- Donald Trump's spending shows how he's redefining the modern political campaign
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 9:26 PM:)<>
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump is apparently getting a great bang for his buck in the presidential race.
MSNBC's Ari Melber reported Tuesday that Trump has only spent about $2 million so far on his campaign, according to his staff.
Needless to say, that is far less than his top-tier rivals on both sides of the aisle:
If accurate, that total is not necessarily a surprise. It's in line with the $1.8 million he loaned his campaign over the summer, according to The Wall Street Journal. And the real-estate mogul frequently boasts about how little he's spending in campaign-trail speeches and interviews.
"I figured I would have spent about $10 million by this point, right? I've spent nothing! I've spent nothing!" he exclaimed in an August interview on the Fox Business Network. "I've spent zero! I mean, zero!"
Trump explains this phenomenon by pointing to his media-coverage domination of the 2016 race. He even claimed in an interview last week that if he did spend money on campaign ads, the public would "overdose on Trump."
"I'm not spending that much money,” he said on "New Hampshire Today," according to BuzzFeed. "I thought I would've spent about $20 million for advertising up until this point, right? I've spent nothing. I can't advertise because I'm getting so much coverage."
Although unsurprising, the $2 million figure shows how directly Trump is flying against conventional wisdom when it comes to presidential campaigns.
Top-tier White House contenders traditionally spend millions of dollars on campaign staff and television ads — and self-funding candidates like Trump typically put down even more. But with his celebrity status and media savvy, the billionaire candidate is getting away with running a bare-bones operation this time.
- Donald Trump is still on top — but there are more clear warning signs ahead
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 9:12 PM:)<>
Donald Trump is still the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. But there are more clear warning signs going forward for his candidacy.
A new Public Policy Polling Poll released on Tuesday found Trump at the front of the pack with 27% support among Republican primary voters.
That's down 2 points since August, but still far ahead of his rivals. The next-closest candidate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, garnered 17%, while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) climbed to third with 13% support.
The poll is more evidence that Trump remains the GOP's front-runner. According to a Pew Research Center poll released last week, Trump still leads among almost every group of voters in the Republican party except college graduates and people who report going to church weekly.
The PPP survey discovered similar results, as Trump has the lead among GOP Tea Party and non-Tea Party voters, evangelicals, moderates, "somewhat conservative," "very conservative," men, women, and more.
But the poll also showed signs Trump's support has stalled, and in some cases decreased, while other key metrics have begun to tip against him. The survey found that Trump is now trailing in almost every hypothetical head-to-head matchup with other candidates, and his favorability ratings have plummeted in the last month by 14 net percentage points.
Meanwhile, other candidates are starting to gain or regain ground.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who has run a relatively low-key campaign, has seen his numbers rise following well-received performances at the first two Republican presidential debates. Since the last PPP poll, Rubio's support has virtually doubled nationally. And he remains the second-most liked candidate among Republicans, trailing only Carson.
The poll also displayed that Bush's poll stumbles have tapered off. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll of New Hampshire primary voters released earlier this week also found a slight bump for the former governor.
On Sunday, Trump said that if his poll numbers declined to a level at which he thought he would no longer win the nomination, he would get out of the race. Since then, however, he has been defiant and reamed into the media's interpretation of those comments.
“I believe in polls. How many elections do you see where the polls were wrong? Not that many," Trump said on NBC's "Meet The Press" on Sunday. "OK. You see them, but not that many. If I were doing poorly, if I saw myself going down, if you would stop calling me 'cause you no longer have any interest in Trump because 'he has no chance,' I'd go back to my business. I have no problem with that.”
- ACKMAN: I would do anything to get this guy elected
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 8:45 PM:)<>
Hedge fund titan Bill Ackman said that he would do "anything in his power" to get former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg elected president.
"My view is that Michael Bloomberg is going to run for president and Michael Bloomberg is going to win," Ackman said.
"I know I'm at the Bloomberg conference, but I'll just say what I think."
Bloomberg, 73, has not said that he would run.
Ackman revealed his views while speaking with Bloomberg TV's Stephanie Ruhle at the Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit on Tuesday.
The reason Ackman is sure that Bloomberg will run is simple: "because he's going to die," Ackman said, pointing to Bloomberg's age.
Ackman said that Bloomberg is the kind of guy to say, "'Life is too short; I have to go for it.'"
"He's that kind of guy," Ackman said.
The former New York mayor has said in the past that he would not win a run for president because no one wants to vote for a billionaire. Ackman pointed out that a billionaire — Donald Trump — is currently the Republican front-runner.
He said that weakness on the Democratic side and disarray on the Republican side would create the opportunity for someone like Bloomberg, who he described as a business-oriented, philanthropic, straight-talking, honest guy.
Ackman said that if Bloomberg were to announce his candidacy for president, the stock market would go up 5% on the day he made the announcement and 10% on the day he wins.
The hedge fund manager referred to the US as the "biggest business in the world" and said that it only makes sense to have a businessman like Bloomberg running the country.
He also highlighted the similarities between Bloomberg and current Republican front-runner, Trump.
"People say they like Trump because he's a straight-talker," Ackman said, adding that Bloomberg would represent all the best of Trump without the worst of Trump.
"That to me is a winner," Ackman said.
Ruhle asked Ackman if he would support any other candidate for president, to which he replied, "No I'm not. I'm supporting Bloomberg for president."
- Senior US official describes the 'nightmare' scenario in Syria right now
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 7:51 PM:)<>
Worried about a lack of support from the US, rebel groups in Syria are reportedly requesting man-portable air-defense systems (or Manpads) to shoot down Russian planes that are bombing them, according ot multiple reports.
Russia started bombing targets in Syria last week, avoiding the strongholds of ISIS — the terror group they claim to be bombing — and instead going after CIA-backed rebels and others who are fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Now those CIA-backed rebels want protection against Russian strikes.
“We need one of two things. Either a clear policy from the United States to prevent Russia and the regime from bombing Syrians, or otherwise they should send us antiaircraft missiles so that we can confront the Russian planes,” Hassan Haj Ali, the commander of US-backed rebel brigade Suqour al-Jabal, told the Washington Post last week.
“If they don’t help us, people will lose trust in our supporters, and this will increase extremism,” he added.
Capt. Mustafa Moarati, a spokesman for the CIA-backed Tajamu al-Izza rebel brigade, echoed Ali's lamentations: “At least they could give us antiaircraft missiles."
The US has agreed to protect the rebels that have been trained in a program run by the Pentagon, but not those the CIA covertly supports, according to the Journal.
"The White House has succeeded at keeping Manpads out of Syria since the start of the war because of concerns they could fall into the wrong hands and be used against commercial aircraft in the region and beyond," Adam Entous wrote in the Journal.
There are many anti-Assad factions operating in Syria, and some other weapons that have been imported into the country have been obtained by jihadist groups like ISIS, which seizes territory (along with weapons caches) in Iraq and Syria.
Even if the US doesn't agree to supply the rebels with Manpads, they might find other ways to gain access to them, which could create a "nightmare scenario," one US official told the newspaper.
"These groups are talking about the possibility of introducing Manpads in an uncontrolled way into areas where al-Qaeda operates to respond to the Russians since we won’t respond," a senior US official told the Journal.
"That’s the nightmare right now."
The CIA-backed nationalist rebels argue that it is in the US interest to provide deterrents against the Russian onslaught.
Moarati, the Tajamu al-Izza spokesman, told the Post that the Russians were bombing the US-backed brigades in order to obliterate the moderates and fill the void with extremists.
“They are doing this for two reasons. Firstly, because we are friends with the United States and they want to challenge the United States," Moarati said. "And secondly, to vanquish the Free Syrian Army on the ground to show the world that only extremists are fighting Assad and that therefore he should survive."
- BARRY DILLER: 'If Donald Trump doesn't fall, I'll either move out of the country or join the resistance'
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 7:02 PM:)<>
There's a billionaire ready to emigrate if Republican-presidential-candidate Donald Trump ends up sitting in the Oval Office.
Barry Diller, founder and chairman of IAC Interactive, spoke Tuesday at Bloomberg Market's Most Influential Summit.
"If Donald Trump doesn't fall, I'll either move out of the county or join the resistance ... the real resistance," he said.
His comment was received by a roomful of laughter.
The 63-year-old billionaire sat down with moderator Erik Schatzker to talk about virtual reality, startups, and the 2016 election cycle.
Diller followed up by saying: "I'm not truly moving or joining the resistance, because I'll take any bet it won't happen."
Diller didn't stop the diatribe there.
"All he is is a self-promoting huckster that found a vein. A vein of meanness and nastiness," Diller said. "He has no communication strategy ... except to be a nasty, mean person criticizing people and doing silly kind of showman stuff."
In 2012, Diller, who is worth an estimated $2.5 billion, told CNBC that he would vote for Obama that year because the opposition, Mitt Romney, ran an "inept, depressing campaign." He contributed $2,700 to Hillary Clinton's campaign in June.
"If Donald Trump doesn't fall I'll either move out of the country or join the resistance." Barry Diller to @ErikSchatzker— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) October 6, 2015
The New York-based billionaire is less clear on who will become president or how they will get to the White House.
"What's going to win?" he asked. "Well, you'll eventually have two candidates, hopefully with some qualifications, and one of them will win. What else is there?"
Here's the segment:
- Texas mom accuses textbook company of erasing history with one word
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 7:00 PM:)<>
A Texas mom posted a video to Facebook and Twitter last week that sparked anger over the content in her son's geography textbook, The New York Times reported on Monday.
The textbook referred to Africans who were brought to American plantations between the 1500s and 1800s as workers, rather than slaves.
The anger began when Coby Burren, a freshman at Pearland High School in Texas, texted his mother, Roni Dean-Burren, a photo of the page in book with the comment, "we was real hard workers, wasn’t we.”
Dean-Burren was deeply troubled by the language in the textbook, and created a video that has generated almost 2 million views on Facebook. It has spurred angry conversations about whether McGraw-Hill Education is intentionally erasing the history of slavery from its books.
Dean-Burren also points out in the video that there is a discrepancy between how the textbook refers to European versus African immigrants.
"This section here in particular talks about English and European peoples, many of whom who came as indentured servants to work for little or no pay," Dean-Burren says on the video.
"So they say that about English and European people but there is no mention to Africans working as slaves or being slaves. It just says that we are workers."
“It’s that nuance of language," Dean-Burren told the Times. "This is what erasure looks like.”
Since the controversy started, McGraw-Hill posted on its Facebook page that the language was an oversight on its part, and that it will update the digital addition immediately, and the print version in the next print run.
They are also sending stickers to schools to cover up the error in books currently in use.
The controversy again shines a light on Texas curriculum in regard to slavery and Civil War history. In July, there was outrage that Texas schools will teach that slavery was a "side issue" to the Civil War, and the state has repeatedly been in the news for what critics say is its attempt to "whitewash" history.
See below for the video of Dean-Burren explaining what's wrong with her son's geography textbook:
- Bernie Sanders is surprisingly pro-gun
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 6:54 PM:)<>
"If you passed the strongest gun-control legislation tomorrow, I don't think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen," he told Vermont alternative-weekly Seven Days.
Sanders represents Vermont, where gun ownership is high but murders via shooting are low. In 2005, he voted in favor of a bill that protects gun makers and sellers from being sued. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has said that she'll attempt to repeal the bill, should she be elected.
Sanders has said that "sensible gun-control legislation" is needed, so long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners.
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- Ben Carson just had an epic interview on 'The View' about Nazis, evolution, and hurricanes
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 6:17 PM:)<>
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson went toe-to-toe with the hosts of "The View" on Tuesday.
It wasn't a standard presidential-candidate interview.
Whoopi Goldberg's first two questions to the soft-spoken Republican were: No. 1, whether he ever yelled; and No. 2, about his claim that "Nazi Germany could happen here."
"That's not what I said," Carson protested.
"What I said was that most of the people in Nazi Germany did not believe in what Hitler was doing. But did they speak up? No," he said.
"They kept their mouths shut. And when you do that, you are compromising your freedom and the freedom of people who come behind you. You have to be willing to stand up for what you believe in."
Goldberg pointed out that people and groups such as the White Rose Society did push back against Hitler. Carson maintained that the German public didn't speak up enough.
Another cohost, Joy Behar, then pressed Carson on the topic of evolution.
"I was reading that you don't believe in evolution," Behar told Carson. "What I want to say to you is — don't take this wrong Mrs. Carson, I'm not asking for a date — but how do you feel about taking a trip to the Museum of Natural History with me? We could do like a little walk through and have a discussion about it."
Carson said he "would be happy" to go with Behar to the American Museum of Natural History. He added that he had already had debates with Nobel laureates on the issue.
"Let me explain. Let me explain," he began after Behar brought up fossil records. "Microevolution versus macroevolution are two different things."
Behar wasn't eager for that particular scientific discussion.
"This is too in the weeds for us right now," she said. "Let's just go on the date."
Later, Carson was also confronted by host Michelle Collins for saying he didn't know how he would handle Hurricane Joaquin as president.
"The look on your press secretary's face was hilarious and priceless and we love her," Collins said of the interview in which Carson made the comment.
She then displayed a photo of Carson's press secretary looking incredulously at the candidate.
"That's like my favorite reaction of maybe all time," she said. "But do you have an answer now?"
- Marco Rubio says one startup would've vastly improved life for his mom
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 6:06 PM:)<>
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) says that one high-profile "gig-economy" startup would've vastly improved life for one of the most important people in his life: his mother.
In a speech in front of an audience of tech industry workers at the Civic Hall in New York, Rubio said his mother, who worked for years as a maid, would've benefited enormously if she had been a contractor for the home-service company Handy, which connects cleaners, plumbers, and handymen with potential customers.
"In the last century, my mother worked as a maid in hotels. She had no control over her schedule, no influence over how much she earned, and few opportunities to set herself apart, yet she still achieved the American Dream. Just think what she could have achieved cleaning homes through a company like Handy. She would have had total control over her own financial life," Rubio said Tuesday during a speech at Civic Hall in New York.
"Innovations like Handy are part of the reason I’m so optimistic about not only saving the American Dream in this century, but actually expanding it to reach more people than ever before."
After praising Handy extensively and mentioning that its CEO, Oisin Hanrahan, was in the audience, Rubio used the home-service startup to illustrate his plan for ensuring that the future of the so-called "gig economy" is not subject to strict regulations. He said that worker classification tax laws are needlessly burdening Handy with regulations that keep Handy workers from wearing uniforms and receiving benefits.
"The company can’t provide training to its contractors, they can’t make recommendations to them based on customer feedback, and they can’t even ask them to wear a shirt or uniform with the Handy logo on it," Rubio said.
"Think about how ironic that is. Our outdated politicians bash the on-demand economy for not taking better care of workers, yet our outdated government is the exact force preventing it from doing so," Rubio added.
Rubio, a presidential candidate who has seen his poll numbers rise in recent weeks, was in New York selling his economic vision for the "sharing-economy," a term that applies to businesses that connect users and contractors who sell services. Rubio spoke at length about the macroeconomic benefits of businesses like Handy, as well as the ride-sharing service Uber and the room-sharing company Airbnb.
For its part, Handy was careful to stay above the partisan fray, telling Business Insider that it is talking to lawmakers and candidates from both sides of the aisle.
"This is an incredibly important issue, and we’re working with other companies, independent professionals and leaders like Senators Rubio and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) to find a bipartisan solution so that the mobile economy can keep growing and innovating while allowing independent professionals to have the opportunities they need and deserve," Hanrahan told Business Insider in a statement.
Rubio's emphasis on gig economy businesses is no accident — Rubio, along with rival Floridian and former Gov. Jeb Bush (R), has made overtures to the tech community as some sharing economy companies have clashed with state regulators. Though the tech industry has long leaned left, many Republicans are hoping to peel away support as companies like Uber and Airbnb, both popular with young consumers, clash with Democratic leaders.
Earlier this year, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio was forced to back down after an attempt to regulate Uber's growth prompted a full-scale public-relations assault from the ride-sharing company.
On Tuesday, Rubio criticized lawmakers taking the side of taxi companies against Uber.
"These companies are also the victims of a coordinated attack from established businesses, which influence the political process to pass new regulations that block competition. We’ve seen this play out with taxi companies lobbying to stop Uber," Rubio said.
- There are rumors about Malia Obama's college plans — here's our best guess at where she'll go
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 5:51 PM:)<>
Malia Obama is only through the first month of her senior year of high school, but there is already rampant speculation over her college choice.
So far, she has toured six of the eight Ivy League Schools — Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale — as well as Barnard, the University of California at Berkeley, New York University, Stanford, Tufts, and Wesleyan, according to The New York Times.
The 17-year-old high-school senior has yet to say if she has any favorites among the colleges she has toured, so the following is a bit of informed conjecture.
This summer, she had an internship in New York City on the set of HBO's "Girls" and proved herself to fit right into the scene, according to the New York Post.
She was spotted all over New York during her internship, including at the West Village's IFC Center and dining at a number of upscale restaurants with friends.
That has provided ample tabloid fodder for the premise that Obama will be sure to attend a New York City-based college. One popular theory is that she will end up at NYU, based on the fact that the president said she is interested in majoring in film studies. NYU's Tisch School of the Arts is known to be one of the top film schools in the US.
Another assumption is that she will choose a different elite New York City school and the president's alma mater: Columbia University.
Our money, however, is on Stanford University.
We think the university will win out because of the president's fondness for the school.
"Let's face it, I like Stanford grads," US President Barack Obama said at a cybersecurity summit in Palo Alto, California in March. He added that Stanford "is the place that made nerd cool."
Stanford would also be a great place for Malia Obama, who is known to be athletic and is an avid tennis player, to hone her game.
But the primary source that has led us to conclude that Obama will choose Stanford is none other than the first daughter's sartorial choices. She was spotted wearing a Stanford shirt during summer 2014, when she was on a family vacation.
- BREMMER: 'We've already moved one step beyond a proxy war' in Syria
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 5:16 PM:)<>
The dynamics of the Syrian civil war, which began in March 2011, drastically changed last week when Russian war planes started bombing US-backed rebels in Syria's west and north under the guise of bombing ISIS.
Now a war that saw Western, Turkish, and Gulf proxies in addition to Syrian army defectors on one side fighting Iranian proxies and Russian hardware backing the regime of Bashar al-Assad on the other has reached a new level.
"We’ve already moved one step beyond a proxy war, where the Americans/Europeans and Russians are arming two opposing sides in a war ... to where the Russians are now directly fighting Western proxies," Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, told Business Insider via email.
"The danger is that we move one step further still."
Putin and Obama had reportedly agreed about fighting ISIS and opening lines of communication between their militaries to prevent an accidental conflict that could lead to all-out war.
Nevertheless, Syrian skies are quite crowded as Russia targets CIA-backed rebels in coordination with Iran and the Syrian regime.
"US officials say they now believe the Russians have been directly targeting CIA-backed rebel groups that pose the most direct threat to Mr. Assad since the campaign began on Wednesday, both to firm up regime positions and to send a message to Mr. Obama's administration,"Adam Entous of The Wall Street Journal reports.
In 2013, President Obama authorized the CIA to begin training and arming a group of moderate Syrian rebels to put pressure on the Assad regime. By attacking these CIA-backed rebels directly, Russia is now challenging the Obama administration to either intervene or look away
"Russian president Vladimir Putin's was the most significant geopolitical victory scored against the United States since the end of the cold war," Bremmer said.
"Putin has embarrassed President Obama by pointing out the credibility gap between stated policy ('Assad must go, ISIS must be destroyed') and American willingness to actually bring about the removal and destruction," Bremmer said.
"So there’s a geopolitical vacuum which the Russians have now, partially (and only very partially) filled."
Yesterday, two US defense officials told CNN that the Russians are already planning their next move: a ground offensive to help government forces beat back rebels between Homs and Idlib.
A senior Russian lawmaker also told the Interfax-AVN news agency that Russian "volunteers" who have honed their combat skills in Ukraine will likely travel to Syria to fight alongside pro-regime forces.
'And then there's a wildcard'
The US is not the only power the Russians are challenging in Syria.
"And then there's a wildcard: Turkey," Bremmer noted. "The NATO ally most deeply destabilized by Assad's civil war, with a lengthy and porous border with Syria, Kurds pouring into Syria to fight Assad, while some 2,000,000-plus refugees have come into Turkey in the other direction."
Ankara has long sought Syrian President Bashar Assad's transition out of power. To this end, Ankara been supporting some of the most powerful rebel groups in northern Syria since the civil war began in 2011— groups that Russia has also been bombing.
And Moscow's intervention has increased the possibility that Russia will end up in a direct military confrontation with Turkey. Turkish officials were quick to express "serious concern" over the airstrikes but tensions rose over the weekend when a Russian war plane violated Turkish air space south of the Hatay region.
"We are greatly concerned about it because it is precisely the kind of thing that, had Turkey responded ... it could have resulted in a shoot down, and it is precisely the kind of thing we warned against," US Secretary of State John Kerry said during a visit to Chile.
On its first day of airstrikes, Russia demanded that the US exit Syrian airspace to avoid any unintentional accidents. The US refused to end its own air campaign, but has been working with Russia to try and "deconflict" certain areas where American and Russian planes risk coming into contact.
There is no comparable "deconflicting" going on between the Turkish and Russian militaries at this point, and if Turkey moves to establish a buffer zone in northern Syria, the Russians will inevitably oppose it.
"The Russians will not meddle in the north," Salih Muslim, cochair of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, said in an interview with al-Monitor last week. "But should Turkey attempt to intervene, then they will."
"Russia has a joint defense agreement with Syria," Muslim added. "They will prevent Turkish intervention not to defend us [Kurds] but to defend Syria's border."
The possibility that Russia and Turkey end up in direct military conflict is "the biggest danger that comes from the Russian intervention," Bremmer said, because it would force NATO to come to Turkey's defense and escalate the conflict to a whole new level.
"There’s plenty of reason to believe calmer heads would prevail and deterrence would hold in such a scenario," Bremmer said "But we’d really rather not test that."
- Theresa May made a huge error about how immigration affects the economy
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 4:57 PM:)<>
UK Home Secretary Theresa May has done us all a huge favour with her speech on immigration at the Conservative Party conference today, because it gives Britain the opportunity to learn how immigration actually affects jobs, taxes, and the economy.
It also gives us the opportunity to learn that May doesn't know much about economics. She got key bits of evidence from the OECD and her own Ministry flat wrong. Even The Telegraph, normally sympathetic to Conservatives, gave her a bad review: "awful, ugly, misleading, cynical and irresponsible."
May said it was her job to "keep the numbers down" because otherwise "it’s impossible to build a cohesive society." Those words are essentially dog whistles to supporters of Nigel Farage and UKIP, whose anti-immigrant policies have been syphoning votes from the right of the Tory Party.
But it was her assertion that immigration is economically bad for Britain that has made people most angry. That's because there is widespread agreement between economists of all stripes that immigration is generally correlated to:
- increases in GDP
- increases in taxes paid
- increases in the ratio of productive workers to the number of retired people their work must support.
If you want a growing economy, you want immigrants, basically. But that's not how May sees it. She said:
Because when immigration is too high, when the pace of change is too fast, it’s impossible to build a cohesive society. It’s difficult for schools and hospitals and core infrastructure like housing and transport to cope. And we know that for people in low-paid jobs, wages are forced down even further while some people are forced out of work altogether.
... But even if we could manage all the consequences of mass immigration, Britain does not need net migration in the hundreds of thousands every year. Of course, immigrants plug skills shortages and it’s right that we should try to attract the best talent in the world, but not every person coming to Britain right now is a skilled electrician, engineer or doctor. The evidence – from the OECD, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee and many academics – shows that while there are benefits of selective and controlled immigration, at best the net economic and fiscal effect of high immigration is close to zero. So there is no case, in the national interest, for immigration of the scale we have experienced over the last decade.
The OECD says the exact opposite. Here is one of its discussion papers: It says, "Migrants contribute more in taxes and social contributions than they receive in benefits."
The OECD isn't some random outlier. While the economic benefit of immigration can be mixed — perhaps not all 1.7 million Syrian refugees should be moved from Turkey to the UK next week — economists broadly agree that an influx of new workers into an economy is likely to lead to more money being spent, and more taxes paid on the wages they earn.
The result is that immigrants make a net positive contribution to the economy, even if they sometimes also cost us what "we pay in benefits" to get there, as May put it. In the UK, this net contribution is £2.5 billion per year, according to this Home Office study from 2002:
The estimates suggest that for the fiscal year 1999-2000 migrants in the UK contributed GBP 31.2 billion in taxes and used benefits and state services valued at GBP 28.8 billion. Therefore, the net fiscal contribution of migrants was approximately GBP + 2.5 billion.
That's the same Home Office that May is currently in charge of.
A US study came to the same conclusion. The Center for Immigration Studies — which is not a somewhat anti-immigration think tank — says:
George Borjas, the nation's leading immigration economist estimates that the presence of immigrant workers (legal and illegal) in the labor market makes the U.S. economy (GDP) an estimated 11 percent larger ($1.6 trillion) each year.
It may feel like immigrants are competing with you for jobs when they arrive, but that's not actually what happens. Their economic activity simply creates a bunch more jobs, and the rising tide lifts all boats. Globally, if all immigration barriers came down, "the estimated gains are often in the range of 50–150
percent of world GDP," according to Michael Clemens, who wrote a paper for the Center for Global Development.
Of the 1.7 million Syrian refugees who are now displaced all over Europe, Germany has pledged to take in 800,000. The UK has offered places to only 20,000.
One of us is going to get the benefit of that, and the other is not.
- Surging GOP candidate Marco Rubio just gave a full-throated defense of Uber
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 4:08 PM:)<>
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) on Tuesday spoke out against regulations on the so-called "gig economy," frequently praising companies like Uber and Airbnb as revolutionary businesses that are needlessly hampered by the federal government.
"The American economy is fundamentally transforming. Uber didn’t even exist when our current president was sworn in. Today it’s worth $51 billion," Rubio, a presidential candidate, said during a speech Tuesday in front of tech industry workers in New York.
"The American people have chosen an economy in which the most valuable retailer in America, Amazon, owns not a single store. The largest transportation company, Uber, owns not a single vehicle."
Rubio — who dedicated an entire chapter of his recent book to how to make the regulatory environment friendlier for Uber — also took a direct swipe at the New York City taxi industry. At one point, he apologized for continuing to bring up Uber throughout the speech, which dealt with the sharing economy in general.
"These companies are also the victims of a coordinated attack from established businesses, which influence the political process to pass new regulations that block competition. We’ve seen this play out with taxi companies lobbying to stop Uber," Rubio said.
Rubio's speech is part of a larger theme of Republicans attempting to use "gig-economy" companies as a wedge between Democrats and the tech industry. It comes as Rubio has surged in GOP primary polls after the second presidential debate last month.
The industry has generally leaned left for years, donating heavily to Democratic candidates. But as some companies like Airbnb and Uber have butted heads with local governments over proposed regulations, Republicans have positioned themselves squarely on the side of sharing-economy companies.
In his speech on Tuesday, Rubio said that he'd met with a high-profile tech CEO who asked Rubio not to mention his name out of "fear" of retribution from the federal government and competitors.
"I met the CEO of an on-demand startup a few weeks back who asked that I not mention his business today out of fear that it would attract attention from legislators, lawyers, and competitors," Rubio said. "What does that say? Do we want America to be a place where honest, innovative businesses have to hide to succeed?"
Rubio also suggested there should be a third worker-tax classification beyond W2 employees and 1099 contractors that would take into account people who work with services like Airbnb and the cleaning service Handy.
But despite a fairly warm reception, Rubio also encountered the limits of his pro-sharing economy message at Civic Hall in New York.
Confronted at one point by a taxi driver who said it was unfair for Uber to undercut his business, Rubio said that while it was "unfortunate" that cab drivers were facing a competitor, that's the result of innovation.
"I think [Uber] is a totally different business model. It's not the same as a taxicab," Rubio said.
"Every time we have had economic restructuring in this country, it has displaced some people," he added. And our obligation is to ensure that people who have been displaced can quickly access the benefits of the new economy and the new innovation. ... Any effort to stand in the way of innovation it's counter-productive," Rubio said.
Rubio also faced questions from several immigrants living in the US illegally who work in the tech industry, who said the industry could benefit from the skills brought by many immigrants who come to the US illegally.
Chris Mercado, who said he works at the start-up Grant Answers, told Business Insider after the speech that he was not impressed with Rubio's opposition to comprehensive immigration reform, an issue that enjoys support from high-profile tech leaders like Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.
Rubio is far from the first Republican presidential candidate to attempt to woo companies like Uber. Earlier this year, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) publicized his Uber ride to a campaign event in San Francisco. Both Bush and Rubio have adopted tech buzzwords, frequently praising companies that "disrupt" traditional business models.
But Bush faced similar skepticism that Rubio was presented with during Tuesday's event. Asked who he was supporting for president, Munir Algazaly, Bush's Uber driver, told Time magazine that he'll probably support Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner.
- Here's what US intelligence thought could happen to Hitler in 1943
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 4:00 PM:)<>
During WWII the Office of Strategic Services, a precursor to the CIA, hired an American psychologist to analyze and predict the behavior of the world's most brutal tyrant.
Psychologist Henry Murray produced a 229-page report, "The Personality of Adolf Hitler," in which he found Hitler to be a schizophrenic who acted like a paranoid "utter wreck" and who was "incapable of normal human relationships."
Murray predicted that Hitler's mental instability would lead to the Nazi leader's downfall. "It can be confidently predicted that Hitler's neurotic spells will increase in frequency and duration and his effectiveness as a leader will diminish," Murray wrote.
Murray predicted nine possible scenarios of what could happen next as of 1943:
1. A revolutionary German group may capture Hitler and imprison him in a fortress
Murray noted that this scenario was highly unlikely considering Hitler's "widespread reverence," but if Hitler were captured, Murray was sure those forces would deliver him to the US. Once Hitler was out of power, "the General Staff will no doubt become the rulers of Germany," Murray wrote.
2. Hitler might be assassinated by a German
In his report, Murray described Hitler as a paranoid "utter wreck" who frequently worried about being shot or poisoned. He therefore took extreme precautions and was "protected as never before," according to Murray. Again, another unlikely situation, Murray wrote, because "Germans are not inclined to shoot their leaders."
3. He may arrange to be executed by a close friend or a Jew
If necessary, Murray wrote, Hitler may orchestrate an elaborate and dramatic death to appear as a hero taken too soon from his nation. Similar to the deaths of Caesar and Christ, death by the hand of a loyal follower really appealed to Hitler, Murray noted. "It might increase the fanaticism of the soldiers for a while and create a legend in conformity with the ancient pattern."
To expand on this theory, Murray suggested Hitler may even ask for a Jewish person to shoot and kill him to validate his beliefs that Jews were evil. In this scenario, Hitler would hope "his fellow countrymen would rise in their wrath and massacre every remaining Jew in Germany."
4. Hitler may die while leading troops into battle
Another way for Hitler to glorify himself as a courageous and decisive leader would be to die on the battlefield. This course of action was most likely, considering Hitler realized his death alongside troops would exemplify his battle cry to "fight with fanatical death-defying energy to the bitter end."
5. He may go insane
Murray said Hitler was a schizophrenic who suffered from frequent emotional collapses and lacked mental clarity in high-stress situations.
Often described as moody and listless, Hitler was an insomniac and was traumatized by violent nightmares when he was able to sleep.
"The man has been on the verge of paranoid schizophrenia for years and with the mounting load of frustration and failure he may yield his will to the turbulent forces of our unconscious," Murray wrote.
6. He may commit suicide
Based on Hitler's stubborn pride, he would kill himself before being imprisoned.
"If he chooses this course, he will do it at the last moment and in the most dramatic possible manner," Murray wrote. Hitler's predicted suicide attempts included the following:
- Blow up his home and himself in Berchtesgaden with dynamite
- Make a giant funeral pyre and throw himself into the flames
- Shoot himself with a silver bullet, mirroring the suicide of Haitian Emperor Christophe
- Jump to his death from a bridge or balcony
This came to be: On April 30, 1945, Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker with his long-term mistress Eva Braun, less than an hour after their wedding.
7. He could also die of natural causes
Inevitable of all human beings.
8. He might seek refuge in a neutral country
According to Murray, the only case for this happening would be if Hitler were drugged by one of his trusted advisers and put on a plane to Switzerland, where he would then be persuaded to stay once he woke up. This option would not please Hitler because he could be labeled as a deserter or coward.
9. He may fall into the hands of the United Nations
Murray didn't elaborate on this prediction and described it only as a "least likely, but most desirable outcome."
Here is Murray's full study:
- Aerial footage shows the true devastation of South Carolina flooding
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 3:39 PM:)<>
Record rainfall in certain parts of South Carolina has caused major flooding throughout the state, resulting in nine causalities thus far. There have been 500 bridge and road closures.
Produced by Emma Fierberg
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- The Russian navy created a de facto aerial defense zone to protect its Syria bases
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 3:26 PM:)<>
A large deployment of ships that Russia sent to the eastern Mediterranean under the guise of naval exercises at the end of September are actually being used to provide an aerial defense zone for Russian jets, Sam LaGrone reports for USNI News.
The "Black Sea-based Russian surface action group" in the eastern Mediterranean are based along Syria's coast by the Bassel al-Assad Airport and the Tartous naval facility, which is home to a Russian port.
The ships are intended to provide aerial defense for the Russian aircraft that Moscow is currently using to carry out airstrikes against Syrian rebels throughout the country.
Although not directly stated by official channels, the aerial defense zone is likely intended as defense against hypothetical US or coalition airstrikes against the Russian airstrips.
"The Russians did not know what the West’s response to beefing up the air presence at Latakia would be," Russian strategic analyst Igor Sutyagin told The Daily Mail.
"By moving big ships like this into place, Russia is sending a clear message to the Americans that if they were to attack the planes at Latakia, there would be a response."
A separate military source told the Russian news service Interfax-AVN that the vessels would conduct anti-aircraft missile tests against aerial targets in cooperation with ground-based defensive systems in the coming days.
The overall purpose of the tests was to measure "the efficiency of the system protecting the air base near Latakia from air strikes."
Russia's naval deployment features two guided-missile cruisers, several amphibious warships, a surveillance ship, and a landing ship, USNI News reports citing Turkish ship-spotting blog Bosphorous Naval News.
Moscow had previously claimed that the deployment was intended to train Russian ships in antisubmarine, antiship, and air defense situations. The ships were originally intended to be placed in the eastern Mediterranean through the end of October.
Russia began bombing targets within Syria last week claiming to be going after ISIS. Instead, Russia has bombed CIA-backed rebels and rebels aligned with al Qaeda that are targeting the Syrian government.
- Europe insists a massive court ruling won't cause chaos for thousands of American companies
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 3:08 PM:)<>
Senior European officials have insisted that business on the continent is not about to be plunged into chaos after Europe's highest court voted to revoke a crucial agreement for sharing data between the US and the EU.
Speaking at a press conference in Strasbourg on Tuesday afternoon, European Commission vice president Frans Timmerman and European Commission member in charge of justice, consumers, and gender equality Věra Journová said that Europe is seeking to ensure legal certainty for companies in light of the ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that the 2000 Safe Harbor decision is "invalid."
Max Schrems, an Austrian privacy activist and former student, had taken legal action against Facebook in light of the NSA spying revelations in Ireland over alleged privacy violations. The Irish data protection office rejected Schrems' case on the basis that it did not have legal authority to tackle it due to the Safe Harbor agreement legitimising the transfer of data from Europe to the US by American companies.
Schrems subsequently appealed, and the ECJ ultimately ruled that Safe Harbor is not a valid legal basis for data transfer. Around 4,500 companies make use of Safe Harbor.
Timmerman and Journová told assembled European journalists that the European Commission has three priorities: Ensuring EU citizens' data is protected adequately, the continuation of transatlantic data flow, and a uniform response across Europe.
Journová said that a "coordinated response" would be "important" for businesses operating in Europe, and that the Commission will be issuing guidance to national data protection authorities in the weeks ahead. The aim is to have one unified set of policies implemented across Europe (as Safe Harbor was), and to avoid what Timmerman characterised as "a patchwork of potentially contradictory rulings."
Such guidance will, the European Commission argues, provide "legal certainty" to businesses looking to operate in Europe.
As it stands, there is the risk that different governments and national data regulators will take very different approaches to data protection — forcing American companies seeking to do business in Europe to adapt to dozens of different regulatory environments. It'd be a chaotic, bureaucratic nightmare.
There's even the risk that a country could demand that a company must store all data held on its citizens within the country — as is currently the case in Russia following the introduction of a new data law.
Since the Snowden revelations, the EU and the US has been negotiating a new basis for transfer of data that alleviates EU concerns over American spying on European citizens. Journová said in response to a question that she had "wanted to finalise the negotiations before summer, but I found out we need more time for the national security items." She declined to give "any concrete day" for its finalisation.
In the absence of any "safer safe harbor" (as Journová put it), there are other mechanisms to legitimise the transfer of data between Europe and America, although none are as straight-forward as Safe Harbor. This includes by using model clauses in contracts that are pre-approved by the EU, and by obtaining the informed consent of the data subjects.
- BEN CARSON: I would have attacked the Oregon shooter
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 3:04 PM:)<>
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson speculated on Tuesday about what he would have done had he been at the Oregon college where a gunman opened fire last week.
The Republican presidential candidate weighed in on the hypothetical during a "Fox & Friends" interview.
"I'm glad you asked that question. Because not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me," Carson said.
He speculated that he would have organized a response.
"I would say, 'Hey guys! Everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can't get us all!'" Carson exclaimed.
He was responding to a question how he would have reacted to a gunman demanding to know his religion.
Some survivors' families reportedly said that the Oregon college shooter asked his victims if they were Christians before opening fire. Carson also had a viral Facebook post — garnering more than 1.1 million "likes" — using the hashtag "#IamaChristian."
President Barack Obama and the Democratic presidential candidates reacted to the Umpqua Community College massacre by calling for additional gun-control measures. Republicans, including Carson, dismissed the need for additional gun restrictions.
Carson explained how he would cut back on mass shootings during a wide-ranging phone interview with Business Insider on Monday. The retire doctor argued that a database of "dangerous people" would go a long way in tackling the mental-health component of the shootings.
"In the case of both the shooter in Aurora and the one at Virginia Tech, there was evidence that these were dangerous people. And that could be easily in a database. We have the mechanism for doing stuff, but we have to act on it," Carson said, referencing mass shootings in recent years at the Virginia college and a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
He added: "Common sense will tell you that you're not going to put dangerous weapons in somebody's hands like that. That seems like a big part of our problem. Common sense — we don't seem to have it anymore."
Carson spoke to Business Insider while promoting his new book, "A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties."
- Donald Trump tangles with CNN's Chris Cuomo over the 'disgusting' media and his own poll numbers
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 2:58 PM:)<>
Real-estate tycoon Donald Trump is furious over how the press interpreted his recent statements about what would cause him to drop out of the 2016 presidential race.
"It's so disgusting. I'll tell you what, the media is so dishonest. It's so disgusting," Trump reflected Tuesday on CNN.
During several interviews, including "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Trump said that if he felt he had no shot at winning, he would end his campaign.
But Trump argued Tuesday that he was simply being honest and pointed to the polls showing him holding onto his primary lead.
"I'm not going anywhere, Chris. I'm leading every poll. I'm leading every state. I'm not going anywhere, OK?" he told CNN's Chris Cuomo.
"I gave a very honest answer. I said, 'Look, if there's some reason I had no chance and I collapsed, [I would get out,]' They take that and say, 'Oh, maybe there's a little weakness in Trump in terms of the answer,'" Trump added angrily. "There's no weakness. I'm not going anywhere. I'm leading every poll. And I'm going to win. And I'm going to make our country great again."
Cuomo said some of the recent polls showed that there was a "contraction" in Trump's numbers, which he said were "coming down a little bit."
"There's contraction in your mind, Chris," Trump shot back, touting other polls showing him with a wider lead.
"There's contraction in math. It's math, not my mind," Cuomo insisted.
Later in the CNN interview, Trump ripped the network for its September debate, in which he went a period of time without getting a word in.
"When you talk about the 39 minutes [when] I didn't say anything. You know why I didn't say anything? Because they didn't ask me any questions. Because [in] the first two hours, all they did was ask me questions and they felt stupid," Trump said.
"CNN felt stupid and probably guilty," he continued, "and I agreed with them because every question was about me."
Watch Trump insist on 'New Day' that he's not going anywhere below:
- This map shows how easily something very bad could happen over Syria
(Politics - October 06 2015 - 2:46 PM:)<>
The chances of an accident in the skies over Syria look to be increasing, as a map from CBS Evening News shows.
Russia started bombing targets in Syria last week, avoiding the strongholds of ISIS — the terror group they claim to be bombing — and instead going after CIA-backed rebels and others who are fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who the US has said must step aside if ISIS is to be defeated.
Recently during their bombing campaign, Russian jets "had their closest run-in yet" with American planes, according to CBS. They were reportedly within 20 miles of each other, close enough that Americans could see the Russian planes on their targeting cameras.
The green planes are American aircraft and the yellow planes are Russian:
Lt. Gen. Charles Brown, commander of the American air campaign in Syria, told CBS that the US has just been working around the Russians as they have entered Syrian airspace to conduct strikes against anti-regime rebels and extremist factions.
"We're up a lot more often than [the Russians] are so when we do have to move around [them] for safe operation, it's for a small period of time compared to the hours and hours that we're airborne over Iraq and Syria," Brown said.
Brown said he doesn't think Russian airstrikes will clash with American operations, but some experts have said that there are significant risks associated with the US-led anti-ISIS coalition occupying the same airspace as Russia.
"While the US and Russia will engage in direct military talks to 'deconflict' any strikes, the chances for accidents go way up — especially given the many military members of the coalition," geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, told Business Insider last week.
"The US and allies will ignore Russian calls to avoid Syrian airspace the same way the Russians ignored the US on Assad."
Russia gave the US little notice before it started bombing rebel groups fighting the regime of Assad, a close ally of Russia.
The Associated Press noted this week that "the air forces of multiple countries are on the attack, often at cross purposes in Syria's civil war, sometimes without coordination," emphasizing the potential for "unintended conflict."
Turkey, Australia, France, and the US are all flying planes over Syria, and Russia is not coordinating with the Americans, according to the AP. Defense officials from the US and Russia have had conversations about "de-conflicting" their activities in Syria, and those discussions are ongoing.