Lots of fun with convention democracy on Day Two, when the chair of the event, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, got caught up in the scam that happens almost every year, when the party rank-and-file doesn't want to do what leadership says, and the unruly hordes have to be tamed. I've seen this happen at the state level (where Art Torres pulled a classic years ago to cut off party reformers at the knees) and it happens at the national level, too -- typically not in prime time.Read more »
Tonight was all about the two sides of the Democratic Party, the two visions of how the party should approach policy, two utterly divergent approaches to the world that can hardly even be called "wings" of one party. And yet, they both got rousing cheers -- and even the progressives were all hot about ol' Bill.Read more »
You couldn't have scripted it better (and that's what it was, carefully scripted). The contrast between the mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, grandson of immigrants, child of a working-class family, and the first lady, Michelle Obama, daughter of a disabled blue-collar public employee, teling their life stories just reminded everyone about the life of that other candidate. Yeah, the one who told students to borrow money from their parents to start a business.Read more »
Chief Justice John Robert’s atypical alignment with the left of the bench today led the Supreme Court to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act—a move generally lauded by liberals. But we spoke with a number of progressives who see Obamacare’s victory as solely a victory for the corrupt health insurance industry, and just another step off the path to a successful single-payer solution.Read more »
Other than a few Mitt Romney supporters, most of us view evolution as a wonderful biological mechanism to which we owe our supposed higher intelligence. So Obama's "evolution" from a foe to a supporter of same-sex marriage deserves tremendous praise. But before we go all ga-ga over the president, let's remember:Read more »
So how many angry pot smokers (and how many of my libertarian-leaning blog trolls) are going to love this? The governors of four western states want to take control of federal land inside their borders, and they're organizing to do it. Mostly a political stunt -- the governors want to allow more mining, ranching, and drilling on public lands, and the feds are taking it a bit more slowly. Read more »
The raid on Oaksterdam has just about everyone in local politics engaging in a little head-scratching: What possible reason would the Obama administration have to crack down on medical marijuana in an election year? How does it help the president, who will be facing an unsettled and angry electorate in a still-tough economy, to alienate the pot smoking liberals of the world, who were at one point among his most loyal constituents?
Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for more than a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister,com, which includes more than 350 of his columns.
Organized labor is doing exactly what it must do to combat the onslaught against unions being waged by Republican politicians nationwide, throwing lots of money and lots of ground troops into the election campaigns of Democrats – most especially President Obama's campaign for re-election.
The AFL-CIO made it official with a ringing endorsement of Obama. Federation President Rich Trumka declared that "as president, Barack Obama has placed his faith in America's working men and women to lead our country to economic recovery and our full potential. So we're putting our faith in him." Read more »
Man, the way the president's talking it sounds as if he's appointed the General Assembly of OccupySF to write his budget plans. He's going to make everyone pay a fair share of taxes. He's going to invest in affordable higher education. He's going to spend $350 billion on jobs programs. Just about everyone in the news media is calling it a "populist budget."Read more »