Saturday, August 28, 2010

State Department Issues Travel Warning for Mexico – Says Vacation Resorts Safe – 14 Murdered in Acapulco!


The First Mexican American War - image britannica.com


The State Department has issues a travel warning to those visiting Mexico. This warning, includes the removal of dependents of U.S. Government personnel, specifically children. The warning goes on specify places that might be “safe” in Mexico:
(from travel.state.gov)
It is imperative that U.S. citizens understand the risks involved in travel to Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and who to contact if one becomes a victim of crime or violence. Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where criminal activity might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable. U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are urged to contact the consular section of the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy for advice and assistance. Contact information is provided at the end of this message.


Therefore, the U.S. State Department would lead travelers to Mexico to believe all is well in say resort areas such as Acapulco. Apparently violence from the drug wars, which has resulted in bombings, beheadings, kidnappings and other forms of violence, has spread over the border into the U.S., specifically Arizona. Arizona has been fighting to protect its citizens against the violence being imported from Mexico; however, the Federal Government, to date, has done little to protect the border, and in fact, has filed lawsuits against the State of Arizona for trying to protect itself.

That said, if one chooses a “safe tourist” area to visit in Mexico, it is suggested to choose one in another country - The City of Acapulco, one of the most famous tourist destinations in the drug cartel run nation, has seen only 14 murders recently.

The question arises, if the violence is bad enough to bring home dependents of U.S. government employees working in Mexico, then why on earth would the State Department tell U.S. Citizens it’s safe to go anywhere near that country? Apparently, they are less interested in protecting the Citizens of the U.S. than insulting the Mexican Government. Due to the millions of dollars the U.S. sends to Mexico each years to prevent drug smuggling, etc., one has to wonder why the open border policy and specifically why our government would put our citizens on risk, both inside the United States and in the Country of Mexico itself by noting tourists areas are safe, when the opposite is true.

The deployment of 500 national guard troops along the Arizona border hardly seems like drop in the bucket, especially in light of the fact that soldiers deployed cannot detain any illegal’s caught crossing the border, rather notify the border guards, who are already overwhelmed. One has to ask how long it will take for the first casualty of the Mexican-American border war to take place, and how long it will be before sufficient troops and fencing is put up along the Mexican border to protect U.S. citizens.

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Bedford Fishing Industry Targets Obama on Martha’s Vineyard – End “Catch-Share” Regulations


Port of New Bedford, Fishing Main Industry of the MA 4th Congressional District - hindered by regulations image working waterfront.com

New Bedford Massachusetts is known for its Fishing Fleet, one of the nation’s largest fleets, and the largest employers in the 4th Congressional District. NECN (New England Cable News)reported that several New Bedford based fishing boats headed out to Martha’s Vineyard, where the President is vacationing to protest the “Catch-Share” Rules put into effect in May 2010 by NOAA’s “Office of Sustainable Fisheries” .

Catch-Shares limit the number of fish by species to be taken in any given season, and was instituted in Congress in 2006 under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Management Authorization Act of 2006 by the 109th Congress, Barney Frank, the 4th Congressional District Representative, representing the City of New Bedford, argued that local fisheries have a “stake in the shares”. However the Bill, originally instituted in the house and sponsored by retiring 10th District Congressmen Bill Delahunt (D), was based on science, some argue, that is not specifically sound.

The initial legislation was pushed by environmentalist concerned about the population of the oceans fish, and “shares” were designed to be sold, by the government to businesses, allowing for a type of “currency” which could be sold, the “share” is essentially the number of fish one can legally catch by species as enacted by Congress. In other words, the government also regulates the fishing industry.

The question is who is standing up for the small business owners, those fleets that sail out of New Bedford and Gloucester in Massachusetts to the Crabbers of Alaska? Ironically, the same individuals who implemented the bill in the first placed are now asking to relax the rules in order to allow for a little relief. Senator’s John Kerry (D) and newly elected Senator Scott Brown (R) were joined by several Congressional Representatives, including Delahunt, Frank, Tierney and McGovern in the request to add flexibility to the rules n several areas (Gloucester Times. Perhaps they should have thought about possible changes in scientific data and allowed for flexibility when writing the original legislation. (Brown excluded)

Brown, in the same Gloucester Times article states the areas high unemployment as reason for relaxing the rules. Once a “fleet” has met its catch limit, they are essentially “grounded” for the remainder of the season, to allow for the fish to repopulate.

How important is the fishing industry to the United States? The Top 10 U.S. Seaports, by Tonnage (most recent date 2006 are by order of most fish caught:

1. Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, AK: 911.3
2. Intracoastal City, LA: 400.7
3. Reedville, VA: 372.5
4. Kodiak, AK: 332.8
5. Empire-Venice, LA: 285.7
6. Pascagoula-Moss Point, MS: 212.1
7. New Bedford, MA: 169.9
8. Los Angeles, CA: 164.5
9. Astoria, OR: 164.1
10. Gloucester, MA: 148.4


By Value the top port is New Bedford, MA
, making the industry critical to the 4th district and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts ranks 3rd worldwide, behind first place China, and second place Japan.

Although highly unlikely that Obama will hear the pleas of the Captains of the Fishing Industry while out on Golf Course, it is also highly unlikely he would or could do anything about the plight of the fishing industry as those purse strings are controlled by members of the House and Senate(i.e. Congress) This coupled with the fact that Obama’s preference is to appoint academic experts to look at a given situation for months prior to coming to any conclusion, if there is one, would make that request futile (the Gulf Oil Spill comes to mind).

Congress and the Senate combined with the help of Obama since 2008 have regulated and added more formerly self-directed businesses to government control than any in history. From health care, to student loans (government interest rates on student loans are at 10% plus - where the banks were at prime and no longer allowed to issue student loans), to the auto industry, to mortgages and that list includes the now suffering fishing industry. (As nothing has been done to repeal or de-regulate any aspect of this industry under the 109th or the 110th congress.)

What are the fishermen and fleets out of New England, Alaska, Louisiana and other top ports to do? Vote for those who would be most likely to deregulate and hope the 111th Congress will reverse the most egregious of ACTS passed into law which have done nothing more than add to the nations economic woes.

The port of Gloucester was brought to national attention by the film “Perfect Storm” in 2000, a film which highlights the intense dangers of the fishing industry.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Dawning of Reality – D.C. Democrats Realize House Might be Lost – Some Run as Republicans


The possible 2012 Top of Tickets - unless Clinton goes back to Repbublian roots, this could be the Face of the GOP image: newsbusters

FromPolitco: The headline: “Democrats privately fear House prospects worsening”,is with 68 days left until the mid-term elections, a day late and a dollar short considering the mood of the electorate towards the Congress. Considering that Congressional Approval has dropped significantly since Democrats took control of both Houses in 2006, with only one in four voters approving of the job Congress is doing, according to combined polls at realclearpolitics.com, this should come as no surprise.

One has to ask, are the individuals who the voters send to Washington so isolated from their own states, districts and the mood of the country that they had no clue that, with very few exceptions, their jobs were in jeopardy? If the answer is yes, then they don’t deserve to represent the people in their respective districts and states. It is not that there hasn’t been ample warning from constituents: from explosive “town-hall” meetings where constituents vehemently opposed health care reform legislation, and massive to mini rallies held across the country by Tea Party members to protest government waste and spending, and specifically hard polling data, from both outside pollster and internal polling – these “endangered” representatives have to know the proverbial “jig is up”.

Therefore, they are now “privately” voicing their concerns and the DNC is frantically attempting to cover as much ground as possible in order to preserve a few seats in Congress and a glimmer of hope of maintaining control of the Senate. The option of painting a GOP Tea Party candidate as “extreme” is one way to go, however, it does not appear to be working – especially in the case of Sharon Angle – where incumbent, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid is neck and neck in polls with Angle, after an ad blitz against Angle, painting her as “the extremist”. In fact, in viewing the polls, since the primary results, Reid initially had a 7 point lead, which has now resulted in a 2 point deficit (within the margin of error) with no signs of improvement on job performance polls either.

Can one expect to win in this climate, if their job approval is in the tank? Therein lays the crux, high profile and not so high profile politicians are being held responsible for, perhaps, the first time in history by a vast majority of American’s and, further, it crosses party lines.

The Congress goes through cycles, where it is “cleansed” of one party then another and this generally occurs during a mid-term election (election which does not include the office of the President). In recent history, 1994 saw the Republicans take the majority of both houses, in 2006, the same occurred when the Democrats did the same. Therefore, the natural ebb and flow of politics would indicate that some seats would be lost in 2010, enough perhaps to change party control.

Of course, that was prior to the Tea Party Movement formed out of frustration over an every growing Federal Government under this Congress and the Obama Presidency. Although cast in a negative light by most of the “mainstream media”, the Tea Party is made up of members of all backgrounds, and all political affiliations, and like other smaller political parties (i.e. Progressive Socialist and Libertarians), will put up candidates who run under a “major party label” in order to have a better shot at being elected. The problem that has occurred in general for most Democrats is that they now have two labels: Progressive and Democrat, and those hardcore Progressives (sic: Socialists) are part of their election woes.

There is a growing backlash and distrust, even among what’s become known as “Conservative Democrats” against their “progressive Democrat” counterparts. See argument for Progressives versus the Conservative Democrats and Republicans here)
It has gotten to the point where, according to Politico, two Democrats are running against their peers, essentially running against their own party this election:

“Indiana Rep. Joe Donnelly, a second-term congressman from South Bend, is airing a new TV ad in his South Bend-area district pointing out that he voted against “Nancy Pelosi’s energy tax on Hoosier families.”
“The Donnelly ad is who he is,” said Parker. “He’s independent.”
It’s a spot that is strikingly similar to one Pennsylvania Rep. Jason Altmire is running, which features supporters praising the second-term Democrat for “stand[ing] up” to Obama and Pelosi. “


Some Democrats have changed party affiliation, and are now running as Republicans: Sean Bielat, a Republican candidate for the Massachusetts 4th Congressional district, is taking a hard run against incumbent Barney Frank. Beilat, who was, until recently a “life-long” Democrat, was “outed” by a local journalist, who went so far as to dig up voter registration on the young Marine. Bielat in response blamed Barney Frank, the blatant “Progressive Democrat” who is wedded to the Freddie and Fannie disaster as responsible for the disclosure. Registered Democrats coming out of the Conservative Closet is on the upswing in Massachusetts especially, which gives Mr. Beilat an edge of sorts, as he will appeal to those Democrats who are either actively switching political party, and/or about to vote for a Republican.

It was not the Republican’s or the Independents or the Tea Party Activist that put one Scott Brown in what has become fondly known as “the People’s Seat” – it was Democrats. The math does not support any other conclusion.

Therefore, it boils down to several factors, all of which do not bode well for incumbent Democrats (nor for some incumbent Republican’s who apparently have gotten caught up in the same anti-incumbent sentiment). The latest casualty, AK Senator Murkowski, who is now waiting for absentee ballots in the hopes that she can maintain her seat – it does not appear likely. Her opponent, Tea Party and Sarah Palin backed Joe Miller, will, in all likelihood, be the GOP candidate, and in all probability the next Senator from the Great State of Alaska.)


The Factors:
Successful integration of Socials Progressive throughout the Democrat Party, including its leadership, has caused an internal party rift.

Counting on the popularity of the President – whose job approval ratings are beginning to look a lot like Congresses.

Running negative ads against “dangerous or extreme” Tea Party Candidates

Excessive use of the George Bush blame game – which has resulted in the #1 Tee-shirt for Obama’s visit being: Miss Me Yet? Image: George Bush

Finally, and the most amusing - The DNC in a desperate attempt to hold onto what has been, in essence already lost - Poltico:

"In Washington, Democrats are testing a new strategy of trying to make the national conversation about Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) – who would become speaker of the House with a GOP takeover -- a tough proposition given that most voters have never heard of him."


John Boehner, the Congressional Representative of Ohio and Minority Leader of the Senate is someone who voters do recognize, in fact, those who were less than thrilled with the stimulus, and other massive bills that were rammed through Congress and the Senate, only need to recall the Ohio Congressman throwing a large tome on his desk and asking – “How are we expected to read this in under 12 hours” The same Congressman who, when Nancy Pelosi in 2008 decided to shut down Congress to go on a book tour, with gas prices through the roof, Boehner and a band of Conservatives stayed in session, in the dark, after Pelosi shut off the cameras, eventually forcing the Congress back into session.. Outside the beltway, people do pay attention and Boehner has become somewhat of a folk hero. Therefore, the casting of John Boehner as a possible GOP Speaker to replace Nancy Pelosi as an advertisement paid for by the DNC – is deliciously ironic. Note to future House Speaker Boehner, should the DNC follow through on this, have you staff send them at the very least a note of thanks.

How out of touch are DC Democrats both “party hacks” and the elected officials that are more Party Faithful, than constituent centered? We will all find out just how out of touch they are on the morning of November 15. One industry that should, by all accounts do very well, specifically with journalists and progressives, is the mental health agency – Bush Derangement Syndrome will pale by comparison should these elections go forward as predicated (note anything in politics as in history is up for grabs). Then it is from that point forward, crunch time for 2012. One has to already feel the angst of the media and those pundits who are also realizing that Obama is, in all likelihood a one-term Jimmy Carter president.

Therefore, as they cast about for possible replacement it becomes apparent that two of the most viable candidates are: women – one, a former Goldwater Girl who had one of the strongest records on Defense in the Senate during her tenure representing the State of New York, and one who has already proven her ability to govern, her ability to work with business and give back to the pole of a state, and most importantly, that she can survive and surpass the likes of CBS has been Cattie Couric. The Two, polarizing, yes, smart women, yes, and capable - yes. It’s not being suggested that it’s a “woman’s “turn” to hold the highest office – it is being suggested that either of these women would do a better job, and hold the congress accountable, no matter what party world be in power, and especially, work for the American People and not necessarily the party to which they are affiliated. Women can multi-task; one would think that critical to the Office of the Presidency.

Either way, the nation wins, in a race between the two fermented – of course, as the shift to the right has Democrats switching parties to Republican to run in Massachusetts Districts, perhaps Hillary Clinton would be able to channel her inner Goldwater Girl and run on the GOP ticket – either way, it world work to the advantage of the nation. As to the survival of the Democrat Party, should it continue to assimilate more hard-core Progressives (which accounts for approximately 20% of the population (polls) it is not out of the question that within a decade the once Proud DNC will be lining up in debates next to the Green Party and Libertarian Candidates while the Tea Party and Republican front-runners battle it out.

Are the Democrat in trouble – “you betcha!”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2010 Primary Update – Voter Turnout Key – GOP up 50% in Florida Primary – Exceeds expectations in Major Swing State – Primary analysis and commentary.


Press Readies for 2010 Mid-terms - image fox baltimore

My Fox Tampais reporting that voter turnout far exceeded predicted levels in yesterdays Florida primary’s. The Florida Division of Elections noted voter turnout was 50% higher than that of 2006 mid-terms. This type of interest and drive to vote in a mid-term election signals an increasingly engaged electorate, one which is making choices that are more in-line with polls showing an anti-incumbent mood shift in the nation, regardless of political party.

In Florida, Marc Rubio easily won Republican Senate primary – he will go on to face former Govenor (now Independent) Charlie Christ and Democrat Kendrick Meeks: The Republican candidates received 1,252,494 votes to the Democrat’s 909,307 a statistic that speaks to voter enthusiasm by Party.

As economic conditions continue to worsen, incumbents are feeling the heat on both sides of the aisle. In Alaska, Republican incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski stands in danger of joining Arlan Specter in early retirement. With 84% of precincts reporting as of this morning,Murkowski has a deficit of 3 points. A 3 point deficit can be overcome, but due to the nature of Alaska geography, it may take more than a day to finalize results - the Alaska Press, at this point, is not calling the race.

Primary contests held yesterday in Arizona, Vermont, Florida and Oklahoma, The New York Times reports that Washington Veteran's take Senate Primaries” and include incumbents John McCain (R-AZ) and Lisa Murkoswki (R-AL). The article author apparently neglected to check the Alaska media prior to publishing results. This is apparent denial over the dreaded “Tea Party” and the notion that money rules elections.

In Alaska, Senator Lisa Murkowski also faced an insurgent candidate, the Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, but after outspending him significantly she appeared to have a comfortable lead heading into the primary.

Again, as of this morning, Alaska Media still shows Murkowski with a 3 point deficit.

The high voter turnout and obvious media angst and denial over both the high turnout on the GOP side and the anti-incumbent angst voters in both parties are displaying makes for a wild and wooly ride into November.

The bellwether state(s), will be the blue New England States, with the Massachusetts primary on September 14th being pivotal, specifically with the sheer number of Republicans running in all but one of the ten Congressional Districts. Should voter turnout exceed expectation in Massachusetts – then one will have an indicator of how big of a shift has taken hold of the nation’s political think.

With incumbents in Massachusetts showing signs of weakness (See article in the Washington Examiner:
”Fear and the Politics of Panic” which describes the battle incumbents face nationwide, specifically, the 4th Districts Barney Frank.) Incumbent Richard Neal, the Hampden Second, is calling in the Big Guns – former President Bill Clinton is coming to Western Massachusetts to stump for Neal. That spells trouble, specifically using the “Scott Brown model” where the Hampden Second, voted in record numbers for Brown, and the “throw the bums out” sentiment is stronger in late August than it was in January.

It is, as of this writing, probable that up to 5 of the 10 Massachusetts districts are in play to the point where Brown’s election, although notable, will be less touted as an anomaly by the press, after, of course, they recover from weeks of therapy.
In other words, in every State, in every district, the outcomes are not predictable this year, and the electorate is engaged, energetic and angry and they intend to take it out at the ballot box. With so many districts to cover nationwide, it is not conceivable for either party to devote resources necessary to protect incumbents at risk, not that throwing millions at a race in today’s political climate means a hill of beans (See Alaska and NY Times comments).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sean Bielat (R), Barney Frank 2010 Opponent, Stands Out on Fox News Hannity – 4th District in Play

Sean Bielat, a MA 4th district candidate for Congress, running against Barney Frank appeared on the Hannity Program on Fox News last night. Bielat was self-assured, confident and appears more than ready to give Barney Frank a run for his money.

Observing Mr. Bielat on the programs “Great American Panel”, it was evidence that time spent as a Congressional Page, and his continued involvement in Government and the Armed Forces have him prepared to go the distance. For this first national appearance - Job well done Mr. Bielat.

To learn more about Mr. Bielat and his campaign visit: www.seanbielat.org

Barney Frank can be bested in his own back yard, and given the fact that many a congressional hopeful has appeared on that program, somewhat flustered by the “limelight”, Mr. Bielat’s performance proved he is potentially capable of going the distances. This will not, one can be assured, the last the nation see of this young Marine, who found his inner Republican not so long ago, and appears to have the willpower to come up against naysayers to support the people of the 4th.

The Separation of Church and State – Ground Zero Planned Mosque vs. Greek Orthodox Church Destroyed on Site - Analysis


Wars fought in the name of religion, including the Muslim Conquest of Spain 711 AD - photo blog Paradoxplace.com

The AP reports today on a Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed on September 11, with the World Trade Center – the plight of the Church has gone unnoticed in the wake of the brouhaha over the planned Islamic Community Center (mosque) on the Ground Zero site. The fact that both religious institutions have lacked funding in order to rebuild is not the point – the fact that government is involved at all in a religious institution, regardless of the faith, is mind-boggling. One has to ask, where are the cries of separation of Church and State that are screamed from the rooftops and result in schools barring the singing of Christmas Carols or municipalities ban the placement of a Christian crèche on public property?

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander applies in regards to this situation. The fact that individuals oppose a mosque being built on a site where, due to an ongoing religious war between Muslims and Infidels, a holy war, or crusade, resulted in the deaths of thousands of people (United States citizens as well as men and women from nations around the globe) on that site might be understandable. Reasonably, so-called “Holy Wars” have been responsible for the deaths of millions over time: the Crusades, the Muslim Conquest of Northern Africa and the Mediterranean (Southern Spain), to the war between Irish Protestants and Catholics. These major religions and denominations within a major religion caused wars, the outcome of which resulted in deaths of innocents - what is, more or less, anti-religious, given the fact that these religion promotes peace.

It is what it is, and for politicians and the State (Federal or State) to involve itself in the 1st amendment rights of any religion, be it in support or in opposition, should, logic follows, be against the nations rule of law. That said, property laws involving any real estate owned by a religious group, be it a Christian denominations church, a Jewish Synagogue, Hindu Temple, or Mosque should be adhered to in any case.

The fact that the proposed mosque would promote understanding does not hold water – the fact that the property is owned by SoHo properties, a company, which, according to almuslim.com was purchased and the building of said “community center” was approved by a New York zoning committee post September 11th, does. Therefore, if the property developers don’t have the funding, then the mosque cannot be built, nor for that matter, can the Greek Orthodox Church which was destroyed in the same general area in the name of the Muslim faith.

The question as to morality or to sensitivity towards ones neighbors is another issue entirely and, given the patterns associated with said religion, it is doubtful that sensitivity towards ones neighbors will prevail. It will be money that talks in both cases, and should the funding come forward from sources that are legally permitted by the United States Government (issues with funds from Terrorist States aside), both buildings would go forward – if not, then it is not the business of the government, or its officials to support or oppose or aid in the funding of either property.

Therefore, if this project is supported by State officials, then any and all religious holidays and themes associated, be it on private or public property, should be allowed. This includes prayer at schools, the placing of a Christian Crèche on public property during Christmas, or any other symbol of a religion practiced within the boundaries of this United States. The arguments both pro and con, therefore, are about tolerance in the end, the lack of tolerance shown towards Christians, Jews and, yes Muslims, and said religions being used as nothing more than “political” statements by those who personally profit, especially elected officials and members of the press.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Connecticut Senate Election 2010 & 2012 – Profile – Republican Linda McMahon


Linda McMahon resigns as WWE chief executive to run for Connecticut Senate against Dodd image and article NY Daily News

Updated: Linda McMahon's website: www.lindaforsenate2012.com - "It's about jobs"

One development in the 2010 mid-term elections that cannot be ignored is the number of women running under the GOP banner, be it Congress or the Senate, women have stepped up and stepped out, prepared to take the usual heat (because they are women) and Linda McMahon, running for the CT. Senate Seat left vacant by the retiring (Get-Out-of Dodge) Dodd, is no exception.

McMahon, who’s issues page here, gives a snapshot of solid conservative beliefs mixed with moderation. McMahon is opposed to Card Check, deficit spending, Government Bailouts as well as the administration’s Health Care Reform bill (which will add to rising deficits). She is more moderate on her stance on abortion, clearly stating she is pro-choice, to a point, and where she draws the line is at partial birth abortion, and federal monies spent on abortion unless a woman’s life is endangered.

Linda McMahon has business sense, although in some media reports, the business is given a raised-eyebrow or two. She rose to the top of World Wresting Entertainment, as the CEO. The fact that Ms. McMahon was able to be so successful in a male dominated industry, gives on the notion that she is more than capable to stand on her own and take a firm stand on issues that affect the Nutmeg State, should she be elected to the Senate this November.

The opponent, one scandal clad Richard Blumenthal, has been caught fabricating several times, most recently, according to the AP: about his not taking PAC monies – the article gives McMahon a platform and she comes out swinging about honesty.

Prior to Ms. McMahon winning the primary, Blumenthal was polling in the 30 percent plus range against any Republican candidate (when he first announced in January) the latest Rasmussen poll, however, tells a different story post primary - Blumenthal’s lead has shrunk considerably, he now holds a 7 point (margin of error plus or minus 4.5%) over McMahon, which is clearly indicative of a chance in perspective regarding Mr. Blumenthal as well as McMahon.

McMahon in a recent television interview spoke about retail politics, and how much she enjoyed getting to know the individuals and what concerns they may have. It is that type of political think, and the no-nonsense approach she has to issues, that will endear McMahon to CT Voters. Considering the trends to date on Real Clear Politics (a combination of polls) one can see that the more CT voters get to know her, the more her poll numbers rise. Therefore, the seat that was thought to be “safe democrat” should, by the end of September, be “Safe Republican”.

To learn more about Linda McMahon, visit www.linda2010.com

Small Blogs Taxed Above Income Level As Business In Philadelphia - $11 Profit Blog Must Have $300 License

From the Washington Examiner: The City of Brotherly Love is treating hobby bloggers like any other business – bloggers who have low traffic, hobby blogs are receiving notices from the City that require a $300 fee for a so-called “business privilege license”. Anyone who blogs for passion, be it politics or tips on gardening, are not, as a general rule, trying to make a buck out of it, rather, it is a hobby. With most blog platforms, one can run “Google Ad Sense” or similar advertising (income) platforms, which said program then has the “potential” to allow bloggers to receive compensation from advertising placed on their blog. Generally speaking, one must generate thousands of “hits” to realize a payout – how large of a payout? According to one blogger assesed the $300 fee - his earnings were $11 over two years.

That said, rules are rules, and the City of Philadelphia has one particular business rule, which follows that even if one has the potential to make a profit, they are to have a “business privilege license”. The bloggers dutifully filed the income, from their blogs with tax returns – however, are now shocked to learn that their hobby blog is considered a business venture. The crux of the article is that the license fee is significantly higher than any profits realized for their blogs - therefore unfair.

City Governments, State Governments and of, course, the Federal government, need to find ways to support themselves in a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed, and as they generate no income what-so-ever, the taxpayer is at risk at every turn, and now in Philadelphia, that applies to hobbies. It would be fair, if there were a thresh hold as to what constitutes a business in Philadelphia, however, there is not. Therefore, the disparity in the fee and the income derived from the blog can be stunning to hobby bloggers who did not anticipate being considered a business.

Ignorance of the Law being no excuse in court, the only option one can see available to those Philadephia "priveldged" bloggers is to file a Federal Section C, Business Profit and Loss Statement and be sure to apply for a
federal tax ID number through the state (a Social Security Number is sufficient, but..one can see the humor in this).

The purpose of a schedule C is to prove a point. There is a limit on the number of times a business can file a loss, (in the neighborhood of 5 years). Therefore, the license is an expense, the profit negligible at best, the business has a loss. Computer repairs, an expense, internet café charges, an expense – this serves two purposes: One, it will reduce any amount of Federal Tax owed (or State and Local Tax based on Federal Tax), as one’s overall income is reduced from the loss. Secondly, if one shows a loss of income for 5 years, the Federal Government considers that business a “hobby” – and not a business. This sets up a viable argument, one might one might be able to make if they happen to be an hobby blogger - a case to the City – in Court.

It may be worth the wait. To any other bloggers who live in a City that requires a business license for potential income – take note.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Election 2010 - Massachusetts - How Many Long Held Democrat Congressional Seats will be Held by Republicans come November?

There is a change in the political think of the voters in the Bay State, and as stated before, this was in evidence prior to Scott Brown’s run at the Senate. Once that run was successful, those districts that had one or two Republicans who had stepped forward to run for Congress suddenly had multiple candidates vying for primary win. In addition, where there had been no opposition previously, opposition did develop. The question one has to ask is how viable are those “predictions of Massachusetts, deeply entrenched, Democrats being defeated in November?” or for that matter, all districts as “Safe Democrat” – In reality, there are several seats where it is more than possible, and heading towards highly probable that they are in play – this based on limited access to internal polls, as well as a general angst of the people in the Commonwealth over the Party in Power. Although there has been this type of voter emotion before, which allowed Ronald Regan to claim the Bay State twice, one has to understand the Congressional and Senate seats remained in the hands of the Democrats.

What has changed? Several points to consider: this is a mid-term not a general election where the focus is more on the Presidential candidates than on those running for Congress, the aforementioned angst which is fueled by high deficits, and unemployment, as well as a “brand” gone bad – sets the stage for an electorate that is ready to try something different. (Which has happened, although, admittedly rarely.)

The make-up of the Bay State’s electorate is considered in the equation as the majority of the electorate is “unenrolleds” (50 plus percent), and although the Republican Party in Massachustts has the lowest registration of the two major parties, it is being now being boosted by those Green Party, Libertarian and unenrolleds and yes, Scott Brown Democrats, who, as national polls indicate, are not buying slogans.

Lacking any public polling, which may or may not take place until after the September 14, primary, it is difficult to call a specific race, but one can, based on the aforementioned, make a prediction.
Over at Wicked Local (Gatehouse Media) a guest op-ed piece by Robert E. Kelly opines that “Single Party Reign Could End in Massachustts. Mr. Kelly then goes on to rate which districts he feels are in jeopardy – basing his predictions on the outcome of the Brown/Coakley Senate Race, and including the caveat that that voter angst must stay the same to see these predictions come to fruition.

If anything, as of this writing, Massachusetts voters are more a) interested in politics earlier in the game, and especially who is running against whom, and b) the angst is increasing daily. To read the entire article visit: Wicked Local, Swansea News Opinions

Mr. Kelley’s Predictions with this blogs comments:

On District 1, Mr. Kelly feels this may be in play – a point where this blog departs. The reasoning, that district (using Mr. Kelly’s model) was 99.9% for Coakley against Brown, and Congressman Olver is Massachusetts version of Robert Byrd. Is it possible, yes, anything is possible, but probable? Unless there is a huge turn in voter angst (pitchfork level), the Challenger, one William Gunn, will have his work cut out for him.
District 2- Incumbent Richard Neal as vulnerable – this is agreed. Neal is extremely vulnerable – to the point where he has called in Bill Clinton to stump for him in the districts largest population centers: Chicopee and Springfield, where Neal has the biggest problems. Odds are on the winner of the Republican Primary to go to Washington – This district should be polled come October 1st.

District 3 – McGovern – agreed also endangered – Worcester Country has become somewhat of a red streak in the Middle of the blue Bay State for the past few election cycles. This District should be polled.

District 4 – Although incumbent Barney Frank is probably the most high profile target of the angst felt in the Bay State and elsewhere, within his own district, he has the distinction of being likeable – at least up until this year. In order for a challenger to unseat Barney – whichever Republican emerges from the Primary must have a) scads of cash to counter Frank, and boots on the ground, specifically in the larger population centers where the ground game needs to be focused.
What makes this race interesting is that there does exists a schism in the Democrat Party itself, where Rachael Brown is running against Frank, coupled with rumors of Frank’s retirement. Therefore, this district is one where anything can happen, and it makes for extreme political entertainment. Frank can be bested, by a Republican but the effort will have to be herculean – and then, it may not be Frank rather a Democrat by the name of Rachel Brown facing the Republican in November - Until the primary – this is anyone’s best guess.

District 5- Niki Tsongas – agreed – this district is in play, District 6 – Agreed Safe (for now), District 7 – Markey is one of the powerful players in this Democrat Congressional Delegation– somewhat possible, but not probable. District 8 – Stephen Lynch – disagree with the assessment – Lynch is safer than most and District 9 – Capuano – running virtually unopposed – safe. Finally, District 10 – Free-for-All, seat will go to a Republican – agreed.

Therefore, although looking at these races, sans national polling data, but based on voter angst, electorate make-up and (in the case of Mr. Kelly) the Brown-Coakley outcome) one can get a better picture of the Commonwealth’s political make-up and possible representation after the November 4th mid-term. In any event, the Commonwealth should be one of the more interesting states to watch in October, as several of these races are definitely in play.




MA Congressional District Predictions As of August, 2010 - (This is illustrative - understanding blogger has no graphic skills)

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