06/24/19

Conservative Judges

There are those who say that President Trump’s legacy will be the conservative judges he appointed and had confirmed to the Supreme Court. Maybe so. Here is an interesting insight into that question.

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Recent decisions don’t yet support that legacy, but it is early. There was a recent decision that does indeed show the impact of conservative judges.

It is the Knick v Township of Scott case that dealt with the issue of the administration of claims seeking just compensation for government takings.

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06/23/19

Facebank and Libra

Big Red Car returned from babysitting duties for My Perfect Grand Daughter. We are learning how to boogie board, but don’t tell her mother.

While gone, Facebook announced the impending creation of Libra, an asset-backed cryptocurrency that will transform life as we know it.

I have taken to calling the entire entire enterprise — Facebook, the Libra Association, and Libra — Facebank.

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Bit of cynicism on a Sunday — we can’t trust Facebook with our data, so let’s trust them with our money? OK, had to get that out of the way, let’s march on, shall we?

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06/18/19

True The Vote v IRS

True The Vote, headed by Catherine Englebrecht, in a decade long fight has won an overwhelming victory in its Complaint against the Internal Revenue Service’s “slow playing” its application for IRS tax-exempt status.

A Judge has found that the IRS (Lois Lerner being the main antagonist) engaged in unconstitutional discrimination, conducted itself unethically, and acted in “bad faith” thereby entitling True The Vote to a multiple of its legal fees as a means of punishing the IRS and rewarding True The Vote.

This is huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge as it uncovers the bad acts of the IRS, its coordination with the US Congress in the person of Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer and Democrat Congressman Elijah Cummings, and the involvement of the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration during the Obama administration.

Weaponization of government, anyone? Here is the Texas woman who has been fighting the good fight for a decade, meet Catherine Engelbrecht.

DO NOT MESS WITH TEXAS WOMEN!

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Whoa, really, Big Red Car? You’re going to have to explain that to me.

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06/15/19

War Drums — Acts of War 1980s – 2019

Creating an impediment to free navigation and attacking ships of other nations are historic acts of war inviting retaliation from aggrieved parties. In fact, we have seen this movie before with tragic consequences.

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Back in the day, Iran and Iraq were locked in a war that ultimately incurred 1,000,000+ casualties. Maybe as many as 2MM.

The Iraq v Iran war has been compared to World War I in that two modern armies went at it over a protracted period of time while engaged in static, trench warfare, and human wave attacks. A bit inaccurate as the Iranians used very sound mobile warfare and deep strike air attacks at times.

Massive amounts of soldiers were deployed with the Iraqis striking with six divisions in the first attack. From a troop perspective many campaigns employed forces generally larger than the Allied D-Day operation. Big war.

Professional soldiers have studied this war as it entailed massive tank battles (the Iraqis ended the war with 4,000 tanks — fielding the 4th largest army in the world that they would one day unleash against Kuwait.)

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06/13/19

Things I Have Learned

Your Big Red Car is traveling to Savannah to see My Perfect Grand Child. This is a slightly old pic, but it is a favorite because it captures that Southern girl’s mischievous personality. So, we go for a splendid trip to Forsyth Park and romp in the grass because all of us know how to walk these days. And we do some thinking.

A pal of mine and I exchange emails in which he poses to me: “Tell me some stuff you’ve learned. Not deep stuff, but stuff.” It is a corollary of “Tell me stuff you believe in.”

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06/10/19

A Kiss Is Just A Kiss?

Do you recall the famous scene in Casablanca when Sam sings “As Time Goes By?” It is sung best by Frank Sinatra.

The song starts with a line — “You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss,”

What spawned this thought was a picture of Mayor Pete kissing his husband, Chasten, at a campaign event.

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Before you criticize Mayor Pete for excessive PDA (public display of affection), you will want to remember the famous Al Gore – Tipper Gore kiss at the Democrat National Convention of some time ago. He did not win the presidency, but he left American politics with an iconic moment. Well, until they got divorced.

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Totally impromptu! Haha, right. Al and Tipper did not start the weaponization of political kissing, but they put an exclamation point on it.

President Reagan was a kisser also. Here he is after being sworn in as President. Have to give Nancy high marks both for form (eyes closed), head tilt, but also the hat that did not impede the kiss. Well played. Both actors, they hit their marks right on cue.

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Here’s the beef — Al Gore – Tipper Gore and Ronald Reagan – Nancy Reagan kissed on the lips.  Mayor Pete and Chasten Buttigieg kissed on the cheek.

Come on, fellas, the lips. If you’re in it to win it, you go for the lips. I have given you bi-partisan examples. The lips!

Then, Chasten (potential First Gent), has this to look forward to?

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Notice that the First Lady is careful to kiss Mr. T on the forehead. Because kissing on the lips is reserved for your spouse, you fool!

Kissing, making out, faux intimacy, bit of PDA, the weaponization of the lip lock — is part of electoral politics at the presidential level, no? Who can forget these crazy kids?

Don’t even say it. I know what you and your dirty mind are thinking. No.

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President Trump is a nose kisser and a bi-directional kisser. The nose knows. You would have expected something normal from the Disruptor-in-Chief?

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Here the President is clearly going for the cheek. Cheeky bastard!

The French, who supposedly invented a brand of kissing, often throw a head fake and go for the hand. Here is French PM Macron showing nice form. Like Joe Biden, he likes to get a good sniff in. Modestly creepy, but quite gallant!

First lady steps into spotlight for state visit with France

President Trump, showing PM Macron how the cow eats the cabbage when dealing with a sharp-edged hat, ducks under the brim to hit his target.

But, at the core of this is my complaint — Mayor Pete, Chasten Buttigieg — go for the lips, dudes. 

A kiss is just a kiss or is it? Is it a political statement? Is it the weaponization of affection?

“You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss” unless it’s a political kiss.

But, hey, what the Hell do I know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Come here, you lovely little Mercedes, let me give you a nice kiss!

06/10/19

Qualified Small Business Stock — QSBS

QSBS, baby.

Rained hard last night. We like a good rain in Texas. Keep the temperature down, but I always fear the mosquitoes.

So, speaking of mosquitoes, let’s discuss the QSBS — Qualified Small Business Stock. [Nice segway, eh?]

Stop — DO NOT TAX ADVICE FROM AN EIGHT CYLINDER V8 MUSCLE CAR UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Think of this like sitting next to a drunk at a bar who is slurring his words and falls off the stool twice. That good. No more.

Oh, one more thing — if you are an entrepreneur, founder, ground floor stock owner — listen the Hell up. Trust me.

OK, so the QSBS is a great deal if you qualify. It will allow you to exclude up to 100% of your profits in a qualified small business up to $10,000,000 under certain conditions. This is the kind of money we are talking about here.

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06/8/19

Criminalizing Crypto in India

Big Red Car here getting ready for a trip to Sam’s.

So, I’m reading a few things and stumble on an interesting article about India and its attitude toward crypto. This is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that twenty percent of the world’s population lives in India.

Here is the famous Gateway to India which will likely not become the Gateway to Crypto if a proposed law is approved.

The “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” levies a ten-year prison sentence on any individual who might “mine, generate, hold, sell, transfer, dispose of, issue or deal in cryptocurrencies.”

This is what is called a broad stroke. Not much left to the imagination. Not subtle.

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06/8/19

CEO Shoptalk — Lancing the Boil

Glorious sunny day in the ATX, y’all. So, what does “lancing the boil” mean, Big Red Car?

[Early stage, pre-MVP hamburger looking at you in the Hill Country.]

Suppose for a second you are a CEO — tough job. You have dealt with one of the List of Horribles, that compendium of distasteful things a CEO does that comes with the job and justifies the equity stake.

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