Dissent: A Conservative Case for the Welfare State.
“Today’s conservatives often suggest that the American welfare state is alien to the American experience, imposed on the nation during a particularly vulnerable time in its history by a quasi-dictatorial Franklin D. Roosevelt. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Commonweal: The Liberal Arts vs. Neoliberalism.
“One consequence of this seismic cultural shift is the train wreck of contemporary higher education. Nothing better exemplifies the catastrophe than President Barack Obama’s plan to publish the average incomes earned by graduates from various colleges, so parents and students can know which diplomas are worth the most in the marketplace, and choose accordingly. In higher education as in health care, market utility has become the sole criterion of worth.” My italicized emphasis. Gag.
NBC/First Read: Foundation Questions Continue to Plague Clinton.
“Now all of these stories are complex and murky. But what they all reveal — especially the New York Times’ piece on the uranium deal — is the APPEARANCE of a scandal. Even if you take the Clintons at their word that there was no quid pro quo with these donations to the Clinton Foundation to buy influence, that’s not what the donors may have been thinking.”
Later: New York Magazine, “... the best-case scenario is bad enough: The Clintons have been disorganized and greedy.” Again, emblematic of what this race is going to be like with Clinton as nominee. Doesn’t this feel like folks have been storing up the vitriol for ages, waiting for a finger to be pulled out of the dike? Everyone, Left *and* Right, wants to get their pound of flesh.
Politico: Secret Koch memo outlines plans for 2016.
“We’re focused on advancing a long-term shift at every level of government towards a culture of freedom. And we’re not just fighting for the fun of it — we intend to win.” Just like the late ‘70’s genesis of the think-tanks.
The Atlantic: The Great Millennial Car Comeback.
“Some media narratives treat this rarified group as synonymous with Millennials, perhaps because it describes the clientele of the bars frequented by the coastal journalists who write those stories. But step outside Brooklyn, D.C., or Oakland, and you’ll find that the broader story is completely different.” I’ve suspected the ‘urban vacuum’ effect. That makes me feel better about Santa Fe’s focus on Instagram + Twitter marketing - a little. Millenials still are not the demographic to be purchasing $100k artworks ... the real demographic we need to keep Santa Fe an art capital.
FishbowlNY: Bloomberg Terminals Suffer Outages.
Having worked on Wall Street for a time, I can only imagine the chaos. Some folks live and die by those things.
PS Mag: How Affluent Private Universities Act as Tax Shelters for the Rich.
Vox: Elizabeth Warren has a game-changing idea that doesn’t require Congress.
“From Warren’s point of view, the idea of banks that are simultaneously so vulnerable to collapse and so integral to the ongoing operation of the economy that the government dare not prosecute them is the essence of the problem.” My italics.
Guardian.UK: What a $15 minimum wage means for US small businesses.
Business owners, for the most part, will cry ‘foul’. Minimum wage has been so egregiously low, raising it to a proper level is painful and it takes time for businesses to find ways to adjust. As we saw with the living wage in Santa Fe, those with good business models survive. Those on a shoestring fail.
HistoryToday: Monetising the Past - Medieval Marginalia and Social Media.
“Perhaps the success of these accounts would be lessened if a tweet were busied with shelfmarks, dates and sources, but wouldn’t it be nice if these huge audiences had the choice between investigating them further or not, and if libraries and archives received due credit for making this wealth of material available.” I recognize a fellow Utopian. Alas, we’ll have to wait for more than just more capable software; we must await a sea-change in attitudes. Attribute, dammit.
NY Times: Why Writers Love to Hate the M.F.A.
“Other realities conspire to make the M.F.A. one of the fastest growing graduate degrees. Among them: the pervasiveness of digital media and celebrity culture, where anyone with a blog feels like a best-selling novelist-in-waiting; the rise of memoirs, a natural extension of the online selfie writing culture; the popularity of magical realism and noir fiction novels, which have turned many 20-somethings on to literature; and changes in generational attitudes, aspirations and culture.”
c|net: Under pressure, Canon cuts prices for 33 lenses.
Bloomberg Business: Saudi Arabia’s Plan to Extend the Age of Oil.
A good overview, worth the time. “How much time Saudi Arabia has to prepare for the eventual decline of the oil era may depend, in part, on how alternatives fare during this period of cheap oil. Will sales of wind turbines and solar panels stay strong? Or will they enter a tailspin like they did during the Great Recession, when project financing dried up? And will sales of electric vehicles continue to climb even as gasoline prices slump?”
Lifehacker: The Salary Required to Be “Middle Class” in Every State.
One more from LH, just because. $43,872 to be ‘middle class’ in NM? Southern NM, perhaps. In Santa Fe gas, food and sundries are *expensive*. Stuff gets re-shipped from Albuquerque [major transport hub]: Extra transport costs. I’d raise that at least another $20k.
Capital NY: Times plans to make NYT Now mobile app free.
“Times executives therefore decided NYT Now could attract more readers—and potentially more revenue—as a free, ad-supported offering, particularly readers in their ‘20s and ‘30s who already make up the bulk of the app’s user-base, according to the Times.”
New Economic Perspectives: We Send Teachers to Prison for Rigging the Numbers, Why Not Bankers?
“Wow, a newspaper did a series of articles, and documented a scandal built on deceit. Imagine if the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal were to do an ‘unsparing’ investigation into banking fraud – and into Attorney General Eric Holder’s refusal to prosecute. What if they actually looked at culpability in the C-suites?” Hear, hear.
ars technica: Energy companies around the world infected by newly discovered malware.
NakedCap: Fracking’s New Nemesis - Earthquake Lawsuits.
“Indeed, some of the bigger players appear to have decided it’s best to keep these cases out of the press if possible. BHP Billiton and Chesapeake Energy settled a 2013 case lodged by five homeowners for a confidential amount.” Industries prefer to minimize case law on the books. Swift gag settlements are the first line of defense.
The Bookseller: Median author advance under £6,600.
~$9,700. Our culture still loves the archetype of the ‘starving artist.’ Rice and beans, that.
Fuel Fix: Oil workers in West Texas and New Mexico were underpaid millions, Labor Department says.
“Among the problems found, employers were failing to include bonus payments when calculating overtime rates, weren’t paying for time spent working off-the-clock and paying flat rates despite the hours worked by employees. There were also instances of workers being misclassified as independent contractors.” Check out image #5, in the bottom gallery. Also, no word in this article about the workers getting their owed $$.
KOB: Amtrak says Southwest Chief’s New Mexico routes to remain.
“The announcement ends more than two years of fear and uncertainty in Northern New Mexico’s smaller communities about whether Amtrak would alter the route.” But for how long, unless we infuse some money into infrastructure repairs ... ?
NakedCap: Elizabeth Warren Strikes Back as Citigroup Tries to Blackmail the Democratic Party.
“Cynics may say that these are just range wars, and that Warren is a progressive hood ornament for the Democratic party. While we’ve criticized her for her timid student loan proposal and for her falling in line with US adventurism abroad (save the proposed intervention in Syria, where Congress refused to back Obama), Warren is nevertheless is achieving something significant.”
The Economist: America - A flagging [education] model.
“The country that has given the world so many ideas about how to run higher education could do with some new ones itself.” Note also that for-profit colleges are swiftly going the way of the dodo ... and rightfully so. Every ‘graduate’ of these schools I’ve run across has been unqualified. One in particular, the only skill s/he seemed to have acquired was an ability to make dreadful graphics in Powerpoint ... something Lynda.com could remedy for $25/mo, a significant savings over one of those ‘colleges’. Employers need to loosen up on their degree requirements and look at actual skills; I’m reminded of when airlines began requiring degrees of pilots. They lost a generation of some of the best stick-and-rudder flyers in history. Wouldn’t you rather have a Chuck Yeager flying you to your destination? No degree, likely no HS diploma either; unimpeachable skills.
ABC: US Drillers Scrambling to Thwart OPEC Threat.
“Drillers are finding they can back into wells drilled only a few years ago to re-frack them or inject specially tailored fluids to get oil flowing again. That can return a well in some cases to peak output, without the expense of drilling a new well.” Perhaps, but to cut costs, where are all those ‘specially tailored fluids’ being dumped/injected? Quadruple the watch on your drinking water sources, people.