Interesting visa program I didn’t know existed:

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing to save the EB-5 visa program, scheduled to expire at the end of September. The program grants temporary visas to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in distressed areas. If an investment creates at least 10 jobs for American workers, the temporary visa can become a permanent green card. Last year, 945 EB-5 immigrants invested more than $400 million in U.S. ventures.

Some examples

Advertisements

Very interesting acts of civil disobedience people are coming up with in Iran:

The second phase plays out in a boycott of goods advertised on state-controlled television. Just try buying a certain brand of dairy product, an Iranian human-rights activist told me, and the person behind you in line is likely to whisper, “Don’t buy that. It’s from an advertiser.” It includes calls to switch on every electric appliance in the house just before the evening TV news to trip up Tehran’s grid. It features quickie “blitz” street demonstrations, lasting just long enough to chant “Death to the dictator!” several times but short enough to evade security forces. It involves identifying paramilitary Basij vigilantes linked to the crackdown and putting marks in green — the opposition color — or pictures of protest victims in front of their homes. It is scribbled antiregime slogans on money. And it is defiant drivers honking horns, flashing headlights and waving V signs at security forces.

With the recent reports that Netanyahu called Emanuel and Axelrod self-hating jews, I found this at the Economist DIA blog interesting:

Efforts to win support for right-wing Israeli policies are inevitably going to spin off accusations, like Mr Kirchik’s, that Jews like Max Blumenthal who criticise Israel are self-hating or in some sense not real Jews. This is a familiar dynamic in ethnic nationalist politics; it’s similar to what Slobodan Milosevic did to Serbian liberal opponents, what Putinists do to liberal Russian politicians, or what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has done to his opponents in Iran. It’s actually rather similar, for that matter, to what ethnic nationalists, actual anti-Semites, have always done to the Jews in their countries—claiming they are not “real Russians”, “real Englishmen”, “real Frenchmen”, “real Americans”. If those who are slurring liberal Jews critical of right-wing Israeli policies were thoughtful people, this might give them pause. But, for the most part, they’re not, and it won’t.

via Andrew, who adds:

If you don’t agree with Jamie Kirchick, you’re a self-hater if you’re Jewish and an anti-Semite if you’re not.

Good rundown of why it’s needed, the logistics, and what needs to be accomplished.

Convenient evidence

July 29, 2009

“Texas Scorched by Worst Drought in 50 Years” reports The Journal, which in no way lends credibility to a global warming theory.

But a snowstorm during a global warming protest?  That proves global warming is all made up.

Fair and Balanced (in doublespeak).

Texas Scorched by Worst Drought in 50 Years

No, not Obama, not Baucus, not Grassley.  It’s Doug Elmendorf, CBO director.

Not once, or twice, but three times he has scored Congress proposals’ cost way higher than expected, which has resulted on damaging headlines. His rationale is that he is being conservative, and he will not credit any cost savings from changes and programs that aren’t proven.

Unfortunately there is little his predecessor Peter Orzag, now Obama’s OMB director, can do about it.

Krugman is crying foul, but a lot more pressure needs to be applied.

Misleading layoff news

July 27, 2009

Verizon reported weak Q2 results today due to shrinkage in their wireline unit.  So of course they announced more layoffs, which is just standard operating procedure for a CFO wanting to reassure The Street that costs are being contained and profitability is being restored next quarter.  Whether those cuts actually materialize no one ever checks.

So you end up with a scary “Verizon to Cut 8,000 More Jobs” headline on the Journal‘s and other front pages.

Meanwhile we learn that they are aggressively adding FiOS TV and broadband customers, and the rumor is they are hurrying to launch their LTE network in early 2010, perhaps for Apple’s tablet, which you would think requires serious capital investments and manpower for deployment.  So you have to wonder what the net effect is on jobs.  Definitely not 8,000 fewer.

And of course Microsoft is opening dozens of stores, and 7-Eleven is planning a major expansion this year, including 600 stores in Southern California alone.  But you would never see this headline on the front pages: “7-Eleven adding 5,000 jobs”.