Recently President Barack Obama admitted that he thinks of “going ‘Bulworth’” from time to time. Because, like baseball fans, political junkies will watch any movie about politics — even bad ones — Economist subscribers and Halle Berry fans recognized the reference to the movie “Bulworth.”
In the 1998 movie, Warren Beatty is a U.S. senator representing California who decides to end his life. Read More
It’s unclear whether Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us campaign to reform U.S. immigration is destined to fail, but it’s certainly a hot mess. Squabbles over red ink have blurred the original message and led to several high-profile defections — including that of Tesla founder Elon Musk. Meanwhile, journalists have pilloried the Facebook founder as a modern-day Rockefeller, a dissolute magnate and a “shady One Percenter,” according to one headline in The Daily Beast. Read More
When the news broke last week that the Internal Revenue Service had inappropriately reviewed the tax-exempt status of various far-right groups, an immediate cry went out for heads to roll — and they did, as acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller was ousted Wednesday. It was a natural and rational response to a profound breach of public trust. Read More
In Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors debate over the personal use of furniture, some supervisors took up hours for their own personal use. Read More
Each year, 164,000 Californians serve on a jury out of 10 million who are summoned, according to the California Judicial Council. With a dramatic set of filters to get down to the final number, a larger pool of potential jurors sounds like a good thing. While the council wasn’t consulted about the proposal, on this past Wednesday, the California Assembly passed a bill to allow “lawfully present immigrants” to serve on juries. The vote was 45-25 along party lines with Democrats supporting the measure. Read More
After I finished the Bay to Breakers 12-kilometer run last year, I felt qualified to be a Navy SEAL. Granted, I was soundly beaten by a number of children under 10 years old, and passed by a man walking backwards on stilts, but it was the longest distance I had ever run at once. Read More
This week, Gov. Jerry Brown practically declared defeat in his effort to reform the California Environmental Quality Act this year. With the continued struggle for CEQA reform in San Francisco, it seems that increasingly, politics in our fair city is in lockstep with the state.
State government is often funny, but rarely on purpose.
So you can imagine my delight when last Thursday’s Assembly session took a delightful turn during the hazing of new lawmakers. Each freshman member who stood to introduce his or her first bill was peppered with goofy and seemingly good-natured questions followed by an overwhelming “no” vote that was changed to a “yes” vote by members after giving each plebe a few minutes to sweat. Read More
Without a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the merits of same-sex marriage, the issue will once again head back to court in California.
Last week, I wrote that the court should let the backers of ballot initiatives sue to enforce any such measures passed by voters but not enforced by government officials. If justices don’t, that could prevent them from issuing a substantive ruling on the fundamental right to marry raised in the Proposition 8 case they are considering. Read More
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives people accused of a crime the right to counsel. But when does this right become a blank check for the Public Defender’s Office? This is the issue facing the Board of Supervisors right now as it attempts yet again to get a handle on the public defender’s budget.
Jeff Adachi has been The City’s public defender for 10 years, and in that time, he has successfully lobbied to nearly double the budget of the office from $13,800,000 in fiscal year 2002-03 to $26,500,000 in fiscal year 2011-12. Read More