Posts by Nick Cassella

Daily Clips: July 12th, 2016

Daily Clips: July 12th, 2016

BERNIE SANDERS ENDORSES HILLARY CLINTON: “There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Cilnton is far and away the best candidate” to address America's needs, @BernieSanders says. — Vox (@voxdotcom) July 12, 2016 JPMORGAN CHASE IS GIVING THOUSANDS OF EMPLOYEES A RAISE:  In a terribly written piece (It starts: “Wage stagnation. Income inequality. A lack of quality education.”) CEO Jamie Dimon lets us all know how benevolent JP Morgan Chase actually is. He explains: Our minimum salary for American employees today is $10.15 an hour (plus meaningful benefits, which I’ll explain later), almost $3 above the current national minimum wage. Over the next three years, we will raise the minimum pay for 18,000 employees to between $12 and $16.50 an hour for full-time, part-time and new employees, depending on geographic and market factors. SO, ABOUT THAT “GOOD GUY” WITH A GUN:  The Washington Post‘s editorial board has an incredible column today on gun violence in America. Here’s my favorite paragraph: Yes, guns can be properly and effectively used in self-defense. But saturating the nation with firearms also primes the country for deadly violence, making many situations more likely to end in death. Potential suicides are more likely to succeed. Deranged and angry people, such as Johnson, can murder trained law enforcement officers from a distance. Curious children accidentally shoot themselves, their friends or their parents. Domestic abusers kill family members before tempers cool or authorities arrive. Police officers see or fear guns in the cars they pull over, and their adrenaline starts pumping.

Daily Clips: July 11th, 2016

Daily Clips: July 11th, 2016

WHY 2016 COULD BE A TURNING POINT ON GUNS:  Here is a piece you must read. Paul Waldman makes a convincing case that we are close to achieving an America with sane gun laws. While he provides many astute arguments, this was my favorite: [Hillary] Clinton also hasn’t hesitated to call out the NRA specifically, and given what a cautious politician she is, that’s also revealing. The newly invigorated gun control movement has taken as one of its core goals to drive a wedge between the NRA and gun owners generally, arguing that the group’s radical policy positions and nightmarish outlook don’t represent most gun owners, who aren’t stockpiling dozens of firearms in their underground bunkers as they look forward longingly to the coming apocalypse. BERNIE SANDERS WILL HIT THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH HILLARY CLINTON:  The dream is over, Berners. What a ride it has been! And no, Bernie’s not “selling out.” This is how politics works. GOVERNMENT HOLDS THE PROMISE TO MORE GROWTH:  Productivity, according to this author, “is the key to long-term prosperity.” So it is troubling, therefore, when productivity flatlines (much like it has been) because then that “means that the pie isn’t growing.” Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson have a theory that “good government is critical to economic development.” Recently, they have added to their theory with a new idea called “state capacity.” This “incorporates the old idea of good institutions, and adds other factors that Acemoglu and Robinson believe are indispensable – strong education, research spending, infrastructure and lack of discrimination.” With this in mind, they argue that government “isn’t the bane of innovation – it’s a necessary and crucial input.” WORST HEADLINE OF THE DAY:  THE WORLD HAS BEEN FALLING APART FOR A LONG TIME. HOW DO WE PUT IT BACK TOGETHER?

Daily Clips: June 24th, 2016

Daily Clips: June 24th, 2016

BREXIT MUSINGS: I stayed up until around 1am last night watching the results and analysis. Having studied in the UK for four years, I was particularly fascinated by the Brexit vote. There is a trend going on within Western democracies; that is, protectionism and nationalism are in vogue, because governments have failed to adequately invest in their lower and middle-class citizens, while elites have benefited asymmetrically. In this cauldron of frustration, savvy politicians like Farage and Trump are funneling citizen anger towards “the other” in an attempt to bring their nations “back” to prosperity. Anyways, enough of my personal theories. Here are some of my favorite Brexit tweets: Nigel Farage says Leave won "without a single bullet being fired", except of course a bullet was fired, and a 3 & 5 year old are motherless. — Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) June 24, 2016 Nigel Farage says no we won't be able to spend £350m to the NHS… That was a mistake for Vote Leave to say that, he says… — Anushka Asthana (@GuardianAnushka) June 24, 2016 Pro tip: if you screw the middle class bad enough and long enough, it will bite you in the ass. — Nick Hanauer (@NickHanauer) June 24, 2016 Who is to blame for Brexit? The elites:   Over the past decade, elites broke the world, and were unrepentant about their failure. They created the conditions for the worst economic crisis in nearly a century, and made sure that their elite friends at the top would scoop up the post-crisis gains, stranding the vast majority of people. They decided their project of globalization and liberalization mattered more than democracy. Brexit is among the first tangible responses.

Daily Clips: June 23rd, 2016

Daily Clips: June 23rd, 2016

June 23, 2016 Nick Cassella
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New study shows increase in partisanship: US jobless claims near 43-year low:  Reuters reports, “claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a strong job market, for 68 straight weeks, the longest streak since 1973.” 10 years after a housing peak, US is more of a renter nation: I wonder if this has anything to do with increasing levels of student debt and stagnant wages? Tweet of the day: Donald Rumsfeld endorses Trump, a man who once called him a "disaster" https://t.co/mut2pmZkTt pic.twitter.com/E2uphCNKeL — HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) June 23, 2016

Daily Clips: June 22nd, 2016

Daily Clips: June 22nd, 2016

House GOP offers an alternative health care plan: No more empty rhetoric of “repeal and replace Obamacare”! They’re actually putting forward a policy! This is actually happening! According to the Atlantic, the GOP plan would: Expand health savings accounts Offer refundable tax credits to subsidize the purchase of private health insurance and decrease dependence on employer-sponsored plans Cap the tax exclusion for employer-provided health insurance Allow people to purchase insurance across state lines Provide $25 billion in funding for high-risk pools over 10 years Devolve Medicaid to the states, either through a block grant or a “per capita allotment” Partially privatize Medicare beginning in 2024 through a “premium support” option House Democrats are staging a sit-in to force a vote on gun control: Normally, according to Vox, “you could watch the sit-in live on HouseLive.gov , although the cameras, controlled by House Speaker Paul Ryan, have currently been turned off.” Regardless, it’s so refreshing to see Democrats on the offensive when it comes to…well anything in politics. But especially guns. The subtle force of Tom Perez: The Secretary of Labor has many fans at the moment and some progressives want him to be HRC’s VP choice. This piece gives an incredibly in-depth overview of the man and his career. Tweet of the day: House Democrats are staging a sit-in today to force a vote on gun safety measures. A vote – is that too much to ask? pic.twitter.com/AuxdMjXMil — Mike McLively (@mrmclively) June 22, 2016

Daily Clips: June 21st, 2016

Daily Clips: June 21st, 2016

Stranger than fiction:  Donald Trump gave $35,000 to a “web advertising” firm called “Draper Sterling” – yes, just like in Mad Men. And it gets weirder. Draper Sterling’s headquarters is just a home in residential New Hampshire. Trump’s $1.3 million war chest is eclipsed by Clinton’s $42 million:  I thought he was really rich though? Gun regulation goes 0 for 4:  Swing and a miss, America. Castro for VP: An excellent piece that delves into Julian Castro and answers many of the questions you probably have about the former San Antonio mayor. Tweet of the day: . @HillaryClinton hits Trump for not releasing tax returns: "Maybe he isn't as rich as he claims." https://t.co/RQZth8ECcj — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 21, 2016  

Daily Clips: June 20th, 2016

Daily Clips: June 20th, 2016

Donald Trump’s campaign manager leaves: This is a major shake up in the 2016 political scene. Corey Lewandowski has been working with Trump since the beginning of his campaign. It appears like Trump fired Lewandowski—just another sign that Donald Trump has loyalty to no one but himself. Paul Ryan’s regulatory-reform plan should be *almost* entirely dismissed: The trickle-down clown is at it again. This time, he’s released a plan which “contains more dubious ideas”, according to Bloomberg View’s editorial board. Because deregulation is one of the three pillars of trickle-down economics, it makes sense that his plan has endorsed the notion of “capping the number of regulations any agency could issue.” Why America’s men aren’t working:  The US “now has the the third-lowest participation rate for ‘prime-age men’ among the world’s developed countries.” Tweet of the day: When I said that if, within the Orlando club, you had some people with guns, I was obviously talking about additional guards or employees — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2016    

Daily Clips: June 17th, 2016

Daily Clips: June 17th, 2016

David Brooks gets it right on discussing Islam : Every once and awhile Brooks gets it right. This is one of those occasions. I’d highly recommend this read. The best quote from the column came from the American journalist, Peter Bergen, who claims: Assertions that Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam are as nonsensical as claims that the Crusades had nothing to do with Christian beliefs about the sanctity of Jerusalem. Gun violence is a national crisis: According to the New York Times, “from 2001 to 2010, 119,246 Americans were murdered with guns, 18 times all American combat deaths in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Imprisoning women for having abortions:  Is this actually true? Yep – you bet. “In a growing number of states, the criminalization of abortion is well under way.” The article goes onto provide “a handful of the many pending cases that criminalize women for a procedure that, in theory at least, was legalized by the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973.” Evolution of social and cultural norms making society more tolerant and safer: Follow the trendlines, not the headlines.

Daily Clips: June 16th, 2016

Daily Clips: June 16th, 2016

As a gay woman, I don’t feel safe in America right now. So I bought a gun:  There is a difference between feeling safer and actually being safer. This gay woman, who pens a column in Vox, doesn’t seem to understand this vital distinction. She writes: For me, part of that fight is now carrying a gun. If someone were to attack me, I might brandish it in their general direction in a mildly threatening manner, but that’s about it. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think shooting another to save just my life is worth it. But were I in a position to do something that would prevent an occurrence like the Orlando massacre with my tiny gun, I think I would take one life if it meant saving many more. I don’t quite know how to make the decision to kill another human being, but I hope I could in the moment. What a nonsensical response to a national tragedy. It’s a shame this is how she responded. Clinton is considering Warren for VP: So reports the Wall Street Journal. Warren also happens to be the top VP pick for Democratic voters, as Bloomberg reported yesterday . Cory Booker, the New Jersey Senator, was voters’ second choice. Toxic masculinity and murder:   Stemming the violence, then, means deconstructing hate. It means considering every element in the creation and enabling of so many psychopaths. And one that tends to be overlooked— widely known but narrowly considered— is the simple fact that almost all mass murderers are men. As of 2014, Time cited the number at 98 percent . That makes masculinity a more common feature than any of the elements that tend to dominate discourse—religion, race, nationality, political affiliation, or any history of mental illness. Tweet of the day: I am proud to announce that after 14+ hours on the floor, we will have a vote on closing the terror gap & universal background checks — Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT)
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Daily Clips: June 15th, 2016

Daily Clips: June 15th, 2016

Violation of civil rights is not making us safer: Since 9/11, America has dramatically undermined basic civil liberties in the name of “safety” and “security.” There’s a host of problems with this myopic approach, but perhaps the most glaring one is that “there is no evidence that any of it made Americans safer.” So why do our leaders, like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, continually call for greater surveillance? Do they know this is a hapless attempt at keeping their nation safe, but understand that the masses think it’s worthwhile? Or are they overly worried about domestic terrorism and its impact upon their legacy? 7 out of 10 Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump:  That’s…something. California overtakes France to become sixth largest economy: ‘This is the result of both good growth in California and exchange-rate movements of the U.S. dollar versus other currencies,’ said Irena Asmundson, chief economist in the California Department of Finance. The religious right’s crocodile tears over Orlando:  These scumbags have zero shame and a dubious sense of morality. Makes me sick.