February 28, 2006

The Tax Foundation Rates the States on Their Tax Business Climate

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:47 pm

The Tax Foundation has just issued its State Business Tax Climate Index (HT Atlas Shrugs aka “The Whirling Dervish of the Blogosphere”).

Here is the full set of state ratings and their weights (click to see a clearer version; no, I don’t understand why the pic below isn’t very clear; I promise the link is, though you may need to click to magnify the pic in Firefox):

StateTaxTF

The best two? Wyoming and South Dakota. The worst two? New York and New Jersey. For those in BizzyBlog’s immediate area, Ohio is #47, Kentucky is #44, and Indiana is #11.

Keep in mind that The Tax Foundation only evaluated the TAX business climate, and did not other factors that affect total business climate (education, workforce, infrastructure, etc.). Nevertheless, I’m not singing “The Wonderful World of Ohio” right now.

The background paper with all the gory details can be found at the bottom of the link.

Company Directors Want to Repeal or Overhaul Sarbox. Prospects: Poor

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:14 pm

The press release announcing Korn/Ferry International’s 32nd Annual Board of Directors Study reveals troubling findings on the impact of Sarbanes Oxley, and strong opposition to having it continue in its present form (HT Scatterbox):

Majority of Board Directors Feel Sarbanes-Oxley Regulations Should be Repealed or Overhauled

Significant Numbers Demand Amendments, According to Korn/Ferry International’s 32nd Annual Board of Directors Study

New York, February 23, 2006 – Just four years after the enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley, 58% of Board Directors surveyed feel that the regulations have served only to make boards overly cautious, and should be repealed or overhauled, according to the 32nd Annual Board of Directors Study, released today by Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), the premier provider of executive search, outsourced recruiting and leadership development solutions.

“Although gross corporate misconduct has necessitated recent landmark regulations, there is a growing contention that the impact of these rules has been negative,” says Charles King, head of Korn/Ferry International’s Global Board Services Practice. “Many directors believe boards have become exceedingly wary and are not taking necessary risks to drive company growth. These directors are demanding reform.”

….. Rather than being the catalyst for improved governance, 72 percent of responding directors in the Americas believe that Sarbanes-Oxley regulations have served to make their boards more cautious. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of their peers serving on US-listed Japanese boards hold the same opinion.

The above is potential poison for economic growth. If companies are deciding NOT to get into business lines or take calculated risks they would have otherwise taken pre-Sarbox, the resulting shortage of the kinds of innovations that drive long-term economic growth will likely lead to stagnation instead.

This isn’t the most elegant language, but it will get the job done: An economy doesn’t primarily achieve long-term growth merely by having everyone get just a little better at what they’re currently doing every year. Long-term growth only occurs when entrepreneurs and innovators come up with superior ways of doing things, of doing more things, and of solving more problems.

So is there a groundswell for overhauling or repealing Sarbox, which Scatterbox notes has already cost companies $14 billion in out-of-pocket costs, heading soon for $20 billion? Unfortunately, no. The mindset that company managements are mostly criminals in waiting has been planted deep in the public consciousness, and that perception is not going to change anytime soon. The definitely-not-scatterbrained Scatterbox quotes a CFO.com article that shows just how deep the distrust is:

According to a new poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal and Harris Interactive, 55 percent of U.S. investors believe that financial and accounting regulations governing publicly held companies are too lenient. That figure rises to 77 percent for male investors ages 45 to 54.

That is grim. Expect more companies the size of formerly public Georgia-Pacific to say “the heck with it” and go private, or get taken private, if things don’t change soon.
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UPDATE: Related story — “CEOs: Regulations Hurting U.S. Businesses”:

NEW YORK — Increased regulation and raised standards for financial reporting are hurting the international competitiveness of U.S. businesses, a survey of chief executives found.

The survey released Tuesday by Chief Executive magazine found more than one-half of CEOs said current levels of regulation hurt competitiveness, with another 11 percent saying they “significantly hurt.”

Most corporate leaders also said they are spending more on compliance, having increased funding for staff training, technology infrastructure, and for new software.

DO NOT Miss This Post on the Dubai Ports Deal

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:30 pm

Jim Geraghty Nails It (HT Lucianne; links are in original post):

My friends, there is an organized disinformation campaign going on in the discussion of the Dubai Ports World deal. Draw whatever conclusions you wish about whether the deal is worthwhile, but please do not buy into these blatant misrepresentations, and please don’t spread them in your discussions.

Clearly, this is a hot-button issue, and there are plenty of reasons for concern in the UAE’s past behavior, particularly before 9/11. Of course, we’re hearing from guys like Ret. Gen. Tommy Franks and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace that UAE is “a friend” and “very, very solid partners” in the war on terror. And Sen. John Warner observed that the U.S. military has docked more than 500 ships in the past year in the UAE and uses their airfields to perform support missions for both Afghanistan and Iraq. But some folks still feel as if they can’t trust the UAE, and/or they want a fuller review. Fair enough. I don’t begrudge someone for having concerns about this deal.

However, I do begrudge someone for not having their facts straight. And long after I, and many others, pointed out that this deal is significantly different than what we were initially told, a particular group of people continue to dramatically misrepresent – aw, hell, let’s call it what it is – continue to lie about what it entails.

Read the whole thing.

But all of this demagoguery doesn’t change the fact, pointed out previously, that the Bush Adminisration should have been ready for this.
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UPDATE: Dennis the Peasant works through the details of security by reference to The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.
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Previous Posts:

  • Feb. 27 — The Dubai Deal: The Vaguely Written Story That Started It All
  • Feb. 26 — The Dubai Deal: Isn’t This Special?
  • Feb. 26 — The Dubai Deal: Confessions of a Knee-Jerk Reactor, with Plenty of “Good” Excuses
  • Feb. 19 — That Arab Seaport Takeover Thingie

Econ Stats of the Day: GDP Revised, Housing Starts, Consumer Confidence

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:01 pm

4th Quarter 2005 GDPRevised upward from 1.1% to 1.6%. That’s a little more like it. Most, including yours truly, predicted the upward revision. Still, not impressive, and in the context of reports that 1st Quarter 2006′s rate will be 4.5% or more, odd to say the least.

Existing Home SalesDown 2.8%, to a seasonally adjusted 6.56 million units. Most analysts believed that 2005′s rate was unsustainable.

Consumer Confidence — This is one of those things I call “Indicators of media success at convincing people the economy is worse than it really is.” Those whose mission it is to make that case had a good month: The Conference Boards’s consumer confidence index fell from January’s revised 106.8 to 101.7 in February, below an expected 104.0.

Google Traffic: Why the Plateau?

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:24 am

Here it is, as of February 26:

Google022606

What can be said:

Beyond that, who outside the hallowed halls of Google knows why traffic has plateaued? Is the reaction to Google China’s censored launch a coincidence, or a cause, or has Google China’s traffic growth since the announcement simply cannibalized Google.com?

The company’s two-year chart shows virtually uninterrupted traffic growth since the beginning of 2005 — until roughly the past four weeks.

It bears watching.

UPDATE: Speaking of bears — “Google CFO Comments Send Investors Scurrying”:

SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc.’s (GOOG) stocks declined sharply Tuesday morning after Chief Financial Officer George Reyes told investors that growth at the online search leader was slowing.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s stock was down as more than 10 percent, or nearly $41, in morning trading after Reyes told investors at a Merrill Lynch conference that the company would have to find new ways to boost revenues.

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ Links (022806)

Free Links:

  • The shortage is of objective talent at ReutersTheir report on the latest Manpower Inc. survey of employers starts this way (HT Taranto at Best of the Web; bold is mine):

    Employers are having difficulty finding the right people to fill jobs despite high unemployment in Europe and the United States, a survey by U.S.-based staffing firm Manpower showed Tuesday.

    The talent shortage referred to starts at Reuters, which must be having a very tough time finding writers who recognize there is a difference between double-digit near double-digit unemployment in Europe (“high”) and 4.7% enemployment in the US (“low”).

    Update: eLarson in the comments asks a great question about whether unemployment rates between the US and Europe are comparable. Based on the info below, which also inlcludes the unemployment rates in various European countries as of December, I would say the answer is “yes”:

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EUandUSunemp1205

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    It appears that the definitions in the U.S. and European are essentially in sync, as both implicitly exclude “discouraged workers” (those who are out of work and not actively looking for work) and both use a 4-week time frame to determine whether someone is “actively” looking for work. Here’s the U.S. definition:

    Persons are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work. Actively looking for work may consist of any of the following activities:
    - Contacting:
    An employer directly or having a job interview;
    A public or private employment agency;
    Friends or relatives;
    A school or university employment center;
    - Sending out resumes or filling out applications;
    - Placing or answering advertisements;
    - Checking union or professional registers; or
    - Some other means of active job search.

    Update 2: Just when I think I have a handle on it — “German unemployment rises to 12.2 per cent.” Unless German unemployment went from 9.5% in December (DE above) to 12.2% in February (doubtful), there must be a difference in the way the EU reports unemployment vs. the way at least one of the governments reports it. Zheesh.

  • First, They Came for Wal-Mart — Now the health-care mandate crowd in Maryland is working its way down the ladder, from its biggest employer, Wal-Mart, down to its smallest. This is from OpinionJournal.com’s Politicaly Diary (no link available):

    Eurosclerosis Comes to Maryland

    Last month, over Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s veto, Maryland Democrats enacted a “fair share” health-care tax on Wal-Mart. Now Delegate James Hubbard is going after the rest of the business community in a quest to give “health coverage to all Marylanders.”

    Four years ago Mr. Hubbard first offered legislation to impose a broad mandate on employers to provide health insurance. It went nowhere, so he turned to salami tactics. The just-enacted Wal-Mart bill was always just a first step. Last week, he introduced the next salami slice — legislation to force companies with more than 1,000 employees to spend at least 4.5% of their payrolls on health care or cut a check to Annapolis for the difference.

    Mr. Hubbard tells us he’s committed to being an “agent of change,” and he’s already sizing up his next target — companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. He wants to mandate that 2% or 3% of their payrolls be spent on health care.

    The Wal-Mart bill, which took aim at employers with 10,000 or more workers, had been pushed by big labor and some of the state’s biggest retailers, including supermarket chains, seeking to hobble a competitor. But the state Chamber of Commerce opposed the law. Now its warning about letting the camel’s nose under the tent has been vindicated. Mr. Hubbard’s latest health-care mandate bill “is the rest of the camel,” said chamber spokesman Ronald Wineholt.

    Whether the partially business-funded coalition for higher health spending will hold together now that Wal-Mart has been whacked will be worth watching. Though styled as health benefits, Mr. Hubbard’s plans are a direct tax on employment, which can only have a negative effect on job creation. Euro-stagnation anyone?

    The “business funders” should be second-guessing themselves about sticking it to Wal-Mart right about now.

    Update: Brendan Miniter has more at today’s OpinionJournal.com, especially how perverse federal incentives encourage states to expand the Medicaid rolls so that they will get — you guessed it — more federal dollars.

Positivity: Mom Saves Kids by Holding Off 700-Pound Bear

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:06 am

It happened in Ivujivik, Quebec (HT Amy Ridenour):

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February 27, 2006

Realtor Racket Update: Banks Want In, and I Say “Let ‘em In”

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:31 pm

Don’t mind the link source. This IS a story about the US, and how banks want to get into the real estate brokerage business, that was originally published at MarketWatch (registration required):

Monday, February 20, 2006
AFX News Limited

WASHINGTON (AFX) — In 1999, big U.S. banks won a victory with the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which allowed them to offer investments, insurance and other products and services for the first time. Seven years later, banks have their sights set on offering one more service: real estate brokerage.

But, in an escalating fight, real-estate brokers are pushing back against banks and urging regulators to throw out a proposed rule that would let banks compete for buying and selling properties.

Real-estate brokers are increasingly edgy about what they perceive as banks’ growing powers. And the banks’ push to offer brokerage services comes at a prickly time for the realty industry. Online and discount brokers are giving traditional, full-service agents a run for their role as middle-men between property buyers and sellers.

Banks argue that existing law supports their entry into the real estate brokerage and property businesses — which could represent new and potentially lucrative areas to compete in. Trade groups like the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents banks, say solidifying legal authority for brokerage rights is a legislative priority for 2006.

Banks claim that consumers will enjoy better convenience and lower prices if they’re allowed to use banks as real-estate brokers. Real-estate brokers say they welcome competition in the brokerage business but argue banks’ federal backing gives them an unfair advantage. They also claim consumers won’t save any money using a bank as a broker.

But as the feud continues, some analysts say it could only be a matter of time before banks get into the brokerage business.

“Over time, brokerage is going to be in trouble” from the challenge by banks, says Peter Wallison, who studies financial issues at the American Enterprise Institute.

….. Real-estate brokers have been on the defensive against banks since 2001, when the Treasury and Federal Reserve published a proposal — still unapproved — giving banks the green light to operate as brokers.

….. Banks believe the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act allows them to enter the real-estate brokerage industry. Based on that law, the Treasury and Federal Reserve published a proposal in 2001 giving banks the green light to operate as brokers. But Congress hasn’t OK’d the proposal yet.

….. Banking advocates say consumers will win if national banks are permitted to act as brokers.

“We believe consumers benefit from more competition in this area,” said Floyd Stoner, congressional relations director for the American Bankers Association.

….. Analysts like Wallison believe banks will eventually be able to persuade Congress that real estate is a financial service. But he acknowledges banks have an uphill fight. “The Realtors are very powerful in Congress,” he said. “More powerful than the banks are.”

Where bankers see more competition — and more business for themselves — Realtors cry foul. They argue the law permits banks to engage in financial activities — and that real estate isn’t one of them.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley addressed insurance and securities, says NAR spokesman Steve Cook. “It did not address real estate.”

….. the fight over brokerage rights is expected to drag on. Realtors are seeking a meeting with Treasury Secretary Snow, but nothing’s been scheduled yet, according to a Treasury spokeswoman.

But it’s questionable whether Snow could change the comptroller’s decisions: the office is under Treasury but is independent.

I’d be more sympathetic to the realtors if they themselves didn’t operate like a closed cartel. But they do (link is to an August BizzyBlog post, “The Realtor Racket”). So I say, let the sunshine of competition in. Quickly.

Camp Katrina is Now MilTracker

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 11:17 am

Officer Candidate and S.O.B. Alliance member Phil Van Treuren has set up a new blog for good military news.

It’s called MilTracker. If the first day’s listings and presentation are any indication, it’s an exponential leap from his old site Camp Katrina, which was already really good.

Go for it, sir.

Though it won’t be further updated, Camp Katrina will stay right where it is.

S.O.B. Alliance, adjust your blogrolls accordingly. No need to salute–I’m a civilian.

The Dubai Deal: The Vaguely Written Story That Started It All

Sixteen days out, it’s easy to see how what is described at Noel Sheppard’s NewsBusters post yesterday as the first story February 11 on the Dubai Deal got people so excited, and to suspect that it was written to do just that.

A few curiosities about the piece:

  • Done on a Saturday (unusual for a piece of this nature), perhaps calculated to ensure maximum attention and minimal ability to follow-up.
  • The opening sentence (“A company in the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept. 11 hijackers with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism.”) is very clever, saying a lot while saying nothing. “Significant operations” is a pretty vague term. “Loading and unloand at terminals,” which is how it’s described at this National Review Media Blog post, is quite a bit different.
  • Sticking with just the first sentence, “A country with ties to the Sept. 11 hijackers” is also nicely vague, designed to get the reader to think that the government funds terrorism, when it appears that the only “ties” to the country were same “ties” that most of us have to the USA: We live here.

There are many other examples of curious wording throughout the article that appear to make the deal seem bigger and more threatening than it is turning out to be.

Even Mr. Sheppard doesn’t blame the entire firestorm on one item, noting that Mainstream Media digging into the details has been week from the get-go, but it appears fair to say that the wording and timing of Ted Bidris’s AP piece weren’t designed to fully inform readers. Sheppard’s post also points out that Salon’s Walter Shapiro made the same point on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” yesterday.

If there’s a lesson in this, it would be “Dig first. Shout later.”
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UPDATE: Rush just after the 1PM ET hour said that the first article about the DPW deal was back in late October in The Wall Street Journal in a routinely written, just-the-facts piece about what was then a planned deal. He then found a Feb. 15, 2006 article that he said was the earliest one that led to the controversy, but he’s incorrect about that, given the above. Nevertheless, the big points are that the planned deal wasn’t a secret, the opposition has been ginned up, and that a lot of us (initially) fell for it.
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Previous Posts:

  • Feb. 26 — The Dubai Deal: Isn’t This Special?
  • Feb. 26 — The Dubai Deal: Confessions of a Knee-Jerk Reactor, with Plenty of “Good” Excuses
  • Feb. 19 — That Arab Seaport Takeover Thingie

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ Links (022706)

Free Links:

  • Uh, you guys in Iran, there is NOT a correlation — This goes back to late October, but considering the world situation, it is still worth noting (HT Atlas Shrugs): “Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the latest cabinet meeting in the Iranian capital that ‘if we were permitted to hang two or three persons, the problems with the stock exchange would be solved for ever,’ according to a Tehran-based newspaper.”
  • While on the subject, it looks like terrorists have their own useful idiots in Europe.
  • A late hat tip to an e-mail from S.O.B. Alliance member Porkopolis for this item, which I have sat on because I had hoped to do more with it. But this will suffice — British retail giant Tesco PLC is coming to the US to duke it out with Wal-Mart, Costco, et al. Tesco’s competitive advantage is supposed to be its superior customer intelligence, and its supposedly unique ability to “make the most of its statistical information. ….. Tesco can closely watch what its shoppers are purchasing. It then explores linkages between the products people presently buy and the ones they might be persuaded to buy next.” Let the games begin.
  • Comedian Don Knotts died Friday. He was best known as Sheriff Andy Griffith’s deputy on “The Andy Griffith Show.” People like Knotts were strictly in it for laughs and had no other agenda. Today (supposedly), if you’re not edgy, you can’t be funny. Baloney — If you have to be edgy to be funny, you’re either not as talented as Don Knotts was, or you’re taking the easy way out.
  • A sure sign that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is running out of worthy nomineesThe Sex Pistols will be inducted this year. Always playing the pretentious rebels, they of course won’t be there, and informed the R&R HOF of their no-show plans in an incoherent screed (warning: foul language). The band was a hyped-up creation of a music industry media desperate to find something “new” in the late 1970s. It never achieved anything meaningful musically or financially, period.

Requires Subscription:

  • The Wall Street Journal editorialized on Thursday about the decision of Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, who had twice vetoed school-choice legislation (“Wisconsin’s Governor to Inner-City Kids: You’re Stuck“), to sign it the third time around:

    Ultimately, a sustained grass-roots campaign led by choice proponents — along with flagging poll numbers among Mr. Doyle’s pro-voucher black base in an election year — forced the Governor’s hand. A particularly effective television spot by the Alliance for Choices in Education featured a black father telling the camera, “If school choice is good enough for the Governor’s family, I ought to be able to have it, too.” Governor Doyle’s son attended a private school. Sometimes it helps to point out the hypocrisy of public officials who exercise the very freedoms they deny others.

    Voucher advocates, who want the enrollment cap removed altogether, didn’t get everything they wanted, but they did get the better of the Governor. And with some extra breathing room, they’re hoping focus can return to student achievement, where it should be.

    Why did Doyle have to make it so difficult?

Free Link, Save for Lunch:

Girl Recovers Sight in One Eye in a “Medical Miracle”

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:07 am

No one can explain it, but Gabrielle Bayless who seemed destined for permanent blindness, can now see perfectly out of one eye. Go to the story link for a video that you must see:

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February 26, 2006

Column of the Evening: Steyn on What’s At Stake

No point excerpting: Take 5, and read the whole thing (“Needing to wake up, West just closes its eyes”).

This Weekend’s Unanswered Question 3: Is the Air America Radio Bailout a Violation of Campaign-Finance Laws?

BizzyBlog Was Among the First to Ask; With the Air America Bailout, Now Others Are Asking Too

At the very end of this post on January 27, I asked this question about Air America Radio (AAR), which at the time was surviving by the good graces of one rich guy’s wallet:

Are Al Franken’s ridiculously outsized earnings (including a LOT of money up-front) from a network that is funded by one guy a “clever” way of circumventing campaign-finance law and underwriting a possible Franken run for the US Senate in Minnesota?

My question only concerned Franken. But now that The Democracy Alliance (no working web site; an April 2005 article about the organization’s plans is here), a far-left liberal group that includes billionaire George Soros, Peter “the Progressive” (Insurance) Lewis, and Rob “Meathead” Reiner as prominent members, has, according to Radio Equalizer Brian Maloney, promised to underwrite up to $8 million of Air America Radio’s future losses, the scope of the question has expanded, and others are asking it, including Bill O’Reilly at Fox News. In an interview on O’Reilly’s TV show (transcript here), Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who specializes in campaign finance law, called AAR’s financial maneuvers “money laundering.”

Brian also makes an important point for those who thought that AAR would actually compete with the rest of Talk Radio as we currently know it:

Removing any remaining doubt Air America (which has never been willing to comment on our investigations) is a non-commercially-viable charity case, the network will likely need additional infusions to continue operating over the long haul.

So now we have taxpayer-funded, outrageously-salaried public broadcasting AND the wealthy elitist-funded money-sucking Frankenstein Monster that is AAR, both operating without the normal financial constraints private-sector enterprises face, and both of which would fall flat on their bloated carcasses if the non-market-driven funding spigots got turned off.

You might be tempted to say, “Look at the bright side — Soros et al could probably spend their money more effectively in other ways and accomplish more politicallly, so on balance it’s a good thing to watch them flush it down the tubes on the microscopically-rated AAR.”

Not so fast. Melanie Morgan at World Net Daily made the point back on February 17 that AAR is openly helping liberal candidates campaign for political office in a way that leverages the rich-libs’ money:

Francine Busby is a Democrat candidate to fill the vacant congressional seat that had been held by Randy “Duke” Cunningham. Cunningham was forced to resign after admitting his guilt to a number of corruption and bribery charges.

Yet despite the focus on ethics in the race, Democrat Busby has now appeared on Air America programs several times, including on Al Franken’s nationally syndicated show. Busby’s campaign events are also promoted on the website of Air America’s San Diego radio affiliate.

With Air America’s help, Busby has raised approximately $520,000 – more than any other Republican or Democrat candidate for the seat.

So almost $22,000 a day ($8 million in losses spread over a year) is being funneled into AAR by George Soros and the gang to promote candidates they would otherwise be limited to donating some multiple of $2,100 to (of course they can still do that too), while at the same time giving these candidates air time and web site promotion to raise money from others.

From here, this looks like an end-run around campaign finance laws.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

The Dubai Deal: Isn’t This Special?

Sweetness and Light — Saudi Shipping Company Controls 9 US Ports (i.e., ALREADY; see correction)

Note: based on S&L post content, it should
read “9 Berths at North American Ports.”

The company’s name is NSCSA (America), Inc. The company profile is here.

The company has terminals at nine ports in North America (eight in the US and one in Canada; list at S&L Link has two duplicates).

No one else in the press bothered to figure this out and report it.

Sweetness “graciously” comments: “Maybe they don’t know about it, as the company’s only been around since 1979.”

I guess a story’s never vetted until the bloggers have been given a week to do the job the WORMs (Worn-Out Reactionary Media, known to most as The Mainstream Media) should be doing.
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Previous Posts:

  • Feb. 26 — The Dubai Deal: Confessions of a Knee-Jerk Reactor, with Plenty of “Good” Excuses
  • Feb. 19 — That Arab Seaport Takeover Thingie