April 20, 2014 |
Does the 1st Amendment allow states to make it a criminal offense to disseminate false statements about a political candidate? Should citizens who fear that their free speech will be chilled by such a law be permitted to challenge it even if they aren't in danger of imminent prosecution? Only the second question will be argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, but it is inextricably linked to the first one. If the court rules that the Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion group, may not challenge Ohio's criminalization of false political speech, that law and similar ones in other states will remain on the books.
April 19, 2014 |
"What's my motivation?" is a standard laugh line satirizing the acting profession, a livelihood in which it's not always clear why one is doing what one needs to do. At the moment, Daniel Beaty and Keith David may be the two American actors least likely to say it. They are playing (and singing) the role of Paul Robeson in two separate plays on two separate Los Angeles stages. Their shared motivation is telling a story that is the ultimate retort to the idea that there's an unbridgeable gap between being a performer and living a serious life.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2014 |
So, what are the political ramifications of Hillary Clinton's impending grandmotherhood? No, seriously. Stop snorting. New York Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin put it out there Friday on MSNBC's “Morning Joe.” In a segment about Clinton's approval ratings, roughly equal today to what they were when she first ran for president in 2007, "Morning Joe" panelists were discussing the role that immigration reform might play...
April 17, 2014 |
Bad TV deals are becoming a ruinous force, the Time Warner Cable deal the latest example, with Dodgers fans held hostage in yet another standoff. Welcome to America, 2014. It used to be copious bundles of advertising cash were once enough to keep TV and ballclubs afloat, now copious amounts of cable cash are required. Stop this train. I want to get off. Why isn't Bud Selig helping solve this fiasco? Where's L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti? We also have a couple of U.S. senators I haven't seen in maybe three years, and they are AWOL too. Feeling used or abandoned, Dodgers fans?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - Raising the stakes in his campaign to strengthen California's finances, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday called a special session of the state Legislature for next week to consider a new plan to save money and pay off state debt, an election-year pitch that he must make to lawmakers without the benefit of a Democratic supermajority. Brown's proposal is aimed at cushioning the state against recessions and calming its turbulent fiscal waters. It would require Sacramento to capture spikes in revenue and either save the money to prevent budget cuts during a downturn or pay off debt and cover long-term liabilities such as public pensions.
April 15, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court next week will consider for the first time whether states may enforce laws that make it a crime to knowingly publish false statements about political candidates. The justices will hear an antiabortion group's free-speech challenge to an Ohio law that was invoked in 2010 by then-Rep. Steve Driehaus, a Democrat. He had voted for President Obama's healthcare law and was facing a tough race for reelection. The antiabortion group Susan B. Anthony List launched a campaign to unseat Driehaus, preparing to run billboard ads saying, "Shame on Steve Driehaus!
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 |
At the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department headquarters, a winding hallway leads to an unexpected oasis. Surrounded by trees, with a built-in grill and tables, the patio is an ideal place for a barbecue. Until recently, though, only a select few enjoyed it, smoking cigars and fashioning it into their own private hangout. In his first week as interim sheriff, John Scott announced that the cigar patio, as it was called, would be open to all employees. A contest would be held to choose a new name and smoking would no longer be allowed.
April 11, 2014 |
Barely three months after their release from Russian prison, Masha Alekhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova sit outside a Santa Monica hotel, smoking cigarettes, insisting that their group Pussy Riot is not a band. "People sometimes think we are a musical group and think we can do a performance," Tolokonnikova, 24, says with a smile, leaning forward. Alekhina, 25, nods between drags, and adds, "But it's not true. We're another thing. " Still, the noise from a notorious one-song performance of "A Punk Prayer" inside Moscow's Orthodox Christian cathedral in 2012 was potent and outrageous enough to land the pair a nearly two-year prison stay in the Gulag for what prosecutors called "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.
April 10, 2014 |
Christopher Hubbart has had a hard time trying to find a place to live, and no wonder. He's a serial rapist who assaulted women in the 1970s and '80s, was convicted and released, only to rape again. He was committed indefinitely to a mental facility until such time as he was determined by authorities to no longer be a threat. There was such a determination last summer, and it was upheld by a California court, but Hubbart waited while officials hunted for a place in Los Angeles County where he could live.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 |
It's rather refreshing that the next California Assembly Speaker spent her early years in a house with no indoor plumbing. Her family carried in water from a spring for drinking, cooking and washing. For a bathroom, they trekked to an outhouse. Assemblywoman Toni Atkins' father was a coal and lead miner; her mother a seamstress. The parents and their four kids crammed themselves into a little four-room house in rural southern Virginia. So when the Democrat, a San Diego transplant, talks about poor people and their housing needs, she isn't just whistling Dixie.