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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
February 10, 2014

As war on corruption mounts, China’s rich flee to America

HONG KONG — It’s a favorite pastime: Americans worried about their country’s direction love threatening to move abroad. “That’s it, I’m going to Canada!” they say.

Of course, they almost never do.

In China, however, that’s now no idle threat, especially for the rich.

Amid a widening crackdown on corruption, China’s wealthiest citizens are increasingly seeking a better life abroad.

The United States is their favored destination.

That’s the surprising conclusion of a new Hurun Report survey of 393 Chinese millionaires. According to the report, 64 percent of wealthy Chinese (those with $1.6 million or more) have emigrated or are planning to do so. Hurun also found that a third of the super-rich (those with $16 million or more) have established homes elsewhere.

A higher percentage of the wealthy favor sending their offspring overseas. Eighty percent want their children educated abroad. The US is the top choice for university, and the second choice (behind the UK) for high school.


February 10, 2014

CA: Brown Admin Looks To Reduce Backlog On Unemployment Claims

Many Californians say it’s almost impossible to get through to the state’s Employment Development Department these days.

“I get the same old recording that says our queues are limited, we can’t handle any more calls,” says Rudy Jugoz, who got so frustrated with the agency’s phone system that he went to a Sacramento EDD office to get help in person. “So it’s been a real issue.”

Now, the Brown administration says it’s found $43.4 million in one-time federal funds – freed up by the latest congressional budget deal that rewrote the sequestration cuts.

So the administration is ordering EDD to revamp its phone system – and hire and retain several hundred new staffers in the coming weeks.

The money will run out at the end of June, so the administration plans to ask the California legislature for tens of millions of dollars more in the next state budget.


February 10, 2014

TPM reader hits the nail on the head on why the Right hates Obamacare

Bottom Line: the ACA has the potential to give workers greater freedom in where they can take their labor.

This whole idea that the ACA now creates a disincentive to work makes me physically angry. I've been arguing with conservatives since its passage that this was a feature of the law - not a bug. My wife has a genetic disease, Cystic Fibrosis, and until the ACA my career and job options were completely limited by where I could obtain the best group health care coverage.

I've left jobs because of a change in insurance. I never could have gone out on my own doing IT consulting (my field) because we never before would have been guaranteed health insurance even if I could make hundreds of thousands of dollars more than I do currently. I could never even consider small companies because we would blow their small group rating through the roof. As you eloquently stated, now the economy can operate in a MORE capitalist manner because people in my situation can best allocate their skills and labor rather then being tied to a job just for insurance. Many people not in this situation, or clueless conservatives, have no idea how powerful a feature this is of the ACA.

February 9, 2014

Olympics: Hand-picked golden girl Ashley Wagner finishes behind girl who fell.

It's safe to say American figure skater Ashley Wagner was expecting a better score than that. Her face—along with all pretense—dropped after seeing the judges' thoughts on her short program in ladies team competition.

For the record, Wagner received a score of 63.10, putting her in fourth place at the time behind Mao Asada, a Japanese skater who fell during her routine. Wagner assumed she'd get a much better result. And now, she's internet-famous for her disappointment.


February 9, 2014

America Online CEO blames "distressed babies" for benefit cuts.

Late last week, Tim Armstrong, the chief executive officer of AOL, landed himself in a media firestorm when he held a town hall with employees to explain why he was paring their retirement benefits. After initially blaming Obamacare for driving up the company’s health care costs, he pointed the finger at an unlikely target: babies.

Specifically, my baby.

“Two things that happened in 2012,” Armstrong said. “We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased healthcare costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan.”

Within hours, that quote was all over the Internet. On Friday, Armstrong’s logic was the subject of lengthy discussions on CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets. Mothers’ advocates scolded him for gross insensitivity. Lawyers debated whether he had violated his employees’ privacy. Health care experts noted that his accounting of these “million-dollar babies” seemed, at best, fuzzy.

Plenty of smart, witty people took to Twitter to express their outrage—or mock outrage. The phrase “distressed babies” became practically an inside joke, as in, “How many distressed babies does AOL pay this guy?” A few AOL employees made cracks like this: “I swear I didn't have any babies in 2012. Don't hate me for messing up your 401(k).”

For the record: It was me. I don’t work for AOL; my husband does. One of those “distressed babies” was our daughter. We pay our premiums for a family health plan through AOL, which is why we had coverage on the morning I woke up in acute pain, only five months into what had been a completely smooth pregnancy.


February 9, 2014

Close Race for San Diego Mayor

A new SurveyUSA poll in San Diego, with half or more of voters having already returned a ballot, finds the mayoral race a dead heat with Kevin Faulconer (R) at 47% and David Alvarez (D) at 46%.


February 9, 2014

Putin has racist, who depicted Obamas as monkey with banana, light Olympic flame

My god what an awful country. Russian President Vladimir Putin today selected a woman, who previously depicted President Obama and his wife Michelle monkeys ogling a banana, to light the Olympic flame during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics, being held in Sochi, Russia.

Russia has a long history of virulent, and violent, racism against blacks, and those they consider black (basically anyone who isn’t blond). And it would seem odd in a civilized country that one would choose to broadcast one’s hatred of black people to the world during an event that is supposedly about world peace and harmony, but this is Russia.

Russian former figure skater Irina Rodnina lit the flame today.


February 9, 2014

Hey Kool-Aid! US bobsledder forced to smash thru Sochi bathroom door

The potty problems continue in Sochi, Russia, as a US Olympic team bobsledder, Johnny Quinn, was forced to smash through a bathroom door that wouldn’t open, after he was trapped inside with no phone and thus no way to reach anyone for help.

Quinn had just taken a shower in his Sochi hotel room bathroom – the ones with the spy cameras – when, naked and wet, he found himself trapped. The door wouldn’t open.

Having no cell phone, and no way to let anyone know he was trapped in a room INSIDE his room, he had no alternative but to bust through the door.

The construction snafus at Sochi have now become infamous, and especially the bathroom problems. What with the “love toilets“.

And the toilets that have seating for an audience (or perhaps it’s for judges – a perfect 10!)

Or the toilets that ban fishing out of the toilet bowl.

Or the toilets that have secret Russian spy-cams so the Russian government can watch surveillance video of you showering, which they admitted they’ve already done.


February 7, 2014

Alabama Chief Justice Jumps Into Gay Marriage Fight

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's chief justice, known on the national stage for fighting to display the Ten Commandments in a judicial building, is jumping into the gay marriage debate with his push for a states-led constitutional amendment defining the institution as a union between one man and one woman.

"The moral foundation of our country is under attack," Chief Justice Roy Moore said in an interview with The Associated Press.
He mailed letters Wednesday to all 50 governors urging them to get their legislatures to call for a convention to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution saying the only union recognized by state and federal governments is "the union of one man and one woman." He also is setting up a website to rally public support.

Moore said the only way to stop judges who are finding new rights for gay unions is with a state-initiated constitutional amendment. "Government has become oppressive, and judges are warping the law," Moore said.


February 7, 2014

School Apologizes For Serving Fried Chicken, Watermelon At Lunch On Black History Month

CONCORD, Calif. (AP) — Officials at a Northern California private school are apologizing after a controversial lunch menu option to celebrate Black History Month.

Students at Carondelet High School for Girls in Concord wanted to come up with ways to observe the occasion during a lunchtime celebration Friday. But when the school announced a menu of fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon, other students and parents became offended.
KNTV-TV reports that school officials held an assembly on campus Wednesday to discuss the issue and also sent a letter apologizing to parents. Principal Nancy Libby wrote that the items were taken off of the menu and that the school doesn't perpetrate racial stereotypes.

Libby also wrote the school will hold a diversity assembly for students and faculty.

Calls to the school were not immediately returned Thursday.


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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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