Sunday Funnies

A couple from the “General Info” folder

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Posted in Kewel! | Comments Off

Following the Money

While the left wants everyone to focus on the Brothers Koch, they will hate it if this turns into a thing.

A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.

In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm’s money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy.

With oil prices plunging as a result of a fracking-induced oil glut in the United States, experts say the links between Russian oil interests, secretive foreign political donors, and high-profile American environmentalists suggest Russia may be backing anti-fracking efforts in the United States.

Somebody has to. The anti-fracking “scientific evidence” is even flakier than the AGW movement’s research they won’t anyone look at.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This May Be Interesting

You’re a public sector employee, and your position you are forced by the laws on the books to pay union dues even if you are not a union member.

Why?

Well, that is exactly what a group of California teachers are asking SCOTUS.

A group of public schoolteachers on Monday petitioned the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to laws allowing teachers unions to require dues from nonmembers who disagree with union positions and policies.

A decision in the teachers’ favor could change how public employee unions operate nationwide.

The lawsuit, first filed in April 2013, takes aim at the 300,000-member California Teachers Association and the affiliated National Education Association. The plaintiffs – 10 California teachers and the Christian Educators Association International – claim California’s “agency shop” law is unconstitutional and violates teachers’ First Amendment rights by forcing them to pay union dues regardless of whether they support or are a member of the union. Twenty-six states currently have such laws in place.

Justice Alito has signaled that he wants to talk about this, so I’m very interested. And you should be too.

Posted in The Left is Never Right | 1 Comment

Your Daily Dose of IQ Poison

Is this article from UC.

If you can make it past the first paragraph without openly weeping or your head exploding, you are a better person than I.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

I Heard

That some of y’all are gonna get some snow.

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Well, Buddy’s the Jeep’s suspension and steering may be on its last legs and ready for a tear down, but I’d be game for one more go. Even if I had to tow him home.

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Actually, that last one isn’t true. However, it’s usually follow by the phrase “I’m calling in sick to work.”

But in all seriousness, be careful folks.

And on a completely different note, any of y’all have any experience/insider knowledge about the Honda Element, good, bad or indifferent?

Posted in Kewel! | 2 Comments

Build it and they will come

Unless it’s an aircraft carrier. Because even Chinese sailors know better than to trust their countrymen to build a reliable and safe aircraft carrier.

A Hong Kong businessman wined, dined, gave away stacks of US dollar bills plus $20 million price to Ukrainian shipyard officials to bring home a disused aircraft carrier which later surfaced as the Liaoning, China’s first carrier.

How the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) realized its blue ocean ambitions by getting an aircraft carrier at a throwaway price were revealed in an article today in the South China Morning Post. It details how the businessman, Xu Zengping contracted the unofficial deal on behalf of Chinese intelligence and was left in debt himself as the entire deal cost him US$120 million and was not paid a feng by Beijing.

The Ukrainian shipyard was led to believe that the carrier would be used as a floating casino in Macau and auctioned the ship in which Mr. Zengping was the highest bidder at US$20 million. There was no official involvement from China and the businessman contracted a Dutch company, International Transport Contractors to tow the huge vessel to Dalian port in China.

Hopefully, the US Navy won’t have to turn it into an artificial reef anytime soon.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

How my week went

Like this

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The woman who hit my truck on the 15th’s insurance company finally returned my calls on Wednesday. They have a statement from her wherein she says she was fully established in the lane and that I was driving down the shoulder when I hit her.

No officer on scene. No witnesses stopped. So, instead of believing what the physical evidence shows, they have decided to believe a story only slightly less ridiculous than “Aliens did it!”

I filed my accident report, but they are still considering it my word against hers and refusing to speak with me. Oddly, they are not asking me to pay for her damages.

My insurance company is quite happy to pay out to get my truck fixed and stick me with my $500 deductible (and probably raise my rates for being so nice to do that).

Feeling really stupid for trusting a woman my mother’s age to not shit on me and letting her get on her way to the airport and not making her wait for a police officer.

Now, if my week had gone more like this,

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I’d still feel stupid, but for different and more understandable reasons.

Posted in Dare To Be Stupid, Life in the Atomic Age, Order of the imperial upraised middle finger. | 4 Comments

But he says he cares

Soooo much about the middle class and getting people into college!

Then why did he just ask for them to be screwed?

Hoping to dominate the narrative on a holiday weekend and on the eve of the annual “State of the Union” speech, the Obama White House late Saturday night leaked some of the new tax ideas in their upcoming budget.

Thankfully, those of us with several kids and no life were home at the time, so I penned Americans for Tax Reform’s analysis of the major tax hikes in the leak before the stroke of midnight. If the intention was to have an unchallenged narrative, mission not accomplished.

One tax hike in particular was very odd, since it’s aimed almost exclusively at middle class families with kids–the exact demographic the goodies in the tax plan is targeting.

The levy in question would increase taxes on college savings accounts known as “529 plans” (after their section in the Internal Revenue Code). By definition, these accounts are really only used by middle class families. Poorer households don’t have the extra income to save (and even if they have a little, there are much higher priorities like retirement or saving for a home). Very wealthy families might use 529 plans, but it’s far more likely that they have complex trust arrangements set up for their children.

According to the Investment Company Institute (the trade association for the mutual fund industry), there was $245 billion accumulated in 529 plans in 2014. With just south of 12 million accounts open, that means there’s an average balance of about $21,000 in these plans. This is not a mechanism for rich Democrats like the Kennedys or the Gates to shelter wealth.

529 plans tend to be opened up by aspirational parents who are on the “mass affluent” side of the middle class earnings spectrum. They are an odd target for a tax increase.

But there it is buried on page 9 of the leaked document: “The President’s plan will roll back expanded tax cuts for 529 education savings plans that were enacted in 2001 for new contributions…” Note that this is right before they also announce the repeal of Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (Coverdell ESAs), another similar move against the same middle class savings targets.

Short answer, he doesn’t care. Otherwise he wouldn’t have hired policy people who would have asked for this increase.

Posted in Order of the imperial upraised middle finger. | 2 Comments

As well they should

Listen to the people, Cameron.

Britain is marching towards the EU exit door today after eight out of 10 people voted to leave in a historic poll.

The biggest vote on this country’s ties to ­Brussels for 40 years saw 80 per cent say they no longer want to be in Europe, the ­Daily Express can reveal.

Some 14,581 people voted – 11,706 of them want the UK to quit compared with 2,725 who want to remain part of the EU.

The mini-referendum – the first on the issue since 1975 – was organised by two senior Tory backbenchers and a prospective Tory MP.

They believe the overwhelming result, which will be presented to David Cameron today, will force him to bring forward his planned in-or-out vote on the UK’s future in Europe to next year instead of 2017.

I wouldn’t sit up all night watching the results like I did during the Scotland Out Yes/No vote. The results wouldn’t be that shocking.

A useless currency and a library’s worth of insipid rules. For what benefit?

F-U to the EU

Posted in Order of the imperial upraised middle finger. | 1 Comment

One of these things is not like the other

Gas prices drop to around $2 per gallon

Unemployment rate falls to the high fives.

Majority of US school children living in poverty

If you listen to the media, the first two were because Barack Obama is president. The third is because eevviill Republican politicians are sucking the education system dry.

The first isn’t because of market forces overcoming obstacles set in front of them because of the Executive and Legislative branches. Nope. The Messiah.

The second isn’t because the labor market participation rate is smaller now than durign the last years of the Carter Administration. Nope. It was Obama’s golf swing.

And the third isn’t a combination of the first two along with multiple other forces causing the economy to get bogged down. It’s just greedy politicians from THAT party.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments