Friday Open Thread

Enjoy your weekend, and that is a direct order.  Some items:

• The Obama Administration is finalizing the formulas for how much stimulus money will get delivered to each state, and based on my press releases from the White House, it looks like so far, we’re getting $42 million dollars from the Dept. of Transportation to fund airport repairs across the state, $48 million from HHS to expand and support community health centers, and $351 million in block grants from the Dept. of Energy to support energy efficiency measures.  This last part includes retrofits of community buildings, projects to capture methane from landfills, and financial incentives for weatherization and efficiency projects.  Further, the Obama budget would provide direct college aid to 27,547 additional students if passed with current language.

• In other White House news, on May 16 First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the very first commencement address at UC-Merced, which opened in 2005.  Hopefully that will be all right with Darrell Issa.

• In CA-32 news, Judy Chu received a few endorsements.  She earned the support of the League of Conservation Voters.  Then the California Teachers Association endorsed, though given their financial commitment to Prop. 1B it’s unclear whether the endorsement will come with any resources.  The other was from Baldwin Park Unified School District Board President Blanca Rubio, who had previously announced as a candidate.  She dropped out and endorsed Chu.

• Southern California Reps. Howard Berman and Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced this year’s version of the DREAM Act in the House, which would offer a path to permanent residency for undocumented students who have spent most of their lives in this country, and would like to apply for college or serve their country in the military.  These are good quotes by Berman:

“It makes no sense to me,” said Berman, “that we maintain a system that brings in thousands of highly-skilled foreign guest workers each year to fill a gap in our domestic workforce, and at the same time do nothing to provide an opportunity to kids who have grown up here, gone to school here, and want to prepare themselves for these jobs or serve their country in the military.  This is the illogical outcome of our current immigration laws that the Dream Act will fix.”

“The issues addressed in the American Dream Act”, continued Berman, “are just a fraction of the problems in our immigration system.  This bill came about because our immigration laws are, and have been for some time, broken.  It is my great hope that we will put together a comprehensive immigration reform package that includes the Dream Act as it was introduced today, and it is my intention to work for and pass that comprehensive immigration reform package this year.”

• Please read Charles Lemos’ amazing post about recent events in Oakland.  And by the way, the Modesto Bee Ed Board gets it completely wrong – the fact that Lovelle Mixon responded violently because he missed a parole meeting doesn’t argue for more stringent parole, it argues for a less insane system where parolees don’t feel like hopeless fugitives because they miss one meeting.

• This is completely embarrassing work by the LA Times.  Apparently they’ve fired all the headline writers or something.

• John Myers is up again with your second favorite California politics podcast. This week he and Anthony York discuss the special election amongst other topics.

CalPERS wants a better deal on its hedge fund investments. They are demanding lower rates and more transparency from funds in which the massive pension fund invests in.

• OC Progressive has more than you need to know about Rep. John Campbell and his friends the Ponzi schemers, including Asm. Diane Harkey.

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