When the Budget’s in Doubt, Threaten to Let ‘Em All Out

arnie

he whole world knows that California is as broke as its residents are. Yet, it never ceases to amaze me when it comes to local and state politics how low some politicians will go to get their way. Case in point, California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose new motto should be “when in doubt, threaten to [...]

Keep on Keeping on with Universal Healthcare

kuehl_1

Tempering the universal healthcare movement’s idealism with calls for pragmatic approaches, retired State Senator Sheila Kuehl preached persistence at last Saturday’s “Single Payer Solution” conference. “Our job is to convince California person by person, church by synagogue, worker by workplace by employer, that single payer is the right answer,” she told the packed sanctuary at [...]

The Consent of the Governed

one vote

“… to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men [and women], deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” — Declaration of Independence “Your people, Mr. Jefferson, are a great beast.” So said Alexander Hamilton, the leader of America’s first conservative party, to the author of the Declaration of Independence and the [...]

A Philly Tragedy Reminds Us of America’s Gun Lust

An Oakland police officer pauses by his patrol car near the scene of a police involved shooting on MacArthur Boulevard where two police officers were shot, Saturday, March 21, 2009 in Oakland, Calif.(Xinhua/AP Photo)

here’s a story out of Philadelphia that’s enough to break your heart. On April 21, a man shot his girlfriend to death in front of her 11-year old daughter, then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. Aleen Ali, 45, a supervisor at the city’s Department of Human Services (DHS), walked up to the [...]

Marcy Winograd Kicks Off Congressional Race

winograd

Marcy Winograd is kicking off her congressional campaign on Monday, May 11th, at 4 PM, at the VENICE PIER (Washington Blvd. and Ocean Front Walk/Boardwalk). Park on Washington Blvd., a side-street, or in the pier parking lot ($5.00). For those who want to avoid parking fees, meet up at 3:30 pm sharp with members of [...]

California’s Budget: How Abel Raised Cain

Finished: California's Senate leader, Darrell Steinberg (left), congratulates GOP Sen. Abel Maldonado for casting the vote that ended a three-month budget impasse (Photo credit:  Rich Pedroncelli/AP).

While the disciplined Assembly stood by in mid-February, waiting for the Senate to get its game on the field, the Senate speechified on the Floor and slept in the Big White Building. As in the familiar children’s game of musical chairs, the Governor and Senate President pro Temps Darrell Steinberg were simply looking for that [...]

Organizing for America

The Obama adminstration is still seeking to hear from communities across America. They are touring with their “Organizing for America”. Organizing for America is dedicated to making real the change we fought for during the presidential election. But to be successful, the Obama administration needs to hear from you. To do this they are asking [...]

When Swine Flu Hits South Los Angeles

swine-flu

First to the haters–No, I don’t have it…yet, anyway. And if I did I wouldn’t tell you and give you a reason to finally get that black dress out of the cleaners. Moving on… Mark my words…at some point this Swine Flu will hit South Los Angeles—and there ain’t a damn thing we can do [...]

100,000 Civilians at Risk of Attack in Congo

nienaber-1

The email from a colleague and friend in Lubero territory, Democratic Republic of Congo, came in about four days ago and it was just a matter of time before another round of violence would occur away from the eyes of western media. The security situation in the area is bad. Monuc (United Nations Mission in [...]

What About Michelle’s First Hundred Days?

stacy

While the mixed assessments of President Barack Obama’s first hundred days pour in, Michelle Obama has maintained a near-flawless record of behavior and pushed campaign questions about her equanimity into obscurity. In the process, she has managed to accomplish The First Lady Ideal: pleasing most of the people most of the time. She has done [...]

Activists, Reformers Now Control State Democratic Party

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom

Before the California Democratic Convention ended yesterday, delegates bucked the Party leadership on the May 19th ballot measures – by securing a “no endorsement” on Propositions 1A, 1D and 1E. State legislators and Party operatives pushed “yes” on all six measures, but enough of the grassroots who stayed for the tail end of the session [...]

From the California State Democratic Convention in Sacramento

(Photo credit: Brian Baer | bbaer@sacbee.com)

From the celebratory atmosphere over the weekend at the California Democratic State Convention, titled: “California Democrats — A New Era,” held at the Sacramento Convention Center, one could get the impression that the Democratic Party’s base is strong and the leadership of the State Legislature has made all the right moves. There was a stunning [...]

AB 1017 Would Strengthen Laws Regarding Rape Kit Testing

burglar

In September of 2008 it was disclosed that the City of Los Angeles had not opened or tested over 7,000 rape kits that were collected as evidence. Of these kits, 217 had been held beyond the 10-year statute of limitations that applies to the crime of rape. A report published by the independent group, Human [...]

Tortured Posturing on Harsh Interrogation Techniques

torture1

Although Barack Obama should be applauded for stopping torture by the U.S. government and pledging to close the infamous Guantanamo and worldwide CIA secret prisons, he is nevertheless playing politics with the issue to get the best of both worlds. To poke his predecessor, Obama released graphic memos from the Bush Justice Department that appallingly [...]

The Legacy of Torture: Story of the San Francisco Eight

sf8poster

ACLU Pasadena Public Forum “Will we face the torture chambers in our cities as well as on Guantanamo?” Tuesday, May 12, 7 p.m. Neigbhorhood Church 301 North Orange Grove Boulevard Pasadena, California Hear two of the SF8 tell their story of torture and persecution over 37 years. The San Francisco 8, former members and associates [...]

Lobbyist Money + Right-Wing Extremists = Tea Party

Photo by the One True Bix

he tea parties that recently took place around the country were billed as a grassroots, bottom-up groundswell against taxes, big government and bailouts. Fox News, apparently promoting itself as the official teabag network, hopes to grab ratings by embracing the pseudo-populist protests as their own. Republican politicians tried to hitch onto the mean-spirited tea party [...]

Woman to Woman: We Need to Cut This Sh*t Out!

santa-rosalia-drive

For my Baldwin Hills folks…yesterday on Santa Rosalia (say it with me ABC 7 morning news anchor Phillip Palmer Ros-a-lee-a not Ro-sal-ee-a) and Buckingham, uh huh, right on the edge of what used to be Marlton Square, a 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death by a woman in a wheelchair after fighting…over a man. Sidenote: [...]

Neocon Dick Armitage: “I Should Have Resigned.”

armitage

Guess who’s contritely telling al-Jazeera he should have resigned from his senior State Department post when he and Colin Powell lost their battle with Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, John Ashcroft and Don Rumsfeld over observing the Geneva Conventions in America’s two wars, one illegal and the other totally botched? Yup, it is that ol’ neo-con [...]

Amazon Steps In It Big Time, Can’t Get The Sh*t Off Its Shoes

library-books

For years, Amazon.com has been a flawless on-line marketer. It has an easy-to-navigate website, the search function is intuitive and fast, products are almost always in stock, lower price alternatives are displayed, targeted recommendations for additional purchases show up when customers buy a book, shipping is reliable and problems get resolved quickly. As a result, [...]

A New Wave of Community Organizers for the Obama Era

projectvote

I usually have about 20 students in the Community Organizing course I teach each year at Occidental College in Los Angeles. So far, 42 students have registered for next fall’s class. I haven’t all of a sudden become a more popular professor. There’s clearly something happening on American campuses and in the broader culture that’s [...]

My Lesson in Action from the Murder of Kitty Genovese

man-on-bike-closeup

Mid-afternoon on Wednesday, driving along a Los Angeles street in the West San Fernando Valley, I saw this man lying on the parkway of the road. At first, I drove past him because I was driving too quickly to stop. But I turned my car onto the nearest street, made a quick U-turn, and rushed [...]

Los Angeles Single-Payer Advocates Are Seen and Heard

Lt. Governor John Garamendi speaking at LA rally.

On Monday, April 6, the final regional White House meeting on healthcare reform took place in Los Angeles. Like the meetings held in Dearborn, Michigan; Burlington, Vermont; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Des Moines, Iowa, single-payer advocates were shut out of the discussion and gathered outside the event in order to make their voices heard. The [...]

Easter Reflections On A “Christian Nation”

religion

Depending on your point of view, this is either the perfect time to reflect on the United States not being a Christian nation – as the evangelical right and even many ordinary Protestants and Catholics insist it is – or a total sacrilege. My hunch is that most readers here believe the former so there’s [...]

How to Combat Mexican Drug Cartels—Legalize Their Activities

american-kite

While the U.S. superpower has meddled in many far-flung nations around the globe in the name of enhancing its security, as prior to 9/11, it has ignored a threat much closer to home. In recent years, the Bush administration blithely blamed Mexico for the flow of illegal drugs into the United States and virtually ignored [...]

Rally for Real Health Care Reform in Los Angeles

healthcare

With the final White House Forum on healthcare scheduled Monday, April 6, in downtown Los Angeles, advocates of single payer/guaranteed healthcare have one more opportunity to shake up what has become a dreary conventional wisdom about the presumed acceptable parameters of the debate. Hundreds of nurses, doctors, healthcare and labor activists will rally at 9 [...]

Full Marks Mama Michelle and BarryO

michelle-copy

Obamania checked and locked for the next city’s visit, the USA rock and roll diplomacy makeover tour left today for NATO and Strasbourg with full global marks for President Barack and Mrs. Obama. Of course there was a lukewarm US press response (probably something they ate, they are not used to foreign travel and British [...]

Goodness, An Adult Really Is In Charge!

President Barack Obama greets President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva  of Brazil, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

While much of the mainsteam media was huffing and puffing about “Hug Gate” – the supposed gaffe where Michelle Obama was seen with her arm around Queen Elizabeth, which Buckingham Palace dismissed as a “spontaneous show of mutual affection” – Barack Obama was actually busy doing what a global leader is supposed to do: Leading [...]

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