‘Light Up the Night’: Ecology-minded celebrities and community leaders turned out Saturday night to launch Empowered by Light, a nonprofit foundation working on delivering renewable-energy lighting to rural communities in Africa. The party, held at Roe in San Francisco’s South of Market area and co-hosted by actor-activist Adrian Grenier and Peter Glatzer, raised more than $100,000 for the organization’s first project, Solar: Zambia. Read More
Who's in town
Author talk: Best-selling relationship author John Gray (“Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”) gives a sold-out talk at the Commonwealth Club, revealing what he says are the associations between hormone levels and happiness.
Hans Rudolf Vaget: The German-studies professor discusses the “Wagner problem,” the composer’s anti-Semitism, so-called dilettantism in the arts, and other factors. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.] Read More
Sunday's 74th Stern Grove Festival kickoff featured a Motown-sound revival. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings headlined with their classic R&B and soul sound.
Click on the photo to see more images of the show. Read More
Nearly 200 of President Barack Obama’s most generous donors — who “bundled” anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000 and up — “landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House events,” the Center for Public Integrity reported. White House press secretary Jay Carney defended this practice: “Being a supporter does not qualify you for a job. But it also does not disqualify you.” Read More
WHAT: The Social Security Administration overpaid $6.5 billion in 2009 to people not entitled to the money. The biggest chunk was $4 billion of Supplemental Security Income payments.
HOW: Most of the known overpayments went to SSI recipients who did not report all their assets, the inspector general for Social Security testified before a congressional panel. Read More
Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York has become the butt of numerous jokes after a lewd photograph was sent out via his Twitter account. First saying his account had been hacked and passing it off as a joke, Weiner then reportedly confused matters by saying he could not say “with certitude” whether the photo was of him or not. Read More
WHO: Bank of America
WHAT: A couple the bank had foreclosed upon did not even have a mortgage in the first place; they purchased their home in cash.
WHY IT HAPPENED: The bank owed legal fees after a judge ruled it had wrongfully foreclosed on a couple that had purchased a home from it in 2009. The couple’s attorney had repeatedly tried to collect on the debt without success. Read More
A U.S. Department of Justice threat to halt Texas airline travel killed a proposed state law that would have made invasive pat-downs by Transportation Security Administration screeners a felony. The bill awaited a state Senate vote after already passing the House 138-0. Then, a U.S. attorney sent top Texas lawmakers a warning that the feds would seek an emergency stay and in the meantime would “cancel any flights for which it could not ensure safety of passengers and crew.” Read More
WHAT: The top prosecutors in California and Illinois are investigating Lender Processing Services, which services half of all U.S. mortgages.
WHY: Lender Processing is alleged to have engaged in illegal “robosigning” — signing thousands of foreclosure documents without checking their accuracy.
WHAT’S BEING DONE: California Attorney General Kamala Harris has announced the formation of a task force to investigate state mortgage fraud. Read More
Who's in town
Comedian and actor Tracy Morgan, currently seen on “30 Rock,” kicks off a weekend of standup shows. [8 p.m., Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F.]
Hope for real
1| Court upholds break for school choice
The details: The Supreme Court upheld an Arizona tax break for donations to school tuition organizations. The 5-4 decision held that a tax break does not constitute government endorsement of religious schools chosen by parents using the credit.
2| Unemployment falls in urban areas Read More
Budget talks stall
1| Standoff could lead to shutdown
The details: Talks between congressional Republicans and Democrats on how much to cut the federal budget for the next fiscal year stalled, leaving lawmakers little time to reach an agreement before the sixth short-term continuing resolution funding the government expires on April 8.
Oil prices soar
2| Highest costs since 2008 Read More
A war by any other name1| New engagement euphemismThe details: White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes claimed the bombing campaign in Libya is not a war at all, but a “kinetic military action.” So, we’re not really fighting a war in Libya?Japan crisis worsens2| More containment vessel leaks?The details: Japanese officials acknowledged that the containment vessel of one of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant reactors appeared to have leaked. Water inside the reactor had 10,000 times the normal amount of radiation.Socrates outta there Read More