Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Must Read: Brown Finally Seems to Get It; Tea Partiers Cheer Over Letting Uninsured Die

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown, like President Obama, finally appears to be getting the message that the GOP has no interest in reaching compromises right now. The LA Times reports that Brown struck a much more aggressive stance during a speech yesterday, calling out Republicans for opposing any increases in taxes even if it meant benefitting small businesses and construction projects. “There’s this idea that [if] you have a little extra tax, that somehow that’s an evil,” Brown said. “And we’ve got a group in California, that every time you try to raise a little money for more roads and more dams, for more bridges, for more train tracks, they block it.”

2. President Obama, meanwhile, appears to be benefitting politically from his much more assertive tone over the past week. A new Public Policy Polling survey shows that his downward slide in the polls has not only halted, but that his approval rating rose by three points, Daily Kos reports. Obama should get another boost after his announcement yesterday that he plans to pay for his $447 billion jobs bill by closing tax loopholes for the rich and for corporations — two very popular ideas. Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, appear to be headed in the other direction. The new poll showed that their disapproval rating jumped by four points to 66 percent, and it could worsen because they declared yesterday that they oppose Obama’s plan.

Perry
  • Perry
3. The Tea Party showed its true, ugly colors last night when audience members at the Republican presidential debate cheered and yelled “Yes,” when a hypothetical question was asked as to whether an uninsured young man in a coma should be allowed to die. The Tea Party co-hosted the event with CNN, and the audience members clearly favored Texas Governor Rick Perry, but Fox News, the propaganda-arm of the mainstream GOP, appeared to declare ex-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney the winner. Romney and the other candidates repeatedly hammered Perry for his extreme views on social security.

4. UC tuition, already astronomically high, would rise between 8 percent and 16 percent every year for the next four years under a plan to be considered by the governing board of regents, the Chron reports. Because of recent huge fee hikes, annual UC tuition is now $12,192 and it could rise to $22,000 in just four years if the plan is adopted.

5. The campaign finance scandal that has rocked Southern California Democrats has spread to US Senator Dianne Feinstein. The LA Times reports that Feinstein now says that she too was a victim of allegedly corrupt campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee, who is accused of stealing hundreds, perhaps millions of dollars from other Democratic politicians and candidates.

6. It’s official: Americans spend way too much time on Facebook. According to Nielsen Ratings, Americans spent 53.5 billion minutes on the hugely popular social media site during May, the Chron reports. Nielsen says Facebook is the most used web site by far — nothing else comes close, not even Google.

7. And the City of Berkeley is poised to join San Francisco and San Jose in calling for a ban on all those telephone books that end up on people’s doorsteps, the Chron reports.

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