Bowing to political reality, Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, said the Senate would not take up legislation intended to reduce carbon emissions blamed as a cause of climate change, but would instead pursue a more limited measure focused on responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and tightening energy efficiency standards.
“We know where we are,” Mr. Reid told reporters after reviewing the state of energy legislation with Senate Democrats and administration officials. “We know that we don’t have the votes.”
Let's summarize. The U.S. political system is unable to address the existing, nascent consequences of anthropogenic climate change, much less its long-term future consequences. It's only able to react to absolutely undeniable complete catastrophes by dealing with their effects, not even their causes.
Convicted felon Byron Williams loaded up his mother's Toyota Tundra
with guns, strapped on his body armor and headed to San Francisco late
Saturday night with one thing in mind: to kill workers at the American
Civil Liberties Union and an environmental foundation, prosecutors say.
Williams, an anti-government zealot on parole for bank robbery, had
hoped to "start a revolution" with the bloodshed at the ACLU and the
Tides Foundation in San Francisco, authorities said.
But before he made it to the city, Williams was stopped at early
Sunday by California Highway Patrol officers for speeding and driving
erratically on westbound Interstate 580 west of Grand Avenue in Oakland.
Police say he then initiated a chaotic, 12-minute gunbattle
with officers, firing a 9mm handgun, a .308-caliber rifle and a shotgun.
He reloaded his weapons when he ran out of ammunition and stopped only
after officers shot him in areas of his body not covered by his
bullet-resistant vest, authorities said.
Good thing he's not a leftist or a Muslim or then we'd never hear the end of it.
[B]eginning in 2012 all companies will have to issue 1099 tax forms not
just to contract workers but to any individual or corporation from which
they buy more than $600 in goods or services in a tax year.
The stealth change radically alters the nature of 1099s and means
businesses will have to issue millions of new tax documents each year.
now, the IRS Form 1099 is used to document income for individual
workers other than wages and salaries. Freelancers receive them each
year from their clients, and businesses issue them to the independent
contractors they hire.
But under the new rules, if a
freelance designer buys a new iMac from the Apple Store, they'll have to
send Apple a 1099. A laundromat that buys soap each week from a local
distributor will have to send the supplier a 1099 at the end of the year
tallying up their purchases.
What possible connection does this have to health care? It turns out, it's just budgetary. Requiring the issuance of 1099s by all businesses to virtually everyone it buys from is supposed to (a) deter businesses from expensing things that aren't really deductible and (b) help catch people and businesses which are underreporting income. This allowed an increased revenue projection that would offset part of the cost of the bill.
As I said, this is insane. The bookkeeping requirements alone are impossible. Tracking expenditures by vendor is just beyond the ability of most small businesses, not to mention getting and recording taxpayer ID numbers. Can you imagine? "Who was that guy we hired to paint the outside of the building? I can't remember. Wasn't he somebody's cousin?"
If this isn't repealed, the net result is that hundreds of millions of additional tax documents will be generated every year. As far as I know, even that number might be understated. This means that before filing a tax return, every business will have to wait for their 1099s to come in from every business customer - even if they don't anticipate a 1099 from a particular person because they didn't know they were buying for a business purpose!
The example of a coffeeshop is illustrative. If I buy coffee for clients throughout the year and expense it, eventually I will get over $600. I have to issue a 1099 to Starbucks?? Apparently so. Okay, so it's February and I need the taxpayer ID number and corporate mailing address from the coffeeshop. Right now, in a 1099 situation, you have the payee complete a form giving you that info, and it isn't onerous because it's rare. Is every Starbucks going to have that info posted in the window now? Because remember, I have to repeat this process with every vendor, and every vendor has to provide the information to every customer.
I can't just rely on the name of the place to determine whether I have to issue a 1099. Some restaurants are owned by franchisees, others owned by the franchisor. If I go to 19 different places with the same name on the door throughout the year, I'd have to figure out which are owned by whom to determine if they get a 1099! And businesses change hands all the time. What if the taxpayer ID number changes during the middle of the year because the place got sold? Assume I spent $400 there when it was owned by the first company and another $400 when it was owned by the second. Total expenditures for the year at that place are over $600, but the corporate identity of the vendor has changed. Issue a 1099 or not? Also, the first company has gone out of business. What's the point?
Either businesses will spend thousands of dollars dealing with this crap or they will just ignore the whole thing and pray they don't get caught. I don't know what's worse. Of course, if any small business with a decent amount of income doesn't file thousands of 1099s, the IRS will immediately suspect something is up. It's like the Form 27B/6 from Brazil.
Instead of blanketing the country in paper, if you need to raise revenue to pay for the law, then do it some other way.
Williams' mother, Janice Williams of Groveland, said her son
had been living next door and taking care of her father's house and
land. She said he had been released from prison about 2 1/2 years ago
after a felony conviction, which she declined to describe, and had
almost completed his parole.
"He hasn't been able to get a job because he's an ex-felon and nobody
will hire him," she said.
She said her son, who had been a carpenter and a cabinetmaker before
his imprisonment, was angry about his unemployment and about "what's
happening to our country."
Williams watched the news on television and was upset by "the way
Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items," his
She said she had planned to make salsa with her son on Sunday and was
making preparations when she got a call from a television reporter,
looked out the window and saw that her pickup truck was gone.
She said she then checked the locked safe where she kept her guns,
all legally purchased and owned, and found that they were also missing.
Janice Williams said she kept the guns because "eventually, I think
we're going to be caught up in a revolution." But she said she had told
her son many times that "he didn't have to be on the front lines."
Hmm, let's guess what his felony conviction was for. A hate crime, perhaps?
Earlier, a BP official had said the early results on the capped well
were heartening and that there were no signs of oil leaking. Kent Wells,
a senior vice president, said the pressure inside the well had built
up steadily after valves on the cap were closed, as engineers had hoped
Admiral Allen said that such a pressure buildup suggested that the well
was not damaged. But he said that the pressure level reached — about
6,700 pounds per square inch, or more than 450 times atmospheric
pressure — was below that expected for an intact well.
One explanation for the ambiguity, he said, is that the reservoir of
oil 13,000 feet below the seabed could have been depleted by the well as
it galloped out of control for nearly three months. But another
possibility is that the well is breached, with oil and gas escaping into
the rock or, worse, into the gulf through the sea floor.
A duck boat packed with tourists was hit by a city-owned barge this
afternoon sending 37 adults and children into the waters of the Delaware
River near Penns Landing.
Two passengers are missing, a 16-year-old girl and a 20-year-old man,
both tourists from Hungary. Police divers entered the river about 5:30
p.m. to search for the victims. ...
The duck boat - operated by Ride the Ducks - launched just south of the
Benjamin Franklin Bridge and encountered mechanical difficulties and a
fire that forced it to shut down, said Police Department spokesman Lt.
"The boat was sitting on the water waiting for help," Vanore said.
I can only guess that the disabled vessel had no way of signaling the tug pushing the barge that it was adrift. If that's so, I think it's criminal.
Duck boats are amphibious trucks that resemble World War II-era DUKW; however, the tourist craft are modern vessels. They have very shallow freeboard for their weight and consequently have to make way to ensure stability, especially in rough water. The disabled duck boat was therefore very vulnerable to sinking if it collided with another vessel, which is what happened.
Zoe Strauss, professional photographer and one of the best people in the world, is trying to fund a trip to the Gulf of Mexico to record what's going on. She went down after Hurricane Katrina and this is what the Whitney had to say:
Some images verge on abstraction— a tangle
of twisted window blinds in one shot occupies the whole field of the
picture— but most bluntly document the damage wrought on humans and
buildings. Volunteers pass bottles of water in a bucket brigade; piles
of ruined belongings surround a leveled home; and the golden arches of a
McDonald's sign are bent almost beyond recognition. Strauss has a keen
sense of urban semiotics: a graffitied warning on a shuttered warehouse
declares "Looters will be shot!" while the high-contrast gridded facade
of an anodyne apartment building bears the poignant handwritten message
"Mom Were [sic] OK."
Please help Zoe get down to the Gulf by giving here.
I guess this is real. I guess. It looks really stupid, though, and that reminds me that the CIA used to covertly fund all these left-wing rags back in the day so they could keep an eye on the true believers and occasionally hear some gossip from Moscow.
Anyway. I gotta go make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom.
Based on the ads alone, I thought this device was doomed:
In what may be one of the biggest blunders in mobile phone history, Microsoft has decided to immediately halt production on its line of Kin phones after it showed extremely disappointing sales.
The Kin line launched just 48 days ago and was sort of a bridge between
Microsoft's old mobile phone platform and the upcoming Windows Phone 7
operating system. However, despite a very large marketing budget and a lot of effort in
research and development, sales were really poor.
The name was weird, too. "The Kin"? Doesn't it sound like a horror movie? Maybe it was a horror movie. All I know from the ad I saw is that it was a device that allowed annoying-looking 20-somethings to post that they were going to see The Roots on all possible social networking sites simultaneously. I thought, wow, they have as much contempt for their target market as I do - and then I remembered, Microsoft, duh.