Monday, April 30, 2012

Finally some good science that proves man causes global warming

Many years ago when I first heard about global warming caused by man's carbon emissions, I thought it made sense.  But something in the back of my mind kept bugging me about the theory.  Then it dawned on me: carbon is a lousy thermal insulator.  I even dug out an old P-chem text book from college and sure enough, I was right.  Carbon only resonated at a very few radiant frequencies.  Far more radiant energy passed right through than was ever caught to excite the carbon molecules.  The more I started asking questions, the more sketchy the answers--feedback loops and all kinds of tricks and "scientific" concoctions to try to explain in a very complicated way what was really very straight forward science.  Well, I call them as I see them.  And I have to tell you, I have finally seen real evidence proving a viable theory of made caused global warming.  By wind turbines.  Seems that those honking big propellers roil the stratified air in the atmosphere to cause warm air to rise and pull cold air down to the earth's surface where it warms up.  Yup.  This science is logical and the data looks pretty strong to me.



I spent the whole weekend helping a friend get a house ready to move into.  Great deal because it was a FNMA foreclosure.  However, it had been empty for two years and abused before that.  My personal tally for the weekend was putting a new laminate wood floor down (on uneven concrete), three light fixtures, two ceiling fans, a dozen new outlets and switches, a toilet, two faucets, swapping out a bad breaker in the panel, ripping up three layers of old flooring in the entire walkout level, fashioning and installing lots of trim and wallboard and assorted painting.  Oh, and moving a ton of stuff.  I hurt.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Maybe Obama was right about green, electric rechargeable cars

Because NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory picked up the above "object" hanging around the sun.  I'm guessing it was an inter-galactic traveler that had to plug in his UFO version of a Prius.  I may have to rethink the whole electric car thing.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I cannot emphasize enough that everyone has been running against Mitt Romney for the past 6 months.  All of the Republican contenders have trained their guns on him in an effort to dislodge him from the front runner status for the nomination.  And as soon as it became clear that Obama would have to run against Mitt, the Prez  and the Democrats have been hitting him from the other side.  In contrast, no one has really been running against Obama.  So it is very telling when the two most recent tracking polls come up with these results:

Fox News 4/22-4/24     Romney 46%  Obama 46%

Rasmussen 4/22-4/24    Romney 49%  Obama 44%

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Um, did Jimmy Carter just sort of endorse Mitt Romney?

And is that good or bad?

Is this guy the worst solicitor general ever?

The Solicitor General is basically the President's top appellate attorney.  He or she argue important matters of federal law in front of the Supreme Court of the United States.  The office was first established in 1870.  Among our past Solicitors General are the likes of William H. Taft, Archibald Cox, Thurgood Marshall, Robert Bork and Ken Starr.  Impressive barristers one and all.  Obama chose one Mr. Donald Verrelli, Jr. to be his principal advocate before the Court.  And I am not sure if this guy can even string a sentence together let alone parse through a cogent argument at law.  You may remember that he was universally slammed for stammering his way through the oral argument over Obamacare.  Don't get me wrong, he was dealt a bad legal hand.  Nonetheless, there were arguments he could have and should have made.  He just could not seem to get any of them out.  Well, my brother at the bar Mr. Verrelli is once again showcasing his advocacy skills, this time in arguing to overturn the Arizona immigration law.  And once again he fumbled and stumbled.

Mexican border fence

I never had a problem with the border fence.  To be honest, I really did not care too much one way or another about it.  I do believe in LEGAL immigration.  The diversity and lack of historic societal caste constraints is what makes this country unique and has made us strong.  We all came from somewhere and we all came here because we wanted opportunity.  So I say to let the best and the brightest, or even the hardest working, come here.  If the fence makes sure that the process is appropriately regulated, then fine.  However, what I did not foresee was that Obama would trash the economy SO terribly that we would need the fence to keep the Mexicans IN.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On the one hand . . .

When I read stories like this one about the man who accidentally shot himself and his wife at a gun safety class, I start to think that it may be a good idea to place some restrictions on gun ownership.  Then it dawns on me that we would be better off if we just allowed certain people to eliminate themselves from the gene pool.

Monday, April 23, 2012

There now, that wasn't so hard, was it?

James Lovelock's green cred is unparalleled.  He invented the Gaia theory of Earth as one living and dynamic organism, of which we were but a small part. He predicted billions would die thanks to global warming.  Time magazine named him one of 13 Heroes of the Environment in 2007.  He was a buddy of algore.  So it is of note when the 92 year old professor changes his mind.  He says now that he, and his buddies like algore, were being climate "alarmists".  He does say that he thinks we are still getting warmer due to man's carbon emissions, but not enough to be alarmed over.  Maybe algore should take the hint.

You know the campaign is going poorly for Obama . . .

If the MSM is treating Romney in a more favorable light than him.  No, really.

Thank God the Department of Homeland Security is ever vigilant and on the job

Keeping out terrorists?  No.  Gathering intelligence on attacks on US soil?  No.  Making air travel safer?  Not really.  How about preventing the poisoning of out food or drinking water.  Well, no again.  But Reebok and Under Armour need not worry.  DHS is right on the ball for them.  The Department raided a flea market that was selling knock off athletic jerseys.  Whew!  That is a load off my mind.

Friday, April 20, 2012

But wait a minute, won't that cause MORE global warming by putting carbon up in the air?

Wing nut alarminista Steven Zwick who writes a column for Forbes, has called for eco-terrorism.  He wants everyone to burn down the homes of global warming skeptics.  Really?!  I could see maybe bulldozing them, but burning them?  That will just spew a whole bunch more carbon up to warm us some more!!!  What is he thinking?

Another poll showing Romney beating Obama

The latest one to be released also shows Romney beating Obama right now.  This time it is Rasmussen, a well recognized pollster, though often considered to be Democrat leaning.  The Rasmussen Daily Tracking poll has Romney now ahead of Obama by a 46-45 margin.  The biggest nugget I got out of the report was no the head to head numbers.  It was Obama's approval/disapproval numbers.  Only 25% of the voters strongly approve of how he is doing his job.  41% strongly disapprove.  He has a negative 16% Presidential Approval Index rating.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wanna buy a used but never flown spitfire?

Michael Dunning/Getty Images

You may have a chance at doing just that.  A British farmer heard a WWII vet telling a story about how they had buried a squadron of Spitfires in 1945 to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.  The catch?  They were in Burma.  Well, after 15 years of searching, David Cundall of Lincolnshire found his planes.  And they were still buried.  In fact, they were still in the shipping crates.  With a little help from the Prime Minister, it looks like the planes are going to be making there way home to Mother England.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gallup now has Romney up by 5 points over Obama

48% to 43%.  And Mitt hasn't started to campaign against him yet.  I know, I know.  And yes, it is long way until election day, but up by 5% over sitting President, when he just (sort of almost) finished a bruising campaign is remarkable.  As in better that Reagan in 1980 at the same point remarkable.  And do not forget that Mitt has been thoroughly vetted.  Nothing new is going to come out on him.  Nor is he going to put his foot squarely in his mouth because one thing you can say about Mitt is that he is an experienced politician.  Guess we should all learn to speak Mormon.  (Just kidding!)out Mitt is

You heard it here first

I am predicting the next great moral outrage from the progressive left in America.  Big Bad US committing, er, "genocide" against a foreign peoples.  WAY foreign peoples.  In fact, not peoples.  In further fact not on this planet.  I am not kidding.  We killed martians back in 1976.  A bunch of scientists re-examined the data from the 1976 Viking Mars probe and determined that the data was originally misinterpreted.  As I understand it, a scoop of subsurface martian soil was incubated and fertilized.  The data shows a rhythmic generation of carbon from the sample.  For a number of reasons the experiment was dismissed back in the 70s, but the new analysis gives rise  to at least the argument that it proved that there is life on Mars.  If you dug up Earth soil, incubated it and fertilized it, carbon would be released at the circadian rhythm of the little growing microbes.  NASA either missed or rejected the conclusion that there was microbial activity so they proceed with the next test on the soil which involved heating it way up.  I will now translate this into progressive speak: we sent a space ship to a place populated with peaceful living beings, proved they were there and then killed them.

First Gallup daily tracking poll shows . . .

Romney winning.  Or maybe more to the point, Obama loosing.

Suppose the presidential election were held today. If Barack Obama were the Democratic Party's candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney were the Republican Party's candidate, who would you vote for? April 2012 results

Monday, April 16, 2012

My condolences to all you poor people not employed in Massachusetts or Maine today


I am thankful, in addition to all of the obvious reasons, for my forefathers bravery and heroism in a fight for liberty 'lo those 237 years ago on the third Monday in April in 1775. The shot heard 'round the world was fired. The battles of Lexington and Concord. William Dawes and Paul Revere saw the lanterns in the Old North Church and set out to warn the farmers of Middlesex. And thanks to their selfless actions against superior force, I get today off! And it is supposed to be north of 80, too. Sox game at 11 and the Boston Marathon! (no, I'm not running)

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,--
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,--
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,---
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
>From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,---
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

Global warming is causing the glaciers to . . .

GROW! No really!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Beginning of the end

I have been amused by pundits who have cited fairly consistent poll numbers showing Obama beating Romney by four or five points as evidence that he will cruise to reelection. Romney has been running to the RIGHT during the primary so he can win the nomination. He will now start running to the center to win the general election. Also, he has had a year of opponents pummeling him while Obama has not really had anyone going after him. So how long will it take for the new election dynamics to take hold? Now. First poll I've seen after Santorum bowed out has Romney beating Obama head to head. It also shows Republicans far more interested in the election than democrats. Most importantly, Obama's DISAPPROVAL numbers have topped 51%. You cannot be elected if more people disapprove of you than approve of the job you are doing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An interesting but unsurprising poll about Obamacare

A new ABC/ Washington Post poll shows support for the law to at an all time low.  Only 39% of the public now support it.  I find the results entirely predictable in light of the just concluded Supreme Court arguments.  The fact of the matter is that the public tends to "educate" itself about almost all matters of importance by sound bites.  Sound bites are very easy to spin, particularly with a sympathetic MSM.  The extraordinary three day oral argument scheduled by the SCOTUS forced more Americnsa to look more closely at the great hoodwink perpetrated by Obama, Pelosi and Reid.  Lo and behold, when the public learned more facts about how the law was to work, more and more people rejected it for what it was: the largest socialization project ever undertaken by the Federal government.  The real object lesson to me is how important, and difficult, it is to really educate the electorate which has sadly become very lazy.  The good news is that it reaffirms perhaps my core belief that a democratic society that has all of the facts at hand when making decisions will generally make the right ones.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Who remembers the oil embargo under Carter?

I do, though it was just before I started driving.  Long lines and limited quantities for fill ups.  And gas prices rose by 103.77 percent.  Under the Obama administration gas prices have now risen by 103.79 percent. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

I always wondered why this doesn't happen more often

Every time I read a story about Somali pirates taking over a ship, I start to think about simple logistical problems.  Like attacking up the sheer sides of a big vessel.  Then I think about how easy it would be for a couple guys with automatic weapons to repel the invaders with a couple of "warning shots to the head."  I end up concluding that I obviously must be missing something or else there wouldn't be a pirate problem in the waters off the Horn of Africa.  Maybe I am not missing anything.  If I owned a merchant vessel that plied those waters, I think I would see if I could hire a few retired SEALs.  I am thinking I wouldn't have a pirate problem.

Visits to Civil War sites increase dramatically

There are a lot of reasons, I am sure.  Could be that people are looking in their own (relative) back yards for vacations instead of having their money vacuumed out of their pockets in Orlando.  No matter what the reason, I am glad.  We should always remember the lesson of the Civil War.  Despite my numerous rants that tend to have a federalist bent and clearly fear the evil of strong republican ideas (ever think of the irony of a federalist hating centralized power in the Federal Government and liking the Republican Party for that reason?), I certainly do not advocate another war between the states.  However, if I see that coming, I am packing the car and heading to my place in Maine.  I figure the next time they will likely blow the bridge a Kittery and leave all of y'all to deal with each other.

I figured out the problem with the cost of healthcare

Not the solution, but the problem.  It started somewhere around the end of World War II.  The government decided to make health insurance paid for by an employer a tax free benefit to the employee.  As a partner in a law firm, I am painfully aware of how much I pay for my health insurance, as I am sure are others.  However, we are in the great minority of health insurance consumers.  After the government passed laws that put health insurance outside of income side of your tax return, the direct link between the consumer and the provider of health care services was lost.  So was the incentive to keep costs down and the correlative market forces that drive efficiency in any market.  Good intentioned legislators of more than a half century ago made a grievous error.  OK.  I figured out the problem.  Now all you need to do is figure out how to fix it.

When is the last time you used a pay phone?

New York is getting rid of them in favor of what is in essence a big attached iPad.  Good idea.  That got me thinking of when the last time was that I used a pay phone.  And I could not remember.  It has been more than a decade and probably closer to two.

What do these celebrities have in common?

Gene Simmons, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and Barbara Streisand.  Yes, you are right that they are all liberal (and often vacuous) entertainers.  But they (and others) are liberal and vacuous entertainers who no longer support Obama.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It is over

I have been beating the drum of inevitability for Mitt's nomination as the Republican Party Presidential Candidate.  New polls indicate he may even now be up in Santorum's home state of Pennsylvania.  However, that is not why I am now officially calling the race.  I am calling it because Santorum just suspended his campaign.

I will soon be beating the drum of inevitability that Mitt will be the next President.

The last "gentlemen's" club?

And no not THAT kind of gentleman's club!  It was a term often used for the Senate.  The thought was that the six year elected terms forced the members into a more civil way of dealing with each other because they had to keep facing each other for a long period of time.  It seems as though partisanship has sent that concept packing even in the august halls of the Senate.  So what am I referring to?  The United States Supreme Court.  Though often divided, the members know they are part of a long living entity that must reflect idiological differences, but cannot accept partisan ones.  How do I know that the Supremes are still holding civil discourse?  Simple.  Justice Kagan, perhaps the most liberal member of the Court, has learned to hunt from and now often goes on hunting trips with Justice Scalia, perhaps the most conservative member of the Court.

Gee, there's a shock

It turns out we aren't buying electric and hybrid cars because it does not make economic sense.  You need to own and drive most of them for more than ten years in order to break even.  And the average length of time a person owns a car in America is 10 years.  So guess what?  We aren't buying into a losing proposition.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sometimes your clients say very inconvenient things

I know this and, as an attorney, have experienced it too often.  That is why I feel sorry for Dana Lydia Kaersvang.  She works for the Department of Justice.  Yesterday she was all set to argue an appeal before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The court was hearing a separate appeal by a group of physician owned hospitals on the Constitutionality of the Obamacare law.  Only poor Ms. Kaersvang never got a chance to argue her case.  Her client, Barack Obama, had just the day before very publicly and very loudly questioned whether there was precedent for a federal court to strike down a law that the court found to be unconstitutional which had been passed by the popularly elected Congress.  So just as my sister at the bar had begun to speak, Judge Jerry Smith interrupted her and asked whether it was her client's, and thus the Attorney General's and her, position that the court had no power to hear the appeal and, if the court felt the challenge had merit, to strike down a law that they determined was not allowed by the Constitution.  She did better than I probably would have.  She cited Marbury v. Madison for the long settled principle and precedent that the courts unquestionably had that power.  Nonetheless, Judge Smith suspended the argument and directed her to file in writing either an admission by the Attorney General and his client, the President, that the court has the power to review a Constitutional challenge to the Federal statute or to explain their rationale for why it did not.  Much backtracking has ensued.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I thought that Obama was a Constitutional law professor in between his stints as a community organizer and a Senator

Chief Justice John Marshall

But apparently he hasn't read much Constitutional Law.  Perhaps the most important case ever decided since the adoption of the Constitution was Marbury v. Madison.  John Adams, an ardent Federalist, lost the election in 1800 to Thomas Jefferson.  Since Jefferson was not to take office until March of 1801, Adams and the lame duck Federalist controlled Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1801, which tremendously expanded the number of members of the judiciary.  Adams quickly appointed 16 new Federal Circuit Court judges and 42 new Justices of the Peace--Federalists, one and all.  The Adams appointees were approved en masse by the Senate the next day.  However, in order to become effective, the appointments had to delivered to the various appointees.  Most were in fact placed in the hand of the newly named officials.  A few, however, did not get there before Jefferson took office.  And the new (most definitely NON-federalist) Secretary of State, James Madison refused to finish those deliveries.  Squire William Marbury, a Maryland Federalist financier had been appointed as a justice of the peace, but without his appointment in hand, he could not sit.  So he sued Secretary Madison, asking the Supreme Court to order him to carry out his duty.  Perhaps the greatest Chief Justice to ever don a robe, John Marshall wrote the opinion of the Court.  He held that Marbury had a claim and that it was remediable.  However, he stopped short of ordering Madison to give over the appointment (which Madison could have ignored since he and Jefferson had the army, and Marshall had naught but a pen).  Instead, Marshall found that the Judiciary Act of 1789, wherein Congress gave the Supreme Court jurisdiction to hear petitions of that nature, was unconstitutional because Congress had therein purported to convey to the Court powers that were beyond Article III of the Constitution.  Article III governs the judicial branch of government.  One has to wonder at what point in time during their celebrations did Messrs Jefferson and Madison realize they had been had.  Marshall seemingly sided with them and kept a Federalist off the bench.  However, the Court had firmly set the precedent that it was the final arbiter in the review of all executive and congressional acts to see whether they were allowed by the Constitution.  Thus was born the concept of judicial review.  So Mr. President, when you state that it would be unprecedented for this Court to strike down Obamacare as an unconstitutional exercise of power under the Commerce Clause, perhaps you should go back and dust off those law books.  The precedent was set over two centuries ago.

Monday, April 2, 2012

100 years ago

A tradition was born.  Just below the (recently totally dismantled) hydro electric damn on the Penobscot River in Bangor, Maine is a wide stretch where the water slows a bit and curls towards the bank.  As a kid growing up not too far from there, we all knew that the first salmon caught at the 'salmon pool' went to the Whitehouse for the President to enjoy.  Above is a picture of Herbert Hoover holding the first salmon from the Penobscot in 1931.  I never really thought about the origins of the tradition when I was young.  It turns out that the tradition actually started as a bit of an homage to William Howard Taft in 1912.  The fish was sent by one Karl Anderson.  Mr. Anderson, a house painter, was a member of the Penobscot Salmon Club.  He left his house before dawn on April 1, 1912 so he could be on the water at first light.  The angler rowed a pea pod boat that he had made himself from wood and canvas just like the boats he remembered a child in Norway out from the banks where other anglers were already casting into the flowing spring melt waters that still had ice chunks drifting by.  On that first day of the season in 1912, Karl Anderson was the only successful salmon fisherman--and he got two.  One beauty, a sixteen pounder, he fought for an hour before he landed it with his bamboo rod.  He sold that one to Campbell Clark, President of the Clark Thread Company in Newark, New  Jersey, who routinely paid the top dollar for the first salmon of the season landed in Bangor.  The other fish was an 11 pounder.  All of the Bangor delegates to the Republican State Convention had just cast their votes in favor of reelecting President Taft.  So Mr. Anderson thought it would be a great way to "show the city's honor and respect for the President" to send along the fish to the Whitehouse.  He took it to Oskar Fickett's fish market, packed it in straw and ice, and sent it off at Union Station to Washington, D.C.  And thus was born the tradition that I suspect was more about providing a testament to Bangor as a premier destination for salmon fisherman than it really was about paying respect to the highest office in the land.

What are Obama's friends up to?

Well, his good buddy Bill Ayer's, who hosted one of Obama's first fundraisers when he ran for Senate, is rolling out of bed trying to think of a way to end capitalism that day.  And one of Obama's top donors and biggest bundler is busy committing fraud and impersonating a bank official.  Other than that they just hang out and be smarter than you and me.