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Los Angeles Needs a Public Bank

Abolish the Constitution

The Moment I Discovered I Was Not a Prodigy

Fire in the Theatre/Theater

The Era of Big Finance Might Be Over

– Most people still shrug when you ask them their opinion on public banking. – That used to be true about lawmakers, but recently, the concept of public ownership of a depository bank is on the lips of elected officials and policy analysts. There seems to be news about the movement for publicly-owned banks every single day. We may have arrived at the moment when city, state and national officials are ready to look at options outside the mainstream financial paradigm that serve the needs of the public directly.  It could be that cities and states are looking for straightforward ways to shore up their budgets and improve their local economies, and this just a handy tool.  But it could also signal a shift in the way Americans think of banking, finance and the economy, and that public ownership of financial institutions is a palatable and even exciting idea. – – A Potential Advocate in Sacramento – California Treasurer and candidate for Governor John Chiang seems to be for it.  His office just released a report on the state of the soon-to-be-legal cannabis industry in the state, and had his team look into the ways to serve its banking needs.  Cannabis businesses are locked out of the banking system by banks too afraid of federal prosecution and banking regulation to touch a trade which lives in a “gray area” of law.  This forces cannabis businesses to operate with large amounts of […]

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Los Angeles Cuts off Wells Fargo, Pays $3.14B in Debt Service

– Looking back over these long six years to the heady days of Occupy Wall Street can cause a little whiplash. – I remember standing in front of Los Angeles city hall with a crowd of weekend warriors watching Tom Morello sing ‘This Land is Your Land’ arm-in-arm with Danny Glover and feeling like maybe a grassroots anti-finance movement could truly take hold. I also remember standing in that same spot, a few weeks later, as police beat my journalist friend in the face while telling him to stop fighting. And […]

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Decoding the Politics of that Shitty Music Video in the Times’ Trump Jr. Piece

    – The bombshell NYT report that emails sent to and from Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort – the closest advisors to Trump in the Summer of 2016 – all show clear intention and follow through to collude with a foreign power to use their government’s resources to smear another candidate in a presidential election.  It’s not really surprising considering who we’re talking about.  Paul Manafort was an agent of the Russian government in Ukraine, Jared Kushner is a sniveling nincompoop whose only accomplishment is to […]

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Single Payer Can’t Wait

– California is huge, and it is blue. Why don’t we have single payer healthcare? – California assembly speaker Anthony Rendon scuttled SB 562, the law that would bring single payer universal healthcare to the world’s sixth largest economy.  A Democratic legislator, with a supermajority and a popular Democratic governor, decided the bill had too many problems and that the ‘focus should be on the Senate healthcare bill.’  As such, the bill won’t come back up for debate until 2018, a full year after the CA Senate passed it, and […]

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New Minimum Wage Study Doesn’t Say What Everyone Says it Says

– Right wing economists and smug libertarians are having a fun day. – The University of Washington released a study this week supposedly showing that minimum wage increases in Seattle have resulted in a loss of wages and hours for low-skilled workers.  Their work, supported by a more comprehensive survey of wages and hours worked than has previously been available, analyzed data from companies in Seattle (with only one location within the city limits) who pay into unemployment insurance.  The study shows a decrease of hours worked (and wages paid) […]

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Detained Immigrants in California Need Lawyers

Photo by Samantha Sais/Reuters

– California and its cities and counties are purported to be ‘sanctuaries’ for immigrants, but they aren’t. – While many local police forces do refuse to check the status of their detainees or hold prisoners on ICE’s behalf, many cases have shown that local law enforcement, municipalities and the state prison system are more than willing to cooperate with Homeland Security and other federal agencies to remove parents, students and workers from their peaceful, everyday lives to throw them into jail and and legal limbo.  Once detained, their families are destroyed, […]

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Should the Homeless Capital of America Host the Olympics?

– Delegates from the International Olympic Committee descend on Los Angeles today. – They will meet with Mayor Eric Garcetti and the leaders of the LA2024 committee seeking to bring Los Angeles its third Olympic Games.  Los Angeles is one of just two cities still holding on to their bids for the games, and the IOC is pondering whether to award both the 2024 and 2028 games at once, to both Los Angeles its rival, Paris, France. Both cities are world capitals. Unlike past hosts like Rio de Janeiro and […]

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