Color of Law: New York, City of the Poor

poverty1

As the song goes, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, it’s up to you, New York, New York.” The problem is that if you are counting on making it in New York City, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. A recent report by The Center for an Urban Future […]

Red California Death Watch

red-counties

In 2007, right-wing political operatives tried to place a measure on the June 2008 ballot that – if successful – would have awarded California’s electoral votes by Congressional District. Democrats and progressives strongly opposed it, because everyone assumed it would give the G.O.P. presidential nominee an extra 19 votes. California is a deep blue state, […]

The Magical Mystery Majority Budget

california-begging

On Thursday, December 18, frustrated with their inability to attract any Republican votes through long negotiations, both the State Assembly and the State Senate decided on an entirely different tack. They would pass a series of majority-vote bills to cut and change the current, 2008-09 budget. Though such a move would not get the state […]

Will Obama Be Influenced by the Latest Big Task Force on Latin America?

cuban-revolution

Barack Obama is no exception. Although overshadowed and largely ignored by the mainstream media due to the ongoing global economic crisis, the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue presented its recommendations for Obama at a press briefing on March 10, in a reported entitled, A Second Chance: US Policy in the Americas.

Cheney, Rove, and Fleischer and the Importance of Net Neutrality

cheney

Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, and other right-wing mouthpieces are trying to frame future debates while they reinvent the George W. Bush years. Their eerie falsehoods, half-truths, revisions, and lies are given added weight because they sit atop a bed of chatter and static, often called the “echo chamber,” of Fox News and right-wing […]

Pope: “Jesus Didn’t Die on the Cross”

benedict

THE VATICAN (Reuters) —The Catholic world is in upheaval and confusion after an announcement today by Bishop Richard Williamson and Pope Benedict that Jesus, contrary to centuries of church doctrine, did not in fact die on the cross as was previously taught. Said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, papal spokesman: “The length and width of the […]

Blue Dog Democrats and Republican Triangulation

pet-republicans

Senator John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, has served up a devastating critique of the direction the Republican Party has taken recently. “If figureheads like Ann Coulter are turning me off,” Ms. McCain writes, “then they are definitely turning off other members of my generation as well.” She understands that when the GOP’s dominant personalities are […]

California Budget: What Happened Last Fall — The New Budget Immediately Starting Bleeding Red Ink

arnold2

The 2008-09 budget which was passed in September of last year ( two and a half months late) contained several overly optimistic (I would say wildly unsustainable) assumptions concerning revenue: First, it assumed the sale of over $3 billion in revenue bonds, but no one wanted to buy California bonds. Second, it “borrowed” from over […]

Media Tries to Undermine Obama Agenda

chris_matthews

Barack Obama has been President for eight weeks, and much of the traditional media remains incapable of making sense of his agenda. In one corner we have hosts like Hardball’s Chris Matthews, who appears to be compensating for pro-Obama campaign comments by giving excessive voice to the president’s critics. Or we have CNN’s John King, […]

Reason Returns to the White House

elephant-world

Like it or not, knuckle-draggers: Science is back IN. As a life-long Catholic, I couldn’t be more delighted. I’m sure the airwaves and the cable channels will soon be wall-to-wall with conservatives and Republicans and other assorted 13th-century thinkers whining and moaning and ringing their hands – probably gnashing their teeth and rending their garments, […]

An Argument for Medical Marijuana

marijuana

I’m a medical marijuana patient in Los Angeles who suffers from chronic pain due to a work-related repetitive strain injury. This summer I sat through the trial of Charles C. Lynch. Charles Lynch was the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in California. I learned about Charles Lynch after seeing Drew Carey’s “Raiding California” video […]

Help Bree Walker Get Back on the Air

bree-walker

Bree Walker Sent This Note: Date: Mar 6, 2009 6:36 PM Subject: I NEED YOUR HELP! To all of my friends, I am writing to all of you because I REALLY NEED YOUR HELP! I rarely ever send out any mass emailings in fact this is the first one I can remember ever writing:) In […]

Getting Ready for Our “Local Media for Social Change: A Southern California Regional Summit”

Linda Milazzo

About this time last year, Sharon and I were so taken with a media summit we attended at Caltech called “Local Media for Social Change” that we joined its organizing committee to help prepare for the next one, which is going to be held in two weeks, this time at Occidental College. We found that […]

Cons, Convicts, and Government Contractors

christina_jewett

As President Barack Obama today puts out a strong call for reform in government contracting, it’s worth taking a look back at last week’s congressional hearing, artfully titled “How Convicts and Con Artists Receive New Federal Contracts.” Last week’s hearing was based on the findings of a report issued last week by the Government Accountability […]

Friday Feedback: Don’t Take Budget Mess to the People

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Linda Doran, writing in response to “Ending the Annual Budget Impasse Ritual” by Richard M. Mathews. Linda writes: The intent behind this suggestion is laudable, but in my opinion, the threat of taking the […]

Prop 1E Threatens Mental Health Services for Needy

poverty

As you know, the budget package adopted recently calls for a May 19 special election and puts six ballot measures before voters. One of these initiatives, Proposition 1E, asks voters to approve the diversion of $460 million over two years from Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) revenues to the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and […]

Ensure Stimulus Funds Reach the CSU System

college student

The faculty in the California State University are deeply concerned about the rapid decline in the ability of our nation’s largest four-year university system to deliver higher education to all eligible students. Our public university system is staggering from deep cuts to state funding already made this year, last year, and earlier this decade. Now […]

Ending the Annual Budget Impasse Ritual

terminator

The California budget process is broken due to the requirement for a two-thirds vote to pass the budget. I would like to suggest a different procedure that preserves the minority protections of the two-thirds requirement while encouraging negotiation and ensuring that there definitely will be a budget passed. Proposal: If no budget passes by the […]

Friday Feedback: Land Use and Transit

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Yoshidad, writing in response to “Economic Recovery Must Include Transit“ by Erin Steva and Kevin J. Powers. Yoshidad writes: Let’s not forget revisions to the land use that accompanies transit. Currently the vast majority […]

Obama Finds Pony: Sets Forth Plans on Healthcare, Alternative Energy, Education

obama_emanuel

Only President Barack Obama could keep digging in a barn filled to the roof line with manure and find a brand new pony. Yet that is what the country and indeed the world needed in his non-State of the Union budget speech Tuesday night to a joint session of the US Congress. Talk is cheap, […]

A Dozen Books That Tell Americans Like It Is

read-to-fly

If newspaper readership is plummeting, maybe it’s because readers are turning elsewhere to catch a glimpse of the causes behind the official story. Recognizing this, some book publishers courageously are using their printing presses to bring interpretive reporting to the reading public. Here are a dozen books Americans need to read as they paint a […]

Citizens, Not Serfs

greed_is_bad

On the “Tonight Show” recently, President Obama discussed the need to change the “culture of entitlement” on Wall Street. It needs more than changing. How about scrapping it completely and then grafting on a little bit of character and common sense? The other day, I asked a Bank of America representative why, after I used […]

Republicans: The Tough-on-Crime Hypocrisy

justice-and-corruption

2009 has started badly for honest communications. I’ve watched while President Obama reached “across the aisle” attempting to share the glory of trying to save the U.S. from the Bush Depression, with Republicans. I’ve watched as Democratic leaders in the California statehouse tried to convince Republican assemblymen to consider schools, infrastructure, and public health to […]

Medical Care as a Citizen’s Right, The Republicans Disagree

healthcare

Frequently of late it seems that CNN provides an inordinate amount of time for the Republican Congressional Leadership to vilify The President’s attempts to care for the poor, the helpless and the infirm. As I watch these folks babbling away, I am reminded of a comment that Mark Twain wrote in the New York Tribune, […]

Octuplet Mom: If She Can Care for Fourteen Children Without Welfare, She Can Fix the Economy

octomom

The one thing American popular culture loves is a good “freak show.” Anything out of the ordinary gets our society’s attention, but the more bizarre it is, the more media attention it receives. The demand for the outlandish is so outrageous that so-called media conglomerates are willing to pay millions of dollars for the rights […]

It’s Time to Resuscitate the FCC

media-victim

Channel surfing the other night, I caught a glimpse of Lou Dobbs on CNN waxing indignant about something Bill Clinton had said about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) possibly revisiting the Fairness Doctrine. What got Dobbs’s panties in a bunch was Clinton’s suggestion that there might be needed a bit more “balance” on talk radio. […]

It’s Not About Ugly Betty: The DTV Transition and Why It Matters

the-tv-boss

On May 3, 1963 the North was stunned as it saw broadcast images of Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety, Bull Connor, turning fire hoses, dogs, cattle prods, and billy clubs on peaceful black protesters that had organized a campaign targeting the local business community. The response was immediate and profound. The public outcry forced President […]

Obvious Solution to Global Banking Crisis

wall-street-bonuses

It’s been done before, an FDIC/Comptroller of the Currency (or similar insurance or governmental institution elsewhere) bank take-over. I witnessed my first in Miami in 1991 when a former employer in the mid 1980s, Southeast Banking Corporation of Miami, then Florida’s oldest bank, had a deep liquidity crisis. It was a swift, brutal, and painless […]

The Push to Do Away With State Boards

tires-people

Literally from the first moment I walked into the California Legislature, and, probably, for years before that, my colleagues “across the aisle” (that is, Republican colleagues) have unceasingly advocated for the elimination of any and all state oversight boards. Pressed to articulate their reasons, they cite the usual mantra of “waste”, and insist that it […]