Today’s Links: October 31, 2012


THOMAS HAZLETT: “David Axelrod Is Right: The Buffett Rule Is a Cheap Shot
“The President, like Buffett (and Mitt Romney), reduces IRS payments by giving away big money to worthy causes. When releasing his 2010 return, Mr. Buffett disclosed that he had paid under $7 million on income of $63 million, while donating about $23 million to charity (with some local tax deductions mixed in). Republicans have been hectoring Mr. Buffett, who complains about paying such a low tax rate, to assuage his conscience by writing a check to the IRS. Somehow they miss the fact that it is so much easier. All Buffett need do is to stop claiming those massive checks he writes to charity as deductions.”

TIMOTHY B. LEE: “Police allowed to install cameras on private property without warrant
“A federal judge has ruled that police officers in Wisconsin did not violate the Fourth Amendment when they secretly installed cameras on private property without judicial approval. The officers installed the cameras in an open field where they suspected the defendants, Manuel Mendoza and Marco Magana, were growing marijuana. The police eventually obtained a search warrant, but not until after some potentially incriminating images were captured by the cameras.”

GARRETT EPPS: “Are Dogs ‘Scientific Devices’?
“Wednesday’s cases concern the professional reputations of Franky, a drug-sniffing K-9 officer of the Miami-Dade Police Department, and Aldo, the drug-sniffing pride of the Liberty County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department — and, beyond them, of all dogs in law enforcement. Unlike the Ol’ Drum case, no one disputes that Franky and Aldo are valuable. Instead, the Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether drug-sniffing dogs are (1) never intrusive and (2) always reliable. The answers will help shape the role dogs play in police work for years to come.”


MARKETS – Free At Last! Facebook Employees Can Finally Sell Some Shares; Stock Falls
“[O]n the last day of October Facebook’s employees are free at last to join the cashing-in party and sell some of their stock. Happy Halloween, guys.”

TECH – France ‘hits Google with €1 billion claim’ in content row
“French tax authorities have filed a €1 billion claim against Google to pressure the search engine to pay a portion of its advertising revenue for access to French media websites, a Paris-based newspaper reported on Wednesday.”

GREECE – Greek government narrowly wins privatization vote
“Greece’s government scraped through a parliamentary vote on a contentious article in a privatization law demanded by lenders on Wednesday, highlighting the fragility of the ruling coalition.”