Posts tagged ‘California’

August 29, 2011

Health Reform Implementation in one map

by Vince

The interesting part about the above map is the nuance that does not adhere to partisan regions:

States that have passed exchange bills tend to lean Democratic, but it’s by no means a clear dichotomy.  Both Nevada and California passed exchange bills under Republican governors;Mississippi and Idaho have, over the past few weeks, become increasingly aggressive about setting up exchanges.

Conversely, not all Democratic-controlled states are moving. Delaware and Rhode Island’s state governments are both controlled by Democrats. Neither has moved exchange legislation. Even here in D.C, an exchange bill has sat in committee since its introduction in February.

August 29, 2011

School superintendent gives up $800k in pay

by Vince

This guy’s story is amazing (the full article is worth reading):

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Some people give back to their community. Then there’s Fresno County School Superintendent Larry Powell, who’s really giving back. As in $800,000 — what would have been his compensation for the next three years.

Until his term expires in 2015, Powell will run 325 schools and 35 school districts with 195,000 students, all for less than a starting California teacher earns.

“How much do we need to keep accumulating?” asks Powell, 63. “There’s no reason for me to keep stockpiling money.”


Powell’s answer? Ask his board to allow him to return $288,241 in salary and benefits for the next three and a half years of his term. He technically retired, then agreed to be hired back to work for $31,000 a year — $10,000 less than a first-year teacher — and with no benefits.

“I thought it was so very generous on his part,” said school board member Sally Tannenbaum. “We get to keep him, but at a much lower rate.”

His move was so low-key, his manner so unassuming, that it took four days after the school board meeting for word of his act to get out to the community. There were no press releases or self-congratulatory pats on the back.

Yes, what he did was great and the money he kicks back these next three years will, as mentioned in the article, go to the S.D. However, don’t be fooled by this. He will still get a six-figure retirement that rises with cost of living. That reform may be beyond his own control but it is what it is.

(thanks V.S.!)

May 25, 2011

The Prison Flood Gates Are Opening

by Vince

The California Supreme Court upheld a decision to release 30,000 inmates. Conor Friedersdorf and Mark Kleiman are hoping they use the GPS-type trackers for these released offenders.

I have mixed feelings about this because I know it’s an imperfect solution. On the other hand, I do know that prison costs are (and have been) exploding. Conversely, I don’t think saving money should always point us towards blanket solutions that may jeopardize public safety

May 18, 2011

Learn Something New Today

by Vince

Writer/filmmakerRansom Riggs (of “Be Amazing!” fame) explores the post-apocalyptic landscape of California’s Salton Sea and its largely abandoned resort community, Salton City.

March 3, 2011

Islamophobia Watch

by Vince
December 6, 2010

Picture of the Day

by Vince

Jordanian immigrant Sirhan Bashira Sirhan is taken into custody following the shooting of Sen. Robert Kennedy on June 5, 1968 in Los Angeles, right after the Senator’s victory speech in the presidential primaries held in California. (UPI Photo/Ron Bennett/Files)
November 29, 2010

Then and Now: Conservatives and the Briggs Initiative

by Vince

Fast forward to the 3:40 mark. Sullivan brings up the Briggs Initiative and essentially how it is viewed today (73% of conservatives oppose gays/lesbians/those who support gay rights teaching in public schools) compared to yore (Ronald Regan was against it and helped defeat it). A historical note, too, was that Harvey Milk was a strong supporter against it (duh!).

Sullivan rightly wonders: has the conservative movement today gone in a strongly rightward direction?

I wonder: how can you claim to worship at the church of Ronald Regan and mis-attribute his views?

September 25, 2010

The Other Sarah Palins

by Vince

Abram Sauer describes:

None of the British Sarah Palins were interested in changing their names. And neither is Glen Beck, from Fort Bragg, California, who happily told tales of women asking to meet him, and a hotel that left an extravagant fruit and cheese basket (complete with complimentary wine) in his room. But there are plenty of downsides. “I would kinda like to see him share his wealth as compensation for having to answer for him,” he says. “Somehow I don’t think that will ever happen.”

Imagine the life they must live.

August 13, 2010

To Fellow Conservatives, With Love

by Vince

“Conservatives cannot deny that our Founders intended the judiciary as an equal and independent branch of government purposed to ensure the protection of every citizen’s rights. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that the right to marry is a fundamental constitutional right.

When an unpopular minority is denied the right to marry, it is indeed the role of the courts to protect the rights of that minority, especially when a majority would deny them. This is why Judge Walker’s opinion reads, “That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

Not to mention that conservatives have a flawed history with civil rights, a trend that began when Barry Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act as unconstitutional. While Goldwater was no racist there is clearly a conservative precedent for a breakdown at the intersection of ideology and reality,” – Fox News contributorMargaret Hoover, in an open letter to “fellow conservatives.”

Another conservative now is out on this topic, clearly against their base establishment. It is refreshing to read quotes like this. I only wonder what the response was like on Fox News.

Hat tip: The Daily Dish

August 12, 2010

The Proposition 8 Motherlode

by Vince

California released the full load of judicial videos, commentary, and everything else you could ever want (let’s hope). Enjoy!

August 10, 2010

Defending The Fundamental Right To Marriage

by Vince

Ted Olson brings it: conservative style and in a very polite way, too. When was the last time you heard someone talk about such a hot button issue so calmly? He seems to be confident in what he is saying, doesn’t feel threatened by these polemic issues, and feels protected by our Constitution. Money quote:
“We believe that a conservative value is stable relationships and stable community and loving individuals coming together and forming a basis that is a building block of our society, which includes marriage.”

He brings up so many good points yet clings to our Constitutional fundamentals. Thank you, Ted. Even the host wonders how he ever lost a court case.