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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
August 18, 2012

Last Sunday's True Blood had one of the most powerful scenes of the series thus far. (Spoiler)

Hoyt's farewell to Jason and Jessica was one of the most emotionally powerful moment of the series. I could almost feel the emotion the actors apparently felt as well saying goodbye to each other.

August 17, 2012

Pete Stark defends Social Security payments to his kids.

The campaign of Rep. Pete Stark, the East Bay Democrat in a contested re-election race against fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell of Dublin, confirmed to the Chronicle that Stark’s children do receive Social Security benefits as allowed under the law, and that he has stopped paying his dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Stark campaign consultant Michael Terris wrote in an email that Stark “fought his entire career to protect Social Security from those who would dismantle it. Congressman Stark has been paying into the system for many years. And yes, like all Americans, he and his family intend to collect the benefits to which they are eligible.”

Stark, 80, earned his M.B.A. at UC Berkeley in 1960 and went on to make a fortune early in his career starting a successful bank in Walnut Creek. Stark’s net worth is estimated as high as $27 million and is ranked as the 74th wealthiest member of Congress.

According to the Social Security Administration, “4.4 million children receive approximately $2.5 billion each month because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired or deceased. Those dollars help to provide the necessities of life for family members and help to make it possible for those children to complete high school. When a parent becomes disabled or dies, Social Security benefits help to stabilize the family’s financial future.”


August 17, 2012

I think it's time for us parents to ditch our cell phones.

Last night a friend and I were pushing our kids on the swing while a third child was desperately asking his mom to do the same. The problem is that she was so glued to her phone that that she would not. And every time he asked, he answered "I can't" to the point he started to cry. The nosey part of me inside wanted to just say "Yes you can, just put away your phone". But I was able to restrain myself. Maybe it's time we all leave our phones behind.

August 17, 2012

Boy’s ejection from SF school illustrates struggles in violence prevention

An 11-year-old boy in San Francisco made headlines early last year when a shooting near his Western Addition home left a random bullet lodged permanently in his abdomen. Nerve damage, a ruptured bladder and chronic pain kept him out of school for more than four months.

For a brief moment after the shooting, the boy, who was 9 at the time, became the city’s latest example of how violence touches vulnerable young people. The fifth-grader spoke out against gun violence on local television and the steps of City Hall. He returned to Bessie Carmichael Elementary School last fall.

Then in February, the boy turned from the victim to the accused.

School administrators kicked him out of Bessie Carmichael for allegedly shooting another student in the face with a BB gun. He denied having a BB gun and shooting his classmate but admitted to carrying a plastic pellet gun in his backpack. The victim in the case was hit in the upper right cheek but was not seriously injured.

Although the facts are in dispute, the boy’s situation illustrates the San Francisco Unified School District’s haphazard struggle to fulfill complex health and safety mandates: Prevent violence, nurture victims and deal with inner-city trauma when it spills into the classroom.

While the district is responsible for keeping children safe, it’s also required to address the needs of students who exhibit risky or even violent behaviors. In the case of the boy at Bessie Carmichael, it failed to do both, records and interviews show.


August 17, 2012

San Francisco panel rules Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi committed misconduct

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Ethics Commission upheld the official misconduct charges against suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, with four of the five commissioners saying his crime and conviction alone were enough reason to validate the charge.

However, in their recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, which is non-binding, the commission unanimously rejected allegations by the city attorney's office that Mirkarimi dissuaded witnesses or abused the power of his office.

The commission demurred on recommending whether the board should permanently remove Mirkarimi from office based on the narrowed charge.

The Board of Supervisors has the ultimate say on whether Mirkarimi will be ousted and would need the approval of nine of the 11 supervisors.


August 14, 2012

Accreditation warning issued to Penn State

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An accrediting organization has told Penn State that its status is "in jeopardy" based on recent developments in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which accredits universities in the Mid-Atlantic region, cited information in the school's internal investigation led by former FBI director Louis Freeh and the severe penalties imposed by the NCAA over the school's handling of molestation allegations against the former assistant football coach, who was convicted in June of 45 child sexual abuse counts.

The commission said in an Aug. 8 notice that Penn State remains accredited while "on warning" but it wants a monitoring report submitted by the end of next month detailing steps taken to ensure full compliance with governmental requirements, that the university's mission is being carried out, that the commission will be fully informed and that Penn State is complying with standards on leadership and governance as well as integrity.

The commission also wants the report to address the university's ability to bear financial obligations stemming from "the investigation and related settlements, etc." It said "a small team visit" will be made, a standard practice "to verify institutional status and progress."


August 14, 2012

Boehner’s Office Says Obama Avoiding Personal Responsibility For Drought

On its website and in an email Monday, House Speaker John Boehner’s office said President Obama needs to take personal responsibility for the drought ravaging the Midwest.

Obama, “continues to blame anyone and everyone for the drought but himself,” reads a release from Boehner’s office posted online and distributed to reporters Monday. The quote was attributed to Boehner himself in a Financial Times story. The online post and the press release came from Boehner spokesperson Kevin Smith.

The drought became a centerpiece of the presidential race Monday after Obama accused Paul Ryan of being part of the reason a needed farm bill hasn’t passed Congress. Meanwhile, the White House announced $170 million in federal assistance aimed at alleviating farmers’ suffering from the lack of rain.


The post on Boehner’s website was changed after this post was published, and this addendum added:

UPDATED @ 4:30 PM ET: Clarifies that the president is blaming others for failing to respond to the drought when he has yet to urge Senate Democrats to adopt a bipartisan drought-relief measure passed by the House.


August 13, 2012

The Pope even has a butler.

ROME – It doesn't get more symbolic than this: dark clouds hung over the Vatican on Monday morning after months of glorious sunshine, just as its spokesman announced the outcome of an investigation into one of the biggest conspiracies to emerge from the Holy See in years.

As explained in a 35-page document issued by the Vatican, a judge charged Pope Benedict XVI's former butler with "aggravated theft" for allegedly stealing and leaking private documents from the pope's apartment to the Italian media.

Paolo Gabriele must now stand trial in one of the biggest conspiracies to hit the Vatican in years.

The documents purporting to contain damaging details of alleged corruption and power struggles among the Church's hierarchy provide a rare peek through the keyhole of the secretive Vatican medieval walls.


August 13, 2012

Auburn Hills police: L. Brooks Patterson not wearing seatbelt at time of crash

PONTIAC, Mich. - Oakland County officials say Executive L. Brooks Patterson was in some pain Monday, but is recovering well since suffering serious injuries in a Friday evening car crash in Auburn Hills.

Patterson and the man who was driving the Chrysler 300 on Friday have both remained in the hospital since the two-car crash. Investigators say the driver of a Volkswagen Passat slammed into Patterson's vehicle at Walton Boulevard and Opdyke Road.

Patterson, 74, was a front-seat passenger. He suffered multiple broken bones.

Auburn Hills police say Patterson and his driver were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. Police also say the driver of the Passat is at fault because he failed to yield at the intersection.


August 11, 2012

Craig Crawford: Romney is screwed.

Now we know Mitt Romney knows what we knew: He’s screwed!

He can’t win on his own. Why else pick a running mate who delights right wingers but risks losing one of the GOP nominee’s strongest demographic blocs – retirees.

WI Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare is about as politically toxic as it gets. In picking this darling of conservative elites Romney is spread eagle on the third rail.

Now we know he knows it. This decision shows just how insecure he is about holding his party’s base. He got bullied into this, the most telling sign yet that he is desperate.


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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
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Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 61,783

About RandySF

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