California: Where Elections Don’t Matter

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Joseph Palermo: We elected a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in the State Assembly and the Senate. Yet five members of the Republican minority once again are in the driver’s seat and they’re determined to run the state right over the cliff.

Across-the-Board Cuts Needed to Avoid Fiscal Armageddon

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Ivan Eland: To keep with the bipartisan spirit after the Gabrielle Giffords’ assassination attempt and also to avoid partisan fighting over spending priorities, which will bog down and probably eventually kill any significant budget cuts, all government programs should be cut by 15 percent from last year’s budget level, including heretofore sacred defense and entitlement programs.

The Republican Strategy

antonin scalia

Robert Reich: The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.

Jerry Brown’s Budget

Ron Wolff: California’s “new” (but experienced) governor is bringing some urgently needed honesty and fresh thinking to the budgeting process in a state weary of smoke, mirrors, a two-thirds requirement in the legislature for tax increases, and the ravages of a recession imposed largely by external forces.

Fetishizing School Chiefs Hurts Kids

Cathleen Black, with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (left) and outgoing Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.

Randy Shaw: Unfortunately, the media’s excessive and irrational devotion to school chiefs as saviors for the nation’s schools ignores the reality that no school chief, can overcome inadequate school funding by running schools like corporate turnaround specialists, and fetishizing their importance distracts from schools’ real needs. Education seems to be the only field where rising to the top requires no experience. Careers spent in the profit-driven corporate world are now identified as the best backgrounds for public school leadership.

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.

Saving LA’s African Marketplace

los angeles african marketplace

Anthony Samad: The City of Los Angeles is trying to charge the festival over $180,000 to hold the African Marketplace for two weeks, in a public park. Now we know the City is having a hard time…but $180,000??? For what?

Dude, Let Students Help Make Those Teacher Cuts

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Nea Friberg-Price & Jed Von Dielingen: Because our school makes these cuts strictly on seniority, it’s always the newer teachers who go, the ones who connect so much better with us students. Athough we like and respect our older, more experienced teachers, these younger ones are more flexible in their teaching plans and are closer to us in age, so they understand us so much better. So we’re terribly sad to see their teaching careers end, at least for now.

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.

The Looming Educational Catastrophe is Scary. Indeed.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)

Carl Bloice–September is four months away and one thing is certain: the public is not be adequately alerted to the seriousness of the situation and mobilized to do anything about it. We would know far less about how critical things are in the schools had not students in California – where thing are really rough – set off nationwide protests about the cutbacks. And, as soon as that happened, on cue, voices popped up to declare that the protesters were deficient because they had no real analysis of the cause of the crisis and offered no solutions. The obvious response was: so what? Isn’t it the job of professionals in politics and government to provide those things?

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.

Democratic “Accomplishments” Not Nearly Enough

Democratic spine

Joseph Palermo: Unless the Congress moves some progressive legislation quickly there’s going to be trouble this fall because any political party that is stupid enough to allow a couple of shmucks like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, or the outcome of a special election in New England, to unravel its governing coalition doesn’t deserve to be in power.

New York’s Juvenile Prisons Are a Crime

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If you can judge a society by the way it treats its children, then New York fails in a big way. In fact, the Empire State should be found guilty of child abuse and neglect. The New York Times recently reported on the deplorable state of New York’s juvenile justice system. Gov. David Paterson appointed [...]

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Iraq

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger praised U.S. soldiers for helping Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki build and nurture Iraq’s public institutions, which are central to the American war effort. But at the same time Schwarzenegger is systematically (even gleefully) dismantling similar public institutions in California.

LA Progressive: October 18 to 24, 2009 — Articles

Swine-Flu

Drinking Motivational KoolAid: How It All Works Financially. Even the soberest fiscal conservatives cannot avoid the power of this pitch and will jump out of his or her seat with wallet wide open! You may get in for $19, but more than half of you will spend many hundreds if indeed not thousands more. – [...]

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Knife Play

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Now we have a Republican governor in California who sees the state’s current budget catastrophe as nothing but a big joke. Why else would Arnold Schwarzenegger post a tasteless Twitter video where he wields a two-foot-long folding knife boasting about his budget-cutting prowess?

States’ Budget Crises: Share the Pain, Share the Dough

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by Carl Bloice – It’s probable that by the time this is read, officials in San Jose, California, will have eliminated athletic programs from all 11 of the city’s high schools. It might not seem like much to some, given the declining economic situation in the country and the kinds of budget cuts being made [...]

What’s Next?

This week’s three-question LA Progressive survey asks these questions: Who will John “Three Dollar Bill” McCain pick for his Veep? Who will be the first woman president of the United States? Who will be the next governor of California? You can take the survey now, by clicking here. You can see the results as they [...]

A Bad Time for Budget Cuts to California’s Aged, Disabled, Poor, and Uninsured

The latest numbers are just in from the United States Census Bureau. According to analyses from the California Budget Project (CBP) they show that for low and middle income Californians there has been a decline in the real (inflation adjusted) household income. A separate analysis by Health Access California shows that more Californians are uninsured [...]

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