BCK FILE-When Dr. Asif Mahmood decided to throw his hat in the ring, he pledged “not to take a penny from insurance or pharma or tobacco, which place an obstruction between the common man or woman and their right to healthcare.”

CAL BUZZ--Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday yielded to President Donald Trump’s request for troops to control the Mexican border, agreeing to supply 400 members of the California National Guard for “targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state.”

CORRUPTION WATCH-In Snow White, the Wicked Witch asked, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who in the land is fairest of them all?”

@THE GUSS REPORT-On any given day, the LAUSD is a trudging bureaucracy. But over the course of a year trying to get it to address a multitude of school safety issues in the wake of nationwide school shootings, including one this school year in LA, the risks to LA school kids is far worse: it is an agency paralyzed by fear of having its security problems exposed, rather than being an agency eager to proactively confront and fix them. 

@THE GUSS REPORT-Big, rich crocks teeming with irony landed on the LA Times last week, and the news got worse for it by the minute. 

LA WATCHDOG--The development of the 27 story luxury high rise development at Catalina and 8th Street in Koreatown (photo above)has hit a snag as Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell ordered a full Environment Impact Report for this neighborhood destroying development that will have an adverse “impact on traffic, public services, and land use.” 

FIRST PERSON-I have written extensively about the purposefully segregated, inherently inferior public education system in de factosegregated school districts like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) where there is little attempt to educate predominantly minority students and teach them critical thinking skills they need to get a post-secondary education or well-paying job. I always assumed that expensive private schools did not suffer from the same self-inflicted malady. But I was wrong. 

GUEST WORDS-As a pastor, there are times when I must speak on behalf of the everyday concerns of my congregation and community. 

CORRUPTION WATCH-The use of code words has no honest role in clean government. Yet this is exactly what the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, does. Using code words to signal to other people in the corrupt judiciary hierarchy, she makes her dictates known but escapes responsibility for her actions. 

ANIMAL WATCH-LA Animal Services and Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on January 25, that L.A had reached its "no-kill" goal for dogs in 2017 and is close to a similar declaration for cats. Barnette has explained publicly that pet cats are being adopted and the only problem left for LA. shelters is Pit Bulls and feral cats. 

NEW GEOGRAPHY--What’s an oligarch to do? The putative tech masters of the universe now face unprecedented criticism from both leftand right. The reasons extend from wanton privacy invasions of the people once described by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerbergas “dumb f***ks” to President Trump’s typically hyperbolic assaults on Amazon’s success at tax avoidance. (Photo above: Jeff Bezos, the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Amazon, purchased the Washington Post in 2013.)

CONNECTING CALIFORNIA--Why does a place as big and beautiful as Orange County so often behave in ways that are both small and ugly? 

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