Bruce Blog

Impertinent questions for the PG&E 3 supervisors

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Note: The Guardian and I were delighted, after fighting PG&E since 1969 to enforce the public power mandates of the federal Raker Act,  to see the SF Board of Supervisors finally start the process rolling on a veto-proof 8-3 vote. Even the San Francisco Chronicle, after all these decades of opposition to public power, noted in its Monday story by John Cote:

"The move would effectively end Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s decades-long monopoly on the consumer power market in San Francisco, and it would lay the groundwork for the city to generate its own power in the future.

"Public power has long been a goal of major contingent on the city's political left.  The contract approval comes eight years after the city began setting up a community choice aggregation program, which allows municipalities to choose alternativve energy providers." Read more »

Calvin Trillin: A rallying cry from the Obama camp

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"Amid discord, Romney Seeks to Sharpen Message on his Agenda."

--The New York Times

We've got to go now hell for leather.

We've got to get our act together,

'Cause even right-wing pundits say

That this campaign's in disarray.

With our endeavor such a mess

We find it difficult to press

Our message that this country needs

A man who's proven by his deeds

That he can turn a firm around,

That he is someone who's renowned

For skills in management writ large.Read more »

Calvin Trillin: Convention bounce for Obama

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From Charlotte, Obama had hoped for a bounce.

It came in a way unforeseen.

When William J. Clinton had spoken his piece,

He'd furnished a strong trampoline.

Calvin Trillin, Deadline Poet (The Nation 10/1/2012)

Louis Dunn: On Mormon threats to excommunicate Romney critic

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Louis Dunn, longtime Guardian cartoonist, comments on the Mormons and the excommunication of a Romney critic. Click on the artwork for the full-sized image.

Dick Meister: Danger and death in the tobacco fields

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By Dick Meister

 

Dick Meister, who has covered labor and political issues for more than a half-century, is co-author of "A Long Time Coming: The Struggle To Unionize America's Farm Workers" (Macmillan). Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com.

Amid all the well-deserved concern over the deadly effects of tobacco on smokers, we've largely overlooked  tobacco's other major victims – the workers who harvest the damn stuff for the great profit of  tobacco companies, often because they have virtually no other way to make a living.

There are nearly 100,000 tobacco harvesters, some as young as 12, most of them Mexican immigrants. They work during the summer in the tobacco fields of North Carolina, the country's leading tobacco producer. As the AFL-CIO, its Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), the human rights group Oxfam America and others have reported, the workers' pay and working and living conditions are abominable. Read more »

Extra! Extra! Calling all Nebraska Cornhuskers!

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Where to watch the Nebraska Cornhuskers game with Idaho State today (Saturday, 9/22/2012)

Well, it was beginning to be a desperation   The former Jean Dibble and I couldn't figure out how to watch Saturday's Nebraska football game with Idaho State on television.Read more »

Stop the presses: CleanPowerSF 8, PG&E 3

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Sometimes, the good guys (and gals) win.

And so, after the Guardian started the public power movement in 1969  with the pioneering Joe Neilands expose of the PG&E/Raker Act scandal, after three  initiative campaigns to kick PG&E put of City Hall and enforce the public power mandates of the federal Raker Act and bring our own Hetch Hetchy public power to our own people, after hundreds of people worked for years inside and outside City Hall for public power and clean energy,  the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 Tuesday  to formally launch a CleanPowerSF project that would for the first time challenge the decades-old power monopoly of the Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

It was a historic moment. And it was a historic veto proof vote that Ed Lee, the PG&E- friendly mayor, and his ally and mentor, former mayor Willie Brown, the unregistered $200,000 a year PG&E lobbyist, will have difficulty snuffing out this time around. Read more »

The historic PG&E/clean energy vote today

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And so, after a Guardian campaign that started in 1969 to kick PG&E out of City Hall and bring the city’s own Hetch Hetchy public power to San Francisco residents and businesses, the San Francisco Chronicle reported  in Monday's edition ( 9/17/2012)  that San Francisco “is on the threshold of taking a major step into the public power realm.”

The lead story by John Cote, under a big front page head “Clean power plan would skirt PG&E,”  nicely laid out the CleanPowerSF program and even said that the plan “would effectively break Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s decades-old monopoly on the consumer power market in its headquarters city.”

He quoted Sup. David Campos, sponsor of the legislation, as saying that “This is about giving consumers a choice. And for the choice to be meaningful, it can’t be dependent on one company deciding the energy future of this city.”  The plan goes before the board on Tuesday (9/18/2012) and public power advocates say they have the votes for passage, despite PG&E’s furious lobbying inside and outside City Hall. Read more »

Calvin Trillin: Calling in the Humanizer Man for Mitt the Twitt

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Calvin Trillin: Deadine poet:  Calling in the Humanizer Man

Analysts say that Romney campaign strategists face the challenge of humanizing their candidate.

--News reports

They'd like it if this man the folks are seeing

Resembled more an actual human being.

For that he'd need some warmth and schmaltz and soul;

Then he'd appear less plastic and more whole.

So in their dreams of triumph they aspire

To show that their guy bleeds and may perspire.

This can be done at once, without delay:Read more »

Louis Dunn: "Free speech zones" at the conventions?

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Cartoonist Louis Dunn comments on the "free speech zones" at the national conventions. Where were they? Click on the artwork to view the full size.