Wednesday, October 29, 2014
‘SIX SECONDS TO FAILURE.’ The Antares rocket-launch disaster on the front page. - The Washington Post
A fiery explosion caused by an unknown “catastrophic anomaly” destroyed hundreds of millions worth of technology, supplies and equipment that was headed to the International Space Station on Tuesday night.
That didn't go well. Cool video though.
It’s late Saturday night on the streets of San Diego. People dressed head-to-toe in superhero outfits are patrolling the streets. With names like “Midnight Highwayman,” “Freedom Fighter” and “Vigilante Spider,” members of this citizen patrol group hope to make the streets safer.
TaxProf Blog: Thomas Jefferson Law School Reaches Agreement With Its Bondholders, Reduces Debt by $87 Million and Continues Operations
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Federal clarity about Ebola quarantine policy eluded President Obama on Tuesday, as he sought in a hastily arranged statement to both reassure Americans and postpone answers about why the Pentagon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as key states apply different limitations on the movement of those entering the United States from West African epicenters of the virus.
Sort of a literal laboratory of federalism.
California Leads Housing Slowdown As Case-Shiller Home Prices Decline For 4 Months In A Row | Zero Hedge
Following misses in yesterday's Markit Service PMI, Existing Home Sales and the Dallas Fed report, and today's Durable Goods numbers, we just made it a pentafecta for misses in US econ data, when the just released August Case-Shiller data for August confirmed once again that US housing is rapidly slowing down, when the Top 20 Composite Index (Seasonally Adjusted) posted another decline in August, its fourth in a row, declining by -0.15% and missing expectations of a modest 0.2% rebound (following last month's -0.5%) decline. The best summary of the situation came from S&P's David Blitzer: "The deceleration in home prices continues... The Sun Belt region reported its worst annual returns since 2012, led by weakness in all three California cities -- Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego." But who cares what the birth (and death) place of every housing bubble is doing, right?
The New York Times has a disturbing article on asset seizures by the Internal Revenue Service. To summarize: There is a rule requiring banks to report cash transactions over $10,000. This facilitates the detection and prosecution of tax cheats and drug dealers. A lot of paperwork is involved, which banks don’t like, so perfectly legitimate people frequently structure their deposits to get around the requirement. This sort of structuring is also illegal, and when the IRS suspects it’s happening, then poof! They take your account. The people who are profiled by the Times are small business owners who acquired the money by perfectly legitimate means, and do not seem to be cheating on their taxes, or otherwise breaking the law.
My father was so paranoid about the IRS he would not take the deductions for the charitable contributions he made. Now he seems reasonable.