Monthly Archives: November 2016

DuPont Fabros Technology Named Top Dividend Stock With Insider Buying and 4.53% Yield (DFT)

By Dividend Channel, Contributor In this series, we look through the most recent Dividend Channel ”DividendRank” report, and then we cherry pick only those companies that have experienced insider buying within the past six months. The officers and directors of a company tend to have a unique insider’s view of the business, and presumably […] …read more

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How the electoral college gerrymanders the presidential vote

By Christopher Ingraham

Kevin Hayes Wilson/Redraw the Districts

Here’s a fun little thought experiment demonstrating the fundamental arbitrariness of the electoral college: Had two state borders been drawn just a little bit differently, shifting a total of four counties from one state to another, Hillary Clinton would have won the election.

Take a look at the imaginary map above, which comes from an nifty online tool called Redraw the States. It was created by Kevin Hayes Wilson, a mathematician and data scientist working in computer science education.

This map moves Lake County, Ill. to Wisconsin, turning that state blue. It moves Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties from the Florida panhandle to neighboring Alabama. That’s enough to turn Florida blue. With victories in Wisconsin and Florida, Clinton squeaks to victory in the electoral college, 270 to 268.

Exact same votes, slightly different borders, radically different outcome: the capriciousness of the electoral college laid bare.

[This is the best explanation of gerrymandering you will ever see]

After the election, a former classmate posed Hayes a question: How stable are the electoral college results under small changes of geography? That is, how much of Donald Trump’s electoral college victory is attributable to the odd quirks of geography or history that are baked into our country’s state and county borders?

The answer, Hayes found, is “quite a lot.”

To arrive at this answer, Hayes built his interactive border-drawing thought experiment. It allows you to select any number of counties and move them to a different state to see how the electoral results would shake out under those borders.

Recall that the electoral college system is mostly winner-take-all (Maine and Nebraska are the exceptions, assigning most of their electors by congressional district). In Illinois, …read more

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Congress set to vote on bill that promises to speed up drug approval

By Carolyn Y. Johnson

(REUTERS/Jason Reed)

(Jason Reed/Reuters)

This story has been updated.

A 996-page bill that seeks to speed up the approval of new medicines and medical devices is expected to head to the House for a vote Wednesday, amid criticism that the complicated legislation is being rushed through without sufficient scrutiny.

Called 21st Century Cures, the legislation earmarks $6.3 billion for biomedical research, opioid abuse prevention and support for the agency that oversees the safety of drugs. It also contains multiple provisions that aim to ease the requirements for drugmakers seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell their products.

The bill has had broad bipartisan support, but consumer advocates have criticized the bill, saying that there are major trade-offs that could weaken the FDA’s regulatory power and potentially put patients in harm’s way. And some legislators, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), say the regulatory changes in the bill amount to a giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry.

Congress has been working on medical innovation legislation for yrs. But in the final days of 2016, Big Pharma hijacked 21st Century Cures.

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) November 29, 2016

The legislation has been supported by drug and medical-device companies and patient groups, and has been the subject of intense lobbying. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, more than 1,400 lobbyists have pressed for the bill on behalf of clients, including drug companies and universities, that could benefit from an increase in federal biomedical research funding.

A spokesman for the FDA said the agency does not comment on pending legislation.

A previous version of the bill sailed through the House more than a year ago but has been stalled in the Senate. The new version, unveiled by House and Senate leaders over the holiday weekend, contains changes intended to smooth its passage through …read more

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Donald Trump will not be draining any swamps as president

By Daniel W. Drezner Since Donald Trump won the 44th greatest landslide in American presidential history, the hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts has been having a little bit of fun on Twitter: Thank goodness the Clintons, who solicited funds from foreign sources, won’t be running American foreign policy. — Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 18, 2016 Thank […] …read more

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Rory Gilmore is a monster

By Jenny Rogers Spoiler alert: This piece contains, well, all of them. The four-episode “Gilmore Girls” revival, which debuted Friday on Netflix, offers fans plenty of material to critique. Abandoned plotlines (Lorelai and Luke’s 20-minute foray into pregnancy surrogacy), missing key characters (Sookie), not enough Dean (important to some people), occasionally flat dialogue (the first excruciating few minutes), unlikely […] …read more

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