By David Dayen
Michael Gerson is a former Bush speechwriter, and an unlikely candidate to have written something with which I wholeheartedly agree. But I think he’s reached a core insight here:
In its heyday — say, the 1960s — American liberalism had an obvious identity. It was ambitious, reformist and frankly moral in its appeal to a common good that included minorities and the poor. It was praised as idealistic and attacked as utopian. Robert Kennedy, quoting Aeschylus, set out "to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world." […]
By Matthew Fleischer
Any lawyer with some experience in Sacramento politics can draft language for a statewide initiative. But crafting deceptive ballot measures that can trick people into voting against their core beliefs is nothing less than an art form.
For many years, the undisputed master of the misleading initiative has been Thomas Hiltachk. So it's little surprise that Hiltachk is the author of Proposition 32, which promises to rid Sacramento of special interest money – but which would actually give almost complete control of state politics to corporations and the super-rich by effectively crippling the ability of unions to participate in elections and lobbying. Hiltachk has also quite possibly written into the initiative a poison pill that would shield corporations from its provisions and leave only unions to suffer the consequences if Prop 32 passes.
By Kenneth Burt
California and Texas have the largest Latino communities, but Spanish-speaking voters are likely to have the greatest impact in states having either a relatively small Spanish-speaking population or where the ethnic composition is in flux.
Latinos are positioned to play a major role in three Southern states - Virginia and North Carolina, where the Hispanic population is relatively new, and Florida - once dominated by conservative Cuban Americans - where there has been dramatic growth in the Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Central American populations.
By David Dayen
The ACLU plans to sue Morgan Stanley on behalf of five named plaintiffs (they will seek class action status), for the investment bank's role in fueling what they view as a discriminatory subprime bubble. In doing so, the ACLU will try to pioneer a new legal strategy, by going after the securitizer of the loans instead of the now-defunct originator.
By Tina Dupuy
Wal-Mart is the biggest retailer in the world. It boasts of having 1.2 million Americans on their payroll. Its reported annual profits are around $13 billion. So it’s safe to say since it is so big - and so ubiquitous - and so obviously successful - the government can now stop subsidizing it.
By Jamie Court
Californians finally saw $5 per gallon at their pumps last week. Unfortunately, it's not likely to be the last time.
The Los Angeles Times published my op-ed Friday, "Refueling California," where I detail how sudden price spikes will plague drivers here until we adopt some simple reforms recommended by a state taskforce more than a decade ago.
By Rev. Jim Conn
When a man makes millions a year and pays a paltry tax of 13 percent and then demonizes people too poor or too old to pay any, who's the "moocher?" Well, that's easy, but besides the really rich, those of us who are in the middle class also get lots of breaks. The federal tax code offers tax deductions that support our comfort, while the budget delivers subsidies that underwrite the way we live. Some of these are obvious, some obscure and some buried so deep we don't bother to count them.
By Stacy Malkan
The people's movement for our right to know what's in our food has hit a critical fork in the road: the moment when it's time to ask ourselves and each other - how hard are we willing to fight for our basic right to know what's in the food we're eating and feeding our families?
Proposition 37 is the litmus test for whether there is actually a food movement in this country, writes Michael Pollan in an article in Sunday's New York Times Magazine. It may also be the litmus test for whether there is democracy left in this country.
By Sheila Kuehl
Prop 31 is a collection of seven disparate provisions gathered together by a collection of think-tanks and pundits aimed changing state government procedures. It is primarily the brainchild of an organization called California Forward, which was put together by Common Cause and the Center for Governmental Studies, among others, and funded by five foundations, including the California Endowment. The hope was to find ways to make government more efficient and responsive. However, several critics have opined that Prop 31 doesn't really accomplish the goal, but simply recycles a number of ideas that have been floated through the years without a good deal of empirical evidence on whether or not they accomplish what they set out to do.
By Steve Hochstadt
TV commentators say Mitt Romney won the first presidential debate. He won it on taxes: "I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut … My number one principle is there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit … I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans … I will not, under any circumstance raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families." Should we believe that?