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Egret and crab

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Duplicitous sleaze merchants

The folks at the RNC had themselves a real thigh slapper. Recently passed law states that parties can not use mailers that look like official documents for partisan fund raising purposes. You can not put the word "census" on a phony envelope. To get around the little problem, the Republican National Committee had a little window cut on the envelope so that the word was technically below the envelope surface and supposedly compliant. They blame the democrats who wrote the bill for being vague and leaving an opening for them to plunder. Nice to see that they have such respect for law.

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The most duplicitous proposition I have ever seen has to be California's 16. Billed as The "Taxpayers right to vote act", what it actually is is a plan by the big power companies to do away with any competition from renewable energy and make it harder for communities to purchase wholesale power. It requires a two thirds vote before communities can spend public money or incur debt producing electricity. P.G.& E has spent close to 7 million dollars on this proposition. They are backed by their toady friends at the Chamber. Groups opposing it include AARP, League of Women Voters, The Sierra Club and the Consumer Federation of California. Make sure that you read your guide before voting on this sweet sounding but odiferous proposition.

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The Scotus, in their eminent wisdom has decided to rule on the subject of simulated violence in video games. Interesting because just weeks ago they decided by an 8 to 1 ruling to allow people to sell videos of actual, sick human beings crushing small defenseless animals with stiletto heels. I for one am glad that their values are so firmly in place.

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Interesting article in TPM about people in Orange County, CA being tricked into registering Republican while signing a marijuana petition.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

re: Proposition 16--it is a really a rip off--it is also lies. Only recently have they posted over the commercial that it requires a two-thirds vote to authorize a take-over of PGE facilities. But the commercials continue to say the people don't have a right to vote on the matter. That is not true. A couple of years ago the politicians in Davis tried to get SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) to take over Yolo County's electricity system. The people in both Sacramento County and Yolo County voted on the matter--whether it was a right or not I don't know. But I do know that the directors of SMUD could not resist the voters' pressure to put it on the ballot. And it was put on the Yolo County ballot as a legal requirement. It was defeated by the voters--everywhere except in the Peoples Republic of Davis. And the Peoples Republic of Davis weren't willing to pay for the system.
I voted against the "take-over." SMUD officials lied about the matter--in several ways. They emphasized that SMUD rates are lower than PGE's rates. But they didn't recognize that in the eminent domain action to determine how much to pay PGE the eminent domain award had to include business goodwill value--not just the "depreciated cost of construction." Also how it was to be paid for was ignored. California law does not permit delay of payment of the award. It has to be paid within 30 days of the matter becoming final--and I doubt that SMUD had that much cash in reserve. If it did it was charging its existing customers too much.
It is probably a good thing that built up areas, like Marin County, not be permitted to take over existing facilities. It is not like L.A Water and Power building a new system over a number of years over relatively uninhabited territory.;
Regarding the Supreme Court decision--if it went the other way think of how it would change some of our television--because an awful lot of animal cruelty is shown on cable stations. I am talking about hunting and fishing shows. I can't convince my lady Colleen that fishing is cruel--even when the fish is thrown back. A pointed piece of metal is ingested--at least part way. The fish, an animal, is dragged out of the water, placed into an alien environment and then thrown back. How do any of us know the fish doesn't suffer--it sure fights to stay where it is.
Finally, maybe you can answer a question of mine. How does an investment banker "short" a bond fund. I understand that if I promise to sell a stock in the future at a price--presumably lower than the current price--I am shorting the stock--because I expect it to go down in value and I will buy it for that lesser amount when I have to deliver. That doesn't seem to be possible with a package of collateralized bonds. Do you know how it works? I would ask my son, but he is angry at me for referring a book to him--Speechless by Matt Latimer. He was a speech writer for Geo. Bush. I refer to the book as describing a conservative in a vain search for an honest or competent Republican--unsuccessfully.

Your Uncle Norm