Politics Blog

Calling these guns what they are

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We spent a trillion dollars and almost 5,000 American lives trying to root out non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We fret about Iran getting a WMD, and we worry that North Korea already has one. Nuclear nonproliferation has been a key part of US foreign policy since the end of World War II.Read more »

About that dog Charlie

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Nothing like a dog story to captivate a city that has so much else going on. And while there are (sadly) dogs euthanized in this city fairly often, mostly because they're unadoptable or found to be dangerous, the particulars of Charlie's story -- and the press attention it's gotten -- has turned this one incident into a world-wide campaign against the Canine Death Penalty.Read more »

Look out for fracking (and how to stop it)

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There's enough oil (maybe) under Central California to make petro companies vastly rich, and to keep people driving around in their carbon-spewing private cars for many years to come. Only problem is you have to use hydrofracking to bust up the shale deposits to get at it. And that involves toxic chemicals and possible contamination of water supplies.Read more »

No surprise: Your garbage rates are going up 23 percent

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As expected, Recology sent in its application for a rate increase Dec. 11, and most residential customers will see a hike of 23.5 percent, or about $6.50 a month. The hikes will be more complicated for commercial operations and apartment buildings, depending largely on how much waste those outfits can divert into recycling or compost.

The proposal would change the way rates are charged: Residential customers, who now pay a fee for the black cans holding landfill-bound garbage, will start paying a monthly $5 fee overall and $2 for compost and recycling.Read more »

San Francisco, Third World country

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The model is pretty well established, and has proven exceptionally lucrative  for big US corporations like Bechtel and big US banks -- and has been an utter disaster for dozens of developing countries: US banks loan money to countries that need infrastructure development -- and that money comes right back to US corporations that charge phenomenal prices to build roads, dams, mining operations, whatever, with a nice cut off the top to whatever powerful people need to be bribed (all tax-deductable, of course). Read more »

Lee ducks tough questions about Alvarez and diversifying SF's economy

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For a career bureaucrat who was appointed mayor supposedly as a sort of straight-shooting un-politician, Mayor Ed Lee today once again demonstrated a real talent for addressing tough questions with a whole lot of words that don’t seem to say much at all. First came his non-responsive answers during Question Time at the Board of Supervisors meeting, followed by the hollow filibuster with reporters asking about the Housing Authority scandal as he briskly walked back to his office.Read more »

Healthy school food delayed by bid protest

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A proposal to bring fresh, healthy, locally produced food to San Francisco school kids ran into a roadblock when the losing bidder on the deal filed a protest, forcing the School Board to delay acton on the contract.Read more »

Willie Brown is so full of shit on Prop. 13

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The Chron's conflict-laden columnist made an interesting admission Dec. 9: The multibillion-dollar tax loophole that allows corporations to avoid reassessments under Prop. 13 was all his fault:Read more »

The Housing Authority mess

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Mayor Ed Lee seems to think that the controversy over Housing Authority Director Henry Alvarez is just going to blow over, but he's wrong. There's too much here. And it's not just about the lawsuits employees have filed or the sizable list of unhappy workers.Read more »

Herrera and other officials disappointed but hopeful as Supreme Court takes marriage equality case

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City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Deputy City Attorney Theresa Stewart, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, and other officials who held a press conference at City Hall today admitted they were disappointed that the US Supreme Court has decided to review the Ninth Circuit Court ruling that Proposition 8, the 2008 measure banning same-sex marriage in California, was unconstitutional.Read more »