Bill Moyers The median pay for the top 100 highest-paid CEOs at America’s publicly traded companies was a handsome $13.9 million in 2013. That’s a 9 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new equilar pay study for The New York Times.
These types of jumps in executive compensation may have more of an effect on our widening income inequality than previously thought. A new book that’s the talk of academia and the media, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, a 42-year-old who teaches at the Paris School of Economics, shows that two-thirds of America’s increase in income inequality over the past four decades is the result of steep raises given to the country’s highest earners. Read more.
The media circus over the standoff between rancher Bundy and the Feds in Nevada reminded me of the time the Ku Klux Klan visited to the Kentucky town where I was a newspaper reporter.
The bed sheet brigade was hoping for some publicity. The local media didn’t oblige.
When it dawned on the Klowns that nobody from the fourth estate was coming to give them a platform from which to spew their hate, they packed up their hoods and sheets, furled their Confederate battle flags and decamped, never to return to my knowledge.
Bundy and the assorted right-wing crazies who rallied to him crave the limelight, too. The national media obliged and gave the Bundy bunch way more press than their story merited.
Thanks to the media, they got the national forum they wanted. At the same time, the militia yahoos who showed up at the showdown loved it when Nevada Sen. Harry Reid called them “domestic terrorists.”
Gun-toting, conspiracy-fantasizing paranoid wackos they are. However unwittingly, Reid played into their hands.
His slam made them heroes to fellow fanatics of the far, far right fringe. (It seems appropriate that Bundy’s spread is near a town called Bunkerville.)
Unintentionally to be sure, Reid also provided rich fodder for the reactionary bloviators on radio and TV and on the internet nuttynet.
Anyway, the Bundy bunch would have been bummed big time had the media mostly left them alone to sweat in the Silver State sun, rant and rave to the cows and coyotes and form a gun-toting group hug against Uncle Socialist and the guy in the White House whose skin color is rocket fuel for their hatred.
That diary focused on laying out the three "tiers" of HSR in the announced plan. "Express HSR" is one of the bullet train systems, like they are planning for California. But between that tier and conventional rail, are two more tiers:
"Regional HSR", with a top speed of around 125mph, able to provide trips at average speeds in the range of 100mph, operating in existing rail rights of way, but mostly on its own track, with upgraded signaling and substantial investment in grade separation and/or the top level of "hardened" level crossings, normally with electrified lines; and
"Emerging HSR", with a top speed of 110mph, able provide trips at average speed in excess of 80mph, operating on existing rail right of way with improved capacity, but sometimes sharing track with freight rail, the 110mph standard of quad gate, speed sensitive level crossings, and provided by either electric or diesel 110mph tilt-trains
The bullet trains are the show ponies ... but for small town and rural America, the genuine seat at the table for Emerging and Regional HSR is the real good news from the announcement.
He’s “hangin’ in there like a sack of oats,” Dizzy Dean used to say of a tough out on the CBS Game of the Week.
The same might be said of Kentucky Democratic senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. A recent PPP poll has her up by a point – 45-44 over Sen. Mitch McConnell, her all but certain GOP challenger in the November election.
Grimes has no serious opposition in next month’s Democratic primary. Polls show McConnell way ahead of tea party darling Matt Bevin in the GOP primary.
Polling on a Grimes-McConnell matchup tells a decidedly different story. The Democratic-leaning PPP poll follows a GOP-tilting Wenzel Strategies poll in February that had McConnell on top, 43 to 42.
That poll came not long after an independent Survey USA Bluegrass Poll that had Grimes out front, 46 to 42.
Money is breaking her way, too. Grimes outraised McConnell in the first quarter of this year, raking in a cool $2.7 million. Grimes also collected more cash than he did in the last quarter of last year.
Any way you crunch the numbers, Grimes is “hangin’ in there like a sack of oats.”
Grimes is 35 and in her first term as Kentucky secretary of state. The five-term McConnell, more than twice her age, probably figured she’d be an easy out.
He doubtless expected to fan her with the dreaded curve ball, “liberal.”
Grimes is a moderate by Bluegrass State standards. Measured against a national yardstick, she’s moderately conservative.
But compared to the GOP of McConnell, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and “Asparagus” Ghomert, Grimes is Che Guevara crooning The Internationale.
Anyway, the righty McConnell keeps serving up hanging sliders and she keeps knocking ‘em out of the park.
“If the doctors told Sen. McConnell he had a kidney stone, he would refuse to pass it,” was her first round-tripper.
Team Mitch seems to be swinging and missing a lot lately. After the CPAC flintlock fiasco came the campaign commercial clunker with the Duke hoopsters.
The other day, Grimes swatted another one into the cheap seats after McConnell got the expected NRA endorsement. She promptly tweeted a renewal of her months-old challenge to the senate minority leader to meet her on a gun range.
Mum is still the word from McConnell and Team Mitch about the shooting match.
Meanwhile, Grimes and Team Switch have nicknamed the McConnell campaign “Team Glitch.”
A lot of Democrats said all along Grimes was the candidate to ditch Mitch. Time will tell. But right now she’s proving to be a tough out.
A commenter on Gawker’s article “Study: The U.S. Is an Oligarchy” wrote and I quote “No shit Sherlock” but for me it’s comforting to know that researchers from Princeton and Northwestern Universities affirm what many of us have known for a long time. The U.S.A. is an oligarchy.
Gawker A new study by researchers from Princeton and Northwestern Universities finds that America's government policies reflect the wishes of the rich and of powerful interest groups, rather than the wishes of the majority of citizens. Read more.
oligarchy |ˈäliˌgärkē, ˈōli-| noun (pl. oligarchies) a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution: the ruling oligarchy of military men around the president. • a country governed by an oligarchy: the English aristocratic oligarchy of the 19th century. • government by oligarchy.
DERIVATIVES oligarchic |ˌäliˈgärkik, ˌōli-| adjective. oligarchical |ˌäliˈgärkikəl, ˌōli-| adjective. oligarchically |ˌäliˈgärkik(ə)lē, ˌōli-| adverb ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from Greek oligarkhia (probably via medieval Latin).
Last week, I came across a post at People for Bike, called Four Simple Lessons from Austin's Brilliant Bike Plan Update ... and after reading the post, I clicked on through to the overview of the Bike Plan Update that they were referring to, and it was even better than they said. Once I saw that, I know that Sunday Train was going to talk about both Austin's Awesome Bike Plan and the Four Key Lessons that People for Bikes draw from it:
1) The point of bike plans isn't to appease bikers, it's to make bikes useful to everyone.
2) Good biking makes good transit better.
3) You're not going to turn every long car trip into a bike trip - all you have to do is turn short trips into bike trips.
4) A good bike network increases the capacity of your entire road system.
So follow me below the fold to consider both these four important points and also the general Awesomeness of Austin's Bike Plan Update.