Opposition Grows Fierce to Austerity Cuts

portland budget

Mark Vorpahl: This latest budget crisis poses the question of “who do Portland’s elected leaders serve, the city’s majority of working class communities or big business and the wealthy?” So far, while the 99% have been suffering with all the belt tightening, Portland’s 1% have been left to grow fat.

How the Los Angeles Times Can Help LA’s Police Department Save Money

occupy la lapd standoff

Dan Bluemel: Chief Beck should sack his own PR department and let the Times do what they do best — patching up and stitching together the department’s image and keeping the population in the dark.

Fiscal Cliffing In America: The Dramatic Realities of Insincere Politics

fiscal cliff

Anthony Samad: “Cliff hanging” allows Republicans to be relevant to the conversation, while at the same time be irrelevant to the solution.

When You’ve Lost the VFW on Budget Cuts, You’ve Lost America

rolling thunder

Richard RJ Eskow: The “chained CPI” is an attempt to camouflage deep cuts to Social Security and other benefits, along with tax hikes on middle class wages (but not for high incomes), in a forest of numbers and terminology.

Sheila Kuehl on Prop 30

tax the rich

Sheila Kuehl: The approach adopted by this measure is like holding a gun to your head and shouting “Stop me before I hurt somebody!”

All Eyes on Chicago’s Teachers

chicago teachers

Shamus Cooke: If the Chicago teachers’ union — 26,000 members strong — goes on strike, many critical yet ignored political issues will go into the national spotlight, exposing nastiness that many politicians and labor leaders would like ignored until after the presidential elections.

Who Are 2011′s Bullies? — California State Senate & Assembly Races — UPDATED

books

Cynthia Liu: Wonder who’s up for election in the newly redistricted state of California who also DID NOT ALLOW state voters to extend revenue that funded schools?

Conservative Crack-up

gop wooly mammouth

Brent Budowsky: Ronald Reagan has left the arena; the great conservative voices are gone; the new Nixon will not be enough.

Rally for the 99%

99% Rally

We are at a crossroads as a country. We have a choice to make. Greater wealth for a few or opportunity for many. Tax breaks for the richest or a fair shot for the rest of us. A government that can be bought by the highest bidder, or a democracy that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Los Angeles Fire Chief Talks Budget Cuts and Response Time

New York Firefighters Rescue in Worst Storm

How is the Fire Department affected by budget cuts? Chief Brian Cummings of the Los Angeles Fire Department talks to the community about budget cuts and response time.

Oh Canada! Imposing Austerity on the World’s Most Resource-Rich Country

shale oil extraction

Ellen Brown: Even the world’s most resource-rich country has now been caught in the debt trap. Its once-proud government programs are being subjected to radical budget cuts—cuts that could have been avoided if the government had not quit borrowing from its own central bank in the 1970s.

Creating Cruel and Unusual Punishment for Our Nation’s Children

black student

Mark Naison: The punitive, stress-filled environment that No Child Left Behind and Race to the Hop has created is good for no one’s children. But it is especially damaging to children who come to school hungry and fearful because their families are living on the edge.

Pennsylvania Teachers Work for Free after Budget Cuts

chester upland classroom

Teachers Decide To Work For Free After Budget Cuts Leave Pennsylvania School District Without Funds For Salaries The Chester Upland School District in Delaware County, Pennsylvania suffered a serious setback when Gov. Tom Corbett (R) slashed $900 million in education funds from the state budget. The cuts landed hardest on poorer districts, and Chester Upland, which predominantly serves African-American [...]

LA’s Scandalous Housing Authority: For Better or For Worse

corruption

Stephen Box: The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) is the latest department to fall victim to the oversight and accountability scrum that starts when the media shines a spotlight and concludes when the public gets bored.

Stop the Austerity Train Wreck!

ows revolutions

Robert Reich: Agreement or not, Washington is on the road to making budget cuts that will slow the economy, increase unemployment, and impose additional hardship on millions of Americans.

Trigger Deficit Cuts When Unemployment Drops to 5 Percent

supercommittee

Robert Reich: So the best of all worlds is to have a big jobs plan now, and also commit to automatic cuts triggered when unemployment falls to 5 percent.

Greece’s Choice — and Ours: Democracy or Finance?

greek economy

Robert Reich: Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou decided in favor of democracy yesterday when he announced a national referendum on the draconian budget cuts Europe and the IMF are demanding from Greece in return for bailing it out.

The Seven Biggest Economic Lies

class warfare

Robert Reich: Here’s a short effort to rebut the seven biggest whoppers now being told by those who want to take America backwards.

Obama’s Jobs Plan: Will He Offer Policy Miniatures or Give ‘em Hell?

truman

Robert Reich: The winner of the 2012 presidential election will be the person who comes off as the toughest fighter for average Americans. Earth to Obama: Remember Harry (Give ‘em Hell) Truman.

What the Debt Ceiling Deal Means for Foreign Policy

afghan war

Rebecca Griffin: Depending on whom you ask, the Pentagon either got a free ride or the deal decimates the military budget. Given the leverage that Republicans had in this debate, it’s not surprising that the Pentagon got off easy in the first round of cuts.

The Speaker’s Heavy Hand

Speaker John Perez

Dick Price & Sharon Kyle: Speaker John Perez and Assemblymember Anthony Portantino have disagreed again. This time the disagreement could result in Portantino’s staff being furloughed.

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What “Shared Sacrifice” Means

obama financial advisors

Carl Bloice: All across the country social services, which largely benefit lower income women, men and children are being cut back and people who made them function are being added to the ranks of the unemployed.

Cuts to Higher Education Shortchange California’s Future

csu-hayward-wide

Caitlin Vega: How is it that we cannot reward kids who have done everything right, overcome tremendous hardship, and beat the odds with a decent and affordable education?

California: Democrat vs. Democrat

Joseph Palermo: Jerry’s triangulating. He’s aligning himself with the Republican minority in forging a path forward out of California’s deep crisis.

New Food Safety Threat Emerges

e-coli_wide

Marian Wang: Also unclear is whether the federal agencies in charge of changing the food safety system will be adequately funded. Republican proposals to cut the FDA’s budget and the USDA’s inspection budget could cut into efforts to update the system.

Budget Cuts Obama’s Transparency Sites

transparent government

Marian Wang: Though the budget deal struck by lawmakers over the weekend averted a shutdown of the federal government, it still has open-government advocates worried about a shutdown of another sort: a shutdown in transparency.

How Koch Industries Manipulates Oil Market

oil tanker

Lee Fang: Koch along with Enron pioneered a number of complex financial products to leverage its privileged position in the energy industry.

Disaster Capitalism in the Budget Debate

budget-cut-wide

Adam Eran: Historic tax reductions on the wealthy, and the Wall-Street-Fraud recession, have reduced public revenues, and this reduction now makes otherwise too-popular-to-cut programs vulnerable. But are such cuts really necessary?

California’s Struggle to Save Higher Education Continues

Joe Palermo: We aren’t going to sit idly by and watch as this precious public resource that contributes so much to our state and to our local communities is torn apart in service of an extremist ideological agenda of a recalcitrant Republican minority

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As the Global Economy Trembles, Our Nation’s Capital Fiddles

economy-wide

Robert Reich: In the past I’ve often wondered whether they’re knaves or fools. Now I’m sure. Republicans wouldn’t mind a double-dip recession between now and Election Day 2012.

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