Who Will Win Town Hall Immigration Battle?

town hall

Randy Shaw: The future of immigration reform could well to be decided in the next three weeks. And this will occur not in the halls of Congress but in Congressional Town Hall meetings across the nation.

Here Comes the Border-Industrial Complex

border industrial complex

Jim Hightower: What we have here is the emergence of a full-fledged monster – a Border-Industrial Complex pushing a permanent, ever-expanding border war.

California’s Fracking Regulatory Bill: Less Than Zero

don't frack california

Lauren Steiner: Regulations can neither prevent nor mitigate the disastrous consequences inherent to fracking. We need to keep the carbon in the ground.

Reduced Drug Possession Penalties Can Save Money and Lives

drug arrests

Diana Zuñiga: Voters overwhelmingly believe that California’s prisons and jails are overcrowded and want more alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.

California Primary Election: Most Boring Ever

butler perez

Randy Shaw: Expect a record percentage of absentee votes next week, which might lead to calls to make June contests vote by mail only.

House VAWA Bill Threatens Protections for Immigrant Women and Children

latino-mother-daughter-wide

Michele Waslin: VAWA is an important piece of legislation that deserves to be free from partisan battles over immigration issues.

After Redevelopment: Creating Real Investment in Our Cities

downtown-la-wide

Madeline Janis: While the death of California’s redevelopment agencies is a blow to cities, this could also be a moment of opportunity to create a more vibrant, equitable and sustainable future for all Californians and a model for the country.

What Speaker Boehner Should Have Told House Republicans about Compromise—A Year Ago

john boehner

Walter Moss: Rather than using his leadership position as House Speaker to help educate new House Republicans and others, including American voters, about the noble history of political compromise, he succumbed to ignorance, displaying a lack of leadership.

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.

States Toss Costly Immigration Legislation

new immigrants

Seth Hoy: Clearly, states attempting to take immigration law into their own hands will continue to face costly uphill battles. The question is not whether but when voters will notice that their leaders are putting politics before the state’s best economic interest.

Armenians and Gays Together

ugla-sign

Carl Matthes: The 1998 establishment of Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society (GALAS) to help lgbt “Armenians who are looking for friendship, support and a sense of belonging in the community.” GALAS held its fifth annual Armenian LGBT Conference titled “Breaking Through”

One More Chance for Youth

Youth Justice Coalition

Diane Lefer: Youth in life without parole cases are often acting under the influence of an adult. In nearly 70 percent of California LWOP cases in which the youth was not acting alone, at least one codefendant was an adult.

Report from an Unclear Front

bob letcher ccc

Bob Letcher: In the face of last year’s healthcare reform efforts, opponents screamed the inherently violent and hardly constructive “Kill the bill”; now, it’s opponents of reducing collective bargaining rights for public employees who are screaming the still inherently violent and hardly constructive “Kill the bill”.

Arizona Copycat Law Could Cost Kentucky $40 Million

Kentucky state Sen. John Schickel

Andrea Nill: Senate Bill 6 would cost Kentucky a net $40 million a year in court, prison and foster-care costs. Yet, the Kentucky senate voted 24-14 last week to pass the bill without knowing its cost.

Where Have America’s Good-Paying Jobs Gone?

Tracy Emblem: Americans should be angered because they lost good-paying American jobs, and American taxpayers unwittingly through federal foreign aid helped pay for the development of roads, utilities, and manufacturing plants in foreign countries competing for U.S. workers’ jobs.

After the Midterms: Why Democrats Move to the Center, and Republicans Don’t

voters lined up

Robert Reich: Republicans are cynical about politics from the jump. Political cynicism fuels them. Democrats are idealistic about politics. When they become cynical they tend to drop out.

Why People Hate Politics

gautam dutta

Gautam Dutta: Rather than engage in discussion and debate, many politicians find it easier to demonize their opponents, rather than debate the issues.

When Teachers Unions Back War Escalations

troops

David Swanson: There is nothing altruistic in the idea of peace activists helping workers and the unemployed here at home. That’s how you build a movement for any political end, and that’s how you keep our young people from becoming cannon fodder.

Obama’s Regulatory Brain

banking regulations

Robert Reich: The most important thing to know about the 1,500 page financial reform bill passed by the Senate last week — now on the way to being reconciled with the House bill — is that it’s regulatory. It does nothing to change the structure of Wall Street.

On SB 1070, Arizona Governor Says She Will Do The ‘Right Thing So That Everyone Is Treated Fairly’

Andrea Christina Nill: Since the Arizona legislature passed the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” a bill which will probably end up establishing the harshest set of state immigration laws in the country, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s phone has been reportedly ringing off the hook with residents encouraging her to either sign or veto Senate Bill 1070. Though Brewer has refused to comment on which action she plans on taking, she did assure attendees of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Black and White Ball this Saturday that she will do what is fair.

Why the President’s Next Big Thing Should Be Jobs

Unemployed

Robert Reich: Including all those who have entered the job market since the bottom fell out, the nation is about 11 million jobs short. The President ought to use his second honeymoon to get a jobs bill that will make a difference.

Public Option Only Way Out of Health Care Mess

Obama_and_Reid

Paul Hogarth: Polling in key states where hot Senate seats are in play (Illinois, Colorado and Harry Reid’s own Nevada) shows the public option is still popular, and putting it back in the health care bill would improve things. Only 34% of Nevadans liked the Senate bill that passed in December, but 56% like the public option. The gap grows to 31 points in Illinois and 37 points in Minnesota, so why not use it?

Despite Obama, “Yes We Can” Spirit Survives

meridien rally

Randy Shaw: In the Beltway, the Obama Administration frustrated key constituency groups and organizations by failing to push for transformative change. In the world where most people live and work, activists were not deterred by Obama’s inaction and instead seized upon the “Si Se Puede” spirit to build successful campaigns for justice.

The Last Big Question: Will Health Care Reform Be Paid For By The Rich or the Middle Class?

Public Option

Robert Reich: Some say the Senate’s excise tax is the only way to control long-term health care costs. Baloney. If a portion of the middle class loses their health care, they won’t get the preventive care that’s so crucial to containing long-term costs.

Defining Progressive Victories in 2010

Climate Candle

To help avoid the “defining downward” of progressive goals on the key issues of 2010, I thought it would be helpful to assess what would constitute activist victories and whether progressives should cheer measures short of what they are now backing.

Hey, Hey, LBJ! What Kind of Bill Would You Kill Today?

At a Christmas party a couple weeks ago, back when it looked as if the Senate bill’s compromise would include the Medicare buy-in, a friend of mine told me that he predicted Harry Reid was gong to go down in history as the next LBJ. When I reminded him that the deal was not yet [...]

LA Progressive: December 13 to 19, 2009

Obama’s Nobel Speech Comes Up Short. Pardon me if I can’t join in the fawning praise for President Obama’s Nobel address. “It was, as ever, a bravura performance,” one newspaper said editorially. That it was, but I can’t agree with those. -Carl Bloice Labor Secretary Solis Slams Down Right-Wing Call for an Immigration Moratorium. Last [...]

Slouching Toward Health Care Reform

Dead-in-the-water

Real reform has moved from a Medicare-like public option open to all, to a public option open to 6 million without employer coverage (still in the House bill), to a public option open only to those same people in states that opt for it, or about 4 million (the original Harry Reid version of the Senate bill), to no public option but expanded Medicare (the Senate compromise) to no expanded Medicare at all (the deal with Joe “I love all the attention” Lieberman).

How a Few Private Health Insurers Are on the Way to Controlling Health Care

Little-healthcare

Without some mechanism forcing private insurers to compete, we’re going to end up with a national health care system that’s controlled by a handful of very large corporations accountable neither to American voters nor to the market.

An Open Letter to Harry Reid on Controlling Health Care Costs

Harry

Wrap these reforms together — a public option open to everyone (allow states to opt out of this if they dare), Medicare-negotiated drug benefits, no 12-year monopoly for new drugs, and a major squeeze on Medicare reimbursements for doctors — and have CBO score the savings. I guarantee you, the number will be large. Then you should dare anyone, Democrat or Republican, to vote against saving Americans so much money in years ahead.

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