‘Very big, indeed’

“The knock at Sherri Dukes’ front door came years after her late husband, Lee, confided his secret to her: that he had seen the ghost of a studious black man seated at their bedroom desk.”

“I’m a bit flummoxed as to how people with less than 25 euro a week are supposed to stimulate demand. Maybe they should be fired more.”

“The vast wealth that Wal-Mart is sucking out of our communities is not put back into our communities.”

“To understand how we got here, we have to understand Wal-Mart.”

“Corporations could be subject to political speech, in response to their political speech. The unfairness of it all!

“It is probably not much comfort to understand that this is a national phenomenon, one we have the tools to fix but that Republicans in Congress, bank regulators, and the FOMC are not willing to address.”

“In the wake of news reports last week that presidential contender Mitt Romney owns an individual retirement account worth as much as $101 million, questions are growing over how it could have gotten so big when contribution limits are capped at $5,000 or $6,000 a year.”

I’ve become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy.”

“Should I stay (GOP) or should I go (Independent), or have I already gone?

Drought conditions are present in 56 percent of the continental U.S., according to the weekly Drought Monitor.”

“So, basically, we have white rot fungus to thank … Good job, Agaricomycetes!

But in that case the snake would be very big. Very big, indeed.”

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  • Jeff Weskamp


    As for the article about corporations’s political speech being protested by other people’s political speech, it just proves that these corporate CEO’s see themselves as medieval noblemen who stand on a higher level of existence than the common herd.  Next, they’ll be demanding that we refer to them as “your excellency” or “your grace…”

  • Donalbain

    The responses to the open letter to Republicans have, rather predictably, descended into “But abortion!” and “But the Democrats are just as bad”.

  • hidden_urchin

    So how would each discipline defeat a snake? I’ll start.

    1.) If you’re a behavioral scientist who works with rats then it’s easy.  Feed the snake.

    2.) Seminary students have philosophical discussions with the snake.  Avoid fruit.

    3.) Engineers have robotic snakes.  Technobabble.

  • What’s also alarming about this news of Romney hiding millions abroad in tax havens
    is that I was told directly years ago by a US tax attorney that doing
    so is an open invitation for an IRS audit. This tax attorney was
    adamant about the high risk of putting money – regardless of the amount,
    let alone millions – into a bank in one of those locations.

    What surprises me is nothing in Mitt’s history makes it immediately obvious he was that politically well-connected before being on the Salt Lake City’s Olympic campaign.

    He’s lived outside Utah, so he wasn’t even ‘plugged-in’ to the Mormon power infrastructure there.

    He hasn’t held political offices a lot, so he hasn’t had a chance to become intimately familiar with many politicians who could bend the rules and head off an IRS audit.

    The article is most definitely right when it points out there are deeper undercurrents among the 1% that we do not see or understand, but which nevertheless allow them to take the kind of attitude which gets anyone in the 99% a sharp wake-up call.

  • Tech people send snarky notes to the people whose job it is to sort snakes: http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/7531.html

  • Michael Cule

    To quote Dr Henry Jones Junior:
    “Why does it always have to be SNAKES?”

  • So who did the ghost of Frederick Douglas appear to last night? 
    Trivial compared to the other things, but I think we can always use a good ghost story. And this one’s still pursuing justice.

  • Jessica_R

    That first story is rather sweet, I hope some boss anonymous donor takes care of her expenses so she can leave the house. 

  • Tricksterson

    Judge Posner and Mr. McKnight are embarking on the same journey I did and for similar reasons only I did it about 15 years ago.

  • rm

    The first story is from 2005. So . . . is this the original inspiration for the Douglass The Thirteenth tale? It is a wonderful tale, and I too want to know to whom he appeared. 

  • Ralovett

    FYI, Fred, unless they’ve changed it, you can put as much money as you want in an IRA. You can only DEDUCT $6000, etc., depending on age. The rest you pay taxes on when you earn it, but it grows in the IRA tax free (until you withdraw it). So it’s possible to get a very big IRA perfectly legally. 

    This is not to say I’m a Romney fan. But if we’re going to criticize him, accurately is preferred!

  • dasrotestier


    The US government appears to disagree with you.

    “For 2011, the most that can be contributed to your traditional IRA generally is the smaller of the following amounts:

    $5,000 ($6,000 if you are age 50 or older), or

    Your taxable compensation (defined earlier) for the year.”

  • Dan Audy

    You are incorrect about that, as dasrotestier has shown.  What Romney has been doing is depositing stocks and bonds that are part of his partnership interests into his IRA and (falsely) valuing them at nothing to avoid breaking the $5,000 cap.  Then once they are in the IRA they are sold, generate dividends, and traded at their real value.  Additionally he is (illegally) avoiding paying the tax on carried interest (the partners share of the annual profits that stock generates) by concealing it within the IRA instead of declaring it as income (which means he avoided paying tax on an average of $5 million a year).

    Thus Romney has an IRA with a value roughly 20 times greater than could be achieved if he had been depositing the maximum amount every year since he was allowed and achieving a (significantly above average) 10% annual return on that.  Right now what is being revealed is the standard ways the super wealthy break the law and avoid paying taxes.  The likely reason Romney is so steadfastly refusing to release his tax returns is that it would provide sufficient proof that the IRS couldn’t ignore the public outcry and avoid charging him, in addition to revealing that he heavily uses offshore banking and tax concealment, which while not usually technically illegal is highly despised by Americans who recognize it is picking their pockets to avoid paying his fair share.