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joined 2022 September 05 12:51:13 UTC


User ID: 554



1 follower   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 05 12:51:13 UTC


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User ID: 554

True, but academia has credibility. At least compared to a nobody whose only claim to fame is having sent mail bombs to normal people who were just doing their jobs. Not exactly a great way to get people to take you seriously.

Yes, because that's what's publicly available. An appraiser's valuation isn't public except for in unusual circumstances (like the property is subject to litigation, as in this case), and even then the values are almost always outdated by that point.

@coffee_enjoyer To be clear, an assessed value is one used for tax purposes. An appraised value is one used for market purposes, including determining collateral value.

True, but an independent appraisal isn't something that's going to be used as the basis to change the assessment. While their jobs are similar, assessors and appraisers don't look at exactly the same things, and an appraisal isn't even something the assessor's office will even know about.

Yes, it was very real. There are a certain segment of Penn State football fans who refuse to believe anything negative about the program, and while this is usually limited to making excuses for Joe Paterno, a few have gone off the deep end and claimed that the abuse never happened. There is some question as to what exactly Mike McQueary witnessed that led to the coverup that got higher-ups indicted, but without that there are still enough known victims that it's clear Sandusky was an abuser. The allegations that kicked off the grand jury investigation were recent and unrelated to those that were reported on the most.

I'm guessing it's one of those overgrown suburbs in Texas, Florida, or California that no one has ever heard of yet it's quietly getting huge.

I do my own oil changes and brake work, but I refuse to change flats on the road. Not because I don't know how to do it, but because the scissor jacks cars come with are absolute garbage and rather than dick around with one of these in the rain on the side of a busy road I'd rather just call someone to do it for me for free. At home I have a floor jack so it's not an issue, but if I didn't have a garage and instead, say, had to work on my car while it was parked on the street, I'd probably take it somewhere.

He isn't taking criticism because he took run-of-the mill shots that didn't land. He's taking criticism because he came up with bullshit scenarios where he tried to convince women that they had some kind of professional responsibility to sleep with him, or engage in the kind of activity short of actual romantic involvement that most men would nonetheless like the opportunity to do with attractive women. And then to top it off he tried to lay a guilt trip on them if they expressed any reservations, making a claim that children would be harmed or even killed from a position as someone who would at least seem to be a credible authority on the subject. Maybe there's a legitimate explanation, but it all depends on the timeline. The kinds of things he asked the women to do are certainly unusual requests for employees or volunteers for a charitable organization. If you're going to make these kinds of requests from a position of authority, they'd better be necessary, and exactly what is required needs to be made explicit at the very beginning of the relationship, preferably with signed consent forms. If this seems extreme, keep in mind that these aren't women he met at a bar and invited to Ocean City for the weekend who were taken aback by his advances; they were women who never expressed any desire other than to help trafficked children. I haven't heard the whole story, and if he actually did all that it would be one thing. But my guess is that the "we have to share a bed and shower together" thing isn't something they found out about until they got to the hotel.

I practiced title law for a decade and did bankruptcies as well for a couple years and this simply isn't true. It's true for mortgages (at least in some states; I've heard of non-recourse states but Pennsylvania is not one of them) but in that case there are two separate transactions—the note, where the borrower agrees to pay the money back, and the mortgage itself, which collateralizes the property. If the collateral doesn't raise sufficient funds to cover the note, then yes, the borrower is still responsible for the difference. But tax sales are different.

In every state I'm familiar with (well, at least in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia), property taxes aren't assessed in personam, or against the owner, but *in rem(, against the property itself. Technically speaking, the property owes the tax. Most of the time, the owner is the one paying the tax, but, strictly speaking, he isn't personally responsible for it. I'm going to stick to Pennsylvania law here to avoid complicating things too much, but if the tax isn't paid for a certain number of years, it will go to auction. The minimum bid at the auction will be the tax owed, and once the property is sold, the tax lien disappears. One thing a tax sale definitely does not do is extinguish other liens. Some people look at the low minimum bid prices and think they've uncovered a treasure trove of cheap properties, and while deals can certainly be found, unless you know what you're doing you could find out that the property you just paid $2,000 for has $100,000 worth of liens on it you'll need to pay immediately to avoid another foreclosure. The exception is that if the property doesn't sell at the tax auction for the minimum bid, the liens will then be stripped and the property will go up for "free and clear" sale. Realistically, though, the only properties that get this far are garbage properties that no one wants for any price—small, landlocked parcels, property that doesn't come with the building that's on it, uneconomically small lots in fully-developed areas, etc.

There are a couple quasi-exceptions, but they aren't common. If a life-tenant doesn't pay property taxes they could be sued for waste by the remaindermen, though I've never heard of this happening (most life tenants are a thousand years old and the remaindermen are their children who will probably just pay the tax themselves if the life tenant can't afford it, and life tenancies are rare to begin with. The other one is that in some states, Pennsylvania and New Jersey among them, bankruptcy courts have ruled that tax sales can be considered fraudulent transfers subject to clawback, under the theory that the minimum-bid nature of the sale doesn't attempt to get market value. This would be pretty unusual to begin with, as I can't imagine a situation where someone would rack up enough debts to make bankruptcy worth it but somehow not mortgage their home in the process, AND still be delinquent on their tax bill. And even if it were to happen, the consequences would affect the buyer, not the bankrupt person; the concern is that the tax sale doesn't realized the actual market value of the house. Of course, a trustee's auction probably wouldn't do that either, but it would at least come closer.

All those taxes and fines, though are against the property, not you personally. They can put the property up for tax sale but they can't go after you.

Yeah but even if they burn the place to the ground and salt the earth so that even the lot loses all value, you're still no worse off than you would have been if the property had been willed to somebody else. At least then you probably got to collect some rent on it. If you paid for it yourself that's a different story.

The problem is that it isn't clear that the Republicans will have the votes for impeachment, and a failed impeachment attempt could be more detrimental than no attempt at all. With Trump's first impeachment, the evidence that he did what he did was conclusive; the only question was whether such behavior merited removal from office. With a Biden impeachment, the question is whether he did anything at all, and there are serious questions as to whether the Republicans have any real evidence. I'm reminded of the famous Lionel Hutz line: "We have plenty of hearsay and conjecture, those are... kinds of evidence". This is actually a true statement, but hearsay and conjecture aren't generally admissible in a court of law, and even with the relaxed standards of an impeachment hearing, it's still pretty shitty evidence. Let's look at the Burisma evidence:

-Hunter Biden, Joe's fuckup son, gets a seat on the Burisma board despite being unqualified

First, Hunter wasn't publicly known as a fuckup when he got that seat; his personal problems wouldn't become common knowledge until years later. And while Hunter didn't have any oil and gas experience, his resume wasn't horrible. Board seats aren't necessarily given to people within an industry; just look at Exxon Mobil's board. He was on the Amtrak board, owned a lobbying firm, worked as a consultant for MBNA, worked for the Department of Commerce, served on the board of the World Food Program, and co-founded a number of investment and venture capital firms. Not the greatest resume, but it's not like they picked him out of the gutter.

-He was selected because of his political connections

This is probably true, but it's still conjecture. Unless you can get former Burisma insiders to testify that this was the case or find documents to that effect, you're jumping to conclusions. Without this kind of evidence, you'd have to lay your foundation very carefully to have a 50/50 shot at being permitted to ask a jury to reach this conclusion in a real trial.

-Joe's ultimatum was the result of pressure from his son

Now you're not only past the point where any judge would let you ask a jury to draw that conclusion, but Joe can counter pretty easily. the prosecutor in question was notoriously corrupt, and had been the subject of calls for action for months from half of Europe. To suggest that the factor that tipped the scales toward Joe's involvement was motivation from his son being able to keep his cushy paycheck is a stretch. Biden's actions were public, and he would have needed the backing of the rest of the executive branch. You're going to have Obama administration officials up there outlining the entire process by which it was determined that this ultimatum should be made, and it's highly unlikely that any of them are going to testify that Hunter Biden had anything to do with it. Then you add in the fact that the Hunter's selection predated Shokin and the investigation predated Hunter and that the Obama Administration was supposedly concerned that Shokin was deliberately slow-walking the investigation to extract bribes and were frustrated to the point they considered launching their own investigation.

You're going to have weeks of this on TV, witness after witness who has direct knowledge of what really went on with the Shokin debacle while McCarthy is going to call who, exactly? Some of Hunter's old drinking buddies who say that he definitely gestured toward the fact that this whole international debacle was really about Hunter's salary? It won't convince the MTGs of the world, but it may convince a dozen or so guys from swing districts who are up for reelection and can't be seen as in the thrall of the MAGA wing of the party. I'm not saying this is how it plays out but it's damn risky. At least the Dems knew they could get an impeachment.

I don't know if SBF is the best example to use considering he is likely going to spend a considerable amount of time in prison and will almost certainly not be allowed to work in any banking/stock market capacity or otherwise manage anyone's money but his own when released. I don't see his job prospects being too great other than as a speaker at banking ethics seminars where he tells everybody about how he was a billionaire who lost everything due to his own poor decisions. Some day I'll do a full writeup on the mortgage crisis and what caused it, but for now suffice it to say that it wasn't the kind of thing that could have been prevented by more personal accountability, unless you want to go so far as to make any financial innovation so risky that we're still operating on a barter system.

Which would be fine if that were all they did, but they have an entire media empire to feed. The theme parks make money, but not enough to subsidize the rest of the business.

I could buy that argument if it actually comported with the facts on the ground, but it doesn't. I live in Pennsylvania. In October 2019 the state passed a law authorizing mail-in voting. How many Republicans voted against it? Not a single one. Not Doug Mastriano, not all the other MAGA wannabes of whom there was no shortage of at that time. And the law was fairly big news at the time, and it was controversial. But the controversy came from a few urban Democrats who didn't like that it did away with straight ticket voting. Even in 2020, when the pandemic first hit and states were changing their laws, there was no clear partisan angle. The idea that the 2020 election was somehow affected by last-minute changes is one of the most pervasive pieces of misinformation out there, because it has enough of a grain of truth in it to make people accept it uncritically without considering the full implications. Yes, some states made last-minute changes to their laws. But the states that were at issue in the presidential election had already passed mail-in voting laws prior to the pandemic, and, other than Pennsylvania, had already conducted elections by mail. Some states changed the rules in 2020, but several of them did so through legislative action, which is no different than how laws are ordinarily passed. That leaves the states where mail voting was expanded by executive action, whether by the governor or the state board of elections. What states were these? Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and West Virginia. The only one of those that is close to being a swing state is New Hampshire, and it has a Republican governor. Kentucky has a Democratic governor, but no one is confusing it for a blue state. The rest are all as deep red as you can get. The point is that, as late as the spring of 2020, a lot of Republicans though expanding mail voting on short notice was a good idea. Then as soon as Trump starts running his mouth in the summer, every Republican who matters falls in line and talks about how this is suddenly a great security risk, as though The Donald was the only one wise enough to notice these problems. Sorry if I don't buy it.

I'm not arguing that most of the fraud arguments are made in bad faith, regardless of how terrible I think they are; I'm arguing that this particular argument is made in bad faith. Republicans had no particular opposition to mail voting until Trump decided he could get some kind of advantage by making a big deal about it. This isn't some long-held Republican principle, it's a convenient argument to a self-serving end. That's where your Christianity analogy fails; I'm Catholic myself, and if a sincere Protestant wanted to have a conversation about faith with me I'd be happy to discuss it with them, even if their aim was obviously evangelical. But I'd be less happy if I found out they had recently converted because there was some personal advantage to them doing so that was wholly unrelated to their spiritual needs. I think people like Joel Osteen get a little too much flac from irreligious types because he seems like an obvious huckster. But I'm reluctant to join in on the dogpile because, despite his wealth, there's nothing in his past that suggests he isn't sincere. That, and I've actually listened to his sermons and it's obvious that his critics haven't because nothing he says is remotely objectionable. But I'd probably feel different if he were a twice-divorced advertising executive with a conviction for writing bad checks who became a self-ordained minister at the age of 40 after realizing that a combination of Billy Graham and Tony Robbins was a license to print money. And who also was a frequent visitor to tit bars and had been kicked out of every country club in the Houston area because he was too much of an asshole for the members to want to deal with.

To take your arguments one by one:

So like Barack Obama in 2008? Or 2012? (when Democrats worried absentee voting would drive old-people votes which harmed them).

I don't remember this. I do remember some kerfuffle where the Obama campaign sued Ohio because they passed a law giving the military three extra early voting days, and the conservative media tried to spin it as him trying to restrict military votes when the lawsuit sought to give the rest of the population the same early voting window as the military. Obama's been pretty consistent about "more voting, not less".

Or Trump whining about it for months before the election as the scheme was being ramped up by executive fiat in explicit contravention to election laws across dozens of states?

I clearly limited my argument to before 2020. And the states that ramped up mail-in voting by executive fiat weren't ones that were at issue in the 2020 election. Only 5 states changed absentee voting requirements through executive action—less than half a dozen, not dozens—and among them, three are clearly red states controlled by Republicans (Alabama, Arkansas, and West Virginia), one (Kentucky) is a red state with a Democratic governor, and one (New Hampshire) is left-leaning with a Republican governor. There was no clear liberal pattern here.

There are dozens of high profile examples over the last 2 decades...

I don't know about dozens, but I'll admit there are a few. But I'm not sure what this is supposed to prove. Everything involves tradeoffs. Suppose, for the sake of argument, it were conclusively proven that voter fraud could be eliminated entirely if we limited voting to polling places in major cities. The ultimate effect of this, of course, would be that the rural vote would be rendered entirely irrelevant and elections would have a decidedly partisan lean, probably to the point that our politics would realign entirely. If these now disenfranchised voters complained, I'd respond that people who find it too inconvenient to drive a couple hours to vote obviously aren't motivated enough to deserve any say in government, and people who can't afford the trip obviously don't have enough "skin in the game" to deserve a say in government. If the primary goal is the elimination of fraud, why wouldn't this be an ideal solution? We both know the answer to this question. The question isn't whether fraud exists, it's whether it has enough of a practical effect to make additional restrictions worthwhile.

Each time mail-in or absentee voting legislation has been passed, this was discussed repeatedly with additional security requirements and conditions because of those concerns.

No, it wasn't. I live in Pennsylvania. When mail-in voting passed in 2019 the biggest issue about the bill was that it also eliminated the straight ticket option, which led to some Democrats voting against it in protest. It otherwise passed unanimously, and was quickly signed by the governor. Every single Republican voted for it, including arch-election truthers like Doug Mastriano. I'm sure you can find some concerns if you look hard enough, but as someone who lived in the state, I don't recall it coming up once, and this is a politically diverse state with the largest legislature in the country. Similarly, in Michigan, the biggest criticism of Prop 3 wasn't that it expanded mail-in voting but that it was making something that should have been a legislative item into a constitutional one.

No one is arguing mail-in voting is inherently "unconstitutional."

I was writing this on my phone at work so I apologize. The OP said that it "violates every principle of Democracy", which I misinterpreted. Feel free to substitute the correct language.

We're not talking about millions of votes needing to swap, but ~40,000 in any of 5 different states

Well, no. Flipping one state wouldn't have been enough to turn the election in favor of Trump. At best he would have needed to flip two, provided they were Michigan and Pennsylvania. Realistically he needs to flip three. And if he goes the flip 2 route then he needs about 80,000 votes in PA and over 100,000 in MI, at least double the 40,000 you mentioned. What's the largest mail vote fraud scheme you can find? How about the average? Remember what I said about tradeoffs?

if a single one did something as simple as requiring canvassing hundreds of thousands of votes which had no signed chain of custody receipts (and no election officials have yet been charged despite this being a crime in multiple states like AZ).

Ah, yes, the old "the previous five audits we requested didn't find anything, but if we do a sixth one we're pretty sure the whole edifice will come crashing down because a televangelist saw something in a viral video that PROVES that Biden and the Democrats committed MASSIVE FRAUD by forging hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots under the cover of night but being too dumb to think of forging chain of custody receipts along with them". I'm sure the Kraken will finally be unleashed.

If two people raced bikes all over France and then the loser tested positive for PEDs, do you think they should both get a do-over race or otherwise we're not talking about "principles"?

Are the PEDs supposed to be a stand-in for fraud, or for mail-in ballots generally? If they're a stand-in for mail-ins generally, then they aren't a banned substance and there's no problem; you can't claim a race was unfair just because you don't like the rules. If they're a stand-in for fraud, then you do get to win the race, but I don't see what this has to do with the election—in one case you found actual evidence of cheating, and in the other you didn't, you just argued that the rules made it easier to cheat. What you're suggesting is more analogous to a race where PEDs are banned and your opponent never tested positive, but you want to rerun the race because you're pretty sure he cheated but can't actually prove it.

The Federal Government is currently abusing laws made 150 years ago in response to the Civil War as well as stretching interpretation of other laws way past their breaking point...

Well, what do you think a more appropriate charge would have been. If organizing a plot to take over the Capitol building in order to prevent the lawful transfer of power of a democratically elected president so that it will remain in the hands of the guy who lost isn't seditious conspiracy, what is exactly? What line do you think he needs to cross? And how is the jury biased? Unless you're arguing that he didn't actually do what the government said he did, there's no room for bias here. Jury nullification isn't something you can expect from any jury, and isn't something you should expect in this case unless you seriously think attempts to overthrow the government should be legal.

Do you follow election disputes/protests over "local judges and clerks," closely?

lol, I'm a lawyer. I deal with these people all the time, and yes, it makes a difference. I not only follow them closely, I follow them closely in counties and even states where I don't live and can't vote. If you want I can fill you in on the drama in West Virginia's First Circuit judicial retention election, or tell you about the recurring pissing match between the current and former Recorders of Deeds in Westmoreland County, PA.

Hillary may have theoretically had them insofar as she was a Democrat but there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm for her bordering on loathing. There's a reason she lost to Obama in '08 despite the sense of inevitability the party tried to create; the Democratic establishment either didn't learn that lesson or were pressured to ignore it due to the pervasive influence of the Clintons.

Biden isn't exactly the most inspiring candidate, but the only people who seem to despise him are the kind of people who wouldn't vote Democrat anyway. The only real knock against him is his age and aloofness. There are obviously attempts to paint him as corrupt, but they'll probably only damage him to the extent that Whitewater damaged Hillary. Basically, he isn't unlikeable the way Hillary was, and his policies are anodyne enough as to not scare away anyone who's actually paying attention. Trump's a much more divisive figure in that he actively insults anyone who doesn't kiss his ass, and who has no problem floating insane policy proposals only for his aides to walk them back later. Especially after the election nonsense and January 6, it's hard to see what his appeal is to the 2020 Biden voters he needs to pick up to win this time.

The argument that the election was inherently flawed because mail-in voting somehow violated the principle of a secret ballot doesn't hold water and is made in bad faith by those who didn't like the outcome in 2020. Mail-in voting has existed in various states for somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 years, absentee voting has existed for longer, and no one I'm aware of made the argument that it was inherently flawed prior to 2020. Indeed, as late as the fall of 2019 PA's mail-in voting bill sailed through the state legislature with unanimous Republican support.

Claiming that mail-ins are suddenly unconstitutional to the point that we need a redo is a convenient argument to make if your guy loses the election and you're grasping at straws for some excuse undo the result, but let's not pretend that this is an argument based on principle. Would you be making this argument if Trump won?

It's also telling that 2020 is apparently the only election they care about. No one was protesting the 2021 off year elections for local judges and clerks, no one was protesting the midterms, no one was protesting the various special elections that have been held over the past few years, and I doubt anyone will protest this year's elections. Hell, there doesn't even seem to be much of a legislative push in red states to completely do away with mail voting, or any serious court challenges raising the secret ballot issue. It all comes back to Trump—shit only matters when he's involved. The entire system is rigged against him and him alone. I've always thought he was a narcissist but at this point I can't really blame him giving the number of people who do act like the world revolves around him.

Agreed. They're also limiting to their audience to people who don't eat meat but still want something similar, which is a large number of people but not as large as it could be. I've never tried Impossible products and don't plan to. I do find, however, that pretty tasty "burgers" can be made with non-meat products, like portobello mushroom or black bean. These don't taste anything like beef, but they're not trying to; I can enjoy them for what they are and not in comparison to something else that I'm perfectly willing to have if I want it. I even think Garden Burgers are fine on occasion. I'm honestly surprised such products exist in the first place since I'd assume a vegetarian wouldn't be particularly interested in a meat-like product, but who knows.

For the record, tie tacks are tacky and they ruin your ties. Tie bars can be droll, ironic, or complete dada fashion statement, but the average Joe still has to proceed with caution. Some of them have teeth that can ruin your ties. I currently have two tie bars in my collection. One is in the shape of a golf club and will be worn should I ever score a hole in one. The other is a Huckleberry Hound one (with teeth) that I'll probably just hang onto as an investment.

They could easily argue it but then they'd be further undercutting their assertion that it's a compelling state interest; that's a pretty easy way to get that argument shut down. For example, back in the 80s or early 90s a town in Florida passed a law prohibiting the slaughter of animals, and members of the Santeria religious community, who engage in animal sacrifices, objected on religious grounds. The town countered that it had a compelling interest in preventing the kinds of problems that can arise from having a lot of dead animals around. The problem was that the law contained so many exceptions as to make this assertion laughable. Farms were exempt, slaughterhouses were exempt, butchers were exempt, hunters were exempt, etc. Evidently, the only people this law actually applied to were those who slaughtered animals for religious reasons, whom it was clearly designed to target. This isn't an exact analogy since the town passed a supposedly neutral ordinance as a pretext for banning religious activity it didn't like, and I'm not sure that's the case in Texas, but the point is that when restrictions of fundamental rights are at stake you don't get to hedge your arguments and create balancing tests and the like. If the interest is compelling, you're expected to act as though it is.

Realistically, though, there's a further complication to this that would probably prevent things from getting that far. Practically speaking, no one is "incidentally" exposed to porn from dedicated sites the way you argue they theoretically could be on Google Images. If you're on PornHub or XVideos you didn't just stumble across it, and as far as I know no one is arguing that incidental exposure is the problem. Google Images isn't nearly on level with dedicated porn sites, but for someone trying to use it for porn (or someone for whom it's the only source of porn due to the law) it can easily deliver more content than you would get if you bought out your entire local newsstand. Arguing porn for minors is only a problem if the total amount available exceeds 10 terabytes isn't likely to get you very far.

What would that prohibited restriction be?

Requiring verification to access content. It's a restriction. Imagine if you had to create an account, submit photo ID verifying it was you, and wait for approval before reading any news story online. And suppose this wasn't the website's doing, it was a legal requirement for all news sources. Buy a newspaper, show photo ID. Do you think this would pass constitutional muster?

I think this is a bad application of that principle -- if the law was tailored to require age verification from some porn sites but not others (or defined "porn site" in such a way to make that effectively true if not technically true), that would be cause for suspicion under this principle, but requiring age verification for porn sites but not non-porn sites such as search engines probably doesn't.

When the state argues an interest is Compelling, it's not merely arguing that it's important, or really important. It's arguing that it's so important that it's justifiable to restrict basic constitutional rights in furtherance of that interest. If pornography is harmful enough to minors to warrant speech restrictions, then what difference does it make what percentage of the total content on a site meets the definition of pornography? The only reasonable definition of a "porn site" in this case is any website that contains pornography.

I think the opposite is true, though, in this case. You don't need a well-designed study to tell you that drug addicts and the mentally ill and people who prefer sleeping on the street when shelter beds are available probably aren't going make the wisest decisions when given large sums of money. We already know that; the more interesting question is what happens if we give people who don't have all these problems large sums of money, because homeless people are usually lumped together into one homogeneous mass of derelicts.

I can't say I've ever heard it. That being said, I have no basis for responding because, as far as I know, it could be anything.