June 20, 2013 |
James Gandolfini, whose portrayal of mobster Tony Soprano in HBO's "The Sopranos" transformed him into one of Hollywood's most prized and respected actors, had little interest in playing white-collar guys with ties. Gandolfini, 51, who died Wednesday in Italy of a heart attack or stroke, was more drawn to blue-collar folks like his working-class parents. Much of his career was about honoring them. “My parents worked hard, were honest, were good people,” he said during a 2004 installment of Bravo's "Inside the Actor's Studio.
June 12, 2013 |
ISTANBUL, Turkey - With swagger and grand designs, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rose to power more than a decade ago, heralding a new Islamist-based democracy he envisioned as a model for a Muslim world caught in the grip of autocrats, kings and despots. But more than two weeks of protest against Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian rule have brought a reckoning to a leader who, despite his political astuteness, has miscalculated the fervor from a large part of an electorate opposed to the creeping religious conservatism of his Justice and Development Party, or AKP. Erdogan is still very much in control, and few would venture that the crisis will bring him down, but the protests have hurt him politically and exposed misgivings within his party.
April 13, 2013 |
In a city still reeling from a shooting rampage that killed six and severely injured a congresswoman, contrasting giveaways are being proposed for a handful of its working-class neighborhoods. One would dole out free shotguns to poor adults. Another would hand out free school supplies to needy children. Talk of the gun giveaway has divided residents in the Tucson neighborhoods of Midvale Park, Pueblo Gardens and the Grant-Campbell area. These communities now find themselves thrust in the middle of a nationwide conversation about gun ownership after they were singled out by a fellow Tucson resident as high-crime neighborhoods that he believed could benefit from free firearms.
March 22, 2013 |
The mixed verdicts on the six former Bell City Council members might not have offered the clean sweep many residents had hoped for, but they nevertheless served as a welcome confirmation of what everyone already believed to be true: Appalling wrongs were done to the people of Bell. Officials who were supposed to be public servants in the working-class community took too much of the taxpayers' hard-earned money for themselves and nearly ruined the city in the process. It's true that the defendants were acquitted on some charges, and there is still a possibility that all six might be able to avoid prison.
February 19, 2013 |
It's amazing, and depressing, when political compromise functions only to throw obstacles in the way of ideas that bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people. Today's example: the long, tortuous road to bringing more retirement security to working-class Californians. In September, the state launched a plan to enable these workers to put aside about 3% of their wages a year for retirement. As enacted by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the program's goals would be modest indeed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 2013 |
Testimony in the corruption trial of six former Bell leaders came to a bickering end Friday with a former councilman defending the city's huge salaries as a way to attract Latinos and a prosecutor sarcastically asking him whether he also felt a need for a chauffeur to get around the small, working-class town. Since the trial opened - nearly three years after the city began imploding under the weight of a corruption scandal - the defendants justified their nearly six-figure salaries as fair pay for long hours or as a payday forced upon them by a fearsome administrator.