FOUR IMPORTANT READS from the LA Times:
1. FINALLY SOMEBODY HAD THE GUTS TO SAY IT: DAVID BREWER NEEDS TO GO
Everybody’s known this for what now seems like ever. But no one would say so publically: LAUSD Superintendant David Brewer is way, way over his head, and has been from the get-go. Now he needs to step down. Here’s the opening of LA Times editorial calling it for what it is.
The Los Angeles Unified School District is not without accomplishment. It has recently seen student test scores improve, and it is on track with a vast, long-term effort to build enough schools for all of its students. But along with much of California, the district is heading into troubled times — largely financial — that threaten its classrooms and students, and that will test its management and educational skills. This is a treacherous moment for a school district that has long operated on the edge of failure, and it demands unimpeachable leadership. In such a moment, the district cannot afford a superintendent who holds the title but isn’t up to the job.
2. PROP 8 STRATEGIES—-BEFORE AND AFTER
The LA Times’ Jessica Garrison writes a smart, thoughtful news story about the evolving nature of the strategies used by the Prop. 8 opponents—then and now. Here’s how it starts:
Leaders of the campaign against Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California, raised nearly $40 million and ran a careful, disciplined campaign with messages tested by focus groups and with only a few people authorized to speak to the media.
In the week since, California has seen an outpouring of demonstrations ranging from quiet vigils to noisy street protests against Proposition 8, including rallies outside churches and the Mormon temple in Westwood as well as boycotts of some businesses that contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign.
Many of those activities have been organized not by political professionals and established leaders in the gay community, but by young activists working independently on Facebook and MySpace.
The grass-roots activism is a tribute to political organizing in the digital age, in which it is possible to mobilize thousands of people with a few clicks of a mouse. It has generated national attention — and set up a series of Saturday demonstrations that organizers hope will attract tens of thousands of people to city halls throughout California.
But the demonstrations also have raised questions about whether the in-your-face approach will alienate voters
3. ARNOLD’S TAXING SPREE
We all empathize with the difficulties, really we do, as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger struggles to make ends meet for the State of California (when ends don’t really want to meet). But we would urge him to be wise with his newest round of consumer taxes:
For instance, as UC Irvine’s Peter Navarro points out in an Op Ed this morning, Arnold’s idea of slapping “a hefty tax on ticket sales to amusement parks like Disneyland, Legoland and Six Flags Magic Mountain, as part of his solution to California’s budget deficit” is just plain nuts. In a lousy economy people will spend on entertainment. But if it becomes too expensive, they will stop spending.
And that would be bad.
Tax luxuries, tax alcohol and tobacco. But do not, repeat DO NOT tax fun. Jobs and tax revenue will suffer. (So will the good humor of the citizenry. )
Navarro runs the numbers to explain why.
4. THE SUPREMES, THE NAVY & THE WHALES
And here’s a rundown on yesterday’s SCOTUS decision that sided with the Navy over the environmentalists in the whale V. Navy sonar controversy. But, as the article pointed out, with a new administration coming in, this issue may or may not be over.