Author Archive

The conservative push to end NC’s income tax

Posted on: January 18th, 2013 by Siddhartha Mahanta 2 Comments

Republicans in North Carolina haven’t had it this good since 1870. That’s the last time they controlled both the state’s legislative and executive branches.

And they’re getting right down to business, pledging in interviews with local papers to pursue corporate and personal tax reform. (more…)

Arthur Laffer’s dynamic roadshow

Posted on: December 18th, 2012 by Siddhartha Mahanta 1 Comment

On January 19 of this year, Kansas state Sen. Julia Lynn offered an exuberant greeting to renowned tax-cutting enthusiast Arthur Laffer. “What an honor and privilege to have you here in Kansas,” Lynn said, welcoming the fabled former Reagan economic advisor to an informational meeting of the senate’s assessment and taxation committee. Les Donovan, the committee chair, raised the roof for their “special guest who has proven expertise in the field of economics going back decades.” (more…)

Privacy concerns linger over FBI’s new facial recognition system

Posted on: October 24th, 2012 by Siddhartha Mahanta No Comments

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In July, Sen. Al Franken opened a Senate hearing on the privacy and civil liberties implications of facial recognition technology by affirming some incontrovertible facts. “You can change your password. You can get a new credit card. But you can’t change your fingerprint, and you can’t change your face,” Franken said. “Unless I guess you go to a great, you know, deal of trouble.”

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Big telecom pushes de-regulation bill in California

Posted on: September 10th, 2012 by Siddhartha Mahanta 1 Comment

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California could be the latest state to enact a law that dramatically curbs regulatory oversight of telecommunications services in the state, handing a significant victory to the industry players that have lobbied for the bill’s passage. (more…)

Va. approaches decision on privatizing sex offender program

Posted on: June 25th, 2012 by Siddhartha Mahanta 4 Comments

The Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation in Burkeville, Virginia. Photo provided to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission by VCBR.

The nation’s second-largest private prison company says it expects Virginia to make a decision by next month on its bid to expand and operate the state’s detention facility for sexually violent predators who have completed their prison terms.

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How the private detention industry courted Crete

Posted on: May 16th, 2012 by Siddhartha Mahanta 5 Comments

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/CraigRJD

UPDATE: On Monday, June 11, Crete officials voted unanimously to end the town’s negotiations with the Corrections Corporation of America.

The fight over a proposed privately run federal immigration detention center in Illinois is raising thorny questions about the benefits and drawbacks of these facilities. (more…)