The legendary (and now at least twice-banned) 2+2 poster BusterStacks opined early in 2005 that "blogs are gay". His original post appears to be long gone, but thankfully the Blogfather noted it and it has been saved for eternity.
In September 2006, FTrain observed in a roundabout way that 'poker blogs are dying.'
Were they right? Maybe so. Maybe so.
Or maybe not. I'm not ready to admit to the gay.
Not long after FTrain's post, our pal Bill Frist and his merry men snuck through the UIGEA and online poker as we know it was radically changed, especially for Americans, possibly forever. The Act and its aftermath also provided plenty of ammunition for bloggers and message board types. Word activity went through the roof. I probably even killed a digital tree or two myself.
Now that it's been a few months and it's been made clear that our friends in Washington are determined to choke off the flow of money to and from poker sites, what's next? Where is the future of poker blogging in a world with no tales of playing on Party?
I think F Train was more right than we knew.
***As long as I'm posting poorly organized thoughts about not very much, here are a few more:
Will the last one out of Michigan please turn out the lights?
Chrysler announced massive layoffs today, on the heels of Ford and GM. Numerous mega-suppliers are either in bankruptcy or will be shortly. The housing market is in the dumps - Wayne County (home of Detroit) leads the nation in foreclosures. Michigan has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country. It's cold, it's snowy and the kids all leave the state for someplace where they might have a prayer of getting a job. Forbes ranks the state 45th among the "best states for business".
And now the state government is facing a $850 million deficit, which could reach $3.5 billion over the next 18 months.
What's a governor to do? Why, raise taxes, of course! Good thinking, Governor Jenny!
The teflon governor proposes to raise a variety of taxes, but the centerpiece of her master plan is to impose a 2% tax on most services. Currently, the overwhelming majority of services are exempt from Michigan's 6% sales tax. That makes Governor sad. If her proposal passes, the poor schmucks who live in Michigan will pay 2% more to go bowling or to get a haircut. 2% more to hire a lawyer, accountant or lawn service.
Paying 2% extra isn't all that big of a deal. Governor's staff estimates that it'll cost a family making $50,000 per year an extra $65 per year. The problem is, how many families making $50,000 will the state lose because of this?
Compliance costs, Governor, compliance costs. Those who run small businesses will now have to do all sorts of extra paperwork to properly charge everyone your extra 2%. They have to track it, account for it, pay it over, fill out your forms and hope they've got it right under pain of possible rectal probing by your contracted private tax collection goons. For a service business with revenues of under $40,000 per year, I'd say the cost of complying with your new toy will exceed the amount of money taken in by the state. That money isn't going to be paid to people who add value -- it's straight overhead. A waste. A hidden extra tax that will discourage people from starting and maintaining legitimate service businesses.
And since the 2% tax is apparently to be paid by businesses too, you're going to give a boost to the outsourcing trend. Why pay even more to have your professional services done in Michigan? Ship 'em out of state, subcontract 'em all to India, who cares.
If you get your way, people will probably grit their teeth and eat the compliance costs. I figure Joe Schmoe will have at a thousand bucks less to pump into the local economy, so you won't get your 6% (or your income taxes) on that. He'll have to waste more of his time making sure to do it right, so his revenues and your income tax collections will drop again. His favorite restaurant type places will take a revenue hit because he'll have less to spend. He'll tighten his belt further to pay the additional property taxes imposed by the county and the bond issues requested by the local schools and the library. Maybe you'll raise the gas tax for kicks, in addition to your plan to jack up the cost of liquor. Somehow, he'll make it through.
Or maybe he'll just chuck it all and move somewhere warm. Somewhere where there's hope. Just maybe he won't have to be the one standing by the light switch.
Governor, your plan sucks. I won't miss you or it.
End political rant. Time for lighter subjects.
If you're looking for something to do tomorrow night, why not play CC's Thursday Bash?
Unless you live in a place where it's illegal to play poker. I wouldn't ever encourage anyone to do anything that our elected nannys and their unelected and well-compensated lackeys say is wrong.
You could end up in one of Jenny's overcrowded state prisons.