Thursday, March 5, 2015

Where have you gone, Tim Russert?

Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

I miss Tim Russert.

Gone are the days of unbiased journalism, everyone has an agenda or opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Rachel Meadow, from Megyn Kelly to Chris Matthews, does anyone not have an agenda anymore?

I could always count on Tim Russert, died 2008, for providing unbiased, accurate, reporting. With Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly spinning tall tales about their exploits in the field, and Sean Hannity denying he does not color his hair – I have had enough.

News, especially network news has gone the same way our politics has gone: segmented, spin, ideology that only serves a specific group or agenda. Recently I sat in on a journalism class at The University of La Verne. How refreshing, straight news, no cute quotes or insensitive commentary. Lets’ hope our graduates continue this on into their careers.

Is their hope for news reporting? I think not, that is why we have Rink Rats.  J

KOCH CASH - The Koch network's 2016 spending goal: $889 million: The Koch brothers' operation intends to spend $889 million in the run-up to the 2016 elections - an historic sum that in many ways would mark Charles and David Koch and their fellow conservative mega-donors as more powerful than the official Republican Party. The figure, which more than doubles the amount spent by the Republican National Committee during the last presidential election cycle, prompted cheers from some in the GOP who are looking for all the help they can get headed into a potentially tough 2016 election landscape. But while the leaked details seemed in part a show of defiance to Democrats, who had targeted the brothers as bogeymen, the spending goal also appeared to be a show of dominance to rival factions on the right, including the RNC.

S&P CUTS RUSSIA'S CREDIT RATING TO JUNK - S&P said the downgrade, the first time in a decade that Russia has been assessed as below investment-grade by one of the major credit rating agencies, was a reflection of its belief that 'Russia's financial system is weakening and therefore limiting the Central Bank of Russia's ability to transmit monetary policy.' ... Moody's and Fitch have also cut their ratings for Russia in the past month, but both still rate it at one notch above junk. Traders said that since two of the three major agencies still rated Russia at investment-grade, the S&P downgrade should not trigger a wave of automatic selling.

THE WAR ON JEB BUSH - The war on Jeb Bush is on. Rand Paul is attacking him as a hypocrite on marijuana who's indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton. Ted Cruz is questioning whether Bush's stands on education and immigration will fly with primary voters. Conservative outside groups are going after him, with one airing a TV ad declaring, 'We do not want dynasties in our White House.

For most of the past year, the Republican 2016 nomination fight had been seen as a free-for-all among a half-dozen or so viable candidates with no clear favorite. But in a matter of weeks it's morphed into a collection of would-be Bush rivals and detractors ganging up on the early frontrunner ... There are huge question marks surrounding Bush, from his controversial surname to positions on issues that may be deal-stoppers for conservative early-state voters. Yet big donors are lining up behind him and top political staffers are signing up for campaign jobs.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES – Positions in the news:

Assistant Vice President for Finance, Controller: The Huntington Library, Pasadena, CA

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a world renowned humanities research and cultural center surrounded by breathtaking gardens.  Originally the private estate of railroad magnate Henry Huntington, today it is one of Southern Californias must see cultural destinations with magnificent collections of rare books, manuscripts, and important works of art.

Working under the supervision of and reporting to the Vice President for Financial Affairs, the Controller will be responsible for managing the finance, accounting and reporting activities of the institution.  The Controller will lead daily operations of the Business Office and supervise the accounting staff, overseeing the following functions: financial reporting and compliance, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, grant management and investment accounting and analysis and assists in management of budget and forecasting. The Controller will have extensive contact with all levels of staff, has frequent contact with outside vendors, agencies and consultants, and interacts with Trustees, Overseers, donors and volunteers. The Controller will be involved in supporting presentations to the board and senior leadership team, implementing new processes and systems, playing a strategic role in the financial planning of the Institution, and assisting in the administration of the endowment fund.

Bachelors degree in accounting, finance or related field, CPA required, MBA preferred

Minimum of 10+ years of accounting experience required, with 3+ years in a supervisory role

Strong knowledge of and experience with fund accounting in a large multi-disciplinary non-profit organization preferred. Experience working with an endowment fund and with planned (or split interest) gifts desirable

Investment management experience preferred; strong understanding of accounting for investments  FAS 157, ASC 820; alternative investments and capital markets.

Date Posted: February 26, 2015
Type: Executive
Salary: Not specified

A TIGHTER INTERNET - The U.S. government has expanded its oversight of a once lightly regulated business. The implications of the Federal Communications Commission’s move to assert “net neutrality” in the Internet is far reaching. The outcome is a win for Internet companies, but a setback for big telecommunications and cable companies. In a notable response, Verizon issued a statement—typed on a Remington typewriter and datelined Feb. 26, 1934—criticizing the rules as antiquated. The immediate practical effects of the decisions are limited because companies, regulators and users all agree in principle that traffic shouldn’t be blocked, but the possible consequences down the road are hard to predict. In the meantime, the telecom and cable industries plan to fight the rules in court and are backing attempts by Republicans in Congress to supersede them with new legislation.

CHANGING TIMES -- 10 big trends that are transforming America; 1: The rise of majority-minority and near-majority-minority states ... 2: The diversification of eligible voters ... 3: The lagged diversification of actual voters ... 4: The rise of post-Baby Boom generations ... 5: The superdiversification of America's children ... 6: The graying of America ... 7: The diversification of the gray ... 8: The decline of the white working class ... 9: The rise of white college graduates ... 10: The rise of the unmarried electorate.

SCOTUS - Supreme Court considers constitutionality of independent redistricting. Hundreds of congressional districts might have to be redrawn before the next election - and several other election laws could be at stake - depending on how broadly the high court rules in a much anticipated case brought by the GOP-controlled Arizona state legislature ... But the case could do more than just dismantle the independent redistricting commissions that good-government groups have been championing for decades - it could invalidate some state election laws such as those related to voter identification, regulation of primaries and residency requirements passed through ballot initiatives.

California's redistricting success in jeopardy? Just last November, California voters experienced a bracing novelty: a handful of competitive state assembly elections - after decades of blatant gerrymandering in which the legislature drew lines that lopsidedly favored the party in power, or willfully protected incumbents on both sides of the aisle. One big reason for the change: a bipartisan citizens' redistricting commission created by a statewide ballot initiative to govern state electoral boundaries, and later expanded to cover congressional seats ... But California's modest gains - along with various electoral reforms in more than a dozen other states - would be at risk if the Supreme Court rules in favor of a little-publicized suit brought by Arizona's state legislature, which is seeking to invalidate a similar redistricting commission that drew the most recent congressional boundary lines in that state.

HIGH ROLLERS - Forbes' 29th Annual World's Billionaires Issue - release: Bill Gates ... was once again on top as the world's richest person on Forbes' 29th annual ranking of the world's billionaires in the Mar. 23, 2015 issue of Forbes magazine ... with a current net worth of $79.2 billion ... A record 1,826 billionaires (up from 1,645 in 2014) made the list, with an average net worth of $3.86 billion ... Added together, the total net worth for this year's billionaires was $7.05 trillion, up from $6.4 trillion last year. 1,191 members, or roughly two-thirds of the list, were self-made billionaires. 230 inherited their wealth; another 405 inherited at least a portion but are still growing it.

Mark Zuckerberg [has] a net worth of $33.4 billion ... American gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson (No. 18) dropped out of the top ten from eighth place last year. ... The most recognizable athlete of all time, Michael Jordan (No. 1741), is new to the billionaires list, thanks to his well-timed investment in the Charlotte Hornets ... 46 billionaires are under 40 this year, including: Three from Uber: Travis Kalanick (No. 283), 38, and Garrett Camp (No. 283), 36, each worth $5.3 billion, and Ryan Graves (No. 1324), 31, worth $1.4 billion. ... [and t]wo from Snapchat: Evan Spiegel, 24, and Bobby Murphy, 25, tied at No. 1250, each with a net worth of $1.5 billion.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Ralph Nader (81), Catherine O’Hara (61), Jesper Parnevik (50). Tom Wolfe (85), Joanne Woodward (85).


1). Quinnipiac 16-3-3 
2). St. Lawrence 14-7-1 
3). Yale 12-6-4
4). Colgate 11-7-4
5). Dartmouth 12-8-2
6). Harvard 11-8-3        
7). Cornell 9-9-4 
8). Clarkson 8-11-3
9). RPI 8-12-2       
10). Union 8-13-1    
11). Brown 5-14-3 
12). Princeton 2-18-2

COLLEGE HOCKEY GAME OF THE WEEK – Saturday 3/14, 5:00 PM ET, FSD; Michigan State University (14-14-2) at #16 University of Michigan Wolverines (19-11-0). The Big Ten is finishing up their regular season, Michigan wins big 5 – 1.  Season to date (5-1)


(SCIAC Baseball Game of the Week, Mar. 8) Ithaca College Bombers (0-0) 3 at Pomona-Pitzer Endowments 8

(ECAC hockey, Mar. 6) Rensselaer Engineers (8-12-2) 3 at Clarkson Golden Knights (8-11-3) 4

(NBA, Mar. 7) Portland Trail Blazers (40-19) 101 at Minnesota Timber Wolves (13-47) 80

(NHL, Mar. 7) Pittsburgh Penguins (36-18-9) 2 at Los Angeles Kings (30-21-12) 4

Season to date (26-12)

MARKET WEEK - Stocks are struggling to get March off to a bullish start, as futures fell despite an interest rate cut in China. The major averages ended a positive February with a whimper, with the Dow falling the final two days of the month and the S&P 500 falling the final three days, but it was still the best monthly gain for the S&P 500 since October 2011.

The Nasdaq comes off its first close over 5,000 in nearly 15 years, sparking both optimism and worry on Wall Street. Many investors still remember the Nasdaq bubble bursting and a tumble down to the 1,114 level, but others point to more realistic valuations and actual revenue and profit among the companies involved. Though they did not get nearly as much attention as Nasdaq 5,000, the Dow and S&P 500 closed Monday at all-time highs.

DRIVING THE WEEK - Congress managed to avoid a DHS shutdown but just barely. The department will need another funding bill by Friday midnight and there is yet again no clear path to get there. ... Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak to Congress on Tuesday morning, irking the White House and many Democrats ... President Obama this afternoon meets with members of the Technology CEO Council ... Personal income and spending today at 8:30 a.m. expected to rise 0.4 percent and drop 0.1 percent ... ISM manufacturing at 10:00 a.m. expected to drop to 53.0 from 53.5 ... February jobs report on Friday at 8:30 a.m. expected to show a gain of 235K with earnings up 0.2 percent and unemployment down a tenth to 5.6 percent ... . Big banks on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. will receive their latest stress test results from the Fed.

Next week: The Dynamics of Disbelief

Until Next Monday, Adios

Claremont, CA
March 5, 2015


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