LOS ANGELES (AP) — Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whose groundbreaking political career shattered gender barriers from San Francisco's City Hall to the corridors of Capitol Hill, said Tuesday she won't seek reelection in 2024.
The senator, who turns 90 in June, is the oldest member of Congress and has faced questions in recent years about her cognitive health and memory, though she has defended her effectiveness representing a state that is home to nearly 40 million people.
The announcement came after several prominent California Democrats, including U.S. Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff, already had declared Senate campaigns. With Feinstein a now 30-year veteran of the Senate, there hasn’t been a wide open competition for her seat in decades.
Feinstein plans to remain in Congress through the end of her current term. Speaking to reporters in Washington on Tuesday, she said “there's times for all things under the sun.”
“I think that will be the right time, towards the end of next year," she said.
Feinstein is one of the Senate's few remaining veterans of the so-called Year of the Woman, referring to several women who were elected to the male-dominated chamber during the 1992 election. But even before she moved to Washington, Feinstein was one of the most prominent women in American politics.
She was the first woman to serve as president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the 1970s and the first female mayor of San Francisco. She ascended to that post after the November 1978 assassinations of then-Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk by a former supervisor, Dan White. Feinstein found Milk’s body.
In the Senate, she was the first woman to head the Senate Intelligence Committee and the first woman to serve as the Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat. She gained a reputation as a pragmatic centrist who left a mark on political battles over issues ranging from reproductive rights to environmental protection.
Feinstein is particularly closely associated with efforts to broaden gun restrictions. Early in her career, the Senate approved her amendment to ban manufacturing and sales of certain types of assault weapons as part of a crime bill that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994. The ban expired 10 years later and was never replaced, but it remained a trademark issue in a career that was molded by gun violence.
“Through force of will, she led the fight to get the assault weapons ban passed. Like so many who have been touched by gun violence, that victory was personal for her,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “I’ve served with more U.S. senators than just about anyone. I can honestly say that Dianne Feinstein is one of the very best.”
She was also known for reaching out to Republicans to find middle ground. While that may have helped her notch legislative accomplishments in Washington, it chafed some in a Democratic Party that has moved increasingly to the left in recent years.
That frustration was on display during her last reelection campaign in 2018. The California Democratic Party endorsed a liberal rival for the seat over her, with some delegates complaining Feinstein had been in Washington too long and hadn’t stood strong enough for immigrants.
She infuriated liberals in 2020 when she closed out confirmation hearings for Justice Amy Coney Barrett with an embrace of Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham, a Republican, and a public thanks to him for a job well done.
Liberal advocacy groups that had fiercely opposed Barrett’s nomination to replace the late liberal icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg were furious and called for her to step down from the committee leadership. A month later, she announced she would remain on the Judiciary Committee but step down as the top Democrat.
But such tension was forgotten on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, where Democrats praised Feinstein's career. At a closed door lunch of Democratic senators, the lawmakers broke into rounds of applause for Feinstein after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced her decision.
“She’s a legend,” Schumer later told reporters. “A legend in California as the first woman senator; a legend in this Senate. She was the leader on so many different issues, assault weapons, environment, women’s rights, and so much else. She approached everything studiously and carefully.”
At the lunch, Feinstein told her colleagues how hard her husband’s death was and that she would be ready to step away from public life after finishing this term, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said afterward. Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, died last year.
“Senator Feinstein made history,” said Warren. “She changed this country and she was a woman on the front lines in fights, like access to assault weapons, and national security and intelligence.”
Warren added: “Every other woman in public office owes a special debt to Dianne Feinstein.”
In her home state, where Feinstein is the longest serving U.S. senator, she was lionized for her historic tenure in public service.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the former House speaker, called her San Francisco neighbor “a titan” of the Senate who, among her accomplishments, steered billions of federal dollars to California for environmental protection. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom called Feinstein a mentor and credited her with “blazing a trail for a new generation of female lawmakers.”
Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Stephen Groves in Washington contributed.
Her study looked at not just the storms but the problems that back-to-back hurricanes caused to people. In both situations, the frequency of back-to-back storms increased dramatically from current expectations. The study looked heavily at the impacts of storms more than just the storms themselves. But Lin said it’s just the nastier nature and size that increases the likelihood of back-to-back storms hitting roughly the same area. Some, including Corbosiero, say it is hard to say for sure that the back-to-back trend is already happening.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
But most experts have seen no indication of mass deaths or famine in North Korea. It’s unclear whether North Korea will take any significant steps to address food shortages. But North Korea rarely comes up with such measures,” said Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea University in South Korea. North Korea needs about 5.5 million tons of grain to feed its 25 million people annually, so it’s short about 1 million tons this year. Efforts by North Korean authorities to tighten controls and restrict market activities have also worsened the situation, he said.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams experienced possibly the biggest repercussion of recent racist comments when a major comics syndicator, which also operates the GoComics website, announced Sunday it would no longer work with the cartoonist. Andrews McMeel Universal said in a statement that the syndication company was “severing" their relationship with Adams. In a YouTube episode released Monday, Scott Adams said that new “Dilbert” strips will only be available on his subscription service on the Locals platform. Adams, who is white, repeatedly referred to people who are Black as members of a “hate group” or a “racist hate group” and said he would no longer “help Black Americans." "But you should also avoid any group that doesn’t respect you, even if there are people within the group who are fine,” Adams said.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
They’re more likely to occur from May through August, particularly during periods of high heat — making the December derecho so uncommon. A 2009 storm dubbed a Super Derecho by the National Weather Service traveled from western Kansas to eastern Kentucky. A 2003 derecho traveled from Arkansas through several southern states, including Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The weather service said a progressive derecho is fueled by a hot and moist environment with relatively strong winds aloft. They sweep across an area both long and wide, driven by the presence of very strong winds in the atmosphere.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
Speed around a French village in the video game Gran Turismo and you might spot a Corvette behind you trying to catch your slipstream. But in some instances, they are also trying to learn how to get smarter in the real world. “It’s probably not going to be one big breakthrough and that everything is going to be shifted to the real world,” Volz said. Japanese electronics giant Sony launched its own AI research division in 2020 with entertainment in mind, but it's nonetheless attracted broader academic attention. Peter Wurman, director of Sony AI America and project lead on GT Sophy, said it takes about two weeks for AI agents to train on 20 PlayStations.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
Instead, Universal Pictures' “Cocaine Bear” rampaged through multiplexes, scoring notably above expectations. Made for about $35 million and directed by Elizabeth Banks, “Cocaine Bear” stirred up plenty of buzz just from its title and its made-to-go-viral trailer. "Snakes on a Plane," a movie many compared to “Cocaine Bear,” opened with $13.9 million in 2006. In just about the epitome of counterprogramming to “Cocaine Bear,” Lionsgate's “Jesus Revolution” also debuted strongly. “Cocaine Bear,” $23.1 million.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
The SAG Awards, often an Oscar preview, threw some curve balls into the Oscars race in a ceremony streamed live on Netflix's YouTube page from Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles. “This is not just for me," said Yeoh, the first Asian actress to win the SAG Award for female lead. He's also the first Asian to win best male supporting actor at the SAG Awards. The SAG Awards are considered one of the most reliable Oscar bellwethers. After the SAG Awards, presented by the film and television acting guild SAG-AFTRA, lost their broadcast home at TNT/TBS, Netflix signed on to stream Sunday's ceremony.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
FONTANA, Calif. — Most of NASCAR's Cup Series drivers feel like they're saying their final goodbye to a dear old friend this weekend. Fontana won't host a NASCAR weekend in 2024, and the new setup might not be ready until 2026 — if it happens at all. "And here's the part that makes me feel a little better about it: Yes, the racing here is spectacular. No problemGiven their familiarity with this circuit, the drivers aren't concerned after the weather kept them off the track Saturday. "It would be a different question if this was last year and we had a brand-new racing car."27 days ago Fremont Tribune