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Take the 5th is a Picks and Pans page on Political, Economic and Cultural Events worldwide. We are looking for consistent excellence ... sometimes remarkably easy to find; and other times devilishly hard to get through the front door.

Here is a list of popular Takethe5th Posts

Cracks in the GOP’s Base

Image from Streetlog For the past five years, the GOP has been able to marshall block votes against most  Democratic critical legislation in Congress. Given the continued exploitation of the filibuster rule in the Senate where a 60-40 vote is required to pass any legislation that Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell cares to oppose. Because …

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The Real Obama Flaw: Wall Street Now Too Big To Jail

WhatNowCartoons The GOP has been attacking President Obama for all the Wrong Reasons: Benghazi Libyan embassy fight when the GOP had previously cut the State Departments defense funding. Or No New Taxes when there is general consensus that  tax revenues have dried up and tax reform is way overdue. Or the constant return to Obama’s birth …

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The Score: GOP/NRA 46 to 54 for Gun Reform: Gun Reform Loses

Only in the USA could a majority vote for Gun Reform be turned upside  down in the US Senate. This is on Universal Gun Buyer Background checks which currently have majority popular support reaching as high as  91% of the US electorate in over a half dozen polls. No matter how you ask the question, a …

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Another View: Moores Law Slowing

Three weeks ago this blog presented Moores Law is Alive and Well.  But reader reaction was mixed because the post emphasized growth in  computing power rather than number of transistors per chip. But really Moores Law has two meanings in electronics. The strict original circuit design  definition was that the number of transistors on a 2D integrated circuit chip would double …

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One More Time: How Goes Executive Pay?

The NYTimes had a recent story, The Infinite Pool of Executive Pay. It is  a little hit and miss. The report  comes down on the increase of 18.7% percent in corporate perks. But then we also learn  that overall median pay for the  top 100 CEOs  increased by just 2.8%. However, I had a devil …

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This Week Moves Way Ahead On Sunday Morning

The Sunday Morning News Talk Shows on the major networks have been courting disater. ABCTV’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos has moved up to a new level of competence The formula for the Sunday News Shows in which two talking heads from the major parties are brought on the show to debate an issue but …

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Is the Code-Writing on the Wall for Microsoft?

Maybe not the writing, but the following graphics will create no great cheer in Redmond. Look at the Trends for Microsoft languages based on the Tiobe Index First, Apple’s Objective C is surging in popularity. But of greater concern is the peaking of  C# and Visual Basic. Python is now more popular than VB. But …

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Banks as Flak Catchers for Major Corporations

Tom Wolfe’s book Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers is about  PR and Spokespersons  who seemingly can turn any criticism to the advantage of their client. But “flak catcher” had a second nuanced meaning – those who bore the brunt of public scorn diverting attention away from client and upon themselves. As well, attention …

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Moores Law is Alive and Well

Logan and Parker are the names of the next generation mobile CPU/GPU chips coming from Nvidia. This party has wondered if Moores Law which see a doubling of CPU chip performance for the same cost roughly every two years can be sustained. This is important because Moores Law which drives electronics but is stretched to …

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Historic Financial Penalty = Feds Cave Again

I dread reading the following headlines in the NYTimes or the Wall Street Journal – Gargantuan Fines Imposed on Wall Street Institution or Record Breaking Damages Inflicted on Bank. It might as well read =>  Hugest Biggest Historically Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious Compensatory Damages Imposed on Piteous Bank because of course it means the opposite. The Federal Government …

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How To Ruin Your Brand: The Samsung Galaxy S4 Unpacking Event

Samsung Galaxy S4 – announcement at NYC Radio City Music Hall The GOP has done it, the major Banks, and now Samsung with its Galaxy S4 announcement – all have  tarnished if not badly their Brands. And done so almost in a blink of an eye given the months and years of assiduous work it …

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What Was Said: Israeli Settlements in West Bank

The occasion of President Obama’s trip to Israel has triggered a number of different articles across Web news media. Remarkably, the topic continues to center on one issue – the ever expanding Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank territory. Now some will take exception to the notion of Palestinian West bank territory despite the …

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Sphere 3D Glassware 2.0

Startup technology firms are still abound despite the emergence of three controlling heavyweights in electronics and computing: Sphere 3D with Glassware 2.0 – SaaS cross platform delivery Here in Sphere 3D’s own words is their value proposition in  any device support: Consumers can gain complete access to fully functional software versions, allowing PC productivity software …

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Why I Distrust Microsoft

This is hardly a statement to make about a leading computing brand when one has recently praised its new and crucial Windows 8 OS. But right after the launch of Windows 8, CEO Steve Ballmer dismissed Steven Sinofsky who had helped Redmond: a)make Microsoft Office a continuing breadwinner despite the assault from Google Docs, Zoho, and …

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What Was Said: TheDailyBeast on Bibi Netanyahu

The Daily Beast is covering the AIPAC – America Israel Public Affiars Committee conference where Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren advanced the notion that Likud partty leader and Israeli Prime Minister had been willing to stick his neck out for a two-state solution. TheDailyBeast sets the record straight in no uncertain terms: Netanyahu’s Likud party has …

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Powerful Infographic on Gun Control

The DailyBeast has helped create and promote the following Gun Control infographic  on a website called ThisIsYourRepOnGuns: Every Senator and member of the House of Representatives is listed. Their own words on gun control are available – and what voting actions and financial support they have taken on the issue. There are ratings of the …

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Where is the David Einhorn for America

David Einhorn, the tiny $7Billion Hedge Fund manager, has tweaked the nose of computing’s Goliath, Apple. Since a week Thursday, David  has shocked the US business world with his direct, loud, and “uncivil’ attack on Apple’s huge cash hoard of nearly $130Billion. And Apple’s cash hoard islikely getting bigger on a  growth rate of 10%per quarter for the …

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DOJ To Get Tough with Big Banks: Principle at Stake

NYTimes Dealbook has a story today that the DOJ-Department of Justice is finally going to get tough with the Big Banks. “Getting tough” means no more “largest financial fine history but no admission of guilt by the financial institution – i.e. off the criminal action hook. Unfortunately, 5years into the financial crisis this is a …

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Lost: The Ability To Decide Well

Paul Krugman’s post about The Ignorance Caucus is most relevant. Krugman’s essential argument is that the Republican party routinely spurns compelling evidence and now actively opposes gathering evidence when it might call into question its own policies and/or lobbyist supporters. This Deliberate Denial Disorder underlines the great fear that 1/2 of the US political dialogue …

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Grading the Economist’s Superfast Broadband Webinar

The Economists’s Intelligence Unit sponsored today a free webinar on Superfast Broadband with telecom equipment provider Huawei. The instant grade for the webinar is Mushy and not because of the delivery. On 3Mbs Rogers Cable in Canada, the reception was on the whole quite good – maybe 4-6 dropouts, but to my surprise no loss …

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Republican Pundits Find Their Voices

In an importnat posting in the DailyBeast Republican pundit David Frum takes direct aim at the NRA for their attack ads against Obama and daughters in the name of the NRA’s Armed Guards in Schools. This is the nasty swill that permeated the Presidential election  and which  an electorate  in bipartisan fashion  has rejected  for …

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Har, Har, Har to Tom-Boy

In the battle of the quarterbacks in the AFC Championship Game , Baltimore Ravens, Coach John Harbaugh, and quarterback Joe Flacco have the last laugh. Narrowly defeated in the AFC Championship game last year on a missed Ravens field goal attempt, this year’s victory was no fluke but rather a 28-13 pasting of the Patriots and their quarterback  …

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How + Why Samsung Leads Innovation in Electronic Devices

Samsung leads the Smartphone Market in the US taking over from Apple. But Samsung has leading or near leading positions in the appliances, TV, compact camera, and other electronic device markets. They, not GE nor Phillips nor Sony are currently  the first innovators in bring the Moores Law powered electronic chip revolution to  consumer products. …

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The Vinyl Cafe Storyland

The Vinyl Cafe Storyland is one more proof that the best humor writer in  America is Stuart McLean by way of Toronto and Canada. This notion is typical MacLean humor – self-effacing, off-the-wall, but  bright as a Nova Scotia Valley day. But  we also enter Testosterone  Country, a familiar McLean Mantra  – in short no laughing …

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Best Charts of 2012 : The Power of Good Graphics

Is this the best Chart used in US Media for 2012? What is growing in popularity on news sites like cnn.com, The Christian Science Monitor,  theDailyBeast,  HuffingtonPost, NYTimes,  The New Republic, and Time Magazine is the frequent use of charts [or infographics] to clearly  describe a  situation or better illustrate some analysis. If a picture is worth …

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Squandered Opportunity:The First Presidential Debate

The Fiscal Cliff has exposed the tremendous political advantage that was lost in the first Presidential Debate. At the time of the debate President Obama had momentum from the conventions [the poor GOP Romney convention giving as much wind in the Democrat sails as their own] plus a growing lead in the national polls. But …

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The State of the GOP: Party Discipline Through Political Assassination

What The Republican Party Has Become is the title of a superb post by Steve Kornacki at Salon. This is the story of how Republican Senators defeated a bill originally sponsored by Republican Bob Dole which now was being used as the model for UN recommendations to other UN countries. The bill has little to …

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Twinkies Demise

The Hostess Twinkies demise is a business case study that also has political implications. I would love to see if any of the major Business Schools like MIT, Harvard, Univ. of Chicago have taken this defining case on. David Weidner of WSJ and Marketwatch tells the story on who killed the Twinkie: Modern finance is …

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Confabulation

Strangely, the DailyBeast gave ink to Michael Medved and his spouting of the GOP propaganda meme that all politicians are liars but President Obama is the worst one. This is a vital Big Lie for the Republicans. Hence concentrating on scandals like the Benghazi scandal and the Obama apology tour – are all birds of …

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4 Views on GOP Post Election

Lest we forget who and how delusional the GOP Pundits were. This is remarkably close to what is happening in the GOP. Bart Simpson being punished for not getting permission from Karl Rove to concede Obama victory in Ohio. Very quick but caustically wry humor. But the best analysis is by a Republican in this Kindle Book …

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How To Ruin A Brand: NFL, GOP, US Business

Branding is a symbol – a symbol of ownership in the case of an animal brand, a symbol of who made this in the case of a trademark or insignia on a product. But branding goes well beyond marks of ownership or manufacture. Brands are codes in the complex worlds of ownership or market exchange …

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Computings Big 3: Apple Google Microsoft

The Emergence of Computing’s New  Big 3 Apple, Google and Microsoft have become the dominating  Big 3 in the Computing  Industry “For the past 30 years Computing has been Consumer-driven” – Ben Acelman In case you have not noticed, there is a new Computing Reality – Apple, Google, and Microsoft have become the BIG 3 …

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