Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:55 pm
By David Folkenflik
For most American viewers, including this one, much of Monday night's presidential debate on foreign policy was conducted as though it were in a foreign language.
References to Mali, to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, missile shields in Poland, "status of forces" agreements — could only have befuddled the voting public.
It's not that the candidates invoked unimportant issues. And it's not that the two held so elevated a conversation mere mortals could not understand. It's that they were debating almost entirely in tone rather than content.
Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 7:55 am
By Mark Memmott
Fact checkers got a shout out Monday night from President Obama when he declared that Republican challenger Mitt Romney had repeated "the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign."
"Every fact checker and every reporter who's looked at it, governor, has said this is not true," the president pointed out — correctly — during Monday's debate after Romney charged that Obama went on an "apology tour" during his first year in office.
In 1851, the government of the new state of California legalized executions. But it wasn’t until 1891 that the state legislature required all executions take place within the walls of one of the state’s prisons.
The state’s first legal execution by hanging took place March 3, 1893 at San Quentin State Prison. Sixty-year-old José Gabriel was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a farming couple near San Diego.
Foreign policy proved to be a subject that kept the tone mostly substantive tonight in the third and final debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the Nov. 6 election.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 7:42 pm
By Mark Memmott
Arlington National Cemetery, which has come under intense criticism in recent years because of unmarked graves, misplaced records and mishandling of some veterans' cremated remains, today launched an online database (and apps) that it hopes will allow "family members and the public to find gravesites and explore Arlington's rich history."
The most controversial local ballot measure facing San Franciscans this November — whether to develop a plan to reform the Hetch Hetchy water system and restore Hetch Hetchy Valley — reflects a question that cities everywhere are grappling with. As geologist Andrew Alden asked in a recent essay about the measure, "Do we want to arrange our society as if nature really matters?"
The high school debaters at the Bay Area Urban Debate League get together every week in downtown Oakland, Calif., to hone their arguments and debating styles. But the young debaters have had a chance during the recent presidential debates to see how it's done on the national stage.
They watch with pen and worksheet, taking notes and analyzing the candidates' debating styles, hoping to glean some lessons from the pros.
There is a lot for these young debaters to observe and compare, but they have also noticed some key differences.
Vikki Hankins wants nothing more in the world than to have her civil rights restored. Hankins, 43, lost the right to vote — and many others — when she went to a federal prison for selling cocaine in December 1990. She spent almost two decades behind bars for her crime.
Today, Hankins is an author and an undergrad who dreams of going to law school. She got out of prison four years ago and quickly applied to have her rights — like voting, serving on a jury and becoming a lawyer — restored.
If you haven’t yet registered to vote, today is your last chance to do so! You must register by midnight tonight in order to vote in the November 6 election.
You can register for the first time, update your registration, or sign up to vote by mail at the California Voter Registration website. If you are submitting a voter registration application by mail, it must be postmarked with today’s date – or you can hand it in to your local elections office in person.