Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ACORN's Wealth Redistribution Problem

It would seem that ACORN, champion of "social justice" aka "wealth redistribution" has a small problem with wealth redistribution, specifically THEIR wealth being redistributed. ACORN and it's network of front organizations has over 230 tax liens amounting to over $3.7 million dollars, dating as far back as the 1980's on their office in New Orleans. 75 have been "released" meaning the taxes were either paid in full or some form of negotiated settlement was reached, but the remaining are still delinquent and active. The liens include ones from the IRS as well as 15 states. Mind you, the organization received $31 million from the US Government, but yet they owe the government millions in back taxes.

H/T NetRightNation

Profitability Matrix for Select OPEC countries

Q & O blog ran across some interesting data from Forbes Magazine. Actually it is from PFC Consultants in Washington DC. It is a profitability matrix for select OPEC countries, showing how much money they must sell a barrel of oil for to make a profit, not just today, but next year and the year after as well as how much it USED to take to make a profit. The one country that is notably absent from the matrix is Russia. Granted they are not OPEC members, but it would be very telling I think if they were listed as well. It shows that both Iran and Venezuela are in a world of hurt right now. Both have heavily borrowed against their petro-dollars and now find themselves upside down on their profitability curves. That will have long term impacts on the governments of those two countries. I suspect Russia finds itself in the same boat which would explain the overt coziness Russia has shown towards both regimes. Point of reference, as of the moment, WTI Cushing spot price is at $63.58 a barrel.

OPEC Country20002007200820092010
Saudi Arabia20.5642.8642.8650.7454.26

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Homosexuality, Pedophilia...and Obama?

Numerous studies have shown a causal link between being molested as a child and homosexuality as an adult. It has also been implicated as a causal factor for depression, drug abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder in the victims of abuse. Senator Obama may have been molested by a friend of his father's over a long period. Larry Sinclair insists that Obama picked him up and engaged in drug use and homosexual acts. Senator Obama admits to drug abuse when he was younger although he insists he has not used drugs in years. While there is no smoking gun evidence, it would appear to me that there is a growing body of circumstantial evidence that Senator Obama is not of sound mind and may be wracked with depression and guilt and conflicting sexual identity. If this is the case, while I pity the man for his affliction, I cannot help but think that elevating him to the highest office in the land is a recipe for disaster. It would leave him vulnerable to blackmail.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

FBI has launched an investigation of ACORN

It would seem that Senator Cornyn's letter (among others) had an effect. The DoJ has reportedly launched an investigation into nationwide widespread voter fraud perpetrated by ACORN. But the question is this: Is this too little, too late? Will it matter after the Obamamessiah coronation? Or will the new AG, handpicked by the Obamamessiah, tell the FBI to go away? I'm not holding my breath. 2008 is the year of the death of the Republic.

H/T Michelle Malkin

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

One Third of All New Registered Voters in Ohio Have Discrepancies

666,000 voters have registered to vote in Ohio since January. 200,000 of them have something wrong with their registration. Some may be misspellings, some may not even exist. The Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, had violated Ohio and Federal law by bypassing all of the database checks that the federal government mandates. The 6th Court of Appeals sided with the Ohio GOP and ordered Brunner to comply with Federal law.

Sen. Cornyn Seeks Nationwide Federal Probe of ACORN

Here is the letter sent to AG Mukasey
The Honorable Michael B. Mukasey Attorney General U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear General Mukasey:

I am increasingly concerned by reports of widespread election fraud by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now ("ACORN"), which seem to emerge on a daily basis.

Specifically, I call your attention to state and local investigations into potentially hundreds of thousands of fraudulent voter registration applications filed by ACORN in North Carolina, Ohio, Nevada, Michigan, Florida, New Mexico, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Washington, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and my home state of Texas. In Harris County, Texas, which includes the City of Houston, election officials either rejected or discovered serious deficiencies with nearly 40 percent of the 27,000 registration cards filed by ACORN from January through July of this year.

Most recently, election officials in Lake County, Indiana, found more than 2,100 fraudulent voter registration applications that were filed at the deadline by ACORN. According to a CNN report, at least one of ACORN's applications in Lake County attempted to register a dead man. In addition, The St. Petersburg Times (FL) reported today that Mickey Mouse tried to register to vote in Florida this summer. Although Orange County elections officials rejected his application, it is notable that Mickey Mouse's application had an ACORN stamp on it. In addition, The [Raleigh, NC] News & Observer also reported today that ACORN conducted a voter drive that registered nearly 28,000 people in North Carolina. But according to local election officials some of the forms it filed had information that may have been copied from phone books.

Election fraud imposes a real cost on our system, beyond the obvious consequence of subverting a free and fair election. Fraudulent voter registration on this scale seriously strains state and local elections resources and distracts elections officials from preparing to conduct an orderly election. Of course, ACORN's nationwide voter registration fraud provides an opportunity for individuals to vote who should not, or for some to vote more than once.

Given these allegations, as well as the well-documented fraud convictions in recent years of ACORN employees, I urge you to launch a nationwide criminal probe into ACORN's voter registration activities. As you know, federal law prohibits an individual from (1) providing fraudulent voter registration information; (2) conspiring to encourage false registration or illegal voting; and (3) paying or offering to pay another individual for registering or voting. It is also a crime to knowingly procure or submit false, fictitious, or fraudulent voter registration applications. Finally, I must add that, because the violations of federal voting laws by ACORN employees appear to be so widespread, ACORN and its affiliates should be investigated as a criminal enterprise.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.



United States Senator

HT Larwyn and Ace

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ms. Georggson's ethical lapses: part deux.

Seems another twist in the long and sordid tale of Ms. Georggson's ethical lapses has turned up. An anonymous source within the Mighty Chron tipped me off to this. Texas Appleseed is a liberal charity made up of lawyers seeking "social justice", whatever the hell that is. On 11-22-07 one of the Chronicle's notoriously anonymous editorials sang the praises of Texas Appleseed. Three guesses who is a major contributor to the organization? Yep, you guessed it, Jonas and Andrea Georgsson. Did she write the editorial? Probably, but proving it might be difficult unless someone within the organization is willing to corroborate.

That in of itself would appear to potentially violate the ethics rules as well, but you see there is more to it. The source tells me:
"Ron Lewis is the chair of Texas Appleseed. He also was the author of a mass e-mail urging local attorneys to vote for his "good friend" David Mincberg in the Houston Bar poll. (It didn't work; Mincberg lost.)"
So again, we circle back around to yet another connection to Mincberg. Now granted this is not an indictment of Mincberg, who while I think he is as corrupt and ineffective as a leader can be, I am not saying he has any ethical baggage in this instance, the blame clearly goes to Georgsson.

I have been informed that my source was misinformed/confused, the person that sent out the email blast was NOT Ron Lewis, it was Ron Franklin.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ethics? We don't NEED no stinkin' ethics...

The Houston Chronicle is a favorite target of the right side of the local blogosphere because, although it claims to be impartial and unbiased, it really has a hard time concealing it's leftist slant on the news, and the world at large. I honestly believe that Jeff Cohen and crew simply do not recognize their own biases in print. That said, Andrea Georgsson, a member of the editorial board recently stepped off into the muck with both feet and a number of prominent bloggers about town have weighed in on the controversy.

For those who may not have heard about the situation, it would seem that Ms. Georgsson made a sizable donation (at least by my skinflint standards) to David Mincberg's campaign, and then a week later an unsigned editorial critical of Ed Emmett and praising Mincberg appeared in the op-ed pages, and was copied verbatim (with permission?) by the Mincberg campaign website. There is no PROOF she penned the editorial in question, but there is strong suspiscion she did since County politics is her normal beat. Additionally, Ms. Georggson would appear to have also made a sizable donation to the Obama campaign as well. The Chronicle has published editorials (unsigned of course) critical of President Bush and praising Obama as well on occasion. As others have pointed out, such a donation is considered a no-no in the world of journalistic ethics because it rightfully raises questions about the journalist's impartiality. Unca Darrell went so far as to link to and quote the relevant passages in both the LA Times and the NY Times's ethics policy, which they publish on their website for all the world to see and dissect. The Houston Chronicle does not do publish theirs publicly, but I have obtained a copy from a source that I will not name, but that I trust implicitly and who is in a position to have access to the document. Why Hearst chose to keep such policy information hidden is unclear. It does not appear to enhance the public's view of their ethical standards by keeping their standards secret.

I would direct you to Section H: Conflicts
H. Conflicts:
Do not attempt to profit financially from information you obtained by reporting or in the course of your employment with the Chronicle.
Staffers who own stock or any financial interest in any company or other entity they are assigned to cover should disclose that interest to their supervisor and offer to recuse themselves from any such coverage. The supervisor should make a determination as to whether a recusal is necessary. A staffer is less likely to have a conflict if the company stock is owned through a mutual fund under the control of an independent fund manager.
In the course of your employment, you may become aware of confidential strategic information or trade secrets pertaining to the Chronicle. Keep it private.
Do not become involved in groups or activities that are covered by the newspaper or that are likely to be covered. Do not serve or participate in government or partisan organizations.
Do not contribute to political candidates or partisan causes. Such contributions are often subject to disclosure laws and can cast doubts on a journalist's objectivity.
Pins, T-shirts, bumper stickers and other items used to express partisan personal opinions can also raise questions about your neutrality as a journalist. Avoid them.
Nonpartisan expressions of opinion, such as statements in support of the First Amendment or literacy, are allowable. If in doubt, talk to your editor.
Staffers in a position to cover any individual related to them by blood or marriage or others with whom they have a close personal or financial relationship should disclose the relationship to their supervisor. The supervisor should make a determination whether there is cause for concern about a conflict or appearance of a conflict.
Do not use your position with the newspaper to obtain any personal advantage. For example, do not tell someone you are with the Chronicle in an attempt to reach a favorable resolution of a consumer dispute. This does not preclude a staffer from providing employment information where required, such as in the case of applying for a loan or apartment lease.

It would appear that this is a black letter admonition to not donate to or participate in politics. That would appear to be in opposition to Ms. Georggson's actions. Additionally there is the issue of speaking engagements. The following rule would appear to address the situation:
R. Speaking engagements
Journalists are often invited to appear on radio or TV shows, or to speak to groups. You must obtain permission from your supervisor before agreeing to appear in any such venue.
Consider the purpose of the event and how your participation might be perceived. Avoid situations in which your participation could be construed as an endorsement of the sponsoring organization's or its interests.
Check with your editor before accepting any honoraria or other remuneration for speaking or appearing on a panel.
Staff members should be careful during such appearances not to make comments that stray beyond what they would write in the newspaper.

This would appear to make this speaking engagement of questionable wisdom as well.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Death and Taxes: Ike edition (Updated)

Austen Furse, candidate for SD17 (Kyle Janek's old seat) has put forth a campaign, with the backing of Sen. Mike Jackson (R-LaPorte) and Rep. John Zerwas (R-Houston), as well as Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt, to call for Taxing authorities throughout the region to reassess all properties impacted by Hurricane Ike. They are urging everyone to sign their petition. There is already a law on the books that allows this to occur, but there is nothing REQUIRING taxing authorities to do so. The reasoning is that if you own property that was significantly damaged by the storm, it is obviously not worth as much as it was prior to the storm, so you should not have to pay taxes on the prior value of the property. In some cases in Galveston and Bolivar, there is no property to tax any more, the house or building is gone and the land is now partially or wholly owned by the state thanks to Ike moving the vegetation line and redefining the beach.

Southern Tragedy emails me to let me know that the IRS is getting into the act as well and are giving taxpayers an extension (but no credit) to pay their federal taxes. Below is her email:

Hurricane Ike Federal Tax Relief

U. S. Internal Revenue Service Information

The IRS has granted an extension to Texas and Louisiana taxpayers who live in certain counties and were affected by Hurricane Ike.

The Texas counties are Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, and Washington.

The Louisiana parishes are Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafourche, Plaquemines, Sabine, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Vermilion, and Vernon.

If you live in one of these counties or parishes, you have until January 5, 2009, to file federal income tax returns and make payments that were due on or after September 7, 2008, and before January 5, 2009. This includes individual income tax returns that were due on October 15 and individual estimated tax returns and corporate tax returns that were due on September 15.

For more information, access the following Web sites: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=186874,00.html. (Texas residents) and: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=186875,00.html (Louisiana residents).

Texas Sales Tax Information
Charges for certain repair services as well as purchases with certain vouchers may be exempt from Texas sales tax. Please check the Texas Comptroller's Web site for more information:

For Louisiana sales tax information, check with your parish.