Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Government Tracking Of Cars By Satellite Coming To A State Near You

Oregon using Satellite to Charge Mileage Tax

Follow the bouncing ball folks.

As people drive less because of both increasing fuel costs and their consideration of their "Carbon Footprint" this causes a problem for the tax man.

As people conserve down goes the tax digest.   The state needs the money to pay for road maintenance, salaries and new construction projects.

What to do?  What to do?   
Got it!  We can switch to a "usage based" tax scheme.  That way if you use Crisco oil to fuel your car or electricity generated from solar - the tax man can still get his "fair share" out of your wallet.

But wait!   With this type of tracking of your vehicle what is going to stop you from becoming the next "OJ Simpson with the White Bronco"?

Some of the most stalwart protectors of privacy will likely yeild because they like the money streaming into the government.  

Friday, December 26, 2008

United Auto Workers - Stick It To the Executives But Leave Our Pay Alone

UAW to fight pay cut proposal

The nation’s automakers are preparing to ask for wage and benefit concessions from their workers in early January to meet the conditions of a $17.4 billion federal aid package, but labor officials say they will seek to renegotiate the terms of the bailout rather than make those sacrifices.

The remarks by union leaders have set up yet another contentious battle in the auto industry.

In agreeing to provide federal assistance to General Motors and Chrysler, the White House demanded the companies cut worker compensation to the levels paid at the U.S. divisions of Toyota, Nissan and Honda. But Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, said this week that he would seek to remove the wage-reduction provision of the loan, calling it “an undue tax on the workers” who have already made “major” sacrifices for the benefit of the auto industry.

Gettelfinger said what is being asked of the autoworkers — who agreed to concessions in 2003, 2005 and 2007 — is “unrealistic.” He has said he wants to work with President-elect Barack Obama to remove the wage provision.

The White House defended the terms of the auto bailout, saying that every stakeholder in the car companies would have to make sacrifices for the companies to survive.

The Unions didn't hold that Democratic/Union Rally in Chicago during the campaign for nothing.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Atlanta Based Web Design Firms Remain Exclusive

AJC: Atlanta firms struggle to lure top web designers

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
At one time they were just the scrappy little kids at large Web-design agencies.

Years later, they consider themselves some of the pickiest around when it comes to hiring for their own interactive Web shops.

“You have to be creative, and you have to enjoy what you do. That’s hard to find,” said Gabe Aldridge, one of three principals with The SuperGroup, which operates out of an eclectic high-tech office in Inman Park.

It’s an ironic situation — a company that is hiring but can’t find the right people with ease — given that the state’s unemployment rate in November rose to 7.5 percent. But The SuperGroup’s owners place most of the weight on the “interactive” part of their work — and finding local talent with those skills is still tough, they said.

Though Atlanta is ripe with technology companies, it does not have the same cache as New York or San Francisco when it comes to cutting-edge interactive design companies. That limits the talent pool and the attractiveness for out-of-town recruits.

Joe Schab, a managing director for digital marketing company LBi, said finding highly skilled designers is problematic regardless of economic conditions.

“This industry is growing so rapidly,” Schab said. “We’re in a perpetual war for talent. We largely have not had difficulty in attracting really good people. That being said, we also know those people are in demand elsewhere.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Guantanamo Bay Detainees Seek To Confess About Their Involvement In 9/11 Attacks Before Bush Leaves Office

Accused 9/11 plotters say they want to confess

They must have been tortured into saying this. No way! We all know that those ware innocent men being detained and beaten in Gitmo.

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged with coordinating the Sept. 11 attacks say they want to enter guilty pleas, apparently challenging the U.S. government to sentence them to death before President-elect Barack Obama takes office.

The Guantanamo detainees said they decided on Nov. 4 — the day Obama was elected — to abandon their defenses in their death-penalty trials. Obama opposes the military war-crimes trials and has pledged to close Guantanamo's detention center, which holds some 250 men.

Mohammed said Monday he will confess to masterminding the attacks that killed 2,975 people. The four other defendants did the same, in effect daring the Pentagon to give them death sentences.

The judge ordered lawyers to advise him by Jan. 4 whether the Pentagon can apply the death penalty — which military prosecutors are seeking — without a jury trial.

Mohammed, who has already told a military panel he was the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, said he has no faith in the judge, his Pentagon-appointed lawyers or President George W. Bush.

Sporting a chest-length gray beard, Mohammed told the judge in English: "I don't trust you."

The defendants' announcement shocked victims' relatives who watched from behind a glass partition, the first time family members have been allowed to observe the war-crimes trials.

Alice Hoagland of Redwood Estates, Calif., told reporters that she hopes Obama, "an even-minded and just man," would ensure the five men are punished, though she believes they should not be executed and become martyrs.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Report Shows Republicans Were Lobbied To Kill Freddie Mac Regulations - Watch The Attacks Turn Course On This News

How Freddie Mac Halted The Regulatory Drive

According to confidential company documents obtained by The Associated Press, Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., spent the evening in hard-to-obtain seats near the Nationals dugout with Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin and four of Freddie Mac's in-house lobbyists.

Kanjorski declined comment through a spokeswoman. Ney ultimately served a federal prison term after pleading guilty to trading political favors for a golf trip to Scotland, other gifts and campaign donations in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

The Nationals tickets were bargains for Freddie Mac, part of a well-orchestrated, multimillion-dollar campaign to preserve its largely regulatory-free environment, with particular pressure exerted on Republicans who controlled Congress at the time.

Internal Freddie Mac budget records show $11.7 million was paid to 52 outside lobbyists and consultants in 2006. Power brokers such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were recruited with six-figure contracts. Freddie Mac paid the following amounts to the firms of former Republican lawmakers or ex-GOP staffers in 2006:

_Sen. Alfonse D'Amato of New York, at Park Strategies, $240,000.

_Rep. Vin Weber of Minnesota, at Clark & Weinstock, $360,297.

_Rep. Susan Molinari of New York, at Washington Group, $300,062.

_Susan Hirschmann at Williams & Jensen, former chief of staff to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, $240,790.

Freddie Mac's chairman and chief executive, Dick Syron, and McLoughlin, senior vice president for external relations, used Clark and Weinstock extensively, Weber said in an e-mail Friday.

Obiturary - Mike Kavanagh, 57, TV, radio veteran

Mike Kavanagh - financial expert

That unique, authoritative voice will be missed.  I often listen to his Sunday morning show while getting dressed for church.  

In listening to his perspective on finances I have been moved at times to reconsider some of my own financial decisions and to get my house in order.

Friday, December 5, 2008

US Employers Shed 533K Jobs In November 2008

This is going to get more ugly before it gets better.

The credit market collapse has put companies in a defensive mode. They feel that it is time to make their balance sheets look more solid. They are more risk averse in the process.

Some of the markets that had three or more competitors are seeing of of these competitors fall by the wayside (ie: Circuit City and CompUSA). Where as previously they were building locations as a means of keeping up with their competitors; the market soon showed that it is not able to bear the presence of these multiple competitors. When spending slowed as consumers scaled back on their use of credit - these competitors that were already ailing - received the death blow. The employees that were working because of the expansion, now find themselves out of work.

Employers Shed 533,000 Jobs In November

My prediction: This number is going up to 8.9% in 2009 before it starts going down.