California: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly; Without the Good
The economic disarray continues in California, which faces a $28 billion deficit. They aren't the only ones in the "red", so to speak, as Bloomberg's approval rating reaches the lowest since his initial election in 2002 and President Obama faces similar disapproval as he finds himself in the precarious position of trying to prove his body of work over the last three years to set himself up for re-election next year. All this however takes place in the midst of tragedy; the deadly shooting in Arizona which killed six, one of which was U.S. District Judge John Roll, and injured 12, including Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D-AZ-8)
New, big challenges confront Obama the candidate (By LIZ SIDOTI, By The Associated Press, Bloomberg.com) Obama owns the slow-to-recover economy and is the face of a Washington he once campaigned against. Polls show his diverse voting coalition from 2008 cracked and his support among independents weakened. His path to Electoral College victory in 2012 is tougher. And he doesn't have George W. Bush's unpopularity paving the way for a Democratic victory.
Federal approval of Louisiana open primaries expected within a month (By Cathy Hughes, The Times-Picayune) State lawmakers voted overwhelmingly during the 2010 regular session to switch from party primaries for the 2012 election cycle, and Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the measure over the opposition of both the Louisiana Democratic and Republican party committees.The move would return Louisiana's federal elections to the same system the stat used for decades until opting for party primaries in 2008. State, parish and municipal elections have continued under the open-primary system.
Personal Politics (By David Mas Masumoto, Fresno Bee) We face a maturity test: how to frame problems in the context of real life and daily impact. We will now need to do the dirty work of determining how to live with less, pay for what we want to keep and fix broken political structures. We started the process years ago by lowering the school bond passage threshold to 55%, then with redistricting reform and, in November 2010, with open primaries and legislative budget vote reform.
Make That 8 Candidates for the State Senate Seat (By Paul Chavez, Manhattan Beach Patch) Two candidates for the vacant seat in the state Senate's 28th District have been disqualified from the Feb. 15 special election, cutting the field to eight candidates.
Bloomberg's Reputation Takes a Hit (By MICHAEL HOWARD SAUL, Wall Street Journal) Some critics, though, have begun to compare Mr. Bloomberg with former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who left office this week with mixed reviews. Three years ago, Time Magazine lauded Messrs. Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger as "The New Action Heroes." But time appears to have hurt both men's images.
Violent Political Language Did Not Cause Representative Giffords' Shooting (By Solomon Kleinsmith, WNYC/It's a Free Blog) People like Sarah Palin and Markos Moulitsas Zúñiga (the founder of Daily Kos) are political firebrands that stoke the flames of the insane culture war that is causing so much damage to our great nation. But they are no more responsible for the violence of an insane listener who takes their hyperbole literally than the Pope is for some insane Catholic who thinks he hears Jesus tell him that his neighbor needs to be sent to hell.