Straighten out the chronic crisis of the present and move the state forward into the future. That's Jerry Brown's mission as governor of California this time around, which he laid out rather clearly in his new State of the State address.
At a time when the Bay states are asking farmers to do more to reduce pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay, there is danger that conservation incentives secured for Bay farmers in the last Farm Bill will be greatly reduced.
Wall Street's excesses blew up the economy. Now the question is who pays to clean up the mess. Across the country, our children are already paying part of the bill -- as their schools are hit with deep budget cuts.
The nation's current crisis mirrors the situation 36 years ago when New York City teetered near financial collapse, unable to borrow from a banking community that correctly believed the city was broke.
It is ironic that Republicans, who always deny that class exists in the US ("We're all middle-class, right?), should cry "class warfare" in every election. If you don't believe in class -- how could there be class warfare?
Would you believe that, after the recent scandals in California around illegal compensation and government secrecy, the California legislature is keeping the budgets of legislators and legislative committees secret?
The budget constraints have led the CSU administration to put into overdrive its business model for higher education, to treat education like a "business," like a "product" that is "delivered" to a "customer."
The deficit is a major problem for America. But there are two parts to the problem. One part is waste in government. The second is insufficient revenue. We are under-taxed, especially our corporations and our rich.
While it would be refreshing to see The Great Compromiser inform the Republican Party that he won't sign any declarations of war against American's middle class and poor, I wouldn't bet on it unless his pollsters tell him it will help his 2012 odds.