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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 45,400

Journal Archives

The real reason employers hate Obamacare: It makes them treat their workers better

In the bad old days before Obamacare got rid of exclusions for preexisting conditions, someone with a sick family member couldn't change jobs because they knew they'd never get new health insurance...which means that no matter how badly the employer screwed with the workers, those ones would never leave. (And have you noticed that the employees who are thusly tied to the company tend to get the shittiest jobs within it?)

Ever since ACA passed things have been different: To keep employees from walking into the HR office singing,

Take this job and shove it
I ain't working here no more
The ACA done passed
And took all the reasons
I was working for

You better not try to stand in my way
As I'm walking out the door
Take this job and shove it
I ain't working here no more

I've been working in this factory
For nigh on fifteen years
All this time I watched my woman
Drowning in a pool of tears

And I've seen a lot of good folks die
That had a lot of bills to pay
I'd give the shirt right off my back
If I had the guts to say

Take this job and shove it
I ain't working here no more
The ACA done passed
And took all the reasons
I was working for

You better not try to stand in my way
As I'm walking out the door
Take this job and shove it
I ain't working here no more

Well that foreman he's a regular dog
The line boss he's a fool
Got a brand new flattop hair cut
Lord he thinks he's cool

One of these days I'm gonna blow my top
And that sucker he's gonna pay
Lord I can't wait to see their faces
When I get the nerve to say

Take this job and shove it
I ain't working here no more
The ACA done passed
And took all the reasons
I was working for

You better not try to stand in my way
As I'm walking out the door
Take this job and shove it
I ain't working here no more

Take this job and shove it
I ain't working here no more
Take this job and shove it

...they have had to quit abusing the help. Which is a situation they truly hate.

The Somerset gas station proves Repukes don't really mean "government should run like a business"

Y'see, every freakin' time the government actually DOES run like a business, the Republicans freak out.

Social Security? It runs exactly like an insurance company, because it is one: takes in premium payments, invests them and uses the profits to fund its operation. The GOP has been trying to shut it down for years.

The VA also runs like a business. The Republicans have a two-pronged attack here: they severely underfund it, then bitch about how it's running poorly.

And then there's the Somerset Fuel Center, in Kentucky. The local gas stations are bleeding the locals dry, so the government does the only sane thing it can: It adds retail-style gas pumps to its city fuel point and lets anyone buy gas there. The Republicans are currently shitting kittens over this one.

If we have to draft a president, let's get someone good

How long will it take till MH17 is compared to abortion?

Every time a tragedy happens, the anti-abortion crowd jumps in soon after with "but the real tragedy is abortion!" When do you think they'll start burying us in that?

Can't we just get abortion practice declared an organized religion?

It's become increasingly apparent that your Get Out of Hell Free card can also get you out of obeying any law you don't like and also allows you to control everything and everyone around you. All you need do is claim it "goes against your deeply held beliefs" and boom!

Well, we have deeply held beliefs too. One of the more important ones is Women Should Never Be Forced Into Unwanted or Unsafe Pregnancies.

I figure we create a new IRS-Approved religion that sees abortion and birth control as sacraments and one of the thousands of fertility goddesses as our deity, and then we can overthrow every one of these damn laws. Look at it this way: if the cult that uses this damn thing...

can be an IRS-Approved Religion, then so can abortion. Call it the Church of Choice.

We're trying to fix the Hobby Lobby decision the wrong way

Attempting not to sound too lawyerly here, let's try this:

One of the things you've got to decide when you set up a business is its "form." There are five, and the one you choose determines three things: who will be liable for claims against the business, the number of owners the business can have, and whether the business or the owner will be liable for taxes.

The classic "mom and pop" is a Sole Proprietorship. One person, or a married couple, owns the company and taxes are paid on that person's individual income tax form.

"Johnson Brothers Plumbing" is a Partnership. To set one up, they'll hire a lawyer and execute a Partnership Agreement that stipulates the percentage of the business each of the four Johnson brothers owns, which also sets the percentage of the profits each brother will be paid. Taxes are paid the same way sole proprietorships' taxes are: as individual income.

Of course, when the Johnsons go to the lawyer the first thing the barrister will do is to beat them all unconscious for even thinking of setting up a partnership. Sole proprietorships and partnerships have one huge drawback: all liability falls onto the owners. If Eddie Johnson installs an underground sprinkler with a defective backflow preventer and herbicide makes its way into the city water system, everyone in the partnership could lose everything they have. When and if they wake up, the lawyer will convince them to create a Limited Liability Company - which has the same tax treatment as the first two forms of business, but gives some separation between their business and personal affairs.

For extra separation between you and your business, you incorporate. This structure forms a "corpus" - a person on paper - that owns the business. (The Citizens United ruling was an outrage not because it created corporate personhood - corporations have been people ever since there were corporations, my friend - but because it decided the corporate person had the same rights a natural person did. That is an outrage and needs to be reined in, but it's not what we're here for today.) Unless your corporation commits a major atrocity, any liability falls onto this corpus. By "major" I mean REALLY major - McDonald's sold Stella Liebeck a cup of coffee hot enough to boil a sixth of the skin off her body, but at no time was there ever thought given to sending postcards to all their shareholders: "We got sued for selling coffee hot enough to melt pig iron and lost, and part of the settlement is your responsibility; stick four cents in an envelope and mail it in before Friday."

The problem with the corporation form, for small business people who might want to protect themselves, is taxation: it's a flat 35 percent on all business profits. To allow "two guys and a backhoe" companies to incorporate the IRS created a special "small business" corporation, which is called "Subchapter S," that has a tax structure like an LLC or sole proprietorship. In exchange for this protection, the IRS limits the number of owners and the kinds of stock they can sell.

Now for the problem: Subchapter S, which Hobby Lobby uses, doesn't limit revenues. You can legally run a Subchapter S corporation that brings $3 billion across the threshold...we know this because Hobby Lobby, and half the buyout shops on Wall Street, are doing it.

And how to fix the Hobby Lobby decision once and for all: Cause the IRS to determine that any business earning more than $1.5 million per year is not eligible to operate under Subchapter S.

Stories about the murdered dog in Coeur d'Alene

Officer kills dog in parked vehicle


(Updated to admit it was a Lab, not a Pit Bull)

Dog details emerge


Java owners discuss incident


From all I gather, social media was alerting people to watch out for a white van that was targeting children. The guy who owns the Java on Sherman coffee house (if you want to Google Maps it, search for "Zips Drive Inn, East Sherman Avenue, Coeur d'Alene, ID" because asking for Java on Sherman shows you their old location at 4th and Sherman) saw such a white van in his parking lot when he arrived at work a few mornings ago. There are families with children living across the street from his lot, so he called the cops and reported it. The cops came over, blew away this guy's dog for reasons as of yet unknown, confiscated the body, put a note on the windshield, told the owner of Java he needed to call a towing company to have the van removed, and left.

And now people are attacking the business owner for doing what he thought was the right thing.

Y'know, it would be nice to live in a town that makes the national news when GOOD things happen...

The first try on my new scanner

On Tuesday my New Used Screen DT-S 1030AI Drum Scanner arrived. (Helpful household hint: hundred-pound scanners are no fun to haul up a flight of stairs.) I set it up, calibrated it, made a few "screwing around" scans just to see if it worked, and tried this...

This is a scan of the Salmon Bay Bridge in Seattle, produced on my Minolta F-2900 slide scanner. For this image I cleaned the negative in naphtha, very carefully placed it into the film holder, blew it off with canned air...then after scanning I went over it with a fine tooth comb to get rid of the flaws.

And this is the same picture scanned on my 1030. I just taped it on, scanned it and called it good; if I was going to do a "final" scan I'd oil mount it, but this is just a quickie. It's not even in all that great of focus.

For extra entertainment download both photos and look at the trees. They look like blobs on the top picture and they're really well defined on the bottom one.

Home Depot becomes exclusive distributor of Dinesh D'Souza's latest book

Why Holly Fisher pisses me off

You remember Holly. She's the cute but extremely right-wing asshole from West Virginia who posted the "conservative hat trick" picture of her wearing a "Pro Life" t-shirt and holding a Chick Fil A cup while standing in front of a closed Hobby Lobby store. And of course that wasn't good enough for her friends so she followed it up with the famous Suicide Bombing for Jesus pose.

These were supposed to make liberals' "heads explode." Whatever.

No, what's pissing me off about this little ditz is she self-identifies as the "wife of a combat veteran." The Troops call this "wearing your husband's rank" and we fucking HATE IT!
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