Tom Bradley’s Los Angeles

Posted on February 15, 2014 by

With its dominant anti-union business class, racist and brutal police force and bigoted and provincial mayor, Los Angeles was a backwater city through the early 1970s. Its transition to a world-class, cosmopolitan, diverse and liberal metropolitan region began 40 years ago with the election of Tom Bradley, an African-American former LAPD officer who built an [...]

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Tea Party Populists

Posted on February 6, 2014 by

End corporate welfare.  Oppose candidates in the pocket of big business.  Don’t let the U.S. Chamber of Commerce tell you how to vote. Sounds like a message from the American Left. But look again.  It’s the radical populist wing of the tea party. Watch – if you can – this talk by tea party honcho [...]

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Oh Henry!

Posted on February 1, 2014 by

What Henry Waxman figured out Was how to have a lot of clout Raising funds from Westside Jews The question was how best to use A seat in Congress all his own Though many there were better known He understood right off the bat How influence took more than that With friend and colleague Howard [...]

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Expo Dreams

Posted on January 25, 2014 by

A few blocks northeast of the last stop of the Expo Line in Santa Monica is the bustling Broadway corridor: clusters of new apartment houses which conform to the “pedestrian-friendly” template in this progressive, coastal city. Where street-level restaurants, retail shops and professional offices create an atmosphere of neighborhood activity and “human-scale” commerce. Walk there [...]

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Our Side, Their Side

Posted on January 19, 2014 by

Chris Christie may be a scoundrel but he’s a talented and appealing politician who could have won national office.  So naturally I’m relieved that he’s enmeshed in a colossal scandal. For a day or two I could watch the wall-to-wall MSNBC coverage with new details exposed in each segment and interviews with the key players [...]

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Northridge Earthquake Anniversary

Posted on December 31, 2013 by

“Northridge 20” – a UCLA symposium marking the 20th anniversary of the January 17, 1994 earthquake – will draw experts from the Structural Engineers Association of  Southern California, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Western States Seismic Policy Council, the California Earthquake Authority, the Los Angeles Tall Building Structural Design Council, and more. Expect detailed [...]

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Ten Headlines I Would Like to See in 2014

Posted on December 18, 2013 by

At the risk of seeming ridiculously naïve (but just for fun), I again offer my new-year wish-list… 1) Francis Tackles Big Business             Pope Blames Corporations for World-Wide Wealth Gap   2) Gay Rights Goes South             Red States Ready for Marriage Equality   3) Middle East Peace             Common Ground for Israelis and Palestinians [...]

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Clinton vs. Warren?

Posted on November 28, 2013 by

I prefer Elizabeth Warren to Hillary Clinton but I’m not willing to risk the election on a Warren candidacy. In the primaries, Clinton will try to convince democrats that she has a lock on the electoral map and, as president, will use her political skills and guile to beat up republicans.  Implicit in her message [...]

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Obamacare: Mismanagement or Worse?

Posted on November 15, 2013 by

I’ve been arguing for years that we have to stand by Barack Obama even when we’re uncomfortable with his policies and disappointed by his performance. Because no modern president has ever faced such a vile and hateful opposition; and that the republicans would happily burn down this country to see Obama fail. But for the [...]

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De Blasio vs. Garcetti

Posted on November 8, 2013 by

I’m glad New York City elected a progressive democrat. When David Dinkins lost 20 years ago, who knew we’d see five terms of Manhattan-centric Giuliani / Bloomberg and the near total neglect of the working-class “outer boroughs.” Bill de Blasio is generating enormous attention as the city’s new left wing populist mayor.  He out-positioned his [...]

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KCRW Underwriter Promotes “Union Avoidance”

Posted on November 6, 2013 by

During NPR’s Morning Edition, broadcast on Southern California’s public radio station KCRW, is an underwriter spot for “Labor Lawyers” Fisher & Phillips. Turns out Fisher & Phillips represents employers and it’s not a benign management firm. Here’s Fisher & Phillips describing on its website how it helped a manufacturing plant during a labor dispute with [...]

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The 2012 Election Anniversary

Posted on November 3, 2013 by

Sure we hoped for more from Barack Obama’s re-election, especially after all the talk about republicans learning their lesson. Our main goal, of course, was to keep Romney out of the white house.  We felt relief – even euphoria – but soon recognized that the second term would echo the first. To console ourselves, we [...]

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Comparing Obama to Carter

Posted on October 27, 2013 by

The Obamacare rollout fiasco, NSA spying on our allies’ leaders, and the nearly-bungled Syria showdown have many democrats shaking our heads. We know this president has an unyielding and strident opposition, but these are mostly unforced errors. Is there something about this white house and administration which doesn’t have the chops to perform at the [...]

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Trust Reid

Posted on October 13, 2013 by

Brace for a compromise to the shutdown / debt ceiling “crisis” which could give away more than progressive democrats would like. But trust senate majority leader Harry Reid on this one.  Reid may be inarticulate but he’s a tough inside fighter.  The former boxer knows that democrats are well ahead on points and that it’s [...]

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Crisis Immunity

Posted on October 7, 2013 by

We recently overheard this conversation between two long-time Democrats:  Dem 1: So the Republicans have manufactured another crisis.  This time a shutdown; maybe a default is next. Dem 2: Terrible, isn’t it?  These right wing radicals are truly demonic. Dem 1: Well at least Obama is handling it better than he used to.  Not giving [...]

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Could Supremes Outlaw Labor “Neutrality”?

Posted on September 29, 2013 by

Union organizing could suffer a devastating blow by the U.S. Supreme Court this term. In November, Justices hear a case on labor / management “Neutrality Pacts,” agreements which spell out each side’s role in organizing.  Usually, this means employers are barred from engaging in overt anti-union practices and accept some form of “card check” certification. [...]

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