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Mama?

We recently enjoyed a wonderful visit with my sister and her family. The kids and I were very happy to take care of the boys so Rachel and Ben could have a very well deserved date. Both boys did great. Miles loves hanging out with his “best friend” Pablo while Graham was pretty much glued to Aida. Even though he loved hanging with big cousin Aida, he had to check the window every once in a while for his mama.

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Vamos a la Playa

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The price of our tiny house would make most Mid-Westerners cry, especially since wages in San Diego are notoriously low, but I never get tired of being on the beach in 15 minutes.

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Pablo on Easter Sunday at Universal Studios.

I hopefully will get my blog mojo back soon.

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From TPM Muckraker:

An attorney and tax shelter expert we spoke with today says AIG FP was one of the biggest players in the business of engineering offshore tax shelters for corporate and private clients that resembled a multibillion dollar tax evasion scheme called Son of Boss (we don’t have time to figure out why) that thousands of corporations and wealthy individuals used to book phony capital gains losses and evade most or all of their income taxes in the late nineties and early 00s. The mind-numbing litany of esoteric loopholes such tax shelters employ to concoct said phony losses is something you don’t want to hear about at this hour — trust us — but they are generally anchored by a set of exotic unregulated derivative securities whose ‘notional value’ can help fabricate losses that don’t actually exist.

But we don’t have money to pay for health care……

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Outrageous Diary on Daily Kos by ACLU Michigan about a Michigan women who is in jail because she can’t PAY for her son’s time in juvenile detention stay:

In December 2008, Ms. Nowlin’s 16-year-old son was sentenced to the Bay Pines Center and Ms. Nowlin was ordered to pay $104 per month for his lodging. At the time of this order, Ms. Nowlin was homeless and working part-time with a friend after being laid off from her job. She told the court that she was unable to pay the ordered amount, however the judge found her in contempt for failing to pay. In addition, Ms. Nowlin’s requests for a court appointed attorney were denied.

Since March 3, 2009, Ms. Nowlin has been serving her sentence at the Delta County Jail. On March 6, 2009, she was released for one day to work. Once released she picked up her $178.53 check from work thinking that she now could pay the $104.00 to get out of jail. However, upon her return to jail that evening, the sheriff forced her to sign over her check to the jail to cover $120.00 for “room and board.” She was also charged $22 for a drug test and the booking fee.

According to the ACLU’s motion: “This country did away with debtors’ prisons more than a century ago. The imprisonment of Ms. Nowlin because she is too destitute to make payments to the court is a miscarriage of justice.”

Wow. Just wow. Thank God for the ACLU is all I have to say.

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Peaceable Kingdom

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Lola and Bartholomew T. Lynx hanging out.

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This is an actual chart from the Republican’s Budget Proposal they rolled out yesterday. It cracks me up.

In other news Senator Jim Webb actually wants to do something about our horrific criminal justice system. It is a tragic embarrassment and not something a Senator will get many political points for tackling. Good for him. Here is part of his argument:

  • With 5% of the world’s population, our country now houses 25% of the world’s reported prisoners.
  • Incarcerated drug offenders have soared 1200% since 1980.
  • Four times as many mentally ill people are in prisons than in mental health hospitals.
  • Approximately 1 million gang members reside in the U.S., many of them foreign-based; and Mexican cartels operate in 230+ communities across the country.
  • Post-incarceration re-entry programs are haphazard and often nonexistent, undermining public safety and making it extremely difficult for ex-offenders to become full, contributing members of society.

That is why he introduced the The National Criminal Justice Act of 2009. I am going to call my Senators and urge them to support the bill. Sounds like just the kind of bill Feinstein could come up with a Republican talking point to argue against it.

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