Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.


Stumble of the Week (Q &A)

Question: Why don’t candidates want to release their tax returns? Answer: Take Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District as an example. Republican challenger Richard Tisei’s last 10 returns show that twice he paid no taxes at all. Tisei, who spends much time running for office, is not a rich man, and his real estate business faltered in the Bush recession (2006 and 2008). His returns are straightforward, and none of this would have been a problem . . .  if only Mitt Romney hadn’t made that comment about the 47 percent. Meanwhile, John Tierney, the 8-term Democratic incumbent, finally released his returns yesterday morning after vigorous prodding from The Boston Globe. They were clean . . . some argue too clean, as they make no mention of the $223,000 prosecutors say his wife received from her brother’s illegal offshore gambling operation. John and Patrice Tierney say those funds were gifts from family members that needed neither to be taxed nor even reported. The congressman’s lawyer has threated libel, the brother remains on the lam in Antigua, Patrice Tierney served a month in jail, and the notion of public service has taken another hit.

Question: Do you think Obama will carry Kansas?

Answer: No. But at least he will be on the ballot after a birther withdrew a petition to have him removed. The petition had enabled GOP Secretary of State Kris Kobach to demand Obama’s birth certificate once again and to raise doubts about the eligibility of a man who has been president for four years.

Question: Was Independence really declared in 1976 as you wrote yesterday?

Answer: Um. No. Next question.

Rich States, Poor States

Consensus and Vision