to make sure that we get people access to care and treatment, trying to make sure that we talk, most importantly, about this issue in a much different way than it’s been talked about before.”
Connie Greene, center, vice president at RWJBarnabas Health's Institute for Prevention, with Victor Almeida, left, chairman of emergency medicine at Monmouth Medical Center. The institute trained former drug users as recovery specialists to hold interventions for overdose patients.
Connie Greene, center, vice president at RWJBarnabas Health's Institute for Prevention, with Victor Almeida, left, chairman of emergency medicine at Monmouth Medical Center. The institute trained former drug users as recovery specialists to hold interventions for overdose patients. PHOTO: BRYAN ANSELM FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Gee Isn't that a better way than putting them in prison?

We wish the governor well in this endeavor, and would gently remind him that if he had stuck to causes like this instead of trying to yell and bully his way to higher office he might have done a better job at running for President.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Republican Replacement for ACA is Great and Ready to Go

What!  You Thought We Were Serious.  C'mon Man,Work With Us Here

[Update:  The Washington Post reports this.

Divided White House offers lawmakers little guidance on replacing Obamacare
While leaving most of the detail work to Capitol Hill, top administration aides are debating how far and fast Republicans can afford to move when it comes to undoing the Affordable Care Act. But President Trump himself remains the biggest wild card, repeatedly suggesting that his new plan is nearly complete.]

Confused, you will be more than ever after reading this.

For years and years the Republicans voted to repeal ACA/Obamacare, and were only able to keep from repealing it because they knew Mr. Obama and the Democrats would not allow it.  So it didn't matter that they had a replacement plan, they were never going to have to produce it.

But wow, were they screwed when Trump won the election.  See now there was no obstacle to repeal but unfortunately no existence for replacement.  And recently Speaker Paul Ryan went around to the House member declaring that other than a few overbaked under thought ideas, they go nothing.

According to numerous lawmakers and aides in the room, as well as a policy memo distributed afterward, the House leaders laid out elements of a repeal-and-replace plan — including long-standing Republican concepts like health savings accounts, tax credits and state high-risk pools for the chronically sick. But they did not detail how those elements would fit together or get passed into law.
“It’s sort of a smorgasbord right now,” said Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.).
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters Thursday that legislation to overhaul the ACA would be introduced later this month, after lawmakers return from the recess. 
Burt what about that comment that legislation would be introduced later this month? Really, you took that seriously? Remember this.

What was clear Thursday is that Trump intends to take a hands-off approach to overhauling the health-care system — for now, at least. He had earlier pledged, including to The Washington Post shortly before his inauguration, that he had a health-care plan “very much formulated down to the final strokes” to be introduced once Price was confirmed. At a news conference Thursday, Trump again said his plan was in the “final stages” and would be submitted to Congress in March.

And what's the latest from Trump? Well he said recently, probably 2018, which by anyone's calendar except Trump's is not this coming March.

Economists Across the Political Spectrum Agree - Trump Plan for Infrastructure Spending is Rediculous

In Trump's Mind That is Probably a Plus

How does the government get $1 trillion of infrastructure spending by spending only $137 billion? They don't of course unless one lives in the fantasy world of Trumpies.  So here's the plan.

"The proposal is this: To stimulate $1 trillion in expenditures over 10 years, the Trump administration should hand out $137 billion worth of tax credits to private businesses. That federal tax credit would leverage a flood of private money, covering 82 percent of the equity needed for new projects, argues Ross, who co-authored the plan with Peter Navarro, a University of California at Irvine business professor whom President-elect Donald Trump has tapped as his trade adviser."

The reaction from reality, that is economists.

"Hogwash, say economists from across the political spectrum. “It is totally ill conceived,” Lawrence H. Summers, Harvard University economist and former treasury secretary, said in an email.

The clash over the plan goes to the heart of one of Trump’s main campaign pledges — to boost infrastructure spending. Trump never laid out whether he would do that through federal spending or through public-private partnerships. And he has not defined what would qualify as infrastructure, potentially triggering a feeding frenzy in Congress as public officials and corporations seek support for their pet projects.

As a result, the Ross-Navarro proposal, unveiled in late October, is the closest thing to an official one. But economists say its flaws are numerous.

First, “it will function largely as a giveaway to contractors on projects that would have happened anyway,” Summers said."

Well of course.  a giveaway to private companies is what the plan is all about.  If something actually gets done, well that's not expected but would be acceptable.

Ok, Summers is a Democrat.  But what about this fellow?

"Even economists who favor privatization of infrastructure oppose tax credits as the way to go about that. Steve H. Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, served on President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he was in charge of the infrastructure portfolio.Hanke believes that infrastructure should be built and operated by private companies, arguing that public infrastructure projects are plagued by “massive waste, fraud and abuse.”

Yet Hanke, too, says that tax credits won’t do the trick. He says that tax credits for financing infrastructure are “an opaque way to finance infrastructure” that would “complicate an already monstrously complex U.S. tax code.”

Morning Joe Made Morning Joe More Watchable

Which is good because the Joe part of Morning Joe was becoming unwatchable.

There at least one prominent Trumpie no longer welcome on Morning Joe as the WaPo and others report.

MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski said Wednesday that she refuses to book Kellyanne Conway on “Morning Joe” — and that wasn't even the harshest thing Brzezinski and co-host Joe Scarborough said about the counselor to the president.
“We know for a fact she tries to book herself on this show,” Brzezinski said. “I won't do it, 'cuz I don't believe in fake news or information that is not true. And that is — every time I've ever seen her on television, something’s askew, off or incorrect.”
Image result for images of kellyanne conway
Not a picture of Kellyanne when she got the news
Hey Kellyanne, get the message yet? Can you hear it? Do you have a clue?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Trump Has Not Ordered Anyone to be Burned at the Stake!!

Trump Administration So Desperate for Positive Press That They Trumpet as News Things They Didn't Do

Things are so bad with Donnie and the Boys that they are now feeding the press stories about how they did not do awful things.  Here's one.

Ivanka Trump and Jared .

Kushner worked to sink LGBT order
"Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump helped lead the charge to scuttle a draft executive order that would have overturned Obama-era enforcements of LGBT rights in the workplace, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told POLITICO

A draft executive order on LGBT rights that outlines how to roll back former President Barack Obama’s protections and expand legal exemptions based on religious beliefs has been circulating among journalists and worried progressive groups this week.

But two sources close to Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who have a record of supporting gay rights, said the couple favored putting out a clear statement from the president, promising to uphold the 2014 Obama executive order and stopping the momentum for the turnaround in its tracks."

Wow, so Trumpie is to be congratulated for not taking steps to promote discrimination against the gay community.  Stop the Presses!!

Florida State U to Spend Millions to Upgrade School's Golf Course

Wondering Why Higher Ed is Expensive and Failing - Look No More

A college education in this nation used to be, you know, an education.  And it used to be affordable.  Nowadays college leaves a graduate with massive debt and not as much education as they need.  Here's part of the reason at Florida State, millions spent in the past years to maintain a golf course.

FSU’s golf course last underwent a major renovation in 2001, when FSU spent $5.5 million to build a new clubhouse, pro shop and restaurant facility. In 2004, it spent $2.2 million to rebuild its tees and greens and install a new irrigation system.

Renovations to the course and two-story brick facility are expected to cost between $4 million to $6 million. The project’s start date is yet to be determined.

No further comment needed, is there?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Kansas Republicans - Smarter Than the Rest of Us - Show Us How Massive Tax Cuts Energize a State's Economy

Except of Course They Don't

When Republicans took full control of Kansas in 2011 Gov. Sam Brownback pushed through massive tax cuts.  This was going to show the rest of the nation how the economics of Supply Side policy worked perfectly.  It didn't turn out so well.  From the WaPo.

"Overall, Kansas’s economy expanded by about 2.9 percent between 2011, when Brownback took office, and 2015, the latest year for which data are available. Over the same period, the gross domestic product increased 9.2 percent nationally, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics."

State legislators have had enough, and voted to end the disasterous experiment. The Goverenor vetoed the bill and his veto was just barely upheld.

Brownback, a Republican who once called his tax policy a “real-live experiment” with conservative principles, had vetoed a bill that would have repealed the most important provisions of his overhaul. While the state House voted to override the veto earlier in the day, proponents of the bill came up three votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed in the Senate. Fifteen Republican senators voted to override the veto, while 16 voted to sustain it.

In the House, 45 GOP legislators voted in favor of the increase, while 40 voted to uphold the governor’s veto.

Now we have no fault with Kansas trying supply side stupidity.  The voters asked for it and they got it.  But the complaint of reasonable people is pretty straight forrward; the experiment failed, end it.  But the true believers who pushed this horrendous policy on Kansas never give up.  Their's is faith based economics, and nothing says faith better than the discarded, discredited, wrong, stupid and idiotic belief that tax cuts for the wealthy will create an vibrant economy.  They create what we all knew they would create, deficits, hardships, and failure.

N.H. residents no longer need a license to carry concealed loaded guns

This Will Not End Well

From the Boston Globe

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has signed legislation removing the licensing requirement for carrying concealed firearms. A representative from the National Rifle Association says that makes New Hampshire the 12th state that doesn’t require a license or permit.

Now anyone who isn’t prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun can carry it concealed without a license. The previous law gave police chiefs and local officials the discretion to decide if someone was ‘‘suitable’’ to carry a gun concealed.
Image result for images of cowboys
Another victory for the Gun Nut Lobby, another loss of life (or two or twenty or a bunch)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Texan Duane Buck - Headed for Death Row - Gets Justice at the Supreme Court

Despite Pleas of Justice Clarence to Kill Him

Texas sends a lot of people to death, and Duane Buck was no exception.  In his case however in the penalty phase of his trial he had an expert witness, who incredibly testified against him.  From the decision.

"Petitioner Duane Buck was convicted of capital murder in a Texas court. Under state law, the jury was permitted to impose a death sentence only if it found unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that Buck was likely to commit acts of violence in the future. Buck’s attorney called a psychologist, Dr. Walter Quijano, to offer his opinion on that issue. Dr. Quijano had been appointed to evaluate Buck by the presiding judge and had prepared a report setting out his conclusions. To determine the likelihood that Buck would act violently in the future, Dr. Quijano had considered a number of statistical factors, including Buck’s race. Although Dr. Quijano ultimately concluded that Buck was unlikely to be a future danger, his report also stated that Buck was statistically more likely to act violently because he is black. The report read, in relevant part: “Race. Black: Increased probability.” 

Ok, so that's someone Buck's attorney would keep from testifying. But no.

"Despite knowing the contents of the report, Buck’s counsel called Dr. Quijano to the stand, where he testified that race is a factor “know[n] to predict future dangerousness.” Id., at 146a. Dr. Quijano’s report was admitted into evidence at the close of his testimony. The prosecution questioned Dr. Quijano about his conclusions on race and violence during cross-examination, and it relied on his testimony in summation. During deliberations, the jury requested and received the expert reports admitted into evidence, including Dr. Quijano’s. The jury returned a sentence of death."

The case reached the Supreme Court that found

"Buck’s trial counsel knew that Dr. Quijano’s report reflected the view that Buck’s race predisposed him to violent conduct and that the principal point of dispute during the penalty phase was Buck’s future dangerousness. Counsel nevertheless called Dr. Quijano to the stand, specifically elicited testimony about the connection between race and violence, and put Dr. Quijano’s report into evidence. No competent defense attorney would introduce evidence that his client is liable to be a future danger because of his race."

And so Buck may not be executed despite the efforts of his attorney to get him killed by Texas.

Of course dissenting was Clarence Thomas (with Alito) who just loves for state to kill disadvantaged accused.  The idea that his own attorney worked against Mr. Buck plays no role in justice for Thomas.

Trumps Want to Cook the Books on Trade Deficit

If you can't winn honestly, cheat

The U. S. runs a trade deficit.  In order to get more leverage for protectionism that will harm the U. S. economy the administration is thinking of fixing the books so the trade deficit looks larger.

"The leading idea under consideration would exclude from U.S. exports any goods first imported into the country, such as cars, and then transferred to a third country like Canada or Mexico unchanged, these people told The Wall Street Journal.
Economists say that approach would inflate trade deficit numbers because it would typically count goods as imports when they come into the country but not count the same goods when they go back out, known as re-exports."
Image result for images of cheaters

Basic conservative playbook.  If yu can't win on the merits, change the rules.

In Iowa Conservatives Go From Weird, Selfish, Insensitive to Just Plain Unconstitutional

Don'tcha Just Hate It When Constitutional Rights Interfere with Bias and Bigotry

It has long been a conservative mantra that universities are filled with liberals who indoctrinate their students.  How else does conservative thought fail, it can't be the ugliness of it can it?  And of course since conservatives would use their position in higher education to indoctrinte, they assume progressives do also, even though they don't.  A chem teacher cannot teach the Democratic principles of atomic structure.

So in Iowa where conservatives reign they want to force colleges to hire Republicans.

A bill in the Iowa Senate seeks to achieve greater political diversity among professors at the state's Board of Regents universities. Senate File 288 would institute a hiring freeze until the number of registered Republicans and Democrats on the university faculty fall within 10 percent of each other.
Rep Mark Chelgren - Thinks he's a Republican
Acts like a Communist

Gosh, for all their professed love of the Constitution, and they may love it,  conservatives sure don't like it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

After Our Long Day's Journey Into Nightmare, The Gestapo Deportation Force Cometh

What You Were Expecting Peace and Love?

The round up and deportation of people other than those whom Donald approves of has begun.

"The memos instruct all agents, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify, capture and quickly deport every undocumented immigrant they encounter.
The memos require undocumented immigrants caught entering the country to be placed in detention until their cases are resolved, increase the ability of local police to help in immigration enforcement, call for the hiring of 10,000 more immigration agents and allow planning to begin on an expansion of the border wall between the United States and Mexico.
The memos make undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of a crime the highest priority for enforcement operations. But they make clear that ICE agents should also arrest and initiate deportation proceedings against any other undocumented immigrant they encounter.

And where will they deport them to? Well Mexico of course even if they are not Mexican.

"The new directives also allow Customs agents to send some people directly back to Mexico, whether they’re Mexican or not. Under previous administrations, people from Mexico and Canada could be deported directly back home. But people from all other countries, such as from Central America, had to detained until they could be flown back to their country of origin."

Yes future generations will look back on this the way we now look back on the internment olf Japanese during WWII.   But that doesn't mean we can't be ashamed now, because we should be.