We'd just like to take this opportunity to congratulate Senator John McCain on his miraculous, come-from-behind victory to become the next President of the United States. It seemed like Barack Obama could do no wrong, right up to the morning of the vote. But once news broke that Obama had gone to a dinner party for his illegal immigrant, ghostwriting aunt, where Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi cooked up a plot to murder Pentagon staff with lethal paper cuts from Obama's phony birth certificate, an outraged public abandoned the senator from Illinois. McCain immediately announced plans to divorce his wife and marry Sarah Palin, and the two running mates unveiled their scheme to abolish English and replace it with a new language based on a system of coquettish winks and plumbing phrases. Congratulations once again, Mr. and Mrs. Palin!
What? That didn't happen? Well, don't blame us – we wrote this on Monday.
Believe it or not, one or two events not related to the election actually happened last week. While everyone was obsessing over the White House and gay marriage, a football team or two played a game, a mayor made a few remarks, and some people got shot. Here's the good, the bad, and the beauty-challenged.
Police Respond to Report
After the Chauncey Bailey Project reported that a police homicide sergeant may have ignored key evidence in the murder of the eponymous reporter last year, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums called on outside agencies to take over the investigation. The project claimed that Sergeant Derwin Longmire, who has long-standing and friendly ties to the Yusuf Bey family, may have failed to check on records for the cell phone of clan leader Yusuf Bey IV; if he had, the story added, Longmire would have discovered that an acquaintance of Bailey's called Bey the night before the murder as Bey sat in a car parked outside Bailey's apartment. The Project had already reported that Longmire may have also interfered with other criminal investigations into the Bey family.
The reports, combined with Dellums' very public call for outside help, constituted a profound rebuke to the professionalism of the Oakland Police Department. And on Saturday, the cops responded, issuing a statement that denied the project's charges. Police representatives claimed that a different investigator, who was looking into Bey's possible involvement in the kidnapping and torture of two women, had looked into the phone records in question and referred them to the District Attorney's office. "We hope that reporters covering this story will not jump to conclusions without first understanding accepted police interrogation and investigation procedures," the statement read.
Meanwhile, Dellums might have some criminal problems in his own office. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that former Dellums intern Phelicia Williams was being investigated for possibly stealing bank account information from people who gave money to a holiday toy drive.
Bernanke Talks to Cal
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke virtually attended a UC Berkeley symposium and explained how the economy has sunk so low so fast. Long story short: the banks went all wacky with the loans, and forget to be sober bankers. A panel of economics professors added that the recession may well last two years, and that graduate school looked awfully good right about now. Unless, of course, you work for Chevron! Last Friday, the San Ramon oil giant reported yet another round of record profits. For the third quarter of this year, Chevron's profits rose to a staggering $7.89 billion, twice what it was a year earlier. But since oil prices are plunging along with the rest of the global economy, don't expect the company to keep those numbers up.
California Shuts off the Tap
The state of California dropped a big payload of bad news on us last week, as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that even after the sturm und drang of the budget crisis, the state's coffers are likely to face another $10 billion in debt before the end of the fiscal year. That means between $2 billion and $4 billion will be cut from the education budget, on top of all the pain we're already endured. Meanwhile, state officials are so worried about the drought that they've told local water districts they may cut off state water supplies by as much as 85 percent. Here in the East Bay, most cities will not be affected by the news. But for those of you living in Fremont, Newark, and Union City, we recommend dry rub for your next barbecue.
Former Raiders coach Lane Kiffin has filed a grievance with the NFL Coaches Association, seeking to get the $2.6 million remaining in his contract. Team owner Al Davis insists that since Kiffin was fired for cause, he is not entitled to the money. ... Speaking of which, the Raiders may have posted their worst performance of the season last Sunday, losing 24-0 to the Atlanta Falcons and failing to chalk up a single first down in the first half. Kind of makes you miss Kiffin, huh? ... Nurses and service workers walked off the job in a one-day strike at Sutter hospitals, to protest a dispute over an expired contract.
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