No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for November, 2010

November 30, 2010

Mideast “diplomacy”, Iranian edition

by @ 21:21. Filed under International relations, War.

I’m shamelessly cribbing from Neptunus Lex for these two items related to Iran and the art of saying, “Nice doggie,” while searching for and hurling sharp sticks:

November 29, 2010

Recommended Reading (11/29/10)

by @ 21:51. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

A Redneck’s Bitter and Clingy Thanksgiving List

“I’m thankful for the socialists, anti-theists, demons and those who despise freedom, family, faith and our nation’s flag. Yes, I’d like to thank you because you ramp up my mind, my attitude, my loyalty to God and Country, and my study of our nation’s history and founding docs. Indeed, you’re my reason to get up every morning, to write, to do my show and to produce videos with a vengeance. Without you and your wacked worldview, your screeching lesbians, your nightly news hacks, and your America-loathing rhetoric I wouldn’t have the resolve and the capital to auger for that which is holy, just and good.”

Washington Post covers for Team Obama with body scanner poll-53% idiocy

“The Obama Administration is tone deaf as to what is going on with airport checkpoints.”

Airport “Security”?

“No country has better airport security than Israel– and no country needs it more, since Israel is the most hated target of Islamic extremist terrorists. Yet, somehow, Israeli airport security people don’t have to strip passengers naked electronically or have strangers feeling their private parts.

Does anyone seriously believe that we have better airport security than Israel? Is our security record better than theirs?”

11 Unusual Security Measures Employed By the TSA

“I wanted to give some attention to some of the TSA’s lesser-known (and more peculiar) security policies. Here are 11 unusual security measures that the Transportation Security Administration currently has in place, all courtesy of their website.”

Higher taxes won’t reduce the deficit

“The claim here is that these added revenues—potentially a half-trillion dollars a year—will be used to reduce the $8 trillion to $10 trillion deficits in the coming decade. If history is any guide, however, that won’t happen. Instead, Congress will simply spend the money.”

Why letting tax cuts expire will hurt small businesspeople like me

“It’s said that small business owners work eighteen hour days for ourselves so we don’t have to work eight hours a day for someone else.  And often our income on a dollar/hour basis is less than the established firms we may have left to go on our own. Certainly this is generally true for those few scary years at the beginning when a myriad of mistakes are made and unanticipated events occur that prompt the principals to pay ourselves only after all other obligations have been met   So why do it?  Why take such risk?


The 25 best quotes about liberals


If you got cancer from smoking, that’s YOUR problem

“But does anyone really care about people that have damaged themselves for smoking?”

When is a respirator “normal” versus “extraordinary” life-sustaining technology?

by @ 14:12. Filed under Health.

I’m having a hard time deciding just what side to come down in the case of Dan Crews, found in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The short version, relying heavily on medical records supplied by Crews, with Froedtert Hospital officials refusing to comment:

  • 24 years ago, 3-year-old Dan Crews was paralyzed from the neck down in a car accident, and was taken to Froedtert Hospital. Though he can eat and is currently otherwise healthy, he requires a respirator to breathe.
  • In a court settlement, Crews received $4 million, which his father said was supposed to just cover his expected 20-year life expectancy. That money continues to allow him to live in Illinois with his mother and hire a pair of nurses to help take care of him, though what hasn’t been put into a trust in order to allow him to apply for Medicaid will run out soon.
  • 1 1/2 years ago, after 22 1/2 years of lviing with the respirator, and realizing that pursuing a law degree beyond the associate’s degree would be logistically difficult, the major reason he decided that life was no longer living, he asked his spinal cord rehab physician at Froedtert, where he continues to receive care that cannot be done at home, about removing the respirator. Froedtert initiated a palliative care review, and even though one doctor initially made a notation on the charts that Crews was competent to make the decision to remove the respirator, the team expressed concerns that the financial situation and depression were clouding his judgement. Talks stalled at that point as Crews refused to be treated for depression.
  • 5 months ago, Crews staged hunger strike, stopped when his mother checked him into Froedtert and he was told that if he continued, he would be fitted with a feeding tube. Also about this time, he started taking anti-depressants, and his desire to die remains unchanged. Froedtert indicated that he would need to undergo a year of counselling and treatment for depression before they would consider his request.

The part that strikes me the most is that Crews was more than content to have for 6 years as a conscious, sane adult, the respirator, something that I would call “extraordinary” life-sustaining technology as for the bulk of human history, not being able to breathe on one’s own meant death. At some point, even “extraordinary” measures, which I have successfully avoided, take on “normal” status, and I’m pretty sure that comes before the 6-years-of-conscious-and-sane-adult-living point.

That being said, the threat of forcing a feeding tube on someone who by all appearances doesn’t want one is tough to swallow.

November 27, 2010

The Brothers Fitzgerald make the big time

by @ 9:13. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

(H/T – Pamela Gorman via Erick Erickson)

The New York Times ran a piece on the Brothers Fitzgerald, the incoming leaders of the Senate (Scott) and Assembly (Jeff). A couple of tidbits to whet your appetite:

“A lot of people think we turn it off at home,” Representative Fitzgerald said the other day of the brothers’ propensity to talk politics and policy during daily cellphone calls, at family birthday gatherings and pretty much everywhere else they happen upon each other. “But no,” he said. “It only gets worse.”…

Yet these will hardly be simple times. Wisconsin faces a budget gap — more than $2 billion by some estimates — and a majority of voters who were clearly searching for something other than what they had. “I’m ready for it,” Senator Fitzgerald said. “If we don’t ruffle feathers this time, I think people are going to say we’re not doing what we said we would do.”

November 26, 2010

“Somebody” will profit handsomely from Government Motors

by @ 16:58. Tags:
Filed under Business, Politics - National.

(H/T – Darleen Glick via Allahpundit)

No, it won’t be the American taxpayers that will profit from the ongoing saga that is Government Motors. The Washington Times notes that the big winner of last week’s IPO of GM will be the United Auto Workers, specifically their Retiree Medical Benefit Trust Fund (aka the VEBA that all three domestically-owned auto makers shifted their retiree health costs to). The numbers quoted in that story of $3.4 billion from the IPO and a “break-even sale” price of $36 aren’t quite accurate (they’re both high, the latter far more so), so I’ll walk you through the math:

  • Old GM had, when it went into bankruptcy, $20.56 billion in unsecured liabilities owed to the VEBA.
  • Exiting bankruptcy, Government Motors gave the VEBA:
    • 262.5 million common-stock shares
    • $6.5 billion in senior perpetual preferred stock with a 9% dividend and a 5 1/2-year restriction on buy-back by GM, worth a minimum of $9.72 billion if bought back at the earliest possible date.
    • A $2.5 billion secured note with a 9% annual interest rate and a maturation date in 2017, payable in three $1.4 billion chunks in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
  • VEBA already received $3.65 billion in cash as follows:
    • $0.73 billion in dividends on the preferred stock.
    • $2.92 billion on the stock sold (89 million shares at $32.7525/share – the underwriters took $0.2475/share in underwriting discounts and commissions).
  • Assuming GM survives through the middle of 2017 to pay off that note and buys back the preferred stock at the end of 2014 as soon as it can, it will get an additional $13.19 billion in cash from:
    • The remaining $8.99 billion in future dividends on and buy-back of the preferred stock.
    • $4.2 billion from the principal and interest on that $2.5 billion note.

Assuming the underwriters do exercise their over-allotment option to buy another 13.35 million shares at the discounted IPO price (which would get the VEBA another $437 million), that would leave $3.28 billion to come from the remaining 160.15 million shares. That means the UAW would be made whole if they net a fraction $20.48/share for their remaining holdings. Even if JP Morgan and company don’t come riding in to buy the additional shares now, the UAW will need to only net a fraction more than $21.44/share to be made whole. Everything else is pure profit, or at least a further subsidy of UAW Motors (nee Chrysler).

To put it another way, if they dumped their shares now, they would get a total of $22.12 billion in cash from Government Motors, compared to the $20.56 billion liability that Old GM had going into bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, the remaining unsecured creditors of old GM, mostly the bondholders, will be lucky to get 23 cents on the dollar once the liquidation of GM is complete and they get their pro-rated portions of the 150 million-180 million shares in Government Motors.

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody

by @ 9:57. Tags:
Filed under Miscellaneous.

I have plenty to be thankful for once again. A rather-incomplete list:

– The Triune God.
– My family and friends.
– Shoebox, the guest-bloggers, and you the loyal (and even just occassional) readers.
– My health.
– Enough money to get by.
– The incoming and returning conservative Republicans, both on the state and federal levels.
– The greatest military in the world today.
– A more-or-less reliable web host and ISPs (yes, there’s more than one).
– Everybody who I at least try to keep up with.

As the title says, Happy Thanksgiving.

November 24, 2010

Egg’s Soon-to-be World Famous Sausage and Wild Rice Stuffing recipe

by @ 16:34. Tags:
Filed under Miscellaneous.

This little “side” dish is always, and I mean ALWAYS, the first thing gone at the Egg Thanksgiving dinner (even though my dad won’t eat it because of the mushrooms and onions). I haven’t made this myself in a while, but since my younger sister won’t have time to make it this year, it’s falling back to me. Let’s start with the all-important ingredients list:

  • 2 boxes Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice
  • 1 lb. ground pork sausage
  • 12. oz mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 small onion (an equivalent amount of green onion should also work)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp. seasoning salt
  • 2 eggs

What to do with all this:

  • Chop mushrooms, celery and onion (finely), and crush garlic. Sautee until onions become translucent and the celery becomes at least somewhat soft.
  • Make rice according to package directions.
  • Fry up sausage until cooked, keeping the meat separated.
  • Combine cooked vegetables, rice and sausage, and add remaining seasonings.
  • After it is cool, add beaten eggs (if you add them while the mixture is warm, you’ll start cooking the eggs prematurely).
  • Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes.

Bon appetit!

Revisions/extensions (9:14 pm 11/24/2010) – In case you were wondering what two of those look like (click for the full-sized pic)…

That was taken before I mixed the right casserole dish. In case you’re wondering just how much is in each, there’s 5 cups of rice, 2 cups of meat, and 2 cups of vegetables.

Also, I “clarified” a couple of steps.

Wednesday Hot Read – Brian Fraley’s “The Time is Now to Reform Labor Laws Which Threaten Our State’s Future”

by @ 14:01. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Brian Fraley lays out why the decoupling of state workers and labor unions, and the decoupling of unions and employment, is vital for Wisconsin’s future:

Herein lies the problem with public employee unions: They determine the fate of their own bosses who in turn have dominion over their compensation. Public employee unions skew the labor-management equation through their political muscle and the fact that their contracts are approved by the very same politicians for whom they vote. Therefore, they have the power to perpetuate and accentuate their own wage and benefit structures at the expense of the taxpaying public.

Building painters in school districts with annual compensation packages of more than $98,000 and bus drivers making six figure salaries that translate into benefit-rich pensions are part of the driving force in the budget problems facing Wisconsin….

States without right-to-work laws permit the coerced payment of union dues. Whether you want a union or not, you are going to pay union dues, and even have those dues go to the support of candidates that you oppose, in non right-to-work states. More and more, younger workers want choice in their work environment, and they want the merit of their work to matter. By rewarding time in service over competency, unions take advantage of those just entering the workforce, they stifle employee choice, and they ignore merit for all workers through convoluted work rules and seniority systems in the workplace.

Private sector labor unions occupy a unique place in American law and society. They are the only entities, by law, that are exempted from anti-monopoly laws, that are given the power of coerced representation, and that receive millions of dollars from the Federal government in direct grants, and billions to state entities with heavy union representation that provide worker training.

The only counter balance to all of this is in those states that at least give workers a choice whether or not to support the union in their workplace with union dues from their hard earned wages. Again, this isn’t some crazy, untried concept. Nearly half of the states recognize this form of workers’ rights–and they continue to grow their economies and outperform those states that have not adopted right-to-work laws.

Domestic enemies lists are coming back, TSA edition

Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover (not to mention Iosif Stalin and various other totalitarians) would be so proud of DHS head Janet Napolitano after she authored an internal DHS memo detailing how anybody who objects to the nekkid scan/crotch grab method of airline security would be put on a “domestic extremist” (DHS’s term, not mine) list. The Northeast Intelligence Network has the details, including how Teh Won fully-supports this.

I’m glad I’m not flying anytime soon, and I won’t be giving up Shoebox’s identity lest we have to reinstitute the Free Shoebox effort.

The annual Egg Turkey Execution Proclamation – 2010 edition

by @ 9:11. Tags:
Filed under Miscellaneous.

Whereas the turkey is the offical bird of Thanksgiving, and

Whereas turkey is a delicious meat, and

Whereas turkey breast contains more protein and less fat and sodium than chicken breast,

Now therefore I hereby decree that a nameless, pictureless turkey be given a thorough plucking and a complete basting, and warmed to a sufficient temperature for human consumption, and further decree that turkey be thoroughly enjoyed until all of the meat be eaten.


Or if you’re really hungry, try this…

November 22, 2010

COHICA, BOHICA, or cloaca?

by @ 11:16. Filed under Politics - National, Technology.

(H/T – Ed Morrissey)

Wired reports that a very-disturbing item known as CLOAC…er, BOHIC…er, COHICA is fast-tracking its way through the lame-duck Senate, unanimously clearing the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 3804 has two parts ostensibly designed to combat digital piracy, but which can be (and probably will be considering the bent of the current administration) used to silence critics of the LeftStreamMedia. Since I am one of those critics, it really hits home.

The first part allows the Attorney General to petition the courts to force domestic hosting companies and DNS servers to block access to any site that the AG deems to have “no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than…(to) enable enable or facilitate a violation of title 17, United States Code, including by offering or providing access to, without the authorization of the copyright owner or otherwise by operation of law, copies of, or public performance or display of, works protected by title 17, in complete or substantially complete form, by any means, including by means of download, transmission, or otherwise, including the provision of a link or aggregated links to other sites or Internet resources for obtaining such copies for accessing such performance or displays….” That’s right – a thorough fisking isn’t necessary to be shut down; merely linking to a site that does said thorough fisking can get one shut down.

That is bad enough. What’s worse is the Attorney General will be maintaining a list of those domains that he or she didn’t decide to act judicially against, and that any domestic web host or DNS server that decides “on their own” to block access will get the same immunity against action that those ordered to block access by the court does.

As Ed puts it:

Furthermore, the ambiguous nature of the infringements covered and the definition of centrality could make this a bill with much more impact in the blogosphere. Many of us link to media articles and excerpt under the “fair use” provision of copyright law, designed to further debate and discussion without damaging the critical concept of intellectual property. However, it’s no secret that mainstream media organizations are mainly hostile to this process and occasionally threaten bloggers for engaging in it. If an administration decides it doesn’t much like a blogger or an alternate-media site — or a whole bunch of them — it won’t take many complaints from lawsuit-happy media outlets to convince an Attorney General in some administrations to suspend the domains involved, leaving the alternate media no recourse at all and no platform from which to dissent.

In effect, it hands the executive branch a big weapon to silence dissent, or at the very least, to threaten those who engage in it.

Point of order – it actually won’t take any complaints from an administration-compliant media. So, if this passes and this place suddenly becomes “unavailable”, at least you’ll know why.

November 21, 2010

Recommended Reading (11/21/10)

by @ 19:52. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

New Wisconsin Senate President says deficit can be solved

“There is a way to get out of this. First of all, you have to be honest with the public. There won’t be more of anything for the next two years. What we need to do is get rid of that debt and do it in one year.

To accomplish that, there are a number of things that are going to have to be done. Everybody’s going to have to take less. If you got a dollar in 2010-11, you may only get 95 cents in 2011-12. It may not be a permanent deal, but it’ll be for at least two years.”

Tears (my own) and airport scanners

“Ok, so folks start through the old-fashioned screeners. Everyone. But when my turn comes, I’m motioned through the naked-scanner. I objected, asked why (‘random selection’) and shared that I preferred the regular detector. Oh no, not possible – it’s not my job or right to make a choice. Rather, I’d have to submit to a pat down. I asked for details and learned I would be patted under my breasts and up the inside of my leg until ‘we feel resistance.’ Oh my.

I asked for a supervisor. And then another supervisor. And then the gendarmes showed up. Three of them. Oh my.”

Pat Me, Pat Me

“The other day a CBS News Poll found that fully 81 percent of Americans approve the use of the high-tech machines at the airport, but that means nothing to Drudge. How many more Americans would welcome a soothing pat-down midst the hurly-burly of travel at our nation’s stress-filled airports I do not know, but count me in — especially if the patter-downer is a cute little number on the order of, say, Sarah Palin.”

Amid airport anger, GOP takes aim at screening

“Did you know that the nation’s airports are not required to have Transportation Security Administration screeners checking passengers at security checkpoints? The 2001 law creating the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Now, with the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice”

Obamaganda: Campaigning on your tax dollars

“The Department of Health and Human Services spent $700,000 on a TV commercial featuring the 84-year-old Andy Griffith, explaining to seniors why the Democrats’ health care overhaul was good for them and their Medicare.

In the ad, the star of the ‘Andy Griffith Show’ says, ‘This year, as always, we’ll have our guaranteed benefits. And with the new health care law, more good things are coming.’

The government bought airtime on CNN, the Weather Channel, Hallmark and Lifetime, considered the most popular networks for seniors.

He ends the ad saying, ‘I think you’re gonna like it,’ in the folksy Andy Griffith way.

The core problem with the ad is that it’s not true.”

Should Illegals have drivers’ licenses?

“You don’t think these illegals with license are voting as well, do you? How much easier is it to vote when you have a driver’s license? Completely unacceptable.

This story becomes more interesting when you consider it is the first female Hispanic Governor that will revoke the licenses.”

November 20, 2010

My Hat’s Off to the TSA

by @ 12:57. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Over the past few weeks, the TSA has gained an increasingly notorious reputation. Increasingly aggressive searching procedures have cries of sexual harassment, security boycotts and “Fourth Amendment” echoing through airport terminals. While I didn’t think it possible, the TSA has become more hated than Nancy Pelosi and has done it in a matter of just a few weeks. That all said, I’ve found the silver lining that goes with thrum of negativity regarding the TSA.

On a radio show Friday, Jesse Ventura said that he would no longer fly commercial flights due to the TSA regulations:

I feel that as a former governor, a former mayor, an honestly discharged [Vietnam] Navy veteran, that I can’t live with myself and subject myself that every time I go to an airport I have to prove that I am not a murderer, I have to prove I am not guilty of anything, I have to prove I won’t hijack a plane. I find it ridiculous and so for my own personal choice I will not fly a commercial airliner or subject myself to that again.

Ventura then recognized the possible implication of his decision:

It probably means an end to my career.

Oh no! You mean the bat shit crazy former governor of my former state won’t get a forum to espouse more of his bat shit crazy theories? You mean we won’t hear anymore about Jesse’s theory of 9/11, FEMA camps and other illusions of his mind?

Well done TSA, well done!

November 19, 2010

In Defense of the TSA

by @ 15:10. Filed under Free Shoebox, Transportation.

In recent weeks, the TSA has evolved from being the answer to jokes about government ineptness to the leading face on America’s Most Wanted due to activities that are at best, border line criminal. The change in notoriety is a result of the TSA’s deployment of the back scatter X-ray machines combined with new standard operating procedures. The new SOPs have TSA agents doing “aggressive” pat downs to anyone who does not pass through “normal” screening. With increasing cries from the public about “sexual harassment,” several airports are now weighing whether to exercise their “opt out option” which would terminate the TSA and have security provided by a private firm at the opting airport. While I’m all for shrinking government and privatization of government services, allowing individual privatization of airport security will not solve the customer service issue and in fact, will make it worse.

First, my bona fides: For several years prior to and subsequent to 9/11, I was one of Northwest Airlines most beloved customers. Don’t be confused, while I paid lots of money for lots of flights on NWA, for which they loved me, I never once saw any indication of their appreciation. NWA employees never showed any favoritism to those of us who contributed most to their livelihood. They sneered and snarled at coach and first class customers equally. But, I digress. While my travel had dropped off for a few years, I again became a most beloved customer this year with Southwest Airlines….and they do love me!

As further bona fides, I’ve had my issues with the TSA. For those who don’t regularly follow the blog you can check out some of my fun here, here, here, and here.

I give you this list of bonafides so you know I have/do travel alot and that I’m not a lover of the mental vacuity that is the TSA.

So why am I defending the TSA?

Prior to 9/11, traveling by air, while not glamorous, was easy. I remember many a trip where I would get to the airport 25 minutes before departure and made the flight with the plane door grazing my backside as it closed. Of course, that all changed with 9/11.

Security procedures implemented post 9/11, were challenging. Lack of equipment, buildings that weren’t designed for large holding areas and confusing rules were all part of the challenges for the first weeks and months following 9/11. Additionally, you might remember that while the TSA was officially formed shortly after 9/11, it was private security companies that actually performed the airport screening while the TSA staffed up. It’s this last issue that concerns me with the cries for abandoning the TSA.

I believe an honest assessment of the year that private companies were providing airport security, would be hard pressed to find that “customer service” was any better than it was/is with the TSA using the same set of enforcement methods. In fact, my personal experience was that along with a bunch of people with Barney Fife kinds of attitudes, I was additionally subjected to security procedures that varied by airport. Each security company was interpreting the TSA rules and applying them in a fashion they determined appropriate. These variances not only caused high levels of frustration with the flying public but also had the impact of slowing the screening process as there wasn’t a routine that you could always depend on or prepare for. Cattle move in an orderly fashion when they know what to expect. Spook them or cause uncertainty, and it’s very hard to get them to move through the shoots.

My point is not that I support the TSA’s aggressive, personally violating tactics. While I’m always a supporter of outsourcing all government activities that can be done by private enterprise, I don’t believe replacing the TSA with private security firms will improve the customer friendliness. Iit will however, lead to an inconsistent enforcement of policies that the TSA itself can’t agree on.

The problem with airport security is not “who” is doing the security but “what” the security measures are. Having a private company employee grab my crotch (not to be confused with viewing my crotch for which I’m on record as being for,) makes me feel no less assaulted than having a government employee grab my crotch. In my mind, blowing TSA employees out of airport security may feel good (pun intended) but it would have no effect on the user experience without changing the mindset of the idiots who refuse to use proven methods including profiling rather than getting their jollies from groping elderly, Scandinavian descended, women.

Improving the security process has little to do with who is doing the process and everything to do with who the process is being done to. Until Congress grows a pair (easily verified by walking them each through a backscatter x-ray) and decides to not kowtow to the ACLU, we can expect an ever increasing loss of privacy that will be veiled under “increased security.”

Maybe it’s my age but I don’t have fantasies about having sex acts done to me in public. On the other hand, Congress has been screwing us for so long, I don’t think they consider public sex abherent behavior.

Prospectus quote of the day – Government Motors edition

by @ 8:38. Tags:
Filed under Business, Politics - National.

(H/T – Monty)

David Weidner over at The Wall Street Journal found this little “gem” in the prospectus for Government Motors’ common-stock IPO (emphasis in the original; the emphasized part is quoted in the WSJ article):

We have determined that our disclosure controls and procedures and our internal control over financial reporting are currently not effective. The lack of effective internal controls could materially adversely affect our financial condition and ability to carry out our business plan.

Our management team for financial reporting, under the supervision and with the participation of our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Financial Officer, conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our internal controls. At December 31, 2009, because of the inability to sufficiently test the effectiveness of remediated internal controls, we concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective. At September 30, 2010 we concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective at a reasonable assurance level because of the material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting that continued to exist. Until we have been able to test the operating effectiveness of remediated internal controls and ensure the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures, any material weaknesses may materially adversely affect our ability to report accurately our financial condition and results of operations in the future in a timely and reliable manner. In addition, although we continually review and evaluate internal control systems to allow management to report on the sufficiency of our internal controls, we cannot assure you that we will not discover additional weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. Any such additional weakness or failure to remediate the existing weakness could materially adversely affect our financial condition or ability to comply with applicable financial reporting requirements and the requirements of the Company’s various financing agreements.

I’m shocked, SHOCKED that a government-run enterprise has no effective control over its disclosure and financial reporting. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it almost looks like Government Motors is lying in order to shift the cost of propping up the UAW and ensuring millions of dollars in donations to Democrats for the couple years Government Motors will survive from the Treasury to the suckers on Wall Street.

Weidner also noted that the prospectus warned that its defined-pension funds are underfunded to the tune of $17 billion. That $4 billion payment to be made from both cash on hand and the sale of the Series B preferred stock won’t make much more than a short-term dent in that.

November 18, 2010

New NRE poll – Why did the Treasury sell its GM preferred shares early?

by @ 14:55. Tags:
Filed under Business, NRE Polls.

Almost completely lost in the shuffle of Government Motors’ IPO is news that GM and the US Treasury agreed to allow GM to buy back the $2.1 billion in preferred stock owned by the Treasury 4 years early at a 2% premium over the liquidation price. That is to be done shortly after GM sells $4.35 billion in new-issue preferred stock to be traded publicly.

Back when the Treasury set up Government Motors as a post-bankruptcy entity, in addition to the 61% stake it took in the common stock of the company, it also took $2.1 billion in perpetual prefered stock that paid an all-but-mandatory 9% annual dividend (well, GM could not declare the dividend, but it would have to make good before it either paid a dividend on any other class of stock or bought back the preferred stock). The Canadian government took a smaller piece of this preferred stock, and the UAW took the lion’s share to help fund the VEBA. One of the restrictions the Treasury put on GM was that it could not buy back this stock before the end of 2014.

Suddenly, on October 27, just a couple weeks before the IPO, GM and the Treasury agreed that, instead of forcing GM to wait until the end of 2014 to buy back the $2.1 billion in preferred stock and pay out $802 million in dividends between now and then, they would let GM get out of it now at a 2% premium on that $2.1 billion price (or a $41 million premium). There are two explanations I can think of for why the Treasury would give up an all-but-guaranteed $755 million over the next 4 years for $41 million now:

  • By eliminating its first claim on $189 million/year from GM, it believes it will get more from common stock sales than the $761 million it’s giving up from the preferred stock. One of the big knocks on GM is that it is indeed Government Motors. By no longer demanding $189 million per year before anybody else not named government or the UAW gets a taste of the profits (which is what a dividend on common stock is) and demonstrating that once the last of the common stock is out of the Treasury, the government is out of GM, the hope is that investors will actually believe that it isn’t Government Motors. Given that the IPO price jumped from $25/share to $33/share, it isn’t an unreasonable expectation.
  • The Treasury isn’t hopeful that GM will survive for very long. Even though preferred stock is senior to common stock, and indeed the government/UAW issue preferred stock is senior to the private-issue preferred stock that should be hitting the open market in a few days, it is still junior to all debt. Tom Blumer noted that dealer inventories have been “gamed” in advance of the IPO to make GM appear to be more profitable than it is. Under this line of thinking, getting $2.14 billion now is better than perhaps not getting even $802 million (much less not getting $2.9 billion) over the next 4 years.

Okay, folks – have at it. Which is it, one, the other, both, or did I just bore the living hell out of you?

Why did the Treasury sell its GM preferred shares early?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • Both, boss. (60%, 9 Vote(s))
  • By eliminating its first claim on $189 million/year from GM, it believes it will get more from common stock sales than the $761 million it's giving up from the preferred stock. (20%, 3 Vote(s))
  • I have no clue. (13%, 2 Vote(s))
  • The Treasury isn't hopeful that GM will survive for very long. (7%, 1 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 15

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November 17, 2010

Torpedoing the Titanic, Wisconsin Rat Edition

by @ 19:01. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Lame Duck Madness is not just a DC affliction. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that soon-to-be-former Senate Democrat leader (both in the leadership role and as Senator after being defeated for re-election) Russ Decker wants to approve budget-busting state employee union contracts soon-to-be-former (because he knew he would be beat like a drum) Governor Jim “Craps” Doyle (AFSCME/HoChunk-For Sale) is rushing to complete before he slinks back off to northern Wisconsin (or more likely, slides into a lobbyist office just off the Capitol grounds). For his part, soon-to-be-former Assembly Speaker (again, both in a leadership role and as an Assemblyman after being defeated for re-election) Mike Sheridan was silent on the matter.

At least 4 of the Democrats on the Committee of Assembly Organization (Sheridan, soon-to-be-ex-Assemblyman (after giving up his seat for a failed run at lieutenant governor) Tom Nelson, Assemblywoman Donna Seidel, and Assemblymen Tony Staskunas and Peter Barca) would need to go along with the Democrats on the Committee of Senate Organization (Decker, Fred Risser, and David Hansen, with the latter 2 up for re-election in 2012) to even call the Legislature back into session, assuming Doyle doesn’t do it himself after completing rushed negotiations.

Guess Doyle and Decker don’t think the biggest shift in Wisconsin politics in my lifetime should have consequences other than torpedoes launched from their sinking ship at the rest of the state that rejected them.

Wednesday Hot Read – Erick Erickson’s “More Than One ‘I’ In Coalition”

by @ 12:56. Filed under Conservatism.

Erick Erickson nails it on the complimentary nature of broad-based conservatism:

The fact is I completely agree with Jim DeMint. You cannot be a fiscal conservative without being a social conservative and vice versa. The libertine sensibilities of many a fiscal libertarian will lead the country to social ruin causing government spending to bail out society and the spend-thrift nature of many Republican pro-life statists will lead the country to bankruptcy….

Now, I know many of you disagree with that and I cannot persuade you otherwise, but I do think there is common ground in this disagreement. It goes back to the idea of federalism, recognizing it no longer exists, and committing to restore it.

Our founders did not intend, nor did any governing coalition or black robed master at the Supreme Court intend, for this nation to have a national common morality. Unfortunately, in the twentieth-century our black robed masters decided over time that we must.

Ideally in this country, if you want gay marriage and abortion in California you should be able to have it. If I want real marriage and no abortion in Georgia I should be able to have it. And ultimately when California collapses in on itself those of us who upheld the nuclear family can fight over the leftover land.

That is the way the country was designed and intended. The thugocrats at the Supreme Court decided they had a better idea and now you and I must both adhere to a common morality, which over time has favored a secular society of libertine morality, which many of us believe will ultimately cause the destruction of our society. But that’s neither here nor there.

What is here is that whether you are for fiscal or social issues, neither side can afford to shut up when the folks in Washington insist that federalism is out and black robed thuggery and bureaucratic fiat are in.

The NRE guide to the GM IPO

by @ 10:28. Filed under Business, Politics - National.

With 478 million of 1.5 billion shares in Government Motors expected to hit the New York Stock Exchange tomorrow under the GM ticker, I thought it would be good to put together a little FAQ on the IPO based on the latest revision of GM’s registration statement at the SEC containing GM’s common stock prospectus, filed early this morning. I can’t stress this enough – This is not a recommendation or solicitation to either buy or not buy shares in any company.

  • Who is offering the common shares in GM? Three of the four current owners of Government Motors are offering some of their shares – the United States Treasury, Canada Holdings (a Canadian government-owned entity), and the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust. The fourth owner, Motors Liquidation Company (on behalf of the bondholders of the former incarnation of General Motors, with the stock to be distributed to the bondholders upon final liquidation of MLC), is not involved in this sale. Further, GM is not offering any new shares for sale.
  • How many common shares are each of the entities offering? The Treasury is putting up 358,546,795 of its 912,394,068 shares (roughly 39.3% of its current holdings). The Canadian government is putting up 30,453,205 of its 175,105,932 shares (roughly 17.4% of its current holdings). The UAW is putting up 89,000,000 of its 262,500,000 shares (roughly 33.9% of its current holdings). In addition, each of the three entities have given the underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to an addditional 71,700,000 shares to cover any over-allotments in the IPO process at approximately the same ratio as the “main” offering (a maximum of 53,782,019 shares by the Treasury, 4,567,981 shares by the Canadian government, and 13,350,000 shares by the UAW).
  • How much of the common stock will each of the 4 current entities hold after the IPO, and how much will be available for the public? Assuming no over-allotment option exercise, the Treasury will hold 36.92% of the stock (down from the current 60.83%), the Canadian government will hold 9.64% (down from 11.67%), the UAW will hold 11.57% (down from 17.50%), MLC (on behalf of the bondholders) will continue to hold 10.00%, and 31.86% will be available for the public. If the over-allotment option is exercised in full, the percentages will change to 33.34% for the Treasury, 9.34% for the Canadian government, 10.68% for the UAW, 10.00% for MLC (on behalf of the bondholders), and 36.65% for the public. Of note, as the single largest shareholder even with full over-allotment exercise, the Treasury will maintain effective control over Government Motors. Also, do note that both MLC and the UAW hold warrants to purchase new-issue common stock.
  • Where can I get the stock? The New York Stock Exchange has approved the listing of stock under the symbol GM. The Toronto Stock Exchange has conditionally approved the listing of stock under the symbol GMM.
  • Who gets the money from the IPO of the common stock, and about how much will each entity get out of it? The current holders of the stock and the underwriters get the money, not GM. Earlier reports suggested that the common stock would be offered at $25/share. Current estimates are that it could be as high as $33/share. At the lower $25/share amount, after the underwriter discount and commissions, and other fees, the Treasury should net approximately $8.74 billion, the Canadian government approximately US$742 million, and the UAW approximately $2.17 billion. At the higher $33/share amount, the Treasury should net approximately $11.53 billion, the Canadian government approximately US$980 million, and the UAW approximately $2.86 billion.
  • What are the prospects of a dividend on common stock? None can be paid until dividends on both Series A Preferred Stock (currently held by mostly the UAW and also the Treasury and Canadian governments) and new-issue Series B Preferred Stock are paid.
  • What’s this Series B Preferred Stock? It’s a new issue being held simultaneously with with the IPO of common stock. 80 million shares will be offered at $50 per share, a mandatory conversion to common stock sometime in 2013 (date and conversion ratio not yet specified), and a yet-to-be-determined rate of dividend based on the $50/share price. Unlike the common-stock IPO, GM will get the money from this as it is a new issue of stock, estimated at $3.9 billion (or $4.4 billion if that offering’s over-allotment option is fully-exercised).
  • I heard something about GM buying back the Series A Preferred Stock from the Treasury. What’s up with that? On October 27, GM and the Treasury entered into an agreement to allow GM to buy back the Treasury’s holdings of 83.9 million shares of Series A Preferred Stock three years (and change) earlier than the terms of that stock allowed. Under the former terms, which still apply to the stock held by the Canadian government and the UAW, the stock earned a 9% annual dividend (based on the liquidation price of $25/share), and the stock could not be liquidated prior to December 31, 2014 at $25/share plus any unpaid dividend. Under the terms of the sale, GM agreed to pay $25.50/share (a premium of $0.50/share), a total of $2.14 billion (a total premium of $41.9 million), and the Treasury agreed to forgo a minimum of $755 million of dividends. That money, as well as a portion of a $4 billion voluntary contribution to US hourly and salaried pension plans, will come from the proceeds of the sale of Series B Preferred Stock.

November 15, 2010

Catepillar buying Bucyrus, Oak Creek hardest hit – UPDATE – not hit

by @ 9:40. Filed under Business.

Catepillar Inc. and Bucyrus International announced that Cat will be buying Bucyrus for $7.6 billion in cash, plus debt. While it is a consolidation in the grand scheme between two titans of the mining industry, other than the limited number of mining trucks Bucyrus makes, there really is no overlap between the two companies. Further, Catepillar is moving its mining offices to South Milwaukee.

However, that is also the part that is bad news for Oak Creek. Bucyrus has been in the process of moving senior management to the former Midwest Airlines headquarters, lured there in no small part by the creation of a new TIF district that extends north to College Ave. and the proposed site of a couple of hotels that don’t look to be built anytime soon. There won’t be senior management around too much longer to occupy the Oak Creek site.

Revisions/extensins (5:00 pm 11/15/2010) – The BizTimes reports that Catepillar will be using the Oak Creek facility as its mining headquarters after all.

Mandatory Reading Monday – Christian Schneider’s “The Making of a Candidate – Part 1”

(H/T – Charlie Sykes)

The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute’s Christian Schneider embedded himself in the Ron Johnson Senate campaign, and began a week-long series looking at how someone who, this time last year was a successful businessman who was concerned about the storm clouds of PlaceboCare, knocked off the liberal lion of the US Senate, who this time last year, was still seen as a lock for re-election despite a series of testy constituent meetings. I can think of at least 4 Senate candidates who, had they followed what Johnson and his campaign team did, would have at a minimum made a respectable showing earlier this month, which is why it’s a “Mandatory Read” rather than a “Hot Read”. I usually hate to use an extended excerpt for these, but in this case, I must; besides, there’s 4 more parts coming.

One of the times RonJon’s inexperience as a public speaker became most evident occurred in early June, when the new candidate was speaking in front of a conservative group that should have been predisposed to his way of thinking. Johnson was asked a question about illegal immigration, and began giving a good answer.

Johnson was telling the group all about how we need to secure the border and enforce the laws on the books. He could have ended there and been just fine. Then, when he should have stopped talking, he started asking himself rhetorical questions. Johnson, not knowing what was going to come out of his mouth next, said, out loud, “of course, that brings up the question – what do we do with the illegal immigrants that are already here?”

Johnson’s staff was horrified. Clearly, the only reason to ask yourself a hypothetical question out loud is because you probably don’t know the answer. And not knowing things isn’t exactly a strong resume point when applying to be a U.S. senator.

As a result, (Jack) Jablonski (deputy campaign manager), Juston (Johnson, campaign manager), and (Kristin) Ruesch (communications director) began a “candidate boot camp” for the new candidate. They locked Johnson into a room for three days in mid-June, firing questions at him. These quickly became known as the “murder sessions.” Among the questions Johnson was posed:

  • Should British Petroleum (BP) be required to suspend its dividend payouts to ensure set aside for liabilities or put it into an escrow fund?
  • What do you feel caused the financial crash?
  • When is it appropriate to use the filibuster?
  • Who is responsible for preserving and protecting the Gulf of Mexico?
  • Is Obama a Marxist?
  • Are you the tea party candidate?
  • Are you in favor of a Fair or Flat Tax?
  • Should we audit the Fed?

Both Jablonski and Juston acknowledge that RonJon is a smart guy. “He’s said ‘every day I wake up, my goal is not to say something that will completely sink my campaign,’” recounts Juston. “And he’s a very willing learner – he’d sit and study policy papers all day if he could,” he said. “But he’s also very impatient and sensitive to his own vulnerabilities. He can’t stand just saying ‘I don’t know,’ when asked a tough question. It’s our job to teach him that sometimes it’s okay to give a 10 to 15 second answer, then pivot to jobs and the economy.”

Despite Johnson’s willingness to learn, these behind-the-scenes question and answer sessions often got testy. At times, Johnson’s obduracy ground the meetings to a halt. He didn’t think he’d be asked many of the questions his staff posed him. They often had to go back over issues several times.

For instance, staff told him three separate times not to say he’s a better candidate than Dave Westlake because he has more money. Then, at a candidate forum in Brookfield, Johnson answered a question about why he’d be a better candidate by essentially saying he had more money.

Through the murder sessions, Jablonski says he became convinced Johnson was smart and well-read enough to pull this off. But Johnson was clearly a neophyte, while Feingold has been at the political game for over 30 years now. “For eighteen years, taxpayers have been paying Russ Feingold to know everything there is to know about the federal government,” Jablonski says. “And Ron has to learn it all in, like, two weeks. Can you name anyone in the state who would be able to step into a situation like that?”

A bonus item from today’s piece deals with the raw, naked attempt by Feingold to keep somebody like Johnson from being able to effectively challenge his large warchest by putting the since-struck-down “Millionaire’s Exception” into the McCain-Feingold Liberal Protection Act.

November 14, 2010

Because Smitty is departing for Afghanistan…

by @ 22:39. Filed under War on Terror.

Lance Burri opened up the floor for some automotivators for everybody’s favorite Navy techie. Unlike Lance, I have had the honor of meeting Smitty, so I could not leave myself out of this.

Fair winds, no seas (well, unless we decide to make Kabul beachfront property), and make sure you’re back for CPAC 2012, Smitty.

November 11, 2010

Thank you, veterans

by @ 8:03. Filed under Military.

I usually don’t have an opportunity to positively quote President Obama because he and I are diametrically opposed on almost every issue, but this year’s Presidential Proclamation is a happy and worthy exception.

On Veterans Day, we come together to pay tribute to the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. Americans across this land commemorate the patriots who have risked their lives to preserve the liberty of our Nation, the families who support them, and the heroes no longer with us. It is not our weapons or our technology that make us the most advanced military in the world; it is the unparalleled spirit, skill, and devotion of our troops. As we honor our veterans with ceremonies on this day, let our actions strengthen the bond between a Nation and her warriors.

In an unbroken line of valor stretching across more than two centuries, our veterans have charged into harm’s way, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice, to protect the freedoms that have blessed America. Whether Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard, they are our Nation’s finest citizens, and they have shown the heights to which Americans can rise when asked and inspired to do so. Our courageous troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the globe have earned their place alongside previous generations of great Americans, serving selflessly, tour after tour, in conflicts spanning nearly a decade.

Long after leaving the uniform behind, many veterans continue to serve our country as public servants and mentors, parents and community leaders. They have added proud chapters to the story of America, not only on the battlefield, but also in communities from coast to coast. They have built and shaped our Nation, and it is our solemn promise to support our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen as they return to their homes and families.

America’s sons and daughters have not watched over her shores or her citizens for public recognition, fanfare, or parades. They have preserved our way of life with unwavering patriotism and quiet courage, and ours is a debt of honor to care for them and their families. These obligations do not end after their time of service, and we must fulfill our sacred trust to care for our veterans after they retire their uniforms.

As a grateful Nation, we are humbled by the sacrifices rendered by our service members and their families out of the deepest sense of service and love of country. On Veterans Day,let us remember our solemn obligations to our veterans, and recommit to upholding the enduring principles that our country lives for, and that our fellow citizens have fought and died for.

With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service men and women have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation’s veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2010, as Veterans Day. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.


RWN poll – looking back at the 2010 elections

by @ 6:54. Filed under Politics - National.

John Hawkins once again took the temperature of a bunch of right-of-center bloggers, this time on the just-concluded (for the most part, at least) 2010 elections. Since I was one of those who participated, and some of the answers require an explanation beyond just a checkmark in one of a few pre-worded answers, I’ll explain my answers. Some of them aren’t exactly the most-popular among the other 69 people who answered the call, some of them are; you’ll have to go over to Right Wing News to find out how many of us said what:

  • Out of the following people and groups, which do you think was the most valuable player in the election cycle? The NRCC – This one is pretty much by default because the Republican State Leadership Committee, which had the biggest day in gaining a unified majority of state legislatures, wasn’t on the list. Out of the rest, only the NRCC managed to meet (non-inflated) pre-election expectations without having at least one significant (non-inflated) clunker.
  • Out of the following people and groups, which do you think did the most disappointing job during the election cycle? The NRSC – See Charlie Crist, Arlen Specter, Liza Murkywater…er, Lisa Murkowski, Carly Fiorina,…. The Republicans that won, almost to a person, won in spite of the NRSC, and in several cases, to spite the NRSC.
  • How would you rate the impact of the Tea Party during the election cycle? Generally positive – Yes, there were a couple clunkers of candidates that came out of the Tea Party Movement (cough…Christine O’Donnell…cough), but for every clunker, there were several winners (Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker). Further, without the Tea Party Movement, it certainly would have been possible-to-likely for the Democrats to hang onto the majority in the House and deny the Republicans clear control of the majority of the state legislatures.
  • Do you think the Tea Party and/or Sarah Palin and/or Jim DeMint cost the GOP the Senate? no – Face it, folks – we weren’t going to get to a net gain of 10 in the Senate this time around. Harry Reid had the casino union vote locked up in Nevada, California, Connecticut and New York are all too far gone (despite what Jazz Shaw thinks for the latter), and not even Mike Castle was going to win in Delaware if the exit polls were right. The only places I can think of where the Republicans could have won with proper NRSC support are Alaska (where the soon-to-be-turncoat Murkowski managed to run what appears to be a successful write-in campaign with effectively no NRSC opposition), West Virginia (where the NRSC, frankly, fucked up royally with the “hick” ad), and Washington (you think the $8 million in NRSC money that went to Fiorina could have been better spent for Dino Rossi?).
  • Which of the following would you say is a more apt description of the Democrats’ historic election losses? People voted against the Democrats – Had this been a WisPolitics temperature check rather than a RWN one, I would have gone with the second option of people voting for the Republicans. However, unlike Wisconsin’s Republicans, I cannot honestly say that Republicans on a national level realize they need to be the Party of Reagan.
  • Do you think Michael Steele should be retained as the Chairman of the RNC?Not sure – What matters more, results or gaffes? Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything; it is the only thing.”
  • Do you think John Cornyn should be retained as the head of the NRSC? No – See the answer to the second question.
  • Do you think Pete Sessions should be retained as head of the NRCC? Yes – It’s kind of hard to argue against the largest pickup in 62 years.
  • Do you think John Boehner should be the next Speaker of the House or should he be replaced? Replace him Let me put it this way – the one time Republican House members could have actually derailed a plank of the POR Agenda, 8 of them caved to let Cap-and-Tax pass. Fortunately, it was one of the few times Mitch McConnell didn’t need to keep more than 35 of his caucus together in the Senate to derail things (more on him in the next question).
  • Do you think Mitch McConnell should continue on as the Senate Minority Leader or should they replace him? Replace him – If I’m going to out John Boehner as a failure of a leader, how much more should I out McConnell as a failure of a leader? Even before we found out Stuart Smalley stole the Minnesota Senate election, Shoebox said that there was no difference between 57 Democrat Senators and 60. Guess what – he was right!

November 9, 2010

Tuesday Hot Read – Kevin’s back!

by @ 21:24. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Fresh from helping Ron Johnson knock off Russ Feingold, Kevin Binversie popped back in the Cheddarshpere for at least a while. He starts off with an easy target – DPW chair Mike Tate:

Current Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate back in 2006, when he had just wrapped up being the Director of “Fair Wisconsin,” the pro-gay marriage group.

24. Twenty five years from now, Wisconsin politicos will be talking about ….

The uninterrupted string of Democratic governors we have had since 2002, as well as the silly discrimination amendment we repealed in 2012.

Yeah…both those are just set to happen Mike…any day now.

There is a bonus item you can’t miss. Do make sure that, if you took Lakeshore Laments off your feed readers, you put it back on. Trust me on this.

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