The Public Eye: Can Democrats Use Rope-a-Dope?

By Bob Burnett
Thursday February 25, 2010 - 08:54:00 AM

Out here on the left coast, folks are pretty discouraged. It seems like every day brings news of either a Congressional Democrat deciding not to run for re-election or President Obama acting like a Republican. It’s time for Dems to go on offense, time for them to use Muhammad Ali’s “rope-a-dope” tactic. -more-

Undercurrents: Despite Federal ‘Clearance,’ Perata Deals, Finances Remain Murky

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday February 25, 2010 - 08:55:00 AM

Two weeks ago, the East Bay Express’ Bob Gammon wrote an excellent article revealing some odd financial mingling between the campaign of former state Senate leader Don Perata for mayor of Oakland with Mr. Perata’s project to put an initiative on the statewide California ballot taxing cigarettes to benefit cancer research (“The Cancer in the Oakland Mayor’s Race,” Feb. 10.) -more-

What I Left Out: Inspecting Houses and the Same Old Thing

By Matt Cantor
Thursday February 25, 2010 - 09:16:00 AM

I have tried to focus, these last five years, on specific issues in each of my columns. I didn’t want to ramble and waste your time, and I tried to avoid talking about my job as much as I could manage, though I’m clear that this didn’t work out so well. But, this being my last print-edition column, it occurs to me that I should talk a little more about the inspection process—the process of looking at houses. When we look at houses, what are we looking for? What do we expect to find? What matters? Every day, I find myself trying to answer that question in a new way, and most days I find a small number of things at the top of my list. It seems to me that this might be worth sharing as this column comes to a close. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Is the Newt Mute?

By Joe Eaton
Thursday February 25, 2010 - 09:18:00 AM

Have I really been doing this for seven years? That’s a lot of columns; I’m not even going to try to calculate how many. It’s been a good gig. I’ve been able to write about everything from California grizzly bears to beaver mites and microblind harvestmen, which are tiny arthropods that hide under rocks, and the proprietors have never complained about the subject matter being too obscure. (I later learned there was a local musical duo called Microblind Harvestman—thanks for the CD, Hal; interesting stuff.) They’ve tolerated a couple of crusades and left the copy pretty much alone. -more-