California Needs a New Vision of Its Apocalypse

California After Apocalypse

Joe Mathews: Why do novelists and screenwriters keep rehashing the same old stories of the end days?

How GOP Wants to Divide and Conquer California

Dividing California

Larry Wines: By carving-up California along the lines devised by the proposal’s chief advocate, a tech billionaire entrepreneur named Tim Draper, four of the six Californicated states would have Republican majorities.

All California’s Problems Lead to the San Joaquin Valley

San Joaquin Valley

Joe Mathews: From water shortages to high-speed rail, the state’s most overlooked region Is at the center of its most important debates.

Can Art Heal Our Minds—and Our Communities?

Modesto Peer Recovery

John Black: I founded Modesto’s Peer Recovery Art Project to keep mental health consumers from being isolated. In the process, I’m helping revitalize my city.

Are Cigarettes More Addictive Now?

Cigarettes More Addictive

Tara Culp-Ressler: Cigarette manufacturers have worked hard to keep their products relevant even in the midst of aggressive public health campaigns to crack down on smoking, according to a new report released on Monday by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

What They Don’t Teach You in Nursing School

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It’s one thing to learn how to nurse from a book. When it really comes down to it, nurses are at the front lines of every medical disaster. Here are a few of the things they don’t teach you in nursing school.

California Budget Removes Food Stamps Ban for People with Drug Felonies

Food Stamps Ban

Lynne Lyman: If approved by the governor, as expected, California will allow people with drug felonies on their record to be eligible for food stamps for the first time since 1996.

E-Regulating E-Cigarettes

Regulating E-Cigarettes

Tina Dupuy: E-cigarettes are technically a “nicotine delivery device” derived from tobacco. For all intents and purposes—it’s tobacco. They should have to abide by the same laws as other tobacco products.

How the Right Wing Is Killing Women

Women Dying in Childbirth

Robert Reich: For every 100,000 births in America last year, 18.5 women died. That’s compared to 8.2 women who died during pregnancy and birth in Canada, 6.1 in Britain, and only 2.4 in Iceland.

Obamacare Helps Boost Young People’s Incomes

Obamacare and Young People

Tara Culp-Ressler: Young adults used to have the highest uninsurance rate of any age group. But over the past several years, Obamacare has given millions of young adults access to health care, helping the uninsurance rate among Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 decline to just 19 percent.

Why Is the State General Fund Mad at You?

California State General Fund

Joe Mathews: California’s Fiscal Backstop Breaks Its Silence to Lash Out at Special and Rainy Day Funds, Reforms, and Reports of Its Own Volatility.

Can California Figure Out a Way to Train Nurses?

Training California Nurses

Pilar De La Cruz-Reyes: California ranks 46th in the nation in RNs per capita. I teach nursing in Fresno, and I know why it’s an uphill battle.

Californians, Does the Dude Still Abide?

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Joe Mathews: Dude, there are signs that you are no longer the outsider. Indeed, no movie character better represents the 2014 California mainstream than Jeffrey Lebowski.

Kill the Fourth Grade Mission Report

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Joe Mathews: Instead of assigning each fourth grader a mission for his or her report, assign each a different public university campus. The university report would fill kids’ heads with history and facts worth remembering.

The Grim Repo: Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Act

Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Act

Tina Dupuy: During the last five years of the national debate around health care reform, it’s been an all-or-nothing proposition. Either you hate Obamacare and cite it in your requiem for the republic. Or you defend it whole cloth with no caveats.

Key Juvenile Justice Legislation for California

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Brian Goldstein: Public safety issues are especially challenging given the state’s ongoing prison overcrowding crisis and the ever-evolving juvenile justice system. The state passed a number of successful reforms in 2013. Yet, 2014 already brings some exceptional juvenile justice legislation that is worthy of recognition and support.

Florida Refuses to Expand Medicaid: 32-Year-Old Woman Dies

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Tara Culp-Ressler: A recent study conducted by Harvard researchers estimated that as many as 17,000 people will die directly as a result of their states refusing to expand Medicaid.

Fracking Causes Earthquakes?

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John MacMurray: What concerns those of us who were sitting on or near the recent 5.1 quake of March 28, 2014, or any of the 47 bazillion (by my unofficial count) pre-and-after shocks, is how big a part fracking might be playing in beating up our dwellings and frazzling our nerves, and what we might expect in the future.

States That Expanded Medicaid See Huge Jump In Enrollments

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Tara Culp-Ressler: Obamacare has had a “woodwork effect” — essentially, helping to raise awareness about people’s health insurance options, and therefore encouraging uninsured Americans to come out of the woodwork to sign up for Medicaid.

Why Does California Hate Marriage?

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Joe Mathews: In California, the trend runs even deeper: The state’s marriage rate has reached almost European lows. There are fewer than six marriages a year now for every 1,000 Californians, putting the state at or near the bottom of the nation.

70 Million Would Sign Up for Public Option

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Brent Budowsky: Liberals should now escalate the offensive and battle to bring back the public option, which was highly popular but shamefully sold out during the healthcare debate.

Why Americans Resist Universal Healthcare

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Claude Fischer: Two radical notions in the early 1970s, having a black president and permitting homosexual marriage, have pretty much come to pass – in terms of public opinion and public policy.

Finally, a Scandal Worthy of This Great State

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Joe Mathews: Just when I’d given up all hope of seeing major league corruption in a California public official, along comes Leland Yee to save the day.

At Least 9.5 Million Uninsured Americans Have Gained Coverage Under Obamacare

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Tara Culp-Ressler: RAND estimates that about two million previously uninsured people have enrolled in private coverage on Obamacare’s new marketplaces; about 4.5 million previously uninsured people have gained public coverage through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion; and about three million previously uninsured young people are now covered on their parents’ insurance plans.

Where Will Progressive Democrats Stand?

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Tom Hayden: Let’s at least agree that “Happy Days Are Here Again” cannot be the Democratic theme song between now and 2016. We are beyond the brink, in the danger zone, in many ways.

Why I Am a Conscientious Objector to the ACA

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Margaret Flowers: It pains me to see that the Affordable Care Act siphons billions of public dollars to create more bureaucracy and transfers hundreds of billions of public dollars directly to the private insurance industry when I know that those dollars should be paying for the health care that so many in our country desperately need.

Dems Can Win Obamacare War

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Brent Budowsky: If the president extends the enrollment deadline and the all-out war against ObamaCare is answered by the full force and power of the Democratic world, the battle of ideas will be won, the Democratic base will be roused and the elections of 2014 will be saved for Democrats.

We Would Not Ordinarily Share This But. . .

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We would not ordinarily share this but a tragedy has struck our family. One that is causing us to step back and look at our priorities. #SupportNews

Recession Recovery Lessons From Past Presidents

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Works Progress Administration: California should use its unexpected multi-billion dollar surplus to establish a California State Bank (CSB).

After Failing To Pass Anti-Gay Bill, Arizona Turns Its Attention To Attacking Abortion Rights

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Attacking Abortion Rights: After Brewer’s widely publicized veto, lawmakers in Arizona advanced new legislation to attack abortion rights.