Playing midterm politics with ISIS

October 31, 2014

With elections, come the scare tactics.

From Arizona to Arkansas to Colorado to Florida to Iowa to North Carolina, politicians are pinning their aspirations to fear of the reviled Islamist State. Alas, in an exhibition of fortitude, the United States Congress has shelved the issue until after the Nov. 4 vote. With temporary authorization of President Obama’s plan to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels expiring Dec. 11, it is still unclear whether a vote on further funding will occur on Nov. 12, when Congress returns from recess, or in January, after a new Congress is sworn in.

How Americans fare on the ignorance index

October 30, 2014

Guess how many U.S. girls aged 15-19 give birth each year. Go ahead, guess. If you calculated the number at 3 percent you’re correct; if you guessed 24 percent, you’re American.

The housing market is changing. Should you rent or buy?

October 29, 2014

Analysts may huff and they puff, but is the market blowing another housing bubble?

Why Twitter’s millions just weren’t enough

October 28, 2014

Remember that mantra about the soft bigotry of low expectations? Twitter probably does. Yesterday, the micro-blogging site announced third quarter earnings, precisely hitting its Earnings Per Share forecast and beating estimates with $361 million in revenue— better than double the $169 million quarter it posted a year ago.

Finally, some good news from Europe’s banks

October 27, 2014

Yesterday was anything but a day of rest for the European Central Bank.

Sunday’s announcement of stress test results by the ECB was largely heralded as good news by analysts, with only 13 of 130 large eurozone banks found at risk after a seven-month review of their finances.

Numbers of interest

October 24, 2014

Welcome to our inaugural weekend Data Dive–a shortlist of charts from around the web culled from the week that went.

Big Pharma’s race to develop an Ebola vaccine

October 24, 2014

The news last night that a New York City physician, Craig Spencer, tested positive for Ebola brought a whole new wave of freakout about the deadly virus.  How breathless is the coverage?  Joe Coscarelli puts it in perspective in “The Most Ignorant American Ebola Panic of the Moment.”

What you need to know about the airbag recall

October 23, 2014

That airbag recall just keeps getting scarier. Just in time for Halloween, the alarming news is spreading for owners of vehicles with Takata airbags, with a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall at 7.8 million vehicles and counting. Two deaths have already been linked to the airbag defects, with Takata notifying the NHTSA  that the propellant — intended to burn quickly and produce gas to inflate the air bag — is defective. When a crash occurs, the propellant can rupture its container, shooting metal parts at the driver or front-seat occupant.

For consumers, less pain in the pocket

October 22, 2014

Halloween is just over a week away, which means the holidays are almost upon us. How painful will traveling, shopping and gorging be to our pocketbooks this year?

Why the U.S. is spending $1 trillion on nukes

October 21, 2014

 

Here’s a fun post to take your mind off Ebola and Washington’s myriad foreign policy problems.