Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Why the SFCTA censored my comment

An immediate rapid design process of the area.
The SFMTA refused to post my comment below to its blog story about the agency's response to the recent death of a cyclist:

Polk Street was safe before all the latest "improvements" for cyclists. Since cyclists are still a tiny minority---around 2% of commuters, according to the city's own numbers---what about the more than 90% who don't ride bikes? 

Traffic congestion has been a serious problem for some time. Making bike lanes requires taking away traffic lanes and street parking on busy city streets, making congestion a lot worse than it has to be. 

All the ongoing design "improvements" do is make driving in the city a lot harder than it should be. 

Besides, most bike accidents are "solo" falls, which Bert Hill told us way back in 2005: https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Mission-Not-Impossible-Urban-cycling-is-2698415.php 

Riding a bike involves intrinsic dangers that City Hall can't realistically eliminate. If you insist on riding a bike, you should at least do it without illusions about safety.

Rob's comment:
Since my comment has no obscenity and no personal attacks, why would that public agency refuse to post it? Evidently the agency found the contents of the comment unacceptable.

Taking the topics in the comment in the order they were raised:

1. The comment I was responding to cited the so-called improvements the city made on Polk Street several years ago. I called the city's claim a lie that Polk Street was unsafe before the current "improvements," since the city had no evidence to support that claim. I also pointed out that the city routinely used the dubious safety claim to justify other city bike projects (see this, this, this and this).

2. The city's own numbers show a significant decline in cycling in the city.

3. Of course creating bike lanes on busy city streets requires taking away traffic lanes and/or street parking. The Masonic Avenue fiasco is the most prominent recent example.

4. "Solo falls" for cyclists: bike experts themselves tell us this is the most common type of cycling accident, not being hit by motor vehicles. I provided a link to the 2005 story featuring city bike safety expert Bert Hill and bike messenger/author Robert Hurst.

The city's media has exercised self-censorship about that UC study that found that riding a bike in the city is more dangerous than City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition have been telling us for the same reason: the information was unacceptable to everyone in the city's anti-car movement, which includes the local media. The study emphasized the serious nature of solo/"cyclist only" accidents.

Hill himself was hit by a car while riding his bike in 2014.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Trump: Hate demagogue

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Reality check: Housing production in San Francisco

The new housing complex located at 588 Mission Bay Blvd.
Photo: Susan Merrell

Tim Redmond on the city's housing crisis:

On Thursday, the Planning Commission will hear the 2018 Housing Inventory Report, which shows that housing production at all levels is down from last year. A total of 2,600 market-rate units were added, down 41 percent from 2017, and only 645 affordable units, down 56 percent.

But that’s not because of Nimbys blocking approval: The planners approved and entitled 72 projects with a total of 4,552 units. The vast majority were in buildings of more than 20 units, most of them condos.

In fact, since 1999, the city has authorized the construction of 62,500 housing units, and 45,500 have been built.

Why isn’t more housing going up? It has a lot more to do with capital markets and investment money---and the rapidly increasing cost of construction---than with the Yimby narrative that it’s too hard to get a building permit.

Another twist: The city approved 138 new accessory dwelling units, an fancy name for in-law apartments, which seems like a pretty small number. And those count toward the total of 645 affordable units.

That’s odd because, while ADUs are under rent control, they start off at market rate, which is hardly affordable to most San Franciscans.

Here’s the real news: The city has already allowed 96 percent of the high-end housing units we are supposed to authorize by 2022 under the state’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment. So if you believe in the RHNA, which Gov. Newsom seems to, San Francisco doesn’t really need to allow more than a handful of new market-rate projects.

But only 15 percent of the moderate-income units, 32 percent of the low-income units, and 45 percent of the very-low income units have been constructed.

That’s the housing crisis.

Redmond reports too on how San Francisco cops framed a young black man.

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

The white problem

Image result for ebony magazine cover: "the white problem"

I grew up in Corte Madera, Marin County, in the 1940s and 1950s. 

One of my vivid memories as an adolescent was an Ebony magazine in the school library with a cover like the one above when I was at Tamalpais High School, probably in 1956. 

That memory stuck with me over the next several years, prompting the question: What is the race issue in the country all about?

Tam High had all the black kids in Marin, since one also noticed that all the black people in Marin County lived in Marin City. I never heard anyone discuss or even acknowledge the reality of this race-based housing discrimination in Marin. (My parents weren't racists---I never heard the word "nigger" in our house while growing up---or race ever discussed, for that matter, which, yes, is a more common manifestation of racism.) 

But the answer to the question above soon became apparent to me as a young man in San Francisco: The country's race problem was because of white racism and nothing else.

Obviously, that's still true today in the Age of Trump.

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Friday, March 15, 2019

What Trump's wall will destroy

Thanks to Outside.

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A cozy relationship

Image result for deregulation cartoon
Clay Bennett

In today's NY Times:

To the Editor:

As a lifelong safety engineer, I am horrified by the events leading President Trump and the F.A.A. to finally ground the 737 Max 8 fleet.

The relationship of the regulatory oversight guaranteeing the safety of travel and the companies involved — the regulated — represents a failure to establish and maintain an adequate safety culture.

You describe in “Pressure on U.S. to Cease Flights of Troubled Jets” (front page, March 13) an appeal by the head of Boeing directly to President Trump not to take this action. You describe how Boeing and others are allowed by the F.A.A. to choose their own employees to help certify their planes “to help the F.A.A. stretch its limited resources.”

A former head of the National Transportation Safety Board is quoted as saying: “It’s a very cozy relationship. The manufacturer essentially becomes both the manufacturer and the regulator, because of the lack of the ability of government to do the job.”

The steps needed now are clear to any layman: The fleet must remain grounded until the N.T.S.B. determines the root cause of the crashes and it is fixed, with approval of a strong and independent regulator.

While this is underway, Congress must investigate the coziness that exists between the F.A.A. and those it regulates.

Gene Hughes
San Francisco

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Beto O'Rourke and the bipartisan delusion

Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations : News Photo

After months spent teasing his supporters and the political media, Beto O’Rourke surprised absolutely no one Thursday when he officially announced his candidacy for president. “We are truly now more than ever the last great hope of Earth,” he said in a video posted on social media, “At this moment of maximum peril and maximum potential, let’s show ourselves and those who will succeed us in this great country just who we are and what we can do.”

These are exactly the kind of empty platitudes we have come to expect from O’Rourke since last year, when his failed, but lively challenge of Senator Ted Cruz turned him from a back-bench, three-term congressman to a national figure (and former congressman). 

Some have compared him to Barack Obama, with whom he shares a message of optimism and unity. But the comparisons end there. He has all of Obama’s self-assurance with none of his intellectual fortitude, inspirational biography, or oratory power. His rhetoric is as empty as his platform...

Rob's comment:

We Democrats are supposed to practice bipartisanship by getting together with a Republican proto-fascist political party.

Okay, O'Rourke almost beat Ted Cruz. Was that a great achievement? After all, Cruz may be the most hated man in a Congress that has a lot of awful people. Cruz missed his true calling as a movie star playing characters like the villains in those Bruce Willis movies. Instead he's really good playing a creepy right-wing villain in our country's political culture.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

More bike puffery by the SF Chronicle

USA Today

Years ago the SF Chronicle joined the bike/anti-car movement with a front-page story lauding Critical Mass. They evidently assumed that's the way the wind was blowing and didn't want readers to leave it behind on the new party line.

Like the Examiner and the SF Weekly, the Chronicle also refused to do a single story on that UC study back in 2012 that tried to tell us that riding a bike in San Francisco was a lot more dangerous than City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition had been telling us.  

Hence, this paragraph in a recent story about the death of the cyclist the other day was no surprise:

These opponents[of bike projects]have always been loud and vigorous. Yet in recent years they’ve butted heads with an equally passionate crowd — the growing population of families, students and tech workers who commute through San Francisco by bicycle.

Simply untrue that commuting by bicycle is "growing." The opposite is true. According to a 2017 survey (page 5) for the SFMTA, commuting by bike is down to 2%, which is the same percentage way back in 2000. See also the US Census Bureau which has the same percentage.

More from the Chronicle story:

“Seeing all these parents ride around in the city with their kids on bikes — you never saw that 20 years ago,” said [Cheryl]Brinkman, recalling a past era when cycling was dominated by Spandex-wearing athletes, sinewy bike messengers and participants in Friday night Critical Mass rallies.

Bullshit. Brinkman has always been an anti-car bike crackpot. That's why she was appointed to the MTA board in the first place.

More from Brinkman:

Officials, meanwhile, are caught in a bind. Every project runs through a long gantlet of community meetings, hitting resistance from merchants and residents who don’t want to see traffic lanes removed and parking stripped out. 

By the time a street redesign gets to the city’s transit board for a vote, it’s been delayed and sometimes modified. “The reality of making street changes in San Francisco means we get bogged down in these fights,” said Cheryl Brinkman, a board director for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Yes, those pesky community meetings where City Hall has to at least pretend to listen to what people think about losing traffic lanes and street parking in their neighborhoods to make bike lanes. Proposed anti-car projects are even "sometimes modified"!

Of course this issue has never been on the ballot where it can be debated and decided by city voters, even though there's growing evidence that these projects are unpopular. From the 2018 City Beat public opinion poll: "Removing traffic lanes in various locations around the city to install bike only lanes: 47% support, 46% oppose."

Brinkman and the bike lobbyists hate it when their projects are "bogged down" in the democratic process. 

The reality: riding a bike can never really be made safe, and its irresponsible of the city to promote cycling to unwary young people who are eager to be with-it and cool here in Progressive Land.

See also Cyclists: "Cannon fodder in the war on climate change"

Former Chronicle columnist, C.W. Nevius formed a more realistic idea of how risky it is to ride a bike in the city: Nevius gives up riding his bike.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Deportation alert for Cambodian community

Daily Kos

Sign the petition. Governor Newsom can stop this. By granting pardons to those who face imminent deportation to Cambodia, he can ensure they will be protected. 

Earlier this year we delivered a letter asking him to be in solidarity with our community. 

Join us to demand he take action to ensure all Cambodian Americans, especially longtime community members like Amlorn Siratana, Hay Hov, and Roeun Pich, get to remain with their loved ones at home in California. 

Sign the petition: Demand Governor Newsom grant pardons to Cambodian Americans in need. Stop the deportations. 

Participating Organizations: 
Daily Kos

Governor Gavin Newsom


Our Message to Governor Gavin Newsom :

We urge you to help keep Cambodian detainees home with their loved ones in California where they belong. Pardon and protect our community members who face imminent deportation, especially individuals like Amlorn Siratana, Hay Hov, and Roeun Pich and others who only know California to be their home.

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Scooters "can be very dangerous"


Letter to the editor in today's SF Chronicle:

Electric scooters are showing up in cities across the country and becoming a popular mode of transportation. Unfortunately, injuries associated with them are also becoming popular reasons for why patients end up in my emergency room where I treat broken arms, bad bruises, neck and facial injuries and even see serious head injuries caused by scooter accidents.

While scooters are fun and convenient, they can also be very dangerous if you don’t ride them correctly or follow the rules of the road. The most important thing you can do to avoid serious harm is wear a helmet and always be alert when riding.

As an emergency physician, I’ll always be prepared to treat you if necessary. But being a responsible rider can be your greatest defense from getting injured in the first place.

Alai Alvarez
San Francisco

See also Scooter danger: Here we go again!

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Pic of the Moment

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Kevin Drum

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Rent control in Oregon---and California

...In California, only 15 out of 478 municipalities have voluntarily passed rent control, and larger efforts to strengthen the statewide policy have failed. Last November, California voters shot down Proposition 10, a ballot measure that would have overturned the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which weakened rent control policies statewide when it was passed in 1995.

After the failure of Proposition 10, a handful of California cities have passed new tenant protections on their own which specifically address urgent concerns about displacement.

Just this week, in the Southern California city of Inglewood, the city council adopted an “emergency rent control” ordinance. For the next 45 days, property owners will not be allowed to raise rents more than 5 percent and cannot evict tenants except for reasons of “criminality or drug use.” The council has the option to extend the moratorium for up to a year 

“After years of advocacy, we are proud to have gotten the city to take this important step to send the message to corporate landlords that rent gouging is not okay in the City of Inglewood,” said D’Artagnan Scorza, a member of the Uplift Inglewood Coalition.

Tenant advocates from Uplift Inglewood claim that evictions and rent hikes increased after construction began on a new NFL stadium. Corresponding data from CoStar showed that rents in Inglewood have been increasing at a faster rate than the county average—up 10.8 percent last year, compared to 7 percent across Los Angeles County—creating worries about rising rents pushing out longtime members of the city’s black community...(Oregon just enacted statewide rent control—and it could be a model for the country)

See also California's message: You built that, now get out!

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Anti-Semitism and the Republicans

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 10: Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., conduct a news conference in the Capitol to introduce a legislative package that would lower prescription drug prices in the U.S. on January 10, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
Mehdi Hasan on The Intercept:

So let me get this straight: The president of the United States has called neo-Nazis “very fine people”; retweeted neo-Nazis; told an audience of Jewish-Americans that Israel is “your country”; and indulged in viciously anti-Semitic conspiracy theories

While running for office, he tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton inside a Star of David, next to a pile of cash; told an audience of Jewish donors, “You want to control your politicians, that’s fine”; and put out a campaign ad that attacked three rich and powerful Jewish figures. While a private citizen, he insisted only “short guys that wear yarmulkes” should count his money and kept a book of Adolf Hitler’s speeches on his bedside table.

He has never apologized for any of this. Nor has he been censured by Congress.

Since coming to office, he has hired, among others, Sebastian Gorka — who made the Nazi-linked Hungarian group Vitézi Rend “proud” when he wore its medal to an inauguration ball — and Steve Bannon, who didn’t want his daughters attending a particular school in Los Angeles because of “the number of Jews.”

Neither of them has apologized. Nor have they been censured by Congress.

In the Senate, Ted Cruz has denounced “New York values” while on the campaign trail, and Senator Chuck Grassley has suggested that Jewish philanthropist George Soros paid the protesters who confronted then-Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator with their stories of sexual assault last October.

Neither of them has apologized. Nor have they been censured by Congress.

In the House, Republican members have referred to themselves as “David Duke without the baggage,” accused Soros of turning on his “fellow Jews” and taking “the property that they owned,” claimed that Soros funded the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, sat on panels with white nationalists, invited a Holocaust denier to the State of the Union, and tweeted that three Jewish billionaires — Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and Tom Steyer — were trying to “buy” the midterms. On Sunday, Rep. Jim Jordan tweeted that Steyer — whose name he spelled as “$teyer” and whose father is Jewish — was trying to influence Rep. Jerry Nadler (who is Jewish) to investigate Donald Trump.

None of these Republicans have ever apologized. Nor have they been censured by Congress.

Trump and the Republicans’ favorite cable channels, Fox News and Fox Business Network, have run segments in which guests have referred to the State Department as “Soros-occupied” and accused Soros of working with the Nazis, while top-rated Fox host Sean Hannity used to regularly interview a neo-Nazi on his radio show. 

Their favorite news website, Breitbart, has referred to columnist Bill Kristol as a “renegade Jew” and to columnist Anne Applebaum as a “Polish, Jewish, American elitist.” Their favorite talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has spoken of a “Jewish lobby” and was accused of “borderline” anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League for his comments about Jewish bankers...

Later: Ex-Maine governor: Democrats' 'money comes from' Jews 'for the most part'

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Where's the money?

Image result for haight ashbury street sign images
Where’s The Money?
By Calvin Welch

Have you noticed a new trend among local and elected officials of talking about very appealing initiatives aimed at addressing serious (and generally expensive) social problems but somehow forgetting to tell us where the money is going to come from to implement them? 

A Few Examples 

State Senator Scott Wiener proposes a massive density increase of major California cities (but upon close reading of his proposal, so far no such massive increase in the suburbs) along transit lines with no mention of funding the increase in transit capacity needed to ensure even existing levels of transit service. 

Supervisor Aaron Peskin commits himself to building a transit tunnel between the existing CalTrain station and the now closed Transbay station while at least acknowledging that he has no idea where the money to pay for it is coming from. 

Gavin Newsom reverses himself and says that he now is committed to a fully built-out bullet train linking Sacramento to LA and again has no plan to pay for it. 

And then there is our President who has thrown a hissy fit about Congress not funding his big, beautiful wall,” the one he promised would be paid for by “the Mexican government.” 

Join HANC in April when we take a look at this new style of politics and what we might do to answer the question: “Where is the money?”

See also Another power grab by Scott Wiener and developers, Scott Wiener: Subways and "pixie dust," and Scott Wiener: Public menace.

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Trump gave Diana "the creeps"

Princess Diana and Donald Trump
A New York Post story in 2015:

Donald Trump gave Princess Diana roses — and the creeps.

The tycoon pursued Di after her marriage to Prince Charles fell apart in 1992, the Sunday Times of London reported, quoting a broadcaster who interviewed both Trump and Diana at length.

“Trump clearly saw Diana as the ultimate trophy wife,” and launched a “floral bombardment” of orchids and roses on Kensington Palace from across the Atlantic, broadcaster Selina Scott said.

The attraction wasn’t mutual.

“He gives me the creeps,” Diana told her pal.

Trump would later remark after Di’s fatal car crash in 1997 that one of his biggest regrets was never having the chance to date her.

“They liked each other a lot, but nothing ever came of it,” a Trump campaign spokesperson told The Post.

Thanks to Cory Raisa's comment to Quora.

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Saturday, March 09, 2019

Letter to the editor in today's NY Times:

What has justice come to when a judge can say that a man who has served tyrants and engaged in every manner of political skulduggery has led an “otherwise blameless life” before being found guilty of multiple counts of fraud and tax evasion? This speaks to the very heart of what is wrong with the moral compass of this country.

Michael Scott
San Francisco

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Cycling is dangerous: Don't do it!

Photo: Ellie Doyen

From the SF Examiner:

A woman was struck and killed in a traffic collision while bicycling at Sixth and Howard streets Friday morning at about 8:15 a.m.

The San Francisco Police department said the woman, who has been identified by the Medical Examiner’s Office as 30-year-old Tess Rothstein, of Berkeley, was riding a rented Ford GoBike ebike when she was struck by a white commercial truck.

Binod Singh, who was walking nearby when the incident occurred, told the San Francisco Examiner he saw the woman bicycling down Howard when the driver-side door of a parked car opened near her. She swerved to dodge the door, placing her directly in the path of a large white truck, which ran over the woman and crushed her...

See also Riding a bike can never be safe.

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H.R. 1: Creating a real democracy

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (C), Democrat of California, speaks alongside Democratic members of the House about H.R.1, the "For the People Act," at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 4, 2019. - Democrats announced their first piece of legislation to reform voting rights provisions, ethics reforms and a requirement that presidential candidates release 10 years of tax returns. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Daily Kos

From Daily Kos:

On Friday, House Democrats passed the For the People Act, the most far-reaching voting rights legislation to strengthen democracy since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. 

This groundbreaking bill, which was given the symbolically important designation of "HR 1," aims to preserve and expand the right to vote, reform campaign finance laws to deter corruption, and change the way the election system works by banning gerrymandering at the federal level.

​The bill passed exactly along party lines, demonstrating just how hostile national Republicans are to the idea of protecting the right to vote in free and fair elections. That's why it doesn't stand a chance of becoming law so long as Mitch McConnell is in charge of the Senate, since he has vowed not to even bring it up for a vote

However, the legislation's passage underscores how serious Democrats are about protecting our democratic institutions, and it could become law if Democrats gain control of the Senate and presidency in 2020.

As we explained when the bill was introduced, the proposal takes a four-pronged approach to protecting free and fair elections by (1) removing barriers to expand access to voting; (2) securing the integrity of the vote by mandating paper ballots; (3) establishing public financing in House elections to level the playing field; and (4) banning congressional gerrymandering by requiring that every state create a nonpartisan redistricting commission.

Below we list each of the bill's major provisions and a few of its smaller but still important requirements, including measures that were included as amendments to the original bill:

* Automatic voter registration at an array of state agencies
* Same-day voter registration
* Online voter registration
* Allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register so they'll be on the rolls when they turn 18
* Allowing state colleges and universities to serve as registration agencies
* Banning states from purging eligible voters' registration simply for infrequent voting
* An Election Day holiday for federal workers
* Two weeks of in-person early voting, including on Sundays and outside of normal business hours
* Standardized hours within states for opening and closing polling places on Election Day, with exceptions to let cities set longer hours in municipal races
* Prepaid postage on mail ballots
* Allowing voters to turn in their mail ballot in person if they choose
* Requiring states to establish nonpartisan redistricting commissions for congressional redistricting
* Ending prison gerrymandering by counting prisoners at their last address (rather than where they're incarcerated) for the purposes of redistricting
* Ending felony disenfranchisement for those on parole, probation, or post-sentence, and requiring such citizens to be supplied with registration forms and informed their voting rights have been restored
* Expressing support for D.C. statehood (which is the subject of a separate bill)
* Public financing for House campaigns in the form of matching small donations at a six-for-one rate
* Expanded campaign finance disclosure requirements to mitigate Citizens United
* Banning corporations from spending on campaigns unless the corporation has established a process for determining the political will of its shareholders
* Making it a crime to mislead voters with the intention of preventing them from voting...

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Friday, March 08, 2019



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Thursday, March 07, 2019

Career criminal gets light sentence

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The payoff: Cash or check?

When I saw the copies of Trump's checks to Michael Cohen on TV, I thought of that scene in the Sopranos where the crew is counting money. No explanation is provided about where it came from: prostitution, protection, drugs, numbers? 

Unlike Tony, evidently sometimes Trump has to write a personal check for his crime family. Tony would never do that. Why leave a fucking paper trail when you're doing business?  

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Our real national emergency

Image result for time magazine trump clown cover
Jonathan Chait in New York magazine:

...When observers express the possibility that Democrats could overreach and help Trump, they have in mind something like a replay of congressional Republican oversight. Republicans spent years barking at the moon on Benghazi in a failed attempt to substantiate a conspiracy theory to the point where the mainstream media stopped taking their efforts seriously. 

Notably, Republicans themselves did not deem this effort a failure: House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy credited the Benghazi probes with lowering Hillary Clinton’s approval rating in advance of the election.

But even if we concede that overreach would backfire, it is difficult to imagine how Democrats could overreach if they wanted to. The scale of illegality and corruption they’re exploring is orders of magnitude larger than anything in modern history. 

Enormous new scandals are popping up almost daily. In the last week alone, we’ve learned that President Trump overrode intelligence assessments and his own chief of staff to give high-level security clearances to his daughter and her husband, who have mingled public diplomacy with their own personal business dealings; that Trump tried repeatedly to direct the Justice Department to block a merger in order to punish CNN for independent reporting; that the Trump Organization is being investigated for insurance fraud; in addition to multiple allegations presented by Michael Cohen, many of them backed by contemporaneous evidence. 

For a normal presidency, any of these allegations would, on their own, present crisis-level scandals.

Overreach? It would take Congress decades just to keep pace with all the crimes...

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No mystery here

Mother Jones

Gee, I wonder why the Trump administration doesn't seem to be interested in civil rights?

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Wednesday, March 06, 2019

What's the District 5 campaign about?

Harry Britt and Dean Preston
Photo: James Tensuan, SF Chronicle

You won't find an answer to that question in this story---front page, above the fold!---in the hard copy of the SF Chronicle (Early start to costly, aggressive supe race).

That's not the reporter's fault. She could have talked to her sources all day, and we still wouldn't know. We're back in high school, when electing a homecoming queen or student body president didn't have anything to do with public policy. It was only about who was willing to work hard at getting name recognition and votes from an apathetic student body.

District 5's incumbent supervisor, Valle Brown, worked for both Ross Mirkarimi and London Breed. That tells us that she won't stray far from the City Hall consensus on policy.

Brown's biggest hurdle will be defying this district's history set by The Juanita Owens Effect. Just being appointed supervisor in liberal District 5 by a "moderate" mayor was a political liability for Juanita Owens, appointed by Mayor Brown, and Christina Olague, appointed by Mayor Lee, since both were rejected by District 5 voters as soon as they had the chance.

Dean Preston is a guy who's been putting in the time to get name recognition as the alternative...to what? Anything our District supervisors have stood for since, well, the year 2000, when district elections again became how we elected our supervisors?

Nope. Preston is strictly a conventional wisdom candidate in one of the city's most "progressive" districts. Progressives are just liberals who hate to be flanked on the left, which is why Preston calls himself a Bernie Sanders-type "socialist."

Preston makes housing his primary issue, which is the best thing about him. But where does he stand on other issues? What does he think about, for example, an important District 5 issue, the widely-ignored failure of the Masonic Avenue bike project? 

Valle Brown is on record in support of the dumb project, as is Mayor Breed, who was an awful supervisor. She was only elected in the first place because of the city's goofy Ranked Choice Voting system.

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