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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Millennial Problems: Sad Bernie Sanders

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 10:11 AM

  • Marc Nozell/Wikimedia Commons
It’s been a sad week for Bernie Sanders.

A darling of millennials the world over, the onetime presidential candidate first had to stomach the news that powerful people don’t want him in power anywhere. Then he was forced to tell his bros to relax because He’s with Her now. After that, he went up on stage days before you want to go up on stage at a political party convention. And through it all, Bernie has had one of those stiff-upper-lip smiles which make it obvious that the person smiling isn’t really happy.

Poor Bernie Sanders.

Maybe he got screwed, maybe he didn’t. It doesn’t really matter anymore. But at least the senator from Vermont can return to the Northeast knowing his supporters left it all on the convention floor, and probably elsewhere. And by that, we mean streams of salty love and admiration.

“Crying millennials DNC” is a fun word combo with which to search the social medias and wider internet right now. There are stories here, here, and definitely here. If you were watching Bernie’s speech Monday night, then you certainly know the camera operators at CNN found almost every weeping millennial in Convention Hall.

This wasn’t one tear here and there, eyes that were maybe a little misty and trying to hold it back. This crying was like holy-shit-I’m-5-years-old-and-I-just-hugged-my-pet-hamster-so-hard-it’s-not-breathing-anymore.

Except you’re not 5. You’re 20, maybe 24. You might even be 30. You went to college, loaded up on debt, and work some low-paying job with little vacation time or room for growth. You go out when you can, but between working and paying rent and all your other bills you basically only have time and money for Netflix and boiling packets of Top Ramen. You Instagram, but you hate yourself for it because you only post animal photos. You work 60 hours a week, and your employer keeps telling you the world is a place where you have to do more with less.

No wonder you’re crying; Bernie was going to make your life better. This happened instead:

  • George Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

What’s the alternative? Do you want to be a Bernie Bro like the folks Slate called “disappointed, angry, and downright despondent”? You want to chance a Donald Trump presidency? That’s gotta be worse than posting a selfie and getting fewer than 10 likes. Nah, you need to take a measured approach, like the folks The Atlantic found who “saw no particular problem in once loudly criticizing the status quo and now supporting an institutional candidate who very well may preserve it.”

It’s good to cry. It helps the healing process, and you always feel better once the tears dry. So maybe do a few more breakdowns, privately and quietly, until the week is over. But after that, give some serious thought to hashtagging #ImWithHer until November.
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Monday, July 25, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Millennial Problems: Anatomy of a Young Trump Voter

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 1:07 PM

Any one of these youths might be a Trump voter. - JOHN LOCHER/AP
  • John Locher/AP
  • Any one of these youths might be a Trump voter.
Now that Donald Trump is one of TWO major party candidates for president of the United States, it’s worth taking stock of his voter base — particularly the youngsters, who come November could be the difference between Melania being the first lady or just stealing the first lady’s ideas.

By and large, Trump is unpopular among millennial voters. But that doesn’t mean all millennial voters. For instance, in Mississippi, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, he exceeded or neared 50 percent of the youth vote on the GOP side, according to a voter analysis released by Tufts University in late June. And in New Hampshire, he had a larger percentage of the youth vote (38 percent) than the overall vote (35 percent). And now that millennial god Bernie Sanders is gone, could Trump court some of those youths since he’s also an anti-establishment candidate?

If you read this take on Sanders supporters, it will never happen. (There’s also a scary quote in there from a millennial who would have voted for Trump had he not picked Mike Pence as his running mate, and will now go for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. That’s a study in contrasts.)

So who are Trump’s young voters?

“They’re people such as Will Carter, 18, from Savannah, Ga.,” writes the Charlotte Observer. “He got the political bug early. When he was 8, George W. Bush traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, for a Group of Eight economic summit. Carter was so taken with the trip that for his birthday party, he had a G-8 theme, complete with a birthday cake with flags of the participating nations.”

Holy shit, we kinda like this kid. What a weirdo. He probably dresses as Vladimir Putin for Halloween.

But what else makes a young Trump voter? How about a love for reality TV. The Charlotte Observer found at least one millennial who grew up watching The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice, Trump’s two shows, and has been “a fan ever since.” That was apparently enough to make him a Trump voter as well.

Anecdotes aside, the statistic often used to separate conservative and liberal voters, especially among youths, is a college education. That might seem like the dividing line for Trump millennials, but it didn’t really stack up that way in primaries in which the youth vote was tabulated. The Tufts study found that “young GOP primary voters were more likely to have a four-year college degree than the general population.” And the youngest of voters might not have a degree, but that doesn’t mean they’re not in college working toward that degree.

One thing’s for sure: Trump is hugely unpopular among young women and young non-white voters, according to the study.

The meat of Trump’s voter base, not surprisingly, comes from those GOP voters who are the most conservative in their views and most hostile toward immigrants and poor people — what the study called “Steadfast Conservatives.” The problem is that while “Steadfast Conservatives make up one of the two largest segments of Republicans and Republican-leaners over age 30, it is the smallest segment among young conservatives, and second-smallest among youth overall.”

It seems the anatomy of a young Trump voter is still up for debate. Studies and polls have their problems, and primary turnout is always different than general election turnout. The social media ground game might end up being the deciding factor, as it was for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and Trump is hugely popular on Twitter. Plus, he has millennials doing some of that bidding as well.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Republican Convention Story You Missed

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 11:39 AM

With all the attention on what Melania said, you might not have realized that on Tuesday, Donald Trump was officially nominated for president of the United States. Let that sink in.

You also probably missed a pretty serious moment for another Republican, a lawyer from San Francisco named Harmeet K. Dhillon, who gave the invocation at Day 2 of the convention in Cleveland. The catch is, she offered a Sikh prayer in Punjabi because, well, she practices Sikhism. It was quite a moment for Dhillon, and the Christ-worshipping GOP.

And over here on the Internet, the prayer — which Dhillon helpfully translated for the majority white, English-speaking audience — went over exactly as you’d expect. But before we get into that part, we want you to get to know Harmeet K. Dhillon.

She’s an attorney who lives in San Francisco. She recently took on a class action lawsuit against the city of San Jose after Trump supporters were attacked during a June 2 rally, claiming police failed to protect the supporters from anti-Trump protesters.

The Los Angeles Times ran a bio of Dhillon on Tuesday after the invocation. She was born in India but raised in England and the U.S. Her parents supported Republicans, and in 2013 she became the first female vice chair of the California Republican Party. But that rise did not come without controversy and hardship.

Before being elected to the position, she encountered heavy racism. Dhillon was called a “Taj Mahal princess” and mislabeled a Muslim (and one who would defend beheadings), and a rumor started claiming she would slaughter a goat at the lectern.

So it can’t be all that surprising to read the reactions to her Sikh prayer posted on the GOP Convention Facebook page with the video of her invocation. They certainly were not all bad, but the ugly ones were rather hideous.

Polly Howard Tottle
If I wanted to pray to the Sikh God, I'd go to India. Could we stop appeasing the MINORITY for a change??? Stupid political correctness is killing us! The U.S. was founded on CHRISTIAN principles...we are the MAJORITY yet we continually have to endure this insanity ...I'm tired of all this about just go with what America was founded on! Maybe we could fear the *real God* and realize we're IN this national fix because of our stupidity and arrogance in not honoring Jesus Christ as a nation! Whaddya say GOP?! This is why the majority hates the GOP Establishment!

Lucy Moberg
Not everyone in this country is a Christian. As a Christian, I can respect a different faith even though I do not agree with it. I am confident enough in my own faith, that listening to someone else is not a threat to me. We have to learn how to be inclusive of all faith practices in the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.... it's in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

Melody Hair Godess Bennett
I am so sorry but did she get lost at the airport??? What country does she believe she is in at that time? AMERICA...YOU ARE IN AMERICA you jerk...ENGLISH! Holy crap I cannot believe what I just saw...oh wait, of course I can, she was from the CLINTVOMIT bad

Rita O'Hara
I am Catholic, of Christian Faith. This prayer was fabulous! Harmeet is an amazing woman! She is a superb representative for San Francisco! Rock solid! Rock⭐️‼️

Felicia Solomita
I shut you off during this. I pray to Jesus not her woojie or whatever!! Good grief!

Annette Gallardo Escalante
We r 1 country with different faiths without having to worry about persecution.

Renata Smith
Never again, PLEASE!!!! This is a Christian nation. Speak English too, PLEASE!!!

Brian Akers
Have some respect people, why do think we have the problems we have in this country

Josh Leeper
Sure it's a religion of peace, that's what all the Muslims say. This is America! A Christian country

Sandy Crocco
I think it's beautiful that everyone can pray in their own religion for the same things that we all want.

Traian Lalescu
what's this ? what country is she from? what language? what the Hell is going on with Americans?

Josh Leeper
Take that crap off your head this is america

Renata Smith
There is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. If Jesus is not in the mix, that god is satan himself. I can certainly respect the person but I can not respect the religion.

Rob Harless
And ppl think us Republicans are racist
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hate Speech Throws Fuel on Fire of Recall Ed Lee Campaign

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 1:09 PM

Protestors pushing for the recall of Mayor Ed Lee shout at supporters of the mayor outside the steps of City Hall  on July 15. - JOEL ANGEL JUÁREZ/SPECIAL TO S.F. EXAMINER
  • Joel Angel Juárez/Special to S.F. Examiner
  • Protestors pushing for the recall of Mayor Ed Lee shout at supporters of the mayor outside the steps of City Hall on July 15.

Something went down at last Friday’s rally to recall Mayor Ed Lee, but what exactly happened is up for debate - unless, of course, you’re allied with the mayor himself.

In that case, the Recall Ed Lee group has a bigoted and racist member among it. Proof of this can allegedly be found in a video posted to YouTube by Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition, formed, in their own words, “to oppose an extremist effort to foist a $3.5 million, taxpayer-funded recall election on the City of San Francisco.”

The video shows supporters of the ambitious, if not misguided, recall effort chanting their intentions outside City Hall on Friday when an unidentified woman appears and silences the crowd by twice saying, “Go back to China.” She later makes a few more disparaging remarks, including, “You take your Chinese asses back where you came from.”

The woman’s statements can be heard clearly enough in the 29-second clip. And there’s no denying that her words are the antithesis of constructive criticism. However, what’s unclear, and somewhat baffling, is why supporters of the mayor are now claiming this woman is part of the group pushing for a recall. Watch the video and it seems quite apparent the recall folks, and everyone else present, are as shocked as anyone to hear such hateful speech.

Nevertheless, the Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition issued a news release Monday condemning the Recall Ed Lee group, complete with reactions from prominent city figures:

"It is shocking and deeply offensive to hear such openly hateful language used against Chinese Americans - and on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, of all places," Assemblyman David Chiu is quoted as saying. "I urge every San Franciscan to join me in opposing this divisive recall effort."

“San Franciscans now finally see the hate that stands behind the proposed recall of Mayor Ed Lee: anti-Chinese sentiment that has no place in the City’s political debate. I call on every San Franciscan to oppose this wasteful recall and denounce these racist comments,” Fiona Ma, chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization, is quoted as saying.

The Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition held its own rally at 12:30 p.m. today outside City Hall to address the woman’s statements.

There’s no denying her words were offensive, but condemning the entire group based solely on the video is a reach. However, it does paint the Recall Ed Lee folks in the worst light possible, which might be enough to quash their intentions. We smell political maneuvering at work here.

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Another Report Points Out Dire Mental Health Care Situation in SF County Jail

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 12:15 PM

  • Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner
For the second time in a month, a report on the state of inmate mental health in San Francisco has been released - which means for the second time in a month, we can wonder if anyone at City Hall is still paying attention to the crisis happening in the County Jail system and, in turn, on city streets.

San Francisco officials last year wanted the city to invest in alternatives to incarceration instead of a new jail, and that includes much more robust mental health care services. But since the Board of Supervisors rejected funding for a new jail in December, not much has happened save for a concept paper released in mid-June and now a grand jury report on the mental health crisis among inmates.

The concept paper and report are similar, pointing out that County Jail is the top provider of mental health care services in San Francisco (in case you’re curious, that’s not a title it should hold). And despite the inmate population declining over the years, one of the concept paper authors told SF Weekly earlier this month that the number of inmates needing mental health care has not dropped. And when those inmates are finally released, many end up homeless, living on the streets.

The heart of the concept paper is a four-tiered approach to mental health care that includes a place police can take suspects for evaluation before they’re locked up, in hopes that they can receive the proper care instead of a damaging and dangerous stint behind bars. In the grand jury report, recommendations include operating Jail Behavioral Health Services 24 hours a day, along with crisis and suicide prevention training for staff who work with inmates. Suicide is, according to the report, the top cause of death among inmates across the country.

Bay City News pointed out that the city is being sued by the family of Alberto Carlos Petrolino, a 50-year-old man who died by suicide while in County Jail. Family members and defense attorneys had warned that Petrolino was suicidal, but authorities did not provide the proper care and supervision. And Petrolino was not a violent offender, having been locked up because he violated a stay-away order that prevented him from going to the Golden Gate Bridge after threatening to jump off the span.

Officials with the Sheriff’s Department, which operates County Jail, said they will review the grand jury report. They are coordinating with the jail replacement working group to come up with plans for a new project, which are expected by the end of the year.
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Kim Asks Wiener to Stop Mentioning Her Name During Campaign

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 1:30 PM

  • Courtesy Photos
As far as political races go, the two San Francisco supervisors vying to represent District 11 in the California Senate could not be much closer after the June primary. So it stands to reason both will be pulling no punches in the run-up to November’s general election.

For Supervisor Jane Kim, that apparently means asking her opponent, Supervisor Scott Wiener, to play nice – like, really nice. Last week, Kim issued a request for Wiener to refrain from basically everything that constitutes a campaign for elected office. It’s a bold stance, but not necessarily an unprecedented one – and Wiener is none too happy about it.

In her pledge, Kim begins by simply asking Wiener to commit to a positive campaign. That seems fine and dandy until you get to her bullet points, specifically two of them: “My campaign shall not mention my opponent in any paid advertising, including broadcast, cable, digital or mail”; “My campaign shall provide my opponent copies of all paid advertisements 24 hours before they are broadcast, posted or mailed.”

Kim seems to have come up with the idea in response to Wiener’s “series of false and misleading attacks against Jane. We’re hoping he will change his mind,” according to the pledge.

Not surprisingly, Wiener responded with dismay, calling the move “anti-democratic.”.

“Democracy isn't well-served by allowing candidates - both myself and Jane Kim included - to have a monopoly on discussion of our records,” Wiener wrote on his website. “Democracy isn't well-served by allowing candidates to cherry pick only what we want the voters to hear about our positions, while preventing other people from correcting the record or painting a complete picture. It is entirely appropriate and healthy for Jane Kim to discuss my record - as she has already done - and for me to discuss hers.”

Candidates asking each other to be cordial is nothing new, even if it’s somewhat perplexing. John McCain did it in September 2008, going so far as to suspend his campaign in the face of the nation’s financial meltdown and seek a conciliatory tone from opponent Barack Obama as the two senators joined congressional colleagues in addressing the crisis. We all know how McCain fared a few months later.

More recently, some wondered whether Bernie Sanders should have attacked Hillary Clinton more this year and late last year as the underdog for the Democratic Party nomination for president When he finally did, it was way too late
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Friday, July 1, 2016

Year After Kate Steinle Death, GOP Maintains Rhetoric on Immigration

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 12:45 PM

  • Gage Skidmore/Flickr

What better way to honor a dead woman than to continue to shamelessly politicize her death? If you’re the legions of immigrant-hating conservatives among us, that’s exactly what you do.

A year ago today, Kate Steinle was killed on Pier 14 in San Francisco in what the suspected shooter has said was an accident. That man — Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, who’s awaiting trial on first degree murder charges — became the most famous undocumented immigrant in America, and San Francisco became the most famous sanctuary city. Ours was a town where violent and hateful criminals from other countries came because they knew they could find safe harbor and plot their destruction of white America without fear of interruption. Sounds totally reasonable, right?

If you’re failed presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, himself an immigrant from Canada, or blowhard plastic face Bill O’Reilly, who we’re not sure is entirely human, that scenario is not only accurate, it must be stopped through legislation bearing the victim’s name. And now, since the legislation has gone nowhere in the past year, Cruz and O’Reilly and others who hate things that are different are using the anniversary of Steinle’s death to push their political agenda yet again.

Cruz’s bill is supposed to make it to the Senate floor next week. Here’s some well-manicured rhetoric from the senator himself, which no doubt was written by one of his unpaid interns: “The problem of illegal immigration in this country will never be solved until we demonstrate to the American people that we are serious about securing the border and enforcing our immigration laws. Congress must prevent cities from harboring illegal aliens, and it must hold this Administration accountable for its failure—if not its outright refusal—to enforce federal immigration laws and ensure the safety and security of the American people.”

Lopez Sanchez had a long rap sheet for getting caught entering the country illegally many times, although no violent record, making him the perfect example of some people’s desire to criminalize immigrants for simply being immigrants.

National Review, which probably is not widely read in San Francisco, pointed out that Cruz’s bill has about as much substance as the senator’s presidential campaign, since of course it’s already illegal to re-enter the U.S. if you’ve been deported. A different bill, from Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, goes after certain federal funding for cities that have sanctuary policies. That could potentially harm San Francisco, although it’s unlikely to make it all the way to a presidential signature. Nevertheless, Toomey wants you to know he’s serious:

It’s been a year since Steinle’s death, and we offer condolences to the family. In that time, many thousands more people have died as a result of gun violence. Where are our elected leaders on that topic? Oh, right.
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Friday, June 17, 2016

Scott Wiener's Camp Blames Jane Kim For George W. Bush

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Which of the two can you blame for George W. Bush? - SFGOV.ORG
  • Which of the two can you blame for George W. Bush?

It continues to be testy between Supervisors Scott Wiener and Jane Kim, the San Francisco City Hall co-workers competing for a job in the state Senate.

Having raised twice as much money, Wiener was supposedly the big favorite in last Tuesday's primary election. (Kim and Wiener are both Democrats, and in California's new-ish "open primary system," there's a wide-open primary and then a final election in November between the top two candidates from the primary, meaning most every election in California will be a yearlong fight between Democrats, but we digress.) 

But Kim held her own, and by the most-recent count, won more votes in San Francisco, with the vote in more conservative San Mateo County giving Wiener the edge by only 1,100 votes, or less than one percent.

All that to say tempers are predictably frayed, and when you're in a bad mood, you say mean things — such as blaming Jane Kim for George W. Bush, as a Wiener campaign consultant did earlier this week.

Continue reading »

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Monday, June 13, 2016

After Orlando, Will The Pro-Gun Lobby Keep Using Trans People As Campaign Props? (Spoiler: Yes)

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 2:20 PM

This fall, Californians will vote on a ballot proposition that would extend the state's gun control laws. The "Safety For All" campaign would not ban guns in California — far from it — but would ban large-capacity magazines, require background checks for anyone purchasing ammunition, and require California's reported 18 million gun owners to immediately notify police if their guns are lost or stolen. Launched last fall, this campaign is Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's main political effort this year.

If measures like that were in effect in Florida, Omar Mateen may have had a harder time killing 49 people, as he did early Sunday morning at Pulse, a gay nightclub. But even before Mateen's massacre, LGBT people were front-and-center in this debate in California — as a reason not to extend gun control.

As you can see in the ad above, one of several paid for by the California Rifle and Pistol Association-sponsored Coalition for Civil Liberties, pro-gun groups are arguing that gun control makes LGBT people unsafe, because they will not have guns with which to defend themselves from hate crimes.

That's a specious argument even before a military-style weapon with a high-capacity magazine was used to murder a club full of LGBT people. But rather than back off on it, the pro-gun set is doubling down — and arguing further that LGBT people need guns. 

Continue reading »

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"