March 22, 2012
It's OK That the California Republican Party Is Irrelevant
By Robert Cruickshank
One would think that in a democracy, the preferences of voters would drive political analysis. If voters abandoned one of the parties in droves to the point where that party became irrelevant, it would be a sign of a healthy political system that was adaptable and flexible to changing public views. If, however, one party became massively unpopular yet still wielded power and influence, that would be the sign of a failing political system - one that did not reflect the views of a democratic people.
In California, we have witnessed the long yet inevitable death of the Republican Party. Driven by a base that hates everything about 21st century California, from its diversity to its social and economic values, California Republicans have made themselves irrelevant by their refusal to abandon that crazy base or their own unpopular ideologies.
March 07, 2012
Outlook for California districts in 2012 - Post-Super Tuesday Edition
Here are the updated districts in my "Outlook" series. I replaced the 2008-President numbers with a "Cook PVI" based only on 2008. With this number, calculating the "Partisan Factor" (PF) became a bit easier, simply averaging the CPVI, 2010 Governor and Senate races, and the difference between the DEM and GOP registration numbers. The PF's changed slightly, but the overall numbers for U.S. House, State Senate, and State Assembly remain the same.
For the 2010 races, the numbers represent the difference between the parties given their share of the 2-party vote. For example, in CA-03, Fiorina won 51-49 and Brown won 53.8-46.2.Continue reading "Outlook for California districts in 2012 - Post-Super Tuesday Edition"
February 15, 2012
Slavery by Another Name
Appropriately, as this is Black History Month, PBS ran a riveting documentary called "Slavery by Another Name."
If you missed the airing on February 13th, I strongly recommend you watch it online here.
February 07, 2012
Liberal And Damn Proud of It
December 27, 2011
Outlook for California districts in 2012 - Christmas/New Year's edition
Picking up on a diary from 2006 about tracking competitive districts, I continued the tracking for the 2008 and 2010 elections. With the new district data, I can start the "Outlook" series for 2012.
In 2008 I tried a "Partisan Factor" (PF), inspired by a comment in the aforementioned diary, in which I averaged the margins in registration, 2002-Gov., 2004-Pres., 2004-Sen., and 2006-Sen. In 2010 I used just the registration and the 2008 presidential numbers. For 2012 I will try a new "Partisan Factor" using the registration margin, 2008-Pres., 2010-Sen., and 2010-Gov, with different weights. I weighed the 2010 races more and the registration and 2008 less.
Also, for the 2008 and 2010 races, the numbers represent the difference between the parties given their share of the 2-party vote. For example, in CA-03, Obama won 56.3-43.7, Fiorina won 51-49, and Brown won 53.8-46.2.
Here is the lowdown on these districts.Continue reading "Outlook for California districts in 2012 - Christmas/New Year's edition"
How To Save the Economy: San Francisco's Common Sense Solution
Thousands of San Francisco workers are starting the new year with a raise
On Jan. 1 the city's minimum wage will rise to $10.24 an hour. That's the highest rate in the country and makes San Francisco the first place in the U.S. to mandate double-digit hourly wages for its lowest-paid workers.
Critics have derided the mandates as anti-business job killers. But San Francisco's economy has proved resilient. The city's unemployment rate was 7.8% in November, well below the 11.3% statewide rate. Over the last year, the San Francisco metropolitan area, which includes parts of neighboring San Mateo and Marin counties, created 3,900 new jobs, mostly in bars and restaurants within the city of San Francisco, according to the California Employment Development Department.
"San Francisco is a model in terms of showing what can be done to improve labor standards," said Ken Jacobs, chairman of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. "Extensive economic research on the impact of the [minimum-wage] law found no impact on employment."
Although there's little chance of a deeply divided Congress approving a higher federal minimum wage, an effort is underway in Sacramento to raise the California wage to $8.50 and then peg it annually to the inflation rate.
With the economy still sluggish, California needs the stimulus that would be created by an increase in the minimum wage, said Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville), whose district includes farmworkers in the Salinas Valley.
"At a time when the cost of living is skyrocketing, it's becoming more difficult for families making the least in the state to keep up with inflation," he said. "If these low-wage workers get an increase, it goes back into the economy to pay bills."
The San Francisco solution: To improve the economy, pay workers more
Well-paid workers become free-spending consumers. Free-spending consumers fuel the economy. A better economy breeds more jobs.
Who knows, maybe San Francisco is on to something.. - L.A. Times Opinion
Makes sense to me: the higher the wages the more money consumers have to spend, the more they spend the more businesses thrive, the more they thrive the more workers they hire. It's the multiplying effect, with an added bonus -- higher wages also increase government revenues and helps pay down the debt.
Since trickle down hasn't worked, isn't it time we try trickle up?
December 23, 2011
Ho Ho Ho! (HA HA HA)
GOP caves on tax-cut extension. (Ho Ho Ho! HA HA Ha! Santa's come to town!)
Merry Christmas :)
December 15, 2011
U.S. War in Iraq Declared Officially Over
From the paper that helped start the war, The New York Times
4,484 dead soldiers (the state most affected is California, with 388 of the deaths)
The cost in US dollars: 823.2 billion
According to Iraq Body Count 113,728 Iraqi civilians were killed. Other studies put the deaths at over a million.
November 26, 2011
October 30, 2011
Occupy LA (livestream)
In a speech on the Floor of the House of Representatives in 1999, Congressman Dingell warns against repealing the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. He argues that repealing the law would allow banks to become "too big to fail," which would cause instability in financial system. Nonetheless, Congress repealed the law and the nation suffered the tragic consequences of the 2008 financial crisis about a decade later.:.
Bring back the Glass-Steagall Act!
October 10, 2011
The Darkness Behind Dexia Bank's Colored Light Show
Watch the pretty colored lights, pay no mind to what's going on in the board rooms behind them.