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A poll tax, sometimes called a capitation tax, is a tax of a sum certain on individuals.  Now I invite you to imagine a world in which you are required to pay a poll tax to insurance companies.  This is the world that Sen. Max Baucus and every other opponent of the public option envision.  Without a public option, Congress will have given the insurance companies the power to demand however much money they want from you and to do so every year until you die.  If you refuse to pay the insurance companies, you will be punished with fines and possible jail time.  A tax by any other name...

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I'm a lawyer practicing in New York State.  I focused on business and tax law in my law school studies.  I found myself disgusted by the decision of the Delaware Chancery Court in the Eisner-Ovitz case (PDF).  Things have only gotten worse.

More below...

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Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 10:08 PM PST

Indian Subcontinent Peace in Our Time

by Mike McL

Our long-term focus on Middle-Eastern peace is admirable.  But we seem to have focused on it to the exclusion of peace in other parts of the world.  So for today I'm hoping to focus your attention on peace between India and Pakistan.

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Fri Nov 28, 2008 at 09:57 AM PST

Why not bailout borrowers?

by Mike McL

The instant reaction to this economic crisis was to bailout lenders.  Why?  The answer is because the people who run the Treasury and the Fed have worked for or with lenders for most of their careers.  It never even occurred to them that it might be more beneficial to "bailout" borrowers instead.

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Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 10:33 PM PST

When Did They Know?

by Mike McL

The current economic crisis exploded onto the scene within the past year.  But there is strong circumstantial evidence that individuals in the government knew or that those lobbying them knew about this brewing crisis long before it became general knowledge.

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Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:12 PM PST

Fire Rick Wagoner (GM CEO)

by Mike McL

Today, General Motors's CEO Rick Wagoner appeared before Congress and testified that GM's problems are not related to management but rather to the current economic downturn.  Normally I would consider this statement to be perjury, but I think that Mr. Wagoner is really so stupid that he actually believes it.

Read on for why it's a crock of sh*t and thus he should be fired (for cause).

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Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 02:12 AM PST

Our Economy: Dear Dr. Krugman,

by Mike McL

Dear Dr. Krugman,

Re: Depression Economics Returns

I cannot understand why what I believe to be a maxim of recession/depression economics has not yet been applied.

Private industry is scared to hire people.  Indeed, it is laying people off.  It is rightly scared about the current state of the economy.

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Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:58 PM PST

On the Pardon Power

by Mike McL

I write, as an attorney, to argue that the pardon of Richard M. Nixon by Gerald Ford was Unconstitutional and further that any pardons issued by a President of the United States to any individual who has not been convicted of a crime are Unconstitutional.

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Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 12:05 AM PST

To the Iraqi People

by Mike McL

In the immortal words of U.S. politicians past, "mistakes were made."

We in the U.S. wish to see your nation prosper and succeed.  President-elect Obama has promised to draw down the presence of our troops in your country to a minimal level within sixteen months.  But he can only do so if security and the rule of law are reasonably implemented within your country during that period.

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This is a diary of links.  For anybody trying to find their state board of elections (or similar body) on the web, this diary is for you.  Most, if not all, of these sites can help you find your polling place, let you see a sample ballot, let you see any other propositions that are on your ballot, etc.

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From the Dissociated Mess:

Defiance, OH

Republican Presidential Nominee Sen. John McCain unveiled a new strategy against his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama.  Speaking before a crowded park bench, Mr. McCain had this to say:

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From the Dissociated Mess:

Undisclosed Bunker, MD/VA/DC/WY/Elsewhere

Vice President Dick Cheney announced through a spokeswoman today that he intends to remain in office indefinitely.  Many members of Congress, when asked for comment, have stated their belief, off the record, that they believe that such an action would be Unconstitutional, though most admit that they have not looked at the Constitution in many years if at all.

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