‘Without Personal Honor There Is No Leadership’

Rex Tillerson spent 10 years as CEO of ExxonMobil before Donald Trump tapped him to be secretary of state, only to fire him from the position 14 months later. On Wednesday, he delivered a commencement address at the Virginia Military Institute, where he warned graduates that their democracy is in peril. “I observe a growing crisis of ethics and integrity,” he lamented, twice invoking the Biblical quote, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” That set up the core of his message: An essential tenet of a free society, a free people, is access to the truth. A government structure and a societal understanding that… Read More

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The GOP Is Betting Its Majority on Older White Voters

Representative Martha McSally, the establishment favorite for the Republican Senate nomination in Arizona, took the unusual step this week of removing her name as a co-sponsor of legislation to provide a path to citizenship for the so-called “Dreamers,” young people brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents. Locked in a tough primary with two anti-immigration hardliners—former state Senator Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio—McSally’s staff said in a statement that she now prefers a competing bill: one that would offer more limited protection to the Dreamers, while funding President Trump’s request for a border wall, toughening immigration enforcement, and slashing legal immigration. McSally’s rush to embrace… Read More

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Unapologetic Trump Jr.: Not troubled that I met with Russian

By ERIC TUCKER, MARY CLARE JALONICK and CHAD DAY WASHINGTON (AP) — Questioned intently by a Senate committee, President Donald Trump’s son struck a firmly unapologetic tone, deflected many queries and said he didn’t think there was anything wrong with meeting a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in hopes of election-season dirt on Hillary Clinton, according to transcripts released Wednesday. Donald Trump Jr., speaking in a closed-door interview last year with the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he did not give much thought to the idea that the June 9, 2016 meeting was part of a Russian government effort to help his father in the presidential race. “I don’t know that… Read More

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Vaughn Palmer: Hydro ‘shocker’ isn’t the first time project wires got crossed

VICTORIA — Energy Minister Michelle Mungall reacted strongly Wednesday afternoon to the news of a $100-million loss for B.C. Hydro in a contract dispute over construction of a major transmission line. “I’m not happy,” Mungall told me outside the legislature chamber. “It’s a lot of money.” Money that could have been used for other, better purposes, she added. She was referring to Hydro ending up on the losing side of an arbitration with the prime contractor on the Interior-Lower Mainland transmission line, a 247-kilometre-long upgrade to the provincial power grid, stretching from Merritt to Coquitlam. The project was troubled from the outset, including delays brought on by failure to properly… Read More

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Two-thirds of homes hit by new speculation tax will be B.C.-owned

VICTORIA — Almost two-thirds of those who pay the new housing speculation tax will be British Columbians, Finance Minister Carole James admitted Wednesday. B.C. residents who own several homes will be disproportionally hit. About 20,000 of the 32,000 homes subject to the new tax will be owned by British Columbians and not foreigners or residents of other provinces, James revealed during a debate on her ministry’s spending plans in the legislature. The homes are in all areas where the area the tax applies — Metro Vancouver, the Capital Regional District (excluding the Gulf Islands), Kelowna, West Kelowna, Nanaimo-Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission. The revelation brought immediate condemnation from the Liberal… Read More

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Advanced Education minister says her deputy, not her, logs emails records

VICTORIA — B.C.’s minister of advanced education says she doesn’t have to release her sent emails under freedom of information laws because any final decisions she makes are kept with her deputy minister. Melanie Mark was responding to a second day of questions in the legislature about how an FOI request for all her sent government emails in the month of February returned no records. She ducked barbs during question period from the Opposition Liberals, but emerged to tell reporters afterwards she had done nothing wrong. “The decisions and direction I make with the ministry are all on public record with the deputy minister’s office, that’s how records are kept,”… Read More

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Immigration Amnesty Is Trump’s Only Remaining Hope

President Trump is furious over the failure of his administration to bring unauthorized migration to an end. At a recent cabinet meeting, he reportedly shouted at Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, blaming her for the fact that after a lull in unlawful border-crossings during the first year of his presidency, when many potential migrants were deterred by his fierce rhetoric, the number of attempts is climbing once again. Predictably, there has been an effort to allay the president’s concerns, to convince him that senior officials really do have every intention of cracking down on unauthorized immigration, even if—or rather, especially if—doing so generates ugly headlines, which will ultimately make… Read More

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Alameda Point development milestone set for next week

ALAMEDA — A milestone in turning the former Alameda Naval Air Station into a place for homes and businesses is set for May 23, when a groundbreaking will take place at a key spot in the redevelopment. The event at what city officials call “Site A” — the future neighborhood that will include a new ferry terminal to serve commuters traveling across San Francisco Bay — will happen between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The groundbreaking comes in the wake of the City Council taking a final step in March toward allowing Alameda Point Partners to move forward with its $500 million project and letting the team of developers secure… Read More

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Can a Lawyer Declare His Client Guilty?

On a television lawyer show—take The Good Fight, the best of the genre currently available—a legal case is all about the lawyers. In a typical episode, for example, lawyer Lucca Quinn must prove her client’s innocence, safeguard her job at her law firm, keep up with her pregnancy-related back exercises, win the respect of a tough federal judge, and protect as best she can her relationship with the former prosecutor—who happens to be the father of her unborn child. She usually succeeds brilliantly. Oh, yeah, almost forgot—her client gets off. Sometimes. Young lawyers learn early—in clinical training or in practice—that the actual practice of law isn’t much like The Good… Read More

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City manager to depart post in Alameda

ALAMEDA — City Manager Jill Keimach is quitting her job under a deal worked out with city leaders, a move that comes after she admitted she secretly audio recorded two council members to back up her claim they wrongly put under political pressure as she selected a fire chief. The action, which the council announced following a closed-door session Tuesday night, comes as the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the tape and whether her recording was made illegally. An independent investigator — brought in by the council after Keimach initially made her accusations in an October 2017 letter — determined that Councilman Jim Oddie allegedly violated the City… Read More

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