New NYC Mayor to Ban Central Park Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

Jan 3, 2014, 10:26 am EDT

A popular attraction at New York City’s Central Park could become a thing of the past if the Big Apple’s new mayor has his way.

Bill de Blasio, who was sworn in as mayor on Wednesday, told reporters earlier in the week that he wants to outlaw horse-drawn carriages in the park. Tourists do not visit Manhattan just to take horse-drawn carriage rides, de Blasio said, noting that “horses do no belong in a congested, urban setting,” CNN reports.

Horse-drawn carriages have long drawn complaints from animal rights activists. Noting that horse-drawn carriage rides expose horses to noxious automobile exhaust and deprive them of “green pastures,” de Blasio said that his administration would end horse-drawn carriage rides. Read 

NSA Leaks: The Debate Over Clemency for Edward Snowden Grows

Jan 3, 2014, 10:06 am EDT

Two prominent newspapers have taken a strong position regarding how the U.S. government should handle Edward Snowden, who leaked classified data he obtained while working at the National Security Agency (NSA).

The New York Times and the U.K.’s Guardian published editorials on Wednesday urging the U.S. to offer the clemency to the source of the NSA leaks that have embarrassed Washington for months. While the newspapers say the NSA leaks have made Americans aware of government misconduct, in a recent poll a majority of Americans think Snowden endangered national security, the Washington Post notes.

The Times argued that two federal judges have found the government’s activities — as revealed by the NSA leaks — unconstitutional and that the Obama administration is moving to overhaul the surveillance program due to the NSA leaks. The newspaper said that the NSA leaks had exposed government abuses and that “Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight,” because he had done the U.S. “a great service,” even if he broke the law. Read 

New Laws for 2014

Dec 31, 2013, 11:26 am EDT

The new year will bring a variety of new laws across the country. Among the new laws for 2014:

    In California, transgendered students will be able to play on either girls or boys athletic teams and decide which restrooms to use, though the law could still face a referendum challenge. Photographers who pursue the children of celebrities in the Golden State could also face up to a $10,000 fine for taking their pictures without parents’ consent, the Associated Press notes. Colorado and Washington have changed their restrictions on marijuana sales and use. In Colorado, recreational use of marijuana becomes legal tomorrow. Recreational pot sales become legal in Washington state later in the year. Illegal immigrants can obtain driver authorization cards in Nevada on Jan. 2. The minimum wage rises to $7.95 an hour in Ohio for untipped workers. In California the minimum wage will climb to $9 an hour in July. In Connecticut, unregistered assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines will be illegal. Neighboring New York will begin requiring previously purchased assault weapons to be registered beginning on Apr. 15.

Want to share your own views on money and politics? Drop us a line at letters@investorplace.com and we might reprint your views in our InvestorPolitics blog! Please include your name, city and state of residence. All letters submitted to this address will be considered for publication. Read 

FAA Picks 6 Sites to Host Drone Testing

Dec 31, 2013, 9:48 am EDT

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has chosen six sites to host drone testing. Source: mailto:letters@investorplace.com

The FAA chose the different sites based off of their geology, climate, location of ground infrastructure, research needs, airspace use, safety, aviation experience and risk.The organization chose the different sites to get a fair amount of diversity in its drone testing.

The six sites approved by the FAA include: Read 

Not Everyone Can Have a Supreme Court Bobblehead

Dec 30, 2013, 4:34 pm EDT

All you need is about $10 to get a bobblehead of your favorite athlete or celebrity, but there are some bobbleheads that are a little harder to get. Source: mailto:letters@investorplace.com

George Mason University law professor Ross Davies has been creating bobbleheads of Supreme Court justices over the last 10 years. These rare items can be redeemed by those who have a certificate which they get when subscribing to Green Bag, a legal journal that Davies runs. However, these certificates only guarantee that the holder “might be able” to get a Supreme Justice figure.

Some bobbleheads are handed out to law school public interest groups and a few of them can be found on eBay for hundreds of dollars. There are 16 of these figurines out there and they represent 16 different justices including four of the court’s current nine members. Read 

55 Tax Breaks Expiring at the End of the Year

Dec 30, 2013, 4:10 pm EDT

Congress is letting 55 tax breaks expire at the end of the year despite the fact that most of them will be renewed. Source: mailto:letters@investorplace.com

Nevertheless, many individuals and businesses are uneasy about these tax breaks because they might be changed when renewed or not renewed at all. They rely on these breaks when filing taxes so any change could hurt them considerably.

Here some of the tax breaks that will expire at the end of 2013. Read 

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