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Comments

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"Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola

Straif Re:FDA? (390 comments)

Pharmaceutical companies, on average, make between 15-20% profit margins. Still high but not quite the 30% people keep claiming on here. They tend to have burst profits that carry forward for a few quarters and then slow down until a new wonder drug is brought to market.

Over the past 5 years some have had quarterly profits as high as 65% (Merck last quarter of 2009) but they also have negative quarters like -4.4 (Merck in last quarter of 2010 of -19 for Bristol-Myers Squibb in 3 quarter of 2012) but overall it's still a very profitable business.

about two weeks ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

Straif Re:RUDEST PASSENGER EVER (928 comments)

Regardless of his 'tool' status or not, he was aboard the plane when these extra actions by the gate agent took place. Removing a paying customer who is no longer even interacting with you, over an online complaint they made is just terrible terrible idea.

If the flight attendants lodged the complaint because he was being disruptive while seated then it would be a clear cut case of the customer being in the wrong but from all accounts it was the gate agent that took action AFTER he was already boarded. That's a pretty clear cut case of a spiteful abuse of power.

about a month ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

Straif Re:Customer service? (928 comments)

As I wrote above, boarding last often mean no storage space in your isle to put you and your children's bags.

An adult with 1 carry-on can easily compensate for the lack of storage and either find another available storage compartment in another isle or ask an attendant and as that is the only thing you have to keep track of the likelihood of forgetting it is low (although even then, not unheard of).

For a parent with 2 children, having your 2 or 3 bags being stored in multiple locations as well as maintaining order of your kids increases the likelihood of something being left behind exponentially.

about a month ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

Straif Re:Customer service? (928 comments)

Except when traveling with children it's much easier if all your items are within easy reach.

Boarding last often leads to having to store 1 or several of your groups bags in overhead compartments that are not in your isle. For an average adult, taking those few steps one way or the other to grab your bag is no hassle at all, for a parent with a child or 2 having to , A) remember that bag is not with your other bags and B) retrieve it while still maintaining control over your children in a unusual environment, can be a real pain.

And for the record I don't have any children but have flown more than enough times either with family members or simply just on planes with people with kids to understand the simple logic for allowing families with children to board first.

about a month ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Straif Re:For us dummies.... (382 comments)

You can view the cars at some locations but I believe you have to schedule a test drive either at the location or online. I don't believe you can just show up and try one out like you can most cars at a regular dealerships.

about a month ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Straif Re:For us dummies.... (382 comments)

And if you look at the links you'll notice they aren't dealerships at all. Some of the descriptions outright say you cannot buy cars there, just get information about the models to use when purchasing one online.

You can buy Tesla T-shirts and hats though.

Size and layout-wise they are closer to resembling the cellphone store in the mall below my office than a car dealership.

about a month ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Straif Re:Pen & Phone (382 comments)

Google ACA Mandate extensions.

For that matter google any of the dozens of changes made to the ACA by executive fiat without congressional approval. He's even threatened to veto a congressional proposal to pass a modification of the ACA that did exactly what he did with an EO.

There are parts of the ACA that were intentionally left vague to give the HHS a lot of wiggle room to make policy decisions but most of those are made within HHS, almost all of the decisions about the ACA made directly from the White House are in direct violation of the law and have nothing to do about unfunded mandates and much more to do with avoiding uncomfortable situations just prior to important election periods.

about a month ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Straif Re:Pen & Phone (382 comments)

No, I'm pretty sure he was accurately paraphrasing Obama's declaration that he did not need to wait for the legislature to pass bills before he took executive actions to do whatever he wanted to do to further his agenda.

about a month ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Straif Re:State Rights (382 comments)

When you can't grow feed on your own farm to feed your own animals because somehow the Commerce Clause means that that's taking away some other farmers 'right' to sell you their feed you know the system is beyond screwed.

about a month ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Straif Re:Why not? (382 comments)

I guess we'll have to wait and see if that day ever arrives.

about a month ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Straif Re:For us dummies.... (382 comments)

The issue is Tesla is not the limited number of Tesla dealerships, it's that Tesla's business model doesn't include ANY dealerships.

You don't go to a dealer to look at a Tesla and then order one after a long draw out conversation about pricing, you go to the Tesla website and custom build the car you want and order it. Even their brick and mortar locations (more likely a mall kiosk) are generally only information booth style setups to direct people to their website to complete the ordering process.

They don't have dealerships and don't want them but many states have laws specifically outlawing direct sales of cars with no real justification except that allowing direct sales would hurt existing dealerships. For Tesla to sell a car legally in those states they would have to introduce a 3rd party to open up a franchised Tesla dealership, a cost and hindrance that really adds nothing to the customer. If you happen to live on one of those states (and the list is growing), you would need to set up a mailing address in another direct sales friendly state to legally order the car you want, which is ridiculous.

about a month ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

Straif Re:Recycled Hard Drive?! (682 comments)

Even the IRS's own IT guidelines states that all Federal Records (emails pertaining to IRS related activities) must be retained indefinitely for FOIA requests. There is no 6 mount opt out. It's also federal law that those documents be maintained.

The IT department did try to cover themselves by saying that they aren't responsible for storing those records and that EVERY work related email must be printed and then physically stored (like that was ever going to happen).

about 2 months ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

Straif Re:Recycled Hard Drive?! (682 comments)

That group was denied because they expressly stated their goal was the training and election of Democrat women, not female candidates, but Democrat female candidates only. That's like going into a gun shop and on the form stating you are buying a gun to shoot your neighbor and then using that as an example of excessive gun control.

Even so, that same group had already been granted non-profit status at several other branches.

about 2 months ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

Straif Re:so, no backups? (682 comments)

Sadly, their official plan is for all work emails to be printed and then those physical copies to be archived.

about 2 months ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

Straif Re:Fox News? (682 comments)

This story was never about denials. The story was that these organizations were placed in limbo for, in some cases, years and never granted their non-profit status and some were harassed with questions outside of the IRS purview to a point that they withdrew their applications.

Those that were later granted happened AFTER the initial scandal broke (which also happened to be after the election).

about 2 months ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

Straif Re:Fox News? (682 comments)

Emails concerning the functions of the IRA are considered, by the IRS, "Federal Records" which are legally required to be archived indefinitely. This isn't an option, it's in their own IT guidelines.

In fact their guidelines require that all such emails should be printed and physically archived because Exchange Servers do not meet their definition of a proper archival system. Since that is the case then they either broke federal law by not finding an electronic archival system or by not printing and storing the physical documents. Your choice.

about 2 months ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

Straif Re:Fox News? (682 comments)

It's true that no Tea Party group was denied non-profit status but that was never the issue. The issue was those groups were never denied OR granted non-profit status; their applications were intentionally sent to secondary review and never processed, or processed in such a way that effectively resulted in harassment from the IRS until they revoked their applications. The questions asked by the IRS to prospective Tea Party related groups were way outside of the scope the IRS is permitted when determining the legal status of a non-profit (such as requiring a complete list of donors which is not required for 501(c)(4)s). Progressive groups on the other hand were processed with minimal delay.

One liberal group was in fact denied their non-profit status (only after the same group had already received it for both the Federal and several state branches) but that wasn't even part of this process. That was done under a completely unrelated review process for completely different reasons. Their problem was that their own declaration stated they ONLY work with Democrat women to get them elected. That was determined to be outside of the definition of "common good" so their application was denied. If they had simply stated they were a group to help get female candidate elected, and then just so happened to focus on Dems, then that would have legally met the requirements for a 501(c)(4) (the other branches may have said that in their applications), but since they openly declared their support for a party and not an ideology, they were denied and then reapplied as a 527.

about 2 months ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

Straif Re:Fox News? (682 comments)

By the IRS ITs own definition these emails were "Federal Records" and as such were required by law to be archived indefinitely for just such purposes as this investigation.

about 2 months ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

Straif Re:Fox News? (682 comments)

According to the IRS's own website all emails that can be considered "Federal Records" (essentially anything having to do with actual work at the IRS) must be maintained and in fact printed and stored. These document are subject to FOIA request and they simply don't have the legal option to have them expire and get deleted.

about 2 months ago
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IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

Straif Re:Huh? (465 comments)

Good enough?

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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69% of US weather stations highly suspect

Straif Straif writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Straif (172656) writes "Sufacestations.org has has been conducting a country wide survey of USHCN network weather stations and with 70% of the stations reviewed has found that 69% are within 10 meters of external heating sources (exhaust vents, asphalt, etc.) leading to questions about the accuracy of the US weather monitoring systems. For a field of study where billions have already been spent and trillions more being proposed shouldn't the government spend a few dollars to ensure that one of their prime sources of data is not impacted by Ted in accounting wanting to have his office a few degrees cooler."

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