January 29, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's sixth speech on the state of the union spotlighted many issues, but more than anything it illuminated the vast gap between his policy ambitions and the tools he has to achieve them. The president made the ambition clear last month, when he referred to a "dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility" in the U.S. as the "the defining challenge of our time," a theme he repeated Tuesday night. "After four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better," he said, "but average wages have barely budged.
January 28, 2014 |
In his State of the Union address, President Obama unveiled policies he can implement by executive order, as well as several needing congressional approval. Among them: Executive actions: • Create a retirement savings program for lower-income workers. The “starter” investment plan would be made available to millions of private-sector employees who do not currently have access to a 401(k) or pension. • Boost the minimum wage for workers hired by firms with federal contracts to $10.10 per hour.
January 28, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's sixth speech on the state of the union will spotlight many issues, but more than anything may illuminate the vast gap between his policy ambitions and the tools he has to achieve them. The president made the ambition clear last month, when he referred to a “dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility” in the United States as the “the defining challenge of our time.” His overriding goal, he has said in speeches and interviews, is to reverse the trend in which incomes for most Americans have stagnated since the late 1970s while the share going to the wealthiest has soared.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2013 |
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered his administration to start posting vast troves of city data on a public website early next year, saying he wanted to “promote transparency and accountability.” Scholars, journalists, developers of smartphone apps and others will be able to download data on street repairs, crime trends, dog parks, historic monuments and a wide array of other things tracked by the city. Garcetti said the executive directive that he signed Wednesday to establish the program “empowers Angelenos to participate in their government with greater understanding and impact.” The website's launch will mark a significant step forward in the city's effort to catch up with New York, Chicago and other cities that have embraced “open data.
December 5, 2013 |
Last month in San Francisco, President Obama called on Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform. His speech was novel in many respects: The president used the backdrop of a community center in Chinatown to remind voters that immigrants are racially diverse. Also, for the first time in prepared remarks, the president signaled that he would consider a piecemeal approach to immigration reform long favored by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives. What got the most attention, however, was an unscripted exchange between Obama and Ju Hong, an undocumented UC Berkeley graduate who interrupted the president, calling on him to use his executive authority to halt all deportations.
May 18, 2013 |
TUCSON - Young people granted immigration relief and work permits under a new Obama administration program still won't be able to obtain driver's licenses in Arizona, a federal judge has ruled. Although the decision is a win for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who issued the executive order denying driver's licenses to this particular group, it's just the first battle in a case that will probably be argued on constitutional grounds. U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell on Thursday turned down a request for a preliminary injunction blocking Brewer's order but stated that the plaintiffs - a contingent of immigrant rights groups - would probably prevail on their claim that the governor's order violates guarantees of equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.