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October 17, 2009
The right to counsel is one of the glories of this nation's legal system, but it means little if a client can't depend on his lawyer to provide an accurate account of his legal options. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court confronted a compelling case of what can happen when a defendant relies on inaccurate legal advice. Jose Padilla, a legal U.S. resident and a Vietnam veteran, asked the justices to overturn his guilty plea to a drug charge because his lawyer had misled him about whether the plea would lead to his deportation to his native Honduras.
April 27, 2014 | By Jean Merl
On the biggest political stage of the election season in California, the 17 candidates competing to succeed Rep. Henry Waxman struggled to stand out Sunday at a forum that was long on issues and short on time. Some common priorities emerged among those hoping to occupy the seat that Waxman, a Beverly Hills Democrat, is giving up after four decades: traffic woes and public transportation needs, ways to improve public education and a desire to get special-interest money out of politics - espoused even by some with the biggest war chests.
April 4, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON  - After a string of embarrassing confirmation hearings in which President Obama's picks for ambassador displayed gaps of knowledge on the countries they were to serve in, the State Department has agreed to publish details on the qualifications of future nominees. The move comes after the American Foreign Service Assn., a group of over 16,000 foreign service employees, threatened to sue the State Department last month. The AFSA had previously filed two Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain the candidates' so-called certificates of competence, documents that outline the qualifications of each candidate.
April 27, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
PCM Inc., an El Segundo company that sells information technology products and services, has attracted little attention in more than a quarter-century of business. But that soon may change. The owner of a competing company has starting snapping up PCM's stock, raising speculation of a possible takeover. Firoz Lalji, chairman of technology company Zones Inc. in Auburn, Wash., now owns about 5% of PCM, according to a regulatory filing. And he called PCM "one of the poorest-performing companies in its industry.
September 27, 2012 | By Michael Kinsley
If, as seems possible, Mitt Romney is not elected U.S. president on Nov. 6, he will not be the first presidential candidate to run on the issue of competence and then lose because he ran an incompetent campaign. He will not even be the first governor of Massachusetts to do so. In 1988, Michael Dukakis, who was ahead in the polls just after the Democratic convention, declared in his acceptance speech: "This election isn't about ideology. It's about competence. " Then he proceeded to blow his large lead and lose to George H.W. Bush, who turned out to be a tougher old bird than anyone suspected.
October 10, 1992
I respectfully suggest that the Raiders change their slogan to: "A commitment to competence." STUART ROBINSON, Bel-Air
April 28, 1991
I am amazed, aghast, horrified that anyone would think that competent writing is deadly. From where I sit, it seems that more competence is what is needed all over this decaying planet. If writing teachers are raising the inept to competence, isn't that good? Doesn't it raise the level? I have gone to many writing classes, met some wonderful people, found much enjoyment, and been paid for writing . . . I hope competently. If "The Stepford Writers" discourages people from going to writing classes, it will lower the "competence" in the world, and is stupid, incompetent and disgraceful.
March 30, 1991
Perhaps the reason Americans are so smitten with Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf is that they are not accustomed to competence in high places! JEAN L. ROSENFELD Malibu
February 27, 1989
"Wasn't it supposed to eventually dissipate, this awareness of skin color and the monstrous little acts it produces?" asks Bob Baker in his thoughtful "Questions for a Demon Within" in your special section. The problem is that we're asked to accept too much: too much change, too much difference, too often. It's intolerable. It's why we're going to have to start giving points to those who are most assimilated in national culture. Now, this may seem like a purely arbitrary conclusion, but actually it's quite logical.
February 28, 1990
Maybe it was just a historical blip. But I can remember when such books as "Profiles in Courage" and "The Best and the Brightest" were widely read. It was also a time when competence in public life actually counted for something, or seemed to. Contrast that with Admiral John Poindexter's case and the vehicle for former President Reagan's testimony: videotape. His competence to give evidence in open court without inadvertently disclosing classified information isn't reassuring. The steady hand of a tape editor is. What it comes down to is this: Ronald Reagan was our tall-in-the-saddle commander in chief for eight years, yet this video gambit was required to protect the country from him--and his mouth.
April 24, 2014 | By Sheri Linden
Nicole Teeny's first feature-length documentary unveils a little-known subculture, one that combines the Good Book with good old-fashioned competitiveness. But the National Bible Quiz Championship, with its teams of Scripture-spouting teens, isn't the main event in "Bible Quiz. " A smart, funny and disarming 17-year-old girl is the heart of this low-key charmer of a coming-of-age story. The intimate film, a prize winner at the Slamdance Film Festival, revolves around the experience of Mikayla Irle, a tomboyish 12th-grader with family troubles who finds a sense of belonging on a Bible Quiz team in Tacoma, Wash.
April 24, 2014 | By David Wharton
MESA, Ariz. - A buzz ran through the crowd, an accumulation of murmurs and applause that drifted across the pool to where Michael Phelps stood. It was just loud enough to make the swimmer grin as he stepped onto the block. "You heard people starting to get excited," he said. The 1,200 spectators at poolside weren't alone - an entire sport watched intently as the most-decorated athlete in Olympic history began his comeback from retirement this week. With an unprecedented 22 medals from three Games, Phelps is the Michael Jordan of swimming.
April 15, 2014 | Soumya Karlamangla
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed into law Tuesday an overhaul of the city's trash collection program for businesses and large apartment buildings. Advocates say it will keep some garbage out of landfills by increasing recycling, create jobs and reduce truck traffic. Just before signing the Zero Waste L.A. ordinance, Garcetti called the plan "groundbreaking" and said it fit with his back-to-basics agenda. "There's nothing more basic in the city than trash collection," he said.
April 14, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
SALT LAKE CITY - Poor Lakers. They lose even when they win. They hammered the similarly woeful Utah Jazz on Monday, 119-104, but damaged their lottery percentages for the draft. If the Lakers had lost, Utah would have caught them (and Boston) in the overall standings, forging a three-way tie for the NBA's fourth-worst record. BOX SCORE: Lakers 119, Jazz 104 Now the Lakers (26-55) will probably finish with the sixth-worst record and a 6.3% chance at the No. 1 pick at the May 20 lottery.
April 12, 2014 | By Randall Roberts
Juxtapositions abounded on the first day of Coachella, reinforcing the idea of a pop culture splintered but joyously so. Competing narratives ruled the day, the most striking of which early on involved a New York versus Los Angeles battle between the self-described "Trap Lord," ASAP Ferg, and the spirited Los Angeles pop/rock band Grouplove. The former, Ferg, is part of New York's ASAP crew. He appeared masked on the outdoor stage, with half a dozen veiled compadres offering big crawling beats and sibilant high hats.
April 9, 2014 | By Joe Flint and Meg James
Comcast Corp., already the nation's largest cable and Internet provider, says it needs to get bigger to compete against the formidable giants of Silicon Valley. The Philadelphia-based cable behemoth said in a government filing Tuesday that its proposed $40-billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. will benefit consumers without limiting competition. Both companies contend that they need muscle to compete against emerging competition from Google Inc., Apple Inc., Netflix Inc. and Inc. Comcast said in a 175-page document filed with the Federal Communications Commission that the deal would mean better Internet and cable TV service for millions of consumers.
November 10, 1998 | From Associated Press
Massachusetts medical authorities disciplined a doctor who prescribed overdoses of chemotherapy that killed one woman and seriously sickened another, questioning his competence and finding him guilty of malpractice, officials said Monday. The state's Board of Registration in Medicine suspended Dr. James Foran for prescribing four times the proper dosage of chemotherapy drugs to the women at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in November 1994.
July 28, 2008
Re "Judgment call," editorial, July 24 Your editorial correctly notes the need for reform in the judicial election process. The best reform would be to abolish judicial elections altogether. Members of the legal profession with personal knowledge of the candidates' aptitudes, temperaments and competence are far more able to recommend candidates for appointment to the bench than voters who lack this knowledge. The requirement to raise funds for judicial campaigns (particularly from attorneys who may appear before the candidates soliciting funds)
April 7, 2014 | By Jay Jones
Beautiful - if fleeting - works of art will be sculpted from sand when the the Original Imperial Beach Sandcastle Competition returns July 19 to the San Diego County town. Professional sand sculptors will compete for $17,000 in prize money as they spend five hours on the beach creating their masterpieces as part of the Sun & Sea Festival . The competition will take place from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. During the same time, children can test their skills in the “Kids 'n Kastles” sand castle contest.
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