“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, July 17, 2009

CIT and the Economic Ignorance of the Obama Administration

Nothing demonstrates to this writer the depth of real world ignorance of the academics running the Obama Administration than CIT. The media is almost as bad as none of them has a clue about how an old line factor even works. I heard Senator John Sununu pontificating about the market and the thousand of local banks that do account receivable financing who will supposedly step in and do what CIT seems to be failing at. I heard some other geniuses saying that CIT just did not get it done. Bullshit on both counts. CIT is the canary in the coal mine.

CIT is one of the last of a breed. Factoring is the buying of a receivable the day it is created by a wholesaler or manufacturer. A factor can advance 80%, 90%t or 150% on a receivable accelerating the cash flow of a company. A local bank can provide receivable financing but that is not factoring. The bank takes the receivable as collateral, a factor buys the receivable. When a customer of a "factored" company receives an invoice, the invoice tells him that he owes the money to the factor and not the manufacturer or seller of the goods.

You see, CIT is not just a bank to the thousands of job creating small businesses that it serves, it is their credit department. It is their accounts receivable department. It controls the arteries of commerce in some businesses, especially to retailers. CIT determines which department stores get approved for credit in the goods that they purchase and receive. Let me give you an example.

Suppose a furniture manufacturer, if there are any left, in North Carolina wants to sell patio furniture to Wal-Mart. Manufacturing is a year round operation, selling it is not. Big department stores get to be big , not because they pay promptly, but because they don't. They pay on time but on their stated terms, not the manufacturers. They work off of their suppliers working capital.

A factor sits down with a manufacturer, examines their business plan and the credit worthiness of the manufacturer's customers and creates a financial plan to finance the manufacturing cycle and take care of the credit decisions for the company. Once a company is factored, the company sells the invoice to the factor when the goods are shipped, and the burden of collection shifts to the factor. Credit losses now belong to the factor. No local bank does anything remotely related to factoring.

CIT is a huge reserve of knowledge and experience of the retail trade in the US. Those retailers depend on the credit decisions made by CIT on their ability to get suppliers to ship to them. The suppliers depend on CIT to provide the financing. The customer list of a factored company is almost more important than their financial sheets.

CIT is more important to the US economy than Chrysler. It takes months for a company to get set up with a factor, years to establish a relationship. It is a tough business at the best of times. Criticizing CIT for getting in trouble durning this crisis is like assigning blame to fire fighters for going into burning buildings. That is what they do.

Let this one go down at your own peril.

When asked about CIT, White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters that President Barack Obama had set high standards for granting aid to companies. "A lot of that had to do with whether or not they could show themselves to be sustainable in the long term," Burton said.

Got it.


  1. On an unrelated note:

    Avert your eyes if you must, talk in code, but don't be boring. I am not taking sides. I am not moderating, but you are diminishing your brands, and that is a pity.

  2. CIT factors has some 300,000 small businesses and has said that if they (CIT) go down, they will take several thousand manufacturers with it.

    This recession is unlike any seen by all but the oldest of us who remember the Great Depression. We have witnessed the titanic collapse of the whirls credit system.

    Now we stand in the rubble of a collapsed real estate market. Ruined financial institutions are scrambling for survival as they seek to recapitalize. In time we'll come to understand the full extent of this economic failure. For now, we can only wait for the next shoe to drop. It's going to take a long time before we get back to business as usual. Complicating the recovery is a lack of faith, confidence and trust.

    It's every man for himself and every bank for itself.

  3. I apologize if I get overheated.

    Some of this back country is so beautiful though, I can't imagine anybody would want to sell if off.

    Sell if off to whom? That Saudis?

    Honestly, it's a treasure.

    Come enjoy it, while it's there, and you're not too old to walk!

    And, if Ash and I have a meeting of the minds, surely something is happening!

  4. Great Post, Deuce.
    Economic Illiterates, all.

    That's Just Not True Majority Leader Hoyer

    "I don't know many small-businessmen or -women who are making themselves $280,000, so I am not sure that very many small businesses are going to be affected by this," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said. Congressman Hoyer is right that there aren’t many $280K+ small business owners. Hoyer’s claim goes awry when he concludes that few businesses will be affected. Hoyer's ignorance of US economics is no excuse for such silly comments.

    First, let's talk about the proposed increased marginal tax rates...
    Democrats and Obama, destroying American jobs one tax at a time.

  5. These mountain lakes are sprinkled all over central Idaho.

    Takes some real work gettin' to 'em, but it's worth it.

    I haven't been back up there for years and years, but it's nice knowing they are there.

    For anyone and everyone.

  6. And, if you are really really lucky, you might meet up with a Lynx Cat!

    I've seen one, just once.

  7. The Washington State Fish and Game had an article in the local rag today, saying two wolf packs have been identified west of our Idaho/Washington border.

    Since there is nothing to stop them, and they don't recognize the Chevron Road Maps, they will keep at it, till they're stopped by somebody's bullet.

    They don't go to the County Commissioners meetings, they don't attend the open to the public Idaho Fish and Game meetings.

  8. There was a contest yesterday? I won? Wow! And I wasn't even cool is that?

    Ahh...What was the prize?

  9. The Lynx cat I saw was a dead Lynx cat, lying in the back of a pickup truck, in Kootenai County.
    This fellow had a bunch of hounds, and had hunted this poor Lynx down, about 7 miles out of
    Tensed, Idaho.

    I think that is in Kootenai County, though I am thinking I may be wrong. It may be Benewah.

    Beautiful cat, what fur. Absolutely beautiful coloring, that fur.

  10. You get to stand in for Bob wrt interacting with DR, Allen.

  11. Says bobcats are Lynxes, al-Bob, so I've seen plenty.
    In a large box trap a few times.
    Look a lot more powerful from that perspective.

  12. I love our back country.

    Most all of it is truly beautiful.

    The last people in the world I want running it are Ron Paul, and Desert Rat.

    Hawaiian al-Doug would know better what to do.

    An eye for beauty there, in Hawaii, would work just as well here.

    And that's the truth.

  13. doug,

    N O O O O O O O O O O!!!!!!!!!!!

    death by a thousand tiny inanities...

    This must be covered under the Geneva Convention.

  14. We have some nice home grown girls around here, too, that's another thing.

    Astronauts, politicians and such.

    Lawyers, like the one I signed on with yesterday, bright eyed, very quick, taught me something I didn't know, already.

    No burka girls here.

  15. SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Some CIT Group Inc. debt holders are considering rescue financing for the troubled lender, according to participants on a conference call organized late Thursday by law firm White & Case LLP.

    A small group of investors holding several billion dollars of CIT (CIT 0.50, +0.09, +21.95%) debt has formally engaged White & Case, said Thomas Lauria, global practice head of the law firm's financial restructuring and insolvency group, during the conference call.

    The group is willing to put in roughly $2 billion, and White & Case has lined up a bank that has agreed to be the agent for such an investment, Lauria added later in the call.

    Separately, The Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday that a group of CIT's "large bondholders" are discussing a plan to exchange $5 billion in debt for equity in the firm -- though it's unclear whether the groups of bondholders overlap. The Wall Street Journal story cited unnamed sources.


  16. The naifs, they're are all around US.

    I can certainly understand not wanting to sell off the "treasures".
    But then, we have to stop expending trasure, overseas.

    Cannot have the cake, and eat it, too. So prioritizing is am important thing.

    Those high mountain lakes, or troops in Iraq, Korea and Germany and Italy.

    Not only is WWII over, so to is the 'Cold War'. Why are the ground troops over there, when it is over, over there?

    If they must be over there, then they must paid for, and we should not borrow money fron Charlie Ch-com, to do it.

    That is the real issue, national priorities.

    What is more important to US, the high mountain lakes, or foreign military occupations?

  17. Irresponsible behaviour that bankrupts the future generations of the US is not the kind of heritage I want to bequeath to our posterity.

  18. You wanted to invade Syria.

    Go back to bed.

    Invading Syria might be a good idea, but it doesn't compute with your Ron Paul outlook.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Go back to bed.

    We were having a good talk, till you arose.

  19. So, on balance, which should Federal Government abandon.

    Those high mountain lakes or US ground troops in Italy?

    The Persidio in San Fransico, or troops in Korea?

    Not to hard for me to figure, but others are conflicted, they want it all, but not to pay for any of it.

    Typical of hedonistic and selfish Baby Boomers.

  20. You bet I wanted to destroy the Syrian Army, to save Israel.

    What are you boobie, anti-Israel?
    You think they should always be living under the Syrian guns?

    I know you want to diminish that Jewish brand, with that Zoro Mastery equivalency of myth that you expound. The mythical and moral equivalency of Judisum and Islam. The core of Mr Campbell's published works.

    To promote that the Jewish people were bastardized in Babylon, oh, the anti-semitism of that myth you propagate, boobie.

  21. I just saw your reply to my Soto post, 'Rat:
    The way it went down was Soto and Co did a Summary Judgement (later voted down NINE TO ZERO IN THE SUPREMES) to hide their evil deeds.

    This never would have been seen by the Supremes, except another District 2 Judge
    (a Clinton appointee w/hispanic name)
    and was outraged by their actions.

  22. Do you so hate the Jews of Israel, that you defend the Syrians?

    Are we and your Jewish ex-lawyer. better off having those terror sponsors in Damascus, instead of on the ash heap of history?

    boobie supports Doc Assad, what an awakening

  23. Also, my complaint about the outing in Arizona concerned the fact that OblahBlah has outlawed the same for private business (and business travel) while he and his corrupt acolytes party on like it's 1999.

  24. Cut the strings, boobie, cut the strings!

  25. Why did al-Bob fire his lawyer?

  26. That was kind of a tongue in cheek response, about the Biltmore, doug.

  27. boobie wrote, earlier, that he advised against moving forward on the Zoning request.

    The ex-lawyer understands what is involved, doing battle with the Leviathan.

    Needs real deep pockets.

  28. The Charm of a Lady Lawyer is not enough?

  29. Nine to zip you say.

    Maybe Pat Buchannon was right, then.

    Haven't paid much attention to Ms Soto, her confirmation is and was, a slam dunk.

    It's another grand day for relaxing around the pool, as long as you stay in the shade, in the midst of the mist.

  30. If the City Attorney likes her as much as boobie does, why he'll smother her in motions, all of which must be responded to.

    At an hourly rate.

  31. And, if you are really really lucky, you might meet up with a Lynx Cat!

    True, Bob.

    Or if you're desperate enough to commit fraud, you can create a lynx out of whole cloth, like some USFS wildlife biologists.

    Eco-fraud Exposed: Government biologists were caught planting evidence that could have resulted in further land-use restrictions in vast national forests.

    According to federal officials, it was excessive zeal for accuracy, rather than an intent to commit fraud, that prompted seven field biologists to plant hairs from an endangered wildcat species in three national forests. This explanation has done little to appease outraged property owners, miners, loggers, ranchers, and other residents of the western United States, many fearing that the land on which they live and work may be designated a "habitat" for an endangered animal or plant species...

  32. Those Federal Socialists would lie?

    Just like they'd have killed the free roaming horses.

    Leave the land in the hands of liars and criminals, that's the bobal way.

    Bankrupting the country in the process.

  33. They used to be known as piss-fir willies among the loggers, often with a pinch of grudging respect.

    Shall we now know them as lynx-fur sallies?

  34. ...often with a pinch of grudging respect.

    But not too often. Should have said "occasionally".

    Or, "once in a while".

    Probably not "often".

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. To say that those that own the land do not manage it as well as the Federals, or do so in a way that is not in the public interest ...

    Flys in the face of the family bobal's history.

    Unless one believes that the development of McMansion lots on Federal Homstead Act grant lands, originally designated for family farming, is not in the best interest of the general public.

  37. Saying no to CIT a big gamble for Team Obama

    CIT probably needs about $6 billion to avoid bankruptcy, after reporting eight quarterly losses in a row, analysts said. It only has assets of about $75 billion, making it only about one tenth of the size of investment bank Lehman when the government allowed it to file for bankruptcy last September.

    On the other hand CIT has about one million customers who may lose funding, including about 300,000 retailers.

    Politically, it looks like a lose-lose. While the administration was keen to show that it would not bail out every struggling company, refusing CIT, which is a big lender to small businesses, makes it look like the White House is turning its back on Main Street.

    It is hard to argue that CIT's collapse would pose a systemic risk on the scale of Lehman Brothers, yet it may threaten the consumer spending that drives the economy.
    Trillions for the Big Guys
    6 Billion too much for CIT

  38. The nine zip concerned improper use of summary judgement in a case with important issues deserving of better.
    The issues of the case itself produced the usual split.

  39. No, Rattie, we are going ahead.

    A question has arisen concerning Gene's taxes.

    They will appeal to the Idaho State Tax Commission.

    They will win there, I think.

    I've offered to join in, if it goes any further, as a similarily situated person.

    That's all.

    I doubt they will need me.

    Rat, why don't you back to Italy?

    God Damn, you are a disgusting person.

  40. Whine, whine and cry cry, day after day.

    Never a hearty joke, never a ray of sunshine.

    Jesus it would drive anybody nuts, being around that forever.

  41. Gene's right, by the way.

    Idaho law will trump some city code, recently dreamed up.

    Gene will win.

    He's got a fast newly minted lady lawyer, perfectly competent, from our law school here, on the case.

    They won't need me.

    We don't keep our girls in burkas here.

  42. fast minded, is what I meant to say..lady lawyer, etc.

  43. Lets all post like Rat.

    Whine, whine, moan, moan.

    There, that's the way.

  44. I thought you had to be 18 to drink in a bar? Seems someone let a bunch of whiney ass kids in here. Are we checking I.D.s?

    I think I'll go down the street.

  45. OT, of course, but since when did that stop anybody at The Bar.

    My wife and I moved to British Columbia a couple of months ago in order to spend more time with our son, who lives in Vancouver, before we moved to our retirement home in Ontario.

    My wife has been a hospital administrator for many years and recently visited a private clinic where she knew a couple of the Docs. There was a lot of talk about the increasing use of private clinics in B.C. and she ended up being offered a two year consulting job with them to liase with the B.C. Ministry of Health. She asked if I wouldn't mind delaying our move. (Like I'm going to say no).

    So, as my wife becomes acquainted with the system, so do I.

    From the Vancouver Sun:

    "B.C.’s health sector was the big winner in the provincial budget Tuesday, taking 90 per cent of all additional spending over the next three years.

    Overall, the Liberals plan to add $4.8 billion to the health budget by 2011-12.

    That amounts to a six-per-cent increase each year, which will boost total health spending by the third year to $17.5 billion.

    NDP health critic said the funding increases won’t improve on B.C.’s eighth-place ranking among Canadian provinces when it comes to per capita health care spending."

    Some stats:

    BC pop. = 4.2 million
    Health budget = $12.7 billion
    Per capita spending = $3,023.
    Per capita spending = 8th of 10 in provincial ranking

    BC health spending history as a percentage of overall provincial revenue:
    '75 - '84 average = 22%
    '85 - '94 average = 28%
    '95 - '04 average = 34%
    '05 - '14 average = 42%
    '12 (projected) = 44.5%

    The greatest health costs are for taking care of the elderly and British Columbia, like everywhere else, has an aging population.

    As a percentage of the provincial budget, health care expenses are going to rise sharply.

    The trend will be toward far more private health care. However, more private health care will only moderate the the increases in health care costs.

    It is clear to everyone, except the New Democratic Party (self described socialists) that the system is unsustainable but, among politicians, no-one wants to deliver the bad news.

    The metaphor of 'like watching a slow motion train wreck' certainly applies here.

    Obama the Wise wants to implement a system modeled after Canada's just as the Canadian system is starting to crumble. And if you think there is a problem with an uncontrolled southern border now, just wait until there is 'free' health care available to everyone.

  46. It looks to me like BC spends about half (or less) the money per capita on health care as we do.

    In short, we make about $10,000.00/per capita more than the residents of BC, and spend most of that on Health Care.

    That said, the Dems are going to pass a "Monstrosity."

    If the Pubs had taken control of this issue, as GWB did with Medicare Part D, they could have passed a simple, elegant solution that would have cut the Communists off at the pass.

  47. As I see it. The devil in the state run health care system is not costs per se. It is: who is paying those costs?

    The moral issue is: Does a healthy individual have to pay the health care costs of someone who is not healthy?

    If I knew of a hard luck case I might be moved to be charitable but that would be my decision not the state's. To be forced to pay someone else's health care bills is a form of involuntary servitude. That is to say: I am being forced to work without compensation.

    The other issue is about the practical aspects of governance. There is not an unlimited ability to tax.

    When taxation becomes too onerous there will be widespread cheating which breeds a general disrespect for laws. If taxes are raised even further there will be a general taxpayer revolt.

    Politicians know this. So the practical consequence of unlimited access to health care but a limited ability to tax is the diminution of other government services most notably, infrastructure construction and maintenance but, also, police, fire, and garbage collection services not to mention schools, etc.

    If Canada's health care costs seem low it is because of wage supression (of doctors, especially)and rationing.

    Canada will have to privatize a great deal of its health care system if adequate medical care is to be sustained. Otherwise, it will end up like Britain, whose system operates on the threshold of medical depravity.

  48. On the other hand, it's a Democracy; and the poor people have a vote.

    Sometimes you have to spend a little bit to keep from spending a lot. The Pubs could have spent a "little bit," but they didn't. Consequently, they Lost Power.

    Now, they're going to "Spend a LOT."

  49. "If Canada's health care costs seem low it is because of wage supression (of doctors, especially)and rationing. "
    Doctors and nurses don't sprout on trees, Rufus, as Romney's citizens are finding out.
    The invisible hand has not become inoperative.
    Even for operations.

  50. Free Our Health Care Now Online Petition
    Takes 2 minutes.
    Sign it and send it to friends and fellow bloggers.

    Close to half a million, so far.

  51. No, they don't. It's a tough job, and it costs hundreds of thousands to get that tough job. Plus, your chances of getting into Med School if your Daddy didn't graduate there are, probably, pretty low.

    Anecdotes, aside, Massachusetts has a very high standard of living, and everyone has access to health care. I don't see any mass exodus out of Mass to Mississippi. Maybe, I'm just missing it.

  52. As for CIT, Deuce, I admit I'm pretty conflicted.

    Someone will, probably, step in and buy'em out. It's a good business (if done properly,) and we, hopefully, won't stay in recession, forever.

  53. Rufus

    But we do not live in an unregulated democracy. We have a Bill Of Rights for a reason.

    Unregulated democracy is ten football players and a cheerleader voting on sexual protocol.

    Canada regulates the income of doctors. The Canadian Physician reports that 18% of all graduates in medicine from Canadian schools move to the U.S.

    Wage supression affects specialists most of all. There is a shortage of specialists. They are voting with their feet.

    A neurosurgeon friend of ours made about 250K in Vancouver 15 years ago. He was offered a job in Idaho for 500K plus bonuses that same year. A year later he recruited another neurosurgeon to move to the U.S.

    His former employer had a devil of a time replacing them. They did, eventually, but the replacements came from smaller hospitals one of which, could not find a replacement and had to close their neurosurgical dept.

    It is not a matter of a mass exodus. Doctors have families and community ties. They have roots.

    What happens is the steady drip, drip of Doctors and other health professionals leaving.

    The OECD reports:
    Canada has 2.1 doctors per thousand population in 2006, well below the OECD average of 3.1 and 8.8 nurses per thousand also below the OECD average of 9.7.

    Canada's problems with universal health care grew over a 50 year period. Now they are intractable and it will only be with the greatest of effort that they will be able to extricate themselves from it.

  54. But that question you are asking, vicktor, Does a healthy individual have to pay the health care costs of someone who is not healthy? is the essence of private insurance, isn''t it?

    Once the State mandates that the hospitals care for those unable to pay, which it does, then those costs are spread amongst those that can pay.

    So it the State mandates service, should it not also make payment for that service?
    It does not at present.

    So the healthy that are in the insured pool are still carrying the costs of the mandated care. The major problem being that the care is not being effectively delivered.

    The challenge exists and is a valid issue for government. Today there is already a $600 billion health care subsidy, the income tax exemption for corporate paid health insurance.

    Remove that exemption, and the system would begin to self-correct and it would more than generate the revenue to fund the needs of the 40 million uninsured.

  55. I know it may not interest many folks here, but it's an interesting situation, (and I'm kinda talking to myself) that tax bill to Gene. I couldn't quite believe it, when the fellow told me about it. I'm in exactly the same situation.

    And in fact, I'd been before the county commissioners once on the issue before, and they ruled 3 to zero in my favor, then.

    My realtor at the time had done a lot of searching on just what the law was. The law is, in short, as long as you are farming it, it gets taxed at farmland values, until some other use is put to the land.

    I built 800 feet of street, had 7 lots of R-4, it slowly sold off enough to cover the costs, and a little more, over 6 or 7 years.

    I always kept farming it in the meanwhile, and the taxes were farmland taxes, as the code called for.

    Now, Gene has exactly the same situation, he's farming some lots that haven't sold, and they have put the taxes up in the stratosphere.

    We need to have sane rules on taxation, so people like Gene and myself can understand what the situation is, and plan accordingly.

    This is all very interesting to me, though it means nothing to most folks.

    He's going to the Idaho State Tax Commission, and if he loses there, to District Court.

    He should win because the law is clear enough, the only difference being two new democratic county commissioners, who evidently influenced the assessor, in a grab for some of Gene's money.

    I find this interesting, the republican commissioners wouldn't have done that.

    There are great differences between some of these republicans and democrats.

    I'll have to make darn certain what the situation is, before I go any further.

    And get some signitures from the powers that be about taxation, or I'd be a fool to go forward.

    I might all of a sudden get a demand letter in the mail for thousands of dollars.

    Am writing an e-mail to my lady lawyer right now.

    And even though my Jewish lawyer is retired, and wants to be left alone, he may be getting a letter, too.

    I need to get to the bottom of this.

    It's my life, such as it is.

    Gene has 38 acres of beautiful land right across from the cemetary, where he might be wishing he were lying in peace with his ancestors about now, that is zoned Motor Business.

    He had negotiated with Wal-Mart to put a Wal-Mart there, perfect place for it, but after all was said and done, the city passed a big box store law, and the thing fell apart.

    Now, if they are going to try to tax Gene on all that 38 acres of Motor Business, when the only business is growing some wheat, he'll just back out of the whole deal.

    He'll ask for his land to be de-zoned.

    I've got to make damned certain I don't make a mistake here.

    I won't put my land at risk.

    I'll just go back to growing alfalfa.

    The Idaho law is sane. It allows for development, and the risk involved in that, but keeps the taxes down, until some actual real use is made of the land, that is to say until it is sold for something.

    Without that provision, no one in their right mind would develope anything.

    I bring all this up, because you too might get screwed over sometime, by a governmnet always on the hunt for mo money.

    Beware, you are at risk too.

  56. What we have going on around here, right now, is an attempt at societal theft.

    They are trying to take money from Gene. Pure and simple.

    And he was one of the guys that really did build our little society.

    No good deed goes unpunished.

    I'm on Gene's side in this fight.

    Beware, you too will soon be at risk.

  57. That is exactly what I tried to warn you of, bob.

    The Zoning change itself, in some places, has been held to be the "change of use" of the underlying land.

    That once it is zoned and plotted and platted, it is a subdivision.

    Or everyone would grow a garden and try to get their property qualified as a farm.

    It can be a very deep pocket issue.
    Kemper Marley went to the State Supremes against the City of Scottsdale. The goat story, but he never changed the zoning or laid a curb.

  58. He'll ask for his land to be de-zoned.

    And, that's something I will have to think carefully about. I'm not certain you can de-zone land, or what the precident is for such a move, or if it can be carried out successfully.

    What I do know is, everyone is jealous as hell, like against poor old Gene, for instance, who really did help build our little town here.

    The old saying is true--

    No good deed goes unpunished.

  59. The Zoning change itself, in some places, has been held to be the "change of use" of the underlying land.

    That seems to be the very question we are dealing with, but it was, I thought I had it clear, a simple situation in the Idaho Code.

    If you've got five acres, and you are farming it, zoning doesn't matter. It's farmland.

    You get taxed when the actual use changes, like building an apartment building or something.

    And, not till then.

    I've got to look into this, make damn certain I know what I am doing.

    Right now, I'm farm/ranch, and since this new stuff scares me to death, I'll make darn certain before I go any further.

    Things develope really slowly around here.

    If a zone change means high taxes, I go back to alfalfa, simple as that.

  60. Yeah, the Wealthy get to deduct the cost of their healthcare, but the poor are expected to pay "full-freight."

    I assume that if the Canadians really wanted better healthcare they would raise taxes, and pay for it.

    This is, basically, a class warfare issue. The Republicans should win their fight against the poor since they have the Middle Class on their side, and Obama wasted so many valuable bullets on the inane "energy" tax bill; but they won't.

    Grassley, and the farm state Republicans are cutting a deal. In addition, a fairly large contingent of other Republicans want to get this issue "put to bed." They're tired of losing elections over it.

  61. Time to sit down with your good Jewish lawyer and have a chat, Bob. Whatever it takes it get him out of retirement. Invite him out for dinner, go fishing, take a walk. With all due respect for your new gal, he'd be the one to trust ultimately. Experience matters. I'm trying to analyze your situation from the perspective of an appraiser, and it all comes down to the law as applied to your parcel. An appraiser might disagree with me, but if it's zoned residential vs ag, that would seem to fix the valuation criteria, and you'd be appraised at that higher use unless local/state law granted an exemption based on development status. It all comes back to the law, and the analysis/valuation flows from there. I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

    It may not be a solace, but you and Gene could be in worse shape. Consider the owner who secured re-zoning and commenced development just as the bubble burst. Now he's got a field of rough graded lots, utility stubouts, a quagmire of unfinished streets that aren't even suitable for alfalfa, and the elevated taxes. About now the water quality bureaucrats and the neighborhood nannies come after him for environmental costs and creating a public nuisance. It's happening all over the country, would be my guess. I know it is in Arkansas.

    Count your blessings.

  62. But, I don't think that's what the Idaho law says.

    I think it says, if it's over five acres, and it's being farmed, as both Gene and I are so obviously doing, it's farmland, for taxation purposes.

    Ah, hell, I like alfalfa anyways.

    I tell you this, these democratic county commissioners are all beggers.

  63. Well, I've sent an e-mail to my new lady lawyer, telling her not to hit husband, insisting that husband didn't tell me anything that couldn't be gotten from public records, pleading with her not to hit husband, for talking about Gene's case :) and offering to sign on as a plaintiff if it actually goes to court.

    Which I don't think it will. I think we just elected a couple of rogue county commissioners.

    A couple of L'ttle Kims, so to speak.

    Democrats, with a hungry eye.

    I think the Idaho law is pretty clear.

    Hope I am right.

    If things get tough, can I pull my Jewish lawyer out of retirement in Phoenix?

    Maybe, just maybe.

  64. Alfalfa--R.I.P.

    Died of fatal gunshot to the groin while drunk and arguing over a $50 cost to recover a hunting dog.

    Who'd a guessed it. Sounds like a tale from the Buckhorn Bar in North Fork. Before it became a fern bar.

    The dog survived, by all accounts.

  65. Piott allegedly struck Stiltz in the head with a glass-domed clock, which caused him to bleed from his left eye.

    The affair is getting serious.

  66. A Czar Too Far - #3.

    Published in July 17th, 2009

    By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

    From CNS News: Obama Appoints Pro-Gay Activist Who Promotes Pro-Gay Clubs in Public Schools to be ‘Safe Schools’ Czar

    ...Jennings founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), an organization that is a prime force behind the creation of “gay-straight alliance” clubs in high schools–and some junior highs–around the country.
    Mr. Jennings unabashedly promotes his pro-homosexual agenda and GLSEN supports the following:

    * Creates ‘Gay-Straight Alliances’ in public schools.
    * GLSEN publishes a manual called “The Jump Start Guide” to instruct teen (and some pre-teen) students in how to form the alliances.
    * The guide, which can be found on the GLSEN Web site, specifically instructs students in the tactics of homosexual activism.
    * Part Seven of the guide is devoted to teaching students about “transgender issues” and the need to be “trans-inclusive.”
    * Part Five of the guide, titled “Examining Power, Privilege and Oppression,” instructs students in GLSEN’s definition of prejudice.
    * “Adultism,” the guide tells students, “is characterized by ‘disrespect towards the intelligence, judgment, emotional life, leadership, or physical being of young people.’”

    This subject is heavily discussed in Part 6 of the guide, which deals with “Creating Youth-Adult Partnerships.”
    Dubbed the new ‘gay’ Czar by many, Kevin Jennings is not only a proponent of the homosexual movement, but was also the Assistant Deputy Secretary, Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools at the Department of Education

  67. Well sure Canada spends a lot more per capita than the US. For a variety of reasons; number 1 being rationed health care. (Go back to yesterdays thread and find the link to CATO podcast or better yet go to CATO website directly.)

    Another reason not spoken of in polite company is the disparate socio/economic/ethnic breakdown. Gunshot wounds are expensive especially when they result in paralysis or worse.

  68. "...We have to quit being afraid of the religious right. We also have to quit — I’m trying to find a way to say this. I’m trying not to say, ‘[F—] ‘em!’ which is what I want to say, because I don’t care what they think! [audience laughter] Drop dead!” Kevin Jennings

    Jennings also wrote the foreword to Queering Elementary Education which advocated using gay literature and essays in reading, writing, and talking. Obama friend and unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers wrote a glowing endorsement on the back cover of this book


    Linkages. Networks. Everywhere. Will the center hold?

  69. but if it's zoned residential vs ag, that would seem to fix the valuation criteria, and you'd be appraised at that higher use unless local/state law granted an exemption based on development status.

    That is exactly the question.

    And, as I've understood it up to now, here in our state, until something is actually built on it, it's still farmland. An exemption.

    To allow people to develope and have some lots coming on line.

    I've got an e-mail into my lady lawyer.

    I think I'm right, I think Gene will win.

    If I'm wrong, why didn't
    they tax my ass off in the last few years, which they did not do, cause it was farmed?

    I fought that battle with them once, and won, on one lot, which he tried to say I wasn't farming, and I provided the pictures, and won.

    It was an understood thing then, that if you are farming it, you get taxed at farmland prices.

    These new county commissioners seem to have brought in a whole new understanding, which allows them to swindle Gene.

    We've got a bunch of new democratic rogue county commissioners here, that are going to get clubed to death by the higher powers that be.

    That's the answer.

    I hope.

    The rationale for this is that folks like Gene and me will just keep growing alfalfa, no development, no growth, if that's what they want to have. You make the law so we can develope and not get taxed out of existence, we will do so.

    Otherwise we grow wheat, alfalfa.

    But I don't think that's what the Idaho law is. I don't think they can tax Gene like that. I think they are misinterpreting it now, I think our girl will clobber them.

    How is it that the law has changed, so suddenly, so abruptly, with the incoming two new county commissioners, she will ask?

    Well, it's interesting to me, at least.

    Things go slow here, it's a good thing to have a few lots around that folks can buy, if they want, and to keep the farmers farming, too.

    The Idaho law is sane, if I've got it right.

    I think my lady has a good case, I think she will win.

  70. If they tax, on the basis of some engineers lines drawn on some map or other, development stops, right there.

    That I can tell you.

    Gene and I will be alfalfa farmers, and in Gene's case, the best wheat farmer around.

    We'll just go back to the kitchen, with our wives.

  71. Rufus
    "Yeah, the Wealthy get to deduct the cost of their healthcare, but the poor are expected to pay "full-freight."

    My position is that no-one should be able to deduct healthcare costs from their income for tax purposes.


    "This is, basically, a class warfare issue. The Republicans should win their fight against the poor..."


    This comment is unfair, untrue and beneath a man of your intelligence.


    But that question you are asking, vicktor, Does a healthy individual have to pay the health care costs of someone who is not healthy? is the essence of private insurance, isn't it?


    I'm not sure where you are going with this. My only comment is that private insurance is a voluntary choice whereas government sponsored 'Universal Health Care' is coercive.


    "So it the State mandates service, should it not also make payment for that service?"


    I agree. But the state should never have mandated such a thing.


    "The challenge exists and is a valid issue for government. Today there is already a $600 billion health care subsidy, the income tax exemption for corporate paid health insurance.

    Remove that exemption, and the system would begin to self-correct and it would more than generate the revenue to fund the needs of the 40 million uninsured."


    Again, I'm not sure what you are saying here.

    Corporations that pay for their employee's health care insurance should be able to deduct that as a legitimate business expense. Similarly, the employees should have that benefit added to their taxable income.

    I am not interested in any health care subsidy whether the system is efficient or not.

    People should take care of themselves. My advice to poor people is: work harder or work longer or get a better job or reduce your expenses and, generally, live within you means. That is the social contract that I expect people to live up to.

    People can plead for charity and I will give them a fair hearing but they shouldn't think that they can put a gun to my head and demand relief.

    Now, there are extraordinary circumstances which occur in some people's lives which give them, shall we say, a 'social exemption'.

    In contract law there is such a thing as a 'force majeur'.

    A force majeur excuses a party from liability if some unforseen event beyond the control of that party prevents it from performing its obligations under the contract.

    When events occur that a reasonable person could not have forseen and could not have taken precautions against then I think they are entitled to relief. This relief would be decided on a case by case basis.

  72. But that question you are asking, vicktor, Does a healthy individual have to pay the health care costs of someone who is not healthy? is the essence of private insurance, isn't it?

    Two questions there.

    Short answers:

    To the first: Only if coerced.

    If an individual moral obligation is felt, then it's not an issue of "have to", but rather "chooses to".

    To the second: No, not the essence of private insurance.

  73. "To the second: No, not the essence of private insurance."
    Millions of examples,
    ie: Auto Insurance Policies.

  74. "Anecdotes, aside, Massachusetts has a very high standard of living, and everyone has access to health care. I don't see any mass exodus out of Mass to Mississippi. Maybe, I'm just missing it."
    DOCTORS are exiting.
    GPs are getting screwed.
    You saw that article I linked.

  75. Your examples are anecdotal, Rufus.
    Fact is SEVENTY SEVEN PERCENT of people are satisfied with present setup.
    Hard to find too many real World results like that on the Planet.

  76. The argument that ideology should be abandoned in search of votes is as bogus here as it is when it is argued that we should support a hack racist hispanic to gain those all important growing hispanic votes in the future.
    Not only is that bankrupt,
    it hasn't worked and it never will.
    On the contrary, the GOP under Bush gave it all away by selling out our principles.

  77. WRT to the specific examples (anecdotes) you brought up, they make me wonder about Medicaid in Mississippi:
    Might be a good time to vote with your feet.

  78. So, al-Bob, is DR correct about your long time Jewish Lawyer?
    Did he advise against?

  79. "Canada's problems with universal health care grew over a 50 year period. Now they are intractable and it will only be with the greatest of effort that they will be able to extricate themselves from it."
    The saddest thing of all, is the day this abortion takes place, if it does, an IMPOSSIBLE to recreate system in place now begins to shatter.

  80. "but if it's zoned residential vs ag, that would seem to fix the valuation criteria, and you'd be appraised at that higher use unless local/state law granted an exemption based on development status."
    Govt folks would see farming as property maintenance.
    a way to preserve it's price/salability.

  81. Mississip's perfect for me. Low taxes (our medicaid, such as it is, is paid for with money from more progressive states like Ca. and Massachusetts,) low cost of living, and good fishing.

    A young person who stays here should have his/her head examined. It's a backward state, with very little opportunity to make a buck.

    Like I said, those Doctors aren't leaving Mass, and coming to Miss. Actually, I don't believe they're really leaving Mass at all.

    You guys might win this one. But, the little money you (think) you are saving won't make you better off.

  82. A Czar Too Far - #3.
    The most perverts, commies, anarchists, terrorists in the history of the USofA.

  83. It ain't money Rufus, it's quality of care.

  84. Again, Doug, and Whit, Canada's problem isn't their system; it's the fact that they only spend half as much per capita as we do.

  85. And fending off complete Big Brotherism:
    It opens up a million ways for them to get into private lives.
    We've already had plenty of examples.

  86. I give up!
    (docs and people there say it's the system,
    people here shoot, impregnate, and infect each other like no Mountie or Canuck white guy ever thot about)

  87. In other words, if we provide hip replacements for poor people you might have to wait an extra couple of weeks?

    Well, Damn! We wouldn't want that.

  88. Yeah, that would be the extent of the effect of Socialized Medicine.

  89. This comment has been removed by the author.

  90. This comment has been removed by the author.

  91. This comment has been removed by the author.

  92. My Jewish lawyer, former Judge too, advised me to go ahead, many years ago, al-Doug.

    I don't think he's heard about this newest twist.

    I think he is sitting at some 19th hole, in Arizona, right now.

  93. Maybe 'Rat invited him over for a Martini!

  94. They wouldn't get along, al-Doug.

    They'd start agruing about something or ruther, and my lawyer would beat him to the intellectual punch.

  95. We can sacrifice Israel to honor Walter as we sacrifice Medical Care to honor Ted.

  96. 70. Dave:

    LOTM #66: Passing so noted. Personal forgiveness hereby extended. Forgetfulness not.

    Donning combat gear on the roof of a hotel miles from any fighting in order to give the impression of being in the thick of things is a trifle fraudulent.

    Then to use the contrived impression to present a pre-conceived notion (the war is lost) as a reluctant conclusion derived from first-hand experience was to carry the fraud beyond the pale.

  97. Via Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution, here's a little Barlett at the WaPo:

    An Interview With Bruce Bartlett

    Bartlett's conservative credentials are impeccable: He's worked for Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Jude Wanniski and Gary Bauer, Ron Paul and Jack Kemp. But he's also an economic realist: Government spending is growing, he says, and taxes are going to have to grow with it. The question for his party is whether it wants to get to work crafting those tax increases in a responsible way, or whether it wants to let Democrats levy inefficient hits on the rich and strange changes to the tax code. The health-care debate is a perfect example: A VAT could pay for this efficiently. But without Republican support, a surtax on the rich is likely to pay for this inefficiently. We spoke yesterday.

    Start at the beginning. Why do we even need taxes? Why pay for anything?

    We have a stream of revenue we'll continue to get in the future from the policies in place. But spending is projected to rise much more rapidly. So the question becomes what is the politically and economically tolerable level of the deficit? The Republican position seems to be, as Dick Cheney once said, that "deficits don't matter."

    I don't know when we reach that threshold. But I think we were getting close even before the current problems. And federal spending is supposed to rise by about 50 percent over the next 25 years or so, and that was before any of the recent events. I think long before we'd reach the year 2030 we'd have a deficit large enough to create massive economic and political problems. Since the deficit has gotten so much larger so much faster, we're starting to see those problems on the horizon: Weakness of the dollar, increased efforts of foreign countries to diversify, unwillingness of other countries to hold the dollar. Eventually, we'll have a lot more trouble selling our bonds because our foreigners won't want them any longer.

    What do you think a compromise between sensible members of both parties would look like?

    I think the administration made a mistake approaching the funding of health-care reform how it did and I think Republicans made a mistake refusing to seriously debate the issue or its funding.

    The value-added tax would be a very appropriate tax to use for this purpose. One reason is I am disturbed that we have a large percentage of the population that pay no income taxes. And I know many of those people pay payroll taxes. But income taxes fund the general government. According to a study by the Tax Policy Center, 47 percent pay no income tax, or have negative liability. And I think it's bad for democracy when people get into the position when a majority can vote benefits for themselves but not pay for it. And that should disturb liberals as much as conservatives.

    The VAT would necessarily be a broad-based tax. It would be a way of getting people to pay for the benefits they themselves receive. People like Len Burman and Rahm Emmanuel's brother [Ezekiel Emmanuel, a health care adviser to Peter Orszag] have supported this for some time. Len argues that if people knew the VAT was dedicated to health-care reform, and the rate rose and fell automatically with the spending of the system, they would have an incentive to hold down taxes. They would have some positive reinforcement we do not now have with Medicare. I hope that's right. You know, every other major developed country has a VAT: The parties of the left in Europe made a deal a long time ago: If conservatives will let us have a welfare state, we'll fund it conservatively. And I think that's still a good deal.

  98. (Cont.)

    So why aren't we seeing anything like that?

    I think there's a couple of reasons for that. Both sides are pathologically afraid of advocating any kind of tax that would be paid by the average person. Republicans are opposed in particular to the VAT precisely because it's such a good tax. They fear it would become a money machine and it would help the government grow. I agreed with that for a long time. But the problem now is that we need a money machine! We have all this spending in the pipeline. It's not a question of whether we'll create new programs. It's whether we'll fund the ones that are already there.

    What about a financial transactions tax?

    I think that's pretty well dead. I don't support that myself. I think it's too easy for trading to shift to London or Tokyo or some other such place. It is interesting though that it hasn't come up. It could have something to do with the fact that guys like Chuck Schumer and Chris Dodd are in leadership positions and they're going to protect Wall Street.

    Are there any other options you think particularly interesting?

    One reason I've been more sympathetic to a carbon tax than other conservatives is that if you did it right it would be pretty close to a VAT. One of the objections a lot of us have to cap-and-trade is that it's too easily manipulated. It sounds good in theory, but once in the political meat-grinder, its failures become overwhelming.

    Also, the corporate tax is no longer a viable source of revenue because of international capital flows and international trade. It's hard to pinpoint the source of a company's revenue. And this means we really need to shift more toward consumption-based taxation. You know where people consume. I think that's important.

    And thinking about this from another perspective, suppose we had a VAT right now and we wanted to stimulated consumption. Reducing the VAT rate temporarily would be a wonderful way to stimulate consumption. Suppose you had a 10 percent VAT and we said we weren't going to collect it for the next 10 months. People would buy like crazy. They'd buy toilet paper, they'd buy anything they could get their hands on that they knew they'd need in the future. We're depriving ourselves of a great stimulant tool by ignoring this.

    This gets back to the areas where there's no debate and there should be. I'd like to see some overall tax reform that lets us raise revenue at a lower deadweight cost to GDP. If you just did a tax reform that reduced that deadweight you could reduce the burden even as you kept the revenue. I'd love to see ways to do that discussed.

  99. but, but, ..... but, a VAT is European!!!

    ...most economists seem to thing it is the best approach to generating revenue. Selling one time assests (i.e. federal lands) not so good.

  100. errrr, give me another shot rum barkeep!

  101. Colombia has a whopper of a VAT. 17%. To pay for generous (by third world standards) social programs, geared mostly toward the employed poor.

    For us it's eventually refunded, but going to the grocery store, for instance - with Bogota prices as high as those of DC - it's quite something to look at the receipt and see the chunk of change it adds to an already often hefty bill.

  102. OTOH, it's apparent that the wealth surtax proposed back home is going to raise a pittance by comparison.

  103. Better get this while you still can:
    The study stressed the importance of recognizing aortic dissection versus the diagnosis of a heart attack.

    Yasbeck is also trying to promote awareness. After Ritter’s death, his older brother, Tommy, was diagnosed with the same condition.

    “All of us said,
    You know, Uncle Tommy, you gotta go get scanned,’
    Yasbeck said.
    “They found it. It was in the exact same spot. He's living proof … He had his operation right before Christmas. And he is alive. And he is here for Stella and John's kids. And they know that their father's brother is alive because he had a chance.”
    Ritter’s widow Actor ‘didn’t have a chance’

  104. "...most economists seem to thing it is the best approach to generating revenue."
    Ah, yes, most economists agree.
    Nailed down FACT, that.

  105. "I think the administration made a mistake approaching the funding of health-care reform how it did"
    I wonder why they brought it up at all:
    They don't say how we're going to pay for anything else, other than printing money.
    Print More!

  106. "One reason I've been more sympathetic to a carbon tax than other conservatives is that if you did it right it would be pretty close to a VAT."
    uh, no:
    The reason is you're acting like a moron.

  107. Ash, what's the situation up there in Canada?

    They must have something along the lines of our National Forests here.

    Since we are on the same side of this issue, there is no smart ass involved in this question, as is usually the case :), I just really don't know.

    When I look up towards British Columbia I see a lot of endless mountains and lakes that look real good to me.

    What is the situation with the forests up there?

  108. I remember one time as a kid we took a vacation up there, and stayed in a little motel on a small lake, that had lots of lily pads.

    And a couple of loons. First loons I'd ever seen. Mother pointed them out to me.

    I can't recall just where we were though.

  109. We should all remember the loon of Walden Pond.

    I remember my mother saying, there was a loon on Walden Pond, just like here.

  110. I recall that the depth of Walden Pond was something unknown to our author, like his own mind.

  111. My loon experience was amazing:
    Remote Bay on Quadra Island, with a little Island in the middle of the bay.

    In the evening, the loons on the rippled water were a sight to behold.
    Minks would swim out to the island.
    Bears would scarf up where the river met the sea.

  112. I can't imagine how anyone not among the super rich could contemplate selling off the national forests.

    Not a damn thing would happen, other than the No Trespassing signs going up, and you'd still be stuck in your living room, watching TV, watching Oprah.

    Only a moron would advocate such a course of action.

    Ash and Bob, and millions upon millions like us, have a mind to prevent this from ever happening.

    It's not in the political cards.

    Not in this deck, I hope.

  113. Quadra Island

    Where's that, al-Doug?

    Well, I'll go look it up now.

  114. All they use the National Forests for around here is to grow dope.

  115. Similarly, the employees should have that benefit added to their taxable income.

    They should, but they do not.
    There being the $600 billion subsidy.

    The first step in reform should be to remove that subsidy.

    The Hospitals bill those that can afford to pay, to cover the costs of those that cannot.
    Or the Hospital closes.

    So those that have insurance are subsidizing those that do not.

    This subsidy is provided for the most expensive short term and least effective long term care.

    There is a legitimate problem.
    The Government already provides a subsidy to all those that are provided corporate paid health insurance. Through the tax code.

    We ration health care to 45 million residents, who have no insurance and millions more that have inadequate coverage for long term issues.

    There ought to be a better way.

    Follow the money, reform the tax code.

  116. Think we were at Herriot Bay, al-Bob.

  117. "The first step in reform should be to remove that subsidy."
    That distorted everything.
    ...and helped bankrupt GM.

  118. ...and Tort Reform.
    Fat chance.
    GOP squandered the last chance of that.

  119. All they use the National Forests for around here is to grow dope.

    Too cold up this way for that, Rufus.

    I'd love to go on a backcountry hike with you sometime.

    I could show you some real fishing, if my old bones could make it up there again.

    If not, we'd at least get our nostrils filled with pine scent, and see some great country.

  120. What the City's position may be, once the subdivision is platted, the lots are no longer 5 acre parcels. But 1/4 pr 1/3 acre pieces.

    Gets back to if there are legal descriptions for the individual lots, or not.

    Even when in the "right", which we have been in the two instances where we have battled the Leviathan, the costs are heavy.

    Fifty grand a pop.
    One we carried alone, the other, our wild horse story, we raised the money amongst the faithful in horse community, here.

    In each case we were obviously in the 'right', anyone that could read could see it. Still had to spend the money, the Leviathan took the battle through the Courts, each time. Always hoping, seemed to me, that we'd run out of pocket money before they did.

  121. If we were really really lucky, we might even see a Lynx cat.

  122. What the City's position may be, once the subdivision is platted, the lots are no longer 5 acre parcels. But 1/4 pr 1/3 acre pieces.

    That's exactly the argument, and from what I've understood, the Idaho law is if it is farmed, it's farmland, lines on the ground or not.

    That's exactly what we have to get clear.

    If we are going to be taxed for drawing some lines on the ground, development will stop.

    Nobody in their right mind will take a chance on that.

    Alfalfa will be our future.

  123. The City though, is bound by the Idaho law.

    The City can pass any ordinance it wants, but it doesn't mean anything, if it goes against the Idaho law.

    That's what is in question.

  124. 50 grand of what year's money, 'Rat?

  125. The county commissioners can try to tax, but if it goes against the Idaho law, they lose.

    If they should prevail, development stops, stone cold.

    Nobody around here will take that chance.

  126. Well, they did it that way here, and the development continued.

    The developers buy the land, lease it back to the farmers, while the developers wait until they have pre-sold the lots to builders before they go for zoning.

    The real 'big boys' internalize the process, but still wait until they are ready to build spec homes before moving forward.

    It has all stopped, now.

  127. You have a much hotter market down there.

    Here, things go real slow.

    I'd be insane to try and build some streets with a big bank loan, and the buyers being very iffy, if they show up at all, knowing that I'm going to get taxed to death from day one.


  128. You mentioned the five acre rule, which we have here. Do not even need a permit for a building that is not designated a primary residence.

    If the lots are platted and recorded, smaller than that, Gene may need to spend that war chest.

    Whether he wins or loses, in the hands of the Judge, whomever that may be.

    Watching the Judge nod off during arguments, not the most reassuring thing for a party to the proceedings to observe.

  129. We don't have Walter Cronkite to kick around any longer.

  130. Watching the Judge nod off during arguments, not the most reassuring thing for a party to the proceedings to observe.

    heh, well that is true, for sure.

    Some of the judges are property owners too, though.

    Some of the judges around here can't stand the government.

    We'll see what happens.

  131. How do you value some land that is zoned Motor Business, but has no buyers?

    Wal-Mart got run out.

    There are no buyers.

    They are just trying to steal Gene's land, slowly over time.

    Shit, it's just farmland, tax it at that.

    How do you put a value on some land when there are no buyers?

    The highest best use of it that I can think of right now is as an addition to the cemetary.

    Other than farming.

    And cremation is the coming thing, burial lots are going begging.

  132. The first fifty, against the City of Scottsdale and the Arab Horse Club, that was ten, eleven years ago.

    The horse story, just three years ago.

    Mike Brown's buddies had taken control of the local Arabian Horse club, which leased a City run facility built on Federal land.

    The Club's rent to the City was based upon admission revenues from the spectators. They were also selling 'sponsorships' to corporate clients.

    The spectator numbers that were used to solicit the corporate sponsors did not balance with the revenue reports made to the City. By a factor of about ten or twelve, as I recall.

    A City worker gave us the real numbers, just had to go to her office and ask, nice and politely.

    When we published the results of the investigation, Brownie's buddies sued for libel.

    Being a non-profit Club, even if they lost, they'd not have to pay our costs. That being unheard of, for a non-profit, charitable, Club.
    The City officals, the elected Republican ones, backed the Club, the City workers were with us.

    We won, after the Judge woke up.
    Never recovered a dime, but did burn them folk, individually, as time went on. The Club officials and the elected ones, too.

    Each differently, but each had 'troubles' of varied degrees.
    Which is why, for habu's curiosity, we backed the Democrats for City Hall ever since.

    The Republicans were crooks.
    It was kick back city, under their regime.

  133. The Unions are not going to go along with that "tax healthcare premiums" thingy. And, THAT is all there is to That. Splat! Like a bug hittin' a windshield.

  134. To true, rufus, to true.

    And there will be no tort reform, either.

  135. Blame it on Brownie.

    He and his friends, the scum of the earth.

  136. Still say that if one followed the money on the FEMA trailers that were bought and never utilized, you'd most likely find a Brownie buddy, gettin' a kick back.

  137. This comment has been removed by the author.

  138. The AZ Republic, even they sided with the City and the Club, they had been donating around $50,000 in ads for the Show, in exchange for a $20,000 donation to their charity, for years.

    My brother had put that deal together, years before the Brownie boys took control of the Club.

    The Republic then tried to bury that story of fraud and deceit, so as to not embarass themselves.

  139. Cardcheck's gotten a few whacks too.
    Deserves a severe caining.

  140. W sure picked wisely.
    Maybe a friend of his celebrity brother?

  141. Loons can live as long as 30 years.

    from wikipedia

    That's a hell of a long time, for a bird, if that is true.

  142. All loons are decent fliers, though the larger species have some difficulty taking off and thus must swim into the wind to pick up enough velocity to become airborne.


    They need a jetpack.

  143. If you ever watch professional golf, then the Phoenix Open is instructive to the discussion of the sale of Federal lands.

    The Phoenix Open competition takes place at the Tournament Players Club, in Scottsdale. The TPC is built upon land owned by the Bureau of Reclamation.

    That land could easily be sold to private owners, it would not be posted afterwards. And if it was, well it'd just be another private golf course.

  144. Why does the Federal Government own a golf course, in Scottsdale, AZ?

    Along with a horse show grounds and polo field?

  145. I wonder why they have that black and white coloring up there in the Arctic.?

    I'd think full white would be best, up in that snow country.

    On the other hand, maybe that's a male, attracting the females, or vice versa.

    Mother Nature has her ways.

  146. Why does the Federal Government own a golf course, in Scottsdale, AZ?

    Along with a horse show grounds and polo field?

    I have no idea, other than the usual politics, and, they damned well shoudn't be.

  147. My Gawd, he's shuffled off his non-mortal strings!

  148. Who gets to go to this golf course?

    Is it basically free, like our National Forests? Where Bob can fish?

    Can Bob golf there?

    With Ash?

    How much does it cost, and etc?

  149. Al-Doug, that's one hell of a nice looking Arctic Loon, you got to admit.

    Look at that beautiful head, and the coloring.

  150. The Barrett-Jackson car auction ...

    That's on Federal property.

    They claim that the auction is a recreational event.

    No one wants to pay the $50,000 to argue that it's not.

    So rest easy, your tax dollars are subsidizing Craig Jackson's business and life style.

    The annual auction was contributing close to $100 million to the Scottsdale economy, but Jackson was not pleased with the accommodations at WestWorld and pressured the city to make some improvements. While there was some fear that he might relocate the auction, Jackson made it clear that he was willing to sign a 20- to 30-year agreement with the city if long-term parking and a permanent venue were developed. His commitment to his hometown was evident in 2007 when he bought a new 17,000-square-foot building in Scottsdale to house about 50 employees. The showroom remained in the city for the time being, but Jackson indicated he was interested in buying several acres from Scottsdale to supplement the land Barrett-Jackson already owned near WestWorld in order to build a new headquarters that would also include a showroom and a car museum, and perhaps its own auction house.

    More on Barrett-Jackson.

  151. The TPC is a golf club, bob..
    Buy a membership, play the course.

    They may have a day rate, I'm not a golfer and not about to get irritated finding out how they are scamming US.

    But rest assured, they are.

    The Feds gave operational control of the land to the City, with the stipulation that it be used for 'recreation'. The City then leased the landto private developers at what could only be described as 'sweetheart' rates.

    But then the City fathers businesses were all contracted by the developers of the Federal land.

    One flower shop, owned by a Councilman, sold thousands of bouquets, for events at the "Parks". No other flower shop need compete.

    The Mayor's son got the deer and booze concession, at the horse park.

    That kind of simple graft was commonplace, back when the contracts were established.

  152. But the Federals DO OWN all that stuff.

    It all could be sold.

    But you say no.

    So there you go.

  153. The Mayor's son got the deer and booze concession

    What for Christ's sakes is the deer concession?

    I can figure out the booze concession.

    But I've never heard of a deer concession, till now.

    Out here, a lot of the fellows will buy a hunting license.

    That's considered a concession to the Idaho Fish and Game.

  154. Looked to me, that na-bobal had cut those strings, doug.

  155. Is it basically free, like our National Forests?

    The National Forests of Colorado, and down in NM and AZ are not wholly free anymore. You're lucky if you still have totally free access in Idaho, and I'd guess it's only because visitor day counts are too low to make it practical to charge a fee for access. Rat can verify this, or not. It's been a while since I've had first hand knowledge of the situation, but the trend was well established ten years ago.

    They'd be proud to put an entrance station at every portal to your favorite forest, Bob, like they have at Yosemite, if they thought they'd get away with it (and could make it a paying proposition.

    The freedom of unfettered access to your National Forests over the old logging road system is anathema to the new-age stewards of the resources. Regulation, restriction, and control are the new tenets of "land management" as far as public enjoyment of the forests is concerned. The first thing they did was remove most of the "local" roads from the Visitor Maps.

  156. That may be right, Linear.

    One of the things that pisses even old bob off is some of the damage done by the off road vehicles.

    They really rip it up, in some places.

    I've never paid a dime to go into our National Forests here.

    I don't know about anywhere else.

  157. That #100 million figure, there is a little creativity involved in puffing that numbers.

    That motive for puffing, that goes to the realm of Tourism Board and subsidies that the City distributes, based upon 'economic impact'.

    Which, like spectator counts or lynx hairs, can be manipulated by those that are less than honest, or Government employees.

  158. Here is one for you, bob.

    The Counties will not issue a building permit if there is not 'legal access'.

    This certainly is a reasonable stipulation, on its' face.

    But then the Forest Service will not dedicate public access to the old roads to the islands of private land, inside the Forest. Just as lineman relates.

    So, no building permits are issued.
    And the 'Greenies' in County Government in Flagstaff and the Forest working in concert, succeed in limiting and controlling private property use.

  159. There was an article in the local fish wrap just a couple days ago, about off road vehicles tearing up some of the good areas in the national forests.

    The local head of the Forest Service here was saying in the paper, come on, stop it now, would you please?

    I agree with that.

    It's our Forests, be responsible.

  160. One of the things that pisses even old bob off is some of the damage done by the off road vehicles.

    The USFS partnered with Chrysler-Jeep in the 90's to promote OHV activities. A lot of promo advertising was printed by both, giving space to the logos of the other.

    The damage from drunken children tearing up meadows and going off the reservation is a real problem, I'll grant you, but it's only exacerbated when the visitors find their favorite jeep trails have been gated or obliterated because they didn't fit the design of the OHV Trail System. The public is being herded like sheep onto the roads the stewards want them to use, other access and other destinations denied. Paved, over crowded campgrounds, managed by private concessionaires being the treat provided by the new Forest Service. Forget the nice little flat on the far side of the meadow down by stream where you used to camp with the kids, reached by the old logging road that wound off the main road through the stands of aspens. Didn't fit the plan you see.

  161. That sounds like an issue out of my expertise, Rat.

    And I don't really have much expertise at all.

    If there are islands of private property inside the National Forests, I wouldn't have any idea how to handle that, here tonight.

    I'd think a reasonable compromise would to give the folks access with a stipulation or two.

    Even better might be just to buy them out, at a great price.

    I know there are all sorts of problems.

    I still support the idea of National Forests.

  162. I agree with all that stuff, Linear.

    The National Forests can use some better management, that's for sure.

  163. How is it that the Germans are such homicidal bastards, and yet, they seem to be able to keep what is left of their small forests?

    There were a couple of German foresters came through here, some years ago, very intelligent, worked with our guys, our guys from the Univesity, all of this was in paper, zer gut, they said, God Ve can't believe, what you've got, very German, off they go back to

    Would we be better off having those folks runs our forests?

    They knew what the hell they were doing, but dammit, they were Germans.

  164. My best place in all of my experience of Europe was the Departure Gate going out of Germany.

  165. But then the Forest Service will not dedicate public access to the old roads to the islands of private land, inside the Forest. Just as lineman relates.

    We used to be mandated to provide that access, provided location and construction was to "prudent" standard. Same philosophy applied to exercising eminent domain, if there was a remotely feasible alignment to avoid impacting the private holding or conflict with an adversarial owner. The agency was the servant of the public, and proudly announced it in it's mission statement: "Protecting the Land and Serving the People."

    Not so much anymore, I'm afraid.

  166. Would we be better off having those folks runs our forests?

    Short answer: No.

    The forst meisters I dealt with on issues of maneuver damage had a name for every tree. Not the generic name. A personal name. Like it was part of the family. Okay, some names were numbers. But very intensive management, and regulation up the ass.

  167. heh, Gretchen, Heidi, Wolfgang and etc.


  168. One of those little Bell recon helicopters went down in the fog between Baumholder and Bad Kreutznach. The rotor mowed the tops of the pines like a lawn mower, until it smashed head-on into a pine. The pilot's body went through the bubble canopy, but the tail boom wrapped itself around the tree, and the whole wreck was stuck up there about 80 feet off the ground in rugged terrain.

    The forst meister wanted us to rig a skyline to lower the wreck, rather than cutting down the tree. My input was something like, We'll just cut down the fucking tree and you can send us the bill. That went over like a fart in church.

    The issue was resolved above my pay grade, iirc.

  169. heh, I just woke back up.

    That's funny, very well told, but gruesome too , Linear!

  170. I'm not flipping you the finger, by the way, I know it looks like it, but that's an old fireplace chimney on a burned down house, on the prairies of Idaho, before you get to the mountains.

    The old rancher had a sense of humour, I think.

    An patriotic too.

    Least for Idaho.

    Idaho, my dear old Idaho

    Your the Queen of all the West

    and etc.