Tuesday, August 8, 2017

“Barack Obama Day” will be honored in Illinois after Rauner signs law

The home state of former President Barack Obama will commemorate his birthday under a new law. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a plan honoring the 44th president’s birthday on August 4th. It won’t be an official state holiday, rather a day to honor Obama. The law notes Obama’s efforts to protect Americans’ rights and build “bridges across communities.” Obama began his political career in the Illinois Senate in 1997. He served there until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004. The measure takes effect next year. It received overwhelming support in the Democrat-led Legislature. The Republican governor signed it Friday. The proposal came after the Illinois House narrowly rejected a plan to make Obama’s birthday a state holiday amid concerns of giving state employees in cash-strapped Illinois another paid day off. (WGN TV)


Martin Shkreli Is Found Guilty of Fraud

Last week, Big Pharma executive Martin Shkreli was found guilty of securities fraud. Shkreli became public enemy #1 back in 2015 after raising the price of an AIDS drug from $13.50 a pill to a casual $750. But that was all just his warm up act. Turns out, Shkreli was also running a Ponzi scheme as a hedge fund manager, stealing millions of dollars from investors. Now he could face up to 20 years in prison. Shkreli says he doubts he’ll get anywhere near that and that he’s thinking of appealing. (New York Times)


Death Valley had hottest month ever in Western Hemisphere in July

Death Valley residents just sweated through the second hottest month Las Vegas has ever seen, but look on the bright side: you may not live in Death Valley. The numbers are in and Death Valley, California set a record in July with the hottest average month in the history of the Western Hemisphere. Daytime temperatures were 120 with one day at 127. The weather historian for Weather Underground said he only knows of one monthly average that’s higher — 107.44 degrees recorded in July 2014 at a military base in northern Saudi Arabia — but that measurement has been discredited because it apparently didn’t include overnight temperature readings. (Las Vegas Review Journal)


Americans are less likely to be laid off than at any point in the past half century

The rate at which people are claiming jobless benefits is the slowest since 1967; for every 10,000 people in the workforce, 66 claimed new unemployment benefits in July. But while Americans may be the most secure in their jobs since at least before the Great Recession, the numbers also reflect less positive changes in the US labor force — long-term unemployment, aging workers, less manufacturing work, and a rise in risk-averse businesses. (The Wall Street Journal)


Bitcoin hit a new high

The digital currency, Bitcoin, is celebrating the fact their stock jumped more than 16% to break $3,000 — tripling its value for the year and crossing $50 billion in market cap for the first time. It’s good news for the digital currency, as new rival Bitcoin Cash (created by “splitting” bitcoin’s underlying code) entered the scene last week, threatening to confuse consumers and disrupt bitcoin’s stability. That currency plunged 36% on Friday. (CNBC)


10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google

An engineer at Google circulated a 10-page “manifesto” on diversity that went viral; among its claims was the assertion that women are less represented in tech because of inherent differences in characteristics and abilities. In a response to employees, newly hired VP of diversity Danielle Brown said this was “not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes, or encourages.” The debate over diversity in tech, a key conversation in Silicon Valley, also comes as Google faces a wage discrimination probe from the Labor Department, which claims the company pays women less than men across its workforce. (Gizmodo)


Want to pursue the American Dream? Move to Iowa:

Around 65% of millennials consider home ownership a key pillar of the “American Dream” — and Iowa is the best state to pursue it, analysis of Census Bureau data finds. It’s still affordable for millennials to own homes in the Hawkeye State, and unemployment for young people is relatively low. The path to ownership has become increasingly challenging in recent years, as a shortage of houses on the market — especially “starter homes” for first-time buyers — has driven up prices. Nationwide, only 35% of those aged 18-35 own property, far fewer than in places like China or Mexico.


It’s A Two-timin’ Tuesday……

*International Cat Day 
*The Date to Create 
*Happiness Happens Day 
*Odie Day  (Garfield’s pal)
*Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night 

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