"The basic idea of offering Internet access as a public service is sound. The problem is that cities haven’t thought of the Internet as a form of public infrastructure that—like subway lines, sewers, or roads—must be paid for. Read more »
What's up with this week's issue of the SF Weekly? A rambling, non-funny and oddly pointless spoof on steroids and Barry Bonds (who's gone from SF now anyway) and an advertising supplement on restaurants that's the most blatant, embarrassing sell-out advertorial I've seen in any publication anywhere. Ick.
Sup. Ross Mirkarimi likes to say that murder and Muni are Mayor Gavin Newsom's most obvious weaknesses, and there are all kinds of ideas about fixing Muni. Murder, that's a little tougher.
The mayoral candidates we've been talking to all decry the city's rise in violent crime, and they all say something has to be done. The district attorney says so, and so does the Police Officers Association. But there's a lot of finger-pointing going on, and a lot of rhetoric and circling around and dodging. Read more »
REVIEW If you want a guide to the players who are trying to refashion the Democratic Party in America, Matt Bai's The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics is a nice handbook. It's easy to read, brings the characters to life, and reveals how big chunks of money from a few very rich liberals are going to a handful of organizations and think tanks most people have never heard of. Read more »
And this time, it's a total non-story. This is the big, three-deck, front-page banner head in the Examiner. And why? Who cares if a Newsom aide gave $95 to Chicken John Rinaldi's mayoral campaign? Everyone knows Newsom is going to win; Rinaldi himself says he's running for number two. This is a performance, a Chicken John special, and Rinaldi hopes to make some points along the way about the importance of arts in San Francisco. So Mike Farrah gave $95 to see the show. Read more »
We know at this point that Mayor Newsom didn't seek legal counsel before he decided to ask for everyone who runs anything in town to resign. If he had, and he'd thought about it a little bit, he might have discovered what City Attorney Dennis Herrera did: This could cost the city big money.
I'm not talking about lawsuits by forcibly resigned employees -- Newsom had ever legal right to do what he did. Read more »
My old friend Reese Erlich is remarkably optimistic about Iran, which is a pleasant perspective. I’m glad somebody is.
In his insightful, if sometimes choppy, new book, The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis, he offers an alternative view of a nation and a culture that has been either ignored or demonized by the mainstream press for more than 30 years. His basic thesis -- that US policy toward Tehran is moronic, driven by foolish politics, bad information, and greedy geopolitical aims -- is hard to dispute. Read more »
Alex "Grasshopper" Kaplan was at our office today to talk about his campaign for mayor, but he almost didn't make it; the guy, who has been in and out of jail for the past few weeks, got popped yesterday on what has to be one of the more utterly bogus charges in recent memory.
See, Kaplan is under a restraining order; he's supposed to stay away from Sup. Ed Jew. Read more »