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2 years, 12 months ago
  • Actually, on a scale of 1-10, relative to other things done lately by our judiciary, like Hobby Lobby or Halbig, I’d rate this a zero. First, there’s no mention of how much VZ stock he owns, nor of how many other stocks he owns. If you’ve got some $, it only makes sense to invest in at least some stocks and this may be just one among many. Second, Verizon has consistently underperformed the S&P500 over the last 15 years, so actually our brilliant jurist has been throwing away $ relative to what he could have made investing in say the Vanguard S&P500 index fund. My guess is that the guy is simply not all that bright and thinks that his inside knowledge of VZ makes it a good buy. He was wrong but, hey, I’m all in favor of people like this throwing away money.

  • philS commented on the blog post The Foolishness of Trying to Solve the Deficit Forever

    2012-12-07 18:54:36View | Delete

    So Jon, are you listening? You really do a wonderful job. Just that one phrase seems not to have been fully thought through. :)

  • philS commented on the blog post Debt Limit Conversation Swamping Fiscal Slope Debate

    2012-12-07 17:03:41View | Delete

    Didn’t take Obama long to go back to negotiating with himself. Voting for him was the hardest poltical thing I’ve ever had to do. What a mess.

  • philS commented on the blog post The Foolishness of Trying to Solve the Deficit Forever

    2012-12-07 16:58:28View | Delete

    the deficit will shrink dramatically to a manageable level.

    Jon – In writing the above you make it sound like you think the deficit is a problem. Why do you think the current deficit is “unamanageable”? What would a “manageable” level be? Right now people are in effect paying the govt to borrow their money. This is the perfect time to fix infrastructure and education before this country falls apart completely.

  • philS commented on the blog post Obama to Request $50 Billion for Sandy Relief

    2012-12-05 12:15:11View | Delete

    Looking at the size of the house and all the sand, one wonders if this is perhaps a high-priced ocean-front neighborhood. If so, I fail to see the logic of the govt paying to rebuild either houses or infra-structure in a zone that will see more and more of this destruction in coming years. Maybe a little more appropriate photo next time?

  • philS commented on the blog post Visit the New Firedoglake Online Store & Support Bradley Manning

    2012-11-23 18:15:00View | Delete

    While I’m logged in, I’ve rehabbed dozens of houses over the years – mold, dry-rot termites, all of it stems ultimately from water getting where it shouldn’t. If the water has gotten into the walls, the only solution is to gut the place. Pull the sheetrock and all the insulation. Dry it with fans, then reinsulate and re-rock it. If salt water got over the electrical receptacles and switches I’d replace those as well. The white Romex should still be fine but any BX or even conduit needs to be looked at carefully. Occurs ot me that Habitat for Humanity, and maybe other groups that bring volunteers together with people well versed in the construction trades are what’s needed for a lot of these houses. I’d volunteer to lead some projects but I live on the side of the country. Good luck to all. Iknow your hearts are in the right place.

  • philS commented on the blog post Visit the New Firedoglake Online Store & Support Bradley Manning

    2012-11-23 18:05:54View | Delete

    The donate option is a great idea but I can;t get it to work. Insists on selling me the sweatshirt. The orange button leads to a page where we can select the campaign and specify an amount. I entered $20. Then the only button I see is “place order”. Am I missing something obvious? Thanks.

    FWIW, I consider the Bradley Manning affair the single most egregious thing done by our Centrist president. Not the most destructive to our country. Just morally the worst of a long list of terrible things.

  • One more point — it’s much FASTER to pay cash than to deal with plastic. Every day I get stuck in line behind people whose card doesn’t work the first time, or the second time, or who can’t figure out which buttons to push (the buttons change from machine to machine and over time), and it turns out they’re making a $4 charge. Many many merchants in this town are charging a fee for using the goddam cards for small charges or just setting a minimum for the amount they’ll allow a card to be used. Do you really think they’re doing that because cards are costing them less than cash?

    And why do you think so few places will take American Express? Because they charge higher fees. And Diners Card disappeared totally for that reason.

    So all I have to offer is personal preference and some anecodotal info. I have no idea as to the actual economic effects of this. It’d be really helpful if David or someone did some actual research on this instead of just trotting out their vague ideas based on (apparently) even less info than I have.

  • And just how do passenger trains get through when the freight trains are blocked? This level of ignorance is just as worrisome to me as global warming.

    Yes, we are committing global suicide. Yes, maybe, just maybe, this might get noticed and people might just understand what it’s about. But I doubt it.

  • David, this post is not up to your standards or those of FDL. And, yes, I realize that some of what I list below appears in the article you quote rather than in what you wrote yourself, but you quoted it and left it unchallenged.

    1) As someone already said the municipal bond “tax dodge” is on net a good thing, not bad.

    2) And the complaint that people will still be able to avoid taxes by giving to charitable organizations makes absolutely no sense. This is a again a good thing, not a bad one. Are you trying to kill all the arts, medical foundations, ACLU, etc. etc.? And just on a purely ethical level, why on earth should people have to pay taxes on income they give away to good causes.

    3) Lastly, the comment on being able to avoid capital gains taxes by timing them to coincide with capital losses? That’s only fair. If you lose as much money in a year as you make, your income from the sales is zero. Why should you pay taxes on zero income?

    The Buffett rule is a good thing, even though it’s not a total solution to anything. Let’s not distract people with misinformation and irrelevancies.

    Please, as a long-term supporter of FDL, I urge you to rewrite and republish this post. — Phil

  • philS commented on the blog post Why the War on Women?

    2012-03-11 09:26:55View | Delete

    Ah yes, the right to bear arms but not breasts.

  • philS commented on the diary post Robosigning = Smoking Gun by Cynthia Kouril.

    2012-01-31 16:24:40View | Delete

    Seems to me that with SOPA/PIPA, a lot of major money was threatened (e.g. Google). “Only” some homeowners and to some extent the counties lost money as a result of the robosigning. It’s more like a whole lot of millionaires were caught on camera sneaking through red lights while on their way to commit “serious” [...]

  • philS commented on the diary post Robosigning = Smoking Gun by Cynthia Kouril.

    2012-01-31 15:41:49View | Delete

    It’s simple. Too many people with a lot of money risk going to jail for too long if the robosigning is prosecuted. It disrupts the system TOO much.

  • Obama doesn’t always lie. Last year he said something like “some of what was done by the mortgage industry was legal”. Wish I still had the original quote. It was priceless and not widely reported.

  • philS commented on the diary post More on the Celebration Over December’s Job Report by Dean Baker.

    2012-01-07 13:22:03View | Delete

    Baker does readers a disservice here with his first paragraphin which he generalizes about “almost all economists”. In fact Keynesian economists like Paul Krugman accurately forecast the bursting of the housing bubble. See this 2005 NYT op-ed: It’s the supply-side flat-world tax-cut economists like Rogoff and the Chicago school who consistently get things wrong. [...]

  • philS commented on the blog post Condoleeza Rice Wants a Do-Over After Destroying Iraq

    2011-12-26 18:14:23View | Delete

    To elaborate on Condi’s ability, I read what I could find on her stint as Stanford Provost and it doesn’t seem that she did a bad job at all. She was hired to deal with an ongoing budget deficit, which she solved quickly. Did she make all the best choices? No way I can tell from here. But it seems one of her choices was to redo the way IT was done at Stanford, which strikes me as a good place to look for substantial savings, especially in 1993, when she did it.

    So, again, I’d argue that this woman hardly lacks ability. Which just makes it all the more disgusting what she did when she got into government.

    Any folks out there who were privy to the workings of the Stanford system back then? I’d love to hear “war” stories of her Stanford days.

  • philS commented on the blog post Condoleeza Rice Wants a Do-Over After Destroying Iraq

    2011-12-26 17:40:38View | Delete

    Back to the original posting, sorry Scarecrow, but Condi is not a “people who had no ability to appreciate or correctly forecast the likely consequences of their flawed policies”. She perfectly well did have and does have the ability to read and think. She just doesn’t do either. And, no, I don’t think this is just an issue of semantics. There’s a lesson here that is worth learning and remembering.

  • philS commented on the blog post The Roundup for December 5, 2012

    2011-12-06 08:12:37View | Delete

    David’s mention of Rogoff, my favorite myopic economist, caught my eye. Turns out there’s little of interest in his article. Yes, he is(finally?) asking questions about how our political institutions can solve any of the problems brought to us by turn-of-the-century capitalism (complete with globalization, shifts in the age structure of our population, and environmental disasters inlcuding, but not limited to, global climate change). But he has zero answers and I don’t get the impression Rogoff has even a clue as to the full magnitude of the problems.

  • philS commented on the blog post Federal Judge Blocks Citi MBS Settlement, Schedules Jury Trial

    2011-11-28 14:16:10View | Delete

    Rakoff deserves the Cong. Medal of Honor – oh wait, you only get that in wars – oh wait — anyway….

    Just re-read The Big Short (and even understood it). It puts all of this crap in technicolor context, so if you never read it, or even if you haven’t read it since it came out…….hihly recommended – The Prof

  • My instinct says that, at this point, pushing on this will be futile. So, just me, but I’d need some better reasons for confidence in a useful outcome than what’s been said so far, and the choices narrowed down to about 3.

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