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.
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, [...]
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.
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.
Joseph Palermo: Jerry’s triangulating. He’s aligning himself with the Republican minority in forging a path forward out of California’s deep crisis.
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.
Randy Shaw: How much more evidence does Brown need that a shift to “Plan B” – moving on tax extensions without Republican support – is overdue?
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.
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.
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.