January 26, 2012 |
A political system in gridlock, conservatives and progressives at each others' throats, military threats looming in the Middle East: Welcome to the last days of the Roman Republic. In 64 BC, Marcus Cicero, an idealistic outsider and the greatest orator ancient Rome produced, was running for consul - the highest office in the land - in a desperate bid to restore sanity to a corrupt and broken political system. It was a bitter contest to lead the most powerful government on earth, with accusations of incompetence, inconsistency and sexual misdeeds filling the air. Marcus wanted more than anything to save the republic from ruin, but he was hampered by his lowly birth and political naivete.
November 7, 2012
The cartoon on the Nov. 6 Op-Ed page asks, "Which is the most powerful place in America?," and selects the voting booth from among four choices, including Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the White House. The cartoon reflects a quaint, naive view of contemporary American politics. A truer view is reflected in the diagram elsewhere in the same paper that shows the flow of money into the campaigns for California's ballot initiatives. The "most powerful places" are now corporate boardrooms or the offices of the Koch brothers, who pour tens of millions of dollars into races to get results that increase their profits.
November 6, 2013 |
So much for the Astrodome's new lease on life. Voters rejected a countywide ballot measure Tuesday that would have raised more than $200 million to restore the domed stadium in Houston and turn it into a multipurpose event center. Prop. 2 failed by a vote of 53% to 47%. A major challenge for preservationists hoping to save the stadium was that there is no obvious long-term tenant for the building, even in renovated form. The Astros now play baseball in a downtown stadium called Minute Maid Park.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2014 |
In the northern San Diego County suburb of Solana Beach, voters adopted a measure to loosen rules for holding parties at a popular community center atop a seaside bluff. With all nine precincts counted, Proposition B was adopted by a margin of 52% to 48%, in unofficial results tallied by the county registrar of voters. The measure loosens rules for parties at the Fletcher Cove Community Center. Current city policy limits parties to 50 people, greatly restricts live music -- no drums, horns, DJs or amplification -- and limits drinks to two per person -- wine and beer only.
November 5, 2013
Re "Policing L.A.'s sheriff," Opinion, Nov. 1 Law professor Laurie L. Levenson calls for a civilian oversight board in addition to the Board of Supervisors and an inspector general to serve as a check on the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. I am surprised she failed to mention that the sheriff is an elected official and the chief uniformed law enforcement officer in the county. He serves at the pleasure of the voters and no one else. Unlike Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, the sheriff is not hired, fired or evaluated by a mayor, city council or police commission.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2010 |
It is not surprising but it is confirmed: Money and frustration are driving California's elections this year. A Field Poll released last week demonstrated the dramatic edge that Republican Meg Whitman has given her campaign for governor by spending millions on a prodigious number of television ads: She was pummeling her Republican primary opponent, Steve Poizner, and was newly in a statistical tie with presumptive Democratic nominee Jerry Brown....