Benefits: May 19-May 25

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Ways to have fun while giving back this week
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BP still claiming exploded oil rig was safe and reliable

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The corporate communications industry has gotten so ridiculous, so disconnected from reason and a sense of shame, or an obligation to provide some semblance of truth or credibility, that it's amazing we still listen to these people at all anymore. And the best example of that right now is BP, the oil giant that is well on its way being responsible for the worst oil spill in history.Read more »

Fiona Ma's cash machine

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Why does Assembly member Fiona Ma take on odd causes like ending rent control for trailer parks?

Maybe it's because almost 90 percent of the money she raises comes from outside her district. From the Chron today:Read more »

UC, CSU chiefs need to quit the Chamber of Commerce board

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The California Chamber of Commerce is one of the most consistently right-wing organizations in the state, particularly on economic issues. The Chamber’s against pretty much all taxes and supports pretty much all cuts in government spending.

So why are the heads of the three largest public educational institutions in California, the University of California, California State University, and the California Community Colleges, members of the Chamber board?Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Katherine, SF State

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Supes to SF: Let's opt out of ICE's automatic fingerprint referral program

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Just two weeks before a controversial collaboration between local police and ICE is set to get switched on in San Francisco, Sups. Eric Mar, John Avalos, David Campos, Chris Daly and Sophie Maxwell are introducing a  resolution that calls on the city to opt out of a program that could undermine public safety and threaten innocent community members with deportation.Read more »

The Daily Blurgh: Creepy mannequins, big words

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Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay and beyond

An ode to the creepy child mannequins of Siegel's Fashions for Men and Boys on Mission.

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OMFG, Meg Whitman's a smut dealer!

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Or so Steve Poizner says, in a battle of the airwaves that's getting completely insane.

In a new ad, Poiz charges that Whitman, as CEO of EBay, allowed (oh no!) dirty movies to be sold on EBay. You can buy other dirty things there, too, like a Voodoo Hot Sex Life Improvement Love Spell (bidding starts at $9.99). And it's all Meg's fault!

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SFBG Radio: Johnny and Tim on the worst state budget ever

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In today's SFBG.COM Radio, Johnny and Tim talk about the worst state budget proposal ever, why higher taxes won't drive rich people and businesses out of California and how the next budget battle will play out in Sacramento. You can listen after the jump. Read more »

Arnold's attack on the poor

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As usual, Robert Cruickshank at Calitics has it exactly right: The governor's budget isn't just bloody and brutal, it's a direct attack on poor people -- and an effort to divide the interests of the poor and the middle class. If the new round of budget cuts had continued to hit public schools, higher education, state parks and other things that benefit the middle class and the people who are slightly better off, there might be a huge public backlash. Read more »

An environmental and worker disaster

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Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for a half-century


It‘s coming up on 10 o’clock in the evening aboard a massive oil rig, the Deepwater Horizon, 130 miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s Tuesday, April 20. The rig sways gently in the calm waters. Then, suddenly . . . BOOM!

A huge explosion rocks the rig, releasing tons of oil that soon will spread over an area of at least 2,500 square miles. Of course it’s an environmental disaster, probably the worst oil spill ever. That’s what draws massive attention from the media. But what of the workers aboard the rig, who suffered terrible trauma, serious injury and death? Read more »

Never mind the budget, Gavin's worried about himself

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So this afternoon, the governor released a truly horrifying mid-year budget revise, a bloody proposal that would eliminate CALWORKS, the state's major welfare program, and cut billions out of other essential services. Calitics puts it nicely:Read more »

Pelosi needs to support the Fair Elections Act

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In the wake of the horrible Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, Rep. John Larson of Connecticut has introduced a bill that would reform substantially the way members of Congress are elected. It's not perfect, but it's a big step. The Fair Elections Now Act, H.R. 1826, would create partial public funding for Congressional races, with a 4-1 match for contributions of $100 or less. Read more »

Hayes Valley Farm grows an urban farming community

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Don Wiepert hasn’t always enjoyed the view out his bedroom window as much as he does now. An eight year resident of Oak Street, the senior citizen has a wonderful vantage point of the highway on-ramp covered in potted fruit trees and fava beans by Hayes Valley Farm, where he volunteers on a weekly basis. Before the community farming effort, he says, the parcel of land’s only crops were slightly less savory. Read more »