Archive for October, 2008

Happy Halloween 0

Click the picture for an entertaining Fark thread [pic source].


Cat-vid tennis 2

The return for this from my sister

is below…

The Price of Gas 0

Consumerist takes a look at why you tithe for refined petroleum.

One of my favorite sections:

To ensure pricing continuity, refiners used to call each other and share pricing information. Activist judges on the Supreme Court called this “collusion.” The refiners, unfazed by the justices, came up with a crafty alternative: publicly posting their rack prices. Somehow, the Ninth Circuit Court found this to be illegal, too. Nobody knows how refiners discuss their pricing arrangements nowadays, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it involved a members-only group on Facebook.

Bailing on the Bail 0

Just scroll down the page for Part 1 of this probably endless series of lunacy that is the Great Bailout, That Must Happen IMMEDIATELY, of Really Dishonest and Stupid Investment Banks of 2008.

Part 2 is where the executives of the Really Dishonest and Stupid Investment Banks decide they may not want the money due to compensation restrictions.

Yes, you read that right. Read the rest at The Guardian.

Late Update – Part 3 seems to be where the crisis goes global.

German Hawkeye Fans React 0

Ye gods, this is hilarious.

Thanks to Mr. Tommy Lang for passing this one along.

Bailed 1

The ‘free market’ costs people that won’t profit from it $700 Billion. Largest transfer of wealth ever.

From a different article (I received this over IM):

Edmonds said Jackson was changing his vote because “he received assurances from (Sen. Barack Obama) that, if elected, his administration will aggressively use authority in the bill to prevent foreclosures and stabilize the housing market.”

I’ll keep on watching for that one…

Fucking wankers. Welcome to your Corporate Representative Democracy. Please shut up and continue consuming while your CEOs and investment bankers find the next way to pick your pocket.

Agora Financial (site struggling under digg/reddit effect) breaks it down:

What started as a three-page “blank check” request for $700 billion to buy “toxic” assets on Wall Street, has now passed the Senate as a 451-page pork-laden piece of detritus. Ian sifted through the table of contents for tax exemptions and picked out a few of his favorites:

Sec. 101: Extension of alternative minimum tax relief for nonrefundable personal credits.
Sec. 102: Extension of increased alternative minimum tax exemption amount.
Sec. 201: Deduction for state and local sales taxes.
Sec. 202: Deduction of qualified tuition and related expenses.
Sec. 203: Deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers.
Sec. 204: Additional standard deduction for real property taxes for nonitemizers.
Sec. 205: Tax-free distributions from individual retirement plans for charitable purposes.
Sec. 304: Extension of look-thru rule for related controlled foreign corporations.
Sec. 305: Extension of 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements and qualified restaurant improvements; 15-year straight-line cost recovery for certain improvements to retail space.
Sec. 307: Basis adjustment to stock of S corporations making charitable contributions of property.
Sec. 308: Increase in limit on cover over of rum excise tax to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Sec. 309: Extension of economic development credit for American Samoa.
Sec. 310: Extension of mine rescue team training credit.
Sec. 311: Extension of election to expense advanced mine safety equipment.
Sec. 312: Deduction allowable with respect to income attributable to domestic production activities in Puerto Rico.
Sec. 314: Indian employment credit.
Sec. 315: Accelerated depreciation for business property on Indian reservations.
Sec. 316: Railroad track maintenance.
Sec. 317: Seven-year cost recovery period for motorsports racing track facility.
Sec. 318: Expensing of environmental remediation costs.
Sec. 319: Extension of work opportunity tax credit for Hurricane Katrina employees.
Sec. 320: Extension of increased rehabilitation credit for structures in the Gulf Opportunity Zone.
Sec. 321: Enhanced deduction for qualified computer contributions.
Sec. 322: Tax incentives for investment in the District of Columbia.
Sec. 323: Enhanced charitable deductions for contributions of food inventory.
Sec. 324: Extension of enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of book inventory.
Sec. 325: Extension and modification of duty suspension on wool products; wool research fund; wool duty refunds.
Sec. 401: Permanent authority for undercover operations [as related to tax provisions].
Sec. 402: Permanent authority for disclosure of information relating to terrorist activities [as related to tax provisions].
Sec. 501: $8,500 income threshold used to calculate refundable portion of child tax credit.
Sec. 502: Provisions related to film and television productions.
Sec. 503: Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children.
Sec. 504: Income averaging for amounts received in connection with the Exxon Valdez litigation.
Sec. 505: Certain farming business machinery and equipment treated as five-year property.
Sec. 506: Modification of penalty on understatement of taxpayer’s liability by tax return preparer.
Sec. 601: Secure rural schools and community self-determination program.
Sec. 602: Transfer to abandoned mine reclamation fund.
Sec. 702: Temporary tax relief for areas damaged by 2008 Midwestern severe storms, tornados and flooding.
Sec. 704: Temporary tax-exempt bond financing and low-income housing tax relief for areas.
Sec. 709: Waiver of certain mortgage revenue bond requirements following federally declared disasters.
Sec. 710: Special depreciation allowance for qualified disaster property.
Sec. 711: Increased expensing for qualified disaster assistance property

There’s a lot of good stuff at that link, so stop over.  I can’t help but do one more grab:

“The bottom line is that the U.S. is now at the edge of an economic Tsushima,” writes Byron King. Tsushima?

“That was the epic battle fought at sea in May 1905, when the Japanese navy annihilated a Russian fleet off the shores of Korea. It was a defining moment of the last century, when the rest of the world realized that Europeans and their weapons and policies could be defeated. Many of the ‘liberation movements’ of the 20th century (from Indochina and the Philippines to Persia and Egypt) trace their roots to the symbolism of Tsushima.

The soon-to-be dollar’s comparative worth: