Chriss W. Street

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UK Systematically Denies Surgery to Seniors

Royal College of Surgeons issued a report that the British National Health Services (NHS) is denying life-saving operations because of age discrimination in defiance of the law. New data documents for the first time that across large areas of the United Kingdom no patients above the age of 75 are “receiving surgery for breast cancer or routine operations such as gall bladder removal and knee replacements.” Jul 5, 2014 6:27 AM PT

Germany Coerced into Adopting Its First Minimum Wage

German lawmakers on July 3rd approved the introduction of the country's first national minimum wage of $11.75 per hour. For the last decade, Germany’s greater “labor flexibility” allowed its economy to flourish, while most of the other European Union members’ economies stagnated. Rather than embracing the policies that helped Germany succeed, other EU members have forced Germany to conform to the failed labor policies of many of its EU neighbors. Jul 4, 2014 4:12 PM PT

New Assembly Speaker Flunks Water Bond Test

California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) seems to have flunked her first major leadership test by failing to get Governor Brown’s water bond passed during one of California’s worst droughts. Jul 3, 2014 6:11 AM PT

Detroit Won't Surrender to Google in Self-Driving Cars

As Silicon Valley expands from the Internet of people to the Internet of Things, the failure of Detroit and Google to form a partnership to build self-driving cars is an instructive tale regarding the challenges Silicon Valley and industrial America will continue to face as they are forced to work together in the future. Like any massive disruptive technological change, a world where the machines have control over machines is easier to people to design, than for people to safely and profitably deploy. Jul 1, 2014 9:12 PM PT

California Unions Scramble as Local Voters Poised to Eliminate Public Pensions

After the Ventura County Board of Supervisors on June 10 voted 4 to 1 to put a popular initiative to eliminate public employee defined-benefit pensions on the ballot, a coalition of public employee unions filed suit to prevent the initiative from going to a vote of the people in November. If the courts rule in favor of the 40,500 petition signers, Ventura County could save $460 million and spark a statewide taxpayer assault against California’s $450 billion in unfunded public employee defined benefit pension obligations. Jul 1, 2014 1:30 PM PT

CA Supreme Court to Decide If Politicians' Private Emails Are Public Records

Some public employees and elected officials might have been busy destroying their personal cell phones, tablets and computers this weekend after the California Supreme Court agreed to review if communications on privately owned electronic devices regarding a public matter are public records and must be open for public inspection. Jun 30, 2014 5:37 AM PT

MannKind Inhalable Insulin Receives Limited FDA Approval

Although MannKind Corporation (MNKD) finally won its decade-long fight for FDA approval to sell its Afrezza insulin therapy system in the U.S, most investors are disappointed that the powered drug inhaler must carry a warning label that it is not a substitute for injectable insulin and that it is not recommended for individuals with asthma or a serious lung disease. Jun 28, 2014 6:35 PM PT

U.S. Economy Expanding by 1.5%, But Inflation Is 3-5%

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported June 25th that the U.S. GDP in the first quarter of 2014 was a dismal -2.9%, despite unemployment being unchanged and personal income growing at a healthy 3.2% annual rate. According David Stockman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan, this was the 4th worst out of 120 quarterly reports since the “Gipper” was President. Jun 27, 2014 11:40 AM PT

Obama Tries to Balance Oil and Environmental Interests

The Obama Administration appears to be trying to balance its embrace of pro-carbon elimination of restriction against exporting U.S. domestically produced crude oil with an embrace of anti-carbon demands for radical increases in public investment and regulatory restrictions to combat global climate change. Jun 26, 2014 5:36 AM PT

Argentina Default Could Hurt JPMorgan and Citigroup

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, a U.S. law firm that is known to work closely with hedge funds, requested a ruling for a “potential repudiation/moratorium event” by Argentina according to a letter dated June 20 to International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA). If ISDA rules that credit-default swap payments (CDS) on Argentina’s debt have been triggered after government officials said the nation won’t make bond interest payments, then Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan may be at risk to repay a substantial portion of the CDS losses on up to $906 million in defaulted bonds. Jun 25, 2014 7:50 PM PT

Oil, Natural Gas Estimates Double in Bakken, Three Forks

The USGS just announced that its 2013 survey doubled its 2008 estimates for combined shale oil and recoverable natural gas deposits in the Bakken and Three Forks areas of the Williston basin to 7.4 billion barrels of oil and 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The USGS survey results are expected to dramatically increase oil and gas investment in the region. Jun 25, 2014 7:39 PM PT

Environmentalists Respond to Sen. Feinstein Rebuke of Water Policy

In response to Senator Dianne Feinstein's rebuke last month that environmentalists “have never been helpful to me in producing good water policy,” the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC) and the Pacific Institute recently published a new report claiming that “drought-plagued California could stretch its available water supply as much as 30 percent by making more effective use of existing resources." Jun 25, 2014 2:41 PM PT

Syria Bombs ISIS in Iraq to Make Friends

Syrian fighter bombers hit the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) targets in the Iraqi border town of Qaim in Anbar province on June 24th. The bombings were not the first time that the Syrian Air Force has acted against ISIS targets along the border. But three bitter adversaries--the United States, Iran, and Syria--are demonstrating, by defending the Iraqi government, that countries usually have interests rather than friends. Jun 25, 2014 11:16 AM PT

Court Tosses L.A. Prohibition on Cars as 'Living Quarters'

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Los Angeles Municipal Code section prohibiting the use of a vehicle “as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day or otherwise” is unconstitutionally vague under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court determined that the language used provides insufficient notice of the “conduct it penalizes” and, therefore, “promotes arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.” Jun 25, 2014 5:53 AM PT

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