Politics Blog

Stop-Loss notes

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There were only 20 people, including myself, watching Stop-Loss when it opened in Oakland on Friday night. Two of those people were my family members. Read more »

OMG, the naked Yoga Guy is back...

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...only this time, he'll be carrying a torch.

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"A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make an indelible statement for human rights" -- naked!

"We are inviting you and your nude friends to join us," says the invite, sent to us by former mayoral candidate George Davis, who points out that the "original Olympic Athletes participated nude."

He also points out that the original Olympic athletes covered themselves with olive oil, and that he "will bring Baby Oil for those who wish the look."Read more »

Bureaucrats blow $375k reading Matier & Ross

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Employees working for the city and county of San Francisco have squandered $375,000 in salaried work hours over the last 12 months reading San Francisco Chronicle columnists Matier & Ross, time that could have been spent finding cheaper ways to provide a police presence at political demonstrations and repaint parking garages located at far-flung BART stations, according to a new report by Controller Ed Harrington.

"Our analysis shows that City Hall staffers spent precious work time reading about h Read more »

Torched?

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How is Mayor Gavin Newsom going to maneuver his way through the controversial Beijing Olympic Torch relay in San Francisco on Wednesday?

Before he read the political writing on the wall, (or listened to the protesters that gathered beneath his window at City Hall each day to chant “Mayor Newsom don’t accept China’s Bloody Torch,) Newsom tried to get Sup. Carmen Chu, his most recent appointee on the Board, to squash Sup. Read more »

Can Obama help us, Bolivia, and the world?

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I went to Bolivia partly for political and journalistic reasons. President Evo Morales seemed to me an exciting and romantic figure, a source of great hope for Bolivia and the rest of South America.

He came to power as part of a progressive trend that has swept the continent in recent years, fueled by a popular backlash against the imperialism and neoliberal economic policies of the United States, a country that has arrogantly and inappropriately been meddling in Latin American affairs since the Monroe Doctrine.

Newsom's Sunshineless Solar

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Mayor Gavin Newsom wants to be known as the Green Mayor. But he could go down in history as the mayor who secretly diverted public money from large municipally owned solar installations to subsidize privately owned solar panels.

Since January, Newsom has tried to kick start two questionably financed solar programs.

The first plan involved raiding $50 million from a seismic safety loan fund. Read more »

Is Newsom hosting a dictator?

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You don’t hear as much about El Salvador these days as you once did in the Bay Area, but the Coalition in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador is still very active, and the issues in thyat impoverished country, run by the right-wing equivalent of a dictator, are very real. Read more »

Adopt 8-pound Tatiana the cat

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We like to check the San Francisco SPCA's Web site from time to time, because, well, we really, really like kittehs. We'd posted more images of cats looking for homes on the blog, but we're afraid our colleagues might ridicule us for liking kittehs so much. Well screw them. We've long embraced the politics of kittehs, and if you've ever reported on animal welfare and animal rights, you know there's no shortage of politics surrounding kittehs.

Anyway, someone at the SPCA has a sense of humor. Read more »

Does the climate need more PR?

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Al Gore is spending $300 million on ads to tell us some more about climate change and what we can do. It's called "we." Doesn't that sound like fun?

Actually, does anyone else find this a little insulting and/or disturbing? Who hasn't gotten the message? Wasn't An Inconvenient Truth a big, giant ad for how fucked we are?

We get it! Why spend three years and $300 million to tell us some more about global warming? Read more »

Chevron slapped with highest eco-fine ever

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Chevron may have to pay as much as $16 billion in damages for polluting parts of Ecuador, according to a report released today as part of a 15-year lawsuit against the San Ramon-based petroleum company. The report estimated $7 billion as the lower pricetag, for clean-up, soil remediation, and compensation to locals for health care costs and ecosystem loss. Read more »