Drugs are powerful stuff, indeed: under their influence, even firebrand Ayn Rand libertarians and big-government, left-leaning Democrats can find common ground. Thanks to marijuana, the unlikely pairing of Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and newcomer Sen. Cory Booker, the ex-mayor of Newark, are working ... More >>
The crack epidemic as we know it is "over," we're told, with arrest rates and reports of crime drastically down since the violent 1980s. However, the country's lawmen still operate with a wartime mentality. Under California state law as well as federal law, crack users face stiffer penalties than c ... More >>
California: that big blue state that handed President Obama 54 free electoral college points and gave his campaign more money than any other state. The state that is on the brink of Democratic supermajorities in both the state House and state Senate and contains a voting population in which register ... More >>
Assembly Bill 1270, passed by both chambers of the state legislature, would have allowed journalists to set up interviews with specific inmates in state prisons. Eight times over the past two decades a similar bill had passed through to the governor's desk, and all eight times it was vetoed.The stre ... More >>
With a couple strokes of his pen, Gov. Jerry Brown can significantly alter the way California's prison system works. Yesterday, the state Senate passed a bill that would give parole opportunities to juvenile offenders sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. This week, that body will ... More >>
Mr Fix-ItCall it an industry, call it a movement, call it a gigantic scam. Law enforcement and politicians can't agree what to call California's medical marijuana scene, except to say it exists in a legal gray area.And how. A dispensary operator in Vallejo was arrested last week -- twice -- becau ... More >>
While the federal government stagnates on any immigration reform, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bevy of illegal immigrant-friendly bills that will make their under-the-radar way of life less of a headache starting January 1, 2012. Opponents have already started filing in. Perhaps th ... More >>
What the hell does she know about being broke?While the rest of us have been languishing in what seems like a never-ending recession, one of top San Francisco lawmakers just keeps getting richer. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi's (D-San Francisco) personal wealth grew by 62 percent over the last year, ... More >>
Courtesy OC WeeklyTea Partier Marilyn Davenport sent this photo to fellow conservativesTime for some link love to one of the southern garrisons of the Village Voice Media empire. We've written before about the paranoiac, semiliterate reasoning that supports the related belief systems of the Tea P ... More >>
Don't even think about shorting her...The cost of living for the Meg Whitmans of the world might become much more expensive. California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D- San Francisco) announced today that he is introducing legislation to improve the lives of domestic workers in the state.The bill, whi ... More >>
God help me, but it's true: I love America's Funniest Home Videos. Thanks to YouTube, you can find more than enough old episodes. You turn the sound off -- be gone, Bob Saget! -- and bliss. It's so predictable, yet so hilarious. Men working on roofs are gonna fall. Skateboarders will not land whe ... More >>
The most powerful female politician in the country now teeters between long-term victory and instant defeat.
Only a fraction of Mexicans get U.S. asylum.
Coyotes who smuggle immigrants torture and extort their victims, helped by out government's failure to enact immigration reform.
By following @_PrettyAlison, the California GOP studied the body politic...If you're going to get hit with a sex scandal, you should at least make sure to enjoy the sex. Yet the California Republican Party has been monitoring the online offerings of dozens of porn purveyors in a situation that ga ... More >>
Rep. Jerry McNerney: First off the island?With all the sturm und drang gripping the Democratic party as the fall election approaches -- some observers are forecasting a Republican take-back of the House of Representatives, prompted by widespread anger over the economy and some of President Barack ... More >>
If you were a true progressive, you'd pull for a World Cup outcome that'd help Lula hold onto power. You know this to be true. Last week we wrote about how the U.S. World Cup team's thrilling, last-minute victory over Algeria wasn't due to any kind innately American traits hard-wired into players ... More >>
Is 'Mr. Change' listening?San Francisco attorney Jon Eisenberg thinks he's learned a thing or two about Barack Obama over the past 15 months. Eisenberg, who won a landmark decision against the government in Northern California's U.S. District Court Wednesday on a wiretapping case, says that when ... More >>
Despite Obama's promises of change, corporate crooks are still going unpunished for their roles in the financial collapse.
oldies.comWhich came first, the lunatics or the grass? The time-honored notion of reefer madness, given new life recently in the British tabloid press, has taken another hit from reality. Widespread marijuana use by the public has not been followed by a proportional rise in diagnoses of schizophreni ... More >>
We got a tip earlier this week from a usually reliable political insider that Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier is considering a run for lieutenant governor. According to the source, Alioto-Pier has been putting out feelers to test the idea of making a bid for the most useless job in Sacramento. If y ... More >>
Washington's elected officials and punditocracy have of late been consumed in hashing out the shape of an economic stimulus package. While no love has been lost between Republicans and Democrats in the pit fight over the bill's final shape, both sides say they recognize that some form of government ... More >>
San Francisco's Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) is the appendix of the city's municipal body -- an unnecessary entity serving no obvious or useful purpose. Considering the city is looking at a half-billion-dollar deficit, cutting this useless civic appendage and its $1 million budget would ... More >>
Those of us lucky enough to still have gainful employment as the George W. Bush years stumble to their ignominious thud will be clocking in tomorrow around the time President-elect Barack Obama knocks the "elect" off his title.A rollicking article in the current New Yorker notes that while president ... More >>
As Sunday news reports described Mexican monopolist Carlos Slim Helu's bid to become the largest shareholder of The New York Times, readers and staffers were no doubt wondering precisely what kind of scoundrel he is.Everyone knows Slim controls Telmex, the politically connected monopoly that has dri ... More >>
Finally, a reason to visit Sacramento By Joe Eskenazi After 14 years of racking up some of the world's best off-color, gay-themed double-entendres - and, incidentally, governing San Francisco - Supervisor Tom Ammiano tossed a few last one-liners to his adoring public before opting to leave civiliz ... More >>
Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross wrote in their Sunday installment about the most recent developments in the Olympic torch debacle. Apparently Supervisor Tom Ammiano thinks Newsom is going to be forced to make a choice between heeding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's counsel that he s ... More >>
Will we be more secure -- or just less competitive -- if the government forces hundreds of thousands of international science students to get export licenses simply to look through a microscope?
As the king fights a Maoist insurrection, the Nepali Supreme Court decides whether homosexual acts are "bestiality"
Week of October 29, 2003
International environmentalists claim they stopped a Mexican salt plant that endangered the gray whale. Actually, though, the Mexican government canceled the plant for reasons of its own.
Letters from March 21, 2001
Published April 26, 2000
In 1995, Golden ADA Inc., a San Francisco diamond-importing firm, collapsed, unveiling an international trail of theft and betrayal that embarrassed San Francisco luminaries involved with the company. Now, newly unsealed court files show that high-level m
While condemning India for its nuclear testing, the U.S. government quietly funnels billions to research programs aimed at creating an ever-more-virulent nuclear arsenal