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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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Trump spoke with Giuliani on unsecured phones that were vulnerable to Russian surveillance: report

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On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump has communicated with his lawyer Rudy Giuliani via unsecured and unencrypted phone lines that are potentially vulnerable to interception and monitoring by Russian intelligence officials and other hostile foreign powers.

"Trump is not identified by name in the House phone records, but investigators said they suspect he may be a person with a blocked number listed as '-1' in the files," stated the report. "And administration officials said separately that Trump has communicated regularly with Giuliani on unsecured lines."

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Internet debates ‘the dumbest thing Brian Kilmeade has ever said’

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Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade has received a great deal of attention -- and criticism -- during the Trump era.

Kilmeade co-hosts one of the President's favorite shows, "Fox and Friends," with Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt on weekday mornings. He also a show on the Fox News Radio network and frequently appears on "The Five."

The former Ultimate Fighting Championship play-by-play sportscaster has also been harshly criticized for the type of comments that make the show a favorite for the president.

Journalist Molly Jong-Fast, who was widely praised her interview of Lisa Page, decided to explore Kilmeade's comments.

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Trump was ‘in denial’ he would be impeached — until he watched TV yesterday: CNN reporter

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," White House correspondent Boris Sanchez said that President Donald Trump believed for weeks that Democrats were not really going to go through with impeachment — but after watching the House Judiciary Committee testimony on Wednesday, he finally realized they were serious.

"Is it clear how the president is handling this behind closed doors?" asked Cooper.

"Well, for weeks we've been hearing that the president has sort of been in denial about all of this, that he did not actually believe that Democrats in the house would vote to impeach him," said Sanchez. "We're actually told that he's come to terms with that reality in part because he was watching testimony yesterday as he was returning from a NATO leaders meeting in London."

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