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U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Opinion, Santa Monica, Feinstein

OpEd: The Polls Don't Look Good for Feinstein Today

Posted Feb. 3, 2016, 11:32 am

The polls don’t look super-strong for Dianne Feinstein today. True, she has a very good approval rating in the latest surveys, the Field Poll showing 44 percent of California voters think she’s doing a good job and only 29 percent disapproving of her work.

There’s something about a train…

News, Opinion, Metro

There's Something About a Train

Posted Feb. 2, 2016, 10:21 am

Opinion: Years ago, the late singer-songwriter Richie Havens got a gig writing a tune for Amtrak commercials. His husky voice had a wonderful quality of instant credibility and it was effective in relaying a simple idea regarding rail transportation: “There’s something about a train…”

UC

News, Opinion, Santa Monica, Elias, Uc

Opinion: Campus Anti-Semitism Festers While UC Dithers

Posted Jan. 25, 2016, 4:44 pm

Opinion: There has been little more than dithering from the University of California and its top officials in the year or so since anti-Semitic episodes on several of its best-known and highest-ranked campuses became well known.

Barbara Bishop's best friend, Zoey.

News, Opinion, Santa Monica, Hot Flash

Hot Flash: Walking With a Friend

Posted Jan. 25, 2016, 4:31 pm

My best friend and I walk every day, twice a day for at least an hour. She’s ready to go at 7:30am, and then again at 6:30pm. We’ll walk in the cold, in the rain, in the heat, in the sunshine, in the dark. We walk whether I want to or not.

Ricky Gervais, host of this year’s 73rd Golden Globes.

News, Awards, Opinion

Okay, I Guess We Need Awards Shows

Posted Jan. 17, 2016, 8:00 am

Awards of some kind would probably exist in our society whether the giving and getting of them involved seeking them out or not.

Traffic jams

Opinion, Santa Monica, Traffic

Bottleneck Report: Transit Only a Partial Fix

Posted Jan. 16, 2016, 6:00 am

Many of America’s worst traffic bottlenecks are holding up commuters for hours each week even where there’s plenty of mass transit nearby.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Government

Porter Ranch: Could This Be A New San Bruno?

Posted Jan. 3, 2015, 7:47 am

A flood of lawsuits began within weeks after a huge, still-ongoing leak of natural gas arose in late October from a Southern California Gas Co. storage facility 1,200 feet above the Porter Ranch area in the northern reaches of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

New California Motor Voter Law: Don't Expect Mass Election Fraud

Posted Jan. 2, 2015, 9:01 am

California’s new “motor voter” law has now taken effect, even if it’s not yet in massive use, and so far the sky has not fallen.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Politics

Why Lies Don't Hurt Donald Trump

Posted Dec. 27, 2015, 9:53 am

There’s a simple answer to the question of why the seemingly constant lying of presidential candidate Donald Trump has not cost him much, if any, of his standing among Republicans likely to vote in this spring’s primary elections.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Ad For California Pot Czar: New Form of Reefer Madness?

Posted Dec. 26, 2015, 7:50 am

It surely looked like reefer madness was back the other day, when the state began advertising for a new medical marijuana czar. The timing of the listing, coming while a dozen proposed ballot initiatives to legalize recreational pot are pending, appeared to suggest an assumption by Gov. Jerry Brown and his administration that at least one will pass.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Public Utilities Commission Descends Into Comic Opera

Posted Dec. 20, 2015, 7:00 am

For many years, California’s powerful Public Utilities Commission has conducted Kabuki-style dances with the multi-billion-dollar corporations it regulates. But the latest significant commission decision amounts to a descent into comic opera.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Ten Good Things About 2015

Posted Dec. 19, 2015, 8:48 am

It will be too easy for writers and columnists to formulate their Worst Moments of 2015 lists this year because, once again, gun events—terrorist and otherwise—will dominate those lists.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Major Highway Repairs Unlikely In 2016

Posted Dec. 19, 2015, 8:41 am

It will be no surprise if Californians don’t see many needed highway repairs getting underway in the next year. For the Jerry Brown administration says it will take $59 billion to repair state roads and another $78 billion to fix those maintained by cities and counties.

Do you have a Letter to the Editor? Email editor@smmirror.com.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter: Santa Monica Democratic Club Conveys Appreciation To Lieu On Syrian Refugees

Posted Dec. 16, 2015, 9:38 am

We the executive board of the Santa Monica Democratic Club wish to convey our appreciation for your calm and courageous response to the fear and fear-mongering over the issue of Syrian refugees.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Voters May Get Questions Of What's A Pension, Who Should Get Them

Posted Dec. 13, 2015, 9:08 am

Ballot initiative campaigns don’t usually center around definitions, but the question of what’s a pension and what’s not is one battle over definitions that’s very likely to face voters this fall.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Flailing California GOP Knows How Bad Off It Is

Posted Dec. 12, 2015, 9:17 am

Rarely has a political party flailed in as many futile ways as California’s branch of the Republican Party.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Syria Refugee Vote A Roadmap To 2016 Election

Posted Dec. 7, 2015, 8:57 am

Anyone looking for a roadmap showing which of California’s 53 congressional district elections will be tight next year need look no farther than how the state’s House Democrats voted last month on a bill that would essentially halt a federal plan to take in tens of thousands of refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Education

UC Heeds Its Critics; Will Take More Californians

Posted Dec. 5, 2015, 9:37 am

After more than three years of steadfastly denying the increased enrollment of foreign and out-of-state students could endanger the very California identity of the University of California, it's stunning and encouraging to see the 10-campus system do an about face.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Email Issue Hints At Possible Brown Corruption Role

Posted Nov. 29, 2015, 8:58 am

There is no doubt Gov. Jerry Brown has tolerated corruption in his administration. But now there are hints that he might be personally involved in some of it.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Holiday, Santa Monica, Columnist

The Holidays: A Consideration

Posted Nov. 28, 2015, 9:24 am

We are in the “holiday season” now which the Grinch-ier among us might call the “Shopping Season” and those looking for a fight over the last few years might call, “The Season of the War on Christmas.” ‘Tis true that this season began with a fiery national debate over what a paper Christmas coffee cup should look like.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Education

Good News, Bad News In Latest School Test Scores

Posted Nov. 28, 2015, 9:20 am

There was good news and bad news – and in other ways no news at all – in the latest results of standardized tests given each year to California public school students.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Government

San Mateo Shows Likely Future Of California Voting

Posted Nov. 22, 2015, 9:29 am

At about 8:05 p.m. Nov. 3, anyone in San Mateo County who cared knew that its (almost) all-mail election was a resounding success.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Will Trump Have GOP Wishing For A National Top-Two?

Posted Nov. 21, 2015, 10:25 am

Critics call California’s three-year-old top two primary election system a “jungle primary” because it tosses candidates of all stripes into the same pot, forcing them to speak to all voters since only the two leading vote-getters can make it into November runoff elections.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Pump Prices Down A Bit, But Gas Gouging Continues

Posted Nov. 15, 2015, 9:25 am

The days when oil companies could credibly deny they’re gouging California drivers just because they’ve dropped pump prices a bit appear now to be over.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Education

Anti-Semitism Issue Becomes Test For UC Chief

Posted Nov. 14, 2015, 9:09 am

It’s rather doubtful that Janet Napolitano worried much when she first heard vandals scrawled swastikas and the message “Jews to the gas chamber” inside a restroom on a University of California campus.

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