Take two

Oct 9, 2017

The ouster of the most powerful producer in Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein, following reports of decades-long sexual harassment, exposes the film industry's double standard.


From the LA Times' MEG JAMES, DAVID NG AND MEREDITH BLAKE: "This week, amid revelations that Oscar-winning movie and television producer Harvey Weinstein had a long history of sexually harassing women, Hollywood’s response was largely muted. Film studios on Friday all declined to comment."


“Yup. Hollywood shines light on Catholic Church, sex trafficking — let's shine it on ourselves a second and what we've condoned,” actress-writer-producer Lena Dunhamwrote on Twitter, one of the few celebrities who took a public stand."


"Hollywood has a poor track record when it comes to women. Actresses received just 31.4% of speaking roles in the top 100 films released last year, according to the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at USC Annenberg’s School for Communication and Journalism. The “sexy stereotype” persisted with more than a quarter of females in those films wearing sexy attire, compared with 5.7% of men. In 2015, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission opened an investigation into allegedly discriminatory hiring practices against female directors."


Once again, Southern California holds the key to a major California water project


Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER/RYAN SABALOW: "In 1960, the water barons of Los Angeles stood between Gov. Pat Brown and his dream of building a network of dams and canals to make the southern half of California bloom. He beat them – just barely, after weeks of public arm-twisting – and the State Water Project was born."

"Now Brown’s son, the current Gov. Jerry Brown, is calling on Southern California to support another massive water project – the Delta tunnels, a controversial plan aimed at fixing the system his father helped build. The difference this time is that Southern California has become heavily reliant on the State Water Project, is a leading advocate for the tunnels, and could be the lifesaver that keeps the younger Brown’s troubled project from utterly collapsing."

"On Tuesday, the board of the powerful Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will decide whether to commit billions of dollars to construction of the Delta tunnels. If Metropolitan votes in favor of the tunnels, as expected, it would provide a desperately needed boost for a project that’s hanging by a thread, following a resounding rejection last month by another major water agency, the Westlands Water District."


Medical marijuana's fate in California and other states in the midst of federal policy may come down to a few words from an earlier administration.


LA TIMES' EVAN HALPER: "The 85 words almost seemed an afterthought when Congress hurriedly crammed them into a massive budget bill late in the Obama administration, as if lawmakers wanted to acknowledge America’s outlook on marijuana had changed, but not make a big deal of it."

"Almost three years later, a multibillion-dollar industry and the freedom of millions to openly partake in its products without fear of federal prosecution hinge on that obscure budget clause."


"But now, Congress may throw it overboard amid pressure from an attorney general who views marijuana as a dangerous menace."


U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 84, strongly signaled that she might seek a 5th term.


The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY: "Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., hinted strongly Sunday that she will seek re-election for a fifth term in 2018."


"On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the 84-year-old said she was “ready for a good fight."


“I’ve got things to fight for,” Feinstein said. “I’m in a position where I can be effective, and hopefully that means something to California.”


Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other platforms


WaPo's ELIZABETH DWOSKIN/ADAM ENTOUS: "Google for the first time has uncovered evidence that Russian operatives exploited the company’s platforms in an attempt to interfere in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the company's investigation."

"The Silicon Valley giant has found that tens of thousands of dollars were spent on ads by Russian agents who aimed to spread disinformation across Google’s many products, which include YouTube, as well as advertising associated with Google search, Gmail, and the company’s DoubleClick ad network, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters that have not been made public. Google runs the world’s largest online advertising business, and YouTube is the world’s largest online video site."

"The discovery by Google is also significant because the ads do not appear to be from the same Kremlin-affiliated troll farm that bought ads on Facebook -- a sign that the Russian effort to spread disinformation online may be a much broader problem than Silicon Valley companies have unearthed so far."


Hardline White House immigration proposals could derail a deal to protect 'Dreamers' 


LA Times' NOAH BIERMAN/LISA MASCARO: "The Trump administration revealed a sweeping set of hardline immigration demands Sunday night — including the building of a wall on the southern border and major changes to the legal immigration system — as tradeoffs for legislation to protect the so-called Dreamers, a move that could kill prospects for a deal to protect roughly 700,000 young people now facing possible deportation."

"The White House proposals would curb the ability of American citizens to sponsor family members to join them from abroad, upending decades of immigration policy, and put strict new limits on asylum claims. The list also includes increased money for border security and mandatory use of the government's E-Verify system for employers to ensure that workers they hire are legal residents."


"Also on the list is a tighter crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities, localities that decline to cooperate fully with federal immigration authorities. The list also included measures to more quickly remove minors who have crossed into the U.S. from Central America in recent years seeking asylum."


California could ban gasoline cars -- if automakers don't beat state to it 


The Chronicle's KATE GALBRAITH: "In January, when the California Legislature reconvenes, Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, plans to introduce a bill that would ban new vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel after 2040."


"Automakers may not be too far behind."

"Last week, Ford said it would reduce spending on internal combustion engines by a third, as it introduces 13 new electric and hybrid models in the next five years. General Motors promised at least 20 new electric models by 2023; Executive Vice President Mark Reuss said GM “believes in an all-electric future."


FBI searches Stephen Paddock's house again


Valley Tribune's DANIEL AITKEN: "Federal investigators returned to search the home of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock on Sunday, while the officers who raided his hotel room door the night of the shooting gave a harrowing account of a barricaded door they had to bust through and the booby-traps they feared they’d find."

"The search of Paddock’s three-bedroom house on a cul-de-sac in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, was for “re-documenting and rechecking,” said local police Chief Troy Tanner, who accompanied FBI agents as they served the search warrant."


"I don’t think they are after anything specific,” Tanner told The Associated Press. “They’re going through everything and photographing everything again."


READ MORE related to Route 91 Harvest Festival Massacre: SF police escort body of officer's wife killed in Las Vegas massacre -- The Chronicle's EVAN SERNOFFSKY; In the solitary world of video poker, Stephen Paddock knew how to win. Until he didn't -- LA Times' DAVID MONTERO/RICHARD WINTON/RUBEN VIVES


Where are they now? Wadie Deddeh


ALEX VASSAR in Capitol Weekly: "There are five people alive today who each served more than a quarter-century in the California State Legislature. Four of the five served as the leader of a house during their time in Sacramento."

"The longest-serving, Willie Brown at nearly 31 years, was easily one of the most influential Assembly Speakers. David Roberti, John Burton and Bill Lockyer each served as Senate President pro Tem."


East Bay human trafficker's 'reign of terror' finally over, says prosecutor


East Bay Times' NATE GARTRELL: "

A man who prosecutors say kidnapped women at gunpoint, forced them into prostitution and shaved their heads and raped them as a form of punishment was sentenced to 287 years to life in prison."

"Derrick Harper, who was convicted of conspiracy, human trafficking, and several other offenses in one case — and murdering a man in another — was sent to San Quentin prison last month. The way the sentence is written, Harper will be eligible for parole after he serves 287 years in prison."


Mike Pence, CBS play games of their own around 49ers


The Chronicle's ANN KILLION: "If you thought the displays during the national anthem at football games were going to fade away quietly, the highest office in the land just guaranteed that they would not."


"If you thought that Colin Kaepernick’s story couldn’t get any weirder, CBS just guaranteed it could."

"As it has in recent weeks, Sunday morning’s NFL schedule started with off-field drama. And, as has been the case for over a year, the 49ers were right in the center of it."


READ MORE related to Federal: NATO chief: 'We don't want a new Cold War' with Russia -- AP's ALISON MUTLER; Senior GOP senator calls White House 'an adult day-care center' after Trumpa ttacks him and others -- LA Times' LAURA KING


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