The Guardian cost of Iraq war report (1/24/07): $360 billion for the U.S., $45 billion for California and $1 billion for San Francisco.

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Compiled by Paula Connelly

Here is a running total of the cost of the Iraq War to the U.S. taxpayer, provided by the National Priorities Project located in Northampton, Massachusetts. The number is based on Congressional appropriations. Niko Matsakis of Boston, MA and Elias Vlanton of Takoma Park, MD originally created the count in 2003 on costofwar.com. After maintaining it on their own for the first year, they gave it to the National Priorities Project to contribute to their ongoing educational efforts. Read more »

NOISE: Mano y Germano

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The cultie fervor surrounding ex-John Mellencamp fiddle player Lisa Germano at South By Southwest last year was a thing to behold. Toss those Mellencamp associations aside - her songs were lovely that night. And it's gravy that she has such a deliciously gruesome/goth sensibility as well - check out the cover art for her most recent album, In the Maybe World (Young God), below. Read more »

Webb for president!

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By Steven T. Jones
Even with Democrats retaking Congress and making tentative moves for economic justice and against this disastrous war, political communications have been less than inspiring these days. And President George W. Bush's State of the Union speech last night was a sad and dismal nadir to his sad and dismal presidency. Yet we still had to endure standing ovations that included Democrats for all his dreary non-points and poll-tested platitudes. Read more »

Sean is Queen ‘til February

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by Sarah Phelan
Today was the first official Question Time at City Hall and, since Mayor Gavin Newsom was not in town, being tied up, among other things, at economic forums in Switzerland, Board Chair Aaron Peskin asked Sup. Sean Elsbernd, who Newsom has appointed as Acting Mayor in his absence. if he wanted to address the policy questions, instead.

“I’m not sure how hard I should laugh right now,” sputtered Elsbernd. “If we took this logically, I could stand up here and have a conversation with myself.”

“Most substitute mayors don’t exercise the full mayoral powers,” interjected Sup. Read more »

Guess How many hotel rooms there are in SF?

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BY Sarah Phelan

10,000? 30,000? 100,000?
If you guessed 32, 952 rooms, you're correct--and must be digesting the same economic reports that I’ve been calling bedtime reading this week.

According to a report fresh out of the Controller’s office, the lowest point, in terms of filling all those rooms, was the winter of 2001-2002, when 50 percent were vacant. (Remember, that was the grim post 9/11 moment, when people were afraid to fly to the USA, in case they ended up being flown into a hotel high-rise, instead of staying in one.)

The highest point? Read more »

Guess how many hotel rooms there are in SF?

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By Sarah Phelan

10,000? 30,000? 100,000?

If you guessed 32, 952 rooms, you're correct--and must be digesting the same economic reports that I’ve been calling bedtime reading this week.

According to a report fresh out of the Controller’s office, the lowest point, in terms of filling all those rooms, was the winter of 2001-2002, when 50 percent were vacant. (Remember, that was the grim post 9/11 moment, when people were afraid to fly to the USA, in case they ended up being flown into a hotel high-rise, instead of staying in one.)

The highest point? Read more »

Maxwell to Mirant: Abandon Potrero Power Plant

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by Sarah Phelan

Sup. Sophie Maxwell has introduced a resolution urging Mirant Corporation to abandon permanently its efforts to operate the Potrero Power Plant, and reaffirming the City’s commitment to closing the plant as soon as feasible, and urging all interested State and federal agencies to facilitate the closure, so the site may be developed in a manner more in harmony with surrounding neighborhoods and sound public and environmental health.

Sean is Queen ‘til February

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by Sarah Phelan
Today was the first official Question Time at City Hall and, since Mayor Gavin Newsom was not in town, being tied up, among other things, at economic forums in Switzerland, Board Chair Aaron Peskin asked Sup. Sean Elsbernd, who Newsom has appointed as Acting Mayor in his absence. if he wanted to address the policy questions, instead.

“I’m not sure how hard I should laugh right now,” sputtered Elsbernd. “If we took this logically, I could stand up here and have a conversation with myself.”

“Most substitute mayors don’t exercise the full mayoral powers,” interjected Sup. Read more »

The SOTU response

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By Tim Redmond

--It says a lot about the state of the media when Sen. Dick Durbin decides that instead of doing TV interviews, he'll respond to the speech by blogging on DailyKos. Complete with some really dopey pictures. (Look, look, here I am, blogging! I may be a U.S. Senator but I can actually type on a computer, like the real people! I'm a blogger! Read more »

The State of the Union is ....

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By Tim Redmond

Pathetic.

It's as if nothing that has happened over the past four years has made any difference to the president. He started off by saying that the private sector, and tax breaks, were going to solve the health-insurance crisis, which is demonstrably wrong. Read more »