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Petition to name San Francisco’s Bay Bridge after Emperor Norton gains support

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More than 1,000 people have signed a petition that calls on California lawmakers to rename San Francisco’s Bay Bridge in honor of Joshua Abraham Norton, according to the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

The petition, drafted by San Francisco freelance writer John Lumea, seeks to have the Bay Bridge officially named “The Emperor Norton Bay Bridge.”

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Norton, a successful businessman, immigrated to San Francisco from South Africa during the 19th century. After losing his fortune, Norton took the unusual step of proclaiming himself Emperor of the United States in 1859. He later added “Protector of Mexico” to his official title.

Though Norton could have easily been dismissed as a loon and lost to history, he is still remembered today because the people of San Francisco embraced him. Newspapers printed his proclamations free of charge and businesses accepted his imperial currency. He strolled through the streets clad in a blue army uniform and a beaver hat, inspecting his royal domain and speaking with his loyal subjects.

“He was a champion of racial and religious unity; an advocate for women’s suffrage; a defender of the people; and a general ambassador of San Francisco who embodied the values that came to be known as ‘San Francisco.’ And he was beloved by San Franciscans, in return,” Lumea wrote.

In 1872, he issued a proclamation calling for a bridge to be built from Oakland Point to Yerba Buena Island. He later issued two more proclamations calling for the bridge.

“Indeed, although Emperor Norton is identified as a San Francisco figure, his proclamations calling for a cross-Bay bridge embodied a profound recognition that Oakland needed San Francisco — and that San Francisco needed Oakland,” Lumea wrote.

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Cartoonist Phil Frank previously sought to rename the bridge in 2004. His efforts ultimately failed.

“It just seemed that naming it for a character as interesting as Emperor Norton would be very fitting. We’re probably the only place in the country that would consider doing such a thing,” Frank explained to the San Francisco Chronicle in 2004.

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David Holmes blows up one of Trump’s key defenses in Ukraine extortion scheme

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David Holmes blew up one of the central arguments in the impeachment defense of President Donald Trump.

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Holmes, a political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, told congressional investigators that Ukrainian officials seemed to have figured out that the pause, which had been reported in late August by Politico, was related to Trump's call for an investigation.

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The GOP wanted Sondland to be Trump’s Ukraine ‘fall guy’ — then it blew up in their faces: NYT columnist

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According to New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, Republican hopes that they could turn E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland into "fall guy" for Donald Trump's Ukraine scandal ended up being a disastrous miscalculation.

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After a lunch break, Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee propped up a sign reading, "Days since Adam Schiff followed the rules 0." That would mean that Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) is following the rules today. If Republicans meant to attack Schiff or claim that Democrats were ignoring the House rules it would read a larger number of days, for example, "4 days since Adam Schiff followed House rules."

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