Anyway... here are the updates...
The Taxes Update
I didn't want to comment on any of Charlie Rangel's tax machinations (he is, after all, my congressman), although he has gotten superficial coverage in the Economist, the NY Times, and elsewhere. (Edited to note: I was glib - A Taxing Matter has had great coverage on this and other recent tax issues. Much better than I, anyway.
Bottom line: The AMT is scheduled to apply to a shitload of middle-class families in '08 absent at least a "one year patch" extending prior laws exempting more and more American taxpayers. The patch is a political necessity. Rangel proposed (and the House W&M committee passed) a bill that offset the cost of the patch and some popular extenders with (1) a change in taxation of carried interest and (2) a change in the taxation of deferred comp.
Grassley, et. al., have said that they did not view an AMT patch as requiring revenue offsets because the AMT was never intended to have the bite it now has (which is odd since it was never indexed to inflation).
Thus, we find ourselves in a bit of a stalemate. Although not that much of one as Rangel has already basically caved (via Tax Notes) and agreed to look at other possible revenue offsets besides the carried interest raise. See this also from Rep. Emanuel.
Here is my view: (1) A change in legislation allowing tax-exempts to invest in funds that borrow to fund their investments will pass, (2) The carried interest and deferred compensation bills will be deferred to '09, but then pass and (3) Whatever happened to the "Blackstone Bill"? It was not included in Rangel's bill. Would have thought that would be a great revenue raiser.
Lots of other interesting tax stuff, but, it will have to wait.
The Death Update
I realized today as i was writing an entry in my "bricks and mortar" journal that the book I was writing in was intended to be used as a book of remembrance for Dean Gordanier, a brilliant tax lawyer who passed away about 4 years ago in Boston.
He was a great man, a great tax lawyer. A brilliant guy, one who touched all who came in contact with him. He was always there with a hug or a clap on the shoulder and while a bit prickly, was the first to share with you a wide, kidlike grin when things were right in the world.
He also thought accountants "whores and charlatans". Of course, this was before the Andersen meltdown. Now he'd call them scurrulous and scaredy-cats. That was Dean.
So I should be careful to make sure my bricks and mortar journal is sturdy. For Dean.
The Rest Update
Since baseball season is over, the rest of the updates, will be the... um... "Rest" Update, like Paul Harvey says.. the rest of the story.
-- The Bills - Losman back in again. Damn. And I just got my hair cut. Seriously though, the team is more suited to a QB with his particular skills. Speed, dangerous long ball, acrobatic catches. It's not a possession receiver team. Hopefully they can keep the 'fish winless this week.
-- The Sox - Schilling resigned yesterday (have you noticed that the same word means two absolutely opposite things? resigned/re-signed. EERIE). Anyway.. Great K with Schill. Hopefully they'll sign Lowell and a spot starter for the rotation, and perhaps some backup IF help. Otherwise, not sure what else they need (except for a new starting C of course, but that's not happening).
That's it for tonight. I'm tired and my Sapphire and Tonic is empty.
Oh, almost forgot. This makes me happy.