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Archive for August, 2009

Now They Have Issues With Cyber-Squatting

I’m sorry, knowing the ownership history of www.johngard.com like I do, posts like this make me laugh.

The Wisconsin GOP won’t have U.S. Atty Stephen Biskupic around to do their dirty work in the 2010 election.

But they don’t need him to take the low road.

Here’s a sign of the campaign we should expect.

Apparently, the Republican Party of Wisconsin is buying up the Internet domain names to trip up a Congressman Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) run for Governor in 2010.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin’s mob has reserved the following sites:

RonKindForGovernor.com (WhoIs.net)
KindForWisconsin.com (WhoIs.net)
KindForGovernor.com (WhoIs.net)

What do these guys think they are accomplishing by this cheap stunt?

Is the GOP really that afraid of a fair and open election? Pathetic.

Oh MAL, MAL, MAL, MAL…please quit your bitching.  Cyber-squatting is part of the game now, if Kind’s potential campaign team hadn’t grabbed these by now that’s their fault.  Kudos I say to Mark Jefferson and the crew at RPW for being on the ball.

Besides, my guess is Kind will stick with the URL he’s been using for years to run his Congressional re-election campaigns for any sort of gubernatorial run to save money and avoid confusion: www.ronkind.org.

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China Now World’s Leading Exporter

This isn’t really unexpected news, it just happened a few years sooner than many experts predicted.

For the first time, China overtook Germany as the world’s biggest exporter during the first half of 2009, the World Trade Organization reported Tuesday.

From January through June 2009, China’s total export volume amounted to $521.7 billion, slightly exceeding Germany’s exports, which totaled $521.6 billion.

Germany has long been the biggest exporter of goods and services but has been closely followed by China in recent years. In 2007, Germany exported $1.32 trillion of goods over the full year while China’s exports reached $1.22 trillion, according to the WTO. However, between 2000 and 2007 China’s exports grew by an average annual rate of 25 percent, while Germany’s exports grew by only 13 percent a year.

A WTO spokesperson said China and Germany remain very close in the competition, and it is too soon to say if China will overtake Germany as the world’s largest goods exporter for all of 2009. The final results will depend on several unknown factors, including foreign exchange rates and the pace of economic recovery in the various markets that buy exports from China and Germany in coming months.

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Cartoon of the Day

It’s okay folks, they just gave the left over wing William F. Buckley didn’t want.


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The Absent-Minded Congressman

Great editorial in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal. It’s currently available online.

Remember, this man writes America’s tax laws.  (No doubt I’ll be called a racist for simply mentioning his misdeeds.  Ain’t that right Renee?)

When normal people happen to “find” their own money, it might mean a twenty left in a winter coat, or discovering change beneath the sofa cushions. But if you’re Charlie Rangel, it means doubling your net worth.

Earlier this month the Chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee “amended” his 2007 financial disclosure form—to the tune of more than a half-million dollars in previously unreported assets and income. That number may be as high as $780,000, because Congress’s ethics rules only require the Members to report their finances within broad ranges. This voyage of personal financial discovery brings Mr. Rangel’s net worth for 2007 to somewhere between $1.028 million and $2.495 million, while his previous statement came in at $516,015 and $1.316 million.

When you’re a powerful Congressman and working diligently to increase tax rates to pay for President Obama’s health-care plan, we suppose it’s easy to lose track of one of your checking accounts. That would be the one at the federal credit union with a balance somewhere between $250,001 and maybe as high as $500,000. And when you’re crunched for time and pulling together bills to pass in a rush, we guess, too, that you might overlook several other investment accounts, even if some of them are sizable, such as the ones Mr. Rangel missed at JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Oppenheimer and BlackRock.

Oh, and those vacant properties in Glassboro, in southern Jersey? Everybody in Manhattan tries not to think much about New Jersey, so those lots and their as-much-as-$15,000 value must also have slipped down the memory hole. (The New York Post reported yesterday that Mr. Rangel failed to pay property taxes for two of the lots, according to the county clerk’s office.)

The Chairman probably isn’t doing a lot of dining at KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell or Long John Silver’s, either, which may explain why he didn’t disclose the $1,001 to $15,000 in stock he owns in Yum Brands, the conglomerate that runs those chain restaurants. Compared to his undisclosed portfolio stake in PepsiCo—$15,001 to $50,000—that’s practically a rounding error.

All lawmakers amend their financial reports from time to time, though rarely are the errors this extensive. Via email, a Rangel spokesman declined to offer details about how the errors occurred, noting that “Once the Ethics Committee completes its work, then we can answer questions in more detail.” He added that Mr. Rangel is now “confident that his records have been subjected to an exhaustive and complete review, and that the amendments accurately reflect his financial interests.”

Among other issues, Mr. Rangel is currently under investigation regarding his use of four rent-stabilized apartments at New York City’s tony Lenox Terrace and soliciting donations with his official letterhead for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York, which was itself built with a $1.9 million earmark. Yet another part of the probe is his failure to report $75,000 in income from a rental villa at the beachfront Punta Cana Yacht Club, in the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Rangel blamed that last one on the language barrier because he doesn’t speak Spanish. We can only imagine what language he speaks with his accountants and tax attorneys.

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The Bills Still Suck

William Jacobson lays out what’s happened in the past four days in the health care debate.  In terms of actual changes to the legislation, deals struck behind closed doors, and so on, there isn’t much.

All that’s occurred is the long expected and tragic news of Ted Kennedy’s succumbing to a malignant brain tumor Tuesday night.  After that, not much.

As of August 24, 2009, the two Democratic draft health care restructuring bills were horrible monstrosities which contained a myriad of pernicious tax and other provisions which put at risk the well-being of hundreds of millions of Americans while doing precious little to help the 10-15 million chronically uninsured. For the reasons repeatedly posted here, the bills stank and had little chance of passing due to opposition from Republicans, Independents, and moderate Democrats.

On August 25, 2009, Ted Kennedy died.

On August 26, 2009, liberal Democrats decided to use Kennedy’s death as a rallying call to get the bills passed.

As of August 27, 2009, the two draft health care restructuring bills still stink. Kennedy’s death may have changed the politics, but it didn’t change the bills.

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The Brett Favre System

Caught this while watching the Little League World Series the other night.

Frickin Hilarious.

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Members of Mercury Union Looking into Possible 2nd Vote

Well, we’ll see how this goes in coming days.

The union at Mercury Marine that rejected some wage and benefit concessions is researching whether a second vote is possible.

Dan Longsine is the lead negotiator for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local 1947. He said Wednesday he was unsure whether a second vote could be called without any changes in the deal.

But he says the boat engine maker has offered to provide some written clarifications regarding some of wording in the contract.

Longsine says more than 70 percent of those voting Sunday rejected concessions that Mercury Marine says it needs or many of the 850 manufacturing jobs will be moved to a nonunion plant in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Longsine says he knows some members are having second thoughts and many expected a second vote.

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Cartoon of the Day


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Dumbass of the Week

I don’t condone college binge drinking, but I think there’s a lot more out there in the world the Federal Trade Commission should be keeping us safe from than college-colored beer cans.

A Federal Trade Commission attorney criticized a controversial Anheuser-Busch InBev NV marketing campaign that features Bud Light cans decorated with college-team colors, urging the brewer to drop any plans for similar promotions.

Janet Evans, a senior FTC attorney who oversees alcohol advertising, says the federal agency has “grave concern” that the campaign could encourage underage and binge drinking on college campuses. Dozens of schools have protested the promotion, with some threatening legal action over trademark issues.

“This does not appear to be responsible activity,” Ms. Evans said in an interview Monday.

The only issue here is one of potential trademark violations in mass; the FTC is pushing it in the area of beer advertising.

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Cartoon of the Day

Hey, a way to solve the Gitmo Problem!


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