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Member Since 03 February 2012 - 03:42 PM
Offline Last Active Jul 15 2019 09:28 AM

Topics I've Started

In America Women's World Cup Drawing More Viewers Than The Men

08 July 2019 - 03:15 PM

When it comes to championship level soccer in America the women are the stars. Sooooo when does the money follow?


The Women’s World Cup final Sunday drew more viewers than the men’s World Cup final match one year ago. The game garnered a 10.0 household rating in overnight markets—up about 20 percent from the 2018 men’s final between France and Croatia. The American 2-0 shutout over the Netherlands is also the highest-rated soccer telecast in the United States since the last women’s World Cup final in 2015. As the reigning world champions accepted their trophy after the game, fans in the packed stadium chanted “Equal pay!” Earlier this year, the American women sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for “purposeful gender discrimination,” demanding equal pay to their male counterparts.

How to Merge When the Lane Ends

29 June 2019 - 09:25 AM

This has been a pet driving peeve of mine for ages. I can never grasp what's so hard about driving to the merge point and merging. It's simple, easy, and now it's proven to be more efficient and even safer.


If you're old enough to drive, you're old enough to have some thoughts about the best way to merge into highway traffic when your lane is ending or closing due to a wreck or road work. When you see the big, orange "LANE CLOSED IN 1000 FT" sign, you've got a couple of options:
  • Immediately turn on your blinker and wait until somebody in the next lane lets you in.
  • Just stay in your lane and wait for all the polite people to get out of your way before zooming to the front of the line and merging when the lane closes. Watch as people who merged early rage in your general direction.
To most people, the first option seems more courteous and patient — less selfish. But study upon study proves the upstanding early-mergers among us are just creating a single long, slow line of traffic that's not only frustrating for drivers, it's inefficient because it minimizes the amount of usable road — and it even causes accidents.

What we all should be doing is called the "zipper merge," or Reißverschlusssystem, as the Germans call it. In this system, every car in the lane that's ending drives all the way up to the front of the line and takes turns merging with the other lane of traffic. (From above, it looks a bit like teeth on a zipper coming together.) Because the system uses all the available road space for as long as possible, it cuts congestion by 40 percent. It also reduces crashes because all the traffic is moving at the same rate of speed rather than some cars going very fast while others poke along.

Search Functionality Not Working for Me

24 June 2019 - 04:19 PM

Is anybody else having trouble with the search functionality? I'm getting this:


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The Republican Takeover of Florida is Complete

11 June 2019 - 11:09 AM

The governor succeeded in killing the last competitive power structure; the residents of the state.


As President Obama once said, elections have consequences.

Florida brought the latest reminder of that on Friday, when Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that makes it much harder to change the state constitution via citizen-led ballot measures.

As Matt Shuham reports, this move puts a major dent in what is essentially the last lever of power Democrats have in the Sunshine State, which is currently overseen by a Republican governor, legislature, secretary of state and attorney general. Every member of the state Supreme Court has also been appointed by Republicans.Progressive voices have long relied on the ballot initiative process as their best last resort. In recent years, they have successfully mobilized voters to restore voting rights to felons, legalize medical marijuana, and reduce class sizes. But they now face laborious signature-gathering requirements and hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines for errors.

The Miami Herald reported that DeSantis led the charge to get the ballot initiative bill, known as HB5, signed into law. Per the Herald, it had languished earlier in the 2019 legislative session until the Republican governor intervened at the eleventh hour to amend it to an unrelated piece of legislation.

And with a flourish of his signature on Friday, DeSantis helped further consolidate GOP control over the crucial swing state.

Bipartisan Attempt to Regulate Some of America's Tax Havens

05 June 2019 - 04:12 PM

The U.S. has become a great place to dodge taxes and launder money. A bipartisan bill is attempting to change that at least a bit.


The United States has earned a place alongside Switzerland and Panama as one of the world’s most lucrative tax havens and money laundering hotspots—a shameful situation that policymakers are finally trying to address. Several bipartisan bills are trekking through Congress that aim at halting money laundering, tax avoidance, and the use of anonymous shell companies for potentially nefarious purposes. One of the bills, the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019, has been in the works for more than a decade, and would require full disclosure of company owners’ true names and addresses to the Treasury Department.

The bill was endorsed last month by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who said he believes it is “headed in the right direction” and worthy of bipartisan support. The bill’s lead sponsor, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, has called it “absurd that the U.S. allows criminals to launder their money here.” Maloney’s bill nevertheless faces a steep climb to become law. Although it’s backed by over 100 groups, including the national District Attorneys Association and the Bank Policy Institute, it is opposed by other powerful institutions, including the American Bar Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Delaware is, of course, the big example.


The bill also faces a rocky road because it proposes restricting loopholes that are used by powerful companies and politicians—including President Donald Trump. This is particularly the case in Delaware—or, as Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden termed it recently at a private fundraiser for wealthy donors, “the corporate state of Delaware.” The First State has made its status as a shell company mecca and tax haven a cornerstone of its economy. It now has more corporate entities than it has residents.

Around two million corporations and LLCs (limited liability companies) are registered annually, and many states, notably Delaware, don’t require specification as to who their true owners are. If there’s now a bipartisan effort to resolve this lack of transparency, it’s also a bipartisan problem. Trump himself has over 500 LLCs, the majority of which are registered in Delaware—curiously enough, at the same address in Wilmington where Hillary Clinton previously had companies registered. And Trump and Clinton are not outliers—the state brags that “more than 50% of all publicly-traded companies in the U.S. including 64% of the Fortune 500 have chosen Delaware as their legal home.”

Thanks in part to the opaque financial flows of these anonymous companies, last year the United States was ranked the second-most financially non-transparent jurisdiction in the world, behind only Switzerland. Let that sink in—the United States was rated less financially transparent than the infamous Cayman Islands.