March 27, 2014 |
Matt Taibbi begins his sixth book, "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap," with a simple formulation: "Poverty goes up; Crime goes down; Prison population doubles. " It's a snapshot, a way to represent what Taibbi sees as the through-the-looking-glass reality of contemporary America, where rule of law has been subverted by, on the one hand, corporate greed and, on the other, a kind of institutionalized abuse of the poor. Such a landscape, he suggests, brings to mind the last days of the Soviet Union, which operated out of a similar sort of mass hypocrisy until, in 1990 and '91, "people were permitted to think about all this and question the unwritten rules out loud, [and]
March 22, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Hoping to get pot legalized in Nevada, an investment firm specializing in the fast-growing marijuana industry invited the ballot initiative's backers to pitch 150 financiers at a Las Vegas symposium. Within 10 minutes, they raised $150,000. Political contributors are not the only ones taking notice of the new realities of the marijuana business, said San Francisco-based ArcView Chief Executive Troy Dayton, who estimated his group would pump about $500,000 into pot this year.
March 20, 2014 |
For Republicans roaring into the midterm election, the last few weeks have brought a wave of good news. President Obama's poll numbers continue to hover in the 40s. Democrats' hopes of holding the Senate look slimmer by the day. And the GOP heralded last week's win in Florida's special congressional election as evidence that their anti-Obamacare strategy is working. But some Republican strategists and donors fear that buoyant mood spells trouble for the party down the road - by masking the long-term problems that were so evident after the 2012 election.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2014 |
California has emerged as the major gateway for methamphetamine into the country, with Mexican organized crime groups smuggling an estimated 70% of the U.S. supply through state border crossings, according to a report released Thursday by state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris. The 98-page report on trends in transnational organized crime also cites maritime smuggling, money laundering and criminal alliances between Mexican drug cartels and Southern California gangs as growing public safety threats.
March 14, 2014 |
At just 21, a kid from the San Fernando Valley named Jim Berk began work as a music teacher at Carson High School. Within a couple of years, the teacher, not much older than some of his students, had turned a woebegone marching band into one of the best in Southern California. Then Berk moved to struggling Hamilton High School to launch a music magnet program. It gained national acclaim and so many new students that officials reversed their threat to close the Westside campus. "The Wunderkind of education" the Times dubbed him in 1992.
March 13, 2014 |
Emma Watson's back in the public eye for her role in Darren Aronofsky's upcoming biblical epic, "Noah," and is still talking about her personal career choices and life after "Harry Potter. " Watson, 23, opened up in the April issue of Elle , which inside has the risk-taking fashionista clothed in designs from Versace, Michael Kors, Céline and Chanel. On the cover, the British star is photographed by Carter Smith in a cotton shirt and calfskin pants from Balmain next to the coverline: "Watch the throne: Emma Watson is ready to prove herself -- and gutsy enough to do it. " Whatever could that title be alluding to?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 |
Californians aren't depending quite as heavily on cars for commutes and errands as they did a decade ago, according to a new survey by Caltrans. Although driving is still by far the most dominant mode of transportation across the state, accounting for about three-quarters of daily trips, researchers say a decrease in car usage and a rise in walking, biking and taking transit indicate that Californians' daily habits could be slowly changing....
March 11, 2014 |
In their new book, "My Pet Chicken Handbook: Sensible Advice and Savvy Answers for Raising Backyard Chickens" (Rodale, 246 pages, $17.99), chicken experts Lissa Lucas and Traci Torres of the online resource My Pet Chicken have assembled an informative insider's guide to raising chickens at home. "My Pet Chicken Handbook" teaches just about everything you need to know to manage your own flock. We recently asked Lucas and Torres about what people most want to know about chickens. Chickens are popular right now. Why?
March 9, 2014 |
If you're a city person, you might only have read of chamber pots, an inconvenient though useful contraption from an earlier time. In the part of Texas where I grew up, the term "chamber pot" was a tad too genteel. We called these essentials "slop jars" or just "the pot. " Whatever you called it, I had to empty it. Our house sat on a slight rise facing busy Highway 31. The outhouse was back of the house, toward the woods, maybe 50 feet away. PHOTOS: 5 Senate women to watch in 2014 It was tricky running with the pot to the outhouse.
March 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Amid a surge of Islamic militancy in North Africa, a team of fewer than 50 U.S. special operations troops with a single helicopter arrived at a remote base in western Tunisia last month. Their mission: train Tunisian troops in counter-terrorism tactics. The operation was one of dozens of U.S. military deployments in Africa over the last year, often to tiny and temporary outposts. The goal is to leverage American military expertise against an arc of growing instability in North Africa and many sub-Saharan countries, from Mali in the west to Somalia in the east.