Bruce Brugmann

Ammiano: the deadline comedian

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

Yesterday June 12, there was no joke and no message on Ammiano's voice mail. Just a blackout. (See my early blog on his Tony Soprano joke.)

Today June 12,
Ammiano quipped on deadline. "ED Jew busted for a TUI. Tapioca under the influence." B3

Free Carolyn Knee! Free Carolyn Knee from the unethical clutches of the Ethics Commission!

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

There is a phrase I like to use to describe the power that PG&E has exercised in City Hall since the beginning of time, or at least since the federal Raker Act was passed in l9l3 mandating that San Francisco get public power from its Hetch Hetchy dam.

When PG&E spits, City Hall swims.

That is the phrase I used when I testified Monday night June ll at the Ethics Commission hearing in the infamous Carolyn Knee case. “You’re all swimming in it,” I told the commission. Read more »

Ammiano reviews the end of the Sopranos

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

On Monday June ll, I called the home phone of Tom Ammiano, supervisor and comedian.

His daily recording summed up the end of the Sopranos in l2 words:

"Tony Soprano can't come to the phone right now. He's blacked out." B3

Cllint Reilly debuts a new form of newspaper column--the antitrust special

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

Last Tuesday June 5, a mysterious column popped up in the ll Singleton/Media News dailies that ring the bay. It was the debut of Clint Reilly and the first of l56 weekly columns that he will write for the Singleton papers, according to the terms of the Reilly/Hearst/Singleton antitrust settlement.

A "paid advertising" line adorns the top of the column, but Reilly says he will get no bills and won't pay them if he does. Read more »

Revealed: Sup. Ammiano's joke of the day

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

Tom Ammiano is a supervisor who happens to be a standup comedian on occasion. Or, depending on your point of view, he is a standup comedian who happens to be a supervisor. As people know who call his private home phone, he puts up a political joke almost every day on his answering machine.

Monday: "Mayor Newsom says he is a progressive. I guess rehab really works."

Friday: "Ed Jew under house arrest? What house?"

Alas, for understandable reasons, Ammiano doesn't give out his home phone number, so people just can't call in and get their daily dose of Ammianoism. Read more »

And now Matt Smith and the SF Weekly/New Times/Village Voice Media claim the progressives were soft on AIDS. Where in the world do they get this stuff?

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

I always read Matt Smith, the star columnist of the SF Weekly/New Times/Village Voice Media, with interest. But he often puzzles me. For example, in his column of May 30, he was banging away at his favorite target, those dread progressives, ("Lacking (Progressive) Definition, Lefty factions and a phony convention do not an effective political party make"). And he dropped this puzzling nugget:

"For more than a generation (liberals have been) opposing growth, while snubbing traditional liberal causes such as uplifting gays or African-Americans. Read more »

June is Bustin’ Out All Over

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By Bruce B. Read more »

Istanbul May 11, 2007

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

CNN today was drumming on with news of Tony Blair going and Gordon Brown coming in as prime minister of Great Britain. The Turkish Press was reporting that the national elections here had been moved up three months to July 22, and this surprised the political parties, who were alarmed and said they were forced to bring in the professionals to help them carry on effective campaigns during the short period left before the election. Read more »

The letter the SF Weekly wouldn't run

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UPDATE: The Weekly finanlly ran a shortened version of this letter May 23.

This is a letter I sent over to the SF Weekly last week in response to a story on the Reilly lawsuit settlement. Read more »

Journalists under fire

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Last year more than 100 journalists were killed while on reporting duty, making it the bloodiest year on record for journalism, according to IPI’s statistics.
Of the 100 journalists killed last year, forty-eight were killed in the Middle East and North Africa alone. 46 of which were killed in Iraq, once again proving Iraq to be the most dangerous country in the world for journalists.

I am off to an assembly for the International Press Institute (IPI), an international free press organization, meeting in Istanbul. Read more »