Index
Monday
Jul252016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump: Commentary (Op-Ed: Frank Bruni), "Donald Trump's Sham Patriotism" .... 

* New York Times (Op-Ed: Frank Bruni):  "Donald Trump's Sham Patriotism" - From the NYT:

In his bid for the White House, Donald Trump is playing many roles: law-and-order strongman, sky’s-the-limit builder, dealmaker extraordinaire. But perhaps none is more emphatic than all-American patriot. His blood pumps red, white and blue, or so he assures us. In his dreams and decisions, he sees his country above all else. “The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponent,” he told Republicans in Cleveland on Thursday night, “is that our plan will put America first.”

But this lavishly professed love is a largely semantic affair. It’s fickle. It’s reckless. Under its guise, he’s apparently prepared to jettison values that really do make America great and alliances that really do keep America safer. His patriotism brims with grievances.

It sulks. Last week he . . . . . . . .

His patriotism doesn’t add up. On one hand, it . . . . . . . .

   ****

There’s no easy way to judge patriotism, and I’m suspicious of two of the most commonly used yardsticks. But by both of those measures — a readiness to serve in the military and a devotion to domestically made goods — Trump isn’t much of a patriot.

   ****

And there’s nothing simple about a patriotism that’s really an amalgam of nativism, racism, isolationism and xenophobia and that denies this country’s distinction as a land of fresh starts, its arms open to a diverse world. Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigrants wasn’t patriotic, nor was the Star of David in that offensive tweet.

“Patriotism,” the 18th-century writer Samuel Johnson once said, “is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” It’s also a convenient cloak for a narcissist. Trump wears it shamelessly, but not so well that you can’t see through it.

Monday
Jul252016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Democratic National Convention: "Clinton has staked out many liberal positions, but will it quell unrest among progressives?"; commentary (Josh Rogin), "Clinton must convince voters the world isn't falling apart"; "Democrats in chaos as convention opens" ....

***2016 presidential election, Democratic National Convention....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Clinton has staked out many liberal positions, but will it quell unrest among progressives?"

* Washington Post (Josh Rogin):  "Clinton must convince voters the world isn't falling apart"

* POLITICO:  "Democrats in chaos as convention opens"

Monday
Jul252016

POLITICS (National): 2016 presidential election, Democratic National Convention, Bernie Sanders?: "Bernie Sanders supporters drown out Clinton backers at Calkifornia breakfast"; "Mayhem breaks out at Democratic Convention"; "Bernie Sanders to meet privately with his supporters in Philadelphia"; "Die-hard Sanders' backers divided on backing Clinton" ....

***2016 presidential election, Democratic National Convention, Bernie Sanders?

* Sacramento Bee:  "Bernie Sanders supporters drown out Clinton backers at California breakfast"

* Washington Post (AP)  "Die-hard Sanders' backers divided on backing Clinton"

* POLITICO:  "Mayhem breaks out at Democratic Convention"

* Chicago Tribune (AP):  "Bernie Sanders to meet privately with his supporters in Philadelphia"

 

Monday
Jul252016

POLITICS (State, Local/Orange County): Money and politics, "behested payments"?: Report/analysis (Tracy Wood), "'Behested Payments' Add Another Layer to Money in Politics" ....  

* Voice of OC (Tracy Wood):  "'Behested Payments' Add Another Layer to Money in Politics" - From Voice of OC:

Behest. It's a word that isn’t used much anymore but, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, can be traced to 12th century Old English and means “an urgent prompting.”

These days in statewide and Orange County politics "behested payments" have taken on a larger meaning, as they increasingly are part of the money and influence game played by office holders and their supporters. Under California law, lobbyists and wealthy political contributors can make large cash donations requested, or behested, by the office holders for their favorite charities.

It works the other way too. Elected officials can curry favor with large donors by creating government programs or events that promote causes, businesses or hobbies popular with wealthy contributors. There are no limits to the amount of an individual behested payment -- with some as high as $100,000 -- but the office-holder has 30 days after donations of $5,000 or more are received to publicly report who gave the money and the amount.

The reporting requirements have been in place since a 1997 amendment to the state Political Reform Act and are enforced by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). FPPC spokesman Jay Wierenga said behested payments were added to the disclosure law because a number of legislators were seeking advice on how to report vendor contributions to events like senior, health and job fairs. The donations weren’t going to campaign accounts but instead, at the request of the lawmakers, to non-profits or other groups putting on the events.

The amounts were a drop in the bucket 20 years ago when the requirements were instituted, but they've become big political business in recent years. An analysis last year by San Francisco public television and radio KQED determined $120 million was raised for charity and other groups by legislators and top state officials since the behested payment law took effect. But because the behested payment forms for local elected officials are filed with either county Registrars of Voters or the hundreds of California cities, no comprehensive study has been done of the total amount raised. Generally, members of the public must visit each city separately and review paper copies of the forms.

The KQED study showed payments behested by state lawmakers rose slowly from $243,533 in 1997 to $2,820,175 in 2005. In 2007, the total jumped to $8,114,409 and generally stayed in the $8 million to $9 million range until last year when it spiraled to $28,272,453.

Gov. Brown Leads the Way ........................

 

Monday
Jul252016

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Santa Clara County, "$60 million South Bay courthouse now a virtual ghost town"; South Bay (L.A. County), "Carson's contaminated Carousel housing tract wins $120 million settlement"; San Francisco, "Dede Wilsey leaving top museum jobs amid strife over payout"; Long Beach, "Filtration systems meant to protect kids near the port were never installed at many schools" .... 

***Various items relating to local issues/local government -- Northern California, Southern California....

* Daily Breeze:  "Carson's contaminated Carousel housing tract wins $120 million settlement"

* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross):  "Dede Wilsey leaving top museum jobs amid strife over payout"

* Mercury News:  "$60 million South Bay courthouse now a virtual ghost town"

* Long Beach Press-Telegram:  "Filtration systems meant to protect kids near the port were never installed at many schools"