Archive for February 8, 2010

today at 3:45 p.m. On main street.

There will be daily protests on main street EVERY DAY to protest the presence of planned parenthood.

I’m sure the city counsel will be delighted to see this extra activity on main street. If I was a business I’m sure that the daily presence of protesters would make me really want to come to main street Fitchburg.

Anyone who thinks this is over isn’t paying attention.

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…that I didn’t blog about Bill O’Reilly blunt statement that the Saints didn’t have a chance. It had reminded me of the episode of “The Capital Gang” with Steve Sabol who predicted that the Pats had “no chance” against the Rams.

There is a reason why you actually play the games.

I had the post written in my head and never bothered to write it. Just goes to show he who hesitates is lost.

Unemployment waits and tax rates

Posted: February 8, 2010 in personal
Tags: ,

It has been proven axiomatic that when tax rates are too high you can increase revenue by dropping tax rates thus producing more economic activity and because of it more overall tax revenue. This is the basis for many conservative arguments on taxation.

For tax rates there is a “sweet spot”. That is the point where both raising taxes decreases revenue (due to less taxable activity). and lowering taxes decreases revenue (because the drop can’t stimulate more taxable activity). If a taxes’ goal is revenue based, your goal is to find that sweet spot and keep your tax rate there.

Going to the unemployment office in Massachusetts apparently works under the same principle. The Office starts servicing customers at 8:30 a.m. but the doors of the office are unlocked as soon as the first employee shows up (Usually around 7:30-7:40 a.m.) If you want to avoid a 2 hour + wait you need to get there as soon as possible so you need to turn up before the “official” opening time of 8:30 a.m.

On the other hand if you end up showing up an hour before the place opens and wait an hour to be seen, you are still waiting 2 hours. The trick seems to be to find that “sweet spot” where you show up early enough to be seen to get ahead of the massive crowd that comes after opening while not spending the same amount of time waiting before they open as you would after.

Today I showed up at 8:05 a.m., it is the earliest I ever came and was totally surprised to be #11. Ten people already there ahead of me taking numbers. At precisely 8:30 the people who have taken numbers are invited 2 at a time in order to sign in to the relevant list to be seen by someone.

Apparently between 8:00 & 8:05 is the “sweet spot” or pretty close. I was seen in just under 90 minutes. I was early enough to get a good parking space and beat the crowd but late enough to still do part of my normal morning routine.

I was told that my benefits for the next 3 weeks (and last week) will turn up as a lump in about two weeks and I should ignore the phone message concerning benefits as the computers haven’t been updated yet.

My bills tend to fall due between the end of the previous month and the 15th of the month. I always pay them 10 business days early for mailed bills and at least 2 days early for in person bills. (Whenever possible I always pay in person. You are not a number in that case.) I tend to pay them between the 20th and the 31st. Due to sheer luck the “lump day” falls just as I will be starting to pay. This means with the wife’s pay I can handle the early bills and will still have something left to pay the late ones.

If it turns out that they are late, then I have to go to my reserve but that reserve is not large these days.

I’ve not reached the panic point but it is never far away and I’m better off than many.

…Robert Stacy continues to find news.

Stacy determines that the “follow the money rule” doesn’t just apply to pols:

An Associated Press analysis of campaign finance reports shows the Christian Coalition of Alabama received more than $12,000 from in-state gambling interests last year. Race PAC gave $8,000 to the Christian Coalition after receiving donations directly from gambling interests and from other PACs funded mostly by gambling interests. A sister group, Watch PAC, reported $4,500 in contributions to the Christian Coalition last year after receiving contributions from gambling interests.

So the Christian Coalition of Alabama is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing, right? Not so fast.

Another interest group, Citizens for a Better Alabama, has been flooding the television airwaves with an ad featuring Riley — flanked by the state and national flags and referring to his solemn oath to uphold the law — promoting his antigambling task force’s efforts to shut down bingo halls throughout the state.

Once again, to the casual observer it may appear to be overkill for the governor to send hundreds of state troopers to raid and shut down parlors where little old ladies and veterans in wheelchairs fill their bingo cards in hopes of cashing in. But to Riley and a whole lot of other people — especially out-of-state gambling interests — the tens of thousands of electronic bingo machines throughout the state look an awful lot like illegal slot machines. They generate millions of dollars for their owners.

As Robert spends some time with Ali (whose Jay Leno class chin can’t be appreciated in the photo) and cover’s Rick Barber who I’ve already endorsed to replace Richard Shelby in the Senate, Camp of the Saints tracks his movements as best he can.

Although my own prospects of CPAC attendance are dimming, American Freedom likely can’t wait to hear Stacy rejoinder to the victory of her Saints.

Update: Robert Stacy preempts Barbara by eating crow early, at least that means If I miss CPAC I won’t miss the dance of ultimate shame.