Budget Shocker: L.A. Shows $119 Million Surplus

downtown la

Gary Cohn: The reasons for Los Angeles’ comparatively good financial condition include a legal groundwork laid years ago that required specific funding safeguards, recent give-backs from public sector unions and an improving economy.

Casino Mogul Doubles Down Against Unions

sheldon adelson

Steven Mijulan: Sheldon Adelson, the gnomish, ginger-haired casino magnate who threw more than $150 million after Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and other candidates in 2012, let it be known to the house organ of the One Percent that he plans to double the amount he spent in 2012 in upcoming elections.

Fiscal Cliff: Time to Call Their Bluff

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Ellen Brown: The fiscal cliff has been said to be holding Congress hostage to conservative demands, but the real hostages are the debt slaves of our financial system.

Dissolving a Stain Painted by Henry Ford

henry ford

Walter Brasch: It’s possible my family, and thousands of other Jewish families, may some day buy a Ford. The stain the company’s founder painted onto his product has faded.

Why Democrats Are Winning

barack and bill

Brent Budowsky: MDemocrats are attuned to the tectonic plate of American politics in 2012. Rightist- dominated Republicans, who have offended too many voters on too many issues and demonized even moderates in their own party, are at war with it.

Obama & the Democrats Sending Mixed Messages about the Catfood Commission

President Obama and Secretary Clinton at State Department (White House photo by Pete Souza)

Carl Bloice: The words of a party’s platform and the declarations of its candidate don’t mean much in the real world of political wheeling and dealing.

The Bill Clinton Mega-Bounce

barack and bill

Brent Budowsky: Nobody remembers what Mitt Romney said at his convention, but everybody remembers what Clinton said at the Democratic convention, which gave Obama a mega-bounce that has lasted for more than a week.

Walmart Dodges African “Blood Minerals” Rule

blood diamonds

t must have seemed like a good idea at the time, when Senators Chris Dodd and Barney Frank drew up the landmark regulatory bill that bears their names. One of its lesser-known provisions required U.S. companies to list the inclusion of any “conflict minerals,” mined in or near the violence-plagued Democratic Republic of the Congo, [...]

What Republicans Argue When They Have Nothing Left to Say

obama oval office

Robert Reich: It doesn’t even matter that the new Republican tax cut plan would probably raise taxes on many lower-income Americans, All that matters is the headlines.

Silicon Valley Leaders Fund Effort to Help DREAM Students

Laurene Powell Jobs

Michele Waslin: A group of technology leaders from Silicon Valley are providing scholarships, career advice and legal assistance to undocumented students through a campaign called Educators for Fair Consideration

California AG Kamala Harris Standing Firm Against Foreclosure Settlement

kamala harris

Sharon Kyle: Kamala Harris standing firm on decision to reject bank settlement that could garner the state $15 billion but would release bank liability.

Will Obama Administration Now Go After Massive Mortgage Banking Frauds?

wall street offering

Ellen Brown: In his State of the Union, President Obama announced that he would be creating a mortgage crisis unit to investigate wrongdoing related to real estate lending.

Hey NBC, Monday’s Debate Panelists Need to Better Represent!

jose antonio vargas

Linda Milazzo: What’s truly needed in these debates are the images of a diverse blended America – not more monochromatic mirror images of the candidates themselves.

Fight Over Obama’s Recess Appointments Puts Stranglehold on Key Nominees

obama daley

Marian Wang: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to block the confirmation of three uncontroversial nominees for key banking regulator positions.

The Way to Occupy a Bank Is to Own One

occupy la

Ellen Brown: The campaign to “move your money” has gotten a groundswell of support. Having greater impact would be to “move our money” — move our local government revenues out of Wall Street banks into our own publicly-owned banks.

Financial Crisis Prosecutions Too Hard?

wall street

Marian Wang: According to a now-departed Justice Department official who used to be in charge of investigating such matters, the Justice Department has decided that holding top Wall Street executives criminally accountable is too difficult a task.

Long-time LA Timesman Decries Media Concentration

tim rutten

Justin Chapman: The coming concentration of the media is probably a bigger threat to your civil liberties than anything the government’s doing right now, according to Tim Rutten

Europe’s Central Bank Fiddles While Rome Burns

eurozone crash

Ellen Brown: The burgeoning debts of the Eurozone countries are being blamed on their large welfare states, but these social systems were set up before the 1970s, when European governments had very little national debt. Their national debts shot up, not because they spent on social services, but because they switched bankers.

Restore the Basic Bargain

ford assembly line

Robert Reich: New data from the Commerce Department shows employee pay is now down to the smallest share of the economy since the government began collecting wage and salary data in 1929.

Looking Beyond Election Day

dollar chicken

Robert Reich: Political elites are worried about thunder on the right and the left, but they show scant understanding of what these growing anti-establishment forces signify. Meanwhile, the nation drifts.

Why We Shouldn’t be Selling the Right to Live in America

america for sale

Robert Reich: The visa-for-home swap proposal also comes at exactly the same time the nation is actively closing its doors to foreigners who aren’t wealthy. Is this what America is all about?

A Jubilee for Student Debt?

student loan debt

Ellen Brown: Eliminating, reducing, or deferring student loan debt will free up the budgets of millions of students, allowing them to spend more on goods and services, increasing demand and creating jobs, and adding to tax revenues.

Occupy Fox!

What do survivors of 9/11, David Beckham, and Paul McCartney have in common? They all claim their phones were hacked by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. in a scheme to obtain personal information, which allegedly involved bribing police.

Hope for Bankaneers: We Do Like Pirate Movies

wall street pirates

Tina Dupuy: Funny how all corporations are now the euphemistic “job creators,” even after they proved to be (over and over again) job-cutters. Yes, the swashbuckling job-cutters! Arrr!

Protests, Not Parades, This Labor Day

trash driver

Robert Reich: Labor Day is traditionally a time for picnics and parades. But this year is no picnic for American workers, and a protest march would be more appropriate than a parade.

Stock Tip: Be Worried. Workers are Consumers.

Iranian medical delegation at the Agent Orange conference in Hanoi.

Robert Reich: Every CEO of every company that continues to squeeze payrolls (Verizon, are you listening? Ford?) needs to understand they’re shooting themselves in the feet. Where do they expect demand for their products and services to come from?

Obama’s Disappointing Peace Plan

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Rebecca Griffin: Unfortunately, the president’s plan allows the war to last indefinitely and leaves in place almost twice as many troops as when he came in office. The American and Afghan people will pay the price for prolonging this disastrous policy.

Don’t-Raise-Taxes-on-the-Rich Crowd Getting Desperate

taxes

Robert Reich: In truth, the most important variable explaining the rise and fall of tax revenues as percent of GDP has been the business cycle, not the effective tax rate.

Automakers’ Bailout and Bankruptcies Shortchanged Accident Victims

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Marian Wang: The U.S. Treasury still holds a stake in Chrysler that it intends to sell, and an Obama administration official has said that the government doesn’t expect to fully recover about $1.9 billion in remaining investments.

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