For anybody in or near Denver, I'd like to consider doing business with the first sponsor of the Ross Kaminsky Show on 850 KOA in its new Saturday morning time-slot. Metro Screenworks.
Metro Screenworks repairs and makes new window screens, door screens, and sliding screen doors in a big range of screening and framing materials, including pet screen which stands up to the wear and tear of my dog...the reason I found and went to Metro Screenworks myself well before they got involved in advertising on my show. In fact, it was when I was at the showroom as a customer that I first asked Randy, the owner, about possibly advertising with me.
They made new custom-size sliding screen doors for me in great materials, in a short time, and at a low price. That's what they do for everyone...not just me.
Actually, they did one thing new for me, which they're now offering to everyone: I had a sliding screen door made with a pet door built into it, with the pet door made from their sturdiest stainless steel material. Cost a few bucks more but wow was it worth it. It's standing up to my puppy in a way no other screen door ever did.
So if your window or door or sliding screens are torn or missing or the wrong size, please do me a favor and contact Metro Screenworks and let them earn your business. They earned mine...and I'm a very picky shopper.
You can call them at 303.531.2610 or visit their web site at http://metroscreenworks.com.
Their factory and showroom are at 2795 S. Broadway just south of Yale. It's technically Englewood but basically the south side of Denver, and not far from I-25 or Santa Fe.
I'm very happy to be able to tell you that the Ross Kaminsky show on Denver's NewsRadio 850 KOA will be moving to 6 AM to 9 AM on Saturday mornings. I hope you'll all give the show a chance, whether you're in your car or listening online or downloading the podcast. (Links for the latter two available here.)
On Monday, financial news outlets reported breathlessly on markets’ reactions to the crisis in Ukraine*. The Wall Street Journal said the events “rocked global financial markets.” Television business anchors used words like “roiled” and “tumbling.”
But from the point of view of a professional trader, the reaction of almost every market outside of Russia and Ukraine and their immediate neighbors was downright tame.
Russian and Ukrainian stock market indices each posted losses of between 11 percent and 12 percent Monday, which certainly represented disastrous single-day moves. For context, there have only been three double-digit percentage single-day drops in the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and two of those occurred during the 1929 stock market crash. Since the S&P 500 was created in 1957, the U.S. has suffered 1987’s Black Monday drop of just over 20 percent but no other drop in excess of 9 percent in one trading day.
The Polish stock market, near enough to the crisis to be worried, fell just over five percent while Hungary’s Budapest Stock Exchange fell 3.5 percent. Given that there is little liquidity and often high volatility in these markets, even these drops hardly signaled sheer panic.
Further away, in Western Europe, markets were all down, with the amount of the sell-off roughly correlating to their proximity to Russia: Germany’s DAX index was down 3.4 percent, France’s CAC 40 was down 2.7 percent, and Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.5 percent.
Gold and silver rallied, as is typical during periods of global instability, but with gains of 2.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, even these panic-prone markets were relatively calm. The same goes for crude oil, which was up almost 2 percent the U.S. and only 1.6 percent in Europe. U.S.-traded wheat futures were up 5 percent, a very large move; Ukraine is a substantial exporter of wheat and war could obviously throw a wrench into that.
There are also rumors that Ukrainian farmers are hoarding wheat supplies to use as currency in case the turmoil causes a further plunge in the Ukrainian hryvnia — which on Monday fell about 7 percent, to a record low, versus the U.S. dollar. Corn was up to a smaller degree, but for the same reasons. (Surprisingly, the biggest commodity mover of the day was coffee, up more than 9 percent, on fears of a bad crop in Brazil — which even Russian President Vladimir Putin’s superpowers can’t influence.)
In the United States, the S&P 500 closed down about 0.75 percent, toward the high end of the day’s range, with talking heads on Fox Business and CNBC wondering aloud whether the market reaction implies that the Ukrainian situation may not be as serious as the initial worldwide reaction may have suggested.
There’s a well-known saying about my people: “Two Jews, three opinions.” But when it comes to having so many opinions as to be utterly meaningless, the real champions are financial market pundits.
Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:
An earthquake hit Colorado politics on Wednesday afternoon, and the tremors are being felt in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Cory Gardner, a second-term Republican from the small town of Yuma on Colorado’s eastern plains, announced (or at least it was reported that he was about to announce) his intention to seek the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Mark Udall rather than seek an essentially certain re-election.
Gardner’s move puts Udall, already struggling against barely-known Republicans, in a position where the next polls will likely show him losing his seat to the quarter-century-younger Gardner.
As is typical of Colorado Republican politics lately, the Republican field contending for the Senate seat was, while not a complete disaster, an uninspiring group of at least seven candidates, most of whom had little name recognition and even less money.
The GOP Senate front-runner (at least until Wednesday afternoon), was Ken Buck, former Weld County District Attorney, who narrowly lost the 2010 Senate race to Michael Bennet, an undistinguished slice of political milquetoast, with what most people thought were a series of unforced errors by Buck, including saying on Meet the Press that he believed homosexuality is a choice (which he then compared to alcoholism.)
To be fair, Buck has learned a lot from those mistakes and will be a much better candidate in 2014. However, many (including me) who would like to see him in office representing Colorado dread a flood of replays of 2010 videos which allowed the left to portray him as a “extremist” and caused Buck to lose the women’s vote by 17 percent — and to lose an election in which he had been consistently leading in the polls.
Within hours of Cory Gardner’s entry into the Senate race, Mr. Buck — who clearly knew this was coming — announced that he was dropping out of the contest, endorsing Gardner, and running for Gardner’s current congressional seat, a district that includes Ken Buck’s home and in which he is a well-known and well-respected figure. In effect, Gardner and Buck switched campaigns.
Buck’s move represents the significance of Gardner’s entry into the Colorado Senate race, namely that unless there is an enormous negative about Cory that suddenly becomes known, he is a shoo-in for the nomination.
Please read the rest of my article for The American Spectator here:
The Internal Revenue Service is considering a proposed rule change which would effectively silence many 501(c)(4) organizations, such as most Tea Party groups, along with many other "social welfare" organizations, on the thin pretense that the IRS is finding the current rule structure too complicated.
In fact, these are the rules which were being drafted in secret by Lois Lerner, the lady responsible for the current IRS targeting scandal, and for the same reason: to silence opposition to the Obama administration specifically and unlimited government generally. They would essentially give cover to the criminal acts (in my opinion) committed by Lerner and her IRS cronies by allowing them to say "See, what we did would have been fine if the rules had already been passed" -- though even that would basically be a lie because of the clearly partisan application of their illegal "standards."
It is interesting to note that liberal groups, including some initially supportive (because tolerant liberals always like the idea of muzzling their opposition), are now in substantial numbers opposing the proposed rules.
In addition to the obvious partisan intent of these rules, a major issue (and the focus of most of my comment) is that they will cause the IRS to move even further away from being perceived as, if not a barrel of laughs, at least even-handed in its approach to all Americans. Turning the most feared agency of government into a tool of whatever president or party is in power at the time is a recipe for damaging whatever faith the public still has in the federal government, and smacks of banana republic petty tyranny. I would also note that the genesis of these rules will leave them ever and always considered as illegitimate and hyper-partisan, having been written in a probably illegal manner by a woman who probably should face criminal charges for her behavior prior to and including trying to use the IRS to silence conservatives and libertarians.
The IRS is taking comments on the proposed rule until this Thursday, February 27.
I encourage you to comment, as I just did.
Resources for you (just click on any of the below links)
Compared to their screaming, feverish responses following the July acquittal of George Zimmerman, the relative calm — which is not to imply rationality — of liberals’, and particularly black liberals’, reactions to Saturday’s Michael Dunn “loud music” murder trial verdicts allowed many of their worst traits to be seen more clearly.
From attacking the jury because of the critics’ own misunderstanding of the law, to suggesting that there will and should be “outrage around the country” if Mr. Dunn’s jury could not read a verdict on the charge of first-degree murder, to using the results to claim that America is an inherently and permanently racist nation, the left proves once again that neither facts nor reason can trump their desire intentionally to divide our nation by sowing the bitter seeds of anger and mistrust.
And, sadly, several prominent blacks seem intent on demonstrating — as a recent Rasmussen poll suggested — that there is more racism within black America than within white America, a view held among both blacks and whites.
Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:
But don’t give yourself away
(Lyrics from “Surrender“ by Cheap Trick)
In his first (and last) appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) immediately and repeatedly agreed with Leno when the now-retired host suggested that Republicans were to blame for the October 2013 government shutdown.
That perspective is more agreed with than disagreed with among the electorate, the media, and perhaps even much of the GOP. But the almost gleeful way in which Mr. Boehner implicitly blamed the conservative wing of his own party rather than castigating President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for their tyrannical “we will not negotiate” approach has many Republicans, especially those affiliated with the Tea Party, less inclined than ever to cooperate with House leadership and more cynical than ever about its true goals.
On Wednesday afternoon, the United States Senate, by a 67-31 vote, gave President Obama his much desired “clean” debt ceiling increase just 48 hours after the House of Representatives had passed the same measure. The Senate shenanigans included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) voting in favor of the bill after most other Republicans had voted “No.”
As the Washington Times reported:
After he voted, his top lieutenants, who had already voted against the debt increase, switched — and then went to other rank-and-file Republicans and asked them to switch too, trying to present a united front. “Alright, let’s go — come on down,” Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who had earlier switched from “No” to “Yes,” told his colleagues on the floor. But few of them followed their leaders, leaving the dozen Republicans who backed the debt increase on a precarious political ledge.
It is in this context, one of remarkably public disunity, that one must consider both the “clean” debt ceiling passage — in which only 28 Republicans voted with nearly unanimous Democrats to pass the bill in the House — as well as the implications for the GOP going forward: How can a group with such deep divisions claim to be a credible governing party, or win enough seats to prove it?
Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:
H/T James Taranto
In the Federal Register update which includes President Obama's most recent unlawful modification of the Affordable Care Act (called Obamacare by liberals only when it is polling above 40% favorable with the public), two main conditions need to be met for employers of between 50 and 99 workers to qualify for another year-long delay in the law's mandate that they provide health insurance to their employees or face fines.
In addition to having to keep substantially the same insurance coverage for their employees, an employer will not receive relief from the law if she has fired workers in order to get the company's employee count down below 100 for the purpose of qualifying for the current waiver. If a company had more than 100 workers but then reduces headcount down to 99 or fewer, they may have to prove that the "reduction in workforce size or overall hours of service (was) for bona fide business reasons" and not done "to satisfy the workforce size condition" of the illegal waiver.
I guess the administration is just tired of stories like this.
Does anyone want to bet whether the IRS agent who has to determine what was in the mind of an employer who fired people and therefore qualifies for the waiver will check the employer's political affiliations before putting on his Thought Police uniform and making his ruling?
Big Brother's got nothing on Barack Obama.
In a unanimous opinion, a 3-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has handed the IRS another defeat in that agency's apparently never-ending quest to regulate, control, and dominate as many aspects of American political and financial life as possible.
The court ruled that the IRS's rules regarding the regulation of independent tax preparers were, for at least six reasons, outside of the IRS's authority -- which is to say illegal.
The opinion itself summarized the rules nicely: "Among other things, the new regulations require that paid tax return preparers pass an initial certification exam, pay annual fees, and complete at least 15 hours of continuing education courses each year. The IRS estimates that the new regulation s will apply to between 600,000 and 700,000 tax return preparers."
The court ruled that:
- The IRS's classification of independent tax preparers as "representatives" of taxpayers is wrong
- Preparing tax returns does not comprise a "practice...before the Department of the Treasury" as the IRS had claimed
- The regulations do not fit under the congressional intent of the law which the IRS claimed as its authority underlying the regulations
- The IRS's claim of authority would "would effectively gut Congress’s carefully articulated existing system for regulating tax return preparers"
- Nothing in the legislative record suggests that Congress wanted the IRS to "regulate hundreds of thousands of individuals in the multi-billion dollar tax preparation industry", and
- The IRS's past approach to this issue contradicts the agency's arguments in this case.
The last nail in the IRS's coffin in this case comes in the judges' unanimous conclusion, which should be a touchstone for all judges considering similar issues:
The IRS may not unilaterally expand its authority through such an expansive, atextual, and ahistorical reading of Section 330. As the Supreme Court has directed in words that are right on point here, the “fox-in-the-henhouse syndrome is to be avoided . . . by taking seriously, and applying rigorously, in all cases, statutory limits on agencies’ authority. ”
At least on this day, score one for (barely) limited government.
If I were asking Santa now for a year-end present (assuming I were not too naughty during the intervening months, and that Santa might take a request from a Jew), it would be an end to the non-stop barrage and tedium of news stories about gays, lesbians, and their “rights” and challenges and achievements in 21st-century America.
As it stands now, the torrent of headlines is enough to make you think that every news outlet in the country is a subsidiary of the Washington Blade.
Over the weekend, newspapers, websites, and news broadcasts breathlessly announced new policies of the Justice Department regarding how the DoJ will treat same-sex married couples in matters which involve the federal government.
At a Saturday night speech in Manhattan, Attorney General Eric “What Black Panthers?” Holder announced that he will “formally instruct all Justice Department employees to give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law.”
Some of the new policy’s provisions include:
- Death benefits to same-sex spouses of law-enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
- The right to file for bankruptcy jointly, and to claim alimony after a divorce. (After all, as my wife says in support of gay marriage, why should only straight people have to suffer?)
- Allowing a person to refuse to testify against his or her same-sex spouse in federal court.
- Visitation and other rights for federal prisoners with same-sex spouses (these provisions strike me as ripe for abuse).
- Benefits from other federal programs such as the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.
- The federal government will ignore the law in any state which does not recognize gay marriage if any of these benefits would apply as long as the same-sex couple was legally married somewhere else.
The story led Google News’ headlines, along with many other news websites, despite the fact that the announcement should not have come as a surprise to anyone, the DoJ having telegraphed its direction months ago following the Supreme Court’s June ruling against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), not to mention Holder’s controversial refusal to defend DOMA in court.
But that was just one of many stories within the past week premised on categorizing people by whom they are sexually attracted to, as if that’s something most Americans do or should care about — in a nation that, mercifully, is beginning not to care.
Please read the rest of my article for the American Spectator here: