CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2013 |
Renee Moncito was a convicted thief and forger. She ran a foster care agency that was one of the most cited by state inspectors for lapses in care, including cases in which children were beaten, locked in their rooms for days or subjected to other mistreatment. Yet year after year, the agency was re-approved by state and county officials, growing into one of the largest private foster family agencies in Los Angeles County, responsible for thousands of children over the years. Wings of Refuge is now being terminated not because of abuse but after officials determined it had mismanaged millions in taxpayer dollars - a situation that has raised concerns about the county's ability to adequately monitor such groups.
October 4, 2013 |
The Nobel Prize-winning game theorist Thomas Schelling wrote in his most important book, "The Strategy of Conflict," that a man who shows up on your doorstep with a knife and threatens to stab himself if you don't pay him $10 is more likely to get the money if his eyes are bloodshot. I translate this important observation to my law and business students this way: In negotiation, the crazy person wins. If your counterpart is willing to act in a way that harms both sides rather than making any concessions, you are outflanked.
October 3, 2013 |
Americans hate Obamacare but love the Affordable Care Act. That is the big story from one of America's more reliable sources of information, Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel, the comedian who hosts ABC's late-night talk show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” posted a camera crew on a street in Hollywood and had them interview a random sample of Americans. The question put to these people was “Which do you support, Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act?” Of those who ended up featured in an appallingly hilarious clip on Kimmel's show, not a single one knew that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are one and the same thing.
September 26, 2013 |
Ted Cruz may not have killed Obamacare with his 21-hour speech on the Senate floor this week. He may not have endeared himself to most of his Republican colleagues, who think his grandstanding wasted precious time. He may not have done anything good for the country, given that his extended harangue has made a government shutdown more likely. But he probably did something good for one person: Ted Cruz. The freshman Republican senator from Texas is an upstart, a renegade and a destructive force -- not the kind of personality that generally does well in the tradition-bound United States Senate.
September 24, 2013 |
Imagine a day where the Kings get to the point where they don't have deep concerns about their issues at left wing. That day remains far off. But at least Kings Coach Darryl Sutter has settled on one promising combination, putting newcomer and left wing Matt Frattin with center Mike Richards and right wing Jeff Carter. Frattin arrived this summer from Toronto, along with goaltender Ben Scrivens, in the trade that sent goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Maple Leafs. GAME SUMMARY: Kings 2, Ducks 1 Tuesday was their third exhibition together as the Kings beat the Ducks, 2-1, at Staples Center.
September 17, 2013 |
Nancy Silverton once told me that when she and Mark Peel first opened Campanile restaurant, one night a customer beckoned her over imperiously. “What's this? What's this?,” she practically shouted. She was holding up a chicken breast - a bone-in chicken breast. It seems the woman had never encountered a bone before. In the normal course of things, that's the last thing you'd expect to find at McDonald's as well. But McDonald's has just introduced Mighty Wings - just in time for football season and with a limited run until the end of November. So I stop at my local Micky D's to see what all the fuss is about.
September 12, 2013 |
Is he an aggressive, paranoid, pathological liar or an American hero? That's the complex question director Jamie Meltzer explores - if never quite answers - regarding left-wing radical-turned-FBI mole Brandon Darby in the compelling, well-crafted documentary "Informant. " With seemingly full cooperation from Darby (strangely, he even "acts" in dramatic re-creations of key events), Meltzer lays out the disparate facts of Darby's recent past, starting in 2005 when the Texas native drove to New Orleans to help rescue a friend, former Black Panther Robert King Wilkerson, from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.
September 11, 2013 |
The two catamarans zipping across San Francisco Bay in the America's Cup finals each weighs about 163 tons less than America, the winning yacht in 1851 and namesake for sports' oldest active trophy. The lighter load obviously helps these boats achieve speeds up to 50 mph, but there's much more to their design; both are engineering marvels that maximize the energy provided by wind and water. The AC72 (America's Cup, 72 feet long) catamarans are defending America's Cup champion Oracle Team USA, owned by billionaire Larry Ellison, and challenger Emirates Team New Zealand.
September 5, 2013 |
The less seriously the genial French comedy "Populaire" takes itself, the more amusing it is. Fortunately, with small exceptions, this film doesn't take itself very seriously at all. Nominated for five Cesars and a box-office hit in France, "Populaire" is, for the most part, the fluffiest of French light comedies, though its accomplished stars, Romain Duris and Déborah François, have previously made strong impressions in serious roles: Duris in...
September 4, 2013 |
CARACAS, Venezuela - With parts of Venezuela still dark after a mysterious blackout that left the capital and 17 states without electricity, President Nicolas Maduro laid the blame on opposition sabotage as his government scrambled to respond to the power failure. The power shutdown began midday Tuesday after an apparent failure in high voltage transmission lines in Aragua and Guarico states, which led to total outage in several of the country's most populous areas. Power was restored by early Wednesday to most of metropolitan Caracas, the capital, and a dozen states, according to the government.