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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: 37,287

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

SF: New evidence submitted against Sheriff in domestic abuse case is VERY UGLY

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- The prosecution is making a decision not to grant San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi a new request made Thursday to see his son, citing new evidence of abuse. In an email from his wife Eliana Lopez to witness Ivory Madison, Lopez describes an incident on October 19th, 2011, where Mirkarimi left his son alone in a car, vomiting after not being fed.


Romney’s Tax Return Nightmare Worsens After Errors Found In Financial Disclosure Statements

Mitt Romney released his tax returns to put to bed discussions of his wealth and lack of transparency. Instead, they have only spawned more unanswered questions.

Thursday afternoon, the LA Times reported that Romney’s tax returns listed 23 funds and partnerships that did not appear on Mitt Romney’s personal financial statements — the disclosure forms candidates are required by federal law to file with the Federal Elections Commission. Romney filed his disclosure forms in August 2011. The timing of this revelation couldn’t be worse. Hours before a GOP debate and days before the crucial Florida primary, Democrats now have new fodder for demanding additional tax return information from the Romney campaign.

Democrats are using the discrepancies to call on Romney to release all his tax returns from years in which he filed public financial disclosure statements. On a conference call with reporters, DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell stressed the importance of these newest revelations, saying they show what Mitt Romney was trying to hide on his regular disclosure forms. Roussell’s charge that the LA Times “found what it looks like he was trying to hide” is based on the fact that the of the 23 funds and partnerships left off the disclosure, 11 were overseas investments in funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda as well as the already-notorious Swiss bank account the Romney’s closed in 2010.

Further, Romney staked his credibility on these forms. As Roussell pointed out on the conference call: “This is the form that Mitt Romney has been using for months, and years in fact, since he ran for the Senate, as an excuse not to release his tax returns in the first place.” It’s a potent argument; why trust that one year of Romney’s tax returns are sufficient if they revealed new information? That’s the crux of Democrats’ argument that they now need all returns corresponding to past disclosures.


I remember Jan Brewer smiling when Gabby Giffords was shot.

I remember the day of the Arizona shooting like it was yesterday. I was on the bus with my son on the way to his karate lesson when the text message arrived on my phone. One detail that I will NEVER forget was the smile on Jan Brewer's face just before her press conference. I even wrote about it on the old DU board (I wish I could find it now). So it did not surprise me in the least that someone who smiles during a tragic event will point her finger in a president's chest.

Was jan Brewer drunk?

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer made the national headlines again.The Governor was photographed poking her finger in the Presidents face, while she appeared to be yelling at him. To be sure it was most unseemly and oh so inappropriate, not at all the style of protocol one displays toward the President of the United States, but for those familiar with Brewer’s reputed struggles with, shall we say a wee bit of “overindulgence” it comes as no surprise. Some of her past erratic behavior is legend at the State Capital; a video post in this article offers high lights of previous public gaffes.

Official reports of the testy talking too center on the Governors recollection in her book about the oval office meeting she had with Mr. Obama. She did not care one bit, no sir not one bit, for the uppity attitude she encountered during her visit to discuss issues of immigration and boarder security.

For the cynical observer, the word staged or sandbagged by a crass politician comes to mind, for those who follow Brewer; probably overindulging again seems the proper descriptive.


Republican Mayor Contradicts Gov. Brewer’s Story On Obama Run-In

“There was no sense that he was running to or from anything,” Smith told TPM. In fact, he said, the president stayed and had a pleasant conversation with Smith, who’s a Republican, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat.

It was “just the four of us,” Smith said. “Mayor Stanton and I had a decent talk with him.”

The portrayal of a calm, friendly president seems to at least partly contradict what Brewer has said about the encounter in numerous interviews since Wednesday afternoon. She described the president as “tense” and said he walked away from her while she was in mid-sentence. She told a Phoenix television station she felt “a little bit threatened” by the encounter.

Obama was in the area to tour a nearby Intel chip manufacturing plant and to promote his jobs strategy. But after landing in Mesa, the president somehow ended up talking to Brewer about a book she wrote last year.


OR-01: Ballot returns point toward likely victory for the Democrat.

"I'm having a problem getting a solid picture of ballot returns so far in the 1st Congressional District. A worker at the Washington County Elections Department said it can't provide a partisan breakdown on returns because of problems with new machinery, but I can't get a call back from someone with the authority to explain what's going on.

What I do have are some interesting numbers from the campaign of Democrat Suzanne Bonamici. Campaign manager Carol Butler says her figures show that as of the end of the day Wednesday, 28 percent of Democrats had returned their ballot as had 27 percent of Republicans.

(Those numbers, of course, translate into a big advantage for Democrats in the number of votes cast because the Democrats have such a large registration edge in the district. Butler said her numbers show that Democrats have cast 48 percent of ballots so far, Republicans have cast 34 percent and non-affiliated voters have cast 18 percent of ballots.)"


Obama to Panetta: 'Good job' on rescue. (VIDEO)

Santorum may stop campaigning for Florida.

NAPLES, FL -- Failing to show early signs of momentum in the Sunshine State, presidential hopeful Rick Santorum on Wednesday signaled he may be cutting out of Florida before the state's Jan. 31 primary.

Speaking to reporters here, the former Pennsylvania senator said was unsure if he would be in Florida the night of the primary, committing only to campaigning in the state over the next two days. On Saturday, he'll head home to Virginia for fundraisers and to prepare his tax records which he plans to soon make public.

Santorum said this weekend will be the first time he's slept in his own bed since Christmas.

His campaign has acknowledged that the large and expensive state of Florida would be a tough place to do well. His war chest is dwarfed compared to that of frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, who each also have well funded Super PACs. A Quinnipiac Poll released today shows Santorum running nearly 20 points behind the top candidates.


Tax Lawyer: Romney paid no capital gains tax in 2009.

Romney’s effective tax rate was 13.9 percent of his adjusted gross income (AGI) in 2010, and is expected to be slightly higher in 2011. Set aside for now the fact that for a high net worth individual like Romney, AGI often understates what you might call “true” income — meaning these effective tax rates probably overstate Romney’s 2010 and 2011 tax liability. It turns out that in 2009, in the wake of the financial crisis, Romney very likely managed to get his effective tax rate much lower than 13.9 percent. In 2010, Romney carried over $4.9 million in capital losses from 2009. This is a consequence of the tax code’s leniency toward investors who take hits in bad years. But as tax lawyer Ed Kleinbard told reporters during a Tuesday conference call organized by the DNC, “that means he paid no tax on any of his capital gains in 2009, including tax on his carried interest in 2009.” That’s not necessarily because Romney actually lost money in 2009, either. As Kleinbard explained, a common tactic for Americans with capital gains is to “harvest” — by selling off certain investments that lose value investors can count the losses against gains elsewhere in their portfolios. If those losses exceed the gains by more than a certain amount, they roll over into the following tax cycle. Unless Romney had significant sources of non-investment income, that suggests his effective tax rate in 2009 was much lower than 13.9 percent. And remember, he jokes he’s been unemployed for years.


Mitt Romney's Maids' Salary Raises Questions

WASHINGTON -- For a woman with three houses and sixteen grandkids, Ann Romney doesn't have very much help around the house, according to her 2010 tax return.

IRS forms released Tuesday by Mitt Romney's presidential campaign show that despite reporting income of $21.7 million, the couple paid only $20,603 in taxable wages for household help in 2010. This figure was divided among four women: Rosania Costa ($4,808), Kelli Harrison ($8,667), Susan Moore ($2,238) and Valerie Cravens Anae ($4,890).

According to a number of Boston-based domestic staffing agencies, the salary range for a housekeeper is between $20 and $30 an hour, which adds up to an annual salary of $40,000 to $50,000 based on forty-hour weeks and two weeks of paid vacation a year.

But this number is only for one house, and the Romneys have three houses -- a 2,000 sq. ft. townhouse in Belmont, Mass., a 5,400 sq. ft. lake house on 11 acres in Wolfeboro, N.H., and a beach house in La Jolla, Calif., that is undergoing renovations to double its size.