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October 4, 2013 | By Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres
By all accounts, there are enough House Republicans prepared to join with Democrats to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling without demanding provisions attacking Obamacare. The only thing stopping them is the House leadership, which is refusing to allow appropriations bills onto the floor. But House rules give the majority a way to take this decision out of Speaker John Boehner's hands. By signing a "discharge petition," 218 members can force a bill onto the floor for a decisive vote.
September 25, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- A petition drive to qualify an initiative creating an oil extraction tax to raise $1 billion for schools missed a deadline this week, but organizers say they will try again. The initiative, titled the California Modernization and Economic Development Act, began gathering signatures in April and did not have enough by the deadline on Tuesday. Organizers declined to say how many signatures they collected, but said they spent much of the time recruiting students to circulate the petitions and are confident they can get the 505,000 signatures needed to put an initiative on the 2014 ballot.
September 15, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe
It was billed as a bold attempt to give parents the power to transform their failing schools. But more than two years after California legislators passed the parent-trigger law, it has sparked so much controversy that even the measure's author supports revisions. Los Angeles Unified last week launched the first effort in the state to ease confusion and conflict over the 2010 law, which allows parents to oust staff, change curriculum, close a campus or convert the school to an independent public charter.
September 7, 2013 | Times staff
"I'd rather have a pitcher nobody is talking about who has won 15 games than somebody everyone is raving about who has won five. I'm a baseball manager, not a statistician. " Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland , on analysts pointing out that Tigers ace Max Scherzer (19-2) has the second-highest run support of any major league pitcher. "It felt like it was one of those dreams where you can't run fast enough. " San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence , who missed by inches on a diving catch that would have clinched a perfect game for Yusmeiro Petit on Friday.
September 5, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
Matt Bomer has not been cast in the on-screen adaptation of the erotic novel "50 Shades of Grey"; however, he's still showing his support for the project and its recently announced cast despite fan ire regarding the casting decisions. Author E.L. James, who originally wrote the trilogy as a "Twilight" fan-fiction series, announced over Labor Day weekend that "Ben & Kate" actress Dakota Johnson, 23, and "Sons of Anarchy's" Charlie Hunnam, 33, would play the lead roles of college grad Anastasia Steele and her B&D-obsessed lover Christian Grey.
August 21, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Dr. Phil McGraw is hosting an upcoming show on teen sex and drinking, and in an attempt to provoke discussion, a question was sent out on his Twitter feed. Unfortunately for Dr. Phil, it's not the kind of discussion he was hoping for. The tweet, which has since been deleted, asked, "If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teensaccused. " Twitter users responded, all right. But instead of answering yes or no, as Dr. Phil's show hoped, they expressed anger at the host for suggesting that it might be OK to have sex with someone without consent.
August 20, 2013 | By David Zahniser
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is taking his message on Department of Water and Power salary negotiations directly to the public, calling on Angelenos to support him by signing an online petition entitled "Fix DWP!" The new petition drafted by Garcetti asks Angelenos to support him as he attempts to end "secret deals on costly work rules and perks. " Garcetti announced last week that he would not sign a proposed four-year salary agreement with the DWP employee union because it does not go far enough in allowing city officials to change costly or inefficient work rules at the utility.
August 2, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall
Federal officials have denied a petition by San Joaquin Valley farmers to drop a small West Coast group of killer whales from the endangered species list. The refusal represents the latest development in a decade-long legal battle over protections for three pods of orca whales that swim off the Pacific Northwest coast, ranging as far south as Central California and as far north as southeastern Alaska. The southern resident killer whale population, as it is called, was listed as endangered in 2005 after a federal court ordered the National Marine Fisheries Service to reconsider an earlier finding that the pods did not constitute a distinct population segment.
July 19, 2013 | By Tony Perry and Jessica Garrison
SAN DIEGO - In the latest legal wrangling over gay marriage in California, the San Diego County clerk filed a petition Friday afternoon asking the state Supreme Court to halt same-sex weddings pending a court hearing. Such weddings resumed June 28, two days after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a lower court's ruling invalidating Proposition 8 to become law. But Ernest J. Dronenburg Jr. argued that the court should halt weddings while it considers the argument that the federal court ruling should apply only to the two couples who sued over Proposition 8, as well as to the county clerks in Alameda and Los Angeles counties, where the couples live.
July 16, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, speaking to the press before Tuesday's Stage 16 of this year's event, dismissed a question about a group of women cyclists' petitioning to become part of the race in 2014. When asked by the Associated Press about the online petition and letter addressed to him about the topic, Prudhomme swatted the air with the back of his hand and answered, "We are saying nothing for the moment. " Then, true to his word, he walked away. Last week a group of accomplished female riders, including two-time Olympic gold medalist Marianne Vos, posted the petition and letter on in hopes, not to have women compete against men at the Tour, but to have a parallel racing field over the same distances over the same days.
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