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Showing posts from July, 2012

It's got a good beat, and I can dance to it.

I just met you. And this is crazy. But if all sides agree on need for middle class tax cuts, House should pass it, maybe?— Hoyer Press Shop (@HoyerPress) July 25, 2012

London 2012 Opening Ceremonies: The Queen's Entrance

Dana Perino Can’t Explain How the Bush Tax Cuts Created Jobs

Source: Veracity Stew The gentleman speaking before Dana Perino cites job creation statistics for Presidents Clinton and Bush (who created three million jobs, not one million). Here's the full list.Interestingly, it almost sounds as though Perino's defense of Bush is that Clinton's economic policies created the Internet bubble, and the job of cleaning up, after the bubble burst, was left to Clinton's successor, Bush.That sounds oddly familiar.

Will 27 Republicans Say Yes to the Middle Class?

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In his weekly address, President Obama said this: If 218 Members of the House vote the right way, 98% of American families and 97% of small business owners will have the certainty of knowing that that their income taxes will not go up next year.If the Democrats can keep their members in line, all it would take is 27 Republican Representatives to pass this bill.

The Ed Show: The Right's Weak Argument

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My take on statistics, guns and the Constitution

Gene, you wrote that "There were a total of 9,900 gun deaths in 2009 - out of over 270 MILLION guns owned in U.S. That's 0.00004%."(Your stat was off: it's not 0.00004% - it's 100 times greater: 0.004%. It's still a pretty small number, so your point is taken.)Here's where statistics can mislead. If (and that's a big "if") the reason for citing the statistic was to show that guns are specifically obtained with the intent of killing people, a very, very low percentage like that would serve to disprove the point.I'm not aware of anyone, pro or con, who's making the argument that one gun automatically equals one gun death.What might be more illustrative is comparing the total number of murders with the number of gun murders.If we look at 2010 (source), there were 12,996 murders in the US. At least 8,775 of those murders were caused by firearms: the number could be higher because Florida doesn't track this statistic, and Illinois'…

The Choice

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The Best Congress Money Can Buy

From a current article in Boston Review, Martin Gilens reports the conclusions of his research into the links between public policy and public preferences:In most circumstances, affluent Americans exert substantial influence over the policies adopted by the federal government, and less well off Americans exert virtually none. Even when Democrats control Congress and the White House, the less well off are no more influential.The 99ers community can definitely attest to the lack of influence we've had since the start of the Great Recession. The floor is littered with the pages of bills that were introduced, only to die in committee.

Remembering the Victims of the Aurora, Colorado Shooting

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Short Sales to Existing Homeowners?

As a companion piece to the sidebar about the America Underwater project, this report (PDF link) from the Progressive Policy Institute, discussing a possible solution for underwater homeowners:Private sector experiences suggest that a carefully conceived principal reduction program could achieve significant savings for U.S. taxpayers by reducing losses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Such a program could be enacted responsibly and fairly without fueling moral hazard — the risk that borrowers who otherwise would make their mortgage payments go delinquent in an effort to get their principal balances reduced.In effect, Fannie and Freddie can offer "short sales" back to the existing homeowners in return for a share of their home equity. Unlike foreclosure and traditional short sales, which are to third parties and usually at a discount to true market value, this approach would help support home prices, lower future default risk, and save taxpayers billions of dollars.

Who Are The Top 2%?

Aurora.

Can we, as Americans, agree on a common goal? No more innocent gun victims. #theatershooting— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) July 20, 2012Update: This USA Today report from 2009 looks back at what happened at Columbine, dispelling some of the myths and shedding light on the full extent of Harris and Klebold's murderous plans.Columbine is a 20-mile drive away from Aurora. I'll have more on the "if only..." arguments later.Update 2: As they have a habit of doing, The Oniontells the truth.Update 3:

Stage

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Would you qualify for refinancing?

From the White House:

Nonfarm Payroll Employment - Monthly Averages

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In advance of Friday's jobs report (and our updated Stat Pack), the following chart looks at the average number of jobs added (or lost) per month. The left side of the chart shows the average monthly figure since 1979, and the right side looks at more recent years: from 2001 to the present.It's important to see how the recent numbers have moved, in order to put Friday's report in context. source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - Current Employment Statistics