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July 10, 2014

This chart from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, via Business Insider's Mamta Badkar, shows that Americans are moving less than they used to:

(Bank of America Merrill Lynch)

That may be bad news for the economy. A dynamic economy requires people being able to move to wherever their most productive niche may be. Often, that can be hundreds or even thousands of miles away. So less geographic mobility tends to mean less economic dynamism. (Although in the era of telecommuting, it is possible that this is beginning to matter less.)

Now, the U.S. still has far more geographic mobility than, for example, Europe. That is helped by the fact that the U.S. has a single common language, unlike Europe. That's one reason why Europe's economy is struggling so much — a lack of a common language means it is much harder for people in a weaker economic area like Greece to move to a more prosperous area, like Germany.

The trend toward less mobility has been driven via the rise of homeownership in the 1990s. Homeowners are less like to move than renters because it is significantly more expensive for homeowners to move, thanks to various costs including broker fees, transaction costs, mortgage fees, insurance, and so on.

Things have gotten worse with the emergence of mortgages with negative equity — in which a borrower owes more on their mortgage than their home is worth — since the 2008 financial crisis. Now that housing prices have bottomed out (they did so in 2012) and are rising again, mobility stands a chance of beginning to rise again. John Aziz

2:08 p.m. ET

A possibly very confused voter at a John Kasich town hall in Windham, New Hampshire, wanted to know why she should vote for the Ohio governor in the "Democratic primary" — and Kasich, a Republican, didn't correct her. The question did not seem to be a slip of the tongue, either: The voter said she was having a hard time deciding between Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and John Kasich in the "Democratic primary" and wanted to know why Kasich should have her vote.

"Isn't that interesting," Kasich said as the crowd around her gasped. However, without mentioning his political allegiance or correcting the voter, Kasich went on to position himself as a good compromise between Sanders and Clinton saying, "One of them's too hot, one of them's too cold, but I've got the right temperature."

When Kasich asked the voter how he did in convincing her, she awkwardly dodged by saying, "I'll let you know tomorrow." Watch the scene unfold, below. Jeva Lange

1:57 p.m. ET
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Chris Martin majorly owes Beyoncé, and not just because she and Bruno Mars salvaged Coldplay's impressively sub-par halftime show. Bey, who collaborated with Martin on Coldplay's 2015 song "Hymn for the Weekend," apparently wasn't always so eager to work with him.

When Martin played her a prospective collaboration song, "Hook Up," she had some pretty blunt feedback for him, he told Rolling Stone. The "Formation" singer turned Martin down "in the sweetest possible way: She told me, 'I really like you — but this is awful.'"

It's not hard to laugh at Martin, but who among us doesn't envy that he has been in the presence of Beyoncé? Julie Kliegman

1:22 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The White House announced a plan Monday to expand the federal government's ability to investigate and discipline colleges accused of fraud, The Wall Street Journal reports. President Obama seeks $13.6 million from Congress, which would factor into the fiscal year 2017 budget.

Under the plan, the Education Department is forming a Student Aid Enforcement Unit to broaden the types of investigations the federal government already does. It's considered part of the administration's promise to aid Americans grappling with student debt.

Both public and private schools will be subject to investigations for deceiving students with false promises. Julie Kliegman

1:05 p.m. ET
Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Jeb Bush has a fighting chance of making an important second-place finish in New Hampshire's primary on Tuesday — a comeback that some believe can be pinned on his decision to embrace his inner bewildered goof. Writing for Slate, Franklin Foer argues that Bush has gone from being kicked-while-he's-down to emerging as a true contender in the Granite State thanks to his uncensored authenticity. "Bush may be the most authentic of the pack — patrician, goofy, a little flummoxed," Foer claims.

Strangely, it's Trump who has helped Bush find himself. When Trump started belittling him, Jeb reverted to Bush form. He couldn't understand how anyone could question his noble pursuit of public service. In the face of Trump's attacks, he looked hurt and stunned. But Bush has embraced Trump-bashing as a moral calling. He gets quite braggadocious when describing how he, and he alone, has the backbone to stand up to the bully. And his attacks on Trump do have a certain swagger now. "I'm not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but the guy needs therapy," he blared on Saturday. [Slate]

Of course, now the ultimate test remains: If being an authentic joyful tortoise is truly the way to voters' hearts. Read the argument in Slate. Jeva Lange

12:58 p.m. ET
iStock

Remember that weird file you opened decades ago that deleted all your stuff and destroyed your computer's ability to function? You can now relive that trauma, thanks to The Malware Museum.

The Internet Archive has catalogued dozens of examples of old malware for your viewing pleasure. And don't worry — the modified versions are safe and won't actually cause you any trouble.

As Wired notes, the first-ever virus, Brain.A, isn't available, but plenty of other taunting viruses should keep you plenty busy. Julie Kliegman

12:13 p.m. ET

Days after Ted Cruz used a questionable campaign tactic in a bid for Iowa caucus support, potential voters are now calling one of the Texas senator's fundraising strategies into question.

Registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike say they've been getting envelopes from Cruz that read "check enclosed," The Huffington Post reports. But lo and behold, the mail is actually asking people for money, not giving it to them. There technically is a check inside, but it's a fake one Cruz wrote to himself.

Huffington Post readers in New Jersey, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and other states have said they received the mailing. The campaign's tactic sounds not unlike a tactic used by sketchy televangelists John Oliver exposed in 2015. Julie Kliegman

11:42 a.m. ET
iStock

Suspects who have been tased by police while being taken into custody are more likely to waive their Miranda rights and provide false confessions, according to new research (PDF) published in the Criminology & Public Policy journal.

That's because a Taser's 50,000-volt shock temporarily impairs brain function, so "TASER-exposed participants resembled patients with mild cognitive impairment," the study says. "Thus, part of our findings implicates a suspect's ability to issue a valid waiver [of Miranda rights], whereas another part implicates the accuracy of information he or she might give investigators during a custodial interrogation."

Even innocent suspects are at greater risk of self-incrimination after being tased. "They may waive their Miranda rights and make incriminating statements to police without the benefit of counsel," and then find those comments difficult to explain once their mental function has recovered later on.

The study notes that American police have tased 2.37 million people in the last decade, an average of 904 tasings per day, or one every two minutes. Bonnie Kristian

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