FROM Jordan Rau
When a Hospital Is a Dangerous Place to Be Despite widespread alarm, the risk of infection by the Ebola virus has been virtually non-existent in this country so far. But 75,000 people die every year from homegrown infections contracted in hospitals -- more than from car crashes and gunshots combined. One astonishing reason: the failure of doctors to wash their hands. Another: the overprescribing of antibiotics, which creates resistant bacteria. The CDC has known of these and other problems for years, and there are easy solutions. Is Obamacare providing a crackdown?
Another Budget Shortfall Impacts Politics and Schools In May, California voters will be asked to ratify the $42 billion tax increase and spending-cut program worked out by Governor Schwarzenegger and squabbling legislators of both parties. But last week, the Legislative Analyst dropped something awful into the punch bowl. For the first time since at least 1950, personal income is down, meaning a decline in state revenues of $8 billion. We hear about the implications for politics and schools.
California to Lay Off 20,000 State Workers California, the Golden State with the world's eighth largest economy, faces a $42 billion deficit in the next 18 months and is about to run out of money. Democrats have the majority in the Assembly and Senate, but they lack the two-thirds of both houses required to pass a budget . After months of concessions and compromises, the measure has been short of one Republican vote for the past three days. Jordan Rau covers Sacramento for the Los Angeles Times .
$40 Billion Hole in State Budget Stays Empty California faces a $40 billion deficit over the next two years, but in a few weeks it will run out of money to pay for operating expenses. Governor Schwarzenegger says new taxes are needed, but Republicans in the legislature won't go along. Democrats have a majority, but not enough to provide the two-thirds vote required for new taxes. They have been negotiating with Schwarzenegger on an $18 billion stop-gap, but today talks broke down. We get an update and learn more about the "dysfunctionality" of California government.
California Election Results and Analysis Bipartisanship is the California way. That's what Governor Schwarzenegger said after yesterday's huge re-election victory and the success of the infrastructure bonds he and Democratic leaders put on the ballot. US Senator Diane Feinstein won in a walk, and Jerry Brown will be back in the statewide political picture, this time as Attorney General . Schwarzenegger bucked the national Democratic tide with a huge re-election win just one year after the crushing defeat of his special election measures, but will his plans for healthcare, prison reform and the water supply be conducive to more cooperation or will they accentuate the partisan differences that still exist in Sacramento?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?