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We've got new appointments for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Association, and ambassador to China. Kai and Andrea talk about Trump's latest picks, where they come from, and how they could shape policy for the next four years. 

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This is a very real segment about very fake news.   Fake News, Real Consequences | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee | TBS   The post Fake News, Real Consequences appeared first on The Big Picture.

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There is a beautiful passage in Hunter S. Thompson's otherwise largely overrated book, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, that always stuck out to me. Speaking on the anti-war and free-love movements of the sixties, he writes: There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes

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Since the Brexit referendum and the US presidential election, Japanese equities have been coming out of a funk. We believe that the rebound is supported by fundamentals—and could have staying power. Events taking place far from Japan had a big […] The post Japanese Equities: False Dawn Or Rising Star? appeared first on ValueWalk.

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We recently wrote about the strange situation going on between a British company, Iceland Foods, and the nation of Iceland. What was clear was that this spat was over the trademark on the word "Iceland" held by the grocer, which had been ridiculously granted to cover all of Europe by the EU. Iceland had initiated a petition to have that trademark revoked, prompting the company to send a delegation to Reykjavik in an attempt to work something out that would allow the company to retain its

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Today former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, warned about the Matrix of lies and exposed what the elite are doing to keep the unsuspecting public in the dark. The post Paul Craig Roberts – The Matrix Of Lies And What The Elite Are Really Up To Is Terrifying appeared first on King World News.

Read more: http://kingworldnews.com/paul-craig-roberts-the-matrix-of-lies-and-what-the-elite-are-really-up-to-is-terrifying/

We already procured a list of 2016 best books based on our reader purchases which was obviously heavily geared towards investing. Below we have a list of general books which we think are among the top books in 2016. Although […] The post 2016 Best Books: At the Existentialist Café; Dark Money; Evicted And More appeared first on ValueWalk.

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In Venezuela, hyperinflation has become so pitiful that shopkeepers are no longer bothering to actually count money. Instead, they’re weighing it… … as in literally pulling out a scale and weighing giant stacks of money. Do you want to buy […] The post Here’s what happens when a currency completely breaks down appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Since the dawn of the new millennium, there is a ton of technology that has been rendered obsolete. Remember cassette tapes, floppy disks, and the Walkman? Today, they’re all pretty much useless.  But, there is a thriving nostalgia market, and one of the holdouts that it’s fueling may surprise you: the video store.  Believe it or not, video stores are still out there. Both owners and customers say that the stores offer a variety of films that cannot be found elsewhere.  Erin Geiger Smith is a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and recently wrote about video store holdouts. On who the modern video store customer is: You know, we try to avoid using the word hipster anymore, but it’s people who like things local.  The man in Austin,  Bryan Connolly of Vulcan Video there said people in Austin really care about shopping local. They want local food, they want local everything. And for them, that trickles down to including supporting the local video store.    Geiger Smith on the strength of the video store market: Some are doing better than others, but it’s definitely a tough market, you’re not gonna see these guys opening 8 new stores anytime soon. But, one opened in 2015 in Philadelphia. It was a gentleman who had worked at a store that closed, but thought he could do better opening a smaller store and combining it with a coffee shop. So he didn’t just open a video store, he knew that that wasn’t viable, but by combining the two he sort of found a market there that works for him. Click the audio player above to hear the full interview.  

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Another day, another music-streaming service with a plan to win subscribers over. Pandora Media, known for internet radio, says it will launch Pandora Premium next year.  The service will compete with subscription services Spotify and Apple Music. It will also be ad-free and cost $10 a month. Pandora's edge, or so it says?  Data. Lots of it.

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China's Foreign Ministry today welcomed President-elect Donald Trump's choice of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as the next ambassador to China. Branstad is a long-time friend of Chinese President Xi Jinping. And, as a farm-belt governor, he knows the value of agricultural trade with China, one of our top agricultural export markets. Last year, China imported more than $20 billion in food and agricultural products from the U.S. Branstad could play an important role in preserving the relationship on that front and others. 

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A new post-election poll by Bloomberg asked if Donald Trump should sell all his businesses “so that neither he nor his family” could profit from his actions as president. Twenty-six percent of respondents said he should, but sixty-nine percent answered “that goes too far.”

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Let’s say that your neighbor is a surgeon that makes $250,000 a year. Does that mean he or she is rich? The answer is “no” – and it turns out that the actual statistical relationship between income and wealth is […] The post The Relationship Between Income And Wealth [INFOGRAPHIC] appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Down goes yet another government. This time, the victim was Italy and its prime minister, Matteo Renzi. In a vote last Sunday, Italians overwhelmingly rejected a Renzi-backed plan to reform the country’s constitution. In rejecting the referendum, Italians were also […] The post The European Revolution appeared first on ValueWalk.

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... the idea of a war on unaccounted-for wealth remains central to demonetization's popular appeal, which means Modi will have to find other ways to keep that narrative going. So the government has now begun to push income-tax officials to conduct raids on those who might be concealing assets in forms other than cash, such as gold....What this means, unfortunately, is that India's income tax officers have just won the lottery. During a raid, they can, on the spot, decide whether or not to confiscate a family's gold holdings. And remember, India has an enormous amount of gold -- 20,000
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KKR has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Optiv Security from Blackstone, which will sell off most of its 2014 investment but retain a minority stake in the business. The deal reportedly values the company at $1.8 billion and […] The post PE Power Players KKR, Blackstone Link Up In Cybersecurity SBO appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Donald Trump has named Iowa Governor Terry Branstad ambassator to China. Branstad has a long relationship with the country where our economic ties, and particularly our agriculture ties, run deep.  For what it's worth, Iowa is one of the nation's top soybean producers.

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American Advisors Group, Reverse Mortgage Solutions and Aegean Financial reached consent agreements with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the regulator's investigation found they used ads whose scripts featured similarly misleading though reassuring claims: "Can I lose my home? "No you cannot lose your home"... [but] consumers who get reverse mortgages typically must pay for property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs. They can default and lose their homes if they fail to comply with the loan terms, the CFPB said. "These companies tricked consumers into believing the
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The president-elect jumped into corporate affairs again Tuesday, tweeting first to criticize one company and then to hail another. He began at 8:52 a.m. New York time by calling out Boeing Co. over costs to develop new Air Force One jets. Just over five hours later he celebrated a $50 billion investment in the U.S. by Japanese telecommunications firm SoftBank Group Corp....The tweets, coming after Trump last week announced a deal with United Technologies Corp. to cancel plans to close a U.S. factory, dominated news and moved markets even as details in both cases remained sketchy and the
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Here’s a startling prediction: if current labor trends continue, one out of three American men, ages 25-54, will be out of work by mid-century. That’s what former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers expects. “Job destruction caused by technology is not a futuristic concern,” Summers wrote this fall. “It is something we have been living with for two generations.” Contract jobs, gig work and robots have all made work more precarious. Silicon Valley pioneered many of the changes, and now some tech entrepreneurs believe they have a solution to the economic anxiety they’ve helped create. Put bluntly, it’s free money. That’s the idea behind something called “universal basic income,” where the government gives everyone a monthly check, no strings attached, to meet basic needs. Y Combinator, the influential startup accelerator behind hits like DropBox and Airbnb, is funding a basic income pilot in Oakland to test the idea. Sam Altman says he’s been thinking about how automation will affect people since he was a kid in St. Louis, obsessed with computers and science fiction. That’s why he’s championing – and investing in – the basic income experiment. At 31, Altman is Silicon Valley. He dropped out of Stanford after co-founding a mobile app company called Loopt. It later sold for over $43 million. Now he is president of Y Combinator. Recently Altman was the subject of a lengthy New Yorker article subtitled "Is the head of Y Combinator fixing the world or trying to take over Silicon Valley?" One thing is certain. Altman wants us to be prepared for a robot revolution. Silicon Valley tech investor and Y Combinator president Sam Altman, 31, at home in San Francisco's Mission District with his dog Lola.  Sarah Gardner “I think this is on the order of the industrial revolution and the agricultural revolution,” Altman said. "We have a new technology, in this case it’ll be automation, software automation, that will replace a giant percentage of current jobs.” “I believe we’ll find new jobs,”Altman added. “But if people don’t think the current jobs won’t be destroyed, they’re very wrong. After we all stopped farming we found things to do, so I think we’ll get through this, but it’s going to be a really major change.” Barefoot, wearing shorts and a T-shirt, Altman talked matter-of-factly about a sci-fi future that makes driverless cars sound like kid stuff. “I think we are going to see a new breed of intelligent life that looks not that much like the humans of 2016," he said. "That may be A.I., that may be cybernetically-enhanced humans, that may be genome-edited humans that aren’t humans at all." Is your brain hurting yet? Altman's point: if it's true the future isn't going to look anything like the present, it will have major consequences for how we work and what makes us happy. "I don’t think we’re ready for that," Altman said. So, in a world where machines do much of the work, how will people support their families?  And what happens to the connection between work and dignity? “This is a deeply American ideal where laziness is a vice and work, no matter what, it is is a virtue," Altman said. "My view of this is that creating value is the thing we should value and busy work and unpleasant work we should try to automate." At a high-end coffee shop in downtown Palo Alto, coffee is the new wine.  Sarah Gardner As for those willing to do unpleasant work, as long as it supports a middle class life? For those people, places like Silicon Valley are increasingly off-limits. You can witness the middle class “hollowing out,” or least being pushed out, of cities like Palo Alto. Not far from the campus of Stanford University, Teslas and BMW’s cruise by modest homes that sell for $3 million and the technorati line up for handcrafted coffee. Sitting outside one of those fancy coffee shops, Paul Oyer, a professor of economics at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, said it’s hard to imagine more concentrated wealth than Silicon Valley right now. “We’re very close to the offices of Palantir, which is a big tech employer here in Palo Alto and people who work there make a lot of money," Oyer noted. "We’re five miles or so from the headquarters of Facebook, many of them are millionaires in stock.” Meanwhile the people who work in the coffee shops and restaurants in Palo Alto can’t afford to live in the city. John Dattke, general manager at Buca di Beppo in the city's downtown, commutes every day from Fremont, 18 miles across the Bay. It’s cheaper there.   "I can’t afford Palo Alto," Dattke said. "It’s ridiculous." One-bedroom apartments average over $2,700 a month. In Silicon Valley, growing inequality is fueling talk of a basic income among academics and the tech elite. Over the decades, conservatives have seen a basic income as a substitute for numerous welfare payments and a way to streamline welfare bureaucracy. Think Milton Friedman and the "negative income tax," a version of basic income Friedman popularized in the 1960s and 70s. Liberals have viewed basic income as more of a supplement to existing benefits to help people get by in a world of precarious work.  There have been limited experiments with it in the past, but no country has ever adopted it. Several countries are set to launch pilots in 2017, including the Netherlands. “There’s just a very strong trade-off,” Oyer said. “On the one hand, you want to protect people from things they have no control over. And on the other hand, we worry very much that a universal basic income is going to lower people’s incentives to work and earn a living.” That’s why Altman and other tech investors are putting up about $1.5 million for a small basic-income experiment across the bay in Oakland. It will last a year and act as pilot for a larger, longer-term experiment. In the initial pilot, 100 people will get $1,500 a month, although Y Combinator says that could change as more is learned.  Pilot organizers are keeping mum about most of the details, concerned too much publicity could ultimately have negative results on the research.  Stanford University is at the heart of Silicon Valley, producing some of the tech industry's most successful entrepreneurs and investors.  Sarah Gardner Stanford sociologist David Grusky, director of the university’s Center on Poverty and Inequality,  said one strong reason to do the experiment is the alarming decline in prime-age employment among men. “One possibility is we should have a producer class raking in extraordinary amounts of money and then perhaps a consumer class that’s subsisting on basic income," he said. The other possibility is public jobs, he said. “We can deliver jobs just as much as delivering money. And one might say that delivering jobs kills two birds with one stone. It solves the prime age employment problem AND at the same time we could use those jobs to build a better public infrastructure.” Grusky believes the U.S. should invest in “high quality data sets” that will help leaders evaluate social policies based on evidence, not ideology. “Partisan views often masquerade under the banner of being evidence-based, but at the end of the day it’s partisan beliefs that are motivating our decisions,” he said. He wants to find out: will “free money” enable people to do something creative or entrepreneurial they might not otherwise do?  Or will it just encourage people to put up their feet and watch Netflix? Critics have cast the Oakland experiment as a way for Silicon Valley elites to appease the workers their technology is leaving behind.  “If I were on the other side, I might feel that myself,” Sam Altman replied. “That is genuinely not my intent.  I also think we cannot stop technological progress and we should just figure out the way to include everybody in the benefits of it.'

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Drew Broussard, 28, is relieved that his employer, a large performing-arts venue in New York City, has decided to stick with the Obama Administration's new overtime rules, even though a judge last month issued a preliminary injunction  to block them.  He now gets overtime pay.  “Obviously the more-money thing is nice,” said Broussard, who runs theatrical events and makes $41,000 per year in base pay. Broussard said he sometimes works as many as 50 hours per week, and is looking forward to having his hours recorded, and monitored more closely by his supervisor. “It creates a little bit better work-life balance,” said Broussard. “All of a sudden it’s like, ‘OK, the world’s not going to end if I’m not checking my emails over the weekend, and I can just do it on Monday,’ instead of, ‘Well, I might as well check it.’ Now, we’re a little bit constrained.” The new Department of Labor overtime rules were set to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2016. But on Nov. 22, a U.S. district judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction to block the rules from taking effect. The judge, Amos L. Mazzant III, acted at the request of numerous business organizations and 21  state attorneys general, who sued earlier this year to block the rules permanently, claiming that they are an overreach of federal regulatory authority, and too costly for private businesses and state agencies to comply with. The new  overtime rules, issued in May,  set a new salary threshold — $47,476 per year — under which white-collar workers (regardless of their executive, administrative, or professional duties) must be classified as “non-exempt” from the overtime laws,  making them eligible for overtime pay. The previous salary threshold, set in 2004, was $23,660 per year. The Department of Labor has estimated that 4.2 million workers would be eligible to receive overtime pay immediately under the new threshold. Millions more could also benefit financially from the new rules.  Because Judge Mazzant’s preliminary injunction was issued just eight days before Dec. 1, many employers had already told employees that they would be getting a salary raise to keep them exempt from overtime coverage, or that they would be converted to non-exempt status and begin receiving overtime for any hours worked over 40 per week. Some employers began paying higher salaries and overtime to eligible employees in the months leading up to the effective date. Walmart raised salaries for some mid-level managers from $45,000 a year to $48,500 a year to keep them exempt under the new regulations. The company told Marketplace it currently has no plans to change that decision. A recent poll by Korn Ferry Hay found that 56 percent of large U.S. retailers it surveyed planned to go ahead with raises and re-classifications to comply, in spite of the injunction.  Kerry Lear advises employers at Mammoth HR, a human resources firm in Portland, Oregon. After the injunction, her firm told clients that the new rules "are on indefinite hold—so employers at this time do not have to comply.” Nonetheless, Lear said employers invested significant time and money getting ready to comply, and many would likely make the changes anyway. “They need to ask themselves, 'What’s the actual impact on the bottom line?,' weighing that against the morale of their employees,” said Lear. “Especially where they went ahead and increased the salaries of some of their workers, those employers are going to be hard-pressed to take those salaries back down. While they do have every legal right to do so, it’s generally not a popular practice.” Aubrie Lamb, 25, is a shift manager at a gas station-convenience store in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and said her employer started paying her overtime in the pay-period before Dec. 1. “Since I have to cover for everybody all the time, I feel like it should be an hourly rate,” said Lamb. As a manager, Lamb has been paid a fixed salary up until now—$32,760 per year—regardless of how long she worked, often more than 50 hours per week. To comply with the new overtime rules, her employer converted her salary to an hourly rate. Her take-home pay won’t actually increase much, unless she works even more overtime. But she said it’s still better “to get paid for what you actually work now. It doesn’t make me hate going in to work every day.” Gordon Chaffin, though, is not pleased with his employer’s decision to backtrack on planned changes.  Chaffin works as a web communications specialist at Arizona State University in Phoenix, and earns a salary of $44,000 per year. That puts him below the new salary threshold, and would have made him eligible for overtime pay. But, according to an email from a university spokesperson, following the injunction, "ASU put the changes on hold for now." Arizona is one of the states that has sued to block the overtime rules.  Chaffin said he typically works 45 to 50 hours per week, "so it’s not a huge degree above the 40-hour mark, but it’s certainly a lot of additional time I could be compensated for.” On Dec. 2, the Obama Administration appealed the federal district court’s preliminary injunction blocking the overtime rules. The government's proposed briefing schedule before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals extends into February 2017, so the district court's preliminary injunction is likely to remain in force until after president-elect Donald Trump takes office in January. Republicans in Congress have already attempted to block or delay the overtime rules several times, and have signaled that rescinding the rules will be a high priority early in the next administration.  

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