Thursday, October 30, 2008

By the way!

The new Hank III album " Dand Right, Rebel Proud is very good!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weekend Beer Review!

Went to Half Time Beverage in Poughkeepsie NY. Well worth the drive from Bridgeport. Based on what I bought I may not survive the night. Here goes:

1) Original Schlenkerla Rauchbier - 5.2% ABV. I figured I would start off easy. This is a smokey beer similar to the Fort Collins Z I tried a few weeks back. German import (duh!). Very good and smokey. The Fort Collins Z compared well with this authentic German Import. Gotta love those Germans!

2) Grand Teton Brewing Co. Sweetgrass 20th Anniversary Double IPA Bottle Conditioned 7.5% ABV. The label says Sweetgrass is a region north of Yellowstone National Park. Thank God I was reasonably sober when I opened this as for some insane reason the top was sealed by wax. Serviceable IPA. Nothing special.

3) La Binchoise - Artisan Amber Ale. 9% ABV - Very Smooth ale...heading for another Belgian.....

4) Urthel Hopit - ABV 9.5% - Brewer is Hildegard van Ostaden. This is very good. Belgium meets IPA. Looking forward to pursuing this brand!

5) Brasserie des Geants - Goliath 9% ABV Belgian Blond Ale - Very good light & drinkable!

6) Others tried - Arcadia Ales Hopmouth Double IPA,Left Hand Brewing Company Double IPA, Brother David's Double Abbey Style Ale,Stone Vertical Epic Ale and Victory Storm King Stout.

Could the Obama Campaign survive a Sarbanes-Oxley review?

I have been reading with interest the various reports on Powerline and NRO relative to the Obama campaign accepting donations from fictitious individuals via credit card through its website. I should say that I have not verified the individuals’ claims and I don’t believe Obama is remotely qualified to be President based on his slim experience and his vision for America.

Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) was enacted in 2002 as a result of the various corporate scandals including Enron, Tyco, World Com etc. You can read more about the act here, but basically management (who sign the annual report) is responsible for establishing and maintaining a set of internal controls and the independent auditor is responsible for testing and rendering an opinion on the internal controls. I do remember watching the Congressional hearings at the time just thinking how absolutely ignorant Congress was related to financial statements, corporate governance and the role of the independent auditor.

Briefly on my qualifications relative to what is written below. I am an accountant with 20+ years experience in a variety of industries. I have passed the CPA exam (although my license is inactive). For the last 5 years I have been working in the internal audit function for several public companies on a consultative basis. This included documenting procedures, documenting controls and controls testing on a SOX and operational basis. What has been discussed on these blogs is a situation where donations from fictitious names with fictitious addresses have been made to the Obama campaign. Apparently something called the Address Verification System (AVS) would have to have been consciously disabled in order for this to happen.

There are two types of what I would call hard internal controls. They are preventive controls and detective controls. A preventive control inhibits an erroneous activity from occurring. An example of a preventive control would be “Campaign donations by credit card from fictitious or ineligible individuals are systematically inhibited via the Address Verification System as a valid address associated with that card is required.” A detective control would reveal that an error or questionable transaction has occurred after the fact. An example of a detective control would be “Campaign finance staff review a daily listing of credit card donations and investigate credit card donations made from fictitious (or deceased) personnel and investigate credit card donations associated with fictitious addresses.”

Preventive controls are considered more robust than detective controls as the questionable transaction is stopped up front rather than revealed after occurence. If the AVS had to be consciously disabled to allow these types of contributions to go through I would consider it a serious breach of internal control. If as part of SOX testing this type of control breach were detected the individual responsible for disabling the control would certainly be fired. Powerline also reports that a New York Times Blogger has stated the following: “Yet when Times reporter Michael Luo wrote it up for the Time’s campaign blog, he somehow missed the point ‘To be fair to the Obama campaign, Luo wrote, officials there have said much of their checking for fraud occurs after the transactions have already occurred. When they find something wrong, they then refund the amount.’” As an auditor that might be the single dumbest statement I have ever heard.

Auditors also consider controls termed soft controls. Soft controls are commonly referred to as entity wide or tone at the top controls. Basically what this means is that Executive Management sets a tone (example) for ethical behavior at the Corporation. An example of a soft control would be a published Employee Code of Conduct that employees have to annually certify compliance with. (I wonder if campaign employees have to sign codes of conduct?)

I would certainly consider a Presidential Campaign to be equivalent to a publicly held company with the nominee as the CEO. If the activities above actually occurred relative to credit card donations I would say that there is a serious tone issue at the Obama campaign. As Obama is the CEO of his campaign I wonder if he would be comfortable certifying like CEO’s do that his campaign has established and maintained a system of internal controls. Remember if elected and based on the current economic situation, this man with the help of a Democratic Congress will probably usher through sweeping corporate regulation the likes that this country has never seen. Do we want that from someone who has a campaign that looks like it might not be in compliance with corporate laws that currently exist? We’ll see on November 4th.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Biden's a classic

Alfred amongst a host of others links to this. And Palin's supposed to be the rube. I hate to say it, I almost feel sorry for Barry carrying along Biden.

Red Sox Nation

Can go into hibernation now, thank god.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend Beer Review

Started late this weekend but here goes:

1) Delirium Tremens - Huyghe Brewers 8.5% ABV. Very good, lighter than others that I have had but a lot more crisper as well. Not sure where Gator found this but it is very good. Thank you. By the way, delirium is probably where I am headed next week if I head here.

2) Nostradamus Belgian Brown Ale - Br. Caracole - 9.5% ABV - My first indication was yuck but as I continued this grew on me fast. Caramel taste, a bit smokey. I like it. I've noticed some distinctive differences in Belgians in the lighter and darker styles. Perhaps Adam can opine on the differences.

3) Back Burner Barley Wine Style Ale - Southern Tier Brewing 10% ABV. Very potent, vey good and more important, very tasty.

4)IPA - Southern Tier Brewing. Very good IPA to compliment the above!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber

Maybe having a job might influence this election more so than having a uterus. I do doubt it though. By the way as Al notes there might be bigger isssues with an Obama Presidency at least according to Reverend Jackson, but hey why let your brain rule your uterus?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekend Beer Review!

Pickled some green tomatoes today without burning down the house or slicing my finger off.

Now it is time for me to get pickled. Will be updating throughout the weekend, so check back.

1) Sierra Nevada Wet Hop Ale - 6.7% ABV - I think wet hop means that the hops are still fresh and not dried or aged or whatever the hell the brewer does to the stuff. That said this is very good and sharp. Highly recommended.

2) Glacier Harvest 08 - Harpoon 100 Barrel Series - Another "wet" hop style. 6.7% ABV. The Sierra Nevada version is much better.

3) Avery IPA - Very good. Most of Avery's stuff is high test. This is a nice change of pace.

4) Gammal OL (Old Ale) - Carlson Craft Brewery their new offering that just hit the stores. Very crisp ale. Caramel in flavor. I really like what these guys do. From Branford, CT.

5) Unibroue 15 - Not sure if I reviewed this earlier. Pretty Sure I had the 17. The 15 is supposedly better. May have to do a head to head!

Recommended Store

The Angry Pepper Bought a couple of bottles of Hot Sauce but wimped out when in came to the 6 million Scoville Unit offering. Heading back there next Saturday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Imperfect Man

Pitches the perfect game. 10/8/56.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Obama's mentor.

Notice how this "hero" of the Sixties stepped on the flag in a 2 x 4 alley so he could not be seen. Hey if you want to step on the flag that is your right. At least be a man about it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Giants Win The Pennant!

57 years ago today. Russ Hodges call still gives me thrills. Enjoy!

Weekend Beer Review

This could be a scary weekend as I picked up a bunch of (I think) new for me at Amity Wine and Spirits. I will be in the city tomorrow and plan on going to the Gingerman. I blame it on the Yankees who by not making the playoffs have left me unsupervised. I figure when Dear Leader takes office that is the type of excuse that will fly.

That said:

1) Coney Island Lager Freaktoberfest - Anyone who knows me knows I love Coney Island. This is very good. I have enjoyed the various October varieties and this in one of the best! It must be that good NYC water.

2) Big Ale IPA - Ballast Point Brewing. This place is in San Diego. How did I miss it. This is a nice light IPA, 6.0 abv. Very enjoyable.

3) Southampton Biere De Garde - French Farmhouse Style Ale - Not sure of the ABV. This is more of a light IPA to me. I like it!

4) Ale to the Chief - Avery Brewing - silly sentiment on the label (e.g., free us from foreign entaglements, what President has brought the troops home from Korea in the last half century?). Very Good & Strong (8.75 ABV), what you would expect from Avery!

5) Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout - Great Divide Brewing Co 9.5% ABV - This way too sweet for my tastes. I think I have another Great Divide in the fridge so we will see how that works.

6) Rogue Imperial Stout 2008 11% ABV ....Very good, didn't have that overall sweet taste that some of these craft brews have. Very enjoyable!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm voting Democrat because.....

Hopefully Alfred didn't beat me to it via LGF.

1958 World Series

Powerline is recapping the 1958 World Series between the Yankees and Milwaukee Braves. Game 1 is chronicled here. These gentlemen are daily must reads.

Game 2 is here.

Game 3 is here.


Fannie Mae eases credit limits during Clinton's term? I thought it would have been Bush's fault. By the way if you hear someone ranting and raving about Bush and the current economic crisis ask them if they can define the following:

1) Community Redevelopment Act
2) The law noted in the article above (Thanks Don!)
3) Define a mortgage backed security
4) Define the mark to market accounting standard

If they can't they can't possibly have an enlightened opinion.