Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
From Think Progress:
Last winter, shortly after President Obama won his second term in office, many Republicans rallied behind a pair of election-rigging plans designed to make it virtually impossible for a Democrat to win White House again. Though the two plans differ in important ways, the crux of both plans is to rig the Electoral College by requiring blue states to award a significant portion of their electoral votes to Republican presidential candidates — all while ensuring that red states will award 100 percent of their electoral votes to the Republican as well. Though these election-rigging plans appeared dead after a wave of Republican officials came out against them, one of them has just returned to life in California.
On November 22, a man named Hal Nickle filed a proposed ballot initiative in California which would change the way that state allocates electoral votes to ensure that a large chunk of California’s 55 electors go to the GOP, even though Californians consistently prefer Democratic candidates to Republicans. Rather than allocating all of California’s electoral votes to the winner of the state as a whole, as nearly all states currently award their votes, the election-rigging initiative would allocate the states votes proportionally according to the percentage of votes won by each candidate. Thus, if this plan had been in effect in 2012, Mitt Romney would have received 37.12 percent of California’s electors — adding 20 to his overall total.
The trick behind this proposal is that if would only change the law in California, while leaving red states free to award all of their electors to the Republican...
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
From Huffington Post:
The Fed is desperately trying to find ways to dial back on its $85 billion per month in bond purchases, an extreme stimulus program known as "quantitative easing," while still supporting the economy. One possible approach would be to stop paying banks a tiny interest rate for money they store at the Fed for safekeeping. The idea being that banks would be more inclined to put money to work with lending and other stuff that helps the economy.
But according to banks, that tiny Fed interest payment is the only thing that helps banks break even on savings accounts and other deposit services they provide. In order to protect their multi-billion-dollar bonuses and bank profits -- which have bounced to record highs since that financial crisis the banks helped create, a crisis from which the Fed and the American taxpayer bailed them out -- banks will sadly have no choice but to punish their customers.
That's not all: The banks say that, without that interest payment, they might also be pushed to take ever-crazier risks with money that was once safely parked at the Fed, the FT reports. Stop us before we kill the economy again, the banks are saying. And by "stop us," they mean, "give us all of your money..."
Some of the information from this article comes from the Financial Times (subscription only).