California Democrats: “Spreading the Pain” from Sacramento

Karen Bass, Darryl Steinberg

When his term mercifully expires next year, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be leaving the Golden State in the worst condition than at any time its history. If Schwarzenegger and his right-wing Republican co-conspirators get their way (as they always seem to do), they’ll gut every social program and educational institution in the state in [...]

The Magical Mystery Majority Budget

california-begging

On Thursday, December 18, frustrated with their inability to attract any Republican votes through long negotiations, both the State Assembly and the State Senate decided on an entirely different tack. They would pass a series of majority-vote bills to cut and change the current, 2008-09 budget. Though such a move would not get the state [...]

Latin America: Obama’s Opportunity

Venezuela held regional elections on Sunday, 23 November, and opposition candidates made substantial gains against the governing party of President Hugo Chávez, winning at least five governorships (of 22), including the two most populous states and the mayorality of Metropolitan Caracas). Chávez announced that he accepted the results, and added that “these elections demonstrated that [...]

Can You Feel The Ship Turning?

financial meltdown

In the run-up to Election Day, when Barack Obama’s history-making victory wasn’t exactly a sure thing, our local congressman urged persistence and optimism. “We’ve got a big ship there in Washington, with a lot of right-wing momentum pushing it forward,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra on a sultry August evening, speaking to our Democratic club here [...]

Election 2008: Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics

This Democratic victory should be seen primarily as a rejection of the sectarian conservatism of the George W. Bush Administration. There is certainly a mandate to reimpose sensible regulation on the economy, to do something (exactly what is not so clear) about a failing health care system, and to find a way out of Iraq. [...]

When Congress Failed to Stop the Vietnam War

Joel Goldstein

Although polls show that two-thirds of the American public think that the war in Iraq is a mistake, Congress is having trouble stopping it. In fact, it continues to fund the war. Congress recently voted to appropriate $162 billion more for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the bill, the Democrats included domestic benefits [...]

Politics, Art, and California’s Public Policy Failure

theatre_west

California is mired in a $16 billion dollar deficit, without the political will to overcome deliberately designed structural impediments to solving the problem. For most government and nonprofit organizations, mission determines function. The United States Constitution clearly lays out the ‘mission’ of the government in the Preamble: “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, [...]