California’s Death Penalty: What Prop 34 Actually Says about First-Degree Murder

safe california

Chris Stampolis: Proposition 34 simply strips out the statutory references to a “death” option for convictions of first degree murder that carry a separate finding of special circumstances.

Judicial Judo: The Chief Justice and Obamacare

john roberts

John Peeler: In handing a defeat to the Republicans, Roberts thereby also handed them a bludgeon with which to attack Obama as a tax-and-spend liberal.

Big Tobacco and the Lessons of California’s No on Prop 29

yes on prop 29

Randy Shaw: In a tribute to the success of the generic No campaign, a Public Policy Institute poll released May 23 found support for Proposition 29 dropping 14 points among likely voters since March.

In This Campaign Season: An Opt Out Letter

romney bedtime story

Kathleen Peine: This is a plea, really, to those who are bothering me with their hopes and aspirations during this bigtop extravaganza that is to be the final moments of our presidential campaign season.

Friday Feedback: Ron Paul and Racism

This week, Val Eisman and Mark Halfmoon debate the merits of “Challenging Ron Paul’s Followers on Racism” by Mark Naison

It Takes Strength to Compromise — and It Costs Less, Too

dorothy w nelson

Tanya Acker: There is a lot of discussion these days about the detriments of compromise. When you compromise, for instance, certain people may claim you don’t stick to your guns and decide not to vote for you.

Three for the Apocalypse

owl

The owl shrugs. The gator slithers across the mud, finds a small fold in the water, slips himself noiselessly under. He rumbles—and the water dances off his back—a symphonette of timpani and bassoons. He rises again with an afterthought.

A Grand Fourth

Ron Wolff: FDR spoke about “four essential freedoms” on January 6, 1941, naming 1) freedom of speech and expression; 2) freedom of every person to worship in his own way; 3) freedom from want; and 4) freedom from fear — which he explained was related to a reduction of armaments and the lack of physical aggression against any other country in the world.

Obama Ignores Community Organizing Lessons

yes-we-can

When Barack Obama backed a Senate health reform plan that differed radically from prior proposals, he ignored the lessons he learned as a young organizer on Chicago’s South Side. Obama once knew that it’s wrong to bypass the community’s agenda to strike a backroom deal, regardless of its superior terms. Obama also understood that failing to consult with the community disempowers the base, and discourages people from participating in future organizing campaigns.

Will Congress Ban States from Providing Healthcare?

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio)

If Kucinich’s amendment fails, the fault will not be the media’s or political calculations or party discipline. The fault will be the extreme degree to which the health insurance companies own our federal government.

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