Time to Cut California’s Death Penalty

death penalty billboard

James Clark: Put another way, we spend $184 million more per year for death penalty inmates than we do on those sentenced to life without the chance of parole. All told, California is on track to spend $1 billion on the death penalty over the next five years.

Subprime School Industry Lobbying

school reform

Lee Fang: Dozens of these for-profit schools systematically defraud their students by showing them fake job placement rates, providing false claims about the types of jobs they can attain, misrepresenting that their credits will transfer to state universities, and giving false promises that students do not have to pay back their loans.

Why No Amount of Fiscal or Monetary Stimulus Will Be Enough

recession

Robert Reich: The Fed’s decision Tuesday to keep short-term interest rates near zero is no surprise. What’s odd is its apparent decision not to boost the economy by buying hundreds of billions of bonds — despite its acknowledgment that ”the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months,” and that prices are rising too slowly for comfort (i.e., we might be facing deflation).

Low Voter Turnout: Are We Downsizing Democracy?

Leadership

The voter turnout numbers are an embarrassment. Throughout the country in nonpresidential elections, less than 30 percent of voters turn out for elections. In presidential campaigns, billions are spent and the media does focus on the national race, horserace style, which isn’t something to cheer about either. In nonpresidential elections, we are facing a political [...]

Will the Out of Iraq Caucus Live Up to Its Name?

Maxine Waters

After the near comatose nod to escalation of US troops in Afghanistan, passage of H.R. 2346, the 97-billion Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009, is in doubt in the House – not because of the strength of the anti-war movement, which morphed into the elect-Obama-movement, nor due to the high suicide rate amongst veterans, but because [...]

Lessons of President Obama’s First Two Weeks

presidentobama

It’s been less than two weeks, but patterns have emerged that are likely to continue throughout Barack Obama’s presidency. First, Obama understands how to use the media. Examples are detailed below, but the best is the widespread media story last Thursday about how the usually cool Obama “lost it” — in front of cameras and [...]

The Fed and Authoritarian Capitalism

greenspan

Chinese authoritarian capitalism, on display this week in Beijing, has me thinking about America’s democratic capitalism and how we practice it. Start with the U.S. economy’s most powerful government agency: The Fed, of course. Its decision this week to hold short-term interest rates steady was wrong, in my view; it should have lowered them because [...]