Good morning. It’s Wednesday, Nov. 15.
- Kevin McCarthy gets into ugly exchange with House foe.
- Judge sides with professor challenging D.E.I. mandates.
- And scenes from San Francisco’s 1960s counterculture.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy shoved one of the Republicans who voted to oust him as speaker, Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee, as they passed each other in a crowded Capitol Hill hallway on Tuesday, according to Burchett and an NPR reporter who witnessed the incident. “What kind of chicken move is that?” Burchett yelled after the Bakersfield Republican. “You’re pathetic, man. You are so pathetic.” McCarthy chuckled. He later denied the charge, telling reporters that he “didn’t shove or elbow him. It’s a tight hallway.” NPR | Washington Post
- Hear audio of Burchett’s exchange with McCarthy. 👉 NPR (~1 min)
A U.S. magistrate judge sided with a professor who sued Bakersfield College over its policies requiring that instructors advance tenets of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The First Amendment, Judge Christopher Baker wrote, “forbids the state from mandating that he subscribe to or promote any official ideology.” Reporter Bob Egelko said the decision could be the first step toward overturning statewide D.E.I. rules adopted in April by California’s community colleges system. S.F. Chronicle | Courthouse News Service
On the witness stand Tuesday, David DePape admitted to hitting Paul Pelosi with a hammer during a botched 2022 attempt to kidnap his wife, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for “lying about Russia-gate.” In rambling and sometimes tearful testimony, DePape, 43, said he planned to dress up in an inflatable unicorn costume and record video of himself interrogating the San Francisco Democrat. If she lied, he testified, “I was going to break her kneecaps.” Washington Post | KQED
Developments from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco:
- President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping planned to meet Wednesday at Filoli Gardens in Woodside, one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century. If the property looks familiar, you may be recalling it from the opening of the 1980s soap opera “Dynasty.” SF Standard
- Xi arrived on Tuesday in San Francisco, where he was greeted by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Chinese supporters on the streets said they had flown from as far as New York to welcome the Asian leader. SF Standard
- The makeover of San Francisco ahead of the summit has some asking why the cleanup effort hasn’t been ongoing. Newsom’s remarks added to the frustration. “I know folks are saying, ‘Oh, they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming to town.’ That’s true,” he said. Reuters
Under a tax-sharing deal forged in 1998, Apple has been treating all of its online sales as if they were made in Cupertino, the 11-square-mile city where it is headquartered. It’s generated hefty tax revenue for Cupertino as Apple has grown into a $2.8 trillion behemoth. But California regulators this year declared the arrangement improper, demanding that more of the tax bounty be shared across the state. Cupertino is now preparing for nearly $60 million to be ripped from its budget, forcing dozens of layoffs and service cuts. San Jose Spotlight
Google pays Apple 36% of the revenue it earns from search advertising under a deal that makes it the default search engine on the iPhone. Kevin Murphy, a University of Chicago professor, disclosed the startling figure during the Justice Department’s antitrust trial, in which prosecutors have accused Google of maintaining an illegal monopoly over search. “John Schmidtlein, Google’s main litigator, visibly cringed when Murphy said the number, which was supposed to remain confidential,” Bloomberg reported.
Tucked along a residential street in Berkeley is the first museum in the U.S. dedicated to the experience of fragrance. Mandy Aftel, the proprietor, opened the the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents in her garage in 2017 after decades of collecting scents and their ancient recipes. Visitors are guided by Aftel herself, who exudes the enthusiasm of a sommelier describing fine wines, around hundreds of sniffable exhibits derived from flowers, roots, resins, and animal excrement. Smithsonian Museum | Hyperallergic
In 1966, the New York street photographer William Gedney drove across the country to San Francisco, where, supported by a Guggenheim fellowship, he lived among the young people who would create the Summer of Love a year later. He made thousands of pictures, which remained largely forgotten until after his death. Critics have since celebrated the rawness of the images: figures appear by turns joyous, bored, carefree, and melancholy. Flashbak published a selection of the photos.
- See more of Gedney’s San Francisco work. 👉 Duke University Libraries
Give something they’ll open every day.
A federal judge tossed a lawsuit filed by Huntington Beach against California that sought to duck its legal obligation to build more housing. The city’s conservative leadership had argued that housing mandates imposed by Democrats in Sacramento violated their free speech rights, forcing them to “advance the state’s political agenda.” Judge Fred Slaughter cited a precedent that the state is immune to constitutional claims by a “political subdivision” such as a city. Huntington Beach said it would appeal. Courthouse News Service | Voice of OC
Migrants are being maimed in falls from the wall that separates Mexico and the United States, according to physicians working near the border. In 2019, work was completed on a project to replace more than 400 miles of border fencing in California with a significantly taller 30-foot bollard barrier. Since then, the number of wall-fall patients admitted to U.C. San Diego Health trauma center increased sevenfold, to 311 in 2022. “It’s an untold, heartbreaking story of unnecessary human suffering,” said Alexander Tenorio, a U.C. San Diego neurosurgeon. N.Y. Times
- Video captured medics responding to injured migrants last year. 👉 ONSCENE TV
Since its debut of “Iron Man” in 2008, Marvel Cinematic Universe has become the most successful franchise in entertainment history, grossing nearly $30 billion. But its latest offering, “The Marvels,” flopped last weekend. Film critic Richard Brody didn’t like it. “What happened to superhero movies?” he wrote. “How did a genre rooted in astonishment, weirdness, and wonder become a byword for the normative, the familiar, and the mundane?” New Yorker
“Like stepping back in time.”
In 1925, a narrow bridge opened across the San Luis Rey River in northern San Diego County with graceful concrete arches that mirrored the architecture of nearby Mission San Luis Rey. It carried traffic across the river for decades until 1990, when a wider bridge opened a few hundreds yards upstream. Caltrans planned to demolish the old span, but locals revolted, demanding that it be turned over to cyclists and pedestrians. The San Luis Rey Bridge has been an explorer’s delight ever since. A travel vlogger paid a visit. YouTube (~5 mins)
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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
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