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Comment Re:Replacement Content? (Score 1) 314

>Netflix already has a content deal with Disney... ... for TV shows and direct-to-video movies ("Aladdin 4: Jafar's really mad this time"). I can watch Phineas and Ferb thanks to the Disney deal, but I can't watch Aladdin. I can watch Tangled and Princess and the Frog, but that's only because of the license with Starz.

Comment Re:Would be cooler if... (Score 1) 49

That API does not appear to be RESTful. See all the places where they specify how to construct the query string to get various search results, or how to use which methods to perform various actions? Those are fundamental violation of REST.

The most fundamental aspect of REST is that a spider with no prior knowledge of the system could determine the syntax (not necessarily the high-level semantics, of course) for all operations simply by starting at a base URL and following all available links verbatim. The consumer should never, ever have to construct a URL in a semantically meaningful way (e.g., [databasename]/[tablename]/[rownumber]). That isn't to say the URLs can't be arranged that way, but in a RESTful environment, that bit of information would be completely irrelevant.

Comment Re:Ah, the Republican Party ... (Score 1) 884

>Let's play devil's advocate. He makes $174k/yr, in 2010 he would have paid 28% in federal income tax

No. You don't seem to understand how tax brackets and marginal tax rates work. 28% my ass, the guy's effective Federal income tax rate is south of 12% -- even if you figure in FICA and state taxes, it's still under 22%.

First, let's look at just income tax (we'll do payroll taxes afterward). He has a wife and 6 kids, for 8 exemptions total. Let's assume the standard deduction (he probably itemizes, so this will significantly over-estimate his taxes), that's $11,600 + 8 * $3650 = $40,800 tax-free. The next $16750 of his income he pays 10% in taxes, for $1675. On the next $51250 of income, he pays 15%, which is $7687.50. On the remaining $65,200, he pays 25%, which is $16,300. So his total income tax is $25,662.50. But wait! He has six kids, right? A quick calculation of his child tax credit reduces that by $4,800, for a total tax of $20,862.50 (or under 12% of his gross income).

I'm not sure how WI does they're state taxes, but most states give you the same standard deduction and exemptions as Federal, so let's go with that. He pays $6,198.02 + 6.5% * $33,200 = $8356.02 in state income tax.

OK, now for FICA. That's 7.65% on the first $106k, or $8,109.

So his total after-tax income is $174k - $8109 - $20,862.50 -$8,356.02 = over $136k. Keep in mind that we've extremely low-balled his deductions and credits, and we haven't even attempted to factor in perqs like tax-deferred retirement savings account contributions and flexible spending accounts. I'd be surprised if a real accountant (with actual knowledge of things like his property taxes and mortgage interest deduction) couldn't get his net income into the $145k ballpark.

>So I think it is fair to say his complaints are due to poor money management and financial planning on his part, and I acknowledge the real news is the GOP trying to cover this up which is so mind bogglingly stupid they should all quit their party immediately.


Comment Re:They don't know Hawaii is a state... (Score 1) 705

The study found nothing of the sort: it didn't ask if Hawaii was a state. It asked the respondants if they "consider Hawaii to be part of the United States", which is a completely different different question. For example, there is plenty of room for the question to be interpreted normatively rather than descriptively, whereas you've unjustifiably pigeonholed it into the latter category. Furthermore, you've added two values, each with a margin-of-error of 3.6%, meaning that your reported 8% has a margin of error of 7.2%! That's about as useless a statistic as you can possibly get.

When people complain about the death of rational discourse, they're talking about statements like yours. Shame on you.

Comment Re:Headline Is So Very Wrong (Score 1) 1193

If the EIC is a "social service", then so is deducting your mortgage interest. All you do to get the EIC is fill out the appropriate IRS form and send it in with your return, same as any other deduction or credit. There is simply no substantive difference between it (and the Additional Child Credit, the Making Work Pay Credit, and other "payments") and any other tax credit, other than that those other credits have an arbitrary cutoff of reducing your tax burden to zero. Sure, you could define any tax credit which results in a net payment as a "social service", but then the assertion becomes merely a tautology -- and one which conflicts with the language used in the tax code itself.

As for the FHC, your information is right for the 2008 version but wrong for the 2009 version. "For home purchased in 2009, the credit does not have to be paid back unless the home ceases to be the taxpayer's main residence within a three-year period following the purchase."

Comment Re:Headline Is So Very Wrong (Score 1) 1193

>At no point will the IRS 'rebate' more money than was paid. A person can only take more out than they put in if they collect some form of social service.

You're wrong. There are three types of tax breaks: deductions, credits, and payments, and there is a separate section of the 1040 for each of them. Deductions reduce the amount of your income that's taxed, and credits reduce the amount of tax you owe to not less than 0. But *payments* (lines 61-70 on the 2010 version of the 1040) can result in the government owing you more money than you ever paid in. A tricky point here is that several things referred to as "credits" are really payments. For example, the Earned Income Credit, the Additional Child Credit, and the First-time Homebuyer's Credit are all actually payments.

Comment Re:The U.S. imprisons about 6 times the % of citiz (Score 1) 545

Obviously, you haven't bothered to actually look at the numbers because 1) the violent crime stats for cities with large illegal immigrant populations compare even *better* than general crime stats versus the norm, and 2) the Wikipedia page includes a link to the data in Excel format from (and I said earlier, when I posted the link, that it was data from the FBI, so you really have no excuse on this one).

Comment Re:The U.S. imprisons about 6 times the % of citiz (Score 1) 545

>Because when you commit one crime and get away with it ... you commit even more heinous crimes and usually violent ones at that

Let me repeat: Cities with large illegal immigrant populations have *lower* rates of reported crime. Unreported crime cannot, by definition, influence the size of the prison population. You have presented nothing but prejudices and intuition; while I have presented facts and logic. Your earlier stated opinion is demonstrably wrong, and I hope that by this point you have come to realize that. If not, I genuinely feel sorry for you.

Comment Re:The U.S. imprisons about 6 times the % of citiz (Score 1) 545

>No other country has so many illegal immigrants per capita

This is almost certainly false (it's difficult to count illegal immigrants, so I can't say with 100% certainty, and neither can you). The highest estimate I've seen for the US is 20 million (the conventional estimate is ~12 million), making them less than 7% of the total population. Greece has about the same percentage (that was just the first country I bothered to check, based on an educated guess). In South Africa, estimates place the percentage at over 10%.

>illegal immigrants are more likely to commit crimes

Ignoring the crime of entering the country illegally (which would make your statement merely a tautology), this also does not seem to be borne out by evidence. If you look at the FBI crime statistics by city, you'll find that there is a distinct overlap between safe cities and those with large immigrant (and illegal immigrant) populations. Take a look at this chart. For both violent and property crime, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego, and El Paso(!), all with large immigrant populations, have relatively low crime rates. Whereas the most dangerous cities -- St. Louis, Buffalo, DC, Detroit, Baltimore -- all have relatively low immigrant populations.

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