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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 36,797

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

House GOP tax leader threatens to break Trumps promise not to change 401(k) rules

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady on Wednesday suggested a tax bill he is preparing to introduce could force changes to 401(k) plans and other retirement accounts, potentially bucking a promise from President Trump that those accounts would be left alone.

Brady, speaking at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, said “we think in tax reform we can create incentives for people to save more and save sooner.”

He said he was “working very closely with the president,” but he also said many people who have tax-incentivized retirement accounts contribute $200 per month or less, a level he thought was too low.

“We think we can do better,” he said. He added “we are continuing discussions with the president, all focused on saving more and saving sooner.”


Fats Donino just passed away.

Per alert on my phone.

AZ-SEN: Joe Arpaio still considering Arizona Senate run, says he met Steve Bannon twice

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he's still considering a Senate campaign in Arizona following the decision by incumbent Republican Sen. Jeff Flake not to seek re-election.

Arpaio, who in August became the first person pardoned by President Trump after he was convicted of misdemeanor contempt, previously said he was considering a primary challenge against Flake.

"It's still out there, I haven't made a decision," he told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday, shortly after Flake's announcement.

The former sheriff said he met twice recently with Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who has sought to recruit anti-establishment Senate candidates.


Democrat outperforms Hillary, Obama to win NH House special election

DOVER — New Hampshire Democrats won another special election to the Legislature, this one in Dover’s Ward 1 in very Democratic-leaning territory.

Casey Conley, a former reporter for Foster’s Daily Democrat, won the seat handily over Republican Guy Eaton and Libertarian Barry Shields.

Conley got 319 votes (78 percent) to 59 (14.4 percent) for Republican Eaton and 31 (7.6 percent) for Libertarian Shields.

Conley replaces Democrat Issac Epstein, who had resigned the seat last spring.

There was no primary for this post because none of the candidates had any party opponents.

The New Hampshire Young Democrats celebrated the expected win.

“We are very excited about Casey Conley’s victory and to have another young Democratic colleague in the House” said N.H Young Democrats’ Executive Director and state Rep. Amelia Keane, D-Nashua.



Manafort faces new money laundering probe: report

President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is facing a new probe into possible money laundering, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Sources told the newspaper that the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office is now pursuing an investigation into Manafort, adding to state and federal probes relating to the former Trump aide.

The investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is being done in collaboration with special counsel Robert Mueller’s own probe into possible laundering by Manafort, according to the Journal.

Manafort’s spokesman declined to comment on the new probe to the newspaper.


The Obsession With White Voters Could Cost Democrats the Virginia Governors Race

Rather than heeding last year’s wake-up call, Democrat’s continue to perpetuate this pattern of structural racism and implicit bias. Take the upcoming election in Virginia—a quadrennial political bellwether because it takes place the year after each presidential election. Smart electoral strategy should be predicated on empirical evidence and hard data, and the data in Virginia clearly illuminates the path to victory for Democrats. In off-year elections, turnout usually drops dramatically, lowering the threshold needed to secure a majority of the vote. Current Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe won the governor’s mansion in 2013 with about 1.1 million votes. It is the presidential elections that show the true size of the pool of progressive voters, and Clinton won nearly 2 million votes in Virginia last year. According to the exit polls, 53 percent of the Virginians who supported Clinton—1,047,518 voters—were people of color. That’s more than all of the people who backed the 2013 Republican gubernatorial nominee, Ken Cuccinelli, whose campaign garnered 1,013,354 votes.

The racial myopia in the Democratic ecosystem is revealed by analyzing how money is spent by campaigns and how money is given to campaigns. On the spending side, campaign allocations reflect a candidate’s true priorities. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Democratic nominee Ralph Northam has spent over $17 million as of October 1, 2017. Logically, if a majority of the target-voter universe consists of people of color, a campaign that wanted to win would spend a majority of its money trying to get those voters to the polls. But the Northam campaign’s biggest line item—nearly $9 million—consists of funds given to an advertising firm led by an all-white board to run television ads. These campaign ads attack the Republican nominee for his ties to the oil company Enron. What is the strategic rationale of such an advertising campaign? Clearly, those ads are not supposed to motivate African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and other people of color to take time from their busy lives to come out and support the Democratic ticket.

Meanwhile, organizations specifically focused on mobilizing black voters—who comprised 37 percent of all Virginia Democratic voters in 2016—have to practically beg, borrow, and steal for resources to engage the voters who form the cornerstone of Democratic politics. BlackPAC, New Virginia Majority, and other community-based organizations have managed to gather enough resources to conduct a $1 million black-turnout program, but that’s just a fraction of the $8–10 million that should be allocated to reaching black voters, based on their numbers and centrality to Democratic victory.

Another indication of limited cultural competence in campaigns is the failure to take advantage of the fact that the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor is an African American, Justin Fairfax. From Harold Washington’s Chicago mayoral campaign in 1983 to Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, it has been shown that having a candidate from one’s community, particularly when that community bears the brunt of inequality, can be a motivating factor in increasing voter turnout. Given this, progressive donors and groups across the country should be showering resources on Fairfax’s campaign and featuring his face in campaign ads. Instead, Fairfax must be repeating to himself the words of the protagonist in Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.”


Trump sees Republican political win in his over his call to soldier's widow.

President Trump is continuing his attacks against a congresswoman who criticized his remarks to the widow of a fallen soldier, with the president suggesting his feud with the lawmaker he calls "wacky" is a political win for Republicans.

Referring to Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida, Trump tweeted that "wacky Congresswoman Wilson" is a "disaster" for her party and a "gift that keeps on giving" for Republicans.

His tweet comes a day after the funeral for Sgt. La David Johnson, one of four U.S. soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month. It was Trump's phone call to Johnson's widow, which Rep. Wilson heard, that spurred the war of words between the two elected officials.

Wilson, who knew Johnson, was with his widow, Myeshia Johnson, when the president called to express his condolences last week.


Oregon city council sorry after member says hell spit on gay mans grave when he dies from AIDS

The city council of Echo, Oregon offered a formal apology for the actions of one member who told a gay man he would “spit on his grave” after he died of AIDS.

According to the East Oregonian, Echo City Councilor Lou Nakapalau got into an argument with filmmaker Joe Wilson — a gay man who makes documentaries about members of the LGBTQ community — on Facebook when he made the offensive comment.

“When you croak of AIDS (Anally Injected Death Serum) I’ll spit on your grave,” Nakapalau wrote to Wilson, before adding an anti-gay slur.

Nakapalau later deleted the post after it created a firestorm, and his Facebook history showed him altering another post to remove profanities.

Pressured by the council to apologize, Nakapalau refused, forcing them to take a vote and issue their own statement.

“The Echo City Council would like to extend its sincerest apology to those who were offended by comments made by a council member in a Facebook dialog reported by the East Oregonian,” the statement reads. “Comments of individual council members on their personal social media accounts do not have any endorsement or approval of the council as a whole nor do they represent city policy.”


Still Waiting for FEMA in Texas and Florida After Hurricanes

HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts’s house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads “Waiting on FEMA.”

It is a Halloween reminder that, for many, getting help to recover from Hurricane Harvey remains a long, uncertain journey.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Ms. Roberts, 44, who put together the display after waiting three weeks for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send someone to look at her flood-damaged home in southwest Houston. “I think it’s beautiful how much we’ve all come together, and that’s wonderful, but I think there’s a lot of mess-ups, too.”

Outside the White House this month, President Trump boasted about the federal relief efforts. “In Texas and in Florida, we get an A-plus,” he said. FEMA officials say that they are successfully dealing with enormous challenges posed by an onslaught of closely spaced disasters, unlike anything the agency has seen in years. But on the ground, flooded residents and local officials have a far more critical view.

According to interviews with dozens of storm victims, one of the busiest hurricane seasons in years has overwhelmed federal disaster officials. As a result, the government’s response in the two biggest affected states — Texas and Florida — has been scattershot: effective in dealing with immediate needs, but unreliable and at times inadequate in handling the aftermath, as thousands of people face unusually long delays in getting basic disaster assistance.



The Trump administration wants to replace reliable birth control methods with "fertility awareness," a dubious family-planning technique that fails nearly a quarter of women every year.

In a leaked memo obtained by Crooked, White House officials wrote that they intend to slash federal funding to the U.S. Agency for International Development's family-planning budget and require "equal funding" for fertility awareness. The memo further specifies that fertility planning should be the sole birth control method made available to young girls.

Newsweek has reached out to the White House for comment on the memo and hasn't heard back. Newsweek couldn't independently verify the veracity of the memo.

Fertility planning, also known as the "calendar method" or "rhythm method," requires women to diligently track their menstrual cycles, pinpoint the days when they're ovulating and avoid sex during that time in order to be effective. Because about 30 percent of women experience irregular periods, fertility planning has one of the highest rates of failure of any family-planning method. The calendar method also asks a lot of young girls, who often learn little about sex and reproduction thanks to abstinence-only education across the country.

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