Category Archives: Uncategorized

Treasury Notice 2008-83 nixed in House economic recovery bill

The House passed an economic stimulus bill today. It includes the slap-down of Treasury Notice 2008-83 that the House Ways and Means Committee had previously included. I hope the conference with the Senate disallows all reliance on the notice.


American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)



    (a) Findings- Congress finds as follows:
    • (1) The delegation of authority to the Secretary of the Treasury under section 382(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 does not authorize the Secretary to provide exemptions or special rules that are restricted to particular industries or classes of taxpayers.
    • (2) Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83 is inconsistent with the congressional intent in enacting such section 382(m).
    • (3) The legal authority to prescribe Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83 is doubtful.
    • (4) However, as taxpayers should generally be able to rely on guidance issued by the Secretary of the Treasury legislation is necessary to clarify the force and effect of Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83 and restore the proper application under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 of the limitation on built-in losses following an ownership change of a bank.
    (b) Determination of Force and Effect of Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83 Exempting Banks From Limitation on Certain Built-in Losses Following Ownership Change-
    • (1) IN GENERAL- Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83–
      • (A) shall be deemed to have the force and effect of law with respect to any ownership change (as defined in section 382(g) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) occurring on or before January 16, 2009, and
      • (B) shall have no force or effect with respect to any ownership change after such date.
    • (2) BINDING CONTRACTS- Notwithstanding paragraph (1), Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83 shall have the force and effect of law with respect to any ownership change (as so defined) which occurs after January 16, 2009 if such change–
      • (A) is pursuant to a written binding contract entered into on or before such date, or
      • (B) is pursuant to a written agreement entered into on or before such date and such agreement was described on or before such date in a public announcement or in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission required by reason of such ownership change.

Update: This made it through the Senate and conference session, and was signed into law by President Obama.

Inauguration of a Metaphor

Joseph Campbell once said that if you want to change the world you must change the metaphor. Campbell spoke of religion but that wisdom seems to transfer to politics as well.

Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, is above all a metaphor. He is a metaphor for everything and anything you or I want him to be. He is a metaphor for, among other things, hope, dreams no longer deferred, a melting pot, America, the unknown, and the anti-christ. As a metaphor, like Santa Claus, he has huge expectations placed on him, a nation who believes in him, and the world watching. Regardless of who Obama really is, through the power of metaphor we have projected upon him what we want and need him to be.

Good luck Mr. Obama. We have changed the metaphor; here’s to changing the world for the better as the result.

General Motors: irresponsible

I have just one word to describe General Motors: “irresponsible.”

GM says it could fail in a matter of weeks – Los Angeles Times.

The depths of GM’s troubles were brought fully to light in its proposal, released late Tuesday. In November, GM said it could run out of operating cash sometime in the first six months of 2009. Now it appears that GM could fail in a matter of weeks without immediate aid.

“There is no Plan B,” said Fritz Henderson, GM’s president and chief operating officer, who faces a 30% pay cut himself. “Frankly, the shortage of liquidity does focus the mind.”

Together, the Big Three U.S. automakers are asking Congress for $34 billion in low-cost government loans — $9 billion more than the roughly $25 billion the automakers had sought just last month.

The executive team and board of directors has been asleep at the wheel, literally and figuratively. This has been a long-time coming and they act like they were broadsided with no warning.

First, how can the company not have a plan B? Bankruptcy is intended for exactly the predicament it finds itself in. Second, the burn rate at the company should have signaled years ago that something was wrong and dead weight and fat needed to be trimmed. Third, a 30% paycut of a million bucks is not nearly enough for executive misfeasance or malfeasance; he executive team and board need to be replaced in return for Federal assistance.Anyone else running a business like GM would have been canned long ago.

Perhaps GM managerial staff should be paid according to the Federal schedule.

keys in the trunk

Have you ever done this?

1) locked your keys in the trunk?

2) locked your keys in the trunk twice?

3) locked your keys in the trunk of two different cars on the same day?

Well, I fall into the last camp. How, I don’t know. But I did. I locked my keys in the trunk of my car this morning when getting something out. I then locked my keys in the trunk of my wife’s car when I got to work. This was the first time I’ve locked keys in the car in about 18 years so it all evens out in the end.

Even then, my day wasn’t half bad. A munchkin visited me at work (he enjoyed the visit), I had steelhead (nice dark pink, too), and wasn’t tired for class (tax policy will be an excellent class this semester).

the sharks are schooling

Now for the hard part. My semester begins Tuesday. I am taking Water Law, Tax Policy, and Negotiation.

Mark Twain comes to mind each time a semester begins: “I never let schooling interfere with my education.” It is something to live by, even in professional school.

btw: Happy b-day CS!

tipping the scales

And I thought my son was big. These twins are both HUGE.

‘Big twins’ tip scales at North Carolina hospital – Yahoo! News

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – They aren’t America’s heaviest newborn twins on record, but they certainly tip the scales: Sean William Maynard and Abigail Rose Maynard weighed in at a combined 23 pounds and 1 ounce at birth this week, a North Carolina hospital announced Friday.

The boy weighed 10 pounds, 14 ounces; the girl, 12 pounds, 3 ounces.

Cheapest gas in town?

Cheapest gas in town?, originally uploaded by dfb.

This Shell station seems the cheapest gas in town (several cents cheaper than watered down Arco). There was a line two and three cars deep when I passed by after work and again two hours later, after dinner.

A few days ago, it was $4.05 for the cheapest regular gas. I expect we’ll be paying $5.00 or more by the end of summer if the price of oil remains high.

Update (04/30/08): There was a line this morning as I went to work. The [literally] no brand gasoline station down the street sold gas for the same price.

Digital Converter Box is here

I used the analog to digital converter box coupon card this past weekend. So now we can still get TV after the super bowl when the transition to digital television is complete. It is an RCA brand converter box.


I don’t generally shop in Wal*Mart (ruthless and toothless); however the converter box cost $10 after the coupon ($50 retail price). That beat the $65 charged by Radio Shack for a no brand item.

The nice thing I found out about this box is that it includes a V-Chip intended to let parents filter out inappropriate content from their youngsters. It is likely that most people who rely on the government coupons to purchase a converter box will not have televisions built since 2000 when the V-Chip was mandated. The program is still a boondoggle, just not as big as I had previously made it out to be.

In case you still are not aware of the television transition, these are the dates you need to be aware of:

  • January 2, 2008 – Digital to analog converter coupon program becomes available. * Coupons are now available.
  • February 17, 2009 – Last day for analog broadcasts.
  • February 18, 2009 – Analog broadcasts will be turned off. Televisions will need a digital tuner, digital-to-analog converter box, or cable/satellite subscription.

You CAN have a sense of humor in the gov’t

There is a widespread belief that government bureaucrats lack senses of humor and that individuality is discouraged when in the ranks of government. The folks at the Social Security Administration (SSA) disproved that last week in a press release.

“For reasons likely to puzzle baby name experts around the world, American parents have become infatuated by names, particularly for their sons, that rhyme with the word â??maiden.â?Â  …  Social Security spokesman Mark Lassiter indicated that the agency would resist any legislative efforts to standardize the spelling of these names.”

SSA Press Release: Pop Culture Makes Mark on Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names List

SSA tracks the most popular names born in the U.S. through registrations for Social Security numbers. It publishes its list annually. You can see the most popular names for the past 130 years on its web site.