Links between environmental exposures and maternal health outcomes remain underexplored, despite recent efforts to catch up.
A new poll of teachers sounds a red alert for public education in the state.
A pledge to sharply reduce infant mortality by 2023 faces daunting obstacles.
With more progressives likely to join her on L.A.’s City Council, Nithya Raman talks about the prospects for breaking the ‘culture of unanimity’ at City Hall.
Political giving by the Los Angeles mayoral candidate tops $1 million since 2020.
Just mentioning the Citizens United case is enough to boil some folks’ blood. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205 (U.S. Jan. 21, 2010) to use its full name, was the 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that corporations and unions have the same political speech rights as individuals under the First Amendment.
The decision, equating campaign money with speech, opened the floodgates for, as some have put it, turning elections into auctions.
But, although a lot of us know something about the decision, mostly focused on its consequences, not enough of us know enough about the case itself—and some of the truly devious people behind it—and we should know.
But before we can begin connecting the dots, we need to identify the dots.
First Dot: Citizens United
The group is a conservative lobbying and propaganda shop located in Washington,
(The following post is an abbreviated version of a longer feature that appears behind a subscription wall on The Nation‘s site. The full post can be read here with the author’s permission.)
There’s nothing all that remarkable about Rustin High School in West Chester, Pennsylvania—except that it is named for a gay black man who was a pacifist and a socialist. Even more amazing is that it was a Republican-dominated school board, in a conservative district that’s 89 percent white, that voted in 2002 to name the new school after Bayard Rustin, who grew up in West Chester.
Rustin helped catalyze the civil rights movement with courageous acts of resistance. In 1947 he led the first Freedom Rides and wound up serving 30 days on a chain gang, one of many times he was arrested for civil disobedience. He was the chief behind-the-scenes organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.
My wife and I saw the new Batman film this weekend. We’re not blockbuster fans but occasionally enjoy a bit of escapism. An escape from reality, of course, is what the moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado were looking forward to last Friday midnight before a gunman suddenly began firing into the audience. The reported initial reaction of some of the filmgoers was chillingly revealing – they thought the shots were part of the show. That hope immediately vanished, but it served as a mad metaphor for a society that increasingly has trouble distinguishing where fantasy ends and real life begins. For people in Aurora last week, escapism meant fleeing a movie, not attending one.
America, shocked as it was by the carnage, didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic to search for causes or lessons, let alone metaphors. So the ensuing discussions, in the mainstream media, at least, were mild compared to those that followed disasters from Hurricane Katrina onward.
You need a new pair of jeans. You’re standing in front of two stores, both offering excellent quality jeans. One store offers them for $35; these jeans are made offshore somewhere, and the retailer is based in a distant state. The other store offers a virtually identical pair for $38; these jeans are made right here in L.A., and the retailer is also based in L.A. What do you do?
Trick question — it doesn’t matter. You’re an individual consumer, overwhelmingly concerned with your own pocketbook.
But what if you’re the government, and you’re concerned not only with getting the best price, but also with trying to create jobs and generate more money for the local economy? Then it gets a bit trickier. Which is to say, we’re going to have to do some math here, folks: Just how much is that extra $3 getting us?
Today a global boycott of Hyatt Hotels was declared. As a server at the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood, not only do I personally condone it, but I also urge all my friends, family and online contacts to join me in voting Hyatt the worst hotel employer in America.
This is the first time in history that there has ever been a global boycott of a hotel chain, and I believe it is well deserved.
My personal journey to this decision started last September during our seven-day strike in front of the Andaz on Sunset Boulevard, where my coworkers and I were in a battle for decent wages and a fair tipping policy. A lot of us frankly were tired of working three or four different jobs while only getting paid for one.
I hadn’t yet heard of some of the stories from different Hyatt hotels across the country – like the one about Hyatt firing its entire housekeeping staff in Boston and replacing them with minimum-wage temp workers.
The voices of doom and decline say that high-speed rail cannot be built in California. They’ve tried to stop the forces of progress by calling high-speed rail “a boondoggle” and “a waste.” This is not a new phenomenon. Enemies of progress said the same thing about the Golden Gate Bridge, built in the middle of the Great Depression. They screamed “boondoggle” at every major public works project in the 20th century while California was constructing a world-class infrastructure of freeways, dams, bridges and aqueducts that fostered a golden age of middle-class growth.
The labor movement rejects the voices of doom, because we have a vision for California. We know it’s time to invest in California’s future, starting with construction of high-speed rail.
Wednesday, the voices of progress and investment won a significant victory — Governor Brown signed SB 1029 to fund construction of a high-speed rail system.
Within the padded walls of the House of Representatives, few agenda items consume more time than figuring out how to overturn President Obama’s health care reform law – and, looking down the road a little, how to scuttle Medicare as we know it. These two causes, along with countering the daily menace of Sharia law at the county courthouse, are what make certain conservatives get up early in the morning. Yet now a Commonwealth Fund survey shows that when it comes to Medicare, at least, most senior citizens are quite happy with the government-provided service they receive.
According to the survey, “Only eight percent of Medicare beneficiaries age 65 or older rated their insurance as fair or poor, compared with 20 percent of adults with employer-sponsored insurance and 33 percent of adults purchasing coverage in the individual market.”
Who would want to fix something so obviously not broken?
A day laborer falls off an unsafe scaffold and dies. A custodian gets work-related asthma from cleaning products. A painter is tested and found to have lead poisoning. Every year, thousands of California workers are injured on the job or become ill as a result of health hazards at work.
Twelve workers tragically lose their lives on the job each day in the United States, with 409 workplace deaths in California in 2009. Latino workers are particularly at risk. In Los Angeles County, where nearly one quarter of the state’s fatalities occur, Latino workers have a 50 percent higher fatality rate than non-Latino workers.
Work-related injuries and illnesses result in substantial human and economic costs, and can be prevented. Having the data necessary to understand the problem is the first step.
A health indicator is a numerical value or statistic that helps us measure the state of health in a community or group.
In the 1960s and ’70s, Saul Alinsky, often considered the founder of community organizing, was a popular figure among liberal activists, based primarily on his how-to manuals, Reveille for Radicals and Rules for Radicals, and his reputation as a tough-talking, street-smart agitator who helped poor and working-class Americans gain a voice in battles with politicians and corporations. Now the Republican Party and its right-wing echo chamber are trying to make Alinsky, who died at 63 in 1972, famous all over again, by linking him to Barack Obama and demonizing the president as a dangerous radical.
During his primary campaign, Newt Gingrich constantly invoked Alinsky’s ghost. “The centerpiece of this campaign, I believe, is American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky,” he said in stump speeches and television appearances. Or variously: “If you believe as we do in the Declaration of Independence and you think that’s a better source than Saul Alinsky,
You don’t have to be a recent homeowner to know how precarious the housing market has been since the bubble popped in 2007. Consider this, for example: Today half of all San Bernardino County homeowners have to put on scuba gear to view their mortgages. Last week, however, just as that county toyed with the idea of seizing such homes through eminent domain, there was a bright spot. Governor Jerry Brown signed into law (to take effect January 1, 2013) the Homeowner Bill of Rights, a consolidation of several bills that had been strongly pushed by state Attorney General Kamala Harris.
The HBR offers several solid benefits to homeowners, but two stick out: