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commented on Luann
9 months ago
Gunther or Wolowitz? I’m not sure if I am reading Luann or watching BBT….
commented on Ted Rall
about 1 year ago
Comparing the kidnapping and execution of three children to a paper plane being thrown at a soldier illustrates that you really don’t understand the situation. The proximate cause was the murder of three children. The distal cause was the Grand Mufti telling the citizens to flee their homes combined with the invasion of Israel on the day the mandate ended.
commented on Ted Rall
almost 2 years ago
The Republican Alternative, as written by my two local congressmen (Dr Tom Price and Dr Phil Gingrey) would have done three things first:1 – remove the artificially small pool sizes for small companies (see the logic above)2 – remove the Congressionally instituted rules against offering insurance across state lines, thus letting people choose to carry their existing insurance with them if their job moves them (now our rates can vary by county instead!!)3 – remove the unlimited amounts that can be recovered from malpractice suits AND cap the amount the attorney can recover. Too many attorneys, IMO, have become millionaires of the suffering of those legitimately caused harm by bad doctors AND they keep the money a jury intended to go to the families in their own pockets.
I went to the town hall meetings they held, heard their plans, and they convinced me that the problem in medicine isn’t the doctors, its the big dollar insurance corporations. I find it odd that the Democrats defend and Republicans attack the corporations… totally against the norm for both. But, i digress….
@liebyc – your premise is flawed…. there is no logic in politics.
BTW, the health care system would work MUCH BETTER if all the politicians would simply decide we can sign onto the Civil Service plans at gov’t employee rates. That would greatly simplify the system. I pay my part and the employer pays the Govt part.
The “Insurance Risk Pool” is artificially kept down to a small washtub when it should be as big as the entire country. Any single company (and the insurer thereof) has the exact same risk of hiring somebody who will be diagnosed with cancer in the second week of coverage as any other company.
commented on Ted Rall
about 2 years ago
@ReasonsVentriloquist I agree with most of the rest, but dictators (Cuba? NorKo?) have a habit of starving their people in order to obtain what they think is important for their prestige
There isn’t any radar in the Oceanic sectors, it’s all done by radio fixes and GPS locations. Even in radar controlled areas, drones are on the scope with a transponder. Traditionally, these would be military drones operatings in MOAs (Military Operating Areas) but that is no guarantee against a well prepared state actor (I am a former ATC)
As long as the “pilot” replies to ATC and the plane follows ATC commands, there is no guarantee an unmanned kamikaze couldn’t get past the system until it is too late.
The conversion of an existing military aircraft, already capable of delivering weapons, is far simpler than you make it out to be. We have been doing it since the 1930s. If you want to see what a very early combat drone looks like, google TDR-1 – capable of being launched from a carrier carrying a torpedo or bombs and it’s intended use was to attack Japanese ships. Even simpler would be converting a biz jet into a kamikaze drone filled with explosives. Take a biz jet capable of crossing the Atlantic (there are dozens of types capable) and have the controller flying “innocently” behind by 50 miles or so and the threat is a possibility.
The US claim for Iraqi drones was made after Saddam claimed they had converted some older aircraft to be drone capable, specifically the Mirage F1. We do it all the time to older, less useful aircraft but usually only to make live-fire targets out of them. Whether or not Iraq had actually done this is immaterial.
Military Threat Assessments are based on intelligence collected and reported capabilities. Saddam likewise had already demonstrated and boasted of use of WMD (which we did find – Sarin gas components & labs, chemical artillery shells, etc.)
Furthermore, since we armed Saddam for the Iran-Iraq war, did we not have a responsibility to take care of the problem we created? I personally think we did, and I think the US more than likely knew what WMD he had because we secretly gave it to him.
Frakkin enter button!!
To use the laws to your advantage is what everybody does. Right or wrong, the law allows it. Multiple tax jurisdictions with wildly varying rates encourages global companies to report their earnings in the lowest cost jurisdiction.
You play the game using the rules the league sets. I don’t hear too many people bitching about the home mortgage deduction, the standard deduction, EITC, etc. These are all legal deductions, or LOOPHOLES if you chose to use that term. To use the laws to your advantage is what
When we eliminate the tax code in it’s entirety and replace it with a flat sales tax that everybody will pay, then we will all pay our fair share.
And, BTW, corporations do not pay taxes, they merely collect it from their customers and pass it on to the governments.
commented on Ted Rall
over 2 years ago
The 1% didn’t steal the funds, they guys buying houses they couldn’t afford were the thieves, aided and abetted by government policies and laws.
A story related to me from a Realtor when some charges were brought for fraud here in the Atlanta area. He had dealings with the Realtor who ended up in jail:
A house he was listing was valued at about $250K and needed some repairs. He and the owner decided to ask $300K so there would be room to come down in price to allow for the repairs to be made by the buyer. Along comes a another realtor who wants to know if they would agree to sell if for “$400K” on paper.
The scam was, he told us, that the realtors, appraiser and closing attorneys would get a higher commission due to the higher prices. They had a guy who could “qualify” for a Di-Tech superloan for $400K, which meant the loan amount would’ve been $500K. Why? Because the government suddenly removed the down payment requirements and the mortgage companies knew they could nearly double their income by offering loans worth more than the house because the value would ALWAYS go up. (Thanks, Gov Cuomo!!! – then Sec HUD)
So some dude making $80K (if that) a year is given $500K for a house that is really only worth $250K. After the closing costs (about 8% or $40K) the buyer gets to pocket $160K. With this they’re gonna buy a big car or two, flat screen TVs, furniture, etc.
Bob said just wait a year or two, cuz suddenly the interest-only period of the loan will end and the buyer will suddenly see their payment jump from $500/mo to $3000/mo. These people know how to play the system, so they wait the bank out until the foreclosure notice comes. Then they simply mail the keys to the bank. In the meantime, they have stripped the house of everything of value.
When the bank sends an inspector to the recently vacated house, he discovers something shocking. The $500K mortgage covers a house now worth maybe $200K due to all the damage (that was there to begin with and never fixed) plus the cost of the fixtures the tenant removed.
That’s how the bank “stole” the money… it drove off in the moving truck with the buyers who could never hope to afford it.
Oh, BTW, the realtor, appraiser and closing attorney that Bob knew were all convicted of fraud and got 60 days in jail, which was really 30, plus hefty fines and legal bills. The buyer got away with it without losing a penny.
It was really the 1% that made out, right? The only thing they made was the interest money. In reality, the “predatory borrowers” are the one who stole from all of us. Then the Govt stole even more with the bailouts to their buddies. Guys like me got it up the ass cuz we did nothing except get stuck with both bills: one from the lowered house values the other from the cost of the bailouts.
I’m not excusing the bankers, just laying the blame where it squarely belongs:
1 – the govt for making the rules to allow this to happen2 – the real estate biz which did everything they could to profit from the rules3 – the scammers who used the system to their advantage
oh, and BTW, the real estate sector is the only one who hasn’t had their rules changed int he wake of this, so the commission greed will continue and this WILL happen again
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