The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

Archive for June, 2010

The Second Coming of Sarah Palin?

Posted by demkid on June 5, 2010

The 2010 California Primary is just 3 days away, and it’s looking like it will be a night for the women, at least in the hotly-contested GOP races.  Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, saw her once formidable 50-point lead in the GOP governor’s race slip to single digits over Steve Poizner.  However, it looks as if her tens of millions spent on bombarding Californians with annoying television commercials have done enough to stem the tide.  In the final Field Poll released yesterday, Whitman has extended her lead over Poizner to 26 points, and is ahead 51%-25%.  I’m sure we just can’t wait for more of her commercials in the next 5 months, this time attacking Governor Brown.  (She’s already started this by referring to “Sacramento politicians like Steve Poizner and Jerry Brown…”)  In any case, despite her considerable funds, I think she’ll have her ass handed to her in November, as she’ll be painted as way too conservative for California.

On the Senate side, however, I’m slightly more nervous about November’s outlook, but pleased about the pending GOP nomination.  In the final Field Poll released just this morning, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina (from now on simply referred to as “Carly!”) has opened up a large margin over her two challengers, Congressman Tom Campbell and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.  She leads 37%-22%-19%, and looks to be headed to a short-haired showdown with Senator Boxer in November.  I say that I’m slightly nervous here, more so than in the governor’s race, primarily because of the politics of the Democratic candidate.  We all know that Barbara Boxer is one of the most liberal politicians around, but she’s become a California institution, and voters seem to be comfortable with her, even though the average person is more moderate.  Fortunately, GOP voters are selecting a conservative Republican with close ties to Sarah Palin, as opposed to the socially moderate Campbell.  Insiders know that if Campbell was the nominee, Boxer would be in serious trouble, because Campbell’s politics are likely more in line with Californian’s values.  Moderate Republicans can do well here (take Arnold, for example), but it’s been a long time since a conservative has held a significant statewide office.  Take that along with the most recent statewide registration figures which show Democrats outnumbering Republicans 45%-31%, and the challenges for a conservative in this state become clear.

While I think Boxer clearly has the edge over Carly!, I’m a little worried about the big bucks that Carly! will surely pump into her campaign in the coming months.  She also seems more likable than Meg Whitman, for example, and she definitely has a Sarah Palinesque vibe.  If you’ve seen any of her commercials lately, you get the sense that she could be the second coming of Palin (referring to herself by her first name only, for example), and the politics definitely match.  For instance, in her most recent TV ad, she refers to climate change as “the weather.” Here’s Sarah! touting Carly’s! true conservative values, like being pro-life and pro-NRA:

This is what puts me a little more at ease about the November election.  Are Californians going to elect Sarah Palin lite?  I have a seriously difficult time imagining that.  However, lots and lots of money can make any race interesting, and the “Golden Parachute Twins” are about to fall right into Californian’s collective lap.  Buckle up!

PS – Carly! also has a spotty voting record, just like Meg.  Brilliant, ladies.

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Hello, Goodbye

Posted by brightcoast on June 4, 2010

Please join me in welcoming our newest blawger, reasonablecause! He is a USD class of 2009 alum, and CA attorney. A more detailed bio will be forthcoming.

Also, this week we all received an email that Dean Cole will be resigning in his capacity as Dean, to return to the faculty. Full article here. I thank Dean Cole for his service over our years at USD Law, and I am sure we all look forward to hearing more about the search process.

Posted in The Law, USD Law | Leave a Comment »

Cattle and Sheep can be so much fun!

Posted by reasonablecause on June 4, 2010

You know, come to think of it, our parents were onto something when they repeatedly scolded us for not following directions.  “Don’t eat that.”  “Don’t break that.”   “Be careful.”  “Stop hitting your brother.”  It just makes sense sometimes to listen to others because you never know when they just might be looking out for your best interests.  So, it makes good sense to heed blatant warnings sometimes.  This particularly holds true when the IRS is the one taking the time to provide the warnings.  So, why not take note the next time you’re fortunate enough to get a letter like this in the mail:

You have been identified as a partner in a tax shelter partnership. We believe that tax shelter deductions and/or credits from such tax shelter partnerships will not be allowable and an examination will be conducted when the returns are filed. 

 So what, who cares.  I mean, of all things, why would you worry about the IRS pursuing you when it expressly tells you that it will?  ?…..(seriously, wtf is wrong with you)…????.  Judge Marvel (U.S. Tax Court) justifiably has a good time here: 

Petitioner is a well-educated financial professional. He holds a master’s degree in business, and his study included classes in accounting. Despite his education and experience, petitioner invested in Durham Shorthorn and Shorthorn Genetic solely on the basis of his conversations with promoters and other Hoyt Farms investors. Petitioner did not do any meaningful due diligence with respect to the partnerships, and he did not consult an independent legal or tax professional before he invested in the partnerships . . . .

The record does not disclose any attempt on petitioner’s part to question or investigate whether it was proper for him to drastically reduce his tax liability by deducting as ordinary losses amounts that vastly exceeded his investment in the partnerships, despite the too-good-to-be-true nature of the transactions.  Petitioner did not even make inquiries after he received notice that the Internal Revenue Service had identified the Hoyt partnerships as abusive tax shelters.

Judge Marvel shows us that Cattle, Sheep and Tax Court can be so much fun.

Posted in The Law | Leave a Comment »

Some Bar Study Reflection

Posted by brightcoast on June 2, 2010

Here are some random thoughts from studying for the Bar:

– Is the new AZ Immigration Law, which I will never have time to read, especially before the Bar Exam, preempted under Federal law, under the theory of field preemption? (And therefore unconstitutional)

– What self-respecting “Generation Next”-er, I think we’re considered generation x? Not sure. Anyway, what person from this generation, which I’m assuming is the 18-36-ish demographic, confuses a “grande coffee” for a “venti vanilla latte.” Seriously.

– Unlike many unpleasantries in life where the cliché is to not wish it upon your worst enemy, I would in fact wish this upon my worst enemy. Only worst enemies should have to endure three months of torture–especially during a San Diego summer.

– I find it humorous that the “characters” on The Hills would be considered “public figures” for defamation purposes.

– Random recommendations for Barbri: Apple really needs to develop a BarBri app for the ipad, not just for the ipod, just saying. Also, while it’s awesome that the CMR is available for the MBE subjects, having the CMR for all subjects would be even awesome-r. In fact, the less heavy green books I have to carry around would be better. Other than that, loving BarBri- to the extent it is humanly possible to love anything remotely related to studying for the CA Bar Exam.

– I’ve often seen status updates to the effect of “why does strange person sit in the table next to me when the rest of the entire library is empty?” Maybe because strange person is in desperate need of human contact from being stuck inside studying all day.

– Lastly, for those of you who know what I’m talking about, I have two questions for you: 1) If you throw your purse into the shark tank at Sea World, are you guilty of murder; and 2) Is Ursula committing tortious interference with Ariel’s contract? (ok so I borrowed the material 😉

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