Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
"Poverty, not just the Richter Scale, contributed to the devastation in Haiti" - Reading list of the country's history, culture, religio
GOOD.is has created a list of books that will help educate about the history and culture of Haiti. One thing that we all need to remember is that Haiti has had problems for many years and the recent earthquake is essentially the straw that broke the camel's back.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Lea and I had heard about Jersey Shore and now we are watching it. Wow I have never see such idiots.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
My Calculus Profesor's Quote of the day: "My TI-89 is so awesome I can brush my teeth with it." Class: Crickets
This is a great find. The guy sounds like he is having a blast in his dreams
"Skipping to work makes everything better."
"I haven't put on weight. Your eyes are fat."
"I'd rather peel off my skin and bathe my weeping raw flesh in a bath of vinegar than spend any time with you. But that's just my opinion. Don't take it personally."
"Elephant trunks should be used for elephant things only. Nothing else."
Palin signs on as a commentator with Fox News "It's wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news." HA! Fair and balanced?
Monday, January 11, 2010
Nurse outduels IRS over MBA Tuition. This is going to make it easier for MBA's to write off their education.
How One Woman Went to Tax Court and Won Deduction
A Maryland nurse accomplished two rare feats in her battle with the Internal Revenue Service: She defended herself against the agency's lawyers and won, and she got a ruling that could help tens of thousands of students deduct the cost of an M.B.A. degree on their taxes.
The U.S. Tax Court handed Lori Singleton-Clarke her victory last month, saying the 47-year-old Bryantown, Md., woman had properly deducted nearly $15,000 in business school tuition. The Tax Court ruling should make it easier for many other professionals to deduct the expense of a Master in Business Administration degree.
More from WSJ.com:
After getting word of the court decision, "I nearly yelled the roof off the house," Ms. Singleton-Clarke says. "I still can hardly believe it."
The IRS's rules on deducting work-related tuition are complicated and onerous, ultimately preventing most students from deducting their tuition. But this case clarifies the rules and will likely lead to more taxpayers taking the deduction, tax experts say.
Few taxpayers decide to go toe to toe with the IRS as Ms. Singleton-Clarke did, arguing her case without a lawyer. For good reason: In 2009, individuals won only about 10% of about 300 such cases, according to data from Tax Analysts. Ms. Singleton-Clarke fought her case in Tax Court, a venue where taxpayers don't have to pay the contested tax before going to trial. The court has a special procedure for small cases.
Some of the losers, such as several dozen tax protesters who defended the filing of frivolous returns, were tilting at tax windmills. Others were simply on the wrong side of the law, including a horse enthusiast who wanted to deduct his hobby losses, an unsuccessful comedian who tried to classify his expenses as business losses, and an attorney who claimed over $100,000 in medical deductions for his visits to prostitutes.
Of the few who did prevail against the IRS, nearly half came to court on a single issue: requests for "innocent spouse" treatment that decouples a spouse from a partner who is a tax cheat. This provision has been used mostly to protect unknowing wives against their husbands' tax misdeeds. One of the spouses granted relief last year was formerly married to an investment banker who didn't pay his taxes after his bonus didn't come though.
Ms. Singleton-Clarke's encounter with the tax system shows what it can take for one individual to prevail over the IRS against the long odds: favorable facts, obsessive organization, and fearlessness. She says she didn't have a lawyer because she couldn't afford one.
Her odyssey began in 2006, when she filed her 2005 return. It showed just over $50,000 of income, several smaller deductions, and one large one—for $14,787 of expenses for an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix, an online school. Ms. Singleton-Clarke deducted the tuition because her tax preparer told her she met the law's narrow definitions.
When the IRS audited the return in late 2006, she conceded all the IRS's challenges to her deductions but one. She dug in her heels on the tuition deduction because, after looking at a complex diagram in IRS Publication 970, she believed she qualified for it.
The audit process first involved several rounds of confusing IRS correspondence. "At one point I had three requests for the same records, each with a different contact name. I had to spend hours calling to figure out who needed what," says Ms. Singleton-Clarke, a steely but soft-spoken woman.
After that she was summoned to an IRS office in downtown Washington where she had to provide more copies of her résumé, a job description, and other records. She felt overwhelmed and intimidated.
Both the IRS's actions and her reactions are typical, says Christopher Bergin, president of Tax Analysts, a group that fights for tax-system transparency and since l972 has won a series of freedom-of-information cases against the IRS. "Without doing anything illegal, they muscled her. That's what they do. The pressure can be terrifying," he says.
A spokesman for the IRS says that it never comments on issues with specific taxpayers.
As Ms. Singleton-Clarke held fast to her conviction that she deserved the deduction, she drew on skills she developed as a nurse responsible for dealing with doctors who may have infringed hospital rules. That was why she studied for her M.B.A., she says: "I didn't want to feel outmatched by surgeons who didn't want to talk to me."
When the IRS again denied her deduction by mail after her meeting with the agent, Ms. Singleton-Clarke wound up going to Tax Court to set a trial date. But when she came to court in November 2008, it seemed that everyone else had settled their cases: "There was just me by myself at one table and the [IRS] tax team of at another in a big courtroom."
The tax team consisted of a two attorneys and several assistants or paralegals. Ms. Singleton-Clarke had been told to bring copies of her documents in triplicate, including a time line of her career. Judge Stanley Goldberg questioned her closely and complimented her on her record-keeping during the hour-long trial. "The whole time," she says: "I was thinking, here is this god-like man who is going to make an important decision for me. But he wasn't a bully. I had met with the bullies before."
Reached Friday by phone, Judge Goldberg said: "I remember the case well because Ms. Singleton-Clarke was so articulate and well-prepared. Too many taxpayers are not."
Ms. Singleton-Clarke's victory came when the ruling was issued a year later. It is unusual in that it helps not only her but others as well. Decisions in small cases aren't allowed to be cited as precedent. "But everyone uses them," says Melissa Labant, a tax expert with the American Institute of CPAs. "This case definitely provides a road map others can use, especially M.B.A. students."
Write to Laura Saunders at email@example.com
Sunday, January 10, 2010
1. Tristan da Cunha
The single most remote inhabited place in the world, Tristan de Cunha is an archipelago of small islands located in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The nearest land to the island is South Africa, which is roughly 1,700 miles away, while the South American coast lies at a distance of about 2,000 miles. Despite its tiny size and astonishing isolation, Tristan de Cunha has enjoyed a rich history. The island was first discovered in 1506 by a Portuguese explorer, and was later annexed by the British, who feared the French might use it as a point of departure to rescue Napoleon, who had been exiled to nearby St. Helena. A small group of British, Italian, and American settlers began living on the island in the 1800s, and it is still under the U.K.’s jurisdiction today. The islands now have a total population 271 people, most of whom are descended from those original settlers and make their living as farmers and craft makers. Although the island now has some television stations and access to the internet via satellite, it is still the most physically isolated location on planet earth. The island’s rocky geography makes building an airstrip impossible, so the only way to travel to it is by boat. It was once regularly connected to South Africa by a British transport ship, but this vessel has since stopped calling on the island, and outside of the occasional cargo vessel, now the only visitors to Tristan da Cunha are deep sea fishing boats.
Wow. I wonder how much it would cost to take a trip there.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
You won't be able to send tweets -- the system isn't robust enough yet -- but you can listen to them read out loud to you as drive. Sounds pretty dull, particular if your Twitter friends are always telling you about the mundane tasks they are performing at the moment.
Sounds pretty boring to me. Especially if you can't move to the other links that people are sharing. It would get pretty lame hearing, "Yo check this awesome site out" over and over.
Jack: You’ve been avoiding me, Lemon.
Liz: How do you do that without turning around?
Jack: To be perfectly honest, the first couple of people I did that to were not you, but…here we are.
(The new season of 30 Rock starts January 14th. Get psyched.)
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
You were the tall brunette with the near perfect body that farted in the bread section last night. I was the tall guy next to you that looked over and asked, "Was that you?" You quickly replied "No...Wasn't me!" You almost seemed insulted I would ask. As the stink grew you continued to deny your flatulence, but it was evident. I tried to get rid of the stench by waving 2 loafs of Ciabatta bread. You proceeded to storm off in an angry manner. You are beautiful and even if you are a liar and fart like a Clydesdale, I'd love to meet up sometime.
I thought this was hilarious and had to share.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
I think this renditions is a little big. I would like it a little smaller. I do like the size of the kindle.
The announcement for the actual tablet should come around the 27th or 28th of January.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
Tonight Lea and I were at Dave and Busters and discovered that we were able to buy some bling grillz with all the coupons we had earned. I love DC!
I just got Ken Robinson's new book The Element for Christmas. I am excited to read it and will be posting some of my thoughts on the book in the future. Here is a video of his popular TED talk. It is one of my favorites.
Kevin Tame- A title for one of his Seattle sports teams. At the very least, Seattle has been passed by Washington DC as the most pathetic sports town in America. That counts for something, right? And while we’re at it, may Howard Shultz, the CEO of Starbucks that sold the Sonics knowing they would be moved to Oklahoma City, fall from a 30 story building onto a bicycle with no seat.
I think everyone should read my friend Darren's blog. It's witty and most of the time pretty funny. You can check it out at eternaladolescent.blogspot.com
Above is a recent post of gifts he wishes to bestow on some of his friends. Mine is a coveted title for a Seattle sports team. Maybe it will happen someday. Hoping for the Mariners next year.