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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them. __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

How to get politics out of the IRS: Tax-exempt groups should disclose donors. - USA Today

Mixing politics and the IRS is bound to lead to trouble, so the bipartisan uproar over the agency's targeting of Tea Party groups is entirely appropriate. But so far, the underlying cause of the problem is largely getting overlooked.

The driver of the scandal is that political organizations of all kinds want to keep the sources of their money secret. By operating in the dark, donors can avoid accountability when they funnel money to candidates in exchange for favors.

In 2010, political strategists came up with a new device for doing this. They formed "social welfare" organizations to qualify for tax-exempt status. That status came with a bonus. Unlike political action committees and other structures of the time, these so-called 501(c)(4) organizations could hide donors' names.

This put the IRS in an awkward spot. How could it differentiate social welfare from political activity? Its rules required that a majority of a group's work had to be social welfare, which tax lawyers took to mean 51%.

So as groups rushed to claim the new status more than 3,000 in 2012 alone IRS bureaucrats were overwhelmed, left to judge which organizations qualified and to parse the details of how they would spend their money. The Wetumpka Tea Party of Alabama, for example, waited two years, then got a questionnaire seeking the names of all its volunteers, the names of any legislators its members had contacted, and the contents of all speeches its members had made.

There is, at least theoretically, an easy solution to the problem. All you have to do is remove the incentive that created it in the first place: Require that all such organizations publicly report donations of $5,000 or more, the amount the IRS already requires them to report confidentially.


Rebels say Hezbollah, Iraqi fighters flooding into Syria - while Obama....deliberates (?)


AMMAN, Jordan Syrian rebels outside Damascus said Tuesday that thousands of Hezbollah and Iraqi fighters are massing on the outskirts of the capital in what appears to be a prelude to a large-scale ground invasion against towns they have held for months.

"Planes are dropping off fully armed fighters from Hezbollah and the Iraqi Fadl Brigades," said opposition activist Abu Yasser.

Hezbollah is a Lebanon-based terrorist group; the Fadl Brigades are Iranian-trained Shiite Muslim militants from Iraq. Both groups are likely destined for the fight in al-Qusayr, a town near the Lebanese border that is at the center of the rebels' supply routes for ammo and fighters, Yasser said.

The rebels have held the town for more than a year and have been defending their position against the Syrian military for weeks.

"People are concerned over a large-scale massacre once they capture al-Qusayr," he said.


Say, Mr. PResident, if we wait long enough there won't be any of the Syrian rebels left to help out. Problem solved!!

... uh, but [font size="3"]what about a united Assad lead Syria, Hesbollah and Iran..... see any problems there????[/font]

Gallup identifies "flaws" in 2012 election polls/predictions - "I'm SHOCKED. Shocked, I say!"


WASHINGTON Pollsters at Gallup said Tuesday they have identified flawed methods that contributed to their incorrect prediction that Mitt Romney would win the 2012 presidential election, but they are still working to determine how to better identify who is likely to vote.

The survey firm undertook a far-reaching review of its operations after its surveys came up short in the election: Gallup's final pre-election estimate showed Romney with 49% support to Obama's 48%, with a margin of error of +/-2%. Most polls estimated Obama would win the popular vote by 1 percentage point. Obama won the popular vote by 3.85 points.

In pre-election polling, Gallup consistently showed Romney with a 3-percentage point lead over Obama. When Gallup switched to surveying only "likely voters," Romney's edge increased to 4 percentage points.


Gallup's problems with accurately representing the racial and ethnic distribution of voters were pegged a year ago by Mark Blumenthal, founder of Pollster.com, writing in The Huffington Post. The methodological problems are specific to Gallup, but the challenge of correctly identifying likely voters is relevant to all pollsters, Blumenthal says

[font size="3"]
... well, for 50 years everybody has known Gallup has been disgorging biased polls to help 'drive' voter turnout among the air-head Republican suckers who like to vote with the 'flow' and elect demagogues who deliver consistently incompentent government. All sentient people have known for years, that you have to apply a Gallup GOP Bias Adjustment of 2% to 3% to Gallup's predicted numbers for the GOP candidate to get a more accurate and legitimate estimate of any presidential election.. Gallup hasn't been fooling anybody for a very long time.

I'm quite confident in Gallup's ability to come up with new 'flaws' that will allow them to produce similarly biased predictions in the favor of the GOP Zombies (i.e. animated dead persons devoid of a soul) in the future.[/font]

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