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Monday
Jul092018

SACRAMENTO: California gubernatorial election, universal health coverage, single-payer health care?: "California's likely next governor tamps down expectations for single payer" ....

***California gubernatorial election, universal health coverage, single-payer health care?

* POLITICO (Victoria Colliver, Rachana Pradhan):  "California's likely next governor tamps down expectations for single payer" - From POLITICO:

Gavin Newsom, favored to be California's next governor, is campaigning on a progressive vision of single-payer health care whose viability could pose a major test ahead of the 2020 elections for Democrats wrangling over how to enshrine universal health coverage.

Newsom, 50, has long favored single payer and expanded health care while mayor of San Francisco. He isn't shying away from that goal, which is increasingly popular with the activated progressive wing of the party but is proving a tough sell because of the exorbitant cost. A single-payer bill failed in California's Legislature earlier this year, in large part over a projected annual price tag of as much as $400 billion. On a smaller scale, Vermont had the same experience under former Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin.

“He’s not going to deliver a single-payer-like health care system because it’s too expensive and there’s not a roadmap for it now,” said David McCuan, a political analyst and political science professor at Sonoma State University. Indeed, many political observers think Newsom will incrementally expand coverage, possibly starting with a first-ever Medicaid expansion to undocumented adults.

Newsom himself is already cooling expectations that he’ll blow up the status quo should he defeat Republican nominee John Cox. He recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that a single-payer system could take “years” to implement — a virtual certainty since it would require several approvals from the Trump administration. “It’s not an act that would occur by the signature of the next governor,” Newsom told the newspaper. “There’s a lot of mythology around that.”

But Newsom hasn’t backed down on single payer as the ultimate goal ...................

Monday
Jul092018

POLITICS/MEDIA (National, State/ New Jersey): State-funded subsidy of journalism consortium, $5 million?: Report/analysis (Jack Shafer), "The State of New Jersey Wants to Subsidize News. Uh-Oh." .... 

***State-funded journalism consortium, $5 million?

* POLITICO Magazine (Jack Shafer):  "The State of New Jersey Wants to Subsidize News. Uh-Oh." - "State-funded reporting won't save journalism. It's bound to make it worse." - From POLITICO:

Unless you live in a bomb shelter and have canceled your cable TV and internet services, you’ve heard that the newspaper business has run aground. Advertising revenue is down 67 percent since 2005, and as panicked publishers shutter newspapers, reduce the number of days they publish, lay off journalists and cut local coverage to balance their books, the likelihood that great swaths of the country will become “news deserts,” devoid of accountability reports on government and corporations, has grown.

The state of New Jersey thinks it’s found the secret to making the desert bloom: A $5 million subsidy for a university-led consortium that will dispense grants for local news coverage. “Never before has a state taken the lead to address the growing crisis in local news,” said Mike Rispoli of the Free Press Action Fund, the advocacy group that advanced the consortium idea. “Trustworthy local journalism is the lifeblood of democracy; it allows people to participate meaningfully in decisions regarding local elections, public schools and policy decisions.”

If you think $5 million won’t go very far in a state the size, and with the corruption problems, of New Jersey, you’re right. The original Free Press Action Fund pitch was for $100 million, which was then whittled down to $20 million before it reached its current size. The project also seems barnacled with bureaucracy. According to NJBiz, a staff of four will be hired to oversee the non-profit program while taking direction from a 13-member board of directors chosen by the governor, the legislature, five participating universities and others. Grants will go only to organizations that collaborate with one of the universities, or community, media and technology organizations affiliated with the consortium.

With so many hands stirring the pot, how good will the consortium soup be? ......................

Monday
Jul092018

POLITICS (National): Gerrymandering, state-level decisions?: "States Aren't Waiting for the Supreme Court to Solve Gerrymandering" ....

***Gerrymandering, state level decisions?

* POLITICO (Erick Trickey): "States Aren't Waiting for the Supreme Court to Solve Gerrymandering" - "In Ohio, voters ratified a bipartisan deal that gives the minority party more say in how congressional maps are drawn." - From POLITICO:

For Americans who want to fight the mapmaker’s tyranny over politics, the U.S. Supreme Court has delivered the classic losers’ consolation: Wait ’til next year. Or the next. Or forever.

The court passed up two chances at the end of its term to declare extreme partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional, sending cases from Wisconsin and Maryland back to lower courts. Then, the justices ducked again, remanding a North Carolina gerrymandering case—and making it less likely they’ll confront partisan district-drawing in their next term. Then Justice Anthony Kennedy retired, depriving gerrymandering’s opponents of a potential fifth vote, without resolving Kennedy’s long search for a legal standard on the practice. It’s a clear message to Americans who are sick of how gerrymandering lets politicians pick their voters, creates grotesquely-shaped one-party districts and encourages the partisan divide. With three years to go before the entire nation redistricts after the next census, if gerrymandering’s opponents want better, fairer maps, they’ll have to demand them, state by state.

Ohio just showed how it can be done .......................

Monday
Jul092018

SACRAMENTO: State Water Resources Control Board, new water allocation plan?: "California has a new plan for allocating its water, and it means less for farmers"; also, "Be prepared to reduce water use. Here's why" (Dan Morain) .....

***State Water Resources Control Board, new water allocation plan?

* Sacramento Bee:  "California has a new plan for allocating its water, and it means less for farmers"

***ALSO:

* CALmatters (Dan Morain):  "Be prepared to reduce water use. Here's why"

Monday
Jul092018

POLITICS/BUSINESS (National, International/ China): President Donald Trump, China business ties: "As tariffs near, Trump's business empire retains ties to China"; also, "As trade war rages, the shoe giz goes on for Ivanka Trump and Chinese suppliers" ....

***President Donald Trump, China business ties....

* Washington Post (Jonathan O'Connell, David Fahrenthold):  "As tariffs near, Trump's business empire retains ties to China"

***ALSO:

* POLITICO (Kinling Lu - South China Morning Post):  "As trade war rages, the shoe biz goes on for Ivanka Trump and Chinese suppliers