LA WATCHDOG--Since 2011, the City of Los Angeles has done a reasonable job of building up its two rainy day funds, the Reserve Fund and the Budget Stabilization Fund. Nevertheless, despite record revenues, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Herb Wesson led City Council have shortchanged the rainy-day funds by diverting money from both entities to the General Fund to pay for increased personnel costs and overly ambitious spending programs.
EDUCATION POLITICS--Amid a rapidly worsening shortage of teachers in California, progressive lawmakers in the state are exploring an unorthodox option for strengthening public education: barring even more teachers from classrooms.
PERSPECTIVE--As a species, we seem to be in a period of considerable uncertainty, where familiar features of the political landscape are disappearing, and it is not clear what will replace them. Will NATO and the European Union be around in five or 10 years, and in anything like their present form?
NEW GEOGRAPHY--Given his consistently poor approval ratings, and growing concern about the polarization that he has exacerbated, Democrats should have little trouble ousting President Trump next year. But instead, with a series of outlandish and often deeply unpopular proposals, they have morphed effectively into the Committee to Re-Elect the President.
POLITICS--Bill Kristol declared the Democratic race for President as between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. At a Des Moines town hall, his campaign planned for 50 people to show up; 1600 did. According to a CNBC analysis, Buttigieg has become a top recipient of bundled contributions from Democratic campaign donors. It looks like this guy is for real.
EASTSIDER-In the upcoming May 14 runoff election for LAUSD District 5, it is fascinating how Jackie Goldberg’s (photo above) opponent Heather Repenning and her supporters try to finesse the issue of Heather being another Charter School vote on the Board. Well, good luck with that. She would be.
ANIMAL WATCH-While the U.S. focused on possible Russian influence in the election of President Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin signed an almost-unnoticed historic law to end animal cruelty in Russia, including a ban on dog fighting and animals in petting zoos, and establishing breed-specific laws (BSL) and dangerous dog controls.
ONE MAN’S OPINION-As we look at the ocean of memes surrounding us, we might feel like the ancient mariner in the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Emotional memes are to political health as salt water is to a sailor: They look good, but only a fool would drink them.
PLATKIN ON PLANNING-Time to debunk the five tall tales crammed into the two short sentences below to lobby for Scott Wiener’s Senate Bill 50, legislation whose not-so-well-hidden-agenda is to boost profits from commercial and residential real estate.
VIEW FROM HERE-Imagine that Donald Trump was in the drug trade instead of running for president.
MY TURN-For all who campaigned, called, volunteered and encouraged to elect Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, we knew that there was an extreme left faction that was buying into the conspiracy theories that were being dissipated.