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AOSHQDD- Primary Night in Texas | Main | Top Headline Comments (3-5-2014)
March 04, 2014

Overnight Open Thread (3-4-2014)

The Great State Shakedown

As the Blue State model begins to fail state politicians are getting desperate for additional revenue and looking for the perfect victims: out of state individuals and business who they can tax but who are unable to vote them out of office. Make no mistake - taxation without representation is a key part of the new blue revenue model.

New York and New Jersey are particularly egregious offenders with New York demanding full income tax from anyone who works for a NY-based company no matter where they live and New Jersey holding companies' trucks ransom for passing through the state.

Now this would seem to be a violation of the Commerce Clause but the Supreme Court has repeatedly deferred to Congress to hash out the details. And Congress has declined to do anything about this and so interstate commerce is slowly being squeezed by the grasping hands of failing states.

At least with the Articles of Confederation you knew exactly which state had dominion over you and your purse.

Stretching the limits of the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause to the breaking point, local revenue agents have seized out-of-state trucks simply passing through their jurisdiction, refusing to release them until the firms that dispatched them fork over corporate income taxes. Finance departments have slapped out-of-state businesses with bills for thousands of dollars in corporate back taxes, based on little more than a single worker visiting the state sometime during the year. And tax agents have targeted employees who work remotely for in-state firms, claiming that they owe personal income taxes, even when they've never stepped foot in the taxing state.
Telecommuting can now be a tax trap for employees, too. New York State now considers those working remotely for New York-based businesses to owe income taxes on all their work, whether they visit the state or not. New York employs a "convenience of the employer" rule to apply these taxes. It holds that telecommuters for New York firms are effectively physically present in the state, wherever they happen to be. A Hawaiian telecommuter to New York, in other words, might wind up paying income taxes in two states-his home and that of his employer.
According to congressional testimony by owners of trucking companies and the American Trucking Associations, beginning around 2000, revenue agents from New Jersey's department of taxation began descending on truck stops, weigh stations, and loading docks and waylaying trucks, demanding that the owners pay at least Jersey's $1,100 minimum corporate-franchise tax before letting the drivers proceed. Many of the vehicles-about 40,000 have been stopped-worked for companies with zero connection to New Jersey, other than making a pickup or delivery there. New Jersey was, in essence, charging a $1,100 entry fee into the state.

California's Chicken Law and the Commerce Clause

California is essentially imposing a tariff on all out-of-state eggs by demanding the hostaeries they come from meet California chicken coop standards despite the fact that the FDA has stated there is no legitimate reason for discriminating against non-CA eggs.

Californian voters approved a ballot measure in 2008 requiring California egg producers to provide additional room in chicken coops for egg-laying hens. The ballot initiative, according to research done by the University of California at Davis, will increase the costs of egg production in the state by 20 percent, putting out-of-state egg producers at a large competitive advantage

...Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing in the Lopez decision, added that regulations that treat in-state and out-of-state businesses the same are still unconstitutional if they overly burden interstate commerce: "One element of our dormant Commerce Clause jurisprudence has been the principle that the States may not impose regulations that place an undue burden on interstate commerce, even where those regulations do not discriminate between in-state and out-of-state businesses." According to Missouri's attorney general, the law passed in California outlawing the eggs produced under the practices generally used in the rest of the United States clearly offends the Constitution.

John McCain: Obama Was the Smartest Person in the Room

Well just remember that McCain graduated 5th from the bottom of his class (894 out of 899) and seems to believe that the better man won in 2008.

I thought when he had a couple of dinners with Republican senators, we really had a good environment there. Because he is a very, very articulate and attractive guy in a setting with eight or nine senators and him. Because he was smarter than the rest of us. But I don't see that now. I don't see any of that.

Full disclosure: McCain has been one of my least favorite Republicans for 15+ years now and I believe every one of the rumors about his possible defection to the Democrats after 2000.


No Means No and Also Yes Means No. Maybe.

The Forum on Consent, which was also open to the public, featured several panel participants who spoke to the question of what we understand as "consent." The theme was similar to a campaign launched by a Nova Scotia coalition earlier this month - the More Than Yes campaign - which contended that "sexual consent is more than just a yes." According to that campaign, and echoed by the forum participants at McGill on Wednesday, real consent "must be loud and clear. Sex without enthusiastic consent is not sex at all. It's sexual assault or rape." . . .

Defining rape down - until mere unenthusiastic sex or enthusiastic sex but with eventual regret = a sexual assault. Next stop: all PIV.

Targeted by Islamic Death Threats? No Speaking in Public Facilities For You!

Seems like an easy way to shut people up. And remember that activities which are rewarded will be repeated.

Next on NJ's Ban List: Any .22 Rifle With a Tube Magazine

Which means the venerable Nylon 66 would become an illegal assault weapon.

The New Jersey Assembly's Law and Public Safety Committee was scheduled to hold a public hearing on Monday (postponed for snow) about a bill that reduces the maximum magazine capacity from 15 to 10.

Since the legislation covers both detachable and fixed magazines, it has the effect of to banning popular, low-caliber rifles.

...Thus, the experts found that at least 43 common rifles would suddenly be considered a prohibited "assault firearm," such as the .22 caliber Marlin Model 60, Remington Nylon 66 and Winchester 190.

11 French Travel Tips for Visiting America

You have to be nice to ugly pets and children, the showers are all retarded, and the Americans eat like animals.

Americans eat and drink anything and at any time of the day: in the street, in a meeting at work, in the car, on the subway, in the elevator, the movies ... So, there are drink rests everywhere: cinema seats, baby strollers, shopping carts at the supermarket, in cars, some bike handlebars.

The portions are often gargantuan in the United States (but you already knew that). Americans are not embarrassed to ask for a "doggy bag" to take home. They'll even take home the rest of the tortillas appetizer.

On the other hand Americans generally don't steal from you and will help in an instant and also expect you to help strangers as well:

A passerby stumbles and sprawls in the street, an old lady can barely control Brutus at the end of a leash, a small tricycle driver loses control of his vehicle. Politeness means, of course, that you come and help all these people. American culture wants you to quit all your activities and rescue the unfortunate. In America, you cannot pretend to not have noticed all these little quirks. You must rush to provide assistance to all who need it.


RIP The 'Bushman' of San Francisco

A longtime fixture at Fisherman's Wharf.

Found CA Gold Coins Likely Stolen From US Mint in 1899

Which means there's a good chance the finders won't get to keep them. Via our own Zombie.


The AoSHQ group. Yeah.

Teh Tweet!

Tonight's post brought to you by that smell:


Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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