The Elected Have Very Different Interests Than the Electors

Here’s how we get treated:

WASHINGTON — The IRS is weighing a proposal to deem one-quarter of employees’ use of work cell phones as personal use and therefore subject to tax as a fringe benefit.

The proposal is one of several options the IRS put forward this week on the tax treatment of employer-provided cell phones. Current law already requires that the value of those cell phone services be included in a worker’s gross income, unless the employee keeps detailed records showing that the cell phone is used for work only — an idea cell phone trade groups are objecting to.

Here’s how our political class treats themselves:

Senators who oversee the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package held stocks in many of the banks bailed out towards the end of last year, according to financial disclosure reports released Friday.

According to the reports detailing senators’ finances in 2008, nearly half of the members of the Senate Banking Committee had holdings in financial institutions that have taken funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The panel has jurisdiction over the bailout fund and other relief efforts directed by federal regulators to save the nation’s financial system.

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I was in the clearance aisle of Wal-mart the other day and I saw a bottle of pancake syrup loudly, proudly, and boldly labeled, “NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!!!” Well. That was exciting because the Cherub is allergic to corn syrup, and it doesn’t make me feel so hot, either. So I picked it up. Always being a cynical sort, however, I read the ingredients label anyway.

Good thing.

First Ingredient?

Corn syrup.

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Cool Beans

The Tea Chemist, a friend of the HG’s (and now all of us) who graduated with her and is living with us this summer until she finds a job and so forth, is excited to learn that I have always wanted to make soap. It seems a perfect fit, since I have the lamb fat, beef fat, and the kitchen, and she adores working with caustic substances.

So we’re going to give it a try sometime this week. I will let you know how it works.=)

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Frugal Stuff

My weekly post is up at Frugal Hacks- a substitute for cocoa matting for hanging baskets. There are other useful tips at the Frugal Hacks website– is it better to rent or drive your own vehicle on a long vacation? How to buy a used car. Look around.

Swagbucks: I’m up to 223 swagbucks and could use more.=) Swagbucks are NOT going to make you rich, and they won’t put food on the table. But they could make a nice little extra gift here or there when you need one- a five or ten dollar credit at Amazon or Starbucks or the like for a friend or loved one. You can earn Swagbucks by using their search engine instead of Google’s, which is what I do. I just use their search engine for things I would already be searching for- so it doesn’t take extra time. You can earn them by buying stuff, which I is what I don’t do. You can earn them by referring friends, which I do. And you can earn them by following their blog and playing their hunt the code games and so forth, but I don’t do that, either.

Search & Win

Get a fee sample of my favorite expensive product- Good Nights. I’ve blogged before about how much easier they make life with the Cherub. If you don’t need them, get your free sample and donate it to the local shelter, a crisis pregnancy center (mothers in crisis pregnancies do sometimes have older children, too), or a friend.

If you’re a scrapper or a card-maker, you should get some good frugal ideas on using clip-art (which is what digital stamps really are) here. In fact- here’s a cute post she has on making fifty cards in a day.

She also sent me here for a free link to plastic for shrinky dink plastic.

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Links and Thinks

Once it would have been a scandal.

“Economic Justice” or socialism? Part II

It’s unlikely that birds descended from any known theropod dinosaurs. It has to do with new discoveries about how birds breathe:

“It’s really kind of amazing that after centuries of studying birds and flight we still didn’t understand a basic aspect of bird biology,” said John Ruben, an OSU professor of zoology. “This discovery probably means that birds evolved on a parallel path alongside dinosaurs, starting that process before most dinosaur species even existed.”

Of particular interest to me- besides the cool physiological information about how a bird’s thigh is connected to keeping its lungs from collapsing when it flies, is stuff like this:
“It’s really strange that no one realized this before.” and “‘Frankly, there’s a lot of museum politics involved in this, a lot of careers committed to a particular point of view even if new scientific evidence raises questions…'”

Media Bogeymen: Top Ten Times Scare Stories It’s a fun trip down memory lane, and a reminder that the media inflates scary stories to sell stories.

From Josh Marshall:

According to charging documents filed today in Washington, DC., investigators found a note in the car James von Brunn drove to the Holocaust Museum. In what investigators refer to as “handwritten notations” found in a notebook in the car, von Brunn wrote …

“You want my weapons — this is how you’ll get them. The Holocaust is a lie. Obama was created by Jews. Obama does what his Jew owners tell him to do. Jews captured America’s money. Jews control the mass media.”

Reverend Jeremiah Wright (Obama’s pastor for over 20 years), about why Obama and he haven’t spoken recently:

“Them Jews aren’t going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he’ll talk to me in five years when he’s a lame duck, or in eight years when he’s out of office…

Wright also said Obama should have sent a U.S. delegation to the World Conference on Racism held recently in Geneva, Switzerland, but that the president did not do so for fear of offending Jews and Israel.

(later Wright said he meant to say Zionists, not Jews.)

The FDA is going to regulate Tobacco Products. But companies can’t exactly tell consumer’s that. And it’s unclear how this ‘regulation’ is going to make an inherently unsafe product safe. We live in bizarro-world.

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