The Only Thing Stupider Than an Etsy IPO Is Some of the Crap on Etsy

Let me preface this post by saying I've used Etsy. I've coveted squirrel riding a rattlesnake taxidermy (j/k vegan friends) and often borrowed DIY craft ideas from overpriced Etsy listings because I'm just a dork like that. I've tried -- without luck -- to sell paintings on Etsy. And boy do I miss Regretsy (RIP).

Now, let's talk about what's wrong with Etsy. It's well known that Etsy looks the other way when it comes to resellers who get away with selling "homemade" products that were likely made little baby hands in China. Sometimes, these resellers will at least try to make their product look unique or homemade by slapping a coat of paint or a little glitter on it. More often than not, though, they sell mass-produced garbage as is, without even bothering to pass it off as something they cobbled together after a trip to Michael's after being dumped by their boyfriend.

Yeah, that's not supposed to happen on Etsy. But it does. And Etsy knows it.

So fine, they're letting resellers slide. Big deal.

The thing you really need to know about Etsy since we're talking about an IPO here is that -- much like many of their .com or poorly-thought-out-total-bullshit startup counterparts -- the accounting is completely fucked up.

DealBook writes:

Still, in its decade of existence, Etsy has become a significant business. It reported $195.6 million in sales last year, up 56 percent from the previous year. And as of Dec. 31, it had 685 employees, most of whom are still based in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn.

That sounds great. But...

Like other Internet companies that aim to go public, Etsy presents a measure of earnings that differs from that required by generally accepted accounting principles. Etsy’s own metric, known as adjusted Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, says that the company made $23 million last year. But it lost $15 million according to standard accounting principles.

Adjusted Ebitda was positive because in addition to excluding taxes, depreciation and amortization, it did not count the cost of paying employees in stock.
Imagine if we were able to apply EBITDA to our own personal checkbooks. Instead of being flat broke and needing to pay my rent, my landlord would actually owe me money because magic. Isn't accounting fantastic? Especially when it's pretty much completely made up and not at all useful except to part a fool and his money.

Is an Etsy IPO peak tech bubble? Not even. There are far more ridiculous IPOs to come before the bottom blows out of this bitch. And when it inevitably does, some of those living high on the hog now will be in the same San Francisco alley as the mascot, blowing Daly City dads for a hit.

Oh, and since we're on the topic, here are some ridiculous Etsy items for your enjoyment (note: some of these are intentionally ridiculous while others are, well, too ridiculous to warrant existence on this planet).

While we're on the subject, I'm just going to leave this here.

This bizarre pregnancy test Koozie

Or maybe Mickey Mouse is more your pregnancy test speed

Birthday Candle tortoise cozy (OK, not even going to lie, this is actually awesome)
I have to confess, this Ink Sketch of Your Mom is incredible: "This is a 9"x12" ink sketch of your ugly mom. Put this up in your house and offend your friends when they think you're talking smack about their mom."

You get the point. Good luck with that IPO, Etsy, and smart on you to cash out while you can. I'm going to print out your prospectus so I can later bedazzle it and sell it as a handmade craft on your own site.

Farewell, Senator Barb

When I left San Francisco back in late 2010 for the wild unknown of the Washington DC suburbs, I never imagined that just a few months later I'd be on Capitol Hill sitting quietly in Maryland Senator Ben Cardin's office with a group of CPAs discussing the tax topics impacting CPAs and their clients that year. But that's exactly what happened and I have to say, it's been pretty awesome.

As we learned recently, the longest-serving female in Congress -- who I first met my first 6 months in Washington, her tiny feet swinging from the bottom of her too-tall chair in Senator Cardin's office -- announced she will be retiring and I have to say, although I don't necessarily agree with her on many issues, I'll miss her.

The Washington Post writes:

SEN. BARBARA MIKULSKI of Maryland — an impassioned, imperious, effective and unapologetically authentic lawmaker who has held fast to her blue-collar roots through 38 years in Congress — announced Monday that she will retire next year after five terms in the Senate. She did so having achieved the goal she set for herself in 1987, when she ascended to the upper chamber from the House of Representatives, “to use the good mind, the good mouth, the good heart that God gave me.”

A grocer’s daughter from a Polish neighborhood of Baltimore, Ms. Mikulski was regarded as an almost cartoonish anomaly when she was elected to the Senate, the first Democratic woman to have done so in her own right, without benefit of a politically more famous husband or father. Brash, gruff, unpolished and, at 4 feet 11 inches, so short she often stood on a box when speaking at a lectern, she seemed the antithesis of the patrician lions of the Senate.
Let's talk about that "good mouth," shall we? I may get in trouble for this, but it deserves to be said as it reflects the spirit that burned bright in Maryland's historic lawmaker.

One year, I believe ahead of the most recent presidential campaign, Congress was gripped by the most partisan cockblocking we've seen in a long time. It went beyond simple crapping-all-over of the other side's proposed bills, it was like West Side Story or, worse, an episode of HBO's Oz with each side forming tight factions that were not to be disrespected.

We waited for both Senators Cardin and Mikulski to meet us that unseasonably warm spring day in Washington, and watched Senator Mikulski, live on the Senate floor, broadcasting back into her office through a small mounted TV tuned to C-SPAN. She was noticeably heated up, passionate, and -- frankly -- pissed off. Great, we were going to get the brunt of it when she returned to her office to hear my CPA companions tell her about tax reform and whatever else the CPAs were there to talk about that particular day.

When she returned from the floor, her cheeks were flushed and she was wound up tight. The times I met her before, she was jovial, animated, and happy to see the group. But now, she was aggravated, frustrated, and generally over it all.

"Republicans are assholes," she may have said in the hallway. Maybe she used a more polite word, as a lady does, but she went on to say how even speaking to someone across the aisle at that point would bring the ire of both sides. That's how things were that year, and probably why not much got done. It was like Mean Girls but with grown ass adults on Capitol Hill and Senator Barb had fucking had it.

Surely, I'm not the only one who may recall Senator Mikulski throwing epic shade across the aisle during that tumultuous, unproductive time:

For her part, Ms. Mikulski was unabashed. “I do get emotional,” she said last year, venting her wrath at Republicans who blocked legislation to rein in income disparity between men and women who do the same work. “I get angry, I get outraged, I get volcanic.”

I will fondly remember the kind, receptive, informed Senator Barb, who never came off as an empty suit -- perhaps because there wasn't an empty suit in all of Washington that could fit her small frame -- and could light up the room even when being subjected to tax talk from a bunch of CPAs. A warm, intelligent lawmaker, of the caliber we likely won't see in Washington again any time soon.

Though I left Maryland long ago for Virginia (which was a better fit, anyway, Don't Tread on Me license plates notwithstanding), I still return as often as I can and call that crazy blue state the closest thing I have to home. And it saddens me to think this spring may be my last chance to shake her hand and watch her swing her feet off the end of her chair. Assuming I'm invited back now that I've revealed her secret potty mouth, that is.

As Rep. Chris van Hollen (D-Md.) put it, “When Barbara Mikulski is with you, the Force is with you.”

Maryland, and Congress in general, needs that force. And it's sad to think what will happen without it.

Miss Me?

A little over 6 years after this obscure piece of financial trolling blew up like Megaton on a nasty villain run through of Fallout 3, it's become painfully obvious there's been nothing more than tumbleweeds blowing around here.

There's a good reason for that. The economy started looking better (at least on paper), and I got tied up in things like cat rescue, writing full-time for Going Concern, and trying this whole "being an adult thing" I tried to put off for most of my 20s. And all that has been fulfilling in a bizarre way.

But every now and then I'd be reminded of this piece of as-yet-not-foreclosed-upon Internet real estate and feel an ache in my heart for the carefree days of 2008 when I hadn't yet infiltrated the Fed and thought for sure the Mayans were right about that whole 2012 thing. To be honest, I miss it sometimes. Sure ripping on accountants is fun, but there's more to it.

So, I'm back. And I'm prepared to make a commitment to stick around this time.

Let's be real, the economy is still in the shitter. Someone still needs to be around to call that grey-haired piece of beef jerky Janet Yellen out on her nonsense. Someone needs to verbally bitch-slap TPTB for their asshattery, and I've always considered it an honor to be that person.

I'll try to keep the cats out of it. No promises on F-bombs, though.

Keep your eyes peeled for a redesign and a slight tweak in the direction on this rickety little ship but expect to see more of my pretty little mug around here in the weeks and months ahead. There's still work to do and F-bombs to drop, ya know.

See you on the Internets.


Dear Congressional Critters, Thanks But I Don't Need You to Tell My Boss to Pay Me What I Am Worth

Didya hear?

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation meant to close the pay gap between men and women, framing an election-year fight between the parties over whose policies are friendlier to women.

The bill was an attempt by Democrats to press what they see as their electoral advantage among women in the coming midterm elections, but they fell short of the 60 votes they needed to prevent a filibuster and advance the legislation.
“For reasons known only to them, Senate Republicans don’t seem to be interested in closing wage gaps for working women,” Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said in a floor speech.

Shut your fucking pie hole, Reid. Did it ever occur to you that not every problem needs the government to fix it? I know, what a thought.

Let's look at what S.2199 entails, shall we?

Paycheck Fairness Act - Amends the portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) known as the Equal Pay Act to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages.

Sounds good so far...

Revises the exception to the prohibition for a wage rate differential based on any other factor other than sex. Limits such factors to bona fide factors, such as education, training, or experience.

Wait a fucking second. What if I'm a woman who took 3 years off to have babies, so when I came back into the work force, I had less training and experience than my male counterparts who never left to go have kids. Does that count? Am I being punished for being a mother? Is my boss either a dick or an idiot for paying me as much as my colleague who did not take 3 years off, regardless of the reason?

States that the bona fide factor defense shall apply only if the employer demonstrates that such factor: (1) is not based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation, (2) is job-related with respect to the position in question, and (3) is consistent with business necessity. Makes such defense inapplicable where the employee demonstrates that: (1) an alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business purpose without producing such differential, and (2) the employer has refused to adopt such alternative practice.

So the burden is on the employer. Great. How does my employer prove that? "Well you see, government, Adrienne is a shitty worker but now that you're up our ass, we're going broke paying her just as much as our high performers because all of them are males and you might get pissy about that even though Adrienne accepts that she sucks at her job." Because, vagina! Seems legit.

Revises the prohibition against employer retaliation for employee complaints. Prohibits retaliation for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing the wages of the employee or another employee in response to a complaint or charge, or in furtherance of a sex discrimination investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, or an investigation conducted by the employer.
Retaliation is never cool but I don't want everyone else knowing what I make, and I don't want some overzealous employee making a case of it and then blaming their plumbing for it because government said so.

Makes employers who violate sex discrimination prohibitions liable in a civil action for either compensatory or (except for the federal government) punitive damages.
You fucking weasels. Of course "except for the federal government" because what's good for the goose is never good for the gander.

States that any action brought to enforce the prohibition against sex discrimination may be maintained as a class action in which individuals may be joined as party plaintiffs without their written consent.
HOLD THE FUCK UP. What if I am happy with my compensation and like my employer and accept that I might get paid a little less than my colleagues (both male and female) because I'm a shitty employee? I mean, I'm not, but let's just say I am. I automatically have to be a part of some fucking class action bullshit? No thank you.

Authorizes the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to seek additional compensatory or punitive damages in a sex discrimination action.

Again, because of course. I swear sometimes you people are no better than the vampire squid with your blood-sucking...

Requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to train EEOC employees and affected individuals and entities on matters involving wage discrimination. 
Shouldn't they already be trained? But sure, throw away a bunch more money on "training" them some more.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to eligible entities for negotiation skills training programs for girls and women. Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of Education to issue regulations or policy guidance to integrate such training into certain programs under their Departments. 
What about men who want these skills, can they apply for grants? I mean, we're talking fairness here, aren't we? Can't exclude the dudes, then.

Directs the Secretary to conduct studies and provide information to employers, labor organizations, and the general public regarding the means available to eliminate pay disparities between men and women. 
Oh for the love of... private organizations and educational institutions do this already. But hey, throw some more money at the problem, sounds like a plan.

Establishes the Secretary of Labor's National Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace for an employer who has made a substantial effort to eliminate pay disparities between men and women.
Yeah, because handing out awards worked out so well for my generation. Here's your gold sticker, now go fuck off. If the point is fairness, and if organizations are REQUIRED to do this, then why are you rewarding the ones who have? Isn't that the point? You know, DOING IT?

Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to require the EEOC to collect from employers pay information data regarding the sex, race, and national origin of employees for use in the enforcement of federal laws prohibiting pay discrimination.
Again, you fucking weasels and your data. The government already knows how old I am, where my people come from, what plumbing I was born with and how much I make -- why does the EEOC need this? Oh, right, because it's the government.

Directs: (1) the Commissioner of Labor Statistics to continue to collect data on woman workers in the Current Employment Statistics survey, (2) the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to use specified types of methods in investigating compensation discrimination and in enforcing pay equity, and (3) the Secretary to make accurate information on compensation discrimination readily available to the public. 
So, more paper pushing? Oh, my lady parts feel more liberated and equal already!

Directs the Secretary and the Commissioner [sic] of the EEOC jointly to develop technical assistance material to assist small businesses to comply with the requirements of this Act.
 LOL. "We're from the government and we're here to help."

I'm glad Senate Republicans saw right through this bullshit. As my friend Allison Bricker said on Facebook:

Women are not cats stuck up in a tree needing government mandated equality. A wise woman and her skill set know no competition.


On that note, I will borrow the words of Ani Difranco, who might be really pissed I used these sacred words of hers to prove why Republicans might be onto something (assuming they aren't just cockblocking legislation as usual, natch):

I ain't no damsel in distress
and I don't need to be rescued
so put me down punk
maybe you'd prefer a maiden fair
isn't there a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere

How Delta Airlines Almost Got Me Fired (and Blew Social Media Engagement in the Process)

Alright, that headline is a little incendiary (shock that JDA would do such a thing, I know) but hey, let's pretend like I'm not irreplaceable and therefore almost unfireable for the sake of the following story I'm about to tell.

As most of you know, I am Managing Editor of the #1 website among 18 - 34 year old accounting professionals in the US. What you don't know (unless you religiously stalk me on Twitter) is that I had to make a trip to Boston this week to meet up with my team and our UK handlers. Though most of us work remotely 99% of the time, meeting up as a team is really valuable, and I was scheduled to be in Boston Tuesday morning to do just that. Except Delta fucked it all up.

I'm a bit of a procrastinator (I'm still working on this, in true procrastinator fashion) so I did wait until the last minute to book my flight to Boston on Kayak but managed to do so in record time -- for me -- with my flight all set and paid for a full 3 weeks ahead of schedule. Rad. I picked Delta because it was non-stop and at the top of the cheap list, because I'm all about saving my company a few pennies if I can on a short flight.

At about 11pm the night before I was supposed to get up for my 6am flight, I got a notice from Delta. Why I was still awake I can't say, because I really should have gone to bed at 9pm to get a bag packed and take a shower and get to the Richmond airport all before dawn which is a bitch in and of itself but that was the plan. Delta called me (which I didn't see because who the fuck answers a random toll-free number that late) and then at 10:57pm, they sent me an email to say my flight to Boston was cancelled. It's cool, they were urgently trying to rebook me.

Rebook me they did. They gave me some half ass flight to NYC that would have meant me sitting around with my thumb in my ass at Kennedy and then I could get to Boston far later than I'd planned on the initial flight I booked. I immediately called Delta and explained that wasn't an option, hence the flight I booked in the first place that was my earliest chance to get out of Richmond. Of course, since they cancelled me long after the last flight left Richmond the night before, I couldn't even run to the airport and make my escape that night instead (Richmond is tiny as fuck and shuts down pretty early, if you don't know, all the more reason I want to move back to DC fulltime).

The foreign guy I spoke to on Delta customer service that night finally offered me a US Airways flight that would get me into Boston just half an hour after schedule after much eye-rolling and bitching on my part. It worked out great even though I still got into Boston late; we arrived 20 minutes ahead of schedule in Boston on the US Airways flight so I did save some skin (thanks US Airways!).

That wasn't the worst part. The worst part was this email I got after I bitched Delta out on Twitter the night they cancelled my flight after I had returned from my trip and had just about forgotten how Delta fucked me:

Subject was "Delta travel on March 25, 2014. Please tell us how we did." so how the fuck would I, as a business traveler totally still butthurt over my cancelled flight that barely got salvaged after I talked the customer service guy into a US Airways flight to get me into Boston on time read that and not think "how dare you people ask me to give you feedback on how you fucked my plan to get to my Boston office at the asscrack of dawn"? That isn't even a rhetorical question.

Delta finally decided to engage me on Twitter when I mentioned how ridiculous it was of them to ask me to fill out a fucking survey, and they wanted me to DM them details but I decided to do this instead. So here you go, "CS" now you are all caught up. No DM required.

For the record, my Delta flight back to Richmond from Boston was delayed but that was fair because it was windy as fuck in Boston that day and all in all the wait wasn't so bad since we all got home safely so that's something. I still don't know why Delta cancelled my flight in, I thought it was snow but we ended up being the only flight cancelled when I got to the Richmond airport that morning. I also ran into the husband of a fellow Richmond cat rescuer at Logan waiting around for our flight back to Richmond so that was cool too but damn, I won't fly Delta again from Richmond to Logan if I have a chance (and I will, because I plan to spend a lot more time up there with our Boston-area people).

Enjoy, "CS" at @DeltaAssist, this is my story. Should you need more, feel free to reach out.

My flight back to Richmond was lovely, thanks for asking. Seriously, never ask me to fill out a survey, you don't want my opinion.

Let Us Discuss Glasshole "Hate Crime" Victim Sarah Slocum, Because She Wants Us To

Hi, guys. Sorry I've been MIA, if you didn't get the news, I was promoted to Managing Editor of Going Concern late last year and that's a pretty time-intensive gig keeping accountants full up on news. Trust, I haven't forgotten the JDA faithful.

I have been following the story of douchetacular Sarah Slocum "tech writer" since the moment she was "assaulted" in a San Francisco bar wearing her Google Glass and have to say, she was asking for it. As a former San Franciscan, I have to ask who the fuck walks into Molotovs drunk off her ass with a computer on her face expecting nothing less than what she got? I mean really. Sorry not sorry, Sarah, but whatever you studied at UC Berkeley couldn't have possibly prepared you for the backlash you deserved rolling up on Fillmore St acting like that.

First, look at her logo. Who the fuck buys "social media services" from someone with a logo like this? Tech writer my ass, she's a failed women's studies clown sleeping in her parents' basement trying to start shit again SORRY NOT SORRY just calling it like it is. This logo is a joke. I got an intern gig at the local sign shop in Milwaukee in high school and did better logos than this. I mean really. REALLY.

OMG LOL. For real though?

And then you find out, from LA Times, that she has a history of stalking people who didn't expect they'd be recorded and you can't help but ask yourself REALLY? Really, Sarah? But yeah, you're a "tech writer" LOL even though Sarah lists herself as a "Contributing Editor" for Newsdab, which lets any clown with an Internet connection write for.

From the Newsdab "About Us":

Newsdab is the first news customization website, where anyone can be a reporter or publisher, allowing users to edit, share, read, watch and organize stories from across the web, in a social environment. The concept is to give people the ability to make headlines either by sharing links to existing content from the web or by editing their own stories. We believe anyone can be a reporter / editor / writer / publisher. The tool revolutionizes how news is produced, delivered and consumed. People hit Upload when they want to share their videos on youtube and they hit Post when they want to share news on newsdab. If anyone can be a video maker, certainly, anyone can be a reporter / writer / publisher or simply content contributor.

OMG! So any piece of shit can run a story and be a "newsmaker" OMFG where do I sign up?

Sarah Slocum, who the fuck do you think you are fooling? You aren't even a Glasshole, you're just an Asshole, and that isn't a tech problem. Good luck in your future efforts, you waste of space and Glass bandwidth.

Just admit you're a creep and we can all move on, loser. You aren't even a Glass Explorer, someone gifted you the Glass you harassed people with (and I hope they regret it now because you are truly a douche).

Hey Sarah, you can block me on Twitter because I called you out for being a piece of shit but you can't deny that you are, at the end of the day, a real piece of shit. Just own it. The sooner the better, loser.

The Creepiest, Most Stalkery Government Agency You Never Heard Of

The NGA was cool before you ever heard of them.

For those who may not know us well, NGA is both a Combat Support Agency AND a national intelligence agency. We have statutory responsibilities to support policymakers, warfighters, first responders, homeland security, and the greater Intelligence Community (IC).
The very nature of what we do – geospatial intelligence – GEOINT – makes us a critical partner for everyone we serve.
GEOINT not only tells you what is happening anywhere on earth, but we strive to reveal why it matters and what is likely to happen next.
NGA has a unique—perhaps the broadest—mission set of any intelligence agency.
We provide timely warning and strategic intelligence about global crises to national and military decision makers -- sometimes we have the first -- and only --insight into denied areas.
By law, we are the lead agency that ensures safety of navigation in the air and on the seas with the most current maps and charts.
We defend against cyber threats with in-depth analysis of the logical and physical networks. We bring together the “bits and the bytes” with the “bricks and the mortar” to provide the physical locations and manifestations of where the networks and cyber units are operating around the globe.
We lead Human Geography efforts across the IC – we enhance the Community’s understanding through deeper geospatial-temporal analysis of human activity to better understand patterns of life within their environmental context.
Finally, we assist first responders with global humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.

What in the actual fuck? So here everyone has been worried about the NSA reading our stupid sexts and these guys are all up in our collective virtual nuts (the "bits and the bytes")?

But wait, they need our help to let them just sweep in as much data as possible (yes, they wrote that):

And in this era of declining budgets, the IC simply cannot scale to compete with the digital production of the entire world. We cannot manually examine all the data we can collect.
We must gain “Big Value” from “Big Data” by actively pursuing the Director of National Intelligence’s top priority of intelligence integration at every level.
We must integrate our Community networks and systems, leverage each other’s sensors and phenomenologies, and further collaborate on community-wide analysis. This must be done with enhanced technology.
You – our S-P-I-E partners – are key contributors to making this integration a reality. You can:
    • Support the integration of intelligence sensors on future delivery platforms.
    • Support the IC Information Technology Enterprise – IC ITE – and the fusion of all intelligence sources through its cloud infrastructure.
    • Help develop the automated tools we need – preferably located as close as possible to, or on, the sensors themselves.
These tools must automatically capture, curate, store, search, analyze, and visualize as much raw data as they can.
They must also largely assume the analyst’s traditional functions of monitoring “known” targets.
"SPIE partners"? Bwahahaha. Classic.

How VerizonFiOS Hit Twitter To Solve My Most First World Problem

My actual DVR, don't judge me

I was talking social media in North Carolina earlier today with other PR/media/social media hacks like myself (don't ask why I was there, I need to see the east coast I guess) and came home to find I had both Verizon FiOS remotes downstairs. This is distressing because one belongs to my badass 2003 Sharp Aquos 20" flat screen in my bedroom, it's an old workhorse I picked up cheap on San Francisco Craigslist before I moved out east. And it still works, while withstanding my army of cats. That says something.

Anyway. NC was cool, this happened and it was great.

BUT, then I came home to two fucking remotes on my couch and got confused. That's the last thing I needed.

My plight:
Almost immediately, @VerizonFiOS is on it. Like this is actually a problem for me. Come on, clearly I'm just going First World Problems on Twitter bitching about how awful my life is because I can't figure out which remote goes with which TV and can't even walk upstairs to try both remotes to figure out which one goes with that TV. GOD HELP ME. Life is so fucking hard.

How heartwarming! @VerizonFiOS actually cares about my OCD that tells me my upstairs remote needs to be upstairs. Why are they even helping me with this? I'm laughing at this point.

At this point, I can't believe I just typed that out loud. FUCK, MY IPAD IS DOWNSTAIRS BUT I CAN'T EVEN BOTHER TO SET IT UP UGH LIFE IS HARD. Awful. I'm still loving the way @VerizonFiOS is approaching this at this point.

I think at this point, @VerizonFiOS just called me a lazy ass. Totally owning that, you're right. I like them even more now because they basically just talked shit about my First World Problems while at the same time offering to help me solve them. Whoever is behind this, they're fucking brilliant.

We ended up exchanging "I love yous" -- no joke, look -- and that was that.


I really do love my FiOS, and I really do get bugged out if my remotes aren't where they should be, but whatever @VerizonFiOS just did tonight, call me a fan.

For the record, both remotes are still downstairs and I haven't set up the FiOS app on my iPad either. Meh. Too much effort, I'm tired.

Hint, Hint: Pack It Up and Go Home

OK, so somehow we are STILL FUCKING HERE five years after I started writing this. And somehow we still have a can to kick down the road. Fine.

But seriously, you have been warned.

Marc Faber, publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, told CNBC on Monday that investors are asking the wrong question about when the Federal Reserve will taper its massive bond-buying program. They should be asking when the central bank will be increasing it, he argued.

"The question is not tapering. The question is at what point will they increase the asset purchases to say $150 [billion] , $200 [billion], a trillion dollars a month," Faber said in a "Squawk Box" interview.

Get it yet?

Happy Birthday to Meeeeeeee!!

Five years, 4092 posts, the same Fed chairman and we're still fucked.

Thanks for keeping me company during these strange times, children, stay strong and know I love you.

For Sale: My Copy of "How Our Laws Are Made" (.gov Buyers Only, Please)

For sale: vintage "How Our Laws Are Made" booklet. Presented by Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania July 24, 2007, procured by me at AICPA Council, spring 2011.

Available FREE to any individual with a, or email address.

Please contact Jr Deputy Accountant at using your work email, can make copies if needed since the Government Printing Office is obviously out for the foreseeable future.

USPS To Destroy Perfectly Fine Stamps Because People Are Too Stupid To Be Allowed To Use Them

Legit, this is happening:

You might think this was a parody, but apparently not. The federal government has ordered the destruction of a series of fifteen postage stamps intended to get kids to be more active after sports safety advocates said three of the stamps raised safety concerns, including illustrations depicting kids “skateboarding without kneepads, and doing a headstand without a helmet.” [Postal News]

The nefarious stamps in question show clip art kids engaged in all kinds of dangerous behaviors, as you can see:


Perhaps the USPS should stick to what they know like not delivering the mail, wasting money on unnecessary ads and taking dumps on lawns.

How to Screw With Craigslist Scammers

So, I'm trying to unload a bunch of crap because I have too much of it and before I end up on an episode of Hoarders, I figured I'd attempt to make at least a fraction of my money back on said crap.

I've listed a ton of decent stuff: furniture, my TV, art, blah blah. So far, I'm getting the usual cheap asses, flakes and scammers. Lots and lots of scammers.

I also list my foster cats up for adoption on CL and I was shocked when I got an inquiry from a scammer not that long ago offering to mail me a check for the cat, which I knew would be over the amount (what amount I have no idea, the cats were never "for sale") with the expectation that I would Western Union the remainder to the scammer or however it is these assholes operate. Yeah, sure, let me get right on that.

So when I got an email about my PlayStation3 from an obvious scammer, I just knew what I had to do.

Note to anyone unfamiliar with how these scams work, here's how you know it's a scam: it feels like a scam. Basically any time someone isn't local, demands to use PayPal, or offers you more than you actually asked for the item, it's a scam. Teen Mom Farrah Abraham -- who might not be the sharpest tool in the shed -- famously fell for a Craigslist scam while cameras were rolling, and great mother that she is, let her baby fall off the bed as she angrily tried to get her money back over the phone. Whoops.

Craigslist scammer
Was it something I said?
(larger version)

An alternate version of this response uses your local FBI office as the address to ship a "check" to. Chances are the authorities won't do anything about it but it's better than even letting that crap touch your own mailbox.

Suffice to say, I did not get a response after that last email. I checked in one last time to make sure everything was OK but... again... nothing.

Too bad, she seemed like such a nice lady.

The FEDERAL Government Shuts Down, But Not the FEDERAL Reserve...

Funny how that works, eh?

Of course, we could consider the Fed's job to be "essential" if we were smoking crack cocaine and or opium, and then we'd be brainwashed into believing we just can't quit them.

My hometown rag the Washington Post has an excellent primer on what will and won't be open now that the government has come to a screeching halt praise Jesus it's about time. Most notably:

Federal Reserve: Everyone would stay, since the central bank has an independent source of funding.

LOL."An independent source" LMFAO seriously, I'm in tears, legit, right now. I almost choked but thank goodness I didn't because I am an uninsured freelancer and can't afford a trip to the emergency room.

Meanwhile, I couldn't come to an agreement with my cats over how much I will spend on my Obamacare premium I couldn't afford before and can't afford now so we came to a compromise and decided we aren't paying our electric bill for the foreseeable future but litter box cleaning services will still be provided by this sovereign republic.

Happy shutdown, folks!

Confirmed: the Fed is a Crack Addict

As a person who has quit smoking some 156 umpteen times, I can totes relate to this statement by NY Fed President William Dudley, who I still feel is a total hack douche. But that's irrelevant.

Leading up to an attempt to stop smoking, I naturally smoke my ass off. Once, in my first winter in DC, our power went out while my nicotine patches were wearing off and of course freezing my ass off in the dark with my cat, the first thing I thought was "FUCK, I NEED TO GET TO 7-11 AND GET SOME FUCKING CAMELS" so that was exactly what I did because 7-11 had power and DAMNIT I needed a cigarette.

Anyway, his remarks about exceptional Fed "accommodations" is pretty much like a straight up dope fiend shooting as much dope as they can the night before they check into rehab. If you don't understand that comparison, hit up Charlie Sheen and he can help you.
The Federal Reserve must for now continue to push hard against threats to the U.S. recovery, but should still be able to reduce its support for the economy later this year, an influential central bank policymaker said on Monday.
LOL. I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Why is the Fed so involved if everything is totally fucking rosy?!
"We must push against these headwinds forcefully to best achieve our objectives," Dudley, a consistent policy dove and a permanent voting member of the central bank's monetary policy committee, said at Fordham University.
Dude, are you really that stupid? Even I get it and I'm far from an economist (of course, maybe that's why I get it). Headwinds? Try monsoon, you moron.

Dudley said on Monday that framework "is still very much intact." He noted that, back in June, Bernanke did not specify the first reduction to QE would come in September, and that it would be dependent on economic data.

Any reduction in QE must be based on the most recent measures of economic health, Dudley said, arguing that two requirements have not yet been met: evidence the labor market has improved and confidence that those gains will continue.

"I'd like to see economic news that makes me more confident that we will see continued improvement in the labor market," Dudley said. "Then I would feel comfortable that the time had come to cut the pace of asset purchases."

Give me a break. Admit it, already, there is no way out. Accepting you have a problem is the first step, after all, you fucking monetary dope fiend.