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Friday, November 21, 2014






Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Best Response for Republicans to the President’s Plan on Illegal Immigration

The Best Response for Republicans to the President’s Plan on Illegal Immigration

Unfortunately, it is simple human nature for people to get defensive and then project their anger when confronted with actions they strongly oppose.  But from a public policy perspective, professionals, even professional politicians should be able, at least once in a while, rise above their anger and do their jobs as the stewards of our public policy.

The president was clearly angered by the drubbing he took in this year’s midterm elections.  And Republicans have strong feelings about being “dissed” by the president.  But folks, for goodness sakes, let’s at least try on this one to do something right.  We will never reconcile all views on illegal immigration, but our system is one of compromise, three equal branches of government, and an allegiance to the best welfare of the American people.

My plan is as follows:

1.       The president, Democrats and Republicans agree upon a date to achieve a consensus on proposed legislation.  Let’s say a target date of May 1, 2015
2.       In exchange for the date agreement,
a.       The Democrats get Republican approval to do part of a DACA program for the adults that are the object of this issue, similar to what was done with DACA.  There would be no decisions about status for the people involved, but all the information work would get done.
b.      The Republicans would get an immediate all out effort on the part of the federal government to seal the borders by whatever means is required to actually show tangible results
3.       Next an equal number of Republicans and Democrats would form a project team to come up with a consensus plan.  Importantly, all meeting on this topic in the White House or by the White House team between now and when the legislation is agreed to would be exclusively by the agreed upon team and the president would promise not to have any partisan meetings on the subject.
4.       A broad outline would be immediately agreed upon as a structure for the final result
a.       Hard, tangible metrics for identifying success in sealing the border would be agreed to
b.      It would be agreed that no deal is complete without demonstrable success in sealing the border
c.       There would be a minimum of a 10 years wait for any newly approved legalized people before they could apply for citizenship and voting rights
d.      But the process would approve a process for legalization after the 10 year waiting period.

Now I know that the Democrats will complain that there is no way to truly seal the border and would protest that part, and the Republicans would call the post 10 year wait  and amnesty and would protest that part.  But the fact is that both parties and their presidents and big shots are responsible for the current situation with millions of illegals, so both parties need to step up to the plate and make a compromise.  But within this broad outline is a deal that can resolve most of the issues for both parties and stop the problem from persisting. 


The Biggest Trends In E-Commerce - Business Insider

The Biggest Trends In E-Commerce - Business Insider

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Not worried about a recession? Buy these 10 stocks - Nov. 18, 2014

Not worried about a recession? Buy these 10 stocks - Nov. 18, 2014





NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

The U.S. economy is chugging along like a slow-moving train.

Morgan Stanley believes that slow pace means there's little risk of the economy derailing until 2020 -- or even beyond. That would make it the longest expansion on record and be great news for the stock market.
But not all stocks would respond the same to this moderate but persistent growth scenario.
Here are the 10 biggest stocks on Morgan Stanley(MS)'s list of "attractive investment opportunities" if the economy keeps growing.
American Express: American Express (AXP) makes money when people swipe their cards on everything from airline tickets to theme park trips. Spending would surely accelerate in a longer economic cycle, boosting AmEx revenue growth from 5% now to 8% or even higher, Morgan Stanley predicts.
Bank of America and Citigroup: If the economy remains on track, Bank of America (BAC)and Citigroup (C) would capitalize on stronger loan growth, improved margins and better expense ratios. Basically, they'd make a lot more money.
These banking titans would also have to set aside less money for loans that go bad during times of economic stress. While BofA is up 10% this year, Citi has lagged behind with just a 3% gain.
BlackRock: The world's largest asset manager is definitely cheering for a longer economic expansion. In that scenario, equities would most likely outperform fixed income. That plays right into BlackRock (BLK)'s hands because it is holding roughly $2.4 trillion of equities, making up more than half of its total assets under management. BlackRock would also benefit because its high-margin ETF business, iShares, is skewed heavily (80%) toward equities.
Caterpillar: There may be no member of the Dow as economically sensitive as Caterpillar(CAT). That's because it has significant exposure to everything from construction and mining to oil & gas and transportation. Caterpillar's organic growth is "highly correlated with global industrial production," Morgan Stanley said.
Facebook and Google: Companies tend to ramp up advertising spending when they are feeling more confident about the economy. That's huge for Facebook (FBTech30) andGoogle (GOOGLTech30), which generate nearly all of their revenue from ad spending.
These tech titans are beloved by Wall Street analysts (more than 80% have buy ratings on the stocks) because they are capitalizing on the rapidly-growing search and mobile display ad markets.
Schlumberger: Schlumberger (SLB) doesn't have the name recognition of the other stocks on this list, but it's got the most support from analysts. A whopping 94% of analysts covering the oil services company have a buy rating on it and the average 12-month price target of $120.90 implies a sizable 26% rally from current levels.
Schlumberger "should be a prime beneficiary of the increased energy production that comes with economic expansion," Morgan Stanley wrote.
Union Pacific: Union Pacific (UNP)'s 43% surge in 2014 has been driven by positive trends in the railroad industry, including solid volume growth and productivity gains. Expect those bullish trends to continue if the economy continues to expand.
"We see relatively few company-specific risks that could derail the company's earnings growth potential," Morgan Stanley wrote.
Walt Disney: The home of Mickey Mouse has a nice one-two punch tied to the economy. First, it stands to gain from stronger ad spending on its ESPN and ABC TV networks. Secondly, Disney (DIS) cashes in when consumers spend more money at its theme parks, an area the company has been investing heavily in recently, and on merchandise.
Methodology: Morgan Stanley compiled the list by focusing on fundamental business models, not valuations. The firm only considered stocks it rates overweight or equal-weight and then applied a quantitative tool that factors in expected performance over the next two years.
Morgan Stanley said the stocks this process identified represent attractive opportunities over one, two and five year time horizons if the expansion continues to 2020.
Of course, while a recession doesn't appear to be a near-term risk, the firm acknowledged "no one can predict unforeseen shocks to the economy" like policy missteps, geopolitical events or major natural disasters. 

The 5 Things Your Boss Really Wants to Hear | Inc.com

The 5 Things Your Boss Really Wants to Hear | Inc.com



Unless you're in business for yourself, chances are that you and your colleagues are all working to keep a good impression of yourselves somewhere near the front of your boss's mind.
Especially in a workplace that's more competitive than collaborative, that desire can lead to a lot of unhealthy behavior as people jockey for high-visibility assignments--sometimes even to the point of subverting their co-workers.
The good news is it doesn't have to be so hard or so ethically challenging to be known and thought well of by those above you on the org chart.
Here are five things you can say that will endear you to any boss:

1. "I have a solution."

Bosses hear lots of problems all day, and they're usually the ones who have to come up with all the solutions. The next time there's an issue that you need to bring to your boss's attention, come prepared with a solution in hand. Whether it's implemented or not, finding a solution on your own shows initiative, thoughtful engagement, and creativity.

2. "I took care of it."

When you make a mistake--and we all do make mistakes, even the best of us--find a way to come to your boss and say, I made a mistake and I took care of it. If possible, also share what you're doing to prevent it from happening again. That way what's most memorable is not the mistake, but rather your responsibility and accountability.

3. "I'll do it."

Especially when you're already in a high-pressure position, nobody wants to take on more responsibility. But if you look at it from a different perspective, it's really an opportunity to show your boss that you're proactive, willing to pitch in, a team player, and reliable--establishing you as a natural "go-to" person. Sure, it's a little extra work, but the payoff is huge.

4. "I can help."

Offering to help a colleague who's stuck, overburdened, or unexpectedly called away shows interest and a willingness to do more. It also demonstrates your focus on the big picture rather than your own role, and it casts you as an agent of camaraderie and collaboration.

5. "I have an idea."

It's great for your boss to know you can fix things and that you're willing to go beyond expectations--but it's when you bring new ideas to the table that you really shine. It shows that you put your heart into what you do and that you're committed to being truly valuable to the team and organization.
Of course, all of this is part of the overall job of building and maintaining a good relationship with your boss. The words don't have to be close to be effective.
The first step is always to be seen for who you are and what you can do. Say the things your boss loves to hear--not because they'll advance your career, but because you're a smart, resourceful, responsible, and valuable member of the team.
LAST UPDATED: NOV 17, 2014

The 5 Things Your Boss Really Wants to Hear | Inc.com

The 5 Things Your Boss Really Wants to Hear | Inc.com



Unless you're in business for yourself, chances are that you and your colleagues are all working to keep a good impression of yourselves somewhere near the front of your boss's mind.
Especially in a workplace that's more competitive than collaborative, that desire can lead to a lot of unhealthy behavior as people jockey for high-visibility assignments--sometimes even to the point of subverting their co-workers.
The good news is it doesn't have to be so hard or so ethically challenging to be known and thought well of by those above you on the org chart.
Here are five things you can say that will endear you to any boss:

1. "I have a solution."

Bosses hear lots of problems all day, and they're usually the ones who have to come up with all the solutions. The next time there's an issue that you need to bring to your boss's attention, come prepared with a solution in hand. Whether it's implemented or not, finding a solution on your own shows initiative, thoughtful engagement, and creativity.

2. "I took care of it."

When you make a mistake--and we all do make mistakes, even the best of us--find a way to come to your boss and say, I made a mistake and I took care of it. If possible, also share what you're doing to prevent it from happening again. That way what's most memorable is not the mistake, but rather your responsibility and accountability.

3. "I'll do it."

Especially when you're already in a high-pressure position, nobody wants to take on more responsibility. But if you look at it from a different perspective, it's really an opportunity to show your boss that you're proactive, willing to pitch in, a team player, and reliable--establishing you as a natural "go-to" person. Sure, it's a little extra work, but the payoff is huge.

4. "I can help."

Offering to help a colleague who's stuck, overburdened, or unexpectedly called away shows interest and a willingness to do more. It also demonstrates your focus on the big picture rather than your own role, and it casts you as an agent of camaraderie and collaboration.

5. "I have an idea."

It's great for your boss to know you can fix things and that you're willing to go beyond expectations--but it's when you bring new ideas to the table that you really shine. It shows that you put your heart into what you do and that you're committed to being truly valuable to the team and organization.
Of course, all of this is part of the overall job of building and maintaining a good relationship with your boss. The words don't have to be close to be effective.
The first step is always to be seen for who you are and what you can do. Say the things your boss loves to hear--not because they'll advance your career, but because you're a smart, resourceful, responsible, and valuable member of the team.
LAST UPDATED: NOV 17, 2014

PC online games will hit $30.7B by 2017 | GamesBeat | Games | by Dean Takahashi

PC online games will hit $30.7B by 2017 | GamesBeat | Games | by Dean Takahashi

Monday, November 17, 2014

Study: Game and app developers helped generate $36.3B of revenue in Washington last year - GeekWire

Study: Game and app developers helped generate $36.3B of revenue in Washington last year - GeekWire

World Economy Worst in Two Years, Europe Darkening, Deflation Lurking: Global Investor Poll - Bloomberg

World Economy Worst in Two Years, Europe Darkening, Deflation Lurking: Global Investor Poll - Bloomberg



World Economy Worst in Two Years, Europe Darkening, Deflation Lurking: Global Investor Poll

The world economy is in its worst shape in two years, with the euro area and emerging markets deteriorating and the danger of deflation rising, according to a Bloomberg Global Poll of international investors.
A plurality of 38 percent of those surveyed this week described the global economy as worsening, more than double the number who said that in the last poll in July and the most since September 2012, when Europe was mired in a recession.
Much of the concern is again focused on the euro area: Almost two-thirds of those polled said its economy was weakening while 89 percent saw disinflation or deflation as a greater threat there than inflation over the next year. Respondents said the European Central Bank and the region’s governments are making the situation worse by pursuing too-tight policies, and fewer expressed confidence in ECB President Mario Draghi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“The euro-zone economy has deteriorated and will get worse if there are no fiscal policy actions from core European countries, mainlyGermany,” poll participant Sanwook Lee, a senior portfolio manager at Shinhan Bank in Seoul, said in an e-mail.
Europe isn’t the only source of concern in the global economy, according to the quarterly poll of 510 investors, traders and analysts who are Bloomberg subscribers. More than half of those contacted said conditions in the BRIC economies -- BrazilRussia, India and China -- are getting worse, compared with 36 percent who said so in July.

China’s Slowdown

China’s slowdown deepened in October, as factory output rose 7.7 percent from a year earlier, the second-weakest pace since 2009, a government report yesterday showed.
The sole bright spot was the U.S. Just under two-thirds said the world’s largest economy is improving while roughly half said U.S. markets would be among those offering the best returns over the next year. China’s and India’s markets were a distant second at 22 percent each.
“In comparison to the other major economies, we are head and shoulders the strongest of them all,” said Brian Dolan, who took part in the poll and is chief market strategist for DriveWealth.com, an online investment broker in Chatham, New Jersey.
Unemployment (USURTOT) in the U.S. dropped in October to the lowest level in six years and employers added more than 200,000 workers to payrolls for a ninth consecutive month, based on figures released on Nov. 7 by the Labor Department in Washington.

Disinflation Worries

The U.S., though, wasn’t immune to the growing nervousness among investors about slowing increases in consumer prices. Forty-seven percent said disinflation or deflation was a greater risk for the U.S. than inflation over the next year, up from 31 percent in July.
Inflation was 1.4 percent in the U.S. in September, as measured by the personal-consumption expenditures price index that the Federal Reserveprefers. That was the 29th straight month it had been below the Fed’s 2 percent target. Still, roughly half of those polled described U.S. monetary policy as about right, while 45 percent saw it as too accommodative.
The ECB is having more difficulty than the Fed in meeting its inflation objective. Consumer prices in the euro area rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier in October, up from a five-year low of 0.3 percent in September, based on data from the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg. That’s less than a quarter of the ECB’s target of just below 2 percent.

ECB Policies

A plurality of 43 percent described the ECB’s monetary policies as too restrictive, up from 31 percent in July. ECB President Draghi’s popularity with investors took a knock in response. Fifty-nine percent viewed him favorably in the latest poll, down from 74 percent in July.
“The ECB measures are coming up too little and too late,” Dolan said.
Draghi last week stepped up efforts to boost inflation back toward the ECB’s goal by suggesting the bank will buy about 1 trillion euros ($1.25 trillion) of assets.
The euro region’s fiscal policies are also too tight, according to 57 percent of those surveyed. Germany, the currency zone’s linchpin economy and its largest, has pushed back against lobbying by French and Italian officials, who want to pursue easier budget policies.

Merkel’s Standing

German Chancellor Merkel’s standing plunged in the poll. Forty-five percent saw her policies as favorable to investors, down from 72 percent in July and her lowest rating in almost three years. European investors were the most pessimistic about her policies.
The region’s leaders may come in for another round of criticism at this week’s Group of 20 meeting in BrisbaneAustralia. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said Nov. 12 that the euro area needed to do more to avoid a “lost decade” and Bank of England Governor Mark Carneysaid the same day that “the specter of economic stagnation” is haunting Europe.
Japan’s economy was seen as mostly stable by survey respondents, though it too was said to face a danger of disinflation and deflation. Almost three-quarters viewed that as a greater threat to the Asian nation than inflation over the next year, up from 58 percent in July.
The poll of Bloomberg customers was conducted on Nov. 11-12 by Selzer & Co., a Des Moines, Iowa-based firm. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
For Related News and Information:
Lew Calls on Europe to Work to Avert ‘Lost Decade’ of Growth Italians Say No to Risk as Slump Takes Toll on Startups: Economy Joblessness Drops as U.S. Powers Past Global Slump: Economy
To contact the reporter on this story: Rich Miller in Washington at rmiller28@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net Mark Rohner, Brendan Murray

Chris Christie's gambling problem

Chris Christie's gambling problem

Friday, November 14, 2014

N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver: Allow Gambling on Pro Games - NYTimes.com

N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver: Allow Gambling on Pro Games - NYTimes.com



Photo
CreditMatt Dorfman
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BETTING on professional sports is currently illegal in most of the United States outside of Nevada. I believe we need a different approach.
For more than two decades, the National Basketball Association has opposed the expansion of legal sports betting, as have the other major professional sports leagues in the United States. In 1992, the leagues supported the passage by Congress of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or Paspa, which generally prohibits states from authorizing sports betting.
But despite legal restrictions, sports betting is widespread. It is a thriving underground business that operates free from regulation or oversight. Because there are few legal options available, those who wish to bet resort to illicit bookmaking operations and shady offshore websites. There is no solid data on the volume of illegal sports betting activity in the United States, but some estimate that nearly $400 billion is illegally wagered on sports each year.
Times have changed since Paspa was enacted. Gambling has increasingly become a popular and accepted form of entertainment in the United States. Most states offer lotteries. Over half of them have legal casinos. Three have approved some form of Internet gambling, with others poised to follow.
There is an obvious appetite among sports fans for a safe and legal way to wager on professional sporting events. Mainstream media outlets regularly publish sports betting lines and point spreads. Voters in New Jersey overwhelmingly voiced their support for legal sports betting in a 2011 referendum. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey recently signed a billauthorizing sports betting at local casinos and horse racetracks, a law the N.B.A. and other leagues have opposed — and a federal court has blocked — because it violates Paspa.
Outside of the United States, sports betting and other forms of gambling are popular, widely legal and subject to regulation. In England, for example, a sports bet can be placed on a smartphone, at a stadium kiosk or even using a television remote control.
In light of these domestic and global trends, the laws on sports betting should be changed. Congress should adopt a federal framework that allows states to authorize betting on professional sports, subject to strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards.
These requirements would include: mandatory monitoring and reporting of unusual betting-line movements; a licensing protocol to ensure betting operators are legitimate; minimum-age verification measures; geo-blocking technology to ensure betting is available only where it is legal; mechanisms to identify and exclude people with gambling problems; and education about responsible gaming.
Without a comprehensive federal solution, state measures such as New Jersey’s recent initiative will be both unlawful and bad public policy.
Let me be clear: Any new approach must ensure the integrity of the game. One of my most important responsibilities as commissioner of the N.B.A. is to protect the integrity of professional basketball and preserve public confidence in the league and our sport. I oppose any course of action that would compromise these objectives.
But I believe that sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated.