Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Other GM Bailout

The Other GM Bailout: Corporations in the red, as GM was for years, are allowed to carry forward net operating losses that reduce their future tax liability when they are making money. GM had accumulated about $45 billion in such profit-shielding chits by 2008, with a book value of about $18 billion. When companies enter bankruptcy, carry-forwards disappear or are greatly limited under IRS section 382, which kicks in when ownership changes by more than 50 percentage points.

The point is to prevent companies from buying assets solely for tax arbitrage or tax avoidance. But starting in 2009, Treasury began to issue regulatory "notices" that suspend this law when it comes to Treasury-owned stock. The provisions also apply to AIG and Citigroup.

so we taxpayers gave money in a bailout and then lost money in potential tax revenue.

Sorry liberals, you can't blame this one on greedy big business. This is all government doing.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What about the people whose identity he stole?

Gasoline deliveries and the economy

If there is one thing Freakonomics taught us is that seemingly unrelated data sets can often be important predictors of human behavior.

Guest Post: Why Is Gasoline Consumption Tanking? | ZeroHedge

I don't know about rest of the country but demand is going to go down in Maryland as the General Assembly considers more gas taxes.


A VICTORY FOR CITIZENS IN THE WAR AGAINST PHOTOGRAPHY: Public can record Baltimore police officers …

This should be the case.  So long as the videotaping does not interfere with the police doing their job, such as getting in the way of a crime scene, or putting officers at risk, the public should be entitled to video the officers.  Cops have to be held accountable and a public armed with cameras is the best way to do it.

It may be an extreme case, but.....

Louisiana's Governor betting big

On Revolutionary education reform

With Gov Bobby Jindal and a Republican controlled legislature on the verge of radically expanding school choice programs, Jindal may very well be providing education watchers a unique real life laboratory of democracy and public policy.

But is Jindal really taking a risk? 

Even now, 80% of New Orleans students attend a charter school and some of the most egregious education barriers, like the racial achievement gap, are falling. 

Of course the teachers unions are fighting tooth and nail, but it is hard to argue with the success of New Orleans.  What will the educational establishment think when Louisiana tops the national rankings and do so with less per pupil spending than most other states?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Orwellian Justice in New Haven--This Time against a Professor

Orwellian Justice in New Haven--This Time against a Professor.

I read with disgust the hit piece on Yale University quarterback Patrick Witt, who as a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship make a difficult choice and decided to play in the annual Harvard-Yale football game. Whether this was a wise decision is irrelevant since it was Witt's decision and he has to live the consequences of that decision. However, the New York Times intimated, without detail that the reason why Witt withdrew is because of an informal sexual assault complaint that was lodged against him by an unnamed woman. The Times ran with the piece without much in the way of confirmation.

The problem as pointed out by KC Johnson in this piece, is that Patrick Witt's reputation is damaged, possibly beyond repair, and he has little recourse to find out who did it since Yale is not conducting an investigation into who leaded the information about an informal complaint.

Which brings me to the informal complaint process. Now as a private university (although it aspires to hold higher standards than some mere public university), Yale University does not owe it students or faculty any of what we would consider normal due process rights, such as the right to face one's accuser. In Witt's case, he may have known the name of his accuser, that fact is a little less than clear since all the stories that I have read have stated that the "parties" agreed to keep things confidential. The problem is that "parties" is not defined. An informal complaint process, as it is described by Johnson, allows for little or no investigation and ca be started on little more than a "worry" or whim. The process appears to be designed to allow an accuser to "regain their sense of wellbeing" and gives the accuser control over the process. Nevermind that the infomration complaint process does nothing to determine if the accuser is right or even partially right or simply misunderstood something.

No, the informal complaint process is designed label someone, possibly wrongly, as something to be feared, punished and ostracized.

The funny thing is, as can be found in the first link in this post, now that the process has been turned on a professor, will there be any changes to the policy. In the professor's case, he wasn't even aware that an informal complaint has been made--but he would be subject to "monitoring." Guilty until proven innocent.

Now that the process is used against professors--will there be change? I wouldn't count on it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Women In Sports

I saw this piece at the Sports Law Blog about women in sports. Although I grew up with Title IX (well it was passed when I was three years old), it was not until my middle and high school years and beyond that I really saw the effect.

As a kid I played soccer for most of my youth (after two years of very unsucessful baseball). Eventually after a couple of years, I began playing for the club travel team. At that time, in the late 1970's and early 1980's, there were no dedicated girls teams after just 7 or 8 years of Title IX. My travel team had a one girl (Lara) on the team and that was it. By the time I was in 7th grade, my father began coaching the local high school girls team and most high schools in the North Florida did not have girls teams. The team my father coached was the only school in the county that had a girls team. My middle school didn't have a girls team. To say that there was a gulf in class between the girls teams and the boys team would be a minor understatement. However, my father was a pretty good coach and was able to guide the team to a respectable .500 season for the first two years of his tenure. Eventually, the freshmen he had in his first year improved enough by the time they were juniors to make a good squad.

By the time I reached high school a couple of years later in 1983, there were girls junior varsity and varsity teams and a plethora of youth teams that were feeding into the system. In the span of just two or three years, girls sports positively exploded in my hometown. There were girls leagues for soccer, bastketball and a growth in the softball leagues. Growing up in North Florida, where football was king, girls were no longer relegated to softball, swimming and cheerleading. It was positively fantastic.

Fast forward to my life now, I coached soccer last year for my daughter's team. Granted she is six and at that age, boys and girls play on the same team. I had the usual mix of gifted young athletes, super aggressive players, talent, passion, heart, determination and skill levels. The beautiful thing is that you couldn't really tell the different among the boys or girls (other than hair). My four best players included two girls. My most aggressive player was a young girl who would mow you down rather than look at you (but loves to wear dresses to school). My best goal keeper was my daughter. True, as these kids get older, their skill level will diverge a great deal, but at least on the rec leagues in my area of the country, there are coed teams well into the high school ages and that is a good thing.

High school teams in my county are terrific--boys and girls. The girls teams of today would probably absolutely destroy the best boys teams of my youth. The girls are fitter, stronger, faster, more technically skilled and understand the game on a mental level. These young ladies are more confident, assertive (and yes they can have just as bad a potty mouth as the boys and I issued two yellow cards in my last game for these young ladies dropping the f--- bomb fairly loudly) and in control of themselves that girls were when I was in high school. I graduated high school 25 years ago this year and the difference is marked.

Did Title IX do all this? Who knows. But I will say this, it certainly didn't hurt. Sports provides so many opportunities for kids of either gender, it helps them grow, physically, mentally and emotionally. It builds friendships, it builds independence and let's face it, it is fun. My hope for the girls of this generation exiting high school in a world in which Title IX has always existed that they understand the impact that Title IX had on their opportunities.

Check out my soccer blog at Nutmegs and Stepovers


WH: Women 'Deserve' to Have Catholic Church Buy Them Sterilizations, Contraceptives and Abortifacients (Fred Lucas/CNSNews)
Last I checked health insurance was a benefit that is not required to be offered.