Friday, October 21, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Top Five Sports Movies Ever (With Iconic Scenes)

You were expecting a post about last night's debate? Sorry campers, if you want to get post-game analysis on the two bozos running for President, you'll have to go elsewhere. Neither of them really merit discussion beyond the fact that they're both unqualified to be President.

So, on to things that really merit good faith argument and debate: The top five sports movies of All-Time

First of all, there are a lot of great sports movies out there, so it's hard to come up with a top five list, as is normally done, High Fidelity style. But as they say, this is not 'Nam, there are rules. Otherwise, mark it zero, dude.

So here are the top five. Rules are only one movie per sport. Place them in any order you like, and I'd be happy, but you've got to go with some kind of order. If I'm looking for something to watch, and I come across one of these movies, I stop. And yeah, all these movies are sentimental feel-good movies, because that's what good sports movies are. As always, if you disagree, let me know.

Friday, October 14, 2016

"Duces tecum, that's the stuff."

Today's excerpt is from The Surgeon's Mate had our intrepid hero (Jack Aubrey) singing the praises of his lawyer, who has been helping to extricate him from a ponzi scheme.

     'I am very pleased with him. A capital man of business, clear-headed, and as brisk as a bee. He is carrying the war into their camp, the infernal dogs: that is what I like to see. Says a writ of duces tecum will compel them to show the paper I signed, and put an end to the uncertainty; and he has already sued one out. Duces tecum: that's the stuff.'
     'What does it mean?' asked Sophie.
     'I never was much of a fist at Latin,' said Jack. 'Not like Philip Broke. But I do remember dux, a leader, an admiral as you might say: and the plural is duces. So you could construe duces tecum as the admirals are with thee; and I don't ask better than that. Excellent Mr Skinner.'

I sent out a few subpoenas myself today. It's not as exciting as Jack thinks, but we can't all be Post-Captains, can we?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

"Vast Majority" of Comey's FBI Team Investigating Hillary "Felt she should be prosecuted"

“No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute -- it was a top-down decision,” said the source, whose identity and role in the case has been verified by A high-ranking FBI official told Fox News that while it might not have been a unanimous decision, “It was unanimous that we all wanted her [Clinton’s] security clearance yanked.” “It is safe to say the vast majority felt she should be prosecuted,” the senior FBI official told Fox News. “We were floored while listening to the FBI briefing because Comey laid it all out, and then said ‘but we are doing nothing,’ which made no sense to us.”

As we all suspected.

Eh, you could get all these people to say "Hillary is guilty, and here's the proof" but it wouldn't matter. People just don't care or would rather have her than Trump, no matter what she's done. It's all so depressing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The GOP is Starting to Figure Out Who Trump Really Is

That's the good news. The bad news is that it's too late.

Who is Keyser Soze?
Like I've said herehere, here, and here, Trump isn't the answer the GOP is looking for. I'm not on Team Trump. He's a con man. He's a charlatan. He's a New York liberal who's pretending to be a conservative politician. He's successfully fooled lots of people. And don't try to tell me I'm being some kind of traitor by not supporting him.

I support ideas, not parties, and certainly not personalities. Trump supporters aren't supporting him because of his ideas, they're supporting him because of his personality. That's why his ideas (which are insane) don't matter to them.

You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into to begin with.

But Trump going to destroy the entire GOP for at least this cycle, and possibly beyond. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

This election is now the part of The Usual Suspects where Agent Kujan finally figured out that Verbal Kent was Keyser Soze, the GOP is starting to figure out that Trump is not who they thought he was. I'm not sure who people thought he was, but whatever. And just like Agent Kujan, the GOP is putting it together too late to make any difference.

Trump is going down. That's for sure. The question is now whether he takes the GOP down with him. Given what we know about Trump, he's going to take everyone down with him that he can.

So we're now at a point where Paul Ryan's main goal is to try and protect Congress from going Democratic, and I wish him good luck on that. That's now really the question we're down to.

Sen. Katrina Shealy Standing By Her Man

People always talk about Hillary "standing by her man" in regards to Bill's issues. It seems Sen. Katrina Shealy is doing the same. Is this the same or different? Will it be used against her later?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Shelters in the Midlands for Coastal Evacuees

WIS has a list of the shelters in the midlands (and pet-friendly lodging) for anyone coming in from the coast.

Stay safe.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Trump's Taxes and The Otter Defense

I didn't post anything yesterday about the piece in the NYT over the weekend that detailed Trump taking a $916 million dollar loss on his taxes in 1995, which he could carry forward into future years to offset income earned then. But everyone seems to be talking about it, and some people seem to think it's a "bombshell", so I guess I need to write about it.

Is this a big deal? I don't really think so.

Our federal income tax system is a tax on income a/k/a the money you earn. It's not a tax on the money you already have, or your wealth. If you've got a billion dollar net worth and don't earn any money in a given year, then you don't pay any income taxes, because you don't have any income. The income tax has nothing to do with what you have, it taxes your income.

Accordingly, the federal government is sort of like your partner in business. If you make a lot of money in a given year and have a large income then you pay a larger amount, in the form of an income tax, to the Feds. If you do well, the Feds do well.

Therefore, it makes sense on a policy basis to have the Federal government, as your "partner" also share in your losses. If your business does poorly, then the Federal government has decided that you're entitled to take that loss as an offset against future taxes.

For example: If you lose $5 million dollars in year 1, and then earn $5 million dollars in year 2, how much taxes should you pay over the two year period? Well, you've effectively earned nothing, since your entire second year just got you back to even after losing the same amount in year 1. Accordingly, our tax system reflects that reality and allows business owners to offset losses.

That's what we're dealing with here. In 1995, Trump declared to the IRS that he lost a lot of money. I'm sure the IRS audited that to double check him. As long as he's telling the truth about his loss, then he's legally entitled take the deduction and offset any future gains.

If you don't like this system, then that's fine. Make an argument why the net operating loss deduction should be eliminated from our tax code. See if you can get Congress to pass that. Go for it. But it's a longstanding deduction, makes policy sense, and is fairly commonly known. We're not talking about some weird tax voodoo here,

So yeah, Trump may have had a lot of money in wealth when he took the loss, and it may be the case that he had money to fall back on anyway. But a loss is a loss, and it's deductible.

The issue isn't whether Trump took a tax deduction. He did. But you can't hold a taxpayer responsible for the entire tax code. For if you do...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Clinton Within Striking Distance in South Carolina


The margin for error with the poll is 4.5%. So basically we're statistically tied here in South Carolina. I have no idea what turnout will look like, but it's not impossible that Hillary takes South Carolina.

Details Emerging from the Elementary School Shooting in Upstate SC

Luckily, it looks like everyone at the school has survived.

In the coming days and weeks, people on both sides of the debate about how to deal with guns in our society will likely use this event as some sort of confirmation for whatever their preconceived viewpoint is. Try to resist that temptation, if you can.

Try to remember that everyone, regardless of their viewpoint, honestly wants what is best for our society, and our children. It does not help to demonize the other side. Try to have compassion for the victims and some respect for other people's viewpoints. South Carolina is great at coming together. We did it after the Charleston shooting, after the flood, though other events.

It is my hope that everyone in South Carolina can hold together in the face of events like this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Condolences to the families of Tanya Gee and Leona Plaugh

Today is a sad day. I did an afternoon workout today, and on the way out of the gym, I saw the news via twitter that Judge Tanya Gee had passed away.

By the time I showered and got back to the office, I saw that my Councilwoman (I live in District IV) Leona Plaugh had also passed away.

I knew Ms. Plaugh was sick, but Judge Gee's passing really took me by surprise. I didn't know either of them personally, but I did know their reputations to be honorable, hard-working, and loving.

The SC Bench and my district have lost two great public servants, and they both will be dearly missed. If you get a chance today, just take a quiet moment to say a prayer for their families.

"Alton Brown is an outlier among food celebrities."

Mr. Brown, who describes himself as “difficult” and “a terrible workaholic,” has never been in a more reflective period. His divorce from DeAnna Brown, his second wife, with whom he had a daughter and built an empire, became final on May 13, 2015. She got the 7,000-square-foot historic brick home in Marietta, a couple of miles from the compound, which went to him. “It was a sad time,” said the Rev. Bryant Wright, the pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, where Mr. Brown was immersed in baptismal waters in 2006.

There are lots of people who can be happy and really outgoing in public, but in private they can be misanthropic and dark. Especially Southerners. It's sort of a character trait with Southerners more so than people from other areas of the country. I'm thinking of all the Faulkner characters as the Platonic Ideal of misanthropic Southerners, but there are lots of other examples.

His show Good Eats is/was a great combination of food, science, and humor. Alton Brown seems like one of the funniest people I know, but it seems like really funny people can have a darker side. Maybe that's somehow a balance to the happy, joking side of them.

I'm sure his divorce and tensions with his church had a profound effect on him, but it seems like he's in a good place. You never really know about people, though.