Hope and Change: Landmark Human Rights Victories

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Julie Gutman: As the international community prepares to mark the 61st annual Human Rights Day on December 10, here is a short list of some of the best human rights developments of 2011 outside the Middle East.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Brown OK’s Search of Cell Phones

Jerry Brown

Tech Tip Tuesday: Today’s Tech Tip: Don’t leave anything on your cell that you wouldn’t want to see in court. Until the law changes, erase questionable texts as soon as you have read them.

Governor Jerry Brown Signs Immigration Bills that Help, Not Hurt, California’s Economy

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Seth Hoy: With an increasing unemployment rate of more than 12%, California legislators concluded that it “must pursue all avenues in facilitating and incubating job development and economic growth.”

Labor Occupies Wall Street, But Democrats Go in Reverse

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As the grassroots campaign against Wall Street grows, Democratic politicians are moving in the opposite direction. President Obama has secured the House Republican support necessary to pass three trade bills strongly opposed by organized labor and most Democrats. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who like Obama was elected with huge labor funding and ground support, [...]

California Legislature Passes Bill to Study State-Owned Bank

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Ellen Brown: California, like North Dakota, is resource-rich. A state-owned bank will allow it to capitalize on its resources to full advantage, by providing the credit needed to realize its potential.

Another Victory for Campaign Consultants!

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Steve Ybarra: New citizens and Latinos may have to again face the Orange County fascists with their voter intimidation methods because of a lack of spine in the Governor’s office. In addition, we lost $200 million of real money.

California’s Dangerous Docs Undisciplined

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Marian Wang: More than 700 doctors in California sanctioned for wrongdoing by hospitals and other health care organizations haven’t faced any disciplinary action from the California medical board.

It’ll Be an All-Cuts Budget “Deal” (Just Like California)

Joseph Palermo: The debt ceiling gambit that Republicans in the House of Representatives have used to tie the U.S. government in knots in recent months is simply the California GOP’s tactic writ large.

Jerry Betrays Cesar, UFW, and His Own Legacy

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Randy Shaw: Brown’s alignment with wealthy growers against indigent workers picking crops in the fields surely has Chavez turning over in his grave, and shows that the Governor views the UFW as just another group he is willing to betray.

Another Democrat Acting Badly

Randy Shaw: He didn’t tweet a photo of his “package” to an unsuspecting woman, but California Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of the state’s budget did much worse harm to Democrats and the public by setting the stage for massive education and public service cuts.

Time to Cut California’s Death Penalty

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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.

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.

Immigration Activists Let Obama Fool Them Again

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Randy Shaw: Obama could show political courage by taking executive action to stop his administration from continuing to deport more immigrants than any other President; but taking concrete steps to help undocumented immigrants is something Obama refuses to do.

Common Gets Bad Rap on Assata Shakur

Kathleen Cleaver

Jonathan David Farley: The synthetic rage over Common’s event with Michelle Obama rests on the unending demonisation of the Black Panther party

Tide Turning on California’s Death Penalty

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James Clark: The dominoes are falling fast as more and more people in California are learning what a waste the death penalty has become.

Hey Gov. Brown, Can You Hear Us Now?

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James Clark: Jerry Brown said “it’s all on the table.” If that’s true, why is he prioritizing death row over real help—like counseling—for victims’ families?

Why Can’t Jerry See the Obvious? CUT THIS!

James Clark: The state’s death penalty is an ineffective waste of tax dollars that we simply can’t afford, yet while the Governor and Assembly slash everything from preschool to geriatric care, the state remains poised to spend $1 billion on the death penalty over the next five years.

Democrats Negotiate on Republican Terms

Randy Shaw: How much more evidence does Brown need that a shift to “Plan B” – moving on tax extensions without Republican support – is overdue?

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.

Saving Public Redevelopment Agencies

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Alvaro Huerta: I don’t blame Gov. Brown for seeking creative ways to save California from financial bankruptcy. The state budget, however, should not be balanced on the backs of the less fortunate—those who directly benefit from public redevelopment agencies to revitalize their communities.

Answering The Anti-Tax Whiners

Grover Norquist

Mark Dempsey: After having reduced taxes without reducing spending, the Republicans can now get Jerry Brown and the California Democrats to do the politically unpopular work of terminating programs that would otherwise be too popular to touch. It’s clever, but hardly non-partisan.

Why Won’t Cities Fight Real State Budget Cuts?

Jerry Brown

Paul Hogarth: While some may see Jerry Brown’s proposal as a “power grab” by the state that tells local governments how to spend their money, the truth is that it can prevent some devastating budget cuts that have been afflicting localities for years.

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.

Jerry Brown’s Karma

California Governor Jerry Brown

Tom Hayden: It’s possible that Brown will take to blaming Washington’s priorities for California’s ills, but not any time soon. For now, he wants Californians to see themselves in the mirror.

Our Predictions for 2011

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Randy Shaw: The biggest story will be President Obama’s “new” relationship with Congressional Republicans; as if the president had not reached out to obstructionist Republicans from the start. We will be deluged with stories describing the “idealism and vision” of newly seated House Republicans, despite their allegiance to large corporations and goal of restoring failed Hoover-era policies.

California Nurses Strike Billion-Dollar Felon, HCA

Registered Nurse Estella Chavez

Linda Milazzo: Whatever the outcome of this strike, these nurses are standing up to their felon corporate employer and fighting valiantly for their rights and the rights of their patients. Their strike leaflet reads, “When we fight, we gain respect.”

Kamala Harris Won for a Few Reasons: Vision and Disdain Are Just Two

Kamala Harris

Anthony Samad: Kamala Harris won the California Attorney General race for many reasons but two stand out – her visionary approach to public safety and the voters’ disdain for her opponent.

Governor Jerry Brown Will Aggressively Push Change

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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.

A (Mostly) Thoughtful California Electorate

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Ron Wolff: Voters demonstrated sophistication and thoughtfulness, first, because they failed to allow the onslaught of money to purchase their brains.

November 2010 Election Predictions

Randy Shaw: In 2008, my optimistic predictions of an Electoral College landslide for Barack Obama assumed a record turnout; today, progressives are far less energized, and the electorate is driven by anger and fear rather than hope.

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