April 19, 2013 |
Today, 19 months after her death, we may finally have a good idea of what killed Paula Rojeski. According to a lawsuit and public autopsy records, the causes included her doing business with the 1-800-GET-THIN folks and the slicing of her aorta during weight-loss surgery at one of their affiliated surgical centers. There was also regulatory indifference on a truly majestic scale. Rojeski, 55, died Sept. 8, 2011, shortly after surgery to implant a Lap-Band at Valley Surgical Center in West Hills, which her family's lawyer says is affiliated with 1-800-GET-THIN and the two brothers behind it, Julian and Michael Omidi.
August 7, 2011 |
The Angels are one of the richest and most successful franchises in Major League Baseball — in fact, in all pro sports. They're valued by Forbes at $554 million (up 6% from a year ago), carry the fourth-largest player payroll in the major leagues, and at this point in the season rank fifth in per-game attendance. As they're very much in the hunt for their division lead, it's quite possible that lucrative post-season games will be added to the schedule. So why are they trying to nickel-and-dime their stadium ushers, ticket sellers and janitors?
May 11, 2012 |
It's a measure of how successful Wall Street has been at eviscerating the so-called Volcker Rule that in its current guise it would not have prevented JPMorgan Chase from making the derivatives trades that produced the stunning $2-billion trading loss disclosed this week. Even in its weakened loophole-ridden state, the rule, which prohibits banks from making risky trades for their own accounts, has been raked with gunfire from Jamie Dimon, the JPMorgan chairman who presided over that loss.
February 22, 2011
On Wisconsin Re "Wisconsin governor: 'We're broke,' " and "Unions losing their grip in stronghold," Feb. 19 Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, created a deficit by reducing taxes. He then used it as a reason to try to take away collective bargaining rights. This has nothing to do with reducing the state deficit and everything to do with destroying unions. Without unions, we would not have the eight-hour workday or requirements for safe working conditions.
March 23, 2012 |
Few things are more entertaining than watching a debating pro run rings around an opponent. Just ask the witnesses to an encounter staged Friday between Gov. Jerry Brown and Robert Thomson, the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal. The event was the keynote of the Journal's annual three-day ECO:nomics conference for “green” investors. The Australian Thomson, Rupert Murdoch's handpicked Journal boss, was seemingly intent on getting Brown to endorse some of the Journal's editorial favorites, such as nuclear power and the controversial natural gas extraction technique known as fracking.
June 11, 2011
Defensible borders Re "Israel's defense," Opinion, June 5 The next time you publish an opinion piece (or even a regular article) on Israel's refusal to consider the 1967 borders for a two-state settlement with the Palestinians, please include a map that would outline what the countries would look like. It will be obvious to anyone that what Dore Gold and others propose leaves the Palestinians with nothing that could remotely be considered viable. In addition, under those terms, what would happen to "security" for Palestine?
December 24, 2009 |
On this glorious day before Christmas, I have a message for all you sales tax scofflaws out there: Pay up. This means you. You, who bought your big-screen TV online from Amazon.com instead of at Best Buy and your fleece-lined parka from L.L. Bean instead of Eddie Bauer because Amazon and Bean don't charge you sales tax and the others do. Guess what. You owe it anyway. Skipping out on the sales tax due on online purchases is the single biggest category of "noncompliance" with California sales tax law, according to the state Board of Equalization, accounting for nearly 30% of all unpaid tax. The board estimated lost revenue at $1.1 billion annually.
July 11, 2010 |
Golden Gate The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge Kevin Starr Bloomsbury Press: 216 pp., $23 Colossus Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century Michael Hiltzik Free Press: 498 pp., $30 The Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam are more than just icons of American engineering. They are Depression-era monuments that transformed not only California's physical landscape, but its social one as well. The bridge linked San Francisco to rural Marin County, hastening the consolidation of the Bay Area into a huge metropolis.
December 9, 2010
More than one miracle Re "Illuminating the possibilities," Opinion, Dec. 7 I appreciated reading Israeli Ambassador Michael B. Oren's thoughts on the horrible fire this week and how a global community, including adversaries of Israel, came together to help. I too was at the White House Hanukkah party and appreciated hearing President Obama send condolences to the Israeli people and promise aid and support. I hope that this will help American and Israeli Jews understand that the president has provided unprecedented security cooperation with Israel.
November 7, 2010
Second-guessers miss their mark Re "How Obama lost his voice," Opinion, Nov. 3. All of the Monday-morning quarterbacks such as Marshall Ganz, who now decry President Obama for failures in leadership, overlook the horrendous obstacles he faced going in, plus various disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and a minority in Congress resolved to see him fail. The initial problems were enough to topple anyone: a huge military complex committed to an unwinnable war; eight years of George W. Bush's coddling of failed lending institutions, including a last-minute bailout; tax concessions for the wealthy; and a healthcare system seriously underwater.