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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,796

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Hasbro now owns Death Row Records, thanks to deal for maker of Peppa Pig

My Little Pony, meet Tupac Shakur.

Toymaker Hasbro has acquired gangster rap label Death Row Records — which counts Shakur and Snoop Dogg among its artists — as part of a bid to grow its stable of family-friendly entertainment.

The worldwide toymaker announced the $4 billion deal Thursday to buy British company Entertainment One, which produces animated kids shows such as “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” but also owns the rap label.

Hasbro, which owns the rights to My Little Pony, Monopoly and Mr. Potato Head, has said the company was looking to expand “family brands” and television production with the purchase.


Southern California must plan for 1.3 million new homes in the next decade, Newsom says

Cities and counties in Southern California will have to plan for the construction of 1.3 million new homes in the next decade, a figure more than three times what local governments had proposed over the same period, according to a letter released by state housing officials Thursday.

The decision is sure to intensify a clash between cities in the region and Gov. Gavin Newsom over the need for new construction to alleviate the state’s housing crisis. Newsom and allies in the Legislature have called for 3.5 million new homes to be built statewide by 2025 in an effort to end a shortage of available homes that is driving up prices. Local government officials, including many in the Los Angeles area, have been frustrated by the state’s efforts to push for greater growth in their communities and to take away some of their control over development.

“The governor has said California must use every tool in its toolbox to combat the state’s housing affordability crisis,” Newsom spokesman Nathan Click said in a statement. “This is part of that approach.”

The figure cited by Newsom was governed by a 50-year-old state law that every eight years requires cities and counties to plan for enough growth in their communities to meet projected population increases and account for other factors, such as overcrowding, that indicate a need for more development. The law doesn’t require local governments to build or approve new housing, instead mandating that they must zone sufficient land to meet the state’s housing projections.


The global economy is slipping toward recession -- and Trump is making it worse

Warning flags are flying: The world economy is heading into a slowdown, and possibly a recession.

Germany, normally the engine of Europe, has seen its growth rate fall below zero. Britain is steeling for a potentially chaotic exit from the European Union this fall. Trade wars are buffeting China, Japan and South Korea. U.S. growth has slowed, too — partly because of the same damaging trade battles.

Before Donald Trump was president, leaders of the world’s biggest economies would react to those worrisome signals with a flurry of meetings and announcements. They’d promise to make their economic policies reinforce each other and reassure financial markets that someone was in charge. That’s what happened amid the financial crisis of 2008, and in earlier recessions and financial crises as well.

But it’s not happening this time — and Trump is one of the reasons. Case in point: this weekend’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France.


Hackers could have breached U.S. bioterrorism defenses for years, records show.

Source: LA Times

The Department of Homeland Security stored sensitive data from the nation’s bioterrorism defense program on an insecure website where it was vulnerable to attacks by hackers for over a decade, according to government documents reviewed by The Times.

The data included the locations of at least some BioWatch air samplers, which are installed at subway stations and other public locations in more than 30 U.S. cities and are designed to detect anthrax or other airborne biological weapons, Homeland Security officials confirmed. It also included the results of tests for possible pathogens, a list of biological agents that could be detected and response plans that would be put in place in the event of an attack.

The information — housed on a dot-org website run by a private contractor — has been moved behind a secure federal government firewall, and the website was shut down in May. But Homeland Security officials acknowledge they do not know whether hackers ever gained access to the data.

Internal Homeland Security emails and other documents show the issue set off a bitter clash within the department over whether keeping the information on the dot-org website posed a threat to national security. A former BioWatch security manager filed a whistleblower complaint alleging he was targeted for retaliation after criticizing the program’s lax security.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-biowatch-20190402-story.html

The Trump era could wind up like the 1930s

After nearly a decade of good times, things, all of a sudden, looked wobbly. The stock market fell sharply. The president—a wealthy man who had never been elected to office before, but was very sure of himself, thank you very much— reassured Americans that all was well and the future bright.

Even so, the president thought one thing was needed to make things better: tariffs on America’s trade partners. Many economists and lawmakers argued against this, saying it would hurt trade, kill jobs and slow, if not contract, the economy. The president dismissed their reasoning, and into place the tariffs went.

As economic uncertainty mounted, many investors moved into gold, which was perceived as a safe haven (so much so that the Treasury feared it might run out of bullion).

And even though the economy had previously been good, many Americans feared immigrants were coming to take their jobs and sought to keep them out. Sure, Europeans were generally OK, particularly if they were from places like Norway, Sweden and Germany—in other words, if they looked “American.” The mood towards others was far less hospitable, and efforts were made to bar entire ethnic groups.


Aides Struggle To Stop Kerosene-Soaked Republicans From Lighting Selves Ablaze Atop Koch's Body

WICHITA, KS—Urging calm as the wailing conservative politicians jostled for a place at their deceased benefactor’s side, aides reportedly struggled Friday to prevent dozens of kerosene-soaked Republicans from lighting themselves ablaze atop David Koch’s body.

“I don’t want to keep living in a world without David Koch,” said former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, one amongst a throng of weeping Republicans including Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, and Mitt Romney who shoved past the other mourners for the privilege of setting fire to themselves and flinging their burning bodies onto the billionaire conservative activist’s corpse.

“Get the hell out of my way, Rubio—you know he loved me best! I should be on top of the body. Jesus Christ, David! David! Don’t go into the next life without me!”

At press time, attendants were forced to intervene with fire extinguishers after the entire Cato Institute board of directors piled onto the corpse at once and caused the blaze to rapidly spread across Koch’s enormous estate.


Will the feds bust Nikki Fried for having a marijuana card and a concealed carry permit?

Could Florida Department of Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried get busted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents for violating federal law? According to the Schedule 1 regulation that governs America’s marijuana policy, the answer would appear to be yes.

Fried, the only Democrat in the Florida Cabinet, devoted much of her 2018 campaign to advocating for greater access to medical marijuana in Florida. Problem: She has also made no secret of her licenses to buy medical marijuana and to carry a concealed weapon.

“I have both,” Fried said on a Trulieve-sponsored Marijuana Solution podcast shortly before taking office in January. “So I want to make that very clear, that I will not be taking anybody’s concealed weapons permit ... or not renewing them. I see no conflict between the two.”

But the federal government does. Classified by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 as a Schedule 1 drug, marijuana by definition has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”


Trump's tendency to double down on bad ideas doesn't bode well for the economy

There are lots of reasons to worry about how President Trump would handle a recession, should we tip into one. There’s his incompetent economic team. Or the limited fiscal policy tools at his disposal, given that Republicans already spent nearly $2 trillion on tax cuts. Or his efforts to discredit the Federal Reserve just when we’ll need it most.

One underrated concern: Trump’s tendency to double down on stupid and destructive ideas, despite — perhaps because of? — overwhelming evidence of their stupidity and destructiveness.

Trump’s worst policies, economic or otherwise, tend to follow a pattern. First, he posits something like: Sure, the experts say that has predictably high costs and bad consequences. But ignore them! Believe me, it’s a great idea, and it’ll be completely costless.

To wit: Tax cuts will pay for themselves, without injury to deficits. China will pay all the tariffs, without harm to U.S. importers, manufacturers, retailers, farmers. Mexico will pay for the wall, without costs to U.S. taxpayers or international relations.


Trump is increasingly untethered from reality

The flood of bizarre pronouncements and behavior from President Trump is likely to get worse, I fear. He is now completely unfiltered — and, apparently, increasingly untethered to reality.

Quick, can you name the White House press secretary? Do you have any idea what she looks or sounds like? Stephanie Grisham has held that job for nearly two months now, but if her name doesn’t ring any bells, it’s because she hasn’t yet given a single official press briefing. Trump has foolishly decided to act as his own exclusive spokesman, putting all his prejudices, misconceptions, resentments, insecurities, grudges and fears on ugly display.

The result is what we witnessed Wednesday on the White House lawn. On his way to the waiting Marine One chopper, Trump paused and took questions from reporters for 35 minutes, unfazed by the midday 89-degree heat and smothering humidity. He made much news and little sense.

When he looked to the sky and proclaimed that “I am the chosen one,” he was clearly referring to his trade war with China. But you had to wonder whether his egomania, which we’re accustomed to, might have blossomed into full-scale delusions of grandeur.


France tries to orchestrate a no-drama G-7 summit, but Trump is the X factor

Like an annual holiday gathering where the main goal is to get through the day without a family explosion, one of France’s main objectives as host of this weekend’s Group of Seven summit is to minimize the chances that President Trump will blow it up.

Subjects on which to tread lightly include some of the biggest problems the world’s major economies are facing — trade, the system of international rules that has ordered the democratic world for decades and climate change, according to U.S. and other G-7 officials.

Already, Trump has shaken up the schedule, calling at the last minute for a special meeting Sunday morning to discuss the global economy. Senior administration officials said he will contrast U.S. growth with Europe’s economic doldrums and press his pro-jobs and “fair” trade messages.

Trump planned to “frankly” discuss sticking points among G-7 nations including trade, a digital services tax and NATO spending obligations, the officials told reporters in a Thursday briefing.

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