Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Rick Perry sold some property in 2007 and did quite well with it, turning a healthy profit. Nothing wrong with that, right? It's the American way. It's capitalism at work, right? It is, unless it's the result of political friends, favors, and back scratching. Perry bought the property from a Republican state Senator, named Troy Fraser.

The Dallas Morning News highlights some questionable details surrounding both the purchase price Perry paid in 2003 as well as what the property sold for in 2007:
At the center of the dispute is a gently sloping, half-acre grassy lot on the shore of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson in the Texas Hill Country resort of Horseshoe Bay. The resort is owned by Doug Jaffe, whose family has long, deep and sometimes controversial ties to Texas politics.

Jaffe's company had sold the parcel to state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, a friend and political ally of Perry's. Fraser sold the lot to Perry for just above $300,000.

An appraiser hired by The News determined that the land actually was worth $450,000 when Perry bought it.
On its face, that is at least mildly reminiscent of the Obama / Rezko land deal in which the former paid $300,000 less for a mansion than its worth while Rezko paid the asking price for an adjacent lot. There was also a subsequent - even more suspicious - deal in which the Obamas purchased a sliver of Rezko's lot, rendering the Rezko property useless.

But I digress. How about the price Perry sold the property for in 2007?
Perry sold the property in 2007 to Alan Moffatt, a British national who is a business partner and close associate of Jaffe's....

...He paid Perry $1.15 million for the parcel. The News' appraiser, who has decades of experience in Horseshoe Bay real estate, found that price to be $350,000 above market value.
Doing some quick math here, if Perry saved $150,000 on the purchase and made an additional $350,000 on the sale of the property, he potentially benefitted more than he should have to the tune of $500,000. If you run the numbers according to the reported appraisals, Perry would have bought the property for approximately $450,000 and sold it for around $800,000 which would have yielded a $350,000 profit. Every day, law-abiding citizens would be thrilled with that. If this deal is as it appears, Perry wasn't.

Read it all.


If Massachusetts Senator John Kerry (D) was planning to avoid paying nearly $500,000 in sales tax on the purchase of his yacht by leaving it moored in Rhode Island, where he would be able to avoid the tax, it looks like he will have a more difficult time doing so now that it's becoming a public relations disaster for him. Of course, politicians have an answer for everything. The question is how many people will believe his claim that he's not trying to get out of paying taxes; he's concerned about long term care for the yacht, which apparently can be better administered in Rhode Island.

Via Fox Boston:
If the "Isabel" were docked at the couple's summer vacation home on Nantucket, they would be liable for $437,500 in one-time sales tax. They'd also have to pay $70,000 in annual excise taxes. Instead, Rhode Island has repealed those taxes.

A Kerry spokesman says the boat is being kept at Newport Shipyard not for tax reasons, but "for longterm maintenance, upkeep and charter purposes."
I guess, in fairness to Kerry, $437,500 can buy a lot of maintenance.

Fox Boston is now reporting that Kerry may still be liable for the tax because "Isabel" was docked in Massachusetts for a short time within six months of purchase.

Here is the video of Kerry being confronted by reporters about the controversy. The quote of the exchange is the last one:

"Can we get out of here please?"


It appears the massive oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico is shrinking and those charged with cleaning up the mess are at a loss to explain why. Some have suggested the oil is beneath the surface, though that would be a curious happenstance since oil floats when mixed with water. We could be seeing how powerful mother nature - created by God - can be. It appears the oil is evaporating as it disperses the farther away it moves from the spill site.

VIa ABC News:
The numbers don't lie: two weeks ago, skimmers picked up about 25,000 barrels of oily water. Last Thursday, they gathered just 200 barrels.

Still, it doesn't mean that all the oil that gushed for weeks is gone. Thousands of small oil patches remain below the surface, but experts say an astonishing amount has disappeared, reabsorbed into the environment.

"[It's] mother nature doing her job," said Ed Overton, a professor of environmental studies at Louisiana State University.
This explanation makes as much sense as anything else:
The oil that did make it to the ocean's surface was broken up by 88-degree water, baked by 100-degree sun, eaten by microbes, and whipped apart by wind and waves.
Considering we have a president who has a big problem accepting responsibility and no problem at all taking credit, Vegas should take bets on how long it will take him to champion his mastery of the clean-up.

Then again, this might make his argument for the drilling moratorium even more ridiculous.

h/t to Drudge
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