Sunday, August 15, 2010

I think the line from Casablanca was "...I'm just a poor corrupt official",

wasn't it?
Barney "Frank wrote a special provision into the TARP legislation designed specifically for OneUnited Bank," writes Jonathan Well at Bloomberg Opinion, shedding a little light on the culture of corruption that must be rooted out in the "term limits by other means" that are the November elections:
For all the strange details to emerge in the Maxine Waters bank-bailout scandal, this one might be the most surprising: It turns out members of Congress are prohibited from doing “special favors” for anyone, even if they receive nothing of value in return.

Who knew? Here I had been living under the impression that handing out special favors is something Washington lawmakers do all the time — be they free pens, tax breaks or earmarks. And, of course, it is.

Yet under the Code of Ethics for Government Service, it is against the rules for any federal employee to “discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for remuneration or not.” That’s what it says in Count III of the ethics charges against Waters, which were unsealed this week by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. The House of Representatives adopted the code in 1958.

An update on the idiots suing Cramer and some others, ending with
Professor Johnson finds it particularly objectionable that the Las Vegas Review Journal and their extension RightHaven LLC are filing their lawsuits without making any attempt to resolve the disputes informally. He concludes:
Righthaven and its associated newspapers are on the cutting edge because they have stooped lower than anyone else in the news business has been willing to go. That’s nothing to be proud of.
I couldn't agree more.

Well, I could wish wish the'd moved the plant here, but Mississippi is a happier place for getting it. And it seems a lot of clowns in IL are so clueless it's amazing.
...Winchester Ammunition division of Olin Corporation is exploring plans to move their East Alton, IL center-fire ammunition plant to Oxford, Mississippi. Winchester had moved their rimfire ammunition production to Oxford in 2004.

Managers announced the plans to workers last Thursday (August 5th). At stake are about 1,000 jobs. According to statements from the River Bend Growth Association, Winchester is the area's largest employer with about 1,700 employers. The move, if Winchester goes ahead with it, would be completed over three to five years.

Two factors that may be behind the move are Olin's property tax dispute with Madison County, Illinois and the need to lower labor costs
As to the tax dispute,
Last year, the Board of Review, which hears property assessment appeals, put the company's property value at $36 million. Olin's appraisers, however, put the market value of its property at $17 million. Olin has appealed the Review Board's valuation, and it is pending in Illinois' appellate court, Miller said
That's a big damned difference. And would make a HUGE difference in taxes. As to the labor costs, from a linked post,
Need to move a piece of equipment? Call a millwright.

Does the equipment have any air cylinders? Call a pipefitter to take care of the air lines.

Get an electrician to take care of the electrical connection... even if it is a matter of pulling one plug.

Did an angle iron leg break during transport? Have the millwright take the equipment to the weld shop, were the welder will do his thing.

Did part of the equipment become detached or was some disassembly required to move the equipment? Chances are you have to figure out who is responsible to work on it based on what the pieces happen to be. Often millwrights and machinists are at odds over which work should go to which trade
You can imagine how much that kind of crap jacks up costs. The reaction from IL officials ranges from semi-intelligent to idiotic:
State Sen. William Haine, D-Alton, said he got a call about the potential move from one of the company's lobbyists the day before the announcement. He said he is not sure what motivated the decision.

"I'm shocked, to tell you the truth," he said. "I thought they were making money there."

The state could look at some kind of tax abatement for the company's facilities in Alton, but "there isn't any pot of money in Springfield to hand over to anyone," Haine said.

"We don't know how to proceed as a state," he said. "It's pretty hard to assemble an incentive package when we don't know what's driving their decision. And B, it's evident the state of Illinois doesn't have any money."

Haine, if you can't figure out what motivated the decision, you're far to stupid to be in that office. And I have a clue for you: they're not asking you to give them money; they were trying to keep from being screwed on taxes. Of course, someone like you might consider that 'asking for money'.
East Alton Mayor Fred Bright said it would hurt his community, but his experience with the company shows that is not a major concern for management.

"Olin cares for nothing but Olin, itself," Bright said
Hey, Mayor, Olin is a company. That has to make a profit to stay in business. When you try to screw them over, they have the option of moving. And it's not their damned job to 'care' for you and the city, especially when your definition of 'care' seems to include 'not griping about being screwed over on taxes and by unions'.

Ah well, a bunch of people in MS are real happy you're such fools.

Gee, thank you Scot and English governments:
But the Mail has learned he is once again receiving help from cancer specialists, which his family hope will provide a 'miracle cure' and extend his life still further - possibly by more than 18 months.

According to sources in Tripoli the new treatment is 'going well' although the Libyan is apparently suffering from 'black moods' over the negative way Britain and the West is portraying his case
And thank you, Obama, for your part in this.

Well, Brits, you government sold you to the EU; what kind of crap did you expect would happen?

You've probably heard something about Dear Leader's 'support for the mosque' statement that was followed by his 'not really' clarification. Jeez.

And finally, Maggie's Farm has guidelines on, ah, 'revealing'-type posts. May be NSFW some places.

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