“Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW [anthropogenic global warming], 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors’ self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.”
Cook, John et al. (2013). Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature. Environmental Research Letters. 8 024024
While US States are cutting back in investing in education China has decided on a different path.
“China is making a $250 billion-a-year investment in what economists call human capital. Just as the United States helped build a white-collar middle class in the late 1940s and early 1950s by using the G.I. Bill to help educate millions of World War II veterans, the Chinese government is using large subsidies to educate tens of millions of young people as they move from farms to cities.
The aim is to change the current system, in which a tiny, highly educated elite oversees vast armies of semi-trained factory workers and rural laborers. China wants to move up the development curve by fostering a much more broadly educated public, one that more closely resembles the multifaceted labor forces of the United States and Europe.” Continue reading–>
Ameriprise Survey Shows Retirement Savings Derailed by More Than Just the Recession; Financial Impacts are Measurable
“The Retirement DerailersSM survey found that the vast majority (90%) of Americans ages 50-70 with $100,000 or more in investable and retirement assets have experienced at least one “derailer” – an economic or life event that has made an impact on their retirement savings goals. The average respondent experienced four of these events, which range from derailers that are beyond their control such as the effects of the recession, to family and lifestyle choices that have lasting financial consequences. In the end, these events set respondents back $117,000 on average. In fact, nearly two in five of the respondents (37%) experienced five or more unanticipated events costing them approximately $144,000.” Continue reading–>
ALEC ‘Report Card’ Gets ‘A’ for Ideological Fealty, Fails on Research Quality
“In fact, the research ALEC highlights is quite shoddy and is unsuitable for supporting its recommendations,” Lubienski and Jameson conclude. “The report’s purpose appears to be more about shifting control of education to private interests than in improving education.” Continue reading–>
The release of all the emails demonstrate the CIA requested the deletion of all references to Al Qaeda in the “Talking Points Memo” not the White House.
The Benghazi tragedy deserves examination of policies and security measures that failed to protect our diplomats and their security teams. Learning from past mistakes is a worthy pursuit. That should be the focus of future Congressional hearings.
The 4 Percent Rule is Not Safe in a Low-Yield World
The safety of a 4% initial withdrawal strategy depends on asset return assumptions. Using historical averages to guide simulations for failure rates for retirees spending an inflation-adjusted 4% of retirement date assets over 30 years results in an estimated failure rate of about 6%. This modest projected failure rate rises sharply if real returns decline. As of January 2013, intermediate-term real interest rates are about 4% less than their historical average. Calibrating bond returns to the January 2013 real yields offered on 5-year TIPS, while maintaining the historical equity premium, causes the projected failure rate for retirement account withdrawals to jump to 57%. The 4% rule cannot be treated as a safe initial withdrawal rate in today’s low interest rate environment. Some planners may wish to assume that today’s low interest rates are an aberration and that higher real interest rates will return in the medium-term horizon. Although there is little evidence to support this assumption, we estimate how a reversion to historical real yields will impact failure rates. Because of sequence of returns risk, portfolio withdrawals can cause the events in early retirement to have a disproportionate effect on the sustainability of an income strategy. We simulate failure rates if today’s bond rates return to their historical average after either 5 or 10 years and find that failure rates are much higher (18% and 32%, respectively for a 50% stock allocation) than many retirees may be willing to accept. The success of the 4% rule in the U.S. may be an historical anomaly, and clients may wish to consider their retirement income strategies more broadly than relying solely on systematic withdrawals from a volatile portfolio.
Finke, Michael S., et al. (2013). The 4 Percent Rule is Not Safe in a Low-Yield World.
Texas Tech University; University of Missouri at Columbia – Department of Finance.
In the conservative echo chamber some people are asserting that President Obama is directly responsible for the IRS scandal. Let’s examine the likelihood that Obama had his hands on this scandal.
Besides lacking any direct evidence linking President Obama to the IRS scandal, logic doesn’t support the claim. Douglas Shulman, an appointee of President George W. Bush, served as IRS Commissioner from 2008-2012, the time when the great majority of IRS abuses concerning 501(c)(4) applications occurred. Now ask yourself – what are the probabilities that high level White House officials would go to the IRS, governed by a Republican appointee, and ask that organization to conduct operations against Republican interests? It’s much more likely that rogue IRS personnel, sympathetic to liberal causes, developed and implemented the biased initiative. So much for the grand alleged Nixonian conspiracy.
Is there a substantive difference in meaning between the phrases “act of terror” and “a terrorist act”? Related to the Benghazi incident many conservatives have criticized President Obama’s use of the phrase “act of terror” instead of saying it was “a terrorist act.”
I can’t distinguish substantive meaning differences between the two phrases. Apparently President George W. Bush can’t either:
“During a visit to Washington Hospital Center on Sep. 13, 2001 — just two days after the attacks on the World Trade Center — President George W. Bush described the incident as an “unbelievable act of terror.”
Via Daily Beast
“You should be aware of this scoop from Jake Tapper of CNN today. The big scoops last week from Jonathan Karl of ABC and Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard about the White House emails that allegedly showed that the White House was trying to cover for the State Department and hang the intel people out to dry? They may have been doctored by someone before they were released. [Emphasis mine] Continue reading–>
Findings may lead to first therapeutic drug to treat advanced Alzheimer’s
Newswise — LA JOLLA, CA—A drug developed by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, known as J147, reverses memory deficits and slows Alzheimer’s disease in aged mice following short-term treatment. The findings, published May 14 in the journal Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, may pave the way to a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Continue reading–>