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Comment Re:Oil companies will spend up big on Republicans (Score 1) 565 565

The top 3 'subsidies' for oil are:
1) The national oil reserve
2) farmers fuel exemption
3) Home heating oil credit

Those together make up over 60% of all the 'subsidies' big oil receives.

You can debate the need for the oil reserves but that is often considered a national security issue.
The farm credit excludes farmers for paying road and highway taxes on equipment not driven on roads.
The heating oil credit is used to pay for oil for low income families.

Unlike green subsidies which are mostly focused on the producers, the bulk of oil subsidies are for the consumers. Farmers will still need to buy fuel for their equipment and families in the northern states will still need heating oil. All ending those subsidies will do is cause both of those groups to have to pay more while having little impact on big oils bottom line since the additional cost will all go to the government anyway (which will then have to be given out as some other form of subsidy/welfare payment to keep costs of food down and help people not freeze to death).

Comment Re:Two birds with one stone (Score 1) 565 565

As has been mentioned earlier in the comments sections a lot of the O & G subsidies aren't actually there to benefit the gas companies but in fact are meant to help poor families. The largest 'subsidy' received by big oil is the purchase of oil for the strategic oil reserve. This is followed closely by the farmers fuel tax exemption. Simply put, farmers are not required to pay the potion of fuel taxes used to maintain roads and highways on equipment that is not driven on roads and highways. In third place is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program which, as the name implies, is used to pay for home heating oil for low income families.

Those 3 'subsidies' together make up between 60% - 70% of total oil subsidies in a given year. Much of the rest is the standard accounting type tricks available to any business to write off depreciation/R&D/etc.. In fact in some cases oil companies are more limited in claiming these standard deductions that other companies, like Apple for example, because the max percentage they are allowed to claim is lower.

Currently 'green' energy subsidies are much higher in the US than O&G and while they also include the standard accounting tricks, they also include many times more in direct payments to the companies as well as other questionable programs like car subsidies on luxury hybrids.

Comment Re:pulp and rubbish (Score 1) 428 428

Just sending of classified emails is not the issue. I deal with information that would be classified as confidential and secret all day. I know you can email some classified data around (when the proper encryption methods are used). Of course I only use secure servers and only send to authorized receivers on other trusted servers. The problem is with retention.

Having an unauthorized server retain ANY classified information is a violation of several statues and governmental rules.

And this wasn't just data Hillary classified, the information in question was considered classified by the various intelligence agencies. Some of it included minute by minute details as to the whereabouts of Ambassador Stevens and his team.

Comment Re:pulp and rubbish (Score 1) 428 428

She has already been caught destroying documents.

By her own admission 100% of all her emails were read prior to deletion to ensure no work emails were missed and "accidentally" deleted and yet they have copies of emails sent from her account to other people containing State related matters that were never handed over by her. Those other emails were also on external email accounts but when they were subpenaed the owner actually complied with the law and allowed the investigators access.

Comment Re:pulp and rubbish (Score 1) 428 428

Actually Powell claims to have never used his email to send classified communications; make of that what you will.

The bigger issue is that now the IG's have reported that not only were there classified info sent through her email but that it reached the level of "secret" (as opposed the the less rare but still classified "confidential" level). They also confirmed that those emails contained data that was secret at the time of the sending, and not items that were retroactively re-classified.

Comment Re:pulp and rubbish (Score 1) 428 428

Google destruction of federal records and read the legal links.

Within 1 or 2 links you'll find this little statue governing federal records management:

(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.

There is little question she "willfully and unlawfully conceal"d documents (all work emails from the SoS are considered Federal Documents) and more and more is coming to light that she also possibly met at least a few of the other conditions.

Will she ever be charged and convicted, my guess is probably not under the current admin, but there isn't much questions that it is a legal possibility that a conviction could be used to bar her from running for President.

Comment Re:pulp and rubbish (Score 1) 428 428

Section 1924 of Title 18 makes it illegal to store classified information at an unauthorized site. This is not new. Hilary's only real defense is that she never transmitted any classified information during her term as SoS (you can be the judge on the likelihood of that).

Most of the post-Hilary changes to either procedures or guidelines had to do with shortening reporting periods (they made it mandatory for records to be shipped to retention withing 20 days) but States internal rules about email retention already forbade the use of personal email for work related communications.

These general guidelines were in place as far back as Powell although back then it was considered ok to just cc a state rep to ensure all his emails were stored on site. That was later determined to be too loose a rule and was changed to requiring a State dept. address. That requirement was in place before Hilary ever took the job but as I stated, it was a State Dept. rule and not a law.

The laws deal with the contents of the emails she stored on her server (as stated above) as well as the requirement to ensure all work related communications be sent to the National Archive (which she also failed to do).

The interesting thing is that some of these records laws she's been skirting actually have as a penalty the inability to ever hold public office in the United States.

Comment Re:We're a tech company... (Score 1) 245 245

It's not so mysterious a cartel when you understand that many of these taxis business have invested all their money into the ownership of a $50 license which those very laws allows them to sell for upwards of $1 million or lease for 10's of thousands a year. When anything comes along that devalues their medallions they are willing to spend all the money they need to make them look like the poor little victims their drivers may be, but the owners of the medallions themselves rarely are.

Comment Re:pulp and rubbish (Score 4, Insightful) 428 428

One problem is that for any information that was classified at the time (I"m not sure how this whole retroactive classification things works) it was and is a federal offense to even have that information on a private email server.

Your personal level of access does not give you permission to store classified information wherever you want to.

I still haven't seen anything confirming that she in fact did have classified information on her server (at least not classified at the time) but as has been mentioned above, there has already been proven verified instances of emails to and from other people about State related work that was not handed over by Clinton but found through subpenas of the other persons email.

Comment Re:dependent contractors (Score 1) 273 273

The contention was it "has little to do with" and in this case that is true. When 15-17 of the questions give answers that indicate "contractor" and 1 or 2 indicate "possible employee" and the others are indifferent then those 1 or 2 are mostly irrelevant.

It's like applying for insurance and admitting to being overweight and a smoker. That might affect how your insurance company sees you but if you die as a passenger in a plane crash it probably won't affect their odds of paying out the claim. Other conditions make those pieces of data irrelevant to the situation.

 

Comment Re:dependent contractors (Score 1) 273 273

The IRS has about 20 questions to help determine whether a person is an employee or contractor, working for a single company is just 1 and on it's own the answer is meaningless.

Some of the other questions include:
- Who supplies the tools required to perform the job.
- Is the person paid a salary or hourly wage.
- Who provides the required training.
- Is the individual free to terminate the business relationship.
- can the individual set their own work hours.
- is the individual free to perform services for other employers.

The answer to most of the 20 questions would clearly put an Uber driver into the category of contractor. A few of the questions could actually go both ways.

Comment Re:Party loyalty is the root of the problem ... (Score 3, Interesting) 191 191

To be fair, most of those "Fox is the worst" studies are just terrible. Except in one or two cases they are opinion pieces disguised as scientific studies and a person is determined to be uninformed if they disagree with the questioners opinion. For example, this is the statement from one of the studies as to how they determine a correct answer:

“In the course of this study, to identify “misinformation” among voters, we used as reference points the conclusions of key government agencies that are run by professional experts and have a strong reputation for being immune to partisan influences”

Of course they used their own discretion to determine which groups are non-partisan and on which topics their opinion is the correct one.

The more interesting thing is that in one of the better studies (it still had some opinion questions but more simple fact based ones), while Fox viewers were rated the least informed about world events (in actuality just slightly below MSNBC and CNN but that is rarely mentioned) when broken down by political leanings it found that that the least informed were conservatives who watched MSNBC and liberals who watch FOX. People who watch the News channel more generally in line with their political leanings scored significantly higher.

Comment Re:dependent contractors (Score 1) 273 273

The number of clients you provide services to has little to do with the contractor/employee determination.

My office has about 160 employees and at any given time about 10-20 contractors. Of all of the contractors I have worked with this was their one and only workplace during the term of their contract. Some of the contractors have been working here off and on for years but enjoy the ability to take months off between contracts so never bothered to become full employees.

Comment Re:Oh hell no! (Score 2) 273 273

Most contractors work within strict location and time restrictions set by the clients.

I would love to be a contractor working on your kitchen upgrade; I'll get it done when I damn well feel like it and if I get bored at 2am, don't be surprised if I head over the your house to start work on the marble countertops.

Comment Re:Another great Scalia line (Score 1) 1083 1083

The New York Times article summarizing the consortium's efforts to recount Florida's votes states that under the rules in place in Florida at the time Bush would have won, with or without a recount.

Only in recounts using special criteria (conditions not used by the various counties to decide votes) were they able to get Gore declared the winner.

They basically recounted the ballots in dozens of ways and in some counts had Gore ahead and others, Bush but in the way that mattered (using official county practices) Bush won.

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