The Government “Debt” Flim Flam

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Mark Dempsey: American government has the legal right to create literally unlimited dollars, so it can never be insolvent. It will run out of dollars when the Bureau of Weights and Measures runs out of inches.

Walking Works for LA

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Stephen Box: One of the simplest ways to reduce the traffic congestion that surrounds LA’s schools in the morning and in the afternoon is to support children as they walk and bicycle to school, yet the City of LA continues to engage in a charade that’s all talk and no walk (or ride!)

LA’s City Hall: Mired in the Moment … Missing a Vision for the Future

los angeles city council

The City of LA’s ongoing budget crisis has allowed a triage mentality to permeate throughout City Hall, framing the ongoing debate over our future in the negative and conditioning the public to focus on what they can give up rather than what they want. Each year the Mayor’s office gathers with neighborhood council representatives to [...]

Jerry Brown “Shocked” that Republicans Wouldn’t Compromise

Paul Hogarth: Suddenly realizing that Republicans aren’t going to compromise while actively starving the public sector certainly makes Jerry Brown look like Barack Obama. But Brown should not get away with it like Obama does.

Ending California’s Death Penalty in 2012

aclu death penalty forum

At the ACLU Public Forum in Pasadena on January 10th, James Clark of the SAFE California Campaign and Brent Tonik of CCV will discuss the history of California’s death penalty and lay out the case for its abolition.

Cut The Death Penalty From California’s Budget Woes

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Andy Love: As California cuts critically important funds, the state continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into one government program that is expensive, arbitrary and ineffectual: the death penalty.

Don’t Fall for GOP “Budget Crisis” Lie

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Robert Reich: Republicans are using what would otherwise be a routine, legally technical vote to raise the debt limit as a means of holding the nation hostage to their own political goal of shrinking the size of the federal government.

7 Myths That Drive the Debt Ceiling Debate

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Adam Eran: The metaphors that frame the current Federal budget and debt ceiling debates are completely inaccurate, and if the media coverage is any indication, the public has swallowed them hook, line and sinker, too.

WTF Democrats?

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Patty Bellasalma: Rachel Maddow has repeatedly pointed out that Democrats need to stand with public employees and working families but too many of them don’t seem to be listening.

Winograd Campaign to Support “Save Our Schools” Effort

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Marcy Winograd: As a public high school teacher and congressional candidate (CA-36), I will use my campaign phone bank to support the California Teachers Association “State of Emergency” week of action, May 9-13, at the State Capitol and across the state.

The Limits of Tyrants

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David Love: When America, backward and crumbling, should be investing in infrastructure and technology to create jobs and promote growth, some governors reject high-speed rail projects and wear their ignorance as a badge of honor.

Stephen Box: Balancing Budgets on Labor’s Back

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Stephen Box: The City of Los Angeles is experiencing a Crisis of Leadership, one where the people of Los Angeles are being asked to pay more for less and the people who deliver the city services are being treated as if they are expendable. They’re not.

Rewriting the Social Contract; Making Everybody Hurt

hookers and coke

Carl Bloice: I’m just intrigued these days by how much the people who have a lot have become the most insistent that those below them on the social ladder bear the brunt of paying for capitalism’s current crisis.

Koch Industries Orchestrating Wisconsin Anti-Teacher Protest

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Lee Fang: In response to the growing protests in Madison, Koch fronts are busing in Tea Party protesters to support Walker and his union-busting campaign.

On Wisconsin: End the War, Invest at Home

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Tom Hayden: It is time for our most prominent liberal economists to broaden their analysis of the domestic crisis to include spending for these unfunded wars. Only Joseph Stiglitz has done so.

Portantino Proposes Alternative to Early Release Prison Reform Efforts

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino

Anthony Portantino: Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced legislation that shifts the prison reform debate from an early release and sentencing reform emphasis to stopping the revolving door at California’s prisons.

Governor Jerry Brown Will Aggressively Push Change

jerry brown

Randy Shaw: Brown’s history shows that he likes to shake things up soon after taking office, and he now has the perfect opportunity. The public desperately wants a solution to California’s longstanding budget crisis, and Brown’s political capital is as high as it will ever be following an election where Democrats won every statewide race and maintained all their Congressional seats.

Budget Cowardice Compounds Problem

deficit hawks

Steve Hochstadt: When conservative Republicans controlled Washington under George Bush, they spent government money on their pet projects with little regard for the long-term budgetary consequences. Now Republicans at the national level have made the deficit one of their major points of attack against the Democrats in preparation for the November elections.

Prop 25 Most Essential Part of November Ballot

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Paul Hogarth: Proposition 25 was put on by labor unions and the Democratic Party, and political consultant Roger Salazar has been retained. Liberal bloggers and other progressives are skeptical, with some going so far as to claim it doesn’t make sense to get a majority for the budget – if raising taxes we need would still require a two-thirds vote.

Is America’s Second “Redemption Period” Coming To Fruition?

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Anthony Samad: With a conservative court, you never know…we just may be witnessing something we never expected to see. Neither did those living during Reconstruction. Somebody is waiting to “redeem” America a second time. It may be the national debate of the 2012 or 2016 Presidential elections. We just need to know what that really means, in terms of the return to yesterday in America. It’s not impossible…

The International Attack on Public Workers

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Shamus Cooke: The budget crisis phenomenon is international, and the international corporate elite are sharing ideas on how best to come out of the crisis unscathed. They’re blaming the recession itself on public employees, on “greedy” workers who earn the tiniest fraction of what rich shareholders make by doing nothing.

LA Progressive: This Week’s Articles — April 18 to 24, 2010

Articles by H. Scott Prosterman, Sikivu Hutchinson, Anthony Samad, Walter Moss, Ivan Eland, Diane Lefer, Tom Hall, Ron Wolff, Rev. Irene Monroe, Mario Solis-Marich, Ed Rampell, Norman Solomon, Carl Matthes, Tina Dupuy, Andrea Christina Nill, Randy Shaw, Joseph Palermo, Michael Sigman, Caitlin Frazier, Paul Hogarth, Michelle Waslin, Sikivu Hutchinson, David A. Love, Shamus Cooke, Joseph Palermo, Jonathan Coopersmith, Carl Bloice, Linda Milazzo, Natasha Minsker, Romona Riptson;, Bob Letcher, Tom Degan, and Natalie Davis

As Death Penalty Cases Fade, L.A. County Pays to Buck the Trend

Natasha Minsker and Ramona Ripston: Los Angeles County, home to California’s largest trial court system, has been feeling the pain of those court closures in more significant measure than most. It recently laid off more than 300 staff and is moving forward with shutting down 12 courtrooms. But meanwhile, a parallel trend is stalking the county that’s exacerbating the budget crisis. Astoundingly, Los Angeles County has become the leading death penalty county in the United States. In fact, in 2009 more people were sentenced to death in Los Angeles County than in any other state, including Texas, the longtime leader in this grim statistic.

Creative Cuts, New Concepts for LA’s Schools

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Alfee Enciso: Ask any teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District if they would rather take a pay cut in the guise of furlough days or have five more students in their classes next year. Without a doubt, the latter would be the choice for the majority of our classroom instructors in LAUSD.

How to Get Your Own News

Social-media

Sharon Kyle: In a book entitled, Just How Stupid Are We?, author Rick Shenkman asks, “Are America’s voters prepared to shoulder the responsibility of running the most powerful nation on earth? Do a majority know enough?” These questions are not new but the current economic crisis brings to the fore the urgency of an answer.

Lame Duck Terminator

Joseph Palermo: Schwarzenegger’s hackneyed “State of the State” address was pathetic and unconvincing. If it weren’t for his acting chops and his ability to emote on cue, he couldn’t get away with the simplistic platitudes that roll off his tongue. Then again, if he couldn’t act he wouldn’t be governor either.

What Should Really Matter in the Maldonado Confirmation

Abel Maldonado

Republican Senator Abel Maldonado is an Olympia Snowe character. He is a so-called “moderate” who is willing to cut a deal on the budget, while the rest of his party would rather see the state fall off a cliff than raise any taxes whatsoever. But the deals that Maldonado has extorted in past years for his one vote are enough to leave a sour taste in anyone’s mouth.

Despise the Initiative Process? New York City Shows Why Progressives Need It

Yankee-Stadium

New York City provides a case study of a large, ethnically diverse, California-like entity where citizen ballot measures are not an option. The result? A profoundly undemocratic city where large real estate developers call the shots.

Gavin Newsom’s Impressive Town Hall in Sacramento

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Mayor Newsom is the most exciting thing to happen to California politics in years. He has started his campaign early, enlisted the help of an army of energetic young people who represent the future of the state, and promises to lift California out of the morass the deadening hands of the Republicans have submerged us in.

After Nurses Investigation, Scrutiny Turns to Other California Health Boards

alexandra-edwards

Schwarzenegger shares a measure of blame too: his imposed work furloughs will slow investigations, and his administration should have been on the problem earlier.

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