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‘Isolation has not worked’; US restores diplomacy with Cuba

Posted December 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Cuba Libre via Flickr/CC

President Obama announced today that the United States will reestablish diplomatic ties with Cuba and will open a new embassy in Havana. The announcement came in tandem with Cuba’s release of Alan Gross, an American worker who was jailed for bringing communications equipment to the island.

The president said that there will be fewer travel limits, and as well as an easing on limits on banking and business. The travel embargo, …

News »

Senate ‘Torture Report’ shows a brutal, ineffective program under CIA

Posted December 9, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.43.22 AM

After five years, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a scathing report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques used after 9/11 during the George W. Bush administration. The report found that water-boarding was more prevalent than previously admitted, that there was sexual violence threatened against the mothers of detainees, and that detainees were force fed and abused. Additionally, it found that the CIA misled …

Issues, News, Politics »

Are Californians beginning to sour on President Obama?

Posted September 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have sunk to a record low in California.
The Golden State has been a consistent source of support for Obama ever since he first ran for the first White House. But a new Field Poll finds that only 45 percent of voters in the state hold a favorable view of Obama’s job performance right now. That’s a five percent drop …

Issues, News, Politics »

Climate crusader Steyer tops political donor list

Posted August 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

Among political donors, it appears Bay Area billionaire Tom Steyer has the deepest pockets of them all. says Steyer and his wife Kathryn gave $20.4 million to political causes in the 2013-2014 election cycle. That’s more than double the total of the No. 2 person on the list, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – also a member of the billionaire’s club.
It could just …

California Elections, Education »

State Superintendent’s race: Teachers’ Unions vs. Reformers

Posted May 21, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
By Bruno Girin, Flickr

On the June 3 ballot, you’ll see candidates for California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. The superintendent is elected to head the state Education Department, but also serves as executive director of the Board of Education, which is appointed by the Governor. The current incumbent is former teacher and state Assemblyman Tom Torlackson.
Associated Press reporter Lisa Leff joined Warren to talk about this race and …

News, Politics »

Los Angeles lobbies Washington

Posted April 29, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky

The LA County Supervisors are packing their bags and heading to Washington DC this week for their annual lobbying trip. They’ll be meeting with members of Congress and folks at the White House:  talking about what they need, what’s working and not working–and their wishlist when it comes to federal funding. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavky says one of the issues high on their agenda is healthcare.
“With the affordable …

California Elections, Commentary, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Is it even possible to be an informed citizen?

Posted January 21, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Photo via Flickr by Loco Steve/ CreativeCommons

To be an engaged, informed citizen in California is to be hopelessly behind in your reading.
We’re told that we need to follow the big issues in California, that we need to be informed about policy debates, and that policymakers want our feedback on major proposals.  It all sounds reasonable enough, until you see the homework. The governor stresses the importance of his budget, but …

News, Zocalo Public Square »

Feeling political strife in Thailand in Los Angeles

Posted December 12, 2013 by | 4 Comments | ]
2010 photograph of a "Red Shirt" protest at Ratchaprasong intersection, an area in downtown Bangkok which was occupied by the red shirts between April 3, 2010, and May 19, 2010.

As you may have seen in the news, political strife in Thailand has reached a boiling point again. In the capital, Bangkok, hundreds of thousands of people recently took to the streets in a huge protest against actions by the governing political party. Some protestors stormed government buildings and media stations. The pro­government group also gathered, and fighting took place. Police attempted to contain …

Arts & Culture, economy, Interviews, News »

President Obama visits DreamWorks, VFX animators protest

Posted November 26, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]
President Obama greets audience members on Nov. 26, 2013, when he visited the DreamWorks Animation studios in Glendale. (Credit: KTLA)

President Obama is back in Washington after a two-day swing through Los Angeles. Why was he here? To raise money and highlight the motion picture and television industry’s place in the economy.
In a speech at the DreamWorks Animation studios in Glendale, Obama praised the entertainment industry, noting that it supports “hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs.”
Obama raised an estimated $2.5 million  for House and …

Commentary, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Should LA be the capital of California, and would that end corruption?

Posted November 18, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]
Sacramento Capitol Building at night. Photo via Flickr by Michael Dunn / Creative Commons

One thing that unites Americans, pretty much wherever they are from, is the conviction that their own state is singularly corrupt. Most states, if not all, have their harrowing stories of arrested governors or legislators, and local political folklore is filled with hair-raising corruption scandals. Just in the past few weeks, in California, State Senator Ron Calderon got stripped of all his legislative assignments, …

Uncategorized »

‘There needs to be a government where all people are represented’

Posted July 3, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]

“In America we vote for the person we want to vote for, and when our guy is not elected we don’t go crazy about it,” says columnist Mona Shadia. “It takes time to understand how things work. It took the U.S. 13 years to write its constitution.”
Steve Chiotakis talks to the columnist about what the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi means for her and …

News, Politics »

The Calderon family, a political dynasty

Posted June 17, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]
State Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello). Photo by Brian Baer/Sacramento Bee.

The Calderon family is a powerful political clan in southeast Los Angeles County.
But the local dynasty is now under scrutiny after FBI raids on the Sacramento office of Democratic state Senator Ron Calderon of Montebello.
Last week Calderon told reporters, “My intention at this point is to do my job I was elected to do, attend my hearings, get my bills passed out of committee …

California Elections, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Race for Mayor »

How Republicans and women helped sway the LA mayor’s race

Posted May 22, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]
Wendy Greuel, speaking at her campaign headquarters in Van Nuys, on May 22, 2013. Photo by Avishay Artsy

City Councilman Eric Garcetti is the next mayor of Los Angeles, beating City Controller Wendy Greuel by 54 percent to 46 percent.
That’s pretty much exactly how the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University called it last night at 8 pm, just as polls closed. Among their findings – Garcetti won 63 percent of the Latino vote, and 54 percent …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News, Politics »

Obama supporters in Hollywood look for diplomatic appointments

Posted May 8, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]

Normally Hollywood’s favorite game is figuring out who will be nominated, and who will win, in the big awards ceremonies. But right now the biggest guessing game in Hollywood is figuring out who will be tapped by President Barack Obama for some plum diplomatic posts.
KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis handicapped the odds with Matthew Belloni, executive editor at The Hollywood Reporter.
A White House announcement on the …

economy, News, Politics, Race for Mayor »

Race for Mayor: Wendy Greuel

Posted February 21, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

In the weeks leading up to the March 5th primary, Which Way, LA? is talking to each of the five leading candidates for Mayor. Find more here: 
Wendy Gruel has worked for the late Mayor Tom Bradley, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Dreamworks Studio.  She was a city councilwoman for seven years before being elected City Controller.  KCRW’s Saul Gonzalez …

Politics, Race for Mayor »

Race for Mayor: Kevin James

Posted February 20, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

In the weeks leading up to the March 5th primary, Which Way, LA? is talking to each of the five leading candidates for Mayor. Find more here: 
The office for mayor is itself is nonpartisan, but Kevin James still stands out as the only Republican in the Big Five. He’s a former federal prosecutor, talk show host, and leader of AIDs Project LA. KCRW’s Saul …

News, Race for Mayor »

Race for Mayor: Eric Garcetti

Posted February 19, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

In the weeks leading up to the March 5th primary, Which Way, LA? is talking to each of the five leading candidates for Mayor. Find more here: 
LA Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti talked to KCRW about his favorite spot in Elysian park, where you feel the “best of the city.” His favorite song? El Lay by Los Illegals. It’s a “great song from a great era that …

Interviews, News, Politics »

President Obama’s ‘divide-and-conquer’ strategy

Posted February 12, 2013 by | 23 Comments | ]

President Barack Obama delivered an upbeat State of the Union speech to say the economy is showing clear signs of improvement. But Obama said a complete recovery is an “unfinished task.” He called on Congress to fund job creation and to hike the minimum wage.
Obama also challenged congressional leaders to allow votes on gun control proposals developed in the wake of the Connecticut school …

Commentary, Politics »

Obama’s second term: Immigration Reform

Posted January 14, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]

Next Monday, President Barack Obama will raise his right hand and take the oath of office for a second term in office. He’ll have another four years to accomplish his national policy agenda. But what exactly should that agenda be? What issues and problems must President Obama focus on? And how much work is left undone from his first term in office?
We’re asking a …

News, Politics »

100 birthday candles for Richard Nixon

Posted January 9, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]
President Richard Milhous Nixon

This week is Richard Nixon’s centennial and some, like fans in Yorba Linda, are celebrating with 21-gun salutes and special exhibits, while politicos are talking about lessons learned from the only president to resign from office. Expect to hear plenty of reflection this week on a complex character in American history and an influential leader who made lasting contributions to foreign affairs as well as the …

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