Saturday, January 03, 2009
I've got an answer. How about never.
Let's face it here's how this dance goes. Hamas and Hezbullah have continued assaults on Israel with rockets flown into the country. Israel takes it up to a point then pulls a counter assault. The international community condemns Israel and the US negotiates some sort of pull out and/or cease fire settlement. All of which does nothing but allow these terrorist organizations to regroup and re arm and fire more rockets another day.
The day Israel goes in and demolishes the military infrastructure of these groups and the international community applauds it, will be the day the people in these territories will remove Hamas and Hezbullah from their ranks and maybe peace will be had. Ask Egypt.
Go kick some ass Israel.
More on the discussion at NRO
Representative Charles B. Rangel has helped raise $11 million for a City College of New York school of public service to be named in his honor. In recent months, as questions have emerged about his fund-raising, he has insisted that he has kept his efforts to attract donors scrupulously separate from his official duties in Congress.
But Congressional records and interviews show that Mr. Rangel was instrumental in preserving a lucrative tax loophole that benefited an oil-drilling company last year, while at the same time its chief executive was pledging $1 million to the project, the Charles B. Rangel School of Public Service at C.C.N.Y.
The company, Nabors Industries, was one of four corporations based in the United States that were widely criticized in 2002 and 2003 for opening offices in the Caribbean to reduce their federal tax payments. Mr. Rangel was among dozens of representatives from both parties who bitterly opposed those offshore moves and, in 2004, pushed unsuccessfully for legislation to make the companies pay more tax.But in 2007, when the United States Senate tried to crack down on the companies, Mr. Rangel, who had recently been sworn in as House Ways and Means chairman, fought to protect them. The tax shelter for the four companies was preserved, saving Nabors an estimated tens of millions of dollars annually and depriving the federal treasury of $1.1 billion in revenues over a decade, according to a Congressional analysis by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.
More from the NY Times no less.......
Friday, January 02, 2009
Yet how do you describe the current shenanigans of democratic appointments to the senate.
Riddle me this batman
In Illinois, you have a man appointed by the sitting governor with a decent resume of public service within the state.
In New York, it appears the governor will appoint a debutant who's never held a meaningful job for any extended period of time.
Yet the democratic senate leadership looks to bar entry to the chamber of which candidate?
Apparently, if you are a democrat it's more helpful to be a Kennedy than to actually have a job.
The aide familiar with Senate Democratic leaders' plans said if Burris tries to enter the Senate chamber, the Senate doorkeeper will stop Burris. If Burris were to persist, either trying to force his way onto the Senate floor or refusing to leave and causing a scene, U.S. Capitol Police would stop him, said the aide.
So at at time when there isn't a single black person in the U.S. Senate, a black man arrives at the doorway and means to go forward to take what he believes is his rightful seat...
The UC Bearcats weren't ready for prime time last night with their 20-7 loss to Va. Tech last night.
Regardless, it was water in the desert for those of us who have followed this team for years. Let's hope last night wasn't an aberration but a sign of times to come.
Congratulations to the team for a great season.
For a city thirsting for a winner, it was nice that it came from a team like the Bearcats.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
How is this possible? I mean it's supposed to be warming right?
Actually, I'd like to gloat but in reality it's like bragging about winning a coin flip. I mean the chances were 50-50 that cool would win the challenge.
Unless of course you're a Branch Gorevidian who believes in this global warming non sense. Then this has to be a shocker to your core. Kind of like killing yourself wearing purple Nikes only to find that comet really didn't mean the end of the world.
Now it is possible that Gordon's point scoring skewed the numbers in favor of the cool figures.
However, keep in mind that the warm figures included 10 extra points for record highs and zero for record lows.
None the less, I went back day to day and noted the average high and lows for the year.
The historic average high temperature at CVG is 64.1, for 2008 is was 63.8 a difference of .3 degrees cooler.
The historic average low is 44.4 degrees v. the 2008 average of 43.8 degrees, a difference of .6 degrees cooler.
No matter how you cut it, the temperatures were cooler despite claims of some warming.
At least this keeps liberals claims at a perfect 100% wrong.
But I'm willing to put my coin flip where my money is. Where is that little piss ant lib who mocked my challenge?
Here's your chance to take a conservative's money, you have to love that; at least if you have balls to take me up on the challenge.
However, I am changing the scoring this year.
I'm going to calculate the average high and lows for the month against the historic average high and lows. I'll assign one point for each for a total of 24 total points. I'll carry the decimal out to avoid any ties at the end of the month.
So what's it going to be punk?
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
- George Carlin
- Luther Vandross
- Tony Snow
- Paul Newman
- My old basketball buddies
- A great UC football season
Things I won't miss from 2008
- Hope and Change
- Bad UC basketball
- The Billary
- Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr.
- My significantly lower retirement account.
- John McCain
Unfortunately, one of the reasons I won't miss any of that second list is that they'll all still be around next year.
Please add to the list.
Ask yourself this question, if you go to the local social security office and ask how much money you have in your account what would they tell you?
I've been kicking in to social security for 30 years. I have yet to get an IRA like statement that says how much money I currently have in "my account".
Oh, for sure I get a statement every year telling me what my future retirement benefit will be. But what if I die tomorrow? How much of that money I kicked in over these 30 years do I get to pass on to my heirs? Prior to being married that answer was a big fat ZERO. As a result of getting married later in life, Mrs. Gekko will probably get none of my contributions.
Here's the wiki description of a Ponzi scheme......
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors out of the money paid by subsequent investors rather than from profit. The term "Ponzi scheme" is used primarily in the United States, while other English-speaking countries do not distinguish colloquially between this scheme and other pyramid schemes.
So you tell me, where is our money? I don't call boxes of IOU's from the same people we gave the money to an investment.
Let's put it another way. If everyone in the US quit working tomorrow and demanded their money, where is it?
As far as I'm concerned, each and every politician who oversees this actuarial nightmare is a worse human being then Bernard Madoff. Yet he'll get prison time.
The question? Is she qualified?
This answer is a slam dunk. Just ask yourself, is she a multi cellular organism? If the answer is yes, then of course, she's qualified to be a senator. Maybe not qualified to be the feces shoveler for a circus but senator? You betcha'.
Just look at what the "honorable" senate has brought us.
- Ponzi schemes called "Social Security" and "Medicare" that makes for about 1000 Bernard Madoff investment opportunities. And it's all legal.
- A member who dunked a poor young woman to death..... and still keeps his job.
- Tom Daschle
- A democrat who runs for the presidency as a republican.
- A president who never did his job as a senator.
- Bailouts for everyone but the people who need them.
So yes, I think Caroline Kennedy is more than qualified to deliver us more of the same. You know.
First, he is still governor of Illinois.
Second, while he has been charged with crimes he still has not been convicted of anything. What if the totality of the evidence is that Blago is not guilty of any of the charges against him? Are you telling me that we need to strip him of his governor duties, which includes appointment of the Illinois senator, without due process.
Third, my understanding is that Illinois has a procedure to remove Blago from office. They've known that this was a potential outcome for doing nothing and guess what? They've done nothing.
This indictment has been out there for over a month, how long does it take for a slam dunk to get done in the Illinois legislature?
Look, Blago is a narcissistic pile of excrement. That really doesn't make him different from any other democrat. Apparently, that alone doesn't qualify anyone from removal from office without exposing all Illinois democrats.
This whole escapade is a good reminder why government doesn't work.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Out in the "progressive" confines of California....
As more and more black renters began moving into this mostly white San Francisco Bay Area suburb a few years ago, neighbors started complaining about loud parties, mean pit bulls, blaring car radios, prostitution, drug dealing and muggings of schoolchildren.
In 2006, as the influx reached its peak, the police department formed a special crime-fighting unit to deal with the complaints, and authorities began cracking down on tenants in federally subsidized housing.
Now that police unit is the focus of lawsuits by black families who allege the city of 100,000 is orchestrating a campaign to drive them out.
"A lot of people are moving out here looking for a better place to live," said Karen Coleman, a mother of three who came here five years ago from a blighted neighborhood in nearby Pittsburg. "We are trying to raise our kids like everyone else. But they don't want us here."
With Kwame Kilpatrick in the hoosegow, the city needs a new mayor. Look at this fine list of candidates....
As the race to complete the term of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick speeds toward the Feb. 24 primary, tax liabilities are expected to come under scrutiny as 15 candidates seek to succeed a mayor whose fall from grace began when he used taxpayer money for private gain. Last week, for example, Dave Bing disclosed his personal income and challenged his opponents to do the same.
Bing, who moved to a Detroit condo this fall from Oakland County, paid $9,995, including $384 in interest, this month to settle property taxes on his home in Franklin. Campaign spokesman Cliff Russell said the bill was a "mishap" that was corrected once it was discovered.Last week, Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans paid $11,656 in delinquent summer taxes on his Washtenaw County horse farm. He bought the roughly 20-acre farm in 2001 for $590,000, according to property records. Tax bills on his three rental properties in Detroit and Grosse Pointe had already been up to date.
"It was an oversight," said Bob Berg, a spokesman for Evans' campaign. Evans rents an apartment in Detroit and that address is on his voter registration, but he uses the address for his farm, located along a gravel road in Salem Township, to register his motorcycle. It also is listed as the address on some of the mortgages and tax records for his business interests. Evans, who does not declare any of the properties as a primary residence to reduce his tax bill, paid the overdue bill after his campaign was contacted by The Detroit News.
Owing the most for unpaid income tax is candidate Duane Montgomery, an engineering consultant. According to liens filed by the IRS and the state of Michigan, he owes $34,697 in federal and Michigan income taxes. Montgomery outlines some of his woes on his Web site -- www.4etr.com -- that includes a receipt from the IRS stating he overpaid his federal taxes last year and the excess was used to reduce his debt.
"If there are skeletons in my closet, then they are listed here," writes Montgomery on the site. He didn't return phone calls seeking elaboration.
First-time candidate Jerroll Sanders, a businesswoman who recently moved to Michigan from Missouri, owes $19,650 in taxes, according to liens filed in St. Louis.
On Dec. 23, Sanders explained the liens as the result of "political malfeasance" waged against her by operatives in the federal government that began in 1999 when she lost a government contract. "We are going to slug this out," she said last week from a home she owns in Missouri.
Observers say the way candidates handle their tax obligations is a fair indicator of how seriously they take their role as public servants and how responsible they would be as mayor.
No, his silence should be interpreted as if things turn out badly in Israel, it's Bush's fault. If things work out well, he was right behind the real president; you know, the one who actually shows real leadership.
As the third day of Israeli air strikes drew to a close, Mr Obama continued his holiday in Hawaii with a game of golf, keeping his distance from reporters who might hurl a question at him.
Mr Obama does not become president for another three weeks and his aides argue that any comment by him could send mixed messages to the world about American foreign policy.
But Mr Obama's silence is being interpreted by many as an implicit agreement with President George W Bush's stance that the crisis is the fault of Hamas and that Israeli military action should not let up until the Islamist group agrees to stop firing rockets into Israel.
Here's a piece that lays it out pretty well....
In a city often known as the nation's murder capital, with over 10,000 unsolved murders dating back to 1960, the police are in shambles through cutbacks and corruption trials. (They have a profitable sideline, though, as one of the nation's largest gun dealers, having sold 14 tons of used weapons out-of-state.) Their response times are legendarily slow. Their crime lab is so inept that it has been closed. One Detroit man found police so unresponsive when trying to turn himself in for murder that he hopped a bus to Toledo and confessed there instead.Now ask yourself this question. Who runs Detroit? Looking at the information above, you would have to guess that republicans must have infiltrated the city in a covert attempt to create a cesspool.
Detroit schools haven't ordered new textbooks in 19 years. Students have reported having to bring their own toilet paper. Teachers have reported bringing hammers to class for protection. Declining enrollment has forced 67 school closures since 2005 (more than a quarter of the city's schools). The graduation rate is 24.9 percent, the lowest of any large school district in the country. Not for nothing did one frustrated activist start pelting school board members with grapes during a meeting. She probably should've reached for something heavier.
An internal audit, which was 14 months late, estimates next year's city deficit to be as high as $200 million (helped along by $335,000 embezzled from the Department of Health and Wellness Promotion). With a dwindling tax base--even the city's three once-profitable casinos are seeing a downturn in revenues (the Greektown Casino is in bankruptcy)--the city has kicked around every money-making scheme from selling off ownership rights to the tunnel it shares with neighboring Windsor, Canada, to a fast food tax. It's perhaps unsurprising that Detroit now has the most speed traps in the nation.
It also has one of the highest property tax rates in Michigan, yet has over 60,000 vacant dwellings (a guesstimate--nobody keeps official count), meaning real estate values are in the toilet. Over the summer, the Detroit News sent a headline around the world, about a Detroit house that was for sale for $1. But it's not even that uncommon. As of this writing, there are at least five $1 homes for sale in Detroit.
Or you could guess that democrats run the city. The same party that seems to have its fingerprints on any cesspool around the country.
Given that Jack Bauer couldn't find a republican in the city with a GPS tracking system, I think it's safe to answer democrat on this one.
What's so "progressive" about an armpit?
Some fellows with a paper about the New York State residency laws.
Without question, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has the most advanced residency audit program in the nation. We would hazard to guess that the department, whether out of necessity -- because so many taxpayers in the New York region have, at least allegedly, questionable residency issues -- or sheer force of will, does more auditing of taxpayers on residency issues than does any other state, and perhaps more than all states combined. So, like it or not, that is an area with which practitioners have to be conversant. And given that this column is generally devoted to tax practice issues (with a focus on New York), We thought it a good time for a nuts-and-bolts discussion about what a residency audit is all about.
Of course, the focus here will be on New York's rules and procedures, but the department generally follows the outlines of the 1996 North Eastern State Tax Officials Association cooperative agreement regarding domicile, statutory residence, and allocation, in which 13 states pledged to focus on the same primary factors for considering a person's domicile status. So the analysis in this article will likely be helpful in addressing other states' residency audits as well.
I wonder how many of the thirteen states noted above are red states (I know Ohio is one of the states mentioned). Sounds like Cuba to me.
Here's an idea. Create an environment where businesses and people want to reside and then you won't have to spend so many resources on this kind of waste.
It's easy to blame the problems of the Detroit Three on their CEOs. Yet the three leaders come from different business backgrounds, with only Rick Wagoner at GM an industry man. Alan Mulally was a star at Boeing and has only two years at Ford. Robert Nardelli comes from General Electric by way of retailing (Home Depot), and has only about a year at Chrysler.
How is it that successful executives become so unsuccessful as soon as they move to Detroit? Also, how can we explain that whenever GM, Ford and Chrysler leave our shores, they compete well in foreign markets as varied as Europe, South America and China? What makes them viable competitors as soon as they cross the border?
One can point to state franchise laws, or to the federal government's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations. But the most striking difference appears to be that the Detroit Three are unionized, and the foreign transplants are, overwhelmingly, not. (The exceptions are the transplants that have historic ties to the Detroit Three, like NUMMI, the GM-Toyota venture in California.) Yet the issue can't just be about wage rates. The foreign transplants pay well, and the UAW has given significant concessions in recent bargaining.
It is perhaps the mode of doing business in a unionized company that remains a crippling disadvantage. The UAW is arguably the most successful industrial union of all time. But its very strength has allowed it to permeate into every aspect of manufacturing in the Detroit Three.
The collective bargaining agreement with the UAW is a heavily negotiated document the size of a small telephone book. It is virtually identical for each of the Detroit Three, owing to "pattern" bargaining, but it doesn't exist at all in their U.S. competition, the nonunionized transplants. Not only work rules, but fundamental business decisions to sell, close or spin-off plants are forbidden without permission. That permission may come, but only at a price, since everything that affects the workplace must be negotiated.
Both the UAW and the Detroit Three maintain large staffs of lawyers, contract administrators, and financial and human-resources representatives whose principal job is to negotiate with the other side. These staffs are at all levels, from the factory floor to corporate headquarters and the UAW's "Solidarity House" in downtown Detroit.The collective bargaining agreements are now renegotiated every four years; in each negotiation the power and penetration of the union grows. If the company asks to change the flow of work for any reason, from cost-savings to vehicle improvements, the local union president will listen politely, and then say something like, "We can help you with this, but what's in it for my guys?"
Typically, he will have a list of things he wants, some understandable (better cafeterias) some questionable (hire my nephew), but there is always a quid pro quo. These mutually sustaining bureaucracies exist to negotiate with each other.
Individuals, companies or cities with heavy debt and shrinking revenues instinctively know that they must reduce spending, tighten their belts, pay down debt and live within their means. But it is axiomatic in Keynesianism that national governments can create and sustain economic activity by injecting printed money into the financial system. In their view, absent the stimuli of the New Deal and World War II, the Depression would never have ended.
On a gut level, we have a hard time with this concept. There is a vague sense of smoke and mirrors, of something being magically created out of nothing. But economics, we are told, is complicated.
It would be irresponsible in the extreme for an individual to forestall a personal recession by taking out newer, bigger loans when the old loans can't be repaid. However, this is precisely what we are planning on a national level.
I believe these ideas hold sway largely because they promise happy, pain-free solutions. They are the economic equivalent of miracle weight-loss programs that require no dieting or exercise. The theories permit economists to claim mystic wisdom, governments to pretend that they have the power to dispel hardship with the whir of a printing press, and voters to believe that they can have recovery without sacrifice.
As a follower of the Austrian School of economics I believe that market forces apply equally to people and nations. The problems we face collectively are no different from those we face individually. Belt tightening is required by all, including government.
Governments cannot create but merely redirect. When the government spends, the money has to come from somewhere. If the government doesn't have a surplus, then it must come from taxes. If taxes don't go up, then it must come from increased borrowing. If lenders won't lend, then it must come from the printing press, which is where all these bailouts are headed. But each additional dollar printed diminishes the value those already in circulation. Something cannot be effortlessly created from nothing.
The score to the Global Warming Challenge
I'll have some interesting factoids about the numbers on New Year's Day along with a new challenge if some liberal has the balls to take me up on it.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Now the president-elect appears increasingly conscious of the confines of his new position, bristling at the routine demands of press coverage and beginning to chafe at boundaries that are only going to get smaller.
These guys marketed this clown like a rock star, now they don't like that he's being treated as one?
Welcome to the NFL. You better grow a set.
"I'm really coming into this as somebody who isn't, you know, part of the system, who obviously, you know, stands for the values of, you know, the Democratic Party," Kennedy told the Daily News Saturday during a wide-ranging interview.
"I know how important it is to, you know, to be my own person. And, you know, and that would be obviously true with my relationship with the mayor."
"Andrew is, you know, highly qualified for this job," she said. "He's doing a, you know, a great job as attorney general, and we've spoken throughout this process."
"You know, I think, you know, we're sort of, uh, sharing some of this experience. And um, as I've said, he was a friend, a family member, and um so, and uh obviously, he's, you know, he's also had an impressive career in public office."
More "you know's" here....
And those upper west side elites made fun of Palin you know.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The hilarious Denver gun buy back program. Basically, how to recycle your old, non functioning gun. Here...,.
2008, the year Global Warming was disproved. Here...
Israel finally made good on a promise... Here...
Africa needs God? From an atheist. Here.....
Thomas Sowell, Postponing Reality.
San Fransisco names a sewage plant after Bush. Kosovo names a street.
For a guy who's done nothing wrong, why does Obama have all these Blago lawyers?
How the Branch Gorevidians explain the earth's cooling.
The writer's to the Sesame Street theme want the feds to quit using it as a means of torture. When will they quit torturing parents with it?
Nut hugger gym shorts..... check
Sony Walkman..... check
You whip out that Walkman and decide that the Carpenter's Greatest Love Song mix tape you made for your college girlfriend is probably not going to motivate you to do an hour on the treadmill.
What do you do?
First, don't panic.
Second, go buy some new gym shorts that don't have you looking like Larry Bird in his last championship.
Third, burn the leg warmers and sweatbands.
Finally, go buy yourself one of these new mp3 player things.
Let me give you a list of what I think are the best 15 songs to get you through the burn.
1) Welcome to the Jungle, Guns and Roses. This song will get the juices flowing right out of the gate. Those Axl Rose wails will have you feel like your running from some deranged cyclops.
(for a change of pace go with Paradise City).
2) Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen. Hey, the title says it all (c.o.p No Surrender, Badlands).
3) Long Train Running, Doobie Brothers. You'll be singing right along with this one. Hopefully, that person next to you can't hear it (c.o.p. China Grove)
4) Train Kept a Rollin', Aerosmith. Hey, you're rollin'. Keep rollin'. (c.o.p. Dream On, Mama Kin)
5) Superman (Live), The Kinks. Nothing like a song describing your "old bony knees" to get you fired up. But the guitar rift in this song will definitely have you moving. (c.o.p. All Day and All of the Night, You Really Got Me).
6) In Bloom, Nirvana. Again, a power rift that will knock the sweat off of your face. (c.o.p Smells Like Teen Spirit, Lithium).
7) Achille's Last Stand, Led Zeppelin. This song is right in the middle of that workout. And just like your workout, you think it's just about over right in time for a even bigger stampede of sound. (c.o.p. Trampled Under Foot, Whole Lotta Love).
8) Needle and the Spoon (live), Lynyrd Skynyrd. Sure, it's a song about shooting heroin..... you're running...... about the same.
9) Rock and Roll (live), Heart. My way of getting another Led song on the list. None the less, A great cover and a drum solo that will have your heart pounding. (c.o.p Magic Man).
10) If You want Blood, AC/DC. This is you talking to your treadmill. (c.o.p. Whole Lotta Rosie, TNT).
11) That Smell, 3 Doors Down. Another Lynyrd Skynyrd song about heroin. Is there a connection? (c.o.p. Kryptonite (Live)).
12) Land of Confusion, Disturbed. An old Genesis cover and I like the song.
13) Paranoid, Black Sabbath. Just because your paranoid doesn't mean someone's not following you (c.o.p. Iron Man).
14) Gimme Shelter, The Rolling Stones. You're almost done. Just think, Mick burns more calories in a show than you just did..... and he's 60 (c.o.p Sympathy for the Devil).
15) You Could be Mine, GNR. Another spoon of H waiting for you. this song's your way of saying F off (c.o.p. Civil War).
There you have it. Load these songs and you burn 100 calories just listening to them or you'll have this unusual craving for coke and heroin.
It's probably no coincidence that some of the most economically challenged areas of this country play some of the worst football in the country.
The question for Bengal fans remains, do you continue to put money into the hands of a first hand pile of crap (Mike Brown) for fear that you won't have a shot at tickets in some imaginary playoff year.
Well, let's do the math. A Bengal's season ticket is between $600 - $1,000 (includes the price of those God awful preseason games).
Given that the beagles are three seasons away from being competitive again, you could save your money for the next two years and get back in, even with a new seat license.
Or you could invest that money into Bearcat season tickets which will cost you about $200 a ticket and actually enjoy a quality team.
You decide; be an enabler to a continual shit product on the field or make a stand for some real change.
Speaking of shit product, nice to see the Bears show up large on a game that counts.