Trump Cuts Child Poverty Rate From 16,400,000 to 16,399,990!

Billionaire Donald Trump, at the bequest of Newt Gingrich, has agreed to help ten poor children in New York City. As Trump explained it:

“He(Newt Gingrich) did mention if I could do something for some of the kids in very, very poor schools throughout the city. I thought it was a great idea. We call it an apprenticeship, and I think we all know about “The Apprentice.” We’re going to be picking 10, young, wonderful children, and we’re going to make them ‘apprenti.’ “

Unfortunately, according to US Census figures there were 16.4 million children living in poverty in 2010. As such, the Gingrich/Trump plan will only lower the number of children living in poverty from 16.4 million to 16.4 million minus ten in 2012. Not exactly a comprehensive solution to a serious problem. But at least as Trump points out, “We’re going to have a little fun with it”. Yes! Finally someone who understands that poverty can be fun, extra fun I suspect when you don’t have to worry where your next meal is going to come from.

Wouldn’t it have been more productive if Trump had simply taken $100 million of his own money and started a foundation to help poor children? For example, The Gates Foundation gives out over $3 billion every year. Yet while Bill and Melinda seem to only seek the spotlight when it is in the best interests of their foundation, I certainly would not be surprised to see Trump throw himself a parade if he ever actually put a penny in the tray instead of always taking one.

If you think I am being too hard on Trump, I am not, as his record of charitable giving is appalling. Check out why The Smoking Gun called  ”Trump: The Least Charitable Billionaire” and a “miser” based on its review of source material from his “charitable” foundation.

Also, what advice is Trump really going to give to children living in poverty?

  • Make sure you are born into a fabulously wealthy family, but, always pretend that you are a self made man.
  • Don’t worry about screwing up a business/marriage as you can always just file for bankruptcy/divorce. Repeat as necessary.
  • Always put “style” over substance.

As responsible adults, we should advise all children of New York City to be on alert for a shady looking guy driving around in a limo asking if you want to be an “apprenti”. If you see this man, avoid eye contact, run home, lock the doors and pray for the unfortunate ten children he will inevitably exploit for his amusement and further self promotion.

What Kind Of Brownies Was He Baking To Think His Idea Would Make Money?

Good News Friday!

And how do I get the recipe, because according to CNN Money apparently the world does need a new and improved brownie pan. As the story goes, soon to be owner of a multi-million dollar business Mark Smith was baking brownies one night when inspiration struck,

“I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Wow, the corner brownies are the best in the pan and nobody even talks about it,’ “

Mr. Smith is right, no one is talking about it and that is just sad. All the news  talks about is war, famine, corporate greed, natural disasters, etc. but nothing ever about how crazy it is that we are forced to eat the middle part of the brownie. I know we are a strong people, however we can only take so much and thanks to Mark Smith’s invention all American’s now have affordable access to brownie edges.

So head on over to Baker’s Edge to “Get Your Brownie Edge-u-Cation!” today.

BTW, feel free to use the “Get Your Brownie Edge-u-Cation!” slogan. No charge. Our gift to you.

Rogue Judge Thinks Guilt & Innocence Actually Matter: Citigroup Settlement Rejected

This week federal judge Jed S. Rakoff rejected a $285 million settlment between Citigroup and the SEC. The rejected settlement concerned Citigroup’s selling of toxic mortgage securities to investors back in 2007. Allegedly, Citigroup knew these were bad investments so they bet against their own customers resulting in $160 million in profit for Citigroup and $700 million in losses for investors.

Judge Rakoff seemed particularly irked that the SEC’s settlement agreement did not require Citigroup to admit any guilt or wrongdoing regarding this matter.

Or perhaps the judge was just angry upon realizing he had zero use for the weather balloon he was going to receive with all his Citi “Thank You Points”.

Foreclosure Firm Discovers That Instant Karma Will Actually Get You

According to the NYTimes.com, the Steven J. Baum P.C. law firm, which was also the company whose employees dressed up as homeless people at a Halloween party in 2010 is closing.

Some may claim this is an example of the “pc police” ruining lives, however it should be noted that last year a state judge in Brooklyn called one of the company’s foreclosure’s “incredible, outrageous, ludicrous and disingenuous.”

There was also the small matter of the firm paying the federal government a $2 million penalty as a result of their unscrupulous business practices.

I hope they saved those Halloween costumes, as some of the laid off employees will no doubt soon be referring to them as “everyday wear”.

Congress Declares Pizza a Vegetable, The Potato A Fish, & Feral Cats “The Other White Meat”

Congress Tries to Keep Pizza as a Vegetable On School Lunch Menus

The US House of Representatives is trying to declare pizza a vegetable for federally funded school lunch menus.

Corey Henry, spokesman for the “American Frozen Food Institute”, no doubt a real man of science, stated:

“Our concern is that the standards would force companies in many respects to change their products in a way that would make them unpalatable to students,”

“Unpalatable to students”? Apparently society must give students what they want and only what they want. Is it time to declare that homework is actually in violation of child labor laws?

“Harvard Man” Still Gets An “A” For Effort!

Got Into Harvard by Providing False Information & Now Back in Jail

The Harvard Crimson reported that Adam B. Wheeler, aka the guy who falsified his way into Harvard is back in jail after violating the terms of his probation by allegedly submitting a resume stating he had attended Harvard.

Continuing this hoax was not really the smartest move on the part of Mr. Wheeler. What is he – a self-loathing Yale man? Ha! Actually, I can make that joke since I graduated from Yale. Well, that isn’t exactly true, but it is so much easier to just type the four letters in Yale than my actual alma mater which was The University of Phoenix School of TV and VCR Repair.

A quick bit of advice to anyone looking at attending a “for profit” university, you might want to check out your local community college first. If I had done that instead of going to Yale, or as I call it TUoPSoTVaVCRR I wouldn’t be saddled with so much student loan debt that I can’t even afford my own TV or VCR. Thankfully the shelter lets me tinker with theirs after hours.

Politicians Engage In “Soft Corruption” & It’s Not On Cinemax

60 Minutes aired a report in which it claimed that  politicians have used private information to make stock trades, i.e. “soft corruption”.  While it doesn’t appear that any of the politicians actually broke the law with their questionable stock trades, that is probably because U.S. insider trading laws don’t apply to members of congress.

Study Finds Paying Taxes Is For Suckers And Not For Fabulously Wealthy Corporations

According to a report released by the Citizens for Tax Justice the effective tax rate for the 280 most profitable corporations & companies in 2009-2010 was 17.3%, just a bit less than the often touted 35% statutory corporate tax rate. A few interesting corporate tax facts from the report:

Wells Fargo alone managed to get almost 18 billion in corporate tax breaks over the last 3 years.

Pepco Holdings actually had a NEGATIVE tax rate of 56.7% over that three year period. Remember, Pepco Holdings was an extremely profitable company during this time. I wonder why?

The top ten defense contractors watched in shock and awe as their combined tax rate fell from 19.3% in 2008 to 10.3% in 2010.

It is a very interesting report, with much more sad and bad corporate news, so check out the whole thing on the CTJ.org website.

The SEC Delicately Caresses The Wrist Of Citigroup To Settle Fraud Allegations

The New York Times reports that the Citigroup fraud settlement deal with the SEC may be in trouble. Federal Judge Jed S. Rackoff is questioning the Securities and Exchange Commission as to why the proposed settlement with Citigroup for its alleged role in the selling of junk mortgage securities is so light.

While the $285 million that Citigroup would pay may seem like a lot, it is really little more than pocket change for them and, perhaps most importantly, Citigroup would not have to admit any wrongdoing.

The SEC will get it’s chance to respond to Judge Rackoff’s concerns at a hearing next month.

My guess is that the they will probably ratchet up the penalty by asking Citigroup to also give every Citi credit card holder ten extra Thank You Points. Harsh…

Attention Sushi Lovers: “Chicken Of The Sea” Is Not Poultry!

Some Sushi is not really the fish on the menu i.e. mislabeled according to Boston.com.

By the time the fish appears on diners’ plates, it has undergone a Cinderella-like transformation: the escolar, which can cause digestion problems, is presented as white tuna or albacore – more palatable and pricier fish.

Boston.com writes that the problem with mislabeled tuna and other fish is “endemic” in the area. Given the ease with which fish is shipped around the country and world however, regardless of where you live, you have most likely had some escolar in place of tuna.

While I’ve never heard of escolar, and maybe it is actually better tasting than tuna, the FDA’s warning regarding escolar is enough to make me crave some “Chicken of the Sea”:

…the US Food and Drug Administration advises against the sale of escolar because the fish contains an oil that can cause severe gastrointestinal problems.

Domo Arigato to Boston.com and Sumimasen (or is it Gomennasai?) to those of you who were hoping to enjoy some sushi tonight.