• rollotomasi commented on the diary post Causes of War Krugman Overlooked by David Swanson.

    2014-08-19 18:59:52View | Delete

    Unsophisticated compared to Krugman’s economic analyses to be sure, but I’ve always compared war to other government budget options, such as building (or rebuilding) our infrastructure. I don’t see how on earth an activity that uses assets to destroy assets could ever be superior as an investment to one that uses assets to create assets [...]

  • rollotomasi commented on the blog post What Is the Real Point of MyRA?

    2014-01-29 17:46:08View | Delete

    It won’t work as a retirement savings vehicle.

    With the low-return investments combined with the $15K cap under this proposal, a lower-income investor will almost always have a high percentage of contributions in his/her account balance. The problem is that according to Roth IRA rules, the saver can withdraw the contribution portion anytime. I ran a future value schedule on MyRA savings of $75/month ($900/year) earning 2% return compounded annually over a ten-year period, and the account would be worth just over $10,000 in ten years. Since $9,000 of this would be contributions ($900/year times 10 years), the saver could withdraw this amount at the end of ten years or anytime in the interim without penalty.

    It’s just too easy to get to most of the account to be an effective retirement savings vehicle. It goes without saying that monetary pressures are greatest in the lower income sector, and this account will always be an inviting target. The guaranteed low returns are also a disincentive.

  • Those who speculate on whether Snowden already is or will become a spy seem to ignore that Snowden emphasized early on he did not want to provide information that would enable other nations to do what the U.S. was doing.

  • In SF Pride’s most recent Form 990 (for the year ended 9/30/2010) that I could find, it states the following in Schedule O regarding the rights of its members:

    The direction of the Pride Celebration Committee is largely determined by the membership, which is a voting body which meets monthly with the Board of Directors to make decisions to further the mission of the agency.

    All members of Pride will have there {sic} name published in the annual Pride Guide and have voting rights to vote for the candidates for the {assuming they omitted “board of directors” here}, the event theme, and Community Grand Marshals.

    Later in Schedule O, in response to Part VI, Line 19, which states “Describe in Schedule O whether (and if so how] the organization makes its governing documents, conflict of interest policy , and financial
    statements available to the public”:

    Financial statements are distributed monthly to the public at board meetings and membership meetings. Other documents are available upon request. {My italics.} The Form 990 is also available on Guidestar. Other financial information regarding the agency is made public through various SF newspapers.

  • Kevin, great work on this. I found the SF Pride bylaws on their website, here.

    By SF Pride’s leadership quoting sections It sounds like they also have one or more sets of policies and procedures, or are claiming to have them. However, the bylaws make no reference to policies and procedures, which I find a bit odd.

    I would be curious as to who had access to these policies, and whether or not previous board members or staff remembered any previous mention of them. I would have to think previous board members or staff would have had access to them, or if they have pack rat tendencies like myself, even have a copy squirreled away in their records of their time on the board.

    Also, a previous board likely would have had to approve the policies and procedures. Leadership not producing a copy of their policies and procedures – including effective dates, who approved and method of approval – only adds to suspicions.

  • Say what you will about the NRA “bringing the crazy” on any proposal – no matter how minute – to strengthen gun regulation. I wish AARP would show just a fraction of that resolve in regards to the continued assault on Social Security and Medicare benefits.

  • Done here also. Best of luck.

  • For the benefit of those calling “BS,” hopefully that was directed more at Obama’s triangulation than what David said, as this was not a positive piece regarding Obama. David noted that this bully pulpit may not be used for positive purposes and provided ample evidence for that concern. In fact, this bravado about rallying public opinion sounds quite reminiscent of George Bush spending his political capital and going to the people after the 2004 election to privatize Social Security. My concern is that Obama will be much better at it than Bush.

  • rollotomasi commented on the blog post A Plausible Explanation for Romney’s Tax Returns

    2012-08-09 19:55:28View | Delete

    Perhaps Romney’s high-powered tax attorneys could have found a way to tiptoe around the rules, but I see a couple problems with the TPM reader’s scenario. A straight contribution of shares Romney owned personally to his IRA is not allowed – contributions must be in cash except for some rollovers. Also, any trading of these shares within Romney’s IRA of a company that he owned 100% overall sounds like it would be a prohibited transaction under the IRA rules. However, one cannot exclude the possibility Romney tried it and got away with it due to creative/aggressive tax maneuvers and/or IRS/DOL non-enforcement.

  • rollotomasi commented on the blog post Deficit Scolds Form New Rock Supergroup

    2012-07-17 17:16:47View | Delete

    s/b “They prefer to talk about budgets because that’s a game to which they can easily relate and one in which they were personally dealt a winning hand; …”

  • rollotomasi commented on the blog post Deficit Scolds Form New Rock Supergroup

    2012-07-17 17:03:07View | Delete

    I always find it interesting to check out the family backgrounds of members of these fiscal scold supergroups. A defining characteristic is that these members with very few exceptions grew up in families where they never knew a day of financial need, much less be in need of many of these social programs they are maneuvering to dismantle.

    They have no clue what these programs mean to ordinary people, and thus don’t care about the effects of slashing these programs. Atrios has the perfect response when he suggests that these scolds be asked to guess the average monthly amount paid to Social Security beneficiaries. They can relate to budgets because that’s a game to which they can relate and one in which they personally were dealt a winning hand; which is why they will continually talk about this issue in relation to budgets and hardly ever in relation to the needy. Same thing we’ve been getting from the austerians: they always talk about keeping the fiscal house in order (balanced budgets, inflation <= 2%) and you will never hear them voluntarily utter the words “jobs” or “unemployment.” Good piece as usual.

  • rollotomasi commented on the blog post More Terrible Media Stories About Housing

    2012-04-11 17:07:26View | Delete

    Good piece as usual, David Dayen. Don’t these people understand that neighborhoods consist of neighbors? Do they think that nobody lives next door to these eyesores? A bank foreclosed on a property next to my brother’s house and the bank never comes around until the police are called, which I assure you drives my meticulous yard-keeping brother nuts. I swear, if it’s not something they can see by looking out their own windows, then it must be a waste of taxpayer money.

  • I would rename it the PAD Act – Pump and Dump

  • rollotomasi wrote a new diary post: The Fox News (News Corp.) of rating agencies

    2011-08-10 17:23:15View | Delete

    Nobody commented, so I’m deleting the post here.

  • rollotomasi commented on the blog post Obama’s Last Lecture

    2011-07-17 18:00:22View | Delete

    How sad. No “fight for what you believe in” here. I think it’s safe to say that Obama will never have a holiday in his honor.

    After hearing that, it’s no wonder the Democrats been getting rolled – and will continue to do so. Those who believe in something will ultimately defeat those who believe in nothing every time. While I didn’t buy into the “Home & Change” at the political issue level, I did think Obama would bring some fresh thinking and strategy into the process; what an utterly conventional and unimaginative man he has turned out to be!

    The equation of compromise to one’s maturity is just wrong. There are many perfectly-functioning adults whose cause of their life is the reason they get up every day. Adults have to both compromise and draw lines.

  • rollotomasi commented on the blog post A Brief Note on Birtherism

    2011-04-27 18:43:06View | Delete

    David, glad you saw the post through. Yours and Baratunde’s words were easily the best I’ve encountered on an issue whose basis is silly and whose existence is troubling.

  • Just a reminder, California tied their hands years ago like Cantor is proposing, and what’s their debt rating now? A-, I think, not much higher than Greece’s. Cantor says it’s a “wake-up call,” but it doesn’t appear he’s waking up.