Index
Saturday
Jul042015

POLITICS (National, State): U.S. Supreme Court, Friederichs v. California Teachers Assn., compulsory union dues, commentary (Steven Greenhut): "High court mulls future of forced dues" .... 

* San Diego Union-Tribune (Steven Greenhut):  "High court mulls future of forced dues" - "California case could change the country's political landscape" - From the U-T:

— California Republican officials are accustomed to having their legislation killed, given their lack of clout in the Capitol. But the recent derailment of six out of seven bills in their modest education-reform package — and the seventh was gutted — speaks not just of their minority status, but of the power of the state’s teachers’ unions.

Yet there’s a possibility such power could be eroding. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a First Amendment case filed by some Southern California teachers against the California Teachers Association. The Friedrichs case deals with the arcane issue of “agency shop” fees teachers must pay their unions — but the case has broad implications for teachers' unions and all public-sector unions across the country.

“The Supreme Court is revisiting decisions that have made it possible for people to stick together for a voice at work in their communities — decisions that have stood for more than 35 years — and that have allowed people to work together for better public services and vibrant communities,” said a statement from a broad group of unions. But those words sidestep the main question at issue: Can government employees be forced to pay dues to unions that lobby for policies they might oppose? ..........................

Saturday
Jul042015

POLITICS/BUSINESS (Energy): California Public Utilities Commission, approval, electricity rate overhaul: "California overhauls electricity pricing; rates hikes likely for many"; "State OKs higher electric rates for most consumers"; "California electricity rates to undergo biggest change in 15 years"; "California regulators approve higher electricity rates for most residents" ....

***California Public Utilities Commission, approval, change in electricity tier pricing, sampling of coverage....

* Sacramento Bee:  "California overhauls electricity pricing; rate hikes likely for many"

* Los Angeles Times:  "California regulators approve higher electricity rates for most residents"

* San francisco Chronicle:  "California electricity rates to undergo biggest change in 15 years"

* San Diego Union Tribune:  "State OKs higher electric rates for most consumers"

Saturday
Jul042015

L.A. CITY HALL: Homelessness, solutions? local politics? - commentary (Sandy Banks): "Garcetti, City Council throw homeless problem to the police" ....

* Los Angeles Times (Sandy Banks):  "Garcetti, City Council throw homeless problem to the police" - From the LAT:

Mayor Eric Garcetti took office with a promise to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. Instead, two years into his term, we're throwing $100 million annually at a problem that's spreading and becoming more entrenched — and Garcetti's largely been silent on the issue, save for platitudes.

The best solution our City Council has come up with is a return to ham-handed tactics previously tried and discredited: Have the cops seize the belongings of homeless people, then hand out tickets they can't pay or haul them off to jail. At the very least, that would get them and their messes out of our sight — and quiet constituent complaints about scruffy transients and homeless encampments cropping up on sidewalks and in neighborhood parks.

Meanwhile our mayor — with his finger in the wind — applauded the council's plan last week, then suddenly flipped the script. Now he says he won't sign the measures or let officers carry them out. The rules can become law without his signature. And he doesn't have the power to stop police from enforcing them.

It looks to me like our waffling mayor is trying to figure out whether to appease liberal supporters, who think homeless people deserve compassionate treatment, or mollify big business cronies whose bottom lines depend on safe, clean, transient-free streets.

::

We ought to stop saying we're going to end homelessness by next year — or the next year or the next. That's a handy political slogan, but it's not going to happen .......................

Friday
Jul032015

POLITICS (National, International): 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump, Mexican immigrants, "rapists": "And Now, What Mexico Thinks of Donald Trump" ....

* New York Times:  "And Now, What Mexico Thinks of Donald Trump" - From the NYT:

MEXICO CITY — It is the kind of publicity money cannot buy — front-page coverage, segments on the nightly news, the attention of political heavyweights and a stream of commentary burning a hole in the web. But Donald J. Trump, champion of the so-called birther movement that wrongly questioned President Obama’s birthplace, owner of the Miss Universe contest and developer of hotels bearing his name the world over, has not only found fame in the United States, where he is running for president. He has also found it in Mexico — or infamy, anyway.

“He’s just ignorant,” said Ricardo Arevala, 18, who works at a piñata shop here, adding that someone recently came into the store looking for a smackable rendition of Mr. Trump. “He speaks in stereotypes.”

While announcing his candidacy to be America’s next president last month, Mr. Trump delivered remarks that ended up echoing across Mexico. “They are bringing drugs. They are bringing crime. They’re rapists,” Mr. Trump said about Mexican immigrants, adding, “some, I assume, are good people.”

While most presidential candidates are positioning themselves to court the Latino vote, Mr. Trump ignited a firestorm with his statement, managing to galvanize the disparate populations of Mexico, both social and political. A host of Mexican political notables have lashed out at the remarks, including . . . . . . . .

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That is to say nothing of the expletives cast around when describing Mr. Trump in much of Mexico, by every strata of society ...................

Friday
Jul032015

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton fundraising: "Clinton on track to raise $45 million to build campaign juggernaut"; also, "Hillary Clinton raised over $5 million in primary money, aide says"; "Clinton Announces $45 Million Fundraising Haul"; "Hillary Clinton raised $45 million since April" ....

***Hillary Clinton, $45 million "fundraising haul" since April, sampling of coverage....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Clinton on track to raise $45 million to build campaign juggernaut"

* CNN:  "Hillary Clinton raised over $45 million in primary money, aide says"

* NPR:  "Clinton Announces $45 Million Fundraising Haul"

* Washington Post ("Post Politics"):  "Hillary Clinton raised $45 million since April"