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Signatures sent in for Medi-Cal funding measure

Health care providers and community groups have gathered and are submitting 1.3 million signatures to put a measure on November’s ballot that they say will provide stable funding for health care for children and, through Medi-Cal, for seniors and low-income residents.

“California voters will get the chance this fall to strengthen this critically important law, and improve access to quality affordable medical care for those who need it most,” California Hospital Association President and CEO C. Duane Dauner said in a news release.

The Medi-Cal Funding and Accountability Act of 2014 “will ensure California receives ongoing access to approximately $3 billion annually in federal matching funds,” Dauner said. “This is California’s fair share, money that would otherwise be left on the table in Washington, D.C.”

California’s hospitals for the past several years have taxed themselves to get access to the federal funds, but the budget-crunched state at times has diverted some of that money to its general fund. Last year’s SB 239, passed by the Legislature without any opposing votes and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, extended this fee through 2017 and specified how the money could be spent.

This measure would make that law permanent, and would require that “any changes in the program or to how the money is spent would have to be approved by voters first,” Christopher Dawes, president and CEO of Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Children’s Health, noted in the release.

Patients aren’t assessed any fees, and there are no new or increased taxes.

“We don’t have a single voice of opposition – this is a win-win for everybody… and it doesn’t cost a dime to California taxpayers,” said Anne McLeod, the California Hospital Association’s senior vice president of health policy.

The money must be spent to provide health care services to children and, through Medi-Cal, to elderly and low-income Californians. Without the federal funds, money would have to come from privately insured patients; the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office finds the measure would save state taxpayers $500 million for children’s health coverage starting in 2016-17, growing to more than $1 billion per year by 2019-20.

Dauner said people with private insurance shouldn’t face higher rates to subsidize unpaid Medi-Cal bills if federal money is available to cover the cost. “The Act is a common-sense answer to helping people provide health care to those who need it most, at great benefit to California taxpayers.”

Posted on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
Under: ballot measures, state budget | No Comments »

CAGOP14: Condoleezza Rice’s luncheon speech

It’s not just the California Republican Party that needs rebuilding – it’s America itself, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Saturday at the state GOP convention in Burlingame.

Condoleezza-Rice-photo-by-Steve-Gladfelter-Stanford.jpgRice, now a Stanford professor and Hoover Institution senior fellow, said the American “pursuit of happiness” requires opportunity, community and responsibility to each other, as well as to people around the world who don’t yet have the liberties we enjoy.

That requires “proper balance between the rights and responsibilities of the individual, and the powers of government,” Rice said. “We don’t mean ‘no government’ – that’s not what our founders believe.”

Instead, she said, we need a government that imposes few regulations and low taxes upon the private sector “because it is the private sector that is creative, innovative and risk-taking” in creating jobs and opportunities for citizens.

“We must be committed to the belief that individuals have choices, and we will respect the choices of each other,” Rice said. “On one hand, we are the most individualistic people on the face of the earth … But we… are also the most philanthropic. This is a country where people give up their resources and their time to good causes.”

But public entitlements aren’t the answer, she said. Nor should Americans be jealous of each others’ success, she said; anyone can succeed with hard work and perseverance, so long as they’re given a good education.

She said she can’t understand how some people move to wealthy neighborhoods to get their children into good schools, or send their children to private schools, and then argue against school choice.

“The greatest civil rights issue of our time is a high-quality education for every child,” she said, calling for a school-voucher system.

More from Rice, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Saturday, March 15th, 2014
Under: Republican Party, Republican politics | 9 Comments »

More White House interns with Bay Area ties

The White House today announced its Fall 2013 interns, including several who either hail from or attended school in the Bay Area.

This crop of interns, along with their hometowns and the universities they most recently attended, includes:

    Joanna Chen of Anaheim (University of California, Berkeley)
    Caitlin Etienne of Richfield, Minn. (Monterey Institute of International Studies)
    Elva Linares of Oakland (University of California Hastings College of the Law)

Interns work in one White House departments including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Chief of Staff, the Office of Communications, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Administration, the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Office of Presidential Personnel, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the White House Counsel, and the Office of White House Fellows.

Posted on Monday, October 21st, 2013
Under: Obama presidency | No Comments »

Study: Young men with sisters tend toward GOP

Young men with sisters are more likely to be Republicans, according to a new study by researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Loyola Marymount University.

The research by Stanford’s Neil Malhotra and Loyola’s Andrew Healy indicates men who grew up with female siblings tend to be conservative in their views of gender throughout their lives, and more likely to vote Republican when they’re young than their male peers. One reason may be that they’re much less likely to share household chores with their sisters, an avoidance of housework that continues into adulthood.

Wait, what? Republican men don’t do dishes?

not a Young Republican“Researchers have known that families have a strong influence on their children’s political ideas. But families are complicated, and it’s been hard to pinpoint how that socialization happens,” Malhotra said in a news release. “Our breakthrough is understanding that mechanism.”

Watching their sisters do the chores “teaches” boys that housework is simply women’s work, and that leads to a traditional view of gender roles — a position linked to a predilection for Republican politics, Healy and Malhotra claim. Boys with all sisters were 13.5 percent more conservative in their views of women’s roles than boys with all brothers.

When the boys with female siblings were seniors in high school, they were nearly 15 percent more likely to identify as Republicans, but as they grew into middle age, that effect diminished sharply. On the other hand, having sisters instead of brothers has no significant effect on girls, Healy and Malhotra found. Other researchers have found that people with traditional views on gender roles are 25 percent more politically conservative.

“These effects were surprising to us. We might expect that boys would learn to support gender equity through interactions with their sisters,” Healy said in the release. “However, the data suggest that other forces are more important in driving men’s political attitudes, including whether the family assigned chores, such as dishwashing, according to traditional gender roles.”

The researchers base their conclusions on an analysis of data gathered for two earlier studies: the University of Michigan Political Socialization Panel (PSP) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) young-adult sample.

Those studies followed thousands of U.S. families and individuals over an extended period, and probed for attitudes about gender and politics, as well as the inner workings of their households. The studies were conducted separately and at different times, but the findings were strikingly similar. Because the two studies point in the same direction, Malhotra said, he’s all the more confident that the conclusions he and Healy reached are valid.

The PSP study began in 1965 as a national sample of 1,669 students from 97 public and private schools, most of them high school seniors, and their parents. Subsequent surveys of the same individuals were conducted in 1973, 1982, and 1997; by the time of the last survey, the former students were about 50 years old.

The NLSY survey, conducted by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, included interviews with children as young as 10. They were asked if they regularly helped with straightening out their room, keeping the rest of the house clean, doing the dishes, and cooking. Over the years, questions about political views were added to the NLSY. When that data was correlated with that from the PSP, Healy and Malhotra concluded that “the gender stereotyping of the childhood environment thus may help to explain the effects that sisters have on male political attitudes.”

Their paper, “Childhood Socialization and Political Attitudes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment,” will be published in the October issue of the Journal of Politics.

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Under: Republican politics | 4 Comments »

New White House interns have Bay Area ties

The White House today announced its Summer 2013 interns, and as usual, several either hail from the Bay Area or have attended school here:

Interns work in one of several White House departments, including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Chief of Staff, the Office of Communications, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Administration, the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Office of Presidential Personnel, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the White House Counsel, and the Office of White House Fellows.

Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
Under: Obama presidency | 1 Comment »

Al Gore to speak on climate change at Stanford

Former Vice President Al Gore will speak on climate change and take questions from students at Stanford University next Tuesday, April 23.

Al GoreGore, 65, now chairman of the Climate Reality Project, is giving the first Stephen H. Schneider Memorial Lecture, in honor of the Stanford professor and world-renowned climate scientist who died in 2010. The program at Memorial Auditorium is open to the public and will start at 7 p.m., but I think all of the free tickets already have been snapped up. Stanford students and postdoctoral fellows need only their Stanford identification card to be admitted.

“Al Gore worked closely with Steve to sound the alarm about climate change, long before the average person understood there was a problem,” Terry Root, a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, said in a news release.

The institute is sponsoring the event along with the Stanford Speakers Bureau and two student groups: Stanford in Government and Students for a Sustainable Stanford.

Gore’s address will be titled “Peril and Opportunity: Solving the Climate Crisis and Reinvigorating Democracy.”

Gore was a Tennessee congressman from 1976 through 1984, a U.S. Senator from 1985 to 1991 and vice president from 1993 to 2001. He now chairs the Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit devoted to solving the climate crisis, and is the author of “Earth in the Balance,” “An Inconvenient Truth,” “The Assault on Reason” and “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis,” as well as a new book titled “The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.” He is the co-recipient, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.”

And no, he never claimed he “invented the Internet.”

Schneider at the time of his death was the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute. His most recent work centered on communicating the possible risks, vulnerabilities and impacts of climate change to ensure that leaders were sufficiently informed to apply smart risk management strategies in climate-policy decision making. He founded the interdisciplinary journal “Climatic Change” and continued to serve as its editor-in-chief until his death. He consulted with federal agencies and/or White House staff in every U.S. presidential administration since the Nixon era, and was an author of the first four assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2013
Under: Al Gore, Global warming | 10 Comments »

Former Senator joins Stanford energy think tank

Former U.S. Senator and Stanford Law School alumnus Jeff Bingaman will join Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance to develop policies to help states and local communities promote increased use of clean energy.

Jeff BingamanThe Steyer-Taylor Center for is a joint initiative of Stanford Law School and the Graduate School of Business to study and advance the development and deployment of clean-energy technologies through innovative policies and financial mechanisms. Dan Reicher, formerly of Google, the clean-energy investment sector, and the U.S. Department of Energy, is the center’s executive director.

Bingaman will focus on helping 29 states (including California) plus the District of Columbia extend and update their Renewable Portfolio Standards – policies to promote increased generation of electricity from renewable energy sources. Seven other states have adopted voluntary goals for generation of electricity from renewable sources.

Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat who spent 30 years in the Senate, was the lead champion of the Clean Energy Standards Act of 2012, which would have required greater use of low-carbon energy sources. He served as chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and on the Senate Finance Committee, as well as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

During his appointment as a distinguished fellow from April 2013 to April 2014, he’ll assess the status of current RPS programs and try to determine what policies might be adopted to update and improve those programs.

“Senator Bingaman will bring unparalleled policy and finance experience to the work of the center at a moment when energy is on the national and international agenda like never before,” Reicher said in a news release.

Bingaman will collaborate with the Environmental Law Clinic within the Mills Legal Clinic, which provides law students with hands-on experience in policy work on environmental and energy issues and in client representation. In addition, the former Senator will provide research opportunities to other law students, business school students, and also collaborate with energy scholars throughout campus, including at Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy.

Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2013
Under: energy, U.S. Senate | 1 Comment »

“I only have eyes… for blue…” (Or red)

Don’t tell Mary Matalin and James Carville, but researchers have found that online daters time and time again choose to pursue romantic relationships with people from their own political party and with similar beliefs.

Stanford Graduate School of Business Associate Professor Neil Malhotra and Yale University political science Professor Gregory Huber analyzed thousands of interactions from an online dating website. Their findings, presented last fall in a research paper titled “Political Sorting in Social Relationships,” show political affiliation rivals education level as one of the most important factors in identifying potential mates.

“We underestimate how much politics affects our daily lives,” Malhotra said in a news release issued Monday. “After an election is over, we don’t think about it, but in fact our political affiliations strongly affect other aspects of our lives, such as our romantic choices.”

And that has important implications beyond the households that politically similar individuals may form, he says.

“At the highest levels within our political system, we increasingly see that people are unwilling to work and communicate with each other,” he said. “Simply put, our society has become more and more polarized, and we wanted to explore if political preferences in romantic relationships could begin to explain part of the divide in America.”

So, Democrats – take a Republican out to dinner this Valentine’s Day. You’ll be striking a blow for bipartisan cooperation and the future of the Republic. And hey, you might get lucky, too.

When people pair with individuals of similar political beliefs, their households can become echo chambers that transmit extreme views to the children, Malhotra said. In fact, research shows that children are more moderate if their parents have differing political viewpoints. There is a genetic story at play, as well: Studies of twins demonstrate a genetic predisposition for certain political beliefs, which suggests that offspring of like-minded individuals may be predisposed to more extreme beliefs.

So Malhotra and Huber launched a laboratory experiment in which they presented participants with online dating profiles. Participants evaluated profiles more positively (e.g. had greater interest in dating the targeted individual) when the target had their same political ideology and level of interest in politics. Study participants even found online candidate profiles more physically attractive if they shared similar political beliefs.

Gipper loveTo validate these results, the researchers partnered with an online dating website, which provided the team a unique window to observe people’s beliefs and preferences before they meet and interact in a marriage market. It also provided a wealth of data since, according to a Pew Research study, 74 percent of single Americans seeking partners have used an online dating site.

The team developed a set of seven new questions that users were asked when signing up for the online dating service. The questions measured three different political characteristics: political identity, including party affiliation; issue positions; and political participation. Most users opted to keep their answers to these questions private, meaning that other users could not proactively search for potential mates using these criteria.

Still, after assessing how men and women interacted via the site’s messaging function, Malhotra and Huber found that — in line with the results from the lab study — shared political characteristics increased the messaging rates in statistically significant ways above a baseline rate. Shared partisanship increased messaging rates by 9.5 percent, shared levels of political interest increased messaging rates by 10.7 percent, and shared ideas about how to balance the budget increased messaging rates by 10.8 percent.

These are similar to the messaging boosts found from shared educational background and height; slightly lower than race; and lower than religion. But since political characteristics were not disclosed — unlike these other publicly disclosed characteristics — it shows “how strong the political effect is, and how easy it is for people to pick up on cues about political beliefs,” Malhotra said.

Malhotra said their findings indicate reduced political disagreement within households, which can lead to the rise of political enclaves, which means “partisan polarization could get much worse.”

Posted on Monday, February 11th, 2013
Under: Democratic politics, Republican politics | No Comments »

Condi Rice coming soon to CBS – and Stockton

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is coming soon to a television, and a speaking engagement, near you.

Condoleezza-Rice-photo-by-Steve-Gladfelter-Stanford.jpgCBS News announced yesterday that Rice, 58, who is now a Stanford professor and Hoover Institution senior fellow, is now a CBS News contributor, effective immediately. “In this role, the former Secretary of State will use her insight and vast experience to explore issues facing America at home and abroad,” the news release said.

Rice, who was President George W. Bush’s Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009 and his National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005, is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates LLC, an international business consulting firm.

She will be featured at a March 21 forum on “Advancing Women’s Leadership,” to be held at the University of the Pacific’s Alex G. Spanos Center; tickets cost $25 and will go on sale tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 22) at the university’s box office. Proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stockton and the University’s Women’s Resource Center.

The forum aims to inspire participants, especially young women, to make a lasting, positive and powerful impact in the communities where they live and work.

“We are thrilled and proud to bring Dr. Condoleezza Rice to Stockton,” Kathleen Lagorio Janssen, chair of University of the Pacific’s Board of Regents and a member of the Advancing Women’s Leadership planning committee, said in a news release. “Her vast accomplishments on the national and global stages are an inspiration to all aspiring leaders, men and women, who are working to improve the lives of those around them.”

Posted on Monday, January 21st, 2013
Under: Media | 1 Comment »

Protesters target Condi Rice in Tampa

The Bay Area’s own former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, now a Stanford professor and Hoover Institution fellow, was targeted by protesters today in Tampa. Via the Associated Press:

TAMPA, Fla. — Police in Tampa stopped a dozen anti-war protesters from entering an event attended by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after the group said it intended to arrest her for war crimes.

The protesters from Code Pink carried handcuffs Tuesday and tried to enter a performing arts center. Rice was attending an event in conjunction with the Republican National Convention. They said they wanted to make a citizen’s arrest of Rice. She was George W. Bush’s National Security Adviser when the Iraq War started in 2003.

Officers told protesters to leave because they were on private property. They went back to the sidewalk and several lay down under sheets made to look like they were blood-splattered.

The group says it will try to arrest other members of the George W. Bush administration.

Posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
Under: Republican Party, Republican politics | 4 Comments »