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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I feel like when Homer Simpson states the obvious and says "NEWSFLASH!" John Seiler writes today, "Calif. Economy 47th Worst of States"

What'd you expect? Anybody surprised? Anybody care?

John Seiler writes:
California’s stagnating economy suffered more bad news by ranking 47th of the 50 states for economic outlook. The ranking comes from the new, fourth edition of “Rich States, Poor States: The ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.” It combines 15 economic rankings, such as top marginal personal income tax rate and average workers’ compensation costs.

I received an advanced copy of the rankings, and will discuss them here. It will be released tomorrow, June 22, by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonpartisan group of state legislators. I’ll put up a link to it then.

My favorite line: "The only states ranking worse on the economic outlook were New York, rock-bottom 50th, followed by Vermont and Maine. Along with California, all are high-tax, high-regulation, jobs-killing states. The three other states have bad weather." Click here to read more.

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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